Baseball’s a business — ask Moylan, Conrad

It was Tyler Pastornicky’s 22nd birthday Tuesday, the day the Braves announced that Brooks Conrad had been non-tendered along with Peter Moylan, making the two of them free agents. The Braves want a shortstop better than Conrad to back up the rookie Pastornicky if he’s to be the starter.

Few were surprised — or at least few should’ve been — that Moylan was non-tendered, because we’ve mentioned it could be coming since shortly after it was announced in September that he needed shoulder surgery. And since last week, it had been abundantly clear.

Conrad is congratulated by Chipper Jones after hitting a walkoff grand slam to cap a remarkable ninth-inning rally against Cincinnati in 2010.

Conrad is congratulated by Chipper Jones after hitting a walkoff grand slam to cap a remarkable ninth-inning rally against Cincinnati in 2010.

But Conrad? Most of us figured that after he survived his nightmarish three-error debacle of a division-series game in 2010, then remained on the 40-man roster and won an Opening Day spot again in 2011 — well, it seemed Conrad was probably safe until he started making too much money.

Not so.

Even before he was eligible for arbitration, with the Braves in position to pay him as little as the major league minimum salary of $480,000 in 2012 if he was on the team, and even with Conrad still having a minor league option, meaning he could have been sent down without going through waivers, the Braves non-tendered him Tuesday.

The only key difference between being non-tendered and outright released is that the Braves could, if they wanted to, now sign Conrad to a minor league deal and not have to wait until mid-May to add him back to the roster (any player given his outright release between Sept. 1 and Opening Day can’t be returned to the 40-man roster until May 15th).

But make no mistake, the Braves gave Conrad no assurances whatsoever that they would try to re-sign him later. Instead, they told him to look and see what’s out there, try to get into a good opportunity with another team, and if nothing came up and he was interested in signing a minor league deal later this winter or spring, then they’d be open to discussing it with him.

There’s a pretty good chance Conrad has played his last game for the Braves.

On Friday, Conrad was home with his wife and young kids at their suburban Phoenix home when got a call from a Braves official. He was told then what the team was going to do before Monday’s midnight tender/non-tender deadline.

“It was a little bit of a shock because I had no indication of what they were thinking [until that call],” said Conrad, who didn’t realize his job was in jeopardy when he left Atlanta after the season.

If the grand slam was his personal high, this was the low -- Conrad's three errors in a division-series loss against San Francisco in 2010.

If the grand slam was his personal high, this was the low -- Conrad's three-error game in a 2010 division-series loss to San Francisco.

But when he was told Friday of the Braves’ plans, to have a utility infielder who was a strong defensive shortstop to be the backup at that position.

“Obviously looking at the roster and hearing what they’re going to do, it makes a little sense,” Conrad said, “in that they want to have that security in the backup veteran shortstop.

“It’s just the way the business works. Obviously it’s sad to hear because I love Atlanta, love the organization and everybody in the clubhouse. I guess we’ll look around and see what we can do, what we can find.”

Conrad handled the situation as he has every other one in his two years with Atlanta. Whether he struck out with runners on base late in a tie game, or hit a walkoff grand slam to cap one of the greatest ninth-inning comebacks. Whether he made a string of defensive gems during 2010 spring training that made us say I thought this guy was supposed to be a barely serviceable defender?, or played so badly in the field for a few weeks in 2011 that we pitied him and honestly wondered whether the guy would be able to play again or be scarred for life.

Through those situations and everything in-between, Conrad was always the same. At his locker afterward to answer questions. Humble when he did well, never making excuses when he didn’t.

This is a man who appreciated his station in life as much as anyone. Having toiled in the minors until he got his first cup of coffee with Oakland at age 28.  Having only 73 at-bats in the bigs before he was 30 in 2010, when he finally got to stick around for a while, playing in 103 games that season for Bobby Cox’s Braves.

There was a reason that every teammate supported him and defended him after his gaffes cost the Braves so dearly in the 2010 division series against San Francisco. They really loved the guy. He was a big part of their clubhouse, and they pulled for him like a brother.

We’re all gonna miss him. He was as good a dude as you’ll meet in the game. We toss around the clichés about players being good guys and playing the game the right way, respecting team and all that, but with him it was entirely accurate.

“I wished I could have stayed,” Conrad said  tonight. “I could end up coming back.”

He said something about the Braves’ mentioning the possibility of a minor league deal. “Which was nice,” he said. “Very gracious of them, they’d like me back, maybe. We’re gonna look around and see what’s going on and see what happens.”

And that was it. No ripping the team, on or off the record. No tone of bitterness whatsoever.

“It’s little bit of bad news,” he said, with one of his infant children making noise in the background. “Just because of way I feel about the city, the fans, the support I got there. Just an awesome organization. It was privilege to be part of, day in and day out. I have a little bit of a heavy heart, but it’s just part of the business.”

One of our blog commenters, who goes by the handle Mister Frisky, asked today, “Can someone tell me why Conrad was brought back for 2011?”

I’ll take a stab, Frisky: Conrad had seven homers and a .500 slugging percentage in 120 at-bats against right-handers in 2010.

With bases loaded, he went 4-for-9 with two grand slams and 11 RBIs.

With runners in scoring position, he led the Braves with a .378 average (17-for-45), with nine extra-base hits and a whopping 1.195 OPS.

And in close-and-late situations, he hit .313 (15-for-48) with a team-high five homers and .750 slugging percentage.

Yeah, he was a big-time clutch hitter for the Braves in 2010, Frisky. Helped win a whole lot more games than he lost with his September-October defensive gaffes.

That’s why he was brought back. But the performance slipped this past season, and now he’s looking for a job. Such is a life of a major league journeyman.

♣About Moylan: We thought he might be non-tendered as soon as the extent of the injury became known. And even though the surgery wasn’t as invasive as most of  had expected when we first heard “torn rotator cuff,” it was nevertheless a procedure that typically requires six months of recovery.

And anyone who’s been around baseball for long can tell you, shoulders are more unpredictable and often more difficult to rehab that elbows. Especially for pitchers.

And he’s 33, not 23.

Moylan's tattoos should nicely conceal the surgery scars on his right shoulder and elbow.

Moylan's tattoos should nicely conceal the surgery scars on his right shoulder and elbow.

So even though Moylan is a clubhouse favorite and integral part of some recent Braves teams, a workhorse who has cranked out 80 or more appearances in three of the past four seasons, including a franchise-record 87 the year he came back from Tommy John elbow surgery, we knew the budget-conscious Braves might go the prudent route and not tender a contract that would’ve guaranteed him at least a $1.6 million salary in 2013 (the maximum paycut for arbitration-eligible players is 20 percent, and he made $2 mill in 2011).

Last week in Dallas at the Winter Meetings, GM Frank Wren made it pretty clear to us that’s the route the Braves would go, and later try to re-sign Moylan as a free agent provided they are satisfied with his rehab progress. They wanted to see if there are any lingering issues after he starts throwing, and did not want to commit much money to him when they believed there was a chance he’d not be ready for the early part of the season.

Moylan’s supposed to start throwing next month and told me Tuesday that his goal is to be ready at the beginning of the season. He said the shoulder feels strong and he has no restrictions on its use, other than to wait till January to throw. He posted on Twitter at about 6:15 a.m.Tuesday that he had completed his morning workout at the gym, adding, “And I guess I’m a free agent.”

Teammates might advise the Braves re-sign him because his contributions to the bullpen go beyond his considerable workload when healthy. He is a character who keeps everyone loose in the ‘pen, and already has more seniority than any reliever currently under contract on a team that lost Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito to retirement and free agency after the 2010 season, and let Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill go as free agents after they struggled or got hurt late in the 2011 season.

So unless the Braves sign another graybeard, Moylan will be the closest they have in the ‘pen. And even if they do sign another veteran, it’d probably help to have two older guys in the ‘pen. We never know when Kris Medlen, penciled in for bullpen duty, could get switched to the rotation and leave the ‘pen with only two pitchers (Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters) who currently have as much as two full seasons of MLB service?

♣Heyward in the D.R.? No, but it might have happened. When the season ended, the Braves discussed the possibility of asking Jason Heyward to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, after his injury-plagued disappointing second season. Word spread down in the D.R. that he was coming and would play for Escogido. A baseball writer down there e-mailed to ask me if it was true.

The Braves considered asking Jason Heyward to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, before deciding he'd be better served working with the team's new hitting coach in Atlanta.

The Braves considered asking Jason Heyward to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, before deciding he'd be better served working with the team's new hitting coach in Atlanta.

Turns out, discussion never got to the point of asking Heyward what he thought. After the Braves hired new hitting coach Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher for their new assistant hitting coach position, Wren said it was decided by team officials and Walker that Heyward would be better served working in Atlanta this winter with the new hitting coaches, who both live in the area.

Wren said at the Winter Meetings that Heyward would begin twice-weekly sessions at Turner Field this week. Heyward got back Monday from a weekend at Nike Headquarters in Oregon with some of the company’s other high-profile endorsers from baseball.

♣ Regarding payroll: Got this lovely missive directed at me last week on the ol’ blog, the latest in a long series of similar posts from this fella. A couple of other folks on the blog mentioned that it was helpful to their understanding of Braves payroll and the lack of specific figures provided by the team, so I figured I’d run most of the question and my reply again here, since many probably missed it on page 50-something of the comments.

Here is the obvious question: Who expected a Hanley, Fredi reunion? Am I missing something? Hey AJC. Rather than write captain obvious piece, how about lets find out a solid number for this years budget? And they wont tell you, say “they wont tell me.” Jesus. We are truely sheep around here. — Najeh Davenpoop, aka @Fredo

My reply: “I thought we’d stated this multiple times, but perhaps not. My fault. I’ll be more clear: The Braves have not given us their payroll limit or target or what they have to spend, for at least the past three years. They have left it to us to speculate, then to add together the salary amounts and come to an actual payroll figure, which is sometimes slightly different from their own accounting because they don’t tell us exactly how each player’s salary is figured into that year’s payroll — i.e. is it amortized equally over the length of the contract, including signing bonus? Is a buyout spread over multiple years, if they knew in advance they’d be exercising said buyout, as was the case with Nate McLouth? Or does the buyout go into the following year’s payroll, if that works best for the team at that time. We don’t know and we’re not told if our speculation is correct.

“This [team] isn’t a state institution, where we can simply demand to see the books. The Braves nor any other MLB team is compelled to say how much money it makes, how much it spends, etc. They just aren’t. And unlike the NFL and the NBA, where there are salary caps, there is no cap in baseball and many teams don’t share a lot of financial details because they are free to spend what they want to spend until they reach the luxury-tax threshold, at which point teams must pay a tax on any amount over. That affects only the Yankees, Red Sox and very few other teams in any given year.

“So no, we can’t tell you exactly how much the Braves have to spend. Because they don’t tell us what their payroll limit is, or how close our estimates might be, or whether it’s a hard-and-fast payroll number they work with or one that might change if necessary. Since it’s set by the Braves, or the Braves and Liberty Media, and since they don’t share it despite numerous queries by us in the media, how would you suggest we go about getting that number, Mr. Davenpoop? Again, this isn’t the NFL or the NBA, where such information is shared for an obvious reason — those leagues have salary caps.”

♣ Etc. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said during the postseason this year that Justin Verlander was the best pitcher he’d ever managed. I was talking to Leyland last week in the hotel lobby at the Winter Meetings about the 1997 Marlins that he managed and I covered. One of us mentioned sinkerballing menace Kevin Brown. “He was the best pitcher I had before Verlander,” Leyland said…. If you’ve never seen the Tim Hudson appearance on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk, you must. Funny stuff. Click here for the link…. Speaking of Medlen, he’s active, candid and amusing on Twitter. He had this comment Tuesday morning when someone mentioned a projected starting rotation. “@ajcbraves @nicoia geez everyone is counting me out of the rotation huh? Hahaha”… Those wondering what Miami’s new retractable-roof stadium will look like, click here to see a photo tour done Tuesday by Palm Beach Post Marlins beat writer Joe Capozzi. The stadium – it looks sleek and nice, but just not a place I’d call a “ballpark” – is said to be 92-percent complete.

♣ OK, let’s close with a beauty from Pearl Jam. You can hear a powerful live version by clicking here, and be sure to watch all the way through.

By the way, a couple of special music notes. Jason Isbell gave us a lot of time for an interview last week, which I think you fans of his music are going to love. I’ll post it here in the next day or two. He’s a huge Braves fan, so we talked some about baseball and a lot about his music, what inspires him, and what it’s been  like leading his own band since leaving the Drive-By Truckers.

I’m about to finish my annual Top 50 CDs list, which should be up in another week or so, well before Christmas. Thanks to all those who’ve asked and said you look forward to that.

pearl_jam

“BLACK” by Pearl Jam (E. Vedder)

Hey… oooh…
Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did.
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn

Ooh, and all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything.
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear?
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I’m spinning, oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can drop away

And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything?
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll be… yeah…
Uh huh… uh huh… ooh…

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life,
I know you’ll be a sun in somebody else’s sky, but why
Why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine

Aah… uuh..

Too doo doo too, too doo doo….

– By David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

3,632 comments Add your comment

stone

December 14th, 2011
1:27 am

If I were allowed to post here I’d be first. Literally the “First” time I’ve ever posted that. and on a blog w/ Pearl Jam lyrics no less. Damn, oh well. Nobody will ever see this. feel free to “unblock” me DOB. I’m one of your biggest fans

stone

December 14th, 2011
1:28 am

well I’ll be damned. hey DOB think we can trade JJ for Ryan Braun?

Around The Horn

December 14th, 2011
1:29 am

It’s a shame to see Conrad apparently go.

ScottBravesFan

December 14th, 2011
1:36 am

Nice! Pearl Jam. I hope they tour in the U.S. next year.

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
1:41 am

DOB: I know you probably have seen the post from Ken Rosenthal about a possible deal between the Orioles and Braves. Do you think a deal of Prado, JJ and Pastornicky for Adam Jones and JJ Hardy is a equitable swap?

David O'Brien

December 14th, 2011
1:43 am

Not to fan flames, but Kenny Rosenthal wondered aloud on Twitter tonight whether Braves and Orioles might be working on a “big trade.”

I don’t know, but I asked specifically about Adam Jones today, and the reaction, or lack thereof, just gave me a feeling that it might indeed be possible they’d trade him. New O’s GM Duquette said recently he didn’t plan to trade him, but wasn’t adamant or definitive, which you’d think a GM would be coming into a new team like that with a young star player like that.

The Orioles beat writer I checked with said he didn’t think they’d trade him, but also opined that he thought they should because they’re not going to win right now, he’s going to be a free agent after 2 more seasons, and the org. is desparately in need of pitching.

Would JJ and a strong pitching prospect do it? Or JJ and Prado? I don’t know. Just speculating. I don’t know, but Braves have been conspicuously quiet, while talking here and there — as Fredi did last week — about getting a big bat. Yet they haven’t been in on any of the free-agent sluggers available, which makes me think they’ve had one or two targeted for a trade.

It’s interesting to think about, because Adam Jones would, in some ways, be a perfect fit. He could play LF this season if the Braves trade Prado, then move to CF either in 2013 or even sooner if the Braves decided to trade Bourn before the July deadline. Again, just speculating here. But Jones is the kind of player the Braves could invest in long-term, since they’d have so much money coming off the books next winter.

The O’s also have shortstop J.J. Hardy (30 HR explosion last season) signed to a deal that pays him $7 mill each of the next three seasons. If they want to keep their young outfielder and think Hardy’s trade value is higher than it’ll ever be again, maybe they’d move him? I’ve just never fully believed the Braves are content to go into the season with Pastornicky as the starting shortstop. On the other hand, I do believe them when they say they want a one-year bridge, not a three-year guy, which would rule out Hardy. He’d block Pastornicky and/or potentially SS Andrelton Simmons behind him.

Another possibility is O’s outfielder Nick Markakis, but I know in the past owner Angelos has made it pretty clear he wouldn’t let that guy be traded. Greek thing and all that, I guess. He really likes Markakis, who’s under contract for about $60 mill over the next four seasons. Jones just makes a lot more sense, to me, if the Braves are talking trade with the O’s.

We’ll see.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
1:48 am

DOB, it seems like Hardy would be a natural to come with him ; 3 year contract at $7 Mil. Really good defense, RHed Power would really fill the final holes on the roster.

Baseball 101

December 14th, 2011
1:52 am

DOB – I asked this question before, but probably at the wrong time.

The blog Headline is “Baseball is A Business”. I am very interested in how the Braves (an entertainment business) actually conduct their business during game days. You have mentioned over the years the various pre – game meetings that occur, but I would love to read a recap of how the Braves conduct their game – day business. Meetings? Medical staff? Advance scouts? Surely this organization has a scripted game – day process.

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:00 am

DOB; Hardy could always be traded when Simmons is ready

Chop Chop

December 14th, 2011
2:05 am

Well-written, multi-faceted blog there, DOB. My favorite PJ song of all-time is a live version of Black they did in Chicago in 2000. I bought the album during my interlude in the Army at Ft. Sill, OK. Great stuff.

(Oh, and count me as one who is looking forward to your Top 50.)

As for this Adam Jones business, I say we might as well trade Prado and Jurrjens for him if Duquette will do it. The trade would free up some cash for a solid infield option to spell Chipper and SS, a spot for Jones, and a place in the rotation for Medlen, Minor, etc. to fight over. Jones doesn’t get on base much, but our outfield D would be great and he does have solid HR power. He’d also be likely to produce his career year in a Braves uni.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:10 am

I couldn’t even come up with my top two in anything I don’t think. Bands, albums,tv shows, movies etc; that all changes back and forth from time to time

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:11 am

Chop Chop: Both JJ and Prado (Both former All Stars ) would be too much just for Jones(Jones only has 2 years before free agency just like Jurjjens and Prado), but if JJ. Hardy was included in would be good for both, with maybe Pastornicky and a maybe a young pitcher(not a top 6 young pitcher).
The Braves shopping would be done, except for the bench

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:13 am

nolie, What do you think about the Adam Jones/Hardy possibility.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:25 am

perhaps the trade with Baltimore would be more on the level of a Luke Scott?
as for Jones, he isn’t much at getting on base but he is one of the better hitting CFers around.
On the other hand Bill James/Fielders Bible rank him as a pretty bad defensive CFer anymore, with large totals of minus runs saved the last three years.

[...] from: Baseball’s a business — ask Moylan, Conrad – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Related Posts:Baseball America | Blog | Baseball America Prospects Blog | Minor … The first [...]

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:33 am

nolie: Luke Scott was non tendered

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:33 am

off the top of my head, with Hardy and Jones you would be adding two guys who both are pretty poor OBP hitters and who would most likely hit for fewer homers here than in Baltimore which is usually a good homer park.
Harding is due 7 mil and I’m not sure i see him as being worth that myself, and I do not see the Braves paying it.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:35 am

yeah CCR, I remembered that after I submitted. we talked about him earlier in that regard.

kenhotlanta

December 14th, 2011
2:37 am

Great blog, DOB, thanks, I look forward to the Top 50, too. You know, my tastes lean toward classic rock and Americana, but I value your opinions on new music and I always check out a lot of the artists and albums you share with us.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:39 am

who was that last OFer we got from the Orioles who hit so well there and was kinduva dud here?

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:42 am

on deeper thought I guess if Gonzo is worth 4mil, Hardy is likely worth close to 7. but I still don’t see the Braves as interested at that price

Ward

December 14th, 2011
2:43 am

Hello everyone! Saw a new blog,and decided to come on. Did anyone read about what Jonh Rckers has told everyone in his new book? John is the kind of guy that would go against his own team mates.

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:44 am

Nolie; The salary for Jones and Hardy would only come to about $11.5 million, while JJ and Prado would be at about $9.5 million. Hardy is a very good defensive SS with power and your right about the OBP, not great for either, but they both hit LHers pretty well and paly good D

kenhotlanta

December 14th, 2011
2:44 am

Gene Woodling??

Ward

December 14th, 2011
2:48 am

John Rocker say’s that some members of the Braves took steriods too,which I find hard to beleive,and think Rocker is just out to make the bucks.

Ward

December 14th, 2011
2:49 am

I wouldn’t mind Adam Jones LF,but then I wouldn’t mind anybody that can hit.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:52 am

Hardy is a very good defensive SS with power and your right about the OBP, not great for either, but they both hit LHers pretty well and paly good D

Hardy shows as being an average SS in Runs Saved-they ranked him 16th, 9th and 11th the last three years- and I think the power drops a good bit away from Baltimore. No matter the combined money totals, i just don’t see then as being interested in Hardy. JMO of course

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:54 am

Surhoff. not sure why that took a minute to remember ??

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
2:55 am

nolie, your probably right, but it sure would make it an interesting season!

kenhotlanta

December 14th, 2011
2:56 am

I think you are right, nolie, I forgot him too.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
2:58 am

they still might be interested in Jones, who knows?
I’m not sure why his Going Deep numbers have become so poor the last three years though.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
3:00 am

at least some interesting rumors are flying around to talk about ;)

Ward

December 14th, 2011
3:02 am

I hope the Braves can just sign Bourn? That would show a commitment to the Braves,and that they can work out a contract.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
3:03 am

I hope they pass on Bourn if he wants what Bora$ will likely ask for

nolie

December 14th, 2011
3:03 am

GG. TTFN y’all.

ccrider

December 14th, 2011
3:05 am

nolie, Back at ya

Ward

December 14th, 2011
3:06 am

nolie-Have a good one buddy,but I would build your out field around Bourn.Just thought I would come on for a few post,and all have a good one! Good to hear some news of possible trades again,and peace my friends……

haggard

December 14th, 2011
3:29 am

David O’Brien

I just wandered in–unable to sleep–and turned on the Christmas tree just long enough for the bubble lights to heat up as Suzy Bogguss and Delbert McClinton dueted on “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.
I was thinking about the O’Brien clan just recently; thinking you must have had a great time in Colorado during Thanksgiving with the folks and sister’s family on hand.

And what an eclectic mix in the new bloggage. Thanks.

Your conversation with Brooks Conrad gave reason to remember his first appearance on the field following his Murphy’s Law game during the 2010 playoffs. And I’ll bet he remembers it, too.
As we do many times, I had arrived early and met my friend to stand around, talk, and shag fly balls during batting practice in the left field stands. For some reason I had walked to the other side of Turner Field–just above where tiger297 resides– and was talking to a friend when I first noticed a smattering of applause. As the volume increased I looked up to see Conrad wave his glove to the fans in left field, who then clapped even harder in their effort to assuage the feelings of a man who had experienced the sting of humiliation many of them had last felt on the field in Little League. Or maybe high school.
At any rate, when I made my way back to the left field stands, I learned it was my friend who started that small ovation and later that evening I bought him a pretzel and a frozen lemonade and called him a good man. I hope Brooks Conrad remembers, too.

“He’s done a good days work. Make a fire”
Good night again

haggard

December 14th, 2011
3:44 am

“Surhoff. not sure why that took a minute to remember ??”–nolie

Plus, B.J was a catcher at one time. Thought surely you’d remember on that account.

Andres

December 14th, 2011
3:52 am

what would make the most sense would be JJ and a prospect for A. Jones and a prospect

ncgary

December 14th, 2011
4:33 am

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Mister Frisky

December 14th, 2011
5:44 am

DOB,You could have also have a title of Baseball is s Lottery Ticket if your name is E-4 I mean Brooks Conrad.He got two years of big league minimum plus two MLB merchandise checks putting his take to over a cool million the last two years.Not bad for a guy who is probably less talented than most greeters at Wal-Mart.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
6:17 am

Been saying all along that if ‘THE PASTOR’ was going to be ‘the’ experiment of 2012, BROOKSIE would have to go. Too bad. Thanx for the memories, the good ones thst is, and there were quite a few. Good luck to him and to the BRAVES in bringing in the right upgrade to be TYLER’s caddy. Good hunting Mr. WREN. Reel in a good one. HICKS is not the answer.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
6:19 am

Andres
December 14th, 2011
3:52 am

what would make the most sense would be JJ and a prospect for A. Jones and a prospect

WTF! LOL!

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ & Shrimp

December 14th, 2011
6:27 am

Slightly too early for beer, so I will opin on Brooksy, look we need a dude that can hit .250 or so. Is that really asking too much?

I like the guy, his grit and his toughness, but as a paying (and beer drinking) fan, I want a “standings” for at least one year, not a good “clubhouse” guy.

Sorry that I am being selfish. But heck, lets try to win games this year and then have fun, not the other way around……

Bring up Conrad

December 14th, 2011
6:59 am

BROOKS,
Good to have seen you do well in Atl!! Hope you may be able to work out something which will benefil you and the family! I’ll be watching for you!!! Bill Robinson…

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
7:05 am

nolie
December 14th, 2011
3:03 am

I hope they pass on Bourn if he wants what Bora$ will likely ask for

I’m not convinced that even the smell of knee-deep BORAS money would keep BOURN here. He certainly was not energized by the playoff run we had in 2011. Maybe it was the line-up behind him I don’t know, but his BA was in a steady decline during the course of the year.

Billy Walsh

December 14th, 2011
7:19 am

Its going to take a lot more than JJ and a prospect for A Jones

old man

December 14th, 2011
7:34 am

Baltimore has three top SS prospects (Machado, Givens, Schoop), but unsure any one of them is MLB ready in 2013. So trading Hardy is not a completely nutty idea for them. Is Hardy going to hit anywhere near 30 hrs again? Bill James has him down for 21, .760 ops.

Jeff R

December 14th, 2011
7:35 am

Moylan and Conrad, twas time to go. Not terribly surprised by Wren’s moves here.

Adam Jones. Not sure about a straight up for Jurrjens (I know, Jurrjens is damaged goods, etc.) Be interested to see if there where any other names in the mix (should those guys be the centerpieces of a deal).

Jeff R

December 14th, 2011
7:36 am

Hardy? Braves are going assume his contract dollars? I tend to doubt it.

Ray

December 14th, 2011
7:36 am

I like Adam Jones, the kid is a talent. IF we gave up JJ and another young arm maybe they would give up jones. He is strong defensively and can rake. DOB, do you think the Braves may make any moves towards any of the non-tendered guys?

old man

December 14th, 2011
7:44 am

Yep, Hardy is 7.0M, too rich for us I guess. My bad.

longtimefan

December 14th, 2011
7:46 am

DOB
Any chance you would list your top 50 or so tunes of the last 10-20 years?

Robert

December 14th, 2011
7:55 am

Don’t get me excited! I mentioned yesterday that the Braves would NEVER pay for a guy like Hardy! I would love to be wrong on that! Him and Jones would be an early Christmas present! But I’ve been burned by the Braves before, so I’m not counting my chickens here.

old man

December 14th, 2011
7:56 am

I know the Drew Stubbs thing is pretty dead, but he is such a tantalizing idea. If he just wouldn’t strikeout so dang much. League average is 20%. Last three years he has been 25%, 28%, 30%. Not a good trend. Oh well.

Rufus

December 14th, 2011
7:56 am

Brooksie is a class act and will be missed. I know his performance fell off in 2011 but guys like that who hustle and live/die on every pitch (mainly because their careers rise/fall on every pitch) are hard to come by. One of my favorite memories of him is standing next to my son on the Gwinnett field a couple years ago during the national anthem. I know he’d done it hundreds of times on other teams with other kids, but the picture of them standing together has always meant alot.

Good luck Brooksie, you will be missed by many here in Atlanta who remember how hard you played, the fun you had, and the great success you had. I hope your path and that of the Braves cross again soon.

Jeff R

December 14th, 2011
7:57 am

old man… This art, not science. Who knows? Wren could surprise about Hardy or anyone else. Might be right.

old man

December 14th, 2011
8:00 am

And with Stubb’s speed, striking out at the league average (i.e., putting the ball in play or walking an extra 10% of all plate appearances) would probably raise his AVG/OBP a ton. Maybe McCann can recommend an eye doctor.

STRETCH

December 14th, 2011
8:02 am

Hardy and Jones from the O’s? Man that would be a great deal for the Braves, but who am i kidding. The Braves are too cheap. They will probably sign Betencourt or worse.

bozz

December 14th, 2011
8:08 am

Enter your comments here

bozz

December 14th, 2011
8:09 am

“Not bad for a guy who is probably less talented than most greeters at Wal-Mart.”

Not sure how low on talent that makes you then, Mister Frisky.

old man

December 14th, 2011
8:12 am

Aren’t the O’s sort of up in the air at second base? Was Roberts injured the last two years? WAR of 1.4 and .2 in 2009 and 2010. Ouch! So are they the team we really match up with? They need pitching and a second baseman. Mega-trade of JJ and Prado and Venters, etc., for their JJ and Jones. We would add maybe a couple of million in salary, right?

Just dreamin’.

Jerry Blooger

December 14th, 2011
8:22 am

venters? are you stoned?

David O'Brien

December 14th, 2011
8:28 am

Ray: I don’t think any of the non-tendered guys has a lot of appeal to the Braves.

Lobosolo

December 14th, 2011
8:30 am

I’d bet that Brooks Conrad is a superior human being in every aspect than Mr. Frisky, most notably in plain old class… What a miserable existence your life must be, Prissy Frisky… at least we all can get a chuckle out of that…

David O'Brien

December 14th, 2011
8:37 am

“Not bad for a guy who is probably less talented than most greeters at Wal-Mart.”

Not sure how low on talent that makes you then, Mister Frisky.

Yeah, he’s something else, isn’t he? At this point, I think Frisky is reveling in being something of a caricature. Like a few others.

Dan Mohan

December 14th, 2011
8:41 am

I had rotator cuff surgery last January, it takes longer than six months to fully rehab it. Pulling for Peter Moylan but it will 9 months at best.

mantuan

December 14th, 2011
8:42 am

DOB: I loved your Mister Friskie and Najeh Davenpoop reposts. Thanks for reposting them. If you come boarding in CO this winter, holler up.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
8:43 am

Now that BROOKS is in our rear-view and RYAN THERIOT is a FA, I’m wondering if he’s in the BRAVES’ future.

JSS

December 14th, 2011
8:44 am

@ Najeh Davenpoop…
If you do a SEC EDGAR search, Liberty Media lists the Braves as ANLBC in their filings. Form 10-Q is where you start. You need all 4 quarters. From there you need to dig into the revenues and how they expense salaries. If you’ve got the time, the information is there but it will not be listed as individual salaries for a specific players. That is the beauty of having to report financials by “publicly traded companies.’ Good luck…

braveshoo

December 14th, 2011
8:44 am

I think this trade proposal is the first one I have seen that makes perfect sense. We give up a lot by trading JJ and Prado, and we need to get an excellent return. Both Jones and Hardy hit about .280, 25-30 HRs, and 80 RBIs. It will cost about 5m for Jones in arb. this year, and perhaps 7m next year. He is only 25 and is just coming into his own. He could be our LF or CF for a long time. Hardy is a definite upgrade offensively at SS, and he can move to 3rd when pasternicky or simmons are ready and Chipper has retired. Prado and JJ will cost about 10m total in arb. this year, and you probably cant keep JJ longterm because of Boras. The Os might have to throw in 2m in cash to make the trade revenue neutral, and we might have to throw in a minor pitching prospect to complete the deal. This could set us up to have a longterm outfield of Bourn, Jones, and Heyward if we resign Bourn and Jones longterm next year after more money frees up. We solve our problems shorterm at SS, and for the next 3 years at SS and 3rd, and we open up a spot in the rotation for one of our young phenoms. I like this potential trade a lot.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
8:48 am

Efrim

December 14th, 2011
8:51 am

Adam Jones is a career .275/.319/.437, 101 OPS+ hitter. If the Braves are offering Jurrjens and Prado, then the O’s would have to give Jones + a couple good prospects, in my opinion. Jones has been better the last three years: .281/.326/.455, 109 OPS+ in 1,758 plate appearances. Here is the Orioles Top 11 prospects from Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein:

Five-Star Prospects
1. Dylan Bundy, RHP
2. Manny Machado, SS
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jonathan Schoop, INF
Three-Star Prospects
4. Nick Delmonico, 3B
5. Jason Esposito, 3B
6. Robert Bundy, RHP
7. Parker Bridwell, RHP
8. Dan Klein, RHP
9. Ryan Adams, 2B
Two-Star Prospects
10. L.J. Hoes, OF
11. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Dylan Bundy isn’t eligible and Manny Machado is going nowhere. Jonathan Schoop would have to come with Jones, imo. Played 2nd base this year but will most likely be a 3rd baseman long term. I still don’t think that’s nearly enough for Jurrjens and Prado, but that’s just my opinion.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
8:52 am

braveshoo:

Sounds plausible. We’ll see what Mr. WREN pulls off, hopefully sooner rather than later.

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
8:53 am

richbrave

December 14th, 2011
8:54 am

nolie

December 14th, 2011
8:59 am

Bill James/Fielding Bible rank Jones very low as a defensive CFer the last three years. Hardy as average SS.
Braves will have absolutely no interest in a 7 million dollar shortstop, and his power will probably go down enough to make him a mediocre third baseman especially considering his low OBP.
That deal(Hardy & Jones) ain’t gonna happen, not should it.

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:01 am

Scientists think they are getting closer to determining if the”God” particle. actually exists

Don

December 14th, 2011
9:02 am

IGNORE it all you want.
PRETEND IT DOESN’T EXIST all you want.
BUT there is an ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM that makes EVERYTHING ELSE MEANINGLESS
for the Braves.
Since Leo left as Pitching Coach six or seven years ago, almost EVERY STARTING PITCHER
has become INJURED.
You are NOT GOING TO WIN under those conditions no matter how good the hitting, the defense or
anything else.
Now, going into next season FOUR OUT OF THE FIVE starters are coming off injuries.
THREE of these are young pitchers (already established) who should have formed the core of a
great rotation for years to come.
And injuries to pitchers are not something that a pitcher always gets over and comes back to be great
the next season. These 3 young pitchers may NEVER BE GREAT AGAIN – thus adversely
effecting the Braves for YEARS TO COME.
And this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG. HOW MANY TOTAL Starting Pitchers (counting only
those who were in the rotation for a reasonable length of time) have the Braves had in the six or
seven years since Leo left; and HOW MANY OF THESE HAVE NOT BEEN INJURED????
HOW CAN THE BRAVES POSSIBLY IGNORE THIS??????.

JoeBrave

December 14th, 2011
9:02 am

Hardy, and Jones? yup that would be a trade to go with..

dap01

December 14th, 2011
9:03 am

Hardy and Jones are worth a steep price because they fit our needs. Hopefully Wren has something big like this up his sleeve.

McFann O O o

December 14th, 2011
9:07 am

Since Leo left as Pitching Coach six or seven years ago, almost EVERY STARTING PITCHER has become INJURED.

Must be BMac’s fault…

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:08 am

don’t any of y’all hold your breath until the Braves pick up Hardy :?

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:09 am

Don and his pet elephant… ;)

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2011
9:09 am

Thanks for the work DOB.

Not too surprised about the Conrad move. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he is a spot on a roster.

Ralph

December 14th, 2011
9:11 am

If they trade Prado, who’s going to play 3rd base, Chipper won’t make it past April?

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2011
9:13 am

Cool link to the Marlins park DOB. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed stadium. I really enjoy the fact that every park in the majors is unique. It seems to make the game even more awesome than it already is.

TnBrian

December 14th, 2011
9:13 am

“Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado”

Sounds like it’s in the past to me. Why did nothing come out of it with either team? What do I know though …

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:13 am

looks like a few more of them caricatures have shown up this am

J-Man

December 14th, 2011
9:15 am

From an earlier post:

When people on this blog say “Have Faith” and talk about the fans that critize the team and say that they are not real fans. Well to all of you fans I say that you are lazy and accept mediocrity. Infact even most of the writers in the area have “Drank the Kool-Aid” that Liberty Media has put out. They never call out and question “idiotic” moves. Wren is not a bad GM but when it comes to FA he is suspect at best. But you look at Liberty Media they always go with the cheapest solution and when they do spend money they play that player no matter what (ex. D.Lowe, McClouth, and Kawakami 1st 2 seasons). Look at the dumpster deals they have gone with Greg Norton, Joe Mather, Brooks Conrad, Troy Glaus (excluding May-June 10), Jesse Chavez, Melky Cabera, and Scott Proctor. And the “Blue Light Special” players that ate up payroll without contributing anything but playing them in spite of performance Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Nate McClouth, Alex Gongalez, Uggla for the 1st half of the season and Derek Lee. But they kept running out those Payroll fatcats inspite of performance and not letting young talent have a chance. So this is exactly why the TRUE Brave fans are angry and QUESTION Liberty Media. Real fans need to complain more and to ask questions and not feel bad for doing so. Remember we choked up a 10.5 game lead with a month to go and NOTHING was done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE WANT THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now if the Adam Jones rumor is out there then expect the Braves to not make any deal for a good player. But we should complain and let our frustration known and to pressure Liberty Media to make changes.

WE WANT THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:18 am

we can banter all we want, but can’t really rule out anything happening.
wonder if Mark the Greek would be available in a deal that included both JJ & Prado?
Prolly not I guess

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2011
9:18 am

I still don’t think that’s nearly enough for Jurrjens and Prado, but that’s just my opinion

Glad to see your value level for JJ and Prado creeping up the scale. ( :

lexbrave

December 14th, 2011
9:18 am

Why do I have this bad feeling that Rollins will sign with another team and the Phillies will replace him with Hanley Ramirez?

@Fredo, Najeh Davenpoop

December 14th, 2011
9:19 am

DOB,

I am complain about your snarky attitude, then I turn around and do the same, so for that I apologize.

My gripe is that, to say that you don’t know budget numbers so you won’t guess, seems like it goes against the purpose that the blog serves. That ‘purpose’ is debatable, I suppose. But, to me, you (and this comment is in no way sarcastic) should have the most knowledge of anyone covering this team outside of the inner circle because you are supposed to be in and around this clubhouse and front office, day in and day out, home and road.

So, to answer the question: how would you suggest we go about getting that number, Mr. Davenpoop?

Well, since by design, you should be able to venture the most educated guess by adding up what you know for sure and filling in the few variables with your best guess, you should have your best guess answer. If you qualify it with “this is my best guess, here is what they have committed, and here is what I beleive they have left” two things can happen. Knowing that the front office reads this and care (oh do they care) you will either miss that number by a long shot (too high and you raise expectations or too low and you wont give ubersensitive personnel enough credit) and someone, I truely believe, will nudge you closer to the truth. Or, the other possibility, is that you don’t hear squat and you are probably close enough to the number to make fair assements on what is possible through free agency and trades and salary additions.

But to say, we don’t know for sure so its not worth mentioning is crazy. If that were the case, there would be no need in anything from you other than game stories and profiles. I mean, you make educated guesses elsewhere, right?

nolie

December 14th, 2011
9:20 am

Well to all of you fans I say that you are lazy and accept mediocrity.

and I might say you are infantile and accept whining and crying as appropriate behavior.
It’s all in one’s perspective ;)

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2011
9:21 am

If they trade Prado, who’s going to play 3rd base,

This is a non-issue. In it’s level of importance for a potential trade, it is second to the bottom. The bottom should be CF for 2013. The fill-ins for Chipper the last three years have not been lighting the ball up. Prado, filling in at third has not been lighting the ball up. The level of production those subs have given at third when Chipper rests is easily replaceable. .. or it should be. But then, it has taken considerable amount of time for the Braves to find a back up short-stop.

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2011
9:24 am

Adam Jones… Interesting thought but I would have rather seen a guy with a high OBP. If the thinking is “It’ll be awesome to have Bourn and Jones at the top of the line up, creating havoc.” I will say that the majority of havoc will be wrought on the Braves for so few scoring opportunities and so many outs made. If those two could run like the wind and get on base at .360+. That would be havoc.

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