Rosterbation, Part II: 2014 Projected Salaries

New thread for the sake of new threadness. There was some question about B-REF’s numbers on the last SWAG at this, so this time I’ve decided to guess at individual arbitration and contract assignments for various players. For example, I’f decided that Freddie Freeman will receive the same contract in his first year of arb eligibility that Jason Heyward received last year. And I’ve decided that Julio Teheran will get the same contract assignment that Mike Minor got last year. Etc, et al. Questions and thoughts are, as always, welcomed. That’s what the comments are for. ROSTERBATION! (Look, it’s either this or actually watching the Cards/Red Sox Series, right?)

Bold and italicized values indicate contracts that are definitive. Everything else is a best guess projection based length of service and how much the Braves tend to pay in each pre-arb and arb year.

PositionPlayerAgeProjected 2014 Salary
CEvan Gattis26$0.51
1BFreddie Freeman23$3.65
2BDan Uggla33$13.00
3BChris Johnson28$3.65
SSAndrelton Simmons23$0.51
LFJustin Upton25$14.25
CFB.J. Upton28$13.45
RFJason Heyward23$6.00
C2Gerald Laird33$1.50
CIJoey Terdoslavich24$0.49
MIRamiro Pena27$0.75
OF4Jordan Schafer26$0.75
OF5Tyler Pastornicky23$0.49
S1Kris Medlen27$3.65
S2Mike Minor25$0.53
S3Julio Teheran22$0.51
S4Brandon Beachy26$0.53
S5David Hale25$0.49
S6
CLCraig Kimbrel25$2.60$7.60
R1David Carpenter27$0.51
R2Jordan Walden25$0.63
R3Luis Avilan23$0.51
R4Alex Wood22$0.49
R5Anthony Varvaro28$0.51
TOTALS$69.915$76.915

If we assume the same $96 million payroll in 2014, the Braves have $25 $19 mil to spend. If we get all dreamy and say they’re going to commit the extra $25 mil from the national TV deal directly to payroll, they have $50 mil to spend. (But we’re not naive enough to think Liberty will do anything but pocket that money, are we?)

This all assumes an open slot in their rotation (listed as S6 in the table) and Dan Uggla’s contract doesn’t move.

153 thoughts on “Rosterbation, Part II: 2014 Projected Salaries”

  1. From last thread:

    Besides, we know how bad Uggla’s been. Shouldn’t it be telling you something that Cincinnati would rather have Uggla as their second baseman for two years than Brandon Phillips for four?

    Don’t discount the proximity effect. The fact that Phillips is as unwelcome in Cincy as Uggla is in Atlanta doesn’t really say anything other than that both players need a change of scenery.

  2. Last thread in response to ryan

    Yes 3 is the one that obviously makes the most sense. Option 1 shouldn’t really be discussed. It basically means we’d be paying our 2nd base position $19 mil per year for the next two years.
    $10 for Infante, $9 for Uggla

  3. @2
    Option 1 costs less than Option 2 & doesn’t block 2b for the next 5 years but provides the team with a player that can basically play every position on the diamond. If La Stella spot starts at 2b and shows he’s the real deal, Infante becomes the supersub once again. It’s a win/win!

    Thx Sam for the new thread and the new numbers. 25 million is about what I had and is pretty exciting!

  4. @1, Anybody who has watched Uggla hit knows his problems aren’t scenery related. That would include Cincy scouts, I assume.

  5. Ryan, not sure I follow. Brandon Phillips makes 4/$50. If we trade Uggla and only save $8 total, then we are still on the hook for his remaining $18. You want to add Infante for $30, so total cost is $48 over 3 instead of 4/50 for Phillips.

    Infante would be a very expensive super sub. I want him back but I’m not sure that it’s a smart financial decision. Either way option 3 looks smart to me.

  6. If LM split the profit with the Braves, giving the Braves a 38 million dollar budget, here’s what I’d do…

    Josh Johnson- 1/8 million plus incentives (-8 million)
    Omar Infante- 3/30 million (-10 million)
    Trade Uggla- eat 18 million (+4 million)
    Extend Freeman- 5/60 million (-8.5 million)
    Extend Heyward- 4/50 million (-6.5 million)
    Extend Simmons- 6/50 million (-8 million)

    SP: Minor, Teheran, Medlen, J. Johnson, Beachy
    RP: Kimbrel, Walden, Avilan, Wood, Carpenter, Hale, Varvaro
    Lineup: Heyward, Infante, Jupton, Freeman, Gattis, CJ, Bupton, Simmons
    Bench: La Stella (starts at 2nd against RHP when Infante is resting or resting other players), Pena, Laird, Schafer, Terdoslavich

  7. Can’t we sign Furcal to play 2B? He probably won’t be healthy enough to play more than 140 games but he’s likely less expensive than most other options and won’t cost a draft pick. He’d be nice to have on days we give Simmons a breahter too.

    Anyway, that’s my pipe dream.

  8. Are Venters and EoF done? That bullpen is not nearly as confidence inspiring as this time last year. Though we are still on the outside looking in.

  9. @8 – until shown otherwise, I think the smart money is on Venters and EOF being done.

  10. I suppose my issue is the whole blocking of La Stella. Hard to say how Tommy will transition to the majors, but there is some skill there and he seems to bring what ATL is lacking offensively right now, the ability to make contact and hit for average.

    That being said, I think people are selling short the upgrade from Uggla to Phillips. Nevermind Phillips is still a top defender (would be pretty tough to get a ball through that infield) but look at the K%: Uggla Career-24.1% 2013-31.8%!! Phillips Career-14.2% 2013-14.7%

    That’s pretty telling to me about the dropoffs everyone is referring to. I don’t think Phillips will fall off the map like Uggla.

  11. Follow up:

    Looked a little deeper at batted ball stats:

    Phillips IFFB%-8.3% career 9.0% 2013
    Uggla IFFB%-10.2% career 13.6% 2013

    Phillips LD%-18.3% career 19.2% 2013
    Uggla LD%-16.5% career 13.2% 2013

  12. @5
    Never mind, csg. Had a reading comprehension brain fart. Yes, the scenario with Infante would be 3/48 million, 18 of which goes to Uggla. Less years, less money, but also less of a headache as Infante gives the much needed flexibility.

  13. Is there a non zero chance that McCann comes back? What will it take to sign him?

  14. @6 – The other problem with Josh Johnson is that if the Blue Jays offer him a qualifying offer, his price goes up to at least $14 million.

  15. #15 – He’s gone. There are a lot of big money clubs in need for a C or DH. Gattis, laird, and Bethancourt are another reason.

    I think 6/$90 is what he’ll get. Someone may go 7 years which is insane.

  16. Regarding the comparison of La Stella to Ackley: Dustin Ackley is one of the worst prospect busts of recent years, and I think that a big part of his failure has to do with the fact that the Seattle Mariners are a horribly-run organization, and they have screwed up a lot of major prospects. Most prospects with Ackley’s profile develop into very productive major leaguers. If La Stella compares favorably to Ackley, that’s in his favor.

    Regarding Brandon Phillips: look, being a mid- to small-market team means that you generally can’t afford to pay market prices for value. Instead you have to be willing to take on risk. Phillips is a risky player, which is obviously why he’s available in the first place. He might be done — or he might have had a really bad year, like Shane Victorino in 2012. (Victorino is seven months older than Phillips.) If a team with the Braves’ payroll is going to contend, they’re going to have to be willing to take on some reclamation projects in addition to getting lucky on fringy prospects like David Carpenter.

    You can say that Phillips isn’t the right player for Atlanta, but sooner or later the Braves are going to need to take a chance on someone like Phillips.

  17. If Wren was any kind of GM, he would trade Uggla and Reed Johnson for Felix Hernandez. That’s the kind of deal I want!

  18. @18 – you have a good point. The proper comp for Kimbrel hitting arb is probably an inflation adjusted Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon made $6.25 mil his first year of arb. So yeah, you should probably up the projected figures for Kimbrel to 7 mil or more.

  19. I don’t really want to see it, but if Kimbrel is going to run 6 million his first year of arb, it might be time to sell high. Talking Chop has an article up about it.

  20. So do we maximize his value and trade him for a huge return? Most closers break down and aren’t worth huge contracts.

    Ryan beat me to it.

  21. As has been said over and over, now (well, as soon as the Cards/Sox get this shit over with) is the time to gallantly offer to help the Tigers fix their bullpen.

  22. Trading Kimbrel is a good idea in theory, but I have a tough time making a position on the team markedly worse for a team that’s supposed to be in win-now mode.

    Of course, not everyone thinks we’re in win now mode. The guy who wrote that Talking Chop piece seems to be very keen on getting prospects (albeit high level, close to major league ready prospects) back for him, which is asinine IMO. If he brings back an ace or some other major piece that’s guaranteed to help us win next year, fine. I’ll be damned if I’m trading him for prospects, though. Not now.

  23. @28, Yep. Again, the save incentivizes player usage inefficiency. In other words, it incentivizes stupidity.

    But doing away with stats that make players and their agents mega-millions will never change. But what can change is calculating the stats so that it can correct (a little) towards efficiency. I mentioned a few weeks before something I called the HVS (high value save) or maybe call it the VAS (value added save), which will be given when a team-designated closer comes into a game before the 9th inning and/or in a non-save situation. That way, when the game is on the line in the 7th or 8th, and Kimbrel is the best option, both the manager and Kimbrel would be encouraged to view that as the optimal time for his usage. After all, those kinds of saves will be given a higher value than a “normal” save where your closer puts the 7-8-9 hitters down in the 9th with a three run lead.

    I got no comment at all on this the last time I posted my idea. Can somebody at least do me the favor of telling me how this is an unworkably stupid idea?

  24. @29, I think your idea, and variations on that same high-leverage theme, is a good one. I don’t have much hope of the status quo changing all that quickly though. The Braves of all teams should know that anyone can close. We won a decade’s worth of divisions with Greg McMichael and Kerry Lightenberg and a long list of other non-spectacular “closers”.

    Hell, study after study has shown that NFL coaches should go for it on 4th and short no matter the field position, and still to this day the tactic hasn’t been been mass-adopted (not even by shitty teams with nothing to lose). Doing the right thing politically seems to trump doing the right thing mathematically most of the time.

  25. @29

    You don’t have to create new stats or pretend that the seventh or the eighth is inherently more important than the ninth. (In fact, the ninth is inherently more important than the seventh or the eighth, I would argue. That’s how we got here. The problem is that the seventh or the eighth becomes more important when there are a bunch of runners on, and nobody adjusts for that fact.) All you have to do is the following:

    First, clean up the hold rule to make it less than monstrously idiotic. A good start would be that if any run that belongs to you scores to tie the game after you’ve come out, you can’t get a hold. As it is, a pitcher can come in with a 3-run lead, record an out or two, allow two runs, and leave with the bases loaded and he gets a hold because he left with the lead and recorded an out (and thereby wasn’t “completely ineffective”). Needless to say, this is retarded.

    After you clean up the hold rule, all you have to do is create a system whereby managers designate their closer at the start of a game like you would your designated hitter if you’re unfortunate enough to be playing in the American League. For your designated closer, any time he gets a New Less Stupid Hold(TM) or a save, it’s automatically a save. For everybody else, we’ll keep the less stupid hold rule, but if you’re not the last pitcher it’s a hold, if you finish the game it’s a save, just like before.

    That’s my idea, anyway.

  26. @28 While I am not disputing the point of the article, it’s funny that they brought up the Braves as an example. We have tried so hard over the years finding stability in that role. The entire bullpen is in a mess if there is no stability at the closer role as we have seen in some years. Not everyone can do that role, especially for a winning team (and not to mention a winning team making the playoff). I would say the closer role is important, but only to a point that I would never pay a closer more than $8m.

  27. Kimbrel pitched 4.6% of our innings in 2013. What percentage of total payroll do you think that is worth? What percentage of the pitching-staff-only payroll is that worth?

  28. Or something way simpler on the hold: Just make it so that there are no holds awarded for leads that are subsequently blown. After all, what did they hold if the lead was lost, anyway. Therefore, no enhanced saves awarded for leads that are subsequently blown, either.

  29. I think I could tolerate the save more if it was defined as closing out the game if you come in with the tying run at the plate.

  30. @33

    Kimbrel pitched 4.6% of our innings in 2013. Kimbrel allowed 1.8% of our runs (total, not just earned) in 2013.

    I think I’m onto a really interesting stat, but I haven’t figured out the last step: putting a number on it.

    Something like a rating that measures how well a pitcher pitches relative to the other pitchers on his team. Anyone?

  31. I hear you guys’ point on trading Kimbrel and I understand it. However, there’s a part of me that irrationally fears a closer by committee or guys like Kolb, Reitsma, and Wickman. It sure has been nice to be conident in our closer over the last few years!

  32. Davie Carpenter contributed 2 WAR in 56 innings last year. Craig Kimbrel contributed 3.3 WAR in 67 innings.

    Tell me why we shouldn’t trade Kimbrel and use Carpenter as the closer?

  33. Sims is supposed to be a starter. But we’re talking about a pitcher who hasn’t been to AA yet.

    If Wren isn’t posturing, re: Sims being untouchable, Sims better turn out to be the second coming of Whitey Ford. I don’t get why we wouldn’t trade him now before he gets hurt or has a bad year.

  34. Sims is the new Teheran. The Braves should do their best to hold on to him. I know, TNSTAAPP, but everything I’ve read about him says future front line starter. Sure you take a great deal if it is offered, like a front line starting pitcher but his resume and scouting reports are off the charts.

  35. @41

    Well, for one because David Carpenter has a 108 ERA+ in 125 career innings, while Kimbrel has a 282 ERA+ in 227 career innings.

    I’m not opposed to trading Kimbrel for a good return. But I think the serious question is, how much is it worth to have a reliever who has been nearly automatic versus Carpenter (or any other good reliever) who has only been good. I’m neither convinced that 2 WAR is a repeatable number for Carpenter, whose career k/9 ratio is significantly lower than Kimbrel’s and whose career bb/9 ratio is somewhat higher, nor that the difference between them this past year is only 1.3 wins.

    Given that it will be incredibly difficult to replace Kimbrel’s truly sensational and consistent record as a reliever, how high do we set the bar for a trade return?

  36. The bar should be off the charts which is what makes it such a unique opportunity. He’s about to get very expensive and most relievers/closers eventually break down. I’m not sure how valuable he will be when that salary gets in the $10mil+ range.

  37. The offer for Kimbrell should be off the charts? I don’t think he would command that much. I am pretty sure that most of MLB understands the true value of a ‘closer’. Kimbrell is a good pitcher, you don’t trade him for nothing, but if you expect a front line starter or an impact bat for him you will be disappointed.

  38. @49
    That’s the point. If a team wants Kimbrel, they better blow the Braves away. If not, we get a dominant closer for another year. Teams overpay all the time for big needs.

  39. @50
    Ok. There’s a sucker born every minute I guess.

    So if someone offers a high ceiling position prospect(s) or is willing to take most or all of Uggla’s contract or a good 2b or a combination of the above we don’t take it?

  40. Yeah, you’d only trade Kimbrel for immediate help for next year. Trading him for prospects would be crazy since our window seems to be about 2 years wide.

  41. In case anyone is wondering, the reason we fall back on the idea of “our window is 2 years:

    Free agents in 2016: Dan Uggla, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Kris Medlen

    Free agents in 2017: Chris Johnson, Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Brandon Beachy, Jordan Schafer,

  42. @54
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think our window is closing. The Braves still have some serious depth in the pitching department and can continue to fill holes with the arms that get expensive by trading them.

  43. The point is that there’s a window and we’re in it. You don’t trade Kimbrel for prospects when you’re trying to win the World Series. If you can get something that makes it more likely that you’ll win the World Series next year, fine. Otherwise, no, and high-level prospects do not make it more likely that we’ll win the World Series next year.

  44. Just curious, but how many years of losing immediately following a World Series win would you guys view as worth it? If you knew it would cost you 5 consecutive losing seasons afterward, would you still want to win a championship? 10? I think my number is way lower than most – between one and two seasons maybe. You get to bask in the glow of a World Series for basically one offseason. Then games start up again and you actually have the team on TV for four hours a night. It just seems to me like overall happiness is maximized by winning a lot of regular season games every year and taking your ticket in the playoff lottery like everyone else. This window to win idea seems like the road to heartbreak and ruin, since there’s a great chance that even if you “go for it” at the expense of 2016, you’ll still run up against some other hot or lucky team in the playoffs during your window but still have to pay for it in 2016.

    So count me on board for a Kimbrel for farm restocking and Uggla unloading trade. If he’s just going to stand around waiting in the bullpen at the end of the season anyway, why not try to maximize long-term returns?

  45. Why don’t you trade Kimbrel for prospects when you’re trying to win the World Series? The Braves should focus not just on 2014, but on 2015 and 2016. If switching from Kimbrel to Carpenter (or Avilan, or the next guy who comes out of nowhere and turns into O’Flaherty) costs the Braves a win or two, that’s a shame, but you make up for that by replacing Uggla at second base, because he cost the Braves a win or two himself. Kimbrel is astonishingly good at his job, but he only pitches 70 innings a year and he probably has a very high market value because he’s the best closer in baseball. If the Braves can get a high return for him and can still build a reasonably good bullpen for 2014, why wouldn’t we?

  46. I don’t think it’s a good idea to expect any losing seasons. Losing seasons are a death spiral: once you start losing, your gate revenues go away, payroll revenue often becomes harder to come by, and there’s a constant pressure to “rebuild” by trading the good players you have for a heap of prospects, which means that you’re going to lose a ton of games for the next three years. Some rebuilds work, like Detroit in the mid-2000s. Some of them don’t, like Kansas City and Pittsburgh. It’s a roll of the dice. It’s a whole lot better to keep winning when you’re already winning than to start winning again after you’ve stopped.

  47. Count me as appreciating continued competiveness. Its what separates the Braves from the Pirates, Royals, Marlins et al. Right now we are enjoying the fruits of a fertile minor league system. No one is going to trade us a front line starter(i am assuming that this is our biggest want) for Kimbrell alone. No one. Kimbrel would have to be part of a package that would include one or more of our pitching prospects. If someone would be willing to take 26 million off the payroll or offer a package of prospects to restock the farm, I’d trade Kimbrel for it.

  48. @59, Winning the World Series wouldn’t mean as much to me if this franchise didn’t have the playoffs-performance stigma that it does. Although I think Alex is right @61 in practice, in theory I’d trade a few losing seasons in order to get the monkey off my (team’s?) back.

    I’m not going to say it’s important for the team’s emotional well-being to actually win one because, let’s face it, I’m really only talking about me here :)

    @56, You could be right — and if you are right, hey, we look like a richer version of the Rays. But I’d feel a whole lot more comfortable if we had still more farm depth to reload. This season, we had what felt like considerable pitching depth, and yet it turned out closer to just enough. I really don’t want to think about our position player depth in the minors.

  49. Worth pointing out, there are enough Proven Closers on the market this offseason to depress their prices somewhat. If we moved Uggla’s salary in the same deal or another, we could spend what we would’ve given to Uggla on a reasonable deal for, say, Grant Balfour or Joe Nathan and still have cash to spend.

    We’d miss Kimbrel. But not that much…I hope.

  50. This will probably not last, but I am really enjoying watching the Cardinals look inept in October. Go David Ross.

  51. I imagine this has to be pretty annoying for Dodgers fans and all their expensive former Red Sox players. So that’s nice.

  52. I’m a Dallas Mavericks fan, and I speak from experience when I tell you that one title and a subsequent faceplant (Mavs 2011-present) is orders of magnitude better than no titles and annual high win totals (Mavs 2001-10).

    The Mavs could probably lose and miss the playoffs and strike out on major free agents for 10 years and I’d be like “eh I’m good, gonna go watch my rip of Game 2 of the ’11 Finals again now.” Because I do that on a not-infrequent basis. Flags, at least of a certain magnitude, really do fly forever.

  53. Can you imagine if Dempster approved our deal of Delgado for him? And then we might not’ve been able to trade for Jupton. Or maybe we would’ve had to deal Teheran for Jupton.

  54. We probably could have still swung the deal with Arodys Vizcaino as part of it instead of Delgado. Might of had to throw someone else in as well, but I think they were both thought of equally highly.

  55. I agree that the time to win is now. The only reason to move Kimbrel is to get someone good to play 2B right now, and I’m not sure that exists. My plan for the off-season would be to resign Hudson on a 1- or 2-year deal and see what else is out there in the way of starting pitching. What we have right now is a large amount of pretty good SP. And since pitching is volatile, it’s possible that Minor or Medlen could make “the jump” and be great next year. (I think Teheran is the most likely to do this, and since he’s also the youngest, he’s the guy I would be damn sure to keep going forward.) But for me, the goal remains, “Get to the playoffs” and then see what happens. If Justin had his April in October? We’d likely be in the WS right now. Players can get hot, and if Kershaw and Grienke don’t get to the WS, why do we assume Hudson and Sale would?

    So I don’t think we should go after an elite SP. At least, I don’t think we should go after another “pretty good” SP. If you can get Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, do it. But you can’t. So don’t blow the piggy bank on Chris Sale or Max Scherzer. I’m all for going “all in”, but SPs ain’t like basketball players. They’re far too eratic, and unless you can get someone who is truly elite, don’t bother breaking out the tens of millions.

    So that’s my plan. Keep steady, try to make the playoffs. Shore up the bench. (The Braves’ depth really did get crushed by injury last year.) Add at least one “pretty good” SP, but don’t make a 5-year commitment to someone who is 29 or 30 and never likely to be one of the best 5 pitchers in the league.

  56. @69 Braves ‘What If’ games can make you mind wander for days….I still think ‘What if Francouer had accepted our contract offer?’ all the time.

  57. Been awhile since I’ve been so indifferent about a World Series. I mean, I’ll watch it (because you never know what might happen), but it’s confusing to root against both teams.

  58. 74 I know, I’m torn between Cardinals hate and American League hate. I went into the game fully expecting to root for the Cards because I always root for the NL, but I loved watching STL look awful. Maybe a sweep would be best so we can just get it over with.

  59. I’m not rooting for the Red Sox, but I accepted yesterday that it’s the best outcome.

    The marathon blather has quickly become insufferable. I don’t even want to think about beards or Victorino.

    But it fits better with my worldview to have the team with the bigger payroll win — at least I can be all smug about that.

    And it is so very wonderful that there’s this narrative springing up about how the Cardinals just can’t beat the Red Sox. How very aggravating that must be for them :D

    I don’t think I could handle another Cardinals championship so soon.

  60. 71: I’m with you. An ace doesn’t substantially increase the Braves’ playoff chances. Just build the best possible team using any combination of players you can acquire, and don’t worry about filling specific cliched roles. This approach has the advantage of opportunistically adapting to what’s available in trade or free agency.

  61. At least Uggla is good at absorbing the criticism that BJ Upton’s contract would otherwise be receiving. 13 million plus for four more years of an outfielder who hits like a pitcher is potentially a bigger problem. What’s the plan for turning him back into a merely mediocre rather than the game’s worst player? Wren seems to think BJ will get better when he stops “trying too hard”.

  62. The smart money is on BJ Upton bouncing back to BJ Upton production next year. He has youth and skills on his side, unlike Uggla.

  63. There will be even more pressure on BJ next season. Hopefully he’ll get off to a non-terrible start. I don’t expect “good”…just non-terrible.

  64. I agree that the glow of a championship can last a while, but how long? The Braves won 18 years ago; that glow is pretty much gone. Toronto won back-to-back and has not been back to the playoffs in over 20 years. I doubt their fan base is still basking in 1992-93.

    I think it’s a false dichotomy to say you either try to win now or build for the future. The fact is, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to specifically build a team to win the World Series because that is contingent on so many factors, including, today, whether whether some reserve All Star happens to get a hit to win the ASG. People think that the teams that win were “built” to win but that’s pretty much hindsight. If the Red Sox win, it’s not because they were constructed with a specific plan; they just happened to put together a team that was able to play well during the playoffs.

    But the problem the Braves have, at least to me, is that their performance in the playoffs have been so embarrasingly bad that it gets increasingly more difficult to get excited about the regular season. For whatever reason-and some of it is lack of talent-the Braves fold like a cheap suit in the playoffs regardless of the moves they make in the offseason. So, frankly, whatever the Braves do this offseason, meh, until they show some results in the playoffs. If they trade Kimbrel, ok, but they better win at least a round in the playoffs.

  65. @79 – Probably not going to get 2007 production when he was really good. Hell, at this point it would be great if he produced something close to his career averages .248/.329/.409/.738. This is what 75 million buys these days?

  66. Actually, yeah. That is about what $15 mil buys these days. A $15 mil contract in today’s market is basically the same thing we paid B.J. Surhoff in 2000.

  67. If $15 million buys you a .700 OPS then that’s a pretty compelling argument that you shouldn’t be buying talent – ever – and instead just rolling with a revolving door of young cost-controlled guys. I never thought we’d be in the same category as the A’s or Ray’s, but maybe that’s our reality.

  68. I had started really ignoring BJ for a while there- turning away when he had ABs, no longer engaging in discussion about his play and his contract- so I didn’t realize he actually SLG-ed .289. I mean, I can *believe* it, I guess, but when you see it just written there, dying on your computer screen…

  69. @85
    A .700 OPS with above average defense (according to the metrics used at fangraphs) is worth 15 million dollars. Dan Uggla wasn’t much below .700 and was only worth 2.5 million, but his defense sucked.

  70. Those “player worth” values are free agency market values, right? You could spend over $100M on 8 guys that can’t hit and you’d lose 120 games. I’ve always had a hard time with the context of those player-value-in-dollars numbers.

  71. So, is the FanGraphs article saying La Stella will be worth 1.1 – 2.4 WAR next year?

    If that is so, it would be a nice step up from 2013 Uggla and would make a trade for Phillips absurd.

  72. Just glancing, I surmise that BJ at his best is a 3 win player, avg WAR ~3 over his years at Tampa. So its 5 million per win these days? If that’s the case then hopefully the guy will get back to ‘normal’ whatever that is. As Sam stated his numbers are all over hells half acre. I get the signing. We needed a CF and a right handed power bat and BJ is allegedly both.

  73. 2 colleagues just walked by discussing purchases or something. One of them asks loudly: “Both of ’em?”

    The question wasn’t for me, but I gladly replied, “Count it!”

    Nobody knows why that was funny but me…

  74. @92- BJ is an above-average defender who occasionally eats MelkyFlakes on random plays. I don’t know if that was adjusting to NL parks or what.

  75. Think the Angels would be interested in trading CJ or Weaver? They are already at 125 million with 9 players and still have LF and 3b to address. They both make an average of 18 million over the next 3 years which would be doable for the Braves. A trade that involves Uggla, C. Johnson, Medlen, Kendrick, and Weaver sounds like a start.

  76. The Angels need bullpen help too, and they are so very fleece-able.

    Kendrick, I would take off their hands, but not anyone on their pitching staff.

  77. @99 – yeah if La Stella turns out to be that kind of player that would be great. Maybe walk more and hit for less power but still good.

  78. I can’t see the Braves moving Kimbrel. He sells an awful lot of jerseys and tee-shirts and is still effective in his role. Think how long they held on to Francoeur, not because he produced on the field, but because his name was a merchandise seller at the ballpark. Gattis is joining that same group. Kimbrel and Gattis, along with Heyward, dominate the backs of the shirts at Turner Field. If they are effective players and the fans love them, they’re staying. It’s show business, after all.

  79. @106, actually, Neil has been a lot better than Todd; Todd had a career wRC+ of 99, while Neil’s at 111, and Todd was also a pretty horrific defender. Looking over his career stats, it appears that Todd Walker was a lot more blah than I thought: pretty good offensive numbers on the surface, but they were an artifact of the era, and his glove gave away a lot of his value. Still, he hung around for 12 seasons, and that ain’t bad.

  80. Tommy La Stella with less power will make him Rafael Belliard with higher batting average with worse defense at an easier position. Again, I am hoping that he will become another Martin Prado.

  81. @109
    No it won’t. There’s nothing comparable about those 2. Might as well say he’d be a Jose Canseco with less body, less steroids, and more brainpower.

  82. @110 What I am saying is La Stella has no power to begin with. He is basically a contact hitter with some gap power. I think it’s very likely that La Stella will turn into another Keith Lockhart.

  83. @112 I found out couple days ago that he gave up switch hitting this year because of injury issue. Quite amazing actually.

  84. 20 HR, 47 doubles, 13 triples, and a .496 slg in about 1,000 PA isn’t an absence of power. Not sure what stats you’re looking at.

    Edit: And right on cue, La Stella hits his 1st HR of the AFL.

  85. Michael Wacha’s postseason numbers so far: 4-0, 27 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 28 SO

    Wonder how that stacks up against the best postseason pitching lines of all time.

  86. Rome is not a hitters park.

    Victorino gave up switch hitting this year. In fact, if you look at this season, the “Shane Victorino, HBP magnet” thing takes off immediately when he starts hitting only from the RH side of the plate. He’s not leaning in or trying to get hit. He just doesn’t see the ball and react to it out of the RHP’s hand quickly enough to get out of the way now that he is only swinging from that side.

  87. I haven’t watched Boston at all this year. I was surprised to see him hitting RH’d against Wacha. Why did he make that decision? Bat speed?

  88. If a player played in 155 games and averaged 4 PAs, per game, they’d have 620 plate appearances. In 2 years, La Stella had 734. 620/734 is roughly 85%. Here are his stats for those 2 years combined at 85%.

    171H 38 doubles 7 triples 9HR .912 OPS with a .478 SLG.

    What part of those numbers NOT AT ROME scream “no power to begin with”?

  89. Seasonal park factors for Atlanta’s minor league entities, 2010-12:

    Lynchburg: 0.989
    Rome: 1.042
    Mississippi: 0.937
    Gwinnett: 1.017

    Rome plays as a slight hitter’s park, as does Gwinnett. Lynchburg plays as a slight pitcher’s park. The only real impact park in this list is MS, which shows a definitive pitcher friendly environment. (Myrtle Beach, not listed, is also a pitcher friendly park.)

    The other three are all within error bars and should be considered essentially neutral parks.

  90. Mac seems close to accurate, but their projections all seemed high other than that to me. Of course is it BR.

  91. @ 134

    From a circle in a spiral
    Like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning
    On an ever spinning reel
    Like a snowball down a mountain
    Or a carnival balloon
    Like a carousel that’s turning
    Running rings around the moon

    Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
    Past the minutes of it’s face
    And the world is like an apple
    Whirling silently in space
    Like the circles that he finds
    In the windmills of his mind !

    the guy who made that song famous 45 years ago died this week…it seems a perfect fit for a stats man.

  92. Jurickson Profar is blocked at 2nd, SS, and 3rd base. He’d be a tasty trade target, but it’d probably take a 3rd party to acquire him as the Rangers will be looking for a 1b or an OF. Still fun to dream about!

  93. CJ and/or Oso Blanco can play 1b. Not that you would trade both of them, but couple one with some pitching and that MIGHT appeal to Texas. (I doubt it, but you never know.)

  94. They’ll also need a catcher. Bethancourt and Chris Johnson for Profar? They also have Joakim Soria who they’re paying 5 million for next year. Hell, let’s really blow this thing up…

    Chris Johnson, Terdoslavich, Bethancourt, and Uggla(salary paid in full)for Profar, Soria, and Mitch Moreland. Now that’s a trade!

  95. @141 I doubt that would get it done. None of those players has nearly the upside as Profar. It might have to be something more like Lucas Sims and Bethancourt for Profar. That would suck but Profar looks like a heck of a player to me.

  96. Before his callup, Jurickson Profar was the best prospect in baseball. We do not have anything in our system remotely close to being enough for him. Last year, many suggested the Cards should plug their shortstop hole by trading Oscar Taveras for Profar – and at the time, Taveras was probably the 2nd-best prospect in baseball. We can’t afford Profar. Plus, he’d be blocked at his natural position, SS.

  97. Wil Myers was the #4 prospect in baseball and was traded for a 30 year old James Shields during his last year before free agency. Not disagreeing, just saying crazier things have happened

  98. It’s hard to find any baseball writers that have good things to say about our minor league system. Most have us ranked at or near the bottom.

  99. I think you oversell it @144, Alex. Profar is on the market. Texas has needs to fill and their willing to deal Profar to fill them. As such, we could acquire him if we are willing to match market rates. If, for example, Texas wants a 1B for Profar, we could make that happen.

    1. Trade Freddie Freeman for Profar.
    2. Play Profar at 2B.
    3. Play Joey Terdoslavich at 1B.

    Would you need to tweak the packages going back and forth to measure out Freeman for Profar? Maybe. But top 5 1B for a MI prospect, no matter how good he is as a prospect, is the beginning of a negotiable deal.

  100. @148: That’s you not wanting to meet the price, not an inability of the organization to put together a package to get it done.

  101. There’s going to be a Profar-for-Price deal at some point this offseason, you can just tell. It’s so annoying. And then the Rangers will sign McCann.

  102. We have no chance at David Price and the cost of renting him for one year is way too high anyways. Maybe we can just rush Sims along and have him with the big club by August so he can get four or five wins in the postseason.

  103. @147, you’re right. We don’t have a prospect good enough to trade for Profar, but we do have major leaguers. I don’t think Freeman would be a good enough return for Texas — I think they’d be able to get more than that. He had a great year but he is not perceived around the league as a frontline player. Teheran would get it done, but we’re not trading him. I agree: I think that the organization has players who would get it done, but the price would be extraordinarily high.

    The guy I want in that system is Rougned Odor. I think he might be a bit cheaper than Profar, because he’s further away, but he’s becoming a hell of a prospect.

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