Okay, so what does this mean?

Well, first, it means that the Braves don’t have a first-round pick in the 2008 draft. (They may wind up with a sandwich pick for Andruw. [Add your own “Andruw is fat” sandwich joke here.]) They would have picked eighteenth. Sam lists the last ten eighteenth picks here; the only one that really worked out was Aaron Heilman, by… the Mets. I feel a little queasy.

Still, it’s Tom Glavine! Of course, he turns 42 in April, but if he can give the Braves what he gave the Mets last year, 200 more or less league-average innings, they’d be happy. There are some signs of decline, but at the same time he’s only a year removed from the All-Star team.

My belief is that it would be crazy to trade Chuck James. Heck, wouldn’t it be a good idea to put Chuck — who admittedly doesn’t seem to be quite bright — with Tom and see if something rubs off? Isn’t that worth a shot?

87 thoughts on “Glavine”

  1. First of all, I posted an almost-identical list several days ago! (Admittedly, mine only went back to 2000, but still.)

    Anyway, I disagree that Heilman is the only one to have worked out. Ring is good, and Fields is still very highly thought of and will be the White Sox’ opening day 3B this year. And I believe both Drabek and Kozma, too young to have reached the big leagues yet, are still quite highly thought of.

    This obviously isn’t like the NFL, where a first-round pick is basically gold, but I do think several here are undervaluing the pick’s worth. And it’s not like we just lose the pick to thin air—it’s going to the Mets, which means they double their odds of finding a gem in the draft this year.

    Now, if Glavine helps to lead us to the promised land this year, you’ll never hear me complain and will be able to say “I told you so” all you want, but I’ll go ahead and say now that, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have made the move.

    I will, however, thoroughly enjoy seeing Glavine in a Braves uniform again. At least until/unless he stinks.

  2. I agree that James could learn a lot from Glavine. After his first start (I want to say against Tampa Bay), didn’t the manager compare him to Tommy?

    From last thread:

    “In fairness to Metsblog, some of the comments actually were pretty classy. But I love it when a Mets’ fan calls the Braves a choker franchise. You would think that after last year they would refrain from calling anyone else a choker.”

    AGREED. Met fans can’t talk any smack next year. Their meltdown was catastrophic. If a Met fan tries to give you a hard time for wearing an Atlanta jersey, I think the proper response would be, “Hey, I looked for you guys in the playoffs last year but didn’t see you, what happened?”

  3. Similarly, Alabama fans should avoid “Got twelve?” fifteen or more years after their last National Championship.

  4. Wryn,

    And they don’t really have 12 either. A few of those are like “The Birmingham Post 1943 National Champions the 4-6 Alabama Crimson Tide!”

  5. Chucky can not learn from a better teacher than Tommy. A changeup pitcher learning from the changeup artist, PERFECT!

    Also, I don’t see any reason why we should trade Chucky unless we are getting Haren in return.

  6. Or Mac,

    They could wear shirts that say, “We are still whinning about that time we played a I-AA school and went undefeated and had to play in the Sugar Bowl because of it”

  7. That’s an interesting article from THT (posted on the last thread), and I love how the graph shows that Tommy’s changeup literally has the EXACT same movement as his fastball, only slower, but there’s a rather curious sentence near the beginning:

    While changeup probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Glavine, this pitch has become his bread and butter.

    Um, what? I remember in the ’90s hearing Glavine’s changeup compared to Trevor Hoffman’s as one of the two best in the game. Is this guy crazy?

  8. Stu,
    You don’t like the move over a baseball first round draft pick? ooooookaaaayyy.

    Why in the heck would Wren trade Chuck James? No way. Not even for Rocco Baldelli! Really.

  9. I agree. the only people I could see trading James for would be either Haren or Crawford or someone of their caliber.

  10. Agree that we have to keep James unless he is replaced by a better pitcher (i.e. Haren).
    The thing that bothers me is that we HAVE to keep an average pitcher because we will need him badly when Smoltz and Glavine are gone. If we had more high level pitching prospects for 08 or 09, then I’d be quicker to trade him for 08 upgrades.

  11. Nevermind, a previos post of mine did not even show up. So #13 does not make any sense.
    I was trying to say that I wish we could trade James for 08 upgrades. The problem is that we need him in the future because we don’t have high level pitching prospects to help when Smoltz and Glavine leave.
    The only way I trade James is if we got blown away,

  12. Stu,
    If not Glavine, how do you want to address the rotation, then?

    I hope you’ll admit that Glavine should represent an improvement in ’08.

    I don’t sweat the pick. It could turn out to be Ted Williams. It could turn out to be Doug Konieczny. It could turn out to be traded for a bag of balls or packaged for Johan Santana.

    Whatever. It’s done & I don’t fret about it. You roll the dice & take your chance. To quote a weird band: “A funny thing about regret is: It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done…”

  13. When the Braves let Glavine go in 2002 and Maddux the following year, I thought they good moves because I really didn’t think it made sense to build the pitching staff around guys getting into (at that time) their late 30s. That was premised on the assumption that the Braves would be able to at least adequately replace them (you obviously weren’t going to completely replace two Hall of Famers)through the farm system. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we are now in the situation of welcoming back a 42 year old Glavine. I’m glad to have him back to retire as a Brave and hopefully he has something left, but it distresses me that the team is in such dire straigts for pitching after all those years where people celebrated the great high school arms the Braves were drafting. It appears that either the drafting philosophy, player development, or both, were flawed. The point is that at this point, Chuck James is a valuable commodity because they don’t really have anyone obviously better (unless Jurgens or Reyes step up).

  14. You can’t trade James now unless you get back a better pitcher as part of the package. Otherwise you are defeating the whole point of signing Glavine which was to strengthen the rotation. James is for now better than the other options at the 4 and 5 slot including Hampton. We should keep him and hope he makes progress in pitching more innings and keeping the ball in the park. While he wasn’t everything we hoped for this year, he was still quite respectable for a 2nd year pitcher.

  15. In fact he should change is number to 25 from 36 (2 to represent the number of pitches he throws and 5 to the amount of innings he can pitch because he doesn’t use his legs.)

  16. If not Glavine, how do you want to address the rotation, then?

    You could have, apparently, traded Renteria for Garland. That would have done it. He’s only 28, potentially could have been extended, and posted 4.23 ERA in the AL in a homer-tastic park. Has broken 190 IP six year running.

    I like that answer much better. I’d say there is at least a reasonable chance that Glavine is just crap this year.

  17. Smoltz and Glavine are over 40, Hudson ain’t younger than springtime any more, and Hampton has the arm of a 65 year old lady. It would be pretty foolish to trade away a guy who’s likely to start for us come 2010.

  18. ububba,

    I’m hopeful that Glavine will represent an improvement, but I think there’s a pretty decent chance he won’t. Plus, I think Jurrjens and/or an improved Chuck James (and Jo-Jo Reyes) is at least as likely to improve the rotation as Glavine, only they don’t cost $8 million and a draft pick.

    And, FWIW, I don’t make a habit of trusting advice on decision-making from a Rock & Roll band.

  19. Chuck James could also changes his number to 32 to represent the number of homeruns he gave up last year. 32!

  20. “You could have, apparently, traded Renteria for Garland. That would have done it. He’s only 28, potentially could have been extended, and posted 4.23 ERA in the AL in a homer-tastic park. Has broken 190 IP six year running.”

    Keep in mind we got a young pitcher in return for Renty that we can control for several years. Plus we got an outfielder who along with Schafer can be cheap and solid for many years. I would rather have gotten those two controllable players with upside than Garland, who is an FA after next year. Also the main idea was to free up payroll and Garland would have added to it

  21. Also the main idea was to free up payroll and Garland would have added to it

    Well, if you get Garland, you don’t sign Glavine, so you’re in roughly the same financial position, at least in the short term.

  22. It’s hard to see how Ring “worked out”. Even if he makes it as a LOOGY, (1) that’s not a lot for a first round pick, and (2) he never pitched for the White Sox, and (3) was the featured player in a deal for Robby Alomar that didn’t work.

  23. I would rather be in the same financial postion with losing Edgar and signing Glavine, Jurrjens, and Hernandez


    increasing payroll while losing Edgar and only adding Garland for one season

  24. Keep James. I don’t trust Hampton to be healthy. And who knows with Reyes and Jurrjens?

    I like Smoltz, Hudson and Glavine as the top three. I think Glavine has something left and I think he’ll surprise.

  25. I think kc has hit the nail on the head in post #6. Who better to teach a soft-tossing lefty change-up artist like Chuck James how to win in the Bigs than THE best soft-tossing lefty change-up artist of the last 50 years?

  26. Plus, the signing gives Mac a chance to wax eloquent in the Player Previews next year over Tom and his history with the Braves.

  27. I would rather be in the same financial postion with losing Edgar and signing Glavine, Jurrjens, and Hernandez


    increasing payroll while losing Edgar and only adding Garland for one season

    So adding a few million for one season is too much for you? Is it your money?

    Seriously, Garland is a much better bet to be effective than Glavine is so I would argue it’s worth paying for. If you like what you see with Garland, you sign him before he hits the open market. There are few better uses for payroll than a proven workhorse starting pitcher in his 20s.

    Don’t get me wrong we got a decent return for Renteria, but with our Smoltz-Chipper window pretty small and the organization having some cash to spend, I would much rather of had Garland.

  28. Have we heard any news on Hampton yet after his fore-arm tenderness? Trading Chuck would be a big no-no, it would leave us short handed. With a top three of Smoltz, Huddy and Glavine, our bullpen should be pretty well rested by the time Chucky’s turn comes around. The problem with his starts last year, the bullpen was already taxed when his turn came around.

  29. How can anyone seriously think of trading Chuck James UNLESS you either

    1. BOTH fill a position need and get a high ceiling prospect pitcher (this might ought to wait until Hampton pitches a little), OR

    2. you get a starting pitcher of equal or better quality (which IS despite the commentary on here, a little better than league average) back.

    Are you that unaware of what pitching is bringing? Isn’t Chuck James substantially the equal of Carlos Silva or Gil Meche and far superior to Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis?

  30. That was the rumor, Rob, but I have a hard time believing it’s true now that they traded Garland for a more expensive, worse SS. Or maybe it was true at the deadline but wouldn’t have been true this offseason.


    I think that article yesterday about Hampton, post-dated with today’s date, was a joke.

  31. Uh, Ted Lilly had an ERA+ of 122 last year and made 34 starts, averaging over 6 innings per start. He’s like 6 years older than Chuck, but I think it’s pretty tough to argue that James is “far superior” to him.

    But yes, as to your general “pitching is very valuable” point, I agree.

  32. As far as the point of losing a 1st round pick. You can look at that another way too. We are also going to be saving an additional $1.5+ million in signing bonuses. We may be able to take guys later in the draft with higher bonus demands or use that money towards the current roster. There is always another side to the same argument. On average less than 1/2 of all 1st rounders will be substantial contributors to the team that drafted them.

    Also, did we not get an additional pick for Glavine when he left the Braves? Does anyone remember who that was?

  33. #39, that’s pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Andruw isn’t done. He just had a bad year made worse by injuries. He’s a good bet to win comeback player of the year in ’08. Some team with more money than the Braves would be wise to give him a long term deal.

  34. Kenny, great point. Hopefully the team will target prospects that have high signing bonus demands that ultimately slip in the draft. It does seem teams like the Tigers, Yanks, and Red Sox will take the best player regardless of signing bonus demands, and Minaya has made comments that if other teams aren’t going to follow the slot rules provided by MLB then he will refuse to as well.

  35. “Also, did we not get an additional pick for Glavine when he left the Braves? Does anyone remember who that was?”

    A google search suggests that we got . . . Jo-Jo Reyes in the 2nd round.

  36. ever since Garland came out and said he’s having shoulder problems, I’ve said its not worth taking the chance on him. I’m probably in the minority here, but for a one year deal I would rather have Glavine (Jurrjens and Hernandez later) over Garland. Plus they already turned the deal down once so I’m sure we would have to add someone else to get it done

  37. That is terrible, about Siran Stacy. I remember him vividly from my youth. It was Stacy and Alexander that were always my favorite RBs for Alabama.

  38. Stu, you’re right about Ted Lilly’s 2007 — he quietly had a career year and actually seemed to live up to one of those weird Cubs contracts. I had him on my roto team, and he was definitely a big part of my success.

    On the other hand, relative to age, James has been much better than Lilly. Lilly was 30 years old before he figured out how to attain success as a soft-tosser, and James’ record indicates it shouldn’t take him nearly as long, especially with Tom Glavine on the bench beside him.

    Again, I’m sanguine, but you never know.

  39. I would say that Lilly had the much better year by far. Besides the obvious number like ERA and WHIP. He also pitched nearly 45 more innings than James. Then there is also the ballpark factors as well. AAR I hope you’re right and Chuckie develops into the same type of pitcher.

  40. Changing the subject, but I’d like to make a formal suggestion for a nickname for our 2009 starting center fielder, as soon as he comes up from the minors: Jordan “Germany” Schafer.

  41. I thought we got my fellow Cape Coral, Florida resident Jake Stevens when Glavine left the first time?

  42. As a complete aside:

    Does anyone think there really is anything to this ‘Being a third starter, he’ll be pitching against weaker competition,” stuff?

    Does that stand up for a whole year, or even most of a year? Is there readily available info on that?

  43. I’ve asked this before, but does anyone know whats going on with JC Holt? Is he gonna get a chance or is he one of those borderline guys?

  44. I would not think it would make any difference in your stats, except for maybe win/loss record. The assumption being you may be opposing pitchers who are inferior, thus potentially getting more wins.

  45. Mike, I believe I read somewhere that JC Holt is struggling in winter ball. Dont know anything else about him

  46. Everything I read about JC Holt is that he does not have the requisite power to be able to break in to the majors. All the scouting reports compare him to Martin Prado. He seems like one of those players who without any power, no major league pitcher will respect him. I think he is viewed as a utility type guy. It seems like he is already being passed over by other guys in the organization (Chase Fontaine, Travis Jones, etc…).

  47. Holt’s career line in the minors is .286 .347 .364. Last year it was a marginally improved, but all batting average, .309 .376 .381. He turns 25 in December. There’s no there there.

  48. Slotting in the rotation only makes a difference the first week of the season. After that, days off and so forth mean that it’s pretty much random who any pitcher pitches against. The concept of a number 1,2 or 3 starter really relates more to their overall ability rather than whom they will pitch against. So it doesn’t really matter until and if you get to the playoffs.

  49. Mac, Time to pop the champagne, Pete Orr has been designated for assignment, per DOB on his blog. Also, the following RHP were added to the 40 man roster: Jairo Cuevas, Charlie Morton and Zach Schreiber.

  50. I just got a flashback to October… images of Dane Cook are flashing before my horrified eyes… make Frank stop…

  51. WOW, I am stunned that Jimmy Rollins won the MVP. It was bad enough when he won the silver slugger over Hanley Ramirez. I guess no one is going to bother and learn about someone from Milwaukee or Denver. Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy? I think he is probably the 3rd best player on his team.

  52. I’m amazed that Rollins won it too, I felt he was the third best, with Holliday at the top.

  53. The Yankees are interested in Mahay according to ESPN. He’s gone.

    I got my fill of “Frank TV” during the postseason coverage provided by TBS.

  54. If I’m Cashman, I’d be interested in Mahay, too. The Yankees bullpen was bad for the first 4 month of the season.

    But it’ll probably be the same story of ex-Braves leaving for NYC (Karsay, Hammond, Farnesworth). Mahay will get a contract for $5 a year, then either suck or get injured.

  55. I feel like Rollins was selected by the media long before the season ended, and once the Phils beat out the Mets, it was a done deal. I don’t know what the parameters are for MVP, specifically anyway, but it’s not simply ‘best player. The word ‘valuable’ has enough subjectivity in it for controversy ultimately to be averted.

    I think Rollins was the most valuable player on a team that just got into the playoffs – and that in last second fashion. You can make the same case for Holliday, but he did, as many here argued, benefit enormously from park factors (come to think of it, so did Rollins and Fielder… hmmm…). I guess that Prince’s team missed the playoffs takes him out of the running. Also, it bears noting that Rollins was by far the best defender of that group, which should count for something.

    But here’s my beef: if the MVP is not the best player, shouldn’t there be an award for someone who is? I mean, Hanley Ramirez had one of the greatest offensive seasons for a SS ever; I feel that there should be some way to recognize that, and not, as we seem to be doing now, punish him for playing on a bad team.

  56. Of course, Rollins also won the silver slugger award, so the hell with it. The people voting are clearly idiots.

  57. I personally hate the concept of MVP. I would just like to have an award for the best player. As I said before the idea that Jimmy Rollins won the Silver Slugger over Hanley Ramirez is criminal.

    Getting Mahay for $50 would not be a bad deal. Of course, if the network says the Yanks want him he must be gone. Why would anyone not want to pitch for that great team?

  58. Following up the previous list with a couple more:

    Braves first round picks since 2000:

    Adam Wainwright, 2000, 29
    Scott Thorman, 2000, 30
    Macay McBride, 2001, 24
    Josh Burrus, 2001, 29
    Jeff Francoeur, 2002, 23
    Joey Devine, 2005, 27
    John C. Johnson, 2006, 24
    Jason Heyword, 2007, 14

    Mets first rounders since 2000:

    Billy Traber, 2000, 16
    Aaron Heilman, 2001, 18
    Scott Kazmir, 2002, 15
    Lastings Milledge, 2003, 12
    Phillip Humber, 2004, 3
    Michael Pelfrey, 2005, 9

  59. To quote a weird band: “A funny thing about regret is: It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done…”

    I’d like to treat that as a Jeopardy answer: What is “Sweat Loaf” by the Butthole Surfers?

    The following line: “And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her….SATAN SATAN SATAN!!!”

    Sorry, I got a little giddy there. You can keep the rest of the album, but “Sweat Loaf” is a desert island song for me….

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