Where Do We Go From Here? 2014, Part 1: What Do We Do With BJ? (by smitty)

Note to Braves Journal newbies: Every offseason here at Braves Journal, we run a series of posts called “Where Do We Go From Here?” The first one of the 2014 offseason is from Smitty.

Other than hiring a General Manger, the most important decision the Braves face this offseason is, “What do we do with BJ Upton?” Ultimately, the final answer of this question could determine the next two to three seasons.

As you know, BJ Upton was signed by the recently departed Frank Wren prior to the 2013 season. This signing and the theft of his brother, Justin, were probably the best and worst moves of the Wren era. While Justin’s performance has been outstanding, BJ has been terrible. Whenever you have a season where you add 24 points to your batting average, and people still claim your season was a failure, it’s bad!

Let’s break it down by options:

A key reference point here is that BJ is owed $45,350,000 through the 2017 season, according to Baseball Reference.com.

1. The Win the Powerball Twice and Develop Superman Powers Scenario: The Braves trade BJ Upton to a team willing to pick up the full tab

There is no way I see this happening. There was a better, albeit small, chance last offseason of this scenario happening. However, when you put up back to back negative WAR seasons, no one will want you. Unless I am hired by the Phillies to be their GM, no one is going to pick up the $45,350,000 contract of doom.

2. The One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure, or Something Scenario: The Braves trade BJ Upton to a team that will pick up the tab, if we throw in value and/or take a bad contract back

There were rumors abound in July that the Cubs and Braves discussed an Edwin Jackson for BJ Upton deal. Baseball Reference notes Jackson is owed $22 million for 2014-2015 and had an ERA of 5.58 over his last two seasons in the Friendly Confines. While the money doesn’t match up, the Cubs might kick in some salary relief if the Braves include, say, Mike Minor.

I think there are a few teams that may listen to us (Rangers, Dodgers, Yankees…) and may take BJ off our hands. A deal like this would cost obviously cost us something of value.

I actually think this is the scenario that will happen. It will test our new GM right out of the gate and could be the move that defines him early on.

3. The Dan Uggla Scenario: The Braves release BJ Upton

This scenario may happen if the Braves don’t find a taker before the start of Spring Training. I am not sure Liberty Media will be too happy with this, but if the Braves don’t feel BJ can contribute and no one will take him, this is what you probably have to do. Another season like the last two will start to be a massive clubhouse distraction. We know how the Braves feel about that.

Under this scenario, the Braves may save some money if anyone picks up BJ, though it probably wouldn’t be more than the league minimum. Maybe Liberty Media agree it is sunk cost and since we have played the “front office shuffle,” they will eat some of the cost and allow the Braves some payroll latitude.

4. The Left Field Scenario: The Braves keep BJ Upton

As noted above, BJ’s brother is on the team and is a free agent next year. I am sure the Braves would like to keep him and they way they handle this could will be a factor in that decision. Maybe Justin gives the Braves a discount for the way this all goes down and to play with his brother for a few more years. Maybe the Braves decide to give the new hitting coach a shot to correct BJ’s issues. Maybe BJ starts taking PEDs and shows off in winter workouts.

5. The Gold Watch Scenario: BJ Upton Retires

This is the scenario that ranks up there with me being named GM of the Phillies. I guess there is a chance BJ is mentally fatigued and says, “I’ve lost it.” After a winter of failing to make contact with 75 mph fastballs from a machine, BJ calls a press conference at Turner Field. With his brother and father flanking his sides, he tearfully makes the following announcement:

“After playing a game all of my life, I now have reached the end of my life in baseball. When I came to Atlanta a few years ago, I dreamed the organization would take the next step and we would hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy as the (Royals/Giants) did a few months ago. I became even more excited when the Braves added my brother to the roster and was able to live a dream of playing with my brother and best friend.

I would like to thank God, my family, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Atlanta Braves for making this an incredible ride. I am thankful the Braves will allow me to serve as Assistant Secretary of Minor League Base Running Development and Overseer of Baseballs.”

Assistant Secretary of Minor League Base Running Development and Overseer of Baseballs does have a nice ring to it.

115 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here? 2014, Part 1: What Do We Do With BJ? (by smitty)”

  1. There is the Braves trade BJ Upton for an infield dirt sample and eat 99% of the contract scenario like they did with Derek Lowe but its very unlikely. If someone wants to give BJ a test drive all they have to do is wait for mid to late May when he is cut. Then there’s the fact that he still has 3 years left on his contract.

    I feel like the Braves will do the wrong thing and start the season with BJ on the team. If his tenure includes significant playing time then its really wrong. I’ve always discounted the Justin factor when it has come to the way the team has handled BJ but I guess it could be a factor.

  2. Or he could be Horacio Ramirez’s replay assistant, working only on Thursday afternoon road games.

    The BJ Question is the elephant, but I think we already know the answer.

  3. It’s going to be option 4. In the conference call with Hart earlier this week (where I also reported the 100-120M payroll) when he was asked about re-signing Justin it was at that point that Hart made the comment about having to “wear BJ’s contract” and how it was going to be part of the payroll constraints. He then kind of segued into talking about the new hitting coach fixing BJ so it sounded very much to me like they were going to try to get some playing time out of BJ and they did not see any way of getting relief from the contract.

  4. The Braves should anonymously ship BJ some PEDs, hope he’s dumb enough to take them, and then try to get him busted and void his contract.

    When you think about it, Braves fans have every reason to be sending BJ PEDs. Assuming he’s still on the team and starting, if BJ takes them, his performance can only get better. Or he gets caught and at least suspended, forcing the Braves to acquire another outfielder. Win-win.

  5. The question still remains, if not BJ, who? You want to play Gattis/Heyward/JUpton? Then you’re playing Bethancourt behind the plate. You want to play Gattis behind the plate? Then you’re playing BJ or Todd Cunningham in CF. There aren’t a lot of options there.

  6. @8 ‘The question still remains, if not BJ, who? ‘

    The guy we trade for to replace him. If we cannot find a CF then we move Heyward to CF and try to find a corner OF’r. I only advocate this because I believe it will be easier to find a league average corner OF than a CF that can hit. Or a catcher that can hit.

    When 2 of your 9 lineup spots, Simmons and pitcher are automatic outs you have to sacrifice some defense. Gattis can catch. Bethancourt cannot hit.

    Yes I realize that Johnson is a worse player than Simmons but at least if he hits to his career averages he isn’t an automatic out.

    If we cannot or will not facilitate a trade then Gattis/Heyward/JUpton and hope like hell Johnson isn’t a negative win player on offense and that more Gattis sort of offsets one of Simmons or Bethancourt.

    The FA list looks thin. Cuddyer, Mike Morse are the best of the corners. Colby Rasmus, Torii Hunter, Denard Span are CFs that are free agents.

  7. Ben Zobrist? TB has a team option for him though.

    Bottom line though is if we cannot/will not take on more payroll, the team is hosed.

  8. I wouldn’t shy away from Cuddyer, Morse, Rasmus, or Hunter if they can be had for the right price. I think Span will command a little too much money.

  9. Cuddyer is coming off of an injury year and is 35. Hunter is 39 but his power numbers look like the Hammer’s compared to Heyward and Upton. Rasmus looks like the second coming of BJ Upton. He is only 27, but he really hasn’t been any good with the bat at all. Morse was just awful in 2013 but bounced back nicely this season. He is 32.

    Span had his second best season. He hits for no power, though his slug is better than Heywards. The Nats have a team option on him anyway.

  10. The guy we trade for to replace him.

    Oh, that guy. How could I forget about that guy. He’s so memorable, what with his lack of a proper name or any feasible proposal by which we are going to magically trade BJ Upton to get him.

  11. Sam, we aren’t going to trade BJ for his replacement. I think that we will hit the FA market first. Trading one of our desirable players hurts the team more than the probable return would help us. Upon further review there are more options in the FA market than I thought for an outfielder. All of the options are a roll of the dice but what the hell, all the guy has to do is not be a huge sucking hole in the lineup like BJ is.

    edit: As for BJ’s eventual disposal, I think he is on the team out of camp and off the team by the end of May. Of course there could be a miracle of biblical proportions and he could return to being a useful player again, but I’d say the odds are very much against that happening.

  12. Trade BJ and Minor for Edwin if that’s still on the table. Don’t know why it would be, but do it.

    It frees up $9mil this offseason. That almost covers Santana or another starter for next year.

  13. The last thing I want to do, if I have any dreams of resigning Jason Heyward, is turn him in to a CF right before he hits the market.

  14. Plus he can’t play CF at the same time as BJ. That would be non-optimal defensive positioning.

  15. Assuming that Heyward is not as good a defender in CF as he is in RF wouldnt that make him more affordable?

  16. Heyward’s affordability depends completely on his bat. As does my desire to sign him long term.

  17. Assuming Josh Johnson’s TJ rehab is on track, I am surprised he Padres declined his 4 million dollar option. Braves better be in on that.

  18. I think BJ needs a TJ surgery. This will allow us to get some money back through insurance. Someone please makes this happens!!!

  19. Can it really be true that the Braves will give a players as bad as BJ Upton another 500 plate appearances?

    Thank you, Smitty, for putting this issue right up front.

  20. I could see BJ’s full contract going with Freddie’s full contract.

    That would be pretty daring for both sides of the trade

  21. Just read/remembered that the Cardinals have John Lackey next season for…the major league minimum. Life is so stupid.

    Uehara is off the table; Span is off the table; LaDouche and R. Soriano are on a table somewhere, but not the table the Braves are looking at.

  22. The Orioles do have an opening in the OF. Markakis is a FA this year. We’d have to throw something in as the dollars don’t match up.

  23. I like the idea. Then again, there are too many proposals that you could offer up that I would be against. Get rid of BJ at all costs.

    Then trade his brother.

  24. At all costs? Including trying to compete next year?

    I think its fantasy to believe that we will be able to off load any substantial part of BJ’s contract.

    If ownership cannot get on board with the idea of sunk costs then the Braves are doomed next year.

  25. I am more concerned about off loading BJ. Whatever portion of his salary we don’t have to eat is a bonus. Hie thee hence, BJ.

  26. No one is going to give up a dime for something they will in all likelihood have an opportunity to get for free very soon. BJ is either on the roster or released by opening day.

  27. Ugh. This was a disastrous FA signing (perceptive glimpse into the obvious). But it was disastrous from day 1: he’s a very athletic, very flawed baseball player. His OBP the year prior to signing was .298, trending down . His power and speed made him a great fantasy player; real life, not so much. In other words, his disastrous seasons as a Brave were rather predictable and not really that far off from his career marks.

    I fear he will be on the roster all year, unless he agrees to go down or extended spring training or some such. They could DL him like Wohlers for “inability to hit.” They’re gonna give new hitting coach a chance to fix him — after that, I imagine he’s released.

  28. BJ isn’t even on Seitzer’s radar. You don’t fix a lost cause. Heyward, Simmons, the 2nd base posse: those are the priorities.

  29. OBP from 2007 – 2012 .386 .383 .313 .322 .331 .298

    With hindsight I guess you could see it as a trend. But at the time of his signing the .298 looks like an outlier. This is another case of a mysterious precipitous decline in performance. 28 years old coming off a 2.8 WAR season. Not sure if anyone could have predicted what has unfolded.

  30. There are a lot of people who are today sure they saw this coming then. I’ve seen little evidence of the prescience with a time stamp.

  31. I said this in a thread a few weeks ago, but I’d like to repeat it:

    Think of Heyward’s year at the plate in 2014, a display not necessarily bad but certainly underwhelming. Then make it slightly worse–not too much worse overall but significantly worse in the single most important area of production (on-base average). Then replace Heyward’s superb defense with below-average defense. Then add 3 years to his age. Then remember that the guy’s only all-star level (4+ WAR) season occurred 6 years earlier.

    That’s the guy Wren & Co. gave a 5-year $75.5 million contract.

    It’s not hindsight. It’s the facts as they stood the day we inked him.

  32. @50

    Sam, he’s not. He’s gone. I don’t know if he’s gone to another team or if he’s gone to Cabo with $50 million due to him, but he’s gone.

  33. What was the cost per win at the time of the signing? Are you implying that you understood that he would go from 2.8 WAR to negative WAR, given what you knew right then? Again, the decline could be anticipated, but the degree of decline?

  34. I doubt Seitzer could teach BJ to jump, jive, and wail, let alone hit. (Sorry, just had to get that out of my system.)

    My prediction for BJ is that he’ll follow the exact same path as Uggla, perhaps even to the week that he gets cut.

  35. @56 – As much as I wish that the Braves would just give up on him, I agree with you. Count on detailed reports on his progress in Spring. New approach, simpler mechanics, better focus, eye surgery, better glasses blah blah blah. Then he’ll suck ass in April and a good part of May. New poll on BJ’s release date?

  36. I’m trying to track down Rob Cope’s spot-on BJ prediction from when we signed him, and I’m failing…

    EDIT: @57, Haha, that’s true, I did not factor in that we already blew through our “He just needs glasses!” excuse.

  37. @54

    I’m saying:

    1.) The Braves weren’t paying a standard $/WAR price with that offer–in a Braves context, it was a much bigger commitment than that given our history of contracts and the state of our finances
    2.) You give a big contract to a player who, for one reason or several, is likely to be more valuable than the contract you give him, not a guy who’s best-case scenario in any given year is being worth his annual salary
    3.) It doesn’t matter that the degree of the decline was so crazy because the Braves should never have signed that player at that price to begin with. (This last statement is a little unintuitive and I’ll try to find some time to flesh it out later this weekend.) Because any decline at all was imminent, the deal was a bad, bad deal from the start.

  38. BJ had to lead the majors in taking a called 3rd strike. Someone can work with him but it doesn’t need to be us.

  39. @58 I remember that rant from Rob Cope, and you’re right, it was spot-on. I knew nothing about BJ, but when I first read it I thought “no way he’ll be THAT bad.” Turns out Rob was right, and I my wishful thinking was exactly that: wishful.

  40. Yes, that was the post. I had never seen him play before, and I was shocked to learn a major leaguer would do something like that on a regular basis. I, too, am having no luck in finding the post, though.

  41. @59(2)

    Is that true? It’s been my supposition that long free agent contracts usually don’t pan out in a strict $$/WAR calculation, and they’re probably not even expected to by a rational front office. They’re signed because they, ideally, fill a specific need for a specific team, and the market for that need determines not whether it will be an overpay, but by how much. Even a well-run organization is overpaying a few veterans — they’re just offset by enough overperforming youngsters. If the free agent happens to actually live up to the contract — well, then you stand a good chance of flying a banner.

  42. @64

    Good point. I tangled up good ideas within the creaky concept of “value.” Let me try to recalibrate my thinking.

    Okay, how about this for a contract philosophy: Be willing to “overpay” (can mean relative to the market or relative to the club’s financial capacity) for a player only if that player shows solid baseline skill-set, one or two skills so typically outlandishly good that, even if the player only performs to his baseline skill he still adds to the team on some order.

    For instance: Joey Votto’s clear ability to get on base.
    For instance: Giancarlo Stanton’s power.
    For instance: Andrelton’s defense.
    For instance: Craig Kimbrel’s strikeout stuff.

    (Definitely cherry-picked outsize examples to make the point more clear.)

    These are the types of players where the risk of a disaster-scenario is extremely low (barring injury). So outsize contracts are really about finding the guy with both the high floor and the high ceiling. No doubt there was upside to the BJ signing on the day we signed him–a guy who’s never at risk of being called slow who just hit 27 homers in a pitcher’s park–but his floor was way, way, way too low. What was his incontrovertible skill? What could he fall back on if everything wasn’t all clicking for him at once? He could steal a base or two, but he’s not a game changer out there. His defense ranged from average to suspect. He doesn’t make a lot of contact compared to other players. His power only showed itself sporadically. His on-base average was trending down, and he had just come off a miserable on-base season.

    That’s a low-floor player, and that’s the kind of guy you don’t give the highest annual salary in your team’s history, even if there’s a shot it works out.

  43. And to build on that:

    It’s why some team (the Braves, I hope!) is going to give Jason Heyward a very big contract.

    The argument against a big contract to Heyward is where the upside falls. Do we believe he can still hit the ball with power? Do we believe he can be a close to .400 on-base guy again? Do we believe he can hit .300? These are all legitimate questions, and some teams are going to answer “no” to them–but some are going to think, “Yes. Yes we believe.”

    But Heyward has a baseline. In an unhealthy season where nearly everything goes wrong for him (2011) he’s a 2 WAR player (2 on Fangraphs, 2.5 on b-ref). In a season in which he starts off slowly and then loses 200 plate appearances to freak injuries (2013) he’s a 3.4 WAR player (the sites agree). In a season where starts slowly again and hits with the same amount of power as a Yangervis Solarte or a kryptonited Billy Butler, he’s a 5 WAR or a 6.5 WAR player depending on where you like to get your WAR.

    That’s a hell of a floor for a player to have. And if you look at that player and you think, “there’s a chance he could put it all together in an even bigger way,” then that’s the guy you try to give the huge contract.

  44. If Ervin Santana takes the Braves qualifying offer, and I think it’s 50/50 whether he will or won’t, the Braves won’t have much choice but to trade Justin Upton.

  45. Depends on how much you value defense I guess. Heyward is slowly becoming a platoon type player at the plate. Not sure if you give someone who can’t hit lefties a long term deal. Useful, yes, but replaceable.

  46. @68

    Right, that’s going to be a question the Braves are weighing, part of the larger discussion of “upside.” Can Heyward hit left-handed pitching in the future or is he limited to his (good) baseline ability to hit righties?

    It’s worth noting that, like the drop in power, Heyward’s clear uselessness against lefties was a new thing in 2014. (Although he has always been much better against righties and has had some poor lefty v. lefty seasons before, just none as bad as 2014.) Is this a trend or a blip? I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I know what my gut says.

  47. Great interview with Wood on Talking Chop, Timo. Wood says all the right things. Don’t know if the one on SB Nation is the same.

    They are. My bad.

  48. Top 50 Free Agent Predictions are out on MLBTR. Volquez and Bonifacio predicted to land with the Braves. In my opinion, Boni would be really dumb to come back to the Braves after the way Fredi used him last year.

  49. @78 – the same Bonifacio who batted .212 with a .553 OPS for us last year? I don’t think so. BJ had a .620 OPS for us. I don’t think he’ll be that bad next year, but no matter how Fredi used him he didn’t endear himself to management.

  50. Rob, I will. Your team is beating my Dawgs in every aspect possible. Congratulations. The better team is winning. I hate it. The Gators deserve to win.

    My face is now officially shut.

  51. If you thought Georgia was good you haven’t been watching football long enough. That said, I thought we had a good chance to lose, but never did I think we’d get blown out of the stadium. Outcoached by Muschamp…a new low.

  52. Will Muschamp is not a bad college football coach. I’ve said all year that with an average quarterback, we can win football games. We had an average quarterback in 2012, and we won 11 games. We won our Season With Average Quarterback Opener tonight and we’re now 1-0 on the new average-quarterback-season. We have the potential to go 5-2 in the Treon Era (losing in the SEC Championship, of course).

    By comparison, BJ Upton is a bad major league baseball player.

  53. Treon is not a good college QB. They were 3 of 6 for 27 yards passing today. The line won upfront and created some great running lanes. Also, Muschamp is a very good defensive coordinator but a terrible head coach.

    Great win today though.

  54. I have no idea how you can determine that Treon Harris is not a good college QB. He’s a true freshman who is 12-18, 263 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT in the equivalent of one game’s work. Much of it was in junk time, but there’s no way you can say he’s not a good college QB. Today, they took an incredibly conservative approach to the game plan, and they simply didn’t need Treon to do anything more than manage the zone read, execute some draws, and throw the ball enough times that they won’t put 10 in the box. They spend two weeks giving him first team reps and getting him ready for this game, and they’ll spend the next week installing more passing plays into his package, and they’ll keep putting more in. I seriously am dumbfounded that you would make such a definitive statement with such little information.

  55. Georgia got manhandled. Physically dominated. Not sure how much is ‘coaching’ and how much is just the emotional ebbs and flows of 19-22 year olds.

    But I don’t think UGA is a top 25 team. The QB position matters.

  56. Honestly, I’d have benched Mason in the 3rd quarter. It’s an open question whether he can throw the ball, but the fact of the matter is he WASN’T throwing the ball. Like he was shell-shocked or something. I’m as surprised as anyone that UGA was thought to be in the catbird seat, but given that they were it behooved them to do anything to win that game.

  57. That was a startlingly fun game! It also shines a light on what’s been so frustrating about this team all year. When they can get out of their own way, it’s a pretty good football team. The running game is good, with two excellent backs, the defense has looked pretty good since they got the kinks worked out of the secondary…. They’ve just consistently given the ball away on offense at the worst possible time and given up huge plays on special teams. And they’d do bizarre shit like drop wide open game-winning passes in the end zone and knock balls into the air to give away interceptions at inopportune times or just straight drop wide open passes on 3rd down for no reason.

    The solution to these issues appeared to be just never throw the ball, which is fair enough I suppose, but at some point, someone’s going to show you a no-safety look and you’ll have to at least try to pass. When that happens, we’ll see if Treon Harris has the same luck Jeff Driskle did.

    Regardless, this game doesn’t change a whole lot. If Florida doesn’t beat FSU, I don’t think Muschamp’s around. There have just been too many embarrassing losses to think that a great win in a rivaly game and then victories over some scrubs plus a reeling South Carolina squad is enough to white-wash it. It was great to see the players show up, and it’s always nice to beat Georgia (especially after these past few years…), but Florida will still be in the market for a coach come Winter.

  58. Richt’s not going anywhere, unless they drop the rest of the schedule (with Gurley).

    Georgia hasn’t really thrown the ball downfield all year, mainly because its 2 big vertical receivers (Mitchell, Scott-Wesley) haven’t been the same or haven’t seen the field since their injuries. The offense has been run-centric all year, and that’s fine as long as you’re not down more than 2 scores. But they haven’t even really attempted that many long passes, unlike last year (even after Mason took over for the injured Murray).

    The first half was a perfect storm for Florida. Georgia needed a quick knockout, its recent formula for success, but didn’t get it mainly because of its (season-long) failure to convert short 3rd downs after driving to or past midfield. (OC Bobo does tend to get cute when a dive, pitch or stretch play might work just fine.)

    UGA was playing a QB with the passing touch of Dick Butkus, but couldn’t open a 2-score lead when needed. Florida’s fake FG changed the game & gave them a chance to settle & find its running game, which certainly turned out to be the story.

  59. @96

    You’re happy that you won and happy that you’re still alive in the playoff race. If I were you, I’d just try not to even think about the fact that you basically won because that guy broke his ankle. I didn’t see anything illegal or misbegotten about it, if that makes you feel any better. He definitely fumbled before the ball crossed the line and it definitely was a legal tackle (he pulled him down by the shirt-tail, not the collar). Just kind of a freak play that went entirely in your favor.

    On another note, how about Tennessee somehow pulling that win out of nowhere!? I’m guessing no one who isn’t either a Tennessee or South Carolina fan was watching, but whatever…I’m happy.

  60. @98-

    Same shit happened to the Seahawks last year vs. the 49ers. They moved on and won the Super Bowl. It was a crazy game and you probably should’ve lost, but ever team that’s ever won a championship has had a couple breaks go there way. You just shrug and realize that next time it might not go you way, so when it does be happy! (About the win, not dude’s ankle…. Just try to separate the two things in your mind the best you can.)

    @98-

    I was watching! Mostly for the comedy of it. What a shit year they’ve having in Carolina. Good for Tennessee though to get something positive this year. I know they were all bummed about losing to Florida for the 12,402,694th time in a row.

  61. MLBTR has it’s “top 50 free agent” guesstimate up and has us picking up Edison Volquez and resigning Boneface.

  62. Rob Cope:

    Congratulations on the ass-whuppin’ the Gators gave the Dawgs. Face is now shut again.

  63. @102

    Buster’s on the inside and I’m on the outside–do you have a 2-3 sentence summary for us have-nots?

  64. I’d like to see the nut of Olney’s reporting/guessing as well. I’ve never seen Buster Olney be on the breaking edge of Braves related news or strategy. I’m sure Heyward is on the board if the price is right. He’s not extended, and if you can get a haul for his last year you have to make that deal. With this team where it is and what it is, you have to be willing to send a guy like Heyward if the return is right.

    I don’t know that anyone is going to send something worthwhile back for a year of Jason Heyward, though.

  65. I really do think we will be Upton-less come April. The Orioles could essentially be interested in a dual-Upton package for Ubaldo and some prospects.

  66. I didn’t get the sense that Olney was reporting anything specific so much as speculating what they might do. (Of course, it’s always possible he heard something on background and that’s informing the column, so who knows.)

    What he wrote is the new thread.

  67. @107, I’m not a paying customer either – all I saw was the summary. It’s a sexy headline, but probably not tons of meat in there. I don’t think the return for a year of Heyward is going to be all that special either. Still, it’s better than a single draft pick if he walks after next year…it all boils down to whether he wants to play here or not. That’s not something any of us are privy to. I’m positive we’ll make him an offer, but it takes two to tango.

  68. If Santana accepts the QO, the Braves will have no choice but to trade Justin Upton, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I still like the Orioles as their shopping ground. The Uptons for Ubaldo and Bundy! Get it done, HartFuzz! A Teheran, Wood, Minor, Santana, and Ubaldo rotation would be just fine with Bundy sharpening his game at AAA. The Braves could use the money saved from BJ’s contract to get a left-fielder and center-fielder. Subtracting the 15 and using MLBTR arb-estimates, that would put the payroll at 81 million, giving the Braves 29 million to fill the holes. That would be just fine.

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