Marlins 3, Braves 1

Box Score

It’s tempting to say that Michael Bourn can’t get here fast enough, but the Braves did well on Bourn’s end, getting on base plenty of times with 13 hits, nearly twice as many as the Marlins, and Jose Constanza had three hits and scored their only run. The Braves just systematically failed to do anything in run-scoring situations; even the run came on a first-inning GIDP.

The Marlins tied it up in the second with a leadoff walk, a stolen base, a fly ball, and then, bizarrely, a single against a drawn-in infield. Who draws in the infield in the second inning, at home with a lead? The Frediman! They took the lead in the third when Omar Infante, whom the Braves really should have reacquired today if possible, was doubled home, then somehow Emilio Bonafacio hit a homer in the fifth to make it 3-1.

Tommy Hanson got hung with the loss… To bookend the bizarre behavior, good luck explaining Fredi going to the bullpen with two out and nobody on in the ninth just to have Sherrill replace the Lisp and get a lefty pinch-hitter… JC Boscan got his first career start and in the second his first career hit, which is nice, but in two RBI situations later in the game, not even needing a hit to score a run, he looked just about as hapless at bat as Hanson. Constanza was thrown out on the bases twice, once trying to advance after reaching on an error, the other lined off of first; I don’t understand the second play because it sure looked to me like the first baseman dropped the ball.

113 thoughts on “Marlins 3, Braves 1”

  1. Sanchez clearly caught the ball while on the bag to double Constanza up. He dropped the ball on the relay to his throwing hand, which was after the play was over. Clearly the right call by the 1B ump there.

    The real killer was Constanza getting happy feet on the error. He should have stayed his happy ass at 2B and scored easily on Prado’s single. Classic case of a guy just called up trying to do too much.

  2. I just saw a tweet from DOB that Constanza is going to stay on the 25 man roster.

  3. Really dig the Bourn trade, but was very much hoping for a right-handed relief pitcher to firm up our bullpen.

    So now that the July 31 deadline has passed, what are the scenarios in which we will be doing that?

  4. I know he’s a dick, but Pat Burrell’s available now, right? Seems like the cheap, RH pinch hit/spot start guy we need to round out the bench.

    Great to have you back, Mac.

  5. Apparently, the Braves gave the Rays an offer so good for Upton that Friedman’s appendix exploded in excitement, and the deal couldn’t be completed with him in the hospital. True story.

  6. I find it interesting we had to get cash in addition to Bourn.

    Thank goodness we clear Nate and KK from the books this offseason.

  7. Hopefully the Braves will release Proctor to make room for Bourn. Then they can leave Nate on the DL until Sept callups. Bmac can replace Boscan when he’s eligible. Then Vizcaino can replace Vavarro when they deem him ready for this level.

  8. DOB alluding to Proctor??

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume that. Could be a struggling reliever. RT @poker4adummy: @ajcbraves Varvano a safe assumption? 47 mins ago

  9. Just got back from Galveston, and came here to see all the complaining and snark, since I was sure that Coco Crisp would be our new center fielder. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong. Good job Wren!

  10. Bourn replaces Schafer. Constanza replaces Proctor (hopefully). Vizcaino eventually replacing someone. Moylan coming back. It’s going to be a fun 2 months of baseball.

  11. Late to the party but nice work by Frank Wren. Already anlyzed to death so I’ll spare everyone. So lets hope that the real Dan Uggla stays, Chipper and Bmac come back ok, and we keep pitching the way we have been all season.

  12. IMO, the best thing that could happen to this team in August with the waiver wire is somebody getting desperate (Yankees) and claiming Derek Lowe and the Braves telling them to keep him.

  13. lowe was clutch down the stretch last season. I doubt that the Braves are going to thrust Minor into a pennant race if they don’t have to.

    Dob interview with Wren is a good read. Lets just say we have to give the guy more credit for brains than we do.

  14. I hope Nate stays on the DL and doesn’t come back. I like already what I saw from Costanza over Nate. I’d like Kramer or Elaine over Nate.

  15. I dont really see what Nate can provide over Constanza. Would any team put a waiver claim on him in August? He’d be free

  16. Based on career stats and what we’ve seen in the past three games, I’m confident that Nate gets on base and runs the bases better than Constanza does. He should definitely have that roster spot as soon as he’s healthy.

  17. Constanza is a quad A player at best. Id rather have Nate as our 4th OF. At least McLouth has an Mlb resume.

  18. T-Bone was clearly trying to do too much, knowing it was probably his last day to make an impression. Hustle mistakes are forgivable. It certainly says something about the experience of going to a ballgame to hear the rousing ovation he received after being thrown out at third. Thanks for the thrill, kid.

    Edit: OK, so he’s 27. Once Moyer retires they’ll all be “kids” to some of us….

  19. Is it possible Wren entered the Pence discussions knowing he wasn’t going to offer the assets necessary to aquire Pence, but would instead whet the appetite of Wade for a Bourn trade later?

    I haven’t read the Bourn posts earlier, and may already be posting an estimation of Wren’s thinking, but Perhaps I’m giving Wren too much credit. Whether it was Wren’s cunning or Wade’s stupidity, I’m happy Bourn’s a Brave.

  20. I was impressed that in DOB’s interview with the players, they all said nice things about Schafer. It sounds like they had really grown to like him, and they all said he’d matured and really worked hard to get better as a player. Sutton and Powell said the same. They didn’t have to say nice things about him, so I have to believe they meant it.

  21. The snappy headline has to be The Bourn Acquisition, right? i guess in the olden days it wouldn’t seem late to be naming headlines on the night of the day the trade occurs. Oh well.

    Tough loss today when coupled with the Phillies coming from behind to win in extras, but we did win the series with the marlins. all in all, the braves have kept afloat without Chipper and McCann so far. Bourn arrives today, so the odds would say that our lineup will improve from here on out.

    I hope Chipper doesn’t try to come back too fast. i think i can live with him and mccann getting the rest they need and not being burned out by the postseason. I think we’ve got the team to get there and do some damage. with everyone healthy, i see a team that could win an october series or two. or three? i’d rather see chipper sit out a month and be ready to go in september than trying some leaping top-10 play again and twisting his surgically repaired knee.

    we gotta get some bullpen help, but it looks like we could get medlen, or moylan, or some of the younger guys going. barring further injuries, there aren’t too many holes.

  22. OK, i’m posting too much but does anyone else think that this might be the key to unlocking Prado’s treasures for the rest of the year?

    i mean, just based on my hazy recollection of the past couple years, Prado is best as a no. 2 hitter. i feel like if he can get pitchers throwing over to first and focusing on the Bourn of the Basepaths, he can maybe return to that form of last year, where he’d spray singles, set up huge rallies, and occasionally hit that delicious first inning 2-run HR.

  23. And as for Wren, we were all totally susceptible to the mainstream media misdirection. it’s pretty amazing when you think of it; in retrospect Bourn was a much better fit all along than Beltran, Pence, or Bossman Junior. Yet we all get swept up in this tweeting and reporting, and don’t think for a second that Wren is probably better at doing his job than you or I would be. Nice work, again, sir.

  24. Prado did his best hitting last year as the leadoff hitter, with Heyward batting second. But I do think that Bourn’s presence will benefit Prado for the reason that you outlined. I’m hoping that Chipper hurting and McCann being on the shelf will give Freddie a chance to put a strangle hold on the 3 hole. I really like the way the lineup is constructed right now. I suppose when Mac and Chip come back I’d go something like this:

    Bourn
    Prado
    Freeman
    Uggla
    McCann
    Chipper
    Heyward
    Agony

    Is it blasphemous to suggest moving Chipper to the 6th spot in the order? Will Fredi’s loyalty and Chipper’s pride get in the way?

  25. If Chipper leaves the three hole, it will be because he gives Fredi permission to move him. But still…

    Bourn
    Prado
    Chipper
    McCann
    Uggla
    Freeman
    Heyward
    AAG
    Pitcher

    …is a damn good lineup and my best guess for where everyone slides in when everyone is healthier.

  26. i just saw some article ragging on the mets for keeping reyes. basically saying they could have added shitloads more prospects alongside Wheeler, and Reyes “clearly wants to test free agency”. while i’m not sure if that claim is justified, it did make me wonder. what would Wren have given them for Reyes as a rental? no need to know, i guess. but the trade deadline makes everyone a dreamer… good thing it’s over and we can move onto the stretch run.

  27. I hope they give him the money he’s asking for and he continues to be injured most of the time.

  28. If we actually have a chance to “choose”, do you want Lowe or Burnett considering the performance in the past 2+ seasons and their contracts? Remember Lowe’s contract is for four years and Burnett’s contract is for five years.

    I don’t know the answer myself. They both suck.

  29. 41,

    Lowe, and it’s not even close. Burnett still has roughly 38.5 million coming his way for the next 2.3 years, whereas Lowe only has 20 million coming. Since they signed their contracts (before the 2009 season), Lowe has been worth 7.4 fWAR (2.6, 2.7, and 2.1 this year) and Burnett 5.7 fWAR (3.4, 1.3, and 1.0 this year). Losing out on Burnett hurt at the time; but, in hindsight, it was definitely the correct move to make.

    On Wren; I think that he’s definitely much, much more intelligent than we give him credit for. The guy runs a MLB team. And apart from certain figures (Ed Wade, Omar Minaya, Tony Reagins (Really, Tony? Vernon Wells?)), all of these guys are much smarter than your average Joe. They would not have made it this far in this industry (or life) without being so.

  30. Wren leveraged Twitter and the other social media outlets through Bowman and O’Brien brilliantly. By leaking bits and pieces to those guys he knew that they would tweet, post and write about all of it. Kind of like a journalistic head fake as he headed to the player he really had targeted. Well done.

    Jordan Schaefer is the poster boy for the Braves scouting first player evaluation system. Its clear to most of us from his numbers in both the minor leagues and his short stint in mlb that he isn’t anything special. Yet the information coming from the Braves paints the kid as potentially an above average player like Michael Bourne. I have to say that the few times I have gotten to watch him this season he has made some spectacular plays in the field. I dunno. Are a few really good plays enough to cement his status as a major leaguer?

  31. I would almost rather have Chipper in the two hole than the sixth.

    As much fun as it is to have T-Bone, McLouth is the better player

  32. I’d like to see Chipper at 2 as well.
    But it’s not going to happen. 3 is fine.

  33. I think this lineup needs Chipper in the 3. BMac works good there as well.

    Bourn’s speed will get him in position to score. I just hope Fredi doesn’t go bunt crazy with Prado in the two hole. Times when Bourn gets to 3rd with less than 2 outs gives Chipper bunches of ways to get RBIs even with groundouts and fly outs.

    Chipper still makes the most consistent contact and is the smartest hitter we have.

    Scaffer is not terrible player. He is in the process of changing his game at the plate. He did not make a fool of himself this time up. If we win WC or Divison by one game, him playing through that broken finger after Nate got foolishly ejected in that Pirate marathon could turn out to be huge in the large scheme of things.

    I like Jordan, cocky little bastard, good defender, below average at the dish, but was cool to my wife and I a couple of times we met him in autograph lines. I can see where he would endear himself to a team. I wish him the best.

    Glad to have Bourn though.

  34. Good to hear that Schafer is a good kid. The picture painted of him in the press was that of an arrogant prick. I hope he turns out to be something but the odds aren’t good. The baseball landscape is littered with gifted athletes that simply couldn’t make enough contact batting to stick around.

  35. Good to hear that Schafer is a good kid. The picture painted of him in the press was that of an arrogant prick.

    As I read the coverage, he *was* and arrogant prick, especially his first time up, and then he sucked for two years in the minors rehabbing a broken wrist, and his second tour of duty he was much less of an arrogant prick. Maybe he’ll figure out “getting on base” and become a LH Michael Bourn in Houston. Worst things have happened.

  36. @43 – Schafer isn’t that far from turning into Bourn already. He’s an all speed/range defender, but with more reps in CF you’d think he’d start to take better routes eventually and become really good. Offensively, he just needs a little more average added to his OBP and SLG to be average+ for a CF. The combination would be really valuable, but it’s less than certain that he’ll get there, and it’s much more in the interest of a going-nowhere team like Houston to give him the time to do it than it is for Atlanta which should be contending for the next 3 years in which you’d expect Schafer to still be working out the kinks in his game. We got to trade our Fig Newton for their Reese’s Cup, and now both kids are more happy. Value was increased.

    This is why I don’t think Houston got fleeced in the deal – they got a 50% or so shot at having almost an exact replacement for the player they gave up in 2 or 3 years, and if that happens or if any one of the pitchers provides some surplus value, then they could come out quite well. The upside is much lower than with their haul for Pence, but I think there’s a higher probability of Bourn’s return at least matching Bourn’s value long term.

  37. His problem has been as much getting the bat knocked out of his hands at the MLB level because he has so little power as much as plate discipline. Nobody is afraid to challenge him.

  38. Yeah the deal isn’t as bad as portrayed for Houston. Out of the 4 players if the Astros get a league average CF and a starter out of the deal they come out even or ahead in the deal. I can’t fault Wade for taking a quantity of players for Pence and Bourne. The odds are that only a couple of them will sniff the majors.

    @49 – I respectfully disagree. Schafer is a long way from being Bourne. Jordan’s problem is making contact. Bourne is an old fashion Judy type of hitter but evidently he makes enough contact to put up a .350 OBP.

    One of the disturbing things I read in the Wren interview with DOB is that the Braves are placing a premium on speed and defense. Okay, but lets try to get a few mashers too.

  39. I don’t think Houston got fleeced, either. It looks like a fair trade to me, considering the needs of both teams.

    Edit: That “speed and defense” quote worried me too — then again, don’t they all say that? The underlying issue being, anybody can draft power, but it takes a wizard GM to win via the pitching-and-defense approach….

  40. The “speed and defense” thing just sounded like smoke to me. The only especially speedy good defender I can think of before Bourn was Schafer (and Heyward to a lesser degree). Uggla was a slow power acquisition, and AAG keeps his job because of defense, not because of his frightening lack of speed. Now, if in the future Wren wants to go speed/defense on all new additions for a while, that would be ok with me, since I think we’ve got a pretty good assortment of power bats between Freeman, Uggla, Heyward, and McCann. But speed and defense have not been a prevalent combination in past lineups.

  41. @51

    I think we have plenty of mashers.

    @52

    I think the negative reaction is they are take a chance on guys that are a total gamble, much more so than the Big Four. If one of the starters turns out to be a solid #3 in a few years, Schafer plays decent and Bourn plays well for us, then it would be a wash.

  42. @50- This describes why I am a bit unsure of Bourn’s actual talent level. This has been the only season he’s had an OPS+ above 100. The low slugging isn’t so terrible when you’re stealing 50 or 60 bases a year, because you still end up in scoring position quite a bit. But if you wanna walk, you gotta put the fear of extra bases in people or you’re only gonna see strikes. Hard to work that OBP that way.

    Jurrjens kind of said so himself in his reaction to the deal, of course he didn’t paint it as a negative: “He’s one of those guys you try to be super-aggressive with, to make him swing at the first couple of pitches. And then you can get him off your mind.”

  43. I think Wren was saying that the team is in the process of transitioning to a focus on speed and defense. You’re right that the Uggla acquisition is inconsistent with that, but the team desperately needed a RH power bat. Looking at last year’s draft, for instance, I think the increased emphasis on speed and defense is apparent.

  44. @51 – It’s fair to say that Schafer is farther from Bourn than I’m making him out to be. He’s got a lot of development left to realize before he gets there, but if he gets his contact problems worked out and if he learns some better routes in CF, then he’ll be as valuable as Bourn is now. That’s probably less than a 50% outcome though, I agree.

  45. I was wrong. We weren’t disappointed. Good job Frank in satisfying Braves Journal. I’m sure that was his goal. I’m looking forward to Bourn stealing second, third, and home to manufacture a run since the Braves apparently cannot drive in runs.

    I think baseball people think that speed and defense is somehow more morally pure than power. It goes all the way back to Ty Cobb who criticized Babe Ruth for hitting home runs rather than playing “small ball.” Baseball people like the idea of “creating runs” as if it’s more funadmentally sound than just hitting home runs, which is sort of brute force.

    On another note, did anyone hear Justin Verlander bitching because one of the Angels bunted in the 8th inning of a 3-0 game to break up his no-hitter? I think it’s a good baseball play, certainly in a 3-0 game. Verlander should be worrying about winning the game rather than the no-hitter. And why should a guy not bunt to break up a no-hitter; nobody says a no-hitter doesn’t count if a fielder makes a great play to save it.

  46. Heard Wren on the radio in Atlanta this morning.

    He was asked and confirmed unequivocally that we could have had either Beltran or Pence. Both Mets and Astros suggested for the Braves packages that would beat those they received. One included one of the Big Four (Beltran, I guess); the other included two.

    He said Bourn was a better fit and did not see a reason to provide such a premium package for the other square pegs. Wren intimated that he would have given one of the Big Four for Bourn, but did not have to.

    Other thoughts:

    He thinks RHRP and R bench bat can be addressed in August. He said he really likes what he has seen in the top 5 in the bullpen, including Cheryl and Linebrink in the group. He likes what the Lisp is doing since his promotion. No mention of Proctor which singles him out as the guy to replace.

    Heyward has made some adjustments to his “position to hit” in the last 10 days. They think he is just about right.

    Chipper might have to go back on the DL.

  47. Yeah, Verlander was wrong. The Angels were trying to win and the bunt worked as it threw Verlander off and two runs scored shortly after that. There was a lot of intense emotions in that game though. Carlos Gullien was being a jerk for one thing.

  48. @59 – Really like Wren’s comments about the bullpen. Ominously making no mention of Proctor makes it sound like a long-awaited DFA is coming soon, and I think we can all agree with Lisp love after Tuesday’s 19 inning farce. He’s got a really good changeup and he has a fantastic nickname. I think they ought to ease him into some higher leverage spots and see how he does.

  49. We are carrying an extra pitcher now because of the 19 inning marathon with Pittsburg. With the Lisp putting in key innings last night to help rest our main bullpen guys, I’m pretty sure it will either be Proctor or Varvaro replaced on the roster. If Chipper is DL’d, I would guess Brandon Hicks will be called up.

  50. mac, may we please have a countdown clock for the last day of McClouth’s contract. i’ll be glad to see that experiment end.

  51. “Is it possible Wren entered the Pence discussions knowing he wasn’t going to offer the assets necessary to aquire Pence, but would instead whet the appetite of Wade for a Bourn trade later?”

    I don’t think it was that complicated, or that sneaky. I’d bet he was trying to get Pence, didn’t want to match Philly’s offer – why would he? – and then turned to Bourn as a fallback. The McLouth and Schafer injuries made the fallback seem more like the primary option anyway.

    People have a tendency to assume either the worst or the best of others, especially when working without full information. Had Wren not made this trade he’d be called an idiot; now that he has made an excellent move, folks* are inverting earlier narratives and wondering if he played 11-dimensional chess by simultaneously driving up Philadelphia’s cost for Pence and lowering Houston’s demand for Bourn. Perhaps, unwittingly, Wren did accomplish those feats; I have no idea if he did or not. But even if he did, it is highly unlikely that he planned to do so in such a way. In all likelihood, he just moved on from option to another, and is fortuitous that things fell into place as they did. Wren noted this morning, after all, that he was willing to give up one of the major prospects–he just didn’t have to.

    *folks on Peter’s blog especially.

  52. You know what is sad? Frenchy and Melky’s current season would have put this years Braves over the top I think. And it’s too late for SSS or let’s check their total at the end of the year caveats. Kudos to both of them.

  53. @66 And you know what? They would never produce the same numbers if they are playing for the Braves. Playing for the Royals is easy. Just ask Nate if he feels any difference between playing for the Braves and for Pirates. We will see if Bourn can handle the pressure.

  54. Melky might. He produced okay with the Yankees, of course. His problem last year was that he was so very very fat, and this year he’s in shape.

  55. What possible pressure is there in Atlanta? Christ, we haven’t made it out of the first round of playoffs in a decade, and have one playoff berth in the last 5. I love this team obviously, but it ain’t that tough to play here.

  56. @69 Well, comparing us to the Royals and the Pirates…those teams are supposed to lose…

    Mac, Melky simply hates us.

  57. Well you made the comparison, not me – but when your club hasn’t won a div title in 5 years and ain’t gonna this year either, there isn’t a lot of room to talk.

  58. Not to mention the lackadaisical fanbase and complaisant local media….

    (thx to Reader’s Digest for “It Pays To Enrich Your Word Power”)

  59. But even if he did, it is highly unlikely that he planned to do so in such a way. In all likelihood, he just moved on from option to another, and is fortuitous that things fell into place as they did. Wren noted this morning, after all, that he was willing to give up one of the major prospects–he just didn’t have to.

    This.

    Frank Wren is, today, exactly the same GM he was when he traded Yunel Escobar. The only thing that changed were the conditions “on the ground.” Or as Churchill might have put it, “Events, my dear boy. Events.”

    The Braves started out looking for a RH bat with power to fill in their roster’s obvious holes. Then both of their CF options went on the DL, more or less, and they started reconsidering where their “holes” actually were. And having reconsidered, they realized that a guy who could get on base like McLouth but play defense like Schafer was by far their best possible addition.

    It also happened that Houston wanted the moon and stars for the RH “power” bat and were willing to take secondary assets for the guy we really needed. So that’s just full of win for us.

  60. Sure would be a waste of all these PH days for Chipper if they have to put him on the DL today. He doesnt look good out there swinging though.

  61. @75 He did the same thing with Jason and with Jordan, it’s not something he seems to take into account.

    I am so excited about tonight’s game.

  62. Dreaming of a 2012 that features Teheran in place of Lowe, Vizcaino and Medlen solidifying the bullpen, the return of Omar Infante (hopefully),and a Jed Lowrie acquisition (Minor?).

    If the Braves can trade Lowe, the sky is the limit for this team in ’12.

  63. Please, let us go on a bit of a run – schedule is favorable, and goodness knows we need it.

  64. #73 And the real Dan Uggla showed up.

    Ok maybe it was ALL luck and happenstance. But I think Wren still did a great job by simply exercising some restraint. When the media and the blogosphere was ready to trade anyone not named Teheran for Beltran or Pence he decided that it wasn’t worth it. Often its the trades you don’t make.

  65. @73, I agree to a large extent, but let’s not tip the baby out with the bathwater. The Yunel deal I have to believe was forced on Wren to a large extent. And in re: Pence, Bourn et al, I agree there was no overarching Machiavellian strategy, but I think both driving up the price on Pence/Beltran but not overpaying for either and reaping the benefits of the Phillies and Giants being out of the bidding when a move was finally made both were non-accidents.

  66. I doubt that we will ever be able to reconstruct the full histories of these deals. Yet, I think that it is clear that this most recent trade was a strong one–and one that was consistent with Wren’s way of doing business. There are a number of precedents: the Derrick Lee deal (three promising pitchers–at this point only one looks to be on track, and its not Robinson Lopez) in which the Braves acquired a useful player without giving away an elite talent; the Yunel trade, which featured the Braves moving players they no longer wanted (like Schafer) and in 2009 the swap which brought McLouth to the Braves–again without costing them top talent and moving Morton (who no longer fit in their plans).

    To sum this up, Wren has consistently used trades to improve the team, without surrendering the core of the future team. The old adage that some of the best trades are the one’s a team rejects, certainly applies to Wren. I am sure that the Braves have had ample opportunities to make reckless trades and Wren has not taken the bait.

    I was unhappy about a number of things which Wren did as a green GM (e.g, the way Smoltz got treated, Lowe’s contract)but I have to say that he has become a very impressive trader and the Braves are much better off because of it.

  67. @65,

    I don’t love the people that post or comment at CAC, but how is what you described ’11th dimensional chess’? Wren was probably (as all other GMs do) driving up the price on other teams by getting involved in the bidding for Hunter Pence. That occurs in every market. Think of it as an auction: the more people that are bidding on an object, the higher the price of that object is going to be. That’s not complicated. If the GM isn’t doing that (especially to division rivals), then there is a problem with the Front Office. I would agree with you that he probably didn’t plan it out this way (Pence would still have been his preference, I think), but I’m nearly 100% sure that he offered a little more in the Pence deal knowing that the other option was losing him to Philadelphia. Hence, he willingly (and knowingly) drove up Pence’s price. I completely agree with you on the people assume best/worst part, so I think you’re shortchanging our GM’s cunning.

    @73,

    Frank Wren isn’t the same GM that made the Yunel Escobar trade. That would imply that he’s not changed his line of thinking at all over the last year or so, which would be a foolish opinion. Much more likely, he would probably think twice before trading a player of Escobar’s talents/contract again.

    That being said (and not to bring this up again), I’m really wondering what kind of horrible presence Escobar was on the clubhouse, and how badly Bobby wanted him gone. Wren has shown an incredible ability to make astounding trades:

    Renteria for JJ (was a steal at the time, even more so now)
    Ascanio for Ohman and Infante (wash then, steal and some more now)
    Flowers et al. for Vazquez (steal then, steal now) Vazquez for Arodys (iffy then, steal now)
    Hernandez et al. for McLouth (steal then, wash now- who could have known or predicted that McLouth would have fallen off a cliff? No one said so at the time)
    Infante for Uggla (steal then, steal now)
    Bourn trade (steal now).

    In fact, Wren has shown an astounding capability to make trades that are extremely favorable for this team. I would even argue that the Escobar trade was a complete aberration in regards to his history, and was done as a favor to Bobby Cox for his last season. It probably will not happen again.

  68. #82–Notice Scott Diamond has not had a good year. I was one who believed that the Braves should have found a roster spot for him. Maybe he would have fared better with the Braves, but losing Diamond hardly looks bad now.

    In the end (and to continue to the sense of the thread) Wren picked up Bullock for him. Again, this looks to be a good trade for us….

  69. 2012 payroll stuff (so skip in uninterested)

    If the Braves were to trade Lowe in the offseason, they’d have…

    1. Approx. 50 million committed to 6 players (Chipper, Hudson, McCann, Ross, Hinske, and Uggla).
    2. 2 players arb-eligible for the 1st time (Hanson and Medlen).
    3. 3 players arb-eligible for the 2nd time (Jurrjens, Prado, and O’Flaherty)
    4. 1 player arb-eligible for a 3rd time (Bourn).

    My barely educated guesses at arb salaries for above players:
    1.Hanson- 4 million
    2.Medlen- 1.2 million
    3.Jurrjens- 5.5 million
    4.Prado- 5.5 million
    5.O’Flaherty- 2.2 million
    6.Bourn- 6.5 million
    (25 million to arb-eligible players)

    Players still pre-arb (11): approx. 5 million total to…
    Heyward, Freeman, Kimbrel, Venters, Martinez, Beachy, Teheran, Hoover, Vizcaino, Conrad, Marek/Varvaro/Asencio.

    80 million for 23 players. If the Braves can’t trade Lowe, they might have to sell high on Jurrjens to get a cost-controlled SS. Either way, there looks to be maneuverabliity.

  70. @87 – Then if Chipper retires and forfeits his salary then they have a lot of room to make a move. Especially since we still have all these elite prospects to use in a potential trade.

  71. @88 and 89
    I don’t think he has any intentions to do so, and I’m not sure he should. By season’s end, Chipper (unless furthur held out by injury) will probably have collected 500 plate appearances. I’ll take a borderline .800 ops, 500 plate appearances, and his leadership for one more year at 13 million.

  72. 90 – Probably true. And if it is true, then he has the right to stay. He has more than earned it. But I hope he retires and if he does then we have a lot of money to work with.

  73. @73,

    Why don’t we see quotations from Churchill on the AJC blog? Because they don’t know who he is. :)

  74. @91 – Not me. Move Prado to 3rd yes. Then we need a left fielder. Given the Braves track record lately at developing/acquiring outfielders(Bourne still has to perform) we may be better off if Chipper stays.

  75. @87–aren’t you missing Moylan? Also why include Hoover and some others but not Hicks, Young, Boscan, or Constanza?

  76. I guarantee Chipper will play in the 123 games next year that will make his 9 Million dollar option vest(or average the 127 in 2011 and 2012).

  77. Lowe should be put on waivers. I dont see the Braves getting rid of him though. Wren said in his interview that they are going to have to monitor Beachy’s IP very soon.

  78. Because of the probablies…
    Constanza is a 6th year minor leaguer and will probably not be in the organization next year. Moylan will probably be too expensive, and Hicks and Young are probably not in the organizations plans. Was that sarcasm concerning Boscan?

  79. @95, I a m sure they’d love to have him back, but there is just no way you can offer Moylan arb. I hope he will sign anyway, but I suspect there is a chance for him to make a bit more elsewhere.

  80. So if Chipper returns (which seems to be likely) and we unload Derek Lowe (even if we have to pay for 5 of the 15 million or so) we will have some money for some bench guys. Maybe Infante and Andruw Jones. If Pastornicky is ready for SS then we are set. It seems like he would be an ideal 8-hole hitter since he will take a walk and he is a good baserunner. And I doubt that we would lose too much on defense.

  81. Lowe should be put on waivers.

    Wren said yesterday that everyone on the Atlanta Braves’ 25-man roster will be put on waivers.

  82. I would think we would want Lowe to clear waivers.

    If we have a 6+ game lead in the Wild Card come roster expansion time we should go with a six man rotation. I mean, why not?

  83. Completely off topic, but regarding Constanza getting thrown out at 3rd on the error..

    It doesn’t seem to me to be a case of ‘a call-up trying to do too much.’ I think that’s just genuinely his game.

    When you couple that play with the play in game 1 of the series, coming up with a trap and trying to sell the umpire on it, meanwhile Stanton takes second base… It strikes me as a player who isn’t used to the speed of the major league game.

    Players say that all the time, about getting called up to the bigs. Its the speed of the game that takes getting used to.

    I thought of that watching both of those plays. In AAA, he probably still doesn’t get the call on the trap, but trying doesn’t cost him a base. In AAA, the rightfielder probably doesn’t throw him out at third, either.

    Just my impression.

  84. @94, during the game yesterday Wren explicitly stated that every player on the active roster would be put through waivers, even if, IIRC, they have “no intention of trading them in a million years.”

  85. @100
    I don’t see a bullpen spot available next year even if 2-3 pitchers get traded in the offseason. The spots available look like a starting and backup SS and RH outfield bench bat. Infante and Andruw would be awesome!

  86. @104 – He probably deserves a chance to get used to things though. I feel the same way about a lot of players that get a few games before being dismissed back to the minors – there’s a huge amount of untapped talent that gets discarded because no one knows how (or cares enough) to extract it. But that’s the case in every profession I guess, hence minimum experience and degree requirements for job openings. Heuristics are required to sift through the massive piles of options.

    Jose Bautista is the ultimate example of long-untapped potential – the recent Posnanski SI article about him described how much trouble he had getting the timing of his swing worked out until Vernon Wells made an offhand suggestion to him one day before a game that he should just start his swing so early that it felt ridiculous. He went out and hit a double and a homerun that day (I think, or some similarly good result) and has been the best hitter in baseball since.

    The Bautista case seems like pretty random chance – Vernon Wells just happened to be in the same locker room with him before a game, and he just happened to make an offhand suggestion that worked incredibly well. But I think baseball (and probably most professions) has large, untapped reserves of talent that get dismissed as spare parts because no one knows how to consistently turn them into integral parts. I’d guess that a team will figure it out at some point and will run off and leave everyone else for a while until the knowledge spreads. (I’m not arguing that Constanza is the next Jose Bautista, just to make that clear.)

  87. Another thing that’s nifty about this trade: If no trade was made, we’d probably lose a player when Moylan comes back from the DL. By putting Schafer and Abreu in the deal, there’s a space on the 40 for Moylan. I know the bottom of the 40 (Hicks, Young, Boscan, Constanza) doesn’t seem like much, but it’s better to hang on to them than lose them like Mather.

  88. It makes sense to put everybody through waivers, regardless of whether you intend to trade/dump them or not. If you don’t send somebody through waivers, you’re completely eliminating the possibility that somebody could floor you with an offer for a player you didn’t expect to trade. It’s an extension of the “nobody’s untouchable” line of thinking, and keeps your options open.

    Also, if you just send everybody through waivers rather than picking and choosing, then nobody can be upset when they find out they were placed on waivers.

  89. 111: The other key to putting everyone through waivers is that a team can’t know if it’s blocking a trade or not… if you put, say, Jason Bay on waivers and someone takes him to stop a trade, but there is no trade, he’s their problem now.

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