Fredi G. on McLouth, Andruw, and replacing an icon

ORLANDO – It had been more than two decades since anyone except Bobby Cox addressed the media as Braves manager during baseball’s winter meetings. Fredi Gonzalez seemed entirely comfortable in the role Wednesday.

The first-year Braves manager wore a sharp gray business suit and mixed in a few one-liners and anecdotes with  during a 25-minute interview with reporters. All 30 major league managers did the drill over the past three days.

If replacing the iconic Cox carries a lot of pressure, Gonzalez isn’t showing it.

“The ultimate pressure is winning games,” said Gonzalez, a Braves third-base coach under Cox before serving 3-1/2 seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins. “You want to win games. But as far as pressure of replacing him, I’ve never felt that.

“I think that it’s almost like a family member, your dad or uncle, saying, ‘We’ve had this car in the garage in our family for 30 years, here’s the keys. It’s in great shape, just drive it, keep it running.’

“That’s how I felt, the way I’m feeling with that transition. Not that I’m replacing Bobby, replacing a Hall of Famer. It’s just, ‘Here’s the keys. Keep going.’”

Gonzalez’s family continued living in Marietta during his stint as Marlins manager. He said it’s different being in Atlanta since being hired to replace Cox.

“I’ve already been recognized more as the Braves manager in Atlanta than when I was the Marlins manager in Miami,” he said. “And I think it’s because of the history…. There are a lot of people across the South that really love their Braves. Generations upon generations.

“I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and said, ‘Hey, my grandmother loves you guys. She watches every game. She’s 87 years old.’ It’s a good feeling. I’ve been welcomed with open arms.”

He paused, smiled and said, “But we haven’t lost six in a row yet.”

Andruw back with Braves?

The Braves want to add another outfielder with center-field experience, and Gonzalez was asked about the possibility of Andruw Jones returning. The former Atlanta center fielder is a free agent.

“His name has been brought up,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve talked about it.”

They’ve talked about a whole lot of others, too. Jones returning the Braves seems unlikely, based on conversations with others in the organization.

Nate McLouth is penciled in for center field. He’s owed $7.75 million, and the starting job is his to lose.

“We’ve got to give Nate the chance to play every day,” Gonzalez said. “Give him the opportunity, see if we can see what he did with the Pirates two or three years ago. I think it’s there, and we’ll give him the opportunity to do that.”

McLouth hit just .190 with 12 doubles, six homers, a .298 on-base percentage and .620 OPS in 85 games last season, easily his worst statistics he’s produced in each of those categories during five full seasons in the majors. His seven stolen bases also tied his personal low.

McLouth had 20 homers and a .788 OPS in 2009, and in 2008 with Pittsburgh he was an All-Star who hit .276 with a league-leading 46 doubles, 26 homers, 94 RBIs, an .853 OPS and 23 stolen bases.

“There’s spurts where you’ve seen him and gone, wow, this is the guy we saw with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” Gonzalez said. “Now it’s just a matter of getting back to the consistency.”

The Braves have Rookie of the Year runner-up Jason Heyward in right field and Martin Prado in left, though Prado will also work out in the infield so he’s ready to fill in when needed, especially for third baseman Chipper Jones.

They want to add another versatile outfielder in case McLouth struggles again, or Prado has to fill in for Jones long-term. But general manager Frank Wren said the Braves could go with what they have if they don’t find any suitable additions at a reasonable price.

They have left fielder/pinch-hitter Eric Hinske, Jordan Schafer, finally healthy after missing much of two seasons for a wrist fractur; and recent addition Joe Mather, a corner infielder/outfielder claimed off waivers from St. Lous. The Braves think Mather can be the backup first baseman to rookie Freddie Freeman.

“You’ve got an opportunity to go Mather, Schafer, maybe Hinske [as extra outfielders], Gonzalez said. “You can throw Hinske out there in left field. But yeah, it’s open. We’re looking for fourth, fifth outfielders.”

Diaz lands with Pirates

A week after being cut loose by the Braves, outfielder Matt Diaz agreed to a two-year, $4.25 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The multi-year deal was unusual for a non-tendered free agent who’s been a platoon player most of his career. But his strong suits – excels against left-handed pitching and has an outstanding clubhouse reputation – helped attract interest from multiple teams at the winter meetings, including Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Winter Haven, Fla., resident preferred to play on the East Coast. After his wife, Leslee, gave birth last week to the couple’s third child, staying in Florida for spring training was  appealing. The Pirates train in Bradenton, Fla.

Diaz made $2.55 million in 2010 and hit .250 with a career-low .302 on-base percentage and seven homers. He was expendable after the Braves traded for second baseman Dan Uggla and moved Martin Prado to left field.

312 comments Add your comment

aj

December 8th, 2010
8:27 pm

Sorry to see Matt go. He never complained about his playing and
new his role on the team. A real class act. Wish him well with the
Pirates.

Chillahill43

December 8th, 2010
8:33 pm

Swear you are getting better at this blog providing info thang.. Keepup the great work dude!
Go braves!

Chillahill43

December 8th, 2010
8:34 pm

What happened to the real DOB. ? Im digging you again. Maan!! Thx

ryan c

December 8th, 2010
8:35 pm

DOB, any word on other happenings (KK and Brewers discussion)?

BOISESTATEBRONCO

December 8th, 2010
8:45 pm

Gonna miss you Matty D!!

Poorbrave

December 8th, 2010
8:45 pm

Man I look forward to Fredi running the Braves..can’t wait.

Herschel Talker

December 8th, 2010
8:49 pm

Matt Diaz was a bum. Easily replaceable.

NCbravesFan

December 8th, 2010
8:51 pm

Fredi did seem very comfortable in his interview today on MLB Network. I believe getting Chipper back into form will be essential to our success. We should know pretty soon into spring training how that knee is feeling.
Cant wait to see Heyward in his sophomore year in the bigs, Uggla at the plate, and a more consistent hitting lineup than in the past.
Pendleton will hopefully bring some more speed to the bases with him coaching over at first. Who knows what McClouth will do though, hes been a dud. If he ever did round back into form and the lineup looked like this:

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

As for the pitching if D Lowe could bounce back like he did at the end of last year would be amazing, he looked unstoppable and had all the confidence in the world.
Starting 5:
D Lowe
Hudson
Hanson
Jurrjens
Minor or Beachy

If everone stays healthy and everyone comes to spring training in shape and ready to play this team is easily a challenger for the NL East crown.
Cant wait til spring training starts.
Go Braves!!

Poorbrave

December 8th, 2010
8:59 pm

The Braves getting Sherrill and paying 1 Plus million is like DOB buying a bag of popcorn at Winter meeting for $9.00…both over paid.

JMAYNE

December 8th, 2010
9:01 pm

The real lineup that the braves could go to the world series with involves a productive Schafer or McClouth. I would personally love to see Schafer succeed. He could be a top of the lineup producer for years to come. Power, Speed, Defense. Heyward in RF with Schafer in center is a pretty good start.

Schafer 8
Prado 7
Heyward 9
Uggla 4
McCann 2
Chipper 5
Gonzo 6
Freeman 3

Good Balance, Power, little bit of speed. Sounds like a decent one to me.

m

December 8th, 2010
9:02 pm

THANK GOD AND GREYHOUND THAT BUGGER EATING BOOBY COX IS GONE!!! YEA, FREDI G. GET THAT OLD MAN MENTALITY OUT OF THE BRAVES.

jwdavis88

December 8th, 2010
9:02 pm

DOB have you heard if the braves and brewers are discussing a potential trade involving the brewers young centerfielder cain.he would be a nice addition to our outfield.do you know if he is a leadoff type of hitter,dont really know a lot about him bit what i have heard has been good

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
9:08 pm

I have to wonder how many of the folks who are begging for the Braves to trade for Cain even knew who he was a week ago.

JC Boscan III

December 8th, 2010
9:08 pm

An “easily replaceable” bum, huh…?! During his time with the Braves, Diaz batted .305 with 41 HR, 73 2B, 28 stolen bases, and 180 RBI, in spite of missing parts of 2 seasons with injuries. If you remove the 2 injury-plagued seasons, Diaz batted .326 in over 1000 at bats during the other 3 years.
What an ignorant statement………..

JNBRAVES

December 8th, 2010
9:08 pm

Wow Jmayne That’s what I’m talking about I would love to see that lineup.

AtlSlugger

December 8th, 2010
9:17 pm

Don’t you wish the Marlins organization ran the Brewers as well:

KK for Prince!

LOL Freeman can wait another year…HAHAHAHA

David O'Brien

December 8th, 2010
9:28 pm

jwdavis88: Brewers aren’t looking to trade Cain, and would have to be blown away by an offer for him. Braves aren’t going to blow anyone away with an offer for a player who wouldn’t even come in as a starter (since they already have McLouth and are going to give him every chance to keep CF job)

David O'Brien

December 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

ryan c: Braves and Brewers couldn’t get anywhere in discussions. Brewers didn’t want KK, wanted Braves’ younger pitchers, and didn’t want to trade Cain; Braves don’t want to trade younger pitchers, and don’t want CF Gomez from Brewers, they wanted Cain.

Sportsradio PD

December 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

DOB, what would A Jones cost?

Mattie will be missed, a lot! Get Podsednick!!!

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

please bring andruw back he is the best option for the money

TS

December 8th, 2010
9:39 pm

Really glad to hear Diaz landed a 2-year deal. Good for him.

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:39 pm

DOB

do they have the money for andruw and say a utility man

Stacey

December 8th, 2010
9:43 pm

The Braves need power.. I mean like Carl Crawford. Why can’t they break the money out and sigh someone like that..
What a helluva line up that would be? Or they need to sigh somebody who is worth playing and is a good hitter and a defensive player. Matty Diaz will be missed..

Herschel Talker

December 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

DOB – any chance Derrek Lee gets only 1-year offers from other teams and comes back to the Braves for a one year deal on the cheap?

Teabagger Johnson

December 8th, 2010
9:46 pm

I guess McLouth didn’t suck enough last year, so we’ll have to do the insane thing and bring him back as a starter. WTF? Can we please get some owners who give a damn about the team !? ! ? ! No owner in his right mind would allow that to happen . . .

Royceb

December 8th, 2010
9:54 pm

I don’t get why Andruw is such a bad option. Last year he hit 19 hrs in less than 300 AB’s. Heyward hit 18 hrs in 520 AB’s. Average is low but the power is there.

ryan c

December 8th, 2010
10:22 pm

Thanks, DOB.

Oregon Braves fan

December 8th, 2010
10:29 pm

so the braves are an old car???

ATLfan15

December 8th, 2010
10:30 pm

@JCBoscanIII: nice post. and Diaz absolutely OWNED the Marlins too; his career BA against them is almost .400 (or something like that).

really looking forward to spring training….GO BRAVES!!

bat0894

December 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

i would enjoy a McClouth/Andruw platoon in CF

bugger boy

December 8th, 2010
10:36 pm

why don’t we trade mclowth for sombody like votto?

urban redneck

December 8th, 2010
10:42 pm

really stoked for matty d. wish we could have found a place for him here–total class act. best of luck to him.

and for crying out loud, please–no andruw jones. he’s lazier than a rug on valium.

braves want cain because he’s from the valdosta area. love them homegrown boys.

Chief Knockahoma

December 8th, 2010
10:47 pm

I feel pretty good about the Sherrill pickup for that price. I saw that guy 2 years ago and thought he was pretty dominating for Baltimore. He admitted several days ago his mechanics were really screwed up last year. Roger seems to be pretty good at helping pitchers correct mechanics, and lets hope Fredi uses him effectively.

In Fredi I Trust

December 8th, 2010
10:49 pm

DOB,

Are you by chance a Nate McLouth fan? I understand that he is owed big money for next season and yada, yada, yada, but it seems like you back him up every single time someone on here says they prefer to have a different player manning CF.

How come we don’t hear you say something like ” Nate McLouth is not the answer in CF and unfortunately the Braves have to start him because of his contract numbers”? There are many more options out there for the CF job, but lets face the facts. The Braves are handcuffed because McLouth is owed so much and they can’t afford to go out and get his replacement via trade (Ellsbury or Cain), and they don’t want to look stupid by having an internal replacement (Schafer) starting making $400,000 while McLouth is making 7 mill for riding the pine.

It would just be nice to hear the truth on this matter. McLouth sucks, and until he is gone the Braves won’t have a viable option for CF.

Chief Knockahoma

December 8th, 2010
10:53 pm

I would like to see Andrew come back as a 4th outfielder. He showed he can still be a vauable bench guy at a good value last year. I would also really like to see Matt Young get a shot. He has more than earned a chance. Who cares how old he is? It’s not like we’re looking to sign him to a multi year deal, and he’s not an outfielder of the future type of guy.

Poorbrave

December 8th, 2010
11:01 pm

The Rays talking to Brewers about Cain said “He was as good as Upton on defense”. If they get Cain, Upton will be on the trading block.
Which would you rather have? Bet the Rays will ask for more than Brewers do for Cain.Think the Braves will be interested in Upton?

benchwarmer

December 8th, 2010
11:04 pm

Watching Andruw strike out on rediculous pitches in every crucial situation he encountered grew more than old for me long ago. I couldn’t bear to see that smirk in a Braves uniform ever again. Great talent no brain. Miserable waste. No NO NOOO! to Andruw. Please.

Poorbrave

December 8th, 2010
11:06 pm

Sherrill after checking more is a very good pick-up. If he can return to 2009 form Braves will have stole a bargin. When he is on its lights out. Hope he is ready for the challenge.

ryan c

December 8th, 2010
11:08 pm

benchwarmer,
you are talking about the same andruw that averaged 34hr 103 rbi and an .839 ops while playing the best centerfield probably in the history of the game, correct? well, i guess you cant satisfy anyone.

if you didnt like andruw, i’m sure you’re just going to love dan uggla.

Mike in Canton

December 8th, 2010
11:13 pm

Ugh…. can we get some bloggers who actually know something about baseball, please? Or is that too much to ask? Crawford as a power hitter? Andruw as a sixth outfielder? Posednik as a seventh outfielder? Over paying a veteran left handed reliever at $1 million? C’mon people.

.

December 8th, 2010
11:23 pm

everyone can’t be as smart as you..mike in canton

JC from DR!

December 8th, 2010
11:26 pm

Diaz is finally what I always pictured him to be, a Pirate.

Good luck to him!

Just Wanna Say

December 8th, 2010
11:37 pm

Not sure if it would be good, but Andruw is one of the best center fielders of all time, and if you can’t see that then you are a fool.

Cameron

December 8th, 2010
11:41 pm

Red Sox sign Crawford.. Now they can trade Ells to Atlanta!! =]

Edge

December 9th, 2010
12:00 am

time to blow away boston and give them Vizcaino and Beachy (more maybe if they want it) for Ellsbury.

Edge

December 9th, 2010
12:00 am

Wren needs to MAKE THIS HAPPEN…

3 postseasons in our run where we had fewer than 60 steals and this guy can steal 70 in a year…

Edge

December 9th, 2010
12:02 am

@ Justwannasay

You are correct partially. Offensively I don’t think Andruw is in the discussion, but Andruw’s defense was soooo good, according to uzr, gold gloves, honestly, I think he’s the only CF that has legitimate claims to Mays over who was better.

just say no

December 9th, 2010
12:20 am

No to Andruw. No, no, no! He couldn’t hit for the last four years, he gets in shape and now everyone wants him back in Atl? He still can’t hit. Hopefully McWhiff and Schafer both get back where they were, we’ll need em both in the OF when Chipper goes down…again. Prado is an upgrade at third in every way. 5 years ago, maybe not but now, most definitely. Because of this, the extra outfielder is going to be very important. Do you want Hinske out their everyday? Is Mather an everyday guy? I hate stating this over and over, I’ve loved watching the guy through the years, but Chipper won’t play over 100-120 games, we’ve gotta be ready for that.

Mr. Baseball

December 9th, 2010
12:22 am

How about the chairman of Liberty Media, the guy who makes more than the entire Braves payroll – where is that guy when it comes to landing marquee players like Crawford and Lee? Do you think he might forgo a month’s salary to pick up a blue chip free agent like that?

Didn’t think so.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
12:40 am

I have to say this. I hate the Sox and Yanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They buy their playoff appearances every year and we will never have anything. Its sad that there is no salary cap. And they actually wonder why the ratings are soooooooo low for play-off baseball its because that there are only about 7 teams capable of winning a Championship. Its not how good yous GM office is but instead how you throw your $$$$ around. Granted SF just won this last year but they wont be nowhere near the series next year. Teams with good front offices can make the play-offs Ex. Twins or A’s. But they will never win until an active salary cap of $120 million is established. Because of the fact that most markets have no hope of even making the play-offs the fans lose interest and deminished ratings. Remember the NFL had it right but even now they are messing it up. But we need an equal playing field and a new owner (Arthur Blank!!!!!!!!)

gcs

December 9th, 2010
12:46 am

So the choice is McLouth, Mather or Schafer – yuck!
I am not so sure Andruw can play CF anymore.
I hope Matt Diaz becomes an All-Star in Pittsburgh.

.

Big Braves Fan

December 9th, 2010
12:46 am

I think that Mike Cameron is who we might end up with instead of Ellsbury. Wouldn’t be the worst option, with the lineup looking like this:

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

or

1. Prado 3B
2. Heyward RF
3. McCann C
4. Uggla 2B
5. Cameron CF
6. Freeman 1B
7. Gonzalez SS
8. McLouth LF

Big Braves Fan

December 9th, 2010
12:52 am

I agree with those talking about a salary cap. If the MLB bigwigs would adopt the previous NFL plan, the Braves, with their front office and management team, could be appearing in/winning the World Series every 3 to 4 years. Can you imagine if there was a cap during the 1991-2005 run? Yankees might have won two with us winning at least two more.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
1:00 am

Before there is a salary cap the owners will need a hold out and to make sure that there is a salary limit and that the contracts are not guarenteed. Then establish a salary cap. To make it fair make sure that the contracts are non-guarenteed and give them 3 years until you enforce the salary cap.

BB FAN

December 9th, 2010
1:03 am

Andruw Jones would be a great fit for the 4th outfielder spot. And I doubt he would want more than a 1 year, 1 to 2 mill deal. The guy can still hit HRs. And that is what the Braves outfield needs…power. They have had the worst outfield power production (or close to it) in MLB since Andruw left after 2007.

The Braves would be crazy not to want him for their 4th outfielder. He will likely only hit .230-.250 but he’ll hit a homerun about every 14.5 atbats (Last year and the year before). There’s never been any stories of him being a bad influence or anything like that in the clubhouse. I know he still works out with many of the Braves in the offseason so he’s obviously liked by the players. He’s a perfect fit.

nashvillewill

December 9th, 2010
1:12 am

Offseason moves not impressive. Uggla for Infante–Infante was the Braves’ best player from May to Oct and that’s a big loss. Uggla is fine and hopefully will provide power, but the Braves have a history of power guys coming in and flopping (remember Texiera? and McClouth was supposed to have power). It is depressing to see teams go on the cheap while the Yankees, WhiteSox, Phils gobble up all the available talent. I think the fans should demand a salary cap and go on strike til it is implemented.
Other than Fredi replacing Cox, I see little improvement so far. We’ll see what Fredi can get out of these guys, but Gonzo was horrible, McClouth appears done, Freeman is unknown, Chipper is unknown, can Prado bounce back, etc. Too many question marks to answer. Teams with this many unknowns typically finish middle of division at best unless someone emerges. Don’t get too excited Braves fans; this year does not portend well.

bravesin10

December 9th, 2010
1:18 am

I agree bring Andruw back. If Chipper were to get hurt or not come back completely healthy you slide him into LF when you move Prado back to 3B. At worst you could platoon Andruw with McLouth or have him play 2-3 times a week. If Chipper gets hurt we need power over speed. I doubt any team offers him more than 1 year and more than $2 million. Trade Kawakami to the Orioles or Pirates and take that 1.5 to 2 million we will get back for him and use that on Jones.

David O'Brien

December 9th, 2010
1:28 am

Too many question marks to answer. Teams with this many unknowns typically finish middle of division at best unless someone emerges. Don’t get too excited Braves fans; this year does not portend well. — nashvillewill

“We’re doomed. It’ll never work. We’ll never make it.” — Glum

SoCalBrave

December 9th, 2010
2:16 am

McLouth stats for september after his call up last season:
51 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 3 SB, .275 BA, .345 OBP, .549 SLG, .894 OPS
If he plays a full season with 500 at bats, with let’s say 400 productive at bats like that and 100 wasted at bats where he gets nothing, he will still have a decent year of 20+ hrs, 30+ doubles, 25 sb, .250 ba.
Why wouldn’t anyone give him a chance?

JC Boscan III

December 9th, 2010
2:22 am

One addition to McLouth’s September stats after call-up — He also had two homers taken away on leaping grabs, including a grand slam, I believe. I think they both were hit to dead center field, which is good sign that he was getting away from the 100% pull swing… No reason to be hostile until we see if he can make a comeback…..

Mike in Canton

December 9th, 2010
2:27 am

You guys are going to have to give up on the whole “get (insert name here) to play CF” crap. Its not going to happen unless we trade McLouth away. And no GM in his right mind would trade away any decent prospect or younger player for either him or Kawakami. We’re just going to have to hope like Wren and Gonzalez that either McLouth will be his old “Pittsburgh days” self or Schafer will finally become the complete and healthy player they banked on two years ago.

Mike in Canton

December 9th, 2010
2:31 am

@nashvillewill

Please look at Infante’s stats as a starter at the end of the year compared to those in which he filled the utility role. His numbers dropped off as a full-time starter, although they were still very good. Now compare those numbers to Dan Uggla as a starter. Heck, just compare their career numbers.

Oh and if you think Texiera flopped, please look again.

john

December 9th, 2010
2:40 am

freddi looks ready, hope so as for the line up Schafer been a dud and mclouth what ever trade him with someone else for choo staring 5 and bullpen i would like another solid closer guess not so lets go BRAVES

CJDawg

December 9th, 2010
3:18 am

We will end up missing Matty D. Herschel Bsh!t…love to meet you somewhere and fatten the lip. You talk and talk and say nothing. Matty D hustled every time he was out there. I can’t stand so called fans like you. Matty D could hit anybody if given a shot….he will be missed.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
3:23 am

For the record I do believe that the Braves will make the play-offs next year. Ant thats from the front office making terrific Draft and trade decisions (except McClouth of course) and getting the most from a limited funding for free agents. But its not fair for Boston and the Yankees to just spend and buy their play-off spot. If I’m a Blue Jay fan I know that the best I can be is 3rd and that team is actually really good, actually they are better than anyone in the AL central division. Now I do think maybe going to a 12 or 16 team play-off system with a 154 game schedule might garner more interest because it gives teams like Toronto, K.C. and Pittsburgh hope that if their front office makes quality choices that they will have a chance. But realistically this sport needs a salary cap and revenue sharing, to give a fair chance. The smartest and best should be rewarded not the richest.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
3:24 am

For the record I do believe that the Braves will make the play-offs next year. And thats from the front office making terrific Draft and trade decisions (except McClouth of course) and getting the most from a limited funding for free agents. But its not fair for Boston and the Yankees to just spend and buy their play-off spot. If I’m a Blue Jay fan I know that the best I can be is 3rd and that team is actually really good, actually they are better than anyone in the AL central division. Now I do think maybe going to a 12 or 16 team play-off system with a 154 game schedule might garner more interest because it gives teams like Toronto, K.C. and Pittsburgh hope that if their front office makes quality choices that they will have a chance. But realistically this sport needs a salary cap and revenue sharing, to give a fair chance. The smartest and best should be rewarded not the richest.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
3:24 am

For the record I do believe that the Braves will make the play-offs next year. And thats from the front office making terrific Draft and trade decisions (except McClouth of course) and getting the most from a limited funding for free agents makes last years run more impressive. But its not fair for Boston and the Yankees to just spend and buy their play-off spot. If I’m a Blue Jay fan I know that the best I can be is 3rd and that team is actually really good, actually they are better than anyone in the AL central division. Now I do think maybe going to a 12 or 16 team play-off system with a 154 game schedule might garner more interest because it gives teams like Toronto, K.C. and Pittsburgh hope that if their front office makes quality choices that they will have a chance. But realistically this sport needs a salary cap and revenue sharing, to give a fair chance. The smartest and best should be rewarded not the richest.

J-Man

December 9th, 2010
3:27 am

i made my corrections……… guess 3rd time is a charm lol

Edge

December 9th, 2010
3:41 am

lol @ buying playoff appearances.

People are so stupid when they make such grand statements as that?

Did the Braves not buy their playoff appearance or was everyone just volunteering their time to Atlanta this past season?….

Thats what I thought

Salary cap does nothing. As the value of the dollar plummets and wages increase, a salary cap is not gonna help a team like the Braves who’s management thinks they can drop salary every year and still contend. What we need is a salary floor where a team has to spend so much money.

and bottom line:

IF YOUR A FAN OF THE BRAVES, AND WANT TO SEE BIG NAME FREE AGENTS, GO TO A DAMN GAME EVERYONCE IN A WHILE. Yankees and Red Sox only spend that money because they are making more, and selling out their stadiums.

Quit bitching and actually do your part so the braves can afford to sign these contracts, quit coming online during games to talk about how bad our management sucks and how we never spend money, go to a few games a year, spend your money on the Braves and shut the hell up about the way the team is running if your not doing this because you have no right or means to criticize this team.

Quit sitting around hoping this team falls into the hands of someone like Ted Turner again. Its not gonna happen anytime soon. Deal with it.

And lets stop bitching about Liberty’s CEO salary…if your boss came to you and said: “Hey we are gonna raise your salary four fold this coming year”

Are you gonna say: “No lets use that money to help our sister company and get some more workers in so it can increase production”…

hell no you aren’t so lets not bitch about him and his money…

Tommy in Kentucky

December 9th, 2010
4:07 am

1. Martin Prado LF
2. Nate McClouth CF
3. Jason Heyward RF
4. Dan Uggla 2B
5. Brian McCann C
6. Chipper Jones 3B
7. Freddie Freeman 1B
8. Alex Gonzalez SS

BN – Eric Hinske
BN – Jordan Schafer
BN – Joe Mather
BN – David Ross
BN – (free agent back up SS)

1. Tim Hudson
2. Derek Lowe
3. Tommy Hanson
4. Jair Jurrjens
5. Kris Medlen

RP – Eric O’Flaherty
RP – Scott Proctor
RP – George Sherrill
RP – Scott Linebrink
RP – Peter Moylan
SU – Johnny Venters
CL – Craig Kimbrel

Conyers Braves Fan

December 9th, 2010
4:52 am

DOB: I liked the answers and comment Freddi made in his interview. I believe he will be a great fit in Atlanta.
As far as the lineup and roster decisions go, I defer those decisions to Wren, Freddi and the coaches.
I do enjoy reading what all these blogger “experts” have to say but I had rather not sound off myself. It will be
what the Braves organization decides it to be. I will just have fun keeping up with every game regardless of the outcome.

FJ10

December 9th, 2010
6:45 am

A few things –

More profit (attendance) does not mean big dollar free agent signings…you are naive to think they would spend more money when they already sell out. Spend money, sellout or sellout, spend money? This is a chicken, egg question.

McClouth would be gone if the Braves could eat part of his salary but that designation already belongs to Kawakami so we have to try McClouth. If he is not doing well by June he’s out, either bench, Triple A or traded.

Arthur Blank owning the Braves? Yeah I’d love to see him standing on the field in the 3rd base coaches box next to Snitker during the games. Or would he just stand in the dugout?.

old timer

December 9th, 2010
6:47 am

Can Andruw still play center? Seemed like he must have had a leg injury the past couple seasons. Played right instead of center and DHed. He is a good fallback option if he can still run. But I think they’re going to trade for someone who can lead off and play above average center field.

If not, maybe sign Langerhans, who can at least go in and play great defense when we have a lead. Shift McLouth, if he is the starter, to left, where he should be playing if he can hit, and Prado to third and rest Chipper, whose range is not limited. With that bullpen, they can think about doing this after 5 or 6 innings if they are ahead.

old timer

December 9th, 2010
6:48 am

Oops, I meant to say that Chipper’s range is now limited.

braveshoo

December 9th, 2010
6:56 am

A proposal: The Pirates are at least interested in KK. They need starting pitching. I suggest KK and Beachy and 6m to Pirates for McCutchen. Pirates get 2 starting pitchers, one who is a great young pitcher they can control at the league minimum for 3years, for a total of 1m. We get a great young Cf who can bat leadoff and help us tremendously and we save 500,000 we owe to KK.
If this doesnt work, we can try KK, Beachy, McClouth and 12m for McCutchen. Pirates get 2 starting pitchers and a CF for 1.5m (500,000 each). The pirates may be able to move KK or McClouth at the trading deadline if they have a good 1st half for prospects, and the worst case scenario for them is they end up with a great young pitcher they can control for 3 years at the league minimum for a great young CF who will be arbitration eligble next year. We get the CF we need not only this year but next year and beyond because regardless of this year, we will never tender McClouth next year and we will need a Cf. We save 1m total on the KK and McClouth contracts and probably secure the pennant.

Sid

December 9th, 2010
7:14 am

JC you were right on about Diaz. Look forward to next year but still concerned about CF. Really need to add nother bat in the outfield. Here’s hoping that Fredi drops Heyward in the lineup. He’s not suited for the #2 hole; never was, never will. As for Sherrill – a waste of money.

Sid

cp

December 9th, 2010
7:19 am

Dave, is there any chance that the Bravos might look at Jeremy Hermida? He’s a free agent now, lives in the ATL, and Fredi knows him from Florida.

rainman

December 9th, 2010
7:21 am

It would take a miracle for McClouth to have a great year and for Chipper to last the entire season. Not to mention that neither will even be on the team after this season.
I wish Liberty Media would jack-up the budget this year so that we could get a quality centerfielder that can hit and has the speed to lead-off. Next year there should be a lot of salary dropping off the payroll — so if they could just suck it up for one year, the Braves could have a chance this year.

rainman

December 9th, 2010
7:30 am

Isn’t this the last year for Lowe’s 15 mil./yr.? KK, McClouth, Chipper, etc. should all be off the payroll after this year.
That’s well over 40 million right there.

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:00 am

What does it hurt to bring in Andruw and let him compete for an OF spot ? If he’s bad then nothing is lost. Why do the Braves owe McLouth a shot at being a starter ? For $7 million bucks alone not because of his playing ability. Players like McLouth usually get sent back to the minors when they hit .190 and in a few years quit baseball period. But the Braves give him a starting spot. Unfathomable. In life or baseball opportunities should be earned not given. Mclouth has not earned a starting CF position.

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:02 am

braveshoo, why not send KK,Beachy,and McOut and $10 million cash to Pitt for McCuthchen ?

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:04 am

rainman, you may be autistic but you are DEAD RIGHT ! Relying on oft-injured Chipper and no hit McOut is very tenuous at best. If a mere fans like myself and yourself can see it why can’t Frank Wren ? Oh yeah, they have the Prado to 3rd and no 3B plan ready if Chipper gets innjured. What if Chippers injured and McOut is hitting .075 in April ?

BRAVOS 4 Life

December 9th, 2010
8:06 am

Braves need to bring back ANDRUW (less than 2 million + incentives)

He needs to finish his career here

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:08 am

Its pretty dang sad that a good CF is standing between winning and losing. How many offensive rallies will pop up and K McOut kill next year ? I recall about 60 last year.

Dumb Braves Fan

December 9th, 2010
8:08 am

More dumb trade proposals by Shamrock Lucky and braveshoo

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:10 am

If the Braves were my team McOut would be competing for the 4th or 5th OF spot.

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:10 am

Enter your comments here

Shamrock Lucky

December 9th, 2010
8:12 am

Any trade proposal getting rid of McOut & KK is not dumb.

Dumb Braves Fan

December 9th, 2010
8:14 am

UNREALISTIC

Do you honestly think the Pirates will give us a STUD CF for 2 washed up players?

Pirates can wait until the trade deadline and get 2 top prospects.

.

December 9th, 2010
8:14 am

Bravos 4….he did finish his career here.

stew

December 9th, 2010
8:16 am

Andruw – best defensive centerfielder ever! Can he still play center? He hasn’t in a while.
McLoser – could bounce back. He’s got no arm and I don’t want acenterfielder who can’t throw.
Sherill – 6.69 ERA tells me he ain’t worth 1.2 mill. 1.2 to get one batter out a game!
Cain – Brewers want Minor not Beachy
McCutchen – go for it
J. Upton – in a heartbeat

.

December 9th, 2010
8:16 am

It is if you expect value back for nothing.

Braves Fan # 25

December 9th, 2010
8:17 am

BRING BACK ANDREW ! # 25 BACK IN CF

Jesse Stone

December 9th, 2010
8:20 am

No on Jeremy Hermida. Saw him play a lot down here in FL. He’s a butcher in the field and struggles mightily at the plate. What is the upside to acquiring him?

Justafan

December 9th, 2010
8:23 am

Nothing Jesse…good (cold) morning to you.

NY BRAVES FAN

December 9th, 2010
8:25 am

Forget Andre, now that the Red Sox got Carl Crawford the Braves need to send the Red Sox whoever they want for Jacoby Ellsbury. This is the missing piece the Braves need to be a real contender. He is a speedy top of the lineup guy who is under contractual control for a while. I’m guaranteeing 100% that without a pure leadoff hitter who can still bags, the Braves will be reeling before the trade deadline to find one and or we will be blogging next winter on how that is the Braves offseason focus and our demise to 2011. Let’s plan ahead Bravos and go get ELLSBURY!!!!!

Justafan

December 9th, 2010
8:26 am

That car Fredi was talking about driving has already put on a couple recap tires..hope they don’t blow out.

Justafan

December 9th, 2010
8:30 am

Ellsbury has had injuries the last two years..we don’t need another problem. he will end up with Padras in the player to be named later for Conz deal.

NY BRAVES FAN

December 9th, 2010
8:33 am

justafan- Ellsbury has not had injuries the past two years. Last year he hurt his ribs early on and did nothing in 2009 he played 153 games scored 94 runs and stole 70 bases. That being said, what are you talking about?

Richard Dawson

December 9th, 2010
8:47 am

Glad to see Diaz gone. Now if we could get rid of Chipper…

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