Other outfield possibilities

Josh Anderson seems extremely likely to make the team, even though he’s not any good. The Braves are likely to carry only one backup outfielder, so they’ll need one who can play center. Anderson has a career .337 OBP on the minor league level, and that’s his strength as a hitter. His slugging percentage is .373, his isolated power a woeful .083. He put up decent numbers in a minor league callup last year, playing his home games in the Juicebox, and he can run around a lot, and twenty years ago that might have meant something. If the Braves actually platoon him with Diaz in left, this will be a clear signal that they’re not serious about winning and we might as well wait for football season.

Brandon Jones will probably start the year in AAA, though I think he’ll finish it on the major league level, playing left at least semi-regularly. His callup was a bit ugly, but minor leaguers who drive in 100 runs don’t grow on trees, especially not in Mississippi, where baserunners go to die. Jones lacks any really top-flight skill but makes up for lacking As with Bs across the board — good averages, some walks, some power, good baserunning. 19 homers last year, joined with 33 doubles and seven triples. Defense is important, but I find it unlikely that the difference between his defense in center and Kotsay’s — even if Kotsay plays at his best level — will be as great as the offensive difference.

Gregor Blanco appears to be screwed. He’s out of options, but the Braves went out and traded for an inferior version of him and appear set to give the new guy the job. Blanco’s minor league batting averages are lower than Anderson’s, but he walks a whole lot more (.373 career OBP) and has a little more power (.377 career slugging, .103 ISO). He hasn’t been as successful as a basestealer, but big whoop.

Jordan Schafer is the long-term hope in center, but hasn’t played above A-ball yet — actually, he began last season in Rome, so he doesn’t even have a full year of high A-ball. He’s a top prospect, but should at least get a chance to see the higher levels of the minors before getting thrown to the wolves.

That appears to be it. Doug Clark, Richmond’s next-most-used outfielder to Blanco, has gone to Korea; Richmond’s other outfielder, Larry Bigbie, is apparently gearing up for an exciting new career as a professional witness. If Kotsay gets hurt in spring training, Brent Lillibridge might get the center field job, but I like him more as an infielder, where no job appears available.

Josh Anderson Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Brandon Jones Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Gregor Blanco Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Jordan Schafer Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Brent Lillibridge Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com

177 thoughts on “Other outfield possibilities”

  1. Bryan, I just read through the DOB blog — some pretty funny stuff in there. He says he checks out the blogs regularly — who knows, maybe he’d like to hang out with a higher class of people sometime….

  2. that was cool to see Chipper comment so many times. my favorite had to be from his first post when he was claiming that a source very close to chipper was getting ready to hang up the cleats because:

    “Also said that he is tired of owning the mets for 15 years.”


  3. Wow, that’s awesome.

    I wonder if he was “relaxsome”. I wonder if I chased Chipper Jones away. I bet I did. Those of you that don’t already hate me, feel free to start doing so.

  4. No worries Stu. The posts don’t seem comparable though (from my recollection). My guess is that “relaxsome” wasn’t Chipper.

  5. Eh, I’ve read through his comments, and there are similarities and differences. Given that BB Abbott, Chipper’s (and McCann’s…and others’, I think) agent, knows about this blog, I’m sure Chipper, the self-proclaimed blog-hound, knows about it, too. Seems like the discourse here is such that he’d be interested in commenting. But maybe not.

    I’d love for him to post here, whether he’s relaxsome or another handle, though.

  6. If the Braves actually platoon him with Diaz in left, this will be a clear signal that they’re not serious about winning and we might as well wait for football season.

    Please, Braves, win so we can get at least some break from SEC football. :)

  7. Here’s another one I’d check out.. as Chipper won’t last forever. Buy low:

    Marte, however, has seen his career stall just short of the major league level. Of no small concern was the revelation last year by Marte that he has trouble playing in cold weather. That had to be more than a little disconcerting to club officials, whose major league team plays in Cleveland and whose top minor league team plays in Buffalo.

    Exactly. Cold weather stinks. Buffalo and Cleveland stink. Marte.. might not if he were given a freakin’ change of scenery!

  8. Marte is going to be better than Chipper. We should move Chipper to first and hit Marte cleanup!

  9. I think Crisp would be better than Kotsay, but we’ve already committed to Kotsay and we are not going to overglut semi expensive veterans in the outfield.

    My sense is that if Kotsay is a disaster, the Braves will either A) make another move during the season or B) give Schaefer, Lillibridge or Brandon Jones a shot.

    re: Chipper & Blogging

    At this point, you have to assume that Chipper and the Braves organization is well aware of ‘Bravesjournal’.

    Mac’s site has been around for several years and thanks to that CNNSI Poll, Mac’s occassional media appearances (online or actually being interviewed by Lebetard for ‘The Road from Bristol’) has probably cemented Bravesjournal as one of the 2-3 main ‘go to’ fan sites for us Braves fans.

    I am guessing there may have even been times in the last several years where a Braves player has posted under an alias and there’s even a decent chance that Stu or I actually insulted said player.

  10. re: Marte

    So, Marte can’t play in cold weather?

    Well, maybe that would suffice during the majority of games during the regular season, but September and October games in Philly, NY, & Chicago are not that pleasant, and the likelihood is Marte goes cold down the stretch when we need him most. No thanks.

  11. More fun to discuss Chipper’s posts than our 4th or 5th outfielder. Mac’s covered that well.

    The posts are good, if you can stand the self-flagellation of the Mets fans on there (Please Chipper come crush us again!)

    Chipper says he’s most comfortable batting left-handed. He hopes the back end of the rotation will allow them to be competitive. He calls DOB a douchebag. He doesn’t check blogs much during the season.

    But we won’t see him here. It’s not because of insults from Alex R. or Stu (who never take cheap shots.

    It’s because somebody here might ask him why Diaz gets platooned, or how Woodward kept his job, or why the Braves couldn’t find 4 productive starters for a whole year. He might accidently give a real answer and be held accountable for it. (See “somebody better not miss a start” last year)

    And nobody better ever call Mac a douchebag.

  12. There are lots of cultures where things like this are acceptable. It’s interesting, though, how people react when you have cultural differences like this. Many people that believe in cultural relativism generally have a different reaction when they see something from a different culture that they don’t like. It’s really a slippery slope. Of course, the question is, should you excuse something simply because it’s a different culture?

  13. I imagine Expos fan felt the same way about Brandon Phillips. You don’t go after Marte because he’s a certainty anymore, but if you can get him pretty cheap, he’d be worth it.

    But maybe I’m forgetting that hotshot 3B prospect we have down on the farm.. Wes Timmons.. or was it Peter Orr, or perhaps Jonathan Schuerholz. Hmmm..

    Actually, Chipper is younger than I thought he was, so he may be able to make it another 4 or 5 years.

    Marte would be a better fit for the Marlins. True.

  14. Please, Braves, win so we can get at least some break from SEC football.

    Good luck with that one, Marc.

    Back when I was delivering pizzas (yes, another Athens story), signing day was probably the best lunch shift all year to work. Multiple deliveries to the Holiday Inn, which was booked solid by alumni who’d come to town just to crouch around a radio and cheer the up-to-the-minute dipatches. Drunk by noon, and great tippers…

  15. So the guy who is good will be in Richmond, the guy who’s not good but not terrible will probably get released, and the guy’s who is terrible will probably make the team. Yup, that’s my Braves. And we wonder why the bench stinks every year.

    And to close out a story I’m sure nobody cares about…

    The Mormon kid who I mentioned yesterday went on the local high school signing day show and with his whole family standing behind him, half of them wearing BYU hats, announced he was committing to USC. When asked by the host if they were excited about his decision the family gave the most half-hearted cheer you’ve ever heard. I like this kid already.

    The lesson in all this: there are apparently Samoan Mormons. Who knew?

  16. So, did I leave anyone out?

    This marks the end of Player Analysis 2008 for now. I’ll write up whoever makes the team at the end of spring training who didn’t get a full writeup already, plus anyone we pick up.

  17. I’m a big fan of the old “Twilight Zone” series(the original from the early 60s)which is being shown on the Sci Fi channel. Last night, there was an episode about a robot pitcher that, of course, pitched shutouts consistently. It struck me that maybe we should convert Smoltz into a robot or, to cite a later series, make him bionic so he could pitch forever and his arm wouldn’t fall off. :)

  18. Oh and they had one other kid commit on that show. A safety from Long Beach, don’t remember his name. After a pretty convincing bluff with a Miami hat, he committed to North Carolina. I forget who the UNC fan is on this board, but whoever he is, there’s one for you. Keep an eye on him, Long Beach Poly kids can be a bit, um, colorful.

  19. I sam pretty sure that Brandon Jones was an undrafted free agent after or out of Junior College. Great scouting.

    He had to push himself above the high draft choices, and has done that, for the most part. I wish they would try him in center, but there is some reason that they don’t want to go there. I figure he is o.k. for 280 /370 /480 in a platoon and close to that overall. If he can’t cut center, and if Francoeur is in right, then that only leaves left.

    With options, he needs to play every day in Richmond and come up later if they aren’t going to carve him out a role. Braves really don’t need that role to be platoon with Diaz.

  20. What makes you think Brandon Jones will start in Richmond, Mac? I’ve gotten the impression the Braves intend to platoon him with Diaz. If he starts in Richmond, does that imply a Diaz-Thorman platoon instead?

  21. Baseball Reference has him as the last pick in the 24th round in 2003. Right after the immortal Allen Mottram. Still, great scouting indeed.

  22. Us Tar Heel fans are somewhat morose over the way we got handled by dook last night. Although, I look forward to the rematch with a healthy Ty Lawson over in Derm.

  23. I’m just looking at the numbers. The Braves normally carry only four outfielders. They’ll want a backup who can play center. And they’ve been talking up Anderson. Put it all together, and…

  24. #38 – I’m a Bama fan, but a Tar Heel BBall Fan. I dont understand why UNC didnt try getting the ball to Tyler down low more. They had him at the top of the key a lot. However, with a healthy Ty Lawson, UNC is a totally different ball club than what they showed last night.

    It was good to see Dick V. back announcing last night

  25. Seat Painter,

    As a Duke fan I was obviously pleased with the outcome of the game last night, but I second your sentiment about the return of Lawson and what he means to that UNC team. Last night’s game was no classic- it seemed to expose more weaknesses of each team than it did strengths. Should be fun next go-round though.

  26. On other baseball websites it is suggested that Diaz is likely to platoon with B Jones next season and Thorman should see some playing in LF as well as the 5th OF/1B.

  27. #46


    What can you really do to this kid? He’s brought national humiliation onto himself and I don’t think he broke any laws.

    To me, the embarrassment he brought to himself is punishment enough – what a tool.

  28. Mac,

    If they think Brandon Jones is a better option in the left field platoon they would probably keep him over Anderson and use either him or Frenchy as emergency CF. You know in case Kotsay goes down for a short time. Or if it is a long time they would probably just bring up Schafer. I think Anderson was just an insurance policy incase they couldn’t acquire a veteran and Schafer didn’t look ready. But, who knows when it comes to Booby.

  29. #47 – I wasnt saying he needs to be arrested or anything. I was thinking more on the lines of someone be able to verify these kids have offers before letting them have press coverage at their schools. Maybe that isnt possible, I dont know

  30. He broke laws if he filed a fraudulent police report accusing a made up person of misrepresenting himself as middle man to the coaches.

    Otherwise, yea I agree, the guys punishment is self inflicted and exactly what he deserves.

  31. csg,

    I had to laugh because at #52, you say you were responding to #47.

    Which basically looks like you think Craig Wilson should be arrested :-) !!!

    I don’t think you’ll find too many Braves fans who’d disagree with that after last year’s performance.

    Then again, if he wants to repeat that in a Mets uniform….parole!

    re: the phony kid

    Yeah, I agree that if he actually filed a phony police report, that’s an illegal offense – but I suppose I would look at this case and look at the humiliation nationally this kid deserves and is getting, and probably assign him like 50 hours of community service.

  32. Regular platooning of Anderson & Diaz is going to be a hard sell for me. I’ve never been a lunatic about playing Diaz every day, but this might be the year for 500 ABs.

    Knowing Bobby, he’ll want Anderson to get some ABs. Let’s hope he turns into Willie Harris for more than one month.

    I dig those kinds of stories, actually. Keep ’em coming. BTW, BYU is always loaded with Hawaiian kids. Lotsa LDS on the islands.

    More bad news for UGA hoops…

  33. ububba,

    I am getting the sense that the Dennis Felton era maybe coming to a close.

    Wow, ever since Tubby’s exit, we just can’t get a guy in there who can really get this program on track.

  34. Ububba,

    I think the sight of Anderson getting any playing time on a regular basis outside of pinch running will be hard for any Braves fan to stomach. I still think if there is a long term injury situation to Kotsay, that they bring up Schafer and leave Anderson in a reserve role.

  35. I agree, Alex — it should be curtains for Felton. I respect what he’s tried to do, and I believed he was a good hire at the time. And the stuff that’s transpired hasn’t been entirely his fault. But the program has zero momentum — strike that, it has negative momentum — both on and off the court.

    BTW, BYU is always loaded with Hawaiian kids. Lotsa LDS on the islands.

    Makes sense to me — if you had to go on a mission, where would you want to go? :)

  36. Felton drew some bad cards in the post-Harrick era. (Pres. Adams folly.) I’m not sure what we’re supposed to expect from him. I think they gotta give him at least one more year.

    This program was wrecked by Harrick & Adams and it led to something much worse than losing basketball games—general ridicule of the university. Hard to have high expectations after all that.

  37. …there’s even a decent chance that Stu or I actually insulted said player.

    It’s not because of insults from Alex R. or Stu (who never take cheap shots.

    Which Braves-affiliated people do I insult?

    FWIW, Mac is probably the most insulting in his write-ups, so any offense is probably taken before they make it into the comments.

  38. ububba, Sansho1-

    While I agree that Harrick wrecked this program, Felton is now in his 5th season as coach, and as Sansho correctly points out, negative momentum.

    felton is a really good, quality guy. A solid hoops coach and seems very classy. But he hasn’t shown any ability to bring the Dawgs up.

    I don’t expect us (with our mediocre hoops facilities) to ever be Florida or Kentucky in the SEC – but getting to about 2 out of every 5 NCAA Tournies was a reasonable goal achieved frequently, and that appears to be a long shot for a few more years.

    Obviously, we’re not going to be able to lure someone of the ilk of a Billy Donovan/Roy Williams/Bill Self level coach, but I would love to find a top Assistant ready to take the plunge or maybe another small school success with more fire than Felton.

  39. Allowing Ross Neltner to put up a player-of-the-game performance against your team would probably lead most to drink.

  40. #61

    Stu, of course I was kidding ;-)

    But, c’mon, we’ve both been pretty good over the years at offending people!

  41. felton is a really good, quality guy. A solid hoops coach and seems very classy.

    I don’t think this is completely accurate, largely because his teams have been notoriously dirty. I guess that comes from not having the talent to really compete, but still. His whining about Memorial Gymnasium’s set-up is also incredibly annoying, at least to us Vanderbilt alums/fans.

  42. Stu, we’ll agree to disagree.

    Coaches can’t alaways contolr the behavior, on the court, of their players. From what I understand, he has regularly punished and reprimanded players for on court & off court discretions.

    Also, he has been a stickler to the nth degree about kids going to class.

    It’s all perspective – but other than that he;s a mediocre coach and needs to be replaced for lack of on court progress, you won’t find too many Georgia fans who don’t think he’s a nice, solid guy.

  43. Alex,
    Usually, it’s the good people who comment here that I offend, not the Braves peeps. At least that’s my sense. I’m not claiming innocence, just wondering if you and Kevin had something specific in mind that I’ve wiped from my memory.

  44. As for whining about Vandy’s court, I am sorry, but that court is a freaking fire and health hazard.

    You really can’t defend the Vandy hoops court – it’s kinda scary.

  45. No argument here about the state of things when Felton arrived. And if I thought next year’s team had much promise, I’d agree with you. Other than Jeremy Price, though, I just don’t see anyone returning to be excited about. Felton is five years in, and we’re still beset by transfers, malcontents, and bums.

  46. #67

    Nothing specific – it just made me (internally) chuckle to throw both you & myself under the proverbial bus for no reason ;-)

  47. Yeah, nobody’s completely bad or completely good, I just have trouble classifying a coach that consistently produces dirty teams–and that is largely in his control, BTW–as generally classy. And the gripes I have with him aren’t the sort that his own fan base would generally take into consideration in labeling him, anyway.

    I agree that he’s been a breath of fresh air for the university after Harrick, though. Certainly more good than bad with respect to cleaning up the program.

  48. #70

    Good summary of things, Sansho. That’s the problem – I think if Felton stayed another 5 years, we could at BEST hope for 1 NCAA trip but a flatlined program.

    There has to be a cadre of young coaches out there we can hand the reigns over to so this program can finally see even a small bit of ascension.

  49. The court is neither a fire nor a health hazard. When was the last time you were there? Do you have any idea how much space there is between the in-line and the edge of the court? BTW, How is it a fire hazard? I don’t think I’ve heard that one.

    Besides, it’s not like Felton complains about the court for health reasons.

  50. Stu,

    I think if you asked the fan bases of the other SEC schools – or other coaches and players at Florida or Bama or Tennessee, I think they’d all have the same impression of the Vandy court.

    I have even heard it talked about by CBS guys during the games.

  51. They don’t like Memorial’s court because they have trouble winning there. I know at least Billy Donovan is on record as saying he thinks it’s great, though.

    Obviously, I love it. There’s no better basketball venue that I’ve been to.

  52. Stu – Where we will agree is that the Vandy court does provide you a big home court advantage.

    I would also imagine it’s a fun place to watch a game – if you are a Vandy fan.

    But Donovan is in the minority from what I have heard from many people, not just Felton.

    By the way, as I have mentioned in the past, my wife is an Oregon Duck – not sure if you have ever seen on TV ‘The Pit’, the hoops court in Eugene, OR for the Ducks (ironically, I have also been to ‘the Pit’ in Albuquerque, NM, home of the Lobos) but the Oregon pit has gotta be something straight out of the movie, “Hooosiers” and the 50’s.

    That is OLD SCHOOL to say the least.

    I think they are building a new court which with all that insane Phil Knight money, it’s about time.

    But I have to say, going to see an Oregon-Oregon State hoops Game a few years ago at the Pit was something to behold. It felt like it was a throwback movie.

  53. I just say that players who suck, suck.

    Definitely an insult. Truth may be a defense to slander, but it doesn’t preclude insult.

  54. The thousand injuries of Thomason I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. –Chris Woodward

  55. 29 — Robert, as a BYU alum, that’s disappointing. But, if he actually does play, where would you rather play? You had a comment yesterday describing how his family and his church were urging him to go to BYU. I’m sure the family was and maybe individual church members were, but the organization of the church itself wouldn’t. When I was a freshman at BYU there was a big deal about Chris Burgess deciding to go play basketball at Duke instead of BYU. The coach, at the time, said he was letting down the president of the church and its millions of members. Ugh. Pretty sure he got an earful for that one. He was fired soon after too (not for the comment as for having a terrible team… I imagine recruiting was an issue. heh heh).

    Indeed, there are many LDS people throughout the Pacific islands… BYU gets a pretty good share of recruits from there.

    59 — sansho1, your comment may have been in jest, but you only choose to go on a mission, not where. I certainly can’t complain about getting sent to Rome, Italy.

    Dale Murphy’s son did end up signing with BYU and on some site (can’t remember which) had his bio that stated: “son of future Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dale Murphy.” There’s some optimism.

    That’s probably more LDS and BYU info than anyone wagered for. Go Braves!

  56. @67
    Please read my post! I said you never take cheap shots.
    And I meant just that. I’d never denigrate a fellow Highwayman fan!

  57. I guess I was pretty unclear in my post. I wasn’t taking offense (at all!) to what either of you said. I was just curious as to what you meant.

    Long live the Highwaymen. The ones who are still alive, anyway.

  58. Right. Mac says that players who suck, suck, and hardly insults anyone, except when they’re Dan Kolb.

    Photoshopped pictures making this or that general manager appear to be the Prince of Darkness, on the other hand…

  59. Whenever Mac feels it necessary to thoroughly insult Kolbb, Reitsma, Lockhart, Woodward and several horrific ex-Braves, he has MY blessing.

  60. Alex R., I dont want Wilson arrested if there is any chance that the Mets might sign him :) I would enjoy watching them suffer like we did last year

  61. Chipper, if you’re reading this blog, there are apparently at least 2 posters in here who would fellate you repeatedly if you were to decide to join our discussions regularly. I’m pretty sure you’re not into that sort of thing, (fellatio, at least as it relates to anonymous, non-female bloggers i mean, clearly you’re into blog discussions), but still…it must be flattering right?

    Please join us.

  62. Chipper should go on Braves vents and respond to the idiot “fans” that think the team would be better off without him. Real geniuses, those!

  63. Chipper (we know you’re reading), would you like to see KJ at the top of the lineup everyday (1st or 2nd)? If not, who would you prefer to see hitting in front of you?

  64. Kelly,

    Don’t be upset if Chipper says he’d rather see Kotsay and Escobar bat ahead of him. He’s only saying that because he knows Bobby is reading and that’s what Bobby is going to do anyway.

  65. OK, Chipper, here’s the code. If you’d like to see a KJ/Escobar 1-2 set-up (depending on the starter), say that you’re quite sure Kotsay can handle the job, and that Bobby is a master at constructing line-ups. It will be our little secret, and Bobby won’t know any different.

    If you’re Bobby Cox reading this site, please ignore this message. PS – Give Soriano a rest once in a while when you have those 5 run 9th inning leads. Thanks!

  66. Edgar,

    Do you have a no trade clause in your contract, and if so, would you waive it to come back to Atlanta?

  67. Dear Keith Lockhart,

    If you’re reading this, we are all waiting with baited breadth to know where you hid those damned incriminating pictures of Bobby, to inexplicably keep a roster spot on the Braves for 5, very long years.

    Alex R.

  68. By the way, it looks like Curt Schilling’s out for the year. While I struggle to express the level of sympathy that I feel for this guy, no, this paragon of humanity, allow me to say: I hope this causes all of Red Sox Nation to fall into silent despair.

  69. Also, there’s this: “U guys are pretty much rite on as far as the batting order is concerned. Kelly and Kot will probably flip flop between 1,2 and 7 or 8.”

    So, Seat Painter, you think he understood the code?

  70. Mac, do you plan to pimp your site to Chipper at DOB’s blog like Will Schaffer has shamelessly done?

  71. No, no, that’s lameage.

    Pimpage really has nothing to do with the literal sense of the word pimp, only the metaphorical sense. If being shameless is what it takes to get Chipper to read my blog, then, hell, I’m willing to be shameless.

  72. Actually Alex, I’m pretty sure Chipper got the code because I AM Chipper Jones! Muwahhahahahahah!

    OK, not really, just some old lamer (lamerage?) who wishes he could’ve played baseball 1/10th as well as Mr. Jones can.

  73. Yeah, I’m a fairly reliable Braves Journal pimper. But I wouldn’t worry too much. I think the odds of me getting to tell Chipper about Braves Journal are about equal to the odds of me getting to tell Jamie Kotsay about Braves Journal.

  74. Not gonna lie, I just googled nonshameage. Not everyday you search for something that seems like it may be able to be used as a word, and nothing comes up in the search results.

  75. “Aybar and his wife, Yessenia, 23, who have been married for seven years and have three children, have reconciled.”

    Busy Willy!

  76. Just got back from a garage-rock/sloppy Southern-soul DJ party in the East Village run by an ol’ Bama friend. I walked into the place & the first thing out of his mouth was, “Hey, j’you see the recruits we got? Saban’s kickin’ ass!”

    Then we made arrangements UGA/Bama Sept 27 in Athens. Hey, anybody got tickets?!

    So, I read the Chipper action on DOB’s blog. Sure wish he’d do it over here again, but it’s cool anyway.

    I must say that I like how personal he takes the Met-related slights. Chipper will always be near & dear to my heart for those sentiments.

    And, I’m not one to call you “injury proned,” but I’m certainly looking for you to continue to kick much ass, Larry Wayne. Thanks for everything.
    Your pals @ Bravesjournal.

  77. check out these Q&A’s on mlb trade rumors…

    I was wondering why center fielder Jordan Schafer is getting all of the attention when first baseman Kala Ka’aihue seemingly had a better year at the plate, where do you see Ka’aihue ranking in the braves system? – PJ

    I will defer to Baseball America on this one. They’ve got Schafer as the #1 Braves prospect while Ka’aihue is #25. The offensive bar is very high for first base since defense isn’t a big part of the job. Glovework is a huge factor in center field, and Schafer is apparently a whiz.


    It appears to me the Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel has got to go down in baseball history as one of the worst trades of all time. What would you rank it as? – Josh

    I would rank it is insignificant, especially in the scope of all baseball history. True, the Braves didn’t get much out of Dotel, but Davies has a career ERA of 6.24. Since Davies is 24, he could turn this into a win for the Royals. But he hasn’t done so yet.

  78. csg,

    That is a perfect way to describe the historical impact of the Davies/Dotel trade. Utterly insignificant. Whoever that Josh fellow is would make a great sportwriter, embellishing everything and waxing hyperbolic about the mundane.

  79. I’ve always believed that the only valid time to judge a trade is when it is made. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to wait until 1) Devine becomes an All-Star and say Wren made a bad trade, or 2) Devine flames out, Kotsay hits .320 and say that Wren made a good trade. It’s the same trade either way.

    The only valid questions you can ask are, what is a realistic range of expectations for the players involved, and what are the ancillary intentions of the trade (i.e. budget, playing time for others). But that’s almost never how trades are judged — we wait five years and congratulate one GM for having a better crystal ball than another.

  80. In any business, performance evaluation is primarily based on results, regardless of best intentions or information you had at the time. If you make a series of decisions that don’t pan out, you will eventually be out on your keister (unless you own the company and are not answerable to anyone else; in which case if you make enough bad decisions you will be out of business).

    Therefore, it make sense to me to evaluate trades based on how they turned out. Could be there is good or bad fortune mixed in there that you don’t deserve credit or blame for, but that is the nature of being in charge. Reasonable people can disagree about reasonable expectations, but with all the metrics available at our disposal today, there is a lot less to argue about when discussing results.

  81. I can see it both ways. But just analyzing from what the players eventually do isn’t fair. If a player with a five percent chance of being a star does become a star, that doesn’t mean trading him was a mistake, any more than buying a winning lottery ticket makes you a business genius.

  82. I agree that it’s an inexact science. But there is a difference between evaluating a trade down the line and evaluating the GM. A GM may make a trade that seems perfectly reasonable at the time and it turns out badly for his team due to injury or unexpected performance. You don’t necessarily hold the GM responsible. But it may still be a bad trade, in the same way that a team may lose a game on a bloop hit–it’s still a loss even though it might not be the pitcher’s fault.

  83. I also see it both ways, but think the “crystal ball” in #139 above can be exceptional scouting.

  84. I think the most interesting aspect of baseball trades is that the parties both have similar ongoing needs (young talent, more pitching)yet must make decisions that give them an edge against their competitors, including their trade partner.

  85. Apropos of nothing, DOB notes on his latest blog: “Ok, before I forget … You folks in the northeast Atlanta area who aren’t working this afternoon should stop by Ella Guru CD store in the Toco Hill Shopping Center, where I’m gonna be manning my buddy Don’s store a few hours.”

    For those of you who don’t know, Ella Guru is a simply fantastic place. The guys there know what they’re doing, the selection’s fantastic, and I’ve never walked out unsatisfied. I haven’t found anything in DC to compare to Ella Guru or Wuxtry. And don’t get me started on how much it sucks that they don’t publish Stomp ‘n Stammer up here.

    If I were in Atlanta right now, I’d totally go over and say hey to DOB. I hope one of you guys can do so for me. (Please feel free to pimp Braves Journal or Chop-N-Change while you’re at it.)

  86. #140

    In your first paragraph, you’re basically describing luck. I agree that people are judged ex post facto all the time — I’m just saying I find it to be flawed logic.

  87. #145

    How about that, I live about four miles from Toco Hills. If I have time (he said, as he comments on blogs), maybe I’ll poke my head in over there.

  88. Wuxtry was my place for used CDs/cassettes back in the 80s. That store has been there forever…cool place to cruise around.

    I’ll have to check out Ella Guru next time I’m in the area. Too far to travel today. That store must be (relatively) new, at least it wasn’t there in the early 90s when I lived in back of Toco. I miss the old Toco Hills days…is Famous Pub still there?

  89. Businesses must make decisions without perfect information. Is it luck how things turn out? Well, it certainly can be a factor. But in the final analysis, results are all that can really be objectively measured; the rest is your subjective judgement of the imperfect information available at the time, which could well be different than mine.

  90. Famous Pub’s still there, as far as I know, though I haven’t been to Atlanta in 7 months. Ella Guru’s in the corner near the Ace Hardware, not far from where the movie theater used to be.

  91. Wuxtry was a regular spot for me as well, back in the day. I am actually not familiar with Ella Guru’s?

    re: Trades

    A good rule of thumb for trades, especially involving pitching – if you have a young super ace in the making, say like the Tigers with John Smoltz or the Mets with Scott Kazmir – don’t trade him under almost any circumstances, unless you are:

    A) getting a ridiculous package of players back
    B) a superstar in his prime, back
    C) have already sufficiently evualated said prospect in the Majors and discovered they have a weak mental make-up and NO out pitch (see: Kyle Davies)

  92. Well, Alex went 9-0 after the Tigers got him in ’87 and was a major reason why Detroit surged past Toronto to win the AL East. He stunk it up in the ALCS vs the Twins, though.

  93. Erik Bedard Trade Official
    1:30pm: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is officially done. The Mariners send Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Tony Butler, and Kam Mickolio to Baltimore for Erik Bedard. I’ll have some analysis on the deal later this afternoon. Rosenthal also notes that the Cubs “remain heavily interested” in Brian Roberts, so that deal could be next as the gutting of the Orioles continues.

    I guess we can stop the talks about him, sorry Stu

  94. Wasn’t Smoltz seen as a kid with a live arm and a few years away. I never heard that he was considered a super ace as a prospect. Of course, prospecting wasn’t a big deal then as it is now. I think the Braves were extremely fortunate that Smoltz turned out like he has. Also, Alexander propelled the Tigers in the playoffs, so they got what they were looking for.

  95. I think the Smoltz/Alexander trade is defensible even in hindsight. The Tigers would not have made it to the playoffs without Alexander. In the 90s, the Tigers were so lousy that having Smoltz would not have made that much difference. He would have been a good pitcher on a bad team. And, let’s face it, if trading away one prospect, no matter how good, is going to cripple you for 20 years, you have a problem anyway. The Tigers’ problem was not that they traded Smoltz; it was that they had such a weak system that they had no one else in the system.

    The Kazmir trade is different because the guy the Mets got sucked for them. Plus, the Mets are a contender on which Kazmir would have made a difference.

  96. Also, it’s frankly nowhere near a sure thing that Smoltz would have made it with those Tigers. A big reason that organizations fail is that they aren’t good at developing prospects. Other than Smoltz, did the late ’80s to late ’90s Tigers develop anyone else of note?

  97. Yea the Bedard lovefest should be over on this journal and life can go back to normal.

    I will never stop loving Erik Bedard.

  98. “Normal” is where we concoct trade scenarios for Rocco Baldelli, right?

    Kirk, I agree with much of what you’ve said. Part of me was just trying to stir something up on a slow day. Hey, it worked!

  99. No normal is where we speculate on whether Booby Cox will put his worst hitter at the top of the lineup because he is a prototypical leadoff hitter. Or when we debate how the rotation will be set and how much trouble we are in if we see a whole lot of player X, y, or Z. Normal is where we bash Wren for needlessly throwing in prospects in trades that didn’t make sense to begin with. Well looking back obsessing over unrealistic trades isn’t far from normal from us.

  100. Alright, then. Fryman was a fine player, and probably vastly underrated during his career, but he’s basically Todd Zeile. If that’s the best you can do in 15 years, people need to get fired.

  101. I remember seeing the Tigers a lot at Yankee Stadium in the past 15 years and I’m almost positive that they were about 0-12 in those games. I mean, I felt sorry for them and the beatings they’d take. It was not a fair fight because they su-u-u-u-u-u-cked.

    I think Vampire Weekend is a great name for a band. I don’t have their album, but I’ve heard them. I know they’re supposed to be influenced by authentic African music, but they sound like a white ska band to me. Tuneful, sure, but they remind me of Sublime.

    I know I sound like an old records-store clerk, but I’ll never understand the continuing popularity of Sublime. I mean, if you like ska, the English Beat are way better.

    I used to DJ in this bar & I can’t tell you how many times I got requests for Sublime. It got to the point where I’d just say, “Why do you like this band?” And then I’d play Al Green.

  102. Ububba,
    I am not sure I hear Sublime in them, but I never was much for Sublime or listened to them frequently. The lyrics are what I have enjoyed the most, and the exuberance in the lead singers voice.

  103. It is entirely possible that the Mariners dealt for Bedard just to swing him to another team for different, better prospects than they gave up to the Orioles.

    I for one whole heartedly believe that Wren is on the phone with the Mariners’ GM and that JS is at Wren’s house writing little notes telling Wren what to say. We should have Bedard for James and Scheurholz Jr within a few days.

  104. check out the last sentence…

    With Joe Blanton seemingly the best available starter, the logical question is whether the Red Sox will now go after him. Curt Schilling’s doctor believes he may never pitch again if he doesn’t have surgery.

  105. Awesome! I can’t wait to see how his Tommy John surgery goes and whether he’s ever able to pick up a baseball again or not. That’s worth whatever we give up, no doubt about it.

  106. Bush = Erik Cordier part II. Think we could get him for Prado? I bet they would have taken Chase Fontaine.

    I also forgot the Pads had Prior. If things go well, that could be a very scary rotation.

  107. If only the Padre’s could hit at all they’d run away with their division. As it stands, I’d hate to face them in the playoffs.

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