All-baseball Bradley’s Buzz: Will DeRo be the Braves’ hero?

A triumphant return for the pride of Vinings Estates?

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.)

The prospect prospectus

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.”

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The wait is over for Wieters

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?

Another name that rings a bell

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.

229 comments Add your comment

Big Al

June 1st, 2009
7:34 am

Why should the Braves worry about public relations in the Glavine case? Look how they treated Smoltz. Smoltz was a far better pitcher than Glavine ever was plus he is still able to win games. Glavine is just hanging on for the pay check. Bring the pitcher to the big show that can help the Braves win games.

Booger

June 1st, 2009
7:42 am

Why not let Bobby Cox make the pick?

Mac

June 1st, 2009
7:56 am

If a trade is made for DeRosa, I hope the pitcher to go is Kawakami.

DeRosa and I are proof you don’t’ have to be Brad Pitt to land a hot wife. Et tu?

carlton johnson

June 1st, 2009
7:59 am

Hey, Big Al! Glavine is hanging on for the pay check? Tom is not worried about his next meal…this year or ever. Hubris, maybe. Hunger, not so much.

mitch

June 1st, 2009
8:00 am

I’ve been gone awhile and used to go by another name. If you guess what it was, you win. YP, Mitch

Mike Lum

June 1st, 2009
8:10 am

Trade KK & Frenchy for DeRo. Would the Tribe take KK’s big salary? Keep Medlin, but JoJo or Morton could go. Insert Glavine & Hanson in the rotation. Remember, we have Hudson coming back in August. With the problems the Mutts & Phillies are having, if we can hang close & get Chipper healthy, we have as good a chase as anyone.

make Jo Jo go go

June 1st, 2009
8:10 am

Medlen showed yesterday why he absolutely has to stay. Morton has had a few, repeat few, moments arguing for him staying. Jo Jo? Bye-bye. Maybe Morton and Jo Jo come to think of it. But puh-leeze hang onto Medlen. He, Jair and Hanson could be the cornerstones of this franchise for a decade or more. The arms have been very solid so far with the exception of KK, who may have turned a corner recently. What we need are bats. At this point, we could add by subtracting…Surely someone somewhere could play rf and give us more ‘d’ and ‘o’ than we’re getting there so far. And while we are at it, when does Jordan take an extended breather? Blanco is across town and he was more ready to play at the Ted last year than Jordan seems to be now.

LeTwan Anthony

June 1st, 2009
8:18 am

“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.” – Bradley

What? Peavy did not fall over wanting to play for Bobby? Maybe Peavy’s been watching those Atlanta runners return to the dugout after a Francoeur at-bat. No one really knows, huh? It seems the Braves have courted quite a few players that have spurned advances. Money being the same, the organization and the manager no longer make a difference for the Braves.

Skeezix

June 1st, 2009
8:19 am

Trade Medlen? Are they nuts? It would be another example of sacrificing the long term for the short term, as they did when they traded away DeRosa to begin with.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 1st, 2009
8:20 am

Monday’s edition of the Sports Buffet, hosted by ‘Chef’ Tim Dix and Rich Tate, features discussion on the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, Thrashers, Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets, and more. The broadcast begins at 9:00 PM ET, and is brought to you by Georgia Wrestling History’s GWH Radio Network. Click here to listen live at showtime. Feel free to call (347) 324-5735 to join in the conversation

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
8:23 am

Welcome back, Leland.

Er, Mitch.

matt_T

June 1st, 2009
8:24 am

“I’ll note that Jake is 15-16 over the past two seasons and leave it at that.”

Come on Mark. Wins mean nothing, he played for one of the worst offenses in the league over those 2 seasons.

Willy Wally

June 1st, 2009
8:24 am

There’ll be much more of a p.r. hit pitching Glavine, and keeping Hanson in the minors, than pitching Hanson, and telling Glavine to hang around on the DL or in the minors just in case Hanson ain’t good enough yet in the majors.

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
8:27 am

No offense — and I mean, “no offense” — but Gregor Blanco is hitting .242 in the minors. I don’t know that he’s an answer, either.

mitch

June 1st, 2009
8:33 am

I swear, I can’t get nothing by you, Mr. MB. YP, Mitch

dawgfan1911

June 1st, 2009
8:42 am

It’s interesting that the Braves dont have any good prospects they can possibly bring up from the outfield. It just does not look good for the Bravos right now.

Willy Wally

June 1st, 2009
8:42 am

Smoltz was a far better pitcher than Glavine ever was plus he is still able to win games. (BIG AL)

Say what?!?!?!?!? That’s a joke. Glavine was better than Smoltz. Glavine’s got the 300 wins to prove it. After all these years, Smoltz has barely got over 200. Even without the years in the pen, Smoltz would’ve barely been over 250. And if you look at the era of the big 3 from 1993 through 1999, Maddux and Glavine were better than Smoltz in the regular season AND in the postseason.

Smoltz has stayed better longer because he has somehow been able to remain a power pitcher into his forties. Somehow, he has done that. Until the roid era, how many pitchers besides Nolan Ryan remained power pitchers into their forties? Can’t really name any. But somehow Smoltz has defied the odds.

How many power pitchers in the roid era have remained power pitchers into their forties? Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson?

And, as for Nolan Ryan, when he was in his forties, it sure must have been great being a teammate with Julio Franco, Jose Canseco, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Kevin Brown. Or maybe, when they were kids, it was great for Canseco, Franco, Pudge, Juan Gone, Palmeiro and Brown to learn from the master of freakish, unprecedented performance.

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 1st, 2009
8:42 am

Mark DeRosa might be the sexy pick but Jamey Carroll makes more sense due to the absence of Omar Infante, plus the Braves need for someone who can play 3B, SS and 2B. The Indians would be much more amicable in this regard.

Don’t be surprised if Carl Pavano ends up in Philly with the way he is pitching.

TommyP

June 1st, 2009
8:47 am

Coach: Jamey Carroll? Please.

DeRosa plays 3B, SS and 2B.

K Rack

June 1st, 2009
8:52 am

If I remember correctly, DeRosa was given plenty of chances to show what he could do while he was in Atlanta. He may have shown a few flashes but he was mostly average at best.

oldmike

June 1st, 2009
8:53 am

MB-”Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun”. Really? With a name like that he has to be good. Is he?

wawel78

June 1st, 2009
8:56 am

I don’t know that I would give up KK and Francouer for DeRosa. He’s a utility man. I’m not sure there are any good solutions for the Braves other than a veteran like Lofton but word is he is looking for a decent sized contract. I just don’t see them paying for Holliday.

Mark – do you EVER hear Bonds’ name come up with any team? I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with such production fall off the earth like he did.

wawel78

June 1st, 2009
8:58 am

Also – regarding KK, we have to give him some time. He’s not only adjusting to a new league but a country as well. I’m sure there’s some culture shock involved. I’m optimistic about him. I think he’ll be fine once he starts locating better.

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
9:01 am

Peter Schmuck is a fine fellow and a good writer.

DHD

June 1st, 2009
9:02 am

DeRo is only a utility guy when he has managers who think so. Did you the the time to see his full time stats from last year? He had 21 HRs, 87 RBI and hit .285. Don’t you think we could use that? I say bring him in here, but don’t give up too much. Cleveland is not going to take KKs salary,

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 1st, 2009
9:06 am

NO TOMMY , he doesn’t. Not unless you consider Dero to be a utility player and he’s definitely not that guy.

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
9:08 am

I don’t see Kawakami going anywhere. He makes too much money and hasn’t yet had much success.

And no, to answer Wawel’s question, Barry Bonds’ name never arises. It’s as if he no longer exists. Nobody wants that baggage.

wawel78

June 1st, 2009
9:10 am

The two years before that he had 13 and 10 HR’s in 136 and 149 games respectively. In fairness, he is on pace for 27 this year. I would love to have him over Franceour but at what cost? it’s not only who we trade but he is probably due between 3.5 and 4 million for the remainder of the season. I’m not sure the Braves are going to pony up that much for him.

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 1st, 2009
9:11 am

OK, I’m kidding. Mark DeRosa is a very good utility player. But no he can’t exactly play SS anymore. 3B, 2B and both corner outfield spots are his primary positions. And a little first base too.

wawel78

June 1st, 2009
9:12 am

There must be more to the Bonds history than I know. Is he any worse than the trouble Manny causes? Bonds was still putting up pretty big numbers in his last year, if I recall correctly.

LT- A Blogger

June 1st, 2009
9:14 am

I’d trade Jojo Reyes and Jeff Franceour for Heidi DeRosa. Let Heidi wear that outfit in RF and I’m betting Turner Field attendance would rise.

David

June 1st, 2009
9:24 am

I like Mark DeRosa but he is NOT the answer Mark. If Medlin does what he showed yesterday, and Hanson continues to shine, they may have to trade a pitcher and KJ or a young player that is behind other players to go get a bat.

DirtyDawg

June 1st, 2009
9:28 am

I’m not so sure about a lack of interest in Kawakami. Seems to me his performance against SF last week would have impressed the impressionable West Coast – where a Japanese pitcher could mean revenue. Perhaps the Mariners were scouting that game, or maybe San Diego. I mean the guy has shown sparks of brilliance, and even if we have to pay a portion of his salary, and assuming somebody had somebody we could use, why not?

Kentavo

June 1st, 2009
9:29 am

By the way, the Braves didn’t trade DeRosa.

Billball

June 1st, 2009
9:33 am

Why blame our talent (i.e. Andruw Jones, Francoeur, Kelly Johnson)? Once they get here and blossom, then seem to go downhill, our batting coaches have never been any help. We haven’t had a decent one since Don Baylor. Francoeur is a very good ball player we are just giving up on. Kelly Johnson should be a .300 hitter by now. Who made the decision to dump Josh Anderson? When was the last time the Braves executed a sacrifice bunt?
Keep the talent and dump Terry Pendleton. Dump him.

jch

June 1st, 2009
9:39 am

DeRosa was not a game-changer when he was here before—that’s why we didn’t keep him. Why does anybody think he will make a difference now?

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
9:52 am

True, DeRosa washed out at third base when given a full-time chance here. But he has gotten somewhat better since.

johnny evans

June 1st, 2009
9:54 am

my, my===with all the knowledge listed in the comments i just read… all should be on the field managing, coaching, etc..to many teams are 4 A now, why not admit it..
jle

wawel78

June 1st, 2009
9:57 am

I’m pretty sure San Diego would not take on KK. They’re already trying to dump Peavy.

JD

June 1st, 2009
10:14 am

Mark Derosa’s only had one season where he’s hit more than 13 homeruns. He’s 34 and hitting .266 this season. Unless he pulls a Bonds and gets incredible with age, I don’t see what benefit he’ll be.

JD

June 1st, 2009
10:14 am

ahh shoot…burned on the bold

Keeping It Real

June 1st, 2009
10:16 am

Are you kidding? Why do the Braves keep bringing back retreads for sentimental reasons while giving up good young talent in return. Please, please play the young guys. Why lose with former Braves when you can give experience to the young guys and win later. If this is a business, then why not improve the product. Another thing, please go out and find some speed and put him or her at the top of the order. This is probably the most boring team that has ever been in Atlanta….and that is really saying something.

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
10:23 am

I took the liberty of fixing the boldface for you, JD. Hope you don’t mind. Thanks for the effort.

Braves73

June 1st, 2009
10:38 am

Dero for any of the pitchers mentioned (Reyes, Morton, or Medlen) would not be a wise move. The long-term value is not there and the short-term is in question. The move would be desperate (right now), and really doesn’t truly solve the Braves lack of power. I think Wren will have no choice but to wait until the trading deadline…a)To see if the Braves are still in the race & b)to increase the teams leverage. Other than that, they will have to hope for the best (in regards to health/Chipper) & make some internal changes.

Mark Bradley

June 1st, 2009
10:44 am

DeRosa for Reyes? You wouldn’t make that trade?

I’d make that trade in about two seconds.

The Grinch

June 1st, 2009
10:50 am

LT-A, that’s not the ONLY thing that would rise…hey-o!

LaTwan, do you think your mom could teach Frenchy’s cute little wife how to properly bake a pie? That may remedy the entire problem.

DeRo would be an upgrade in RF, but then so would Susan Boyle. No way at the cost of Medlen. And what’s with all the “Trade Jo-Jo” stuff? For what, a pickup load of fresh fertilizer? He hasn’t learned in three years what Medlen’s learned in three games: Trust your stuff and throw at least some of it near the strike zone and good things will happen. If we trade any legitimate talent at all it needs to be a serious run at a serious hitter. As much as I loathe Texiera as a person and that whole trade outcome, making it or something similar this season instead would have made much more sense.

Braves73

June 1st, 2009
10:52 am

It’s the only one that would be a “maybe” in the equation. Reyes was pretty dominant in the minors and he is a lefty. Bobby loves the kid and believes he has the “stuff” to be a major league pitcher…good luck trying to change his mind.

The Grinch

June 1st, 2009
10:52 am

MB, agreed. Then run like thieves before they came to their senses.

steve

June 1st, 2009
10:56 am

I was always a fan of “DeRo”. In fact, I was quite sad when the Braves parted ways with him. However, at this point in his career, he is NOT what the Braves need.

Braves73

June 1st, 2009
10:56 am

If it were me, I would still keep Reyes…he hasn’t had the “moment” where he realizes that he is good enough to be in bigs. I know that he hasn’t yet proved anything, but he is impressive in spurts. I believe that it may take some time, but he will be a greater long term value than Dero. Now, if the same proposal involved a sure fire power hitter (like Adam Dun) then I would change my tune…which of course you would too. The biggest challenge is that Dero (while being an upgrade) would still not fill the “power hitter” void the Braves lack.