No deals for Braves, but they’ve got possibilities cooking

ORLANDO – Left-handed reliever, right-handed outfielder, utility infielder and a new team for Kenshin Kawakami. Not necessarily in that order.

Those were remaining items on the Braves’ to-do list. Considering the way things were popping Monday on a busy opening day of baseball’s four-day winter meetings, the team might be able to check an item or two off this week.

On a day when retired Braves manager Bobby Cox — here in his team advisory role — and new manager Fredi Gonzalez both spent some time relaxing and schmoozing in the crowded meetings-hotel lobby, Braves general manager Frank Wren and his band of assistants, scouts, past and present managers and assorted other team officials also spent a lot of time feeling out other teams in the pursuit of potential trade partners.

Trading Kawakami is a priority, and the Braves have had discussions with a few interested major league teams including Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. The Braves might have to cover about $5 million of his $6.67 million salary in order to move Kawakami, but are motivated to trade him and will probably end up doing whatever it takes.

The Brewers would prefer one of Atlanta’s younger starters, such as left-hander Mike Minor, but the Braves seem as reluctant to trade promising starting pitchers as the Brewers are to part with center fielder Lorenzo Cain, a speedy prospect from Valdosta.

When a rumor spread of Braves interest in Cain Monday at the winter meetings, Brewers officials felt compelled to tell reporters that the team is open-minded about moving players, but comfortable with Cain as their center fielder.

That did little to quell speculation the Braves might pursue the matter further, as they seek outfield insurance in case center fielder Nate McLouth struggles or left fielder Martin Prado has to move to third base to fill in for injury-prone Chipper Jones. (The Braves would have to give up significant young talent to have any shot at getting Cain.)

Jones is coming back from the second major left-knee surgery of his career, and Braves general manager Frank Wren said Monday that Jones’ recovery is on schedule and that strength tests done on his knee last week were encouraging.

Jones has begun swinging a bat and aims to return for spring training, but the Braves must have a backup plan in case he has setbacks before or during the season.

Prado, an All-Star second baseman, is moving to left after the acquisition of slugging second baseman Dan Uggla. The Braves would move Prado to third if anything happens to Jones, who has played as many as 135 games only once in six seasons.

In-house outfield outfield options include Jordan Schafer, who finally seems healthy after missing parts of two seasons for a fractured hand, and Matt Young, tearing up the Mexican winter league after hitting .300 with a .380 on-base percentage at Triple-A.

Another possibility might be recently signed minor league free-agent outfielder Jose Constanca, 27, who hit .319 with a .373 on-base percentage and 34 stolen bases for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate

Cain, 25, hit .306 in 43 games last season in his first major league stint, and .317 with a .402 OBP, three homers and 26 steals in 84 games at Double-A and Triple-A.

The Braves would like to add utility-infield depth, particularly a backup shortstop. And Wren said he would ideally like to add a third lefty reliever to go with Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty, after recently trading Mike Dunn to Florida in the Uggla deal.

“I think our bullpen sets up pretty well right now,” Wren said, “but another left-handed reliever, especially in our division, never hurts. But that’s not [critical]. That’d be a nice-to-have type thing.

“We’d like to improve the bullpen a little bit, left-handed or right-handed. You get to spring training, regardless of how many guys you have, it always seems like you need more. So we’re going to try to continue to do that over the next month or so.”

– by David O’Brien, Braves blog

284 comments Add your comment

eskippy

December 6th, 2010
8:40 pm

bat0894

December 6th, 2010
8:40 pm

bat0894

December 6th, 2010
8:41 pm

count_schemula

December 6th, 2010
8:50 pm

I would love to see Lorenzo Cain in CF.

German Shepherd Dawg

December 6th, 2010
8:50 pm

We just traded a lefty reliever to get Uggla. What happened to O’Flaherty?

Chris from the Rock

December 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Sign Lastings Milledge!

David O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
8:57 pm

We just traded a lefty reliever to get Uggla. What happened to O’Flaherty? — German Shepherd Dawg

This is the third paragraph from the bottom of the very blog you’re responding to:

“The Braves would like to add utility-infield depth, particularly a backup shortstop. And Wren said he would ideally like to add a third lefty reliever to go with Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty, after recently trading Mike Dunn to Florida in the Uggla deal.”

AdirondackDave

December 6th, 2010
8:57 pm

GSDawg — O’Flaherty is on the roster. FW is looking for a 3rd lefty for the bullpen. Can’t have too many lefties for the last 3-4 innings.

Booyah

December 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

Booyah says get a CF.

AdirondackDave

December 6th, 2010
9:02 pm

Cain would be nice but probably unnecessary until/unless McLouth, Schafer, and Young show they are not big league starters.

GT Alum

December 6th, 2010
9:09 pm

The Brewers can prefer all they want, but the Braves apparently don’t have any faith in KK to be a part of this rotation. It also depends on which younger pitchers they prefer. If they want Minor or Beachy or even JJ, they might be able to convince Wren to part with one of them with an attractive enough package. They’d have to bowl Wren over with a package to get Teheran, Delgado or Vizcaino. Hanson might be pretty much untouchable, considering we’re expecting him to have a very good year, and that level of production won’t be easy to replace. The Braves would basically have to count on JJ having another year like 2009 or one of our young pitchers coming up and being lights out.

TheBrave

December 6th, 2010
9:11 pm

What About Jacoby Ellsbury at CF? Massive Speed demon at top of the order… with Prado, Chipper, Uggla, McCann, Heyward, Gonzo, and Freeman… think of the possibilities. Major makeover of the lineup.

Goldenglove002

December 6th, 2010
9:17 pm

DOB, have there been any connections at all between the Braves and Cardinals regarding Brendan Ryan? Reportedly, he’s available. He would also make for a great utility player (SS, 2B, 3B, LF, CF) with very strong defense.

bkhall

December 6th, 2010
9:17 pm

Regardless of what we have in the system, Cain Is an upgrade. That would be HUGE.

JC Boscan III

December 6th, 2010
9:25 pm

Do you know if Gonzalez prefers a 12 or 11 man pitching rotation?

Zach

December 6th, 2010
9:28 pm

DOB, way to nail people for not reading carefully.

AdirondackDave

December 6th, 2010
9:29 pm

I’m amazed that Wren has improved the club substantially already without giving up an prime young talent. The fine tuning he’s up to now hopefully won’t cost us any quality young pitchers. They shouldn’t go for anything less than an immediate impact player.

Winter Meetings

December 6th, 2010
9:31 pm

Go get these guys:
Brendan Ryan – midlevel prospect
Jose Tabata – Beachy and Bethancourt
Ron Mahay – 1 year $1 million

dogman

December 6th, 2010
9:33 pm

I think the Nationals were stupid to give Jason Werth all that money. 18 million per year for a player who has had only one good year and never an allstar until this year. Now Carl Crawford will demand 20 million from the Yankees or Angels who are about the only teams that can afford him. These salaries to these players are absurd to say the least. Washington finished under 500 and paying him all that money will not turn that around, mark my word!

Mr. Melancholy

December 6th, 2010
9:33 pm

I know this is a dumb question, but how did Constanca get away from Cleveland with stats like those at AAA? Did they refuse to promote him to the major league team? Just wondering.

Zach

December 6th, 2010
9:41 pm

Dogman, the nats are starting to develop a dangerously good core. Zimmerman, Werth, Strathsburg, and Harper are all very good. I’m not saying they’re a playoff team, just saying that they’ve significantly improve these past few years.

M10

December 6th, 2010
9:49 pm

I think go for Cain we have seen enough of Mclouth and Jordan its time to move on.MAKE THE TRADE

cracked bats

December 6th, 2010
9:50 pm

We had Ron Mahay as part of the Big Tex trade — he sucked!!

JMAYNE

December 6th, 2010
9:52 pm

If a deal is made I am assuming it is NOT gonna be Cain. The Brew Crew is gonna want a fortune. CF options are Ellsbury (if the Sox get Crawford), Upton Bros. maybe. Bill Hall is a possiblitiy. But its more than likely gonna be someone off the radar. FW is a genius at doing business when nobody is paying attention.

wjones

December 6th, 2010
10:00 pm

“cracked bats

December 6th, 2010
9:50 pm
We had Ron Mahay as part of the Big Tex trade — he sucked!!”

No, he didn’t. Go back and check your records.

bruce mac

December 6th, 2010
10:15 pm

The Nats just insured themselves a future of mediocrity for a long time. Pitching is the only thing worth over paying for and a 7 year committment to Ty Cobb is dumb dumb dumb. Werth also has insured himself that he will get to play for a loser for the rest of his career. However he does have $126 Million so I guess he can live with it. DOB, thank you so much for the quality updates every few days. It is awesome, I can almost smell the freshly cut bermuda.

Joey M

December 6th, 2010
10:17 pm

I would like to see us trade Jair Jurrjens and Arodys Vizciano for Zach Greinke. A package like that should be able to get that trade done. Maybe throwing in a third player that is a third tier player. Having Greinke in a Braves uni would give us memories of Maddux. A dude that can win every night he throws.

Andrew in PA

December 6th, 2010
10:22 pm

DOB, how much trade value do you think Arody’s Vizciano has? Would he land Cain?

Bas Tid

December 6th, 2010
10:23 pm

Yeah, they’re on the verge of signing Cliff Lee. Deluded clodhoppers.

Andrew in PA

December 6th, 2010
10:24 pm

Yeah our outfield depth is pretty bad. That should be Wren’s next move.

MattyRoss

December 6th, 2010
10:28 pm

Mahay definitely did not suck. His stint with the Braves made him one of the more sought-after lefty relievers the following offseason. Got a good deal from the Royals if memory serves.

David O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
10:29 pm

DOB, how much trade value do you think Arody’s Vizciano has? Would he land Cain? — Andrew in PA

Andrew in PA: This would probably be be a real bad time to trade Arodys (there’s no apostrophe) Vizcaino. He’s coming back from elbow injury, needs to prove healthy before regaining his full trade value.

NORRIS

December 6th, 2010
10:29 pm

phillies are in on lee now. If they get him their staff will be arguably the best in the majors.
The Braves would have to do something to combat that. I agree Greinke would be a big help in that rotation and I would part with JJ to do it.

Ugapip

December 6th, 2010
10:31 pm

Cracked bats…Yes, Mahay was part of the deal but like wjones stated earlier, he was very good. I say we go after him as the 3rd lefty for the pen.

BigBrave

December 6th, 2010
10:38 pm

Please get some speed in CF!! Gone are the days of Nixon, Sanders and Gant.

dawgforlife

December 6th, 2010
10:39 pm

I personally would rather trade JJ than Minor or Beachy. There is way too much upside with those guys. JJ, when he is on is lights out; but, there are way too many games when he is not on…and his not on games are pretty bad.

Andrew in PA

December 6th, 2010
10:42 pm

Really you would rather have Beachy over JJ?

roopcas

December 6th, 2010
10:44 pm

DOB love your work… Thanks for the info… What do you think the possibilities are for us to take a chance on a Grady Sizemore? He seems like we could get him at a good value after the last two years. I know it is crazy but every once and a while you have to take a flyer.

GT Alum

December 6th, 2010
10:45 pm

Norris, if the Phillies got Lee, I don’t know that it’d be arguable. Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels would be as good as any rotation the Braves had in the 90s. My understanding was that the Phillies didn’t have a whole lot of payroll flexibility, though, and Lee’s going to demand $20M+/year.

roopcas

December 6th, 2010
10:46 pm

Any Word on Matty? I sure will miss him… Great for the clubhouse.

rainman34

December 6th, 2010
10:51 pm

just watched wren on mlb network. He said they will be looking for lefty for bullpen and right handed hitting outfielder. Cain would be a nice fit i would love to see heyward have a chance to play some center to see if he can play there. That would open up a ton of possibilities.

Look Alive

December 6th, 2010
10:53 pm

Why do we need another outfielder with no power? Did I read wrong or did Cain have only 3 homers last year? Don’t give up any of our young pitchers for another McLouth. If you are looking for a speedy outfielder then sign our former rightfielder wonder child. He would be more productive than a 3 homer man. Don’t give uo the future for someone that doesn’t hit for power in the minors. Anyway, didn’t he slay his brother? Look alive.

jmc0027

December 6th, 2010
10:58 pm

JJ might be a better trade over Minor or Beachy because he is a Boras client… just looking down the road

look again

December 6th, 2010
10:58 pm

Our step- child is having a hard time getting a everyday job..all the teams want him in utility or as 4th OF.

Justafan

December 6th, 2010
11:00 pm

I’d take Cain 50 to 1 over Frenchy.

don

December 6th, 2010
11:04 pm

Let’s not let history continue to repeat itself. The Braves’s management got swindled out of a boatload of young talent in the Drew and Teixeira trades. One would think that playing the fool would get old after a while. Surely Wren isn’t stupid enough to unload a bunch of talent for an unproven outfielder whose main attribute is that he is from Valdosta. Having siad that, I am reminded that Wren has proven to be rather stupid on more than one occasion (We can add Kawakami and that fiasco and the trade for Ankiel and Farnsworth to Wren’s ever-increasing list of “greatest screwups”,).

don

December 6th, 2010
11:07 pm

Yes sir. All the Braves need is to bring back Mayday. Such a move should guarantee that Wren would be declared incompetent and institutionalized. That couldn’t hurt.

rayk

December 6th, 2010
11:12 pm

I slo think Milledge is a possible help in the OF. he’s not what he was projected to be as a former #1 pick, but he’s decent. he’s right handed, has some power and likely isn’t too expensive. as a free agent, he won’t cost players so the risk is limited..

Leon

December 6th, 2010
11:17 pm

I WANT Zach Greike Whatever It Takes! Anybody agrees with me?

David O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
11:17 pm

I slo think Milledge is a possible help in the OF. he’s not what he was projected to be as a former #1 pick, but he’s decent. he’s right handed, has some power and likely isn’t too expensive. — rayk

Milledge has slugging percentages of .373 and .380 in the past two seasons, with 8 home runs, 55 RBI and 41 walks in 677 plate appearances over that two-year span. That’s just bad.

Among the 75 major league outfielders who had at least 400 plate appearances in 2010, he was last in runs scored (38), had the third-fewest RBI (28), fourth-fewest walks (28), and ranked 64th in slugging.

Same ole Braves

December 6th, 2010
11:19 pm

Uggla will help, but how much.

With an over the hill Chipper, an inconsistent McCann, an unproven Freeman and Heyward and no viable CF, I say same ole Cheap Liberty Media Braves. Uggla for one year didn’t bust the payroll. The CEO of LM got a $80,000,000 bonus!!!

No Diaz and no Wagner.. Where did that money go? Cheap basserds…

Bring back Ted or let Mr. Blank buy the team.

If I was a season ticket holder, I would decline. See all this empty seat during the playoff run?

Same crap, different day.

If I was a season ticket holder I would decline!

GT Alum

December 6th, 2010
11:24 pm

Can one of the Mahay detractors please explain why he was such a disaster? He posted a 2.25 ERA, gave up 1 HR, 1 blown save. His K/BB ratio wasn’t great, but he had a very good ERA+. I remember wishing the Braves could’ve re-signed him, but not at the price KC paid. Or is it just anything that’s connected with the Tex trade has to have been a travesty for the Braves?

GT Alum

December 6th, 2010
11:30 pm

Same ole Braves -

How little do you pay attention to what’s going on with the Braves? You blame the Braves for not bringing back Wagner? In case you haven’t heard, Wags isn’t pitching for anyone next season – he’s retiring. Everything I’ve heard was that the Braves did everything they could to try to talk him into pitching again this season. If you’re going to complain about the team the Braves are building, at least educate yourself as to what players are available and which ones aren’t and what they would cost.

shmoe

December 6th, 2010
11:41 pm

DOB,

How cool would it be to just insert apostrophes haphazardly in people’s names or online aliases?

For me, it could be s’hmoe

MitchC

December 6th, 2010
11:46 pm

How different this year is than last year. Last year, we signed a likely HOF bound closer who had an absolutely lights out season for us. This year, I know we needed a bat, so our likely closer will be between second year relievers Johnny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.

We definitely improved ourselves by getting Uggla. If everyone stays mostly healthy, the wild card should be ours.

Is anyone else uncomfortable going into 2011 without a bit more experience in the likely closer candidates? Will Venters and Kimbrel be enough, or is FW going to surprise us, and sign a closer at the last minute?

faux positive

December 6th, 2010
11:52 pm

It would be good to have an experienced pitcher like Mahay back. He was a very good relief pitcher with the Braves. He’s experienced is familiar with the braves way. Maybe that’s not so good.

Ryan Klesko Dude

December 7th, 2010
12:02 am

@Same ole Braves…

Do you think just because we traded for Uggla that we don’t have to pay his salary for the 2011 season?? Wags retired saving us $7-8 Mil and we didn’t tender Diaz saving us about $2.5 Mil = roughly the $10 Mil that Uggla’s gonna get this year. That’s where that money’s going.

Yes, Chipper’s getting older, but he’s a gamer. He’ll come back and have a good year, not the chipper of ‘99 obviously, but a good year nonetheless. Heyward’s young and gushing with potential, there’s no reason to think he isn’t going to get better next year.

I don’t know how on Earth you can even begein to bash McCann. Check his numbers: 4 Silver Slugger awards, 5 consecutive All-Star games and an All-Star game MVP under his belt and he’s not even 27 years old yet. Who else would you rather have???

I’ll give you the CF & Freeman arguements for now.. but that’s only until Spring Training. IF you were a season ticket holder I’d think you know a little more about what your Braves have been up to.. but that’s just it, you’re NOT – so shut pie-hole!

shmoe

December 7th, 2010
12:03 am

good dexter season by the way

Why not

December 7th, 2010
12:16 am

If Brewers are offering Ryan Braun for a pitcher, just saying. Why not trade JJ plus one or two for Braun. He is signed for 5 years at 40.5 million. There’s your OF power.
Now you pro’s give me the 5th.

John

December 7th, 2010
12:24 am

DOB, it sounds like we picked up a great group of minor league free agents……..or am I wrong?? I just dont get how Cleveland let Constanca go and Matt Young seems to have alot of promise as well.

I feel like we dont need Cain at all. There is NO reason to give up any of our pitchers because we dont know how Beachy or Minor will play next season. I also feel like we are stuck with McClouth with Schafer and Young as good alternatives.

J-Man

December 7th, 2010
12:25 am

maybe we should go after Authur Rhodes? since were wanting experience to back up our young closer.

John

December 7th, 2010
12:27 am

And Same Ole Braves sounds like a whiny uneducated bitch to me

shmoe

December 7th, 2010
12:36 am

get Braun and play Prado where exactly

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
12:39 am

DOB, it sounds like we picked up a great group of minor league free agents……..or am I wrong?? — John

I had the same thought when I was writing that article about them. Normally that offseason announcement from the Braves has a bunch of guys that are really mediocre, old, guys whose career stats offer little to suggest they have any shot at doing anything to help a big-league team. But there were several guys on the list this year that made you stop and think they might legitimately be able to succeed if given a shot in the majors, guys with speed and/or high OBP and average, or some power without being entirely one-dimensional, etc.

John

December 7th, 2010
12:52 am

I had the exact same thought. You usually post up some article about a bunch of 30 year olds who have bounced around and could fill roster spots in AA and AAA but I see two potential outfields with similar stats to Cains minor league stats. Now I know stats can be misleading but I feel like our pitching depth should not be wasted on unproven players when we already signed a couple of those.

Same ole Braves

December 7th, 2010
12:53 am

The discussion was about Wagners $6M salary that was saved by his retirement. Where will the money be spent.

Uggla is a one year deal for now. McCann is McCann. He is a barely above average defensive catcher who is a very good hitting catcher. I am a fan but not a big fan of McCann. I think that Ross catching everyday would, overall, be only a slight difference. McCann is a 5 or 6 hitter, not 3 or 4.

I just don’t see how this team is much better than last right now.

If the Yankees can spend $200M and the RS $150M, why are the Braves stuck at $85M? Are the Braves truly a small market team? I say sign Crawford to a 7 years $125M deal and bring back Derek Lee at $7M 2 year. The lineup would be:

Crawford
Heyward
Prado
Uggla
Lee
Jones
McCann
SS
Pitch

That is a NLCS/WS lineup and a $105M payroll. Why is that not possible?

I was a Braves fan before most of you were born. Since the day they arrived in Atlanta. I attended my first game in 1967. Was a season ticket holder for 5 years.

I like Uggla and Prado and the rest are average ML players right now. The offense last year was weak, especially down during the playoff run.

Liberty Media sux.

John

December 7th, 2010
1:03 am

Sounds like you want a bunch of flash and little substance to me. Last I checked the big payroll teams didnt will the world series this year. You want pay Lee that much….whos coming off of surgery and is how old?? Thats a big gamble.

And you think Crawford will take a 7 year $125 million deal? Werth just got paid and Crawford KNOWS hes better….so hes going to want to be paid more than that. Which is also a big risk.

Why put so much money on just a couple players? That just handicaps the teams financial flexibility.

shmoe

December 7th, 2010
1:07 am

mccann is an average mlb offensive catcher?

wow. think again, please.

Same ole Braves

December 7th, 2010
1:12 am

I can tell you the reason the Rays are not worried about Upton and Crawford that much. Look at their minor league teams.. Loaded…

Other than Freeman, what do the Braves have.. Jordon Shaefer?

I am not talking pitching but everyday players. I have watched the Braves get their arses handed to them after winning 15 division titles, 6 years ago, in all but one year, by superior offensive teams with good pitching.

Unless something changes, I will tune out again, just as I did during the Francour years.

$110,000,000.

Phillie fans demanded a better team and got it. Atlanta fans, just as always, are left holding their …….

Lance

December 7th, 2010
1:19 am

DOB, I read at link below that a couple of teams have approached the Pirates about Andrew McCutchen. Could the Braves be one of them? That would be a dream pick up.

http://twitter.com/GordonEdes/status/11872957722796033

BravesFan

December 7th, 2010
5:54 am

Chris from the Rock………………Go back under your rock. Lastings Milledge is nothing but a distraction for ANY team.

bring back blauser

December 7th, 2010
6:12 am

if the braves could pick up braun from milwaukee prado could play the role that infante played. he would still be an everyday player he can play all infield positions and all outfield positions. if it takes jj and another upper tier prospect to get that done, i say do it. if prado can get regular playing time i do not see him complaining. he seems like a gamer to me.

Jesse Stone

December 7th, 2010
6:29 am

LASTINGS MILLEDGE??? Surely you jest. Besides being an average-below average major league player, they guy is questionable at best above the shoulders.

Papadawg

December 7th, 2010
6:54 am

I sure wish we could begin a season without all the question marks about third base which leads to who’s going to play third WHEN Chipper gets hurt

OB

December 7th, 2010
7:55 am

How is Medlen coming along, might he be back towards the end of the season?

ramblingman

December 7th, 2010
8:06 am

“I am reminded that Wren has proven to be rather stupid on more than one occasion”
“Yes sir. All the Braves need is to bring back Mayday. Such a move should guarantee that Wren would be declared incompetent and institutionalized.”

I suppose every move you’ve ever made (and every trade you’ve suggested) has worked out wonderfully…

“I slo think Milledge is a possible help in the OF. he’s not what he was projected to be as a former #1 pick, but he’s decent. he’s right handed, has some power and likely isn’t too expensive. as a free agent, he won’t cost players so the risk is limited..”

He’s a basket case. No thanks.

“I WANT Zach Greike Whatever It Takes! Anybody agrees with me?”

No. ‘Whatever it takes’ can be a dangerous phrase.

“No Diaz and no Wagner.. Where did that money go?”

Raises for other players (and Uggla’s salary)

“Is anyone else uncomfortable going into 2011 without a bit more experience in the likely closer candidates?”

I am quite fine with Venters or Kimbrel as closer/setup.

“The discussion was about Wagners $6M salary that was saved by his retirement. Where will the money be spent.”

And that was answered.

“He is a barely above average defensive catcher who is a very good hitting catcher”

McCann is hands down one of the best young catchers around today. Any team would love to have him. He has handled pitchers like a seasoned vet from day one. He is the one of the best hitting catchers today (and on his way to being one of the best ever). He is a team leader. What exactly is it you want from a catcher? Speed like Otis Nixon, power like Pujols, 100% rate gunning down runners? How about if he can paint your house while rebuilding your 1949 Ford?

“If the Yankees can spend $200M and the RS $150M, why are the Braves stuck at $85M?”

Apples, oranges. Some teams are spending less than $50M, so why are you not proposing cutting the Braves budget? It is what it is. BTW, Neither NY or Bos were in the WS this year. SF had a payroll of $88M and Tex had $76M.

“I was a Braves fan before most of you were born. Since the day they arrived in Atlanta. I attended my first game in 1967”

Me too. I sat on my porch and listened to Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson almost every day.

“I like Uggla and Prado and the rest are average ML players right now”

McCann is way above average. The pitching staff is above average as a unit. The pen was outstanding last year and looks to be comparable. There are some young, gifted players on this team and the farm system is stocked.

yogi2

December 7th, 2010
8:10 am

Jose Constanca and Matt Young can and do hit Triple A (Columbus or Gwinnett) pitching very well. Jordan Schafer can”t. The braves need to leave Schafer in the minors until he proves he can hit. Spring training
is not a real gauge to determine a real hitter. Alot of young minor league players do well in ST but are not ready. Schafers did well at Rome a few years ago. Send back to Rome and let him start over.

toby

December 7th, 2010
8:21 am

We know there’s no way we can keep all of our pitching anyway,so when you have such a surplus,why not do the deal,i like the idea of getting a young speedy CF like Cain,we havent had any speed in a long time,and to have some one capable of stealing say25-45 bases would be ideal,,,,i say do it as long as Miluakee doesnt ask for the moon in a trade!

braveshoo

December 7th, 2010
8:24 am

The only outfielders I would pursue is Brett Gardner from the Yankees or Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates if either is available. They are both young and proven; hit for high average and steal bases; help us defensively up the middle in CF; and can be an important part of our team for years. The only pitchers I would concider trading are JJ or Beachy, not both. If we trade with the Yankees, we can hopefully include McClouth in the deal and free up payroll. I dont know much about Cain, but he doesnt sound much better than Schaffer or Jones, so I think I would stand pat if that is the best we can do.

Bartman n Orl

December 7th, 2010
8:26 am

ramblingman: You sure you aren’t me? Wow! I need to say nothing. You covered it. And here’s a first for me. I have never thanked a blogger before but thanks. I also listened to Milo and Ernie back in the day. Still wish I could listen to him. He was one of my favorite voices. Skip and Pete as well.
I think we get carried on some of the goofy stuff people put in here. I try to remember that even what are seemingly, the dumbest comments can get us thinking in different directions and about different possibilities and then, who knows…well some of them anyway… later.

toby

December 7th, 2010
8:29 am

One other thing you have to consider is this,i would not be crazy about trading JJ,but we all know who his agent is(Boras) so the chances of us getting him signed long term are not good,so if Mialuakee could intice you with Cain & something else,you may have to seriously consider it!!!! Just sayin.

justin1

December 7th, 2010
8:42 am

DOB-
Dont you think its more important to get Greinke than another outfielder?
Sure we could use some speed and a little extra offense, but we all know pitching is what wins games. I mean were talking about a 2009 Cy Young Award winner here!!

Nut Job

December 7th, 2010
8:45 am

Shafer is going to be a stud when its all said and done. We got to see a glimpse of how good he is in the first series vs. Phili in ‘09. A lot of you guys what have never swung a bat don’t understand how crucial your hands are to hitting a baseball being thrown over 90mph with movement. If your hands are hurt, you can’t hit. Just look at Gary Sheffield a while back when he was with the Braves. He had wrist problems and it really hurt his average and power. Now that Shafer is healthy, bye bye McClouth, your time in the ATL is finished, thank God for that.

K with a K

December 7th, 2010
8:57 am

On the minor league free agents topic above. I think the kid we got from KC, Lucas could be a good replacement for Omar he can play all over the field. If we could land Grienke that would be EPIC! Maybe trade them JJ, Delgado, Beachy and another low level prospect.

Uknowme

December 7th, 2010
8:59 am

Most of these posts seem to have the same line of thinking. That thinking is to trade whoever we have for some other players who are no better. I don’t see any sense in doing that. Money, or lack of it, is not Mr. Wrens fault. If he had the money available to the gm of the Yankees or Red Sox he could get whomever he wants, but he does not have that kind of money to work with so he can’t.
Two players are all we need. Give him a chance to find two that we can afford.

BRAVOS FOR LIFE

December 7th, 2010
9:00 am

Nut Job,

Gary Sheffield had an AWESOME 2003 season and very good 2002 season.

Bama Brave

December 7th, 2010
9:02 am

Grienke is not going to the braves. We need outfielders not pitchers.

JS Superstar!

December 7th, 2010
9:02 am

“Shafer is going to be a stud when its all said and done.”

Based on what? A decent spring and one road series in the big leagues 2 years ago? His performance after his injury in his first home series of 2009 was terrible! Since then, he’s struggled with injury and performance in the minors.

I hope JS will be a stud one day, but many of you guys here on the blog are taking a situation where the guy probably has maybe only a 25% shot of ever developing into a decent big leaguer, and passing it off as a no brainer that he’s going to be a “stud!”

That’s some uber optimistic crystal ball you guys have!

Carroll

December 7th, 2010
9:04 am

wish the braves could dump gonzalez and go after bartlet from tampa. have lived in tpa now for a few years and watched this guy and he is fantastic and affordable.

stew

December 7th, 2010
9:20 am

So much depends on Hoss. Should we get a centerfielder or leftfielder or both? If Hoss is OK, with Prado in left get a centerfielder (Cain or McCutchen). Hoss hurt get Braun or Upton (Justin). Really if we get Braun or Upton it doesn’t matter who’s in center.

Tyler

December 7th, 2010
9:27 am

Tell me this…who plays LF if Prado fills in at 3B. What if McClouth is hitting sub .200.

We need to get another Major League proven 4th outfielder. Ty Wigginton would have been a decent fit. He could play all corners.

We still need Left Handed (pref. Vet) Reliever, and a Super Utility or another OF and middle infield positional player.

Why not sign Andruw to a $1 mil contract w/ incentive for plate appearances. That’s a win-win. Right handed power that COULD play CF (not ideal) if needed. He lives in Duluth and is still running with current Braves. Would be a good pickup. With Andruw and Hinske…you’re good.

Mayhay is the ideal pickup for the Reliever.

I’m guessing Wren will let Conrad and Diory fill the void, but would be nice to pick up someone proven. We all saw how much Conrad is a liability out there. Love the guy, but he can’t play everyday. Reason why he was a career minor leaguer.

I’d say Bill Hall, but no way we can afford him. Would probably be ideal to pick up another IF glove via trade.

K with a K

December 7th, 2010
9:36 am

Bama Brave are you saying the Braves have no interest in Grienke? Yes I agree we need a outfielder but to think the Braves would have no interest in bringing in Grienke is a little strong. If the reports are true and The Phils are in on Cliff Lee do you think their fans are saying we already have Doc and Hamels and Oswalt you need to worry about finding a replacement for Werth!

Dan

December 7th, 2010
9:41 am

Here are the 2 trades!!!!

Jair Jurrjens, Jordon Shaefer and Prado for Colby Rasmus

Mclouth, Mike Minor, Christian Bethancourt for Jacoby Elsbury

Outfield with Rasmus LF, Elsbury CF and Heyward in RF !!!!

Jesse Stone

December 7th, 2010
9:44 am

Nut Job

December 7th, 2010
8:45 am
Shafer is going to be a stud when its all said and done. We got to see a glimpse of how good he is in the first series vs. Phili in ‘09
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 was Shafer’s career. Nothing before or since. Brady Anderson anyone?

Jesse Stone

December 7th, 2010
9:44 am

I’m afraid any trade for Rasmus has to include Kimbrel.

Bill D

December 7th, 2010
9:46 am

Just what is Bill Hall’s agent asking for him? I’ve said it before, he would solve alot of problems for 6 positions.

collegeballfan

December 7th, 2010
9:47 am

The Braves have an owner. The Braves baseball management must work with the budget given them by the owner. Same as every other club. Would it be nice to have a $150 million budget for salaries? Sure. But they do not.

So a smart GM works with what he has to work with on a daily basis.

We will find out in the next couple of months how much money the Braves have to spend. Today we do not know.

Personally I would not trade any minor league pitchers, period. 2011 is important but so is 2013 and 2014.

Justafan

December 7th, 2010
9:50 am

Dan ..Braves fans would hang you if you traded Prado.

Bama Brave

December 7th, 2010
9:51 am

Im saying that we dont need any pitching. We he enough. Our outfield is pretty iffy Besides heyward. Moving Prado to the outfield is a mistake.

Justafan

December 7th, 2010
9:53 am

Elsbury (sp) is coming off two years of injuries…thats alot for a question mark.

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