I don’t understand this market

Lieber signs with Phillies

I like Jon Lieber; three years, $21 million — basically a Jaret Wright deal — seems high. At any event, if Lieber got $7 million a year, the Yankees giving the same to Wright doesn’t look like such a reach. It’s a good one-year signing for the Phillies, but in three years it could look pretty bad.

Leiter returns to Florida

That makes more sense. Also, the Marlins have apparently signed Antonio Alfonseca to a two-year deal. I would have liked to bring back Alfonseca, but the reality of the baseball setup is that you can’t afford to re-sign guys like that.

21 thoughts on “I don’t understand this market”

  1. Imagine what John Thomson will be getting if he is a free agent this year instead of last year? Great deal for the Braves. All these signings make more sense to offer arbitration to Bryd as he is more affordable than anyone available out there. To me, Bryd and Lieber are basically the same type of pitcher, and the Braves will be paying less to Bryd than Phillies to Lieber.

  2. I don’t know about Byrd being as good as Lieber, but Byrd is still pretty good. You could argue Lieber is maybe as good as Wright, but that’s still a stretch. Wright was more dominant this season (lower ERA, lower Opp. BA, less HRs) and he is younger. I don’t even think the Phillies should throw that much money at pitching. That stadium is turning out to be like Coors field in Denver, a scary place for pithcers. The Lieber deal looks like a lot of money thrown at at an aging arm. Any talk about the Yankees making a mistake in the Lieber-Wright choice is garbage. The Phillies should build a awesome lineup and maintain their solid, but unspectacular, rotation. As for Byrd, he is going to be resigned to pitch in the 4 or 5 slot. That all depends on how deep the rotation becomes this winter. Schuerholz is in a pickle now and it might cost the Braves Giles to pick up an ace. Anyone’s guess as to how real the Giles-Hudson swap is. Schuerholz should have offered Wright the Yankee money. This team will pick up the hitting without Drew, I wouldn’t worry about that. Schuerholz will need to be creative in the pitching market and pick up a solid bat. Sign Dye or some veteran to a one-year deal, and tease us with Francoeur. Trade for Hudson and immediatley resign him to a fat deal. Here is how I would like to see the rotation next year: Hudson-Hampton-Thomson-Byrd-Cruz. Millwood and Loiaza could become cheap filler, but I think Byrd covers that. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t even sweat Hudson too much. If Hampton and Thomson can become consistent, and then maybe Smoltz steps in, we could have a mean rotation. The pitchers Atlanta still has possess a great deal of potential, there are just a lot of questions. Of which Smoltz’s durability and Hampton’s consistency are just two. After all is said and done, however, the Braves will be assembling another division-title-winning roster.

  3. If only I could agree. First of all, if Smoltzie rejoins the rotation, then who is going to be our closer next year? And if he doesn’t, then who is going to be our ace? If Hudson is, it’ll cost us Giles, and then who is going to play second base? And with Giles AND Drew gone, there will be two very deep holes in our lineup. They were our best hitters last year, remember? And Byrd’s health is still a concern, and so is Smoltz’ if he pitches in the rotation again. Besides, having him in the rotation will cost the Braves > 3 Mill. (which they don’t have).

    No, this is the end. I didn’t think it was last year, and it wasn’t, but with everybody around us getting better, esp. the Phillies with Lieber and without Bowa, and us getting weaker and weaker every year, it is going to happen in 2005.

  4. Read in AJC that the Braves have confirmed that Giles is on the market with Hudson the target. I don’t get it. Hudson is a very good pitcher, a top of the rotation pitcher, but is he worth the second or third best 2b in baseball? Even if Hudson were under contract for more than one season I still don’t make the trade.

    I’d love to know how much the Braves offered Drew. 8 for 2 years? I read that they offered Wright 9 for 3, which I thought would be a good solid offer until the Yankees went insane.

    I agree with Mac. This market has been weird. It seems like there is a reversal of the salary correction of the last 2 years is occuring. The winter meetings are going to be interesting.

    Has anyone done a long term analysis of the moves Schuerholz has made over the years? Last year he looked like a genius. In other years not so much. I hope that he keeps the genius streak going.

  5. I’d hate to see the Braves deal Giles even if it meant landing an ace like Hudson. Defensively speaking, the Braves are fairly strong up the middle, with Estrada behind the plate, Furcal and Giles hovering around second, and Andruw patroling center. Of course, Furcal has made some errors, but he’s improving. (Remember that Giles was not all that sure-handed until the 2003 season.) The Braves’ pitching staff, regardless of who’s in it and what type of pitchers they are (groundball/flyball), will need to know that they can throw strikes without worrying about whether the heart of the defense can field the ball.

  6. I think that Polonco may be the object of JS’s affection. He fits the mold. Very toolsy, consistantly high average and will give you 10-15 HR’s and a high on base percentage. I really think Hudson is the type of pitcher they will resign. Remember Smoltz comes off the books next year, and that will make a lot of room. We also expect Jeff and Andy to be in the majors at least by next year. From every thing I have read about fall ball and island ball this year, they are almost ready, and are the offense we have been looking for. I agree that Marte will be in rf after spring training.

    As far as closers, Cruz could definitely close. Cappellon would take his spot from this year, and colon will move to help Reeks-much with the set up role. Dan Meyer is your Loogy and grybowski will be there to round them out.

  7. Remember that as soon as Smoltz comes off the books the Braves have to start really paying Hampton and the two Jones get a raise easily offsetting John’s contract.

    I’ll probably gag if we get Hildago but I really don’t think that we are going to stand pat in the outfield. What I find interesting is the fact that Drew has a history of fragility and yet coming off of a career year he is in more demand than Ordonez who has one injury year and a history of being an A level offensive player. The trip wire in the outfielder sweepstakes will be Beltran. Once he is taken then the bidding for Drew, Ordonez, Hildago etc starts. At the beginning of the offseason I thought that there was no way Beltran gets 100 million but I bet if he doesn’t then he gets very close.

  8. Lest we all forgot, Kevin Millwood and Odalis Perez are both available and fallen from grace. perhaps we could sign one of them for a low, incentive-laden contract. Even better, no one seems to realize that Matt Clement is probably the best free agent pitcher out there. I’d certainly rather have these guys than lose a key cog of our offense in Giles.

  9. The AJC article today says that the Braves made an offer to Drew right after the season, but that it wasn’t competitive. Anybody have any idea what that offer was?

  10. I read the Drew offer was 3 years/$24 million.

    Drew/Boras supposedly never responded and Drew expressed disappointment that the Braves didn’t submit another offer. Sounds pretty junior high on the part of Drew and Boras to me.

    Polanco is a nice little player, but he isn’t as good as Giles by any stretch. Probably more fundamentally sound on defense, but he certainly isn’t the offensive force kind of player that Giles can be when healthy.

  11. I agree that Polanco is not as good as Giles can be, but Giles has only had one good full year and his homers were only 21 that year. I think I would forfeit Giles for Hudson only if Hudson signs long term. Then we sign Polanco. It would be nice to keep Giles’ low, low salary but that won’t be low for long.

  12. Why should we move Marte to right field? Despite the fact that Chipper looked okay there last year, he won’t be for long. Also, by all accounts, Marte is already a good third baseman and will be an excellent one. A position switch is just what he doesn’t need to worry about.

    If we’re not willing to spend any money this year, we might as well let Marte develop in AAA and play Langerhans in right. I have zero confidence in our left field ‘platoon’, and not much more in Langerhans, but is overpaying Richard Hidalgo going to be much better?

    If Horacio has any trade value at all, I would flip him and Meyer for an outfielder with a bat, but I would predict there aren’t a lot of teams lining up to trade for Braves pitchers or pitching prospects any more.

  13. 50 where did you get the 24 for 3 info on Drew? That sounds about where I thought the Braves would be. I’ll laugh my ass off if the market drops after Beltran signs. I think that 8 per year for 3 years was a very fair offer considering the injury history. I just can’t see him getting much more than that.
    Crap news flash. The Dbacks found some money somewhere to pay Glaus 11.25 per for 4 years. So much for the market correction. But Glaus has been a better player in the past than Drew. Oh well its really starting to sink in that the world of mid marketness sucks.

  14. The 24 for 3 was in the AJC this morning. On Millwood, I’d take a chance on him, but not Odalis. He’s not our kind of pitcher. If Millwood’s rag arm get solved, he’s a good pitcher to have. Boras has screwed two former Braves pitchers now, Maddux and Millwood. Maddux got a pittance (relatively speaking) last year after accepting arbitration for 2003. Millwood’s got nothing now that he had a bad finish in a bad park. He could have gotten $10M/year for 3-4 years if he had played his cards right. I don’t know that Boras would have taken the chance on arbitration with Drew after those fiascos. He would start losing some clients if it happened a third time (4th if you count Magglio).

    Too bad we didn’t need a 3rd bagger. Glaus at $11.25 per is a great deal with his prodcution before the injury.

    Lastly, I have heard locally that the Braves will probably restructure Smoltz’s contract to a 2-3 year deal if he moves to the starter spot. That’ll work for both sides. They save money this year, and if he gets injured, insurance will cover much of future years. Smoltz gets a contract that allows him to finish in Atlanta.

  15. The Glaus contract is insane. He has not batted higher than .250 since 2000 and he has 34 home runs in two years.

  16. Actually, Johnny Estrada was our best and most clutch hitter this past season. Chipper should be healthy and back to normal if he plays infield this year. I also see Andruw Jones and Furcal turning corners in their careers this year. Without Giles and Drew, this lineup could be awesome next year. Not to mention how good this team would be with Hudson, should we lose Giles. Don’t fret Braves fans, we’ll get it done.

  17. I just read someone claming that Giles has had only one good year. Giles is in hid mid-twenties and is going to be a star for a long time. There’s no doubt he’s an extraordinary player. It would suck to lose him, but it would suck even more if we started this season without a bonafide ace. We need Hudson and we need to sign him up to a big deal. He’s just before his prime and he’s very good. The Braves need to rebuild a stellar rotation and this is a big chance to start.

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