#Braves out on Moncada, in on Gary Roenicke 2.0

Well that’s great news. DOB notes the “huge cost” and says the team doesn’t want to drain its international signing budget. My guess is that Liberty is tightening the belt due to declining attendance that’s likely to crater in 2015. Until the new stadium opens, and maybe after, the Braves are officially a “small market” club, even if they aren’t.

Need proof? Look no further then next year’s outfield, which may include Jonny Gomes, a journeyman who would likely platoon with Zolio Almonte. A Yankees farmhand for 9 years, Almonte should not be mistaken for a prospect. His minor league numbers (.268 BA, .330 OBP, .433 slugging percentage — in line with his 2014 production in Triple-A) don’t excite, and he’s not much on contact, either, striking out 105 times in 105 games.

We’re told Almonte is solid defensively; Gomes isn’t even adequate. The 34-year-old journeyman has become more selective at the plate as his power has diminished, though he he still hits lefties well. He didn’t hit anyone last year, especially after he was dealt to Oakland, where he had a .491 slugging percentage in 2012. Last year, in 64 AB with the A’s, he managed but one extra base hit.

When I heard about the interest in Gomes I immediately thought of Roenicke, a right-handed slugger who came to the Braves in 1987 after spending several years as part of a LF platoon in Baltimore. Like Gomes, he was coming off a year in which his power dried up. For the Braves, Roenicke hit .219 with 9 HR and 28 RBI in 151 AB. He was released the following year.

There are other candidates, including Todd Cunningham, your quintessential 4-A player, Jose Constanza, ditto, and Joey Terdoslavich, who regressed in Triple-A last year. Oh, and there’s Cuban import Dion Toscano, who’s barely played the last two years.

Forget about Ichiro — the Braves are not interested, says DOB.

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9 comments

  1. I just don’t like Gomes. He’s one of those guys that, because he played for the Red Sox, he got media attention despite pedestrian numbers.

  2. Right on man. Let’s go for a Blazing Saddles cast at the major league level while we rebuild.
    Re-sign Elliot. Trade for Steve. Dig up Howard even.

  3. We were planning a quick trip to Atlanta in April so I could see a game at the Ted before it’s gone, but the Braves are going to be so excrable this season, we’ll maybe do it next year instead. Dropping out on Moncada basically means the organization, thanks to Liberty, has decided to stop competing. The organization does not have a single quality corner outfield prospect. Even if José Peraza and Mallex Smith turn out to be top-flight top-of-the-order hitters, without power production from the corner outfield spots, the team has no chance of competing in the forseeable future. None. I was afraid that when the Braves acquired third baseman Rio Ruiz in the Gattis deal, that it meant they were out of the running for Moncada, although I held out hope they were envisioning him as a right fielder. But now they have just given up. The new focus on the Caribbean results in Dian Toscano. That’s pretty much an admission of not even pretending to compete. Stripping the organization of veteran talent to rebuild the farm system is one thing, but doing so without a concurrent willingness to invest in the future is robbing the fan base of all hope, and hope is the only reason anybody becomes a fan of a team.

    So why should I or anybody else be a fan of an organization that has decided not to even try to field a competitive team? Because it’ll soon have a new stadium? Garbage in a fancy container is still garbage. A lot of the blame falls on Frank Wren for allowing the farm system to deteriorate as badly as it did, but I think that still gets back to Wren having to operate under Liberty’s penny-pinching ways and to Liberty honchos being unable to detect the rot until it was gangrenous.

    And although I blame the Used Car Salesman for Liberty’s acquisition of the club, he’s no longer on the scene, and Liberty must be the target of Braves fans’ wrath. And to that end, I suggest we organize a boycott of Liberty Media and its affiliated companies. If you have a subscription to SiriusXM, cancel it, and send a letter saying why to SiriusXM, and cc it to John C. Malone. Do not go to any concerts produced by Live Nation, and send letters saying why. (Unfortunately, Liberty Media has spun off its cable channels, so we can no longer express our disgust to advertisers, and Liberty’s share of Barnes & Noble is too inconsequential to matter. And because of the monopolistic practices of ISPs, those with service from Charter Communications really have no alternatives.) And most of all, send one to John C. Malone telling him in no uncertain terms that until he decides to try to put a competitive team on the field, you will not attend a home game of the Atlanta Braves. That address is John C. Malone, chairman, Liberty Media Corp., 12300 Liberty Blvd., Englewood, CO 80112.

    And tell him to shove his shopping-mall ballpark up his ass.

  4. Personally, I look forward to watching two furious years of turd-polishing by the front office promoting this shit show of a team.

  5. Amen on the John C. Malone shove it up your glory hole all the way to do something besides watch the 70-80’s Braves team of the past that the 2015 team will be immulating!!!

  6. Rowland, sir…I hope that I didn’t offend you with my comment. Really enjoyed watching #22 roam CF for Tomahawk Nation back in the day! Unfortunately, the front office & the farm system wasn’t up to standards in order for their accountability to match your zeal while playing the game. Thank you for your efforts & your teammates that really needed an organization led by brilliant minds.

  7. And I forgot to add that it has been obvious for months that whatever team signed Moncada would use up all its pool money and then some and become subject to league fines. So the official reason for the Braves dropping out is a load of crap. But it makes you wonder why the Braves traded for a large chunk of the Cubs’ pool money.

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