Prodigal Brave

ajc.com | Braves | Catcher Eddie Perez returning to Braves

Sorry, I was away…

The Braves have apparently brought Eddie back strictly as a backup, two years, $1.325 million. He had a good year last year in Milwaukee, and I thought they might actually trade for him down the stretch but it never happened. Eli Marrero becomes more of a utility player; Scheurholz has been talking about using him at third some although he’s never played the position.

Word is that the Rhodes deal may have fallen through, with him taking a deal to be the closer in Oakland. The A’s did re-sign Ricardo Rincon, another rumored Braves target.

20 thoughts on “Prodigal Brave”

  1. You have to make sure to put your terrible hitters in offensive positions before you give them 300 at bats – otherwise they aren’t going to hurt your offensive production.
    I guess Eddie Perez is as good a backup catcher as anybody but it just makes Marrero less useful.
    They really should keep Gary Matthews as a backup OF – his OBP history is better than Marrero’s.

  2. I’m gald to see Eddie back in a Braves uniform. He really came through for the Braves when Javy went down. I’d rather have him on my team than Blanco any day. Perez ae least gives the Braves another bat to use off the bench, a role Blanco wasn’t suited for.

    This gives the Braves a insurance policy if Drew gets hurt and Estrada bombs. Perez is a catcher you can lean on. When Javy has hurt, Perez took a beating behind the plate and still ran out there every game. And without Maddux, Blaco’s stellar defense to keep runners on is no longer needed. All in all a good move.

  3. As others have said this is a good deal in that it will free up Marrero to play some other positions and get into the game more often. Eli’s is a good enough athlete (Tony the Idiot used to spot him in center) that he could probably handle third without injuring himself. A job sharing arrangement where DeRo gets third when Hampton and Ramirez pitch and Marrero gets third when Ortiz and Thomson pitch might get that position a little closer to average offensively. It will be interesting to see if Bobby gets that creative.

  4. True, and it also gives us more leeway to bring Marrerro off the bench when he’s not starting. You know how gingerly Bobby treats backup catchers — refusing to use them in a game in case there’s an injury.

  5. Looks like the As just acquired Chris Hammond from the Yankees. They now have Hammond and Rincon. Maybe they’re out of the Rhodes sweepstakes.

  6. Because the Braves don’t actually have a thrid baseman and it would be nice to get his bat in the lineup sometimes. Because converting catchers to third basemen isn’t a bad idea if the guy is a good athlete. Because I don’t think anyone in Braves management is ready for 600 PAs of Mark DeRosa and the free agent market for 3B is crap.

    It’s all speculation anyway. I have no idea if JS and Bobby would try it.

  7. You know, Aurilia isn’t drawing any interest – he could be a plausible third baseman, if the price were right (I know, it wouldn’t be) – I’m just sayin’, that’s all

  8. Robert – the thing that gets me with the Marrero to 3B talk is that I don’t see his offense as substantially better than DeRosa’s. DeRo has a career OBP of .330 – Marrero has never even reached that mark in a single season. The do have about the same career SLG, though Marrero does look to have a better upside there in recent years. But in balancing their likely contributions, I honestly don’t see much difference.

    Bobby Cox values defense. Now, I’m not saying he’s sold that DeRo will provide that at 3B – who only has 30 career games at 3B himself – but I don’t see him going to spring training ready to give Marrero substantial playing time at a position he’s never played in the majors. Hell, he has zero career playing time at 3B, SS and 2B.

    Overall, I suspect the team will yet snag some low-end FA or make a trade for someone to play third. Who that is I have no idea, though.

  9. Colin,

    Thank you for noticing Marrero’s recent accomplishments as opposed to lumping together his whole career and writing him off. There appear to be two trends in Marrero’s career: he was terrible the first few years, and then 200-2002 he was much improved, dare I say… servicable? Anyways, people use his horrible early season stats to spin his acquisition negatively and moan about JS. I’m not sure if he will outplay DeRosa, but we have a lot of variables on the 2004 team as of now. Just because DeRosa, Estrada, and LaRoche have not started doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, but we shouldn’t bet the farm on them either. Not that Estrada and Drew remaining healthy are not variables, too, but it helps the Braves’ odds.

  10. What Drew said. My post basically assumes Marrero will hit something like what he hit in 2002, his last healthy season, where he walked every 11 PAs and hit a bomb every 25 PAs. That guy we can use and is better than what DeRo will offer. If he can’t match his ’02 numbers then fine make him a bench player and go with straight DeRo. I favor giving Marrero a chance at a piece of the 3B job because he has more upside than any of the other options.

  11. Oops. My last sentence should read: Not that Marrero and Drew remaining healthy are not variables, too, but it helps the Braves’ odds. I accidentally put Estrada instead of Marrero.

  12. Of the many people here smarter than I … does Marrero’s battle with tyroid cancer a couple of years ago make him less durable and more prone to nagging injuries?

  13. Marrero’s 2002 numbers are certainly something nice to hope for, and he did string together 600+ decent PA (decent, certainly not outstanding) from 2001-2002. Of course, Derosa strung together 400+ PA from 2001-2.

    Again, I’m not saying I expect much good from DeRosa – i think he was over his head during the aforementioned span. I’m just not convinced that Marrero would hit well enough at 3B to offset his complete lack of defensive playing time over there.

  14. Marrero is the fall back player this year. Cox is not going to give him a starting position because he doesn’t want to loose that safety net he gives him.. DeRo will get third because JS wants to spend the remaining money on pitching, not a free agent third baseman. If Estrada, LaRoche, or DeRosa fail at their positions, Cox will then fall back on Marrero.

    I don’t think DeRo will fail at third. He has never been given substantial playing time and if he is given a starting position where he plays every day his nubers will greatly increase. You can’t base your estimates on what he will do on the periodic play of his career. Let him play every day and he will prove deserves to be a starter.

  15. I hope you’re right, sam, but Derosa does worry me as an everyday player. In over 700 PA he has only 33 unintentional walks for his career, and 14 HR. He may be best used in a platoon role – he has an 844 career OPS vs. lefthanders, but only 679 against righties.

    Interestingly, that does complement what Marrero did in his strongest season in 2002. He was at 808 OPS in 300 AB against righties, vs. only 682 in 97 AB vs. lefties. The split was closer, but still in favor of righties in 2001.

  16. Just read that Arthur Rhodes signed a three-year deal with the A’s. It’s not the end of the world by any means, but these days, the Braves mostly seem to be on the outside looking in.

  17. Can the Phillies take on the salary, or will they have to cut someone? Maybe we can trade for Randy Wolf. (Graveyard, me whistling…)

    I sure hope JS has some ideas, because even Bowa will have trouble screwing the Phillies up if they get any better.

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