The Jadeite Jewel: The Championship

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

It all comes down to this: which of these two plays are Andrelton’s Jadeite? Your chance to decide is now.

The Championship: Shortstop…or Left Fielder? vs. A League of His Own

Shortstop…or Left Fielder?

Editor’s Pitch: No one saw this coming. All eyes were on Justin Upton, wondering if he would get to the ball in time, since the left fielder is really the only person who has a chance at that ball. The only problem is, Simmons does not think like the rest of the world, and he seems to be out to prove he could man the entire left side of a baseball field without any assistance if he needed to. He not only ran at full speed with his back to the infield toward a fence, he dove toward that same fence to make the catch without thought to personal safety. As if the effort itself wasn’t incredible enough, he actually made the catch and hung on for the out. That just doesn’t happen.

Last Round: Shortstop…or Left Fielder beat The Slip ‘N Slide.

A League of His Own

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons was moving toward third base with the pitch, so he had to reverse his direction to get to the ball. He somehow caught the ball anyway, managed to beat the runner to second, then threw to first while his entire body was still heading toward right field, and somehow got enough on the throw to turn a double play. In a tie game. In the bottom of the 14th inning. He’s not fair. He’s really just not fair.

Last Round: A League of His Own beat Taggin’ Fool.

233 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: The Championship”

  1. We need a poll. A league of his own should be the winner, but Simmons made the play look so easy that it doesn’t look impressive at first blush.

    Edit: OK I see the poll now. Now let’s get a fireman’s pole for the clubhouse.

  2. My favorite thing about this thread is that Kris Medlen was the beneficiary of both of Andrelton’s top two plays. No, I’m still not over Meds no longer being a Brave.

    No matter how many times I’ve watched these clips over the past four months, I can’t help but watch them both again. Andrelton Simmons is insane.

  3. There was a good fireman’s pole joke on Kimmie Schmidt…can’t quite remember the wording.

    A League of His Own is my vote. It’s displays everything that is beautiful, instinctual and ruthless about Simmons.

  4. Maybe not quite as amazing as Andrelton, but impressive still that we managed to get through the entire tournament before the start of the season. Nicely done.

  5. Need one fantasy league manager for Braves Journal Crowhoppers. Email me if interested: cothrjr at hotmail dot com. 13 of our 14 renewed, so looking for that one last piece to beat up on!

  6. Nice work, ‘Rissa! This has been so much fun. Can’t wait to see Simba create some new highlights this year.

  7. Braves looking at trading for Cahill and possibly trading a bad contract? Dorn for Cahill?

  8. We traded LaStella for this…

    @DOBrienAJC: #Braves pitcher Aroodys Vizcaino suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a PED

  9. Oh and I just saw this

    @mdmchenry: @Ken_Rosenthal La Stella hit .375/.455/.521 this spring.

  10. @8, yes please. Dorn and Wandy for Cahill, please yes. I would also trade Willy Mudge Hays for Cahill and pay half of the Mudge contract in 2016 and 2017.

  11. @11, I hated the Lastella trade and made no bones. It’s just spring, though, and time will tell.

  12. I like LaStella a good deal too, but Dan Uggla ripped the cover off the ball in spring training too.

  13. Ryan C, I am that 14th owner and I thought I already lost my spot, but I’d love to keep it! Sorry, I was working 70+ hour weeks for a while there and real life sort of got away from me. I’ll send an email but I totally understand if it’s already filled.

  14. I bet if you looked at all hitters with video game numbers in spring training, the bulk of them would be players competing for a starting job or more playing time or something like that. Just a hunch.

  15. The DBacks also have too many outfielders and seem utterly fleece-able, which is interesting.

  16. It looks like Cahill-to-Atlanta has a lot of steam.

    Are we needing another starting pitcher? Are they aware that Todd Cunningham is their CF?

  17. I once hit .425 in Spring Training. I was trying to catch on with the Twins. That damned Quinton McCracken beat me out for a spot. He didn’t have my intangibles!

  18. Apparently a deal for Cahill is complete. I will only be impressed if CJ or Melvin is gone.

  19. We have warm bodies who could stand in CF. We don’t have five arms that we know can give us 200 IP.

  20. Cahill was a promising young pitcher a couple of years ago but has been injury-plagued and ineffective the last 2 seasons, though he probably wasn’t as bad as his ERA last year shows.

  21. I had a 10 GRIT season. I almost won the Kirk Gibson Award. Commando Cody Ross beat me out.

  22. And AZ picks up 6 of the 12m salary. This indicates to me that we don’t trust Minor’s shoulder. Or Wandy is a Ray soon.

  23. it’s not that elander is great shakes. It’s just that we might’ve had a chance to do something more constructive–like shipping off dorn

  24. @30. I think it’s both. I like this deal. Didn’t know about the two option years. Can potentially be a much bigger deal than it looks if Cahill pitches well this year. I like this deal. I just wish we can pull more trades like this on the hitting front…

  25. Arizona has Yosmany Tomas trying to win their 3b job. Apparently he has the bat but not the glove.

  26. If he can throw strikes, he’ll look a hell of a lot better in Atlanta. The BOB has gorgeous black backdrop for hitters to pick up the ball, dry air, and a touch of altitude. If he looks sharp it will be hard to say if the improvement’s real, might actually become worth something.

    The main risk is 6 million in a year when they are trying to fill out their budget.

  27. That’s what happen when you still have capacity to add to the payroll this late. I doubt there are many teams out there who can still take on 6m of salary.

  28. Yeah, still looking for confirmation on the draft pick. Are we talking the competitive balance pick for 2015 or is Bowman speculating on ATL making a QO after the season (which would make no sense since we would have a club option at $13 and a QO would be about $15).

  29. Without having seen his stuff, Cahill seems eminently fixable. He’s a groundball pitcher who now gets to have Andrelton Simmons behind him, he’s only 27, he has a history of being no worse than a cromulent innings-eater, he’s moving to a better pitcher’s park, and he’s reasonably cheap. Assuming he’s not physically shot, this seems A-OK to me.

  30. So we got a draft pick and $6m? Hard to complain. Could be another nice piece to move at the deadline if he’s healthy and productive

  31. I don’t have real expectations for Cahill. If he can pitch 175 innings, it’s a win.

  32. Gondeee on the Cahill move:

    “It’s a weird move from a team direction point of view. Atlanta spent a lot of time and effort this offseason trading away the present to acquire the future. Why not give one of the young pitchers a chance in the rotation? Cody Martin pitched well this spring and seemed to deserve a chance. Mike Foltynewicz had some bumps in the road, but he’s going to have to work threw those at some point.”

    Good points, as usual.

  33. @45, we could’ve signed Aaron Harang to pitch 175 innings, likely more effectively and for the same monetary outlay. This trade is ‘meh’ if Cahill just eats some replacement-level innings, but it is only a win to me if he exceeds expectations (which would mean being tradeable at the deadline or being good enough for us to pick up his option).

    If he pitches like he did the last 2 years, he is replacement level or below, and if that’s the case, I’d have rather seen Cody Martin or Folty take some lumps in those innings and see if either of them can be effective in MLB. You can be a lot more patient with young pitchers when you’re not contending.

  34. @46, looks like Gandy and I think alike on this one. The Braves brass said something like “the only way you’re gonna find out if Martin is a big league pitcher is to let him pitch in the big leagues”. I agree. We’ve also cast off quite a few effective pitchers in the last 2 decades because we couldn’t give them enough innings to be any good (Jason Marquis, Odalis Perez, Charlie Morton). We only held onto pitchers that were good right from the start (Jair, Hanson, Medlen, Millwood, Beachy). That’s what happens when you’re trying to win your division. This season, however, is a great opportunity to let Folty and/or Martin get pounded.

    Glavine went 7-17 in his first full season with a 4.56 ERA. Maddux went 6-14 with a 5.61. Steve Avery went 3-11 with a 5.64 (21 starts). Smoltz got socked around in his few months, too. It takes some guys more than a couple months to learn how to pitch, even some HOFers.

  35. @46, They are trying to spend just enough to not lose 90 games to keep up some “Atlanta doesn’t rebuild. We reload!” fig leaf.

  36. Steamer and ZIPS don’t seem to think Harang will be appreciably better than Cahill this year, and Harang’s back is already giving him issues. Also, if we want, we get to keep Cahill for his age 28 and 29 seasons.

    You have to assume that the Braves think it best for Folty et al’s development to keep them in the minors and bring them up when they’re actually ready. It’s not like we can all agree they have nothing left to prove in the minors, or that there’s some urgent need for them right now. The future ain’t here yet. We’ve got plenty of time.

    If Cahill eats innings until someone better is ready, great. If he proves worthy of keeping around longer, even better.

  37. I think Cody, Manny, and Fulty will all get looks later this season. I guess the Braves would see how competitive they can be until close to the trade deadline. We could be moving Minor, Wandy, Stults, Cahill and others at that time.

  38. Yeah I completely disagree on Harang being the equivalent of Cahill. Yes you could have them at the same price this year, but having Harang would be buying high (made $1 million last year) as he pitched way above expectations for the first month and mostly below average after that. Cahill would be buying low, set to make $12 Million, is younger with more upside and has the potential to thrive with Simmons behind him and out of Arizona.

  39. Can anyone explain why the Braves hate Todd Cunningham so much, when Joe Benson—Joe Benson—appears to be in line to win an opening day roster spot?

  40. I thought Fredi announced a few weeks ago that Wandy would make the team as the 4th starter. Did Fredi change his mind or get overruled?

  41. I don’t think I’m articulating myself well because everyone seemed to miss the point.

    @50, you said: “Steamer and ZIPS don’t seem to think Harang will be appreciably better than Cahill this year”

    Did I say Harang would be better than Cahill this year? In fact, I said expressly that I figured them both to be replacement level starters for 2016.

    “and Harang’s back is already giving him issues.”

    Fair point–Harang may be less likely to give us 175 replacement level innings than Cahill. I’ll concede that.

    “Also, if we want, we get to keep Cahill for his age 28 and 29 seasons.”

    This is exactly the circumstance under which I said I’d call the trade a win. The trade isn’t a win if Cahill is more or less like harang. It is a win if he becomes substantially better. The one attribute of Cahill is upside, and that was my point–the trade is only a win if the upside is realized.

    @53, “Yeah I completely disagree on Harang being the equivalent of Cahill.”

    They aren’t equivalent but I expect them to post roughly equivalent seasons. Cahill has upside–that is the difference.

    “Yes you could have them at the same price this year…”

    My position is NOT that we should’ve resigned Harang. We shouldn’t have even considered it. I was responding to the claim that if Cahill just pitches 175 innings, it’s a win. I don’t personally see how getting replacement innings in a rebuilding year constitutes a win. The trade is a great one because of the 2 options years (so I have learned), but only in the case that we get something out of Cahill besides replacement production is this trade a “win”.

    *Just found out Braves released Wandy, so this entire argument could be made about Wandy’s production as well, which could’ve been had for substantially less money. I still think it was a good trade, but not just for “innings”. Is this clear? why isn’t this clear?

  42. 62-well just to nitpick you did say that Aaron Harang could’ve pitched 175 innings “likely more effectively” than Cahill.

    I see your point that that doesn’t mean the trade was a good one, but my thinking is there is some upside and as long as the money isn’t keeping us from doing something better, I don’t have a problem with it. I suppose the only problem is the opportunity cost whether we could’ve given that roster spot to someone better than Cahill or whether we could’ve given a youngster some valuable ML seasoning with that spot. I think pitching is such that opportunities for the prospects will present themselves, so I don’t worry about that aspect as much.

  43. Alex,

    No. I do not trust Mike Minor’s shoulder. At this point, I have Mike Minor firmly on the Mike Minor’s shoulder on the Tommy Hanson and the Hamburger Meat of Doom path.

    I think one of two things happened with Wandy. Either he asked to be released and the Braves FO valued a good reputation among veteran players over one year of Wandy being here when he wanted to play for a contender, or they valued Cahill and his upside +5.5 mil over Wandy +2.0 mil. Or both.

    But no. I don’t trust Mike Minor’s shoulder any more. It makes me sad. I liked Mike Minor a lot.

  44. @61, Yeah, it sounded like Fredi was a bit premature with that. He did essentially say the 4th starter’s job was Wandy’s, and then Wandy had two starts that weren’t great and he’s not on the team. It is a bit odd for something like that to happen at a Braves camp. Fredi may not have much say-so at all.

    Edit: Unless, as Sam noted, Wandy requested the release. Today was the last day he could do so.

  45. To be honest, I think the front office feels this team will be better than everyone thinks. Adding Cahill is not something you do if you are rebuilding and have lots of young arms. That or they think Foltz isn’t a starter long term and wanted an innings eater.

  46. @65,

    It’s not unprecedented for the Braves to pull a starter from the ranks of the bullpen in recent years. I’m a little confused, but optimistic Martin will get a chance.

    @66
    Can’t it be both ways? Fredi has a little bit of a history of being overruled.

  47. Has anyone seen Mike Hampton’s and Mike Minor’s shoulders in the same room? Didn’t think so.

  48. So Sports Illustrated has their 2015 all-MLB first team and second team. Could be fun argument fodder.

    1st Team:
    C: Posey
    1B: Rizzo (!?)
    2B: Cano
    3B: Beltre
    SS: Tulowitzki
    LF: Gordon
    CF: Trout
    RF: Stanton
    LH Starter: Kershaw
    RH Starter: King Felix
    LH Bullpen: Chapman
    RH Bullpen: Kimbrel
    Other Weird “positions”: Jarrod Dyson, Wade Davis

    2nd Team
    C: Molina
    1B: Goldschmidt
    2B: Altuve
    3B: Donaldson
    SS: Desmond
    LF: Yelich
    CF: McCutchen
    RF: Heyward
    LH Starter: Price
    RH Starter: Cueto
    LH Bullpen: Doolittle
    RH Bullpen: Holland
    Random weird things: Enrique Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard

    Couple hot takes:
    Like not seeing Harper’s or Puig’s name; wonder how Cueto got on that list over Scherzer and Zimmermann; think it’s absurd to put Rizzo over Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt. Yelich…huh? Good for Posey for being wonderful, likable, and out.

  49. Yep, same drug as Vizcaino

    @MLB_PR: Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol.

  50. Greetings from Phoenix…

    When Mike Minor was right & full of confidence, it was a great thing to see. In the two years where lefties didn’t kill him (2012-13), I felt as confident in him as anyone on the staff to go out & throw a good game.

  51. Stanozolol sounds like a medicine that turns you into a zombie version of Musial.

  52. @71 I’m not sure Cueto didn’t have a better year. Clayton was great on the mound, but Cueto would have saved them 8 starts of Maholm (who, like all sixth starters, shouldn’t be starting).

    Certainly doesn’t mean he is as good.

  53. I’ve watch the Braves every year since the start of the 2005 season. and this is probably, to me personally, the most depressing team. I literally have zero hope that this team is going anywhere this year. At least with previous bad Braves teams (2006; 2008), I thought they had a shot on opening day.

  54. Hey, they have a shot on opening day! It’s the 161 after that that are problematic.

  55. Dan, I’ve decided that since this is the first year in over two decades that no one thinks the Braves have a remote shot at competing for anything, this is going to be the year they go on a magical run and win the World Series. (They then fulfill this year’s low expectations next year, when they finish dead last in the league, behind even the inept Phillies.)

    In other news, when I woke up this morning all I could see were puppies and unicorns everywhere and I’m pretty sure my bed had turned into a cloud. If you’d like to join me on this Braves World Series bandwagon, though, there’s still plenty of space left…

  56. @84
    You’re crazy. I don’t think we have snowball’s chance in hell on opening dayy. 161 and 1.

  57. They are trying to spend just enough to not lose 90 games to keep up some “Atlanta doesn’t rebuild. We reload!” fig leaf.

    This is a goal I can buy into. It’d be fun to pop the champagne for win #73.

  58. AAR @ 91,

    Why I believe combining the Upton Brothers OPS would result in a Ruthian number like 1400. 600 for Melvin, 800 for Justin. (550 / 850).

    However WAR may be a problem, because Justin may have to try to produce all of that by himself. That “AR” is kind of tough on Melvin.

  59. With both Cunningham and Benson cut, I think our backup CF may be Gosselin. That might be scarier than EYJ being our starting CF. Our outfield defense is going to be unwatchable.

  60. I know we’re not supposed to care about this year, but Cameron Maybin is available and could be a nice fit

  61. Yes, so who are our remaining outfield options if Cunningham and Benson have been cut? BUpton (injured), Markakis, Gomes, EYJ? Eww.

    Eww.

    Eww.

  62. I don’t know that Cameron Maybin has ever been a good fit on any team. He was sort of okayish in 2011? He’s making real money now and the prospect sheen is looking long since off him.

    …Which is not to say that he wouldn’t be an upgrade on Eric Young Jr, but talk about a low bar.

  63. So the Braves have decided they won’t carry a CF on the roster. Wonder how long that will last.

  64. I get that you’re stuck with Alberto Collapse-O, but I’m not sure why you need Gosselin AND Ciriaco in addition. Terrible roster construction.

  65. I woke up thinking it was Cunningham v. Benson, and Ciriaco is the last bench spot. Are we being punked?

  66. Who cares. It really doesn’t matter who is that last guy on the bench is when we don’t expect to win

  67. Yeah we’ve got a decent chance to lose 100 games. I’m fine with that. If you’re gonna suck, might as well go big.

  68. We have two starters, a closer, no hitting, and questionable defense. It’s not going to be pretty. Anything better than 75 wins will shock me.

  69. Problem is Commando Cody is a carbon copy of Gomes…albeit w/probably slightly better defense.

    The Maybin “fit” just referred to him actually being a CF

  70. Also…as someone who has seen Ciriaco with the Royals the past few years, get ready for your Frenchy flashbacks when he’s flailing at sliders a foot outside and in the dirt.

  71. I’m gonna go Big Fail here. 66-96, 32 games back of the Natspos.

    And still 2 up on the Phils. ;)

  72. Not only are we going to Florida, Fredi Gonzalez, we’re going to New York and Canada and Pennsylvania. And Ohio and Wisconsin! We’re going to California and Arizona and Massachusetts! And we’re going to Colorado and Illinois and Missouri and Maryland! And then we’re going to Washington D.C. to take back the Division! Yeah!!!

  73. What’s more about Ciriaco is that the Braves are keeping him for his “offensive potential.” Huh?

  74. 81-82: We lose a playoff game to get to the wild-card playoff as Melky Cabrera (who by this point has been traded to the NL) goes 4-4 with 11 RBI.

  75. The new front office has cornered a market inefficiency; guys who can OPS .650.

  76. For Quentin and Maybin? That can’t be right, can it? Or there has to be more?

  77. Yeah. Wow.

    This is a completely different team. Who has changed this much of their forty man in one offseason?

  78. @kileymcd: Padres also send OF prospect Jordan Paroubeck to Atlanta as part of the deal

  79. Good news: we finally have a major league outfield. Bad news: If Freeman gets hurt, we’ll have no one that casual Braves fans have heard of on the field, except Freeman and Simmons.

    I have a hard time believing this deal happened, but I guess it’ll be worthwhile since we’ve got good bullpen backup and managed to get rid of one of the two lead weights in the lineup.

  80. Uhhhh our team just improved and we have more money to spend. Who could possibly dislike this move?

  81. The Padres are paying the FULL SALARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Okay, so I get that the great news is that Upton’s gone. But beyond that, how have we improved here? It doesn’t look like either Maybin or Quentin has done much in the last couple of years. I’m not unhappy here, yet; I’m just trying to figure out how it’s a net positive given that Kimbrel is going and now we have two more OF who don’t look like they will help much…

  83. With the caveat that the Furcal rule is in effect, I like this deal too.

    Maybin sucks less than EYJ and if Quenton actually plays some this year he’ll suck less than Gomes. Then there is the subtraction of Mel.

    Loved ya Craig, thanks for being the best. You will always be one of the great Braves but someone else can use you in more games that count this season.

  84. When do those contracts end?

    Go look at Twitter and you will see all of the overreactions to the deal. People think Having your best player as a closer is good roster construction

  85. I’m in the Phillipines this week, so I woke up to the news of this move. I’m sad to see Kimberly exit, but extremely excited about our future.

    Our roster has been overhauled for sure, but what is most exciting, is our prospect list has completely been overhauled, too. Does anybody know where these two new young player additions will slide into our top prospect list at?

  86. @138 In fairness, if the Braves are still punting, it would be nice to have something to get excited about.

    Kind of surprised they sold now on Upton, thought they’d eat the contract and maximize the return for Kimbrel.

  87. “I don’t even know the names of those prospects!” Some people on twitter. I like this deal, and I like the franchise getting younger. I am as interested in this team as I’ve been in 25+ years of being a fan.

  88. This is a great deal. The Padres took our worst contract and gave us substance for a guy that will pitch 75 innings and arm may fall off.

  89. Maybin and Quentin don’t matter at all. This deal was about a) clearing the Upton contract and b) trading Kimbrel for an interesting prospect haul: Matt Wisler, a highly regarded pitching prospect; Jordan Paroubeck, a 2nd-rounder from last year’s draft; and the 41st pick in this year’s draft.

    Kimbrel by himself would have brought back more than this, but factoring in the bad contract swap, this is a good haul. And this crappy team doesn’t need a good closer. (I was in favor of trading him instead of extending him, two years ago.)

  90. @131, there is little guarantee that it will be spent, or that it will be spent wisely if so. I am about ready to take the over on 90 losses.

    @141, this ownership? Ha.

  91. In the short term, it gives us an actual CF in Maybin. In the long term, we get 2 more prospects, a
    draft pick, and 42 MORE million in the budget.

    And Kimbrel is only a 3 WAR player as a closer. Grilli or someone can surely do an adequate enough job.

  92. I don’t know, i am just not excited about this one.
    Maybe I will come around when I read into the details, and I guess we got a pick which is sorta cool, but I feel like this is the official white flag for the next 2 years.

  93. The strangest thing about this trade is that the guy we just DFAed would have been the team’s second best hitter.

  94. @154. Right, he was injured. And the two years before that he posted OPS+s of 145 and 146. Like I said, he would have been the second best hitter on the team.

  95. OK, so a practical question at this point? if one is looking to replace a #22 Heyward jersey, what would you get?
    a) Simmons
    b) freeman
    c) just leave it blank
    d) unretire the Chipper jersey
    e) other

  96. Did we officially DFA Quentin? I can’t find that anywhere?

    Also, does anybody know how this reshapes our 25-man roster?

  97. Assuming they’re taking the entirety of both contracts, that’s a good deal. Uggla (16) + Melvin (16) plus Kimbrel (12) – Maybin (8) = Jason Heyward, 2016 free agent.

  98. So we reunited the Upton brothers. Hope playing with Justin wasn’t part of Melvin’s problem.

    I get it that we don’t need a closer on a crappy team, but, man, I’m sure going to miss watching Kimbrel dominate the world in a Braves uniform.

  99. @157

    He was also injured the three years prior to that, and he’s 32 now. That doesn’t exactly bode well for a repeat performance.

  100. Braves plan to DFA Quentin but haven’t at this point. Some AL team should take him.

  101. It is nauseating to read people’s reactions on Facebook and Twitter. It concerns me that those people get a vote in our country.

    This is a very sad but very necessary trade. I don’t think there’s a Braves fan who won’t miss Kimbrel, but this got us completely free of Melvin, and actually got us back a good haul. There’s basically two trades in this: Kimbrel for the prospect haul (which it seems like a good haul), and the salary dump. I feel like we won both sections of the trade.

  102. @145, I’m not so cynical that I think it won’t be spent, but wisely…that’s an open question.

    Meantime, Wisler is quite good. Better than Folty and Fried, I think.

    Matt Wisler
    Rio Ruiz
    Max Fried
    Jose Peraza
    Mike Foltynewicz
    Ozhaino Albies
    Tyrell Jenkins
    Ricardo Sanchez
    Manny Banuelos
    Lucas Sims
    Braxton Davidson
    Dustin Peterson
    …Arodys Vizcaino, I guess

    :)

  103. @164-I never said he’d stay healthy all season, or that he will hit as well as he did in ’12 and ’13, or even that the Braves shouldn’t have DFA’d him (his defense is horrific). I just said he’d have been the second best hitter on the team. It’s just a weird fact that for whatever reason you seem unable to wrap your brain around.

  104. Hooray, Liberty Media just got a bad contract off its books at the expense of a better haul for the world’s best closer! Everyone rejoice for the good fortune of the mega conglomerate corporation!

  105. Just this morning, my brother and I were discussing the idea of the braves taking on Maybin and QUentin. The problem was that we already posses crappier versions of them in Gomes and Mudge. It’s a shame Fredi and the front office seem to have such a hardon for Gomes. I’d rather give those ABs to Quentin.

    Who’s the opening day left fielder? If the answer is Gomes, who bats leadoff?

  106. David Cameron @DCameronFG · 1 hour ago
    I think I would really love this trade for the Braves if the Braves hadn’t just spent their free agent money on Nick Markakis.

    Basically…

  107. “Jason Heyward, 2016 free agent.”

    In the immortal words of Toht in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, “that time has passed”.

  108. @170 This organization is aware that hitting is part of the game, right?

    I was always in favor of trading Kimbrel but I would have rather traded him in June or July when some contending team panic overpaid. I could not give any shits if ownership saves money on Upton’s contract.

  109. I think if you were starting an expansion team in 2015 you’d have a good chance of fielding a better roster than our beloved Braves will. Might as well trade Freeman now too. This looks like a ten year rebuild to me.

  110. @166

    They might not get a vote? Never rule out the young-ens.

    @159

    Just leave it blank

    Sam, don’t get my hopes up.

  111. Ya’ll are crazy.

    The Braves have:
    -Freeman and Simmons
    -a couple more position player prospects they believe in, in Peraza and Ruiz
    plenty of pitching to trade for more position players
    -and now, money to spend on position players…hopefully not on more Markakis-like players

    What’s not to like? That it all didn’t come together right away for 2015? That ownership is just going to pocket all the money? Craziness.

  112. @179

    Nah. Freeman, Simmons, Tehran, Miller and Wood are a good core group. Markakis will be a solid role player. You now bank on a couple of young players panning out.

  113. I feel sympathy for you all. Kimbrel is gone, and you have Nick Markakis to show for it.

  114. @180-Brilliant response. So please tell me which player on the roster other than Freeman is a better hitter than Carlos Quentin. Before you answer I’ll do your homework for you and let you know that Carlos Quentin is entering his age 32 season and has a career average OPS+ of 120. Your best candidate, Johnny fucking Gomes, is two years older and has a career average OPS+ twelve points lower. So who have you got, hot shot? Either of the Johnsons, with their career OPS+s of 102?

    LOL, as the kids say.

  115. Wow, what a trade. Like it. Chipper apparently does, too: “Doing, will again, make the Braves a contender for a long time. We got away from what made us, the Braves! John Hart is getting it back.”
    I will watch the Braves in Miami on Wednesday. Shelby on the mound and lots of strange people in the lineup.

  116. @185

    Numbers that he’ll never repeat again, because he’s 32 years old, and has had 3 knee surgeries in the last 4 years. I feel perfectly content saying that at least one hitter on our team will beat his numbers.

    You would know about children, because you clearly have the maturity of a two year old. You are completely unable to respond to a simple disagreement without throwing a tantrum. Please do us a favor and go back to trolling the ESPN comment section.

  117. @143, Smitty captures my sentiment.

    I haven’t come out of my “UK loss” funk, but trading Melvin makes me smirk. It’s a start.

  118. Let’s take these savings and go resign Jason Heyward in the offseason. He can play out the rest of his Hall of Fame career with an A on his hat. The hat on his plaque will have an STL, because that’s where he won a World Series,

  119. Oh yeah, by the way I’m way on board with this trade. Wish it had been the *start* of the off-season, but we’re beyond that now.

  120. Interesting watching Kruk discussing Heywards changes this offseason.

    Hands closer to the body
    Standing closer to the plate
    stride towards the pitcher instead of the plate

    Why couldn’t Atlanta hitting coaches make these changes? All are correct adjustments

  121. Does a DFA basically mean that we release Quentin outright?

    Speaking of Maybin, does anyone else remember that ridiculous Grand Slam robbing catch he made on McLouth? It turned into a 2-run scoring sac fly, but it saved the game. I’ve never seen anything like that. I think McLouth was starting to turn it around and it demoralized him. He just crumpled to the ground.

  122. Until last year’s injury aided collapse in only 50 games and 130 at bats, Carlos Quentin put up an OPS of about 850 per year. Gotta think he has value to several teams. If he can stay healthy (a huge if),he’s definitely a major upgrade over Gomes.

  123. Surprisingly Quentin has never struck out more than 80 times even when he got 500+ PAs in a season.

    Hell, the Braves could keep him. He’s only 32.

  124. Jon Lester should probably consider throwing over to first more than zero times a season.

  125. Heyward 3-3 now. Over/under on April 15 for the first 3-hit game by a Braves outfielder? I’ll take the over.

  126. Cameron Maybin seems like a prototype 4th OF. Surely he pushed Ciriaco off the roster.

  127. I didn’t expect Kimbrel to still be on this team by the end of the year, and if the haul we got for him truly includes our new #1 prospect then I’m good with this deal, but if the words “we have no plans to trade Simmons” come out of John Hart’s mouth, I’m running for the hills. That seems to be the statement of doom for Braves players.

    Edit: It will be a long, long time, though, before I will be able to look at Craig Kimbrel stats again and marvel at how historically dominant he is. That’s going to be painful.

  128. Ok. NOW Melvin will OPS 1.025. No one has yet commented on the importance of getting the Uptons back together. What could go wrong?

  129. It’s bothersome to me that the ESPN announcers are pointing out the changes to JHey’s hitting stance (hands higher, stand closer to the plate) as obvious improvements that should make him more effective. If those things will help Heyward’s hitting, it speaks very poorly of the Braves’ hitting staff that they were unable to enact such obvious fixes. To the naked eye, JHey showed up on Day 1 with the Braves as a hitting phenom and slowly shed his offensive potential… it’s awfully tempting to place that decline (or lack of progress, if you prefer) on the Braves’ failings, if he can be notably fixed by another team in short order.

    Also, I am going on record in favor of the Kimbrel trade. It hurts like hell to see him go, but I was already resigned to seeing it happen (just thought Hart would wait until midseason). The Braves are going to have a hell of a pitching staff in 2017… though it remains to be seen if we’ll be able to assemble enough offensive talent to make the team a title contender again.

  130. #222 – Also adding to it would be the Uggla situation. Undisclosed concussion (which I’m doubting as to the cause of his decline), but he’s also made some hitting adjustments which seem to be helping.

  131. Good words from Hart…

    “Look, he’s a fan favorite, as he should be,” Hart begain. “If I had a son or a daughter – I’ve got grandchildren, and his poster’s hanging on the wall. He’s that kind of a guy. He’s a guy you want to look at. So yeah, did I think about that as I went through this? Absolutely. I mean, I’m a human being. I look at it and go, here’s a popular player, fan favorite, star quality player. It wasn’t something that I relished doing. I certainly understand the fans’ side of this piece, there’s no question. They’re Atlanta Braves fans, as well (as Kimbrel fans). This is a club that we don’t want to see just sort of sink into the morass here for a period of time. We think we’re doing some exciting things, so many good things going on behind the scenes. You leave spring training and look at what we’re doing in the minor leagues and the enthusiasm and the talent level that’s coming. We look up at the June draft and we’ve got five of the first 75 picks this year within this draft, and obviously we’ve made some changes within that scouting staff and we feel this is going to be a home-run draft for us. We’ve got the international piece — July 2 (international) signings are coming, we’re very excited about what we’re going to do down there. And I think at the end, it’s about the Braves.

  132. #225 – not close to the plate, just closer. Proper stride would have him covering all parts of the plate

  133. MLB.com already has Wisler slotted in as our #2 prospect behind Peraza, but they and BA seem to be higher on him than others. Wisler didn’t even make Law’s top 100, but that seems silly given that Law had him at #37 last year. Getting hit around a bit as a 21-year old at AAA is to be expected, I’d think. I could definitely see an argument that makes him our #1 pitching prospect, but we have a handful of B+ pitching prospects and not a lot separates Wisler from Sims, Folty, Sanchez, Jenkins or even Hursh. Fried is the only guy who had that A-level ceiling until the elbow injury. For my top ten I’d probably put Wisler at #3 after Peraza and Bethancourt. Then Sims, Fried, Albies, Folty, Sanchez, Jenkins and Ruiz.

  134. To Hart’s credit, he certainly seems to have realized that if the strategy of targeting B+-level pitching prospects is going to work you need to get a ton of them. It will be really fun to follow the draft this year.

  135. The thing is, even with our newfound $$$, I’m not sure who we spend it on when it’s contending time.

    You’d like to think the infield (Freeman, Peterson, Simba, Rio, Albies, Peraza, Bethancourt) would be relatively taken care of as well as the rotation (Teheran, Wood, Miller, Wisler, Folty, Banuelos, Sims, Jenkins, Hursh, Fried) and bullpen (the aforementioned who don’t stick in the rotation).

    Really, where you could see us spending money would be in the OF, and over the next two years, as far as I can see, the only real difference makers that are set to hit FA are.

    2016: JUpton or Heyward, and a tier below in Cespedes or A. Jackson.

    2017: 30 year old Carlos Gomez stands out, with 35 year old Jose Bautista or 33 year old Alex Gordon a tier below.

    In 2018 things open up, but I’d imagine a lot of those players sign extensions before then. Unless we go for broke with Gomez, patch things up with Heyward, or risk Upton’s K rate increases into his thirties, I’m having trouble seeing how we leverage the extra money into 1st Division talent where it seems foreseeable that we’d need it.

    Guess you can always make trades, or one of the OF prospect lottery tickets hits, but just because we have money, doesn’t mean we should be stupid w/it…(SEE Upton, M).

  136. I hate the trade. The only thing I like about it is it will end all the incessant ‘trade Kimbrel’ posts here, and blog pieces. The July trade deadline, if the Braves had Kimbrel and sucked, would have been insufferable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.