Above all else, it’s the game.

Watching the fourth Yankees/Sox game two nights ago morph from a dull start into a splendid climax came this reminder – above all, it’s the game that holds us. Not this game, not that game. Any game. Always was, after a youthful partisan past maybe, always will be. Hours after our painful departure from proceedings it had reasserted itself – its power to entertain, hold our attention and, often, delight.

You come to identify an incidental benefit there can be, an advantage in being a stage removed emotionally from the result of this AL game that lies in wait. No gut wrenching, no anger, no wrenching disappointment. There will be plenty of that next year when we again put on our fighting blue caps, our chopping tomahawks. It’s hard to recognize and admit sometimes but the game itself will always best any parochial game, even a Braves one! It’s the scope, the endurance that is infinite, a composite whole, that holds us.

Meanwhile, simply savor the greatest game in the world right now, its complexities, its subtleties, its aesthetic pleasures – there’s more to come. Down to four, down to two, then one stands alone. We hope to do that, soon. But while we wait let us be grateful for what we will always have, the game and the motley crew of thousands who play it so skillfully for our pleasure.

99 thoughts on “Above all else, it’s the game.”

  1. I’m rooting for the Brewers from here on out, but I don’t exactly have a passion for seeing any of these teams win. FWIW, Los Angeles has similar odds to Boston to win the World Series, though both are behind the Astros. As you might expect, Milwaukee has the worst odds. If I’m betting and not rooting, I don’t know who I would be confident in picking. The Dodgers are much better than their regular season record suggests.

  2. Down with the Dodgers and Red Sox!

    And by the way, can we finally dispense with the idea that the Dodgers should no longer be hated because we’re no longer in the NL West? That’s twice they’ve eliminated us from the playoffs now. They may, in fact, be our biggest rival again.

  3. And they’re cheaters even worse than we are. So there you go.

    I could be a little myopic, but based on the condition of the NL at the moment, I could see the Braves, Dodgers, and Cubs battling it out for a long time with an eye on how the Padres, Phillies, and Brewers do with their current crops of talent.

  4. @1

    rooting for the Brewers…Yelich, yes please

    Josh Hader
    was an Oakland Raider
    or says he used to be
    frankly that’s all newsed to me.

  5. Hot from the Philly camp at AFL

    Arquimedes Gamboa
    if you or I or anyone might know a
    source for that special tub
    Eureka, he’ll displace dear Maikel at the club.

    Pache 3 for 5, Braxton, you can guess.

  6. I would only think that the response from all of these executives are that they were trying to work within the culture and systems in place in a foreign country. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the people that are the problem are the buscons — the pimps — who are pimping out these players to teams. I would think the teams would rather just have direct access to the players with no shady middlemen. It would probably keep costs down anyway. I mean, why does the buscon want to drive down the value of the players by offering sweetheart deals to the Braves and Dodgers? That part doesn’t add up.

  7. I’d like to see the Brewers and the Red Sox.

    Also from the last thread. I believe that people overrate MLB players ability to make adjustments. For every Frank Tanana, there are dozens of Jeff Francouers.

    Players don’t just magically change who they are. There might be small, incremental changes but for the most part they don’t drastically change.

    Also Pache is playing here in Peoria so maybe I’ll get over to see him play since my office is about a mile from the park…

  8. Since the topics of Dansby and free agents dovetailed last thread, I think it’s important to note that Manny Machado will be similarly difficult to acquire and as impactful as Harper. So if you decide that Dansby can help the team better in trade, plugging Machado in at 3B and Camargo at SS or however it would have to play out to get Machado would similarly upgrade the team. Even with defense considered, the upgrade from Dansby to Machado would be one of the biggest ways you could upgrade one position.

    Also, I love Dansby Swanson. But you could trade him in a package for an elite outfielder, and your position player core has been immediately transformed with just two acquisitions.

    In other news, Phillies Journal, Nationals Journal, Mets Journal, and almost every other team blog is probably talking about acquiring Harper or Machado. The others are talking about acquiring the Mesa brothers.

  9. Give me Harper over Machado. I saw someone in the last thread say they didn’t want Harper and that he is a douchebag.

    I think that he may be exactly what this team and organization needs. They need a red-a$$. They need a fiery warrior that gets pissed, and yells and screams.

    You don’t want to have an entire team of these guys but I think we need ONE. My opinion.

  10. I’m shocked that Chief wants to go get a red-ass. Shocked, I tell you.

    I want an Astros-Brewers Series, with the away team playing with the other league’s rules. That way the games in Milwaukee have a DH, and hte games in Houston don’t, and it’s more like it should be anyway.

  11. I’m am not advocating giving up on Dansby, but how does that lineup look?

    Acuna LF
    Freeman 1B
    Harper RF
    Machado SS
    Albies 2B
    Camargo 3B
    Flozuki C
    Folty P
    Inciarte CF

  12. I’m not particularly concerned if Ozzie adds a lot of plate discipline. He had 21 BBs in 254 PAs in 2017, anyway, so he’s demonstrated he can take a walk if he wants to. Ozzie’s speed, defense, and the 2018 power are so great that he can be tremendously valuable with less walks. If he wants to split the difference in the profiles and become Robby Alomar, well, then that’s ok with me too, I reckon.

  13. I should point out, I have been opposed to Machado at SS as his defensive numbers there had been terrible and he was other worldly at 3B, however, he turned that around somewhat while playing SS in LA. Some of it may be getting back to a comfort level at SS, some of it had to do with the difference in analytics from Bal to LA, but his range factor improved as well, so I don’t know if it was the motivation of a pennant race or what, but at least for now he appears to be playable there.

  14. Bryce’s comps according to Baseball Reference are:

    Andruw Jones (945.1)
    Ken Griffey Jr. (923.9) *
    Justin Upton (914.9)
    Ruben Sierra (908.6)
    Frank Robinson (907.0) *
    Mike Trout (897.6)
    Miguel Cabrera (896.3)
    Tony Conigliaro (895.5)
    Jose Canseco (893.9)
    Eddie Mathews (893.8) *
    * – Signifies Hall of Famer

    Can somebody please tell me where we’re going to find one of those to trade for? Stanton and Yelich are already spoken for. You think you can get Aaron Judge in a trade? Mike Trout?

    Name one equivalent to Harper and I will process the possibility.

    There are actually quite a few more 3B virtually equivalent to Machado that might be available not to mention the Riley has the potential in house. Arenado might be on the market soon. Donaldson. Moustakas. Suarez/Senzel/Gennett (well, Senzel is ever injured).

    Not to mention that either Camargo or Swanson are better than our current RF alternatives (i.e Duvall, primarily, or Reed).

    Pache will be a good Ender replacement but could not come close to filling Harper’s shoes.

    Once Bryce is on our team, I guarantee you’ll love his personality. Sheesh.

  15. With his sterling glove, Cristian Pache could be a major league center fielder right now, but his bat looks like it’s at least 18 months away. As soon as he hits the majors, he should push literally anyone else in baseball into a corner.

    Bryce Harper has a food Instagram, which brings out the grouchy old man in me faster than literally anything else.

  16. @15 Dusty, swap Machado for Realmuto and Flowzuki for Dansby and I’m right there with you. Although Snit already proved he didn’t like Inciarte batting ninth. I like it, though.

    We need to realize the fact that our catchers were not good defensively even if Tyler is a good framer. Didn’t you guys see how the Dodgers ran all over us. The throws weren’t even competitive. Realmuto led the league in controlling the running game.

  17. Rob, I wasn’t debating whether Ozzie needs to change anything as much as I was whether players *can* change things to the degree that many think.

    There’s a lot worse things than 2B that have ever hit 20+ HRs in a season and field their position well…

  18. If the Braves somehow become the team fortunate enough to acquire Bryce Harper, I’m sure there will be some frustrated fans. But they will become fewer and fewer every time Harper throws out a runner Nick couldn’t, gets to a ball Nick couldn’t, and hits a home run Nick couldn’t. I think they’ll embrace him quickly.

  19. @22 I gotcha. It was more of a response to people thinking he needs to up his discipline to be an elite player.

  20. Apparently Kris Bryant and the Cubs are fighting again. Bryant turned down a big extension offer. He’d be an okay 3B option.

  21. Yeah, the argument isn’t that Ozzie needs to take a step forward to become elite, it’s that he already took a step backwards and needs to figure out how to adjust to get back to close to where he was.

    The month-by-month splits tell the story. I’d be much happier knowing he was playing injured after August or something.

  22. And maybe “plate discipline” isn’t the best way to phrase whatever the adjustment is. We can all acknowledge that Albies can be very valuable without having to walk more. He obviously can’t be the hitter he was from August on.

  23. RE: Ozzie

    First thing I’d note is that, while he logged a total of 154 innings over the course of two levels last year, the first 100 of them were at AAA. He clearly wore down and failed to adjust to MLB pitchers adjusting to him this year.

    Second thing I’d note is that his April/March 2018 production absolutely screams “small sample size freakshow” from the top of its lungs, on the mountain top, with a bullhorn and cymbals. I think it’s no more reasonable to think Ozzie Albies is going to pop a 650 slugging percentage with any frequency than it is to think Ryan Flaherty’s April/March numbers were sustainable.

    I think his May/June/July splits, all hovering in the mid- to high-700s for OPS, is far more likely the expected baseline. Of course, that, with speed and superior defense, plays in MLB.

  24. I wonder about AA’s philosophy on long term contracts given Atlanta’s payroll. I’m all in for Harper and I think we could do a long term with him given budget constraints. My next long term contract target would be Acuna. With our farm system is it wiser to hope that Swanson, Riley and Camargo develop to more than adequately fill short and 3rd or to spend a boatload on Machado? My vote is the former.

  25. Hope is not a strategy. If you have the money to get Harper or Machado, you go get one of them. If you have the money to get both of them, or one of them and Kershaw, you go get two of three. You don’t refuse to spend money on superstar level MLB talent that you KNOW is good barring injury, on the “hope” that Austin Riley might become something one day.

    If you get to the point where you can’t extend Riley, who maxed out his ceiling, because you’re still on the hook for Harper’s last years… Well, that’s a good problem to have. That’s a “we’re competing for the championship every year” type of problem to have.

    No deal is perfect or failsafe, but paying Machado or Harper now is a better bet than hoping Riley hits well enough to need to get paid later.

  26. @19

    There aren’t enough years on you to warrant that designation. Those of us who are defend it vigorously!

  27. @31, 32

    If you can add sure-talent for only the cost of money, you do it.

    Amass as much talent at once as you can. I’d rather have 3 overlapping years of Acuna + Harper and then lose Acuna than to have only ever had Acuna but have him for 10 years with a bunch of other mixed pieces that maybe don’t pan out as well as one Harper.

  28. There is an important point to be made about consolidating WAR. There are only so many positions available from which to amass WAR on a team, so if you can get a player capable of having a 10 WAR season, that’s much more valuable than 3 guys having 3.3 WAR seasons.

    I’m all in for Harper at 8/$240, though there does come a point where he is too expensive even given that he only costs $. I wouldn’t say they should pay $40 mill a year, unless payroll is going to shoot up to the $170 mark.

  29. Fully agreed with Donny up there. Build the behemoth. Worry about how it falls apart after you hang the banners.

  30. Agree that hope is not a strategy and I never said it was. If you sign someone to a long term contract there are risks with injury and players aging ungracefully. From what I’ve seen I like the risk of the 3 I mentioned over the risk of tying your hands monetarily for a player who may or may not be productive at the end of his contract. There is hope involved in both strategies, but hope in itself is not a strategy in either scenario.

  31. @37 I can’t find the “3” you are referring to but the likelihood of any 3 Braves prospects(not including Acuna) ever combining for the likely remaining WAR of Harper’s career is probably about 2%.

  32. The 3 I was referring to were in my earlier post. Between Riley, Camargo, and Swanson we can more than adequately fill 3rd base and shortstop and look for an outfielder, catcher, and possibly a starting pitcher.

    It is interesting to note that 5 playoff teams are in the top 10 in payroll. The Giants have the 2nd highest payroll that includes almost 50% going to 6 players. These players are Melancon, Pence, Belt, Crawford, Bumgarner, and Longoria. I think we can all agree to avoid the Giants model. How can anyone agree to give Mark Melancon 20 million per year through 2020?

  33. Lately all I can envision is that LM knows for sure that we’ll compete for the NL East title for the next several years at minimum, even if we make no moves at all. That is gonna be enough to get traffic to The Battery.

    Talk me off this ledge…I want to live in a world where Harper’s 10 year contract can be shown to maximize our real estate values.

  34. @42 I also do not believe that the Braves will be big FA spenders and will have to see it to believe it.

  35. This season has proven that you can win the NL East and not even be a top-10 team in MLB. I can’t decide if it’s great for us, or bad in the long run. We’ll find out soon enough I guess.

  36. @42 Hopefully, LM will tell AA, “$zyz is your base payroll. Spend it however you wish. We may have a little flexibility.” Then AA and his staff can mash the numbers from there.

    They sure did not seem hesitant to take on a bunch of payroll to clear the future books. Hard to believe they wouldn’t be comfortable with $120M-$130M.

    The bigger problem is Boras holding his client back until near ST before signing. That asshole is one of the game’s biggest problems.

  37. I expect the Braves to land around 170 million for average payroll over the next 3-5 years. I’ve yet to see any reason to disbelieve the statements to the effect that the Braves are looking to build a long term winner that competes for championships, not Wild Card berths. It’s not so much that I trust the elder statesmen of baseball (Schuerholz, etc) as much as I used to. It’s that I don’t think Alex Anthopoulos leaves LA and takes this job if he isn’t shown a plan and commitment to compete with the Dodgers and their ilk.

    My “sign two of them” is obviously me visualizing my better dreams a little. But I have no doubt that the primary barrier to bringing ONE of the major FA options (Harper, Machado, Kershaw) into Atlanta will be convincing the player that the Braves are their best chance at rings over the course of that contract.

  38. @35 I’d start at 8/240 escalate to 10/300 and go as high as 8/280 with two team options and give him an opt-out after two years. Right about the time Trout becomes a FA.

  39. “That asshole” is simply getting as much as he can for his clients. Considering that his top tier clients are the same people who clubs “send to AAA for some defensive work” in order to save an extra arb year, I don’t hold it against them.

  40. @46 Agreed. And that was the whole reason for pressing to win THIS year as opposed to selling at the deadline again. It’s hard to imagine that with the young core of position players and the huge crop of high upside pitching prospects that any of the FAs can’t see that Atlanta is a team on the rise. And, specifically, a better destination than the Phillies.

    It is SO much better to be the crowning piece on a winning team than the piece required to be a winning team.

    When Maddux signed, we had just been to 2 WS. Easy to tell what the future might be adding the most recent CYA winner.

  41. Seemed to me like some of how the previous offseason played out was to send a message to Harper and Machado. Teams will probably look to continue rewarding players who sign early in the offseason.

    And it used to be that Coppy would be the first out the gate with his R.A. Dickey-type moves. I’m looking forward to holding out over Harper et al, regardless.

  42. Let’s bring back Matt Kemp!!!!

    Man, that will definitely kill all fan love and the excitement built this season….

  43. Speaking of Cristian Pache’s speed and defense, Ray Patrick Didder could easily fall into the same bucket of being at least ready to carry a bench spot. Some on Twitter were speculating that Didder could take Adams’ spot on the bench next year, and would be even more versatility and much more of a stolen base threat. If the stick ever develops into even league average, he could be a Chone Figgins-type.

  44. If you sign Machado and Harper, Dansby Swanson takes Ray Patrick Diddier’s spot on the bench.

  45. If you’re going to degrade the gentleman by denying him a major league roster spot, at least have the good decency to spell the man’s name right!

  46. I’m not denying anyone an MLB roster spot. The Marlins need to fill out their bench. I just want the Braves’ 25th man to be a starter on half the squads in the league. I want a roster that can not only beat the Dodgers, but also beat the Astros and Red Sox in the next round.

  47. @21, And to think all the effort Braves marketing undertook to make a star out of that fabulous head of hair. Perhaps that’s why the poor boy disfigured it. He can’t even look at the camera.

  48. @50 I’ll take a Clayton Kershaw signing early out of the gate… let that message float across to Machado/Harper as to which direction “my team” would be heading in.

  49. I don’t know of any actual marketing campaigns around The Good Hair. Mostly I remember internet snark form the likes of me around The Good Hair.

    I also have no problem with Dansbo rocking the corn rows if that’s his feels. It’s 2018. Let the kids play.

  50. Jon Heyman’s Atlanta-centric notes (from some site called “Fancred Sports”? How the mighty have fallen…)

    — No surprise, the Braves plan to present a new contract to manager Brian Snitker, who did a very nice job this year. The Braves love how much the players take to Snitker, and prioritize stability …
    — With a new regime, it won’t be a surprise if there are a few changes, though …
    — While Nick Markakis had a fabulous season, the Braves do not plan to extend the $17.9-million qualifying offer. If he were on a bigger spending team, it might be extended. But with the Braves, they just couldn’t swing it, not with their budget …
    — With Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and of course Markakis …
    — The Braves will talk about bringing back Kurt Suzuki. They like the combo, with Tyler Flowers, who previously was extended, as Fancred first reported …
    — The Braves were happy with Dansby Swanson’s improved defense. Coach Ron Washington deserves a lot of credit for that …
    — Mike Soroka has begun throwing. With him in the rotation, the Braves would be much more formidable …
    — Anibal Sanchez said he wants to pitch again next year, he told Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution …
    — Braves people understood they were in over their heads against the Dodgers. Everyone around the game did. (But their future is very bright.)

    Linky dinky pinky pie

  51. Irrespective of budget, would any team in MLB offer Markakis that qualifying offer?

    ‘Cause I was thinking the budget had us shopping above Nick Markakis’s grade. As in, we’re looking to upgrade… and not parting ways with Nick because of the budget.

    And no, I would never say this Braves team was in over their heads against the Dodgers. Those guys are pretty run of the mill IMO. We just played like crap, and they obviously didn’t. It can, and would eventually, go the other way if they kept playing each other.

    That entire piece is just… poor.

  52. ? The Dodgers are better than us at damn near every position. And we did play like crap, but, if we played them 100 times we’d be lucky to win 30.

  53. The Dodgers were able to replace their all star SS that went down mid-season with Manny Machado. They are one of the league’s current super teams. We carried Lane Adams and Rene Riveria.

  54. @62, The first bobblehead out of the gate in Dansby’s first full year was of him and his fabulous hair and his nickname “The Flow.” The fact that at this date in time it’s not all about Dansby’s hair is because he fell flat on his ever-loving face last year.

  55. So? All that amounted to 2 games better in the win column. Yes, circumstances. Yes, started the year rough. Yeah, yeah. I know.

    Yes, a better team top to bottom mostly.

    Not a super team. Didn’t drown the Braves with immense talents. There was a time when the Braves were pretty super and some wild card teams bested them. It does happen. It was not spectacular to see.

    Playoffs == Total Crapshoot of SSS.

  56. Yes. The playoffs are SSS. Yes, anything can happen. The 2001 Mariners are an afterthought. But if you just go through the two teams’ rosters it’s clear that they’re a super team and we are currently not. Our #1 starter would be their #3 or #4. Our starting 3B would be their defensive backup. It’s okay to admit that we’ve built a hell of an organization with a core that should allow us to have a super team of our own, if ownership invests properly, but that we are not quite to that level yet.

    The Dodgers are better than us. The Yankees are better than us. The Red Sox and Astros are light years better than us.

    If the Dodgers had played in the NLEast this year, they’d have won it going away.

  57. Do actual results really back up the SSS crapshoot stuff? It feels like the better team usually wins playoff series. The problem will be how to define “better team”. Record isn’t a good way to do that, given the unbalanced schedules.

  58. Looking at BaseRuns, one should not feel badly about the Braves. Maybe they’re not quite super, but they’re not far off.

    I’m only taking exception to statements like “in over their heads” and “out of place as a play off team.”

    Then, to add insult to injury, pile on statements about aging player in contract year not being “in their plans due to budget constraints.” Or whatever.

    Yep, I’m triggered. I should give considerably less care to what Heyman writes, because he knows what he’s doing (stirring that pot). We’ll just have to wait and see what the organization has to say about the budget. I feel like the floor ought to be 130 million, but a much more reasonable sum is closer to 150 million.

  59. The thing that makes the Braves so exciting again is that they have built a core that, with the right pieces added, could become a super team. That would involve adding Harper to replace Markakis. Of course, bumping your spend up from 11m per to 30m per in RF, means you’re “budget constrained” when it comes to offering former 11m per year starting RF an 18m single season contract to be a PH and spot starter.

  60. imo, if the Braves get Harper, Machado, or any marquee free agent for that matter, it’ll have to be by that player’s choice to come to Atlanta for non-monetary reasons. I don’t see any scenario in which the Braves will be able to match offers for these guys.

  61. Michael went right over the top of us about 11:30 p. M. Wednesday. My office doesn’t have power yet and it will probably be 10 days before power at the house. One 20 x 20 strip of shingles popped off, but tar paper is still solid so no panic for a repair. I have a son with 2000 acres of cotton in the field and 100 acres of pecans, so, as Hoyt would say,”not too good.”

  62. @75 Yeah, that’s a legitimate stance considering many teams will have money to spend this offseason.

    I’m not, however, anywhere near the camp of holding back “one more year” to wait for the following free agent market. If there’s talent to be had for “just money”, I feel like the Braves have a stock pile of filthy pitchers who can’t hit the strike zone with any sort of consistency that is best sold early and young. I hope they are wheeling and dealing like crazy this offseason.

    @76 I’m glad to hear you guys are physically alright. I’ve experienced a 100+ mph wind storm and the repairs that follow, but I can’t begin to comprehend the complexities that come with crops and insurance. I hope it all works out somehow.

  63. Is anyone really saying they should not spend this year to “save money for next year?” 2018-19 has been the FA class everyone’s been hoarding for, since 2012.

  64. @78

    I saw somebody on TC suggesting that, but other than that one nincompoop, no.

    In fact, even the thought that, “Oh, we’re us, so we’re probably not be able to match offers” rankles me. We damned well better be able to match offers! Why would we not? Because we haven’t before? Screw that! We have to be willing to give one of these guys the best offer on the table. That’s how this works. And the though that, “Oh well, I understand we couldn’t offer him THAT much…” isn’t acceptable to me. Increase the budget so that we can offer that much. Figure it out!

  65. There’s always going to be a group of people for whom the root of confusion is that we never should’ve rebuilt / we could’ve competed in 2015/2016/2017 if only the front office weren’t so miserly.

    If that’s what you believe, then everything that has followed is nonsensical, and there’s no real way to get your brain back online. You’re just stuck in a cynical netherworld, I suppose, until the Braves do land a marquee free agent, at which point it’ll appear like they magically, arbitrarily changed their minds about their approach to their entire baseball operation.

  66. For a team like the Braves, I don’t know if the FA market is really that good. If we are unable to get Machado or Harper, then we’re left with players like Grandal, Corbin, Donaldson, Pollock, and Keuchel who are the types of players available in almost every FA class.

    For it to be a good market for us, what happened last offseason would have to continue this year. A 30-year old catcher like Grandal will need to sign for a max of 3 years. Same with an injury-prone player like Pollock. 31-year old Keuchel probably has to be at a 3-year deal. If those terms happen, then yes, I think there are some second-tier players below the Machado/Harper/Kershaw tier that become attractive, but I don’t know if that will happen.

  67. Nick/Adam, my fear is we won’t match the length of the deals. We won’t go 8+ or 10+ years for Harper. That’s my fear. I could see us going the AAV, though.

  68. @81/82. Well said Rob and I agree. Though I could see us maybe going 8 for Harper but no more.
    @79. The highest free agent offer is almost by definition an overpay. And usually is, especially for the premium free agents you suggest. There are reams of data and history that bears this out. The Braves are a midmarket team and have to work very smart to build long-term success. That’s what I, and most fans, want I think. But as has been pointed out, that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t make highly competitive offers to the players they want and see if other factors can make the final difference in getting the player signed.

  69. @82 If Machado/Harper/Kershaw require terms the organization deems as too risky, I think a guy like Corbin is a great acquisition for this team. He could even be a bit of a steal if teams are unwilling to offer enough years.

    Corbin doesn’t check the box (yet) of a TOR ace, but we could possibly acquire one at the deadline.

  70. Just scanning through the 2019-20 free agent class, I see maybe two people who I’d consider for long term contracts ahead of Machado, Harper or Kershaw; Xander Boegarts and Nolan Arrenado.

    There are a few other nice options in that class; Yasiel Puig, Matt Carpenter, Justin Verlander looking for his final contract… But none of them would prevent me from buying the top three this year.

  71. I’m definitely just trying to keep my expectations checked that we won’t go from a largest FA signing in the history of our franchise of BJ Upton for 5YR, $75M to Bryce Harper at 10YR, $375M. I do agree that we have spent the last few years developing a core of players that are making so little that we can do this, but my expectations are a little lower than signing the biggest free agent since A-Rod. They’re just going to have to surprise me, I guess.

  72. Corbin is intriguing. There is upside, if we think we can unlock the mechanics that led to his April velocity spike. If I were him I’d be wary of going to an AL team or a team that won’t let him lean on that devastating slider.

    With the right emphasis on his slider, Corbin is an ace.

  73. He’s from upstate New York, and if you read the articles, it seems like the Yanks want him and he wants them. I would definitely love to have him, but there’s that whole matter of what to do with Folty, Newcomb, Gausman, Teheran, Touki, Soroka, Fried, Gohara, Wright, Wilson, Allard, and Weigel.

  74. Trade some of them, put some of them in the bullpen, and stash some of them in AAA? It’s gonna happen whether we add another starter or not.

  75. @76


    ‘He don’t plant taters
    he do plant cotton
    and pecans too
    lest you’ve forgotten.’

  76. @88 Sell high where you can, and sell anyone you’re not totally convinced can hit the strike zone on purpose.

    I would probably keep Folty and focus on the guys with better command who aren’t named Allard. Package the rest.

  77. One of those guys towards the end of Rob’s list is going to be our Josh Hader. There’s no need to trade them all.

  78. Ryan Cothran has been organizing efforts to assist with food, water, and diapers to those affected in the panhandle. It is not often we can help our own and know it’s being put penny for penny to good use. His Venmo is Ryan-Cothran-3 if you care to help.

  79. Perfect post season baseball game..Brewers 6/5

    Hader pitched innings 4,5,6 – 46 pitches. So Brewers hold 6-1 lead into the 8th, but bullpen struggle last two innings. Yelich Ofer.

  80. Post Season risks.How many did we take?

    Counsell took a huge one last night and it still may come home to bite later today. Keeping Hader in for 3 middle innings means only in extremis can he pitch one inning today. Even more tellingly the Dodgers got a good look at the Brewers pen sans Hader, liked what they saw and will relish attacking them later today.

    But… Brewers won. Dodgers 4 errors plus 2 Grandal pass balls. Strike him off your list. Like Kershaw who has peaked, he was pretty awful.

    You risk, you win.

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