Jordan Walden

Last winter, the Braves and Angels made a challenge trade of promising pitchers with injury issues. The Braves got the better end of the trade (Tommy Hanson, sent to Anaheim in the deal, made 13 mostly-ineffective starts and was non-tendered this offseason). Jordan Walden is a premier reliever when he’s right, but his value in 2014 will depend entirely on whether he can stay healthy.

From the beginning of the 2013 season through August 21, Walden was a middle relief ace. He struck out 52 batters in 43 innings, averaged almost exactly one baserunner per inning, and allowed opposing batters a .194/.259/.281 triple-slash line. After Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty went down with injuries, Walden took over as the team’s primary setup man and didn’t miss a beat.

But a groin injury kept Walden out from that last appearance until September 12. He was a different, less effective, pitcher when he returned in September. He gave up seven runs in 3.1 innings in September, and four runs in 2.2 innings in the NLDS.

Without getting in over my head as to biomechanics, the simple version of the issue here is that Jordan Walden throws 97 mph fastballs and snap-off sliders while basically jumping off the mound.

He’s been on the disabled list in both of the last two seasons and any forecast of his 2014 would have to include the possibility that he could go back again. But so long as he’s healthy, he’s the early favorite to be Craig Kimbrel’s primary set-up man this year.

114 thoughts on “Jordan Walden”

  1. I’ll have to admit, I’m not stoked with our FO this offseason. While I know their hands were/are tied due to a lackluster payroll, not being able to settle arb-cases with arguably 3 of the top 4 players on the team, not extending any young players, not being able to unload Uggla, or not trading expensive arb-cases to restock the farm has left a sour taste in my mouth. It seems like one of those 4 should have happened. This isn’t to say that I’m not happy with the makeup of the roster for 2014, rather I’m not happy with the future of the roster 2015 and beyond.

    Good god, we need a real owner.

  2. @1, absolutely. There’s an opportunity here to take the last step to be a true World Series contender, and instead the FO saw it as an opportunity to *cut* payroll and make further progress onto their their Platonic ideal of a super cheap 88-win team.

    Screw those cheap little bastards.

  3. If it needs to happen, Wren can get something done during the season.

    I just hope the team defines “need” as “avoiding the damned play-in game.”

  4. if last night’s game were played in Rome
    the Colosseum, Nero’s home
    you’re old and tired my friend
    celebrity must end
    thumbs down, lie where the lions roam.

  5. I think Walden’s injury at the end of the year was right up there with Heyward. It really messed up our pen.

  6. the Color guy…

    he may be straight, he might be gay
    but God how he can drone away
    the obvious restated
    the cliches unabated
    despairing of what else to say.

  7. From previous thread:

    “Marc, when your daughter wins the lottery and buys the Braves, I think you should trade for Andrew McCutchen and Mike Trout.”

    Alex, I was thinking Uggla for McCutchen and BJ for Trout. Sound about right?

  8. @8

    I think the Bucs and the Angels should throw in a prospect or two, but yeah, it would work.

  9. Sure Alex, but there are several important differences. The Broncos chances of appearing a Super Bowl are, at the very best, maybe 10 percent, and probably more like 5 percent. By contrast Yale plays Harvard every year, so you’re quite certain you never have to wait more than a year to be disappointed again. Second, they play in other sports, so you can exact revenge in hockey. (Oddly enough, when Yale was far superior in football, Harvard was far superior in hockey.) Third (going the other way) it’s not like Seattle and Denver are natural rivals. Getting killed by a team you never really cared about before hurts, but not like, say, losing to the Phillies (or Dodgers, if you go back that far) in teh playoffs. Or the Marlins any time. Plus, Yale still leads Harvard all-time, though the gap has narrowed significantly.

  10. #11
    When my Euro friends begin their usual carping about how Americans don’t appreciate the great international game of soccer, I simply say: “It’s just not violent enough for us.”

    For me, soccer is a fine game, especially if I only watch once every 4 years.

  11. the essential component to enjoy watching any game is to first thoroughly understand it…that usually takes years.

  12. Why do people (especially in Europe) get so bent out of shape because a lot of Americans don’t like soccer? I don’t care if they don’t like baseball and (American) football. I actually prefer to have some cultural difference rather than this homogenous, globalized culture that everyone seems to want. To be honest, I don’t really want be able to watch an NFL game in London.

  13. @17

    I don’t think they’re actually upset. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They enjoy lording it over us that we’re uncultured swine who don’t like soccer. If soccer actually became huge here (and it is making inroads, though huge is a big stretch), they’d probably hate the fact that we all of a sudden like soccer.

    Anyway, I happen to like soccer a lot and think the whole Europhile vs. dumb sports talk radio show debate about the whole thing is getting mighty tiresome and it goes both ways. I do look forward to being constantly indirectly called a wuss by sports talking heads this summer because I’m watching the World Cup.

  14. Here’s a brief sampling of Mac’s feelings on soccer:

    I have a theory about hockey: it’s so tough to play that there are only two or three guys who are really good at it at any one time. So the quality of play is permanently low.
    Or maybe it’s just soccer on ice. I hate soccer.

    Chipper Jones

    I am actually watching the soccer game, and I think they need to cut the lineups to 9 men. There are just too many people on the field. Every time France attacks it looks like there’s more blue than green in the box.

    Jurassic Game Thread: July 9, Reds at Braves

    Yet another reason to hate soccer
    Even I could tell that the French badly outplayed the Italians, yet they lost because it’s almost impossible to score when the other team has ten guys between you and the goal and the game winds up getting decided by a stupid alternating-shot contest.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20070705015241/http://bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/warliberal/2006/07/yet-another-reason-to-hate-soccer.html

    Unrelated: Soccer makes you stupid.

    “The cognitive consequences of “heading” the ball have come under closer scrutiny by researchers, including “heading” the ball. Compared with matched controls, adult soccer players in Norway who began playing soccer in youth leagues (and excluding players with a history of head injury unrelated to soccer) showed mild to severe deficits in attention, concentration, and memory in 81% of the players tested. Players who headed the ball more frequently during competition had higher rates of cognitive loss than players who used the technique less often. Other researchers have expressed concern about cognitive deficits appearing in youth soccer participants after much shorter exposure time to heading the ball. Further study is needed before a conclusion can be made about the safety of heading by young soccer players.”

    I knew it!

    Nats 7, Braves 4

    Europeans have been hit in the head too much. At least baseball players are trying to score/stop scoring. Soccer players just mill about on the middle of the field all day.

    Braves 3, Nats 0

  15. @18

    I like soccer, and one of these days I hope to enjoy the US team winning the World Cup. It’s a long ways off, but perhaps not as impossible as some might think.

    One thing we Americans still do better than just about everyone else is turn out athletes. Think about how many Olympic sports we win despite being interested only once every 4 years. My nationalistic side would love for us to win a World Cup when only a portion of the country really cares about it. You can come up with tons of reasons as to why this won’t happen, but if it does I’ll be chortling.

    From the last thread, I’m surprised there aren’t more GATech folks on the board. I knew there were a lot of Ivy Leaguers and Bulldawgs. Am I the only Emory person?

  16. @2

    I got retweeted by DOB today because he wrote an article calling for optimism and how everyone will play better and I told him we got worse while everyone else in the division got better… How is there room for optimism with this season? Even if we win the World Series by some fluke then it will only go to benefit the billionaire corporate owners who are raking in profits off their cheap ass team and convince them that is the way to go.

    The team was about 3 players away from really being taken seriously but they’re just trying to persist on doing just enough. This off season is beyond depressing, just think about what it will look like in 4 years when all these young guys walk. It’s not pretty.

  17. nil desperandum gaz, transcend,
    imagination knows no end
    when mood shifts hit despair
    go seek the hallowed air
    where you and i can still pretend.

  18. a prediction, hope i’m wrong…

    KO in his entertaining review last night of the 11 reasons he had given previously to not watch the SPB…somewhere in the middle…

    ‘and then there’s the Budweiser puppy ad…if Budweiser would spend as much as they did on this ad on making their beer taste good…..etc etc…’ paraphrase

    they spend so much on ESPN/NFL…call me concerned

  19. @23

    Don’t worry. DOB is just the press hatchet guy for the organization. He rides motorcycles with Fredi and has lost a lot of credibility.

    He use to retweet stuff Mac said all the time to try a belittle him. I would consider it an honor.

  20. My grandfather went to Tech and took me to the bad games he couldn’t get anyone else to go to (I must’ve seen Tulane 5 times) back in the ’60s. So Tech is my FBS team. Sorry, ububba. And, a propos of Alex above, rooting for Tech against Georgia lately really is the equivalent of rooting for Yale against Harvard lately.

  21. @28

    If that was gonna create a big kerfuffle, they wouldn’t have ever put him back on the air. That’s part of the reason why they put him on at 11 p.m. and constantly move him hither and yon when a live sporting event is happening.

    The NFL isn’t gonna get upset over Keith Olbermann telling people not to watch the Super Bowl, either, because they know that half the people in the U.S. will watch it, anyway (beside the fact that he was mostly saying it in jest). They get upset when they think something’s hurting their brand (e.g. a scathing documentary on concussions in the NFL or a dramatic TV show that portrays all pro football players as drug users). They’re not gonna care about this.

    Now don’t get me wrong, Olbermann will eventually get himself fired, but it won’t be over something like this. It’ll be because he has a falling out with his bosses and starts acting like a jackass, like always happens.

  22. @23, I’m optimistic about the season because we still have a really good young team. And Gavin Floyd was a good pickup, even if it’s basically disgraceful that he was the only one. The Nationals still have to prove that they can actually make a move — they’ve got a great team but Matt Williams is untested, their key players are all injury risks, and frankly I think our organization is more effective top to bottom in player development. That said, I don’t take them lightly. They’ll be in contention for the division from day one. I just don’t think that the Braves have a necessarily worse team.

    But the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins all suck — Jose Fernandez, Zack Wheeler, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels are good pitchers but none of those teams can hit or catch the ball. Unless the Braves completely fall off a cliff and have a redux of 2008, it’s going to be awfully hard for the Braves not to contend for one of the two Wild Card spots.

    I’ll worry about the p-word when we get there. But this is still a postseason-contending team, and if any one of our three outfielders actually busts out, we could be a force.

    </homer>

  23. But the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins all suck — Jose Fernandez, Zack Wheeler, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels are good pitchers but none of those teams can hit or catch the ball. Unless the Braves completely fall off a cliff and have a redux of 2008, it’s going to be awfully hard for the Braves not to contend for one of the two Wild Card spots.

    I’m on record about my hatred of the WC, but yes, the Braves are still well positioned to make the tourney this year. First of all, the Nationals are the ones chasing us, not vice versa. They got Doug Fister. Woo. Doug Fister. I have the NL East as a toss up again this year. I doubt all of the Nats underplay again next season, but again, they’re chasing us.

    In the WC, Pittsburgh is due to regress and I don’t really see much in the way of juggernaut in Cincy. I don’t see a lot of talent in the NL West beyond the Dodgers. Maybe the D’backs. But I see little reason to think that at least one of the WC comes from the East.

    The Braves will make the playoffs in 2014, assuming you count the WC play-in game as making the playoffs.

  24. @37
    Good news, but great news would have been a 5 year contract. However, I am glad that the Braves have one less player going to arbitration. This gives me hope that the Braves aren’t as stubborn with the “file and trial” as they were portraying.

    Edit: 2 years/13.3 MM Seems fair and pretty equal to what he’d get through arbitration.

  25. Losing McCann and Hudson makes us a worse team but we are still a good team. Given the cost of talent I am not surprised or really even disappointed that we haven’t made a significant acquisition. I am disappointed that we couldn’t or won’t divest ourselves of Uggla. But that’s it. We are lucky that at least for the next few years we will get to enjoy the fruits of one of the better organizations and identifying and developing talent.

  26. @35, 36

    It’s beside the point if we manage to get in the playoffs again. That’s part of the reason I’m so upset with the off season because the team is CLOSE but you can’t tell me the organization has done anything to improve the situation since October. Plugging in random journeymen and hoping for a BJ Upton breakout year is pretty much the strategy right now. I think @1 summed it up pretty well in that yeah the guys going right now are all young and cheap and the roster looks pretty decent but what’s the plan going forward? They did nothing this offseason for that. Does anyone think this Heyward 2 year deal means anything other than he walks in 2 years because someone gave him $150 million and the Braves are too cheap to do that?

  27. And I wouldn’t really be as upset with this if it hadn’t been the same damn thing for the last 10 years. The team hasn’t won a playoff series since 2001, something is wrong with what they’re doing but they just keep running back the same strategy. Paper over the cracks during the season and get exposed in the playoffs. Is that what we’re ok with?

  28. Losing McCann hurts. Gattis has to step up as an everyday catcher. Losing Hudson is a replaceable part, regardless of how much beloved Huddy was in Atlanta.

    Good to see Heyward extended. No reason for him to sign a five year deal, so buying out the last two years of arb is likely as good as it gets.

  29. @ajcbraves: #Braves Wren said file-and-trial strategy is strict, with only exception being for multi-yr contract negotiations

    @mlbbowman: Heyward’s 2-year deal is worth a guaranteed $13.3 million. It includes award bonuses and performance bonuses that could raise his ’15 salary

  30. I thought the Braves could buy out Kimbrels last 3 for around $30 mil. If he loses his arb hearing then that’s probably a realistic figure barring no injuries. However, if he wins and get $9+ this season then it wouldn’t be close.

  31. If I’m Frank Wren, here’s my “best case” scenario.

    1. Buy out Heyward’s arb years. (Done.)

    2. Buy out Freeman’s arb years. (Possible with the ‘multi-year deals’ exception to file-and-trial.)

    3. Win the arb case against Kimbrel. (Flip a coin.)

    If they could buy out Freeman’s arb years, you’d have a team with Justin Upton (’15), Heyward (’15) and Freeman (’16) under contract through the end of the Turner Field era, more or less. You could then decide which of Upton or Heyward gets the big “Dear Atlanta, we are going to keep our superstars please come to our new stadium” contract in 2016. (Uggla’s gone by then, Kimbrel’s gone by then, one of Upton or Heyward walks…)

    Then, in a PERFECT world:

    4) Open up the coffers and extend one or two of the pitchers, or both of the OFs, or get involved in the Mike Trout sweepstakes that will be coming around just about that time.

  32. There are a lot of unknowns with Trout, but let’s assume that he basically keeps doing a Willie Mays impression for the next four years until he’s eligible for free agency: something like 150 games a year, good defense, good baserunning, bunches of home runs, and a high batting average.

    How much would you pay to sign him, at 26?

  33. There simply isn’t much flexibility in this roster with the team’s budget to make a noticeable push for the World Series. Most of what would push this team over the top is “potential energy” that could become kinetic. If guys like BJ suddenly perform average, that’s a big shot in the arm. I don’t think I even need to say how formidable this club would be if Dan Uggla also decided to be a decent player!

    That’s it. That’s all it will really take.

  34. Trout’s been getting 10 wins/yr if he keeps that up he’s worth 60-70 mil a year on the market.

  35. 53: Winning 96 games is “a noticeable push for the World Series.” What happens after the regular season concludes is largely beyond any GM’s (or owner’s) capacity to control.

  36. I am DEFINITELY not in on Trout. Maybe this is in jest. However, if you COULD sign him for 40 a year, why would you? The roster needs to generate around 45 wins. You have 25 players. The relievers are 7 of those and put together they will not exceed about 7. If you have five 4 win starting pitchers ( a stretch) you need 18 more wins over the 8 remaining positions. You don’t have the budget in ATL (assuming it was Arthur Blank and the stadium is a “hit”)

  37. Morosi now reporting the deal could be somewhere around 8/125 million. I’d be willing to bet it’d be along the lines of 5 million, 8 million, 12 million then 19-20 million for the next 5.

    @Grst
    One of the reasons I was upset with the FO was due to the incomplete business mentioned at #1. Now that it looks as though Freeman and Heyward signed multi-year deals, I’m happy!

  38. Hey alright, management must have heard I was complaining about them on the internet all offseason!

  39. @62 I thought your post was fair analysis, even if I didn’t share all of the concerns. That wasn’t really what I was referring to.

    In any case, I agree. It’s good news that they’ve shown some ability to work with their young players. I just hope it translates into keeping them even longer.

  40. Could someone explain to me why the Heyward contract is a good thing? I’m not being snippy, I’m legitimately curious.

    All we did was buy out his arbitration years, but for more money than either side offered. How is that better for us?

  41. @66:

    The way I see it, he gets a bit more this year, but it controls his cost next year. If he has a big year, his salary next year is already set, and he won’t be able to make the jump to $11-12MM.

  42. @66
    Heyward was set to make 5.2-5.5 million this year, and probably close to 8 in 2015. If Heyward were to have another 6 WAR year, his value for 2015 could be viewed very differently. The extension gives Heyward peace of mind for the next 2 years and gives the Braves a guaranteed number for 2015. If it turns out to be more money than what the arb process would have given Heyward, the difference isn’t worth the headache of the arbitration hearings and/or payroll uncertainties.

  43. I wonder how Heyward feels about his 2/$13 now?? I like the deal. After next year he’s simply getting Uggla’s money. Plus we should be looking to lock up these guys at 24 instead of at ages 28-30.

    Lets lock up Simmons, Teheran, and Minor next.

  44. Buying out Heyward does a couple of things. All of them may seem small bore but together they are pretty important to a management organization.

    First, it clears the need to negotiate with him constantly for the next two years. Second, it signals to the market and the fan base that the Braves are willing to invest in the players. Third, it gives the Braves payroll certainty (barring injury) at the position, which allows them to more specifically target other needs via free agency or extensions.

  45. I’ve been unable to decide between Heyward, Freeman, and Simmons for my next jersey purchase… Looks like the FO made up my mind for me.

  46. 2016:

    La Stella (2b)
    Heyward (rf)*
    J Upton (lf)*
    Freeman (1b)
    Gattis (c)
    Johnson (3b)*
    Simmons (ss)
    BJ Upton (cf)

    Minor
    Beachy*
    Teheran
    JR Graham
    Lucas Sims

    * denotes players who will be heading into free agency, barring extension, in 2017 (the first season played in Cobb Count/White Flight Field.)

    Flip Kimbrel for a package centered on Rougned Odor and he replaces Johnson going into 2017. You have payroll flexibility to choose between Heyward or JUpton, unless you move BJ Upton and can then extend them both. (This assumes a more or less static payroll.)

  47. @76

    Exactly. I imagine we tried a long-term extension for Heyward and he just wouldn’t bite, so that led to the 2-year arb buyout. But anyway, assuming Kimbrel’s gone by 2017, we should be able to choose between Justin Upton and Heyward. We won’t be able to sign both, but we should be able to sign one. Or, if you prefer, we’ll be able to choose between Upton, Heyward and Kimbrel, though I doubt we’d take Kimbrel in that situation. (It’s also possible that Kimbrel blows out his elbow sometime between then and now, which could change things in that regard.)

  48. I love that we’re flipping Kimbrel as his pre-arb clock runs out for a package that happens to include all pre-arb years of a top position-player prospect :)

    More post-extension hubris!

  49. @79
    That’s not abnormal. Look at James Shields for Wil Myers. Odor isn’t near the prospect as Myers was.

  50. I think Odor’s gonna approach the top of some lists relatively soon. But Kimbrel and Shields aren’t comparable, and Dayton Moores don’t grow on trees.

  51. James Shields was coming off of a year in which he was worth 3.9 war and had only one year of control and he was traded for the best offensive prospect in baseball. In the above scenario, Kimbrel would have 2 years of control at 2-2.5 war and traded for a much lesser prospect.

    If you prefer, I’ll provide another scenario that suits you.

  52. Right. I didn’t suggest they flip Kimbrel for Byron Buxton. (Man, that would be sweet.)

  53. Well done. Covering up to his age 32 season. Gotta lock up the face of the franchise and this is as low of a risk as we can afford to take.

    It would be awesome we can also lock up Heyward and JUpton beyond 2015, but that’s very unlikely. Avoiding another round of arbitration with Heyward next year is a good sign that at least they can agree on something.

  54. I bet Heyward wanted to avoid arbitration just as they did, and was happy to ward off a repeat of the same next offseason. I imagine he also wanted some time to cement his worth before signing a long-term deal. The deal he chose serves the interests of both parties.

    The Freddie deal is very encouraging, to say the least.

  55. I assure you that if Heyward puts together The Season We’ve All Been Waiting For next year and comes back to the Braves with a reasonable extension plan, the Braves would jump.

  56. Oh, and for the “no one would trade Rougned Odor for Craig Kimbrel” contingent, I just spun through John Sickels’ 2014 prospect rankings. Odor is a B prospect in his system. That puts him about equivalent to Tommy La Stella and slightly ahead of Christian Bethancourt.

    Do you think Tommy La Stella would be too much of an asking price for Craig Kimbrel?

  57. @98 Or as soon as Chris Johnson gets too expensive for us to keep. But it would only be right if we find another CJ to be our third baseman.

  58. Right now it’s Mat Gamel and Victor Caratini behind Regression. It would be nice to see some depth there.

  59. @100 And Pena…and he is pretty good playing there defensively as well. I imagine Pena will be CJ’s defensive replacement for most games in 2014.

  60. Sigh. No, I would not trade six years of La Stella for two years of Kimbrel in a vacuum. It’s hard to imagine circumstances where I would do that deal either. It’s really hard to imagine the Rangers looking at Scheppers — or, really, whoever their best pitcher in their bullpen at the end of this season — and deciding that they still really, really need Kimbrel, so badly that they’d give up six prime years of a solid MLB infielder.

    I’ve been doing this on my phone…I still found a list where Sickels includes Odor in his midseason top 76. I didn’t see La Stella on the list. Let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a reason you know who Odor is, and it’s not just because of his name. Look at his stats. Look at his age. He’s legit. Kimbrel is an historically good, but also really expensive reliever. The Rangers aren’t idiots.

    It looks like we’re going to deal Kimbrel sometime before he reaches FA, so I suppose we’ll see who’s right.

    FWIW, the Myers-Shields deal netted the Royals two years of Shields. It was still widely panned as an overpay on their part.

  61. Being widely panned on the internet is virtually meaningless when it comes to what a ML front office will give up for Kimbrel.

  62. Hey, if it happens, great. There are some dumb GMs out there. I still say we don’t get a package that includes a prospect of Odor’s caliber.

  63. Just saw the Freeman news. Having him for the next 8 years is going to be awesome! I always assumed he would end up with a west coast team when he hit free agency since he is so vocal about loving the area he grew up in. This was an exciting surprise!

    This offseason had definitely been a depressing one, with sad news following sad news—Atlanta losing the Braves, the Braves losing Huddy, McCann, and EOF, the threat of three players going to arbitration, Maddux going logo-less into the HOF—but today turned all of that around. Can’t wait for baseball to start now!

  64. Amen ‘Rissa.

    Give the Fredster three more years Wren, (to his age 35 season) then let’s vote him into the Oval Office so he can hug out All The Problems we’re facing.

  65. @94 – Rougned Odor is only one of the best names in baseball. I’m not sure if he can play, but the name alone is enough to pay big bucks for him. Actually Odor is a decent prospect, but as has been pointed out, at this point he’s not guaranteed to be a lot better than La Stella.

  66. Greetings from Oahu’s North Shore…

    Freeman & Heyward, now that’s some legit off-season news. Freddie has turned it up in a big way and I’m really happy for him. (Makes sense, but so un-Brave-like, I gotta say.) I sure hope he has 8 more years like the last couple. And, yes, Heyward (as everyone believes) could even get better. Injuries, stay away. And FWIW, I’m bullish on the ’14 Bravos.

    Odd Moment Tonight: In my hotel, I met David Wells, Kevin Millar & Steve Young. I’m not sure why they’re here, but I think it was for an Ace Hardware Convention. All supernice, ran into them in the lobby with my nieces.

    We talked & I told them I was a Braves fan & Millar piped up to the other 2 guys: “Hey, did you hear about Freddie Freeman’s deal, yadda yadda?”

    Was talking to Wells about ’98 & Millar (again) barreled in, “Hey, you from New York?”

    Me: Yeah

    Millar: (Looking at Wells) We had a few big games there, too, y’know… (big grin)

    Me: You don’t have to tell me. I was at Game 7 in ’03 and ’04, but you Sawx people just can’t leave it alone, can you?

    Millar: Nyuk, nyuk.

    Didn’t have the heart to bring up Young’s 6 INT game vs. UGA when I was in school. Didn’t wanna be Mr. Buzzkill, as he was so magnanimous. And it’s kinda hard to be a prick in these parts, it’s so chill.

  67. ububba @ 110,

    I was at the UGA BYU game and remember the Steve Young hype (including his descent from the school’s namesake / founder) and remember thinking what an overhyped player from a low end conference. Time showed him to be much better. He probably had his worst day ever.

    The contrast to that had been watching Joe Roth of Cal a few years before that. I think it was one of his last few games before the cancer started affecting him. Wesley Walker (later of the Jets) was his great target. I don’t know how UGA survived that day.

  68. We could but shouldn’t trade Kimbrel for Odor now or mid-season because it would weaken the team. I don’t think we’ll be able to trade for him later if he continues his performance into AAA this season.

    There have to be a bazillion other ways to freak out about replacing Chris Johnson in 2017.

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