Should Braves be Mullin(s) one Over?

The Braves are in a good position. Yes, there are a lot of holes to fill, but I have no doubt that they will be filled, and with an increase in payroll, we as Braves fans should be be very excited. However, I think 2022 might be the year in which the Braves finally make THAT trade. It very well could be a trade that gets criticized in the long run, but should bring benefit for the here and now, and the here and now has never been so blatantly obvious. THIS is the window. As of now, the Braves do not have a CFer. And while they have 2 players in Cristian Pache and Drew Waters that could prove capable, they didn’t tear the fence down last year in AAA and I don’t foresee them being in the plans to begin the 2022 season. Therein lies the dilemma. Solution? We shall see.

Bryan Reynolds

At the deadline, the Braves made a “substantial” offer to the Pirates for their CFer, Bryan Reynolds and while the deal didn’t come to fruition, it does feel as though the Braves showed their hand a bit. With the lack of development for both Pache and Waters, could the Braves revisit Reynolds? Absolutely. However, there’s another name, equally as juicy, that has come on the market.

Cedric Mullins

For those not in the know, Cedric Mullins was one of the only highlights for a dismal Orioles team that went 52-110 in 2021, but what a year he had. As the Orioles everyday CFers, Mullins carried an .878 OPS with 30 HRs. and 30 SBs  was in the 96th percentile in Outs Above Average, which is Statcast’s defensive metric. And while the defense has always been there, it was the bat that was quite the surprise. Mullins had long been a switch hitter, however in the 2020-21 offseason, he spent his time transitioning to hitting LH only, which is his natural positioning. The results speak for themselves but this is what Mullins had to say about transitioning.

“The decision was mainly based off the numbers I was putting up throughout the minors and the time in the big leagues,” said Mullins. “That is something I brought up to (Brandon) Hyde and (Mike) Elias over the course of a few years, and I fully committed to it during this offseason. Kept in contact with them telling them how much I was working on it. What kind of different approaches I was using to get adjusted to seeing left on left. And the results showed today.”

And the reason why we’re talking about Cedric Mullins? Because Jon Heyman dropped this bomb.

So, what would it take to grab Cedric Mullins, who just so happens to be from Snellville, GA? A lot. Mullins is likely looking at a surplus value in the $70-80MM range and even more when you consider the lack of frontline CFers on the market. If Braves were to put in a serious offer, it would likely consist of 4-5 players from the following groups:

That’s a lot to give up, but here’s my thoughts: If the package was Waters, Contreras, Tarnok, Davidson, and someone like Drew Lugbauer, there’s still a whole lot to like in our farm. That immediately gives the Orioles guys to plug into their MLB roster, stash 3 at AAA, and help build their team back to compete in the toughest division in the game (for now). More to the point, flags fly forever and Braves have the ammo to make a deal.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

102 thoughts on “Should Braves be Mullin(s) one Over?”

  1. That is a huge ask for Mullins. If I could take the worst person from all of the lists (Waters, Conteras, Tarnok), then I think that’s a deal worth making. But, like, Pache, Langeliers, Strider, AND Davidson/Muller? That’s tough.

  2. From last thread, Georgia’s offense is way ahead of Auburn’s by every metric imaginable.

    Vegas has Georgia’s NC-winning odds at -248. I wonder when the last time that number has been that crazy at any point in the season. The Michigan dadgum Wolverines have the third-highest odds. They’ll lose by 30 to UGA in the semifinal. Bama is second. They’re not even going to make the playoff. If Georgia doesn’t win, who will? OK State? Cincy?

    I genuinely can’t remember a season being locked up so early.

  3. As of today the Braves have a Center Fielder (He is doing very well in rehab and his name is Ronald Acuna, Jr.). Another writer stuck in some kind of fog. In 2019 Acuna, Jr. played 100 games (YES, 100) in Center after Inciarte got hurt and did so quite well. Guys like this pull crap out of their butts without thinking.

  4. @2 Good bet Michigan is #2 or #3 if they win the Big Ten, so the 30 point loss to Georgia will come in the National Championship game

  5. I’m totally here for Rob’s subtle trolling of Georgia fans that there’s no way they can possibly not win the national title this year. To add to it, the team that some folks had finally started to talk themselves into maaaybe posing a threat to Georgia likely just got eliminated from playoff contention.

  6. Michael @3, given that Acuna is coming back from an ACL tear, it would be fair for the Braves to want to protect his legs by moving him to a corner. Honestly, I hope they do.

    However, in terms of the price Ryan’s willing to pay… I mean… do we really believe Mullins is that good? He came out of nowhere, was a 13th-round draftee, had no particular profile as a prospect, and never really hit in the minors — his minor league triple slash was .265/.323/.426 across 2231 PA. Of course, he just turned 27, so there’s a strong chance that he’s literally just better than he was and that he maxed out his potential and then some, but there’s also a strong chance that last year was nevertheless a career year and he’s more of a .750 OPS guy than an .850 OPS guy.

    Sort of like Tommy Pham, another toolsy guy drafted in the middle rounds who unexpectedly broke out in his late 20s. The year after his breakout career year, his OPS declined by 100 OPS points. Still a solid player, but he never again reached the heights of his magical 2017.

    If we decide to pay for Mullins, let’s just make sure we plan for a little regression and build that into what we’re willing to spend.

  7. If I’m the O’s, I’d insist on Muller… and yes, I’d prefer Acuna to play a corner, CF only if nec.

    Saw Mullins play 3 times this year. IIRC, he hit a HR in every game I saw. Little guy (about the size of Juan Pierre) with very surprising power, a feature he’d never really shown before.

    #2/#5
    That’s a statement that’s been made near the end of a handful of seasons that didn’t finish the way they were projected (’83 Nebraska, ’02 Miami, etc.). Of course, that’s why they still play the games.

    Ohio State would’ve given UGA trouble with the pass, especially those that test any single coverages at the CB and/or star position. But UGA would give them trouble with the pass rush, esp. if they didn’t have to dial up blitzes (which they haven’t had to do very much this year). OSU’s biggest problem on D has been its inability to stop the run (something anyone could’ve seen in Game 1 vs. Minnesota), which would’ve set up all kinds of play-action possibilities, esp. to UGA’s TE corps (Brock Bowers, y’all). Could’ve been a fascinating game.

    As much as that game might’ve looked really interesting in a schematic sense, it doesn’t break my heart that OSU got smacked on Saturday. They’ll be back, count on it.

  8. The Braves have said Ronnie won’t be playing CF in the future and that was before the knee injury.

    Mets nearing a 3 year / 130M deal for Scherzer. No pitcher is worth that much, especially a 37 year old with a “tired arm”.

  9. I liked the Canha and Marte deals for the Mets (though Marte can disappear for long stretches) but I don’t think the Escobar or Scherzer deals will turn out too well for them. That said, when healthy, DeGrom + Scherzer is a decent 1-2 punch.

  10. deGrom has an opt out after 2022. If he has a “deGrom” year, he most certainly opts out now, lest the Mets commit $80MM+/year to two pitchers.

  11. Nope I am not giving that up for Mullins. Rather keep those players unless it is Tarnok, Contreras and Davidson. Better to keep what we have otherwise

  12. LOL Scherzer, the guy who couldnt pitch in the NLCS due to a dead arm at his age. Mets will regret that

  13. Steve Cohen is learning that just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should.

  14. I too prefer Acuna in right, but I guess we’re all just going to forget that’s the position he actually got hurt in.

  15. @7

    I’m old enough to remember the 2002 Ohio State/Miami situation better than the 1993 season you mentioned. Ohio State was much closer to Miami than Michigan is to Georgia. Ohio State was undefeated coming into the championship game; Michigan already has one loss. Ohio State had beaten 4 ranked teams coming into the championship; Michigan will have only beaten 3.

    And that’s even if Michigan wins out. Oklahoma State and Cincinnati are nowhere close to 2002 Ohio State. This year, there’s Georgia, and there’s everyone else. Like I said, this is like the 2013 season in terms of the gap between the best and second-best team in the country.

  16. The Orioles are one f a very few teams that do not need a catching prospect. Including Cointreras/Langeliers is likely a non-starter. The Orioles need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. I think that deal requires a solid pitching prospect rather than a catcher to be realized.

    I also agree that Mullins doesn’t have much of a track record yet. That the Orioles will consider dealing him says to me that they are trying to maximize his value while they can (I smell a Shelby Miller type deal).

  17. #18
    As big a gap? Yeah, maybe that’s the case… but IMO, that’s best determined after all the games are actually played. (FWIW, that’s why I prefer the playoff & always hated one team being “voted champion.”)

    1983, you mean… No. 1 Nebraska rolled everyone on its schedule, until it was bushwacked in the Orange Bowl by Howard Schnellenberger’s one-loss Miami squad. Nebraska lost by 1 when they missed a game-ending 2-point conversion. (FWIW, 1983 would’ve been a helluva year to have a playoff — Auburn fans would agree.)

    Coming into the OSU/Miami Fiesta Bowl in ’03, OSU had won about 5 nailbiters vs. some less-than-scary competition. Miami had a close game vs. FSU (yes, “wide right”), but was favored over OSU by 11.5 points.

    Also, Miami was viewed as the superior team in terms of talent & future NFL stars. OSU’s roster had plenty of guys get drafted, but few of them were on par with Miami’s stars (Jonathan Vilma, Antrel Rolle, Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Sinorice Moss, etc.)

    Given the rosters & the comparison of seasonal style points, the perception going into that game was that, undefeated or not, Ohio State was going to get waxed. But OSU hung in there, got a couple of famous breaks (an injury to Miami’s top RB & a dubious interference call that kept them alive in OT) & won a game a lot of people didn’t think they’d win.

  18. Actually 1993 would not be a bad comp either. This was the first National Championship game under the new format. Miami was an 8.5 point favorite against Alabama, was defending National Champion, and was riding a 29 game winning streak. But the Tide won easily.

  19. If MLB thought only 20 games was warranted, you really have to wonder how the initial narrative made him out to be an attempted murderer.

  20. Whether we agree with it or not, the length of the suspension (which implies this was “not a huge deal”) is going to make it easier for the Braves to sell the idea of putting Ozuna out there. Unless we can work out some kind of trade, the financial constraints seem to be making this a foregone conclusion.

  21. Gooooood goooosh. This is an absolute mess. There are going to be thousands on thousands of fans who are not going to accept this guy because of the initial set of news.

  22. Ugh…..hopefully the Braves can find a taker for Ozuna. I don’t want him on the team.

    @30 Count me as one of them.

  23. I’ve certainly seen enough of Corey Seager. Welcome to the AL…

    #24/28
    Well, that’s… kinda surprising.

    Um, anyone want a LF/DH who’s still owed $49M?

    #23
    Bama’s D was terrific that year.

    On Bama’s roster in ’92: Dabo Swinney.

    On Miami’s roster: Mario Cristobal & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  24. @27 I certainly never trusted the account of the police. They lie all the time, particularly about black men. Add to that the fact that Ozuna has been the victim in the past and it seemed very possible that he was defending himself and simply got walked in on at a bad time without that context.

    Don’t really get why everyone thinks this is terrible for the braves. Did his bat get that much worse since we signed him?

  25. Yeah, I agree with @32. Should make him slightly easier to trade if we can convince someone that we’re not desperate to get rid of him…which means we maybe could get some salary relief back for him, though probably not a lot.

  26. The Dodgers lose out on Scherzer and Seager. Muncy has a bum elbow. I think the odds of Freeman to LA just went way up.

  27. I’m a little confused about Ozuna. So basically, he has already served his suspension? Did he get paid while he was on administrative leave? The ESPN article makes it sound like he was and the only pay he loses is for the 20 games.

  28. I think today’s news on Ozuna ups his trade value, so that’s good.

    I also think Freeman gets more expensive everyday.

  29. I’ll be over in the corner talking about Covid if anyone wants me because this Ozuna situation is such a lose-lose-lose-lose-lose situation for anyone wishing to discuss it from any angle whatsoever. All I’ll say is that I hate it for all parties. I hate it that Ozuna’s wife has been abused, I hate that the events may or may not have been properly conveyed by the police, I hate it that the team and players have to deal with it, I hate it that the media has to tip toe on the clear simultaneous elements of domestic abuse and misrepresentation of the facts, and I hate it for the fans that we all have to basically decide if we’re going to turn off the television every time he steps into the box.

  30. The unfortunate truth is that this sort of thing isn’t that uncommon among professional athletes. If you follow sports long enough, you will more than likely see your team make some sort of ethical compromise with its roster. I’m a big Eagles fan, and I remember all of the fans that said they were done with the team after they signed Michael Vick. Not sure how many actually ended their fandom, but it wasn’t anything noticeable. Also, everyone is aware that Bobby Cox basically did the same thing as Ozuna, right?

  31. If UGA doesn’t beat Bama this year, then when will they? It’s a big game for their program. If the games play out like I think they will, I expect we’ll see UGA vs. Notre Dame in the first round, then they probably get Michigan in the final.

  32. A team that does not have Freddie Freeman but does have Marcell Ozuna is one I won’t be watching.

    Thank god for 2021, I guess.

  33. There is so much going on now that I can’t keep up. Apparently the Marlins traded for Jacob Stallings from the Pirates. So maybe the Pirates would really be willing to trade Reynolds.

  34. @42 Kirk, they want you to believe that Georgia only has to win offseason recruiting trophies, not actual games against elite teams. They much prefer you to focus on how many blue chips they have, not the fact that they’re favored by a touchdown and they’re still not that confident.

    Next they’re going to say Florida sucks.

    Then they’re going to talk about recruiting again. Because being better than Florida and recruiting well are the only two non-negotiables for the program. Everything else is “nice to have’s”.

  35. @45 That is fully under the control of Braves management. Starting the 2022 season with that configuration is a clear signal that the team cares about money more than literally anything else. That’s always been the case to some degree, of course, but seeing it showcased so nakedly is as good an excuse as any to give MLB a rest for a while.

  36. I 100% expect Ozuna to be traded. From what I heard he won’t be welcome back in the clubhouse.

    Is it a double standard re: Bobby Cox? Sure. But that isn’t going to get Ozuna off the hook.

    Personal opinions from fans won’t affect what the team does. If you’re outraged that’s okay. If you decide to love the team no matter what, that’s okay too. Ultimately it’s of no consequence. (ditto my own feelings)

    For now, I’m holding out hope that the Astros still believe taking on abusers is an efficient way to acquire talent.

  37. #42
    Never. Next year. Who knows? But I’d sure give the points on Saturday…

    #46
    “Florida sucks?” These days, that seems to be heard more from its own fanbase, not us.

    FWIW, “poor-mouthing” is a UGA tradition that goes back to the days of Vince Dooley & Wally Butts (i.e. — you big-up the opposition, no matter how formidable.) But… anyone who has watched this team play should be plenty confident.

    BTW, Rob… in which era did you matriculate in Gainesville?

  38. Winning the WS has me so relaxed, I can’t even stress over the crazy amount of transactions going on.
    Que será, será….

  39. @49

    C’mon now, don’t be that guy. If you don’t like trash talk, then don’t trash talk. I won’t think any less of you. But don’t go below the belt with the whole, “Where did you go to college again?” I have a tremendous income, I have a tremendous wealth, I’m very proud of how I spent ages 18-22, and let’s not compare where we spent 4 years because Athens ain’t no trump card. We go to college to set up our future for success, not to decide which pig skin squad to cheer for.

    We can compare tax returns if you want to go below the belt…

    Go Gators. RIP Cougars.

  40. Am I the only one that thinks that the deal the Rays made with Wander Franco has more risk for the club than the Acuna deal?

  41. @51,
    You are blinded in a Gator focused delirium. Ububba only asked when you were in school. There is not one thing about income in that passage. You are so bent out of shape (because your beloved Gators have spent most of the last 10 years as around the 3rd best team in the SEC East) that you are losing it.

  42. @54. Was he responding to ububba? Or was there something else more inflammatory towards him that was deleted? If not…wow…what an overreaction and bizarre flex about…income? And incidentally, if we’re playing W-2 poker, having followed this board for a while, I think I’d rather have ububba’s cards.

  43. @54,56

    We go to college to prepare for our careers, not to decide who to cheer for. I think you guys are missing the point.

    @54

    No, I have a consistent rule: if people want to compare undergrads, we can also compare returns. Don’t care if you’re a Nole fan or a Dawwwwwwg fan.

  44. Also @56, that’s not his first time playing that card when he doesn’t like what I say about the Dawgs.

  45. Franco’s getting paid like twice what Acuna’s getting and it’s still an extremely good deal for both parties. I wouldn’t trade our guy for anybody but Franco’s one of the best players in baseball effective immediately, and good for the Rays for getting out the checkbook.

  46. #51
    What guy?

    Just asking b/c I was trying to understand (via the UF football era) what exactly colored your near-lactating fanaticism on the topic. (Eg. – The Charley Pell era was rather different from the Spurrier years.)

    You still didn’t tell me when you were (or weren’t, I guess) at UF. But I’ll assume, at this point, that you were elsewhere.

  47. @57. My college teams (Army and Penn) don’t even play in the big boy conferences, but as you said, most of us should avoid picking schools for their BCS pedigree. I understand your point, but your method of argument makes you seem small and insecure.

  48. All,

    I misinterpreted what ububba said, and I apologize. When he said, “in what era did you matriculate in Gainesville,” I thought he was saying something to the effect of, “when did you go to Florida,” and I thought that it was a dig because I thought he knew I did not go to Florida. If I’m not mistaken, him and I have talked about how I did not indeed go to Florida.

    This is always an annoying thing with college football fans. I went to a small private college. We didn’t have football, and we barely had basketball. We were so bad at baseball that I made the squad. But sometimes when college football fans get mad in a debate, they’ll pull this out. And as I said, I’m very proud of where I went to college, I’m proud of how my college prepared me for life, I’m proud of where I’m at in life, and I’ll put my 4 years in undergrad up against anyone’s. We don’t do this in professional sports. I’m no less a Braves fan because I haven’t worked at Truist Park.

    I met ububba in person many, many years ago, he’s a tremendously nice guy. He’s very smart, very successful, and I always make a point to read everything he has to say on here because it’s always really good. I like the college football trash talk, obviously, and I get set off when I think the college football trash talk goes personal with the undergrad talk. But I apologize once more to ububba and the board.

  49. I quite like this quasi free-agent deadline. I’d be all for the Union and MLB to have a deadline like Dec 1 for free agent deals, and have the window up again sometime in January.

    So I’m guessing we won’t hear about a Freddie deal until the new CBA. That will make for a nervous offseason. I don’t mind any of the Braves offseason moves so far. Oh, and I think that is ridiculous money for Scherzer. I’m not worried about facing him again.

  50. Re: Scherzer, I take the guy extremely seriously. Smoltz was a hell of a pitcher in his late 30s. I don’t doubt Scherzer will be, too.

    On Yates, fine by me. Seems like relatively reasonable money for the upside potential.

  51. Well since we stuck with Ozuna .. Soler was gonna get too much anyway .. I say here is lineup ..if we can sign Rosario …

    Acuna – rf
    Albies – 2b
    Freeman – 1b
    Riley – 3b
    Rosario – lf
    Ozuna – dh
    D’arnaud – c
    Swanson -ss

  52. #64
    To make a different point, I asked you when you went to UF b/c I really didn’t recall. (That’s why I asked.)

    But don’t sweat it — it’s allgood. Still, in the spirit of (relatively) civil discourse, we can maintain the trash talk.

    This year, of course, it’s been pretty fun: I’ve never run into a UF fan who kept insisting on running into the same wall. ;)

  53. Re-Scherzer:

    I just saw FanGraphs project him for around 170 innings next year, and 150 in 2023. I don’t doubt he’ll pitch at a top level, but I don’t think he’ll pitch to a 2.46 ERA and earn 5.4 WAR like he did this year. I’d guess an ERA in the 3’s, which is valuable, just not worth 42 mill. If his arm starts to get tired, then there’ll be alot of 6-inning efforts to be blown by their bullpen. At least that’s what I’m hoping for, but I could well be wrong!

  54. I see we are talking about colleges and all of you are scared to bring up the mighty Mocs of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

    Also, someone noted above the Gators being the third best team in the SEC East over the past decade. Who is second? Not South Carolina, Mizzu or Kentucky. I feel like my Vols are tied or slightly behind Mizzu for that honor. I hate the Gators, but Georgia and Florida have been the two teams to beat in the East over the last decade.

  55. @73 Even if it were true, then Georgia has absolutely nothing to show for how “bad” Florida has been. It’s just trash talk though; Florida has 3 East titles last decade, clearly second.

    Now, the last time a team ran the East?

    View post on imgur.com

  56. I mean, is it a bad thing that a 5.4 projected WAR is worth $43M? If you go by dollar-per-WAR, it’s right there.

    And aren’t we about to go through a protracted period again whereby we call the owners bad people? Is paying a player $43M a bad thing?

    I think, as Braves fans, we hate it because 1) our rival did it and 2) our ownership can’t afford to. But maybe one day we’ll check our symptoms on WebMD, and we won’t be depressed about the current state of spending.

  57. @49: classic Dooley quote, “We’re little, but we’re slow.”

    Rob Cope, voice of reason: what hath God wrought?

  58. I’m really, really glad we won the World Series, because this might be AA’s toughest offseason yet following the Ozuna news.

  59. As the resident CPA and tax accountant on this board (actually there may be others, idk), I propose you all send you tax returns to me for preparation and if you like I can report on the winner :)

    73-As a former Moc myself, I second the wise words of Smitty.

  60. We’ve had a Political Blog for some time now with no ill effects, lets have a football blog too. Where all the boring silliness can go. And the nasty.

    Imagine it, just baseball.

  61. @79 – Does that include a separate poetry blog? ;)

    Seriously, I don’t mind any of it because I can just scroll down if I’m not interested. Proud Dawg fan here that has a W-2 that looks a lot worse today than it did 10 years ago. But that’s what I get for that degree in Theatre I received from UGA (after a 2 year stint at Berry College.) Keep up the trash talk, if you wish.

    On the Ozuna front, I am rather surprised at the seemingly short penalty MLB put on him (and of course it is retroactive so he’s already served it.) It may make him more desirable in a trade (somehow) but it also makes it more likely he will suit up again barring an outright release in which the Braves will have to still pay the money. Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t do virtue signaling (and there is no lack of others to do the judging) and can only control what I do in my own life. I also believe in the idea of forgiveness, regardless of the crime. Some are worse than others, to be sure, and we all are on a different spectrum as to what those are. Being a dog lover, I thought Vick should have seen worse for what he did. But he suited up again after he paid the price for it. Thankfully, I’m not much of a Falcons fan (or Eagles.)

    Regardless, I think we are looking at a 50/50 shot we see him again in a Braves uni. If so, he had better get his swing back because he wasn’t bringing it before the injury and then incident.

    I am more concerned by some of these FA signings and the numbers attached. It’s a little ironic that we’re thinking about the owners considering a lock out for a time when they are spending like drunken sailors. Are they afraid it’s going to be worse after the new CBA is signed? Also, I saw that Manfred is floating a 14 team playoff format. Really??

    Finally, I like the Yates signing. It’s structured well with the bulk of the payment coming in 2023. He won’t be ready for spring training but will be a nice boost if he regains his form. Now just re-sign Rosario and Freddie already!

  62. Freddie can still sign accepting the current Braves offer before midnight Wednesday, right?

    Were he to do this romantics like me would go all warm and fuzzy and love him for ever. If he does not we would feel very differently I suspect. We would say, its all about the money, nothing else. No club obligations, just find another deal.

    Just today and Wednesday then. Keep in touch.

  63. On Kirby Yates. The guy is a stud IF he’s healthy. Isn’t a 3 year deal worth at least $8.25 million for a guy who’s had 2 TJ surgeries, won’t be ready until halfway into the season, and has pitched a total of 4 innings in 2 years a little crazy? That sounds almost like a Mets contract.

  64. @80…. Al

    Just scroll down? No we can’t. More and more its all jumbled up, same paragraph even, excitement/hysteria, is nothing sacred? Ha!

    Poetry ? Nah, four recent hours of intensive, powerful hi-tech anesthetics have left behind a muddle. Is this the same house I bought 30 years ago? Same wife? (Answers yes/no). So you can imagine the chaos attempting to rhyme/parse.

  65. blazon’s confused
    it’s just how he sees ya…
    it’s not coz he’s boozed
    it’s just anesthesia

  66. Whether it’s poetry, college football, politics, or a douche bag arguing with Georgia fans (now with class warfare!), the offseason (especially this one) is going to have alternative subjects. Personally, I can do without the poetry. At a general level, I can do without reading any opinion on any subject that I don’t like, which changes by the minute.

    Now, let it be known that while I was running this joint, I did introduce the Disqus platform, and that does segment conversation much better. It allows for side conversations much better than this format. It was a GENIUS move! Nevertheless, I was RIDICULED, LAUGHED out of this place, and with my tail between my legs, I removed the Disqus platform, vowing to disrupt the natural order in creative ways in the future. I’ve had my revenge!

    So every time you read one of this douche bag’s comments that you don’t like, disagree with, or make you wish ill will, harm, or even death on me… you asked for this. :)

    I’ve had too much coffee this morning.

  67. @83

    I think it’s super weird that there are almost no rumors about Freddie going anywhere else. He’s one of the best FAs on the market, and everyone is as silent as church mice. Methinks there’s something going on behind the scenes.

    Side note: what are the odds Dansby gets extended before the lockout? I know some aren’t hot on him, but he’s still one of the best shortstops in the league. It’s not like Jeff Treadway or something.

  68. @88 – Frankly, I’ve never liked that type of comment section. FB does it too and then you get into “wait, where did I leave that comment? Which part of the thread?” Talk about confusion. I’d just as soon see the conversation play out and if something comes along that one doesn’t care for, just scroll down. It’s worked for 20 years by this date.

    As to rumors about Freddie – if you hear anything, it is almost certainly wrong. AA doesn’t work that way. We all know that. Every day I look to see if it hits. I expect him to re-sign, but if I saw tomorrow that the Angels (or Dodgers) signed him, I would not be shocked. It is what it is. I’ll follow the team regardless, but I won’t like that.

  69. I have zero problem with the Mutts signing Scherzer, and honestly happy they opened their wallets. I think the sport is better and more fun when more owners are spending money than it is when they’re all acting like tightwads, which is what they mostly did the last couple of offseasons.

    MOST of the owners are jerks, to be sure. And Cohen seems like he can be a royal pain. But I’ll give him nothing but praise for spreading around the simoleons to buy the best free agent pitcher. The price feels okay to me.

  70. @92: I repeat my recurrent fantasy which has 0 possibility of implementation: the Players Association and MLB reach an agreement in which some fraction of total revenue (from all sources) goes to the players. The Players Association then divvies that money up amongst the players using whatever criteria they like determined in whatever union-sanctioned process they choose, and never report what anyone is paid. All player personnel decisions are then made by the teams independently of what anyone is paid. No one reports on the dollars sloshing around because nobody cares.

  71. Heredia back for $1 million, short of the $1.6 he had been projected to get in arb. Swords for everyone.

  72. @89 I think they should extend him and probably will. He loves it here and while he is streaky offensively, he is more than adequate and we could do a lot worse. He just strikes me as one of those “intangibles” type players that makes teams better because he is a ballplayer more than anything else.

  73. @89 Ryan had suggested a contract extension for Dansby on twitter. My only worry with that is that he took a big step backwards defensively last year. His DRS was -7, which was the worst of his career I believe. His UZR wasn’t great either. I’m not as harsh on Dansby as a lot of people but the decline in defense at his young age is worrisome. If he’s not at A+ defender then I don’t like his value that much.

    @94 Happy for the swashbuckler.

  74. I’m a bit tepid on Dansby as well. I think he has it in him to put up a near MVP level season, but he seems to just get ice cold for long stretches. I remember hearing Seitzer worked with him this year to cut down on K’s and it worked for about 2 weeks.

    You can obviously win a WS with Dansby as your SS, but can you if you are committing 8-10% of your payroll to him? I just don’t know. I would be comfortable at 5/$50 or $60 but no more.

  75. That’s interesting. Did it track with what your eyes were seeing? Because I personally thought his defense looked great, certainly not appreciably worse than before. I’m not sure why the defensive stats disagreed, though they are generally viewed as being less reliable (and less stable) than offensive stats.

    For what it’s worth, it looks like UZR thought he was about average (+1.1), and Total Zone FRAA thought he was good (+7), while DRS didn’t like him (-7). Put them all together, and I think you could say he’s pretty much the guy he’s been his whole career: a guy who’s right around the league average for shortstops both as a hitter and a fielder. And because shortstop is basically the most valuable position on the diamond in terms of how hard it is to replace, that makes him an above-average player in terms of wins above replacement.

    I don’t know how he’ll age. His swing has too much swing and miss, and I worry that his bat will disappear after 30 the same way it has for Andrelton Simmons. And his glove isn’t transcendent enough to keep him a starting player after his bat runs out of steam. On the other hand, if he is ever capable of sustaining the offensive breakout that he keeps flirting with, he could hit another gear.

  76. @91 I love Cohen. He’s forcing the owners to spend more. Now every FA pitcher will compare his deal to Old Man Scherzer getting $43M per. He’s great for baseball. I wish there were at any one time a couple of Ted Turner’s and Steve Cohen’s that will liven things up. Make Mark Cuban, or, I dunno, Arnold Schwarzenegger an owner. Let them be crazy and drive wages. Otherwise it’s 30 unaccountable, faceless entities all having a lot easier time holding the fort on player wages.

    Maybe the Braves will finally have an individual owner one day.

  77. RE: Dansby

    Dansby was not nearly as sure-handed as he was in year’s past according to my peepers. But I don’t see at all how he can be considered a below average defender. His arm and range are easily above average.

    I went to Fangraphs trying to make sense of advanced defensive metrics again, and I left even more confused. Pittsburgh’s shortstop Kevin Newman had the highest defensive WAR-thing, but he has the lowest “range” stat, which was a negative number. How is that even possible? Regardless, Dansby was 10th amongst qualifying shortstop in that cumulative WAR-type number they have for defense. I think that’s about right. I think Dansby is on the bottom end of the top third of defensive shortstops.

  78. As soon as Dansby starts losing sprint speed and bat speed there will be problems. I wouldn’t go more than 3 years with a possible extension.

    To his credit, he ended up a pretty good player. There was a point where he was mired in a slump before the All-Star Break when I was concerned he could be headed for a non-tender situation. But he turned that around.

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