Friday, October 27, 2006

Leading off for your Atlanta Braves...

In the midst of World Series action I want to post or basically repost what I had over at the bravesdugout blog. I even updated it a little. I wanted to add it here to see what readers thought about the situation.

I've been reading alot from Braves fans over the situation on LF and leadoff as we begin to rebuild for next season. Mostly there's a concern over who will be playing LF next year. Here's a shortlist of names that some fans have mentioned for possible replacements:
Carl Crawford, Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews, Jr., Coco Crisp, Gary Sheffield

Carl Crawford:
Positive:I would love to see Crawford in Atlanta. Carl would provide a solid bat & glove plus the speed we've been missing at the top.

Negative:The Devil Rays have been tossing his name around and are expecting a huge return. You might recall that the D'Rays were stubborn when the Braves were working a Marte/Lugo swap last year, I think they were also requesting Brian McCann to be apart of the deal? They requested McCann for some deal, it may have been another one. Regardless, the D'Rays are stubborn when it comes to dealing. I mean really, it took like two years to finnally deal Aubrey Huff after everyone wanted him. Huff didn't really sparkle in Houston. Crawford will probably be dealt to whoever wants to ante up the most chips.

Juan Pierre:
Positive: Juan Pierre is fast.

Negative: Pierre is a slap hitter with an avg. mitt and a weak arm. He's good for the smallball game, but having him in LF isn't a good idea. His time at Wrigley wasn't as pleasent as Cubs fans hoped for. Some Braves fans will sacrifice the lack of defense for OBP while others just don't want the headache. Juan will probably get around $8M-$10M next year and I'm not sure the Braves will want to walk that line.

Gary Matthews, Jr:
Positive: Lil Sarge made a name for himself last year in Texas.

Negative: It only took about 7 years for Matthews finnally to break out. He's been a Braves for a little while. In 2004, the Braves cut him during Spring Training. Everyone knows that 2006 was a career year for Gary, and I'm not sure if he could kepp up the track record. Matthews could be worth a look, but I'm not sure if the Braves would be willing to sacrifice it.

Coco Crisp:
Positive: Crisp has shown he can put up some good numbers in the past. Atlanta wanted him before. Coco is still young.

Negative: Coco's numbers dropped considerably this past season. Maybe it's the drama playing for the Boston Red Sox that causes this. The Braves already brought back to life Edgar Renteria after his stint in Beantown. Could Crisp be next?

2005: 594AB 16HR 69RBI .300/.345/.465
2006: 413AB 8HR 36RBI .264/.317/.385
2007: 525AB 19HR 80RBI .302/.370/.450

If the Braves work something I think Crisp would be the one Atlanta goes after. I don't think it would take much for Boston to satisfy a deal. Possibly, Horacio Ramirez and Langerhans??

Gary Sheffield
Positive: G. Sheff rebounded his career during his breif time in Atlanta. Sheffield provided another dangerous bat to an already offensive heavy lineup.

Negative: First and foremost, Sheffield's attitude stinks. I simply do not care for it. He bitch and moans about everything from playing time to the wrinkles in his pinstripes. To go along with his attitude is his age. Gary's not getting any younger and now is becoming a little more prone to time on the DL. I think Sheffield can still put up the numbers when healthy, but there's just too much drama that surrounds him to give him another opportuinity.

**From recent newspaper reports the Yankees may be picking up his option and then possibly trading him. The Phillies have shown interest, would a Gary Sheffield for Pat Burrell & Eude Brito trade work?**


Zach said...

I just wrote a really long comment with my thoughts which was subsequently erased because I logged in with my beta blogger name or some crap like that. Oh well, I won't type it again but here is a condensed version.

The Rays have new, more amiable ownership but it doesn't matter because they will be trading an OF regardless and Crawford is not going to come cheap regardless.

Sheffield shouldn't even be an option.

Crisp is a great solution but I think he will cost a lot more than Langerhans and Ramirez. Langerhans is a 4th outfielder while Ramirez is a borderline, no-strikeout major league starter. However, I would be willing to give up what it takes to get Crisp who indeed is coming off a down year, but I think most people know he is still a really good player. Also, Kelly Johnson will be back and I think he needs to play everyday but the proposition of filling two voids with one player could be too valuable.

Adam said...

Zach- Thanks for bringing up Kelly Johnson. That's someone I've been trying to figure out what the Braves will do with next season. You know Kelly was once an infielder either at 2B/SS, I think. I don't know if the vacancy in LF is why he switched to the OF or not, but if the Braves acquire a LF this offseason, I say try Kelly out at 2B. I agree with you, I think he needs to be playing everyday.

Zach said...

Kelly came up as a shortstop and then moved to 3B as he advanced. With Chipper in his way, he moved to the outfield. I think moving to 2B would be a stretch with him but it couldn't hurt to try, although I wouldn't get my hopes up.