Everyone knows this already

Soriano surprises Braves, accepts arbitration  | ajc.com

But it’s the first time I’ve felt sapient enough to put things down, so let’s talk about it.

I’m not quite sure why this happened. Oh, I know why Soriano accepted arbitration — he was looking at making less on a two-year deal than on a one-year arbitration award. I don’t know why that’s the case. I guess that somewhere, somehow, he got a “Not a Closer™” label and thus wasn’t worth Closer™ money and a draft pick, even though he was one of the better relievers in the league last year, and supplanted Gonzalez, who somehow is still a Closer™.

I don’t really expect Soriano to pitch for the Braves this year. I think they’ll work out a deal where he’s traded for a prospect. But that prospect will probably be pretty mediocre.

267 thoughts on “Everyone knows this already”

  1. I don’t know why the Braves would only get a mediocre prospect for a dominant reliever. This isn’t ideal, but it shouldn’t prevent Wren from finishing the rest of his wish list.

  2. I don’t know why the Braves would only get a mediocre prospect for a dominant reliever.

    Soriano now effectively has a no trade clause until June 15 so that doesn’t help. His list of acceptable teams probably doesn’t overlap exactly with the list of teams willing to pay $8 million for a relief pitcher.

  3. We obviously have to move Lowe or Vasquez one way or another… and while we NEED an OF bat, by not having “The Gwinnett Black Hole of Offense” in RF this year we could theoretically get by if we just re-signed LaRoche for 1st and had Diaz/McLouth/Church in the OF until Heyward could supplant one of them right? We wouldn’t be dominating the league, but with our pitching we should still have a pretty good shot… right? How much is this likely to tweak Wren’s ability to do the rest of the things that need to be done this off season?

  4. The Winter Meetings are in Indianapolis this week, about an hour away from my office.
    If anybody has a particular…um, message, for Frank, I could get a few of my boys together and we could go…you know, to try to get a point across.

    Yep, we’re probably gonna go all Hoosier on LaRussa’s ass anyway.

  5. Mac–I hope you are feeling better.

    #3–I would hope that we could sign Cameron and LaRoche and be done for awhile. We would start the season with a stronger team and have some great chips to trade in the summer. Unfortunately, I doubt that the Braves can afford it….

  6. I’m surprised but not really. Surprised that Soriano’s agent couldn’t convince him that greater riches were out there if he remained patient. But in the end the client calls the shots and I guess that Soriano figured he was better off taking what the arbitrator gives him. Given his injury history maybe that was the correct call from his perspective. Maybe multi year deals weren’t out there.

    I agree. We’ll only get a minor prospect for Soriano because everyone will know that a trade is just a straight salary dump.

    Just dreaming, but a back 4 of Moylan, Soriano, Saito and Wagner would be killer. You could use the first 3 to take turns pitching in the high leverage situations and save Wagner to get all the glory for pitching the ninth. The starters would only have to go 6 innings.

    I know I know we have to score some runs too. So, does the old adage ‘you can never have too much pitching’ still apply?

  7. Kevin Lee

    Where are you at? I’m about 3 hours north of Indy, close to South Bend. My wife has family in Indy so we go down there quite a bit.

  8. It’s not so much “too much pitching” that we have… it’s the “too much pitching SALARY” that we have (and not enough hitting yet).

  9. If Bobby uses the bullpen like he did last year we may need Wagner, Saito, Soriano and Moylan. Otherwise the 3 left may end up with about 80 appearances each.

  10. This kinda feels like when Maddux accepted arbitration and we had to trade Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada. I hope this doesn’t cause us to make a bad deal because we didn’t budget for this.

  11. Anybody know what the rules for the 40-man are? Do we have to cut somebody today, or is there a deadline by which we have to get it back down to 40?

  12. Let’s sign Gonzales again and JJ Putz. Could you imagine that bullpen, O’Flaherty, Moylan, Putz, Gonzales, Saito, Soriano, and Moylan? Oh, and I guess Medlan can pitch in the 15 inning of tie games.

    And yes, I’m joking.

  13. JaredL;
    I live in New Castle (Steve Alford) and work in Richmond (Vegas Ferguson).
    I’m requried by local statute to recognize our heroes in any in-state correspondence.

    Re: Soriano
    Of the four mentioned by asol above; Soriano is the one I’d least like to see in a Braves uniform. I think Bobby worked him pretty hard last year.

  14. I agree w/ Kevin re: Soriano in #15. He gave up too many crucial back-breaking type hits last year. I know that a common sabermetric response to a lot of those types of situations is “luck” (ie. regression to the mean – overall numbers are good, so he should be fine), but they happened too many times for me to really feel confident anymore when he comes into a tight situation.
    Really, he could be the most frustrating type of reliever, because there were times he was absolutely untouchable. And then, memories of Ross Gload (& others) come to mind.
    Oh well, Frank knows what he is doing…

  15. It’s just too expensive a bullpen right now, regardless of all other considerations. That would mark a pretty major departure from the past, and it would sting when–somehow–the pen managed to be inferior to those of a few other, more modest teams.

  16. Soriano will be traded. Someone will pay him the $8mil knowing that they dont lose any picks. We may not get anything of much value for him or Lowe, but I got a feeling both will be moved

  17. Let’s just call up Heyward and have him hit like Manny, and inject Chipper with some youthfulness and our offense is fine.

  18. God bless Chipper. Come to think of it, if 2010 is more like 2008 than 2009, it will probably have to be because of divine intervention. 2009 may be his new norm.

  19. We have the technology to bring him back to 2001 form. I also hear Barry Bonds is still available at the league minimum. What is Wren waiting for?

  20. If we can get to the 6th inning with a lead, we are going to win. That is until June when Wagner, Moylan and Soriano are all dead from bleeding out because their arms fall off. Chipper will drown in the blood because his groin will be sore and he wont’ be able to get out of the way, so we will have to get a third baseman.

  21. I doubt Chipper will drown in the blood. Its much more likely that he’ll slip on it, pull his groin, and sprain both thumbs when he breaks his fall.

  22. Off Topic. Why does everybody want Mike Cameron. He strikes out too much and is old. Take a look at Marlon Byrd. He’s what we need. Take time and look at his highlights on mlb.com. I can see him hitting fourth.

  23. I don’t think this Soriano development is a negative for the Braves. There will be a lot of interest in him. Also whoever acquires him doesn’t have to do a multi year deal. Red Sox, Yankees have both been linked to him. Don’t you think he Phillies would love to get him?
    All those on the site that want Swisher, this is your chance.

  24. Law of averages, people. You think we’re going to get him for HoRam as well as pick up two high-slot draft picks when he leaves? Law of averages.

  25. I think the Braves will be able to unload his salary pretty quickly, so in that regard, it’s not a big deal—but I think the value of the 2 picks we would have gotten if he’d declined is greater than the value of the return on him we’ll get now.

    ‘Course, that would mean it was still a good idea to offer him arb in the first place, since some return is better than no return (just letting him walk).

  26. @29 – teams that want to trade for Soriano might have to offer a multi-year deal/extension to Soriano for him to approve a trade. He’s the one holding the cards now.

  27. If we make a bad trade, hopefully it’s getting rid of Soriano.

    And hopefully it works out as well as the Millwood-Estrada swap.

  28. Soriano doesn’t have team by team refusal rights. He can refuse to allow a trade before midseason, or he can provide written approval for the Braves to trade him. If/when he provides approval for a trade, he does not have “no trade to Kansas City” rights. He could then be traded to any team the Braves line up with.

  29. And money notwithstanding, a pitching corps of five of our six current starters backed up with Moylan/Saito/Soriano/Wagner would line up on paper as the best staff of this decade. Not Braves’ staff, just in general.

  30. Looking at the CBA, it’s not clear to me that Soriano has trade protection until he signs a contract. Arbitration is just a step in negotiating the contract. The language seems to require a signed contract, which implies that he might be able to be traded and then undergo arbitration with another team. But, it’s possible that I’m missing something.

    I have no doubt that he will be traded. The question is whether or not he has a say in where he goes. I’ll try to find an answer.

  31. Of the FA relievers, Soriano (who now isn’t one) was:

    1st in K/9
    1st in xFIP
    2nd in fewest HR/9
    2nd in fewest hits allowed/9
    3rd in BB/9

    Based on last year’s performance, it’s hard to say he wasn’t the best available reliever. (He’s ahead of Gonzo in each of those categories).

  32. 37—Yeah, I know KLaw only ranked Gonzo ahead of him on his list because of their respective injury histories and handedness.

    So, nobody knows anything about the 40-man thing?

  33. I think he is “untradeable” until there is a market for relievers and closers established. I think we have have him until January.

  34. This 3-way deal wherein the Yanks woul get Curtis Granderson—why on earth would the D-Backs want to give up Scherzer for Edwin Jackson?

    And my 39 was actually directed at 38. Waldo’s declaration of support for Marlon Byrd had not yet been approved.

  35. I don’t think Wren will have trouble trading Soriano at all. I’m not losing any sleep over this, and I don’t foresee a Millwood/Estrada trade looming.

    Actaully, this may turn out to be a good thing as now we have two fewer draft bonuses to pay for. And the return on Soriano may be greater than the two picks, anyway.

  36. I say we call up Liberty and just ask for a $10MM boost in payroll. C’mon… what’s ten million dollars? :)

  37. Here’s my take/conjecture of where the Braves stand right now.

    A 1B with the offense to play the position is needed. That should be taken care of independent of the Soriano situation. It’ll probably happen in conjunction with a Lowe/Vazquez trade.

    Really the question, at least to me, becomes whether the team is better w/Soriano in the bullpen or a Mike Cameron in the outfield. I don’t think we have room for both. And, while in a perfect world I think I’d rather have Cameron, if we can’t get the trade value of a 1st and a supplemental out of Soriano, I think I’d be okay with holding him and putting a cheaper outfield out there until Heyward is ready.

  38. From Boston Herald in Indianapolis;

    And then there is the bullpen, with holes left behind by Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito. Scott Atchison, signed yesterday, is not a big deal. Even though Rafael Soriano accepted the Braves’ arbitration offer, they could still trade him and there is little doubt the Red Sox would be interested. Late yesterday afternoon, before he accepted arbitration, they expressed “a lot of interest” in Soriano, according to a major-league source.

  39. 37,

    We had a discussion with the help of Craig Calcaterra yesterday. My conclusion is, a player that accepts arbitration is trade-able (if he’s not a 10-and-5) until he signs a deal with his former club. And if they actually go to an arbitration hearing and the players’ salary is determined that way, they’re trade-able no matter what.

    There’s a lot of ambiguity in the CBA language, and this is only one interpretation that makes sense, though I think it makes the most sense.

  40. The Orioles need a closer too. I’d send Soriano for Luke Scott, handedness be damned, and look for a 1B.

  41. The logic of teh sbnation link is sound. He was DFA’d now in order to add Soriano back to the 40 man. The DFA gives the Braves 10 days to attempt to trade him prior to release.

  42. Church has his uses, but he’s more or less the functional definition of “fungible replacement player” at this point, right? Just think of it as “Braves DFA Jeff Francoeur” if it helps.

  43. I do not think we would get the equivalent of two high draft picks for Soriano.

    Now, I am sincerely hoping Gonzo is picked up by one of the 16-30 teams.

  44. DOB confirms…
    @ajcbraves: Ryan Church designated for assignment by Braves to open spot on 40-man for Soriano.

    also
    @mlbbowman: Braves making it known they won’t just give Soriano away.

  45. How did our 40-man get to capacity? When we added the five pitchers I thought we still had a few (three) spots open. Wagner, Saito were added. Who else?

  46. That Yanks/Tigs/D-bags deal is strange:
    (from MLBTR)
    the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D’Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.

  47. Yanks will get Curtis Granderson.

    D-Backs will get Edwin Jackson & Ian Kennedy.

    Tigers will get Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Max Scherzer & Daniel Schlereth.

    Guess Detroit really is shedding salary. I also wonder what this means for Johnny Damon & his chances of re-signing with the Yanks.

  48. Kelly Johnson is still a valuable baseball commodity. He had one bad half. Ryan Church is a fungible platoon OF. KJ hits as well as Church and plays a more valuable defensive position.

  49. The Yankees are giving up Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy for Curtis Granderson? Not bad, even if you do have to platoon the guy. Coke and Kennedy are fringy and Jackson’s nowhere near a sure thing.

    Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth seems like a pretty fair price for Edwin Jackson, too.

    Nice — I love seeing a three-team blockbuster. There just aren’t nearly enough of them that go through.

  50. Really don’t like the DFAing. I worried that something like this was about to happen when I posted my question at 13. Church is useful.

  51. Ryan Church is about as useful as Jeff Francoeur. Would you guys be concerned if they had DFA’d Jeff Francoeur?

  52. Actually I think Arizona did terrible here. The one person I would want in that whole trade is Scherzer.

  53. Ryan Church is more useful than Jeff Francoeur. To this or any team.

    As I said after they DFA’d Barbaro: At least we still have Stephen Marek.

    Dusty,
    Totally agree. See 42.

  54. Church can play a credible CF, is a plus at either corner and doesn’t embarras himself in the batters box. Frenchy looks good in jeans. Advantage, Ryan.

    That said, I’m not losing any sleep over DFA’ing Ryan Church.

  55. They can still trade him, right? If he’s a valuable piece, someone will give up something for him.

  56. Church offered to Bobby a rusty trombone as a retirement gift and that was all she wrote for Church’s tenure in Atlanta.

  57. It will be somewhat harder to trade him under these circumstances than if they’d kept him on the 40-man.

    Of course, I would have liked to have kept Church on the roster all year, though I know that wasn’t going to happen.

  58. I pegged it as our toughest non-conference game before the season started, so I put VU’s chances at less than 50/50. But I do think we’ve got a chance, and Illinois hasn’t been quite as good as I expected them to be. Then again, neither have we.

    I’m encouraged that the good AJ seems to have returned, but our guard play has to improve, and we can’t keep being so careless with the ball.

    My heart says VU by 5, but my head says Illinois by 8.

  59. Are you surprised that there are classes that early? At all? Or that they canceled them?

    Not that it would ever infringe upon an important football game–because Wisconsin sucks at football–but I definitely enjoy the long winter break. I forgot how growing up my school used to start immediately after New Years. Ugh.

  60. Church wasn’t gritty enough. Have y’all already forgotten how many games he MISSED due to INJURY? We only have room for 162 game playing SLUGGERS in our outfield!

  61. @ 85 If the FO think they can trade Church it’s better to DFA him than to DFA someone else and then trade him. The plan was never going to be keeping him. I think the Soriano business is just accelerating the timeline. Of course it may not work because of that timeline – seems to me he’d be easier to trade closer to ST.

  62. Yeah, that’s a good point, Jay; I just seriously doubt that anyone will trade for him within the next 10 days. Hope I’m wrong again.

  63. some things, in hindsight, might have worked out quite nicely for us:
    1. soriano accepts arbitration
    2. curtis granderson is traded to the yankees and in the trade..relief pitching
    3. yankees need a setup man
    4. we need a rh power bat

    soriano for swisher

    i say this deal happens before saturday. surely soriano would accept a deal to set up for rivera, right?

  64. I’ve asked this question multiple times on multiple forums:

    Whom do the Yankees play in right field if they trade Swisher?

  65. Yanks already have 2 setup men, although they say that they (Joba & Hughes) will be starters. (BTW, Hughes’ move to the bullpen last year was a big development for them. He sucked in the post-season, but was terrific down the stretch.)

    Also, the Yanks re-signing Damon is not written in stone. He wants 3 years; Yanks want to give him less. It’s a Boras negotiation.

  66. It wouldn’t make much sense (IMO) for the Yankees to acquire an OF bat only to turn around and trade one away.

  67. More Derek Lowe grumblings on MLBTraderumors, though it’s pretty vague: “Multiple Teams Discussing Derek Lowe.” Better than “No One Discussing Derek Lowe” I guess.

    @66,

    It makes sense that the Braves are telling everyone that we won’t give Soriano away. There’s no point in putting a “free pitcher” sign around his neck and hoping for the best. But I’m sure we’ll take the first decent trade that comes our way.

  68. 107—I wouldn’t get too worked up just yet, Mac; if Gammons was the first to report this, it’s probably wrong.

    108—When? I remember there being some neboulous reports of some whispers that Swisher was being quietly shopped, but did Cashman actually say that Swisher was available? Again, it just makes absolutely no sense for them to deal him right now.

  69. Well, it would make sense if the hitters were at the same position. But they’re not. Granderson was brought in to play center, Swisher plays right, and Melky doesn’t have the bat for a corner.

  70. Right, that’s my point. Nobody among Damon, Matsui, Cabrera, Gardner, Holliday and Bay is credible in RF. And, as you say, I can’t imagine that they intend to play Granderson there.

  71. Matsui’s probably gone & can’t play any outfield postion anymore. Damon can’t even play CF anymore. Neither Holliday nor Bay have ever played RF.

    They’re not dealing Swisher unless they’re getting another RF in another deal.

  72. Bay was pretty good playing in front of the Monster (15 assists last year) and the short field in “Yankee Stadium” would help him there, but again, not in road games. He’d be a real problem in right field in Fenway, for instance.

  73. DOB offers me some encouragement:

    Yankees, Astros and Orioles are among the teams the Braves have talked to about Soriano.

    Meanwhile, the Braves continue talking to teams about Derek Lowe. I get the sense they really believe they can move him without eating much of his contract at all. We’ll see, but it might be possible given the dearth of free-agent pitching (see: Brad Wolf three-year, $30 mill offer).

    I asked Frank, just out of curiosity, whether any of the teams they talked to about Soriano or Lowe might have interest in trading for both of them. He paused a moment and said, “Yes.” Wouldn’t say anything more about which team that might be.

  74. From Bowman just now: Braves GM Frank Wren said Soriano immediately provided clearance to be traded. He added he has already had discussions with multiple teams.

  75. A package deal for Lowe and Soriano should return something of significant value, methinks.

  76. Oh, I think Soriano is worth at least a decent prospect. It’s not like he is without value. Heck, on a 1-year contract, he actually looks more attractive than a lot of guys since there’s no long-term risk. It would’ve been nice to get the draft picks for him, but it’s not impossible that we’ll get a similar return in a trade. He’s a very good reliever, and now teams don’t have to worry about multiple years on him.

  77. this is the only link i can find, but it was leaked for a couple of weeks.

  78. The Yankees didn’t NEED Sabathia AND Beckett. They could have just gotten one. But they got two, because they’re the Yankees and have that luxury. They’re bidding on Holliday and Bay, particularly the latter, and traded for Granderson coming of a World Series victory and a season in which they scored 915 runs, best in the majors. They’re the Yankees, getting more good players on an already great team is what they do.

  79. You guys are all undervaluing Soriano, I think. I suspect he will return more than you think he will return. Certainly better than a salary dump and a C level prospect. You’re also all undervaluing Derek Lowe.

  80. Getting Gammons make the MLB Network a big time deal now. Good for them. I guess ESPN will just replace him with Sammy Sosa or some jack ass former player no one likes.

  81. In Cashman’s mind, they did need those 2 pitchers. They were going to pick up 2 major starters after last season. That was a stated intent the instant that they were eliminated from the post-season in 2008.

    And as it turned out, they probably don’t win the WS without those 2 guys and that’s the only conversation that matters around here.

    The surprise last off-season was that they got Tex. They were done dealing (CC, AJ & Swisher), but Tex/Boras had a bad meeting with Boston & they reached out to Cashman, who went to the brass and basically put his job on the line getting him. They didn’t want to spend any more money, but they had a lucky window. (Remember, Swisher was signed to play some 1B.)

    According to Cashman, they will not overspend in years or money for Damon and/or Matsui this year. Matsui will get a lowball, one-year offer to DH. If he declines, see you later. As for Damon, they want him, but Damon now has less leverage. It’ll be a negotiation, but they don’t have to get him.

    If they were going to spend on more people they didn’t need, they’d just automatically re-sign Matsui & Damon. As it stands, they may not get either. Granderson gives them flexibility in the OF and in the Damon negotiations.

  82. They will bid on Holliday and/or Bay to drive up the price for the Sox and vice versa. It’ll be a deal that if it gets accepted they can tolerate. I do agree that they won’t go particularly hard after either.

  83. now ken rosenthal says ross gload is deciding between us, the phils, and the marlins on a 2 year deal. i hope to god we arent seriously thinking of bringing him to the bench. i mean, what can he do other than mediocre?

  84. Apparently the Marlins turned down a deal of Neftali Feliz and Justin Smoak for Josh Johnson. Really? I really don’t think they plan on having Johnson too much longer. It would be a horrible feeling to see Feliz pitching against the Braves in the coming years.

    Them Fish are idiots if they didn’t jump on that.

  85. @131-

    More of a B-type than a C-type. Soriano is a good reliever, and the Braves should be able to get a good player in return. Someone on the order of Randall Delgado, I would think.

  86. 144 – I have to doubt, and it’s been denied in other reports already, that that offer was ever made.

  87. Joshua-

    why? Feliz’s fastball, while FAST, is straight with little movement (still) and his secondary stuff STILL needs some work.

    Smoak is the one who’s could be a MONSTER hitting behind Hanley and in front of Stanton.

    I know pitching wins…but they Marlins have Morrison (1B) in the minors and could trade him and M. Dominguez for an arm. wow. the Marlins are going to be STACKED and soon.

  88. “the use of recruiting hostesses who have become folk heroes on Tennessee Internet message boards for their ability to help lure top recruits.”

    I like college football a lot, and I try to think of it as professional athletics (because, really, why deceive yourself). Stuff like this is hard to ignore, though. “the use of recruiting hostesses . . .”

  89. Caught a late flick with my wife last night, and right before turning my phone off, I saw Rosenthal’s tweet about our interest in Ross F. Gload (on a 2-year deal!). Terrified, I sat through the movie for two hours, not really wanting to refresh the feed after it was over.

    Much relieved to log on and see that he’d signed with the Phils. That has to make Soriano even more anxious to accept a trade elsewhere.

  90. Smitty,

    We were all going to politely ignore the hostess story. But now that you’ve brought it up …

  91. Jay,

    All schools use hostesses. IF Tennessee paid for them to go to the games, it is a violation. If they went on their own, it is not. I am thinking they probably went on their own.

    For some reason, Tennessee has fallen into Alabama’s world of late. The one where if someone sneezes funny, the NCAA shows up.

  92. Hawpe would be a nice addition. He’s a lefty though, although his contract is cheap and only for 1 year. As a placeholder for Heyward you could do much worse, but it does put another lh in the order. Perhaps at first base primarily and providing some flexibility in OF construction? O’Dowd has mentioned using him there. He’s a bit of a Coors creation, but certainly can hit.

    Here’s a nice article about his value:

    http://www.purplerow.com/2009/11/5/1117777/just-what-is-brad-hawpe-worth

  93. No need to be defensive Smitty, I’m making no claim against UT specifically. I just find the idea of pimping out young women as bait for amateur athletes to be unsavory, and it dampens my enthusiasm for college football.

  94. From DOB:
    @ajcbraves: ‘Stros, O’s and Halos — looks like it will be one of those three trading for Rafael Soriano, unless another team steps up quickly.

  95. as long as the young women are amateurs

    To paraphrase an apocryphal statement, everyone’s a pro – the only debate is over the method of payment.

  96. For some reason, Tennessee has fallen into Alabama’s world of late. The one where if someone sneezes funny, the NCAA shows up.

    Might have something to do with that mouth-running head coach. He sort of brings it on himself, don’t you think?

  97. Speaking of the O’s, remember when Mazzone was heading to Baltimore, it was first suggested that we’d get some form of compensation in return, and folks—myself included, IIRC—were thinking we might get Markakis? Heh.

    (Think we got King Felix’s older brother instead.)

  98. Yeah, plenty of UT fans do, but you shouldn’t be surprised that the NCAA has taken an increased interest in the program. It’s not like anything will ever come of these “investigations,” anyway.

  99. At UGA, our “recruiting hostesses” were called Georgia Girls. Dunno if they still have ’em.

    When I was at school, I became friends with a former Georgia Girl. She’d wised up & entered UGA’s art school. (Pretty sure she was the only gal in UGA history to do that. She went from designer clothes to thrift-store fashion. Very Athens, I gotta say.)

    Anyway, she explained how it worked, how certain girls were assigned certain recruits. Kinda creepy, yes, but as major-college shadiness goes, this is really nothing.

  100. As long as the meetings with hostesses were voluntary and didn’t push the players over the 20 hours of mandatory football time each week, I don’t see what the problem is. There really isn’t anything worse than the players’ concentrating on football more than 20 hours a week. That’s just sick.

  101. If nothing is founded in it or there is only a minor penalty, then Tennessee will come out looking great.

    However, when the NCAA comes along they look at everything. It is kind of bull shit that they are picking on Tennessee because Kiffin calls Urban Meyer out.

  102. Bowman:

    As mentioned last night, there appears to be mutual interest between the Braves and Xavier Nady. If they were able to secure him with a free-agent deal, it appears he would primarily play first base and also spend some time in the outfield.

    Nady’s versatility would allow him to occasionally spell one of the regular outfielders — a group that I would currently project as being Nate McLouth, Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward.

    Martin Prado would be able to play first base during those days when Nady (or another player that possesess similar versatility). While Omar Infante could fill in as the second baseman, there’s also reason to wonder if the Braves will reach a point during this offseason, when they attempt to add another middle infielder.

    This seems like a terrible plan. We need to get another back-up middle infielder because we’re getting rid of KJ and plan to play Prado some at first base? Nady+LaRoche would make a lot of sense—though still not as much sense as Cameron + LaRoche—but just signing Nady and plugging Heyward in RF from the get-go seems pretty weak to me.

    Hopefully, more develops.

  103. Can anyone figure out why there is not more talk of Adrian Gonzalez in a potential trade? Seems to me that he would be a perfect fit for what the Braves need and they have the prospects to trade for him. The downside is that eventually he’ll be a free agent and command a large salary but with Chipper coming off the books in 2 years, maybe less, it seems like they should be able to work something out.

  104. any two of Derosa/Nady/Cameron/Laroche is an upgrade with Heyward waiting. I dont like that we’ve released two players (Barbaro and Church) from our two weakest positions

  105. Well on the plus side, you’d be buying low on Nady, and he may well get back to his 2008 form. Way too risky for my tastes though.

  106. I think Nady would be a fine acquisition. It’s the fact that Bowman’s outlined “plan” seems to entail signing nobody else—except, bizzarely, a back-up middle infielder—in addition to Nady that worries me. Especially after letting go of Church.

  107. Gaz, I think Padres have said Adrian isn’t somebody they’re looking to trade… in a way that I interpreted to be something like them wanting what we gave up for Tex.

    So my question for you virtual Frank Wrens is this. Is it more important to trade Soriano, or is it more important to trade Lowe over Vasquez. So if a deal were in play that meant you could trade Soriano but it would make Lowe harder to move (to somebody else who might want both maybe?)… and more likely to have to move Vasquez… would you do it? Are you better off starting the season with Vasquez AND Soriano (and probably able to move Soriano later), or with Lowe, but no Vasquez or Soriano?

  108. Are you better off starting the season with Vasquez AND Soriano (and probably able to move Soriano later), or with Lowe, but no Vasquez or Soriano?

    Seriously? I don’t think that’s a choice the Braves are facing, but I’d much, much, much rather have Vazquez and Soriano in 2009 + $15 million in 2010 and 2011 than Lowe in 2009-11 + $4 million in 2009.

  109. Stu, I read Bowman’s comments as only regarding the free agent “plan.” I still think they add the big(ger) bat through trade.

  110. My virtual Wren’s idea is to get rid of both (Lowe or Vasquez and Soriano) and have enough money to get two good offensive upgrades

  111. Jay, maybe so, but yesterday (?), DOB (?) reported that Wren thought they were likely to address the offense via free agency and not trades.

  112. Maybe the Lowe trade is a straight salary dump and they want in on Holliday. You drop Lowe and Soriano and you can afford Nady and Holliday.

  113. Hmmm. Didn’t catch that yesterday.

    Did see someone say that Red Sox are less interested in Soriano now, than when he was a potential FA. Does that make any sense?

  114. Reiterated in his newest blog post:

    Haven’t heard any new names of hitters as possible trade pursuits of Braves, and for now the Josh Willingham rumors have cooled. Not surprising, considering Wren told us yesterday that he never thought the Braves would get the hitter they’re pursuing via a trade for either of the pitchers they’re trying to deal.

    I guess that language does leave open the possibility that they could do it in a separate trade, though. The version of that quote which I saw yesterday wasn’t so limited.

    Those Marlon Byrd rumors persist, too. Please, no.

  115. Yeah, I’ve been thinking it would be a Lowe for cash trade, then a prospects for a bat trade. Maybe. Now I’m concerned that Marlon Byrd is a serious part of the plan.

  116. I also don’t like the sound of Nady at 1st. I’m now of the opinion that Chipper should make the move to 1st. A repeat of the way he was playing 3rd last year won’t cut it.
    It seemed that opposing teams were bunting for hits on a regular basis in the late season.

  117. I also don’t like the sound of Nady at 1st. I’m now of the opinion that Chipper should make the move to 1st. A repeat of the way he was playing 3rd last year won’t cut it.
    It seemed that opposing teams were bunting for hits on a regular basis in the late season.
    I really hope that he can come back to play better defense, but I think we’d be better off with Feliz at 3rd and Chipper at 1st.

  118. Randy Wolf might be the living definition of mediocre. In 11 seasons, he has an ERA+ of 103, and he’s only had four seasons of 180 innings or more. He isn’t durable, and except for 2002 and 2009 — when his BABIP was under .260 — he’s league-average at best.

    I’m glad the recession’s over!

  119. @191,

    That’s an interesting idea I hadn’t even considered. Even if the Braves had to eat $5 million a year, that leaves them with $15-20 million to spend, right?

    Landing Nady and DeRosa wouldn’t be the greatest, but I’d take it.

  120. Wow, Andy Pettite will be paid more than Vazquez this year. $11.75 million 1 year deal with the Yanks.

  121. Headed to MSG tonight for the Big East/SEC Challenge.

    UGA/St. John’s, then UConn/Kentucky.

    I’m guessing UConn fans will slightly outnumber the St. John’s folk. I’m also guessing that I’ll be among a dozen or so Dawg people.

  122. DOB tweet:
    @ajcbraves: Told that Rafael Soriano is out of Angels’ price range for the role they want to fill.

    Updated:
    Maybe more importantly
    @ajcbraves: Angels believed to have some interest in Lowe, but he’s not at top of their list.

  123. Another DOB tweet (not braves related, just amused me):
    @ajcbraves: Leyland, asked if Scott Sizemore might hit leadoff . “Only way a Sizemore is going to lead off for us is if we trade for Grady.”

  124. Wish I could get to the Hanson article here at work… blocked.

    So… O’s and Halos out… means we must be trading Soriano, Lowe, and $10M to the Astros for Hunter Pence (no I don’t think that’s an actual possible deal).

  125. Anybody else get the sense that sdp frequently types comments here which are meant for other blogs?

    215—I wondered about Burrell.

  126. Direct link worked Thanks! (the proxy-blocking one didn’t… they block unblocked.org. HA!)

  127. Soriano for Burrell? wouldnt we be better to do a Soriano for prospects and offer Laroche/Derosa/Nady/Cameron that $9 mil that Burrell would get and see who accepts?

  128. 221—Not sure. Burrell would seem like a big risk, but I don’t know what our scouts think about his ability to play the field. The salaries match up, though.

  129. MLBTR:
    The Astros are close to acquiring reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Marlins, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Capozzi notes that the Marlins have been close on other deals that failed to materialize, however. The Astros are also considered a finalist for Rafael Soriano; I imagine they won’t get both.

  130. I don’t think we are going to get a regular off anyone’s roster for Soriano. Probably a C+ or B- prospect.

  131. Yeah, that’s the general wisdom, Smitty, but we also know that the Rays are looking to dump Burrell, and I bet they’d rather do that than give up a solid prospect. If the Braves are interested.

  132. I think Olney was just saying we wanted a solid return and to not pick up the tab for Soriano’s contract, not that we want actual cash.

  133. He is a righty who could stand at first base (58 games in 2000) as well as LF – he’s due 9M this year though. That won’t work.

  134. Soriano for Albert Pujols. We throw in Church too. Win Win. Cards get a CF and a closer, lower the payroll and we get a pretty good right handed 1b.

  135. carlos pena is in the last year of his deal isn’t he? You can’t give up Freeman for one year…

  136. @231,

    I dunno, price seems a little steep considering that Pujols has made errors in the past and failed to hit 50 home runs this year. Maybe Norton instead of Church. :)

  137. Given the choice of being stuck with the salary and the player, I would choose Soriano over Burrell.

  138. 237—I would trust our scouts. I’d rather have 2009 Soriano than 2009 Burrell, easily, but if they thought Burrell’s 2009 was a fluke, I’d be up for it.

  139. 3:23pm: Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports suggests the Rays are the frontrunner for Soriano, assuming they’ll expand their payroll to fit him in.

  140. Millwood to the O’s. Surely Lowe has got to be looking good to somebody who wants to make a run at 2010.

  141. From Stark:

    Soriano deal could get done today, sources say. Rays very interested but balking at $ and player(s)

  142. My expectations for return on Soriano are unbelievably low. Basically, I just hope someone picks up the money.

    But why aren’t the Red Sox in on him?

  143. I’ve been watching Baseball Tonight this week, and it seems like every time they cut to a strikeout montage for the pitcher they’re currently discussing, it includes a healthy amount of clips from the Brave’s first half lineup. I’m also seeing plenty of second half Mets. Needless to say, Jeff Francoeur is pulling double duty.

  144. Wren’ll have to settle for a little less, but I’m glad to see he’s being a hardass and just not giving Soriano away.

  145. @246: Hey, I might not be able to argue that.

    We’ve got some construction going on here in a building and the crews are using elevators to get their materials to the floors. So, they’ve put foam-paneling along the walls of the elevator to prevent damage–there are at least fifteen penises drawn into the foam.

    Higher education, folks.

  146. does anybody else got that feeling that pat burrell is about to be a brave? ugh… i wish it was crawford…

  147. The Tampa Bay website still implies that the Rays are going for a Bradley/ Burrell deal. I would like for us to add KJ and try to pick up a prospect like Desmond Jennings, but I don’t see it.

  148. I’ve been flipping back and forth between ESPN and A Christmas Story on TNT. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to appreciate the dad more.

    Ralphie just put on the pink bunny suit.

  149. That is probably the best Christmas movie ever. Well, that or Die Hard.

    Darren McGavin is perfect as the old man.

  150. Can’t believe UConn could not score the equalizer with those guys surrounding the basket.

    Wall is some kind of player.

  151. Hey Raffy, there’s this thing called free agency where guys like Ed Wade throw tons of money at relief pitchers. You should ask Brandon Lyon – or your agent – about it.

  152. I didn’t grow up with “A Christmas Story,” but I love it. I think my parents thought it was too dark for kids…though I did grow up watching “Christmas Vacation,” which is much darker. Another good one. :)

  153. Just got back from the UK/UConn game at MSG. (There was an opening game, too, but not nearly on the same level.)

    After I get past the idea that I have a hard time rooting for either team—OK, I kinda rooted for Kentucky—I gotta say that it was one of the most exciting college games I’ve seen in a long time. So much juice in that building tonight…

    And the demonstration John Wall put on in the first 4 minutes of the game—12-0 UK, with 6 points, 3 assists & 2 steals—was one of the most electrifying things I’ve ever seen. The place was going nuts.

    If and when Kentucky figures out how to play 40 minutes, they could be a scary, scary team. Of course, they better make it happen this year because next year Wall’s probably gonna be playing for the Nets.

  154. Jesse Chavez is irrelevant. The point was to ditch Soriano’s 2010 salary.

    The lost draft picks would’ve been nice though.

  155. I guess the best thing to say about Chavez is that Bobby can led him pitch in 70 games and play the role of Blaine Boyer.

    The Braves need some middle infielders in their farm system; between losing the chance to acquire one for Soriano and the not getting the draft picks, the Braves have lost two opportunities to improve their organization….

  156. #261–Marek yes, Cofield no–the latter is still growing and developing and has some legitimate upside–especially if he can improve his command….

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