Marcus and Reitsma eras also over

Brave make no offers to Giles, Reitsma | ajc.com

Reitsma was never going to get an offer; the system simply isn’t set up to deal with players coming off of injury, which guarantees that they will leave.

This Marcus thing is ridiculous. The risk of offering arbitration and not being able to trade him is not $6 million (the number that was getting bandied about) but more like $1.5 million, if that. Arbitration contracts are not guaranteed. If he can’t be traded, you can cut him in spring training and only have to pay him six weeks’ salary. And you don’t have to pay him at all until the season starts. It’s stupid, but is pretty much the same thing that happened with Millwood, except that quality starting pitchers are always a hot commodity. You don’t have to worry about paying them until the season starts and Schuerholz really has no reply.

As JC mentions, the problem with trading Marcus is that his salary and value are pretty much the same. You aren’t going to give up anything to get a $6 million player at $6 million a year.

115 thoughts on “Marcus and Reitsma eras also over”

  1. I am thoroughly disgusted.

    The real problem with trading Giles was that everyone knew that the Braves were too cheap to tender him a contract. Why give up anything if you don’t have to.

    Does Schuerholz have any more comments about making moves purely for financial reasons?

  2. Giles had a bad year, no doubt. Some suspect steroids withdrawals, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he has a huge year next year. I don’t know who we can find that will be as capable at 2nd base (defensively at least!).

  3. Teams that were genuinely interested in Giles should still have been willing to make even a token offer, because that offer would have been the price of avoiding a bidding war. Any number of teams could have had Giles for a mid-level prospect and $6m. Now those teams have to bid against other teams to get him – again, if there are teams that are really interested.

    But, that tells me that there really wasn’t that much interest. If he was a genuinely appealing commodity then at least some team would have been willing to offer a b-level prospect to get the chance to audition him for a year.

    I could be proven wrong. He could be the subject of a bidding war. But, if he gets more than $6m for the coming year then the team that gets him will have essentially decided to pay whatever that premium is rather than giving up a middling prospect to the braves for exclusive rights to him. Which seems kinda silly.

    All that said, I’m real sad. Giles was my favorite Brave, which title now passes to Mccann.

  4. As much as I wanted the Giles-for-Linebrink deal to happen, I have to admit I’ll miss Giles. Oh well.

    And Mac, there is still some talk Reitsma may come back. I think his era might not be over until he actually signs with some other team.

  5. Giles’ fate was sealed with his comments about leading off being so public. I think he’s in a tailspin that is unlikely to correct itself. Having said that, our options, Prado, Kelly Johnson etc. are not exactly awe inspiring.

  6. Dan,
    I agree with you re:defense. Last year we seemed to take a step backwards as a team and this year I anticipate the same. I am very saddened by his departure. Here’s hoping for a dramatic improvement from ALL the young braves.

  7. I just want to say “I’ll miss you Marcus”. I have lots of fond memories of watching the funny follow-through on his swing as the ball goes into the gap in right-center for another double – that and him pounding on Francoeur’s head after a game winning hit (and the shaving cream pie on Jeff’s 1st night).
    FWIW, I think my wife is more bummed about him leaving than I am…

  8. Well now you know why Kevin Towers wasn’t going to trade Linebrink when he can get Giles for “free” next week. I just find it almost impossible to believe that we couldn’t have gotten something for Giles along the way. Maybe JS should have been less concerned with trading away the people that we had under contract (LaRoche) and more focused on trading the people that had a deadline. It just seems inexcusible to me. We couldn’t have gotten a AA relief pitcher for Giles, hell even a A relief pitcher ?? It’s not like we even get draft pick compensation for him leaving. If the plan all along was to non-tender him, then does anybody know if we tried to slip Giles through waivers in August after we fell out of the race ?? Somebody surely would have given us something for him then. Congrats to Mac for making the point that arbitration contracts aren’t even guaranteed. I had never read that anywhere else and was completely shocked by that. I am not really all that heartbroken that Giles is gone necessarily, but when I read that it made me upset that we at least couldn’t have gotten something for a former All-Star asset. He really couldn’t have played well in Spring Training and then somebody’s 2B gets hurt and traded him then ?? Was that really not a gamble worth taking for $1.5 mill ??? I just don’t understand it.

  9. The time to trade Giles was during the summer–when a club might have been found that needed help during the divisional races. That said, I am inclined to agree with Colin and say that there does not seem to be any real interst in Giles. A deal (however unattractive) could have been made had more than one team been interested.

    I am less sorry than some to see Marcus go, even though I am not terribly optimistic about what 2B will look like next season.

    Lets hope that Kelly Johnson is quick study….

  10. Thanks, Marcus. It sucks to see it end this way. I hope this works out well for both sides. Maybe I’ll find a silver lining when I stop being sad and pissed off. I get kind of attached to players sometimes. Now I need a new jersey.

    Glenn Hubbard worked miracles with Marcus’ defense, it stands to reason that he could do the same with KJ. Unless we run out of budget to keep Hubbard as well.

  11. This has to be made-up:

    The left-hander could be the prize in a tug-of-war between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Atlanta Braves, who pulled out of a Gonzalez-for-Adam LaRoche deal at last week’s winter meetings, might be back in the mix.

    Under one scenario, the Pirates would ship Gonzalez and Castillo to the Braves — who yesterday non-tendered second baseman Marcus Giles — in return for LaRoche and right-hander Kyle Davies. The Braves then would flip Gonzalez to the Yankees for reliever Scott Proctor and outfielder Melky Cabrera.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/today/s_483954.html

    The Braves get Mike Gonzalez and trade him for Proctor and Cabrera? No thanks. I’d much rather keep LaRoche then use him to eventually get Proctor and Cabrera.

  12. Oh, and by the way, Dan, that is what essentially is done there. The Braves trade LaRoche and in the resulting swaps end up with Proctor and Cabrera. :P

  13. LaRoche AND Davies for a non-impact second baseman, an average relief pitcher and an overrated outfielder. The Braves clearly get the short end of the stick in that.

    The original deal I could live with. But flipping the centerpiece of Mike Gonzalez to the Yankees for that is where it becomes totally unacceptable.

  14. LaRoche ain’t going anywhere.

    And f— Marcus Giles. All he had to do was bat leadoff, put up his career averages and keep his mouth shut. He could do none of the three.

    Addition by subtraction, baby. Cox and JS know it.

  15. I have said it before and I will say it again, why people hate Marcus for complaining while Chipper and Smoltzie had done the same thing in the past? It’s completely ridiculous.

    JS sucks. I have never liked the guy for the past 15 years, and I never will. As much as people said Beane’s success was mainly contributed by Hudson, Mulder, and Zito, I say Schuerholz’s so called “fame” is built by Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz as well as the pool of talent developed by Bobby. I hope he retires soon.

  16. From the AP article:

    “Giving up a former All-Star who’s still in his 20s without getting anything in return shows just how much pressure the Braves are under to slash payroll, even coming off a sub.-500 season in which they finished 18 games behind the NL East champion New York Mets.”

    This completely summarizes my frustration. This whole $80M budget is stupid and I will hate AOL for my entire life.

  17. It’ll be fine. Giles frustrated me pretty much all the time last season. The decline in recent years is obvious. Sure it stinks that we don’t get anything in return but I am not too pessimistic about the options> Aybar, Johnson, Prado… Aybar and Johnson should put up at least the same offensive numbers. We’ll be okay.

  18. People don’t hate Chipper or Smoltz for complaining because they’ve done enough for the Braves to offset any of that. I’m more willing to let the complaining go with them because I was watching John Smoltz pitch his guts out in game 7 in 1991. Because I was watching Chipper Jones slay the Mets entire franchise by himself in 1999. What has Giles done to merit complaining publicly about his spot in the lineup? He is (was) a good player, but to me, he hasn’t earned that right.

    I hate AOL, with their free crap CD’s that no one uses…….

  19. Aram, you have to earn your right to complain? I don’t have problem with complaining. All players complain about different things. Chipper complained about batting fourth, Smoltzie complained about being a closer, Adam complained about the fans, and Marcus complained about being a leadoff hitter….

    What’s the big deal? I don’t see the point of not liking a guy for complaining. The kid was hurt in the whole last season, and his season started in complete mess because of his baby issue. He had a big season, that’s all. He is not the reason why the Braves didn’t make the playoff.

    Marcus, when healthy, is a hitting machine. Of course, keeping him healthy is a challenging task. We all love him because of his aggressiveness which was lacking in the late 90s and early 2000s. His character will be missed.

  20. Still, the issue is not about liking Marcus or not. It’s about why JS had to DFA him. That’s so stupid. JS got out-smarted by Boras four or five years ago, and he got out-smarted by the budget now. He is so old school and not flexible that I am very sicked of him being the Braves’ GM.

  21. “That IS made up.”

    I think so. The Pirates wanted to do the LaRoche-for-Gonzalez deal, and it was the Braves who pulled out. The deal is the same in that regard, so the Braves would basically being throwing in Kyle Davies for Jose Castillo. That makes no sense.

  22. I’m going to defend JS here, because quite frankly he still had the Braves in the play offs after Maddux and Glavine left. He had to be creative and keep payroll in hand. And look at the trade he made for McGriff back in what 93? that got the Braves into the playoffs.

    To criticize JS without knowing the full story is kinda of stupid. No one here can say what kinda of pressure he gets from AOL. Maybe someone last summer told him to keep Giles, maybe he was hoping that by this time new ownership would take over so that could keep Giles. Who knows. All I’m saying is think about a few more things before you dump on JS for this move.

  23. I heard Giles always would like to play with his brother when the Braves, who tried to trade him. He even expressed his opinion to Bruce Bochy in Japan( All star games, last year). Giles brothers, Marcus and Brian, could be teammates with the Padres before long. Good for him. Bad for the Braves. Unfortunately, this has been a rough year for 2Bs. I affirm he won’t stay as a Brave at a discount price. If the Braves think about the matter camly, some kind of deal should have finalized before become a free agent or non-tender.

  24. Just a couple names from the non-tender that would be interesting
    for us to look at:

    Brandond Duckworth
    Victor Zambrano

    They have a pulse, they could be in the bullpen or cheap #5 starter

  25. Sometimes I wonder if JS makes these moves as sort of a public protest to the ridiculous financial constraints dictated by the coroporate overlords.

  26. If Kelly Johnson can come back and cut down on his SO, he might be more than an adequate replacement at 2B. If you look at his 2005 stats, his OPS is almost identical to Giles from last year. Johnson’s slightly younger and has to have more upside than Giles. It’s tough to tell whether the offensive dropoff of Giles if part of a bigger trend or just injuries….I suspect it’s a trend and his best days are behind him. The defense issue is way over played…Johnson can play the position. At this point I have more faith in Johnson than Aybar.

  27. If anyone is serious about picking up Victor Zambrano then their Braves Fan Card should be revoked. Zambrano defines the word “Sucks” more clearly than Reitsma did last year. I understand the spot start long bullpen type guys but last I checked we had two of those already (Cormier, Vulture)

  28. I would like to think that JS did it this way to be fair to Marcus. If they signed him and then cut him in spring training, it would be much tougher for him to get a job. I think it was much more decent for JS to do it this way, even ifit hurts the team some.

    As for blaming JS, I guess he had absolutely nothing to do with the Braves success, just sat up there in his suspenders watching the game, huh? The Braves have been so lucky to have JS over these many years that it is utterly ridiculous to trash the guy. Or maybe you would rather have had Steve Phillips running the team.

  29. I tend to agree, Marc. You can fault JS for this decision or that one — no GM should be above criticism, Peanut Bowman — but to say unequivocally that the team would be better off without JS strikes me as incredibly short-sighted and just plain wrong.

  30. Let’s not forget about Aybar, everyone. I really think he’ll come through once he gets more playing time. And he already knows how to play second, unlike KJ, who remains a question mark.

  31. Just a reminder…it’s VICTOR Zambrano, not Carlos that’s available. If the Braves have any interest in him I’m becoming a Royals fan. If Franceour could face Zambrano once a week he might draw 35 walks a season.

  32. My thoughts:

    The three team swap –
    Why? Think about it, if JS was earlier trying so hard to get Gonzalez, why would he just ship him off upon arrival? Did I miss something? JS has done a good job improving the bullpen. The addition of him would give us one of the better bullpens out there. We’re talking lights out from the seventh inning on (provided we are injury free and pitching our best).

    I see what JS is trying to do. He wants to fill the newly made hole at 2B. But depth chart math is calculated differently. Three below-average second basemen doesn’t equal out, it still gives you a below average second base spot on the field. Just like someone said on her months ago, you don’t replace bad pitching with more bad pitching. The same is true with other positions.

    JS –
    I don’t post a whole lot, so most of you probably don’t know me that well. For the past year I’ve been bouncing between not liking JS and loving him. I absolutly hated his book. He credits himself for the division titles streak when, from what I read, he doesn’t really deserve as much credit as his coaches and scouts.

    that being said, right now I’m a little on the positive side. JS has done a good job this offseason. The Giles thing was hard to swallow, but I don’t really see another alternative. You can’t spend more than you have and its hard to trade someone who’s going to be cheaper the next week.

  33. Remy,

    The Braves — Bobby and JS — have already said Aybar’s going to be utilized as a “super-sub” this year. That’s why no one is talking about Aybar at second base; it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he won’t be there. (I do agree with you, though, that Aybar should be in the mix.)

  34. Willy Aybar, people. Am I the only person on this earth that thinks he can start at second?

    Something’s real odd re: Aybar. When we got him, JS said he was the centerpiece of that deal, not Baez. JS said he’d be a future leadoff hitter, and may even have strongly implied at 2B.

    Then he got hurt, and came back. Hit very well as a Brave. Bobby, however, never gave him so much as one inning at 2B.

    Then we hit this offseason, and Schuerholz is suddenly describing Aybar as a super-utility player.

    Apparently the Braves soured on Aybar as a 2B. I don’t know if it was defensive concerns or just expecting Chipper to be injured or what. But whatever it was, the braves changed their opinion on Aybar between August and November, to the point where nobody in the Braves’ org has been mentioning Aybar in the 2B mix. So it appears to be between Prado and Johnson. And heck, Johnson’s barely played middle infield since 2003 and has never played at 2B in either the majors or minors.

    As someone posted above, our infield defense is going to look real, real ugly this year.

  35. Aybar has to be kept as a backup to Chipper….if we could rely on Chipper being in there 145-150 games a year then I think Aybar would easily be the front runner for the 2B job.

  36. The Braves — Bobby and JS — have already said Aybar’s going to be utilized as a “super-sub” this year. That’s why no one is talking about Aybar at second base; it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he won’t be there. (I do agree with you, though, that Aybar should be in the mix.)

    Bottom line is, they don’t know who is going to start at 2B. They know Prado can play the position, but they are as aware as we that he doesn’t have a real ML quality bat, even as a MI. They know that Johnson can hit in the majors well enough to be a MI at the very least, but they don’t know if he can defend the position for crap. They know Aybar can hit and defend well enough, but they also know that he’s the only thing standing between a Chipper injury and Pete Orr, starting 3B. So Spring Training is essentially open tryouts for the spot. If Johnson can field 2B he’ll start and leadoff there. Otherwise Prado is the most likely bet. If Aybar starts at 2B then Johnson becomes Chipper’s backup, or Aybar’s backup when he has to shift to 3B.

  37. Marcus was very peppy, played hard, etc. However, we dont need to spend an extra $5.5MM on a second baseman because he’s plucky. Seriously, we could get Jenny McCarthy to stand topless in the dugout and hop around chanting “Go Braves” for about $55,000 + dental.

    Johnson has been one of the best young hitters in the system. His hitting stayed solid, despite having to learn a new position (OF). Bobby loves Prado already. Aybar was a top-rated prospect about 2 years ago. All of these factors point to the Braves not losing games next year because of who’s playing 2b.

    Lastly, and most troublesome, is the fact that both Giles brothers have lost 120+ points on their SLG% since testing began. Don’t blame Petco either, its home and away for big bro. This leads me to believe that the veteran baseball minds in the organization did not foresee a return to form for Marcus.

    I wish marcus the best, he’ll be more than happy playing with Brian. That said, I fully endorse the Johnson-McCarthy era and have high hopes.

  38. I should clarify me as to what disgusts me about this whole thing.

    It’s not losing Marcus. I was hopeful we would trade him for something significant – pitching prospects or relief help. This maneuver causes a feeling of dread that we will not be able to improve this team. If we cannot stretch $2M to keep our starting second baseman in his final year, why do we even talk about any additional moves in this offseason? Forbes says the Braves made $27M or so last year (2005). Is a $25M profit just too little for ownership to stomach? If we are so inflexible, the moves we can make in the next few months become much more limited.

    I mean, this is a year we did not have to even worry about signing any of our own free agents!

  39. The Johnson – McCarthy era!

    That raises my spirits. It sounds like a move Ted Turner might have tried to increase attendance. I have to say it would beat the heck out of ostrich races.

    But, I am not quite sure we have room in the payroll for Jenny McCarthy.

  40. OK, how about having a topless Jenny McCarthy playing second base? I bet the hitters would be too distracted to hit many balls her way. Of course, breaking up the double plays would be interesting.

    I don’t think second base is that big of a deal. Teams win without great second basemen. As long as you get good defense, you can live with less offense (a la Mark Lemke). That’s why I doubt the Braves would put in Kelly Johnson without having any experience at the position. You can affort to give up some offense there but not defense. In general, I think they can survive. But it means they will need more offense from other positions.

  41. hey, we won with keith lockhart…I cant imagine that Aybar, Johnson, Orr and Prado could be ANY worse….one of them has to have the pictures :)

  42. Second base can be hard from the stand point of turning the double play, but other than that if you can get to the ball and make a short throw…

  43. Kelly Johnson is a natural SS. I’ve always understood his change to OF was motivated not by poor defense, but rather the quickest way to get his bat on the field at the Ted. I’m pretty sure the Braves had him playing 3b last year in the minors, before it was clear that surgery was needed. If he can hit lights out and play 3b with a jacked up elbow, I’m hopeful to see him healthy and playing 2b.
    ———————————

    I can’t believe Bama has not hired a coach. The new coach will have no time to recruit. It seemed written in the stars that Rodriguez would go to Bama and Jimbo Fisher would go to WV. I think the only option now for Bama is to ink a deal with Jimbo. He already recruits the south. He can come in and focus on offense, keep Joe Kines (booster fav) in place with the defense. Is there a better place for a guy named Jimbo to coach than Alabama?

    As a UGA fan, I had hoped that Willie Martinez would go to FIU, Miami would reach outside the family, and Mark Richt could use his ‘U’ connections to lure in Randy Shannon. That would have been awesome.

  44. Kelly Johnson is a natural SS.

    I didn’t like Johnson at all in his first time up, but find myself strangely excited about a Johnson at 2B experiment. If he could handle 2B at all, even in a Jorge Cantu kind of way, his bat would give us a nice competitive advantage at that position. Then again my excitement about Johnson may just be an overreaction to the idea of seeing Aybar out there every day.

    I can’t believe Bama has not hired a coach. The new coach will have no time to recruit.

    Me neither. What are they waiting for? The sales pitch for Tuberville has got to be a pretty easy one this year. The way they have handled the whole thing screams “We don’t know what we are doing”.

  45. Kelly Johnson is a natural SS. I’ve always understood his change to OF was motivated not by poor defense, but rather the quickest way to get his bat on the field at the Ted. I’m pretty sure the Braves had him playing 3b last year in the minors, before it was clear that surgery was needed.

    He’s no more a “natural” shortstop than I am a natural software engineer.

    Johnson was moved from SS to 3B because his SS defense was atrocious. He was then moved from 3B to LF because his 3B defense was atrocious.

    I am hopeful that he can learn to handle second base, because if possible, he’s my favorite option right now, but I’m not sure how optimistic I should be.

  46. As JC mentions, the problem with trading Marcus is that his salary and value are pretty much the same. You aren’t going to give up anything to get a $6 million player at $6 million a year.

    So in this market, you don’t think someone would go out of their way to get an appropriately priced player? I do, those are real hard to find these days.

    The problem was either that the feeling out there is that Marcus won’t be worth $6 million, or that JS demanded something of real value in return.

  47. Just heard the mid-day host on WFAN (a big Met fan) announce the Marcus non-tender & he urged the Mets to pick him up. “Let’s be honest, Jose Valentin had a good year, but he’s no Marcus Giles, who by the way kills the Mets!”

    In actuality, Giles numbers vs. NYM are almost exactly the same as his career numbers, but I do remember a few game-winning hits against them.

    Also, there’s this:
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-spgiles1213,0,4107113.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

  48. Now I wish that SD had traded Linebrink for Giles.

    I agree with all of the performance vs budget analysis but its still galling to think that the Braves couldn’t have kept him.

    I had Kelly Johnson playing left field. But if he can ‘play’ shortstop then he should be able to play second. I wonder if his issues were throwing issues or fielding ones. In any case I will look for the Braves to try to get his bat into the lineup somewhere if he has a decent spring.

    I haven’t seen anything on the Rocco Baldelli front lately. Anyone else?

  49. Why is everyone so high on KJ? He had one really good week in the Major Leagues. He has never been a highly rated prospect. He can’t couldn’t catch a cold in the field. I get tried of hearing how he “knows the strike zone.” Too bad when he gets a strike from a Major League pitcher he can’t do much with it. He needs to prove him self some what before he make him our leadoff hitter and play a position he has never played before.

  50. It does seem strange that we could get nothing in return for him.
    I will miss him too. I loved his fearlessness at second. It was fun to watch him leap over guys twice his size trying to break up the double play.

  51. CNN just reported that Matsuzaka is on a plane to Boston, which they said means that the Sox and Boras agreed in principle to a deal.

  52. My separation process with the small market AOL Braves continues. They can’t even make an offer to Glavine to have him retire as a sure HOFer in a Braves uniform? They can’t afford a middle infielder with good on base and power who is due to make slightly over league average in arbitration? (And I miss the TBS games with Skip/Joe/Pete/Don too for what it’s worth you jerks).

    It has been a downward spiral since Ted Turner sold the team. This team is now a joke and they deserve the domination at the hands of the Mets (and others) that all this penny-pinching from the useless corporate ownership and petty arrogance from the front office will bestow upon the loyal fans. It has already begun.

    There are plenty of entreprenurial potential owners out there who would love the chance to spend enough to compete as the franchise steadily inceases in value (as every franchise always does, despite the pathetic cries of owners). Instead, my favorite baseball team is being run into the ground as a convenient accounting entry for a conglomerate whose flagship product is a barely-functional quasi-internet portal for mental midgets who can barely figure out how to use their computers.

    F this. I hope they lose 162 games next year and they tie the AOL execs to the backstop and make them watch every last game until they agree to sell to a real owner.

  53. Thoughts on Matsuzaka:

    If his Japanese team was about to give up the $51M posting b/c Boston was lowballing Boras and Matsuzaka, do you think Boras went to them to convince them to contribute to the deal? They could contribute $15M to the Boston-Matsuzaka contract and still end up with a net gain of $36M on the posting fee. I see Boras doing that.

  54. Brian Giles slugged .475 in 2004 and .483 in 2005, which seem reasonable numbers once one accounts for park and age. It was only in 2006 that both Giles brothers’ slugging percentage dropped significantly or looked unusual (and even then, Marcus’s line drive percentages and underlying numbers weren’t far off his career marks, not sure about Brian). Does that mean they were taking steroids up until 2006? Didn’t testing start beforehand? What of other players that have declined, like Renteria and Hudson? Why no mention of them on the junk?

    Maybe the Giles brothers did do steroids, I don’t know. But the entire internet seems convinced it’s fact, and that bothers me.

  55. Smitty, I could not agree more. We have no solid reason to believe that KJ will be great anywhere he is put. We have HOPE that he will be solid, but I don’t understand the feeling that he will be our everyday 2B. He is an option, but a lot has to happen before I could say he is our Giles replacement.

  56. “CNN just reported that Matsuzaka is on a plane to Boston, which they said means that the Sox and Boras agreed in principle to a deal. ”

    Gosh, wouldn’t it be fun to root for a team in a large market that could actually acquire talent instead of give it away for free? Atlanta: the Kansas City of the south.

  57. I thought that MLB stepped in and said there would be no under-the-table money exchanging between Seibu and Boras/Matsuzaka, and that’s where a lot of the initial trouble came from.

  58. Smitty, Kelly Johnson was indeed a highly regarded prospect. He was a supplemental first round pick by the Braves, and always hit well enough to be considered a good offensive prospect. Defensively, he was a living legend, in a rather unfavorable way.

    Whether you’re tired of hearing it or not, his plate discipline is very good, he’s a decent hitter, and he has reasonable power. He doesn’t deserve to be handed the starting job at either second base or left field, but he definitely deserves to be given every shot of claiming one of the two.

  59. Too bad little Petey Orr appears to have not panned out. I always liked how he was obviously much smaller than Chipper, but his stance looked just like him. He reminded me of a little kid who learned his stance by watching his hero play on TBS.

  60. JoshQ and Smitty,

    KJ was a highly regarded prospect. In fact, several years ago (when it was more impressive) Baseball America had him among the top ten prospects in the Braves system. He has also hit well in the minors. In 2005, his AAA SLG and OBP were very impressive. In fact, it is his performance in the Major Leagues that would be considered subpar based on what his MLB projected projection would have been.

    We do have to hope for the best, however, with him coming off of a serious injury.

  61. The problem I have with KJ is he can take a walk, but hasn’t proven he can do anything in the show. Why are we so quick to assume he can play the third most demanding position on the field, if he can’t even play the easiest position in sports (left field)

  62. So, no under the table money, eh?

    Something in me says that just because it is deemed wrong and even against the rules by MLB it is not out of the realm of possibility with Boras involved.

  63. Smitty,

    I seem to remember once he got off that awful rut he was in (wasnt 0-30something?) he hit the ball well. I dont need a .310 30 100 guy at second, although it would be nice. A league average 2B would be just fine…but I think Kelly could be above league average.

  64. All of this Aybar or Johnson at 2nd replacing Giles makes the Betemit trade look really bad. I think Johnson has more potential than Aybar but Betemit is a known quantitiy. All we got for him was a less than super-sub and a Closer Wanna-Be with Appendicitis. If JS wasn’t going to resign Giles, why not trade him to the Trolley Dodgers and get a Aybar only. We dump payroll and keep the better player. Plus Betemit would have been better down the stretch. The question should have been asked in May…do I want Betemit or Giles? Easy answer.

    If Jenny McCarthy is anywhere in Turner Field next year I’m buying season tickets. She’s the top 2nd Sacker in the League.

    —————

    By the way, the word on this side of the state line for the Bama job is Jeff Bowden has moved to the top of the Non-Saban wish list. Apparently, Paul Bryant, Jr. has a thing for hiring sons of succesful coaches (can’t imagine why?). I’m guessing if Bowden says no the Tide will look to see if George Halas or Vince Lombardi have any illigit kids running around. For those that think Kines is a potential short term answer let me throw out one word to you: DuBose. That should shock you back into reality.

  65. @79

    No, it wouldn’t, bfan, because then we’d be drawn into the “why isn’t he performing like he’s worth $x million?!” trap.

  66. Gosh, wouldn’t it be fun to root for a team in a large market that could actually acquire talent instead of give it away for free? Atlanta: the Kansas City of the south.

    Let’s not go too overboard here. An $80m payroll is still pretty solid. I don’t know if it still ranks us in the top ten, but likely still in the top half of payrolls.

    The Braves’ problem is not insufficient payroll, it’s that they already have it locked up in players, some of whom will not perform up to what they’re getting paid. Chipper is losing more and more time to injury, Hudson is a question mark and Hampton is coming off major surgery. That’s thirty-some million right there in three questionable players.

    The Braves are not poor, they’ve just already committed all the resources they have, and we’re no longer spoiled with unlimited resources as we were in the Ted Turner years. I admit I believe they have more they could be spending if they wanted to, but that’s a fair choice on their part.

  67. Johnson did get off to a very cold start in 2005 – he was 1-30 to start off his career. He then hit about .340 for the rest of that month; posted a mid-600’s OPS for the next month, hit well for three weeks, and finished his season in a 4 week slump over which he got fewer than 30 PAs. So despite Bobby’s early patience with him, Bobby gave him less playing time when he struggled again late in the season.

    That, to me, is a pretty prototypical rookie season, struggles and adjustments and counter-adjustments. He did okay overall, and should do better, though who knows what effect his injury, time off, and the pressure of taking on a new positions in the big leagues will have.

  68. There are many more John Rocker-haters out there than JS-haters.

    And now he’s trying to reinvent himself as some redneck Andrew Dice Clay. Note to The Rock: It’s been done before, except those folks wore sheets. Go away and take your “wisdom” with you.

  69. according to this…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/salaries?team=atl

    We came in at 8th last year with $92 Million.

    Hypotheticall (because I don’t feel like looking everything up), a total payroll of $80 million puts us 14th, between the Tigers and Orioles. A quick glance at the top 14, it doesn’t appear any of those teams shed salary, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto and Texas jumped over $80 million this offseason. I’ll leave it up to you guys if you wanna look up the details.

  70. I just noticed that link I put in 98 is actually sort of up to date. It has Sturtze on the list, but Giles and Reitsma are still on there too.

    1.5 million for Sturtze is effing ridiculous.

  71. Rocker’s comments about Schuerholz are hilarious. I saw Schuerholz coming out from his office one day at the stadium, and what struck me was how short the guy is. I’m 6’3″, so I am taller than most, but Schuerholz was a good six inches shorter than I expected him to be.

  72. We came in at 8th last year with $92 Million

    Thanks for looking that up. I’d say there’s a good chance we come in around 15th, then, once we factor in adjustments for the accounting on Hampton’s salary. Throw in that we’ll be paying some number of millions in pro-rated signing bonuses to Hudson and Smoltz that may not be reflected in the payroll total.

  73. On the topic of Rocker, he has a lot of very reasonable views that he expresses in completely unreasonable ways. He is horrible at stringing together thoughts and constructing arguments, which is what makes his material so interesting to read or hear.

  74. It’s hard to tell how reasonable Rocker’s views are. I mean, I’m sure I agree with him on some things, but I’m pretty sure we approach issues and come to conclusions in entirely different way. He’s just so stupid and so clearly thoughtless that I have trouble listening to anything he says.

  75. It just baffles me that people still care what Rocker says. He’s an ex-relief pitcher, for crying out loud. An interviewer who goes to him for material is copping out from finding something or someone that’s actually interesting and relevant. Rocker is the sports media equivalent of the rocker who calls out the name of the town where he’s performing to get a cheap roar from the audience.

  76. Rocker:

    “The credibility [JS] receives for the Atlanta Braves dynasty … he is an imbecile. Every player who took that team to the playoffs were people who were already there. All his good acquisitions were no-brainers. Scheurholz tries to take all the credit, but he’s a complete moron. It’s amazing he gets so much credit for it.”

    Reasonable views? Come on, can a view be “reasonable” if it is just flatly wrong? JS might try to take credit for too many things, but … Rocker is an idiot and can’t help but celebrate it.

  77. Putting Rocker’s personality aside, I find it amazing how good he was on the Braves and then just collapsed.

    Year: ERA+
    ATL
    98: 199
    99: 174
    00: 161
    01: 142
    Elsewhere
    01: 83
    02: 74
    03: 50

  78. I’m sure JS has lost sleep over what Rocker says. Is Rocker’s 15 minutes of fame measured with a different system because it should have ended 4 years ago. Next thing you know he’s gonna show up on DANCING WITH THE STARS…extending our misery.

  79. I’ve never said KJ is a lock to start at 2b, I simply wished to point out that Marcus was certainly expendable based upon our backup options. I think Prado has a better chance to get the nod coming out of the gate than Johnson, but I think Johnson’s track record of hitting at every level is worth noting.

    We cannot act like we’re the Nationals or Marlins. We have been very lucky. In my opinion, Chipper, Andrew, and Smoltz are underpaid. I’m sure any team in MLB would love to have those 3 guys for about $36MM. Not to mention, Bob Wickman at $6.5 is another low ball contract. The real dogs are Hampton (the Rockies couldnt pay him for ever) and Hudson. Both have the potential of being solid starters this year, probably not worth the money, but I’d say 80%. That leaves the Braves with about $15-20MM of play around money for the rest of the team. No way JS could commit a 1/3 of that to Giles, who didn’t want to hit leadoff and was free falling statistically.

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