Worst OBPs, Major League outfielders, 2008

SEASON
2008
OF

OBA OBA
1 Michael Bourn .288
2 Jeff Francoeur .294
3 Carlos Gomez .296
4 Corey Hart .300
5 Jose Guillen .300
6 Willy Taveras .308
7 Adam Jones .311
8 Mark Teahen .313
9 Chris Young .315
10 Cody Ross .316

And people want to trade for Teahen…

191 thoughts on “Worst OBPs, Major League outfielders, 2008”

  1. Thanks, Mac. I guess I will repost this from the last thread:

    I think 2009 is the least of our worries. It should not be a year we try too hard to contend. That is, we should not limit our opportunities to field the best team in 2010 to try to bridge too much of a gap in 2009.

    That’s why I am not totally opposed to trading Escobar for Peavy. But, I would not be excited about replacing Escobar with Furcal and his bad back on a multi-year deal. I think we have a better chance of finding a replacement for Escobar in the next few years than we have of finding a replacement for Peavy.

    Plus, we can use more than one ace pitcher in our rotation if another comes along. There is only one shortstop on the field.

  2. Looks like Frenchy has a good potential to be an average centerfielder.

    I mean, look at the list…Bourn, Gomez, Taveras, Jones, Young…

  3. Francouer promises he’ll never have a bad season again and I believe him!

    Also, a Nigerian millionaire is about to transfer $12 million into my bank account! All I had to do was pay the $3,000 transaction fees!

  4. Hot damn, a new thread. To answer Alex R’s question from the last thread, Garland’s peripherals are awful. If there were absolutely no other options, I’d maybe, maybe give him a 1 year deal with an option for a second. I’ve read that he wants 4/48, which sad to say, somebody will probably be dumb enough to give it to him.

    I’ll also echo the sentiments of others, if Yesco goes for Peavy, plugging in Furcal is not the answer. If he would do a two year deal with an option for a third, maybe, but I’d say just go with Lil’Bridge or a one year stopgap until Andrus is ready. Oh wait, nevermind. I’d much rather use that money for a Jermaine Dye trade, or to pay somebody in the outfield.

    I shudder at the thought that if Furcal is signed, an Infante/Lil’Bridge left side of the infield while Chipper and Furcal are hurt for 30-40 games each.

    Please Wren also say no to a KJ for Ludwick deal. If you look up “fluke” in the encyclopedia, there is a picture of Ryan Ludwick’s all star game appearance from 2008. I know even if he hit .260 and hit 20 HRs it would be a massive upgrade, but KJ has got to have more trade value than that. I’d like to see KJ peddled for somebody with a more proven track record (minors and majors) like a Brad Hawpe.

  5. I feel like Corey Patterson should be on the list, for old times sake. Or at least get an honorable mention.

    Now… I’m not paying as close attention as others, and I definitely apologize for forcing y’all to be redundant, but is the Escobar/Hernandez for Peavy deal just need to be ‘finalized,’ such as with a couple other players, or is this still really uncertain? I feel like it’s gonna be another long winter involving my anger at Frank Wren. Good times.

  6. 200 PA Minimum:

    SEASON
    2008
    OF

    OBA OBA
    1 Corey Patterson .238
    2 Wily Mo Pena .243
    3 Wladimir Balentien .250
    4 Andruw Jones .256
    T5 Rajai Davis .272
    T5 Eric Byrnes .272
    7 Carlos Gonzalez .273
    8 Juan Rivera .282
    9 Michael Bourn .288
    10 Jay Payton .291
    11 Jason Michaels .292
    12 Marcus Thames .292
    13 Jeff Francoeur .294
    14 Carlos Gomez .296
    15 Emil Brown .297

  7. Stu, after the Braves (unfortunately) sign Ollie Perez, and trade for Cole Hamels, having the major’s first ever all left handed lineup won’t matter.

  8. Dix (from the last thread),

    I admitted that we had to stay within a budget. I did not say that we should be spending $300 million. There is an area in between pursuing maximum cost-efficiency on every single player on your roster and never straying even if it would vastly improve your team and just throwing money down the toilet. This deal would not take us out of budget and it would vastly improve the team, in my opinion. Sometimes you have to make a deal that isn’t necessarily cost-effective to improve your team, and if you refuse to make any deal ever that strays from maximum cost-efficiency, then you are not going to have a very good team.

    I also take issue with your assertion that Peavy will not put butts in the seats. I think that is complete BS. He will put butts in the seats, and will make the fanbase more excited about the team in general. The fanbase as a whole certainly doesn’t care about cost-efficiency. They’re not interested in VORP and WHIP and runs created or any of that crap. They want to win. Having Peavy on the team will certainly elicit a more positive reaction from the fans, because it will give the team a better chance to win and win immediately. And how in the hell will having Peavy on the team send us down the craphole while having Escobar will magically promote the rebuilding process? Yunel Escobar is not God. The degree to which he is being overrated on these boards borders on the hilarious. He is a decent young shortstop, with the potential to be very good. He is not one of the best shortstops in the game, and frankly, it is not a sure thing at all as to whether or not he develops past what he already is. He does have personality issues, and I really think it could go either way. If we think it will go the wrong way (which it looks like our front office might), he will never be more valuable in a trade than he is right now.

    I’ll tell you what will cause fans to stay away in droves and lead to this team going down the toilet. If we fail to sign either Burnett or Lowe (and the chances, I think, are better that we get neither than that we get one at this point…and if you’re worried about cost-efficiency, Peavy will be more cost-effective by the end of it, anyway, the way it’s going), and basically go into next year standing pat, the team is guaranteed to suck because it sucked last year with the same people. This will drive fans away because it will look like they’re not trying to win, and then you will send this team down the slippery slope you’re so worried about because you did nothing. (Note: Signing Garland or somebody equal and a Juan Rivera-type outfielder and doing nothing else pretty much equals doing nothing, in my opinion.)

    Again, if we’re able to sign Burnett or Lowe, I will be more open to keeping Escobar and forgetting about Peavy (although I will still think we should do it), but I really don’t think it’s gonna happen. If you are worried about how the fanbase will react, you can absolutely not punt on a season…ever. Because if you don’t care whether or not you win, why in the hell should anybody show up to watch your team?

  9. Nick, granted I don’t go to any games, so my concern is not putting butts in the seats, but I have to say I think most fans wouldn’t view not getting Lowe, Burnett, or Peavy per se as punting on the season. I would much rather them not get anybody than overpay for a Garland or Rivera, as you say, to “make a move.”

    I, on here, once advocated trading Escobar for Matt Morris or Bronson Arroyo, circa trade deadline 2007, so I have always undervalued him, but I see it being a helluva lot easier to replace him and Gorkys, Locke, etc. and paying Peavy than overpaying for some pile of crap like Ollie Perez, or Garland, or the like. Peavy’s contract will seem like a bargain by the time it’s done compared to the Dempsters/Lowes/Burnetts of the world.

  10. Nick, as it happens, Yunel is one of the best shortstops in the game. There are several of your points I don’t disagree with, though. Sometimes, the market being what it is, it behooves a team to overpay for a player because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to receive comparable value. The Braves are not in that position, however. We’re not realistically going to be in contention in 2009, and it’s not going to be worth our while to attempt to contend. We had better hold on to our best assets and try to add to them, rather than try to sell off some of our best to acquire others. Yunel is one of our best players, and as a whole package offensively and defensively he’s one of the best shortstops in the majors. Kelly Johnson is one of the most underrated second sackers in the majors. Because, again, we’re not in contention, there’s no pressing reason for us to get rid of them — it’s not like they’re burning a hole in our pocket. The best thing we can do is acquire players via free agency who won’t cripple our payroll for years to come and to trade unnecessary pieces (like Tyler Flowers) for whatever talent we can acquire. Yunel, because he’s team-controlled for another 5 years, we simply can’t afford to lose.

  11. Like I said – put Flowers in place of Yunel in that trade for Peavy and it becomes a much better deal for us. Not saying the Pads will go for it, but I still think that package is ALOT better than anything else being offered. It could happen – but it won’t.

  12. AAR, I know you love Yunel, but if Tyler Flowers is as good a hitter as he is proving, he is not necessary a “unnecessary piece”. The Braves can stick him at first base as who knows if Freeman will plan out well for sure?

    Ideally, I would like to see the Braves keeping both Yunel and Flowers because I still don’t think it’s worth while to trade four players for a five-year contracts with a huge question mark on health. The contract “looks” cheap if Peavy can be healthy for the entire 5 years, but how likely is that going to happen? I would prefer we overpay the free agents, avoid the whole no-trade clause bs, and keep all our prospects.

    Going back to my original point, I believe Flowers is as valuable an asset to the Braves as Yunel is.

  13. Where do I place my money that Peavy will be more healthy (healthier?) over the next five years than AJ Burnett. Peavy is by no means a sure thing, don’t get me wrong. I know that in theory, signing free agents is better because its “just money” (and hey it’s not my money), but I’d rather give up assets and pay money to get a better asset than just “pay money” and get a lesser (much lesser) asset for the same amount of money.

    I will agree with the idea of trying to contend next year is somewhat foolish, but I think that adding a piece like Peavy and subtracting a few like Yesco, and others still puts the Braves in a better position to contend whenever it happens again.

  14. jj3bagger, I think the chance is about the same…and you look at Peavy’s career home/road split, you will see Peavy’s stats are significantly deflated by Petco. So, IMHO, it comes down to how much the Braves value the four players they are trading away and the value of a no-trade clause which will be the costs in obtaining Peavy.

  15. KC,
    I don’t agree that Flowers is AS valuable as Yunel, but I don’t see how he isn’t a major and untouchable part of our plans for the next few seasons. We need right handed bats and power especially, he’d be a great platoon partner for that joe schmoe over there at first base as well as a guy that can spell McCann from time to time, potentially giving us spectacular, if not historic production at the catcher position. I think yunel has, for the most part proven his value as a major leaguer. I’m conflicted though, I’m very very fond of Escobar, but Furcal may be my all time favorite atlanta brave (aside from John SMoltz obviously)… and if we are going to move esco in order to pick up an ace or even number two starter whilst signing Furcal, I can’t possibly complain about it.

  16. Ithaca, if the options are :

    A)
    Burnett or Lowe &
    Escobar or Flowers/Gorkys/Locke/Morton/Boyer (or whoever)

    or :

    Peavy for 5 years and Furcal for 3/4 yrs

    I will agree 1000% that option A is much better than option B.

  17. Well, I am obviously a prospect lover. At the same time, I also had no problem with the Tex trade despite the heavy cost. One thing which Flowers stands out is that he can potentially be good enough a hitter to be a full time first baseman. What this organization is lacking is righthanded power (thanks to Frenchy), and Flowers is exactly that. If you ask me, I would prefer we trade Freeman over Flowers. As Freeman, Heyward, and McCann are all lefthanded, it makes Flowers even more important when the “future” comes.

  18. I’m advocating signing Furcal regardless. Then we shop our middle inflieders, trade one or both of them (furcal used to play second in the minors, it’s supposedly his “natural position”). Then we’ve got a sick shortstop, some front of the rotation pitching and maybe even a right handed outfield bat. Ideally, we have Furcal at second and Escobar at short. In that case, we didn’t get Peavy, we got maybe Javy Vazquez or someone of that ilk. And then maybe we sign a decent veteran bat like Rivera to a short low risk contract and let the young prospect chips fall where they may, possibly be surprise contenders with our solid rotation, ok offense and strong bullpen(did I mention that we locked down smoltzy to close for the next two seasons?) Then we reassess ourseleves and make the one or two big moves we need to put us over the top for 2010…. it seems so simple to me.

  19. I really like Furcal as a player, but I just don’t see how the Braves can fit him and a power righthanded bat into the payroll.

  20. I like Ollie Perez. I think that as he gets older and harnesses his control, he could turn out to be a great pitcher.

  21. we do that by acquiring ludwick from the cards in a KJ deal, with boyer or someone thrown in, if neccesary.

  22. IthacaBraves, so you believe Ludwick is not a fluke?

    Ollie Perez…please no…he was an absolute torture for all Mets fans. They will laugh so hard at us if the Braves sign him…

  23. I know lots of mets fans, being from upstate new york. I think they’d be holding their collective breath if we got Ollie Perez, which I’m not advocating by the way. But I think he’s one of those guys that shows flashes of brilliance and then walks 7 batters in his next start. I honestly believe though, that in a mets fan’s psyche, Ollie Perez pitching for the braves would spell disaster in queens. They would be certain that he’d win 19 while throwing 204.3 innings and having a 220/55 K/BB rate.

  24. On Ludwick, I don’t think he’s a fluke. That said, I don’t think he’s a 37 homerun guy either. I see him as a 25-30 HR guy with some OBP skills…not a great cleanup hitter, and certainly not the answer to our offensive woes… but if he’s in a lineup full of decent, solid bats I think he’ll produce just fine. I think our team really needs four things.
    a. starting pitcing, preferably an ‘ace”, but at least a good starter and a decent one (someone like garland)
    b. defensive upgrades up the middle, we can’t replace McCann whose defense I loath, especially in a division with guys like Reyes and Rollins lighting up the base paths, but we need to solidify our CF especially somehow and possibly upgrade our 2B defensively.
    c.SPEED. this in some ways goes along with point b, but I think we were just a slow team on the bases, no true leadoff guy and just slowness in general on the base paths.
    d.right handed pop. we really need to balance our lineup with some fire power from the right side. You have Frenchy stinking it up horribly, and our three best hitters are essentially lefthanded, chipper is the exception…but we all know his situation.

  25. I actually think the Braves need TWO power bats to have any chance. Chipper and McCann will only play two-third of a season because of obvious reasons, so one big bat is actually not enough unless Frenchy suddenly rebounds and has an all star season.

  26. Mindless link propogation, but one that Mac will agree with: see the latest article on Sabernomics (“Jeff Francoeur’s Head Is Still Up His Butt”). Can’t post the link directly as I keep getting hit by the spam filter…

  27. I will be absolutely shocked if Ryan Ludwick hits over .260 with an OBP over over .350 and ever, and I mean ever hits more than 25 home runs in a big league season. His history proves he only succeeds in a league where he is too old for the rest of the competition and then the league adjusts to him. I think he will join Scott Cooper and whoever else as the Worst. All-Stars. Ever. I hate the guy, and if we trade KJ for him, I may slit my wrists. But seriously, he sucks but it pains me to say he has a better chance of succeeding that any other outfield plans I currently see as an option.

  28. Let’s have another go as the last one got splatted by the spam filter… people may be interested in the latest article on Sabernomics (“Jeff Francoeur’s Head Is Still Up His Butt”).

  29. billy-jay, one of my best friends is a hard core Cards fan, and seeing Ryan Ludwick get almost as many MVP votes as Chipper this year just put me over the edge. I just think history is littered with more Ryan Ludwicks than they are Kelly Johnsons.

  30. I see Ludwick being similar to Adam. One big season and the team wants to unload him immediately. The Cards must know something. I mean…Adam is the perfect example why we shouldn’t get Ludwick.

  31. kc, its good to see the third shifters reunite again for a little Hot Stove Talk, I would be much happier to see Dunn in a Braves uniform than Ludwick, you know what you’re getting in Dunn at least. Living in NM, I watched pretty much every game that Dunn appeared in after he was traded to the DBacks and I completely changed my opinion of him. He is by the far the most unusual hitter I have ever watched. I would not want him hitting third or fourth in my lineup, but I’d take him hitting fifth or sixth in the lineup. He is a downright awful outfielder, but you could hide him in left. I’d much rather pay him for three or four years and run him out there in left than trade KJ for Ludwick.

  32. @7
    That was me, I never thought Furcal had a great glove, excellent range and an excellent arm but never loved his glove, Escobar is by far a better fielder than Furcal ever was, but that is my opinion to a degree, you can probably dig up some statistics to prove me otherwise, so be it.

    Ecobar also had a better OBP than Furcal, by far. I now we are discussing flipping Escobar for Peavy and then sign Furcal, but does it make us better? In the long run do we gain anything?

    Then to counter myself, we did not win with KJ and Escobar up the middle so maybe they are expendable?

    We will not be good in 09 Peavy or not, seats will not be full with PEavy or not, winning outs people in the seats, and even that is not a guarantee in Atlanta.

  33. Fellas, I turn the big 3-0 today. Here’s to hoping Wren is planning on a good birthday gift.

  34. #52,

    Parish, that might be true but the Braves can’t just assume they can sign Burnett. It’s going to be very hard if the Yankees are really interested. If they are going to get someone like this, they are going to have to show them the money.

  35. Happy birthday, fella.

    KC, I’ve been coming around to your way of thinking on Flowers — I’d love to see if he could mash in the MLB in the middle of our lineup, not just in single-A and the AFL. What I meant when I said “unnecessary” was simply a question of organizational depth: we have significantly more of it at 1B than at SS, which is exactly as you’d expect.

  36. I think everyone advocating Burnett over Peavy is saying we should try and fail to get Burnett before trading Escobar for Peavy.

  37. Burnett would be a great sign if we could somehow make him think he’s a free agent at the end of each year.

  38. Well, I’m fine with that, too. I thought the Flowers idea was an excellent one, but then like five people immediately shot it down, saying we shouldn’t trade him even though it’s a position of strength, assuming that we could plug him into first, or this, that and the other thing. But I would be all for trading Flowers if it would get the deal one and allow us to keep Escobar.

    Another thing I’ve been thinking about that doesn’t make any sense to me is the assumption that if we trade for Peavy, we’ll be in a lesser position to win when the prospects mature (assuming that they do) in 2010 or whenever. First off, I still don’t buy that we wouldn’t contend next year if we made the right moves. But let’s assume that everyone’s right. After all, even if we do contend, it would still be difficult to make the playoffs. We contended the two years before last and didn’t make the playoffs. But even making that assumption, aren’t we in a better position to contend in 2010 with Peavy already on the team than we are standing pat? We will already have an ace on the staff and will be in much better position for maturing prospects to do some good, as opposed to doing nothing and just assuming the prospects will bail us out, from where I sit.

  39. I agree with you Nick. The problem I see in 2010 is that we STILL won’t have an ace with our prospects. Yes, Hanson might be great, but to think he is going to come out his first year and be the ace of a staff is rediculous. We need an ace to contend in this division. Period.

  40. Nick,

    If you send Gorkys, Flowers, and Locke out to get Peavy doesn’t that give you fewer guys to “hit it big” with? Therefore, you have less positive impact in 2010 from prospects (you can’t use Flowers as back up cathcer, righthanded platoon first baseman, no Gorkys in centerfield, no Locke in the bullpen or as a 4th or 5th starter) by making the deal.

    That is, you give up prospects, you don’t have as many prospects? Am I missing something?

  41. Why do you need an ace to contend in this divison? Tampa Bay won the AL East, which is arguably a much harder division than the NL East, without a bonafide ace. If you want to call Kazmir an ace, that’s fine, but he averaged less than six innings a start, if I recall correctly.

    I think what we’ve got are two camps here: 1) the ace-lovers/let’s make some moves NOW (exemplified by Nick) and 2) the stand-pat/prospect-lovers (exemplified by Cliff). I’d say I’m in the second camp, simply because it’s obvious to me that no matter how many moves the Braves make this offseason, they’re not going to make the playoffs with Bobby Cox at the helm this year. He lost too many games for us last year, and does anyone here think that his in-game management skills are going to improve next year? If anything, they’re going to get worse — the guy’s pushing 70, and he’s no Leyland/Piniella, folks.

    I think the Braves are at a crossroads right now, and Wren has the right idea in trying to focus on the future — we need to bridge that time right now, when Bobby/Chipper/Smoltz are trying to catch lightning in a bottle, to when we can seriously contend again. And the best way you do that is by developing your system and sending waves of prospects to the majors. You can’t do that when you’re trading away groups of them each year (or every other year, in this case) like the Tex/Peavy deals did/will do, which is why I hope that this deal doesn’t come to fruition.

    I think the Tex deal had to be done at the time, but it’s a damn shame looking at how the Rangers will probably get, at minimum, average+ major-leaguers (Salty, Andrus, and Neftali) out of that deal, and we got 1+ year of solid performance from, as Hudson put it, “a douchebag”.

  42. Joshua at 63,

    Who on the 2008 Tampa Bay [get the Devil out of here] Rays do you classify as an ace? Or, as a #1?

    And “in this division”. Do the Rays have a weaker division or something?

  43. 66–I agree with most of what you said. The Tex deal did not have to be done at the time–it was an act of desperation. We mortaged a good chunk of prospects for a great hitter, when we really needed starting pitching.

    I am hoping that the Braves can improve in 2009, win in 2010 and be very strong for the rest of the decade. I would love to see us get Peavy, but increasingly I believe that if the Braves keep and develop their core prospects and avoid bad long commitment signings they have a pretty fair chance of achieveing these goals….

  44. The Rays didn’t win the WS did they? The Phillies did, and much of that can be attributed to the way Cole Hammels pitched.

  45. 66,

    Actually Hawkeye fan, I am not as much “in love” with the prospects as I am with the proven Major League shortstop the Braves have. And even then, not as much in love as having a significant amount of concern that his value is being underappreciated.

    I agree that Peavy has value. I am fine with Flowers and Gorkys and Morton or Reyes and a minor league middling pitcher going out. I am fine with Hanson going, but ONLY if he is the centerpiece (take Yunel out, insert Hanson).

    Towers is trying to make a 1980’s trade. You don’t trade players for players now. You trade contract rights associated with specific players in exchange for contract rights associated with other specific players. What he has offered is a predictable number of RSAA at a certain guaranteed price (day after the trade the Braves owe 63 million if Peavy can’t ever throw a pitch) in exchange for a lesser set of (1) proven predictable Major League runs (RC and RS by Esco) and (2) AT LEAST a #5 starter at major league minimum for 3 years (Morton, with a chance to be better), and a lottery ticket in Gorkys who at least helps their defense enough to play in that ballpark as a 4th outfielder for 6 years before free agency. And the money the Padres would pay is NON GUARANTEED (do you guys remember Mike Hampton? Tom Glavine? John Smoltz? Tim Hudson? Just wondering). And, they will pay for that no more than what they owe Peavy (EVEN IF if everyone of them performs to his best possible ceiling, and I DON’T THINK the Padres would think that was a bad amount to pay for their CEILING). But if the group performs lower, then the Padres will either (a) pay less or (b) be able to cut their their losses.

    And Hawkeye, I have a problem in paying both money and players to get a player. I want the FO to spend the 40 to 45 million because if they don’t get some constructive additions, attendance and revenue will drop and we will be in a death spiral. But, just spend it. Trade only players that are blocked or duplicative (Gorkys v. Schafer, or one of Reyes and Morton). Shortstop right now has no real players in the whole system, whose ceiiling is as high as a low projection for Escobar.

    And, if FO makes the Escobar et al. for Peavy deal, I DO NOT want them to go get a shortstop. The upgrade from Infante at 3 million and Lillibridge at 400 K to Furcal at 13 million would produce way less than enough benefit to justify the payment. Use it on Dunn, Burrell, maybe even Edmonds.

  46. Joshua at 69,

    This team has to first focus on hwo to be a consistent 90 win team. Then, after that objective is solved, shift pieces to be better in the postseason.

    Peavy added to what Braves have right now losing Esco, does not add more than a win or two.

  47. Joshua,

    I remember the Braves World Series and post season appearances from 1991 through 2005. The Braves seldom faced teams with either (1) a single better pitcher or (2) a better starting staff. We did face several teams with better offenses and many with better bullpens.

    In 1991 the Braves had a better rotation than the Twins, but Morris was the single best pitcher on eithr team at that time (but, by a hair). The Braves lost 4 games in the Metrodome, 2 in extra innings and one more by one run. Starting pitching was never bad. Bullpen was exceptional. The fans (air blowers, not people) and goofy plays on the bases (Gant yanked off first, Lonnie Smith stopping at 2nd) cost us the series.

    1992 the Blue Jays were overall a better team. But, we lost the series in the bullpen.

    1993 knocked out by Phillies in NLCS. We had Smoltz, Avery, Maddux, and Glavine starting. The Phillies had Schiling but beyond him, I don’t know. The lack of an ace was not the problem.

    1996, lost to Yankees after being up 2 to 0 coming back to Atlanta for 3 and after being up 3 runs in the 8th inning in game 4. Starting pitching was not the problem.

    1997, Eric Gregg called a strike on a ball 10 inches (I saw the replay) off the plate on Fred McGriff. You can’t beat that. And no way you think, even then, that Livan Hernandez counts as an “ace”. A fluky “ace like performance”, but not a predictable ace.

    I will stop there for now.

  48. Wasn’t suggesting we do that. I was convinced long ago that getting Peavy and doing away with Esco wasn’t as good an idea as I had originally thought. Thus, my suggestion of possibly replacing Esco in the deal with Flowers. But my argument stands. Everyone says we have to hang on to all of our prospects and wait until they develop – but we still have no ace coming up in the next few years. Hanson could be that guy, but it will probably take him a couple of years. I keep hearing if we hold on to everyone, we can compete in 2010, and I just don’t see that happening at all. We still have other moves to make.

    BTW, I am also not saying getting Peavy will help us compete next year. He is an investment that would make us better for the next 4-5 years. He would definately help us compete in 2010 when more of our guys are ready to step in.

  49. Cliff,

    Sorry I pigeion-holed you there — my post was trying more to emphasize a front-office and organizational philosophy. I think you’re right that Towers is trying to make a 1980s trade, without the benefit of sabremetric analysis. You make a great argument in that last post too.

    My beef with the Peavy trade is that I think it reflects an organizational philosophy that is NOT geared towards long-term success — in essence, we’re saying that it’s OK to get rid of prospects because it worked for Schuerholz in the 1990s. Well, it’s not the 90s anymore, and Schuerholz has been replaced by Wren.

  50. 1993 taught me that life isn’t fair. It has undoubtedly contributed to my cynical world view today.

  51. As to Peavy only adding a win or two. When considering 09 part of what we’ve got to look at is that we didn’t end the season with even a 72 win team… Next year you don’t have the couple of extra wins we had from half season of Tex, or any of the 16 wins from Hudson/Glavine/Smoltz either… So Peavy is giving us back the Hudson wins basically.

    Soooo… we’re not trying to get from 72 wins to 90, we’re really trying to get from being a 60 win team, to 90… I’m not sure that means we must get Peavy, but that we can’t consider we’re dealing with the ’08 Braves as a whole… we’re dealing with the much crappier to end the season version of the ’08 Braves.

    We all know that we’re more than a piece or two from competing, the question is really more how can we position ourselves to not suck in ’09 and give us a shot while not tossing the future (’10 and beyond) in the crapper. Right?

  52. As far as Peavy only getting us 1 extra win – you should probably look at it from a pitching perspective for a comparison. Peavy would probably be good for at least 15 wins. He would replace a warm-body 5th starter who would probably at most get 6-7 wins. So I could see at least a 8 win differential there. Maybe I’m looking at it from the wrong angle, but that’s what i get.

  53. CLiff, i remember Gant getting yanked off of 1B like it was yesterday, Hrbek that bastard.

  54. Joshua,
    I don’t think people are so much saying that we will contend in 2010 merely because we held onto prospects. I think what they are saying, and I am one of these people, give them one more year and see what kind of team we have, then supplement those guys by pulling the trigger on some big moves for a big bat and front of the rotation starter. I think we should try to bridge the gap of course, maybe add one good starter, not necessarily an ace but someone who we can expect to get 200 innings out of and have signed for the next three years in addition to maybe one right handed bat of some sort. Then when 2010 comes around we have the foundation of a good staff that’s maybe one “ace” away from being great, a good lineup with, hopefully improved speed and defense and some money and prospect chips to throw around.

  55. It took me years to even discuss the Eric Gregg game.

    And it wasn’t just that last pitch–Gregg’s strike zone was ridiculous the whole game. Maddux got some benefit, too, but Livan kept throwing the same unhittable, off-the-plate-outside pitch all day and it got called a strike almost every time.

    Gregg “established” that call and he was “consistent” with it, but his judgment was preposterous. It was so awful that I didn’t even get mad after the game—but I did later. That ’97 Braves team was outstanding.

  56. The more I think about it, the more I am thinking along the lines of Ithaca. 2009 just isn’t going to happen no matter what we do. I’m in favor of hanging on the the farm this winter and signing some FAs to one year deals (Smoltz, Hampton, Riveria). Re-evaulate the team next year.

    I hate this approach because I wonder how many good years Chipper has left, but we can’t sacrifice the next 10 years to try to give Chipper and Bobby one last postseason.

  57. DOB saying the Blue Jays could possibly be shopping Roy Halladay. What do you guys think of that?

  58. 77 and 78,

    I didnt say Peavy would add only a win OR TWO, but also said after accounting for Escobar. Escobar is worth 50 or so runs net offensive and defensive as compared to Lillibridge / Ingfante. That equals 5 games. So take those 5 games away and the crappy (79 win pythag, 83 win 3rd order pythag, 72 win actual, 60 win projected as of end of year roster) team becomes 5 games crappier. And I think Peavy CAN make all of those up and add 1 to 2 more.

    So, if crappy #4 who goes 10-14 on crappy team is replaced by pretty good #1 that goes 15 -9 on crappy team, we cover Escobar. If crappy #4 would have been 8-16, then you pick up the 2 games that I say Peavy (NET OF LOSS OF ESCOBAR) might get you. If pretty god #1 goes 17 – 7 for this team, it will only be if bullpen and offensive crappiness is severely lessened through (a) young players developing or (b) fluky luck or (c) other moves to pick up offense. None of those have a thing to do with getting Peavy.

    1 to 2 games guys. It is APPARENT.

  59. @87 – I am still coming from the perspective that we don’t HAVE to give up Esco to get this deal done. I think if Towers doesn’t find any other suitors, we might be able to replace him with Flowers in the deal and not miss out on those games Esco gives us. Again, it is strictly hypothetical, but that is the point of view I am using.

  60. Is a pitcher the caliber of Peavy going to be available at the start of 2010? I don’t know who would be free agents and so forth, but I think that it is incredibly doubtful that we would be able to get a deal this good on a pitcher this good when we get to that point. This is probably the best chance you’re gonna get, because even if one of the five or so pitchers in the league that is as good or better than Peavy is available then, what it would take to get him will very likely be far worse than what it will take to get Peavy. Hell, Burnett is not really in Peavy’s league and to sign him will cost as much per year as it will to have Peavy on the payroll, pretty much. I think everyone is glossing over what a good deal this really is. This is building for the future. It is incredibly dangerous, in my opinion, to stand pat and wait for the prospects. What if the prospects, by and large, fail? Then you are absolutely screwed. You have done nothing to actually prepare for the future because you told yourself you were waiting for the prospects so you didn’t do anything, you can’t trade them for much of anything because they failed, and you have no payroll because the fans have stopped coming because you weren’t even trying to win the last year or two. That, my friends, is how you become the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Secondly, it is still astonishing to me how many people are absolutely willing to let us lose 100 games next year. If we’re not even going to try next year, why don’t we just forfeit the season? Why don’t we refund all season-ticket sales we have made so far? We don’t we let Chipper and Smoltz retire? Because honestly, what is the point? It is incredibly lazy team management to just not even attempt to win, even if you’re rebuilding. I simply do not understand why anybody would endorse this track for a team that they love. Especially a team that they love who has $40 million to freaking spend.

  61. And I would love Halladay, but I bet it’s gonna cost more than Peavy, plus we wouldn’t have him for as many years as Peavy.

  62. Nick at 89,

    Nobody is saying “do nothing.” Not a single person.

    We are saying spend money. Spend 40 million, REASONABLY, in light of the unreasonable market. We are saying spend prospects that are duplicates (like Gorkys v. Schafer). We are saying spend prospects that are blocked by cheap good talent (some of the minor league pitchers, maybe one of Jo Jo or Morton, maybe Flowers). We are saying spend Major League cheap talent if you can avoid a precipitous drop off and save money (sending KJ out and using the lesser Prado).

    The worst of all things for a borderline crappy team to do is panic and say “we just have to have so and so.” We are not 1 piece away.

    Let Towers sweat.

  63. World fuggin’ champ to have hip fuggin’ surgery out until fuggin’ June.

    Like most Braves fans, I respect Chase Utley, but that’s not breaking my fuggin’ heart at all.

  64. @73 – Cliff thanks for that recap. I will now go drink a gallon of paint thinner. Thank God for ’95.

  65. Well, that’s the other thing, I would rather trade Escobar and have to use Infante than trade KJ and have to use Prado. I’m pretty sure that statistically speaking, I’m not gonna be backed up on that, but I really think that if we give Prado the starting job full-time, it will be a complete disaster. He can’t field worth a tinker’s damn and I really smell a gigantic drop-off in offense next year for him. On the other hand, Infante at least won’t make a fool of himself. He’s been a starting shortstop in the majors before. Escobar is better than KJ right now, all things being equal, but one of these years, KJ is gonna break out and be able to put it all together consistently, in my opinion, and when that happens, he will be better than Escobar. I’m guessing pretty much everyone disagrees with me on that, but there it is. So for me, including Escobar in this Peavy deal is like everyone on here wanting us to throw KJ in for Ludwick, except probably greater, because Peavy is a better player than Ludwick, and if what I think about Prado is right, we can’t afford to trade KJ, either, by your standards.

  66. The main problem with that, Nick, is that the Braves have said they won’t use Infante as a starter at short if they deal Escobar. Even if it were true that Yunel – Infante < KJ – Prado, it wouldn’t seem to matter.

  67. Infante is really slow. I just don’t see him as shortstop material any more, and I think using him would be the equivalent of Renteria at his worst, minus a hundred points of OBP.

  68. I won’t miss seeing him in the lineup, but he’s one hell of a ballplayer.

    Halladay and Utley actually have a couple things in common. They’re members of the George W. Bush All Stars — when Bush was asked what major league player he’d build a team around, he answered Utley, and picked Halladay as his pitcher.

    They both fly under the radar a bit, despite Halladay’s Cy Young, in that everyone knows they’re good but few people realize quite how good they are. Utley’s arguably the best or second-best player in the NL, and Halladay’s arguably the best or second-best pitcher in the AL.

    I can’t imagine what it would take to get Halladay, but he’s probably a better pitcher than Peavy, and… man, I’d love to have him. Plus, he’s a Southern boy. I wonder if he grew up a Braves fan?

  69. I think the rest of the league has made it’s judgement on the relative values of Prado & Johnson. The fact that we hear Kelly’s name in trade talks often should say something. That said, I like Prado as a player. He’s always shown decent OB skills and is a big enough guy that he could start to hit for some power. Dude is still 24. He’s got a better chance to have a serviceable ML career than Jeff Francouer, but who doesn’t?

  70. Heyman’s latest Hot Stove piece has the Yankees only offering $14-15m for 4 years to Burnett and Lowe.

    That’s certainly below what had been previously reported and may mean the door is still open for us to get in on the action.

  71. Nick,

    On sometthing we agree. Prado is really not as good as his promoters think and KJ is way better than his detractors think. Kj still has time to approach Utley offensively. Before last year he was on the same curve but 1 year ahead in age almost exactly.

    However, we disagree on the dropoff in substituting Prado for KJ as compared to Esco / Infante. Prado probably loses you 10 runs defensively and 10 runs offensively. He adds a right handed bat in a hideously un right handed line up.

    But, (and I know you don’t like cost) the difference the next two years on Prado and KJ would just about pay Will Ohman for 2 years. Or maybe a decent back up catcher. Or Norton plus Randy Johnson for a year.

    Dollars represent opportunities. Use them wisely.

  72. Nick, I’m with you on the Prado vs KJ. While I like Escobar, I would rather trade him than KJ as I think the replacement options for SS (ie Furcal)are better then for KJ. I think Prado is a great bench guy, but not ready for a full-time gig.

  73. I have not generally been a Prado believer, and he looked terrible on defense last year. But the simple fact is that per PA he was the fourth-best hitter on the team last year.

    ATLANTA BRAVES
    SEASON
    2008

    RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G
    1 Chipper Jones 11.13
    2 Mark Teixeira 7.03
    3 Brian McCann 6.97
    4 Martin Prado 6.79
    5 Kelly Johnson 5.77
    6 Greg Norton 5.16
    7 Omar Infante 5.15
    8 Yunel Escobar 4.68
    9 Mark Kotsay 4.54
    10 Gregor Blanco 4.46

    The encyclopedia considers him a third baseman (he’s played there more than at second) and look at his peers there:

    NATIONAL LEAGUE
    SEASON
    2008
    3B

    RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G
    1 Chipper Jones 11.13
    2 David Wright 7.73
    3 Aramis Ramirez 7.16
    4 Martin Prado 6.79
    5 Troy Glaus 6.38
    6 Ty Wigginton 6.15
    7 Greg Dobbs 5.89
    8 Ian Stewart 5.75
    9 Edwin Encarnacion 5.44
    10 Jorge Cantu 5.42

    All numbers minimum 200 PA. Considered as a second baseman, he’s only behind Fontenot and Utley.

  74. Hey, we got Eric O’Flaherty from Tacoma! We did it! Now we only need one more pitcher and an outfielder. Peavy be damned!

    Woo hoo!

  75. I want to add my voice to those against signing Oliver Perez. Please God, do not do that.

    Johnson/Escobar for Ludwick: great deal for Cardinals, bad one for the Braves. Ludwick is over 30 and has had only one really good season. Pass.

  76. Oliver Perez would be the next Todd Pratt or Chris Woodward. The Mets would have more reason to laugh at us and at me the next time I go to a Shea game.

  77. By David O’Brien

    November 20, 2008 6:49 PM | Link to this

    Braves sent out a release while ago announcing the moves to finalize their protected (40-man) roster while I was on the treadmill.

    If you haven’t see it elsewhere: SS Diory Hernandez and RHPs Stephen Marek and Todd Redmond were added along with a lefty they claimed off waivers from Seattle, a dude with a solid name: Eric O’Flaherty. I’ll be writing good stuff about O’Flaherty regardless of how her performs, needless to say.

    He’s 23 and had a 20.25 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Mariners last year. But those numbers are misleading, folks.

    The Braves had already opened room on the 40-man with guys who became free agents and release of Scott Thorman, etc.

  78. Just read the transcript of the chat with Frank Wren. He seems like a classy guy. After seeing how poorly Kevin Towers has botched things with Peavy and Hoffman, it’s nice to see our GM sound like a professional.

  79. Liberty Media has a lot of debt. Given the current financial crisis, I think that’s going to start effecting their free agent plans. Probably some other teams’ plans too.

  80. AAR, sorry for the late reply. In terms of organization depth, I agree that the Braves do have a better depth at first base than shortstop. I guess you can now understand the same logic I used in terms of the lack of righthanded power hitting prospects in the organization. My view of the future Braves is:

    CF Schafer (left)
    SS Yunel (right)
    RF Heyward (left)
    1B Flowers (right)
    C McCann (left)
    LF Freeman (left)
    3B Campbell/Gilmore (right)
    2B Travis Jones (right)

    SP Peavy or FA
    SP JJ
    SP Hanson
    SP Rohrbough
    SP Too many candidates

    I honestly don’t like to trade any of the above players even for Peavy, and you can see why I don’t want to trade Flowers as he plays a big part in our view of the future Braves.

  81. 124–There is a good chance that it already has. MLB is not isolated from what has been going on and, more ominously, what will probably begin to happen…

    Otherwise, I was encouraged by the Wren interview–in particular, I liked the idea of signing players to supplement the valuable talented young corps (which I surely hope includes Escobar) around which he envisions rebuilding.

    I also liked Wren’s tact: he did not provide any names when asked about underated Braves’ prospects….

  82. I am sure Wren learned a lot under JS. In terms of signing players to supplement the valuable talented young corps, that’s exactly what JS did in the signings of TP, Bream, and Belliard in 1991.

  83. Yes–1990-1991 are the most hopeful precedents for the Braves at this point. It would be great to find a pithcer like Leibrandt….

    Who can’t play LF? Jeff Burroughs…he had to be seen to be believed….

  84. I keep thinking…if Klesko can “play” leftfield…if KJ can “play” leftfield…if even Infante can “play” leftfield…who can’t?

  85. I keep thinking Flowers can be the righthanded version of Carlos Delgardo, who was a full time catcher in minor.

  86. @128,

    Without a doubt it has.

    Former Fed Chairman Volcker very recently spoke to the owners, according to the NYT and others. Selig declined to talk about what was discussed.

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that discussion…

  87. Will there be any right handed college power bats available at pick 7 in the 2009 draft?

    Also, I don’t see how you can see a Braves’ future with Peavy and Schafer and Flowers and Escobar.

  88. Well, Parish, I should have taken Peavy off from that list, but you get the idea. That’s why I always have said I prefer signing FAs then trading for Peavy.

  89. @124

    LINTA also has a significant amount of cash. Based on their latest 10-Q, current assets exceed current liabilities. The SCF reports a increase in cash and cash equivalents of $739 million. Check out LINTA’s recent news, Liberty Media Corporation Announces Financing Updates. LINTA is in good shape: the Braves should be allocated enough money to afford plenty of live arms and some outfielders that can hit.

  90. I do think we need to pick up a top of the rotation starter this off season to compete in 2010. There are a few available and we cannot leave too much to accomplish next offseason. That said, a FA is definitely the best way to go, leaving the prospects to fill in the holes next year which may fewer but more likely to require talent from within to fill or to trade.

    But, can we get a free agent? If not, then we should trade for Peavy.

  91. Parish, I agree with your logic absolutely. Peavy should be the Braves’ fall-back option. I do believe the Braves has the ability to pay for one of Burnett or Lowe, but I think Wren is letting the market to develop first and ensuring the Braves are not the team driving up the price too quickly.

  92. So who was not added to the 40-man & is now exposed to Rule V?

    Eric Campbell
    J.C. Holt
    Matt Young
    Van Pope
    Kala
    Gorecki

    Am I right about those? I know there are others. Are there any we might lose?

  93. Eric Campbell?! I am not so sure…he and Flowers are drafted in the same year…since they are high school draftees, they don’t need to be placed on the 40-player roster yet. Holt and van Pope are college players, so I believe they have a shorter period of development time…

  94. With the possible exception of Campbell, I think none of those players needed protection. I doubt that Campbell will be drafted as well. Matt Young might, but the Braves can certainly tolerate his loss–if it happens.

    Given the conversation on an earlier thread, I still think that Matt Young will make it to the majors and plsy somewhere. Pope and Holt have been disappointments and there is reason to believe at this point that Kala will be as good as Thorman–but I am still not ready to write him off completely….

  95. I have high hopes for Campbell as well–but I had higher hopes for him a couple of seasons back. The problem is that he will not be that young for a player entering AA….I would take Blanco because he now has the most experience and he is the youngest….

  96. The second half for Campbell was very very encouraging. He is basically a year behind his peers, so he can still catch up by having a big 2009. Now that he is starting at AA next season, his prospect status can be regained very quickly by having a huge 2009 season, which I am expecting him to have.

  97. Yeah, I would buy that–as long as he keeps his head together. However, it is certainly possible that he will struggle (as so many have)making the transition form High-A to Double AA….

    Bottom line: he still has a chance to be an impact player…

  98. I think his skill set is so broad that he will have no problem…if his head is straight as we all know. He hits for average, has good power, draws walks, and has low k-rate. I think he will be fine…looking purely from his talent stand point.

  99. Campbell is not exactly ripping the covers off the ball in the Mexican League; I wish that the Braves had let him get his feet wet in AA ball at the end of last season. He will be one to watch next season…

  100. Let’s not get too excited about Prado (or has that ship already left?). He was something of a BABIP wonder last year, doing much better in his ML ABs than he has throughout his career (or, indeed, in the minors last year) on balls in play. Figure that to regress, him to be more of a .280-.290 hitter, and we’re talking closer to a .750 OPS. He won’t kill the team offensively, but I don’t know that it’ll make up for his wooden glove.

  101. Also, bad lede on that NYT article about Volcker: “He stands 6 feet 7 inches, the size of a slugger, but Paul Volcker is a towering presence on Wall Street, not in Major League Baseball.”

    The only sluggers I can think of who meet that description are Tony Clark and Richie Sexson, and… they’re not exactly sluggers any more. Maybe it should have been rewritten as: “He stands 6 feet 7 inches, tall enough to get a $140 million contract from the Yankees, but Paul Volcker is a towering presence on Wall Street, not in Major League Baseball.”

  102. I would say .280-290 if we’re extremely lucky, mraver. I have visions of a much steeper fall-off than that.

  103. I believe that Prado was second in Batting Average in the International League in 2007; his 2008 numbers at the major league level are probably not likely to be sustained, but I don’t see why a deep dip is to be anticipated….

  104. Yeah. I don’t think it would be that hard.

    Sign Furcal
    Get Peavy
    Sign a pitcher (Hampton, Byrd someone who can slid into the 3/4 slot in the rotation)

    Signing Furcal, we not be able to get an Adam Dunn, but we could move someone like Tyler Flowers and/or someone else and get a bat. Ibanez is someone we could go after, but he really doesn’t have a lot of pop.

    Of the things I listed, we could even hold out til midseason to pick one of them up. We would just have to keep it close.

    Utley being out will hurt the Phillies.
    I am not sold on the Mets.
    The Fish are dumping players.

    A few moves and we are contenders.

  105. If Byrd is the second pitcher we add, we’re not competing for the playoffs. And if we get Peavy and Furcal, that leaves roughly $15 million for the second pitcher and power bat.

    I think my ideal, somewhat plausible scenario would involve signing Burnett and trading for Vazquez and Dye. Keeping Yunel, obviously.

  106. Ok, I just want to say this for all those people advocating holding on to all of our prospects:

    No prospect is a can’t miss prospect (not even Hanson and Flowers). Now I definately don’t want to get rid of Hanson, even without the guarantee of him panning out, but you have to be willing to let some go. Look at how the Mets handled the can’t miss Milledge deal. They could have got a truck load for him, but they held onto him until they had little to no value left with him. Then look how we handled the Marte situation. He was our #1 prospect and didn’t pan out at all. What would we have been left with if we hadn’t traded him? I know it doesn’t work out like this all the time, but I’m just saying that we can’t treat this guys like they are all-stars.

  107. Stephen-

    The reason to anticipate a drop is because Prado’s BABIP was .360 in the majors last year, while it was around .300 in AA last year and in the majors in 2007. I find it unlikely that he performed better in the majors in 2008 than the majors in 2007 and better in the majors in 2008 than the minors in 2008. Guys who can hit .300 on a regular basis are pretty weird, and I doubt we’ve been sitting on one all these years.

  108. I don’t view any prospects as “can’t-miss” but that doesn’t mean we should trade them all at the drop of a hat. None are ML-ready, so give them another year to develop. 2009 is a lost cause.

    Like I said earlier, sign some short-term contracts now, maybe make some value trades here and there, but hold off on the mega-deals. If we happen to catch lightening in a bottle this spring, make some deals at the deadline. If not, reload next offseason. Either way, you’ve still got all you’re bargaining chips, and you’re not stuck with a hurt AJ Burnett (Mike Hampton II) sucking up 18 mil a year.

  109. I don’t think ’09 should be viewed as a lost cause, but it is a stepping stone. I do not think we achieve the competitive end product in one year, especially in a year that we pay Hudson to rehab.

  110. I’ve always thought Ibanez wouldn’t be a bad play, but he is getting old and it sounds like his asking price might be a little high. Not as much power as I would like, but look at his lines the last few years and the consistency is beyond anything we’ve thrown out there in a while. If Frenchy was worth anything to get a starting pitcher (ala Frenchy and some prospects for Greinke), I’d pull the trigger on Ludwick for KJ, sign Ibanez and hope one of the youngsters works out in CF.

  111. mraver–I am not saying that he won’t drop some-but not dramatically. In fact, I thought you were probably near the mark when you had him at .280-.290.

    However, I would be cautious about taking any of Prado’s numbers too seriously because he was a player who did not play on a consistent basis in 2007. In 2008 he did get some 200 ABs, but played a variety of positions. More than anything else, I don’t think we have a terribly solid sample to go on.

    My gut tells me that at the end of the day the real issue with Prado will be the glove and not the bat…

  112. From earlier – Yeah, I think I would worry about losing Matt Young and Eric Campbell.

    Young seems the more likely candidate to sit on someone’s (KC’s) 25-man roster for the season. He looks like Josh Anderson with the potential to develop a little more power, but maybe not quite as good defensively. That makes him pretty redundant in our system.

  113. Under my plan, Ibanez would be just fine for us if he would take a 1-2 year deal. He could hold down the fort in LF without embarrasing himself until (hopefully) the younguns are ready and his price wouldn’t prohibit us from making other moves.

    And don’t start with “we need a righty.” What we need is somebody who can hit the friggin’ ball. Frenchy bats righty. Do we want another one of those?

  114. Well, we do need a righty. And anyway, Ibanez is old and terrible defensively, and he’s looking for (and seems able to get) a 3-year deal.

  115. Can’t miss prospect = Vladimir Guerrero

    Can’t miss prospect = Felix Hernandez

    Can’t miss prospect = Chipper Jones

  116. Once again, we just need to bridge the gap to 2010/2011. If Ibanez refused to take a 2 year deal, then so be it. Don’t sign him. But refusing to sign him because he hits lefty is like kicking Jessica Alba out of bed because you prefer blondes.

  117. I like the idea of going after Dye and Vasquez. One trade for two needs might have a lower overall cost.

  118. chris,
    Hindsight is always 20/20. How about these:

    Brad Kommisk: can’t miss prospect.
    Todd Van Poppel: can’t miss prospect.
    Bruce Chen: can’t miss prospect.
    Andy Marte: can’t miss prospect.
    Ryan Anderson: can’t miss prospect.
    Alex Escobar: can’t miss prospect.
    Phil Hughes: can’t miss prospect.

    Potential for greatness is just that: potential.

  119. 178—not close. Let’s not overstate the worth of Raul Ibanez. Would I take him over Francoeur? Absolutely. Are there at least at least a dozen better options available via trade or free agency? Absolutely.

  120. Parish, if we could get Dye/Vasquez for the Peavy package (with Flowers in for Escobar), then sure. Go for it. But I think there would be about 8-10 other teams in on the action and it would end up costing a whole lot more.

  121. Stu, you’re right. Jessica Alba is overstating it. Basically, with our outfield the analogy should be: “That’s like kicking any brunette female who’s not your sister out of bed because you prefer blondes.”

    We need Major League outfielders. Handedness is a bonus.

  122. I wish, Smitty. Looks like he’s really going to be a bargain for someone. DOB says he’s way down the Braves’ list of desirables, though.

  123. Being down on Adam Dunn makes me nervous about the FO. Unless they’re on the “we’re only looking at RH OF.” It’s the kind of thinking that stuck us with Kotchman. “If we trade Tex, we don’t have a 1B on the roster. So we will only consider trades where we receive a ML 1B in return.”

    Imagine if we had received actual talent in return for Tex…

  124. Mac –

    Is there any way you can dig up the splits on how our team fared against right-handed pitching vs. left-handed pitching. I know we were horrid against both, but if I remember correctly, we couldn’t hit a lick against lefties. I just want it to show that we NEED a right-handed bat. Don’t forget we have Santana and Hamels in our division guys.

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