Hey! We Swept!

Well, the weekend thread lasted a little longer. As mentioned, we’ve got some stuff planned for later in the offseason, but, once again, still just not much going on.

Sniter getting manager of the year is interesting. It tells me that it’s all about expectations. No matter how you slice it, Milwaukee did a tremendous job to get to the NLCS, and Craig Counsell deserves a lot of credit. But Milwaukee Won The Offseason (TM), so the expectations were high for Counsell, though I personally think he exceeded them. There were so little expectations for Atlanta, so Snitker looked better accordingly, but you can make an argument that Snitker had just as much talent to work with roster-wide as Milwaukee. So did Snitker actually do as good of a job as Counsell?

The Manager of the Year race was closer than the Rookie of the Year race, which was surprising. Juan Soto, statistically, was as good or better in many significant categories, but Ronald Acuna Jr. “carried” this team, and Soto didn’t earn that perception. So there you go, Acuna wins it. But Soto had him outpaced slightly in wOBA, wRC+, and OPS, but Acuna had him in the bubble gum stats with HRs and SBs. They ended up with the same fWAR, though Acuna outpaced him significantly in bWAR.

I’m not trying to sound negative. Acuna and Snitker absolutely deserved these awards, but the runner-ups were about as close as they could have been.

Mrs. Copenhaver and I are in Dubai, UAE until Saturday, then we will enjoy Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, and then the Maldives islands. And we’ll be doing all of this until the end of November. We’ve been married for 6 1/2 years, and this is our first vacation — even including our honeymoon – that is longer than 5 days. I know Stephen in the UAE is obviously familiar with the UAE, but does anyone have anything helpful to add or recommendations of fun to be had in these three countries? Please do let us know. Sadly, there is minimal baseball here.

75 thoughts on “Hey! We Swept!”

  1. Yeah, many used to say that Bowman was Peanut — an unreliable, loyal terrier of the FO — and DOB was more of an objective source for both information and opinion. I don’t think DOB serves any value whatsoever. What DOB brings to the table is inaccurate information (like yesterday), an uninformed opinion of what the FO is doing, a bad take on baseball, and a snarky attitude. Bowman, IMO, is actually more critical of the FO now regardless of his proximity to the org, and just has a better perspective on the team and the game as a whole. Just my two cents.

  2. Exercising great restraint the Poet will go against his better judgment and pass by places en route which offer so much tantalizing rhyming potential that he weeps.

    Was ever there such devotion.

  3. Trade proposal on Twitter: Kluber for Touki, Riley, and Pache.

    That’s a lot of value to give up.

  4. Jonathan, she is, especially after suffering through watching a good 120+ games on TV during the season.

  5. @8 Damn. That’s worth a long look. Considering a deal for Realmuto is probably Touki + Riley at the very minimum, I think I would have to give this deal a lot more consideration. Kluber has 3 years of control remaining on a very reasonable contract. I hate to see Pache and Touki in this deal, but if this team needs an elite TOR that’s definitely Kluber. We can afford this.

  6. That trade would be more than Boston gave up to acquire Chris Sale who had an even better contract than Kluber. White Sox got #1, #60-80 pitcher, #120ish, and a lotto ticket for Sale. Make it Wright, Waters and Fried and we got a deal. I would consider changing out Fried for Touki but then Cleveland would need a throw in.

    One problem AA is going to have making trades is that we only have 2 good position player prospects and everyone wants them in every trade. Pache will universally be a 60+ prospect in all the off-season compilations while Riley will be a 55 with a few laggards still at 50. There is nobody else to plug in as a reasonable option as Contreras and Waters are 50/45 and everybody else is straight 40’s at best.

  7. Well, that was quick… see https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/an-update-to-prospect-valuation/

    By this method, the Sale trade contained about $146M in value at the time Moncada $112M, Kopech $21M, Basabe $8M (WAG) and Diaz $5M(WAG)

    Proposed Kluber trade has $53M (Pache), $43M (Riley) and $28 (Touki) for $124M That is criminally low on Touki.

    I was wrong in my prior assessment because the new system puts a greater emphasis on top guys so Moncada was “worth” a lot more than the old Point of Pittsburgh method gave. I still wouldn’t put Pache and Riley in the trade.

  8. D-Backs willing to pay portion of Greinke’s contract. That could be an interesting pickup.

  9. It’s going to be very difficult for baseball to gain popularity overseas when almost no pitching whatsoever goes with them to the Japan All-Star series. Not that I blame them.

  10. Seeing some of the monetary values of our young players and prospects next to each other tell me that we’re going to have a hard time getting the value we’re wanting from our high end pitching prospects should we decide to trade them. If FG is valuing Cristian Pache at almost double where Touki is, then I would imagine you’d see Newcomb’s significantly higher because of said certainty, making him much more likely to be traded. If Touki, Wright, whomever have a quarter of the value in trade as Yoan Moncada — and I completely understand and appreciate why — then I would say don’t trade any of these high end guys. Or a particular team will fall in love with a particular pitcher, and that pitcher then could be traded, but not at the value suggested in that article. Sheesh.

  11. @16. For the entire rest of the world which is used to watching soccer, baseball is too slow. It’s the same reason cricket never got as popular globally as soccer. It’s too slow and it takes too long. The popularity levels between the two sports are not even close.

    There may be a chance if baseball can be cut down to 2 hours. Football has the same problem with too little real action and the game being too long. That’s why NBA is the league that has global popularity among the three sports.

  12. @16
    I’m not sure Japan needs anymore convincing that baseball is a fun sport to follow. It’s their national pastime.

    In Ichiro’s first year with Seattle, his box score led off every nightly newscast.

  13. Ha. Very funny, Roger. I think most of us are in agreement that a deal for Bryce Harper could benefit the organization as much as the team, but even that author seems to think it’s very unlikely to happen.

    In a perfect world, they sign Harper and deal for an elite staff ace (lost prospects be damned).

  14. Let’s not act like baseball isn’t at all popular internationally. It’s not soccer or basketball, but it’s very popular in Latin America and East Asia, and has its fans in Europe, too. I’d suggest it’s similar to ice hockey in global popularity. It’s clearly a globally recognized sport, it’s just not popular in every single corner of the globe like the above two sports are.

    Also, we have three choices: spend a lot of money in free agency, trade away some prospects that you’re not going to be too excited about losing, or essentially do nothing. Because if we’re not willing to do either of the first two, anything we are willing to do will almost certainly only move the needle a negligible amount.

  15. The countries where baseball is extremely popular are pretty much just the United States, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Japan, and South Korea; even in Canada, baseball is way, way, way, way less popular than hockey. Hockey probably has just as many countries where it is extremely popular, including Canada, Russia, and the Scandinavian countries.

    Baseball is far less popular than soccer in most of the rest of Latin America and far less popular than soccer AND basketball in the rest of the world. Even in European countries where baseball has some following, it’s generally less popular than more niche sports like, say, rugby or handball.

    Global popularity is still very much a work in progress.

    EDIT: I am obviously a big dumb idiot for not writing the word “Cuba” above, but otherwise the points mainly stand.

  16. Fuck the Marlins……..


    If you eliminate Realmuto from the discussion what’s left of difference makers who might be available is basically


    Grandal will cost a lot. Cervelli only has one year of control. Gomes has high K-rate and low BB-rate. And Suzuki is back to square 1. I think trading for Cervelli is the best option. The Pirates have a ready made replacement already (Diaz). If we can get Cervelli for 1-3 years then, hopefully, Contreras will be ready. Cervelli offers a very similar bat to Grandal except for less power and better OBP. And he could be half the cost in dollars with prospect capitol being used. Of course, you lose a high pick with Grandal too.

    I think if you can’t get Grandal or Cervelli then you go re-sign Suzuki…… To which I say ….. ugh….

    Looking back at some stats, I think the Rays made a really smart trade to get Zunino. Seems like a really good under the radar guy with potential for improvement.

  17. Said it all along that the Marlins are demanding too much for Realmuto. My biggest fear was that the asking price wouldn’t be high enough to chase the Braves away. I get the feeling this team is willing to overpay for him.

    An offseason of Realmuto and bench pieces would be a huge disappointment, especially if we couldn’t do more because we used our trade chips to get that one deal done. If we’re only going to get one player, then just spend money. It’s only money. Spend it.

  18. these conversations re catchers continue to chase the absurd…

    Grandal had an appalling WS(were you watching?) and unbelievably turned down a QO.
    Realmuto is too old relative to what is asked for.
    Flowsuki will do fine till the ASB at which time we go to the bench and install Contreras, either 2 or 3.

    So far we would still have all our prospects. all our cash. So much for you guys who love to spend willy nilly. Every dollar/top pitching prospect WE HAVE TO SPEND should be spent on YOUNG POWER..

  19. There was a young man who was looking
    for deals he knew others were cooking
    His patience was shot
    he fretted a lot
    Demanded to know who we’re booking.

  20. @27 I don’t think there’s anyone that thinks Contreras will be ready by any time next year. Judging Grandal just on the WS would not be very smart. Cervelli is likely a cheaper option than even Suzuki. Not sure how big a prospect we’d have to give up for just one year of control (would be pretty much like signing Suzuki for one year). Cervelli is a better option as he is better defensively and the Braves were pretty awful at C last year defensively. There are virtually no high performing catchers anywhere in the game that are not near or over 30. Not sure why that is but it seems to be the case. Grandal certainly gets you power production which is his plus along with defense. Cervelli had about the same WRC+ as Grandal last year and has a higher OBP so probably the same net offense.

    The Braves need a really good catcher more than anything else. It’s likely that Suzuki will regress although given no other options he’s be sort of acceptable. There are just no really good options for young catchers. And putting all our eggs in the Contreras basket is not smart either.

    I’m all for ponying up money to get Harper. Not sure where else you plan to get all that young power from. Generally, teams are not disposed of trading Trouts, Betts, Acunas, Judges, or Sotos unless you’re the Marlins with a few Yelichs on hand. The Braves missed that boat last year.

  21. Actually, one deal that I’d sure like to see is if we could help the D’Backs out with that awful Greinke contract. And it should only cost them Peralta. Adding Greinke and Peralta would solve a couple of problems in one fell swoop. If we could sign Corbin and trade out Newk in a deal for Peralta, that would be OK, too. It might even help to include Teheran.

  22. I don’t want to take Greinke at this age. If we are adding a #1 I want someone better and younger than him.

  23. Roger. Semantics please.

    ‘Putting all our catching eggs in the Contreras basket’ – how so? Never suggested. A 2 or a 3 at the ASB plus his role on the bench was what I was after.

    That way we also benefit from ‘bringing on’ one of our youthful prodigies while we’re at it, one who likely has had his fill of the minor league roundabout and Acuna/Riley like is quite likely to burst out of those shackles. Really good young players do that more often than not it would seem. Cervelli is not free, has to be bought, is old and has zero upside.

    You really had to watch all 5 WS games to see how awful Grandal was. They were pinch hitting for him at the end.

    YOUNG POWER. Why list just the elite top few who have already arrived at the top? It’s the Senzels of the world I want us to scout, pursue and acquire with our young pitching. I use his name for illustrative purpose only due to his health concerns. There are plenty of others Fast can research. He likely already has. We need at least three for our system as a whole. Urgently. Before the end of April anyway. Salut.

  24. Why should I have any confidence that Contreras will be any good? When have the Braves come up with a decent catcher in the minors since McCann? Salty? Bethancourt? Jonathon Morales was highly touted a couple of years ago? Jackson? In the last few years, every year has had some new hot shot for our catcher of the future. IF Contreras will be any good, it will definitely not be next year. He has a minimum of two years before he debuts. In fact, he’s only 20. His brother did not debut until he was 24. We need a big time catcher now to bridge the gap and Suzuki is not the answer (unless we can’t get anyone better).

    I am not interested in Cervelli for any upside; I’m interested in him for what he’s already shown and for the fact that he might be available with a short commitment. I would love to have Grandal who has been a contributor with power consistently. I do not care one whit what he did in the WS because his capability has been proven over several years on both defense and offense and he is not old – catcher-wise.

    Realmuto would be plenty of young power but he’s not coming this way. There are no other available choices.

    I don’t know if you have been paying attention to the faux GM meetings over at TT but they were ready to trade away Contreras for Francisco Mejia. When that deal was nixed, they signed Grandal for 3/36. I think that kind of deal would be really great but I also think he’s going to get more than that.

    You’re quest for “young power” will not possibly more fruitful than searching for the Holy Grail. Everyone wants it an no one wants to give it up.

    Seems to me the best chance at “young power” is a rebound of Alex Jackson and advancement of Braxton Davidson. And promoting Riley to start at 3B. I don’t think you’re going to do any better than that unless you want to sign Harper or Machado. Every other available source of power is going to be between 29-35. Peralta, Pollock, McCutcheon, et al. You mention Senzel, but the Reds have had every reason and every chance to trade him or Suarez and have not done it. Or Gennett for that matter. I’d love to have Travis Shaw but I don’t see the Brewers giving him up. The Braves had a chance to pick up Jake Cave or Corey Dickerson for peanuts last year and didn’t even try. A Jake Cave trade might not cost much now; TC traded for him in their faux GM simulation for Shane Carle. I could live with that. TC also traded for Andrew Knizner and Tyler O’Neill from the Cardinals without giving up much (Kyle Muller + Jackson and Duvall and Lugbauer). I could live with that too, but they didn’t plan on making Knizner the catcher next year – they signed Grandal to a nasty contract (4/98) which I would not approve of. I suspect that if those two trades (Cave and Knizner/O’Neill) were possible then the Braves would have jumped at them.

    Trying to be realistic while also trying to get the best players possible should be the goal. We need a high functioning catcher for both offense and defense and I outlined the choices I think are possible. I’d love Grandal but he may be too costly. Suzuki and Ramos are not great defenders. Cervelli is a guy who brings both offense and defense and may actually be available at a reasonable price.

    Our catchers were some of the worst defenders in all of baseball last year if you believe the statistics. Flowers is a great framer but he could not throw out a slug on the basepaths and his blocking is not that great. Suzuki’s defense is none of the above but he can hit a HR or two. Getting a good defensive catcher will improve the statistics of our pitchers without having to change any personnel.

  25. To sum up our offseason to date, we’ve garnered individual awards, hired a numbers cruncher and said tentative goodbyes to our gold glove silver slugger outfielder and the hitting half of our catching platoon. Is that it? What have I glossed over?

    Edit: oh yes, we also fired but have not replaced our pitching coach. Anything else?

  26. @38 Sounds about right to me. I recall this is what it felt like right before AA started wheeling and dealing at the trade deadline. Maybe the peak of our impatience is when things will start happening.

  27. @37 I realize that these faux GM things are 100% irrelevant but they do bring up ideas of what might be possible. Some good things; some not so good. But, as part of the discussion of what the Braves should/could do to fill holes and improve the team, they are fun to ponder.

  28. Given their need for MLB pitching, there ought to be a deal with the Padres possible. Something like Teheran and Newcombe for Austin Hedges and Franmil Reyes would help both teams immensely as Hedges would give us the catcher defense we crave and Reyes has good power in the outfield corners. We would need to include a prospect or possibly pay down Julio’s contract, but this one is doable.

    Then sign Patrick Corbin and let Soroka and Touki round out the rotation. Riley is promoted at the break and Camargo slides into being the league’s best utility guy. Braves win, braves win!

    edit: spelling

  29. Didn’t catch that Folty grabbed some black ink, tying for the league lead in complete games with Thor, Scherzer, and Taillon.

  30. Greetings from Bangkok!

    I must say, I didn’t enjoy Dubai much. I like to kick back a beverage when I’m on vacation, and they didn’t make that particular easy on you. I’m also not sure if they enjoy tourism considering the area is doing quite well without the infiltration. At least that was my impression. But what a cool city from an infrastructure and architectural quality perspective.

    Of course Bangkok is very tourist friendly.

    Literally have not seen a television without soccer on it since we connected in Moscow. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled to the east, and while obviously we all know how popular soccer is internationally, I’m a little surprised to see how unpopular every other sport is.

  31. By the way, Folty had 2 complete games. I stumbled on this because I read a tweet that Roy Halladay still has the most complete games since 2009. Kershaw is only 2 behind, but you’d have to think even Kershaw at age-31 next year may not even get 3 to pull ahead. I’m sure that there are some young pitchers that will become horses that are not right now — a more efficient Sean Newcomb comes to mind — but I wouldn’t be surprised if no one pulls ahead of Halladay in that time period. The game is a changin’.

  32. The rosterbation is fun, and I can enjoy some good ole rosterbation as much as the next fella, but the offseason is just so undeveloped. It seems league-wide no one has any idea what anyone is doing, which is probably 100% the result of the Machado and Harper negotiations. What do we know? Arizona and Seattle are selling, so there is a Paxton or Greinke out there to potentially acquire, but outside of that, a lot of team’s plans are not real clear.

    Bowman was a big “trade for Realmuto” guy, but he says here that it’s looking unlikely. Who the heck knows though? I have a hard time believing the Marlins will get what they’re looking for, and his price will drop as the offseason advances. Maybe they wait until after Harper and Machado are acquired.

  33. @43. Now you understand how big British influence is in Asia.

    @45. At this time of the year, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to any rumors or anyone’s opinion. AA is running a very tight ship.

  34. Very little Americans in both Dubai and Bangkok as far as I can tell. Anecdotally, it feels like 5 to 1 Brits to Americans. Of course, flight time is probably making a huge impact as well.

  35. It’s not just about the current population. We are talking about one century of British empire influence in Asia.

  36. It’s not just that the game has changed since Doc Halladay — Doc was a horse the likes of which we hadn’t seen in a long time, and he completed that many games because he wanted to and snarled at anyone who’d try to take the ball from his hands. There are very, very few pitchers who combine excellence and sheer intimidation the way he did.

    Scherzer and Kershaw are the only two in recent years, and they both have a ways to go before the catch Doc’s overall career numbers.

  37. Suzuki to Nats, 2 year deal, Feinsand.

    I’ll miss him. Best memory would be his late defensive heroics in Game 3 against the Dodgers. Flowers led the post game celebs out of the dugout and bear hugged him off the ground.

    coop, snap. We are both so alert.

  38. That removes the Nationals from the Realmuto sweepstakes, I would think. Of course, they likely know Realmuto isn’t being traded within the division, so…

  39. @53, when your team/org is THAT crappy, I don’t really understand why that matters to them. By the time they are competitive he will be old and wearing/worn down.

  40. I don’t immediately discount the Braves being in the mix for Harper, but if it happens I believe it will be because Bryce actually wants to play for the Braves.

    And I want to root for Bryce. Makes perfect sense. Get it done, Alex.

  41. ┳┻|
    ┳┻| _
    ┻┳| •.•) The Marlins are
    ┳┻|⊂ノ posturing

  42. And… DOB is just jerking everybody around. Believes he has it on very good authority the Braves are definitely not in on Harper. At all.

    No Realmuto. No Harper. That’s the offseason we should be expecting, folks.

  43. @53. Since the organisation is led by Jeter, I expect them to be old school.

    In a way I am happy that Suzuki is not returning, it means we are not sitting still.

  44. I assume we won’t stay put at catcher, but… it leaves us without Suzuki as a fallback option. I wouldn’t be opposed to a better defensive catcher who can can on base some, but I’ll still be disappointed if that’s the biggest move the team makes. I’ll probably be disappointed if the Braves don’t acquire an elite talent this offseason or acquire 2-3 very good players.

  45. @64 and they acquired him for a #1, a #22, and a non-rated A+ OF.

    In the GM simulations, the TC guys gave up twice that much talent to get Paxton. I wonder if AA was in on discussions with SEA on Paxton?

    I wonder if that might depress Corbin’s market some.

  46. Smart organizations let the 34 year old journeyman catcher walk, even if he’s been a good guy for a few years.

  47. Yeah, no tears shed about losing Suzuki. He was a perfect stopgap for a non-contending team, and he also gave some unexpectedly strong performance. Had we re-signed him, I think we would have said that we didn’t upgrade the roster enough at a position we really needed to do more with.

    Haniger would be great. I’ve moved on from infatuation with Nick Castellanos to infatuation with Mitch Haniger.

  48. You’ve got three legitimate trade partners in the east — Nats, Phils, and us — for Realmuto. To remove that much of the pool would be foolish on the Marlins’ part. With that said, the Nats may not have the prospects or willingness to trade them to land Realmuto, but the Phils and Braves definitely line up well.

  49. @67 @68 The Mariners have not shown themselves to be in “full rebuild” mode at all. Paxton had only two years of control and they got Sheffield for him; a guy who may actually be pluggable into next year’s rotation. Haniger has four years of control and the Mariners plan to compete this year or at worst next year. He will not be traded. You won’t get Diaz either and his four years of control.

    But you can have Nelson Cruz or Robinson Cano if you want them……

  50. The only thing I can figure is that the Braves had too many health concerns on Paxton. He was an intriguing option.

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