Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How willing are the Braves to trade Andruw Jones?

Would you trade him or push to resign him? Andruw has been one of the most beloved Braves over the last ten years. He's the one guy on the team, that other teams would give up a wealthy bounty to acquire. Over the last couple of years his name has surfaced amongst various rumors having him being traded here or there; anyone remember the rumored Jones for Kevin Brown swap back in '04? Yes, that would have been bad, really bad.

Today, Andruw is a 10/5 player, meaning he must waive his no-trade clause if he is to be traded. If your John Schuerholz, what are you to do? Your payroll is slim, so do you sacrifice others in order to bring Andruw back? Or do you trade him before season's end? With the amount of teams that have shown or will be showing interest in Jones, JS has to listen to what these teams are willing to offer. If the right package of players comes along you have to decide if Jones is worth paying $20M+ for the next 5-7 years. Is a CF replaceable? Yes, most definitely. Is the fielding of Andruw Jones replaceable? Nope. We all know Andruw's fielding has been some of the best we have seen throughout baseball in recent years. His hitting is a different story. He's been streaky to say the least but that's Andruw. For the most part his stats have been consistent. He's a career .267/.345/.505 hitter, 92HR's over the last two seasons after accumulating a total of 100HR's in three seasons before that. There's one stat that Andruw has almost abandoned, stolen bases. In the late 90s he attempted 30-40 stolen bases a year, but I guess over time the lb's have added up slowing him down on the basepaths.

I would hope Andruw would want to stay in Atlanta but I really can't see that happening per monetary constraints. I would rather see a trade before the season rather than during the season. Before the season you put someone in place from the start, but during the middle of the season there's the adjustment period that sometimes will cause players to slack in their performance.

Back to the topic, how willing are the Braves in trading Jones? Other teams are willing to trade for him, but are the Braves willing to part ways? In a way they are, but they aren't. They want the talented prospects, premiere players, etc. but it's hard to give up your all-star in return. Sometimes it's just best to move on.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

LaRoche Deal Close..?

Is the Adam LaRoche talk almost coming to an end? Physicals, Players involved, and GM's are all that's holding this back. The Pirates/Yankees/Braves have something on the table. The Braves would receive Melky Cabrera and an unnamed Pirate. The Yankees would get Mike Gonzalez while the Pirates take Mr.LaRoche.

Here's a little history on the situation. LaRoche has been involved in rumors with the Orioles, Angels, Pirates, and Yankees for the past month. Nobody really knew he was available until the winter meetings. JS and company believe that Scott Thorman can duplicate LaRoche's results given the time. I hope this is true.

Here's a rundown of rumored proposals (atleast the ones I can remember):

LaRoche for Brian Roberts
LaRoche for Brian Roberts and Hayden Penn
LaRoche for Hayden Penn and Chris Ray

LaRoche for Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman
LaRoche for Scott Shields

LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez and Nate McLouth
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez and Chris Duffy
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez, Chris Duffy, and Jose Castillo
LaRoche and Kyle Davies for Mike Gonzalez and Jose Castillo

LaRoche for Jose Castillo and Melky Cabrera

The only other Brave that has attracted all of these different scenarios in recent history is Andruw Jones. LaRoche looks like he will be dealt soon enough, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Either way it looks like it will have something to do with the Pirates and Yankees.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Film Fun: Rocky Balboa

I was able to watch the latest entry in the Rocky franchise, Rocky Balboa last night. This movie has been in pre-production for the longest time. Stallone wrote a script for another Rocky movie centuries ago, but couldn't get MGM to sign off on it. A year ago they finnally decided to take a chance on it and so Rocky Balboa was in production.

I'm not going to give out any spoilers so it's ok to read this. Coming into this movie my expectations were Med-High. I enjoyed the trailers and thought the movie would be fun to see. I read at a early premiere for R. Balboa, Stallone said he didn't like Rocky V and how it ended so he wanted to do something to add closure to the series. I don't consider this movie a sequel, it carries it's own pedestal. I don't want to give away anything so I'll leave it at this. A freind of mine went to see it with us. He bases everything based on the last of something, I don't know why. Rocky V wasn't good at all in my opinion, and he really didn't like it. So coming into Rocky Balboa his expectations were real low, he thought the movie was going to flop. Well when it was over, he was overly excited and amazed at how good the movie was. Now he wants to buy all the Rocky movies on dvd! So my final recommendation is to give this movie a look, you won't be dissapointed.

Signed: Chris Woodward

Well this one is a little puzzling. Chris Woodward signed with the Braves yesterday in an effort for cheap utility depth?? Add Woodward to the list of open tryouts for 2B this Spring. Speaking of the list, let's take a look at who we've got...

Martin Prado
Pete Orr
Wily Aybar
Kelly Johnson
Willie Harris
Chris Woodward

Six players after one position. Prado played backup to Giles whenever Betemit wasn't around or playing another spot. Pete Orr has been the Braves "utility" guy for the past two seasons. Aybar took over Betemit's rover role last year after being traded from L.A. Kelly Johnson has taken an interest in returning to the infield and has been working with Glenn Hubbard this offseason. Harris was given a ST invite and looks at making the team. Woodward comes in looking for a starting job, but is also versatile at other positions.

I have to say right now, Aybar or Prado are the top two candidates heading into Spring. I don't know how Kelly Johnson is doing in his offseason workouts so I can't put him in the top two just yet. Woodward could replace Pete Orr as the team utility guy while, Harris is more than likely to get a minor league deal with the team.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reitsma to Return...?

Was the farewell premature? Cruising the net this morning I came across a couple of snippets that mention Chris Reitsma is looking to resign with Atlanta. Hmmmmm. I keep trying to tell myself that Reitsma might perform better since he won't be the closer of the team. Keep in mind Bobby Cox loves Chris Reitsma. Anyone remember the Rolaids Relief Award he won back in '05? If they must bring him in, it shouldn't be more than an incentive deal possibly topping out at $1M. Give him the Mike Remlinger offer. If you can make the team during Spring Training, you've won the deal. If he fails during the season, place him on waivers.

More life to the party...

The latest rumor sends LaRoche to Baltimore for Hayden Penn and possibly Chris Ray. As I've said before, I like the idea of getting Ray. This would certainly boost our bullpen now and for the future. Pitching was the #1 objective this offseason and JS is striving towards that. I just hope Scott Thorman is ready to play.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Giles to be a Padre?

It sounds like the Giles brothers are going to have the opportunity to play together: San Diego and Marcus are reportedly closing in on a contract that would make him their regular second baseman.

I'm really hoping the deal goes through. It'll be much easier wishing Marcus luck in the future if he's not a Met.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

CBS Sportsline: LaRoche for Roberts?

CBS Sportsline wire reports is saying that the Braves are talking with Baltimore about a 1/1 swap. Adam LaRoche for Brian Roberts. Apparently Mark Loretta's agent is already talking with Baltimore. So, the O's have a potential backup plan if Roberts is traded.

Meanwhile, the Pirates and Yankees are talking about the deal that would send Melky Cabrera to Pittsburgh for Mike Gonzalez. It looks as if the three team trade could have been put on the back burner for now. Atleast for today, the Braves have set their sights on Roberts.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

3-Way Spin & Spring Training News

Now the question is will the Braves land Melky Cabrera? Just like Steven said, Cabrera could be sent to the Braves in a three team trade involving the Yankees, Pirates, and Braves. It seems that throughout the week a variation of the same trade has grown. It all goes back to the original Adam LaRoche/Mike Gonzalez offer. I think something will eventually happen. It all depends on what team is willing to give up whom.

The Braves announced their non roster invitees to ST this week, here's a look:

Willie Harris 2B/IF
Doug Clark OF
Corky Miller C
Iker Franco C
Buddy Carlyle P
Steve Coyler P

You may recall that Harris was once the starting 2B for the Chicago White Sox. This was back in 2004. The White Sox wanted a guy with more power so they signed Tadahito Iguchi and Harris was later released. Harris will be in competition for 2B, but is more likely to become the Braves utility IF if he makes the team.

Corky Miller was once the backup catcher for the Cinncinatti Reds. After a batting average of .026 in '04 the Reds let him go. Miller will be competition with Brayan Pena for the backup catcher role. Iker Franco is a former Brave minorleaguer who will also compete for the backup catching duties.

Buddy Carlyle has been a RP for the Padres and Dodgers. He started out as a 21 year old rookie in 2003 with San Diego. Doug Clark played in the A's system last year and has only 11 AB's for his career. Steve Coyler is another RP formerly of the Tigers, Rockies, and Dodgers organizations.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More on the Atlanta/Pittsburgh trade talks...

Just to add to Adam's post, I read that the Braves and Pirates are talking about a deal that would send 2B Jose Castillo and RP Mike Gonzalez to the Braves for Adam LaRoche and Kyle Davies. The Braves would then flip Gonzalez to the New York Yankees for RP Scott Proctor and OF Melky Cabrera.

Looks like they're really working on getting some type of deal done. The only question seems to be which players and how many teams are going to be involved.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 More Adam LaRoche Talk

I read this on's fantasy news section. It discusses trades and signings to keep you updated on player transactions. Here's what they said about LaRoche yesterday:

"In need of a left-handed hitter, Pittsburgh has shown significant interest in Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche, whom Atlanta would replace with 24-year-old Scott Thorman should a deal be struck. The Braves would then flip Gonzalez to the Yankees for reliever Scott Proctor and prospects, or to the Red Sox for center fielder Coco Crisp."

Scott Proctor and Coco Crisp are nothing new to Braves fans. Both have been brought up in past rumors. It's interesting that it states that the Braves "would" flip Gonzalez to the Yanks or BoSox, throwing a twist to the equation from what we've seen before.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Goodbye Giles & Reitsma

Today's the day teams allow players they don't want to give $$ to, free. The Braves have until this afternoon to sign Marcus Giles and Chris Reitsma to contracts or they will become non-tendered.

After the players have been released by the Braves, any team can offer them a contract. Marcus Giles is due $5-6M next season, but probably won't get it. Reitsma is due close to $4M. I guess that Giles will get a 1/$2-3M deal and Reets will probably get an incentive laden 1/$1-2M deal. Reitsma is coming off TJ surgery and some team will sign him low and then offer incentives based on innings pitched or whatever. Those are just my estimates. I just hope the Mets stay away from Giles. I can see that turning around to slap us in the face. Those two are the bigger names mentioned but their could be a few other Braves released today. I'll update the post if I read anything more.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What's going on?

1. Rocco Baldelli

2. Mike Gonzalez

These two are getting alot of press in the world of Braves rumors. It's funny, the Braves could have had Gonzalez but pulled the plug on that trade. The Braves are still interested in Gonzalez and are looking to come up with something with the Pirates in a multi-player deal involving LaRoche and Gonzalez amongst other players.

Baldelli is someone that could takeover centerfield if Andruw Jones leaves. He's under contract through 2011 and is cheap in baseball terms. These are good things. The Braves are willing to offer Salty and Yunel Escobar as apart of a package for Baldelli. Tampa really wants to get their mitts on Chuck James. That's where things turn sour. Atlanta isn't so sure they want to parts ways with their lefty.

My percentages:

Baldelli- 50/50 whether we acquire Baldelli or not. Atlanta seems to like him alot and could be willing to sacrifice a good bunch of prospects to get him.

Gonzalez- 75/25 in favor of getting him. It will take LaRoche...again. A multi-player deal sounds alot better than a one-for-one swap. I take it as, if the Braves are still pursuing him after we had him the first time then we'll probably get him again.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still a lot of interest in LaRoche...

It seems as though the Braves and Pirates are still in talks about Adam LaRoche, and there are rumors of a possible multi-team deal that would send Adam to the Los Angeles Angels for Chone Figgins.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rumors Continue...

The winter meetings have ended, but rumors and trades will still happen. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Braves are interested in Rocco Baldelli and might send Chuck James to the Devil Rays. I read this one earlier in the week, and when the Braves asked about Baldelli, the D'Rays asked for James in return. Are the Braves actually considering this? Jarrod Saltalamacchia could also be in the mix. I agree with some other Braves fans on this one, instead of Baldelli go after Crawford if James has to be involved.

A) Here's my proposed deal for Baldelli:

Braves send Kyle Davies and Ryan Langerhans to Tampa for Baldelli.

B) Here's my proposed deal for Crawford:

Braves send Chuck James, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Ryan Langerhans to Tampa for Crawford and prospect.

I'm not for trading Chuckie J. but if it has to happen make it for Carl Crawford. BTW, I have nothing against Ryan Langerhans, just making him apart of the scenario. I added Salty to the Crawford trade because Tampa always wants more for their players.

Cubs and Ward reach agreement

Former Brave Daryle Ward and the Cubs have reached an agreement on a one-year contract. He should prove to be a useful left-handed bat amidst a roster filled with right-handed hitters.

From a column about the Winter Meetings by Jeff Passan, Yahoo!Sports writer:

Best Contract: Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers

Worst Contract #1: Gil Meche, Kansas City Royals

Worst Contract #2: Ted Lilly, Chicago Cubs

Worst Contract #3:
J.D. Drew, Boston Red Sox

Best One-Sided Trade: Atlanta receives Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. Soriano could eventually close for the Braves. Ramirez will never be anything more than a serviceable No. 4 starter for Seattle, and even that is a long shot.

Nice to see Atlanta management and Braves fans aren't the only ones thinking this was a great move for the club.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

LaRoche/Gonzalez Canceled

JS has taken back the LaRoche for Gonzalez trade. Atlanta was concerned over Mike's elbow trouble and have decided to void the deal. Now Atlanta will set their sites again towards the Angels and try to acquire Scott Shields in some sort of package. Look for the LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman/Sheilds? to be tried again.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almost a Deal: LaRoche to Pittsburgh

Well it seems that the Braves are close to acquiring another new member of the team, Mike Gonzalez. After days of chatter the Pirates are willing to part ways with Gonzalez for Adam LaRoche. One thing holds the Braves back from sealing the deal. Mike's elbow is somewhat of a concern for the Braves. They want to check on that before moving on. WOW!! In one day the Braves bullpen has gone from still questionable but with a closer to pretty dang good. Soriano and Gonzalez could really turn things around fast for a pen that's had trouble finding an indentity the past two years. Once again, John Schuerholz comes through. Now, what to do with Marcus Giles?

Ramirez to Mariners

Bill Shanks reports that Horacio Ramirez has been traded to the Seattle Mariners for Rafael Soriano. This is a great deal. Soriano is a young arm that has been real good coming out of the pen. He will likely setup for Wickman. IMO, Good move JS.

WM: Day Two

Since the meetings began we have discovered that the Braves have been in talks in atleast two possible deals. Both of these deals didn't take any action yesterday. One thing that we have discovered is that Adam LaRoche is being shopped around in every possible transaction. I've seen him linked to the Orioles, Angels, Pirates, and Mariners. The more I think about it, I believe unless a super deal comes along, LaRoche stays. I think JS is just using him to see what's out there. I'm not saying he won't be traded, but if someone was to offer a superior deal he could be gone. There was rumor going around yesterday out of Seattle. It's a 3-way trade involving Seattle/SF/Atlanta.

Seattle gets Tim Hudson, Adam LaRoche
San Francisco gets Richie Sexton
Atlanta gets Rafael Soriano and Armando Benetiz

NOooooooooooooooo!!! Although I don't have anything against acquiring Soriano, Benetiz is past his prime, too much $$, and too injury prone. This would be an awful deal for Atlanta.

Apparently the Braves are waiting for the Angels to add Scott Shields to the mix of LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman/Sheilds. The Angels aren't going to do that. Peter Angelos intervened and took the LaRoche/Giles for Roberts/Penn off the table after the Braves were undecided on what to do. I guess the Braves stand where they did Monday. Two deals have been nixed and one is just a wild rumor that hopefully will remain that way. So its back to the drawing board with two days left.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Horacio, Texas Ranger...?

Gathering up all Braves related rumors/possibilities/opinion's I came across this trade idea. The Braves sending Horacio Ramirez to the Texas Rangers for Akinori Otsuka. Otsuka could be a great addition to the bullpen. He saved 32 games last year for the Rangers and would fit nicely setting up the Wick. After posting a 1.75 ERA in his rookie year with San Diego, he was future commodity for the Padres. Then in 2005, he suffered a meltdown that caused the Padres to send him packing with Adam Eaton to Texas. Otsuka for Ramirez is a deal I would vote for.

This is just another tidbit that I read amongst the many rumors/ideas surrounding the winter meetings. Take it for what it's worth.

Braves/Orioles Trade Proposal

The Baltimore Sun is reporting there is alot of talk between the Braves and Orioles about a trade that would send Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles to Baltimore for Hayden Penn and Brian Roberts. Also mentions that Tim Hudson could be thrown in the mix.

Roberts made a tad over $3M last year, and will probably get atleast $5M this year. I would expect the Braves to try to sign him to a multiyear contract if acquired. This counters to what Giles will rake in next year. Interesting to say the least. I'm wondering if the Braves are trying to get Loewen as apart of the equation by offering up Hudson.

Monday, December 04, 2006

WM Day One: Brave TidBits

As day one progresses, some rumors spinning around concerning our beloved team are that the Pirates have inquired about Adam LaRoche and the Braves replied with Mike Gonzalez. Ken Rosenthal says that if the Braves are to trade LaRoche then Scott Thorman will takeover 1B. Gonzalez would be a great addtion who would eventually inherit the closer's role when Wickman retires.

The Seattle Mariners are dangling Richie Sexson while displaying interest for Tim Hudson. No, thanks! Sexson is owed $28M for the next two years while LaRoche put up similar numbers at 1,000 times less Sexson's rate. However, RP Rafael Soriano could spark the Braves interest.

More Adam LaRoche rumors: Adam LaRoche to Anaheim for Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman? Kotchman hasn't performed well while in Anaheim and Figgins can play anywhere and would likely leadoff. I read this as a possibility between the two teams. I'm not sure about Kotchman and wouldn't mind having Figgins but not for LaRoche. It's hard to judge Adam LaRoche right now. Is he hitting his stride or was last year just an outlier in his stats? I've been rooting for this guy since his rookie season. Sometimes I've been upset over his play and sometimes I've been thrilled but hey that goes for everyone, right? We'll see how these "rumors" pan out.

Interest in LaRoche?

I just read on the officious MLB site that the Pirates have expressed interest in Adam LaRoche at the Winter Meetings. Not sure if the Braves are looking to move Adam, but it might be interesting to see if anything develops from this.

Tanyon Sturtze. Umm...Okay.

One would suppose John Scheurholz didn't want to overwhelm us with a huge splash into the Winter Meeting/Free Agent pool. Instead, he decided to start us off with a few baby steps into the shallow end, rather than one big ol' cannonball leap from the diving board. Well, I hope the signing of Sturtze is our baby step and JS is preparing to jump into the deep end.

I don't hate the move. Like Adam mentioned, it's a relatively low-risk deal, which is important because Sturtze is still recovering from shoulder surgery. And truth be told, after last year, I'd rather deal with an old (but experienced) retread in the bullpen, rather than the young (and horribly inexperienced) fiasco that was the 2006 bullpen. Still, this isn't exactly the type of deal that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about next year, especially when you see the moves other National League teams are making.

The Winter Meetings

One of the most exciting times in baseball comes after the season. The annual December "Winter" Meetings begins today. These meetings are where the general managers of each team get together and discuss business in baseball. More specifically it's where alot of trades are made. You have what I want, here's what I can offer, type of thing. I think it's more fun to actually read about the "what could have been" trades than the actual real ones. It's a crazy time, so expect some crazy rumors to be flying around all week.

From a Braves fan's perspective here's what I see coming into this week. The Braves key need is pitching, moreso relief pitching over starting pitching but if we can land another starter it wouldn't hurt.

Marcus Giles
Horacio Ramirez

Could be dealt:
Tim Hudson

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Andruw Jones

Here's my approach to this week's meetings. In the expendable category you have two players that will probably reach $8-9M combined next year. Dealing Giles and Ramirez will wipe that number off the books. It's never bad to have SP depth, but due to injuries and inconsistency I'm afraid that Ramirez may not be back as a Brave. Marcus Giles has been the bait that JS has been using since the season ended. I think he'll end up finding a suitor before the week is up.

Tim Hudson. There was a Buster Olney report that there was talks between the Orioles and Braves concerning Hudson for a package of prospects. This may be revisited.

Salty and Andruw Jones I have placed in the inquired category. Inquiring minds will ask what would it take to get player a or player b. McCann really proved last year that he will be the Braves catcher for many years to come. Salty could be dealt for a solid RP. The Tigers are looking for someone to succeed Pudge. Andruw Jones will be brought up again I'm sure.

One signing happened this weekend. The Braves signed relief pitcher Tanyon Sturtze. Sturtze is coming off rotator cuff surgery but hopefully willl enter Spring with a full bill of health. Sturtze signed a 1/$750K. If he makes the 25 man roster he will recieve a $350K bonus. I like this deal, its low risk. This kind of reminds me of when the Braves signed Gabe White. Although, White was cut in ST, it gives someone another opportuinity coming off an injury to find success.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

We'll be Bud Free in 2010!

The used car salesman says he's retiring in three years. I've dreamed of this day: the end of the Reign of Bud-ball is within sight.

Don't question it. Don't discuss it. Just enjoy it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

ESPN: Glavine inks deal with Mets

Their goes anyone's hopes of a notsalgic Tom Glavine return to Atlanta. ESPN is reporting that the Mets and Glavine reached a deal for 1/$10.5M-$11M, (specifics aren't noted). The article doesn't mention any word on whether the Braves actually made an offer. Well, I'm a little dissapointed. I really thought Glavine would return to the Braves. Like I said earlier, it's not 100% certain that the Braves even sent an offer his way. Realistically, I couldn't see the Braves offering anymore than 1/$7M. Change in ownership and a tight payroll could have broke this deal. We'll see what happened later when more detail is released.