5:57 pm November 28, 2012, by David O'Brien
November 29th, 20128:32 am
Braves got who they wanted..its a done deal, get over it. More to come–Revere, Flower, Span, J Upton ,Swisher! Looking forward to this season.
Sorry, but a .246 hitter doesn’t excite me.
You compare Upton to a convicted dog killer and think it is a good thing?
November 29th, 20128:35 am
Hopefully Upton proves to be a solid signing but Wren has a habit of throwing large sums at players and not getting a decent return.
Mark..my wife don’t excite me any more but life goes on and she is not going anywhere. Get over it.
L.B. 4 Bama
November 29th, 20128:37 am
We should try Pastornicky in LF and bat him lead off. He has a good bat, good speed, and came up with clutch RBI’s when they pitched around other guys to get to him. Save the $$$$ for a key piece for a potential second half playoff run.
Brave New World
November 29th, 20128:39 am
I’m not thrilled or bummed out by us getting Upton. He has the talent to be special. We would have paid more for Bourn, and he flamed out when we needed him most (second half of season). Since BJ and Bourn both strike out a bunch, I’ll take BJ’s power and arm over Bourn any day. BJ is also very good defensively. If the change of teams puts his head on straight, Upton will be a very good addition. GO BRAVES!
November 29th, 20128:48 am
Let’s face it, Uggla had an Uggly year last year. He can only improve. He will be much better this year. No manager in their right minds will take on Uggla and his salary right now unless we do the DLowe thing and pay two thirds of his salary to unload him. And right now, we need that moola to get a left fielder. I strongly feel that FW will trade a few minor league prospects to get a reasonable, young left fielder by trade. Besides, the Braves will need the money to lock up Freeman and Heyward to long term contracts next year. Let’s face it, BJ is not the best there is, but is the best the Braves could afford at this time. I am surprised that FW jumped on him quickly since he has sat on his hands with so many others in the past seasons, or the Braves were left standing at the alter with others. It was a good move and I have high expectations.
November 29th, 20128:49 am
I hope I’m wrong but this seems like Uggla all over again. I was hoping they would find a way to replace Uggla this offseason — instead now they have two of him.
I kind of agree here……. yes speed is wonderful, and he is hurt often……but he hit only .240 in a the AL where the pitching is weaker ?
If we end up paying two guys $30 million plus for .240 ish numbers is that DUMB or not ?
Please where is Frank Wren, and the Atlanta Brain trust ?
November 29th, 20128:56 am
Mark: Sorry, but a .246 hitter doesn’t excite me.
Mark, bad move. Now we’re all going to be lectured about the insignifcance of BA and a detailed accounting of the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter. This will include a lot of numbers, acronyms, and much, much, cutting and pasting of data. Thanks a lot.
November 29th, 20128:57 am
A lot of the experts in the media outlets think this is a good move for the Braves. I tend to agree since we needed a RH power bat to balance out our lineup. As long as the guys in front of Upton get on consistently, I think he’ll do a good job in getting them in. Now, we need to go out a get a leadoff hitter who will get on base consistently. For my money, that would be Victorino.
That’s a solid lineup to me.
I’m with ‘Disgusted’…let’s show a little faith. Wren is making moves and he’s trying to shore up our team and surely believe we’re going to land a hefty LF by the EOY. We desperately needed a right handed batter and to get someone equal with J-Hey will make and interesting combo.
As for Uggla, he can only go up and he has great potential to do that, plus this guy is a team leader and we need that since Chipper is gone.
My biggest concern this year is McCann. Really don’t think he’ll make it through the season and maybe Wren doesn’t either seeing how we’re currenty carrying 3 catchers on the 40-man roster.
November 29th, 20128:59 am
I think we overpaid, however I am fine with it if we get Span for leadoff and BJ plays LF and bats 6th, but to me the contract is to big for a #6 hitter with a ton of strikeouts and low average. I like my CF to bat leadoff. It’s just me but I think your leadoff hitter needs to be a middle infielder of center fielder. Is Upton viewed as a better CF than Span? Regardless I like an outfield with Upton, Span and Heyward in whatever arrangement and a lineup of… Could we get Span for a Hanson or Delgado plus a throw-in?
November 29th, 20129:02 am
I’m concerned because they need a lead off hitter. Upton will bat in the middle of the line up so who will the Braves use for lead off. Every year Mr. Wrenn knows that offense has killed the Braves and he is doing nothing about it. He has spent better than 15 million per year for Upton why couldn’t he spend just a tiny bit more and bring Bourn back. He knows what kind of lead off he had with Bourn. Probably 16 million per year would have gotten Bourn what’s a million more for a proven lead off hitter.Keep up the good work Mr. Wrenn and the Braves will be right back in the samme position next year.
November 29th, 20129:04 am
And the winners are -
Uggla is a fat toad and we should trade Simmons for J. Upton, move Prado to Short and Francisco to third.
Fly on the Wall
November 29th, 20129:07 am
The vote is about 2 to 1 for the trade (on the front page) for those who voted, so this must be where all the negative nay Sayers hang out. I’ m on the positive side of this and welcome BJ Upton (former Montgomery Biscuit) and can’t wait to watch him play in Atlanta. Y’all need to find another team to boo….say how about being Boo Bird Phillie phans instead? Go Braves!
Oh Yeah – and put Pastornicky in LF because he was so clutch. OK.
November 29th, 20129:16 am
I would rather had Pagan or Span in Center and take a run at Swisher for Left.
November 29th, 20129:18 am
DOB: trying to understand how you feel about this signing, given your concern over Dexter Fowler’s road splits. Fowler’s road number are equivalent or a little better than Upton’s overall numbers. for 2012, upton avg/obp/ops was .246/.298.752 and Fowler was .248/.331/.698. Fowler would have likely produced just as much on the field, but since he is younger and cheaper, has a greater upside and would have given the Braves flexibility which is crucial for a smaller-market franchise. We cannot afford another Uggla-like signing–unless this guy becomes the stud he has never been, this signing could cripple the franchise for a generation. This is way too big a risk on yet anopther High K, low OBP, undisciplined hitter with a tendency for a bad attitude. And for what?? So Wren could thump his chest and say “look I did something”???! Big mistake!
November 29th, 20129:19 am
Just what we need–another .240 hitter with a .298 OBP.
November 29th, 20129:22 am
“As for Uggla, he can only go up and he has great potential to do that, plus this guy is a team leader and we need that since Chipper is gone.” JPopNC
He’s batted .232 and .220 the past two seasons. What great things are you expecting from him in 2013 ?
November 29th, 20129:23 am
It is what it is folks. FW got Upton and we’re not able to change it. I didn’t vote for Obama either, but it is what it is. Whine about it or accept it. I think FW has a few more surprises up his sleeve. Just see how the season unfolds.
November 29th, 20129:26 am
” Fowler’s road number are equivalent or a little better than Upton’s overall numbers. for 2012, upton avg/obp/ops was .246/.298.752 and Fowler was .248/.331/.698.”
So I guess the huge difference in SLG isn’t worth mentioning, huh?
here is where it went wrong
November 29th, 20129:27 am
another strikout in t he lineup. It was clear last year that we need guys to put bal in play, and then we go get a big strikeout machine.
what you eat for breakfast?
November 29th, 20129:29 am
I would trade Prado and a starting pitcher for A-Rod at least he has pop in his bat and is popular with putting people in the stand.
This team has no one that is exciting that generates buzz in Atl, sorry but McCann, Heyward, or a guy named Pastornicky is not “star power”
One poster mentioned give 100 million for Hamiliton yes I would because he has major power, he has had problems but the Braves Organization could help him with that.
November 29th, 20129:32 am
BJ isn’t going to play LF. Do you think he would have signed if that’s what the Braves wanted him to do?
November 29th, 20129:33 am
“I would trade Prado and a starting pitcher for A-Rod at least he has pop in his bat and is popular with putting people in the stand.”
I really really hope you are trolling here.
November 29th, 20129:38 am
“Rick C: So I guess the huge difference in SLG isn’t worth mentioning, huh?”
Do me a favor and look up the formula for OPS. thanks bud
November 29th, 20129:45 am
but incidentally, rick, to isolate slg and look at it independent of ops, fowler’s 2012 slg was .474 with a career avg .427 compared to uption’s .454/.422. So not sure what the point of your comment really was? Maybe I missed something?
November 29th, 20129:46 am
“Do me a favor and look up the formula for OPS. thanks bud”
Fowler and Upton play different roles, and by leaving out the SLG you don’t tell the whole story. Either way you said Fowler’s numbers were “equivalent or a little better,” but Upton’s OPS was over 50 points higher. How exactly is that equivalent or better?
November 29th, 20129:47 am
good signing. it would drive price up for bourn, so some teams we are fighting going to spend unreasonable amount for older and barely better bourn. secondly he prefer Atlanta to Philly team with much bigger fan support and money showing respect for braves organization in baseball community still exist. not always agree with wren moves, but at least he trying. hope finally he get some luck. go braves
November 29th, 20129:49 am
You were contrasting Fowler’s road numbers with Upton’s overall. Fowler slugged 381 on the road while Upton slugged 452 overall. That is a huge difference.
November 29th, 20129:50 am
I’m kinda thinkin the WARs and WHIPs are looking pretty good with this deal. Anyone care to expand on my observations?
November 29th, 20129:53 am
This is Uggla 2.0.
November 29th, 20129:56 am
We’re in ATL analyzing a 75mil signing of a .240 hitter and the feature baseball article in STLtoday focuses on the progress made in the Cards farm system. That’s the difference between a sustainable competitive and financially viable operating model and a knee-jerk reaction to every thing that happens.
November 29th, 20129:57 am
It is conceivable that the Braves will not sign anyone for left field and instead give Gattis an opportunity to make the club. This could be why they signed Schafer plus they could re-sign Reed Johnson which I would like to see.
November 29th, 20129:59 am
Yeah, but what are the Cards’ bloggers saying?
November 29th, 201210:01 am
You call this filling a need – you have got to be kidding.
Now they are stuck with another big bucks long term contract for another player who hits below .250 and approachers 200 Strike Outs per season.
As bad as the Uggla deal was and is, at least he has a decent On Base Average while Upton’s On Base Average is also terrible (below .300) to go with his terrrible Batting Average and Srike Out totals.
Now they are stuck the TWO of these long term, big bucks contracts for this kind of players.
Hitters like Uggla and Upton usually do not hit the good pitchers or in close games or in the late innings of close games, or in game determining situations – will let you down at crunch time..
This is absurd and definately not the way to build a winning team
November 29th, 201210:06 am
Pippa’sRoundMeatyBackside, the Cardinals’ payroll is still significantly larger than the Braves’. They have over $222MM in guaranteed contracts through 2017. Even with Upton, the Braves are only at $141MM through 2017.
Biff Pocoroba Fan Club President
November 29th, 201210:08 am
Didn’t Braves just dump a lot of big salaries and now they pick up a .246 hitter for $15M per year???
This is Rick Ankiel all over again. The Braves lusted after him for years, finally got him, and he sucked.
From ESPN’s Keith Law:
B.J. Upton’s five-year, $75 million deal with Atlanta looks like a winner for both sides. It’s a solid return for a player coming off a disappointing year, while the team gets the top position player available in free agency this year for his ages-28-to-32 seasons, meaning they get most of his offensive peak without locking up much of his decline phase and don’t have to worry too much about him losing enough defensive value to have to move out of center field.
November 29th, 201210:12 am
Those of you who are saying that Upton is a second Uggla are wrong.
As terrible as being stuck with the Uggla contract is, the Upton situation is far, far worse. At least Uggla has a decent On Base Average; wheras Upton has a terrible On Base AVerage (below .300) to go with his terrible batting average and terrrible, terrible Strike Out totals.
Acquiring him must be a bad dream.
November 29th, 201210:16 am
Rick Ankiel all over again? You mean we just got BJ Upton for a two month deal starting the beginning of August?
Rick, my point was that SLG is contemplated in the OPS, which was not hugely better for Upton overall than Fowler on the road. In terms of overall numbers for both players side-by-side, Fowler was better. Moreover, so much is made of a player’s splits when they play at home in Coors field, but I would be curious to see the avg differential in numbers for an MLB player on the road vs. home. I suspect that there is a typical differential for any player, regardless of where they play their home games (but that is just a guess).
November 29th, 201210:19 am
75 million for a .246 hitter……. Go ahead and get your world series tickets,we can’t lose.
November 29th, 201210:20 am
Uggla II: The Sequel, coming to a ballpark near you !
Well, the braves have screwed the monkey this time. That much money for a below average wantabe. Frank Wren has lost his mind. That fool thinks Prado is a everyday third baseman? Holy cow, what’s next. Freddie growing a halo?
November 29th, 201210:21 am
Holy Crap Wrenman: You gotta be the dumbest GM in baseball history. Now we have another Uggla on the Braves lineup.
Now we can look forward to another lousy season. 75 Mill. give me a break, oh wait, that is what happens to Upton alot. Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
November 29th, 201210:22 am
Wonder which year of his contract we will try to unload him, like we did Lowe?????????????????
November 29th, 201210:23 am
Uggla and Upton, They both start with U because this is Ugly. 27 Million per year with 320 strikeouts.
November 29th, 201210:24 am
Upton is a 30-30 threat who averages 3-4 WAR/year, and he’s entering his physical prime. With the market value being around $5 per Win Above Replacement, tell me how this is a bad deal? It looks to me like this is a fair deal on both sides. Upton gets close to top dollar, and the Braves have the potential of getting excess value out of him if he improves even slightly.
Oops. I meant to say $5 million per Win Above Replacement.
November 29th, 201210:25 am
If Bourn wanted to be a Brave, he would have signed the deal he was offered. He wasn’t offered a chump change deal I am sure. Boras works for Bourn, not the other way. It is Bourn who is holding out for more money. The Braves more than likely offered him a deal that probably either doubled or almost doubled his salary. That should have been more than enough for you to stay here and be the CF’er and leadoff hitter for the Braves. Glad BJ Upton wants to be here. Just another piece to the championship puzzle.
November 29th, 201210:27 am
I hope Braves get Span for LF/leadoff. Span’s contract gives Braves wiggle room to make another deal in season if needed (and he’s a very good salary overall for the next three years) and he really makes the lineup deeper.
I’m OK with the Upton signing. I’ve got faith that he can be better than he was last year, reduce his Ks and bump his walks up. He’s done it before, and he has a couple of good hitting coaches to lean on.
To wit,Upton’s home/road splits for SLG were almost 100 points different. To disregard Fowler for this reason and instead pour so much salary into Upton is not a smart move for a team like the Braves. I agree wholeheartedly that the Braves need to follow the giants/Cardinals model instead of trying to be Yankees-lite. BTW, to the extent that anyone cares about anecdotal evidence, all of my friends and fellow rays fans here in the bay area are giving me so much crap on facebook bc they know I am a Braves fan first, and they are so glad to be rid of Upton.
November 29th, 201210:29 am
Yeah, because Lowe coming to the Braves at age 36 is so comparable to Upton coming over at age 28.
I disagree. 50 points in OPS is a big difference. I would expect most players to hit better at home, but there is a particularly big contrast in Fowler’s home/road splits. In 2012 the MLB team avg at home was 259/326/415, away was 250/312/395. Fowler hit 332/431/553 at home, 262/339/381 away. So league avg was a 34 point improvement in OPS at home. Fowler individually had a 264 point improvement. That is huge.
November 29th, 201210:35 am
“To wit,Upton’s home/road splits for SLG were almost 100 points different. To disregard Fowler for this reason and instead pour so much salary into Upton is not a smart move for a team like the Braves.”
Upton played in a pitcher friendly park while Fowler played in easily the most hitter friendly park. And over his career, Upton’s home/road numbers are practically identical. 252/336/422 with 106 2B, 9 3B, 60 HR, and 218 RBI at home. 258/335/422 with 96 2B, 11 3B, 58 HR, 229 RBI away.
November 29th, 201210:38 am
OK I see your point. I still value payroll flexibility and upside over what Upton brings to the table, but I hope you are right.
Gil in Mechanicsville
Another lousy season? 94 wins does not constitute a lousy season… Yes, the Braves were bumped out of the play-offs in the first round but that was not Uggla’s fault.
The Braves had 94 wins in a season many would say was in spite of Dan’s sub par plate performance. In spite of being so lefty dominate at the plate.
Reality is, the Braves have many options at this point. Stop coveting everyone else’s players and dance with the one who brought you. Every team has weaknesses, the Braves have fewer than most.
November 29th, 201210:44 am
Good for our Braves. Hopefully they learned their lessons about trading away talent, for the half a year- and- done……personnel who say they may sign during the off season and they don’t. Get a bonfide left fielder and hold onto our pitching PLEASE!!!!!!!!! GO BRAVES
Well Great. We paid $15 million per year for a .246 hitter who might hit 25 home runs and will strike out almost as much as Uggala. Mickey Mantle is rolling over in his grave.
November 29th, 201210:45 am
Surprised that BJ chose ATL over Philly…
Boy, this division, as well as the AL East, are going to be TOUGH next year. Very tough. I’m not talking about who gets hottest at the end of the year and takes the WS, I’m talking about full season. The East is going to beat up each other pretty good. Good teams are going to look OK b/c of this.
November 29th, 201210:51 am
I definitely agree with you on that. Free agents typically do get overpaid and Upton was not my first choice of the available FAs. But I’d definitely rather have him than Fowler, and it’s been reported that the Rockies’ asking price for him is very high. The Braves would have saved money, but they’d also have depleted their farm in the process. If the Braves want Fowler though, they could still potentially get him for LF. I would prefer Span though.
DOB Needs To Ask TOUGHER QUESTIONS
November 29th, 201210:53 am
Folks…tipping cap time again. And you have to tip your cap to Wren for just outspending all the other teams who weren’t really spending for a strike out machine. For those who wanted the Turner era to come back, here ya go! We have to tip the cap to the old Wrenny for locking us down for not ONE BUT TWO strike out machines in the middle of the lineup! Folks, you have to also not tip any caps at me because obviously we are NOT going to have a 50 mil payroll next year. Upton to the Braves! ATTA BOY WRENNY!
Well who is the lead off hitter going to be ? A .240 hitter who strikes out as much as Uggla did ?
November 29th, 201210:56 am
Blanco and Infante would have cost the braves $5 million a year…….. Upton and Uggla cost the Braves $30 Million a year……
So are we that much better off with the latter ?
November 29th, 201210:57 am
I would trade Prado and a starting pitcher for A-Rod at least he has pop in his bat and is popular with putting people in the stand. -what you eat for breakfast?
Wow! The question is, what did YOU eat for breakfast, pot brownies? A-Rod isn’t worth what Prado brings to this team, much less a starting pitcher added. I wouldn’t want that prima donna anywhere near the Braves.
November 29th, 201210:59 am
Well Upton may be excited to see more fans in the seats then he saw in Tampa Bay…..
I wonder if prices are going up……….. to pay for all this lunacy ?
“Now we can look forward to another lousy season.”
Let’s all go back to November 2011. This board was clammoring for the Braves to do something – anything in light of the epic collapse. Wren stood pat and where did it get them? 94 wins and a playoff berth (not the Braves fault that the new format only gave them a 50/50 chance in one game). I think the guy knows what he’s doing. Let’s stop blowing things up before the Braves even hit the field. If Upton hits .240 with 12 HR and 50 RBI in 2013, then by all means, get upset. But the truth of the matter is that he meets two needs (a RH power bat and a CF to replace Bourn). Let’s move forward, get the final pieces and see how it all works out.
Nova Scotia Steve
November 29th, 201211:02 am
Now, the second half of my prediction is not far away. Shane Victorino will be wearing a Tomahawk.
November 29th, 201211:04 am
There’s an awful lot of negativity on this board. How about we give B.J. the chance to show us what he can do before we bash him? You know, be good Braves fans and welcome him to Atlanta and wish him the best? I’m not thrilled about this signing based solely on his career numbers, but am willing to keep an open mind and give him the benefit of the doubt. Who knows that he won’t come here and blossom into the player many think he could be? Cheer him on, people!
November 29th, 201211:05 am
NSS, that makes me want to barf, but I suppose I can learn to tolerate him.
November 29th, 201211:06 am
After getting burned with Uggla Wren goes and does this?? The guy hasn’t hit over .246 in the past 4 years – and Braves go and give him $75m?? For a .298 OBP last season?? With a team already way to streaky and struggling to score runs consistently, getting a guy who almost never gets on base makes no sense. Awful, awful move. Maybe one of the worst offseason moves Atlanta’s made in the past 20 years.
Like the Upton deal so I’ll give it a chance before i bash it. It was one of the best moves considering what’s out there.
I don’t see the love for Span… I wouldn’t trade any top prospect for him. His numbers are mediocre at best…. I’d rather leave Prado in left and start Francisco at 3rd.
738 ops for 2012
687 ops for 2011
273ish avg over the last two years… career avg of 15 sb a year….. what does this guy do that makes everyone want him so bad? seriously. bc i can’t seem to find it.
November 29th, 201211:09 am
Get a decent leadoff man and the Braves will be in great shape for 2013. We won 94 games in 2012, so things are mostly where they need to be. Not worried about Upton’s strikeouts because Bourn strikes out about as much. Upton has way more power than Bourn and is a righty bat. Again, get a leadoff man (.350+ OBP) with the ability to steal 20-30 bases and all is well.
If we can get Victorino on a two year-deal for $6 or $7 million. I would go for it – then sign Reed Johnson.
Victorino, Prado, Heyward, Upton, Freeman, McCann, Uggla, Simmons, Pitcher
November 29th, 201211:11 am
That my friends, is a solid line-up.
November 29th, 201211:13 am
Ya know, if we get a Simmons, Prado, Heyward and Freeman of last year. And an Uggla of the second half of ‘10 and a McCann we’ve been accustom to, an Upton and a Willingham looks like a pretty formidable line-up to me. Especially in light of the pitching staff era we have.
Brava . What makes you believe he hits better in the National league compared to the American league, I expect the national league to be a better pitching league ? ?
November 29th, 201211:14 am
With not one, but TWO terrible, terrible, terrrible Strike Out Machine, low B.A. big buck, long term contracts in the line up, the future of the Braves is a sealed deal for a long long time.
Etrain, I like Span because he hits for a good AVG and OBP, which are what I want out of a lead off hitter. I’d prefer if he could steal more bases, but there are only so many true lead off hitters in the game right now. He’s also a very good defender and has a reasonable contract. His career OPS is actually higher than Bourn’s. Really my only big concern with him is the injury history.
November 29th, 201211:15 am
$41 million committed to McCann , Uggla & Upton in 2013; or 45% of team payroll
I see much dumpster-diving by Frank Wren in future to plug holes on roster …
Nova Scotia Steve.. So a guy batting 7th in the order gets $14 million a year ?
WOW…….. that is a fail in my book.
What makes all think Upton hits better in the National league then in the American league ?
November 29th, 201211:16 am
Trade Andrelton Simmons? Trade Martin Prado? Upton is inevitably another Dan Uggla? No wonder people think Atlanta fans are the worst around, I cannot believe I am reading this stuff.
Etrain, Span has a strong career OBP of .357. And a batting average of .273ish is pretty good considering Bourn batted .274 in his full season with Atlanta. His defensive ability also makes him a commodity. But if some of you prefer Victorino, I really cant blame you.
I still say signing someone that puts people in the stands will generate revenue for the team and thus provide better opportunities in the stands.
From what I have read online the internet world seems to be “ho-hum” on the BJ signing.
November 29th, 201211:17 am
Call KC and lets get Lorenzo Cain in a Braves’ uniform for LF !
With both Uggla and Upton in the lineup, the Braves will cut down on expenses – that is the cost of bats – there will be far fewer broken bats – –
You have to make contact with the ball in order to break a bat.
November 29th, 201211:22 am
Peter: I think it shows the depth of the line-up. Salary does not determine where you bat in a line-up.
You could actually swap Uggla and McCann for a more balanced line-up – S, R, L, R, L, R, L, R
November 29th, 201211:23 am
Brava, give Upton a chance to show what he can do? What did he do the last 6 years?
November 29th, 201211:25 am
Paying Mac’s option, plus giving BJ 15 million, makes 2012 a lost opportunity of tragic proportions. It’s simply absurd.
We are becoming the Cubs, a team continuing to add obscenely priced ballast on a sinking ship.
Maybe Epstein and Hoyer will be available to save us in 3 years, too.
November 29th, 201211:26 am
“Now, the second half of my prediction is not far away. Shane Victorino will be wearing a Tomahawk.” – NS Steve
I hope you’re right.
While BJ wasn’t exactly one of my choices, I’ll support him fully. Lets see what happens.
“From what I have read online the internet world seems to be “ho-hum” on the BJ signing.”
Welcome to Braves Country. The fan base pisses me off at time. B*tch, moan and complain about a team that won 94 games last season.
I think the Braves will have a better team this season and we’re not even finished consturcting our roster. But, let’s continue to whine about it anyway until April (and beyond).
Sad, sad Braves fan
November 29th, 201211:27 am
@longtimefan, from last night: “Would the fans that continue to say BJ Upton is an “average” fielder please support your contentions.”
Yes, I will, courtesy of Buster Olney writing this morning for ESPN:
1. His declining on-base percentage, which has dropped almost 100 points over the past six seasons.
2. The strikeouts. Upton has racked up 934 over his past six seasons, in part because of his acute struggles against power pitchers. If you use the definition provided by Baseball-reference.com — the top third of the pitchers in the league in strikeouts plus walks — Upton hit .168 against power pitchers last year, with no homers in 121 plate appearances.
3. His declining defensive metrics. There is no perfect measure of defense, but FanGraph’s UZR/150 evaluation of Upton is right in line with more advanced metrics used by individual teams.
Olney goes on to discuss Upton’s streakiness, and he points out that on Aug. 10, he had only 10 HR before clubbing 18 the rest of the way, a power burst that cannot be counted on annually. But even if it can, again, the Braves have had that same player (Uggla) for a few years now. And even Fredi benched him when things got real this season.
To some critics of the Upton critics, I’ll say that I don’t pretend to know more than Frank Wren or Bobby Cox or anyone in any front office for any team. But I have followed baseball closely for 30 years, and my own opinions aren’t made in a vacuum. As Olney wrote: “This whopper investment by Atlanta seems incongruous with how the industry has viewed Upton in recent seasons, and you wonder if the Braves might’ve been better off chasing Chris Young — who was acquired by Oakland from Arizona a few weeks ago — in a deal earlier this offseason.”
So, perhaps someone may feel Atlanta’s front office is smarter than the rest of baseball, or not quite as smart as the rest of baseball. Someone may prefer to think a “change of scenery” or a “better lineup” will suddenly reverse Upton’s offensive data. Maybe it will. That’s hope, though, with no evidence to back it up (in fact, lineup protection is one of the great myths of baseball). Do I have hope Upton will perform up to this investment? No, I don’t, because there’s absolutely nothing in the public data to make you think that he will. Maybe Frank Wren has something the rest of baseball does not. What I fear he has is an outdated player evaluation model and an overreliance on stats and indicators that have been superceded in recent years by far more accurate evaluative models.
And if you disagree with that, then present Exhibit A, Dan Uggla.
Strikeouts matter, a lot. Pitch counts matter, a lot. Situational hitting matters, a lot. Fastball hitting (power pitching) matters, a lot. I’m glad Upton hits from the right side. When his right-sided AVG against the intra division power pitchers of the Nats and Phillies fails to top .180, I nor any other Braves fan will be glad. Let’s see how he handles Strasburg, Gio, Cliff Lee, Halladay, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, and oh yeah, Cole Hamels.
Yeah…and I remember all the hype with UGGLA too! Roll the dice Frank maybe you’ll get lucky with this one….Ya know, every now and then a blind squirrel finds a nut!
I hope Upton works out for us as a 30/30 guy. Trends tell you he will be a .235-.245 hitter with some pop, lots of strikeouts (150+) and low OBP – sounds much like the last big contract we landed, right Uggla?
At any rate, the Braves have to commit to the count-working, hit/run, steal, gap hitting, bunting – “small ball” approach, which has nver been a Braves strategy with Cox/Fredi.
Wren says he sees the game moving that way – yet forks out $75mm for a guy with a .293 OBP last season. Giants and Cards get it – they play the game the right way.
We talk a good game and re-load our commitments to small ball again on our “October Hot Stove”
November 29th, 201211:29 am
Good point. The bats will be in pristine condition.
The trio of Uggla, Upton and Heyward could actually strike out 475 times collectively this year.
I can only imagine the tone on this blog if Upton when to Nats or Phillies. I think the Braves come out on top of this signing.
I’m excited about it and look forward to Wren’s other moves.
November 29th, 201211:31 am
I think the Miami / Toronto trade was bigger and the first big move in baseball.
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