12 thoughts on “Blah Canada”

  1. As it happens, there are several left-handed first basemen out there on teams which are out of contention (or reasonably project to be so). It’s fairly evident that this is our most glaring positional need (although LF could stand some improvement, the recent exploits of Marrero/Thomas notwithstanding), so here’s my attempt to handicap the field:

    The Field
    Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays
    Tino Martinez, Devil Rays
    Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles
    John Olerud, Mariners
    Nick Johnson, Expos
    Randall Simon, Pirates
    Carlos Pena, Tigers
    Fred McGriff, Devil Rays
    Sean Casey, Reds

    I’m going to eliminate McGriff and Simon based on general crapulence-slash-decrepitude, as well as Pena, on the theory that he still holds some promise for the Tigers. Also, since Nick Johnson is only making $1.25 million and is a relative youngster, he gets the boot…

    The New, Improved Field
    Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays
    Tino Martinez, Devil Rays
    Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles
    John Olerud, Mariners
    Sean Casey, Reds

    In order of payroll desirability:
    1) Palmeiro (2004, $3.5 million, 2005, $0.5 million)
    2) Olerud (2004, $7.7 million)
    3) Martinez (2004, $8.5 million)
    4) Delgado (2004, $18.5 million)
    5) Casey (2004, $6.8 million, 2005 $7.8 million)

    If there are undesirable aspects of Palmeiro’s 2005 deal, such as incentive clauses or player option, I’m not aware of them, but it could change the equation. I rate Delgado ahead of Casey on the assumption that the Jays would be willing to pick up a portion of Delgado’s remaining contract.

    In order of expected production this year (with some quick-and-dirty estimates):
    1) Delgado (15 HR, 880 OPS)
    2) Casey (9 HR, 850 OPS)
    3) Palmeiro (12 HR, 770 OPS)
    4) Olerud (6 HR, 740 OPS)
    5) Martinez (9 HR, 750 OPS)

    I moved Olerud ahead of Martinez based on his much higher OBP, a more valuable asset than SLG.

    In order of likelihood to be traded:
    1) Palmeiro
    2) Martinez
    3) Delgado
    4) Casey
    5) Olerud

    Palmeiro will be going somewhere, it’s just a matter of time. No reason for Martinez to stick around Tampa Bay when the Rays can parlay his last gasp into a decent prospect or two (if they’re lucky). I don’t think Delgado qualifies as a 10-and-5 guy, and the Jays are motivated sellers, but he might have a no-trade (I don’t know) and the contract is a sticking point. Casey likes Cincy, and vice versa, but his trade value will never be higher. Olerud is a 10-and-5 guy, and has reportedly already rejected one trade attempt.

    If we take all three above factors as equal (I know, it’s not that simple, but hey, I’ve spent an hour on this!), here’s what we have:

    1. Palmeiro (5 pts)
    2. Delgado (9 pts)
    3. Martinez (10 pts)
    4T. Casey (11 pts)
    4T. Olerud (11 pts)

    Based on talent alone, Delgado is obviously the prize. I think Olerud is more likely than Casey, only because he’d be coming from the AL. Any thoughts?

  2. About Walker.
    He is as fragile as a piece of crystal and has a big contract but…..
    He has been an impact hitter when healthy. And he has only 1 year left on his contract with an 1 mil option for 2006. Even if the Coors effect does inflate his numbers a lot he still historically has had great numbers on the road. So….If the Braves get the Rockies to take Andruw’s contract they save 24 mil. Will never happen though because the Rockies are already overpaying Preston Wilson to play center field, but its just the kind of gamble that John Schuerholz might try.

    sansho1’s analysis – some comments.
    Olerud won’t leave Seattle. Delgado has a no trade. We don’t want Casey or Martinez. In short we probably won’t try to get any of those guys. What is more cheaply available is a 1b that hits just the major league average. It may take some time but there will be one available. This season hs been very weird in that more teams are still in contention (or at least they have that appearance and they can’t dump because it would turn off their fans) than in past seasons. Thus there are more buyers than sellers out there. Shoot, the 1b situation just might be fixable within the organization. Why not give James Jurries a chance? The guy has hit everywhere he has been. So far we have been 2 for 4 in Richmond postional callups so why not?

  3. Who the heck wants Larry Walker anyway? Sure, he’s a great hitter, but he’s old, out of shape, and gets hurt all the time. I mean, all the time. What if you trade for him and he goes down next week? It’s Hampton redux–another albatross contract that you can’t get rid of. One secret of the Braves’ success is, while they are willing to make in-season trades, they don’t go all-or-nothing so short-sightedly. At least with Palmeiro you have a reasonable expectation that he’ll stay in the lineup.

    And the notion of trading Andruw while trying to win this year doesn’t make sense. Sure, he’s having something of a down year, but I think his overall value would become clear once we play someone else in center field. Look to the Mets for an example: Cameron isn’t hitting all that much, but you don’t think the success of Glavine, Leiter, and Trachsel has something to do with him being in center instead of Burnitz and the Retreads?

  4. I’m not sure why people have given up on LaRoche. He’s been hitting decent since coming back from the DL (hitting .300 with a .391 OBP). Yeah, it’s only 20 at bats, but so what? it’s a good sign. The only true need, if everyone stays healthy, is a power pitcher and maybe another lefty reliever, although Jaret Wright or Hampton (more likely Wright) could serve that role in the playoffs. From my perspective, only the Cubs or Astros have that, and only the Cubs are contending right now. The Braves do have something that was talked about here earlier in the season. That’s guys who are hungry. They have the veterans, but now have a great mix of youth in Thomas, Wise, Green, Estrada (sort of), Giles and LaRoche. You also have the intangible of JD Drew looking at a big contract next year to motivate him and Chipper Jones needing to make up for lost time. Andruw is not having a “down” year. He is not stepping up when he is really needed. That’s what is so frustrating about him. He doesn’t seem to listen to his coaches. Why should he? They’re not going to take away all that money he is got coming to him. Andruw will do whatever he wants, so why not make the trade for Maggs (throw in Derosion and Almanza) and get the #4 hole tied down and get a player with some heart?

    BTW, Mazzone was on 790 the Zone this afternoon and said both Alfonseca and Grybowski were fine. The only reason either of them were in that game was to get them sharpened up for the Philly series.

  5. I like the idea of Palmeiro in a Braves uniform, but the Orioles need pitching badly and would probably want Cruz, maybe another pitcher, and a lot of cash in exchange. Hodges has already been sold to a Japanese team, so who else could the Braves trade?

  6. It’s going to be hard for Wright to be the lefty reliever since he is righthanded. Not that it’s going to happen, but why don’t we want Casey? As for Delgado, Toronto would have to pick up a hell of a lot of the contract for the Braves to even think about it. I think it’s going to be hard for the Braves to do too much and I’m not sure they should unless they think this can really be a championship (as opposed to winning a weak division) team.

  7. If the O’ want Cruz, they might as well have him, since we’re apparently not willing to use him in anything except mopup and blowout duty.

  8. My bad on Wright. That’s was happens when you can’t see them on TV. Looking at the roster, they only have 2 lefties, Hampton and McConnell.

    I think the the only way they have a shot at a World Series is to have a big time starter who can come in and dominate in the postseason. The Braves don’t have that right now and haven’t since Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz were in their primes. We saw Arizona do it and the Cubs do it. Leadership is also key, but I think they have some of that now in Smoltz and Franco. I’ve even seen glimmers of leadership from Chipper.

  9. bwarrend, I’m with you on Hampton becoming our first bullpen lefty when Horacio is back. How likely do you think Bobby is to make that move?

  10. Er, I may have misinterpreted what you wrote. :) (You said “playoffs.”) In any case, I think it could be a good idea (although Hampton seems to be weakest when he first enters a game.)

  11. Bwarrend, how about Roger Clemens, if the Astros do give up on the season?

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