Everyone just relax

If the Yankees go out and buy all the free agents, it will backfire. That’s what happened in the eighties and it will happen again. You don’t build a winning team by bringing in a whole lot of veterans on the decline. They might win in 2009, but it will fall apart sooner rather than later.

269 thoughts on “Everyone just relax”

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

    So we can just continue to stink out loud?… No thanks.

  2. Damn. I hate the Yankees. Any moron with an internet connection could be their GM.

    “what’s team x offering? Okay we’ll just offer 50 MM more”

    rinse and repeat.

    They’ve never made a decent trade outside of picking up a big money free-agent-to-be or just assuming a fat contract. (Jeff Weaver, Shawn Chacon, Esteban Loiza, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown)

    It’s like playing poker against a person who gets ten hole cards to your two. Yeah, it’s possible to win, but that doesn’t mean the game’s fair.

    And I miss the days of Schuerholz. I’d much rather not know about these kind of things until they actually happen.

  3. Jon Heyman believes the Yankees’ five-year offer to Burnett is for $80MM.

    If true, and the Braves’ willingness to give Burnett five years if he’ll sign reported by O’Brien and Rosenthal is also true, the Braves can probably match that.

  4. Transferred from the last thread:

    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.

  5. Maybe the Yankees will throw around so many dollars that at some point they’ll default on the loans they took out to pay for the new stadium and they’ll fold. That could be the one positive that emerges from the ongoing economic Vesuvius.

  6. 2 – Chief – if we force a lefty into lf, or get some crappy has-been to fill out our rotation, we will still have the same problems as last year and still stink. Besides that, we will be out the money and the prospects.

    Surely, you are not in favor of making a move just to make a move.

  7. I saw the Yankees offered 5 and got pissed. I came to this site and saw Mac telling everyone to relax. Not sure if its working.

  8. Don’t know if this quote made it into the last thread, from Kansas City dot com.

    General manager Dayton Moore shot down [the Francoeur-Guillen-Greinke rumor] even as he acknowledged each bit of speculation contained sufficient truths to tantalize those who heard it into repeating it.

    I wonder what bit of truth there could be in Francoeur + prospects for Greinke + Guillen.

    More from the article:

    The rumor concerning the Braves started, it appears, in speculative talk among scouts from both clubs. Trades often start with such talks, and this was a natural because Moore acknowledges admiration for Francoeur.

    The Royals, sources indicate, are unlikely to send Greinke to Atlanta in a swap for Francoeur unless the Braves accept Guillen and his entire salary while also surrendering shortstop Yunel Escobar and one, and possibly two, other top prospects.

    The Braves might be willing to accept Guillen and his salary, as a bat to replace Francoeur, but seem likely to balk at dealing away anything more than Francoeur and a mid-level prospect.

  9. I think the best thing for the Braves would be to pass on Burnett (or lose him to New York) and take Lowe. Compare their innings pitched, wins, and ERA over the last five years. I’d take Lowe every time.

  10. So the Mets might be getting JJ Putz also, AFTER they signed K-Rod for 37 mil. He would be their setup man. Wouldnt it have been better for them to trade for Putz to be their closer and then use the money from K-Rod to get multiple relievers?

  11. Lowe would be a good get, but the Yanks seem even more hell-bent to get him than AJ.

    Ethan,
    Much of that (#3) is true, but the Yanks did make a great straight-up deal to get Paul O’Neill (for Roberto Kelly).

    In YankeeLand, much of their more recent success had to do with their GMs (Gene Michael, Bob Watson & Brian Cashman) convincing ownership not to deal their young talent. Sounds like a small task, but it’s not, especially when George was all there.

    As Mac alluded, that was the biggest issue in the 1980s. They traded people like Willie McGee, Jay Buhner & Doug Drabek and ended up with players like Ken Phelps or FAs like Steve Kemp. They won more games than any team in the 1980s, but that decade left them trophy-less, mainly because they didn’t have enough pitching. By 1990, they had bottomed out.

    Steinbrenner thought that signing FAs like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter & Goose Gossage was the reason they won in 1977 & ’78. But it had more to do with the core that they developed (Munson, White, Guidry) and the unbelievably great trades they made (Rivers, Dent, Nettles, Piniella, Randolph, Chambliss, Tidrow, Lyle, Torrez, Figueroa).

    In recent years, the Yankees have been able to make very expensive mistakes (Drew Henson, Hideki Irabu, Carl Pavano, a slew of middle relievers), but they certainly seem to be willing to push that idea beyond anything we’ve seen.

  12. Ethan, its a little different from that. It should be more like, whats better

    Francoeur + prospect or Grienke + Guillen and his contract

  13. Well, I would certainly take Greinke + Guillen and his contract, but unfortunately so would Dayton Moore.

  14. #18, or they could just sign Trevor Hoffman and trade for Huston Street. Eddie Guardado is a lefty, he could be a fit.

  15. Okay – So what about Sheets, everyone? Do you think the Yankees would give us permission to sign him?

    And, losing Sabathia, is there any way the Brewers can let him go?

  16. I agree with Parish sign Sheets. He would be a cheaper option anyway and I think his stuff is better than AJ’s.

  17. From Damned Yankees, which I just happened to have in my office, here’s a list of some homegrown Yankees who got dealt:

    Scott McGregor
    Tippy Martinez
    Mike Heath
    Damaso Garcia (Bobby’s ideal leadoff hitter)
    Pat Tabler
    Willie McGee
    Gene Nelson
    Greg Gagne
    Fred McGriff
    Jose Rijo
    Jim DeShaies
    Scott Bradley
    Carlos Martinez
    Doug Drabek
    Dan Pasqua

    That doesn’t include some, like Buhner, who weren’t originally drafted by the team but were acquired as minor leaguers. It also wouldn’t include players who became major leaguers after the book was published in 1990. (For instance, Bob Tewksbury, traded as part of the disastrous Steve Trout acquisition. Or Al Leiter straight up for Jesse Barfield.) Or all the draft picks they didn’t make because they’d lost them for marginal free agent talent.

  18. My favorite Yankee of the period is Ron Hassey.

    December 4, 1984: Traded by the Chicago Cubs with Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi, and Henry Cotto to the New York Yankees for Ray Fontenot and Brian Dayett.

    December 12, 1985: Traded by the New York Yankees with Joe Cowley to the Chicago White Sox for Britt Burns, Glen Braxton (minors), and Mike Soper (minors).

    February 13, 1986: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Chris Alvarez (minors), Eric Schmidt (minors), and Matt Winters to the New York Yankees for Neil Allen, Scott Bradley, Glen Braxton (minors), and cash.

    July 30, 1986: Traded by the New York Yankees with a player to be named later and Carlos Martinez to the Chicago White Sox for Ron Kittle, Wayne Tolleson, and Joel Skinner. The New York Yankees sent Bill Lindsey (December 24, 1986) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.

    All that in nineteen months.

  19. Ron Hassey is the answer to one of my favorite trivia questions: Who is the only player in MLB history to catch 2 perfect games?

    Ten years apart, Hassey caught Len Barker’s for Cleveland and Dennis Martinez’s for the Dodgers.

  20. More Yankee fun… From 1979 to 1989, the Yankees had only two first-round draft picks: Jeff Pries (who never played in the majors) in 1984, and Anthony Balabon (ditto) in 1985. And Balabon was a sandwich pick, compensation for losing Tim Belcher.

  21. Looking at it again, it kinda a dumb comparison.

    All things being equal, I think I’d rather have Guillen than Francoeur. Guillen has a career line of being an average player whereas Francoeur’s isn’t. But with the contract and the mental instability, it’s a lose lose comparison.

    ububba,

    That’ s really interesting (21). You never hear much of those Yankeee teams from after the Reggie Jackson titles to the Derek Jeter ones. That makes sense though. The influx of Rivera, Williams, Jeter, Posada, and Pettite put them on their last run, and since then, there really hasn’t been a lot from their system.

    I still hate them though. Other than spend money, Cashman hasn’t really done that anything that impressive. His best trade, other than possibly the Knoblauch deal, was the the Nady deal this past year.

    Plus, the Leyritz game is unforgivable.

  22. Nah, he’s just a tools goof who had a few good years but lacks the intelligence/self-awareness to actually learn how to hit. Except for the few good years part, he’s a lot like Francoeur.

  23. 30 – To me, it’s very possible that Sheets and Burnett are equal in value and risk, but Sheets will be much cheaper.

  24. Anybody see this question from the Jim Callis chat?

    Do you think the Padres are wishing they would’ve accepted what ATL was offering for Peavy?

    Jim Callis: If they’re not, they should be.

    There’s also this:

    Hanson or Bumgarner?

    Jim Callis: I give the tiebreaker to Hanson for doing it at higher levels.

    It irks me that MadBum is top 5 or 10 in prospect lists, while Hanson, with a longer track record and success at higher levels, is 20-25. I know it is meaningless, but it irks me nonetheless.

  25. We’ve been acquiring pitchers age 30-32 who had already topped out as #2 starters for years now, and it hasn’t worked. Too many times we’ve put on the rose-colored glasses and said “forget who he usually is — look at what he can do once in a while”. It’s a loser’s game — there’s no pixie dust in a Braves uniform. Burnett is on the verge of commanding a contract far and away above his accomplishments. We should let him go.

  26. I don’t think so. Vlad goes beyond “tools goof” all the way to “nobody else can do what he does”. Juan Gonzalez comes closest, but he wasn’t as good.

    Fun Vlad Facts: Over a third of his career walks are intentional, and he’s led the AL in IBB five times, including the last four in a row.

  27. Wow, the Braves are bidding against the Yankees. How the world has changed…

    …and Leyritz can go to hell. Sorry if I have offended someone.

  28. I’ve just learned that BBRef is now park-adjusting their OPS+ figures for individual players. Here’s an example:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/castivi02.shtml

    Note the lgBA*, lgOBP*, and lgSLG* numbers in the year-by-year comparisons. Vinny is done no favors….

    Edit: kc, I doubt you’ll find anyone here defending Leyritz as a player or human being….

  29. I’m not sure about everybody else, but I’m far more concerned about the Muts adding K-Rod and Putz than I am anybody, and I mean anybody that the Yankees sign.

    The Mets have made themselves significantly better. Your move Wren.

  30. @41

    He doesn’t mention anything about $91 million in his post there, that I can see, just that they added a fifth year. I still think the Yankees probably are (or at least should be) more interested in Lowe than Burnett. I’m not gonna start getting mad until it’s either confirmed that they beat our offer by like $30 million or it’s confirmed that he’s choosing them.

    A couple of other things:

    First, I’m not particularly worried about whether or not this tact will cause the Yankees to crash and burn, Mac. I have no doubt that it will. The issue right now is them sweeping all of our potential free-agent signings off the table. Even if they sign all of them and wind up missing the playoffs, that still leaves us with none of them.

    Second, I really don’t think we’re getting Lowe. We don’t appear to even be talking to him, and while I suppose it’s possible that if we lose Burnett, we’ll sweep in and try to get him, isn’t it just as likely that he’ll have signed with Boston by that point? If we lose Burnett, our best bet is to go back to San Diego and the Peavy deal. Otherwise, we’re pretty much screwed this offseason.

    Also, a lot of the rumors coming from the baseball writers has been false this offseason…even legitimate ones. I wouldn’t take it as gospel that the Yankees have offered him anything more, frankly.

  31. Drunk vehicular homicide is bad, but it’s kind of a crime of passion. It can happen to you if you’re stupid. I’m inclined to forgive someone for it if they show remorse.
    But petitioning the court to remove the built-in breathalyzer from your car because it gives false positives for chicken marsala? That’s pre-meditated and definitely hell-worthy.
    (also, the whole WS thing)

    But back on topic, would Wren go after Lowe if Burnett signs with the Yankees or is he almost definitely going back to Boston?

  32. I haven’t seen anything that has said Wren is even thinking about Lowe.

    Also, one more thing that occurred to me: If you were A.J. Burnett, wouldn’t you rather come pitch in a place where you can be the ace of the staff and don’t have to deal with the pain in the ass that is playing in New York every single day? I don’t know how much the Yankees offer is, and I’ve heard numerous people say that he’s an idiot, so it probably won’t matter, but even if the Yankees offer slightly more, I would think that would come into consideration, especially when it’s clear that the Yankees really couldn’t care less whether it’s you or Lowe that takes the deal whereas the Braves really want you and aren’t putting their hands in like 50 different pies at the moment.

  33. Big trade, the details:

    The Mariners receive: RHP Aaron Heilman, OF Endy Chavez, 1B Mike Carp, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP Jason Vargas, and OF Ezekiel Carrera from the Mets, and LF Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians.

    The Mets receive: RHP J.J. Putz, RHP Sean Green and OF Jeremy Reed, all from the Mariners.

    The Indians receive: RHP Joe Smith from the Mets, and IF Luis Valbuena from the Mariners.

  34. I read in a recent NY Times story that Leyritz has also been excommunicated by the Yankees.

    The club refused to hook him up for the All-Star Game or for Yankee Stadium’s final weekend—he bought his own tickets. Additionally, after accessing a stadium VIP area, he was ejected by a security guard.

    http://tinyurl.com/67eqga

    Of course, the YES network still shows Game 4 of ’96 WS on Yankee Classics.

  35. I still remember I was very excited when the Braves added Gonzo and Sori. So I am not all that concerned by the Mets adding KRod and Putz.

  36. Even if Putz is TJ waiting to happen, what did they give up for him ??? Nothing at all. If the Braves made a trade like that for Putz (while still getting Sean Green, a decent bullpen arm), I would be thrilled. They gave up quantity, but not quality. They gave up nothing and got another closer (TM). An above average closer, I would say.

  37. jj3bagger, that’s if Putz’s elbow is able to function. The way M’s is willing to trade him away so quick should indicate something. I just think the Mets did something very stupid by wasting a lot of their resources to acquire two closers while their rotation is a huge question mark.

  38. …wait, the Mets have a club option for $8.6 million in 2010…that’s kind of expensive for a set up man…

  39. How did the Mets waste alot of their resources ??? Granted they paid for KRod. Okay, moving into a new ballpark, they’re not going to have any money? So money is not a big “resource” for them. What did they give up for Putz ??? As a Mets fan would put it, AAARun Heilman ??? Really, thats it ?? Sign me up.

  40. Basically, if you don’t believe the Mets significantly upgraded their team, you’re crazy. The Braves now reside in a division with the World Champs and another team who has gotten better, you’re definition of better may differ from time, but they have gotten better (assuming they resign Perez or Pedro or sign Lowe).

  41. That Leyritz story is just awful on every front, and probably typical of such cases. I’m thankful to have read it, nonetheless.

  42. The Mets really are only replacing what they always had. Heilman and Wagner were both very good for the Mets until last year when one completely struggled and one got hurt. What the Mets need the most is starting pitching like every team.

  43. Jones added, “He did say if he plays in the National League, it’ll only be with us. But he said he enjoys pitching in the American League because he doesn’t have to hit and doesn’t have to run the bases, and he can concentrate on pitching.”

    I really don’t like pitchers who do not like hitting and base running.

  44. kc, while the Mets only “need” starting pitching, Johan & Maine are still very much better than the Braves currently have. They will probably resign Pedro & Perez, which still makes their rotation better than the Braves, unless they a) sign Burnett and trade for Peavy or b) sign Burnett and Smoltz bounces back. With the trade for Putz, the Mets rotation and their bullpen is better than the Braves.

  45. Honestly, even if the Braves get all they want this winter (2 SPs and one big bat), they are still one more big bat away from being competitive unless Frenchy has a huge turnaround season. I hate to say it, but the Braves need Frenchy to have a big season to have any chance.

    The Mets will do what they do, we can’t control that. But the Braves have to get themselves right first, which I don’t think they can get everything right in just one winter.

  46. kc, that’s why I think “Should the Braves even try to compete in ’09” deserves a whole ‘nother thread for discussion.

    That’s, I guess the whole point that I have been trying to make. Even if the Braves sign Burnett, trade for Peavy, sign Furcal, and trade for Dye (which we all know these things are all not going to happen), you can still make the case than the Braves are no better than third in the division, maybe second and steal a wild card.

    The problem is that I believe that if the money is not spent this offseason it’s never going to be spent, so you might as well pay for Burnett, etc, even though it’s not going to make much of a difference in ’09.

  47. By the way, the recently released by the Marlins Matt Treanor is better than David Ross, but if we start complying a list of catchers that are better than David Ross, I know we’ll be here for days.

  48. screw it! let’s go balls to the wall and let hanson be our opening day starter. how’s that for strategy? huh?…. HUH!?

  49. I am really feeling like it may be time to just let the Yankees have Burnett and figure something else out. You are talking about paying essentially at the top of the market for a guy that has really only had one good year and is injury prone. It seems to me that the history of signing guys like Burnett (ie, players coming off career years at a relatively old age)is not good. He has never anchored a staff. The Braves seem to feel the need to sign a guy they can call their “ace” but that’s just a word. I’m thinking they might be better off trying to acquire a lower level pitcher and put together a staff of twos and threes; with Vazquez, Jurrjens, eventually Hanson, and perhaps Snell or someone, that might not be a WS winning staff but it would be at least respectable. It worked for the White Sox a few years ago. Maybe it won’t work and the Braves won’t contend in 2009 but Burnett just seems like trouble waiting to happen.

    There is no doubt, though, that the Braves are in a tough neighborhood now.

  50. If we need to spend the $40 million this year so we don’t lose that payroll forever, then I say extend Glavine and Smoltz one year for $20m apiece, even if they don’t bounce back from surgery. Those two have done so much for the Braves that the club should reward them.

    (I know – not gonna happen, not should it probably, but I’d rather those two have it than Burnett at $95m/5 years).

  51. The Mets have a lot of potential in the pen. But, as has been mentioned and as we know, bullpen greatness can be very fleeting. Putz is only as good as he is healthy.

    I just can’t wait for Chipper to take K-Rod deep. See if he does his victory dance then.

  52. so if Burnett goes to NY will you be happy or mad? I have mixed feelings, but I just cant wait for all the comments blaming Wren for not getting the job done. I guess when you’re in a bidding war with the Yanks the best thing to do is just get out of the way. $40-45 mil to spend and we cant find ways to do that. We might have to flip Esco somewhere for the “ACE” and try to get Furcal here

  53. At this point, like I said yesterday, the only reason I don’t want to lose Burnett is because I think losing Burnett guarantees that we’ll also lose Yunel.

  54. The Braves have a pretty good-looking bullpen with Gonzalez, Soriano and Moylan. If Soriano and Moylan come back strong, of course.

    (The potential for Moylan/Soriano to not is exactly why Mike Gonzalez for Rick Ankiel would be an awful trade for the Braves.)

  55. DOB:

    Prime Time: If Peavy has told Towers, either directly or through his agent (and Towers’ friend) Barry Axelrod, that he’s unlikely to waive his no-trade clause to the Braves, then it would certainly help explain Towers’ reluctance to call the Braves and try to restart the talks or call them and say, ‘Is that Escobar deal still on the table? We”ll take it.’”

    I did speak with someone while here in Vegas who said that Peavy, indeed, had real reluctance to come to the Braves, primarily because of his concerns about them being behind Mets and Phillies.

    They also, by the way, said that the story about Peavy singing “Go Cubs Go!” in a bar the other night was probably true, because, as this person said, “The guy is not the sharpest tool in the shed.”

  56. The Mariners definitely chose quantity over quality, but that’s what you get when you trade with the Mets. They don’t really have impact talent any more. (Yes, there’s F-Mart, but even he’s lost a lil luster.) Aaron Heilman’s gonna have to prove that his arm isn’t hamburger; Endy Chavez is Endy Chavez; Jason Vargas has stunk since 2005; Mike Carp could be okay but is pretty blah right now; and, from the Indians, Franklin Gutierrez is sorta like Francoeur but better, as an undisciplined hacker with some power. I guess they fill a lot of spots on their bench for cheap, and hope that one of those warm bodies pans out, but I kind of wonder if they couldn’t have looked for another team that would have been willing to give them at least one actually half-decent guy.

    Funny that Jeremy Reed’s stock has slipped so far that now he’s a throw-in, but that’s the Bill Bavasi-era Mariners farm system for you.

  57. God, what a tool. Perhaps he would like to stay in San Diego then, where they’re pretty much guaranteed to suck for the next five years and he’ll have nobody around him. And perhaps Towers needs to go back to him and say, “Look, asshole. This is your choice. You’re not going to the Cubs, you’re not going to the Yankees. None of them want you. You’re going to the Braves or you’re not going anywhere.” Perhaps that would drive the point home.

  58. Well, the Cubs want him and will almost surely get him. I’m just sort of surprised by the turn of events. Peavy has been quoted in multiple articles as saying something to the effect that he’s always wanted to play for the Braves. And, as Weldon notes, we were on his 5-team list. I mean, what the heck happened?

  59. I smell the influence of his agent. For publicity reasons, I’m sure his agent would much rather he pitch for the Cubs than for the Braves, and so he probably convinced Peavy that we have no chance of winning. Either that or Peavy is just an idiot, one or the other.

  60. Also, Wren’s saying we’re still in for Burnett, but most sources say that we haven’t matched the Yankees offer yet. Assuming it was just $80 million and not $90, a) why haven’t we matched it yet and b) if Wren thinks we’re still in it without at least matching the highest offer, he’s a complete dumbass.

  61. somebody tell me again why we wanted Burnett in the first place?……#86 being on the five-team list doesnt help much if you’re fifth.

  62. Thanks, Nick. Anybody think if we raised our offer to 5 years, $90 million, the Yankees wouldn’t beat it? At this point, I say let them have him, but if I thought I could make them spend even more, I would.

  63. I think if we offered him the $91.5 or whatever it was he wanted, the Yankees would actually probably go away and turn their attention to Lowe. Part of me says we should just go ahead and do it. We need an ace, and if we don’t get Burnett, the chances that we get one are very low, especially if Peavy is as big of a jerk as is being reported. We have the money. I still don’t really understand why we were ever in this thing if we weren’t willing to go all the way. We knew the Yankees wanted him. We had to know it would get like this. I mean, what are we even doing in the discussions?

  64. 83 and following:

    I thought Peavy turned cold on going to the Braves when he saw the price of the deal (e.g., Esco) and began thinking about the defense that would be behind him.

  65. Nick,

    I don’t think (m)any expected Burnett to command 5 guaranteed years of $18 million in salary, especially if the Yankees landed Sabathia. I think the Braves were prepared to offer as much as $80 million over five years and thought, knowing how risky Burnett is, there was a great chance that (or less) would be enough.

    Burnett’s not an ace, either, FWIW.

  66. I think that had to be just an excuse. I still don’t buy it. Escobar is not the difference between this team being a playoff contender and not, and we said we’d sign another shortstop.

  67. I’m in love with the idea of overpaying for Sheets on a two year deal.

    Then in 2011 Vazquez, Hudson, and Sheets come off the books freeing up a ton of money and giving us extreme flexibility to work in the trade/free agent market again, only then we’ll have Jurrjens and Hanson sitting pretty in the rotation and hopefully signed and we won’t be desperate to use all the money on starting pitchers but could actually address whatever holes our farm system doesn’t fill between now and then.

  68. I think I’m with you, Dix. Two years sounds pretty good, and we know how dominant Sheets is when healthy.

    DOB has said there’s no interest in Sheets from the Braves, but I wonder if that changes when they miss out on Burnett.

    Of course, it’s also been reported that the Yankees will focus on a guy like Sheets after they sign Burnett, so we may not be able to get him even if we want him. Wren should probably call Cashman at some point to get a good idea of who he’ll be allowed to pursue.

  69. “Franklin Gutierrez is sorta like Francoeur but better, as an undisciplined hacker with some power.”

    He’s also one of the best outfielders in baseball, and the Mariners, who also brought in Endy Chavez, are clearly trying to buy defense on the cheap. I also think Mike Carp and Aaron Heilman are solid acquisitions. The one thing that hurts in that trade for Seattle is not losing Putz, but losing Luis Valbuena, a nice 2B prospect. Bavasi is gone and they’ve made smart, ‘we’re not contending this year’ moves. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bedard and/or Beltre gone by the trade deadline either.

    And on Burnett: he’s no ace. Paying him $18 million a year would be among the dumbest moves the Braves have ever made. I pray they let the Yankees have him. That signing would cripple this team and assure us mediocrity for years.

  70. The Braves apparently don’t want to give up prospects (Peavy) for an ace or money (Burnett) for one, yet they say they desperately are seeking one. Did they think one was just going to fall in their lap?

  71. No, they don’t want to give up one of their three best, young players for an ace who doesn’t really want to come, or ‘ace’ money to a guy who isn’t one.

  72. @103

    They don’t want to give up ace money for a non-ace. They don’t want to give up so many prospects for an ace that the rest of the team falls apart. The Braves are being unexpectedly intelligent this offseason.

    Let’s just throw Sheets an offer for $40 million over two years. All our top 3 starters, maybe our top 4 depending on Smoltz are gone in 2011, along with their salaries, which are also in the top 5 highest on the team.

    Let the farm system become major leaguers, if they are destined to. Lets see if Schafer and Heyward can be average major league OF hitters, and if Morton/Reyes can give us average 4/5 starter innings. See if Jurrjens/Hanson can be 2/3 starters in the majors.

    Lock up KJ and Escobar and some of the bullpen, like Gonzo.

    Then we’ve got probably $25+ mil to spend on one ace, one OF, a first and/or third baseman.

    That is better than $40mil to spend on 2 top of the rotation starters and 3 MLB quality outfielders.

    Also, the yankees 2008 free agent purchases will still be on their books so we may be permitted to sign some players.

  73. “The Braves apparently don’t want to give up prospects (Peavy) for an ace or money (Burnett) for one, yet they say they desperately are seeking one. Did they think one was just going to fall in their lap?”

    again you cant trade for a player that wont come to Atlanta and you dont give $90 mil for 5 years to a player that has only reached 200IP only 3 times in 10 years and has a career 3.8 era.

  74. Yeah, I don’t get why everyone wants to go toe-to-toe with the Yankees for FAs anyways. If the market is what it sounds like it is for Sheets, see if you can get him on a two- or three-year deal that’s relatively cheap. I have no idea why ANYONE would rather pay Burnett 5/90 than pay Sheets 3/54 or, more likely, 3/45. When you recall that he’s got 3 200-inning years under his belt (granted, no more recently than 5 years ago) in addition to last years’ 198, it seems to me like he might be the steal of the off-season.

    LF seems like a steal this off-season, so even if we do end up with a LH bat, let’s throw some dollars at a Dunn or Ibanez or Abreu. Definitely on Abreu, since he can actually still play some defense. See if 2/26 gets it done.

    Here’s an idea: let’s not make huge, long-term commitments to veterans when we can make shorter-term ones to maybe better players for probably less money and ensure payroll flexibility down the road when you’ll have all of your young guns reaching the bigs? I say this team competes next year with Sheets and Abreu (and Smoltz if he’s able to pitch), and it’s not like we’d be screwing ourselves for down the road.

  75. @107/104

    Burnett’s not an ace? Fine. Don’t pay him 90MM? Fine. The issue here is that the market value of an “Ace” is not 90 MM. The market value is the 161 MM that Sabathia got yesterday. The Yanks aren’t getting Burnett to be an “ace.” He’s there to be the #2 starter behind Sabathia and unfortunately, they’ve set the market for that at 90MM. If the Braves won’t pay for that expected level of production, too bad.

    I agree with Dan at 103; these are the realities of the baseball economy. An ace will not just fall in your lap.

  76. I think it’s fair to say there’s quite a gulf between just counting on an ace to fall in one’s lap and doing what the Braves have done so far.

    Anyway, the reality of the situation is that we just won’t win money battles with the Yankees. And we won’t be competitive if we just create holes in filling others. We have to figure out a different approach, and I think Wren’s in the process of doing that.

  77. I can’t blame the Braves for not getting the Peavy deal done. I thought the offer was more than fair — certainly much better than the rumored Cubs package. I think the evidence is pretty clearly pointing to Peavy never wanting to be here. How is that Wren’s fault?

  78. Ethan, that fine, but Peavy wouldnt come to Atl, period. We still made a better offer than what anyone else has made. What else could Wren have done there?? You cant compete with a Yanks team that can beat any offer that you give out. We made the 2nd highest offer to AJ and the Yanks apparently offered an extra $10 mil. What else could Wren have done?? Offer $100 mil to AJ and let everyone complain about that also

  79. Towers just told reporters that the Cubs have pulled out of the Peavy deal. I wonder how Jake feels about being with SD now compared to Atl

  80. I’m sorry, but the idea that Peavy wouldn’t come to Atlanta doesn’t make sense.

    He’s publicly stated his desire to play for the Braves. He’s from the South, growing up in a time when that name was golden. Chipper has openly campaigned for him.

    His agent may have convinced him (for now) that playing in Blagoyovich Field and dodging Zambrano’s (and Piniella’s) tantrums is superior to playing in Southern-boy Mecca for every player’s (if not fan’s) favorite manager, but one talking-to by Chipper, Hudson and Smoltz and Jake will come marching home.

    Jake Peavy, Atlanta Brave. It was meant to be.

  81. If the Braves lose out on A.J. Burnett, they won’t be turning their attention to Derek Lowe. A source familiar with their thinking says they have “zero” interest in Lowe. The Braves do have interest in “a couple” of other free-agent starters, the source said. And one is known to be left-hander Randy Wolf.

    http://tinyurl.com/5rvmsu

    My first post in this thread is slowly coming true.

  82. You don’t sign someone because ‘the market’ dictates that’s what they’re ‘worth.’ With the Yankees in the picture, the market may dictate Burnett to be a 5/$90 million guy. But for the Braves, who have several needs and a limited payroll and a future beyond 2009 to consider, that’s too much money. In other words: it’s ridiculous to discuss ‘the market’ as if each team doesn’t exist in its own context. Burnett may be worth $90 million to the Yankees, but he’s worth less to the Braves. The cost is much greater for them.

  83. 12:12pm: Rosenthal heard indications the Braves were preparing a final push for Burnett and would guarantee a fifth year.

  84. Well, I know my frustration in all of this is stemming from the abundance of talk and rumors and the decided lack of actual activity. I don’t think anyone wants Wren to overpay or make a foolish trade, but, you know, something other than signing a backup catcher would brighten my day.

    I just burst into laughter at the news about Peavy, serves them both right.

  85. @119

    If it’s $90 million then prepare to see the old Hampton contract look modest. I would rather give up Escobar for Peavy (and his contract) than pay A.J. Burnett that much money for that long. UGH.

  86. #121-122 – Id have to think we’d offer that 5th year guaranteed at $80 now. i just cant see us offering $90 which is $15 mil more than the first offer we made

  87. Me too. Can’t spend that much on a guy that’s only ever put it together in contract years (I imagine that are stats that refute such a claim, but for my purposes I’m going with the flimsy support of memory and appearances).

  88. Towers shouldn’t give Peavy away. The Braves deal was ok, but there’s a reason most folks here would have pulled the trigger if Escobar wasn’t in it: because it was a good deal for Atlanta. He can always unload Peavy at the trade deadline, when his value goes up. Towers is not an idiot and I don’t think he overplayed his hand. The offers just weren’t there. They will be.

    Peavy, on the other hand, if he really cared about getting out of San Diego, shot himself in the foot by limiting his options so much. But my guess is he’s happy to live in southern California half the year making $15 million, bide his time until the Cubs or someone else comes calling again, and live exceptionally well in a smaller market.

  89. Mraver, I agree with your comments (108), but I do not see a need to get any left fielder if they do not fit our needs just because the price is right. Aren’t the bats coming up from the farm predominantly lefties, too?

  90. Ha ha – Pay us $50,000, Metskies!

    I am not so sure that Peavy shut the door on the deal to Atlanta. I thought Wren/DOB said the Braves pulled out.

  91. @113

    So hilarious and yet so predictable.

    I still think that if we don’t get Burnett, there’s a slightly better than 50-50 chance that we wind up with Peavy, because the scenario I mentioned earlier where Towers goes to Peavy and says, “Stop screwing around. This is your choice” is about to happen.

  92. @ 116. Did anyone notice the last paragraph with Jerry Manuel talking about bringing back Scott Burrell. “I don’t see why not.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement from Manuel. Yowch!

  93. Parish-

    re: Loadenthal- it means nothing.

    re: A LF bat- if the price is right and it doesn’t effect us long-term, why not? The extra wins and the shot at the playoffs will mostly pay for the contract, and if it means we get LOOGYed to death, well, that’s better than getting Frenchyed or Anderson-in-LFed to death any day.

  94. On Peavy and the list of where he wpuld go to. Do you guys not see how it would affect him if the Braves trade ML pieces for him? His agent made it clear that the deletion of Escobar was relevant to Peavy’s decision process. On that, neither he nor the Padres were being duplicitious. The loss of Escobar and the Braves remaining available payroll having to stretch over 3 problems instead of the 2 remainiong acknowledged problems was a problem. Also, if Peavy gave a discount to be where he wanted to be in his contract, why would he accept a trade to somebody who might flip him anywhere?

    Adam M. at 121,

    If Escobar goes for Peavy, to equal Escobar for the next 5 years over what he would otherwise be paid is $20 million (if Escobar is fairly good) to $30 million (if Escobar is on the upper range of what he looks like he could be) and total cost of 50 to 75 million. That is at least 6 million a year, on average.

    Peavy’s contract averages 16.3. Burnett at 16 million a year still saves us 6 million a year compared to Peavy. I can understand that Peavy is a better projectible pitcher than Burnett, but is he really THAT much better. (Remember, Burnett was great in the toughest division in baseball last year and Peavy pitches in the best pitcher’s park in the majors).

    Braves need to put the 5 year 80 under Burnett’s nose. if they go up, maybe add 10 extra million but make it 90 over 6 years. The extra year puts more pressure on the Yankees than the extra money. Let him go to the Yankees and pay NY taxes if he wants to.

    As to Sheets, reports are there is real damage in his arm that can be seen by MRI. The Braves cannot buy a known problem.

  95. Why does it seem like teams never sell their players anymore? Seems 50,000 or 100,000 dollars would be better than some fringe A-ball prospect with less than 1% chance of even becoming a useful major league player.

    Come on, Rich Scalamandre???

  96. Mac,
    Oops. I meant Pat Burrell. I could see Jerry Manuel having that reaction to “Scott” Burrell. Not sure why I said Scott.

  97. I guess some think we lose the money if we don’t spend it. I think we lose it if we do. If a better fit comes along for left field mid-season or next year, we may need the money and the roster space.

    It may also be a good idea to use that roster space to see how some of the young guys peform against big league pitching.

  98. We lose the money. It’s use it or lose it; Liberty Media doesn’t just put it in the bank for us to use later, and would probably permanently cut the budget.

  99. Exactly. So why not spend $90 million on Burnett unless you know that something as good or better can be had?

  100. John Perrotto agrees with me:

    Matt A (Raleigh): Is it just me, or should the Braves let Burnett do his thing in NY and instead offer 3/50 to Sheets and 2/26 to Abreu? This team contends next year with those two players, and they maintain payroll flexibility for down the road when they’re young prospects are peaking. Why the fascination with Burnett?

    John Perrotto: I think the Braves feel the division is there for the taking and Burnett gives them the best shot. I’m not a big Burnett guy, though, and I like your plan better.

  101. Probably. It seems like front-loading the contract would be something that a player wouldn’t mind, and in some cases would prefer.

  102. By David O’Brien

    December 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Link to this

    When asked if he left here frustrated about the lack of moves, Wren said, “No. I think we’re optimistic. In the case of A.J., he’s still available and out there. As well as a couple of pitching possibilities that are open to us and if we go into next week, we can discuss.”

    (By that he meant, there are a couple of pitchers, one whose team needs to do another it’s consider before the pitcher would be available, and another pitcher the Braves have the framework for a possible deal in place, but just need to agree on players that would go to the other team. Could that be Greinke? Don’t know.)

  103. I think I’ve stressed about our off season so much now that I can’t have any fun with it anymore.

  104. Mac,
    Maybe they never had to check a book out of the library before. What with it being the internet age and all.

  105. Mac @ 148, sounds like my students when i take points off for not having their homework.

    The Braves, what a bad year to have money. I think we may have to go hard for Burnett because who knows if we will have the money again next year, it may be a use it or lose it situation. Anyone who works with a budget here knows what they had for 09 will be more than they have fo 2010(most likely) and if you dont use it, they will cut it.

  106. I don’t particularly like Burnett and think that Peavy is a much, much better pitcher. That’s why I made the comment I did. Obviously, I don’t want to give up Escobar either.

    Anyway, I agree with the Sheets and Abreu idea. Consider me on board.

  107. I like Yunel as much as the next guy, but the love affair with him really has to end. If they were to trade him for Peavy right now, I’m fine with it. He’s a good, cheap player right now, and if he turns into a superstar later, oh well. What the Braves are looking for is a dominant ace to lead the staff, and you have to do what’s necessary to get that starter.

    It’s not like they’re trading him for a rental player, Peavy (or Greinke) would be under team control for at least four years.

  108. Oh, interesting. Students at a Tuscaloosa school with less prestige and presumably easier entrance requirements than Bama read books?

    korobieniki,
    Greinke would only be under control for 2 more years, unless he signed an extension.

  109. What a mess. I can’t remember the last time I felt satisfied after the Braves were done at Winter Meetings. I doubt we’ll get the SP and the outfield bat we need. Bring back Raul Mondesi! Not really…

  110. Library fines…wow, it’s been awhile.

    Confession: I still have a vinyl record in my collection from the Chattahoochee Valley Library. Couldn’t find the thing at any shops in Columbus, Ga., so…I still have it 28 years later.

    FWIW, the Yanks look like they’re going to deal Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for Mike Cameron and Bill Hall. There’s some holdup about money and a possible contract extention.

  111. I am working on a doctorate, yes, and it would be my third degree. I’m not supposed to mention my employer online, but it’s a four-year college in the city of Tuscaloosa; that should make it easy to track down.

  112. I still think “use it or lose it” is speculation. “Use it and lose it” is not speculation, unless we are sure we will not need to improve our team at the trade deadline and we only “use it” on one year contracts.

  113. Nice. I’m only slightly behind in mine… but it’s a ridiculously long process. And I’m going to try and write my thesis while teaching somewhere else (need to bring home a few more bacon bits). I’m sure that’ll not work very well, but I don’t have many options.

  114. @161, I just looked into that right after I posted, thanks for the info.

    In that case, I would be more inclined to include Yunel on the Peavy deal than the Greinke one. Is Greinke a Boras client? Because if he isn’t, then an extension would be possible.

  115. “Confession: I still have a vinyl record in my collection from the Chattahoochee Valley Library. Couldn’t find the thing at any shops in Columbus, Ga., so…I still have it 28 years later.”

    That sets you up perfectly for a rather Seinfeldian conclusion.

  116. So the Yankees are on the verge of sending Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for Mike Cameron. That’s kind of interesting.

  117. That’s what was being reported last night (the Cameron/Cabrera stuff), but it’s been demoted to “in talks” status rather than “imminent” today.

  118. Dear Frank,
    Please let Burnett go. He is destined to be a Yankee in the fine tradition of Carl Pavano and Jeret Wright. If you must spend your budget, give money to Smoltz and a really good outfielder like Abreu, Dunn or even Milton Bradley. He hits lefties really well.
    Your friend,

    Jason

  119. Apparently, the Royals just signed Kyle Farnsworth for 2 years at $9.5 million. What a great way to spend a limited payroll. You sure they’re not dumb enough to give us Grienke straight up for Frenchy?

  120. Really? After Farnsworth bolted the team after his game four 2005 NLDS chock-job and said after he signed with the Yankees that he wanted to be a Yankee cause he didn’t think the Braves could win the World Series?

    Now he signs with the Royals?

  121. Adam,
    Every day in New York is its own kind of Seinfeld episode. I mean, we do brag about our great free parking spots. I do it all the time. I’ve become one of them.

    Listening to a great extended interview with Darryl Strawberry on WFAN.

    His favorite pitchers to face:
    Mario Soto. “He struck me out the first 3 times, then I hit a HR off him. After that, I owned him.”
    Career vs. Soto: .333 with 5 HRs.

    Tom Glavine. “I was always comfortable against him. I knew how he was going to pitch me—in and out.”
    Career vs. Glavine: .924 OPS

    (I just looked it up, but he actually did a whole lot more damage against Eric Show [56 PA, 1.428 OPS] and our own Rick Mahler [52 PA, 1.351 OPS].)

    His least favorite pitcher to face:
    Rod Scurry. “He was rough on lefthanded hitters like me. Had a great curveball and he threw hard. I was scared of him.”
    Career vs. Scurry: 1 for 8 with 7 Ks

    They had something else in common, of course, but that wasn’t discussed.

  122. So if the Yankees add Burnett and Lowe to the rotation, and sign Teixeira for 8 years 200 million, and Manny for 4 years $100 million…would that team win the world series? And how much would their payroll be? And would that be enough to get the other owners to insist on a salary cap?

  123. just making them pay that luxury tax or whatever its called would be nice. Nah, baseball will just let them put that towards their new stadium. great idea!

  124. Dix – I would be happy with a luxury tax that had some teeth. There may be a better shot at modifying that to level the playing field than introducing a hard cap.

  125. The 3 next highest teams in baseball behind the Yanks check in at about $138 million payrolls. The average payroll is around $85million. Maybe set the cap at 150% of the average payroll, $126million. Set the floor at 75% of the average, $63million. Four teams would have to come down under the cap, and seven teams would have to come up to meet it. The four teams above the cap combined are about $100million over it. The seven teams below the cap are a combined $85 million below it. The net reduction in total payroll league wide would necessarily be only $15million.

    Unless you think that mid level teams near the average would intentionally sit at the floor rather than compete, then I think it’s a good idea.

  126. Peanut:

    Even if they don’t land Burnett, the Braves won’t even think about renewing their pursuit of Peavy unless the talks are initiated by the Padres, who will no longer find a compensation package that includes Yunel Escobar.

    A month ago the Braves were willing to provide the Padres with a package highlighted by Escobar. But because they used Brent Lillibridge to acquire Javier Vazquez last week, they no longer are willing to entertain thoughts of dealing Escobar, who one veteran Braves player considers, “the best shortstop in the National League.”

    I like the sound of that and would assume that means Yunel’s off the table in talks for other pitchers, too—but is it true? Lillibridge wasn’t going to be Yunel’s replacement if he were dealt, so I’m not sure why losing Lillibridge means we can’t lose Yunel.

  127. Someone mentioned Abreu earlier. My understanding is that his defense has taken a big hit — something about watching balls go over his head now instead of going to the wall.

    Good column on Jan Kemp:

    http://tinyurl.com/5n5sxz

  128. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Angels were kinda “Don’t let the door hit you, Frankie”?

    If that’s accurate, whyso?

  129. We don’t have any other veterans do we? Or could they still count Smoltz/Glavine?

    Was just about to post that… glad to see Escobar off the table. I’m beginning to warm to the 2 year deal for Sheets idea now as it wouldn’t hobble us in years to come… maybe make it two good years and a couple option years for him if he stays healthy?

  130. this should make all feel pretty good

    3:27pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman says the Braves “won’t even think about renewing their pursuit of Peavy unless the talks are initiated by the Padres, who will no longer find a compensation package that includes Yunel Escobar.” Escobar is apparently off the table because the Braves no longer have Brent Lillibridge.

    good grief, Lilli would have been the SS

  131. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! At some point, Neyer and Jazayerli are going to have to stage an intervention with Moore about his washed-up ex-Braves who were never that good to begin with addiction. “Dayton, I want you to know how you’ve hurt me with your actions.”

    The Angels didn’t try too hard to re-sign Rodriguez because they know that closers are overrated and overpaid and they’ll just make another one.

  132. Anytime a ball is hit over Abreu’s head, it’s an adventure. Sometimes, he acts like the blindfolded kid you spin around 3 times before he tries to pin the tail on the donkey.

    sansho1,
    Really good column, yes.

    Jeff Schultz had a good Kemp column the other day for the AJC, too. And the forum responses were more supportive of Kemp than I would’ve ever believed.

    There were, of course, some embarrassing entries from some folks that, I’d guess, never stepped foot on a college campus, but many of them were shamed pretty harshly. Not difficult, I know, but necessary.

  133. ububba, I expected more anti-Kemp backlash also. I guess if you’re old enough to remember, you’re too old to act the fool. If all that stuff went down today, I’d probably have to just unplug my computer….

  134. Screw Burnett, let’s throw 4 years and $90-100 million at Manny and make him say no. That fixes the offense. Grab a cheapish innings eater somewhere and hope Smoltz and/or Hanson thrive as starters in ’09. And if not, Hudson comes back and Hanson’s a year older in 2010. Who’s with me?!?

  135. On WFAN today, Cole Hamels called the Mets “choke artists.” Heard this today in the car & I laughed out loud.

    Here’s the audio (excerpted from the interview):
    http://tinyurl.com/6f8y98

    Stu,
    So, Manny & Jon Garland, then?

    sansho1,
    I hear you—on that subject, a little perspective goes a long way.

  136. Yeah, maybe Garland, although he’ll probably get too much money. Maybe a trade for a guy like Arroyo? Shoot, I’d even take Brian Bannister, since he’s cheap and wouldn’t require any legitimate prospects to acquire.

  137. Did anyone see the new formula for expected BABIP on THT? It supposedly is a much more accurate predictor for BABIP than just line drive %. It includes the speed and discipline and power of the hitter, amongst other factors.

    Anyway, according to the formula, these were some of the luckiest hitters in baseball in 2008 (by BABIP):

    #1 – Joey Gathright
    #2 – Chipper Jones
    #6 – Milton Bradley
    #10 – Geovany Soto
    #19 – Manny Ramirez
    #25 – Omar Infante

    These were some of the unluckiest:
    #1 – Brandon Inge
    #4 – Willy Aybar
    #5 – Jason Giambi
    #6 – Nick Swisher
    #18 – Willie Harris
    #23 – Carlos Delgado

  138. Chipper had a .382 BABIP. The model suggests that he should have had .325.

    I think Chipper was definitely lucky, but not THAT lucky.

    He certainly had a strategy of going to the hole in the right side whenever there was a runner on first. He went to the well over and over on that and I bet it inflated his BABIP over expected.

  139. A statistician/economist friend of mine has been corresponding with those THT guys on that new metric, and he has some problems with their formula. It would interest me if I could understand a single word–and I mean a single word–of what they were saying to each other.

  140. #213

    I don’t think Chipper being on the list necessarily reveals a problem — you don’t hit .364 without some cheapies, and it jibes with my recollection of a good number of softly-hit singles. Same as when McCann hit .333.

    But Gathright being #1? A .263 lifetime hitter who hit .254 last season? That the one that makes me question their methodology.

  141. Re the Pads and Peavy–they’re not worth talking to until they get realistic. Think back to last winter–the Mets gave up 4 prospects to get Johan Santana. Humber and Gomez are ok prospects but not elite ones; I don’t know about the two younger players. The package was certainly nothing like Yunel, Morton, Reyes, Locke, and ???. Peavy may have a bit more favorable contract than Santana, but he’s more of an injury risk so call those factors a wash. Apparently the Pads took the same approach with the Cubs. They’ll find a decent market for Peavy when they get real.

    Edit–make that Gorkys/Schafer instead of Reyes. Sorry.

  142. @214 No, it has nothing to do with Chipper. He’s a Red Sox fan and probably didn’t even look at the list. It’s about the formula. He isn’t disputing ‘numbers,’ he’s disputing the numbers as they’re being used. Honestly, I shouldn’t have brought it up because my expertise is in the Humanities.

    Edit–One of the interesting things that came out of it, was that there might be some significant change over time, meaning experience has an effect on what previously had been thought of as ‘luck.’ I think that’s where they’ll go next, and it would serve to assuage some folks’ skepticism about Chipper’s placement next to Gathright. After all, it probably isn’t entirely ‘luck,’ and so there are ways to get closer.

  143. ububba, I have been meaning to ask you, is Francesa’s show any good now that he’s not with Russo ?? I haven’t listened to his show since they split. I have listened to Russo’s show on XM, and was not impressed in the least.

  144. Adam M… I knew you were in Madison, but didn’t know you were in the humanities? What do you do? I spend all my time in Van Hise…

  145. With the deal to the Cubbies now “dead”, I’m starting to think the market for Peavy may be bottoming out. The Braves are now unwilling to deal Escobar, and I’m hoping that once Burnett joins the Yankees, the Pads and Braves come together on a deal involving KJ instead. As much as I like Johnson, I think we’d be better able to get over losing him than Escobar. Plus, it makes signing a left-handed LF more plausible lineup-wise.

    Just my thoughts. ^_^

  146. jj3bag,
    It’s still good, but it’s certainly not as entertaining overall. (Haven’t listened to Mad Dog on Sirius at all.)

    The one thing Mike has done recently that’s been pretty good is have extended interviews with interesting people. About a month ago, he did one with Warrick Dunn that was outstanding. The one he did with Strawberry today was just great, too.

    I was always more of a Francesa fan than a Dog fan, actually, mainly because he’s knows more about the 3 main sports. But together, they were magic. I also always respected the fact that they never stooped down to the dum-dum factor “guy-talk radio,” which I detest.

    Their formula (the sports encyclopedia guy & the crazy guy) has been duplicated, but that show never will be.

  147. I really don’t like Burnett now. He doesn’t like the NL, and he doesn’t want to be an ace. So, what’s the point?

  148. Man when I think of the money and the years, the history of performance, the age etc. I just can’t get AJ Hampton out of my mind. My worry is that the Braves are staking so much on this that they’ll blow the budget to get him.

    Am I the only guy on this blog that thinks that KJ is MORE valuable than Escobar?

  149. As much as I’d like the Braves to get Peavy, Towers is still living in this strange fantasy world where a team should bid against themselves for Peavy and Peavy is worth six elite prospects and the naming rights to the team’s stadium.

    The Braves will probably lose out of Burnett and than trade for some good (but not great) pitcher like the Royals’ Grienke or Ian Snell.

  150. 225–the injury risk a la Hampton is a bit reason why I think the Braves should go nowhere near 5 yrs/$80m for Burnett

    I’d rather not seriously compete in 2009 than be saddled with a crummy contract for 5 years.

  151. I think Escobar is pretty clearly more valuable. He’s a better defensive player at a more important position. He’s listed as a year younger; even if this is in Cuban Years, he has a year or more less service time (KJ’s service time is unclear to me because he missed 2006) so he will be up for arbitration and free agency later. Last year, at any rate, he had the higher walk rate and OBP (they had nearly identical batting averages) and OBP is the most valuable stat.

    That’s not to say that KJ doesn’t have his advantages. His track record in the minor leagues is significantly better (though part of this is that Escobar’s minor league track record is much less extensive). He hit for a lot more power last year, though some of that was Escobar’s injury. He’s a better baserunner, probably the best on the team. And his health record is probably better, at least as a predictor going forward; he had one, catastrophic, injury, which is unlikely to recur, while Yunel has had several nagging injuries.

  152. I think KJ is a better hitter than Escobar, but I think Escobar has more value b/c of years left of team control and position. We also have a potential replacement for KJ on our roster for next year.

  153. Also, KJ strikes out a lot. Escobar doesn’t.

    When the game’s on the line—and there’s no reason for Bobby to bunt, of course—I’d always rather see Escobar at the plate.

  154. If Peavy helped torpedo the deal with us, he’s really got no one to blame but himself. I really don’t know what to believe anymore on this. There is no doubt, though, that Towers has been a complete idiot, as he apparently handled the Cubs deal much like he did ours. And now he’s basically screwed himself over, and will have to take a lesser deal. And if we manage to sign Burnett, he’s well and truly boned. Even if he does get him traded (to us or someone else), he will never get a better offer than we were originally giving him. Probably not even this summer or next offseason.

    And for the record, I still think most of that griping from Peavy about us was probably just BS. If he could’ve had his choice, he would’ve preferred the Cubs probably, but if Towers had pulled his head out of his ass and sent him a deal, I really doubt he would’ve rejected it. And even if he would have, he damn sure wouldn’t reject a deal with us now.

  155. OK, I take it back. Escobar has more value, you’re right. But I would rather trade him than KJ, based on the fact that the value will give us more in return, and is being somewhat overstated, whereas KJ’s is being somewhat understated, I think. That and I really don’t like Prado.

  156. Only reason I’d prefer to trade KJ is because we’ve got more organizational depth at 2B than SS, at least for the time being.

  157. We also have a potential replacement for KJ on our roster for next year.

    In basically the same sense that if we traded McCann, we have a potential replacement for him in Dave Ross or Clint Sammons.

  158. Dan,

    I am a KJ fan, but that is a little much. Prado is probably about even with KJ (if anything different, probbly a LITTLE worse)defensively. He can OPS 730 to 780 which is tolerable. He will cost only 400,000, thus freeing about 2,000,000 or so for KJ in his first arb year to apply to “power hitting left fielder” or “ace pithcer” or “incentive laden base for Smoltz”.

  159. The quote DOB makes is that Smoltz will go somewhere else if the Braves don’t offer him a contract.

    The conclusion should be that the Braves will absolutely offer Smoltz a contract.

  160. #212,

    Talk about Chipper being “lucky” is like something I heard once about Bob Gibson: “He’s the luckiest player in baseball. Every time he pitches, the other team doesn’t score any runs.”

  161. #231 – best quotes

    – “It’s tough. Jake was pretty shaken by it,” Axelrod said. “He was starting to think about what life was like to be a Chicago Cub, and now that was taken from him.”

    seriously, grow up Jake. Your not a cub until your traded. Thats what you get for going into bars and singing GO CUBS GO. I wonder how Padre fans feel about this?

    – “All in all, Axelrod was by amazed by the utter waste of the Winter Meetings, where only the Yankees, Mets, Mariners and Indians accomplished anything of note.

    “It’s amazing to me how many people can waste time, money and resources, and get nothing done,” Axelrod said. “Baseball moved lock, stock and barrel into that town, and absolutely nothing happened.”

    amen brother, preach it

  162. Smoltz mailed a video to the Mets. What’s depressing is he is considering that.

    I read this as John reading a potential salary of 4m for him and deciding to up that a lot. Why wouldn’t the Mets make a big enough offer to make the Braves sweat? Maybe John went nuts and broke after his divorce and needs a big payday?

  163. It’s not that Chipper “is” lucky — that would constitute an attack on his abilities. It’s that he “got” somewhat lucky last year to post as high a batting average as he did. A few extra balls fell in for him last year. Don’t you remember Chipper standing on first base numerous times last year laughing sheepishly because the guys in the dugout were giving him a hard time after another jam shot blooper single? It happened a lot.

    I do like that quote, though.

  164. It’s like saying Ted Williams was “lucky” when he hit .406 in 1941. He isn’t going to hit .406 every year because it requires a confluence of events, including some good fortune, for something like that to happen. It doesn’t mean he isn’t a great hitter, just that he isn’t a .406 hitter. In 1942, Williams hit “only” .356. Same with Chipper; I don’t see anything wrong with hitting “only” .325.

  165. I guess I misread your previous post, Marc. I thought you were denying the possibility of some random fluctuation. Which didn’t sound like you!

  166. Well dang, I guess that I am the only one to think that KJ is more valuable than Escobar since Nick changed his mind. Can’t argue with whats been said but please don’t tell me that anyone REALLY thinks that Martin Prado is the answer at 2b.

    Isn’t Atlanta a less expensive place to live and pay taxes than New York City? Just asking. I assume so but not ever having lived either place….. But in any case it really looks like the Yankess are going to buy every pitcher on the market. Ububba, thanks for the link to the story about the Yankees finances. Pretty much sums it up.

  167. Prado is better replacement for KJ than Infante is for Yunel

    to me Yunel is more valuable, but that doesnt mean anything really

  168. Peavy’s agent could not have immasculated his client more if he’d said Jake is so stressed out by this process that he missed his period.

  169. #253,

    Sansho, I just like that line and always look for an excuse to use it. :) It’s meant to be ironic.

    Actually, I think you characterize it perfectly; it’s not luck, it’s random fluctuation. But I do have problems when people like Rob Neyer were implying earlier in the year that Francoeur was “unlucky” and that his results would bounce back.

  170. Marc,

    When Neyer was saying Francoeur would bounce back he was saying like from 220 to 265 BA.

    Here is where the scouts ARE very relevant. Anybody actually watching Francoeur’s at bats (rather than reading where some “classifier” clasified a fisted bloop to second as a “line drive”) you get a better read.

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