Narrowing it down

Assumptions:

1. Langerhans is in right field, either every day or in a platoon arrangement with McCarthy/Some Guy.

2. Francoeur doesn’t fool the Braves into putting him on the roster by beating up on fastballs in spring training ala Travis Wilson.

3. The money exists to get someone to play left field.

Leave aside the names that have been mentioned: let’s break it down into dichotomies. What are we looking for in a left fielder?

A guy who gets on base, or a guy who hits home runs?
A lefthanded hitter, or a righthanded hitter?
More defense, or more offense?
A younger guy we can keep for a few years, or an older one to hold the fort until Marte and Francoeur are ready?

And so on. Obviously, we’d like a guy who’s a switch hitter with power and high walk totals and good batting averages and a first-class defensive player. But Mickey Mantle’s dead, and even if he were around and in his prime he’d surely wind up with the Yankees again. So we make our choices from what’s out there.

23 thoughts on “Narrowing it down”

  1. An old lefty who swats for power. We have some good on base guys (well, .330 OBP and up) 1 – 6; let’s focus on the power so we can convert some of those baserunners to runs. And you can put me in the “who cares about defense when we have Andruw” category (even if he is catching a hundred fewer balls now than when he was a 21 year old).

  2. First on the wish list would be Magglio, but I don’t think we could afford him. Call me crazy, but I’d really like to see us get Reggie Sanders back. A veteran bat with enough defense left in him. Call The Cards. Offer something, it probably wouldn’t take much.

  3. Well…what is out there in our price range? I think Jacque Jones could fill the void until Marte or Francoeur are ready to go..maybe Jeremy Burnitz which could provide some left handed hitting… If the pitching holds as true on the field as it looks on paper we won’t much…the key to this season(which seems like every year)is for Andruw to produce to his potential, but we might never see it…

  4. I agree with the above about Andruw; if he pulled a Beltre, which is entirely possible, we’d be riding high. That said, I think getting a guy that could pass batting in the 5th spot with average to good defense would be optimal. Any combination of power and OBP that gets us in the upper .800s OPS-wise will do. I’d rather take a flier for a year or two on a guy so as not to clog things up, but would rather it be someone entering free agency than someone entering their decline.

  5. What meaning does the stat about Andruw catching 100 fewer balls really represent? Does it mean that he isn’t getting to them and the Braves are giving up 100 more hits? Does it mean other outfielders are getting to those balls? Or does it mean less balls are being hit to him? I don’t understand the significance of that, unless the Braves were giving up at least 100 more hits each season, and I don’t know how you couldeven measure the impact that Cliff Claven-type stat would have.

    What I could gather from his fielding stats is he played 100 less innings than in 1999, had 100 less chances, but had almost as many assists and 7 fewer errors. His range factor is lower, but it’s still pretty good.

  6. Anyone thinking about Bautista? Hollandsworth? Any chance that Francouer could have the same type rookie campaign that Laroche had?

  7. Delgado at 1b. Ordonez in RF. Beltran in LF. Sign Wade Miller. Get Farnsworth to shore up the pen.

    My oh my, what a Merry Christmas it would be!

  8. We defintely do not need Reggie Sanders back. What a let down he was…

    Nice wishlist baldbrave, that would be a festivus miracle!

  9. No, Sanders isn’t the guy we want, but at one time he possessed all of the qualities we’re looking for in someone who could play either right or left field. Smart baserunner too. Too bad about all those strikeouts.

  10. Well, I realize this is a bit random, but how about playing McCarthy/Langerhans in LF, trading Horacio Ramirez for Austin Kearns to play RF, and then singing some filler SP from FA. It leaves open who the SP would be, Esteban Loaiza might be cheap, Wilson Delgado? Anyway, I have to think that the Reds would jump at the chance to acquire a pitcher of Ramirez’s stature, and surely Smoltz has to realize he can plug anyone into the 5 hole until Davies/Stevens are ready/traded for nother proven SP.

  11. I agree with JP, although I don’t get the Smoltz comment. Trade Horacio for Kearns and plug Davies in to the fifth spot.

    I guess what I don’t know is how ready Davies is, but I do know that

    — Billy Beane (a smart guy) is planning to start Danny Meyer in the major league rotation next year, and

    –John Schuerholz (another smart fellow) traded Meyer away but refused to part with Davies. He must be good enough.

    –oh yeah, and also we don’t know what Horacio will be like. He is a huge question mark at this point. If we could turn him into Kearns, I think both teams in that trade would feel like they’re doing the right thing.

  12. To the original question with the assumptions.
    A guy that gets on base with decent power. Right handed, we already have Chipper, LaRoche, Estrada and Furcal batting lefty. And we don’t really care how well he plays the field. Maximum 2 year contract.
    Someone, I think it was JC, did a comparison of Langerhans and LaRoche. The comparison showed some remarkable similarities between the 2 players. If Langerhans can play like the 2nd half LaRoche we’d have one of the 2 outfielders we need.
    Thank God that Jacques Jones re signed. I’d have barfed if we had signed that guy. Ordonez looks like toast this year. Apparently he went to Europe (see Gammons article on ESPN.com) to have a ‘special’ knee surgery. Has anyone seen if the Orioles non-tendered Jay Gibbons? Looks like the Reds are keeping Kearns at 3b. Of course if we listen to Terrence Moore we’d be after Ken Griffey. No on Burnitz.
    Andruw has already reached his potential.

  13. Meant to add this before posting. No surprise that we non-tendered DeRosa. I may be the only one that hopes he comes back at the minimum. He is a better player than Betemit and we’ll need someone when Furcal has his annual injury. I also might be the only one that thinks he could be an everyday major leaguer. I hate this but if you throw out his May he didn’t have that bad of a year. He wouldn’t be a 3b but a SS where his hitting numbers are at least league average. The Chipper situation was the driving factor in his removal from 3b last year. The Braves gave Adam LaRoche a very long rope last season and it payed off. DeRosa does’nt have the upside of LaRoche but I’d resign him just in case we are seeing the last year of Furcal in a Braves uniform.

  14. I wanted to say that Alou fits the bill (older placeholder, righthanded, good OBP, decent power), but his 2002-4 home/road splits are too distressing. The road numbers are .267/.327/.417. Considering the year he had overall in ’04, we would be grossly overpaying for the above production, and might end up with .250/.315/.400.

    So I don’t know whom to advocate, but I’ll predict Danny Bautista.

  15. Wade Miller non tendered by the Astros? One could sign him (although there will be some competition) to be this years’ Jaret Wright and move Ramirez to address a positional need. I think the Reds overvalue Kearns to where ramirez won’t get it done, but perhaps there is another undervalued slugger out there – Burrel, perhaps?

  16. Hey – Dustan Mohr was n-t’d by the Giants. He’s a righty, a southern boy, and posted a 390 OBP and a 113 OPS+ last year. What’s not to like?

  17. Burrell makes like $13m this year. If we could afford him, we could almost afford Beltran. Dustan Mohr seems like a really good idea, and he would come cheap.

  18. Burrell made 4.2M last year – I can’t remember the bluemanc url to look up his contract details – is it really 13M? that seems really excessive.

  19. Burrell’s contract – not 13M yet, but the point remains, I suppose. Boy, he’d better get really good quick, or that’s going to be an ugly albatross for Philly.

    2003: $1.0M (+$1.5M signing bonus)
    2004: $4.0M
    2005: $7.0M
    2006: $9.5M
    2007: $13.0M
    2008: $14.0M

  20. I like DeRosa as well. I think he’s a better player than he presented himself as with his first start last year. But he’s not worth throwing too much money at. Burnitz seems like a bad play. Bautista can find some gaps, plays a good D, and gets hurt alot, but he couldn’t generate power out in Arizona, he’s not gonna find it in Atlanta. Mohr, flawed as he is, seems the smarter sign. But these ideas of either moving Ramirez or signing Miller and then moving Ramirez for a legit talent are interesting. Have to see if I can think of something. News: Jay Gibbons signed a 1 year deal for 2.6 mil. Not a bad price for him, if he’s healthy.

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