You want Prado as the third baseman of the future? Really?
You want a no-real-power guy in a corner infield position? Really?
You want a Major League serviceable starting second baseman playing out of position at third to be your third baseman of the future?
I assume you are pairing him with Uggla, thinking you are getting thrid base production from your second base position so you don’t NEED third base production from the man at third. I think that is selling us short and wasting the benefit of the production you are getting at second.
If you could get third base production from second and third, think how much better the team could be. It is usally MUCH more difficult to find the second baseman w/ power than it is to find the thrid baseman with power… We already have the tough one to find…
It is like if you are hitting for the cycle: Which would you rather have to get for the last piece, a double (3b w/ power) or a triple (2b w/ power)?
Great show, guys. I don’t really see what options we have at 3rd for the future other than Prado. The Braves sure as hell aren’t going to sign anyone of any significance. Do you need your 3B to bring a ton of power when you have guys like Mac and Uggla at 2B and C? To me the bigger concern is the offensive black hole you have in RF and at SS. Those are 2 very iffy positions. If Prado rebounds, which I think he will, then the Braves need to sign him to a multi year deal.
#2 dislike! Trading Prado would be the stupidest move the Braves could make. I predict he has a fantastic season. However, I’m having a terrible time getting excited to watch. Sept is very much embedded in my memory.
Nats have always beaten the heck out of us. At least now maybe they’ll give other teams in the division a hard time as well.
Go Braves! And Hammy will never be forgiven for his lack of enthusiasm for Martin.
Just finished listening to the latest show! Great work as per usual! I am totally in agreement that Prado IS our next 3B.Also I think I agree with the sentiment that we have soo much talent on the mound that we can definitely afford to let a few bodies go. This off season would have been a perfect chance to unload a bit of it for a big bat ( read SS/LF ). I expect Heyward to bounce back and have an above average year at the plate and B Mac will be B Mac. Anything we get from Chipper will be gravy.
MIM, I don’t think the Braves are being constructed to be a power team. Beyond the obvious lack of power on the roster, Frank Wren has come out time and time again about a shift in philosophy toward speed and athleticism, as he calls it, to take advantage of a pitcher’s friendly home field. I wouldn’t say these results have been stellar, as of yet, but that is clearly where the future of the team lies, according to the GM.
Now if that is to be the focus going forward, Prado is a perfect guy to have in the lineup. He’s a contact guy. He has some power. He has some speed. And, as Nate points out, we have power in other places. I think the Braves are looking to build a team where 5 guys can hit 20 homers, as opposed to 3 guys who can hit 45.
I am concerned if there is too much of an emphasis on speed and athleticism, if it means the Braves are going to punt power to some degree. Getting on base and slugging are what creates runs.
That said, Prado is fine at third, second or even leftfield. Leftfield is not the ideal spot for Prado’s skill set but he’s fine there. When Chipper retires, I think he’ll be fine at third. I would actually prefer they move Uggla to third, at that point, and put Prado at second, assuming all these players are still on the roster when that time comes.
I still think a team desperate for a secondbaseman who can also play thirdbase, leftfield, and firstbase may give the Braves fair value for Prado by the time Chipper retires.
If Prado has a good season, it may be a good idea to try and trade him after next season. I don’t think his value would get much higher, if he has a good 2012 season, after age 28.
I haven’t listened to the show yet, so forgive me if I’m addressing points that are repetitive or that y’all talk about in this week’s podcast.
I agree with #5 that this offseason would have been a good time to move starting pitching. Just a thought — would you move Beachy in a deal if it meant getting a power LF bat in return? Even though you’d have to shift Prado back to a super-utility role?
After seeing Andrelton Simmons ranked as a Top 10 shortstop, I wonder if the Braves are looking at Tyler Pastornicky as a trade-chip-in-the-making. If he comes up and shows that he can play well on a major league level, I think that they’ll look into moving him to make way for Simmons, whom I bet they envision as more of a long-term SS solution than Pastornicky. But what do I know.
Glad that Moylan’s back with us, and I hope he’s able to contribute this year.
I don’t think Beachy is the guy to move. He’s displayed the ability to be one of the better pitchers in the league, maybe not a number one but a solid number two type.
Next offseason is the time to make big trades. Chipper may very well retire, so his contract will be off the books. Bourn may be gone. And there may be more needs to fill and more money with which to fill those needs.
I doubt they are thinking of whether they want to go with Pastornicky or Simmons, in the long term, at this point. They will make that decision when they are forced to, much like the Rangers with Andrus and Profar. Having two shortstops of that caliber isn’t an issue until Profar is ready or near ready and the Rangers are forced to make a decision. Why rush to that decision?
Also check to see where the Braves are come the trade deadline this year. Obviously, I want them to be in the mix, but they have a lot of parts people might want for a playoff push, should they be out of it. And you might be able to get a good bit for Bourn, who seems less and less likely to get signed here as the days go on, should they be sellers.
Curt, I think the closest everyday CF in the organization is Matt Lipka, and I think this will be his first stint in CF starting this year (he was a SS). He had a good 1st year and then struggled offensively last year, so he’s probably a ways off.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the future with Pastornicky and Simmons. Maybe if Pasto does well they try to convert Simmons to CF, but that seems unlikely since scouts are saying Simmons already has the defensive tools to play SS in Atlanta today.
In a perfect world we resign Bourn to a 3-4 year deal, imo.
Wasn’t Simmons the guy they were talking about converting into a pitcher when they drafted him? If so, he’s done some work.
Great show as always. I think this is the Braves formula for the foreseeable future. Atlanta is touted as having a great farm system and having really quality prospects. With it getting to the point where realistically only 4 or 5 teams can spend big time money, the Braves are going more the “Marlins/Rays” route in constructing teams. Have a big time player or two, try your best to choose young guys to come up and play and rely on only one…maybe two proven starters in the rotation. Chipper is the main stumbling block in all of this. While most teams have two, may be three marquee players, the Braves are stuck with one of theirs being Chipper Jones. When he’s healthy…he’s great. HOF. But one really has to discuss this team like Chipper’s NOT going to be a big factor. Now all you got is Uggla, Bourn , maybe Prado, maybe Heyward, hopefully Freeman. That’s not to WHOO HOO for me. While not doing much this off season and bringing up youngsters to play isn’t exciting…get used to it. because until Chipper leaves, we’re stuck with ¾ of a 3rd baseman for 2012.
Great show as always guys, and thanks for getting us through the doldrums of winter with some Braves talk! Some of my thoughts on your topics:
- Pastornicky: some rookies pan out and some don’t. Some excite us while they’re prospects (Heyward, Freeman, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Minor, Francoeur), and some come up and you’re kind of like “oh, hey. You’re on the team now. Um, good. I guess I’ll be rooting for you” (see guys like Gregor Blanco, James Parr, Brandon Beachy at the time, Clint Sammons). I would put Pastornicky in the latter camp.
And for each one that comes up and succeeds — McCann, Hanson, JJ, Heyward, Prado — there are another two or three that don’t. Kyle Davies. Blaine Boyer. Wilson Betemit. Andy Marte. Charlie Morton. Gorkys Hernandez. Scott Thorman. Ryan Langerhans. Brayan Pena. Horacio Ramirez. Chuck James. Joey Devine. Anthony Lerew. Brandon Jones. Jordan Schafer.
And, not to completely write off Pastornicky, but I’m not as excited about him as I am Andrelton Simmons. My opinion is that Pnick is a stopgap guy until Simmons is ready.
- Chipper’s Comments: meh. I read them but didn’t put too much stock into these. As a professional athlete who’s been playing pro ball for about 20 years now, I think he’s earned the right to speak candidly and honestly about how his body is breaking down and the game is getting fast for him. He’s always spoken honestly, and that’s one of the things I like about him.
And, by the way, whichever one of you (Curt or Ham) it was that said you’d take Derek Jeter over Chipper Jones a thousand times: for shame. Report to Turner Field to turn in your Braves Fan Club membership card and have your tomahawk ripped off of your sleeve. Plenty of room on the Yankees bandwagon.
- Uniforms: speaking of tomahawks on the sleeve…I was hoping that you guys would mention the major offseason move! The new unis are sweet.
- Batting coach’s approach: I remember Frank Wren making comments right after the collapse that, as an offense, they were going to take an approach more like the Phillies — taking pitches, making at-bats last longer, etc. I’d be surprised if, after saying that, he went out and hired a hitting coach that would do the complete opposite.
- End of the season collapse: Chipper talking about guys not dogging it…in early September, do you guys remember Fredi saying something along the lines of, “we’ve still got a comfortable lead in the Wild Card, we’re going to be alright”? I’m sure he was trying to be optimistic, but I think that kind of thinking permeated the clubhouse. He basically communicated to his team, “we’ve got it, nothing to worry about,” so when they should have been worrying, they weren’t. That’s probably oversimplifying things, but hey, that’s what I think.
So, it was Curt who wanted Jeter, not me. As always, he’s a communist.
Anne, I actively tried to forget that Fredi was our man, so thanks for reminding me.
David, I forgot that Wren had mentioned changing the team’s approach, but my concern that came out of Chipper’s interview was that he hadn’t. Granted that is the only place I heard that. And as Curt said, having Adam Dunn be a big advocate is not the most reassuring sign.
I cannot get excited about the season yet. I know that the possibility is there to remove the bad taste of last year, but I think it could just be a continuation of last year. I seriously think we would have to go 30-10 to start the season to start to feel good about the team again.
Ham & Curt – thanks for the replies. And yes, despite Jeter’s being a Yankee, he’s a very classy and professional ballplayer. I know that a Yankees are, but I don’t hate Jeter like I do other players solely because they play on the Yankees.
Living in Columbia, SC, I’m pretty excited about the Braves caravan stop that’s coming to town — Teheran, Heyward, and Fredi. That’s two “woo hoos!” and one “eh…woo hoo! Teheran and Heyward!”
I think I would like to hear more from Heyward. I want so desperately to believe that he can be one of those players that you couldn’t hate if you wanted to. He has done a lot in the past year and a half to make me doubt him. Hopefully he and Prado start 2012 healthy and productive. That would surely make this a different team.
I know that this is probably way too early, but given the projected players we have, what would be your lineup? I think the only definite spots right now are Bourn in leadoff and Pastornicky in the 8th spot.
Given that he rebounds from last year, Uggla would be a 4/5 hitter; same with McCann. I’m assuming Chipper has the 3-hole, although I liked having him hitting 2 for a bit last year and I like him following Bourn instead of other players. It won’t happen at all, though.
As for Prado, Freeman, and Heyward, I feel like they could rotate through the 2, 6 and 7 spots, especially depending on the opposing pitcher.
Thanks for all the good reading. I do have an issue with #19 post. Can’t go along with using the “stuck with” phrase when referring to Chipper. He has earned his place and salary with performance and loyalty. Few teams are “stuck with” a player like this though they wish they were. “Stuck with” goes better when used to refer to “stuck with” a $10 mil payment to Lowe this year. Can you imagine what the team could have done with that money this year?
By the way, there are only a couple of Braves players that bring fans to the road games and Chipper is one of them. I’m not a big fan of Wren, but, I was totally on board when he chose to keep Chipper here.
Okay…at the risk of appearing to brag, I posted the following in the last podcast comments section. (Check the date.)
93 David Says:
January 10th, 2012 at 5:11 pm
I’m going to go ahead and make my prediction for the NFC Champion as well as Super Bowl winner: the New York Giants.
Why? Because they beat Atlanta. Let’s take a look at teams in recent years that have eliminated Atlanta from postseasons in NFL and MLB:
2008-09 NFL: Arizona Cardinals (eventual NFC Champions)
2010 MLB: San Francisco Giants (won World Series)
2011 MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (won World Series)
2010-11 NFL: Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl winners)
To echo ABT’s recent tweet about the joys of being an Atlanta sports fan…when will the road to the championship stop going through Atlanta and END in Atlanta???
I’m really happy to see him going to Detroit. Given our records against each last year, the Fielder to the Nats rumor scared me more than any of the moves the Marlins made this offseason. The Nats would have been adding 2 difference makers- Fielder, Strasburger- to a team that handled the Braves pretty well last season. Plus we don’t have to worry about him losing his mind and charging the mound anymore when he gets hit. Fielder needs to back his enormous body off the plate or learn how to take it like a man.
“McGuirk disclosed that the Braves are locked into 25-year local TV contracts that will prevent the franchise from cashing in on Major League Baseball’s trend toward dramatically higher telecast rights fees.”
Who in the world signs 25 year contracts. Only the Braves.
Yes, that was the third Q&A I was disappointed with.
It was Time Warner. They probably owned half of the entities at the time. But it certainly gives McGuirk something else to point to as to why the payroll won’t move. You notice he says payroll will go up slightly to $94 million, but that leaves $84 million to the team on the field. $10 million is stuck with Lowe. He sucks.
I don’t know if any of y’all watched Saturday Night Live, but there was an episode in the late ’90s or early 2000′s when Steve Martin came back to host, and his whole monologue was him going around and singing a song about how all of the actors and faces on the cast were different from when he hosted in the ’70s…except for Tim Meadows, who had been on the show for a long time. And his part of the song goes, “why did I sign…a 30-year contract?? That’s such a long time!”
I always thought that was pretty hilarious. Maybe not so much now that it’s the Braves who are in that position.
I need Spring Training to start because this off-season just gets more and more depressing. Even the Nats signing Lidge was just another event that made the Braves’ inertia even more apparent. And, re #44 and 45, the 25 year TV contract + Liberty Media having no interest in selling any time soon took it to a whole other level.
I need some feel good, “Martin Prado is in the best shape of his life” spring training stories.
Must talk about this TV Contract/financial situation…I’ve heard everything from “not an advantage” to allowing my mind to run to Pre-Oakland A’s type of ball club. The Mets may not be the only ones having trouble competing in future years…especially the way the Nats are beginning to shape up.
I feel it in my bones that this is the year that everything goes right! Starting pitching starts out strong and stays strong. Bullpen is used properly and not wasted in lost causes. Chipper will stay relatively healthy. Heyward has the breakout year. No slumps for Uggla or Mac. Freeman reaches all star level. Bourn steals 60 bases and scores 120 runs. Look at the talent! What could go rong?
Dr. Reality a.k.a. Curt will have the most sobering comments about what to fear out of the 2012 Braves. I meant that in a good way though. I’ve been really enjoying the podcasts guys! Can’t wait for Spring Training to start! Hope you all have had a good holiday & new year!
I am sure that everyone here is just delighted to read Chipper’s comments that DOB published on Twitter today about being healthy and the possibility of playing beyond 2012.
“#Braves 3B Chipper on possibly playing beyond ’12: ‘I sit here with 3 wks to go before spring training & I’m not ready to say this is it.’”
On the one hand, I want to take these comments with a grain of salt and remember that with 3 weeks to go, maybe he’s just feeling upbeat and looking forward to spring training. On the other hand…man, I really don’t want a 41-year old playing 3B next season.
Wow, thanks for the nice comments. That makes 2 in total for my entire time with the show.
David, I’m with you. He needs to make it clear what his plan is. He’s kind of holding the team hostage at this point. They don’t want to live through a PR nightmare, and yet I’m sure they are also ready to move on. He costs way too much for what he can provide at this point. I would so much rather have Prado at third and the Chipper money freed up for an outfielder. Particularly with the crop coming up in 2013.
What do you think the chances are that we go after a big bat outfielder like Josh Hamilton at the end of this season w/ all the potential money that we’ll have to play w/? I hope w/ all hope that if Michael Bourn is gonna be a child & be led around by that snake known as Scott Boras then the fans will show him the door before the front office will.
“He’s kind of holding the team hostage at this point.”
Is Chipper worth 9 million in 2013 as a 41 year old who maybe plays 100 games. It’s a horrible business decision to give him that much money for what he brings, imo, and it’s a PR nightmare if he wants to come back and the Braves don’t offer him anything. He is absolutely holding the front office hostage.
There is a lot of talk about Chipper having earned his right to make as much as he wants and be a Brave for as long as he wants, but if that’s your point of view, how can you realistically expect this team to win when one of it’s highest paid players puts up the offensive numbers he does and barely plays 100 games? 40 years old. A surgery on each knee in the last 2 years. Those things usually don’t add up to your highest paid position player.
The last piece the AJC did on him made me wonder if he is even going to contribute in a significant way for the 2012 Braves. Now we’re talking about Chipper playing in 2013. This is nuts.
Just trying to offer a point of view, bud. Calm down. I was basing my opinion off of what I think he could do right now, and after reading the DOB piece I think we’ll be lucky to see him play in 100 games. I hope I’m wrong.
#50 – We’ll do a show in February and then get back to weekly in March.
#52 – That really made me laugh out loud, because it’s so true.
#53 – BluesMan – good to hear from you. A big money outfielder seems like the logical choice for spending the extra money in the 2012 offseason. At the very least there will be one spot to fill (center as none of believe that Bourn is back) and maybe two if Chipper retires and Prado moves to 3rd.
I agree that we’re paying Chipper too much money. There’s no doubt. But I’d still want it this way instead of the Glavine alternative. People complain when teams aren’t loyal and complain when they are loyal. I think this is the best way it could play out. Now, if Chipper plays decent ball for 130 games this season, that would be great, too.
LOL @ Mitch Williams saying the Braves will finish 4th next year. We won 89 games last year with basically our whole lineup sucking with the exception of Freeman(who stuggled in the beginning), Chipper(who missed 30+ games) and McCann(who vanished in the 2nd half). Prado, Heyward, and Uggla will all improve barring injuries and we will have a shortstop who can actually make a little contact. And not to mention a real centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the whole season. Also, no McLouth or Lowe. YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! I’m not worried about the rotation and our Bullpen is the best in the game especially with Medlen for a full year! The Braves definitely arne’t finishing 4th.
The Marlins added Jose Reyes, Beurhle and Bell. Those are good players but in what way are they scary? The Phillies are looking real old and the Nationals have unproven middle infielders and no SS. They are good but don’t scare me. Sorry.
Just a little Bravo positivity and homerism for the day.
Not that these mean anything, but this guy has Atlanta #10 in his power rankings. The 4th best NL team and right in front of teams like AZ, Washington (yep), Miami (yep) and SF. 4 NL teams ranked in the top-14.
#56 – sorry. I just get a bit passionate over Braves stuff, and sometimes I get too heated. Didn’t mean to snap. But, I think that putting Chipper at around 100 games this year is underestimating his health and production. Yeah, he’s old and rickety and gets injured, but as he’s shown the last several years, he’s still very capable of playing 120-140 games. And if he’s got an option for 2013 that automatically vests if he plays 123, you better believe that he’s going to do everything he can to play in 123 games if his health allows him — even if it means an 8th-inning pinch hit here or there on those games that he doesn’t start.
Interesting power rankings list. I think that he’s selling high on the Phillies, although they probably deserve to be that high until another NL team actually proves that they’re a better team. With their age, health risks, and missing Ryan Howard for a large portion of the season, I think that their chance at winning the East again is far weaker.
LOL. It is extremely funny to listen to some of you complain about Chipper’s contract. It was the right contract at the right time. I often don’t care for Wren and his decisions but he was/is right on this one. The funny part is that some of the complainers are the same ones who adore Wren and don’t like mentioning that we wasted $15 mil on Lowe last year and are totally wasting $10 mil on him this year. All things being equal, the Braves would not have had the lead they once had last year if not for Chipper’s skills and leadership. He’s a winner! Let’s save the complaints for the players/managers on the team that provide very little.
So I’m reading DOB today and he mentions that the Braves are not sending scouts on the road anymore. That all their scouting will be done by video. Am I the only one taken aback by that? Doesn’t that seem really cheap? Aren’t there things you see in person that you can’t see on video? I know the video age is way beyond its infancy, but you aren’t sending scouts on the road? Are we really becoming the Royals East?
Listened to the show while I did dishes. I didn’t think I could still get upset about the Braves.
*shaking my head*
Chipper Jones … last year, you’ll remember, for a while I was convinced that his departure from the Braves would be an unmitigated disaster, stretched out longer than imaginable, quotes that would be good ink but wouldn’t mean anything a month later … and then I softened on it. I thought I was being too hard. But boy, I dunno. I’m thankful for a lot of what he’s done, but I’m 100% back to thinking his last moments here are going to be a nightmare. So few Billy Wagners in the world. Most of these fellas – even Jamie Moyer, God bless ‘im – just cannot, cannot, cannot walk exit gracefully.
Although, hell, if you’re gonna have Fredi Gonzalez lead your team, I guess you might as well limp Chipper out there as often as possible so the kiddies can see a HOF’er play ball. I don’t think it’ll effect our playoff picture, if you get my drift.
Sunshine & buttercups to everyone!
(Did somebody really comment on Atlanta making the gayest cities list? Cracked me up.)
Back from Sydney. Had two native Australians explain cricket to me over copious amounts of beer and tons of questions. Watched days of it broadcast from the Australia v. India test…nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just can’t grasp it. AND anyone who tells you baseball is boring needs to watch them some cricket. How did Peter Moylan ever find American baseball? Good on him for it. Go Braves!
#81, that’s a good point, Leah. I had hoped Jason would have taken that role over by now, and I’m pretty sure Chipper himself had hoped for the same.
This team would certainly be a lot better if Freddie can improve on a strong rookie year, if Uggla can be more consistent, if Mac can stay healthy, if Prado can bounce back, if Bourn can find the production he had in Houston, and, lastly, if Jason can take over and be a force to be reckoned with and the most dangerous hitter in our lineup. That way anything from Chipper is just gravy. That’s a whole lot of ifs, though. It seems like every offseason there are a laundry list of ifs to this team reaching their full potential.
It was indeed about the new uniform. Here’s the press release. Pretty interesting about the Friday/Saturday/Sunday uniform stuff:
ATLANTA BRAVES UNVEIL A NEW ALTERNATE HOME UNIFORMRenewed Throwback Uniform Similar to 1966 The Atlanta Braves introduced a new alternative home uniform today that pays homage to the team’s past, reflecting the look of the 1966 team.The cream colored uniforms feature the traditional Braves script in red across the chest minus the tomahawk, red numbers on the front and back, navy piping, navy player letters and a new logo patch on the left sleeve. The logo patch has two criss-crossing tomahawks, the year “1876” – the franchise’s first season – and the words “Atlanta Braves.”Updates from the ’66 uniforms include player names across the back and a cool-base material. The ’66 uniforms were made of wool flannel.“We think these uniforms reflect the timeless tradition of Braves baseball,” said Braves President John Schuerholz. “In honoring our past we retain a classic look yet move forward with an updated design.”The alternates will be worn during Saturday and Sunday home games with the team’s traditional navy caps with red brims. The team will wear their red alternative jerseys for Friday night home games.
#101 — Yeah, I know. I think it’s a bit strange, although I guess that the lack of a power-hitting OF is significant, especially when our current outfield is lacking in power (the oncoming Heyward season notwithstanding, of course).
However, I’m taking Law’s evaluation with a bit of a grain of salt. I admittedly don’t have much to base that on, especially cause I don’t have ESPN Insider and can’t read the rest of the article. I did just see where the guys at Talking Chop pointed out that in his rankings last year, Law had Freeman as #43 and didn’t even rank Kimbrel, and those two guys wound up finishing 1st and 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
David, as do I. You also have to consider that Freeman, Minor, maybe Kimbrel and some others came off that list from last year and therefore it was bound to drop. I don’t have Insider either, never will. I’m just tired of this off season. None of the news is good. Or inspiring. And the franchise seems to be taking a pretty big national hit for it. I’m worried about some things that keep emerging from articles that have nothing to do with each other. Like the direction of this team is veering somewhere I’m not interested in following. And the most overlooked, but in my opinion worst news, was that Liberty Media has no plans to sell the team.
One last thing from Keith Law:
They have reaped as little from the draft the past two years as anyone, taking low-ceiling college guys with early picks, staying at or under MLB’s bonus recommendations and having less luck on the international market. It’s telling that the major question on every position-player prospect in their top 10 is whether he’ll hit.
Don’t let off season inactivity make it seem like our future doesn’t look well. Who cares what national writers think. Everyone is always so attracted to big sexy acquisitions. The Braves are set. I’m glad we didn’t trade JJ and Prado just to do it. As far as our farm system goes, the Braves do need to invest more in offensive players. However, if we are ranked 16 with our pitching there must be 15 other teams with some darn good farm systems.
Re 108: I agree that moves didn’t need to be made just for the sake of moves. But, as you’ll hear with the interview in tonight’s new show (with Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus) the drafting strategy spells trouble.