The Curse of Ryan Klesko

At some point, the Braves’ left field situation will stabilize. Probably after we’re all long dead. Anyway, I don’t even have enough space for all the possibilitities, though it’s hard to take the T.J. Bohns of the world at all seriously.

The winner of the second base poll was Kelly Johnson. I think that the Braves want KJ to win the job, but we’re probably going to be Pradoized.

194 thoughts on “The Curse of Ryan Klesko”

  1. Maybe it will be Ryan Klesko! No, not really. I don’t think it matters. The only thing about left field is that it’s a convenient place to put Andruw’s heir if we can find one.

  2. Back to Auburn/Bama for one second: I am taking out my frustrations on Mac because of this:

    I have never been so far away from a sporting event I was attending in my life. I think I could see both Vulcan and the St. Louis Arch from my seat.

    And my vote, if anyone cares, is Kelly Johnson. Diaz is a defensive nightmare in left – who knows what we do with everyone else?

  3. Kelly Johnson is the defensive nightmare – he looked totally lost in the outfield. Diaz atleast seems to know where the balls he cant catch are going to land.

    I absent a trade, i like Diaz and Langerhans and Thorman again all more than KJ.

  4. Skimming through the other thread, it is apparent that nobody here has ever driven in Shanghai. I hear Atlanta and LA are terrible. I know firsthand how bad DC and New York are. But at least in these places:

    -There are not 10,000 bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic on a 6-lane road with their wives and 8-year-old sons perched on the back, not to mention said child’s school supplies and maybe a microwave or a Yorkshire terrier.

    -Red lights are not an FYI. Orange-to-red, oh, definitely, but straight red? Usually not.

    -Lane markers are usually obeyed, to the extent that a lane marker prevents drivers from creating a new lane between two preexisting lanes on a merge ramp.

    -Drivers are usually at least aware of the fact that they have blind spots. They may not always check them, but they know they are there.

    -Horns are not used to provide Marine Band accompaniment during a commute. Chinese horns come in the form of a very easy-to-push button right near the driver’s thumb on the steering wheel, and are thus consequently used to replace turn signals, brake lights, headlights, windshield wipers,the radio, and the ability to drive a stick-shift car.

    -Buses do not drive 80 mph through residential neighborhoods.

    -Drivers will usually at least try to avoid hitting pedestrians.

    I came back with newfound respect for American drivers. At least our behavior is predictable most of the time, and if someone is going to do something stupid, you will probably have at least encountered this before. Not so in China.

  5. Wryn,

    I’m with you on Diaz’s defense. I was at that DH vs. Philly in September where he dropped that 2-out fly ball to blow the game. Evereything is an adventure with him. As Ralph Kiner once said of Dave Kingman, “He needs a map and a flashlight to play the outfield.”

    Re: The Bama game

    At least you were in the stadium. Back in the days of Bo & Herschel, I once climbed & hopped over a barbed-wire fence at Jordan-Hare to get in. An elderly security guard chased me for awhile, but he gave up when we got to the ramp & I ended up at the very top of the place, which wasn’t unlike Lookout Mountain either. (And I was damn-happy to be there.)

  6. Stu’s current ideal scenario, given the budget constraints (a.k.a. Stu playing pretend):

    Angels sign Zito, keeping him from the Mets and making an Angels starter expendable.

    Braves trade Andruw to Angels for Lackey, Figgins, Kotchman, and a promising young/cheap arm. (I’d take Santana instead of Lackey, but that would necessitate the additional promising young/cheap arm being absolutely top-notch — Adenhart or Shields.)

    Braves trade Davies, Escobar and some other prospect not named Saltalamacchia to the D-Rays for Baldelli. Start working Salty out in left field. (I’d include Salty only if they gave us a promising arm in return, which they aren’t likely to do.)

    Braves trade Thorman to the Pirates for Grabow and a low-minors live arm.

    Figgins 2B
    Renteria SS
    Jones 3B
    LaRoche 1B
    McCann C
    Baldelli CF
    Francoeur RF
    Langerhans/Diaz LF


    Aybar 3B/2B
    Diaz/Langerhans OF
    Pena C
    Kotchman 1B
    Pena SS


    (I don’t include KJ or Boyer, who may not be fully healthy/effective by the time the season starts.)

    Count on Salty to play LF in 2008. (This obviously won’t happen — like I said, I’m playing pretend.)

  7. it is apparent that nobody here has ever driven in Shanghai. I hear Atlanta and LA are terrible. I know firsthand how bad DC and New York are. But at least in these places:

    Child’s play to anyone who has driven in India, to be more specific, New Delhi. If I had more time, I would pull up the CIA handbook for a safe journey in India, Its hilarious

  8. “I’d take Santana instead of Lackey, but that would necessitate the additional promising young/cheap arm being absolutely top-notch — Adenhart or Shields”

    Do you think Lackey is better than Santana? In my opinion, we would have to get Adenhart in a deal that included Lackey.

  9. Well, I’ll have to check the stats now. My impression had been that Lackey is better — I was fairly certain he had really good K rates, anyway.

  10. I’ll take anywhere in Afganistan as the worst place in the world to drive. If you’re not careful you will be dead faster than Steve Irwin in a tank full of sting rays.

  11. Okay, I just checked, and Lackey’s numbers are definitely better. Santana is 4 years younger, but I’d still rather have Lackey and his strike-outs.

  12. Actually, Santana’s per-age numbers are comparable to and maybe even better than Lackey’s. So, if Ervin progresses as Lackey has, he’s probably more valuable. My mistake. If we went after either, if we’re trading Andruw, we should demand Adenhart.

  13. I would want Santana over Lackey because of his age and potentially higher ceiling. Not to mention that with us being a budget minded team, he is considerably cheaper.

  14. Frankly, if you are in Iraq or Bagdhad, I would think you have more important problems than “bad drivers.” Like exploding cars. I don’t think you see that even in Atlanta.

    I don’t really care too much about left field defense. If you can hit, you can play left field. Yes, Diaz may have cost a game by botching a ball, but you have to be pretty bad to really hurt in left field. Of course, Diaz is not Manny. Go with the better hitter unless he is just a brutal fielder. And I actually recall Diaz making some good plays in left (or at least making easy plays look hard).

  15. i’d take lackey over santana – sure, santana is younger and a little cheaper, but lackey is a much better bet to pitch better next year and going forward. i love stu’s hypothetical team, even though there is a 0.0000% chance of it happening. if we could get lackey, though, i’d probably be willing to include chuckie in a baldelli trade (but realize many/most of you wouldn’t be)

  16. The unimportance of LF defense is why I think Salty should be tried out there. Might help to solve our corner outfield slugging deficiency.

    Santana is cheaper, JoshQ, but Lackey is pretty darn cheap in this market for a pitcher that good. 5.5M this year, 7M next, 9M in ’09 with a 500K buyout.

  17. True, Stu, he is relatively cheap for the market. No doubt he would be nice to have because he is probably in his prime and would help more next year than Santana. My argument for Santana over Lackey is under the guise that when we trade Andruw we are not betting on 2007. A trade of Andruw would be a trade for 08 and 09.

  18. As for Salty, if he is to remain with the Braves then he is going to have to move positions. Why not Lf? The one caveat I have is that we should be careful moving him around in the field too much. He needs to concentrate on batting right now. I think moving him to first in the minors would be the easiest transition for him and allow him to concentrate on batting (which is where all the promise of stardom lies).

  19. If KJ wins the second base job then its a Thorman/Diaz platoon in LF. If simply can’t defend at 2b then he gets the LF platoon job over Thorman…..maybe. Shoot I don’t know. Langerhans is a 4th outfielder plain and simple.

  20. Nah, Diaz is nowhere close to Herman in either extreme (fielding/running or hitting.) Maybe if you took Diaz, LaRoche’s baserunning and pre-medication boneheadedness, Andruw’s power, Chipper’s AVG and OBP, and morphed all of that into one player, you might get close…

    I laughed out loud at that part of the Herman article when he was asked about someone impersonating him and cashing bad checks. His response: “Hit him a few fly balls; if he catches any of ’em, it ain’t me.”

  21. Diaz is actually closer to Lonnie “Skates” Smith in LF, in that he can’t judge a fly ball to save his life.

    Herman’s exploits are legendary. My favorite quote about him: “He wore a glove for one reason—because it was a league custom.”

  22. My favorite Lonnie Smith quote, which most of you have probably seen before: “I can still hit. I can still run. I can still make errors.”

  23. Diaz plays left field like he is driving through the streets of Baghdad.

    That made me laugh out loud.

    Santana is cheaper, JoshQ, but Lackey is pretty darn cheap in this market for a pitcher that good. 5.5M this year, 7M next, 9M in ‘09 with a 500K buyout.

    Obviously we would be blessed to have either one. Lackey had a stretch last season where he was pretty much unhittable, but it went a way and he went back to normal. He’s also a bit of a head case. Santana is terrific and young. I would go for Santana but the Angels would be nuts to deal him.

  24. “I think that the Braves want KJ to win the job, but we’re probably going to be Pradoized.”

    I can’t see any good reason the Braves start off with Prado over Johnson unless Johnson’s defense is just awful.

    As for left field, it’s going to be a platoon of Diaz and Langerhans.

  25. So, the Jays and Wells are finalizing that $18M per year contract, and the Braves will let their all-star CF leaving after this season. Let’s see if the Jays can win with Wells taking up 20% of the total payroll. It’s obvious that the Braves are not heading toward that direction. This is a very interesting case in studying payroll contruction with two teams with similar payroll choosing different path in dealing with similar players in Vernon Wells and Andruw. So, we will see whether the Braves or the Jays will fare better in the future.

  26. Responding to Jenny, Godot and Marc about international driving: I am about to go into Dubai (where 9 people were killed on the road 48 hours ago) and even though it is no more than 20 miles away, the drive could take hours.

    Even though I have driven for 30 years, the emriate in which I lived made me take a written and road test because I have a Connecticut license and policy they apply to Mass as well, but the other 48 states are ok. The rumor is that one of the emirs or someone in their large familes received speeding tickets in those states.

    On the road test my instructions were simple: break the law and speed. Honestly, the driving conditions here are terrible. Dubai is trying desperately to become one of the planet’s wonders, but the road infrastructure lags far behind. Every trip must be planned well in advance as traffic and the drivers are a nightmare. At least the price of gas is damned cheap…

    Still, I have a feeling that Godot is write: I would rather drive in the UAE than in India….

    With respect to LF, I think that we have the players to cover the position.

    The Darrlye Ward signing made me mad because it should have made more money available to JS; if we had not signed Tanyon, might we have had enough money to keep Giles for one more year?

  27. Stephen,

    Useless to talk about it unless you want to criticize JS on a hypothetical. I got into it with another guy on a message board, he said that we’d regret letting Giles go because he predicted him hitting .300-.315 and 20-25 homers. Yeah right.

    Hey, look at it this way, if Andruw leaves, that just frees up money. We could lock up McCann or LaRoche (I don’t think he’s going to be traded), maybe get a nice starter that doesn’t suck. I think it’s a little worthless to act like Andruw is going to waive his 10-5 status, because we don’t know. We’ll see.

  28. Stephen, my take on Giles is that the Braves do have enough money to keep Marcus considering all the contracts that are coming off this year with Thomson, HoRam, Sosa, and Reitsma. However, I think JS is planning to use the saved salary to obtain a starting pitcher to support Smoltz, Huddy, Hampton, and James because none of them are 100% reliable to be healthy or consistent for the entire season.

  29. If there is anything regretable about Marcus, it is that the Braves didn’t get anything in return for losing him.

  30. kc,

    Yes, that is regretable. What is not regretable is that I think we can get the amount of production offensively that he did in 2006 with all the second basemen we will use.

  31. Just putting Aybar at 2B will be enough to get Marcus’ production in 2006, but I don’t think Bobby would do that. I still don’t understand why he HAS to sit Aybar on the bench to back up Chipper.

  32. That’s my question too, kc. Put Aybar at 2B and if Chipper gets hurt, it’s Prado-time at 2B and Aybar shifts to 3B. Seems simple enough, right?

  33. Here’s the latest on the rumor mills, if they haven’t already been spilled out, i haven’t checked the other threads:

    The Baldelli talk has drastically died down: the D-Rays are really intent on Chuck James being the pivotal part of the deal, and the Braves have balked at dealing him away. It’s believed that they attempted to dangle Davies out there in his place, but James is the pitcher that the D-Rays covet.

    Davies may be part of another deal in the not-so-distant future though. A pseudo-three-team-deal has formed between the Braves, Yankees, and Pirates. Under the deal, the Braves would send LaRoche and Davies to the Pirates for Mike Gonzalez, and then trade him off to the Yankees for a package of Melky Cabrera and Scott Proctor.

    Not really sure if these will develop into actual deals, but it’s the most intriguing news I’ve heard on the hot stove in awhile.

  34. I’d assume LF will once again be a whole bunch of different players whose playing time will go up and down based on who is hot including Diaz, Thorman, Langerhans, and Johnson. Not having Brian Jordan will by itself be a big upgrade to the position.

  35. @57


    Pirates and Yankees win that, Braves get saddled with another Oscar Villarreal and a left fielder they don’t need.

  36. isn’t there a 3B pospect in the minors can sit behind chipper to spell him when his leg i about to fall off and that can be a braves style PH-meaning he has a pulse and or can swing a bat?


  37. I admit, since the HoRam-Soriano trade, I have been addicted to reading the M’s blog. It’s so much fun seeing all the bashing on Bavasi.

  38. sorry i didn’t see that…still looking for my first cup of baseball coffee.
    I guess we’re up for another year of holding our breath with chipper, but i guess it could be worse.
    thanks for your patients

  39. Actually ahead of Campbell is Peter Van Pope who quietly put together an impressive year at Myrtle Beach. By all accounts he has a great glove and has now demonstrated that he can hit for power. He is probably a year away from being able to spell Chipper.

  40. ok, forgive me if this is old news too, but I think Jeff Pearlman’s piece on Page 2 is pretty tight and fair on John Rocker

  41. Ummmm, this is stupid. From MLB Trade Rumors…..

    Melky Cabrera To Braves?
    Ken Davidoff of Newsday has amended yesterday’s Melky for Mike Gonzalez rumor. The latest one is Melky Cabrera to Atlanta, Mike Gonzalez to the Yankees, and Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh. See, everyone’s happy. Melky could handle LF for the Braves in 2007 and then switch to center after that.

    Davidoff mentions that such a deal could pave the way for one more year of Bernie Williams. Not sure if the Bucs could get more, but I think snagging LaRoche and his 35 HR potential would be a fine return. LaRoche would still have three years of service time under the Pirates’ control. The team could return to contention in 2008 if the young pitchers come along.

    Dont tell me that we are thinking about giving up a 30HR/100RBI first baseman for an overrated Yankees Prospect. Not to mention we are giving them one of the best lefty relievers in the game. Its fine if we trade LaRoche to the Pirates, but keep what you get for him.

    If we did get Gonzo just to turn around and trade him what package would you want. Proctor and Cabrera or Crisp and Hansen

  42. Here is a post from a Braves fan….Good thing he/she doesnt come here!

    i think a 3 way between the Pirates, Yankees, and Braves should happen and would go like this

    Braves get:Melky Cabrera
    Pirates get:Adam Laroche
    Yankees get:Gonzalez and Salty

  43. CSG,

    Yeah that’s stupid. LaRoche and Salty for Melky…no thank you. I don’t wanna do it for just Cabrera….if the Pirates throw in some good looking arms then maybe we can talk but LaRoche straight up…I think we would get the short end of the stick on that deal….

  44. Im fine with moving LaRoche for Gonzo straight up, that doesnt bother me. The fact that we can still use another lefty in the pen and he’s a light out guy. He gives us a future out there with McBride and Boyer. I dont like the thought of sending him to the Yanks for another 4th or 5th outfielder

  45. I find these rumors hard to believe–why would the Braves trade LaRoche for Cabrera? Sure, he could play CF after 2007, but there will be other options–including Langerhans. The deal makes no sense to me if all the Braves get is Cabrera.

  46. You can take to the bank the fact that we will not be trading LaRoche for Melky Cabrera, straight up. I refuse to believe Schuerholz would do anything but laugh at that proposal.

  47. Thanks Jay10. The deal makes some sense if the Brave also got Snell, but with his 29 HRs allowed he would remind many of HoRam….

  48. Stephen,

    Hmmm, I didn’t notice the homers. Oh well, he was just a name I was throwing out. It doesn’t have to be him, just a good, young pitcher must be included for this deal to make any since for us.

  49. I think if we got Cabrera and Snell for Laroche, I would do that deal. Maybe throw in Grabow or something but I would do it. It gives us young, cheap talent but we give up one of my favorite players. That deal gives us a little starting pitching insurance, and an outfielder with some serious potential.

  50. csg,

    Don’t you think the Pirates would be giving up a little much in that scenario? I don’t see that one happening.

  51. I wonder if/when LaRoche goes it wouldn’t be wiser to move McCann to first base. Sure, his bat’s worth a lot behind the plate, but it’s more than good enough to carry first and you wouldn’t have to worry about losing your best young hitter to injury/stagnation.

  52. Mac, good question here is what Bobby thinks about that

    Cox humor: During the Winter Meetings, one journalist asked Cox if the club would ever think about moving Brian McCann to any other position. Based on the response, it’s safe to assume the 22-year-old catcher will be behind the plate for many years to come.

    “Nope, Mac runs about the way I do,” said the 66-year-old Cox, who has two artificial knees.

  53. That Sisco for Gload trade was a real intellectual turd for Dayton Moore. Why would you trade a 23-year-old with good stuff for a 31-year-old backup 1B? Couple that with the Burgos/Bannister trade and the Meche contract and my opinion of Mr. Moore has dipped considerably.

  54. ESPN says Padres want M Giles to be their leadoff man.

    I wonder if he’ll bitch about it.

    Addition by subtraction…

  55. Rany actually defended the Meche signing, which was an interesting perspective, albeit a flawed one.

  56. Mac, this is awful. Gumbel as PBP is actually worse. It hacks me off when I can conclusively say I’m better right now than these dudes.

  57. Meanwhile, Alabama is playing its annual “We Won’t Play You, But We’ll Play Someone Else In Your Building” basketball doubleheader in Mobile. Wryn, I expect that you will agree that it is chickenshit that Alabama won’t play UAB or USA in men’s basketball.

  58. “Im fine with moving LaRoche for Gonzo straight up, that doesnt bother me. The fact that we can still use another lefty in the pen and he’s a light out guy. He gives us a future out there with McBride and Boyer. I dont like the thought of sending him to the Yanks for another 4th or 5th outfielder.”

    I agree 100%. LaRoche for Melky Cabrera is a horrible deal. I hope it’s just some New York paper’s wishful thinking, giving up Melky for a great closer.

  59. This whole business with Melky (what kind of a name is that?) Cabrera is just Schuerholz trying to scare us. That way, when he does deal LaRoche away, we’ll all say, “Well at least he didn’t make that milky trade.”

    Betemit for Proctor? “NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Betemit for Aybar and Baez? “Damn! That sucks! At least it is better than Proctor though.”

  60. Just a quick look at Cabrera’s stats on Baseball Prospectus…

    If we can get him for LaRoche, I’d rather have a combo of Cabrera(LF)-Thorman(1B) than LaRoche(1B)-Diaz/Langerhans/KJ(LF); and Cabrera (who’s CF defensive stats were impressive) would be a perfect guy to replace Andruw next year. Don’t forget, he’s only 21.

    I’m just saying…

  61. The trade would hurt the Braves offensively, and does nothing to improve the pitching. Schuerholz needs to put down his crack pipe if he is seriously considering what is being talked about. Please tell me these “sources” have bungled up this rumor and that the Braves are the only ending up with Mike Gonzalez, or the Braves are getting a Casey Malholm (spelled right?) too.

  62. Mac,
    Basketball? Sorry. I only argue about football with Auburn/Alabama. If you want a debate over basketball or say, gymnastics, stuff you’re good at, please find another Auburn fan.

    I kid.

    I was a season ticket holder for Auburn basketball for 6 or 7 seasons, and missed two home games over that stretch. I am really liking the direction Jeff Lebo has the team going in right now. We’re a solid NIT team, and with the awful facilities we have, that’s about our max, especially on this year’s squad, one that features no seniors.

    The SEC is stacked in basketball though – anywhere you look – Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Bama, Georgia .. good teams are everywhere. The conference is as good as it’s ever been and we’re screwed, stuck in the bottom few.

  63. #109…

    first off, the yankees already have the best closer in baseball, bar none… let’s not mince any words here. they’ve been looking for a solid set-up man for rivera ever since jeff nelson left back in the day… the closest they had was when flash gordon was on the team, so that’s what they’re looking for.

    me personally, i think it would be intriguing to see this deal get done. apparently, davies has been dropped from the deal, so look at it this way: you get a young left-fielder who you can play everyday with a very good upside, you free up a spot for some of the young braves to shine (saltalamacchia, thorman, take your pick), and you maintain davies, who according to many of the people who post here is a pitcher we CAN’T afford to lose.

    sounds like a good deal to me. get it done. one thing’s for sure… they were never questioning cabrera’s hustle or focus in New York like we had to question LaRoche’s for part of the year.

  64. I want to know what Thorman has done that has this board so frothy about him. He swings and misses as much as anyone I’ve seen.

    And anyone that thinks Davies is indispensable can’t evaluate talent. I’d trade him in a heartbeat.

  65. I don’t mind trading LaRoche, but if we aren’t improving our pitching, I’m not sure I see the point. I realize we aren’t going to get an ace with LaRoche, but a strong bullpen arm (like Gonzalez) makes sense, or perhaps a 3 or 4 starter. Trading LaRoche for a left fielder just doesn’t make sense, even if the left-fielder eventually replaces Andruw (positionally, anyway). Were one of the parties to throw in an arm (as has been discussed), then the deal becomes a bit more palatable. This team has a strength now (the offense), one that can be exploited in a trade, but it shouldn’t be exploited unless it stengthens either the starting pitching or the bullpen.

  66. Stop the madness about trading LaRoche for Andruw’s future replacement! We have an easy in-house solution if Andruw leaves:

    LaRoche to CF, McCann to 1B, Salty to C.

    With Renteria at SS, Chipper at 3B, Aybar at 2B and Diaz/Thorman platooning in LF, we would have the most entertaining fielding/base running team ever. This would also make Frenchy’s odd flailing running style look much better.

  67. After I posted that I really started chuckling about the idea of LaRoche in CF. Can you imagine the “jump” he would get on a fly ball! Hilarious.

  68. Man, the Braves seem really intent on moving LaRoche. The word on is LaRoche for Roberts strait up, which is just plain dumb. LaRoche for Roberts/Penn? Maybe. LaRoche was just so good last year, it would be painful to see him leave and produce huge numbers for the next 3 years.

  69. mraver,

    I just don’t see why the Braves want to trade him so much. He really played pretty well last year and produced above average for his position. He gets flack for his mental lapses(ADHD) but in reality he won way more games with his production for the Braves than he lost.

  70. The Braves want to trade LaRoche because his trade value is not likely to be higher in the future and because we have at least 2-3 other reasonable options at 1B. LaRoche has a very good offensive year last year, is cheap, and is under control for another three years. A few teams (e.g., Bucs, Angels) are looking to trade for a 1B and have good ML pitchers and prospects. It’s a good time to be shopping him, period.

  71. Yes, it is a good time to trade LaRoche from that persepective, but only if we are going to improve either the rotation or the bullpen. Otherwise, again, what’s the point?

    It would be interesting, though, to see his value next year if he builds on last season and ends with numbers similar to .300, 35, 115 (or so, along with a .400obp and .900+ ops).

  72. More correctly, if you trade silver, you should get silver or gold in return. Although, I would also consider a lot of bronze in return and hope that the alchemist pitching coaches we have in the minors might find a way of turning it into gold.

  73. I just watched the Knicks-Nuggets fight, and WOW Carmelo Anthony is a punk. He just comes in, sucker punches, and runs like a little girl. Now, I’m pretty passive compared to most, but man, Carmelo is a PUNK. He deserves a pretty lengthy suspension.

  74. @#110

    “Melky” is short for Melquiades. Try writing that on a line-up card.

    BTW, I think this is one of the best titles for a thread in a long time.

  75. Hey chief N., Davies is indespinsable because we don’t have any other optios. If we got another starter then Davies could go. The only reason he is here is because we have no one else for the job, not because he is so good. Also, is talking about a potential Laroche for Brian Roberts deal straight up. I don’t like it, I would need someone else for that deal. Plus, If Angelos didn’t want that deal done then, why would he allow it now?

  76. I know Carmelo Anthony. He’s not a punk. If a television camera were around you 24/7, I’m quite sure it would capture some questionable material as well.

  77. “Melky” is short for Melquiades.

    Which reminds me, I rented The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada the other day, and it was fantastic. Tommy Lee Jones is the man, and Levon Helm makes a great cameo.

  78. Off topic,

    I just went to see Blood Diamond…..I thought it was great.Leo was very good and Djimon Hounsou deserves an oscar for his performance. I highley recommend this movie.

  79. Alex Rios On The Block
    ESPN’s Buster Olney reports in his blog that the Blue Jays are willing to trade right fielder Alex Rios, who turns 26 in February. The Blue Jays are in search of one more quality starter to pair with Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Gustavo Chacin, and perhaps Casey Janssen or Shaun Marcum. It’s a necessity in the AL East.

    Seems like we could get him for Davies straight up. He’s got speed, some pop and hits for average…..

  80. If the Braves got Rios for Davies alone, Ricciardi’s head would be on a spike in ten minutes.

    Might the Jays want Tim Hudson and Salty? Chuck James and Eric Campbell? Rios could be a fantastic pickup for Atlanta…

  81. We should’t treat Salty like a throw-in, but Tim Hudson for Alex Rios would work just fine. We have other sweeteners to use if needed.

    Not that I think much of Davies, but I’d rather send Hudson and he’d better serve the Blue Jays’ needs anyway.

  82. I agree Salty shouldn’t be a throw-in, but when I thought this over, I figured if the Braves sent a good prospect, the Jays could be willing to cover his salary. Regarding having Davies or Cormier fill Hudson’s spot…they might as well fill it if Hudson is going to pitch as poorly as he did last year. They can’t be much worse.

    By the way, I think Hudson will rebound this season. Optimism reigns!

  83. Yeah, it seemed like when JS dangled Hudson he had the idea of replacing him with Glavine. That was my view anyway.

    I don’t think the Braves are shopping him anymore. But what do I know.

  84. AAR, I hear what you’re saying about Hudson’s rotation spot. I just think that Rios could be an impact acquisition.

    Actually, after reading Buster Olney’s blog, it seems that the Jays are looking for a younger pitcher. Chuck James is probably the only one of ours who could fetch Rios.

    R.J. Dio, didn’t mean an insult about your suggestion of Hudson and Salty. I agree that we probably should move Salty at some point since McCann is set at catcher (I vote no to McCann at 1B). Maybe Davies and Salty?

  85. As long as we don’t end up with freakin’ Melky Cabrera, I suppose I’m fine.

    I like Flournoy’s take on that. Hilarious. I’m definitely at the Nooooo point. It’s as good an explanation as any.

  86. From Rotoworld:

    “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien doesn’t believe the Braves will trade Adam LaRoche to the Pirates in either a two- or three-team deal.

    Says O’Brien, the reported three-way deal that would send Mike Gonzalez to the Yankees and Melky Cabrera to the Braves hasn’t been confirmed by either an Atlanta or Pittsburgh official, on or off the record. A Pirates official said no deal was imminent and doubted the Braves would do it in that form anyway.”

  87. I just don’t know that Davies has any trade value at this point, except as a “bonus” guy, and why give him up if he has the potential to be so much more? If it were on the table, I think a James and Salty package would be worth losing in order to get Rios.

  88. I still think Davies has some value as a young arm, but he’s certainly not going to be the centerpiece in any deal.

  89. Rios is from Alabama? Oh crap, this may actually happen. You know how the Braves love those Southern boys…

  90. If the Jays were considering a Joe Blanton/Aaron Heilman type for Rios, I think they’d jump all over a deal for Chuck James and Salty.

    Heck, I’d take James alone over either Blanton or Heilman and I’m not one who thinks James is a definite all-star to be. A young, lefty starter is a valuable commodity though.

  91. Yet another horrible rumor. Since the other rumor appears debunked by David O’Brien, maybe this one will be too.

    Adam LaRoche For Brian Roberts?
    The AP is reporting that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a straight-up swap of Adam LaRoche for Brian Roberts. They further indicate that Mark Loretta’s agent has spoken to Baltimore; he could replace Roberts at 2B.

    LaRoche’s power numbers would benefit from a switch to Camden Yards, though not significantly. Turner Field suppresses home runs for left-handed hitters by about 11% while Camden suppresses them by around 4%. The figures come courtesy of the Bill James Handbook.

    LaRoche turned 27 recently and offers three full years of service time. Roberts turned 29 this year and has two years of service time left. LaRoche made $420,000 in ’06 while Roberts made $3.075MM. According to WARP, LaRoche was worth 6.2 wins in 2006 and Roberts 4.7. Fan favorite or not, the O’s should swap Roberts for LaRoche if given the chance.

    Great idea Schuerholz. The Braves lose offense and don’t get pitching in return! Good idea! If this is true, and there is no Chris Ray involved, then one can hope that Peter Angelos steps in again.

  92. I’d love to get Rios. We just don’t have the flexibility in our rotation to get it done. It’s a shame, too. It might be that we could have swung a deal involving Davies for him if we still had HoRam….


    Alex Rios for Kyle Davies. You’ve got to be kidding me. I can tell a lot of Alabama fans are Braves fans. Delusion is thy name.

  94. Actually I’m from Florida, and I take offense to being called an Alabamian :) (j.k guys)

    But if all Riccardi wants in return, why not give him Davies and/or Startup or someone like that. We have a pretty set pen, I really dont want to see Davies in the rotation, I dont think he has the mind set to relieve.

  95. Yeah, it looks pretty good actually. Good thing we didn’t give him $5.5M when the team that values him most won’t even give him that.

  96. We’ll only look silly if we trade LaRoche to Baltimore for Brian Roberts when we could have sent LaRoche and Giles for Roberts and Hayden Penn.

    Not that, that is going to happen. I don’t see why Angelos would nix the first deal and be fine with it now–Roberts was the hangup, not Penn.

  97. Cary,

    I know, that’s the most insane thing about it. He’s convinced Roberts is loved by whoever comes in Camden Yards. I still say the Braves should demand Roberts AND Penn for LaRoche if that thing goes down. Getting an overrated second baseman and another Kyle Davies is better than getting just an overrated second baseman alone.

  98. If Laroche is traded for anything other than high-quality, cheap talent (what he is) then we lose. Brian Roberts does not fit that description. He is a Christian, and I’m all about cheering for Christians (like Smoltz, Reitsma, Laroche, etc.).

  99. If you can’t get equal trade value for your valuable commodities, then hold on to them and let them help you win a division title. I’m pretty sure Laroche will be our 2nd most valuable hitter next year, considering he’s pretty much a lock to get 500 ABs. Trading him for a second baseman who isn’t really even above-average offensively would not be a good way to use our tradeable assets.

  100. Someone earlier said the best reason to trade Laroche was because he’s at his peak trading value.

    That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. The object of player procurement is to have as many good/great players as you can. If you traded every player just when they started to produce and became good players you would suck because at best trades are a wash for both teams, usually.

    I still can’t figure out why we’re so hell bent on trading Laroche. Despite what some of you sabermetricians think, Thorman has shown nothing to have you believe he’s a viable option.

  101. I didn’t thin much of Melky Cabrera, but looking at his stats he’s much better than I thought. Good plate discipline, with almost a 1 to 1 BB/K ratio, which is great. Not much power, but he’s only 21 so it could develop. Not that I’d trade LaRoche for him, but LaRoche for Gonzalez and Cabrera? Maybe (if that rumor is still alive.)

    I don’t get LaRoche for Roberts – a worse player who is also more expensive? Why?

  102. @ 180 – I said that, and it is far from silly. The “object of player procurement” is not to have as many good/great players as you can, but to field the best team you can. It does no team any good to have a bunch of good/great players that don’t make the field. The 2007 Braves need (1) a LF/leadoff hitter type, and (2) pitching, preferably lefty relief. To get that via trade, we have to give something up. LaRoche has high value now, for the reasons I pointed out earlier, and we have 2-3 good options to take his place. Ask Mac about the Devil Rays if you’d like an example of a team that doesn’t know when to trade good pieces.

    Trades are NOT usually a “wash” for both teams. That’s stupid. Both teams are looking to get something out of the deal, not just treading water, whether it be upgrading a position, financial relief, etc.

  103. Despite what some of you sabermetricians think, Thorman has shown nothing to have you believe he’s a viable option.

    I’ve thrown more numbers around here than anyone concerning LaRoche/Thorman, and it’s been in the service of showing that we should keep LaRoche.

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