Freak added to bullpen | Braves | Braves sign former Marlins and Cubs closer Alfonseca to serve as a setup man

Cripes, we lose out on Worrell and Rhodes and this is the consolation prize? It’s not clear if there’s anything that Alfonseca can do better than Hodges — at least not anything printable.

Antonio Alfonseca has posted two ERAs lower than four in a seven-year MLB career with the Marlins and Cubs. He’s highly paid — the Braves gave him over a million, plus incentives — because he has 121 career saves, but he’s not actually that good of a pitcher. He has 310 Ks and 174 BB in 446 1/3 career IP — not good for a reliever. And he had a 5.83 ERA last year. I am leaning towards Atomic Antonio as his nickname, but am taking nominations. (Runner up — “Hideous Freak”.)

22 thoughts on “Freak added to bullpen”

  1. Wow, what a depressing way to end a Friday. I was so excited when it looked like we got Rhodes last week, and now this is a significant step down. I’m sure other people will start supplying his numbers so we can be educated in our prognostication, but this lineup doesn’t look so great for the Braves. With Millwood accepting the Phils’ arbitration offer today, I am tempted to say the division crown is looking more and more like theirs.

    Although, you know what? Pulpo’s gotta be better than Roberto was last year, right? He was penciled into the same spot for 2003 and we still won the division. Plus, the man himself is a member of the Phillies pen, so what the heck.

  2. $1.35 million, with incentives that could push that number “much higher”. JS says they’re still seeking a fifth starter and a left-handed reliever, but those aren’t “essential”. I think he’s drunk again.

    This appears to be largely Wren’s fault, though. He’s the man who originally signed Alfonseca.

  3. How about “The Six-Fingered Suckwad?”

    He’s basically Boom Boom Hernandez, but with extra fingers.

    Surely JS couldn’t have waited until Monday to see who was non-tendered?

  4. This is the kind of move that shows why it will be had for JS to continually compete with a lower payroll. That’s $1.3m for talent that could be replaced for $300k. $1m down the tubes, hot on the heels of getting Eddie Perez at $650k instead of a minor league veteran at $300k. The numbers aren’t big in themselves, but aggregate them with however much more than league minimum we pay Marrero and Matthews Jr and whoever else is to come, and the money starts to get serious.

    JS needs to realize what kind of talent can be replaced for $300k, and not waste money on crap the likes of this guy.

  5. How about “Ain’t-On-io” because I can hear Skip saying now, “Alfonseca sure ain’t on tonight.”

  6. to amend my own post above – someone in the Braves newsgroup posted that Marrero is due $3m next year. So that’s close to $6m being wasted on Marrero/Perez/Alfonsucka (my favorite above) and Mathews. That’s almost Javy money. And combine it with the sinkhole that is Paul Byrd and you get Guerrero money. Sigh.

  7. Colin, you just depressed the hell out of me. I, too, want to know how much it would have cost to keep Mercker. Mercker would probably be more effective than Alfonseca, and he addresses the need for a quality left-handed reliever. They could have found a better right-handed reliever than Alfonsucka (my favorite too).

    On the other hand, Marrero’s money isn’t that wasted. LaRoche makes the league minimum, as does Estrada, and I’m sure DeRosa doesn’t make much either. He can take over for any of their positions if either falters. Essentially, you have a $3M RF, 1B, or C, three positions you usually pay more for.

  8. The real tragedy here is the fact that we will have to hear Skip’s joke about how Alfonseca doesn’t know which finger to use when he gets cut off in traffic…except instead of hearing it 3 times a season, we will hear it 3 times a week. I just don’t understand why we added yet another righthanded reliever. We already have Wil Cunnane, the Big Gryboski, Jaret Wrong and possibly Trey Hodges, although I’d use him as the fifth starter.

  9. On the other hand, Marrero’s money isn’t that wasted. LaRoche makes the league minimum, as does Estrada, and I’m sure DeRosa doesn’t make much either. He can take over for any of their positions if either falters. Essentially, you have a $3M RF, 1B, or C, three positions you usually pay more for.

    Perhaps not. But I still bet we won’t see Javy getting much more than $7m a year, if that, and keeping him to split time at 1B and C, even anticipating a fair drop in offense, would have been a better option for a team that, right now, has to be living for the short term. If one did plan to have Javy splitting time between two positions, you could likely add another $750k or so to the $5.8m on other players in money not spent on Julio Franco. Don’t get me wrong, I kinda like Julio, but if you started using Javy as your primary RH bat at 1B, Julio wouldn’t be needed anymore.

  10. The non-tenders list is out, and full of possible bullpen solutions. Too bad JS pretty much blew the money allotted for the bullpen on Antonia Alfonseca, who I don’t find nearly as loathsome as most of you people seem to. Despite his mediocrety, he is pretty awesome, the man does have additional fingers and toes. Plus we’re one step closer to assembling a bullpen of all freaks. Next on board: Bob Wickman.
    anywho, here’s a list of non-tenders I’d like to see in our pen next year.

    RHP Denys Baez
    Probably baseball’s worst closer last year, but he would be a good setup man I figure.

    LHP Carl Sadler
    this guy has 33 Ks in 30 ML innings. He’s unproven but might be worth a shot, possibly a situational lefty specialist dealy.

    RHP Braden Looper
    He would be an AWESOME setup man for the braves, he’s probably out of our price range though, plus I hate his first name…”Braden”…WHAT IS THAT?!

    LHP Scott Sauerbeck
    I’ve always thought he was overrated, and he’s coming off a disastrous season, but I’d love to see a veteran lefty in there.

    LHP Valerio De Los Santos
    I don’t know anything about this guy at all, but his name ROCKS!

  11. I like those names. Also, I would love to see them sign Mark Redman. He’s no ace, but he’s probably the best pitcher, besides Braden Looper, on this list. Jay Payton wouldn’t be a too bad LF with his defense and mid-range power, but that would make Chipper move to 3B, which won’t happen.

  12. Moss was non-tendered by the Orioles. He had a terrible year last year but am I the only one who thinks he could regain his former success under Mazzone. His numbers last year mean he would come cheap so even the Braves could afford him. He could fill the number five starter role or be the left arm the Braves need in the bullpen. I for one wouldn’t mind having hiving him back. He’s young and still has a lot of potential. A year ago he was being called the next Tom Glavine. It would be a safe, low stakes gamble.

  13. I totally agree Sam. He would be sort of a known commodity for a 5th starter and like you said, come cheap. Then maybe they could allocate some more $ to a 3rd baseman or quality relief help.

  14. I don’t necessarily think moss could regain his former success, but I bet he could be useful. He got pretty damned lucky in his big year with Atlanta, but I don’t think he’s as bad as he appeared this year.

  15. Javy to Baltimore at 3 years, $22.5 million. Thank God JS didn’t do that. Man the Orioles are stupid.

    Collusion my ass.

  16. I always liked Moss, too. As I’ve said before, he reminds me of a young Kent Mercker. He may walk five guys a game, but he’s a threat to pitch a no-hitter about once a month. Like Mercker, though, his rotator cuff is probably hanging by a thread.

  17. As a Cub’s fan, I am estatic to no longer see Dusty waving Alfonsucka in from the bullpen…. Although he did have a week long streak last year where he was almost major league average. I just knew some sucker would overpay for this mop up man this year, and you can get that position filled by a minimum wager….

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