Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wow. The Braves traded away Johnny Estrada today. Even though Atlanta has a surplus of catchers, I really didn't see this coming. Johnny was still on the cheap for '06 and would've allowed Brian McCann another season to ease into the position of Catcher Number One. The bullpen is a high priority this offseason, but I can't say this trade impresses me. Lance Cormier's numbers are shaky (86 walks in 124.6 innings, 6.63 ERA), and even though Oscar Villarreal put up some good numbers in 2003, injuries have limited him to only 31 innings during the past two seasons.

The word is veteran catcher Todd Pratt could be signed to back up McCann.

I've read reports that the Braves have expressed interest in Edgar Renteria. Why? He's expensive, his offensive numbers are declining, he'd cost a top prospect like Andy Marte, and he still doesn't fill the glaring hole in the lead-off spot. And the 30 errors he committed last year? I'll take Wilson Betemit at short and spend the money on a closer if those are my choices.

The Cubs were also busy today, trading for center fielder Juan Pierre. I really like this move; Pierre is a great fielder (even if he's got the arm of an 8-year-old girl) and is one of the game's best lead-off guys. This will also allow them to trade Corey Patterson, which is the best thing for both the organization and Corey. A change of scenery will do him good.

No comments: