Here is a thread

I don’t really have anything much to say. I am happy enough with the Vazquez trade and not at all happy with giving two years to a backup catcher.

367 thoughts on “Here is a thread”

  1. I’m not torn up about the back-up catcher deal, but not thrilled either. I just figure we should’ve had SOMEBODY in the minors who could handle it on the cheap and if they catch fire we’ve got good trade bait and if they don’t, well, they’re the back-up catcher who cares as long as their cheap?

  2. I think, though, we might be smart to get back to the Padres on Peavy. With Tribune going bankrupt, I don’t know that the Cubs are going to be in the mix anymore.

  3. Really, ububba? A trade for Peavy almost certainly means we lose Yunel—I didn’t think you were down with that.

  4. So, AJ Green makes first team all-SEC, but Julio Jones (2nd team) gets Freshman of the Year. Oooh-kay……..

  5. I have been watching the Peavy posts for the last long while. I was happy to see the Braves talks about a Peavy trade die. I think Towers screwed up royally on this one — or knows something none of us suspect. I think the Cubs are out of the Peavy chase now with the Tribune bankruptcy and the management approval that will be needed for any major deals. Towers would be a fool to take what they could offer under these conditions. I think that means Peavy will remain a Pad at least until Spring Training, and be traded then only if the Cubs sale has progressed to the point of no return.

  6. If SD wants a package that doesn’t include Yunel, I’m sure we can accommodate. Otherwise, it’s just talk.

    That’s kinda odd, but both Green and Jones are future NFLers.

  7. I’d take Hart, he’s 20/20 player with a decent batting avg.

    Morton, Reyes, B. Jones, Hernandez, Boyer and throw in Ross just to ease the butt hurt from taking Escobar out of the deal.

  8. Depends on which Corey Hart is the real one. 2007: yes, please. 2008: still and upgrade, but probably not worth what he’d cost in a trade.

  9. Hermida would be my choice among those three. Pass on Ankiel due to contract status. Hart’s SBs don’t add much value, and considering he’s 6’6″, are going to be drying up any day now anyway. Hermida is two years younger and gets on base more often. Handedness is the only drawback. Along with durability questions…

  10. But Stu, what about the Corey Hart that wears his sunglasses at night? I think we can all agree how badass it would be for him to be out in left field.

  11. How crazy would it be if the Braves got Hermida to platoon with Frenchy and the “two can’t miss local kids” platooned with each other. Maybe the marketing people could spin that as “look, now we have TWO faces of the franchise.” Yikes.

  12. My apologies if you folks have already discussed Bisher’s column but I’ve been away from the office today (a quick but pleasant trip to Huntsville). Bisher is completely loopy to blame Frank Wren for a fallow farm system–Wren’s been GM for what 14 months? Griping about the farm system being fallow while moaning about trading away Flowers (“a hot number with power”) is completely inconsistent. Bisher moans about the Drw and Tex trades (I didn’t like the Tex deal either) but those happened before Wren became GM.

    Fallow farm? Maybe for the past few years, but has Bisher heard of Hanson, Hernandez, Schafer, Heyward, et al.? Sure some may not pan out, but the Braves are looking pretty decent on the farm.

    Maybe the newspaper biz going down the tubes will put Bisher out to his well-deserved pasture.

  13. Marietta? It has to be Hermida then. And we still add a RH bat in the near future, I’m guessing.

  14. #22, I may be wrong, but I read it more of a general lamenting of how the Braves have traded away talent and sort of “beware, Frank Wren, this isn’t the way to go”.

    Of course the flip side is Andy Marte for 2 years of Renteria and Jurrjens and Gorkys. That went well.

  15. Frank, I completely ignored Bisher’s article just by reading the title.

    Can’t say enough about Maddux…his retirement brings back lots of memory.

  16. interesting things from DOB…

    Anyway: Smoltz and Braves both are thinking starting rotation over bullpen for Smoltz, if he continues his progress.

    Moylan is doing well and should be ready to pitch for the Braves either when spring training ends or shortly thereafter.

    Soriano’s status, they won’t know much about until at least January, as far as whether he’ll be ready. I said earlier he’d be ready for spring; that’s not accurate, necessarily. He might be, but not a given.

    Gonzalez WILL go to spring training as the closer. It’s his job. I asked Cox tonight, just to be clear.

    Talked to a St. Louis writer who was in the media update with Cards GM. Said they aren’t looking to trade an outfielder for a position player, but rather for a pitcher. And they don’t seem to think they’ll get a starting pitcher for whichever outfielder they trade. So maybe a reliever? I’m not quite clear on that, but sounds like that’s what they’re indicating. Anyway, again it seems to dispel any idea of Escobar or even KJ for Ankiel.

  17. I think it’s wise for Smoltzie to prepare himself to be a starter first. It’s easier to convert from a starter to a reliever than from a reliever to a starter.

    If Gonzo, Sori, and Moylan are all healthy, we really don’t need Smoltzie in the bullpen, but what’s the chance of that happening?

  18. kc, the chances of that happening are roughly the same as last year, when “well if Smoltz, Sori and Gonzo stay healthy, we’ll have three closers(TM), and we’ll just need six out of the rotation” happened.

    I have learned not to bet against Smoltz, and if they really think that he is good to go, then pick up an outfielder already, sign Burnett and let’s roll.

  19. well, even if you add Smoltz to that bullpen, whats the chance of all 4 being healthy? The same…zero

  20. I couldn’t believe how low Corey Hart’s OBP was last year (Mac posted it a few threads ago). If there’s reason to believe that it shouldn’t typically be that low, then go for it (pretty much Stu’s argument, I guess). I think he might be worth the risk, depending on the asking price, of course. And some of the fans would love the country (actually, pop) song that plays on his way to the plate. He seems adequate in the field (I don’t have stats, only the times I’ve seen him play)… and it seems that’s high on the FO’s list of criteria if we can believe what the guys at ESPN.com say about why we’re not interested in Burrell or Abreu.

  21. Hermida? Depends on the asking price, I’d guess. Ankiel? I’d rather not unless they consider him as closer as well. heh heh.

  22. Smitty, I think we’re operating with the caveat that EVERYBODY is an upgrade in the outfield, at least I’m operating that way. In that context, of course Ankiel would be better, but I’ll pass. If he could be traded for somebody marginal, then okay. He’s got one year left, and then he becomes expensive or gone. He can’t hit lefties. Ankiel is an interesting case to me, because he quite obviously doesn’t have much to go by as a hitter. I think he’ll continue to get better, but there’s equally a chance that last year was as good as it gets. To me, there are much better options out there than him or Ludwick, either have big question marks as far as I’m concerned.

  23. Cardinals are in a strange place. There’s not a lot of upside on their ML roster. Ankiel and Ludwick in particular are both house money — they’ve done better than anyone had a reason to believe. So I understand the rationale behind wanting to sell high on one of them. But other teams probably look at them and wonder if what they’ve done is sustainable, so they’re leery.

  24. I’m not too excited about offering 5 years to Burnett, I just don’t trust him to be healthy. I’m also not excited about giving up Yunel for Peavy… but I’d rather have Peavy on the staff.

    My guess is that Towers could wait until the big names are signed before he deals Peavy (with the assumption that Peavy’s list of acceptable trade destinations would grow as he considers playing on a putrid Pads team… but maybe not).

  25. I must say, while I’m also leery of 5 years, with the news of Smoltz’s progression and desire to start, adding Burnett could make our rotation mighty tough.

  26. Towers is now saying that Peavy will require a full no-trade from any team he’s traded to. If that’s a requirement, then it really shuts the door on any Braves involvement (Yunel or otherwise), right?

  27. Stu, I’m terrified at giving Burnett five guaranteed years, but that’s what it’s going to take. Unfortunately, that’s the position the Braves are in, with the lack of development of quality arms, combined with Hudson’s injury, if they want to contend in ’09 (which is a whole ‘nother argument), trading for Peavy or signing Burnett, or even both is what it’s going to take.

    I’m already on record as to saying that all razorblades should be kept away from me if KJ is traded for Ludwick, but I would stay away from either one of the Cards outfielders. I’d rather have Ankiel all things being equal, but neither one of them are good, but as previously stated, EVERYBODY is an upgrade. I think Ludwick basically becomes the right handed version of Ankiel and settles into a .260-.270 AVG/.340/20-25 HR guy. No thanks.

  28. Ludwick’s got the (much) longer track record, and he’s under team control for three years, whereas Ankiel’s a FA after ’09. And Ludwick’s right-handed.

    I don’t love him, but he’d be the much better trade target between the two, IMO.

  29. Also, with Smoltz looking good, what’s the use of hurrying him back ?? What if they held him out of the first couple of months, with the thinking being “we’d rather have him for the last couple of months, than the first couple.” I know that would probably kill the competitor in Smoltz, but wouldn’t it be for the better ?

    Peavy/Burnett
    JJ
    Javy
    whoever 2 of Glavine/Campillo/JoJo/Morton/
    Hanson/James

    Wouldn’t that be enough to stay competitive for the first couple of months and then slot Smoltzie into either the rotation or the ‘pen whichever is more needed… Just an idea

  30. “Another interesting tidbit from Monday came via a Major League source, who said the Reds may have some interest in Jeff Francoeur. But the Braves are still providing every indication that they aren’t actively shopping Francoeur.”

    Peanut

  31. DOB says Ankiel might be had for a reliever and a prospect—if that’s the case, maybe I would rather have Ankiel. Still, the only major-league-ready legitimate OF prospect we have is a CF, so I’d hate to block him while still allowing Diaz and Francoeur to play. Maybe Ankiel would be cheap enough, salary-wise, that Wren would go after another OF, too?

  32. Stu, I know things aren’t equal with Ludwick vs Ankiel, because of the contract situation, I was just saying that I don’t particularly like either one, but I have much more confidence that Ankiel will be better from here on out.

    The other problem with trading for Ankiel besides him only having one year left on his deal is he will cost more than a ‘normal’ player in his situation. He’s basically the second most popular player on the team, and truth be told, it may be closer to 1b. He’s also has more ‘upside’ than a normal player in his situation.

  33. I’m not a huge “make-up” or “mental toughness” kind of person when evaluating players. I think those things are big in the development of athletes, but I just can’t see it on this side of sports. If I knew players, then it would be a different story. But I’d have to say that Rick Ankiel is the type of player that I would say would be more likely to maintain what he’s done. I think to come back from what he went through required him to be a really persevering, mentally tough athlete. That’s the kind of make-up that gets a player through slumps and sustaining longer peaks when his body is not what it once was. I’d be down with Rick Ankiel, especially for a reliever and prospect, and stick him in RF, but it still wouldn’t address our right-handed bat problem.

  34. @22: I didn’t read the article, but I know I’m not missing anything if his 2nd most reviled trade was the Drew trade from December 2003! The Tex deal is obvious, but everyone is due for a clunker of a deal anyways, and no one knew the injury problems that would hit the Braves over the next 1.5 years… if the rotation wasn’t decimated by small pox this season, the Braves may have made a deep run in the playoffs, maybe a World Series appearance or win, and the trade would’ve been worth it.

    Now in retrospect, Wainwright is a gem, and we only had Drew and Marrero for 1 year, but they both had productive seasons. There was little room in the rotation for Marquis, who was set for a huge raise the following year (he made 8 million over the next two combined) and Ray King was a quality LHRP, but not irreplaceable.

    Without the Drew trade we’d still be celebrating 13 consecutive division titles. (Albeit with an extra ace in the rotation…)

  35. Oh, and if these, (Ankiel, Hart, Hermida,) are seriously our best options, I say we put all of our efforts to signing Burnett, because if we can’t sign him we may as well punt on this season, and see what we’ve got with Frenchy, Diaz, Schafer, Anderson, Blanco, Hernandez, B. Jones, and whoever else I’m forgetting at the moment.

    I like Hart, but it sounds like Milwaukee wants a ransom for him, and he really isn’t any more predictable than our other options out there (I’m looking at you Matt Diaz.) Shoot, we may as well make a run at bringing Andruw back.

  36. Gonzo for Ankiel? No thanks. If I am Wren, I will actually try to agree with Gonzo to a two-year contract which is similar to the one Sori signed last season.

  37. Why would you want Ankiel in trade for anythign useful if Edmonds is looking for a fairly cheap 1 year deal? Even with his decline, looking at the last half of last year he was just about as good as Ankiel.

    The good side to the “only one year” on Ankiel or Edmunds is Heyward is on the horizon.

    If the Reds want Francoeur, don’t we need to make their wish come true?

  38. Yeah, I’d try to sign Gonzalez to a two-year deal at arbitration like with Soriano last year. No way I trade him, especially for Rick Ankiel.

  39. I think we need to get behind this Frenchy-to-Cincinnati deal.
    Frenchy might have a good start and jack a few out of that bandbox they play in. That town would fall at his feet.
    Frenchy-the new Prince of Porkopolis!

  40. Prince of Porkopolis–That good, Kevin. I also agree that Cincinnati would be a good place for Frenchy….Unfortunately, I think you can pencil him in the Braves outfield in 2009….

  41. Abreu ten years ago, five years ago – absolutely.

    But he crossed the Bernie Williams line right after he won the Home Run contest.

    We need young, fast and fearless.

  42. I like Gonzalez, but he’s managed all of 50 innings for us in two seasons. We’ve got other good relievers — what we don’t have is an outfielder who can put the ball over the fence with some regularity. If we’re looking for short-term success, there’s no way I don’t make that trade.

  43. hank,
    I agree that we need Grady Sizemore.

    sansho,
    I’m with you. Now, if there are plans to extend Gonzalez, I might waver a little bit, but one year of Gonzalez is probably worth (significantly) less than one year of Ankiel. I bet the Braves are just scared to lose Gonzalez and revert back to the Reitsma-as-a-closer days.

  44. I like the thought of getting Ankiel if he can be had for a relatively cheap price. I would be okay to give up one of the following and a mid-level prospect for him, but nothing significantly more than that.
    Reyes
    Boyer
    Chuck James
    Acosta

  45. You gotta have someone in the back of the bullpen though. Soriano’s condition won’t be known till January, Moylan won’t be back till May, Cox wants Smoltz to start…if the Braves trade Gonzalez, than what? Boyer? Acosta? A big free agent contract for Fuentes?

    The Braves would be much more likely to have Gonzalez beyond 2009 than Scott Boras client Rick Ankiel. I’m glad the Braves balked at Gonzalez-for-Ankiel.

  46. Put me down for “please don’t trade Gonzo”. While we need offense, I think we remember what it was like when we didn’t have a reliable closer. While he may have had some health issues, and doesn’t do the best when nothing is on the line, Gonzo is pretty good when he’s doing the “closer” thing (and he’s incredibly fun to watch).

    Unrelated… while it wouldn’t have gone with his humbleness, I think it would’ve gone with Maddux’s sense of humor to have his song be the theme from Shaft.. “he’s a bad mother…” I in no way sniffled or got misty eyed when reading about his retirement… nope… not me.

  47. I dont believe this at all….

    According to one National League executive, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves have had serious discussions about a trade that would send outfielder Jeff Francouer to the Royals for pitcher Zack Greinke. The same source said he believed the teams were close to executing the deal, but that Atlanta was holding up any and all trade discussions until the Braves had a resolution of their pursuit of right-hander A.J. Burnett.

    the last part makes no sense…why put everything on hold waiting on Burnett. If you can get an ace by way of Frenchy you do it

  48. If the Cubs trade for Peavy, and then Brian Roberts (that is the rumor now), what will be left of their already thin farm system?

  49. I agree it’s nice to have a closer, and I remember the Reitsma days very clearly, but if you can trade a reliever for a starting outfielder, you do it. The value difference is tremendous- this guy only accounts for 80 innings max, where the other guy is on the field, hopefully, for 155 plus games. Now do I think Ankiel is worth Gonzo- well maybe. The reliever market is a lot bigger and the ability to sign a decent guy is more readily available then picking up an outfielder. However I do think if we go that route we should at least get a right handed hitter.

  50. csg,

    The Phils don’t even have good young pitching. JA Happ kinda sucks—Morton and Reyes are each more valuable.

    Also, there’s no truth to the rumor that I go by the nickname, “one National League executive.”

    Anyway, if that report is true, we’d be stupid not to pursue both Burnett and Greinke.

    Smoltz
    Burnett
    Greinke
    Vazquez
    Jurrjens

    I might need to take a cold shower.

    clarke,
    How’s Luke doing?

    Mac,
    My favorite thing about the whole process is the story that the Indians are waiting for the Mets to sign someone so that the market collapses and they can get a really good closer for peanuts. The Mets willingly oblige.

  51. oh oh oh oh… MLBTR has mention that there were talks of a Frenchy/Grienke swap… Toss in Jo-Jo and get it DONE! yes… I know it’s delusional… but it’s a HAPPY delusion.

    EDIT: Oh oh oh, I should’ve reloaded before posting… d’oh! I still want to believe the Grienke thing for a few more minutes please.

  52. Stu,

    Luke and I are graduating law school in May. He then heads home to Alabama to clerk for the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He still is the same Luke- not sure how he gets by. The whole judicial system in Alabama is going to come to a halt come this summer.

  53. Wow, that’s great for him. Clerking is such a sweet gig. Y’all are at South Carolina, right? You doing the firm thing?

  54. “if that happens he’d be like De Niro in Ronin…he never really left.”

    Which is why it’d probably be considered collusion. That trade only happens with much of the Peavy package back in place. As much as I dream of a life without Francoeur, I just can’t believe Wren would be able to sell so high on a guy whose value is so low. If he did, I’d change my tune on him. Let’s see.

  55. Mac @66–maybe this phils are interested in DeRo b/c of Utley’s injury and DeRo’s ability to play OF and fill Burrell’s hole in LF. I think DeRo’s a Penn grad so there may be some geographic affinity. Of course, how good a trade it is for the Phils would depend on what they give up.

  56. He is indeed a Penn grad–he actually played quarterback while there. DeRosa has also said that he loved living in Philly and would always welcome a chance to go back. If they lose Burrell, he could be a cheap replacement. They already have some serious fire power, so perhaps that frees up some money to bolster the rotation.

  57. Adam M,
    Another possibility is that, instead of having to add much more than Francoeur, we have to take back Jose Guillen. I think I’d still be in favor of the deal (so long as it meant we weren’t sending Yunel or Morton, too), but that’d be a much tougher question. And, of course, a more even trade.

  58. Which is more desirable?

    Escobar + Whatever for Peavy and sign Furcal

    Francoer + Whatever for Greinke and Guillen

  59. Greinke is cheaper and is a stud. I could put up with Guillen. He was hurt last year, and when healthy, has a semi-respectable track record. At least on the field.

    That also still leaves some left over money, which the Peavy trade doesn’t

  60. It’s official.

    I am off the Peavy bandwagon and firmly strapped into the Francoeur for Grienke bandwagon.

  61. Because it’s too good to be true, I refuse to entertain any Frenchy-to-KC ideas until it happens.

    But it would make a nice Xmas present.

  62. I’d be willing to do something like Frenchy/Medlen/Gorkys/we take Guillen for Greinke. Maybe we throw in Jo Jo or Morton or something. Still, we do that, we’re probably done. Not a lot of money to throw around given the size of Guillen’s contract.

  63. Seems like it’s a buyer’s market with closers and almost an empty market for OF’s (who thinks the Braves will seriously pursue Milton Bradley or Adam Dunn, and we don’t look to be going for Burrell. Abreu’s defensive metrics appear to wipe out his offensive ones – sounds like a DH – and I think that about covers it?). Gonzalez for an OF makes sense, especially given the injury problems he’s had.

  64. Actually, we’d have plenty of money left, mraver. That would only bring the payroll to ~$77. We could still afford to keep Smoltz and add Burnett, for example.

  65. DOB’s not drinking the koolaid:

    Francoeur for Greinke rumor, huh? No way. Not straight-up. Dayton Moore likes Francoeur, but no way. If he did that deal … no way.

    I’ll ask, but would be absolutely stunned if Royals did that without getting at least a top Braves prospect in addition to the RF. And I mean a top prospect

    Well, it was nice while it lasted

  66. On the Gonzo for Ankiel.

    I would consider it stronger if it were Ludwick. More cheap years, right handed.

    However, most of you seem to be saying “Win in 09.” Trading Gonzo is o.k. if value is better coming back if you are willing to conced 09 to get value up. However, this bullpen has NO ONE ELSE that is ready to go in April with consistent, good 7th or 8th inning work at the ML level.

    Yes, the “proven closer” is over valued. However, you need to find a good pitcher that strikes people out that has pitched in high leverage situations successfully. Or else take the cahnce that this is 06 all over again.

    Plus, the team tht doesn’t meet it pythag for 2 straight years and leads or finishes 2nd in blown saves doesn’t need to be deleting options.

  67. The “proven closer” is overvalued until its not. Lidge was the primary reason the Phillies won. The point is not that there has to be a proven closer but you need good pitchers in the bullpen period. I’m not sure one year of Ankiel is worth Gonzo.

  68. Ethan…

    would you do a:

    Greinke
    Guillen

    for

    Escobar
    Frenchy
    Schafer
    Locke

    deal? We give up our #3 prospect, two Starters in Frenchy and Escobar, and a possbile future #2 in Locke. We take the $ and headache of Guillen off the Royals hands and give them some much needed athleticism and players.

    with any additional money we go HARD after Furcal. I know that we’d have Guillen in right, but I’m pretty sure we could then take the money reserved for Burnett and go after Dunn?

    Lineup will look like:

    SS: Furcal
    2B: KJ
    3B: Chipper
    LF: Dunn
    RF: Guillen
    C: BMac
    1B: Kotchmann
    CF: Anderson/Blanco (until Hernandez is ready)
    Pitcher

    Rotation of:
    Greinke
    Smoltz (hoping?)
    Vazquez
    JJ
    James/Reyes

    move Campillo to the bullpen or look for him to be trade bait for another bullpen arm.

  69. Totally unrelated, and as we’re all waiting on something to happen in the trade/fa market… Anybody else hooked on the webcomic Questionable Content? ( http://www.questionablecontent.net/ ) It has been around for ages apparently, but I was only introduced to it last week (when I read all 1200+ comics in the archive while I waited on my work PC to be rebuilt). It has a ton of indie music references, and a few Dune and D&D references. The story moves along pretty quickly if you start from the beginning (and probably only makes sense if you do that), and is generally quite amusing smartass (especially amusing if you know anything about the indie music scene).

  70. Lidge was the primary reason the Phillies won.

    No.

    chris,
    That would be stupid. Why does everyone want to trade Escobar so badly? Also, we could not afford Guillen, Furcal, and Dunn. Sigh.

  71. I’m thinking if you’re taking on the Guillen contract headache you shouldn’t be tossing Escobar in AND spending the big money on the FA SS. If they were going to go that route you might as well have done the deal for Peavy (toss in somebody extra to make it happen if Pads were balking at what we had on the table) and gone after Dunn/Burrell.

  72. Also, Chris, that’s a terrible idea. I don’t want to trade Yunel for 4 years of Peavy. I definitely don’t want to trade him for 2 years of a worse pitcher and one of the worst clubhouse cancers in baseball — let alone ask KC to take Schafer and Locke off our hands for our trouble.

  73. Francoeur + Hanson you mean? I’d do that if it didn’t mean Guillen was coming back.

    Grienke is basically what we hope Hanson will be in a couple years. Awesome and inexpensive. Plus we jettison the second worst player in baseball and only need to fill the position for two years or so until Heyward takes over.

  74. chris,
    Why would you trade three starting position players and a good prospect for a #2 starter and the right to pay $10 million more than you otherwise would for crappy RF production?

  75. Neyer’s chatting and someone asked about the Frenchy for Greinke rumor ruining his day. He said it can’t because he’s already given up on the management.

    If we get Greinke for just Frenchy I’ll wet myself. And if it doesn’t happen naturally, I’ll do it on purpose. We have to give up something for Greinke… I’m willing to be ridiculed incessantly.

  76. 109 — ha! my office mate was asking why I was laughing and I just couldn’t explain it to her.

  77. Not in a million years. Guillen has more negative value than any baseball player I can think of.

    Barry Zito?

  78. @111

    I was likewise laughing at you intentionally wetting yourself. That’s a chance I’m willing to take for Grienke.

    /”What if they shot you in the face?”

  79. at least we’re talking about baseball again.

    i wouldn’t do that trade, but i just needed to think about what Wren MIGHT do…

    however, i WOULD send Frenchy, Medlen and either Schafer/Hernandez with the possible inclusion of Locke for Greinke.

    the thing is…people want to include Escobar, because he is AT PEAK VALUE now. people see him and think Larkin with a less defense and a little more pop. some teams would LOVE to have that as their SS for 5-7 years. our front office has soured on him a bit, it seems. remember, he is not on the untouchable list and you have to wonder why…he is under control for a while and it seems will only get better.

    i don’t want to trade him, but you have to give to get. and frenchy and hanson would be horrible ONLY because hanson could be greinke in 3 years. why not try to get greinke and have hanson in the same rotation?

    look, we won our WS on pitching. pitching pitching and more pitching. i could care less who’s in RF as long as i can’t hit better than them and as long as the pitching wins the game 2-1. i’ll take 100 wins of 2-1 games over the way we’ve been playing recently. i say, give them all the position players they want (minus Heyward, Hicks and Freeman, mind you) as long as we keep the pitching stocked. i would give Escobar for Greinke if it means that we have Greinke fronting our rotation for the next 4-6 years.

    ps–Zito is WAY more negative in terms of value than Guillen. i can think of a few more, actually.

    Andruw Jones
    Richie Sexson (anyone want him in LF? haha, i jest)
    Juan Pierre
    Carlos Silva
    Miguel Batista
    Eric Gagne

  80. @107

    If we’re just gonna start throwing Hanson around now, why wouldn’t we just use him to go get Peavy immediately? That deal would’ve been done a month and a half ago and without Escobar if we had included Hanson, and would be done in about five minutes if Wren were to call up Towers right now and say that we’re including Hanson. Why in the hell would we use him to get Greinke instead?

  81. perhaps this is just a smoke screen to do just that (the peavy trade minus hanson)…

    JS used to send out false rumors just to mess with opposing GMs. this story has no life whatsoever, but it’s funny that it could get back to towers…making him jump at an escobar/hernandez/morton/locke deal for peavy.

  82. WFAN is reporting that “the Braves are negotiating with Jermaine Dye.”

    The next team that acquires Jose Guillen will be his 10th in 13 years.

    Lidge may not be the reason Philly won the WS, but he’s a huge part of what was a terrific bullpen. Like the Yanks’ great run, the Phils 11-3 post-season stretch in ’08 had plenty to do with its relievers.

    Phils bullpen in the ’08 post-season:
    2 wins, 0 losses, 7 for 7 in Sv ops

    1.79 ERA, 40.1 IP, 8 ER, 33 H, 37 K

    That is plain awesome.

  83. I don’t want Towers to jump on an Escobar+ package. I want him to jump on a package -Escobar.

    Even with help, are the Cubs going to be able to top Morton/Reyes/Hernandez/Locke?

  84. And Jason at 120,

    Will the Cubs be WILLING to put out a better package than that? I don’t think so.

    It is all about Towers’ pride and his delusion that this is 1985. Peavy, with the option vesting, is only about 3 million under what he should go for as a free agent (without discounting quite enought for Petco, in my opinion and without discounting quite enough for injury). If you pay Burnette 15 for the same 5 years you will get a few less points of OPS plus and about the same injury risk.

    Jason, the only problem with your package is it isn’t proven at ML level. Norton has a fair shot at 3 status, Reyes at 4 status in that park, Locke and Hernandez are lottery tickets (with Gorkys probably at least having 4th outfielder value in that park).
    So why trade Escobar?

  85. Lidge was the difference between the Mets and the Phils. Without Lidge, I doubt the Phillies make the playoffs.

  86. #117 – I think ChiefTomahawk or something like that apologized for missing an inning because he was having sex with his wife. Thats pretty good stuff

  87. Didn’t Jac Holtzman have an obsession with Erin Andrews? I think he had some funny comments about her, and I think he wins just because of that.

  88. Cliff, Towers wants ML-ready pitching and that’s what Morton and Reyes are. They have proven that they have the ability to get ML hitters out, and they both have the upside to do it regularly. Two cheap, under-control ML pitchers, one solid CF prospect and one A-ball lottery ticket. That’s a pretty good package. No, it’s not the Teixeira package, but Towers isn’t in the same position Daniel’s was in.

    Edit: In case it’s not clear, I’m advocating an Escobar-less package to get Peavy.

  89. Chris,

    I’d do it if you replaced Escobar with Reyes in the scenario. Otherwise, it’s not worth it. Both in dollars and in headaches with Guillen. The money you’d save with Greinke over Burnett, would again, as was similarly noted in assorted Peavy scenarios, lost by signing Furcal.

    If your deal is all that’s on the table, the organization is best served by just signing Burnett and keeping the system depth while pursuing an outfielder.

  90. For me, the brule comment wins in a landslide, but they’re all funny. I mean, she cries out to God for mercy because Jeff Francoeur has ruined her life by being so bad at baseball. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    In fairness, you really do need the entire jac holtzman collection to fully appreciate his genius.

  91. Brule basically apologized for having the audacity to ask for anything from her beloved Atlanta Braves, but got to where she had no choice other than to beg for them to put a stop to her pain and suffering.

    That’s about as good as it gets. She might be the best Braves fan alive.

  92. Speaking of humor… MLBTR says Scott Erickson wants a comeback… he’s 40, hasn’t played in 3 years, or completed a season in about 6… *sigh* WHY didn’t I sell his rookie cards and take the cash back when he won 20 games in 1991?

  93. I guess I could have clicked on Stu’s A, B, C, D, but I just thought I couldnt view it at work for some reason.

  94. CharlesP,
    The same reason people here want to sign AJ Burnett.

    Having said that, given the choice of giving up Escobar+ for Peavy or heaping boatloads of cash on Mike Hampton, er, AJ Burnett, I too side with choice B.

  95. @139

    What were you affraid of, getting sent to meatspin.com or getting rickrolled or something?

    Stu wouldn’t post NSFW stuff.

  96. Dix, HA, No. Everything on our computers are blacked out so I thought Id have to wait until I got home

  97. @ 71…

    “The Mets’ thought processes are very simple. They explore all possibilities, then do whatever will be the most expensive”

    …and/or will put more Latino players on their roster.

  98. Wren is not backing down.

    Per Rosenthal:


    2:56 p.m. — Burnett’s agents, Braves to meet

    The agents for free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett will meet again with the Braves on Tuesday.

    Burnett’s representatives met with the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles on Monday, and the Braves have made him an offer believed to be $60 million over four years with an option for a fifth.

    The Yankees are in active discussions with free agents CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets as well as Burnett, and remain willing to sign both Sabathia and Burnett, sources say.

  99. I am not soliciting donations — I mean, it’s not only December, but an unusually bleak December. But I have put up a PayPal donation box to replace the Amazon box (Amazon is discontinuing that service). So if anyone wants to test it out, I certainly won’t object.

  100. Stu your rebuttal:

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20081209/BUSINESS01/812090343

    With the league’s worst attendance record, an alumni base that’s less than half the size of its rivals and a long record of futility, expectations are low that Vanderbilt and its fans will deliver the economic pop of previous Music City Bowls.

    By selecting a team with deep local roots, organizers have tied the game’s fortunes — and that of the hotels, restaurants and other businesses that depend on the economic boost — to a fan base that, effectively, will just stay home.

  101. How hard can it be to get out of a deal? Worst case scenario is you just stop answering the phone.

    @147

    I wonder what the point of that article is. Are we supposed to feel bad for the Music City Bowl sponsors? Or for Nashville’s small businesses that won’t get the tourism business?

  102. It has nothing to do with buying tickets—the university is fronting the money for the entire allotment. It has to do with people actually coming to the city and shopping, eating at restaurants, etc. Many alums will use this as a chance to return to Nashville for a visit, but they’re largely right that the city won’t make much money on this…which is why, up until a couple of weeks ago, everyone involved was set on making sure Vanderbilt didn’t stay home for the bowl game.

  103. Rosenthal says the Yanks could be ready to offer AJ 5yr/$100 mil, and yes, that would take us completely out of the picture. Better hope the Yanks get CC

  104. MLBTR also said CC rejected the Yanks offer already… though I don’t think it’s an “I’ll never play for you” sort of rejection so we may not be TOTALLY out of AJ yet.

  105. Rosenthal’s talking out of his a$$. Just conjecture for if the Evil Empire doesn’t get Sabathia

  106. The 5YRS/100M thing read like something just thrown out there by Rosenthal, not something the Yankees are considering doing (yet).

  107. Yeah, what happened? We UK fans had gotten quite used to Nashville on New Year’s Eve.

    Now we’re going to freeze our fannies off (after being pistol-whipped) in Memphis.

  108. 152–I’m hoping Yanks don’t get CC–4 or 5 years of Burnett at $15m/yr isn’t a deal I’d make. Let the Yanks have him.

  109. Apparently we’re interested in Maholm and Snell.

    Have I completely missed something or are they actually nothing special?

  110. They’re pretty good pitchers stuck in the worst situation imaginable — I have to believe an intervention’s possible. Question is, would they cost more than Vazquez? Cuz I’d happily take a flyer, but I wouldn’t want to give up too much bona fide value.

  111. Snell had the 2nd highest BABIP against among all pitchers with 100+ innings (Millwood was first). In 2007, his BABIP against was .295, and in 2008 it was .338. I’d try to get him now if the Pirates are willing.

  112. #160 – its actually McLouth and Maholm that we asked about. Id love to get Mclouth but why would the Pirates trade him?

  113. Snell was unlucky, but he was also bad. His fielding-independent ERA (which still probably overestimates how much is fielding/luck and how much bad pitching) was 4.64. It’s been in the mid-fours for most of his career, and the 3.98 in 2007 looks like an outlier via an unusual (and unsustainable) low line-drive percentage.

  114. Also, Snell gives up lots and lots of fly balls. After the Horacio Ramirez Experience and the Chuck James Implosion, I don’t want any more fly ball lefties, especially since we don’t have Andruw to chase them all down anymore.

  115. oh, DOB just mentioned the two…he said the price for McLouth would be huge and I’d have to agree. He also said this about Grienke

    By David O’Brien

    December 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Link to this

    Doesn’t sound like Guillen is likely to be part of any discussed deal with Braves. They’re not interested in him and his baggage, from what I hear. Not with that contract at that age, especially.

    Now, Greinke, that’s a different matter. Braves would love to have him, but so would any team. Thing that obviously favors Braves is Dayton Moore’s belief in Francoeur, which is probably not matched by any other GM’s belief in the kid. No, I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s definitely not matched by any other.

    But Royals are going to want Escobar and a solid prospect along with Francoeur for Greinke, from all indications. I know Braves were willing to part with Escobar in a Peavy deal, but just don’t think they would be for a relatively unproven, though very talented pitcher, who’s a free agent in two years (Peavy is under contract for four or five more years, depending on the option).

    I could be wrong, but if Braves still believe they have a shot at A.J. (and they do), I don’t see them trading their shortstop to get a pitcher who’s not yet of the ace description.

    Mac, Snell is a righty

  116. As was stated earlier, I would really like to explore extending Gonzo now. If he has a good year next year, he’s going to get Fuentes type money next year. If they can’t get something done extension wise, then it doesn’t hurt to listen to offers now. I do think the market is flooded for closers right now though, so I’m not sure exactly what Gonzo could get now.

  117. I’d almost want to see the Yankees lock Burnett up for $100 million. That would make the Pavano contract look sharp. I’m skeptical about paying Burnett $60 million–and of anyone who isn’t–but paying that guy, who has never been much better than a #2, and has a history of arm trouble, and a bad attitude to boot, that much money would be… amusing. It’s apparent that the new Bronx boss is much the same as the old one.

  118. The hope is that since Burnett’s two big injuries were related to Tommy John surgery that they won’t reoccur.

    I think that makes him more attractive to the Braves though. He can join our Tommy John club and everything then.

  119. per Rosenthal

    7:06 p.m. — Smoltz’s agents in action
    Free-agent right-hander John Smoltz’s agents are circulating recent video of the pitcher as well as his medical reports to clubs at the winter meetings.

    One general manager says he believes that Smoltz for the first time might be willing to leave the Braves, for whom he has pitched since 1988.

    The Braves are waiting to determine if Smoltz is sufficiently recovered from shoulder surgery before offering him a contract, creating the opportunity for other teams to bid.

    The Red Sox would have definite interest in Smoltz on a one-year deal, a major-league source said. So might the Yankees, Dodgers and any other team in need of starting pitching.

    Smoltz threw off a mound for the first time last Friday since undergoing surgery last June.

  120. DOB just posted this also…

    Oh, and PIRATES are asking the moon for all their guys, so don’t expect anything to come out of that.

    Both Wren and Dayton Moore said today that they’ve not once discussed a Francoeur-to-K.C. trade.

    Folks, until you hear John Smoltz say he’s looking at other teams, don’t believe it. I’m sure they’re doing their due diligence, trying to make sure Braves at least keep in mind that other teams would be interested if they tried to low-ball Smoltz or whatever.

  121. Nick Piecoro of the AZ Republic said a Conor Jackson for Kelly Johnson trade has been discussed. A trade that would work out pretty good for both teams, I would think. Of course, that means it won’t happen.

  122. Why? They’re basically of equal value offensively, only KJ gives you that production at 2B. I’d want no part of that trade.

  123. Mac, it makes too much sense on both sides to happen. DBacks need a second baseman to replace Hudson, and don’t want to pay for one. They could keep Reynolds at 3rd, and platoon Tracy and Clark at 1B. Both have similar service time. Getting CoJack wouldn’t add a huge salary, and he hits right handed. He’s not perfect in left, but he’s better than most of the other options being discussed.

  124. what is Jackson’s arbitration status? Kelly is under control for three years. If Conor is the same, jj3bagger is right; it makes way to much sense.

  125. Johnson and Jackson are both 26, both I believe have three years till free agency and both of them have pretty similar-looking hitting stats. The only real difference is one plays second base and the other the corner outfield.

  126. I agree with Stu — no thanks on Conor for KJ. We’ve already got Diaz and Kotchman, either of whom may very well match Jackson’s production without costing us KJ. They’ve both done anything Jackson has done, albeit not last season. If we’re not adding a truly “plus” offensive player at 1B or LF, there’s no reason to make a move.

  127. I think Jackson probably has more offensive upside. Or rather, he’s more likely to see his upside than KJ, because he doesn’t have to focus as much on defense.

  128. sansho, I think it goes without saying that any outfield addition is a “plus” addition compared to what the Braves have now. They have similar career stats, one fills a pressing need (right handed hitting outfielder), while one is playing a position of organizational depth, and they’re both cheap. It’s not a perfect trade, but I have much more confidence that CoJack will be better than Ludwick or Ankiel. I haven’t seen much out there that Manny, Burrell, or Dye are happening, so I’m trying to be realistic in saying it’s a pretty good option compared to the alternatives.

    They have already said moving KJ to left isn’t happening.

  129. I haven’t heard or read much on what the Twins are looking to get for Young. I can’t imagine they would let him go cheap (and basically admit their mistake in trading for him in the first place).

  130. How about the Timberwolves firing their coach and making Kevin McHale coach them? I like that approach. So many times the coach or manager is held accountable for a team that he had no hand in creating. In that vein, I’d like to see Frank Wren made hitting coach if he insists on starting the year with Francoeur in RF.

  131. Josh Smith knocking down three pointers gives me the same feeling as when Rafael Furcal hit homeruns. Sure, it’s a good result but it’s only going to encourage him to keep trying to do something he’s not very good at.

  132. I just think you don’t trade a 2B for a corner OF when they’re the exact same offensive player. Jackson put up some great numbers in the minors, but he’s been a regular for three years and hasn’t improved a bit. We need someone to put the ball over the fence — that’s the only thing worth trading KJ for.

  133. R/L handedness balance factor is the stat that correlates most with wins. You can look it up!

  134. Something must be seriously wrong with Delmon Young and the Rays fooled the Twins into it. I mean, Young had as good a track record in the minor (except behavior of course) as one can have, but somehow the power completely disappear when he reaches the major.

  135. Put another way, here’s a reasonable estimate of how many HRs we might expect to get from each position next year, if we stand pat:

    C – 30
    1B – 17
    2B – 17
    SS – 15
    3B – 25
    RF – 17
    CF+LF – 20 combined

    Total of 140. That’s actually optimistic, as we hit 130 last year with Tex playing 2/3 of the season. It would be good for 13th in the NL in ’08. It’s our biggest offensive problem, and KJ for Jackson doesn’t get us anywhere.

  136. sansho, I agree with your point that power is the major problem. I’m not of the opinion that CoJack will solve the whole problem, I believe the Braves need three outfielders, but it’s pretty clear management only feels we need one, maybe two. I would rather have Prado and CoJack than KJ & Diaz/Blanco patrolling in left, that’s all I was saying.

  137. sansho1, great analysis. That’s why I have always said this offense needs TWO new big bats and not one. Since our first baseman is not a power hitter, we need two power hitting outfielders…and Frenchy is not one of them.

  138. trading KJ for Conor is not an upgrade. We all like Kelly’s bat due to the position he plays. Conor isnt as valuable to us in LF as Kelly is at 2nd. They are the same offensively and your basically just adding Prado to the lineup. Prado isnt the big bat we’re looking for

  139. Jackson is naturally a 1B, anyways. The only reason he ends up playing the OF is because he’s younger than guys like Tony Clark and Adam Dunn. He’s not particularly good at it. Trading KJ for him 1 for 1 makes no sense at all.

  140. mraver, he’s not a natural 1b. He played the outfield in the minors and they told him he’d get more playing time if he moved to 1b. He’s a much better outfielder defensively than he is a 1b.

  141. KJ sucks. He goes weeks and sometimes months without hitting, then one week he gets red hot. Then he takes it to the house for the rest of the season. The whole time kicking balls all over the place.
    At the end of the year the stat nerds fall in love with him becasue his VOLTRON stats are good.

    Im with Mac, I like Jackson.

  142. Let me give you another reason why I would do this trade, I have a fear that if KJ sticks around Prado is still going to play anyway. We all know how much Bobby loves Prado. It seems to me he is going to steal ABs from KJ one way or the other, so how does that help KJ’s value ? I’m not saying it would be a straight platoon, but Prado is going to get ABs.

    My main point in this whole deal to start off with was that if in fact KJ is going to be traded, I would much rather have CoJack than Ankiel or Ludwick.

  143. Conor has no power, I thought we wanted a big bat. So then we’d have Conor, Prado, Kotchman, Schafer, Esco, Frenchy, and Infante when Chipper goes down. Not much power there

  144. I’m just saying, I have never been impressed with KJ.

    He has some pop, but 12 home runs? eh.

    I don’t think Prado is any better, but I wouldn’t mind sticking someone who can lead off there, like Furcal.

  145. mraver,

    Looking at Jackson’s minor league fielding stats, it looks like he got more games in the OF than at 1B, though not by much. He played a lot of LF last year, and did pretty well: 5 assists in 77 games, with a .981 fielding percentage.

    He’s not going to hit for much power, but I don’t see it as a bad trade. I would rather have Jackson in LF and Prado at 2B than Johnson at 2B and Blanco/Diaz in LF. If we could get an OF that hits for more power for Johnson, then I’d be for it, but Jackson is cheap, reliable, and has some upside. I wouldn’t be against the trade.

  146. mraver, as I stated last trade deadline, CoJack, Eric Brynes & Micah Owings are my three favorite non-Braves in the league. Living in NM, I’ve watched just about every game in CoJack’s career, I have a bobblehead of him from a giveaway. Needless to say, I’m a little biased. CoJack actually played third at Cal, and he wasn’t exactly a gold glover over there when they drafted him, so they moved him to left. He played pretty much left exclusively until AAA. The DBacks had Luis Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin, Brynes, Chris Young, etc., so they told him if he would try first he would make it to the bigs quicker. He’s below average defensively at first, he’s not a gold glover in left, but he’s league average.

  147. According to BP in ’08, KJ’s VORP was 27.1, Blanco was 0.7, Diaz was -7.1(!),

    CoJack 28.9, Prado 16.1

    KJ’s good, but he’s not irreplaceable

  148. Mac, are you serious? Is it false alarm?

    Why are we spending so much time talking about a trade that will never happen?

  149. What’s the fun of the hot stove if you can’t discuss things that are never going to happen. I said the trade makes too much sense on both sides to happen. I was just sick of typing the name “Jake Peavy.”

  150. If the ‘backs have an intention to trade Jackson, then the conversation would be more interesting, but I believe that’s not the case.

  151. kc, what makes this interesting to me, is that Jackson and Johnson are similar players playing different positions and I believe they’re also in similar positions within their own teams. I don’t think either team is actively shopping them, but will listen if talked about. Jackson won’t play left if Byrnes (and his contract), Young & Upton are healthy, and Chad Tracy (and his contract) & Tony Clark won’t play first if Jackson is healthy. If the DBacks can’t get a 2B, they may end up moving Reynolds to second (where he played some in the minors), play Tracy at third and have Jackson play first, with Clark coming off the bench.

    We know the situation with Prado & Infante. Both players have value, are similar in terms of service time, and both players may be viewed as replaceable within their organizations.

  152. You know what is an even more unpleasant way to wake up? The images of Josh Smith urinating away a Hawks win.

    It isn’t often you get your picture in the dictionary twice, but look up “overpaid” and “overrated” and there young Josh resides.

    Anybody notice the news that David McDavid won his lawsuit against Turner, et al. Award was something like $360 million.

    Atlanta Spirit Group is probably throwing the keys at McDavid as we speak, er, type.

  153. ajc.com has a poll on “would you be disappointed if Jeff Francoeur were traded for Zack Greinke?”

    So far, a majority (slight like 54 %) would be disappointed.

    I am disappointed (in the collective stupidity of persons reading ajc.com).

    Can there be any wonder over the demise of the newspaper industry? Clearly we do not have a sufficiently educated and interested public to sustain news agencies.

  154. On the AJC site right now, there’s a poll “Would you be disappointed if the Braves traded Jeff Francoeur for Royals pitcher Zack Greinke?”. It’s a sad statement when “Yes” leads 54/46.

  155. I was going to post the poll too. Are you kidding me? Who are these people voting “yes”? That trade would be a steal for the Braves.

    Would you be disappointed if the Braves traded Jeff Francoeur for Royals pitcher Zack Greinke?

    Yes: 1,880 votes (53.56%)
    No: 1,630 votes (46.44%)

  156. The Yankees’ new rotation is starting to take shape as they are also in serious negotiations with free agent pitcher Derek Lowe. An agreement with Lowe is likely to be finalized in coming days, as well. The sides were discussing a contract for four years and about $66 million late Tuesday.

    The Yankees, though, are intent on adding three starters and are also talking with A.J. Burnett and Ben Sheets. They are hopeful of adding one of those two pitchers to round out the expected rotation.

    Burnett is talking to the Braves, as well, and there is a feeling Atlanta is the favorite to lock him up. If Burnett does go to Atlanta, Sheets looks like the next pitcher the Yankees will target. The New York Post Web site first mentioned Sabathia was set to sign on its Web site Wednesday morning.

    So the Yankees got Sabathia reportedly for 7YRS/160M (according to Rosenthal) and are closing in on Lowe for 4YRS/66M. And now they’re still after Burnett. No wonder everyone hates that team. They’re single-handily sucking every good starter off the free agent market.

  157. @226

    And that’s why he was sent down for two days

    MLBTR has the yanks as closing in on Lowe; with the Sabathia signing, that’s probably the best news the Braves could get.

    I think the Sox are just messing with the Yanks, and if New York gets two pitchers, I doubt they’ll go for broke on Burnett.

  158. NYC + New Stadium + YES Network = Unlimited Money Stream

    It sucks, but that’s the reality. I’m not too worried about Burnett going to NY, though.

  159. Cliff,
    Although I don’t find that Frenchy poll result terribly surprising, I’m with you: Anytime I read online responses to an AJC column, a little bit of my soul chips away.

    Sabathia to the Yanks: 7 years, $160 M. Desperation can be expensive. Now, let’s see the other FA dominos fall.

    Yesterday, I heard that, instead of Burnett, the Yanks may be more interested in a shorter deal with Sheets.

    According to WFAN’s Yankee beat reporter, Burnett is the last guy who would want to pitch in NYC. Without saying it in so many words, he quoted scouts who described AJ as mentally weak and unable to fight through on days when he doesn’t have his dominating stuff.

  160. I dunno if anyone has mentioned this yet, but there is a poll on AJC.com where more than 50% of the voters polled are morons.

  161. “he quoted scouts who described AJ as mentally weak and unable to fight through on days when he doesn’t have his dominating stuff.”

    Fine. Whatever, get him to Atlanta, where the newspaper-reading public thinks Jeff Francoeur for Zack Greinke straight-up is “disappointing.” I’m not surprised by this, like you ububba, but it’s painful, maddening, and horrifying. I wonder what they’ll think when he’s DFA’d this summer?

  162. In NYC, you have a half-dozen major newspapers (Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, plus the Jersey papers) with beat reporters, baseball writers & columnists, plus two 24-hour all-sports radio stations.

    Both teams have their own cable networks and the other networks (like MSG & FSNY) devote plenty of time to baseball. And unlike any town I’ve seen, people talk baseball year round.

    This is not Atlanta. This is not Phoenix. A player cannot escape the spotlight. When you do well, there’s nothing like it (ask Paul O’Neill or Mark Messier). And when you don’t, it can be unrelenting (ask Hideki Irabu or Kenny Rogers).

    But that’s life in the big city. Sabathia knows what he’s getting into. Let’s hope Burnett’s fully aware as well.

  163. Funny that you picked Atlanta and Phoenix to compare it to. I think Atlanta and Phoenix might be America’s two most similar cities.

  164. I’m from the area and am well aware of what life is like there. I don’t disagree about Burnett, who is exactly the kind of guy–injury prone, obnoxious–who signs a huge deal and then infuriates the local fans.

    Anyway, at this point, if Smoltz comes back I think it’s worth it to give Burnett the money. If not, then I can’t see how our team can be, once again, better than a 3rd-place team. They absolutely need two more solid arms. One won’t cut it, and the back end of that Burnett deal will scare me.

  165. I always love the sense of entitlement the big market teams’ fans show when a small market team outbids them and/or actually signs a prized free agent.

    “How DARE those Gnats try to take Teixeira from us. Don’t they know all good free agents belong to the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and the California teams only?”

  166. Dan,
    Ever been to a country club? Rich folks act the same way.

    Dix,
    Really? I’ll assume you’re not referring to demographic makeup, but their collective sports consciousness. That’s kinda where I was going.

    I always think of Phoenix as a wanna-be LA. Atlanta Metro is something else. But both are certainly ultra-suburban, traffic-glutted areas.

  167. I really think the only thing left to reel Burnette in is for him to get convinced that the Yankees and Red Sox won’t go to 5 years. Then, he will either (1) get one of them to go 17 per year for 4 years or (2) tell the Braves he will do the deal for 5 years at 15.

    Insurance is only available apparently for 3 years. That is the big hangup for Boston and New York on Burnette. Boston is disciplined enough (remember there non signing of Pedro) not to violate their rule (plus, if they get Tex, Burnette is out the window). The Yanks seemed to have decided “Burnette is not a real Yankee” (going after Lowe and Sheets heavier?). So maybe we get this done.

    Then, in about a week, when the complications of a 4 way trade, the new hesitancy of the Cubs baseball staff, and the Bankruptcy Court kill Towers deal with the Cubs, we can see if his pride won’t let him return to atlking with the Braves.

    95% Peavy is moved before next season. I don’t believe he will move for “as good of a deal” as the Braves offered. We will see.

  168. Seven years, $160 million for a pitcher???? Holy crap! I hope they’re looking forward to throwing $70 million directly down the crapper on the back end of that.

    It is good news that they may be essentially ceding Burnett to us. If that’s the case, we might not even have to guarantee the fifth year, and even if we do, we shouldn’t have to do much more than that.

  169. Gads, the Nats might well be dumb enough to offer Tex 8/$160. Not that Tex doesn’t deserve a huge pay day, but the Nats are so far away from a winning season it makes no sense to start buying big time free agents.

  170. I also love the coverage of CC’s signing. Reporters quoting friends who say CC’s not about eking out the last dollar, yet he gets the Yanks to tack on another year and $20M on top of a contract that no one was going to come close to matching. What a bunch of bull. Not that I blame him of course, everyone should fleece the Yanks if they get the chance.

  171. I’m thinking the Mets got a better deal on Santana before last year than the Yanks got on CC. Mets get to pay for a 7th year if they want (and if he’s still Santana at the end of his contract they would probably want to pay the extra $13M or so for that last season I’m guessing), and Yanks have to hope that the market for pitchers doesn’t get markedly better and CC pitches just well enough to not be worth a ton more in three years but not so badly that he stays on and sucks money out of the system for 7 years.

    Now the Mets’ K-Rod contract I’m not sure about… I personally can’t see tossing $12M+ a year to a closer, but on the other hand they have the cash and needed a closer in the worst way last year.

  172. Ububba,

    When Atlanta didn’t have the Thrashers I always thought it was strange that Phoenix would have 4 “major” sports teams and Atlanta had only 3. It never seemed right that Atlanta shouldn’t have a team in each of the leagues when Phoenix had crappy ones in each.

    Giving a player like Sabathia an out clause after 3 years might be the smartest thing in the world to do. Almost any player of any value would opt out and go for another deal worth more total dollars than the remaining value of the contract they’re in. The Yankees won’t likely have to pay the $20mil for those last years when he isn’t worth it. Someone else will.

  173. This whole deal with “opt-out” clauses amuses me. Why not just say Sabathia signed a 3-year $69 million deal with a 4-year $92 million player option? ‘Cause that’s what it really is.

  174. Teams also get opt-out clauses. They’re just referred to as “options”.

    The reason players like having opt-outs is that it acts as insurance for if they’re crappy. If they suck, they get to not opt out and keep earning crap-tons of cash. If they are awesome, then they opt out and get their current market value rather than what it was when they signed.

    The opposite is true for team options. If the player’s stock goes down, they don’t have to pay the (higher) market price the player had when they signed. If they improve their stock, the team has the player’s price locked in.

    Both things just function as risk hedges for whichever party controls the option/opt-out.

  175. Washington may not be so dumb. I don’t hate that signing for them, if they have the money. Remember, that’s not a true ‘small market’ in the sense that Pittsburgh or Kansas City is.

  176. Well, in fairness, teams would probably prefer one-year options to multi-year options. The whole point of options is to reduce risk. Exercising a 4-year option as a team is like a 4-year contract: still pretty risky in most cases. Much better to have a couple one-year options, IMO.

    In the player’s case, a 4-year option insulates them against injury and the like, which is a lot more important to individual players than to teams (hence players’ willingness to give dollars for security when they let teams buy out their arbitration years along with the first few FA ones when they’re still pre-arb.)

  177. That should get it done for Burnett. If he hasn’t accepted by tomorrow we need to walk away. 5/80 is more than I wanted to go for him but we need an “ace” and barring a trade, he is the best we can do and we keep the farm system intact.

  178. yeah, mlbtr has it also

    12:54pm: Rosenthal and Gerry Fraley report that the Braves made an offer to Burnett late Tuesday for $80MM over five years. That guaranteed fifth year could be big.

  179. Wow, 5/80 is a whole lot of money. If Smoltz comes back healthy that’s a rotation of: Smoltz,Burnett,Jurjens,Vasquez,Morton/Reyes/Campillo with Hanson in waiting and Hudson and James rehabbing. That’s a whole lot of pitchers. Who’s going to be traded for an OF?

  180. That offer to Tex is fascinating… it’s way way way too many years, of course, but it’s an interesting thought. And Nationals Park definitely isn’t RFK; ESPN has its Park Factor at a run factor of 1.038, 13th out of 30 stadiums, a slight hitter’s park.

    Still, why do the Nats feel like they want to go all in on this guy? Their minor league system still kinda sucks, and Stan Kasten’s halfway out the door, from what I hear.

    And I wouldn’t mind a 4-year, $92 million option myself, in case my boss is reading this.

  181. Hmm, if we’ve spend:

    16m – Burnett
    12m – Vasquez
    2m – Ross

    and say
    10m – Smoltz

    That’s 40m right there. I guess a better question is: how much $$ do we have left and what kind of OF will that buy?

  182. mlbtr also has:
    “Yahoo’s Kevin Kaduk reports that the Baseball Writers Association of America added four Internet writers today: Will Carroll, Christina Kahrl, Rob Neyer, and Keith Law. ”

    FWIW

  183. @268

    I’d say no one. Your first two are injury risks, to say the least. The last six have major questions with regard to either skill or health. You can never have too many pitchers.

    As the cliche goes: These things tend to work themselves out.

  184. My guess on Smoltz is it’s going to be in the $8M range (probably something like $5M base and $3 in incentives), and if we pick up Glavine it will be in the $4M range.

  185. I hope we don’t pick up Glavine. And I have to assume that the Braves are adding an OF bat regardless of how Burnett and Smoltz work out. Of course, last year Kotsay was the ‘solution,’ so I’m not holding my breath.

  186. That’d be a very deep rotation. At the same time, the OF would still suck balls, and unless Brandon Jones/Matt Diaz/Jordan Schafer do something unexpected, might keep us from the playoffs.

    Or Frenchy could be “normal” Frenchy instead of 2008 Frenchy. Actually, when you think about it, if he just sucks his normal amount instead of how much he sucked last year, it’s an ENORMOUS upgrade for the Braves. He was such an enormous black hole last year that replacement-level performance would probably net us a win or two.

  187. If Chuck James in is the rotation, it better be the Gwinette County Braves. That is as close to Atlanta as I want him.

    I also don’t think Smoltz is the #1 guy. I want him in a 5th starter slot so he can get extra rest.

  188. 275

    I thought Kotsay was really good for us. He was a solid hitter and played pretty good defense. It wasn’t his fault we were bad.

    People who thought he was going to hit 35 home runs might have been disapointed, but they also were crazy to start with.

  189. I have no faith in Frenchy returning to his pre-2008 form of usefulness. I think the book has been written on him and every ML pitcher has read it. I don’t think he has the skills or the intellect to adjust his approach.

    I hope he proves me wrong.

  190. If we add Burnett Im guessing Campillo, Morton, and Reyes wont be in the rotation. I think Hanson surprises and wins the job out of ST.

    Burnett, Smoltz, Vasquez, Jurrjens, Hanson

    I would say thanks to Glavine, but there isnt room for him

  191. Well, if Frenchy returns to pre-08 form, and Diaz hits somewhere in the middle of his pre-08 and his 08 numbers we’ve improved greatly… probably not ENOUGH, but enough to compete a fair bit of the time. I’d still like to see us bring in a bat, but we might be OK to let Schaefer have an early run at it while we try and trade for something (though I’m not really hep on that idea, it wouldn’t kill me if we exercised some restraint and aimed for ’10)

  192. Tex might wanna go to the Nats if he cares about being closer to home. He is from Baltimore. I realize he grew up cheering for the Orioles, but Washington is pretty close, and it’s not like playing for the Orioles would be a picnic. Who know if they would even make an offer, anyway?

  193. Right now we have 4 players who are above average hitters for their positions. Chipper, Yunel, KJ, and McCann. Chipper and McCann are good to the point that they’re essentially above average hitters without the ‘for their position’ qualification. KJ and Yunel are not.

    We will have one hitter who is an average hitter overall, and probably below average for his position, in Kotchman. That is our entire infield. Chipper is elite, McCann is excellent, KJ and Yunel are above average, and Kotchman is average. I think that is as good as any team with a budget could really hope for out of an infield.

    In the outfield though, UGH!…I can’t even finish the sentence with words. On what other MLB team would any one of Schafer, Francoeur, B.Jones or Diaz start in the outfield? And we are looking at starting an entire outfield from that group. That just won’t fly, no matter how deep you make the starting pitching staff the Braves would still be like a three legged dog.

  194. Why don’t the Braves show some interest in Sheets? He would come cheaper than Burnett and has similar skills. They both have injury histories, but not enough to rule Sheets out entirely.

  195. I’m listening to WFAN, which is basically offering a week full of hot-stove reporting from Vegas (Mets beat guy, Yanks beat guy & Jon Heyman), and the word is that Sheets’ medical reports are not good.

    They’re saying that he’s probably a 2-year deal. That said, the Yanks may go there if they don’t get Burnett.

  196. 5/80 on Burnett is too much for me. I just don’t see the guy being good enough, long enough to justify that. The only silver lining would be that we’d keep prospects.

    I don’t think it amounts to much, but apparently Smoltz would be a good fit in Boston. Ugh. If Smoltz goes to Boston I’ll throw up on myself. And if not naturally, then on purpose (wait, I’ve been down this road before…)

  197. AAR,

    I wouldn’t haggle over KJ’s relative value. Whether he’s above average with the qualification or without, I wouldn’t put him in the next category up. It doesn’t much change the situation. good infield, good pitching staff, horrendous outfield.

    Add to that the fact (yes, its a fact) that Cox won’t sit Francoeur even when he’s terrible, and that KJ will be sat even when he shouldn’t be, and that the bullpen will be mismanaged.

    We have strengths and weaknesses, but I am convinced that over the course of a season Bobby will manage in such a way that our strengths are muted and our weaknesses are allowed to cause maximum damage.

  198. The Yanks can afford that kinda mistake. They’ve made ’em before. But Sheets sure is awesome when he can pitch.

    And I’m now hearing $68 M for Lowe, who has also drawn interest from Philly.

    Other tidbits:
    Oliver Perez’s price tag: $70M for 4 years. Very negotiable, I’m sure.

    I also wonder what kind of money a durable, but underwhelming innings-eater like Jon Garland will command.

  199. I’m giving c.shorter the award for best Braves Journal meme that has yet to get picked up by the masses. Although, it doesn’t leave much room for expansion. We’re down to only about one remaining bodily function that you might be able to force should it fail to occur naturally. Maybe two, depending on how you define “wet” yourself.

  200. Burnett is not young. He’s not durable. He’s not elite. He’s not particularly smart. He’s not a good clubhouse presence. I can’t believe we’re throwing 5/$80 at him.

  201. I’m seconding Dix’s nomination… wait, it wasn’t a nomination it was an award… well… I’ll give c. shorter another one then.

  202. Nick Cafardo says Smoltz still prefers Atlanta but is also considering the Red Sox, Mets, and Tigers. The Tigers’ interest appears to be mutual, according to Jon Paul Morosi.

    I feel sick.

  203. Dix, we’d have to just go into an assortment of euphemisms, I guess. I’m sure we could get a number of good suggestions for any such bodily functions considering our collective wit and wide range of readership.

  204. 294 — sansho1, you’ve more specifically stated my own feelings. Maybe he won’t be terrible, but that’s quite the price.

  205. I’m so unable to process the idea of Smoltz leaving—especially to go to the Mets—that I’ll just refuse to try.

    Seriously, though, does anybody doubt we’re re-signing him? I don’t.

  206. Did y’all realize that DOB is the President of the BBWAA??? Wow. He says he’s glad the motion to admit the 4 internet writers passed.

  207. I know it’s splitting hairs, but McCann is elite, not just excellent. McCann, last year, was basically tied with Mauer for the best catcher in the game. Mauer had 40 points more OBP, and McCann had 70 points more slugging.

  208. If we offer Smoltz any kind of a reasonable deal, he’s coming back, and I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind about that. And if we don’t and he goes somewhere else, well then that’s kind of our fault, isn’t it?

    As far as people becoming tepid about the amount of money being thrown at Burnett, it goes back to what I said a while back: If you want somebody like that (an established excellent Major League player), you’re gonna have to overpay for him. That’s just what you’re gonna have to do. And it applies to anyone we may go get, be it trade or free agent. I would still rather give up Escobar or Hanson for Peavy than sign Burnett, I think, but I’m OK with signing Burnett instead. But regardless, if you don’t overpay, you’re not gonna get them, because someone else will overpay. And if you just refuse to overpay for anyone, then you’re not gonna be very good (see our gradual decline since we made it a point to stop overpaying for people). If you operate as a team that’s completely cost-effective and never overpay for anyone, there may be some years where you’ll be good enough to contend, but it won’t be at all consistent and you’re very unlikely to actually win a World Series, because you need one or two of those big-time players.

    That said, there’s overpaying and then there’s OVERPAYING (see Yankees, Sabathia). And Oliver Perez wants four years, $70 million??? That’s a joke, right?

  209. It’s deplorable that Smoltz is even throwing the Mets around. I love the guy, but if he wants to yank the fans and the organization around like this, he can piss off.

  210. Nick, I agree that you have to overpay from time to time to push you over the hump, but I don’t think we’re contenders even IF we overpaid for Burnett. We still need some bats and we won’t have a lot of cash to work with.

    Second, I like to be judicious about who we overpay for. Some guys are worth overpaying. Others are not. I put Burnett in the 2nd group.

  211. I too am unable to process the idea of him leaving. I felt the same when Glavine went to the Mets though. And that went down over a 4th year not being guaranteed?

    Nick, I’d have applied your reasoning to the Glavine talks too. Any reasonable deal ought to have kept him in a Braves uniform. I think we made a reasonable offer, and he took the Mets’ offer instead. It all depends on what Smoltz thinks is reasonable.

    You can consider me on Jason’s side of the over-payment discussion. I realize that overpaying is part of the game when the market is set by teams who aren’t slicing up a pie but rather redirecting unlimited cashflows. However, certain people are worth breaking the bank for, and certain needs are worth breaking the bank to fill. Ideally, you overpay only when both of those categories are satisfied in the same player.

  212. He hopes that’s still the Atlanta Braves, the team for whom he has pitched since 1988, but the 41-year-old free agent is considering the Red Sox, the New York Mets, and his hometown Detroit Tigers as possible destinations, according to a major league source.

    “according to a major league source” = BS

  213. I’m pretty sure that this is Smoltz’s agent talking right now more than Smoltz, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over it yet.

    I think I have a deal for Oliver Perez then. How about we buy him a pony and pay for stable room in Cherokee County or somewhere, and he can come pitch for us without a salary? Or he can forget the pony and we’ll pay him a salary equal to the annual cost of housing the pony and we can pay him a signing bonus equal to the cost of purchasing the pony in the first place. Ball’s in his court.

  214. amen, jason.

    but the fact remains…do we want smoltz pitching in a meaningful game in september AGAINST us?

  215. Smoltz will be a brave…

    DOB, said he just spoke to several Braves officials that feel as if the Yanks WILL blow there offer away with a 5yr/100 deal for AJ. He said, he doubts it and thinks there is better than a 50/50 chance that he signs with Atlanta

  216. I’m pretty sure that this is Smoltz’s agent talking right now more than Smoltz, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over it yet.

    Hope you’re right.

    The idea of Smoltz pitching for the Mets, or even entertaining the idea, makes me very, very angry.

  217. The degree to which I’d rather pay 5/80 for Burnett than 5/70 for Perez cannot be put into words. I think a reasonable deal for Perez would be three years, $35 million or something like that. Maybe I’m undervaluing him a bit, but even if I am, four years, $70 million for him is the most laughable thing I’ve read all offseason. I damn near fell off my chair when I read that.

  218. $70 million for Ollie Perez… I really need to get serious about my idea of tying my son’s right arm behind his back. He’s only a year and a half, but we need to start now.

  219. No shit, Dix.

    Also, I really don’t understand why the Yankees would need to offer $100 million to Burnett when they can just go get Sheets and/or Lowe far more cost-effectively, especially since they’re no longer looking for a No. 1, or maybe not even a No. 2 (they do have Chien-Ming Wang remember). Of course, they are the Yankees, and basically just added a year onto Sabathia’s contract for no reason whatsoever, so who really knows?

  220. Stupid money notwithstanding, I always kinda thought that Oliver Perez would be a good guy for the Yankees to acquire. Put him in the back of the rotation & move Joba Chamberlain back to the bullpen where he belongs.

    Upsides: He’s a lefty who misses bats. Can get in dominating grooves. Has pitched extremely well against the Mets’ bigger rivals.

    Downside: A walk machine who can implode faster than you can relieve him.

    He’s like the beautiful girlfriend who’s also kinda crazy & could lose it on you in the middle of the shopping mall. Tempting, but probably not worth the trouble.

  221. Do they have to offer $20mil more than us just to make up for the tax differential? Why not 5/85 instead of 5/100. Why blow the other offer by that much?

  222. @303

    Overpaying only makes sense in certain contexts–such as when it’s time to make that leap into contention. The Braves have no outfield and, in order even to sniff contention, need to sign a real outfielder, hope Francoeur or Diaz improve dramatically, bring back Smoltz, and keep their now fragile cast of upper echelon talent (Burnett, Chipper, Smoltz, Gonzalez) healthy for much if not all of the season. They also will need McCann and Jurrjens not to regress. Then, they MAY overachieve and win enough games to win the east, though that’s highly debatable.

    So perhaps overpaying for Burnett now is ill advised. That, anyway, is how I see the argument. I’m not saying I’m against the deal, but I’m skeptical and somewhat terrified of giving five guaranteed years to a 32-year old fragile, underachiever at $16 million per.

  223. The only reason I can think of why they would do that, Dix, is to wave the middle finger at us and every other Major League team. And sometimes I do actually wonder if that’s what they’re trying to do. I mean, why would they add an additional year onto Sabathia’s deal when no one was going to come close to their original offer? They could’ve very easily told Sabathia, “That’s our offer. If you want to leave a year or two and $30-40 million on the table just so you can go pitch on your precious West Coast, have fun,” and there is no way that Sabathia wouldn’t have taken the offer. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “We don’t really need to spend this extra $40 million, but we’re going to anyway just to show you that we can and you can’t.”

  224. The Yankees were desperate for Sabathia & he didn’t really want to come here. That’s why they put such a huge offer out there initially & kept upping the terms in his favor.

    He tried to see if the West Coast clubs would come anywhere near the original offer & they obviously wouldn’t.

    The deal doesn’t have to make any sense to anyone outside The Bronx. They wanted their guy & they got him.

  225. The power of the Yankees is unbearable lately. Essentially, no one can sign anyone, or accomplish anything unless the Yankees allow it to happen.

  226. Dix at 324,

    The difference in city and state income tax on a ball player playing in New York as compared to Atlanta is just under 10%. Farnsworth’s 3 year 15 million from the Braves was close to the same net after tax as the 17 over 3 offer he took from the Yankees.

    So, realistically, if Burnette and his agent are paying attention and are not making the decision based on closer to Baltimore or “Braves may not be a contender” then the Yankees have to offer 5 year 90 to exceed our offer, even by a little bit.

    The fact that all of the rumble is on them getting after Lowe and Sheets right after the CC signing is telling you something. They really are not comfortable that Burnette will be a “real Yankee.’ But, they are still scared that Lowe is playing them to get the Red Sox off the dime. So, they also are kicking tires on Sheets.

  227. I’m not quite convinced ole U Kno Who is Chipper. I mean, there’d be no reason for it NOT to be him, but I just don’t see why millionaires would post on fan board. Also, as far as I know, he’s never really given proof that is him.

  228. He gave proof last year, Rob, and then, if my memory is correct, the AJC had that name password-protected so that nobody could pretend to be him under that name. It’s definitely him.

  229. Hasn’t Cuevas passed back and forth between the Royals and the Bravos a couple of times already this offseason?

  230. Alleged Chipper: “But I will tell you, Smoltzie is a little irked with this report saying he’s considering the Mets. He’s not going anywhere, guys.”

  231. Well, nevermind about the password protection. There’s at least one fake “U Kno Who” on there—I still think the other one’s Chipper, though.

  232. #307, we just seem to be pissing about with Cuevas. That’s his third waiver claim of the offseason!

  233. Alleged Chipper: “i happen to have just talked to FW and he tells me that AJ will sign our deal tomorrow morning when the meetings enter the final day. Javier Vasquez is totally an ace.”

    Okay, he is a faker.

  234. I should point out that Gregor Blanco is OPSing over 1000 in the VWL (109 ABs).

    I guess our outfield problems are solved.

  235. We did an email interview with Chipper (and McCann, Chuck James, and Macay McBride) through his agent a few years ago. DANNY, however, was (is) me.

    I’ve always felt that there was a tendency for agents (not just Boras) to push the highest dollar offer even if the taxes and standard of living mean that the lower offer is as good or better. After all, the agent gets his four percent (I believe that’s the MLBPA rule) from the paycheck, not the adjusted after-tax income.

  236. Yeah – DANNY – That’s what I meant. All this time, I thought it was Chipper.

    I am sure you can see how I would get the two of you confused, Mac.

  237. ESPN: Yankees to offer 5 years to Burnett, maybe for 91 million.

    http://tinyurl.com/6g6qcd

    The Yankees are turning free agency into a total farce. Also, isn’t there a limit on the number of type-A free agents a team can sign in one offseason? They can’t sign Burnett, Lowe, Sheets and Manny Ramirez along with Sabathia, can they?

  238. I find it hard to think that the Braves won’t offer Smoltz something reasonable. I’m confident he’ll be a Brave next year.

  239. screw the Yanks, this is a joke. Seriously, how can MLB just allow them to purchase every single decent FA?? Shouldnt there come a point where you have a total team salary cap??

  240. Heisman finalists announced: Tebow, Bradford, McCoy.

    I’m going out on a limb and saying this must be the first time no running backs were invited.

  241. Dan, if that’s true, I say let them have him. This is one of the reasons I did not think we would compete in 2009.

    It’s probably not a good idea to win a bidding war against the Yankees.

  242. I wonder how you really feel when you have to offer a player an extra $50 mil more than any other team just to make him comfortable enough to join your organization. So they offer an extra $50 mil more to Sabathia, at least an extra $10 more to Lowe and Burnett each.

  243. Missing the ’08 playoffs + New Stadium + No Solid Rotation = Desperation.

    They’re not going to move into that new place without stocking (or overstocking) the roster.

  244. By David O’Brien

    December 10, 2008 6:23 PM | Link to this

    By the way, Chipper said he’s been working out a lot, lifting weights in the gym he had installed at his house and, for the first time in his career, running on a treadmill. Has been running a mile a day for the past week.

    Said he’s getting more muscular without putting on any weight, still about 220 but bigger. Shoulder feels good, no problems. Hasn’t started throwing or hitting, but said he can simulate throws with no discomfort.

    Also, he doesn’t sound too confident about Braves getting A.J., though hopeful. He talked to A.J. a week or two ago.

  245. If more than 63 players file for free agency there is no limit on the Type A/B players a team can sign (the exception being you can always sign as many as you lose I believe). Looking at MLB.com there are well over 100 players that filed for free agency. The Yanks can apparently just go crazy if they want.

    Should they go crazy however, MLB should look at expanding those limits a little in my opinion.

  246. There in fact used to be a rule that teams were limited in the number of free agents they could sign (back in the early eighties) but that dropped out, I think when the compensation rules were changed. Everyone hated that system.

  247. I don’t really mind the idea of not overpaying for Burnett—I do mind the feeling I get that that will lead directly to the inclusion of Yunel in a deal for Greinke.

  248. Baseball has to figure out a way to combat what the Yankees are doing. This is turning FA into a farce.

  249. The problem is that the Yanks had so much coming off the books this year. They will get anything that they want. It is kind of not the year to be looking to spend.

    FW, if the right players are not attainable, do not force others onto our roster just because we have money and prospects.

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