Where Do We Go From Here? 2009: II. Hudson stays, who goes?

Hudson, Braves complete three-year deal | braves.com: News

So, that’s official, though the actual press release is missing from the Braves’ site. Hudson’s deal is for three years, $27 million, which actually frees up some money (compared to his option) in 2010.

The Braves find themselves with six starters. In addition to Hudson, the Braves are certainly going to hang on to Tommy Hanson, and almost as certainly to Jair Jurrjens, though arguably the latter’s trade value will never be higher. That leaves three potential trade candidates in Javier Vazquez, Derek Lowe, and Kenshin Kawakami.

Vazquez, who has one year left on his deal and was spectacular in 2009, certainly has the highest value of the three. If the Braves are looking to add offense via trade, Vazquez would seem to be the one to go. At the same time, trading him would mean losing a veteran pitcher who was also the one real strikeout force on the roster, and turning into a finesse staff again. I think that’s something to avoid, and it’s pretty clear that the Braves would prefer to hang on to him; there have been rumors that they’re trying to negotiate an extension.

The pitcher that the Braves want to trade is Lowe, whose value is hard to calculate. Getting anything of significance back for him would probably require one of two things: either a dumb team that overvalues his fifteen wins and doesn’t pay attention to the 4.67 ERA and 5.1 K/9, or agreeing to take on a bad contract in return for Lowe’s bad contract. Since dumb teams, being dumb, are usually bad, they aren’t likely to want to add a veteran starter. The bad contracts that come to my mind are Maggio Ordonez, who has been mentioned here, and Carlos Lee, who has not. If the Braves aren’t willing to take on a contract like that, any trade of Lowe would likely be a straight salary dump.

Kawakami’s value isn’t as high as Vazquez’s, but his contract is manageable and he pitched a lot better than Lowe did in 2009. I have some trouble valuing him, but I think that a Kawakami trade would probably be for a middle-of-the-road type position player, as he’s a middle-of-the-road type starter. He could bring in a guy who could help but not help a lot. You’d probably be better off trading him for prospects and using the money from his salary on other things.

There’s always the possibility that they don’t trade anyone. You’re going to need more than five starters. You’d be incredibly lucky to need only six. The Braves could stash Lowe or Kawakami in the bullpen, even though they’re the two pitchers with the weakest stuff and who really shouldn’t be in high-leverage situations. The biggest problem with this is money; with that much money spent on pitchers, it would be hard to import offense, or (alternatively) to keep Adam LaRoche at first base.

It’s a lot better to have too many starters than too few, though.

120 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here? 2009: II. Hudson stays, who goes?”

  1. Great article, Mac. KK has his problems, but I really like him and I’d hate to see him go.

    Stat lovers: Is Kawakami’s perceived value equal to or greater than his actual contract?

  2. I threw it out a few days ago, but I’d still probably do Magglio for Lowe if the Tigers would dance. His contract is shorter than Lee’s and Lee’s body type terrifies me as he gets older.

    Also, Ordonez’s deal is a year shorter than Lowe’s and this type of deal would address a position of weakness from a position of strength in a relatively payroll neutral manner. That always struck me as a recipe for good things.

    I’d also be comfortable w/Medlen as a spot starter if needed.

  3. Whenever I read or hear “where do we go from here,” I think of the Alan Parsons Project song “Games People Play.” I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    “Where do we go from here…now that all of the children are growing up…”

  4. Thanks, Stu.

    And agreed, Ethan. I think Medlen is definitely the emergency starter. Or maybe the Braves could go down to Home Depot and see if Chuck James is still around.

  5. Just one person’s perspective.

    A team doesn’t have to be dumb to think that Lowe’s 2009 was an outlier. (higher than usual BAPIP, not so much peripheral slippage as to suggest “done for”). In fact, I have a good explanation for part of that. The blisters wouldn’t let him throw his best stuff. As many years as he has been around, you don’t assume that continuing to be a problem.

    The problem with taking on Lowe is the same 4th year that we all knew was a problem from day one.

  6. The big problem on trading a high priced starter is that only teams wanting to “win now” but which have “pitching holes” are the ones in play as “buyers”. So, I think we have to make 2 deals.

    In first deal we deal Lowe for prospects or surplus of a buyer that might not be exactly what we need (righthanded hitting 1B or left fielder). Then, we do “deal 2” with either something else we already have and/ or part of what we get for Lowe to get what we really need.

  7. 1) It was Lowes that Chucky worked for I believe (that’s not irony, but it’s an amusing coincidence considering the pitcher we all want to unload this year).

    2) DOB is @ajcbraves on twitter now.

    3) I wanted Maggs a couple years ago… now I’m not sure, BUT I think that a swap for Lowe might be workable for us…

  8. Ethan @ 2,

    Although I agree a structure of a deal of Lowe for Magglio could work for us, I do not think the salary problems are roughly equal before year 3.

    My WAG is that if Lowe were a rfree agent this year he could get 3 years 12 million. If Magglio was a free agent, he could get 1 year 8 million, 2nd year at 8 club option with maybe very extreme vesting limits (600 PA’s?) and a 1 million buy out.

    So, by that (quite possibly erroneous) ranking, Magglio is overpaid 10 million next year and an 18 million risk for the next year (as in if he isn’t really good, you would still have to pay him).

    So, Tigers have to give money or other pieces if they want to get Lowe and give Magglio or else we are getting shafted.

    We don’t need him, but if Edwin Jackson could be moved for Sherill, maybe we should send Moylan or O’Flaherty for Jackson and flip Jackson for something.

  9. RobBroad4th at 4,

    I think of “rock on” and that “blue jeaned baby queen, prettiest girl I’ve ever seen”

  10. Once Lackey is off the board, there will still be quite a few “win now” teams who need pitching. I think we should be able to find a partner if we eat $3m per year of his contract as $12m/year is not that unreasonable for Lowe.

    The trouble is if we then have to make a trade for a hitter. From the big league club, I’d presume Prado would be heavily mentioned as a chip, and possibly McLouth too.

  11. Nick C.,

    Interesting that you mentioned Prado. I have been wondering about why the Braves might not tender KJ (they would be out $4 million) and use Prado for a chip. For the Padres, the extra cheaper years of control make a Prado worth more than a KJ. Same for the Marlins, A’s and some other teams.

  12. BTW: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/detroit-tigers_21.html

    Looks like Magg’s contract is $18M in 10, 15M in 11 based on PA and such (so if he’s NOT doing well you’re less likely to have that $15M 11 option guaranteed…) it is a club option AND $3M from each of 10-11 is deferred at 1% interest.

    Though he also has No Trade protection… so… who knows if he’d take the trade.

    Not sure where that leaves us positioned for 1B though… could we afford LaRoche? Who would we use/get if not him?

  13. Mac, are you sure it’s 3 years, $27 million? DOB said it was worth “almost” $9 million per season. I was thinking 3 years, $26 million, with maybe 2010 being the $8-million year. Obviously just speculation.

  14. Who are the “win now clubs” with some willingness to pay something with some need for starting pitching:

    Yankees, BoSox, Twins (?), White Sox, Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Mets, Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants ( maybe don’t need pitching), Rockies.

  15. My guess is that we’ll try to keep our 3 current outfielders (McLouth, Church and Diaz) and add one more player like Swisher or Bay. If Heyward is still progressing and not injured, I bet we’ll look to trade McLouth or Church when Heyward’s called up in June. The other possiblity (if we get a power hitting outfielder) is trading McLouth for a more traditional leadoff hitter.

    I don’t see us trading Moylan under any circumstance. An affordable and reliable workhorse relief pitcher is not worth a great deal in a trade and is extremely valuable to the team. I would also be surprised to see us trade Prado unless it was in a blockbuster type deal that included guys like McLouth and Lowe for 3 or 4 other players.

  16. Keith Law from ESPN Insider:

    “A surplus in the rotation is great, but only if you’re not facing major deficiencies elsewhere, and Atlanta needs help in the lineup and the bullpen. Trading Lowe, who showed major warning signs of a decline in 2009, before he implodes is sound strategy, and enough teams are desperate for durable starters that they should still find multiple takers.”

  17. Really surprising stuff about the UT football players being arrested. Do you think Kiffin will throw the book at them and suspend them for the 1st quarter of the Ole Miss game? The comments below from one of the alleged robbers is amazing.

    “Neither Jackson nor Kiffin would say why he was suspended, but Jackson said after Wednesday afternoon’s practice that losing playing time would discourage him from making poor decisions off the playing field.”

    “It kind of felt like being injured and watching your team play … it kind of had the same feeling, but to know it was my fault, so it kind of feels a little bit worse,” Jackson said. “It’s in the past now, and I’m back to work.”

    I wonder if jail time will discourage him from making poor decisions also.

  18. Wasn’t one of those arrested Vols a kid that Kiffin “stole” from Florida? The one he accused Meyer of cheating to get?

    What a disaster.

  19. DOB and Fox Sports are both saying that the braves have considered trading for Uggla and sticking him in left field. it wouldnt be the worst thing in the world offensively, but man, we would be a bad defensive team…again.

  20. Ed Orgeron said this Monday morning at the Knoxville Quarterback Club:

    “We’re not angels and we’re not going to recruit a bunch of angels.”

    Hello?

  21. No way Uggla could be worse in left than Anderson.

    Here’s a fun note about Kiffin:

    “The even-more-troublesome angle to the Tennessee arrests is that it comes less than a month after rapper Lil Wayne recognized Kiffin in a rap song and Kiffin embraced that recognition.

    This is what the Lil Wayne song “Banned from TV” said:

    Rock my hat to the side like I paint pictures,

    Smoke weed, talk **** like Lane Kiffin.

    This is how Kiffin responded on Twitter:

    A huge shout-out to Lil Wayne for boosting our street cred!

    That Twitter post appeared Oct. 28, a week after Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in New York. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in February.”

  22. Another interesting angle is that this took place at a Pilot gas station. Pilot is owned by Jim Haslam, one of UT’s biggest boosters.

    Also, Edwards was apparently wearing a UT Football sweatshirt during the attempted robbery.

  23. The Braves also have Medlen, and I’d imagine they’re still keen to make him a starter. So they kind of have seven viable starters for 2010.

  24. I keep hearing that the Braves should trade a starting pitcher for a “RH Bat”.

    Where will this RH Bat come from?

    I don’t see too many candidates out there that raise my pulse level. Surely none that could replace the value of a 2009 Javier Vasquez.

  25. Looks like a decent deal for the Braves. The timing of it makes me think Wren has a little flexibility with payroll this year so IF he’s “stuck” with all 6+ starters he won’t be in huge financial trouble, BUT he can/should be able to move one of them and free up that $$ for the bat.

  26. Is Mike Cameron worth a 2 year deal?

    We could move McLouth to left or trade him and improve our outfield defense. The fangraphs article comparing him to Bay was quite interesting.

    The problem with going after Adrian Gonzalez is that Freddie Freeman has little value for them as they have Kyle Blanks, likewise to a certain extent with Votto and Alonso in Cincinnati (although I think it’s definitely worth kicking the tyres on Votto and Cordero for McLouth, Prado and prospects since the Reds are cutting payroll).

  27. That Scott Rolen acquisition looks especially stupid now. Add the Reds to a long list of teams I’m glad I’m not a fan of.

  28. Though MLBTR mentioned Votto as a possible trade option for the Reds, who are looking to cut payroll, when asked about possibly trading Votto the GM said “Oh God no!” (this info was also on MLBTR FWIW).

  29. Stupid Vols.

    Jackson’s charges may be dropped. And yes, Richardson was the player that Kiffin and Meyer got into it about.

    It really is a big blow to the Vols and probably one of the dumbest things I have ever heard players doing. I don’t think Kiffin is to blame for this, yet. How he handles stuff like this will show if he is to blame. Fulmer went light on guys that got arrested (See EDSBS Fulmer Cup) and it really hurt the program.

    However, this is a pretty serious deal and I think Fulmer would even be dismissing at least two of these dumb asses.

    Jackson is the odd case. He comes from a good home and, like I said, his charges may be dropped. At the very least I don’t think he play for the rest of the season.

    He was suspended for the last game, Jimmy Hymes says it was drug related, but Jimmy is out of the loop. Hubbs and guys in the know say it stems from an incident with a bar fight.

    Anyway, sucks for us.

  30. What if we can get Vazquez to take a similar extension as Huddy. If we saved 2.5 million on Javy this year, plus the 3 or 4 million we’re saving on hudson then I think we could afford to eat some of lowe’s salary in a trade. I’d expect that we’d have to eat 5 million per, but I could see us maybe getting away with 3 per. That’s a sizable chunk of added flexibility, we’re looking at 15-18 of freed up salary space, then you’ve got KJ coming off the books, maybe Church and or Diaz as well, plus the additional money we should be able to spend. It looks like we could have upwards of 25-30 million to spend this offseason. This is going to be interesting.

  31. I think a legitimate point to consider is the necessity for us to “go for it” this year.

    Next year is JJ’s and Yunel’s first year of arbitration eligibility and if they are even close to last year’s performance…both will be getting significant raises. Right now, considering their contracts, they are probably the most valuable assets that the team has. We HAVE to take advantage of that in 2010. Any payroll flexibility that we have needs to be utilized…now.

  32. Apparently, the victims were driving a 1998 Hyundai on Cumberland Avenue.

    Does anything say “starving student” like a 1998 Hyundai on Cumberland Avenue?

    I wonder if you can plead “Terminal Dumbass” in Tennessee?

  33. Prado is at a very high trade value now if he is packaged properly. Say, as sweetner in a Lowe salary dump. Not a huge gamble for Wren to believe KJ bounces back or Infante can be average.

    Part of me says keep Javy. Just a dominant season for him. The other part of me says that this is probably the first year that the results have coincided with his obvious ability and a return to just innings eating averageness isn’t out of the question. So get something for him while his value is so high. But the question is who? Mikemc says it best. No one out there seems to meet the criteria.

  34. Hey, it turned out that one of the players Saban inherited at Alabama was a major drug dealer, and another pulled a stickup job. I don’t think I’m in any position to throw stones here.

    If you’re willing to pursue a lefthanded bat, Curtis Granderson is available. He really needs to be platooned, but Bobby probably wouldn’t.

  35. Earlier today somewhere I picked up on Rays and Cubs still talking Burrell for Bradley. Apparently, Cubs were offering to pay around 10 mill in difference and the Rays were holding out for 12 or 13.

    So, Vazquez and Lowe and Diaz for Derrek Lee and Milton Bradley and Vitters and 10 million. Diaz projects better than Burrell for the Cubs, Vazquez offers good equal theoretical value for Lee, and Lowe covers a hole they would have had to get an FA for.

    HMM???

  36. How many times does Milton Bradley have to prove that he ruins a good team before people stop signing him?

  37. There’s no way the Braves should trade for Milton Bradley.

    I’m of the opinion that Lowe is a fine candidate for a bounce-back, so if you can’t get a good deal for him, there’s no need to move him. If you want, you can push Hanson to the ‘pen for the first couple months or until someone gets hurt. There’s not a ton of depth behind Medlen if you deal away a starter, so I don’t think the Braves should feel forced to make that move. If you can get Maggs for Lowe, I guess that’s an okay deal. But don’t feel like you need to dump him.

    On the FA side, Cameron would be a great signing.

  38. Except for one year, Granderson has always had trouble with LHP. But he had really slaughtered RHP.

    He was pretty good vs RHP last year, but he was back in the dumper with LHP. Also, in three years, his overall OPS has gone from 913 to 858 to 780. He’s only 28.

  39. And now ladies and germs, news of the surreal:

    David O’Brien

    November 12th, 2009
    9:26 am

    Don’t dismiss that Uggla-to-left-field rumor. It’s a legit possibility.

    And I’m not sure who the Marlins would want back, but could include Kelly Johnson. I say that because Fredi always liked the guy. Kelly also has a .319 average and .975 OPS in 30 games at the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie (and Pro Player … and Dolphin … )

    I think I’m gonna laugh my ass off if this comes to fruition. Honestly, I was completely kidding about all the Dan Uggla trash I dumped on the gullible.

    P.S. with Uggla, the Braves will closely resemble a beer league softball team more than anything else, which is exactly the way Bobby Cox likes it.

  40. I think I’ve learned a lesson that if you throw stones at other programs for having convicts on their teams, you better be prepared when it comes your way. All schools with football teams have discipline issues. It’s hard not to with high testosterone 18 to 22 year old athletes.

    It’s interesting to me how the coaches handle things. We’ll see how Kiffin does on the discipline side, but so far he and his coaching staff have done a terrible job with PR.

    At Alabama Shula tried to treat the players like the pros and it was a horrible mistake. Saban inherited some bad apples when he was first hired on and I didn’t fully understand his disciplinary philosophy when things happened. The only major problem I’m aware of with a Saban recruit is when Jeremy Elder got arrested. To his credit Saban kicked him off the team immediately.

  41. Hell, might as well see if we can trade for the Big Donkey (Adam Dunn) to play first base.

    Can you imagine it? Great pitching, no defense at all, tons of home runs and no running game to speak of….what a riot! Bring your own beer and pretzels.

  42. 1.) Make a suggestion that seems rational, but become unruly and defense when challenged with an equally rational counter argument against said suggestion.

    2.) Once information backing your initial suggestion gets published by a legitimate source, present it to the group while simultaneously dismissing your initial suggestion as a joke. This allows for gloating if the suggestion comes to fruition, and for a defense against the group should it not come to pass.

    3.)???

    4.) Profit!

  43. Uggla would not be a good addition. As a LF or anything. He’ll cost too much (in terms of money and talent) for the modest improvement he would bring.

  44. In response to Mac’s comment that you’re going to need more than 5 starters, here are the only teams in the last 100 years that didn’t use more than 5 starters:

    1966 Dodgers
    2003 Mariners

  45. Yeah, every team needs more than 5 starters, but I doubt this one needs more than 5 (or 6) average-or-better starters. I’m OK with James Parr or Todd Redmond getting the occasional super-emergency start if it means picking up a real bat at 1B or corner OF.

  46. Uggla wouldnt be a bad pick up. We know he can play 2nd, and that would allow a Prado /KJ trade. The guy hits a ton of homers and is a gamer. Anyone know if he can play 1st or 3rd?

  47. Uggla just seems like he’s in the wrong league.

    I wouldn’t imagine that Uggla, as mentioned, would be a whole lot worse than Garret Anderson (or Johnny Damon) in LF.

    But every time I think about throwing a non-OF out there, I get flashbacks of Daniel Murphy and Todd Hundley. Those experiments didn’t last too long.

    If you don’t think it can be worse… well, it always can be.

  48. 54, YES I AM, Ain’t it fun?

    but no, Nobody will take Luis Durango seriously except for myself. Well you know what? He’s what Chone Figgins was eight years ago.

    Remember Kirema Bartee? me neither. He’s the garbage the Angels dumped on the Rockies for Figgins straight up back in 2002. Now look at Figgins, he’s one of the best lead off hitters in the game.

  49. That was more the case for Uggla this past year, but not really for his entire career:

    Home: 1,344 PA, 64 HRs, 6 3Bs, 60 2Bs (261/356/490)

    Away: 1,354 PA, 57 HRs, 6 3Bs, 79 2Bs (254/332/475)

    But if you look at the home/away and LHP/RHP splits from the last few years, they can be really weird in their extremes.

    Eg.—In ’07, he had a 788 OPS at home, but 960 on the road. For his career, he hits RHP way better than LHP (263/347/500 vs. 241/336/425).

    Guess he can’t be counted on to be any kinda lefty masher.

  50. I have decided to throw my full (meaningless) support behind the Mike Cameron idea. He’d be a great fit and wouldn’t require prospects or a long-term commitment to obtain. Assuming we can shed salary from the starting rotation, we ought to still have enough money and/or trade chips to go after a good first baseman, too.

  51. 54, YES I AM, Ain’t it fun?

    Actually, no. Here’s a list of things that qualify as fun, pace Stiv Bators:

      * When you’re always on the run
      * When your friends despise what you’ve become
      * When you know that you’re gonna die young

      * When you’re taking care of number one
      * When you feel like you just gotta get a gun
      * When you just can’t seem to find your tongue cause you stuck it to deep into something that really stung

      * When she splits and leaves you on the run
      * When you’ve broken up every band that you’ve ever begun
      * When you know that you’re gonna die young

    I don’t see where being annoying fits on this list, Coach. Do you?

  52. per DOB, congrats are in order for Bmac

    There’s an embargo on the release until 7:05 p.m, which I didn’t see when I briefly posted that list while ago. But now that they’ve already revealed McCann as the NL Silver Slugger catcher on the MLB network show, you all know anyway. Or those watching the show know. And I’m one of them

  53. “[Jurrjens] and Tommy are just two of the best young pitchers that I’ve seen in a long time,” Hudson said. “I had a chance to play on a real good staff in Oakland and I’m willing to say that this is the best staff that I’ve been on in my big league career.”

    That’s saying a lot. I really loved watching Hudson, Mulder, and Zito pitch with the A’s. The stadium wasn’t that great and Oakland is…well, Oakland…but they reminded me of our Big 3.

  54. I don’t think it will happen, and I’m not advocating it, but we could do a lot worse than trading for Uggla. I know his defense would be a problem in left, but I think he would be an upgrade both offensively and defensively over G. Anderson. Swisher would blow him away defensively, but the career numbers for Swisher and Uggla are pretty darn close.

    Swisher .245 .357 .460 .818
    Uggla .257 .344 .482 .826

  55. They say hind sight is 50-50 but in my case I have to say, Frank Wren missed the boat…again.

    Brad Lidge just had elbow surgery and now we know why he struggled all season. We also know that the Braves won’t be bringing back both Soriano and Gonzo.

    The Phillies outfield is stacked. And yet they have a young slugging outfielder in Michael Taylor who would already be in the big leagues except for being buried in the Phillies depth charts.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/48589117.html?cmpid=15585797

    Atlanta could have easily swapped Soriano for the young slugging outfielder because the Phillies desperately needed to shore up their bullpen back in July, but no, Frank Wren just didn’t have the imagination to think outside the box right before the trading deadline.

    Why am I bringing this up now? because yours truly was wanting it to happen…..back in July and I’m an idiot. Which makes Frank Wren a total jackass.

  56. Did you see his .295/.334/.460 line last year, along with increasingly looking like his knees are giving up?

    Plus he only played 100 games.

  57. Tom,

    Vlad is no more than a DH now. And his hitting drop off suggests he may not be able to carry that.

    Absolutely no NL team should take him. AL he would be a platoon DH and emergency outfielder.

  58. Is anyone worried that moving Lowe one year removed from signing him makes us look less ideal to other free agents?

  59. Yes, clarke, but I don’t know whether that’s worse than keeping him and either trading Vazquez or having no payroll room to add a bat.

  60. I mean I want to unload Lowe, don’t get me wrong. I am just not sure what message it sends to possible FA’s. I realize this is a nomadic league, but I imagine stability (along with the money) is why players sign long term deals. It’d be great to get a bat for him though.

    Luke is good- saw him a few weeks ago at my wedding- he passed the bar in alabama and is working for the state supreme court there. hopefully once i get settled in to this lawyering thing as well i can head that way and see him.

  61. What free agents think is the last thing the Braves should be worried about. If we can trade Lowe then we should do so.

    Besides Lowe is going to make 45 MILLION dollars no matter where he plays.

  62. It was just something I was thinking about- I seriously doubt one trade would alter a FA’s perception, but if it happened often, I imagine it would then.

  63. I dont think so. You were right when you said its become a nomadic league. If Lowe had put up Vazquez type numbers, no one would be bitching about his $15 mil a year deal.

  64. Where can I start with this one? Isn’t hindsight 20//20? And you’re completely right, why shouldn’t we have traded one of the few actually dependable relievers in the bullpen for a prospect that the writer (who you linked to) deemed untouchable? We could have totally got him for a half-year of Soriano.

    Let’s say that this trade actually happens, in some reality that you inhabit. Then if Mike Gonzalez gets injured, or the first time he blows a save, you’ll probably be all up in arms about how we shouldn’t have traded away our best reliever. If Soriano re-signs with Philly at the end of the season, you’ll be the first to lament how completely wrong Frank Wren was (not you, of course, just Frank) for trading him to a division rival, and how now we have to go to Free Agency to shore up our undermanned ‘pen.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Don’t use it to try to show how smart you are, because I guarantee you that nobody on this site cares about your intelligence level (or that most have actually determined it for themselves).

  65. ignore his post

    here we go…per mlbtr

    Former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden is on Twitter, and last night he floated a couple of Dodgers rumors. Bowden wrote that the Dodgers are talking with the Braves about pitcher Javier Vazquez and with the Mets about second baseman Luis Castillo.

    Vazquez would be an excellent addition to the front of the Dodgers’ rotation, and he won’t break the bank at $11.5MM in 2010. However, his no-trade clause specifically allows him to block trades to AL and NL West clubs. Plus, do the Dodgers have the trade chips the Braves crave?

  66. Csg,

    I probably should, but I get the feeling that he isn’t the type of guy that is going to shut up until someone gives him stark evidence that he’s wrong. I think somebody should start a ‘Coach suggested this players’ list and evaluate his performance over the next year.

    Here are his suggestions for trade candidates-

    Luis Durango
    Dan Uggla
    Nelson Cruz

    Who else, Coach?

  67. Dude, no way the Phillies would’ve traded Michael Taylor for 2 months of Rafael Soriano. That’s just silly. He was their #2 prospect going into the year and after the emergence of Brown, he’s their #3 prospect. They’re not the Mets, they’re not stupid, they’re not trading a B+ prospect for 2 months of a reliever. They wouldn’t include Taylor in a deal for ROY HALLADAY, they’re sure as hell not going to trade him for Rafael Soriano.

  68. @87 page down. I know I’m guilty of reading the crap thrown out there. Again, strangely attracted to the inane. But why bother responding?

    Who knows maybe JC will figure out he is some political science major from Minnesota that likes to be a gadfly.

  69. If we’re interested in upgrading the offense, and willing to trade a pitcher to do it, why not take a flyer, and see if the Padres would be interested in moving Adrian Gonzalez for a package beginning with JJ? I’d love to see Gonzalez at first for the Braves, and any package to San Diego for Gonzalez would have to include some low cost, quality players such as JJ.

  70. Bmac,

    I think that we all know that acquiring a player such as Adrian Gonzalez would instantly make this a top-flight team, but I still question the necessity of the move. Take a look at it this way- if the 2009 season had started with an outfield consisting of Anderson, McLouth, and Diaz instead of Anderson, Schafer, and Francoeur; and our first baseman was LaRoche and our second baseman Prado, would we have won the Wild Card? I really do think that we would have. Other than the Bullpen, the team that we have going into 2010 (if we just re-sign LaRoche and put Church in left) is still of a high caliber than the squad that we begun 2009 with. I think that we can expect a bounce back season from Chipper and maybe a bit of regression from our starting rotation (which is bolstered by Hudson).

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have Holliday on and Lowe off this team, but I think that our current squad can still hang with them next year.

  71. I would be fine with trading Jurrjens for a top-teir, young, cost-controlled bat. Gonzalez fits the bill. Prince Fielder would be another interesting place to look.

  72. I don’t really expect the Braves to hang on to Church. We can only have so many injury prone hitters in our lineup.

  73. @95,

    I feel like Fielder is the face of the team and I’d be surprised if they even listened to offers for him. Have they shown any willingness to move him?

  74. @95

    We have JJ cost controlled for 4 more years

    Adrian Gonzalez would be for 2. Is he really that much better than JJ? Or a better question would be, is the difference between Adrian Gonzalez vs his potential replacement that much more than JJ vs KK or Lowe?

    Really, you would need to who the feasible alternative to Adrian is to be able to judge a potential trade like this.

  75. Ethan, you beat me to it.

    LaRoche is a free agent – meaning, of course, that all it would cost us is money.

    If we’re gonna trade a starter, at least have it be for an area we can’t address through free agency.

    Me? I’m ready to go to war with:

    McLouth
    Prado
    Chipper
    McCann
    Yunel
    Diaz
    LaRoche
    Church / Infante (until Heyward is ready)

    Six studly starters (I am a wordsmith, am I not?) is a nice hand to hold.

    I’d listen, but we have what everyone wants.

  76. If the Braves want to win a championship in 2010, the answer to the thread title is easy: Lowe should go. Trade Lowe for peanuts to the Yankees or some such team then use the money saved from his salary and from the departure of Anderson, Norton, Soriano, and presumably KJ and Church to re-sign Laroche and Gonzalez and possibly extend Vasquez.

  77. hankonly,

    Except, really McLouth and Prado are among the worst obp’s on the club.

    What about
    lefty righty
    Yunel / Yunel
    Chip / Chip
    Diaz / LaRoche
    LaRoche / McCann
    Ross / Prado
    McLouth / McLouth
    Infante / Diaz
    Prado / Church

    Not a true platoon with McCann, but when it looks like he needs to sit, work it in against a lefty.

    This gives you your 2 400 obp guys first, gets Chip 20 potential PA’s more than hitting 3rd, no LOOGY /ROOGY disasters, and lets McLouth run in front of the singles / doubles hitters (instead of sitting on first to protect the precious “hole” or to not take a chance at an out in front of the “boppers”).

  78. I like Hank’s Infante /Church platoon. We don’t need to put an outfielder in front of Heyward. Odds are by June 10, either Heyward is ready or possibly Schafer is ready. So, an injury to an outfielder early can be covered by keeping Church (he is good in irght and adequate in center). If further injuries or struggles, then you have first Heyward, or Schafer if the hole is in center.

  79. IF the “Lackey market” comes close to “Burnett money” (18 a year for 5 years) then Lowe at 15 for 3 won’t look bad. I think Lowe can be moved as an asset to the recipient at about 9 million subsidy (cash or player value or taking back bad contract). I mean, have you looked at other potential “second best” pitchers?

  80. Apparently I’m the only one who watched game four of the World Series.

    At any rate, trading Vazquez for Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek and one or two more Philly prospects is something I would do in a damn heart beat, and I wouldn’t even think twice about it.

    Of course I can’t wait for the keyboard cammando’s stupid rebuttal. You know who you are.

  81. Just a thought: maybe if college players were paid their fair share of the proceeds generated from the massively profitable endeavor in which they engage, they wouldn’t hvae to resort to sticking up gas stations and selling drugs.

  82. Mr.Swings,

    I don’t really know. It seems like if you’re the type of person who sticks up gas stations and sells drugs, payment from a college for your athletic services isn’t something that would change your view. But on the other hand, being a college student, I couldn’t imagine holding down a job to pay for tuition, playing in a Divison I program, and graduation from school with a degree. I can barely keep a job down and get good grades.

  83. @108

    I’ve been on college scholarship for athletics. The school pays for everything, I got such an unbelievable amount of clothes I used trade extras for hookups at bars (take that NCAA!)

    Would it have been nice to be paid? Yeah. But, if you’re smart with per diems and allowances etc., you don’t need anything else to make it through school.

  84. Greetings from Miami…

    And if you’re really good at playing a major sport at a Division 1 school, there’re these things that the alums dole out called “happy handshakes.”

    Some schools employ a “bagman” (i.e.–assistant coach or recruiter), some just put the cash in Fed Ex pouches. Some schools buy cars for the players or houses for the parents.

    Believe me, for major programs, there’s more extra money out there than you’ll ever imagine.

  85. Bowman mentioned a Vazquez for Corey Hart deal on the main site. That idea is almost as good as Stu’s KJ for Pujols proposition.

  86. “Keyboard Commando”?

    Strong words coming from one who probably has not coached anything more than a little league team (reasoning: because if he had, we probably would have heard about it by now…). Shoot, for a man who remembers the 1991 season, you don’t really act mature for your age.

  87. Ethan,

    There definitely are athletes that receive numerous perks from the job, but I was talking about a different sort. For example, there is a Junior in my Cell Bio class here at BYU who is currently married with a pregnant wife, and is a walk-on for the football team this year. He and I are pretty good friends, and he tells me that apart from travel expenses during the away games, a dinner here and there, and free tutoring, there really isn’t much in the way of handouts from the university (especially so after the fiascos that were the theme of the Crowton years). For him, its hard to keep up with the life that he choose.

    But on a different note, being an athlete on scholarship gotta be awesome. You got any good stories?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.