12:55 pm October 19, 2010, by David O'Brien
October 19th, 20102:29 pm
actually, after listening to Chipper talk about hitting and his evaulation of hitters, he would make a very good hitting coach. In fact, much of the reason that McClouth hit better when he came back from Gwinett is due to Chipper.
Not sure why people are thinking that Lowe is going anywhere. first, he has a salary that most will not pay. Second, Lowe was by far the best Braves pitcher from Sept on. Lowe changed they way he approached hitters and also started using the change up a little more and this changed everything for him.
The Braves will not move Lowe. Now Jurgens is another issue. With Minor, Beachy and Medlen, the Braves and afford to let go of Jurgens which I think they will do
October 19th, 20102:32 pm
That’s good newa. I have a player the Braves should try and get to play CF, Julio Borbon of the Rangers. He’s not playing much. He’s good on defense and can hit pretty good. Then go get a RH power bat for LF.
They have to tighten up the defense.
October 19th, 20102:34 pm
“He played some at all three outfield positions, though not particularly well at any.”
Haha. Tell us how you really feel, DOB.
October 19th, 20102:35 pm
I’m sorry but looking at the 2011 crop of free agent outfielders is depressing. Show me an affordable power hitting righty???
They are all bums. Braves are better off trading a prospect for a prospect and hoping it works out. At this point barring a trade for a proven outfielder, I would call someone up for the time being rather than paying another retread to start the season.
There is bound to be a better pickup at the trading deadline. Braves need to figure out what is wrong with McClouth and invest money in fixing it versus signing someone.
October 19th, 20102:36 pm
Melky is and always be a lifetime .240 or .250 hitter with no power. He is also a defensive liability as evidence by all the balls that went over his head, into the gap or even in front of him. You don’t win championships with him or those like him in your lineup. Any replacement should be an upgrade. Getting Prado back will be a relief, as he was our steadiest player all season. We need a CF and LF badly, and need to start grooming someone to step in at SS.
Bill, Borbon is an intersting option for CF, but then what do you do with McLouth? I know he was pretty terrible, but they still have to work with him due to his salary and hope he gets it going again. maybe he and Borbon could split time. Borbon could bring a lot of speed
Vazquez 2010 WAR: -0.2
Boone Logan 2010 WAR: 0.4
Cabrera 2010 WAR: -1.2
Dunn 2010 WAR: 0.1
So, in 2010 anyway, that trade cost the Braves a win and didn’t really effect the Yankees. Of course, that ignores the fact that Vizcaino was the centerpiece of the trade–and that Dunn has barely scratched the surface of his potential.
Also, for the record, Kawakami had a better year than Vazquez. 4.56 xFIP for KK, 4.90 xFIP for Vazquez. Kawakami had a positive WAR, 0.8, whereas Vazquez was, as mentioned, negative.
October 19th, 20102:38 pm
For chrissake, do some of you people know anything about baseball in 2010?
For those of you wanting us to “dump” Chipper – he has a contract for 2011 folks. If he is playing, he is playing for us. It is up to him to retire. Sounds to me like he wants to play. We have no alternative at 3B anyway. So get used to it – Chipper will be at 3B next year and be paid about $12M to do it.
For those of you wanting us to dump McLouth – how are we going to do that, exactly? He also has a contract for 2011 at the handsome sum of about $7M. What do you suggest we do, smart guys? Non-tender him? Then we are on the hook for the salary ANYWAY, fools. No one is taking that salary in trade. We are stuck with McLouth for 2011 and then will have to pay him a buyout for 2012. So suck it up – he will be given a chance to start in CF because we are paying him $$.
Basically our offseason shopping list consists of this: a starting OF with some power and hopefully RH; a veteran for the bullpen; a bench player or two that are RH and play good defense, particularly one that can play 1B to back up FF; and some resolution to the situation with Kawakami. He is either going to be our #4 (if JJ is traded) or #5 pitcher or – if by some miracle – traded.
So just please stop all the “let’s get Crawford!” or “let’s get Pence!” talk.
AJ hit 19 HR in only 328 PA’s….Heyward hit 18 HR in 623 PA’s.
We could probably get AJ for less than $1million (he made $500,000 this year.) He would be a huge upgrade defensively and power than anyone we put out there this year.
October 19th, 20102:40 pm
Crawford and Werth are not coming to ATL….get over it.
October 19th, 20102:41 pm
Larry, I agree with everything you said except the Pence thing. Why wouldn’t we be able to go after Pence?
October 19th, 20102:42 pm
we can get Carl Crawford. we have a good shot at him.
October 19th, 20102:46 pm
This brings something to my mind that I know is a touchy subject, and maybe DOB can’t really breach it, but Melky was not in shape. He was not in baseball shape, or bowling shape, or any kind of shape. I kid, but this is pro ball, and he played the outfield and was supposed to track balls down, yet he was clearly, from day one, overweight and out of shape. Obviously it’s not a problem anymore but I have noticed the same thing with several other players, most significantly, Jurjens. Look at some pics of him when he first got here and how he looked overall last year and you can tell the guy has put on weight, and he is young. I have read some other posts to this point. The problem with carrying extra weight, and being out of shape, especially at a young age is that it increases the risk of injury and what happened to JJ last year? 3 different injuries. I’m not saying he was hurt because he was overweight, but it sure would be better for him and the team for him to be in top condition. You just don’t hear anything about this kind of stuff, unless players LOSE weight, when it seems to be a pretty important factor.
Sign Pat Burrell…
October 19th, 20102:48 pm
Milky Cornbread is gone,oh my!
Larry M, well said. I would add that getting older players is not a good idea. It is time for the Braves to get younger, not older.
There is an issue with finding a place to Infante to play. While it is nice to have someone that versatile coming off the bench, I think that Infante has proved he can play and hit every day.
Assuming the Braves want Infante in everyday, that crowds everything up. Do you play Infante in RF and McClouth every day in CF? I kind of doubt it. I think the Braves need and will look for a big bat to put somewhere in the OF. I figure that McClouth will be relegated to the bench.
Of course if Chipper can not play at all or can not play every day then maybe Infante comes off the bench to spell Chipper.
@ Screw Milton -
Don’t get me wrong – I love Pence. But maybe I missed something – what makes him available? He is locked into arbitration years for the next few seasons. He will be making good money but probably below market for his true talent. Why would the Astros want to trade such a great, young, productive hitter? They have Oswalt and Berkman coming off the books so they can afford to keep Pence. What could we possibly package up to get him? JJ plus some prospects? I just don’t see the Astros doing it.
Rasmus, on the other hand, is available. With the apparently re-signing of LaRussa in StL, I think Rasmus is on the block and exactly what the Braves need in LF. Only problem is he is a lefty.
October 19th, 20102:49 pm
I think the Vasquez trade is one of the best trade the braves have ever pulled off(just look at the 5.0+ era Vaz sported alst year).
October 19th, 20102:50 pm
DOB…..ROFLMAO at your 2:01 post!!
October 19th, 20102:51 pm
If the Braves move JJ, there better be a nice return in it. Someone else’s third or fourth outfielder for JJ is stupid.
There are plenty of mediocre replacements via free agent signing. I’m talking about someone of value if they are going to trade him. The Orioles have some nice young talent in the outfield. What would the orioles want included with JJ for Markakis or Jones???
By the way, THANK YOU DAVID O’BRIAN FOR THIS BLOG. I just discovered it and it will now serve as my “off-season Braves Fix.”
October 19th, 20102:52 pm
Colby Rasmus for JJ or Vizcaino and Shaefer?
Chipper has been the best hitting coach the Braves have had the last several years. I’ve read a number of stories about guys who say he has influenced them, spent time watching video and in the cage with them, etc. Diaz, McLouth, McCann immediately spring to mind. For now get Don Baylor or the Pirates old hitting coach (thinking about McLouth).
Can’t Hinske also be the backup 1B?
We could do worse than Pat Burrell, with McLouth a defensive sub out there in left.
October 19th, 20102:54 pm
Please don’t tell me Melky wasn’t in shape. Round IS a shape!
its not about older or younger. Its about getting Better!
Larry, I see what you mean now. I took it as we can’t afford him like Crawford.
I have heard his name mentioned by a writer on AJC I believe as a possible target of the Braves. I haven’t specifically heard that he is available, but I haven’t heard that he isn’t either. I agree that the Stros should hang onto him, but you never know.
October 19th, 20102:55 pm
@ Curt – I think Infante will serve the role he so admirably performed for most of this season before being forced into an everyday role: super-utility player. I see him playing 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and CF and giving whoever is playing those positions on a daily basis some rest. He will probably start 5 out of every 7 games at some position.
If McLouth does not perform in spring training, I could see him on the bench as well – a very expensive bench player, but we would have no choice. Basically he would rotate around with Diaz, Infante, and whoever else we add to the OF.
Infante could probably start 4-5 times a week in the old “super sub” role. Give Freeman a break by moving Prado over there and putting Infante at 2b. Let Omar play when Chipper gets hurt (plenty of starts that way, I’d imagine)…
Crawford and Werth will play for a team along I-95 between Philly and Mass. It is what it is…
October 19th, 20102:56 pm
Man I tell you, I wanted to play for bobby last year around this time had you guys pull the trigger on me, I could’ve helped the post season run for Bobby’s last year. OH WELL, another year and again, Braves country would be nice to be a part of alongside Ankiel and Jey Hey, No one would run on our OF plus I can ensure you a safe #2 man
3. Jey Hey/Gonzo
6. Gonzo/Jey Hey/Freeman
October 19th, 20102:58 pm
Boston is looking for pitching.
Hopefully, Ankiel & McLouth are next to go !
October 19th, 20103:01 pm
Carl Carwford you need to lead off ok.
Toyt Like A Tiger
October 19th, 20103:02 pm
We can move Lowe now, give him to Boston for nothing and let them take his salary.
Then go get Adam Dunn.
October 19th, 20103:03 pm
Really Dr. Dave, because the Yankees won a Championship last year with him in their outfield.
Trade Beachy and Vizcaino+ prospect or two for Matt Kemp also.
October 19th, 20103:04 pm
This is good news now we need to try to cut ties with Kenshin Kawakami, Brooks Conrad & Nate McCloth. Rick Ankiel should be kept he can be a platoon somewhere along with Matt Diaz in the outfield but not as a starter.
October 19th, 20103:05 pm
I CAN DO THAT HANDS DOWN!!!!! Anything for the team baby anything, I just want to play in BRAVES COUNTRY!
Melky hit .274 in ‘09 before the braves picked him up.
Ankiel hit .231 in ‘09 before the braves picked him up.
Alex Gonzalez Hit .238 in ‘09 before the braves picked him up.
Lets not kid ourselves that these guys were huge flops. They sucked before they came to the braves, and they sucked after. Our ownership deserves much of the blame for our offensive problems.
October 19th, 20103:07 pm
James, cutting ties with Kawakami and McLouth is entirely different than Cabrera and Saito. The Braves owe Kawakami and mcLouth about $14 mill. You don’t just swallow that money and move on, not with an entire payroll of about $90 mill.
They owed no money to Saito and Cabrera.
They plan to bring back Conrad, who’s cheap and a no-risk proposition, either as a half-mill-or-less bench player or a Triple-A player.
Anybody else watching the players we gave away in one of worst trades ever stickin to the Yankees. Elvis Andrus is impressive in the field, batting and especially running the bases. Neftali Feliz throwing 100 mph is not too shabby either and whiffing the guy we got for him Teixeira. And these two guys weren’t even the headliner Saltomaccio gone to Boston.
OK people, read very slowly and try to take it in:
* Derek Lee is a free agent and GONE
* Ankiel has an option that won’t get picked up and is GONE
* In case you missed it, the following guys are also gone: Melky, Saito, Wagner, Glaus
* Nate McLouth is UNTRADEABLE, though Wren got someone to take Jojo Reyes so you never know.
* Carl Crawford has as good a chance as coming to Turner Field as Ed McMahon has of bringing that big check to your front door.
Atlanta Braves payroll info:
October 19th, 20103:08 pm
I think and hope Diaz is washed up and sent out. Other than him being relatively cheap and a right handed bat, he does not really contribute enough at the plate and is not that fast in the OF. To me, Henski is about the same in the OF and better at the plate. Henski can also play more positions than Diaz.
When seeking a bat, the Braves are probably going to have to focus on a right handed hitter. Looking over the line up, Freeman, Heyward, McCann and (assuming he starts) McClouth are all left handed. right now, Chipper, Prado and Gonzo are the only right handed bats that would start.
Toyt Like A Tiger: So the Red Sox made it known they’d take all of Lowe’s salary, huh? Where’d you see that? By the way, if the Braves didn’t have Lowe in September, they’d have never made it to the playoffs.
October 19th, 20103:11 pm
DOB, I agree on Lowe. since he adjusted in Sept, he has been very good. Assuming he keeps that up and hitters dont or cant adjust, he could and should win at least 15 games next year.
Mr. Wren needed to give Melky more time – he will be a fine ballplayer once he learns how to hit,catch, and throw.
Fan since 1977
P’Cola, if we are to sign Werth (a better signing for us than Crawford), it has to be this offseason. He’s a Boras guy and the bidding will start at $140 million over 7 years, and maybe he’ll settle for $90 million over 5. He’s 30 years old and is looking for that monster deal. For that reason, ain’t no way Liberty Media loosens up the purse strings to get him, although he would be perfect. And I think he can play center, as I would rather have left-handed J-Hey in right despite his speed. With McLouth and Diaz platooning in left.
Who was that kid that played so well in CF for us this year when called up from Gwinnett? I’m having a brain cramp. I could see him starting in CF next year and cheap as we are.
Watch Melky go back to the AL and hit .300 with 25 homers next year.
October 19th, 20103:12 pm
DOB: I LOVE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLD!!!!!!
yes that is true DOB Lowe was our best pitcher through that stretch, now Wren has a chance to unload him to a team with that need. Then go after one of the 3 big Free Agent bats.
It seems to me that for the Braves to make money, they should go out and sign a free agent such as Crawford or Werth. Sure, it would cost a lot of money but you would think the Braves would make it back by making the playoffs, even more by reaching the World Series.
October 19th, 20103:14 pm
This is good news. Very good news. I’m glad I dropped by just now to find out that Melky Bad Routes is off the team. I hope the Mets pick him up.
Not that I like him but I actually thought the Braves might keep Melky around just because he is a switch hitter and can play all OF positions.
I am glad he’s gone though. Too much money though for not enough production at the plate and no speed in the OF.
October 19th, 20103:15 pm
DOB, any thought of bringing Chpper back as a player/hitting coach? I hope in all of these off-season efforts they are thinking long-term about Chip’s replacement.
I still can’t believe that Wren paid me all that money. Ha Ha ha ha
October 19th, 20103:16 pm
Ahh I love the smell of trade ideas burnt to the ground by DOB.
October 19th, 20103:17 pm
Toyt – I’d rather deal JJ than D-Lowe. No one will want D-Lowe’s contract, anyway. JJ is more marketable and can get us a good bat in return.
Just throwing this out there not knowing much about the contract with Chipper other than the fact that he makes around 13M a year, but I think he is the perfect candidate to be traded to an AL team as a DH/part time 3B who will absolutely help their offense. If we get rid of Chipper’s salary and use JJ as trade bait, I think we would have the ability to sign a young 3B and a couple of very good OFs.
October 19th, 20103:19 pm
yellerjacket, as a 10/5 guy, I guarantee Chipper would veto any trade. He wants to retire a Brave.
October 19th, 20103:22 pm
Would Tony Gwynn be considered for hitting coach? I see he’s a minor league coach now….he would probably accept the offer if we tried to bring him here. Thoughts?
Fan, you’re probably right. Forgot about that. Plus as I continue to argue against myself, Chipper really wasn’t in the top 5 of our problems last year. Before his ACL tear he was coming on strong and I think he can still contribute greatly next year. That salary is just so fat.
October 19th, 20103:23 pm
Apparently Don Baylor is looking for a job, too.
October 19th, 20103:24 pm
The Braves can always experiement by moving McCann to 1b, Freeman to LF and Ross becomes the everyday cathcer. Then all they ned to find is a SS, 3B and CF and backup catcher. Not much to ask. Realistically, they ned to draft, if possible, a kid or kids that are nearly major league ready and fast track them to Atlanta by 2012. Sooner or later, they have to fill these holes and doing it in house is much easier than trying to trade or sign a free agent for them. I believe 2011 is going to be more of 2010 unless the Braves uncover a gem through a trade.
Gwynn would make a great hitting coach, but (1) he has his health issues to deal with right now, and (2) I think he is really committed to those kids at San Diego State.
October 19th, 20103:26 pm
T-Bone: If Chipper plays two more seasons, Salcedo might be ready to play 3B by 2013. When they signed him, they made it clear he could play SS or 3B. He hasn’t moved from SS yet, and probably won’t for the time being. But he projects to hit for enough power to play 3B.
They’ve got a few up-and-comers at shortstop, including Pastornicky and a couple of guys they just drafted. Lipka is a shortstop who could move to the outfield if they need him there or they decide he’s better suited for OF. He’s got blazing speed, but is just a kid and is probably a few years away.
3. Jey Hey/Gonzo
6. Gonzo/Jey Hey/Freeman
October 19th, 20103:27 pm
@ DOB – I’m not sure if I would call Conrad a “no-risk proposition.” I know you love the guy personally, but did you not see Game 3 of the NLDS and his fielding performance? I would definitely say he carries some risk. There are a thousand guys kicking around the minors/free agents like him. That being said, Conrad had some huge hits for the Braves and deserves at least an invite to spring training.
@ yellerjacket – wake up, please. Chipper cannot be traded without his approval which he will not give. He will either be playing 3B for us next year or retired. It is his call.
October 19th, 20103:29 pm
Baylor already had a stint here as hitting coach – he would just go through the motions until a managerial job opens up. I have long advocated for Chipper as player/hitting coach. McCann admitted he never went to TP for help – he went to Chipper. I’m surprised TP accepted the move to 1B coach but it’s hunky-dory with me..
white flag lineup
If Wren had released Melky a week ago, Braves may have very well won another playoff game. Sadly, Cox could not be saved from himself. Instead, he was allowed to make one final brilliant Cox move, which resulted in Melky getting the most important AB of the series.
On a happier note, BOBBY COX RETIRED!!!
@ DOB – I’m not sure if I would call Conrad a “no-risk proposition.” I know you love the guy personally, but did you not see Game 3 of the NLDS and his fielding performance? I would definitely say he carries some risk — Larry M
By no-risk, I meant his contract. it won’t be guaranteed, and it’ll be a split deal that pays much less if he’s in minors. And if the Braves don’t think he’s gotten past the end-of-season defensive woes (which he didn’t have before), then they don’t have to keep him. So he is, indeed, no risk.
@JoeFan You’re aware that McCann is a 5x all star at catcher, right? And that Freeman is projected to be an all-star caliber 1b, right? And that drafting position players who project to be big league starters in under 2 years is damn near impossible, right?
October 19th, 20103:31 pm
D-Lee is not coming back, and no way this ownership signs Crawford.
DOB, who was that kid that came up from Gwinnett and played CF for us last year?
I too would like to see them bring back Franceour and put him in right field where he won a Gold Glove. He is a better fielder and has a better arm than Heyward who could move to left and than we could get a center fielder who could bat lead off in front of Prado. I would also like to see us get a third baseman who has power from the right side.
October 19th, 20103:32 pm
Got to keep Clutch Conrad…no doubt
October 19th, 20103:36 pm
I agree re: Conrad, the kid made the team based on his bat, not his glove, and I will always take a switchhitter with power on my bench. I hope everyone lightens up on him. Remember, we have an All-Star second baseman – but he got hurt.
October 19th, 20103:37 pm
I can’t believe we traded Melky!! He was one of the bright spots…………ok, almost got that out without laughing histerically. What a waste of a baseball uniform this guy was. SO glad he’s gone!!
Conyers Braves Fan
October 19th, 20103:39 pm
I don`t see much difference in what will happen in trades or signings in this off season than in what took place last year given the Braves situation.
They are stuck with hight salaries (Chipper/McLouth/KK/Lowe) and cannot
move these players. Results: They will get rid of the likes of Ankiel/Glaus/ Farnsworth/maybe Diaz, etc. but only get about the same medicore grade
of players to relace them. I don`t see the 2011 team winning 91 games
because we have lost Wagoner/Siato. Ventors/Kimbrell may not be as
good as setup/closer. Also, unless Gonzalez is replaced, ss will be another disaster.
October 19th, 20103:41 pm
Now if we can unload Rick Ankle. I can’t believe any sane bunch of guys would pay him 6 million. Can’t believe Bobby Cox kept playing him. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
October 19th, 20103:42 pm
Screw Milton –
AJ = Andruw Jones.
@ DOB – I understand what you’re saying re: Conrad. And like I said, his big hits last year have at least earned him a shot to make the club again. Without him, we would not have made the playoffs. Of course, without him, we might also still be in the playoffs, but…. I would like to see him get a shot at redemption next year.
Have you heard any whispers on a deal for Rasmus? It seems to me like he is “the guy” the Braves will target for trade.
Best Braves news I have heard in a while!
October 19th, 20103:43 pm
We should keep Conrad. His PH HR’s were golden plus he’s a switch hitter. Have to forget about his nightmare plays in the NLDS.
Ankiel is already gone. He is a free agent.
October 19th, 20103:45 pm
So what’s the story with Schaefer? Is he off the Braves’ radar? Was he hurt again? Did the batting cage in his house get re-possessed? Dude faded away faster than Dave Chappelle.
October 19th, 20103:47 pm
I think Diaz problem is that he is fat. He was in much better shape last year. This year his big ole belly was hanging over the plate. Is it too much to ask the highly paid players to just be in shape?
October 19th, 20103:48 pm
Only Dave Chappelle got paid big money…..now he can smoke his weed and not have the pressure of delivering so many funny scripts to the network.
there are truly some haters on this page…give melky some love… you guys talk trash about him yet i dont see you on any major league teams. he has come a long way and has some work to do to improve his skills but he is an overall decent player and deserves more respect than this….MELKY FAN TO THE END!!!!
October 19th, 20103:49 pm
DOB – Have you been watching “Boardwalk Empire?”
October 19th, 20103:50 pm
Glad to see Saito (an aged injued pitcher) move on. Our set-up man needs to be young and strong. (Venters will do) As for Melky, he was not what the Braves need in the outfield if they want to go all the way. Definately need a POWER hitting outfielder, so hope Wren is willing to pay the price. And whoever messed with Heyward’s bat, should go away! He came to us a good hitter and left struggling. Just leave him alone or let Chipper work with him. Go Braves
Paul in Richmond
October 19th, 20103:51 pm
This will not be a playoff year. We have an average team that will be full of holes next season. We have a brand new coach and even our regulars are shaky. We need to focus on young players with potential who, even if they finish in the middle of the pack, will grow into serious baseball players. I hope our new manager will allow them to play daily without moving them in and out of a lineup like cogs in a machine.
We need some discipline and conditioning next year.
October 19th, 20103:52 pm
Gregor Blanco!! That’s who I was trying to remember. He can play everyday CF for us. Provided there is an Adam Dunn next to him LF.
Bob the Blogger
October 19th, 20103:53 pm
At Cabrera’s age, I thought he was on the way up, not on the way down. Other than a few great throws, he pretty much stunk.
@fan since 1977
You’re right. Great news!
October 19th, 20103:54 pm
Gregor Blanco was traded during the season so he is no longer a Brave.
October 19th, 20103:55 pm
“Carl Crawford has as good a chance as coming to Turner Field as Ed McMahon has of bringing that big check to your front door.”
Soooooo, you’re telling me there is a chance?
Anyone else here praying Texas holds on and beats the Yankees, whose payroll is $150 million more than Texas?
I know, unrelated, but Melky is gone; the moment’s over.
October 19th, 20103:56 pm
Who did we deal Blanco to? Was he in the Farnsworth deal?
October 19th, 20103:57 pm
It is pretty rare to see a 5 tool player: hit for average, hit for power, runs well, fields well, throws well. It might be just as rare to see a 0 tool player like Melky Cabrera not just spend multiple entire seasons on big league rosters, but to actually get a lot of playing time.
The Braves outfield this season excluding Heyward was historically bad. Can anybody name a team in the history of baseball that had 3 of its 5 outfielders who were as bad as Cabrera, McLouth and Ankiel?
Fan Since 1977 – I believe that was the trade he was involved in – either that or the Derek Lee one – I forget which now.
No one messed with Heyward’s swing his thumb injury never fully recovered if I remember correctly they said it would take the offseason for it to heal
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