Braves’ next priority: Improving punchless outfield

After hiring Fredi Gonzalez as their new manager, Braves officials can focus attention on improving a punchless outfield that ranked among the National League’s worst in 2010.

The starting rotation and bullpen are solid and the infield, including shortstop Alex Gonzalez and rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman, seems set. The outfield? It needs help.

“We’re going to have to be creative,” said Wren, who probably doesn’t have funds to get into the expected bidding wars for free-agent outfielders Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth. “We’re going to have to take a look at every possibility.”

Wren said the Braves are operating under the assumption that third baseman Chipper Jones — owed $28 million over the next two seasons — will make it back from knee surgery and join an infield with Gonzalez, Freeman and second baseman Martin Prado.

“I think that’s our likely, hopeful Opening Day lineup,” Wren said. “Once you get in discussions and once you start taking other things into account, you start looking at other aspects of your club. But I think outfield is going to be a focus.”

Braves outfielders finished last in the NL in home runs (40), 14th in average (.250) and 15th in slugging percentage (.389). Other than standout rookie right fielder Jason Heyward (18 homers, 72 RBIs), no outfielder had eight homers or 45 RBIs.

Nate McLouth will be back because he’s owed a $6.5 million salary in 2011, plus a $1.25 million buyout of a $10.65 million option. He’s virtually untradable after hitting .190 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 85 games, so the Braves hope he plays like he did for a brief stretch in September after returning from the minors.

He can play center or left, so at least they have flexibility in the search for outfield help.

Wren cautioned it could be difficult to land a power bat. But the Braves need to add at least one productive outfielder after getting little offense in center and left most nights from the combination of Melky Cabrera, McLouth, Matt Diaz and Rick Ankiel.

Because they have pitching depth, there is speculation the Braves might offer starter Jair Jurrjens, who could be enough to get the Braves a productive outfielder in a trade.

While Wren is candid about trying to trade surplus starter Kenshin Kawakami, he’s not eager to dangle other starters as trade bait. The Braves return veterans Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson, with two seasons left on their contracts; rising talents Tommy Hanson and Jurrjens; and rookies Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor.

As things stand, Beachy and Minor would compete for the fifth spot.

The Braves finished third in the league with a 3.56 ERA. Their starters were fifth at 3.80, despite missing Jurrjens for much of the season with various injuries.

“We’re going to be very hesitant to trade pitching because I think that’s our strength,” Wren said. “As highly thought of as the Giants’ and Phillies’ rotations were, the last two weeks of the season we matched up with those rotations very well. And that’s without [Jurrjens] being available for us.”

For Braves fans who might wonder why the team wouldn’t trade from a position of strength — starting pitching — to improve a weakness if it can’t do so via free agency, consider that Wren might be posturing just a bit. If the Braves were interested in trading a starting pitcher for a productive outfielder, it would behoove them not to let other teams know right away.

The Braves’ bullpen should remain strong, despite the loss of retired closer Billy Wagner and free-agent setup man Takashi Saito. The Braves control the contracts of sidearmer Peter Moylan, left-hander Eric O’Flaherty, Cristhian Martinez, and a trio of flame-throwing rookies: Craig Kimbrel and lefties Jonny Venters and Mike Dunn.

Kimbrel has shown he’s ready for the closer role, and Venters was one of the top relievers in baseball. Kimbrel could be the primary closer or share the role with Venters.

Wren said the Braves might look to add a veteran after losing Wagner as a valuable mentor, but also mentioned Moylan as a possibility for leadership if the Braves stick with the bullpen they have. Kyle Farnsworth’s $5.25 million option won’t be picked up.

In the infield, the Braves aren’t taking the wait-and-see stance with Freeman that they had — at least publicly — after the 2009 season with Heyward, who had no previous major league experience and had spent only a week above Double-A.

“It’s a lot different than a year ago. We were not talking about, or putting pressure on Jason Heyward,” Wren said. “Even though a year ago, I was pretty confident that he was our Opening Day right fielder. I didn’t want to say it, didn’t want to put that on him.

“Freddie’s a whole different story. Freddie’s already gone to Triple-A and experienced it, and dominated, and was [International League] rookie of the year. He’s come to the big leagues and shown that he can play here. We saw defensively that he was outstanding. We saw him get big hits, saw him hit a home run off [Roy] Halladay.”

The club has a $2.5 million option on Gonzalez and no desire to replace him despite a September slump and modest statistics after coming in a July trade from Toronto.

“You look at Alex in August, he was outstanding,” Wren said. “Then he got into a funk trying to do too much because we were struggling to score runs and all of a sudden the whole top of our order stopped hitting.”

“I think Alex will be what he’s always been. He’ll be somewhere between .260-.270, hit 15-20 home runs, drive in 70, 75, 80, and play really good shortstop.”

576 comments Add your comment

joedub

October 14th, 2010
8:56 pm

Rupert

October 14th, 2010
8:58 pm

They need a big time bat…seems like this has been the case for a long time becase it has. I think deals can be made, and if the Braves have learned anything it’s better to deal than to sign free agents, usually. They have all the capital in world with the top level guys, plus the guys in the middle to low minors who are top prospects. With such a high value on pitching, and prospects in general, it would behoove them to sell high on one they feel may be overvalued.

brad

October 14th, 2010
8:59 pm

money

October 14th, 2010
9:00 pm

Could it be my first first?

brad

October 14th, 2010
9:01 pm

oops… maybe rasmus… hope hope

J-MAN

October 14th, 2010
9:03 pm

Jair Jurrgens for Matt Kemp. Keep Infante and Gonzalez And sign Carl Crawford……………..PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!

Rupert

October 14th, 2010
9:03 pm

They need a bat…we’ve been down this road, up this road, around this road for quite awhile now. That being said, they have the capital to make a deal happen. I advicate a trade because free agency is often over priced, and they have scarce resources to begin with. They have plenty of young pitchers at the top of the organization, and plenty in the middle to low minors that have good prospect ratings. You figure which one or two is overvalued and use them now, sell high so to speak. Always risky, but all these guys can’t be in the rotation and lord knows this team needs offense. Good news is a trade piece should be affordable salary wise, rather young, and fit what your looking for in terms of power because this would be a legit guy the Braves would give up. I think it’ll get done, and Wren, as always, will be creative.

Keith Moon Lives

October 14th, 2010
9:04 pm

How about Adam Dunn at first, and putting Freeman in left ?

Bama Brave

October 14th, 2010
9:04 pm

Abnerish

October 14th, 2010
9:05 pm

I know I’m dreaming but an outfield with Heyward and Crawford would cause Braves fans to come out of the woodwork. It’s really the only hole on the entire team. He would add average, power, and speed – and butts in seats. If I was Wren, I would be pleading case to anyone at Liberty that would listen. He’s the right guy at the right time. How much more payroll are we talking about, DOB? With all of the payroll they are losing (Wags, Saito, Lee), it can’t be that much more, can it?

Naf Sevarb

October 14th, 2010
9:06 pm

It is going to have to be someone in the 7 million or less range. Think Magllio Ordonez, Pat Burrell types. Not saying those guys are what we want but that is what is available at our price. I dont like trading one of our young arms.

bravesfannn

October 14th, 2010
9:12 pm

im think braves need to pick carl crawford and trade KK and one prospect to the minors for KEMP

and sign one more reliever and its all

Hit A Single

October 14th, 2010
9:17 pm

Wait a minute, improve punchless outfield. I don’t know who to believe. We move TP out because we can’t hit, now we say the outfielders just flat can’t hit. Which is it?

bravesfannnn

October 14th, 2010
9:18 pm

BRAVES 2011

CRAWFORD LF
PRADO 2B
JONES 3B
MCCANN C
KEMP CF
HEYWARD RF
FREEMAN 1B
GONZALEZ SS
PITCHER……..

BENCH

INFANTE
ROSS
HINSKE
DIAZ
MCLOUTH

LOWE
HUDSON
HANSON
JURRJENS
BEACHY/MINOR

MOYLAN
VENTERS
KIMBREL
DUNN
MARTINEZ
MAREK
MATT CAPS.

Hit A Single

October 14th, 2010
9:18 pm

Our great new hitting coach will take care of all the hitting struggles. Oh yea and Hubbard still got screwed.

Atlanta braves fan of south

October 14th, 2010
9:18 pm

How about going after carl crawford … then asking sid bream if he would like to rejoin the braves on 1st base . That would give a good bat . I would also sign Steve Avery or see if he wanted to rejoin for 1 more time if I was in charge . I would also get Chipper to be short stop and put charlie leibrandt on 3rd base . I would ask otis nixon to be the batting coach . That would be a team to take them all the way to the dome

J-Hey = MVP

October 14th, 2010
9:20 pm

I might barf watching a McLouth/Diaz platoon in LF

Hit A Single

October 14th, 2010
9:21 pm

I wouldn’t doubt that TP is the next manager of the Cardinals when Larussa retires.

rugburn

October 14th, 2010
9:25 pm

so they think gonzo will start playing good shortstop? he didn’t look good to me in the field or at the plate,but i’m probably comparing him to what we had in 2009

Atlanta braves fan of south

October 14th, 2010
9:27 pm

otis nixon would be the choice for batting coach …Plus he could give players tips on how to steal 2n base

Hoosier Aaron

October 14th, 2010
9:30 pm

When Cliff Lee bolts for NYY – the Rangers will need a replacement.

DLowe for Nelson Cruz.

kage

October 14th, 2010
9:30 pm

Mentioned this on the other blog – Keep trying to find possible outfield options out there (realistic ones) and name that keep coming back to is Juan Rivera…

Seems as if Angels are wanting to move him. Coming off of a down year may not take much to get him, and hopefully he rebounds in a contract year. Not saying the dude is great, but even if he hits 255 with 17 bombs that’s better than what was out there this year, and doesn’t strikeout that much. Also, can play a little 1st and back up as your right handed bat there when needed. Only makes 5 mil next year…

Definitely not a lot of right handed power options, and I know the Braves have shown interest in him before.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:32 pm

I think with the Braves having some funds to be flexible with, and trade bait such as Jair and KK, they should be able to acquire the outfield bat that they seek. Crawford will get a huge payday from a big payroll club, so that puts the Braves out of the running. You may as well throw Jayson Werth in that discussion too. If Chipper and Prado come back healthy, which I feel they will, the only hole they really need to fill is left field. I think McClouth will come back better than he had showed this year (It couldn’t get much worse!), but heck, his defense is almost worth what he’s getting paid (plus, he’s pretty much untradeable with what he’s getting paid). Wren has shown that he’s committed to winning. Look at the trade for Gonzalez trade, He got rid of a whiney baby in Escobar and got a guy that has more pop, and equal glove and a clubhouse guy. Chemistry is everything in this game folks. Who knew besides Lee that he was playing with a torn thumb ligament? Fact being, Wren is fixed on putting together the best team that he can put on the field. I have confidence that he can get an outfield bat that can put runs on the board, whether through trade means or the open market.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:35 pm

Unless the Braves eat some of theat contract, Lowe is not going anywhere.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:37 pm

They need to go knock on the door of Don Baylor’s house and see if he can come back and show these guys how to hit. He was the BEST hitting coach the Braves have ever had.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:39 pm

Kinda sad to see Hubbard get the boot, I was hoping that it was going to be TP.

SC Ace

October 14th, 2010
9:40 pm

Any chance the Braves work something out (JJ + Melky) for Colby Rasmus? He’s supposedly on the outs with the Cards (or, perhaps more accurately, with LaRussa).

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:41 pm

Fredi does alot of the little things that Cox never really did (at least in this decade), and that is hit and run, STEAL bases, etc. You add things like this up and you can add at least 10 more wins. Fredi gets the most out of his players.

Derrick

October 14th, 2010
9:41 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Omar Infante as the starting left fielder next year. He’d do better than anyone we had in either center or left this year.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:43 pm

Melky’s contract was up at the end of this year, but if Colby is under contract, a trade might be possible.

Braves=Dumb

October 14th, 2010
9:45 pm

The braves made one of the dumbest coach moves ever. It is time for a change and we could have went after Joe Torre

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:45 pm

Omar is way too valuable in the infield. Sure, he can play the outfield in a pinch, but they need a seasoned outfielder with some pop. I said before the year started that Nelson Cruz would be a great fit, seeing as the Rangers have a boatload of outfielders, but they kept him and look how he panned out.

Derrick

October 14th, 2010
9:46 pm

Joe Torre? The guy’s in his 70s and would only be here for a year or two and then we’d be looking for a manager all over again.

Bama Brave

October 14th, 2010
9:47 pm

Whom ever we get I hope he can steal bases and plays a great outfield cough….cough….. CARL CRAWFORD!

Derrick

October 14th, 2010
9:48 pm

I agree that Omar would be better served in the infield but from the looks of things he isn’t going to have anywhere to play as long as Chipper and Martin are healthy. If you put him in the outfield at least you’ll be getting his bat in the lineup on a regular basis. He finished 3rd in the league in batting average so I think he’s earned the right to start somewhere.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:49 pm

I was hoping that it was gonna be Fredi. He’s only 46, managed the fish for 3 years with the lowest payroll. Players like playing for him and they respect him as well, what more can you ask from a manager?

Hoosier Aaron

October 14th, 2010
9:50 pm

You really think DLowe will be hard to trade this year?

$30 Million for 200 innings and 15+ wins.

If you look at what’s available via free agency – who is a better investment?

Cliff Lee is looking at $100 Million – at least.

Carl Pavano gave the Twins 200 innings and 15 ish wins the last two years.
Can you get him for less than $30M? He is projected as Type A – might cost you a draft pick.

I think DLowe is a good investment at $30M – MUCH better than $45M coming into this season.

Atlanta braves fan of south

October 14th, 2010
9:51 pm

The braves of the 1990s is the name of this game ..We need to remake them some how ..That is why Otis Nixon as hitting coach would be great

Think about how cool it would be…Cox leaves…And a old friend returns …but the chance of a hitting coach coming from the 1990s team is low

TN Braves Fan

October 14th, 2010
9:51 pm

The Braves are freeing up enough salary that they can go for Crawford. Fredi likes small ball and Carl would be the perfect lead off guy to get on first steal second and score on a single. It has been many years since the Braves had any speed at all in the lead off spot. Come on, Wren! Get the board to outspend the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies for once. Fans will fill the seats at the TED to pay for Crawford. The infield and pitching staff is just fine as is.

Coach

October 14th, 2010
9:52 pm

Derrick, you are right in the fact that Omar has proved himself to be a starter, but he isn’t going to hit the 20+ homers that the Braves are probably seeking. He’ll either be regulated as the backup super guy or could be a key piece in a trade that could bring some serious thunder to a low octane lineup.

Braint

October 14th, 2010
9:55 pm

Infante needs to play everyday somewhere. Why not LF? We should keep Lowe, I think he’s figured thngs out. He was awesome down the stretch.

Bama Brave

October 14th, 2010
9:58 pm

TN BRAVES FAN your right. I watched him when the rays played us and Hes awesome in the field. you could play him at cf or left. and would be a perfect leadoff hitter.

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
9:58 pm

If we are ever going to make a move in the National League the time is now, we need to spend the money to make our team better and stop being cheap

curtis jones

October 14th, 2010
10:00 pm

Way too many holes in DOB’s article. Every now and then I’d like to see a little ‘tude in the reporting and questioning.

1. They’re counting on Chipper to be healthy? In what year, 1999?

2. The Braves wouldn’t have been anywhere near the playoffs this year without Infante rippin’ it every game. And he’s not even mentioned in the 2011 plans?

3. They’re counting on McLouth to return to the form he displayed in what, 3 games this year? That’s laughable. These are the same experts who predicted a 35 HR, 110 RBI season from what was left of Troy Glaus.

4. Fredi is accustomed to managing a team that can steal a base. Welcome to the land of slow-motion baseball, my friend.

5. When Mr. Wren offers up Kawakami in a trade, what will be his response when the other GM stops laughing, and says, “Come on…seriously now.”

Jerry

October 14th, 2010
10:00 pm

Coach

I think McClouth will come back better than he had showed this year (It couldn’t get much worse!), but heck, his defense is almost worth what he’s getting paid

You’re joking, right? Mclouth has to be one of the worse centerfielders in the game. And opposing runners took the extra base on him because they knew he wouldn’t throw or would consistantly miss the cutoff man. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings in the least if the team would just eat his contract, but they won’t do that. They would rather he stay in the lineup and cost us games with his defense and his offense.

Terry

October 14th, 2010
10:00 pm

I don’t know how much these loser’s make, but, if you get rid of ankiel,cabrera, farnsworthless,glaus,gonzo,k.k. mclouth, and saito, that should release enough money to pick up a good f/a… Maybe Chipper cpould retire, and become hitting coach…couldn’t do any worse than TP…then, ifante can play everyday..enough said!!!!!

Dave

October 14th, 2010
10:02 pm

One more time, Torre can’t win without a payroll, a big payroll. Why can’t people understand that?

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:03 pm

My plan to sign Crawford (ie winning will cover breaking the bank):

1. Convince Chipper to retire after 2011. Restructure his deal and put him on the “Bobby Bonilla” plan. I don’t have a problem with Chipper coming back next year, but it’s hard to see him having much value in 2012 at age 39 at third base. He def won’t have $15m value. He does not now, but he is a Brave for life and he gets paid now for what he did then. I’m fine with that.

In 2012, Chipper, KK and McLouth come off the books.

The outfield is Heyward, Crawford and junk in LF. The infield is Freeman, Lee (if he’d do a 2 year deal for reasonable money), Prado, A Gon, Chipper/Infante. The Catching is set.

It’s hard to assemble good pitching and we have it. It will be gone before we know it. The time to act is now. Keep JJ.

So, basically, 2011 will be a little expensive, but 2012 will return to normalcy. Winning in 2011 will offset the expense. The 2010 would have advanced with Chipper and Prado in the lineup. Imagine what the 2011 lineup could do with a 2nd year Heyward, Kimbrel, Venters, Beachy/Minor in various roles, and Hinkse and Lee coming off the bench.

So, sign Crawford, Lee and Hinske and let’s do this!

Pendleton

October 14th, 2010
10:03 pm

Why everbody be hurtin own me?

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:04 pm

Wonder if we can sign cliff lee for a one year deal

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:05 pm

Oh, SKREW Yunel. He was our shortstop for the next 5 years. The Rangers have our other shortstop and will for the next 10 years. Grr. That trade was all Yunel’s fault. Why A Gon? Because he’s better than what else is available right now.

Jerry

October 14th, 2010
10:05 pm

Enter your comments hereTN Braves Fan

October 14th, 2010
9:51 pm
Fredi likes small ball and Carl would be the perfect lead off guy to get on first steal second and score on a single.

And you know this how? The Marlins didn’t play small ball.

C. Tampa Ironworse

October 14th, 2010
10:05 pm

Is this just a reprint article from this time last year? Seems like the same problem as last year…and the year before that…

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:05 pm

Tired, no need. We have pitching.

Braves=Dumb

October 14th, 2010
10:06 pm

Its plenty of more better coaches out there that will be better than Fredi Baldhead Gonzalez

Caleb

October 14th, 2010
10:06 pm

Do NOT trade Jurrjens!

Atlanta braves fan of south

October 14th, 2010
10:06 pm

Andruw Jones may be a free agent . I have not looked at who is yet for 2011 . But He has proven a good hitter . Jones could smack a ball out of any ball park from 1996-2007 he proved he was the best outfielder of known atlanta history or even mlb . He could catch any ball hit to center field . why not go after him . Give him a chance to be the center fielder 1 more chance .

rugburn

October 14th, 2010
10:07 pm

otis was fair in the leadoff spot. he was great once he got to first base, but you can’t steal first. i don’t see him being able to help hitters. we don’t want slappers (melky), we want guys that swing the bat AND make consistant contact. did you see how other teams defended melky. it looked like the same shift they used when glavine was at the plate. i think glavine made more contact.

JaxBrave

October 14th, 2010
10:07 pm

Much easier to find a bat than a talented young starter. I think we should consider selling high on McCann – about the only trade chip we have. His defense is only going to get worse, he’ll never be a classic #4 hitter, and as catcher he doesn’t play every day. Could trade McCann for a LF/CF. Or better yet, sign Crawford as a FA, then trade McCann for someone like a Tulowitzki or Stephen Drew or for an OF like Kemp, Upton, Rasmus., etc., then spin Gonzalez off for a back-up OF, C, or MI.

Bottom line: need to get better at several positions, not just one…

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:08 pm

We don’t need pitching? Hell we won’t ever beat philly unless we upgrade all areas of our team, and stop being cheap

old man

October 14th, 2010
10:08 pm

Some of you know what an Omar fan I am, but it does seem a little odd to keep the #3 hitter in the league on your bench. The idea of obtaining two difference-makers for the outfield may be far fetched, and I would rather add one very good bat instead of two mediocre bats. We already have plenty of questionable outfield bats. We need one that throws some fear into pitchers–someone they want to pitch around.

To me, this means you start Omar in left, and focus on obtaining a center fielder. So Kemp looks like a good target. Any other ideas of the CF variety?

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:08 pm

If we get Crawford, we only need to cover LF with McLouth and Diaz and whomever else we have laying around. So, no Andruw Jones.

DawgDad

October 14th, 2010
10:09 pm

Infante needs to be a utility man, not penciled in as an everyday starter. If he plays well he’ll get plenty of at-bats and won’t get over-exposed defensively.

How long is it going to take Wren to figure out players aren’t going to hit as many home runs in the Ted/NL as they do in AL home parks in Toronto and New York? I don’t see Gonzalez producing those kind of numbers here.

It’s no secret the Braves are well-endowed in starting pitching and flat as a pancake in the outfield. Would be nice to see the Braves scouts help land us an emerging youngster for one spot. As it stands now, the Braves players better spend all winter hitting off left-handed pitching because that’s all they’ll see next year. Heyward, Freeman, McCann, McLouth, all left-handed power hitters, counter-balanced by Prado, Gonzalez, and Jones? Ugghhh! I see team strikeout records being challenged.

TN Braves Fan

October 14th, 2010
10:09 pm

Here is the salary that can go away to pay for Crawford:

Derek Lee 13M
Farnsworth 4.5M
Saito 3.2M
Cabrera 3.1M
Ankiel 3.25 M
Glaus 1.75 M
Wagner 7 M

Total 35.8 M

I know some of this will need to go to other replacements, but we have some very good young players that are already at the minimum and are on contract for a few years.

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:09 pm

We are not moving McCann, omg, get real people.

extremus

October 14th, 2010
10:11 pm

No WAY you let this winter go by without getting at least ONE bat for that outfield that is anything less than an EXPONENTIAL upgrade to what we had last season. Get it DONE, Wren. And get out of our business and sell the Braves as soon as possible, Liberty Media; we don’t need Rockies fans holding our team back!!!!

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:12 pm

Tired, The Phils have the best 3 in any rotation. No question. The Braves have a better overall staff.

jeffero

October 14th, 2010
10:12 pm

Omar’s not going to be too keen about coming off the bench. He wants to start. Outfield perhaps?

Naf Sevarb

October 14th, 2010
10:12 pm

Hey TN Braves fan, most of those numbers were not on the Braves books this year only a very small amount of them. Please do your math over and it is a lot lower.

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:13 pm

I see Omar playing LF, 3b and 2b plenty next year.

rugburn

October 14th, 2010
10:13 pm

andruw would be cheaper than mcclouth and he can probably squeeze another .200 season out at the plate. that is an improvement

TN Braves Fan

October 14th, 2010
10:13 pm

Jerry Fredi had to play small ball in Florida because that is the only kind of players he had – the Fish killed the Braves with small ball when they played each other

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:14 pm

Maybe we can make a trade for felix hernandez

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:15 pm

Any thing else would be better than andruw jones ugly swing, I would rather have brooks conrad than him

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:15 pm

Dunn would be cheaper than Crawford, but, then we have a bopper with no speed and poor defense in LF, if he can even still play LF. Then we have to put our junk scrap in CF. CF is a very important position. Andruw Jones was partially responsible for those staffs being so good. Break the bank, solve CF with Crawford. It’s almost the only move this team needs to make.

TN Braves Fan

October 14th, 2010
10:15 pm

Naf – you are right that Lee, Farnsworth, and Ankiel were partial year contracts, but it was the general idea and there is still a lot of $ there

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:18 pm

Give Farnsworth and Ankiel the boot. If Lee has an expensive option, give hime the boot. If he would sign a reasonable 2 year deal, I’d be ok with that. I saw him live and his stick had life.

Naf Sevarb

October 14th, 2010
10:20 pm

No dont get me wrong TN we need to spend some of that money and get a BAT

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:20 pm

Manny Ramirez or Magglio Ordonez would be great

Naf Sevarb

October 14th, 2010
10:22 pm

Count, those three are already out of here and we dont have to pay nuttin

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:23 pm

I am convinced that McDowell did something and solved Lowe. Now that Lowe is not as mediocre anymore, our pitching is solid. We also have Teheran and Vizcaino at some point in the future. Medlin, who I think is better in the bullpen comes back at the end of 2011 and we have him for 2012. I think Meds gets exposed as a starter eventually.

Naf Sevarb

October 14th, 2010
10:23 pm

I would take a shot on Mags if h is healthy

old man

October 14th, 2010
10:25 pm

Add Rasmus to the list with Kemp. Someone tell me how they rate as defensive CFs.

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:25 pm

Manny will be 40 next year. NO. Mags, no. Crawford. Yes. Just close your eyes, make a funny face, sign the check. We will need money one day for Hanson, so, we need to avoid more entagling contracts and ride some of our kids. Maybe Schafer can emerge as a piece in the outfield at some point, though it does not seem like he’s star material anymore.

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:27 pm

I don’t think the Cards are getting rid of Rasmus. He’s quite good in CF. He’s got 25HR power and can steal 20+. Kemp is a mental chump in love with his swagger. I’ll pass.Crawford is law.

gd from nz

October 14th, 2010
10:27 pm

GM rulebook, page 1, paragraph 1 – do not trade cheap, proven starting pitching that you have under your control for 2-3 years (i.e. JJJ) if it leaves you with any unproven arms (or rookies) in the rotation. Under any circumstances.

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:28 pm

Magglio Ordonez would be a steal if he plays like he did before he got hurt

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:29 pm

Garry Owen

October 14th, 2010
10:29 pm

Five year old runs across street after father. Police did not release the age of the child. Who proofs your articles?

Atlanta braves fan of south

October 14th, 2010
10:29 pm

Andrew Jones back in center . Otis Nixon as batting coach. My views are going by a 1990s play book . Never change what is still good.

RaleighDawg

October 14th, 2010
10:30 pm

Where have all the people who think Chipper is the answer been the last two years !?!? The very best scenario is for the Chipster to move full time to his tree stand and free up the bucks (pun intended) to sign Werth, Crawford, or Cruz. Also, Infante and Prado had career years – do you really think we can count on them to repeat this ? Really people, get a clue !

Jeff R

October 14th, 2010
10:32 pm

Wow. Not impressed with the left side of the Braves infield going into 2011. Chipper just doesn’t belong on a diamond anymore (as a player) and Gonzalez is so-so. But Wren is stuck with the arrangement, for the most part, unless Chipper hangs ‘em up.

Outfield… Well, I think Wren will do something to add a power bat, but he’s not going to tip his hand, so we’ll see what develops.

Tired of being cheap

October 14th, 2010
10:33 pm

Count, you know the braves will be too cheap to sign Hanson to an extension, why not package him with some good prospects for Feliz Hernandez because the braves will let hanson walk for free anyway

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:33 pm

Chipper is coming back. He is very close to a few milestones, and he was last seen on a field crumpled in a heap. He is coming back, and we owe him that. The KEY is convincing him to retire after next year, and restructure his contract like the Mets did Bonilla – pay him $1m for 20 years or something ridiculous. We’ve seen the best of Chipper, obviously. Infante will not be crying for playing time next year.

rabiddawg

October 14th, 2010
10:35 pm

coach
“I was hoping that it was gonna be Fredi. He’s only 46, managed the fish for 3 years with the lowest payroll. Players like playing for him and they respect him as well, what more can you ask from a manager?”

I agree. Wouldn’t a certain slugging all star second baseman who is now a free agent, and who also liked Fredi look great in the middle of our order. FW- make it happen, sign Uggla. That guy could potentially be a difference maker for us.

Spelling Patrol

October 14th, 2010
10:36 pm

RaleighDawg:Please get spellcheck or a dictionary or both and a legit English teacher. Your spelling/grammar is terrible

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:36 pm

They need to shed all the bad money by the time Hanson is ready to get signed. They key is avoiding adding more bad money like Andruw Jones. I love(d) Andruw Jones, but he fell off a cliff.

Crazy?

October 14th, 2010
10:36 pm

Here is a low budget move with big time OF power potential. Sign Jeff Francoeur (to hit against lefties) and Jeremy Hermida (to hit against righties). Potential would be huge if Fredi could get their heads on straight.

Bill in VA

October 14th, 2010
10:36 pm

I think KK has some gas left in the tank and would be a productive starter for a team which would give him a few runs on the board. It seemed to me that he just couldn’t manage the pressure of if he made a single mistake, his team didn’t have enough pop to regain the lead. I remember him matching up well with other teams’ aces on a few occasions.

count_schemula

October 14th, 2010
10:38 pm

Uggla has hands of stone. No thanks. We only need Crawford. Infante plays 2nd and 3rd and LF. Chipper plays 3rd when he can. We have plenty of trash to run out into LF next year.

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