And so much for that option

Hidalgo agrees to $5 million, one-year contract with Texas

Argh. That’s pretty much the last outfielder in the Braves’ price range but Alou, and Alou is really old. I’m stunned that Hidalgo couldn’t get multiple years; I’d sign him to two years, $9 million in a heartbeat.

Right now, I expect that the Braves will have Chipper in left, Marte at third, and some combination of Thomas, Langerhans, and Marrero in right — with one of the latter swinging to left as a defensive replacement.

22 thoughts on “And so much for that option”

  1. I could be wrong, but I don’t see Chipper going back to the outfield for anything. He just can’t cut it and apparently neither can his hamstring.

  2. Yeah, I also saw Hidalgo as a strong possibility that we could actually afford. Things are starting to look bleak now.

  3. I have to disagree with you. Chipper is not moving back to the outfield.

    I thought I had read somewhere that Marte had played somewhere other than 3rd. Anyone else heard that? I would think he could play SS since he has been getting mentored by Rafael Belliard.

    Just a thought though.

  4. I’m just saying what it looks like to me. Another reason is that Chipper really isn’t any good defensively anywhere, but if the Braves trade for Hudson, they’d be getting a ground ball pitcher who allows a lot of GB5s. So does Hampton.

    Marte probably could play short if needed, but the Braves haven’t shown any interest in moving him. I haven’t heard about him in the outfield, but that would be a possibility.

  5. I’m actually encouraged to see the restraint that JS has shown so far. Sure, we could have dropped $10 million on Dye or $5 million on Hidalgo, but why not wait and see what pans out. We might find a bargain basement deal out of the non-tenders or a free agent that falls through the cracks. The worst that would happen is we pay almost nothing to see what Langerhans can do in the outfield or Marte can do at third.

    It costs us nothing to NOT sign a free agent, if that makes any sense. The real question is what we do with that money (though it looks like there’s not much of it). Bullpen? Or, a cheap starter (if there is such a thing)?

  6. We don’t know they haven’t shown interest in him. One funny thing with rumors is that JS seldom is terribly predictable.

    As for the moves not made – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – the Braves are now in the payroll range where they need to take risks in order to get really good players. You can’t just say “Phew, glad they didn’t sign that injury risk!” While they can afford marquee players, all that payroll is wrapped up in Hampton/Chipper/Smoltz/Andruw. So for the other players they need to take risks on guys whose prive is depressed for some reason – guys like Dye, for instance.

  7. Everyone needs to stop worrying about the Braves’ outfield and its offense in general. This team needs to save money on pitching. If JS is smart, he won’t waste 5-10 million on Dye, Hidalgo, or Alou. Spend the money on pitching. Casual fans like hitting, but real fans want to see winning.

  8. I seriously disagree with the characterization of Dye as a “really good player”. And I think you _should_ be glad the Braves haven’t been handing out these contracts for Dye, Wright, Ortiz, etc. Take a look at what Yankee fans are saying about Wright and the deal he got, or what White Sox fans are saying about Dye. These aren’t the type of high risk/reward deals the braves should be making. None of those guys is going to do what Drew did last year and be an MVP-type for a reasonable amount of money (especially since they aren’t being paid reasonable amounts). Jermaine Dye will not suddenly bust out and be great next year the way J. D. did last year.

    It would be a good question for Brad over at No Pepper, but I wonder what sort of numbers he thinks Langerhans could put up as a full time MLB player. I suspect they wouldn’t be much less than what Dye puts up next year, and for much less money. Andy Marte has an even better shot than that of being a very good player. That’s the kind of risk Atlanta has to take with this budget.

    Question: if Russ Ortiz gets four years, $33 million, what will Kevin Millwood get, and from whom?

  9. Maybe the Braves will sign Magglio Ordonez to a one year contract. Since he was hurt most of last year. Like the Cubs did with Nomar.

  10. I have this gut feeling that Mac’s right on the money, and that this squad of hitters + Marte is all we’re going to see. Well, maybe this squad + a cheap stopgap 3B, with Marte waiting in the wings. How disappointing would it be if JS signs Tony Batista to 1 year $3mil contract. Ech. Argh. Ach.

    Why hasn’t anyone jumped on the Odalis band-wagon? The authors at Baseball Prospectus mentioned this — Perez might be as good a FA pitcher out there, right up there with Pavano and Clement. I’d be quite happy if the Braves picked him up at 3 and 21.

  11. I would detest any move that has Chipper moving to the outfield, we all saw it fail miserably. With Marte coming up fast, that puts the Braves in a real jam. I know people don’t even like to even glance at the idea of Chipper trade, and I would personally frown upon any such deal. What does anyone out there make of Marte playing second until Chipper retires or leaves, making Giles expendable for the Hudson deal? (I know, I can’t make any posting without an allusion to Hudson). The Braves could work with with Green, DeRosa, Betemit, and Marte until a solid infield corps develops. Man, this is a latenight pipe dream, but imagine the possibilies. As for Odalis Perez: his horrid playoff outing against St. Louis, coupled with the fact that we have two good lefty starters, should rule out his return to Atlanta.

  12. I would detest any move that has Chipper moving to the outfield, we all saw it fail miserably. With Marte coming up fast, that puts the Braves in a real jam. I know people don’t even like to even glance at the idea of Chipper trade, and I would personally frown upon any such deal. What does anyone out there make of Marte playing second until Chipper retires or leaves, making Giles expendable for the Hudson deal? (I know, I can’t make any posting without an allusion to Hudson). The Braves could work with with Green, DeRosa, Betemit, and Marte until a solid infield corps develops. Man, this is a latenight pipe dream, but imagine the possibilies. As for Odalis Perez: his horrid playoff outing against St. Louis, coupled with the fact that we have two good lefty starters, should rule out his return to Atlanta.

  13. Marte can’t play second. If if he could, Giles still isn’t expendable. He’s the only guy besides Chipper with even a tiny shot of putting up a .900 OPS. If you thought the offense was bad now, try looking at it without Giles.

  14. Some statements cannot go unchallenged. First, Marcus has one season of 900+ OPS, the same number as Andruw. Is Marcus more likely to have his second one before Andruw? I’d say it’s open to debate. Secondly, Laroche’s rookie OPS is higher than Chipper’s. Doesn’t than mean that he might sniff 900+? C’mon, I like Marcus too, but if you can get Hudson for him and somebody no one heard of before last August, I say go for it.

  15. Well said Mark. Giles is not an offensive powerhouse. Although Giles, behind Estrada, is the best all-around hitter on the team. I have to think without Giles, the Joneses, Estrada, LaRoche, and Furcal will do just fine. To say the offense was bad last year or that it will be this year is false. The Braves will be fine without Drew and Giles, if and only if, the Braves rebuild the rotation to balance it. Loading the club up with offense hasn’t gotten us past the NLDS, so I would return to the 1990s Braves model. Tanto, thanks for the reply about Marte, I wasn’t sure about putting him at second. If he did play second, however, Giles would certainly become expendable.

  16. Giles also has had two fluke injuries in the middle of hot streaks. He’s too young to say that his one 900+ OPS season is comparable to Andruw only having one. How long has each been playing? Considering what we pay him, Giles is too valuable an offensive and defensive player to lose. We won’t find an equivalent replacement.

  17. Maybe the Braves don’t have an equivalent to Giles, but the Braves can adaquatley make up for his loss. As for the comparison with Andruw, remember he is only 27 and is about to turn a huge corner is his career. Also consider how much we will have to pay Giles in the coming years and how much money is already tied up in offense (Andruw and Chipper).

  18. Raoul Drake,

    I’m really curious as to what makes you think that Andruw is “about to turn a huge corner in his career”? As far as I can see, after 8 years in the majors, he is getting worse, not better. And, according to Jason Stark, his defense isn’t as good as it was a few years ago either. In my opinion, Andruw is one of the most overrated players in baseball because of the highlight catches he makes. I mean, I sure hope you’re right, I would love to see him have a breakout year, but I don’t see it. I think even Bobby Cox is getting fed up with Andruw.

  19. I think it’s a little premature to say that Andruw’s getting worse. His speed in the outfield may not be what it once was, but he’s still an excellent centerfielder and has been consistent in his inconsistencies at the plate. His great performance in the NLDS is most likely another peak in the roller coaster, but it could be the sign of things to come. He seems to be driving the ball to the opposite field more than he used to, so that’s a good sign. I think it has been documented that Andruw has been playing with nagging injuries for a couple of years, also.

    My point for all of this is, I think there is more reason to expect more, or at least the same, from Andruw for the next few years than to expect less.

  20. MWS,
    Freddy Ballgame made a wish for the following, “Andruw Jones, a newfound maturity and dedication to being one of the all-time greats. I hope Andruw will continue to work hard and see it pay huge dividends immediately. I believe Andruw was the target of too many over-inflated opinions and that he also lacked the dedication neccesary to join the elite. I hope his long season of hard work trying to master his strike zone and practice plate discipline will enable him to blossom as an all around offensive threat. I want to see this great kid following Chipper into the Hall of Fame several seasons from now!” I just happen to share the opinion that something tremendous clicked this year for Andruw. His performance down the stretch and in the playoffs was eye-popping, finally resembling the ridiculous expectations people had for Andruw. It’s entirely possible that Andruw will lose interest in wokring hard, but I think his after-season visit to Bobby Cox to thank him for his mid-season advice proves that Andruw is coming back to Spring Training with a renewed enthusiasm. Andruw is still just 27-years old and I think Jayson Stark’s opinion that he is past his prime is absolutely absurd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.