Well, that’s new

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Prospectus Hit List: Week of July 17

And at least somewhat credible:

Chipper Jones (.282/.411/.513 and 17.5 VORP, fourth-best on the team) will be activated this week after missing five weeks with a partially torn ligament in his foot. With hot-hitting rookie Wilson Betemit’s performance (.299/.357/.488 and 12.0 VORP) in Jones’ absence, the team may shift him to shortstop and deal pending free agent Rafael Furcal.

Seems unlikely at this stage, though.

74 thoughts on “Well, that’s new”

  1. Its plausible. But I don’t think it will happen for 3 reasons.
    1. Furcal is a better defensive player than Betemit. Bobby likes defense up the middle. I think thats why he continued to play Furcal although Wilson was way out performing him offensively.
    2. Furcal finally is starting to play offense like we know he can. I think he’ll have the kind of impact this half season that will make him stinking rich in the off season.
    3. Bobby likes what Wilson did for the team but trusts Furcal more and in the middle of a pennant race he’ll go with Furcal’s longer record of performance.

    Now watch them deal him:) If we got a right handed outfield bat or a dependable reliever (is that an oxymoron?) then I’m ok with it.

  2. I think it won’t happen for a different reason:

    Who would give us anything worthwhile for Furcal?

    The only way this happens is if he goes to a team that will lock him up to a long term deal imediately upon acquiring him, and the Yanks and Sox are already set at Shortstop.

    That leaves the Cubs (losing Nomar to FA), the Rangers (losing Soriano to FA and could shift Young over), and the Angels who could afford to pay Furcal what he’d want over a long period of time.

    I really don’t think there’d be much in return for him, and, frankly, his performance in the playoffs this year will probably be worth more than what we’d get.

  3. The Yankees could play him at 2nd, giving them two SS better than Jeter. I think I would hang on to Furcal though.

  4. Forget the Yankees because Cantu is the real thing and he affords them to go out and get pitching. I don’t think we’re going to let him go so easily. The only deal I see possible is the one for Lidge. It’s not just Betemit that we can hope for because we’re practically loaded at that position throughout our farm system.

  5. ESPN will force the Braves to trade Furcal, Andrew, Smoltz, and Hudson to the Yank Sox and the teams will divide the players. Both teams payrolls will cross the 50000 Billion dollar mark. The braves will still win the division.

  6. Hold on a minute, Joey. What do you mean, “Who would give us anything worthwhile for Furcal?” Do you mean because most teams are set at SS? Because his offensive performance over the last month has been fantastic and his defense has been incredible this year. We could get a lot for him. That said, I don’t think anything of this sort will happen. We’re not going to trade him mid-year because we need him. “Hot-hitting rookie Wilson Betemit” is not so hot, IMHO. He had one hot streak and his defense makes me cringe. We can’t move in the playoffs with him.

    Off-topic, I’ve just had my first personal experience with an Army recruiter. And boy did he get it. After I told him “no, I’m not interested in the military” about 3 times while basically laughing in his face he was like, “Well, why not?” And I said, in a really scornful voice, “Well, there’s the whole dying thing.” So then he wanted me to come talk to him. After I flat-out refused for a bit, he finally gave up. Yuck. Me in boot camp? Come on.

  7. Michael, you mean “Cano”, not “Cantu”. I am not convinced that Cano is a real player, plus he isn’t getting paid too much so the Yankees will bench him if possible.

  8. Yeah, we have Facebook, and I’m planning on setting up an account just as soon as I figure out how to log in to my school email :-) I don’t think the recruiter will be bothering me again. They must be desperate to go after college-bound girls, of all things.

  9. Be careful, Face book will suck you in and hold you hostage. Let me know when you get it, I can be your only friend form UT Chattanooga

  10. Will do! Don’t worry, I’m already being held hostage by baseball forums. And the Nats fans have gone crazy. One of them is now calling for a “Ritual Chicken Sacrifice” to end their poor play. Talk about a great pregame show!

  11. Befriend me – search “Wryn” and I think I’m the only worldwide result to come up. Senior @ AU

  12. Loved it – listened to “The Herd” on ESPN Radio this morning – wasn’t Cowherd today, but the host methodically went down and said why the Braves will go to the WS – notes the Cards’ sub-.500 record against the NL East.

  13. There’s no reason to be rude to the recruiter and “laugh in his face”. Show some maturity and politely explain that it’s not the place for you. You’re about to go to college, time to grow up.

  14. I see where she is comming from Grst. You should respect these guys, but at the same time they should be more respectful to people, I know they have quotas and things, but sometimes they go too far.

    Who is pitching for the Nats tonight?

  15. Jenny, who would give us anything for Furcal because he’s on the last year of his contract. Only the rich teams will be able to resign him, and most are either set at shortstop or figure they could nab him after the season without giving up a player.

    The only teams who would want Furcal are teams aiming for the playoffs this year in need of a bat.

    Like the Braves.

  16. All right, I’m really fighting myself here, Grst, to keep from flaming you. You have no right to judge me as immature when you didn’t hear the conversation. Do you really think I would be so rude as to actually laugh in his face? People exaggerate when they tell anecdotes, and while the amusement in my voice was enough that my mom could detect it, I did not laugh at him. I did make a sarcastic comment, but I also told him that “No, I’m sorry, I’m really not interested in the military.” Word for word. I know you didn’t know this, but please don’t sit behind your computer lecturing me with “Time to grow up” and judging me as if you’re my father, okay? If I were immature, I would have told him exactly what I thought of Army recruiters, the President, and the war in Iraq. But I didn’t, because he’s just doing his job, even if he is being really patronizing at the same time. So please, don’t call me immature when you don’t even know me. Thank you :-)

    No need to post the Chicken Sacrifice on the Nats forum, Smitty, that’s where I found it.

  17. Does this mean Peter Gammons is going to make us trade Giles and Furcal to Boston for Gabe Kapler and Schillings sock, the one with out blood?

  18. I read a Natspos board and they had a thread displaying the “magic” number. IT was 60 something, poor guys…Oh well!

  19. We should start a facebook Braves Journal fans thingy. Don’t ask me how.

    The reason we won’t be able to get too much for Furcal is that a) no one contending really needs a shortstop and b) he’s in the last year of his contract.

    I love Lidge but why would the Astros give him up when they ain’t winning anything this year anyway?

  20. Ok here is the latest from ESPN. Larry Brown is going to manage the Red Sox. Yes, Francona can’t even win the AL East, the greatest division in all of sports. So Larry Brown is comming in to take the Red Sox somewhere they haven’t been circa 2004. Sox fans have waited over 200 days to be World Champs again. Larry Brown will also caoch the Knicks in the off season. If Torre can’t hold the Yanks in firs, Larry Brown will also manage them.
    Also,Nancy Reagan has been brought in with Mrs. Cleo to bring back Mickey Mantel.

  21. Where do you go to school KyleS so I can add you to my list and become the most powerful person at UT Chattanooga, because I have the most Face book friends from diffrent schools.

  22. Grst, I have to say respect goes both ways. Some, not all, of these army recruiters are unethical. How do you deal with aggressive and persistant salesmen?

  23. Jenny,

    I think the key here is for you, along with everyone else, to keep your posts to baseball, and not Harry Potter, military recruiters or your political views. Your comment about the recruiter did seem a little spoiled…that is how it sounds to someone who doesn’t know you. So just keeps the posts to baseball, and everyone should be happy.

  24. ACK! No politics here, remember? I thought this was a baseball board.

    Anyway, I agree with what seems to be the consensus here — keep Furcal, hopefully he can help the Braves go deep into the playoffs, then let him walk if they are convinced Betemit can handle short.

  25. Only team which we “could” deal Furcal too reasonable would be the Twins. And they have lots of young power arms who are interesting, esp Liriano :)
    The cubbies and astros are on the edge of the Wc race, and might be interested.
    But I doubt we will deal Furcal, and I agree with that decision, in the sense that this year and next year are going to be our best shots at the WS for a while. Smoltz, Chipper are going to gone after that..and might be a while before the young uns can challenge for the ring. This year, the offence is clicking, pitching has been decent, and we have enough spare parts to make a good power pen. I say, keep Furcal and take this shot at the WS.

  26. Ryne Sandberg’s comments: “Atlanta Braves Ė I really think they have enough to win the division. They just got Mike Hampton and Tim Hudson back. Hampton got hit hard in his first start in more than six weeks, but both of them will be fine.”

    This was in an article about shopping lists for contending teams. He doesn’t think we need to make any moves. Maybe to win the division, we don’t, but we want to go beyond that, don’t we?

  27. Has Jenny ever read any Victor Davis Hanson? If she’s just going to college and enjoys tweaking Armed Forces recruiters, then she probably can’t read anyway…

    Offer this package: Furcal/Langerhans/Colon and we’ll get a great arm for the bullpen.

  28. Merely speculating based on the available info…

    No insulting intended…

    Me Love Braves…

  29. I realize this is the first year we have really had this problem, but the injuries we suffered early on worry me about trading starting players. Sosa would be nice to trade if Thomson was coming back in a week (is he? I haven’t heard anything), but moving our first basemen, who is solid and comes up with big hits with men on, would be ill advised. Chipper has never played first; to switch in the middle of a season is not what pennant chasing teams do. If Chipper gets hurt again and we have traded Laroche, then we are left with a 46 year old who or may not be able to play everyday. Moving prospects and bench players (Betemit, Chuck James, Sosa if Thomson is available) is possibility; moving starters shouldn’t be.

  30. I thought Giles wasn’t anything to write home about either. Wasn’t he dropped to the 7 spot? I think it was more of a team effort at offensive collapse.

  31. At the risk of belaboring the point, KJ/Langerhans, although passable, are not the makings of a WS OF. Furcal/Langerhans for Sheff would improve the Braves and Yanks immediately (I seem to recall Langerhans can play center decently – if not I retract this), but I guess Sheff wouldn’t have it. In any event, Furcal/Langerhans for some significant OF help would suit me just fine. Betemit slides to short, and Francouer stays as the 4th OF or Orr takes the role and Marte comes back as a bench option..

  32. How ’bout this? The Braves trade Davies for Hudson, Colon for Hampton and Marte for Chipper, and pick up Thompson in August for Boyer?

    Isn’t it funny how nobody misses Brian Jordan. Kind of like hockey.

  33. Steve,

    How are you going to tell one person to not talk about things other than baseball, but not address the six other posts about the Face Book? Last time I checked, Chipper Jones is not in the Face Book. Neither is John Smoltz.

  34. I seem to remember winning the division last year and Chipper made a position switch mid-season. Some dude named DeRosa, I think…

    And we wouldn’t even have been in the post-season without JD Drew’s performance last year.

  35. I don’t see how Furcal/Langerhans for Sheffield improves the Yankees, and I don’t see how the Braves could take Sheff’s salary (though I wouldn’t mind that deal from the Braves point of view). I continue to think bullpen help is most important, but I have not seen any proposals/rumors here or elsewhere that were both realistic and a good idea.

    I went to UVA too, but I don’t know what facebook is.

  36. I would like to see the Braves pick up Kurt Reuter. Make him into a Mike Remlinger.
    I don’t think they are going after anything bigger than him. They may not need to. I like Furcal and want him in the playoffs.

  37. Is anyone missing Eddie Perez?
    Base Stealers

    Chipper went to a position he played for a long time. Going to an unfamiliar position is different, ask Piazza.

  38. Malone, Chipper moved to a place he had played before. I bet the last time he played first was in a 1988 kick ball game

  39. Good to know there’s more than one Hoo reading Braves Journal. We should make a wiki.

  40. I still think there may not be as much interest in Furcal as some think. The big money teams are set at Shortstop. But I don’t think it is the time to trade him either.

  41. Off-topic is fine. No politics, no religion, because those things just piss people off. If there’s a call for it, I will create an open thread on War Liberal for everyone.

  42. Isn’t there a bigger difference between shifting from C to 1B than from 3B to 1B, though? And we’re talking about Mike Piazza here.

  43. Again, assuming my recollection is correct and Langerhans can play center, it gives them two plus defenders at positions they are average/poor at right now, without taking too much of an offensive hit. Melky Cabrera et al ain’t cutting it in center, and Furcal is a lot better defensively than Cano. Conventionally, they could have Furcal at 2nd and Langerhans in center, Bernioe slides to left. Unconventionally, Jeter goes to CF, Bernie goes to left, Langerhans is the 4th OF/defensive replacement for Bernie, and Furcal goes to SS. I think that makes the Yankees a lot better defensively and limits the hit offensive hit by trading Sheff+Cabrera/Womack’s production for Furcal+Williams.

  44. I’m not trying to say one is more difficult than the other, I’m saying neither is an easy switch. How about Ken Caminiti to 1st base then. Not good results. He looked like an elephant trying to tap dance. Not a cartoon one either.

  45. Who would be a better defensive shortstop, Furcal or A-Rod? I thought Jeter to center was stupid, not just unconventional, but the more I think about it, it makes the Yankees a ton better. You have either A-Rod or Furcal at SS, which most teams would kill to have defensively, an above-average offensive player in center now, Bernie in left where he belongs, and Matsui in right, where he’s more valuable defensively. Plus, the Derek Jeter Has The Most Intangibles Of Anyone On The Face Of The Earth Fan Club would have another reason to hail him as king.

  46. The Sheff has no cloths…

    in my last post, i spoke of the Big Cat playing with cancer, getting Sheff back would let the entire organization know what its like to play with cancer. The belief that Sheff would help in the WS is without foundation. That is why we got him the first time, more post-season fire power. What did we get?
    2002 NLDS: .062 .348 .250 But, Sheff told Terrence Moore that 2003 would be different, he’d show what a tiger he was in the playoffs, boy did he ever. 2003 NLDS: .143 .294 .143, he did double his BA. But, I think KJ/Lang can muster more than 2 post season RBI’s.

    Who misses Eddie Perez? Greg Maddux

    Chipper wants to be in the infield, he said he felt out of the loop in the OF. I think he’s pragmatic enough to give 1B full commitment. He was pro-active enough to buy a 1B mitt before Dero forgot how to hit. As for Piazza comparisons, lets remember that Chip can at least field his natural position well, not great, but not like Piazza. Lets make a pact never to make Piazza comparisons to any Bravo, the guy has a unicorn tattoo on his ankle.

    No more politics. this space should be reserved for things that matter.

  47. Yes, going from 3B to 1B is easier than LF to 3B.

    Yes, he’s played 3B before but 1B is BY FAR the least demanding defensive position on the diamond and would be less demanding on him physically (I would imagine). He could handle the defensive side and think of the improvement in offense. Thusly…

    LF KJ
    2B Giles
    1B Chipper
    CF Andruw
    RF Furcal/Langerhans/Colon trade return
    C Estrada
    3B Marte
    SS Betemit

  48. You would think Chipper would want to play first. He may not be deemed as valuable, but you can react slower, throw less, and he can have mediocre range and hands and not kill the team. He already hits like a 1B, might as well replace the 1B that hits like a 3B.

  49. I don’t understand why you would want to leave Mr. LaRoche out of this lineup. He might be inconsistent, but he is a solid player.
    Chipper will stay at third. Adam at first. Marte in AAA. Furcal isn’t going anywhere and the only deadline deal will be a middle reliever. Furcal will walk after the playoffs (this time home, as opposed to prison) and short will be filled by Betemit and\or a vet FA in 2006. I expect to see young Luis Hernandez at short no later than 2007, and possibly next year if he can improve his dismal .230 BA in Mississippi. However, he is only 21.
    Finally, as for the bullpen, Kolbs looking better and young Joey Devine (1-0 0.00 ERA, 3 saves, 13 IP, 4 H, 15Ks @MB,MSS) is already in Mississippi and could be in Atlanta in the next month or so.

  50. Forget a bat. I’ll say it again. FORGET A BAT!

    We need a closer. Imagine how different the team would look if we could count on Billy Wagner or Danny Baez to close games. ‘stros won’t let go of Lidge. Marlins Todd Jones, Cleveland’s Bob Wickman, Detroit’s Ugeth Urbina, Seattle’s Eddie Guardado are all out there.
    Clev. probably wouldn’t let go b/c they are still in it, but Baez or Guardado could change the way people think of the Braves.
    You can’t win a WS w/o a closer.
    Wonder if Mark Wholers is available?

  51. First of all, the braves need another bat to win the world series. Its too bad they won’t increase the payroll and bring in a stud.
    As for closing, of course we need a reliable closer. Rumors are swirling that Roman Colon will be working on just that at Richmond.
    Also, Urbina is on Philly and will be their closer is Wags is dealt, which is possible.
    Then again, we are talking about Ed Wade here whos idea of a blockbuster is Marlon Byrd for Endy Chavez. He is pretty dumb, however, and could swing deals to send Thome and Wagner away. Figure Howard will stay at 1B.
    As for available closers, Wagner, Baez, Eddie G are good options, but i dont trust 68 year old Todd Jones or Urbina (whos ERA is so bad that allowing a solo homer in an inning of work brings it down a bit).
    It is possible they go after a top closer, but knowing the braves, im sure they will find someone under the radar.

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