Ububba, in comments:
Giles’ offensive numbers are certainly better. Furcal’s stolen bases are gravy–it’s the defense I’ll miss if he leaves.
The handful of times I saw Betemit play short this year, I got visions of Melvin Mora in 2000 for the Mets. He looked awkward, like he didn’t wanna be there.
A very important point, though Giles is a good defender also, at an easier position. If you replace Furcal with Betemit, you shouldn’t lose a lot offensively. The stolen bases aren’t that important. Furcal is a better hitter, but it’s not that big of a difference.
Where it will hurt will be on the defensive end; Betemit will probably never be anything but serviceable there. That’s not bad, but it weakens the team. In particular, it will be bad news for Hudson, the ground-ball pitcher on the staff. (With Hampton out, he’s pretty much the only one among the starters.) If Alex gets his desired lefty starter, that guy would probably be hurt more, if he’s a ground-ball pitcher, because more balls are hit to short off of lefties.
So, what do you do? I trust we’ve all read Moneyball, right? I think that the way to look at it is the way Beane looked at replacing Jason Giambi. He knew he couldn’t replace Giambi with one guy, so he replaced him with three. We should replace Furcal with two:
1. A shortstop with a good glove, preferably one who’s not an offensive zero.
2. A slugger at first base or left field.
The offense would be “different”, but probably at least as good. The projected lineup would be something like:
1B Marte or LaRoche
SS Glove Boy
Okay, Francoeur’s not an ideal #2 hitter, but you can’t have everything.
Just a proposal, come up with on the fly. I’m not sure of it myself.
Who do you envision to be Sluggo?
I dunno. I’d like Adam Dunn, but I don’t know if it’s possible.
Sluggo for MVP! That is my two sense. I will be the first to buy the Sluggo jersey.
I’m nearly certain the Braves will acquire some all-glove shortstop in the mold of Jack Wilson, Cesar Izturis, or Neifi Perez in any case — to play Rafael Belliard to Betemit’s Jeff Blauser if nothing else. I just hope we also get Hitty McSluggo as a consolation prize.
Do we need to go on and plan for Sluggo’s 50-game steroid suspension? With a name like that, you know the boy’s juicing.
Mac, I have had a long day and for some reason, Sluggo has made me really happy. A lawyers life I guess.
I’m not certain that Furcal is a better hitter than Betemit. Maybe Betemit will surprise us if he can settle into a position that is really his? It will be interesting to find out what Furcal has on his mind as well as what JS has up his sleeve.
Mac, everything you write is correct. I have been thinking the same thing but just aren’t good enough as a writer to write out my thinking in a reasonable and logical manner. Since no single person can replace Furcal both offensively and defensively (except Felipe Lopez, but I don’t think the Reds will trade him), I think signing someone like Brian Giles and a gloveman is the best solution.
I think the Braves have enough money to do two of the following three things without trading significant pieces:
1) Resign Furcal or signing Brian Giles (my preferred replacement) to play left field;
2) Obtain a front line starting pitcher (if it’s not Zito which we may trade for, than I would rather going with a all righty rotation because the other candidates (Rogers, Washburn, and others) are not too appealing; and
3) fixing the bullpen.
By the way Mac, being an accountant myself, the Braves have to account for Hampton?s contract evenly over the duration of his contract. Any competent accountant would have done the same thing. I don?t think the Braves have any alternatives on that unless they accounts for their transactions on a cash basis, which is impossible because AOL is a listed company.
In addition, Chipper is due for another $1M salary increase, and Andruw is due for a $0.5M salary increase.
But how much did Furcal’s defense really matter? How many runs per year would he save over Betemit? If we have some metrics, I’d like to see them. Because (a) I can’t imagine that difference is worth the $10 mill or so it will take to resign Furcal and (b) this means that if we plug in Betemit, we only have to scratch out another run here and there (sorry Sluggo).
We did just fine when Furcal’s defense was somewhere between “hold your breath” and “curse at the TV”.
But how much did Furcal’s defense really matter?
I don’t have any proof of this, but my guess is that Furcal removes 12 to 15 baserunners over an average SS, and maybe 20 over what we might expect from Betemit. Maybe 6 to 8 runs saved or so. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe Betemit would be as good as Furcal offensively, either.
I’ll admit, though, to an almost emotional attachment to Furcal. That waterbug style of his, especially once he eliminated the errors on routine plays, has been a joy to watch. Betemit might make a decent starting shortstop, but Furcal’s got elan. He reminds me of Ichiro — a singular talent whose efforts may not add up to as many wins as a big slugger does, but who makes the game more fun to watch. There’s nobody I’d miss more.
Okay, that doesn’t add much to the complicated calculus of profit/loss. Back to the number-crunching…
Yeah, sansho1, I think everyone would like to keep Furcal if the numbers work out. However, I am not holding much hope as I am sure Furcal will get around $10M per year. Heck, two to three more millions and that’s what Miguel Tejada is making!!!
so lets get Tejada…trade Andruw for him, and get B. Giles to play left field, move Francoeur to center.
Maybe Glove boy can hit second. If he is a good bunter he would be set. We all know how Bobby likes to bunt with a runner at second.
Plus when Giles goes down around June, Orr can just slide in to the two hole
Based on BP’s stats:
Betemit’s Rate2 @ SS for his career = 99
Therefore, Betemit is one run below average for every 100 games.
Furcal’s Rate2 in 2005 = 113
Furcal’s Rate2 in 2004 = 102
Furcal’s Rate2 for career = 102
If we expect Furcal to play to his career average defensively and we expect to Betemit to play to his career average for the next few years, then the difference between the two at SS is roughly 5 runs in a season. Nothing too significant. Even if we bump both guys in different directions slightly, making Betemit a 94 and Furcal a 107, you are still on losing roughly one win defensively.
Re-reading my earlier post, I realized I was not clear. What I meant was that we don’t need to get Glove Boy, since Betemit will be a slight drop-off defensively and offensively, whereas Glove Boy will likely be a big drop-off offensively, and even defensively. I’d rather take the offense and live with the (passable) defense from Betemit.
“even defensively” means “even with Furcal defensively”.
I’ll point out that if Betemit is the regular SS, you probably need Glove Boy anyway, just to back up and play the utility role. Orr’s not the answer to back up short. But as a reserve, Little Tony Pena could probably do it, even if he’d put up Belliard numbers. Well, Belliard with two homers.
Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap
Tony Pena is perfectly suited to be a backup middle infielder. I just hope no one decides he should be the starter “for his defense”. I don’t think he’s actually capable of Belliard numbers.
OK guys, for the 3rd time, the Yanks have been given permission to talk to Mazzone. We got that straight? Okay. No more posts revealing new information that’s already been revealed.
I’ll give the response I’ve given the other times this has been posted: There’s no way Leo’s leaving.
Sorry Stu, I just haven’t been keeping up with the threads lately, do I didn’t know this was up elsewhere. I don’t think he’s going anywhere either, but I’d still feel better if the gate hadn’t been unlocked so to speak.
“We did just fine when Furcal’s defense was somewhere between “hold your breath” and “curse at the TV”.”
When was that? Even a young errorprone Furcal still had enough range, arm and athletcism to make up for his fukk ups
Kenny Rogers and his four brothers grew up on a 15-acre strawberry farm in the Central Florida town of Dover. Although Kenny excelled in several sports, he spent much of his time helping his father, Earl, manage the crops. Kenny was small for his age.
One of our starters could be moved for offensive or defensive upgrades. There are a handfull of teams throughout baseball who need more pitching and have offense to spare. A John Thomson or a Jorge Sosa would be very appealing to a team like Baltimore, Texas, Cleveland or even Detroit. We may be able to get a young big time bat for first or corner outfield or a high quality shortstop for one of the aforementioned pitchers as the centerpiece of a package deal. I’d love to see the Pirates’ Jack Wilson as our opening day shortstop if Furcal were to walk.
maybe i could return as shortstop?
Not everyone reads the posts all the time so the Mazzone thing is new information for some people.
Regarding Mazzone, I don’t think he would leave Bobby’s side…unless the Yankees throw just a ridiculous sum of money at him. Still, I don’t see it.
People, get over it already. Betemit has 25 home run power; he’s Blauser with better batting average. The suggestion of Tony Pena Jr. in the late innings is just fine. Betemit will provide a ton of offense he just won’t have the same speed.
Paying for more pitching should be the obvious direction we HAVE to go in. No one seems to get this? Look at the 2 likely world series opponents..light hitting and TONS of pitching. That’s what we need…not the light hitting part but we need a bullpen. Look at the Houston & Chicago bullpens and look at what let us down this year.
And Mac, why do we need to replace Langerhans? Again, don’t spend big dollars on left field unless we are getting a young star like a Jason Bay. It makes more sense to let a solid player like Langerhans keep the job and spend money on pitching & Furcal or pitching 1st base.
Congrats to former Brave and Norfolk Tides manager Ken Oberkfell for being named the 2005 Minor League Baseball Manager of the Year by Baseball America magazine.
I agree with AlexR, if the Braves need to bet of Kelly Johnson to break out next season, so be it. By the way, I think Betemit has more like a 15 hr power than a 25 hr guy, though I think he has enough power to hit many doubles and triples.
The Astros are about to beat the Cardinals. Is it another cheap homerun by Berkman to leftfield again?
Langerhans is a nice player, but he’s not the third big bat I’ve been talking about. And I’d prefer a left fielder because a first baseman will block Chipper or Marte from making the move there.
Yeah, how do you like it, Houston?
Alex, I dig the enthusiasm, but Betemit just got finished hitting four HRs in 246 ABs, and he’ll turn 26 next season. Furcal has at least equal power, if not more. Betemit’s line of .305/.359/.435 would fit right in with a Furcal season, but keep in mind that this was WAY over anything anyone would have predicted before the season. I believe he could very easily turn in a .260/.295/.380 season, with slightly below average defense, thus reminding us all that the Peter Principle is still a valid one. I think it was George Santayana who once said that those who forget DeRosa are doomed to repeat him….
As much as I hate Eckstein for hitting that grand slam in August, we must give him credit for getting that hit against Lidge.
Hey I just realize Eckstein has about the same OPS as Furcal!!!
Oh Houston, that was so close, just one out away!!! Yes, I am still bitter.
I think Betemit might slug .435, but I’m not convinced of his ability to post a .360 OBP. He hit .278/.336/.466 in AAA in 2004, that’s pretty reasonable.
He’s not that old. His age has never been corrected officially, but his actual age is 16 months younger than he’s listed. Instead of turning 26 in July actually he’ll turn 24 on November 2 of this year.
That Pujols homer was one of the hardest-hit balls I’ve ever seen.
Houston is dead silent.
Pittsburgh would be a good match for us. They have that stud LF in Jason Bay, as well as Jack Wilson. It would prolly take a blockbuster, but if we offered a package centered around Marte, adding in maybe Thomson, Estrada, LaRoche, prospects… really any of our solid extra pieces, it could be done. To part with Bay you would need something pretty substantial, but Marte is a step in the right direction
Hey, Houston: Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it?
One hanging slider from premier closer: $350,000
One swing for league’s best hitter: $4 million
Shutting up the Tin Can of Houston like a tomb: priceless.
Didn’t realize Betemit’s age was never corrected. BBRef had never led me wrong before! Ah well — I still don’t expect him to match Furcal’s offense, defense, or grocery store parking lot beer consumption (thankyouverymuch…)
1) Leo to NY – crap.
2) Furcal over Betemit – we need a better statistic than rate2 to compare them. Maybe UZR or Pinto’s ratings. I would say 15-20 runs is probably about right. Meaning Furcal has to be about 3 wins better than Betemit on offense to be worth 10 million a year – which he probably isn’t.
3) No more trade ideas for Jason Bay. Please. I’d love to have em, but it ain’t gonna happen.
4) How many straight days has Lidge pitched? His stuff looked thoroughly mediocre tonight.
Poor Lidge. That short porch in LF will get you everytime.
That sucker would have been out of any park, though, including national ones.
Short porch? The only reason that ball is not in Corpus Christi right now is because of the wall at the back of the park. Pujols KILLED that pitch. Nothing cheap about it.
All the Astros home runs are cheap, all the ones hit against them are not cheap, another example is Adam’s grand slam.
I am just thinking, Molina is a free agent this offseason. If the Braves manage to send Estrada to the Angels, Erstad and Estrada will be teammates…just a thought…
Pendleton is getting interviews everywhere!!! Can someone please take Fredi off our hands?!?!?!
Did anyone see on ESPN.com where PayRod’s mom said he dogged it in the ALDS because his uncle died? Maybe it’s true, but it comes across as excuse-making. Nice try.
Too bad Astros–thats the sort of thing which happens to us. What a marvellous shot–I am glad that MVP voting is already over!
Did u guys noticed that after Berkman hit that homerun against Carpenter, the idiots at Fox gave the player of the game to him in the 8th inning?
Fox are full of idiots, I am not surprised.
Somebody needs to tell PayRod that Roger Clemens pitched on the day his mom passed away, and Clemens won that game.
The Braves have that third slugger in the corner outfiled that you have been wanting. His name is Jeff Francour. There is no need to get drastic in replacing Langerhans. The guy is a good #2 line-drive hitter.
Why do you guys think LaRoche is a weak link? Is it just because his name is not McGriff? Just because he plays 1st base, doesn’t mean he has to hit 40 home runs and 150 RBI’s. LaRoche was 2nd on the team in RBI’s last year and he is only getting better. When he gets the job every day, he will win a gold glove too.
It doesn’t take a genious (although JS is a genious) to figure out that free agent money needs to be spent in either resigning Furcal, upgrading starting pitching, or the bull-pen. The braves are not looking to upgrade offensively. They don’t need to.
Please keep waving your banner until people get it!
It the PITCHING, stupid!
LaRoche is a weak link because first base is one of the easiest positions to upgrade at. If you settle for 20 hr 75 rbi 750 ops there, you’ll need production elsewhere in the lineup, such as a star catcher or SS that hits 35+ hrs.
I don’t think Francoeur is ready. He didn’t hit very well in September or the playoffs. He also posted a .330 OBP (or thereabouts) which isn’t what you need.
I’d like to trade Estrada/player X for Chone Figgins.
I’d like to trade Estrada/player X for Chone Figgins.
Bill E. Hall, i think he’s FA, poor man’s Chone Figgins.
1. Betemit has 25 hr power? Prove it.
2. Jason Bay? even more fanciful than acquiring Brian Giles. The Pittsburg brass would have to be on crack to give him up.
3. Furcal is the top priority for the club then settling the arbs then acquiring from the outside.
4. I like Langerhans but I have to agree that he isn’t the plus bat you’d like to have in LF.
5. Like any Braves fan I’m hoping against hope that Francouer is the real deal. I think he can be….but he still needs some time in the minors. September showed that he has some very big holes in his swing.
6. Is LaRoche the second coming of John Olerud or even John Olerud light? That was the anecdotal comparison given. Who are his statistical comparables? I’m sure that someone has printed that hers. Two seasons of 3/4 time baseball pretty much show that he is an average at best 1b. If I’m the Braves Andy Marte is my 1B next year with LaRoche in reserve.
7. Yes Alex R. its the pitching stupid. But our chances of getting a front line guy or even a potential front line guy are pretty small considering that once Furcal walks and they settle with the arbs it will be relatively late in the hot stove season. Besides this class of FAs is pretty thin. I’m pretty sure that the Braves with the exception of Furcal will be sitting this hotstove season out once the prices start getting asinine.
Mac I like the 2 players to replace one. Are Marte and Betemit our two in house options to replace Furcal’s offense? Shoot, less of a gamble than Jordan/Mondesi I think. One last question. Are you using what you think Furcal is going to be offered as the money you get glove guy and sluggo with or the money he made last season? Big difference.
Ten most similar batters to LaRoche through Age 25:
# Andre Thornton (974)
# Josh Phelps (960)
# Ed Bouchee (959)
# Glenn Davis (958)
# Earl Torgeson (954)
# Gus Suhr (953)
# Wes Ferrell (953)
# Greg Colbrunn (952)
# Carlos Pena (951)
# Bill White (949)
Yes, I printed that before.
LaRoche is not a good hitter. He was basically average last year. That’s average for all hitters; for first basemen, he was very poor. Him finishing second in RBI is a dumb stat. He did that because Chipper missed so much time and the outfield corners were in flux all year. LaRoche finished second because he had the second-most opportunities.
Keep in mind that Francouer went from a 40 or so game season in high school (including playoffs more or less) to 120 or so seasons in low-minors to a 166 game season in Mississippi and Atlanta. Don’t you think fatigue played a pretty good role?
I like the idea of a big bat for LF. Brian Giles has been mentioned here several times, and he would fit nicely there. I agree that LaRoche is not a long-term solution at 1B. He’s not a bad player, but it would be a mistake to settle for him and not try to upgrade that position.
(By the way, my “short porch” comment earlier was supposed to be sarcastic/ironic. That was a HUGE homerun. Sorry.)
That ball Pujols hit would have been gone on Jupiter. It would have been even sweeter if it had been a minute maid homerun. The ironic justice.
FYI, PrOPS has Francoeur hitting at about 70 OPS-points over his actual performance (based on the way he hit the ball). The thing about his decline is that it fits with what you expect someone who hit what he did in AA would do at the ML level. It’s not his time in Atlanta that should concern us, but what he did before that.
I think Francoeur got lucky in 2005. This does not mean that he will not go on to be a very good baseball player. It just means we should temper our expectations of him for the near future. And this is not to say that he won’t simply bust out next year, it’s that the likelihood of that happening is low. I really like the kid, and he seems like a great guy. But, he’s got way too much piled on him. And it’s unfair. He’ll be 22 next year, that’s all.
I hope Houston beats St. Louis. Biggio and Bagwell should get to play in one WS if we don’t get to. I can’t stand the Cards.
If LaRoche can give us Glenn Davis like age 26, 27, 28 years I will jump for joy. I haven’t seen his park adjusted numbers but he was a fearsome hitter even in the dome. I don’t see that happening though.
Chone Figgins may be a free agent this year. He’s native to Georgia. Plays anywhere. not to mention, my buddy’s given him a great nickname already,
“Ice Cream” Chone Figgins. Where’s the love?
You do realize it’s pronounced, “sean,” right? If it were pronounced like it’s spelled, that would be a good nickname. As it is, your buddy needs to keep working on it.
Don’t forget the park and era adjustments, JB. Davis hit .265/.344/.493 at 25. But that was in a context (the league, adjusted for the Astrodome) of .258/.328/.389. I’m not up to converting that to today’s numbers, but I’m sure that it would be a slugging percentage .600 or better. Similarly, Thornton was a good player, but in a much lower run context than today’s. The contemporary players, the post-1993 players, have been disappointments — Phelps, Colbrunn, and Pena.
I thought it was pronounced “Shawn.”
About Chone Figgins and/or other Angels FA’s:
The Angels will be facing some possible personnel moves with catcher Bengie Molina, pitchers Jarrod Washburn and Paul Byrd, and outfielder/designated hitter Tim Salmon all set to become free agents upon the conclusion of the World Series. Infielder Lou Merloni and left-handed reliever Jason Christiansen will also be free agents.
Stoneman said the organization is in the process of preparing its offseason strategy and would not comment directly on potential negotiations other than to say Molina, Washburn and Byrd all played key roles this season.
Scioscia also floated the need for the club to lock up players such as Chone Figgins and John Lackey with multiyear deals and avoid arbitration, an idea Stoneman confirmed was a possibility.
“I’m not opposed to longer-term deals, but both parties have to see eye-to-eye,” Stoneman said. “It is something we’ll look at.”
I ownder if we could get Corey Patterson. I know he is comming off a bad year so the Cubs might give him to us. He is going to be great, he just needs a change of venue. He could play left, bat 2-5-6-7. Playing for Bobby Cox could make him a beast.
Its Shawn, but I still like the “Shown” pronunciation. If Cox can call Giles, “Gilleee”, then surely we can fudge the phonetics for Chone.
I’d almost prefer him to Furcal. His versatility works well with our Marte/Betemit/Chipper cluster on the left side, and our Langerhans/Johnson/some other really cheap player situation in Left.
oh no, nevermind furcal…..
This is clearly not the right place for this post, but I am shaken. Don’t go Leo.
Say no to Chone. I don’t think it’s an option since he’s exactly the kind of player the Nationals are going to overpay.
Speaking of Paul Byrd, what on earth happened to this guy? Once he got out of his 20s he really improved. Maybe there is hope for Horacio.
Smitty, Langerhans is already better than Corey Patterson.
Mac, thanks for patiently printing out the comparables list again. Not good news. If the Braves are fooled by the post season granny and the rbi total then we are doomed to another season of Rochy on 1B. Contrary to what most think here I’d still keep him but only as insurance against Andy Marte disappointing. Unless the Braves can leverage the 20 HR total and the RBIs to make him look better I don’t see where he has that much trade value anyway.
JC, your feelings about Francouer are exactly like mine. I hope that the kid makes me look like a moron and hits the daylights out of the ball next season, but I’m pretty sure he won’t. How does PrOPs project Andy Marte? Should he be trying on an outfielders glove or a 1st basemans mitt?
There has been a good discussion of Mazzone over at Primer. I would hate to see him go (and I don’t think he will) but I would be interested to see how he did in another organization. It would help answer the question of how to divide credit among Cox, Mazzone and Schuerholz.
I also wonder if Leo has a protege with the Braves who would step in if he left.
Marte hit better than his numbers, but his numbers were pretty bad. He only had 60 sporadic PAs, so I wouldn’t put much stock in the numbers.
I’m not making any news here, but losing Mazzone would probably be a disaster for the Braves.
If he went to NYY, he’ll make more money than he could ever imagine, but he’ll juggle more annoyance & grief than he thought possible.
NY Post Back Cover: Sox Strafe Pavano: Leo Responds
Or: Wright Rankles: It’s Leo’s Fault!
Or: Bronx Smackdown: Leo Takes on Tampa
It’s just silly up here.
The NY Free Agents tried to steal Leo a few years back. Now the NY Mercenaries are trying, I think for not.
My concern would be Baltimore, Leo has some childhood relation with their manager. Im pretty sure he’ll stay with Bobby. He’s the only pitching coach in the majors that people mention HOF about, and he wouldnt want to disturb his body of work here in atlanta, by going to a team that repeatedly signs the likes of Sidney “pontoon” ponsone
I hate to keep bringing up my dysfunctional, disgusting Orioles time and again, but there are also strong rumors at home that Mazzone could come to Baltimore. He and Sam Perlozzo are close friends and he has said on several occasions that he would like to be a pitching coach under Perlozzo before he retires. This all depends on Ray Miller’s aneurysm surgery/retiring/getting cut as part of an overhaul but I would not bet my house on Leo staying in Atlanta.
I would bet your house on Leo staying in Atlanta.
Baltimore Sun says Orioles have requested permission to talk to Mazzone.
I can’t bet my house, Stu, it’s not in my name. How about I bet your car?
“He’s a fine player, of course, but the Braves do have youger, cheaper players who can play shortstop. That $8 million/season can probably be spent better elsewhere.” Rob Neyer
I don’t necessarily disagree that Giles is a better player or that they can spend the money better. But I think people are underestimating the importance of middle infield defense. I’m not a saber guy so I can’t quantify it, but common sense says that the better the defense, the better the pitching. The pitching was actually pretty mediocre last year, but the defense helped make up for it. So if you take out a guy like Furcal, who has very good range, those balls up the middle or in the hole that were outs become hits and then things can snowball. It just seems to me that replacing a superior shortstop (assuming that Furcal is one) with an average one (assuming that is what Betemit is) is going to hurt the team in the long run unless Betemit is a much better hitter or the team uses the money to significantly upgrade somewhere else. I realize that great pitching can overcome mediocre defense (look at Houston), but the converse is true too–mediocre defense can make a good but not great pitching staff worse. Since I don’t think the Braves are likely to have Houston-like pitching next year, I think they have to be careful about breaking up the middle infield defense when we don’t know how Betemit can play. I agree with some of the thoughts here that, if Furcal leaves, I would prefer a better defensive shortstop (unless Betemit can hit like Alfonso Soriano) and make up the offense somewhere else.
I may be repeating many other people’s sentiments, but I bet the Braves to not sign Furcal at the expense of losing Gillie. I think the numbers back me up on the value of Giles vs. Furcal. Also, as a fan he is my favorite type of player. The guy with the blue collar attitude of going out and leaving everything on the field all the time.
I’d also like to say that even if we were to upgrade the offense, it will leave us in this same position next year if we don’t fix the pitching. Pitching has to be the #1 Priority.
In my perfect world we could go into the season w/
SP: Smoltz, Hudson, Zito, Sosa, C James or Davies
Bullpen: Farnsworth, Shields, Boyer, Mcbride, Brower…
Mulder is slated to be a FA after next season, we might even be able to have the A’s trio if we’re lucky.
If we ended up there w/ mulder, would we have to pay Billy Beane as our assistant GM… 🙂
I just took a look at the Net Present Value of having Furcal and Betemit as our shortstop of the future, and from my calculations, it would be in our best interested to have Betemit over Furcal. I even fudged Furcal’s projected VORP up each year based on his big year this year. I do, however, have a question for the people on the board that are more familiar with arbitration. This could change the outcome of my study. I was curious as to what year Betemit would actually be going into starting in 2006. I used 2006 as his 2nd year but I honestly am not sure at all. If anyone knows exactly, please let me know.
I think Betemit could be a super 2. Not sure if he has enough pre 2005 service time to qualify.
Mac, thanks for posting the comparison list. I agree on Andre Thornton (ex-Brave by the way, although he never played for them in the bigs).
If LaRoche could be Thornton or Bill White, I’d say keep him. But I’m not seeing that.
With you on adding a bopper of some sort. I ways always in the “sign Dye, Burnitz, or Hidalgo” camp last off-season, but the price got too steep. It will be interesting to sort through the non-tenders and see what’s available.
I could easily be wrong and I know the money shift is big, but I can’t envision Betemit being anything close to Furcal as a player. Wilson had a very nice 2005–he’d be win my offensive “step up” award–but his power numbers just don’t look to be there. Of course, if he’s hitting 7th or 8th and we can upgrade in other places, it might all work out. I don’t see Betemit as being on the same planet with Furcal defensively.
I am less worried about Francoeur than others. I thought he showed in the playoffs that he can and will take walks. Next year might be choppy (and he has to learn to lay off the high stuff), but I think he’ll hit .280 with 40 to 50 BBs.
Francoer’s big problem at the plate is not the high stuff. It is the slider or anything else that is low and in the dirt. If you noticed as the season went on, that is where all the pitchers were starting to get him out swinging. I guess it looks like the high fast ball for most guys to him!!!!
I still say keep Furcal, get rid of Estrada, Ramirez,a dn maybe LaRoche for bullpen. We have plenty of players in the system to fill the other positions on the field that won’t cost us an arm and a leg. Most of which already have experience and the first year jitters are behind them as to is their confidence up because of all the veterens praising them the whole year. So they know they can get it done because they already have. Beef up the bullpen, go with Smoltz, Hudson, Thompson, Sosa and whoever wins the 5th spot in the offseason and put the money in the bullpen! I guarantee you we could have close to what they have in Houston as far as pitching.
Okay this idea is kinda aped from BP, but it is infused with my own ideas as well.
Start Betemit at Short, simple as that.
Find a late inning defensive replacement with serviceable offense.
Move Chipper to first, he is a horrendous fielder and has injury problems to boot.
Try LaRoche in left and make him a top of the bench pinch hitter or starter in left.
Start Marte at third, he can hit and his defense is good as well.
(Remember if you sign Sluggo, then what do you do when Kelly Johnson is ready, which he will be.)
Also, if you want a pitcher, why not Kevin Millwood.
He is a flyball pitcher which isnt an issue in Turner Field and would make Betemit’s defense less of an issue.
Also, he should be somewhat undervalued because his wins total was kept down by poor run support. Just a suggestion, but its sensible and could work.
Also to answer a question from earlier.
Betemit would be entering his second year at the minimum.
He would not be eligible as a Super Two.
I’m just a bit tickled by “glove boy” & “sluggo”. Make it a running serial – /cheesy old radio voice/ “tune in next Friday for more of…the exciting adventures of Sluggo & Glove Boy” – next week’s episode, they watch as the evil genius Tony LaR. attempts to complete his plan to take over the baseball world. Or something hokey like that…