Hey, more SEC picks!

Home teams in purple.

Alabama 34, Ole Miss 16
Georgia 23, Vandy 12
LSU 20, USC 10
Kentucky 27, Arkansas 17
Mississippi State 13, Tennessee 6

195 thoughts on “Hey, more SEC picks!”

  1. Stu…dude, you’ve GOT to be kidding…

    Yunel over Hanson???????

    I am NOT kidding. I am VERY serious.

    Flowers, Medlen, Yunel and Reyes SHOULD get it done.

    I doubt it. Maybe if you substitute Morton for Reyes, but they’re reportedly seeking two legit pitching prospects and a close-to-the-majors CF.

    We could then kick the tires of our old friend Furcal

    How much money do you think we have available to spend on FAs? Assuming Furcal gets at least $10 million per, with Peavy, that’s $21 million of our ~$40 million gone. And you still need a power bat and a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    Which, given the FA salaries such commodities command, means…at least one of those elite prospects is going to have to be traded to fill one of those holes.

    Why not go ahead and include an elite prospect in the Peavy deal, hang on to your incredibly valuable SS and save $10 million?

  2. As badly as I want Peavy, I will be pretty disappointed if we lose Yunel and acquire Khalil Greene. To me, that would defeat almost the whole purpose of acquiring Peavy, because with Greene’s salary, Peavy would essentially cost the same as a front-line FA starter. We’d get a downgrade at SS, be financially handicapped, and without one of our best major leaguers and some of our better minor leaguers.

    Does anyone think we could avoid trading Hanson and Escobar by including Schafer in the deal?

    Something like Schafer, Morton, Medlen, Flowers? Would that come close to getting it done? Would that be too much to give up?

  3. Me, too, Mac. I’m having a little bit of trouble deciding who I’d rather lose between Schafer and Hanson, though. I know I’m higher on Schafer than most. I just don’t want Josh Anderson to be our starting CF for 2 years or more, and I don’t want to pay for a CF like Kotsay when we have a guy like Schafer around.

  4. Shortstops, centerfielders and catchers get banged up if they do defense right. That’s the nature of the position.(How did Cal Ripken manage to stay healthy enough to play for all those years?)

    Still, I’d prefer a younger, cheaper shortstop to one who has a recent history of prolonged stays on the DL and costs $10 million more a year; so I side with Stu to a point. On the other hand, were I San Diego, a package with Yunel could be less robust with prospects than one with KJ.

    I’d prefer to keep both Yunel and KJ, so I’d have less problem giving up Hanson, Heywood and Gorkys/Schafer to get Peavy. I think you take a young known stud over prospects when and if you get the opportunity.

  5. The Padres want two starters and a near MLB-ready center fielder.

    So maybe something like Hanson, Morton/Reyes and Schafer? Don’t know if that’d be enough.

  6. So maybe something like Hanson, Morton/Reyes and Schafer? Don’t know if that’d be enough.

    I think that’s too much. I don’t think you give up more than one out of the Heyward/Hanson/Schafer group. I don’t think you give up Heyward at all, actually.

  7. I think Hanson is an obvious keeper, but I’ll be damned if I’d ever be able to decide between the other two.

    OK, this is getting ridiculous. Now the Dawgs’ blue-chip recruits are getting hurt before they even get to campus.

    http://tinyurl.com/5ekdlc

  8. Heh.

    I personally don’t think UGA will score more than 20 points. Of course, I don’t think we’ll score more than 10.

  9. More responses to chris, who may or may not realize there’s a new thread:

    i could argue that jair has better STUFF than peavy

    That would not be a strong argument.

    G. Hernandez/Schafer (i would prefer Schafer)

    Do other people feel this way? Schafer’s the better defender, has more power, and is closer to the majors. I would much rather lose Gorkys, but I’m open to hearing the counterargument. Is it the HGH thing?

    if they wanted to give us Greene and his nasty contract (we could move him to 2B) then we could also throw in a player with some Upside like Locke.

    I would much rather have Martin Prado and $6.5 million dollars to play with. That would be insanely stupid for the Braves.

  10. I’d rather have Schafer right now. I don’t want Greene but would take him if necessary to get Peavy.

  11. I’d rather have Schafer. He’s closer to the majors, and he’s had the big tools consolidation breakout season that we’re still waiting on Gorky to have. But if we have to trade Schafer and go all in on Gorky, I’d do it to keep Yunel and KJ. Hanson I’m still very mixed on trading. Obviously I’d love to keep him, but this is the point of selling high. His value is skyrocketing. If we could turn that into Peavy… well, I’d definitely have to consider it.

  12. I pretty much agree with everything you say there, AAR. Hard to know what the right move is re: Hanson, but it’s definitely worth sacrificing Schafer to hang on to our middle infield. If that’s even the choice. For all I know, we could be dealing Yunel, Schafer, and Hanson for Peavy and Greene. In which case I will feel a sadness for having acquired Peavy which I had not foreseen.

  13. I think it’s highly unlikely that Hanson will ever be as good as Peavy, so I wouldn’t think twice about making him the centerpiece. Pitching prospects get hurt and flame out. That’s what they do.

    Having both Schafer and Hernandez makes one expendable, so I don’t mind trading one of them (I’d rather keep Schafer, but wouldn’t let that hold the deal up). Throw in an A-Ball lottery ticket and/or “MLB Ready” JoJo and you’ve got some combination of:

    Hanson, Schafer/Gorkys, JoJo/Medlin/Locke/?? Heck I’d even throw in Flowers if need be, since he’s blocked.

    I would not want to swap Escobar for Greene.

  14. stu–

    it’s called selling high on schafer. while he’s proven so far in the Fall Leagues that he can handle high caliber pitching, Hernandez is gonna be a freakin’ stud. he’ll fill out and the power will come. while i would hate to part with either, the padres are gonna want the one who is CLOSER to the majors. i prefer Schafer because the name and his status will mean that we will NOT have to include Hanson or Heyward.

    a Hernandez / Medlen beginning will NOT get it done.

    a Schafer / Medlen SHOULD be a good starting point.

    i like peavy, just not at the cost of our minor league depth. plus, Yunel is gonna break out soon and be a Hanley-clone (ok, maybe Hanley-lite…a Hanley without ALL the power) and he, NOT KJ or Frenchy, along with Heyward will be the faces of our franchise in the future. with that said, trading Hanson would be a bit silly. there is a reason his value is skyrocketing…’cause the kids a future #2 starter AT WORST.

    as far a Jair and his stuff is concerned: that’s NEVER been in question. as a matter of fact, his stuff is filthy when it’s on. what’s been in question is his experience. he went from our #5 to ace in a year. now, that’s not saying much, but what it does say is that he gained ALOT of experience. this should let his stuff go crazy. we all remember a young smoltz, right? all i’m saying is that only stuff doesn’t cut it in the mlb. why trade away some VERY valuable pieces for a player who could help you (or blow out his arm), when you don’t really know what you’ve already got?

    ok, if we had to, a:

    Hanson
    Hernandez
    Lilli
    Reyes

    package. if not, towers is a moron.

    this just in:

    The Padres are aggressively shopping Peavy, seeking two young pitchers and a near MLB-ready center fielder.

    Hanson
    Schafer
    Reyes

  15. On Schafer/Hernandez, I don’t disagree that the Pads would want Schafer more. What I don’t understand is why you like Hernandez more. You just know that Schafer won’t get any better and that Gorkys is gonna be a stud? How?

    On Jair, I know he’s good, but my point is that you’re either overestimating his stuff or underestimating Peavy’s (or both). Jair can’t touch Peavy, stuff-wise.

    PS: I don’t see Yunel as comparable to Hanley at all. Hanley has speed and power that Yunel doesn’t. Yunel has defense that Hanley doesn’t.

  16. Can they convert Frenchy into a toaster? I might want him then (mine burned up last week). Otherwise, I’d just like to pass on Frenchy.

  17. Like I said in the last thread, Khalil only if Francoeur goes the other way.

    I think that Blanco might be a good fit for the Padres (who have semi-regularly employed Dave Roberts in recent years). Since nobody can hit for any power in that park, a guy with no power isn’t such a handicap.

  18. 24 — ha!

    Send Frenchy to the bullpen. He can be the guy that Bobby burns out. Don’t even bother sending him elsewhere to learn how to pitch. Just let him go out there and throw as hard as he can. Fall all over the mound if you like. Just make sure you hit someone once in a while. Well, this can only be the plan for 2009… we could use the comic relief.

  19. I was discussing this with AAR earlier, but what would you think of acquiring Greene in a straight salary dump, Mac?

    In other words, we agree to take Greene off their hands so that they don’t require quite as rich a bounty for Peavy. Something like Schafer/Morton/Medlen/Flowers and maybe Lillibridge as a warm SS body for them, in exchange for Peavy and Greene.

    Do they want to unload salary badly enough? Would it be a good idea for us?

    Greene’s a free agent after ’09.

  20. So here’s Paul DePodesta on why/whether they’d trade Jake Peavy:

    So, to answer the most basic question: are we going to trade Jake Peavy? We’ll see if someone offers us a compelling deal that makes us better.

    By the way, I’m unmasking myself officially, though of course any of you who read Chop-n-Change know my true identity already. (And if you don’t read Chop-n-Change, c’mon. Pretty please?)

  21. Right, Greene has negative value at this point, unless your team is doing a stage production of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. So if you pick him up, you’re saying that you’ll send less in prospects to get Peavy.

  22. My fear is that the Braves think Greene’s inclusion makes it worth dealing Yunel when, really, Greene’s inclusion should make including a player of Yunel’s value unnecessary.

  23. Stu,
    Yeah, I’d do that as a salary dump. In fact I think it’s a pretty good strategy since the FA market is so weak. Eat up bad, but short contracts in exchange for lower trade prices. I’ve mentioned this WRT Andruw. Would you take him back as a salary dump if the Dodgers included something tasty? You know they want to free up cash to re-sign Manny.

  24. What sucks is, in his rookie year he had a .349 OBP and looked like a kid on his way up. Since then, of course, he’s walked less and struck out a bunch more, all seemingly in thrall to the almighty home run. Shortstops who sacrifice all offense just to poke a few more taters really piss me off.

    Like this guy.

  25. Yeah, but the real problem is that he’s trying to be a slugger in the worst homerun park in the game, a park that has frustrated far superior offensive talents. In a normal park like Turner Field, he could hit 25 HR/50 2B a year — pretty close to his 162-game rates in road games, where he’s slugged .484. And Bobby would hit him leadoff.

  26. No question, that has been a real problem, and may well be the reason for his offensive regression. The question is, has his swing been irreparably damaged? Even in the best-case scenario, would he still be a pretty bad hitter? I’m leaning toward probably, especially considering that his minor-league and major-league OBPs, even on the road, are still really bad.

    Hell, Jeff Francoeur can hit 20 homers in Turner Field. Khalil might hit 25 HR/50 2B, but he’d also strike out 100 times and draw 35 walks. That, we don’t need.

  27. #38, right. Which is like saying that Jeff Francoeur’s career on-base percentage is higher than Tony Pena Jr.’s career slugging percentage. It’s true, but it’s a bit of a backhanded compliment.

    Stu, my favorite thing about Greene is his first name. I admit, Kal-El would be slightly cooler. But I’d be much more favorable towards him if he changed something else, like his IsoOBP.

  28. The Braves are probably the best equipped team, among those named by Peavy, to complete a deal. They have young pitching, like Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, and center fielders Jason Heyward and Jordan Schaefer. Officials with the two clubs have exchanged names, but to date, the Braves have been reluctant to talk about Hanson, Heyward, Schaefer or any of their best prospects.

    http://tinyurl.com/55ahzu

    Sigh. The Braves seem to think you can get something for nothing. Wren has probably already insulted the Padres with a Francoeur/Lillibridge/Reyes offer.

  29. Not so fast, Dan. Olney misspelled Jordan Schafer’s name, so his report doesn’t have any credibility. What a relief.

  30. He probably wants Peavy for what the Mets got Santana for. A couple of not-so-thrilling prospects and a reacharound.

  31. Yeah, RIP, Levi. Little tidbit: his lil’ brother, Joe Stubbs, was a member of one of the most unjustly forgotten soul/funk groups of the ’70s, 100 Proof (Aged in Soul). Check out the song “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” if you don’t believe me.

  32. Speaking of odd musical facts…

    Did you know that Jim Gordon, the guy who wrote the drum break on the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache”—the much-sampled song they play at Turner Field when a Brave hits a home run—was also in Derek & the Dominos & he wrote the famous piano coda for “Layla”?

    There’s a little dispute about the authenticity of the piano part—he’s been accused of stealing it from Rita Coolidge—but he still gets the songwriting royalties. (He gets ’em in jail because he went nuts and murdered his mother.) I found that mildly fascinating.

    I’ve been reading these 2 biographies (Eric Clapton, Duane Allman), so I’m just bursting with useless information.

  33. Nope, the drummer wrote it.

    “Layla” was 2 different songs helped put together by the producer Tom Dowd.

    Clapton & Gordon are the song’s official songwriters, but Duane Allman came up with the classic guitar riff, which he admitted he stole from an Albert King record.

    As David Bowie once said, “It’s not who did it first—it’s who did it second!” And he should know…

  34. Living in San Diego these past few years, I would really rather not take Greene in any trade we make to get Peavy for the simple fact that Greene looks like a turd with his hairstyle.

    I know that’s a pretty shallow reason to not like someone, but he really, really irritates me.

  35. the problem with the quote in #42 is that Heyward is NOT a CF and will NEVER be a CF.

    i still think that if the padres say no thanks to a:

    Schafer
    Medlen
    Flowers
    Reyes

    for

    Peavy

    then we say “thanks, no thanks”

  36. In a Peavy deal, Hanson is almost a necessity. For one thing, his huge flyball tendencies would play very well in PETCO. Kind of like Chris Young. I really think both Schafer and Hanson are great fits for SD, and any deal we make for Peavy will involve both of those two going West. The only way around that is maybe if they prefer Gorkys Hernandez to Schafer. But the bottom line is, a deal here that doesn’t ship Hanson to SD is pretty silly for both sides.

  37. “My fear is that the Braves think Greene’s inclusion makes it worth dealing Yunel when, really, Greene’s inclusion should make including a player of Yunel’s value unnecessary.”

    I don’t disagree with any of what you say, Stu–in fact, I rarely do–but you’re basically saying too that Wren is an idiot. And if that’s the case, then what difference does any of it make, since he’s at the helm of the entire roster reconstruction?

  38. Honestly, until this catastrophe this year, I would have considered Greene a good add for us. His home park is so absolutely terrible for him that the Greene of 2007 would provide excellent offense from SS, and he’s always been a top-notch defensive SS. That seems like a pretty good combination to me.

    I would definitely take Greene in order to keep Hanson, particularly if we’ve already made the (in my mind bad) decision to trade KJ in a separate deal.

    I would do that even if Greene is just toast, and I think he very well might not be, in a not-terrible park and with a new start.

  39. John Heyman said the same thing on WFAN yesterday.

    UGA/Vandy is looking a lot like last week’s Tennessee game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team drop as many INTs as the Dogs have today.

    Time for a long, time-consuming drive.

  40. Hanson struck out 9 over 4 hitless innings today.

    Overall he’s allowed one hit in 8.2 innings with 14 Ks in the AFL.

  41. I didn’t watch the UGA game, but it seems like Georgia is simply not going to rack up the style points. I feel like an ass even saying something like ‘style points,’ but this is what the BCS has done to me. Of course, I guess if Georgia–and they won’t, but still–wins out, then it won’t much matter. Unless Texas or Oklahoma and USC also win out, in which case… it might.

  42. Enjoyed the GT-Clemson game today. It was pretty ugly on both sides overall, but GT got the win. I’m going to the homecoming game in Atlanta next week with Mom’s friend. She got tickets from a fraternity and I’m the only one that’s available to go. :)

  43. Yea the GT game was overall just a sloppy game, but a win is a win, and I’ll take it. 6-1 so far from Paul Johnson, I like it.

  44. I’m in Minneapolis & I’m going to First Avenue club for the first time. Gonna get my “Purple Rain” on tonight. Kinda excited.

    Adam,
    Just gotta beat who’s in front of us, and the next 2 games (@LSU, Fla @ Jax) will help determine how UGA’ll define its season.

  45. Does showing “The Steve Harvey Show”, or whatever the hell that was, because they couldn’t get the signal from the sixth game of the ALCS say “TBS” or what?

  46. Clearly for the Braves:

    Schafer > Hernandez

    But

    Hanson + Gorkys > Schafer.

    That is, I would rather see Gorkys in the deal unless including Schafer allows us to keep Hanson.

    That said, I think a deal centered around Hernandez and Hanson is as far as I would be prepared to go. I would tack on a couple more prospects (Flowers, Lilli, Reyes), but no integral parts. Jurrjens and Heyward are absolutely not to be included.

    Also, I agree that accepting Greene should mean we send less to SD in return for our true target.

  47. RE: Georgia – Vandy

    I feel like my team has returned to the land of the moral victory. The bar has been raised on our expectations, but I still think very highly of that Georgia team. So, I am pleased that we threatened to tie it until the last minute of the game.

    Further, the performance confirms to me that 60 minutes of Adams at QB would have beaten Mississippi State.

  48. So typical of TBS to screw up on something important like this… As a side note, that would probably be the most-viewed episode of The Steve Harvey Show ever

  49. Mac:
    After I watched it, I could have sworn Cody tore his ACL and MCL all in one fell swoop. I hope Saban’s guess of two weeks isn’t just wishful thinking considering he so desperately wants him on that field in Baton Rouge against LSU.

    But I tell you who scares me right now–not Tennessee but Arkansas State. Until today, those guys were tied for first in the Sunbelt Conference and it just seems like Bama has had some bad luck against those teams after doing a cursory glance at their makeup. Either they play a terrible game or they lose. Please, please somebody ease my mind. No, I’m not looking past TN by any means, but I would hate for the Red Wolves (had to look that up) to keep Bama from being undefeated going into Red Stick, LA.

  50. Well, apparently his ACL is sound and it’s “just” the MCL. You can play through that once the swelling goes down. Saban says it’s similar to what took Andre Smith down against Clemson, and he was back after missing one game.

  51. Alright guys, I managed to get myself into another one of these things again with a friend. This time it’s “best 3 hitters ever”. Oddly enough, this is with a different friend. Man, some people hate it when you tell them you trust stats over your eyes, tradition, and perception.

    Here’s mine (in no particular order), feel free to dismantle them:

    A-Rod (depending on how he declines)
    Ted Williams
    Hank Aaron

  52. Oh, and he’s another question sort of related to this: where does Tony Gwynn fit in all that? Is he in your top 3, top 5, top 10? My buddy has him as the greatest hitter ever, putting a lot of stock in his batting average and the fact that he read his book. Eh, whatever…

  53. I do Ruth & Williams, but I have a hard time processing anyone whose best years came after the mid-’90s, like Bonds.

    Doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve it, ultimately, I just don’t yet feel comfortable about it.

    BTW, First Avenue was pretty fun tonight.

  54. I agree w/ Mac. Williams as the most complete hitter, Ruth and Bonds for mind-bending destructiveness. Depending on your view of Bonds re the steroid stuff, I’d put Mantle in there next.

  55. Eric Berry your 2008 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

    As a long time Tennessee fan, this guy may be the best player on that side of the ball we have ever had when it is all said and done. That includes Reggie White and Al Wilson.

    I know the Vols suck this year, but it isn’t becasue of Berry. It seems like he is in on every tackle and his is now the all time leader in turnover return yardsin SEC history, and he is only a sophomore.

    It really is a shame that the Vols are wasting his talent by not playing better and poor coaching.

  56. Yeah, in terms of all-around play and career milestones, Mays overtakes Mantle. But if the question is, “When (x) has a bat in his hands, how scared are you?”, I think the Mick wins that argument.

  57. ububba- Contemplating anyone’s numbers after the mid-90s are easy: compare them to their contemporaries.

    Barry Bonds was so much better than any other player playing at the same time that he was that he clearly, I think, deserves to be up there with Williams and Ruth. His OPS+ averaged about 250 from 2001-2004, and he broke the 200 mark two other times in the early 90s. For comparisson, Ruth broke 200 OPS+ eleven (!) times in his career but never had the type of peak that Bonds did.

    Steroids or no, Bonds had four of the best seasons ever by a hitter, and ranks with the best of the best on a career level.

  58. Rob, I’ll say this for Gwynn — by one measure, I believe he’s the third-best hitter in history. Career relative batting average.

    I can’t find a comprehensive ranking of this, but just scrolling through the top 50 or so highest career batting averages, and discounting those players (Pete Browning for example) who played in the old American Association (not a real major league, although treated as such in most of the stat histories), Gwynn appears to rank behind only Cobb and Shoeless Joe Jackson:

    Cobb — 1.34
    Jackson — 1.32
    Gwynn — 1.29

    Meaning that Gwynn was 29% more likely to get a hit than the average contemporary position player. So if hitting is defined solely as the ability to utilize the club in your hands to safely reach base, there’s your list.

  59. Well I would go out on a limb and say that Ichiro deserves to be mentioned as one of the great hitters of all time. If he had played his entire career in the US instead of Japan, he could be on his way to putting up a challenge to Rose’s record. He would definitely have over 3,000 in the MLB (already does when you add up both leagues) and possibly close to 3,300 considering that they play fewer games over there. By my rough calculations, Rose had 2,762 hits at the end of the 1976 season when he was 35. Ichiro turns 35 in October of this year, so that would put him on pace to pass Rose assuming he could keep putting up solid numbers like he is currently doing. Heck, another 5 seasons of 200 hits would have him surpass Rose if you figured in all of that other stuff I’ve talked about. I think that he can’t be excluded when talking about the best hitters of all time.

    Oh, come to think of it, Rose would have to be on my list somewhere as well :).

  60. Stan Musial and Ted Williams were arguably the best two hitters of the generation that preceded Aaron, Mays and Mantle, but Musial never shows up in the best hitter discussions. Musial held the NL record for hits before Aaron broke it.

  61. “A few NL teams are hardest after Peavy with the Braves the apparent early front-runner. Several executives said the Padres were doing a lot of background work last week on outfielder Jordan Schaefer…”

    Dang. I was hoping they’d be more interested in Hernandez.

  62. ESPN sports ticker last night said Peavy annonced that he would be willing to waive his no-trade to go to Houston. Why bring that up? Is this the Pads trying to strengthen their trade position with the Braves?

  63. That came up a few days ago. Apparently Peavy’s a friend of Roy Oswalt, and they went out hunting and Peavy said he’d waive his no-trade to go to Houston. He’d be crazy to do that.

  64. It’s funny ’cause two different sources (Rosenthal and the Astros’ own guy on MLB.com) say the Astros simply don’t have the talent to make the trade. Plus it’s old news, the Astros were on Peavy’s list of five teams a week ago.

    Rosenthal today:

    “Astros. Roy Oswalt can lobby all he wants for Peavy; his team is not nearly deep enough in prospects to satisfy the Padres.”

    http://tinyurl.com/5o3gv6

  65. ubbuba –

    Compare him to the lot. Heck, there were probably more professional baseball players juicing in Bonds’ era than their were professional baseball players in Ruths!

    Bonds is so far beyond everyone else who played with/against him that its not really a contest.

    Also: people like to talk about how weird Bonds’ head looks and say that this is a potential side-effect of HGH. I’ve been bugged by this for some time, but doesn’t his head have basically the same characteristics as Cal Ripken Jr.’s?

  66. I hope D-Price is alright at the bottom of that pile.

    On another note, I understand Maddon’s reluctance to bring in a pitcher named Bal-four.

  67. I am rooting for the ground to open and pull the Phillies and Rays in, like I do when Florida plays Alabama, FSU, Miami or a big Ten school. The ground usually lets me down.

    GO GROUND!!!

  68. Price was real fun to watch. Over the summer, I got a chance to see him pitch in Durham (along with Balfour, who is a quality pitcher and shouldn’t get dissed because of a rough couple outings recently, all with Fernando Perez in CF; that kid is fun to watch), so it’s really great to see them getting to the World Series. Also, I think Maddon did exactly what you should do in the position he was in: play your best matchups all the way to get through the heart of that lineup. Every batter he had the reliever from his pen he wanted the most in the game. That’s exactly how you have to do it in Game 7. He ended up with Price in the game and Balfour ready to come in if the kid got into trouble. Frankly, I’d have gone for Garza about an inning earlier, but it worked out for Maddon.

    The WS is going to be awesome. :-)

  69. Just got back from the Trop!! What a game!! That place was going NUTS after Price struck out Drew!! What a game baby!!

    David Price is disgusting! 87 mph slider first pitch to Drew, 87 mph slider second pitch getting him down 0-2, misses with a 96 mph fastball, then drops him with another 87 mph slider. Gosh, what a stud!

  70. Yeah, Garza clearly should have been yanked a little earlier. He really wasn’t able to finish anybody off in the 6th, then coughed through the 7th and I was stunned to see him start the 8th. But the wisdom of the winner says that Maddon made the right moves — even if Price ended up having to clean up the messes of his less-talented bullpenmates.

    Hell of a game, hell of a series. The best team in the league, and the best story in baseball, goes to the World Series, and if they beat the Phillies I won’t be shedding too many tears.

  71. Rob,
    You got to see something special tonight. Nothing quite like being in the building for a game like that. The energy is unreal.

    It looked pretty amazing from this hotel bar in Minneapolis, too. Everyone was rooting for Tampa & there was a big cheer with that final out.

    This World Series is probably going to get lousy TV ratings, but I don’t care. It could be a real good one.

  72. So I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t want Peavy? He has Tommy John written all over him, Thanks but No Thanks.

  73. Marc,

    I am closer to your side of the fence than the other.

    However, I assume for calculation purposes that any starting pitcher will miss one year out of a 5 year contract to injury. The question for me on the injury is how much more likely is Peavy than that?

    My real problem is that I think the really good youngsters give the Braves a better chyance to compete effectively and sooner. I would rather do pure FA signings and leave off the blockbuster trades.

    Make “value” trades. Like Ascanio for Ohman and Infante, Renteria for Jurrjens and Gorkys.

  74. My position on Peavy is, when you have a chance to get one of the best players in the game, you’ve got to at least look into it. Sure, the injury risk is a concern. But it’s an issue with every pitcher. Peavy is elite, and his contract isn’t that awful. So we should at least look into it.

  75. I’d think I’d take Peavy even if it was 100% certain he’d miss a season due to Tommy John surgery. It would still be 3-4 years of one the top 5 pitchers in the NL.

    You can’t not get an ace and a young Cy Young award winner just because you think he may have elbow issues some year down the line.

  76. #122 – I want him also, just a little concerned of what the cost might be. I really dont want to do an Escobar/Greene swap either

  77. Rob, congrats on seeing the game live!

    I’ve only been to one clincher — Game 7 of the ’96 NLCS against the Cardinals. It had very little of the tension of last night’s game — we led 6-0 after an inning and ended up winning 15-0. Plenty of time to kick back and revel in the anticipation of a second consecutive WS victory ….

    Oh well. It was an honor to give Ozzie Smith his final sendoff. A moment of pure magnanimity in a stadium full of happy people.

    Most Universally Liked Modern Players

    1a. Ozzie Smith
    1b. Dale Murphy
    2. ?????

  78. The Rays are definitely going to win, probably easily. Why? Because Steve Phillips and John Kruk both picked the Phillies. Take it to the bank–Rays win. Better team (except the bullpen), better league, better division, beat the defending World Champions.

    As for the best hitters, I agree with someone else’s point that Stan Musial has been terribly overlooked in talking about the greatest hitters.

    I want Peavey but I am worried about what they will have to give up. But that’s the problem when you can’t develop your own pitching. Lucky for the Braves that there are a lot of good players from the South that want to go home.

    And that silence you hear, is Red Sox Nation shutting up for the winter! Yay.

  79. I think the rule only applies to trades after the first year of a multi-year contract. Not sure whether his “extension” constitutes a separate contract for the purposes of the rule, but I’m doubting it does—we’d have heard by now if that were a real possibility.

  80. Peavy is allowed to demand a trade after the conclusion of his first season on the new team; if the team can’t trade him, he would be granted free agency. It doesn’t really apply in this situation.

  81. TO get David Price we would have to Trade the Ga Aquarium, 15 Peachtree Streets, the Varsity, Ga Tech and Hank Aaron.

  82. Because he already has that no-trade clause, there will have to be some renegotiating before the deal. Part of that will probably be Peavy agreeing to not demand a trade. Arguably, just by waiving his no-trade he’s saying he’s fine with the deal, and then going back and demanding a trade is at the least hypocritical. Boras isn’t his agent, right?

  83. OK, I can see that. We’d probably have to pick up that last option year. Something like 22 million.

    While we’re talking turkey, I wonder what the Padres would want for Adrian Gonzalez?

  84. Dan, what do you want him to do? Just say all our prospects suck and have a good day? I actually like the updates from the fall league…

  85. DOB seems to think that Escobar or KJ along with Marek, and Medlen could get the job done for Peavy….Seems a little low to me

  86. My only questions if we again foolishly do a 4 for 1 are: 1) Can Peavy stay out of Dr. Andrews appointment book at least until Hudson returns? (Smart money says no) 2) Will this trade set us back to 2010 or 2011? (Smart money says it will be impossible to tell because Wren will do something even more stupid that will cloud the assessment)

  87. Optimism abounds! Robert, I think you need to relax your expectations a bit. There’s no way things will go that well for us. How quickly everyone forgets the 2008 season.

  88. Optimism abounds!

    Indeed. Trading three or four young players to get one always-sorta injured pitcher is so stupid when you are as far away from competitive as this team is – well – it’s so stupid I have no doubt that it is being pursued aggressively and has a good chance of happening.

  89. Still too optimistic. I don’t think you realize what forces are actually at work here. The universe is about to split into alternate universes and you’re only considering one of the two possible paths our lives might take. Of course we will trade prospects for Peavy and of course he will get hurt.

    You’re not fully appreciating the reality that is the alternate reality our alternate selves will be suffering through. That is, when we back out of the Peavy trade because the price is too high, only to see an NL competitor make the trade for equal or lesser value, and Peavy play healthy through his contract.

  90. Dix
    Re:@140
    I believe this is called the “Hampton Effect”. It seems to have a gravity all its own.

  91. @141 how long do we let the Hampton Effect keep us from picking up players though? Almost anybody seems to be some sort of injury risk, and while a risk of injury should weigh in our decision making process, at some point you’ve got to bite the bullet and take the risk don’t you? (assuming you want to compete and don’t have a stacked farm system with ML ready kids just waiting for a shot).

  92. Indeed. Trading three or four young players to get one always-sorta injured pitcher is so stupid when you are as far away from competitive as this team is – well – it’s so stupid I have no doubt that it is being pursued aggressively and has a good chance of happening.

    True dat homie.

  93. Tommy Hanson was just named AFL pitcher of the week:

    From their release:

    The 6–6, 210-pound Hanson was nearly perfect last week, winning both his starts while allowing only one hit over 6.2 innings pitched. In his most recent start last Saturday, October 18 vs. the frontrunning 8–2 Peoria Saguaros, Hanson struck out eight of the first nine hitters.

    The 22-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma native, who has allowed just one hit in 8.2 innings overall, is riding a streak of 8.1 consecutive hitless innings. He has not allowed a hit since a one-out single by Young in the first inning of Hanson’s first start on Opening Day (October 7). His earned-run average is 0.00 and he is one of three Fall League pitchers with two wins. He owns 14 strikeouts against three walks.

    Hanson, who played college baseball at Riverside (CA) Community College, was the Braves’ 22nd-round selection in the 2005 draft. After starting 2008 at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach where he was 3–1 with a 0.90 earned-run average in seven starts, Hanson was promoted to Double-A Mississippi where he was 8–4 with a 3.03 earned-run average in 18 starts. He struck out 114 batters in 98 innings while allowing only 70 hits

    Looks good. I agree his value will never be higher, but it’s been awhile since we’ve developed a stud. Can’t we give the Friars someone else instead? Please.

  94. Seriously? I’m a “prospects” guy, and I don’t see how you can not trade for Peavy here, especially if the price is KJ and a couple of mid-level pitching prospects. Match him with Jurrjens and Hudson and _____ in 2010 (and even the last bit of 2009), and that’s probably the best rotation in the NL. Don’t get me wrong, that still leaves the Braves a bat or two away from being an elite team, but it looks like progress to me.

  95. I would like to hear Robert’s plans for improving the team.

    Peavy has easily the highest upside of anyone on the trade market, if not the free agent market as well. I’d hate to lose Hanson, Heyward, Escobar, Hernandez, or whatever we have to throw our way, but we have needs that need to be addressed. We simply need a dominate starter. Unless we’re going to throw $20M per to Sabathia or Sheets, then Peavy is a good bet.

    Just like mraver, I’m a “prospects” guy too. I love seeing Atlanta having one of the top farm systems in baseball. But if you can get Peavy for what the trade proposals have been, then you have to do it.

  96. I’m with mraver, too. There’s some risk with Peavy, but don’t think, in the abstract, that a 4-for-1 is a bad idea at all when the 1 is 27 years old and one of the 5 or so best pitchers in all of baseball.

    I will add the caveat that this trade won’t happen in the abstract, and if the 4 we give up include both Yunel and Hanson, I will not be thrilled.

  97. I’m not a “prospects” guy. In fact, those types annoy me.

    “Don’t trade this guy. Don’t trade that guy. Our future. Homegrown. 2003 Marlins!”

    They’re always talking about a five-year plan to win the World Series…every year too. It’s the “future” that never comes.

    If Peavy is available for a bunch of unprovens, get him. Not saying trade all of Hanson, Heyward, Schafer….but within reason for a PROVEN young ace.

  98. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t totally against the Teixiera deal (as some of you were) from the beginning, but in hindsight, it was a terrible deal – best case it could have been good short term, but there weren’t many cases where it could have been good long term.

    There’s always a risk to every deal, but if we can get Peavy long term w/o “trading the farm” I say go for it. I would hate to lose KJ and especially Escobar, but I think a healthy Peavy makes us a better team long term than either of those guys do. Giving up major prospects in addition to KJ or Esco(Hanson, Schafer, Heyward) is where I feel like the deal starts going bad.

  99. This team lost 90 games. There isn’t a single competent outfielder on the roster. Sure, lets trade the farm for a guy who makes us moderately less shitty.

  100. Or we can not get Peavy and make no real effort to improve for next season, and count on our unprovens, and repeat the fun 90-loss 2008 season again next year! Woo-hoo!

    Why can’t the Braves trade for Peavy and sign one of the big free agent LF bats exactly?

  101. #149

    Part one of the Marlins plan has worked to perfection, not once but twice. You’re talking about a team that’s won two World Series since the last time we did.

    They just don’t have the money for part two — holding on to their best players. We have the money — or, at least, a lot more money than they do.

  102. Seriously, would KJ or Esco, Medlen, Gorkys, and Parr or Morton be enticing enough for Greene/Peavy?

  103. Why can’t the Braves trade for Peavy and sign one of the big free agent LF bats exactly?

    So Jake Peavy and, say, Pat Burrell are worth 20 wins? Of course, that’s assuming Chipper Jones plays 140 games. KJ to Prado is a huge, huge downgrade, as is Escobar to Greene. The black hole in RF is still an everydayer. Our starting rotation after Peavy consists of Jurjjens, Campillo, Hampton, Reyes . . . Morton?

    That team is going to contend with the Mets and Phillies?

  104. That team is going to contend with the Mets and Phillies?

    The 96-loss 2007 Devil Rays are going to contend with the Yankees and Red Sox?

  105. I said a long time ago that it may not be realistic for us to compete for the 2009 pennant. However, if:

    1) we have Peavy, Jurrjens, Hudson, and another pitcher we’ve acquired (or one of Hanson, Morton, Reyes (not likely), Campillo comes through) for 2010,
    2)we sign a competent outfielder with power to this year’s mix and
    3) either Heyward or Schafer are ready to make an impact in 2010

    We could have the makings of a pretty darn good team in 2010.

  106. I’m not in favor of acquiring Peavy because I think he makes us a contender in 2009.

    What’s more valuable in 2010 and 2011, Peavy or the Hanson-Schafer-Medlen-Flowers package?

  107. The 96-loss 2007 Devil Rays are going to contend with the Yankees and Red Sox?

    Not a good comparison, Dan. The argument from Jeremy would be something like 2007 Rays : 2010 Braves : : 2008 Rays : 2011 Braves. The Rays won with a bunch of homegrown youngsters, which is just what the Braves would be trading for Peavy.

  108. The Rays also traded their best prospect, and the #1 prospect in the game according to some, in outfielder Delmon Young for pitcher Matt Garza. That seemed to work pretty well for the Rays too.

    But suggest trading outfield prospect Jason Heyward for Jake Peavy and some scream bloody murder.

  109. 1. While Young had a good rookie year, some of the shine had worn off when they made that deal, largely due to attitude concerns.

    2. The Rays had a lot of good outfielders already; we don’t have one major league outfielder who can get out of his own way.

    3. 1:1 is a lot different than 4:1.

  110. Stu, because it’s ambiguous, let me make sure I understand what you’re saying.

    “I’m not in favor of acquiring Peavy because I think he makes us a contender in 2009.”

    I think you mean, “I am in favor of acquiring Peavy, even though I don’t think he will make us a contender in 2009.”

    However, it could also be read as, “Because I think he won’t make us a contender in 2009, I am not in favor of acquiring Peavy.”

    Of course, you might be saying that you don’t think we should acquire Peavy even though he would make us a contender in 2009, but that’s crazy — ain’t no way in hell this team raises next year’s flag.

  111. Stu, I think we can make the deal without including Hanson, Schafer, or Heyward. Hanson could be in the rotation by next year also. Flowers is blocked so trade him anyways.

    Peavy, Jurrjens, Hudson, Hanson is just awesome for 2010

  112. If Schuerholz were still in charge, I’d assume that he’d only make the deal if he was pretty sure Hanson would be a washout. (Then again, there’s Adam Wainwright.) I have no particular reason to trust Wren in these matters.

  113. Peavy, Jurrjens, Hudson, Hanson is just awesome for 2010

    That sounds great. Swinging a deal for Peavy minus Hanson would be tough though considering the Padres say they want pitchers.

    3. 1:1 is a lot different than 4:1.

    Peavy is a lot different than Garza.

    I’m pretty much in favor of any reasonable four-player Peavy trade that doesn’t involve both Escobar AND Johnson or all of Hanson/Heyward/Schafer.

  114. It’s the former, AAR. I’m advocating a trade for Peavy because of his value over the next four years, not just what he does to 2009’s chances.

    csg,
    Of the 5 potential “centerpiece” young players that have been named in Peavy talks, I’d rank them in order of decreasing untouchable-ness as follows: Heyward, Escobar, Hanson, KJ, Schafer.

    I’d rather give up Schafer than KJ, I’d rather give up KJ than Hanson, etc. Heyward is completely untouchable, and Yunel is almost at that point.

    Anyway, I’d much rather give up Schafer than either of our starting middle infielders.

  115. I would like to hear Robert’s plans for improving the team.

    Ok. Unless you are one of the big market bullies, you win in baseball with waves of young talent. Why did the Phillies get good? Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, and Myers pushed through the farm system they supplemented them with other trades and FA signings and they are contenders. Why did the Rays get good? Upton, Longoria, and all those pitchers came through the system, supplemented with a few good signings (Pena!) and trades (Garza!) and they are contenders.

    The McCann-Francoeur-KJ wave was a bust. Mostly because it came with no pitching and because Francouer is more of an undertow than a wave.

    So we await the next wave. Reports from the minors are good that it’s coming but every time we do one of these short sighted 4 for 1 deals it pushes the ETA back a year or two.

  116. Oh, I guess that’s not really a plan. So here goes: My plan would be to punt 2009 and build towards 2010 when hopefully that next wave will hit.

    Building towards 2010 means giving your minor leaguers all the time they need at their minor league stops and not rushing them to the majors because you can’t handle another Jo-Jo Reyes horror show. It means signing some cheap free agents, letting them play, and then trying to flip them at the deadline for something that would be useful in 2010 and beyond. It means not blowing your budget on a five year deal for plodding slugger X and instead going wild on international signings and the amateur draft, and hey if we have some money for next year’s crop of FA when we might actually be good, all the better.

    And if Hudson were to come back and still be Hudson in 2010 that would really help.

    I certainly understand the fervor over Peavy, I’m sure Mariner fans were happy to land Eric Bedard at the time.

  117. So basically Robert you wouldn’t field a competitive team next year. And then, after the 95-loss losers draw like 1.4 million fans in 2009, and Liberty Media appropriately responds to the significant drop in attendance and decides to slash payroll from the current 104 million to the minimum 80 million, you’d make your run.

    Peavy wouldn’t be just a 2009 move. It’d be a 2009-2012/2013 move.

    Plus I think this team with Peavy, another starter and Burrell or some other power-hitting left fielder can compete. And yes, I think they can obtain three players in one offseason.

  118. And then, after the 95-loss losers draw like 1.4 million fans in 2009, and Liberty Media appropriately responds to the significant drop in attendance and decides to slash payroll from the current 104 million to the minimum 80 million, you’d make your run.

    We had a big payroll this year. It guarantees nothing. You know what works better? Having a good plan. A good plan is not making a bunch of shortsighted moves in pursuit of 85 wins and maybe lucking into the wildcard. We’ve tried that two years running. It’s the road to nowhere.

    But my goals are probably different from Wren’s goals. I want to build an actual good team not just a competitive team. No doubt Wren feels compelled to try and field a competitive team to keep attendance from dropping and risking his job. So he’ll continue to flail about looking for that quick fix.

  119. What good is cutting payroll? I keep coming back to this — it does no good whatsoever. That money won’t be invested in the team, it goes back to the corporation.

  120. What good is cutting payroll?

    So what, just keep sacrificing kids and draft picks to inch back toward .500 to preserve payroll? What good is that? Aren’t we ready to get out of this cycle?

  121. The McCann-KJ-Francoeur wave also included Ryan Langerhans, who had one useful season but now sucks; Andy Marte, who sucks but got us Renteria, who got us Gorky and JJ; Brayan Pena, who sucks; Chuck James, who was very good that year even though he’s been injured and horrible recently; Macay McBride, who had a good year but sucks now; Blaine Boyer, who’s become a useful reliever; Pete Orr, who sucks; Kyle Davies, who is unable to make up his mind about whether he sucks; Anthony Lerew, who probably sucks; Devine, who got us Kotsay and sure looks good these days.

    Point is, many of them may not have panned out, but there were a TON of them.

  122. What draft picks? We suck, we don’t lose a first-rounder for signing free agents. And if we didn’t suck, we’d be in a position to challenge quickly.

    It’s use-it-or-lose-it money under the corporate thumb. It’s best if Wren uses the money wisely, but it’s imperative that he uses it. And they aren’t going to let you spend 20 million a year to sign every elite prospect in Latin America.

  123. Robert’s formula is right, but sadly, so is Mac’s about draft picks (not that Mac’s points are sad, he is usually on top of it)

    We need young guys to step up and mix them with Vets like Chipper, but we just don’t draft or develop well. We have some talented guys, but especially with pitchers and Frenchy, we tend to rush guys, or not use them right.

    However, if we can get Peavy, we need to do it. He is still young and one of the top 3 pitchers in the league and come pretty cheap. We have a lot of holes and if sending KJ, Schafer, and a pitcher gets him. Let’s do it.

  124. Let’s get one thing clear: there are packages that the Braves could give up for Peavy that would make it a good deal for Atlanta, and there are packages the Braves could give up that would make it a bad deal for Atlanta.

    Good packages include at most two of Hanson/Schafer/KJ/Escobar. No good package includes Heyward. No good package includes both MIs.

    The kind of thing I think is reasonable is Hanson/Escobar/Flowers/low-minors pitching prospect, or maybe Hanson/Escobar/JoJo (if they want him at all… which is doubtful)/low-minors pitching prospect.

    This would go for Greene and Peavy. Greene was awful last year, but he’s still a top-notch defender, and there’s upside in his bat once it’s out of PETCO. (At least there was a couple years ago; at this point, you’ve got to wonder if he’s just screwed up his swing completely trying to hit the ball in his home park.)

    Ideally, this trade would add a frontline starter and, potentially, some RH power to the lineup, which are two of the biggest needs coming into the off-season. It creates a hole at SS after this year, but if Greene works out, you keep him, and if not, maybe Lillibridge has re-learned how to hit. If not… well, I guess there’s Infante…

    Some times I question whether Escobar for Peavy straight up is worth it for the Braves. Consider: you could probably sign Ben Sheets for 5 years/20M and give up just the draft picks. Peavy will get about that (less 3-4M per year) in his current contract. Escobar is under team control for the next 5 years, and I’ve got to think he’ll be worth more than $4m above what he’s payed over the life of that. So why not just sign Sheets and hold on to Hanson, et al.?

    So I guess I might be a little on the fence when it comes to giving up Escobar.

    But still, how do you say no to an ace in the prime of his career?

  125. Oh, and yeah, Wren’s got $40M+ burning a hole in his pocket this off-season. Figure some of that gets tossed Smoltz’s way and there’s still room for at least two big FA signings. And as Mac said, since we sucked, this is the year to do it; give away 2nd and 3rd round picks instead of 1st rounders every time. :-)

    If we keep Escobar, I think Lowe is a fine signing. Otherwise… not so hot on that one.

  126. the pads, if asking for escobar, would probably throw in khalil, weakening the pads pull of higher prospects, with the braves eating most, or all, of khalil’s salary. the braves would be taking a chance that part of his offensive failure was due to hitting in an extreme-pitching park, and putting 2 low obp players (francoeur and greene) in the same lineup. terrible, terrible move, but so was sending the “the black hole” out into right field for 160 games this year.
    i expect a trade offer to look similar to this:
    pads get:
    escobar
    morton
    tyler flowers
    low level prospect

    braves get:
    peavy
    greene

    not a great haul for the pads, but greatly improving 2 “defensive first” positions, offensively.
    tyler flowers could be major league ready by the middle of next year.
    the pads dont seem to have any real talent at the catching position.
    the braves, then, would have 11 million invested in the trade with 29 million left to fill 2 gaping holes. i dont like it but i bet the deal will be similar.

  127. I’ve written this up at Chop-n-Change, but unfortunately it has temporarily disappeared with CnC’s platform switch from WordPress to Moveable Type.

    Anyway, my thesis is that Yunel Escobar, other than Jason Heyward, is THE player who should be untouchable, more than Schafer, more than Hanson. He’s arguably the best defensive shortstop in the game, and one of the best offensive shortstops in the game. (Last year he was third — third! — among all starting shortstops in OBP, and, despite a bum shoulder which sapped his power for most of the season, he was ninth in OPS.)

    Like mraver said, he’s team-controlled and therefore cost-controlled for the next 5 years. Shortstop is essentially the most important position on the field, and we really don’t have anyone in the organization who can step in. Greene would be an offensive disaster. Obviously, so would Lillibridge.

    Prospects are prospects. After one and a half seasons in the bigs Escobar is already one of the best players at his position in the major leagues. We really, really can’t afford to trade him. If the Braves are smart they’ll give him a Brian McCann-esque deal.

  128. Losing Escobar would pain me greatly. If he’s included in the trade, I’ll be forced to conclude that his occasional baserunning blunders and tendency towards hot-dogging have stamped him as “not a Braves-type player”, and thus expendable. Which would be a mistake.

  129. I think Schafer is over rate, if we can move him for Peavy in a package with KJ and a pticher, let’s do it!

  130. Occasional baserunning blunders — nah, no other Braves have ever committed those.

    And hot-dogging? Gee, I can’t think of a single beloved Braves star in the last decade who could possibly have been accused of that.

    I hate the smear campaigns the Braves put out. This kid is too good for us to let go.

  131. I almost feel sorry for Wren. No matter what he does, he’s going to make some group of Braves’ fans unhappy.

    Most want Peavy, but some don’t. Some want to trade these guys but not those guys for Peavy, while others want to trade those guys but not these guys.

    Unless Wren gets Peavy for Lillibridge and Jo-Jo Reyes, he’s probably not going to satisfy everybody.

  132. Flowers
    KJ
    Morton
    Marek

    for

    J. Peavey

    is a deal I could live with. Gives the Pads an immediate upgrade at 2B, a major-league caliber C, who’ll be ready to play by the start of 2010 (if not sooner), and 2 middling pitching prospects.

    Of course the chances of this happening are next to 0.

  133. Dan,

    Quite true. However, I think that every Braves fan will just be glad to have Peavy if any trade goes through so any “I didn’t want that prospect traded!” things will just fade away.

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