Horacio Era Over

Braves trade Ramirez for solid set-up man | ajc.com

I think this is a great deal, but then if I were running the Braves I would have been tempted to non-tender Horacio if I couldn’t deal him. Not that Horacio is actually a bad pitcher; he’s not good but he has value. But he made $2.2 million last year and is about to get expensive in his second arbitration year, and the Braves can’t compete if they’re going to pay $3.5 million (I’m guesstimating) for an ordinary pitcher whom you can’t rely upon.

Rafael Soriano is not “solid”; I don’t know where DOB got that from. He’s the opposite of solid — fluid, I guess. He’s been a great pitcher (2.89 ERA) when he’s been in the majors and healthy. He had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and was hit on the head with a line drive, suffering a concussion, in August of last year. Sucker can pitch, has averaged more than a strikeout per inning for his career and for last season, and is the closer of the future for the Braves, assuming they don’t trade for Gonzalez. (DOB says in the article that the LaRoche/Gonzalez trade is off.)

216 thoughts on “Horacio Era Over”

  1. The deal, expected to be announced late Wednesday or Thursday, was confirmed by an official with one of the teams. It doesn’t guarantee that the Braves will keep first baseman Adam LaRoche, but the Braves withdrew their offer of LaRoche for Pirates closer Mike Gonzalez.

    The Pirates’ official site says the deal has fallen through too, because of the Pirates’ GM taking too long. I’m glad LaRoche may stay (I did want Gonzalez), but it was the Braves would pulled the offer, I’d rather get Gonzalez than that horrible Chrone Figgins rumor going around.

  2. I’m with you Dan,

    I am not a big fan of Chone Figgins. Although I don’t really have a reason for disliking him as a player but I would rather have many other players than him. Baldelli-Yes…I would rather play Aybar/Johnson/Prado/Escobar over Figgins cause of the money.

  3. I’m really happy about this deal. While you can never have too much pitching, Soriano is the kind of pitching of which you can never have too much. Horacio is the ideal trade bait: he’s league-average when healthy, which is way overvalued in this year’s market, and so his trade value will never be higher. Of course, he’ll never be healthy, but since the Seattle Mariners have never seen an arm they couldn’t wreck, they won’t know the difference.

    Well done, JS. I salute you.

  4. Wow Mac,

    Those are priceless reactions…

    “It just can’t be happening. It just can’t. I will seriously break down and cry if this trade happens.”

  5. Great trade!

    Not that I am complaining, but it makes the $750K thrown at Tanyon Sturtze look even less prudent.

  6. LOL,

    “Two Questions (one rhetorical)

    If the Braves won’t include Tim hudson in any deal, can we at least have his soul patch?

    Is Bill Bavasi actually functionally mentally retarded? “

  7. HAHAHAHA! AMAZING! These Mariner blogs are just dying! I hope they both pass physicals, because this will be one of the better trades JS has made in some time. Wow, turning an injury=plagued, average starting pitcher into basically a relief ace. Nice. Now we can hopefully hold on to LaRoche and not trade him for Mr. No-Elbow Gonzalez. Wow, I just can’t get over the Mariner fans’ reactions.

  8. Good about the braves deal!

    Tom O brien named NC State head coach…Mac, what do you think about all this Saban talk today with Alabama and our officials having an interview with him today. That’s the only reason why, I think, that we havent offered Rodriguez something. Is Saban really a candidate, I just dont see it

  9. The only bad thing about this is that Ramirez will probably have to abandon his dream of making Mac’s Top 44 Atlanta Braves list in a few years!

    As for the Saban to Bama stuff, I don’t buy it and would prefer Rodriguez anyway. Don’t get me wrong, Saban could make a big splash right away, but I don’t see him staying over 4 or 5 years – I don’t want to go thru another coaching search for a while! I would not be surprised if Saban has left the door slightly opened to come, but I just don’t see it.

  10. I like this deal, though I’ll be ticked if we go after Figgins. Kotchman has superficially good skills, but after one adjusts for his having been in the PCL he seems less impressive. Going from LaRoche and Giles to figgins and Kotchman would be a fair hit to the offense in the short term, though maybe it’d be okay longer term. But on whom are they going to spend this saved money?

  11. From Foxsports….a couple of days ago…boy did they get that wrong ;)

    Tim Hudson, Kyle Davies, Horacio Ramirez, Atlanta – The Braves were looking to do more than a salary dump when it came to Hudson, and they failed to get a deal done before Tom Glavine made the decision to return to New York on Friday. Because the market for Hudson doesn’t seem that great – in no small part because he could demand a trade after next year – the Braves could keep him and move a lesser starter. They’re looking for a quality setup man to put in front of Bob Wickman and could also consider a left fielder to start over Matt Diaz and Ryan Langerhans.

    Possibility: Hudson to Baltimore for Hayden Penn and LHP Garrett Olson
    Possibility: Hudson to Seattle for Rafael Soriano
    Prediction: Stays

    Possibility: Davies to Minnesota for Jesse Crain
    Possibility: Davies to Arizona for Brandon Lyon and Scott Hairston
    Prediction: Stays

    Possibility: Ramirez to Milwaukee for Matt Wise
    Possibility: Ramirez to Washington for Ryan Church
    Possibility: Ramirez to Texas for C.J. Wilson and LHP A.J. Murray
    Prediction: Goes

  12. Here come the Phillies:

    In the first major trade of the winter meetings, the Phillies acquire right hander Freddy Garcia from the White Sox in exchange for right-hander Gavin Floyd and minor-league left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

  13. does giles actually have to be traded? i would love to see him hit behind a speedy guy like chone….those doubles would be flying again. imagine the lineup:
    thorman (since laroche would be the trade)

    starters: smoltz, hampton, hudson, james, davies (or whomever we acquire via trade)
    setup: soriano
    closer: wickman

    that sounds really freakin solid

  14. Schuerholz should keep LaRoche now. If he won’t trade him for a great left-handed relief pitcher, trading him mostly for Chone Figgins is beyond dumb.

  15. Can someone please explain to me what the heck the Mariners get out of this deal? A just below league average pitcher? I’m happy but I don’t understand.

    Ryan C if we obtain Chone Figgans and stuff for Adam LaRoche I’ll puke my guts out. And the answer is apparently if not Giles then someone. Someone making 3 to 13 million dollars has to be traded to fill the roster. AJC story if you want to read it all. Pretty good stuff from O’brien.

  16. The posts from Mariner fans tell so much about how great a deal this was for the Braves.

    But, equally telling are posts from Pirate fans about the deal that apparently did not go through.

    From Bucs dugout:
    “This makes me so angry…[Littlefield] lacks the confidence to execute even an obviously great trade, probably for fear of being blamed if it doesn’t work out.”


    “I was worried this was going to happen when I saw the Braves were trying to get Soriano. What is going to take to get this guy (Littlefield) fired?”

    or simply

    “I’m sick.”

  17. I don’t like LaRoche being traded for an injured relief pitcher. I don’t care how lights out Gonzalez could be.

  18. I don’t get why the White Sox made that trade. Weren’t they trying to unload starters to strengthen their line-up?

  19. My favorite thing:

    Earlier today, the Mets traded their cheaper-and-with-more-upside version of Horacio for a younger-and-somewhat-less-expensive-but-vastly-inferior version of Soriano.

  20. Now we just need to try and get another starter and a leftfielder.


    Rumors are that the mets are trying to get him…”The A’s and Mets may be discussing a Joe Blanton or Dan Haren or Rich Harden for Milledge and Aaron Heilman or Phillip Humber swap.” I don’t know if Marcus Giles and maybe a prospect would be enough to top that…


    Hopefully we can get him, even though it’ll cost alot, from the talks on here today and my own “research” it seems like he may be worth it.

    any other possibilities?

  21. USS Mariner update, a sample:

    This is a bad deal. We’re obviously against this in every way, shape, and form. Horacio Ramirez is not the kind of guy you trade arms like Rafael Soriano’s for. Horacio Ramirez is the kind of arm you pick up as a throw-in to a deal or that you sign for a cheap, one year contract as a free agent. Like they were going to do with John Thomson. He’s John Thomson’s left-handed twin…

    Soriano’s just a better pitcher than Horacio Ramirez, and the M’s a worse team for having exchanged the two.

    To this deal, I just have one word: Boooooooooooooooooooo.


  22. I guess JS is still kicking. This is an awesome deal. When I saw the headline that Horacio had been traded, I had the Lenny Dystrka on Von Hayes reaction: “Great trade…who’d we get?”

  23. The bad thing is, unless the Braves get another starter, is this locks up Davies, right? Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, James and Davies is what it’s going to be.

    Mac, David O’Brien says the trade will be announced tomorrow. The reason O’Brien gives is the Mariners’ doctor is flying somewhere now and has to sign off on the trade.

  24. I would love to trade LaRoche for Chone and Kotchman…But only if we keep Giles and put Figgins in LF. Having Figgins hit leadoff would give our lineup speed and the ability to swipe a base. I think putting him in LF would allow us to become a better defensive team as well in that he could cover a ton of ground.

  25. That leaves us with Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, James and Davies or Cormier in the rotation. Figure the difference between Soriano and HoRam to be somewhere between 2.5 and 3 mil? Using it, or saving it? What’s everybody’s feeling: Schuerholz have something else going to bulk up the SP a little? Salty to the Marlins maybe? Or go with those 6 guys, see what sticks and react in-season?

  26. I say something more is coming. It would be ideal for Davies to be the AAA insurance on our rotation, rather than our fifth starter, and to keep Villarreal in the bullpen and Cormier either in the pen or, better yet, on the farm.

  27. If somebody would’ve posted a Ramirez for Soriano rumor on here, I think most of us would’ve mocked them.

    The lesson here: Never underestimate how truly dumb some GMs are.

    So long, HoRam. You won’t be missed.

  28. Hudson/Laroche/minors Arm for Teixeira/Tejeda.

    the rangers love big K’ for skiddish starting pitching and we’ll need someone to mash once andruw is traded. the owe us for giving away Derosa.

  29. Anyone else notice that soriano sucked in winter ball? And when did Freddy Garcia become so amazing? He is an innings workhoarse but i will take my chances, plus he has to pitch in that little league sized park in Philly.

  30. Avery, again, the only hold-up is the Mariners’ doctor is flying around and hasn’t had the chance to sign-off on Ramirez’s health.

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A Braves trade that appeared to be a near certainty late Wednesday afternoon found itself on the back burner again just a few hours later.
    Long before it was learned that Atlanta was close to completing a trade that would send left-handed starter Horacio Ramirez to Seattle in exchange for right-handed reliever Rafael Soriano, it was believed that it was very close to sending first baseman Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh in exchange for highly-coveted left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez.

    But according to one Braves source, the LaRoche-for-Gonzalez deal may be dead. He said that Braves general manager John Schuerholz grew impatient while awaiting a response from Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield.

    By the time Wednesday evening arrived, the Braves were believed to have ended these negotiations with the Pirates. But with these Winter Meetings not ending until Thursday, there’s still a good possibility that Schuerholz will complete at least one more trade in addition to the one that involves Ramirez and Soriano.

    “All I can say is that we’re working hard, talking to a lot of teams, and [we] think that we’re putting together a lot of good deals that, if we can get them done, will help our team be stronger,” Schuerholz said.

    At one point Wednesday, there was some speculation that Atlanta was close to completing a trade that simply needed medical clearance. With knowledge that the Gonzalez-for-LaRoche talks were heavy, it wasn’t realized that the deal actually was the one that involved Soriano and Ramirez.

    The Braves are believed to have already provided medical approval in regards to Soriano, who had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2004 and experienced a short stint with shoulder soreness this past season.

    But the Mariners’ medical staff left the meetings on Wednesday and its cross-country flight didn’t land in Seattle until around 6 p.m. ET. Three hours later, it still wasn’t clear if Seattle’s doctors had reviewed the medical records of Ramirez, who missed the final seven weeks of this season because of a partially torn pulley tendon in his left middle finger.

    Barring any unforeseen setbacks, there’s a strong belief that this Ramirez-for-Soriano deal will be announced sometime Thursday morning. With it, the Braves will be acquiring a powerful 27-year-old right-hander who can serve as Bob Wickman’s primary setup man.

    This was a role that could have also been assumed by Gonzalez, who converted each of the 24 save opportunities he had with the Pirates in 2006. Opponents hit just .213 against Gonzalez this year, and in his 168 career appearances, he’s limited them to a .206 batting average.

    Soriano is one year younger than Gonzalez and owns some pretty impressive stats of his own. Minus the six appearances he made during his injury-shortened 2004 season, the 27-year-old right-hander has completed 125 1/3 innings as a reliever. During that span, he’s posted an impressive 1.87 ERA.


    Late Wednesday evening, another Braves source indicated that the club could be ready to make a big trade on Thursday. There still hasn’t been much of a market for second baseman Marcus Giles, and it’s almost certain the club won’t be trading Hudson.

    As for Andruw Jones, it’s become even more evident that he’ll be in Atlanta for the 2007 season.

    On Tuesday night, Jones’ agent, Scott Boras, indicated there was “new information” regarding his client. This hinted that the Braves were ready to approach the Gold Glove outfielder about a potential deal that couldn’t be completed without him waiving the no-trade clause he’s earned by compiling 10 years of Major League service time and being with the same team for five consecutive years.

    When asked about Boras’ comment, Schuerholz’s response wasn’t surprising.

    “I don’t really care what he says,” Schuerholz said.


  31. Davies is worth something, I mean that rotation doesn’t totally suck. Plus, we might actually have a bullpen. I read a rumor from some Espn writer that we talked to Miguel Batista’s agent. Would that be an upgrade? I think he will prove to be to pricy, just curious.

  32. I really like this deal as well. This way we have improved our bullpen and can keep Laroche. Well Done JS!

    With Wickman and Soriano the Braves are much stronger than they were during the first half of 2006. The Mets and the Phillies can’t be happy…

  33. Damn, now that I think about it, Eaton, Garcia, Lieber, wife-beater (Myers), Hamels, Moyer- That is pretty damn solid

  34. I’ve had Soriano in a roto since he was a rookie, and loved the easy 90s heat, high-riding fastball, good slider. But the Ms never realized his potential, and neither did I or his other fantasy owners. I’m not so giddy. Sori is tempts and taunts with his potential, but he has failed to make an impact in five ML seasons — the Ms finally gave up on him and were only too willing to accept a league average lefty in return.

  35. Gregson, don’t forget how utterly awful our bullpen was last season. tempts and taunts is better than shakes and collapses.

  36. The pen both sucked/blowed last year, and HoRam unfortunately was just a spare part in the rotation. Better to have Soriano than HoRam, for sure, but the slam dunk we expect may never come to pass, due to Soriano’s gimpy history. He’s got the stuff, no question, but he’s failed to leverage it into results. That’s what tempers my expectations. There’s negative value in having him unavailable for half of every year he pitches.

  37. Great trade by JS! Far better than the LaRoche/Gonzalez deal because the Braves don’t even want to keep HoRam. I think the Braves can win even if JS does nothing further. Getting Soriano and keeping Wickman solve much of the bullpen problem of last year. If McBride continues his growth rate and Boyer returns healthy, the bullpen will definitely be fine.

    On the other hand, I think JS is in for another big trade to bring in a top starter. The last time he addressed the starting pitching issue, he brought in Huddy. I am expecting something pretty big, but it may involves trading both Marcus and Adam. Hey, a package of Huddy, Marcus, and Adam is pretty damn impressive, right?!

  38. Got to wonder about Littlefield. Indications are that he dithered too long and Schuerholz pulled the deal. Don’t know what Littlefield is thinking. If he needs a bat, and he does, Gonzalez ain’t gonna help him. I hope that the deal is dead. Surely someone from the Boyer, McBride, Villareal, Cormier, Paranto, Sturtz collection can fill the last slots in the pen.

  39. That’s right Johnny. There is no need for Gonzalez now. If the Braves are trading Adam, it better be for a top line starting pitcher.

  40. I love this trade more now than when it was first reported. Soriano compared to Burgos is a joke. I’d love to hear NY Mets argue the Burgos deal is better.

  41. I think there are too many question marks out of that group, Johnny. Gonzalez and Soriano would be a great combo ahead of Wickman.

    If LaRoche is still available, I’d rather see the Pirates deal revived than the trade with LAA made. Aside from Figgins being somewhat overrated, we’ve got no use for a Scott Thorman clone when we’ve got Scott Thorman. That’s right, we’ve got the REAL SCOTT THORMAN!!

  42. I very much like this trade for the Braves. I hope they hold onto Laroche. They will need his offense with Andruw almost certainly leaving after 2007, Chipper always a threat to go on the DL, and Francoeur still a work-in-progress. Trade Giles as a salary dump for sure. Prado and/or Aybar can give the team enough at 2nd.

  43. If LaRoche is still available, I’d rather see the Pirates deal revived than the trade with LAA made. Aside from Figgins being somewhat overrated, we’ve got no use for a Scott Thorman clone when we’ve got Scott Thorman. That’s right, we’ve got the REAL SCOTT THORMAN!!

    Any trade pending for a reliever should be dead now. If you went ahead and traded your starting 1B for another set-up guy/closer in waiting you’d be addressing a hole that has been filled. Yes, the pen sucked really, really badly last year, but you don’t get emotional and decimate the parts of the team that worked well in a hysterical attempt to double- or triple-fix the problem area.

    Soriano for Ramirez and Wickman solve the pen problem. You no longer need Mike Gonzalez, especially not in exchange for a guy that put up a 900+ at 1B last year. I am as opposed to the Figgins deal as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean you should trade LaRoche for a bullpen security blanket. And honestly, if Giles doesn’t return Figgins straight up Anaheim can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned. The only reason the Braves need to make that deal is payroll, and you don’t gut 1B just to dump Giles’ contract. If you have to dump payroll, trade Giles for Johnny Estrada II and keep the rest of the team intact.


  44. hmmmm…..according to Seattle radio, Soriano had expressed thoughts about being a starter during various parts of his tenure there.

    Hopefully that doesn’t turn into a primadonna situation here.

  45. I like the trade, but we shouldn’t get carried away despite Mariners’ fans reaction. Soriano obviously has good stuff and has had some success, but he apparently has some injury history and middle relievers are notoriously erratic. For example, when we got Reitsma, everyone thought that was a real coup for JS. And, while no one particularly liked HoRam, he did eat up a lot of innings. I wouldn’ tnecessarily pooh-pooh a league average pitcher. However, given the fact that he was about to get expensive and that Soriano seems to have a lot of upside (and has a power arm), I like the trade. And, I’m still not wowed by the rotation. Bobby, of course, always talks as if his players are going to be first ballot HOFers, but I’ve never been a big Hampton fan and, if you are relying on comebacks by Hudson and Hampton, as well as having Davies develop into a real pitcher, there are still a lot of question marks. I know, I am a pessimist by nature.

  46. The Braves just lost Sean White to the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.

    Better than losing Adam LaRoche, know what I’m sayin’.

  47. So, what does everyone think about the rumor that Soriano is now about to be dealt to the DRays in a Rocco Baldelli package, with Andruw Jones possibly involved (In a 3-way swap)? I’d post a link, but this is rumored in lots of disreputable places…

  48. RJD, I think any rumors like that are bogus.

    We all like to engage in a little rumor-mongering, and trades like that sound like some fan’s fantasy.

  49. I’m very, very happy about this trade. Still, I took a trip in my time machine, and here’s what happens in 2007:

    April 1: John Smoltz gives up 5 runs, Braves win 6-5, Wickman gets first save of year
    April 15: Mike Hampton gives up 1 run over 6 innings, breaks collarbone during home run trot, out three months
    April 30: Kyle Davies gives up 3 runs in 3 innings, leaves game due to “muscle fatigue,” then announces he has a pulled groin; relieved by Rafael Soriano, who goes 4 innings, striking out 20, and then spontaneously combusts.

    I hope Jeff Porter’s getting a GOOD REST this offseason, because he’s going to be working some long hours next year.

  50. Also, according to the U.S.S. Mariner, it looks like the tables have turned:

    “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien says the Rafael Soriano-for-Horacio Ramirez deal between the Mariners and Braves is a done deal. Unbelievable. Maybe it’s really Soriano to Atlanta for Ramirez and the compromising pictures John Schuerholz has of Mariners GM Bill Bavasi. Anything as long as it’s not truly a one-for-one deal.”

    Schuerholz has the pictures now! No more at-bats for Lockhart clones ever again!

  51. Okay, here’s one link:


    First, I would be very skeptical about anything that comes from a website specializing in _rumors._ Secondly, that rumor tends to massively overrate Baldelli’s worth. Finally, anything that says “possible three (or more) way deal” should be buried in a bucket of salt. Those kinds of deals are really, really rare and tough to pull off.

  52. Marc,

    It may seem pessimistic, but very logical. We have great reason to be concerned about the 2-5 spots of the rotation. Will Hudson return to form? Can Hampton return from surgery and pitch his best? Was it just beginners luck for Chuckie James? Was Kyle Davies injuries a result of his downslide or was it something else?

    I like what JS is doing with the back of the bullpen. It puts less pressure on starters *cough, cough, John Smoltz, cough, cough* to feel like they have to go all nine innings so their lead isn’t blown. Hopefully JS will continue to see that the 2007 season doesn’t ride on the above questions. We’ll see what happens.

  53. Baldelli looks to me like a version 2.0 Jeff Franceour. He seems to have rebounded well from his traumatic 2004 injury, is only 25 years old and is signed to a very reasonable contract. If we were to land him, he would be a very nice fit, indeed.

  54. The Braves don’t need Baldelli. Andruw Jones isn’t going anywhere. Jeff Francoeur will be in the lineup every day, for better or for worse, in right field. Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, and Ryan Langerhans can adequately handle left field. Assuming Marcus Giles stays put, which I think he will now, left field will probably be the weakest offensive position on the team (at least relative to positional average), but that’s not so bad. Having a platoon monster that approaches league average as the weakest link is a good thing.

    Maybe next year (2008) the Braves will need a Baldellish player, but that’s next year.

  55. Andruw isn’t going anywhere? maybe not for now, but as much as I love Andruw, he is going to come with a ridiculous price tag next winter

  56. I think if we can get Balldeli without giving up James, then we should do it. However, starting pitching would be my top priority. We have made do with crappy lead-off hitters before.

  57. But the point is that the Braves might very well need someone like Baldelli as a hedge against not being able to resign Andruw, or to increase JS’s flexibility in offering Andruw as a trade piece if the Braves aren’t in it come July. Baldelli is available now, and may not be available come July or next winter. He’s also an improvement over a hydra platoon in LF.

  58. Totaly off subject but, anyone think Bonds is going to be black-balled?
    I just think he isn’t worth 18mil.

  59. Giles and Salty for Baldelli and another reliever (lefty)

    Druw to the Dodgers for Kemp and Broxton or Billingsley

    Put KJ/Aybar/Orr at 2nd keep LaRoche and weve freed up enough salary to maybe go after another starter. Good young outfield with great arms and decent pop. Looks great to me, but I’m sure someone here will knock it down very quickly

  60. Bonds says he wont take an incentive based contract, he’s black-balling himself. Why does he think he can call all the shots? He better be sucking up to the Giants GM or he’ll be out of a job.

  61. You know, JS did say at one point that his primary goal this offseason was to improve the rotation. Sending HoRam to Seattle certainly accomplishes that!

  62. Any trade for Baldelli would be for 2007 and beyond. He would provide us a LF in 2007 and a possible replacement in CF after Andruw is gone.

  63. Jeff,

    Chuck James is way more valuable than Rocco Baldelli.

    With a bad-ass pitching staff, ATL could win with Langerhans in CF (although that notion is less-than-pleasing); without pitching, it hardly matters who’s playing CF.

    Can’t give up someone we hope will be a solid starter for the next half decade (at least) for a merely decent-to-good OF like him.

  64. Re: Bonds

    On WFAN radio, NY Daily News writer Bill Madden said, “Nobody wants Bonds—there’s not one team out there willing to pay him or put up with what he brings. I once thought the A’s would make sense for him, but they’re gonna sign Piazza as their DH. And the Giants would like for him to just go away.”

    Blackball? Or sound baseball decisions? Maybe both.

  65. Jeff, I’d also add that if we’re in a position where we’re looking to trade Andruw midseason, then presumably we’ll be out of the race and it won’t matter who plays CF for the remainder of the season. Of course, we all hope it doesn’t come to that!

  66. James is more valuable than Baldelli? I really don’t agree. James has a fantastic minor-league track record and does hold promise for the future, but Baldelli is already an accomplished Major-League hitter with high skills in defense and baserunning. If we dealt James straight-up for Baldelli, I think we’d easily be getting the better end of the deal.

  67. @ 96 – I agree James is probably not an option, and I think JS has said as much. As I said in a (much) earlier post, I’d package Salty and Davies.

    @ 92 – The problem with your trade is that TB would never do it. They don’t need Giles, since they have Cantu at 2B. Would they consider an extra 50 pts of OPS to be worth over $3M/yr? They also would not give up both Baldelli and reliever for Giles and Salty.

  68. doesnt help our rotation though, James is good and is probably our 3rd or 4th best starter right now, also is at league minimum

  69. 1. For what the Rays will ask for Baldelli you’d think that he was as good as Andruw. The Rays want pitching for one of their young outfielders. We shouldn’t and won’t give it to them.
    2. I don’t care what y’all say, Baldelli just aint that good. His ‘breakout’ last season was over 92 games. Small sample size. On AVERAGE his offensive contribution is batting average driven in the 280’s and he just doesn’t have enough power to be a corner outfielder.
    3. Langerhans/Diaz if not Thorman gets us close enough to his production.
    4. Marcus Giles is a superior offensive player and we already have him. If we trade him, it should only be for pitching.

    In other words I agree with Flournoy.

    csg – you must love thinking up those pie in the sky trade proposals. This one is a snake. No legs.

  70. On a side note, does anyone have any idea how dealing HR’s salary puts in line, budget-wise? Is there an absolute *need* to trade anyone else from a strictly financial perspective?

  71. In a vacuum, Baldelli might be more valuable than James. But the 2007 Braves need James a heck of a lot more than they need Baldelli.

  72. In this market nothing short of Albert Pujols or Andruw Jones is worth a competent starting pitcher.( sarcasm ) Baldelli isn’t and never will be worth a competent starting pitcher. Planning for 2008 is fine for a team that knows it can’t compete next season but the Braves have a chance.

  73. I think we still need to unload Giles. DOB mentions in his most recent post that the Braves’ next move is to determine whether to nontender Giles, since there’s been so little interest on the trade front. I think it’s pretty clear that, one way or another, Giles won’t be our second baseman next year.

  74. just read this for any of you Bama fans, ridiculous!

    “What i am hearing is that are foolish administration is willing to let Rodriguez walk because for some reason they really think they are gonna get Saban.”

    this came from someone with some access pass to a Tide Website, if its true then I’m pissed. No way Saban will come

  75. That Drayton Moore move doesn’t make much sense to me. That’s a lot of money for the Royals — and they invest it in Gil Meche?

  76. As a Braves fan I want to run out in the streets and dance in joy. I watched Soriano pitch in Seattle, and in Tacoma before that. He is special.

    As a resident of WA state, this deal makes it easier for me to throw my hands up in the air and give up on the M’s for good. Thanks Bobo Bavasi.

  77. Any trade for Baldelli would be for 2007 and beyond. He would provide us a LF in 2007 and a possible replacement in CF after Andruw is gone.

    The Braves already have a replacement for Andruw. His name is Ryan Langerhans. He is a better defender in CF than the current version of Andruw, although he clearly lacks Andruw’s offensive skills. Langerhans is more of your traditional CF, with gap power and lots of speed, and again, he’s a defensive improvement over Andruw (I know, sacrilege, but the numbers don’t lie.)

    The point is that there’s no reason to panic over Andruw replacement. Carrying him through the end of 2007, get the draft picks if he leaves, move Langerhans to CF and sign a real bat to play LF. Hell, if Boston would pick up the difference in paychecks and Andruw would play in the cold I’d trade him for Manny and move Langerhans across this year. The key to replacing Andruw isn’t his defense in CF. We have a couple of guys that can cover that — Langerhans, Francoeur, maybe that guy we picked up from Seattle though I’m not sure. The key is replacing his _bat._ Because Andruw has been cranking offense out of the traditional defensively heavy CF position the Braves have been able to carry below-avg players at the corners. If/when Andruw leaves they don’t have that luxury any more, which means a real LF and the end of the growing pains for Capt. Freedompants in RF.

    Either way, you don’t need to deal for Baldelli. He’s overrated and not worth the price TB is reportedly asking. TB _always_ asks too much for their people, it seems. I’d take Langerhans and a real LF from next year’s market over a ill-advised trade this year, any day of the week.

  78. After all this, it would be a shame to get nothing for Giles.

    It would be more of a shame to lose another player just to say you dealt him. If the choice is Giles for nothing vs. Giles/Laroche for Figgins/Kotchman, I’d take the former.

  79. Sam,

    But this team doesn’t do free agents anymore. Not until our budget goes up, anyway. The outfielder we’re going to need to replace Andruw with is going to have to come via trade. I’m not saying it needs to be Baldelli, but whoever it ends up being is going to have to be brought in a trade.

  80. ubbuba, the kids on this blog surely don’t know what the heck HR Puffenstuff was. Funny stuff

    @124 – I agree. You said it better than I did.

  81. Langy does not replace Andruw — no how, no way, period. It is not “panicking” to look at getting Baldelli now. He is an improvement at LF, he’s young, talented, adds speed, and is cheap. With the current options, Davies will not start for us next year, except possibly for an occassional spot start. Salty’s real value is as a catcher, and he’s blocked. His value is not at 1B, where he’s also blocked.

  82. I’m sorry… but its really funny what Bonds is bringing on himself. I remember reading one ESPN article that said when his name is mentioned in the Winter Meetings it gets really quiet as in dead silent.

    I really hope we can find some way to keep Andruw. Seeing him play through his tenure here has been a quite a treat. Does anyone think JS will break his no contract talks through the season rule for him? If we don’t get a deal done before this offseason is over I’d think it impossible to get one once he hits the free agent market.

  83. But this team doesn’t do free agents anymore.

    There are two factors limiting the Braves’ activity on the free agent market. The first, obviously, is the purse-strings held tight until the team is finally sold. Depending on who buys the team that should loosen after the sale goes through and the need to show excessive profit goes away. Regardless, that is beyond the control of JS and Cox. It will work itself out however it does.

    The second factor is that JS and Cox built the current core, including their contracts, around the premise of a $90+ million payroll. As such, they have huge contracts to a few players — Chipper, Andruw, Hampton — and are hemmed in by them. Of course, if Andruw signs somewhere else, that frees up $15 mil per year for other positions. That $15 mil won’t just disappear. So you are left with Langerhans in CF and $15 mil per to find a bat for LF. You won’t get the top end FAs by any means, but you can probably find a more robust bat than Matt Diaz (although I’m a big Matt Diaz fan.) I think you can replace Andruw’s offensive production with a FA LF for _less_ money than you’re currently paying Andruw, and replace his defense with Langerhans. And if the team is sold and the new owners are not completely stupid, you may have a bigger chunk of change to play with than just Andruw’s $15 mil.

    YMMV of course.

  84. And that $90+ million payroll was at a time when 4th starters weren’t signing 4 years 45 million dollars.

  85. Same thing on SI.com

    “The hottest rumors had Tampa Bay’s Rocco Baldelli going to the Braves, who could swap prized pitcher Chuck James, a 25-year-old lefthander. There was talk – later dismissed – of a potential blockbuster trade in which Baldelli would go to Atlanta and All-Star Andruw Jones to the Dodgers.”

  86. Langy does not replace Andruw — no how, no way, period.

    Not offensively, no. Defensively he’s better.

    It is not “panicking” to look at getting Baldelli now. He is an improvement at LF, he’s young, talented, adds speed, and is cheap. With the current options, Davies will not start for us next year, except possibly for an occassional spot start. Salty’s real value is as a catcher, and he’s blocked. His value is not at 1B, where he’s also blocked.

    Baldelli is a speed guy with some power and poor on-base skills, and his power spike from last year is questionable because it was only over 92 at bats. Chuck Thomas can look really good for 92 at bats. I’m sorry, but a .290/.330/.450 just doesn’t impress me that much. You can get that out of Langerhans/Thorman/Diaz/Johnson, and Langerhans at least is a better defender. There’s no real reason to trade for him _this year._ He doesn’t really improve the team. So the question is do you trade for him for _next year_ assuming Jones is gone, and again the answer is “why?” He’s not that much of an improvement over the guys we have on roster, Langerhans is a better defensive CF, and you can get similar production on the FA market next winter.

    Why would you chuck your #4, potential #1 starter and a top-tier prospect overboard for that? Do you really want Cormier starting again? Because that’s the option if you send James to TB. Kyle Davies starts every fourth day and Cormier is the swing guy.

    No. Not for Rocco Baldelli. The Braves don’t need another low-OBP high slugging guy in the OF. Just let Andruw do whatever he is going to do next year and make sane, rational moves based on the market next winter (which I suspect will adjust back down after this year’s binge buying.)

  87. @ 131 – Yup, two pitchers paid the same:

    Player 1 (23 yrs):
    14 63.1 90 60 14 33 51 3 7 0 88.6 1.94 .332 8.38

    Player 2 (26 yrs):
    29 73.2 90 44 8 39 43 4 5 0 84.3 1.75 .314 4.89

    I’d take Player 2, and so will Bobby, I think. Player 1 is Davies and Player 2 is Cormier. I know you’re not a big fan of Cormier, but Davies is not the answer. His HR totals are absurd, and I don’t think are a fluke given his high fly/ground ratio. Davies needs to go to Shea or Dodger Stadium to be successful.

    Sturtz may also compete as the 5th SP.

  88. Looking over the proposed deals up there, obviously moving _Davies_ for Baldelli makes more sense, though it does make Cormier or Sturtz your fifth starter, but the DRays are asking for _James_, and that’s a non-starter in my book.

  89. If were going to trade Andruw(still hope we don’t)then I like CSG’s idea of trading him to LAD for some of those great prospects they have.

  90. DAVIES A POTENTIAL #1 SP ??!?!

    We were talking past each other on some points. I was talking about Chuck James, the player the DRays are asking for. Obviously Kyle Davies is a different story and makes the deal vaguely palatable, but TB has never made deals based on similar talent levels. They always ask for the sun and the moon, and this is no different with them asking for James. If they take Davies I wouldn’t complain too much, though I’d still question Baldelli’s power spike from last year.

  91. I think our best chance to find a viable option (post andruw) is through a trade. Signing a free agent for 15 mil next year may not be the best way to go for a budget conscious team. Flexibility is a key factor when you put the roster together each offseason.

    If we can find a market for HomeRun, then certainly we can find someone to take an all-star caliber 2B. The thought of non-tendering him seems ludicrous.

  92. good now lets move Giles and Davies for a good SP or LF….maybe move Salty and Davies….I dont want LaRoche to move, he’ll be too valuable for our offense once Druw is gone. We have to keep Frenchy, LaRoche, McCann….

    I dont know much about Salty, is he too slow to move to the outfield. I hear he’s put on some lbs., but he has a cannon. If we can fit him in with KJ, LaRoche, McCann, Frenchy then we have a great base for a long time

  93. Herb, where did you grow up? I went to school in Tacoma and went to tons of Rainiers games in the late 90s.

  94. I don’t understand the Baldelli deal and who we’d pick up.

    We’re sending our best young pitcher and our best offensive player all over the nation, but none of these links make clear what other pitching we’d be receiving.

  95. From DOB,

    “Ward turned down Braves for better offer. Schuerholz: “He told us we wasn’t coming to us. We really wanted him. It’s disappointing, but that happens. He took the deal that he liked.”…

    So they made a great trade and lost a pinch-hitter. All in all, I’d give it a B-plus meetings grade for the Braves, all things considered, including their payroll and fact they didn’t give up LaRoche to get their man….

    Josh, you’ve gotta be pretty damn cynical to consider this a failure of a meetings for the Braves. They made a great _ not good, but great in my opinion _ trade to get a setup man that other teams here were drooling over.

    As for being injury prone, uh, they traded a guy who hasn’t stayed healthy for any of the past three seasons for a guy who hasn’t had any problems since Tommy John surgery, other than a sore shoulder that put him on the DL for 15 days in July, after which he threw perfectly fine when he returned.

    Or is getting hit in the head by a line drive off Vlad the Bad’s bat make him injury prone? I don’t think so. They got a flat-out stud pitcher who throws 91-95 mph with great command, plus a good breaking ball (it’s a curve or slider, depending who you ask) and changeup.

    I’m as skeptical as most, but come on, they gave up a guy who was fifth-starter at best next season, for a guy who can setup, close or even start if the Braves want him to (Cox just mentioned about him having the stuff and pitch repertoire to start, though Braves definitely got him to setup for now).

    As for the “big deal,” hey, Bowman does good work. He obviously had someone tell him something was doing to happen. And maybe something was. But I hadn’t heard that. Means nothing more than I hadn’t heard it.

    But I can tell you now, nothing big is happening today, unless it happens out of the blue. Braves don’t have anything pending, nothing close.

    Schuerholz wouldn’t tip his hand regarding Giles and Tuesday, but my bet is they’re leaning toward non-tendering him if they don’t trade him first.”

  96. I don’t see much reason to think the payroll is going up in the foreseeable future. Liberty seems to be the preferred buyer and it is not likely to start throwing money around for an asset that it has primarily for tax purposes. For all intents and purposes, this is what we are going to be seeing for a long time–trades designed to get some payroll flexibility and improve the team around the edges. But, it could work. You obviously don’t have to be a great team to win the WS. Big payrolls are meaningless once the playoffs start. So, maybe all you have to do is put together a team good enough to make the playoffs and take your chances.

  97. – Andruw to LA

    – Penny, Kemp, Broxton to Atl.

    That’s the word on the street from the barber shop. lol.

  98. Honestly, if we’re keeping LaRoche, I’m fine with Ward leaving. Thorman/Johnson should be fine in the lefty bat role.

  99. more from DOB,

    “DonC, again let me state: Chuck James is NOT being traded to the D-Rays. Period. End of story…

    And Hillbilly, I agree with you on Ward. They should have gotten that done weeks ago. I had a bad feeling when I talked to Daryle last month and he said how much he wanted back but how the Braves were trying to get him to sign for a lot less than he was looking for. Couldn’t write it then because he was still negotiating with them and he didn’t want me to quote him on it….

    Chalk that up to a casualty of the $80 million payroll.”

  100. I live in DC and saw Ward a bit last year. He’s a good hitter, obviously, but how much do you spend for 100-120 ABs, even if the result is a .900 OPS? He made something like $700-800 this year, so I’ll bet the Cubs paid him $1M or more. Too much for me.

  101. Wryn, thanks for the link. As always, it’s nice to see another side of the story. In the end, we got Soriano and got Bavasi to take HoRam, so it’s pretty obvious Schuerholz is one of the sharpest knives in the room.

  102. One thing I don’t get: the persistent LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman rumor. First of all, LaRoche should be able to get those two in return all by himself. Secondly, the Angels have no need for Giles, because they have Howie Kendrick.

    That just doesn’t make any sense, so a story that reports that as having been a big piece of what went down, to me, lacks credibility.

  103. I’ll bet JS would be pissed to see that bucco blog is running that line, especially if it is true. If it is true, one wonders why Bavasi wouldn’t simply say: “Fine, I’ve got a good reliever and a 1B and 3B (even if I have to eat a little of the $$) I’m willing to trade for starting pitching. I’ll go somewhere else.” Instead of pulling a HoRam for Soriano straight-up? Maybe Bavasi just isn’t convinced that Soriano will bounce back from the line drive, et al.

  104. Stu, JS’ seemed obsession with the Angels doesn’t fit, I’ll agree, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the story isn’t credible.

    It definitely was fun to read though.

  105. Sam, you’ve got to be kidding with some of your points. They’re downright laughable.

    Langerhans being “superior” to Andruw in center field is a joke. Langershans is a very capable LEFT fielder, but if you recall, when he had to play in center field to replace Andruw in some of the games, he struggled with the different angle from center.

    FYI, Baldelli WOULD be a major improvement over the left field platoon v. 3.0. He’s younger and a more polished player than Langerhans. Good range, good arm, hits for average and has some pop. I love Langy as much as the next guy, but the dude hit what, .250 last year? We need consistency in the lineup.

    I also saw up a few points someone refer to Marcus as a “superior offensive player”… To that I just say, “Uhhhhhh… what?” He hasn’t had a FULL healthy season in his career, and his stats has drastically fallen. You can hold onto him and hope that he has a contract year type of season before July 31 and trade him away, but he’s by no means untouchable, nor should he be.

    I say, trade Giles and Hudson, free up some payroll (not just for this season, looking towards the future, as Hudson’s contract is backloaded) and get something of value now, rather than later.

  106. The Pirates blog guy is nuts if he thinks the newspapers in Atlanta & Pittsburgh “screwed up the LaRoche/Gonzalez deal.” Silly media paranoia. This guy’s got more conspiracies than Oliver Stone.

  107. While I tend to have a skeptical read of the blog story, it is possible to imagine both that it is true and that there was no media conspiracy. The newspapers could have been running stories based upon what they were seeing happen (medicals being exchanged) and based upon rumors being fed to them by JS’s crew. It seems a bit far-fetched, frankly, but who knows.

  108. Too bad that guy is a pirates fan, that was a pretty good read, and he seems to be informed, although some of it seems like he was speculating to a great degree.

  109. ““The hottest rumors had Tampa Bay’s Rocco Baldelli going to the Braves, who could swap prized pitcher Chuck James, a 25-year-old lefthander. There was talk – later dismissed – of a potential blockbuster trade in which Baldelli would go to Atlanta and All-Star Andruw Jones to the Dodgers.””

    David O’Brien already buried this obvious BS rumor. Why would the Braves, focused on pitching, trade a great young and cheap starter for Baldelli? Sounds like some Devil Rays fan made it up.

  110. Sam, you’ve got to be kidding with some of your points. They’re downright laughable.

    Good to know. The truth is often funny.

    Ryan Langerhans has been a CF his entire career. The only reason he was moved to LF was because Andruw was parked in center. Considering that Andruw has lost significant range as he’s aged (yes, he has, a _lot_ of range in fact) and considering that Langerhans was, by FAR the best defensive LF in baseball last year, and in addition that Langerhans actually covered more ground than Andruw in his few starts in CF, well, you get the picture. I know Bobby Cox talks about how historically great Andruw is, but the fact is he’s been slipping defensively for years. He hasn’t approached his defensive peak (1998) this decade. Langerhans would convert more balls into outs in center.

    Baldelli is, in fact, younger than Langerhans. By two whole years, 24 to 26. He has a higher batting average than Langerhans. Yet oddly enough, his on-base percentage is signficantly _lower_ than Langerhans. He does slug more than Langerhans, though. Career lines:

    Langer: 254/347/399
    Baldelli: 289/329/451

    Do you trade 20 points of OBP for 50 points of SLG? I’m not sure I do, especially not in a “leadoff hitter.” The only way Baldelli becomes notably more valuable offensively is if his 92 at bats from last year are indicative of a new talent level (302/339/533.) I am hesitant to take 90 at bats as proof of anything personally. Voros’ law and all. I certainly wouldn’t trade 20 points of OBP AND CHUCK JAMES for 50 points of SLG. And while I like “consistency” as much as anyone, the last thing the offense needs is another player who consistently makes outs more often than he should just so he can crush the ball real hard when he does make contact. They have that in RF already.

    And to repeat, my point is not that Ryan Langerhans is an adequate corner outfielder. He’s not. He needs to slug more and get on base a bit more if he’s going to be on the corner. My point is that he’s a viable replacement for _Andruw_ in 2008. Langerhans is your classic CF, actually. His defense is impeccable. He has gap power, can drive doubles, runs well. What he lacks is Andruw’s power. Most centerfielders do, actually. But if you get a real LF in 2008, and pray Jeff Francoeur learns how to discern a strike from a ball sometime this year, you can easily live with Langerhans as your CF.

    As for Giles, yes, he has been sliding over the last three years, but the thing that sets him apart from most middle infielders is his potential slugging and the ability to post OBPs above .370. That is what makes him an elite offensive player. The question is whether he can return to his All-Star form or if he’s a casualty of the new drug-testing policies.

    Trading Hudson for no reason other than to free up payroll is silly.

  111. That’s the beauty of the internet, Dan… we can all start trade rumors, and then cross post them to different forums, referencing each other.

  112. If we don’t make anymore moves this is what I think our lineup/rotation/bullpen would look like…

    2B- Aybar
    SS- Renty
    3B- Chipper
    CF- Druw
    1B- LaRoche
    C- McCann
    RF- Frenchy
    LF- Thorman/Johnson

    Bench: Diaz,Langy,Pena,Prado

    I would rather have Langy and Diaz on the bench. Langy could be a defensive sub and Diaz could be our #1 PH. Were not going to have Giles, there is no way we could sign him unless we dump salary(Hudson). I would give the first shot to Thor in left. Just because we really didn’t get that many looks at him in left and I am curious to see how his defense is.(it can’t be worse than Diaz)



    Unless we get another starter, Davies has to be the #5 guy. Like Mac said earlier, I don’t wanna see Cormier anymore. Maybe we can package a deal with Giles and send him to Oakland for Haren or Blanton.

    Bullpen: (yes, we can actually refer to it as a bullpen)


    Set-up- Soriano
    Closer- Wickman

    I know thats more than 25…but i’m sure we can send 2 or 3 of them down or something. Does anyone know any info on the progress of Stockman and Boyer’s injuries? Are they 100%?

  113. Baldelli would not be slotted into the leadoff spot, more likely would be a number 2 hitter. He had been a square peg forced into a round hole in the Tampa Bay lineup last year, they had him try to do a lot of things that he just wasn’t capable of, or comfortable with. Given the proper environment and supporting cast, it isn’t a longshot to see that guy hit .300, steal 20 bases and hit 20 out, with good, reliable defense in left.

    And despite the fact (which is widely accepted and noted) that Andruw’s range has declined slightly, he has probably the best off-the-bat judgement of where a ball is going to project to in the majors. You don’t often seem him misjudge a ball. Langerhans just isn’t a viable option in the outfield in an everyday role. I am MORE THAN happy to keep him as a fourth outfielder, but he essentially is Atlanta’s Brian Anderson.

    On another note, Tim Hudson’s mechanics seem to be all out of whack, my guess is that he stays, Giles goes, and the Braves hope that Hudson can correct himself in his last year before his salary skyrockets (remember, only 6 mil this year, if I have my figures straight), and then trade him off at the deadline. There are some quality options in the farm system now, and if they can prove their worth in the winter/spring training, Hudson can be expendable.

    However, it is worth nothing, as last year taught everyone, that you can never have enough starting pitching. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see what happens.

  114. And despite the fact (which is widely accepted and noted) that Andruw’s range has declined slightly, he has probably the best off-the-bat judgement of where a ball is going to project to in the majors.

    Andruw is still very good. Langerhans covers more ground and makes more outs. He just doesn’t hit well enough to move Andruw. Not even close. He would be fine as the starting CF if you had a real LF though.

    RE: #180, everything I see has Kelly Johnson starting at 2B if Giles is moved. Cox really likes Aybar as the Betemit-like bench guy.

  115. No way that we trade Chuckie James for Baldelli–not with the price of pitching in this market. I suspect that a lot of these rumors start from fans dreaming up deals that grossly favor their team–much as we do. Even if Baldelli is arguably a more established major leaguer than James–as someone argued earlier, he isn’t as valuable, if for no other reason than that James is a left handed starter that won 10 games last year. Baldelli is just not good enough to be worth that. I suspect the Braves will not “replace” Andruw because you aren’t going to find another CF with that kind of power at a price the Braves can afford. They will probably try to upgrade at another position that is cheaper and put someone in center that is good defensively. But, unless the Braves really upgrade in left or Francouer develops a knowledge of the strike zone suddenly, something, I don’t think Langerhans can hit enough to be a regular outfielder.

  116. That was already discussed at length above, csg.

    Yeah, Jay, Aybar isn’t our starting second baseman next season. That’s already been announced. It’s going to be Johnson or Prado.

  117. “It would be more of a shame to lose another player just to say you dealt him. If the choice is Giles for nothing vs. Giles/Laroche for Figgins/Kotchman, I’d take the former.”

    I understand and agree with your point about making a fruitless trade, but do you really think JS would do that? Just for the sake of getting a bag of balls for him at the very least? You cannot just let the guy walk.

  118. One thing I don’t get: the persistent LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman rumor. First of all, LaRoche should be able to get those two in return all by himself. Secondly, the Angels have no need for Giles, because they have Howie Kendrick.

    That just doesn’t make any sense, so a story that reports that as having been a big piece of what went down, to me, lacks credibility.

    My thoughts exactly. Why would we make a 1B+2B/1B+2B challenge trade in which we’d be getting the inferior player at BOTH positions, and why would the Angels want Giles? Now, if you were to add Davies and Santana to the mix, we might be onto something.

  119. Ok, I wasn’t sure if they had chosen Johnson, Prado or Aybar yet.

    The only reason I put Aybar there is because I wasn’t sure if Johnson could leadoff or not and I knew that Aybar could.

  120. Johnson can lead off, his name is easy enough to spell, so Cox shouldn’t have any problems writing it beside the #1 slot on the lineup card.

  121. You cannot just let the guy walk.

    You certainly don’t want to, but if the budget is such that you can’t afford to pay him, and no one will give you anything useful or worthwhile for him, then you let him walk. Or you trade him for something grossly less than his value would normally be, which is what I think will happen. But you absolutely do not throw in another guy and downgrade two positions just to say you made a trade. That’s my only point, and I suspect that if it comes down to cases, JS will non-tender Giles before he trades him and another player just to say he did.

  122. DOB annoys me. He’s usually got the scoop, which I appreciate, but he spends SO MUCH of his blog space being sarcastic with some of the posters that it detracts, in my opinion. Also, while he’s not near Bowman’s level yet, he’s started to become more of a cheerleader for the organization than I’d like a beat writer to be.

    Still, like I said, you can trust his information, which counts for a lot.

  123. “But this team doesn’t do free agents anymore.”

    Until Andruw Jones leaves via free agency after the 2007 season and the Braves have his 13.5 million salary freed up.

  124. 7 million of which goes to Hudson’s salary increase, and then there’s the arbitration increases of LaRoche, Soriano, Francoeur, McCann, etc.

    A fixed 80-million-dollar budget eliminates free agency as an option, for all intents and purposes.

  125. Sam Hutcheson,
    I’ve found that no matter how you slice and dice it, show stats, regular and advanced, appeal to common sense, use player comparisons, certain folks just can’t keep themselves from lusting after batting average heavy, fast, light slugging outfielders. Yeah I’m talking about Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli. It doesn’t matter that Marcus Giles is a better offensive player than both of those guys. It doesn’t matter that you could show that a Langerhans/Diaz platoon based on history would be close enough for it not to matter. They are going to argue that both are near stardom despite the fact that both had positive outlier seasons last year. They ignore the most important offensive statistic. Crawford has a career .326 OBP with a career high .348. Baldelli has a career OBP of .329 and a career ‘high’ of .339. These same folks want these OBP challenged guys to be the lead off hitter because they are fast despite the fact that with slow old Marcus Giles as our leadoff hitter we scored more runs than anyone in the NL save the Phillies who play in a pony league field. They think that TB is going to just give us one of those guys for a sack of bubble gum despite TB’s reputation for vastly overvaluing their trade bait. They justify this because as we all know Andruw is gone in 2008. Last time I looked we still have to play the 2007 season but hey thats just me. Shoot, never mind I give up. :) so too shoud you Sam. Nice try there fella.

  126. I hope that we don’t non tender Giles. If it comes down to it I just hope we ‘Millwood’ him to get a pitching prospect.

  127. read that the cubs are close to signing Daryl Ward, should that matter for us since Rochie is still here?

  128. Well, I don’t know that we’ll see Giles get away for nothing, right? Because JS doesn’t make trades for financial reasons.

  129. Stu’s right. As long as 80 million is the ceiling, we won’t be players in the free agent market except for the Tanyon Sturtzes of the world. When Andruw leaves, his money will be moved to Hudson and the arbitration figures of the baby Braves. By the time Smoltz and Chipper retire,their money will be slotted to keep the one baby Brave that the organization decides it can’t do without, whether it’s McCann or Francouer, I don’t know. But it’s a solid guess that in four or five years (when they get close to free agency), they’ll garner in the 10-20 million range each (personally, I suspect McCann will be closer to high end, while Francouer will be closer to the bottom end, but that’s just a guess).

  130. read that the cubs are close to signing Daryl Ward, should that matter for us since Rochie is still here?

    It means that LaRoche is still our starting 1B and our best LH pinch hitter / corner OF just left. Thorman fills Ward’s role as backup LF/1B/PH.

  131. Okay, WHAT?? Gil Meche just got $55 million over 5 years to join Dayton Moore’s new improved Royals. It’s like that Darren Dreifort deal, except that Dreifort had good stuff to go with his injuries. Meche is like a right-handed Horacio Ramirez.

  132. @ 198 – Hmm, where does one start addressing this confusion? A few thoughts:

    (1) The attraction of a Baldelli is not his comparison to Giles’ offensive statistics. The trade rumors I’ve seen (ignore for the moment whether these rumors are merely insane rantings) would have either Salty/Davies or Salty/James going to TB. TB apparently doesn’t want Giles and certainly doesn’t need him.

    (2) But when you do compare their primary stats, they compare quite favorably:
    384 1519 227 439 83 17 43 209 54 .289 .329 .451

    676 2514 416 717 168 13 72 294 60 .285 .361 .448

    (3) Baldelli has been a very effective leadoff hitter when given the opportunity. About 1/4 of his major league ABs are batting #1, almost all last year:
    191 36 64 17 4 11 29 7 3 36 6 1 .335 .366 .639 1.005

    (4) He’s also quite effective in his career with runners on, and with runners in scoring position, so he could bat #2 or #3 as well:
    388 118 123 26 5 12 111 27 6 63 27 5 .317 .364 .503 .867
    240 100 71 10 4 8 97 22 5 39 10 2 .296 .356 .471 .827

    Just reading between the lines of your post, I sense you fall more in camp of a “stat” guy than in the camp of an “old school” guy. If that is so, then it is incumbent upon you to actually look at the stats before forming such strong opinions. Or not.

  133. Oh, but according to Moore, he’s the best young pitcher on the market about to enter his prime, without ever pitching 200 innings… I just think it’s funny how obvious it is why the mariners, royals etc… suck

  134. Let me get this straight: The Braves may have to non tender Giles a contract because the team can’t afford 6 million for one year, yet a team is willing to pay Gil Meche 11 million dollars a year for 5 years? That is beyond outrageous.

  135. hi all – not dead yet – just moved back to ATL, started new job, no net access at home yet. anyway, this is a great deal IMHO. that is all.

    also, nontendering giles is very silly. how exactly are we overbudget, anyway? we’ve made one free agent signing all offseason, tanyon sturtze, and just dropped payroll by ditching ho-ram. we’re in much better shape if we keep giles rather than using pete orr at 2nd (and yes, that’s what will happen even with aybar and prado on the roster)

    btw, remember when aj burnett at 5/55 was horrible? i think gil meche just redefined horrible. dude hasn’t even been above average for a full season once in his CAREER and he’s making 11 mill per. i need a damn raise.

  136. I don’t believe that Schuerholz was ever serious about trading LaRoche. The guy is a friggin’ baseball genius. You don’t give up cheap hitters of Adam’s quality for a relief pitcher unless he’s Mariano Rivera.

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