The problem

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Alex, in comments, wants the Braves to make a move to add a middle-of-the-order hitter. (Among other things.) He says that they’re too cheap to do so. That’s partly right. But it’s June freaking 13th. There are only a couple of teams out of the race. The only real slugger on the market is Mike Sweeney and he is paid a ridiculous amount of money, so much that nobody but the Yankees and maybe the Red Sox or Dodgers could afford to trade for him. The teams that are out of it have very few good players available to trade, which is why they’re out of it.

What teams have no chance of a successful season? The Devil Rays, the Royals, the Reds, the Astros, the Rockies. Maybe the Giants, who are ten out, but they’re hoping Barry can save the season. There are some other teams who have slim or no chance of making the playoffs, but those teams are playing for .500 and mostly don’t have many veterans to deal either.

Alex and I talked on Saturday, and he wanted the Braves to deal for Bobby Kielty, because he wasn’t playing much for the A’s. I explained to him that the A’s aren’t going to trade a player who doesn’t make anything. I could add that the difference between Kielty and Kelly Johnson or Billy McCarthy isn’t particularly apparent. Kielty is a spare part, not a player who will help the Braves score a lot more runs. If Chipper were healthy and Furcal and Giles were hitting the way they normally do, a marginal upgrade in the corner outfield would be useful. When the only everyday player meeting expectations is Andruw (yes, it’s true; maybe Estrada if he’s back tonight) a marginal upgrade isn’t worth giving up anything more than a marginal player.

So unless you can make a deal for a bellweather player you’re better off hoping that the guys you have improve and then you deal for a spare part to fill a hole. The problem is that the teams that are out of it don’t have those hitters. Sweeney just isn’t doable and he essentially is the Royals’ only major league hitter. Aubrey Huff might be doable if the Braves could dump a contract (Kolb), but he’s a terrible defensive outfielder having a bad year. Dealing LaRoche for him and letting Huff play first for the time being might not be such a bad idea, but then you run into Chuck LaMar’s notorious overreaching in every trade.

Beyond that, who is there? The Astros aren’t going to deal Lance Berkman, even if the Braves could work out a way to pay him, and Craig Biggio is done and isn’t really an outfielder anyway. The Reds won’t trade Dunn, nor should they, Austin Kearns’ career is collapsing, and let’s not even discuss K*n Gr*ff*y; I don’t want Terrence Moore to show up here. Let’s just say that there’s no money for him and his ego wouldn’t take well to not playing center, and Andruw is twice the centerfielder he ever was. The Rockies? Preston Wilson sucks. Todd Helton is overpaid. They don’t have any other veterans to speak of.

There just isn’t anyone out there. Saying that you want to make a deal, and can make a deal, doesn’t mean that you will make a deal. Bringing in a Preston Wilson would only hurt the team in the future for no real present gain.

Now, adding a reliever, that’s another matter. I’ve reached the stage where trading a B prospect for a decent reliever seems like a pretty good idea.

49 thoughts on “The problem”

  1. A. Preston Wilson who started slow because of an injury, is now up to .270 (after being at .240 a few weeks ago) and has 11 home runs. He doesn’t suck MAC. Stop saying anyone who you don’t like sucks. It’s plain irresponsible.

    B. The Astros have now won 11 of 14 so they maybe off the giving up market now…

    C. Maybe in 2 years there won’t be a difference between Bobby Kielty & Kelly Johnson but right now, one of these players plays half the time and hits freaking .290 while the other person has 1 hit in 30 AB’s and is hitting .033.

    Now, maybe I am too impulsive or impatient but wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of guys in the lineup we could count on most nights. Doesn’t it feel hopeless to everyone by now with this current team that no one except maybe Wilson Betemit can hit consistently and we can’t play him because we keep putting that ASSHOLE Furcal out there?

    Gosh, I am sick of it and I am sick to death of Mac swiping at everything I would like to see done.

    Furthermore, as I EXPLAINED to Mac on Saturday, Kielty may make very little, but he makes more then half our current roster (tbough still not much) and considering the A’s have na over abundance of outfielders and have other holes to fill, Beane (especially with the A’s out of it) would be happy to deal a young vet like Kielty who’s not even playing all the time for prospects…it makes way too much sense for both the Braves & A’s so I suppose that’s why Mac hates it.

    No, what makes more sense to MAC is to keep running Kelly Johnson out there until his 2nd hit finally comes in August of some bad pitcher like Zack Day so that Mac can officially say we are all WRONG on Johnson.

    Mac is so dead set on being right, he has to make a showcase of any differing opinion I have as A)ludicrous or B) insane.

    Because Mac’s way of thinking always works.

    Mac, maybe you should tell all our friends on this sight, who has kicked who’s ass for 8 straight years in Fantasy Baseball? I am just curious, that’s ALL.

  2. This isn’t fantasy baseball. And the reason you beat me is that I make panicky trades. So there.

    Your Preston Wilson obsession is disturbing. Wilson is getting paid $12.5 million this year. He hit the same in May as he did in April. He’s on a hot streak now because the Rockies haven’t played a road game since May 29. In road games, Wilson is hitting .219/.288/.406. A line like that got Raul Mondesi released. Andruw’s hitting .253/.320/.511 and you want to throw him under a bus. You have to recognize that .275 with 11 homers isn’t good for a guy who plays half his games in Coors Field.

  3. First, I have said NUMEROUS times that Wilson is not the only good bat on the Market. But JS isn’t even TRYING and considering how many times Cox has put Kolbb & Colon out there in the wrong situations and benched Wilson Betemit, it appears the people who want to TRY and salvage this season are the legions of Braves fans who can plainly see something needs to be DONE.

  4. Alex – I know that you think Johnson can’t hit anybody. And maybe he can’t. He certainly hasn’t so far. But Kielty can’t hit from the left side of the plate. He is a terrible left-handed hitter. As a replacement for Brian Jordan in a platoon situation, sure. But how much does that help? Some, yes. But he’s not an everyday asset. Maybe Kelly Johnson isn’t going to be either. I’m just not ready to give up on that yet. And when it’s time to give up on that, I sincerely hope there is a better alternative than Bobby Kielty. I’m willing to wait for one.

    I’m glad you guys are friends in real life because you sure fight like hell here. Don’t get me wrong, I love it :)

  5. Wilson is impatient and a hot head. A guy that was supposed to be an offensive star and has fizzled in Coors. That scares me.

    Minnesota seems the only logical trade partner. Anyone else think McCann could end up being a first baseman. He reminds me a lot of Jim Thome. Big boy.

    Furcal, LaRoche and Kolb to Minnesota for Jesse Crain and Shannon Stewart. Gives relief help and a leadoff hitter. Betimit can start playing short regularly, he does not look like Rafael Rameriez to me, and if he is, have we not seen worse?

  6. Alex, Wilson isn’t “a good bat on the market”. He’s a Raul Mondesi-level player but one getting paid $12.5 million. There are no positives.

    Bobby Kielty vs. RHP: .226/.369/.345. Hey, I appreciate the OBP compared to Jordan, but it’s still not very good, and Pete Orr would probably beat that line. The question isn’t who has better stats this year but who will hit better going forward, and I think that Kelly Johnson is a better bet.

  7. Mac, how about Matt Stairs? Nothing spectacular, but he’s always been a favorite of mine, draws walks, hit for power, he’s cheap, on a one-year contract, and the Royals have no need to hold on to him.

  8. Kevin, thanks for your suggestion…maybe Mac will listen to someone else’s TRADE idea! But your idea is solid…a nice outfielder in Stewart and any relief help is good help.

    The Twins solve their issues at SS & Furcal might do well in the ‘Dome. They are loaded at 1st, aren’t they, so I am not sure why they would even want a stiff like LaRoche but addition by subtraction. Estrada makes more sense for them as insurance to Joe Mauer; it also allows us to save a bit and play the much more talented Brian McCann now right away.

    As for my friendship with Mac, we fight like brothers–we are friends but sometimes he angers me! Half the time he’s arguing he’s just pushing buttons because he knows what a sensitive subject the Braves are for me. I mean, he is as big a Braves fan as I am I just don’t see how his logic helps the Braves win now, something it seems I am clearly more open to.

    I think the biggest fights Mac and I have about the Braves center around 2 people: Bobby Cox and of course, Andruw Jones. We all know were Mac & I stand on the overrated Jones…I wish he would go jump in the nearest lake and just because he’s had 2 good days in a row doesn’t mean he should be representing the Braves at the All Star team (In fact, no one should…I am against the 1 player per team rule and right now, NO ONE should be wearing a Braves uni at the Game).

    The Cox issue still stings all the way back into the 90’s. The worst post season manager I have ever seen, not named Grady Little or Dusty Baker. I think Baker is the onyl one whps’ worse…Little had one bad moment because he allowed Pedro’s Texas-sized ego to overcome simple logic. Frankly I feel sorry for Little and wish he was managing the Braves.

    I mean, time after time in the post season, Cox made some inexplicable decisions dating back to 1991 and on through this current regular season in 2005. He’s too damned old and has to go. I am sick of him already. KEEP Leo, dump Cox. It has to happen.

    Mac thinks Cox is great but I know a lot of people who are knowledgeable about Baseball who thinks Cox is the most overrated Manager in history.

  9. Minnesota is the one team I can see matching up for Furcal. I don’t hate the idea of Shannon Stewart, really. There’s not much to him, but at least he does get on base. And I think his deal is over so they wouldn’t be stuck with him. Who wouldn’t want Jesse Crain? But would they give him up for anything? LaRoche might make some sense for them, as they could shift Lew Ford to OF and free up the DH spot for Morneu, who is having some injury issues. I just figure there’s not much chance of LaRoche getting dealt during the season. The offseason is a different story, though.

    I think Furcal is the only guy on the ML roster right now who would be dealt. Maybe Kelly Johnson in the right trade. I’d guess that you’re looking at guys in the high minors who are probably blocked like Jurries, Timmons, maybe McCarthy. And/or maybe a pitching prospect like Chuck James. Those are the guys that look to me like the real bargaining chips for any upcoming trades.

  10. Stewart does make sense, and the Twins could certainly use Furcal. It’s hard to see the Braves making any deal that doesn’t involve ditching either Furcal or Kolb, and which one would you rather take? I don’t think that Minny would give up Crain, though.

  11. Oh, and as for Baker, A) I can’t stand him & his giant ego and inexplicable statements, along with the fact that he nearly got his brat kid Darrin Baker pummeled when JT Snow rounded for home and made a diving save for Darrin.

    and B) Cox managed the Cubs out of the 2003 Post season and he, not Steve Bartman and his wearing out of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood is why the Cubs helped the Marlins into the World Series. Hey, maybe Grady made one bad decision but if you fire Little in 2003, you have to FIRE Baker who did the same stupid ass thing, two times in a row. He left both Wood & Prior in too long.

    The end result? We got a world series match-up only a MASOCHIST could stomach…the stinkin Marlins against the stinkin Yankees. Hell, at least the Cubs should have been in there so there would be SOMEONE too root for, but the Marlins are the one team in the NL I can’t root for…they STOLE the NLCS from us in 1997 (thanks to a huge assist from fat ass Eric Gregg) & have 2 world titles in a 10 year existence…kind of obnoxious.

    But Cox managed the Blue Jays 1992 World Series the exact way that Baker mis-managed the 2003 NLCS.

  12. Even if we couldn’t get Crain, I would tkae ANY deal at this point just to see Kolbb & Furcal leave…Furcal & Kolbb for Stewart? FANTASTIC! Anything that gets those jerks off the roster.

    By the way, my brother, who works for a Georgia paper and covered the Braves during Spring Training, says Kolbb is a nice guy; my brother is a Mets fan–so I asked him, do you WANT Kolbb on the Mets?

    “Uh, no” was the answer.

    Though my brother said something interesting which i think is actually kind of true.

    he said Kolbb is actually TOO nice a guy in person…he doesn’t have the “closer mentality”–guys who need to be tough and immune to crticism. He says that’s not Kolbb’s make up and personality. He also says that if Kolbb read half the crap we say about him, he’d probably pitch even worse because he’d be depressed.

    While I don’t wish the man to commit suicide and he maybe a nice guy, I don’t wish him to wear a Braves uniform. Let him get the “ship righted” elsewhere…let him be someone else’s problem. I mean, if he goes to the Twins and suddenly finds the strike zone and has a 2.00 ERA the rest of the season for them, FINE. I can live with that. Just as long as we don’t have to keep blowing games here with him.

  13. Alex, I am going to have to object to your foul language. It is the parenthetical part towrads the end of you Cox/Baker rant. Hint:it is not the word “ass”, but when you get to that you will be very warm.

    I didn’t really finish my thought about Stewart. And that is that the only way to get him might be to give up LaRoche. Whatever you think of ADD-rock (just made that up, not sure if I like it but the ADD thing is a source of humor for me), he would leave a big hole at first base that I’m not sure we can be confident in Larry filling. I’ve read some scary things about that foot of his recently. And Marte hasn’t yet proven to be ready (although I still expect him to).

  14. Well, maybe they’d take Estrada. But I don’t see him being anymore likely to be dealt than LaRoche for similar reasons: no certain replacement, even though there is a promising outlook. Minnesota could move Ford to the OF, but they would have a huge hole at DH. They could fill it with their catcher or 1B (both of whom could probably use the break), but they can’t fill those holes. LeCroy isn’t seen as an everyday player, they don’t think Tiffee is ready, and there really isn’t anyone else for them to turn to. Furcal could replace one of their MI stiffs, but that’s about it.

  15. The Twinkies are going to stick with Mauer at catcher until he proves he can’t do it. It’s too big of an offensive plus to not exploit.

  16. We are all adults here and we should be able to express the emotions we are feeling, creynolds…and if I don’t make 20 best friends because I said a bad word, well then I’m sorry. Still, since you have made the request reasonably and we have spoken before, I will refrain from cursing. However, if you don’t have a problem with a–, then did you have a problem with the word ‘masochist’?

    At this point, I am willing to with Larry at 1st, Giles at 2nd, Betemit at SS and Marte at 3rd. it will maxmize our offense, decrease potential long term payroll problems and overall relieve ourselves of the headache known as Rafael Furcal.

    I am also more then fine with NOT WAITING until Larry returns, making a deal with the twinkies now & just going with Franco and maybe McCann for a while for the bat and to see if Estrada can still really help this team also.

    When Larry comes back, we will deal with who should be starting at 1st and catcher at that point, but if we could move Furcal and LaRoche, DO IT. Also, if it takes throwing Kelly Johnson in to get Jessie Crain, GO FOR IT.

  17. True. As long as he isn’t doing any long-term damage to his knees that would be the smart thing. I may not agree with all of Terry Ryan’s overall philosophies, but he’s not stupid. Gardenhire, well, I don’t know. But not Ryan. He’s not likely to create a situation that moves Mauer from behind the plate unless or until it is absolutely necessary.

  18. Sorry, Alex. It was a joke. I was referring to the name of a certain umpire. I guess I didn’t do a very good job though.

  19. Creynolds, if you want to MAKE joke, you gotta be clearer…however, I can’t argue…”fat man in a little coat” Eric Gregg is a BAD WORD. But now you made me laugh!

    (hope everyone gets the Chris Farley reference from “Tommy Boy” for Gregg…)

    I never ever talked about moving Joe Mauer. First, I could care less what plans the evil twins have as long as the trade they do also helps the BRAVES.

    Second, if all of you READ what I said earlier, I said the Twins could grab Estrada as INSURANCE since Mauer could get hurt again. Estrada would be a back up/occasional starter (with Mauer at 1st) & DH for the Twins…more of a utility role.

  20. I have no problem with the language you use. You should hear me talk. And I’ve let plenty of it slip out on these pages before. I very much enjoy your posts, actually. I just can’t stand even the thought of that fat bastard!!

  21. In honor of creynolds, NEW RULE declared (please see my post under Jorge Vazquez)

    Instead of saying ASS or some other bad word, we will now say ERIC GREGG in all caps when we want to curse.

    Thanks for coming up with the idea, creynolds!!!

  22. And glad to know you curse also…you had me worried like I had stepped into the Southern Baptist convention website or something! :-)

    (Mac, that joke was for you–enjoy!)

  23. I like it! It will be nice to be able to read that in a context that will make me laugh instead of kick things.

  24. Creynolds,

    Alex gets a little emotional. I think everyone else go it. I am suprised you can enter those two words in this blog without activating a permanent ban on your user name…I think we should have sent McCann back down and let him continue to play everyday. I also think we should look at sending Kelly Johnson back down and seeing if he can learn to play shortstop again.

    Am I alone in doubting Betemit as the long range (no pun intended) answer at short?

  25. JC made a good point the other day that a catcher can get some good work in even when he’s not starting every day. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it does make some sense. Catching throwing sessions, spot starts and some pinch hitting. And I wouldn’t be too surprised if they eased Estrada back. I didn’t see much point in keeping him up at first either. But I’ve warmed to the idea. I’m certainly excited about his potential.

    I don’t know about Betemit. All I know is that the Braves haven’t thought highly of him as a shortstop for whatever reason. But I don’t know if that’s due to their general high expectations for infield defense, if they just wanted to take some pressure off to bring the bat back to life, or if he had real problems. I kinda thought it was just erratic play… wild throws, etc. But if they think he doesn’t have the range, then I doubt there’s anything he can do to change their minds.

  26. I keep hearing Houston might be moving Lidge. Do we stand a chance? Any ideas what it would take? Anyone know his contract numbers?

  27. This thread seems to have struck a nerve.
    The biggest mystery to me is the managing decisions. Cox’s post season moves are notorius, just one embodies them all. Leibrandt brought in to face Kirby Puckett. Sorry to bring that one back. But the season management has usually been with prurpose. Trying to find roles for the bullpen, setting the lineup, etc. But this year there is no logic to the decisions. All the moves made to bring up minor leaguers are all based on the numbers. Always the best avg. guy gets brought up. The pitchers the same. K/BB ratio every time. Boyer for example. But the lack of guts to sit the “Veterans” like Furcal and Jordan make no sense. Bring up the best numbers and then sit them on the Bench. Betemit is the shining example. He must have slept with somebody’s wife or something. If Betemit doesn’t DH this week our Manager is smoking something.
    Who thinks Franco DH’s this week?

  28. I have to agree with Mac. There isn’t an impact bat out there worth sacrificing one of the promising youngsters for. To get value you have to give value or percieved value. The Braves have been successful in the past doing the percieved value thing but June 13 is still too early for contract dumping. Noone is desperate enough yet to dump the arb case or the pending free agent.
    All the trade stuff that comes over this blog is trading KolBB and Furcal who both currently suck and have no trade value for someone is currently playing well. I give the other teams some credit. They have to see the holes in Raffy’s and KolBB’s game now. Who is going to want them?I guess its nice to fantasize but thats all it is is fantasy.

  29. Oh, God, not Leibrandt again. Who was Bobby supposed to use? Randy St. Claire? Jim Clancy? He’d already used Stanton and Pena. The only other reliever who had a good season that year was Mercker and he was (I believe) limited by injury and anyway was another lefty. The top righty setup man was Wohlers, who was mediocre; Bobby had lost confidence in him, and not for the last time. Leibrandt was one of the better pitchers in the league and by far the best pitcher he had available. It was the right call, it just didn’t work.

  30. I would have to say that this is pretty much the same Bobby Cox we’ve always had. I haven’t seen much difference in the way he’s managed this year from years past. He always tries to stick with “his guys”. He picks out peope who he thinks are key to the success of the team for the rest of the season, and he sticks with them as long as he can stand it PLUS another week or so. A lot of times I have a hard time figuring out why his guys are who they are (Lockhart, Jordan, etc.) and what’s wrong with the other ones (Cruz, Sosa, etc.). But it’s the same old Bobby Cox.

  31. But JS isn’t even TRYING

    How exactly do you know JS isn’t trying to make a trade? Maybe the people he’s talking to want to wait until closer to the trade deadline when teams are more desperate. maybe they all want davies. Maybe they don’t want furcal while he’s reportedly hurting.

    Someone sent me an article link last week that said JS was reportedly bidding to try to get Urbina. Sounds to me like he might be trying.

    As for Cox in the postseason – it isn’t Cox pulling those 0-fers and 1-fers. What the hell is Cox supposed to do when guys like Sheffield, Drew, and Chipper all fail to hit? what was he supposed to do when Glavine completely failed to pitch well his last two postseasons? What was he supposed to do when Belliard flubbed a DP and Wohlers allowed the HR to Leyritz? What was Cox supposed to do when McGriff pulled his statue impersonation vs. the marlins, when Chipper pulled his stupid baserunning tricks the same series, when Lonnie falls for a deke by the shortstop?

    Bobby is not the main reason the braves have not won in the postseason. There have been a few series where he hasn’t helped, but overwhelmingly it has been the big guns failing to do what they’re paid to do. Ultimately it comes down to the players much more than the manager.

  32. If I’m not being too much of an ERIC GREGG, could we pursue the Lidge discussion some more? Is their backup catcher better than Estrada?

  33. Their starting catcher isn’t half as good as Estrada. Except for throwing he might not be as good as Pena. Rationally, the Astros would be pleased as punch to add Estrada. But they have long been irrational where Brad Ausmus is concerned.

  34. Their STARTING catcher isn’t better than Brayan Pena was in the short time he was up. He’s not better than Eddie Perez on his worst days.

    Alright, enough Ausmus bashing (sure is fun though). I don’t see why they would trade Brad Lidge. They could probably get a lot for him, but I don’t understand why they would do it. It’s certainly not a deadline deal type of thing for a club that probably doesn’t want to completely rebuild. If he is going to be made available, I’d expect it to be an offseason deal where they can get major league players back. Now, come October if Bagwell can’t play and they like LaRoche… maybe. I just wouldn’t see much point in them trading him during the season. It just seems like they would have to be totally bowled over to trade him at this point.

  35. I’m with creynolds. I don’t know why Houston would want to deal Lidge. In the past when they’ve dealt Wagner and Dotel, they had a great set up guy who they thought would be able and ready to be a dominant closer(Dotel for Wagner and Lidge for Dotel), and I don’t think they’re in that situation now.

  36. The rumor in Insider is Aubrey Huff for Andy Marte, although it isn’t much of a rumor; “Braves need a bat; Rays dealing Huff; LaMar likes Braves; LaMar likely to ask for Marte.”

    My reply if offered this deal: “Go ERIC GREGG yourself, you must have mistaken us for the Mets.”

  37. kearns seems like a smart move to me. the smartest thing a GM can do is trade for a player when his current value is less than his true or long-term value. Maybe there are precedents, but I find it hard to believe someone who has crushed the ball in the minors and who had a .907 OPS in a large sampling of at-bats in his first year in MLB isn’t a risk worth taking. To put that number in persective, when Brian Jordan was the HOT free-agent on the market, coming off his best season in St. Louis, his OPS was .902.

  38. Yer darn right Kyle! I’ll be ERIC GREGG with a light pole if the braves ever make that trade!

  39. * There are some other teams who have slim or no chance of making the playoffs, but those teams are playing for .500 and mostly don’t have many veterans to deal either. *

    Ahem . . . You wouldn’t be talking about some team that plays down by GSU, would you?

  40. The theory I’ve seen is that Houston wants near ML-ready talent. They don’t want to wait 2 or 3 years for the return investment. Bagwell and Biggio won’t bring much… they don’t want to deal Clemens or Berkman… so Lidge will bring the most in return.

    If we could package K Johnson, Laroche or Estrada, and maybe a mid-pitching prospect for Lidge and something else, I would jump at it. Or do you think that’s not enough?

  41. Don’t be trite, dbratl. The Braves obviously aren’t out of it. Yet. I was referring to teams like the Brewers, Pirates, and Tigers for whom a .500 record is in reach and for whom that would be a triumph.

  42. Detroit has Rondell White, who would be probably be available if/when Ordonez comes back. His BA is up this year, but his OBP is down… kinda odd. But if he could stay healthy and Kelly Johnson never hit, that wouldn’t be terrible I guess. But, really, if that’s the most appealing guy available, then it is a sad market for hitters.

    Corgy, there is definitely some logic to the idea of Houston trading Lidge. I just think they’re more likely to do that in the offseason when they can better evaluate their needs (Bagwell being the big question… although I think I know the answer: done). They would have a bigger market for major league players at that point too. Plus, I wonder if that owner of theirs would ever do anything that officially signalled giving up the season no matter the record.

  43. Hi. I’m the panic button. Please stop pushing me, it’s getting a little annoying. Thanks.

  44. I’m a very sparse poster here, and I have reached this thread a little late. That haveing been said, I want to drop a few notes.

    The Furcal, Kolb, LaRoche for Crain and Stewart trade is just silly. Furcal is not a good SS. He is a terrible offensive SS(this year at least), which is what the Twins have already. Jason Bartlett in AAA actually has a chance to put up a 95 OPS+ and would be a better pickup for them than Furcal. No one wants Kolb. LaRoche has nowhere to play in Minnesota. Mourneau is a much better player, and Mauer may have to move to first within two years just to keep him healthy(though he will stay at C until at least mid season of next year). So if they really, really want a 1B then they want him for one year, which isn’t what LaRoche is. Shannon Stewart is about the same hitter that Adam LaRoche is, and his percieved value is even higher(after all, he was an MVP canidate). Lastly, the Twins wouldn’t trde Jesse Crain for Kyl Davies and Marcus Giles. So stop with that trade idea. It’s not a good one.

    If the Astro’s really want to trade Lidge, it will cost us Jake Stevens and Brian McCann(or maybe Stevens, Chuck James, and Johnny Estrada). We aren’t getting him for spare parts. I’d be willing to bet a large amount that Lidge is on Houston’s roster at the end of the season.

    Alex, you are obviously a passionate Braves fan(and god bless you, we don’t have enough). However, you (and others) are overreacting here. I don’t care how much you (blindly) hate Andruw, he is one of the top 3 CF in all of baseball. Yes, he is overpaid. BUT, that is sunk money. You aren’t getting it back. It’s spent, get over it. So the question is, can you find another CF as good as Andruw to replace him? Ichiro!, J.D. Drew, and Jim Edmonds aren’t coming over in a trade anytime soon, sorry. Andruw is as good (or better) as Carlos Beltran. He’s a good player.

    Why is everyone so down on LaRoche? He may not be Frank Thomas, but he doesn’t seem like a problem to me. .260/.323/.462 is decent enough. In fact, his ISO’s are right on par with last season. He is pretty much the exact same player he was last season, but he hasn’t had anything similar to his Aug/Sept run of last season. One month of something like that and he is hitting .290/.360/.500(or better). LaRoche is [B]25[/B]. There was a post, either on here or No Pepper, about how we were all foolish to judge LaRoche so quickly because he usually takes some time to adjust. Well, you all are being foolish to qant to cast him by the side now. .785 OPS from your 1B is NOT ideal, and his defense doesn’t appear to be what was advertised, but if this is LaRoche’s low, I am more than willing to wait and see the high.

    The Braves have been absolutely destroyed by injuries. Many players(Furcal, Kolb, Marcus Gile(my favorite player), Kelly Johnson, basically everyone else) are not performing up to what we expected of them at the start of the season. How many players are performing over what was expected of them? Wilson Betemit is the entire list, and he has 68 AB. Everything that could go wrong for the Braves so far has. It won’t continue this way. We will get healthy, some of the rookies will perform. Heck Marte is the best prospect in baseball! Kelly Johnson has looked terrefic in pretty muche very plate appearance. 6 BB in 36 PA is fantastic. 3 K in 36 PA is also terrefic. He hasn’t gotten any hits this season(well, 2), but that is really the only flaw in his game(which doesn’t sound right). Once some hits start dropping(and they will, he has proven over the last season and a half in the minors that he can hit for average, and his BABIP is well under .100, which isn’t normal, then he turns into what we all thought he would be, a slightly above average player(a.k.a. Ryan Langerhans).

    Everyone crying wolf and jumping from the bandwagon, just stop, you sound like Met fans. We are 32-31. What was our record last season after 63 games? How did that year end up?

  45. Please ignore the fact that I can’t type or spell. It’s very late here….and I have fat fingers. And yes, I know how to spell Giles.

  46. I don’t think everyone is so down on LaRoche. It’s just that a lot of us think his future is probably with another club. This depends on Marte being what we all think he will be and neither him nor LaRoche being cut out for the OF, two things we don’t know yet but strongly suspect. Alex called him a “stiff”, but Alex is an excitable guy. I think the other comments about him have either been pretty reasoned or maybe even slightly overboard in the other direction.

  47. Well, like I said, I see this as the low water mark of LaRoche’s potential value. Trading him now seems very, very foolish to me. He wouldn’t even be the “best” 1B on the market because if Fielder hits well in his 6 game callup, you’d have to think that the Brewers start shopping either Overbay or Jenkins. Ideally I would like to ahve Marte at SS, leave Chipper at 3B, and have Betemit play a super-utility roll playing 20% of the time at SS, 3B, and 2B, plus ,aybe some LF. If Chipper can no longer play 3B and has to move to first, then I would agree that it would be time to move LaRoche. BUT, we certainly can’t trade LaRoche until Chipper is back and hitting, and who knows when that will be? My basic point is that trading LaRoche now is foolish. If he gets hot and has an .875 OPS at the deadline, well then we need to keep him for run support. If he doesn’t and has a .780 OPS at the deadline, well then his trade value isn’t high enough to get us anything useful.

    LaRoche may never hit 40 HR, but I thinkl that he is more than capable of a consistent .850+ OPS, which is superior to a lot of the production we have gotten out of 1B in the past. THe problem with our team right now is that Furcal is terrible, Giles has 4 HR, we have way too many injuries, and we have a shitty bullpen. The first 3 should normalize somewhat, and then when it’s the deadline and we are still 4.5 out, then we can make a move to shore up the pen. There isn’t much available out there right now, so let’s just sit back, realize we are over .500, and get healthy.

  48. But speculating is so much fun! I agree with you, though. Now is not the best time to be thinking of trading LaRoche. He could be part of a nice package in the offseason. But the real key right now is that we can’t be confident in Larry’s return this year. Not to my mind, at least.

    I’d have to think that the Brewers would trade Jenkins for an ice cream sandwich in the middle of January. God, that’s a terrible contract. It’ll be interesting to see what they do about their 1B situation. They’re so close to competing right now, I think, that their best play may actually be trading Fielder. I know that sounds weird, but he would have so much value to an up-and-coming AL club.

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