167 thoughts on “Just a report so far”

  1. I agree with csg on the last post. There are enough injury question marks that DeRosa becomes becomes much more valuable now than Damon does.

  2. Lord I hope not. Glaus with either DeRosa or Damon at least gives me a scenario (however unlikely) in which we could win the division.

    Glaus alone strikes me as putting a LOT of expectations on a 20 year old…

  3. What the heck is our 25 man line-up looking like now? Do we still need some utility and bullpen guys or are those slots all filled up?

  4. @3,

    That would be disappointing. Basically, Wren is staking his job on Heyward and (eventually) Freeman being big-time players.

    But let’s fact it, the options out there aren’t that great. Bay isn’t worth the money he wants, Holliday isn’t realistic, and Gonzalez, I think, would have required prospects, which the Braves really cannot afford to be giving up. This is unfortunately the life of a mid-market team; constantly churning players to get the right mix.

    However, I reserve the right to change my mind and call Wren a nitwit if this does not work out.

  5. If he can stay healthy; Great Sign. Finally a right handed bat, plus I assume it’s only for 1 year(2 at most w/incentives). This move allows Freeman to grow another year and hopefully be able to compete for the spot in 2011.

    With Heyward and Freeman most likely full time starters by 2012, I expect us by 2012 to be competing for a world title

  6. 8—The main problem is that there was no need to clear payroll if the only big move planned was signing Glaus. Unless the payroll was cut, which we had been repeatedly assured wasn’t happening.

  7. 6,
    If the season started tomorrow, I imagine it’d look something like this:

    Pos: Name: 2010 Salary
    SP – Tim Hudson $9,000,000
    SP – Jair Jurrjens $400,000
    SP – Tommy Hanson $400,000
    SP – Derek Lowe $15,000,000
    SP – Kenshin Kawakami $6,666,666

    RP – Billy Wagner $7,000,000
    RP – Takashi Saito+ $4,500,000
    RP – Peter Moylan $1,500,000
    RP – Eric O’Flaherty $400,000
    RP – Kris Medlen $400,000
    RP – Jesse Chavez $400,000
    RP – Michael Dunn $400,000

    C – Brian McCann $5,666,666
    1B – Troy Glaus ???????
    2B – Martin Prado $400,000
    SS – Yunel Escobar $400,000
    3B – Chipper Jones $14,000,000
    LF – Matt Diaz $2,550,000
    CF – Nate McLouth $4,500,000
    RF – Jason Heyward $400,000

    BC – David Ross $1,600,000
    UT – Omar Infante $1,850,000
    UT – Joe Thurston ???????
    OF – Melky Cabrera $3,000,000
    OF – Brandon Jones $400,000

    DL – Scott Proctor $750,000

    Total $81,583,332

  8. 3, if this is true the Braves would have suffered a mayor, mayor cut in payroll.

    Anyway, as of now we have lost Vazquez and LaRoche and gotten Melky and Glauss. That – even assuming Glauss is healthy and will play 1B full time – makes the team significantly WORSE than in ’09. And Wagner/Saito for Gonzo/Soriano didn’t make us stronger either. With the current lineup, I predict a record well below .500.

  9. How about that. The Sun came out today (even though we’re having a blizzard in Central Nebraska) This Glaus deal gives me a lot of hope, and isn’t that what the Hot Stove League is all about? Now, let’s forget Johnny Damon, and go out and bring Mark DeRosa home, as he could play 4-5 positions and play 135 games.

    How’s this look.
    McLouth CF
    Prado 2b
    Chipper 3b
    McCann C
    Glaus 1b
    Yunel SS
    Melky/Diaz RF
    Heyward LF

    DeRosa SuperSub

    Bench: Infante, Ross, Conrad, Shafer, Thurston
    Rotation: JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Lowe, KK
    Relief: Medlin, Moylan, ???
    Closers: Wagner,Saito

    Man, When Do We Start?

  10. Edit: What I get for typing and hitting submit without refreshing to see who answered my question. DOH!

    If I read it right, we have:
    McCann backed up by Ross
    Chipper, Glaus, Escobar, Prado backed up by Infante
    Melky, McLouth, Diaz (plus maybe Heyward) backed up by Schaefer/Brandon Jones?

    Rotation is:
    Hudson, Hanson, Lowe, JJ, KK with Medlen as the spot starter (or maybe Jo-Jo?)

    Wagner/Saito/Moylan closing/setup + 3 misc bullpen arms?

  11. This is a great move. I’ve always liked him at the plate, but hated him at third.

    If we still had Vazquez, I’d say we’d be likely to make the playoffs. I like the construction of the team. Vazquez to Kawakami is such a big drop, though, that I still wouldn’t put us at even money to be playing in October. That’s a four or five win difference to make up. Glaus gets us like two or three.

  12. @11 – I would much rather have Brooks Conrad than Joe Thurston in a utility role, although neither is very exciting. With the injury concerns I just don’t see how we start the season with Troy Glaus as our only major option at first base. Moving Prado creates a hole at 2nd and then we have no 3B backup. I also wonder if Mitch Jones will get a shot.

  13. Oh, and I don’t like the Glauss signing at all. He’s an out machine and his power numbers will certainly decline after the surgery, even if he is declared “healthy”. A waste of money, really.

    On a positive note, he will not be the worst first baseman in the history of the Braves thanks to Rico Brogna.

  14. Parish,
    Hudson has never had a season even remotely comparable to what Vazquez did last year for the Braves. And if I’m not mistaken, they were BOTH in the rotation last year. Compare:

    THEN:
    Vazquez
    Hudson
    Jurrjens
    Hanson
    Lowe

    NOW:
    Hudson
    Jurrjens
    Hanson
    Lowe
    Kawakami

    Still good, but not even close. Again, I still believe Lowe could (and should) have been moved for 7-8 mil/per. Even with no return. Who needs Melky???

  15. Glaus isn’t an out machine. His OBP is around .360. While that’s not Chipper territory, it’s significantly better than, say, Melky. It’s light years from Jeff Francoeur, the out machine to whom I compare all other candidates.

    The team isn’t horrible. They just need a little luck right now to make the playoffs. Glaus playing over 140 games would be lucky.

  16. 18,
    Why? I mean, they both suck. But Thurston at least does some things well with the glove and can play multiple positions. Brooks Conrad is strictly a 2B and has an iron glove plus zero range.

  17. JoeyT,
    Glaus is an out machine, Jeffy is the out machine. There’s a difference in that.
    And since when is a .359 OBP good (or even acceptable) for a first baseman?

  18. He’s an out machine

    Not to belabor the point, but at least try and make assertions that aren’t demonstrably false, and well known to be so.

    @25 – league average OBP for his career is .340. that would put his “OBP+” if you will, at 106. That’s perfectly acceptable from 1B, especially with his career slg%

  19. Conrad seems to have a little more power. Like I said, I don’t like either one, but Joe Thurston’s .225 BA and .645 OPS don’t cut it for me – even if he’s better defensively.

  20. Adam Laroche has a career OBP of .343. Kotchman has a career OBP of .337.

    Glaus, when healthy, is better than either of them. I would call LaRoche more valuable because he doesn’t get hurt, but the team wanted a one-year deal. Glaus is a good pickup.

  21. David, he has had decent power numbers in the past, I won’t deny that. But as I have said before, I doubt that he’ll be able to sustain that after the surgery. And even if he does, he is no upgrade over LaRoche (career OPS+ of 116). A gamble at best, but you can’t afford to gamble without a plan B.

  22. Glaus has better career numbers than LaRoche, costs less, and will sign for fewer years – that’s not a gamble, that’s risk management.

  23. I’m with spike. I don’t know if it’s a bigger gamble to sign a 30+ player coming off surgery with a history of injuries for one year or sign any 29 year old to a multi-year deal.

    The Dodgers probably saved $10 mil signing Furcal to successive three-year deals instead of a longer deal when he left the Braves. The Braves have lost millions signing Lowe for four. If LaRoche is holding out for a longer deal, which I would do if I were him, Wren was right to sign Glaus.

  24. Risk management?

    How about “team building” – you know, like the Phillies are doing?

    Frank Wren has constructed the perfect .501 team.

  25. Trading Vasquez for Cabrera and signing Glaus, I think makes the team worse.

    I got the feeling Glaus is Craig Wilson part II, and will be gone in May.

  26. Read O’Brien’s comment on the 11th opening day 1st baseman in 12 years. Here’s my trip down memory lane:

    1999 – Ryan Klesko – Played out of position. Swung hard.
    2000 – Andres Galaraga – Came back from cancer. Mashed for 1st half.
    2001 – Rico Brogna – Here’s where things started to take a wrong turn.
    2002 – B.J. Surhoff – Are you kidding me? Old and washed up at this point. No power.
    2003 – Robert Fick – I begin to wonder if the Braves know that 1st is a traditional power position. Tradition be damned!
    2004 – Julio Franco – My god, I thought Surhoff was old. I mean, seriously?
    2005 – Adam LaRoche – Slumped a bit in his sophmore season. Forgets to take ADD pills.
    2006 – Adam LaRoche! – Holy roster continuity Batman! He begins to develop power. Fred McGriff would be proud of the follow-thru.
    2007 – Scot Thorman – As a lumberjack, awesome. As a major league hitter, notsomuch.
    2008 – Mark Teixeira – Brought hope to the season… which was then torpedoed by Jeff Francoeur and the balky arms of Tim Hudson and John Smoltz.
    2009 – Casey Kotchman – By this point I was delusional enough to convince myself he was a viable option. Denial can be powerful.
    2010 – Troy Glaus! – Stay healthy and rake, my friend! At least I get to root for a guy I like. Unlike douchebag Teixeira.

  27. I think we’ve gone from being a potentially good team with a few trading chips on our current roster that could make us great, to a potentially good team (but not as good) with no trading chips on our current roster and a little more money. Not an imnprovement!

  28. You can’t compare this year’s team to only the second half team from last year. For one, they were likely playing over their heads (I’m looking at you, Laroche). Also, we sucked pretty bad and dug a pretty big hole before July. For a decent chunk of the year, our OF was Anderson-Schafer-Francoeur, while we had struggling KJ at 2B and Kotchmania at 1B.

    Also, there’s a difference between comparing the new team’s projected numbers to last year’s (second half) actuals vs. comparing with their projected numbers for 2010. Is Laroche a .950 OPS guy, or closer to .800? Vazquez, 2.80 or maybe more like 3.40? The reality is that you can’t get the 2009 performance guaranteed. Glaus can be pretty average and still beat our combined 1B production from last year, and perhaps beat Laroche’s 2010 as well.

    I think we’re still pretty close to our final record last year, assuming normal health. I don’t see a lot of candidates or roster space left for improving the team further, but maybe there’s a creative trade that could get it done. I do agree with whoever said that most of these FA’s won’t make enough impact in our lineup to be worth the mid-sized contracts, though I wonder if a guy like Nady (at the right price) could give us some insurance on Glaus/Chipper. That may be choking Heyward or Diaz out of the lineup, though.

  29. I always figured Glaus was a steroid byproduct. Recent injuries don’t allay my doubts at all.

    So if this is true then payroll has been cut by roughly what was saved in the Vazquez deal, when the front office specifically said that payroll was not being cut this year.

    Facepalm.

    Would rather have Vazquez.

  30. If Glaus is say 5 million with a 8 to 10 million club option, and they do a real diligent medical and watch some workouts, then he is a very good player to sign.
    If he signs for 5, doesn’t that leave about 11 unspent based on last year’s payroll ?

  31. In comparing 2009 roster of starting pitching to 2010, yu have to adjust for Hudson only being avaiable for 1/3 season and Hanson for 2/3 season. Also, to adjust hitting as a team, you need to take roughly 8/1 toend of season to compare.

  32. I think we are a couple of wins better (if healthy) than our final record last year. Do not forget how many ABs were wasted on Francoeur, bad KJ, Kotchman and a gimpy Schafer.

    We also experimented with the 5th starter slot a little last year. A full year of Hanson and Hudson may make this staff as good as last year’s was over 6 months.

  33. Fox sports says this Glaus deal is for one year with incentives. It’s probably a good risk, but I would love a club option for year two in case Freeman needs more time.

  34. I’m thinking they sign Mark DeRosa or someone like that next. Someone that can play multiple positions and does something to counter-act the risk incurred by signing Glaus.

    Like the Glaus signing, though. If he’s healthy…….

  35. According to the AJC, Glaus has only played six games at first base. That worries me. Echoes of Caminiti, etc.

  36. #39–Thanks Mike M–that list puts things in perspective….

    I just hope that we did not trade Javy to sign Glaus and Damon…

  37. Remy–I was thinking the same thing; to be sure, Caminiti was about 5 years older when he joined the Braves, but bringing in Glaus from the disabled list brought back memories…..

  38. How much is this deal worth? I’m not sure how anyone can evaluate the success of this deal until we know the exact terms.

  39. Furthermore, is Freeman really as good as advertised? Is he good enough to warrant not going after someone beyond a one year deal, such as Nady?

  40. Stephen – thats exactly what we did. I know Stu thinks that there was enough payroll to keep JV and sign Glaus but the outward appearances belie that. As I said in the previous thread I’d rather have KJ than DeRosa, Nady or Damon but since the Braves wouldn’t dare do something like that I’m pulling for DeRosa. So its JV and Logan for Glaus, DeRosa (or equivalent), Melky, Dunn and Vizquaino. I know that everyone that spoke of Adrian Gonzalez, Derrick Lee, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday were engaging in wishful thinking but this type of signing was what we were fated for from the beginning. I like it. Of all the what I’ll call secondary FAs out there Glaus has the best resume. Yeah its a gamble but as someone pointed out, welcome to the world of mid market teams. IMHO Frank Wren has made us a more competitive team for 2010.

  41. According to Kevin Goldstein, no. He hasn’t shown the power his body says he should have, although that’s mitigating by a wrist injury last year.

    I hope he’s having a very stringent medical, because this better not lead to a repeat of the 2008 rotation.

    Mark DeRosa would be a mistake, too much money at two many years. We’d be better off resigning Kelly and Church.

  42. @54: Yes.

    I just read Mark Bradley’s article on the Glaus deal. Is it just me, or is Bradley kind of an idiot?

  43. @48 & 52 – I don’t think it’s fair to compare anyone to Caminiti.
    @54 – yes.
    @52 – DOB saying base deal is just $2M before incentives. If true, it’s great – and it leaves us with money to spend. Spend wisely, Frank . . .

  44. In reverse order:

    @ajcbraves: Glaus physical isn’t expected to be an issue, since he already had shoulder checked by Dr. Lewis Yocum this month and sent report to teams.

    ajcbraves: It’s a one-year deal with a base salary that’s believed to be around $2 mill, plus incentives. believed to be around $2 mill, plus incentives.

    ajcbraves: Glaus deal probably won’t be announced until after holidays, because of logistical issues getting physical on short notice at this time.

  45. No, it’s not just you.

    Glaus, if he’s healthy and can play first base, fills the Braves’ big need (righthanded power). But those are two pretty big ifs. He’s younger than Caminiti was and has a little experience at the position.

    Of course, if his shoulder is fully healthy, he’s a better third baseman than Chipper, but let’s not get into that.

  46. Cliff we were never going to try to get Adrian Gonzalez. Not when the first names the Pads would have named in exchange were Jason, Tommy or Jair.

    Also remember that its the years that kill your flexibility in these FA signings. See Lowe, Derrick, 4 years 60 million dollars.

    Glaus’ willingness to sign just a one year contract makes him easily the prettiest pig in the sty.

  47. I know Stu thinks that there was enough payroll to keep JV and sign Glaus but the outward appearances belie that.

    In case I haven’t been clear: I’m saying that if the payroll had stayed the same as it was in 2009, as we were told it would, we didn’t need to trade Javy to sign Glaus and Nady.

    Now that Glaus’ deal appears to be for $2 million plus incentives, the point holds.

  48. Stu – you are correct. The only FACT that I have to go by is that NO offers were being made to anyone until Javy was a Yankee.

  49. could it still be possible to move lowe to the angels for juan rivera and sign a lefty pitcher for the 4th starter ?

    Lowe / schafer for Rivera would seem to be a fit for both teams?

    has davis ( lefty from arizona/milwaukee last year ) already sign with someone ?

    It would allow heyward to pull the super two avoid they did with hanson this year, with rivera in left and diaz/cabrera in right

    sign derosa for a super util guy and you really set in my opinion. it would also explain the cash dump.

  50. Johnny,
    That’s a fact? How did you find out whether we were making any offers?

    If DOB’s right about this being the last “major” move, then the payroll was cut by at least $10 million, which, while it makes the Vazquez trade make a lot more sense from Wren’s perspective, is a big-time bummer.

  51. Surely if Glaus will only cost $2m plus incentives, that kind of means Glaus doesn’t consider himself to be healthy.

  52. @59 I’m good with that, but… if Wren really is finished, then payroll really is much lower this year.

  53. Ok Stu I’ll correct my post.
    The only FACT that I have to go by is that NO offers were being leaked to the press until Javy was a Yankee.

    I’ll be surprised if there isn’t at least one more FA signing. By major is signing DeRosa major? I dunno.

  54. Maybe we’ll just re-sign KJ and Church…

    If Glaus and his $2-million-plus-incentives contract is considered “major,” then I think DeRo would certainly be. I hope you’re right and DOB’s wrong.

  55. @71 If that is in fact what the Braves look like next season, then forget about it. An outfield of Melky/McLouth/Diaz would be awful in the field and among the five worst in MLB at the plate. Once again, Frank Wren has managed to neglect the outfield.

  56. Is sad thing is that Diaz/McLouth/Melky is a huge improvement over Injured Schafer/Francouer/Anderson

  57. Something is off….shouldn’t we still have around 15 MM left to spend?

    DOB has to be just guessing. There’s no way they sit on 15 MM on Bobby’s last year when Melky Cabrera is your current starting LF.

  58. If KJ can be had for 3 to 3.5 million why in the world would the Braves sign DeRo for 4 to 5 for TWO years.

    No on Nady – DeRo is better.
    No on Damon – 10 per year. Get real Johnny.
    No on Dye – Jermaine we should have kept you but now we don’t want you.
    No on Adrian Beltre – we should probably stop our collection of 3rd Basemen at 2.

  59. I love KJ as much as anybody, but he’s not a great backup infielder because he’s limited to second base only. DeRo can play third when Chipper is hurt, he can play in the outfield, and is certainly able to play second. As a backup, KJ is not versatile enough.

  60. From the MLBTR analysis of the Bowman piece (which I can’t see at work):

    “The Braves don’t consider Melky Cabrera the centerpiece of the Vazquez deal and they have yet to determine his role on next year’s team. ”

    Have yet to determine his role on the team makes me think we’re either still shopping, or just not sure if we’ll play Melky and let Heyward develop for a couple months or not.

  61. 77

    Agree they are not going to stand pat, especially with this being BC’s last year. On the other hand, they aren’t going to trade away valuable prospects or overpay for the likes of Bay. I think Wren is making very careful moves at this point while the market continues to flesh itself out. At this point we’ve freed up some cash, established a power hitting, right handed option at 1B and found a servicible outfielder. We’re still in a position to do something of significance if the right opportunity presents itself.

    With that said, DeRosa would be a good fit for this team due to his versatility and the likelihood of injuries at 1B and 3B.

  62. The incentive thing brings up a question I’ve always wondered about: How do teams budget for incentives? Say you’ve got a team with $10M left to spend and they sign a guy with a $2M base and $3 in incentives. Do they have $8M to spend or do they have $5M? My guess would be $5M, but what happens if the incentives aren’t met? Does that just lower the payroll, or does it get applied somewhere else (the draft, next season)? Any thoughts?

    And until the Braves announce that they’re lowering payroll, I’m going to expect more action this offseason.

  63. Bowman does’t know what the hell he is talking about. Coach says he is a ‘starting outfielder’ what does Bowman not understand about that?

    DeRosa is more versatile. But KJ did play the outfield for a season and some 3rd.

  64. Wouldn’t signing a guy to an incentive laden contract who is very likely to not be healthy enough to meet those incentives a way to sneak a salary cut in through the backdoor?

  65. I don’t know for sure Jay but it seems to me that if the incentives put the projected salary to say 8 million thats what you would budget. In other words build your budget on the assumption that the player will earn them.

  66. Apparently Wren texted DOB and said that the Braves are looking at smaller moves, but the big deals are finished. That pretty much eliminates DeRosa and any other useful player.

  67. For all of you guys calling up the Ken Caminiti bad mojo, might I remind you that Ken Caminiti was ADDICTED TO CRACK ROCK!?! I’m not suggesting that Glaus is a sure thing, but I’m pretty sure he’s not a crack-head.

  68. Be patient. So far I think Wren has done a good job. Many of us panicked last year when we let Smoltz go. This guy knows what he is doing, chill.

  69. Maybe Lowe and Melky for Rivera? It would suck to give up two starters for Rivera, Dunn and A-rod (unless they all change their first or last names), but you could live with Hudson, Jurrjens, Hanson Kawakami, Medlen rotation. And you’d be competitive this year with a TON of money for the good FA class of 2010. If Heyward works out, you’re even better off, because you can sign JJ long term, and if Freeman steps up, you’ve got a potential jackpot situation for 2011, with the only big need being a 3b replacement and a closer.

  70. Any chance the money that we supposedly sold Vasquez for goes to a long term deal for Jurrjens? Maybe something like 6 years/36 mill.? It would be more expensive now, but keeping Jurrjens longer is the only thing short of signing Holliday that might reasonably justify dumping Vasquez’s salary. There’s just not anything all that desirable left on the FA market. I imagine his arbitration awards would be significantly greater than $6mill./season, and who knows what kind of money we’ll have available in 2/3 years (not sure when he’s arb eligible). Wren has more than once mentioned his desire to lock him up, I think.

  71. Interesting thoughts, PeteOrr. So, when should we offer long term deals to our young players?

    Yunel
    Jurrjens
    Hanson
    Heyward

  72. nothing adds up right now. i hope to god melky doesnt step anywhere near the regular starting lineup. 15 million left for 3-4 roster spots and no “big” moves left?

  73. The Braves had the money for LaRoche and odds are he wouldn’t be injured all year like Glaus will probably end up being.

  74. Underwhelmed by Glaus, despite the price. (Let’s take another chance on a player with questions & see if it works out.)

    But, yeah, his best-case scenario seems OK, plus I’m guessing he can play some 3B, if ever nec. Hit some homers, Troy.

    This probably ain’t over and—I’m with Smitty here—I’m not going to jump to any conclusions—yet.

  75. Parish, Yunel would need to be signed before Jurrjens I guess. Much as I love Hanson, it would would make sense to watch him pitch for two more years at $500,000 per and see what he turns into. Of course, given the massive arbitration award Lincecum is liable to get, the Giants probably wish they had signed him long term after his rookie year. That would be a really high risk move though.

  76. So Godot turned out to be Troy Glaus! And we didn’t even have to wait to find out how twisted the plan is. Bet it all on a (bad) wing and a prayer.

    Boo Awful Trades.

    Hooray Time Machine.

  77. Best Case he hits 25 homers and knocks in around 100 and plays 135 games, in my opinion. Keeps the spot warm for Freeman if he is ready for 2011. Since there arent mashers available at First Base this off season.

    Worst case, I see shades of Raul Mondesi!

  78. If there are no more “major” signings, whatever that might mean, then it’s hard to not call it a payroll cut. They’re -15 mil from last year, give or take, right now.

  79. With attendance already slipping, how in the world can you cut the payroll of a team who was very close to making it to the postseason? That is beyond me. On the other hand, when DOB and Peanut both say there will be no more mayor moves, then where are those $15mil?

  80. If there is a $15 million paycut and the beat writers aren’t saying anything about it, we’re looking at bad news for the future.

  81. This (from Peanut) made me want to run into a wall:

    It’s no secret that the Braves pushed hard in an attempt to find a suitor for Lowe. But in the process, they found just a couple of potential suitors and each of these clubs wanted them to eat about half of the $45 million the veteran sinkerballer is owed over the next three years.

    So WHAT??? Let him go, save $8mil/per and spend the money wisely (outfielder/1B). Keep your ace. Be a contender in 2010. Have another $11.5mil to spend next year. Admit that you made a mistake and correct it. Have happy fans.

    Instead, our ace is gone, Melky f***ing Cabrera will be part of our outfield, our first baseman is a liability at best, the mistake is still on the team (and pissed), and the fans are, well, dissapointed to say the very least.

    Great job, Wren!

  82. Tom , post 21, you’re hilarious and incredibly ignorant. Let’s compare Tim Tim Hudson to Javier Vazquez.

    20 win season? Hudson Yes, Vazquez No.

    Consistent winner? Hudson (.655 percentage)Yes, Vazquez(.505 percentage) No.

    Better pitcher? Hudson career 148-78 3.49 ERA, Vazquez career 142-139 4.19 ERA…..Hudson, CHECK!

    162 game average Hudson: 16-9 3.49 ERA, Vazquez 13-12 4.19 ERA…..again, Hudson.

    At least fifteen wins in a season? Hudson five, Vazquez three.

    Years with a losing record Vazquez five, Hudson ZERO. OK Vazquez wins this category hands down.

    Did I mention that Tim Hudson is from my home town? Never mind, that would make me totally biased except for the above numbers.

  83. Coach is back! It’s a Christmas miracle!

    All but one of those “numbers” Coach just put up there are about win totals. I agree that Hudson has been the better pitcher over the course of their careers, but you picked a truly awful way of proving it.

    One statistic that worries me:

    Shoulder Surgeries. Hudson loses that one.

  84. Um no, Hudson had TJ surgery on his elbow, not the shoulder. Huddy’s got a brand new rubber band in his elbow and improved mechanics. Dude is good to go which is why the Braves rewarded him with the new four year contract.

  85. As for the Glaus signing, I’m ok with it, as long as Wren is not done. Gonzalez, Cabrera, Bay, Holliday, etc. were all going to cost a lot one way or another. Glaus costs very little, and if they use the cash that we think they have, then Glaus could be a very good signing.

    I’ve stepped off the ledge from my initial capital-letter-filled Facebook status from yesterday, and I’m slightly optimistic these things can be a good thing. A few reasons:

    1) Vazquez’s value is at an all-time high. He had one of his best seasons statistically, and that could very well be a fluke. Either that or he’s just another person who has a much better season playing for Bobby Cox. Either way, it’s not a guarantee he will have as good of a season next year. If you were going to trade a guy like Vazquez, you’d do it the year after he had a career year and a year before free agency.

    2) Melky Cabrera can be very useful if he’s not THE answer. If Heyward struggles as a rookie, he’s there. If Diaz struggles like he did two years ago, he’s there. If anybody gets injured, he’s there. Considering that we had Greg Norton as our primary pinch-hitter last year, we’ll be doing a lot better with Cabrera off the bench. His “clutch” stats are pretty good too.

    3) Glaus has about as much upside as almost anyone available, except for Gonzalez or Cabrera, who were going to cost much more. Sure, he could struggle coming back from injury, but I’m sure they looked him over quite thoroughly before they committed to this. He’s also right-handed, and Gonzalez and LaRoche were both left-handed.

    4) We should still have money left. Wren said he’s done making big deals, but he’s a reasonable guy and he knows that Mark DeRosa or Xavier Nady or whoever is not a “big” move. He could bring in another guy who can play multiple positions well for the money we think he has.

    That’s all the optimism I got. I don’t like our rotation anymore, though…

  86. My mistake about the TJ surgery. That was dumb. I was thinking he had labrum repair surgery, like I had, but that also wouldn’t have kept him out so long. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Still, Hudson has had TJ and Vazquez hasn’t. Probably another reason why Vazquez’s value was so high.

  87. It comes from the budget from last year, minus Vazquez, LaRoche, Gonzalez, Soriano’s, etc. net salary relief, I think.

  88. I like the Glaus signing–because it comes at a bargain basement price. I would have preferred keeping LaRoche and lived with the frustrations in the fist half of the season. If Glaus can stay healthy and be productive, then he is a steal.

    That said, I hope that Bowman is wrong when he writes “If this Glaus deal is completed, the Braves appear to be done with their major offseason projects.”

    At this point I don’t see that Wren has improved the team. Now, he may not be done–but if he is it shows that the Braves have less money to spend than we would like to believe. Again, the Braves behaved this way during the 2009 Draft and so I am beginning to think that they face considerable financial obstacles. If that is true, than the failure or inablility to move Lowe looms increasingly large….

  89. LaRoche wanted too many years and too much money. He says he should have hit .400. Well instead he shouldn’t have let his agent put that ridiculous 3 years 30 million number out there. If I am Wren I’m saying to hell with that. 10 million for half a season?

    The team isn’t improved but it isn’t worse either. Glaus Wagner and Saito are gambles. But hoping that Vazquez 2009 was his new level of production, LaRoche could hit for more than just 81 games and that Soriano or Gonzalez’s arms wouldn’t fall off is just as big a roll of the dice.

  90. Apparently the Braves did not talk to LaRoche; nor did they offer him arbitration (as a Class B free agent). At his age, he and his agent should look for a three year deal–which is why I was never particularly optimistic that we would retain him. That said, I wonder if he could have been had for two years….

  91. Yeah you are right. Adam should be looking for some long term security. Not a good fit for the Braves at all. Apparently the team feels like Freeman is the future.

    I do have some consternation over your preference to LaRoche over Glaus. Yeah Glaus is coming off major injury and yeah he is a 3b converting to 1b but you’d rather pay 18 to 20 for 2 years of Rochy than 2 mil lets say with incentives its really 7 for one year of Glaus? Ok, I reckon.

    I get it that the 15 million surplus figure floated about is just an extrapolation but folks get caught up in it as if it is the truth. If the payroll has been contracted it shouldn’t come as a big surprise considering the state of the national economy. If we are contracting to an 85 rather than a 95 million dollar team then we had better get used to stuff like signing the Troy Glaus’ of the world.

  92. Signing Troy Glaus to be your starting 1B is a horrifying move. He’s 33, often injured, has never really played 1B before and was a KNOWN steroid user. 36 homers in 06? That was 4 freaking years ago when he was gassed up. How many did Bonds hit that year? Can we sign him too? When this moron either gets hurt or is healthy and terrible then I’m gladly going to point out why this move was always horrible.

  93. #123–Thanks AAR. My favorite quote from the piece:

    “I’ve overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear,” Vick said. “You ask certain people to walk through my shoes, they probably couldn’t do. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world because nobody had to endure what I’ve been through, situations I’ve been put in, situations I put myself in and decisions I have made, whether they have been good or bad.”

  94. I don’t know why that Office UK video was posted, but that was hilarious. Wow. Now I know what not to talk about on a date…

  95. Leonard Little killed someone drunk driving and he got off lighter than Vick did. The punishment Vick received combined with the vitriol aimed at him is pretty disproportionate to the crimes he committed.

  96. 4AM Bravesjournal confessional. Girls suck. I wish I could come to conclusions as decisive as that about my favorite baseball team, but I can’t. I’m more devoted to the Braves than I am to females. What the hell does that say?!

  97. I’m definitely not liking this offseason. I can see letting go of Gonzo and Soriano (mostly because of Bobby’s (ab)use pattern). If I were an optimist, I’d think that maybe Wren said to Vazquez, “Go suck at Yankee Stadium and we’ll pick you up as a free agent next year.” Sadly, I’m not. I would’ve rather offered LaRoche arbitration and held on to what we had if there weren’t any serious offers for Lowe.

    Still, Lowe has a chance to redeem himself. If he’s able to correct that mechanical problem he says he identified late in the year, he’ll be worth a lot more than he was last year.

  98. I think two points to remember are that

    A) we have a few health gambles this year, but we also have a few rookies to potentially replace some production… and we may still make a run at DeRo (there are risks, but we have a bit better chances at having meaningful rookie replacements for them than we have in years past… I think)

    B) Even if we’re “no better” than we ended up last year… that 2nd half Braves team (even with that horrible last week) had one of the better records in the NL… So if we get just as good as we ended up, we shouldn’t be in too bad a position… Not that I’d complain about another bat in the OF so Melky is 4th man in line/platoon till Heyward comes up.

  99. If Bowman is saying the Braves are through with “major acquisitons” then he is probably right. And I hate that.

    If by “major” they mean we aren’t gettin Bay or Holliday, o.k. if they mean we won’t consider 2 years of DeRosa at 10 to 15 million or consider a trade for an outfielder (don’t know who is out there or could be had, actually) then I am very disappointed.

    I see no reason for Liberty Media to cut payroll. They are “rolling in dough” and view the Braves as a re-sale asset (despite their sly comments) as soon as the 4 year restriction on sale under the tax code expires. They will get more for a Braves team that is a division winner or playoff team than for a 75 to 80 win team with a disgruntled fan base (like 10 mill a year for 2 or 3 years would easily be offset in the additional value on re-sale).

  100. Cliff how do you know that Liberty Media is rolling in dough? Also remember that the Braves are being treated like any corporation would treat a separate division in that they have to be at the very least self sufficient but more likely they have a certain profit expectation. If they are smart Liberty isn’t using revenue from another business entity to prop up the Braves nor should they.

    For those of you out there that long for the rich individual owner like Arthur Blank take a look at what divorce did to the Padres and will do to the Dodgers. Be careful what you ask for.

    The major move thing is concerning. Is it a major move to make an offer to a 3b coming off a major injury to switch positions with an incentive laced low ball contract? Could mean outside of getting a few bench jockeys the Braves are done.

  101. People seem to be forgetting Heyward. I assume the Braves are expecting him to make some contribution before the season is over, albeit probably not right away. Even if he’s not Albert Pujols right away, he might well be able to add some pop so the outfield might be much better in the second half. And, yes, I realize the first half counts too.

    Coach,

    I am truly puzzled at your inability to respond to other comments without calling people names. I assume it reflects your own insecurity that you need to make yourself feel better by calling other people ignorant.

  102. “People seem to be forgetting Heyward.”

    they arent forgetting, just not planning ahead. Add Derosa and if Heyward is ready in June you can trade one or two of Schafer/McLouth/Diaz/Melky depending on the health of everyone else

  103. Not forgetting Heyward just hoping that the Braves are smart about deploying him. Not so much for money reasons but for development reasons. Its really just a mental exercise on my part not to count on a kid that has played 4 games at AAA.

  104. Johnny,

    I agree 100%. There are people who think that Heyward is going to start in right and hit .280 33hr and and OPS of .775

    No reason to rush him.

  105. Smitty,
    I think the OPS of .775 could be realistic. Given the plate discipline that he’s shown so far, if he hits .280 with 33 hrs, his OPS should be closer to .900. My realistic hope is something like .260 with 19 hrs and an OPS of about .750. Even with this, his OPS should be a little higher – especially if he doesn’t play the full year. I would definitely take this.

  106. @141

    I’ll give you the OPS, but there are some people who think he is going to carry the team. That is unrealistic.

  107. PeteOrr, if it gets to the point that you are sending Chris Berman chocolates on Valentine’s Day, be sure to let us know.

  108. Is it mathematically possible to hit .280 with 33 HR and have an OPS of .775? I’m going to do the math on this one, and get back to everyone. I’m not mocking. I really wanna know.

  109. OK, this is the closest thing I got:

    500 ABs
    140 H
    33 HR
    107 Singles
    11 BB

    It works out to .280/.294/.478/.772

    Is there a player who ever put up those kinda numbers? The closest person I could think of is… Jeff Francoeur. We’re talking 11 BB in 511 PA’s, and even Francoeur wasn’t that bad.

    I answered my own question. Ozzie Guillen, in 1996, had 10 walks in 509 PA’s for an isolated discipline of .010. Of course, he had 4 HRs that year. I’m sorry for wasting everyone’s time. I’ll go home now.

  110. @148

    Sure it’s mathematically possible. Based on 600 AB, a .280 batting average would equate to 168 hits. A Francourian 14 BB would then yield a .296 OBP. Based on the same number of AB with 33 HR, the youngster would need just 20 two-baggers with no triples to achieve a .478 slugging percentage. Add em up and whaddya got? .774 OPS.

    Or if he hits 33 HR, let’s hope that does much better than a .775 OPS.

  111. I’d love Jason Bay for Christmas.

    But here on earth, I wouldn’t so much mind Nady if he was signed on the cheap like Glaus was. Outfield of Nady, McClouth, Diaz, with Schafer and Melky, and Heyward counting the days in AAA. Give Schafer some healthy at-bats, decide if he’s a keeper and if he makes McClouth expendable before the expensive part of his contract begins.

    Also, Nady extends our Chipper insurance. If Chipper or Glaus goes down, Nady to first. If Chipper AND Glaus go down…

    ::shudder:::

    EDIT: Does Nady’s second Tommy John surgery preclude him from even PLAYING outfield? Is he going to have to be a 1B now?

  112. emailed Peanut about where we stood on payroll and if he thought the braves were done making moves. I dont know where our payroll is right now, but I was thinking we were at $84-85 mil on a $95 mil budget

    here’s his response:

    “I’m getting the sense that they have about 6-8 mil left to spend. This
    opens the possibility for DeRo. In short, the $95 million figure
    doesn’t appear to be correct. But I do think they could add a
    versatile guy like DeRo to fill this role that you were referencing.”

    Happy Holidays,
    Mark

    edit: I was mentioning Derosa as a filler for LF/RF, 2B, 1B, 3B backups, he wasnt saying the Braves were even looking at him or not

  113. Oakland signed Coco Crisp for about $5 mil on a one-year deal with a one-year option. If we had done that, re-signed LaRoche (or even gone with Glaus at 1B again) and kept Vazquez, we’d be good to go.

    Instead.. THE MELKPOCALYPSE.

  114. Its nearly Christmas where I live, so let me go ahead and wish everyone who celebrates the holiday a very Merry Christmas.

    And lets hope that the Braves get a right hand power bat for a Xmas present…..

  115. 1501,

    Will Carrol told me that Nady should be ready to play OF by spring training (100% ready).

    Of course, second Tommy John surgeries aren’t usually complication-free.

  116. FWIW, worst season OPS with 30 or more homers:

    1 Dave Kingman 1986 .686 35 .210
    2 Tony Armas 1983 .707 36 .218
    3 Dave Kingman 1982 .717 37 .204
    4 Dave Kingman 1985 .726 30 .238
    5 Tony Batista 2004 .728 32 .241
    6 Cory Snyder 1987 .729 33 .236
    7 Lance Parrish 1984 .730 33 .237
    8 Ron Kittle 1984 .748 32 .215
    9 Leon Wagner 1964 .750 31 .253
    10 Joe Pepitone 1966 .753 31 .255
    11 Ken Harrelson 1969 .756 30 .221
    12 Ernie Banks 1968 .756 32 .246
    13 Joe Carter 1989 .757 35 .243
    14 Jose Valentin 2004 .760 30 .216
    15 Chris Young 2007 .763 32 .237
    16 Tony Batista 2002 .766 31 .244
    17 Rocky Colavito 1966 .767 30 .238
    18 Ruben Sierra 1987 .771 30 .263
    19 Andruw Jones 2001 .772 34 .251
    20 Gorman Thomas 1980 .774 38 .239
    21 Jose Canseco 1986 .775 33 .240
    22 Dave Kingman 1975 .778 36 .231
    23 Sammy Sosa 1997 .779 36 .251
    24 Jose Canseco 1987 .780 31 .257
    25 Ben Oglivie 1982 .780 34 .244
    26 Eric Karros 2000 .780 31 .250
    27 Tom Brunansky 1984 .780 32 .254
    28 Gorman Thomas 1985 .781 32 .215
    29 Joe Carter 1996 .782 30 .253
    30 Lee May 1970 .782 34 .253

    Last line is batting average; the closest, therefore, is Ruben Sierra in 1987. You can also see why I compared Francoeur to Tony Armas (Sr.)

  117. And that’s not a flattering comparison either.

    Before I forget.
    Merry Christmas to everyone! Happy Holidays!

    and Mac – speedy, full, cancer free recovery and thanks for the hard work maintaining the best blog on the internet.

  118. @152,

    Thanks for sharing. I would feel considerably better if we signed DeRosa, but this offseason has been pretty disappointing.

    I got roped into playing piano for the local midnight mass. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I would, but it’s a pain to play that way. Merry Christmas.

  119. Merry Christmas all, Happy Hollidays

    Mac – another year, albeit not your easiet one, but job well done. Thanks!

  120. So far the 2009 Braves have substituted Vazquez, Gonzalez, Soriano, LaRoche, ACHE, and Church for Wagner, Saito, Glaus, and Melky Cabrera. Am I forgetting someone?

    They’re definitely better, if by “better” you mean worse.

  121. 165 – you left out 80 games of Frenchy. That will almost assuredly make them better

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