Braves Journal Movie Slugfest – Drama

#1 Moneyball vs. #8 Million Dollar Arm:

Moneyball (by Rob):

Made in 2011, this is probably the most recent good baseball movie. Brad Pitt is a big name hired on to play Billy Beane, and he does a good job. Based on the book by Michael Lewis, it’s a fun look at implementing analytics into a baseball front office. There are some dramatic and humorous exchanges with the old school scouts, which is acted out from the book quite nicely. Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand, the man hired away from the Cleveland Indians to assist Beane in the analytics pursuit of the front office, and he’s based on the real-life executive Paul DePodesta. Let’s be honest, though; if you’re a baseball fan, you should have seen Moneyball already since it’s pretty much the only good baseball movie made this century.


#8 Million Dollar Arm (by IMDB):

In 2008, J. B. Bernstein is a sports agent who finds his business being seriously outplayed by his deep-pocketed competitors. Inspired by reality shows and Indian cricket games on TV, Bernstein gets the bold idea of finding cricket players in India and training them to become pro baseball players in America. After a long search, Bernstein finds two talented, but non-cricket playing, youths, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Together, Berthstein takes his prospects to Los Angeles where they find mastering a new sport in a foreign land a daunting challenge. As these boys struggle amid an alien culture, Bernstein must find a way to make their dream come true. In doing, Bernstein finds a deeper humanity to his work with growing friendships he never expected to have.


#2 The Natural vs. #7 Bang the Drum Slowly:

#2 The Natural (by IMDB):

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman.


#7 Bang the Drum Slowly (by IMDB):

Henry Wiggen (Author to his friends) and Bruce Pearson are members of the New York Mammoths major league baseball team – Author the star pitcher, Bruce the catcher who never quite lived up to his potential – friends, and roommates when they’re on the road. During the off season, Bruce is diagnosed with a terminal case of Hodgkin’s disease. Author is the only person on the team who knows of Bruce’s illness, with neither planning on telling anyone. Author takes extraordinary measures to ensure that he is playing ball with Bruce during what will probably be Bruce’s final season before he can no longer play. Author looks after Bruce in part because Bruce is mentally a simple man who can easily be taken advantage of, especially by his opportunistic girlfriend Katie. As the season progresses, the team isn’t quite gelling, despite being the best team on paper. But as information comes to light, the dynamic on the team changes to make it a memorable end of the season especially for Bruce, who finishes on his own terms.


#3 8 Men Out vs. #6 Fear Strikes Out:

#3 8 Men Out (by IMDB):

The great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 is the saddest team to ever win a pennant. The team is bitter at their penny pincher owner, Charles Comiskey, and at their own teammates. Gamblers take advantage of this opportunity to offer some players money to throw the series. (Most of the players didn’t get as much as promised.) But Buck Weaver and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson turn back at the last minute and try to play their best. The Sox actually almost come back from a 3-1 deficit. Two years later, the truth breaks out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. They are found innocent by the jury but baseball commissioner Landis has other plans. The eight players are suspended for life, and Buck Weaver, for the rest of his life, tries to clear his name.


#6 Fear Strikes Out (by IMDB):

Jim Piersall is groomed by his loving but hard-driving father (living vicariously through his son) to play major league baseball. His desire to succeed to please his father leads to mental illness and a nervous breakdown. Can he overcome those difficulties and return to the major leagues?


#4 The Stratton Story vs. #5 The Rookie:

#4 The Stratton Story (by IMDB):

The movie is about Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton (Jimmy Stewart), who in the 1930s, compiled a 37-19 won-loss record in three seasons. After he became the winningest right-hander in the American League, his major league career ended prematurely when a hunting accident in 1938 forced doctors to amputate his right leg. With a wooden leg and his wife Ethel’s (June Allyson) help, Stratton made a successful minor league comeback in 1946, continuing to pitch in minor leagues throughout the rest of the 1940s and into the 1950s.


#5 The Rookie (by IMDB):

Jim Morris is a Texas high school chemistry teacher and coach of the school’s baseball team. He’s always loved baseball and as a way of motivating his players, he agrees to go to a professional try-out if they win the championship. He once had aspirations to be a professional baseball player but an injury brought that to an end. Sure enough, the 39 year-old father of three finds himself at a camp for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and he somehow seems to have regained his pitching arm, easily throwing a 98 mph fastball. Signed to a contract, he toils in the minor leagues while his supportive wife stays home raising their children. He soon finds himself called up to the big club and pitching for Tampa which is in Texas playing the Rangers. Based on a true story.


91 thoughts on “Braves Journal Movie Slugfest – Drama”

  1. It’s going even more chalk than expected. We’ll probably skip the last category, make it chalk, and move on to the second round where there will be much better match-ups.

  2. I feel Adam R. has potential to relieve some of the pressure on me to offend everyone here. He’s a prospect to watch.

  3. We’ve devolved into Kanye lyrics. Man, this site’s a real contribution to the interwebs.

  4. Oh, sorry. “Chalk” means the favorite won (the higher seed). I guess it’s more of a March Madness term.

  5. If the White Sox offer to Machado is 7/175 and no one can beat that then the players absolutely have to go on strike. The owners have seemingly all collectively realized they can make money without putting much into the team, screwing the players not only in how they get bargain rates for their first 6 years but are effectively colluding to drive the price of free agents down as well.

    We are pretty harsh on Liberty (and rightfully so) but maybe it’s more of a collective problem. The players have been getting screwed for decades now, they have to do something about it.

  6. @2–Adam R shows tremendous promise, but we all know that prospects will break your heart. Not many can be at the top of their game for year after year like Sam.

  7. From what I saw of Machado this past season, he is absolutely the kind of guy I don’t want to go past 7 years for (or even 5 for that matter). I think the age 30+ seasons aren’t going to be too kind and any long-term deal is going to look like a disaster on the back end.

  8. Yeah, I’m not going to fundamentally just chastise the owner because a player’s asking price is not being met. A 24-hour channel devoted to sports is still a new enough thing, let alone a 24-hour channel devoted to one sport. And the top of market player(s) every year get puffed up by these outlets — especially MLB Network — and we’re supposed to just believe they’re worth what they’re asking.

    Machado is probably not going to age well. I can’t see going past 7 years with him. And Giancarlo is making $26M per. Why should Machado make as much or more than him? Joey Votto is making $25M per. JD Martinez is making $23.7M. I think that’s more the level Machado is on.

  9. With that said, a system where the owners can avoid paying too much on the backslope of someone’s career while paying them peanuts during pre-arb and arb years is not fair. Since there’s an emphasis on young players — for good reason, they’re getting better even younger than before — the system needs to change to pay amateurs more at the time of signing, more as minor leaguers, and a quicker route to either free agency or arbitration. The Kyler Murray thing might set a really good precedent in that direction.

  10. I think that’s the point here… you don’t want to be paying Albert Pujols when he’s 38, but you do when he’s 26. If they’ve figured out as a collective to stay away from the big end of career deal then the players have to come up with a new system. The one is place now is there because it’s negotiated mostly on behalf of veteran players who just want to make sure they aren’t subjected to some salary cap so they can cash in the big contracts. If front offices are realizing they should first manipulate the service time clock, then refuse to shell out for long term contracts then their system is benefiting no one.

    I think Machado from age 26-33 is probably worth at least $200 million. He was a 6 WAR player last year at shortstop where he isn’t as good as third base, someone has to top that offer.

  11. @10, 15

    When it comes to keep it going for years and years, Sam Hutcheson is at Cal Ripken-ian levels. Yes, good one, tfloyd.

  12. Cal played every day. Sam shows up every couple weeks, and when he does, it’s to piss into the wind about soccer. He can’t even be depended on to break the no-politics rule with any regularity anymore. People even seem to like him.

    I’m being Camargo’d over here.

  13. You guys have me angry at those greedy corporations who are barely paying players enough to survive. Some are forced to try to live on less than $1 million per year! They should be reported to the NLRB.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I think the better model would find a way to reduce ticket prices. I understand supply and demand, but I think demand would increase if multimillionaires stopped whining when they didn’t get paid $30 million per year until they reached 40 years old. I don’t have a lot of respect for the owners, but I have even less respect for the players union.

  14. @18

    I am at a loss to understand the majority drift here, tell me if I have it wrong – that a crass insult to a new member can be excused, even admired implicitly by some, simply by the fact he does it all the time so it doesn’t really matter. Have I got that right?

  15. I’m not sure what you mean. I wasn’t responding to an insult by anyone else and I hope I didn’t insult anyone. It just seems that baseball has lost a lot of its following and I see the players union as the biggest culprit with the owners a little behind that. I’m fine if people disagree but whatever the case, I think MLB has lost a lot of its fanbase over the last 30 or 40 years.

  16. Rob hits the nail on the head @13. The problem isn’t inherently that people are refusing to continue paying players enormous sums for the downslopes of their careers (though I could fashion a pretty strong argument that giving Bryce Harper a 10-year, $350 million contract is actually a great investment…he’s a bit of an extreme case).

    The problem is that the owners have (in significant part with the help of the MLBPA and their veteran players), set it up so that they pay a player virtually nothing outside of a one-time signing bonus (the upper limits of which have been seriously curtailed) until he makes the majors, then pay him the minimum salary for three years (while ensuring that the one catch in those rules that speeds the process up for the best young players never gets activated through back-handed means), then pay him more but much less than he’s worth on the open market for three more years (while growing increasingly persnickety and litigious about the exact amounts of the raises).

    After all that, the system is finally supposed to be set up where it’s the player’s turn to cash in. Except the owners have now decided that they don’t want to play ball on that anymore, so now they’ll just have their cake and eat it, too, thank you very much.

    I don’t know what percentage of revenue the players agreed to in the last CBA (or if they even agreed to a specific percentage), but it’s tough to believe the players’ share won’t start going down if the teams keep operating like this, and that’s going to cause an issue.

    If the teams have decided they don’t want to sign 30-year-olds to long-term deals anymore, fine. But that means in the next CBA, they need to open up the system so that players make more early in their careers, and that’ll have to mean more than just the occasional team-friendly early contract extension.

    My guess is they aren’t going to be too excited about that prospect (people like having their cake and eating it too, after all).

  17. Oh, and additionally, the owners have somehow succeeded in pulling off a neat magic trick in convincing a large percentage of their respective fanbases that they shouldn’t want to sign the best players in the game to play for their team. After all, he costs money and if we sign him, then that’ll hamstring us on our ability to actually build a team. Or, that’ll drive us over the luxury tax threshold. It’s not just the Braves this happens with, and it’s truly astonishing to me the degree to which this has taken hold.

    It’s cheap anti-competitive crap. That the fans largely buy it instead of demanding that their teams quit crying and start spending more money is just ludicrous to me.

    And any team that acts like the luxury tax threshold means anything is being spectacularly disingenuous. If I were a Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, etc., fan, this would piss me off so much. The teams are acting like it’s the equivalent of an actual salary cap, and it’s not even close. The penalties are really small, and don’t stop any team from spending whatever it wants. They just don’t want to spend anymore and are using it as a crutch.

  18. Rob, I’m not sure that is the correct summary for The Rookie you have posted above (maybe imdb has it wrong?).

  19. @22 Here’s the thing on that, to me; and that’s just has no owner should ever profit from a baseball team, it’s unrealistic to believe any owner is ever going to take a sustained loss. If you want Bryce Harper, those tickets and hot dogs are going up in price for the next 10 years. If not that, you’re letting Acuna leave in a few seasons. As a fan, you’re paying for it, in part, somewhere. It’s no different than when you want to add a special topping to your burger at McDonalds.

  20. 1. Players still don’t get paid what they’re worth for the entirety of their careers.

    2. We are in the midst of a shift of major pay from older players to younger. Mookie Betts just made $20 mil in his Arb2 year.

    3. Never, ever side with management.

    4. The site’s ad revenue carousel is far worse than me about breaking any “no politics” rule.

    5. I’m clearly Chipper into his late stage “Zombie Chipper” pattern. I’m still the best at what I do, but I’m walking around on two dead guys’ knee ligaments man.

  21. @24

    Problem is there’s plenty of evidence that teams are making money hand-over-fist and are just trying to put as little of that revenue as possible back into the team.

    Many teams have lucrative local/regional TV deals. Even accepting the premise that the Braves do not, each team gets significant income from national TV deals, and the league just re-upped with Fox Sports for a significant increase. Each team got a large chunk of change from the sale of BAMTech. Some teams (the Braves included) make a bunch of money on live/play/work complexes around the stadium. The list goes on.

  22. @17–the metrics you cite indicate that Sam may indeed be on the downside of his long tenure here. Can we sense a changing of the guard? Could this be a DiMaggio/Mantle situation? Will Sam, like Joltin Joe, retire before the inevitable decline sets in?

  23. 5. I’m clearly Chipper into his late stage “Zombie Chipper” pattern. I’m still the best at what I do, but I’m walking around on two dead guys’ knee ligaments man.

    Your analysis mirrors your impairments. :)

    Let’s put O’Day on a playing field before I ask this and assume for conversation purposes that he’ll come back healthy and split the baby on his last three years of production: 3.50 ERA, 1.123 WHIP, 3.90 FIP, 6.8 H/9, 1.4 HR/9, 3.3 BB/9, 11.4 K/9. Basically a very good but not elite reliever.

    Who is the reliever currently on the roster most trusted to pitch to the 3-4-5 hitters when the game is most on the line? Or since “Closer(TM)” is a term often used to identify your best reliever, we can look at it that way. Who is our best reliever?

  24. Who is the reliever currently on the roster most trusted to pitch to the 3-4-5 hitters when the game is most on the line? Or since “Closer(TM)” is a term often used to identify your best reliever, we can look at it that way. Who is our best reliever?

    This is a good question. I’m not sure there’s a clear answer.

  25. Right now, our best reliever is Vizcaino. That may not be true in May (even if we don’t add anybody.)

  26. I’ve got more optimism about Minter than most on this board. If he can master that change (big if) he still has a chance to be elite.

  27. Right now, Vizcaíno, but Anthopoulos was quoted in November saying a closer was his “top priority,” so I think the team will acquire a good reliever before the start of the regular season.

  28. I like using FIP and WHIP as my guides for relievers, and if you use those as your primary guide, Minter was your best reliever last year, O’Day’s 3-year average included. Vizzy and O’Day have him beat by about 1/10 of a point on WHIP, but Minter’s career FIP in those small 76 IP the last two years has bested O’Day and Vizzy by over a full point and a half (2.37 FIP). I agree there is no clear answer, but Minter was very, very good last year, and O’Day and Vizzy are a decided step behind.

    With that said, it may not even be a fair question. If it’s the 8th inning and 3-4-5 comes up, they already have a deep enough pen to go lefty-righty match-ups to get through it. O’Day and Venters have an opportunity to be one of the best lefty-righties in baseball. Biddle and Winkler are similarly strong on match-ups with Winkler having that sexy 2.76 FIP last year while getting rid like Secretariat. And if you like FIP, Freeman, Biddle, Sobotka, and Carle were essentially the same. Oh, and Max Fried may not have a job in the rotation. It’s a deep pen without any further acquisitions, and I don’t think you’ll be seeing any kind of Peter Moylan-type experiments next year, unless his name is Charlie Culberson.

    Still wouldn’t mind an Ottavino, Kimbrel, or even Brach, though.

  29. Thanks hambone. I was working so quickly I didn’t realize I hit the TV show when I went back to it.

    Previews for the TV show look pretty good, by the way.

  30. In effort to prove Sam wrong, since he’s always wrong, the Braves signed a minor league free agent today, former Red Sox prospect Lukas Young.

    I always knew AA had my back.

  31. I’d want O’Day pitching to the heart of the opponent’s order, pulling from the guys on the team right now. He’s been there, and done it; and done so effectively.

    I like Minter, I just don’t believe he’s a “closer” on a playoff team.

    Ideally, they’ll acquire a legit, all-star caliber closer, and O’Day, Minter and Viz can work the 7th & 8th based on match ups.

  32. I’m really interested to see the contract of Bryce Harper. There’s almost no doubt that there will be opt-outs of some sort, but would he sign something like a 3 year/100MM deal with a player option for another 3 or 4 years? I feel like the idea of 8-10 year contracts as they were are gone and that his contract will emulate that mindset. Thoughts?

  33. Did folks here discuss the Yusei Kikuchi contract with Seattle. It was a unique and original spin on option years, and I wonder if it’s a sign of the shape of things to come for long term contracts in general.

    Kikuchi’s deal is: 4 years guaranteed a 14M Per year. Opt out after 3 years (43M total value to date.) After 3 years, Seattle can choose to extend the deal unilaterally for another 4 year, bringing the total value to 109M/7.

    If the M’s don’t extend at 16.5M per, Kikuchi can either opt for free agency or take one more year guaranteed at 13M.

    I’m wondering how many teams are trying to work those sorts of outs and angles into long term deals for Harper and Machado now.

  34. It’s not like anything’s ever going to eliminate the risk of an albatross from the team perspective. But I would have thought the Kikucki deal would’ve made Braves fans more insistent that there’s really no excuse not to work something out with the Harpers of the world.

    Without Teheran and O’Days contracts, you could see a huge AAV upfront and an early opt-out. I could see how that could be appealing. But he seems to have his heart set on beating Stanton and maximizing what he can get guaranteed. Good for him. I get how Kikuchi-type deals create flexibility and are tempting, and maybe the Braves will surprise me, but the labyrinthine logic of these deals can’t hide that there will still likely be better value elsewhere.

  35. If you believe the reports, Washington has given a 10 year. That could be something like what Ryan is suggesting: 4 years guaranteed, a 4 year player option, then maybe a 2 year team option. Then if he’s close to being as productive as he is now at age 34, the team will probably just as well pick it up to lock him in for only 2 years vs. declining it and risking the need to sign a longer-term deal. Or at age 30, he can opt out and go get a longer deal than the 4 years guaranteed if he’s positioned himself or the market has changed.

  36. The players negotiated the CBA. They negotiated an environment where owners can pay young players peanuts, and now the players are crying foul that the owners aren’t doing deals where Albert Pujols or Mo Vaughn or Josh Hamilton or whomever gets paid top of market to be on the DL for the last 3 years of their careers because they can buy 17 players — 3 of which become Ronald Acuna — for half the total price. Boo frickin’ hoo. You wrote the deal, you signed the deal, do the damn deal.

    The owners are just like every other owner on the planet. They will spend as little as possible to create the most amount of profit. That’s the way the world goes ’round. And we as fans have let the the owners of ALL sports off the hook by not demanding with our dollars a competitive product consistently. They still make 90+% of gate turns on average if the team is bad or good. We’ve made that decision as fans. And if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. The ship has left the station on the expectations for owners and the CBA the players agreed to. Don’t like it? Change the frickin’ channel.

  37. @40 Agreed. Over at TC they are inferring that the 70% deal is likely with the Padres and would mean an OF (e.g. Renfroe) and Kirby Yates. I think this would be the definition of a pretty good OF and a premium reliever. If you assume that Adam Duvall can return to ’16/’17 form then I don’t see any advantage to Renfroe, for example. They would both be low OBP sluggers with Duvall playing better defense and both are RH. If the Braves were to get a LH mirror of Duvall, that’s one thing, but the cost benefit for a Renfroe doesn’t seem to make sense. Franmil would be a better hitter (and lots younger) but his defense is suspect.

    I agree that a premium OF and pretty good reliever would be better in a trade. I still wish the Braves could trade with the Reds for Puig and Wood, but I guess that’s a pipe dream.

  38. There’s something to consider here and that is Adam Duvall and his time in the Atlanta heat (which has serious affects on a Type-1 diabetic, which he is) could have been hard on his body. If you look at his career splits, they are quite staggering.
    April: .729 OPS
    May: .868 OPS
    June: .841 OPS
    July: .690 OPS
    August: .681 OPS
    September: .648 OPS

    Only Duvall can tell you how he really feels, but from mid-May on in Atlanta can be extremely hot and likely 10-15 degrees warmer than Cinci and 15-20 degrees higher of a heat index (extreme humidity also not good for Type-1 Diabetic) could have played a role on his poor production.

    But here’s my opinion on Duvall: He’s not a good bench player. If the Braves find an everyday corner OFer, Duvall needs to get a chance elsewhere, maybe via trade.

  39. @Sam

    The Kikuchi contract was what got my blood flowing in terms of what Harper could do. It’s a neat structure.

  40. @50 I didn’t know Duvall was a type 1 diabetic. That could potentially shine a little more light on his struggles.

    Honesty, I think you’re right too: he may be one of those guys that’s not a bench player. He might just need the reps, and the every day at bats to maintain a rhythm.

    If the Braves find an OF answer, a trade might be best for both parties.

  41. I think somebody should address the history of the players association and the subject of underpaying the young guys.

    Pre MLBPA: all players played on 1 year contracts dictated by the clubs. The reserve clause meant the players had no agency after signing their first professional contract. Stars got paid more, but everyday players usually had to have an offseason job. Ernie used to talk about this a lot on the radio.

    After the (Curt) Flood: Marvin Miller wanted to change the salary structure to better reflect the value provided but MLB completely stonewalled the issue. After the 1973 lockout the 2 sides compromised with a minimum salary and arbitration (initially after 4 seasons, now 3). Every negotiation since, the union tries to talk about the issue. Every negotiation since, the owners refuse to negotiate it. Every time they raise the league minimum.

    So, to summarize for TD, the OWNERS are to blame for the current salary structure because they refuse to even discuss the issue with MLBPA. Don’t blame the union for the owners stupidity.

  42. @49 I wouldn’t mind if the Braves made a deal with the Padres, so long as the OF coming over is Renfroe or Reyes. They need a guy for the 4 hole, and if they can play that guy in RF, the batting order all of a sudden lines up beautifully.

    I’m a little nervous about the price there, because you’re talking a quality RP, plus a young OF with team control. On the flip side, it’d also fill the Braves two biggest holes.

  43. On the whole money/labor issue, I generally have no issues with players getting their money. I feel on a yearly basis, a lot of them are underpaid.

    I do somewhat side with the owners though on the length of some of these contract demands. A decade’s worth of job security is a HUGE ask, because the money’s all guaranteed.

    To be honest, I think a reasonable solution might be raises across the board, with a more favorable arbitration process for the players; but with one caveat, a five year maximum length on any contract, similar to the NBA. If you want to incentivize players to stay with small market teams, maybe you make it four years max, unless you’re resigning with a former team, in which case you can do five?

  44. Yes. The MLBPA negotiated the current deal. Yes, the current MLBPA leadership is stupid and dumb. As a labor lawyer, Tony Clark is a mediocre former first baseman. Yes, the MLBPA should abide by the deal until they negotiate a better one; one that addresses the current problems and management’s exploitation of underpaid youth talent at the expense of aged veterans. (The veterans bought themselves this problem by repeatedly refusing to open up their union to minor league players.)

    Yes, a general player’s strike during the next negotiation window is a valid and legal method of moving ownership off of it’s current refusal to even address the issues.

  45. Ottavino to the Yanks- 27$/ 3 years. I thought he’d get more, and I think the Braves should be able to afford that.

  46. A player strike is definitely a valid and even probable future, yes. They’re going to have to be willing to do something they don’t want to do when they don’t want to do to get somewhere, and the owners are basically staring them in the face telling them they’re not going to do it. It would suck, it would be ugly, but it’s probably what it’s going to take to get things changed.

  47. @57

    I know a lot of free agent reliever deals don’t work out but we should have been all over him at that price.

  48. He must have really wanted to pitch in New York and pay a higher cost of living and state income tax to boot. I could be wrong for constantly looking at that dynamic, but seriously, how could that possibly have been the best offer?

    I think we are destined to be finally seeing these deals trickle in at the end of the offseason and think, “All this for that?”

  49. As cool as it would be to get Kimbrell back, I bet we end up with Cody Allen on a one year deal for <5$mil.

  50. Why do people here desire Gray and his 5 ERA again? The only “turning around” he’s going to do is to watch the ball fly out of the ballpark.

  51. I’ll pass on Gray. If the pressure of pitching in New York is too much, not a guy you want in late September or in October.

    But sounds like a guy we would go all in on. Just depends how quick they can get a bobble head made for him. Blah…

  52. If Cody Allen’s disappointing 2018 — after being excellent for 5 years — causes him to have to accept a one year, less than $5M offer, then he’s going to be very attractive to a lot of teams.

  53. And Allen’s only going to be 30. If we are truly at a point where relievers coming off a down year are going year-to-year at 30, then man, the Braves picked a really good time to rebuild. We have all this young talent that has increased in value and veterans that have decreased in value.

  54. 5.5% in Georgia effective 2020. 8.82% for ballplayers in New York. May not make a big difference, but it’s not nothing plus considering COL. I would also be interested in property tax rates.

  55. Ottavino is from NYC and his parents are still there. This is literally his lifetime dream come true. The fact that they are a 100 win team that is actually trying to get even better likely doesn’t hurt either.

  56. You almost have to be purposefully not paying attention at all to not see things @72’s way.

    Or to not see the significant upside in Sonny Gray at the right price. It’s not “the pressure of being a Yankee.” He was still a Yankee, after all, when he pitched away from Yankee Stadium. Get him out of that park and stop messing with his pitch selection.

    But there are too many teams in the mix for me to expect the odds to go in the Braves’ favor. It’s too bad.

  57. You’d want Sonny Gray at $7.5mil when we have Soroka/ Touki/ Wilson/ Fried/ Gohara available for $550k? If the Yanks paid half his salary it makes more sense.

  58. Are we not trying to contend here? Sonny Gray has generated 3 WAR in three different seasons. Have the guys you listed generated 3 WAR combined for their careers?

    Gausman replaced Anibal, but now who’s gonna replace Gausman? I would prefer some certainty given our competition and our spot on the win curve, so yeah, a reasonable shot at 3 WAR for $7.5 million sounds very enticing — depending on what we’d also have to give up.

    It sounds like it’s all moot anyhow.

  59. Sonny Gray should not factor into our decision to trade any of our best pitching prospects for outfield help. Fried and Soroka are better than Gray right now, and we wouldn’t have to trade either to get Castellanos.

  60. That’s a lot of confidence in less than 60 combined IP in 2018. Which ended in injury for Soroka.

  61. I’m another person who very much likes the idea of getting Gray. We’ve had a long illustrious list of pitchers who were great in Atlanta though terrible in New York — Jaret Wright, Javier Vazquez, Steve Karsay…

    (I was going to include Rafael Soriano, but he was only bad in his first year. His second year was good.)

    That’s a hitter’s park and a toxic media climate and lots of people play worse there.

  62. Sonny Gray’s ERA+’s:

    146, 120, 143, 72, 122, 89

    The Braves best ERA+’s of 2018:

    143 (Anibal), 142 (Folty), 142 (Gaus, NL only), 104 (Newk), 102 (Julio)

    Fried clocked in a 139, and Soroka a 117, but neither faced 200 batters in the bigs.

    At his best, Gray replaces Anibal’s work from last year. One of the kids may do that as well, but TINSTAAPP.

  63. He’d be a good depth piece, but he does not make our top young pitchers expendable, particularly on a one year deal. We saw firsthand last year that it doesn’t take much to get a ball out of yankee stadium, so I don’t hold last year’s era against him. I will admit I didn’t watch him pitch much last year but I’ve never been a big fan of his pitching style. But if we can get him without giving up much in return, by all means.

  64. DOB is starting to put out the “Braves have limited funds” state media edict this afternoon…

  65. Jesus. A more accurate paraphrase would be that the Braves are prioritizing adding a starter and/or an outfielder, and so didn’t offer Ottavino whatever it would’ve taken to pry him away from the Yankees.

    Someone who’s not, you know, a complete miserablist might have even taken note of DOB’s most recent tweet:

    And I do believe #Braves will add a good OF and at least one frontline-type pitcher one way or another before spring.

    ^^^Note the italics.

  66. @79 Kyle Farnsworth as well. It was in Farmsworth’s situation that I first heard JS make the argument I regurgitated earlier that a lower offer from Atlanta was a better offer than a higher offer by New York with those factors considered. But yes, I agree with Adam that snowshine’s explanation is why Ottavino is a Yankee.

  67. I would like Gray if we did not have Teheran in the rotation. Gray would be a very high upside #4 starter for this club who could end up being the best starter on the staff. That way you can still keep the #5 open for whoever of the 4 SPs knocking on the door that inevitably shows out in Spring Training. I agree with Hambone that there needs to be one spot in the rotation open for one of those 4. If there are two SPs deserving of a spot, then cross that bridge when you get there. But you need at least one spot. I’m sure the Braves agree.

  68. So who are we 70% “in” on? Seems awfully coincidental that AA says we’re 70% in on someone and then the Yanks say a Gray trade is almost done. But if not Gray then who? Pads seems like a reasonable possibility – including that we’ve made big trades with them before.

  69. I’m not sure if I’m for, or against trading for Gray, really. It depends on the price. If NY is going to price him for what he is, fine, do it. If they’re trying to price him like a pseudo-ace, forget it. I think he’ll do fine outside of NY, but he’s not going to morph into Chris Sale. It felt like Cashman was trying to peddle those beans earlier in the offseason.

  70. I’m firmly of belief that DOB is the least in touch writer that gets paid to cover the Braves and I’m not sure it hasn’t been so for the last 1/2 decade at least. What news has he ever broken?

  71. DOB has been wrong more than he’s broken news. And I would think he has even less access being at the Athletic vs. the AJC. At this point, I’m not sure he’s much more helpful than Nubyjas Wilborn was before he left. Doesn’t make them useless voices, but I wouldn’t be coming to them for closest pulse to AA.

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