Blech

Braves trade reliever Soriano to Rays | MLB.com: News

All they will get back is Jesse Chavez, a 25-year-old pitcher who, from what I can tell, has nothing going for him. I assume he throws hard, but his strikeout rates in the minors are pedestrian and in the majors are poor, and his ERAs in both are in the fours. It’s a lot less than a draft pick, that’s for sure. I never thought that the Braves would get much for Soriano, but I’m disappointed.

209 thoughts on “Blech”

  1. Chavez is certainly worth less than a draft pick….I find it difficult to believe that Wren could not have obtained at least a minor prospect….

    If the idea was to get several clubs interested in Sori, to drive up the price, then I would have hated to see the alternatives….

  2. Not exactly exciting, and certainly not a draft pick… but, trying to look on the bright side, his first half numbers weren’t bad. Pre-All Star he was in 42 games and had an era of 3.19 with a BAA of .243… it was that almost 5 ERA of Post-All Star that makes him less promising…

    Now to focus on moving Lowe… and getting a bat or two.

  3. oh and THIS would suck:

    MLBTR:

    6:01am: Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News spoke to a source who said “Don’t rule out them including Cole Hamels” in a potential Halladay deal. I’m not sure it’s wise for Philly to sell low on Hamels for only one year of Halladay, but that would be something.

    4:47am: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Angels and Phillies have emerged as the frontrunners in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Philadelphia is prepared to offer a package that will likely include J.A. Happ, plus either Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown. Echoing a report from yesterday, Rosenthal says the Angels offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays.

    Series against the Phils are bad enough, but add Halladay into the mix?

  4. Those month-by-month components make him look lucky to me.

    I wanted what I call a lottery ticket — a live arm from the lower reaches of the system. I figured that was what the Braves were holding out for. Certainly, they weren’t holding out for Jesse Chavez. The only thing that makes him remotely attractive is that the Pirates organization is so bad that he might respond to real coaching, but at 25 I doubt that.

  5. I would consider Chavez a C+ prospect or worse. It’s definitely disappointing, especially considering we are low on middle infielders and outfielders in our farm system.

  6. I consider the deal a success b/c it was unrealistic to expect much in return for Soriano and what will be a salary of $8m or so. Chavez is just a guy–he may get mop up duty a la Carlyle or he may not even make the team–but the Braves apparently are not on the hook for any of Soriano’s salary. That’s the key. It’s too bad that Soriano’s situation left him the option of accepting arbitration and resulted in the Braves getting no draft choices, but it was a calculated gamble by Wren that ultimately didn’t hurt the team.

  7. 25 year old junk. They better use the money they saved and sign somebody good, and I am not confident of that happening.

  8. Kudos to Soriano for working the system. Kudos to Wren for getting anything for him. Sure no draft picks but had they not offered arbitration the Braves would have gotten nothing. The only casualty here is Ryan Church.

  9. The Halladay thing is problematic. You don’t want him going to the Phils for obvious reasons. But you don’t want him going to the Angels either, because that’s the best landing spot for Lowe and I doubt Wren is going to deal Lowe inside the division.

  10. What was wrong with going to arbitration and converting him back to starting in spring training? If it doesn’t work, then you do a minor deal like this. This is a stunning lack of imagination.

    What was the hurry?

    Frank Wren is an idiot.

  11. RE: Soriano for Chavez, it’s a little disappointing, but in the end it’s more than you would get if you didn’t offer arb. You wish Sori had found a deal where he could have refused arb and gotten you draft picks, but he made his decision and Wren turned it into what he could.

    If you look at the deal as Ryan Church’s release for Jesse Chavez, it’s not very uplifting. If you look at is as Horacio Ramirez for two years of Soriano + Chavez, it’s better.

  12. Jesus Christ. Frank Wren has made brilliant deals, backed up by solid, fundamentally sound deals, more or less from the start, and you throw out the “idiot” thing because he only got a fringe releiver for a guy that he wanted to let walk entirely?

    Grow up.

  13. Why wouldn’t the acquiring team give something roughly equivalent to draft pick compensation? That is, if the salary in arb is approximately a fair one year price (which I know is a potential problem to determine) and if you need a reliever and don’t want the risk of injury in a longer contract, then you probably get a late 1 early 2 and supplemental pick at the end of this year.

  14. While the return was less than ideal, this still shows offering arb wasn’t a mistake. As mentioned we get nothing if we let him go without offering so Chavez at least is something.

    I’m not sure the big loser in this whole thing isn’t Soriano. Seeing 2 years $7.5 million for Hawkins and 3 years $15 million for Lyon, I think his agent really didn’t understand the market and while Tampa is not a bad place to be dealt to, part of the appeal of Free Agency is you get to choose where you go as opposed to letting the Braves choose for you.

    That said I could see the two sides coming together on a 2 year $12 million deal to make it cheaper for Tampa this year and give Sori more guaranteed money.

  15. Mike Jacobs was released. As the righthanded half of a 1B platoon, he’d be interesting, but I wouldn’t trust Bobby to sit a VETERAN against righthanders.

  16. who cares, it basically like us not offering Soriano arbitration. Which is apparently what we should have done. Its still much needed salary relief

  17. I guess Mac was right about the mediocre prospect (or non-prospect even). The important thing is the Braves won’t be limited by Soriano’s salary as they move on to fixing the offense. I hope Soriano has fun finishing 3rd in the AL East.

  18. Also @ 11: “What was the hurry?”

    The hurry was to move parts that you didn’t plan for that were confining your plans to build out the offense.

  19. Osuna isn’t close to ready yet. The Royals, being the Royals, might be able to carry him on the roster all year, though. I wasn’t too happy when the Braves exposed him.

  20. Wouldn’t/shouldn’t Church have been non-tendered even without the Soriano arb acceptance? I think so. I think he’s decent role player but not one (esp with his balky back) to tie up $3m.

  21. @14,

    The reason is obvious. Why would you give up anything of value when you know the Braves have to trade Soriano? The Braves had no leverage. Wren’s talk about not giving him away was just propaganda–they had to take whatever someone was willing to give.

    As for converting him to a starter, why would you do that? First, the Braves really don’t need any more starters, and second, it’s not something you can do overnight. And, as Sam says, if you keep him until spring training, it limits what else you can do.

    Soriano basically played the system and won.

  22. If you followed the tweets about the Soriano trade market, apparently many teams wanted the Braves to pay part of his salary as well. At least that was my reading. Which seems ridiculous, but it’s MLB and Joel Piniero is about to make Derek Lowe money real soon.

  23. “Soriano basically played the system and won.”

    dont really think he won. As said earlier, I think he’s the loser here. His agent didnt read the market right. Lyon and Hawkins have already gotten multi yr deals. Im sure Soriano couldve also and couldve also picked where he wanted to pitch

  24. Soriano played the system, but nobody but the Rays won. They got a good reliever and gave up junk and lost no picks.

  25. Soriano’s agent sucks. Losing those picks is bullshit, but you gotta play the hand you’re dealt. The Braves were foremost concerned with dumping the salary and Chavez could turn into a serviceable major-league reliever. Turn the page and close the book.

  26. 9—The only casualty here is Ryan Church.

    I hated to see Church cut loose, but he was going to be non-tendered, anyway, so the Soriano thing didn’t really affect the Braves’ plans w/r/t him.

    11—Not a strong post.

    17—Mac, Jacobs is a lefty.

    Losing Osuna stinks.

  27. The real mistake here is signing Billy Wagner before you knew whether or not Soriano was accepting arbitration. Cripples any leverage you might have had. Should have waited on Wagner. No one was giving him that deal this early anyway. Then, even if you still want Wagner, the other team doesn’t know you’re backed into a corner.

    Overall, I like Frank Wren as a GM, especially considering how close Dayton Moore was to the job. But while he seems a generally smart guy, I think we’ve seen enough to say that he’s got an issue with overplaying his hand. It hasn’t seriously hurt the team yet, but definitely seems something to keep an eye on.

  28. I didn’t understand protecting Ortegano over Osuna. I may be wrong but it seems most had Osuna rated higher. I actually saw Ortegano pitch this year and was very unimpressed. And of course the Royals got him and should be able to keep him with the club all year.

  29. I’m feeling kinda Ehhhh about the whole Soriano deal. We didn’t get anything decent it seems, but it didn’t cost us anything decent either. It’s what Wren does with the Lowe/Vazquez + Soriano’s salary to shore up the offense that will make or break this offseason. So until then I’ll withhold comment.

  30. according to dob, the braves see chavez as something more than he’s shown

    “Better than he’s shown” is always bullet one on the talking points.

  31. @37: Talking points or no, I have confidence in the people in the front offices of major league clubs. Nine times out of ten, they’re there for a reason. If they see Chavez as having more potential than we see, then they probably have good reasons for it. They’re professional talent evaluators.

  32. Er, I don’t disagree with that. I thought the deal was about as good as the Braves could have done under the circumstances. Peter Greenberg appears to have handled his client’s situation well.

  33. I don’t think the Braves could have done any better really. They “had” to offer arbitration to get anything, and if Soriano wasn’t getting any better/longer offers it was a good way for his agent to play it to maximize his return. I figure he’s hedging his bets on his long term financial situation (not overly likely to become the next Mo/Hoffman/Wagner with a long lucrative closer career) and trying to increase his negotiating leverage with his new team because it won’t have cost them draft picks.

    What does the closer/reliever market look like next year? Is he setting himself up to have a better shot at a bigger contract with less market competition?

  34. Wren’s hands were tied. Soriano basically held us hostage, and we flipped him (or his $$, however you want to look at it) for possible bullpen help. I would have much rather have gotten some depth at IF or something in return, but it wasnt happening. Now, Wren has more $$ to play with. I dont understand all the bitching. He signed Wagner and Saito, because he thought they were either better, or cheaper,or both, as compared to Gonzo or
    Soriano. If we dump Lowe and get a bat, this little Soriano mess will be all forgotten, like the fat chick you had after too much beer.

  35. per Rosenthal

    tweets that the Rays are negotiating a one-year deal with Soriano, and terms must be reached before the trade can become official.

  36. We are one mediocre reliever better off than if we had not offered Sori arb. Hopefully the result encourages Wren to continue to offer arb in the appropriate circumstances.

    Makes one wonder if it would have been better to trade Maddux after he accepted arb. Think we could have gotten a better return than Jesse Chavez?

    I guess the question is: Could we have done better than Estrada?

  37. I guess the question is: Could we have done better than Estrada?

    My guess is that we could have gotten a guy who was more highly regarded around baseball at the time than Estrada was, but I don’t know that we could have gotten much better value than Estrada turned out to be. Interesting question, though.

  38. Boras wants 3 yrs and big money for Ankiel and he also thinks Adrian Beltre deserves a similar deal to what Holliday and Bay will receive

  39. I reiterate the sentiment that the real loss today was Osuna. He probably should have been protected over a couple of names on the 40-man (Lyman, Cofield, Venters).

  40. Here’s our fun list of former Braves’ farmhands that are now Royals. As Michael Bluth was fond of saying, Dayton Moore definitely has “a type.”

    Osuna
    Cuevas
    Lerew
    Pena, Jr.
    Carlos Rivas
    Carlos Sencion
    Kelvin Villa

    Anybody else?

  41. Latest from MLBTR

    11:00am: Rosenthal and Morosi say the Rays will sign Soriano for one year and $7MM or slightly more; the deal will be official after medical records are exchanged. They say Soriano’s contract will be non-guaranteed.

  42. On his blog today, Keith Law wrote, “I’m a little surprised this was the best offer Atlanta could get for Soriano… [but] Atlanta’s decision to offer [arbitration] might not look like the right one because Soriano accepted, but it was the right call.”

    Here’s the interview I did with Keith Law for Chop-n-Change, just posted a few minutes ago.

  43. It’s hard to say whether signing Wagner as early as we did and offering arbitration was the best move, but hindsight is 20/20 (or, as a poster here once said, “hindsight is 50/50”).

    @33,

    Valid point, but I think the fact that the Braves showed so much interest so early may have been one of the reasons he signed. I’m personally glad we didn’t have to get into a bidding war for him (or maybe that would have never come, hard to say.)

  44. Stu @ 36:

    We really ought to try to trade with the Astros. Ed Wade may be dumber than Dayton Moore.

    I understand the sentiment, but I think Wade’s stupidity actually makes trading with him more difficult. Wade has absolutely no player evaluation skills. He has absolutely no concept of marginal utility or replacement level players. On the free agent market that leads him to do things like give Brandon Lyon three years at $5 mil per. On the trade market, that leads him to drastically overvalue his players and ask for utterly unreasonable returns. It’s virtually impossible to trade with someone who thinks Wandy Rodriguez should bring back Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward, if you see my point.

  45. In 24 hours we have picked up Chavez and lost Soriano and Osuna…

    Osuna was never going to be one of our top pitching prospects, but he made remarkable progress in the last couple of years. KC has probably gotten a good one….

    At least we now have a pitcher to replace Acosta should he go down….

  46. So far, we have lost Soriano and Gonzo and gotten Wagner, Saito and “25 year old crap”, as someone put it here. That’s not exactly an improvement, all things considered. I’m less than excited about the offseason so far.

  47. It’s been three days of meetings and six weeks since the end of the season. I can certainly see where your patience would be exhausted.

  48. @62

    I think these moves have to be put in the context of what moves come next. Wagner and Saito have shown the ability to be as good or better than Gonzo/Soriano, and they come at a cheaper overall price.

    “25 year old crap” is just the product of offering the arb to Soriano. We could have not offered the arb and gotten nothing, or offered the arb and gotten:

    a.Draft picks
    b.What we got

    Draft picks would have been nice, but Wren took a gamble and didn’t “win”, although I don’t think he “lost” either. Chavez could develop into a nice player. Emphasis on could.

    I withhold judgement on the offseason until it is actually over. Either way, I think we are majorly improved over the beginning of last season. Francouer gone, Heyward coming up, Hanson in the majors, still a solid back end of the bullpen, Lowe probably gone, McLouth in the OF, whatever hitters we bring in (hopefully better than ACHE-level). When you think about it, this is already a much more solid team.

  49. Could he ever? No AB’s in the US, I am pretty sure he was a fulltime OF in Japan. He’s a lefty too, and I wonder what his non-NY salary demands would be. Obviously he can still hit though, and has indicated he would move to first if need be,

  50. @66 – everybody is intrigued by a catcher with hitting potential. Almost as good as being a lefty reliever.

  51. With the speed that Wren found it necessary to dump Sopriano, one would think there must be an FA just around the corner.

  52. I wonder if McDowell/Wallace can work with Chavez on a 2-seamer. He’s got a live arm and a plus change, but his fastball is flat as can be, from what I gather.

  53. @75 That’s a non starter. I think. AAV of 16+ is fine, but he’ll want more years, or more money, and somebody will give it to him.

    Nice that that is where the market is starting though – gives me some hope for FA offensive help in our price range

  54. spike, I think the market for Bay actually started with the 4 year, $60 million deal he turned down from the Red Sox. So, even better.

  55. Wonder what kind of deal Valverde gets. Haven’t heard a single rumor about him, but he’s gotta be the most similar reliever to Soriano on the market.

  56. My biggest concern is that Bobby will see Chavez’s 73 appearances last year and think “Oh, he’s durable” and use him all the time regardless of results, costing us ballgames.

  57. its a good move for Kelly, remember when Kragthrope and Schiano were the next big coach’s? I know Kelly has won everywhere he’s been, but Notre Dame is a different animal. Until they lighten up on admission standars, Im skeptical of anyone going there and winning championships. I dont think Notre Dame will like his Pro Choice mindset, this will be worth watching and we have really no choice because they screw up college football saturdays every weekend at 2:30. Hey, at least Ive got another coach to dislike now! Weiss is off and Kelly is on my dislike list

  58. #75, if I were a free agent slugger, the one of the last places I’d want to play would be Citi Field.

  59. Fun fact – Citi field’s Park Factor last year was 98/98….the same as the multi year PF for Turner Field

  60. Yeah, people mistakenly believe a down year by Wright (for power) means the park is a monster. The park is a monster to CF and RCF, but not down the lines. And the big CF increases AVG/OBP, doubles and triples. It plays pretty much exactly like Shea, only without the puddles of human urine.

  61. I don’t get all the problems with the trade. Last week, the Braves wanted to out-right get rid of Soriano. He forces the Braves into a difficult situation when he accepted, and so they traded him. Ideally we could have used the draft pick, but because he accepted arbitration (something the Braves have no control over), the draft pick was never an option. Considering the Braves had no leverage except “interest from other teams”, which may or may not be true, they got someone who probably will be a decent middle reliever. Forgive me for being a bit more conservative and preferring sure things, but no draft pick is guaranteed to even be a decent middle reliever. I think this worked out about as well as it could. If we got a middling major leaguer for every player we wanted to walk, we’d have a deep team.

  62. And in all fairness, the Braves get to keep the signing bonus that a first round pick gets, which is a non-trivial sum that can be applied to this year’s FA pool

  63. Well, instead of getting back nothing for not offering Sori arbitration, we get a major league reliever in return. So it’s not too bad after all if you look at this trade from this perspective. However, this is definitely a lot less than two draft picks. We don’t need to pick up any money on Sori’s contract, so it is at the end a win-win situation for Wren when he decided to offer arbitration to Sori. We just didn’t get the max return (two picks), but we are getting that from Gonzo. Thanks Boras!

  64. 97#–I would be happier with the deal if I believed that Chavez would be durable middle reliever. In fact, he has yet to show that he can do that over the season. He got lit up pretty good during the last months of the season, making me wonder not only about his durability but also his health. That is, I hope that he has not already been ‘Boyered’….

  65. Why are we unhappy about not achieving a situation that was impossible, at least from what the Braves could control? If the Braves offered arbitration, and Soriano turned it down, then we would have gotten draft picks and that would have been the best case scenario. True. However, Soriano accepted arbitration. So because of Soriano’s decision, that renders the draft pick possibility irrelevant, and therefore it removes it from the list of possibilities. Wren played this perfectly: he got something of value from an asset that had almost no value. My grandmother knows that Atlanta was not going to keep Soriano at his arbitration price, so Tampa Bay and whoever may or may not have been interested had really no reason to offer the Braves much, if anything. In fact, you could make the case that Jesse Chavez was worth MORE than Soriano’s value under these circumstances. So, with that said, the Braves really won out on this one.

  66. I suppose the issue is opportunity cost–the Braves didn’t need Chavez. I doubt that there is anything he can do that Luis Valdez couldn’t…However, the organization remains woefully weak in middle infield and third base prospects. In fact, we are not particuarly deep in position players.

    It would have made more sense to try to holdout a bit longer and find a team willing to part with a solid infield prospect. Instead, we picked up a pitcher which we probably did not need. Ultimately, it is question of opportunity cost….

  67. 109 On the other hand, you can never have enough pitchers…I think he should at least be better than Acosta…

  68. I don’t see any reason to believe that he would be better than Acosta….Then again, the league did hit .300 against Acosta last year….

  69. When the Braves found a willing trading partner they did the right thing and dumped Soriano for anything they could get. Holding out was too risky to the payroll.

    I’m conflicted. I like Brian Kelley and what he has done at UC. Despise Notre Dame despite the fact that they have been down for years.

  70. Johnny,

    Despising Notre Dame is like despising the Yankees or the Cowboys. It’s just the right thing to do.

  71. It will be interesting to see who blinks first in the Holliday/Bay stare down contest with whomever has expressed interest. Nothing happens on the FA market until those guys sign and ‘set the market’.

  72. Yeah, but I just love the idea of time traveling from the past to now. 10-year old me would be expecting jetpacks and lasers and flying cars, and everything else that movies told me I should expect by the first decade of the 21st century — and instead I’d be greeted by miraculous technologies like “Twitter” and “Facebook” and “text messaging.”

    Someone should write that movie, and then cast the biggest stars of 1993: Robin Williams and Jeff Goldblum.

  73. Despising Notre Dame is like despising the Yankees or the Cowboys. It’s just the right thing to do.

    This. Notre Dame was Tim Tebow before Tim Tebow was born.

  74. It sounds like DOB thinks we’re going to get Mike Cameron eventually. I’m good with that, but if we do this, will acquiring a league average first baseman be enough? I don’t consider LaRoche as being much more than league average in the first half of the year.

  75. I think it would be enough, td, although I’d of course hope for more. Cameron really improves our outfield. He’s a good hitter, and he would dramatically improve both CF and LF defense by moving McLouth over. But, if all we do is sign Cameron and re-sign LaRoche, I would consider the offseason successful. Assuming we don’t get rid of Vazquez, anyway.

  76. Stu;
    Where does Cameron bat in the current lineup?
    Low BA, but 75 BB, and terrific slugging percentage.

  77. @127 maybe something like

    1 McClouth
    2 Diaz
    3 Jones
    4 McCann
    5 Escobar
    6 LaRoche
    7 Prado
    8 Cameron

    It’s amazing how good a lineup looks with the two mediocrities replaced by just good, not even great hitters. That’s a run scoring group right there.

  78. I still think that we would keep McLouth in center and move Cameron over to left. That wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would dampen my enthusiasm for the signing.

  79. 129—I think they’d at least play Cameron in right, with Diaz in left, until Heyward arrives. But I agree that if he’s being signed to play somewhere other than CF, he’s not the super-duper value acquisition I’m making him out to be.

    127 & 128—That is indeed a deep lineup. Knowing Bobby, I think it might look more like this, though:

    McLouth
    Prado
    Jones
    McCann
    Cameron
    Escobar
    LaRoche
    Diaz

  80. I like these lineups and that is why adding Cameron and re-signing LaRoche should be priorities. Under these circumstances, I hope we keep KJ as well….

    Now, if we can just move Lowe for a quality 3B or middle infield prospect, we should be ready for 2010….

  81. Taking Lowe’s contract into account, how much money do we have left to spend this offseason?

  82. I have the payroll at ~$88 million right now. So, probably ~$7 million plus whatever SP salary we can shed.

    P. W. Hjort gave a run-down over on his site a few days ago.

  83. Just for fun, slash lines and OPS+ included

    McLouth .256/.352/.436 109
    Prado .307/.358/.464 117
    Jones .264/.388/.430 118
    McCann .281/.349/.486 120
    Cameron .250/.342/.452 111
    Escobar .299/.377/.436 116
    LaRoche .277/.355/.488 122
    Diaz .313/.390/.488 133

    Seems like the best hitter and highest OBP would rate a little better than ninth for anybody else…

    can’t seem to make it format right – sorry.

  84. 134,

    Right on, thanks. So assuming we eat approximately $5 million a year on Lowe’s contract, that gives us $17 million to sign two players. That’s doable.

  85. Yeah, and Wren, via DOB, doesn’t seem to think we’ll have to eat that much.

    spike,
    I know what you mean—I would absolutely bat Prado 8th, regardless—but do you disagree that that’s where Bobby would hit Diaz, given the rest of the guys in the lineup?

  86. What do the good folks here think McLouth and Prado are going to produce next season?

    I sort of expect improvement from McLouth and drop-off from Prado—but it occurs to me that I may have it totally reversed. Thoughts?

  87. I look forward to a healthy McLouth stealing some bases at the top of the line-up and I agree that Prado will, in all likelihood, not hit as well as he did in 09.

  88. that would yield an OPS+ of about 109 and 111, which would be awesome, and I too think Prado might actually improve on that for an age 26 season.

  89. I like Cameron at $8M for 1 year, but I saw a chat proceting him at 2/$22M. That seems like too much.

  90. RE the lineups, it’s really not terribly important how those 8 hitters are ordered. If you have an absolute sinkhole in the lineup – say KJ last year or Francoeur any year – then having them high in the order maximizes the damage they do. But if you don’t have sinkholes in the lineup it doesn’t really make that big of a difference if Diaz bats 2nd or 7th. The key is that Diaz bats, and Francoeur doesn’t.

  91. 134 – Stu, does that $88M include salary arb for KJ?

    Who all is up for arbitration? Everyone seemed to get a little more than I expected last year.

  92. Garrett Atkins splits are awful, just saw him as a cheap 1B/3B option for a team with little cash. However, his splits at turner field

    55AB 6HR .309/.356/.582

    he’s hit well against all the teams in our division also

  93. Parish,
    It does not. Up for arb, now that Church is gone, are KJ, Diaz, Moylan, and Logan. I assume KJ is traded or non-tendered, and I assume Diaz and Moylan will not be. I had assumed that Logan would be non-tendered, but Peanut’s most recent blog post indicates otherwise.

    On Cameron, yeah, that’s too rich for my blood, too. I was thinking something like a 2-year, $16 million or 1-year, $10 million deal would be about the upper limit. I’d rather give Cameron 2/$22, though, than give Byrd 1/$8.

  94. I think we see a little more pop from McLouth. Slugging somewhere north of .450 would be nice.

    Also I think we’ll see improved defense in CF. I really believe, as JC pointed out at Sabernomics, that there were some park or coaching problems in Pittsburgh that contributed to his terrible Plus/Minus numbers. I’m not comfortable saying he’s a great CF, but I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s often made out to be.

    Link to JC’s comments.

  95. Just lurking (and working) too much. I’m always reading though, even when I’m not posting.

    Thanks for asking, csg.

  96. I would be very tempted to do a slight overpay for Cameron as he is the perfect caddy for Heyward at this stage, and offers the highest amount of flexibility in that he can hit enough for a corner, but still play center if need be. And he’s a Georgia boy too.

  97. I know this has been discussed ad nauseum here, but Keith Law chimed in on the Soriano trade on his blog. I wanted to include two lines from the comments which echo my sentiments, below:

    I’m a little surprised this was the best offer Atlanta could get for Soriano, but they also seemed desperate to move him immediately rather than wait out the winter and run the risk that they couldn’t trade him.

    and

    The lesson here for clubs wavering on offering arbitration to a Type A free agent is that having the player accept against your wishes is not the end of the world.

  98. Spike, I kind of think it is better to overpay for Cameron for one year than to underpay for him over two years.

  99. David O’Brien

    December 11th, 2009
    4:18 pm
    Here’s what Bobby Cox said at the Winter Meetings, when asked if the Braves might be willing to go big dollars and sign Matt Holliday or Jason Bay:

    “No, we are not in that bidding at all, no. We have a young kid by the name of Jason Hayward that just turned 20 in August that is maybe the top prospect in all of baseball. We’re going to give him a chance to compete for one of the outfield jobs.”

  100. From our friends at Mets Blog:

    “racemccloud December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm
    Just want to say it here, so that you can all say you heard it here first… the Francouer trade is going to be looked upon as one of the worst in Braves history. So all you Frenchy haters out there, remember this post. And if I’m wrong (I won’t be) you can call me on it, and I’ll eat lots and lots of crow.

    Francouer to the Mets for Ryan “Non-Tendered” Church will be one of the worst trades in the history of the Atlanta Braves franchise. History will show. You heard it here first.”

    And last.

  101. I love it when Met fans try to tell me they fleeced us in getting Francouer.

    I just ask them, “Did the Braves get better or worse after the deal?”

    And now I can say, “The fact that we dumped Church should tell you what we really think of Francouer.”

  102. I’m very interested to see how Frenchy does next year. I don’t think he’ll be a GOOD player, but it’s hard to get worse than his last two seasons.

  103. Royals sign Kendall to a TWO year deal. Seriously, do they make you get a lobotomy as a condition of employment in the KC front office?

  104. Jason Kendall????? 2 year contract! And I thought left handed pitchers had it easy.

    Tiger Tiger Tiger…..sigh. Another one bites the dust. Elin will roll the kids up like a club and beat the 50 million out of him. Count it.

  105. It’s being said that Tiger and his family are going to live in Sweden. C’mon… Tiger in Sweden. That’s like putting a fat man alone in an ice-cream shoppe.

  106. Mixed emotions on Tiger’s situation.

    I know the “let no man rend asunder” part, but if anyone needs to be single, it’s Tiger.

    And does anyone doubt that one night Elin’s going to cut that thing off in his sleep? (And could you blame her?)

  107. I wish I knew, hank. Lack of effort is why he’s not playing, but I have no idea why the effort isn’t there.

  108. well Tiger leaving golf is the right thing to do at the moment, if I had a swedish bikini model for a wife I’d probably want to get that right also. All kidding aside, dont see how she can handle this situation and dont see how they can make it work, but best of luck to her

  109. Stu@174,

    At first I thought you were replying to Hank @173 about Tiger and was like, wtf? Then I realized you were talking about Ogilvy and laughed.

  110. mlbtr…

    Cases of players avoiding arbitration and signing for 2010, according to the AP: Matt Diaz of the Braves at $2.55MM, Ronny Cedeno of the Pirates at $1.125MM, and Esteban German of the Rangers at $600K. Diaz gets a 106% raise, heading into his third arbitration year.

  111. @ sdp 171: LOL! Right you are. The only “worse” country he could move than Sweden would be Czech Republic…

  112. PHOENIX (AP) -Right-hander Blaine Boyer has signed a one-year, $750,000 contract to remain with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Boyer, who was arbitration eligible, pitched for three teams last season, going 0-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 48 relief appearances with Atlanta, St. Louis and Arizona. He pitched in 20 games for the Diamondbacks, with an 0-2 record and 2.68 ERA.

    The 28-year-old Boyer has a 6-10 career record with a 4.76 ERA in five seasons, the first four-plus with Atlanta.

  113. The non-tender deadline is midnight tonight.

    I’d say it looks like we aren’t going to get anything for KJ.

  114. 184–He would probably be close to a century! The Hilltoppers do have a pretty good basketball tradition….

  115. Ingram at -350 to win the heisman. So anyone feeling a need to go gamble, he’s your leader in the vegas world

  116. @190,

    I wonder what they’re looking for in return or if they’re willing to take any old prospect to unload him. Maybe a bench player?

  117. Random question:

    To get MLBtv on an ipod touch, you’ll need to pay for the subscription for MLBtv and then also buy the app, right?

    (I’ve never had a touch or iphone, so I’m not very familiar with appage. Considering it for Christmas…)

  118. @192,

    That’s right. The MLB At Bat app was $10 last year, but that includes radio feeds for all the games (home and away) and one or two “free” streaming video games per day at random. Toward the end of last season, they let you buy individual games for 99 cents, which I did once when Fox blacked out the game one Saturday. If you have MLBtv, you log in to your account through that app.

    Good luck with that.

  119. As much as I like KJ, after his performance last year and with the direction his salary is going, he’s a liability.

  120. he’s a liability at $3.5m, but with the state of our infield prospects Im thinking its almost worth paying him that figure. If Prado goes down, its Infante, but then we’re back to Diory as a backup SS and Yunel will miss some games

  121. csg – I think that is what we really missed when we traded Soriano. We needed someone who could have been servicable in the middle infield, AA or up. Instead, we added to our glut of middling relief.

  122. #198–Precisely…the problem with the Soriano deal was the opportunity cost.

    I hate to see KJ go, but I am not surprised that the Braves could not trade him. The Braves are thin in infielders and its a long season; I hope that we can find some capable replacement who costs a lot less….

  123. Somewhat disappointing. There was talk for a while there that people were looking to trade for him, so I got my hopes up that we might get something in return. Oh well. No way the Braves hang on to a player like that if they’re committed to Prado at 2B.

  124. 199 – Oh, what might have been.

    KJ will catch on somewhere, and I think he will be in the Bigs at least a few more years.

    But, he is not getting paid the $4M to $5M he would have gotten in arbitration.

  125. 204 – the Francoeur situation was unique because of the organization’s blind spot for Francoeur. They held out hope way too long because he was the great prospect/local boy/media darling. None of that is true about KJ.

    So, do you think KJ’s buying a ticket for KC soon?

  126. 199—I’m with you. Totally understand the move, but I’m disappointed, nonetheless. Hope he finds a place—outside the NL East— where he can thrive.

  127. Personally, I hope nobody else bites and KJ is brought back on the cheap, and covers himself in glory after a rash of (non-Escobar) middle infield injuries forces him into the lineup.

    What can I say? I like the guy.

  128. Can the Braves try to resign KJ? I know he is done as a Brave but just asking. Sucks. I think he can be better than Prado but whatever. Braves clearly didn’t want to risk having him in arb.

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