What does it mean?

Braves Sign Wright, Maddux Likely to Go

Hard to say. The story says that Jaret Wright will likely be used as the primary setup man for Smoltz, which makes sense. I doubt his arm is ready to start. The ever-loathsome Scott “Seven Years” Boras claims that the Braves haven’t talked to Maddux since the GM meetings last month. I don’t think they’ll offer him arbitration.

16 thoughts on “What does it mean?”

  1. It seems to me that not offering Maddux arbitration would be a mistake. Passing up the opportunity to get a compensatory first-round draft pick is not something that should be done lightly. The worst risk you take is that he accepts arbitration, and you have Greg Maddux for another year; he can still be a very useful component of the starting rotation.

    The Braves should be maneuvering for every draft pick they can get; the team ain’t getting any younger, and the talent pool in the farm system isn’t as deep as it could be.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, were this a team with a creative-minded front office, getting compensatory picks might make a difference. But the Braves tend the use all their high picks on high school pitchers and Georgia kids, so extra picks would only cause us more “what the hell?” moments in June.

    Even if the Braves hadn’t been burned (payroll-wise) by Maddux at arbitration time last year, they’re apparently serious about slashing the budget again this year, so keeping Maddux at $15M even for one year would be an undesirable (to management) financial drag.

    If the Braves keep Maddux, their winter shopping is pretty much done. I’d rather see them take that $15M and get one or two hitters, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm or two. Whether or not they will is anyone’s guess, but Maddux sticking around wouldn’t give them much flexibility.

  3. I wish they would kep Maddux, and my reason for that is partly ssentimental, partly rational. The former is obvious – I want him to win #300 as a Brave, and i think he wants to stay. But the latter point is this – I don’t see the Braves getting more out of that $15m (actually more likely no more than $12m, with the maximum 20% pay cut available hrough arbitration).

    IOW, exactly who is that money going to pay who will be better? Most of the potential long-term deals would overlap with the back end of the Hampton contract. So you’d be looking at spending that money on shorter-term contracts.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – much of the pain of this comes down to commiting to pay a relief pitcher $10-12m a year, which is what the team still has committed to Smoltz this year and probably the next. I’d rather have Maddux around for that same money.

  4. The Braves want Millwood way more than Maddux. They probably really regret what happened with Kevin last year and are going to do whatever it takes to get him back. What happened last year was embarassing.

  5. The way Boras has been talking about the Braves not signing (or resigning) quality players–he compares the Braves to the Indians, who let all their good players go–makes me wonder if he’s getting the interest from them on Millwood that he expected. It could be that with these comments, he’s sort of killing two birds with one stone (re: Maddux and Millwood).

  6. Scott Boras is out of his mind and he is about to screw a couple more of his clients with his ludicrously high demands and hard-line attitude.

  7. Boras is one of the most singularly polarizing figures in the history of sports, but who exactly has he screwed other than owners? Except for Sheffield (who’s psychotic anyway), Boras’ clients/former clients swear by him.

    J.D. Drew, I guess, got used by Boras, although Boras’ hard line hurt the Phillies more than it has hurt Drew. He went to what was (at least then) a better and better-managed team the next year. Drew’s recent struggles have nothing to do with Boras and everything to do with injuries.

    Maddux got more from the Braves last year than he would have gotten on the open market, which is why he accepted arbitration. I guess he might have felt better with a long-term deal, but if he wants three years this winter, he can probably get it from the Padres.

    I don’t blame Boras/Millwood for their stance with the Braves this year. Atlanta flipped Millwood away for well below market value last year after he had carried the Braves’ starting rotation for most of the 2002 season, so he no doubt wants some security this time around.

    And let’s be honest, the Time Warner brass hasn’t exactly shown a financial commitment to keeping the team in contention for the World Series long-term. They’re constantly bitching about losing money and they refuse to allow Schuerholz to improve the team at the trade deadline.

  8. He is asking for contracts so obviously above what he will get that he is alienating teams, thus eliminating bidders and actually depressing the market. Boras’ approach worked in the roaring 90s but in the current climate I feel he is leading his clients over a cliff.

  9. What Matt said. I’ve never been a Boras-basher, but it looks like he’s not in line with current reality. He wants five to seven years for Millwood, which is crazy for any pitcher in this market. He’s asking similar years for Rodriguez, which has likely cost Ivan millions, if the Marlins for for Javy instead. Greg’s likely to wind up with a massive pay cut, far lower money than he would have had if he could have worked out a deal last year.

  10. I think they pay a lot for Smoltz too but he’s definitely more valuable now that Maddux only pitches 5-6 innings per game with slipping numbers.

    I’m somewhat suspicious of win shares overall, and esp. for relief pitchers, but thanks for posting that. I never would have guessed.

    The Braves want Millwood way more than Maddux. They probably really regret what happened with Kevin last year and are going to do whatever it takes to get him back. What happened last year was embarassing.

    Whom _should_ the Braves want more, out of curiosity? Maddux had a rough April and was fine afterward, with a 3.03 ERA after the break. Millwood had a strong start and then tanked, with a 4.58 ERA in the second half. Now, I guess I can chalk part of that up to the Larry Bowa factor, but both overall and in the later parts of the season, Maddux was a better pitcher. I’d need a thorough physical on Millwood before committing anything to him.

    And let’s be honest, the Time Warner brass hasn’t exactly shown a financial commitment to keeping the team in contention for the World Series long-term. They’re constantly bitching about losing money and they refuse to allow Schuerholz to improve the team at the trade deadline

    I strongly disagree. While this offseason may finally be different, TW has given this team ample payroll to compete year in and year out for as long as it’s owned the team. They they haven’t freed up more money for JS to sign someone at the deadline seems to me to have less to do with them, and more to do with his committing all his resources up front and leaving nothing for later.

  11. Apparently, Lloyd’s of London (the insurer of last resort) will no longer give out policies for baseball contracts longer than 4 years. I got this information by hearsay but from a reliable source. Interesting if true…

  12. I believe JS is amortizing the Hampton contract, ie, setting aside money ahead of time so you pay the same amount to him per year. so the impact of his contract on our negotiations may not be that great.

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