It appears that the Braves have traded for him, and he will go into the Closer Vortex, whence he will be able to escape with, at most, a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Catching prospect Maximiliano Ramirez goes to the Indians; obviously, that’s a position of depth for the Braves.
UPDATE: AJC story.
Bob “F’ing” Wickman????
Bob Wickman….we trade a guy, who I had the privilege of watching play last year, nice kid btw, for Bob Wickman????
Bob Wickman?????? were gonna catch the Mets or whoever is in front of us with Bob Wickman????
Max Ramirez is a great kid, stud prospect too…….for Bob Wickman??
Hey, it’s not every day you get to trade for someone who was once traded for Steve Sax.
That one does include Max Ramirez. I think the deal is OK. Wickman is a groundball guy, and Cleveland’s IF defense is supposedly bad. Ours hasn’t been great, but it may well be better than theirs. TP, Jr. might be useful in this role if one of our IF’s were traded.
OK, now… Berman time!
Steve “I want your” Sax?
I think it’s a good deal. Wickman had a rough stretch in June where he blew 3 saves but other than that he’s been ok. He’s one of those guys that seems to be able to rack up the saves without being too impressive. To get a guy like that for a player that is still in low A ball at a position of great strength is a smart move. Ramirez hasn’t even played a full season of pro ball yet. He could be a star someday but he is not advanced enough in the system to project with any accuracy.
Still Mac……BOB WICKMAN?? I’d rather have Mike MacDougal, or Mike Gonzalez, although Littlefield is asking for Melky Cabrera for Craig Wilson, so that prolly means he wanted Salty, James and a top prospect for Gonzalez…..still…….
BOB WICKMAN?? sorry, i’ll stop….I just can’t get over this.
Well, Wickman’s numbers aren’t exactly inspiring, but, with the Tribe’s season so far, you can’t say that he’s been overused.
Looking at the CLE game logs, only once has he gone more than 1 inning & he went many, many games between appearances. That’s what happens when you’re losing, I guess. He signed a one-year, $5 M contract last year, so he’s an expensive rental for us.
Honestly, I’m fine with it. Ramirez looks really promising, but unless McCann got hit by a truck he wasn’t gonna play. Could we have done better? Who knows? We may never know. What’s important, in my mind, is that this team is going for it, and I’m happy about that.
I agree with a comment in the earlier thread. Getting some bullpen help for a catching prospect whose name is not Saltalamacchia is fine by me.
I’m gonna go on record and say I like this trade. Wickman may be washed up, but even now he’s better than virtually anyone we have in our pen, and at his prime he was one of the best closers in the game. It’s tough to see Max Ramirez go, but at least we didn’t lose Betemit. And we have catchers to spare. Now all we have to do is DFA Pratt and give Pena the backup job for good…
Anyway, we’ve all been calling for Schuerholz to make a deal, and he did. Hopefully he’s not finished, but no matter what I feel confident saying that our team is better on paper today than it was yesterday. No matter what, 37-year old Wickman is better than 40-year old Remlinger.
Ububba and TN Brave, you said it better than I could have.
I think this is a good deal. We get a guy who has proven very effective in the past, and while he’s not lighting it up, he’s stuck with a team going nowhere. Now, our overall record isn’t impressive, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re on the rise, going in a totally opposite direction than Cleveland. Maybe a good dose of excitement will fuel him for the second half. And what did we give up? Some catching prospect that 99.9% of the world has never heard of? I’ll take that all day long.
Yeah, I just really liked Max. Met him in Danville last year, nice kid, although he’s older than me, but yeah, didnt’ speak too much, but his bat did the speaking for him.
I’d rather have traded another catcher, other than Salty, but it does say alot though that the Indians viewed Max that highly that they would trade for a Single A player straight up for a guy, that Mac pointed out, was traded for Steve Sax.
I will add my echo of support for this deal, mainly, because we got a reliever who even at this stage, is better then anyone we have (albeit he’s so-so) and we did not give up anyone we were ever going to use. Yeah, McCann is not going (and better not go) anywhere for a long time.
HOWEVER, I hope to hell the Braves are not done. They need to make at least one more deal. We simply cannot hope that Wickman + our usual suspects is going to be enough down the stretch.
Still, I would be happy to trade a Salty if we could get a Justin Duscherer or Mike Gonzalez or Mike Macdougal. Seriously.
The Indians are out of it and this feels more like a salary dump, that they had to have Max.
Remember, they got some guy named Victor Martinez already at catcher who’s only 25 and I hear he’s pretty good.
What’s interesting to me is that if the Indians were in the NATIONAL League they don’t make this deal.
Keep in mind, the Indians would probably still be the Wild Card favorites in the NL; in the AL, their season is essentially over. That’s what is funny to me…we are 5 games under .500 but only 5 out of the WC with a team that (outside of last night) has gotten hot and has a chance to stay hot heading to Philly this weekend.
It’s damn great to be in the National league because if we had this record in the American League, Chipper, Smoltzie et all would already be gone!
I like the deal, mostly for reasons that have already been said. Because this shows that we’re going for it (as expected), like Alex R., I hope JS isn’t done. I’d take another good bullpen arm or a starter or both. We’ve still got money to spend.
AAR, at what point in his career was Bob Wickman one of the game’s best closers? He’s been very solid, but I think you may have exaggerated a bit.
Well, last year he did lead the league in saves, for what that’s worth.
Alex, AAR, Stu,
I, too, hope JS isn’t finished & we can add an effective setup guy.
Funny, how in the space of 10 days or so, we’ve gone from nervous about trading Smoltz, etc., to this. I like this place better.
As his final act as an Indian, Wickman struck out Vlad yesterday to end the game, so that’s…something, I guess.
He’ll be decent enough, which is pretty much all that’s required. I’m just glad that’s all we gave up. After the Matre fiasco, when I heard on the radio that the Braves had picked up Wickman for a prospect I feared the worst.
Not a bad deal, but I hate to lose Ramirez. I just wish that we had made a serious effort to acquire Ramirez during the offseason. We certainly could have used him during the first half…
Actually, Victor is being moved off of catcher, allowing Kelly Shoppach to take over next season. He has already played some first this year and there is a strong probablility that he will be the starting first baseman next season with Hafner at DH. So maybe the Indians use Max at catcher a few years from now.
But I do agree with everyone else, this was a good move by JS, but I hope to see one more bullpen arm and another starter. We can’t rely on Kyle Davies coming back and being the next Curt Schilling.
Any word on the financial details? Wickman is slated to get $5 million, with some incentives for pitching 50 or more games.
I don’t mind trading single-A prospects, even if they do look good. But, I’m not sure is the type of deal the Braves need to be making. One reliever isn’t going to help this team enough to make a playoff difference, especially one who’s not all that good. In fact, when I look at his stats, I’m shocked the Indians paid him what they did. They’re normally smarter than that. And he’s gone after the season. In my mind we’re playing for next year.
YAY! A CLOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jason Shiell struck out Jim Edmonds last night to end the 1st inning threat before the wheels fell off for him, but still, I am hopeful.
Let me add this: Wickman’s ERA right now for a team that’s out of it is 4.18. That’s not a good ERA for a closer, but I would add the caveat that had he been in the NL all year, that ERA is more likely a 3.00 ERA. It’s just the reality of the situation that the AL is a far better and deeper league then the NL.
Which, again, is why I am grateful the Braves are in the NL and it’s why we all have hope.
This deal is just fine by me. I agree that if Wickman is even decent at this level of his career, he’ll be all right. Honestly, this bullpen can’t get any worse. Even an average guy who does his job and holds leads can make the bullpen better.
That’s interesting about Victor Martinez and kind of surprising, Martinez is a terrific defensive catcher but he’s got such a big time bat, I am guessing the Indians feel they can prolong his career and his output by giving him the less stressful first base. plus, Hafner is not a good defensive player but a fantastic hitter.
So, in that case, a really good move for the Tribe that also doesn’t hurt us because we feel that McCann should have this job effectively for a long time.
As far as I know, we still have some more $ that we could spend (and stay within budget) and some of those types like a Duscherer make very little anyway.
Alex, Martinez is a horrendous defensive catcher. He throws nobody out on the basepaths.
Actually Alex, my impression was that AL teams were almost running at will against Martinez, however good he may have been as a receiver, he was having problems controlling the running game. But he can certainly hit, and moving him to first makes sense for the Indians.
Martinez is not a “terrific defensive catcher,” that’s why they are moving him. They would rather have Ben Broussard’s bat in the lineup than Kelly Shoppach’s but Martinez couldn’t throw you out trying to steal a base, and that’s the problem. Martinez has thrown out 13 of 79(!) runners attempting to steal, which is a whopping 16.4% success rate. By comparison, McCann has thrown out 13 of 41, which is a 31.7% success rate, which isn’t great, but is much better than Martinez, and which is why Shoppach will be handling most of the catching duties next year.
You misunderstand me…I meant from a “Game Caller” perspective. yes, i agree with yuo about his lack of ability to throw runners out, but I have always heard Victor is a terrific signal caller. If I am wrong, dispute it but from that vantage point, he was very good.
I’ve heard Alex R., that he has had trouble throwing out runners, so they are thinking of moving him off of catcher…..but I agree, I think I’ve heard of him, and I hear he’s kinda good.
Someone throwing out 16% of runners can be labeled “a terrific defensive catcher”? I don’t care how good your game calling is; with that failure rate, you aren’t terrific.
Are we not arguing cemantics? This is silly.
I agree that throwing runners is important but sorry, I first and foremost judge catchers as signal and game callers. In my honest opinion, and it’s JUST AN OPINION, being a good “Game Manager”, which in my mind Victor is very good at, is the most important thing…throwing runners out is nice but I don’t think it’s nearly as essential as managing a game and managing your pitchers.
So, I stand by my assertion that he’s a good defensive catcher from the perspective that he controls a game very well.
Most catchers in Baseball are not good at throwing people out.
It seems like you’re arguing just to argue here, Alex. If you think a catcher can be “terrific” or “very good” when he only throws out 16% of stealing runners (and despite your contention, that is hardly on the level of “Most catchers in Baseball”), by all means, go ahead.
It depends on the context, Stu. Throwing out baserunners simply isn’t that big of a deal in the American League today. Calling a game and catching the ball are more important.
Fine, we cannot agree on Victor’s defensive capabilities because at the end of the day, we each have our own ‘standards’ as to judge a catcher’s defensive levels. We each can think we are right but I simply don’t place nearly the important on throwing runners out.
Because at the end of the day, he’s a fantastic hitter, so is Broussard and so is Hafner and if you are the Indians, you want all 3 guys in the lineup. If Carl Crawford or Ichiro is going to steal an extra few bases because of that, I think the Indians will gladly take the offense provided by that trio, agreed?
“More important,” I’ll grant you, Mac. But, still, Martinez’s defense is “terrific” or even “very good”? I have a hard time swallowing those descriptions. “Adequate” or “good enough,” I could buy.
I don’t know enough about Broussard or Shoppach to really comment (Hafner is not a part of this question, as he’s clearly staying in the line-up), but my impression of the now-almost-30 Broussard has never been that he’s a “fantastic” hitter. I think you hyperbolize a lot of your adjectives, Alex, and maybe I take them too literally.
Yes, you are taking me to literal. I was putting all 3 Indians hitters together but I do think Martinez and Hafner are better hitters then Broussard. I was just not wanting to be more wordy, that’s all. Broussard is a very good Major League hitter, who is having a very strong 2006 campaign. Ok? 🙂
I do think Martinez is a good to very good catcher based on my criterior because throwing out runners is something I don’t factor in much at all for my judgement of a catcher’s defensive abilities. I consider him “better then” adequate. I do feel this way.
Broussard has had a great year this year, but mostly due to the reduced role he had been in when Eduardo Perez was platooning with him at 1st. Broussard is still platooned, now with V-Mart at first, and will likely be traded before July 31, if they feel Shoppach can handle everday duty, or close to it, behind the plate, or more than likely after the season has concluded.
Not to start any other type of argument, and he’s certainly been better of late, but I wouldn’t mind isf Broussard was our first baseman. But again, if Adam can maintain his current pace through july and August, that would more then suffice from the 7th spot in the order.
he still does some very ‘Adam’ things but even I have to admit he’s been better and more consistent of late.
Well great, there you go again Alex R., starting another argument……hahaha, j/k.
We have all already read this Davey O’Brien AJC article about Wickman, but Mac re-sent it to me now to point out something that was very telling in there:
“We had a need to bolster our bullpen,” Braves general manager John Schuerholz said. “Bob is a proven closer with more than 200 saves, and we are confident he will help to anchor the bullpen in the ninth inning.”
That statement tells me in Schuerholz’s mind, he’s done. Uh oh.
(and I appreciate him doing anything, believe me, but as we agree, he needs another move).
At first glance, this seems like a great trade to me. We give up a catching prospect I’ve never heard of for an established closer who has converted almost all of his save chances this year. Brian McCann will be the Braves’ main catcher for years to come barring injury, so this trade virtually costs the Braves nothing aside from Wickman’s salary for the rest of the year.
I think it’s a fine deal. If there is any position the Braves are deep at it’s catcher. At the very least, Wickman has some experience in closing games and, as someone said, it’s a big advantage moving from the AL to the NL. JS simply wasn’t going to do any better without giving away a lot. If this Ramirez becomes a star, then we can complain, but he is behind a lot of guys in Atlanta. Wickman is not great and will undoubtedly cause me to keep fast forwarding on TV through the ninth inning as he struggles through, but I don’t see how he can be any worse than what we have had. This allows us to move Ray to the 8th inning, which has been really more of a trouble spot than the ninth. I think it’s a reasonable trade. And, frankly, while I know a lot of people think we should be playing for next year, from a business perspective, the Braves can’t afford to do that. The attendence isn’t great to begin with and giving up this year would likely cause it to tank next year.
Funny, Johnny…I wanted to very carefully craft my words.
I also (ok, specifically for Stu’s benefit) say something nice about Adam, and yeah, Adam has been pretty decent of late so I wanted to make sure that i can also pay a compliment when it’s deserved.
Whether Stu believes this or not, I like it better when we agree and get along!
Alex, interesting points, let’s move it to the current thread. I will respond there! 🙂
@ Alex R.
Honestly, I think you’re interpreting what you want to interpret. It didn’t sound like to me that JS implied the bullpen trading was done. Why do you assume that he’s not looking for a middle reliever? Kevin Barry has gotten his ass kicked the last two times out. If Wickman doesn’t take his spot on the roster, someone else will be.
Alex, I think the quote can be taken either way. He is there to “help” anchor the bullpen. Meaning JS thinks he is done, or, he will be one of a few others to help achor the bullpen. I hope the latter, although anything can happen.
Another starter should be the next priority. We do have Stockman coming back who could give us decent innings as a set-up guy. He never really got a chance in Atlanta before he got injured.
For those who keep saying they’ve never heard of Max Ramirez, he was the co-player of the year last year for the entire Appalachain League (along with Eric Campbell, also a Braves prospect). He hits for average and some power, but his defensive skills are still developing….I think he was actually a third baseman early on. This year in Rome, where I’ve personally watched him in 15 games or so, he’s been doing great again, especially considering he has had a sore shoulder since spring training. His numbers were good enough to earn him a spot on the SAL all star team this year, in spite of the fact that his shoulder has caused him to DH more than catch.
Now I know some will say that he’s still too low on the chain to judge, and that may be true, but he’s had nearly 2 years thus far with the Braves and has been outstanding. Really outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually happy with the trade…..JS and company needed to get a real closer, and it looks like we got one. I’m just afraid Wickman may be our Doyle Alexander and Ramirez = Smoltz.
And yes, Johnny W., I agree….Ramirez is a nice guy. He spent time chatting with me and my kids before games from time to time, and I hate to see him go.
Thanks Second Bass for the colorful information about Ramirez. I also hate to trade him away and I think that he has been an undervalued prospect.
This deal is good for the Braves, but I wish that JS had pursued Wickman last winter. It might have cost a bit more, but we might still have Ramirez and we sure could have used Wickman during the first half of the season. With a real closer we might be after more than the Wild Card…