Braves keep Infante, Gonzalez, still interested in Hinske

After the World Series ends, baseball’s hot-stove league begins. The Braves stoked theirs Tuesday, exercising options on two players and declining two others.

The team picked up $2.5 million options for 2011 on shortstop Alex Gonzalez and versatile All-Star Omar Infante, and bought out options for reliever Kyle Farnsworth and outfielder Rick Ankiel at $500,000 apiece.

The Braves also re-signed arbitration-eligible reliever Scott Proctor and reinstated pitcher Jairo Asencio to the 40-man roster. Asencio missed the 2010 season after being detained in the Dominican Republic and found to have used a false name, Luis Valdez.

Three Braves were among 142 who became free agents after the World Series ended: first basemen Derrek Lee and Troy Glaus and infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske. The team will likely consider re-signing only Hinske from that trio.

With rookie Freddie Freeman projected as their starting first baseman, the Braves might pursue a right-handed hitter as his backup. General manager Frank Wren said that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Hinske returning.

Hinske, on a one-year, $1 million contract in 2010, hit .256 with 33 extra-base hits (11 home runs) and 50 RBIs in 281 at-bats. He hit three pinch-hit homers in the regular season and one more in the division series against San Francisco.

“There still can be a role on the club for him, even though he’s left-handed,” Wren said of the veteran, whom Braves players credited for strengthening team chemistry. “There are still areas where we can use him. We think he was a valuable part of the team last year and we still have interest in him.”

Under a new rule, an exclusive negotiating period between free agents and their current teams lasts only five days after the World Series ends; it lasted 15 days in the past. Free agents can sign with any team after that period.

Teams have until Nov. 23 to offer arbitration to free agents to preserve draft-pick compensation for Type A and Type B players who sign with other teams.

Hinske and Glaus aren’t classified, but Lee is a Type A who would bring two draft picks if the Braves offer arbitration and he signs elsewhere.

However, the Braves probably can’t afford to risk offering him arbitration, because if Lee accepted he could command $10 million or more in an arbitration-set salary after making $13 million in 2010.

Years ago, the Braves had a similar high-stakes gamble backfire when Greg Maddux surprisingly accepted arbitration, forcing the team to hastily trade Kevin Millwood to clear payroll.

And just last winter, the Braves offered closer Rafael Soriano arbitration with no intention of re-signing him. When he accepted during the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, the Braves traded him for reliever Jesse Chavez before leaving Indiana.

Trading a 35-year-old Lee, with a projected eight-figure salary and coming off a thumb injury that reduced his power, could be a far more difficult task.

The Braves already released reliever Takashi Saito (as stipulated by his contract) and outfielder Melky Cabrera, which made them free agents.

Standout closer Billy Wagner had a 2011 option that vested, but he retired after the season and is not considering changing his mind.

Farnsworth’s option was for $5.25 million option and Ankiel’s was $6 million. The buyouts were covered by $1 million the Braves received for that purpose from the Kansas City Royals in the July 31 trade for the duo.

Despite losing Saito, Wagner and Farnsworth, the Braves’ bullpen should remain strong with incumbents Peter Moylan, left-handers Eric O’Flaherty and Mike Dunn, and the sensational young duo of Craig Kimbrel and lefty Jonny Venters as leading candidates for closer and setup man in some combination.

Proctor has missed most of two seasons after elbow surgeries. He hoped to return last April but spent most of the season in the minors when his recovery stalled. Proctor pitched in six late-season games for Atlanta.

The right-hander signed a one-year deal believed to be worth about $750,000 plus incentives, leaving the Braves with five unsigned arbitration-eligibles: pitchers Jair Jurrjens, Moylan and O’Flahery; infielder Martin Prado, and outfielder Matt Diaz.

167 comments Add your comment

Bravo-Ski

November 2nd, 2010
5:24 pm

The Braves had several outfielders whose games were essentially the same. When we got Ankiel from KC, I was wishing we’d kept Gregor Blanco, who was just the kind of player we needed in the lead-off role. As it stands, let’s put Infante in LF and get a power right-handed bat to fill the other outfield void. (then there’s Nate and his contract…)

Dick Doss.

November 2nd, 2010
5:25 pm

I hope they sign Matty-D

cheshire

November 2nd, 2010
5:27 pm

Keeping Gonzalez, great. There’s one spot in the lineup filled with a hitter who is impatient, has a low OBP, and hits into a double play almost every game. Seriously, that guy better be hitting no lower than the 8th spot or this lineup is going to be just as sterile as it was last year.

Klaus

November 2nd, 2010
5:30 pm

Don’t fret chesire re: Gonzo. Wren will trade him if he can find a better alternative. He is too cheap (and this team is cheap) to let him walk but if he can trade him he will.

Zach

November 2nd, 2010
5:31 pm

Braves82

November 2nd, 2010
5:33 pm

Blanco sucks!! I glad his rear end is gone!!!!

Honest

November 2nd, 2010
5:34 pm

I hope the kid Freeman can handle first base. He has not impressed me at the MLB level thus far. They definitely need a right-handed backup to platoon with him as insurance.

I would not resign Hinske. He is part of the problem. He can barely field his position and bats .256.

Will we ever have a centerfielder that is not embarrassing? Our outfield is a long running, bad joke.

hmmmm.....

November 2nd, 2010
5:37 pm

laroche’s option got declined

Frank Wren

November 2nd, 2010
5:38 pm

I thought our outfield was pretty good.

Einstein

November 2nd, 2010
5:40 pm

What is wrong with a sport that has to pay a half million dollars to someone they don’t want because they are no longer any good. Has the union also negated accountability? Responsibility? How ’bout a return to “real world” values, not TV-funded false entertainment. Oh, I’m sorry…Joe consumer and his family will pick up the tab.

Clarence

November 2nd, 2010
5:42 pm

I love the number 6.

Tracy

November 2nd, 2010
5:42 pm

Hinske and Glaus need to lose weight or use it to their advantage. They spent last year laboring around the bases. Moylan can join them too

The Grinch

November 2nd, 2010
5:44 pm

Hinske should definitely be resigned if possible. He’s a good clubhouse guy, versatile and had clutch power. Considering his talent and relatively young age, he’s a bargain if we can get him anything close to what we paid him last year.

JOD

November 2nd, 2010
5:45 pm

DAM…. WE STILL HAVE THAT GARBAGE PLAYER ALEX GONZALEZ??? JEEZE, BRING BACK YUNEL, AND GET RID OF THIS BOBBY COX ERA SCRUB!

K.K.

November 2nd, 2010
5:45 pm

Wonder where I be in rotation next year? Bobby promise I be rotating somewhere.

Puma

November 2nd, 2010
5:51 pm

Agreed on Hinske, great bat off the bench, good power and sees a good number of pitches most times out. Doesn’t hurt that you can throw him in LF or 1B every now and then.

ISH

November 2nd, 2010
5:56 pm

Love me some Hot Stove….

Mr Bill4260

November 2nd, 2010
6:00 pm

The Braves will be so so next season, don’t know if Chipper Jones will be 100% and even if he is he is injury prone and anything can happen. We need a power hitting third base man and Chippers power numbers have dropped. As for the outfield and first base well thats a work in progress. Nat MacClouth is useless, and Diaz is okay but not a 30 home run guy. As for First Base I don’t think Freeman is the answer we need a reliable veteran to go back and forth with Freeman. I don’t who is out there but lets bring back Adam LaRoche he is very reliable and a great 2nd half hitter. Freeman needs more time, he is not ready for every day play yet.I think we could use another veteran starting pitcher and we need a speed on the bases besides Hayworth. The Braves really need an overhaul. Look for a 3rd place finish next year.

Frank Wren

November 2nd, 2010
6:01 pm

Hummm. What to do next? Fans are expecting me to improve the team for next year. Gee, so much pressure and stress. Must do something. I know what, I’ll extend K.K.’s contract another 3 years.

S

November 2nd, 2010
6:05 pm

Mr Bill I find it hard to believe you are much of a Braves fan or will know how next years team will finish when you don’t even know our players’ names

Steve from Utah

November 2nd, 2010
6:13 pm

Oh to go back in time and re-visit that Teixeira deal. Watching Elvis in the Series was a little frustrating. That said, glad we’re keeping Gonzo and Omar, and I would love to see Hinske back.

GT Alum

November 2nd, 2010
6:14 pm

Honest -

You don’t find many $1M bench guys who hit 280+ with good power. Guys who hit like that are generally starters who make a lot more than that. Hinske’s a good bench guy, just not a guy the Braves should have to depend on as much as they did this season.

rainman34

November 2nd, 2010
6:29 pm

Mr. Bill have you ever even watched the braves because you know none of their names.

Duane

November 2nd, 2010
6:35 pm

I would sign Hinske strictly as a pinch hitter and occasional left fielder. I liked Ankiel. I think his hitting would come around. I would put Infante in center, re-sign Glaus as a backup 1st baseman and 3rd baseman and spend the big bucks and go after Werth in left field.

jason heyward

November 2nd, 2010
6:35 pm

hey mr bill, how about you learn to spell my name correctly before you you start claiming what the braves should and shouldnt do.

J-Hey

November 2nd, 2010
6:42 pm

I don’t know about keeping Proctor, he didn’t impress me at all when he was given his opportunities.

collegeballfan

November 2nd, 2010
6:44 pm

I would not want to be without Hinske next season. Guys who can get RBI’s as pinch hitters are very rare.

I agree center is a problem waiting on a solution.

Mr Bill4260

November 2nd, 2010
6:50 pm

Hey it doesn’t matter if I know how to spell a name on the team, the Washington Nationals will surprise every body and win the the Divison the Braves will be heading to last place. Bobby Cox was the reason they did as well as they did. I don’t think Freddie Gonzaliz will comand as much respect as Cox. Braves fans get ready its the 1980’s all over again. The Braves are getting old and the wheels are coming off. Go Nationals.

Tomahawkin

November 2nd, 2010
6:50 pm

Its About Time The F.O. “Old Yellered Stankiel!, Too bad it was 2 months too late…

Mr Bill 3250

November 2nd, 2010
6:51 pm

Hey it doesn’t matter if I know how to spell a name on the team, the Washington Nationals will surprise every body and win the the Divison the Braves will be heading to last place. Bobby Cox was the reason they did as well as they did. I don’t think Freddie Gonzaliz will comand as much respect as Cox. Braves fans get ready its the 1980’s all over again. The Braves are getting old and the wheels are coming off. Go Nationals.

Bill 4260

November 2nd, 2010
6:58 pm

Trade the whole team and begin the rebuilding process.

Bill 4260

November 2nd, 2010
6:59 pm

Marlins all the way and lets go Mets, the Phillies are done.

reckingball

November 2nd, 2010
7:02 pm

The Braves will be better in 2011.

Roy Barnes

November 2nd, 2010
7:04 pm

Hey I will manage the Team looks I might not make it as Governor, and Nathan can be the bat boy.

Sarah Palin

November 2nd, 2010
7:08 pm

Let me lead the Braves I am a hockey mom and I will put up a good fight.

reckingball

November 2nd, 2010
7:12 pm

Mr Bill 3520..@6;51……..That was pretty funny. The Nationals in 1st ha ha. Bobby Cox, the reason that the Braves did as well as they did, hilarious.

godsmack

November 2nd, 2010
7:32 pm

mr bill,
is this the same mr bill from snl??
only a clay figure would say something so assinine that the nationals will win anyhing

Notso Fast

November 2nd, 2010
7:33 pm

LET THE REBUILDING BEGIN. lET’S REDO THE TEAM TO GO ALONG WITH THE YOUNG ARMS WE HAVE IN THE SYSTEM.

Will

November 2nd, 2010
7:40 pm

$2.5 mil for a shortstop the caliber of AG is a steal. I expect the Braves to be strong contender next season. Wren is going to go find some speed to play CF and bat lead or 2nd in the order, and a modest power hitter for LF.

Centerfield Speed Bat LOHer
Prado 2B
Heyward RF
Jones 3B
McCann C
LF Power bat
Gonzales SS
Freeman 1B

cheshire

November 2nd, 2010
7:42 pm

I definitely want us to keep Hinske as he’s a great bench player and utility outfielder… but what i don’t want is another outfield that is filled with 5 guys exactly like him. That’s what killed us this past year.

And PLEASE can we stop with this platoon crap?

Ray Kinsella

November 2nd, 2010
7:46 pm

Great Keeps, now go and get a couple of excellent outfielders.

Boatdoc

November 2nd, 2010
7:51 pm

Will – any particular reason your lineup has no place for All-Star and 3rd in the National League in hitting Omar Infante?

Anyone with an intelligent opinion:

Are there any major factors other than “how ready is Chipper” that will determine where Omar plays? Is there any way the guy who was 3rd in the league (and led the team) in hitting isn’t a full-time starter either way? (Chipper hurt – Omar plays 2nd while Prado plays 3rd? Chipper productive – Omar plays LF?)

gcs

November 2nd, 2010
8:00 pm

Hinske’s one-year $1 million contract was a BARGAIN!
Don’t be stupid, Wren, re-up him.

.

jason heyward

November 2nd, 2010
8:06 pm

mr bill- i love how in ur first post u write this super long comment on what the braves need to do and they will finish in 3rd. yet when people start giving u crap about mis spelling players names you all of the sudden say we will finish in last and ur suddenly a nats fan…lol grow up dude, its obvious however u are a nats fan that explains why you cant spell the braves players name.

Just saying...

November 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

Why don’t we just acknowledge the fact we got taken on the Gonzo deal, cut our losses, and move on. I would so much rather have had Edgar as the regular guy than either Yunel or Gonzo. Andrus would be nice, too…but I forgot. Why can’t we get a decent SS???

mrbill4260

November 2nd, 2010
8:14 pm

I am still upset that the Braves blew the 1996 world series. They had it in the Bag until Wholers blew up. Braves have never recovered. Nationals will be 2011 World Series Champions.Its a change in power.

Truthsayer

November 2nd, 2010
8:17 pm

Sign a good LF & CF and the Braves can win in 2011.

yogi2

November 2nd, 2010
8:45 pm

Release Conrad and Mclouse now. Need some new blood

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

November 2nd, 2010
8:45 pm

I’d like to see Hinske return. Wonder how muchuva raise he’ll expect? I once gotta frozen ham for a Christmas bonus, doubt that would get it done.

Do y’all realize how hard it is to bust a frozen ham into ham gravel? First tossing said ham against pavement, then sledge-hammer/axe/chainsaw for the coup de grace? DAMN hard!

Tim L.

November 2nd, 2010
8:46 pm

Xavier Nady would fit for a number of reasons (1) RH hitter (2) plays 1B – insurance and spell Freddie (3) plays corner OF positions (4) coming from an off-year in 2010 with Cubs so price will be down (5) missed most of 2009, but hit 25 HR’s in 2008.

Hal J

November 2nd, 2010
8:49 pm

Giants have just proven for the umpteenth time that to win everything in baseball, you need four really topnotch starting pitchers and a lights-out closer, and maybe two or three setup guys, especially including a lefty. To help those guys, first thing you need is a smart catcher, then seven guys to spread around to catch the ball. Defense up the middle. If you can find guys who can both catch the ball and hit a little, that’s great, but hitting is less important than catching the ball — see Burrell, Pat, who is not a good defender at all, but he didn’t make any errors… and extra outs can destroy those pitchers you’re depending on.

So. Brian McCann and David Ross can catch, and throw, enough. Freddy Freeman can catch and make the plays to keep bad throws from becoming errors, usually. Martin Prado can catch. Alex Gonzalez can catch. Chipper Jones can catch and make many of the plays we need to be made. Jason Heyward can catch and throw. Rick Ankiel can make the catches and throw better than most any center fielder going. And we’ve got good starters, Hudson, Lowe, Hanson, Jurrjens, Minor or Beachy — with some pretty decent guys like Todd Redmond, James Parr, Cory Gearrin at AAA and other sleepers coming pretty strong at AA, and Kris Medlen maybe back by August. We’ve got strength where we need it, although we could use more lefty starters — maybe Venters?

We’ve got enough pitchers to trade for one or two of the young powerhitting outfielders who might be available, like maybe Nelson Riemold, or we might sign a free agent sleeper journeymen like Braves-killer-turned-world-beater Cody Ross, who is not likely to ever be quite as good as he was for the last month, but may turn out to be a Craig Counsell or David Eckstein kind of hitter with 25% more power potential. And though we just bought out Ankeil’s contract, it was a bad contract, and it doesn’t keep us from signing him to a more reasonable contract after he tests the water. After all, KC is not likely to offer him that kind of money again.

We’ve got depth in Omar Infante, maybe Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske, and a great pinch-hitter in Brooks Conrad (without ever putting him on defense maybe.) We’ve got sleepers in Cory Harrilchak for the outfield and Tyler Pastornicky for the middle, both responding to Arizona and Jaime Dismukes hitting instruction and Donnie Ballgame’s leadership.

November has just begun. The Braves are in good shape, given the expected recovery of Chipper Jones especially. And Frank Wren, who has shown himself to be an improving talent judge and deal maker, has got resources to use to build a roster better than that of the brand new world champions, one that can handle the Phillies, Marlins, Mets and dreaded Nats too, and then whip up on anybody in short series that only call for four starters better than anybody elses.

Naboo the Enigma

November 2nd, 2010
8:58 pm

Gonzo pretty much just flat out sucks, it’s obvious they are pinchin’ salary since Wren has so much money tied up in McLousy and flippin’ Kawakami. Brilliant Wren, just brilliant…

He better resign Hinske, dude brings a swagger to the clubhouse, not to mention he rakes.

Bravesfan79

November 2nd, 2010
9:01 pm

LOL @ Mr Bill!! Your gonna have a long rough time as a fan if your ditching the Braves for the Nationals!

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

November 2nd, 2010
9:03 pm

Fine post Hal J.

Don’t know how well Chipper will catch the ball though, a year older and coming off an ACL. Chipper’s one of my all-time favorites, but can he be an almost-everyday starter at this point, and actually play the position well? I tend to doubt it, hope I’m wrong.

Terry Forster's Son

November 2nd, 2010
9:22 pm

Qouldn’t it be ironic if Freeman ended up the reincarnation of LaRoche: a .275/25/85 kind of guy with a great glove. Seriously, what more should be expected out of Freeman? Does he really project to be a consistent .300 hitter? Perhaps he should have been traded last off season and LaRoche resigned at a below market rate deal- which he would have signed. Heck, he got $6 mill from the DBacks!

bjacket

November 2nd, 2010
9:33 pm

What a funny game, Naboo. Kawakami was what, 1-11? And those 11 games he lost mostly by a run or two, 1-0, 2-1. There was a couple of bigger margins, I know. But when he finally pitched and got a 6 run lead and the bp almost blew that for him. I’m sure he’s happy to be on the road again.

What is it that some pitchers get “support”, and some just . . . dont? Is that a clubhouse dynamic, too?

t-bone

November 2nd, 2010
9:48 pm

What about Beau Torbet, when do you think he will come up if he does at all. He was the independent league player of the year hitting .380+?

t-bone

November 2nd, 2010
9:51 pm

And, what about this Julio Teheran I hear he is one of the BEST minor league pitchers on the map.

Hal J

November 2nd, 2010
10:02 pm

Mr. T-J G, I understand your concern re: Chipper’s defense and I’m probably as concerned as you are, but I think he will be smart enough to cheat a little in his positioning, with TP’s experience at 3B helping him there, and I have no concerns at all about his arm or his throwing accuracy; he’s good there. He concentrates on being able to handle bunts, knowing that other teams are going to test him there, forever. I hope Chipper will prove to himself during the spring that he can handle the defensive side well enough… I hope that he continues to hit well enough to stay in the third slot, but if he falls off a little more and some of the other hitters pick up, I hope Chipper finds a way to gracefully accept hitting fifth or sixth in the order, especially if McCann and Heyward have good power years, Prado, Infante and (by about June, I hope) Freeman all have good years with averages, runs scored and improving power. We need more runs and if we stay healthy, even without any significant roster changes, I think we will score a lot more runs than we scored this year. Put that with improved defense (that will come with healthy players too) and strong starting pitching and a great bullpen… and we look pretty durn good, from here.

bobbymahlon

November 2nd, 2010
10:04 pm

Do Not and I say again Do Not Trade Prado for anyone, remember he is and All Star second baseman.

Otis Nixon!

November 2nd, 2010
10:07 pm

I say bring back Otis Nixon for CF! He could probably still out run and out catch what we have seen the last two years!

shmoe

November 2nd, 2010
10:08 pm

get frankie gutierrez

shmoe

November 2nd, 2010
10:10 pm

we need speed. we need defense. we need power.

ugaaccountant

November 2nd, 2010
10:14 pm

These are all good moves and should be coupled with 1 good player signed, preferably Werth. Don’t waste money or roster spots on a bunch of mediocre or worse players like many of the guys the last few seasons.

Mole Head

November 2nd, 2010
10:24 pm

We need a true 300 hitter- RH or SH. Speed in center. RH back up 1B and to say good bye to Diaz.

jason heyward

November 2nd, 2010
10:43 pm

mr bill- that was 14 years ago. simmer you think all of us go crazy just cause we won the world series 15 years ago? no, were happy we did yes but that only takes us so far. we want another ring :)

Smackerel

November 2nd, 2010
10:44 pm

Put Infante in left field – his offense is too good to leave him on the bench, and he won’t hurt us defensively out there. Then you only need one big bat for the outfield. Prado and Infante set the table, Chipper, Heyward, McCann, Freeman and player to be named later supply the power.

Obee

November 2nd, 2010
11:11 pm

Nate will be Comeback Player of the Year next season.

Texas Frenchy

November 2nd, 2010
11:22 pm

Sign Hinske, let Diaz go, Hinske was underused last year by Booby,full time he could hit 20+ dingers & 80+ rbi, but were stuck with McOut in CF

Richard Dawson

November 2nd, 2010
11:24 pm

Yawn. Spend some money and get some players. Or I will continue to watch the CFL during the summer.

Richard Dawson

November 2nd, 2010
11:25 pm

Nate McLouth is the third coming of Dion James and Oddibe McDowell. Get a real CF.

Richard Dawson

November 2nd, 2010
11:26 pm

Matt Diaz was a backup on the worst team in baseball (KC) before Atlanta. Little wonder we suck. Cut him loose.

Gwinnett Braves Bible.com

November 2nd, 2010
11:55 pm

All of you so called Braves fans who are questioning Freeman will be the same fans who in a year or two from now will be telling everyone how they knew Freeman was going to be a good player.

Let’s let the kid play 1st on a regular basis for awhile before we crap on him, oh wait, I forgot what site and the type of fans are on here.

dawgforlife

November 3rd, 2010
12:07 am

we need an owner…it makes me sick at my stomach to hear them talk about Carl Crawford and Jason Worth as impossibilities for the braves…does anyone remember when Ted owned the braves and we were not out of the conversation for any free agent no matter who it was or how much money they wanted?

jason

November 3rd, 2010
1:39 am

building lineups already… don’t see Chip hitting clean up. Look for Prado to lead off with in my opinion batting Chipper second followed by J-Hey, BMac, OF?, McLouth (Yes, he’s not going anywhere), Freeman, Gonzalez. That OF has to be a RH, again to LH dominate. With this line up Jason Werth would be ideal. Not that that would never happen.

jason

November 3rd, 2010
1:41 am

Gwinnett Braves Bible.com, agree, from what I have seen following his progression along with Heyward is that he was not that far behind Heyward. He should improve as the season goes along and then hit the rookie wall the last month. That’s the whole reason for having a back up 1B so Freeman can adjust to a 162 game season.

Jason Smith

November 3rd, 2010
2:02 am

1. LF Infante
2. 2B Prado
3. RF Heyward
4. C McCann
5. 3B Jones
6. 1B Freeman
7. SS Gonzalez
8. CF McClouth

Bench
C David Ross
IF Brooks Conrad
IF Diory Hernandez
IF/OF Erik Hinske
OF Matt Diaz
OF Jordan Schafer

CjDawg

November 3rd, 2010
2:19 am

This site needs to be renamed a bit** and moan palace. That’s all you so called fans do. It’s disgusting.

CjDawg

November 3rd, 2010
2:20 am

Sorry, with the exception of a good core of Braves fans. I apologize to those fans. To the others, I am sick and tired of you backbiters.

David

November 3rd, 2010
3:44 am

Please bring back Hinske.

gotigers72

November 3rd, 2010
4:02 am

I’llbeglad when effin’ Liberty Media sells this team, so somebody that gives a rat’s a** about winning some titles [Arthur Blank?] can buy them.

Phillies go get Oswalt. Giants go get Cody Ross. ETC. Braves go get Rick Ankiel! WTF. Yikes!!! as DOB likes to say.

ChillyMutt

November 3rd, 2010
6:58 am

Have we not released Brooks Conrad yet?

Chipper's ACL

November 3rd, 2010
7:24 am

Now that the options have been picked up on Gonzo and Infante let the moves begin. Lets look at the current roster. First lets face the fact that Infante is not a full time player nor will he be given a position on this team. He will again be used as a multi-purpose reserve. Di we really need to have a player in this roll making 2.5m a season? I say not. Good player but with other needs he gets packaged for either Rasmus or Ellsbury. Gonzo falls in the avg SS group. Problem is he has been injury prone in his career. ‘10 was not the norm. Expect maybe 100 games played. Some would say that’s why you keep Infante. I say no. Gonzo, with Diaz (again do you want a part time player making around 3m?) to TB for Bartlett and a minor league player. TB needs an OF, a vet SS for Brignac, and Bartlett is arb eligible. I’ll pay 5m for a SS that plays good D and has speed. Another OF that would help this team is Pagan. I’m sure the Mets would listen to offers. They need a ton of pitching and the Braves have plenty to offer. Nate, sorry. You’re released regardless of the salary. Reed Johnson fills the 4th OF slot. Hinske should be resigned. Roster should be set with salary room for a mid season pick up if needed.

Kevin James with a bat

November 3rd, 2010
7:58 am

We absolutely need to resign Hinske. He proved to be clutch beyond belief for thr Braves and brings leadership to the clubhouse. He can as another poster stated, “rake”. the downside is that if he is forced to play LF for any extended period of time, Ed Manghan will have his work cut out for him. Hinkse destroyed the turf in LF – literally! I guess that is what happens when you have a buffalo roaming the outfield.

As for the Conrad haters – let the man play. He is clutch too! His errors hurt a little, but a team that can not scratch on the scoreboard hurts much, much more. Seeing the Giants win with their pitching and marginal offense gives the Braves hope. The Giants were hot at the right time, and simply shut down everyone. Kudos to them.

Hot stove is open. Let’s get a bonafide leadoff hitter who we will allow to steal rather than get rolled up in double plays and a power RH bat for LF.

Go Fredi, Go Braves.

braveshoo

November 3rd, 2010
8:03 am

I think McCutchen from Pittsburg is a much cheaper and better option in CF: speed, great defense, some power, good BA and OBP. And Uggla is a great power option for LF, or play him at 2B and move Prado to LF- he can play it well.

submariner

November 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

ChillyMutt….nope. They’ll probably keep him around to come off of the bench to pinch hit. Being a switch hitter and having some clutch hits last year, probably helped him keep a job. Even though he couldn’t catch a cold.

E-6

November 3rd, 2010
8:32 am

Infante – yes but a knee jerk trade last year has backed the Braves into a corner at shortstop. Perhaps we could find an unsuspecting trade partner but unlikely.

We had our best bench in years in ‘10 and Hinske was a huge part of that – needs to come back along, of course, with a legitimate outfielder with either speed or pop.

bravesgrl4life

November 3rd, 2010
8:43 am

Wow, the regulars have abandoned the blog, DOB. Thanks for the new blog.

bluedevilcbw

November 3rd, 2010
8:59 am

Am I the only one who wants to see Heyward hitting 3rd and Chipper hitting either 2nd or 5th? Just not sure that Jones is a 3-hole hitter anymore.

Andy

November 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

I backed Gonzo whole-heartedly to friends that didn’t want to see him come to ATL, “he’ll be great! he can hit for power! he’s a leader!!” But after that last playoff game, watching him play with NO HEART, not running to first, I thought/hoped he would be gone… guess Wrenn knows better?

IDK Y

November 3rd, 2010
9:06 am

GONZALEZ SUCKS!!!!!

Churchy

November 3rd, 2010
9:13 am

Not that this means much but Gonzalez would have been the best free agent at shortstop this year had the Braves not kept him.

Dave

November 3rd, 2010
9:18 am

They Braves lineup already improved by 20 hr’s and 20 batting avg points! TP is not longer the batting coach!

Da Mick

November 3rd, 2010
9:34 am

I’m not sure about all you folks who seem to think Chipper will be a big part of next year’s offense, with some questioning only his defense. Have you seen the man play these last two years? His ability to square up to the ball and drive it appears to be gone. I think he should own up to his promise and take his leave, but I always knew he was just grandstanding. I have appreciated him as a player his whole career, but his tremendous ego is what has kept him from being the true team leader that the Braves have lacked for so long. Now, trying to come back from a major injury to his wheels, at his age, when his eye/bat coordination was already diminished, seems like a sad story that’s been played out by so many other players over the years. At least with Cox gone, we won’t have to play him third in the order, but it’s a lousy collar to have to put on the new manager in his first year here.

rico43

November 3rd, 2010
9:35 am

Actually, I think that’s pretty important in the context of what the Braves are doing. What the Braves get for the price in AGon makes it easier to work in other areas.

dap01

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

Everyone can complain about Gonzo but he had as many hr’s as the CF and LF combined during his stay in ATL.

m

November 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

Thank god a greyhound that Bobby Cox is gone… problem is he left us with that visit Gonzalez… thanks for nothin Bobby.

Tincup

November 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

At least there are a few of you who know the player Freeman was in AAA. Trust me, he is a major leaguer in all aspects. He and Heyward will be long time Braves and take the team far in 2011 and beyond.

Castrologist

November 3rd, 2010
10:11 am

Anybody who says that Hinske was part of the problem last year obviously wasn’t watching. I hope we re-sign him. Dude was clutch, played hard, always was fired up, and his teammates loved him. Oh, and I am glad we are keeping Gonzalez. He’s a hard-nosed ball player.

http://castrologist.tumblr.com

BaseballBuff

November 3rd, 2010
10:13 am

Gonzalez can take a long walk on a short pier. The Braves should chunk him ASAP. After watching that jerk loaf down to first base in the 9th inning of the NLDS elimination game, I have no use for him. The San Fran shortstop misplayed the ball and briefly had his back to home plate, but was still able to throw out the slowly trotting Gonzalez. The game is not supposed to be played that way!

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