But enough of that

Braves lose Byrd to Angels | ajc.com

The AJC says that the Braves are the “frontrunners” for Hudson, but that at least five other teams are interested. It names four: Baltimore and St. Louis (the nextrunners) and of course the Red Sox and Yankees. (The fifth would still be the Dodgers, I assume.) None of those teams has a particularly strong farm system, so if Beane wants prospects the Braves are his best bet.

29 thoughts on “But enough of that”

  1. Atlanta needs Hudson! With Byrd gone that makes another pitching vacancy to fill. Also I have a question for the board. What exactly was H. Ramirez’s injury last season? I kept hearing it was a shoulder injury that was worse than the Braves initially thought. I remember he pitched in minor league games late in the season and I thought he would be back to pitch in the playoffs. Will he be healthy come Spring Training?

  2. I’m willing to lose Meyer for a year of Hudson, simply because we have until March to work out an extension. If we don’t get the extension we should at least get draft picks. I’m sure Marte, Francoeur, and Davies are off limits, but I wonder who the other principles are. I think I could handle just about any other combination.

  3. I heard Leo on the radio this morning, and while he didn’t say what he knew or didn’t know about any trades, he talked about Meyer and Kyle Davies.

    He also said Andruw is not being shopped.

    The reports on Ramirez said tendinitis. He had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 14 to clean it up, due to inflammation. There was also a report of a nerve problem. Could have been several things. If was something like a tear, word would have gotten out. There would be no reason to hide it.

    He should be ready by Spring training.

  4. I’d be curious to know what he said about Meyer and Davies. Just scouting/coaching staff report type stuff, or was it more his observations?

  5. Well, this is not good:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will charge Time Warner Inc’s (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) America Online unit with aiding and abetting securities fraud but will defer prosecution for two years, a U.S. Justice Department official said . . . AOL will be fined $210 million in criminal-related fines, the official said.

  6. Sort of unrelated, but does anyone else think $10 mm a year for .289 career hitter is awfully high? Renteria went to Boston for 4 years at $40 mm, according to ESPN.com.

  7. Renteria’s contract is gonna screw Atlanta. If Renteria is “worth” $10 million a year, an arbitrator will think Furcal is worth atleast 9…. yikes.

  8. As hitters, they’re practically identical, at least in the percentages:

    Renteria: .289/.346/.400
    Furcal: .283/.347/.404

    You’d be hard pressed to find a closer match. Furcal has never had a season like Renteria did in 2003, but that was a fluke year.

    Renteria has won a gold glove, but I think he’s overrated defensively. Still, let’s give him the edge there. But Furcal’s a better offensive player, because he’s a better baserunner.

    Renteria has ground into 144 career DP, Furcal 25. Some of that’s opportunity, but not all of it. Even when Renteria was hitting at the top of the order, he was putting up double-figure GIDP. Renteria has stolen more bases, but at a lower success rate. Furcal hits more triples, which don’t mean a lot in the grand scale of things, but again illustrate his superior baserunning skills.

    They’re basically even as players.

  9. Renteria’s GIDP is almost all opportunity, made up for by the fact that he gets almost double the RBI’s, again oppurtunity.

    Last season they hit the same, that doesn’t make them equal. Furcal has never hit over .300, Renteria has on several occasions. Furcal makes a lot of errors (which shows up more than all the plays he makes that others wouldn’t), Renteria is a gold glove winner.

    I don’t see equal players here. Furcal is worth 7/10ths Renteria, imo.

  10. Unfortunately, it’s only the arbitrator’s opinion that matter, and they look at as superficial numbers as possible.

  11. 1. The GIDP are not all opportunity. Renteria has hit high in the order and low in the order, for good teams and bad. He’s grounded into double-digit DPs every year of his career. In 1997, hitting mostly second in the order for the Marlins, behind Devon White, a fast runner rarely on base, he ground into 17 DPs. Furcal has never hit into double-digit DPs. Baseball-Reference has Alan Trammell as the most-similar player to Renteria, and Trammell hit in the middle of the order a lot; he never grounded into 17 DP in one season, and half the time didn’t ground into double-digit DPs. And 17 isn’t a career high for Renteria; he had 19 GIDP in 2000 and 21 in 2003.

    2. I gave Renteria the edge on defense, and mentioned the GG. I still think he’s overrated, and Furcal underrated, as a defensive player. BP gives Furcal above-average ratings for defense in 2002 and 2003, and below-average last year. Renteria rates as dead-average twice and slightly above-average once in that period. He won the Gold Gloves with his bat.

    3. Batting average, feh. At any event, Renteria has a six-point career batting average advantage on Furcal, because he has only one year, 2003, where he significantly bettered his or Furcal’s career norms in that overrated statistic. Take out 2003, when the hits dropped for him, and his career batting is .284 — actually, 2.8350, etc. Furcal’s career average of .283 actually represents .28349, etc. One hundredth of a point. And even with 2003, Furcal has slight advantages in on-base and slugging, because he walks more and has more power.

  12. Mac, you’re right, but not as much as you’d think. According to Baseball Prospectus, Furcal grounded into .75 double plays less than expected, while Renteria grounded into 1.25 more than expected (in 2004). Here’s the link.

  13. Addendum to last post: I looked briefly at the numbers for 2000-2004 from the BPro site. Renteria was worse than average every year, spectacularly so in 2003 and 2000. Furcal with one exception was above average, and near the league lead twice.

    I believe that Bpro calculates expected DPs solely on opportunities, rather than using additional factors like groundball/flyball percentage and strikeout rate. Controlling for that would make Furcal stand out even more (as he hits so many balls on the ground, you’d expect him to have a lot of double plays) and prevent people like Jim Thome from leading the league in DPs avoided.

    On a related note, I didn’t check, but I bet Andruw sucks at this statistic, because he hits so many weak grounders to the right side of the infield.

  14. Chicago talk radio is chirping about a Sosa for Hampton or Sosa for Andruw deal supposedly in the works. Both sound ridiculous to me (especially the Andruw deal), but you never know. Any similar buzz down there?

  15. Kyle, that’s not too surprising. Furcal actually had a career high in GIDP last year, and Renteria was in the low part of his usual range (9 for Furcal, 14 for Renteria). Most years the spread is much larger.

    Doug, there’s been a lot of talk about Andruw for Sosa, but it makes no sense for the Braves and almost certainly isn’t real. I’ve speculated about Hampton for Sosa, which would make a lot of sense for the Braves, especially if they trade for Hudson. They’d buy out Sosa (or make the Cubs pay for the buyout) and let him walk, then spend the money they saved from Hampton to extend Hudson. The Cubs would be nuts to do it, but I can’t see how Sosa could possibly play for them next year after Baker’s spent the last two months attacking him.

  16. Furcal only averaged 70-90 opportunities, while Renteria had many more (120+), so that accounts for some of the difference, but not all. Furcal is definitely faster than Renteria.

    As I went back and looked at it, Andruw’s been trending worse in this statistic for 4 consecutive years. In 2001, he was one of the best in the league at avoiding double plays; in 2002, less so; in 2003, slightly worse than league average; and in 2004, one of the worst.

    Of course, his K rate was worse in 2001 than it’s been since, so that accounts for some of the differential, but not all. He’s definitely getting slower.

    If we trade Hampton for Sosa (which I can’t possibly see how they would do, unless we send a boatload of cash to the Cubs to pay his future salaries), I would expect the Braves to take into account the money we saved in previous years over actual salary by pro-rating Hampton’s salary over the length of his contract. In other words, if they get rid of him without actually paying him any of the bad years of his contract, but while counting him as 8 million against the budget for years he only actually cost 4 million, the team should benefit from its previous savings. I don’t expect them to, but they should. Hell, maybe they actually put the difference in an escrow account like they claimed they would, which we could then apply to 2005 and forward budgets.

  17. I think Mac made the point very well that Renteria is very similar to Furcal. I wonder if the reason people perceive Renteria so much better is the amount of potential everyone had for Furcal and his somewhat failure to live up to it.

    They’re both solid, but neither are superstars, and definately neither are worth $10 million per year. That’s why the argument in the other thread that Chipper’s value is very low doesn’t hold up. If Renteria is being paid $10m, Chipper could easily get $15m (sorry, I had to say something).

  18. I’m stunned that the Red Sox valued Renteria that highly, to be honest. Maybe they know something we don’t, but he’s a fairly ordinary player in the statistics.

  19. Well, who else is there? I suppose they could have gotten Pokey Reese very cheaply, or Jose Valentin or Barry Larkin, but they’re both really, really old.

  20. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a straight up trade for Sosa and Hampton with maybe a PTBNL thrown in by the Braves. The Braves could take that hit with Sosa this year and not have to pay the escalated salary of Hampton next. With Hudson getting only $6+ this year, they could swing it.

    I also see Furcal either getting signed to a 3-4 year contract at $5-7 year or him getting traded.

  21. What Leo said about Meyer and Davies was somewhat not committal. He likes them alot and looks forward to working with them if they are around in spring training. He did seem more enthusiastic about Meyer though.

  22. Furcal’s and Renteria’s hitting is more similar than I had previously thought. I guess I’m arguing more what Furcal actually deserves compared to the ridiculous contract that Renteria signed. Part of the problem with Furcal so far, whether it’s just perceived or not, is a bit of inconsistently. He can be streaky, and has had some injuries, that I think have kept him from being considered the same caliber player as Renteria.

    I think Renteria’s price went up because of a lack of quality SS on the market, as well.

  23. I’ve given up trying to determine a player’s monetary worth. The market is so variable from year to year that all you’re determining is the mood of ownership. My sense is that salaries run in the following cycle: rapid escalation, followed by collusion-induced flattening, followed by rapid escalation, etc etc. Early signings that set the market also have an impact, as does the number of quality players at a particular position.

    All I’m sure of is that a player is “worth” what someone is willing to pay him, and I don’t begrudge them their right to chase the almighty dollar. The mock outrage I’ve seen at Pedro for playing the Mets against the Red Sox makes me laugh. How dare he use the available leverage to negotiate a better deal!

  24. Having read a large number of baseball arbitration presentations, I doubt that Renteria would even be a comp listed by either side. Offensive statistical similarity is important, but the one huge statistical dissimilarity will overwhelm that: service class. A FA contract will virtually never be used as a comp for an Arb eligible contract simply because the market is dramatically and fundamentally different.

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