SEC Picks time

Waiting on the Peavy news. Home teams in purple.

Undefeated #1 Alabama Crimson Tide 37, LSU 16
Georgia 23, Kentucky 9
South Carolina 26, Arkansas 20
Auburn 15, UT-Martin 0
Florida 41, Vandy 12
Wyoming 23, Tennessee 14

196 thoughts on “SEC Picks time”

  1. I do NOT want to hear the Braves traded Escobar, Schaefer, AND Hanson to the Padres… which is what Passan is implying they want to beat the Cubs offer. Let him go to the Cubs if that’s the cost. Hell I’d hesitate to send Escobar straight up for him, let alone throwing in Hanson… starts mantra: *don’t overpay for Peavy, don’t overpay for Peavy*

  2. Guys, we’re not giving Hanson up. DOB has made that abundantly clear. That would be a deal-breaker.

  3. I don’t think Hanson is on the table. It seems more to be stating that Hanson would easily seal the deal.

  4. I know Wren has SAID no Hanson in the deal, but I’m just worried he’ll blink first and go back on that. Just being worried for probably no good reason.

    If they’re truly looking at a salary dump, then why not offer JoJo/Morton, Schaefer, Prado, plus filler? I don’t want to give up that many guys, but I think it’s a better option than giving up Escobar/KJ (who we KNOW will produce for us at the ML level and we don’t have a ready replacement) or Hanson (who we hope to be our next JJ+)

  5. Because they wouldn’t take a package that weak, Charles. If the Cubs are really offering Samardzija, Marshall, Pie, and Cedeno, let them have him.

    If that’s the offer, though, why hasn’t it been accepted yet?

  6. Per Peanut:

    If the Braves are going to land Peavy, it looks like there’s a good chance they’ll have to part ways with Yunel Escobar. If this proves true, they’ll gain an ace and an immediate need to go outside of their organization to find a shortstop.

    Offensively, Brent Lillibridge isn’t ready to compete at the Major League level and utilizing Omar Infante as the starting shortstop isn’t an option

    If they pull the trade, here’s the list:

    Willie Bloomquist (31)
    Orlando Cabrera (34) – Type A
    Alex Cintron (30)
    Alex Cora (33)
    Craig Counsell (38)
    David Eckstein (34)
    Adam Everett (32)
    Rafael Furcal (31)
    Nomar Garciaparra (35)
    Chris Gomez (38)
    Jerry Hairston Jr. (33)
    Cesar Izturis (29)
    Felipe Lopez (29)
    Tomohiro Nioka (33)
    Nick Punto (31)
    Edgar Renteria (33) – Type A
    Luis Rivas (29)
    Juan Uribe (30) – Type B
    Ramon Vazquez (32)

    Outside Furcal and maybe Cabrera, this list is uninspiring at best. And, Furcal will cost you 10-15 MM per for 3-5 years. When one combines that with the price of Peavy, why wouldn’t you just keep Escobar and sign Sabathia. Or, sign both Sheets and Burnett. I like Peavy, but I agree with the talk last night that it is stupid to plug one hole by opening another.

  7. Mac,

    Do you think Peanut is hearing right from insiders on going to get a shortstop if Yunel goes for Peavy?

    This makes even less sense. Peavy is a bargain because we pay him 15 million less over 5 than what he is “worth”. Then, we pay a shortstop that is not better than Escobar (and maybe not as good)more money for three years than what we would have Escobar for 5 years.

    “Madness, Madness”. We have helped the enemy bridge the Kwai for food and medicine and now we want to help them more.

  8. Is it just me who thinks we could easily put a deal together to match that Cubs offer (providing Samardzija isn’t involved, which he isn’t currently) without including Escobar or Schafer?

    It’s a horrible offer of Sean Marshall, backups and minor leaguers who aren’t doing anything special. I thought the whole point from Towers’ perspective was to get quality not quantity?

  9. Now, Peavy is apparently hesitant to accept a trade to the Braves if they’re no longer going to have Escobar behind him.

    What the hell?

    Whoever the replacement would be couldn’t be any worse than Ryan Theriot. And Peavy’s a fly-ball pitcher, anyway! Starting to not want this dude anymore.

  10. Tom Krasovic of The San Diego Union Tribune essentially says that Peavy and his agent have discussed vetoing the deal to Atlanta if Escobar is included.

    That would be an interesting twist.

  11. Sounds like he sees what many of us see — what are the chances of this being a good team without Escobar?

  12. Right now, I’m (greatly) annoyed by this prima donna stance Peavy is taking. I will say that if it somehow results in us keeping Escobar (and Hanson) and still landing Peavy, I will be very, very happy.

  13. Stu, @ 12

    Peavy wants to be on a winner. He may be helping us.

    sansho1@ 9,

    I believe Kelly is a good baserunner. However, whenever sombody has McCann or Chipper (when he has leg or foot problems) hitting behind him, he damn sure better get the extra base. I wonder if James controls for the speed of the batter? Does anybody know?

  14. Maybe he just has a general affection for Yunel’s high and tight fade.

    Indeed, this is a new twist that I didn’t see coming.

    Can Everett still field like he used to? I don’t have the stats in front of me, and I haven’t seen him play in a while. I’m guessing, unfortunately, that he still hits like he used to.

  15. I think it’s all posturing by Peavy’s agent to get the Pads or Braves to sweeten the deal for him. As JC pointed out on his site the other day, Peavy might simply want to get some of the economic rent that the Braves would get in a deal becaue of Peavy’s relatively belwo-market deal. But I wouldn’t discount the possibility that Peavey could be persuaded to accept a deal elsewhere, say New York, if the price is right. Native or not, lots of guys have said they didn’t want to go someplace, especially NY, until they got a lot of money thrown their way. Why the hell else would Mike Hampton have gone to Colorado. Oh, wait, I forgot, it was for the good schools in Denver. :)

  16. I’m with Peavy on this. Between his defense and his on-base percentage, this team is much weaker without Escobar, and hence less attractive for a pitcher who wants to win. Theriot may not be a gold-glover, but in Chicago he knows he can win. Well, except that they’re the Cubs.

  17. You’re right, Mac. The meddling strikes me as lame, but I guess that’s part of what negotiating a no-trade clause gets you.

  18. #16

    Cliff, are you saying that McCann and Chipper are more likely to draw a throw from the outfield, allowing KJ to take an extra base, or that McCann and Chipper are so slow that they turn doubles into singles, thus inflating the impression of KJ’s aggressiveness? I’d probably buy the second notion — that might have happened a few times.

    None of this is intended to denigrate KJ though — he’s always appeared to be an excellent baserunner. Just like the guy he replaced.

  19. i’d trade escobar, morton, and hernandez for peavy (which SHOULD get it done) and sign Cesar Izturis for 2 years.

    i’d then pray that Grant Green falls to us due to signing concerns. Sign him with the quickness. By the time Cesar is gone, Green is ready to come in.

    if that doesn’t work…Robbie Shields, the SS from Florida Southern is there and is probably pretty ready. Ryan Jackson, the SS from Miami is also pretty nasty.

    however, trading Johnson is a much easier thing to deal with.

  20. I have not been on here since yesterday afternoon, but I simply must acknowledge Dix’s comment from the last thread.

    Biff with the 2050 Sports Almanac?

    That’s gold, Dix. Gold!

  21. We’re talking baseball on a football picks thread? Alors!

    Never have I been a bigger Vandy fan than I will be tomorrow. I’m so Gatored-out that I’ve lost perspective.

    “Go you Fighting Stus!”

  22. Why would you sign Cesar Izturis when you have the same thing in Brent Lillibridge @ league minimum?

    Granted, Green, Shields, and Jackson might be solid at some point, but I don’t know if I’d base my major league roster on draft picks

  23. Stick to your guns, Frank Wren.

    No Hanson, no KJ and no Escobar. If the Cubs overpay, that’s their problem.

    Do not mortgage the future for one (slightly suspect) arm.

  24. After reading the Braves are thinking of trading Escobar, my hiatus from baseball has come to a abrupt end. What have I missed? All this for Peavy? DON’T OVERPAY FOR PEAVY!!

  25. I agree that Wren should not overpay but if you aren’t going to give up any value, then you aren’t going to contend this year (and maybe in 2010) or maybe even be respectable. At this point, the Braves are lucky the Nats are in their division. I have been on the fence about this, but I think the idea that the Braves are going to outbid the Yankees for Sabathia is pure fantasy. The only way, realistically, that the Braves are going to acquire an ace is to trade for one. It really sort of gets down to how good you think Peavy is relative to Escobar and how much of an injury risk you think he is and, of course, whether you can reasonably replace Escobar.

  26. On the contrary, do not doom your team to the cellar for five years for the sole purpose of clutching your prospects tightly to your chest.

    We DO NOT need to keep both Hernandez and Schafer. It would be stupid to keep both Hernandez and Schafer. They play the same damn position. I realize they play it slightly differently, but that doesn’t matter. Why would we need two guys who will wind up playing the same position? For God’s sake, pick which one you like the best and trade the other one. If you’re not willing to trade one of those guys, I’m not even sure why you’re ever trying to make a trade.

    BTW Stu, the list of can’t-miss prospects who failed miserably is far, far longer.

    EDIT: The answers to your questions, Marc, are: much, much better, no more than any other pitcher and yes.

  27. @25

    That’s because it’s only SEC football; I went to school in the Big 12, where we have 5 of the top 15, and put up scores slightly more impressive than 3 – 2

  28. “Go you Fighting Stus!”

    Hankonly – Stu made Vanderbilt change their name to the Commodores due to the unfair, aggressive stereotype implied.

  29. I don’t know that anybody has argued that we should keep both Hernandez and Schafer. That said, there are other outfield positions besides CF, and right now we need help in all of them.

  30. Supposedly, we will acquire at least one outfielder from outside the organization. Also, Heyward should be ready as soon as Hernandez is. That makes Gorkys very expendable, IMO.

  31. So what reasonable package would the Pads accept if we cannot include Escobar or Hanson?

    If the Cubs are willing to part with Samardzija, I’m not sure we’ll be able to beat their offer.

    If not…I’m not even sure why it would take Escobar or Hanson to beat it. Am I just biased when I say that Hernandez (or even Schafer) + Flowers + Morton + Locke looks a lot better than Marshall + Pie + Cedeno + Veal or whatever? The Cubs package has more major-league-readiness to it…but the players aren’t as good, and the Pads aren’t trying to win the West in ’09, anyway, are they?

  32. I seriously doubt that Gorkys will ever acquire more than Kotsay-level power, so like Kotsay he’ll only be a useful starter as a centerfielder. Schafer might be able to carry an outfield corner.

    It’s a tough call, Billy-Jay, but it’s UTM, not UTK, after all.

  33. Marc @30,

    But the question is what is the value of Peavy and what is the value of any Braves” offered package.

    I still think for the Braves, sitting where they are, if Padres would take a package CENTERED on Hanson (with say Jo Jo and Gorkys) that makes more sense than a package with Escobar.

    I do’t think we can compete on CC unless he just really doesn’t want to go to the Yankees. However, there are Burnett, Lowe, and Sheets (yes, injury risk, but only a little worse than Peavy). Then, Dempster, Penny, or other trade options.

    IF WE KNOW that we can re-set and be competitive going forward, then get Peavy. However, trading Escobar now is leaving us with a hole to fill just as bad or worse than the one we have with starting pitching.

  34. Sheets (yes, injury risk, but only a little worse than Peavy)

    Really??? Have you seen an MRI of Peavy’s elbow or something? Otherwise, how can you possibly claim that the difference between the injury risk associated with Sheets and that associated with Peavy is “little”?

  35. Mac, I have to say that your SEC picks have been a little less than inspiring. I have to say that I would love to see my second-favorite team win (anyone playing UT), but looking at Wyoming, and their 2-7 record against a less than sterling schedule, it doesn’t look promising for the good guys. Oh well, Go Cowboys!

  36. UT always gets picked to lose, even if they’re playing a Pop Warner team.

    I like Peavy’s stance. I’d love to have Escobar playing behind him. But yeah, this is turning into quite a drama.

    oldtimer,
    My response to your musical question is on the previous thread.

  37. I think Wyoming may be Pop Warner. I will be a huge fan of theirs this weekend.

    They are actually 3-6 (not 2-7) and are coming off a big win against San Diego State. They could have even beaten TCU with a few more breaks – they only lost 54-7. There is hope after all – thanks for the great pick.

  38. I must misunderstand what Samardzija is worth. Isn’t he projected to be a setup man? I guess his 2008 has tabbed him as a “closer.”

    I would still think we could beat that offer.

  39. Just looked on the Baseball Cube.

    Samardzija did have a great half year in the Bigs, but he has a minor league career ERA of 4.26. And over two seasons (-ish) in the minors, he only struck out 5.24 per nine and had a 4.26 WHIP.

    Most likely a setup guy, if you ask me.

  40. I assumed the Pads were still thinking of Samardzija as starter material.

    Would KJ+Flowers+Morton+Locke be a good starting offer for Swisher+Vazquez?

  41. Stu @41,

    No, I haven’t looked at Peavy’s MRI and don’t know if I would know anything more than I know if I had.

    What I do know is that the very team known as the Braves has had “flexor tendon type elbow discomfort” in multiple pitchers that were rested, pitched again, sometimes rested again, but eventually (within a year or so) treated to ligament replacement surgery.

    For examples, let’s try , Glavine, Soriano (actually not ligament replacement surgery on these 2, but elbow surgery nonetheless) Smoltz, Hampton, Moylan, Gonzalez, Paul Byrd, and also Reitsma with the wierd nerve thing in the elbow.

    AND, I KNOW the Braves DON’T have anybody who can read any type of medical image or why would they have kept sending these guys out there (and Chuck James on his shoulder).

    So, part of my concern about valuing Peavy is that I don’t feel the Braves can properly evaluate his injury risk. Now, that is also true on Sheets, but my expectation is that he will have to take less years or less money (I don’t see him even with current Peavy contract of 63 mill over 4 [or whatever] because everybody knows and agrees that Sheets has an injury history). Also, remember, if we sign Sheets, we still have an above average to very good Major League shortstop for cheap for 5 years.

    And, a side note, Sheets always tromps on the Braves and Peavy doesn’t.

  42. and contact with Brady Quinn’s balls. I am positive that many sportscasters include that in {HYPE}. It is why Corso and Herbstreit have such high opinions of themselves.

  43. Please everyone, remember the value of the non guaranteed nature of the obligation to our young ‘uns. Once the ink is dry, Peavy is owed his money.

    Yesterday or the day before somebody (I think in sarcasm) brought up how the guaranteed contract to Hampton didn’t limit the Braves too much. Remember that.

  44. So, part of my concern about valuing Peavy is that I don’t feel the Braves can properly evaluate his injury risk. Now, that is also true on Sheets, but my expectation is that he will have to take less years or less money (I don’t see him even with current Peavy contract of 63 mill over 4 [or whatever] because everybody knows and agrees that Sheets has an injury history). Also, remember, if we sign Sheets, we still have an above average to very good Major League shortstop for cheap for 5 years.

    And, a side note, Sheets always tromps on the Braves and Peavy doesn’t.

    OK. But we know that Sheets absolutely cannot stay healthy for a full season. We know that. Peavy has a question mark, and I don’t disagree with your concerns about our ability to properly diagnose pitchers’ injuries, but he’s been very healthy so far in his career. I just don’t see how that’s a “little” difference.

    Yes, I’m aware that Sheets will cost less and will allow us to keep Escobar. I made no comment as to whether I’d rather have Peavy – Escobar or Sheets + Escobar; I was only talking about your claim that there wasn’t much difference between the injury risk associated with the two pitchers.

    Peavy hasn’t dominated us the way Sheets has—nobody, other than possibly Oliver Perez, has—but he’s still been pretty darn good against us, hasn’t he? I remember a 16(ish)-K game against us and not much else, so I could be forgetting some bad ones.

  45. I’ve never listened to BP Radio and I don’t know if it’s subscriber-only or not, but they’re doing an interview with Jason Heyward this weekend.

  46. What is the big deal with Samardzija? He doesn’t seem that special a baseball player to me. It’s more of a fame and fan-favorite thing with him than a baseball skill one….and if that is what the Padres want, players who can sell jeans, they can have Francoeur.

  47. Unless Hanson is going to be in our rotation next year and a Cy Young contender, Wren should trade him for Peavy. I can’t for the life of me understand why we are refusing to trade a minor league pitcher who has never pitched in the majors for one of the top 5 pitchers in the NL. Trading our cheap, very good major league shortstop instead would be retarded. This all makes me wish Shuerholz would take back the helm.

  48. @56, it was me who brought up the Hampton contract, and yes it was in sarcasm (nobody bit even a LITTLE on my comment, I was so depressed).

  49. I go back and forth on Peavy, i want him, but we need 4 players to become a winner again, six to be a contender, so trading for one and making another hole in the lineup does not really get us closer to winning anything.
    We need 3 OF’er, or at least 2 if you count on Anderson/Blanco.
    2-3 starting pitchers and a lefty to replace Ohman in the pen, we trade Escobar, we get a pitcher but need a SS, and then lose alot of prospects and still have to find all the other gaps.

    Peavy in 2009 does not makes us any better than last year if Escobar is in the trade. The trading 3 or 4 other prospects for one pitcher, we still arent that good,

    Wren is in a tough spot, i say the trade doesnt happen though, to much for too little.

  50. On the other hand, throwing money at 2 of those roster holes while opening up no others and waiting for the 2 years or so it will take for the farm to fill the remaining holes seems like the ideal plan of action.

    If you’re going to trade prospects, trade the ones that are either blocked by current MLB players, or by players more highly rated at their position in the farm system.

  51. The Peanut with the official team response to Peavy:

    Over the past couple of weeks, Jake Peavy has told friends that he’s intrigued about the possibility of pitching in Atlanta and concerned about the Braves chances to win. Now through his agent, he’s publicly voiced his concern about approving a trade to Atlanta, if it means the Braves have to give up shortstop Yunel Escobar.

    “Escobar’s a pretty good player,” Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “To be honest, Jake and I have said, ‘If that kind of trade gets made, who plays short for them?'”

    This is a legitimate question as the Braves would almost certainly have to go outside their organization to find a replacement. But if they include Escobar in this deal for Peavy, they would likely pursue two of their former employees, Rafael Furcal or Edgar Renteria, on the free agent market. In addition, they could make a push toward acquiring Jack Wilson or Julio Lugo via trade.

    If Peavy approves a trade to the Braves, Atlanta could become an even more desirable destination for free agents like A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe and Ryan Dempster. Braves GM Frank Wren would like nothing more than to acquire Peavy and also sign one of these free agent starters.

  52. From mlbtr:

    The Padres would prefer a deal with Atlanta, but can’t pry Tommy Hanson loose. The Braves are willing to trade Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, and Jordan Schafer.

    I think Esco, Morton, Schafer for Peavy is sheer insanity. So much so, in fact, that I think the rumor has to be incorrect or else the Pads (unless they’re nuts) should have accepted before the Braves had a chance to change their minds.

  53. BP’s got the Braves Top 11 Prospects up. Here’s a preview:

    Five-Star Prospects
    1. Jason Heyward, OF
    2. Tommy Hanson, RHP
    Four-Star Prospects
    3. Jordan Schafer, CF
    4. Gorkys Hernandez, CF
    5. Freddie Freeman, 1B
    Three-Star Prospects
    6. Julio Teheran, RHP
    7. Cole Rohrbough, LHP
    8. Tyler Flowers, C
    9. Randall Delgado, RHP
    10. Brandon Hicks, SS
    Two-Star Prospects
    11. Kris Medlen, RHP

    Just Missed: John Gilmore, 3B; Craig Kimbrell, RHP; Jeff Locke, LHP

    I think I mostly agree with KG, though I’m surprised to see Locke missed the list.

  54. Towers says that they only know right now which players they can get and which ones they cannot right now. My guess is that means the Padres can get Escobar or Schafer or Morton for Peavy, but not all of them.

  55. Dan,
    @70. That was the way I read that line. That it would be Escobar or Schafer, Morton, and 1 or 2 other minor leaguers.

  56. I just don’t understand the Furcal idea. You’re talking about a $23 million (at least) commitment for Peavy and Furcal in 2009 alone—why wouldn’t you just keep Escobar and sign Sabathia or Burnett?

  57. Mraver – That is pretty similar to my top prospects. The same 1-8 with some minor shuffling.

    I do not have Randall Delgado anywhere near the top ten.

  58. Well, you probably wouldn’t be able to sign Sabathia, who is likely to go to one of the AL East powers. Also, Furcal is not a Type A or B free agent and thus the Braves would not have to give compensation for him. However, that should give pause to any team looking to pay him more than $10 million a year. If he was worth that, wouldn’t he be a Type A?

  59. Well, you probably wouldn’t be able to sign Sabathia, who is likely to go to one of the AL East powers.

    OK, so you sign Burnett. Instead of Peavy and Furcal, you have Burnett, Escobar, Morton, Hernandez, etc. for less salary. I just think trading away a cheap plug and having to fill it with an expensive part defeats most of the point of going after Peavy in the first place.

    Wonder what it would take to get JJ Hardy.

  60. Somebody’s (Dix?) little Wiki-stunt has found a sucker. BP on Gorkys Hernandez:

    “Fun Fact: Hernandez is named after Maxim Gorky, the Russian writer who was critical of both the czars and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, and who was ultimately brought back to Russia in the 1930s as a propaganda tool for the dictator Joseph Stalin, who many feel was responsible for Gorky’s untimely death in 1938.”

    What’s next, Brent Lillibridge as a 4-star prospect??

  61. MLBTR just posted that the Braves are inquiring about Olsen from the Marlins. What do you think it would take to get him?

  62. re olsen–like all other deals, it all depends on the price

    there have been rumors of the Rays and Mets discussing E. Jackson–this is a chat I’d like to see the Braves get in on

  63. I wish we’d either crap or get off the pot on this one, it seems like its holding up other deals, which we may miss out on…..stupid Wren

  64. Olsen intrigues me a little bit, but only if he’s grown up. He’s had a crap defense behind him.

  65. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more with Ron E. Why are we even talking about trading Escobar when we could easily trade Hanson? Hanson is extremely unlikely to be any better than Peavy when he develops. Why are we messing with our infield? Just trade Hanson, already. And I really don’t understand how Peavy for Escobar, Morton and Schafer is a bad deal. And I really, really don’t understand how Peavy for Escobar straight up is a bad deal. I must’ve been watching a different Escobar last year. He was good and showed some promise, but is he worth ruining the chance to trade for one of the three best pitchers in the game? Absolutely not!

  66. Where does this “three best pitchers in the game” thing come from?

    Webb
    Santana
    Hamels
    Shields
    Sabathia
    Lincecum

    Are all arguably (if not indesputably) better than Peavy. And that’s just off the top of my head. Remember, this is a guy who has pitched in the most pitcher-friendly park in the pitcher-friendlies division of the pitcher-friendlier league. He’s very, very good and one of the few #1 starters out there. But he’s not top 3.

  67. I can only assume Ron E and Nick are talking from a purely talent perspective, and ignoring financial aspects, in which case those trades are okay.

  68. In his “best years”, I’ll still take Webb, Lincecum, Santana, or Hamels ahead of him, no question. In HIS best years, I’ll take Beckett, too. Sabathia was also amazing this year.

    I guess my point is, he’s no Maddux.

  69. In 2007, Peavy was the unanimous winner of the Cy Young, led the league in ERA, strikeouts, strikeouts per nine, WHIP, and wins, and finished seventh in the MVP balloting. Before you say “park effect”, Peavy also led in adjusted ERA+ and had a road ERA six hundredths of a point higher than his home ERA. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he was one of the three best pitchers in the game.

  70. but who is?

    who is our ace, if we don’t get Peavy?

    Sheets?

    come on now. don’t be daft. think.

    sheets may come here, but if we get peavy AND sheets, we’re a pretty scary team, even IF we give up escobar. who wants to go against sheets/peavy/jair for three straight?

    who plays SS? furcal, of course….he thinks of bobby as his daddy figure and really didn’t want to leave.

    addded to it, the possibility of burrel/dunn…we’re looking like the rays did last year (with some $ to spend on the deadline)

  71. @ nick

    The problem with trading a talented SS for an ace pitcher is that we’re both multiple pieces AND years away from contending so it would be an incredibly stupid move to make.

  72. I have a dualism in my brain right now. On one hand, I am SICK of hearing about the Peavy trade. No offense at all to you guys in that. We’ve seen every trade scenario exhausted, so I feel like there’s nothing left to ponder. So a part of me just says: make the freaking trade and let’s just see if we like the end result.

    On the other hand, I’d hate for Wren to make a trade right now so early in the offseason without at least waiting until the Winter Meetings. It’s a really long offseason, and there are plenty of things that need to settle before we see whether or not we even HAVE to give San Diego Escobar or Hanson or whoever. After all, Towers has said that Peavy is GOING to be dealt and he’s as good as gone. What happens when December rolls around, the Cubs aren’t selling the farm to get him, and Towers has to take the best offer we’ll give them (meaning a deal without Escobar or Hanson)? For instance, what happens if the Cubs sign Sheets or Sabathia and no longer need Peavy? Then the asking price for Peavy goes down a bit. I’d just hate to see Wren deal too early.

    I can’t decide which one I want: the little-kid-on-Christmas-eve-“let-me-open-my-present” attitude with getting Peavy now, or the, perhaps more logical, approach and wait and see where the market takes us.

  73. Maybe this has been brought up here, but DOB brought up the potential 2010 rotation:
    Peavy, [FA pickup], Hudson, Jurrjens, Hanson

    Granted all of them have varying degree of uncertainty, but it’s sure fun to think about

  74. Did you notice Hanson’s performance in the AFL Thursday? 5 innings, 11 SO’s. I think Wren was watching the game.

  75. mikemc-

    Yeah, I was just about to mention it. His whole line was 5IP 2H 1BB 1ER 11K. So he gave up a run. Frickin weak….

  76. Rob, the problem I think is that we need Peavy to be in place to persuade other free agents that we will be able to compete next year. If we wait until February, say, then it may be too late.

    I wish it wasn’t the case though, as it makes far more sense for us to try to compete from 2010 onwards, but I think Bobby wants to compete now.

  77. I am with Rob: I have Peavy Trade Fatigue Syndrome or PTFS. All of this makes me miss JS a bit more–because I now miss the trades which came from out of nowhere….

  78. I read where the White Sox are looking for 2B help….what could we pry away from them for KJ?

  79. #96

    Rob, what happens if WE sign Sheets or Sabathia?

    I know that CC is probably NY-bound, but the guy has stated over and over again that he wants to hit (and who’s to blame him? 6’8″ 280 lbs…he’s built more like an OT than a SP) and play in the NL. but the mets have issues that don’t fall on their rotation.

    i say talk to CC’s agent and pony up the 6 year/126 million. Don’t include a no trade clause.

    That’s 21 million of the approximately 45 million a year we are spending. With the remaining money, sign Furcal at 3 years/33 million. that still leaves us with 11 million to spend.

    With Furcal, slide him to SS and move Escobar to 2B. Flip KJ for Ludwick and probably a mid-level player.

    Then sign Lowe for 2 years/22 million (who thinks Lowe will sign for 11 million a year?)

    rotation:
    CC
    Lowe
    Jair
    Reyes (gotta have a lefty)
    Morton/Hanson (when ready)

    Campillo moved to bullpen.

    lineup:
    ss-Furcal
    2b-Escobar
    3b-Chipper
    c-BMac
    lf-Ludwick
    1b-Kotchman
    rf-frenchy/diaz
    cf-anderson/blanco/schafer (when ready)
    p-(when cc pitches, put frenchy here and move cc to 7th)

    i know, i’m rosterbating…but it’s fun to think that if we do some of these things, we would probably win the east with this team.

  80. @104 – I don’t see a need to get Furcal and keep Escobar. Furcal is good at SS, but he is declining, has some shoulder concerns (will his very strong arm be full strength?) and given some recent concerns with errors, he may not be an upgrade over Furcal right now. If we keep Esco and trade KJ, I would much rather get a second OF upgrade and plug in Infante or Prado at second.

  81. 98–Thanks for the story on Vandy football–I certainly hope that the Commondores can find their way to two more wins. Tennessee should be possible and after that it may take some heroics….

  82. It would be stupid to get Furcal if we keep Escobar. KJ’s a better hitter than Escobar. A good bit of Escobar’s value is defensive, and moving him to 2B kills a lot of that. Besides, KJ for Ludwick is too much for a 30-yo OF with one good season.

    I’m down with just winning the CC sweepstakes and holding onto Escobar if that’s the route the Braves want to go. Actually, I think it might lead to a better looking team at similar cost. But I kind of doubt that’ll happen.

  83. i like the CC scenario.

    but we will DEFINITELY need another arm. Best case would be a lefty. I wonder if we could swing a:

    KJ
    Medlen
    Morton

    deal for

    Buehrle

  84. I think that it would be great to get CC, but I don’t see it.

    The Braves need 3 starters, an LF and a RF and, therefore, I think that the goal should be to improve the team for 2009 and win in 2010.

    Buehrle would be a nice addition, but I think that the price would be higher….

  85. Tennessee should be possible and after that it may take some heroics….

    Kentucky and Wake are both very beatable. Of course, so were Mississippi State and Duke.

    but we will DEFINITELY need another arm. Best case would be a lefty. I wonder if we could swing a:

    KJ
    Medlen
    Morton

    deal for

    Buehrle

    Agreed that we need another starter, but why does it have to be a lefty, especially if the first guy you’re getting is Sabathia? I’m thinking we’ll have either Hampton or Glavine.

    Anyway, that would be way too much to give up for Buehrle.

    Swisher is probably the only White Sox player I’d be comfortable including KJ in a deal for. I like Vazquez and Dye, but not at the expense of KJ.

    Also, there’s no way CC signs for as little as $21 million, as you suggested above, though it would be nice.

  86. ububba,

    Answering your question from the previous thread: I actually saw DBT with The Hold Steady on Halloween at the Ryman. It was awesome.

  87. So, the Twins are apparently inquiring about Cruel Soybean now. Forget Peavy, let’s go after Francisco Liriano.

  88. BP:

    Auggie (Anaheim): Joe, which pitcher impressed you the most in Arizona?

    Joe Sheehan: Tommy Hanson. No one else came close. Seeing him first ruined me.

    Andy (Kansas City): Lots of rumors floating around centering on a Ryan Ludwick or Matt Holiday or Kelly Johnson trade. Thoughts?

    Joe Sheehan: I think if you can get Kelly Johnson for Ryan Ludwick, you do it. He’s a wildly underrated player, and the Cardinals desperately need to lengthen their lineup. They do that by adding a 2B who can hit.

  89. The Braves don’t need three starters if they keep Morton and Reyes around. Between those two and Hanson, we ought to be able to have at least two young, cheap pitchers. Add that to Campillo and Jurrjens…. It’s not world-beating, but we should survive the year without having to ask Parr to start too often.

    And why on Earth would we want to give up KJ for Buehrle? It’s not like he’s an “ace” or anything. I’d rather throw 3/$14M at Lowe than give the same money AND KJ for someone who’s not likely to be a whole hulluva lot better.

  90. Jurrjens, Campillo, Morton, Reyes and Hanson sounds like a last-place rotation to me.

    What has Reyes ever done at the major league level to inspire any confidence at all? What has Morton done anywhere besides that one game in the AFL last season? Morton has a career 4.53 minor league ERA and a WHIP over 1.50 in seven seasons and a career major league ERA of 6.15.

  91. I’d be willing to give up both Reyes and Morton for Peavy. I think Reyes needs a change of scenery, anyway. We’d have to give up something else in addition, though, I’m sure.

  92. 111–So also was MTSU…

    I am not a big fan of Buerhle, but Medlen has yet to make it to AAA, Morton is clear risk and KJ may be a better than average 2B, but he is replaceable. The Braves would lose a bit at second, but pick up a solid starter.

    As much as I like KJ, I don’t see him as anything close to untouchable….

  93. I would trade Reyes and Morton for Peavy in a heartbeat…

    I also think that we need 3 starters….

  94. I agree with Stu that we’re likely to retain one of either Hampton or Glavine. Peavy, Free Agent, Jurrjens, Campillo, and Hampton/Glavine doesn’t seem too bad. Getting Smoltz back midseason could be a nice bonus.

  95. I’m with you, sansho. I’d kinda like to hang on to Hampton, though, as strange as that makes me feel.

  96. I’ve always had some hope for Hampton. He is a good pitcher if he stays healthy.

  97. Stu-

    Stephen is the one claiming that we need 3 starters. Which is absurd, unless you don’t think 3 of Hanson, Morton, Jurrjens, Reyes, or Campillo will be useable as ML pitchers.

    My point wasn’t that using those 5 is a good idea for next year. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think 3 or 4 of them will be worthwhile ML pitchers. Also, if we keep Hanson, I would expect him in the rotation by May at the latest.

    And trading KJ plus others for Buerhle is a very bad plan.

  98. And the Mountain West bottom feeder Wyoming beats Tennessee.

    Georgia escapes Lexington with a win.

  99. mraver–get a grip–Hanson, Morton, Jurrjens, Reyes, or Campillo–only 2 of those pitchers have proven that they can be consistent major league starters. Also, check out Campillo’s last two months of the season–his numbers are pretty ugly. Sure he may bounce back, but then again there is no sustained major track record to say that he will. It is possible that the Braves may not need any starters at all: it is possible that Smoltz, Hampton and Glavine may all return to the pitchers that they once were. It is possible that Chuck James and Lerew may pitch well enough to provide the Braves with ‘strength at the position’.

    I think a more constructive position is recognize that the Braves need three starters. Hanson, Morton, Reyes, Parr, Medlen and Heath might all get the job done–but going into 2009 none of these pitchers have proven that they can be viable major league starters.

  100. Stu–I never thought that I would say this but: “Vandy had better not take Tennessee for granted”!

  101. Stephen- If you just assume that young players won’t work out, then crap, the Braves need to bring in about 8 veteran FAs. But that’s not what you do. You give guys a chance and have contingency plans. I think asking those five pitchers to fill 3 rotation slots is not asking a lot. You bring in Hampton, you bring in a guy like Lowe. Maybe you trade one or two of Morton/Reyes/Medlen (along with Escobar or Schafer or whatever) for Peavy. But you don’t drop $40-50M on free agent starters when it blocks guys who are cheap and have a shot to do the job just as well. Instead, you spend money on one, maybe two guys who will be good investments, and you use the remainder to address other issues.

    Also, was I the only one who was pretty sure, based on the replays, that the “fumble” in the second quarter of the UF/Vandy game was clearly a TD? It seemed like the ball came out after the hand holding it got hit the ground on the goalline. Not sure how that can happen without the ball breaking the plane….

  102. I am not talking about bringing in several free agent pitchers, but the fact remains that the Braves need to rebuild their rotation. At this point, Morton and Reyes look no better than Kyle Davies did. I am certainly against trading Hanson, but he also has to demonstrate that he will be an effective starter in the majors. Dominance in the minors does not always predict excellence at the major league level.

    In my view the Braves are in at least a two year rebuilding program in which they need to rebuild the rotation and add two corner outfielders….

  103. I still think Vandy will be favored over UT (maybe only by a FG or less), especially in Nashville.

    Had drinks with a visiting Another Alex R tonight in NYC. A fine time was had by all.

  104. I’ve been following most of this thread and have a few things to say… On trading Escobar, I’m okay with it. Trading to get a potential ace starter is worth the price, especially with plenty of serviceable free-agent shortstops being available. As long as the potential trade package stays as Escobar, Morton, Schafer/Hernandez, that’s more than fine with me. I honestly was hoping that the Padres would be hot to trot with Schafer, but they seem to have cooled on him.

    And for those people that have been asking why they don’t trade away Hanson, sometimes the best deals are the ones that aren’t made. Case-in-point: the FLA/BOS trade for Josh Beckett. The Marlins were insistent on getting Jon Lester in the deal, but John Farrell convinced them not to. And at least at the moment, I think the Red Sox are more than happy that they decided to stick to their guns and hang onto the pitcher that they thought would become a stud.

    That being said, if there is a way to substitute in Kelly Johnson for Escobar, even if it means giving up another pitching prospect (ala Jo-Jo Reyes), that might be worth it for both sides. I’m intrigued by the possibility of having Prado play second base full time.

  105. horrible logic on the Beckett trade

    the fish got Hanley. while Beckett helped the Sox win, Hanley has single-handedly made the fish competitive again.

  106. @143 – that was almost certainly a touchdown and not a fumble…and I despise Percy Harvin. I think the refs just decided it would be to cruel to completely reverse the call.

  107. Intrigued in a “how long before all his supporters realise he isn’t an everyday player?” kind of way?

  108. “That being said, if there is a way to substitute in Kelly Johnson for Escobar, even if it means giving up another pitching prospect (ala Jo-Jo Reyes), that might be worth it for both sides.”
    how? pads have a cheap option at 2nd with a overpriced khalil greene at short. it’s not beneficial to both sides, just the braves.

  109. I think that if the trade goes down, it is pretty much a given that it will be for Yunel Escobar, Morton/Reyes, and Schafer/Hernandez. That being said, it creates a giant hole in shortstop.

    The free agent market at shortstop right now looks relatively pathetic outside of Furcal. I know that the Braves have said that they don’t want to lose both Johnson and Escobar in the same offseason; however, I would try to use Johnson as a main piece to pry J.J. Hardy from Milwaukee. The Brewers have Alcides Escobar ready to go and unless they try to resign Durham, they don’t have a second baseman. (Weeks was abysmal last year)

    From there Atlanta would still be able to utilize Prado at second and Hardy would have production fairly equal to what Yunel would have had at short.

  110. I don’t know. I think Kelly Johnson and Lillibride or some free agent like Renteria would be just as productive a middle infield as Hardy and Prado.

  111. Braves14’s updated SEC Bowl projections

    MNC: Florida 12-1
    Sugar: Alabama 12-1
    Capital One: Georgia 10-2
    Cotton: LSU 9-3
    Outback: USC 8-4
    Peach: Kentucky 7-5
    Music City: Vandy 6-6
    Liberty: Ole Miss 7-5

  112. It would make a lot more sense to have VU in the Liberty and Ole Miss in the Music City, so the fans could at least travel a couple hundred miles.

  113. Kentucky won’t be any tougher than Wake, IMO. I think we can win all 3, but UT certainly looks like the easiest. It’s the only home game, they may have already quit on the season, and they’re just generally dysfunctional on offense. I expect that game to be 0-0 going to OT, where it will then become a battle of awful FG kickers.

  114. Well, all 3 games are winable, but my insecurity as a Vandy fan has me pretty sure we will lose all 3.

  115. it happens, mac. i’ve been wrong a couple times too. hell, the other day i picked up a copy of the 1992 Baseball Abstract and saw that BJ projected Jim Thome as a .300 hitter with very little power.

  116. Yeah, I was being a little facetious about Ryan. I am truly amazed at how far along he already is. I hope he continues to develop and improve his game. In fact, I drool at the possibilities.

    And Mac, I was incensed when the Falcons drafted him.

  117. Just curious, who did you guys think they should have drafted? I felt it was obvious they needed a new franchise player, and I don’t think someone like Glenn Dorsey is a franchise player.

  118. I thought that the team was so far away that they needed to concentrate on building up the lines, that if they drafted Ryan he would get killed playing behind a patchwork O-line. I obviously underestimated the Petrino Effect.

  119. Again, I’ll say it, time to shit or get off the pot. I think the Peavy deal (or lack of it) is holding up other moves. Towers seems to be running this show, give him an ultimatem….take our best offer or shove it, there has to be starters we can have for a lesser price. We dont need an ace if we load up on offense. I’d rather trade KJ than Escobar anyways….just my 2 cents

  120. Old and Stupid-

    What moves, exactly, have the Braves not made because of the Peavy thing?

    I mean, what moves have been made by ANYONE at this point? It’s not like the Braves aren’t talking to guys because of the Peavy thing. Hell, they probably only talk to the Pads for about 15 minutes a day at this point. They know how much they’re willing to give up, and the Padres are just trying to figure out other stuff. The Braves can still talk to Lowe or Sheets or the Marlins or the Royals or whomever.

    I’d like to see this thing get resolved sooner rather than later, but I think “before Winter Meetings” is a fine deadline to stick to.

  121. I think it’s reasonable to say the Peavy situation is probably holding up several teams — he’s the big fish. Who knows, we might have KJ-for-Ludwick ready to go. The Cubs might have alternate destinations for Samardzija and Pie. I’ll bet there will be a couple of ripple-effect trades almost immediately after the Peavy trade happens.

    That said, I’m in no hurry. It’s more fun to talk about what we might/should do than what we’ve already done. Love me some hot stove!

  122. Every time I see Matt Ryan behaving like a real NFL QB I wonder to myself: ‘when is he gonna realize that he’s a Falcon?’ Seriously. This is what growing up in Atlanta has done to me.

    Now.

    On the pitchers, I’d be happy to go into the season only with Jurrjens and Hanson in the rotation. Counting on Morton, Reyes, or Campillo is foolish, unless you’re being realistic and know that 3rd, probably 4th place is your ceiling. Sadly, the Braves don’t seem to know this. A rotation of Peavy, Jurrjens, Campillo, Hampton, and Hanson will produce a 75-win team, at best with our lineup. Even if you add Lowe to that group, I just don’t see how it will matter. The outfield was atrocious and I will trust the bullpen when, just once, it doesn’t suck.

  123. #162–Me too!

    I finally got to watch the Falcons last night—what a difference a year makes….really glad that I was wrong about Ryan and the team generally….

  124. again, i think its holding up the Ludwick trade, or any other trade involving KJ or Escobar….I think the Pads are olding us up from making other deals, just my thoughts though….could be wrongf

  125. Diory Hernandez will never be as good as Yunel, but he seems to be a solid prospect who has rather quietly climbed up the ranks of the organization. I think that he probably has a chance to be a major league regular–if the continues to develop and stay healthy….

  126. There has been one (1) trade since the season ended, and trust me, Peavy didn’t keep us from getting Mike Jacobs (and if he did, thank you, Jake Peavy). Now, if you want to say Peavy’s keeping EVERYONE from making deals, that’s one thing. But there have been, to date, 0 opportunities missed by Atlanta this off-season.

  127. This is a no-brainer.

    1) Peavy is better than Escobar. (He nets us more wins)
    2)Shortstops are eaiser to find than Cy-Young caliber starting pitchers.
    3) You can win with a crappy shortstop. (Escobar’s replacement, whoever he may be) You can’t win witout an ace or two. I understand you can’t win with a crappy shortstop, an average 1st baseman, and 3 crappy outfielders, but does Escobar really make our offence that much better? Not better enough to off-set Peavy.
    4) A 2010 rotation of Peavy, Hudson, Hanson, and JJ makes us one of the best teams in the NL, regardless of our offence.
    5) Peavy is priced (in terms of salary)less than he is worth and is locked up for several years.

  128. In other words… if Escobar, Shafer, and Jo-Jo/Morton gets the job done, then pull the dam trigger. How hard is it to find a weak-hitting, good fielding short stop to hit 8th? In other words.. could we sigh the 2009 equivlent of Rafael Belliard?

  129. I’m really hesitant to make a win-move now. We made that mistake with Tex, and I just don’t trust Wren not to make the same mistake now with Peavy. We should just accept the fact that we’re not going to be competitive in 2009 and work on setting up 2010 and beyond. Trading a young, cheap, good to great shortstop isn’t the right way to work towards that goal.

  130. Tex was under contract for 1 1/2 years when the braves signed him. Peavy is under contract for 4. This is not just a “win-now” deal.

  131. 1) Escobar nets us far more wins/$
    2) #1/2 pitchers are actually in more plentiful supply than good shortstops this winter.
    5) Escobar, Morton and Hernandez are priced far less than what they are worth and are each locked up for a minimum of 4 years.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think we should make the deal for Escobar, Morton and Gorkys, but I won’t be especially upset if it doesn’t happen.

  132. @ 181, Nick C.,

    I agree with the sentiment. However, I believe you understate the case.

    Escobar is locked to the Braves for 5 more years. 07 was not sufficient time to count as a year. So, Beginning 08, he used the first of 6 years.

    Morton is locked for 6 or more years (depending on use of “options”). Hernandez is 6 or more Major League years (plus possibly some option years).

    IF Wren was saying (which I can understand disagreement with) that they were going to go with Lillibridge and Infante, then moving Escobar is not totally stupid. But, there is no shortstop better than the “last man standing” from that pair that will come to Atlanta as a FA for less than 8 million a year for 3 years. And, that would be for somebody clearly not as good as Escobar, just projectably better than Infante and Lillibridge. More like 13 million or more for 4 years or more to project equal or better to Escobar.

    IF the Braves can go get J. J. Hardy, then he is good and not expensive, but what would you have to give up there (after already giving up a lot on Peavy).

    I know Ludwick was a little bit of a flash in the pan, but a lot of commentators say he won’t do quite as well as last year, but is a solid performer (900 OPS level). Why the Cardinals would give up 4 or so years of him for cheap for one year of Holliday (who, outside Coors, isn’t any better) is beyond me.

    Please Padres, take the Cubs offer!

  133. Wren is really between a rock and a hard place. Unless he absolutely steals Peavey, he is going to be criticized either way; ie, he gave up too much if he makes the deal, or, what is he doing just sitting on his ass doing nothing? They can’t really count on signing FAs even if they want to. At the same time, trying to sell tickets in a down economy is going to be really, really hard at best and probably impossible for a 4th place team that did nothing to improve and is waiting for 2010. This is a tough one. I think he makes the deal with Escobar and hopes that he can find an adequate replacement somewhere. The Braves have won without all-star shortstops in the past. And, Peavey makes it easier to attract FAs if the Braves want to go that route. Of course, the way things have gone with the Braves in recent years, Peavey will get hurt and Yunel will make the all-star team.

  134. Diory Hernandez has played short in the minors, but his glove has a poor reputation. Unless something changes drastically, he is likely to be a better choice for 2nd base. That said, I think his bat can play in the Bigs, at least as a bench guy.

  135. I should also remind that acquiring Peavy is not really a “win-now” move. You have him for four more years after 2009.

  136. Maybe I’m delusional, but I’m starting to see a scenario where we can compete in 2009 (I was saying that 2010 is our next chance). If we get two power-hitting OF’ers and two quality SPs (Peavy or equivalent + Sheets or equivalent), I think we have a chance. If Wren can do this without giving up KJ, Hanson and Heyward (along with our other untouchables), I think it will be a success. If he does this w/o giving up Escobar (but losing KJ), Wren will be a genius.

    Btw, I was kidding Mac about his prediction of Wyoming over UT only to find out that he always picks Tennessee to lose. As bad as UT has been, they were a 28 point favorite. Wyoming was outscored 122-7 on the road until this game! The new UT coach will have a tough job to say the least! So much for playing better now that Fulmer’s future is no longer in doubt.

  137. per peanut…

    While some Braves scouts like Raul Ibanez, the fact that he hits left-handed weakens his candidacy. Wren wants to find a right-handed power bat to place between the switch-hitting Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, who bats left-handed.

    As for the right-handed Pat Burrell, he has drawn very little interest from the Braves. Although he’s hit at least 29 homers each of the past four seasons, Burrell is a .257 career hitter whose lack of speed makes him a defensive liability.

  138. td,

    I think UT has a decent level of talent. Eric Berry is the best defender in the SEC. I think this team is just rolling over.

    The rumored short list is John Gruden, Butch Davis and Mike Leach.

  139. No way Gruden even considers the job. (Yes, I’m aware that he was a graduate assistant way back when.) Davis might, I guess, but I have trouble seeing it, given that he turned another SEC school—his own alma mater—down last year.

  140. Butch ain’t going anywhere.

    Muschamp i could see.

    But they want to make a Splash. They have to have a Big Named Coach to be there. Kelly from Cincinatti would be ok except he’s not a big name. Brewster from Minnesota would be ok, but not a big name.

    Terry Bowden, anyone?

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