Worst team in baseball game thread: July 29, Cards at Braves

Writing this Tuesday night. Don’t know if anything has happened. The Braves suck big time. Recap will probably be delayed, as I have things to do.

371 thoughts on “Worst team in baseball game thread: July 29, Cards at Braves”

  1. Stu… dealing with the Dodgers intrigues me too. Especially if LaRoche can be had as a throw in.

  2. At least the next few days of the Texieria tango will be interesting. I was just talking to a fellow Braves fan here at work. Chipper, McCann, Jurrjens and Escobar. Thats it for good players. Dang.

  3. last thread from hankonly…

    So, is there just NO chance that we could re-sign Tex and build around him?

    Tex isnt giving us any kind of discount. If we can beat the two draft picks through trade then we trade him. If we cant, we still have the chance to resign him this offseason. However, this team has wayyyy to many needs to be shelling out $20+ to one player

  4. You either have to include both Escobar and KJ or neither in such a list. I don’t understand this disparity between their perceived value by some.

    c.shorter,
    I doubt we could get Loney. But something like Teixeira and Ohman for Kemp and LaRoche doesn’t look unreasonable (considering that the Dodgers have shopped both of those guys at various points already) and should at least be close enough to be workable. That’s what I dream the situation is like, anyway.

  5. In answer to the question at the end of the last thread, I’m convinced we could re-sign Tex if we were willing to play ball with him. I don’t share the sentiment that many did on here that he wanted to play in New York anyway and there was nothing we could have done to keep him. If we were offering a contract with numbers that were up there with what the Yankees and Mets will offer, I think he’d re-sign with us, but it would seriously hamstring us, especially since we’ll have to rebuild various parts of the team next year. Spending around half of our available payroll on one guy doesn’t make much sense at this point. Perhaps if the outfield had solidified this year, we would have only needed to worry about the pitching staff and it might have been worthwhile. But as it turned out, I just really don’t see that it’s worth it. There’s too much to fix.

    And incidentally, I really like the Kotchman deal that’s being rumored because it allows us to not worry about first base for next year so that we can spend our time and energy on the outfield and the pitching staff, which is really what we need to be worrying about. Kotchman may not be an All-Star or anything, but he’s a competent Major League level first baseman who we can count on to produce at a relatively decent pace. I guess if we got Loney from the Dodgers, that would work the same way.

  6. In normal circumstances, I would say Kemp is untouchable, if only because his ceiling is Grady Sizemore-high. But whenever Ned Coletti is prominently involved, ‘normal’ goes out the window. That said, he’d have to be legitimately nuts–and I mean, certifiable–to trade LaRoche AND Kemp. But he may trade LaRoche, who is, after all, blocked for like the 73rd time in three years.

  7. However, this team has wayyyy to many needs to be shelling out $20+ to one player.

    Just not sure about this.

    (1) We will have roughly $40M to spend (not including a possible Smoltz or Glavine return).

    (2) The FA market is weak. It’s either high-priced guys or scrubs, mostly. You’ll need at least one, probably two, of the high-priced guys to make it worth spending any money at all, IMO, and why not make Teixeira one of them? Is he really going to be that much more expensive than Sheets, Sabathia, Dunn, etc.?

    (3) We could acquire some parts via trade, but we only have so many tradeable assets. Acquiring one impact player would likely deplete resources enough that no others could be traded for.

    I dunno. In theory, I kind of agree that I don’t want a non-HOF 1B tying up 20% or more of our payroll. But in practice, signing Teix might do more to help us be competitive than the alternatives.

  8. Now is optimal time to get Renteria. I’d trade Infante for Renteria straight up. Renteria likes to have bounce back years with NL clubs following disappointing ones with AL franchises. The Tigers have had Infante before so he’s a familiar face, good for morale (I assume).

    The curse of Renteria is clearly that, unless he’s on our team, all pitchers will go on the DL with major injuries. Except for Jurrjens, because he was exchanged for Renteria, so the curse has no effect on him.

  9. i agree with Stu here, Tex for 5 years is not a bad deal. We need alot of help, we trade him, we have to replace him, pus 2 outfielders, a decent backup catcher, a true utility IF to play the 40 games chipper misses, 2 SP and probably more bullpen help if we trade Ohman.
    If we do not get starters back there is no reason to trade him, negotiate now, give him basically what he wants and let the team and fans know that we are here to win and not pinch every single penny.

    He will be gone though, and I think we will get crap in return.

  10. The only argument I have against Tex is that he is an extremely slow starter. He is doing really good now – but that isn’t helping us at all. If he were anywhere near decent the first 2 and 1/2 months of the season, we would be in the thick of the race. An elite player shouldn’t be mediocre for half the season – it hurt us bad.

  11. Dude, even if we were currently in the thick of the race, it would be an illusion. Look at our roster. We wouldn’t make the playoffs if we had a 10-game lead right now.

  12. I’m not saying we’d win anything if he had played well early – I’m saying he cost us ALOT of games (and won us alot of games recently). He is a great player, but not for an entire season. Do we want that same thing to happen next season? And the season after?

    And to be honest, I wouldn’t mind if we re-signed him considering our options. I was just throwing the argument out there. I was VERY frustrated w/ him early this season.

  13. Reposted from last thread:

    Seriously, Leeds, what good would Yates have done us this year?

    Not much, admittedly, when you get right down to it. But having him in the bullpen instead of Resop might have helped win a few games early, and having another arm that Bobby could have trusted might have helped keep the pitching together longer.

    That being said, the injuries that have hit the rotation would have doomed this season no matter what. And the crummy outfield also would have doomed this season no matter what. So a relief pitcher doesn’t make or break the season.

    All I was saying, though, is that looking back at the end of spring training, with 20/20 hindsight, makes it crystal clear that Chris Resop sucks. And I think we can all agree on that.

  14. You either have to include both Escobar and KJ or neither in such a list. I don’t understand this disparity between their perceived value by some.

    Agreed. I included neither in a similar list earlier. Escobar and KJ, to me, are all things considered the epitome of the average major league starter at their respective positions. They could each do a little better, or a little bit worse, but they’re more than likely to be right around the middle. That’s no knock on either of them.

    And so whether you include them depends on how you define good. My definition was intended as “actively getting you closer to being a championship team”, so I excluded them. If you mean “good enough to keep a starting job”, then they belong on the list.

  15. So, according to Jon Heyman, the Rays are probably willing to include Carlos Pena in a deal for Teixeira, but he still thinks the D’Backs are the favorites, with their proposed deal of Tracy and not Jackson, Parker, or Scherzer.

    Why in the world would we want Tracy instead of Pena? I swear, if this Hudson injury leads Wren to believe he needs something like Billy F. Buckner, I may switch allegiances.

  16. Sansho, you do know that Escobar is the highest rated defensive SS in the league, right?

    Top five defensive shortstops so far this year by plus/minus:

    1. Yunel Escobar +21
    2. J.J. Hardy +15
    3. Omar Vizquel +10
    4. Mike Aviles +8 (this one surprised me)
    5. Erick Aybar +7
    (h/t Justin Seth @bbtf)

    that ain’t average.

  17. I think Esco is better than an average SS. I also say this w/o looking at any stats. But he gets on base alot (your perceptions may be clouded by the fact he has been injured a bit this year). Factor in that he has well above-average defense, and I’d put him as one of the best in the majors. Top 10 for sure.

  18. An orderly retreat beats the living stew out of a full-on desertion. Orderly retreats often allow a quick return to the battle.

    We all know we’re in a major transition. Smoltz, Glavine, Hudson, and Chipper are soon to be treasured memories.

    Bobby Cox has no more than one more year in him.

    If we blow everything up with just McCann to build upon, we’ll be the Royals with a slightly better payroll.

    I say we go to Tex and tell him that we want to build around him and McCann as the new staff gets in place and youngsters such as Escobar, KJ, et al are allowed to grow at a normal pace.

    By the way, what’s Hermida’s contract status?

  19. I think Escobar and KJ are both above average. KJ might not look as special in a division that includes Uggla and Utley, but those guys are way above average.

  20. I’d do Teix for Pena straight up. I’d even throw in Francoeur, KJ, Kotsay, McCann, Hampton, and Ohman for them to add D. Price to the deal.

  21. I know he’s a good defensive SS — that’s what makes him an average overall starter, in my opinion. I’d still rather have Rollins, Ramirez, Reyes, or Hardy, with Escobar in the mix with several others for fifth. I’m not knocking him (at least, I don’t think I am).

  22. Teix doesn’t really have the body type that I envision aging well. I think his decline phase will be quick and steep.

  23. There are a few players on our roster that seem to be undervalued by quite a bit around here. Mainly I state my case with Escobar. But Infante has done an excellent job as the team’s main utility guy. I think someone from the last thread stated that was a big hole for us (not the case – we need a big bat off the bench, not a utility guy). KJ is average now, but I do believe he as the potential to be much better. Soriano also appears to be grossly undervalued.

  24. “that’s what makes him an average starter”

    “Escobar is in the mix with others for fifth behind Rollins, Ramirez, Reyes, & Hardy”

    These two statements in the same post!?! does. not. compute.

  25. @26 – so you are saying that your 5th best shortstop is league average??? You do know there are 32 teams in the league, right? #5 would put him WELL above average – even for you.

  26. Dix, seriously, where are you getting these terrible, terrible ideas from?

    I swear, everytime I’ve read a hypothetical trade that confused the hell out of me in the last two threads, it’s been you.

  27. Dix barber told me the Red Sox want to exersize Many’s option and send us Yuk and Manny for Tex.

  28. @34 – LOL, I caught that, just didn’t think it helped my argument any – so I left it out.

  29. Still would put him well above average. (which he is by the way.)

    After reading all the posts about Escobar and KJ the past few weeks, what kind of production are you people expecting from the middle infield? It’s ridiculous.

  30. They have been seeing way too much of Utley and Ramirez, Douglass. Can be the only explanation.

  31. He walks a bit, but Carlos Pena is a .240 hitter, NO THANKS. I’d rather have Tracy and Scherzer or Parker than Pena.

    When healthy, IMO Esco is a much better player than KJ. Despite what this board wants him to be, KJ is just an average player.

  32. Actually, they’re doing about what I would expect from them. Which is to be about average as starters.

  33. I wouldn’t make either KJ or Escobar untouchable. But I wouldn’t be looking to trade them, either. Were I the GM of the Braves, they’d be a lousy team.

    Oh, wait, that’s not what I meant to say (although it’s true). I meant to say that I’d have to be bowled over to trade Escobar, KJ, and most of the other younger players.

  34. Despite what this board wants him to be, KJ is just an average player.

    Well if you say so…

  35. I think Mac needs to do an analysis of just how “average” Escobar is. I think you’d be suprised.

  36. It seems like lots of people are lost in the forest and can’t see the trees. They are all around you.

    For the year we are clearly above average:

    catcher,
    3rd base,
    1st base
    SS (above average defense, near average offense or maybe slightly better)
    starting pitching (despite the injuries, to this point. Look at ERA, total runs allowed, OPS allowed).

    We are average:
    2nd base
    bench (Infante / Gotay / Norton, but Hamster hurts).

    We are below average:
    right field
    center field
    left field.

    Do we see a trend?

  37. Are we really below average in center? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t doubt that Kotsay and Blanco have put up roughly average CF numbers. We were just spoiled by Andruw, and the fact that we aren’t getting anything from the corners might make it look worse than it’s been.

  38. Look I realize Price is supposed to be a stud, and I know we have some Vandy fans on this board, but yeesh…including McCann in any deal, especially one for a prospect (which is still all Price is at this point), is just silly. I, as a Tennessee fan, would have loved to have Todd Helton back in his heyday, but I wouldn’t have been willing to give up half the team for him. And I’m talking when he was a borderline MVP candidate, not when he was a AA prospect. Get a grip, guys.

  39. I don’t care what contrived, artificial SABR statistics you can dredge up on KJ, he is a .275 12 HR guy with average or below average defense. In other words, an average MLB player of the modern era.

    In the 50s and 60s at 2B he would be a star, but not now when we’ve got 2B and SS hitting 40 homers a year.

  40. Also, KJ is 8th among 19 qualifying 2Bs in MLB in Runs Created. He’s above average.

    Escobar is 12th among 19 qualifying shortstops in MLB in Runs Created. Offensively, he’s below average.

    Escobar obviously has the defensive advantage (he’s much better and plays a tougher position), and Escobar is a year younger/further from free agency, but KJ’s offensive edge is very real.

    Finally, LOL at the notion of “artificial statistics”.

  41. Stu,

    Yes we are below MLB average in CF and below A+ ball average in RF and below AA average in LF.

  42. When looking at the team as a whole, it is remarkable to think about how much power we lack. The only people I’d classify as power-hitters are Chipper, Tex, and McCann. The rest are OBP and singles guys. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily say that is a problem – but if you don’t have power, you HAVE to have speed. And even with Blanco, we just don’t have enough.

  43. I heard that the LA earthquake today was caused by 10 million people slapping their heads & fainting, after ESPN unwisely reported a Jeffy for Kemp trade.

  44. I don’t care what contrived, artificial SABR statistics you can dredge up on KJ…

    Well then I don’t care to try to explain to you why you’re off base.

    now we’ve got 2B and SS hitting 40 homers a year

    :roll: :roll: :roll:

  45. We know we lose Teix for next year. We also lose Ohman unless he accepts arb. So, what do we have to do?

    1. Look at the age curve and pay attention to it. Esco and KJ SHOULD both be better next year. Actually that would indicate McCann and Francoeur would as well, but Mc is too far up already and I have ceased to believe Francoeur can break out of this (because he won’t admit he has a problem).

    Likewise, in pitching, Chuck James, Reyes, Morton and Jurrjens should all be at an improving stage. Campillo is older in years, but not in experience. By trade or FA we need to add a REAL starting pitcher. (Hudson will be filling Hampton’s role if he has surgery. Salary 13 million, production: 0. So adding another starting pitcher FA is almost out ofthe question ).

    2. Think about health hard on trads and free agency. We can’t afford to pay big salary to people likely to get hurt. Sheets, Harden, Manny, whoever. Pay more for younger, healthier guys.

    3. Start at the bottom (the outfield) and work from there. We need to move Francoeur out of the way. We can pay him a 1 mil to 2 mill arb to give him a chance to get his act together. We cannot count on him playing every day or allow it if he doesn’t get himself fixed. Blanco is a mediocre lead off hitter and mediocre fielder in left (bad in center). [where is Matt Diaz and what is up? He hasn’t played again since 7/23 and was supposed to be in Atlanta yeterday for the Dr. to look at him again. Is he done?]. Kotsay is gone and is not viable for next year (to offer arb I think we have to offer at least 5.6 million and with his back that is outright stupid). B. Jones and Josh Anderson haven’t dominated AAA and show little promise (Anderson as a defensive replacement / 4th outfielder maybe). Schafer has actually hit righties like a mad blacksmith since the end of his suspension, but his .500 OPS against righties AT AA is a sign he needs more seasoning. He might be a round about platoon partner for Diaz next year if we can find the 2007 Matt Diaz. This is the problem area and it needs a major infusion.

    And no middling fixes (unless young and cheap on salary). Like Juan Rivera. His career OPS is around where Franoeur’s was in 2007. He is 32. He isn’t any better than Blanco, Anderson, B. Joens, whoever. If they are over 27 or so and if they are expensive, only play if they are healthy and substantially above average.

  46. We know we lose Teix for next year. We also lose Ohman unless he accepts arb. So, what do we have to do?

    1. Look at the age curve and pay attention to it. Esco and KJ SHOULD both be better next year. Actually that would indicate McCann and Francoeur would as well, but Mc is too far up already and I have ceased to believe Francoeur can break out of this (because he won’t admit he has a problem).

    Likewise, in pitching, Chuck James, Reyes, Morton and Jurrjens should all be at an improving stage. Campillo is older in years, but not in experience. By trade or FA we need to add a REAL starting pitcher. (Hudson will be filling Hampton’s role if he has surgery. Salary 13 million, production: 0. So adding another starting pitcher FA is almost out ofthe question ).

    2. Think about health hard on trads and free agency. We can’t afford to pay big salary to people likely to get hurt. Sheets, Harden, Manny, whoever. Pay more for younger, healthier guys.

    3. Start at the bottom (the outfield) and work from there. We need to move Francoeur out of the way. We can pay him a 1 mil to 2 mill arb to give him a chance to get his act together. We cannot count on him playing every day or allow it if he doesn’t get himself fixed. Blanco is a mediocre lead off hitter and mediocre fielder in left (bad in center). [where is Matt Diaz and what is up? He hasn’t played again since 7/23 and was supposed to be in Atlanta yeterday for the Dr. to look at him again. Is he done?]. Kotsay is gone and is not viable for next year (to offer arb I think we have to offer at least 5.6 million and with his back that is outright stupid). B. Jones and Josh Anderson haven’t dominated AAA and show little promise (Anderson as a defensive replacement / 4th outfielder maybe). Schafer has actually hit righties like a mad blacksmith since the end of his suspension, but his .500 OPS against righties AT AA is a sign he needs more seasoning. He might be a round about platoon partner for Diaz next year if we can find the 2007 Matt Diaz. This is the problem area and it needs a major infusion.

    And no middling fixes (unless young and cheap on salary). Like Juan Rivera. His career OPS is around where Franoeur’s was in 2007. He is 32. He isn’t any better than Blanco, Anderson, B. Jones, whoever. If they are over 27 or so and if they are expensive, only play if they are healthy and substantially above average.

  47. Do any of you rely on your eyes anymore for anything or do you only rely on what Rob Neyer, Pete Palmer, or Bill James tells you? No flame, but just a question.

  48. Thanks, Jeremy.

    It looks like we’ve been a touch below average in CF. Had Kotsay (95 OPS+) remained healthy, that would be different, but that didn’t happen, obviously.

  49. Are we not going to have Smoltz for next year? I thought he said he was going to try and come back. I know that he is a maybe, but even after surgery I think he’d be one of the best pitchers in the league. I wouldn’t count him out.

  50. Hey Chief, can you name me a single second baseman or shortstop in baseball today that has hit 40 HR in a year?

  51. I hate to say this, but I wonder if it’s best for the Braves not to rely on Smoltz next year. I’m concerned we’re gonna pull a “Hampton in 2007” and rely on him for a big rotation spot, and he’s going to come up lame.

  52. Chief,
    Yes, I watch a lot of baseball. I’m actually relatively new to the SABR stuff (less than 3 years). It’s sort of dumb to just ignore the obviously-meaningful statistics, though.

    So, trade’s done. Kotchman and a relief prospect. Blech.

  53. Sorry for the double post. The site has been running slow today and went down a couple of hours ago.

  54. If the Braves rely on Smoltz for anything next year they are all on drugs.
    If we get Carlos Pena or Chad Tracy in a trade for Tex get ready for mid 80’s redux.

  55. Stark is reporting that it’s Kotchman and someone else for Tex–that it’s “in the works” and being finalized.

  56. Dude on MLB.com says it’s Stephen Marek, apparently a reliever, rated by Sickels as the Angels 9th-best prospect and listed 99th among his pre-season Top 100.

  57. Stephen Marek? Ok minor league experts…what up with this guy?

    Yikes!! No power at 1st base with Kotchman…

  58. This all I see from Stark’s blog:

    “Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman was pulled off the field during pregame warm-ups this afternoon at Fenway Park. And there are strong indications he is about to be traded to the Braves for Mark Teixeira, according to a source with knowledge of those discussions. Details are still being finalized, and additional, lesser names are expected to be involved. But Kotchman for Teixeira is the core of this deal.

    The latest: A second source with knowledge of these discussions says the Braves will get Kotchman, plus a second lesser name, for Teixeira in a 2-for-1 deal.”

  59. I’m open to persuasion, and I have no idea what other offers were on the table, but my initial reaction is disappointment. Though I guess we got our first baseman for next year, for better or worse.

  60. More on Marek:

    BA rated him 6th among Angels prospects coming into the season. They projected him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, so apparently the Angels just moved him to the ‘pen this season. I’m guessing we want him back in the rotation.

  61. I guess I was hoping we’d get a lot more, but that’s not bad. Kotchman is under control for a while and is a good player. And Marek . . . I don’t know anything about him, but altogether it’s better than taking our chances on a couple of draft picks.

  62. 4:50pm: Jayson Stark has the scoop – Mark Teixeira is headed to the Angels for Casey Kotchman and another player. MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer says the second player is relief prospect Stephen Marek.

    Laaaaaaaaame.

  63. Sickels rated Marek as the Angels 9th best prospect this year. He has a lot of Ks, but more walks than he should this year.

    Looks pretty good, but not as much as I would have hoped.

  64. Dunno that I’m crazy about either’s ceiling.

    We’ll flip it for Bay, though, right?

  65. He’s under our control through 2011, Douglass. Kotchman’s solid. I’m a bit underwhelmed by the accompanying pitching prospect—wish we could’ve included Ohman and gotten Adenhart or Walden—but oh, well.

    Now, let’s trade for Jason Bay and sign the Brewers’ aces this offseason.

  66. “Kotchman, arguably the MVP on the team with the Majors’ best record”

    Really??

  67. What’s so good about Kotchman? From a quick glance at his stats on Yahoo!, he doesn’t even look as good a hitter as Adam Laroche was before we traded him.

  68. Now if we can go get Jason Bay from the Pirates, I may like our lineup a whole lot more.

  69. I think it is a good deal. It was the best we were going to do. Stephen Marek looks like he might be a future clsoer. Kotchman is only going to get better

  70. What exactly was the point of making this trade now, instead of say near the deadline when somebody might have gotten desperate ?? This deal really wouldn’t have been on the table Thursday ?? Really ??

  71. I’m glad we got Kotchman the more I think about it. Given the situation, we couldn’t have expected much more as far as 1b goes. I, like you, was a bit underwhelmed by the accompanying prospect, though, as I said, I don’t know anything about him.

    Also, Ohman wasn’t in the trade, so we can expect more moves in the next couple days, I suppose.

  72. I like the deal. We get a guy who can help us and play above league avg at 1B for a few years – at least, and a darn good pitching prospect and LAA gets a 2 month rental. Since Tex was the only player dealt, I think a few more deals (hopefully involoving an outfielder – please be Jason Bay) are on the way.

  73. My main concern with Kotchman is that his walks have dropped DRASTICALLY from last year. Also, corresponding with a substantial OBP drop.

  74. The Braves will control Kotchman, who is a Wally Joyner type–though some of his peripherals are a bit down this year–for his age 26, 27, and 28 seasons. They added a young arm, too, who could work as either a nice reliever or backend starter. I was hopeful they could get three players, but this is much better than the Arizona package, and much better than draft picks (probably).

  75. But for the welcome change – Kotchman DOES NOT strike out. He puts the ball in play.

  76. Well said, Adam M. This is not a bad deal. A lot, from my perspective, will depend on how the rest of the team is (re)constructed for 2009 and beyond after this move.

  77. I think this is a “thumbs up” deal for Wren.

    Any word on Angel fan response? I think this gives a good shot at the title.

  78. I like Kotchman and Marek better than the 2 comp. picks we would have gotten had we held on to Teixeira

  79. First, I’m gobsmacked that the Angels actually made a move! They are usually paralyzed by their overinflated view of their own prospects and ride their value down to zero or near it (Mathis, Morales, McPherson, Wood on his way, Adenhart potentially).

    Second, I read today in Olney’s blog (I think) what seemed to be a very reasonable rationale for the Angels not to be the best fit for Texeira. The Angels already have their division basically wrapped up, so Tex’s big 2nd half won’t mean jack to them. He’ll only have a very few meaningful postseason at-bats, so they basically traded Kotchman for a handful of at-bats! In those at-bats, it’s not even certain that Texeira is a better option than Kotchman at all, much less a much better option, with such a small sample and all.

    Again, this surprises me. It’s okay, but I agree with most of the rest of you that I’m not excited by it. Still, Kotchman is better than the two draft picks–I’m not even counting the throw-in relief prospect who could just as well be nothing.

    We could have done worse. I’ll be interested to see how Kotchman works out. If we figure out a way to get some power development (he’s only 25), we may have something. Then I can get excited.

  80. Anyone know anything about Kotchman’s contract? I forget where I read it, but I think he is arbitration eligible, so while we do have him under contract for a while, I dont think he will be cheap at all.

  81. I’m coming around guys. Like I said, disappointment was only my initial reaction…probably warped by the ridiculous rumors that had been out there. Kotchman + a power bat we sign for a corner outfield spot in the offseason = better than our lineup this year.

  82. My thoughts exactly, Douglass. Or a trade for Bay and lots of money spent on pitching. :)

    avery,
    He’ll get arbitration raises, but he’ll never make more than $10 million in a season—unless he’s awesome, in which case that would be OK.

  83. I agree with #s 112 and 113.
    Yeah, whoopie, we traded a stud for a dude.
    I just dont see this as helping the team, we got a no power 1B, and a maybe back end of the rotation pitcher.
    It is probably a good deal, but i feel like we are now officially heading in the wrong direction as an organization, i hate being the seller, it is a bad sign.
    Teams who sell, usually do so often for a reason.

  84. We might flip Marek for Bay. I think we’re keeping Kotchman. I’m relatively pleased with the deal. Given that earlier today, Ken Rosenthal was talking about Tex and Ohman for Kotchman, Rivera and a prospect, I’m not too surprised by this. Take Ohman out and we don’t get Rivera and Marek is the prospect. From a Major League standpoint, we get what I felt we needed, which was a Major League-ready 1B. As far as the prospect goes, who really knows.

    He’s not rated as highly as some, but I continue to believe that the ratings of prospects are, at best, a crap shoot and, at worst, complete bunk. Need I remind you that Bruce Chen, Andy Marte and Jeff Francoeur have all been the top prospect in our minor league system before? If he’s not a can’t-miss prospect (which he apparently isn’t), we’ll probably flip him eventually anyway. He, like most minor league players, is a pawn we can use to get stuff that we need down the road. That’s all that 95% of minor league players are, anyway. He’s a decent prospect, one of the top 10 in their system supposedly, so he’ll do, as far as I’m concerned.

    Plus, now we can still get something for Ohman, and there’s a hell of a lot bigger market for him than there was for Tex, so we should be in a little bit better position for this one overall (although obviously he won’t fetch as much as Tex did), especially if we can pack him with Kotsay.

  85. Wish Kotch had a higher OPB, but we needed a MLB starting 1B and we weren’t getting Jackson from Az. Hope the reliever can hack it (and soon).

    Not knowing what else was genuinely available, I suppose I’m fine with it. Only fine, though.

    Also, the Angels just became a scarier team.

    I have Yanks-LAA tix Thursday night. Guess I’ll see what kind of damage Tex can do to The House That Ruth Built.

  86. Know when to walk away. Know when to leave your right fielder duct-taped to a tree.

  87. I think selling means they’re heading in the right direction. A team not heading in the right direction, the Astros, is a buyer.

    Look at the other two teams that dumped ‘studs’ earlier this season–the A’s and Indians, two of the best-run organizations in the league. Selling just means the Braves are trying to get as much for a guy who won’t be here next year as they can.

  88. I kinda feel bad for Kotchman, too. His dad is a hitting instructor down in Clearwater, and I talk to him every now and again. He said that Kotchman liked LA, and they both thought the Angels would go to the World Series this year. Welcome to Atlanta, Casey!

  89. Oldtimer, I think a team that never sells prolongs mediocrity and a team that always sells is a perpetual loser.

    The Braves have a shot to leverage the second half of this year for success in the future. I genuinely hope it is not a regular occurrence.

  90. You’ve got to think the Angels wouldn’t have made this trade unless they thought they had a better than 50% chance of signing Tex to a long-term deal after the season, and I’m surprised Olney didn’t mention that.

  91. Goals for the rest of the season:

    (1) Get something for Ohman;
    (2) Do not rush McCann; and
    (3) Shut Jurrjens down soon.

    I’m not at all optimistic about the third one. I hope our decision-makers surprise me.

  92. Yeah, it’s not really as simple as a “stud for a dude” trade. There were so many variables. We aren’t going to win this year, and I’d take Kotchman and Marek over two draft picks. Now I’d like to see a package built for ole Bay. Too bad they don’t want or need Ohman.

  93. Just checking in to say…

    1) Like the deal. Kotchman is a good player and we need good players. Obviously the Braves did a good job of lowering expectation by floating Chad Tracy out there.

    2) The earthquake this morning was a pretty good one. Enjoyed the ride.

  94. B. Jones/Lillibridge/Marek/Rohrbough/Filler

    for

    Bay

    Would that be enough? Would any of y’all be against it? (I know kc loves Rohrbough…)

  95. Shoot, let’s make a trade for Jose Guillen. Apparently he’s unhappy in KC (who isn’t?), and wants to be traded. He’s signed through 2009 at least and he’s 32. He could probably be had for a decent return.

    Bay in left, Anderson/Schafer/Blanco in center, and Guillen in right. I’ll take it.

  96. Well, i disagree with Adam, but I just feel pessimistic about the organization right now.
    We have a lack of talent in many areas at this time and I do not think we will fix them unless we spend some serious cash on FA’s, and there are not many good ones becoming available this off season.

  97. Dude, check Guillen’s stats and his contract. Unless the Royals eat most of that salary and we don’t have to give up a single meaningful prospect, pass.

  98. @125 I would give him about 160, maybe 170 innings, then call it a year. He’s never pitched more than 143 innings, which he’s basically done each of the past three seasons.

  99. ok deal to me under the circumstances–Kotchman isn’t great but he’s ok and the pitcher has a sweet K/IP rate

    filling 1B with Kotchman for next few years lets the FO focus on the other main needs in OF and pitching; since Kotchman isn’t a power guy it’s clear that a power bat in the OF is a must

  100. G. Blanco lf
    Y. Escobar ss
    M. Kotsay cf
    G. Norton 1b
    O. Infante 3b
    K. Johnson 2b
    J. Francoeur rf
    C. Miller c
    J. Campillo p

    :lol:

  101. I’m pretty sure that we’re getting more of the Jeff Francoeur experience in right next year, at least to start the year. All we can do is get a very good left fielder and maybe upgrade center if Schaefer isn’t ready. I refuse to believe that the team will put up with Jeffy for another full year, though. They’ll give him a month or two for certain though, if for no other reason than that they still believe this year was a fluke for him.

  102. I like Bay but I don’t see it happening, at least now. What’s the rush? Wren could always make a move this offseason, if that’s what he decides to do.

    Anyway, I like the idea of giving Brandon Jones plenty of at bats next season. In fact, I like the idea of giving him at bats this season.

  103. I’m a little wary of the FA pitching. The guys either seem like bad fits (injury prone and we don’t have a whole lot of margin for error) or guys that would probably go to teams that are more likely to compete and will probably be willing to offer higher dollar, longer contracts.

    Trades would be more ideal, but they tend to burn through cheap future contributors, which we need. With the sheer number of holes we’re likely to have (depending on Hudson), we’d wipe out the farm system trying to patch things up through only that route.

    I forget who is available hitter-wise, but it seems like the consensus is that it’s underwhelming. I could see an offseason where we see other teams make reaches at mediocre guys and do little else but sit around patting ourselves on the back for at least not doing that. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, or in lieu of that, perhaps there are no good answers in a inflated FA market, and maybe abstaining and suffering is the better choice.

    But I guess it’s unfair to pin that mindset on Wren yet.

  104. @130 – Blanco would NOT be here if we were to get Bay. Almost guaranteed. And I was for getting Guillen at the start of the season, but he has had a really bad year so far and is expensive.

  105. Glad you’re safe, Robert.

    Thanks. My schedule is crazy right now so I was actually sleeping (at 11:30 AM local on a weekday, it’s true!) and it woke me up, which is not easy to do.

    House didn’t collapse or anything so I went back to sleep.

  106. Now that we have the ball rolling, I say let’s trade away! Burn baby burn!

    Chopping block-everyone not named Larry, Brian, or Jair…

  107. Wow, Mr. Guillen hates the free pass. He’s got good power, but man his plate discipline is atrocious. He’s got a 100 OPS+ this year, which is a step in the right direction over our current RF. But you’re right; his contract sucks and you don’t pay that much for mediocrity. If they ate his contract and we didn’t give up anything I’d take it. I agree. Pass.

  108. How can Francoeur seriously entertain thoughts that he’s anything but horrible when he’s batting 7th in THAT lineup?

  109. Wow, that’s one hell of a lineup. That could literally be Richmond’s lineup without much of a stretch. That’s pretty ridiculous.

    I see where all you people who are in favor of wrapping Jurrjens in bubble wrap and rolling him into a cryogenic tube for the rest of the year are coming from, but just to play devil’s advocate for a minute, how is he ever gonna get his strength built up so that he can go 200 innings sometime in the near future if we shut him down at the point where he would’ve shut it down in the minors? I’m not saying we need to ride him, but sitting him the entire month of September isn’t the correct solution, either. Watch his innings closely, but he does need to build full-season endurance at some point.

  110. @144, ha!

    Yeah, Kotchman can take the slow train to Atlanta. See the country roll by.

  111. @151

    At least he can thank his lucky stars that Sammons isn’t playing. He could’ve been batting eighth in that lineup.

  112. Like Adam says @134, taking Jurrjens to about 170 innings this year would be an increase of 30 innings. Then he can get to around 200 IP next year, gawd willin’.

    Walking guys up about 30 innings pitched per year (up to 200 IP) is the mark I’ve always heard is ideal.

  113. I wonder what id Kotchman’s opinion on this trade. He just got shipped off to this trainwreck.

  114. Also, I have tickets to the game tomorrow night (No, I’m not a masochist…this was planned at least a month ago), so I’m hoping that Kotchman will be here by then. That would at least make the game semi-interesting.

  115. What’s sad is there’s no calvary on the other side of the hill. Kotchman and Chipper, yeah, but, man, that is one BAD lineup.

    I like this one:

    CF Blanco
    SS Escobar
    3B Chipper
    LF Bay
    C McCann
    1B Kotchman
    2B Johnson
    RF Frenchy

  116. @153

    Not enamored with the idea of either (mostly for bad defense), but I hope we can get one if we don’t get Bay.

    Dunn is a great offensive player, but I just have this feeling when it goes, it’ll be gone for him. And it will probably go in the early middle of his next contract. Just a feeling, though.

  117. Simpson saying there are rumors that Kotsay, Kelly Johnson and Francoeur are in trade talks.

  118. I think if they get Bay, next year’s lineup would look more like:

    SS Escobar
    2B Kelly
    3B Chipper
    C McCann
    LF Bay
    1B Kotchman
    CF ??
    RF ??

    Anyway, it’s not a bad 1-6

  119. Sounds like I’m in the minority, but I like the trade. Kotchman fills what was going to be a big hole, and he does it cheaply (and for 3 years). That leaves more money to bring in a RH LF and a starter or two this offseason. And he’s not a bad hitter. He’s developing power (while he’ll never be a 30 HR guy, 20 HR and 35 2B seem like realistic numbers), and he hardly ever strikes out. If he could get his walk rate back to where it was in the minors (career MiL .325/.401/.493), he’d be well above average. Oh, and he hits LH really well, which we sorely needed.

    And Marek sounds like he could be useful. 57 Ks and only 2 HR allowed in 47 IP since being converted into a reliever this year. His walk rate is a bit high (21 in 47 IP), but you can live with that as long as you’re striking people out and limiting HR. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him contribute to the bullpen next year.

    Sure it’s not CoJack + Scherzer, but as far as realistic trades go, it’s a pretty good deal. A solid ML first baseman and near ML-ready reliever seem a lot better than 2 draft picks. Just my .02.

  120. 159–looks good except for the 8 hole :-)

    Blanco has a nice obp but I hope (though not too strongly) that he’s the 4th OF rather than the CF starter. It’d give a stronger lineup and a good obp guy off the bench for ph.

  121. Hard to believe that we would probably still have an above average lineup if we add a good LF next year, looking at what we’re trotting out now. Guess it depends some on Francoeur, who should still somehow be able to split the difference (or be demoted/benched/traded). It isn’t like he was any better or had a different approach when he put up acceptable numbers.

  122. At least we still have Campillo!

    1-2-3 Playoffs here we come!

    Oh, and for those of you projecting Blanco in CF, he just doesn’t have the arm to do it… unfortunately.

  123. Dan 161- Two thirds of that is fine by me. Try to get a lottery arm for Kotsay and plane fare out for Frenchy. I’d like to hang on to Kelly, though. He’s still got a chance ot be a star 2b in a league where they’re few and far between.

  124. I like mhr’s analysis. I was unimpressed earlier, but the more I process it, I think it’s a good trade. I guess I had the unrealistic mindset that we could get a Jackson/Scherzer package, but Kotchman is a good player, will be cheap, and Marek can be an asset as well.

  125. OK, I’m on vacation in upstate NY (wife’s family), so I not only haven’t gotten to SEE the Braves lose three in a row in ugly fashion, I’ve had to watch Mets or Yankees games if I want to watch baseball. I was actually HAPPY when I checked e-mail on my blackberry (thank you day job), and saw we got Kotchman. It was about as good as we were going to get out of it, and will give us a good bit of salary flexibility next year to fill in the gaps.

  126. Why do the Braves hate Kelly Johnson? Not just batting 6th behind Norton and Infante, but now the trade talks?

    I probably would have done this lineup:

    LF Blanco
    CF Kotsay
    SS Escobar
    3B Infante
    2B Johnson (slump)
    1B Norton
    RF Francoeur
    catcher
    pitcher

    I’m relatively satisified with the trade. Kotchman will fill the 1b hole for the next couple of years. Hopefully the live arm will develop into something.

  127. In his 157 games in Atlanta, Teixeira hit 37 home runs and drove in more runs (134) than any player in the major leagues except Ryan Howard. — from Jayson Stark on ESPN.com

    Not a bad season at all for Teixeira, even if it was split over two seasons.

  128. Judging from Wren’s comments, I think he and the front office like Kelly Johnson and know how good he is.

    I think it’s Bobby Cox. I think Bobby would probably rather be starting Prado, but doesn’t because of the front office.

  129. #162 – screw defense and get Dunn in RF

    Guillen, no thanks, maybe he’ll spike Chipper again

  130. Oh, this is classic. I just read this quote from Tex in ESPN’s article relating to the trade. On whether he would have bypassed free agency and signed long-term with the Braves this season:
    I was always open for it. This whole year I was open for it. But that’s business. It just didn’t work out,” he said. “I loved it here. I really did. I wanted to stay here for the rest of my career. But business is business. Sometimes you have to move on and I’m looking forward to moving on to LA.

    I don’t believe a single word of that statement.

  131. Just chiming in to say that I, too, like the trade; three years of (somewhat) cost-controlled, above-average play at first base and a prospect who may be able to slot into the back of our rotation in a couple years (if he’s not included in a package for an outfielder) for a player we had virtually no chance of keeping? I’ll take that.

    Given that Tex is represented by Boras and as such wouldn’t even discuss a contract until after the season, we had no leverage whatsoever. This was the best offer I heard reported (Conor Jackson + Scherzer notwithstanding — and that was a pipe dream) and I have no qualms about it — though personally, I would have included Ohman for the chance to get Adenhart.

  132. Wren’s interview is interesting. He thinks Francoeur will bounce back next season and the Braves made an “aggressive” offer to Teixeira in early spring training that would have made him one of the highest paid players in baseball and his agent turned it down.

  133. i too have warmed up to the trade a bit. I just hate the fact the best player in the trade left the team.

    Now, if we can get three OF we are onto something.

  134. Yeah, I’m not buying Tex’s comments. Wren just said that they talked to him about it in Spring Training.

    Of course, he also said that the team has a good nucleus to build around,i.e. McCann,Jeffy,& Blanco. That’s like saying, “look at my Hayabusa,tricycle, & big wheel”.

    Who knows what to believe.

  135. We need three OF and 2 SP. Someone devise a way to get that and I’ll hire you…

  136. Re Jose Guillen–not just no but H— NO. Bad player, bad attitude, and bad contract.

    BTW, terrible call at the plate. Three blind mice, three blind mice, …

    Suprised Cox didn’t at least give a token argument.

  137. Anyone else check out Kotchman’s splits? He is a lefty, but his OPS this year is about .250 higher against Lefty’s than against Righty’s. This could be a big test for Bobby Cox’s rigidity on letting lefty’s hit lefty’s.

  138. At least he dropped that double right up against the wall (according to Gameday). Now, can Mr. February deliver?

  139. What if Tex was holding Jeffy back this whole time? Tex leaves & Jeffy drives in a run….I’m just saying……the turnaround has begun.

    Jeff Francoeur-2009 NL MVP & 2009 WS MVP

    Was Simpson just talking about Jeffy there, with the entitlement speech.?

  140. Blanco is doing his damnedest to carve out a spot on the future Braves. He’s a fine hitter except for the total lack of power, and if Kotsay leaves, I think he’d be a fine CF.

  141. Gregor Blanco’s earned a spot on the team for next year IMO, whether it be as the CF or 4th OF. He has a .362 OBP coming into tonight.

  142. Jeffy’s career ops : .757
    Jeffy’s season ops : .657
    Jeffy’s july ops : .557
    I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, but it is scary.

  143. If man is 5….
    Then the devil is 6…
    And if the devil is 6, then God is 7…

    Is Jeffy a Monkey Gone to Heaven?

  144. Just looked at Kotchman’s baseballreference.com page. Wish I hadn’t. He’s really not as good as I thought and really all he is is a bunch of walks and middling power. If Marek is not a true prospect, I think we could have done better.

  145. AAR,
    The play where KJ dropped the pop up & Frenchy threw the guy out at the plate.

    Miller clearly tagged the runner’s leg before he touched the plate. I have no idea how Tschida blew that call. Miller’s glove even bounced off the runner’s leg.

    A MLB ump shouldn’t miss a call like that.

  146. … really all he is is a bunch of walks and middling power

    Isn’t a bunch of walks and middling power (I’d say occasional pop, but I’m an optimist) a lot better than 57 games of Greg Norton, full-time first baseman? When you factor in his defense (outstanding, by all accounts), he can more than handle playing first for us for three years — which will allow us to focus resources on an outfield bat or two.

  147. In Chief’s defense, he also thinks that “2b and ss these days hit 40 hr a year.”

    (Chief, still waiting for your answer to #64.)

  148. I’m pretty happy about the trade. I think Kotchman is a decent first baseman offensively, and a very good fielder. I really didn’t expect Wren to be able to turn 2 months of Tex into very much, especially with Boras sitting on Tex’ shoulder whispering in his ear.

    Also, if Freeman progresses like many of us dreams he will, Kotchman’s contract is pretty much the perfect length.

  149. To Chief, “good player” and “All Star Player” seem to mean the same thing. Anything below that is a waste of a uniform. It’s pretty silly.

  150. Re: Kotch –

    I know Pecota hates his slg pct, and he put up good numbers in hitters parks in the minors, but a – if the two draft picks we would have gotten turned out to be these two guys, you’d be more than happy, b – this was by far the best deal on the table for an immediate mlb 1B replacement, and c- there is a non trivial chance that as he approaches his peak years he will be an above average offensive 1B with very good defense, allowing the club to address it’s more glaring short term issues in the OF with the money coming off the books. Could the team have done better? Maybe, but I think this is a solid, if not life altering deal. That just wasn’t going to happen in any event.

  151. Oh, and if anybody wants to run with the whole “Kotch’s most similar players through Age 24 are David Ortiz, Nick Johnson, and Conor Jackson” thing, please go right ahead.

  152. Tomas,

    I can name A-Rod, Hanley Ramirez and Uggla are going to challenge 40 HR or at least 30+. It’s just really simple. KJ is NEVER going to ever ever ever approach numbers anywhere remotely like that. He’s just OK and not a player to build around. He looks better because the rest of our players are craptastic.

    We don’t have very many championship level players. In fact since Chipper’s bones have turned to fiberglass, I’m not sure we have but one, McCann. We don’t have 1 pitcher at that level. Maybe Jurrjens down the road.

  153. Campillo’s pitching well. All those who thought that Jorge Campillo would be the best pitcher on the Braves’ roster at the end of July raise your hand.

    I don’t think even his mother has her hand raised.

  154. Hey Robert,

    Newsflash. Go to the All-Star rosters and see which teams have the most. Then cross reference by the standings and let me know the correlation that you find.

  155. Chief, my goodness. Alex Rodriguez hasn’t been a shortstop in 5 years, and Hanley Ramirez won’t be one for much longer. And there’s almost no chance Hanley ever hits 40 anyway, which was the bizarre criterion you offered. The only player at either position with much of a chance of 40 is Chase Utley, and he’s one of the 5 best players in baseball. Are you actually annoyed that Kelly isn’t as good as Utley?

  156. re: 212

    If you were trying to prove Robert’s #208 post correct, you did an exceptional job, my friend.

  157. I’ll say it right now: Casey Kotchman will be the next David Ortiz.

    Awesome Alex, just what I was looking for.

    Just curious Chief, before this deal how many ‘championship level players’ did the Angels (the best team in baseball) have by your definition?

  158. Does Kotchman have a nickname?

    I’m thinking “Kotch Rocket”

    or

    “Myself, I’m a Kotch Man personally”

  159. The Mendoza line is a .200 batting average. The new terminology should be the Corky line – a .100 BA. I wonder if Hamster will finish above or below the line.

  160. Well since we don’t have but 1 who is concussed at the moment, I’ll say more than us.

    I’ll take, K-Rod, Guerrero(although I think he’s in decline), Weaver, Lackey, Shields, Arredondo, and Chone Figgins normal year is championship level.

    Don’t go there with the Angels comparisons, they are light years ahead of us and have an ownership group that are more interested in winning baseball games than figuring how to get another lonely guy in a Motel 6 to rent a PPV.

  161. I think Blanco is the best 4th outfielder we’ve had in a while. I don’t think he’s good enough to play everyday, but he can be pretty valuable. If we had a real outfield, he would be a perfect backup.

  162. #223 – That was funny thanks. Jurrjens isn’t but Arredondo is. I think I see how this goes.

  163. No offense but the fact that we’re finding a little positive in an OF hitting in the .260s with Little League power is telling.

  164. @223 – You just named almost all pitchers. Try naming some position players will you – that seems to be your argument. But if you want to go there, we have Hudson, Gonzalez, Soriano, Chipper, McCann, and I might throw in Escobar in that mix.

  165. Robert I said McCann and Jurrjens in the earlier post of championship level players. Don’t even think of including Smoltz, Hudson or Chipper.

  166. Wow, A-Rod’s a middle infielder again. I’ll have to keep a better eye on those New York tabloids. Hanley Ramirez, as was mentioned, a pretty awful defensive shortstop and will most likely be in CF before it’s all said and done with. He’ll follow the Alfonso Soriano/B.J. Upton route of taking a long walk out to the outfield. Dan Uggla is a baller, so nothing there. Of course, you could also say Jimmy Rollins based on last year, but he only hit 30 and this year Mr. Rollins’ SLG has taken an 100 point plunge, is hitting all of .270, and has an eye-popping 7 home runs. Jeff Kent had some legitimate pop at one point, but as Keith Law so eloquently put, his defensive prowess has him dubbed “a pillar of salt.”

    Second basemen with pop simply aren’t that popular. And most middle infielders who had pop end up moving to less premium defensive positions because they don’t have the defense to stay there. I guess it’s one or the other when it comes to middle infielders: defense or pop. I think A-Rod and Cal Ripken are the only two modern day examples, though even Ripken ended up at 3B, though A-Rod is there only because some people are foolish.

  167. @229 – you’ve got to be kidding – are you really bringing BA into play before OBP??? For someone who should be a leadoff hitter? His OBP is more than adequate, and here’s the cool part (it’s his first year in the majors man). Your bar is set entirely too high buddy.

  168. Re: 229

    No it’s not. In filling in for the injured Kotsay and Diaz, Blanco has provided us with a speedy leadoff hitter with a near .370 onbase.

    The fact that you don’t see the value in that is more telling.

  169. td very specifically said *4th* outfielder. Are you expecting .290, 30 homers and an all-star appearance from the 4th outfielder too?

  170. Hudson, Soriano and Chipper. Hey man, you actually have to play to contribute to a championship and typically more than half a season.

    I know Huddy’s been a workhorse, we’re both AU grads and he once hit me in the back in all stars back in the day, but he’s now at a huge crossroads.

  171. Hudson and Chipper definitely count, bud. You take Chipper’s 120-130 games and a capable back-up’s 30-40 games, and you’ve got yourself still an insane player. And if Hudson’s current 3.17 ERA isn’t good enough, what is?

    But if we’re including Chone Figgins while shoving KJ to the side, then I think insanity is dominating this conversation. And K-Rod and not Gonzalez? Bro, you must really over-value save opportunities.

  172. @236 – you just negated your own argument from 223 when you put Vlad on your list for the Angels. He hasn’t been healthy much for the past 3 years. At least keep your argument consistent.

  173. On Chief’s team, if the towel boy hasn’t won a couple Silver Sluggers, that kid can go screw himself.

  174. When they hit like that, I can guarantee you that by whatever statistical means you want to dredge up that they knock in a whole hell of a lot more than they let in.

    I don’t know why I even bother with such ridiculous homerism with this board where every Brave is an above average player. I don’t think they’re all dogmeat, but most of them just aren’t major leaguers. The fact that Kotsay gets play on this board is comical and by the way I don’t care if his OPS+ was 95 or 105. He’s old, injury prone, has no power and has the range of my great aunt.

    If they’re all above average then why the hell do they play so badly.

    And Blanco’s OBP has really helped in the standings and has contributed greatly to winning ball.

  175. Blanco is a good 4th outfielder – not much more. Kotsay is better than AJ was last year, but when you consider him, Franceour and Blanco together, it is one of the worst OF’s in baseball. I don’t think that is being a homer.

  176. I have not problem stating our inadequacies:
    Frenchy Sucks, No right-fielder with power (Blanco is a center-fielder), KJ has been average this year, Tex was average for most of the year.

    But our biggest problem by far – injuries.

  177. And I’ll hear nothing from Bama fans considering 7 is coming and so is 8, 9…

    Have fun this year with no DL and LBs that run in the 4.8 range.

    CJ Spiller and Davis may run for 350 yds combined against that ‘defense’.

  178. seriously……..??????a hit a run with runners at the corner and 1 out??? WTF, a fly ball scores a run

  179. Don’t know if you guys saw this quote from Kotchman:

    “I’m just excited to go to Atlanta and play for (manager) Bobby Cox,” Kotchman said before leaving Fenway Park for the airport. “At the same time, my teammates here, to leave them, I’ll be pulling for them. Other than that, there’s really not a whole lot I can say.”

  180. 247–just setting up the powerhouse trio of Francoeur, Miller, and Campillo to bat in the 6th

  181. I bet Kotch has dropped more F Bombs in the last two hours than he has in his whole life

  182. I just got up and saw the trade: its really disappointing….the Braves already have lots of pitchers as good as Marek…given all the teams that were apparently intrested in Tex, makes me wonder if Wren would have done better to wait a day and ask for more…..it looks to me like he lost his nerve….

  183. saw this on the MLb chat..(and no Kelly didnt ask this)

    [Comment From Kelly Johnson]
    7:48 Any news on the chances I’ll be shipped out of Atlanta?

    7:48 There are actually no rumors here. But if Wren was talking about 6 different Braves he could certainly be among them.

  184. I tackled CJ Spiller in high school. For a loss. Just saying…

    I don’t think anyone here thinks everyone is above average. As was said, we have a terrible right fielder, our left fielder has no power, and our center fielder has range issues. Other than that, our third baseman, when healthy is MVP-caliber. Our SS and 2B are above average, and our first baseman was a great player. Of course, McCann is a baller. Our pitching has been decent too.

    What’s killed us is injuries. You don’t lose John Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Tom Glavine, Mike Hampton, Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzalez, Chipper, and Matt Diaz for extended periods and still say competitive. You can argue that the administration crapped the bed in relying on so many fragile players, but you can still make the case that we’re unlucky and our team has a lot of good players on it.

    I’m listening to Skip on XM tonight, and it has been a treat, I must say.

  185. @251 – Could you blame him? I think he handled it well though (judging by the quote). Don’t forget most all hist counting stats are on pace for career highs – he’s getting better. His rate stats have suffered a bit – mostly b/c walks are down. But as I stated earlier, the guy just doesn’t strike out – a welcome change for the Braves offense.

  186. Well, Kotchman is from St. Pete, so he is a lot closer to home. That has to say something.

  187. I think Kotchman will be solid. Not a heist for Wren, but not a bust, either. It helps that he has a good defensive reputation and that he’s approaching his peak years while under team control. I don’t think it’s out of the question to expect his power to develop.

  188. I think Kotchman will have a positive VORP for the forseeable future /SABR/.

  189. news from the farm–starting catcher from Rome left on a stretcher after a collision at the plate–his replacement later left after a foul tip–now catching is the SS

  190. I think the Kotchman part of the trade is fine–but Marek?…we should have been able to do better (even if we had to throw in a player or propsect) than Marek….then again he did’t cost as much as Ridgeway….

  191. 264 — that sucks. hope they’re ok. we could probably get corky there in a couple of hours if they can stall.

  192. 266–they’d prefer to stick with the SS rather than holding out for the demi-Mendoza

  193. Besides McCann, we don’t have one player that has league average power at his position. Even Chipper is in the modern era not a true big bopper. That’s why we’re losing.

  194. @269 – Where do you get your stats from, man. Chipper is well above league average for power at his position.

  195. they’re replaying the hr derby and hamilton’s up on espn2. just a heads up in case you missed it.

  196. 269 — frank, couldn’t you just see corky showing up and the clubhouse door is locked with a note on it for him. heh heh.

  197. re: 271

    Chief has already said in this thread he doesn’t believe in stats. Despite the fact that he continues to post made up ones.

  198. He’s basically a 30 HR guy, maybe 32. OK so he’s probably above league average, but not elite power. You’re right.

  199. So 30hr a year is “probably” above league average by your estimation?

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  200. Fun with facts:

    2008, MLB 2B: .275/.337/.410
    2008, MLB SS: .267/.321/.384

    2008, Kelly Johnson: .264/.339/.423
    2008, Yunel Escobar: .284/.357/.382

    Kelly has had slightly above average power and an above-average OPS. Yunel has had almost exactly average power and, thanks to an elevated BA and OBP, a well above-average OPS.

  201. Have you seen: Braves Lineup

    ESPN’s stat page random link generator is rubbing it in.

  202. well, lackey made it 8 and a third before pedroia got a single.

    still a pretty good day to be an angels fan, i’d say.

  203. I consider 30 HR a minimum for a corner infielder so that would be meeting a minimum of expectations.

  204. Even Chipper is in the modern era not a true big bopper

    Wow. I’m not even going to bother.

  205. I think we should trade Corky Miller to hell.

    Chief, do you have a reason for thinking that? This isn’t the steroid era, you know. Last year, first basemen in the major leagues hit 736 HR in 20992 PA in 4862 games; third basemen hit 625 HR in 20785 PA in 4862 games.

    This means that major league first basemen hit 22.7 homers per 150 games, and 21 homers per 600 plate appearances; third basemen hit 19.3 homers per 150 games and 18 homers per 600 plate appearances.

    What do the words “average” and “minimum” even mean to you?

  206. spike,

    how many times has Chipper hit 50 HRs? or 45+? A 2B will hit nearly as many this season as he’s hit for a career high.

  207. By Chief’s definition, only A-Rod, M. Cabrera, R. Braun, & D. Wright met the “minumum of expectations” for a 3b last year.

    M. Cabrera has been moved to 1b/dh. Braun to the outfield.
    D. Wright is widely regarded as one of the best young players in baseball.
    And A-Rod is inarguably one of the greatest player of all time.

  208. The Braves have two paths in front of them, as I see it- hang on to the remaining established players or completely blow up the team.

    To quote Woody Allen, “One path leads to despair and hopelessness. The other, to total destruction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

  209. That 2B is also going to hit more HRs than Pujols this year. Does that mean Pujols isn’t a “big bopper”? You should really think this through.

  210. A 2B will hit nearly as many this season as he’s hit for a career high.

    Right, an MVP candidate and one of the greatest offensive 2b of all time.

  211. Forget it. I can’t consider a player elite that plays 120 games per year. Sorry. Oh he’s also 35 years old.

  212. hey we got Blanco, Esco, Chip, Tex, and BMac coming up in the 9th. lets get something going

  213. (sorry for the obscure Simpsons reference, I can’t resist when the opportunity presents itself.)

  214. Yeah I was wrong months ago when I said this team was terrible and not just injured. Meanwhile we had people devising ways to get into the World Series. Perspective and stuff.

  215. As I was saying, you gotta love a character who can’t admit when he’s wrong.

  216. Jeez….Kotchman went from the best team in baseball to the Keystone cops comedy review. Great day for him.

  217. Waived by Seattle because he didn’t cut the mustard as a utility infielder. So of course he’s now our starting 1b.

    New nickname: Greg “Emperor” Norton.

  218. Ok, nicknames for Kotchman: “Crotch-Man”….or, along those same lines, “Merkin”.

  219. The quest for a top 5 draft pick is alive and running. What might be an ELITE player someday.

  220. So, corner infielders have to hit 30 HRs apiece, middle infielders have to hit like said corner infielders, Gregor Blanco is not even a good backup outfielder, and Jair Jurrjens is not a championship level player, whatever the heck that means. I think I found the two teams that he may consider pretty good, but they only play one game, it’s against each other, and it’s in the middle of July.

  221. KJ comes up small again with a RISP. The next inning, a Pujols dinger. Most of you guys praise him, but he isn’t clutch and his defensive lapses come at the most inconvenient times! I’ve had my fill of him.

    Norton and Miller have no business playing.

    Frenchy keeps stinking things up and reaches to make a lot of outs.

    This team is looking more and more like the vintage late-80’s Braves. At least we had the ‘young guns’ to root for then.

  222. My brain is now leaking out of my ear onto my desk after reading all these Nocahoma posts.

  223. Phillip, Corky was pulled for a pinch-hitter, in a futile attempt to score an 8th inning run.

  224. Oh, thank God! It’s Boyer!

    And I think there’s a very good chance, Phillip. I defy anybody to come up with somebody they think is worse.

  225. Surely there’s some crappy reliever on the Royals, or some no-name bench player on the Mariners, that is worse……maybe?….no?

  226. Equivalent Average -.049 before tonight’s 0-3. Only Brandon Wood (Angels 3b) has a negative EqA in more plate appearances. On the other hand, he has thrown out 5 of 10 base stealers, so I guess there’s a tiny part of his game where he doesn’t suck. Still, Phillip, I’m inclined to say yes.

  227. And that’s it. Another Little League effort by the team, and Kotchner is calling his agent looking to insert a retroactive no-trade clause into his contract. Sorry, buddy, but at least you’ll be getting paid to watch this.

  228. Oh he’s also 35 years old.

    So? Old is not synonymous with bad. Plenty of 30+ year old players will out-perform players 25 years old and younger.

  229. Barry Bonds was 42 last year. Yeah, he really sucked. In fact, he’s pretty much sucked ever since he turned 35, for that matter. Plus, he only hit like 40 homers last year, so he wasn’t elite.

  230. Because he had amazing mental and physical talent that was supplemented by some uhh… supplements.

  231. I’m sorry, but I may be one of the few people that would vote Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame, perjury and all. The guy was simply, even if you took away the steroids, a fantastic, one-of-the-greatest-of-all-time kinda player. He did everything well.

  232. I don’t really have a big problem with the trade, just the timing. What the harm of holding on to Tex until Thursday and see if somebody gets desperate. Maybe the Red Sox move Manny and need to trade for Tex to replace him, maybe the Dodgers cave into the pressure and give up Loney and somebody else, maybe the DBacks feel the pressure and part with Scherzer or Parker and somebody else along with Tracy ??

    I would find it hard to believe that this offer was a take it or leave it offer from the Angels. That’s my only problem with the trade.

    Kotchman should serve as at least near league average for a couple of years, which is more than I can say for anybody that the Braves have until the minors, and free up some money to spend elsewhere. I’m not getting my hopes up that it’s going to get spent, but that’s just me. Hopefully Freeman continues to progress and can take over when Kotchman becomes too expensive.

  233. Boston doesn’t have a need for Teixeira. They have Ortiz at DH and Youkilus at 1B, both of which, for good reason, aren’t going anywhere. I guess you could have moved Youkilus back to third and dealt Lowell, but why? Good teams don’t make short-sighted decisions like that.

    Loney’s not much better than Kotchman, if at all. Chad Tracy is not the person we were looking for, and we would just be looking to replace him in a year. Conor Jackson’s the only guy I would like other than Kotchman, and that wasn’t happening.

    I agree that perhaps there could have been a better deal closer to the deadline, but we don’t know who’s been saying what on the other end of Wren’s BlackBerry. Who knows, maybe the Angels were hesitant to even do that deal, and Wren gave them a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.

  234. I do want to give a tip of the cap to the Angels for going for it, I’d much rather see them represent the AL than the Yankees or Red Sox, that’s for sure.

    Also, please trade Kotsay for whatever and let Brandon Jones play to see if maybe he can be the answer next year.

    The only thing I’m really interested in the rest of the year is to see who can play outfield from within. Jayson Bay or somebody of that ilk would be nice, but I’m not getting my hopes up. Can Lil’Bridge play center ? Will Schafer or Hernandez be ready next year ? Hopefully Heyward and Freeman will continue to mash and develop so they will be ready by the time this team is ready to contend again.

  235. Or maybe the teams would lower their offers knowing we are out of time and desperate to move him.

  236. Good point, Dix. Everyone knew we pretty much had no leverage, and if they get the feel that no one is going nuts over two months of Teix, then why up the ante?

  237. We might have been able to get more if we had dealt Teixeira when Sabathia and Harden were dealt, but I don’t think we were in a position record-wise and injury-wise to concede the season at that point.

  238. The Braves were out of this season when Smoltz got hurt. We may have taken a while to fade but this team wasn’t going anywhere without him.

  239. Bethany, didn’t know you were in DC. We should get a Braves Journal group together for a drink, if nothing else.

    Rob, I’m with you — I’d vote Bonds into the Hall, even though I’d be holding my nose. You just can’t deny the guy. He deserved to be in the Hall before anyone alleges he ever started using. Sad story, but there you go.

  240. An AU student! I was an AU student, an ALumni, I worked in Congress for 3 years before moving home to NJ to teach and become a football coach!
    Once an Eagle, always an Eagle!

  241. I know that it was a necessity today, but do ya’ think there may be a connection between the lack of runs scored when Campillo starts and catching Corky Miller for him? It can’t help your team when you replace one of your top 3 hitters with the worst hitter in baseball.

  242. Chief,

    By your standards, who is elite on the Angels? They traded for Tex because they lacked power–but they have a 10 game lead.

    It’s one thing to say that statistics are overvalued, it’s another to simply disregard them. And then you set up ridiculous standards that Braves players can’t meet so as to “prove” your point that they all suck. Like it or not (and apparently you don’t) but Chipper is a Hall of Fame third baseman. Making 50 home runs the standard for elite players is absurd; no third baseman in history has hit 50 home runs.

  243. AAR, I’m actually still in Alabama, though I certainly wish I was in DC.

    td, I think it’s just a lack of run scored period. Before Jo Jo completely lost his touch, he lost two 1-0 games, didn’t he?

  244. I really think the Braves should sign me to play backup catcher, Ill do it for free, I have a good arm, I used to pitch and catch in high school, so I can throw guys out, and I cant hit worth a damn either, and my salary room will help them go out and get someone else, while I give the same production as the Hamster

  245. I did too, having gone there!
    I used to catch alot of Orioles games down there,when i lived in DC and not any good ones either!

  246. And let’s not forget that there’s another Braves Hall of Famer who never hit 50 home runs in a season.

    His name is Henry Louis Aaron.

  247. I was thinking it was Auburn University, because the other school is University of Alabama.

  248. Of course, only one Brave in history has ever hit as many as 50 homers in a season: Andruw Jones.

    No other player ever hit 50 homers in a Boston, Milwaukee, or Atlanta Braves uniform. But hey, maybe none of them were elite.

  249. AAR,
    I’m pretty sure you’re not the only Ivy Leaguer that didn’t have Auburn (or much of the SEC come to think of it) on the tip of his tongue.

    A goofy thing: Until today I had plans to make it down to DC at the end of August for the Braves/Nats “Battle for 4th” series. Just found out I got a business trip instead.

    A mild bummer. Was hoping I could catch up with some of the DC folk, but not this time.

    (In my cheesy mobile-DJ voice) And I wanna toss out a shoutout to Bravesjournal pal & fellow Queens resident, RobBroad4th, who recently earned his Masters degree here in NYC. Well done, Maestro!

    See you at Shea in a few weeks & the next drink’s on me…

  250. Marc,

    I know its trivial and I agree that 50 homers is not the elite standard for a third baseman, but A-Rod did have 54 last year, so someone has done it as a third baseman. Also, I haven’t waded through the whole thread, but it sounds like the Chief has been taking too many hits off the peace pipe.

  251. thanks for the backup Ububba

    guess we could also say he might be tripping on peyote as well, but i don’t think he would even be able to construct sentences if that were the case

  252. From the AJC:

    Teixeira said he had been “open” to hearing offers from the Braves all season, but got none. Wren said the Braves didn’t believe they could re-sign him after making an “aggressive” offer during spring training and having it rejected.

    The GM said the offer would have made Teixeira one of the game’s highest paid players.

  253. The Braves probably offered 5 years when Teix and his agent are holding out for 7-8. Also doubt that Boras would let him sign during the season when there is such a weak crop this offseason.

    The problem for me is there was one conversation, one offer and the Braves were done even trying to make a better deal to Teix. In todays market you really can’t make a take it or leave it offer to players in demand.

  254. As I said last night, our philosophy when it comes to free agents is inane and stupid and makes us look like a second-class organization. This is exhibit 1A of that. I get the feeling that Tex never would’ve agreed to an extension and if we wanted him, we would’ve had to play on the open market, but the least we could’ve done is negotiate a bit. Isn’t it pretty standard practice to not accept the first offer in pretty much all negotiating situations?

    I also think that a lot of people in this organization don’t want to negotiate or even communicate with Boras ever, not so much as a fax if they can help it. If so, this will wind up being really destructive if it’s not changed soon. Because like it or not, he’s probably the preeminent agent among baseball players right now, and therefore represents a lot of players. To just totally ignore the most popular agent in the industry is plain stupid. Do we think that it’ll just never come up again? For instance, as DOB pointed out in his blog at some point tonight, guess who Jair Jurrjens’ agent is?

  255. Nick, as long as JS is around, I would imagine things aren’t going to go spectacularly with Boras. JS isn’t the only one that doesn’t like dealing with him. I haven’t really seen anything about not dealing with Boras that has raised a red flag as an organization though. Maddux accepting arbitration I don’t think JS was thrilled with, but it’s not like they don’t deal with anybody that represented by Boras.

    It’s way too early to worry about who Jurrjens agent is, in my opinion. Let’s worry about that in four or five more years.

  256. urlhix, how about when I heard about the trade, it felt like a kick in the Krotchman. Rimshot ? Please ?

  257. We do need a better nickname: Krotchman is so obvious that I have been using since I saw him drafted…

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