Braves release Matthews Jr.

Atlanta Braves News

Pretty big shock. Matthews wasn’t playing that well, granted (the stats the story gives are .154 BA, 17 strikeouts in 52 ABs) but he was on the major league roster and I thought they’d give him more of a chance. But this way, they save some money… Matthews’ contract is for $800 K. They have to pay him $200 K of that. (The deadline for this was today. Otherwise, they’d still be on the hook for the full amount.) If he’s replaced by someone making the major league miminum of $300 K, they still save $300 K. If nothing else, it’s refreshing to see that the Braves may have figured out the principle of sunk costs. On the other hand, they haven’t released Antonio Alfonseca yet.

The replacement for Matthews would seemingly be either Richmond Mayor Damon Hollins or Dewayne Wise. Both are hitting .333 this spring, Wise in slightly more playing time, but Hollins has the longstanding ties with the organization and has more power. Or they could go with Mike Hessman, or keep an extra utility infielder. Because Marrero and Drew can play center, it’s not as crucial that the fourth OF be able to play center.

14 thoughts on “Braves release Matthews Jr.”

  1. GREAT! Feel good story of the spring…. wait that was the richard clark book.

  2. FWIW, Marrero has played a lot of CF this spring, so like you said no need to keep someone around just because they can cover center. Give that 25th spot to someone with some pop.

  3. FWIW, Marrero has hit almost as poorly as Matthews this spring. Matthews was at .154 with one HR and one double; Marrero .167 with one HR and one double.

    Again I ask the question – is there much reason to believe Marrero will outhit Eddie Perez? Eddie had 100 points of OPS on Marrero last year, and has 8 points on him for their careers. eddie is hitting .250 this spring.

    I figured Eddie was the pointless acquisition of the two, but so far it still looks to me like we paid big bucks to get the flexibility to be able to play a guy who hits like a backup catcher in the outfield.

  4. Marrero was a nice throw in on the deal that we had to make anyway. I agree that signing Perez was kinda dumb.

  5. Marrero was a nice throw in on the deal that we had to make anyway

    I could almost understand taking him on as the necessary part to get Drew. But the team also extended him this offseason – with no playing time under his belt, no chance to see if last year was just a blip.

  6. “Michael” was probably a comment spammer testing out the equipment. He’s gone now.

    Marrero’s hit okay in the past. Like Drew, I think health is the question here; if he’s really healthy, he’ll be okay for a fourth outfielder, good for a catcher.

  7. Gee what a relief. I thought that I was going to be stuck watching Matthews play when J.D. inevitably goes down. But hey just saw on ESPN that model citizen Milton Bradley is available. Chipper back to 3rd anyone?

  8. Chipper isn’t going to third. Andy Marte is the Braves’ best prospect, and they aren’t going to block him, especially since he might be ready next year.

  9. While I agree that Atlanta would never trade for Bradley, putting Chipper back to third for this season to make room for a quality hitting OF is a great idea. Drew isn’t signed for next year, so there is plenty of organizational flexibility. If it works out well, then you take a player like Marte and use him to address your weaknesses since his value is sky high at this point.

  10. I guess that my sarcastic sense of humor doesn’t come across to well in text. Anyway Bradley sounds like Lofton lite so he’ll never wear a Braves uniform. Besides we have already traded all of our pitching prospects :) Maybe the Indians need a utility infielder. Jesse Garcia anyone? If Chipper was at 3rd he’d be the best 3rd baseman in baseball. As a LF he is just one of about 10 or 12 very very good players there. I’ve always wondered if he initiated the move. I like what I’ve read about Marte but then again everyone raved about Betemit and Lombard so I’ll get excited at the appropriate time. Any way the lineup is set. I’m ready for the game to start counting. I like our chances.
    Johnny Tindal

  11. Marrero’s hit okay in the past. Like Drew, I think health is the question here; if he’s really healthy, he’ll be okay for a fourth outfielder, good for a catcher

    I sure hope so, but I’m unconvinced. His OPS’s since being in the majors: 693, 688, 533, 723, 751, 777, 622. That cluster of 700’s suggests potential usefulness, but I don’t see much good there. I don’t think he’ll get much of his playing time at catcher, and as a backup OF he doesn’t seem to me a much better option than any number of cheap minor leaguers at one eighth the price.

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