Where does Chipper rank?

Runs Created, Runs Created Above Average, Runs Created Per Game, all third basemen, all time (numbers from the Sabermetric Encyclopedia, Baseball Reference will differ):


1 George Brett 1869
2 Mike Schmidt 1735
3 Wade Boggs 1732
4 Eddie Mathews 1715
5 Chipper Jones 1668
6 Darrell Evans 1478
7 Lave Cross 1383
8 Ron Santo 1358
9 Brooks Robinson 1343
10 Stan Hack 1252

1 Eddie Mathews 655
2 Chipper Jones 629
3 Mike Schmidt 623
4 George Brett 593
5 Wade Boggs 556
6 John McGraw 442
7 Bill Joyce 333
8 Denny Lyons 318
9 Stan Hack 315
10 Home Run Baker 303

1 Denny Lyons 9.29
2 Chipper Jones 8.36
3 Mike Schmidt 7.22
4 Deacon White 7.21
5 Eddie Mathews 7.15
6 Wade Boggs 7.12
7 Billy Nash 6.96
8 Scott Rolen 6.75
9 Ned Williamson 6.73
10 Harlond Clift 6.65

N.B.: Denny Lyons, who is not in the Hall of Fame, was a nineteenth century player whose best years were in the inferior American Association and whose career ended at 31; he’s not really part of the conversation.

You can make an argument that Chipper’s the best third baseman of all time. If he plays 100 games or more, he will probably move past Eddie for the most RCAA all time in 2009; 26 behind, he has had more than that every year of his career but two (1995 and 2004). He has had at least 84 runs created every year of his career; that would move him up to second behind Brett. And his per game numbers are so much better than Schmidt’s that even a relatively steep decline would keep him the modern leader in RC/per game.

545 thoughts on “Where does Chipper rank?”

  1. Lave Cross? Stan Hack? Bill Nash? The thing tht I find interesting about these lists is that they are populated by relatively recent players (Brett, Robinson, Schmidt, Chipper, etc.) or players from much earlier eras. Matthews seems to be the only to run producer from the 1950s…Any thoughts?

  2. Sometime during the Babe Ruth era, there was a shift in the defensive spectrum. Before, second base was more of a hitter’s position, third base a defensive position. What happened seems to be that before 1920, teams pretty much always bunted when the leadoff man got on. This put a premium on defense at third base (since third basemen field the most bunts) and took it off at second base (since the double play was not common).

    Anyway, it didn’t flip right away. You still had slugging second basemen like Lazzeri and particularly Hornsby. And while third basemen became better hitters, they tended to be singles hitters. The “modern” (nobody called it that then) record for homers by a third baseman in 1930 was 18, set by the legendary Marty McManus in 1929.

    There were only 14 seasons before 1945 when a third baseman hit 20 or more homers. The most was by Mel Ott in 1938, playing out of position. The fourth-most was Ned Williamson’s fluke 27 in 1884, hitting home runs into a porch that was a doubles spot every other year. And four others were all by Harlond Clift, whom everybody hated. But after Clift, the slugging third basemen started to filter into the majors.

  3. You could make an argument, but it would be tough (I know, always me with the negativity). Schmidt has those 10 GG’s, roughly 150 more HR’s, a few points of OPS+, and 1000 more AB’s. If you want to crown Chipper the best offensive 3B by RC, well maybe so. I think Chip’s defense is exceptionally underrated, but I really don’t see it rising to the level of Schmidt’s. Further, I think we can expect that the RC gap will drop as his career goes on, (just as his counting stats will rise, too), but for RIGHT NOW, I put him as #3, narrowly, behind Matthews until his career is complete.

  4. As for the fifties, the best third basemen of that period other than Mathews were Eddie Yost (whose career was truncated because he had to keep convincing people he could really hit) and Al Rosen (who got hurt). Santo and Robinson are on the list, so they bridge the gap between Mathews and Brett-Schmidt-Boggs.

  5. “What happened seems to be that before 1920, teams pretty much always bunted when the leadoff man got on.”

    Isn’t this the way Bobby Cox manages now?

  6. Thanks Mac. Interesting list, but for my two cents worth I believe that Brooks Robinson has to be above Boggs….

  7. I definitely deem Chipper to be among the worthy. But, I don’t think he has ever been the offensive force that Schmidt was (I saw Schmidt play from about 10 to 28 or so) Schmidt was also the best defensive 3B for most of his era, while also being by far the best offensively *until he was aging and Brett was in his prime.

    Are these numbers era adjusted? My concern is that a home run was a lot harder to come by in 1980 than in 1996. Even assuming no performance enhancing substances by Chipper, he still would have benefited from the generally shorter porches (of visiting stadia. The Launching Pad would have added HR’s to Chipper, as well). But mainly because Schmidt hit at Riverfront, Not Great American, at 3 Rivers and not at PNC, and home games at the Vet instead of Citizens Bank Park. Also, no games at Rocky Mountain High. Astrodome instead of Orange Juice home run haven. A very big difference in average park.

  8. RCAA should be era-adjusted, actually year-adjusted. The other two are not. One of the reasons the nineteenth century players are on there (I can do a “modern” list if you want) is that they played in an era when a whole lot of runs were scored; also an era when there were a lot of useless players, driving up the value of the good ones.

  9. From the Hardball Times:

    Runs Created Above Average. A stat invented and tracked by Lee Sinins, the author of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia. Lee calculates each player’s Runs Created, and then compares it to the league average, given that player’s number of plate appearances. Lee uses a different version of RC than we do, though the two are very similar.

  10. Are these numbers era adjusted?
    Does RC control for park, era, league, etc.?

    There’s a bunch of different ways to compute RC, but since Mac used the ones from baseball reference.com, here is Sean’s definition (it does not appear to have any era/league corrections)

    # RC – Runs Created – A runs estimator created by Bill James. A runs estimator attempts to quantify the entire contribution of a player’s statistics to a team’s total runs scored. It typically involves some positive value for things like hits, walks, steals, home runs, etc. and negative values for outs, caught stealing and GIDP. There are 24 different versions of RC depending on the stats you have. In general, I am using the tech version which incorporates baserunning, HBP and other offensive events. When those aren’t available I use the SB version, and when those aren’t available, I use the basic version, (H + BB) * (TB)/ (AB + BB)
    # RC/G – Runs Created per Game – Typically the average game has around 27 outs, but this can vary by the size of the homefield advantage and the number of extra-inning games. We use the seasonal average outs/game.

  11. “Modern” lists:

    1 George Brett 1869
    2 Mike Schmidt 1735
    3 Wade Boggs 1732
    4 Eddie Mathews 1715
    5 Chipper Jones 1668
    6 Darrell Evans 1478
    7 Ron Santo 1358
    8 Brooks Robinson 1343
    9 Stan Hack 1252
    T10 Graig Nettles 1248
    T10 Jimmy Dykes 1248

    1 Eddie Mathews 655
    2 Chipper Jones 629
    3 Mike Schmidt 623
    4 George Brett 593
    5 Wade Boggs 556
    6 Stan Hack 315
    7 Home Run Baker 303
    8 Darrell Evans 301
    9 Bob Elliott 265
    10 Scott Rolen 262

    1 Chipper Jones 8.36
    2 Mike Schmidt 7.22
    3 Eddie Mathews 7.15
    4 Wade Boggs 7.12
    5 Scott Rolen 6.75
    6 Harlond Clift 6.65
    7 George Brett 6.58
    8 Stan Hack 6.40
    9 Troy Glaus 6.25
    10 Home Run Baker 6.17

    Just to clarify, since I seem to have misled Spike via an unclear phrasing, these are from Lee Sinins’ encyclopedia, not Baseball Reference. Which may be disloyal of me, I dunno.

  12. Schmidt was a better fielder than Chipper and way, way better than Brett, who was particularly awful in the beginning of his career.

    In the ’70s, guys were dropping bunts much more than now & Schmidt could make that bare-hand play as well as anyone.

    I think Mike Schmidt is #1, and then the conversation begins. But I’ve been jumping up and down about Chipper in the all-time 3B discussion for awhile.

    Small Question: Do Chipper’s 2 years in LF impact his status? I kinda don’t think so.

  13. Sorry for the long post, but this was posted on the MJS online by Bob Wolfley on Smoltz:

    Smoltz can play

    During the baseball playoffs, Anderson called the Brewers-Philadelphia Phillies series for TBS, working with Joe Simpson and pitcher John Smoltz.

    Anderson, a former Golf Channel host who has a single-digit golf handicap, said he was able to play a round with Smoltz, 41, an excellent player who, with the help of his friend Tiger Woods, wants to qualify for the Champions Tour after his baseball career ends.

    Anderson took Smoltz, Simpson and another TBS crew member out to Erin Hills Golf Course during the off-day in Milwaukee.

    “He is Tour quality,” said Anderson, referring to Smoltz’s game. “I don’t say that about a lot of people.”

    “I have seen a lot of golf swings,” Anderson said. “I have seen a lot of golf shots. He hits it as good as anybody I have seen. I’m telling you. He is 330 (yards) off the tee, and he doesn’t fight a hook or fade. He hits a straight ball with power. He has all the shots. Obviously, his short game will be something he will have to step up to get to Tour qualityIt was awesome to watch him play.”

    Anderson said Smoltz shot 76 at Erin Hills from the back tees, so he played the course at 7,600 yards with the wind blowing up to 20 miles an hour.

    Also, Anderson said during one of the Phillies-Brewers telecasts, Woods sent text messages to Smoltz on his cell phone, making fun of him.

    “It was a little unnerving to see Tiger Woods’ name pop up on John’s phone during the broadcast,” Anderson said. “But it was hilarious.

    I know he’s talked about it, but how awesome would it be to see Smoltz on the Senior tour in a few years?

  14. Do Chipper’s numbers here represent only the years when he played 3B? That is, did you subtract out the years in LF? And, same quetion regarding the other 3B

  15. I counted all years. If you rate them on season:

    MODERN (1900-)

    1 Eddie Mathews 1673
    2 Wade Boggs 1671
    3 Mike Schmidt 1624
    4 Chipper Jones 1419
    5 Brooks Robinson 1343
    6 Ron Santo 1328
    7 George Brett 1282
    8 Stan Hack 1237
    T9 Eddie Yost 1210
    T9 Graig Nettles 1210

    1 Eddie Mathews 652
    2 Mike Schmidt 582
    3 Wade Boggs 539
    4 Chipper Jones 529
    5 George Brett 481
    6 Stan Hack 306
    7 Home Run Baker 303
    8 Alex Rodriguez 280
    9 Ron Santo 272
    10 Dick Allen 267

    1 Chipper Jones 8.35
    2 Eddie Mathews 7.27
    3 Mike Schmidt 7.22
    4 Wade Boggs 7.13
    5 George Brett 7.11
    6 Scott Rolen 6.75
    7 Bob Elliott 6.65
    8 Harlond Clift 6.65
    9 Stan Hack 6.37
    10 Troy Glaus 6.24

  16. Re: position/era adjustments… This will give you some idea of both the different hitting standards overall and the different standards at third between Mathews’ era and Chipper’s. RCAP is runs created above position.

    MODERN (1900-)

    1 Hank Aaron 2447
    2 Chipper Jones 1668
    3 Eddie Mathews 1651
    4 Dale Murphy 1195

    1 Hank Aaron 1039
    2 Eddie Mathews 649
    3 Chipper Jones 629
    4 Wally Berger 260

    1 Hank Aaron 834
    2 Eddie Mathews 628
    3 Chipper Jones 591
    4 Wally Berger 220

    Chipper’s ahead in overall RC, but 20 behind above average — and almost twice as much above position. Third basemen today hit a lot better than they did in the fifties.

  17. Holliday going to Oakland makes me feel like it will be a little harder to fill that left field spot.

  18. Parish,

    I wanted Holliday less than any other left fielder. I figured Colorado wanted too much for somebody that wasn’t much better than Matt Diaz when you got him out of Rocky Mountain High.

    The only downside is that a team that didn’t figure to be really going after a big bat, got one. So, however many more are looking, Holliday just dropped off the list.

  19. The only downside is that a team that didn’t figure to be really going after a big bat, got one. So, however many more are looking, Holliday just dropped off the list.

    I think this is what Parish was saying, and I agree with both of you.

  20. #26 – The fact that the A’s, a team I did not think was going after such a player got Holliday is exactly what I was talking about.

  21. 28 – I figured the Cards were considering dealing Ludwick because of Colby Rasmus. I never understood the rumored trade for Holliday.

    Is something going down today with the Padres? They have some announcement today or something. Is it just the Giles extension?

  22. How do people defend him not being too much of a Coors Field product? (not being sarcastic I just saw #33 and think that looks pretty significant)

  23. I don’t like Home/Road splits as they are averages of smaller samples. Just because he’s hit well at home doesn’t mean home is the cause. I prefer to use park effects generated from all players stats to deflate player performances to neutral levels.

    Here are Holliday’s career neutralized stats from B-R.

    .303/.368/.523/ .891

    His career OPS+ is 131.

    He’s not Mark Teixeira, but he’s far better than Matt Diaz.

  24. But JC,

    Holliday has played 5 full seasons. He has roughly 350 games at Coors and 350 games elsewhere. That isn’t a small sample. Your position is more logical. That is, that somehow he has fluked into stats this severely lopsided. However, experience tells me to be double careful of home park monsters.

    For his career with Boston (12 years?), “Scary” Jim Rice had almost that big of a swing in home road stats. Hall of Famer at home. Slightly above average on the road. And clearly a right handed pull hitter with elevation can hit doubles and home runs all day in Fenway without being able to duplicate them.

    Through most of Denver’s ML existence, it has produced tremendous hitting results.

    Then, there is practical experience of watching players that have succeeded in Denver and haven’t or can’t duplicate it. Like Vinny Castilla.

    Galaraga with the Braves (the first time) is the only Mile High / Coors Field player I remember putting up comparable numbers in a new location.

    Beware the ides of Denver.

  25. Cliff, Vinny and Andres played in Coors back when it was the most extreme hitter’s park, like, ever. Nowadays it’s a good hitter’s park, but not as absurd as it used to be. Still, Holliday’s a whole lot better when he’s at home than when he’s not home. Maybe part of that is playing 60 games a year at PETCO, Dodger Stadium, and Pac Bell, and maybe part of that is the psychological boost you get from playing at home. But I’d wager that a lot of the explanation for Holliday’s way-inflated home stats lies in the fact that Coors is still a really, really good hitter’s park.

  26. i’m amazed that Ken Boyer doesnt appear on any of those lists. there was a long span when the only argument about the best 3b in the NL was between Mathews and Boyer, not Santo. i guess Santo lasted a bit longer and played in a hitters park and the lists dont take defense into account but Boyer was a great player. i’d put him right behind Schmidt and Mathews.

  27. By David O’Brien

    November 10, 2008 3:50 PM | Link to this

    Folks, we had something done here today by Paul Bunyon, er, Tyler Flowers today that rivaled the batting-practice bomb Flowers hit last spring at Port St. Lucie. This one today cleared the entire 50-foot batters eye in center field during batting practice before this Mesa-Peoria Javelinas game at HoHoKam Park (spring training home of the Cubs).

    Considering the fence is 410 feet away, you can imagine how long a ball might travel to clear a 50 foot wall that far away.

    And you also know you’ve made a good impression with folks this spring when Ryne Sandberg, a Solar Sox coach, calls you a “total package.” That’s what he called Flowers when I asked Ryno about him before today’s game. He said all the pitchers love throwing to him, that he’s solid behind the plate and only needs to work on his throws (same thing Rocket Wheeler and Flowers himself said), and that he’s a solid, all-around hitter, not just a guy swinging for fences….

  28. Ken was:

    17th in RC by a third baseman, between Pie Traynor and Gary Gaetti;
    22nd in RCAA, between Heinie Groh and Eddie Yost;
    35th in RC above position between two sets of ties;
    43rd in RC/G between Mike Lowell (who will fall if he continues to play) and Dave Magadan.

    In this case, I would say that none of these are really accurate because there’s no allowance for defense. I mean, Bobby Bonilla created more runs than Boyer and is considered a third baseman, but come on. I’d say top fifteen but not top ten.

  29. Just got a text alert from ESPN that says the Fish traded Willingham and Olsen to the Natspos for Emilio Bonifacio and others. I’m in class and can’t really find a link though, anyone heard anything?

  30. want to shorten the list of the best thirdbasemen?………..just ask how many of them ever won an MVP.

  31. There are certain problems with that approach. A glance shows some third basemen who have won MVPs are: Al Rosen, Dick Allen, Bob Elliott, Ken Boyer, and Terry Pendleton. All of them were fine players, and in my opinion deserving MVPs (I won’t go into the 1991 race again) but only Boyer is a serious HOF candidate. Well, maybe Allen, but certainly not the others. A list of third basemen who have not won MVPs includes Eddie Mathews and Wade Boggs. Santo never won an MVP either, but if you ask the experts 98 percent of them would say Santo was better than Boyer and most say he’s the most deserving HOF candidate of any excluded hitter.

  32. That’s a weird trade for the Marlins. I don’t love Bonifacio — he’s fast, but what else does he do? — and the other two prospects, RHP Philip (P.J.) Dean and 2B Jake Smolinski, are so young that it’s hard to know what to make of them. Here’s some good info. Two second base prospects and a young pitcher (who’s never pitched above A-) for a power-hitting outfielder and a talented young left-hander seems like a deal worth making, but the Nats are going to have to figure out how far away they are and how they want to leverage their 19 year olds. But I like it for the Nats, and I like it less for the Marlins.

  33. Here are the ten major league Hall of Fame third basemen ranked by career OPS+:

    Schmidt 147
    Mathews 143
    Brett 135
    Baker 135
    Boggs 130
    Collins 113
    Kell 111
    Lindstrom 110
    Traynor 107
    Robinson 104

    Chipper’s OPS+ is currently 145. It may go down bit if he has a few subpar years at the end of his career. Santo’s career OPS+ is 125, which would rank him 6th. Boyer’s is 115.

    In my view, Chipper is not an upper echelon defender at third. Both Santo and Boyer won 5 consecutive Gold Gloves. Chipper is a better player than Santo was. Santo is the best player currently eligible, and should be elected to the Hall in this year’s Veteran’s Committee election. He should have been elected 25 years ago. Boyer should be elected too.

  34. I agree AAR, kind of a strange move for the Fish.

    The 49ers QB’s are worse than the Vols, ugh. What happened to the orgainization of Montana and Young. Hell, Jeff Garcia looks like Steve Young next to Shaun Hill!

  35. meanwhile, who’s this Tyler Thigpen fella? Geez, how about his last 3 games…

    710 yds, 68 yds rushing, 6 TD’s, 0 INT or Fumbles, but they are 0-3 in those games..

  36. csg,
    Tyler Thigpen went to that un sung football power Coastal Carolina. I was home in Charleston and read an article about him. Nice story. Ok librarians and other scholars out there what is a Chanticleer? (Coastal mascot)

    Question. Probably already asked. Do we trade a good hitting 2b for Ludwick who has had exactly one good year and is going to be 30 next year?

  37. Johnny, in fairness, Ludwick had a pretty good year in 2007, and his year in 2008 wasn’t just good, it was superstar-level. More importantly, though, it’s not like he didn’t hit well in other seasons. He raked in the minors, but he kept getting injured and switching organizations, and he never really got the major league PT he deserved until 2007. The injury issue is, to me, a bigger concern than the track record. His minor league numbers say he can slug.

  38. Tyler Thigpen played ball with a kid in my grad department here at state. Thigpen (along with Mike Tolbert, starting FB for the Chargers) were, I believe, both members of the inaugural class of Costal’s FB program. My buddy here at school was out in SD to watch them play this weekend. Says some lady almost tried to beat him up for cheering when Thigpen threw his first TD. :-)

  39. So, we could have given up Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Hicks, and Edgar Osuna for Olsen and Willingham? I might have been interested in that.

    Doesn’t seem like the Fish got much in return.

  40. It’s a salary dump by the Marlins. They remain the Marlins. On the other hand, a Nats outfield of Dukes-Willingham-Milledge with Kearns and Pena on the bench is, for very little money, not bad at all. Bowden continues to piece together solid talent from the scrap heap.

    @57 – I would have too. I am trying to stay positive with Wren, but it’s an increasingly difficult task.

  41. While that trade would have done nothing to address our RH-power gap, I certainly wouldn’t have minded acquiring a real LF and a SP for essentially nothing. I’m shocked the Marlins couldn’t get more for those two.

    Also, I don’t really put this on Wren, as there’s 28 other ML teams that also could have benefited by doing this deal (or something similar).

  42. It’s about the team’s philosophy, not what Wren didn’t do. Ours is somewhat delusional–for the third consecutive offseason. The Braves need a lot of help, and I’d like to see some smart moves made on the cheap. Olsen/Willingham is a low-risk, potentially high-yield kind of move of which I think we should be seeing much more.

  43. per Rosenthal…

    The Braves are frustrated with the progress on the Jake Peavy talks, and will explore other options (especially once the free agent market opens Friday). Rosenthal says the Padres sent revised proposals to the Cubs and Braves yesterday, but those teams intend to stick with their offers. Will the Padres crack and make a deal before Friday?

  44. Actually, I am glad to see that Wren is not blinking and giving into demands as I perceive Schuerholz did in the Tex trade. I do not know how much the Braves have proposed to give up in a Peavy trade. It may be too much already, but at least we are not appeasing Towers’ desire to bleed a little more talent from our system.

  45. The Chanticleer is a chicken of some sort from Chaucer. It’s one of those things they’re sort of proud of on the tour, as if potential students are supposed to see picking a mascot from Chaucer as a selling point.

  46. Anything related to Chaucer reminds me of my 11th grade English teacher, Sister Gratia, a fairly humorless nun with a slight limp. We called her “The Grot.”

    For an assignment, I wrote a short essay about The Clash’s London Calling LP and she made me read it to the class. Then she just stared at me. Zero response. Warm fuzzies all around.

    Preacher Roe, a stalwart for Brooklyn’s Boys of Summer, died. He made to 92. Not bad.

  47. As of the end of 2008, Chipper has 353 career win shares. He has had a nice resurgence late in his career following a bad 2004 and some injuries. Since 2003, he has only had one season of 600 PA. He has produced when he’s in the lineup, by and large, but the lack of durability may hurt him a little bit in the eyes of some voters.

    I’d put him behind Schmidt, Brett and Mathews. Schmidt was a devastating offensive player and the best defensive third baseman I’ve ever seen (I never saw Robinson). If you never saw Schmidt play defense, you missed something; he had a lot of athletic ability and quickness, particularly for a big man. I think Jones ranks ahead of Boggs and Baker.

  48. I think that Chipper is a little ahead of Eddie now, making him the greatest third baseman — and second-greatest hitter — in Braves history. (Mathews’ post-Braves career really doesn’t add any value.) There’s a huge gap from Aaron to them, and a huge from them to whoever’s in fourth… Their career numbers are pretty equivalent. Mathews hit more homers, Jones hit for a higher average. Both walked a lot, Mathews a little more; they will be 1-2 in franchise history sometime in 2009, when Chipper passes Aaron:


    1 Eddie Mathews 1376
    2 Hank Aaron 1297
    3 Chipper Jones 1242

    I would give the edge on defense to Chipper, though this would be controversial. Neither was a dominant defensive player.

    However, there is one big thing that doesn’t show up in any of those stats. Eddie Mathews played in 16 career postseason games (all, obviously, in the World Series) and hit .20o/.385/.360. Chipper has played in 92 postseason games and hit .288/.411/.459. That is fairly enormous. He’s played in the same number of World Series games as Mathews, and hit .273/.391/.436.

  49. AAR @ 68,

    I would say among the great 3B’s (not including pure defensive specialists) that I have seen (66 forward) that Brooks Robinson was the best. He seemingly single handedly won a World Series (1972?) with fielding and batting. He was usually a complementary offensive player, but really exploded in that series.

    Rolen might have been a little better defensively before the rounds of injuries started than Schmidt, but not much. It was truly amazing to see a guy built like Schmidt (who I think was one of the first “weight lifting” players and compares maybe to a slightly less chiseled version of A-Rod) make the plays he did.

  50. For that low of a price, I too would have been interested in seeing if Willingham could get back to 20hrs and if Olsen could consistently stay in the low 90’s. Would have been a cheap way to get some right handed pop and another starter (despite the past behavior issues and that he seems to have not lived up to his potential thus far). I would have expected them to be able to get more for Olsen than that.

  51. Alex:

    It’s a matter of opinion, but for my money Schmidt was better than Rolen at their respective primes. The difference at their primes was not great. Both had a lot of range and great hands. Schmidt was as athletic as a lot of shortstops; Rolen has tremendous agility and a great arm.

    Schmidt also was more durable and will probably have had a longer effective career than Rolen, who seems to have entered the decline phase of his career. Schmidt won ten gold gloves to Rolen’s seven. Rolen’s not done yet, but I don’t know if he’s going to win another GG.

  52. Rolen is good, or was before he got hurt — but he never would have sniffed a gold glove from 1965-1985. He just doesn’t compare to Brooks, the Boyers, Schmidt, Nettles, Evans, Rodriguez, etc.

  53. DOB confirmed what Rosenthal reported: The Braves are giving the Pads until Friday to take their offer; after that, they’re going full steam ahead on other pursuits.

  54. per Buster Olney now…

    Olney says the Braves and Padres are making progress, despite Ken Rosenthal’s report of Atlanta’s frustration. Olney says the Braves would send Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernandez to the Padres, plus Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes. They’re haggling over one last player, with the Padres eyeing southpaw Jeff Locke.

    The Cubs are still in the mix, and a third team would be included to flip pitching to San Diego. One way or another, the Cubs would give up Josh Vitters and others.

  55. The way I read it, Mac, is that the haggling is over which player the fourth will be, not whether there will be a fourth.

    The Cubs’ willingness to include Vitters makes their offer look a lot better.

  56. What do you mean Yunel is too much, Mac? I’m one of the bigger Yunel guys here, and I’m on record saying that I think Yunel should be untouchable, but I thought I understood you to say that, because of the scarcity of true aces, Yunel himself wouldn’t be too high a price to pay for Peavy.

  57. I’m curious to know what the “other plans” are if the deal doesn’t go down. Or if that means Wren’s going to have to go full steam ahead on making other plans.

  58. c. shorter,
    My guess is we enter the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes and re-start the KJ-for-Ludwick talks if we don’t land Peavy.

  59. Maybe not “too much”, but you don’t fill one hole by opening up another. Yunel is probably the second-most-valuable player on the team after McCann. Arguably he’s harder to replace; the Braves have Flowers, but nothing like a major league shortstop in the minors.

  60. #81- HA, love it. I just think if they want a 4th to be added, he’d be perfect

    Esco, Prado, Ludwick, Burnett >>> Peavy, KJ, unknown SS, unknown LF

    should the braves look to move Flowers to 1B?

  61. I continue to be surprised by the fact that Flowers’ name has not appeared in the Peavy rumors. I’m guessing he’ll be the centerpiece to another big trade. His value is sky-high, and he’s completely blocked in Atlanta.

  62. 84 — Stu, I would assume the same. I guess I’m just hoping for a good surprise. Probably shouldn’t be.

  63. This whole Peavy situation is like when Mr. Burns bought his plant back from the Germans. They were desparate to sell – advantage Burns. If the Pods don’t like Escobar, Gorky, and pupu platter pitcher of their choosing, tell ’em to go stuff it.

    I was also thinking about the A’s acquiring Matt Holliday. I wonder (somewhat tongue in cheek) if he did it out of spite of Boras. “Hey Scottie, I am going to take one of your prime clients, the year before he hits FA, and stick him in this hitters’ hell hole for 2009. That should drive down demand for Mr. Holliday after he puts up a .278 and 23 HR clip for a last place team.” Beane seems to have some leverage over Mr. Boras now.

  64. I’m terrified that we’re going to spend a lot of money on a replacement SS, which will prevent us from really adding much in the way of another starter or a real power-hitting OF.

    Maybe Flowers would be a good start for a JJ Hardy offer.

  65. I agree, if Miluwakee is looking to trade Hardy, then we should explore that. Other than that, if we can aquire a power hitting OF, then having a Rafeal Belliard’ish SS wouldnt hurt the team that much.

  66. No, Beane thinks that the Angels are ripe for the taking and that the Rangers and Mariners are beneath contempt. He’s going to import some more one-and-outs and after the season he’ll let them walk and pocket the draft picks.

  67. From Escobar to a Rafael Belliard type on a team that sorely lacked power?

    That’s why I am now in the take-it-or-leave-it camp on the Peavy trade. I agree that you should not create another hole to fill one, especially if you have to include other valuable trading chips in the process.

    Hicks in 2010? Is there a chance?

  68. I believe we HAVE to do the Peavy deal. Cheap #1 starter for the next 4-5 years. You HAVE to do it. I say give up Yunel (I love the guy), and try to get Furcal in free-agency.

  69. Honestly, if you’re in the AL West right now, how can you not try to contend with what amounts to a 3-team division?

  70. Good luck then Oakland and hope that the Angels don’t resign Tex. They’ll still win that division next year by double digits.

  71. I think the Peavy deal could be important when it comes to luring free agents.

    As for Flowers, both Keith Law and Joe Sheehan have mentioned how shocked they are that he isn’t in the Peavy discussion. I still hold out hope that he comes up to play first 4 days out of 5 and catch the 5th, with McCann doing the opposite. It’ll never happen, but it’d be nice.

  72. #97 – I understand your Philosophy but it far too costly. If you assume we’ll pick up his option year your looking at $16 mil per for Peavy. Furcal would cost you around $13-15 with about a 4 year deal, not to mention the injury problems. Thats about $30 mil per for these two guys. For that price why not keep Escobar and go after CC? Or go after two FA pitchers….this is why you have to trade from your strength positions and unfotunately our SS position isnt one of them. We are creating a bigger hole, by making this deal. If we have a backup plan for a cheap reliable SS, not named Renteria, then move forward.

    by doing something with this strategy, your basically paying $30 mil for one pitcher. If you can trade KJ, because we have a capable backup at the position, then everything is a lot more flexible

  73. Even at $16 mil per for Peavy – that is WAYYYY below market value for a true #1. The only other true #1 available is CC, and he will get at least 6 mil more per year. That could go towards getting another free agent starter. Yes, you leave a big hole – so go fill it. Just like you have 2 big holes at starting pitcher to go fill now. Peavy will help this team much more than Yunel would. In my mind, it is easier to replace a SS than a true #1 starter. Especially in a short series in the post season.

  74. In spite of him being on the Mutts, I still think it should have been Santana. Better ERA, pitched more innings, and while none of them made the playoffs, Santana did step up when the season was on the line.

    He was 7-0 and a 1.87 ERA in August and September when Webb faded and Lincecum was two months out of the race

  75. @113

    He might be the most talented pitcher in the league, but the best? Santana performed when the season was on the line and was dominant. That is what I consider when I think of the best pitcher in the league. Lincecum never faced that pressure, and the differences between their peripherals, IMO, isn’t great enough to compensate for that fact.

  76. I’m a believer in coming up big in big spots, but it wasn’t Lincecum’s fault that his team was lousy.

    Unlike the nebulously defined MVP, the Cy Young Award is based on performance & his was a tick better than Santana’s.

  77. Lincecum’s ERA+ was 167. Santana’s was 166.

    While it’s not Lincecum’s fault his team was horrible, a lot of baseball is based upon opportunity. Santana had that opportunity; Lincecum may not have, but that shouldn’t marginalize the comparative circumstances under which Santana excelled.

    I believe that the manner of that performance is worth more than 1 point of ERA+

  78. Well, if we’re going to treat Cy Young like the MVP, then C.C. Sabathia should’ve won it.

    11-2, 130 IP, 106 H, 128K, 25 BB, 1.65 ERA (ERA+ 260)

  79. Sabathia’s year was just cartoony. Unbelievable — sorta like Greg Maddux in 1994, pre-strike:

    16-6, 202 IP, 156 K, 31 BB, 1.56 ERA, (ERA+ 271)

    But no, really, Lincecum was better than Santana. According to Hardball Times, Lincecum had 27 Win Shares (22 WSAB), as compared to Santana’s 21 (16 WSAB). Linc’s DERA was 2.84, compared to Santana’s 3.09. He had 10.51 K/9, compared to Santana’s 7.91. He was just… gooder.

  80. Let’s take defense into account, shall we? Lincecum’s most-normal double play combination was a 36 year old second baseman and a 41 year old shortstop. Other than Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn, the rest of the team was mostly AAAA rookies. If he’d had a real team behind him, Lincecum’s ERA would look a lot better. His Fielding-Independent ERA is leaps and bounds better than the other contenders’.

  81. I’m not saying that the Mets defense was great, other than maybe Beltran, but at least they had a team of fully accredited major league baseball players and not a team full of Corky Millers* and Julio Francos**.

    *AAAA players
    **Really really old guys

  82. If the Padres took Pie, Marshall and Theriot from the Cubs instead of our offer of Escobar, Hernandez/Schafer and Reyes/Morton, that would be a truly retarded decision.

  83. Just got off the phone with my barber. A third and fourth team have been added.

    ATL gets: Peavy and Jhonny Peralta
    SD gets: Escobar, Chris Perez and Ludwick
    STL gets: KJ, Schafer and Rafel Perez
    Cle gets: Tyler Flowers, Giles, and J Jo Reyes

  84. Yeah, you guys make good points. The defense is telling and the win shares are especially revealing.

    It’s just I watched Santana’s starts at the end of the year. The Mets were collapsing, and while that generally puts me in a good mood, it was impressive to watch him come out, again and again, and be that stopper. He carried the team.

    However, even if, with all the advancements in measuring baseball performance, that type of dominance under those conditions can’t really be quantified, does that mean that it is not worth anything?

    I understand the arguments that you guys have made, but in spite of them, I just can’t discount Santana’s body of work and the circumstances under which is was composed. I still think he was the best pitcher in the National League last season, and thus, deserving of the Cy Young.

  85. @ 130

    That would have to be one of the most god awful decisions Wren could ever make. KJ, Escobar, Schafer, Flowers and Jo-Jo for Peavy and Peralta? No thanks. Let’s hope it’s not true.

  86. All of smitty’s barber’s creativity goes into trade scenarios. That’s why he only gives bowl cuts.

  87. In Catholic school, you win your battles where you can. It’s not like I could get away with an essay on Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath.

    FWIW, the Atlanta Hawks are 6-0, folks, including 4-0 on the road.

  88. No doubt it will all end in tears, and I’m really concerned about the Hawks’ ability to continue winning without Josh Smith, but I don’t know if I’m ready for a world where the Braves are the worst major sports franchise in Atlanta. (Hockey is not a major sport, y’all.)

    I love this Falcons team, BTW. I still doubt they’ll make the playoffs, but they’re trying, by God.

  89. Gotta love those Hawks. Al Horford is one damn good player.

    I love this Falcons team as well. Matt Ryan;s performance has been completely beyond anyone’s expectation. The trio of Ryan, Turner, and White are fantastic.

    I think I will love the 2010 Braves team when the young talents start arriving at Atlanta. I hope Wren will keep all of them as he has pledged. I wonder if McCann and Flowers can share the catcher and first base positions so that they can play more games during the season. I believe they can always shift Freddie Freeman to leftfield like what they did with Klesko (that was not an ideal situation for sure).

  90. I haven’t liked the Falcons much since the William Andruws/Bartkowski days. The Glanville era turned me way off. However the story of this coach and the way this team is playing is compelling.

    I am willing to include Escobar as the center piece of a package for Peavey but it does make me nervous. Upon examining the total reported package I simply don’t understand why the Padres haven’t taken it. If they take what the Cubs are offering instead then Towers is retarded.

    Alex Remington, Ludwick did have a hell of a year last season and KJ’s streakiness can be maddening but Ludwick has such a short resume that it makes me hear statistical outlier over and over again.

  91. Even if the trade falls through, I gotta wonder what Escobar will think about the fact that the Braves are clearly willing to trade him.

  92. When in reality it was Pujols crappy sophomore year that was a fluke… miserable sub .400 OBP, only 34 HRs and meager .314 BA, OPS of only .955… lucky for the Cards he pulled out of THAT downward spiral.

  93. But the Thrashers are only two wins (4 points) out of first place in the division. Hawks, Falcons and Thrashers are all working hard to make the Braves the worst Atlanta team for 2008.

  94. Re: Marlins/Nats Trade

    I have to say, I applauded Steve Phillips for RIPPING THE MARLINS on “Mike & Mike” this morning. A pure salary dump. Phillips talked abotu the fact that the Marlins are getting about $30 million from other teams in revenue sharing and are supposed to be using it to keep some semblance of a team. It’s embarrassing that a team already UNDER the $30 million threshold trades away to solid and inexpensive players like Olson and Willingham, just to be even more under payroll.

    At what point does Bud grow a sack and simply take that franchise away from South Florida and MOVE IT? I do find the Marlins actions more despicable than teams trying to buy their way into the post season every year like the Red Sox because at least those teams are trying. The Marlins have shown they have no interest in trying and would rather just be a $20 million team every year.

    I hate the Florida Marlins.

    (and the trade in the division no less!)

    Re: the Peavy deal

    Good for Frank Wren for holding his ground and even better for Jake Peavy filling in the missing part of Wren’s brain – why in hell are we discussing ANY deal to include Yunel? There are basically two players who shouldn’t even be discussed: Yunel and Tommy Hanson.

    It is downright impossible to find young Shosrt stops who can do what Yunel do and play stellar defense. Yunel would be Jake Peavy’s best friend.

    Kevin Towers is being a pig and he knows, even with Hanson and Yunela out of a deal, he’d get a much better package of young players from the Braves than Cubs. And he knows Peavy wants to pitch here.

  95. There’s been a question that about which I’m not sure how I feel and was wondering what everyone else thought.

    The Peavy trade, as it is composed, would require the Braves to send Escobar, Hernandez, and Morton/Reyes. However, if you had to choose, who would you send if the choice was:

    Hanson or Escobar?

    Can’t make up my mind…at all.

  96. Ethan,

    Neither. I’d tell Kevin Towers to take a leap off a building.

    Jake Peavy is a 27 year old ace and 2007 CY Young winner, under contract (and controlled) for 4 more years, and one of the best starters in Baseball.

    That’s about as good as you can get in a trade.

    But NOT at the expense of the best young SS in Baseball and/or the best young starting pitcher. A package of Gorkys or Schaefer, Morton AND Reyes and one or two other farm pieces would be a really good deal for Towers.

  97. Neither can I, Ethan.

    Welcome back! One thing: It’s been established that if we get Peavy, Yunel is going to San Diego.

  98. I agree. It just seems like the Escobar ship has already sailed, (assuming the trade goes through) and I was wondering if he was more valuable than Hanson or vice versa.

    It does seem like Towers is playing us and Cubs against each other. I guess the question is how far he’ll take the brinkmanship?

  99. The Marlins have been trying to extort a stadium out of the South Florida public for years and this is just the latest episode. The owners plead povery but they are making a killing from the combination of low payroll and revenue from TV and revenue sharing. It doesn’t matter to them that no one comes to the games. If Bud had balls he would do something but he, like every other commissioner, is pretty much a lackey of the owners. He is not the Commissioner of Baseball, he is more like the CEO of a corporation responsible to the owners. God forbid one of these guys actually ponies up his own money to build a stadium. The Steinbrenners are jackasses in many ways but they are absolutely correct to be pissed at having to give away their money, which they use to actually try to win, to teams that couldn’t care less. (Of course, the Steinbrenners are doing their own ripping off of the public with the new Yankee Stadium.) I have a friend in South Florida and he, like many others there, are absolutely fed up with the Marlins and wouldn’t care if they moved. I’m sure that will happen as soon as they can find some nitwit officials in another city willing to build them a ball park.

  100. Ethan at 147 and 151,

    I would hold Yunel and deal Hanson (unless Braves are hiding more of an injury problem with Yunel than we know).


    1. It is pitching versus pitching.

    2. When you trade players not under contract, all you are trading are unused pre free agent years. Escobar has 5 and Hanson has up to 6 2/3.

    3. Escobar is, as a proven Major Leaguer, 90% likely to be at or above what I will describe as “low range Escobar”. That would be (offensively) .280 BA, .360 OBP, .420 SLG (moderately above average for a shortstop). That would be top 4 or so defesively. That player would take a 5 yer commitment at 9 per year to get it done; however, low range Escobar will only cost 20 mill.

    4. As good as Hanson seems to be, he hasn’t proven himself at ML level. Look at the Yankee’s Hughes. Can’t miss pitcher. But, so far, he is missing. Jo Jo Reyes has dominated AA and AAA, but most on here aren’t confident that he can hold down #5 spot next year. Chuck James flashed and then crashed.

    5. Hanson won’t out produce Peavy in 09 or 10 unless it is because of a Peavy injury. That is, the Major League team will have more wins with Esco at short and Peavy on the mound than with some other character at short and Peavy on the mound.

    6. Even great young pitchers aren’t usually great the first few years. Think about Smoltz and Glavine.

    Overall, if the CENTER of the trade is Hanson, the Braves are better off. You stil have Jo Jo and Charlie to try to make a 4 or better starter out of, you still have a great shortstop, and, you may be able to deal KJ for Ludwick (which, even if Ludwick is partial “flash” he still is probably a 900 OPS righthanded hitter that the Braves desparately need).

  101. Cliff – “Even great young pitchers aren’t usually great the first few years. Think about Smoltz and Glavine.”

    Think about Lincecum.

  102. I’m steadfastly holding on to my position that trading any player who is either currently starting on our MLB roster, or likely to be starting on the MLB club in 2010 should not be traded for Peavy. I don’t mean that to include the starters who need to be upgraded.

    We should only be entertaining trade proposals for players in the farm system that are blocked by other better prospects, or current major leaguers. The team is not Jake Peavy away from being a playoff contender and it is certainly not Jake Peavy minus Yunel Escobar away from being a playoff contender.

    The team is two high quality starting pitchers and two high quality outfield hitters away from being a playoff team. Hanson appears to be on pace to fill one of those starting pitcher needs in the near future. Likewise Schafer appears to be on pace to fill an outfield spot. Based on that, I’d say the team is only one pitcher and one outfielder away from being competitive to win the division in 2010 and 2011. Those spots can EASILY be filled via free agency this season and remain filled over the course of the next several years.

    There just isn’t any need to open new holes just to plunk Peavy into an existing hole in the puzzle. Peavy is awesome to be sure but a trade should not be made if it doesn’t make sense.

    It is exceedingly difficult for me to find any sense in trading Escobar given the quality and cost of available replacements for him, as compared to the quality and cost of alternatives for Peavy. This is compounded when you throw in minor leaguers who fill positions of need on the MLB club.

  103. A couple of things:

    @142 – I think Escobar should feel pretty good that the Braves decided to keep him when it could have netted them an ace like Peavy;

    @146 – I believe that the situation in S. Fla. is abysmal too, but I don’t know that the team needs to be removed from the Miami area as much as ownership needs to be either punished or forced to sell the team to someone who is willing to invest in it.

    That is all, (yawning), Did we get Peavy yet?

  104. Hanson. The fact that we’re hanging onto Hanson so tight that we’re about to include Yunel is ludicrous. We have no idea how good Hanson’s going to be, at all. He very well could be a complete bust. The number of can’t-miss pitching prospects that have crashed and burned is truly staggering. Does anybody remember Bruce Chen? Plus, for it to be not worthwhile for us, Hanson would have to turn out to be as good or better than Peavy, which doesn’t seem exceptionally likely. I take the known over the unknown pretty much every single time. Which is why I don’t understand why everybody on here is so upset when we trade prospects. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of prospects we’ve traded that I later wished we had back. Jason Schmidt, Adam Wainwright…… Vinny Castilla in his prime, maybe? Although by that point, we had Chipper, so really probably not. Go with the known quantity, especially when it’s a pitcher for a pitcher.

  105. BA‘s 2009 Rays Top 10 Prospects list is out, and we have a revised version of David Price’s weaknesses (for the 2008 version, see here):

    Price lacks full confidence in his changeup. He didn’t need that third pitch in college and the minors, but must trust it more and improve its depth to succeed as a big league ace. He never has encountered failure, so he has yet to show he can make the necessary adjustments when the inevitable occurs, but he should be up to the challenge.

    Note that “lack of failure” has been added to the previous list, which included only “lack of experience”.

    He’s so weak.

  106. Plus, for it to be not worthwhile for us, Hanson would have to turn out to be as good or better than Peavy, which doesn’t seem exceptionally likely.

    For a team with a limited budget, this statement is not remotely true. Would you rather have an ace taking up 15% of your payroll or a #2 (or even a #3) taking up .004% of your payroll?

  107. While I think Nick makes a fair point that Yunel is more of a proven commodity to lose than Hanson, every indicator is that Tommy Hanson is going to be a pitching stud.

    But to be honest, I’m even more loathe to lose Yunel Escobar. We have so many holes in the lineup (like the entire outfield, for example) that to also have to replaace an All Star level 20-something SS is just too much to replace.

    If I thought the Braves could bring back Furcal for a few years, I could live with the Yunel loss more.

    Thanks Stu and ububba…

  108. Agreed 155,
    Gaining Peavy is an exercise in wheel spinning, essentially he’s replacing Tim Hudson’s production, compound that with the loss of Escobar and we are a weaker team. I advocate putting together a package of less important parts (Franceuor, Prado, one of the center fielders, JoJo Reyes, Parr, Morton) to get someone like Harang or Gil Meche. And then still have the pieces to get a Cardinals outfielder and still have money to sign a Lowe, Burnett or Dempster in addition to retaining Smoltzy’s and maybe a discounted Hampton’s services.

  109. Furcal? Why? Trading for Peavy is really only designed to get us an ace pitcher who costs less than most other aces. Why accomplish that by replacing our good shortstop who makes less than other good shortstops with an overpriced one. Why not just get an overpriced ace?

  110. #162 – on the same page with you. You could keep Yunel and get CC for the same cost if not cheaper than Peavy and injury prone Furcal. This is why you should typically trade from your strength positions, not somewhere that your lacking depth.

    With that being said, I dont think the Braves would go after Furcal

  111. Because Furcal can replace Yunel’s production and his defense better than Khalil Greene can. I don’t love the idea of bringing Furcal back and I am wholeheartedly against trading Yunel – I am frankly stunned that Wren would even consider dealing him and Peavy’s been trying to shake the logic tree and say that “why would I want to come to a team that’s been made even weaker because of my arrival”?

    That’s what the Braves seem to be missing. We have no outfield. We’ve replaced Mark Teixeira with Casey Kotchman. And now we’re talking about say replacing Yunel Escobar with either Martin Prado or Khalil Greene? Yuck. What a horrible lineup and defense.

    And, there’s still NO guarantee we’re going to A) be able to pry Ryan Ludwick from the Cards and B) I know everyone’s now in love with Ludwick, but what the heck did he ever do prior to 2008? Why is everyone so sure he’s going to hit 37 home runs again?

    I look at Ryan Ludwick and I think it smells like a Brady Anderson, one time wonder with chemical assistance job.

  112. @164

    I don’t think that the Yankees are going to let themselves get outbid on Sabathia. They have 80MM coming off the books, and I get the feeling that Steinbrenner’s ego will write a check that unfortunately, he will be able to cash.

  113. Right, I just want the trade to make sense, and that might depend on other plans the Braves have. Stu mentioned JJ Hardy. If he could be acquired for lower level prospects, or blocked prospects then that would go along way toward making sense out of giving up Escobar for Peavy.

  114. On the contrary, Harang’s 2007 was entirely the product of having Dusty Baker as a manager.

    Get him out of there and you’ll see a return to his previous levels.

  115. If we were to pick up Peavy and lose Escobar we’d be looking at:
    Orlando Cabrera or Cesar Izturis. Both are defensive wizards, Cesar would cost us very little but can’t really hit a lick. Cabrera is a pretty good and underrated all around player and seems to be on a playoff contender every year, but I would imagine he’d cost 8-10MM per for 3 or 4 years.

  116. I’m not in favor of a Peavy deal involving Escobar unless the Escobar replacement is costing us $4 million or less per year. I would much rather go with Infante or Lillibridge than with Furcal or Cabrera or, God forbid, Jack Wilson.

    Hardy would be ideal and would make the Peavy deal clearly worth doing, but I have no idea whether we have what the Brewers are looking for. Gorkys + Morton/Reyes? Add Prado?

  117. @168
    I’m a firm believer in adding depth to our outfield and rotation. We can’t afford to put so much into one player who we could lose for a season or two. In my mind if we add some number two or three starters to our rotation without mortgaging our future, we’ll be giving guys like Jurjens and Hanson time to develop into the aces that we need, meanwhile keeping our position depth strong and giving us a good shot at making a legitimate title run in 10 or 11.

  118. Is Hardy even said to be available? I can’t imagine them trading an inexpensive star player who is under team control for several more years. It would probably take a package comparable to Peavy’s to get a guy like that.

  119. He’s been “available” since last year’s trade deadline. Their top prospect, Alcides Escobar, is a shortstop who could play right now, apparently, and they’ve been willing to deal Hardy if it nets them something good.

    He wouldn’t come cheaply, but he wouldn’t require a Peavy-like package, either.

  120. Limited payroll? We have $40 million to spend this offseason. Our payroll is around $100 million and will likely be over that next year. We do not have an unlimited payroll, but we aren’t owned by AOL anymore. We’re not the Florida Marlins. We don’t have to forego having an ace and instead have a #2 and two #3s for payroll reasons. And yes, I would rather have an ace taking up 15% of my payroll than a #2 or 3 taking up whatever your number was. Which is to say, I’d rather have an ace than three #3s.

    And, all you people who are worried about money, do you realize what a bargain Peavy would be for that caliber of pitcher? We might wind up having to pay more to A.J. Burnett if we signed him. We would certainly have to pay more (probably at least 10 percent more) to get Sabathia. This is about as low-cost as an ace is going to get. If you’re worried about payroll on this thing, there will never be a situation in which you want to trade for an All-Star player.

  121. I’d rather trade a pitcher who *might* be really, really good than trade a shortstop who *IS* really, really good.

  122. #165, Ludwick is a former top ranked prospect who picked up some bad injuries and bounced around from minor league team to minor league team.

    The talent was always there, it just seems that staying healthy was a problem.

    He’ll probably never repeat this year, but I think he could be counted on to be a good outfield slugger.

    The word from sportswriters on the KJ for Ludwick deal is that we’d be the guys asking for prospects from them to make the deal more even.

  123. #176

    In the few years we’ve had KJ, I have not been overly impressed when he goes into 6 week long offensive hybernations. I would trade KJ straight up for Ludwick – if the Cards tossed in a prospect or two, even better.

    Escobar is the middle infielder I desperately want to keep. I could care less about KJ.

  124. Alex R.,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about KJ. I think Ludwick for KJ straight up would be awesome.

  125. I think another key to our success is to keep some of the payroll flexibility afforded to us this season for next season after watching our current wave of minor league talent in action.

  126. I agree with Alex totally about Yunel — welcome back from me too, by the way — but not about KJ. I definitely think Yunel is the more important of the two, but I’m a Kelly fan too.

    Even though I hate it when KJ disappears for a month at a time, he balances that by carrying the team the next month, and he’s an already very good hitter who’s entering his offensive prime. If, as Stu always points out, he gets even better, he’ll be a real force in the middle of our lineup. He’s a lot better than you think.

  127. I am a big Jake Peavy fan; however, considering what they are demanding for him, I transitioning to the point where I would rather spend 32 MM on Burnett and Sheets, keep Escobar and trade KJ (or whoever) for Ludwick. While that’s a definite injury risk, it’s not as if Peavy isn’t one.

    Plus, the integrity of the minor league system is pretty much kept for a potential mid-season acquisition.

    I’d also still like to spin Francoeur for Mark Teahen, but that might be just wishful thinking.

  128. A potential midseason acquisition which nobody will be in favor of because it would mean giving up our precious prospects and getting older and adding more payroll and blah blah blah blah… I find it very difficult to believe that anyone would come available in midseason that would have the impact that Peavy would. Hell, I’m fairly sure that there isn’t anyone we could sign over the offseason who would have the impact that Peavy would (arguably Sabathia, but there’s no way we’re signing him anyway, so the argument is pretty much pointless). This deal absolutely needs to be made. I’m not gonna say at any cost, but let me put it this way: There is no cost that has been seriously mentioned yet (and that includes both with Escobar as the centerpiece and with Hanson as the centerpiece) that would not be worth it. Hell, there isn’t really a cost that has been mentioned yet that has been worth pondering for more than a couple minutes, in my opinion.

  129. Nick,

    Is Peavy worth more than Burnett + Escobar? Without even mentioning the additional players given up.

    The issue isn’t that Peavy’s not good. The question is how much actual value does he bring if you are significantly weakening your club in other areas to acquire him.

    As for the midseason, who the hell knows?

    The Most Overused Braves Title of all Time

  130. AAR,

    Thanks :)

    I realize acquiring Peavy and having a healthy Smoltz with Jurrgjens at the top of the rotation, along with (assuming) a healthy bullpen with the likes of Gonzo, Soriano and Moylan, puts our pitching staff right up there and based on that alone, mixes us right in with the Phillies for the division.

    I mean, look at the Phils – they won it all on the back of really one great starting pitcher in Hamels and Peavy certainly is a match for Hamels. And then factor in we may add another starter and get Huddy back in August.

    But all that being said, it’s no point if you are left with a decimated joke of a limneup that removes Escobar, the true table setter, from the top of it and removes his stellar defense. I just don’t see how you can equally replace Escobar.

    Now if Frank Wren has signings and trades lined up to get a quality replacement SS (like Furcal) and add at least 2 big outfield bats such as Ludwick and someone else – fine. But the Phillies have a great lineup and even if we have a deeper rotation behind Peavy than they do behind Hamels, their lineup will be infinitely better, especially if we don’t replace Yunel properly and still have 2 or 3 outfield holes.

    As for Jeff Francouer, I’d trade him for a half eaten hot dog. As Mac has pointed out to me that Dayton Moore is inexplicably in love with Frenchy, I’d do cartwheels if we got anyone of value from them.

    (I did pose this question to Mac the other day – are we 100% SURE that Wren is NOT in love with Francouer anymore?)

  131. “slick fielding second baseman”

    I know he’s not as bad as made out, but that did make me laugh.

    I think we’re pretty much on the verge, if we haven’t already, of saying, “here’s our offer, it’s on the table until Friday.”

  132. On Lincecum’s Cy and amazing season: has anybody asked if he’s going to become Steve Avery? He seems to be that Avery-esque phenom who blows you away as a kid after a passable rookie stint… I just hope for his sake that he hangs around for a while longer than Avery did.

  133. If, IF! we were to trade Yunel in a package for Peavy, do you think we could send KJ and something (Flowers/Frenchy(!)) to the Brewers for Hardy and Rickie Weeks??

    The Brewers could put KJ at 2B and bring up Alcides Escobar for SS. We could play Hardy at SS and Weeks in LF (or 2B if you really want to). The bet there is that Weeks can blossom as a hitter with his fielding difficulties relieved.

    (For the record, I prefer to stand pat here and keep our prospects unless there’s a Hanson for Peavy straight up offer or something like it.)

  134. Re: Lincecum
    I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he went Avery. Then again, I’m never shocked when pitchers get hurt. That’s what they do. That’s also why I’d rather trade Hanson than Escobar.

  135. I didn’t think Roy Oswalt would last because he’s such a slight guy with a violent delivery, and he’s stayed strong. Lincecumb could last.

  136. I truly believe we can sign or trade for just one sub peavy caliber pitcher and field a pretty competitive rotation in 2009. Especially if Smoltz is ready to go and Hampton signs on the cheap.


    Our bullpen is primed to be our best in years and our lineup could conceivably be upgraded without losing both middle infielders.

  137. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how nobody here would not be willing to part with Esco for Peavy. Pitching wins championships. Period. I don’t think we had a shortstop nearly as good as Esco for our entire 14 year run, and we were fine. But what we did have was the best starting rotation in all of baseball every year (minus maybe the last 4). Get back to that philosophy and I think we would be right there again. You don’t even have to consider next year – look at 2010 (Peavy, Hudson, Other Free Agent from this year, Jurrjens, Hanson). Now that is unreal. I don’t believe there is a single shortstop in baseball that is worth what a true #1 starter is.

  138. Um… the Braves pretty much always got good offense from shortstop (Blauser and Furcal). One of the strengths of the team was above-average offense up the middle.

  139. 1. Why bring up Gold Gloves won when discussing defense? The Gold Glove is probably more useless than the error for determining who is a good defender.

    2. Are people using “need RH power” as a stand in for “need to hit LH pitching better”? I wonder what baseball would be like if LH batters could hit LH pitchers. That would be so klazy.

  140. Hate King, that’s a great article. Lil uh-oh towards the bottom, though, where Linc’s dad (a pitching mechanics nerd) says:

    “Prior is almost all upper body. You could cut his legs off and he would throw just as hard. I don’t like to put my finger on players, but I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve said, ‘He’s going to blow his elbow out’ or ‘His back will go out.’ Sure enough, it happens, including Dice-K [Daisuke Matsuzaka], Jake Peavy, Prior. . . . I have a hard time enjoying the game. I’m sitting there criticizing the pitcher. It hurts to watch pitchers. Seventy percent of the pros have poor mechanics.”

  141. That’s interesting. I always thought of Prior as having excellent mechanics, and that he got alot of his power from his lower body.

  142. Peavy on the other hand . . . It would not surprise me if he threw a pitch and his arm split at the elbow leaving the catcher to receive the ball being gripped by Jake’s lower right arm.

  143. Stupid Hanson, giving up another run! At this rate, his ERA is going to be 1.00 before the league ends….

  144. Sorry, I was a bit young when Blauser was playing. I never really saw him as an offensive force (maybe that’s because you, or at least me, only really recognize superstars when you are a kid). Far be it from me to argue if he was though – you guys would definately know better than me.

  145. Best seasons by a Braves shortstop, 1991-2008, by RC/G (min. 300 PA)


    1 Jeff Blauser 1997 7.33
    2 Edgar Renteria 2007 6.91
    3 Jeff Blauser 1993 6.66
    4 Yunel Escobar 2007 6.63
    5 Rafael Furcal 2003 6.36
    6 Rafael Furcal 2000 6.13
    7 Jeff Blauser 1992 5.70
    8 Rafael Furcal 2005 5.61
    9 Edgar Renteria 2006 5.51
    10 Rafael Furcal 2004 5.32
    11 Jeff Blauser 1996 5.32
    12 Walt Weiss 1998 5.20
    13 Jeff Blauser 1991 5.15
    14 Yunel Escobar 2008 4.68
    15 Rafael Furcal 2001 4.32

  146. Now I definitely want to overpay for an aging injured Furcal who never produced a better offensive season than ’07 Escobar.

  147. Well, Escobar was only half-time that year. This is probably better, plate appearances added:

    PLATE APPEARANCES displayed only–not a sorting criteria

    1 Jeff Blauser 1997 7.33 623
    2 Edgar Renteria 2007 6.91 543
    3 Jeff Blauser 1993 6.66 710
    4 Yunel Escobar 2007 6.63 355
    5 Rafael Furcal 2003 6.36 734
    6 Rafael Furcal 2000 6.13 542
    7 Jeff Blauser 1992 5.70 403
    8 Rafael Furcal 2005 5.61 689
    9 Edgar Renteria 2006 5.51 673
    10 Rafael Furcal 2004 5.32 632
    11 Jeff Blauser 1996 5.32 312
    12 Walt Weiss 1998 5.20 424
    13 Jeff Blauser 1991 5.15 415
    14 Yunel Escobar 2008 4.68 587
    15 Rafael Furcal 2001 4.32 359
    16 Rafael Furcal 2002 4.31 693
    17 Jeff Blauser 1994 4.13 434
    18 Walt Weiss 1999 3.76 327
    19 Jeff Blauser 1995 3.73 504
    20 Rafael Belliard 1991 3.01 385
    21 Rafael Belliard 1992 1.87 315

  148. I guess I don’t really remember Blauser being that good. I mean I knew he was good, but I wouldn’t have thought he’d top that category. It may have been that in 1993 I was 5 and in 1997 I was 9.

  149. Wow – I surely didn’t think he’d top the list, LOL. Teach me to open my mouth before doing my research (for some reason I thought it would come back to bite me).

  150. I ran a top 30 list for NL shortstops during the period. I won’t print it here, but it’s dominated by Barry Larkin, though the best and third-best years are Hanley’s last two. But Blauser’s two best years are eighth and thirteenth, Furcal is on it three times, and both 2007 shortstops are on there. Seven out of thirty — in about 250 team seasons. The Braves have probably had the third-best shortstop play in the NL over the last twenty years after the Reds and Marlins.

  151. Heh. He’d definitely have been perceived differently if his career had occured 10-15 years later than it did. I had NO IDEA that he walked that much. And on those years when he BA spiked, he was almost certainly among the best SS in the league.

    Shame his career faded so quickly.

  152. Flowers has had a very impressive fall. Im guessing if he’s not in the Peavy deal, he’ll be moved for another piece before ST

  153. Mac,
    Where did Blauser rank on your list of the best Braves of all time? I don’t even remember him being on the list.

  154. Right, given the Royals weird liking of Francoeur, the fact that Greinke would come cheaper than Peavy because his contract is up in 2 years and Towers is trying to play hardball with a deal we should barely make anyway, why not offer a similar package to the Royals?

    Francoeur, Morton, Hernandez, Locke for Greinke and a 48 hour negotiating window?

    Close? Or just ridiculous? Obviously doesn’t help that they got Jacobs.

    They’re trying to sign Greinke to an extension, but it’s not thought he will. Once they realise he won’t, he’ll be available.

  155. If Peavy really does want the final year of his contract guaranteed, as the dude from Yahoo Sports says, I’d probably walk away completely.

  156. Who gives a crap about the final year? Guarantee it. Whatever.

    And the Padres are about to screw themselves over completely. If they walk away from our deal, they’ll likely never get a better deal for him. The Cubs deal sucks, and the farther we go, the less contract he has left, so the quality of any deal will surely go down.

    And on our side of the ledger, we are going to kill this deal off by not including Tommy Hanson, and it’s going to really piss me off.

  157. Who gives a crap about the final year? Guarantee it. Whatever.

    Such a well-thought-out sentiment. Yes, who can possibly find fault with a $22-million commitment for 2013 for a pitcher with violent mechanics who will be 32 years old?

  158. I say no to the final year. And I am a big supporter of this possible trade. Absolutely no guarantee on the final year.

  159. I would think Barry Larkin is a first ballot HOF. If he had played in New York they would buld a statue of him.

  160. Alright, let me put it in more eloquent terms. First, I’m pretty sure that Peavy and his agent are just sniping, and I’m guessing that he’s bluffing on that, just like on the Escobar thing. If the deal comes through, he’ll take it, because he wants out of San Diego. But even if he’s not bluffing, in my opinion it is worth it in order to get one of the best pitchers in the game. Plus, we can always trade him if we don’t want to pay the last year. That is way too far down the road to just say, “Oops, that’s it. He wants the last year guaranteed? No more discussions. We’re out. Now to go sign a free-agent pitcher who will no doubt want the final year of his contract guaranteed.” I’m sorry, but it makes no sense to me that that would be the sticking point. And if we have to guarantee it to get the deal done, for God’s sake, guarantee it.

    Sorry for the curt response, but if you can’t tell, I’m starting to get a bit peeved at the fact that this deal is pretty obviously not going to get done because both sides are sitting on their hands. And at the fact that everyone on here thinks we’d be better off with an unknown quantity and without one of the best pitchers in the league.

    An ace pitcher is, quite simply, the most important thing to have in baseball. He is far more important than the young starting shortstop and far, far more important than a pitching prospect. If we do this deal, we are at least 50% of the way back to being a playoff-caliber team, maybe more. We’d have to fill the holes properly, but I will tell you this. I’m not sure that signing Burnett by himself and finding a decent outfielder gets us to the point where trading for Peavy would. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t. We do not have to throw next year away to contend in the future. We can contend next year and in the future if we make smart decisions. I simply do not understand why anyone would think this deal wasn’t a good idea, really, much less why everyone thinks this deal isn’t a good idea. I simply do not understand why everyone’s so eager to throw next year down the garbage chute.

  161. One excellent pitcher makes us about 20% closer to being a contender, we will still need a SS, another SP, and at least one OF, really 2 OF and 2 more SP’s.

  162. I believe this to be an excellent deal to do. However, the final year guaranteed will not make it worth doing. I say that because you’d be approaching the territory where you might as well just pay CC his 22 mil per year and not worry about giving up prospects. The only reason this deal made any sense from the beginning was that he was extremely affordable for a bonafide ace. But once that goes out the window, you might as well just buy one on the free agent market.

  163. Nick, you’re talking as if Peavy is the only decent pitcher available. He isn’t.

    As for the final year of the deal. If we wanted to trade him instead of keep him, then that implies he won’t be worth $22 million then. If that’s the case, who would want to trade for him?

  164. Nick,

    you don’t understand or you don’t agree? The explanations for why people don’t agree with the trades are well documented in the past few threads.

    It’s pretty simple really. A lot of people don’t agree with you that trading Escobar + Schafer gets us 50% of the way back to being a playoff team.

    Also, hypothetically signing Burnett and a good outfielder would not be throwing next year down the garbage chute. We are without Hudson for all of 2009 probably and without Smoltz for a lot of it, all of it if we don’t sign him, and he may not be able to be a starter. Hudson will be back in 2010. While we don’t want to throw away next season, we don’t need to make it all the way back either, we just need to improve to the point that in 2010 we can take the next steps that get us all the way there.

  165. Plus, we can always trade him if we don’t want to pay the last year.

    You mean like we were able to do with Hampton and his awesome contract?

    If we do this deal, we are at least 50% of the way back to being a playoff-caliber team, maybe more. We’d have to fill the holes properly, but I will tell you this. I’m not sure that signing Burnett by himself and finding a decent outfielder gets us to the point where trading for Peavy would. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t.

    Dude, 50%? Not remotely true. As for Burnett + OF = Peavy, maybe but what about Burnet + OF = Peavy + Yunel or Peavy + Hanson? Because that’s the issue here.

  166. Burnett will not win us a postseason series. Peavy could. If we got Burnett + OF – we still need a true ace. Not saying others aren’t available, just saying we can’t stop there. Look what Cole Hamels did for the Phillies this year. We need one of those guys. Why not Burnett + OF + Peavy? Still need to work on getting a decent shortstop, but that takes care of most of our needs. Besides, what do you think our chances of signing good free-agents are if we don’t show we are trying to win? We lost 90 games last year. How can we appeal to any free-agents that get like offers from teams that won 90 last year?

  167. This is Jake Peavy of the stellar 12 ERA in the postseason?

    I’m not saying he won’t get better, but I don’t think he’ll win postseason series either.

    You could equally say that the Rays having 3 #2s won them postseason series because they could win every game.

  168. Larkin should be first ballot. When I looked at the upcoming eligibles (not counting the 2013 group with Bonds and Clemens) I had him second only to Rickey Henderson, but ahead of Bagwell and Robby Alomar.

    Blauser is if anything rated too low at 16; he could easily be five spots higher.

  169. Peavy doesn’t make us better than we were last year, arguably it makes us better than we ARE right now, ARGUABLY. With Jake Peavy, we’re the same team we were last year AFTER we lost Smoltz and Glavine but before we lost Hudson (remember that team?). Then you have to factor in the replacement of Mark Texeira with Sid Bream er… I mean Rico Brogna er…. oh yeah CASEY KOTCHMAN in addition to the hit our payroll, lineup and defense takes when we no longer hold the services of Yunel Escobar, not to mention the depletion of depth in our farm system.

  170. In exactly 2 post-season starts, Peavy got beat up pretty bad. But, it should be noted that he pitched the first game with a broken rib.

    I wouldn’t worry about any of that, though. Andy Pettitte lost Game 1 of the ’96 WS 12-1. We know all too well what he did the next time out.

  171. @237 – I agree if we were to just get Peavy. But the idea isn’t to stop there. Add another #2 pitcher and a slugging outfielder to the mix, and I think we are alot better than last year. Especially since the Tex we had for most of the season is nowhere near what his final stats indicate. But Peavy doesn’t just help us for next year. Again, I think a rotation of Peavy, Hudson, another free agent (i.e. Burnett), Jurrjens and Hanson for 2010 would be almost unbeatable (assuming they stay healthy). But also, I only think this makes sense if we can obtain a decent SS as well (which I think we can very well do).

  172. I’m just worried that we’ll max out our payroll and have no flexibility to make moves before the 2010 season, which was always the case for most of the past decade, instead of trying to make all the big signings and trades this year i’d rather hold onto all of our cheap young pieces and try to make a run in 2010 when we have all of our horses in place.

  173. I just posted this somewhere else, but might as well do it here also.

    I’m against the Peavy deal and here’s why. Here’s why…

    Typically when you trade for a particular player its done from a position of strength. Our SS situation is not a strength for us at this point. Dont get me wrong, Peavy is one hell of a pitcher and probably a top 5 pitcher in all of baseball. However, while making this trade we are creating a bigger hole in which will have to be filled via trade of FA. The Padres are saying that any team who gets Peavy will have to pick up the option year which makes his contract $16.2 mil for the next 5 years. Still a very good price for his caliber of a pitcher.

    But lets now look at what we’ll have to spend for a FA SS in the market because Lillibridge isnt going to cut it. Lets go cheap and say we get Renteria for $6 mil per for 2 years. We are now paying $22 mil for these two positions and we are a lot worse defensively for it. Or we could sign Furcal but thats now making the two positions around $30 mil. For that price you could keep Yunel and probably get Dempster and maybe Lowe for that same cost. We’d still have KJ to move for Ludwick and still have about $15mil left to spend. Not to mention that we’d still have Gorkys, Flowers, Locke, Morton and Reyes (who I dont care for) to package in other deals.

    So basically what Im saying is that…

    Yunel, Ludwick, Lowe, Dempster, + Prospects fills all your needs for around $30 to $35 mil and gives you the capability of making more trades. We’ve still got more $$ to spend and filled the hole in LF, 2 SP positions, and kept one of the best defensive SS in baseball. Prado is a drop off from KJ, but he can get the job done.

    If you make the trade you’ve got Peavy, who’s a flat out stud, but you still have the LF problem, a hole at SS, and less prospects.

    Feel free to chime in…..

  174. CSG – I like your plan, but alot of ifs there as well. Lowe is going to Boston. Count it.
    Dempster is a big question (though I like him). But I love the idea of keeping Yunel and getting Ludwick for Johnson. But I still don’t like the pitching options there. If we could get Lowe, I’d like it a helluva lot more. I just don’t think it will happen.

  175. Everyone is going to be after Lowe/Dempster/Burnett. And I doubt the Braves are any of their first choices. The Braves will probably have to overpay any of them significantly to bring them in. Walking away on Peavy and putting all your eggs in signing any of them will likely end up badly: with either the Braves signing none of them or paying them 18+ million per year.

    I say get Jake Peavy.

  176. Oh, by the way. Flowers hit 3 more home runs today in Arizona to give him 10 so far, and Hanson threw 5 innings with 9 more K’s.

  177. Lowe isn’t guaranteed to go to Boston. They’ll offer him less than he could get elsewhere.

    According to DOB there’s a thought that there could be a rash of free agent signings early as people take the security of money that’s on the table anticipating a squeeze in January.

  178. I’m not that high on Escobar nor am I all that high on the prospects. I say make the deal. It does leave a whole at short, but we will do something.

    We are looking at one of the best pitchers in the game with a more than reasonable contract.

    Think back to the Marte/ Renteria deal. There were people on here compairing Marte to Mike Schmidt. You have to give something to get something.

  179. The one guy I keep forgetting about: Oliver Perez.

    I sure hope Wren has no interest in him. Talk about a downgrade from Peavy if the Braves get Perez if the Peavy trade falls through.

    I’d rather the Braves get no new starting pitchers than Oliver Perez. Save the money for 2010 at that point.

  180. I’ll tell you what, I really love ZaZa Pachulia when I don’t hate him.

    Big difference between Marte and Yunel, who’s already proven to be one of the 10 best shortstops in baseball.

  181. I’m a Zaza fan. He’s no All-Star, but he hits the offensive boards, you can pass to him in a set offense, and he doesn’t back down (as Kevin Garnett can attest).

  182. Anyone see that Edinson Volquez got 9 points in the ROY voting, even though he didn’t qualify as a rookie?

  183. then who do we give up to get Hardy?

    Not including Schafer in the deal would be a smart move. Although, we wont have the cash to get a SS, OF and SP

  184. If he wants to be a Cub, let him be a Cub. As far as I concern, it doesn’t worth giving up four prospects for an expensive (not cheap by any mean) and a freaking huge health risk…if we don’t have enough health risks already…

  185. Renteria is a statue at this point. Wren obviously hates our pitchers. Now, I kinda hate them too, but he really needs to understand that “stationary” is not an adjective you want to apply to your middle infielders.

  186. I agree Mac, especially when the 2nd best shortstop on your team is Omar Infante. I wonder if he thinks Renteria will get here and Bobby’s pixie dust will make him an All-Star again.

  187. I’m hoping Peavy does prefer the Cubs. I’d rather keep Esco and friends. I also don’t want to see the return of Renteria.

  188. @192 Great article, Hate King.

    And, as AAR said, pretty scary observation about Peavy by Lincecum’s Dad.

    Is it really worth trading Esco once you calculate in the inevitable loss of an effictive Peavy for 12-14 months due to injury?

  189. I think we should have moved Schafer last year when he had real value. I don’t think he is going to pan out. I also think we are using the Arizona fall league to over hype some of these prospects.

  190. AAR,

    We’ve known that for a while now. Peavy clearly wants to win now, and he’s petrified of going to Atlanta because he thinks they won’t have a shortstop anymore and he wants to get into the playoffs next year.

    It just occured to me: is Petco going to destroy what “little” slugging Escobar has, or is it a stadium built for his skills?

  191. “Cox is said to have become disenchanted with (Escobar), which no doubt played a part in the fact that the Braves would part with Escobar.”

    Really? This is the first I’ve heard of this.

    Is it an attitude thing?

  192. I had a thought like that earlier tonight, smitty, that the AFL is just a hype league for trading. This time of year has a lot in common with a livestock auction, really.


  193. Smitty, it may be but most of the games top prospects are there. It just so happens that the two best players of the league right now are Hanson and Flowers. Overhyping them, maybe, but they are tearing up their competition down there.

  194. If Peavy is so terrified of being a Brave, why did he ever name the Braves as one of the five NL teams he’d accept a trade to in the first place?

  195. He wanted to pull a Dominic Hasek and demand that the team he goes to only give up peanuts in return.

  196. What, does Peavy think the Braves won’t have a shortstop? That they’ll just leave a big gaping hole between Chipper Jones and Kelly Johnson on the infield?

    How much of a drop-off on defense will Lillibridge really be? That seems to be most peoples’ concerns with losing Yunel Escobar; not losing his offense but his good defense.

  197. Perfect answer to Weldon at 275, Mac. And yet another reason why Bobby is long past his “good until” date.

  198. Bobby’s not the only person to worry about Escobar being “cocky”. I don’t remember who did it, but I seem to remember concerns posted here, or on some other message board, that Escobar’s outbursts would offend umpires and he would get screwed on borderline calls later.

    I also recall some opinion about veterans on the club needing to step in and tell Escobar to knock off the antics. Am I imagining that?

  199. My suspicion, too, was an internal organizational beef with Escobar. And yes, it was apparent that he was certainly pissing off umps. Whatever the case, I’m not feeling Lillibridge as the ’09 SS.

    A Music Thang: Just found out that Mitch Mitchell, drummer from the Jimi Hendrix Experience died today.


    Kinda weird thing: Just this week, I broke out Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland for the first time in years.

    As Robert Klein likes to say, “Oooh-weeee!”

  200. It was noticed here, for sure. Personally, I like the jumping warm-ups, crazy baserunning, and overall “fire” that Yunel has shown.

    It’s a feature, not a bug.

  201. I like the jumping warm ups, but the bitching about calls and the stupid baserunning is immature.

    Watching the Braves this past season was like this:

    Leadoff hitter, first pitch ground out.
    #2 pop up
    Chipper gets a hit
    McCann doubles, Chipper to third
    Frenchy K’s
    failed bunt attempt

    and so on…

  202. I can definitely live with Boyer being the fourth player in the package. Sending one injury risk for another is pretty fair.

  203. I seem to remember plenty of games beginning with a walk or hit, then a sac attempt, perhaps followed by an intentional/unintentional of Chipper, then maybe a double play. After awhile, it ran on a loop.

    That’s a hot Hendrix Experience clip. Mitchell’s really a monster there. “Hey, Joe” was always a terrific Mitchell vehicle & “Crosstown Traffic” is another one.

    But from listening to Axis: Bold as Love, it’s really apparent what a deft touch Mitchell also had on some of the sweeter, less massive tunes like “Castles Made of Sand” & “Little Wing.” The guy really was a helluva drummer.

  204. I should add that I do not want the ‘lefthander’ mentioned as a trade possibilit to be either Rohrbough or Evarts. Escobar/Hernandez, Morton Boyer is enough….

  205. If Peavy agrees to waive his no-trade agreement and the trade is made, regardless of whether or not the Braves pick up the option and give Jake a full no trade guarantee; I vote to make Little Britches the shortstop, hit him 8th or 9th depending on the day’s pitcher, and spend the rest of the money on another quality starter in the free agent class. Maybe we can trade Prado and one of our almost major league starters to Saint Louie for Ludwick or Detroit for Maggs.

  206. About that Cox quote:

    1) Not only is it tacked on to the very end of the column (talk about burying the lede for Braves fans), not only is it unattributed, it uses that “some say” construction that means Scott Miller didn’t hear it from anybody. It’s pure bloviation.

    2) The aforementioned “Scott Miller” is a “superstar blogger” for CBSSportsline, a job he’s held since way back in February 2008! Pardon me for doubting the depth of his roster of anonymous sources. Who knows, maybe he’s Carl Bernstein. Probably not.

    3) We brought up the possibility here a while back that Cox is disillusioned with Escobar. But DOB wrote just last month that Escobar is a Cox favorite. Who is more likely to know?

    Look, it’s easy to opine that Cox might not like Escobar. Grouchy old manager of historically button-down ballclub versus cocky young showoff. It writes itself — right, Scott Miller? But I would hope around here that DOB holds preeminence regarding clubhouse issues.

  207. I’m worried about what will happen to that “$40 million” in extra payroll. With the economy in shambles, attendence will almost certainly decline next year. Liberty might decide to pocket that money. So, you can’t assume the Braves are going to be able to sign free agents.

    Re needing a shortstop, Casey Stengel once said about catching, “you need a catcher, otherwise you have a lot of passed balls.” Also, re Mac’s list of top shortstop seasons for the Braves, what, no Sonny Jackson or Gil Garrido?

    I’m really of two minds about the trade. I’m not against, in principle, trading prospects for players but it seems that increasingly the Braves are going for the big name, quick fix solution. That worries me. Well, it looks like it will happen, so we will see how it goes.

  208. sansho,
    DOB’s also hinted that there are clubhouse concerns about Yunel’s lengthy recovery times from injuries and that he was a bit moody. I agree with you about the relative worth of a Scott Miller clubhouse scoop, but I think the evidence we have from reliable sources points to pretty much the same thing.

  209. I will be disappointed to see Yunel go because of his great defense and OBP, but we simply can’t expect to land a player of Peavy’s caliber without giving up a superstar prospect (Hanson or Heyward) or an established, young player with upside. The Yunel antics never bothered me, but Cox’s biggest attribute as a manager is keeping the entire team happy, and if Yunel was causing some issues then he is logical player to trade.

    I am certainly hoping the Padres choose JoJo Reyes over Charlie Morton. I am wary of the insight DOB provided about JoJo Reyes turning down advice from Smoltz and Glavine at the end of the year. Reyes does not sound confident at all, and I do not think he will ever have the mental ability to consistently go through a lineup multiple times during the course of a game. Though DOB has also reported Morton lacks confidence as well. So who knows which player will turn out more valuable, but my guess is Morton.

  210. …but we simply can’t expect to land a player of Peavy’s caliber without giving up a superstar prospect (Hanson or Heyward) or an established, young player with upside.

    I’m just not sure I agree with this in the current situation.

    What we (think we) know:
    (1) The Pads are pretty set on trading Peavy for financial reasons; and
    (2) The next-best offer for Peavy appears to include Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno or something close.

    It seems to me that, given the depth and strength of our farm system, it’s pretty easy to build a package that’s better than the Cubs’ offer and includes neither Heyward nor Hanson nor Yunel.

    I mean, seriously. Give them Hernandez and Flowers. Give them Morton and Reyes. That’s two major-league-ready starters and two pretty freaking good prospects. And it’s clearly better than any Cubs package that doesn’t include Josh Vitters, right? I don’t get why we’re including Yunel.

    Also, if we give up either Rohrbough or Locke as the “throw-in”, I’m going to officially lose faith in Wren.

  211. I don’t know, Stu. “Clubhouse concerns” casts a pretty wide net, and Miller wrote specifically about Cox. There’s an awful lot of institutional memory floating around our clubhouse, including several guys with 15-20 years of rapport with the local beat writers. All of whom are probably more forthcoming than Cox.

    Injury recovery time could be an issue, and it would probably help Yunel to be able to speak on his own behalf, like Chipper and Hampton have been able to. If he comes across as moody — well, it helps to remember that nobody is teaching English to kids in Cuba, so he’s starting from scratch even more than a lot of Latin players.

    Personally, I’d like a little less institutional memory in the clubhouse. What do I care if our third-best player chats it up with (fill in name of grizzled, washed-up veteran here)?

  212. I’m sure I’ve chimed in sometime in the past eternity we’ve been rambling about the Peavy trade… but put me down as one of those not happy with parting with Escobar. I’ve got nothing to ad to the discussion really… others have pointed out that we don’t have anybody to fill that spot at near replacement level, so we’re either giving up offense, or spending extra on his replacement, at which point why not spend that extra on FA guys (though I also see the “spread the injury risk around to a few guys” angle I think the hit on the farm offsets that a bit). I’m also more inclined to give them both JoJo and Morton than give up Yunel… hell if we don’t have a slot for Flowers anyway with him being blocked by McCann, why not toss him into the heap and keep Morton? (I think I just made a bad pun there with McCann’s nickname being Heap… but I’m not sure exactly what it was).

  213. I have to say that I guess I can live with the Peavy deal, but I’m not too happy with it. I thought Infante would be a possible replacement at SS, but that doesn’t sound like an option. The problem is that getting Peavy at a “bargain” price becomes a lot more expensive when we have to add in the cost of getting a comparable SS. Given the injury risks, I just don’t see us getting Furcal. We’ll have to see how the team shapes out by February, but right now I don’t like the overall direction.

  214. An all prospect package for Peavy is vastly more desirable than one that includes a major league position player. Boyer I can live with, especially since his arm is probably only connected to his body by one sinew of muscle and the 7th layer of skin.

    The problem now is that we’ve demonstrated willingness to part with Escobar, the Padres would be fools to let us pull him off the table.

    If it’s going to be Escobar though, keep some blocked prospects and send them to Milwaukee.

  215. The problem now is that we’ve demonstrated willingness to part with Escobar, the Padres would be fools to let us pull him off the table.

    Really? It would be more foolish to let that happen than to accept Marshall/Pie/Cedeno instead of a downgraded-but-still-better package from the Braves?

    NOTE: I realize that we won’t be yanking Yunel from the proposal; I’m just wondering if anyone out there agrees with me that we should be able to and still land Peavy.

  216. Stu, I would much prefer the Hernandez, Flowers, Reyes, and Morton trade to the speculative Escobar deal.

    Do you think Hernandez, Flowers, Reyes, and Morton is better than a deal headlined by Vitters? Something like Vitters, Marshall, Pie/Cedeno or lower level prospects?

    Wasn’t Neftali Perez a throw-in on the Tex deal? I don’t want to see Rohrbough or Locke as the last player either.

  217. If we do land Peavy, what does that leave us? 25MM-28MM to acquire a shortstop, an outfielder, a starter, and another outfielder and ideally a seasoned reliever? This should work out nicely.

  218. We’d be getting a very good pitcher at a somewhat (maybe 1/4 to 1/3) below market price. But here’s why I don’t like the trade:

    1. But all pitchers have injury risk and Peavy at this point is probably a bit riskier than the average pitcher.
    2. Trading Escobar creates a big hole at SS with no good choices internally or externally for replacing the combined offense and defense that Escobar has.
    3. Escobar is cost controlled for 5 more years–his surplus value we would be trading away is probably more than the below market value we’d be obtaining from Peavy.

    I’d be ok with a trade of 3 from Morton, Reyes, Hernandez, Boyer for Peavy, but the 4-1 deal including Esco is just a big overpayment. Here’s hoping Towers and Hendry and can hook up.

    BTW, I’d also rather keep Escobar so there might the possibility of KJ for Ludwick (assuming reports are correct that Wren is not willing to deal both KJ and Esco).

  219. Do you think Hernandez, Flowers, Reyes, and Morton is better than a deal headlined by Vitters?

    I actually think it’s close, Hate King, but the Braves’ package would probably be considered weaker. Still, I think we could throw in a valuable enough extra part to beat it. I mean, our system is just so much better and deeper than Chicago’s.

    Besides, at least half of the reports I read say Vitters is not part of the deal.

  220. wonder what the plans are for Prado now. Wren says he isnt trading both, but Prado hits too well to be a bench player. Its too bad his glove is terrible

  221. “Do you think Hernandez, Flowers, Reyes, and Morton is better than a deal headlined by Vitters?”

    no, but you could take out Reyes and Morton and offer Marek/Medlen/and Lilli and it would beat their offer

  222. no, but you could take out Reyes and Morton and offer Marek/Medlen/and Lilli and it would beat their offer


    The Reyes and Morton combo has way more value (including major-league-readiness) than that trio.

  223. Stu – I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the Padres need a shortstop. I would assume that any deal they make for Peavy would include a major league-ready SS. Comparing an Escobar-less offer to the Cubs’…well, Cedeno is pretty bad, but he’s at least more proven than Lillibridge.

  224. Does anybody know how to get a pythag record for the Braves for the last 60 games or so (nd thus compare to actual)?

    I realize we are 79 / 83 in overall pythag. I am afraid part of our differential is tied up in Cox’s crazy bunting. But also, I think the return of Gonzo should have made the negative off of expeted pythag go down.

    Nevertheless, we go into this offseason with basically the same crew for that period except Ohman, Norton, and Hampton. So my conjecture is that we become a 70 win team (adjusted to pythag) if nothing else is done.

    Next year early the bullpen could be a problem. Moyland and Soriano coming back to step in before Gonzalez should make us slightly better by May or so.

    Startng pitching is woeful without adding two.

    Position players are o.k. except that we have problems at all three outfield spots.

    Keep the prospects. Build for 2010.

  225. Weldon,
    They still have Greene. I know they’re looking to trade him, but they’re looking to trade a few guys (like Giles, if he’ll approve anything), and it seems like they could find a shortstop somewhere else. Cedeno sucks—is he really that much better than Lillibridge or whoever the Pads’ internal replacement would be?

  226. How in the world can people keep calling Reyes and Morton major league ready? I mean I suppose I can’t tell if you guys have straight faces when you type that but seriously. They both have ERAs in the neighborhood of 6 and whips in the neighborhood of 1.6. Now I’m not saying that they have no chance of being major league pitchers, and good ones at that, they could just as easily flop entirely and I think these guys would have more value on the trade market if they hadn’t pitched in the bigs yet.

  227. IthicaBraves,
    Have you seen San Diego’s rotation (empty) or ballpark (a pitcher’s heaven)? Both of those guys would open the season in the Pads’ rotation, and Reyes in particular could really shine, IMO.

  228. They still have Greene, but dude had an awful year last year: 213/260/339. Even Cedeno is going to give you a better line than that. There’s a chance that Greene could bounce back, but I don’t think the Pads are willing to bet on it.

  229. Call me old fashioned, but I’d take Josh Greer and Cha Seung Baek over Potato Wedge Reyes and Charlie Morton any day of the week.

  230. I think San Diego could suit Reyes. He’s from Southern California. Dunno how well he’d actually do, but dumping him for something good is the way to go for Atlanta.

    I know he’s young, he’s a LHP, etc., but guys who are afraid to throw strikes make me crazy.

  231. ububba,
    I didn’t even consider that Reyes is from that part of the country. His fly-ball tendencies would be a good thing in that park, though. And I’d think he’d be less likely to nibble with the increased margin for error.

    Of course I’d also think he’d be willing to listen to advice from Smoltz and Glavine, so what do I know?

  232. Does anybody know when we can expect Chuck James back? He’s another major league ready starter who would look great in petco park.

  233. Stu,
    Could be.

    Yeah, Reyes is a nibbler. Saw him pitch in Anaheim against the free-swinging Angels this summer and it might’ve been his best result all year.

    I sat next to these guys from Riverside, his hometown, and they were all decked out in Braves gear. At ballparks in SoCal, that’s not such a sin. Nobody said a word to them.

    Here’s a pretty good Mark Bradley mini-column about the Hawks (with some upbeat responses in the forum part).

    He says that this is the best-shooting Hawks team he’s ever seen. Of course, if they get effort like they got last night and a modicum of defense (which was pitiful last year), maybe we’ve got something here.

  234. Greinke has some local ties — his first cousin lives in Athens, and was a roomie of a friend of mine.

  235. Chuck did fine when he was healthy. He’s been hurt for a year and a half now, but it took that long for the Braves to acknowledge it and that he wasn’t just lollygagging.

  236. Wow Stu, I was just preparing a “What would it take to get Greinke?” post.

    Do you think we could get him with some combination of three or four of these guys?

    Jeff Francoeur
    Casey Kotchman
    Kelly Johnson
    Martin Prado
    Kris Medlen
    Stephen Merek
    Jeff Locke
    Corey Rohrbrough
    JoJo Reyes
    Charlie Morton (obviously whomever is leftover from the assumed peavy trade)

  237. If we were able to snag Greinke as well, again assuming we had gotten Peavy already. The Peavy trade makes alot more sense, then we’re talking about a rotation that is strong for years to come with Peavy, Greinke, Jurrjens, Hanson, one more year of Hudson and let’s not forget about Jorge Campillo who I think was one of the underrated bright spots of the 2008 campaign.

  238. First, I’d bail on the Peavy talks.

    If they love Francoeur, start with him and Reyes or Morton. Be willing to add one (but not both) of Hernandez and Flowers. See how close that is and re-evaluate.

    I’d also go very hard after AJ Burnett.

  239. I’d rather go hard after Dempster than Burnett. I know he’s not that proven, but he was once considered a promising starter, spent lots of years in the bullpen and has re-reinvented himself as a legitimate front of the rotation starter, burnett seems like a sissy to me. As far as trading for both Greinke and Peavy goes, I really don’t mind depleting our position player depth if we can build a top notch rotation, then all we’d need to do is bolster our speed and defense and become a national league style team again. Let’s say we bring up Schafer, trade KJ for Ludwick, sign Orlando Cabrera, Cesar Izturis or trade for Jack (don’t call me Hack) Wilson. It could be argued that defense has been our weakest link after starting pitching over the past two seasons, if we could upgrade both and add a little speed at the expense of our offense which wasn’t really very good last year anyway I think we’d be a legitimate playoff frontrunner.

  240. I’d consider Dempster if we land Peavy, but I want at least one power arm and Dempster isn’t that. I’d actually rather have Ollie Perez than Dempster.

    How does trading Yunel and KJ and replacing them with Cabrera/Izturis/Wilson and Prado improve the defense?

  241. I really hope that we get the Peavy deal done today…its not a question of if, but when…

    I think that it would be much easier to go for Burnett than Dempster as the latter appears content to stay a Cub…Apparently the Yankees are also interested….

  242. Dempster scares me after his performance in the playoffs. Probably not a bad pitcher but I think he will be way overpriced for one good year. Burnett is better if for no other reason than he has proven himself in the more difficult league. Of course, he will probably be more expensive too.

  243. I’m not fully buying Ryan Dempster after just one really good season – like Ludwick, I want to see it happen with more consistency.

    Jake Peavy, IMHO, is a sizeable upgrade from Dempster. Peavy is a legit ace, a reliable great #1. That’s why you talk big package with the Padres.

    But say again today what I said yesterday – I don’t want to see Escobar dealt.

  244. Stu, I see Prado as a bench player. I think that Cabrera, Wilson and Izturis are all as good defensively if not better than Escobar. Ideally, Izturis (who plays second and short) would get most of the time at second base, and would be an upgrade over Johnson. Also, if the starting SS was hurt, you’d have Izturis around to pick up that time in the field, instead of infante who is decidedly subpar at pretty much every defensive position. I don’t think Kelly is terrible in the field, but he’s not a plus defender, the plan I’m advocating is to have plus defense at short, second and in center. I don’t want to get too hung up on the names, I threw names like Wilson, Izturis and Cabrera out there, because those are the type of players I think we should be getting. I’d love to get Orlando Hudson, but I think he’s out of our price range.

  245. I sense that both the Braves and the Padres are scared of what happens Friday.

    Braves are scared that if the pitching salaries jump more than expected, then the Padres will hold firm at a ridculous trade price and the Braves won’t be able to solve the problem of a front line pitcher with a FA.

    Padres are scared of the opposite. That is, nobody jumps on pitchers, the salaries stagnate, fear comes in that mid tier guys might get less and all of a sudden the Padres have lost a great chance to get a nice bundle for Peavy.

  246. How do you guys perceive Julio Lugo. he was a little above mediocre before he got to Boston, a little below since. Boston may eat salary.

    Could we possibly trade Flowers and a pitcher for Lugo and Anderson (particularly if Sox get Texeira)?

  247. Alex, I’m not sure anyone is advocating signing Dempster instead of acquiring Peavy. I think it’s a question of “Now we have an ace in Peavy , and a few other guys to fill out the middle and back of our rotation, who is going to be our second pitching acquisition?” I think Dempster is probably a few mill a year more affordable than Lowe and Burnett and he is considerably younger than Lowe. I don’t even want to talk about Ben Sheets.

  248. It would be interesting to know what has held up the deal. I am not sure that it is money, but if thats the case, then Wren might sit tight because he may well have the better leverage. The Padres have worked awfully hard to unload Peavy, so maybe Wren is hoping that if he waits long enough he can take Escobar off the table. That is probably too good to be true, but I would not be surprised to see him wait a good bit longer.

    Still, I wish that he would make the deal…

  249. I actually think the longer this Peavy deal takes, the more it favors the Braves.

    First, it shows that we won’t just give away the house and no matter how many times Towers asks for Hanson, he aint getting him. End of freaking story, Kev.

    But second, it’s alos exposing that the Padres really don’t want what the Cubs have to offer or that deal would have been done. They want access to our farm system and they know Jake wants to be in Atlanta.

    If Wren remains firm, Towers will back off at least one demand and a deal can get done.

  250. I disagree Alex R,

    Once CC signs with the Donkey’s for 6 years of ARod money, the Mets, Phillies, RedSox, Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Mariners and Angels will line up to sign Burnett, Lowe, Dempster and even lowly Ben Sheets. Those guys are all going to get 15-18 million a year, which will give the ‘dres leverage if this thing doesn’t get wrapped up before tomorrow.

  251. #352 I hope your riaht–I also think that time is on Atlanta’s side, but I also hope that Wren is working on some other deals.

    I really miss JS not only because he usually traded very effectively, but also because his deals often had the wonderful element of surprise….

  252. If Escobar is a cancer in the clubhouse, then we really should move him. I am for this deal. Right now our rotation is Jair and a buch of 5th starters. Hanson isn’t ready to be a number two guy just becasue he struck out some talented 20 year olds and a bucnh of never will be’s in Arizona. Chuck James is a middle releaver at best, Campillo might be a fluke, Jo Jo Reyes should be throwing BP in the Mexican leage.

    I know that makes a hole in our infield, but Infante isn’t that bad. I don’t want him for the whole season, but I would rather have him than hoping Charlie Morton or Chuck James can become Tom Glavine.

  253. I can’t believe Escobar is a cancer in the clubhouse… the kid looks like he’s having FUN, and I just don’t see him as a cancer EVEN if some in the clubhouse are stuffy (though I don’t know who that would be).

  254. CharlesP, thats the thing. Braves players arent suppose to look like they’er having fun. This is a business, no music in the clubhouse, no smiles or laughes on the field. You should know this

  255. Escobar is what–23/24 years old? I think it’s a little early to say he is a “cancer” in the clubhouse. Anyway, that is supposedly Bobby Cox’s strength–he dealt ok with Sheffield. I doubt that every player the Braves have had over the past 18 years has been a model clubhouse leader.

  256. IthacaBrave @351,

    Anderson is Lars Anderson. A great first base prospect of the Red Sox. If they want Lugo gone bad, and if his deal (contract) isn’t bad compared to FA’s avaialable, and with the Red Sox having NO catchers, then maybe they would take a flyer.

    That depends on the “McCann and Flowers aren’t going to play first, Flowers isn’t a good enough hitter to play first” thing being your view.

    My view is that Flowers has already spent one Minor League season playing first (recoverig from knee surgery) and McCann needs to prolong his career and effectiveness by getting some rest. The view I see is them playing one day behind the plate, then reverse to first base, then back to catcher.

    That way, McCann plays 155 games, Flowers plays 155 games and Sammons is the third catcher. Norton subs in as an occasional emergency first baseman.

    It isn’t just Flowers’ road splits from last year and the AFL stuff that say “keep him.” He has consistently shown the willingness to take walks. That is usually a pre-step to power. That is, most hitters walk rates go up and then their power goes up. There was a great article on this about three years ago on THT. Sammy Sosa was a great illustration.

  257. I say no on both Dempster and Burnett. Dempster screams fluke to me: he’s had a decade in the majors of mediocrity, and just a year ago washed out of the bullpen. Maybe he’s turned a corner and will be a Canadian Jamie Moyer, but I doubt it.

    Burnett, though, is a me-first injury-prone human red flag. I’d be able to take the clubhouse cancer thing if he ever stayed healthy enough to produce, but a) he never does, and b) when he does, like this year, he’s nowhere near good enough to justify the hype. Great stuff, but nowhere near worth the dough. I put him in the same category as Sheets (who is a better pitcher but even more fragile): stay away at all costs.

  258. If Littlebritches can play good SS defense, then maybe they can just live with him. 18months ago people here were talking that his bat was good enough to play center field. I’d like to see the Braves give the “young pitching and defense” strategy a try again. Peavy, JJ, and Hanson sound like a good top of the order. Hanson is 22, got AA batters out, and did it with stuff, not just craft. John Smoltz started out just about the same way, and Hanson shows all the signs of what one looks for in a top of the rotation pitcher. Start getting some production from the outfield, and it sounds like a winning team.

  259. AAR,

    I second you, of course on Dempster…total fluke. No history of being this good before. SCREAMS bust.

    I agree about Burnett’s injury history but he’s another southern kid who’s like to pitch here.

    The better alternative for an additional veteran arm is to do a multi player swap with Kansas City and deal Francouer and some more prospects to the Royals for Gil Meche and Mark Teahan.

    Escobar a clubhouse cancer? I seriously doubt it. Plus, the Braves need a little more emotion anyway, and not be so stodgy.

    Also, if you deal Escobar, we may arguably have the worst or second worst offense in Baseball when Chipper inevitably goes to the DL. Infante is NO Yunel.

  260. I totally agree with 361’s Burnett comments. I also agree about Flowers, I think he’s a perfect fit for our big league roster right now, we need a second catcher, we need some pop, we need a right handed bat…not only would it add some offense which we desperately need but I think it would increase McCann’s production as well.

  261. 12:55pm: Ken Rosenthal talked to a Padres source who called Miller’s report “totally inaccurate.” The source says the Padres are not close on a Peavy deal.

  262. IthicaBraves,

    I think that Cabrera, Wilson and Izturis are all as good defensively if not better than Escobar.

    And you are wrong.

    I don’t want to get too hung up on the names, I threw names like Wilson, Izturis and Cabrera out there, because those are the type of players I think we should be getting.

    But you have to get hung up on the names. The point is, the guys you list are the best options if we trade away our middle infield, and they’re all inferior options to the guys we already have—and they cost more!

    Smitty and A.West,
    I’d be in favor of handing the job to Infante or Lillibridge over signing or trading for an expensive external replacement, but DOB has confirmed that the Braves are not content to stay with the in-house options.

    Since 2001, not counting the year (2003) wiped out almost entirely by injury, Burnett has averaged 175 IP per season. He’s not a workhorse, but he’s not Ben Sheets, either. Also, his ERA+ has been over 100 in each of those seasons, and he’s averaged 8.5 K/9 in those seasons.

    He’s definitely a risk, but I think he’s a risk worth taking up to, say, $16 million a year or so over 4 years.

  263. Alex, amen on Yunel.

    CSG, that doesn’t surprise me, but still — even if a deal were close, the Pads would deny it. Basically, I take every one of these accounts with a massive grain of salt until the GMs declare that it’s official.

    Also, I’ve been sending concentrated mind waves to Frank Wren all day, and I think he might finally be realizing that he shouldn’t deal Yunel.

  264. @361, and 364: Flowers only has one year of professional catching experience, and we have a guy named Casey Kotchman who will be the starting 1st baseman until Freddie Freeman or Jason Heyward is ready (which will be about the same time Flowers is MLB-ready.) Your plan might seem feasible in a year or two, but I would also worry about the continuity of the pitching staff’s relationship with the catcher.

    I also really have a hard time seeing McCann at 1st base, he might even be a better fit at 3rd.

    @359: Esco is 26, if you trust that the Cuban government, or Esco’s agents, didn’t do any fudging to up give him more time on the Junior team, or up his signing value. (Not saying they did, but it is a possibility with any Latin player these days.)

  265. Am I the only person here that thinks the braves have been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball over the past 2 or 3 years? Sure KJ’s defense has improved since his first year as a second baseman, but he’s still very inadequate, you really can’t win with mediocre defense like that up the middle. When was the last time Johnson made a play and you said “wow I didn’t think he’d get to that one”? Sure Escobar is good, but if we do lose him I think we need to forget about getting offense out of short and gun for a defensive stud. I don’t believe in defensive statistics, from what I’ve seen of Jack Wilson, Cesar Izturis and Orlando Cabrera, you know from watching baseball games they are all excellent defenders. Look at the Yankees over the last few years, all the offense in the world and terrible, atlanta braves caliber defense.

  266. Wren is folding like a lawn chair. I’d love to see him put his foot down at three players OR pull Yunel from the deal, but it won’t happen. Sure we’re desperate for a solid #1 starting pitcher, but they’re desperate to deal him. Call their bluff and see if they’re stupid enough to go with the lesser Cubs offer.

  267. That’s what I’ve been saying all day, Rob. And I agree with the most depressing part of your post: “…it won’t happen.”

  268. I still say you guys and the Braves are overvaluing Hanson as well.

    Assuming the best, Hanson represents about 1 2/3 year #4 starter, 1 year #3, 1 year #2, 4 years #1. Cost: 30 million. Value 100 million.

    Assuming pretty damn good.

    2/3 year #5, 1 year #4, 2 years #3, 1 year hurt, 2 years #2. Value: 70 million. Cost 20 million.

    Pretty damn good is a hard case to make ss being more than possible.

    We are better to hold Escobar and trade Hanson.

  269. If we walk away from Peavy, we could:

    1) trade Francoeur, Morton, and Flowers/Hernandez for Greinke;

    2) trade KJ for Ludwick;

    3) trade Reyes and Hernandez/Flowers for Dye;

    4) sign AJ Burnett for 4 years / $64 million ($16 million per year);

    5) re-sign Smoltz and Hampton/Glavine for a combined $14 million;

    6) re-sign Ohman for 3 years / $10.5 million ($3.5 million per year);

    7) re-sign Norton for 2 years / $3 million ($1.5 million per year);

    8 ) still have Heyward, Yunel, Hanson and Schafer; and

    9) have a roster that looks like this for $100 million (actually $105 million – projected $5 million in Hudson insurance):





    Maybe you have to give up a little more in one of the trades or pay a little more for Burnett or Hampton (so you non-tender Diaz and put Brandon Jones on the bench), but this is pretty close to possible, I would think.

    And it’s a pretty good team in ’09 without destroying the down-the-line potential, right?

  270. I think it’s a huge stretch to say that Escobar is a clubhouse cancer, but to say that he’s fallen out of favor with Bobby Cox seems to be a lot more accurate. Unfortunately I will be surprised if we keep Escobar – even if we don’t get Peavy.

  271. The Braves’ infield was pretty damned good last year, the outfield was terrible. This holds for both offense and defense. Teixeira and Kotchman both are excellent defenders, KJ is above-average though he makes some boneheaded plays. Chipper did a great job. Escobar might have been the best shortstop in baseball; he was before he hurt his shoulder, anyway.

    “Omar Vizquel”? Sheesh. Omar Vizquel was a good shortstop but he was not an all-time great.

  272. Regardless of what the beat reporters have mentioned about Cox’s feelings for Escobar, the fact that he’s on the trade block at all should tell us that there are internal issues; especially since we traded Renteria and Elvis Andrus one short year ago.

    Completing this Peavy deal with Escobar attached will not make Wren a great GM. What he does following this trade could.

    And I’m sure this argument is dead by now, but the idea that we should spend the big money on CC and keep our prospects is probably a moot point. There are rumors (grain of salt of course) that the Yankees are going to offer six years, $150 million. That will be tough to match.

  273. I don’t think Escobar is a good leadoff hitter.

    I am comfortable with an Infante/Lillbridge platoon. Bobby would love it!

    I think if we get Peavy the we still need a power bat, a leadoff hitter, and another starter or two (maybe take a flier on Hampton on the cheap)

  274. 376–some mighty fine rosterbation there

    Kidding aside, sounds like a much better (if a bit wishful) plan to me.

  275. He’s a good fit in the Bronx — he can play all three outfield positions and first base, and all the players they have at those positions are injury-prone.

  276. I think it’s becoming pretty obvious that we’re gonna have to start shopping for free agents without knowing whether or not we’re gonna have Peavy. Along those lines, I would sign one free-agent starter and then leave the rotation alone until we know what’s up with Peavy. If the deal falls through, we can go trade for another, or maybe sign another if it’s not too late. Incidentally, I would prefer Burnett over Lowe and Sheets and any other plausible free-agent pitching possibilities (read: excluding Sabathia). Then, trading for or signing a free-agent outfielder becomes a must. Also, the fact that we’re gonna have to wait on the Peavy deal means we might not be able to sign somebody to replace Escobar at shortstop, which would point to either trying Infante/Lillibridge or filling that via trade, too.

  277. I am blinded by rage. The Yankees, who can buy any FA they want, just got Swisher, who is cheap and versatile and very good, for nothing.

    So far this offseason, we could have gotten Willingham, Olsen, and Swisher for Lillibridge, Hicks, Osuna, and Medlen. Instead, we are desparately trying to trade Yunel Escobar and top prospects for Jake Peavy.

  278. Also, that’s not bad, Stu, but I’d still rather have Peavy over Greinke and deal with Infante or Lillibridge at short. Also, the Jermaine Dye love affair continues, but whatever…there are certainly worse choices.

  279. Oh no, we missed out on Scott Olsen and his 4.63 career ERA and attitude problem, Nick Swisher and his .219/.332/.410 line and Willingham and his injury risk. Doomed.

  280. Yeah, I was gonna say. We could have done that if we had wanted to become the next Oakland A’s or Florida Marlins or Minnesota Twins. A decent, 80-85-win team with no real potential to do much of anything.

    EDIT: True, they’re better than anything we trotted out there, but so were 97% of the starting OFs in baseball last year, so that doesn’t say much.

  281. Well, Dye wouldn’t be my first choice, Nick, but I figure he’ll come more cheaply than some of the other trade possibilities. Seems like a really good fit, especially if you’re adding a guy like Ludwick, too.

  282. Nick and Dan,
    Those three guys will combine to cost less than $10 million this season. They cost no legit prospects to acquire. You get those guys and still have plenty of money and real prospects to get even more players.

    EDIT: Looks like the deal is bigger than just Marquez-for-Swisher, so maybe it’s not as lopsided as it first appeared. We’ll see.

  283. Yeah, that’s great. Let’s go back down the road of trading for guys who we got rid of before they were good just in time for them to fall apart. It worked so well with Vinny Castilla and Paul Byrd.

  284. #386

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Stu.

    And “blinded by rage”?

    Wow…that sounds like ‘old school’ Alex R. talk – I like it :-)

  285. I see I’m not making much headway in my belief that Cox has not soured on Escobar. Despite the fact that the only time any writer who has access to the Braves clubhouse has addressed the issue, he has said that Escobar is a Cox favorite.


  286. Sweet, now that we’re over 400 posts this thread I can get back to work. (That was my arbitrary when-to-start-doing-actual-work-today cutoff point)

  287. I’m not suggesting we reacquire Darren Holmes. We traded Dye when he was 22, so it’s not as if we’re going after a guy who we jettisoned because he was washed up. He’s a valuable corner bat when healthy, and Kenny Williams appears willing to trade value for poop.

  288. The ChiSox get Betemit, Marquez, and Jhonny Nunez for Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira.

    Not as lopsided as I thought initially

  289. So Wright SLG .534 wins Silver Slugger. I guess Chipper SLG .574 must be going to win the Gold Slugger.

  290. Pro: Wright had almost 200 more plate appearances than Chipper.

    Con: To equal Wright’s slash stats, Chipper would have had to bat .155/.173/.439 over those 200 PAs.


    1 Chipper Jones .799
    2 David Wright .693
    3 Aramis Ramirez .632
    4 Troy Glaus .611
    5 Ty Wigginton .574
    6 Jorge Cantu .542
    7 Edwin Encarnacion .516
    8 Blake DeWitt .510
    9 Ryan Zimmerman .485
    10 Kevin Kouzmanoff .468

    1 David Wright 134
    2 Chipper Jones 122
    3 Aramis Ramirez 110
    4 Troy Glaus 98
    5 Jorge Cantu 96
    6 Garrett Atkins 86
    T7 Edwin Encarnacion 80
    T7 Mark Reynolds 80
    9 Kevin Kouzmanoff 77
    10 Ty Wigginton 67

    1 Chipper Jones 11.13
    2 David Wright 7.73
    3 Aramis Ramirez 7.16
    4 Troy Glaus 6.38
    5 Ty Wigginton 6.15
    6 Edwin Encarnacion 5.44
    7 Jorge Cantu 5.42
    8 Mark Reynolds 5.03
    9 Ryan Zimmerman 5.00
    10 Garrett Atkins 4.97

  292. “I am blinded by rage.”

    Me too. Indeed, the Braves seem to be more interested in big names than bringing together the MANY pieces it will take to make them competitive. We’re probably gonna sell the farm for a bunch of veterans. I feel ill.

  293. We’re probably gonna sell the farm for a bunch of veterans.

    Actually, we’re probably going to bring in a 38-year old semiretired free agent reliever and a pinch hitter from the Mexican League and proclaim ourselves ready for spring training.

  294. Chipper/Wright.
    I’m guessing the voters just gave a cursory look at the counting stats & perhaps considered the fact that Wright played a lot more games. (There’s something to be said for actually playing games & contributing to your team, I must concur.)

    DW: 33 HR, 124 RBI, 160 G
    CJ: 24 HR, 75 RBI, 128 G

    BTW, isn’t Silver Slugger voted on by the managers or teams? If so, I’m not sure how geography enters into the equation.

    Personally, I don’t care who wins that thing. Chipper won the batting title—it wasn’t a collection of opinions (or misperceptions). In a season of relative misery, that was the only real bright spot.

  295. According to Ken Rosenthal, should the Peavy deal be completed (and listening to Scott Miller on the radio, he sounds pretty sure it’s a case of taking the deal to Peavy and asking for his approval), we’ll go after Furcal.

    Maybe our plan is to get lots of fly ball pitchers and put 3 speedy outfielders out there to chase them all down. Would help if they can jump high too.

  296. Actually, we’re probably going to bring in a 38-year old semiretired free agent reliever and a pinch hitter from the Mexican League

    Todd Jones and Julio Franco?

  297. I agree. As long as Furcal can play, he shouldn’t be too much of a defensive dropoff, if any (those 3 NLCS errors notwithstanding).

    And, I guess we have our ’09 leadoff hitter.

    Also, if & when the Escobar deal is done, do we begin to get the “Escobar-was-really-a-bad-teammate” stories?

  298. What does it say about the Braves that they’re more concerned with bat-flipping than habitual drunken driving?

    That they’re a baseball team and not Alcoholics Anonymous?

  299. We tried Scott Spiezio out as well so we have no problem with hit and run or aggravated assault and battery either.

  300. #424 I’m surprised we haven’t had those about Tex, especially after what the Rangers players said about him.

  301. I wonder what it feels like to actually drop $8mil in the toilet and flush it. I think I could get some good cash for my particularly shapely and sizable turds every now and then but I flush anyway, but never anywhere near what Wren is about to do trading Escobar for Peavy and replacing him with Furcal.

  302. So, regarding my proposal at 376, if you replace Burnett, Escobar, Prado, Dye, and Diaz with Peavy, Furcal, KJ, Rivera, and B. Jones (don’t ask me how we get Ludwick without giving up KJ)…

  303. In a budget-free environment, I can see this course of events as defensible. In the short term, Furcal for Escobar may very well be a wash. And Peavy is a fine pitcher, obviously.

    But then, in a budget-free environment, Peavy wouldn’t be available…

  304. I’m not sure I could accurately describe my hatred of David Wright, and this type of thing (remember this happened last year with the Gold Glove, too) is at least 75% of the reason why, probably more. Did Chipper have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title? If the answer is yes, then why the hell does it matter how many games he played in??? Seriously, how Chipper started in last year’s All-Star Game is still beyond me. Everyone’s so busy fawning over David freaking Wright that they have lost all perspective on the season. At least this isn’t quite as ridiculous as last year, when Wright was a middle-of-the-road defensive 3B and still won the freaking Gold Glove. Screw David Wright!

  305. I love how everyone just declares that we should sign specific free agents, like Wren can just go to Wal-Mart and pick them up in the free agent aisle. They have to agree to it as well, you know. It’s a two-sided thing. Contrary to what some of you seem to think, there WILL be other teams making offers to these guys.

  306. Contrary to what some of you seem to think, there WILL be other teams making offers to these guys.

    Who thinks otherwise? If you’re talking about me, obviously, the above projected FA signings are based on guesses about where the respective markets will settle—I’m well aware that if, for example, the Yankees offer Burnett $20 million a year, we’ll have to look elsewhere.

  307. In regards to Furcal, I think we’d have a helluva shot to get him. If I remember correctly (not saying I do, btw), didn’t Furcal really like Cox. If that be the case, it could factor into his decision.

  308. @433 – even more reason to make a trade for one of the best pitchers in baseball – because we can’t guarantee we’d get anything close to him via free agency.

  309. Eleven Braves had 200 or more PA last year.

    1 Chipper Jones 11.13
    2 Mark Teixeira 7.03
    3 Brian McCann 6.97
    4 Martin Prado 6.79
    5 Kelly Johnson 5.77
    6 Greg Norton 5.16
    7 Omar Infante 5.15
    8 Yunel Escobar 4.68
    9 Mark Kotsay 4.54
    10 Gregor Blanco 4.46
    11 Jeff Francoeur 3.33

    Just in case anyone had forgotten how much Francoeur sucks.

  310. I see more mets games than braves games living in upstate NY (I actually just moved to the MASSHOLE last week, so now I will be seeing plenty of redsox games *shudder*), and I really hate Jose Reyes the most. I know Wright is the golden boy, and he grinds my gears too, but the reason he wins an undeserved golden glove is because of the “web gem factor.” He is somewhat hateable, but you have to respect him, he is a hardnosed with class and dignity and a sense of respect. Reyes, or as they call him in my neck of the woods “the most exciting player in baseball” is the true piece-o-crap, overly excitable, annoying, arrogant, classless….

  311. Furcal at 12 million + Peavy at average of 16 million < Escobar at 3,000,000 average and CC at 25 million (costs more and delivers less).

    Wake up Wren.

  312. Mac, will you post Corky’s RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G? I’m feeling a little down with winter approaching here in the northeast and I need a pick me up…. wait can that stat be in the negative spectrum?

  313. 19 non-pitchers with 50 or more PA. I have never seen one as low as Corky’s.

    1 Chipper Jones 11.13
    2 Mark Teixeira 7.03
    3 Brian McCann 6.97
    4 Martin Prado 6.79
    5 Kelly Johnson 5.77
    6 Josh Anderson 5.73
    7 Greg Norton 5.16
    8 Omar Infante 5.15
    9 Yunel Escobar 4.68
    10 Mark Kotsay 4.54
    11 Gregor Blanco 4.46
    12 Brandon Jones 4.11
    13 Casey Kotchman 3.57
    14 Ruben Gotay 3.49
    15 Jeff Francoeur 3.33
    16 Brent Lillibridge 2.91
    17 Matt Diaz 2.48
    18 Clint Sammons 1.13
    19 Corky Miller 0.46

  314. If you had posted that midseason I would have been overcome by anguish and despair, but gosh golly am I laughing hard right now…thanks Mac, you’re the best.

  315. Corky’s Offensive Winning Percentage was .011. In other words, over 162 games a team full of Hamsters would (given average pitching and defense) go 2-160. If you round up.

  316. Yeah, but I don’t really trust stats like Offensive Winning Percentage, Mac. They just don’t past the sniff test—there’s no way a team of Corkys would win a game.

  317. Mac, that’s hilarious, but I’m inclined to agree with Stu on this one. It would have to be an awfully lucky game.

  318. Corky had a VORP of -9.9 in only 67 plate appearances.

    Although Tony Pena managed to rack up -24.9 in 235 PAs so he showed greater staying power.

  319. Corky’s OWP is the 22nd-worst ever for a non-pitcher in 50 or more PA. Six players have had an OWP of .000, though none with as many PA as the Hamster (67).

  320. Worst OWP, all non-pitchers, 2008 (min. 50 PA):

    1 Corky Miller .011 67
    2 Jayson Nix .048 65
    3 Clint Sammons .057 59
    4 Nick Stavinoha .057 61
    5 Tony Pena Jr. .065 235
    6 Johnny Estrada .067 55

    Sweet Jesus. I suppose we should trade for Nix and Stavinoha now.

  321. Randy Johnson looks like leaving Arizona.

    We should get him, Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton and Pavano. No way that plan fails.

  322. If we get a bunch of old hurt guys, one can come off the DL when one of the others goes down. We could get 1/5 a season from all five. They could just slip into the 4 spot in the rotation.

  323. while that’s cool and all, I don’t want Turner buying the Braves back unless he’s got the cash to increase the budget, and I doubt he does.

  324. I just got up and saw the Swisher deal–and cannot help but think that the Braves have again missed an opportunity. The Braves could easily have gotten Swisher and taken care of one their needs.

    Wilson Betemit cannot seem to find a home….

  325. True, but Ted did have a model franchise when he left, once he learned to let the baseball people run things, and open his wallet for talent, he was a great owner.

  326. Yeah, the last game of the 2005 playoffs was 726 comments. I think we may have another game thread with more, though.

    I would normally have posted a new thread, but I’m waiting on Peavy news.

  327. Stephen, I don’t know if I would consider Swisher to be an answer to our LF hole, but I definitely believe the Braves could have given the White Sox a better package than the Yankees…maybe JoJo plus Prado?

  328. I would say let’s move on from Peavy. The Braves are better off as a whole just to sign two FA pitchers and keep all the prospects.

  329. Why the love affair with Ted Turner? I know he has deep pockets, but the Braves were awful with him as owner – I know there were other factors. I’ve heard the guy speak and it did nothing to change my belief that he’s got several screws loose. He has an uncanny knack of offending both liberals and conservatives.

  330. They weren’t always awful with him as owner. Time Warner didn’t buy Turner Broadcasting until 1996. So the team’s only world championship was under his ownership.

  331. During a dreary season Corky not only furnished us with a few laughs, but he brought out the hamster….

  332. @428

    I was in DC late last season and went out for drinks with a college buddy of mine who works on the Hill. A few of his coworkers tagged along, one of whom went to Auburn with Tim Hudson.

    The Braves game is on the tube and Texeira hits his second home run of the game. My buddy’s coworker decides to show off and text Hudson one word: “Teixeira!”

    It took about 40 seconds to get Tim’s three word reply: “Still a douche.”

  333. 443 — Mac, that’s got to be the stat of the year. I laughed out loud. Oddly, my wife didn’t think it was that funny.

  334. 9:41pm: Kevin Towers told Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune that despite advanced discussions with the Braves and Cubs, he does not see a potential deal with either club. Krasovic wonders if Towers will now try to engage the Yankees and Angels.

  335. Teixeira and Hudson were the last two Braves I’d want to have a beer with. Now Tex is gone and Huddy is rocketing up the list!

  336. Hallelujah if true. It seems as though Towers telegraphed Peavy’s availability and then still wants a pirate’s ransom for him. Good for Wren for backing away (if this is what happened) — the winter has just started.

  337. Indeed, 480 was funny as well!

    Is this just more posturing? Or is Towers actually trying to posture instead of announcing to everyone that he wanted to give Peavy away?

  338. #488–I agree unless he has decided not to trade Paeavy at all. I am glad that Escobar should still be with us….

  339. KC–Swisher might not have been the best player the Braves could have put in LF, but he would have been a definite improvement. He will be 28 next season (actually in less than 2 weeks) and he might put together a very solid year for the Yanks–which he might have also done for the Braves. I also would rather have had Swisher than Burrell and it does not appear likely that we would have had to part with KJ to get the deal done….

  340. We need a legitimate slugger – of which Swisher is not. Not saying we’ll get one either way, but that’s what we need.

  341. Wonder if Escobar will still be dealt because the organization has soured on him or if the supposed reports of said souring are (indeed) unfounded.

    I bet we still get Peavy… and that we’re going to end up giving up more than most here would be willing to part with.

  342. I’m starting to think we should just put our 40MM in our pocket and wait for next year. Any right handed outfield sluggers or front of the rotation starters are going to cost us dearly via trade, and there are really no good matches for us in the free agent market. All the bats are lefty and I don’t really like any of those FA starters that much. The way I see it, any attempts we make at contending in 09 are just going to handcuff our personnel and fiscal flexibility going into 2010, when we actually might have a surplus of talent at the big league level that we could then supplement with some key free agent signings.

  343. Swisher is not a ‘legitmate slugger’ but at least we would have gotten a decent bat–which is more than we have now.

    C.shorter–you may be right. I hoped that Wren learned from last year–but it has to be said that he does have a track record for overpaying….

  344. Hasn’t Peavy said that he doesn’t want to go to the AL? How are the Angels and Yankees even a consideration?

    Wake me up when it’s over. Towers is pulling a Jon Daniels and can suck it if you ask me.

  345. Chipper flirts with .400 well into June and he doesn’t get the Silver Slugger? Personally, I am thinking David Wright could have just skipped the season and still won the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove.


  346. I agree with KC and would add that David Wright can do no wrong. I don’t hate him for it, but he sure benefits from playing in New York.

    With respect to Peavy, I hope that Wren has some other deals in the pipeline….

  347. Kevin Towers is an idiot and is gonna wind up with Jake Peavy and his contract still on his team next year.

  348. Whenever I read Brett Farve’s player profile, of course we will see “Draft: 1991 – 2nd round (6th pick) by the Atlanta Falcons.”

    Can somebody please remind me who is that genius who traded the HOF QB away?

  349. My reading of the situation is that the Cubs have not been able to work a 3rd team into the trade and so aren’t a serious suitor.

    That leaves Towers with not much bargaining power with the Braves as he’s already stated Peavy will leave and a lot of Peavy’s value is in the cheapness of his 2009 year.

    Therefore, he needs to bring in others to try and strengthen his position. He’s playing a pretty dangerous game as if Peavy doesn’t approve anything to the AL, he’ll be scrabbling around.

  350. Why are people so down on Swisher after one year in which only his batting average dipped? He’s good bat who can play multiple positions. He’s got a good contract, but not so good that you’d have to throw in uber-prospects to get him.

  351. #480…….nice to know that i’m not the only one who cant stand the sight of PrimaDonnaTex. the guy looks like he’d faint(or cry) if he got his hands dirty.

  352. I agree that Swisher would’ve been a nice trade target. But I think the player the ChiSox really wanted was Wilson Betemit, whose bat, from what I understand, should play really well in their park. That said, you’d think we could’ve come up with a better package, even taking that into consideration.

  353. Hey, if the Braves decide to pocket the $40M… could they please give some of it to the Gwinnett tax payers for the bill on the new stadium for the AAA team? No? didn’t think so. Those better be some fun games to watch or I’m going to be pissed at the waste of my tax dollars.

  354. That’s exactly what I’m talking about, though. Pocket the $40 million? Are you serious? Give up totally on next year? There are plenty of decent players around. Pocketing the $40 million and playing for 2010 would be unacceptable.

  355. They’re not pocketing it, Nick. No Peavy does not mean no money spent.

    Think we’ll see a KJ-for-Ludwick swap today?

  356. Well now that the election is over I have moved my focus to Jake Peavy and the Tennessee coaching search.

  357. 514


    Did anyone see him on the MLB Postseason pregame shows? Dude reminded me of ARod (and not in a good way).

    And speaking of that, my buddy, born in Alpharetta, plays himself as a huge Yankees fan. With regard to baseball, he is the epitome of “that guy”.

    One of the things we give him crap about are what we call “A-Rod Stats”. This is when the Yankees are putting on a slugfest and are up 7, and then ARod hits a 3 run jack. Another situation would be when the Yanks are down like 6 and ARod hits a solo shot. Doesn’t really affect the outcome of the game, but looks good at the end of the year in the totals column.

    Anyway, was it just me, or did anyone else notice that proclivity in Teixeira’s performance when he was with the Braves?

    Also, has anyone ever tried to measure this before?

  358. FWIW,

    519 might have made no sense at all; it’s just something some friends and I came up with while we were drinking one night

  359. @ 480 – Now that is comedy. When used correctly ‘douche’ can really have a funny impact. I may have to add “S.A.D.” to my phrase rotation.

  360. Given the possibility of Esco or KJ being dealt, anyone have a read on Diory Hernandez as a prospect?

  361. I hope the Peavy deal falls through – as many here do. My preference is for us to get a FA pitcher, two good outfielders (one via a trade), and trade a few prospects along with someone like Prado or Infante for a high ceiling pitcher (similar to Jurrjens). We can then try to re-sign Hampton/Glavine/Smoltz (if they give us a hint of being healthy). This may not get it done for 2009, but should set us up well for 2010.

    A rotation of Hudson, FA #2 starter, Jurrjens, Hanson, and rising star (via trade) looks pretty good for 2010. I would like to see us keep Morton, but I don’t have much confidence in Reyes and I think Campillo’s value would be better served as a trade piece.

  362. The thing about the SPs listed above (in 523) is that if any of the pieces in the starting rotation don’t work out for 2010, we should have enough resources left to either make a trade or sign an excellent FA pitcher.

    If we acquired Peavy and he got injured, we’d be in trouble for years to come!

  363. Why are we wasting our time talking about Jake Peavy when the nationally-televised Clash of Titans (Vandy @ UK) is nigh?

  364. On Hudson,

    Why do so many of you talk about Hudson in 2010?

    Hudson’s deal is guaranteed for 2009. 2010 is a “mutual option” which basically means nothing other than it is a starting point.

    If Hudson doesn’t make it back at all in 09, or tries and looks awful, do the Braves elect this non enforceable option? I don’t think so. But, if they did, Hudson woudl jump all over it.

    If Hudson gets back in August and starts 10 games and pitches pretty well and shows no problems, then the Braves elect the option. But doesn’t Hudson say, “No, I won’t more years guaranteed / no trade clause.” Then, do the Braves guarantee 4 or more extra years at more than 13 mill a year based on 10 starts? I hope not.

    Therefore, there is 10% probability of Hudson in Atlanta in 2010. Planning should be based on that.

  365. Diory Hernandez may well be a very solid prospect. He has advanced steadily through the Braves’ system and appears to have the chance to be an adequate big league shortstop. I don’t know that he has the bat to be more than that. I think that he would be at least a good substitute or at least a player the Braves might be able to live with(assuming that Escobar gets traded) while either Brandon Hicks developed or another SS was acquired. Probably not a long term option except for a team like the Pirates….

  366. From Tim Brown on Yahoo ( http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-morepeavy111308 ):

    Various reports have had the Braves offering a deal wrapped around shortstop Yunel Escobar and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. The Padres surely like the athletic Escobar (particularly since their own shortstop, Khalil Greene, is being shopped as well), but they’d almost certainly require pitchers Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson in return.

    Padres are certainly smoking something if they think we’re giving up Jair!

  367. Therefore, there is 10% probability of Hudson in Atlanta in 2010.

    Way too low, IMO. Maybe we shouldn’t be talking like it’s a sure thing, but I think it’s pretty likely that Hudson gives us very little in 2009, and I think the Braves will want him at $12 million for 2010 regardless (unless there’s another injury or major setback) and that $12 million would be Hudson’s best (or close to best) offer in 2010.

  368. Hmmm not sure what happened when I just hit submit but..

    From Yahoo Sports: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-morepeavy111308

    Various reports have had the Braves offering a deal wrapped around shortstop Yunel Escobar and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. The Padres surely like the athletic Escobar (particularly since their own shortstop, Khalil Greene, is being shopped as well), but they’d almost certainly require pitchers Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson in return.

    Jair?!?!?! What are they smoking in San Diego?

  369. I think I’m getting caught in the Spam filter… but Tim Brown at Yahoo mentions that the Padres likely want either Hanson or JAIR in the deal… which is a good sign this deal isn’t happening.

  370. Has anyone heard any news on the TAZAWA situation? He could be a real dark horse for our rotation.

  371. Why when it comes to Jair are people rational but don’t have the same thoughts when it comes to Escobar?

    Escobar = Jair as far as a trade chip.

  372. I still think the Pads are posturing. They aren’t going to keep Peavey and he apparently doesn’t want to go to the AL–although if the Yankees threw enough money at him, he might decide he likes Manhattan after all. For good or bad, I think the deal will get done involving Escobar unless someone else just goes crazy for Peavey. Clearly, they aren’t going to get Jurrjens–why would you trade one member of the rotation for another?

  373. The fact that Hudson is not a sure thing for 2010 makes it more important that we allow some flexibility to sign someone else after the 2009 season. 10% is definitely low though – I’d say about 50/50.

  374. According to most reports, Brett Favre was an unmotivated party guy during his brief time in Atlanta. They Falcons drafted him for his big arm, but when he got to Atlanta he seemed more interested in happy hour than his playbook.

    Not sure he ever would’ve become a star in Atlanta. No regrets there, really. The guy grew up in Green Bay, that’s all.

    I saw a stat the other day that, since 1982, Vandy is 0-17 in games that would make them bowl-eligible. Of course, a good chunk of that has come this year.

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