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I’m not opposed to trading Saltalamacchia or Escobar; the latter, I’m pretty sure, is at the peak of his value. (I don’t think he has the power to be a good regular in today’s major leagues, so he has to hit .300 or better to be worth much.) Trading Chuck James is a nonstarter, and typical of the ever-overreaching D-Rays. I’m not a fan of Baldelli, though he is better than Francoeur right now. Unfortunately, he’d block KJ and Diaz, not Francoeur.

Open thread.

141 thoughts on “Blahdelli”

  1. Baldelli as the leadoff hitter? Hmmm…I guess we all know how Bobby likes speed up there instead of OBP. Leadoff miscasting aside, I like Baldelli and think he’ll be a fantastic addition if the Braves can land him.

    However, based on Schuerholz’s past, my guess is that this article is just a smokescreen and the Braves will pull the trigger on a Lance Cormier-for-Carl Crawford swap tomorrow.

  2. Bowman said in an article just yesterday about how people in the Braves’ organization are impressed with how Kelly Johnson is coming along at second base. So you could play both….

  3. Cost is way too prohibitive, and I don’t even want to consider the thought of having Cormier in the rotation. Why trade pieces for Baldelli to play LF and lead-off when keeping what we have (i.e. Giles leading off and Diaz/Langerhans in LF) is going to cost about the same in the end and likely lead to more production? Pass.

  4. DOB mentioned the other day in an article about Bobby, though, that Johnson’s arm still isn’t there and that Bobby and JS didn’t appear to be counting on his contributions to start the season.


    Baseball scouts and general managers will tell you that sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make.

    I think we have a classic example from this past week’s Braves trade that didn’t happen, when Baltimore balked after preliminarily agreeing to a deal that would have sent Orioles 2B Brian Roberts and pitching prospect Hayden Penn to Atlanta for Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles. Yes, LaRoche AND Giles.

    Before we delve into the newest buzz, the Rocco Baldelli-to-Braves trade talks…..

  6. Y’all better watch out old Jeff K is lurking out there. He’ll completely mis intrerpret your post, throw in that his wife is a statistician then tell you that we should trade John Smoltz for Rocco Baldelli. I’m going to aplogiize ahead of time for being snarky.

    Jeff K if your out there it was my fault. I shouldn’t have engaged in a debate with you when you had completely missed the point of my post. BTW the above is an attempt at some humor.

    For better or worse we have a rotation. And Davies and James are important parts of it. The Rays think that everyone is going to be beating down the doors with pitching prospects to get one of their outfielders. If we trade either one as part of a package then Bobby has gotten Schuerholz to drink the same Kool Aid as the Dodgers who signed Juan Pierre to unGodly fortune.

    Its funny Bobby has been quoted in the AJC article by DOB where he gives an assesment of the team as saying that it doesn’t matter who plays leadoff as long as you have pitching. For crying out loud Bobby, you’re right! But I canmot believe that John Schuerholz would do this. I mean really.

  7. I don’t really believe it either, Johnny. If our top priority this offseason was to build up our pitching, I just can’t see how JS could rationalize sending Davies off for a player that, at least in 2007, only marginally — if at all — improves the offense.

  8. Mac, I’m not saying we should give that package up for Crawford; I’m just saying that if we give that package up for a D-Rays outfielder, it had better at least be the better one. (Yes, I’d like Delmon Young…but that ain’t happening.)

  9. I know that I am 0 for Blog on Kremlin watching. See my Glavine posts…… but after reading about the aborted (thank God) Baltimore trade, didn’t y’all smell salary dump? Giles arb eliglble at 6mil and LaRoche set to make 3. Hmmmmm. Anyway my skills at interpreting the moves of the Braves front office pretty much suck.

  10. More:

    A team source has indicated that the Braves are actively attempting to complete a trade for Tampa Bay’s Rocco Baldelli. Atlanta is very reluctant to include left-handed starter Chuck James in any deal, but would be willing to provide top catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Devil Rays have said that they aren’t interested in Adam LaRoche, and are seeking non-arbitration-eligible players.

    The Devil Rays are believed to have said they want James in any potential deal for Baldelli, but having just traded left-hander Horacio Ramirez to Seattle, the Braves are concerned about depth in their starting rotation. At the same time, they believe James is capable of being a 15-game winner in 2007. The 25-year-old southpaw won 11 of the 18 starts he made last season, and surrendered two earned runs or fewer in nine of his final 11 starts.

    Next season, Baldelli, 25, would serve as Atlanta’s leadoff hitter and everyday left fielder. If Andruw Jones makes his expected departure after 2007, Baldelli would then become the club’s starting center fielder.

    Baldelli’s contract is an attractive one. He’ll make just $750,000 this year, which would allow him to fit within Atlanta’s tight financial constraints. His contract includes escalators if he makes 600 plate appearances in a season. But even if he were to reach that mark in 2007, his salary would be just $2.5 million. In 2008, his salary wouldn’t rise any higher than $4 million. The final three years (2009-2011) in his current contract are all club options. The option for 2011 is just $9 million.

    Don’t give in Schuerholz. Don’t trade Chuck James, let the Devil Rays walk and Baldelli go, it’s better than giving up on a great young pitcher.

  11. Wow, that would be an awful deal. So obviously it will probably happen.

    Just wanted to respond to this:

    That’s silly, Robert. Alabama’s recruiting base is more than solid and its facilities (thanks in large part to Mal Moore) are spectacular. This is a place you can win.

    Well sure you could win, but if you are good you can win anywhere. Your reply helps make my point about the expectations. Their facilities are top notch, but so are everyone else’s these days. Programs like South Carolina and Oklahoma State have built state of the art palaces for their teams with little or no effect to their records.

    And no doubt that Bama has some nice recruiting pipelines setup down there but there are two problems. 1) Alabama isn’t exactly overflowing with prospects (check Rivals if you don’t buy it) and the one that are there you have to share with Auburn and 2) trying to recruit from adjacent states is tough since they all have their own football crazy state university and sadly the Alabama name doesn’t mean what it once did. The fact that no established coach is trying to get the job says a lot about if it is considered a “good” position these days.

    That being said, if they got the right guy there is no doubt that Bama could return to the national scene. But since it looks like they will have to settle for their like fifth choice or whatever, it’s unlikely that they will get the right guy. Then again, Pete Carroll was USC’s third choice for that job.

  12. Dan–if that is true then JS had too much of the Kool-Aid which Johnny mentions.

    With respect to trading for either Baldelli or Crawford, the Braves have not helped themselves by being careless with starting pitching in their upper minors. They simply let Matt Wright go (who was there best pitcher at AA and beginning to make progress as AAA) to Kansas City and did not protect Sean White. While neither have Kyle Davies’ upside either would have given them the depth to contemplate trading Davies. I believe that Wright will pitch in the majors in 2007.

    Instead, if Davies does not work out (remember that the Davies of 2006 got lit up almost everytime he pitched) there is no one (other than Cormier–a prospect I find as unappealing as everyone else)really ready to help out for the big league club. Kevin Barry and Anthony Lerew are left and at this point the former is better than the latter.

    The last thing I would want to see is Harrison rushed to the Braves before he is ready–we do not need a starter to be `devined’. Reyes needs to prove that he can be effectve at High A–before his name should be mentioned in Atlanta.

    I am less than eager some to part with Salty at this stage, but (other than LaRoche and Giles) he is about all the Braves can afford to trade if they are seeking a quality player(s) in return.

  13. I would never deal James for Baldelli, under any circumstances, but I would really like Baldelli. He’s signed to a GREAT contract compared to the market now, he adds speed, he’ll play good defense, and he has power. I dunno if I would put him in the lead-off spot, but he’d be a good two-hole guy. He won’t help the Braves much in 2007, but with the contract and the fact that he’ll be a great replacement for Andruw in center, I would do anything short of a James trade to get him.

  14. I agree–James should not be traded, but the combination of Baldelli’s contract and the Andruw situation makes him attractive. Let me add one more reason to like Baldelli in a Braves uniform: in 2007 the Braves would probably have the best defensive outfield in baseball. I also think that like Francouer he remains nowhere near his ceiling.

    Lets hope the Braves can get him without weakening their starting pitching….

  15. I wouldn’t mind seeing a trade for Baldelli, but don’t see how, if pitching is our emphasis, we could give either James or Davies. Tampa wouldn’t take Giles, he makes too much money for them and they’re looking for prospects, and probably want at least one of them to be a pitcher. Perhaps Salty and Lerew . JS has a history of trading prospects, and perhaps they’re just trying to negotiate that now.

    Baldelli is relatively cheap, and has proven he can play center field in the majors. I not enthralled with his OBP, but he seems to be able to do everything else. JS has to be thinking of a replacement for Andruw, because there’s no way, given the current fiscal restraints he’s working under that we can afford Andruw as a free agent.

  16. Hey Robert not to be a jerk, but where exactly is South Carolina’s state of the art facilities? I live in Columbia and I have no idea where these places are located. We added a welcome center to Williams Brice a few years ago, but I am not sure where this high tech place is. They built the undergrads a new gym about two years ago if thats what you mean.

  17. FYI — PrOPS has Baldelli at .776 last year, 100-points below his actual OPS. This worries me some since his OPS in his prior two seasons were .742 and .762. I would be very hesitant to expect the 2006 production in 2007. He will be cheap, though. However, I’d rather hold on to Salty.

  18. JS shouldn’t be reluctant to trade James–he should ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to trade him. This sounds like he might do it if the Rays hold out. Omigod, that would be a disaster. Before, I would have simply dismissed it, but with the report that JS wanted to do Giles/LaRoche for Roberts/Penn, I fear that anything is possible. And Bobby Cox as usual has his thumb up his ass and probably thinks Lance Cormier can win the Cy Young next year (beating out Smoltz, Hudson, and Hampton, of course,who would come in second, third, and fourth). To quote Vince Lombardi, what the hell is going on out there?

  19. If the goal, reiterated here and by JS, is to improve the pitching staff, this deal doesn’t make any sense. Both he and Bobby both said last week that leadoff hitter isn’t a priority, so what does Rocco Baldelli matter to this team, especially at the expense of our best young pitcher to date?

  20. I dont think James is going anywhere, not with HoRam gone. But like I said in the last thread, I dont think a package of Salty (who is blocked by McCann and no guarantees he can play 1st), Escobar (who is part of a massive minor league logjam at middle inflield) and Davies (who ISNT a big leagure pitcher in my mind) would be a bad deal for Baldelli. Who is else is going to play LF with THOSE kind of numbers? and for that matter, who is going to play CF with those numbers when AJ is gone? Didint anyone notice what a good or even mediocre OF cost in the FA market? (see Gary Mathews JR)

  21. BTW, quick joke from my brother who is a Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy….

    What is the only animal with an a$$hole on his back??

    A Police Horse :)

  22. I am going to give Schuerholz some credit. He won’t trade James. I’m going to depend on the Rays being the Rays. They won’t take the Salty/Escobar package even though having just lost Lugo and with Toby Hall as their catcher this would help them. But they are right to hold out for pitching. Baldelli is worth pitching……..prospects that is. No way should a team trade a major league ready pitcher for him in this market. So the last thing I’m going to depend on is the Baltimore’s or other less enlightned teams of the world to do something stupid and ‘out bid’ us for Rocco.

  23. Lance,

    I realize that Salty is blocked. However, even if we’re set on trading him — and that’s fine with me — we should still attempt to maximize his value. Sending him along with two other valuable commodoties for Rocco Baldelli does not do that.

    I think some people are underestimating Escobar’s value to the Braves. As I see it, he provides us with Renteria flexibility both at the trading deadline and next offseason. We’re paying Renteria only 6 million a year — in this market, if he continues to play the way he played last season, that’s a steal. Still, as we’re seeing with Marcus, for a team with an 80-million dollar budget, 6 million dollars is significant. Renteria could become very valuable as a trade asset in the near future, and having Escobar allows us to consider trading him if the right deal comes along.

    And people on here are definitely undervaluing Kyle Davies. I do not want to include him with two other solid prospects for Rocco Baldelli.

    All in all, I could handle Salty + Escobar, but as bmac says, if our focus is on pitching, it makes absolutely no sense to trade Davies.

  24. Stu,

    Even I can throw a Low 90’s fastball up in the strike zone and let it get hammered. Thats why I never got to play anything higher than Community College baseball…..

    Thats what Davies does…..

  25. While I’m not exactly drawing conclusions about Davies’ 2006 season, it was alarming how he struggled to get out of any inning. I know he was hurt, but that was bad even for a hurt pitcher.

    His HR rates in the minors and his first year in the majors were not high, but I wonder how much he may have been helped by pitchers’ parks. A flyball pitcher would seem to benefit disproportionately in parks where hitting HRs is difficult.

    He walked a fair amount of batters in the minors, not a huge number, but enough where I wonder if he’s ever had more than 3 or 4 starts in a row of consistent control. He’s as iffy as you can get right now.

  26. My complaint about Davies is that he has yet to learn that rearing back and throwing harder isn’t the way to get out of a jam.

  27. I’m against trading even Davies. But the point is moot. I’m betting (hoping) that the Rays won’t take anything less than Chuck James.

    I guess the only reason to keep Davies is that there is a glimmer of hope that he can become a competent major league pitcher. Those guys are valuable in this market. Keeping him would also keep us from doing something stupid like acquiring anohter re tread and depenidng on him every 5th day from the start of the season. Lets let Kyle start the season and THEN if he sucks go the re tread route.

  28. What is all this crap about needing a back up plan for Andruw?

    Frenchy was a fine CF in the minors. He should be the one to move over. Plus his offensive performance is more palatable in CF. That move would allow us to get a corner OF that could produce corner OF numbers.

  29. I have been a big Davies fan, but for all practical purposes he has become a prospect again. 2006 was a clear regression and he needs to re-establish himself at the major league level. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that he will do this. I would be willing to part with Davies, but the problem remains that the Braves are now short on possible starters. Cormier does not do it and Lerew makes Davies look like James.

    I would not be surprised to see JS try to deal Salty, Langerhans, and Davies. The deal might make some sense if the Braves believe that can get another starter.

    Johnny is probably right: this deal will probably never happen. It will go the way of Giles for Linebrink…

  30. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted here but I constantly read braves journal. Has anyone thought of a 3-way trade that would send Mike Gonzalez to Tampa, LaRoche to Pittsburgh, and we get Baldelli. That seems to make sense for all of the teams involved.

  31. Lou Piniella is certainly in a different situation this go round. The Cubs are the exact opposite of the D-Rays, spending like drunken sailors.

  32. Seems like Harris would take Orr’s roster spot. Orr has hit slightly better overall, but Harris would give us a legit backup glove at second and is a better basestealer. He’d be a minor upgrade at the tail end of the bench. Start printing those playoff tickets!

  33. I have the Harris deal as having been announced on 11/16. I don’t know why some outlets are only now hearing about it… He shouldn’t make the big league roster.

    reaganman, how does a LaRoche for Baldelli deal help the Braves?

  34. In addition to Mac’s excellent point it gives us an affordable centerfielder through 2011 after Andruw departs and Thorman will do fine as the everyday firstbaseman. And we don’t have to sell Salty low after a down year and most importantly we don’t give up any pitching. The Rays are going to demand pitching and I don’t blame them. So we can get the Pirates to give them the closer that they are looking for.

  35. They tried to sign Octavio Dotel, David Riske, Russ Springer and Eric Gagne. Dotel and Springer are now off the market and Gagne is not likely to sign with them but rather Boston. That leaves Riske as a possibility. I know they would probably rather get a starter like Chuck James for Baldelli, but I think they might take Mike Gonzalez. But I also heard that they don’t want arbitration eligible players, so maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, we have no pressing needs after the Soriano deal but JS is not done. I’m anxious to see what he does about Andruw and it would be a very smart move for the long term to get Baldelli now.

  36. The story on Jason Marquis at ESPN lists his career record as 194-137! Not bad for just seven seasons’ work…

  37. Baldelli ain’t all that and a bag of chips. I’m happy with what we got. With the improved bullpen and roughly the same offense (Andruw in a contract year might hit 60), we’ll win 90, as long as the pitchers stay healthy. Let KJ play second and bat leadoff.

  38. I am perfectly happy with Ryan Langerhans replacing Andruw Jones in center field after this season, should Jones leave as a free agent. I don’t see getting a new outfielder now as a priority at all.

  39. More of that horrible trade that fell through:

    Interestingly, he left Orlando infuriated with one club and with another team infuriated with him.

    Schuerholz was miffed with Orioles owner Peter Angelos for quashing a deal at the last minute that would have sent first baseman Adam LaRoche and second baseman Marcus Giles to Baltimore for second baseman Brian Roberts and pitching prospect Hayden Penn.

    Even after the O’s front office had signed off on the deal Monday, Angelos weighed in and said he didn’t want to part with Roberts, a fan favorite.

    Schuerholz told someone he’d been working on the deal for a month.

    Thank you so much Peter Angelos.

  40. I’m not going to string Schuerholz up for a deal he didn’t make. I have no idea if all these reports are true and he really was DYING to part with Giles and Rochey for Penn and Roberts. Bottom line, it didn’t happen. Same thing with the Pittsburgh deal, and we’ve learned that in all likelihood it was just a deke in order to con the Mariners. Point is, the guy doesn’t have the resources to buy talent, so he has to have his phone ringing off the hook to make trades happen. A lot of those trade proposals will amount to nothing, since that’s the way the business works. I wouldn’t mind getting David Riske, though.

  41. Nothing too specific, Remy: young and cheap, with above-average ERA+ and WHIP the last several years. His strikeouts have been down the last couple years, which means he may have suffered from overuse 2003-2005, when he logged more than 70 innings each year, but all in all he seems like a guy without a ton of mileage on the arm who’s likely to be a nice compliment in the pen. I don’t expect he’d cost all that much, and he’d probably be worth having for about $2 million, if you could get him.

  42. I remember a few years back that the Braves were trying to get Riske from Cleveland in some deal, when it looked like he may slip into the closer’s role. I think it may have been just before we traded for….(I hate to mention his name)….Dan Kolb.

    Anyway, JS seems to always get his guy in the end so he very well could end up a Brave.

  43. I don’t see that we have an outfield problem either. For 2007, we still have Andruw, and why not just stick Diaz in LF until he proves it won’t work? Hitters with .327 averages and above-average corner OF defense don’t grow on trees.

  44. i’ve never seen so many people so down on a guy who hit .300 with 16 homers in limited action last year.

    anyone who thinks that langy/kelly johnson/diaz are gonna produce more than this guy seriously needs to have their head examined.

    you cant project the numbers or at bats of someone that’s platooning or a utility player and assume that they’re produce when playing every day. Langy especially struggled for LOOONG stretches last year at the plate.

    bottom line, Baldelli would be an heir to the center field job and would IMMEDIATELY be a more productive replacement everyday in left field… not to mention he wouldnt be a stopgap player, but a long-term option.

    anyone wanna share a LOGICAL idea of someone that would be more productive in left field next season, be my guest.

  45. The question isn’t who the better left fielder is, it’s of the cost to acquire the supposedly better LF in Baldelli. The cost does not justify the expense to the overwhelming majority.

    I don’t think anyone here wants Cormier (or Lerew) sniffing the rotation this year except in emergency situations, nor to trade one of the team’s top prospects for a marginal upgrade. Teams like Baltimore and the Cubs make these moves. We’re not one of those teams.

  46. @63
    To add to Clark’s post. Left field is the least of our needs. We are in a strong position where a lot of teams are weak. We have 5 starters. They ain’t pretty but they do have, with the exceptiion of Davies, at least one season of above average success in the majors. And Davies from the scouts point of view has the ‘makeup’ to be good. Why trade Davies or God forbid James for just another corner outfielder. Because thats all Baldelli is. but you say he can play center to which i say why trade a pitcher for 2008. Don’t we have a season in between to play? If the walk year phenomenon takes hold of Andruw, I want as much pitching as I can while we ride him to the post season. I guess it comes down to whether we are a better team with James/Davies in the rotation or some Schmoe pitching every 5th day and Baldelli in left.

  47. I’m setting up a point of reference. Seeing is Believing I still have a lingering affection Escobar and Salty. But I wouldn’t mind Kyle.D+α for Blahdelli. Adios Kyle.

  48. I agree that we shouldn’t get desperate or overpay for Baldelli. I just think that if the price is right he is ideal for the long term since Andruw is gone at the end of the year and Baldelli is signed to a bargain of a deal through 2011. Short term I like everything that the Braves have… starting, bullpen, offense and defense. But I think if we can deal LaRoche and/or Giles (since we don’t need either one of them since we have Thorman and Kelly Johnson) for something that we will need like Baldelli then we should do it. Some kind of a three way trade might make that happen. Maybe we could include Boston where they get Mike Gonzalez and they send Tampa some young pitching like Jon Lester and maybe something else.

  49. Riske is not closer material. The Indians tried him in that role couple seasons back and he failed miserably. Then, the guy couldn’t even pitch with a lead, and the Indians were only using him when they are behind. The reason behind his good stats is very similar to how Bobby handled Juan Cruz. I will definitely not spend $2M on a reliever who can’t hold a lead.

  50. I agree, KC, he’s not closer material, but we don’t need him for that–we have Wickmania, and Soriano behind him, and Blaine Boyer behind him. Riske would be a 6th-7th inning mop-up guy. He’s got a track record to be a middle of the bullpen guy, and he’ll probably suck less than Gryboski/Tom Martin/Remlinger 2.0.

  51. Spending $2M on a 6/7 inning guy maybe too much…I am still thinking if we can still get the Padres to do the Giles/Linebrink deal, so Soriano, Boyer, or McBride will pitch the 7th, Linebrink will pitch the 8th, and Wickman in the 9th. That would be great.

  52. But I think if we can deal LaRoche and/or Giles (since we don’t need either one of them since we have Thorman and Kelly Johnson)

    This is absolutely wild speculation. There was evidence in LaRoche’s minor league record that he was capable of the year he had in ’06 — I don’t see such evidence in what Thorman has done. And I’m highly skeptical of any reports that Kelly Johnson is capable of morphing suddenly into a major league second baseman. Despite what would be a good hitting record for a middle infielder, he was moved from shortstop three years ago and hasn’t played the infield since.

    It’s easy to turn a shortstop into a left fielder. But how often can you turn a left fielder into a second baseman? I’m not buying it.

  53. @72
    That wouldn’t be great it would be freakin sweet. As badly as I want that deal to happen though I just don’t see the Padres pulling the trigger

  54. I’m with sansho1 on K. Johnson—I gotta see this. And I certainly wouldn’t pin long-range hopes on that conversion.

    Thorman could turn into something good, but I’d be shocked if he waltzed in and hit anything like ’06 LaRoche right away.

  55. The Padres probably won’t do that deal (although I would love for them to) but it would be a marketing bo-nan-za for them. They could ride the “brothers” theme for a long while. Double bobble-heads, you name it. It’s the kind of thing fans can really get behind, especially when both of the guys are talented.

    I’m too young to remember, but do any of you old timers know if the Braves did any cool special promotions when Joe and Phil were on the same team? Just curious.

  56. well from how I understand it, the rotation is set up: Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, James, with the fifth starter TBD

    I’d advocate this trade IF they take Davies and other prospects. I don’t quite know what Clark is talking about. Baldelli IS a better option, and Davies is not a top prospect.

    If JS can swing a trade with Saltalamacchia/Davies for Baldelli, and then swing GIles for a book-end starter in the rotation, I think that would be an improvement all-around.

    Free up some future salary, allow some players to get a shot at second base, shore up a run at the playoffs.

    “If the walk year phenomenon takes hold of Andruw, I want as much pitching as I can while we ride him to the post season. I guess it comes down to whether we are a better team with James/Davies in the rotation or some Schmoe pitching every 5th day and Baldelli in left.”

    In regards to that, I hope we don’t ride Andruw to the postseason. If July 31st rolls around with no extension and Andruw’s still on the team, then JS has done something terribly wrong. Mark my words, if there’s a serious problem in the rotation, then Druw might be gone sooner than you think.

  57. Lol, can’t help you there, Rob. I’d much rather send his bro homeward bound and get something we can use. That way we get what we want and the Giles clan can enjoy their reunion on the left coast. Everyone wins in the end. My favorite kind of deal.

  58. “sorry, that would be a four way trade (atlanta, boston, tampa, pittsburgh) ”

    reaganman, therein lies the problem with your proposal right there. this isn’t the NBA… four way trades almost never happen in baseball. it’s too complicated, and one team almost always ends up getting shafted and pulls out of the deal

  59. I’m with korobeiniki on the four-way deal. Even three-way deals are difficult, but as I’ve said before, in every four-way deal I see proposed, one team always gets screwed. Four-way deals are pretty much imaginary; they’re made up by reporters and by dumb teams like the Devil Rays who think that someone else will take a bunch of worse players who cost more money for some of their most valuable commodities.

  60. Someone will certainly get a shot when one of our guys goes down to the inevitable injury. Lawd help us if it’s more than one at a time that gets hurt. To me, that’s our new weakness, now that we have shored up the pen. The starting rotation has the potential to be really fragile. We’ll see, I guess. *fingers crossed*

  61. That’s why having a good bullpen is important for a rotation full of health risks so that we are not asking Smoltz, Hudson, and Hampton to pitch in the seventh or eighth innings.

  62. korobieniki
    ‘In regards to that, I hope we don’t ride Andruw to the postseason. If July 31st rolls around with no extension and Andruw’s still on the team, then JS has done something terribly wrong. Mark my words, if there’s a serious problem in the rotation, then Druw might be gone sooner than you think. ‘

    Andruw is 10 and 5. If he starts the season with the Braves he will remain with the team the whole season. Count it. The Braves do not negotiate with players in season. I’m sure that there have been exceptions but right off hand I can’t think of any.

    If we can get Blahdelli for Salty/Escobar then sure. Hate to lose Salty but to get something you have to give. The Rays will never trade Rocco for this package even though it helps them. So this really is a non starter.

    They want pitching. In their defense its ok to wish for the moon so they are asking for Chuck James. Schuerholz isn’t senile yet so this one is a non starter too.

    I guess where we disagree is that you think that Rocco is good enough to trade Davies for. In a sane world I’d agree. But with the cost of pitching more expensive than uranium 235 I have to disagree. Davies even with his minute upside makes the Braves a better team next season than having a .289 .329 .451 career hitter in left. Please note the weak OBP and SLGs. I saw DOB’s article too. Well Benjamin Disraeli ‘lies damn lies and statistics’

  63. to korobieniki…

    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree here. It’s not that I think Davies is all that great, it’s that I think he’s better than the other options that we have available (or can realistically be had). Your suggestion of trading Giles for a back-end starter is noble, but I feel unrealistic given the price of starting pitching. Jason Marquis just got 3yr/$21m from the Cubs; granted it’s the Cubs, but it and the other contracts dealt out this year drives up the entire market, both trade and free agency. Giles is at his lowest value since he’s been in the bigs and not likely to bring back anything we could use in the rotation (though I would say he is worth it).

    I am more opposed to mortgaging our future with Salty and/or Escobar for Baldelli. I don’t see him as this vast improvement worth trading those players for right now. The concern about the current starting rotation is just an added piece of the puzzle from my standpoint.

  64. Johnny,

    First of all, I agree with you that we should not trade Davies — or any other pitcher with any potential value this season — for Baldelli.

    That said, I think you might not be giving Baldelli a fair shake. You talk about his “career” lines, but let’s remember that he’s only 25. It’s not as though he’s Overpaid Sarge, where you have several years of work to examine and can reasonably conclude that what you see is what you get. With Baldelli, he hasn’t hit his prime, and he seems to have been getting better every year he’s played. Thus, the “career” line of such a 25-year old, in my opinion, isn’t necessarily the greatest measuring stick. Just my two cents and, like I said, I don’t think he’s worth giving up our 5th starter.

  65. Clark,

    I don’t see Salty and Escobar as our future, given that both are pretty much blocked for the foreseeable future (especially Salty). That said, the reason I would be hesitant to deal them for Baldelli is that I think the D-Rays, as Mac notes, overprice their commodities — that is, I’m not against trading those two, I’m just against trading them to a team that doesn’t value them as highly as they should or as others would, thereby decreasing the overall return on the trade.

  66. Just FYI:

    The Saban to Alabama thing is getting VERY loud down here, they are almost making out to be that he would be an idiot NOT to take it…

  67. There are two problems with this deal.

    1) Rocco is an injury machine.
    2) I don’t mind trading Chuck James for him, but with out rotation like it is, we might need another lefty. James and Salty would be over paying for this guy.

  68. Alabama fans,

    You’ve said you wouldn’t want Saban, anyway, because he isn’t likely to stay very long.

    1) Wouldn’t the championships be worth it?

    2) Is it necessarily true? If he’s realized that he prefers college coaching, and he has success at Alabama, why would he leave?

  69. I don’t see it as mortgaging our future away when you have players in those positions already set. You have Brian McCann at catcher, who was only the top hitting catcher in the NL last year, and Renteria at short, stop-gapping until Andrus is ready in a couple of years.

    If you can do the deal with DAVIES, do it. I think I have to reiterate that since everyone seems to forget that. Left-handed pitchers are especially at a premium (see: Ted Lilly to the Cubs for 4 yrs-$40 mil). But I don’t think it would be too farfetched to see Giles go to the Padres or any other team for a number five starter.

    If not, then the future can be now, and one of the prospects can step up. James did it last year, turning in a solid year after starting in the bullpen, why can’t someone else pull it off this year? You never know.

  70. There is absolutely no way Giles will fetch a pitcher who could crack the Braves’ starting rotation. We have two days to trade him, or he’s going to be non-tendered — teams will not give up anything nearly as valuable as a starter for him.

    Also, James did it last year, but it was thought beforehand that he might be able to do it last year. There is no one in our farm system who is even as close to as good and major league-ready as James was at this time last year.

  71. Hopefully we can get a team to think there will be a bidding war with Giles and to avoid it , it would be in their “best intrest” to trade for him…hopefully, not likely.

  72. Considering our options last year, i dont think anything Giles would fetch could possibly be worse than Jason Schiell or Villarreal as starters

  73. Stu,
    I wouldn’t say I don’t want Saban, and I don’t think many Bama fans would say that either. I thought and still think that Rodriguez would have been the better choice because of stability. If Saban took the job, I’d be happy and would figure that Bama’s administration had decided that he would stick around. I know Saban’s a great coach, but I admittedly know very little about his personality or character. I still think that the chances of getting him are slim – even slimmer than before. I’m convinced that he told people he wanted the job at one point, but I think he’s decided to ride the train out with the Dolphins at this point. Here are the chances for a new coach that I see right now.

    Paul Johnson – 30%
    Jim Grobe – 25%
    Tedford – 8%
    Saban – 7%
    Norm Chow – 5% (He has been contacted, but I never heard if he was interested or not)
    Kines – 3%
    Field – 22%

    These percentages will change quickly in a few days.

  74. The Saban to Alabama thing is getting VERY loud down here, they are almost making out to be that he would be an idiot NOT to take it…

    Where’d you hear this? I have seen no talk of Saban to Bama in any of the South Florida papers since he came out and said he wasn’t interested a week or so ago.

    Not quite sure why he’d be an idiot not to take it, either. He’s not exactly making $125,000 coaching at Valdosta State.

  75. Stu. I have to admit that I’m very biased against batting average heavy low OBP oouutfielders. Baldelli does still have upside but he is one of those guys that if he doenst hit 300 then he becomes very average quickly. Last seasons 92 games were good. good enough for a non pitcher package to be sent for him

    Point moot anyway. we wont get baldelli because they think that he is worth more than davies and we wont give them james.

  76. It seems that people really de-value outfield defense in this circle. I understand that the corner outfielders are supposed to be mashers and centerfielders should be less offensively than corners and better defensively, but Baldeli is both. He’s got range, speed, hands, and he’s an above-average hitter. And he’s not that batting average-heavy; that would imply that has no power. Alex Sanchez is batting average-heavy. JUAN PIERRE (who just signed a $10M per year deal) is batting-average heavy. If Baldeli can be had without giving up Davies or James, I’m for it. If not, then don’t do it, but that doesn’t mean Baldeli would not be an instant upgrade in LF over Langerdiaz or in 2008 over Andruw and his $98M per year contract he’s going to get.

  77. Count me in the “Braves should only do it if they don’t give up a pitcher” camp. We’re not desperate, and the Rays are idiots, so I don’t think this will happen.

  78. If I’m the Rays, I take Escobar and Salty and consider it a win. You would think that since they don’t have Chuck Lamar anymore, they wouldn’t continue to ask for ridiculous returns on their tradeable commodities. I thought it was a Lamar thing; I guess it’s an organizational thing.

    And from a personal standpoint, I’d be able to see Salty and Escobar 30 minutes from where I live instead of 9 hours at Turner Field. Then again, I really enjoy watching Chuck James pitch. Not that bad though… :)

  79. #105 – yeah I think those percentages have already changed

    Johnson is about to get a huge raise to 1.8 and if he’s happy there is no reason to leave for 2 mil (if we would even offer that much to him). Grobe seems pretty clear that he’s not leaving. Here are my odds now.

    Tedford – 1%
    Kines – 1%
    Saban – 1%
    Kragthorpe – 1%
    Fisher – 1%
    anyone – 95%

    hopefully Moore has learned that its not good to get these offers out in the public and we wont know anything about this search until a coach has signed off on a contract and a press conference is being held.

  80. What do you guys think of the whole Matzuzaka disaster? Everything I read is that he won’t be signed. Surprise surprise, Boras is asking for a shit-ton of long-term money, God I hate that guy

  81. Perhaps I’m a bit misinformed, but:

    Between John Thomson, Chris Reitsma, Horacio Ramirez, and Jorge Sosa being gone from the roster we had last year, the Bravos are saving approximately 12 million in salary. Is team payroll getting cut again this year, or is arbitration making that much of a difference?

  82. *I forgot about Hampton. Still, if the Braves DID put aside money for him as they claimed, shouldn’t that be a non-factor?

  83. Bill,

    They only claimed to put enough money away to have to pay him 8 million a year. So, even if they did do that, that only leaves 4 million for arbitration raises.

  84. Hampton is making an average of $8M a year considering the low salaries in the early years.

    Also, don’t forget the $6M going to Wickman.

  85. *sigh* and the 750,000 going to War Hero Tanyon Sturtze. I guess if Giles is what we had to sacrifice for Wickman, then I’ll take it.

  86. When will the Devil Rays stop trading their best players? They are a farm team in the major league. STOP THE NONSENSE D-RAYS!!!!!!

  87. Pedro, that is absolutely the opposite of what the D-Rays have done. Traditionally, they’ve held onto their best players, even though they didn’t have enough good players to compete, and have waited until those players had lost most of their value. They would be a much better team now if they had been willing in their early years to deal guys for prospects but they always hold out for players other teams aren’t willing to give up. Unless you’re the Mets and are bone-stupid, of course.

  88. They could have gotten something for McGriff. They could have gotten A LOT more for Aubrey Huff if they hadn’t waited about 2 years too long.

  89. Exactly, Stu. If the D-Rays had had Mark Shapiro, Larry Beinfest, or Dave Dombrowski for a GM, they would be absolutely ROLLING in prospects. Now those are three guys who know how to rebuild by fire sale.

  90. I’m not opposed to getting rid of Davies, but where do we turn after him – Villareal? Cormier? – I don’t see either one being counted on for a full season as a starter. Unfortunately, I think our farm system is weak on SPs now, so we are in bad shape. Even if we keep Davies I want us to get a prospect SP that is close to being ready – we need the depth. I also think Davies needs another year.

    As for Bama, I believe that the College Football Coaches’ Association should contirbute at least 20% to the salary of whoever we get. I think it is safe to say that Alabama is responsible for getting more coaches raises or jobs than any other program – Beamer, Riley, Spurrier, Johnson, Rodriguez, … The list goes on and on. It’s more than ridiculous.

  91. I saw a classic on another board and wanted to share it about the Bama stuff.

    “Mal Moore (Bama’s AD)was spotted at the Galleria in Birmingham this weekend. It seems he was shopping at the “Build-a-Bear” workshop.”

  92. Eh, I’m probably the only one here who feels this way, but I would rather have someone three years younger with more star potential than a guy who hasn’t even played a full season yet. Say what you want about OBP, I think it can be overstated a bit.

    The fact of the matter is that you don’t know what switching leagues would do to German, and he’s 28 already, so it’s not really a great time to experiment with a player like that.

    Honestly, if that were the only choice, I’d just take my chances with Diaz/Langerhans instead.

  93. Thanks Remy. I hope that Nick Green gets a job and hits better than he did last year. He will probably always be a fringe player, but he did play a big role in turning things around in 2004. I wish him well…

  94. This is a sarcastic post please don’t take it literally.

    One thing no one seems to have mentioned is that Baldeli played in the AL last year. Since the NL is a vastly inferrior league with mostly AA and AAA caliber pitchers, Baldeli’s .300 in the AL should be equal to around .400 in the NL. Plus his 20+ HR power in the AL should be equivalent to 40-50 in the NL. We could be looking at a Triple Crown candidate here.

  95. @ 9 Snarky Boy – I’m here.

    My wife is, in fact, a statistician (PhD, Georgetown U) and confirms that n = 183 is a statistically valid sample in a class of 600. Likewise n = 364 is a statistically valid sample in a class of 1800. What that means is that Baldelli’s 2006 primary stats as a leadoff hitter:

    183 35 62 16 4 11 27 6 3 34 6 1 .339 .368 .650 1.018

    are a valid, representative sample for predicting full year (600 ABs) performance. And Baldelli’s overall 2006 primary stats:

    364 59 110 24 6 16 57 14 7 70 10 1 .302 .339 .533 .872

    are a valid, representative sample for predicting three year (1800 ABs) performance. Baldelli has nearly three years of MLB experience.

    What that means to me is that the data heads out there who say that Baldelli’s 2006 cannot be relied upon to predict future performance — because it is one year, and a short one (3/5) at that — are wrong.

    I’d trade Salty and Davies for Baldelli, as I said several days ago. I would not trade James in lieu of Davies. Baldelli has an excellent contract, and he provides immediate and near-term (read: 2008, if Andruw leaves) offensive and defense flexibility.

    This is a no-brainer, guys.

  96. Jeff, you’re absolutely right, the 2006 sample is a valid datum for prediction, but it is not the only datum. He also has a history of injury, shortened seasons, and prior to 2006 didn’t slug much either. While 2006 is likely to be indicative of his true talents, it isn’t necessarily indicative, and he may not start to get better right away. There are a whole lot of outcomes that are statistically plausible, but not worth trading Salty and Davies for. Like, say, a .290/.320/.450 line, with 12 homers and 55 RBIs over 100 games.

    I like Baldelli too, but I’m not convinced. Any team but the Devil Rays and he’d be worth trading for. He’s absolutely not worth overpaying for, though, because a lot of what scouts like about him is “the good face” and “makeup” and all that other stuff that basically just means he’s a handsome white guy.

  97. AAR –

    Of course. The statistical analysis only allows for defensibe PREDICTIONS based upon past performance, all other variables held constant. There are MANY MANY outcomes that are far worse than a .290/.320/.450 line, with 12 homers and 55 RBIs over 100 games. One example is that Baldelli is killed by a bus one day after the trade is finalized.

    I also agree he’s not worth “over paying for,” no one is. All of this has been discussed in prior threads, but Salty’s greatest value is as a backstop, where he’s currently blocked. His second greatest value is as a 1B, where he’s blocked. Absent injury, I do not think Davies will crack the starting 5 SP this year, except for spot starts. That’s just my prediction based upon his and Cormier’s performance and Bobby’s tendencies. It is not over paying to trade two pieces the Braves won’t be using for one good piece that they will be using.

  98. I would like to have Baldelli because I think the Braves need to improve their offense. Just because they scored a lot of runs last year doesn’t mean they should pass up a chance to improve it, especially since it is unlikely that they will have dominant pitching (although it will probably be better than last year). There is no way they should trade James, but if they can get Baldelli for a reasonable price–probably including Davies–I think they should do it. At this point, the team is probably at least marginally better than last year because of Soriano, unlike last year where Renteria was simply a make up for losing Furcal. I think starting pitching will be problematic because I don’t have a lo t of faith in Hudson or Hampton. And I think we are dreaming to think there is a good starter out there waiting for what we have to offer. So, I say go with the better defense, speed, and potentially better offense if you can get it. Let’s face it, if the fifth starter is the worst of your problems, you are in pretty good shape. And that’s all they are likely to get for Giles anyway.

  99. n = 183 is a statistically valid sample in a class of 600. Likewise n = 364 is a statistically valid sample in a class of 1800.

    OK, but that only matters if you’ve sufficiently isolated the variables which contributed to his performance, and I don’t believe that “he hit this way as a leadoff hitter for a while, so that’s how he hits when he bats leadoff” does that. During that stretch of playing time, his batting average on balls in play was .416. This is far too high to be sustainable, and is the real reason that batting line is as impressive as it is.

  100. Far be it for me to argue with a PhD statistician, but there are
    lies, damn lies and statistics.

    I’m not the only one who is a skeptic about Baldelli’s 92 game ‘season’ last year being an increase in performance rather than an outlier. But we’ll have to see in 2007 won’t we.

    As far as the trade is concerned…. won’t happen. The Rays want a major league ready pitcher. They see what all of us see in Davies. A sort of ready for MLB pitcher. It won’t be enough to suit them.

  101. Yes, see 135. But “that’s far too high to be sustainable” isn’t really meaningful without definition. It depends on what time period you’re interested in. A .416 ave for balls in play was, in fact, sustainable for about 40-45 games. Larger data sets over longer time periods are better predictors of performance over time. Smaller data sets (e.g., 183 ABs) over shorter durations (e.g., 40+ games) are better predictors of short term performance.

  102. But “that’s far too high to be sustainable” isn’t really meaningful without definition.

    Defined as, “while not an atypical short-term spike, it shouldn’t be viewed as a true level of ability, because nobody consistently hits .416 on balls in play.”

  103. I’m no big fan of Baldelli as a Lead-off hitter, he appears to be a Italian version of Marquis Grissom. “IF” he hits .300 the OBP will be where it needs to be for the lead-off spot, if he hits .270 we’re stuck with Chipper hitting a bunch of solo shots. But, if the Braves want him, I’d trade Francoeur straight up for the guy. Tampa Bay gets the future Mickey Mantle, we get a servicable player. The .330 OBP may not be great but it’s better than a .280 something…it appears he even hits better with RISP.

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