Where Do We Go From Here 2010.3: Free Agents

Cot’s Baseball Contracts: Potential Free Agents for 2011.

The Braves don’t normally sign major free agents. Even in the flush days, they signed only one really premium free agent (but that one was a doozy) and three kind of second-tier guys (Terry Pendleton, Brian Jordan, and Andres Galarraga), plus a number of lower-level guys. The preference has been to build from within and make trades when major acquisitions are needed. If the Braves do try to address the left field situation via a free agent, there are a few options. Concentrating mostly on righthanded hitters who seem to have something left…

Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth probably aren’t among them. Crawford certainly will get big money, more than he’s worth, on the free agent market. It’s just possible that Scott Boras has overreached on Werth and will wind up taking a more reasonable contract, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Also, since the Braves refused to go after Adam Dunn when he was younger, cheaper, and more mobile, it’s very unlikely they would go after him now and move him back to left field, where he’s no longer even good enough that you can close your eyes and hope. Manny Ramirez is also out, because he is insane and Fredi doesn’t need that in his first year.

Pat Burrell is a maybe. He’s also a poor left fielder (despite some good metrics in his half-season in San Francisco) and another guy that the Braves didn’t go after when he was younger and more mobile. Magglio Ordonez is a big name with a big option that won’t get picked up. At 37 and coming off an injury-plagued season, he could be in the Braves’ price range, and they have been interested in him in the past. He probably still has more power than anyone on the Braves’ current roster. Vladimir Guerrero is creaky and a shadow of his former self, but if the Rangers don’t pick up his ($9 million) option, I’d be really tempted to go after him. He played only 18 games in the field in 2010, up from two in 2009.

And then there’s Andruw. Andruw’s seeming partial rebound in 2010 is a park illusion; he hit .215/.314/.415 in road games. I love the guy, but I have to pass.

278 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here 2010.3: Free Agents”

  1. I think it’s clear that if we don’t pick up Ross if he’s available, the universe will continue to conspire to pit him against us at every crucial moment of every season from now until he retires.

    I’m not sure if it would be wise, but the idea of having Vlad is an interesting one to me.

  2. Damn, I knew Auburn had a decent schedule, but have you seen so-called #4 TCU’s? The only thing they have to worry about is marshmallow poisoning.

    //Ugh – Boise State is just as easy.

    //Jeez Nebraska and Oklahoma too. What a fix.

  3. I would rather get Ross for a cheaper rate than Burrell or Maggs. He mashes against lefties and plays much better defense. As I’ve said in the past, he’d be a nice platoon partner with McLouth in LF, and a nice insurance option if any one of the other outfielders get injured.

    This, of course, would be contingent on acquiring a big name outfielder as well.

  4. I would like a pony. One that can run free in the outfield with a glove strapped to its back. That also swings a bat in its mouth from the right side.

  5. We just got a donkey. Much better than a pony, IMHO. And actually, now that I think about it, he WAS swinging a stick in his mouth yesterday evening!?!


  6. #14 – The old save our closer for the ninth inning while our crappy ROOGYs and LOOGYs blow the whole lead trick. Every manager falls into this trap.

    I’ve never heard of this guy who’s in for Mallett but he’s not afraid of a SEC road game. Terrible read by that Auburn safety #2.

    Edit: Oh, and the post. So if the guy is good enough to help we can’t afford him and if we can afford him he’s not good enough to help. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, every single year.

  7. Yeah, Newton is a horse. Mostly a runner but in college no one can stop the big strong running QBs.

    Edit: By contrast, Michigan and Nebraska’s running QBs are little guys and have been pummeled by Iowa and Texas today and both guys are on the sidelines.

  8. My bad- supposed to be posting about SEC football today it seems!

    Auburn’s DBs are horrific- do they ever turn around and actually try to find the ball?

    However, this Wilson kid in for Mallett looks damn good. That TD pass just now was a bullet.

  9. @19 I’ve never seen one of our DBs play the ball. The TV guys will try to pump up our defensive coordinator, but I’m not impressed. Not that it’s all his fault, but still.

  10. I went to Duke and as such, I remember the Ted Roof years. It could very well indeed be all his fault. Not that he had much to work with, but if possible, it seemed like Duke football actually got WORSE under his “coaching.”

  11. “The old save our closer for the ninth inning while our crappy ROOGYs and LOOGYs blow the whole lead trick. Every manager falls into this trap.”

    Except Bochy in Game 2 which got him in a TON of trouble with the media. It’s just one of those cases where making the decision that gives your team the best chance to win is not the same as making the decision that gives you the best chance to stay in your job long-term.

  12. I really thought I had a winner for sure when my bookie gave me under 91 in the Auburn-Arkansas game.

  13. I think Arkansas just let Auburn score there. Not like they’re going to stop them anyway, just get the ball back.

  14. Although I am not sure you could really tell the difference as bad as their defense has been.

  15. and bethany says cam newton isnt a heisman candidate. 192 rushing yard 3td 140 passing yard 1 td….
    stats beg to differ.

  16. Ryan Mallet was a frontrunner at the beginning of this game too.

    If Newton can pull this off a few more times I’ll name my firstborn after him.

  17. Hey, a 22 point win over a top 15 opponent. I’ll take it.

    /3 punts total in the ball game. Wow.

  18. You have to be amused at the Phillies fans whistling at Lincecum. Jaromir Jagr does not think it’s funny, but everybody else does.

  19. Badgers for the win.

    I was looking at their schedules earlier and wondering why OSU was ranked higher than even Michigan State. Preseason polls…

  20. man, Ohio State looked like ass on that last drive. Crappy clock mgmt, bad passes, poor protection…just terrible.

  21. Just finished watching that Auburn-Arkansas game, super-fast on DVR. That was just crazy.

    Beyond arena football. They played like you’d get a penalty for covering anyone downfield, or even tackling.

  22. I see the Commando still thinks he is playing the Braves. If we had picked him up, we would be getting ready to take Frenchy down in the World Series.

  23. Perhaps Mississippi State should represent the SEC East in this year’s championship game.

    Does UGA have a realistic chance to get there now? Good god.

  24. How bad is the SEC east?

    Sept. 5, 1989 was the last time Florida, Georgia and Tennessee were all unranked

  25. Dear God, USC always chokes on the road. Good thing everyone else is atrocious. Hell, Kentucky is 1-3 and 1 game out of first.

    So, who led in rebounding in the Auburn-Arkansas game?

  26. Cats win. Florida loses (at home). Pryor revealed for the fraud that he is. Yankees lose. Phillies lose.

    Life is so beautiful.

  27. This is going to make the winner of next week’s Auburn LSU game a lot of mileage in the BCS standings.

  28. well, Houston plays as quite the pitchers park, so it is a pretty good gap when normalized. But yeah, most players have a Home/away split difference

  29. @63 I kept saying Cody Ross would not make us a better team. Boy, was I wrong. AAR, I would say Pence would represent an upgrade. Pence is not a franchise player, and he would not be one if we get him, but he is definitely a useful player. Much better than Frenchy.

    Btw, I am happy we have Lowe instead of Burnett. Gotta thank the Yankees for that…and taking Javy when his value was at his peak! Will the Yankees help us again this offseason?

  30. Pence has posted a .351 wOBA while also playing above average defense as a corner outfielder. If he was a realistic possibility, then sure–he’d be a nice addition. The problem would be that the Braves would probably stop right there and leave McLouth as the everyday option in CF; his defense is now so bad–and his inability to hit lefties is so apparent–that the Braves would have failed to make the leap yet again.

    The key to any offseason should be to get McLouth out of CF and out of the lineup permanently against lefties. Any plan that doesn’t make that happen is a tragically flawed one.

  31. @67

    OK, I know the situation was pretty bad, but that can’t possibly be true.

    …checks team batting splits….

    2010 Braves batting as CF: .232/.329/.339

    Well, I’ll be.

    FYI there were five NL starting pitchers with a higher SLG.

  32. Since 1900 there have been 26 player seasons to satisfy the following criteria:

    50+ PA
    80%+ appearances were as a pitcher
    .500+ SLG

    notably included are:

    1. Micah Owings, 2007 — .683
    13. Dan Haren, 2010 — .527 (helped out by a .422 BAbip)
    15. Mike Hampton, 2002 — .516
    19. Yovani Gallardo, 2010 — .509
    21. Steve Avery, 1996 — .500

  33. Since 1900 there have been 11 pitcher seasons of at least 15 IP and a K/9 rate of at least 14.

    Craig Kimbrel, 2010 — 17.42
    Carlos Marmol, 2010 — 15.99
    Eric Gagne, 2003 — 14.98

    Wagner holds the number 4, 5, 8 and 9 slots.

    Kimbrel’s 914 ERA+ ranks third all-time among 15+ inning seasons, behind Joba Chamberlain’s 1221 in 2007 and Joel Johnston’s 1045 in 1991.

  34. Adam, it’s worth noting that while UZR likes Pence’s fielding, TotalZone dislikes it. As a result, while Fangraphs says that he’s been worth 10.3 WAR from 2008-2010, Baseball-reference says he’s only been worth 3.4 WAR total.

    (Both UZR and Totalzone agree that his fielding was about 10 runs worse this year than last year, but UZR sees his 2008-2009 fielding as being worth +10 runs, while Totalzone sees it as neutral.)

    There’s a pretty sizable difference between a 1-win player and a 3- or 4-win player, and a .351 wOBA from a corner outfielder who plays fringe-average defense looks a lot worse than a .351 wOBA from a corner outfielder who plays good defense. So: buyer beware.

  35. With all the crap we’ve trotted out day after day over the last few seasons, I’d take Pence in a heartbeat.

    Pence or Rasmus, do it Wren!

  36. @77 – ain’t it the truth? There’s a pretty sizeable difference between whatever version of Pence or whoever and the dreck we’ve been running out there.

  37. As much as I love the Braves, Larry’s call on Lindsey Scott is the best. I love the part at the end where he says, “I gave up, so did you.”

  38. I just hope Wren recognizes that there are two OF spots that need to be filled. I know Nate makes $6.5mil and I know he did ok in Sept. However, that was mostly driven from a 7 game stretch. In that stretch he was 9-22 with 2HR’s and 2 2b’s. He finished up the season 4 for 34 with 8K’s. Its not like the injury is what made his 1st half so horribly bad either. His defense has fallen off the face of the earth also. He’s a lost cause

  39. #77 it needs to be both….any two of Kemp, Rasmus, Pence, Willingham, Ross, Magglio, Swisher, Werth, Crawford, even Burrell will make this team significantly better

  40. nick swisher…drool! i dont see the yankees shopping him. it doesnt make sense for them to sign werth when swisher can do what werth does at 2/3 of the cost. the difference most definitely isnt worth 5 million. but then again, they are the yankees.

  41. I mean, I’d take Pence over McDankiel in a heartbeat. But the dropoff from our pipe dreams of Kemp/Rasmus to Pence is massive. If we could get Pence for a modest price, go for it. But I don’t think I’d trade Randall Delgado for him, and I definitely wouldn’t trade Jurrjens or Minor for him. They’re worth more than he is.

  42. any mechanics here?

    My wife drives an 06 Mazda6. Everytime its cranked it smells like vinegar in the car and the smell goes away after 5-10 minutes. Ive heard/read that it could be leaking antifreeze, mold in the intakes, or even the catalytic converter going bad. Any help, any advice?

  43. I love Kimbrel, but relievers were made to be traded at peak value. (Don’t you think the Yankees wish they’d traded Joba a couple years ago?) If we could trade Kimbrel for Pence straight up, I’d probably do it. Pence’s numbers have probably been a bit depressed by his home park anyway, at least the last couple years. Of course, if the Stros started asking for anything other than spare parts after that, I’d probably take my chips and move to a higher-stakes table. I want to get a real franchise player. Pence is a role player.

  44. How about Jason Kubel? The Twins have a $5.25 million team option on him; if they pick it up, he’ll make $5.25 mill in 2011 and be a free agent next November. With Ben Revere up, they suddenly have too many outfielders. He’s a pretty similar player to Pence, but much more under the radar.

  45. If you didn’t like Pence’s .336 OBA, why do you like Kubels ‘ .335? Pence can fake in CF too – do just think Kubel would be that much cheaper in trade cost?

  46. The top priority for this team is acquiring a top notch CF. I really like Denard Span, I think he’d cost us less than a Matt Kemp or a Colby Rasmus while giving us plus defense and the true leadoff hitter that we need. I do like that Kemp would give us that right handed power presence in the middle of the order that we so dearly need. I know we can’t get rid of McLouth, but perhaps we can limit his damage by providing him a right handed platoon complement. I think we also need to add a utility infielder who excels at shortstop as well as a right handed hitting corner infielder to give us insurance for both Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman.
    Here are some of the free agents that I think might nicely supplement our current roster:

    Right Handed Corner Outfield bats:
    Obviously Vlad and Magglio would be great for us, but age and injuries as well as the national league make them questionable options that are probably out of our price range.
    Michael Cuddyer: coming off a down year, has a hefty option that may be declined, he could also give the team some innings at first and third. Killing two or three birds with one stone.
    Xavier Nady: Coming off essentially two seasons lost to injury, he’s a big question mark, we could probably get him at a bargain basement price a possible Troy Glaus of 2011.
    Marcus Thames: This guy has absolutely mashed lefties this year as a platoon player for the Yanks.

    Right Handed Corner Infield Bats:
    Jorge Cantu:I know most people around these parts are not fond of this guy as a hitter, he gives you above average bit generally a low OPS and doesn’t seem to have much of a platoon split. Unfortunately league average players are an upgrade for us. Having a stick like this might really help considering. How many games are we going to get out of Chipper? How many ABs do we want to give to Freeman?
    Brandon Inge: This guy is not really a Bat, but he plays great defense. Possibly the kind of guy you could put in as a late inning replacement for the Chipper Jones statue that plays third. He’s also a catcher, which would free up David Ross’ under utilized, but potent bat.
    Pedro Feliz: Pretty much the same as Inge, probably a slightly better hitter and he can’t play catcher. I’d really feel good about a Chipper Jones backup that can play plus defense and someone who you don’t mind putting into your starting lineup once or twice a week.
    Ty Wigginton:This guy sort of reminds me of a right handed Hinske. He’s got plus power and plays 1B, 3B and LF.
    Miguel Tejada: Still seems to have some life left in his bat, probably still an everyday player.
    Mike Lowell: He says he’s retiring or retired, but I feel like we’re a perfect match for him.
    Derrek Lee: I’d love to see Lee back in a Braves uniform next season. If he can get healthy and sign on the cheap he’d be a great mentor to have around to ease Freeman in. Maybe give Lee all the games against LHSP and half of the games against RHSP. I’m not sure if it has to do with size but has anyone else noticed that first baseman usually take a little longer than outfielders or middle infielders to be ML ready?

    Middle Infielders:
    JJ Hardy: If we could sign him for AAG money or less then it’s a good deal. He looks to me like a younger AAG with a little more hustle.
    Cesar Izturis: A pure defensive infielder, he’s still only 30 even though it seems like he’s been around forever. It’s probably a plus that he’s resigned himself to being a Rafael Belliard type of player. He has a little bit of speed, so he’d make a good pinch runner as well.
    Omar Vizquel:He still plays good defense all over the diamond, and his offensive numbers, somehow, were about the same in 2010 as they were in 2001. I’ve always loved this guy and I think he’d be a great replacement for Brooks Conrad.
    Jerry Hairston Jr: see Cesar Izturis
    David Eckstein: I don’t know if he’d accept a bench role, but I’ve always liked this little scrapper.

  47. Cuddyer is Kubel but right handed and more expensive. I guess they already picked up his 10.5M 2011 option in 2009. He might be the odd man out for them if they expect Morneau back. He’s a valuable piece for them but perhaps they’ll move him on the relative cheap in a salary dump type situation. They may be able to raise payroll again with their new stadium and another playoff appearance.

  48. Pence? Sure, he looks great in comparison to what we’ve been sending out there. That doesn’t mean much.

    Can he do a good job in CF? If so, and if the deal for him is as a role player and not a franchise guy (as AAR points out), then that would be fine.

  49. Never understood the Hunter Pence love. Defensively, he’s about on par with Melky.

    Andy Katz has UGA ranked 25th in his latest Preseason poll. (Ahead of Vandy.)

  50. 97—My predicted order of finish in the SEC East:

    South Carolina

    If Kanter can’t play, flip Georgia and Kentucky.

  51. I feel sorta embarrassed to ask, because I live in DC, but does anyone have any recommendations for go-go records I should listen to? I’m utterly ignorant.

    Also, anyone have any recommendations on good New Orleans music? I have Dr. John’s Gumbo, Terence Simien’s “Across the Parish Line,” and Buckwheat Zydeco’s “Lay Your Burden Down,” and that’s it. Anyone have any good New Orleans music suggestions?

  52. 102—I’m afraid that I haven’t paid close enough attention to that half to offer much. I know LSU was already terrible and lost their best player to academics. I know MSU is the team most point to, but they’ll be without Bost for a lot of games. Assuming Fortson doesn’t get himself kicked off the team for one reason or another, Arkansas could be pretty tough. With Clarke and Powell, that’s a good core. I love senior point guards, so I think Ole Miss, with Chris Warren, will be better than some expect. Don’t really know anything about Bama — Green’s good, and I like Anthony Grant.

    I know Auburn ought to be pretty strong in a year or two, and then, a couple of years after that, they might be on probation. :)

  53. For rock and roll New Orleans music, all that Specialty stuff is awesome – Percy Mayfield, Jimmy Liggins, David Bartholomew, etc. Professor Longhair of course, Soul Rebels, Dirty Dozen Brass band. Lots of 20s/30s stuff as well Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, and lots more. For the cajun/Zydeco thing, DL Menard, Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis.

    For something a bit more modern, I currently really like this local Atlanta guy, Blair Crimmins – this track is sorta Waitsey I suppose, but he does a lot of standards like Tipitina and stuff.


    Here’s a rockin’ Joe Liggins track – Goin’ Back to New Orleans


    This is probably the most rockin’ New Orleans record ever – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCE34d-gzgo

    Oh and Sam Butera and the Witnesses

  54. Just about anything with Allen Toussaint’s finger prints on it is worth it’s weight in gold, especially records from the late 50s and early 60s. Johnny Adams “I won’t Cry” is a great album in the context of the genre, it was produced by Dr. John(as Mac Rebbonack) if I remember correctly. At a going out of business sale a couple years back I picked up a two disc anthology type thing that included one 25-30 track disc each from Ernie K-Doe and Chris Kenner, lots of feel good classic New Orleans R&B, both great discs which are probably available individually. And finally a solid Lee Dorsey collection that includes the majority of his Toussaint era hits is usually not tough to come by and always a good listen, someone once described Dorsey’s voice as “the sound of sunshine”.

  55. Is there any go-go besides trouble Funk and Chuck Brown? I lived there during that time, and it was pretty limited.

  56. 101—I’m embarrassed to know nothing about Jazz. Mrs. Stu is from the New Orleans area, and the only local musicians she’s ever introduced me to are Better Than Ezra, Cowboy Mouth, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and, on a somewhat less embarrassing note, Irma Thomas.

    So, yeah…

  57. Trouble Funk’s “Saturday Night Live” record is really good. I recently broke out the vinyl & was surprised at how fresh it sounded.

  58. I have more familiarity with the Utah basketball team than with the music, which explains why I capitalized it in 107.

  59. Trouble Funk, Chuck Brown, and E.U. are the only names I know, and the trouble is that apparently they really are best live. But go-go’s still going on, and you never know… Urlhix or Ububba, you have any thoughts on crucial D.C. or New Orleans funk?

  60. I second the Lee Dorsey stuff. Ditto on Allen Toussaint. That first Wild Tchoupatoulis record is pretty seminal, too.

    And anything with the Meters as the backing band is generally pretty tight. Uptown Rulers! The Meters Live on the Queen Mary is a pretty good document of them in their prime.

    I’ve also always liked Ted Taylor, but he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And let’s not forget Esquerita, without whom there would likely be no Little Richard.

  61. #92 – “Marcus Thames: This guy has absolutely mashed lefties this year as a platoon player for the Yanks”

    Diaz is probably the best platoon player against lefties that you can find. Thames wasnt that great against lefties and isnt very good in the field either. Thames actually hit righties much better in 2010. He’s a RH version of Jeff Francoeur.

    2010 – .300/.352/.454/.806
    career – .264/.333/.505/.838
    uzr – -3.3

    2010 – injured – .273/.318/.512/.830
    career – .335/.373/.533/.907
    uzr – 0.1

  62. Diaz kills more lefties than Thames does. .907 OPS compared to .838 is a pretty significant difference

  63. Thames had a better year, though, mainly because Diaz was dreadful against RHP (633 OPS).

    But there’s no reason Thames would ever play for an NL club anymore.

  64. For the West, I’d probably go with:

    Miss. State
    Ole Miss

    For the East, I’d go:

    S. Carolina

  65. BB SEC East. I am not sure about the West, but the east is going to be stacked, everyone but Carolina could be top 25 teams.


  66. As far as NCAA Tournament teams, probably Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and Miss. State, with perhaps Georgia in one of those newfangled play-in games.

    I do like Georgia to have kind of a breakout year. And the West will be kind of crappy again, with only the division champ making it, maybe not even that if it’s not either Miss. State or some other team that has several wins against East teams.

  67. @101: Can’t have New Orleans without the Neville Brothers. Highly recommend Live on Planet Earth as a good intro. When you are ready for a box set, seek out Doctors, Professors, Kings and Queens, the Big Box of New Orleans. It has a little something of everything and is a good primer to the many different styles of the city.

  68. I would like to know the last time that Tim McCarver showed up to a game and he wasn’t sloshed. My guess is 1988.

  69. I love you, too, Stu.

    Granted I’m not the world’s foremost expert on Vanderbilt basketball. Seems to me that with Beal and Ogilvy gone, they’re probably due for a slip, but if the new kids were about to have a breakout season, I readily admit I would be unlikely to know about it.

  70. 127—The Baseball Crank said, on Twitter, “Good to see Cody Ross torment somebody but the Mets for once.”


  71. Just be glad we don’t have to listen to Chip, McCarver, and Joe Morgan all at the same time. One game of that and I think I would have a good idea of what hell is like.

  72. Cody Ross must suck it bad against the NL Central and West, it feels like he is hitting .800 against the East.

  73. You’re probably right, AAR, but at this point, I don’t know how you’d separate one from the other.

  74. Smitty, I was just thinking the same thing. He really must suck when I don’t watch him play, because I swear he’s a lifetime .500 hitter when I watch.

  75. Catz, I believe that’s why Bad Religion informed us that “this is hell.”

    By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that I’m drinking an Avery Mephistopheles stout, which is about 17% alcohol by volume and is easily one of the best beers I’ve ever had. It even makes McCarver easier to deal with.

    If Ross can’t be on the Braves, I’ll at least be happy to see him gone forever from the NL East.

  76. I love how McCarver said all the home run pitches to Ross were in a 10″ radius. That’s a 20″ diameter. The damn plate is 17″.

  77. Rusty, I think he was talking about where the home runs landed and not where the pitches were. I think. I could also be underestimating his awfulness. Or I could have no idea what I’m talking about.

  78. Could be Mike N., but they did go to the trouble to replay the location of all the pitches. I’ll give him a break, but beware underestimating McCarver’s awfulness.

  79. DOB put up a new blog that has wren quoted saying the braves payroll will be between 90-93 million of “actual money”. i made my best guess at the roster and arb raises and came up with approx. 80 million dollars for the following players:

    1.Tim Hudson 2.Derek Lowe 3.Chipper Jones
    4.Brian McCann 5.Nate McLouth 6.Omar Infante
    7. Alex Gonzalez 8.Kenshin Kawakami 9.David Ross
    10.Peter Moylan 11.Martin Prado 12.Jair Jurrjens
    13.Eric O’Flaherty 14.Jason Heyward 15.Tommy Hanson 16. Craig Kimbrel 17.Jonny Venters 18.Freddie Freeman 19. Michael Dunn 20. Brandon Beachy/Mike Minor
    21. Brooks Conrad 22. Cristhian Martinez

    subtracting kawakami and his 6.67 million, would put us at 73 million, giving anywhere between 20 and 23 million dollars to play with. a lot could happen. wren needs to trust this young bullpen and spend on the bats.

  80. ryan, DOB was also saying all year that the Braves didnt cut payroll and it was between $92-95mil. Most figures that Ive seen and we’ve come up with were around $84mil to start 09. Long story short – I dont believe anything he says, ever. It would be nice though

  81. There’s no way we can “subtract” KK and his money. Our best chance is to either trade him for a worse contract, or do something outside of the box completely. Could we ship him back to Japan and eat his salary, I imagine he has some value left there and ask for nothing in return but a solid reliever? Could we do that with McLouth too!?

  82. I just won my fantasy matchup this week because of the Addai fumble.

    I’m with csg, there’s no way I believe Liberty is giving us that much in payroll. It’ll be right where it’s been with a few million left unspent to “allow for possible midseason trades” that will never happen.

  83. Lowe’s value is high, perhaps we should try moving him. If we have to eat too much of his salary it’s not worth it, but maybe we could actually get something useful back. He’d look pretty good as the number 3 starter for the Yankees in a playoff series, at Vazquez money…. Brett Gardner would look pretty good in CF and leading off.

  84. Cody Ross is an affable guy in interviews. I hate to admit it, but I kinda like him. Just quit beating up on the Braves, bro.

  85. Hey folks! I’ve been reading this blog for almost three years now and finally decided to post something. I’d kinda like to see Cody Ross in an Atlanta uni, especially in that platoon role in LF.

  86. AAR, have you checked ou the Dirty Dozen Brass Band? Great New Orleans jazz/funk. I’ve had their live album “We Got Robbed” on heavy rotation lately. I also saw the Rebirth Brass Band live not too long ago, they were pretty awesome.

  87. 150 – You didn’t even mention the guy whom I’m most intrigued with watching, a guy currently hitting .444 (SSS!), and the best option for a non-AAG shortstop in the future, Pastornicky.

  88. Id like to get Ross and platoon him. Use him against NL East teams and bench him the rest of the time.

  89. It’s nice watching the ALCS and listening to EJ and Smoltz. It’s a lot easier listen than Buck and McCarver (although I don’t have any problems with Buck, as some do).

    I was also thinking about the Larry Munson call on the Lindsey Scott play and how he managed to convey excitement without going off the deepend; you actually understood what was happening. If it had been Chip Carey, he would have been screaming incomprehensibly.

  90. No reaction/comment here on Bowman’s tweet last night saying he thought Victorino was as good in the field as Andruw in his prime?

    @mlbbowman: ” But the more I watch, the more I think he’s as good as Andruw ever was in CF in his prime yrs”

  91. Yeah csg… though stupidity on the internet doesn’t usually go ignored here. That one was ALMOST enough to make me stop following him, but the WTF factor was high enough to amuse me. That’s one weird anti-homer statement (which a couple people took him to task on… using those strange “stats” things to show that they weren’t even in the same class).

  92. Shane Victorino did one thing yesterday that in his prime Andruw never would have done: tripped and fell all over himself while going back for a fly ball just shy of the warning track. Andruw would have had to restrain himself from making a basket catch on that.

    Andruw made a ton of spectacular diving catches, but the key to his brilliance was that he made it look easy — he’d haul in a gap double and make it look like a routine fly ball. Of course, I guess we already knew that Mark Bowman is not the sharpest egg in the carton.

  93. “sharpest egg in the carton” made me laugh an unreasonable amount… I think Bowman has suffered from a bit of framing his perception… a season watching Melky in the outfield COULD make Shane look like Andruw… a season of Melky in the outfield could make ANYBODY who actually gets to a ball look amazing.

  94. @154, no problem. I have a real obsession with RnB/RnR from that post big band/pre-rock and roll period, and a lot of it is from NO.

    This guy – I have no idea who he is – is some kind of badass on the second line/stride piano playing. Just flip through his videos. I wish I could do this.

    And this song is the spirit of New Orleans crammed into two minutes.

  95. In fairness to McCarver, he was making the point that the pitches Ross hit out were all in the same place. He may well have mistated the diameter, but it’s pretty obvious what he was talking about.

  96. Thanks for sharing your obsessions, spike. I just watched Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke,” after putting it off for about 4 years or so, so I finally got a bit of a taste for more NOLA in my life.

    Damn, that Boogie Woogie Kid can play a little bit!

  97. I can’t believe Lee didn’t open that documentary with the Zeppelin tune of the same name. It would have been so powerful, with that crazy sledgehammer drumming and harmonica bit that opens the record.

  98. Does Victorino even have good defensive stats?

    I’m guessing Peanut didn’t know anything about sports before the Braves hired him to be their beat writer, or that he didn’t start following the Braves until after Andruw’s defensive prime in the late 90’s.

  99. #171
    Yeah, pretty ominous for an opening. But I would imagine that Zep (or Elvis) would be the very last thing you’d hear in a Spike Lee Joint. Loved that doc, though.

    Saw the Rebirth Brass Band at Tipitina’s once. A very memorable evening. I got lucky that week & visited NOLA during the city’s celebration of Louis Armstrong’s 100th birthday. Lotta great music & probably too much Dixie Beer.

    Off to Amsterdam for a week and, among other things, that means late-night internet baseball. Go underdogs.

  100. Anyone up for making some end of 2010 top prospect lists?

    1. Teheran
    2. Freeman
    3. Minor
    4. Kimbrel
    5. Delgado

  101. 175—

    1. Teheran
    2. Freeman
    3. Minor
    4. Delgado
    5. Perez
    6. Kimbrel
    7. Vizcaino
    8. Lipka
    9. Hoover
    10. Jones
    11. Bethancourt

  102. 178—I totally forgot about Beachy, whom I’d place 7th. Is Dunn still rookie-eligible? Even if so, I wouldn’t put him any higher than the ones I listed.

  103. Also forgot about Salcedo. So, my Top 13:

    1. Teheran
    2. Freeman
    3. Minor
    4. Delgado
    5. Perez
    6. Salcedo
    7. Kimbrel
    8. Beachy
    9. Vizcaino
    10. Lipka
    11. Hoover
    12. Jones
    13. Bethancourt

  104. Ububba, my favorite part of town – I’m sure you’ll get your time at Club Smokey in. Love the Tuschinski theater there too – one of the great deco buildings in the world.

    AAR, my local radio station (http://1690wmlb.com/ – the greatest radio station designed by man) just played an awesome version of Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Rouler et Tourner) by Beausoleil, revivalists to be sure, but so spot on.

  105. It’s funny, I’ve been dragged into Club Smokey several times, although I’m not much of a smoker. It’s always by an American colleague who just cannot believe what goes on there.

    What I do like about the place, though, is that it’s open later than the regular pubs. And Amsterdam is a pretty good beer town.

    BTW, I just discovered WMLB this past weekend. A friend described it as “cool music for old people.” Guess I’m getting old…

  106. 181 — Is your #5 Carlos Perez from rookie ball? I don’t remember hearing about a Perez during the season.

  107. 188—Yeah, I’m a sucker for huge upside. He’s an 18 year-old lefty who touches 94, and BA named him the Appy League’s top prospect.

  108. Here’s the correct prospect order:

    1. Julio Teheran
    2. Frederick Freeman
    3. Mike Minor
    4. Randall Delgado
    5. Arodys Vizcaino
    6. Craig Kimbrel
    7. Edward Salcedo
    8. Christian Bethancourt
    9. Brandon Beachy
    10. J.J. Hoover
    11. Matt Lipka
    12. Mycal Jones
    13. Carlos Perez

    Vizcaino was considered by many as the equivalent of Teheran 12 months ago. While I do not think this was true at the time, he’s still a very good prospect.

    Salcedo and Bethancourt are practically interchangeable, all potential right now. The most developed attribute between the two of them is Bethancourt’s excellent defense, so I could see putting him ahead of Salcedo.

    Stu, I like your aggressive placement of Perez. I am not ready to do that yet, but I think it might look pretty astute around mid-season next year.

    I think 14 would be Milligan or Oberholtzer, but there’s a fair drop off after Perez.

  109. I remain intrigued by what Uggla could possibly mean for us.

    Anyone know:

    ~ his contract status
    ~ his relationship with Fredi
    ~ and whether I’m overvaluing him because he always seems to effing kill us.

  110. A Lexington radio host swears this happened:

    Spurrier and Joker Phillips (who was on Spurrier’s staff at one time) met pregame and Sir Visor said the following:

    “Joker, you’ve got a nice little team there. Now let’s make sure nobody gets hurt.”

  111. @193, assuming a 350/450 season from Freeman would get you about average offensive production for the league at 1B, which would be a big help. Given his OBPs in the minors, I’d say that is a not unreasonable thing to hope for.

  112. @195,

    Uggla is last year of arb.
    I don’t know, but how bad could it be?
    A 2B with a lifetime 117OPS+ coming of a 130 season is plenty valuable. Probably too much for us.

  113. I generally don’t like moving players around once they’ve established themselves offensively. Prado’s a wonderful 2B/3B, but as we saw at the end of the year, his offense is so valuable to this team that we can’t afford for his offense to go south — as it might, if he tries to learn a new position. I think we shouldn’t mess with him.

  114. I was looking at the This Year in Baseball Awards on the MLB website. Venters is up for setup man of the year, and his video they have for him is a strikeout in Minnesota…the one where Chip said he struck him out with that Kentucky Bluegas :(

  115. @201

    Well Chip did say that about 1/3 of the times that Venters struck someone out, so there was a fairly reasonable chance of one of those being picked.

  116. I am not sure I would want to move him, but I think Proad could handle left and he could slide in for Chipper as needed. However, I don’t think we can get Ugla.

  117. well, I used to make a weekly trip over there to see if DOB had any updates on anything. Now he just talks down to everyone and calls out people. Im done with the place

  118. No shit. DOB went from sabr-friendly interesting guy to sulky thin skinned mouthpiece in a big fat hurry. I can’t be bothered to read the AJC braves coverage in any form.

  119. I have no doubt that DOB tires of some of the idiots on his blog, but even when some followers ask intelligent and reasonable questions he responds like they’re stupid.

    I’ll give him credit though for always making an effort to respond.

  120. Remind me of the Hudson/Griffey thing.

    EDIT: Nevermind–just realized that the hyperlink above does exactly that. Carry on.

  121. @218, I was thinking about that too, but I don’t think he’ll come at this years price anymore. Between SFG wanting to retain him and buying high on a 33yo…I am not sure we will be a fit.

  122. Where on the internet can I find highlights of Andruw in a Braves uni? MLB.com is pathetic.

  123. DOB is a mouth piece for the organization. He really has taken Bowman’s role. He gets a lot of scoops, but he also has little integrity.

  124. We need to sacrifice a virgin so that we can get McCutchen away from the Pirates.

    Where’s Coach when you need him?

  125. 221 – anytime you ask ‘where on the internet can i find X” your answer is always google. “Andruw Jones Braves” returns lots of pics.

  126. I don’t post much, but seeing all this about DOB brings me back about 3 years when I got back into baseball, and used to read his blog alot. I guess I believe in numbers more than visual performance, and I was gradually angered by the way he seemed to parrot what his readers said about 3 months after the fact. He loved frenchy for a long time, then when everybody realized what a true poor player he was, DOB turned on him.

    He about came on himself re: Griffey, even though it was clear he was done. (At the time, I wanted that old man very bad myself, I have to admit, but not enoguh to fight Huddy’s crazy chin triangle.

    I guess my point is that DOB is a classic hack, who will eat up contacts to give twitter leads without bothering to examine or acknowledge the long term modern metrics that help determine whether a player is worthwhile, or sucks. Thus,in his world, KK sucks, while Brooks Conrad is scrappy and a good addition to the club. Follow the wind DOB! God wiling, it will blow you down a deep hole.

  127. I’m not mad at DOB about the Griffey thing, but I am mad at him about the Garret Anderson thing. By the way, who’s the worst outfielder of the last two seasons?
    Frenchy? The Melk Dud? Frankiel? Nate Louth? ACHE? This is an amazing group, it’s historical really.

  128. btw, Freeman out of the AFL with an injured thumb. Want to guess how? Head first slide on a triple today. When are the Braves and other teams going to force players to stop sliding head first?

  129. @233—By outfielder I believe you mean the total package offensively and defensively, correct? If so, I believe hands down it’s Melky. If it’s just defensive, it’s a lot tougher to decide between Melky and Anderson. Anderson was definitely sloth-like in left-field, but Melky was blimp-like everywhere.

  130. @239
    Haha, I agree with everything you said. I’m talking total package, and my vote is for Melky. He’s a unique case in that we got to see him do just about everything, and do it horribly. We usually see such ineptitude contained within left field, or at least the corners.

  131. I used to not like the idea of trading JJ, then I see Josh Hamilton and remember how he was brought to Texas. If we can get someone like him, I wouldn’t mind trading JJ. What a dream!!! Are there any young power hitting injuried outfielders around?

  132. Willingham’s a nice player, but let’s not go overboard. He’s a 31 year old coming off of a career year that was interrupted by knee surgery. He’s a below-average fielder who hits for a low average with a significant enough injury history that he has never played more than 144 games in a season. He’s got one more arbitration-eligible year left, and then he’ll be eligible for free agency in 2012, so he’d just be a quick fix. He’d look really nice in left field for us for one year, but he isn’t worth overpaying for.

  133. I agree Alex, but Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, ironically his number 1 comparable, or another guy like them are where we are at, realistically.

    What is overpaying? If the market dicates it costing the Braves a top flight pitching prospect or Jair Jurrjens it isn’t overpaying. Do you hold on to Delgado/Jurrjens and throw Rick Ankiel out there again?

  134. #236 – Freeman is supposed to have it examined/x-rayed today sometime. Initial diagnosis is a sprain.

  135. I owuldn’t trade JJ for Willingham. For what it will cost to get him, we might be able to get Rasmus. The nats want pitching and the cards will wnat pitching and/or a middle infielder. We would have to send them Infante. I might be for that.

  136. Of course not. But I’d be willing to pay an arm and a leg for Rasmus: he’s under control for years and years, he’s younger, he’s arguably already a better player, and in a couple of years he has a chance to be one of the best players in the league.

    Willingham, meanwhile, is a one-year rental with a relatively short window of effectiveness. I fully expect him to be a good player in 2011, but even if we could get him to give us a hometown discount I wouldn’t want to lock into him for more than three years.

    JJ for Rasmus, sure. But I wouldn’t trade JJ for Willingham unless they threw in one of the Zimmermans.

  137. Ya know, the Rangers really should be up 3-0.

    Memories of ’96 still haunt me, so I’m not going to get too confident, but I sure like it so far.

    I never knew that Cliff Lee had struggled so much earlier in his career. Incredible story. (Can you imagine how much money he made last night? The Yankees will give him a borough or two after last night.)

  138. I agree that Rasmus is clearly better, but given the Nationals history, the are going to ask a lot for him especially with in the division. Plus the over value their talent (Dunn and Sorriano)

  139. When is the last time the Braves made a deal for a young,high-ceiling player (ie, not someone coming off a bad year or something)? I guess it would be JJ and, at the time, I guess you would have said McLouth. I find it hard to imagine that the Cardinals would trade Rasmus; I’ll believe it when I see it. I really expect marginal moves by the Braves and hoping that someone catches fire.

  140. #248 Rasmus is a cost controlled, young established talent that plays a premium position. The most coveted commodity in baseball. He would be expensive as in JJ + Delgado expensive.

    #250 but Willingham, while not as good as Rasmus and all the other facts you pointed out, is still a very valuable player. Since the Nats aren’t or shouldn’t be in win now mode they may be willing to take a top flight pitching prospect(s) for him. I’d put Delgado in a package for him. It’s way better than running a Diaz/someone McLouth Heyward outfield out there for another season

  141. #256 – maybe its me, but I wouldnt give the Nats a top flight pitching prospect for one year rental. Why would we trade for Willingham, when we can just go sign Magglio or Burrell?

  142. He would be expensive as in JJ + Delgado expensive.

    I would hope Wren would jump all over that. I suspect Rasmus would cost even more.

  143. The thing is, I really don’t know whether the Nats are willing to be reasonable about Willingham; they so badly botched their chance to trade him at the deadline this year, when he was a hot commodity, that I’m not sure he can be had for a sane price. But there is just no way in the world I’d trade Randall Delgado for one year of Josh Willingham.

    Rasmus might cost more than JJ+Delgado, but that’s partly because JJ is coming off an injury-plagued down year. If he pitched last year like he did from 2008-2009, I think that’d be enough to get it done.

  144. Smitty, for one game or the rest of their careers?

    One game Halladay barely (I still remember us pounding Lee the one game we faced him last year) but going forward I’ll take Lee.

    Also, ithaca mentioned Vizquel earlier and I’ve been wanting to mention him here as well. I’d like for us to have him as insurance at a MI spot especially if we trade one of AAG or Infante.

    Oh and I just realized that all of the winning runs in the LDS that we gave up scored because of defensive miscues. Game 1 Omar missed an easy grounder that he should have at least knocked down for the only run. Of course we all remember Brooks in game 3 and then game 4 was AAG’s turn to blow it albeit on a tougher play.

  145. The Nats need Willingham at this point, as his injury reduces his trade value below what they want (IMO), and they really don’t have a replacement. I think they hope he’ll recover a little value this spring training/regular season prior to shopping him.

    The Rasmus ship may have sailed with some (thirdhand to me, but I have no reason to doubt it) public reconciliation I didn’t know about re: Rasmus calling for TLR’s return, and TLR dropping his objection to Rasmus’ father being his personal hitting coach.

  146. Why do I get the sinking feeling that we’re gonna put another ACHE/Melky into LF again?

    The patchwork job Wren has done with our outfield over the past three years has been embarrassing. I don’t fault him for McLouth’s sudden decline–it was a smart move at the time–but our inability to sign guys like Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon during the offseason, or trade for a Willingham (as the Nats did), or acquire the Burrells or Ross-type guys over waivers–this all continues to confound me. The Braves have had a pretty good infield and starting pitching staff lately, but their deplorably awful outfield has sunk them. This is a fixable problem! We don’t need stars out there, just competent players.

  147. I agree, Adam — the biggest complaints I have about Wren are the guys he didn’t get: the cheap pickups that other teams engineered for Willingham, Swisher, Cody Ross, even Pat Burrell. When Wren has made a move, I’ve generally liked it.

    I don’t know how much I should fault him for missing out on an acquisition — trades are such idiosyncratic things, so dependent on personal relationships between the GMs, anticipating needs, and being in the right place at the right time, that I fully recognize that Wren isn’t fully capable of controlling his own destiny. We missed out on Cody Ross not because of Wren’s ineptitude but because we’re in the Marlins’ division and they wouldn’t take yes for an answer. And even when he’s clearly failed to consummate a deal, it’s sometimes worked out for the best, as with Junior Griffey and A.J. Burnett. (Considering how many games Rafael Furcal missed this year, I’m willing to put him in that category too.)

    So I don’t know how much to blame him for his sins of omission. As far as I’m concerned, though, he doesn’t have too many sins of commission on his record.

  148. its hard for a GM to make moves when the payroll dropped from $106 to $94 to $83 the last three years. He had no choice but to hold onto the prospects and bring in the scrap heap that no one else wanted. He did a good job getting the pitching back to where it needs to be and we had one of the best benches in baseball. We are two good bats away from being very competitive and we have a stockpile of young arms

  149. Braves Journal now seeking applicants for official recipient of disgust, scorn, and frustration.

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