Well, that’s something

Atlanta Braves trade Derek Lowe to Cleveland Indians, sources say – ESPN.

The Braves have to eat $10 million of his $15 million salary next year, but when you’re dealing with a Marianas Trench-level sunk cost like this, you take what you can get. The Braves get a minor league reliever, but that’s not really important. They also picked up the option on Eric Hinske and refused the option on Nate McLouth, but everyone knew McLouth was gone.

190 thoughts on “Well, that’s something”

  1. Paraphrasing Dumb and Dumber:

    “Frank, when I think you can’t get any dumber, you go and do something like this…….and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  2. Hudson

    I’ll take $5 million and a minor league arm for a #7 starter.

    Now down to a nine man rotation.

  3. Okay Stu, here is the bet.

    If James Franklin is ever offered the Tennessee job, and turns it down to stay at Vandy, I’ll pony up a Coca-Cola.

    If he is ever offered it and takes it, then you owe me a Coke.

  4. 10—It’s not so much that he wouldn’t leave VU (although I’ll be shocked if he does before 2014 at the earliest), but that he wouldn’t go to UT. He will have much better options.

    Also, he’s genuine, and he knows that’s part of his draw. (This is where the Pearl comparison, which does make sense to a certain extent, breaks down.) Even if UT were a top-tier job — and, again, it’s not — he wouldn’t want to ruin his reputation by switching schools, in-state.

  5. I cannot believe Frank made the move this quickly. How awesome is that? Now the Braves have a clear look at how much money they can take on in a trade or through free agency. Great news

  6. I will always remember Lowe for his ridiculous amounts of sweat and his mysterious hand problem after every walk that he issued.

    In all fairness, we should thank him more for his awful 2011 than his one good month in September 2010. So, thank you.

  7. @13

    I agree it’s not a top job like it was a few years ago.

    I think if Tennessee makes a move it will be after next year, or possibly the year after. It will be a better job than it is now.

    At that point I think there will be two tiers of canidates: Big ime established guys and Up and Comers.

    They will go after a big fish and throw a lot of money at them. If they can’t get one, then guys like Franklin (possibly, who knows) will get a lot of money thrown at them.

    I agree that he is a genuine guy and it wouldn’t be a very likely move. But it is possible (I’d say 1%, maybe less) that he would go to UT. But a lot of things would have to happen first.

    The next Tennessee football coach will make a lot of money. That will be hard to turn down.

  8. The Good News: next season’s Braves team will not include Lowe, Kawakami, McLouth, Linebrink, or Sherrill. And it may not include Alex Gonzalez either.

    The Bad News: we’re gonna need a new Whipping Boy.

  9. Franklin is going to make a lot of money at VU. And by the time he’s done here, whenever that is, he won’t be considered an “up-and-comer.”

  10. @18

    I hope he does. But Vandy has never shown a willingness to pay spend a lot of money on football. That is the biggest problem w/ Vandy’s program.

    Franklin is proving they can get the kids.

  11. This is pretty good news! Now let’s see Cleveland turn him into an All-Star caliber setup man.

    Question: How much bad money are we spending next year and into the future? Kawakami is off the books, McLouth is paid off with an option decline. Who else besides Bruce Sutter are we stuck with paying that’s not on the roster?

  12. Good move by Wren. I do wish Lowe the best though. Except for the one month, he vacillated between average and terrible, but you could tell he gave a crap, and it wasn’t his fault someone offered him 60 MM.

    Now go get a left fielder Wren.

  13. @22

    Are they going to extend him and pay him based on what he had done so far?

    I hope they do. I like to see Vandy make bowl games.

  14. Payroll and arb-estimates…

    62 million committed to 7 players-Chipper Uggla, Hinske, Ross, McCann, Hudson, Diaz

    Approx. 18.5 million to 5 arb-eligible players- Bourn, JJ, Prado, O’Flaherty, Medlen

    Approx. 4.5 million committed to some combination of 10-11 pre-arb players-Freeman, Heyward, Hanson, Beachy, Venters, Kimbrel, Vizcaino, Teheran, Minor, Hoover, Martinez, etc.

    Total Payroll: 85 million for 22-23 players

    Vacancies: SS, LF/Util.

    If payroll is the same as last year, the Braves still only have 7 million or so to use to fill the 2 spots.

  15. I have the Braves at about $81 mil with only SS to fill. That’s $20 mil less than the $101 mil they paid for payroll last year.

  16. c1 Brian McCann $8.50
    c2 David Ross $1.62
    1b Freddie Freeman $0.48
    2b Dan Uggla $13.00
    3b Chipper Jones $13.00
    lf Martin Prado $4.25
    cf Michael Bourn $6.00
    rf Jason Heyward $0.50

    of Matt Diaz $2.00
    1b Eric Hinske $1.50
    mi Tyler Pastornicky $0.40
    ci Brooks Conrad $0.44

    sp1 Tim Hudson $9.00
    sp2 Tommy Hanson $0.48
    sp3 Jair Jurrjens $4.25
    sp4 Brandon Beachy $0.45
    sp5 Randall Delgado $0.41

    rp1 Aroldys Vizcaino $0.41
    rp2 J.J. Hoover $0.41
    rp3 Kris Medlen $0.48
    rp4 Cristhian Martinez $0.45
    rp5 Eric O’Flaherty $1.00
    rp6 Jonny Venters $0.48
    cl Craig Kimbrel $0.45

    Nate McLouth $1.25
    Derek Lowe $10.00

  17. They can certainly afford to bring back Alex Gonzalez or some other stop-gap SS for a couple mil, and buy Josh Willingham as well.

  18. Sam, I think your arb-numbers are low. Eric O’Flaherty will get more than a 100k raise, and Prado, Jurrjens, and Bourn will all make 1/2 million or so more than your estimates.

    Also, according to mlbcontracts.blogspot.com, the Braves’ ending payroll was nowhere near 101 million (more like 94).

    @32 Bowman doesnt know shit from shinola. He’s basically gotten the payroll estimations wrong for the last 3 years. I don’t see how. I mean, it’s easy to research…

  19. I took my numbers from B-REF’s payroll/roster page for 2011. I trust Sean over Cots.

    I estimated Bourne on the high side, I thought. He made 4.5 last year. a 1.5 mil raise in arb seems reasonable. He’s not a superstar after all.

  20. @35

    Well he has to generate a buzz about how much we will spend to get people to follow.

    We all know we get a stop gap SS and then a LF (or Heyward platoon partner) who does one thing well (but can’t hit homers) He will then turn around and sauck and will look to silence his critics around July 10th.

  21. @Sam
    B-ref’s page calculates Jack Wilson and Michael Bourn at full salaries. You should trust Cots…

  22. B-refs disclaimer at bottom…

    * – This is not intended as an accurate payroll accounting for current. Trades are not prorated, new debuts are not added, incentives are not included.

  23. Willingham is officially listed as a Type-A free agent, which I suppose isn’t too much of a surprise. Alex Gonzalez is a Type-B free agent.

    In other news, Kelly Johnson, who the Jays acquired at the end of the season, is a Type-A free agent. Another solid move by AA.

  24. My personal Lowe timeline:

    2008 Offseason – Lowe was on my wishlist, ahead of Burnett.

    Lowe signing – Happy to have him; Was instantly worried by the 4/15 pricetag and very suspicious use of the term “ace” by members of the Braves org.

    Opening day 2008 – Beats Phillies, looks good, bad feeling that this is the apex of his braves tenure.

    2008-2011 – Bad feeling turns out to be all too true; I continue to make excuses for him unitl about May 2011; From then on, disgust.

  25. There’s a part of me that thinks this is all payback for the Len Barker trade. Now all Chris Jones has to do is be the Rick Behenna of the deal.

  26. Well this is super-pleasant news!

    Still better off with Lowe than we would’ve been with Burnett…. I’d probably have been happy with the signing in the end if Lowe hadn’t been awful this past year.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t expect any big signings. A trade is a possibility, though I’m not sure who the Braves could target at this point. They’ve still got an excessive number of SP. I imagine Medlen will just move to the bullpen, but Teheran is ready to go now. Vizcaino and Delgado will probably start in AAA, and that’s fine. But at some point, they’re going to need to bring these guys up. Another SP could be moved this off-season….

  27. Why is Teheran’s name so often brought up as the obvious choice before Delgado? One of those guys pitched far more convincingly last year than the other, and it wasn’t Teheran.

  28. Dont forget how bad the pitching market and Braves rotation was heading into the 2009 season. We had Jurrjens, Morton, Campillo, Reyes, and Chuck James.

    Our options that offseason were Burnett, Lowe, and Oliver Perez.

  29. John R, not sure, but I dont see either one starting the season in Atlanta unless Hanson or JJ are still injured.

  30. Yeah, barring injury or trade, all three of those guys will start in Gwinnett (which means I’ll probably go to more Gwinnett games than Braves games in 2012.)

    Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Beachy, Minor in the bigs.

  31. We should sign Willingham. The guy we would take in the first round will still be there in the second anyways.

  32. If we retain AGony, that leaves me roughly 5 months to come up with an elaborate way to watch/listen to the Braves games while never having to acknowledge that he makes even one plate appearance. Alex Gonzalez at bat makes life very sad.

  33. @53

    If they bring back Gonzalez, just keep reminding yourself that it could have been Yuniskey.

  34. Oh please don’t let them sign Yuniesky Betancourt. I would rather give Alex Gonzalez a multi-year deal rather than have that guy play shortstop for even a single season.

  35. I am so, so happy about this trade.

    John, don’t forget, Teheran actually had an extremely good year last year. In 144 2/3 innings at AAA last year, at age 20, he was 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA and a 2.54 K/BB. The kid’s the real deal. Delgado looked better in his spot starts, but Teheran’s legit.

  36. OMG…someone is willing to pay $5M for Lowe. I never thought we would get more than $2M. Kudos to Wren again. Ok, he is the one who signed Lowe the first place, but this is a great trade.

  37. 50: With Hanson and JJ part of the mix, I don’t think Gwinnett will be seeing all three of those guys, let alone two of them, at the same time for too long.

    56: I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, I like Teheran. And his minor league stats were stellar. But whereas Delgado really went out there and pitched hard in Atlanta, I saw a lot of timidness out of Teheran. Like he lacked the confidence that it seemed Delgado had. Just seemed Delgado was ready for his shot while Teheran was pitching like it was AAAA.

  38. I definitely started to celebrate before I even found out what we got in return. Good move, Frank. Keep it up.

  39. The Indians fans love the trade. I guess that’s what Wren calls a win-win trade. Ha. Indians fanes, you will find out…

  40. 5M doesn’t get much pitching on the FA market. I’ve seen far less defensible salary dump trades (see Wells, Vernon). Lowe has a decent chance to be a league-average starter, and that is certainly a decent price for one. The crop is particularly thin this year too – Bruce Chen is a type B FA, for example. I’d be fine with this if I were a Cleveland fan; not ecstatic mind you, but fine.

  41. For those of you interested, MLBTR has a pretty cool game going where you predict the top 50 free agents’ landing spots. Winners receive prizes. A neat way to pass a few hours if you’re a baseball fan.

  42. Red Sox already hinting that a SS surplus could help them on the trade market. They have the powerless Iglesias at AAA, Bogaerts probably starting at AA, and both Lowrie and Scutaro on the big league club. Here are the options if the Braves just to deal with Boston.

    1. Making a deal like Jurrjens for Lowrie frees up an extra 2-3 million for a LF.

    2. Making a deal for Scutaro (the more steady and sure of the 2) probably costs the Braves a million but might bring a low-level prospect in return.

  43. Re: James Franklin

    Dude’s a jackass. I get that he figures he’s got to do *something* to make people notice Vanderbilt, but having his guys become cheap-shot/woofing artists the entire game is something else entirely. His semi-defense of Vanderbilt going low on Kwame Geathers’ legs is a low point in the SEC this season.

    This nonsense usually doesn’t last. He’ll flame out. That said, I bet they take it to Florida this coming week, seeing how the Gators 1) Suck and 2) Have the mental toughness of a grape right now.

    Re: Georgia

    I raged at Mike Bobo during the game, but given that Saturday’s menu consisted of all hands on deck at WR, his #1 RB being gimpy, and a QB always close to self-immolation, I guess I can’t complain that much. The two fourth down calls were the sort of monster playcalling Georgia has often lacked in Jacksonville. Same for the pass to Chris Conley that all but sealed the game. Nice job, all things considered.

    This team has found a defense once again, it seems. Thanks to Lane Kiffin for Jarvis Jones. Owe ya, buddy.

    Now. Some sub-optimism. The two things that have kept late-era Richt teams from being worth a crap have been the defense and the derp. The defense looks to be mostly fixed, but the derp is as strong as ever. It’s just that they’re winning these sorts of games (Vandy, Florida, the 3rd and 58 against Tennessee, etc., etc.) instead of losing them (Central Florida, Colorado, sheesh) now. Take away the aura of Georgia/Florida and that game was just Georgia dicking around against an inferior opponent. Again. The Dawgs still don’t have a nose for the details, and it’s very possible that comes back to haunt against the Barn or Trek.

    That said…the ideas for Richt replacements are ridiculous. James Franklin, no. Kirby Smart? Gee, will Papa Saban still make him get the morning paper for him even when Smart’s coaching in Athens? I’ll pass, thanks.

  44. Re: James Franklin

    Dude’s a jackass. I get that he figures he’s got to do *something* to make people notice Vanderbilt, but having his guys become cheap-shot/woofing artists the entire game is something else entirely. His semi-defense of Vanderbilt going low on Kwame Geathers’ legs is a low point in the SEC this season.

    This nonsense usually doesn’t last. He’ll flame out. That said, I bet they take it to Florida this coming week, seeing how the Gators 1) Suck and 2) Have the mental toughness of a grape right now.

    LOL. Todd Grantham — now, there’s a jackass. And Franklin didn’t defend Stewart, at all. Complete fabrication. As for cheap-shot/woofing artists, that is also a complete fabrication. One dirty block by Stewart against Georgia and one by Seymour against Army. I don’t like it, but it’s hardly a pattern, either.

    The woofing was from Rambo and Williams, toward the VU sideline, all game long. You’ve been reading too many UGA message boards. Go back to the game tape. Ask Coach Richt, who admitted to Coach Franklin on tape that Williams is “a dumbass.”

    And it will last. Franklin’s really that good. Get used to it.

  45. Sam H

    Just some thoughts on your payroll numbers.

    The Braves prorate bonuses, so Chipper’s $13 Mill becomes $14 Mill ($3 Million Bonus paid equally in 2010-2). Also, I’m pretty sure the Braves assume certain performance incentives will be reached and Chipper gets $750,000 each for 135 and 140 games played. I could be wrong about that part. I’m also pretty sure ATL counts buyouts in the preceding year meaning Nate’s $ goes on last year’s books, but the buyouts on McCann’s 2013 season ($500,000) and Hudson’s 2013 ($1 Mill) would have to be included this year.

    I agree the arb #s are too low and Bourn will get $7M, while EOF will get $2M. I think they have about $8-$12 to spend and usually they will save some of that for an in season addition.

  46. MLBTR has arb-eligible estimates. Even mine were low…
    Michael Bourn, CF: $7.3MM
    Jair Jurrjens, SP: $5.1MM
    Martin Prado, LF: $4.4MM
    Eric O’Flaherty, RP: $2.6MM
    (19.4 million total)

  47. Everyone keeps talking about all the pitching the Braves have because of all these young guys. But, realistically, how many of the prospects can you expect to be really good over the long term? If one or two of these guys become no. 1 or 2 starters that will be a great success. I’m not denigrating them, but having a lot of hot prospects isn’t the same thing as having a gret pitching staff. Who knows if Minor and Beachy will get any better or if Teheran and Delgado will perform. Of if any will get hurt. Clearly, it’s better to have a lot of young arms than not, but I’m not ready to annoint any of these guys until they prove it in the majors.

  48. San Diego Chargers:

    Leading the league in offense
    Leading the league in defense
    Leading the league in dumbass

  49. 72—Why not Minor? I think you can pencil him in, now.

    Hanson (?)
    (Teheran/Delgado, if no Hanson)

  50. #67
    Details are an issue for the Dogs & they have been for awhile. And a not-so-small detail is our oh-so-terrible special teams play this year.

    That said, it was somewhat encouraging to see that the team in orange & blue had the majority of penalties (14 to 4) & turnovers (2 to 1).

    I don’t really care about all that Vandy/UGA backbiting. I just care about the final score & the fact that our punter remembered he was a football player after he got his kick blocked.

    But I’ll be the first to admit that Vanderbilt has improved. This season they’ve already won as many conference games as they did the previous two. With UK & UT still on the slate, I’d guess they win another one.

  51. Minor is going to be in the rotation.

    But I’m not really sold on any of the other young arms being ready yet, including Delgado. Despite his nice ERA, he also had some ugly peripherals that would undoubtedly catch up to him before long. Specifically, his 86% strand rate was hiding a horrific k-BB rate and a truly ugly FIP. He has made a total of four starts in AAA, and I suspect the team will want him to make quite a few more before committing a rotation spot to him.

  52. I would not be surprised if Wren moved JJ. I am actually expecting it:


  53. 77—When I saw the headline, my first thought was: “I didn’t even know UGA had three healthy RBs left on its roster.”

  54. I do appreciate the timing, CMR. Very Les Miles-like, almost Pat Dye-like.

    At least Crowell won’t take any hits this weekend—on the field, that is.

  55. It is truly uncanny how college football players seem to know when to get caught misbehaving.

  56. Good thing for UGA that the campus email was sluggish last week, and the staff didn’t find out about the test results until after the game.

  57. Easy there, Vandy, I harbor no illusions about my favored program, nor any who wish to be consistently competitive in the current landscape.

  58. I was really just poking at you guys. I guess it depends on what you mean by “competitive,” but Stanford and Northwestern seem to do things the right way. It remains to be seen how competitive VU can truly be, but you can be sure that the moment my coach starts pulling crap like that with regularity is the moment he’ll lose my support.

    But you’re right that this way is the norm; I just wish it weren’t. This will all be moot in a few years when we’re back with real student-athletes and a minor-league football system.

  59. They took the test last week. I would imagine they were urine tests and the results were probably back fairly quickly, if not instantly.

  60. The problem is Vanderbilt is a lot more of an outlier in the SEC than Stanford is in the Pac 10? or Northwestern is in the Big 10. Vandy is far and away the elite academic institution in the SEC and they are competing against schools that will pretty much do anything short of murder (maybe) to win. I think it’s amazing that Vandy wins any games and I mean that as a compliment.

    I agree with Stu; there should be a minor league system for football and basketball. Baseball is the only sport that does it right with the minor leagues–if someone wants to be a pro baseball player instead of going to college,he can and doesn’t have to pretend to be a student. The NFL would never go to a system like that because why should they spend the money when they can let the colleges develop the players. It’s why I have a hard time watching college sports, especially with the way the network announcers (and ESPN)maintain the pretense of “student-athlete.”

  61. Well, it is true that VU faces more of an uphill battle. Again, I think it comes down what you call “competitive.” I don’t think even the most optimistic fans think we’ll be competing for national championships, but something like regular bowl appearances and a shot at the East when the other teams are down (basically, the level SC is at) may be doable. Granted, prior to James Franklin, I didn’t think even that was doable at VU, but he’s got me believing.

  62. Stanford is a machine, athletically. While their football success comes and goes, they invest heavily in the non-revenue sports, and it pays off. They’ve won the Director’s Cup for most athletic success in Division I seventeen years running.

  63. Just thought of something. With LaRussa retiring, who manages the NL All Star Team next year? Does he come back for one game? Does the new Cardinals manager get it?

  64. Probably Roenicke, no?

    @92 What does “pays off” mean in that sense? I’m sincerely curious – what’s in it for Stanford to invest so heavily in non-revenue sports? Does it add to the school’s prestige in some way?

  65. I don’t really have strong opinions about the state of college football anymore. I just root for my team, and occasionally try to win a few bucks. My identity becomes less entwined with my alma mater with each passing year.

  66. Stanford is simply investing in a “niche market” strategy wherein “niche” means “sports other than men’s football.” Considering the existence of women athletes that seems to be a good idea.

  67. I’d say that Northwestern is just as big an outlier. It is the only private school and the one with the most stringent academic requirements. We arent having a good season this year but in the past 4 seasons we have been bowl eligible. Lets face it though the Big 10 aint the SEC.

    yeah for Frank Wren! BRILLIANT!

  68. It pays off in attracting the kind of students Stanford wants, which is not the same as the students applying at most schools. And Northern California is a different culture, to say the least, than the Southeast.

    re: Northwestern-academically, the Big 10 is much better than the SEC. Michigan and Wisconsin, while state schools, have national academic reputations–none of the other SEC schools have that, at least not in undergraduate programs. Granted, I doubt that Michigan is as hamstrung in getting football players in as Northwestern.

  69. All NCAA teams have the same minimum requirements for admission. How different schools manage that process within the NCAA limitations is up to them.

    In other words, if Duke wants to sign seven-foot wunderkind Bubba Joe Dumbass, they can.

  70. The things you didn’t know that you didn’t know:

    Apparently, Tony LaRussa is a vegetarian and animal lover who started a foundation called Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF, get it?).


  71. From Peanut…
    “The Braves outrighted catcher J.C. Boscan, reliever Stephen Marek, outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, and outfielder Antoan Richardson to Triple-A Gwinnett, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Meanwhile, starter Todd Redmond’s contract was selected.”

    Redmond had to be moved to the 40-man to be protected, right? This year was his 7th year in the minors and 3rd straight in Gwinnett. There’s some miles on his arm for a 26 year old, but he seems to have the ability to start for someone.

  72. I did not know this and I might vomit…

    “Marek had Tommy John surgery in May; he was obtained from the Angels with Casey Kotchman for Mark Teixeira at the ’08 trade deadline. I thought at the time that the Braves’ return topped the value of a couple of draft picks. That hasn’t been true if you look at who the Angels took with their two Teixeira picks: top prospect Mike Trout and lefty Tyler Skaggs.”

  73. I think its in our best interest that we move on past that trade and everything that happened with it.

  74. #105 – I agree. Let it go. Let it go.

    Having read DOB and Peanut, I am concerned that Wren won’t look to get a real corner outfielder that can hit. I’d at least give Willingham’s agent a call. I don’t think the team can afford to trust that Prado and Heyward will contribute next season. If we they do then we have a nice problem of trying to get at bats for 4 guys.

  75. I hadn’t realized that the two picks ended up being Trout and Skaggs. Just… wow. It was bound to happen, I guess, that a big trade would hurt the Braves eventually. It just sucks that the Braves got bitten on both ends of that deal.

    Moving past it…

  76. @109

    Well it is a whole that has been there since Klesko (if you don’t count the time Chipper was out there)

    I would imagine they will give Prado another shot at it until July.

  77. Im worried the Braves are going to rely on the current roster also. They are anticipating Heyward, Prado, and Uggla to all have better seasons. What happens if Freeman has the same second year as Heyward?

  78. @113 Plus no Derek Lowe and a full season of Bourn. Personally, I’m feeling pretty good about the current roster.

  79. Would Willingham hit in the two hole?*

    *Or should he, but we all know Freid would hit him 7th or 8th.

  80. @115
    I like Willingham, but with Diaz, Prado and Hinske on the roster, adding Willingham would give us 4 left fielders that can’t back up CF. That’s a problem (unless management thinks Heyward can slide over when Bourn needs a rest).

    Edit: Another reason why trading for Matt Diaz (which I liked at the time) was a bad idea.

    Most Braves’ fans seem to dislike Cody Ross, but he seems like a great FA option for our club:
    1. Career .912 OPS against LHP
    2. Can play all OF positions well
    3. Coming off of a down year so he won’t be too expensive

    Other guys that can back up CF, put up good offensive numbers, would probably come with a low price tag, and only demand a year:
    1. Grady Sizemore
    2. Scott Hairston
    3. David Dejesus
    4. Angel Pagan (if non-tendered)

  81. Anybody got this DVD set of the Braves/Twins ’91 World Series?

    Amazon Link

    It came out in August of this year. I’m tempted to get it, although the design of the packaging is seems unnecessarily non-inclusive to Braves fans. The face of the package is taken up by “THE MINNESOTA TWINS 1991” in giant type. The Braves get mention only twice on the package design: the letters “ATL” in a WS line score and “Braves” in some small-type copy. In passing, you’d have no idea the Twins even played anyone. Maybe it’s a DVD of their victory parade and day they collected their rings?

    I’m not even really grousing about this as a Braves fan, but as someone who toils in graphic design and marketing, what’s up with that? You want to sell this thing to as many people as possible, so don’t you want to at least signal to a prospective customer who the Twins adversary was in the Series? Does this set really begin and end with the Twins? And as a Braves fan, my first reaction was not about how much I might want to part with $30.99 to buy this thing, but how much I now hate Kent Hrbek and never want to see his ugly moose face ever again.

  82. My main worry is Prado, as all of his flaws were exposed last year and he’s so far in his own head I’m not sure he can bounce back. Prado is bad at a lot of things, it doesn’t take much to make him a drag on the offense.

  83. I dunno. A winter off could do a lot for Prado. I think if he’s moved back to utility, and isn’t expected to carry the offense, and if the rest of the lineup is hitting, Prado will be back to his normal .307-hitting self.

  84. 118—No.

    And, as Peter’s been saying for a while, Jerry Hairston (can back up SS and CF) would also make a ton of sense for this team.

  85. Hairston, Hairston, Pagan, and Pastornicky replacing AGon, Wilson, Constanza, and Diaz would look fine to me.

  86. You must read @scharpling’s tweets about seeing Lou Reed at Starbucks, like, immediately. It is awesome.

  87. Question: Christian Bethancourt is finally hitting in the AFL like every scout thought he should. He’s only 19 years old but his offensive numbers have been putrid for 3 years. Is there much chance for someone like him who has struggled mightily in 3 years of professional baseball to be an average to above average Major League hitter?

  88. @127 Yes. He also hit adequately in Rome last season (102 wRC+). That said, he’s 2-3 years away yet, so there remains not only time for him to develop but also plenty of time for him to flop.

  89. I couldn’t get through either of the two Lulu songs I tried to listen to, with Reed’s lyrics/vocals being the reason in both cases. “Junior Dad” has been defended in a couple of places, but I haven’t heard it yet. As for Metal Machine Music, it was meant to mean something in its particular place and time, I suppose. I don’t know why anyone would bother with it now, or compare anything new to it.

  90. I guess I never had any sense of the original context of Metal Machine Music; I just grew up with all of the hushed whispers calling it arguably the most unlistenable album ever. (I think I’ve heard maybe about 10 seconds of it, possibly on an Amazon or iTunes preview.) What was it meant to mean?

  91. Hell if I know. I’m not really sure it was meant to be listened to at all, with some obtuse point being made therein.

  92. It’s true — the public service of warning people away from Metal Machine Music is trumped by the crime of making them aware of it in the first place. :)

  93. #132
    Haven’t really listened to it. I was sent an electronic press kit—including a long, somewhat uncomfy interview with the 5 guys—plus a bunch of snippets and the one complete song, which was, um, pretty hard to get your head around. Basically, it was Lou sputtering over one sludgy riff and a little Hetfield growling along the way. (The youtube comedy mashups have just begun, BTW.)

    I’ll admit that I was a little curious because I generally like both acts, but the response has been more interesting than the music. I may hit up the publicist for a link, but I’d imagine he’s having a rough week, too.

  94. @136, In college, I sat through a film of ungodly length, shot by Andy Warhol, of the Velvet Underground playing one distorted chord over and over again. So it wasn’t even like Lou was breaking new ground with Metal Music Machine.

    I’m sure people could have an interesting conversation about the concept behind it — and if you don’t have to listen to it in order to have that conversation, all the better for you.

  95. 2014 The following people will be up for HOF voting

    Bobby Cox
    Tom Glavine
    Greg Maddux
    Frank Thomas

    I think I will attend that one.

  96. In the last 100 years, here is the list of players who played 100+ games at 3B at age 40+:

    Graig Nettles (1985, 86)
    Cal Ripken (2001)

    That’s it.

    Also, did you know that Adrian Beltre is less than three 162-game seasons from passing Nettles for second on the all-time list of games as a 3B?

  97. @143, If you squint really hard you could make an unconvincing case against Glavine based on ERA/ERA+, and K/9. The other three are inner-est of circles. That at least one idiot will vote against all 4 really is grounds for taking your vote away.

  98. Though Glavine will get in, I would not be utterly shocked if he doesn’t get in that first year. It will be ridiculous if that happens, but the combination of the certainty of the other three and the aforementioned unconvincing case that could be made could conspire against him. I’m sure there are a bunch of voters who will think that four people is too big of a class or something stupid.

  99. I agree. Of those three, only Bobby and Maddux are first ballot locks. Frank will get accused of roids and Glavine will get punished for not being Maddux.

  100. I tend to think that even if Glavine was borderline, his candidacy would be bolstered by the presence of Cox and Maddux on the ballot. The idea of the 2014 induction ceremony being a celebration of the Braves’ historic run would appeal to a bunch of writers, I would think. Thomas will get in, too. Kent and Mussina eventually, but probably not right away. And Luis Gonzalez will be the designated steroid sacrifice that year.

  101. You’d really have to think Frank was capable of the height of chutzpah in order to believe he did steroids while being one of the first to advocate testing. But given Clemens, McGwire, and Palmeiro, I suppose it ain’t that big a stretch anymore.

  102. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/rapid-reports/post/15948267

    Who is Bear Bryant?
    LSU DE Sam Montgomery meant no disrespect, but when asked what he thought about the late Alabama coach, he said, “I don’t know anything about Bear Bryant. I really haven’t looked at film that much.” When told Bryant led the Tide to several national championships, he said, “Oh, their coach. I have no idea. I thought Bear Bryant was a player.”

  103. Frank Thomas was the only player to willingly cooperate with the Mitchell Report investigation. If anything, the steroid controversy makes him look better.

    His knock is defense. He might not make first ballot because over half his career was as a DH.

    I can’t imagine anyone not voting for Maddux.

  104. @150

    I agree. I think Frank should be in first time. I also think Kent shold get in too (but maybe second year)

    Maddux, Glavine, Cox, Torre, LaRussa and Thomas should all go in the HOF first ballot

  105. ‘I can’t imagine anyone not voting for Maddux.’

    Someone didn’t vote for Hank Aaron for crying out loud. Or Willie Mays. The pompous BBWA, I swear.

  106. @156, I think in this case, even Mary Worth would recommend suicide to these two. That is one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen.

  107. It was all about celebrating Knobby’s scrappy play and so-called “deke” which to this day I don’t believe influenced Lonnie’s play.

  108. Working on my SEC picks, and I can’t believe that Vandy is getting 13 1/2 against Florida. Florida is a team that is going to struggle to score 21.

  109. People probably saw, but Peanut tweeted that Jurrjens and Prado are on the block. The Royals were mentioned, specifically Myers and Cain.

    While this isn’t surprising in and of itself, it is noteworthy to see Bowman lay the groundwork so openly right now.

  110. Time for the world to fear the Braves again! We signed

    JORDAN PARRAZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They take our Jordan. We take there’s. Suck it, Astros! Our New Jordan, which is your Old Jordan is better than your New Jordan, which is our Old Jordan.

  111. @168, They take our Jordan in exchange for a starting CF. We take their Jordan for nothing. That’s the Atlanta way.

  112. #162
    I’ve seen the play more times than I ever needed, but… remember that Lonnie was running on the pitch & never found the ball—his fault, for sure.

    A little more than halfway to 2nd, he did look right at Knoblauch & then the SS while they did their phantom-DP routine. Lonnie slowed up before he got to the bag, seemed completely confused when he touched it, then stopped after he rounded the bag & began looking to the outfield.

    What he was thinking as he neared 2nd base & then crossed it is anybody’s guess. He certainly didn’t appear to be thinking, “Where’s the ball?” or “Maybe I should look at my 3rd-base coach?”

    We shoulda scored anyway after that, but, whether Lonnie fell for the deke or just brainlocked & lost the ball, it’s on him & it’s a pretty big gaffe.

  113. I’d keep Prado. Chipper’s not playing more than 120 games and you need a decent backup. I would pull a Lorenzo Cain + relief prospect for Jurrjens though. It’d save another 5 MM or so and give us a legit backup at all OF options and possibly a starter in LF this year and CF going forward.

  114. It seems to me that if

    1) The Marlins visitors clubhouse wasn’t a fetid dump,
    2) We hadn’t hired an inexperienced, ineffectual hitting coach, and
    3) Martin Prado wasn’t the kind of player who will do anything asked of him, including things detrimental to his own value like switch positions or alter his hitting approach,

    we would not be looking to trade him.

    Here’s an idea — instead of trying to sell low, why don’t we give him the winter to get fully healthy and then tell him to go back to his 2008-2010 swing? Voila, productive left fielder.

  115. We could be looking at a scenario where the Royals are starting Melky and Frenchy, and we’re starting Lorenzo Cain and/or Wil Myers. That’s amazing.

  116. I think Wren knows he’d be selling low, but I imagine he might have his eye on something bigger. We could save money towards getting something more pricey this offseason or in-season, and let’s face it, Prado at his best is not untouchable in LF.

    In other words, if he trades Prado early on, I won’t judge ’til the offseason is over.

  117. Surprised about Prado. His versatility makes him more valuable to us than another team as a LF. But if he returns to his 2010 offense as a 2B…… Its a decent package. Probably not good enough to get an impact bat.

  118. 174: I agree with everything you said except the part about playing LF. I don’t want Prado to be our every day LF next year, but I don’t want him gone. He is a real asset to the team as a utility guy/insurance for Chipper.

  119. For anyone persuadable by advanced metrics:

    Using FanGraphs’s values, and averaging Prado’s 2009 & 2010 batting and baserunning stats, you have a player who is 14.6 batting runs above the average NL player, and 2.7 baserunning runs above the same average. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, he can go back to that in 2012. Go ahead and give him the same fielding value as a LF that he had in 2011 (6.1 runs above average). After positional adjustments, Prado’s value would be 39.1 RAR, which translates to 4.1 WAR.

    2011 LFs by WAR (min 502 PAs):

    1. Ryan Braun, 7.8
    2. Alex Gordon, 6.9
    3. Brett Gardner, 5.1
    4. Matt Holliday, 5.0
    5. Josh Hamilton, 4.2
    6. Carlos Gonzalez, 4.1
    7. Michael Morse, 3.4

  120. Mac, I like these guys from the Veterans ballot for the HOF
    1,Santo 2, Boyer 3, Hodges Oliva was a great hitter, but knee injury robbed him of many productive years, to me Kaat and Tiant fall short of HOF pitchers. I’ve always thought Ken Boyer didn’t get enough recognition, he was a helluva player. I expect Santo and maybe Hodges to get the nod.

  121. Don’t trade Prado. He’s too useful as our utility guy. He provides us the versatility teams like the Rays use to surprise. Swing a big trade for a big time LF. We have the assets.

  122. It depends on what you get back. Prado’s useful, but he had holes poked into his game last year too. He’s not really qualified to be a full time LF (the error at 181 is assuming he can return to 2009-2010 without fail.)

    Either way, the question isn’t “should the Braves trade him or keep him?” The question is “what are the Braves offered in return?” Without knowing the return it’s impossible to say whether or not a trade should be made.

  123. I wouldn’t call it error — it’s more the lack of certitude that almost any player would carry. Of course there’s a chance he won’t return to form. But if so, it won’t be because he’s been figured out, so to speak. It doesn’t take 2 1/2 years for a “book” to develop on a full-time player, and that’s the amount of time Prado spent being a very good hitter at a relatively young age. If there’s a hole, he poked it. That strikes me as fixable.

    But whatever. I made my attempt to show he can be a perfectly good left fielder, regardless of whether he seems like one or not.

  124. If Prado were to return to his 2009-10 peak he could be a perfectly good left fielder. The open question is “is it reasonable to expect Prado to return to his 2009-2010 peak?” In his favor, you have the whole MRSA thing and the unknown impact his infection had on his conditioning and abilities last year. On the other hand you have a guy who popped 2 years worth of at bats (spread over three years) of 800+ OPS out of nowhere – and then collapsed back into the 600ish OPS that he projected to hit coming out of the minors.

    Betting on Prado to return to “functionally equivalent to a decent LF” isn’t insane, but it’s hardly a safe bet either.

    If the return is good, make the deal. If the return is Lorenzo Cain, walk away.

  125. Yeah, I don’t get the Lorenzo Cain idea at all. Many 25-year-olds have mashed PCL pitching through the years — hell, the Dodgers used to make a living making people believe their hitting prospects were otherworldly. Then they started believing it themselves, and ended up with Greg Brock and Mike Marshall.

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