B.J. and beyond

The good, the bad and what this means for 2013.

  • Jim Bowden likes the move. That’s worrisome.
  • Upton whiffs. A lot. But so did Michael Bourn. Upton is not Bourn’s equal as a defender, but he ain’t bad.
  • Speaking of Bourn, he’s not coming back.
  • Upton will be 33 when his contract ends. Derek Lowe was 36 when he signed with the Braves.
  • Nick Swisher won’t be house-hunting in Atlanta. Be thankful.
  • Unlike Swisher, Upton (7 HR, 18 RBI and 9 SB in 25 postseason games) delivers in October.
  • Bossman Jr., who had a career-worst .298 OBP in 2012, won’t hit lead-off. FW has already said as much.
  • Most batters show more patience as they age. Not Upton. In his first full season with the Rays (his best), Upton posted a .386 OBP.
  • Conversely, Upton’s power has risen every year since 2008.
  • So who bats lead-off? Shane Victornio?? Not likely.
  • Don’t expect any other major free agent signings, since FW has an estimated $10 million left in the kitty. Besides, they can do better.
  • Trade candidates include the usual suspects: Denard Span and Dexter Fowler. Coco Crisp is another possibility, as he appears to be the odd man out of the A’s outfield after the Chris Young acquisition.
  • I’d keep the phone lines open with our old pal Dayton. Wil Myers may be wishful thinking, but Alex Gordon, signed through 2015, has surfaced in trade rumors. He has a .373 OBP, 96 doubles and 37 homers since 2011,  mostly out of the lead-off spot. Gordon has three years and $31.5 million remaining on his contract with a team option in 2016, so the Braves can afford him. Barely. A package including Julio Teheran and Nick Ahmed might do it.
  • Bet on Span. The Twins need what the Braves have — pitching, and Span is signed for two more years with a team option in 2015.

Projected 2013 line-up:

  • Span
  • Prado
  • Jay Hey
  • Freddie
  • Upton
  • McCann
  • Uggla
  • Simmons

I can live with that.

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12 Comments on B.J. and beyond

  1. Upton hitting in the middle of the order could wipe out his stealing effectiveness though.

  2. Not that I’m urging him to hit 1st or 2nd.

  3. rankin' rob // November 29, 2012 at 8:01 am //

    Not a bad lineup if McCann can come back.

  4. This will be Dan Uggla again. I don’t like it.

  5. I’m cautiously optimistic. If he turns into Uggla the Second, we’re screwed. But I think he and Heyward may feed off each other. Upton isn’t going to want to be outshined by the younger Heyward. There’s a lot of potential there.

    On another note, it’s sad that Uggla would be projected to hit 7th or 8th. How the mighty have fallen.

  6. I’m cautious as well; however, I really like the idea now of trading for Denard Span. That would probably give us the best defensive outfield in the league. I’m not sure about Span, but we know Upton and Heyward have really strong arms.

    Another thing I’m wondering about – with Upton coming in, does that maybe take pressure off of Uggla to be the power, right-handed bat? Maybe it relaxes him a little so that he focuses on just hitting rather than trying to hit home runs every time.

    Either way, I’m content with the way things are shaping up so far. I was really worried that we’d start the season with a Cody Ross/Nick Swisher type as our starting center fielder.

  7. Viva Rufino Linares! // November 29, 2012 at 10:54 am //

    I ok w/ Upton’s signing. It is what it is. I’d rahter overpay for a younger player for obvious reason. I would love to see Span or Alex Gordon come to play LF. Gordon has lost some pop, but was solid leading off for KC. I’d go after Gordon.

  8. rankin' rob // November 29, 2012 at 11:33 am //

    I hope we’re forced to bat Simmons higher in the lineup.

  9. Guess we can strikethrough Span leading off. It looks as if the market for Bourn is down to Texas and Philly.. Id really like to see Simmons lead off and have Reed Johsnon/ Gattis split time in left. We could save a little money and pick someone up if need be at the deadline. Or extend Prado,

  10. Gattis ain’t going to be playing LF next year. If he is, we’re in trouble. I wouldnt’ count out Span yet. And Reed Johnson is not a player who should be counted on for anything but bench play.

  11. Viva Rufino Linares! // November 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm //

    If the Span trade is true, the Nats got him for nothing. FW could have put together something better. My guess is FW will have something up his sleeve come the winter meetings.

  12. I hope you’re right, Rufino. The Span deal is done. He’s a nice player. It’s hard to believe that Wren couldn’t have offered a better pitcher. MLB Trade Rumors had said that Wren had been talking to the Twinkies earlier and that he couldn’t make a deal.

    Anyway, what a thrill that Frank offered $20M than the Phillies.

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