Who else is there?

I think I’ve made it clear that I’d like for the Braves to get Austin Kearns, and that Brian Jordan is a very, very bad idea. Danny Bautista, who has also been mentioned, is apparently close to signing with the Devil Rays. I’m now just looking through rosters trying to figure out who else might be available relatively cheaply.

Craig Wilson, Pirates — Somebody mentioned him a couple of days ago. I mentally discounted it, but looking at the Pirates roster, it seems possible. The Pirates traded for Matt Lawton, and already have Jason Bay in left. They seem committed — well, someone should be committed — to the legendary Tike Redman in center. Wilson would either have to shift to first, displacing Daryle Ward, or be traded. Wilson, offensively, is pretty much Brian Jordan when Jordan was good, or as good as he ever was — mediocre against righthanders, death to lefties.

Randy Winn, Mariners — He’s been mentioned as a trade target on a number of occasions. Tweener, a natural fourth outfielder who can’t really play center and doesn’t have the bat for left, but he’s better than replacement level at both positions. Does lots of things acceptably, nothing really well, would be better than Jordan or a lot of other guys I’ve seen rumored.

Craig Monroe, Tigers — Top backup at all three outfield positions, the Tigers might look to unload him after he stupidly tried to steal a $30 belt, plus he’s about to get expensive. His line from last season (.293/.337/.488) is good but screams “fluke”. May actually be Jacque Jones in disguise. The Tigers are so dumb that they picked up DeWayne Wise.

Matt Stairs, Royals — It’s been a couple of months since I’ve called for the Braves to pick him up, so I’ll mention it again. Not what he once was, but he can still hit a little and do it cheaply. The Braves would never ever ever use him everyday in right field, and if they did Terrence Moore would have a heart attack. So it’s worth doing just for that.

Frank Catalanotto, Blue Jays — Another guy I’ve seen mentioned, an ex-superutility man who’s had some good years and a lot of injuries, and his power vanished last year. Signed to a two-year extention in September, apparently to be a utility player again since the Jays have Wells, Rios, and Gross.

Ryan Klesko, Padres — Might also kill Terrence Moore. Ryno’s numbers last season aren’t as bad as I thought. Well, his power vanished, as he hit only nine homers, but he posted a .399 OBP. Klesko for leadoff! The Padres don’t seem to have a place for him anymore.

Jerry Hairston Jr./Tim Raines Jr., Orioles — Because they didn’t give Gary Mathews Jr. enough of a chance. The Orioles have a bit of a logjam in the outfield if everyone’s healthy. Jay Gibbons is going to be in one outfield corner, Larry Bigbie in the other, and Luis Matos is going to be in center. They have a number of other guys who really aren’t all that good but won’t kill you. Hairston doesn’t have outfield power but can get on base, and would make a nice #2 or #8 hitter. Little Rock takes after his mother.

33 thoughts on “Who else is there?”

  1. I would take Winn, Monroe or Hairston. Wilson struck out 170 times last year and I still have nightmares over Klesko’s postseason fielding prowess. If Wilson jumped up to 45 homers I could take his K’s, but then we couldn’t afford him anymore. I like Catalanotto’s doubles but his career has been a roller coaster. Stairs just bores me, but at least we would know what we were getting, no surprises with him.

  2. Nice summary, Mac. You don’t perchance happen to have salary numbers for those guys, do you? I’d look at the links, but our work firewall blocks espn.com.

    Off the top of my head, I like the slow white guys with power and some plate discipline the best: Wilson, Stairs, and Klesko. I don’t think the Braves would go for any of them, as they place a higher value on defense than I do. Wilson looks the most appealing simply because he’s the youngest of that bunch and hence most likely to put up the same numbers as last year. Also, the Pirates management is pretty dumb, so maybe they’d give him up. However, they’d probably want hitting prospects, which we don’t have enough of to give up for Wilson.

  3. I’d take any one of Wilson, Klesko, Cat, and possibly Winn. All depending on cost, of course. I saw a quote somewhere from JS that he was going to simply bring in a bunch of nonroster invitees to Spring Training and see what turns up, but that could simply be posturing.

  4. Yeah, but the Pirates management is dumb enough to think that Nick Green and Wilson Betemit are hitting prospects… There are 2004 salary numbers on the ESPN pages I linked to, but I don’t have 2005 numbers. Wilson and the Pirates have been negotiating on a one-year deal, I believe. Cat’s new deal is $5.4 million over the next two seasons. Monroe should be up for arbitration soon but maybe not until after the next season. Ryno’s probably still at the $6 million he made last year, or close to it, and Stairs at the $1 million he made in 2004.

  5. If we can turn Nick Green and/or Wilson Betemit into any of those players and they make less than 3 million, we should take it. I dunno about Klesko at 6 million. Wilson’s arb award should be decent, but thankfully the Pirates have in the past refused to play him, keeping his counting stats down. He’s great at getting hit by pitches which is why his OBP is higher than you’d think considering his walk rate. He did go into a horrible slump starting sometime in June, I think, but he was raking for the first couple months.

    I never could figure out why the Pirates didn’t get Justin Huber from the Mets when they traded Benson, considering the Royals got him in the same deal. I’d certainly rather have him than the pitcher they got (or even ty wigginton for that matter).

  6. Craig Wilson is a worse outfielder than me, let alone than Ryan Klesko. He’s worth Nick Green just as a lefty-mashing pinch-hitter: Greg Colbrunn with pop. But that’s all he is.

    I’ve seen plenty of Craig Monroe (Detroit is local for me). He’s a poor man’s Brian Jordan: he mashes lefties and can’t do much else. Jordan at least could play D (but not anymore, I assume). Pass.

    Winn is better than I thought before I looked at his stats; .770 at SafeCo is .800+ in Atlanta.

    I’d take Klesko at $6M, assuming that’s the whole contract. His power is fine; that park is insane. The OBP more than makes up for the defense.

    None of the others would outperform Langerhans/McCarthy.

  7. I’ll bring them up, only because I’m a glutton for punishment. Reggie Sanders and Rondell White. Both cheap and both probably available. Both a much better option than Brian Jordan, depanding on the asking price.

  8. The Cards signed Sanders to a two-year $6M deal, so he’s still under contract for the 2005 season.

  9. I wouldn’t know if Klesko would want to come back…what kind of terms did the Klesko and the Braves leave on??

  10. I read that the Astros are trying to land Jose Cruz Jr. from the Devil Rays. Is there a reason you did not list him as a possibility? I think he’d be better than anyone on that list except Kearns, and Tampa Bay is always trading their established players for prospects.

  11. I don’t think that the Braves would be interested in Cruz, though I agree with you about him being better than the options I spelled out. (Well, maybe not Klesko.) Cruz is a .250 career hitter, .242 last season, and I just can’t see the Braves going after a player whose batting average is such a small part of his value. Even if they did, they wouldn’t value him as highly as some other teams.

  12. What about Aubrey Huff of the Devil Rays? They are wanting to trade him. And he has put up some very good numbers on weak teams.

  13. Tom, I agree with you, Huff would probably be as good as Kearns. However, Chuck LaMar usually ask for the world when it comes to trading. Just just the Mets what they have to give up for Victor Zambrano…I think they will regret the trade for many years.

  14. I had mentioned Huff in the Kearns thread. He is a good offensive player and would be better than any of the other options mentioned here. I guess the D-Rays want to ship him off before he gets too expensive.
    Mac, great list of alternatives but the most desirable one, Klesko is too expensive at 6 mil per year.

  15. I’d say we have at least that amount of money left for this coming year, but I wouldn’t want to pay it the following year. Anyone know how long Klesko’s contract is?

  16. Klesko is already too expensive, and Huff is one year away from earning some big FA dollars. Austin Kearns, Jose Cruz Jr. and possibly (I’m being optimistic) Magglio Ordonez would be the most attractive players in the Braves’ believed-to-be-low price range. If JS does not act soon on the remaining good players, we may be looking at Brian Jordan, Jeromy Burnitz or Danny Bautista. Langerhans is almost assured of one OF spot, of course, and unless JS is holding out to deal Andruw Jones to a loser of the Beltran sweepstakes, AJ will again man CF. Cox may have become enamored with his “Kudzu Kids” last year and opt for another strong three-man OF defense. In which case, Ordonez falls by the wayside. The best bet is still to trade for Kearns, with Cruz Jr. as the fallback plan.

  17. I’m pretty sure Klesko has said that he’d veto any trade that would send him away from the West Coast, so I’m not sure how good of an option he was in the first place.

  18. Huff will not come cheap….but he is one that has not had a injury problem or big money. Talking about big money. What about Shawn Green? LA is wanting to dump him. I know he is way over priced this year. But isn’t LA willing to send money also to the D-Backs to get rid of his salary? JS has someone in mind. Or he would not have sent Eli to KC for ??????

  19. Eli was a salary dump of a player that had a career year in a very heavy platoon situation. In other words we can find a righty to hit lefties for less than 3 mil per year.
    No on Green even if he didn’t have a no trade. He is getting 16 mil per year.

  20. Yes Green is getting 16 in the last year of his contract. LA was going to send 8 to the D-Backs. The question is and was what will it take to waive his no-trade. He maybe willing to play for the Braves for one year and become a FA.? Or how much and how long of a contract would it take? The point is ask. I seem to recall people here thinking the Braves would never get Hudson without giving up Giles. You never know until you ask.

  21. Y’all see the blurb on the ajc about the Braves signing Gabe White? He was pretty terrible in NY last year, but he had some good years in Cincy and i seem to remember us being interested in him a few years back. Sure we’re asking Leo to work his magic again, but i think it’s a $650k gamble worth taking.

  22. Tom, I guess that I’m saying that Green isn’t even worth 8 per year. He is in serious decline and the contract extension demands he is making are an indicator that he knows that this is his last year of 8 digit salary. If we are going to trade one of our prospects for someone, hopefully it will be either a guy with potential like Kearns or a less expensive one year rental.

  23. I’ve never seen Monroe play, but his offensive stats have shown a nice improvement in the last two years. He’s 27. He’s coming off salary minimum. Could be a good signing.

  24. Not that he was being considered an option, but Damon Hollins is gone — signed with Tampa Bay. See ya, Mayor.

  25. huff or kearns is the best thing i have heard…no chance on stealing corey patterson away from cubs? trading for jacque jones is still a good choice less the price is too high

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