Getting Rid of Derek Lowe Was Even Better Than We Thought

As per Pravda:

The Braves’ revenue increased by $17 million last year, an 8-percent jump, according to a new financial filing by team owner Liberty Media.

The Braves agreed to pay $10 million toward Lowe’s guaranteed 2012 salary as part of that trade. Liberty reported the amount as a fourth-quarter 2011 expense, dropping the Braves to the $6 million loss from what otherwise would have been a $4 million profit for that year. For accounting purposes, that took the $10 million Lowe expense off the Braves’ 2012 ledger.

But even after taking that shift into consideration, the Braves’ adjusted operating income improved by another $18 million for 2012 as the revenue increase flowed to the bottom line.

In its financial report, Liberty attributed the revenue increase to “slightly greater fan attendance and with a slightly higher average price per ticket.” Citing the Lowe trade, the company said income also “was positively impacted by slightly lower player salaries.”

Plus, the Braves are making more money from moving 45 ballgames from Peachtree TV to Fox, though they’re absotively posilutely not saying how much. “Suffice it to say that this is a better deal for us,” says Braves VP Derek Schiller, who would know. Anyway, this is a team that’s making money. And in the form of BJ Upton, they’re putting at least some of it on the field. I hope they let Frank spend a bit at midyear.

191 thoughts on “Getting Rid of Derek Lowe Was Even Better Than We Thought”

  1. From last thread:

    RE: the backup 2B – it will be “some guy that can’t hit”

    RE: the Angels CF spot – Bourjos

    RE: Snikter sending Chris Johnson – in spring, you want to get an idea about how fast a guy makes that trip from 2B to home, in case it comes up when the games count

    RE: Gattis’ stance – he’s crouching lower and lower every year so far. He’s not far away from the full on Jeff Bagwell toilet squat

    RE: Joey Terds – I’ll believe it when he hits in real games, not a moment sooner

    From this thread:

    Mo’ money is good.

  2. The two games I have seenwith Alex Wood pitching an inning each looked pretty promising for the future. 95 mph lefty-fastball and a wicked slider. Looked a little wild at times but seems to have pretty pretty good stuff.

  3. If you can get someone to take Joe Johnson’s contract, you can get someone to take Dan Uggla’s contract.

    He literally contributes less than Pastornicky would and probably less than Terdoslavich or Ramos.

    Extending Jason, etc., sure gets a lot easier without Uggla’s “cap hit”.

  4. @3
    Dan Uggla is a 3 WAR player. There’s just no way you can honestly believe that those 3 players can be that productive, right? He might be frustrating as hell, but c’mon man, step off the ledge and look at the 3 players you’re talking about.

  5. Uggla is probably going to be worth his contract, and best case is he is able to reclaim some of his Marlin’s era magic and he becomes a huge plus for the team.

  6. None of those three options are anywhere close to being better than Uggla. He’s been frustrating to watch, but I think he bounces back offensively this year–maybe not 30HR but more contact while still drawing walks.

  7. Yep, Uggla’s biggest problem is the perception that if you are getting paid top of the market money, the fans expect you to outperform that contract. Not just merely be worth it.

    We want our 12 mill/yr players to play like 15 mill/yr or more.

    I predict that in 3 years we’ll be hearing the same sort of complaints about BJ Upton.

    (And for the record, I refuse to use the Bupton/Jupton names as something about them squicks me out.)

  8. If Uggla does 2012 three more times, we’re fine. The real worry is that his BB rate craters and his HR rate continues to decline. These are both possible, and if they happen, you might be in a position where Pastornicky could provide similar value. But that’s like a worst-case kinda thing.

  9. The #1 reason we win the division this year is called Andrelton Simmons. Didn’t see the game last night but twitter was abuzz about Simmons’ defense. Apparently he made some cannon throws and a ridiculous diving catch in left field foul territory that prompted Sheehan to tweet:

    “There should be an Andrelton Simmons channel.”

    I can’t wait for this season to start.

  10. 12- I looked for highlights on but the only Simmons highlight is his RBI. It wouldn’t surprise me if a Simmons compilation shows up on Youtube at some point.

  11. It’s very likely that Uggla will not be worth his contract. The hope was that he would have outperformed it in the first two years, but that didn’t really happen. Obviously, I’m hopeful for a 2013 rebound, but the k-rate this spring, meaningless or not, is concerning…

  12. He literally contributes less than Pastornicky would and probably less than Terdoslavich or Ramos.

    So which of those three will match Uggla’s .348 OBP, 19 homeruns and 94 walks?

    Pastornicky only wishes he could have a major league season as “bad” as Uggla’s 2012.

  13. Yeah, not sure justhank knows what “literally” means. Because something can’t be “literally” true if it’s patently false.

  14. @16

    Yes. If Uggla would have cut down his swing a little bit, he would have had a lot more hits.

  15. Can someone answer a question for me, regarding “Market Value” for wins?

    When they estimate 1 WAR is worth $5m or whatever they estimate, is that based on ALL players and their salaries, or just players who have reached the “market?” In short, is that number brought down by all the team-controlled players like Heyward producing tons of value?

  16. The problem with Dan Uggla is not what he hit in 2012, or in 2011, or in 2010. The problem is the trendline. He’s striking out a lot more and hitting into a lot more popups. His contact rate is declining, and when he makes contact it’s often bad contact. That suggests that he’s selling out for power to compensate for diminished skills, which is what Dave Cameron suggested six months ago. The fear would be that his bat speed is simply decreasing with age.

    If he does exactly what he did for us last year — offsetting declining offense with much-improved defense — then he’ll be a good ballplayer for us. If the glove goes back to normal or the bat doesn’t bounce back, it’ll be a different story.

  17. If you’re Wren, do you try to trade Evan Gattis for Mike (STEVE HOLT!) Olt? Do you throw in a Gilmarti, Wood, Sims, Graham….?

  18. @21 – That’s the impression that I was under, too.

    And if that’s the case, it seems like flawed methodology, at least for how it’s commonly used.

    First, because free agent’s are never the only option to fill a position. Second, because all free agents are eventually over-paid, and teams know that when they sign them. Teams know they need a player to out play his contract early in order to make up for the decline at the end.

    I’ve read things like “Albert Pujols is underpaid, because based on WAR he was worth $37m in a 2008.” This seems flawed to me, because you’re comparing him to, say, Derrek Lee at the end of his career, when he was deep in decline, (and the Cubs KNEW he’d be deep in decline when they paid him that contract; they already extracted their value from that deal) but you’re NOT comparing him to, I don’t know, 2008 Adam Laroche, who wasn’t yet FA eligible.

    Adam Laroche is a tangible alternative, every bit as much as Derrek Lee is.

    It just seems wrong to say “Dan Uggla will be worth his contract.” If he’s worth it because he’s compared to Marlon Byrd but not Andrelton Simmons, is he really worth it? Sure, you paid him $52m for a period where his WAR would have cost $54m on the free agent market. But you didn’t HAVE to get a free agent. You could have traded for a arb-level player, or played Pastornicky, or, hell, you could have traded for Jurickson Profar.

    So maybe there’s nothing wrong with the valuations. But I think we probably use them wrong.

  19. @23

    I share your reservations about that system, or at least the retroactive application of it.

  20. 5 WAR is the difference between winning division or having to win play in game? It is also the difference between a Wild Card and out of playoffs.
    Between a contender and being out of the race in August.

  21. If you’re Wren, I think you try to trade anyone you can think of for Mike Olt, but considering that Texas was unwilling to trade Olt for Justin Upton, you may have a tough time. Olt perfectly fits into the single biggest hole in our lineup.

  22. @22, Depends if the Braves believe Gattis can start at C in 2014.

    If they don’t see Gattis as a starter…I would try not to trade Sims and would want to make sure that whatever pitcher they get won’t become Matt Harrison 2.0, but otherwise, yes.

  23. Matt Frickin Harrison…. I’d have bet money at the time that he’d be the player the Braves would miss the least in that deal.

  24. 23, Doing some quick math (total MLB payroll)/(29 WAR for the average team x 30 teams), we get that including pre-Arb, Arb, and FA players, the average price per win is something like $3.34 million.

  25. 31, True, but if you have Simmons, Profar, and Andrus, there are quite a few teams that suddenly want to make a deal with you. Or you could start the first 3 person infield.

  26. I’m not sure the 29 WAR-per-team assumption necessarily holds. If you go to the Fangraphs team stats page, add up all the team WAR, and divide by 30, it’s actually 22.3 WAR per team, 669.8 WAR total. So, if you sum the total 2012 MLB payroll ($2.94 billion per USA Today) and divide by total team WAR (669.8 per Fangraphs), you get $4.39 million per Win Above Replacement.

    Still lower than $5 million, because not all of those wins were purchased on the free market. But not by much. The free agent market is by far the most inefficient way to buy a win, but sometimes you have no other choice. The Braves needed a center fielder, so they bought B.J. Upton. $75 million could have bought them a boatload of Latin American prospects (or it could have in the old CBA), but they needed him now, so they paid the market rate.

  27. @34

    Isn’t Joe Bisceglie they guy that said Melky was going to be popped and the Giants were trying to throw him under the bus for a few weeks, then it was true?

  28. Yes to 35.

    Also, if there were any justice in the world, Ryan Braun should be suspended 100 games, as this is his second failed test. Seriously, how do you have what happened to him last year happen and then get popped again the next season if this story is true?

  29. There are two distinct Dan Uggla conversations going on above. The first, “is Dan Uggla worth his contract” is arguable. The second, “could Tyler Pastornicky provide ‘literally’ the same production as Uggla” is false on it’s face.

  30. What I think remains to be seen is whether Pastornicky can be a backup with a decadelong career, like Tony Graffanino or Nick Green, or whether he’s a backup with a two-year career. If he plays like he did last year, he’s a 40th man. If he gets better, though, maybe he could be a 25th man.

  31. Most of what is being said here about what the Rangers would want for Olt overestimates both what Olt is worth and what the Rangers would take in return. The Rangers would have given him up for Upton. In a New York second. And I suspect they would give him up in a straight up trade for Teheran. But that’s not a trade Wren would make, because Olt is not Jurickson Profar. Not even close. He might not even be a much better hitter at the major league level than Juan Francisco.

  32. It’s not unreasonable to think that Pastornicky could put up a couple of years of .700 – .750 OPS playing part-time; the question is whether he can progress defensively from “atrocious” to “acceptable” – if so, he could definitely stick around as a utility guy for a while.

  33. In other words, Pastornicky needs to get better at everything to merit the last spot on a major league bench.

  34. Eh, I’m still pretty bullish on Rev. Not as a starter or anything, but as a major-leaguer.

    Last season, it seemed to me, he felt the pressure and things snowballed (dramatically) — but he was considered a passable SS in the minors, and he’s always hit a little, and I liked his approach at the plate. And he’s still pretty young.

    If our starters at third and second weren’t *so* bad defensively, I’d strongly prefer him to Pena or Janish for that reserve IF gig.

  35. Ryan Braun. It this pans out, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. If his lawyer gets run over by an ambulance I might have to reconsider my position on whether there is any justice in the universe.

  36. @35

    I don’t know what to believe with these guys right now. For me Ryan Braun falls into the “I’m suspicious but ultimately not sure” category. Perhaps we’ll know more after this Miami situation is cleared up.

  37. @40: The problem comes when a two-year backup has a ten year career: Andres Thomas, anyone? (OK, six years, but six years of suck including several as the starter.) -6.8 Career WAR. Ah, the bad old days. I pull out a memory or two like this out every so often to remind everyone that our complaints now are pretty petty.

  38. 44– I’ve seen a wide range of opinions on how good his defense at third really is. The middle ground is very high ceiling but still a work in progress (and he’s not a young prospect).

  39. 49–There is nothing gray about Ryan Braun’s case. His sample failed the test and the retest but he got off on an absurd technicality. He was guilty beyond any reasonable doubt well before he showed up in the Biogenesis accounts.

  40. @50 – talent evaluation then: The Braves didn’t want to trade Andres Thomas for Roberto Kelly. You are correct sir.

  41. 33, I was using the 81-81 average MLB team and the 52-109 baseline that is sometimes quoted as being the record for a team of average players. That would give 29 WAR per the average team. That 669.8 WAR is actually just offensive WAR that you’ve got; If you add the total 460.6 WAR from pitching, you get $2.123 Million/WAR.

    So, either 52-109 wouldn’t be the record for a team of just replacement players (this means Fangraphs is giving the average 81-81 team 37.68 WAR), or something else is wrong.

  42. I think Pastornicky could be a solid player, but not as a SS. He could become a great utility guy. He reminds me of a Mike Morticai type player

  43. It wouldn’t break my heart if the best hitter on a team we’re competing with gets sat down. I guess those masking agents don’t always work…

    But the Reds would trade Paul O’Neill for him. Talk about a heist.

  44. I don’t think any of us ever imagined Paul O’Neill could be as good as he was in the Bronx. From age 22 through age 29, as a Red, O’Neill hit .259/.336/.431, 111 OPS+.

    From age 30 through age 38, as a Yankee, O’Neill hit .303/.377/.492, 125 OPS+.

    Obviously, it was both the steroid era and the expansion era, but O’Neill was way, way better in his 30s than he was in his 20s, even relative to his peers.

  45. O’Neill is kinda like Youkilis: He annoys when you’re competing against him, but when he’s on your team it’s a different story.

  46. It’s amazing what moving a LH hitter into Yankee Stadium will do for his numbers. Remember that one time Johnny Damon jacked 30 HRs?

  47. #63
    That’s not an accident.

    The recipe, from Ruth to Pettitte, has always been: LH power + LH pitching = Yankee success.

  48. @62, I have been told that before – but just as you could feel the joy in watching some athletes playing, O’Neill managed to snatch it from the game in a smug pinstriped Dementer’s kiss of ump baiting, whining and general shittiness of attitude. I think I would have hated him as a Brave too.

  49. #67
    From living thru that whole ’90s Yankees era, I can tell you that his GMs, managers & teammates all say that getting O’Neill completely changed the culture of that club.

    I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve heard or stories I’ve read with those guys and they all say the same thing: O’Neill’s red-ass attitude of never giving up an at-bat had a huge impact on the rest of the club.

    We all take our baseball joys in different ways, I suppose.

  50. I wholeheartedly concede to your entire post. What I desire from a baseball game isn’t entirely defined by it’s outcome, that’s all. I’d rather lose with Mays than win with his polar opposite – and in all fairness, that almost assuredly would not have been May’s preference.

  51. Some guy who has never swung a bat in anger says that strikeouts don’t matter and everyone just nods and strokes their chin.

    Yes, I believe Pastornicky would “literally” contribute more than Uggla to the overall offensive prowess of the team – especially when you take into account the opportunity cost of what could be done with Uggla’s dollars.

    I didn’t say he’d have more homeruns (though he does now) or more walks, but he won’t spend the season trying to hit the ball 500 feet down the left field line when hitting behind the runner is what’s called for.

  52. Pastornicky was by all accounts an awful SS, but scouts seeme to think he was soli in the minors. It seems like he’d be a reasonably good third base man or second base man. I always liked his ABs and approach. With all the HR/K guys in this lineup a guy like TP seems useful to me.

  53. Some guy who has never swung a bat in anger says that strikeouts don’t matter and everyone just nods and strokes their chin.

    Sorry, but what work is that introductory clause doing? Is the idea that swinging a bat in anger makes people better baseball analysts? Cause people have actually studied this issue a lot, and they’ve found that strikeouts average out the same as any other type of out in terms of run and win expectancy. Maybe you intuit differently, but I don’t see why anyone who wants to know how the game actually works should care.

  54. #70
    Oh, I hear you. I certainly like my team to win, but I also used to root for Rafael Ramirez—so I can see both sides, perhaps.

    Of course, as it relates to many Yankee fans—especially those growing up in the later Steinbrenner Era—their very notion of joy is rather different from ours.

    BTW, Mark “S.A.D.” Teixeira hurt his wrist & will sit out WBC.

  55. I think the radar gun might be ever so slightly off, as Maholm just threw a cutter at 95 mph.

  56. I couldn’t stand O’Neill. That pimply-faced whine might have been motivating to some, but I found it childish and annoying. In the midst of a steriods and Bonds discussion with a friend some years ago, he asked whether there was any player who just as obviously used steriods. We both agreed that O’Neill was the poster boy answer to that question.

  57. Terrible article on Sports Illustrated about the DH coming to the NL. I’m ambivalent on the matter, to be honest, but he injects some nonsense about pitchers batting being boring, which I think is just asinine. If you’re watching baseball to watch players hit homeruns, why are you even covering baseball?

  58. What do you guys make of this steroids suspension bombshell? The guy was on the money about Melky so it’s getting a bit of attention.

  59. #79
    At this point, nothing would surprise me.

    I wish he’d offered a little more info on the “anonymous source,” though, as in, “someone very familiar with process.”

  60. My favorite part will be when the same people who are writing the pro DH articles now because “pitchers hitting is boring” start writing articles in June about how something has to be done about the length of games. Also, why would any league actively make their game worse? If we can’t go back and take the DH away from the AL, fine. That means we’re stuck having two leagues with different rules. If the AL teams don’t like that, they can get rid of the DH.

    However, as to the issue that prompted the column, it’s absurd that Kirk Gibson wouldn’t let them use the DH in a spring training game. Besides, Gibson may need that extra hitter when three of his other guys get injured diving into a cement wall during a spring training game at his request.

  61. Speaking of steroids, that .318 average for Schafer is starting to dismay me. This guy shouldn’t be in Atlanta as long as Gattis has at least two limbs attached.

  62. K’s and their impact on offense have been studied, Hank. It’s not a new or interesting bit of theory we’re proposing here. You are aesthetically opposed to Dan Uggla’s style of play. Fine. Just say that. But don’t pretend that Tyler Pastornicky is going to slap hit his way into replacing that production any time soon. That’s just stupid.

  63. #78: I don’t consider pitchers hitting to be inherently boring. I consider it to be inherently baseball.

  64. I had the audacity to say something negative about the AL on twitter last year and was promptly buried under a mound of “The DH is more exciting and you’re an idiot and need to die!” responses.

    If we want to make baseball more exciting, let’s just put out a defensive team and an offensive team. That’s “more exiting”

  65. Infield single, throwing error by the catcher, balk. Pastornicky shows us the return of ABE baseball.

  66. To give Pastornicky his due, he’s doing everything right on the offensive side this spring. That hustle infield hit, stolen base, run scored is exactly what you want your utility guy/pinch hitter to do be able to do.

  67. The legend of Oso Blanco. I’ve never seen a guy so casually take a fastball in the chest.

  68. This is the second straight game Graham is hitting 100. What the hell. This guy is a stud.

  69. So, Uggla got hit in the head and Gattis got hit in the chest? Maybe the Yankees are trying to inflict maximum damage to other ballclubs after whats-his-name broke his hand.

  70. The DH pimps are out in full-force with the new year-round interleague play thing. Never mind the number of games the Braves are playing in AL parks is only going up a whole three or four games from last year. To read their articles, you’d think it was a significant jump for individual NL teams in games involving the DH from last season.

  71. If I know one thing, it’s that the opinion that more offense automatically makes everything better is ridiculous. And yeah, I don’t think people are actually aware that it’s more or less the same amount of interleague play, just spread over the year. It’s alright, most of these people are dabbling into baseball just to say they did before they go back to their breathless 24/7 coverage of the NFL offseason.

  72. In baseball, everyone should swing a bat & wear a glove. If you can hit, but not field, then that just makes for some adventure.

    I mean, if Edgar Martinez had played in the NL or the non-DH era, he’d have probably just been a better Tony Perez or Steve Garvey. Despite his level of butchery, he’d have a position.

    Speaking of butchery… I’m watching the Braves/Yanks replay & that Pinstripe 3B should really hang onto his return ticket to AAA-Columbus.

  73. @85 and 95: And if you’re going to have an offensive team and a defensive team, the offensive team only needs to have six players. Once the hitters don’t field, there’s no reason for nine of them. Or you could just choose the best six of your starting nine to hit. It’s not baseball, but there’d be a lot of runs.

  74. I’d rather the pitcher keep hitting, personally, but after a quick glance at the Braves farm – Gattis, Terdoslavich, possibly La Stella – they would be well positioned to handle the change. Those guys would instantly have a bit more value, to boot.

  75. It will be interesting to see how the Braves do with a DH. Last year, the DH was made for Chipper. This year it’s probably made for McCann or Gattis.

    I’m against the DH, but I fear it is inevitable. Can’t envision a scenario where the AL goes back.

  76. A Modest Proposal by Jonny Notsoswift

    Perhaps the time has come to yield all control of this game to where it rightly belongs, the television networks.

    In anticipation of that event, let’s consider revising the sport to have seperate 6 person offensive and defensive squads.
    That way we could work in more comercial time as one team’s defensive squad leaves the field and have sideline interviews as they return.

    The defensive squad for a team would have two fleet outfielders, three exquisite glove men on the infield, and a catcher. (see Casey Stengel’s comment about catchers).

    The offensive squad would have 6 players who didn’t need to bring a glove to the park. They be a combination of high on-base specialists and bangers who can really rake. The lineup would turn over so rapidly and so often!

    Of couse, much like a Field Goal Kicker ™ in the NFL, this new MLB would need a player to throw the ball into the batters, called a Pitcher ™. This person would play only with the defensive squad, as he clearly wouldn’t be allowed to take up one of the valued offensive positions. What could he contribute?
    Oh, and he should know how to win.

    We could leave the game the hell alone and forget about the DH, which was created to compensate for moribund AL offenses in the early 70’s and make no sense to me in today’s world of superbly conditioned ballpayers.

    Go Braves!

  77. It’s just a matter of time before both leagues have a DH. I hate it, but it is coming.

  78. Dammit, Kevin!

    At this very moment, some young network wannabe is re-packaging your idea as his own. Probably won’t be but a few years before your “dream” becomes reality.

    We need to somehow parallel the DH with the softball shorts the White Sox wore when it was introduced so that everyone will see (like Nixon’s wage and price controls and the K Car and disco) that there was a lot of bad thinking going on back then.

  79. Don’t forget the W.I.N. button! And odd/even days at the gas pump! And Love Canal and Three Mle Island! And The Partridge Family…waittaminit…Laurie Partridge was hot, so strike that one.

  80. Seat Painter: Susan Dey? Really? Just to remind you… she’s 60 now. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Nothin’ at all….

  81. @96 No need for a DH, just bat 8 instead of 9. Will designated runners be next? Keep the old slow guys from running bases. More excitement. Have a re-entry rule like slow pitch to avoid teams using relief LH pitcher. Force teams to use both a LH and RH pitcher so a RH batter does not have to face a RH pitcher and vice versa. Anything for the offense.

  82. “as per Pravda”

    thanks for the reference for all of us old guys.

  83. 100: Nah. Don’t give in! That’s how nonsense like this happens. People just start considering it to be inevitable and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The NL is the last bastion of real baseball and we need to keep it that way.

  84. @107

    Bud doesn’t care about that. The players will go for it and the owners will think it will make them ten cents, so they will go for it.

    Since Bud took over, they have slowly erased the lines between the NL and AL.

  85. In the interests of giving everyone here some more material to scoff at/grumble about, I present this ESPN article by Bill Baer entitled “Showdown: Nats vs. Braves vs. Phillies” which purports to decide which of the three teams is best by ranking each team’s players on a position-by-position basis.

    I have no idea who Bill Baer is, but 1) his article is headed by a “don’t underestimate the Phillies!” quote and 2) he doesn’t appear to know much about baseball. Questionable conclusions reached include:
    – ranking McCann behind Suzuki/Ramos and Ruiz/Kratz
    – ranking Freeman behind LaRoche
    – ranking BJ Upton behind Span
    – generally discounting the extremely likely event of injury and regression amongst the Phils’ most productive players
    – failing to incorporate any of the available evidence that the Nats have players who are regression and/or injury risks (Laroche, Espinosa, Desmond, Werth, Zimmermann, etc.)

    Frankly, given how many question marks there are for the Braves this year, I can see the case for the Braves finishing 3rd in the East… but it takes an awfully selective interpretation of facts to project the Braves to finish 3rd, on average, based upon the information available as of now.

  86. I like Baer, but he’s the lead writer at the Phillies blog Crashburn Alley, so he knows the Phillies better than any other team. I’ve liked some of his rankings for ESPN SweetSpot in the past; this article seems a bit more questionable, but I think he’s generally a good analyst.

  87. @111 If Baer wants to write Phillies fan fiction, he should post it on Crashburn Alley, not ESPN Sweetspot.

  88. I despise the DH. Maybe MLB compromises and expands rosters to 26 if the DH goes away. (yes I know it won’t happen) Now about the unbalanced schedule ………

    @97 – Agreed. The Braves have some good DH candidates on the team. Still want it to go away.

  89. @108

    I would actually guess that the NL won’t adopt the DH while Bud is commissioner. He’s an NL guy and, while he has adopted interleague play, expanded the playoffs, and enacted the World Baseball Classic, none of those things affect the fabric of the game like forcing the NL to use the DH would. He’s a pretty traditional guy, so I don’t think he’s gonna do that. Of course, I could be wrong, but for the most part, he hints for years at doing something before it actually gets enacted. The WBC was in the works for 10 years, interleague play at least as long, playoff expansion was repeatedly discussed by him, etc. He hasn’t said anyting that I’ve seen about the NL maybe adopting the DH.

    Now, when Bud’s successor comes in…that’s a different story.

  90. Like every other change in the game, the DH will be adopted by the National League when everyone within the game decides that it will make them a great deal more money to say yes than to say no.

    I hate the DH, but Bud Selig has adopted a very pragmatic approach to altering the game’s traditions.

  91. Unlike the other examples I discussed above, I’m not sure it’s that clear cut that using the DH makes everybody more money. The only group that it clearly makes more money for are the players for whom DH is their primary position. I don’t really see how it makes everybody else more money, though.

  92. Oh, I agree. I’m not convinced that the DH will make everyone more money. I just think that if everyone becomes convinced that it will, that is the day that it will take over, and not a day sooner.

    I tend to agree with Jonah Keri’s take on the Phillies. With that starting rotation, I think they’re still a pretty good bet to win 80 games — lots of things went wrong last year and they still snuck their way to a .500 season — so there’s definitely a chance that they could fluke their way into 90 wins. But that’s unlikely, and they probably would do better to sell some of their assets while they still have the chance. I’m not looking forward to playing them, that’s for sure.

  93. No no, NOT Susan Dey, Laurie Partridge. Completely different.

    Edit: (Just because I can) :)

  94. @109

    Though on average, his rankings seem to suggest he thinks we’ll finish third, if you read his recap at the bottom, he says that in the end, he thinks it’s Washington first, us second, and Philly third and out of the playoffs. This suggests to me that after looking over his entire rankings, he decided to wake up and smell what he was shoveling, but didn’t go back and change the rankings.

  95. You’d think the NL owners would oppose the DH. They’d have to pay for ten starters instead of 9, and the DH tends to be a pricey one at that.

  96. @116

    It’s become something of a sport for analysts, and some fans, to go after Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.; you won’t find a more cleverly derisive name in all of baseball than “Ruin Tomorrow Jr.”

    Yes! Really hoping that catches on.

  97. oh, and from MLBTR – “There’s talk among scouts that the Braves will listen to trade offers for left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).”

  98. It will be interesting to see. He’s a lefty who can get out batters from either side; on the other hand, he had injury problems last year. The 2011 Mike Adams trade brought back two pretty good pitching prospects. I doubt that we could get more than that for Jonny, but I think it’s good timing for the Braves to start dangling a guy who other teams may be able to covet as a relief ace. But how much will his health issues scare off other teams?

  99. @127

    I saw that and my mind immediately fixated on a Castellanos for Venters deal. That seems right in the wheelhouse of a Detroit trade…

  100. @129

    I would think it would take more than Venters to get him, but it would be nice to have Castellanos in AAA this year.

  101. So, ububba – if the Mets suck and the Yankees suck, does NYC become less fun in the summer?

    Has it ever happened before that they’ve both finished in the lower half of their respective divisions?

    Not a Yankee hater, but I don’t see them finishing above the Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles this year.

  102. The first time that the Yankees and Mets were simultaneously in the bottom half of their league was 1965:

    Yankees 77-85 6th in a 10-team league
    Mets 50-112 10th in a 10-team league

    1966, 1967, 1982, 1991 and 1992 were also very good years for New York haters.

  103. @127 David Schoenfield at ESPN suggests Venters for Rick Porcello, who would then slot into the Braves’ #5 spot into the rotation, Teheran back to AAA. Schoenfield then asks, “How does this not make sense?”, as if the answer wasn’t immediately obvious.

    Porcello is a back-end starter, nothing more – a career 4.55 ERA guy who doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s making $5.1M this year and set for two more years of increasing arb pay. It’s mystifying to think why the Braves would trade a valuable and limited commodity (Venters) for the right to replace a high-ceiling, MLB minimum starter in the rotation with a low-ceiling, $5M one. ESPN sure is chock full of stupid today.

    Personally I’m on board with the Braves looking to trade Venters or O’Flaherty for position player prospects, if a good opportunity arises. Porcello is not that opportunity.

  104. I think that losing a draft choice for a free agent who has gotten qualifying offer except for bottom 10 teams will do wonders to control costs while helping bottom dwellers like Cleveland.

  105. #133
    Nah, there’s still baseball & it’s still NYC—it’s never really boring. (I go to the games no matter what.)

    Both teams were bad in 1991-92. I moved here in 1990 when the Yankees were mired in the Stump Merrill Era & the Mets were at the very end of the Strawberry Era—the best years in their history.

    The Mets were in the NL East race—with Pittsburgh!—until the final week of that season, while the Yankees were in the middle of losing something like 20 consecutive contests to Oakland.

    But the clubs went in 2 different directions after that.

  106. 135: Honestly, to me that proposed deal looks like a win for the Braves. Venters in his best season wasn’t as valuable as Porcello in his worst, for the simple reason that Venters throws far fewer innings. Yeah, Porcello is basically a back-end guy, but a back-end guy who can give you 170+ IP with a FIP under 4 is a valuable commodity. I guess I wouldn’t love sending Teheran back to AAA, but I don’t know that it would necessarily hurt his development–I certainly don’t think he’s proven he’s done with minor-league competition. Moreover, Porcello seems like a pretty clearly superior option to Graham or Gilmartin, in case injuries strike.

  107. Puts you on the hook for another net 4.6m in salary – is that really where you want to spend it, even absent any other consideration?

  108. @139 Venters in his best season wasn’t as valuable as Porcello in his worst, for the simple reason that Venters throws far fewer innings.

    But that’s not a particularly useful observation for evaluating such a trade, since Porcello won’t be replacing Venters, he’ll be replacing Teheran and someone else will be replacing Venters. The question would be whether the potential difference between Porcello and Teheran is greater than the difference between Venters and whoever fills his spot in the bullpen. I don’t see that being an obvious improvement. And then there’s also the money factor, plus the issue of basically telling Teheran we don’t believe in him and his future.

  109. Teheran’s progress has been bumpy, no doubt. But we’ve invested a lot of time and effort in his development, and it’s time for his major league career to begin. Doesn’t the organization owe it to itself to see if they’ve been successful with him? This doesn’t seem the time to throw up a roadblock.

  110. @142 exactly. In a world where the Braves didn’t have Teheran or Malholm, and we were looking at a Livan Hernandez-level fiasco for the #5 spot, then Venters for Porcello would make eminent sense. Thankfully the Braves have Teheran for #5, and I expect he’ll do just fine, probably as well or better than Porcello this year. Plus as Grst mentions, the Braves need to know what they’ve got in Teheran, and now is the time.

    Also, I’ve decided I need a Braves-based screen name, and am going to try on “Game, Blauser” to see if it sticks.

  111. I don’t see anymore reason to hold back Teheran. It’s time to find out what we have in him.

  112. @144 I’ve been reading braves journal almost daily since 2010 and this is the first time I’ve posted. Just wanted to say that’s an epic name. That is all.

  113. Every time I see a reference to the edit function I smile. ;-) One of these days (maybe in the not too distant future) we’ll get a wider comment area (center panel) to go with the edit function.

  114. Hap: You’re # 3 in the site, after Mac and Alex. And if you can implement a wide comment area, Alex is in trouble.

  115. I’ll pass on Porcello for Venters. Teheran hasn’t shown us he can’t do the job yet this spring. While the sample size is very small, he has arguably put up the best numbers so far in camp.

    We need a left handed bench bat and possition player prospects (that can play the infield)

  116. @157

    I think we should ask $100 million, Molina and free beer for life for all Braves fans that were at the play in game.

  117. @157 For the sake of his trade value, it’s a shame Pastornicky had such a poor showing for the Braves last year… then again, if he played well the Braves probably wouldn’t consider trading him anyway. It’s a Catch-22, really.

  118. The Tigers definitely wouldn’t send Porcello to Atlanta for just Venters – for the reason anon21 outlined above. And so the Braves would have to send more. Plus the Braves probably do want to roll with Teheran. Thus: that trade would not, and will not, happen.

  119. I’d say that Porcello is more than enough value for Venters. The problem with that proposal isn’t that we’d DESERVE more for Venters than a 4 or 5 starter. The problem is simply that we don’t match up. A 4 or 5 starter in his arb years is not something we need.

    I’m on record as believing we could use someone just like Porcello; someone to push Teheran. I just don’t want to guarantee that person $5m.

  120. At this point, we need to either throw Teheran into the rotation and see what he can do or trade him. There is no sense whatsoever in putting him back in Triple A. I don’t think he’d get anything out of it. I don’t think he got anything out of last year, for that matter. I think stagnation was at least as much to blame as any control or mechanical issue was last year. I also think the fifth rotation spot should almost always be given to a young guy if there’s any young guy around that has any chance whatsoever of being ready.

  121. Braves Top 10 is up on BP. I’m actually a lot more optimistic after reading it. Seems we’ve still got a few solid arms down on the farm.

  122. Hold on. Hooooooooooooold on. Hold on just a minute here.

    After being wrecked financially due to a Ponzi scheme, the Mets now have business arrangements with AMWAY??!??!!?

    That’s just too funny.

  123. 173- Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; those who do neither, manage; those who can’t do that, work for the Mets front office.

  124. @173 Amway and Ponzi scheme are two completely different things.

    @170 With the way there were handling out long term contracts, this is bounded to happen don’t you think?

  125. @176

    Not so different that it isn’t funny!

    Hey, a guaranteed .500 SEC record for the Dawgs. Sure beats the 4-5 conference wins I had them penciled in for….

  126. It’s simply ironic that the Mets would be in bed with AMWAY. Pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme, it’s close enough that it’s hilarious. In fact, this is the only physical location that AMWAY has. You can just see the AMWAY executives in their meeting:

    “Where can we get carte blanche access to the dumbest people in the world?”

    “I think I found a place.”

  127. 177,

    Mayor Kasim Reed said the city would provide $200 million of construction costs through bonds backed by the city’s hotel-motel tax. The Falcons franchise, owned by Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank, would provide $800 million and be responsible for construction cost overruns.

    The Falcons would pay for up to $50 million in infrastructure costs not included in the construction budget and help retire the last few years of debt on the Georgia Dome, which was publicly financed entirely using the hotel-motel tax.

    Also, Blank’s private foundation and the city each would spend $15 million on surrounding neighborhood development.

    I still think the state should be contributing less (although this is from the extension of an existing hotel tax), but I think this sets a good precedent for how much a team should themselves contribute to a new stadium.

    Edit: And the state would own the stadium:

    Blank – who has built his football franchise into a perennial playoff contender – still must negotiate a detailed lease and operating agreement with the Georgia World Congress Center. That’s the state agency that owns the existing dome and would own the replacement.

    I’m beginning to like this Arthur Blank fellow.

    @180, Early nominee for the post of March.

  128. Yeah, a new stadium seems pretty unnecessary, but that’s a much better model for this kind of thing than what we usually see. And with all due respect to @180, I nominate @162.

  129. Nederlands up 2-1 on Cuba after the fourth inning. In those four innings Nederlands has 4(!) double plays.

  130. No matter the situation of either school’s squad, it’s always a supreme joy to defeat Kentucky in basketball.

    Nice work, Dogs.

  131. Simmons made another great play against Cuba. Catches a flyball in the outfield, turns around and doubles a runner off 1st.

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