Goodbye, KJ

Johnson a free agent after non-tendered by Braves  |

I remain convinced that somewhere else he will blossom, that he was just a bad fit with this team for some reason. This is something I didn’t say about, say, Jeff Francoeur. At any rate, good luck to him. It leaves the Braves with basically Omar Infante as a backup infielder, so I have to think they’ll be shopping rather than go into the season with Diory Hernandez on the bench.

353 thoughts on “Goodbye, KJ”

  1. does Conrad get the opportunity? seems to have a little pop and is a SH, not a bad person to have as a 3rd backup I guess

  2. I also like Conrad. And despite Prado’s excellent work last year, I’m a little nervous about him being our full time second baseman.

  3. KJ lost his confidence somewhere. Too bad. He can probably find it again in Kansas City.

    FWIW, Yanks non-tender Chien-Ming Wang. He’s not expected to pitch again until mid-2010.

  4. While I don’t have 100% confidence in Prado, I have 0% confidence in KJ. I loved KJ, but he just ran out of time with the Braves.

    I say KJ will sign with either the Rangers or the Astros.

  5. Francoeur bad in 2006, good in 2007 and awful in 2008 = a chance in 2009

    Johnson good in 2007, good in 2008 and awful in 2009 = non-tender

    Certainly shows that the Braves were the opposite of Mac in who they believed in. Though I suspect the belief in Francoeur was based more on ticket and jersey sells.

  6. You know KJ’s situation reminds me a little of Mark DeRosa several years ago. Let’s hope he does well wherever he goes.

  7. @7 – Someone might want to factor in the concept of a suitable replacement. Where Frenchy had no business playing in our outfield, we had no other options (and we are still weak there). On the other hand, we have a more than suitable replacement for KJ. KJ simply wasn’t going to start here, so why would you pay a backup player 3M.

    I too believe he is a good ballplayer and will catch on elsewhere. But I’ll tell you now, if we had 3 suitable outfielders to start the season last year, Frenchy would have been gone as well.

  8. @11 – agree with you that 3M is too much for a backup infielder whose only position is 2B. There are better ways, one would hope, that the team can spend $3 million. We’ll just have to wait to see if they do.

  9. #9 I was thinking the same thing. Thing is DeRosa didn’t even have half the resume KJ put up in his 2007 2008 years. KJ is going to be good for someone. My biggest worry is whether or not Martin Prado is going to continue to be good for us. Dang.

    Has anyone taken a look at the list of non tenders to see if any interesting right handed hitters have hit free agency? I know they are going to be either old, coming off injury or old and coming off injury but good Lord something has to out there thats somewhat better than the Adrian Beltres, Xavier Nadys, yes Mark DeRosas or Mike Camerons out there.

  10. Dan,

    Let me fix that for you.

    Francoeur bad in 2006, good in 2007 and awful in 2008 = a STARTING OUTFIELDER in 2009

    Johnson good in 2007, good in 2008 and awful in 2009 = non-tender

    Certainly shows that the Braves were the opposite of Mac in who they believed in. Though I suspect the belief in Francoeur was based more on ticket and jersey sells.

  11. #20 – nevermind, he did vote…but it hasnt been revealed. So I’d say he voted for Himself, Suh, then Gerhart. He didnt want to help Ingram or Colt, Id guess

  12. As an Alabama fan I haven’t been real big on Ingram winning the Heisman. After hearing all the pundits I’m convinced that he deserves to at least win it over Gerhart. At this point, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t win it.

    The Texas/Nebraska game caused two problems for McCoy. First, he didn’t have a great game to say the least. Second, and probably more importantly, Suh became a real contender because of his dominating game. This probably took away more votes from McCoy than anything else.

  13. Total Yards – Rushing + Receiving

    Gerhart – 1885
    Ingram – 1864

    Yards per play (Rushing and Receiving)
    Ingram – 6.68
    Gerhart – 5.87

    Edge definitely goes to Ingram

  14. give Ingram the extra 71 carries that Gerhart received he wouldve been very close to 2000 yds rushing. Thats why I see it being very hard to give it to someone on a 5 loss team. UA couldve padded stats but they pulled him early in a few games.

  15. What a weak year for the Heisman. Ingram will probably win and his numbers are going to be some of the weakest ever seen for the winner.

  16. Tide wouldnt be plating for a National title without him, congrats Mark! Nothing but class in that speech

  17. Honestly, until they do sign someone, what else are they going to say? It doesn’t help your leverage with other players by ruling it out. And in all seriousness, if he’s ready to play and play well at the big league level (I am unconvinced) holding him back for a year presents its own problems..

  18. 16,
    Kelly Johnson is probably the best player in the class, but, a few others that the Braves should at least keep an eye on:

    Garrett Atkins, Jonny Gomes, and Jack Cust.

    All 3 low-avg RH-hitters w/ plus power (somewhat questionable WRT Atkins). Cust’s walk rate is real good, too. None of them bring anything to the table defensively.

    All plan C’s at best.

    Wang and Olsen are decent rotation buy-lows, though that’s not really a need. And relievers aren’t either, but there’s not much there to begin with.

    And of course:

    Kelly Johnson and Ryan Church.

  19. I’d be more than willing to stick Cust in left field and keep a defensive caddy around, then spend the actual money at first base. But I doubt that the Braves would ever dream of it.

  20. Am I drunk, or would a Garko/Jacobs platoon be acceptable (cheap) solution for 1B: Garko lifetime vs LHP (.313/.392/.495 /.887) and Jacobs lifetime vs RHP (.243/.311/.447/.758.

    Yeah nevermind, Jacobs sucks. I’m wondering why Troy Glaus isn’t really mentioned as an option.

    It would be nice to sign Nady or Cameron and Glaus and you know, see what happens.

    Please no Marlon Byrd.

  21. Man, just looked at Glaus’s stats. In 2000 he hit .284 with 47 homers (led the league in homers) and 102 RBI, and didn’t get one single MVP vote. Was the AL that good that year or something?

  22. Thinking back on the past few weeks, I have to laugh at Bobby Cox, who said, after Soriano accepted arbitration, that the team might keep him, he’d be great in the bullpen mix, and said about KJ, “a lot teams are knocking on the door about him.” Both times, everyone and his three-year-old sister knew that Bobby was trying to “deek” the market.

  23. Yeah, Bobby’s head fakes are as good as mine, these days.

    Got a deal on Diaz. Incredibly cheap for that production.

    If I were his agent, he’d be playing every day in left for the Reds making $6 million per year and hitting 25 homeruns.

  24. Diaz is a career .722 OPS vs. RHP. I’m not sure how much it’s really necessary to give a guy who is only useful (and don’t get me wrong, hella useful) 1 or 2 times out of every trip through the rotation. Now, against the lefty-heavy Phillies, he’ll be great to have around. But he’s a platoon player, and on the short side of it at that.

    As an aside, given how far to the left they lean and how many Ks they generate, does anyone else think the Phillies rotation is especially well-suited to getting out the Phillies lineup?

  25. I would have voted for Ingram for Heisman, and I’m from Nebraska. Suh would have gotten my second place vote, and would have voted Spiller third.

    Here’s my list for the WORST HEISMAN recepients all-time.
    #7—Joe Bellino
    #6—Danny Wuerrfel
    #5—Gino Torretta
    #4—Terry Baker
    #3—John Huarte
    #2—Andre Ware
    #1—Jason White

  26. Thats a pretty good list Randy, Wuerrfel,Torreta and Ware were dreadful in the NFL. I’m not much of a football guy (other than a Dolphins fanatic), can anyone name a Heisman winner that has gone on to a great NFL career?

  27. Herschel Walker, Barry Sanders, Eddie George, Charles Woodson, and Carson Palmer have been solid NFL players. You could argue Ricky Williams even with all the problems he’s had

  28. Was Johnson’s value that low at the trading deadline last year that they couldn’t have gotten something for him? He didn’t play much of a role at all at the end of the season, why not trade him?

  29. Anyone care to explain why the Falcons tried the Wildcat formation towards the end of the game there?

  30. They thought they’d get a good gain and Weems could get out of bounds to stop the clock.

    It would be interesting to see how good NO would be if the refs actually allowed defenders to defend their receivers.

  31. @56 – read the list. There’s a ton of all-time NFL’ers on there.

    Plunkett, Staubach, Hornung, Bo Jackson, Spurrier, Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell and many others in addition to the ones previously named, really, nore often than not, the winner does pretty well in the NFL.

  32. It’s mostly just overrated quarterbacks from the state of FL who fail miserably in the NFL. Tebow will go Wuerffel in a few years.

  33. I don’t know why really, but there are some ex-Braves I consider just mercenaries, no matter what they did for us, like Hampton, Byrd, or Teixeira.

    And then there are some I still consider family, no matter what they did for us, like Millwood, Andruw, and – KJ. With all of his shortcomings and endless slumps, I will still miss him, I will follow his career no matter where he goes, and I certainly wish him well.

    So long, KJ.

  34. It never fails for the Falcons. Every time they have a big year, something bad happens the next year (usually an injury).

    Falcons gotta run the table to finish 9-7 and break the franchise-long streak. Sad to say, but that’s not happening.

    Am I crazy or wouldn’t it be really cool to have 2 undefeated teams—and I mean these 2 undefeated teams— in the Super Bowl?

  35. The award isn’t for the player projected to be the best NFL player. It’s for the best player in college football.

    Some ESPN analyst/Heisman voter was on ESPN Radio the other day, and I think he did an excellent job of evaluating the Heisman finalists based on the criteria for the award. He was a Florida grad, and he actually had Tebow second on his ballot, which I disagree with. But when he was making his cases for who he voted one through three, he made some great points about things that people associate with the Heisman trophy with that are absolutely irrelevant to the award. The this-guy-will-do-better-than-that-guy-in-the-NFL argument is irrelevant; it’s a college football award awarded to the best college football player. He also disregarded the claim that part of Tebow’s case is the 21-game winning streak Florida had. He made the statement that only what was done in the 2009 season was relevant. That goes for Colt McCoy too. People say that his career work should culminate with him getting the Heisman his senior year. That’s irrelevant; only what he did this year is what should be the basis for the award.

    With that said, Danny Wuerffel was simply not overrated in 1996. His body of work was incredible. His 1996 stats are some of the best by a quarterback in the entire decade. He dismantled Alabama’s defense in the SEC championship, and while I don’t remember if the Heisman was awarded before the NC like now, but he certainly solidified himself when he tore apart a Mickey Andrews in his heyday-led FSU defense. He also beat the then-#2 Tennessee in Knoxville, put up 50-plus on #12 and #16 LSU and Auburn respectively, and overall obliterated everyone but FSU in the regular season. His NFL career certainly sucked, but he was not overvalued when it came to awarding the most outstanding college football player in 1996.

    Tebow should also get a pass until he actually has an NFL career, whether it be as a tight end or quarterback. Of course, if Tebow were a Buddhist, Hutcheson would like him.

  36. LaRoche is reportedly looking for a three year, $31 million deal. So much for re-signing him.

  37. I’m looking for one of those too. Bet neither one of us finds it before spring training.

  38. Anyone got any experience with Take Me Out to the Ballgame: A History of Baseball in America by Timothy B. Shutt?

    I picked it up on CD for my drive home, but I’m wondering if it might put me to sleep instead of keeping me interested.

  39. If Tim Tebow were a Buddhist he wouldn’t harm his karma so terribly by playing for Florida.

    Tebow may make a decent few years in the NFL as a wildcat tight end. Otherwise, he’s somewhere between Danny Wuerffel and Charlie Ward as a professional.

  40. Basically, I agree with everything Rob said. I just had a conversation with my FSU/UGA fan friend, and he said essentially the same thing: status as an NFL prospect doesn’t matter a lick when it comes to the Heissman. It’s a trophy for most outstanding college football player, not “guy we think will do best in the pros”. It’s a different game, and it doesn’t matter. If you want to knock Tebow’s or Wuerffel’s Heisman, make your case based on their performance 2007 and 1996 respectively, not how they did in New Orleans or whatever.

    I wanted Suh to win of the finalists. I probably would have gone:


    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not even convinced Ingram is the best back on his team. If Alabama’s O-line as a whole could win it, I’d give it to them. That’s the biggest reason they beat Florida last week, not Ingram.

  41. Buster Olney’s blog links to an article about the A’s continuing to pursue Jack Cust after not tendering him a contract.

    Perhaps, I do not understand the rule, but I thought these guys were all but gone when we do not tender them a contract.

    Can we now offer KJ a contract that would have been less than his arb award?

  42. I wish Colt Brennan had gotten more Heisman love when he was playing. I know he was pretty much a product of the system in place at Hawaii, but I thought he was pretty fun to watch. Except that Sugar Bowl, of course.

  43. 67 – Interesting comments.

    I do not think I agree so much about the mercenary tag on Byrd. He’s not “family” but he is way different than Mike Hampton and Tex. He got injured and I think he genuinely wanted to come back to prove himself on what he considered his team.

    Hampton pulled a paycheck from the DL for years and wanted to get out of town the first chance he got.

    How could Andruw not be “family?” He absolutely cemented that moniker when he threw Boras out of his negotiations a decade ago.

  44. So how much longer will Liberty own the Braves?

    Would love to see Arthur Blank get involved once Bad Bud Selig leaves town.

  45. It would’ve been cool if Suh had won, but I’m kind of suprised he even got as much support as he did. I liked Gerhardt ahead of Ingram for the simple reason that he was the entire offense for Stanford.
    Someone here described Tebow as a hero for some and a heel for others, which got me thinking… If Tebow can’t cut it in the NFL, he should absolutely go into pro wrestling. He’s definately big and atheletic enough, and that fan base would love him. Plus it would give me more fodder for Florida/redneck jokes.

  46. Randall Simon–why are John Rocker jokes popping in my head?

    Good luck to a second-half player getting $30MM+ over three years.

  47. Mac, thought they did away with that May signing rule in the latest bargaining agreement (2006 maybe)? Am I wrong

  48. Re: #81/The ’08 Sugar Bowl
    When UGA had a consistent pass rush…

    Program Alert
    For those who have MLB Network, there’s a really intriguing show Tuesday night at 8 pm: Bob Costas interviews Dick Allen for an hour.

    BTW, for anyone who enjoys baseball history, those Costas interview shows (“Studio 42 with Bob Costas”) are really terrific. The few I’ve seen were great, especially the one about the ’60s Cardinals (with Bob Gibson & Tim McCarver) and another with Bob Feller, who’s 90-years old & remembers plenty.

  49. ububba, I’ve been watching those as well. They’re really good. Costas does a nice job of asking the right questions and then getting out of the way to let them tell their stories. Those two you mention are really good!

  50. @90,


    I’ve watched several of those Costas interviews and, while he has extremely interesting guests, I find it difficult to watch because Costas feels the need both to ask questions and answer them. He really seems to feed the answer to the person (known as leading questions in the legal profession). I really was annoyed when he did that with Jim Bouton, one guy that really doesn’t need to be prompted. Costas just seems to do more talking than listening. I did think the McCarver/Gibson joint interview was very good, in part because it’s impossible to outtalk Tim McCarver, but I just find Costas increasingly pretentious. But he does have great guests.

  51. @90
    I loved the interview with the 3 umpires! Maybe the Dick Allen segemnet will start HOF talk again.
    There was a point when I’d have taken Allen over Reggie Jackson, but history has washed away as much of Allen’s excellence as it has his controversy.

    Also, loved the ’03 playoff between Giants and Marlins yesterday. Thought both teams were better than the Phillies champs.

  52. Wuerffel definitely deserved the Heisman in ’96 (and maybe the year before too). He’s probably the best college QB to play for any Florida school.

  53. Marc,
    I can understand why someone might think that, but I think the Bouton thing was the worst one, mainly because of Bouton. It seemed like he’d told those tales so many times, he forgot to include a critical part of a story or even drop the punchline correctly.

    I may be wrong, but with Bouton I think Costas had to ask the questions the way he did because he didn’t get what he wanted from Bouton the first time around.

    I say that because, as someone who interviews people for a living, I know how frustrating it can be when the subject doesn’t give you anything useful. For TV, sometimes you have to ask a leading question to get what you need for air.

    For the Bouton interview, it felt like the pieces they used were just part of many, many takes. There was a real choppy quality to the interview, no real flow. It was especially frustrating because, from the Ball Four book, I knew every story & the re-telling of them was a little disappointing.

    I find Costas enjoyable because he’s one of the few broadcasters left who has a genuine sense of baseball history. He’s Syracuse-J-School polished (speaks in complete sentences with perfect pauses), but that’s not a bad thing in my book.

    Loved the ump one, too.

  54. Not that this is a referendum of course, but as much as I appreciate Costas’ elocution and grammar, he does have a tendency to speak in the first person about events he could not possibly have witnessed, a la Wynton Marsalis.

  55. Even the Yankees winning the Series the same year Notre Dame wins the BCS followed by a Cowboys Super Bowl?

  56. I used to love to hear Roy Firestone interviews. He created a relaxed environment and the interviews were very revealing.

  57. Kelly Johnson as a leadoff hitter was pretty depressing. So was Kelly Johnson batting 6th or 8th. I hope he blossoms elsewhere. Meanwhile, I really dig Prado. I believe he could excel playing all the time and Brooks Conrad would be great off the bench.

    yeah maybe if Frenchy Played football every other year he’d be alright.
    I saw Bobby in line at the grocery store the other day, was tempted to ask him
    why he took Hanson out of that shutout he was about to throw. I did not, Love the guy despite his recent mistake. He’s royalty to me and should be to everyone else in ATL.

  58. I appreciate that Costas is good at his job, but he’s a little too slick for my ears. There’s no question he’s professional, though, and I’d sooner listen to his dulcet tones than Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, or Chip Caray.

    Still, I’d trade Costas’s entire career for one more season with Skip Caray.

  59. Ah, Skip.

    He was absolutely the best. Too bad Chip isn’t more like him.

    Has anyone heard the Caray kid who broadcasts for Rome? Surely, he is better than Chip.

  60. @96,


    I appreciate your point about sometimes having to pull teeth to get information out of someone and maybe you are right about Bouton. But, it just seems like, in general, Costas has preconceived notions of what the interviewee should say and, if he doesn’t say it, Costas will say it for him.

    I’m always surprised to hear the dislike of Joe Buck. I think he’s pretty good–he is low-key and doesn’t get overly excited like Chip, who acts as if every home run is the first in the history of the game. I actually think Al Michaels is the best, although he doesn’t do baseball anymore.

  61. The Joe Buck backlash stems almost entirely from that Randy Moss pants-pulling-down episode, as far as I can tell. I never heard much negative against him before that, and I never really hear why people don’t like him, now. Maybe those Budweiser commercials play a role, too.

  62. 104,
    No. Josh Caray is by far the worst announcer I’ve ever heard. All the nuances of Chip except a mono-tone voice. I’m not being hyperbolic, either. Worst. Announcer. Ever.

    He doesn’t do Rome Braves games anymore, they have him doing Gwinnett games. The Rome radio announcer is some ridiculously redneck guy doing it by himself. He’s bad, but it’s entertaining at least.

  63. However, Philadelphia landing Halladay would be very bad news for our Division-winning efforts, I think.

  64. Halladay and agent have checked in to a Philly hotel. There are indications that Cliff Lee will be bounced to acquire Halladay.

  65. How many years does Cliff Lee have left on his current contract? And will the Phils keep him to go along with Doc Halladay?

  66. 109 – it almost has to happen somewhere before Lowe can be moved.

    111 – I don’t know that the marginal difference between Lee and Halladay is that great.

  67. I am mixed about the Phillies acquiring Halladay.

    I think it would assure them the division this next year, but that may be the case anyway. Is it better for our future for them to deplete their suddenly good prospect base for one year of a Halladay-Lee tandem?

    I doubt they could re-sign both next year.

  68. 2:36pm: Morosi tweets that MLB hasn’t granted the Phils permission to negotiate with Halladay yet, but a deal “looks close.”

  69. Gotta love Ingram’s speech and interviews. Any doubts I had about him being the right choice have evaporated.

  70. Pirates, Cards, Astros and DBacks all interested in Kelly Johnson. Sure wish we could’ve gotten something for him. My money is on the Cards.

  71. so would we be really upset for the Phils to trade Lee and prospects to acquire Halladay? I know Halladay is probably the best pitches in baseball, but I doubt he’d match what Lee did for them last season. As long as Lee leaves, Im okay with them trading for Halladay. Top to bottom our pitching is still better. Too bad we dont have a decent offense yet

  72. Lee & Halladay together is a formidable proposition. Those 2 with someone who can close is downright frightening.

    But them losing Lee, getting Halladay & having last year’s Lidge doesn’t break my heart.

  73. Seriously, if Brown or Taylor goes for them to upgrade Lee to Halladay, it looks like a net loss for the Phils.

  74. I dislike Buck for the same reason as Costas, but more so — he’s oversmooth. I dislike him more than Costas because it sounds to me like he tries to project mock gravitas in his voice. (Chip Caray does this too, and even worse. The way that he’ll pause in the middle of a sentence, to gather his thoughts but also to try to make the sentence sound… more important than it really is.)

    The reason I’ll always prefer the guys like Skip Caray and Vin Scully is that they didn’t need to try to sound like a deep-voiced Impertant Person — they just described what was going on. They were more compelling, in part because their voices didn’t betray how compelling they thought they were.

    Plus, yeah, obviously, Buck can be a blowhard.

  75. Phillies have landed Halladay….CLIFF LEE to MARINERS….

  76. Halladay to the Phils, plus long day at work and receiving the grades for what has turned out to be my second worst semester at Tech. Fantastic freaking day.

  77. @126 Alex—Agree with you on Buck, but I really can’t stand Costas!!

    Also, I was unhappy to see Halladay go to Philly, but Lee leaving is nice. We probably match up better against Doc, with our left-handed hitting.

  78. Well based on age alone, I’d rather the Phils lock up Halladay for 4-5 years and big money instead of Lee, however, Lee still seems a little flukey to me. I mean he went from fighting to be a 5th starter on the Indians to Cy Young winner in no time. I always keep expecting him to regress and Halladay seems like an upgrade in the short-term.

  79. Then I am back to ambivalent.

    If they are not giving up Lee, the Phillies are saying goodbye to Happ plus at least two more prospects. They would have a ridiculous top of the rotation, but I would expect it to last only one year.

  80. It’s definitely not a downgrade, but you can’t get much better than what Lee did for them last year, especially in the playoffs. IMO, Halladay is the better pitcher, but if you’re Philly how much did actually improve your team? They replaced their stud ace with another one, yet the rest of the rotation still has plenty of question marks.

  81. 129,
    Even if it’s not a downgrade, the Phillies did what, exactly? Added half a win for $6 million and traded a few legit prospects to do so?

    So they’re going to sign Halladay to an extension. Whoopee! Paying market rate for 30+ year old SP’s isn’t exactly the best way to maxamize value.

  82. So apparently the Angels are about to sign Hideki Matsui. They sure are getting a regular guy:

    Indeed, his only eccentricity, if it can be called that, is his extensive private library of adult videos. His refreshing ability to laugh self-deprecatingly about his porno collection, reporters say, is one reason why fans and even nonfans have taken to him so much.

    Matsui responds by saying that he just wants to be a regular guy—albeit one who jokes that he now has five girlfriends at any one time. He drives a Chevy. He eats steak, has an occasional beer and likes to shoot the breeze with the security guards and maintenance personnel. And, of course, he likes to watch his much vaunted porno collection, tapes that he often trades with Japanese reporters. As one Japanese journalist put it, describing Matsui’s affinity for such unique Japanese cultural institutions like the no-panties shabu-shabu in Japan, “Matsui is a horny guy. All of us are horny, more or less. But Matsui doesn’t attempt to hide the fact.”

  83. If the Phils had to give up pitching (Drabek, or even Hamels or Happ) to upgrade from Lee (A Cy Young caliber lefty) to Halladay then I think they stepped backward. Lee + Happ is better, IMO, than Halladay and whoever replaces Happ.

    But I do say Halladay is better than Lee.

  84. Simulpost with 139. I was referring to 138. I am pretty sure it would be much easier to get out from under an extensive porn collection than Derek Lowe just now.

  85. I don’t think the Phillies will have to give up very much in this deal. MAYBE one prospect, but probably not. While I think it’s more of an upgrade than most (with benefits like a higher GB rate, better roster construction since he’s a RHP, etc.), I’d be surprised if they gave up Happ, Drabek, or Hamels. One of their OFs is possible, but I think lower-level pitching prospects are more likely. The real question is, what are the Mariners giving up?

    As for the other big news, I’m loving this deal that Lackey signed. Makes Lowe’s contract look much more tame. I still don’t think we’ll get back anything of real value, but maybe it’ll be a little easier to move him now.

  86. Assuming Philly really is sending Lee or Hamels to Seattle, this is a good deal *for Atlanta.* The primary division competition doesn’t get that much better, and Anaheim is in the Derek Lowe market even more than before (especially if Lackey to Boston pans out.)

  87. Clearly, the Phillies are trying to win another World Series or two while their core is still reasonably young. Assuming that this does involve trading Lee, it probably is because Halladay is apparently more willing to sign an extension. That might make sense, but given the vagaries of the playoffs, I’m not sure it is wise to give up so much of your farm system; they would have a good shot at making the playoffs anyway. Even if they keep both Lee and Halladay, it doesn’t guarantee they even get to the World Series, much less win it (although it probably means everyone else in the division is playing for the wild card).

  88. Marc,
    Agree. The time is now for the Phils.

    Re: Matsui
    My Yankee friends & I would always argue about who had a better life off the field—Jeter or Matsui. I always said Matsui.

    FWIW, the writers up here always loved Matsui. When he arrived, everyone thought it was going to be a daily circus with the Japanese press.

    But when Matsui came to his first spring training in 2003, he took all the US/NY Yankee beat writers to an off-the-record dinner in Tampa. He got to know them a little bit and explained how the whole Japanese press thing would work. (Basically, he had to give them a little something every day.) According to the beat people, he’s a really likable guy & it was a great start for him.

    Can you imagine anyone else doing that? In terms of dealing with his country’s press corps, apparently, he’s the opposite of Ichiro.

  89. I don’t see how the Phils would not be giving up at least one player of significance. Again, I maintain that even if Lee is going to Seattle, the Mariners are not bearing the full cost of this trade. Otherwise, Philly would not be involved.

    It would be Halladay for the still unknown Mariners package, directly.

    If I am bearing the full cost of the trade, then I better get the best pitcher in the deal.

  90. #153 – If we can get Juan Rivera for Lowe, Id be very surprised. But hell yeah, you make that deal immediately

  91. agreed…make the deal for Rivera. and i know he had some crazy illness last yr but i like Conor Jackson for 1B too…

  92. I don’t like the move for Philly and I think it ends up ultimately a wash in terms of production, but I’ll call it a loss with the Phillies giving up Taylor and others. Cliff Lee is younger and would give you the essentially the same production as Halladay.

  93. I hear a choir of Angels singing:

    Come pitch a ball, Derek Lowe, Derek Lowe. We’ve got some Juan to trade and everybody knows. People know we need pitching and them people sho aren’t fools. Cause Derek Lowe is the finest pitcher, that we can find right now.

    Old Derek was a tall man with a glove on his left. He kept in shape pretty good and didn’t get no heft. He always made a living, throwing the white stitched ball. On the day he pitched in Orange, he worked those guys but good. Cause Derek Lowe is the finest pitcher that we can find right now.

    Come pitch a ball, Derek Lowe, Derek Lowe. We’ve got some Wood to trade and everybody knows. People know we need pitching and them people sho aren’t fools. And Derek Lowe is the finest pitcher that we can find right now.

  94. I would do the Rivera deal, though he is one of the worst baserunners in the league.

    What are his existing contract details?

  95. Where the Phillies are going to come out is that Halladay is going to extend on what are probably pretty reasonable terms. Like 4 or 5 years 18 to 20 million. Lee wanted 23 million to extend. He is toast.

  96. I suppose I would do the Rivera deal—but I’d much rather trade Lowe for a middling prospect and sign Mike Cameron.

    Rivera is owed $4.25+ million in 2010 and $5.25+ million in 2011.

  97. Rivera has two more years at 3.25 million. An awfully good player for that.

    Just think, that would clear space for the Angels to play Gary Mathews, Jr more.

  98. That Rivera contract makes that a deal I would definitely do. I am guessing we would have to throw money into that deal.

    I would also take Peter Bourjos along with Brandon Wood.

  99. The Angels might not have any interest in parting with Rivera, but if the Braves want Rivera, I think you’re going to have to take on a large portion of Lowe’s salary.

  100. I don’t think it would have to be very much cash at all, and if it did, I wouldn’t want to do it.

    Rivera’s a good player and he hits lefties well, but he’s over 30, is only OK (bad for a corner OF) against righties, has trouble staying healthy, and isn’t very valuable on defense.

    171—Giving them Lowe and $15 million for Juan Rivera would be insane.

  101. 171—I misread the decimal in “3.5” as a hyphen, but giving them Lowe and $10.5 million would be insane, too.

  102. BTW, with both the Lackey signing & Halladay deal (apparently) going down today, legions of Mets fans are currently being talked off the bridge.

    Not sure why they thought they had a legit chance at either of these guys (without, say, giving up Reyes for Halladay), but it’s always amusing to hear their collective angst.

  103. Based on what they’re reporting for the pieces of the deal, I’m not at all worried as a Braves fan. Halladay is better than Lee, for sure, but with giving up Michael Taylor too, this isn’t that great of a deal for Philadelphia. Label me “not worried”.

  104. 2010 Fan Projections
    Roy Halladay – 6.7 WAR
    Cliff Lee – 6.2 WAR

    2010 Salary
    Roy Halladay – $15.75 M
    Cliff Lee – $9 M

    So the Phillies traded a 6.2-win pitcher making $9 million and a few legit prospects for a 6.7-win pitcher making $15.75 million.

    I fail to see how that’s a good move for the short-term or long-term. Is consolidating an extra 0.5 wins into 1 roster spot worth $6.75 million and a few prospects? Is it even worth the prospects? Is it even worth the $6.75 million? Is it even worth $3 million? The answers are probably no, no, no, and about.

    Unless the Phillies think Lee is fundamentally worse than his 08-09 form or Halladay is better than his 08-09 form, what the hell was Amaro thinking?

    Not to mention the privilege of paying Halladay whatever the market would next year in a contract extension…

  105. Juan Rivera is not a good player. His average OPS over the past 3 years is sub-.800. Just because we had Garett Anderson in LF last year doesn’t mean acquiring Rivera is a good thing.

  106. Any thoughts on our old friends, Fred McGriff and Andres Galarraga, appearing on the 2010 HoF ballot? Would you vote for them? I would, but reluctantly in Galarraga’s case.

  107. 179,

    Right. The $20 M/Year figure is probably about market value (he might have gotten $25 M/Yr on the open market, but I doubt it), but he’ll be entering his 34-year-old season next winter, and a 34-year-old 6+ win pitcher still gets at least 4 years, I’d imagine. Still, you’re not talking about signing him for Tim Hudson money. You’re sinking $20 million / year into 1 roster spot, and a 3-year deal for a 33-34 year old (…does the alleged contract extension start in ’10, replacing his current deal, or ’11?…) pitcher is a rather large risk.

    I still can’t get to near what Amaro allegedly gave up.

  108. Peter, as always impeccable analysis. Aside from the projected discount maybe the only thing that makes this a winner for the Phils is that Lee is more likely to turn into a pumpkin than Halladay.

    I don’t want Juan Rivera. When he is good he aint that good and when he is bad he is really bad. But if we get him straight up for Lowe then ok I reckon.

    Even if the Phils get Halladay, I ain’t scared. Lee AND Halladay I’d be scared shitless but dumping one ace for another. Ok as others have pointed out more eloquently no harm no foul.

    Alex thanks for the Matsui thing. Just a regular old Japanese guy living the American dream. Love it.

  109. If I was Frank Wren, I’d be dancing up and down the corridors with the news that three big name pitchers are off the market.

  110. Uh, first base, anyone?

    Freddie ain’t ready, and what would make the Braves prettydamnformidable is a cleanup hitter at first base.

    I know Prince doesn’t necessarily get along with his Daddy, but blood runs thick and Cecil is giving lessons to 10-year-olds in Atlanta …

    Just sayin …

  111. I personally would vote for McGriff, but probably he will be a VC selection, at best. As many have said before, he has the bad luck of having a great early to mid career in a low offense era, and finishing in a high offense one. He will be compared, unfairly in my eye, to those with higher counting stats but lower rate stats.

  112. 6:55pm: J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton took physicals and could be a part of the deal, writes Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. Domonic Brown also took a physical today, who is said to be coveted by the Jays.

    6:46pm: “People” tell Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that Aumont is not a part of the deal (via Twitter).

  113. 6:38pm: It is “believed” that Cameron would play left field for the BoSox, with Jacoby Ellsbury in center and J.D. Drew in right, writes Jerry Crasnick of This would make recently-acquired Jeremy Hermida the team’s fourth outfielder.

    The Cubs and Mariners both had interest in Cameron, but shied away for different reasons. The Cubbies were waiting on a taker for Milton Bradley while the M’s continue to focus on Jason Bay. The Braves also had interest, but it now it sounds as though Boston has the inside track.

  114. McGriff yes. Galarraga no. Galarraga is the starter for the 1990s HOF very good.

    McGriff and Larkin are HOFers, Fred by a nose, Barry by a mile.

  115. no one has a clue who is in this deal

    7:04pm: Drabek and “other top [Phillies] prospects” will be involved in the deal, according to Jim Salisbury of (via Twitter). According to Salisbury, Brown will remain with the club

  116. I can’t make sense of the deal either. I thought Philly brought in Seattle so they wouldn’t have to deal Drabek.

  117. “Once the extension is complete, the Phillies are expected send three prospects to Toronto. A source identified those prospects as Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis D’Arnaud. The Blue Jays would also get a prospect from Seattle, possibly Canadian pitcher Phillippe Aumont. The Phillies could also end up with a prospect from Seattle. The Mariners are a key to the deal as they are expected to get Lee and his $9 million salary from the Phillies. The Phillies have a strict $140 million payroll so moving Lee appears to be a necessity.”

    H/T tripon over at BBTF

  118. wait so Philly traded 4 guys for 1/2 a season of Lee, then traded Lee + 3 more prospects for Halladay? 7 prospects for Halladay, really?

  119. according to mark bowman, cliff lee might not be part of the deal either. if that’s the case, we now have the 2nd best pitching staff in the division, and a much worse offense.

    halladay, lee, happ, hamels, blanton> vazquez, hudson, jj, tommy, kawakami

  120. If Lee isn’t part of the deal, I would be almost certain Blanton and Happ are gone. So that rotation wouldn’t be quite filled out.

    And it doesn’t make sense to me that the Mariners would give up prospects for the other two. Almost certain Lee is part of the deal.

  121. This is why we are not Mets fans; via MLBtraderumors forum:

    Mets need Derrick Lowe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Would the Braves be interested in re-acquiring Jeff Franceour.

    As a met fan, I wouldn’t want this to happen but we need a starting pitch to go with Santana, and this may be our only chance.. especially if the Angels are offering Juan Rivera.

    The Mets then can trade SP john maine to the brewers for Corey Hart.


    C- Santos
    1b- Murphy
    2b- Castillo
    SS- Reyes
    3b- Wright
    LF- ???
    CF- Beltran
    RF- Corey Hart


    – Santana
    – Lowe
    – Perez
    – Pelfrey
    – Niese

    Posted by: Barrettman | December 14, 2009 at 07:09 PM

    Huh? So many things wrong with that post.

  122. There’s a chance “Barrettman” is “Steve Phillips.”

    It looks like he solved every problem the 2010 Mets will encounter.

  123. Saw on another board that Matsui is to the Angels for 1/6.5. There goes another, albeit more creative, option.

  124. I would have loved to sign Cameron to that contract. As always, though, his signing that contract with Boston is not proof he would have signed it with us.

    Please, no Marlon Byrd.

  125. Matsui couldn’t play in the NL. He’s a DH now.

    Really? Y’all would pay 15 for 2 years of Cameron? McLouth = Cameron offensively.

    I know right handed bat, better defender but ….. I’m not as sold.

  126. The appeal of Cameron to me isn’t based on him so much as what we might do without him. You know, like sign Marlon Byrd. Or eat a lot of Lowe’s contract in order to get Juan Rivera. I don’t have a problem with keeping Lowe if the deal isn’t right. What are we going to spend the money on, really? Not Holliday or Bay, it would seem. I’d almost rather keep Lowe than dump him for nothing and settle for Laroche and Nady.

  127. 215, 218 – I was referring to 1B. Matsui has expressed a willingness to play there to expand the number of teams he could have gone to.

  128. They have to trade a pitcher. We’re not good enough to win with the offense we currently have and there’s (presumably) not enough cash to adequately address it without trading a pitcher to either clear salary or acquire an cost controlled bat.

  129. We might not be able to win with the offense we have right now, but I don’t think we’re that far away. I think that our lineup was very respectable once we got Schafer, Frenchy and KJ out of the lineup.

    It seems very likely we will trade a pitcher, but our situation isn’t so dire that we have to give Lowe up for nothing.

  130. its was respectable because Laroche was ridiculous, which, we dont have him anymore. We really need an OF, good 1B, and a very good bench bat

  131. 225 – I take issue on the Schafer part. He was playing injured since about the fourth game of the year.

    I think the guy is going to be pretty good.

  132. Wow, that Holliday offer. . .

    Bummed that Cameron is signing with Boston. But, I agree with Weldon at 217 that it doesn’t mean we could have had him at same price.

    I think the FO is confident that McLouth, Diaz, Hayward is a good outfield. What we really need is a great 1B. I’m looking at you, Santa!

  133. Parish – that may be true, but getting him out and McLouth into the lineup was integral to our second-half surge.

  134. Agreed, Weldon.

    But, I think a McClouth, Schafer, Heyward outfield will be an excellent unit very soon. Of course, we may have to wait until 2011.

    If Schafer had not lost so much time in the last two years, it would not be bad to see him rotating with McClouth and Diaz.

  135. Man, letting Cameron get away sucks. I just read the ESPN report on the tentative agreement and it mentions Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle as suitors, and then goes on to say that Chicago couldn’t get the deal done because Milton Bradley is still on the payroll, and that Seattle couldn’t get it done because they’re pursuing Bay at the same time, but the report offers no insight as to why the Braves lost out. He’s even signing to play left field. If the Braves were offering the same money and the chance to play center, which they should have been, how could he not have taken that? I seriously don’t get it. I was looking forward to seeing that move get done more than any other this offseason – the team could use a good defender like him, especially at a premium position.

  136. And maybe Wren didn’t want to give Cameron that second year. Perhaps Wren still believes in Schafer and that fancy batting cage, doesn’t want to block him in case he’s ready by 2011.

  137. Nick Johnson stil available?
    I am not in love with him, but a 1B would be nice to have, him and Nady would be okay if we ant deal Lowe for something.

  138. cliff;
    Thanks for the Derek Lowe song. I can’t quite pick up the tune. Maybe some other team will trade for him and we’ll all be singing.

    Thanks for replaying the Keltner on the Crime Dog. Your effort’s much appreciated. We’ll know you’re feeling much better when “the Road to Bristol’ appears this winter!

  139. @238 – plausible. The outfield as it stands now is from left to right Diaz, McLouth, Heyward with Schafer in the wings. The second year for Cameron would have been a 7 million dollar albatross if the Braves projected arrival time for Heyward and Schafer is on target.

  140. Sorry, Matt Holliday isn’t worth that kind of money. An eight-year deal for any player outside of Albert Pujols is insane.

  141. #235 – DOB said the Braves possibly wouldnt go two years with Cameron. Thats his guess why he went to Boston so quickly

  142. I’m pretty dang bummed about not getting Cameron, the only affordable “perfect fit” among the FA outfielders. Again, I say: :(

    Skynyrd’s “Curtis Lowe”.

  143. Not sure the second year for Cameron would have been an “albatross.” Provided Schafer suddenly became a viable starting, MBL-caliber outfielder, they could have dealt Cameron or McLouth before or during the 2011 season. It doesn’t make sense to me either that the Braves let him get away. Then again, signing affordable, free agent outfielders has never been Wren’s strength.

    As for Boston, Cameron is a much more affordable substitute for Bay, and now, after locking up Lackey, they’ll pursue a Miguel Cabrera/Adrian Gonzalez type. Must be nice!

  144. So, this Halladay-Lee thing isn’t really a 3-team deal. It’s two separate 2-team deals: Phils trade Lee to Seattle for prospects, and trade (completely different) prospects to Toronto for Halladay. There’s no connection between Seattle and Toronto in this, at least according to the latest updates.

  145. Can baseball contracts have disincentives?

    Something like where a player would have to forfeit a percentage of his salary if he strikes out 150 times and doesn’t hit 30 homeruns.

  146. Personally, I’m really glad the Braves dodged the Mike Cameron bullet.

    Now if we can just NOT get Marlon Byrd….

  147. Yeah, I don’t think a second year of Cameron, costing a good bit less than he’d likely likely be worth, could be considered an albatross, either. It wouldn’t be like our situation with Lowe – the team’s overpaying Lowe, and they still might be able to move him and his contract. They just moved Soriano, a less valuable player than Cameron, without agreeing to pay any of his salary, and his salary is higher than Cameron’s reported yearly salary, right? I’m still confused.

  148. 250—I’m pretty sure contract incentives can’t be tied to performance, so the same would apply to disincentives, whether or not disincentives are allowed as a general rule.

  149. 247 – Stu, that’s how I’m reading it too.

    As two separate deals, this looks better for the Phillies. I am still not convinced it will be a net gain for them.

  150. We don’t have three Jason Heywards in the farm system.

    Nate McLouth is still a pretty good outfielder.

    What’s wrong with Nady-McLouth-Heyward-Diaz?

  151. An outfield mix of McLouth, Diaz, Nady, Hayward is fine with me – as long as we get a very good bat for first. Right now, I’m hoping Wren has something special up his sleeve like a trade no one has even thought about yet – but part of me worries that Nady is the best he’s got.

  152. 259—It’s <<< McLouth-Cameron-Diaz-Heyward. Better than Francoeur + anything, of course, but I had (not unreasonably) hoped for better.

    260—It sure feels like it’s going to be Nady and Rivera.

  153. I don’t think that we should look at the Phils-Jays-Mariners deal as two separate deals. They are connected because one piece won’t happen without the other.

  154. @240,

    Stu correctly identified “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe”. It is one of my favorites as to tune and words. The story of the young (apparently white) kid learning the blues from an old black man in the rural South (so often repeated especially with Hank Williams, Sr., yeah that is right, Sr.)

    I was just inspired (in some undoubtedly strange way).

  155. Yes, it should, Jay. I was talking about that with AAR yesterday. If I’m optimistic, I think maybe they’ll use that money on Vazquez or Jurrjens or Escobar extensions. If I’m pessimistic, I think maybe Liberty Media will just pocket the extra money.

    We ought to be able to bring in a real bat if we unload Lowe’s contract, but this apparent obsession with Xavier Nady is worrisome. To me, anyway.

  156. A shout out to ububba,

    I remember maybe two years ago posting here on the tune that sounded like it was stolen from “Werewolves of London” (which you identified as the Kid Rock Song “Singing Sweet Home Alabama”).

    Well, my 12 year old daughter is a pretty good musical type (singer, piano, french horn, and a country fan, primarily, sad to say). She was with me in the car Saturday and those familiar bars started up. She was surprised at the words and she said, “So that’s the other song, huh?”

  157. I think the Angels either (1) have to hope against realistic possibility or (2) sign Pineiro and maybe another pitcher or (3) swing a trade for Lowe.

    With Boston signing Lackey, I think their next move is to try Buckholtz plus (earlier it was either Westmoreland or Casey Kelly maybe plus minor pieces which seemed o.k. to Padresfrom the rumors, but Boston was balking at Buckholtz) for A. Gon.

    What we need to happen is Medlin plus Schafer plus a minor piece or two for A. Gon. Then, OF becomes a lot less of a need, doesn’t it?

  158. @267,

    Replace “Medlen and Schafer” with “Hanson and Heyward” and they’d listen. And thankfully that ain’t happening.

  159. Does it bother anyone that the Phillies apparently have a payroll of $145 million, while the Braves is in the $90s? This is quickly becoming an expensive neighborhood that the Braves may have trouble keeping up.

  160. RobBroad4th,

    Do you really think that Westmoreland is the proven equal of Heyward? Do you really think Buckholtz is the proven equal of Hanson?

    Trades should not be based on what number of the trading team’s prospect list a prospect is, but rather of the general consensus estimates of the ranking of the prospect. Heyward is 90% a FRED MCGRIFF type hitter or better, with at least ML average or slightly above right field fielding skills.

    Hanson has proven himself, already, as a consistent #3 starter or better. Buckholtz has had implosions off and on over and over.

    Medlin is a slight step down from Buckholtz based on scouting reputation. Based on minor league and major league stats, not even a step down. Buckholtz has probably lost a pre arb year in his call ups leaving him 5 cost controlled years. Medlin has 6 AND 3 option years if they are needed. Buckholtz has no more than 1 additional option year.

    The Padres need a center fielder. They have some semblance of talent to cover the corners even after moving Blanks. Schafer should be able to be close to ML average next year with 6 cost controlled years. Westmoreland is a few years away (as is Casey Kelly).

  161. @267 – The Sox may go after A. Gonzalez, but they don’t have to. They could play Youkilis at first and sign Beltre for 3rd.

    I’d like to see them go that route, then the Braves could approach the Pads without Boston in the mix.

  162. @271,

    Just seems like that wouldn’t be enough based on what they were asking for for Peavy, but there’s nothing I’d rather be wrong about. And where did you hear that Red Sox rumor? I haven’t seen anything like that, but maybe it got buried under the Cliff Lee-Halladay rumors.

  163. So Phil Collins is in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame.

    I’m going to go do horrible things.

    On a side note, as someone who lives about two hours from the Hall, the Springsteen fans on the board should get there before the current Boss exhibit closes. It’s absolutely terrific, even better than the Joe Strummer exhibit that was there a few years ago. I think its up until April, but you’ll have to check the hall site for that.

    I believe they are showing the U2-3D concert through January in a new theater as well.

  164. csg, you may want to try Twitter Gadget in gmail (if you have that) as that’s the only way I can see it at work… it’s not perfect, but it’s not too bad.

  165. Csg-

    Twitter (Olney) link says Jays are going to trade Michael Taylor to Oakland for Brett Wallace as soon as the Halladay deal is done.

  166. The HOF’s a better place with the Hollies and Stooges. I probably prefer Bunny Wailer to Jimmy Cliff (and seriously, if we’re putting reggae into the Hall of Fame, then Bad Brains need to be in there), but whatever. If ABBA is the price of putting Iggy Pop and Scotty Asheton in the Hall, then so be it.

  167. Funny call to WFAN today from a disgruntled Mets fan:

    Radio Hosts: “Now we have Joey from Bayside. What’s up, Joey?”
    Joey: “Hey, can you guys keep it down? Omar’s trying to nap.”

    The Stooges. Finally. Congrats, Mr. Osterberg.

    Guilty Pleasure: I actually like ABBA, but they ain’t rock-n-roll.

    Went to the Rock Hall back in ’05. Was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The big exhibit then was The Who’s “Tommy”—the album, the film (which is hysterical, especially the bits with Oliver Reed) and the Broadway show.

    As far as music exhibits go, I’d also recommend Seattle’s Experience Music Project, which is more esoteric & even more obsessive.

    Piano, huh? Has your daughter yet been introduced to Allen Toussaint (New Orleans legend), Roy Bittan (E Street Band) or Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello’s pianist)?

    Love “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe,” too. For kids of my generation growing up in a town like Columbus, Ga., it was almost the law to like Skynyrd. (They easily replaced the Allmans when they ran into their troubles.) And Skynyrd’s second album (“Second Helping”) is still their best, IMO.

  168. I actually think giving up Heyward for Gonzalez would be too much, but I think the Pads would take it.

  169. Maybe it has always been this way, but man, it sure seems like there is some lousy reporting going on this offseason. The Halladay-Lee reporting was the biggest cluster@#$% I can remember but now the 8yr/$16mil offer from STL to Holliday appears to be completely bogus as they are only willing to go to 5 years.

    Are we going to have to institute a universal Furcal Rule?

  170. What’s wrong with Nady-McLouth-Heyward-Diaz?

    Other than the fact that Nady stinks, nothing at all. Seriously, I don’t get the Nady love. I don’t want a .335 OBP in my outfield every day.

  171. Just saw “The Hangover” for the first time. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it yet.

  172. Olney says Lackey’s deal is 5yr/$87.5 million so 17.5 a year.

    And “The Hangover” was quite funny. Would watch again just for the end credits.

  173. I don’t think there’s much love for Nady exactly. But I could live with him posting an OPS of .800, which would make him a significant upgrade over ACHE.

  174. Nobody seems to be talking about it, but I keep seeing reports of the Phillies’ interest in Smoltz. I think that would arguably be worse than Glavine going to the Mets. It would feel an awful lot like the whole Favre fiasco, actually.

    Would Nady be playing in the outfield or first base? Would he want to play out there after 2 Tommy John surgeries?

  175. I think the Red Sox will get Adrian Gonzalez now, and St Louis’ offer for Holliday seems too big to refuse.

    That would leave the sluggers obviously left on the market as Cabrera and Bay and I’d hate to get Bay at what he’s asking.

    I’m still hoping for a story on Cabrera drinking to get overblown and Detroit deciding they want rid of him and will eat some salary, hopefully after Boston fill their need for an infield corner.

    I just can’t see us going into Bobby’s last season just making do with the offense again.

  176. Case in point Buster now says $82.5 over 5 for Lackey, same as Burnett. Twitter is the death of accuracy.

  177. @275,

    The Red Sox after A. Gon has been an off and on rumor, but after the Lackey signing, ESPN Insider Rumors reports that the Red Sox are getting back on A. Gon.

    As to what the Pads WILL take, I don’t know. I was trying to compare what the reports seemed to say the Padres would accept (Buckholtz with either Westmoreland or Casey Kelly) to what the Braves MIGHT do. I really think Medlin / Schafer is better than what the Sox were asked to do by the Padres. The Padres may not agree.

  178. Hmm. I remember seeing A Gon-to-Boston rumors around the deadline but nothing on MLBTR lately. If that proposal by the Red Sox is close to accurate, then I have to agree that Medlen and Schafer definitely look better.

    Then again, I’m biased.

  179. Please NO NADY !! What has he ever done ??? Nothing … I would rather have Marlon Byrd if thats what we are shooting for !!!!

  180. Lunardi’s Bracketology is out. He’s got Kentucky as a 1, Tennessee as a 2, Florida as a 3, Mississippi as a 4, Miss St as an 8 and Vandy as an 11 seed as one of the last four in. Sure would be nice to get 6 back to the tourney after last year.

  181. Nady has power and Byrd, despite good numbers in that park, really doesn’t. Still, Nady’s injury would make me wary.

    Hate to say it—because I am certainly no Kentucky fan—but UK has been awesome so far this year. I’ve watched 3 of their games (one in person) and I can’t help but find them fascinating.

    They don’t even know how to play yet, but they have height, athleticism, enough shooting (it seems) and the best player in the country. They seem to block every shot near the basket & they have runs that are just astounding.

    It’s still way early & Calipari may find a way to blow it, but this could turn out to be the best team he’s ever had.

  182. Stu, I still don’t understand why you like Marlon Byrd so much.

    Since Ububba brought up the piano, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Dr. John’s Gumbo is one of the best albums ever. And, of course, if you like that ya gotta check out Professor Longhair and Huey Smith.

  183. I really enjoy all of that Specialty era New Orleans stuff – Percy Mayfield, Joe Liggins, Lloyd Price, etc.

  184. love the New Orleans music………for anyone who’s interested and hasn’t heard them, check out the Subdudes and the Radiators

  185. 300 – Seriously? One of the last four in?!?

    Weren’t we #24 in the nation a couple of days ago?

    I guess it really hurt to lose to WKU.

  186. I’m surprised he even has us in the field; we really don’t deserve to be, at this point. That’s all RPI (which is all SOS).

    Of course, Lunardi is really, really bad at his job, so his projections are meaningless, especially this early.

  187. Nady is less good than Diaz, and having two platoon RH OFs is redundant. The Braves need to add an OF and a 1B. One needs to be RH. The other… not really as necessary. I mean, there’s Chipper and McCann and McLouth who do better vs. RHPs, but you’ve got a couple of right-handed hitters in Escobar and Prado who are expected to make major contributions. There’s no reason to go overboard trying to get guys who mash lefties at this point.

  188. so we are down to Derosa/Nady/Laroche/Dye and Byrd. I just dont see this team adding a significant bat to the lineup. Ill take depth over no depth, but its disappointing with the pitching staff that is here.

  189. which would make him a significant upgrade over ACHE.

    Anything would be an upgrade over ACHE. That’s a silly way to go about evaluating a player personnel move. “Well, he does have a career .335 on-base percentage and is coming off of elbow reconstructive surgery, but he’s better than one of the worst regulars in baseball last year.”


  190. We are going to be counting on a lot from Heyward.

    Maybe, Schafer can be ready to go sooner rather than later. Don’t forget, he did flat out win the job in ST last year.

  191. Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse look like the best teams in the country to me so far.

    What about Overbay? If Wren can trade Lowe for Rivera, is there enough room in the payroll to add Nady and Overbay(via trade)?

    An outfield of Heyward-McClouth-Rivera-Diaz and a 1B platoon of Overbay-Nady might not be such a bad thing.

  192. Matt Winer has signed with Turner Sports. I don’t know if that means he’s the new guy to replace Chip Caray (and thus PeachtreeTV)… I didn’t think Winer was a baseball guy.

  193. Meet the Mets

    “Just because you didn’t trade at the winter meetings or right after, it doesn’t mean that the offseason’s over,” said right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who dressed up as Santa for school children at Citi Field. “Our team’s not one player away. We need three or four different pieces to make this a playoff team and I think that’s what they’re doing.

    “I think we’re more suited to getting three or four good players than one big guy,” he added. “By spring training, we’ll have it all in place.”

    The Mets made a contract offer to free-agent catcher Bengie Molina on the final day of the winter meetings last week.

    Best two and a half paragraphs ever?

  194. I was looking through the comments section of the “Mets Offseason” thread on MLBTR which asked the fans what the team should do before Spring Training and I found this winner:

    “they should take a page from the nl-champion phillies’ playbook. here’s how that looks:

    trade johan santana for cc sabathia
    trade k-rod for papelbon
    release luis castillo.
    sign orlando hudson for 4 years/$36mm
    trade jose reyes for jimmy rollins
    trade david wright for mike lowell
    trade carlos beltran for curtis granderson

    win pennant.


    that was easy. next question.”

    Gotta love it.

  195. Too bad that we could not get Cameron–but I agree with those who don’t like the idea of Marlon Byrd….

  196. Jeremy @ 311 – When you look at your team from year to year, of course you look at how you improve or decline at a position. Posting an .800 OPS, which is entirely reasonable for Nady, would make him an OK player to have as a part of the outfield mix. If he’d be taking over for ACHE in left, that would make for about a 100 point OPS improvement.

    But like I said in my original post, I’m not thrilled about the idea and I’d prefer it if Wren has some sort of trade for first base up his sleeve.

  197. I am glad he is not on our team, but can I admit I still like Jeff Francoeur?

    Mind you, I am not saying I think he is a good baseball player, but I want him to be. I wish he would go to a team other than the Mets so I could root for him.

  198. #322–Because I do not live in Atlanta I think that I can agree. That is, because I have not had to endure all of the Frenchy hype, I did not develop the deep dislike–to put it diplomatically–that many who come to this board had for Frenchy.

    I would not be surprised to see him continue to put up decent numbers as a Met….

  199. There’s always a chance Frenchy will be a change of scenery guy. I think he could certainly be a Gabe Kapler type, with hustle, a little pop, a little athleticism, and a lot of energy. He certainly needed to get out of this organization, where the hype had just gotten to an unhealthy pitch. I don’t wish him ill now that he’s off our hands. But I’m still happy as hell that he’s no longer a Brave.

  200. 321,

    Xavier Nady has posted an OPS of .800 or better exactly twice in his career. In 2007 with the Pirates he posted a .805 OPS in 470 PA’s. In 2008 with the Pirates/Yankees, he posted a .867 OPS (.334 BABIP, .315 career average). He’s a career .280/.335/.458/.792 hitter who will be 31 next season and missed nearly all of 2009 with a second Tommy John surgery.

    Expecting a .800 OPS, or even anything above-average, is anything but reasonable. That’s best-case scenario. And the scenario gets worse. A lot worse.

  201. If Frenchy has a breakout season next year, I will eat my head.

    So I want him to fail. For my head and stomach’s sake.

  202. Is Bay really a complete pipe dream? We offered Burnett 72mil last year, what’s the most he’s been offered so far? 65?. If we dump Lowe’s contract, could we afford to offer something in that neighborhood to Bay?

  203. 324 – good player analogy Alex. Athletic some promise of a good season every now and then. Not as good as everyone thought he’d be. Gabe Kapler = Jeff Francoeur.

    No hate for Frenchy. Not his fault that he was run out there every damn day despite the fact that he stunk worse than a blue whale turd. Not his fault that he is affable, handsome and willing to do the PR work. Glad that he is not a Brave anymore.

    Lets face it all the options out there for a right handed bat have lots of down side to them. You gotta roll the dice, don’t you? Buy non tendering KJ and Church the Braves have to obtain someone.

    IMHO of all the FAs out there DeRosa might be the best option. Yeah he is old but he hits lefties well and he can play all over the field.

  204. #325
    yes, and it was his last 2 full years in the league that he posted +800 ops and the year before was a .790. pw, you are a stats guy. isnt it reasonable to assume that the longer someone is in the league, the better they get? it is reasonable to assume he can ops .800.

  205. 325 – It’s not a best-case scenario, that would be him posting a career high OPS of .875. It is a good-case scenario, but of course all projections are. As you pointed out, Peter, he has a career OPS of .792. Expecting him to be around his career average is reasonable. Bill James’s 2010 projection is for Nady is .806, by the way.

  206. Saying he’s a career .792 doesn’t really contextualize very well – how about let’s say he’s a career 108 OPS+ guy? Has a nicer ring to it.

  207. ohhhh…. let’s see if this link gets spamblocked…

    What’s that? oh, from my Mets fan friend’s e-mail she forwarded…

    Chat with Jeff Francoeur TODAY at 11am ET
    Mets rightfielder Jeff Francoeur will be chatting live today on and you can be a part of it!
    Go To The Chat Room Now »

    Starting at 11 a.m. ET, Francoeur will take your questions . You must be a registered user on so register now and be ready to start chatting!

  208. If the Braves are truly committed to Freeman being a regular at 1B in 1 to 2 years, I just don’t see us making a “wow” trade to upgrade 1B. 15 to 25 hr guys with an OPS on the cusp of .800 (like Rivera and Nady) are about as good as we can hope for. With Heyward in the OF mix soon, I also don’t see a huge upgrade there (Marlon Byrd worst case- yuck). If Heyward has a good rookie season (or half season), I think we are okay with both scenarios. My biggest concern with Heyward is can he stay healthy? Some of the injuries he’s had lately (back) have a possibility of haunting him over an extended time.

  209. Byrd v. Nady:

    You are comparing 2 totally different types of players. If you NEED a credible center fielder, then Nady is a 0 and Byrd is plausible. if you NEED a first baseman, then Nady is plausible and Byrd is (so far as I am aware) questionable. if you NEED a left fielder, Byrd can’t hit enough if you have anybody half decent around and Nady’s arm might fall off so you can’t count on him in left.

    Byrd is a 5 million a year player for no more than 2 to 3 years for somebody that needs a centerfielder. Braves have almost no need for him.

    Nady is a (right now until his arm looks o.k.) a “sign for 1 million, incentives to 5 million” player. He might be worth 8 a year for 2 years IF he was healthy.

    IF NOT FOR THE INJURY going forward, Nady IS reasonable to project around 800 ops. However, Schafer is close to that and can play center and Heyward is better than that projected now.

  210. I think Glaus is a better “right handed hitting first baseman injury recovery discounted” player to look at. His offensive numbers can carry first base. And, if he gets back his throwing arm (don’t know his prognosis there, but he is coming off shoulder surgery) and if we get a “Chipper 30 day out” in July, you might be able to move Glaus to 3rd and bring up Freeman.

  211. If there’s confidence in his health, I like the idea of Glaus a lot more than Marlon Byrd or Xavier Nady. Nady is a platoon guy and should only be used as such. Glaus can at least hold his own against RHPs, which is really all we need.

    One reason it would have been nice to have Cameron is it would have made it possible to give McLouth the day off against some LHPs. Not a platoon or anything, just give him the day off. But that ship’s sailed, so I guess I should stop thinking about it….

  212. in nady’s last 2 years, he had no “platoon” split and hit lefties and righties pretty equally (he actually hit righties better than lefties in 2008). nady is not a platoon player.

    i will repeat my wish:
    nady: 2/9 million
    glaus: 1/6.5
    sheffield: 1/2.5

    13 million and lots of flexibility barring injury. with a lowe trade, and eating 10 million of his total salary, this would put the braves payroll at 88.25 million committed to 23 players:
    sp: vazquez, hudson, jurrjens, hanson, kawakami
    c: b-mac, ross
    infielders: chipper, infante, escobar, prado, glaus
    outfielders: nady, diaz, mclouth, sheffield
    pen: wagner, saito, moylan, o’flaherty, medlen, chavez, abreu/proctor/logan/

    filling out the roster: heyward and matt young

    the payroll would be less than 90 million total, leaving some flexibility to add payroll in-season barring major injury.

    heyward, nady, glaus, chipper, and diaz would all get plenty of rest during the season and would end the year with 450-550 at-bats each.

  213. 331,
    Sure, until they’re 27-29 years old (depending on whose aging study you believe). After that, the general tendency is for them to get worse every year.

    No. It’s not. Expecting someone who logged 27 PA’s last year due to a second Tommy John surgery and who will be 31 next season to do what they’ve done all their career isn’t reasonable. It’s completely unreasonable. Like I said, that’s best-case scenario. That’s if he’s fully healthy and hasn’t lost anything due to not playing in awhile/aging. What are the chances both of those happen?

  214. Look, I agree that the injury is a factor. But if the team believes he’s healthy, I don’t think that missing a year and being 31 makes him an unreasonable bet. At 31 he may decline some from his _career peak_ but not from his career average.

    If he’s not healthy that’s one thing, but writing him off because he’s 31 and missed a year is not good enough for me.

  215. PW,
    how can you possibly determine that? do you have studies to show tommy john surgery on non-pitchers decrease offensive production? i guess we will just have to agree to disagree since it is an opinion and hasnt played out yet.

    peaks of mlb players have probably went up the last 15 years with more focus being spent on training and keeping the body in good physical shape. it’s not unreasonable to think that at 31, players are still peaking.

  216. Ryan, I’d recommend you look at some studies of aging. JC has done a lot of work with aging — his controversial finding has been that major leaguers tend to peak around 29, while previous estimates tended to be about 27. That’s why PW said 27-29. Tommy John surgeries don’t make someone healthier. And Xavier Nady isn’t Henry Rowengartner.

  217. Players may in fact, “peak” at 29, but they don’t immediately fall off a cliff at age 30 either. Not to say that Nady is good or bad choice (I think he’d be okay, but just okay, personally), but I think the “players peak is at 29” and “an .800 OPS is the minimum standard” get put out there without context a little too often. As noted before, Nady’s 792 OPS translates to a career 108 OPS+. You have to contextualize for park and league in order to compare rate stats effectively.

  218. What would it take to nab Derrek Lee from the Cubs? He’s in the last year of his deal and I don’t think they figure to compete next year with the offseason they have had. Or if they need pitching – could we toss them Lowe and Medlen?

  219. My, blood-sugar-too-low silly idea is: Lowe (plus parts as needed) to the Nats for 1 year of Dunn. Defensive OF to run out there with Diaz and McLouth till baby Jesu… I mean Jason Heyward, gets promoted.

  220. I would very much like to get in on this Adrian Gonzalez business. Jurrjens + Schafer + whatever else not named Hanson or Heyward. Just keep Lowe (at least until next offseason), sign Nady, and kick butt.

    I know it’s not happening, but I wish it would.

    347—I don’t think they’re dealing Lee, especially after trading Fox away.

    348—Why in the world would the Nats want Lowe?

  221. peaks of mlb players have probably went up the last 15 years with more focus being spent on training and keeping the body in good physical shape. steroids


  222. alex,
    so i guess every player peaks at the same time according to jc’s studies?

    with steroid use, harder training, or lack thereof (80’s and previous), how can anyone determine a true peak of an individual player (derek jeter for example)?

    also, i never said nady was going to get “better”. i said i think it’s realistic to think xavier nady can be a productive .800 ops player. that’s not asking him to get better. it’s just asking him not to get worse.

    so, a better question….how can someone just assume that xavier nady is on the decline? because 70% of people start declining at 29? what about the others that continue to be incredibly productive?

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