12:10 am November 1, 2011, by David O'Brien
November 3rd, 201110:07 am
Looks like the A’s are expecting to offer arbitration to Willingham meaning he would cost our 1st round pick. I don’t know with all the health risks he has that its worth it.
November 3rd, 201110:08 am
I am the eggman……..
November 3rd, 201110:09 am
McFann O O o Get Well Soon, Nolie!!… I take McCann at his word that he’d like to finish his career in Atlanta, but economics are economics. If Wren offered McCann something close to what he desires, McCann would likely make the accommodation. But if there’s much difference with length of term and dollars, I think McCann would sensible go where a team better matched his ask.
Having said that, I believed Uggla would play the market and not sign for less with the Braves. So much for my crystal ball!
November 3rd, 201110:10 am
It’s okay, McFann. Mac had fluffy hair at one point. That’s all that matters.
November 3rd, 201110:14 am
Albert Pujols 6′3 (3/4)
Brian McCann 6′3″(1/4)
Folks, we are getting all worked up about things that won’t be considered for another year. I really don’t think the Braves are as concerned about Mac’s contract today as some bloggers are.
I’m more curious about our SS and our bench for next year.
November 3rd, 201110:16 am
The A’s are expected to offer Willingham (Type A) and David DeJesus (Type B) arbitration, as Slusser notes.
There is no reason not to offer it to Willingham. He’s a Type A free agent and made 6 million last year. That’s not a ton of money and if he gets a 2-3 million increase, I’d bet the A’s would be fine to bring him back on a one year deal. But I don’t see Willingham taking that sort of offer when he should probably get a two or three year deal for around 8 million per year anyway. Just a guess on my part.
November 3rd, 201110:17 am
DS1… You, sir, are right.
November 3rd, 201110:18 am
I really don’t think the Braves are as concerned about Mac’s contract today as some bloggers are.
You’re probably right. Wren will go the route of wait and see after 2012 – then he’ll talk shop with Mac’s agent.
November 3rd, 201110:19 am
Any speculation on Heyward’s HR’s and RBI’s?
November 3rd, 201110:20 am
Yeah there’s no risk in the A’s offering Willingham arbitration but it may close up his market if teams aren’t willing to part with a top draft pick for an oft injured outfielder. It may end up putting him with a team that has a protected first round or a team with enough money they can pass on the draft.
November 3rd, 201110:21 am
Even if Beltran or Sizemore are in the Braves price range (which I agree with others that think they are not), would Wren be interested in signing these guys, given their injury risk?
Last season, we saw Heyward, Chipper, Prado and BMac miss time due to injuries. I don’t know if Wren will want to add a player who is a big injury risk.
November 3rd, 201110:22 am
its silly that an article about a 20 year old catching prospect who may be starting to figure some things out has triggered doubts about the perennial all star and silver slugger winning catcher we have batting the middle of our order.
brian mccann is the face of this team. of course you extend him if you can, and of course you pay him what he is worth, as long as its possible. i say go ahead and lock him up for another 5 or 6 years. it would be stupid not to.
Willingham has put up some good numbers. The only scary thing about him is his injury history. I think he has had some back issues. But if the Braves could get him some off days, maybe he’d be a good addition?
November 3rd, 201110:26 am
From Ken Rosenthal:
Javy Vazquez “50-50″ on whether he’ll play in ‘12, source says. Depends upon team/environment. Strong east-coast preference.
And Willingham is similar to Uggla in a lot of respects. He doesn’t hit for a high average, he takes a few walks, and hits a good number of homers.
I can see it now: “That bum only hits homers when the game is way our of reach, or when we are way ahead!”
November 3rd, 201110:27 am
DAP… I don’t know. A “Face of a Team” can make a player awfully expensive. Catchers are notorious for breaking down in their thirties. I think the notion that Wren waits until after 2012 to evaluate McCann’s continued play for the Braves is sensible.
November 3rd, 201110:30 am
DS1 – Willingham, in addition to the injury issue, made $6 million last year. Not sure how we even afford that much for someone to fill in for Prado and Heyward – cause that’s what Wren’s looking for – NOT a full time corner outfielder who makes almost as much as we have to fill all our needs.
McFann O O o Get Well Soon, Nolie!!
November 3rd, 201110:32 am
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…I’m sure he’d take some kind of a discount.
Soph Mac had fluffy hair at one point. That’s all that matters.
Yeah…it was great while it lasted… It’s Jeff Bennett’s fault that it’s no more…
Ease @ 10:14—
Good grief, if you’re gonna split hairs…
Our team hits enough homers. Is it possible that we could trade for an outfielder that has a good OBP? We need more baserunners for our bangers to knock in.
Uggla 30+, Heyward 20+ (hopefully), Prado 15, Freeman 20+, Mac 20+, Gonzo 15 (assuming we resign him), Chipper 15+, Hinske 10, Ross 5+
I’d say we hit enough homers. Now if we can just get more runners on base in front of some of those homers………….
November 3rd, 201110:33 am
I bet Andruw could be had for under $2mil per… worth the gamble in my opinion.
November 3rd, 201110:34 am
I like McCann all year long, but if it was a situation where the game was on the line, just needed a hit to tie the game, I’d take Yadier Molina, the guy is an assassin when it counts. He doesn’t try to do too much, just hit a linedrive to RF, or wherever it’s pitched, he goes with it.You can’t strike him out in those situations. Just sayin. But for 162 game schedule McCann is the mann!
Agreed. See my last comment at 10:32
November 3rd, 201110:35 am
I’d still take McCann in single AB.
November 3rd, 201110:37 am
Mac is the exception to the rule that cathcers seldom are the hitting machine he has become. It’s tough to rely so heavily on a players bat when he has to rest every 5th day. Down the stretch in September, Freddie played Brian way too much and it became glaringly obvious that being behind the plate exposes catchers to way more injury than the average position player. If the Braves had a game plan for his future to keep him healthy it would have to include a position change. Where does he play?
November 3rd, 201110:39 am
DAP, good stuff at 10:22. You summed the situation up quite nicely. Reminds me of when Flowers was doing well in the AFL. Shiny new toy sort of thing for some. And it doesn’t help that there are a few bloggers here that knock McCann for whatever reason.
monty, sorry but that doesnt make any sense. you are saying mccann is only good when it doesnt matter?
November 3rd, 201110:40 am
Murph – If only Andruw were going to be the RH hitting platoon partner, but he ain’t and he can’t hit RH pitching worth a damn – at any price.
November 3rd, 201110:41 am
As far as Pujols height is concerned, I don’t trust media guides, I look at comparisons when players stand next to each other. And for my money, seeing him stand at 1b next to others, I have always been surprised by how short he looks standing next to some ball players. I would estimate he’s more like 6′1″- 6′2″ tall than he is 6′3”. JMO. Chipper is much taller than he is. And I think he’s listed at 6′4″.
November 3rd, 201110:43 am
Here’s reality If we have the $12 mil most think we do
Shortstop – $3 mil
Bench Upgrade – $4 mil
Save for later in the year – $2 mil
That leaves about $3 mil for a corner outfielder – a corner outfielder to play Left when Martin plays third and Right when they deem Heyward needing a day off or he hits a bad streak again and NOT a full time outfielder with Martin traded or sent back to a “Super” Utility roll.
November 3rd, 201110:44 am
DS1… I thought that was the direction Wren was moving in, away from the bangers and toward more hitters who make contact and get on base. At least that’s what I recall Wren’s remarks were in the latter part of the season, and that’s why he got Bourn.
November 3rd, 201110:45 am
The Braves already have their Andruw Jones with Matty Diaz…He’s locked down for one more year and can play both corners in the outfield. If I were the Braves I would be thinking long term about replacing Chippers bat in the lineup. Don’t think Heyward is that guy.
November 3rd, 201110:46 am
Lew, any player that the Braves can A) afford and B) is willing to play a backup/platoon role is going to have warts. They aren’t going to find anyone who hits for decent average with some power against both RHP and LHP and who gets on base at a good clip plus plays a serviceable LF/RF for the kind of money that they have.
Those players are called “starters” and they cost more than the Braves really have.
P-Town Brave ©
November 3rd, 201110:47 am
What about if we’re able to sign someone like a Javy V cheaply and move a youngster to the pen to take care of that and then trade JJ and get rid of his salary (~6M)
In my logic though, we’d be adding that # to the SS position because I just can’t see the Braves paying Prado over 5M to be a super utility guy.
November 3rd, 201110:48 am
Not sure I follow you, if you are saying 162 games “don’t matter.” I’ve watched the 2 enough to put my money on Molina in a do-or-die situation. BMAC has a tendency to try all or nothing with his swing. Molina is a pest. I love BMAC and I’m not saying I’d rather have Molina all year over MAC. Just an opinion.
Lew, I think your right about Martin’s role, and though this has been batted around on the blog for a while, I do think Prado logs more time at third than some now anticipate. Hence, I think if Wren can back fill in left with a player who’s better than sub-quality (more of a platoon type) that would be good.
November 3rd, 201110:49 am
Rather be in the Braves shoes and trying to tweak the bench and SS than the Phillies and replacing the RBI’s of Werth and now Howard. OUCH!
November 3rd, 201110:50 am
PTown – That’s a possibility – but my scenario keeps Jurrjens. I’ve always said that the Wild Card in the deck is Wren making a deal we do not anticipate – something he’s quite capable of doing. Hell – he could even do a deal using lower minor league players no one but the other team cares about.
However, short of doing a deal like that and $12 mil is all they havem, then that’s pretty much how it will break down.
November 3rd, 201110:51 am
Thats why I think it would be great to make a run at Rollins…
Him leaving the Phils and coming to the Braves would be a win/win….I know its not likely BUT it gives us another guy that just flat out knows how to get around the bases and put runs on the board while also significantly weaking the Phillies.
November 3rd, 201110:52 am
monty, you said I’d take Yadier Molina, the guy is an assassin when it counts.
insinuating mccann is not who you want “when it counts”. but you still would rather have mccann? even though he isnt as good when it counts? it just doesnt make sense. either mccann is better or he isnt.
(by the way, he is.)
November 3rd, 201110:53 am
I guess I just feel like easier than displacing the two OF’s that struggled is upgrading the offensive portion of the SS position….
I mean cmon, how difficult is it to upgrade from a guy with a .270 OBP?!
Down the stretch in September, Freddie played Brian way too much
To be fair, that was a month straight outta hell, with all-hands-on-deck kinda situation seemingly sustaining for the whole month. May have forced FG’s hand a bit. That lack of rest and effects of oblique injury seem to have affected Mac a lot.
As far as fan love is concerned, an upcoming catcher performing well in AFL though behind a perennial All-star and silver slugger ML catcher on depth chart, seems to have taken 2nd spot after the usual favorite – an NFL back-up QB on a team with struggling starting QB.
November 3rd, 201110:54 am
Jeff R – You get no argument from me on that. Chipper’s knees are (pardon the pun) on their last legs and he was looking like he was in pretty constant pain late in the year – even heard a comment he made to the Marlins’ announcers about how he felt like he was 50 years old. I don’t see him playing as many games next year – too easy for him to tweak something or other on any play or at bat.
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, Braves nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you……….
November 3rd, 201110:55 am
How bad must the Phillies have upset the “baseball gods” to lose your most productive and expensive player on the last play of the last game of the season to secure a birth in the world series?
November 3rd, 201110:56 am
While I am not necessarily saying I hope the Braves make a play for Jimmy Rollins, taking him away from the Phillies would be a coup.
November 3rd, 201110:58 am
If you don’t think Mac has become a threat when the game is on the line, check out his stats in the allstar games…Seems to me sombody in the Nataional League owes him a nice case of wine for the home field advantage.
PTown – Still……..The Braves have a couple of minor league ss possibilities close to ML Ready. I just don’t see them making a big tradre, using thier trade pieces to get a one year fill in at short. I also don’t see them spending more than the $3 mil I earlier mentioned for a stop gap.
November 3rd, 201111:00 am
After all that has happened in the last 5 years and what happened to Heyward, I really hate the thought of relying solely on the future of talent rather than taking a shot at a proven talent….
Proven > Unproven in my book….always
November 3rd, 201111:01 am
I mean its not as though we’re talking about a #5 starter v a rookie or DeRosa v Pastornicky….we’re talking about JRoll.
November 3rd, 201111:02 am
So we’re just going to settle for a cheap guy who can’t hit at SS? The last time we did that we had to spend extra money to get Loaf a Rascal
November 3rd, 201111:04 am
But if you are a mid market/mid salary team, you have to rely on your prospects until they prove that they can’t handle the job.
You have to assume that your top prospects will play near to your org’s estimates. You can’t just go around and sign up folks that will block your top prospects.
Same reasons you don’t sign Roy Oswalt.
November 3rd, 201111:06 am
I just went to baseball reference to see if what my eyes were telling me was true wasn’t, and I was right, just go pull up their “clutch stats” and you will see what I’m talking about. Molina is at his best in clutch hitting situations over Brian, not saying Brian is a turd, just Molina is better, in many categories it’s not even close avg. wise sometimes 100 points difference. I don’t know, maybe the stats lie. But not me.
November 3rd, 201111:07 am
PTown – Occupational hazard of a mid market team that always stays within budget. 15th in the league in both attendance and salary means reliance on home grown talent. That’s just the way it is.
Now NEXT winter, when money loosens up a bit, you will see bigger deals, but not this winter.
Besides – though we’re all exceedingly disappointed in the end of 2011, we were still only a game out of the playoffs and should have made it. The team will be mostly the same with our biggest failures gone. We may already be a lot closer than most want to admit right now – even without all the major changes so many are clamoring for.
As much as I like David Ross, I wonder if that trade chip might be used with Betancourt close to backup ready? We have to renegotiate Ross’ contract next year anyway right?
November 3rd, 201111:08 am
Maybe I’m wrong, but a Rollins signing would create a logjam at short moving forward. Pastornicky isn’t that far off (his defense is a legit question mark, though) and Simmons appears to be a comer. Rollins willing to sign a short term deal?
November 3rd, 201111:09 am
DS1 – No, you don’t sign Oswalt because you don’t have the money and if these young pitchers are our rotational future, sometime, sooner or later, you got to let them pitch.
JRoll’s numbers in the past 3 years (he is almost 33) have been approximately 255/315/400.
Not a heckuva lot higher than Gonzo’s numbers over the same period. And how much more will you pay to get that marginal upgrade?
Plus he’s not as good as Gonzo on D.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that FW will take a pass on Rollins.
November 3rd, 201111:10 am
I don’t see Rollins sighning a short termer unless the money is huge.
November 3rd, 201111:11 am
“Now NEXT winter, when money loosens up a bit, you will see bigger deals, but not this winter.”
We may see Wren make bigger deals depending on need. Will the Braves have bigger needs after 2012? Hard to say, of course. Can the farm system furnish the Braves’ needs in a timely manner?
I’d much rather see Pastornicky take his lumps than watch Gonzalez GIDP
November 3rd, 201111:12 am
Really? You want to go there? Our biggest failures were Heyward (still there), Chipper down the stretch (still there), BMac 2nd half (still there), the entire rotation minus Huddy not being able to pitch past 6 IP (still there), and Fredo (still there)….
You can’t blame much on Nate McLouth who didn’t play 1/2 the season or Kawakami who didn’t even pitch this year for the Braves…
If you want to blame anyone for the shortcomings of this year, I guess quite a bit has to be placed on Frank for making the McLouth trade, and the two signings of Kawakami and Lowe because all three were incredibly magnified this year.
Travis – Betancourt just turned 20 in September and has played no higher than High A ball. His career minor league numbers are .271, .300, .373 with an almost 4-1 K to BB rate.
Just because he’s doing well in Arizona right now is immaterial. He ain’t ready.
November 3rd, 201111:13 am
I don’t recall Alex averaging 30 SB or 100 runs scored a season….
I like our team going forward. I trust the org to figure out a decent plan for SS and the bench. I like our bounce back guys for next year. And I LOVE that stable of young arms.
We might have some hiccups along the way as some of the kids learn how to win, but it will be fun to watch.
But you can bet your arse that Mitchell will again be “embarrassed and disappointed!”
November 3rd, 201111:15 am
I’m convinced that Simmons is going to be the SS if he continues hitting as he is already polished in that area….
Pastornicky frankly scares me at SS and if I were the Braves, I would start working him at 3b and in LF….namely, a position that isn’t blocked in the next few years…
November 3rd, 201111:16 am
PTown – Go there? You mean down reality lane?
Lowe is gone. Schafer and McLouth are gone. Bourn is here and MInor (or Delgado) are better than what we saw from Lowe. McCann will be healthy and so will Prado. That all right there makes us better than last year from day one.
Dude – YOu can yell, scream, roll on the ground a cry hysterically, having the tantrum of all tantrums and it won’t change the reality of the situation. WE have no money this winter, several needs to fill and a team that was still within a game of making the playoffs and should have.
Bethancourt isn’t close to being ready. Strong AFL performance for hitters happens often. It’s a hitters league. He didn’t hit well at all in Lynchburg this year. He just turned 20 years old and probably needs at least 2-3 more years in the minors.
Seems to me the Braves have employed some pretty mediocre back up cathers in the past. Although Henry Blanco wasn’t bad. Ross is without a doubt the best second string backstop in both leagues.
November 3rd, 201111:17 am
It may end up putting him with a team that has a protected first round or a team with enough money they can pass on the draft.
It may end up with a Soriano like result.
November 3rd, 201111:18 am
Are you assuming that Prado will get another staph infection, that Mac will get another oblique strain and that Heyward will continue to struggle.
I guarantee that Chipper will struggle to stay in the lineup. Hell, he’s getting old!
But you’re starting to sound like one of those Negative Nellies.
And no, Gonzo doesn’t steal any bases and doesn’t score 100 runs. And for that matter, Rollins has scored 100 runs once (exactly 100) in the past 4 years. Scoring runs has a lot to do with lineup placement.
Face it, he is in decline. He will require a LOT more money than Gonzo or a Barmes or Wilson.
Not worth the difference for a payroll constrained team.
November 3rd, 201111:20 am
Not just talking ability with David Ross either. He handles the rookies as well as Eddie Perez seems to. I see him following in Perez footsteps with the Braves if he wants to.
November 3rd, 201111:21 am
monty, ok then youd rather have yadier molina than brian mcaann. gotcha.
November 3rd, 201111:22 am
DS1 JRoll’s numbers in the past 3 years (he is almost 33) have been approximately 255/315/400.
Not a heckuva lot higher than Gonzo’s numbers over the same period. And how much more will you pay to get that marginal upgrade?
gonzalez’s exact slash line over the last 3 years is .244/.281/.397. compare that to rollins’ .255/.316/.403 line, that rollins put up while going through a terrible injury one of those years, is quite a bit better than gonzalez in the OBP department. not to mention he also stole 78 braves during that time.
November 3rd, 201111:23 am
Here’s reality If we have the $12 mil most think we do
Shortstop – $3 mil
Bench Upgrade – $4 mil
Save for later in the year – $2 mil
That leaves about $3 mil for a corner outfielder
I’m not sure on this math here. The payroll speculation that results in $12M to spend includes already three bench players under contract (Ross, Hinske and Diaz) and one who will see a small raise (Conrad). That pretty much leaves $7M for a back up SS and as you say the “NOT a full time outfielder” (by nature a bench player). I don’t think the back up shortstop is going to cost more than your projected starting short-stop which was more than last years starting short-stop; especially with Pastornicky in the wings. Which leaves more for that “NOT a full time outfielder.”
Wren could release Conrad and trade Diaz and free up more cash. That would allow him to find other players who match up to his stated goals better.
Mark me down as one person that LOVES the fact we have a great backup catcher! When played regularly, Ross will return to closer to his career norms.
He is in the perfect place for him. And I think he realizes it too.
I’m not sure as negative as realistic it is….
Prado has been hurt significantly every year and BMac has fallen apart down the stretch every year, and Chipper, well, thats too easy….oh, and Heyward has been injured every single year dating back to when he was in Low-A ball….
So its not exactly going out on a limb saying there is worry there in going in to battle w/ those guys and adding a cheap crappy SS
P-Town Brave ©… I like Pastornicky’s bat but his glove… I think day-in and day-out in Triple A will show us what he’s made of defensively. I do like Simmons. I’d rather have a prospective shortstop with solid defensive skills even if his offense in’t top flight (though Simmons’ hitting is showing signs of being good). Up the middle defense is right behind pitching as a building block to a team’s success.
November 3rd, 201111:24 am
If we keep Conrad people ought to be FIRED!
November 3rd, 201111:25 am
DS1, no doubt rollins probably isnt a realistic option for atlanta, but to act like he’s not that much better than gonzalez is silly.
And like I said, I don’t think Alex was scoring 100 runs a year….
JRoll for his career knows how to get from 1b to home better than ANY player we have…ANY
November 3rd, 201111:26 am
Like Lew, I’d be surprised if Wren spends any real money this winter. Budget constraints and I think Wren believes the Braves are contenders based on what he can do to fill needs without a big cash outlay.
Good morning y’all
Just read the overnights and have two questions, 1} If we got SIZEMORE would we trade BOURN for a SS? 2} What was wrong with SIZEMORE ? He did not play much the past two seasons.
November 3rd, 201111:29 am
Why would we free so many roster spots then?
We have to be doing something w/ them.
Not saying that Gonzo is anything but bad at getting on base. But those differences over 600 plate appearances over 162 games results in getting on base 1 more time every 8 games.
Like I said, for the huge pay difference, you don’t really get much.
But I am assuming that both will continue as they have recently. Rollins might surprise us, but is that worth a 20 million dollar gamble? (over 3 years)
Hell, I’d rather bring up Hicks until Pastornicky is ready instead of paying an aging SS for 3 years for marginal increases in OBP and a few stolen bases.
Just my opinion though………
November 3rd, 201111:30 am
Oh and the $2M for mid-season is also built into the speculation of $12M available. The team never discloses the mid-season cash padding they retain. With that in mind they managed last season as needed. All figures for the ~$12M available in funds inherently include maintaining the same level of mid-season cash padding. Thus, the $2M you listed there might also be available to apply towards any potential acquisitions.
Why would you do that? Bourn isn’t going anywhere….
Sizemore had that micro fracture knee surgery and I believe 2 other surgeries in the last 2 1/2 years….he has hardly played because of all the injuries
Maybe they picked up Hinske’s option because they feel they can trade Diaz to a team having already had some discussions. I don’t think Conrad ends up back on the bench.
November 3rd, 201111:31 am
Would you like to give me the differences in runs scored between Rollins and Gonzalez?
They bring Conrad back and they’re basically resigned to having a sh!tty bench again
November 3rd, 201111:32 am
I don’t think the team will. I think they’ll let him go simply because what he offers is not that much and could be replaced for less. But, we’ll see. The front office might see it differently.
November 3rd, 201111:33 am
Thank you P- Town.
November 3rd, 201111:34 am
SS for 3 million, use 7 million on a corner bat, and the remaining 2 million on a back up SS who could also play CF. Bench would be Prado, Diaz, Hinske, Ross and a back up SS/CF. If we deal Diaz, then there is more funds to contribute, or we just have a minimum salary guy replace him and save the rest for mid-season.
Sorry guys, you win.
Jimmy Rollins is the reincarnation of Cal Ripken Jr!
Let’s get him. He’ll probably turn things around (from the past 3 mediocre years) and return to his high position as one of the greatest SS’s to ever put on a glove.
Heck, let’s over pay him! Give him 10 million per for 5 years………….
You guys win! I LOVE Jimmy Rollins now! He is the best player in baseball at getting from first base to home in all of baseball.
PS: I am done with this bloody mess, that used to be a dead horse………..
November 3rd, 201111:35 am
not to mention he also stole 78 braves during that time.
Sheesh that’s a lot of Braves. If the team had them back they would have some serious trading chips.
November 3rd, 201111:37 am
use 7 million on a corner bat
That right there would open up some potential trade acquisitions of which I have not researched one bit and have no examples. But, hypothetically if such amount were around, a player making $10M or so could be a trade target by upping the package to get cash in return.
November 3rd, 201111:38 am
Runs scored has a LOT to do with following guys like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Hunter Pence type hitters in a lineup.
Heck, I could score 100 runs in front of those guys, and I’m almost as old as Lew!!!
And if Conrad is back, it will be because he earned a spot in the spring. And it will be because of his bat.
November 3rd, 201111:39 am
I figured FW would have half these questions answered by now…………..
What’s the hold up, dude?
November 3rd, 201111:40 am
Bench would be Prado, Diaz, Hinske, Ross and a back up SS/CF
That’d be a nice bench.
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