Hudson on the table; Marcus isn’t

Braves still interested in Hudson

Schuerholz talked with Beane for about ten minutes, according to the former. Supposedly, they discussed a Hudson-for-prospects deal. Likely this would be Dan Meyer, Nick Green, and a second pitcher. The story goes on to say that Kyle Davies is someone the Braves are holding back, but I say if that’s what it takes go for it. The Braves would still have lots of arms in the minors.

44 thoughts on “Hudson on the table; Marcus isn’t”

  1. While it’s true that the Braves have a rich farm system (which makes me nervous when Billy Beane is whispering things in JS’s ear), Hopefully they could hold on to either Meyer or Davies, would hate to lose both. I was kind of hoping that the Braves would capitalize on Nick Greens performance last year and that may happen now. Not that I want to get rid of him, but with Giles here he can be better used bringing us something we need.

  2. We always are getting rid of our “top” prospects. Especially pitching, it kinda concerns for the future.

  3. Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised that they value Davies as the untouchable commodity amongst our plethora of pitching prospects. Realistically, he and Meyer are the only two guys who have a shot at starting by 2006. Both had good seasons last year, but Davies pitched almost as well as Meyer (with more walks and homers allowed but a better strikeout rate) while not turning 21 until August (Meyer turned 23 in July). I would love to keep Meyer, but I’d rather have Davies if I had to choose one of them.

    Just how wise is it to trade one or more of these guys for Tim Hudson when our current right field starter is projected to be either Ryan Langerhans or Eli Marrero? I’ve harped on it a million times, but why the focus on starters when our outfield is far from set?

  4. Do you think Billy Beane is kicking himself right now? I don’t know, but the Kolb trade didn’t happen until the Braves were “out” of the Hudson trade, and my guess is that whatever package they had offered, it included Capellan and some of the other guys that are getting talked about.

    Actually though, I suspect that JS’s conversation with Beane wasn’t about getting prospects for Hudson. I think Beane is trying to swing another 3-way trade, and the offer he has on the table from LA is quite enough for his tastes. I bet he was trying to get a feel for what kind of OF bat he needs to give the Braves in order to swing Meyer (or Davies). He may have been suggesting that he could get Milton Bradley from LA, if the Braves wanted. Anyway, real interesting…

  5. Adam: We have a deep farm system. Some of for using some are for trading. We aren’t in any real danger of losing our future.

    Allen: That’s a good point about the 3-way. It occured to me, but I couldn’t come up with what he might specifically being trying to offer us.

  6. While I would love to get Hudson, I do really like Giles as a ballplayer. So, if it were Nick that goes instead, I’ve got no problem with that.

    PS I still can’t believe the Kolb deal!

  7. Good moves by the Brewers. I think we both got fair value out of the Kolb trade as both players were being sold “high.” That they went out and dumped Podsednik for Lee and Bennett for Marlon Byrd impresses the hell out of me.

  8. I seem to agree with everyone that I would not like to trade BOTH Meyer and Davies for one year of Tim Hudson. Hudson long term, maybe.

    By the way, did anyone notice that the White Sox acquired Scott Podsednik? Nothing especially noteworthy about that, except it has been rumored that JS is interested in Podsednik and the White Sox are interested in Andruw Jones…just a thought…

  9. Bell Curve,
    That is a very interesting thought, I bet the Sox will pressure Atlanta for a trade now.

    The reasons the Braves are going after pitchers before the outfielders are: having good pitchers is much more important than adding expensive outfielders and there’s not much left in the way of outfielders so JS is taking it slow. The Braves have a fine offense right now and really only need a couple of pitchers.

  10. I don’t really like Podsednik. That said, I kinda think that Ken Williams is a moron, so if the Sox are angling to make a deal with the Braves, I’d be very intrigued to know what the parameters might be. Could be good news for the Braves.

  11. What about trading for Soriano, then dealing him to Oakland for Hudson? Nah…The Rangers probably rejected a Nick Green plus prospects package for Soriano. Is a Green/Thomson->Soriano->Hudson deal too risky? Nah…

  12. Actually, that trade won’t work. The Rangers and A’s don’t want to be helping each other out, they had a pretty close division race last year.

  13. Just a thought: since there really aren’t many available outfielders, how realistic would be trading LaRoche for a good OF and then signing a Richie Sexson or Carlos Delgado? Or even trading LaRoche for a power hitting first baseman to offset the lack of hitting in RF?

  14. Hmmm, a couple of TNSTAAPPs and a replacement level 2b for a proven starter? The only hitch is that its only a one year rental. True to his word John Schuerholz is in ‘win now’ mode. I guess he realizes that the core of Jones, Jones, Smoltz, Giles and Furcal isn’t going to be the core for much longer so lets get some complementary players for a championship run now. Then in 2006, Marte and Francoeur are ready. As much as I know that there is no such thing as a pitching prospect, giving up both Meyer and Davies makes me nervous. If we lose those guys for Hudson then we don’t have much to try and pry a hitter from someone.

  15. It’s great to have “top prospects” unlike many other teams. The Braves’ farm system has been highly rated for many years now. I bet we traded away more good prospects just in the past year than the Yankees have in their whole system.

    It would be great to get Hudson. The Braves are still one very good pitcher away from getting to the next level. Hudson has shown he should be that guy if the Braves trade for him. Good part is they have 2-3 months to get him signed to an extension.

    I would not give up LaRoche for either Delgaldo or Sexson. Delgado I like, but he’s not going to be cheap. Sexson will go to the Mariners if he passes his physical, which likely will include a drug test.

  16. Several reports I’ve read say that the A’s will allow any team that gives them what they want in a trade will have a 72 hour window to try to sign Hudson to an extension. If the Braves do have a package that includes Meyer and Davies, I think they’d also want Hudson to agree to an extension. Otherwise, it seems like a lot to give up.

  17. You know, I’m sure these guys are good, Meyer and Davies. I’m psyched to see them. But I bet y’all would be much more animated if it were Marte and Francoeur we were discussing.

    But truthfully, none of these guys are a Marcus Giles. If we were to pull off a trade like this, the major league team (which is the one we’re presumably all wanting to do well, next year and in the future) would be markedly better, for the expense of no one who’s yet reached that level, save a backup middle infielder.

    For all we’ve been talking about sacrificing for the likes of Hudson, if we could really acquire him for so little, I think it should be praised. Similarly, Adam Wainwright was mourned. He yet may be a quality major-league player. But we won the East last year in big part due to JD’s monster season. Will Wainwright lead a team to a division championship? I guess we don’t know. But if Hudson is the difference next year, it’s worth giving up these kids, considering what we don’t know about their future.

  18. Personally, I would rather have both Meyer and Davies than Francouer (but Marte over both of them). Although there is a high variance of return on pitching prospects, whether due to injury or ineffectiveness, there is an equally high variance of return on toolsy outfielders without plate discipline. While Jeff has made great strides in many areas of his game, he only took one unintentional walk during the entirety of the Arizona Fall League (IIRC; could have been two, but no more than two).

    That said, everyone else I’ve seen here or elsewhere would agree with you. Historically, the ROI from position player prospects is many times higher than from pitchers. I just have a feeling about Francouer. I hope I’m wrong.

    Raoul: this logic (pitching is most important) is stuff I’ve heard my entire life on ESPN and from the Braves broadcasters. It’s not necessarily true. The Cardinals made the World Series last year with a mediocre at best pitching staff and a dynamite offense. The Braves offense, which last year was slightly above average, is likely to get worse at several positions: left field (both Thomas and Marrero overperformed their projections, and they were still only a league-average platoon); catcher (Estrada was well-above average for a catcher but is likely to regress given his minor league numbers); and right field (Drew to Langerhans – what do you think?). To counterbalance that, Chipper and Giles can be expected to slightly improve, and LaRoche should continue developing, but all three will need vast improvement to make up for the loss of Drew. At best, the Braves have an average offense and slightly above average pitching staff. Tim Hudson will give us a solidly above average pitching staff for one year. That’s not worth two great prospects, especially considering that we should build our next great team around Andy Marte, not John Smoltz and Chipper Jones.

  19. I know he costs $6.5 million, but is anyone else annoyed that we were not even in the discussions for Carlos Lee. He’s signed for two years and he would have been an almost equal replacement to Drew, though Drew does have a better arm.

  20. Lee will make 8 million this year and the team has an 8.5 million option for ’06 with a 500,000 dollar buyout.

  21. Well that sounds too expensive for the tightwad Braves. However, $8 mm is what we offered to Drew and Boras got offended. I still wish that JS had at least tried to get Lee.

  22. Kyle, the Cardinals got dusted in the Series because of mediocre pitching, just like the Yankees did the year before and the Giants the year before that. They beat the Astros because the Astros only had two quality starters, and that doesn’t cut it. The Astros beat the Braves because the Braves pitching didn’t hold up.

    The Braves don’t have a dominate starter and as good as Smoltz is, he was the #3 pitcher for the Braves for many years.

    Hudson is even better than his record indicates. He started 27 games, yet only had decisions in 18. Here’s why. There were 6 games that had either blown holds or blown saves. The other games he left with the score tied. In 7 of the 9 no decisions, he only gave up 2 runs, and avg. over 7 innings in those games.

    He would have won at least half of those games if not more with the Braves, because he never gave up more than 4 runs in any of his wins. With the Braves, he will be a Cy Young contender.

  23. It’s great to have “top prospects” unlike many other teams. The Braves’ farm system has been highly rated for many years now. I bet we traded away more good prospects just in the past year than the Yankees have in their whole system.

    Well, the question is, how will these guys pan out. Very few of them do. The vast majority of guys the Braves trade turn into, well, nothing, and those who have turned into something likely weren’t going to do so here. It took several years after he wwas traded for Jason Schmidt to turn into a good starter, time he wouldn’t have gotten on a winning team; it took Jermaine Dye a few years and a trip to a different minor league team in order to learn the strike zone that nobody ever bothered to teach him with the Braves. Jason marquis and Odalis Perez have both indicated that they believe Mazzone’s coaching was not helping them, and both did better under different pitching coaches with different styles.

    As to Hudson, I do this deal if I think Hudson is healthy. He’s neither young nor old right now, but his numbers took a jump last year and his IP dipped. But if they think he’s healthy and can afford him, I take him. Pitching prospects are too far from guaranteed to mis an opportunity to get one of teh AL’s best starters.

  24. Boooo… The Cardinals lost because they had mediocre pitching, but the Astros lost because they had only two quality starters? That’s two more than the Cardinals had. I don’t get why you think the Astros lost because of pitching.

    Hey bud, I agree with you that it’s more important to have a dominant pitching staff than a dominant offensive team, and I think that the records over the last 15 years play that theory out. The only point I’d like to make is that a lack of dominant pitching doesn’t explain every loss, and having dominant pitching isn’t a guarantee of victory.

  25. Dominant pitching will take you a lot farther in the playoffs when you are bringing out Schilling and Johnson for 5 of 7 games in a series (not to mention having Johnson close out one of those games). I’m talking about the playoffs. It’s been proven year after year. Nothing’s guaranteed, but odds are good pitching beats good hitting.

    Look at who the Astros had after Clemens and Oswalt. All no names. Lidge was the only other consistent pitcher they had, but you got to have the lead going into the 9th inning to win. Munro got beat like he stole something, and Harville, Qualls and Micelli weren’t much better.

    As for the prospects, they are called prospects because they have potential. Some are rated better than others. The Braves have a lot of good “prospects.” Noone is guaranteeing they will turn into Ted WIlliams of Cy Young. If we knew the answer to the question of how will they turn out, we’d be called a prophecy. In your case, it’s called second guessing.

    I would have to disagree with you on Marquis. He still walks a bunch and gave up a lot of HRs. He gave up more hits and HRs than Russ Ortiz. He had the same number of wins with a lower ERA. His best year was 2001 with the Braves. THe same can be said for Odalis. Look at the hits and HRs he gives up. He’s a batting practice pitcher. He did get his walks down, but his strikeouts have gone down also.

    Hudson had less innings pitched because he missed over a month with a strained oblique muscle. That’s why his overall numbers were down. Look at the stats from last year.

  26. I would have thought the A’s would have been after Horacio Ramirez and others from the Braves if they aren’t getting Giles. I’m a little surprised his name hasn’t come up, cheap, somewhat proven at major league level, and signable for a few years if he does the business next year

  27. The thing with JS is that oftentimes, the right names are not leaked. Horacio could be in the mix, as could Juan Cruz, for that matter. Beane’s no fool.

    Side note: Matt Clement is still on the market, and for my money he is very nearly as good a long-term investment as Hudson, without the prospects being dealt in the meantime. His W-L record is not pretty, but his peripheral numbers most certainly are impressive. Why not sign him instead of dealing Meyer, etc. for Hudson?

  28. I’ve been pushing for Clement, who I consider the best pitcher on the market, since the season ended. (His career stats and pattern are similar to Jason Schmidt’s at the same age — the age where Schmidt broke out. OTOH, they’re also similar to — gulp! — Len Barker’s.) For awhile, he wasn’t drawing much interest, but recently a number of teams have gotten involved. I don’t think he’s in the Braves’ budget.

    Rumor out of Boston, meanwhile, is that the Red Sox are getting into the Hudson derby. They don’t have the type of prospects that the A’s covet — though I’d guess Beane still has a little interest in the Greek God of Walks — but are trying to finagle players from elsewhere. In particularly, they’ve talked to the Marlins about AJ Burnett.

  29. I agree, Matt Clement would fill us out nicely.

    Of all the teams for Beane to try and pry Youkilis from, Boston would be the hardest as they follow as similar model (but with more money).

  30. Is Youkalis a fit in Oakland with Chavez inked for the long term?

    But I don’t doubt Boston is leaping into the starting pitching market in a big way. No more Pedro and Lowe mulling offers and now Schilling may not be ready to open the season.

    The whole Hudson thing could get pretty big before it’s over with a lot of teams in the mix.

  31. I think Boston would be an interesting team to try to work a 3-way deal with. Even if the Braves didn’t end up with Hudson, Trot Nixon would look nice in RF (if only the Sox could kick in a mil or two). Myers, Arroyo, and ??? Green to the A’s, Hudson to the Sox, and Nixon + cash to the Braves?

  32. Just because Beane liked Kevin Youkilis in 2001 (or whenever Moneyball took place) doesn’t mean he wants him now. Where would he play on the A’s? He sure ain’t displacing Chavez, and they not only have Karros, Hatterberg, and Durazo for first, but also Dan Johnson in the minors.

    I wish we could trade Horacio, but I doubt anyone wants him. He has no minor league performance record, one season of league average pitching, two months of good pitching with bad peripheral numbers, and arm injury history. On the plus side, he’s left-handed, so he’ll likely hang around the majors even if he’s awful for another 10 to 15 years.

  33. BTW, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection system predicts that Dan Meyer’s ERA will be a half run lower than Horacio’s, with much better peripheral numbers. Meyer is predicted a 4.21 ERA, 139 innings, 130 strikeouts, 49 walks; Horacio, a 4.85 ERA, 130 innings, 76 strikeouts 54 walks. I have to think that if we got Meyer’s projected numbers from our #5 rotation slot this year, we will be very pleased, even if we go on to sign Tim Hudson.

  34. I have seriously problems with the argument that John Smoltz was the #3 starter in Atlanta. He wasn’t #3, he just happened to pitch with Maddux and Glavine. All three of these pitchers were #1 aces. Do you think a #3 is the winningest all time postseason pitcher? Do you think the Braves were sending out a #3 in those crucial, historic game-7s (1991 NCLS, 1991 WS, 1992 NLCS)? Did the Braves really send out a #3 to face Smiley (could have been another Pirate in 1991), Morris, and Drabek in those games? Does a #3 pitcher win 24 games and the Cy-Young? At the very least, you could say Smoltz was the third #1 ace on the team? But even then, Smoltz has been the Braves most clutch and trusted playoff performer. #3, I’m not so sure about that characterization. Maybe Smoltz pitched third in the rotation, but never was he considered a #3 guy. Saying he was the third pitcher on the 1990s staff only shows how great our pitchers were, not any flaw Smoltz might have.

  35. I wouldn’t be shocked if Furcal is ended up dealt to the A’s.

    Economics 101: In order to get the payroll around $80 million, Atlanta would have to make up the added cost of Hudson’s salary by trading someone else already on the roster. Furcal made $3.7 million last year, and he’s likely to be in the $4-5, if not $6 million dollar range with arbitration.

    Since Giles isn’t leaving, a Furcal, Meyers and/or Davies, and someone else for Hudson trade seems reasonable.

    How’s that sound?

  36. Also, Theo Epstein was one of Beane’s right-hand men in Moneyball, and considering a lot of Beane’s concepts have rubbed off on Epstein, I’m pretty sure Youkilis would have high value with Epstein too. If Beane couldn’t get Dan Douqette to trade him, I doubt he’ll get him from Epstein.

    After losing Byrd, I’m pretty sure it’s imperative that we get someone like Hudson. One thing I am wondering is if Giles or Furcal aren’t safe from a trade, why aren’t other teams interested in dealing one of their better pitchers for one of them? There’s not too many teams that couldn’t use an All-Star second baseman or one of the top 5 shortstops in the league.

  37. Darren, you seem to forget certain people that we payed last year that we won’t be this year. J.D. Drew, Russ Ortiz, Paul Byrd…etc. Your economic summary needs to be a bit more involved before you come to a conclusion.

  38. Theo Epstein never worked for Beane. Perhaps you’re mistaking him for JP Ricciardi. Epstein followed Larry Lucchino around three organizations, from the Orioles to the Padres and finally to the Red Sox. He certainly admires Beane but was never part of the A’s organization.

    We better not trade a middle infielder for Hudson, because the alternative to Tim Hudson right now is not bad (Meyer, Davies, or Juan Cruz), but the alternatives to either Furcal or Giles (Wilson Betemit? Nick Green? yikes) are awful. The only justifiable trade of a MI for Hudson would be Giles plus lesser prospect, which we follow up by immediately signing Placido Polanco, and re-signing Hudson to an extension. That ain’t happening, so hopefully we can get Huddy with just prospects.

  39. The original LA deal that was reported was Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez for Hudson, which we could pretty easily match with our prospects, I believe.

  40. He never worked for Beane? I could have sworn he did. I thought I remembered his name among the people in the part of Moneyball where they were in the draft room. Oh well, must be thinking of someone else.

  41. The Braves don’t have a dominate starter and as good as Smoltz is, he was the #3 pitcher for the Braves for many years.

    Oh c’mon. Smoltzie was always better than Glavine, and when Maddux was in his prime, he was simply the best in the world. That doesn’t take anything away from Smoltz. John Smoltz, if healthy, is second to none in the National League. Including Pedro and whoever else the Mets will sign.

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