Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

Finally, finally, led the league in something — in fact, two things, batting average and on-base percentage — in 2008. It was about time. You don’t hit .364 without a little luck, but luck is the residue of design. Chipper is a smart hitter, he strikes out less often than he walks, he isn’t afraid to take a walk if the pitcher is working around him, and he really doesn’t have any holes in his swing. Hence, he’s become a legitimate .320-.330 hitter, and once in a while a .330 hitter will get some extra singles.

Chipper was a monster in the first half, hitting .376/.472/.614. But he got hurt, and playing through injuries his power basically disappeared, with only four homers after the break, though he still hit for average and his walks actually went up. Injuries have become the central fact of Chipper’s career in the last few seasons. As his defense at third base has improved, arguments for moving him to first base have come down to trying to keep him in the lineup, but most of his injuries have come at the plate or on the bases… On those bases, he is surprisingly effective, perfect in four steal attempts last season. Over the last five years he is 22 of 25.

Chipper’s on-base percentage was the second-best by any qualifying third baseman since 1901. (John McGraw had a .505 OBP in 1900!)

OBA YEAR OBA
1 Wade Boggs 1988 .476
2 Chipper Jones 2008 .470
3 Wade Boggs 1987 .461
4 George Brett 1980 .454
5 Wade Boggs 1986 .453
6 Wade Boggs 1985 .450
7 Jim Thome 1996 .450
8 Wade Boggs 1983 .444
9 Mel Ott 1938 .442
10 Chipper Jones 1999 .441

273 thoughts on “Chipper Jones”

  1. Too bad he won’t get to 50 HR. I really don’t want there to be any debate about him getting int.

    He has an MVP, an World Series ring and a batting title. 400 career homers at 3B, .310 career BA and a .400+ career OBP. In historical context I think he definitely should be in given that he’s a third baseman.

    I worry that the contemporary 3Bs might make it harder for him because 3B is becoming a position of really good hitting as opposed to historically being a weaker hitting position.

  2. I think he’ll eventually get in but may not be a first ballot guy. Having said that, and I know it is EXTREMELY unpopular but if he would waive it, I think the Braves should move him. I think its moot though as I doubt he would do so.

  3. Wow. I didn’t realize that he only hit 4 hr after the break. I am on board with praying for extended health for the best Brave regular. I sure hope the team gives him an extension.

  4. There are some good-hitting 3B, but really, the only guy in the conversation of Chipper’s generation, or even sorta, is Alex Rodriguez. The others have fallen off the map due to injury (Scott Rolen, Troy Glaus, Eric Chavez) or other reasons (Matt Williams). If David Wright keeps this up for another 15 years, then we’ll talk. Wade Boggs is already in the Hall. There’s no one else who needs to be mentioned.

  5. Daniel Cabrera is off the board. 1 year, $2.6 million. Not the worst signing in the world.

    Also, Murray Chass repeats the claim that Yunel is a Wasserman client. Do we have any solid proof that he is not, other than the Wasserman site?

    Chass also lays out the deal, repeating everything we know, and trying to delve more deeply into the sticking-point of the term sheet. He doesn’t exactly indict Kinzer and Tellem — he quotes another general manager who thinks the Braves overreacted — but he does linger on the term sheet and on the fact that Kinzer did something that agents don’t do. Again, we’ll see how this all falls out in the coming months.

  6. Well, Murray Chass used to be an FJM regular laughingstock, so I don’t know how serious to take him.

  7. I’m surprised the Braves haven’t signed a free agent left fielder. At this point, what harm is there? They’re not waiting on Burnett or Furcal or anyone really expensive anymore. Seems dipping into that 35 million for Pat Burrell is a wiser move than trading an incumbent middle infielder or Mike Gonzalez for Rick Ankiel.

    Outside of Gonzalez, who is a lock to be in the Braves’ bullpen to start the season and be good? Soriano’s health is a question mark till he begins throwing in January. Moylan won’t be ready till late April or early May reportedly (which means really July.) Assuming Will Ohman signs somewhere else, this bullpen looks pretty weak aside from Gonzalez. Or maybe Ohman will resign and Soriano and Moylan will come back strong and it’ll be a strength.

  8. AAR,

    You think they represent both Moylan and Escobar and the one they choose to advertise is Moylan? I’d be surprised.

    Also, the fact that Chass is reporting it is pretty solid proof that it’s not true.

  9. Dan, I have a terrible feeling that the only bats we add are going to be Prado and Schafer. I think the braves will still consider moving KJ to LF in order to get Prado in the lineup. The braves dont want anything for 3-4 years they seem to be after some short term solution

  10. I really doubt the Braves move Johnson to left field to get Prado in the lineup. Furcal? Yes. Orlando Hudson? Yes. Prado? Not going to happen. The Braves won’t do that, even if their official site makes absurd claims about Prado being the Braves’ second best hitter.

    If the Braves want short-term, give a high-dollar two year deal to Burrell. He can be had. Hopefully Schafer is up quick, maybe even to start the year. The Braves shouldn’t wait till July to realize that the Blanco/Anderson duo ain’t cutting it in center.

  11. Aren’t some of the AAAA teams (Marlins, Royals, etc.) having any fire sales yet?

    We NEVER seem to take advantage of them like others do.

  12. Murray Chass was an FJM/BP target because of his self-sustaining ignorance on Sabermetrics, not so much his actual reporting.

    His bit on the Furcal saga is pretty good reporting, actually. He talks to lots of folks related to the situation, including Paul Kinzer, who comes off like a disingenuous twat.

    As AAR mentions, it’s not a lot of new material for this forum, but it’s a succinct capsule of the situation as it stands.

  13. Dan–I am afraid the Braves are saving the money for players that Wren believes that he can obtain in a trade. Maybe this will happen and we will have players in LF (and I wish RF) that we cannot forsee at this point.

    However, I think that there is a big risk that these deals will fall through and we will enter the spring without significantly improving a weak club.

    While I wouldn’t make too much of Schafer’s performance in Mexico, I doubt that he starts the season in Atlanta….

  14. #17–We had the Cardinals game on here–and it was truly appalling….At least the Aresenal-Liverpool match was good and competitive….

  15. I think Chipper’s a first ballot HOF’er for sure. You can’t just compare him to people at his position – the fact that he is a switch-hitter will factor in greatly as well. And of this I am sure – he is one of the greatest switch-hitters of all time.

  16. I would like to thank the Bucs for losing today – making the chances of the Cowboys making the playoffs that much better…

  17. I don’t see any scenario where it makes sense for either of Schafer or Hanson to start at Atlanta.

    Olney reporting today that, while Boras wanted to set the market for Lowe at $90m/5 yrs, it’s gone down by almost a third. It would be crazy not to get involved with that.

  18. I would throw some good money at Derek Lowe. While he’s not the Ace(TM) that we’re looking for, he will be had for a great price by someone and he will really deepen our rotation. I surely think we can win with a Vazquez/Lowe/Jurrjens/Campillo/Morton/Smoltz/Whatever rotation combination if we can improve our offense. We don’t need a truly dominant, top-10 pitcher at the front of our rotation to be successful. We can have a deep rotation that will help us in the regular season, and have an offense that can score some runs without having to be ridiculously creative.

    The thing about Lowe and these second tier guys is that there doesn’t seem to be a huge market for them right now. It seems like Boras wanted Sabathia and Burnett off the market before he really started marketing Lowe, but I think that’s going to backfire and Lowe’s not going to get nearly as much as he
    would have gotten at the beginning of the offseason, especially with guys like Daniel Cabrera being signed for such small deals.

    I wrote a paper on Scott Boras’ impact on the economics of major league baseball, and I really couldn’t articulate a valid argument that he is the problem. He’s working legitimately and legally within the system he’s in, and he seems to only have guys that want to go to the highest bidder. You can’t fault him for that. And the guys that seem to want to make decisions based on things other than money just don’t hire him. In fact, it seems Jeremy Guthrie fired Boras because Guthrie felt like Boras didn’t have his best interests in mind, and while Burnett signed with New York for family reasons, sort of, that was still almost the biggest offer on the table. And if Teixeira signs with Washington (which he still probably won’t), it won’t be because Washington didn’t throw a TON of money on the table. As far as I’m concerned, Boras isn’t the problem; the baseball infrastructure has breeded a perfect storm for Boras’ talents to be utilitized.

  19. Random thought: the Braves, to Francoeur’s public complaining, have renewed his contract these past couple of years without a real salary raise. Something tells me they won’t agree on his 2009 salary, considering they couldn’t even agree on what he should be paid these past couple of years, and go to arbitration. Imagine that potential hearing: the Braves arguing why Francoeur shouldn’t be paid more.

    Go Falcons.

  20. If the falcons make the playoffs, they have got to step it up. They have looked totally inept the past several weeks.

  21. This team was picked to win 2 games by many outlets. Everyone picked Atlanta to finish last.

    Now they have a chance to go 11-5. Kinda amazing.

  22. I don’t understand how the Falcons have guaranteed a playoff spot. Weren’t they out last week? It seems like if they lost next week and both the Cowboys and Bucs won, they would once again be behind those teams on tie breakers.

  23. The Falcons win the tie-breakers with the Bucs and Cowboys. What matters now is getting that 5th seed, so they can play in Phoenix instead of Chicago or Minneapolis. And yes, considering how badly they’ve played the past two weeks, it’s amazing they have two victories (against good teams!) to show for it. It’s almost as if the gods are rewarding Mike Smith for conservative, predictable playcalling and inept clock management.

  24. I haven’t followed the Falcons since the William Andrews Bartkowski years. This team has some compelling players.

    Chipper first ballot HOF.

    Is it me or is the FA market going slowly this year?

    I thought after the Sabathia signing that the whole thing would start falling into place.

  25. The Falcons could still win the division and be the #2 seed. The Panthers have to beat either the Giants tonight or the Saints (at New Orleans) next week. Neither is a gimme. The Falcons, meanwhile, should handle the Rams. The two teams would have the same record, but the Falcons would have a better record in-conference.

  26. Congratulations to the Falcons! What an amazing turnaround it has been.

    Whatever it takes for the Falcons to get that #2 seed, I am all for it…even if it means rooting for Eli for a night…

  27. …and how about those Hawks…good day for Atlanta sports team tonight…will the Braves complete a signing or trade tonight?

  28. Thome played 3B? man, living outside the US sucked when I was a kid. Only got to see a few games and playoffs.

  29. Something might happen early in the week. Why not? It’ll probably some kind of safe, damage control deal, a la Norton.

  30. #39, they win the tie breaker with the Bucs based on the Chargers results (I think that’s the only difference in results in common games), but they’d lose it with the Cowboys on conference record if Atlanta loses and Dallas wins next week.

    Oh, as for the left fielder market. I’m happy with not signing one so long as no-one else does. We’re a team with cash to spend so any downturn in the value of deals as time goes on benefits us.

  31. @49,

    That would be nice. I figure it’ll be something barely worthy of a press release, though. Hope I’m wrong and the Birdman brings a gift.

  32. However, the Falcons don’t have to beat the Cowboys. They would be knocked down to sixth by that scenario, but they own the tiebreaker with anyone else who could finish 10-6, because they beat Minnesota and Chicago.

  33. The Falcons could actually be a 2-seed? That really is crazy talk.

    (Though I note the Giants aren’t doing their part)

  34. How bout them Falcons! Nice to get up this morning and see that we are in the playoffs and since I complained rather loudly about Ryan when he was drafted I can say more than happy to be wrong.

    That said, no let ups next Sunday…the Falcons need to stay hungry….

  35. Eli is not the most accurate guy, but he sure seems to make the plays when the Giants need it most. Really entertaining game tonight. (And I had the Giants -3.5, so yeah…)

  36. Wow, Falcons has a chance to be a #2 seed…now it’s Brees turn to help us…amazing, the Saints can finish 9-7 and still be finishing last in the division…and how about those Bucs?

  37. KC–It would be really nice if the Braves would make a major signing–Dunn or Sheets would be my choice at this point—but I doubt that it will happen. I think that Wrenn will trly to make a big trade to get the LF right hand bat that he wants and I am afraid it may never happen…

    Either way, its great to see the Falcons in the playoffs….

  38. Stephen…you’re in Abu Dhabi (i’m assuming)…

    i’m in prague, fwiw.

    anyway..Wren (just one n) needs to make a splash…Sheets and Dunn on X-Mas Day would be fabulous and would scare the $#@% out of the Mets and Phillies.

    Falcons WONT make the #2. My Pathers, even will falling apart last night, proved that they could go into NYC and compete. The Giants will probably lose one of the next two games (Minnesota most likely)…but the Falcons are going to be scary.

  39. Chris–Prague Well done! We are hoping to visit there one day. Actually, I am in Sharjah which is the emirate next to Dubai (which can be seen from my office).

    The Falcons probably won’t make #2, but they have amazed us all season, so some of us can still hope….

  40. I see in DOB’s blog that Wren is vowing to keep things closer to the vest on potential trades/FA signings. Now that is a position I hope we all can approve, as the whole Furcal brouhaha has left a stain on the club. (Either intentionally inflicted by duplicitous agents, or self-inflicted, depending on your view…)

  41. @63 – Stephen, I am afraid that Wren will try to make a trade for a left fielder and succeed.

    I do not want to give up too much for short term gain, because I truly do not think the short term gain will be enough.

  42. I’d be ok with a Nady trade that didn’t cost too much… especially if we had a shot at signing him to a few years at reasonable cost once we got him.

  43. Speaking of the potential first round bye, it seems like that is almost a must if you want to get to the Super Bowl. Does anybody know how much the bye improves a team’s chances of making the big game and/or winning it?

  44. Things look pretty good for the Falcons.

    Carolina goes on the road to N.O. for essentially a must win game as the Falcons get the Rams.

    This last week of football is turning out great. With Buffalo beating Denver, the Broncos now have a game against SD, in SD, where the winner goes to the playoffs and the loser stays home.

    Also, Dolphins (1st in AFC east) play at the Jets (3rd in ACF east) where if the Jets win they can move into a 3 way tie for the division with Miami and New England if the Patriots lose at Buffalo. The Jets win the tie breaker and would go from 3rd place to first in one week.

  45. CSG, why wouldnt you want Teix?

    I realize that 8/160 is too rich for our blood and probably wouldnt even land him anyway, but I think I’d do it anyway. I guess if I had to overpay for someone this offseason, Teix is the best bet to give you your money’s worth.

  46. I’m surprised Milton Bradley’s still available. He and Lowe would make great stocking stuffers, and the Braves would still have money left for Smoltz’s last hurrah.

  47. Kinda agree with Dix on this one. $20 million per year for Teix might look like a bargain five years down the road after we’ve rebuilt around him.

    Apparently, Hudson doesn’t like him but he sure doesn’t seem overtly objectionable and the man can certainly play.

  48. just dont think any player is worth that commitment. Thats 25% of our overall payroll at its highest and we’d still be without 2 sp’s and 3 of’s. Tex didnt change our sub .500 record while he was here for $12 mil, I just dont want to see the same while paying him $20 mil. If I knew Schafer, Hanson, Tehran, Gorkys, and Heyward would all pan out then it could be different

  49. The biggest problem I see with the overpay on Tex is that it’s such a long commitment. If it was just for 2-3 years it would be one thing, but a 6-8 year deal on a team with an actual budget? Seems foolish.

  50. I’m pretty sure we already burnt the Teix bridge.

    I wish that the Furcal situation would have irked Wren so much that he made a huge offer to Manny. If we’re going to suck next year, let’s at least be entertained.

  51. I don’t know of any reason we burned a bridge with Tex, but I am pretty sure Wren is not thinking of that as a possibility.

    We do have Freeman several years away and a number of outfield possibilities on the farm, so our biggest need will be top of the rotation pitching.

    I do still think Tex is the one player worth overpaying this offseason, but he is probably not in line with the Braves true needs.

  52. I think Parish nailed it in the “probably not in line with the Braves true needs” statement. Tex can rake, but spending that much money on something that’s a minor weakness and not one of our major ones isn’t good economics.

  53. Stu, thanks for your answer. I went back to the 1990 NFL season and looked at all of the Super Bowl results since the playoff field went to 12 and the first round bye was implemented. I think I am doing the math correctly, but this was thrown together, quick and dirty.

    Based purely on the results of the last 18 years, a team with a first-round bye has a 39% chance to make it to the Super Bowl while a team that must play in the wild card weekend has about a 6% chance.

    Also, if you enter the playoffs with the bye, you have an 18% chance to win the championship. That chance drops to 3% without the bye, despite the fact that the results of the last three years has changed the percentage significantly.

  54. The last bit of discussion sums up my sentiments pretty accurately. I don’t think its a great idea to commit that much money to Teix over that amount of time. I do think though that if you were ever going to make that kind of commitment he is the guy to make it with due to his consistently high production and youth.

    He’s no A-Rod, but as far as a free agent he is as close as you can get. A consistently excellent hitter and fielder at a young age who is healthy and who’s resume lets you know exactly what you are going to get. There’s no upside with him, in that what you see is what you get, but what you see is really very good. He’s the only type of free agent that you can really make any arguments in favor of an 8 year 20mil per year deal for.

    I don’t think the Braves can afford it, and I agree that he doesn’t fulfill our primary needs. Overpaying for him though wouldn’t be the worst thing. I’d rather pay 8/160 for Teix than 5/85 for Burnett for example even though Burnett fills a definite need.

    It is pretty rare for a player like Teix to be out there, a player at his age that a team could legitimately build around. Those guys tend to get locked up by the teams who cultivated them (your Jeters and Chippers).

    20% of the payroll in one player would probably be too restrictive on the rest of the roster, and it might not work. On the other hand, we have a very, very young team with lots of players that in the next several years could be quite good but still not hugely expensive. We also have a couple older guys with old guy (read: large) contracts who won’t be factoring into the team’s long term plans.

    I wouldn’t do it if I were calling the shots, but I wouldn’t be upset if we did it either. That’s also how I felt about the Escobar for Peavy trade too for what it’s worth.

  55. Parish–My fear is the opposite side of the same coin. I don’t want to see us trade away key prospects (as we have did in 2007)and only marginally help the team either. On the other hand, I think that the Braves might get Peavied again–and then find it even more difficult to rebuild.

    At this point, I would be happy to see us sign Dunn and Sheets, but I doubt that it will happen. I hope to be wrong….

  56. On the playoff bye week, I think the off seek can help some teams, while playing helps others.

    Banged up teams like the Titans will probably benifit from the rest. A tam like the Colts are on fire and everytime they play, they get better.

  57. Well, if we signed Tex, we wouldn’t need Kotchman or Freeman. I wonder what they would fetch on the trade market?

  58. Well, it’s almost a joke to be talking Falcons and Super Bowl. I think there is no chance for them if they do not get the bye, which seems a possibility, although something much less than a 50-50 chance.

  59. I don’t see Tex on our horizon either.

    Now that the Sawx & Halos have told Boras to buzz off, I believe he’ll be back with more “reasonable” numbers at some point.

    Of course, if the money’s right, Tex could also choose to enter one of baseball’s witness protection programs—Baltimore or Washington. But I only see him going to the contender offering the biggest paycheck.

    Re: Falcons
    Sounds lame, but I’m just happy they’re in the playoffs & I can watch at least one playoff game that I genuinely care about.

    OK, I’ll dream for a minute: NFC title game, ATL vs NYG in a freezing Meadowlands.

  60. Stephen, the trade target that is only under contract for a year or two is what I fear. I don’t want to give up someone who could contribute when we have a more developed base for a high priced guy that will be long gone when the time arrives.

    Vasquez is an example of this. It’s a good trade, but we run the risk of wasting half of our acquisition’s remaining contract if we do not make sufficient improvement this offseason. Tyler Flowers could have paid dividends for 6 or 7 years, or he could have been reserved for a trade that would have been more meaningful when we were a piece or two away.

  61. Jason – Call me crazy, but I don’t think Kotchman would fetch as much as Freeman unless we get just the right trading partner.

  62. Parish, I agree. I think the Freeman’s upside would net more than Kotchman’s proven mediocrity (at best). I wonder what the Angels would give us to have him back. And how funny would that scenario be?

  63. A quick look at the Book of Lists reminds us that these were the top 10 highest-paid Braves of 2007:

    1. Hampton – $14.5 m
    2. Andruw – $14 m
    3. Chipper – $12.3 m
    4. Edgar – $ 9 m
    5. Hudson – $ 8.5 m
    6. Smoltz – $ 8 m
    7. Wickman (yes, Wickman) – $ 6.5 m
    8. Gonzo – $ 2.35 m
    9. Craig Wilson – $ 2 m
    10. Soriano – $ 1.2 m

  64. Tex is not coming back to the Braves. Apparently, the Braves made overtures to Tex that would have made him among the richest players in baseball. Obviously, he was not interested and I doubt that he would consider Atlanta now.

    Parish–I take your point about trades which net players like Drew and Tex who are not long under control.

    I am not sure I agree about Freeman–he is a great prospect, but his value is based almost entirely on one year of A ball. If he puts up similar numbers at the Beach, then his value will skyrocket, but at this point his track record is a bit short….

  65. We have the bullpen to net us some sick acquisitions at the deadline, christmas isn’t coming until july 31st folks. Imagine what we could get by trading soriano, moylan and gonzalez and also, plus possibly Javy Vazquez, Jorge Campillo and maybe even John Smoltz.

  66. Parish:

    Why do you think the Falcons only shot is to get a bye? A first round game with Arizona is kind of like a first-round bye.

  67. BTW, Chipper is the bomb.

    He’s a future Hall of Famer, probably first-ballot when you add up his accomplishments, and he’s been a pleasure to watch & root for.

    You know your guy is good when the opposition actively fears him and, believe me, Met and Yankee fans have always hated facing him.

    Here’s to another great year, Larry Wayne. See you in Cooperstown.

  68. I have no doubt in my mind that Chipper is a deserving HOF but I’m not sure that all voters agree. At least I have read stuff to the effect that some idiots think he is still marginal. I think there is some qualms about the fact that he doesn’t have the huge home run totals (although the steroid issue probably works to Chipper’s advantage in that he seems to be clean). The injuries in recent years probaly hurt some as well. I sure hope he makes it in on the first ballot. I think he is the second best Atlanta Brave position player ever, given the length of his productivity and his offensive consistency.

  69. @103 – just a prediction of mine. If 4 of those 6 guys are healthy and tradeable through July, I don’t think we’ll be so far out of 1st that we choose to dump them.

  70. Or maybe no one would give up much for back-of-the-rotation starter Jorge Campillo, Mike Gonzalez is extended this offseason as DOB talks about, Moylan doesn’t come back till June and no one wants to give up a lot for a guy coming off Tommy John…and isn’t even arbitration eligible so the Braves probably do not even want to trade, Smoltz won’t be traded even if the Braves are thirty games out and Vasquez the Braves will likely want to keep for 2010.

    Soriano, IF healthy, and that is a question mark till January, is the only one on that list I could see being traded and bringing something decent back if the Braves are out of it in late July 2009.

  71. Dix – My thoughts on trading Smo;tz may change if he is really considering going to another team in free agency. I hope that he is not, but if he prefers to be in the post season and the Braves are not, we might do him a favor and there is nothing wrong with that.

  72. I can’t imagine a scenario in which we brought Smoltz back for the last season of his career, and then traded him mid-season (even if it’s allowed).

  73. I see the board is still in “don’t trade anyone” and “don’t sign anyone” but not doing so will ensure we’ll get better mode.

    I just have to laugh.

  74. BP have a player profile on Francoeur up.

    For the non subscribers, here’s a sneak peek

    “An extended stay in the minors may be best for all involved”

    “Francoeur is just 24 years old, but he does not walk, strikes out far too often, seems to rely on BABIP fluctuations to get him on base, and has shown very alarming signs in his fading power-hitting game.”

  75. In other words, he’s one of the worst regulars in MLB history and especially to be the “face” of the Franchise.

  76. Chief, I think you are oversimplifying the mood of the board. Some moves make sense and others do not. You have to be discerning.

    We are a long way from competing in 2009 and I am pretty sure that you know that. That means our moves should have 2010 in mind more than 2009. So, a trade for Peavy would make more sense than a trade for Ankiel even though it will cost much more.

    Do you think we should be trading Chipper?

  77. I say spend the money on relievers. Like twelve of them. I know you don’t have that many spots, but some will always be hurt and you can spot-start others. Then you can trade them all away for prospects in July.

  78. Ok, triple post. New plan for the Braves:

    1) Sign Tex and Fuentes
    2) Trade Casay and Gonzo to get the LF bat or the ace.

  79. A disdain for any trade or any signing is more than discerning. I’m aware that certain moves shouldn’t be made but some on this board wouldn’t trade a bucket of catfish for Babe Ruth because the catfish were young and had some talent.

  80. Chief is right though. There does seem to be a crowd who craps on any trade, trade rumor, rumored signing or actual signing. It’s like they just want Frank Wren to sit around and pick his nose and never try and improve the team.

    These unappeasables seemingly think every Braves’ prospect is the next Ty Cobb or the next Bob Gibson. The crowd that opposed trading Kyle Davies for Tim Hudson is basically the same exact one that opposes trading Tommy Hanson for Jake Peavy. Hanson appears to be the new flavor-of-the-year prospect among this crowd. I hope Hanson really becomes that ace, but I try not to buy into the “this time for real” stuff the prospects crowd always says when explaining why their past heartthrob fell flat and why the current one is so great.

  81. Dan, the Braves did manage to get Hudson without giving up Davies…and if I remember right, the pitcher the A’s wanted was actually Dan Meyer. Beane also wanted Marcus in the deal but the Braves never gave in. So, Davies was never in the thick of the trade discussion, it was Marcus which JS and Beane were fighting over.

  82. Trading Hanson for Peavy is not the major problem…trading Hanson for Peavy AND his contract is the biggest problem. It’s not like Peavy has that team friendly contract like Haren had on him. Peavy’s contract is expensive, just not as expensive is CC.

  83. I’m ready to ditch ’09, but I liked Flowers for Vazquez. Flowers is a perfect example of a prospect you trade — he had a big year, he was blocked here, and he might have to be a DH anyway in a few years. We got a middle of the rotation horse in return. Fine with me.

  84. The fact that the Braves can’t get another starting pitcher makes me even happier with the Vazquez deal.

  85. Chief, I think you misread this board tremendously. You might be combining the thoughts from various posts into one unreasonable opinion. The way I read this board is that we want good players, but in general we don’t want to overpay for them.

  86. #123–If Wainwright looks good now just wait a few years at least one of either Flowers, Andrus or Feliz will appear to be a great loss.

    Of course, Salty may yet develop…

  87. You can’t just always trade prospects for established major leaguers. That’s what the Tigers did for Doyle Alexander. The trick is knowing which ones to trade. Hanson is one not to trade.

  88. What’s more, the reason to get Peavy is to strengthen our rotation. We probably need both Hanson and Peavy to have a solid rotation in a couple of years, so giving up one pitcher for the other is probably not a good idea.

    The point may be moot, but I would have been okay with the Escobar-Gorkys package for Peavy, lest Chief decide that the previous paragraph meant all trades are bad.

  89. That’s what the Tigers did for Doyle Alexander.

    People always seem to forget that Doyle was 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA for the Tigers that year – they likely do not win the division without him. I’d say that they got their money’s worth, given the facts in evidence at the time.

  90. Best case scenario is to trade blocked prospects for MLB players that fit holes in the roster, or trade from positions of organizational depth. Hanson is not blocked and plays a position where there is a hole in the MLB roster. Don’t trade him.

    Right now we have very few truly blocked high level prospects (a testament to how many holes the big club has). We can’t fill all the holes presently, so I say we wait it out. Extend deals on Escobar, Jurrjens, and KJ for example. Try to get short term free agents, they’ll have flaws which is why they come short term, but that’s ok. We can be respectable in ’09 while building for ’10 and ’11. Not tying up cash beyond 2010 is a good plan. So is not blocking our top prospects by filling their position with 35+ year old veterans with long term deals.

  91. Stephen, I don’t care much about Salty and Andrus, but Feliz…I really have to tip my cap to Daniel for his ability to get Feliz from JS on top of what we had given up in the deal.

  92. KC–Don’t write off either player yet. Salty is still young and Sickels recently wrote that Andrus is one of the best prospects in all of baseball.

    With respect to Feliz, he was the best arm in our system and he may go on to great things, but since he is a pitcher, he may be one of those prospects that just don’t make it.

    Nonetheless, its a damn shame that he is no longer in our system….

  93. Stephen, I am not writing off Salty and Andrus at all, but they were blocked anyway and we did get one fine season from Tex.

  94. We got pretty strong numbers from Tex in 2007 and a slow start from him in 2008.

    Salty could have played 1B and Andrus was not due in Atlanta until 2011.

    That said, I think the Angels are the ones now feeling burned in dealing for Tex….

  95. Well, it’s all too late now. As I said before, it was JS’s last year, so I will give him some slack.

  96. Agreed. In fact, I liked the second Teieria deal that Wren pulled off.

    Still, despite the fact that I think Chief and Dan have a point, I am reluctant to see the Braves trade core prospects–unless it really pays. Peavy might (depending upon the actual cost) have been a good example….

  97. Is Chipper Awesome? Of course and yes? What a poll! Especially awesome when he wears a uniform. I voted yes but found of course later. Answers are quite tricky.

    Peavy or whoever. I don’t mind they don’t want to be a brave. It’s up to them. I noticed normally you suthernboys think he will be a brave in the near future, especially he is a local boy or he was a braves fan when he was a child. Frankly speaking, this fact is beneath notice. The wonderful culture of ancient Rome finally went to decay. All roads lead to Rome. Why not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always think that’s the way it goes.

    I spent summer christmas last season. I am dreaming of a white christmas. Unfortunately, 0%.
    Merry Christmas all of you.

  98. Merry Christmas, Braves Journal folk. I Ho! Ho! Hope all your holiday dreams come true. May 2009 become a pretty damn bad-to-first miracle for our Braves.

  99. I know it’s kind of mean (and bad)… but I couldn’t help it:

    ———————————————
    I’m dreaming of a French-less Christmas
    Just like the ones I used to know
    Where the Maddux pitched them,
    or Chipper hit them…
    To hear baseballs and no snow

    I’m dreaming of a French-less Christmas
    With every Fook-y trade I read
    Our outfield and rotation are a mess
    and may all your Christmases be Frenchless

    ——————–

    Here’s hoping he rebounds.

  100. Oh, Eddie… If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.

  101. best line of the movie…

    Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn… the clean, cool chill of the holiday air… an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer…
    Eddie:Shitter was full.

  102. Well done, Charles.

    Happy holidaze to everyone.

    Had to pick a Secret Santa gift for someone in my office, a particularly loud Met fan. So, I went to the book store last night & was confronted with tons of Met books—as a cottage industry, I must say, it just can’t compete with all the Yanks & Sawx stuff.

    Anyway, I couldn’t bring myself to buy one of those goofy “100 Great Moments at Shea!” bathroom books, so I remembered a hysterical thing I read as a kid: Jimmy Breslin’s “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year.”

    It had been out of print, but it’s back on the market. (To me, the ’62 Mets are always worth remembering.) Sure enough, the Miracle Mile’s Barnes & Noble had it.

    So, now the office Braves fan can properly remind the Mets fan of his humble origins. Enjoy, Mr. Met…

  103. The second deal for Tiex. brought us a below average MLB 1B moving into his arbitration (more expensive) years. I am not sure what there is to like about that deal.

    I feel comfortable saying that Casey Kotchman will not be a part of the next good Braves team. At least prospects, or the 2 draft choices we would have gotten when Tiex declined arbitration, might have been a part of the next good Braves team.

  104. sure lets give Tex the long-term security he wants. we can recoup some of the salary by saving on laundry bills because i guarantee he’ll never get his uniform dirty again.

  105. bfan,
    We wouldn’t have offered him arbitration. He’s a Boras client.

    But I still think we could have done better than Kotchman. Wren went looking for deals only where he got a 1B back. He should have been out looking for talent regardless of position. So, yeah. I’m not too fond of that trade either.

  106. Good King Wrenceslas looked out
    On the field of Turner
    Where the chalk was all laid out
    Straight and white and even
    Angry were the fans withal
    Because their fate was cruel
    Peavy, Burnett and Furcal
    Had taken Wren to school.

    “Come on, Wren, get someone good!
    Give them lots of money!
    One screw-up is understood —
    Three of them smells funny.”
    “I know, I tried, and boy, I wish
    The agents had been honest
    I cooked Furcal his favorite dish
    And he told me he promised.”

    “But why not target Lowe?” they said —
    A logical reaction —
    “Other budgets are almost dead,
    So why can’t he gain traction?”
    “Boy, I guess you’re right!” said he,
    “I’ll call up Scott tomorrow!
    He’ll probably ask a stupid fee
    But at least we’ll end our sorrow.”

    A Christmas wish…

  107. Jason – he pretty much HAD to get a 1st baseman in return. We would have had nobody to fill the position for several years – and there obviously aren’t any good ones available outside of Tex (who isn’t coming back). Don’t really see a way around it.

  108. yeah, the Braves biggest problem is that we dont really have any good position players ready. We had to get a 1B in a trade. I dont see how tex would accept arb to stay in ATL for any reason, we would’ve offered it to him

  109. We got both a 1B who I think is actually better than average (given his defense) and in Marek someone who will probably be able to make a contribution as a relief pitcher or swing man. The Braves would not have offered arbitration and so Wren was able to make the best out of a bad situation…

    At least we don’t have to fill 1B–but obviously I wish Kotchman could develop some power….

  110. Sorry guys, I just don’t think the “must have first baseman” was the best strategy. At the time of the trade 2008 was over. We could have finished just as poorly with Thorman manning the cold corner and addressed the position in the offseason when there are more options.

    Imagine if Frank had obtained a good, young OF or pitcher instead? I hope Marek makes the deal look better in a couple of years, but as it stands now, I think Wren could have done better.

  111. Jason–T think that Thorman was off to play for the Canadian team in the Olympics….

    You might be right, but bear in mind one thing–there were not that many potential trading partners for Tex. Sure, it would have been nice to get Conor Jackson, but Arizona didn’t go for it.

    Now, to go back to July, they should have moved Ohman when they could….

  112. The Braves absolutely would’ve offered Teixeira arbitration. It would have been as sure of a thing as Tex declining said arb offer.

    It seems like we would’ve been able to get more for him, but the only other package that I can remember was the Tracy/Owings stinker from Arizona.

    I think that for the purposes of trying to be competitive in 2009 with an eye on 2010/2011, Marek/Kotchman was better than 2 draft picks.

  113. Since the Maddux arbitration situation a few years back, we haven’t offered arb to any Boras client. This list includes Maddux the following year, JD Drew, Gary Sheffield, and Andruw Jones. All were locks to get multiyear deals.

    Now this may have just been a JS policy, but I’m willing to bet Wren would have kept the policy and not offered arb to Tex, even though most here would agree that it’s the smart move.

    Moot point, yes. But Kotchman sucks. Defense or not, he’s below average and will not contribute favorably to a successful Braves team. Maybe he’ll get better. And maybe I’ll win the Powerball.

  114. Yes, well done, AAR (and Happy Hanukkah).

    I get the feeling that any Wren videos could end up like Chevy Chase’s old Gerald Ford bits on SNL—no matter the obstacle, he ends up falling down in spectacular fashion.

  115. Jason – As you said, it’s a moot point, but you’re nuts if you think the Braves would not offer arb to Tex.

    As for your argument, Maddux and Drew (injury history) were not locks for multi-year deals and Sheffield had fired Boras by that offseason. If you don’t agree with that, realize that none were in line for an 8-10 year $200M deal.

    You also fail to consider that the Braves have room in their payroll for another arb year of Teixeira.

  116. Home for the holidays- just had a chat with my neighbor- he’s a vp with the mariners in their scouting dept. Asked what he thought of wren and the mess we’ve been in. His response- “well wren, he’s uh…(he kinda shakes his head and cringes) well he’s not scheurholz.”

    Sigh…. Merry Christmas everyone

  117. Parish, Sheffield had a multiyear agreement IN PLACE with the Yankees and the Braves still didn’t offer arbitration.

    Clarke, you’re not making me feel any more comfortable with Wren.

  118. As we all know, this has been a difficult offseason. Some of us were humiliated, some depressed, some angry and some all of the above. We may not have an ace next year. We may not have a cleanup hitter. Kotchman might suck and Francoeur probably will suck. KJ might continue to be so frustrating we want to smash our collective faces into a wall. Mike Gonzalez and the rest of our “strength”, the bullpen, could get hurt. Jurrjens could take a step back.

    However, if all of the above goes wrong, and even if none of it goes wrong, thank goodness Chipper Jones is an Atlanta Brave.

    When we had Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz, I think we all knew we had something special, but I don’t think any of us were able to fully grasp how special it was. We were spoiled. And we are spoiled with Chipper. Let’s not wait until he’s retired to stop for a moment and appreciate what we have: a BALLPLAYER, in the truest sense of the word. And an all time great one at that.

    The sky could fall, the Earth could open and the oceans could rise, but at the end of the day, every time we go to a game or turn on the tube, we can watch Chipper Jones play baseball for our favorite team. And that’s going to be something we try to pass on to our kids/grandkids, and they won’t quite grasp it, and it will be frustrating. But we’ll know. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Brave.

    Thanks Chipper and thanks Bobby/JS for bringing him in and keeping him here, because he’s one of the few players on the team you can be sure will be a pleasure to watch day in and day out, whether the team sucks or not.

  119. Jason –

    Looking into this offseason, it was much better for Wren to have obtained a 1st baseman than an outfielder or pitcher. Why? Because look at the free-agents. Only 1 good first basemen, and several good outfielders/pitchers. Whether or not things worked out as planned, it was the right thing to do. No descent way to obtain a good first baseman this offseason. By all accounts – it was the right move. I do wish he could have recieved more, but a 1st baseman was a must.

    And the Braves most definately would have offered Tex arbitration. Definately.

  120. Okay, Jason. I see your point. That was a really dumb move with Sheff. Though, I do not think it is a given, the Braves could have made an equally shortsighted, unwise decision regarding Tex.

  121. I wish we had obtained a good baseball player for Tex. I don’t think Casey Kotchman qualifies. This team needs talent, not a bunch of “Boy, I sure hope he’s league average this year!”

  122. My dad’s partner at work is Vernon Wells’s uncle. He’s gotten us good seats for when the Blue Jays come to Disney to play the Braves in the spring. I had a chance to talk to him this spring, we all went out for dinner afterwards, and he said and I quote ” If I had to play somewhere else, It would have to be for Bobby Cox in Atlanta…first class organization” Who knows, maybe we could pry him loose, although it would be nice to get Halladay in that deal too, but I can only imagine what that would cost us….

  123. I almost want the Yanks to get Tex, it’ll make this offseason comical for one team to end up with the 3 best FA’s

  124. Taking Vernon Wells might be part of the cost of getting Holliday. No offense to Wells, but it’s that contract.

  125. Heyman has the Yanks on the verge of signing Tex. Gotta love having more money than everyone on the planet, eh?

  126. If that happens, I hope he gets injured and is out for the year. Not really, but something bad needs to happen to that team.

    I would actually settle for them sucking despite all their aqcuisitions.

  127. So if you consider Burnett, Sabathia, A-Rod, Jeter, Tex – that would exceed the entire Braves payroll for this year (and that is with us getting an increased payroll). OUCH!!

  128. Yankees Sign Mark Teixeira
    By Tim Dierkes [December 23 at 2:26pm CST]
    2:26pm: Buster Olney says they’ve reached an agreement on an eight-year deal worth more than $170MM.

  129. Three weeks ago who would’ve thought the phrase “unfair to Scott Boras” could’ve been said without irony?

    FWIW, I don’t think we WANT Swisher do we? really? Nady I’d take, but Swisher doesn’t seem to be much of an answer (or if he is I don’t know what question was asked).

  130. Maybe the Yankees are trying to sign every single free agent. It may take a few years but I guess they could sign everybody and just declare themselves World Champions when all the other teams have to forfeit due to lack of players.

  131. CharlesP, is Swisher better than all of our outfield options? Yes. Does he cost only 20 Million for the next 3 years? Yes. Based on the above, do we want him? Yes.

    Chill, did you read that in The Onion?

  132. Swisher’s got a lot of upside, Charles. He’s still young, he’s signed to a reasonable deal, he’s versatile, and he was just obtained for peanuts by the Yankees, so I doubt he’d cost too much in the way of prospects. He had a bad year in 2008, but his entire past history indicates he’ll get on base and hit for power. I’d love for the Braves to add him.

  133. I believe I was called crazy earlier this year when I said Tex would get more than Miggy Cabrera.

  134. “The reserve clause is a term formerly employed in North American professional sports contracts. The reserve clause, contained in all standard player contracts, stated that, upon the contract’s expiration the rights to the player were to be retained by the team to which he had been signed. Practically, this meant that although both the player’s obligation to play for the team as well as the team’s obligation to pay the player were terminated, the player was not free to enter into another contract with another team. The player was bound to either a) negotiate a new contract to play another year for the same team or b) ask to be released or traded.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_clause

  135. I hope the Yankees sign Manny too, further mocking the system in which they operate.

    Maybe then, we could have a luxury tax with some teeth. Or will, it take the Yankees signing players just so they can keep them from playing on other teams?

  136. Yes, I visit the bravesjournal. Not everyday but rarely nowadays. And thanks for your concerns, guys even though I don’t check all of poster’s opinions.
    I absolutely prefer a brave, assertive and active one. I hate to say this but 00000000~~~ A stalker, it is unwelcome favor. I am sick of it. I would like to apologise if this story is full of bull. Don’t take my words serious.

  137. As far as the Yankees go, holy f@#$ing s*!t — they’re taking the phrase “buying a championship” to a whole new level. Is Tonya Harding still available to kneecap individuals?

  138. Joel Sherman says the Yankees made this decision with the 2010 season in mind, given the weak free agent market. He says they’ll now attempt to trade one of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Xavier Nady, and Nick Swisher.

    Go get Nady AND Swisher – NOW!

  139. The Gators should be the most revered team in the universe compared to the New York Yankees. I was really wanting Tex to go to the Nationals! Not fair!

    OK, I don’t hate the Yankees. I hate the economics of baseball that a team can spend $430m in, like, two weeks.

  140. Bad as it is—and it is—it still doesn’t guarantee a title. It only guarantees a filled new stadium, lots of new jersey sales & good TV ratings.

  141. Yeah, Rob, I was just funnin’ you, except for the part where I hate the Gators.

    I read either on CNNSI or FSN, i forget which, that the Braves should gladly sign Garrett Anderson. Why?

    You know, if Ted amd Arthur partnered to buy the Braves, they probably still couldn’t corner the market like the Yankees apparently just did.

  142. It only guarantees a filled new stadium, lots of new jersey sales & good TV ratings.

    Which guarantees even more cash to spend…

  143. Any of y’all peeped Club Trillion before? Pretty funny, especially if you start from the beginning. (It’s only been live for about 3 months.)

    It’s written by an Ohio State Basketball walk-on.

  144. Stu,
    They’ll always make money. It’s a function of geography.

    They didn’t win titles with Mussina, Sheffield & Giambi either.

    Or A-Rod for that matter.

  145. Ububba, they aren’t winning titles because they are letting the other teams have players. The Yanks should sign Lowe for their bullpen and Sheets and Penny for their DL.

  146. The Yanks should get an anybody #4/5 starter & return Chamberlain to the bullpen. Then they’ll be really scary in the post-season. Until then, they’re still an expensive soap opera.

  147. I say either Swisher or Nady would be a plus for us.

    Swisher is at least a fair center fielder. That gives you a right handed platoon partner for Schafer. He would also be better than Francoeur in right and about the same against lefties in left as Diaz (more OBP and iso, less BA). Nady could play left or right, also right handed. I think Nady’s 08 (over typical) and Swisher’s 08 (under typical) say that Swisher could be had for a lesser price relative to value (and I think Swisher’s positional advantage equals a slightly less robust offense).

  148. Yes, it’s a function of geography – otherwise known as baseball’s Lucky Sperm Club which includes the Red Sox, Mets and Dodgers as well as the Yankees.

    I’m against socializing any industry, but when the Marlins are spending $20 million and the Yankees $320 million, there’s an obvious problem.

    In the spirit of the age, I think the “less fortunate” owners should vote themselves a windfall with a luxury tax with serious teeth. Add a legitimate allowable floor and the players might buy in, too.

    OT question for ububba: Why do you think St. Johns can’t seem to rebuild their basketball program. You’d think they could recruit a Top 25 team within a 100-mile radius of campus AND they get to play in MSG. I don’t get it …

  149. too funny. lets all start fighting over the yankees scraps. they havent signed any outfielders (yet) so why would they be dumping those guys?……………yanks+Tex………………The Double Douche.

  150. Great idea about the luxury tax. Unfortunately it has been tried, but as long as we have Bud Selig around, no “teeth” will ever be put into it. He is an absolute joke.

  151. @238 – because they have 4 outfielders now. They had originally signed Swisher to take over at 1st base, but now that they have Tex – they have a glut of outfielders. They will get rid of one.

  152. Joshua,
    One more time: Nady is the Yankees rightfielder. He ain’t going anywhere.

    And getting Nick Swisher from the Yanks would be like a Hooverville dweller taking a dime from John D. Rockefeller. He’s alright, for a guy with a super-low BA.

    Re: St. John’s
    St. John’s can’t keep the studs home, for one. (It’s somewhat amusing to see schools like Pitt take on the Johnnies with an entire squad of New Yorkers.) The fact that they’ve had a fair amoung of coaching turnover since Louie left—Roberts is coach #5, I think—hasn’t helped either.

    From what I hear, a big part of their inability to maintain the local talent is the administration’s refusal to deal with the local AAU pipeline, which is a pretty sordid business. The kick-ass local guys are funneled elsewhere…like Pitt & UConn.

    If you’re a Big East player, you get plenty of TV exposure & you get to play at MSG in the conference tournament, something St. John’s doesn’t even get to play in too often anymore.

  153. I believe the CBA says you can only sign 3 Type A free agents away from other teams. That would mean that they now cannot sign Manny. Anyone want to confirm that?

  154. Hankonly – you mention geography and socializing in the same post, as regards baseball economics. I am sure if you think about it baseball does not operate under a free market system. I cannot move my team to New York if I want to, so I ought to have some means to compete with them.

    A salary cap or revenue sharing (luxury tax) is necessary.

  155. @242 – Really, is this true? Only 3 Type A? Surely, the Yanks have exceeded this limit in the past.

    It does call to question the issue of how all of those teams get draft pick compensation.

  156. Wow, Mike. Awesome link. Thanks. I believe it’s been added to the board, but I have never seen the transactions glossary.

    The rule states that if 39-62 players file for free agency, no team may sign more than 3 A or B free agents. It also says that a team may sign as many Type A or B as it has lost if the number exceeds the other rules.

    Do the Yanks get more players if they want because of those caveats?

    I doubt the 2nd one helps (Giambi, Abreu, Pettite), but there were certainly more than 62 players to file.

  157. I’m a Braves fan from just across the GW Bridge in Jersey, and I’ve gotta say Texeira definitely does not strike me as a “New York Guy” or a “Yankee”. Ububba you might be able to back me up…I wouldn’t be surprised if both are big disappointments to Yankee fans.

  158. Right, it doesn’t apply this offseason because more than 63 guys filed.

    ububba,
    You’re obviously much closer to the situation than I am, but it’s worth noting that (a) Swisher’s played more games at RF than at any other position in his career, and (b) he’s way better than you’re allowing for.

  159. Born (1980) in Secaucus (Hudson Co) and raised in North Bergen (Hudson Co) and Ridgefield (Bergen Co). Moved to LA three years ago to chase the dream.

  160. Right. The CBA isn’t completely clear on this, so I guess only Selig knows for sure what is up. Haha.

  161. Mike,
    No, it’s a fact that over 62 have filed for free agency and the Yankees or any other team can sign as many FAs as they want. This was addressed somewhere—either here or at MLBTR—earlier this offseason.

  162. The Yankees are full of losers. The only winners on that team are Jeter, Rivera, Posada plus Pettitte if he decides to return.

  163. I love Chipper. For those who blame Wren for failing to land Peavy, listen to what Chipper has to say:

    “If Jake wanted to play in Atlanta, Jake would be in Atlanta,” third baseman Chipper Jones told Sporting News. “Jake’s in control, was in control of this whole thing, and there was a deal in place and Jake didn’t want to play here. So Jake’s not playing here. Jake wanted to play in Chicago, and they tried to make it work. Chicago couldn’t get rid of salary they needed to get rid of, and the deal fell through. It’s not to say it won’t get done later on, but I guess your job as general manager is to go out and get the best deal possible, and certainly a month ago when he (Towers) was fielding offers from four, five, six teams, the best offer on the table was ours.”

    So, let’s move on and forget about Mr Peavy who does not want to come.

  164. Stu,
    Nick Swisher’s ’08 OPS was Francoeur-like.

    That may have just been a bad year, that may be the beginning of a trend. But no matter how you slice it, I don’t like to have guys on my team get 500 ABs & hit .219.

    Over his career, he’s hit HRs & walked—he’s alright for a guy with a low BA. He can help a team win, but he better bounce back to career levels because he sucked last year.

    Still, when you factor in the inevitable injuries to Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui (or ones to Tex or Nady), the Yanks would do well to keep him. A switch hitter who can play OF, 1B or DH, not bad.

    Wade/oldtimer,
    Let’s hear it for Bergen County, NJ. My girlfriend’s parents live there (in Oakland, NJ), and that’s where I’m headed tomorrow night.

    Re: Tex
    I agree that Tex doesn’t seem like a New York guy, but if he hits, he’ll be fine, IMO.

    With his thirdbaseman, the majority of the team’s circus/asshole factor remains on the other side of the diamond, though. Tex may be cocky & unlikable, but I can’t imagine he’ll ever be as annoying to his teammates as A-Rod.

    Add it up any way you like, it’s going to be a helluva 3-4 in the lineup.

  165. Hey guys and gals, Ill be out of commission until after Christmas. Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and safe travel. Mac, thanks again for another great job this year. You and everyone here make my work life so much more enjoyable than it should be……

  166. Oh, come on, ububba, it’s not fair to even mention Francoeur in the same breath as swisher. Two major things Swisher has that Francoeur: a minor league track record of production and a major league track record of production.

  167. There’s been a crack in the cosmic egg. The Yankees signing Teixera (along with the others) has changed baseball somehow. Not sure how it will end, but I can feel a disturbance in the Force.

    Seriously, I do think Steinbrenner’s sons (Uday and Qusay) have gone too far. Just wish we had a commissioner with a sack.

  168. It wouldn’t have been fair to mention Swisher in the same breath as Francoeur until last year. Hopefully he just had an injury-plagued off-year last year. If he bounces back (like he should), he’ll probably be better than Francoeur, but I don’t think he’ll be much better than league average. If Swisher is the answer to our OF problems we’re in trouble. His best fit is as a 4th outfielder like he’ll probably be in NY.

  169. Nick Swisher is a poor man’s Adam Dunn, and I can live with getting someone who fits that description.

  170. I hate the Yankees as well. But signing Tex doesn’t bother me–in fact, it makes me happy becuase I now doubt that they will win. Tex is a bit like a junior version of A-Rod–a Boras client with great numbers and he has never played for a winner. He now winds up in pinstripes–as so many of us that come to this site predicted.

    Admittedly if the Braves could have signed Tex at this point last year I would have been happy, but everything which has transpired in 2008 makes me believe otherwise. The Braves were right: Tex was not a consistently dominant player (witness how quiet he was during the first 2-3 months of the season) and not worthy of a huge contract.

    The Braves and Angels both traded for Tex to win–but did not succeed. They also offered Tex/Boras significant booty to stay and were spurned. In the long run both organizations will be better not to have overpaid (and be overcommitted) to one of Boras’s best horses.

    I might add that it will be fun to watch the Yankees implode in 2009….

  171. Swisher wasn’t great last year but he still hit almost as many homeruns by himself (24) as the entire Braves’ outfield did combined in 2008. He’d automatically be the Braves’ best outfielder…which is really a sad commentary on the Diaz/Blanco/Francoeur trio of suck.

  172. It was frustrating enough to watch the Yanks get Swisher-because it was a deal thel Braves might have made. It is even worse to realize that chief player the White Sox got was Wilson Betemit. It stings a bit more to hunger after the Yanks’ leavings (f that happens)

    And, as Dan so rightly points out, the very worst would be to open 2009 with our current outfield…

  173. Well, I am not a fan of Swisher or Nady…but seems like they are the best options out there at the moment…

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