10:45 pm December 23, 2009, by David O'Brien
January 4th, 20102:20 pm
Sheffield? What were his numbers last season?
January 4th, 20102:23 pm
Would be nice. But he is Gary Sheffield. Can’t imagine that ego settling for waving to the crowd 100 something times …. and settling for the money that comes with that.
Don’t disagree with you there. However, I don’t know how many other options he has available other than calling it a career. If the choice is between being a PH for $1 million in Bobby Cox’s last season or sitting home and watching the games on the Extra Innings package, I’d say there’s at least a chance he’d agree to play for the Braves in that role (especially if they agree to give him some time in LF and first dibs on 1b should Glaus or Chipper go down).
January 4th, 20102:24 pm
we were blog pioneers?!
Of course I remember. Just trying to offer some suggestions
January 4th, 20102:26 pm
scootsSomehow, I think there’s a slightly better chance that David Wright will rebound than Troy Glaus,
id say not, since david wrights problem had more to do with the park he was hitting in (and will be again) then an injury. wright was healthy, still hit for average and got on base…still hit alot of doubles….seems like its hard to hit homers in citifield.
January 4th, 20102:27 pm
Shef’s numbers in 2009 for the Mets:
10 HR, 13 2b, 2 3b in 268 at bats.
And for what it’s worth, the Mets were paying him the league minimum (although the Tigers were paying $18 mil after releasing him).
I’m still sticking to the opinion that Sam Tuttle would be the best pick up. The guy is a hoss.
DAP (January 4th, 2010 12:49 pm): “ive never made such an assertion, but ill go ahead and answer that it was very clear that vazquez liked it in atlanta and wanted to be here. he clearly thrived here.”
Yeah, well, LaRoche also liked it in atlanta, apparently wanted to be here and clearly thrived here.
Where him at now?
“that, and the fact that the braves definitely would have been able to offer him a yearly salary at least as good as he currently had. i think an extension was possible.”
What makes you think that “a yearly salary at least as good as he currently had” would have been enough?
I think that N8 (January 4th, 2010 12:53 pm) hit the nail on the head.
January 4th, 20102:28 pm
Not sure if he’s available however.
January 4th, 20102:29 pm
Wow, Patty Loveless is 53? When I was younger and all the guys my age were going ape-$#!+ crazy over Shania and Faith Hill, I was in “love” with Patty. The flames grom higher and higher…
January 4th, 20102:30 pm
January 4th, 2010
I’m still sticking to the opinion that Sam Tuttle would be the best pick up. The guy is a hoss.
I like his fire but I could never root for a guy that would bunt to break up a No No.
January 4th, 20102:31 pm
sheffield started 62 games in the OF last season and made around 30 PH appearances. braves could use him in alot of ways…we still need someone to start in LF on opening day unless heyward makes the team. (melky will hopefully be riding the bench…for another team if were really lucky.)
Ken Rosenthal has a new article up predicting that Damon ends up with the Braves. I think it make sense for a lot of reasons, but the one nagging question I’ve got it “where does that money come from?”
ken rosenthal on foxsports.com predicted the braves would sign damon
January 4th, 20102:32 pm
Just got to say hey to Bradford Cox (lead singer of Deerhunter, Atlas Sound) at Ria’s Bluebird Cafe. Talk about a tall and lanky dude.
January 4th, 20102:34 pm
Another random Sheffield note: It was reported earlier in the offseason that he’s like to play next season in either Atlanta or Tampa, in order to be close to his offseason home in Tampa. I honestly can’t remember who reported that, but it might have even been DOB (please correct me if that’s not right…).
January 4th, 20102:35 pm
DOB do you think damon is the braves first choice
Arkansas Transplant – If Tuttle why not Clu Haywood?
January 4th, 20102:36 pm
glord1, I still say he’d be a great pick up.
random Yeah, well, LaRoche also liked it in atlanta, apparently wanted to be here and clearly thrived here.Where him at now?
no, laroche was the same player everywhere. so-so in the first half, really good in the 2nd half. vazquez had some terrible years and terrible experiences in many different cities in his career. also, laroche was never approached with an offer, and may have accepted it if he had been, we dont know if he would have so you cant use him as an example of a guy who wouldnt have signed an extension with the braves. same with vazquez. he may have accepted an offer if offered one, so this is a bad example trying to make your point.
January 4th, 20102:39 pm
I think Clu would work out fine, as long as he can provide he can still hit the heat.
That’d be a really good lineup going into 2010, and the first time since Furcal left that the Braves have an actual leadoff man atop the order. I hate to bat McLouth as low as 7, but this gives the lineup a really good lefty/righty balance, and McCann and Escobar have definitely earned the right to be in position to drive in runs. And there probably aren’t many lineups in the league with a #7 hitter as good as McLouth.
January 4th, 20102:41 pm
I really thought with Tuttle’s furousity and drive to win would be a nice addition.
January 4th, 20102:44 pm
if the braves get damon, everyone needs to realize that we will probably be getting closer to a .284/.349/.446 player (his away slash line) than a .282/.365/.489 player (his overall total). damon was aided alot by yankee stadium last year.
January 4th, 20102:45 pm
RC, it’s all speculation at this point, but DOB said here recently that he believes the Braves could get him for less than the original 10 mill asking price his agent floated early in the off-season (which no one seems overly inclined to pay him).
If he’s willing to play in ATL for 7 mill or so on a 1 or 2 year deal (and multiple baseball analysts seem to think he will), then the Braves could certainly afford him.
It’s a good fit aside from the fact that he won’t help the lefty/righty balance. He wouldn’t hit 24 HR’s at The Ted as he did at that little league park in the Bronx, but he could easily hit 15-20 homers and 30-40 doubles. He would also give us another base stealer and perhaps a better fit in the leadoff role than McLouth.
Defensively, his arm isn’t much, but that’s not unusual for a LF’er, and his range and glove would certainly be above average for a corner OF’er. On balance, he’d certainly be a defensive upgrade of G.A.
January 4th, 20102:46 pm
Have you heard anything about the Beltre-to-LAD rumors and their would be need to move Casey Blake. I wonder what it would take to get Blake and his .280/.363/.468/.832 18 HR bat in LF/RF with the ability to play 1B and 3B on a regular basis. He is owed 6M this year and 5.25M next year with a 6M option 1.25M buyout in 2012. If we could be a ’salary dump’ partner I wonder if a cheap BOR innings eater type like Jo-Jo Reyes would be enough to fetch him.
January 4th, 20102:47 pm
RC: As we’ve said, Braves can afford Damon for a one- or two-year deal at less than $10 mill per (and I think it’d be quite a bit less, perhaps closer to $7 mill than $10 mill per season).
January 4th, 20102:48 pm
RC “And there probably aren’t many lineups in the league with a #7 hitter as good as McLouth.”
Or an 8th hitter as good as Diaz.
If he’s (damon) willing to play in ATL for 7 mill or so on a 1 or 2 year deal
thats too much. please dont do that deal, wren.
January 4th, 20102:49 pm
No Damon please… way past his prime.
January 4th, 20102:52 pm
Thanks KC and DOB. I guess I have been assuming the cash available to the Braves was on the lower end of the numbers people have been throwing around (like in the $5 million range). If there’s a way to make it work, I think Damon would be a welcome addition for the very reasons KC listed above.
January 4th, 20102:54 pm
Still, an eventual outfield of Damon, Nate McLouth and top prospect Jason Heyward would be formidable, with Matt Diaz spelling Damon and Heyward against left-handed pitching
–Ken Rosenthal (also mentioned by Mark Bowman)
Is it the prevailing wisdom inside baseball that Heyward can’t hit lefties and is projected to be a platoon player?
DAP, I don’t think that Random’s point was that Laroche wouldn’t have accepted an offer. It was that he obviously likes Atlanta and likely would prefer to remain there and with Bobby.
But as I stated before, the feeling has to not only be mutual, but the people writing out the paychecks, have to agree with the salary demands as well.
Mike Cameron publicly stated his desire to play for the Braves (and his wife’s), Damon has expressed interest.
In the end, it’s ultiimately up to the GM who plays for a team. Unless a player currently on the roster has a no-trade clause, the final say is with the team, not the player.
A player can choose between whichever offers have been extended, but if no offer is ever made, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a free agent can play where he wants to play, if no offer is on the table.
Is it just me, or is that pretty elementary?
If I’ve mis-read Random’s “intent” on his opinion, I apologize for butting in. But it seems like you were arguing a point he wasn’t really trying to make.
January 4th, 20102:55 pm
What does it matter if Damon is “past his prime”? The Braves don’t need him in his prime to be an upgrade in LF for next year…they simply need a guy who gets on base a lot, can steal a few bases, and sees a lot of pitches at the top of the lineup. Even in his declining state, odds are that Damon will be able to fit that job description perfectly.
January 4th, 20102:56 pm
Wright hit as many homers on the road as he did at home. Can’t really blame Citi Field. I think it was just one of those years that sometimes happens to young players. Kind of like Dale Murphy in 1981.
Murphy went from averaging a .198 ISOP from 1978 to 1980, then dipped down to .143 in 1981, then went up to averaging a .235 ISOP from 1982 through 1988 (his age 26 to 32 seasons).
Wright averaged a .224 ISOP from the age of 21 through the age of 25, then dipped down to a .140 ISOP last season. Who knows? Maybe Wright has mysteriously lost his power like Don Mattingly did at a similar age, or maybe he’ll snap back like Dale did.
Anyways, here’s an interesting article about Dale Murphy that appeared in the New York Times over the weekend:
January 4th, 20102:57 pm
The big unknown for the 2010 Braves is Troy Glaus. All the other IFs will wash out (some will come through, others not).
Depending on how much Glaus is like his career numbers (2%, 50%, 80%), that will determine whether the Braves are worse, the same, or better than in 2009.
If Wren has the money or wants to cover the risk, then he should sign someone else in the off-season who can play first base.
However, it should be obvious by middle to end of Spring Training how much of that Glaus question mark is really there. So, there shouldn’t be much sense of urgency yet.
Braves have a near term opening in the OF. But, if Heyward is ready by June, who is going to go? Braves won’t carry McLouth/Diaz/Cabrera/Other Guy when Heyward is ready to come up.
That’s why I don’t see Braves signing Damon. If they’re going to upgrade in the OF, it would seem to make more sense to trade one of the existing out-fielders in a package for an upgrade, rather than signing a fourth OF and then dumping someone (Cabrera?) in June.
“By how much? I mean, I’m guessing that you’re able to quantify that in some way, right? Is it a couple of wins, or 20 earned runs, or 50 innings, or a combination of something like that?”
It’s conversation. Posts, opinions, quotes and misquotes seem to morph into something different as the topic or thread repeats or is repeated.
My original post was that I tend to agree with the school of thought promoted by some writers and media types (mostly outside of the Atlanta region) that the Braves are not as strong without Vazquez as they were with Vazquez UNLESS they use the resources they got and/or freed up by trading Vazquez to bring in a bat OTHER than Glaus.
Not even Frank Wren can tell you or me or anyone that he can guarantee that Vazquez will not win 20 games or Glaus WILL hit 30 HR or that Lowe will rebound with a Cy Young year in 2010. Can’t do it. I can’t do it. You can’t do it. Also, no one can guarantee that Tim Hudson won’t throw his shoulder away and go down again early 2010. Heck, perhaps Vazquez innings eating catches up with him and his arm explodes. No way to predict with any certainty. It would seem a certainty that Wren believed that the team would be in a stronger position if they moved Lowe rather than Vazquez, or he simply would have tried to trade Vazquez instead of Lowe from the get go.
At any rate, you make your play on future performance based on past performance.
Some writers and bloggers seem to think the Braves are stronger now than they were at the end of 2009. Some think the Braves are weaker (at this exact moment) than they were at the end of 2009.
I’m no expert. I only know that I have been swayed more by those learned ones who believe the Braves of 2010 are at this time not as strong as the Braves of 2009.
January 4th, 20102:58 pm
david wrights problem had more to do with the park he was hitting in (and will be again) then an injury. wright was healthy, still hit for average and got on base…still hit alot of doubles….seems like its hard to hit homers in citifield.
Who said anything about injury? A guy can have an off year without injury being the culprit. I mean, you do know that a park so pitcher-friendly as to devour two-thirds of David Wright’s homers would give it a park-adjustment rating that would redefine the scale, right, LOL? And he did play a few games elsewhere, no? The guy just didn’t have a season with his normal pop, could be all manner of reasons behind it. The park is not the overriding factor, in my opinion, so he could indeed rebound.
If he has another season hitting 15 or fewer, you can say “I told you so”, LOL.
No, not at all. It is the prevailing wisdom inside baseball however that “tough” lefties or righties are tougher on “same-handed” batters than they are on “opposite-handed” batters, simply because players tend to not chase sliders or curveballs coming toward them as often as they do when those pitches are breaking away from them.
January 4th, 20102:59 pm
“Is it the prevailing wisdom inside baseball that Heyward can’t hit lefties and is projected to be a platoon player?”
No, his splits are nearly identical at every minor league level. I don’t remember which but he hits lefties for power better and gets on base better against righties or the other way around. Either way his splits are above 1.000 OPS no matter the level.
I think he was only mentioning that Diaz could spell him so Diaz gets as many bats as he can against lefties, not so Heyward will get less. Instead of getting 30% playing time from either Damon or Heyward, he just gets 15% from both allowing rest for both and more even playing time.
My guess is that if the Braves pursue Damon, they will look to unload either Diaz or Cabrera via trade. I simply don’t see them fitting in Damon’s contract without removing one of those other players from the books.
T-Paul, I think it’s the assumption that Heyward may occasionally get a day off against “tough” lefties, as Bobby has always done with his young players, other than the switch hitters.
But I seriously doubt that Heyward would be called up to be a platoon player. Besides, I don’t think you hit .323 for a year (.352 in 173 AB’s in AA & AAA), if you can’t hit LHP.
Everything I’ve read about Heyward is that he’s a great hitter overall. 5-Tool players aren’t platooned, imo. If they’re worried about his splits, he’ll stay at AAA until they aren’t worried about him anymore.
January 4th, 20103:00 pm
Damon has a .980 OPS in 41 PA at The Ted, for what it’s worth. .937 OPS in 31 PA at Citizen’s Bank. .913 OPS in 101 PA against Halladay.
If he can get on base at his career average (.355), hit 15 homers, steal some bases and play decent defense I’d welcome him in a heartbeat.
January 4th, 20103:01 pm
Good point Purdue Thomas. I forgot about the fact that Diaz absolutely DESTROYS left-handed pitching (at least to this point in his career he has).
January 4th, 20103:02 pm
If the Braves did sign Damon, would Atlanta have the most charismatic OF in baseball? Damon, Diaz, McLouth … ? (Until Heyward arrives and then the star power goes off the charts.)
January 4th, 20103:03 pm
Oh, hey, I agree. But, that’s a far piece down the road from predicting, which wasn’t what I was asking. Your point was that the Braves were stronger with than without (I thought), and I figured that there was some reasoning behind that opinion. I was just trying to get a handle on the reasoning. No big thing, in any event.
Sheffield at $1M is a better idea in my opinion than Dye. I just don’t want Dye unless he’s under $1m himself.
Uggla could be better if the trade pieces are small.
Nady could be way better if the price is under $5M for 1 season, and he’s healthy.
So ironically given his age for the contract/trade pieces necessary to get him, Sheffield is probably the lowest risk.
January 4th, 20103:04 pm
N8 (January 4th, 2010 12:37 pm): “Friendly wager (no money – just braging rights0), with ANYBODY that wants to bet that Hudson has the better season of the 3 mentioned guys in 2010.
“The offer is on the table for anybody to take. I’m not going anywhere, and am man enough to admit defeat along with congratulate the winner if that turns out to be needed. But I expect a huge season from Hudson.”
Yer on — bragging rights only (which I would not intend to exercise).
January 4th, 20103:05 pm
Piedmont Blues, good point. They wouldn’t have to chase fly balls, they’d just charm them into their gloves
January 4th, 20103:06 pm
RC, so are you advocating a platoon of Damon and Diaz? If not, what would our outfield look like to you if we were to sign Damon? I would think with Cabrera, Diaz and Mclouth already in tow and the possibilities of Heyward and Schafer proving to be ready to take over do you think it wise to add just an average fielder? I would think it would be more valuable to sign someone that could hold the LF spot long term with above-average skills. Hence trading for that piece of the puzzle.
Expecting Heyward to get more than an occasional rest his first year in the league is not that far-fetched. Heyward will take time to adjust to the league, emotionally and physically, and will need the once every 4-5 game rest that an outfield of diaz/heyward/mclouth/damon would, in turn, give.
THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum
January 4th, 20103:08 pm
Before anyone gets too carried away with Sheffield serving as a backup for Glaus consider this. Since 1993 (16 years) he has played 9 games at first in 2006 and 2 at third in 2004. And he is 41. If they want to pay him to pinch hit then that might not be so bad but I don’t think they can afford a spot on the roster this year to only pinch hit. He must be able to play somewhere occasionally and as far as the infield is concerned Sheffield is beyond that point, in my opinion.
January 4th, 20103:11 pm
the question was “what makes you think vazquez would have signed an extension?”
the answer is “he had success here and really liked it, said he wanted to return.”
random said “laroche said he wanted to return, how did that turn out?”
thats not a logical response from random. yeah laroche said he wanted to stay, and maybe he would have if he was offered a contract. we will never know because he wasnt offered one. thats not a good reason of why vazquez wouldnt have sign one. he didnt get offered one either. its a bad argument.
besides, even if a guy says he would like to stay, gets offered a contract, and doesnt take it, that doesnt prove that when guys say they want to stay and like atlanta that it means they wont sign an extension. thats just silly. chipper, hudson, andruw jones, john smoltz are all guys who said they wanted to stay, were offered extensions and took them.
random seems to think that i was a guy assuming vazquez would sign an extension, though ive never said that. but to me, it seems like he is trying to give reasons (bad ones) about why vazquez wouldnt have signed one. i mean, laroche didnt, right? so neither would vazquez have.
January 4th, 20103:12 pm
scoots Who said anything about injury? A guy can have an off year without injury being the culprit.
yeah, exactly…im simply saying that if two guys have bad years, one because of an injury, and the other because the park he is stuck in, the now-healthy player is more likely to rebound than the guy still stuck at the same park.
Piedmont Blues, good point. They wouldn’t have to chase fly balls, they’d just charm them into their gloves
Or their hats.
January 4th, 20103:14 pm
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, based on what is out there from a “power” bat stand point for the LF spot, getting Damon, if the price is right, might be the better bet and dropping McLouth into the order, and let Damon lead off. Of course it depends on the price. Damon at around 10 million? No thanks. Damon at 7 or 8 million (while dumping Melky’s salary as well – and picking up another prospect along the way), is a more sound investment than Nady at about the same price, imo.
Not real happy about having Damon’s arm in LF, but that being said, what’s worse? Damon’s range and Sally arm or Loaf’s average arm and statue-esque range? I’ll take the guy that can get the ball faster.
January 4th, 20103:15 pm
i hope its either dye/sheffield or damon/sheffield
sheffield could back up diaz and i would think glaus to
January 4th, 20103:16 pm
THE BEAR (January 4th, 2010 1:02 pm): “I can see Wren thinking something like this when he signed Glaus.
“ ‘I don’t know what is going to happen with Chipper in 2010 and I don’t have a third baseman in the minors or on the bench to replace him. So, by signing Glaus I am taking only a small chance at $2 million, since moving to first should be no problem for him. And if Chipper has another mediocre year and decides to pack it in and Glaus has a good year I am set for 2011 by moving Glaus to third and bringing up Freeman.’ “
How would Wren be set for 2011? Glaus was signed to a one-year contract — 2010 — and as far as I know, it contains no option for an additional year (only performance based bonuses).
And if Glaus performs like Wren is presumably banking on, he won’t come so cheap in 2011.
If Wren had actually been thinking along the lines you present above, I would think that he’d've signed Glaus to a 2- or 3-year contract (or at least have included a club option), don’t you?
When you think about it?
Has anyone heard what Ankiel is asking for? I think he made almost 2 million last year.
I don’t think he is the answer for the Braves, but I think he would be a great 4th OF. Great defense, great arm, he can run has hit for power.
If Melky is going to get 3 million in arbitration, I say trade him to the Tigers for “prospects” and sign Ankiel as a cheaper alternative to be the fourth OF. That could save 1.5 million. Or enough to pay more than league minimum for the 2nd bench role and the Norton role……
Makes 7 million for Damon or Uggla go a little further.
January 4th, 20103:17 pm
Have there been any discussions of possibly trading for Adam Lind or Choo? And wouldn’t Podsednik be a good possibility? He brings the speed and defense plus a lower salary then Damon.
Damon for 2 years at 12-14 Million…Where do I sign up?!
January 4th, 20103:18 pm
N8….it’s amazing how one word can change the meaning of a post.
Arkansas Transplant, I disagree about trading for someone to fill the LF slot long-term, for the very reasons you mentioned. With Heyward and Schafer nearly ready, and McLouth signed to a relatively club-friendly contract over the next few years, I think that a short-term solution makes the most sense for left field. In my mind, the ideal 2011 starting OF would be McLouth, Schafer, and Heyward, with Diaz or Melky as the 4th OF.
For 2010, I’d like to see Damon as the full-time leadoff man and LF, McLouth in CF, and Diaz/Cabrera in RF, assuming that Heyward starts the season in AAA. If Heyward DOES start on the MLB roster, I’d adovcate Diaz as the 4th OF, and finding a trade partner for Cabrera. If something happens to one of your starters, Schafer would be just a phone call away in Gwinnett, and would EASILY be able to fill in defensively for any OF position.
January 4th, 20103:20 pm
I just dont understand why they would possibly sign Damon for 2 years at 7-8 million per year when they wouldnt sign Mike Cameron for the same amount.. Am I missing something here?
Gotcha, DAP. I guess it’s not a good reason as to why LaRoche or Vazquez wouldn’t have signed.
I just thought you were arguing that they SHOULD HAVE been offered contracts because they said they’d like to stay.
Obviously, as a GM, you want guys that WANT to play for your team. Did Derek Lowe envision his free agency period as a time just “waiting” for the Braves to make an offer because he wanted so badly to play for them? Or did he just simply “want” to play for them once he and his agent determined it was the best offer on the table?
I truly believe that there are guys that honestly want to be Braves. I think Cameron is a prime example. Damn near publicly begged to be a Brave. But it isn’t always about what the player wants.
That’s all my point was. Totally see where you are coming from.
Maybe I just wanted to spount my nonsense a little longer, and louder than before. Just in case nobody read it the first few times I typed it. LOL
DAP, a couple of articles at fangraphs on the subject:
January 4th, 20103:21 pm
OJ- I agree. Seems like it will have to be less than 2/13 otherwise there must be something about Cameron the Braves don’t like
January 4th, 20103:23 pm
Yes. Mike Cameron is terrible.
Lind and Choo are very good, very affordable players with years of team control left, and belong to teams that are both in rebuilding phases. Neither of them is likely to be on the market.
As for Podsednik, I think the difference between him and Damon is plate discipline. I haven’t looked at his stats recently, but I tend to remember him being a bit of a hacker who didn’t see a lot of pitches and had a relatively low OBP. Damon on the other hand has been a prototypical leadoff hitter for his career, watching a LOT of pitches and getting on base at an elite rate. The last thing the Braves need to do is make the Dusty Baker mistake of confusing speed with leadoff skills, ala Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras.
Cameron hit .250 last season and it made his career average go up
“Yer on — bragging rights only (which I would not intend to exercise).” Random
Right on man. But make no mistake about it. I will milk those bragging rights for all they’re worth, if it turns out I’m right. This has been bantered about so much (the Hudson debate) for so long now, that I will get on that high horse and ride it until it dies if Hudson has the year I expect him to have.
January 4th, 20103:25 pm
I would like to dedicate this to nscoots…
If the Braves were to sign Damon, and IF – and ONLY if – EVERYONE PLAYED in 150 games, this would be my prediction:
1 – Damon…… .283… 16 HR… 61 RBI… 34 doubles… 24 Steals
2 – Prado…….. .294… 15 HR… 66 RBI… 41 doubles
3 – Chipper….. .304… 21 HR… 85 RBI…28 doubles
4 – Glaus…….. .265… 27 HR, 102 RBI… 28 doubles
5 – McCann….. .298… 23 HR… 90 RBI… 38 doubles
6 – Escobar….. .301… 16 HR… 84 RBI… 30 doubles
7 – McLouth….. .263… 21 HR… 89 RBI… 35 doubles… 23 steals
8 – Diaz/Heyward.. .302… 20 HR… 79 RBI…31 doubles (combined)
Again, this assumes health, which I realize cannot be assumed at all. It also assumes a Heyward/Diaz platoon for much or all of the season, which very well may NOT be the case. Heyward may work his way into the lineup nearly every day once he gets established.
Just thinkin' out loud... or on the keyboard... whatever...
Would Marcus Thames be a decent pickup? He hit 25 HR’s in ‘08 before spending alot of ‘09 on the DL with the ever popular rib cage injury. He bats right, plays both corner OF spots, and played alot of 1B in ‘08 because Jim Leyland wanted his bat in the lineup. And he’s only 32. Just thinkin’ out loud… or on the keyboard… whatever…
Well, I guess my take on Mclouth is different than yours. I just wasn’t impressed with him that much. I think I would out to move him than Cabrera just for the simple fact he does a club friendly contract and would be more valuable for another club plus he plays CF which is a position that carrys more value as well. Cabrera brings a switch hitting option that I think is more value to the Braves since Schafer is our cf of the future. So Cabrera would be a very value option since he also plays all outfield positions. But I don’t see him as nothing more than a 4th outfielder.
January 4th, 20103:26 pm
At first I was very standoffish about Damon but if we could get him on a short 1-2 year contract for 7M or less per, I think this lineup could be very good (and our prospect coffers still stocked):
1. Damon LF (Diaz)
2. Prado 2B
3. Chipper 3B
4. Glaus 1B
5. McCann C
6. McLouth CF (Diaz in RF with Heyward in CF)
7. Escobar SS
8. Heyward RF (Diaz)
All of a sudden you have two high contact/OBP grinders at the top, four 20+HR hitters in the middle, RISP Escobar next, and then the top hitting prospect in all of baseball to round out the order. You then can keep all three of your left handed OFers rested and protected against LHP by spelling them in rotation by Diaz; Heyward’s ability to play decent CF allows Diaz to spell McLouth in CF.
As for the bench three spots would be auto fills:
Diaz OF rotation member
For the last two spots I’d like to see some combination of an INF utility man like Diory and/or a 1B/OF hybrd like Garko and/or a 4OF type like Baldelli and/or a PH slugger like Sheffield.
January 4th, 20103:28 pm
When Cameron signed the Braves still weren’t sure how much money they’d have to eat on Lowe’s contract, or how much they’d have to spend on a 1b. Now that those factors are settled, they have more cash available than they previously expected to have. Also, Damon is a much better fit as a leadoff hitter, which in my opinion is the biggest hole left in the Braves lineup.
January 4th, 20103:31 pm
I like those projections, but with those averages and that many doubles I think you can add about 30 RBI combined over the 3-6 spots in that lineup.
RANDOM, I know he has a one year contract but if he does make a strong comeback then I do believe Wren will find a way to sign him. After all Wren is giving him the chance to make his comeback and should have the edge in signing him for another year or two. That might also be done mid-season this year if he is showing no restraints from his injury.
January 4th, 20103:32 pm
“Also, Damon is a much better fit as a leadoff hitter, which in my opinion is the biggest hole left in the Braves lineup.”
I agree with this. By getting Damon to leadoff we kind of get our mini-big-bat (ie 20-25 HR and plenty of 2B) for free by moving McLouth’s bat down to 6th or 7th in the order. It’s a win win as I don’t think McLouth’s bat is best utilized at leadoff and I think Bobby agrees with me because he tried to use him other places before realizing that he was just about our ONLY option at leadoff.
January 4th, 20103:33 pm
Maybe Wren was open to signing Cameron for a similar salary, but Cameron ultimately decided to go to a perennial AL-east powerhouse instead of staying in the NL and signing with another good (but not great) team. Who knows, but when Cameron is compared side-to-side with Damon, then for similar money, I’d rather sign Cameron. However, I’m still hopeful Damon can be had on a 1 year deal, perhaps with a team option for 2011.
RC, could be… but I’m trying to be relatively conservative. Though I’m sure someone will tell me those numbers are wildly optimistic. Someone always does. =)
RC hit the nail on the head. Damon fills a need much better than Cameron who couldn’t hit leadoff on the Durham Bulls.
That and his PED issues notwithstanding.
January 4th, 20103:34 pm
One major gripe with your post: Heyward will NOT be used in CF. It’s much more likely that Diaz would see time in CF to spell McLouth than move Heyward there. The risk of injury by asking him to play a position with which he’s not comfortable is just too great, and Diaz is a lot more expendable to this club than Heyward is.
Other than that good post though.
January 4th, 20103:35 pm
I believe he forgot about Melky, as he will be the guy to spell Nate in CF.
Anyone know were to find a good ‘pitches seen per at bat’ statistic? I’ve looked really hard and can’t find one.
January 4th, 20103:36 pm
N8………….Without having seen how Lowe, Hudson, or Vazquez will pitch in Spring Training……I have to say that Hudson could have the better ERA with Lowe (despite my insistence that he was virtually untradeable, I still feel that he could very well rebound and have a decent year in 2010) second and Vazquez third (he’ll give up some runs in the new Yankees Stadium).
However, I expect Javier Vazquez to win more games than either Lowe or Hudson. The primary reason is the Braves offense (or lack thereof), and the fact that Vazquez wont need to be pinch hit for in the American League (allowing him to go deeper in games). The Yankees will score a bunch of runs for Vazquez.
So when you say that Hudson will have a “monster year”, are you saying that he will put up great numbers……win a lot of games……..or both?
Marcus Thames = sub .300 OBP = Jeff Francouer = no thanks
January 4th, 20103:37 pm
If I’m not mistaken, Heyward played about half of his minor league innings in CF. Correct me if I’m wrong…
January 4th, 20103:38 pm
I hope we do get Damon. If you look, a lot of his HRs last year came on the road, and he can definitely still play…only problem is it Blocks Schafer if McLouth sticks around, assuming Heyward is in right, and I really like Schafer, and hope the Braves stick with him.
Comfy Zone (January 4th, 2010 1:53 pm): “Based on the most recent performance, the Braves rotation with Vazquez would have to be considered stronger than the Braves rotation without Vazquez. Only actual on field performance in 2010 will bear that out or blow it up.”
All right — this is the Braves’ rotation without Vazquez:
Now, which one of those did you replace with Vazquez in order to do your comparison of the Braves’ rotations with and without vazquez, whose outcome is I suspect obvious only to you?
Hudson or Lowe?
‘Cause those are your only two choices, it seems to me.
And I’m with N8 — I think both Lowe and Hudson will out-perform Vazquez in 2010.
January 4th, 20103:39 pm
P.a.u.l .L.e.n.t.z , I will wager with you right now that the Braves finish top-5 in the NL in runs.
January 4th, 20103:40 pm
KC……….your 3:25pm post is, let’s say, very optimistic. 27 homers, 28 doubles and 102 RBI’s from a guy that we’re paying $2 mil. 89 RBIs from a guy (McLouth) batting 7th.
Did we turn into the Phillies? I must have missed it.
January 4th, 20103:41 pm
I would not waste your time trying to put a bet together with “he who shall remain nameless”.
Just ask Random!!
Have you ever tried hunting? I wouldn’t really call the animals defenseless. Its pretty dang hard to hit one.
I know you are just trolling but…
January 4th, 20103:42 pm
scoots, that good info…though graphs arent really my thing. here is one thing he said though at the end: The question is how much of this was drop in true talent and how much just flukey bad luck. but, he left out, how much of it was citifield? i think it has alot to do with it. much of wright’s strengh is his oppo field power. a huge park hurt him there, so maybe he start trying to pull it because its the only way to hit it out, then his K rate goes up because he is looking to pull those middle-away pitches instead of hitting them that way. we will see what happens, but i will go ahead and say i dont think he will be slugging over .500 anymore.
January 4th, 20103:43 pm
KC…..did you mean Top 5 in “runs allowed”?
January 4th, 20103:44 pm
Is anyone else in work avoidance mode today? I’m having a hard time reengaging in meaningful activities. The first Monday after the holidays… this is a Monday on steroids!
January 4th, 20103:45 pm
DAP – My understanding is that the FO offered Vazquez a “quiet” extension but way below what his agent wants and expected after 2009…. anyone else hear similar
let’s face it if the guy from Toronto got $85M from the Yanks for 5 years, what is Javier expecting based on 2009… the same or $18M per for 4-5 yrs ??
January 4th, 20103:47 pm
Before we write off Melky Cabrera and just throw him away let’s look at his numbers vs. Damon last year. And they were teammates so the stats were in the same ballparks.
And there is no comparison in their ability to throw the ball.
Is that obvious edge in hitting going to be worth an additional $4million a year? And will Damon hit that many long ones as he hit in Yankee Stadium? I think not. Cabrera may get close since he is also a switch hitter.
Who is better in the outfield? I’ll take Cabrera overall as I think his youth and throwing arm give him the edge by a considerable margin.
January 4th, 20103:49 pm
My understanding is that the FO offered Vazquez a “quiet” extension but way below what his agent wants and expected after 2009…. anyone else hear similar
You mean the F.O. made an offer and he directly lied about it to DOB? Unless he’s a pathological liar (and admitted I don’t know the guy), why would he do that? If the Braves made him a quiet offer and he turned it down, I would expect him to avoid the question or skate around it, not blatantly say that it didn’t happen.
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