Atlanta Braves shakeup: Glavine released, Schafer sent down, Hanson called up, McLouth moves to CF

Nate McLouth

Nate McLouth

Braves — and Pirates — fans may be calling it What The Heck Wednesday.
For Atlanta fans, it was a day that saw veteran pitcher Tom Glavine, 43, released after a comeback bid with his original, longtime MLB team and one day after outfield prospect Jordan Schafer was sent down to AAA Gwinnett after two months of floundering at the major league level. Then Wednesday took another stunning turn when Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth was traded to the Braves for three prospects. Oh, and lest we forget, top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson was called up to the bigs. Got all that?

For Pirates fans, Wednesday arguably marked another strange chapter in the club’s recent losing history. If Braves fans were stunned by Glavine’s release, Bucs fans had to be speechless after their All-Star outfielder was sent packing at the quarter-point of a season when Pittsburgh is 24-28 and McLouth, a fan favorite, is leading the team with nine home runs and 34 RBIs. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates players were none too happy with the trade and that GM Neal Huntington is braced for fan backlash, telling the paper, “I know how it’s going to be received back home. Believe me, it was the most difficult move I’ve made.”

YOU TELL US: We’re asking Braves AND Pirates fans to weigh in on the big moves made by both clubs Wednesday. Atlanta fans, share your thoughts on the Glavine release, McLouth deal, Hanson call-up and Schafer send-down (or just whichever move you think was best or worst). And Bucs fans, how will the loss of McLouth affect your team? Tell us what Braves fans will learn to like about Nate McLouth.

229 comments Add your comment

Josh P.

June 4th, 2009
9:59 am

I think that we have strongly lacked production out of Schafer. He struck out ALL the time. Whatever we gave up is worth it. It is time to win Now in ATL. Us braves fans are sick of missing the playoffs. Bring your A-game Nate! Tomahawk Chop Baby!!!!

dogsbrekky

June 4th, 2009
9:59 am

Disappointed about Glavine but Wren has shown a ruthless streak that IO didn’t think possible and this may help put us back in the playoffs and that is what counts

McLouth is perfect for us. He is young, speedy, powerful and an excellent field and we got him with 3 guys who probably were not going to make an impact in ATL any time in 09/10

Steve

June 4th, 2009
10:00 am

Let’s go Braves.

jbgotcha

June 4th, 2009
10:01 am

This is a great series of moves for the Braves. We have a good draft position, minor league depth at pitcher, and G. Hernandez was blocked by Schafer anyway. Sad to see Glavine go, but it was sad to see him go to the Mets years ago. I think this will make our lineup incredibly better.

Gene

June 4th, 2009
10:02 am

Glavin deserved a shot. If he didn’t produce, then release him. I don’t like the way this franchise treats people. I hope that Smoltz and Glavin make Wren and company look stupid.

Justin

June 4th, 2009
10:03 am

As a Braves fan I think this is a huge step towards the future and a huge step in the right direction. As much as a love Glavine he is done and Tommy Hanson helps us more now and for the future. Nate McLouth is a beast. He won a gold glove last season and made the all-star team and he’s under team control for 3 more years its a win-win for the Braves great day!

Steve

June 4th, 2009
10:03 am

McLouth instantly becomes the Braves best OF this season, and imagine next year or 2011 – McLouth, Schaefer and Heyward starting. That’s a great OF.

hal

June 4th, 2009
10:04 am

hes not going to have the hr numbers in our park but hes a all star class cf and that kid couldent hit water if he fell out of a boat so all in all a definate upgrade now when scheafer forgets everything that wprthless pendelton told him bring him back up and put him in leaft to replace that post that standsa out there against right handers give us defence and speed in leaft and actually scheafers out homered the loaf anderson in limited time see there our offence is fixed lol when do i get paid? lol

Justin

June 4th, 2009
10:05 am

lol gene Glavine has already made you look stupid he didnt tell you there was a e at the end of his name.

ATL BRAVOE

June 4th, 2009
10:07 am

Nice trade for McLouth. However, Frank gave up just a little much for him.

William Burch

June 4th, 2009
10:07 am

The stab in the back of Glavine is unacceptable to me. I have been a Braves fan since 1966 but this is Steinbrenner-like. If they weren’t going to allow him to pitch, then why the take the time to allow him to rehab? I wouldn’t blame Tom if he chose to go into the Hall with a Mets jersey on. He should have at least been given a chance to try it one more time.

Stephen

June 4th, 2009
10:08 am

I’m glad that Frank Wren’s stepping up and making the moves that need to be made. Schuerholtz was too attached to the ’90s teams to make the right business moves that the Braves need now. Excellent trade for McLouth, and Tommy Henson is going to make all of the real Braves fans out there forget about Tom Glavine.

Tom in ATL

June 4th, 2009
10:09 am

The Mclouth deal is a great, great move by Frank Wren. People complain about what we gave up – Charlie Morton may go on and have a decent career – but we have JJ, Lowe, Vazquez and KK locked up, leaving only the 5 spot. TO handle that we have Phenom Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, and coming around the corner from injury – Tim Hudson and Campillo (the forgotten man, but pitched great last year for ATL) Even after trading Morton and releasing Glavine – Braves are stacked with starters. Gorkys is a speedy CF who will likely reach the majors in another year or so – but Nate McClouth is a stud – and signed at a very affordable price for 3/4 years. This is not like the Texiera trade – renting a player and trading away the farm to do it. None of the players traded were likely to crack the Atl lineup anytime soon – if ever. And we still have Schafer on the farm. But McLouth will instantly become a fan favorite, and will give the Braves the power and speed they lack.

As for Glavine – see the above list of starting pitchers – we just had no room for him. I would have liked to see him pitch at Turner Field again – but I think the Braves realize they just have no need for him now – best of luck to TOmmy catching on with someone else. And it’s harsh – but I agree with their assessment – He is not going to be very effective with MLB hitters anymore.

RB

June 4th, 2009
10:09 am

Hal, I’ll bet he can spell

ATLfan15

June 4th, 2009
10:11 am

I like the McClouth trade. I think we gave up a little to get quite a bit in return…can’t wait to see him in a Braves uni on Thursday!

Releasing Glavine was a business decision; that’s all. I realize what he has done for the Braves (and the city of Atlanta), but you can’t sit around and ‘hope’ that the surgically repaired shoulder and elbow of a 43 yr old pitcher will carry the fifth spot in the rotation. Wren is just trying to field the best possible team with the budget he has been given. It’s time to let Hanson come up and take his shot.
If they had kept Glavine and he ended up being 0-6 with 5.00+ ERA, you would hear these same people criticizing Wren for keeping Glavine on the roster too long…..can’t have it both ways.

Brian in Athens

June 4th, 2009
10:12 am

The timing of Glavine pitching well and being ready is the only thing I don’t like. Will Hanson give us a better chance than Glavine? I believe so. However, Hanson gave us a better chance than JoJo Reyes, and whoever else they have been running out there (Medlen is very good, too). It would have been nice for Hanson to be up a couple weeks ago and establish himself through 3-4 starts and then there would be no backlash for pulling him up and cutting Glavine.
As for McClouth, I really like it. There is too much pitching depth for Morton to help us the next couple of years and he deserves a chance. Especially with Hudson coming back later this year we still have 7 deep as far as quality starters including Medlen and Hanson. The young center fielder is very good, but again he would not be playing in Atlanta because Schafer and Blanco are still ahead of him in CF and now with McClouth who is signed for 3-4 years, he wouldn’t be playing at the TED anytime soon. On paper we gave up a lot for him, but in reality they were minor league pieces who will only contribute wins to our minor league system.
I am sensitive to people who wanted Glavine to finish this year with the Braves and ride off into the sunset. However, I lost my emotional attachment when he left for NY, very happy he pitched game 6 in 1995, but baseball is about winning now at the Major League level and we have a very good chance now. We are better with Hanson starting every fifth day.

Obama hates Cheney's bald head the most

June 4th, 2009
10:13 am

OK, im just upset now about the way Glavine didn’t even get a couple of starts or hell even some bullpen work with the club or AAA. We already paid him what he is going to make and the rest are escalators based on performance, WHY RELEASE A FACE OF THE FRANCHISE LIKE THAT? Give him an easy exit and don’t talk to me about “performace decision” crap; he has performed and deserves at least a shot.

Pete nose

June 4th, 2009
10:16 am

Hey Frank Wren don’t worry about the mule,just load the wagon.And justin if you wanted to be in a spelling bee it was the other night. i think you miss’ed it

Dan

June 4th, 2009
10:19 am

McClouth trade is great. Maybe we gave up too much…maybe not. That is obviously the risk in trading.

As for Glavine…tough break, I’m sure he will get over it. As he so well demonstrated, baseball can be a brutal business.

braves fan27

June 4th, 2009
10:26 am

You guys are worried that we gave to much. Charlie Morton , Hernandez, and who Locke. This was a great deal for the braves. Nate is an ALL-STAR people. Now we can compete! And Tommy Hanson is coming up, its about time. Forget Glavine thats what he told us a few years ago when he left us to go to the Muts. Remember people they are NL east rivals, But he didnt care he wanted to stick it to us. And now payback is a b%$##@ . Cant wait to see Nate and Hanson play. Should make for some fun and exciting baseball. Good Job Braves now lets make it to the playoffs. Oh and yes we will see being Huddy soon. Awsome. LETS GO BRAVES

Josh

June 4th, 2009
10:27 am

Congratulations to David O’Brien! Sportscenter Baby….ok enough of that.
I think the release of Glavine is something that had to be done but it should have happened earlier in the season or they should not have re-signed him. As for McLouth(sp?), he is a way better hitter than his .256 BA reflects and has a lot of power from the leadoff spot. He should balance out this offense to where we don’t score 10 and the 2 consistently. I don’t think I’m the only one that is excited about the arrival of Tommy Hanson. The only question I have about him is, what number will he wear?

Michael

June 4th, 2009
10:27 am

Josh P – Be quiet. “Whatever we gave up is worth it” is not true. Fortunately, what we gave up in this case is worth it. But abandoning the farm system to win now is bad strategy.

Mick Chuck

June 4th, 2009
10:29 am

I don’t understand what was so bad about the way the Glavine situation was handled. We had to go through the rehab process and see if he came out of it with an arm better than any in-house replacement. And he didn’t. Why would we pay a million to place him on the roster when it was deemed that he wasn’t better than options we were already paying for?

We have a great rotation and a back-end of the bullpen that includes Medlen, Gonzalez, & Soriano (and 2 months away from the return of Hudson). There simply wasn’t room for a future hall-of-famer who should have hung it up prior to the start of the 2008 season.

steve

June 4th, 2009
10:30 am

Glad the Braves got the last laugh on Glavine. Tommy has been paid millions over 20+ seasons and that was where his loyalty was, not with the Braves. So why should the Braves be loyal to Tommy? Get real people. Braves saved 3 million releasing him.

Dr Henry / augusta

June 4th, 2009
10:30 am

All of you who are miffed because the Braves released Glavine try to remember the last time he pitched in a meaningful game for us….It was the 2002 Division series….We lost that series because Glavines era was 15.26 in two starts….He was bombed and so were we….The Giants ace in that series was Russ Ortiz ( remember him? )….Glavine had a good year in 02 but was terrible in the playoffs….He then became a Met for 5 years and was injured in 08….The Braves did the right thing in releasing him…This decade is almost over and the majority of Tom Glavines success as a Brave was in the last decade – The 90s….

edward

June 4th, 2009
10:31 am

To Gene and all the other so called braves fans who are hoping Glavine puts it to the braves; really? You call yourself a braves fan but want players who are no longer with us, and rightfully so, to beat us?
Wren did whats best for the team. Hanson gives us a better shot in the rotation. Would you rather Glavine get rocked in 4 or 5 starts and then get released? Glavine was more than finished. And if he pitches againist us we will rock him like we did when he was with the mets. And getting McLouth was a steal, plain and simple. Hernandez will be good but he has no where to play in Atlanta, Morton is garbage, forget his stats this yr, and Locke is irrelevant. I am glad we have a GM like Wren who will do whatever it takes to win and will continue to be aggressive to accomplish that. I will cheer Smoltz and Glavine when/if they return to Atlanta for what they did here. But never to beat my team. Its time to move on guys and root for the braves and the players we have. If not, then we don’t need you on our side. We are a much better team today and I salute Frank Wren and look forward to getting back in the playoffs, starting tonight against the cubs. LETS GO BRAVES!!!

ATL Braves

June 4th, 2009
10:31 am

This seems like a great deal, to plug a All Star and Gold Glove caliber player into center field for 3-4 years will help the offense and help the staff tracking down balls. This should take a lot of pressure of Francoeur, there is no added pressure out of the 8 hitter; therefore, we will still be able to utilize his defense and cannon in right.

Charlie Morton was the 3rd best pitcher in Gwinnett this year and Gorkys almost seems like free trade bait since we already have got more than enough out of the Renteria/Jurrjens deal. Great move by Wren to re-energize the team and fan base in early June. It is like we acquired an All Star centerfielder and a potential All Star pitcher (Hanson) in the same day.

See you at the Ted!

Doug

June 4th, 2009
10:32 am

This is the most aggressive I can remember the Braves being since McGriff came to town and the old stadium burned. Good moves. Bring on the summer run to the top of the NL East.

Bamafan

June 4th, 2009
10:32 am

Wren stole us braves fans a very good centerfielder and should get a pat on the back for the trade.
I wish Glavine all the best and maybe catch on with another team and thank you for all the great victorys and world series games!!

Pete nose

June 4th, 2009
10:32 am

Dan– Baseball is a brutal business i guess. get cut by a team you spend most of your career with and only have 100 million to retire on.sounds brutal to me

Zack

June 4th, 2009
10:33 am

Love the McClouth trade. With our farm depth, I don’t think we gave up too much for a player of his worth. He has several years left on his contract with a club option at the end – we will have him for several years to come. We gave up great talent for him, but in places where our farm system has great depth.

Glad to see Shafer sent back down. He was up long enough to know what he needs to work on and will hopefully be much better next time he comes up.

I am sad to see Tom released; however, don’t look at it as a stab in the back. We paid him to rehab when few other teams probably would. I wish Tom the best.

Line Up?

June 4th, 2009
10:35 am

Has anyone heard any news where McLouth might hit? 4-spot? 5-spot? He hit in the the 3-hole for Pittsburgh, I doubt we would utilize him at lead off. What a brutal line up for right-handers to face when Kotch returns (Johnson, C. Jones, McCann, McLouth, Kotchman, G. Anderson all lefties). Too bad the best 2 pitchers in the division (Hamels & Santana) are lefties.

Blackberry Cobbler

June 4th, 2009
10:39 am

Now, get rid of Francine and Anderson and get one more good pitcher and I’ll be happy.

PMC

June 4th, 2009
10:44 am

Wren obviously has a plan, he’s sticking to it and he’s doing an excellent job as GM. He’s even putting a little more of the truth in his media contacts which I appreciate.

PMC

June 4th, 2009
10:45 am

Love Tom Glavine though and I hope he makes it back somewhere this year and I’ll always appreciate everything he did for our ball club.

Thomas

June 4th, 2009
10:46 am

More bumblin’, stumblin’, lying at every opportunity, Atlanta Braves. Don’t get me wrong, the McClouth trade is a steal, and Hanson is a much better option (long term), but you simply do not treat your icons in the manner in which the Braves have treated both Glavine and Smoltz. If you want to move in a different direction, FINE. But man up and give these guys the courtesy of letting them know from the get-go. Schuerholz went out of his way to drag Glavine through the mud in 2002, saying they offered ‘comparable’ dollars, when the facts point out that the offers weren’t even close. Wren does the same thing this year to Smoltz and now says the Glavine release was ‘performance related’………yet by cutting Glavine and his performance based contract he freed up almost exactly what Atlanta is on the hook for in regards to McClouth. Good baseball move….fine, but please call a spade a spade before we see our Atlanta-icons showing up in Cooperstown wearing somebody else’s uniform.

1eyedJack

June 4th, 2009
10:46 am

Hanson should have made the team out of spring training.

Though I have a fondness for Glavine and appreciate what he has done for the Braves, (300 game winner, game 6 of the ‘95 WS) I now have more velocity than he does. Glavine always lived by his changeup. Now that’s not much different than his fastball. We will get more production from the 5th spot with Hanson than with Glavine. It’ll be interesting to see, when we don’t need the 5th starter who gets passed over, Hanson or Kawakami? Medlin becomes the long man and spot starter out of the bullpen and is an upgrade over Buddy Carlyle or Jorge Campillo.

McClouth is an instant upgrade over Shafer in CF now and can slide over to left or right when Shafer’s ready. Instant offense as far as power and run production and I think the batting average will climb in this lineup. Gold glover too. I like Mike Gonzalez’s assessment, “a baller”. Maybe bring a little fire to the lineup. I wanted this guy since I first saw him play. Leave him alone TP.

As for what we gave up. Just prospects. Morton is a head case, no confidence. He may one day be a serviceable 4th or 5th guy. Locke is an A ball pitcher and a 2nd round choice. Give me a hundred dollars for every 2nd round pitcher who has ever washed out and I’ll be layin’ on the beach from now on. Gorkys may be the best prospect of the three but does he bring a different skill set than Shafer? I don’t think so.

Dogfan1

June 4th, 2009
10:47 am

Stabbed in the back???? Are you kidding me? This was a business decision, just like Tommy G said his decision was when he bolted for New York. You can talk about loyalty all you want, but there was not a whole lot of loyalty on his part several years ago when he went to the METS!

Chris

June 4th, 2009
10:48 am

What exactly is going to happen when all of our starting pitchers are healthy? Even with the release of Glavine we still have a total excess of pitching. 1. Lowe 2. Hudson 3. JJ 4. Javy 5. Hanson ? I know we’re not going to give up on KK that easily and I believe they’d like to keep Medlin pitching. Campillo I assume will go to the Bullpen. Any thoughts on that?

braves phanatic

June 4th, 2009
10:50 am

wren said something like “we havent had a true leadoff hitter since furcal, if that is indeed where booby decides to put him.”

i think bobby would be an idiot not to hit him first. he has the speed to jumpstart our stagnant offense. why put him 5th or 6th so kelly can do nothing at the top of the order. kelly should be down in the order….

mclouth
escobar
jones
mcann
anderson
johnson
kotchman
frenchy
lowe/jair/javy/hanson/kawakami

bullpen:

gonzo
soriano
moylan
oflarety
medlen
bennett (please be DFAd tomorrow!)
who am i missing here? buddy?

bench:

diory
diaz
ross
norton

not sure if that is everyone but that is a team fellas. and that is a hell of a lineup and a hell of a starting rotation and medlen adds instant depth to the bullpen.

wow. this team can win this division if we start to play consistent baseball. last night still pisses me off and we some how need to win against the Z man tonight or this series loss could kill the momentum of this trade maybe.

what a team this can be if everyone plays to their full potential and stays healthy….*cough* frenchy.

Danny

June 4th, 2009
10:50 am

As for the McLouth trade, I love it. I agree that what we gave up was not too much. Locke was a good young pitching prospect, but with the depth we have for pitchers, he was not gonna be used by us. Morton could find success, yes, but he will never be amazing. And I have more faith in Medlen/Hanson than I do in Morton. Hernandez was supposed to be a hell of a player, but he was blocked, so he was just trade bait. McLouth is an exciting player (about time…we don’t have too many of them left) with a great arm, great range, a good eye in the outfield, good bat, and he is an all-star and golden glover (well-deserved as well). Plus, he’s locked up for a few more years at a pretty cheap rate.

Schafer was not ready. I think he will pan out in the long run, but he was rushed to the Majors. Somebody’s future is in jeopardy though. Either Francoeur (McLouth and Schafer both have strong arms) or Schafer…because we all know that Heyward will take LF when he is ready (maybe sometime next year?), so somebody has to go. I don’t wanna see either go, because Schafer can play a sick CF. Francoeur I think will turn it around, but we’ll see.

I’m obviously excited to see Hanson pitch.

As for Tom Glavine, I am very angry with how the Braves handled it. To come out to the media and say that he just wasn’t good enough to join our club is a jackass thing to do. Schuerholz tried to keep relations with the fans strong, but Wren is not doing that very well. Smoltz abandoned us for more money, but Glavine did everything we asked him to do. He bent over backwards so he could stay with us, but we stabbed him in the back right when he says he’s ready to pitch. At least give him a few starts…make him show that his comeback wasn’t successful if you’re so sure about it. I think Stephen is completely wrong when he says real Braves fan will forget about Glavine. Real Braves fan will remember Glavine and be saddened that this is how his legendary career with Atlanta comes to an end. He has given the organization and the fans so much. I hope another team signs Glavine, and I hope for that game that he makes our hitters look foolish. He deserves it…and Wren deserves it…

Ozzy

June 4th, 2009
10:52 am

Awesome Trade. Charlie Morton had no place in Braves and had to be traded. Nate is a hard worker who also brings a lot of speed and a gold glove and could be our leadoff hitter.

Now let’s trade Jeff Francover away for another better outfielder to make this team really strong..

Cool Kat

June 4th, 2009
10:54 am

They gave Glavine a chance – they let him rehab. They gave him an opportunity. He just doesn’t have it anymore. You guys would be pissed off if he was put into the rotation and shelled more times than not. You would be crying that the Braves were losing. You would be crying that we didn’t make it to the playoff’s. It’s time for Glavine and Smoltz to hang it up and head on over to the glue factory.

Bdawg

June 4th, 2009
10:54 am

Generally I like the trade. But there is some caution. Yes, McClouth is an All-Star, but remember every team must have at least one representative in the All-Star game. It’s possible he was the only Pirate sent, so he may not have been as deserving. His current average isn’t all that great, but if you’re going to hit in the .250s you need to hit for power, something he is but Francouer isn’t. At least the team is addressing the biggest weakness on the team.

j

June 4th, 2009
10:55 am

“The stab in the back of Glavine is unacceptable to me. I have been a Braves fan since 1966 but this is Steinbrenner-like. If they weren’t going to allow him to pitch, then why the take the time to allow him to rehab? I wouldn’t blame Tom if he chose to go into the Hall with a Mets jersey on. He should have at least been given a chance to try it one more time.”

William Burch: Maybe you have forgotten that Glavine stabbed US in the back a few years ago when he bolted for the Mets. Why allow him to rehab? because they weren’t sure whether he could get back into form and be useful for our team. And just so you know, had we “given him a chance just one more time,” the Braves would have been on the line for another $1 million- thats just not a smart business decision for a guy who still has shoulder pain and who cannot reach 84 mph anymore. Lastly, with regard to the Hall and going in as a Met, since 2001, the Hall, and not the players, have the final say on what team a player goes in as.

BIGMAC FAN

June 4th, 2009
11:00 am

Obama Head or whatever, the face of the franchise,give me a break. Hoss is the face of this franchise!!

Noah

June 4th, 2009
11:04 am

Now, get rid of Francine and Anderson and get one more good pitcher and I’ll be happy.

Why would you get rid of GA. He playing well and you want to get rid of him to play who? a rookie. Great, lets get rid of our LF and RF and bring up two guys from AA. One more pitcher? You mean starter? Where on earth would you pitch in the rotation.

ugacpa02

June 4th, 2009
11:04 am

When everyone is healthy will be next year. Hudson, will not be fully healthy this year. He’ll be a 6th starter subbing in with Kawakami or Hanson who will have their innings somewhat limited this year as they haven’t pitched a full MLB season before.

Medlen is going to be a bullpen guy. He was generally thought of as a bullpen guy in the minors, but was so good they allowed him to start awhile to get more experience quicker. He’ll be quite useful.

Campillo can be a bullpen option. Nothing wrong with having depth.

SavannahGA

June 4th, 2009
11:05 am

The will probably move Hudson to the bullpen for the remainder of the regular season. They did the same thing with Smoltz, after he returned from surgery. If Hudson does make the starting rotation, then I suspect we will either try to trade KK, or send him to the bullpen in place of Bennett.

bob

June 4th, 2009
11:09 am

The Braves tried to go with Smoltz and Glavine in 08 and it really messed up their pitching staff when both had arm problems. I thought they should have not signed them then and relied ontwo over 40 arms. Letting Glavine hang on for maybe one-half season, probably wouldn’t get them in the playoff. Making the trades yesterday might give them a shot at the division, or at least a wild card. If the hadn’t made the trade for Lamouth I would have put Kelly Johnson in CF and put Prado at 2b until Infante got back and you would have a better defense up the middle. I would keep Medlin in the starting rotation and put Kawakmi in the bullpen.