November 02, 2011

Show #169: Braves Start Their Off Season Moves

Looking back at the WS.  The Awards Season.  Hinske and McLouth.  And the Derek Lowe trade.

 

 

179 Responses to “Show #169: Braves Start Their Off Season Moves”

  1. 1
    Nate Says:

    I’m not a huge La Russa fan, I agree with the pompous, jerk stuff said on the show, but it baffles me how he continues to push the right button when it counts with his platoons, utility players, relievers, and shuffling his lineup. It’s also amazing that he and Torre are 2 of the worst at managing a bullpen, but they’ve won so much in the postseason.

    Mac’s injury killed him defensively and offensively, and he still has some bad habits defensively. Molina has a cannon and he gets rid of it really, really fast. I hate Molina because even when Mac starts an All-Star game Molina still manages to play 6 innings of the game, but Molina is a stud defensively. That guy has come a long way with the bat, too.

    Gonzalez was robbed. So was Freeman, Imo.

    Curt, how can you forget Ruiz? He hits like .900 against us.

    Love more Hinske.

    I really hope the Cardinals don’t sign McLouth. Somehow he will hit .280 for them. (See Reggie Sanders)

    I think the Lowe deal is kind of like a GM’s version of a mob hit.

    “10,000,000 and a corpse!” with a Derek Lowe shadow facade in the background. Someone make the ABT shirt now! I will buy it.

    I was really disappointed with Lowe getting starts down the stretch, when it really mattered. It was like we were making decisions with the logic of “Well, Derek has been mostly terrible this year, but Derek was good last September…. so he’ll be good this September.” C’mon. And then you trade him a month later. Bad management on multiple levels. You gotta wonder what if someone else makes his late season starts…

    I’m pulling for Medlen. We need more Medlens on this team.

    I’m with you guys on offseason acquisitions. Don’t get your hopes up. We need better production from the current players to be a better team.

    I personally think this is Minor’s year to lockdown a starting spot or he’s definite trade bait. Gilmartin being drafted number 1 this year kind of put the writing on the wall for Minor.

  2. 2
    Nate Says:

    BTW, great, funny show. Good to hear from y’all again!

  3. 3
    Curt Says:

    Thanks Nate. We’ll try and put at least one show up a month in the off season, just to keep in touch.

  4. 4
    Walker Says:

    Great show. The name Chris jones does sound suspect. Anyway I think Medlen would be more valuable right now in the bullpen because we need someone to trust to spell O’ventbral every once in a while. My opinion could change if we acquire an extra late inning guy this off season though.

  5. 5
    john j Says:

    Hoping that MLB someday has a new cap format taking the best aspects of NFL, NBA and NHL caps. I mean a real cap, not the one that now exists where rich teams (Yankees) just pay a fine. They could even start at a fairly high level, say around $1.4 mil. Some teams couldn’t/wouldn’t spend that amount anyway but it would narrow the gap between the low budget teams and the Yankees, Red sox, Phillies, etc. Yes, I realize that the high budget doesn’t always payout but I prefer a more level playing field.

    However, if someone with Ted Turner pockets buys the Braves, I would reconsider.

  6. 6
    Curt Says:

    I think they also need to raise the minimum. I’m pretty certain there is a minimum cap that teams must meet or be penalized. I think they should raise it. If you don’t want to be in the business, get out of it. David Glass should not be rewarded for not caring about his team.

  7. 7
    Steve Says:

    Following up on #6, an interesting article from Forbes from 2010 on minimum payroll.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/sportsmoney/2010/08/31/mlb-financials-show-need-for-minimum-payrolls/

    john j – the Ted Turner comment was great.

  8. 8
    Anonymous Says:

    Speaking of reckless conjecture and/or interesting

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/braves-open-to-trading-jurrjens-prado.html?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=twitterfeed

  9. 9
    Curt Says:

    That was me

  10. 10
    Steve Says:

    I’m such a crazy ho for a big move over the winter that I’m all for it ( the JJ and Prado rumors). In reality, it scares me. JJ because I think his value is pretty low right now (compared to what it could be after a strong start in 2012) and I think Prado comes back strong next year.

  11. 11
    Walker Says:

    It would be in the Braces best interest to stay pat and evaluate JJ and Prado through the all star break next year. Then they can make any move they need. Prado could very well be a batting champ next year.

  12. 12
    Walker Says:

    **Braves

  13. 13
    Steve Says:

    Great article by Crasnick at ESPN: http://espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove11/story/_/id/7188935/atlanta-braves-ready-move-forward

  14. 14
    Vinnie Says:

    I still think the Braves should consider trading ANY Boras client and I wouldn’t lose sleep (considering we’ll lose the palyers anyway). I actually feel better about JJ than Hanson. Hanson gives off a bad/jerky vibe. He seems to lack passion and he and Boras will KILL the Braves when it comes time to re-up. As Princess Lea said, “I don’t know…I got a baaaad feeling about this”.

  15. 15
    Steve Says:

    #13 – yes, but we still have a few years before Tommy and his Borass shows itself.

  16. 16
    Steve Says:

    And by #13, I of course meant #14.

  17. 17
    ham Says:

    Vinnie – for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drkh0YLF8rI

  18. 18
    Anne Says:

    Just finished listening. It’s like baseball isn’t done for the year if you guys keep talking.
    I’m 100% aboard giving Medlen a place in the starting rotation.
    Most importantly: Steve, who the HELL doesn’t like Rolo’s? Chocolate and caramel. AND you can pop ‘em like Rolaids.

  19. 19
    Steve Says:

    You know, a bunch of us want Medlen as the #5, and then you have this paragraph from Carol’s latest blog at the AJC:

    For the Braves, the asking price is high for Jurrjens, given both his track record and the risk on their end. Now that the Braves have traded Derek Lowe and cleared $5 million there, Tim Hudson and Jurrjens are their most veteran starters. The Braves don’t know how Tommy Hanson’s shoulder will hold up after he missed the better part of the last two months of the season. And the remaining candidates for the rotation – Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran – combined don’t have half as much service time as Jurrjens.

    Medlen is not even mentioned! Think she’s heard talk around the organization? Makes me think that.

    Anne – can’t you name 10 – 15 candy bars you’d rather have than Rolos? That was my only point.

  20. 20
    Curt Says:

    I think 10-15 is a stretch

  21. 21
    Curt Says:

    Big Whatchamacallit fan

  22. 22
    Curt Says:

    So new SI has a hot stove section of trades that won’t happen, but should.

    #1: Mike Minor and Julio Teheran for Andre Ethier

  23. 23
    Kate Says:

    That would be a terrible trade. Is the writer a Dodger fan?

  24. 24
    Curt Says:

    Is anyone?

  25. 25
    David Says:

    Just finished listening to the new podcast — great stuff, as always. A few thoughts.

    Lowe’s 2011 September: I doubt that this won’t come as a shock, but this was his worst month as a Brave. Look at these numbers:

    - 0 wins — his only winless month while in Atlanta
    - 5 losses — going hand-in-hand with the above, this was his highest 1-month total
    - 8.75 ERA — by far, his worst for any month
    - 23.2 IP — lowest one-month total
    - 23 earned runs — tied for his highest one-month total (June 2009)
    - 1.986 WHIP — highest for any month

    As you guys said, he was AWFUL this season. After March/April, he didn’t have a month in which he posted an ERA below 4.40. But a month like this really couldn’t have come at a worse time.

    I’ve read a few writers saying that the Indians got a deal cause he’s a sinkerballer, a veteran, and he’ll help the younger guys on the staff…but if I were a Cleveland fan, no way I’d be excited about that trade.

    Minor vs. Medlen — I gotta disagree about Medlen being the 5th starter. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but Minor had a good year for us. He wasn’t able to go very deep in most games and he tended at times to give back a lead that the offense built, but he’s still learning and developing as a pitcher. He’s still very young, and if Wren isn’t going to trade him at the deadline (#CarlosBeltranRumors), then he needs to be starting games.

    Now, about Medlen: like I said, I love the guy, and I would like to see him in the rotation. But y’all are making A LOT out of the 4 outs he got in the final game vs. Philly. Really? 4 outs merits a spot in the rotation above Minor, who made 15 starts this year and, when you take out the first start, he had an ERA under 3.80?? Do y’all remember the 4 outs that Medlen got in that game? They were Michael Martinez, John Mayberry, Raul Ibanez, and Carlos Ruiz (he also gave up a single to Wilson Valdez). Not exactly Rollins/Howard/Utley/Pence kind of guys, and let’s also remember that these guys were in their 4th/5th at-bat of the night, too.

    Point being — I love Medlen, and I do hope that he’s a starter for us next year, but not above Minor. If I’m pencilling in my rotation for next year, I’d have:

    Hudson
    Hanson
    Beachy
    Minor
    Teheran/Delgado (tough call who to start, though I’d probably lean toward Teheran since he’s got the higher ceiling)

    Obviously I think they’re going to trade Jurrjens since he’s not listed in there.

  26. 26
    David Says:

    Curt — do you have a link for that hot stove section? I can’t seem to find it.

    Minor and Teheran for Ethier is idiotic. Ethier’s a good ballplayer, but I wouldn’t even give up either of those players on their own for Ethier, much less both of them together. He’s arb-eligible for 2012, which means he’ll make more than he made this year ($9.5 mil), and he’s a free agent after next season. Trading away two young, major-league minimum guys that can be part of your rotation for years to come for a one-year rental? Not to mention, Ethier’s left-handed (I would think a RH bat would be preferable), and he’s not a 30-hr/100-rbi guy that we could really use in the outfield.

  27. 27
    Curt Says:

    David, I base my desire for having Medlen in the rotation based not on those 4 outs, but his 2010 season as a starter. The Braves went 13-1 in games that he started. I won’t bore you with all his other stats, but he was the 2nd or 3rd best starter for us in 2010. And his arm will only be stronger coming off of that surgery. I like him more than I do JJ or Hanson right now. I just think he is a winner and we need more of that in our starting rotation.

    As far as the hot stove stuff, it was in the new magazine – with the Packers on the cover. I don’t know if they make all of their print stuff available online. Joe Sheehan wrote the piece. Closest I could find online was this:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/joe_sheehan/11/02/nl.east.hot.stove.preview/index.html

  28. 28
    Shaun Says:

    Let’s keep in mind that it wouldn’t be shocking to see both Minor and Medlen in the rotation on Opening Day. Hanson’s no sure thing, with his injury, and Jurrjens could very well be traded. That only leaves two guarantees, as of right now: Hudson and Beachy.

    Having to choose between Minor and Medlen is not really a problem at this point. And if the Braves end up having to send Minor to Triple-A to stay stretched out, I could argue that it would be a good thing, in a way.

  29. 29
    David Says:

    Curt — I can agree with that, and you’re right that his arm will be stronger coming off of surgery. I also like him better than JJ, although I still have really high hopes for Hanson. His shoulder issues are a big worry, but I also think that he can continue as the pitcher he was during the first half of this year. That being said, if Hanson comes out and has a really strong 1st half, I’d like to see the Braves trade him at the deadline.

    Shaun, I think you’re exactly right — that we could see both of them in the rotation to start the year.

    How do you guys feel about Prado potentially being traded?

  30. 30
    Shaun Says:

    I like that the Braves are apparently exploring options with Prado and Jurrjens. They could potentially get 4-6 legit major leaguers, essentially, for those two, once you consider the players that they could bring in a trade an potential savings from not having to pay those two. I’m assuming this is what the Braves are thinking, and they’ll only trade either if they can get 2-3 potential major league contributors for each without taking a hit in the payroll.

    Also, something tells me that maybe they are looking to trade Prado and Jurrjens to save a little money that they would pay them in arbitration in order to make a fairly big move at left or short.

  31. 31
    Steve Says:

    I’m much more comfortable with JJ being traded than Prado. I’m convinced that JJ will be consistently injured going forward. And I believe that Prado bounces back in a big way. I mean, you know he took like 2 days off after the season and is now practicing his swing and working out 16 hours a day.

  32. 32
    Steve Says:

    Have you read the Ken Rosenthal article about the Braves? Good stuff, nothing earth shaking, but there’s a line in there about the Braves INCREASING payroll this coming season! Pretty interesting news…

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Atlanta-Braves-may-trade-Jair-Jurrjens-Martin-Prado-need-roster-upgrade-110511

  33. 33
    Nate Says:

    I really hope we keep Prado. We need more Medlen’s and Prado’s. I would shed very few tears over Hanson or JJ leaving, especially if we can get a really good bat for them. Those guys are great when they’re healthy and consistent with their mechanics, but at this point, how much can you really rely on those 2 guys? Dimico made a good point about trading pitchers for a bat in his interview with you guys, and the postseason results strengthened his argument, imo.

    I’m surprised Delgado hasn’t gotten more love this offseason. I thought he pitched the best out of all of the Big 4 down the stretch. I would also be stunned if Teheran starts the year in AAA. Dude’s a stud. What more does he have to prove in the minors? Minor has had ample opportunity to win the 5th man job, and he’ll get another one this Spring, but he just doesn’t excite me as much as Delgado and Teheran.

    Has anyone read the SI report on the disgusting, horrid PennState allegations? Unforgivable.

  34. 34
    Curt Says:

    According to DOB:

    Royals general manager Dayton Moore acknowledged Friday having a conversation with the Braves about potential trade match-ups but apparently the asking price was too steep.

    The Kansas City star is reporting the Braves wanted top outfield prospect Wil Myers, as well as center fielder Lorenzo Cain for Jair Jurrjens and possibly Martin Prado, but the Royals are unlikely to part with Myers.

  35. 35
    David Says:

    Also from DOB around 6pm today: “Royals still want another starter plus (Jonathan) Sanchez but won’t trade Myers and with Lorenzo Cain handed a CF job, #Braves/Jurrjens seems less a fit”

  36. 36
    Walker Says:

    That was a dumb trade the Giants made. You don’t trade a young flamethrowing cheap lefty for a fringe starter who really is a 4th outfielder.

  37. 37
    Kate Says:

    Wren says Medlen is one of eight starters the Braves have.

    http://capitolavenueclub.com/

  38. 38
    Nate Says:

    Thanks, Kate. Vizcaino, EOF, Venters, and Kimbrel. Should be fun to watch.

    Does anyone know if JJ Hoover is pitching as a reliever or a starter in the AFL?

  39. 39
    Curt Says:

    Looks like he is working as a reliever.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=543331

    Any word on Marek? Might have to look up his progress.

  40. 40
    Steve Says:

    Re Marek:

    Braves: Removed catcher J.C. Boscan, reliever Stephen Marek and outfielders Wilkin Ramirez and Antoan Richardson from their 40 man roster. All will be free agents.

  41. 41
    Curt Says:

    Why? Guess he isn’t bouncing back. That’s disappointing.

    More on Prado – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/rockies-inquired-on-martin-prado-.html?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=twitterfeed

  42. 42
    Walker Says:

    I just read Alex Gonzalez will most likely get a 2 year deal. So it might be Pastornicky at shortstop for us next year.

  43. 43
    Leah Says:

    I will cry bitter tears if we lose Prado.

  44. 44
    Nate Says:

    I don’t like the idea of trading Prado for Seth Smith. Prado is better at baseball. We downgraded a position 2 seasons ago and lost a clutch bat. I really don’t want to do that again. Please, Wren, just stand pat if these are the only moves available.

  45. 45
    Nate Says:

    Also, why aren’t we trying to keep a guy like Prado? He works hard and can play about 5 different positions, which seems like a major plus given Chipper and Heyward’s knack for injuries. Not to mention, he was probably our best player a year ago. I am having some horrible deja vu over these Prado trade rumors. Prado isn’t a jerk, so what’s the reasoning behind these trade rumors? Do we think the league has figured Prado out? Is he really just a utility guy? Didn’t Chipper say Prado is one of our top hitters? I’m lost on this.

  46. 46
    Curt Says:

    I think Wren just can’t help himself. Mark Bradley had a nice article a couple of weeks ago about all the tinkering Wren does and perhaps it’s too much. Perhaps he needs to let some cohesion settle in, instead of constantly tweaking. I tend to agree with him, and you Nate. Don’t make a move just to make a move.

    Did you guys read the story about Wilson Ramos getting kidnapped in Venezuela? No wonder Prado was so stressed with his family down there. Crazy and very sad.

  47. 47
    Kate Says:

    This is from an article by Jayson Stark.

    • Teams that have spoken with the Braves report they’re continuing to “float” Jair Jurrjens’ name, even after their potential deal to send him to Kansas City fell through. “They’re not really pushing him. They’re floating him,” said an executive of one team that spoke with them. “The impression we got is they’ve got to unload money. They want to get a bat, and the only way to do it is to unload money. The one guy they’d move, no problem, is Martin Prado. He seems like he’s fallen from grace over there.”

  48. 48
    Walker Says:

    From Mark Bowman:

    “Lowe was actually a pretty good guy who certainly created a number of laughs over the past few years. His self-deprecating humor was priceless. A few hours before he started a game in late August this year, Eric Hinske walked in the clubhouse and said “Are you starting tonight?” Lowe responded, “Yep, we’ll get them tomorrow.”

    LOL

  49. 49
    Curt Says:

    I don’t get the Prado thing. Other than they think he has no position and they don’t want to pay him to be a utility player. It’s incomprehensible as to what he has done to fall this far.

    And again, this desperation with which the Braves operate. It seems to put them in a postion where they don’t get the most out of trades. AND AGAIN WITH FREAKING PAYROLL ISSUES! SELL THE TEAM! Read today that 12/11/11 is the date when Liberty can unload the team. Please let that be the big offseason move. I can’t take this anymore. Mark Cuban, I’m begging you.

  50. 50
    Walker Says:

    I sincerely doubt that they will trade Prado. Who will play 3rd when Chipper goes on the DL. And I don’t know if Wren has noticed but 3rd base is a position of talent scarcity in the Majors. Unless we get Kemp, it would be in our best interest to keep him.

  51. 51
    Curt Says:

    J-Terd

  52. 52
    Nate Says:

    Taking Prado away from our roster just depletes the club’s potential so much. Prado has earned his 5 million. Give it to him. In 2010, between Prado and Infante, we had 2 guys in our lineup who could fill in at any position, except CF and C, without significant drop-off in offensive or defensive production. That was so huge. Please Wren, don’t trade Marteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

  53. 53
    Curt Says:

    I think the worst part now is that it feels like a foregone conclusion. Reading the posting that they are really efforting to get rid of him, it’s very disheartening. At some point, all this movement is going to catch up with them.

    And on the business side, coming off an epic collapse, it doesn’t seem like the best time to dump a fan favorite for some young, unproven outfielder.

  54. 54
    Nate Says:

    Curt, do you think MLB will let Cuban own a team? I’ve heard he’s been denied by Selig in the past.

  55. 55
    Nate Says:

    What do you think the return is on Prado? A LF with a lower ceiling than Prado and a prospect?

  56. 56
    Curt Says:

    DOB thinks they might not. And that the other owners might not want him either because he would be over the top and would, shudder the thought, be willing to lose money to build a champion. I think it would be a great kick for baseball which needs one. DOB also pointed out that Steinbrenner was as bombastic as they get and threw money around like no one’s business, and will end up in the HOF. Apparently, Cuban was sniffing around the Dodgers, but the $1.2 billion asking price was too much for even him. Expect the Braves to sell for less than half of that.

    As a Braves fan, I couldn’t want him more. A guy committed to winning. Willing to spend money, and continue to spend money, to win a ring. And a guy who would bring people to the stadium just to see him. Ted Turner, anyone? Bring it on as quickly as possible. I just read that the Falcons payroll is the 3rd highest in the NFL, so Arthur Blank might not be the guy right now. Just someone who wants to win. Anyone. Occupy Turner Field. Fight the power.

  57. 57
    Walker Says:

    Why is it ok for David Glass to only use his team as a ATM machine but Mark Cuban isn’t allowed to actually want to win. It’s time for Selig to go.

  58. 58
    Walker Says:

    Well I just did my part by tweeting (begging) Cuban to buy the Braves. As if this will work.

  59. 59
    David Says:

    I’m with y’all on the Phillies signing Papelbon to 4 years and $50 million. He turns 31 in a couple weeks, and that’s a ton of money to put into a closer. Glad to hear that they’re doing it.

    He’s coming off a great year, though — even though the 31 saves are a career-low for him, he posted career-best numbers in Ks and WHIP. In spite of those, I still say this is not a good free agent signing, and if the Braves had signed him, even though I’d honestly be very excited, I’d also be a bit skeptical.

  60. 60
    Nate Says:

    #42, Walker, I’m starting to think Pasto might be our opening day SS. I thought Carroll would have been a good fit: solid defensively and can be a utility infielder when Pasto’s ready. Looks like he’s off the table now, and none of the FA SS are looking to sign a 1 yr deal.

  61. 61
    Nate Says:

    On the Sun Sentinel website fans are given an opportunity to rate the Marlins’ new unis as either Great, Good, or God-awful. God awful has received 74% of the vote and great and good are tied with 13%. At least their fans are behind it… The only thing more obnoxious than those uniforms is Papelbon in a Phillies uniform. Is the Papelbon reminding anyone of the K-Rod deal? Hopefully it will by midseason 2012.

  62. 62
    Curt Says:

    At least Madson is gone.

  63. 63
    Steve Says:

    “At least their fans are behind it… ” Love it.

    The K-Rod deal is the perfect comparison of failure.

  64. 64
    Nate Says:

    Wilson Ramos, Nats C, has been found alive and well. It’s nice to get a bit of good news from the sports world.

  65. 65
    john j Says:

    Talk here in Colorado is for a Prado for Seth Smith trade. I follow both teams but feel Prado has much more upside as full time player. Smith has only proven to be solid platoon outfielder. Rockies would have to throw something else in.

  66. 66
    Curt Says:

    Seth Smith? If the Braves make that trade I seriously might stop doing this podcast. He’s terrible. I mean seriously? At some point last year he was batting like .082. And it was in the series when they came to Atlanta or we were out there. He had been sent down to AAA and had just been called back up. To try and perpetrate that trade on us as fans, for a guy a season removed from being our MVP, see Escobar, Yunel, is a terrible idea and deeply offensive to me.

  67. 67
    Curt Says:

    Apologies. I was thinking of Ian Stewart. Still….Seth Smith? He hit 15 homers playing half his games in CO. Is that the answer.

    Oh wait, there it is, he makes $429k. The only numbers the Braves seem to think about.

  68. 68
    Nate Says:

    Speaking of running a team poorly, the Marlins are pondering Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes on the same side of the infield. Should be a huge success

  69. 69
    Nate Says:

    How have they won 2 World Series? (rhetorical. I don’t need an unpleasant reminder)

  70. 70
    john j Says:

    Curt (67). no apology necessary. Smith? Stewart? What’s the difference? Rockies have done terrible job of developing their young players (exception being TuLo). I am Braves fan first and would hate to see Prado go for either or, worse yet, both.

  71. 71
    David Says:

    From everything I’ve read, if the Braves did trade Prado for Seth Smith, it’d also include a prospect, possibly CF — Charlie Blackmon or someone not named Dexter Fowler. I’m with y’all in that I’d rather not see the Braves do that. Seth Smith is good, but he’s almost 30 years old, he’s left-handed, and for some reason I think he’d wind up being another Ryan Church/Nate McLouth/Melky Cabrera for us — an outfielder with promise that, for whatever reason, comes to Atlanta and we get nothing out of them.

    I’ve also read that if Miami signs Jose Reyes, Hanley would play CF, not 3B. How’s that for a head-scratcher? I also don’t think Reyes makes them a contender — he’s got lots of health issues, after all.

  72. 72
    David Says:

    More on the outfield — we have not had a consistently strong outfielder in quite some time. Probably since Andruw left. If the Braves trade for an outfield bat, I’d really like for it to be a proven guy and not someone who has shown some flashes of promise while getting 300 at-bats a season.

  73. 73
    Nate Says:

    Lol, I took that from a Hanley comment. Of course, as it turns out, the Marlins have a much worse option in mind. Hilarious. Thanks, David. Too funny.

  74. 74
    Walker Says:

    Whatever the marlins do, 2012 will definitely be a harder season for the Braves than 2011. Every team except the Mets in the NL East will improve and we have to face the AL East for interleague. We will have to again count on our pitching staff heavily.

    Questions to our position players:

    Heyward- What is wrong with you?
    Prado- Who are you really?
    McCann- R u ok?
    Chipper- 40? Really?
    Uggla- Did you know its ok to play well all year long? Have you checked your UZR lately? How was the porn star?
    SS- Who will be playing you?
    Freddie- Do you know what a sophmore slump is? I hope you don’t.
    Bourn- Are you ready for a big payday?

    Fredi- Are you stupid?

  75. 75
    David Says:

    #74 — those are hilarious. i’d suggest some of these to go along with ‘em:

    Prado – please don’t kill us when you play against us.
    Hanson – come on man, please?
    Jack Wilson – if you’re not gonna contribute offensively, at least bring some Quizno’s subs that you were advertising back in the day. “We love these suuuubs!”
    Fredi – (in addition to “Are you stupid?”) Ya know, the Cubs are interviewing for a manager…would you like their contact information?

  76. 76
    Kate Says:

    The Prado for Delmon Young rumors are worse than the Seth Smith rumors. Wren isn’t that stupid right?

  77. 77
    Steve Says:

    LOVE #74 and #75.

    Kate, I’m with you on the Delmon Young rumors. Awful. And maddening.

  78. 78
    Nate Says:

    Congrats to Kimbrel and Freeman.

    A question for the show. Are we still rebuilding or getting ready to compete for a title run? What do you guys think?

  79. 79
    Curt Says:

    Nate – NEITHER

  80. 80
    Nate Says:

    It feels like a very stagnant mode. Trading for Bourn seem like the actions of a team trying to win in at least the next 2 years. Trading Prado for prospects sounds like a move that says “We’re not ready yet.” Do they honestly think the group that couldn’t hit last year + Delmon Young/Seth Smith – Martin Prado = offensive success?

    The Prado for Ethier rumor is interesting, but can we afford to resign Eithier after this season? Does it add up if you subtract Bourn’s contract and Chipper retires? Then do they trade JJ for a CF prospect to fill Bourn’s shoes after this season?

  81. 81
    David Says:

    This from mlbtraderumors.com:

    “On Sunday we heard that Martin Prado trade talks between the Rockies and Braves could pick up if the Rockies are willing to include Tim Wheeler or Charlie Blackmon in a deal. Now it appears that the Rockies aren’t willing to do that, but would sign off on a deal to send outfielder Seth Smith and a lower-level prospect.”

    Then that should be the end of conversations with Colorado. Prado is worth way more than a package including Seth Smith and some guy that we won’t see for 2-3 years down the road and who might not even pan out.

  82. 82
    Curt Says:

    David, sadly, the second scenario seems more in line with the Braves. Trade the guy with immediate value for a player you pray reaches some modest career stats, that hardly helps glaring deficiencies on the team, and include some prospect that we are told is the key to the whole deal. A player who may or may not pan out 3 years from now. But hey, we saved money. And, by the way, if you fans didn’t suck so bad we wouldn’t have had to make this move.

    Go team.

  83. 83
    David Says:

    Curt – I really hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case, and I really hope that they don’t trade Prado for Delmon Young.

    And the more I think about it, I really hope that they don’t trade Prado, period. He should come back healthy after this offseason, and he was hitting around .280 before his injury, which sidelined him and — as I think y’all pointed out on your show — kept him from working out.

    I’d rather see us trade Jurrjens this offseason and hang onto Prado. We’ve got pitching; hitting is what we need. An upgrade in LF via trade seems unnecessary — if anything, a healthy Prado should be enough of an upgrade.

    And while I was typing this entry, I noticed a tweet from Buster Olney: “The Braves have no interest in trading Martin Prado for Delmon Young.” Phew!

  84. 84
    Curt Says:

    Yeah, ESPN.com was saying the same on the Young for Prado deal. I know Seth Smith is a nice player, but does he really solve any problem? Any more than Prado does? Smith last year was .285 and 15 homers, playing half his games in CO. Is Prado not a better option that that? And if it’s a money dump, so say. Don’t sell us that Seth Smith is a big step in filling our OF problems. It insults me.

  85. 85
    Nate Says:

    I just looked at the numbers since 2007 of the SS we swapped with the Jays. Really, really bad. The numbers actually make me feel worse, which says a lot. I fear we may be heading in the same direction on this one. In 2 years we’ll get to talk about a kid showing potential in AA that might make our everyday lineup in a year, and Martin Prado will still be earning a salary as a very good everyday Major League player. It does not make sense. No other team that is winning now does this. Why do the Braves think it works for them?

  86. 86
    Nate Says:

    Sometimes you have to trade a young talent because he is a clubhouse cancer. I get that, but Prado seems like a really well liked guy in the clubhouse. Wouldn’t a team that values chemistry as much as the Braves want to keep a guy like Prado? He’s the perfect example of a great attitude and work ethic for every young player the Braves have.

  87. 87
    Walker Says:

    Hopefully Pastornicky makes us forget about that horrible Yunel trade.

  88. 88
    Nate Says:

    I just read my daily dose of Talking Chop. The past 2 days I’ve read their breakdown on 3rd and SS, and I’m feeling a little more optimistic. The review of Pastornicky’s arm has me concerned, but it sounds like we have some good looking young infielders in the organization. We used to have none of those, so this is a good thing. I really wish I still lived in Tampa so I could watch all these kids play in the Spring. Fortunately Gwinnett is not that far away. I wanna see the myth that is Joey Terdoslavich in person. Hopefully he lights it up and ends up there in 2011.

  89. 89
    David Says:

    Nate – I think 2011 is going to be a little soon for Terdo.

  90. 90
    Steve Says:

    #86 – I’d wager that Prado is the MOST liked guy in the clubhouse. It is all about the money. And if so, fine. But, for eff’s sake, then do something with the money that substantially improves the team. Spreading it around for a bench guy and a middle reliever will be depressing to say the least.

  91. 91
    john j Says:

    How about a blockbuster? Rockies are short 2 or 3 starters. How about Prado and JJ and a player to be named later for TuLo? SS problem solved! Oops, just pinched myself; it was all a dream.

  92. 92
    Nate Says:

    David, it would be a huge jump if he made Gwinnett. Best case scenario is most likely him starting in AA and, with a great year, earning a late season AAA call up. Do we know for sure if he’ll be at Spring Training this year? Speaking of which, is there a list of the minor league guys who will be playing in Spring?

    You know Steve, I’m not so sure money didn’t play a part in the Yunel trade, too. If they no longer saw him as a long term piece, then they probably didn’t want to pay him anything near the 5M/year he’s getting from the Jay’s right now. If that’s the reasoning they’re using on Prado they’re crazy. I just feel a wave of disappointment coming on.

    I went on a Reds site to see what kind of packages they might put together for JJ. This is obviously coming from beat writer/fan perspective, and we all know the value in that, but the names they were throwing around were mostly B type prospects coupled with a C prospect in a deal for JJ. Nowhere near the supposed Greinke asking price.

  93. 93
    Curt Says:

    It’s all about payroll. I would go so far as to say that the ownership/execs like McJerk don’t even care about winning championships. If it happens, it’s a bonus. But the most important thing is keeping the payroll right where it is. This demands that guys who are making $5 million, which in baseball is everyone but rookies and has-beens, must be moved. Prado and JJ now make “too much for the Braves to afford them,” so the carousel begins. Bad moves are made simply out of financial desperation, and they telegraph it from 1000 miles away. Yes, they will have some big salaries on their team – like 5 of them – and the rest will be league minimum guys and over-the-hill guys making 1 or 2 million. Expect this pattern until Liberty sells the team.

  94. 94
    Curt Says:

    With my thoughts added. I have to say that I was shocked that they have this few guys making over $10 million. This list does obviously not include busts like KK and McLouth

    1 Derek Lowe 15,000,000 – gone (leaving behind a $10 million hole)
    2 Chipper Jones 14,000,000 – face of the franchise
    3 Dan Uggla 9,146,942 – your most recent big salary
    4 Tim Hudson 9,000,000 – will not be resigned when his contract is up
    5 Brian McCann 6,700,000 – next face of the franchise
    6 Scott Linebrink 5,500,000 – gone
    7 Jack Wilson 5,000,000 – gone
    8 Michael Bourn 4,400,000 – no attempt will be made to resign him
    9 Jair Jurrjens 3,250,000 – expendable (due arbitration)
    10 Martin Prado 3,100,000 – expendable (due arbitration)
    11 Alex Gonzalez 2,500,000 – gone
    12 Matt Diaz 2,125,000 – stuck with Pirates contract
    13 Peter Moylan 2,000,000 – gone
    14 David Ross 1,625,000 – one more season, then gone
    15 Eric Hinske 1,350,000 – see above
    16 George Sherrill 1,200,000 – gone
    17 Eric O’Flaherty 895,000 – gone once he wants too much money
    18 Jason Heyward 496,500 – future face of the franchise?
    19 Kris Medlen 429,750 – gone once he needs a contract
    20 Jonny Venters 429,500 – Braves will only pay he or Kimbrel
    21 Brooks Conrad 427,500 – should be gone, but look what he is making
    22 Craig Kimbrel 419,000 – see Venters, Jonny
    23 Cristhian Martinez 419,000 – near league minimum
    24 Brandon Beachy 416,500 – near league minimum
    25 Freddie Freeman 414,000 – at league minimum?

  95. 95
    David Says:

    #92 — I only meant that 2011 will be a little soon for Terdo b/c we’ve only got about a month and a half left of 2011, and there’s no baseball during that time. ;)

    I tend to agree that money is probably a large reason for JJ and Prado being on the block, but I’m starting to think that y’all are overstating how big of a role it’s playing. I think that Wren realizes how valuable Prado and JJ are right now, and he’s gauging what he might be able to get for them in return in a trade. I don’t think the Braves see Prado or JJ as must-trade guys this offseason. At least, I hope that’s the case — more so with Prado than JJ.

  96. 96
    Walker Says:

    @93 true and depressing

  97. 97
    Curt Says:

    David, their valuable is at its absolute lowest right now. Trading pennies on the dollar for those two if you trade them right now.

  98. 98
    Curt Says:

    And this:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/11/16/braves-prez-schuerholz-pitches-murph-for-hof/

    Braves finally throw some support behind Murph getting in the hall. Maybe do this 10 years ago?

  99. 99
    john j Says:

    Murphy was an outstanding player and deserves the hof. If he could have played on a decent team, he would have got the recognition. He was the best there was in the NL in about a 5 year window; how many can say that?

  100. 100
    john j Says:

    |I think we all know that we fans are against the wall when it comes to the Braves spending money. Current owners want a return on investment and current Braves Mgmt want to keep their jobs. That is the WHOLE sorry story. I have said many times that the Braves CANNOT keep the young talent they have; so, you will see a couple of them go each year. Until we get new ownership, this is all about MONEY, NOT ABOUT WINNING. Again, that is why signing clowns like Lowe, kill the team’s chances of winning. That $10 mil of wasted money that everyone talks about is the difference in 2012. Plan on being like a good Cubs fan; love most of the guys we have while we have them and enjoy the sport.

  101. 101
    Curt Says:

    I, to no one’s surprise, obviously think Dale Murphy is, and has always been, a HOFer. His career during the 80s stands alone. He gets punished for playing in Atlanta and playing on a bunch of bad teams. He also gets punished for staying in the league 3 years too many, and by steroid inflated homerun numbers.

    All that being said, why do the Braves choose to now go forth as an organization in their support of him being in the HOF? He is in year 14 of a 15 year window to be elected in. Seriously, why wait this long? Why not be doing this 10 years ago or 14 years ago. Make these writers acutely aware of how great he was, instead of waiting this long and watching his support drop to 14% or something last year. Another example of the Braves dropping the ball. They just started having those reunion weekends last year? 2 years ago? Embrace your past. The fans love that stuff.

  102. 102
    Walker Says:

    What does everyone think about the extra wild card team?

    Even though I think a one game playoff is kinda harsh, this could benefit the Braves next year since competition is getting stiffer.

  103. 103
    Adam Says:

    Well if there was an extra wild card team last year we would have had at least one playoff game right? I would take that over nothing any day.

  104. 104
    Nate Says:

    The NL Central not getting to play the Astros 18 times a year will help too.

  105. 105
    Nate Says:

    … in 2013.

  106. 106
    Steve Says:

    To me there’s good and bad with the 2013 realignment. But more good.

    I’ve hated the unbalanced schedule and this eliminates that. The less time playing the Marlins (especially when their new stadium is depressingly empty after the new car smell wears off) the better.

    And while I think a one game play in is kind of silly and doesn’t do any team justice in proving who’s superior, I like the playoffs and I want to see the Braves in the playoffs as much as possible, so I’m in.

    What I really hate is the interleague game every night.

  107. 107
    David Says:

    Steve — what’s wrong with the interleague game every night?

  108. 108
    Walker Says:

    The simple question is who will play 3rd base after Chipper’s gone?

    The Braves need to hold on Prado because it gives us another year to evaluate in his 3rd full season as a starter how good he really is. If he is the batting champ type player we all think he is, he could be one of the top 3rd basemen in the majors in 2013.It’s easier to find an everyday left fielder than an everyday 3rd baseman. This is why you don’t trade Prado.

  109. 109
    Curt Says:

    The headline says it all (in a very succinct, depressing manner).

    “Mark Cuban not interested in buying Braves”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/11/19/mark-cuban-not-interested-in-buying-braves/

  110. 110
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @108

    Someone besides Prado.

    Prado “can” play 1st. Prado “can” play 3rd. Prado “can” play OF.

    Prado IS a second baseman. He does not have the “pop” you expect from corner infielders and outfielders… He (usually) does have the high OBP and such you expect from second basemen.

    He thrives as a super-sub and would serve the Braves well in that capacity, but is he affordable in that capacity?

    If he can be traded for a high RBI guy to play left or a high OBP guy to play short – TRADE HIM!

  111. 111
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Heard these rumblings?

    Braves have asked Yankees about shortstop Eduardo Nunez as trade possibilities grow

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/braves-asked-yankees-shortstop-eduardo-nunez-trade-possibilities-grow-article-1.980241#ixzz1eN79fGb1

  112. 112
    Walker Says:

    @110

    We can’t afford David Wright so name one 3rd basemen with “pop” we can afford. The good thing about this team is that we have “pop” at traditional non power positions like 2nd base and catcher. So Prado at at 3rd base in 2013 actually does make sense. Especially if he hits for a high average.

  113. 113
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @112

    Hold on, your question was:

    “The simple question is who will play 3rd base after Chipper’s gone?”

    And the “after Chipper’s gone” portion of that is NOT next season, but the season after that… What will we do for a 3rd baseman the season AFTER this next season is NOT who you aquire now… Unless you plan to retire Chipper before the season starts…

    We don’t necessarlily have to aquire someone to play 3rd this year. If we have a quality, high OBP guy at short and a quality RBI guy in left, we can probably do without Prado as a full-time player… and if we get one of those people for Prado, fine… we will look at 3rd base next off-season…

    And the argument of “what happens if Chipper gets hurt” just doesn’t fly… you either have to expect him to play 150 games and live with back-ups on the days he doesn’t play. Every team has some of those type of problems…

    Maybe you have have a team full of back-ups that play as well as your front line… if you have a $300M payroll… otherwise, you try to put a good team on the field and deal with it when “stuff happens”…

  114. 114
    Walker Says:

    2012 is definitely Chippers last season and it would be smart to think about who will pay 3rd base in the 2013 season. If I’m Frank, I explore trades but there just aren’t any big time right handed outfielders available right now. Why not just stand pat and give Prado one more year to show how good he is.

  115. 115
    David Says:

    Walker — Chipper’s got a club option for 2013 that automatically kicks in if he plays 123 games in 2012. I think that’s a real possibility given that he’s played 126, 95, and 143 games in 2011, 2010, and 2009 respectively. SO, 2012 is not definitely Chipper’s last season — he could come back in 2013.

    And congrats to Justin Verlander. Did y’all know that in every single game he pitched this season, he went at least 6 innings? Given how hard it was for 3/5 of our rotation to go that long, and the strain it put on our bullpen, that’s a big strong point for his winning the MVP.

  116. 116
    Walker Says:

    I really really doubt he’s playing in 2013. And why would Frank put in a club option dependent on games played. It should be dependent on performance.Bad decision.

  117. 117
    Curt Says:

    The Braves have 3rd basemen in their system. Salcedo, Terdo (man the guy needs a better nickname), etc. They are not going to do something to impede these guys from coming up. One name that popped up in something I saw as a back-up, fill-in for 3rd, should Prado leave, is Wilson Betemit. Everything that is old is new again, ne Wes Helms.

    We are not getting some big, bopping, righthand hitting OFer for Prado. It isn’t happening.

  118. 118
    Leah Says:

    I don’t know what I’ll do if Prado plays in a different uniform. But I tell you this…it will be drastic.

  119. 119
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    118

    We hated Uggla in Fla, now we love him in Atl…. This Prado, too, shall pass…

  120. 120
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @117

    I agree, we weren’t going to get a bopper OF for Prado… But they might get a high OBP, good fielding SS for him… especially if the team getting him needs a 2B… a SS that can hit decently in the two hole…

    Wishful, wishful, wishful, thy name is Hot Stove… (and no, I didn’t misspell “Steve”)

  121. 121
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @111

    That didn’t take long…

    Yankees Trade Rumors: Yankees Say Deal For Jair Jurrjens Not Happening

    http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-yankees/2011/11/20/2575568/yankees-trade-rumors-braves-dangling-pitcher-jair-jurrjens-mlb-hot-stove

  122. 122
    Curt Says:

    MIM, remember, it’s Hot Ham & Steve

  123. 123
    Curt Says:

    I think the Yankees learned their lesson from Javy Vazquez.

  124. 124
    David Says:

    #122 – hilarious

  125. 125
    Walker Says:

    Yeah the way Cashman sounded he seems bitter about the Braves fleecing him. The Braves and Yanks won’t be doing much business together.

  126. 126
    Steve Says:

    And would the Braves really take Nunez for JJ? His errors were pretty horrendous last year.

    #107 – I’ve hated the inequity of interleague as it’s been executed so far (getting stuck playing the AL East, for example). That said, I have no idea if it would be a balance interleague schedule in the new world. Has anyone read that?

  127. 127
    David Says:

    126 — Steve, quit being such a hater. You need to take a cue from Ham and Curt’s positivity with baseball things. Sheesh.

  128. 128
    Bubdylan Says:

    Fredi’s a moron.

  129. 129
    Steve Says:

    Bub – long time no see? What is Fredi a moron about now? Or was that just a general statement?

  130. 130
    Steve Says:

    I encourage everyone to read the latest blog on the site from Vinnie (WE the People). Great stuff in my opinion.

  131. 131
    Steve Says:

    I was (and I think Ham and Curt, too) very convinced that Gonzo would be back next year. But just saw that they didn’t offer him arbitration and he will likely be gone. Who will our SS be on Opening Day?!?!

  132. 132
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, just a joke that misfired.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

  133. 133
    David Says:

    131 – my guess is Jack Wilson, with Pastornicky getting a shot at full-time by the middle of the year. I see no sexy, exciting shortstop signing or trade for us this offseason, but of course thats just my two cents.

  134. 134
    Steve Says:

    Um… Yikes.

    ATLANTA – Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Tim Hudson underwent successful surgery today to repair a herniated disc in his back. The procedure was performed by Dr. Steven Wray at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. The injury, which had been bothersome for Hudson over the last two seasons, became progressively worse during his off-season workouts.“Based on today’s procedure, we are happy that this will help alleviate some of the discomfort that Tim felt,” said Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren. “The prognosis is positive for him to be ready for Spring Training and to be able to pitch during the Spring Training schedule.”

  135. 135
    Curt Says:

    Thank god for the extra WC slot

  136. 136
    Walker Says:

    After hearing Bobby Valentine talk all season on ESPN, I truly feel bad for Red Sox players and fans.

    On another note I’m loving the show Clubhouse Confidential on MLB Network. It’s crazy to think there are so many people who ignore sabermetrics. It’s so anti intellectual and ignores actually facts and data on performance.

  137. 137
    john j Says:

    Just letting you all know that nearly every day there is something in the Denver Post about the Rockies still actively after Prado for Seth Smith and a second level prospect. The Braves would be NUTS to trade Prado for a platoon outfielder. IF Braves can get some combination of Fowler/Smith/and,or Blackmon, it MIGHT make sense. Rockies are trying to unload the guys with “potential” that they have not been able to develop.

  138. 138
    Anne Says:

    How is THIS not breaking news? http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2011/12/02/daughter-of-braves-chairman-scores.html
    When do pitches & catchers report, again? Happy Holidays, everybody!

  139. 139
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Interesting idea:

    Trade JV?
    http://capitolavenueclub.com/?p=5078

  140. 140
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Another interesting idea:

    Minor/Lowrie trade: Who says no?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/18804/who-says-no-braves-or-red-sox

    Read Keith Law’s review of Minor @ 50:

    Top 50 MLB players age 25 or under
    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7291374/mlb-justin-upton-leads-top-50-list-mlb-players-age-25

  141. 141
    Walker Says:

    @139

    Excuse my language, but HELL NO.

  142. 142
    Walker Says:

    Are we in the business of winning or avoiding paying players what they are worth? If the Braves want to win the World Series, Johnny Venters needs to be on this team.

  143. 143
    Nate Says:

    I don’t think we sniff the playoffs in either 2010 or 2011 without Venters or Prado. If you trade guys like that, you better be getting something really good in return. If the Braves trade current All-Star caliber talent for platoons and prospects they will not make the playoffs in 2012. When I saw Seth Smith a good fit for the Braves on the Braves ajc page I almost turned into Curt.

    The “we feel comfortable with Pastornicky as our opening day SS” is complete poker face stuff. We should have a very unexciting veteran SS by the end of these meetings.

  144. 144
    Nate Says:

    What if you could do two deals with a combination of JJ, Prado, Venters, Pastornicky, and Minor and end up with a power hitting LF and a SS who is major league ready, All-Star material, and under contract for at least 2 years. Would you do it? Who cares? It ain’t happening.

    I am at the point where I hope we do nothing. None of these rumors sound like they make the Braves better now. But in the end all they’re only rumors…

  145. 145
    Nate Says:

    We are long overdue for some Bub’s words of wisdom. A perspective I miss. Hope all is well man.

  146. 146
    john j Says:

    I can see trading JJ, Prado and/or Minor IF, and only IF, we improve the team. JV and Pastornicky should not be traded. The Pastor will soon be preaching as the Braves starting SS.

  147. 147
    john j Says:

    Oh, I WOULD include JV, JJ and Prado for Rockies’ CarGo (with or without Smith).

    Rockies fill 3 spots; Braves get an outstanding outfielder for years to come.

  148. 148
    Nate Says:

    “The Pastor will soon be preaching as the Braves starting SS.” Nice.

    #146, who would you rather have, Tulo or CarGo?

  149. 149
    Walker Says:

    @146

    That’s giving up too much. It’s not value for value. A #2 Major League starter, dominant setup man and versatile player who could easily hit .300. Nope.

  150. 150
    Travis Says:

    Prado and jj for cargo..cargo in the middle of our lineup would be great

  151. 151
    Steve Says:

    Nice rumor round up from Talking Chop tonight:

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2011/12/5/2614032/lots-of-atlanta-braves-trade-rumors-finally

    It’s interesting (though not surprising) how FW is really downplaying the Braves interest in doing anything and then you see other writers reporting that there are large numbers of teams interested in JJ and Prado.

  152. 152
    Curt Says:

    If we go into this season with Pastornicky and a Seth Smith/Diaz platoon, I quit.

  153. 153
    Steve Says:

    Re the 10 year offer they’ve put on the table… it would be absolutely mind-blowing if Pujols actually signed with the Marlins. I don’t believe it, but it would be nothing short of crazy.

  154. 154
    Steve Says:

    #151 – A real possiblity, I’m afraid.

  155. 155
    Curt Says:

    I recognize that I am so jaded as to make the worst cynic blush, but the article that was posted on FB by Steve covering DOB’s interview with Frank Wren at the winter meetings disgusted me. His complete disconnect with reality. His continuing with this nonsense that the only move the Braves have to make is to get a veteran back-up SS. It’s insanity. I know they are trying to move Prado and JJ to get a big left fielder or center fielder when they inevitably let Bourn walk, but come on. If the Marlins do land Pujols, and the Nats land Buerle? All we need is a veteran back-up SS? Besides Smith, the only name I have seen mentioned was the AAA/rookie CFer from KC in a move for both Prado and JJ. That simply isn’t going to cut it. The continued direction of this team is agonizing. Read 1000 of my other rants. Sorry to repeat myself. You simply aren’t building a champion.

  156. 156
    David Says:

    #154 — I think that Wren is purposely operating this winter with everything very close to the vest. We’re probably only hearing a fraction of what the Braves are actually trying to do.

    And, y’all said it yourselves on the show — the biggest improvement for this team would be for the current players to improve on this year’s performance. For Hanson to come back healthy, Heyward and Prado to bounce back, McCann to avoid hitting below .200 for 3 months, and Fredi to not drive the bullpen into the ground by mid-August. As a team, we have the players that can take our team to the playoffs — if they play up to their potential.

  157. 157
    Steve Says:

    #155 – While I agree that the Braves may not do much this winter, I also agree with David that Wren is not being forthcoming with what the Braves plans really are.

  158. 158
    Curt Says:

    IF

  159. 159
    Walker Says:

    In Wren’s defense. I actually agree with not going to crazy with making trades just to make trades. We are actually pretty set. I want to go into 2012 with Prado our everyday LF. He’s had one bad half season with us. We can’t make any long term SS acquisitions because of Simmons and Pastornicky. I’ve said it before but, the only way I would make a trade is if there are any power right handed outfielders available. But there are none. I would suggest that Wren focuses on improving the bench and deepening the bullpen.

  160. 160
    Curt Says:

    Walker, I totally agree about not wanting the “move just to make a move” move. And I think the Seth Smith thing is just that. We have a need and a player who is going to make marginally more money, you have a platoon left fielder. Perfect. Who cares if our player is an AS, a fan favorite, a player favorite, our team MVP one season removed, we need to move salary and we need a platoon left fielder. Make it happen.

    I hope this tenure of rash decisions, see the last couple of years, hasn’t cost us legitimate shots at major pushes into the post-season. There are only so many player dumps one team can survive.

  161. 161
    Nate Says:

    We need to get another left-handed reliever, imo, preferably one much better than George Sherrill.

    I’m in the same mindset as Walker about Prado. I think you keep him unless you are offered a player you can’t turn down. I don’t want to lose him for prospects and a platoon in LF.

    I feel like the Braves would be okay trading JJ for prospects and some bullpen or bench help. You’re taking from an area of major strength (starting pitching) on the team and improving areas where we struggled late(bullpen) and something we pretty much sucked at all year- good play off the bench. I also wouldn’t mind it if we got a good outfield bat for JJ, and Martin could then be the super utility guy again.

  162. 162
    David Says:

    Latest rumor — now that the Rockies have traded Huston Street and have freed up money, they’re interested in trading for Jurrjens. DOB suggesting that while Prado wouldn’t be enough for Seth Smith AND a CF prospect, JJ might be.

    I don’t know about y’all, but I’d welcome that. We’d have a Prado/Smith platoon in LF, a CF for if (when) Bourn leaves after 2012. On days when Smith starts in LF, Prado could play 3B and give Chipper a day off. We’d have a rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Minor, and Teheran/Delgado as well as money to spend on a backup SS or relievers.

  163. 163
    Steve Says:

    NOT happy about the Buehrle signing. The Marlins needed starting pitching and they just got it. Buehrle and Josh Johnson at the front of that rotation is pretty formidable.

  164. 164
    Walker Says:

    I really don’t like Mark Buehrle.

  165. 165
    Nate Says:

    I really don’t like them having Reyes, Bonifacio, and Infante. They’ve got a really solid lineup now, especially if Ozzie can do as he says and get Hanley to be his guy. I’m guessing they have Gabby at 1st, Omar at 2nd, Reyes SS, Bonifacio 3rd, Coughlin CF, Stanton RF, and Morrison LF. Where does Hanley play, Ozzie?

    Olney mentioned yesterday that they would be better off taking that money they want to give Pujols and investing it in their pitching…

    I like their lineup better than ours, but I still think they have a ways to go before their pitching staff gets up to par with the Braves and Phillies. I might like our lineup better if our guys play to their potential, but we all know how that goes. Prado and Heyward will have a great year and we’ll have 2 new candidates for a season long slump funk. That’s just the way it goes for Los Braves.

  166. 166
    Nate Says:

    Pujols to Angels. Wow. 10yr/250M.

  167. 167
    Jo-Bu Says:

    The American League is just the place for that kind of contract.

  168. 168
    Walker Says:

    Wow

    Morales
    Pujols
    Wells
    Hunter
    Trumbo
    Bourjous
    Ayabar
    Kendrick

  169. 169
    David Says:

    And Alex Gonzalez just signed with the Brewers.

    Now I know how Cardinals fans have been feeling all day. :(

  170. 170
    Walker Says:

    Days like this remind me of how poor the Braves are. Where do teams like the Angels, Yankees and Marlins get all this money? I feel even worse for the Pirates and Rays.

  171. 171
    Steve Says:

    How crazy is this? They both left money on the table. I like it, frankly. Because, seriously, why would you want to play for the Marlins:

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/08/c-j-wilson-if-it-was-about-the-money-id-be-a-florida-marlin/

  172. 172
    Walker Says:

    Signing Pujols to a 10 year 250 million dollar contract would be great only for the first 5 years. Then you would end up paying 25 million dollars to a 40 year old hitting .255 with 18 HR.

    I don’t understand why the Marlins would offer 220 million to Pujols but wont offer 200 million to Fielder. Hes younger, left handed and you would get more value out of his contract. With that said I hope they don’t do it.

  173. 173
    Kate Says:

    I think they left money on the table because they didn’t want to wear the Marlins hideous new uniforms.

  174. 174
    Nate Says:

    #167, they’re saying Morales might be done. Career ended by walk off grand slam.

  175. 175
    Nate Says:

    And by “they’re” I mean baseball tonight, TIFWIW.

    I like how John Kruk is skeptical on every deal the Phillies don’t make.

    The Angels will like that deal for 6 years and hate it for 4. Injury prone future + DH is no bueno for 25M/yr average salary.

  176. 176
    Walker Says:

    Wow that would be an unfortunate end to a career. Man I hope he comes back, he was a talented switch hitting 1st basemen.

  177. 177
    David Says:

    171 — They were interested in Pujols so much because of the large Latin population in Miami, and they figured he’d be a big draw for attendance. Fielder wouldn’t do that for Miami.

    So what do you guys think about Cody Ross? Sounds like the Braves’ front office is interested with him — Fredi and Carlos Tosca worked with him while in Miami, Uggla played with him. According to DOB, Ross himself said (yesterday) that he’d like to rejoin all of those guys and he thinks the Braves have a really good team.

    My thoughts: NO. If Cody Ross is our “outfield upgrade,” that’d be a huge disappointment. Low OBP, high K total, coming off an injury-shortened season, and he’s not a power hitter.

  178. 178
    Nate Says:

    David, I’m with u on Cody Ross. Plus he’d probably end up playing a lot more than he should.

  179. 179
    john j Says:

    Wren WILL be dumping one or two of the young guys; bet on it. Wren is hoping to get something for them but ultimately will take what he can get. Tight budget, young guys who want to be paid, and throwing $10mil away on Lowe make it almost impossible to improve the team AND stay in budget. As someone said, hope that the remaining players can all play at or above their potential which may be good enough for Braves to compete; but, there is no Superman coming to help. Anyway, Wren has Kryptonite in his pocket (or, somewhere). Enjoy what we have. By the way, other GM’s know his situation (no deep pockets) and WILL NOT give him full value for dumping his young stars.

Leave a Reply