Coppy’s folly

For one season each of 40somethings R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, Coppy shelled out $20 mil. Plus another $12 million for Jaime Garcia, acquired from the Cardinals.

That’s a whole lot of nothing for $32 mil — about a quarter of the Braves’ payroll.

For three years and $27 mil, the Pirates re-signed 30-year-old Ivan Nova, who has one more walk (3) than CG in 2017. Nova has a 2.23 ERA and 0.952 WHIP.

The Braves say they pursued short-term deals because they didn’t want to block any of their young pitchers. But it’s foolish to think all, or even half of them, will succeed in the majors, and how many will be ready to join the rotation in 2018? An affordable innings-eater like Nova, who’s been much more than that since coming to the National League, would seem a natural fit.

There were other, more affordable options with seemingly more upside than two greybeards clearly past their prime. The White Sox inked Derek Holland for $6 million. Holland has a 2.02 ERA after six starts with a 1.037 WHIP. Charlie Morton is throwing harder than ever and is averaging better than a strikeout per inning. Houston signed the ex-Brave for two years and $14 mil.

Another ex-Brave, Trevor Cahill, found new life pitching for the Cubs in 2016, striking out 66 in 65 IP with a 2.74 ERA. He’s struck out 44 in 35 IP so far this year and has a 3.06 ERA after six starts. The Padres signed him for $1.75 million.

Hindsight, you say. Sure, it’s not like teams were flocking to sign Nova, Holland, Morton or Cahill. They weren’t lining up for Colon, Dickey or Garcia, either. And the Braves are paying each of them more money in 2017 than any of the others are receiving because Coppy misread the market, signing them soon after they became eligible and trading for Garcia on Dec. 1.

Not smart.

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One thought on “Coppy’s folly

  1. Coppy’s Fatal Flaw is he only sees the upside in players/prospects and fails to acknowledge the downside. This isn’t hard to understand from a psychological point of view. After all, we’re talking about a guy who used to literally eat his dinners out of garbage cans each night. Once you’ve lived that type of life where a half-eaten Quarter Pounder with Cheese at the bottom of a dumpster is THE Golden Goose of the week, everything in life can only be viewed as having positive potential. That’s why Coppy has ALWAYS assembled a roster filled with band-aids, has-beens and never-will-be players & prospects. I realize this year’s payroll is larger than previous years….but Freeman, Colon, Garcia, Markakis, Kemp & Dickey account for about 65% of that total. The rest of the team are mostly on-the-cheap, roll-of-the-dice players/prospects that have no downside as far as Coppy is concerned. And the result of that is what we see in the flesh every game. This is Coppy’s Fatal Flaw and he is only emboldened by John Hart who is the original Riverboat Gambler when it comes to MLB players & prospects.

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