Cardinals 7, Braves 2

ESPN – Cardinals vs. Braves – Box Score – July 30, 2008

Boy, is this a bad baseball team. It’s so bad that Jeff Francoeur, who sucks, is one of its best hitters. The Braves led 1-0 early, but once again the offense is so bad that there was no breathing room, and another good starting pitching performance was blown.

Jair Jurrjens got hung for a loss despite a quality start, seven innings, three runs allowed. He really shouldn’t have been in the game to allow the third run — he wound up at 116 pitches, and there is no reason to push him. At any event, he gave up two runs in the fifth, and an RBI double to Pujols in the seventh.

The bullpen has, of course, completely imploded. Most imploded of all is Boyer, who allowed a two-run homer in the eighth. The horrific tandem of Ring and Tavarez allowed two runs in the ninth.

Jeffy drove in the game’s first run, and had two hits, but still really sucks. Infante had three hits, scoring the first run and driving in the other. Kotchman was 0-5, so he’ll fit right in. The Braves left 14 men on base.

130 thoughts on “Cardinals 7, Braves 2”

  1. you take a good look at this team and you realize if we want any chance of sniffing .500 in the next few years we have alot of changes to come.

    It will be a great idea to trade Ohman for a low level prospect as the rumors say. That is exactly what we need, a player who cant help us for 3 or 4 years.

    I feel for Wren, he was dealt a crappy hand and has to find a way to fix it. Good luck Frank.

  2. Why has there been no mention of trading Gonzalez and/or Soriano? Bad teams don’t need closers and we are most definately a bad team. We are bad in ’08, and we will be bad in ’09. $40 million won’t plug all our holes. We need at a minimum, 2 SP and 2 OF. Where’s it going to come from?

    $40 mil won’t get it done. The Yankees will have about $80 kajillion to spend and there are only four quality FAs:
    Tex- pinstripes.
    Dunn- can you really see Bobby wanting him with all the Ks?
    Sheets- players who get hurt, tend to get hurt.
    Sabathia- that’s a car with a whole lotta mileage, buyer beware.

    Who are we going to trade? Certainly not Heyward/Freeman/Hanson/Shafer. And nobody will give a quality OF for a package of Brandon Jones and Brent Lillibridge. It just ain’t gonna happen.

    Maybe we can get more in the off-seaon, but if Kyle F’n Farnsworth will get you Pudge, surely Gonzalez snags a ML OF right now.

    Wow, I just realized how negative I am. So this is what hopelessness feels like. I feel really bad for Royals fans.

  3. Why do the owners of the Braves find it so hard to make an investment in the team that would pay off? They need to start doing like the Sox, Yankees, and Mets and getting the best that money can buy. Yeah, the payroll may go through the roof, but they would reap the benefits through increased attendance, merchandise sales, and most importantly, a World Series ring (or at least a playoff appearance).

  4. There is ample evidence of what benefits a winning Braves team brings to the bottom line. Unfortunately the evidence includes empty seats for playoff games.

  5. I dunno Jason. If I could immediatly fill holes with mlb ready players I would trade Heyward/Freeman/Hanson as their value is very high now. Schafer? virtually worthless. As fast as your stock rises in the minor leagues it can fall even faster. I guess it would depend on whether the Braves consider themselves to be near contenders next season or in a long term rebuilding mode.

  6. I guess it would depend on whether the Braves consider themselves to be near contenders next season or in a long term rebuilding mode.

    I just don’t see the ’09 Braves as near contenders. As much as it pains me to say it, we have in all likelihood seen the last John Smoltz slider. Hudson needs TJ so AT BEST he’s in the rotation in August ’09. Say we outbid everyone for Sheets, and he stays healthy all year, can we remain afloat with a rotation of Sheets/Jurrjens/Campillo/some schlub/Reyes/Morton/James until then? Again, we need at least two OF. Preferably 3.

    Do we look any better in ’09 than at the start of ’08? Maybe we swoop in and grab Bay or Holliday, but I just don’t see it.

  7. I think they have to start playing for 2010 or 11. I don’t see a quick fix in the offseason. Like Jason says, we need 2 Of and starting pitching. After Hudson and Jurrjins, our rotation is a bunch of band-aids. I think it would go a long way if we could give someone like Sheets one of those short term and high money deals. Since the Dodgers like to take our left overs, maybe we could use on of their negotiation tactics. I also think we could get a solid outfield bat for the B. Jones/Lillibridge package. We did come very close on Bay with that package, so it is possible. No matter what is done, Wren has a lot of work to do to get us back where we should be.

  8. The wheels have really come off the wagon….I hope the Braves do not make the mistake of thinking that if not for injuries they might have captured the NL East–or that they are one or two players away.

    Instead, I rather suspect that both team and organization need to be rebuilt or re-tooled. If the Braves realize that they don’t have to win in 2009, I actually think that they have a better chance in winning in 2010 and beyond.

    For my part, I am hoping that we can see the kids play for the rest of 2008. Even if the Braves keep losing, at least we will be able to draft one of the top 10 players in the draft. Therefore, I hope that Wren realizes that the best way to finish the season is to concentrate on player development.

  9. Why is it unreasonable to think that the Braves would be in the thick of the playoff race if all of their pitchers hadn’t gotten hurt? Given how bad the NL East is, I think it’s pretty stupid to think they wouldn’t be.

    And the guy who thinks Schafer is worthless…. Do you know how many 21-yos struggle their first time through AA? Schafer’s still a strong prospect. Players’ values only tend to jump around wildly from year to year in your head, not in reality.

  10. No one wants Soriano. He’s got a mysterious injury and a bad contract.

    I have been meaning to post the Plus/Minus defensive numbers for Tex and Kotch.

    Tex +13
    Kotch +12

    That’s 13 and 12 plays above what the average MLB first basemen makes. Long story short: they are similar defenders.

  11. Hudson says he is going to wait a week before deciding to have surgery. Why? Both doctors said he needs the surgery. He is waiting to “see how it feels.” This must be the medical equivalent of ignoring advanced sabermetrics. Huddy decides he can decide what medical treatment he needs by seeing how his arm feels. But it didn’t hurt in the first place. Let’s just ignore what the doctors say; what the hell do they know just because they look at these MRIs? All he is doing is wasting his time. Get it done and start rehab.

  12. My Ray of Hope: Starting Pitching
    Not the current crop, mind you, but possible free agents.

    I think Turner Field and the Braves organization are still attractive options to FA pitchers that are having a career. So many of the NL parks are now bandboxes-or shoeboxes-and Turner Field has held neutral.

    JS said he built with starters. I hope Wren spends any FA money in that direction.

  13. I heard on the radio that Andrews advised him to wait a week. I think part of this is mentally preparing the athlete to accept his fate. My guess is that the MRI is such a mess due to inflammation that it is difficult to read. In a week, the damage will be easy to see to the untrained eye.

  14. marc……………..a pitcher asking an orthopedist if he needs surgery is like asking a mechanic if your car needs a tune-up…………..and baseball really is more fun without all the math.

  15. Any 25-year-old Gary Sheffield’s out there?

    I don’t think Miguel Cabrerra is available.

  16. @13

    I’m fine building with pitching, but I think the Yanks will outbid everyone for Sabathia. We could end up with Sheets, but boy that’s an injury risk. 4-5 years at $20 mil per. That could easily be Hampton redux.

  17. More Proof That Scott Boras is The Devil:

    So, if the Sawx don’t pickup up Manny’s option, he requires a new deal.

    If the Sawx DO pick up the option, Boras doesn’t get a nickel because that deal was negotiated with Manny’s old agent.

    So with Boras prompting from the wings, Manny is burning down a great, hard-earned relationship so that Manny can do … what? Go to a team that has very little realistic chance for playoff success and then test the waters after this immolation.

    Think the Dodgers are awaiting Scott’s call?

    If I were the Sawx, I’d be sorely tempted to pick up the offer just to stick it to Boras.

    I hate very few people that I don’t know personally, but Boras is on the list …

  18. jc……..with the number of runs the Braves are scoring, the required counting hardly qualifies as math.

  19. I think that the Braves have enough going for them for the front office to think that they can contend:
    A plus infield yes even with Kotchman
    best catcher in the game
    Jurrjens, Campillo( I know, I know), Gonzalez, potential in James and Morton.
    The outfield is a mess but Francouer can’t really be this bad…. can he? Assmuming that the Braves see his season as an outlier we do need 2 outfielders but maybe just one if Diaz, whom everyone including me thought was a regular quality player comes back.

    And add to that that significant payroll will be off the books in 2009.

    So to sum up I can see where the Braves could consider themseleves to be in contention.

    On Schafer, he is worthless on the trade market. He is STILL a prospect, kind of.

  20. My list of questions.

    1) Everything I see put Campillo in the mix as a starter next year. Didn’t he sign a minor league contract to join us? So do we have him for sure next year or are we assuming we can resign him?

    2) If we have money to spend next year why not spend something for a change on a back up catcher to protect McCann? Estrada’s struggling this year and probably not a starter anymore but just last year he had a solid year for the Brewers and could be a valuable once or twice a week kind of guy. Or somebody comparable that would sign for a two year two to three million deal. I’m not attached to Estrada. Just somebody to keep from having the enviable black hole twice a week on the dreaded day game after a night game.

    3) Sheets and Sabbathia both have big injury worries to me that makes me scared to give a long term contract. But what about John Lackey? He’s a free agent at the end of the year and the Angels are going to have to decide between him and Teixiera now.

    4) I keep seeing that we want a minor league pitcher for Ohman. Why don’t we go for a solid outfield prospect since that’s our great weakness? Especially somebody that could come up and finish the year and be a solid player? Somebody like Pawtucket’s Brandon Moss.

  21. Thanks I was wondering how it worked since we signed him to a minor league deal as a minor league free agent and how that would effect his rights according to service time.

  22. Lackey will become a free agent if the Angels don’t pick up his option. Unless they are stupid, they will pick it up.

  23. I think that if Hudson is hurt for all of 2009, the Braves need to be realistic. They should be focusing more on youth, as I see it, unless they suddenly, for the first time in many years, are able to compete with the big boys in free agency. It’s doubtful the Braves will be realistic. That’s probably one of the major problems with bringing Bobby back for one more season. Let’s just hope short-sightedness doesn’t cripple the seasons beyond 2009.

  24. “.. But what about John Lackey? He’s a free agent at the end of the year and the Angels are going to have to decide between him and Teixiera now.”

    The Angels will have plenty of cash b/c they are going to let FRod walk. They have a flame thrower waiting to take his place.

    Which brings me to my next question. Bryan Harvey to Trop Percival to FRod…Can the Braves use whatever the Angels use to develop 1 decent closer?

  25. anyone think we need to look in the Mexican Leagues or in Japan for an outfielder or some more pitching. Wren is going to have to be very creative this offseason. We have money to play with, but a ton of holes. Campillo has been great and I wouldnt move him. Low cost great pitching is hard to come by.

  26. Holliday and Helton to the Braves for Ohman and Franceuor, then bring Hurdle on board to manage next year.

  27. You know, if Hampton actually pitches decently the rest of the years, it might make sense to re-sign him on the cheap if only for the comedy value for us fans.

  28. The Braves as a good team in 2009 just isn’t going to happen. if you want to build from the farm, our good guys are at least 2 years away, and maybe 3. The Braves cannot admit this, because they have to sell tickets in 2009, but if there were a secret room, i would hope they are figuring a starting line-up and rotation to be competitive in 2011. If that means trading MLB guys today for A or AA players, then so be it. the correct startegy IMHO is to have 7-10 greta kids at that level, so you will have 5-7 work-out at the MLB level.

    This franchise is god-awful right now. Assuming Huddy is gone, there are 2 stars, one of whom has about a year left, 3 MLB slightly above average players, and the rest as drek.

    Note that an average 1B OPS is .858. Kotchman may be kind to children and pets and a nice guy, but that .759 lifetime OPS leaves us having to make up offense vs. the league average in other places. he basically balances out a star.

  29. Marlins just got Arthur Rhodes for Gaby Hernandez. This tells you the kind of return the Braves ought to expect for Ohman. I think Rhodes is a little better than Ohman, so the Braves are still looking at a low-level prospect.

  30. I think Ohman’s better than Rhodes, or is more valued at any rate. There are supposedly eight teams, including the Death Star and the Death Stah, interested in him. But whoever they trade for will be a long way away, I’m sure.

  31. Huddy is gone next year. A vist to Dr. Andrews guarantees that. Jurrens and Campy are the only starters so far. The Braves will be lucky not to finish dead last next year.

    On the bright side McCann will be an all-star 4 years in a row. Jurrens will continue to shine. Escobar will develop power. Francouer will retire over the winter, but then change his mind, fax over his reinstatement ltr, but the Braves will be forced to trade him since they already annointed a new starter in RF. Chipper will play 90 games. Ron Gant and David Justice will come out of retirement to play in the OF. Which will solve two issues: No outfielders and finally some African-Americans on the baseball team again. More to come…

  32. I think everything will fall into place on Ohman right after the Manny deal either falls apart or is completed.

  33. Another thing is that Rhodes doesn’t have a huge platoon split, which oddly works against them, because the monster teams are looking for a “lefty killer”. (Hello, Mr. Ortiz! Hello, Mr. Giambi!)

  34. I think Jesse Orosco is available if we trade Ohman, probably an upgrade over Ring

  35. After having attended last night’s game, I can confirm that the situation is just as depressing in person.

  36. Well there is a right handed hitting left fielder tatht will probably be on the market next year. I hear he is a little crazy, but he can hit.

  37. seriously though, why are we hanging onto Ring, Norton, Gotay, and Miller??? seriously none of these guys are in the plans for next year. call up Schafer or Anderson to see what they look like. Call up Diory too

  38. Barrycuda @15,

    I think it’s more like the mechanic saying you need a new transmission. I wouldn’t like it but I wouldn’t wait hoping the transmission fixes itself. But I defer to JC’s comment about the doctor recommending Hudson wait; it’s hard to believe that two could be wrong about that though.

    Without Hudson, it’s going to be very hard for the Braves to be a legitimate contender next year (as opposed to the faux contenders in which they add a couple of marginal players and hope the weakness of the NL allows to hand around.) I can’t see the Braves going out and doing a 1997 Florida Marlins so I hope they don’t make some short-term moves to contend in 2009 that hurt them down the road. But I suspect that is what is going to happen.

    I don’t think they really need to trade a lot of guys away. Most of the best players are young; it’s not as if this is a veteran-loaded team unless you want to trade Chipper. As much as I like Glavine and Smoltz, I hope they retire so the Braves can move forward. They do need to make moves but they are not bereft of prospects in the minors as long as they don’t screw it up and go for short-term fixes.

  39. OK, that link at #25 is pee-puddle funny. Thanks, Catz.

    At this point, we can only make light of our situation & look forward. That link certainly does the former.

  40. Looks like the White Sox just got Ken Griffey for two minor leaguers…specifically Danny Richar and Nick Masset, for those who care.

  41. We hold on to Norton, et al. because the only stuff that has any chance of being better is too good to either (1) screw up by rushing to the majors and (2) start the service clock on, thereby making them more expensive a few years down the line.

    To be honest, I’m starting to come around on the belief that next year, the Braves will not be very good. They’ll have a very good infield, but unless something big happens, the OF will still suck, and the rotation is going to be a complete mess.

  42. Why has there been no mention of trading Gonzalez and/or Soriano?

    One just got back from Tommy John and the other is a threat to need it. Also the Braves say they will and want to compete next year and having Soriano and Gonzalez in their bullpen for about a combined ten million is a good deal.

  43. Hasn’t Soriano already had Tommy John? How many pitchers have had it done twice? Doubt the recovery for that is too high…

  44. I imagine Gonzalez would bring something useful, TJ or not. He’s good, left-handed, signed to a reasonable deal, and he’s a Proven Closer.

    Aren’t the Dodgers looking for bullpen help and looking to trade Kemp?


  45. I would not trade Gonzalez. Absolutely not.

    Same here. Keep Mike Gonzalez around for 2009.

  46. You’re not trading players that could bring a return just for the sake of blowing up the team. You trade players that aren’t going to be in future plans for players that could be (prospects). That’s why Ohman and Kotsay got to go. You hold onto Gonzalez.

  47. keep Gonzalez………….we’ll probably have at least ten or twelve games that need saving next year.

  48. The good thing about not being in contention right now is that, if Gonzalez is used strictly as a closer, there won’t be as many innings to pitch, allowing us to kinda ease him in.

    Silver lining!

  49. The Braves aren’t rebuilding though despite what people here many think/want. It’s pretty clear they’re going to try and compete in 2009.

  50. And I don’t really understand why anybody would want their team to enter a five-year rebuilding mode.

  51. It doesn’t matter whether you’re competing next year or not, a good OF is more important than a good closer.

  52. Of course, I also didn’t understand why anybody would want their team to lose so that they would agree that the season was a lost cause. Again, trading Tex was the right thing to do, but I know it didn’t particularly give me the warm fuzzies, I don’t know about you. Maybe you enjoy watching your team torn asunder.

  53. Johnny,

    Because it’s not a foregone conclusion that we won’t be able to compete next year. We have such a strong nucleus of Chipper, Kotchman, McCann, Escobar, Johnson, Jurrjens, Campillo, Reyes, Boyer, Gonzalez, et al that if we make the right moves in the offseason, we could be a good team in 2009.

    We’re not a 90 loss team for 2009. Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun (who is an idiot) said we’ve now become the Kansas City Royals. Bullcrap. Look at our talent, and look at KC’s. No comparison. We’re a couple shrewd moves away from being good. Remember, we’ve traded exactly one player in the past 48 hours. Yes, he was a great player, but it’s not like we’ve totally blown up the team the way some people think we have.

    We’re going to need a closer. Keep Gonzalez.

  54. Keep Gonzalez. If we do contend next year we’ll need him. If we don’t contend he’ll be coming off a full year after TJ surgery and will be a very hot commodity. We’ll get a lot more for him next year.

  55. Shoot, if we pulled the trigger on a Bay trade in the offseason, then we automatically become a much more respectable team. And that’s one player. Just like losing one player has turned us into this, adding one equivalent player can bring us right back. Then we surround ourselves with guys that won’t fall apart because they’re 36 and above, and we’ve got something.

  56. OK…it doesn’t make it a “five-year plan” necessarily, but it would indicate that we’re giving up on next year, too, and anytime you’re giving up on the year after the one you’re currently in already, that’s long-term rebuilding.

  57. Let’s hope that they don’t pull off that behemoth three-teamer to send Ramirez to the Marlins and Bay to the Red Sox.

  58. Nick, I agree. That’s what I’m worried about.

    Jones/Lillibridge/Rohlbrough/Filler for Bay in the offseason.

    Sheets signed.

    Mid-rotation starter


    Guys, we can win with that. And if I have my figures reasonable, that’s a $27M increase in payroll ($20M for Sheets, $7M for Bay) and we still have money to field a bullpen (with Gonzalez kept!) and a middle of the rotation starter.

  59. I’m just playing a little devil’s advocate here. I’m not for “blowing it up”. But if we could trade a closer for a valuable piece, I’d be for that (even though I do like Gonzo and think he’s a formidable closer when healthy).

  60. I don’t think the market is there for Gonzalez. He’s too close to being removed from TJ surgery. I agree with Tom: next year’s market will be much better for Gonzalez.

  61. I’d love to know what the FO is thinking as far as this offseason and next year. Until then… we’ll all play armchair GM. Which is fun.

  62. I dunno. You get him for an extra year if you get him now. I think you’d get more for Gonzo now. It’s moot, though, because the Braves aren’t trading him.

  63. Good point, Stu. Though you’d have to think people are still worried about his health.

  64. I think we’re at a crossroads. If we make the wrong decisions now, we could easily end up just like the Royals. I believe the wrong decision is to make short-sighted moves to attempt to compete in ’09. Adding Bay would cost at least one top shelf prospect and he can enter FA after next year, leaving us with nothing but draft picks.

    I’d rather re-tool for a year and start another run in ’10.

  65. Also, I was at the game last night so I’m pretty sure that I missed all the talk about this, but what in the hell does Tim Hudson expect to have happen? The power of positive thinking will heal his arm? A good old-fashioned miracle? To be able to pitch without a freaking UCL? Really, I’m curious. If he could, like, stop wasting our time and go ahead and get the surgery, that might be appreciated.

  66. Remember the Kolb and Wickman days when people were putting hits out on them for blowing saves? That’s what we’d return to next year if we trade Gonzalez. It’s a huge morale boost for teams knowing that your closer isn’t going to piss it down his leg every night and you don’t need 5 run leads to win. Soriano may never be back to form. We need Gonzalez. He’s proven, cheap, and looks good so far from the recovery process.

  67. I’d be worried about Royaldom too, but there are no easy answers to that. What ruined the Royals? Was it the systematic problems leading out of Kaufman’s decline and death? Schuerholz leaving? If it was general strategy, which was the mistake, the attempt to prop up the team by importing free agents, or the teardown that came after that?

  68. @77

    I’m not sure that package gets Bay, but I’d do that trade today. Is it better than what they get in the proposed 3-way? I have to think Hermida is better alone than anything listed, plus they’ll get a few as-of-yet named minorleaguers.

    I don’t *want* to blow the team up, I just think building for ’10 is a smarter move long-term, given the upcoming FA market and the state of our farm.

  69. #9 mraver–the injuries did make a huge difference; but the Braves should not have been surprised to have so many of them. When you leave Spring Training with Smoltz, Glavine (at least because of his age) Hampton, Hudson, James, Soriano, Chipper, Kotsay, KJ, and Boyer as part of your core–it would be silly to think that injuries would not be a significant part of your season.

    I tend to agree with you about Jordan Schafer, though it should be pointed out that his reputation is largely based on a single season performance. As excited as I got about Schafer last year, I would not have hesitated to include him in a package to get Bay.

    Lets hope that Schafer finishes strong and salvages the season….

  70. Peanut on the Trade Talk blog saying now that Ohman my not be traded because what’s being offered isn’t as valuable as the draft pick we’d get if we lost him.

    I must say, this is quite the turnaround from the “Ohman will definitely be traded” news he posted earlier. Good job, Peanut. I think it’s probably ill-advised to ever say something will “definitely” happen when talking about the MLB trade market.

  71. Oh, and a Bay/Blanco/Frenchy outfield would have to be among the worst defensive OF in the majors. Not that I don’t want Bay, but we’d need a better CF.

  72. Incidentally, I think I agree on this one that as long as you are going to sign a type A free agent over the offseason and if you don’t like what you’re getting offered for Ohman, you might as well take the draft pick to replace the one you’re going to lose.

    So I guess to amend my statement from yesterday, draft picks are more valuable than dead end minor leaguers (but not legitimate prospect minor leaguers), but far less valuable than Major League players of any kind. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  73. DOB was saying that too–that Ohman would almost certainly be traded. Whatever. I would take the draft pick at this point. I also would deal Gonzalez.

    Also, anyone depending on free agency, with this team’s inability to pay what the big boys pay–who do, after all, set market value–is being foolish. What happens when Sheets gets offered $21 million per season from the Dodgers or Red Sox? What happens when Sabathia gets offered an even bigger contract by the Yankees? I’ve been fascinated by all the talk of ‘let’s just sign Sheets for $15 million’ when BARRY ZITO got the contract he did. He obviously isn’t worth it, and many folks around the league obvious know that, but just wait and see what these pitchers get paid before you start setting their market value below what the market has historically set it to be.

  74. Be careful there Nick. I’d take a draft pick for any of Corky, Gotay, Norton or Prado. And they are all “Major Leaguers”. Well, Norton and Prado are at least good PH, so maybe/maybe not on those. But yeah, I get your point. :-)

  75. What’s the matter, Jason? Can’t get the memories of Jason Bay overrunning that routine final out fly ball by 20 feet to allow us to tie the game back in the home opener out of your head? Heh.

  76. On the contrary, the Braves should have been surprised to have so many injuries. It was an onslaught that no team could survive.

  77. Rob,

    I am not sure where I am on whether we should re build or re load. More leaning to re load but the Hudson injury is earth shattering. It is really the cosmic event that changes the outlook for the team going forward.

    Either way if Gonzalez could get us an outfielder that can hit I’d trade him in a nano second. But as someone said, moot point it looks like we aren’t even going to trade Ohman.

    Personally I think that Gregor Blanco deserves a shot at full time CF if he continues his current performance. I’d be shopping for a couple of corner outfielders though. Jeff did you hear that?

  78. I wish someone would drop Ring into Mount Doom already.

    Well played sir. And Catz, that read like a Maddox website. Very funny.

  79. Incidentally, Mac (or anyone else who knows), what’s the reasoning behind not allowing teams to trade draft picks in baseball?

  80. I watched the replay of the Escobar gaff about 20 times, and it’s obvious that he was fooled by Jose Oquendo standing almost on top of the bag at third. Not that it would have made a different with the pitchers that followed Jurrjens.

  81. If we don’t trade at least a couple more guys, we’re pretty much going to be stuck with veterans until September callups (unless we make waiver deals or the bullpen all go on the DL, not unlikely).

    I’d like to see what Baxter Stockman (if healthy) and a couple more minor league relievers can do up here, and maybe there’s a hitter or two that we could at least try somewhere to see what happens. I guess Josh Anderson would be a guy to look at though I’m not really sold on him.

  82. I’ve never heard of a rationale. I would guess it’s because they didn’t want people to think too much about the draft and the value of draft picks.

  83. @97 Does Ohman need more innings to qualify as a type-B free agent? He has already had a stellar year. Also, if they have him and know they won’t re-sign him, why not just limit his innings at this point? Is Wren so powerless that he can’t advise Cox to preserve one of the team’s assets? Is Cox so stupid that he doesn’t understand that? Ok, don’t answer the last question. Seriously.

  84. Even that “dream line-up” above has 3 guys who perform significantly below league average, as hitters, for their position (Kotchman; Blanco; JF) (and it isn’t as if Blanco makes it up with SB-his 10-14 makes him a neutral base-stealer [as much harm as benefit]); 3 stars, 2 of whom at this point we have to admit have limited playing time (Chipper is my favorite player but 4 years of data points has pretty much convinced me he is a 120 games a year guy) and McCann (and you really take away your advantage of having a great hitting catcher when you give a bunch of at-bats to a guy hitting .093); and 2 just above league average guys (Yunel and KJ). That is a league average line-up at best (assuming you get a lot of AB’s from Chipper) and is not going to win you a division.

  85. Ohman could have a couple of bad outings and give up a few runs, and suddenly his ERA skyrockets. A reliever can see that happen in a hurry. Or he gets hurt.

  86. No team can be prepared for the volume of injuries that took place this season. No team can predict them and every team should take the optmistic view. Smoltz and Glavine had just completed 200 plus inning seasons. The only real gamble was Kotsay and they had Blanco and Anderson in the hip pocket. Diaz and Moylan were complete surprises. For this franchise where a lot of things went right for 14 years a year like this one was bound to happen.

  87. I’m hearing that the Dodgers are in the Manny sweepstakes now.

    The 3-way deal with Fla & Pitt may be falling apart, apparently due to Marlin greed.

  88. The rationale for the draft itself was to keep the Yankees from getting all the good players (although by the time the draft came about, the Yankees had collapsed). I suspect the rationale about not trading draft picks was the fear that teams like the Yanks would screw the bad teams by trading bad players for draft picks. The Yankees used to do that with the KC Athletics–trade some spare parts in exchange for good players, eg, Roger Maris. I assume they were trying to prevent that. Of course, now you have the spectacle of some teams not drafting the best player because of money concerns and the larger market teams swooping in but that wasn’t really a concern, I guess, in the 1960s.

  89. per Rosenthal…

    1:19 a.m.: Braves dispute “one phone call” for Teixeira
    The Braves dispute Mark Teixeira’s version that the team made only “one phone call” while attempting to sign him to a contract extension during spring training.

    Braves general manager Frank Wren actually spoke with Teixeira’s agent, Scott Boras, multiple times during a four-day period, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

    Teixeira, after his trade to the Angels, might have referred to “one phone call” because he received only one offer, but his talks with the Braves were destined to fail anyway.

    Boras rarely recommends that his potential free agents sign contract extensions, preferring the values of those players be determined on the open market.

  90. I mean, I’d say that much of what went wrong with the Royals is entirely the fault of David Glass, who wanted to pocket the revenue sharing and put nothing on the field.

  91. I think I am a little emotional in response to the Hudson injury, leading me to believe that we cannot contend in 2009, even with the right moves. I think it best to revisit the notion in a week or so.

    If we are giving up on the year, we try to get something for anybody who is not in our plans after this year. If we are rebuilding for 2010, we try to leverage any player who will probably not be here after 2009.

    I think it is the right play to keep a rebuild for ’10 in the back of the mind. Play the youngsters the rest of the way this year. If Reyes shapes up or Morton develops, then maybe we’re players this offseason. Test Brandon Jones and Josh Anderson, and Lillibridge for that matter. Find out what we really need and what is adequate insurance.

    We can better size up the task of fielding a competitive team in 2009 at the end of the year.

  92. Yeah, ububba. The Marlins attempting to milk money out of the Red Sox here doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They apparently started asking for more cash, even though the Red Sox already agreed to cover the remainder of Ramirez’s contract…and a couple of prospects on top of that. That’s just stupid. You’re already getting Manny Ramirez for free. If you look at it from a Red Sox perspective, according to Peter Gammons (who is always looking at it from a Red Sox perspective), after the Marlins added the request for more cash and the prospects, they would basically be looking at trading Manny Ramirez, $9 million and two prospects for Jason Bay. That seems just silly.

  93. How many outfielders to the Dodgers need? You’re going to have Pierre and Andruw on the bench? I mean I don’t blame them but that’s a lot of money sitting on the bench.

  94. so I guess when we sign a FA pitcher or outfielder this year, we’ll probably lose a couple of draft picks?? is that correct

  95. Second and third rounders. You don’t lose first rounders if you’re in the top 15, and we’re closer to first than sixteenth right now.

  96. erm, the Marlins were giving up Hermidia plus a prospect, so it’s not what I’d call Manny for free.

  97. I’m not sure why the Marlins were ever in the Manny discussions, to be honest. I wouldn’t want to give up Hermida or the big prospect, Mike Stanton, if I’m in their position. I think they’ve been playing over their heads, and one of the Mets or Phils probably will have a better finish than them, Manny or not.

  98. I meant that they don’t have to pay any of his salary whatsoever. And yet they still want additional cash on top of that.

  99. Re: Manny

    Although this time, it seems more realistic than previous seasons—ownership may have finally washed its hands—I’m always skeptical about trade-Manny stories.

    Why? Because I’m always suspicious that the Sawx have no intention of actually trading him.

    Blow smoke about an almost-deal (it’s happened before), keep Manny, make the post-season, watch him rake, deal with the fallout later.

  100. Well, they have virtually no chance of winning the division as currently constituted unless both the Mets and Phillies implode (seems unlikely). Get Manny and you’ve given yourself a chance. I also don’t think Hermida’s all that great. I guess it depends on whether or not they want to become serious players again. If they’re not sure and wanna wait until they get their new stadium approved, then I guess they should probably stand pat.

  101. Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right, ububba. But there is absolutely no way they’re re-signing him after the season, that much is for sure. I do think it’s pretty clear that they’re sick of his BS. Hell, I’m sick of his BS and I don’t even like the Red Sox.

  102. 122 — zing! i was going to say on someone else’s payroll, but your answer is even better.

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