Maybe Braves get back to LaRoche, maybe not

If the Braves have any interest in re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche, he said he’s not been told about it. That’s what he said a few hours ago when I texted him.

Asked him whether he’d heard anything from the Braves since becoming a free agent, and LaRoche replied in a text message: “No talk from ATL that I know of. Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there.”

To recap, he hit .325 with 12 homers, 40 RBI and a .401 OBP and .557 slugging percentage (.958 OPS) in 57 games after being traded to the Braves from the Boston Red Sox on July 31.

LaRoche on no Braves offer: "Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there."

LaRoche on no Braves offer: "Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there."

Braves officials have kept private most details of their offseason plans and maneuverings this year (you might have noticed), and all general manager Frank Wren has said about LaRoche is that the Braves haven’t ruled out attempting to re-sign him.

Wren was asked this afternoon about the lack of contact with LaRoche and whether the Braves still have interest in bringing him back after taking care of other matters this winter.

“We have contacted him early in the offseason to let his representative know our plans,” Wren answered in an e-mail to me.

The Braves made an offer to first baseman/outfielder/pinch-hitter Ross Gload over a week ago during baseball’s Winter Meetings, but he signed with Philadelphia. The Braves are known to have interest in several other free agents with some first-base experience, including Xavier Nady and Mark DeRosa.

We think — and those moves or attempted moves tend to support this — that the Braves prefer a player or players with versatility to serve as a stopgap 1B  until prospect Freddie Freeman, 20, is ready for the majors.

LaRoche’s agent has reportedly sought a three-year deal with a significant raise for his client, who made $7.05 million last season and hit .278 with 38 doubles, 25 homers and 83 RBIs in 150 games for Pittsburgh, Boston and the Braves. Stopgap? Rochy don’t need no stinkin’ stopgap. (OK, what is wrong with me? It’s like suddenly I’m imagining those thought balloons things or something. Need food.)

Meanwhile, the Braves continue their current priority of attempting to trade starting pitcher Derek Lowe to free up payroll. The Los Angeles Angels of Greater Orange County, and possibly the New York Yankees of the Bronx, have emerged as potential trade partners. (Emerging being a relative term here. We need partners to report. Step up if you’ve heard of one.)

The Angels have made it known they would rather trade for Braves starter Javier Vazquez. Oh, you don’t say?

Braves are trying to trade Lowe....

Braves are trying to trade Lowe....

Folks, that’s not the least bit surprising, considering Vazquez is coming off a career-best season (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 238 strikeouts in 219-1/3 innings), is three years younger than Lowe, and, oh yeah, is owed $11.5 million for 2011 in the last year of his contract.

Lowe (15-10, 4.67 ERA) is owed $45 million over the next three seasons in a four-year, $60 million deal he signed with the Braves last winter. Oh, and he’s 36.

The Braves would probably exhaust all attempts to trade Lowe before they might seriously have to entertain offers for Vazquez, who they’d prefer to keep atop their rotation in 2010 and possibly longer (as in, extension).

One other big obstacle that stands in the way of any Angels’ bid for Vazquez is, of course, the limited no-trade clause that he has in his contract, which prevents any trade to any West Division teams in either league. He had it put there for a reason, after all. Not because he closed his eyes and pointed to a board with division names on it.

Vazquez had the clause put in his contract so he could avoid being so far from his family in Puerto Rico. He’s indicated he doesn’t plan to waive the clause, though he hasn’t said he absolutely wouldn’t consider such a deal. (If I’m him, I’m saying, ‘Hey, you want me in Cali? How bad do you want me in Cali? Make me a very big offer and I might consider approving a trade to Cali.’ But that’s just me.)

(And besidees, I don’t have family in Puerto Rico and actually like California a lot. It’d be a particularly nice state to be a multi-millionaire in; you might even be able to afford a house with a small yard.)

... but Angels kind of like this other guy.

... but Angels kind of like this other guy.

The Braves have six quality starting pitchers and would like to trade one of them before really focusing solely on their offensive needs. And whether it’s Lowe or Vazquez that they trade could make quite a difference in how they go about pursuing a hitter. It really could.

The purpose of trading Lowe would be primarily to clear up payroll to fund the pursuit of a free agent hitter or two. A team willing to take on most or all of the $45 million owed to Lowe, is probably going to balk at also giving up a valuable hitter as well. Until I see otherwise, I’ve got a hard time believing a team would both take on that contract <em>and</em> give up something of serious value.

If the Braves can’t trade Lowe and resort to trading Vazquez, they might command a quality, affordable hitter as part of the return package, and not necessarily have to rely on the free-agent market.

Or, the Braves might get a package of several young players or prospects in return for Vazquez, whose market would be considerably wider than Lowe’s. As in, a whole lot of teams would like to have Vazquez. Including some teams with young talent and perhaps an affordable hitter they might be willing to part with.

Stay tuned. Christmas is right around the corner, and so might be a deal that Brave fans can get behind.

Or, you might have to wait until the new year for a trade and maybe even longer for the complete roster to take shape, if the Braves and other teams decide to wait for some free agents to accept less money than they’re asking for now.

nite.583

“RESTLESS” by James McMurtry

She gets a little restless in the spring

She might follow the lines you sing

Bull***t though they are

‘Cause sometimes that’s just the thing

If delivered with panache and a certain grace

Fingertips on satin lace

Cutting cards and quoting Proust

Whatever turns her wild mare loose

*

She gets a little restless now and then

She feels the changes in the wind

Way down deep where I can’t see

She can get clean away from me

With a side step and subtle shift

And the turning of a key

Locks me out and lets me drift

She’ll come back if I let her be

She’ll come back if I let her be

*

And I’m just a little down tonight

I’m just a little down

A little messed up is all I’m saying

Just a little down tonight

I’m just a little down

But I believe I’ll make it

Believe I’ll make it

*

She gets a little restless I can tell

When she goes back up inside her shell

And the conversation slows

To a stop and I might as well

Be out alone on the highway

Way off in the Utah sage

Waving to the railroad crew

That’s when I get restless too

*

She gets a little restless in the spring

She might follow the lines you sing

Bull***t though they are

Sometimes that’s just the thing

7,602 comments Add your comment

FEAR

December 18th, 2009
8:06 pm

HELLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOO

sidslidkid

December 18th, 2009
8:06 pm

Rob in pain from (SC)

December 18th, 2009
8:07 pm

DOB

Any feeling that Freeman will be given a legit chance to win the 1B job

chip off the ol block

December 18th, 2009
8:09 pm

David O'Brien

December 18th, 2009
8:12 pm

Rob in pain: No on Freeman. Not this soon. He’s got work to do before he’s ready.

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:14 pm

Rob in pain from (SC)………..It is a 99% certainty that Freddie Freeman will open the 2010 season in Triple A.

If the Braves are seriously considering having Jason Heyward open to 2010 season as our starting right fielder………I find it hard to believe that they would be willing to open the 2010 season with two 20 year olds in our starting line-up who would be making the ML debut. That is a lot of pressure to put on the 2 of them.

chip off the ol block

December 18th, 2009
8:16 pm

I dont know about yall, but im hoping that as it gets colder, the hot stove heats up for the Braves more. So far we’ve had good additions to our pen, minor leages/maybe bench players, but haven’t upgraded much in the offense, im hoping that sometime fairly soon
it’d be a good Christmas present

sidslidkid

December 18th, 2009
8:19 pm

DOB, Have you noticed anything close to a sense of urgency from Wren to move one of the starters? Only 62 days until pitchers and catchers head south.

FEAR

December 18th, 2009
8:19 pm

DOB – someone posted something on the last blog a couple hours ago about the braves talking with Nady. Have you heard anything?

Duke

December 18th, 2009
8:19 pm

Vazquez for prospects, parlay them with freeman for Adrian

Jim

December 18th, 2009
8:19 pm

Just went outside to move the cars around here in Billy Wagner Winterland. I don’t understand why you’re spending all that money to go to Whistler, Dave. It looks like we’ll have 18″ of nice powder here before Noon tomorrow. First snowflakes at 5PM; we’ve had about 5″ since then and weather pattern is not supposed to leave Central VA until tomorrow night. Billy’s a few hundred feet higher up than we are, so he’ll surely get closer to 2′. Central Virginia is closed tomorrow.

Agree comment has very little to do with baseball, but at least it is one your kids can read. Let’s keep comments on this blog pure as the driven snow.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:21 pm

Lets see, no contact with LaRoche since the end of the season, and our Braves need a first baseman along with a big right handed bat. Something smells different, as in things are way to quite and the roast is in the pot.

unbelievable

December 18th, 2009
8:22 pm

Braves dont want Laroche at his cost, here’s hoping that they dont want Damon at his either..

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:24 pm

Lentz, both Jordan Schafer (age 22) and Jason Heyward (age 21) will be given every opportunity to win starting outfield jobs in spring training. As they should.

Joe Fan

December 18th, 2009
8:25 pm

I wouldn’t be the least suprised if the Braves open the season with both Heyward and Freeman in the lineup especially if they both excel in ST. This is a team that looks to be bumping up against a spending limit and right now appears to be shopping for a blue light special and are more than willing to open the season with an excess of pitching.

jeffrey d

December 18th, 2009
8:27 pm

Heyward’s 20

unbelievable

December 18th, 2009
8:27 pm

the thing that scares me the most is that apparently the Braves wanted to give Gload regular playing time. He sucks and should be nothing more than a bench player. This guy was going to be a part of the solution? seriously? apparently that .325 obp the last 3 seasons against RH is a good thing? Thank God that Philly got him before Bobby did

jeffrey d

December 18th, 2009
8:28 pm

lol, and Schafer’s 23. Good try.

Brian in Villa Rica

December 18th, 2009
8:29 pm

DOB:

I keep hearing Juan Rivera of the Angels being our target. Any chance that a prospect is shipped along with Lowe to the Angels to bring in the right handed OF power bat that we seem to covet?

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:31 pm

sidslidkid………if the Braves were only trying to get rid of Lowe’s contract….then it would make sense to wait and trade Lowe until a good deal came around. For instance, during Spring Training, injuries happen all the time. Lowe could look more attractive to a team needing starting pitching by then.

However, the Braves arent looking to “just” trade Lowe’s contract. They are looking to get rid of Lowe’s contract so the can see how much money they will have to go after a free agent or two who they feel will make a difference in our offense.

What the Braves arent willing to do is spend some serious money improving the offense via free agency……BEFORE trading Lowe. They arent willing to risk that they wont find any takers for Lowe before the regular season started. That would bust the payroll and force them to basically dump a salary (Vazquez for instance).

If you guys think I’m making this up…..then why did Frank Wren trade Rafael Soriano so quickly after he accepted arbitration? You cant tell me that the Braves couldnt have waited a little bit for a better offer. What the quick trade clearly said was that the Braves want to clear payroll BEFORE making a splash via free agency.

Part of the “sense of urgency” is the fear of the quality free agents on the market signing with other teams while the Braves “patiently” wait for a good offer to come along for Derek Lowe. I think that the Braves are finding that finding a team willing to assume most of Lowe’s contract is pretty hard right now.

BraveOne

December 18th, 2009
8:31 pm

I know the Braves want to trade a pitcher, but is it possible that the Braves go to spring training and beyond with 6 pitchers???

Del

December 18th, 2009
8:32 pm

I cann’t help but feel that Wren should quit trying to trade Lowe and concentrate on getting the very best deal he can for JV. And if he needs more versaltility then he should grab DeRo before the Yanks get him.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:33 pm

Right, Schafer is 23 and Heyward’s 20. But still they will both probably end up in the everyday line up if the Braves get their way.

NCBravesFan

December 18th, 2009
8:33 pm

4″ of snow in Greensboro and it’s still coming down! Winter has come early to NC – a l’il news from the Braves’ Hot Stove could warm things up in the neighborhood. :)

Marko

December 18th, 2009
8:34 pm

Braves are preferably looking for a versatile player to play 1B for a year and then move to a difference position after Freeman comes up?

Sounds like a great plan to me.

Steve

December 18th, 2009
8:35 pm

Really can’t see why the Braves don’t want LaRoche back on a one year deal.

jeffrey d

December 18th, 2009
8:36 pm

But still they will both probably end up in the everyday line up if the Braves get their way

I think after last year’s Schafer disaster they might try someone more proven. I know he played hurt, but he was freaking black hole in that lineup. Plus, we don’t know how much of his offensive problems were related to his injury, and how much was related to his inexperience.

Jim

December 18th, 2009
8:36 pm

NCBraveFan – I think we’re going to get a lot more than that.

Steve

December 18th, 2009
8:36 pm

Reading the Twitter page; Lowe for Swisher would be a dream come true.

keylargo

December 18th, 2009
8:36 pm

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes for Tim Hudson to come back as a short reliever. Lentz

Sending Hudson to pitch in short relief and sending Manny Acosta back to Triple A where he can pitch more often, makes more sense to me.Lentz

Tim Hudson is much more suited (both with his bulldog mentality and with his nasty stuff and control) to pitch in short relief. Lentz

Do you remember last August when you went on ranting just like you are now about Lowe? It nauseated me to hear the continuous “Hudson needs to come back as a reliever” dribble coming from you when it was obvious to every sane blogger Hudson would come back and start so the Braves could decide whether or not to exercise their option or sign Hudson to an extension.

You ain’t always right, Hotdog.

Plate Appearance

December 18th, 2009
8:36 pm

IT’S ANOTHER “WREN”

Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated is in the habit of coining words that more aptly describe what’s happening in baseball than those presently available. You can read Joe’s past blogs on his web site: http://www.joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/.

After Frank Wren’s latest trade of preeminent closer Rafael Soriano – who Keith Law of ESPN rated as the 2nd best free agent closer on the market, only behind Mike Gonzalez (and before Billy Wagner I might add) – for former Pirates and now former Rays reject Jesse Chavez (yes, the same Jesse Chavez of the 4.48 career ERA and the 1-5 career Win/Loss record), I believe the coining another new baseball term is well in order.

Let’s call this new baseball term a “WREN”.

I’ll explain.

Since becoming the Braves GM, many writers and fans alike have noticed Wren’s penchant for RUSHING INTO SITUATIONS – to the detriment of the Braves organization and both former and current Braves players – where only foolish, inexperienced, or blundering GM’s have previously trod.

In describing this latest Soriano for Chavez trade, Keith Law said it well in a recent column, “I’m a little surprised this was the best offer Atlanta could get for Soriano, but they also seemed DESPERATE (emphasis mine) to move him immediately …”

Yes, Frank’s move clearly was a desperate one.

Oh for a little “Jim Bowden or Scott Boras” style patience – to at least wait out and explore the best offers or moves BEFORE rushing ahead.

Granted, Soriano accepting arbitration was unexpected. But was it that unexpected?

Did Frank really have to “dump” Soriano off to the Rays in this manner by virtually giving him away – without CAREFULLY exploring other trade options and getting no SIGNIFICANT return as a result?

Or might not it have been even WISER TO WAIT (as opposed to rushing ahead) on signing Billy Wagner (he of the loss of two top draft choices to the Red Sox), until after seeing what Rafael would do?*

*(Many would argue that the Braves would have been much better off holding onto Soriano and their two top draft choices – and Ryan Church, who was summarily released to make room on the 40 man roster for Soriano – rather than signing Wagner.)

“TALKING CHOP” said it best: “If he (Chavez) is all the Braves are able to receive in return for their 2009 closer, this situation will have been A MAJOR LOSS (emphasis again mine) for the organization, as Chavez isn’t a lock to make the team. And he certainly doesn’t have the value of a late 1st round pick and a supplemental draft pick.”

David Wood of Bleacher Report contributes these most relevant comments in his article “ATLANTA BRAVES’ GM FRANK WREN LAYS AN EGG”:

“Atlanta Braves’ general manager Frank Wren has laid a big egg thus far in his handling of his team’s bullpen situation this off-season.”

“Concerned that Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez would be too expensive for the cost-conscious Braves to retain, Wren wasted no time in signing Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito to fill their roles.”

“The tally: $10.2 million, 78+ years of age, two saves, and one Tommy John surgery.”

“Soriano subsequently accepted the Braves’ offer of arbitration, and will make $7 million for Tampa Bay next season—the same as Wagner will be earning for the Braves.”

“Yesterday, Mike Gonzalez came to terms with the Orioles for two years at $6 million per season.”

“That’s $13 million for a pair of relievers with 18 fewer years of wear and 35 more saves to their credit last season than Wren’s new backend of the bullpen.” – End quote

So here’s our new word defined:

A “WREN” or a “FRANK WREN”: “Foolishly rushing into a situation to simply “get something done” (largely for the attempted ego gratification needs of the one doing the rushing) to the utter detriment of your team.”

I also find a part of the Wikipedia definition for the word “WREN” as apt (referring to the bird as a type of Frank): “They are mainly small and inconspicuous, except for their loud and often complex songs.”

Yes, it’s a “WREN”: A “small”, ego driven person, rushing to and fro. A lot of “flutter” in his wings. And a lot of loud, complex verbal “song-bluster” afterward to explain what’s been done. But in many cases with INCONSPICUOUS RESULTS that don’t truly help a team – or cause significant HURT (remember well Wren’s dealings with sure Braves Hall of Famers Smoltz and Glavine – or the Francoeur trade – or even his current “work”, in spite of what he may say, toward pushing Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox out the door).**

**(Or WREN’S “work” to overpay Boras client Derek Lowe LAST YEAR, while now trying to unload both he and his salary THIS YEAR – while in kind pronouncing (from what some are reporting) that Frank’s also willing for the Braves to absorb part of his salary!)

But Soriano for Chavez??? Was this REALLY the best Frank could do?

No doubt about it. Another “FRANK WREN” has just taken place!

Move over “MENDOZA LINE”.

cabravesfan

December 18th, 2009
8:37 pm

I’m not sure if I should be jealous of all the snow some of you are getting, or glad I live in Southern California…it was 85 today :)

David O'Brien

December 18th, 2009
8:37 pm

When we were discussing favorite movies of the year, I forgot about I Love You, Man. Very good movie. It might crack my top 10. Close.

And I’m still waiting for Big Fan (with Patton Oswalt) to come out on DVD. That was in the theatres and gone so quickly, I missed it.

NCBravesFan

December 18th, 2009
8:39 pm

Jim – where are you? I think we’ll end up with about 5-6″ here – the snow looks like it’s about to wind down. The mountains got clocked though, and it’s still snowing hard up that way I hear.

John

December 18th, 2009
8:40 pm

Resigning LaRoche is a no brainer for a championship caliber organization. Libery Media is too cheap to help us win a championship. Mediocrity comes at a lower price.

[...] love LaRoche’s response to AJC’s writer David O’Brien, when he asks him if he has heard a peep from the Braves. “No talk from ATL that I know of. Guess [...]

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:40 pm

Coach (2011 or Bust)…………If by chance the Braves were to want both Schafer and Heyward to open the 2010 season in our starting line-up……..that would mean moving Nate McLouth to left field.

If we opened the 2010 season with an outfield of McLouth, Schafer, and Heyward…….how many homers would you expect our outfield to realistically hit? Schafer and Heyward may have some pop in their bat. However they are youngsters who have yet to prove that they can hit ML pitching.

A big problem the past 2 seasons has been the lack of power from our outfield. Do you think that Frank Wren is willing to put the hopes of improving our offense on Jordan Schafer (coming off an injury and a suck a$$ 2 months in 2009) and Jason Heyward (a 20 year old with only a few at-bats in Triple A)?

Or do you expect Schafer and Heyward to come in and hit 25-30 homers each in their first full year in the Majors…thereby solving our lack of outfield power?

abwright

December 18th, 2009
8:40 pm

I thought Will Ohman was a free agent (again) this off-season. Why don’t the Braves try to sign him?

Someone made a $2M offer to Kelly Johnson? Surely the Braves can top that! Let’s get KJ back!

(Those two sentences were red meat for the Will Ohman and Kelly Johnson fan clubs.)

The A Bomb

December 18th, 2009
8:41 pm

Instead of reading that recent post I just watched I Love You Man.

Great flick.

abwright

December 18th, 2009
8:41 pm

And surely the Braves could make a pitch for Ryan Freel?

(That was for Wayne in Utah.)

John

December 18th, 2009
8:43 pm

Freeman better show some pop this season or he will be no answewr for LaRoche.

Logan

December 18th, 2009
8:44 pm

With those six starters and our new bullpen all you need at first is a lawn chair.

unbelievable

December 18th, 2009
8:45 pm

awbright, the Braves already have 3 lefties why do they need Ohman?

China Grove

December 18th, 2009
8:45 pm

It doesn’t seem likely to me that Schafer will be given too much of a shot to win a job outright. He could probably use the at-bats in AAA as he recovers from surgery. Obviously, everyone in the organization “gets a chance” and if he shows up and blows everyone away he could start. But I would imagine that those odds are pretty slim. I hope they start him in AAA so he can develop into the player we’ll need him to be in 2011, 2012 and beyond

AdirondackDave

December 18th, 2009
8:46 pm

BraveOne — Surprising but not shocking if the Braves go into ST and beyond with 6 good starters. The chances of an injury (or terrible pitching) by one of our starters or some of the other starters around baseball is certainly possible. That makes Lowe even more valuable to the Braves and the team short an effective starter. I’m hoping FW finds a way to sign LaRoche for a 1+1 option deal in the next few weeks and then worry about beefing up the outfield, if necessary, later on.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:48 pm

Lentz, get a grip.

The arbitration hearings aren’t until February. Soriano could have been kept around until then without his status adversely affecting the Braves plans. I think Wren just wanted to stick it to Soriano for making him look bad. Atlanta lost their projected first round pick and Wren wanted to send a message. Tit for tat, have fun in Tampa looking up at the Yankees and Red Sox.

As it is, Soriano’s agent is an idiot. Gonzo was worth less on the free agent market and ended up with one more contract season than Soriano did, not to mention potentially making more money per year.

Tomahawkin

December 18th, 2009
8:49 pm

From the last blog!

O.J.

I’m glad you find that amusing…! lol

N8

What I was referring to was last season I got so tired of getting quality starts from our starters and our Awfense not get them no run support

That Game where Hanson pitched 8-strong and we lost 1-0 I about threw my computer out the window!

JKP

December 18th, 2009
8:49 pm

LaRoche seems like a nice guy, and maybe he was just making a joke. But, “Maybe I should have hit .400…” REALLY. Maybe you should learn how to hit better than .240 for an entire season before you start complaining about not getting signed.

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:50 pm

keylargo……again you twist my comments.

For instance, when you quoted me as saying that “Tim Hudson is much more suited to pitch in short relief”…….you left out the part where I said “than Kenshin Kawakami is”. I was debating the merits of putting Hudson in our bullpen upon his return in August….as opposed to having Kawakami pitch in short relief. Our bullpen could have used a boost the last month of the 2009 season. Kawakami basically wasted away in the bullpen the last 5 weeks of the season.

NEVER did I say that Tim Hudson should permanently converted to a reliever. I said just for the end of 2009. Strengthening the rotation for September was not what we needed. We needed another strong arm to help Soriano and Gonzalez close out games. I still feel that Hudson could have performed well as a short reliever in 2009.

Also, I never said that the Braves WOULD have Hudson come back as a reliever. I said that the Braves SHOULD have Hudson come back as a reliever. I made my case because I wanted to see the Braves make a push towards the play-offs. We didnt need another starter. We needed bullpen help. How hard is that for you to understand MORON?

Same thing when I said that the Braves SHOULD have traded Lowe for Milton Bradley. Of course I knew that the Braves WOULDNT make that kind of trade.

Maybe you should look up the meaning of the words “should” and “would”.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:52 pm

Lentz, if you ever buy a glove, let me know. OK?

Baseball boils down to four key elements. Pitching, defense, power and speed. I think in the same order and you’re talking to someone who has played , coached and been around the game for the better part of the past thirty years.

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:52 pm

China Grove……..your 8:45pm posting was well said. I agree totally.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:54 pm

OK ,we have ourselves an overgrown child posting as both Lentz and myself. Get a life. I’m outta here.

Radio Cure

December 18th, 2009
8:54 pm

Best blog yet? DOB, you need to use parentheses more. Your split personality is hilarious. Also, please eat and sleep less. It seems to bring out that side in you more.

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
8:55 pm

Coach (2011 or Bust)…….Do you really believe that instead of holding onto Rafael Soriano and waiting for a better deal……….that Frank Wren quickly dumped Soriano “because he wanted to stick it to him”? Do you really believe that Frank Wren would put “revenge” over the interests of the team?

If so, then there is no reasoning with you.

I'm a punk ass

December 18th, 2009
8:56 pm

SFU coach. Get your fat slobby self off this blog before I get my posse after ya!!!!

siskel_god

December 18th, 2009
8:56 pm

Why not just sign LaRoche to a three year deal? If Freeman is ready next year, it’s not like you can’t trade LaRoche. Considering Lowe’s situation it’s not really a stretch to sign a guy then trade him the next season, is it? I think Freeman can play third, did he not in highschool? Youk and Pujols have both gone back and forth across the diamond, right? So sign a guy who wants to be here and hits 25-30 bombs a year and about .275, and 85 r.b.i.’s then get DeRosa, Nady, or Dye to play in the outfield. Unless we get Holliday and Bay and Chipper hits like he did in 99, and Lil’ Mac turns into Big Mac we ain’t gonna be able to slug with the Phils anyways, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

TS

December 18th, 2009
8:57 pm

I like LaRoche well enough, but he has never hit in the first half, and the pressure would be enormous if he signed a new deal. I can’t see it being a good idea.

And I’ve said it before and will say it again: I will eat my shirt if the Braves find a team to take Lowe’s contract.

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
8:57 pm

I know after the debacle that was last off-season, Wren has tried to be mum this winter. BUT, what befuddles the mind is why he and the front office have allowed this implicit story line to develop over this off-season– that being Lowe is old and overpaid. I know Lowe’s poor second half made this somewhat obvious and unavoidable. However, couldn’t Wren have tried a little better to negate these unattractive factors by bluffing during the Winter Meetings, if not before. In other words, he could have merely suggested the Bravos were content with keeping 6 starters. B.S. A LITTLE! It’s the old boy likes girl, girl rejects boy because boy is way too available rule. It just seems to me teams like the Yankees who have the payroll flexibility to take on Lowe’s contract might’ve been more inclined to trade for Lowe if he seemed wanted a little more than he does. He’s all but been thrown under the bus, and who can deny that? I don’t care who you are, or what you want; if you don’t have leverage, you don’t have much. The only leverage the Braves sadly have now is Vasquez. But thanks to his limited no-trade clause, they don’t even have that much leverage with him. Looks like another fun off-season!

wallypip

December 18th, 2009
8:57 pm

I don’t understand this treatment of LaRoche. I predict he’ll have a great year in ‘10.

bravesman218

December 18th, 2009
8:58 pm

John-you want some pop from Freeman? Check out this absolute bomb he hit last season. It doesn’t even land in between the two fences. It goes over the second fence. What a beast.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dwtspB3H_A

trey

December 18th, 2009
8:58 pm

Reminds me of last year’s offseason.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 18th, 2009
8:59 pm

Lentz, once again. GET A GRIP. Does Cal Ripken jr. ring a bell????? No, you probably have no clue as to far reaching implications of that snafu on the part of Frank Wren.

abwright

December 18th, 2009
8:59 pm

unbelievable, December 18th, 2009, 8:45 pm … “awbright, the Braves already have 3 lefties why do they need Ohman?”

Last off-season, there were mega-bytes on this blog devoted to the “Hunt for Lefty Ohman.” Surely some of those bloggers should be opining about his current availability.

Plus, his wife (according to DOB’s report) has a good sense of humor and the Oh-man read the blog.

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
8:59 pm

I’m sorry didn’t we give up 4 really good prospects to get Javier Vasquez after a sub par year with the white sox. The only way we give him up for prospects is if a team has 4 Jason Heywards on their team. <-Period

Marc in FL

December 18th, 2009
8:59 pm

We had 5 automatic outs for the first couple of months of the season in 09′, I think it’s safe to say Wren hasn’t offered Laroche anything cause he’s trying to avoid repeating history. Kind of like how he avoiding repeating the pitching woes by signing 3 pitchers last offseason, and now we’re the only team in baseball that has the luxury of trading away pitching.

trey

December 18th, 2009
9:00 pm

LaRoche should take this as the Braves don’t want him. He should remember the way Wren cut Glavine after supposedly allowing him to start and the way he let Smoltz walk.

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:01 pm

Diaz fan club, I like diaz but all i can think about is he still running home from third….the play that ended our season

keylargo

December 18th, 2009
9:01 pm

I’d take Milton Bradley AND Carlos Silva for Paul Lentz.

Radio Cure

December 18th, 2009
9:01 pm

LaRoche is a great player. He’s just underrated because he has a slow first. And he doesn’t have a as great of a second half to make up for it completely like Teixeira does. But if he has to better towards one end of the year, the second half is way better. I’d be happy with them reupping LaRoche, but the market will have to slim. But he jumped around so much last year, who knows?

POed Fan

December 18th, 2009
9:01 pm

Oh great, another WRENJOB

joerochester

December 18th, 2009
9:02 pm

How old is Laroche?

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:02 pm

Opinion, I got news for you…are season ended much earlier unfortunately

FEAR

December 18th, 2009
9:02 pm

Derek Lowe to Entenmann’s for a box of those delicious crumb and powder sugar doughnuts.

joerochester

December 18th, 2009
9:03 pm

Or maybe the Braves haven’t contacted Laroche yet to see how much interest other teams have in him. If the Braves also show interest in him now, then his agent would create a sense of urgency with other teams. Therefore, driving up his price.

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:03 pm

Matt Diaz is still the man though…..I love em

Radio Cure

December 18th, 2009
9:04 pm

joerechester, if you’re being serious, he’s 30

FEAR, that’s funny. And I’d approve that trade.

John

December 18th, 2009
9:04 pm

My “more” pop was referring to production and not distance. Sorry.

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:05 pm

FEAR, in all seriousness, it wouldn’t surprise me to see us trade Lowe for nobody. That’s right. At this point we probably would just give him away so long as a team would take on a significant portion of his payroll. Would that even be called a trade?

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:05 pm

Hate to tell you FEAR, if you like donuts……from a secret source……ALL DONUTS MADE AT DUNKIN ARE NOW BAKED AND FROZEN AND THEN REHEATED AT EACH STORE

james

December 18th, 2009
9:06 pm

bring back captain Unibrow!! He is my favorite braves player and I really want him back… also because he looks like Burt from Sesame Street

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:08 pm

Sorry to those who believe gonzo and soriano were a better solution than an old wagner and saito. Wagner will be good and saito should be alright….i believe a better option than that of gonzo and can’t save a game soriano

6-4-3

December 18th, 2009
9:08 pm

Not crazy about Damon but what the heck, two years at 14 mil sounds about right. He’d be a good leadoff hitter for us but we’d have to endure some pretty shoddy D in left.

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:08 pm

Opinion, Krispy Kreme’s are fresh baby!

bbspell22

December 18th, 2009
9:08 pm

DOB
Go see Avatar, it should crack your top 10 of the year. It may have very well cracked my top 5…of the decade.

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:09 pm

Im tellin the Braves if they want to sell out Tuner Field ever again…………they need to allow people to bring coolers again………..beer, sandwiches, what ever………….stop worrying about the concession sales because your ticket prices will make up for it

Puma

December 18th, 2009
9:10 pm

DOB – It seems like Wren has p’d off a few Braves players in the past by not discussing things with them. Would it be a weird thing for Wren (or any GM) to call Laroche, or D Lowe, or Tom Glavine, and say ok here is our situation, and this is our thinking, we want you back but…X Y and Z. Just so that they know where they stand? I guess I am wondering if there is a reason that never happens and/or are these players just being baby’s about the whole thing?

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:10 pm

bbspell22 I was going to see Avatar but got snowed in. Had tickets and all. Without giving away too much, it’s that good, huh?

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:10 pm

I used to bake at DD and no one made a better donut than I did, I was known as the fastest baker in the south

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:12 pm

Opinion What ever happened to the Oatmeal donuts at Dunkin’s?

Marc in FL

December 18th, 2009
9:13 pm

I was the best sandwich maker at Subway this side of the Missi riva, hootin’ dawg!

Steve

December 18th, 2009
9:13 pm

Wrenjob does sound a lot like rimjob.

FEAR

December 18th, 2009
9:13 pm

top 5 of the decade? hmmmmmmm

1. Traffic
2. O Brother Where Art Thou
3. Snatch
4. Dark Knight
5. Inglorious Basterds

and Freddy vs. Jason hahaha. Love that movie

Paul Lentz

December 18th, 2009
9:14 pm

trey…….the thing you forget about the “Glavine situation” is that when Glavine signed with the Braves in Spring Training……he was slated to be activated on April 18th. That was the first day the Braves would need a 5th starter. Instead, he developed a sore shoulder and had to first rehab his shoulder….then rest a couple of weeks……and then rehab it again…..and finally made a few starters in late May.

At the beginning of June, not only did it become apparent that Glavine’s 78 MPH heater wouldnt cut it in the Majors…….but also that Tommy Hanson was more than ready to be promoted to the big club.

If Glavine was healthy on April 18th, he would have been given a few starts by the Braves. However when his shoulder failed him AND he was slow to rehab his it…..the Braves had no choice but to look elsewhere.

Also, as far as Smoltz is concerned……he wanted $10 mil from the Braves, even though he wasnt slated to be ready to pitch until July. Let’s not forget that Smoltz made $13 mil in 2008 after only making 5 starts before he was lost for the season. Smoltz forced the Braves hand with his ridiculous contract demands.

tmac

December 18th, 2009
9:14 pm

What happens if Freeman doesn’t pan out? Will this team ever learn from the Francoeur mess? You can not assume a minor league guy will contribute until his 2nd or 3rd year in the majors. Anything else is just lucky.

I wish the Braves would sign LaRouch and another bat and contend NOW! They won’t be paying Freeman or Hayword anything for the next 4 or 5 years anyway…

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:15 pm

Think the oatmeal donuts were before my time

Prez of Matt Diaz Fan Club

December 18th, 2009
9:15 pm

The Braves have been Wrened

DOUCHE BAG

December 18th, 2009
9:15 pm

WHO YOU CALLING A DOUCHE BAG, YOU DOUCHE BAG!!!!! IT TAKES A DOUCHE BAG TO KNOW ONE, I SHOULD KNOW. I’M A DOUCHE BAG MYSELF AND PROUD OF IT.

FEAR

December 18th, 2009
9:16 pm

DOUCHE BAG – Milton Bradley is that you?

Opinion

December 18th, 2009
9:16 pm

I say bring back Smoltzie as a fifth starter for like 2 mil and let KK go to the bullpen

abwright

December 18th, 2009
9:16 pm

On the same blog, we have articles opining that Frank Wren is too quick to move (Soriano) and opinions that Frank Wren should match LaRoche’s asking price when he (apparently) has no other offers on the table.

How do we know that FW didn’t discuss LaRoche at 1 year/$7.5M with his agent?

How can it possibly be a good idea to lock up LaRoche for 3 years/$30M, when a potentially better 1B is going to be up with the Braves in 2011.

How much with the Braves get back for LaRoche at 2 years/$20M when they have to trade him in 2011? Answer: Someone like Chavez.

Add your comment