And they were doing so well

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Transaction Analysis: July 8-14

I don’t know if we should necessarily expect Marte to go back down as soon as Chipper Jones is reactivated. If Marte looks good, Jones might simply push Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, and Ryan Langerhans into some sort of job-sharing arrangement in right field, with Marte and Betemit continuing their duel for the job at the hot corner. However, Marte didn’t do anything last weekend, and Betemit’s still cooling off, so we’ll have to see whether the Braves get creative or not.

“Creative”? That’s an interesting way to put it. “Dumb” is another way. “Risky”. “Plain goofy”. Chipper can’t run. He has a bad foot. He doesn’t like the outfield anyway. How is this so hard to figure out?

26 thoughts on “And they were doing so well”

  1. Maybe we are moivng Andrew to short, Chipper to center, LaRoche to second, Kolb to first, and making Giles a short fielder. The winner of the WB/Marte battle, the other moves to catcher while Estrada goes to second and McCann will be traded to the Natspos for Stanton and a bucket of balls for the pitching machine we are going to trot out to replace Bernero. Ed and the Atlanta grounds crew are running an outlet under the pitcher mound so we can plug the machine in. For road games the club is using Smoltz’s Home Depot discount to buy a 200 ft extension cord.

  2. I really hate to even bring this up because it’s hard to imagine chipper playing for anybody else… but I think at some point if he wants to keep playing he’s going to have to become a DH. I think the perfect place for him to go is the Rangers. He would love hitting homers in Ameriquest and would have the potential to finish his career with Palmeiro-like numbers. And he’s close to his ranch.

    When Marte is ready (which I don’t think is yet), Chipper for Teixeira would be a sweet deal for the Braves to look at in my opinion.

  3. The Rangers won’t trade Teixeira, especially not for Chipper :)

    We’d have to offer something like Davies, Marte, and Francoeur to get them to even consider it, I’d imagine.

  4. Since when are Marte and Betemit battling for a job? Maybe they’re battling for a replacement spot, but not a starting 3B job. Wow, this is dumb. Here is the stupidest lineup I can come up with, inspired by Baseball Prospectus and with notes:

    1B-Rafael Furcal. The ideal place to waste his arm.
    2B-Johnny Estrada. Short and has no range to speak of. Also really slow.
    3B-Dan Kolb. Longest throw to first, more opportunity to sail it into the stands.
    SS-Andy Marte. He can’t play short, so let’s put him there.
    CF-Julio Franco. The most running possible for the oldest guy on the team. Perfect spot!
    RF-Chipper Jones. Second-most running. Should be a CF but Julio was too good.
    LF-Eddie Perez. Damaged shoulder, long throws should really do him in!
    C-Marcus Giles. Comic entertainment in the form of ridiculously short guy in massive body armor.
    P-Kelly Johnson. Don’t want to lose his bat, let’s stick him somewhere! And he’s a lefty!

    Trade Betemit and Francoeur to the O’s for Sammy Sosa. DFA Andruw Jones, his .275 average is much too low. Put Pete Orr in the bullpen to replace Kolb, and give Langerhans to the Nats for $10,000 cash. Fire Cox and Schuerholz and hire Bobby Valentine and Ed Wade. A sure winner!

  5. The guy would have to be like Piazza level done defensively before he’d even consider a trade. And even then he might prefer to retire. He didn’t like the OF because it was boring. Maybe sitting on the bench would be less consequentially boring, but still boring. Plus, a guy with his ego isn’t going to concede to being useless defensively easily. We’re stuck with one of the better hitters of his generation whether we like or not. It’s a burden, but I think we’ll be able to carry it.

  6. Chipper has said publicly that he’d accept a trade if it would help the team. Of course, he’s also said he’d retire if he had to play under any other manager than Bobby Cox. I could see him accepting a trade to the Dodgers or one of the Texas teams, but I’m not sure that either team hailing from the Lone Star state has much use for a corner infielder. I don’t think Chipper being back from the DL is bad for us, but I do think that he’s a fiscal liability for next season in light of the emergeance of Betemit, LaRoche, Marte and Johnson.

  7. I’m too lazy to look up the details of Chipper’s contract, but assuming we’re on the hook for it regardless, and looking at this injury-plagued year as an aberration (historically it is, but since he’s getting older maybe not), why are we so down on Chipper? He is still a phenomenal hitter and his defense is sufficient given his stick. I don’t think LaRoche or Betemit can carry his jock at this point, much less replace him even with the disparity in salary…

  8. Well maybe we can pakage Chipper, Andrew, Smoltz, Furcal, Giles, and LaRoche an see what we can get. Yeah Right!

    Chipper will be a Brave until he wants to retire. There is no way the Braves move their most productive/ most popular player. The line-up is built around him. I would take him over Matre and WB.

  9. Chipper is easily the best hitter on the team I’ll give you that. But he’s also the highest paid player on the team. With 30-40 million dollars tied up in Smoltz, Hampton and Hudson, and another 30 or so going to Andruw and Chipper you have to concede that one of those big contracts might have to go. Chipper is the obvious choice as it would be hard to replace Andruw’s defense, while we have Betemit, LaRoche, Johnson, Marte and Thorman to share the corner infield positions. I have nothing against Chipper at all, it’s purely an economic opinion.

  10. I had been thinking roughly the same thing, Walter. Although I thought Andruw was more likely because he could bring such a haul in return, isn’t as much of an icon and wouldn’t require permission. I think his recent performance has changed that for sure, though. I also think this team can go another year at least without worrying about that. Furcal and Kolb shed $10 million. Giles and Estrada are due for big raises, but Estrada can easily be dealt assuming that McCann is a suitable replacement. The rotation is set, and assuming that Hampton’s contract obligations have been handled wisely, even picking up Thomson’s option shouldn’t be a big increase overall. The need is probably for a right fielder, because I worry that Langerhans isn’t an everyday option. Even if Francoeur isn’t ready, a good and reasonably priced OF should be attainable in the offseason given that the Braves probably have Estrada and LaRoche to trade… and maybe Horacio (or Thomson, who’s probably a steal at his option price). Colon and Devine should be ready to contribute big bullpen roles, so expensive help there probably isn’t needed.

    I’m probably missing something here, but I don’t worry as much about the financial stuff as I did just a couple of months ago thanks to the emergence (or apparent near emergence) of some cheap, but key, talent.

  11. Only 3 games? I thought it would be more, given that he flipped Eddings the bird. I’m actually not too upset about 3 games, given that Estrada hasn’t been much offensively as of late and that McCann is more than satisfactory for 3 games. But I’m still upset at Eddings and Estrada should definitely appeal this. Our objections should be aired in public. This thing isn’t over, Bud…

  12. I doubt they’ll appeal. If they do, they run the risk of McCann having to start four games in a row (if the appeal is denied and the three games fall without a Smoltz start).

    I wonder if they’ll call up Pena tonight and send down whatever pitcher is going down tomorrow. They could at least have a backup catcher for a couple of days that way.

  13. I don’t want to see LaRoche moved, he’s showing some real power to all fields and is a very clutch hitter who is consistantly producing RBI. I could see Estrada being moved as Pena and McCann are a more than adequate pair of catchers. And I wouldn’t be surprised if furcal was allowed to walk, as his services will likely be too expensive for our blood. At any rate, our options are plenty and our chances of success in the near future are very good, no matter how much our rivals improve themselves.

  14. The Red Sox can’t be this stupid can they? (taken from mlb.com)

    RHP Danny Kolb, Braves
    Contract status: Signed through ’05
    July 7 — With Keith Foulke out for at least a few weeks with arthroscopic surgery to his left knee, the Red Sox may be in the market for a closer from outside the organization. One option the Sox are exploring, according to the Boston Globe, is Kolb, who was supplanted as Braves closer earlier this season.

  15. If they really want Kolb, somebody needs to run up there and check to see if Theo Epstein is whacked out on glue fumes or something. I can imagine it now…

  16. I think they will appeal, then drop it when they’re ready. They probably feel they need an extra pitcher in the pen with Hudson and Hampton just coming off injury. They’ll probably time the drop of the appeal to coincide with a Smoltz start so McCann wouldn’t have to start four, and they’ll probably wait until their pitchers are full strength so they know they don’t need the extra arm and can staff a backup catcher.

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