He played quarterback at Penn. He played everywhere for the Braves. He drove in the winning run in Game 2 of the 2003 NLDS against the Cubs. He lived in my subdivision (and, after leaving for Texas, rented his house first to Chris Reitsma and then to Mike Remlinger). And now Mark DeRosa might be coming back to the ol’ neighborhood.
So speculates Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. DeRo, as he’s known, now plays for Cleveland, and the Indians stink. (Apologies to all my pals in that fine American city.) The Tribe, Stark reports, wants pitching, and that’s the one thing the Braves have. But Frank Wren, Stark also writes, won’t part with any of his top-tier arms, meaning a trade partner would have to settle for Kris Medlen, Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton.
As for Frenchy: Stark believes the Braves are “mostly listening” to proposals for Jeff Francoeur, “in part because they need to add bats, not subtract them, and in part because no one is too sure of Francoeur’s true value anymore, including the Braves themselves.”
OK, you’re asking: Where might DeRo play if he again became a Brave? Pretty much wherever. He has been deployed at six of the eight non-pitching positions over his big-league career. (The exceptions: Catcher and center field.) And he could always serve as the backup quarterback.
(On a totally extraneous note, I should point out that Mrs. DeRosa was voted most attractive baseball spouse by Fantasy Baseball Dugout.)
You’ll recall Gordon Beckham: Played at Westminster, led Georgia to the finals of the 2008 College World Series, was drafted No. 8 overall by the White Sox. Well, he’s tearing up the pea patch in Class AAA and could be summoned to the majors any minute (link requires registration), according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. Goldstein notes the Pale Hose are so high on Beckham they’ve been giving him looks at third base to expedite the process.
More Goldstein: “[Tom] Glavine is ready for a return to the big leagues, but at what cost to the Braves? He’s a surefire Hall of Famer who absolutely deserves respect, but at this point, he’s no more than a No. 4 or 5 starter. Tommy Hanson is much, much more than that, and adding Glavine to the rotation delays Hanson’s arrival that much longer. It’s a tough position for Atlanta, where wins might go head-to-head with public relations.”
And this from Tom Verducci of SI.com: The annual post-Memorial Day promotions have begun. Writes Verducci: “Generally, if a team waits until after Memorial Day to start the major league service clock of a player, he won’t qualify as a ‘Super Two’ and get into the arbitration system a year earlier than he otherwise would — a tactic that saves millions of dollars for the club. Next up: Tommy Hanson. The Atlanta pitching prospect has been dominating Triple-A hitters.”
You’ll also recall Matt Wieters: Was a catcher (and a closer!) at Georgia Tech, was draft No. 5 overall by Baltimore in 2007 and was generally regarded as the minor leagues’ best prospect entering this season. He made his big-league debut — he’s now a full-time catcher — Friday night, and he got his first hits (a triple and a double off Justin Verlander) on Saturday. And Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com quoted one unnamed former catcher as saying of Wieters: “He is Joe Mauer.”
FYI: Kurkjian quotes Don Werner, the Orioles’ minor league catching instructor, as saying Wieters learned to call games by watching Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz pitch for the Braves. (Wieters is from Goose Creek, S.C., which is near Charleston.)
Oh, and Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun notes that the first opposing batter — Josh Anderson of the Tigers — tested Wieters with a bunt Friday night. Wieters threw him out.
Josh Anderson. Name rings a bell, doesn’t it?
Jake Peavy is now seen as the solution to the hole in Philadelphia’s rotation that opened with the loss of Brett Myers. But Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests Peavy mightn’t want to play in Philly, either. Why not? Because Citizens Bank Park is a hitters’ paradise.
If you’re keeping score, Peavy has already vetoed a trade to the White Sox, and apparently he did the same regarding a deal with Atlanta in November. It was then widely believed that the Braves pulled out because San Diego GM Kevin Towers was asking too much, but Frank Wren has since admitted the deal fell through because Peavy said no to Atlanta.
OK, so now you’re asking: Will Peavy ever say yes? Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew is getting impatient. I’ll note that Jake is 15-16 over the past two seasons and leave it at that.