If you’re new to the blog, you may not know that there is a Braves Journal Glossary. You can see the entire glossary here. We’ve made some new additions:
Outciarte – Nickname for Ender Inciarte. Ender is terrific at making outs, both due to his career .337 OBP and his status as our primary leadoff hitter during his Atlanta career. It can be exacerbated by his extended slumps.
Atlanta Complete Game – During the Great Rebuild, two things were happening: starters pitchers were beginning to not pitch as deep into games, and our starting pitchers had even shorter outings. So if an Atlanta starting pitcher could get even 6 IP, that was an Atlanta Complete Game.
Flozuki – Nickname for our catching duo from 2017-2018, Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki. They were more of a situational platoon vs. a starter/backup format, so the merging of their names conveyed the interchangeability to their roles. Suzuki now plays for the Washington Nationals, so the nickname will not continue in 2019.
Neck – Nickname for Nick Markakis. Before signing with Atlanta in November 2014, Markakis had neck surgery. And since â€œneckâ€ and â€œNickâ€ are similar, this nickname stuck.
Urethra – Jose Urena. The yellow-bellied, sore-losing pitcher who plunked Ronald Acuna Jr. on August 15th, 2018. His professionalism and class could probably fit through his urethra. Atlanta fans may be booing him for years.
Phil Collins – Extreme measures taken by the blog to get the Braves out of a slump. Itâ€™s not pretty, but YouTube videos of Phil Collinsâ€™ music will be brought into posts in hopes of waking bats and enlivening arms. A tradition started by founder, Mac Thomason.
Let me know what else needs to be added to the glossary.
I think it maybe should have said “And since “neck” and “Nick” are similar, this neckname stuck.”
Awesome! @2 Ha!
WRT the poll….. I am still keeping faith with AA based upon what he did at the July and August trade deadlines. I had hoped, then, that he would do something earlier just cuz it was possible. But based upon the whole chain of events, I think we will have to wait until Jan/Feb or even later to see the full results of what AA can accomplish. Of course, this is in contrast to his one big deal last Fall which was in Nov.
Slightly surprised so many think that things have changed. Patience is a virtue, compadres.
We have an additional entry from Remy:
“Smitty’s barber” is a rhetorical device/narrative persona that allows Smitty, a longtime contributor to Braves Journal, to propose hypothetical trades. For example, in a post Smitty might say something like, “I was just talking to my barber, and he says that Team X will trade Players A,B, and C to Team Z for Players D and E.” This persona, or narrative mask, allows Smitty to speculate as wildly and as freely as he chooses without regard for criticism. Philip Roth has Nathan Zuckerman; Smitty has his barber.
Smitty will often employ this device to interject humor when a thread has become stagnant or contentious.
Ha ha ha! My barber is thrilled to have such an honor!
I think AA is looking to make significant improvements to the team, but after reading all of his comments I’ve come to the same conclusion I came to at the deadline: we’re not spending much because he doesn’t think we’re one or two pieces away from really going for it. We’re passing on potentially big moves (and commitments) until then. IOW, he thinks this team could add a Bryce Harper and potentially not go to the playoffs. Therefore we pass on Harper. Just like we passed on some better but more expensive deadline deals. AA maybe didn’t buy into last season’s success, and his outlook maybe hasn’t changed.
As Chief would put it, they’re not really trying to win yet. They will try to improve, their goal can change, but the outlook is still uncertain. Are the Braves really ahead of schedule? Maybe not in AA’s eyes.
I now expect a catcher, some relievers, and for them to bring back Neck.
It’s going to be a Devin Mesoraco-plus type, a couple middle relievers and Markakis and call it a day.
And its even more frustrating after reading the fangraphs article about how profitable the Braves are now.
People always act like MLB is a one-player video game and the Braves are the only protagonists.
When AA says he’s looking for value, think of it like this: for every single player available — in trade and in free agency — the Braves have determined who gives the team the greatest surplus on what they’d cost the team. Like, they even have a ranking by position for what that looks like.
Let’s say David Peralta offers not just the best value for a RF option, the best overall value for any player who is available. The Braves have their sense of what he will produce, how much pay he’ll command, what the Diamondbacks are asking for right now, and it all works out that he’s the best bargain at a position of need for us.
If things work out so the Braves can actually acquire David Peralta for something like what the Diamondbacks are suggesting they want, then that sets the Braves’ path for the rest of the offseason — they can move on to, say, catchers or starting pitching or relievers, and they’ll consider themselves fortunate to have gotten the best overall value to start off with.
It’s like the Braves have many tens of these chain reactions mapped out. The chain reactions that end in acquiring someone as unexciting as Markakis started with the Braves making large, Realmuto- or Corbin-esque improvements elsewhere.
That’s the buyer’s perspective. But if you’re a seller…
Let’s stick with the Diamondbacks and Peralta. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are out there, and if you’re selling, 1) you wait until your guy is the best available guy before trading him so you can extract a little more from your buyer, and 2) maybe Bryce Harper manages to set the market at a place where you can ask for more than you floated to, say, the Braves back in November. That’s the hope.
Even if the Braves went to Scott Boras today and said, “We will bid 10/$300 for Harper’s services,” it’s Scott Boras’ *job* to do nothing other than go to the Phillies, Yankees, Nationals, Cardinals, whoever else and say, “…so, can I get 12/$350 from any of you?” and just sit there and wait a while to see if anyone bites. And all the other sellers wait as long as they feel they must to ride Harper’s coattails.
Maybe things will break differently if it’s like the 2017-18 offseason and no one’s signed or traded in late February. But it’s still November.
People who think the Braves plans must have changed because nothing has happened for a month are idiots. People who think the Braves actually want Nick Markakis above anyone else on their team again are also idiots. But given how unlikely I am to persuade anyone — and how likely it is that a Chief-like commenter is going to swoop in and start whining* about how little the front office “wants to win” — I must be the biggest idiot of them all.
*It already happened while I was typing!
I wasn’t whining, I was just stating what I think is going to happen. And btw, 99% of us know the thought process and process of signing a high level FA.
And I still think they are trying to compete, and not trying to *win* yet, and nothing will change my opinion on that.
Just in case anyone forgot, “trying to win” = signing the best available free agent, whatever he costs.
If you can’t beat Chief, might as well join him.
I HEREBY DECLARE: The Braves are not Trying To Win unless and until one player from each position makes the same All-Star team.
Now, they all don’t have to be All-Star starters. All-Star reserves works fine for me. And it’s OK if it’s just one starting pitcher and one reliever that makes it. I’m not unreasonable.
So, Adam R., if Braves can sign Bryce Harper for 15 years at 600 million they are not trying to win?
If Braves sign Michael Brantley for 45 mill over 3 years, they are not trying to win?
If Braves sign Ramos for 15 mill over 2 years, they are not trying to win?
Being sane does not mean you are not trying to win.
Didn’t pick up the sarcasm directed at Chief.
Nope, they’re only really Trying To Win if they have All-Stars at every position #TryingToWin #TTW
@10 Perfectly stated. It’s why nothing much happened until right at the deadline, I imagine. I was among the most skeptical last July until the deals were made. Now, I have to remain patient because AA has a history with the team. I do think what Adam describes is different than what the Philles are shooting for, for example. So his logic has merit as opposed to being “obvious”.
I also think that these guys in the front office are supposed to be the professionals so they SHOULD have multiple complex scenarios and negotiations going on simultaneously. I know what I “want” and I’m sure everyone here has an idea of what we should do but we are all thinking in two dimensions when our FO should be thinking in three dimensions. That’s why they get the big bucks.
The one thing we can count on is that there are a limited number of players who can be brought in that actually increase the potential WAR output of this team so we all know who the targets are. How we get any one or more of them is the real intrigue. If we can’t get a C that is clearly better than Zuk (2.0 WAR) or a RF that is clearly better than Neck (2.6 WAR) then we’re likely to end up with Duvall or Neck in RF and Lamarre behind the plate. And the pitching could still come down to giving a lot of time to our prospects or bringing back Sanchez and Brach if we can’t get an “Ace” or a closer.
I don’t believe that trying for incremental improvement is not trying to win.
Chief is predicting about a $75M payroll. We’re going to be asking the Marlins how to save money on laundry.
Correction – Raffy Lopez not Lamarre behind the plate.
@20. It’s actually quite interesting to define what “try to win” means. Under your definition, the Phillies are definitely trying to win.
Using the same definition, I also agree that the Braves should not be trying to win now. We are at least three major pieces away from seriously thinking about winning the whole thing.
I just don’t like the fact that the org seems to be so skewed to internal options. The facts are that literally all but most likely two of these pitching prospects will more than likely fail. The hitting prospects are thin. What else is there to do?
And so I can say it for those in the back. I am NOT mad that they haven’t signed a marquee FA, YET. I am simply predicting that they WON’T. Huge difference.
@21 You’re not wrong in some of your logic but I completely disagree with the idea that all but two of the pitching prospects will fail even though that would historically seem to be the standard rate. We have seen many of the prospects in the majors already and each one, whether they have struggled some or not, has already had some success except for Allard. In that sense, the measurable success rate has already exceeded what you suggest.
It took, what, three years for Folty to truly break through? We shouldn’t expect anything less from any others. Newk has only been up for two – next year might be his to shine for a full year. Each of Soroka, Touki, Wilson, Gohara, Wright could easily slide into the rotation and succeed – they’ve each shown they have the capability.
The real question is that we really want a known “Ace” and middle-of-the-order “Slugger” THIS YEAR. We have to be able to win now while the prospects are still developing.
The correct counter-argument to Chief’s negativity about prospects isn’t Roger’s positivity.
In an almost logistical sense, we’re not trading any prospects right now because sellers aren’t going to sell until one of two things happen:
1) Harper and Machado set the market more favorably for sellers everywhere
2) sellers realize Harper and Machado aren’t going to drive prices up, so they move on and either get what they can for their trade chips or wait until the deadline
In a broader sense… Chief is definitely-not-complaining that the Braves haven’t traded prospects yet — assuming (wrongly, IMO) that the Braves intend to keep them all forever just because they haven’t traded any of them yet.
The actual thing that 99% of us understand and Chief doesn’t is timing and the win curve. That’s what has him out here looking like Ruben Amaro Jr. Jr.
For the Yankees, it may well be the right time. They’re going to project to over 90 wins and are already set at just about every position (they need a temporary solution at SS, they can afford to see how 1B pans out until the deadline, some RP is always nice). They don’t have room for practically any of their prospects. Nearly all they can do is find ways to improve.
So the entirety of the pre-FA career of Justus Sheffield — more or less their Touki — plus spare parts just got them two years of James Paxton.
Talent-wise, Paxton is an ace and better than Patrick Corbin, but health-wise, he’s a giant risk, moreso than Corbin. If I’m the Braves, I’d want Corbin more and even moreso since he only costs money, but I get why the Yankees wanted Paxton to pair with Severino.
It’s not so much that Justus Sheffield himself is going to be an ace. He’s probably not. He’s basically Touki. But Justus Sheffield is *very rare* in that he can help buy you an ace right now, and you only get to trade him once. It’s a real risk for the Yankees to spend him on a pitcher who will almost certainly miss time. But they’re at a place on the win curve where maybe it makes sense to roll the dice and hope Paxton’s healthy enough to take the ball the next couple Octobers. Because there are only so many James Paxtons too.
We have holes in RF and C, and neither our SP nor our RP are playoff-caliber. If you can refrain from peeing your pants in public, you may see some money spent and some prospects traded to plug those holes in ways that makes 2019 better than 2018, but I doubt it’ll be anything as dramatic as Justus-for-Paxton until deep into the offseason at the earliest, and IMO rightly so.
A spirited and lively debate on the Journal, and I’ve got a front row seat.
I’ve never seen anything like the LSU Texas A&M game. 7 overtimes- highest scoring game in NCAA history. 74 to 72 A&M. Wow
In the sovereign islands nation of the Republic of the Maldives, they do not have SEC Network, so I fear I may have missed one of the best games of the year.
Am I being reactionary to think that there’s a connection between QB legs being destroyed and more and more high-scoring games? It would seem as if the lack of physicality is both causing higher scoring games and more defenders avoiding targeting and missing by killing the lower half of quarterbacks. The end of bone-crushing hits might be causing the unintended consequences that the James Harrisons of the world predicted.
To expound from my comment earlier, the offseason predicted by Chief will amount to be about a $75M payroll for 2019, maybe even as low as $70M, so that viewpoint can’t possibly be taken seriously. There’s just something going on in the noggin there that makes him think that his team is out to get him and screw him, and if you really think they’re going to ride into the season with a $70M payroll, then by George, don’t cheer for that team. And if you ever visit Marlins Park, then you’ll see how that plays out.
Alright, everyone. This offseason, I’m going to be updating both the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves along with the 64 Worst Atlanta Braves. Keep in mind these are only for Atlanta Braves. With the great Rebuild, I think there will probably be quite a few players to add to the Worst Atlanta Braves since it was last updated, but I’m seeing 2 players to add to the 44 Greatest Braves – Ender Inciarte and Julio Teheran. I’ll also be looking to move Freddie Freeman up the list. As I create a new, more permanent theme that will more prominently display some of the site’s best series, these lists will be a part of that.
I’d love for this to be collaborative, so I’m going to list the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves below, and sound off on if you think someone is egregiously out of place, if someone has been omitted, and your thoughts on if/where you think Ender and Julio should be on the list, and where you think Freddie should be now:
44. Lonnie Smith
43. Ron Reed
42. Martin Prado
41. Andrelton Simmons
40. Chris Chambliss
39. Kent Mercker
38. Felix Millan
37. Mark Lemke
36. Glenn Hubbard
35. Dusty Baker
34. Mark Wohlers
33. Steve Avery
32. Jason Heyward
31. Terry Pendleton
30. Rick Camp
29. Freddie Freeman
28. Rico Carty
27. Mike Remlinger
26. Gene Garber
25. Ryan Klesko
24. Ron Gant
23. Ralph Garr
22. Craig Kimbrel
21. Fred McGriff
20. Kevin Millwood
19. Felipe Alou
18. Jeff Blauser
17. Tim Hudson
16. Darrell Evans
15. Rafael Furcal
14. Marcus Giles
13. Joe Torre
12. Brian McCann
11. Bob Horner
10. David Justice
9. Javy Lopez
8. Andruw Jones
7. Dale Murphy
6. John Smoltz
5. Tom Glavine
4. Chipper Jones
3. Phil Niekro
2. Greg Maddux
1. Hank Aaron
Soon, we’ll do the same for the 64 Worst Atlanta Braves.
I’d also like to be a little nostalgic. The 44 Greatest Braves series was started in 2006 with the original list made by Mac, of course, and it has continued for now 12 years by 3 more writers, myself included. That’s pretty darn cool, if you ask me. Good for Mac, good for bledsoe, good for Alex, and good for me.
As mentioned, we’re also doing a series this offseason about the greatest baseball movies. Snowshine came up with a rock solid 16-movie tournament with his seeding, and we might tweak it a little bit, but a huge thanks to him for getting the ball rolling far down the way. There will be polls, and a great opportunity to increase our readership. So if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Xanga (was it called Xanga? I can’t remember now.), perhaps you could share the posts to create more engagement.
If you’re wondering why I’m flooding you with comments, I’m on a long layover, hopped up on caffeine, but I don’t feel like working or moving.
Found another addition to the Glossary that was nominated but never entered: the BJWB (Braves Journal Whipping Boy).
Self-explanatory, but Mac explained it here. <- That's a hyperlink.
Notable whipping boys since that entry: Dan Uggla, BJ Upton, Chris Johnson, Erick Aybar, Hector Olivera. Am I missing anyone?
Christian Bethancourt took a few lashes around here, IIRC?
@ 30: it was always Andruw’s fault.
I definitely forgot about Matt Kemp as whipping boy.
@25 I couldn’t believe that LSU and their vaunted defense couldn’t pull a single stop out of their ass in overtime. And they ended up losing to the…… the…… Aggies. Ugh.
And not sure that exceeds the point total of the GT-Cumberland game….. LOL
@23 I agree with you Alex on this, too, but I think you need to be open to the possibility that AA and his team will not be able to find the “value” they speak of leading to a less than desirable offseason. If getting to their goal for the offseason means overpaying in their eyes, will they do it? Is it inevitable that they will find what they’re looking for without pulling a “Duquette” and signing Alex Cobb for too much money as a last resort?
I think FF5 should crack the top 20.
I think AA’s record in Toronto speaks volumes for his willingness to spend what it takes to field a WS contender. One of the problems he currently faces is that this team as currently constructed isn’t one. On the face of it, we have an 85 win roster at the moment. Now, we no doubt have some kids who will breakout this year — but we don’t really know which ones they are and what if we guess wrong to start the year, etc?
Some of the needed upgrades are obvious: c, rf, bullpen, 4/5 starter. We have no internal candidates for the first two and too many for the pitching side of things. That may be a problem.
One of the few traits that all the truly great managers share is the ability to identify and correctly utilize their best pitchers. Bobby never relegated a guy who would turn into a good starter to the bullpen and almost never chose wrong when asked which one to trade. I do not believe Snit has this ability! Let’s hope AA has someone in the front office (Mike Fast?) who can.
I remember Marcus Giles, and liked him as a player, but if our system rates him the 14th greatest Atlanta Brave then I think we need to re-evaluate our metrics…
I was thinking the same thing about Darrell Evans. I thought he had better days with other teams.
@39,40: Giles stuck out on that list for me as well as far as placement. I’m OK with Evans. I also note that 7 out of the 44 played on my beloved 1966 team, though two of them (Millan, Reed) barely so. And it leads me to ask about Pat Jarvis, who I think had a somewhat better Atlanta career than Reed in almost exactly the same years.
@37 I don’t see how he could be kept out of the top 10.
I’m thinking FF5 slots between Javy and Andruw on that list.
Agreed about Giles. He needs to move down a lot.
Julio slots in somewhere in the top-25.
Ender is somewhere in the 30’s.
How is Niekro above Chipper, Glavine and Smoltz?
Giles got bonus points for finally moving (former BJWB and, I believe, the original holder of “the pictures”) Keith Lockhart off 2B.
Mike Remlinger had a nice little stint for the Braves – around 320 IP – but…
Freeman is better than Javy or Andruw. Or will be when he retires. By far.
@46: Andruw is arguably better than Murph, but it’s close. No argument as to which player was more beloved by the fans.
To be better than Andruw, Freddie will need to finish as a no doubt HOFer, at least in this geezer’s opinion.
I’m not suggesting the Braves actually want Nick Markakis starting in RF next year. On the contrary, I think they are working hard on a trade scenario that will upgrade the OF for years to come.
I, like others (yourself included, I believe) have suggested, see this as an offseason that could meet with disappointment because the front office won’t find the value it’s looking for. This is what I have gleaned from Alex Anthopolous’s comments. My opinion has nothing to do with inactivity during the past month and everything to do with what he is literally telling the media (and the fans by extension).
I think it’s reasonable for any of us to feel disappointed that we’re not going to be pursuing Bryce Harper and apparently had little or no interest in Paxton. We will just have to wait and see what occurs in December and January, but it’s perfectly alright to feel like we might be missing out on some good moves. Patience doesn’t always lead to better, but the odds may certainly favor the patient.
There were some rules that Mac laid down on the players that impacted the inclusion / exclusion question.
Trying to remember:
1. Milwaukee Braves time counted as long as Atlanta Braves time was significant and of good quality. Thus, Aaron would finish first and Eddie Matthews doesn’t get on the list. And, Mac admitted he set it up that way so Hank could be first. If it is JUST Atlanta time, he drops below Chipper, Glavine, Smoltz, Andruw, Murph, and maybe a few more.
2. Otherwise, playing time not for Atlanta Braves did not count.
3. Seems there was also a preference for “peak”, but not sure how it was scaled.
Co-sign @48. If we’re not allowed to push back on what AA is literally telling the media, I’m not sure what we’re allowed to push back on.
I think it’s reasonable for any of us to feel disappointed that we’re not going to be pursuing Bryce Harper and apparently had little or no interest in Paxton.
It’s reasonable, but only to an extent — and it illustrates the lack of imagination on the part of the complainer more than anything else, IMO. No player is a be-all, end-all for his team, and there are lots of ways to build a strong contender.
Paxton in particular is as close to an injury certainty as there is. He makes sense as the cherry on top of a team that’s already got a playoff rotation, not a guy you’d be banking on to get you back into the playoffs.
We will just have to wait and see what occurs in December and January, but it’s perfectly alright to feel like we might be missing out on some good moves.
If we’re missing out, then so are 28 other teams…
All of that talk about “value” that you’re hearing, while AA is absolutely correct in saying it from a business and textbook definition, it is what franchises that aren’t really trying to win would say. The franchises that are, just go get the player(s) and move forward.
I get that we don’t have the payrolls/market/media contracts that they do, but the lack of ‘being in it’ that the Braves seem to be is beneath the level of what our organization and franchise should be.
Signing Devin Mesoraco or Robinson Chirinos and a couple LOOGYs even for OUR franchise would be a joke. That’s the point. The point is that we’re not even in the game with the top guys. That’s disconcerting. Greater Atlanta has what, 6-8M people? Get in the damn game. You have a brand new stadium.
Anything to the contrary is IMO just whistling through the graveyard and fanboy-ing.
@52 That is the crux of my problem with the current landscape. Our team is evidently not in a position to be “in it.” If we were truly in contention next season, the Braves would then stretch for that final piece, as Alex A. puts it.
But Chief, in spite of my remarks, here is what I understand that I don’t see from you. Alex A. has stated that many of these 10-12 year contracts look good at first and for the first few years, but they usually don’t look good afterward. I know we’ve seen this multiple times like in the case of Albert Pujols. Alex A. isn’t saying the Braves won’t do this kind of move but just that it doesn’t make sense for this team right now. That means that short of Bryce Harper sending Scott Boras to make a Greg Maddux type of offer to the Braves, it’s not in the team’s best interest. I kind of agree with that considering how belly up all of MLB’s big stars are post age 30.
Alex A. has got to do a face lift on this team in a way that makes sense in terms of the quantity of top tier prospects being dealt and the quantity and quality of the players coming back. I think we all agree that a contending Braves team doesn’t have Ender Inciarte roaming CF and may not have Dansby Swanson at SS. It most certainly doesn’t have Tyler Flowers starting behind the plate.
So they will most likely go to free agency to get a catcher (hopefully), and then they’ve got to find the deal that upgrades this team at at least two positions on the field as well as improves either the rotation or the bullpen (or both).
This is sort of why I conclude that they will sign a catcher, some relievers, and possibly bring back Neck. Finding controllable position players via trade is not going to be cheap when everyone wants position prospects in return.
By the way, the definition of “not trying to win” should be updated to “Not in win-now mode.” The former just sounds cynical as if they’re just trying to put on an act. I don’t think they’re pretending so much as I think they’re guarding the Money Bin from potentially bad long term contracts or at least delaying the onset of a bad long term deal by being patient on free agents.
McCann signed. You just have to laugh.
So we signed McCann. Not sure why.
Because “Braves Country” will love it and it will mask their failure.
Brian McCann. Huh. That’s… interesting.
So I just read this thread that went back and forth between the guys who are optimistic about what the team is doing and the guys who aren’t. There were some good points on both sides, I get to the bottom and find out the team decided the answer to the catching position is a guy who hit .212/.301/.339 last year.
It does lead me to believe one side is more right than the other in this debate.
Unfortunately, I guess I am now going to have to join the nattering nabobs of negativism.
All I can say is that McCann had better report to spring training “in the best shape of his life.” And to think we let Zunino get away . . . .
It’s a retire-a-Brave deal. Stop overreacting.
Brian McCann, November 2017:
AJC interview link
Sam @62, it may be a retire-a-Brave deal, but it’s also a whole year of a guy who hasn’t been a productive catcher for years. I loved McCann back in the day, but he’s not worth a roster spot if the Braves are serious about trying to contend. He’s a significant downgrade from Suzuki.
2M for a guy barely worth league minimum. Donaldson may be good. Better than nothing.
@64, now that I would like.
1. I am seeing no where releasing the terms of McCann’s deal. So I don’t know where the “2 mil” is coming from.
2. Rosenthal is confirming Donaldson as 1 year, 23 mil
1/23 for Donaldson. War Eagle 🦅.
@68 A penny would be too much.
I’ll continue this conversation with someone other than Chief Nocanegativity.
I’m expecting McCann to spend a lot more time as a roving instructor than a starting player. I’m absolutely fine with this. I also really like a one-year deal for Donaldson.
@30, you forgot Chris Woodward and Corky Miller.
Also, I think there should be some way to commemorate the way that Brad Brach is arguably even more similar to Chris Reitsma than Mark Bellhorn was to Todd Walker.
As to the overall list, I think Andrelton is egregiously out of place, and especially after last year, I think it’s unconscionable to leave Jonny Venters off the list. (I’d love to see O’Failurety on there, but I haven’t looked closely at his case to see if he’s one of the 44 best.)
Freddie is pretty clearly better than anyone else on the list up till Andruw; he’s #9 with a bullet, and easier to slot than anyone else below him.
I think there’s an unresolved question about whether to count a player’s last go-round in a Braves uniform against their overall case. We’ve had a LOT of these guys and they have mostly been dreadful, including Terry Pendleton, Tom Glavine, Mike Remlinger, and Eric O’Flaherty. Should that count against their overall numbers from when they were good? I’m mostly inclined to ignore it; they wouldn’t have been brought back if they weren’t iconic the first time around.
Mudge is clearly a key addition to the Worst list. I don’t think he was ever Whipping Boy, though, because he was so clearly tormented by how badly he was doing. (Oh, and “Mudge” should probably go on the Glossary.)
Derek Lowe, on the other hand…
Rosenthal also has the McCann deal at 1-yr, $2M, no options.
The issue isn’t so much McCann as the backup catcher, per se, as much as it is that it makes Tyler Flowers our starting catcher in all likelihood.
Love the Donaldson deal
Well, it’s officially official… the Braves have money to burn.
Burn baby burn!
My quick summary: Donaldson deal good, McCann deal bad. And now we can stop arguing about the fact that we haven’t done anything yet and start arguing about what else we need to do.
If McCann works with the young pitchers and helps them reach their potential, he’ll be well worth the millions.
Kelsey Wingert says signing McCann may not prevent us from signing another catcher.
What this does to the infield is interesting. Assuming Donaldson plays third base (which is a very good assumption looking at his games by position breakdown), whither the shortstop position? Camargo as a utility player? Swanson benched? One of them traded?
Signing McCann makes Flowers dealable as part of a trade for Realmuto as well. Not that it will happen, but now you can package Flowers up to give Florida a professional catching option if they deal with us.
well, that got interesting in a hurry. I like Camargo as a depth piece. it’s too early to quit on Dansby imho, but sitting him down rather than banging his head against a wall night in, night out is a very good situation. between short, OF and 3rd, there will still be enough ab’s for Camargo as a depth piece.
Camargo=super duper depth piece. He can play nearly every day filling that role.
What @82 said.
Donaldson getting that Adrian Gonzalez chunk. Who will get the Scott Kazmir chunk?
Awesomeness all around. Great day today!
Looking forward to the big trade that’s coming.
You could interpret the Donaldson signing as something of a vote of confidence in Austin Riley, eventually. Maybe.
I am flummoxed….. I don’t understand either signing. Is it possible that McCann is just a bench bat and fill-in at C/1B/DH? Would we carry three catchers? OTOH, if McCann returns to his 2017 value then he is a slightly better version of Suzuki – same bat, better defense – and $3M cheaper.
The Donaldson signing and cost is just…. just….. bizarre. That pretty much blows half our projected wad of cash and is highly dependent upon Donaldson turning into Adrian Beltre overnight. He becomes the highest paid player on the team and if he can’t beat Freddie’s production then there’s no value there.
The only sense this makes is if AA is really trying to bridge to Riley and Contreras and thinks they’ll both be ready next year or this year, if there’s an injury. I would think that both of these moves make Riley and Contreras untouchable in trades.
But…… this leaves open the possibility of a big OF/SP trade. For example, trading for Greinke and Peralta. If that happens then the offseason is complete and successful.
I’d like to see us claim Dietrich and get a solid reliever (maybe Bradley in the D’Backs trade).
The big problem with McCann/Donaldson is old, older, and oldest…… ugh. That seems to me way more risk than AA said he’d be taking. Donaldson looked pretty good with CLE so maybe it might work out. If he scores 6 WAR then AA will look like a genius.
They’re paying McCann twice what they paid Jose Bautista last year. It’s couch cushion spare change.
They’re paying Donaldson going rate for star offense, for one year. They’re not locked into anything beyond that.
Neither of these deals are big risks. If they fail, they’re done and over with in 12 months.
That pretty much blows half our projected wad of cash and is highly dependent upon Donaldson turning into Adrian Beltre overnight…
My dude, speaking of nights, it appears you have been sleeping on Josh Donaldson for quite some time!
2017: 5.1 WAR before injury
2016: 7.6 WAR
2015: 8.7 WAR
2014: 5.7 WAR
2013: 7.2 WAR
Anybody see any mention of a team option for Donaldson for 2020?
highly dependent upon Donaldson turning into Adrian Beltre overnight
Not even Adrian Beltre has won the MVP.
This is a highly reasonable bet on a player who was extremely good in 2017 before getting hurt in 2018. I thought he’d cost 2 years and $50 million. Getting him for one year limits the blast radius while maintaining upside.
2M for a guy barely worth league minimum. Donaldson may be good. Better than nothing.
I’m so excited for this season.
I’m guessing AA promised Donaldson not to offer the QO? I thought he’d get more.
I don’t see anything about a team option, but it is worth noting that Donaldson was traded midseason this year (to the Indians) and was thus not eligible for a qualifying offer. That means the Braves will have the option of making him a QO next year, and if he declines, be compensated for that.
@90 I’m not sleeping on anything. Like I said, if Donaldson returns to form and scores 6+ WAR then AA will be a genius, but last season’s injures put a huge risk on that. The reference to Beltre is that a player like Donaldson, especially, it seems, third basemen, can be highly productive into their late 30s, maybe even more so than earlier in their careers.
@89 Yes, they’re over in 12 months…… 12 losing months if Donaldson gets a $23M injury. The risk/return is an inverse bell curve. This could be the worst single season signing of all time…. or the best. Not much in between because of the price tag.
AA went out at the deadline last year and focused on “controllable” talent and he got it. He even got a younger pitcher in Gausman. These deals have no youth and no control. Just seems backwards to his spoken philosophy.
A “no-QO” clause would be a really fascinating contract insertion.
@93 I like the potential of these moves. 🙂
I can see one of Flowers or Camargo potentially being dealt. I don’t want to see Camargo traded, but now is absolutely the right time to include him in a deal. He’d be a great bat off the bench, too, though.
I can only be happy to see McCann return. I doubt he will be the starting catcher or anything like that, but if he has anything left in the tank and can be 2017 McCann one more time, it’s a good move.
Money replaces itself. AA spent zero prospects on these deals.
Albies/Camargo at either SS or 2B. Swanson to the former Camargo role. They won’t do this though. They’ll choose Swanson over Camargo. It’s a mistake but they will I believe. Camargo is a much better player than Swanson.
I’d note that steamer projects JD to have 131 WRC+ next year. this just makes me so happy.
@95 Being able to make a QO is a bonus. Might be worth some future dollars if used wisely. That could offset some of the risk. Still the risk is for now and the bonus is for the future.
I can’t understand an organization taking a winning team and then saying, well, they’re not quite ready to win. They already won!!
@96 Roger, this is exactly the kind of move I was really hoping to see for in the event that good value couldn’t be found at some positions. McCann is at worst an insurance signing seeing as Suzuki was already snatched up. Donaldson is for sure additional power for this lineup while the Braves are possibly exploring longer term options for the OF.
I kind of expected to have to wait until January of February to see these types of 1-year deals. I am very pleased to see AA getting it done early when 27-28 other teams are evidently waiting to see what direction the market goes.
Unless they have an agreement otherwise, a QO to Donaldson next year would essentially mean a 2-year deal, or draft pick compensation if he declines the offer. This year’s QO value was set at 17.9 million.
Also worth noting that 23 mil is the same money he made last year. He is not getting a raise.
We beat up on a division that was expected to be weak and turned out to be downright garbage. In the process, we caught just about every break. We lost three key parts. The Nationals will reload. The Phillies maybe won’t keep playing their players out of position forever. And every Braves fan knows that surmounting divisional difficulties is just step one.
But now, we’re just about ready to win.
Like Stu said: looking forward to the big trade that’s coming.
@103 Seems like a half-full/half empty proposition right now. Not going to judge the FO or the team or the offseason right now, there’s still a long way to go. These deals combined with a Greinke/Peralta trade (especially if it includes Teheran going back to the D’Backs) will make the offseason look really good.
I am not unhappy about getting these two guys but hoping like hell that they give us the upside as opposed to the downside. If Donaldson hits 30 HRs next year, that would still be better than anyone did this year and, like when Kemp came along, it could promote getting Freddie better pitches to hit and send him soaring again.
Josh Donaldson is 32.
In three seasons prior to his injury last year, he averaged a slash line of .285/.387/.559. That’s an OPS of 946, an OPS+ of 151.
After returning from injury last year, he was traded to Cleveland, where he slashed .280/.400/.520 (920) in limited at bats. That was good for an OPS+ of 148.
As a point of comparison, Freddie Freeman’s last three seasons have averaged out to a slash line of .306/.396/.549 (946) (150).
We just bought a second Freddie to play 3B for a year. You CAN NOT be upset about this.
@105 – counterpoint, the phills will go out and overpay to make a dramatic point before the week is out. Nats will hold on to memories of the good days while the ship continues to go down. The Mets have actual talent to turn things around, but how can anyone have faith in them to do something smart?
Signing McCann is strange but I guess harmless if they still plan on signing another catcher. Donaldson is a decent bet and low risk given that it’s a one year deal. It also moves Camargo to the bench which, if you recall was pretty awful looking in the playoffs. There’s still about 5 other spots on the 25 man that they need to addressed if they’re going to be taken seriously next year but Donaldson is positive.
Maybe next move will be for Edwin Diaz.
Ricardo Sanchez out for McCann. Who will be out for Donaldson? McCreery? That would be both of last year’s protectees.
I’m happy for Freddie that he’s got an old teammate back. Maybe Craig will join him.
McCann still has defensive value. He probably shares time with Flowers. Clearly the Braves were trying to get Realmuto and the Marlins wanted too much. (Probably asked for Acuña)
So Riley, Contreras, and Pache (and Izzy Wilson) are all Rule 5 eligible next year. That implies that they will be put on the 40-man roster sometime this year and tested if the opportunity arises. Oddly, it seems that next year’s Rule 5’s are at this year’s positions of need. Barring an acquisition of a catcher or OF with lengthy control, the organization is counting on developing the highest level prospects to fill the needed roles and using makeshift options until the prospects are ready.
@98 – something I’ve wondered about but have never been sure of– seeing as how AA just re-signed Flowers in the middle of this past season, were we to trade him this offseason, would it not be seen as pretty bad form to deal him so soon?
Except I doubt Ender factors into the Braves’ future. So they still need to upgrade OF.
116 — Assuming Pache can handle the upper minor leagues, one would think that he supplants Ender in a year or 2.
Signing Mac and Donaldson have been predicted by some of us here. If we agree that this year is not a “win now” year, signing these two for one year deal makes perfect sense. AA is not willing to commit into long term contract. He is really taking his time with this team.
AA is also refusing to give up long term assets unless he sees at least equal value in return, which is obviously not what the Marlins are shooting for otherwise the Nats and the Braves wouldn’t go another direction so quickly.
What AA doing is in line with the strategy. Whether you agree with the strategy is a different discussion but I like these signings. Welcome home Mac.
So let me turn positive. With Donaldson, we have a middle of the order very similar to the thumpin’ Blue Jays when they had Donaldson-Bautista-Encarnacion. We have Acuna-Freeman-Donaldson. If you add a lefty leadoff like Peralta or Pollock over even a SW like Camargo, you end up with one of the best top of the lineups in the league. Overall, starting with Camargo-Acuna-Freeman-Donaldson-Albies will be explosive. The lineup should look like
Camargo (or new OF)
Pitcher (and I’d be tempted to bat Inciarte ninth as a second leadoff man)
With two SW and a platoon, you have a lineup designed for either hand pitcher. I think there’s hopefully, little doubt that Donaldson will be a better clean-up than Markakis. But, you know, Markakis could lead off…….
@102. The Braves are taking a very conservative approach is assessing the team. They probably consider the team is at least four to five key pieces away from having a real chance in winning the World Series, which I do not disagree considering how over match we were against the Dodgers.
If you are in the “win now” mode, you would definitely want someone much better than Mac. I understand that.
I’d rather go with McFlowers than Flowcann, but you kids do you.
@121 LOL, well, I’ll see what prevails…
Flowzuki made a heckuva lot more sense than Suwers…… assuming they were good together.
How bout Bryler?
This is wonderful honestly.
I’m honestly not sure I can trust Millennials not to name their sons “Bryler.”
I like the Donaldson move. This is the type of thing that will make more sense when the rest of the plan becomes known. Can’t wait for the other big reveal now.
A two year deal to Harper to reestablish his long term FA value can’t be far off.
Braves Journal was more hyped for Adam Duvall than for Josh Donaldson.
Honestly, I love the fact that AA is on the front foot tackling needs rather than waiting things to play out. Now, what do we have left?
An ace, couple bullpen arms and another power outfield bat. Damn, we do have many needs.
I’m pretty jazzed
Count me as ecstatic about Donaldson. Improves bench with Camargo at super utility and provides insurance if Dansby stinks.
Ah, the new meme.
I’d be really ecstatic about this if I hadn’t been so ecstatic when the Braves had “the best outfield”.
128- We didn’t get Wisler and Sims out the door with this one.
I just listened to McCann’s press conference, and maybe it was for the cameras, but AA didn’t sound like it was a token gesture. That said, he’s technically healthier this year, and the porch in RF was made for a swing like his. FlowCann will probably not be as good offensively as Flowzuki was the past two seasons, and Trea Turner will definitely steal 80 bases alone against them this year, but I can see them being serviceable.
Love the Donaldson signing, and hopefully getting him off the turf in Toronto helps. The injury risk is there, but I don’t see much evidence that the underlying skills fell off a cliff, and the marginal offensive upside could be special. Plus, replacing Flaherty’s AB’s with Camargo/Culbertson should also be a decent improvement as well.
Can we please get this guy now?
I love that we got Donaldson. I’m a little skeptical of McCann, but seeing how our last 3 or 4 catchers have revived their careers in Atlanta, it could be a good move. At this point i would be good with signing an ace starting pitcher, a few solid bullpen guys, and call it an off season. I would be happy with giving Camargo a shot in the outfield. The 2 moves we made give us flexibility to sign a TOR starter.
Kurt Suzuki over the last three years: .270/.327/.456 (782 OPS, 107 OPS+)
Brian McCann over the last three years: .236/.324/.406 (731 OPS, 98 OPS+)
If you ditch McCann’s injury marred 2018 and go with 2015-17 you get: .238/.326/.428 (754,103)
Both are 35 years old going into next season.
Suzuki signed for 2 years, 10 million (so 5 million per year.) He’s a RHB batter.
McCann signed for 1 year, 2 million. He is a LHB.
Can you imagine if Neck returns on an 1-year contract?