Winter meetings open thread

Technically, it’s still autumn.

Discussion question: If Melky was a breakfast cereal, what kind of cereal would he be?

317 thoughts on “Winter meetings open thread”

  1. Rice Krispies that you pour milk on but then the phone rings and you have to probe the sofa cushions to find it only to find out it’s someone selling a coupon book that you bought last year because it had a lot of great deals at local restaurants but then after you bought it you discovered that every coupon was good only on your birthday which meant you could only use one of them so you cursed out the salesperson and hung up the phone and went back to the kitchen and realized you’d left the bowl of Rice Krispies there only now they’ve turned to mush?

    Edit: Or Cocoa Puffs. That works too.

  2. From previous thread:

    The Werth deal is about credibility. It’s not that much different from the Braves overpaying for Derek Lowe (although for more years). The perception is they don’t spend money; they are playing in a taxpayer-funded park where no body goes. They lost Dunn, which pissed off Zimmerman and they needed to placate him. The only way the Nats were going to get a top free-agent to come here was to overpay. As for Werth being willing to take more to play for a loser, so what? It’s a business. He’s been to the World Series and won one.

  3. The Brewers are dangling Lorenzo Cain for pitching. I’m not too familiar with his prospect status, but he could be an excellent CF option.

    Would Beachy get it done and/or be worth it?

  4. Edit: I said exactly what Brandon said.

    Fatty O’s tagline: “Fatty O’s. They make you fat!”

  5. He would be one of those 2 pound bags they sell at Ingles or Food Lion. Apple Dapples or something off brand that takes like shit and comes in such a big quantity, that when you finish you are sick of it.

  6. Krusty-Os. You know, the cereal that not only tastes like wet cardboard but also contains a few pieces of wadded-up razor wire. So at its best, it’s going to suck, and at its worst it’ll leave you with bleeding ulcers. Just like Melky.

  7. Steinbrenner snubbed for HoF. Marvin Miller snubbed, too. Pat Gillick in.

    I guess I know what one topic (other than Pats-Jets) will be on WFAN today.

  8. ryan – thanks for the article on Schafer.

    Well, here’s hoping he can get it back. And keep it.

  9. They kept Schafer on the 40. They wouldn’t do that if they thought his career was over. I’m not going to count on it, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him on the team in 2012.

  10. Ububba… they actually SELL Chocolate Chex somewhere? They had a recipe for something using Chocolate Chex on the back of the Cinnamon Chex box and my 7yo has had me looking for the choco ones for a year… I assumed they were a product that never made it out of R&D.

    I read the DOB piece on Schaefer and sadly it sounded as much like a feed from the FO as his ones on KK do.

  11. no chance Shafer makes the team in ST. They want him playing everyday and not sitting the bench. He hasnt played much since 2007. Matt Young or a trade will most likely be your 4th OF

  12. Jeff Keppinger from the ‘Stros supposedly available by trade. Middle infielder, UGA grad, played at Parkview. Not sure what he gives you that Brooks Conrad doesn’t, but I’d be surprised if the Braves aren’t making a phone call to the Astros.

  13. A productive season from Schafer (in AA or AAA) sure would help out for moving forward — either as part of the Braves’ plans or as part of a trade.

  14. I’m not drinking the coolaid on this DOB Jordan Schafer story. But if he really is healthy and has a spring similar to the one he had in 2009, who’s to say that he’d be competing for the bench OF spot? Would it be that hard to be better than Nate McLouth? Schafer certainly has Nate beat as far as OF defense goes.

  15. A producitve season from Schafer would be amazing, see as how he has had like, one, ever.

    Melky = Fruit Loops

  16. For the Schafer story, DOB only quoted Braves organization sources and Jordan Schafer himself. So they’re not exactly going to give an objective take on Schafer. But the very fact that they’re willing to talk about him positively, a year and a half after they were furious with him for not disclosing his injury on time, is interesting.

  17. @34,

    I don’t buy into anything DOB says about a Braves player. I think this is the same story he wrote about Schafer last year.

    II am just waiting on DOB to write a story “Jeff Francoeur, Silencing His Critics”

  18. Ithaca, Im just assuming that the braves are going to want to see more than 75-100AB’s from Schafer before handing him a job again. Hitting against those spring training fastballs can be deceiving.

  19. 12:49

    Twitter
    jaysonst:
    One source says Manuel feels confident that he can “fix” Francoeur if #Phillies sign him. [via Twitter]

    By all means…

  20. CSG
    That’s a good point. I suppose I’m just trying to make myself believe that somehow Nate McLouth won’t be a starter for the Braves next season.

  21. Aside from the “he’s in the best shape of his career!” stuff, I’m somewhat heartened by the article. If it’s true that the wrist continued to be the cause of his 2010 struggles, then we still have yet to see a healthy Schafer not play well. So if he’s healthy….

  22. per MLBTR

    The Pirates have shown some interest in Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami, reports MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch. She estimates Kawakami would only cost the Pirates $1-2MM and no significant players, as the Braves are just looking to unload part of his $6.667MM salary.

  23. Count me in on the Lorenzo Cain bandwagon, dude would look good roaming CF. If we dump Kawakami, it wouldnt matter if we had McClouth or not, he could play a corner position. It would give us the leadoff hitter we need.

  24. Matt Young on the bench in Atlanta, Schafer starting everyday in Gwinnett, giving the Braves a final answer, one way or another. If he’s going good in June when the first injury hits, he’s your new CF.

  25. according to Peanut, we’re showing interest in Lorenzo Cain. good…

    edit: looks like i’m a day late and a buck short today…dang.

  26. Cain had a .370 BABiP last year and still managed only a 763 OPS, and his minor league record is sorta spotty for someone who hasn’t been young for the levels he’s played. He seems a little Darren Bragg-y to me.

  27. From the HoF story:

    In his fifth time on the ballot, former players’ association head Marvin Miller fell one vote short of the 75 percent needed for election.

    “Many years ago those who control the Hall decided to rewrite history instead of recording it,” the 93-year-old Miller said in a statement. “The aim was to eradicate the history of the tremendous impact of the players’ union on the progress and development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment, and as an industry.”

  28. 58 — Adam, did you get to see him play? I only saw him play once, so I don’t have much to go by.

  29. Miller’s a bit paranoid. I think lots of the HOF voters, especially the older ones, probably resent Miller, but to say there was a conscious effort to rewrite history is pretty silly. Miller is sort of an old-time leftist who distrusts what considers the “establishment.” He should have gotten in, but there’s no conspiracy here. I know he’s an old man, but Miller’s bitterness is rather unbecoming.

  30. 60 – Going by the defensive stats, mainly, but I did watch him on television a few times and he was pretty excellent–or so my lying eyes told me. I think it’s fair to call him a well-above average center fielder.

    The Brewers in general seem like a natural trade partner for the Braves. The Braves have so much young pitching, even on the relief side, and the Brewers have two guys in Cain and Gomez who would fit really well on the Braves’ current roster.

  31. Gomez has never reached a .300OBP and never slugged over .360. Id rather just hand the job to Schafer/Young

  32. 64 – If you’re looking for a starting center fielder, sure. But the Braves aren’t, as they can’t afford one. They’re looking for a backup outfielder and it would behoove them to get a great fielder. For a backup, I couldn’t care less about the bat–especially with the solid lineup the Braves will field–but if we’re deciding between the two then yes, Cain is a better hitter than Gomez. Put differently, if the choice is between a mediocre fielder who has a decent bat and a great fielder with little bat, then for the backup the Braves would be better off with the fielder.

    Also, I seriously don’t understand how anyone can talk seriously about Schafer. Last year he hit .201/.268/.255 between three levels of the minors. I’ll give him a mulligan for the wrist injury, but I also wouldn’t want him anywhere near the opening day roster.

  33. Cain for Jurrjens? Cain for Minor? Cain for Beachy? Whom would the team be willing to give up for him?

    My gut says Beachy would be a yes. Not sure about anyone else.

  34. @68: That’s classic, both as a description of Melky’s baseball abilities and as an allusion to the classic SNL commercial parody.

  35. Would you give up any of those pitchers in a trade for Schafer? Then why for Cain? I don’t get that at all.

  36. If we are trying to unload KK, I dont see how the Braves would be willing to trade Beachy or Minor. At least not for a 4th OF’r in Cain. Depth sure does go away in a hurry, but maybe they think Teheran/Delgado would be ready if someone else goes down. Medlen should be back around August as well

  37. There’s no sense getting hot and bothered about Schafer. The org invested some money in him, and they’re going to find out if that wrist is right. If it ain’t after this year, that’ll be the end of it.

    But if its right, he’s probably a better CF option than McLouth TODAY, and will be the starting CF in 2012. If he doesn’t hit in AAA this year, you’ll never have to hear his name again.

    The kid played the whole 09 season with a broken wrist. In 10, he had never really rested it, plus had whatever bad habits his injury had caused him.

    It’s reasonable to take him seriously.

  38. Grape Nuts

    (well, if I ever see him on the street)

    (Also, I kinda hate to do this, but Worst. Cereal. Ever.)

  39. Strangely, I’m sort of pleased that there is word the Yanks are interested in Diaz… I don’t know that he’ll succeed there, but I hope he gets over-paid by them for a season or two if he can get it.

    I have a feeling I’ve had this stupid idea before… but what would you guys think of a FO (or from the player perspective) move that locked up somebody (like Heyward) till he retired, BUT would minimize annual salary risk and protect the player. Something where there is a reasonable base salary for team-option auto-renewing depending upon minimal plate appearances, and with deferred “retirement” money added on each year the contract is renewed, and with a non-trivial buyout to end the contract… something like $7M Annually for 18 years, with $.5M per/year rising deferred till after contract ends and converted to an annual salary based on years of service, with a buyout/retirement structured with a base of $5M and an additional $1M in salary put into a “buyout fund” so that if you wanted to kill the contact (because he maimed in a horse-riding accident or was unable to play ball) after 10 years, it would represent a $15M buyout that the team had been putting away already (and if they make it to retirement they end up with $18M retirement bonus).

    That would pay the 22yo player $7M per year till they retired at 40, and continue to pay them $5Mish per year for another 18 years. Have some significant MVP bonus money & trade protection in there… From the team’s perspective they have minimized downside of the contract risk (worst case scenario you buy out a guy costing you $7M a year for money you’ve been setting aside), avoided the rising cost of players as they pass their primes but want the big contract $$$, and stabilized your payroll. From the players prospective you’ve gotten the ultimate in long term stability in your contract, while still making very good money. If you put in some hefty bonus money in there ($5M for first league MVP/batting title, $3M for each after that) you’re getting big recognition.

    I’m not exactly advocating this… just curious about how that sort of contract would be viewed (by players/owners/agents/etc) (I’m also not sure I didn’t screw up the math up there).

  40. I would give the Brewers Beachy for Cain in half a heartbeat, but I don’t think they would go for it. Minor’s probably to much for Cain. Jurrjens is tough. He’s had a bad year, and it’s tough to sell low, but he’s about to hit his arb and cost some money. I wouldn’t be terribly upset if that trade happened.

  41. @76,

    So we have a kid who has bad habbits and covers up an injury and has been popped for HGH and has only had one solid season in the minors to go along with a good spring training.

    There is a lot more bad than good. I would have to say Mclouth with one arm is better than him right now.

  42. If the Braves were to trade Jurrjens or Minor for Lorenzo Cain, I would boycott the team for at l east a year.

  43. so the WhiteSox offered beckham in a package for Adrian. I dont care for Beckham that much, but he’s a better package than what SD received by himself

  44. If the White Sox are interested in dealing Beckham, I would very much like for the Braves to get in on that…

  45. I seriously doubt the Braves would trade Minor or Jurrjens for the Brewers’ backup center fielder. So Stu can relax. When I said the Braves have young pitching to deal, I meant they have a plethora of relief and low-level three star pitching prospects. And Beachy.

    Anyway, here’s Cain’s great grab from last August:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11543775

  46. @59, it’s the smug hypocrisy that pisses me of about the whole thing. Nobody gives two shits about these kids other than what copy they can provide. It’s reminiscent of the whole Lebron James debacle about how he let the fans in Cleveland down – like any one of them cared a goddamn about him other than his ability to toss a ball through a hoop. “Amateur athletics” hasn’t existed since the forties – the pious hand wringing over a class of folks that for the most part would ignored by society otherwise is repulsive. Listening to almost every SEC fan bitch about every other teams “thugs” is so telling about the real agenda here.

  47. The NCAA is a joke. Let the NFL and NBA teams foot the bill for minor leagues, and pay the kids like they deserve to be paid.

    But the NFL and NBA don’t want to have to pay for that. And the NCAA wants to maintain it’s role as the talent pipeline, and keep making zillions of dollars while they’re at it.

    So where does the buck stop? The kids won’t get paid, because they’ve got no leverage. NFL and NBA win, because they don’t have to pay anyone until they are a sure thing, NCAA wins because it gets to remain a cash cow, collecting ticket and TV revenue for kids that don’t get paid.

    This is the basic thesis of why I don’t support any college sports.

  48. What kind of cereal?

    Post Cereal’s release of baseball cards in the 60’s were on different brands. Fifty years later, the cards that have the most value were on the worst-selling cereal for kids.——GRAPE NUTS

    So, since Grape Nuts obviously taste the worst, Melky = Grape Nuts

  49. There’s a lotta hypocrisy to go around, Spike.

    The system, as you mention, was poisoned a long time ago and now there’s more money than ever.

    BTW, in my book, if the guy wants to cast his Heisman vote that way for those reasons, that’s fine. Nobody else has to like it.

    FWIW, if it were me with a Heisman vote, I’d cast it for Newton and if he were compelled to return the trophy at a later date, then that’d fine, too.

  50. Jet lagged to death. Its 230, I can’t sleep and I have a 7am meeting tomorrow.

    /but still, it bugs me that these kids who do nothing but add the value to the whole package are treated like they owe they sporting public their talents on somebody else’s terms. And the barely hidden racism in the “thug” word that gets tossed about so frequently is the worst kind of dogwhistling.

  51. I have a good friend who was not particularly tall or good looking or rich or anything that would classify him as a Casanova.

    Yet …

    His surpassing unwillingness to take no for an answer meant he dined above his pay grade quite often.

    If I were Wren (and – with Uggla signed – most of my work was done), I’d pester the Pittsburgh Pushovers about McCutchen until they filed a restraining order.

  52. apropos (somewhat) of smitty’s screed:

    I just finished reading “The Hunger Games”. It was actually assigned reading for my high school student. But it was about as satisfying as the New York Strip I had at Kenny’s Steak Pub all those years ago in Manhattan.

    If Hemingway and Ray Bradbury had a daughter, she would have written “The Hunger Games”.

  53. Ozzie Guillen Verbatim Tweet of the Day:

    “Liner good luck whit the braves buddy thanks to givme the best out a you”

    I don’t know what that means.

  54. @107 Who is Liner? Ozzie is an odd bird.

    The Peanut article mentions we are looking at Mahay. I was sad to see him go after we got him with Tex, has he regressed?

  55. For some reason I love this tidbit from the Peanut link…

    “New manager Fredi Gonzalez drove Cox to the Atlanta airport before they traveled Sunday afternoon”

    We are so lucky to have such a smooth transition at the helm.

  56. Seriously, how can the phillies be in on cliff lee? Their payroll is already at 148 million and they still have 4 to 5 roster spots to fill.

  57. I like the idea of trading for Cain–but not if it counts trading either Medlen or any of our other excellent and elite pitching prospects.

    How about Matt Young and Scott Diamond for Cain?

  58. With respect to the Melky question, my answer would be Sugar Smacks.

    However, in some hotels I have encountered outsdie the US there are generic cerals which are bland, (but coated with sickly sugar), but I don’t know their actual names. But that would be the right combination: bland to consume, but pretty much guaranteed to be bad for you–by making you bigger….

  59. Kellog’s Maple Syrup-Filled Fried Chocolate Donuts with Cookie Crumbs.

    Tag-line: Weakly ground out to start your day!

  60. @113

    I like Melky as Sugar/Honey Smacks.

    Per Wikipedia:

    In a 2008 comparison of the nutritional value of 27 cereals, U.S. magazine Consumer Reports found that both Honey Smacks and Post Cereals’ Golden Crisp were the two brands with the highest sugar content – more than 50 percent (by weight) -, commenting “There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks […] as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts”. (The cereals are both sweetened puffed wheat.) Consumer Reports recommended parents to choose cereal brands with better nutrition ratings for their children.

    If that doesn’t describe Melky as a cereal, I don’t know what will.

  61. @116,

    That sounds about right, I think I would take the under. But I really hope it get that high

  62. Melky as breakfast cereal? I can’t help but think that it’s whatever it was he found on his bat. Maybe Pine Tar Flakes?

  63. @105 hank
    I’ve read all three of the Hunger Games books and found them incredible.
    It’s amazing the quality of writing that can be found in the Young Adults section.
    Highest recommendation.

  64. @121 & @105 I’ve not read Hunger Games yet, but you are certainly right Kevin, there are a lot of good books in the YA section (I’m 35, and one of my favorite authors is John Green who is a decidedly YA author).

    As to my contract proposal/idea above…

    Untradeable: Ad provisions in the contract for buyout and contract truncation (and make it large enough to assure the player that one down year won’t mean they get dumped). Didn’t somebody (Adam LaRoche?) get it in their contract that his salary was something like 50% higher the next year if he got traded?

    Still Paying: The key, I think, is that you’d still be paying, but paying a relatively small amount (not stuck with a huge contract for those years), and that if accounted for properly (escrow the money, something) wouldn’t hamstring the future payroll. What the Mets did with Bobby was also interesting, though getting on the hook for interest wasn’t their best move (basically did what the Lottery would do for a $30M jackpot, put $6M in the bank gaining interest, but waiting 10 years to start paying out till it’s gone… They’re paying pretty high interest rates as it sits now… unless that was the money they invested in Madoff).

    Like I said, it’s not a fool-proof plan (hell, it’s not even a plan, it’s just a thought experiment), but it would seem that a little creativity like that might make sense for both teams and some players.

  65. I am not a big fan of paying a guy who is not playing for us, unless it is for like one year (see KK)

  66. 116 – take the over then. Ive always been told to watch these things.

    1. If you see a line at -30 or higer then take the favorite.

    2. If you see an over/under at 65 or higher then take the over.

    3. If you see the o/u at 42 or lower, take the under.

    4. Do not bet on Bama. Bama fans will screw up any line. Doesnt matter the game

    5. Take Boise St to cover

  67. Ububba
    I have the day off and will be attending the Jimmy V classic tonight. I’m going to head into the city early and grab a bight to eat. I’m thinking about Katz deli. Do you have any suggestions?

  68. 2012 is going to be the year of the BRAVES! just look at this pitching:
    hudson, hanson, lowe, jurrjens, minor, beachy, medlen, teheran, delgado, vizcaino, venters, o’flaherty, kimbrel….

  69. @125

    From Joe Posnanski’s blog today (inventing the word “texpensive”):

    “Food around Times Square is texpensive. It’s a cliche, but it’s real. The other day, we went to lunch at Maxie’s — one of about 594 famous delicatessens near Times Square — and there were three of us, and each of us ordered something like an open faced cheese sandwich. The sandwiches all looked identical — like grilled cheese sandwiches not pushed together. One might have had tuna in it, another bacon, but basically three cheese-based sandwiched. And three sodas. Go ahead, give me a guess — how much do you think? Understand, if you ordered that exact thing at Carolyn’s Kitchen in Marysville, Kan., it would cost you, tip included, $8.50, maybe, and that’s if they decided to charge you at all (“All you want is cheese, honey?”).

    At Maxie’s, it cost us 91 bucks, though I should say that included tip. I’m sorry, I’m going to repeat that: It cost us 91 dollars. For three cheese sandwiches and Cokes.”

  70. #127–and I thought Dubai had NY prices….

    #126–look out for Dave Filak, Carlos Perez and Steven Kent as well….

  71. I know better than eating in that area, I will have hours to kill before the game so I could go just about anywhere in Manhattan. I’ve seen Katz deli on No Reservations, and it looks great. But I realize that it’s something of a destination, so I was hoping for something maybe a little more off the beaten path.

  72. Haha I appreciate the suggestion, but my girlfriend is Jewish and I’ve had plenty of Bagels and Lox over the course of our relationship (Including, but not limited to a haunakhuh luncheon on Sunday). I’ve never had any in-house made Pastrami, I’m sure Katz will be great, I guess I just feel like for every famous renowned eatery there are five more of similar quality and lower prices with shorter lines that the locals eat..

  73. @131,

    How were the latkes on Sunday? Sour cream or applesauce?

    AAR,

    Where is Russ and Daughters? Never been there or heard of it but I might want to check it out the next time we are in NYC.

  74. Golly, it looks like the Nats are going to throw a godfather type of offer at Clifford Lee. It’s weird to me that a small market team is trying to build itself through the acquisition of big name free agents. Isn’t the conventional wisdom to build a young team, then when it’s ready to go supplement it with some big signings. I don’t understand why a team that will need two or three more starters and 4 or 5 position players is so ready to invest 35-40 million in annual salaries to two guys over 30. Dunn and Willingham could have been extended for the amount of money given Werth.

  75. Actually, Russ & Daughters is pretty close to Katz’s, all on the Lower East Side. They even have their own website proclaiming them a “A New York Institution” — which they are, having opened in 1914. It’s not a restaurant, really — they’re a so-called “appetizing store,” which basically means that they sell a lot of herring. The store is like a cross between a huge deli counter and a tiny grocery, it’s crowded and there’s nowhere to sit. But it’s tasty.

    There’s a lot of great stuff on the Lower East Side, of course. If you want heavy food for a cold night, I’m a big fan of a Ukrainian place called Veselka on 2nd Avenue.

  76. Lotta restaurants near MSG/Penn Station, nothing I can really recommend, unless you like Korean food. (I do & Koreatown is nearby.) That area’s more for drinking than eating.

    Katz’s is worth the experience. It has character & decent food (large portions). I usually get the pastrami sandwich, (extra lean, if poss.) But it’s down on Houston Street near the F line, not really near MSG. Give yourself some extra time. (I’ll assume you’re not going to try to drive it.)

    Another idea, just around the corner from Katz’s Deli on Ludlow Street is this great little Italian restaurant called Tre. It’s at 173 Ludlow.

    Fave dish: Wholewheat spaghetti with tiny sliced skirt steak & cherry tomatoes in ultra-flavorful tomato sauce—to die for. http://www.trenewyork.com/

    Good luck & have fun.

  77. Who said the Nats were small-market? They want to show they can mix it up with the big boys. They’ve already got a couple of stars in Zimmerman and (assuming a good return from TJ) Strasburg. They’ve got some solid pitching in Zimmermann and other young guys, too. Not saying I agree with giving 7 years to both Werth and Lee, but it would certainly make them a contender in the NL East next year.

  78. “Not saying I agree with giving 7 years to both Werth and Lee, but it would certainly make them a contender in the NL East next year”
    I disagree. Adding Werth basically makes up for the loss of Dunn. I would rather have Werth on my team for sure, but losing Dunn and adding Werth is going to give you pretty much the same offense you had last season. You’re still looking at three big boppers and little else (I’m not buying into Desmond). Adding one starter to that rotation doesn’t make it solid either, Jordan Zimmerman is pretty good but who else do you have (Jason Marquis and John Lannon suck so I guess Livan Hernandez is your third best starter)? The Braves are only getting better, the Phillies are still a force even without Werth, the Mets are headed in the right direction and even the Marlins have solidified their team with some veterans and depth, and they actually have a glut of young position players primed to break out over the next season or two.

  79. amendment to 141

    When you said “next year” did you mean 2012? Because I suppose that Lee and Strasburg would be a serious two headed monster with Zimmerman and maybe another middle of the rotation, John Garland type of guy. If they can hold on to Willingham, Harper pans out and they add a few more supplemental pieces I think they’ll be pretty decent.

  80. The value of individual players just isn’t that high. Cliff Lee was 4.3 wins above replacement last year (B-R version); Werth was 5.2. Assuming Werth is really that good (he isn’t) you’re talking about adding maybe ten wins.

    The Nats finished 28 games out of first last season.

  81. I was just thinking about how Werth was basically replaced by Oswalt. Over the past three or four seasons The Phillies have been their own kind of big red machine, and I think its easy for us to forget how mediocre their pitching has been over parts of the last two years, I guess because they’ve been dominant anyway. Two years ago, they got to the world series with Lee, Pedro and Hamels, but Hamels had a bad season and Lee and Pedro were late additions. They won lots of games with guys like Blanton and Happ. Having that big three will take pressure off of an offense that has never had too much trouble scoring runs even when key contributors have been missing.

  82. I thought Oswalt was only through 2011. Anyway, I am not sure how good 2012 Oswalt will really be.

  83. as many as 10 teams are in on Diaz.

    Like I said before the Braves have to keep Diaz around at least until mather shows he can produce and be a big piece for this team. Let Diaz and Mather go to ST and if Mather shows that he is capable then you have a great trade piece. Diaz at $2.5mil is a bargain

  84. @139,

    The the Nats add Lee and can get Howard and Utley from the Phillies and McCann, Hanson and Hudson from the Braves plus Santana from the Mets, they might be in ocntention for the wild card.

  85. anyone explain what this means?

    Keith Law: The Braves are exploring an extension for Dan Uggla. This is like acquiring some 30-year-old aceto balsamico and using it in a vinaigrette. [via Twitter]

  86. csg,

    I would assume that 30-year old aceto balsamico (or balsamic vinegar, for those of us who aren’t complete douchebags) would be very expensive, rare, and an ingredient that would only be used to serve the most carefully crafted and premiere dishes by the top chefs in the finest restaurant.

    I would also assume that a vinaigrette is best served on an appetizer, or the fourth least important part of a meal behind the main course, desert, and drink. It would be a waste to use such an exquisite ingredient on making salad dressing.

    Since a vinaigrette is a combination of salad oil, vinegar, and some other crap; it would seem that using aged aceto balsamico in it would be akin to using Kobe beef with your ‘make your own homemade tacos kit’ from Taco Bell found in your nearest Wal-Mart. So, basically, I think that he’s implying that this would be an utter waste of resources, or a bad idea.

    Keith Law is a prick, but at least he’s a really smart prick. Also, there’s a loaded gun in my desk. Pam, if I ever start talking this way in real life, please take it and shoot me in the head.

  87. @151 It’s not a very good analogy. His point is that it’s silly to give a guy at his age a long contract, but using an old wine (good thing!) as a substitute for an old infielder (bad thing!) wasn’t very clever on his part.

  88. I’m confused by the analogy, too. Clearly Uggla has to be the old vinegar. But he seems to think that what we’re doing (giving him an extension) is a waste of the great thing we just got.

    So is he saying that the Braves made a really good trade only to “waste it” by giving Uggla an extension?

    Also, re: Nationals: they’ve got some good young players on that team, and I expect them to improve even without big-name free agents. There are still plenty of holes (1B comes to mind), but guys like Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, and Drew Storen will be around for a full season next year. I’m not saying they’ll win the division, but they’ll have a shot at .500. Once Strasburg comes back, they’ll be in pretty good shape. It’s not unreasonable to think that Lee/Strasburg/Zimmermann will be better than Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels come 2012.

  89. Why does nearly everyone ever involved with Baseball Prospectus write as though they expect a gold star to be placed on their foreheads for every single sentence?

  90. 156 — That’s kind of like me and my dissertation. Except my adviser just takes dumps on it instead of giving gold stars. So it’s not anything like my dissertation at all.

  91. dob tweeted orioles have interest in KK, and that the braves would trade brandon beachy in the right deal.

  92. Lets move KK and keep Beachy…’the right deal’ would have to have a huge upside….

  93. So the front office is using their tool DOB (I vote we call him Drill O’Bit)

    They are trying to drive up Beachy’s price in the media. Before you know it we will see a Drill O’Bit article about how Beachy is working hard this winter and will proably be in Cy Young contention based on his work eithic. He will go on to say how he hasn’t seen a pitcher this dedicated since Smoltz.

    Just saying.

  94. It’s Twitter. Prose styling — for good or ill — is not really the point of the medium. Not worth killing the guy over, IMO.

    But I appreciate our local aceto balsamico, spike, pointing out the Bulwer-Lytton. I support the nomination of that sentence.

  95. 138 – I second everything here, and I also recommend Russ and Daughters. Katz’s, Tre, and the Korean food not far from MSG are all excellent.

    On Uggla, I’m not bullish about extending him, but then I’ve never really been a big fan. He’s awful in the field and on the wrong side of 30–so pass. If they go above the offer the Marlins made I’ll be pissed.

  96. DOB just posted a tweet saying the Brewers want pitching. However, they want to move Gomez, not Cain.

    I wouldnt take Gomez for a PTBNL. Career .640OPS, he sucks and I dont care how good he is defensively

  97. 169 – But his price should not be that high.

    Too bad we gave up Cofield, cause that seems about right.

  98. gomez will cost about 1.5 million. that would be a terrible move. matt young could provide much more.

  99. Gomez would be fine as a 4th OF, if you’re buying McLouth. But not if you think there’s a good chance hes going to make 40+ starts.

    Another problem is the Brewers want pitching, and all our pitching is actually good, and could net something better than Gomez.

    Also, Doug Melvin is an ass-clown, and probably wants Freeman.

  100. Stu, Id be fine with Gomez if we had a capable CF’r at the moment and no injury concerns at 3b. You’d be fine if we had an OF of Mather/Gomez/Heyward? Its realistic if you add him

  101. The Nats are not really a small-market team; they are a low-attendence team. This is a big market, even considering Baltimore; more importantly, it’s an affluent market. Kasten supposedly left because he thought the Lerners would not spend money; that’s obviously not the case now, so you would suspect there was something else at play. Right now, this town is up for grabs in terms of sports; all the teams other than the Capitals are lousy and the Caps choke in the playoffs all the team. The Redskins have been bad for years and the Wizards the same. If the Nats can make a quick jump (a big if admittedly), they could really capture the area’s attention. I think it would be a mistake to go after Lee, but the Werth deal at least makes them players going forward and helps to placate Ryan Zimmerman. And, JC says the Werth contract is not unreasonable.

  102. Owners willing to spend money + Northeast + NL East = Bad news for the Braves. The Mets, the Phillies, and now the Nationals. Going to be one fun decade.

  103. 173—Me, too.

    174—Given the team’s lack of resources, I think Gomez is about the best-case scenario for that 4th-outfielder spot. We apparently can’t afford real McLouth insurance — or aren’t willing to pay for it in prospects, anyway.

    He shouldn’t/wouldn’t cost much to acquire, and he’d add real value to the team. UZR, +/-, and scouts all rave about his defense.

  104. I overstated somewhat, but there is an overly precious quality to much of the prose that comes from BP writers that just turns me off. I’d like to never read the word “wishcast” ever again.

  105. I’d like to never read the word “wishcast” ever again.

    I am 1,000,000% in agreement with you. That word…ugh.

  106. DOB – condensed version

    Oh, and Wren said Braves have 3-5 teams interested in Kawakami. Wouldn’t name them or say if they were close to anything getting done.

    I asked about middle infield, and he said they’d like to get another backup if it works out, but that they’re comfortable with what they have, if not. That’s Diory, Brooks, Hicks, and he cited newcomer Ed Lucas, the six-year free agent the Braves signed from Royals organization. They really like Lucas, who hit .307 with a .398 OBP and 13 homers last season in 99 games at Triple-A.

  107. Just to add to my earlier sentiment that signing Werth was a desperate move: The Nats emailed season ticket holders today urging us to “Renew your season tickets today: It’s Werth It!”

  108. Jeff K,

    I don’t think that it was necessarily a desperate move. More of a “I’m sick of being stuck with a ****-*** team that isn’t coming out of the cellar anytime soon”-sorta move. But an obtuse one, nonetheless.

  109. Gomez is a defensive stud, but an awful hitter. I don’t really see what you’d get with him that Tony Gwynn Jr. wouldn’t provide.

  110. I agree about Nate Silver, and Rany certainly has more writing talent than I’ll ever have. He’s a better writer than his buddy Rob Neyer, that’s for sure.

  111. I wouldn’t differentiate between a RH hitter who can’t hit and a LH hitter who can’t hit either. In fact, asking Frenchy to bat lefty might actually increase his walk rate, owing to the fact that he couldn’t swing the bat through strikes while batting lefty.

    In other news, I’ve figured out how Charlie Manuel is going to attempt to ‘fix’ Jeffy.

  112. I’ll split the difference between Sansho and desert. I think Rany’s way better than Rob — and, as I and many others have said, I think Rob used to be a much smarter, better, and more interesting writer — but I still think Rob’s better than a homeless Russian man.

  113. A.A.R.,

    Yeah, I think that Craig over at HBT on NBC is the new Rob. Rob’s analysis has gotten… lazy. Not to mention very anti-Atlanta.

  114. 193- Lately, when I read him, I get the feeling Rob doesn’t really self edit anymore. 99% of what he writes now could be conveyed in the formula:

    story + snap judgment based on years of accumulated knowledge = finished product

    To his credit, the snap judgement is often good, but a lot of times, it just seems like he feels that he’s got most things figured out and is getting bored explaining it over and over again

  115. AAR, mentioning Neyer’s links reminds me that he doesn’t link to Josh Wilker much anymore. I have to say, once Josh got his book deal I quit checking on him — the book just seemed like the culmination of his efforts.

    So imagine my surprise when I go take a look at Cardboard Gods for the first time in months and discover he’s in the middle of a 25-part series entitled “What Is the Meaning of the 1978 Atlanta Braves?”! Damn if he didn’t know how to pull me back in….

    http://cardboardgods.net/

  116. …and for those Braves fans with long memories, just in case you didn’t think Wilker could capture the feeling of rooting for the Braves, circa ’78:

    “What happens when things have been falling apart for so long it starts to feel like the way of the world?”

  117. Nice win by UGA tonight, but they can’t be counting on 7 3’s from Dustin Ware every night….

  118. #200
    Just like football…

    Yeah, the Dogs’ offense in the first half was pretty dismal. Thompkins wasn’t really too involved. But that kid was unconscious in the second half.

  119. Good win but I’m a little worried about Leslie. Two straight games where he’s been nonexistent. Ware was absolutely on fire.

  120. Big game for Vandy tomorrow. Can they carry the flag? (Apparently we can’t.)
    ———

    Great. My team is playing in a bowl so meaningless that our opponent fired their coach.
    ———

    And why isn’t Petrino at the top of Miami’s list?

  121. I give us less than a 20% chance of winning at Mizzou. I thought we were 50%, at best, anyway, and then we lost Walker — our key press-breaker — for the month of December to Mono.

    We’ll still win the SEC, though.

  122. That stinks, about Matty. Maybe they’ll take pity on him and trade him to a contender mid year.

  123. I think its perfect. I still think Matty is a borderline starter. Everytime we tried to give him a fulltime gig, something would happen… a drainage grate in Milwaukee, a palm frond in Florida… maybe on a team with no expectations, he can prove himself, shake that platoon label, and earn himself one final contract.

  124. Initial reaction on Diaz is that it’s a pity he couldn’t have caught on with a Major League team somewhere.

    Maybe, hopefully, it works for the best.

  125. Atlanta Career: Good year, really good year, injury-riddled awful year, terrific year & injury-riddled crap year (moments, sure, but mostly crap). What’s next?

    Guy’s gonna be 33 this season. Get it while you can, Matty—and good luck.

  126. Stu, I think Mizzou will win, (mostly because of the home court) but we really don’t have a decent matchup against Ezeli. If he goes off, your 3’s stay around their season averages, and you don’t turn the ball over too much I could see Vandy taking it.

    That being said, hope everyone stays healthy and I wish you the worst of luck.

  127. @206

    You have to win your own state frist.

    (I predict Stu and I both will really enjoy this college basketball season)

  128. Mets sued by Trustee in Madoff case.

    According to a court filing, the Mets profited $47.8 M from Madoff. That qualifies them as “net winners” in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme (under the bankruptcy trustee’s calculations). That subjects the Mets Limited Partnership account to a potential “claw back” lawsuit seeking to recover profits & redistribute them to eligible victims.

    http://tinyurl.com/2uso6wh

  129. As jjschiller and Ububba said, I hope Diaz gets more time, excels, and gets at least one more contract out of it. McLouth will have made about $15M in his career after this year, and unless Matty got a heck of a 2 year deal he’ll be around $8M for his career… plus whatever year 2 gives him (edit: looks like it’s $4.25M for the two year deal)

    Hmmm… it’s amazing how you look at those team numbers, or even career numbers, and think he’s a marginally paid player, but I’d be working for over a 100 years at my pay to even approach that $8M figure. Damn that’s depressing.

  130. I actually did have a dream that we traded McLouth back to the Pirates. I don’t remember the rest of it though.

  131. Braves shouldve signed Diaz and traded him once Mather shows that he’s capable of doing something. I know he can play a bunch of positions, but thats useless if he hits like Chris Woodward.

  132. csg, you’re assuming that diaz would have trade value. at the all-star break this last year he was OPSing sub .600. that wouldnt appeal to many teams.

  133. ryan, he had interest from over 10 teams. He also has a career .335/.373/.533 line vs LH’rs. Its not like he’s an unknown commodity at this point. According to WAR he’s been worth an average of $6.14M the last 5 years. He’s got plenty of value. One Spring Training isnt going to change that.

  134. csg,

    But that is about $3 million or more we would have had to commit to him. Plus, the number of teams that would trade for him is far less than the number of teams that were looking to sign him.

    I love Diaz, but at this point he wasn’t worth the risk to the front office and I can’t blame them. I hope he goes out and hits 50 home runs in Pittsburgh.

  135. $2.55 mil and its still a good value. Im not upset that the Braves didnt keep him around, but I am a little concerned about our bench depth at this point. Hinske will be the same and Ross will never be used. But we have big question marks with Mather, Diory, Lucas, Young, or whoever else they sign.

  136. I think he get more that $3 million in arb.

    Does Dave Wannstedt leaving Pitt hurt the Vandy search?

  137. @229,

    Would it be a terrible idea to go after a guy who can catch and play OF, 3B or 1B? Then Ross can get more ABs?

  138. If we tendered him a contract, he would get arbitration, with us, or with the team trading for him. He would make more than that 4.2 in just one year.

    No one would trade for him then.

    We could have non-tendered him, convinced him to ignore other offers, and sign as an FA, maybe even get a little home town discount out of him… THEN trade him.

    But that would be… sleazy.

  139. Smitty, no, its not a terrible idea, but if that guy has a career line of .237/.287/.415 then I wouldnt bank on much from him.

    Diaz said he’d avoid arb and resign for the same salary. Diaz will get a full time role in Pittsburgh though and good for him.

  140. The reason to let Matty walk wasn’t because his poor season made us fear he wouldn’t earn his arb salary.

    But now that Prado has moved to left, a right-handed corner OF is bound to be used less often than he was in years past.

    A lesser role wasn’t worth giving him a raise for. Mather, being RH, cheaper, and apparently capable at 1b and 3b, behind our rookie LH first baseman, and two returning injured third basemen, fits this years club better. It isn’t because he’s a better hitter.

    Diaz wasn’t allowed to leave because a bad year makes him look risky. But the bad year likely DID scare us off an arb-and-trade possibility.

  141. anyone find it interesting that clubs are calling about Dice-K? He’s got 2/20 left, but yet we cant hand off KK for $1.5-2mil while picking up the rest of the tab. DiceK had one good year, but has had injuries and pitched like a #4/5 since then.

    DiceK – 4.18ERA 1.39WHIP 110ERA+ (87.5ERA+ last 2 years)

    KK – 4.32ERA 1.39WHIP 94ERA+

  142. Of course… from MLBTR.com

    Royals Getting Close On Francoeur Deal
    By Tim Dierkes [December 8 at 10:26am CST]

    The Royals are getting close on a deal with outfielder Jeff Francoeur, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He says it’s a one-year deal and a club option is possible. The match comes as no surprise, with Royals GM Dayton Moore showing longstanding interest and also a tendency to acquire players who played for his former employer.

  143. 237- It’s too bad Vegas doesn’t have lines on things like that. Bravesjournal would’ve made a lot of money over the past few years

  144. I dunno… I have to give DOB credit for this tweet:

    @ajcbraves: You knew it was only a matter of time: Francoeur to sign with Kansas City #Royals, aka #Braves’ AL affiliate.

  145. There has never been a more perfect baseball transaction than Francoeur to the Royals.

    Apparently the Pirates are still after KK. Yay.

  146. Finally, a reason to follow the Royals. I want to see the press conference where they talk about how he will bring his winning attitude to KC.

  147. To feed our Francoeur obsession, from http://twitter.com/#!/bucklanford

    bucklanford Buck Lanford
    Francoeur said he came close to signing with the #Phillies, but the chance to play everyday in KC was a huge factor.
    3 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    »
    Buck Lanford
    bucklanford Buck Lanford
    Francoeur said he’s excited to be reunited with Dayton Moore and Ned Yost, and looks forward to the opportunity to play everyday.
    15 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    »
    Buck Lanford
    bucklanford Buck Lanford
    Just spoke with Jeff Francoeur and he confirmed he signed a one year deal with the Kansas City #Royals with a mutual option for a 2nd year.

  148. Well the Phils would be smart about it and would’ve platoon him. He can hit lefties. I just hate his attitude.

  149. @253 Ooo, I like. Beachy and KK for Doumit, please. He’s played a few different positions in a pinch.

    Well, maybe not. He made 3.6 mil last year and is set to make 5 this year.

  150. and Kawakami is due 6.67 million. Beat writer suggests Pitt would eat some of Doumit’s salary.

  151. KK plus $1 million (edit: or maybe $500K) alone might net Doumit, although I’d prefer we get a RHB for that roster spot. I wouldn’t include anyone with a future in the trade. I don’t see either of them being major leaguers by 2013.

  152. where do you put Doumit? He plays 1B, C, and RF and none of them very well. Isnt that why we have Mather and why we didnt want Diaz? He’s not a fit

  153. Doumit makes no sense. We’d have 4 catcher/ 1b/ Lf types, and one spot left for a Cf and SS

  154. Yeah, never mind. I don’t want him either. I just liked the symmetry of KK for Doumit. But Doumit getting a start against a LHP might be the worst player in baseball.

  155. Doumit’s not a fit but if it’s essentially a straight up deal for KK’s bad contract then maybe. No way, though, that I’d add Beachy.

  156. 230—I doubt it, since I just assume Golden will take that job, and he was already out of the VU search.

    Urban Meyer retiring might affect things, though, particularly with the guy who looks like the favorite right now.

  157. Id swap KK and Doumit and their full salaries, then Wren could trade Doumit and part of his salary later. Doumit isnt a fit at all for this team, makes zero sense

  158. Don’t worry Stu, Urbie Cryer’s hero is Brett Favre. I won’t get excited until they hire someon else.

  159. mlbtr –

    1:10pm: The Braves are trying to see whether the Pirates or Orioles will pick up more of Kawakami’s salary, tweets Biertempfel.

  160. Doumit would be a nice player if we didn’t already have BMac and Ross.

    I guess Urban wishes he had stayed retired last year.

  161. After last years’ thing, this is annnoying.

    But I’ll thank him for a great run including two national titles and hope we get Dan Mullen back to make the offense work again.

    Going into the off-season, I had thought a coaching shake-up was necessary, especially on the offensive side of the ball. While losing Meyer can’t be a good thing, it does make that process easier, allowing the new coach to bring in whomever they want. So I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would have been. Still, going to have to wait and see what this does to the recruiting class….

  162. Any chance Will Muschchamp finally leaves Texas to go to Florida? Or what about Chris Petersen?

  163. Field Marshall Dooley just jumped a flight headed to Florida to convince some future Gators to be future Vols.

  164. Frenchy gets $2.5M Guaranteed and another $500K in incentives (which, if they’re things like PAs he might actually get)… and there’s a $3M mutual option.

  165. If you’re on twitter, you might want to follow Batting Stance Guy… he’s amusing at times:

    @BattingStanceG: Boras holding court @ #WinterMeetings. Let me know if someone asks him about his OlliePerez-Koufax comparisons. #mlb

  166. If Mullen dosen’t take it (and I don’t see how he doesn’t) then the Shanahan rumors will start again.

  167. per Crasnick, we are about to get George Sherrill

    the man has been very good against LH’rs in his career

  168. I hate the idea of both Sherrill and Luke Scott. But for different reasons.

    Edit: csg is right, he’s a solid LOOGY. I still loathe Scott, though.

  169. You would think that somewhere along the way last year somebody might have pointed out to the manager that Sherrill shouldn’t pitch to Righties:

    @ajcbraves: Sherriill had 6.69 ERA, .311 opp avg in ’10, but lefties still hit just .192 w/ .574 OPS (righties torched him at .427./1.123 rate)

  170. Sherrill’s manager–whoever it was, ahem–was definitely a moron last season. That said, it appears that Sherrill should never, ever face a right-handed hitter. My goodness…

  171. so, o’flaherty, moylan, kimbrel, venters, sherrill, proctor, and linebrink.

    there’s no long-relief there…

  172. sherrill’s career line against lhb: .167ba .235obp .500ops
    b. wag’s career line against lhb: .189ba .262 obp .519ops

  173. Not a huge fan of signing Sherrill, especially after DOB floated a possible Ohman return yesterday:

    “Will Ohman: funny man, #Lebowski fan. When I asked 2nite about #Braves’ looking for LH: “I could be the rug that ties the room together.””

    Will Ohman is awesome.

  174. DOB – Fredi said top pitching prospect Teheran could be ready by summer, if he’s needed, if there are injuries or whatever. Said that prospect Randall Delgado could be, too.

  175. @297,

    “Mike Hampton choked to death swallowing his pride. Finally silencing his biggest critic; himself.”

  176. I think Sherrill would be a fine addition provided he’s used as a LOOGY. Another lefty is needed in the NL East, and this guy should be very useful when it comes time to face the Phillies.

  177. 301 – He’s probably ok after the $120 million deal he signed a few years ago. I wouldn’t worry about him or his pride.

  178. I like the Sherrill move, if it happens, and he’s paid what his position will be worth… He can be the “true” LOOGy, brought in to face a pinch hitter, or the one lefty likely to bat in an inning, and allow O’Flaherty to be used more as a ‘7th or 6th inning, depending on when the lefties are due up’ kind of guy.

  179. 1.4 million for Sherrill. Wren has done a pretty good job getting Linebrink and Sherrill for under 3 1/2 million.

  180. I know I’m excited! The sheer amazingness of this signing will surely blind me to the fact that Wren cannot, for the life of him, find value in the outfield. But he sure as hell can find left-handed relievers, which is, I guess, something.

  181. I like Sherrill too, if he’s used strictly situationally. A nice little pickup. Wren’s a tinkerer, but I like that in a GM, as long as he can keep his eyes on the prize.

    Luke Scott mashes lefties, .275/.362/.516 for his career. If he was haveable, I’d have him — I view him as a kind of low-grade Willingham. But he only costs $6 mill this year, so I don’t see why the O’s would trade him.

    Obviously, I won’t say anything about anything else.

  182. Carlos Pena on the Crawford situation:

    “The teams that move the most money and show how much they’re willing to invest in him, that they’ll put themselves on the line, will draw the most interest from him,” Pena said.

    I’m so glad there are 6 million reporters at the meetings right now. It’s exactly this type of information that we, as fans, need to be getting around the clock.

  183. Wait, so he’ll be interested in whoever is willing to pay him the most? Thats a shocking development.

  184. So the Braves lineup could look like this next year:
    LF – Martin Prado
    RF – Jason Heyward
    3B – Chipper Jones
    C – Brian McCann
    2B – Dan Uggla
    1B – Freddie Freeman
    SS – Alex Gonzalez
    CF – Nate McLouth/Jordan Schafer
    P – Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor
    The Braves have a very good pitching staff for next season and some very talented young pitchers. There are also some pretty good bats like Prado, Heyward, Uggla and McCann, but they need one more big bat, at least. They also need another OF and a utility INF. If the Braves can pick up a big bat/OF, a good utility INF and another LHP (relief), then they will have a very good team that could make it to the playoffs again. I like their chances next season! GO BRAVOS!!!

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