Sooner or later we’ll start to ask ourselves, “How in the world did the 2010 Braves make the playoffs?” And I’m thinking that time is …
Right about now.
The Braves dumped Melky Cabrera and Takashi Saito on Tuesday, eight days after the former had made the 27th out of Game 4 of the Division Series. These were two of the bigger acquisitions Frank Wren made last winter — others were Billy Wagner, who has retired; Troy Glaus, who had nothing left after July, and Eric Hinske, who kept pinch-hitting home runs — and now they’ve been tossed aside.
The Saito move was expected. The Cabrera one was expected if you’d watched him play. And that’s kind of the point: The 2010 Braves had a lot of guys who didn’t do much — Cabrera, Nate McLouth, Yunel Escobar, Matt Diaz, Rick Ankiel, Glaus in April and August and September — and lots more who got hurt. And somehow they qualified for the postseason, same as the Phillies and the Yankees.
To say that every Wren move of the last offseason and this regular season panned out would be incorrect. Most of them didn’t. But the sum total of his tinkering was just enough to bleed out one more victory than San Diego, and that was enough. We can critique individual trades and signings, but we cannot carp about the overall effect. This team shouldn’t have been good enough, but it was, just.
Which is why the guy who traded Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera should be named executive of the year. Seriously.