LaRoche & Open Thread

Adam LaRoche Statistics –

I was going to save this for the player analysis, but now it looks like I may not get the chance. Anyway, the ten most-similar hitters to Adam LaRoche through age 26:

1. Mo Vaughn (953)
2. Greg Walker (950)
3. Tony Clark (944)
4. Josh Phelps (944)
5. Willie Aikens (943)
6. Zeke Bonura (941)
7. Lee May (940)
8. Glenn Davis (939)
9. Cecil Fielder (939)
10. David Ortiz (938)

It’s a mixed bag, but there are some very impressive names on this list. Also, before last season, Baseball Prospectus had LaRoche’s most-similar player (in their different system) as Tino Martinez; Martinez broke through at basically the same point in his career as LaRoche reached last year, and continued to be a good player for several years, and a decent one for many. It seems likely that LaRoche can continue to be a good player.

Open thread.

141 thoughts on “LaRoche & Open Thread”

  1. The rational part of my brain understands that LaRoche can absolutely be a good player. However, my lizard brain quickly drowns those thoughts out by saying “Four legs good! Two legs bad! Trade LaRoche! He sucks bad!”

  2. I am not opposed to the Braves trading anybody, provided the right return. The “right return” is up to my judgement, in this case. None of the trade ideas I’ve read about regarding LaRoche comprise that return.

  3. I dunno how I would feel about trading LaRoche. I think he’s going to be very good (not great) for a while. I think I’d be okay with inking him to a 4-year deal or trading him for the right package. Basically, if we can get an impact pitcher and something else,then I might be okay with it. Thorman won’t be as good, but I think we can manage with him. I’d prefer to have a RH-bad to platoon with him, but apperantly we’re going to have Daryl Ward as the backup.

    Anyhow, I don’t think we’d be able to get as much value for Thorman through trade as we would on the field, so I’m okay in principal with clearing roster space for him.

  4. About the salary disparity that Cliff mentioned in the previous thread — the AJC article that’s been linked to a few times already says that LaRoche is due to make around $2 million this year. That’s less than I would have thought, but if true he’s an absolute bargain, and it’s another good reason to keep him.

    In considering whether or not LaRoche is likely to continue to perform at a high level, I’m wondering about one particular factor — the average distance of his HRs. Two questions: Did he hit longer HRs than average, as my fuzzy memory seems to recall? And has anyone seen a study on the projectability of power numbers as relates to how far a player’s hits tend to travel? (I tried to de-geek that last question, unsuccessfully….)

    Aside from player comps, it’s my sense that HR distance may be a decent predictor of HR frequency. I don’t have any evidence for this. But I think of Brady Anderson’s roid year. He hit 50 HRs, and I swear the LF or CF jumped for 45 of them, and so maybe it wasn’t too surprising that he came back to earth so quickly. Or the way that Ryne Sandberg made everyone think he was a HR hitter because of his propensity for hitting Wrigley popups into the netting. I dunno, maybe it’s nothing.

  5. .274 .337 .504 career line is still a pretty good first baseman. Flournoy I know that equal value and right return would mean some thing better than a relief pitcher but this market has inflated the value of even a 75 to 80 inning pitcher to unbelievable highs. At his projected cost he is more tradeable than Giles. If we trade him and I’m not convinced that we will I sure hope that the anahiem rumor is the least likely followed by the Baltimore one. Niether solve any of the Braves needs. The Pittsburg rumor is only good if the Pirates give us another pitching prospect to go with Gonzalez. We’ll see. Again Schuerholz will probably do nothing. Trading a good everday 1b for 50 innings of relief usually wouldn’t be considered an even swap.

  6. While Sandberg did get a lot of help from Wrigley, he did hit 118 homers on the road for his career. I kinda doubt he’d be in the Hall of Fame if he’d been a career Phillie or Padre or Met or Brewer, since his career BA in road games was .269, but he had real power.

  7. I want to keep LaRoche, but I really want Mike Gonzalez, he is going to be a great closer, but sadly I don’t see another way of getting him unless we give up Adam…so I guess i’m torn…


    We need to find a way to get Crawford, I don’t care what anyone says he is better than Chone Figgins, and if we can’t keep Andruw, he can play center…and lead off…just saying

    About the Giles thing…..

    It seems like the Pads are running out of options, its either trading Linebrink to us for GIles or they sign Belliard…if the Cards don’t try and get him back.

  8. I still like the Betemit trade. Aybar is a younger Betemit and Aybar’s power will continue to grow. However, if that is the case, the one thing I don’t understand is why Aybar isn’t being penciled into the secondbase position next year.

  9. I think Marcus Giles to the Padres is dead. There are too many second base options out there, and not enough teams who want second basemen. Giles probably stays put in Atlanta, at least until July.

  10. I know Sandberg had power, but he was basically an 18 HR a year guy who got helped mightily by Wrigley. The year he led the league with 40, his home/road split was 30/10. This is kind of what I’m getting at with the LaRoche question — my idea is that Sandberg may have been highly unlikely to repeat a 40-HR year in part because he happened to hit several that just barely cleared the fence. Whereas someone who can hit the ball 440 feet with an easy swing is a better bet to keep doing it.

  11. Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it amazing how the times of baseball have changed? 15 years ago, it would have been absurd to get two middle relievers for your starting 2B and 1B – now, it’s part of the game.

  12. Last I looked, John Schuerholz, Jr. was batting something like .184 in Richmond. Why is he still there? Nepotism?

  13. Or how the Braves signed top free agent pitcher Greg Maddux to a five year contract worth 28 million.

  14. Flournoy,

    What options….There is not a second baseman on the market right now that is better than Giles….

    Belliard…Defensively maybe..but not offensively
    Loretta…he just got signed by the Reds
    Jimenez…Come on….
    Hariston Jr….nope

  15. Loretta hasn’t signed yet, Belliard remains on the market, as do Todd Walker and Tony Graffanino, who are probably going to accept arbitration with the Padres and Brewers, respectively. When that happens, what team will be looking for a second baseman? The Padres might still want a right hander to platoon with Walker, which seems like Belliard’s territory.

  16. Please don’t trade Adam for mediocre pitching.
    Please don’t trade Adam for mediocre pitching.
    Please don’t trade Adam for mediocre pitching.

  17. Trade LaRoche? Why? In his third season, the kid showed signs of potential stardom. Didn’t he hit over 30 homeruns and over 30 doubles? Didn’t he bat close to .300? Hasn’t he shown tremendous improvement over his three seasons with the Braves? Isn’t he yound and relatively inexpensive? Isn’t he a pretty good fielder at first base? Yes, he has a long swing and a propensity to strike out. Yes, he’s a slow runner who will hit into double plays, sometimes in critical situations. But, he also has come through in key spots as well, hasn’t he? Don’t trade the guy. Sign him to a long-term deal and forget about first base for years to come.
    If you want to trade someone, trade Andruw, who will be elsewhere in ’08 anyway; or Giles, whose power numbers have decreased as testing has increased. Both will get us better returns than LaRoche, with a better long term payoff.

  18. I still think Anaheim is the most natural destination for LaRoche if they choose to move him. JS could get Shields and Figgins, though Figgins’ career OBP of .345 is alarming. But JS doesn’t care, because he can steal bases!

  19. Thoughts for those who think we have too much starting pitching to trade for more:

    (1) Smoltz will be 40.
    (2) Huddy is a M*A*S*H unit and this isn’t good:
    35 218.1 235 129 25 79 141 13 12 0 97.8 1.44 .273 4.86
    (3) Hampton is even more a M*A*S*H unit and hasn’t pitched in well over a year
    (4) Ramirez is terribly inconsistent, too frequently injured, and this isn’t good:
    14 76.1 85 42 6 31 37 5 5 0 86.9 1.52 .287 4.48
    (5) Chuckie looked good, but he’s entering his sophomore year and he’s hardly overpowering
    (6) Davies is a youngster too, but this is awful:
    14 63.1 90 60 14 33 51 3 7 0 88.6 1.94 .332 8.38

    I won’t comment on the likes of the Vulture.

  20. – Adam La Roche’s name continues to come up in trade talks. This
    time it was Baltimore that expressed interest in the Atlanta first baseman. The Orioles were considering sending Brian Roberts and Hayden Penn to Atlanta for La Roche and Marcus Giles, but the Braves weren’t interested.

    forgot to copy the link, sorry. At least we were the ones who werent interested

  21. I don’t know how anyone could honestly think we have enough starting pitching or pitching period. Pitching is the biggest reason why we stunk last year.
    Trading LaRoche is a risk. Was he a flash in the pan or is he legit? I don’t even pretend to have a clue. We need a setup man, a starter, and a left fielder/lead off guy. We have the pieces in Giles, LaRoche, HoRo, and prospects to get those players. I can only hope that we don’t waste those pieces on a trade like the Baltimore rumor I heard earlier.

  22. I would do a LaRoche for Ervin Santana deal straight up, but I seriously doubt the Angels would take the same deal.

  23. I can see the merit of trading LaRoche if they think he just had a peak year he’s unlikely to replicate. However, i’d definitely want something good in return. He had a good bat and he’s going to continue to be cheap, all the more so in the current insane market.

  24. I on the wagon of not trading adam, I believe he is a “will clark” type player. And we will regret trading him

  25. The underlying problem that I see isn’t necessarily with this year. What happens in three years if we were to pick up Gonzalez, Santana or any other young talent and have to turn around and trade THEM in three years like we’re talking about guys now?

    Granted, within that time there’s a chance of a payroll increase, and a couple of the larger salaries will go away by then. But plugging holes with bubble gum and paper clips won’t work for too much longer, especially at the expense of cheap big league talent (LaRoche/Giles) or minor leaguers.

    There is NO WAY that Atlanta WANTS to trade either LaRoche or Giles. They’re great players. But this is what JS is faced with.

  26. I agree that we’re faced with having to trade Giles. I’m on board with that reality, though it would be nice to have the luxury to see if he could snap back to his old self. But he’s on track to make $6 million next year, while LaRoche is evidently going to make $2 million. A team with an $80-$85 million payroll can certainly afford a productive $2 million 1B. It can in no way afford an average $6 million 2B.

  27. Dan,

    I think its because all the teams are financialy hand tied. Its not just personel they are evaluating, its dollars too. In a perfect world…one not owned by Time-Warner or AOL, we could keep Giles and LaRoche, could have wowed Glavine to get him back, and we would be the ones spending nilly willy.

  28. From FoxSports:

    The market for free-agent right-hander Eric Gagne is intensifying, according to a source with knowledge of the reliever’s situation.
    The Red Sox, Reds, Braves, Indians, Giants and Phillies are among the teams that continue to pursue bullpen help.

    Do we take a chance on him? Is he the 8th inning answer?

  29. If he’s not that expensive, what the hell..,right?

    Worst case scenario….he pitches like Yates

    Best case scenario…he gets back to his oldself

  30. No way no how the Braves sign Eric Gagne while the Red Sox want him as their closer. I doubt Schuerholz is really interested in Gagne anyways.

  31. ESPN reported that the Padres and Greg Maddux are close to a deal…I didn’t quite hear the years/money though…I think heard 1 or 2 year $10 per ….but don’t quote me on that.

  32. Thanks for the link, Dan. If JS has never made a trade “For financial reasons,” what was the Millwood deal all about?

  33. “If JS has never made a trade “For financial reasons,” what was the Millwood deal all about?”

    I thought the exact same thing when I read that.

  34. On the radio, I’m hearing the Cubs have offered stupid money for Ted Lilly ($36+ for 4 years), a guy who has never thrown 200 IP.

    Other talk: Yanks offered Pettitte a one-year $15M deal, which the Astros supposedly matched.

    Manny Ramirez in a three-way deal involving the Nats (Chad Cordero) & perhaps Anaheim (dunno players).

    And LaRoche talk abounds, much more than Giles, but it’s the same stuff we’re hearing other places.

    The stove is certainly hot.

  35. Just gotta make a pair of quick CBB notes, then I’m out.

    1: LSU MUST DEMOLISH the F*cking Irish in New Orleans. God forbid we have to hear another offseason of Charlie Weis and TD Jesus verbal blowjobs.

    2: As a LSU fan, I have two choices in the BCS Championship:
    1: Cheer for the F*ckeyes
    2: Ignore the game
    I think #2 is the safer option, at least for my sanity.

  36. Mac,
    What do you think the chance is that LaRoche will be traded? I say about 30%. I would still put Giles at about 80%.

  37. Unfortunately, I think all the suitors for Giles have taken cheaper options, except for SD. Sd doesnt want to give us Linebrink for Giles and we wont trade him for less. Unless, he’s packaged I think we end up with him on our roster next season. Maybe we should try and offer him a 3 or 4 year deal for less money. Who knows

  38. With one top Braves official professing his belief that Scott Thorman is capable of being the team’s everyday first baseman, the club may be more than willing to trade LaRoche and reap the benefits of the nearly $3 million it would save. If Thorman wouldn’t prove to be the answer, the club seems ready to convert catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia into a first baseman

  39. Giles is only 28 and still has some upside. I know that there are other options within the club blah blah blah arbitrration 6 million blah blah blah. The difference is that I see a guy that had a bad season, a negative outlier season. Most of y’all think that all of a sudden he sucks. As recently as the 2005 season he was a top 5 second baseman offensively. I think that he”ll be a Brave in 2007. And most of us will be glad. The irony is that it was LaRoche’s outstanding July/August that made up for his decline last season and now Adam is trade bait.

    I don’t want to see LaRoche go but to get value you have to give value.

  40. I’d just like to point out the amount of shit I used to take on here for defending Adam.

    That is all.

    Hope everyone is well.

  41. Since I know everyone missed it, it’s Bama Coaching Odds!

    Rodriguez: EVEN
    Houston Nutt: 6:1
    Joe Kines 10:1
    Jim Grobe 15:1
    Mike Sherman 15:1
    Paul Johnson 25:1 (since he’s probably getting the NC State job)
    Field: 3:1
    Saban/Spurrier OFF BOARD
    Bob Stoops: BE SERIOUS

  42. The lack of a head coach must be doing wonders for Bama’s recruiting. “Hey Chap, come to Bama, cause I promise you we’ll hire one helluva coach this offseason. Speaking of which, you know any?”

  43. Hmm been off the “internets” for awhile. This laRoche thing had me stunned initially, but on further thinking, it boils down to the organization’s evaluation of its players.
    IF the Braves think Thorman/Jurries can reproduce most of LaRoche’s production, they should go for it. The thing is, is Gonzalez for Laroce straight up enough? I don’t think so, but what if you make it a blockbuster trade..LaRoche/Giles for Gonzalez/McCutcheon/Castillo…sounds intriguing to me.

  44. 2: As a LSU fan, I have two choices in the BCS Championship:
    1: Cheer for the F*ckeyes
    2: Ignore the game

    That is a tough one. A Florida win and the SEC honks would be intolerable. Plus Meyer’s constant crying this year makes me want them to get crushed. Then again, Ohio State is no prize either. ‘Ignore’ sounds pretty good to me.

    I’m still don’t understand what Rodriguez is doing with Alabama. He’s the king of the state there in West Virginia, why he would leave that to go in the Bama fishbowl is a mystery to me. Hopefully he’s just trying to leverage more money out of WVU. White and Slaton are both sophomores, West Virginia is going to be in the NC hunt again next year.

  45. Best OPS, Single-Season, Atlanta Braves 1B:

    Aaron ’71 — 1079
    McGriff ’94 — 1012
    Galarraga ’98 — 992
    LaRoche ’06 — 915
    Cepeda ’70 — 908
    Justice ’90 — 908
    Aaron ’72 — 904

    Thorman. Jurries. Spare me, please.

  46. I’ll give mine now

    Rodriguez 70%
    Jim Grobe 10%
    Joe Kines 10% (only if no one else takes it)
    Paul Johnson 5%
    anyone not named Saban or Spurrier 5%

  47. sansho1,

    Exactly. Thorman showed nothing that would lead you to believe that he would even approach .280 20 and 70. As much of a knucklehead as I think Laroche is and I feel a little better about him after seeing his ADHD story, we have to keep him.

    Now Giles we need to jettison for what we can get of value. I think Giles is overrated, frankly and am really not sure why other teams would put much value on him.

  48. What can I say, Sam, I’m doing the best I can to convince people what a horrible idea trading LaRoche would be. I usually try hard here to phrase my opinion as an opinion, because few things gall me as much as folks who think they can steamroll a debate by stating their opinion as fact. But it’s so abundantly clear to me that LaRoche is a crucial lynchpin to this lineup — among our run producers, he’s not aging (Chipper), he doesn’t play a demanding defensive position (McCann), he’s not prohibitively expensive (Andruw), and he doesn’t secretly suck so far (Francoeur) — that I’m having a hard time getting my mind around the notion that trading him would be acceptable in any circumstance whatsoever.

  49. So, it’s official: Maddux is a Padre now, “defecting” from the Dodgers. That caused me to realize all switching those two teams have done this offseason (Bochy, Roberts, I am sure there are more). It’s kind of hard to have a rivalry when the other team is full of players you were rooting for last year, and vice versa.

  50. So, it’s official: Maddux is a Padre now, “defecting” from the Dodgers.

    Yup it’s official. I even heard the first discussion of how great Maddux will be teaching the Padres pitchers on the radio today. Standard talking points. I must have missed all the development that went on with the Cubs pitchers the past three seasons.

  51. Francoeur secretly sucks? No, I think it’s pretty evident that he does suck. However, I will go out on a limb and say it’s nice that a 21-year old player in his first full season hit 29 home runs.

  52. All I can remember from the last couple years is the desperate whining for a legitimate first basemen, because nobody has been good enough at the position since Fred McGriff. I know the market is good for him right now, but I like LaRoche, and I would definitely hate to see a straight up trade for just a reliever.

  53. He was 22. And it’s a secret in that the majority of Braves fans don’t actually realize that he’s sucked.

    And, I can’t resist:

    As a LSU fan…

    That says it all, doesn’t it?

  54. “he doesn’t secretly suck so far (Francoeur)”
    Are you out of you freakin mind? You and all of those other Francoeur haters make me sick! He hit 29 hrs and had 103 rbi’s! That is a decent season. yes i will concede K’s and walks, but the guy is 23, what do you expect? It was his first FULL major league season! Not to mention his defense, he has a cannon and is very aggresive. the k’s and walks will come with time. Francouer is underappreciated

  55. By the way, when I said FULL season, I meant all 162 games, because that is how many Francouer played in this year

  56. The Orioles and Braves had a Hayden Penn/Brian Roberts for Adam LaRoche/Marcus Giles deal in negotiations, but the deal fell through and is apparently beyond saving.

    I may actually sleep well tonight.

    Also, Francoeur is overappreciated as of today. (The Ks will come with time? Huh? That’s good?)

  57. The similarities are undeniable, but do you really think that little of him? He is a class act, a natural leader, and as I have said before: I trust Bobby’s judgement. Let’s face it, if Bobby thought that little of him, he would not be our starting right fielder. This is his year though, if he does NOT show improvements, like a growing player should, then I will concede and take back what I said

  58. By the way, since we have like 12 outfielders now(really only 7:Bohn, blanco, diaz, Langerhans, johnson, Jones, Francoeur), are we going to trade any of them? maybe as deal sweetners accompanying laroche or giles?

  59. I clarified in the LaRoche comment that it is based on the organization’s evaluation of the players involved..So there was a big IF there..Thorman has similar #s to LaRoche throughout his minor league career. If LaRoche can breakout, there is a chance Thorman can too. Frankly I don’t see it, but then I am jsut an internet geek :)

    Francouer was the worst hitting right fielder in the majors alst year by any metric I have seen. He can improve, and I fervently hope so. But that doesn’t exactly make his last season good.

  60. I will agree that last season wasn’t that good, but I still like seeing the power numbers, I think he WILL improve,he does seem to have good worl ethic for what thats worth

  61. So everyone keeps saying that these prorposed deals for laroche suck, what would be a deal worth doing? (realistically, none of that Pujols crap)

  62. Well, I’d trade LaRoche for Gonzalez, Torres, and some clean laundry, or perhaps LaRoche and Yates (just to get rid of him, actually) for Gonzales and Ian Snell–whom I’ve never seen pitch but you gotta like a pitcher named Ian. I might even throw in a dozen bats and six dozen balls if it would help :). And if push came to shove, I’d probably trade LaRoche for Gonzalez straight up, though I’d prefer it if something came along (whether it was prospects or an additional bullpen arm). They would be getting, after all, an everyday player who’s cheap and if he continues to play well can be flipped again in a couple of years to a real team by the Pirates.

  63. I think Schuerholz secretly fosters all of these horrible rumors, so that when he does eventually make a bad trade, we all say, “Phew, that was bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be.”

  64. Gonzales would be sweet, he went 24 for 24 last year, I think our bullpen blew that many saves before the all star break…but realistically, that would be a great deal

  65. Frenchy’s work ethic seems to consist of showing up for work every day. And, certainly, there is something to be said for that. But he REALLY needs to work on his strike zone awareness during this offseason. And with his swing I’m not sure how much improvement he can make.

    That said, I’m trying to keep my hopes high and outlook positive for the guy since he has obviously been tapped as the engine of the Braves marketing train for the next, oh, say, ten years.

  66. I’m just happy Frenchy doesn’t have to bat any higher than 6th. I do like that gun in right, though, especially when he decides to hit the cut-off man.

  67. JS is calling Sosa’s and Palmeiro’s agents. We haven’t had nearly enough steroid controversey in the Atlanta clubhouse and I think thats directly related to our lack of world series wins and current streak of missing the playoffs.

  68. I like Frenchy’s cannon too. It probably cancels out his out-making ability running the bases, lol.

  69. More Gonzalez fun:

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Pirates are plenty interested in Atlanta Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche, but they might be losing steam for Jeff Suppan or any free-agent pitcher.

    General manager Dave Littlefield spoke again yesterday, the second day of Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, with Atlanta counterpart John Schuerholz about acquiring LaRoche through a trade for closer Mike Gonzalez.

    Some sources familiar with the talks described Littlefield as reluctant to part with Gonzalez, but the Pirates’ take on the matter is that Schuerholz was fielding a growing number of offers yesterday for LaRoche and wants to wait and choose the best one.

    Schuerholz might have supported the latter notion when he described the day as having a pause feel.

    Littlefield never discusses specific negotiations, but he did allow that there are “a half-dozen” teams with whom he is discussing trades for a left-handed power hitter. He said, too, that he is starting to get “more clarity as to where people stand on things.”

    To be sure, the Pirates’ stand on LaRoche is a positive one.

    He is 27, fairly inexpensive at about $2 million next season, slick at first base, and has power enough to “hit the ball into the river,” one executive said, referring to the Allegheny River beyond PNC Park’s right field. Last season, LaRoche batted .285 with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs.

    Which might explain why the Pirates are not the only potential suitors for his services.

    There could be four of five others, highlighted by the Los Angeles Angels, who are offering Chone Figgins as a possible replacement for Marcus Giles, the second baseman the Braves are expected to trade. What could work against the Angels, though, is that they do not want to trade pitching. The Baltimore Orioles are interested, too.

    The Braves’ top priority this offseason is pitching, and they are known to covet Gonzalez, perhaps intensely.

    If acquired, he likely would be the setup man for Bob Wickman, their 36-year-old closer, then take over that role in time. Gonzalez was 24 for 24 in saves in his first year as closer, and those included two dominating performances Aug. 22-23 in Atlanta, when he had five strikeouts in retiring all six batters he faced. That, apparently, made a resonating impression on Braves management.

  70. I can understand all the love on Adam, but the Braves didn’t make the playoff last season because of the bullpen. If trading Adam can get us a setup man/future closer, I am all for it.

  71. Well, the thing is, there aren’t a lot of MLB players who can put up .900+ OPS. If LaRoche can do that consistently, we’d have to get a TON in return to make it worth our while to deal him. Gonzalez looks very good, sure, but he’s still just a reliever.

  72. Well, let’s not forget who caused the Braves’ playoff hope last season…those damn relievers.

  73. It is now clear that the best thing that JS did was sign Wickman and extend Smoltz. This meant that the team has already been strengthened.

    Up to this point I have one that wanted to trade Giles–probably for relief pitching. I had hopes that JS would work some type of magic and bring the Braves better starting pitching. However, I am increasingly of the view that the Braves could do worse than drop many of the deals that are being written about.

    LaRoche will probably be a good–possibly a very good player–for the foreseeable future. Unless the Braves were to get say a quality starter, a trade for LaRoche would be a bad move.

    Andruw: keep him for a year. The very worst thing which might happen is that he leaves–freeing up a lot of cash and probably netting the Braves some draft choices. Meanwhile, we would have one more year of AJ.

    Hudson: maybe Sansho1 is right–there are mechancial reasons for his decline and he may well be able to pitch better next season.

    Giles is the most expendable, but even holding on to Marcus would at worst mean freeing salary next year and gaining a draft pick.

    My thinking is based upon two realities: first, an 83-79 team won the World Series and I am not sure they were that much better than the Braves with Wickman and the reconfigured bullpen (Kali included!). A lot had to go wrong last year (it did), but if one looks at our team it actually remains solid.

    Yes, the Braves still need to improve starting pitching and the bullpen, but some of that can be done later–and possibly at less cost.

    It would be a mistake to tear this team up (if that is the only way a trade can be made) to make modest improvements.

    As the old saying goes: sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make.

  74. (From ESPN) The 27-year-old first baseman hit .285 with 32 home runs and 90 runs batted in last season.

    According to the newspaper, the Angels believe they can swing a deal for him without giving up pitching.

    What would we trade him for? Another utility infielder?

  75. If we trade LaRoche for anything but pitching then Schuerholz has lost his freaking mind. I’ve been pretty militant about NOT trading everyday players for 50 or 75 innings of relief pitching but I have to back off that stance now as thats the cost of doing business in this sellers market. Giles for Linebrink? sure lets do it. LaRoche straight up for Gonzalez? better because Gonzalez is younger and is a lefty.

    I think that LaRoche is a good player, but I also think that he is closer to his career averages going forward than last years production. to whit:
    Before All-Star .325 .479 .251
    After All-Star .387 .655 .323
    That awesome second half was the product of a white hot July and August where he hit .341 and .375.
    In summary and yes just my opinion a .274 .337 .504 1b is tradeable for a relief pitcher.
    If he is REALLY a .354 .561 .285 (last seasons final stats) then NOT for just a lefty reliever. There would have to be some sweetner in there. But for crying out loud NOT for Chone Figgans and Casey Kotchman!!!

  76. “Schuerholz was fielding a growing number of offers yesterday for LaRoche and wants to wait and choose the best one.”

    Translation among other GMs: “Schuerholz is trading who, and all he wants is what?? I gotta get me some of that!”

  77. I guess that JD Drew is smarter than the average bear. 70 mil over the next 5 years from the BoSox. Thats just a little more than the 33 he walked away from. Of course he has to live in Boston but……

  78. @109 – If Andruw leaves via FA next year, no draft choices for us – that was eliminated in the CBA extension.

  79. I’ve hated on Adam LaRoche as much as anyone, but 60 innings of relief is not enough for a 900+ OPS at 1B.

  80. from today

    General Manager Bill Stoneman and Braves GM John Schuerholz met for the second day in a row, and Schuerholz, who is talking to Pittsburgh about closer Mike Gonzalez, made it clear he doesn’t want to give up his best bargaining chip without getting a pitcher.

    The Angels offered utility player Chone Figgins and first baseman Casey Kotchman. The Braves want setup man Scot Shields. The Angels are reluctant to part with pitching, because their organizational depth has thinned considerably in the last year.

  81. Robert,

    The reason that Rich Rodriguez would want to go to Alabama is that football coaches are ambitious, go-getter types who always want the better job. By any measure, Alabama is a much more prestigious job than West Virginia. None of these guys think they will fail.

    I was reluctant about trading LaRoche, but the way Gonzalez is described, I might be willing to bite. If you have a dominant bullpen, that will take you a long way and cover up a lot of deficiencies. In an era where 83-79 teams can win the World Series, that might be the better way to go than spending $14 per year on a guy that is probably not a Boston personality.

  82. Casey Kotchman is a poor man’s Sean Casey.

    I wouldn’t leave West Virgina to go to Alabama. You can be a hero in WV if you win 9 games. If you win 9 games at Bama you are on the hot seat.

  83. Hudson
    LaRoche- to Seatle

    Sexson- to San Fran

    Rafeal Soriano
    Armondo Benitez- to ATL.


  84. dans
    #124. December 6th, 2006, at 10:09 AM.

    LaRoche- to Seatle

    Sexson- to San Fran

    Rafeal Soriano
    Armondo Benitez- to ATL.


    Uh….HECK NO. Benitez SUCKS!! He is freakin’ awful and wouldn’t be worth Yates straight up….Soriano is good, but not for Hudson and LaRoche. We can’t just give away Hudson, who might have more value in his left index finger than Benitez has in his whole body.

  85. Eh, I think we’ve covered that already. Besides, that worked out swimmingly for a couple of seasons, so let him lie.

  86. Considering we got a decent catcher for a salary dump, I think JS did pretty good. He had to do what he had to do…

  87. I hear ya, I know it was awhile go. Just thought I’d mention it because I have found jS to be extremely obnoxious in most of his public interviews lately, including his “worship me because of what my scouts and coaches do” book.

    The Millwood example isn’t the only one that applies. He did do “OK” for getting a catcher who ripped the cover off of the ball in the minors the next season.

  88. I still have faith….what other GM would you rather have that could/is available? The man is working under a strict budget and has done pretty good with it. Sure Estrada ripped the cover off the ball in the minors…well, he did the same thing the next year in the majors….who else was Philly going to give up??? Cole Hamels??

    The Estrada deal was one of JS’s biggest moves due to who he gave up, but it turned out to be less of a stinker than most of us thought it would be when it happend. Like he said, no other team besides Philly had the payroll that late in the season to support a trade. In a fair world should we have gotten more than Estrada?? Heck yes, but in the end, the deal turned out to be fairly decent. Millwood is a good starting pitcher, but its not like JS traded a younger version of Cy Young or Roger Clemens.

  89. Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez? Is Bill Bavasi mentally retarded? Perhaps he’s overreacting to the Schmidt signing and making a panic move, because that seems like way too much to get back for HoRam. I know Soriano’s had some injury problems, but so has HoRam and at least Soriano can pitch when he’s not hurt.

  90. Trade Francouer…hear me Lando?

    Jeff Francouer can be easily replace, LaRoche cannot.

    Laroche 30-30 a year 100 RBIs, 80-90 Runs, .280-.290 BA, great defense at the 1B position….oh yea .340-.350 OBP…he gets wlaks and is patient. He also in situations knows the basics and tries to apply that. Francouer is a hack….get rid of him, develop langerhans, and let KJ take LF…

    Did we trade Salty yet?

  91. Am I the only person in the world who likes Schuerholz’s scrap heap bullpen building method? Staying out of the market for overpriced uncertainties is a great way to save money for parts that can truly help your ball club.

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