Stupid Peanut

The Official Site of The Atlanta Braves: News: Atlanta Braves News


The Braves don’t have the speed demon that teams like to put at the top of their lineup. But with Escobar and Kotsay, who owns a .337 career on-base percentage, they have two guys who can provide regular run-producing opportunities for Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira.

Johnson produced a .372 on-base percentage in 76 games as the leadoff hitter last year and might have at least shared that role with Escobar if Kotsay hadn’t arrived. But my guess is that the Braves will put him in the eighth spot with the hope that he’ll get on base consistently and give pitchers numerous sacrifice opportunities.

“Regular run-producing opportunities” with a .337 career OBP that probably won’t be that high post-surgery? Keeping the guy with the higher OBP eighth so that the pitchers can sacrifice more often? (Bunts delenda est!) I wouldn’t be upset if this wasn’t Peanut, who presumably has Wren’s hand up his back the way he used to have Schuerholz’s.

143 thoughts on “Stupid Peanut”

  1. Mac-

    Glad that they have 3 years left in Richmond. I will head down this summer.

    I have to say, your incessant negativity towards Kotsay is actually bringing me around to want him to be given a chance even more.

    At $2.5 million, and only costing us Devine, to me, it’s a cheap way to give a guy who was pretty decent in the past, one more shot. If he fails, so be it – we can try Lillibridge, Blanco or Schaefer.

  2. (I’m responding to Peanut, not to you. Batting Kelly Johnson 8th is like the sort of thing a drunk man would do on a stupid bender, or a stupid man would do on an alcohol bender.)

  3. that sucks that the braves are leaving richmond.

    taking them off of tv and then moving the AAA team to near Atlanta — what happened to “america’s team”? it’s like they’re trying to encourage me and other virginians to become Nats fans.

    i’ve only been to a few games in richmond (i’ve never lived there, but we visit the in-laws whenever we can), and the people of richmond don’t really fill the diamond, which isn’t a great facility, and it probably makes more sense to have the AAA closer to atlante — but still, i can’t help but be upset about this because of my personal situation as a fan.

  4. Wow. That may be among the most stupid things I’ve ever read. I’m like one more move away from ignoring the season for my own peace of mind.

  5. Alex, you can root for him all you want, for any reason you want, but when in May Kotsay is still batting 2nd with a .295 OBP I’m pretty sure I’ll know what emotion of yours will be coming through on this forum.

  6. Alex… Again, .337 career OBP. Below-par stolen base percentage. Kotsay has hit high in the order for his entire career — and he’s not good at it. Even when he was a good player, he wasn’t a good fit for the top of the order. There is nothing he does with the bat that KJ doesn’t do better except possibly hit for average. KJ walks a lot more more, has more power, is a better baserunner… You’re upset at Kelly for his slump at the end of the year, but even in his slump he was a better hitter than Kotsay was last year. You just didn’t see Kotsay.

  7. Kotsay has spent a majority of his career hitting in either of the top two spots of the batting order and this year should be no different. My early guess is that he’ll man one of those two spots with Yunel Escobar and that Kelly Johnson will bat seventh or eighth.

    Some believe Escobar would be a solid run producer in the middle of the lineup. You can’t argue that. But at the same time, you can’t dispute the value he brought while hitting .351 with a .400 on-base percentage in 34 games as the leadoff hitter last year.

    This is horrible. I figured the smart move was maybe even, I can’t believe I’m writing this, platooning leadoff hitters. With Kelly Johnson first and Yunel Escobar second when right-handers were starting for the other team and Escobar first and Johnson second when the opposing team’s starting pitcher is left-handed.

    Remember: Kelly Johnson batted leadoff against everyone from April to late June last season. Yunel Escobar only batted leadoff against left-handers (.359/.409/.461) and almost never against right-handers (.303/.367/.444)…Willie Harris batted leadoff against right-handers. I think that artificially inflates Escobar’s 2007 leadoff stats.

    Kelly Johnson deserves the leadoff spot on the #2 hole. Escobar deserves the same. Kotsay deserves the eight hole and the ninth hole if Tim Hudson or Mike Hampton is the starter. This is BS.

  8. So, does Bowman think that a career .337 OBP is particularly good?

    Seems to me that the best thing you can hope for from Kotsay is that he won’t strike out much.

    And dropping KJ in the lineup is goofy.

  9. not a good braves day — dropping richmond AND talk of dropping KJ in the lineup?

    i better just write my paper…

  10. Yoga by McCann: Needless to say, many Braves players were laughing when they learned that Brian McCann’s offseason conditioning program expanded two weeks ago, when he began attending Yoga classes with his older brother, Brad, who is a prospect in the Royals system.

    “Hopefully, they’re doing it in their own living room, so that nobody else has to watch them,” second baseman Kelly Johnson joked.

    John Smoltz added, “I’d like to see the instructor and see if the instructor has lost confidence in teaching Yoga after having him as a client.”

  11. Oy vay! Does Peanut even know what an OBP is? I guess we have more bunts to look forward to–Bobby Cox’s favorite weapon. I think we should petition baseball to outlaw bunts.

    The Braves organization is still living off its success in the nineties. Increasingly, though, it seems to be behind the times. Batting KJ eighth so the pitchers will have more opportunities to bunt!!! That makes about as much sense as going with Jessica Simpson to Mexico and watching game films. (Isn’t that what Romo did?) :)

  12. Oy. I don’t understand this at all. What kind of speed demon is coming off back surgery anyway?

  13. Those are some great quotes from KJ and Smoltz in particular. I know from personal experience how hard it is to truly do yoga and also the benefits of yoga.

    How much does that article read like someone trying very very hard to convince the world that someones action is justified. In draft terms, Peanut made a huge reach.

  14. Cox has responsiblity for the lineups. Do you think Peanut speaks for Cox, or just Wren/JS? I wouldn’t get too wound up about this until we see what develops. Anyway, who’s in the lineup is more significant than where they bat.

  15. from what i understand of yoga and from what i’ve seen of mccann behind the plate — seems like it at least wouldn’t hurt. i wouldn’t mind if they all had to do it… doesn’t hurt to be flexible.

  16. Anyway, who’s in the lineup is more significant than where they bat.

    That’s generally true, but surely you can see the concern one might have with providing worse hitters more opportunities to bat than better hitters. I mean, the top 2 spots in your lineup are going to get a significantly greater amount of ABs than is the 8-hole.

    This is somewhat disturbing, but I’ll give Bobby the benefit of the doubt until he proves he’s following Peanut’s story.

  17. I had just gotten over Kotsay, and actually started thinking it might not be as bad as I had first thought, and then this idea of him batting at the top of the order comes to light. Disgusting.

  18. I’m from VA so it hurts to think of the R-Braves leaving. I guess it would be advantageous to the Braves to have their minor league teams nearby, but that just means that unless you live near Atlanta, you’re screwed for being able to see any of them play…

  19. It definitely would show a disturbing lack of insight to bat Kotsay higher in the order, but it wouldn’t be fatal, just less than optimal. What would be more critical is if Kotsay remained in the lineup even if he really, really sucked. That is what I would be more concerned about.

  20. The sad realization is that the whole lets hope when can pull a miracle off the ol’ scrapheap didn’t leave office with JS.

  21. Mac, how about a poll on who should bat 1-2 in the lineup?

    Leadoff options:

  22. @21 this is the shit that makes me hate the front office. why the hell tempt bobby with a guy like Knoplay? why bring this guy when you know he’s gonna kill you in the line up, and potentially in the field. why not just pay the guy an extra million to not play…call it the brian jordan scholarship.

  23. Guys calm down. Whe was the last time Kotsay played a whole season without gettin hurt. Come on.

  24. Dang I think that I’ve done a 180 on the Kotsay thing. Are we STILL talking about this? Anyway, throw the dice, see if the guy can be average, if not then try Anderson or Blanco. What the hell.

    Can’t let myself get worked up about batting order until I actually see it happen.

  25. beedee nails it! “The Brian Jordan Scholarship” – that’s hilarious.

    This is going to be a disaster …

    And so unnecessary!

  26. My barber’s wife’s Mary Kay lady’s sister reads terro cards and she say that sometime around Memorial Day when Chipper takes his sabatical, Kotsay will hurt his back striking out. The Braves will call up Schaffer and he will carry the team. In August, Kotsay will be a lefty off the bench for us.

  27. Even if the Braves give the go-ahead on Kotsay’s health, Bud Selig could stop the trade since he has to approve it because it involves more than a million dollars changing hands I believe.

    Still some hope….

  28. Line ups needed:

    against righties:

    Diaz / B. Jones
    Kotsay / Anderson / Blanco / Schaffer

    against lefties:

    Tex (the big thing here is not letting a LOOGY face KJ and Chip back to back. Tex is better against lefties and Chip better against righties.)
    Kotsay / Anderson / Blanco / Schaffer

    Also, when Hudson or Hampton are pitching, consider them for eighth.

  29. Mac,

    I know some site has a line up optimization program that you load BA, OBP, SLG and it spits out a run expectancy.

    Do you have a Braves e-mail site? We could all send it over and over to see if somebody pays attention.

    By the way, somebody on her went off on me about a year and half ago for saying that the Braves weren’t as modern in their approach to statistics as the Red Sox and A’s and some others. Unless Peanut is being used as a co-op or is delusional, this talk of Kotsay in front of either Escobar or KJ shows that clearly the Braves are not so sophistocated.

  30. Here’s the problem folks, since when do the Braves dump a veteran who needs to be dumped before a ton of unnecessary damage is done? Bowman’s comments on the lineup just go further to convince me that I was right about Kotsay batting at the top of the lineup, even though he isn’t a top of the lineup guy until maybe AA. The idea of the Braves changing strategies if Kotsay doesn’t work is nice, but won’t happen until it’s too late, and may very well involve calling up Schafer before he’s ready, inventing some more problems for the team.

  31. Everyone who think that Bud is going to bail us out, raise their hands.

    I thought so.

    One whack with a lead pipe and all our Kotsay problems will go away, but we must do this before the physical.

  32. Now I know how the Cubs fans felt when Neifi Perez was always at the top of the lineup no matter what.

  33. That sucks! Not the Kotsay thing, but the R-Braves moving.

    I became a Braves fan because of the R-Braves. Moving to Richmond as a 8 year old, going to the Diamond (new then) was always a highlight in the summer. Up until I moved to Iowa in’97 I would go to at least 10 games a year. I enjoyed seeing guys play and then watch them a year or so later on TBS.

  34. dans,
    Growing up in a minor-league town is always a blast, especially when you’re a kid.

    In Columbus, Ga., I had the Astros of the Southern League, so Houston was always my No. 2 NL team. All those 1970s, early-80s Astros played for Columbus & I definitely had my favorites.

    Plus, I got to see the Double-A Savannah Braves come to town. The late Tommie Aaron always seemed to be the manager—and I got to see a tall, skinny catcher named Dale Murphy.

  35. Forgot to mention: At Golden Park, where the Astros played, if you showed up to the stadium in your Little League uniform, you got in for free.

    Columbus had 8 separate Little Leagues at the time, so you’d have tons of kids in uniform at the games. Golden Park was like a great babysitter back then.

  36. “Johnson has a great OBP, thus, we should hit him 8th!”

    I love it.

    In other news… there hasn’t been any other news today. What up with that? I figured Kotsay would have his physical and there’d be an announcement today, but it’s 4:30, and so far I’ve heard nothing. DOB and others are talking like it’s a done deal, but I’m still holding out hope that the A-ball pitcher Slusser mentioned we might also be sending to the A’s was in fact an A-ball pitcher that’s going to be coming back to us.

    In my mind, the negotiations went like:

    Wren: We’d like to take Kotsay off your hands. We’ll give you Prado and you cover about half the cash?
    Beane: We’d like Devine instead. We’ll cover more of the salary if that’ll make it easier!
    Wren: Devine for Kotsay and cash? Now that’s just silly!
    Beane: Well, we’ve got this live arm in A-ball doing nothing.
    Wren: A live arm in addition to Kotsay? Now I wouldn’t look quite as much like a raving lunatic for making this deal! I’ll take it! (BTW, what’s the guy’s name?)

    But that’s just in my mind…. I also thought we were way over-paying for Tex, and that there was no way Andrus AND Salty would be moved. Shows what I know….

  37. The ten most common search terms for this site are:

    6126 14.90% braves
    4059 9.87% journal
    1099 2.67% penguin
    1031 2.51% saltalamacchia
    799 1.94% bravesjournal
    711 1.73% jarrod
    638 1.55% atlanta
    603 1.47% wife
    584 1.42% football
    421 1.02% redick

    “Penguin” and “Redick” are due to image searches. Don’t ask me about “football”, but some of our commenters may have opinions on that.

  38. No reference for anything close to “Sluser” on MiLB .com for either Rookie League or A league team.

    Also, no reference on Oakland’s high or low A teams.

    mraver, where did you get this name?

  39. The problem people seem to have is the “treasure hunt” thing, meaning people didn’t know whose signature they were getting after standing in line for two-five hours. In past years, there was a specific Smoltz line, McCann line, Francoeur line, Chipper Jones line, etc.

    This year, some stood in line for hours and got Brian Snitker’s autograph to show for it.

  40. Minor leagues are great. Years ago I went to a game in Chattanooga against, I think, Columbus and was sitting behind home plate. The guy sitting next to me was the starting pitcher for the next game for Columbus. We talked about pitching and he explained what to look for with the pitches and so forth. He never made the Majors as far as I know but it was neat. Obviously, that would never happen at a big league game.

  41. Braves: GM Frank Wren is hoping to officially announce Kotsay as his new center fielder on Monday afternoon and then continue his search for an additional reliever.

    “There’s a couple of deals that we’re working on right now and a couple of things that we’ll continue to talk about until we feel that we’ve exhausted many of the offseason discussions,” Wren said.

    Pulled this off a Hot Stove report on the MLB site. Sounds like Wren the destroyer of young depth is not done. I think I need to go bury my head in some sand for a while.

  42. Furthermore, I voted no, not yet on the poll, because I think we need to see the effect that Mrs. Kotsay has on Braves telecast this year. So there is some upside to this deal, making it slightly more than a total loss.

  43. …and then continue his search for an additional reliever.

    You mean like the two we’ve traded away in order to fill our still-unfilled CF hole?

  44. My note to DOB, I may need you guys to defend me as DOB is getting to be too buddy-buddy with Wren and he can see the forrest for all the trees.

    DOB: I would bat him 8th too. I don’t think he is a better hitter at this point than Diaz, KJ, or Escobar. He is coming off a back injury, and we all know that back injuries can reoccur very easily. Giving up an arm like Devine’s (a guy who could have helped us this year if Bobby would give him a shot) is a big risk for a stop gap player.

  45. Marc,
    I had an experience like that at a spring training game in West Palm many years ago.

    I sat behind home plate with a Dodgers scout, Juggs gun in hand, the whole bit. We talked for 9 innings. I remember him telling me that Mike Scioscia was the toughest man in the major leagues, knows the game so well, would make a great manager.

    Guess he knew what he was talking about.

  46. Funny story.

    I live in Fort Myers, Florida. The Red Sox hold spring training here, but they also hold their developmental “league” here. (AFL for players who don’t go to the AFL)

    Well my older brother and I were there every single day for 2 seasons, and hung out with players in the stands pretty much all the time. We drove Nomar Garciaparra and a pitcher named Francisco Rodriquez (not K-Rod, different Frank Rodriquez.) to Wendy’s once.

  47. Apropos of nothing:

    If you take Todd Helton’s year-by-year road HR totals and double them, here’s what you’d have:

    97 — 4
    98 — 24
    99 — 24
    00 — 30
    01 — 44
    02 — 24
    03 — 20
    04 — 22
    05 — 14
    06 — 14
    07 — 16

    I knew he’d fallen off the last couple of years, but the fact is he hasn’t been an upper-tier power hitter for going on seven years. That Coors Effect can still sneak up on a person….

  48. I just read something stupid on

    “GM Frank Wren is hoping to officially announce Kotsay as his new center fielder on Monday afternoon and then continue his search for an additional reliever.

    But they would like to add some experience and insurance to a rather young bullpen mix. Peter Moylan and Manny Acosta, who are targeted as the top setup men, didn’t establish themselves as Major Leaguers until last year.”

    Brilliant. Let’s trade away two bullpen arms, one of which has a good deal of upside and two stellar seasons in the high-minors under his belt, and then go out and deal for a “veteran” reliever….


  49. For Wren’s next move: Kelly Johnson for Brian Fuentes.

    (Speaking of Johnson, now that I think about it, I like the Kotsay trade better than that Kelly Johnson for Coco Crisp rumor back in October)

  50. Was my earlier post that incomprehensible? Ugg.

    I meant that I hoped Slusser was given mixed up information and the A-ball pitcher she had going to Oakland was in fact coming to the Braves FROM Oakland. Obviously it’s wishful thinking.

  51. ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren announced today that the Braves and Oakland Athletics have completed a three-player trade. The Braves acquired outfielder Mark Kotsay from the A’s in exchange for right-handed pitcher Joey Devine, minor league right-handed pitcher Jamie Richmond and cash considerations.

  52. Richmond is actually bit better than filler. He had a very good year in Danville. A GB pitcher with good control. And supposedly a frame in which he can fill out and add velocity ( his biggest drawback right now ).
    His peripherals are not eyeopening, but GB pitchers can get by without having a high K rate ( Witness Silva ).
    Its just batshit that Wren gave up 2 decent prospects for someo0ne who might have been non-tendered in Spring Training. This is fuckin horrible.

  53. As recently as last off-season, Richmond was rated by Sickles as a B-level prospect. Obviously he’s been passed by a fair few guys in the depth chart, but he’s still got the upside of a guy who can eat a few innings, and he doesn’t walk people.

    While it obviously doesn’t look as bad as the time we got Soriano for Horacio Ramirez, this trade could easily turn out to be a worse fleecing in the long-run. The part I absolutely hate the most is that there is absolutely NO upside to this deal. None at all. We could have had Mike Cameron who is certainly no more injured than Kotsay for about $4M more and at least has the upside of being an above-average hitter. Oh, yeah, and he doesn’t cost us two prospects!

    And to think, I supported the idea of getting Kotsay at first! (‘Course, back then the cost was Martin Prado….)

  54. Although I loved his drag-queen name, I’m not going to worry about Joey Devine anymore. We wasted a No. 1 pick on him & brought him up too early. Sucks, but that’s the way it goes.

    He didn’t pitch much for the big club, but all he did was get hit. I tend to doubt that he was ever going to be a good player for the Braves. I wish him luck in the East Bay, but he’s not the kind of player that gives me regrets. I’ve moved on.

  55. Regarding Richmond, earlier, I said “fringy top 30”. Well, Sickels actually has him as #13, a C+ this year.

    What a dumb deal.

  56. That’s funny Mac. I never realized Richmond is a Canadian. However, he is definitely not a filler. I can’t believe f**king Kotsay costs the Braves Devine AND Richmond. How stupid…well, I guess the A’s are looking for a revenge on the Hudson trade…a trade of Hudson, Kotsay and $5.25M for Meyer, Devine, Cruz, Thomas, and Richmond seems fair to me…stupid Wren…

  57. I don’t know, but “filler” is short “righthanded groundball pitcher with a 6.36 K/9 rate at low-A-ball” to me. Yeah, nice walk rate, but it looks to me like he just beat up on rookie ball and got exposed a bit at Rome.

  58. Oh, here comes that “Kotsay-n-puke” feeling again.

    Just when you thought this trade couldn’t be any worse, Franky Foibles throws another pitcher into the deal. This trend of caving and adding an extra pitcher with potential (Beau Jones, Jamie Richmond) could be disastrous. Why are the Braves doing this? Does Wren understand the concept of leverage? What advantage does he gain in making this deal now as opposed to during spring training?

    The part that really kills me is that no other team has demonstrated any interest whatsoever in Kotsay. Beane certainly doesn’t want to pay $8 mil to a center fielder past his prime in the last year of his contract. He’s currently rebuilding the A’s completely. Wren should have had all the leverage, yet Beane convinces him otherwise.

    Jamie Richmond, too? Maybe Franklin Fidgets had more control in Baltimore than we thought.

  59. from the press release….

    Devine, 24, was Atlanta’s top draft pick in 2005 and made his big-league debut that season. He went 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA in 25 games for the Braves over parts of the last three seasons.

    Richmond, 21, went 16-7 with a 2.48 ERA in three minor league seasons for the Braves

  60. This really does raise the question as to whther Wren (and Schuerholz) have read too many of our press releases and think we can gin up pitching prospects at will. (And then, there’s our record of actually developing those prospects, but that’s a rant for another day.)

    Richmond doesn’t look that great- yeah, that’s a nice-looking ERA, but almost two unearned runs per 9 innings will do that for you. He’s a C prospect, as Sickels says.

    Still, Kotsay wasn’t worth the waiver price, and for damn sure wasn’t someone you give away even a bonus C prospect to acquire because Billy Beane says he’s a hot commodity. I hope we’re either clearly ahead or clearly out of the pennant race this July; Wren plus playoff fever could equal rampant stupidity of historic proportions.

  61. According to the Slusser article, Billy Beane is looking now to trade Huston Street.

    Why don’t we throw in say Blanco & Thorman and take Street off their hands? Just a thought? (especially since Beane likes Canadians so much…)

  62. *sigh*

    Perhaps Wren felt so bad about the Hudson deal he figured he’d throw Beane a bone?

    Kotsay better have a career year….

  63. the problem with that is this it’s the Braves, not the A’s, with the idiot GM.

    I miss John Schuerholz.

    And the Braves can’t trade Heyward right now I believe.

  64. It’s amazing how opinions snowball with people. Frank Wren is not a dumb GM. Jim Bowden is a dumb GM. Brian Sabean is a dumb GM. Bill Bavasi is a dumb GM. A couple months ago, everyone loved Wren’s first trade: Renteria for Hernandez and Jurjjens. Great salary dump, and we picked up some good players. We dumped some more salary in Villarreal, a guy who had no place on our team, for a decent back-up outfielder. Judging by the Kotsay trade, he probably wasn’t ever going to be our starter, regardless of the reports.

    Now the Kotsay trade. If Kotsay is healthy and is able to produce his career norms, then this is a good trade. That’s a big “if,” but I refuse to believe that Atlanta would have made this trade if they didn’t have reasonable certainty that Kotsay was healthy. Joey Devine was not going to be an impact pitcher for Atlanta this year, and there is good reason to believe (based on his major league numbers), that he wasn’t ever going to be an impact pitcher for us. He still had value, so we leveraged it into getting Oakland to pay a huge part of Kotsay’s salary, almost making someone with Kotsay’s upside a bargain. And yes, we gave up an A-ball filler, but who cares? We picked up a likely quality short-term replacement, and all we had to give up was a pitcher who probably would have never been given an opportunity, regardless of whether or not that opportunity panned out.

    Calling Frank Wren a dumb GM is an ignorant over-reaction to a defensible trade that addressed a need. And considering his previous two trades were good, with, in my opinion, the Renteria trade being a very good one, I think he deserves a pass before calling him a bad GM.

    Sorry for the rant, but I had to repond.

  65. I’m betting that the Braves could have gotten a lot more than Kotsay — like, someone who has a good chance of being good — for Devine and Richmond. But they couldn’t have gotten $5 million. So maybe he’s not dumb, he’s just cheap.

  66. Mac, it looks like Applewhite is gone to Texas or close to it…thoughts?

    cant understand leaving Bama OC job for Texas RB coach, but who understands any coaches these days

  67. All the T-News says is it’s an interview. I wouldn’t miss him; I wasn’t impressed with either his quarterback coaching (Wilson regressed from 2006, and got worse as the season went along) or his playcalling (especially the FSU game).

  68. The inclusion of the second pitcher makes it clear that Wren was aiming for a particular number on Kotsay’s salary. Conclusion: the Braves are at or near their budgeted number on player salaries, and the corporate types were not going to cough up any more dough.

  69. #94

    Amen, Rob. The screaming in this room over what’s essentially a minor trade, for a guy who, if healthy, could at least be a serviceable center fielder, is mind boggling.

    People act like Devine had been Huston Street. He hasn’t Maybe he turns into it, maybe he doesn’t. Kotsay will also just cost $2.5 mill.

    Frankly, the Kotsay thing is a take it or leave it deal in my book.

    My complaint aimed at Frank Wren would be his lack of effort in going after Erik Bedard or earlier efforts to get Dan Haren. If you want to attack Wren, attack him for not going after another young ace – considering both pitchers were available.

    Even so, the Renty trade seems like a smart one, the Glavine move was on the cheap and we took him back from the Mets, and the Kotsay deal is really a wait n see situation.

    I am with Rob on not jumping all over Wren. People are acting like we traded Tim Hudson for So Taguchi. Geez.

  70. either that or we only had about 7-8 to spend on a CF and a reliever. The extra cash was the only way to possibly get both

  71. “My complaint aimed at Frank Wren would be his lack of effort in going after Erik Bedard or earlier efforts to get Dan Haren. If you want to attack Wren, attack him for not going after another young ace – considering both pitchers were available.”

    I would agree if both were available, but we dont know to what extent. The package that the A’s got for Haren was too expensive for us to compete with

  72. I think Jamie Richmond was included in this deal as a form of closure. Since the Braves are leaving Richmond, it seems only fitting that Richmond leave the Braves.

  73. #104

    JoeyT, line of the night!

    “I think Jamie Richmond was included in this deal as a form of closure. Since the Braves are leaving Richmond, it seems only fitting that Richmond leave the Braves.”

  74. Alex, I don’t think it’s possible to get Bedard or Haren. The O’s are asking for Jay Bruce, and the Braves will probably need to give up more than THREE TOP PROSPECTS such as Heywood, Schafer, and Hanson/Rohrbough to get either one of them. Yes, it would be great to get either Bedard or Haren, but the Braves gave up enough for Tex already. The organization can not afford to trade away anymore top young talents without compromising the team’s future payroll flexibility.

    I am mad at this trade mainly because…we got Ohman AND Infante for Ascanio, but we are only getting Kotsay and $5M for Devine AND Richmond? It is the A’s who signed the bad contract, why does the Braves need to give them top talent in Devine for the A’s to pay for their mistake?

  75. Richmond was a decent minor leaguer, a decent low level prospect. Makes the deal more insane.

  76. Kc,

    I don’t want to re-hash an old fight in here, but Stu and I both were on the side that Schafer would have been would have been worth dealing for either young ace.

  77. If it’s only Schafer, then it’s fine, but it will be much more than Schafer. Heywood AND Schafer AND TWO MORE prospects will be a better possibility.

    Anyway, it’s not only to happen. So, there is no point in arguing!

  78. I disagree but we’ll we leave it.

    Getting a #1 starter in his prime is the hardest thing to pull off.

  79. Agreed!

    As it stands, I would put our rotation 3rd in the NL behind the Padres & Diamondbacks.

  80. The Renteria trade was not Wren’s. It was Schuerholz’s last move as GM; he probably left comprehensive notes for Franklin on how to say “yes” to Detroit.

    There were multiple reports that the Renteria trade had been all but done before the end of the season.

    A Frank trade that no one’s been talking about much is the Ascanio for Ohman/Infante deal. This one’s a bit tougher; there was no guarantee that Ring would be a competent LOOGY with his control issues (not that Ohman is rock solid or anything), and there were other teams looking for utility bench help. Wren did manage to snag a versatile player in Infante who’s already done well in a utility role.

    I’m still not sure it was a good move, though, because it cost Ascanio. I do think he was the most expendable of our young arms ready for the majors (Ascanio, Acosta, Devine), but extra, cheap, good bullpen arms seem like a commodity to keep. Even if they’re just good middle relief (and what team even has that?), you can trade them once they’re proven for much more than role players and washed up outfielders.

    Maybe I’m biased from watching the 2005 and 2006 bullpens shred the team’s confidence. I just thought, “Oh, finally Atlanta has some good young bullpen arms. For a few years, they won’t have to endure crushing losses in late innings then scramble at the trade deadline to find a closer. These young guys will be cheap, too, so they can do something important like re-sign Tex or compete for a free agent again.”

    I guess other GMs were thinking the same thing, and you know how Frank likes veterans.

  81. Re putting the .337 obp at the top of the order–Mac said it well:


    Mac–I’ve mostly been away from the board lately, but it’s surprised me to see how passionate you’ve been about the Kotsay trade (e.g., the thread stupid F*** Wren). You’re usually the calm one around this place.

    Richmond is a long way from mlb so he might not pan out, but I’m not thrilled with another trade in which there’s a last minute pitching prospect added to the mix. I wonder if Beane took notes on the Salty trade going from a 4 for 2 to a 5 for 2 deal.

  82. While I am not quite as down as most of you on what Kotsay will or won’t do in Atlanta (if healthy), why not take the pressure off and bat him 7th or 8th for crying out loud?

  83. The possibility of another trade for a veteran reliever really scares me. I don’t want to see Wren trade the farm (and some of the ML team) for Bedard or Haren. I would prefer that he either makes a trade for someone with Santana-like potential or our scouts do their job and find that special talent that others don’t see. Unless you have a ton of money like the Yankees, given the premium on pitching these days, that’s the way it needs to be done.

  84. Alex, knowing Bobby’s love of “tough out” veteran like Kotsay, I can just smell Bobby will put him in the leadoff spot…

  85. The notion of adding ANOTHER veteran farmer is just silly, IMO. Sure, it’d be nice, but we’ve already got two #1’s and nothing like the budget of the 90’s.

    The reason I’m so down on this deal is that it just doesn’t make any sense to spend this much money. The A’s have been shedding vets left and right, and AFAIK, the A’s were just looking for a salary dump here. To give away Devine and then say we need another arm in the ‘pen is just stupid. The trade just has a ton of negative value for every year after 2008, and on top of that, it’s not even clear that it’ll have a positive value for this year!

    I seriously wonder how much more it would have taken to get someone like Crisp or how much extra cash Corey Patterson would have wanted. From what it sounds like, he’s going to sign back at BAL for a cheap, 1-year deal. Kotsay is a fine guy to have around, but when you give away value, you really want some value back in return. Richmond alone should have been plenty here….

  86. I know I was hard on Wren, but this trade was awful, Villareal-for-Josh Anderson wasn’t very good, and it resembles the Tex/ Salty-and-half-the-farm-system deal enough to say it was the same “thought” process. Renteria/ Jurrjens-Hernandez wasn’t bad, but if Jurrjens doesn’t start and Hernandez doesn’t develop, it could become so. I’m not liking what I see from Wren. I hope I’m wrong and that Kotsay and Jurrjens surprise me.

  87. Trading a player who was blocked at his position of value (Saltalamacchia–not a plus 1B) and some non-star prospects for a proven MVP-calibre player in his prime was a great deal, especially considering that our two best players (Smoltz & Chipper) are nearing the end of their starring days.

    Trading a couple of questionable middle relief prospects with some upside for a guy who used to be playable before back problems that likely still exist is not a deal worth swinging. I don’t believe we gave up much, but it seems we received even less, especially relative to perceived value.

    Who else was hot on Kotsay’s tail? Here’s your list….

    Like Perimeter Perez said, we had all the leverage and still got taken.

  88. #121

    Brian….could not disagree more.

    That’s not a defense of Josh Anderson, I just DESPISED Oscar Villareal and his crappy putting-runners-on-base everytime scheme.

    Yeah, Josh Anderson maybe worthless, but I would have given Oscar away for free. I would rather just have another reliever, any reliever, not blocked than to have to be forced to watch Oscar ever pitch for the Braves again. I am glad he’s gone.

  89. Andrus certainly has star ability. I think that the odds are he never turns into anything, but I think there’s a ten or fifteen percent chance he makes at least one All-Star team.

  90. January 12, 2008
    Frank Wren’s Newest Deal

    Frank Wren and the Braves have made a blockbuster trade today, swapping General Managers with the Rome Braves. The Braves have dumped 1 million in salary and added some youth to their organization with this monumental deal. The odds are now 2 to 1 that the Braves win the World Series with this new GM, a far cry from the 987 to 1 odds on January 11th.

  91. Mac, I would say Andrus has some star abilities, but he is not and was not a star prospect. I don’t think we disagree.

    I’d agree that he only has about a 10-15% chance of being an above average player because he’s far from the Majors and most of his positives are projection. I understand age relative to league, but that is still leaves extreme risk unless the tools are phenomenal.

    Contrast that with what I would call a star prospect, someone thought to be on the verge of the Majors, having produced in the minors at the level expected of an MLB All-Star. Salty may meet this definition, but neither Andrus nor Harrison do.

    Andrus is a quality prospect with a chance, but not nearly a star prospect. We were able to cash in a TON of risk for high-quality certainty.

    High-quality certainty wins MLB games. High risk only may… someday.. but not likely. That is not to advocate acquiring certain mediocrity or less–totally different situation.

  92. Hey guys, I’m a longtime reader and seldom poster.

    As evidenced in some of the above quotes, I don’t think Wren is really done with this team yet. On top of that, he has spent very little money thus far this offseason – in an environment where we were informed that the payroll would be raised. If he makes a few fungible trades like Devine-Kotsay, he can still more than make up for it by, say, signing Tex long-term.

    We’re currently running a bit short on franchise cornerstones, and Tex looks to be a good option.

    How do you wreck yourself as a GM? Trade Nique and sign Chris Crawford long-term. Wren has done nothing of the sort thus far.

  93. I just got up and discovered that the other prospect was Jamie Richmond!! And that the Braves are moving out of Richmond!!

    All of this sucks…

    Richmond was great in 2006 and still promising in 2007. What an awful deal. Wrenn truly sucks…

    Wrenn’s remarks about what a great acquistion Kotsay is makesme sick.

    Wrenn is a complete blowhard: bragging about having millions to spend and then becoming triumphant about trading two fine prospects for Kotsay…

    The good news is that GMs from all other major league teams will be happy when they find out that Frank Wrenn is on the line….

  94. As Ken Arneson said a couple of threads ago, this was not a salary dump per se by the A’s. Kotsay is only under contract one year, and the A’s are paying over 70% of his salary for that year. Therefore, it can’t be regarded as a dump.

    Beane has already punted 2008. If Kotsay returns to league average, it won’t matter to them. Therefore, the only rational thing to do is to pay someone to take him and hope to get something back that may help you in the future.

    For Wren, the calculus is quite different. You have a team that has a reasonable chance to be competitive in the NL in 2008. You have what you believe is a future star in centerfield, but he needs another year in the minors. You don’t want to block him, you want league average performance this year, you don’t feel comfortable with the other internal options, and you have only 2 million dollars to spend on an external solution.

    Seems like both teams got what they wanted out of this. Only time will tell if it pans out, but it doesn’t seem foolish to me.

  95. ububba, I won’t argue that he has been a quality major leaguer to this point, but I certainly thought that he could/would be a major contributor to the bullpen this year. Now, until Gonzalez comes back, the depth of the pen, or at least the quality in the pen has been decreased. I don’t see how any young pitcher put in Devine’s situation could have possibly succeeded.

  96. I have never been a fan of Devine, but the Braves rushed him to the majors before he was ready. He pitched well in 2007 and I think could have been a useful addition in 2008 to the pen–especially in mid to late inning situations.

    He may well pitch better for another organization….

  97. Still going at it, I see. I’m almost ready to take bets for an over/under on when this complaining will cease. ;P

  98. jjbag,
    You may be right & I may be crazy to think that Devine wouldn’t ever contribute to the Braves.

    But he’s gone & I don’t care anymore. Life is too short & too rich to worry that Joey Devine is going to turn into Gene Garber for somebody else.

    We may have gotten more for Devine, but who really knows? In my mind, this deal may be indicative that Wren’s not the best poker player. I don’t completely believe that yet, but that’s my inclination at the moment.

    So now I get to root for Mark Kotsay. Let’s hope he plays his tail off for another contract—offered from somebody else.

  99. Sam,

    I’ll take the over on 2012. ;-)

    The thing that really gets in my craw about this trade is that it is so senseless. Why even bother to do something like this?

    There is a local auction every Saturday night. My wife and I go sometimes when we don’t feel like cooking. They make a decent hamburger and tasty chili, acceptable dessert, especially for the price. Anyway, it’s so hard to get out of there without buying some god-awful-auction-thingy just because we are there. We’re talking fiber optic Jesus bad.

    That’s how I feel about this trade. Wren simply had to do “something”. And here we are at the end of the night holding an overpriced party platter that sort of plays the Mexican Hat Dance (batteries not included).

  100. urlhix–the food actually sounds good–especially as I am sitting in a cold office (we have no heating)in a rare mini-flood….

    What bothers me about the trade, is that knowing we needed a CF, first Wrenn goes out and gets Anderson and then with the job not done he has to get Kotsay–who has not been league average at best. Given that Tex may leave after 2008, the idea behind signing Glavine was to make a serious run for the NL East. It is hard for me to see how going out and getting a player who will probably not even be league average helps….

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