The Braves have now signed Kimbrel to a four-year extension. This keeps getting better and better. Maybe that Cobb County deal is going to be a bonanza. Hardball Times, and maybe others, has the story
Bobby’s last major move as Braves GM was his worst, though strangely it worked out for the best. Murph had been on the trading block for a year, and at one point Bobby was near a deal with the Mets that would’ve brought Lenny Dykstra, Howard Johnson and Rick Aguilera to Atlanta. It would’ve been a fantastic haul but, had it happened, TP and Otis would’ve likely never been Braves.
Instead JS’ predecessor sent Murph and Tommy Greene to the Phils for Jeff Parrett, Victor Rosario and Jim Vatcher. Murph was pretty much done but Greene had two above-average seasons as a Phils starter.
Parrett, a decent set-up reliever with the Expos and Phils, wasn’t even competent in Atlanta, allowing 58 hits and walking 31 in 48-1/3 IP. He started the ’91 season with the eventual NL champs but spent most of the year in Richmond. He was released in December of that year and resurfaced in Oakland, where he won 9 games with a 3.02 ERA.
Only four players to go in our countdown of the 20 worst players (non-pitchers) in A-Braves history. Two of the four spots are taken, and it shouldn’t be hard to figure out who they are (hint: they played the positions most popular on our list). The other two are up for grabs.
Now’s your last chance to make a case for the worst of the worst.
Moves I would ponder:
Trade B-Mac, Uggla and Sean Gilmartin (or, reluctantly, Randall Delgado) to the Rangers for Elvis Andrus and Michael Young.
As much as I like and respect the guy, the Braves should not re-sign Brian McCann, even if he rebounds in 2013. So they might as well get something for them and dump Uggla’s contract to boot. Of course, that would require taking on another bad contract, and Michael Young’s is really bad ($16 million per, though it expires after next season) and he’s having a terrible season (.640 OPS). But he could be a serviceable back-up to Juan Francisco at 3B, while Andrus, a FA after 2014 who may be expendable with the emergency of SS Jurickson Profar — widely seen as the best prospect in baseball — could play 2B and replace Bourn atop the line-up (.298 BA, .363 OPB, 19 SB).
If McCann and Uggla rebounded this would be a great deal for Texas, which will probably be in the market for a catcher since Mike Napoli, a free agent-to-be, has reverted to his pre-2011 form. The Braves, meanwhile, would dispatch their one remaining long-term contract while sporting an unmatched DP combo.
Sign Russell Martin, Mike Napoli, or Chris Iannetta.
None of these guys will be mistaken for B-Mac in his prime, but, paired with David Ross (who will also be a free agent), would make for a serviceable backstop while buying time for Christian Betancourt.
Trade Tommy Hanson to Brewers for Carlos Gomez.
Gomez, 26, has quietly put together his best season (.771 OPS), but his contract expires after next season. And his agent is Scott Boras. So he might not be a Brave for long, but you could say the same thing about Hanson, even though he’s not a free agent until 2016. Might as well get something for him while you still can.
The Braves could trade Hanson for a prospect and use their considerable savings to sign Josh Hamilton.
Neither the Yankees or Red Sox are expected to be in on Hamilton, and the Dodgers have nowhere to put them, with Ethier, Crawford and Kemp all signed through at least 2017. Jayson Stark quoted one AL exec speculating that a mid-market team will sign the 31-year-old slugger, who’s rebounded from a horrible July to put up his usual stellar numbers.
Yes, he’s been somewhat delicate and has the questionable past, but those factors will keep his contract from reaching Pujols-ian levels.
Hire Dave Martinez.
If the Braves collapse again Fredi is likely to lose his job, and Martinez, Tampa’s bench coach, apprentices under the best manager in baseball. He also has ties to the Braves, playing here in 2011 — not that it matters.
I’ll note this is the kind of thing one does when their team is mired in a demoralizing slump.
Seems a good time to change the subject.
Nice piece by Ken Rosenthal on the courtship of Ben Sheets.
Don’t push the envelope too far, you might get licked. Scatman Crothers told me that, and I’ve never forgotten it.
— Black Larry King (@BlackLarryKing) July 22, 2012
McCann C+. His strong last week upped the grade from a C, and his second half will go a long way towards determining whether the Braves should sign him up long term. Tough call, but I’d lean toward …
Bourn A. The game’s best lead-off hitter. Period. We went years without one and have no candidates in the farm system to supplant him in CF. He must be re-signed, but I fear we’ll see him in a Nats’ uni next season.
Chipper A. The dude’s leading the Braves in OPS. So much for worries (I’m among the guilty) that he was overstaying his welcome.
Freddie B-. A little too aggressive at the plate, but you can’t quibble with his production. Expect a big second half.
Uggla C-. His defenders point to his .355 OBP and 46 RBI, productive numbers for a middle infielder. But to me, he’s the Derek Lowe of the offense with a salary to match.
Martin A-. What can’t he do? About time FW locked him up long-term.
Jay Hey B+. Whew. The future face of the franchise was starting to look like a bust but has rediscovered his the stroke that will make him a star. He’ll finish the year with an OPS nearing .900 and 30 homers.
Andrelton A-. Outstanding defensively, of course, but who knew he’d be such a force at the plate. Dare I say the name Davey Concepcion?
David Ross B+. He’s not just the game’s best back-up catcher, he’s its best reserve. Period.
Hinske, Diaz, Wilson, et al. D-. Just awful.
Plus defenders at each of the OF positions and at SS. Average at the corners and catcher, below average at second.
Were this five years ago, we’d dismiss Jose Bautista as a cheater — another Brady Anderson or Luis Gonzalez. But in the year of the pitcher, with PED testing routine enough to dissuade all but the truly dense, Bautista’s numbers merit special praise.
The player formerly thought of as another Danny Bautista has 16 homers in 32 games, putting him on a pace for 81. The ex-Pirate has 16 more walks than strikeouts (35 to 19) and an OBP of .517. Bautista’s .368 BA is nothing compared to his 1.315 OPS.
That five-year, $65 million contract Bautista signed before this season is looking like one of baseball’s best discounts. The Braves showed interest in the onetime Oriole at last year’s trading deadline. Imagine what might have been.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that, while the Braves haven’t announced it yet, SP Brandon Beachy is expected to be named the team’s fifth starter soon. His main competition, Mike Minor, will start the year in Triple-A.
Beachy’s certainly earned a spot in the rotation with his work this spring, though I remain a bit skeptical. Expect to see Minor back up no later than June.
The Braves are close to signing Dan Uggla to a 5-year extension worth $60 million. Sounds like a lot, but, compared with the $126 million the Nats are paying Jayson Werth — one year Uggla’s senior — it’s a pretty reasonable deal.
Besides being younger, Uggla also has more career homers and RBI than Werth with a nearly identical lifetime .OPS.
Jeff Schultz reminds Braves fans why we need new ownership:
Monday’s Wall Street Journal lists the top 10 paid CEOs among 456 of the largest U.S. public companies. Maffei, the head of Liberty Media Corp., which owns the Braves, tops the list. According to the Journal, Maffei “enjoyed total direct pre-tax compensation of $87.1 million last year, four times his 2008 package.”
I’m not going to debate whether somebody deserves four times their 2008 pay. That’s up to the company and the stockholders. But if a company is so flush with dollars that the CEO can draw an income of $87.1 million, is there not another $15 to $20 million a year for the Braves to beef up their anemic lineup?
- Liberty’s Maffei Tops List of Best-Paid CEOs (dailyfinance.com)
Via the Twitter of Newark Star-Ledger beat reporter Marc Carig:
Jeter’s response to what defensive metrics say about him: “I don’t know. I don’t play video games.”
- In 28 August games, the #Braves have scored 3 runs or fewer 11 times, and 8 runs or more eight times (10 or more five times)
- Much as we’ve ragged on erratic ATL offense, check this: #Braves lead NL w/ 149 runs in Aug. & are 2nd with 36 HRs (#Phillies have 16 HRs) 8 minutes ago via TweetDeck
- The #Phillies are 5-7 with a 2.62 ERA in past 12 gms. They’ve hit .184 with 6 homers and 28 runs in that stretch. No, seriously. 11 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Omar Infante has an MLB-best .356 average with RISP since 2007.
Looks like the Yanks are about to land Cliff Lee, which means death for any team reliant on left-handed hitters. A.J. Burnett, struggling mightily this season, becomes New York’s fifth starter, behind the best trioka of southpaws in baseball (Sabathia, Pettitte and Lee) and Phil Hughes. Not fair.
Manager Charlie Manuel was livid at his team, saying the players have shown no sense of urgency to end their slide. He showed his displeasure before the game when he spotted several of them gathered around a television, watching the movie “Gran Torino.” He ordered the clubbies to shut it off.