August 10, 2008

Show #32: The Braves Try to Stay Relevant to the 2008 Season

Betting on Francoeur (and not in a good way).  Hampton vs. Soriano.  Chipper’s run at the batting title.  And free agent starting pitchers.



3 Responses to “Show #32: The Braves Try to Stay Relevant to the 2008 Season”

  1. 1
    Curt Says:

    OK, my two cents on the SP situation. No way are the Braves players for any of the big four mentioned. My bet is that Sheets stays in Milwaukee, Lackey stays an Angel, where he is joined by Sabathia. Garland is the only guy who they might have a shot at but I think they get outbid by some mid-level team looking to make a big splash – see Giants and Barry Zito. Maybe a team like Texas or Houston. Hopefully the jokes about the Braves signing one of the retreads that will be available are just that. My thinking is that they go for a second tier guy, and there are some good ones out there, particularly in St. Louis. Braden Looper and Kyle Lohse, more impressively, are having solid seasons and would be much cheaper alternatives. Lohse is 13-4 so the Cards will probably lock him up, potentially leaving Looper out there. And what better place for a former closer to get some tips than from Smoltzy. Oliver Perez is another guy they might take a shot on. Another option would be trading for Erik Bedard, whom the Mariners were already trying to dump. Might get him cheaply, as far as trade value, and in the process you might get the Mariners to pay some of his salary. Final name that keeps popping up into my head is Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers want nothing more than to get rid of him and maybe a return to the NL East would rejuvenate his career. But my bet is on a rotation of Smoltz, Hampton, Jurrgens, Campillo, and Reyes/Morton.

  2. 2
    Steve Says:

    Curt – I actually shuddered and audibly gasped here at work when I read your bet on next year’s starting rotation. I think we’d be doomed with Smoltz and Hampton at 1 and 2. Dear god man – Smoltz has go to go to the bullpen and, if we sign Hampton to some hugely innings incented contract, he can’t be any higher than our #4 guy. And, back to potential SPs – we’ve got to go for a top tier guy! We don’t have one, we’ve got a pile of cash ready to be spent, every player in baseball wants to play for Bobby (speaking of, we need to keep him around until we sign our free-agent pitcher) and, back to the top of the list – we don’t have one!!!! Do you think the Braves will try to sign a top guy and simply be outbid or just won’t go for one at all. I agree that CC is out of the picture, b/c he’ll be in another stratosphere. But the other guys have got to be in play.

  3. 3
    Curt Says:

    I’m not suggesting Smoltz and Hampton would be 1 and 2, the order was in no particular order. I would figure Jurrgens would be the #1 going into next year. Smoltz was going to the bullpen because of his shoulder, which he had surgically repaired, so that seems to answer the question of him going to the back of the line. I believe there is no question that Hampton is coming back to this team. He’s here, they will get him cheap, and he frankly hasn’t pitched that poorly when he has pitched. Campillo has been a find, but I worry about him a lot. A journeyman junk-baller from the Mexican league can only fool them for so long (Armando Reynoso, hello). Reyes and Morton are like mirror images of themselves. And it is the two faces of evil.

    I don’t think a top tier guy comes to the Braves. The Braves, as hard as it is for me to say this, have become a second tier franchise. They still have the lingering fuzzy from the 90s, but that is waning and Cox is probably only around for one more year. Beyond that, the fact remains that this team has not shown a willingness to throw around money, and they have finished in third (fourth) for three years. They are fastly becoming irrelevant. They just aren’t that close to making it back to the playoffs, let alone the WS.

    So, I sadly believe that they do it on the cheap and that is their rotation for next year. I want them to make a splash. I want them to go out and get a SP, a 2nd baseman, a left and center fielder, a bench, a deeper bullpen, but I just don’t see it happening. They haven’t proven to me that they are this type of team anymore. I think a trade for Bedard or picking up a Looper, Penny, or Perez, is a distinct and likely possibility, but does that give you a #1? Ryan Dempster is 71-80 in his career. Does that guy deserve #1 money? Maybe it’s Garland. Maybe I’m wrong about all of this. Trust me, I want nothing more than the Braves to drop all of this money and more and really shoot for it all, but until I see it, I won’t believe it. When was the last time you heard the Braves mentioned as a possible destination for a huge free agent? Gary Sheffield?

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