Johnny B’s Washington Nationals took on Snit’s boys today at the Ted. Game went to extras. Braves won in ten, 7-6. Braves winning streak hits one. It’s a miracle. Arizona awaits our surging warriors as perhaps our chief competitor for the 2017 number one draft pick.

The Braves shuffled their defensive alignment to end the home stand. Jace Peterson in center and Nick Markakis at first played well defensively. Though they won, the Nats did not, committing five errors. Every time the Braves played themselves out of the game, the Washingtonians played them back in. It was clown baseball, bro.

Joel De La Cruz cruised through two, then barfed it up in the third. Gio Gonzalez started the uprising with a single. The Braves were obviously trying to slow down Trea Turner by putting the Nats pitcher on base in front of him. Turner walked, Danny Espinosa got plunked, and the bases were loaded for Daniel Murphy with no outs. Murphy plated Gonzalez when his grounder to second forced Espinosa. Murphy beat the double play try at first, so the league’s leading hitter and potential MVP got to trot home as the Nats Clown Prince Bryce Harper belted a massive three run home run to right. Washington led 4-0. Jace Peterson kept it that close by running through the centerfield wall to rob Chris Heisey of extra bases and stanch all bleeding save his own.

The Braves counterpunched with a three spot in the bottom of the frame. Leadoff man du jour Dansby Swanson walked, and Adonis Garcia lined a single to right center to send the hope for the future to third. Our slugging first baseman doubled off the wall in left center to score both runners. Nick took third on Danny Espinosa’s second error of the day, the first a bobble of a bad hop grounder and this one a throw the Nats catcher couldn’t handle. As Chip said, you can’t spell Espinosa without an “E”. Our current most obvious waste of roster space Gordon Beckham singled to score Markakis with our third run; and all of a sudden, we’ve got a game again, down a run at 4-3;. Hope is rekindled.

De la Cruz pitched into the sixth, then self-immolated, dousing hope’s flame. After retiring the leadoff man, Joel walked Zimmerman and gave up a well-struck home run to Chris Heisey. The game stood at 6-3 when Gonzalez’ second single of the game sent Joel to the showers. It has now been 755 games since a Braves starter has pitched into the seventh.

The Braves closed to 6-4 when Anthony Recker doubled and eventually scored on Murphy’s throwing error. Then Matt Kemp’s eighth inning homer on a hanging curve cut the deficit to 6-5. That hopeful spark still flickered. Jeff Francoeur fed hope’s flame with a dribbler up the middle; and Nats reliever Yusmeiro Alberto Petit misplayed Recker’s attempted sacrifice bunt, firing the ball into the stands. With runners at second and third and nobody out, the Nats intentionally walked the bases to pitch to Gordon Beckham. The skies opened and play was suspended, as a new Nats hurler climbed the bump.

Rain doesn’t last forever, but there’re puddles in front of Bryce. Beck comes through with a game- tying GIDP. We’ve got the go-ahead at third. Ender’s up, but the Washington Miscreants walk him intentionally. Is the future now?

Not yet. I saw Ted Williams make an out once. It was a long time ago. Past’s not future, and future’s not yet. Dansby makes contact. He also makes an out. Some days the story doesn’t write itself. Sometimes you’ve got to report the facts.

Jim Johnson on the bump. Anthony Rendon lifts a can of corn to Ender. Two more miles, Jim. The merely mortal Trea Turner’s next. Turner’s mortal, and he’s up to no good. Blue’s in cahoots with him. The ump’s plate’s the size of a matchbox. Jim gets an out on strike five.

One more. Gotta Have an “E” approaches the dish, works Jim to deuces, then full. Sixth pitch’s fouled to the home plate seats. The seventh follows, but the eighth gains a swing and a miss. And a miss. Strike three gets past Recker to the screen, and Easy “E” scampers to first. Ubiquitous Murphy. Again.

Got him! Swing and a miss! Go get ’em, boys. You got a plane to catch.

Not yet. We may play forever. An occasional runner gets on but is stranded. Finally, with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, Jace Peterson! Jace! Have a great flight, my children.

Defense wins game, Uncle Joe Simpson says, and even the mighty Nationals are challenged to overcome five errors. Defense rocks, but a walk off home run’s pretty cool too. Great game, Jace.


  1. Nice game Jace!

    Three of our OF have cleared waivers, including the two that start at the corners.

  2. Allard went 8 strong innings to get the win for Rome today. Been a while since we’ve seen a starter go that deep anywhere in the system.

  3. Yes, remember when I had a habit of saying (in a combination of humor and astonishment) “Gordon Beckham has unequivocally been our best free agent acquisition”?

    No? No matter–he is now our worst. It’s funny, the law of small samples and large numbers and regression and whatever else explains how a crappy player returns to crapulent crapitude if you wait long enough.


  4. We should rename a 6 inning outing by a starter an Atlanta Complete Game. Like Reitsma Room or Atlanta Save, it adjusts to the standards of longevity that our starters possess.

    RE: Adam – Last Thread

    You’re almost implying that before the Braves start adding pieces, the current environment should be in a certain condition. Like there would be an adverse reaction to adding to this collection of players too quickly.

    I guess I’m not sure why this is a less opportune time than times past. To say we should stay in some sort of “rebuild” period implies that there were times where you would say they should enter some sort of “rebuild” phase. Aside from the occasional ranking system that only values top end prospects, most people consider our farm system one of the top 2 or 3 in baseball. There was almost a decade where we were barely in the top half of the game, but no one we should “rebuild” or not add pieces to those systems.

    Yes, by trading prospects for established players, we would be giving up on these prospects “too early”, but that’s what teams do. We traded prospects to get established players when we were competing yearly for championships, we traded prospects to get established players when we hadn’t won a playoff series in years, and we traded prospects to get established players when we were barely winning the Wild Card. It didn’t matter then and it shouldn’t matter now. Any time you trade a prospect, you’re “giving up”. After all, if that prospect wasn’t a prospect, they’d be the established player you’re trying to trade for.

    Should we do the Teix deal again? I’ve changed my mind, and I’d now say no. However, pulling up from this is not inherently a bad idea. We’ve had three losing seasons. How much more do we need before we’re “ready”? What needs to happen at the major league level or minor league system before we’re “ready”?

    The way I see it, even though all of our young pitchers have struggled, someone will pay a good price for them. When they all had less value, we paid a price for them, and those assets have appreciated. Don’t kid yourself; they have more value today than they did 12-18 months ago. Partly the reason everyone is so high on Soroka/Allard/Anderson/Wentz/Muller and think they have such higher ceilings is because they haven’t been tested yet. They haven’t had to compete against high minors talent. They haven’t blown out their elbows. They haven’t had to pitch more than 100 innings in a season.

    And with the high minors crop, you can’t put them all in the rotation, and many of them don’t have much more to prove in the high minors. Some of these may be AAAA pitchers and you need to trade them before that becomes their reputation. You sure as heck shouldn’t wait for all of them to simultaneously try to figure it out because when that finally happens, the higher upside pitchers in the low minors will probably be ready. It seems like the pitchers we’ve taken on in the last 18 months were low ceiling but stably appreciating assets that you could lump together and consolidate into better players. They’ve all ran their course. Turn some of them into real pieces, add some filler, and wait until the big guns get here, if they ever do.

    To be clear though, I do appreciate Adam’s take on a lot of things. His snark and mild pessimism is a great compliment to my snark and wild optimism.

  5. @5, yeah I know you weren’t addressing me here, but since I’ve taken a similar position on acquisitions this season as Adam R, Ima reply

    The problem isn’t adding pieces “too soon”, it’s giving up assets to add pieces that have no relevance to our competitive window. If we were trading for a young catcher with 4 years of controllability left, I’d be game. What we’re discussing is trading prospects for 2 years of an expensive, declining catcher. We can miss the playoffs just as easily without McCann next year, and save $17 million and get better draft position and slot money to boot. I’m opposed to overt “tanking” but I’m also opposed to furiously blowing assets to win a couple extra meaningless games.

  6. @6
    The Braves have such a glut of pitching that they’ll simply have to trade some or lose them in the Rule 5. I’ll get a list of that group together, but this year and next, it’s quite a staggering number.

  7. Unless placed on 40-man, here’s the list of rule 5 eligible players (could be incomplete as some int’l guys might be excluded):
    Conor Lien
    Max Fried
    Zachary Bird
    Lucas Sims
    Rio Ruiz
    Jason Hursh
    Stephen Janas
    Joseph Odom

  8. 1) Define “competitive window”. If you believe the narrative that we’ve systemic improved our scouting and drafting, then there really shouldn’t be a competitive window. There’s nobody on our roster that can’t exist at any time in the future. Washington has a competitive window with a cost-controlled Bryce Harper. LA has a competitive window with below-market Mike Trout. One could argue that with the layering of bad contracts, one of which may be Freddie Freeman before too long, that our competitive window will become a sliding glass door.

    2) How else do you want to spend the money? Once again, there will be money. Do you want to keep buying Touki Toussaint’s and draft picks? Even then, you can still allocate a portion of the ML payroll for that purpose and still have money to spend. Unless you want to give Michael Bourn more money…

    3) Wouldn’t you say this team could be competitive if they could add 15 WAR to a nucleus of Freeman/Albies/Swanson/Flowers/Inciarte/Mallex/Kemp/d’Arnaud/Garcia/Jace/Teheran/Folty/Two Pitching Prospects/4 In-House Bullpen Members? That is a cheap, cheap, cheap set of 18 players. Real talk, that’s about $50M for 18 players. You don’t think we could find another 9-11 (depth) with another $50M? This team is bargain basement as currently constructed. We keep talking about how expensive Kemp is like he’s keeping us from acquiring good players. Stop letting Liberty Media off the hook.

  9. @8

    Perhaps another question is: how many players that are currently under team control will need to be on the 40-man in 2017?

  10. I count 14, maybe 15 that will either be gone via free agency, or could pass through waivers unclaimed. However there’s Dan Winkler, Paco Rodriguez, Mallex, Williams Perez, and Andrew McKirahan that have to be added. McKirahan and Biddle might just get released.

    Braves offseason is going to be tricky.

  11. AJP is going to be some other 3rd catcher. You’re gonna keep 3 catchers on the 40-man.

    Beckham’s a placeholder for 6th major league infielder. Someone will be in that role.

    Same thing with Frenchy and the 5th OF spot.

    EOF could potentially just be a minor league lefty.

    Really the issue is with all of the pitchers. 25 of the 40-man are pitchers, and that’s with 5 guys on the 60-day DL. Casey Kelley is a lock to take a hike.

  12. Looks like Ryan’s boy Patrick Wiegel skipped High-A and went to AA. That makes 4 starting pitchers from’s top 30 and 4 more in AAA. Someone needs to take a step forward.

  13. @rob,

    “Stop letting Liberty Media off the hook”

    This crap makes me not want to bother. I’ve made my opinions of this straw man clear before and it needs to die. I don’t give three turds about LM (nor does anyone here), but I do know two things: 1) they will spend a finite amount of money on the roster and 2) it will be far less than I want. It is what it is. I’d rather talk baseball than rail against the corporate PTB.

    Otherwise, the only good reason to trade prospects for Brian McCann is that we need to get rid of a few, as Ryan c said. Define competitive window? Not next season. You just expressed astonishment about how bad the young rotation is. Welp, that’s why we’re not competitive. We need a semblance of a rotation that can give us league average IP and ERA to be trading for expensive short-term catching options. I’m not talking championship-level rotation here, just respectability. We’re not there yet. Next season, we should know if we will be there in 2018.

  14. Speaking of Lucas Sims, tonight at MS:

    6 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K, 1 R

    Good WHIP. Nice K/9. Too many walks.

  15. @18

    I don’t think it’s possible to have a baseball discussion without discussing payroll. There’s so little committed to 2017 that one shouldn’t even watch this team if we don’t have a payroll north of $100M. Do you really want to cheer for a team that just built a stadium but won’t outspend the Oakland Athletics?

  16. The 40 man roster isn’t a concern. You could expose half of it to waivers and I wouldn’t care. Don’t be afraid to get better. We can’t keep all our mediocre pitchers, and guess what…we shouldn’t want to.

  17. @20, I get the sense you’d be happier cheering for a 70-win team with a $120 million payroll than a 65-win team with a $60 million payroll. I am totally indifferent there, as both teams are among the worst in baseball.

    The Braves have spent money this past season, it just hasn’t been on the major league roster. Coppy has spent big money on asset procurement. I expect him to keep doing that, and the only thing that would get in the way is a foolish and expensive acquisition. 2017 is another throw away year with this pitching staff.

  18. Unfortunately, I am, like the Flying Dutchman, cursed to wander the earth cheering for either/both, provided they have a tommy hawk on their chest. I blame my grandfather. So yes, it’s much easier to cheer for the 70 win team spending 120 mil because there’s a sense of the FO is trying to win.

    Part of my skepticism about sabermetric diehards is that the trend, at the most obsessive end of the spectrum, is the belief that baseball is played in some sort of laboratory where we’re shooting baseballs at a gold plate like Rutherford’s electrons. If we go buy a “3 WAR” player, we will improve by 3 wins. It doesn’t work that way. There are aspects of psychology, chemistry, intangibles, flukes, and just dumb luck that play a substantial role in the success or failure of a team. Players improve and decline, sometimes astonishingly so. Ask Theo Epstein where J-Hey’s 6 WAR went.

    I understand that spending money on bad contracts hamstrings the team because that 184 million is now tied up in a useless player and unavailable to spend on a useful player. However….

    The team spending 120 million doesn’t do so because they hope or think to win 70 games. We won’t know if the money is going to be well spent until we do. But the team spending 120 mil is trying to compete, and the one spending 60 isn’t. So yes, it’s easier to cheer for the former.

  19. @21
    Unless there are a whole lot of trades and/or expose some players to the rule-5, the 40-man is a problem for this year and next. Sure, there’s 14-15 guys that fall off through free agency and general suckitude, but there’s the 8 that was mentioned @8 and the other 5 that was mentioned in @11. Then there are free agents and actual guys that the Braves would want to add, not have to add, such as Albies, Minter, etc.

    It’s great that you wouldn’t care if Braves exposed half of the 40-man to waivers.The Braves wouldn’t do that with the young pitchers and neither should they after they’ve spent the last 2 years acquiring them.

    Paint it how you like, but it’s a problem.

    Also…how can one predict the outcome of a team that isn’t even built yet? 50,60,70,80,90 wins…no one knows what the 2017 roster will look like. Give it up until the product is built, then celebrate…or whine.

  20. We need to make room for Albies, Sims, Newcomb, Minter, Ruiz, and then a few others late next year. That won’t be hard.

  21. @23

    Isn’t your personal whipping boy Exhibit “A” for the argument against throwing money around at this stage?

  22. Two things:

    The way I see it, even though all of our young pitchers have struggled, someone will pay a good price for them. When they all had less value, we paid a price for them, and those assets have appreciated. Don’t kid yourself; they have more value today than they did 12-18 months ago.

    Not necessarily. More time and experience brings some players closer to or even beyond their projected ceiling, and it also exposes others.

    You were right the other day to say: ugly stats aren’t a surefire indication that a prospect is now a suspect. As fans, all we can do is read between the lines of scouting reports, or else learn to scout our players ourselves. That said…

    Partly the reason everyone is so high on Soroka/Allard/Anderson/Wentz/Muller and think they have such higher ceilings is because they haven’t been tested yet.

    Mostly the reason everyone is so high on Soroka/Allard/et al is that they’re really talented. Like, there’s a clear difference between the prospect Kolby Allard is and the prospect Aaron Blair is.

    I almost hesitate to say this because digging in on the differences between some of these guys is bound to give you more hope, not less.

    Most teams — even teams without our payroll constraints — are never in a position to afford trading the likes of Allard. The hopes of avoiding a wild card game and making a deep playoff run rest on the arms of kids like him. People can cherry-pick counter-examples, but teams’ windows are often determined by these kinds of ‘when, not if’ (barring injury) top-flight arms. The Twins are more or less waiting on Jose Berrios. The Rays, Blake Snell.

    Which brings me to point #2…

    Who are we realistically trading for that:
    – is available
    – is on a team that actually wants what we’re selling (so, most likely they’re also rebuilding, except they haven’t sold off all their pricey/good players yet)
    – fits in our budget
    – is actually worth it to trade for (meaning, good enough to make a real difference in…I don’t even know what, your day-to-day enjoyment of a losing team? This feels like a dumb exercise, right?)

    Rosterbate away, but on that last point, a player that’s actually worth it to trade a package of pitching prospects for, your mileage may vary. If you’re thinking along the lines of bledsoe…
    But the team spending 120 mil is trying to compete, and the one spending 60 isn’t. So yes, it’s easier to cheer for the former.
    …then you may not care deeply about the future or believe in anybody’s ability to predict it with a degree of certainty at all. Let myopia reign. But some of us recognize that by being patient we at least have a chance of doing better than 70 wins in the near-future, and it’s worth it to wait, stadium or no.

    It looks like we will actually try to acquire players like McCann and Braun without giving up big-time prospects, because WFF. That’ll be interesting.

  23. MLBTR:

    “During his interview Sunday, Coppolella named starting pitching and the catcher position as two areas the club will focus on upgrading in the offseason. In doing so, he described Wisler and Blair as “hard to count on” at this juncture. “

  24. bledsoe, do you really believe Heyward is a useless player going forward? It all feels a bit dishonest*, and, well, you’re the one who keeps bringing him up. It seems like you’re spoiling for a fight, but I’d rather just get to the nut of a fun argument. So I think we should dig a little bit to move beyond your vague anti-sabermetric grandstanding (vague because you define sabermetrics as ‘blindly looking at WAR’, which is actually antithetical to sabermetrics).

    [*Dishonest? I mean, your first comment here ( was “Good stuff.” Then a few weeks ago you start on about some ‘shoving down your throat’ that Heyward is a top-15 player, and when you try to protest…well, what protest? And for that matter: what shoving? He isn’t a top-15 player right now; he’s nowhere near it after his miserable hitting this season. Sibyl though you are, you neglected the ample opportunity to share your knowledge of his true talent level with the rest of us. Or are you only a gleeful cynic, oh Dutchman? And are we your desperate, cursed earth?]

    So cards on the table, needling and muddled science metaphors aside, there’s an interesting question here: A player has done nothing but hit consistently well at every stage of his professional career for 9 years, most of them at the major league level, and all of them as a young player. Forget everything else about his game: he struggles badly for a year at the age of 26. Is he done?

    I repeat, do you really think Heyward is a useless player going forward? I don’t. I don’t have any idea what has gone wrong this year, but in my view it’s an anomaly. I don’t think Heyward or anybody else who becomes a bad player at so young an age after so many seasons of being a very, very good player is irretrievably bad.

    Here’s your chance, bledsoe, at a real discussion about a young hitter who has stopped hitting. Please take up the argument, because it’s an interesting one and you’re an interesting writer, and stop lashing out at me for no damned reason whatsoever.

  25. Cool, a Jason Heyward discussion seems to be breaking out!

    Seriously, my response to bledsoe is that sabermetrics is just an organizing principle. All of those non-controllable variables he lists are real, but their uncontrollable nature means its useless to plan for them. Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart have experienced team chemistry, so they take an alchemist’s approach to team building, and it hasn’t worked. The language of sabermetrics consciously avoids humanistic terms. Not because those variables aren’t important, but in order to make clear that no conclusions about them are being drawn.

  26. @28

    Why would he say that about Wisler and Blair? Calling out those guys in the media doesn’t help.

    Also, why are these guys looking pretty good in the minors and then blow up in the show? Is it their stuff or is it McDowell?

    Wisler had some rally good starts and they fell apart. Folty has put it together somewhat. Is it their experience level?

    I know it is difficult to pitch in the majors, but it looks like some of these upper minors guys may be busts.

  27. Why would he say that about Wisler and Blair? Calling out those guys in the media doesn’t help.

    Wisler and Blair are Coppy’s next fall guys, after Fredi. Easier to blame them for this season than to admit that the plan was never to improve in 2016 all along. They’re not part of his actual future plans.

    Also, why are these guys looking pretty good in the minors and then blow up in the show? Is it their stuff or is it McDowell?

    You are correct, they’re not especially good pitchers.

  28. Not lashing out at anyone. It’s a free form forum. The comment above was in reference to the question do I care if the team spends 120 million or 60 million. I do.

    I have “lashed out” at worthless contracts including: Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Bj Upton and Dan Uggla. And Jason Heyward. And a prospective BMac reacquisition. I’ve written about how the Nats’ bad contracts are a real problem going forward.

    I am not quite sure how telling you your detailed sabermetric analysis on Heyward is “Good stuff” doesn’t allow me to disagree with it. You put a lot of effort into it, showed your work. I disagreed with the conclusion. How that makes me dishonest is beyond me.

    Let’s see: dishonest, gleeful, cynic, Sybyl, muddled, failed to share my ample knowledge, grandstanding. Probably missed a few. All this purple prose, and I’m spoiling for a fight?

    If it will appease you, I will never mention Jason Heyward again on BJ as long as I live.

  29. @29, The Heyward bashing, whatever. It’s the constant touting of Markakis that makes the whole thing lol-worthy. I’m not sure what the point is.

    Is it:
    – You’d rather have Markakis than Heyward in theory? Heyward is still better than Markakis! Don’t bother rebutting this point, at least to me, if you’re not going to demonstrate that you understand how dWAR works. Just don’t. I can read a triple slash myself. Heyward has still contributed more on the field than Markakis.

    – A little more practical…you’d rather have Markakis + contract than Heyward + contract? It’s not my money, so I’d rather have Heyward + contract, even after this season. Edward has it totally right, re: track record. I’d expect Heyward to be better again going forward. And if we’re going to flush money down the toilet anyway on Braun/McCann, seems like a way better bet to go with Heyward’s prime seasons.

    (I’m sorry if I’m taking the focus off of Heyward exclusively, Edward. Couldn’t help it.)

    I’m only just realizing, my coping mechanism for this offseason of bizarrely undoing the rebuild and going after bad contracts in attempt to feign competing has to be…to agitate for reacquiring Heyward. #BringBackPlayerA

  30. If all we focus on offensively in the offseason is a catcher, I will be very disappointed. I’m okay with keeping Kemp in the outfield, but really think we need an upgrade at third. I like Garcia okay, but out of 23 qualifiers at 3rd base, he has the lowest OPS (.696) and is the only player with a negative WAR (-.3). I don’t see Ruiz as much of an upgrade either, given his .753 OPS at AAA.

    We need to make a Tim Hudson type acquisition at starting pitcher and I think a better 3rd baseman is preferable over a better catcher. As noted, there are not many catchers out there who will be huge upgrades over Flowers and a non-descript backup such as Recker.

  31. @25

    Nope. Ruiz and Sims have to be on the 40-man before the Rule-5 draft otherwise the Braves risk losing them (and somebody would most definitely claim those 2). I’ll give you a further breakdown as it doesn’t seem like you’re quite grasping this concept:

    40-man roster right now:
    Pitching (25)- Blair, Boscan, Cabrera, Cunniff, De la Cruz, Folty, Gant, Hursh, Tyrell, JJ, Kelly, Krol, Marksberry, Akeel, O’Flaherty, Ramirez, Chaz, Shae, Teheran, Vizzy, Weber, Whalen, Wisler, Withrow, Younginer

    Catching (3)- AJ, T-Flow, Recker

    Infield (8)- Beckham, Castro, D’arnaud, Freeman, Adonis, Kubitza, Jace, Dansby

    Outfield (4)- Francoeur, Ender, Kemp, Markakis

    Players removed at season’s end-
    Pitching (2)- JJ, O’Flaherty
    Catching (1)- AJ
    Infield (1)- Beckham
    Outfield (1)- Francoeur

    40-5= 35.

    Players that could pass through waivers unclaimed and/or players Braves wouldn’t miss should they be placed on waivers(11)- Boscan, Cunniff, De la Cruz, Kelly, Marksberry, Weber, Younginer, Recker, Castro, D’arnaud, Kubitza,

    35-11= 24.

    Players that have to be added to the 40-man roster from 60-day DL or risk losing(6): Mallex, Biddle, Perez, McKirahan, Paco, Winkler

    *I’m going out on a limb here and saying Braves will only had 5 of the 6 and will only keep one of McK/Biddle*


    From the list of 8 I provided earlier that have to be protected otherwise they run the risk of being drafted in the Rule, I cannot fathom that the Braves would leave any except Janas and Bird exposed.


    From there, the Braves are looking to add 3-4 free agents to the mix next year, including a catcher, probably a 3B, and a veteran reliever and starting pitcher.

    There’s a 40-man roster problem…right now. Unless there’s serious trading off of the 40-man roster, there’ll continue to be a problem. There’s a similar size list for 2017’s offseason. This is the downside of acquiring everyone’s prospects that have been in their respective orgs for a few years is that sooner or later, they have to be added to the 40-man or they get taken. If the Braves could’ve kept ManBan in the minors and transitioned him to relief pitching, they would have done so. The problem was the 40-man crunch that Braves are currently under. There was also rumored deals involving JJ in which the Braves had to turn down deals because the teams were offering 40-man guys, good ones, in return.

    Whether half of the 40-man is garbage or not has nothing to do with the fact that 15-20 guys are staring the Braves in the face with hard decisions of “Protect me, or lose me”.

  32. ryan c. at 38,

    Great recitation. I have been looking for something laying this out. I had sensed there was a problem.

    One thing, why add a veteran reliever? We have to risk losing a young pitcher.

    Also, that is one reason I was against calling Dansby up. Also, decidedly against any other adds to 40 man this year from our minor league forced by any callups. So, no Minter, no Albies, etc.

  33. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m just an UnFrozen Caveman Baseball Fan. Your modern world of sabermetrics frightens and confuses me. My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts of dWar….

    I know what gWar is……does that count?

    Appreciate you letting me know the ground rules for arguing with you, Adam. Honestly, I’m not interested in convincing you of anything.

  34. @38, besides Sims and Ruiz we’ll just let the others be exposed to the Rule 5 draft if we have to, it’s not going to matter much. The guys on the 60-day DL will all be released except for Mallex, and I expect we’ll trade Mallex since there’s no room for him and Inciarte is better anyways.

    You can’t keep everyone and I’m not sure why anyone would ever get worked up about it. The amount of prospect-fetishing and rosterbation is going to be at an all time high because of the sad state of the team. The C-level prospects hitting Rule 5 status is just a given. It’s always worked that way. That we traded for so many of them in the first place is one of my giant criticisms of the rebuild. They just won’t matter much. Quantity does mean much in baseball. And 95% of our quality is at AA or below. You have to realize that nearly the entire 40 man is going to turn over in the next 3 years.

  35. @39
    I don’t think it’s a matter of “why add” more than a belief that there’s need of 1 vet reliever down there. My bet is on re-signing JJ.

  36. Sorry, I meant to say that quantity does *not* mean much. 3 average players can’t ever be traded for one good one. And you don’t waste spots on the 40-man with guys that aren’t good. We have *tons* of extra space we can clear if we are forced to. And you should definitely want that to happen. We have the absolute worst 40-man roster in baseball. You should want very high turnover.

  37. @41
    Your views on young, controllable players that haven’t found immediate success are unrealistic and I for one am glad we have a GM that doesn’t share those viewpoints.

    There will be a 40-man roster crunch and Braves will make moves to alleviate. You can either believe that now or hear about it in the offseason. I’m moving on from this.

  38. Being somewhat of a moderate in the saber/traditionalist spectrum, I have had the pleasure of being called both a clueless egghead and an ignorant curmudgeon. It’s annoying and untrue.

    You’re going to put people on the defensive by saying essentially “the trouble with you saber people is that you lack all nuance”, and they’re naturally going to notice the irony of such an unnuanced caricature of themselves. I say that realizing it wasn’t directed at anybody in particular.

    Nobody here is arguing that baseball players are machines and that chemistry doesn’t matter. I think we’d mostly agree, however that this team isn’t good enough for chemistry to amount to a hill of beans. A rotation with Whalen, Wisler, and Jenkins is going to rack up L’s even with the most tight-knit clubhouse in MLB history. Hard to chemistry your way past a 9 run outing.

    If Coppy wants to overpay a bunch of veteran starters, I may change my mind about our chances to contend, but wasn’t the point of acquiring all these starting prospects to avoid the inefficiency of signing them?

  39. @44, you and several others here would love to have the 40-man protect the entire minor league system for ever and ever, because, you know, Paco Rodriguez might be good bullpen depth one day. It can’t happen. They are going to have to let a lot of guys in that same predicament go play somewhere else. It’s not a crunch or a giant problem. It’s just how things work.

  40. We’ve been taking the journeyman starting pitcher and flipping him for multiple prospects, and eventually turning one player into multiple players multiple times is going to create a log-jam.

    You don’t rebuild through trading for quantity and then lose said quantity through Rule-5. Someone will absolutely pick up some of the players being discussed. Hart has been saying from the beginning that pitching is the “universal currency” and they’ve taken all of this on to trade for pieces. The 40-man dilemma suggests that the 2016-2017 offseason will be the time they do that.

    We’re going to probably sign 2 SPs and 2 RPs that will need a spot on the 40-man as we’ve done just about every year for the last decade. So with my count of prospects that should see major league action thus needing to be on the 40-man, players that have to be on 40-man or will undoubtedly be taken in Rule-5, the obvious players, and organization filler (like a 3rd catcher), I counted no less than 45 players. I left the list at the house, but it’s hard to argue that any of those players on the list won’t need to be on the 40-man. It’s certainly an issue.

    At the end of the day, Coppy most definitely thought that these pitching prospects would make this decision easier, and with so many of them struggling, it really muddies the water on what to do.

  41. I’m very excited for Weigel’s MS debut later today. A 21 y/o that has learned control seemingly overnight, with a plus-plus FB that is regularly upper 90s with 2 other pitches that could be plus is something that hasn’t been present in our system…ever. If MS goes well the rest of this year, he will move super fast. When a guy is throwing 100 as a SP, it’s probably wise not to sit on that too long.

  42. What are you going to get for Jenkins? Blair? If they trade it will have to be a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 to get some veteran that frees up a slot or two. They can also go the other way and trade them for rookie ball prospects and kick the can down the road some. Either way, does it matter? No.

  43. In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don’t know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles.

  44. I don’t love the idea of buying a bunch of pieces this off-season. Go shopping, buy what you like for the price you like, and don’t force anything. Maybe do some high-risk, high-reward extensions.

    For the most part, waiting for the prospects to bring the team into striking distance sounds good to me.

  45. @20 Rob, I don’t give a hoot what the 2017 Braves opening day payroll is, and neither should you. I want the Braves to be successful and fun to watch (and let’s be honest, winning is the primary factor in making sports fun to watch). That said, the only real range of ‘winning’ that matters in the end is the kind that has a team at least in contention for the postseason. To that end, I value moves that increase those postseason chances, even if they don’t pump up the 2017 payroll or expected 2017 win % (see, Kevin Maitan). To the extent the Braves appear to be putting appropriate resources into getting the Braves more pennants, then I’m on board. As the 25 man roster improves, management should start pouring more money into the MLB payroll. In the meanwhile, the projected 2017 opening day MLB payroll is not a reliable indicator of whether management is making an honest go of it.

    The fact of the matter is, you should only care about what the Braves pay their players to the extent that MLB payroll, talent and roster spots are limited resources – a good player on a cheap contract allows you to spend more of your budget to acquire other, more expensive talent, etc. Let’s pretend the young talent on the Braves blossoms and we win the 2018 pennant. As a fan, would it affect your enjoyment if that team’s payroll is $100M versus $150M?

  46. After the initial excitement of removing Jeff Francoeur from the starting lineup and inserting someone who had 25 HRs YTD, I really wish we could still upgrade LF. I really wish I could trust advanced defense metrics as much as even I trust advanced offensive metrics. Seeing Kemp’s dWAR in living color is blinding. I may vomit as well.

    Here’s a WAR game (see what I did there?): I took a .500 team with a mediocre pitching staff, the Pirates. They’re 62-59, and 14th in baseball in team ERA. Pretty middle of the road. I added up all of the pitchers on our team’s WAR other than Folty and Teheran. It essentially works out to 65% of the team’s starts. The result? 2.8 WAR. A lot of the early season success stories, of course, are now gone. If you take out Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell, then it’s closer to 1 WAR for 65% of the team’s starts. With that said, I added up everybody outside of Gerritt Cole and Jamison Taillon (the closest they have to something like Folty), and the result? 2.8 WAR. I fear that a WAR discussion is going to be difficult because 1) the pitchers who produced the most WAR out of the rotation are now gone (and we’re left with struggling prospects) and 2) it gets difficult to evaluate the result of our starters wearing out our bullpen. It would be difficult to do a WAR analysis on relievers.

    I would be tempted to say that a combination of league average starting pitching and relievers not being ran ragged would improve the team by 5-6 WAR. Team-wide, it just puts so much pressure to have such bad SP right now.

    To answer krussell’s question of what you would get for Jenkins/Blair, I think that’s an incomplete question. Milwaukee would be a fantastic trade partner since they’re in the process of rebuilding and seem to want to sell off Braun for the right price. You could solve some 40-man issues while also adding Braun, who would be one of the best LFs we’ve had in the last 15 years, by packaging a couple high minors pitching prospects and something else. Jenkins, Whalen, and Demeritte probably gets us Ryan Braun, and I would do that deal if you can get something for Matt Kemp. These struggling pitching prospects absolutely have value, and it would be naive to suggest otherwise.

  47. What’s dishonest is this new tack you’ve taken up in recent weeks that your apparently long-held opinions have been under siege–despite your never having voiced them in the first place. That, and the fact that I suspect you don’t actually give a damn about Heyward’s numbers, and only bring him up so often out of nowhere so you can take your pot shots. It’s dishonest writing, and I think you’re better than that. Aren’t you?

  48. @52

    The problem is that you’ll never see the growth in the major league roster that then gives you the confidence to build off of it if you keep stripping out the team. You’ll never get better doing that. When Dirks and Pfiefer never become major league pitchers, we’re going to wonder why we gave away 20 starts of Bud Norris for nothing. Does that win a pennant? No, but it would have added 3-4 more wins to the team. If you keep cutting the ML roster, you’ll just keep doubling down and doubling down until hopefully you get lucky one day.

    And I absolutely care if the Braves keep looking for the Toussaint’s of the world for 4-5 years. And I absolutely care if the Braves take money from fans and don’t re-invest it in the ML product. I live 3 hours away from Miami, but I will NEVER go to that stadium and support that shyster.

  49. @55, keep in mind that we’re trying to lose on purpose. That’s why you give away Bud Norris for prospect lotto tickets. There’s really not much reason to care about the return for all the veterans-for-scap-heap-prospect deals we’ve done in the past two years. Odds are against any of those working out, and – per the Rule 5 / 40-man discussions above – in some cases you won’t be able to wait long enough to see if they might blossom later. It’s worth taking a flyer just to see if you can get lucky. The goal was to get high draft picks in 2016 and 2017. Mission accomplished. Any hidden gems we’d find along the way would just be gravy.

    Now we’ll be moving on the the actual “build-up” part of the plan. And the first move there was Matt Kemp. So yeah. I have literally no idea what these guys are doing/thinking most of the time, but I think we can say definitively that we’re done with the “acquire long-shot prospects any way you can” phase, and we’ll be turning them back into (fewer) mlb pieces or releasing them starting in the offseason.

  50. Edward — This is utterly irrelevant to the discussion, or to the namecalling but if it will help untwist your knickers:

    From my writeup of JHeyward for the 44, dated November 5 2015

    “Despite Edward’s valiant number-crunching, I don’t believe Jason Heyward is one of the 15 top position players in baseball, or even close. But I suspect he’s going to get paid like one very soon.”

    Here’s the link.

    #35: Jason Heyward (by bledsoe)

    You have a comment in there that you can also read if you care to.

    If you are upset that I complimented your article, a second time, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Note to the board: when I suggested that Nick Markakis be allowed to pitch, that was meant to be humorous. I don’t really know, but I don’t think he would be a good pitcher for us. Just my opinion. If you think he would be a good pitcher, please don’t get upset. You might be right. Reasonable minds can differ on this. And on other things.

  51. Rob – what you’re missing is that in most of the deals, the Braves are trading away the right to be mediocre in exchange for the certainty of short-term badness and the potential for long-term greatness. Say what you want, at least it’s an ethos. I feel like there’s a huge distinction between what the Braves have done, compared to Jeffrey Loria’s moves. The pre-rebuild Braves had a core team that was good but not great, a cashed-out minor league system and no way to reasonably project they could acquire enough talent on an ongoing basis to keep a winning product on the field. Loria, by contrast, had an excellent team that was a winner and could have kept winning if Loria had only paid to keep the core together, but he chose to sell instead. Loria deprived Marlins fans of a good chance to see more winning teams in order to enrich himself financially; the Braves made the tough decision to break up a decent team with some excellent players in the hopes of coming back stronger and better. The Braves now have a metric buttload of prospects working their way through the minor league system, though the results haven’t shown themselves at the MLB level (except w/ Folty and Mallex Smith at times). Once the foundation of winning stabilizes, the Braves can start stacking up their assets at the major league level.

    You call out Bud Norris as an example of the kind of trades that are stripping the MLB roster of talent and preventing the team from progressing – Bud is a terrific example of a guy who’s better than the crap in the 2016 Braves rotation, but who also shouldn’t be anywhere near the next contending Braves team: career ERA and WHIP of 4.46 / 1.40, 2016 ERA and WHIP of 4.63 / 1.38. That’s not very good. I’m glad the Braves aren’t trying to contend with Bud Norris – the fact that the Dodgers are forced to do so is an indictment of their poor rotation construction (plus some bad injury luck). Bud Norris is a not a 3-4 WAR pitcher, and the 2017 – onward Braves have lots of guys who should be able to approximate Bud Norris (like say, Matt Wisler).

    Also, it’s weird to me that we’re having this level of Bravesjournal acrimony following a game in which the team won on a walkoff homer. What will it take to bring back the good vibes?

  52. Guys, be nice.

    This isn’t the first time that Coppolella has indicated that he doesn’t believe he can rely on Wisler or Blair — the first time was a month or so ago, when he did that Q&A that Talking Chop got the video for. I don’t think he’s wrong, as per TINSTAAPP, but the jury’s really out on whether it’s a useful motivational technique. It’s awfully discouraging to see Wisler, Blair, Foltynewicz, and Jenkins all struggling this year, though. Hopefully at least one or two of them can have a strong finish to the year.

  53. @59 One of my two fantasy baseball teams this year is named “Waiting 4 Swanson”. I had to shorten ‘for’ to ‘4’ due to Yahoo Fantasy team name character limits.

  54. Count me in the camp that will never ask why we traded away bud freaking Norris in the middle of a 58-win season. I don’t care if dirks doesn’t pan out–that’s the way lotto tickets are. I also won’t gripe that we didn’t win 4 more games when we are drafting first. Who would?

  55. The point is: if you keep trading everyone away, then say that you can’t add pieces because your team is so bad, then it’s a slippery slope that you can’t climb. While I’m not saying you should have kept Harrell, Norris, Alvarez, Cervenka, and whoever else we traded, the reality is that we’d probably win 5-6 more games this year, and you’d have the confidence to build for next year. It’s a double benefit because those players are easily replaceable for 2017, and you got prospects, but you can’t evaluate the results based on them not being here.

  56. “the reality is that we’d probably win 5-6 more games this year, and you’d have the confidence to build for next year.”

    No I would not. My projections for next year are not based on the performances of Bud Norris this season or our actual record. They’re based on the performances on the projected starting pitchers for next year. This is very simple, and I feel I’m beating a dead horse. The only way to be so much as .500 next year is to sign several starting pitchers. The problem is, when you realize your offense scores 650 runs, and you want to add a big bat in 2018 or 2019, you can’t do it because you signed a bunch of expensive, mediocre Scott Kasmir and Jeff Samardzija type pitchers who crippled your payroll.

  57. @63 There is no slippery slope here; the Braves are accumulating a ton of talented players who will (once they have a little more time to develop) form the talent base that the front office can then build upon through trade/free agency.

    Also, let’s presume for a second that the 2016 Braves did as you say and kept Harrell, Norris, Alvarez, Cervenka etc. and in this alternate reality they win 67 games this year instead of 61. Why is that going to give you the “confidence to build for next year” that you wouldn’t have in the absence of those players? You can’t bank wins from previous seasons. The previous season’s W-L record doesn’t have any impact on next season’s W-L record; what does matter is the players that team has on its roster. Trading role players like Harrell, Norris, Alvarez, Cervenka etc. has performed a small-to-small-sized role in providing the Braves with the players they need to be good again.

    PS – Have you seen Caleb Dirks’ stats? 54.2 IP, 41 H, 14 BB, 59 K; 1.32 ERA, 1.01 WHIP. Even for a 23 year old reliever pitching at AA, those are good numbers. I’d rather have that guy than Bud Norris for sure.

  58. @63, I get your point and agree on the whole, but I’m just saying that they are going to have to draw a line in the sand and start “trying” this offseason. Literally anyone on this forum (or on the internet, or on the planet) could have sabotaged the team and gotten high draft picks. This next phase is going to determine whether Coppy gets a 5 year plan or a 15 year plan.

    You’re saying “if we don’t spend money until the team looks ready to compete, then it’s possible (maybe probable) that we’ll never spend money”, since that precondition is never true. If that happens I’d hope that everyone is fired and we somehow force the sale of the team by boycotting the mechanical bull bar at WFF or whatever it takes.

  59. Can we get a ‘JASON HURSH: PROTECT ME OR LET ME GO’ countdown-clock-to-the-rule-5-draft widget installed on here? I would seriously look at it all the time and laugh.

    I don’t know why we’d trade Jenkins/Demeritte/Whalen for Ryan Braun when we could throw in a few more of these rule 5 guys and reacquire JASON HEYWARD :D :D

  60. If there is really a 40-man crunch, we should flip mediocre prospects like Gant and Blair for low minors lotto tickets. I assume teams starved for MLB-ready arms might make such trades. And if Milwaukee actually wants to trade Braun for a package involving Jenkins and Blair then LOL giddy-up

  61. Quick question: a team full of replacement players, how many games does that team win? Is it 55 or 65 wins? Can’t remember.

  62. Sabermetric vs. traditionalist is immaterial to this conversation to me, directly at least. This team is my favorite team across all sports, and I would like for it to stop sucking. I don’t believe that this intentional sucking was ever necessary in the first place to rebuild the minor league system. Obviously, that’s what we chose to do, so I’ve moved on and dealt with it for two years, which was their stated timeline. If I have to deal with it again next year, which would go beyond their stated timeline, I’m going to be pissed.

    You say there’s nobody on the free agent market who could improve this team significantly, then fine (though I do feel people always say that about everyone on the free agent market who isn’t a mega-star…it’s a bit tired at this point). However, there are trades that can be made that will improve this team significantly. To say that there aren’t is just showing a complete lack of imagination. There are always trades that can be made. And if the team raises it’s payroll like they should, we’ll be able to take on more contracts without it ruining the payroll. And if they won’t raise their payroll, they never will and one has to question why we’re even here.

    I am a fan, not a front office employee. I’ve sat here for two years dealing with this bullcrap, and I expect an honest effort to actually win will begin to be employed. And just like I don’t buy that we had to tank to rebuild the farm system, I also don’t buy that actually trying to win (and yes, that means spending money) will necessarily torpedo the rebuild. Balancing that is not an impossible gambit, it’s the GM’s freaking job! Why we’re making preemptive excuses for why our GM can’t do his job is beyond me.

    And by the way, the organization might be able to get away with being non-competitive next year with the new stadium shine (despite my potential anger about it), but they absolutely cannot get away with that in 2018. Attendance will plummet again, just like it has the last couple years at Turner Field, and there won’t be a new stadium to save them this time. If we’re non-competitive that year, the organization is basically screwed.

  63. @67 KRussell I’d like to see the Braves start ‘trying’ again soon too. Obviously, they have a lot of PR / fanbase reasons to do so what with the new stadium. Let’s hope they can be smart and creative in finding a way to bring some really good players on board; few of the 2017 free agents are exciting.

  64. 47? It can’t be. We’re 75% through the season, and we have a cumulative WAR of 3. Call it 4 for the year. We’re on pace to win 60 games. Help.

  65. And just like I don’t buy that we had to tank to rebuild the farm system, I also don’t buy that actually trying to win (and yes, that means spending money) will necessarily torpedo the rebuild. Balancing that is not an impossible gambit, it’s the GM’s freaking job!

    OK, well, who do you see out there that’s available, affordable, at a position of need for us, and on a team that’s willing to sell and would like what we’ve got?

    So far, the answer, Ryan Braun, is not the answer. Not that I think we won’t try to trade for him again.

  66. @69
    I think we will either see something like that happen soon or see those guys packaged for MLB players.

  67. You’re asking for a mock offseason, which I don’t think anyone is really in the mood to provide, especially with the budget not being established. I like the $100M figure just so I don’t have to admit to myself that I cheer for the east coast equivalent of the Oakland Athletics, who is also opening a new stadium, but that’s really it.

    But from there, you have to decide philosophically what assets you’re willing to use. If you’re not willing to trade off prospects, then you’re pretty stuck. If you don’t want to sign FAs, you’re pretty stuck. But if you want to use a portion of high minors prospects that have stalled, money, and some major leaguers, then you’ve got a pretty good canvas to paint on.

    Some will need to resign themselves to the realization that some prospects will get given up on for a myriad of reasons. The writing is so bold on the wall. Then go from there. You can do it.

  68. Wait, how can that be? Do they not take the negative WAR of players? There’s no way this team adds to 10.7.

  69. 7 HRs by the Dodgers in Cincy – we’re only in the 7th inning. Three for Adrian Gonzalez.

  70. @69

    The top part of this is exactly what I’m talking about. How does trading the lottery tickets that haven’t quite panned out for more lottery tickets that probably won’t pan out make any sense? Trade them for major leaguers or dump them and sign major leaguers and let’s get on with it! And to those who say that players like Jenkins and Gant will never fetch anything useful, I disagree. Minor leaguers are so overvalued currently that I suspect somebody will give us something useful for them.

    Rob is exactly right. If you’re constantly waiting for the perfect conditions to strike, it will never happen. There are no perfect conditions. Also, I might remind some that using your minor league system as a way to acquire major league talent is a perfectly reasonable way to go about it. In fact, you’ll have to at some point. Doesn’t mean you should trade away your entire system, you have to pick and choose. But you can’t just sit there and say that you’re never gonna trade any mid-value minor leaguer because their potential high-end value is greater than that of whatever journeyman major leaguer you’re about to trade for. Well you can, but you’ll never be any good if you do, unless you just get incredibly lucky and have your entire farm system convalesce at the same time, which seems to be the strategy a lot of people on here would like to count on.

  71. I think both can happen, Nick. Some can be packaged for MLB players. Some can continue to re-stock farm. There’s such a surplus of type-B prospects that some can be shipped for other B prospects.

  72. “How does trading the lottery tickets that haven’t quite panned out for more lottery tickets that probably won’t pan out make any sense?”

    Well, it makes perfect sense… You should always do this if you can.

  73. @86

    That’s fine, potentially. It’s just this thing where we care about everything except how the major league team is doing that’s irritating to me. If we selectively do both, depending on what they bring back, that could be OK.

    The other thing about trading all of them for low-minors lotto tickets is this: If you have a 40-man logjam and all you do is trade those players for a greater quantity of other players who are likely going to be in the same position in 2-3 years, don’t you just make your logjam worse?


    It makes perfect sense if your major league team isn’t a smoldering wreck on the side of the highway. It makes much less sense if it is and you can improve it by trading those players.

  74. From above, Matt Wisler will not win as many games in MLB in his career as Bud Norris did in his one great season. Aaron Blair may never win another one, period.

  75. I’m an advocate of promoting all of the good players on the M-Braves to the majors next year. That would be the cheapest roster ever. Then backfill with three or four quality free agents and you’ve got yourself a team that will be fun to watch. Might not make it to .500, but we’ll get to see them learn on the job. If they bust, then we’re doomed any ways. If we wait it doesn’t mean they avoid busting, and it makes the roster hard to manage in 2018. Let’s get on with this already.

  76. Wow chief, your pessimism knows no bounds. I’m not predicting that Wisler and Blair will be Glavine and Smoltz, but I’m not ready to give up fully on either of them yet. I think Blair is much better than what he showed, but to be effective at the ML level, he needs pinpoint accuracy. I don’t see it yet, but I could see him as an adequate 4th/5th starter for at least a while if he at least becomes the same pitcher he was in the minors. Wisler has shown glimpses of being pretty good. Consistency at this level is definitely lacking, which can come in time. Wisler has already won 12 games. It’s hard for me to imagine him only winning 3 games for the rest of his career.

  77. I think we need to find a veteran pitcher who can eat innings and help with these young guys. A Charlie Liebrant type.

    I also wonder if McDowell is going to be brought back.

  78. @93

    Likely depends on who the manager is next year. If Snitker, I’d expect so. Probably also if Pendleton or Perez. If someone totally different, perhaps not.

  79. @94

    It’s another reason I would hire Bud Black.

    What are everyone’s thoughts on CJ Wilson or Doug Fister?

  80. Sadly, I don’t think you can trade Blair. Way too much of a ding. I’d trade Whalen and Jenkins. Maybe Ellis too. Ride with Teheran, Wisler, Folty, Gant, and the Bills, and hope Blair figures it out. Then you’ve got Newcomb and Sims coming around the bend, maybe.

  81. Ride with Teheran, Wisler, Folty, Gant, and the Bills

    There’s another 100 loss season. I wanna get off this ride.

  82. Of the existing prospects. Use Perez and Gant in the pen, and let Blair and Wisler battle it out for the 5th spot. But sign an established 1-2 WAR pitcher and a reclamation project like Harang or Norris.

  83. I think some of this disagreement is that people like me object to trading prospects for declining vets on short, expensive contracts. People shout back at me that I’m against competing, spending money, or acquiring real talent. Alternatively, I am told I’m in favor of tanking. No, I’m against foolish acquisitions, the likes of which got us into a position where we had to rebuild in the first place.

    And yes, Nick, if it came down to it and we could trade Jenkins and Blair for McCann or we could flip them for high-ceiling lotto tickets to clear 40-man space, I’d say take the lotto tickets. McCann won’t help us get to the playoffs, but the lotto tickets might! That’s not to say I’m in favor of perpetual rebuild, but I’m not in favor of spewing prospects because 70-win fever.

  84. @99 – Agree fully. The rotation at 98 may well be close to a 100 loss rotation, but sign a good pitcher and a reclamation project, I think you add about 10 to 15 wins considering injuries during the year. If we get two impact hitters, I think we can at least come close to breaking even. Everything else will depend on how ready our young guys are. Right now, I can’t see us with more than 80 wins next year, but you never know.

  85. Putting theory and philosophy aside, what do you plan on doing with 11 starters who could very well challenge for rotation spots? Think about it. Teheran, Folty, Wisler, Whalen, Blair, Jenkins, Gant, Perez, THEN Newcomb, Sims, and Ellis. Some of these guys are going to show something in winter ball. Some of these guys will show something in Spring Training. Practically speaking, some of these guys have ran their course. You’re not going to stash all of these guys in AAA. Guys are going to come up from Rome to AA. Guys in AA like Povse and Weigel might get a push to AAA.

    It would be so insane to hold onto all of these 23-25 year old potential 3-5 starters. This makes absolutely no sense. And all because the team is bad? It’s going to have to be simply proven with empirical evidence (meaning actual trades) to prove to some people that we could pull out of this mess by trading Markakis, Adonis, Kemp, and 4 pitching prospects for 3 major league position players and sign the rest. Geez, this is just so obvious.

  86. I’d imagine a few of the starters will earn their way into the rotation and really show something. Unfortunately, it is the guys that show something that will be most useful in acquiring position players.

    Let’s see how the team is with Albies and Swanson playing.

  87. We’re going to deal Blair for McCann, or something like that, and perhaps it’ll be fine. We won’t miss Blair, we won’t be “competitive” (let’s be straight up here, this is a crappy goal to shoot for. “Competitive” is what you want? What’s wrong with some of you?) with McCann, but it’ll help Coppy et al save face/launch WFF successfully/execute the real-timeline rebuild that seems like it might just work.

    And maybe the plan is ultimately to set payroll high enough so that it doesn’t matter if McCann really declines on us. Otherwise, this talk of McCann is completely insane.

  88. I’d take McCann if it’s just money and prospects we’re about to give up on. The Yankees wanted Folty last time I checked the trade rumors. No.

  89. @104, well said. If we do get McCann it is a face-saving, ticket-selling move, and if that’s worth trading some of our top-30 prospects to you, I can’t argue. But let’s not pretend McCann is catching our next playoff game.

  90. Sell ’em for cash. Yanks want Sanchez behind the dish. Trade Blair and Ellis for McCann and gobs of cash. Take cash to the FA market or buy another Touki low-minors higher-upside lotto ticket.

  91. @108, now you’re talking

    PS: though I think the Yankees understand the point of a rebuild is to trade away, not acquire, guys like McCann and kemp

  92. The best way to trade Kemp is to use the media to tell him he’s fat. Amirite?

    Boys, I’m afraid we’re stuck with Kemp for lots of reasons, the main one being that our guys think he’s going to really help us. Once you come to acceptance on that, then adding McCann becomes easier. Then it’s just a slippery slope until you’ve convinced yourself that a lineup needs veteran presences like Beckham and Francouer, and that Markakis is pretty valuable too.

  93. Every time that I can recall a below average team trying to jump into contention with a bunch of expensive acquisitions in one offseason, it has blown up. Most recently, that was the Dbacks and Padres. Before that, it was the Marlins with Buehrle, Bell, and Reyes. If you don’t have a core in place, it is folly to think expensive acquisitions are going to make you legitimate. And frequently, the result is years of sucking while you clean up the mess.

  94. @111 – I think Kemp is fine as long as he is not depended on as our second best power hitter. Get one impact hitter (.900 + OPS) and another like McCann, and Kemp is much more valuable IMO.

    I really like Markakis and I have similar thoughts about him as I do Kemp. Markakis is a good hitter and is fine in the 6th or 7th spot. Our problem is that we depend on him to be a hitter that he’s not. I suspect we’ll trade him in the off season, so I’m not worried about it.

    Francouer is fine as long as he bats about 4 times a week like he’s been doing lately. There is very little need for the current version of Beckham, but the mid season version wasn’t bad.

  95. @112 Absolutely. Building a contender in one off-season seems to have a low success rate.

    Part of me thinks Coppy will do it to build excitement. Of course, he hasn’t given any indication that excitement is a priority.

  96. Riley homered again. I think that’s like 7 in his last 13 or 14 games. Ending the season en fuego.

  97. #108
    Right now, the Yanks’ DH is McCann vs. RHP or Sanchez vs. LHP (with Austin Romine catching.)

    FWIW, Matt Kemp doesn’t exactly fit the profile of the Yanks’ rebuild, but dumping McCann does.

    Like a lotta AL clubs, the Yanks dream about Kyle Schwarber as their dream DH. As always, LH pitching & LH power is what wins in that park.

  98. Watching Folty cough up leads reminds me that he can be the #2 starter on a playoff contender next season.

  99. Hilarious, John.

    This is why I don’t want the #1 pick. For us to get the #1, and all of the blessed slot money, it means that our pitching prospects are bombing out. That’s a high price to pay to get the next not-Bryce Harper and 4 of 5 guys slightly better than the slot. I’d really rather have 3 cost controlled guys throwing daggers at the major league level.

    This was an incredible amount of discussion for a dog day of August. That’s the thing about the rebuild: there’s so much debate, so many routes you can take, and it’s all emotionalized because, well, your team sucks. And no one wants their team to suck, but you want to confirm that this has all been worth it. Good stuff, guys. Thanks.

  100. @138

    Yeah it is. Unless you’re super excited about losing to these guys in the bottom of the ninth. I know I am.

    Honestly, most current managers seem to have decided that playing for a win on the road is stupid. I have therefore decided that most current managers are stupid.

  101. @124, yeah, I’d rather have the #5 or 10 pick if it meant Wisler, Folty, and Jenkins were all ROY candidates, but that didn’t happen. The important thing to remember is that my wanting the #1 pick didn’t cause them to suck. On the other hand, the fact that all our high minors pitchers suck is the reason we need the #1 pick.

    I agree with Chief that the ace-level talent in our system is in the low minors. where I disagree with Chief is that I think that Sims, Folty, and Newcomb all have a legit shot. These other guys like Blair, Wisler, Whalen, Gant, and Jenkins all have relatively modest ceilings and odds are perhaps one of them reaches it, and odds are it will come after some struggle.

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