ajc.com | Braves | It’s final: Smoltz will remain Braves’ closer
I never expected otherwise. Leaving aside the financial considerations, I think that the Braves are convinced Smoltz can’t hold up to starting. This means there’s a definite hole in the starting rotation. We’ll see what happens.
Unless Gary Sheffield really wants to be a Yankee, the Braves are actually in good shape. The Yankee offer is reportedly two years, $22 million. The Braves have apparently offered a three year deal at $30 million.
The Braves have picked up Gary Mathews Jr. on waivers. He’s supposedly going to compete for a backup job in the outfield. He’s not very good.
(Thanks to Creg.)
The financial considerations seem to me to favor starting him next year – if only to keep that $12m option for 2005 from vesting.
He’ll make about $3 million more if he starts, though, unless he gets hurt.
I always liked Gary Matthews Jr. actually. I saw him play a few times when he was in Chicago and he showed flashes of being starter-quality. I seem to remember him hitting a couple monster homers off the Braves. Well, at least one came last year at Turner Field. I like the pickup; he could at least be better than Bragg.
Mac – indeed he would, but that’s still a heck of a lot less than $12m the following year for a relief pitcher.
I would think Matthews is being brought in to compete with Bragg for the fourth outfielder spot. He’s not much of a hitter, but he does play a solid center field and he has a little pop.
according to: http://www.baseballgraphs.com/winshares/
mathews had 7 win shares, bragg 1. its hard to get much worse than darren bragg was this past year.
At the break, Bragg would have been worth negative WS. Probably at least a game’s worth, amazing for a bench player. He was okay after that, but had no power at all. Mathews doesn’t have Bragg’s remaining on-base skills, but he does have some power and is more of a real centerfielder. And if Chipper has trouble swinging righty again, the Braves would at least have an option who can hit righthanded. If you’re going to have a five-man bench, you need a couple of switch-hitters or (as we saw this year) you wind up blowing the whole bench in one inning.
I dont believe win shares goes negative.
I think Matthews is fine if for no other reason that it may allow Bobby to sit Andruw more often, either when he’s hurt or when he’s fighting one of his six week swoons.
Well, Bragg had to get a lot of hits in the second half to pick up that one share, let’s put it like that. When you start wondering why Bobby isn’t letting Reynolds hit here, you know the pinch-hitter is struggling.
I like Little Sarge. Coming up through the Padres organization he always posted high walk totals and OBP. Maybe he can regain that discipline if indeed he’s lost it.