Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bill Hall: If Atlanta traded for a 2B....

I would like to see Bill Hall be that guy. Hall has yet to find a full-time starting job with the Brewers who just seem to keep adding players 4 deep on the depth chart at every postion. With the recent acquistion of Craig Counsell the Brewers will now likely move Bill to a 3B platoon with Corey Koskie. Hall is not only an IF but can also play OF. He played some games in center last year for the Brew Crew.

Hall had a monster year at the plate last year taking 35 out of the park. Here's his stats.

2006: 148G 537AB 35HR 85RBI .270/.345/.553

His average and OBP are a little higher than Giles, but the slug % is over 200 points more! Hall is still in arbitration and is a few years away from free agency. Here's a good comparison to the type of player that Hall reminds me of. Here's this guy's 2006 stats.

2006: 159G 647AB 46HR 95RBI .277/.351/.560

The numbers above belong to Alfonso Soriano. Yes, that's right. Given Soriano's 11 more home runs and 10 more RBI's the numbers are extremely similar. Given the Brewers depth, it's not sure what will happen to Hall. He may be traded before next year, he may not. Either way, whoever is looking for an infielder should certainly take a flyer on him. Who would I trade for Hall? This is kinda tough since the Brewers have depth. I would probably try to send a couple of minor leaguers, OF Onil Joseph and SP Kevin Barry. There's no particular reason why I picked those two. I'm just picking names off the top of my head. Barry is MLB ready and spent some time in Atlanta last year. Joseph, well nothing really stands out for him. Anyway, as I've stated before this is just in good fun.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cliff Floyd: LF possibility??

Here's another name I'm throwing out for fun. Cliff Floyd comes from the old Montreal Expos teams of the mid-90's. He's even got this cool '92 Bowman RC of him dunking a baseball. Floyd wrapped up his contract with the Mets at the end of the season and is now looking for a team to sign with. His injuries are starting to add up and he might want to consider moving to the AL for the coveted DH role. Floyd was bothered by an Achilles tendon and ankle sprains last year. How much does this guy have left? Here's his stats from 2005 and 2006.

2005: 150G 550AB 34HR 98RBI .273/.358/.505
2006: 97G 332AB 11HR 34RBI .244/.324/.407

Obviously 2006 wasn't the year he expected, especially with that lineup the Mets had. The Braves would probably not give this guy a look, but should they? Floyd made a little over $6.5M ending his four year deal with the Mets. In today's market, teams might be willing to offer Cliff $7-10M for 1 year. I can't see paying him that much for half a season and it's certainly too high for a bench player. It all depends on if he can stay healthy and put up close to or better stats than '05's numbers show. Here's my Braves bargain offer to Floyd: 1/$3.5M with a $1.5M bonus incentive based on AB's. Now, look at these stats and tell me if this guy is good enough for LF?

2006: 124G 297AB 7HR 32RBI .327/.364/.475

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Manny the Brave

The Manny Ramirez rumors have returned. This time a "deal" could be in place by Saturday, according to ESPN. It seems that every 3-4 months Manny is rumored to be traded to some team. What about Manny Ramirez the Brave? Could it happen? Sure, why not. Will it happen? Highly unlikely. Manny Ramirez is one of the top hitters in major league baseball. His stats remain strong as his years progress. Manny doesn't come without extra baggage, but when Ramirez is dedicated, he shines. If their ever was to be a trade between the Braves and Red Sox involving this guy it would almost certainly center around our slugger Andruw Jones. Would you trade Andruw Jones for Manny Ramirez? Let's take a look. With each passing day and the unbelievable inflated market, players with one good year are getting $10M/year plus thrown at them. This will make it even harder to retain Andruw past 2007. Some people feel like the team should get something back in return before we lose him to free agency. This is something the Braves should and probably have been considering. Look at what happened to the Nationals and Soriano. The world was offered to them, but the Nats didn't cut a deal and in the end lost their player for a bag of peanuts. Like I've stated before, Andruw is a 10/5 player and has the right to veto any trade. So anything must be approved by him.
Manny Ramirez still has 2 more years left on his contract. He'll be making $18M and $20M over the next 2 seasons respectively. Andruw will rake in $13.5M in 2007. A $4.5M difference and then the $20M in '08 is what Manny would be owed. Is it worth giving up Andruw for 2 years of Manny? Well let's make these a bit interesting. I wouldn't do a 1 for 1 trade; it would have to involve other players. Say the Red Sox also send over Coco Crisp and Craig Hansen. Crisp would become your new CF and is under contract until 2010. Hansen is under contract until '08 at a little over $1M each year. Whom would the Braves ship off? Besides Andruw, would Boston consider taking Marcus Giles? Their undecided about resigning Loretta, so could Giles step in? Atlanta would then add either Kyle Davies or prospect Anthony Lerew to the deal. Let's see what we have...

Boston sends Manny, Coco Crisp, Craig Hansen to Atlanta
Atlanta send Andruw, Giles, either Davies or Lerew to Boston

The Braves acquire another All-Star slugger along with a CF and a bullpen arm.
The Red Sox acquire the Golden Child Andruw Jones, their 2B, and an up
& coming pitcher.

The Red Sox would have the money to negotiate a long term deal with Andruw, while Manny would spend the next two years as a Brave. Like I said, I'm just doing this for fun. Would anyone else like to share an idea?

This could finnally end ......

any talk of Marcus Giles and the San Diego Padres. In all honesty, this topic died out a little over a week after the Barfield trade but some added closure could be near. The Padres are looking at Craig Counsell and ex-Brave Tony Graffanino as their everyday 2B. Counsell seems to be the Pads #1 choice. Graffanino is stuck between two offers, one for a daily job in San Diego or a utility job in Milwaukee.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Baez to the Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are close to signing him to a 3 year deal. Baez was a hot commidity before last year began. Bullpen help was in high demand and his stock was hot coming off a 41 save season with the D'Rays. Teams thought that if he can save that many for the Devil Rays, he should be the next Lee Smith for us. Atlanta also shown interest at the time, but also at the time Tampa wanted to much in return. Anyway, he signed with the Dodgers and wasn't all that impressive so he was later traded to Atlanta in the Wilson Betemit deal. Baez only appeared in Atlanta for 10 innings before he burst his appendix and required surgery. After the season, there's wasn't much of a chance to resign because he demanded to be the "closer" for some team.
Baez gets his wish, and now this could make Chris Ray available. Ray could fit in as the setup man and eventually successor to Wickman. Chris is also affordable. Ray had 33 saves last year for the O's with an ERA of 2.73.

Surely the Braves will look into this, but there's no guarantees. I think it can be a good option. Remember the rumblings a couple of weeks ago about Huddy and the O's? Could this be revisited? Atlanta would certainly want more than just Ray, but would it be too far fetched to request Adam Loewen as well?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Dead Turkey Bird Day

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Go ahead- eat 'til you're sick, drink beer, and watch football. I know I'm gonna!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Glavine is Now Available

The Mets officially declined their option to pay Tom Glavine's 2007 $14M salary. Glavine has now become available, the only question is what will Atlanta offer? It's public knowledge that Glavine either wants to play with the Mets or Braves next season, so it's safe to assume the Braves will make an offer. You never know, J.S. might have already sent an email out this morning. Are offers sent through emails? Haha. Regardless the Mets bought out Tommy G. for $3.5M and that should allow the Braves to come in with a $6-8M offer. This would bump up Glavine's earnings to $9.5-11.5M in '07. Once again, I'm just giving my opinion, nothing has been official. All we can do is sit back and watch what happens.

In other Braves news, Adam LaRoche was offered by Schuerholz to the Pirates in hopes to return a Chris Duffy or Mike Gonzalez. All the Pirates could muster is John Grabow and Nate McLouth. No Deal. I'm thinking that was a shot in the dark by J.S.

The Angels have been rumored to be working something up for Andruw Jones. Remember any trade involving Jones will have to come through him because of his 10/5 status. Like I said before, I'm sure he'll allow it under the right circumstances. Can you imagine an OF of Andruw Jones and Vladimir Guerrero? All you need is Bobby Abreu to round out the top three outfielders from the 1995 Bowman's Best set.
It seems that Anaheim is always in the running for a top tier player and they have the money to spend. I'm sure if a trade goes down the Angels will be the ones that resign Andruw for the long run. Anaheim has young pitching that we need Santana/Adenhart, so it could work. I expect this rumor to heat up during next month's winter meetings.

Newsday says that the Braves could be suitors for a Lastings Miledge trade. Could is the keyword. I personally do not think the Mets would trade their top prospect to their hated division rival. C'mon people.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Film Fun: Casino Royale

I'm going to go non-Braves for a moment. I was able to go and see the new 007 thriller Casino Royale this weekend and let me just say, Bond has been reborn. I've always enjoyed watching the Bond movies, but this one I was a little skeptical of since their was a "New" 007 in the house. Daniel Craig took over the role after Pierce Brosnan's below par outing in the last film Die Another Day. Craig is an unknown to most, usually appearing in supporting roles and British films.
Casino Royale shows us the beginning of the 007 character in a story that shows how James Bond became, James Bond. I don't want to give out any spoilers, so I'm not going to get into detail about the movie. I've you've seen the Timothy Dalton movies, The Living Daylights or License to Kill, those kind of remind me of how Craig plays the character. It's less of the suave Connery/Moore/Brosnan and more of the hitman, violent Bond. Craig really suprised me and thus far the movie has been a success. I've read where there already planning for another Bond movie in 2008. Go see it, today!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So that makes a lot of sense

The Mets are working out the details for a one year, $8 million deal with Moises Alou. He would replace Cliff Floyd in left field.

So, the Mets are willing to replace an aging, high priced, oft-injured outfielder with an even older, high priced, oft-injured outfielder?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Olney: Tim Hudson to Baltimore

Buster Olney writes is his Insider blog that there's quite a bit of chatter between the Braves and Orioles in a trade that would send Tim Hudson to the Orioles for possibly a couple of young pitchers. He assumes that either Adam Loewen or Hayden Penn would be involved in the discussions.

Olney later states that a Hudson trade would free up money for Mr. Tom Glavine. Yes it would, hmmmmmmmm. I'm 50/50 for trading Huddy. I know he's getting $6M in '07, but $13M in '08 is alot to justify if he can't become the pitcher we have wanted him to be in Atlanta. I would like to see another year of him with the Braves and then come July determine his status, but if he's doing crappy at that time his trade value will be worth a bag of popcorn. Anyway, we'll see what happens.

A quick note from his AWOLness

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I've not gone missing. Not permanently, anyway. These six and seven day work weeks have really cramped my lifestyle, as I've not had much time for family, friends, the internet, sleeping...

I digress. Thankfully, Adam's kept things moving right along and the site hasn't skipped a beat.

I did manage to get a new poll up and running this morning; it'd be great if you could take a second and vote.

Friday, November 17, 2006

NewsBits involving Atlanta

I have what I like to call a circle of site I visit during the day to check out the latest Braves related news. Here's whats being shopped around today.

Tom Glavine is 50/50 on whether he will resign with the Mets or make a return to the Atlanta Braves.

The Texas Rangers are checking into the availability of Horacio Ramirez, Tim Hudson, and Kyle Davies. Meanwhile, Atlanta is looking at relief pitchers the Rangers have to offer.

The Year of the Ex-Brave

A few former members of the world's best MLB team have been getting paid, and paid well. Here's a quick rundown of the following players.

Mark DeRosa-Chicago Cubs I really thought that back in Spring 2003, Mark DeRosa would beat out Marcus Giles for the 2B position but Giles won and produced his best year of his career. DeRosa fell apart in 2004 in what would become his final season with Atlanta. DeRosa came in to fill the 3B void left by Vinny Castilla the previous season. DeRosa was downright pitt-e-full. DeRo produced 10 errors in 72 games at third. This would lead to DeRosa becoming a bench player and the return of Chipper Jones to 3B. In 2005, DeRosa signed with Texas just had a career year. I think the Cubs signed him for 3/$13M which comes to $4.3M per season. It's easy to say the Cubs overpaid, and they did. DeRosa will be expected to keep those 2006 stats coming and hopefully he will, but I guess only time will tell.

Wes Helms-Philadelphia Phillies While in Atlanta, Helms hadn't accessed his power just yet. The most he played in Atlanta was 100 games in the 2001 season where Wes batted at measley .222/.293/.435 For some reason I always hoped Helms would break through with the Braves but his time ran short and he was sent to the Brewers for Ray King. Helms went to have a pretty good '03 for Milwaukee hitting 23 HR's, driving in 67, and batting .261/.330/.460. After a couple of injury plagued seasons, Helms was released by the Brewers and the Marlins picked him up to split time between 1B/3B. Wes went to hit .329/.390/.575 in 2006. The Phillies need a 3B and have taken a chance on Helms who was signed at 2/$5.5M. Helms is certainly an upgrade over Abraham Nunez and should add some pop to an already offensive heavy lineup.

Jaret Wright-Baltimore Orioles Wright at one was Cleveland pitcher of the future after his impressive performance in the '97 playoffs against those Yankees. After 1999, injuries began to rack up on Wright where eventually he left the Indians and traveled to San Diego before making it to Atlanta. The Braves gave him a chance and Wright certainly performed resurrecting his career. Jaret was then signed and overpaid by the Yankees where he struggled before last year where at times he pitched well. The Yankees have given up on Wright and sent him packing to the O's where he is reunited with Leo Mazzone. Can lightning strike twice?

J.D. Drew-?? J.D. Drew was similar to Jaret Wright as he came to Atlanta as a player that really needed a boost and just like Wright he had the best year of his career. Drew was traded by St. Louis along with Eli Marrero for Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. J.D. hit .305/.436/.569 with 31HR's and 93 RBI's for the Braves. After trying to resign him, J.D. shunned the Braves and took the bigger money that was coming from L.A. After two lackluster years with the Dodgers, J.D. is back on the market after opting out of his 5/$55M contract. Now that I look back, I'm glad he didn't reup with the Braves because #1, he would have gotten injured, and #2, he would have done the same thing in Atlanta. The Red Sox have sent an offer to him, hoping he will sign and replace Trot Nixon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Jake Peavy Fiasco

I changed this post since it's been noted that the Jake Peavy trade to the Braves is false. Right now, Jake Peavy is still a San Diego Padre and probably will be for the next few years. Initially there was a report stating that Jerry Crasnick of ESPN radio said the Padres and Braves were working a deal that would send Peavy to the Braves for Marcus Giles, Horacio Ramirez, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Anyway that's not to be today. Some say Crasnick was never on the radio today, and mlbtraderumors which is a pretty good site before deals happen has now claimed this deal as false and so will I. So after two hours of excitement we suffer the letdown thanks to internet and the hot stove season.

AJC: Braves showed interest in Dave Roberts

Seeking to get that leadoff/LF the Atlanta Braves went pursuing after free agent Dave Roberts. Roberts wants a 3/$15M deal. $5M a year for an aging 34 year old is too pricey and the Braves agreed.

Don't get me wrong I think Roberts is a good leadoff hitter. I think his asking price is hopeful but not realistic for a payroll as tight as Atlanta's. The AJC states that Roberts could play CF next year if Andruw Jones enters free agency. Not a bad idea, but once again the money is a little too much to shell out. Their are other teams after Roberts so we'll see if he gets what he wants.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Giles/Linebrink: No Deal?

The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that the Padres are now unlikely to trade Scott Linebrink due to the high cost for relievers. Here's a piece taken from the text:

And don't expect Scott Linebrink to go to Atlanta for second baseman Marcus Giles.

“With the way the relief pitching is shaking out, it would be difficult for us to trade Linebrink,” said Towers. “Someone would really have to overpay. If we keep Linebrink, Giles won't happen.”

To get this done the Braves will have to up the ante or look elsewhere. There still seems to be a little chance of this still happening, but I wouldn't bet on it.

**Update** I'm not sure if this means anything at all, but it does relate to what Towers had mentioned earlier. The Padres and Mets just made a deal that sent OF Ben Johnson and RP Jon Adkins to the Mets for relief pitchers Royce Ring and Heath Bell. Now, the Padres are bulking up in the reliever dept. for what reason? A Linebrink trade may still have some spark? Geeezz, will I be glad when all this talk is officially over.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ESPN Insider: Marcus Giles

From ESPN Insider, the Cinncinatti Reds and the San Diego Padres are interested in Giles. I wasn't going to post about this, but decided to since things have been a little slow.

The Reds have a couple of decent pen hands that could help out our bullpen. The Padres have been mentioned before and I can't see getting anything less than Scott Linebrink.

One ex-Red that I think could help out the pen would be David Weathers. Weathers has been a jorneyman throughout his career but has always been consistently good in relief. Weathers became closer after Guardado was injured. I think the Reds are trying to resign him but could be an affordable option if available.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Waiting for Something to Happen...

Not really alot of news from the Braves stands going on right now. Rumors and propsed deals are being thrown around for a number of other teams but for Atlanta not a whole lot is happening. I really thought after Barfield was traded Giles would be shipped off to S.D the very next day, but it didn't happen. Granted, a deal can still occur, but at this time of year I like to see things start moving and my impatience gets the better of me. Who knows, San Diego could be making a run for Alfonso Soriano for 2B.

A few former Braves will be moving cities. After comminsioner's approval Jaret Wright will be traded to Baltimore for a minor leaguer. Leo and Jaret will once again try to bring back that 2004 magic. Since he's tenure in Baltimore, Mazzone has brought over ex-Braves Russ Ortiz, Jim Brower, and now Jaret Wright. Bruce Chen was already an Oriole when Mazzone came to Baltimore. Who's next? After we release Reitsma I can picture him signing with the O's.

What the hell is the matter with J.D. Drew? Drew opted out of his remaining 3/$33M a year deal with the Dodgers to "test" the market. Did Mr. Borass get into his mind? Drew has always been arrogant and cocky, plus he's injured 70% of the time. One good year granted him a 5/$55M deal from L.A., and I can't see anyone not even the Yankees giving him $11M or more a season. I have no idea who he will end up with. Jeers to you Mr. Drew.

And as Steven pointed out Tommy G. declined his option. Glavine back in Atlanta would be awesome. What would Atlanta be willing to offer for his return?

If you ever check out the Braves mailbag Q& A, I thought it was interesting to read that Schuerholz isn't ruling out a trade of Tim Hudson or Andruw Jones. Obviously you like to listen to other teams offer to see what's available. Jones is now a 10/5 player and can veto a deal, but there are ways around that. Huddy's contract is backloaded and if the Braves come across something very beneficial I wouldn't be suprised to see Hudson pack his bags. I would be dissapointed that he couldn't get another chance in Atlanta, but if it's worth it, go for it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A few Braves notes

Congratulations to Brian McCann, who won his first Silver Slugger award. I expect it won't be his last. The guy is already a great player, and he's only 22. There's no ceiling on his potential, and he could easily become one of the great catchers of our time.

Here's something interesting out of the Mets camp: Tom Glavine has turned down his 2007 option and the Mets are expected to turn down their option as well. Maybe Mr. Glavine will pick up Number 300 in Atlanta?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trade Brewing: Giles to Padres

I read this rumor a little less than a week ago, and didn't think much of it because we all know that Marcus wants to play with big brother Brian. Today, the Padres made a move trading 2B Josh Barfield to the Cleveland Indians for 3B prospect Kevin Kouzmanoff and Triple A pitcher Andrew Brown. A very interesting and very unsuspecting trade.

The rumor from earlier was Giles possibly to San Deigo but Scott Linebrink would almost have to be involved. Giles would then have to make a move to 3B. Now that Barfield has been traded, 2B is available. Obviously this makes a Giles deal an even more reality.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Peoria Javelinas

If you thought that after the World Series baseball is over, it's not. We move to the Arizona Fall League a.k.a "Winter Ball" where some members of the Atlanta Braves organization have been playing. Anthony Lerew, Joey Devine, Will Startup, J.C. Holt, Josh Burrus, and Yunel Escobar have been playing for the Peoria Javelinas.

Over the past week Escobar has made headlines. Escobar is really hitting his stride batting .424/.457/.545 in 66 AB's. Some look at Escobar as being Atlanta's next shortstop.

Anthony Lerew who has seen his share of ups/downs during his minor league career is currently 0-2 5.40 ERA in 8 games of relief. Joey Devine has a 7.20 ERA in 5 IP while Will Startup has struggled with control giving up 10ER's in 6.1 innings of work.

J.C. Holt has done fairly well in 36 AB's hitting .417/.475/.583 while Burrus has 3HR's in 56AB's. Besides Escobar and possibly Holt the stats aren't very good. I'm not sure how to approach the Fall Leagues. Are you placed there to work out the kinks and try new things? Is it a reverse ST where instead of working on stuff before the season your doing it after the season? I've anyone has an explanation please feel free to let me know.

The Golden Child

Andruw Jones won his 9th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove. There's no doubt about it, Andruw ranks in the top elite of defensive OF's that I have ever seen my lifetime. There's know telling how many runs he has saved the Braves during this span. When you look up center fielder just add his picture to the defintion and you'll know how the position is supposed to be played. Kudos to Mr. Jones and the hope of more gold shining in Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another player gets caught with his pants down

New York Mets reliever Guillermo Mota will have an "extended" Spring Training next year: he's the latest major leaguer to get caught cheating.

Under MLB's current drug policy, Mota will begin his 50 game suspension at the beginning of the 2007 season. I wonder if the Mets have any intention of trying to resign Mota now?

The steroids talk in baseball always seems to revolve around Barry Bonds and home runs, but doesn't it seem like the only guys getting busted are the ones who throw the balls? Kinda makes you wonder.