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Yep, the Byrd signing looks better and better, doesn’t it? Bobby is now indicating that Byrd could wind up spending extra time in Florida getting ready at the start of the season. That could be good news for Horacio Ramirez, or whoever starts the season in the fifth spot in the rotation. As I’ve repeatedly harped on, it’s good to get the kids some extra work.
Brian Jordan did visit the clubhouse. He’s one of five ex-Braves on the Dodgers’ 25-man roster by my count, with Odalis Perez, Pedro Borbon, Andy Ashby, and Fred McGriff. Does this mean anything? Well, one of the warning signs of a bad organization (I’m going to have to put all of these together in a post sometime) is that you keep bringing in players successful organizations don’t want anymore. Odalis is the only one of the five the Braves would have wanted to keep… Yesterday was Don Fehr’s visit with the team, so I’m sure they’re all excited at encountering his electric personality.
Using Remlinger as a reference, I think Byrd’s groin injury should be fine if he gives it a chance to heal. Now, if he hurt his elbow by altering his motion because of the groin pain, well that’s another matter entirely.
As they always have, though, the Braves have enough starting pitching depth to get by. Losing Byrd for a month wouldn’t be nearly as devastating as losing Sheffield or Chipper for the same amount of time. You’d think they would consider this when building a roster and in signing minor-league free agents to stock the AAA roster, but it doesn’t seem that they do.
I honestly think the Braves would have liked to have kept McGriff. Losing McGriff made Ryan Klesko an easy out. We have yearly been in trade rumors to get him before the trading deadline.
John, unless you’ve forgotten, the Braves sold McGriff’s contract to the Devil Rays. They didn’t even get a player for him. It’s not that they needed the cash or something, they thought Fred was through and they liked Galarraga (whom they quickly signed after that) better. Klesko was traded in the next offseason before Galarraga was diagnosed, otherwise they certainly would have kept him.
Check this out, guys
It’s easy to forget just how bad Fred was starting to look toward the end of his time with the Braves. He had a 797 OPS his final season here, his slugging had dropped off in a big way, his bat speed looked slow and his defense was just brutal (the final straw perhaps being some statue impersonations during the 1997 NLCS that cost some runs).
Of course, frustrating in retrospect is that they likely let him go one year too late. In the 96-97 offseason the Marlins offered Livan hernandez for him. The Braves rejected that and instead asked for Felix heredia. The final deal that never came to pass was McGriff for Kurt Abbott, Bill Hurst and Alex Gonzalez. Word at the time was that Bobby Cox vetoed these, not wanting to send Fred to a divisional opponent (whither this objection on Millwood!). After failing to get Fred, teh Marlins instead acquired Bobby Bonilla, who hit 297/378/468 for them in 153 games, most at 3B.