Braves not 10, Rockies not 14

Opinions might vary on what the worst Braves game was last year, but no matter how you slice it, the 14-10 loss to the Cubs in weather that everyone admitted after the game was unbaseballable, is, I suspect, in everyone’s top three. That game was just under one year ago.

We had a chance to repeat it in the Rocky Mountains today. Sense prevailed, however, and we did not lose by 14-10 or by any other score.

So I’m going to finish up my taxes… The Braves return home to face my local team, who don’t have any injured pitchers yet for some reason, though Cespedes and Lowrie are on the shelf. Go get ’em.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

209 thoughts on “Braves not 10, Rockies not 14”

  1. Dave O’Brien’s got one of his music tweet things going: Define your music taste in seven bands/performers. So here’s mine:

    Willie Nelson. Led Zeppelin. James Brown. The Byrds. Neil Young. Joni Mitchell. Merle Haggard.

  2. Waits and Al Green are on my next list of seven. Well, maybe Waits is on my third tier of seven. Shelby Lynne, huh? I’m a pretty big fan myself, even of her early country stuff. She’s got the goods. But I couldn’t put her on a list ahead of Dusty Springfield.

  3. In no particular order: The Who. Rolling Stones. Johnny Cash. Indigo Girls. R.E.M. 2 Chainz. Radiohead.

  4. Hey, anyone notice we don’t get to see either deGrom or Thor this upcoming series. What a deal. Well OK, maybe deGrom on Sunday but we’ll see – no Mets pitcher assigned yet.

    Also, Nats just took a 6-0 lead on the Phils. Nats win and we’re tied for 1st place. So there you go.

  5. John R: I guess I like her because she’s so versatile. She can sing country, blues, jazz, soul, and seems comfortable in each genre.

  6. Oof. The Philthies trail 14-0 in the 8th inning. I think it’s safe to say we will wake up in a first place tie and after this game the Braves will have a much better Pythag than them as well. Not that it means a lot after 11 games

  7. Soundgarden, Waylon Jennings, Jimi Hendrix, Blitzen Trapper, Merle Haggard, Nirvana, Delta Blues (too many to name)

  8. Allman Bros Band, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, ACDC

  9. Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Doc Watson, Led Zeppelin, Willie Nelson, The Band, Bob Dylan.

  10. Allman Brothers Band, Otis Redding, Lucinda Williams, REM, Little Richard,
    James Brown.
    I know that’s just six, but how many cities the size of Macon GA could claim that many giants?

  11. @13, Lotta people don’t know Lucinda spent some defining years of her adolescence in Macon/Milledgeville. Well done, Tfloyd.

  12. Tom Waits, Thelonious Monk, Emerson Lake and Palmer (which I’ve been told a thousand times I’m supposed to be ashamed of, but I’m not), Brandy Clark, Bowling for Soup, Delbert McClinton, Janis Joplin.

    That was hard, and I’m still not completely happy with it.

  13. Limiting this to seven is nearly impossible. That’s in why I’m my list @13 I decided to limit those eligible to those who at some point lived or worked in the city where I live. Macon is pretty extraordinary in that regard; all six on that list could easily appear on someone’s list of seven.

    I spent 15 years of my life in Lubbock, Texas. If I limited my list to West Texas, how about Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Guy Clark, the Flatlanders, Bob Wills, and Woody Guthrie. I would add Natalie Maines, but I don’t want to be accused of being political on this blog.

  14. As far as I know, AAR is now just making up band names.

    The Who, Yes, Santana, CSNY, Springsteen, Allman Brothers, Steely Dan

    Very mainstream, so sue me.

  15. Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, The Bevis Frond, The Smiths, Muddy Waters, Charles Mingus, and Pink Floyd before The Wall. Yes, I like power trios. Johnny Winter’s And Live! and The Allman Brothers Band’s Live at the Fillmore East, along with Trower’s Bridge of Sighs, really shaped my youth.

  16. My interest in the music you guys are discussing rivals my interest in soccer and watching paint dry. The Mets series can’t start soon enough.

  17. As far as I know, AAR is now just making up band names.

    My seven: Dank Lob, Rearranged Snot, Anal Barrio, Meat Twirls, Mental Touch, Punt Job, and Balk Creamery.

  18. Pink, Savage Garden, Mindy McCready, Wang Chung, Florida Georgia Line, Nickelback, Keith Law

  19. I’d have thought Meat Twirls would’ve cracked Rob’s top seven. Or at least Master Wilt, Lamest Writ, or Mr Lit Waste.

  20. I would definitely add Outkast to my list. Seven isn’t workable. I need a full 25-man roster.

  21. Is this supposed to be “at this moment” or a career retrospective. Cause that shit matters. Unless your favorite bands include Nickelback. At that point, there’s no help for you anyway.

  22. Career retrospective: Metallica (but only through the Black Album), Superchunk, Radiohead (but only through OK Computer), The Lucksmiths, The Weakerthans, Jason Isbell, Bob Mould (all incarnations from Husker Du through modern era solo work, but losing some touch there at the end of the 90’s where he was dabbling too heavily in electronica.)

    If it’s allowable, I would combine the works of Nirvana and Hole into a single category/band and add it in place of someone, somewhere.

  23. Hm. Should probably find a spot in there for Old 97’s and Rhett Miller. Certainly been in the decades long steady-rotation more than Bob, or Metallica after the early 1990’s.

  24. This thread is not making me rethink my current ethical and aesthetic critique of humanity.

  25. This century only:

    Isbell, Frightened Rabbit (oh, that really needs to make the all-time list too!), Manchester Orchestra, Rhett Miller, The Front Bottoms, The Menzingers, mewithoutYou

  26. Simon & Garfunkel, R.E.M., The Decemberists, Frightened Rabbit, Jason Isbell, Nirvana, Dave Brubeck

  27. I honestly took a half day PTO and drank the day after Scott Hutchison took his last swim.

  28. @35 – Damn Sam, I assumed I’d be the only guy to include Frightened Rabbit. Got to down some ciders with Scott on two occasions. He was a good egg.

  29. FR were the best band of this century to date. Scott was absurdly talented and I am still sad that he’s gone.

  30. I’m self-employed so I’ll definitely take off May 10th, to bend the elbow and listen to Scott and the boys.

  31. On a different note, what would be a band that you strongly dislike/hate, but say maybe 1 song of them that you really like?

    I do not like Steely Dan, but Dirty Work is a bop.

  32. I endorse the “Macon List” of tfloyd. Would it be acceptable to add one more who lived in Albany and Augusta (roughly equally distant on roughly opposite sides). If so, add Ray Charles and that is a lineup.

  33. @45 I think Mindy McCready is no longer with us… :(

    Also Roger Clemens most likely sexually assaulted her as a minor.


  34. Guided By Voices, Fugazi, Grifters, Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground, Slint, MF Doom

  35. The Braves are in Cincinnatti April 23/24/25. I will likely have a single ticket to spare for each of those last two games. Free, naturally, from the usual source.

    It was at this series, a little less than a year ago, that Acuna debuted as a Major Leaguer and hit his first home run.

    Don’t all rush. So far north.

  36. I assume Chief’s complaint with The Front Bottoms is that he’s essentially never grown emotionally beyond his 14-year-old-boy Beavis years and is chuckling at the name. I doubt he’s so much as pulled up a YouTube of their actual music.

  37. @19

    My money is on you.

    I have been suspicious for some time.

    If he really was in the thrall of all these 68 bands, now and hitherto, he would surely be under care by now.

  38. Everybody warm up you Calcaterra/KLaw burning stakes!

  39. @52 Joke’s on you but I once suffered through an entire Front Bottoms concert that I took my son to…


  40. I was worried that they weren’t going to be able to get this done for either RAJ or Ozzie. This is very exciting

  41. I’m pretty sure the only reason the team would do an extension is to get the free agency years, so I know I’m really excited. Probably a 7 year deal?

  42. I’m not totally sure I’m intellectually processing why Ozhaino Albies would do $35M over 7 when he’s already into his 2nd year of service time and he’s, ya know, awesome.

  43. Radiohead, The Beatles, Beach House, The Notwist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Pink Floyd, Arcade Fire

  44. Early take: Are these players essentially risk-sharing not only with the team but also amongst each other that since one of them is bound to be a disappointed, they all at least get paid?

    This is nuts. We’re talking peanuts for the next two years, then, what $2M, $5M, $12M, $18M? This wouldn’t be the first time I failed to properly match up service time with arb years.

  45. I’m sure there’s just a lot of pressure to both play hard and not get seriously injured before reaching a significant payday. Going this route, he’s got guaranteed millions. He can play hard and just not worry about the potential for lost money.

  46. Anthopolous must be convincing players that the coming labor strife will be a massive year-long cataclysm and that, when it’s over, wages are going to be back to where they were pre-steroid era or something.

    You could turn the Acuna extension in a way where, if the light hit it right, you could see how it might make sense for him to do it. Not sure I’m seeing this one.

  47. I know I am personally offended at a deep, profound, moral level that the guy is only guaranteed thirty five fucking million dollars. How will we survive this atrocity as a species?

  48. In addition, I’ll again point out that this does nothing to help this year’s team…though I will admit that we’ve only lost one game since the last time I said that and that our bullpen was making hitters look foolish at Coors freaking Field the other day.

  49. @70

    There’s at least a little bit of space between an “atrocity [for the] species” and a suboptimal business decision.

  50. You know who I think should be allowed to make suboptimal business decisions? People. For themselves. I doubt Alex Anthopolous had Ozzie’s family held in a torture dungeon to leverage him to sign.

  51. The only way I can see this helping this year’s team is if we needed the financial certainty down the road to add a big contract. Now we can have the security of knowing Acuna and Albies aren’t at risk of being lost any time soon.

    But as far as I know, the Braves aren’t deliberately courting any large contract players. The one that was in question wasn’t a player the team even wanted but would have come along in a package that moved salary from the other team.

    I’m with you, Nick, I think these contracts are happening in preparation for a work stoppage that is likely going to see major changes to rookie contracts. This guarantees money to Acuna/Albies and provides the Braves with major league contracts in place on the young stars.

  52. The Ozzie extension seems like it’s quite a bit off. I’m thinking he earned something not far off from $35M last year for 3.8WAR. That’s crazy.

    I am convinced the huge extension season is due to the FA market issues. It’s the perfect collusion. “Look no one is going to pay for free agents, but we love you so sign here for this.”

    That and the uncertainty about the CBA has got to be driving all these extensions. And the Braves seem to be playing the game to the hardest line.

  53. To be fair, the argument was only that Hart was better than Coppalella, who apparently had trouble interacting with humans.

  54. @79, Can you explain what you mean by “hardest line”? Do you think the Braves are threatening the players somehow? “Look, kid, sign this extension now or you can forget us ever bringing it up again” or some such tactic?

  55. It also needs to be taken into consideration that Albies had a rough second half to the season. He has played well so far in 11 games, so there’s the extension.

    I do feel like he could have gotten more but not a lot more.

    Do we know what the option years are worth?

  56. I’m with Sam. Acuna and Albies both know how good they are and have agents advising them. If they didn’t want to sign extensions, then they always could have, you know, not signed them.

    I say good for them and good for the Braves. Now go take the surplus value and improve the team!

  57. I mean, yeah? But who cares? There’s no way Atlanta could get enough in return if they traded Albies if he becomes who he seems to be.

  58. Well… huh.

  59. I can’t believe Ozzie took that. Say what you will, but I went from extreme excitement at the extension to a bit sad it was so low. Part of pulling for certain players is that you want them to see them succeed in a general sense, not just put up stats, especially a young player like Ozzie who seems like a genuinely good guy. How is Ozzie going to feel when someone like Luke Jackson makes more in arbitration than he will under contract?

  60. @89

    My thoughts exactly. It does, in some ways, make me a little sad for the player as a person.

    It’s funny, my wife and I were watching highlights this morning, and I was telling her that I thought Altuve was not going to age particularly well due to his size. Then Ozzie signs one of — if not the — most team friendly extensions ever. Of course, Altuve is still in the prime of his career at the age that Ozzie’s deal will be close to ending.

  61. I think this deal probably gets re-written if Ozzie’s body holds up and he becomes Jose Altuve-lite on Altuve’s career track. If Ozzie’s age 25-27 seasons are what we think they might be, then the Braves will probably want to highly incentivize him to rip up this deal and extend him into his 30’s. And since Ozzie will be 30 when this deal expires, he may want to get to free agency and cash in if he’s the person we think he is. So it can kinda work well for both parties if it gets re-written at that point. And all Ozzie loses is maybe some arb 1 and arb 2 money. And if he becomes merely an adequate player, he’ll at least be able to sleep at night that he took this deal when he did.

  62. Sorry to be thinking out loud the way I am, but I definitely think this deal doesn’t see the end. I think he gets re-extended around his age-26 season, assuming the cost breakdown is consistent with how the other extensions handed out are. There’s enough meat on the bone for Ozzie to re-extend, and the Braves will want to get him into his 30’s if he stays healthy. I think that’s why this makes sense for Ozzie. He’s worried he can’t stay healthy, and if he does, both parties have plenty of incentive to re-do at that part.

    I feel better.

  63. @93-94 I said the same thing about Acuna’s deal. If they look up with only the club option years remaining and appear set to continue to be the players we know they can be, those option years are great leverage to hammer out an extension.

  64. It’s not a good deal if you sign hoping the other side will let you renegotiate later.

  65. @93, 94

    Just like the folks who were saying that maybe Acuna gets his deal re-negotiated at the exact point when it becomes the most team-friendly, you’re dreaming with this. Big-time. This isn’t the NFL…teams don’t need the cap space. There’s no incentive whatsoever for the Braves to do that.

  66. “I’m with Sam.”

    Have you considered the on-going consequences of this position?

  67. I am well aware that all things being equal that wealth generated by the labor of workers accrues to the benefit of the already wealthy because, all things being equal, the wealthy have all the power.

    And because it works that way, players unionized and acted in solidarity over the course of decades, using their collective power to match the inherent power of the wealthy and claimed a larger share of the proceeds of their labor.

    In the past decade or so, however, (a) players made deals with management that assumed management would continue to act in a certain way and they miscalculated in doing so; and (b) they have largely ceased acting in solidarity to mitigate the effects of this. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs, but not one in which the players are blameless.

  68. @97 What? So if Ozzie is 26, he’s a 4-5 WAR player, and they’ve got 2 years of this deal, then the two club options, you’re telling me they wouldn’t sign a deal that buys out ages 31-33 at (in today’s numbers) $20-25M per? I think the team definitely would.

    Take present and historical examples. The Braves are interested in extending Freeman before the end of his deal. The Braves sought to extend McCann before the end of his deal. Let’s say Teheran continued to be a 3-4 WAR pitcher. They would be looking to extend his deal.

    Yes, if Ozzie Albies becomes a 6+ WAR player, then yes, I agree that the Braves will have so much surplus value in those last 4 years (including the two options), but then that’s the gamble Ozzie took. And I disagree with a lot of people that these guys are thinking they’re going to be year-in, year-out 6+ WAR players. But anything short of that reduces the surplus value in the remaining years and incentivizes the team to take on 3-4 years onto the end of it, taking these players into their 30’s.

  69. For clarity, I do recognize that there’s less surplus value in Freeman’s deal than what we think Ozzie’s might be, but McCann is a very good comp, as would Teheran if Teheran continued his trajectory.

  70. @91 – Looks like the hot-tub time-machine dropped you off in 1985. Hopefully, you’ll be able to catch a show during The Meat Is Murder tour.

  71. Ozzie’s neither a catcher nor a pitcher, and that matters.

    He either made a big mistake or there’s some circumstances here that we’re not privy to.

  72. I’ve read that there’s a huge cloud of financial uncertainty in the coming years that is driving these guys to accept these offers.

    Expect to hear more blazon-style shaming as the extensions occur across all of baseball.

    Aren’t there a pair of all-star major leaguers still unsigned?

  73. @108. I will bet you that it’s not guaranteed. I won’t bet that the Braves won’t exercise the options.

  74. @102 I’m the only one in here that sees… but agreed.

    These contracts are embarrassing. The Braves are weird, man. Really weird.

  75. Just caught the press conference with Albies. I think this is pretty obvously a home team discount. He sounds genuinely happy and intent on being in Atlanta for the duration of that contract.

  76. I don’t see how any of this is embarrassing. Only time will tell which side gets the best end of the deal. Offer was made, player takes offer, story over.

  77. I was hoping that when they extended Acuña that they would also extend Albies. This does seem ridiculously below market value.

  78. Pearl Jam, Avett Brothers, Rage Against the Machine, Weezer (early years), Muse, Foo Fighters, Awolnation

  79. It will be VERY hard to sign FAs outside of the organization for the forseeable future. It might not matter though because they weren’t going to sign any anyway.

  80. @ 117


    If Braves could just use 10% of John’s farmland, that would vault us up big time.

  81. Acuna is just so much more projectable. Ozzie is closer to being a pitcher or catcher than Acuna in that way. I think there’s some real concerns about what kinda player Ozzie can be. If I was Ozzie, I’d probably have waited a year, but that’s his decision.

    Don’t get me wrong; Ozzie has some serious power and will undoubtedly outperform these comparables, but you can’t tell me there’s not maybe a 30-40% chance he’s more Rougned Odor than Jose Altuve. Odor’s on his comp list through age-21. Is he going to be like Rafael Furcal where he never really builds into the perfect version of his profile?

    You can’t tell me there’s not real risk in Ozzie’s profile.

  82. I think that Mike Trout’s first extension was probably more undervalued than Ozzie Albie’s contract.

    But holy crap. I’m ecstatic that I get to root for Ronald and Ozzie for the next decade, but I can’t help feeling bad that he consented to be woefully underpaid. And if the Braves ever trade him or Acuna while they’re on these contracts they deserve to be blacklisted by every agent in baseball.

  83. @118 Oh brother, you said this exact same hyperbole when Acuna was left down for the first two weeks of last year. “Oh, well, good luck getting him to extend!” Don’t make me search your comments on the WordPress backend. Don’t make me!

  84. JonathanF, I look forward to reading Bradbury’s piece and seeing if I understand one iota, but hey, if you want to add a little blurb about risk-sharing in your next recap… well, that’d be pretty time appropriate to some on this board.

  85. FAs will come here if we make them an offer nobody else makes. Nothing has changed in the past few weeks.

    We’ll have the opportunity to buyout more of Acuna and Albies FA years in 4 or 5 years as well, if we want to. And if they take the offer it doesn’t make them morons. It makes them insanely rich.

  86. @121 Me too… I think Ozzie may have just forced me to buy his jersey. There may be superior athletes, but there aren’t any among competitors. I look forward to cheering for him for a very long time!

  87. @123 cartoons aren’t required to be consistent ROB! My Braves fandom is hour to hour. LOL.

  88. @127 Andrelton was also a lot more projectable. His defense was so good, he would be a 3+ WAR every year even if his offensive never developed, but he had the body type and the elite defense that he was worth more guaranteed money.

    There’s real risk in Ozzie’s body type, lack of plate discipline, and position he plays. Andrelton didn’t have two of them, and he was an elite defender.

  89. They traded Andrelton as a salary dump, but yes, that trade literally destroyed a part of my Braves fandom. They had maybe the greatest defensive shortstop ever and decided to trade him on the cusp of a pitching-driven rebuild for an unproven lefty prospect because they wanted to shed salary and I will never fully forgive them for it.

  90. I’m totally on board with comparing Albies to Rougned Odor. I’m pretty sure I’ve made the same comparison on here. They’re very similar. If that’s the downside, the deal’s still a steal for the Braves. Odor’s a 2-3 WAR player.

  91. A week ago…

    Extend the Oz
    Why? Because
    at thirty eight
    his smile will be just as great.

    That was a wish for a feel good moment, the 16 years by poetic license, the point was made.

    No feel good about this. Awful.

  92. “ZiPS is estimating that Albies, in return for this contract, is giving up more than $200 million on average. But let’s say that ZiPS is being way too kind on Albies and is overrating him by two WAR a year. That knocks a shocking 18 WAR off his projections for the next nine years, in which case, ZiPS projects him to make a mere $153 million going year-to-year. So even in the case that ZiPS is horribly overrating Albies, he’s still likely to be underpaid by at least $100 million for his contributions to the Braves.”

  93. @118, How do contract extensions affect the way a free agent would look at a contract offer from the Braves? Free agents will either like the contract the Braves offer or they won’t.

    @120, Ozzie was a profoundly bad player in the second half last year. I agree with your comments. Risk/reward. Aren’t we still paying Chris Johnson?

  94. Maybe Ozzie would’ve been more likely to play things year-by-year if he hadn’t experienced that scary injury where he broke his elbow swinging a bat. Or maybe if he hadn’t played like a sub-replacement player last year second half.

    5 years from now he might look like a genius.

  95. IMO, it’s now better than 50/50 the Commissioner will sooner rather than later be forced into a corner and agree to review both contracts.

    There’s no risk to the Braves if that happens, it’s not Coppy 2, but morally perhaps there should have been.

    Who do we think was the dominant voice in setting those figures in the first place? AA? Mcgugan or whatever his name is, the Liberty Financial guy? Would love to know.

  96. What’s Odor been making in arb though? Not much more than what Ozzie will be.

  97. @138 Bingo. I was coming on here to say that. He ruined a season with a non-contact injury. That’s something.

  98. We need a whistle blower within Liberty Hall and the FO. Some of them will be reading this. Who’s the greedy one?


  99. I think the dominant voice in “setting” this contract was probably Ozzie Albies.

  100. @139

    No way. I will eat crow if it comes to pass. There are plenty of reasons why Albies signed the contract. His explanation for it is as candid an explanation as anyone could ever expect from an athlete. He’s a happy man right now. Believe it.

  101. Before Odor was arb eligible, he signed a $50/6 extension. I think he had a couple years service time. Just sayin’.

    I get what would make Albies risk-averse enough to sign an extension, but come on, he really needed to do better than this!

    I don’t know enough to say if I feel badly for him. Who knows what’s at play here. I’d like to think AA is being aggressive on these extensions because he knows he has to pull out all the stops to be able to add big contracts in the future…but who am I kidding?

  102. As an aside, how bad would a contract have to be FOR the MLBPA or commissioner or other teams to step in and cry foul?

  103. Mcgugan or whatever his name is, the Liberty Financial guy?

    Hahahahaha. McGoogan! That’s his name now.

  104. If players signing these extensions are truly leaving tens of millions of free agency money on the table, why don’t they work out some sort of private financing to tide them over until their big payday? If Szymborski’s right, why doesn’t the agency offer Ozzie an interest-free $20 million loan in return for going year-to-year?

  105. Prepare thy crow then!

    Seriously, how smart were you at 21 about adult life and how things work via the men in their forties and fifties who have the best jobs and a much greater understanding of who kisses whose ass and why?

    I got married at 21. That’s why I get free tickets when the Braves come up here.

  106. IMO, it’s now better than 50/50 the Commissioner will sooner rather than later be forced into a corner and agree to review both contracts.

    [that’s not how any of this works dot gif]

  107. @143

    Sam…I didn’t say he is but he may very well be one day soon. Like the Goodells of this world, the weak pawn of the owners, he will put it off as long as he can, until he’s forced into a corner.

  108. @147

    The MLBPA is one thing. The commissioner is basically on the owners’ team, so he never will.

    @134 pretty much illustrates the issue here. He didn’t just leave some money on the table, he signed a contract that’s at most a third of his actual value, and probably much less than that. The commissioner isn’t gonna overturn it nor should he, but if you don’t see any kind of an issue with this deal whatsoever, I don’t know what to tell you. It is a flat-out stupid decision on Ozzie’s part. People should be able to rightly point out what an asinine decision it is.

  109. At what point do we start considering a long term contract for Dansby? If his ops for the year ends up close to 800 and we don’t see an injury or serious regression at the end of the year, I’m in.

  110. Maybe to help Albies out in the wake of what looks like a colossal blunder, we could take the team-friendliness of this extension into account when we rank him on a future 44 Greatest Braves list.

    He’s got a legit shot at upper-echelon greatness!

  111. @154, Next year. If he continues to show the promise he’s showing in the first two weeks of this season.

  112. This actually embolden’s AA’s strategy of no long term FA deals. Why in the world would you pay Harper $330 for 12 when you can pay Acuna $124 for 10 and Albies $45 for 9. It frees up room to go after Kimbrel, but the Braves are actively resetting the market.

  113. @81 No threats…. jeez. That would be counterproductive. No, by hard line, I mean offering as little as possible and using their leverage to the fullest. Something similar being suggested by Jeff Todd at MLBTR. Essentially, making a lowball offer.

  114. Baseball again.

    Who will win the NL East? Prediction.

    Looking at what’s happened so far and a few things we know to be in the offing I looked at the Phils and the Nats and said they’re going to beat each other up all season long. It is not fanciful they’ll both end up around .500. You think then about the Mets and they look just the same to me- they will have to struggle to beat the other two.

    We have already shown we are better, and getting even better. So while our three foes end up at 81/81 we will be a comfortable ten games ahead, Marlins and all.

    You remember those nerds (538 I think) who laughably cut our win projection % for the NL East from 40 to 25 just because of getting clobbered in the wind in Philly?

    What price now, my friends?

  115. I’m sure the Braves have approached Dansby already. They obviously believe in him. Whether they can all get on the same page with years and dollars is a different story — arguably, Dansby may seem himself as selling low at this point — but I’m sure there is interest in getting something done.

  116. correction!

    for ’81/81′ read ‘exhausted’.

    or would that be possible with us 10 more and the marlins 25 less? What is the maximum win total in a 5 team Division?

  117. @160

    Dicey Dansby
    however improved his hands be
    is moving through a period of great flux
    millions of dollar gambles, either side, sucks.

  118. DOB Tweets:

    • Albies on Acuña signing impacting his decision: “We’re more than best friends, we’re brothers. I love him. It wasn’t just because of him, because I love everybody on the team. And I love being where I’m at, being part of the Braves. I want to be a Brave for the rest of my life.”

    • Albies: “I don’t look at it just from money because I’m not playing for money. I’m playing for my career. I took it because I want my family to be safe.”

    I get an intellectual compulsion to break down this deal and come out shaking one’s head and trying to figure out why. I don’t get any of the insufferable moral arguments about victimization or taking advantage of the stupid or other trivializing silliness. Sorry, that’s just the way I see it.

    I’m not gonna crap over someone as wonderful as Ozzie or Ronald on what’s one of the most happy days of their lives. A day when all the hard work and talent has paid off in immutably life-changing terms for himself, his family and his friends, and generations of his ilk ever onward. I’m not gonna taint these guys with accusations of stupidity because it feeds the appetite of the nannyish moral majoritarian inside of me. I wish others would do the same, but we’re in a media and social media market where it’s almost unavoidable.

    I’d like to think Ozzie is capable of tuning all that crap out. I damn sure would be.

  119. @146 Thank you, Adam. I think that reinforces that he should have maybe waited a year. Get a little extra service time under his belt.

    I’m still not sure why he did this, but I also understand some of the things he had to consider.

    As someone who is self-employed and also does one of the more riskier types of investment (flipping real estate), this isn’t something I don’t think I would do, but I totally get it, and glad he did it for the team I cheer for.

  120. All of you complaining about this deal and even those of you not complaining about it but saying it is par for the course in labor relations in “late stage capitalism” just explain to me what the Braves’ threat would be if Albies didn’t take the deal. Cut him? Trade him? Give him a bad seat on the team plane for the next 4 years? The Braves certainly have the power not to cut a long term deal with him. but they have zero leverage to get him to sign a deal. And blazon, I just have no idea what these “moral” considerations you keep bringing up are. I’m an economist, so I admit a possible blind spot here, but I genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about.

  121. @163 is a great comment.

    Who knows, maybe Albies really, deliberately did this out of love for the team and his teammates.

    AA’s also going to get asked about this extension at some point. That’ll be interesting.

  122. This is the point that is probably the most important one. These guys really come from almost nothing. And it does make them look at things a lot differently. I wish it wasn’t the case, but the Albies and Acuna family trees are forever changed, and they felt they need not risk it.

  123. @167, My inkling of how this thought process goes:

    1. Sense “unfairness”
    2. Stop thinking
    3. Make wild assertions

  124. @171, LOL do really you need to ask?

    I’m paying attention to him now just to see if he’s really that insufferable. So far, seems kind of par-for-the-course to me.

    In blazon’s defense, is it not clear how much he loves Albies? Has there been a bigger fan since day one? It’s OK to have emotional reactions when crazy things happen — and while we’re all moving towards rationalizing what has taken place, it’s still crazy on its face.

  125. There’s a podcast called “Behind the Braves”, might actually be the official Braves podcast.
    Two days ago, an extensive interview with AA got uploaded.
    AA is covering the RAJ extension, the financial flexibility (he might read Braves Journal as he mentioned that “a lot of people hate that word”), the bullpen and Kimbrel (while not naming him). Very interesting and worthwhile to listen to.
    To me, it makes a lot of sense what he said about various topics. Very happy to have him.

  126. @153 It takes an astonishing level of arrogance to believe and assert this. It’s only “stupid” to you because you think he should have prioritized what you want (money) over what he wants (to guarantee being a Brave for a long time). You have nothing at stake, why the hell should your preferences outweigh his?

  127. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I feel like those critical of this deal, or saddened by it, aren’t taking into account the timing here. The Braves gave him this deal after basically one season in which he had two very different profiles. Sure, if he’s first half Albies the Braves got a steal. If he’s second half Albies in the long run though, they overpaid. Now I have no idea which it is. With no track record though, I don’t think you can automatically dismiss his rough finish to fatigue. Both parties assume some risk, and both parties gain some security. Ozzie clearly had to be happy with the deal though because he signed it, so I’m happy for him, and that he’s a Brave long term.

  128. @172–I’ve been almost as enthusiastic about Ozzie and his promise as blazon has. And my emotional reaction is the opposite—I’m delighted that Albies will be on my team for the next decade. And I’m pleased that he seems so happy.

    I say this as someone who generally sides with labor over management, and I especially disdain the owners of MLB.

    But when it comes to my team and my fandom, I try not to let my real world concerns intrude. I love these kids the Braves have and I’m planning on enjoying them for the next decade.

  129. Loved that Freddie and RAJ were both on the front row for the signing. If they want to start a power trio and take it on the road, best get out of the way.

  130. I don’t care how we get there but Albies and Acuna are brothers and they play and act that way. And I’m quite sure their enthusiasm and camaraderie is infectious. I know that just watching them in the dugout not to mention watching them play gives me a little warm spot in my happy place. I know I’m going to be watching these guys now into my retirement years and I love that idea. The 90s were a helluva a lot of fun and I hope we have another decade like that.

    I honestly think one of the worst things about modern baseball is that the players so rarely stay long term and become local heroes. Freddie is and now Ronald and Ozzie will be, too. I even applaud the idea behind Harper’s contract that he is now a Phillie for life.

  131. @153 Do you have an issue with Mike Trout’s contract being too low? I ask because if you value WAR at 9mil per, he should be making around 70-80 million a season. So he’s probably being paid half his worth.

    What defines when a player is “duped”, or just happened to get a deal he likes, if not the player himself?

  132. Sure, if he’s first half Albies the Braves got a steal. If he’s second half Albies in the long run though, they overpaid. Now I have no idea which it is. With no track record though, I don’t think you can automatically dismiss his rough finish to fatigue. Both parties assume some risk, and both parties gain some security.

    I mean…you just can’t sugarcoat this. The guy who slumped so badly in the second half still ended up with 4 WAR at the conclusion of the season — and at age 21, his first full MLB season. He didn’t exactly come out of nowhere in our farm system either — there is a track record there. The odds that he’s going to be a replacement level player from here are fairly slim.

    He left $100 mil+ on the table. That’s just the fact of the matter. And while there may be no resoundingly great reason for that, there are probably better ones than concerns over how he’ll perform.

  133. What defines when a player is “duped”, or just happened to get a deal he likes, if not the player himself?

    It’s not that hard to compare what similarly valuable players — because we can measure these things fairly well — have been able to secure for themselves in similar situations.

  134. @185 It may be improbable that he’s a replacement level player in the future, but not impossible. I’m not saying I expect that to be the case. The Braves have to account for that chance though, do they not?

    History is littered with minor league sensations that never made it in the Majors, too.

    I’m not trying to make a case against his talent, but I can see some other sides beyond Ozzie should’ve been given more money.

  135. “Albies values things that aren’t about maximizing his earnings potential” is a totally different (and IMO more persuasive) argument than “This was a fair deal because Albies could still bust.”

    And the reason the entire industry is reacting the way it is tonight is because, even taking into account the risk that Albies could bust, the deal is still incredibly team-friendly. Just compare it to similar deals for similar players. This isn’t hard.

    Frankly, having just been through the offseason slog on here, I’d take some of you a lot more seriously if you had been vocally concerned with Albies flopping before today. Chief, who thought MLB pitchers would knock the bat out of Albies’ hands, could take that position. I’m not sure anyone else here can and still be credible.

  136. @189 I’ve raised the question before of which Ozzie would he be going into the season, first or second half. It might have been with my predictions, I can’t remember. I’ll find it, if you like. Acuna’s the only young player I’ve been totally in on, outside of my strong trust that Anderson, Wright and Waters will be good.

  137. The bust or injury risk is a factor, but I agree it’s not the sole or even primary reason the deal appears less than what many would expect. That difference is much more explainable by the assumptions many are implicitly making regarding what a player is or ought to be trying to achieve in a contract negotiation.

    We have Albies’ own words regarding his goals. He wants to be a Brave for life. Could he have made more with different goals? Almost certainly, but why should he have to? Why should he have to risk a deal not coming together, or not being able to guarantee as many years in Atlanta, just to squeeze out more dollars if doing so risks not getting what he truly wants?

    It’s possible to respect the player’s position and still offer commentary about the various market conditions in which he is operating. That’s fair. But so many seem incapable of not crossing the line into substituting their own preferences for those of the party actually involved in the transaction. And there’s just no good argument for why what they want is better than what Albies wants. Hell, even Glavine, a former union rep, called it a “win-win” and recognized that Ozzie got what he wanted. To me, that’s worth celebrating.

  138. He gets $1 million in each of the next two seasons, $3 million in 2021, $5 million in 2022 and $7 million each in 2023, ‘24 and ‘25. Atlanta has a $7 million option for 2026 with a $4 million buyout, and if that is exercised, the Braves have a $7 million option for 2027 with no buyout.

    He would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2020 season and for free agency after the 2023 season.

  139. Adam is unquestionably right that this is perhaps the most team friendly deal we’ve seen. As I said, though, I’m pleased for the Braves and for him if he’s truly happy about this.

    The fault lies in the unconscionable leverage the owners have over players in the pre arb years. Players like Acuña and Albies are forced to play for amounts ridiculously below their true market value.

  140. If the fault lies in the “unconscionable leverage the owners have over players in pre arb years” then the blame rests solely on the MLBPA for throwing young players under that bus in order to maximize the free agency paydays of the select few who make it through that gate.

  141. But the antitrust exemption and the reserve clause also contribute. I’m not a libertarian but I have a hard time seeing why players in the pre arb years should not get at least some benefit of the market.

  142. I know the season is young but Jonny V is looking a lot like EOF did in his second stint in ATL

  143. @197 Agree. Venters has done nothing well this year. He was supposed to get the lefty and he walked him.

    3 walks and 2 HRs equals 5 runs tonight.

  144. Tony Clark’s tenure as MLBPA chief has, quite famously, been a disaster for players. And the Albies and Acuna deals are two more nails in that particular coffin.

    Collective bargaining is difficult because different actors have different incentives. Albies and Acuna had plenty of reasons to take the deals they got. But this offseason demonstrated that free agency is broken, and this spring demonstrated that owners want to replace free agent spending with team contract extension spending. So player average collective salaries went down, and that’s why so many people are afraid there will be a labor stoppage when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement ends.

    I’m happy as a Braves fan. I have mixed emotions for Acuna and Albies, who deserve more than they got, but I am happy they’re happy.

    However, the entire industry just sat up and collectively declared that the Braves just benefited from two of the most team-friendly contracts of the entire free agent era. I’m worried that today’s windfall will make a strike more likely.

  145. Donaldson is thoroughly unimpressive, and I doubt I’m the only one who would rather see Camargo at the hot corner every day.

  146. @194

    Sam made a good comment here, and it’s important to acknowledge it. We won’t see one again for a few weeks.

  147. @199 is another really good one. Man, this thread has really been a good one.

    I don’t want to go all sappy, but we have some smart people on here. And Sam.

    It’s also really interesting the an extension that included only two free agent years bought out has created this many passionate, articulate, and well-reasoned responses. Ozzie created the cocktail for the ultimate team-friendly deal: minimum service time, some projectability concerns, and a genuine desire to play for one team. Those three things, especially together, do not lead to max value.

  148. @207

    Behind the Braves – Alex Anthopoulos via @mlb

    Not sure this link is working. It is a podcast (You’ll find it on Google Podcasts for example: “Behind the Braves”) and the latest inteview/episode.

    I was impressed about AA’s candidness (is that a word?) on making all those mistakes in the past with the Blue Jays, making deals and getting players just for the sake of it and to please the fanbase. He claims to have learned from those mistakes.
    In my POV, this is an excellent insight in how he operates and thinks. I loved it.

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