### #134: Love ’em? or Leave ’em?

Sometimes I feel that caring about the Braves, is like being a teenager in love…You are seemingly forever in flux. One minute, everything is GREAT! WONDERFUL! AWESOME! Then, the rug gets pulled from under your feet, and while sitting on your butt, you think to yourself, I am done! I will NEVER love Lisa, err, the Braves again!

But, time heals all wounds, and apparently, makes you stupid. Because, there you are again, like a moth to a flame, thinking this time, it will be different, you won’t get burned…not this time.

Hope, springs eternal, even in the middle of Fall. Doubt is also, not too far away either.

We know the Nats will be as good as anyone in baseball next year, they could once again win the division, even without making any moves, and losing Adam LaRoche.

The Mutts, as much as we all like to rag on them, have rebuilt their rotation. Jacob deGrom (Who? ) was named rookie of the year. He was the guy with the long hair, if that helps. 9-6, 2.69 ERA.

The worst starter in their rotation last year, Bartolo Colon, had a 4.09 ERA, and lead the team in innings, with 209 (Not bad for a fat 41 year old! )

And oh yeah, if he is healthy, Matt Harvey will be back next year, so the Mutts will likely be a lot better.

Marlins? They will be better no doubt. They are likely to get to get ol’ Adam LaRoche.

Philies? They will suck, but the Nats, Marlins, and Mutts, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of those teams won the division.

What about the Braves? Well, who knows? John Hart keeps saying, over and over the braves lost 400 innings with the seeming loss of both Santana and Aaron Harang.  I’m with Mr Raisins , the braves ought to consider re-signing Santana(even though Harang had a better ERA and pitched 8 more innings, he is 5 years older, and there is a good chance he will turn into a pumpkin) But, getting Shelby Miller, is half the rotation battle. And there’s a good chance his ERA will be less than Santana’s 3.95 ERA. So, just 200 innings to replace, unless they get a deal done with Santana.

So…the pitching side of the equation, looks to be in fairly good shape…as long as  there are no injuries.

Hitting, on the other side of the ball…meh, I said Meh!

Down one hitter, yet few here or elsewhere feel the loss of JHey’s offense , It just didn’t feel like he was  a real presence in the lineup. Didn’t help they kept trying to make a leadoff hitter out of him, something he didn’t like and wasn’t.

But, his defense, that will be missed. A Mets historian was on mlbtv after the trade and said that he was glad he had left the NL East, as he had saved, 2-3 games a year with his glove.  Of course, you score more than 3 runs a game, you don’t need spectacular defensive plays. But, even with that defense, the braves were 17 games back, in spite of great pitching. So….to borrow and rework a lame phrase, it’s the offense, stupid. And boy, has the offense been stupid. At least the philosophy has been , as we all know. We all have watched games with runners on, and everyone and their brother thinks they are all J Up, and should swing for the fences. Especially with 2 strikes on the alleged home run hitters. It’s hard if not impossible to teach old dogs new tricks. So changes must come to the lineup. There is a need for more contact type hitters, more speed. Not having more than a single hands worth of real major league prospects, they can’t trade them for a speedster. Of course, Jose Peraza has stolen 60 bases a year in 2013 and 2014. But, he’s 20. Perhaps he comes to spring training, hits .400 and forces his way into the lineup. But most likely, the Braves will have to go with a Kelly Johnson solution as V said, and if he fails, up comes Peraza.

That might be May or June though. Without JHey, and after the failed experiment of BJ leading off, who can lead off? Really no one on this team. Simmons, IF he became more patient, but who knows if/when that will happen.

So, seems J Up has to be traded, for reasons everyone is familiar with . Can the braves get both a starter and a contact hitter for him? Will there be enough offense without J Up, and JHey? Can this team realistically expect BJ to at least go back to a .240 hitter that hits 20+ HR’s and drives in 70+? Or hope that some sucker team, err…an optimistic team  will take a chance they can fix him, and just pay him 2-3 mil a year. If BJ is hitting .190-.200 in May, that’s it, you can’t trade him, just release him at that point. Perhaps Seitzer (SP) can, with a willing BJ, rebuild his swing, flatten it out, take the wiggle out that seems to slow his bat up, and then it’s like getting a new hitter. Can’t see Hart, even if he says so, relying on that, when you are likely to trade away the 2 better outfielders.

So many questions. One reason Yasmany Tomas makes some sense on top of trading J Up alone. Trading J Up alone means getting a starter and perhaps an outfielder that isn’t a perfect fit. Trading him for one pitcher might get a better arm, or perhaps 2 quality prospects. At least, there are some options. As the team is currently constructed, there are holes, but they are not black hole sized holes.

Can this team compete? Sure, but it’s going to take some smart moves and taking some risks to be really competitive.

~ Berigan ~

#### 568 Responses to “#134: Love ’em? or Leave ’em?”

1. November 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Thanks, Ber! I apologize that I haven’t had time to send it to the Graphics Dept.! Great lead! 🙂

Liked by 1 person

2. 2 berigan2electricboogaloo November 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Thanks CL! I thought it seemed a bit lame, and rehashed a lot of old stuff, but l read a Washington Post story on the Ferguson situation, and was really struck by how terrible the story was, not a thing new in their reporting….seeing the post now, it seems better to me.

Liked by 1 person

3. November 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

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4. 4 berigan2electricboogaloo November 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm

CL, as for your post on Ted Williams on the previous blog…
CL, I’ll always remember a line said about John Wayne in relation to Ted Williams. It’s too harsh on the Duke, but it sure tells you all you need to know about the non baseball playing Ted Williams. Ted Williams is what John Wayne wished he was.
As for the baseball side, 521 Homers….and missed nearly 5 full seasons. Add 150+ homers to that total, and he would have been 2nd all time at the end of his career. Yet most of us don’t think of him as a huge home run hitter

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5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Ber, A truly outstanding opine. Such a deep talent pool we have here at the old B $S… Makes me proud to be a member of the staff…. Liked by 2 people 6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm Even if some of us can’t remember there is a difference between a$ and an &….. duh!

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7. 7 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

After a long weekend of alot of traveling (more than 1000 miles of driving in 3 days touching an ocean and a gulf), I can finally settle in and ejoy my B&S.

Excellent lead work, Ber. Funny thing, that “love ’em or leave ’em” title. As we prepared to hit the road Friday evening for our 1st of four 5.5 hour drives, I pulled out my Braves travel mug that the wife and daughter picked out for me earlier this year during a school fundraiser. Mrs. Raisins says, “Sorry they sucked. We picked that out before they got so bad.” Without even so much as having to think about my words, my simple reply to her was, “No… I love it. And I love my Braves. Regardless.”

And so that’s the way it is. I love them, regardless. (It’s at this point the mission-minded Christian in me wants to transition to a description of our heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us, but I’ll save that analogy for another venue.)

But I do love my Braves, regardless. And I do believe in the new braintrust, this new 2-headed John that is seemingly being led by the elder one. They aren’t purging valuable players for the sake of any kind of salary dump. To the contrary, they have flatly stated that this year’s payroll will hover around $112M, the highest any Braves team payroll has ever been. But$ figures are relative. And the $112M, though plenty to get things done correctly, must still be spent with great care since$13.2M of it is going to one guy not on the roster, and another $14.45M is going to another guy who may as well not be on the roster. One national writer (Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com) believes that trading JUp will bring back an equal if not better return to the Braves than JHey did. And let’s get past our emotions for a minute and realize the Braves got back at minimum 4 years of team control of a very good young starting “top of the rotation” pitcher in Shelby Miller and the oft forgotten element of young Tyrell Jenkins, who could emerge as a “top of the rotation” guy himself in a couple of years. The presence of Jenkins does a couple of things… First, he is already rated higher in the organization than the esteemed young hurler Lucas Sims, who is the first guy other GM’s ask about when the Braves go looking for hitters. And he’s the guy the Braves have flatly stated is untouchable. Or is he still? The presence of Jenkins has to at least give the Braves some room to consider. But JUp himself is a different commodity than JHey. JUp represents big power from the right side. And as much as we love JHey, his power never really emerged. JUp is the kind of power managers drool over. And Fredi would love to plug him back into the 2015 lineup at cleanup, But the reality is that he’s a luxury on a team that has too many other holes to fill, given that he will likely walk at the end of 2015 anyway. And thus he is now deemed the most likely player in the game to be traded, so named by the aforementioned Mr. Castrovince. And so here we are, faced with rebuilding pitching while appearing to ignore the remains of an offense that struggled with JHey in it last season. Having Evan Gattis’ bat in the lineup on a more consistent basis than 2014 will make up some of that. And Christian Bethancourt showed a much better bat than anticipated during his late season audition in Atlanta. And there are many options still available, and still alot of time to get it done. Heck, the Winter Meetings are still a week away!! The biggest logs still haven’t even been tossed into the Hot Stove yet!! I said it earlier, I trust the Johns, especially John the Elder. He’s been there, done it, and done it well. He’ll get it done here too. I love my Braves… Liked by 2 people 8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm The biggest piece the Braves may be missing might just be a guy who can lead the charge. Not always the best player but the guy with the biggest heart and can rally the troops. A Hunter Pence of Ryan Zimmerman kind of leader who can pump guys up but with a enough gravitas to chew a little butt along the way and get away with it. Those kind of guys are pretty rare in the game these days. Sure, there are guys who make lots of money but they seem to be more content to cash their paychecks than push their team mates. After all, taking sides can have it’s consequences. Foe all his failings, and they were many, Dan Uggla was the last guy the Braves who filled that role. Yes, I know he was taking up a spot in the line up but he never gave up, he never stopped cheering for his team mates. Another guy who was making the same money was often seen sulking at the end of the bench after one of his many strikouts and continued to sulk in the outfield where he had time to contemplate his own failures until a ball hit to him would bounce off his glove and he would yell at the other outfielders like it was their fault he screwed up again. No, I am not calling for the Braves to invite Dan back but the team kind of lost their way after he was gone. Fab 5 went into funk, Their was no longer anyone left to blame other than one who shall not be named could not point to someone else stinking up the place too. So, the Braves still bemoan the$13 million to be paid for a guy no longer with the club… GET OVER IT Braves fans…. The guy who signs the checks for the team throws that much away on guest towels at his villa…. What is done is done, time to look for a guy who can bring some order back to the clubhouse. He won’t be cheap but he will certainly be necessary…

Liked by 2 people

9. 9 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

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10. 10 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Each possess the veteran leadership the Braves so lacked last season…

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11. 11 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

… and each would make a fantastic mentor to young Mr. Bethancourt in their own respective ways.

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12. 12 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I would love to see Rossy return for his last couple of seasons as an active ML’er, then slide into a coaching position in the organization. That guy’s gonna be a great manager one day.

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13. 13 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm

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14. 14 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

V, CL changed my swell title for this lead….Dare we have hope for the braves in 2015?
Yep, Love em or Leave ’em….is better

Liked by 2 people

15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Vox, having seen Rossi and AJ… have to go with David. He is not an everyday guy but he does not have to be. He has the kahunas to tell it like it is no matter the toes he steps on.

Miss Josie has already informed me we are going to spring training this year so maybe those gold plated press credentials will be ready by them, Hey, how hard can they be? I can get a green card and a new SS number behind the 7-Eleven on Jeff Davis Hwy most any morning…. 🙂

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16. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I hear the real hot items now are back dated utility bills….

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17. 17 Vox O'Raison November 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

So the Red Sox agree to a mega deal with HanRam, and with Kung Fu Panda, and are repeatedly also still favored in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. Sometimes you can’t help but be a little ticked off that some teams just operate on an entirely different level…

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18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2014 at 12:43 am

Wow, the BoSox are spending like a bunch of drunken Yankees…. Nothing that can be done about it unless MLB goes the route of the NBA and the NFL. Unfortunately, MLB is paying the price for collusion, that and teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers are not willing to give up their stranglehold on the influx of cash.

Even with the millions owners like Blank in Atlanta and Dan Snyder in Washington, they cannot buy a Super Bowl. Well, at least one not purchased at a pawn shop….

So, let ’em buy all the can but we all know, only one team from each league and each sport is going to be the champion at the end of the season. I just hope it gets to be Atlanta one more time before I depart for greener pastures…. Not praying mind you because I think God has more important things on his plate than sports, but, that’s just me….

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19. November 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

We need Chipper back in the clubhouse/dugout/somewhere on the property. Make whatever title (a rose by any other name…) but he is sorely missed for his leadership. David Rossi would be my second choice.

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20. 20 Vox O'Raison November 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

MLBTR: Seattle has Brad Miller and Chris Taylor potentially available up the middle. The club also possesses interesting, MLB-ready arms like Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, each of whom would hold broad appeal.

JUp for a pitcher and a 2B. OK.

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21. 21 Vox O'Raison November 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

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22. 22 berigan2electricboogaloo November 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

(pretty sure MLBTR is on CST)
2:57pm: Seattle is interested in Upton but intends to take a look at free agent Nelson Cruz first, according to a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Can’t blame them, they don’t have to give up a prized stud pitcher either…lets hope he signs elsewhere! 🙂

Liked by 1 person

23. 23 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 7:31 am

This morning, as I look across the trade rumor landscape, I see Mr. Bowman reporting that the Braves have ramped up their attention to Yasmany Thomas, with several coaches and FOT’s attending his workout in the Dominican Republic yesterday. I also see that the Padres appear to be the Braves’ main rivals in this pursuit, but that they are also looking at a number of OF in the trade market, including Justin Upton and Dexter Fowler.

Wouldn’t it be delicious if the Braves could sign Thomas, and then trade JUp to the Fathers in a 3-way deal involving Houston where we ended up with Dexter Fowler?

Yes, I know that one was pure fantasy, but it was a nice way to start he day… 😀

Liked by 1 person

24. 24 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

The Giants have also reportedly “kicked the tires” on Justin. And you know he has maintained his offseason residence in ARI. With Seattle, Sand Diego and San Francisco being the most prominent names mentioned in the JUp sweepstakes, he may very well find himself back on the Left Coast. And that may be somewhat by design. Teams may think it easier to sign him to an extension closer to his home.

Which brings me to…

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25. 25 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

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26. 26 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 7:37 am

Again, that one lands in the “pure fantasy” camp. But it’s still a fun way to get crankin’ on this rainy Wednesday Thanksgiving Eve morning. 😀

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27. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

Good morning fellow Stuffians…. The only place where there is more spin than the White House Press room is the MLB trade boards.

There are two players currently on the Astro’s roster I would to see in a Braves’ uni. Dexter Fowler and Jose Altuve. So, what would the Braves have to give back? Both Uptons and cash? Agree to continue to pay BJ salary forever? Even after they have discarded Melvin on the scrap heap?

Just saying…. And who would the Giants offer us back? Huddy and Gregor Blanco? (There is a joke in there somewhere)… Hummmm, El Orso and his little brother Gregor????

Liked by 3 people

28. 28 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm

There are two players currently on the Astro’s roster I would to see in a Braves’ uni. Dexter Fowler and Jose Altuve.

It would take world peace and an end to third world hunger to move Altuve out of Houston. They’ll never let that kid go; he’s their Chipper Jones.

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29. 29 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

And am I seeing right that the Fish have inquired about Evan Gattis to play 1B? No way the Braves trade him within the division. No way.

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30. 30 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

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31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm

It’s going to be hard enough to beat the Marlins with that pitching staff, they just don’t want to pay Roachie….

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32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Would be a good move for Evan, other than the fact Loria would ride him like a rented mule….

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33. 33 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

they just don’t want to pay Roachie…

He’s getting paid by the ChiSox.

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34. 34 Vox O'Raison November 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I see that Ramiro Pena was outrighted to AAA Gwinnett. That’s a good thing. Although he had a down year, it’s good to retain him as depth in the minors. It’d be great if he could have a nice rebound and create a surplus at utility, too.

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35. 35 Vox O'Raison November 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

Mariners eye five cleanup options: Upton, Gattis, Cruz, Kemp, Cespedes http://cbsprt.co/11V7qKE via @cbssports

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36. 36 berigan2electricboogaloo November 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂

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37. November 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE! 😀

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38. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Yes, thankful for everyone….

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39. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Were it not for the fact the Braves feel pushed with their backs to the wall, I’m sure the Braves would be willing to give up Gattis but with having to continue to pay him whop will not be named, I think they would feel better served to trade Justin and take less of a return.

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40. 40 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 8:50 am

The elder John was on MLB radio yesterday and had a few comments in advance of the Winter Meetings that commence 1 week from today.

What he said:

– The Braves have not made one phone call on Justin Upton and do not plan to do so. Signing JUp to a multi-year contract is “not out of the realm of possibility,” but not likely.

– Jon Lester is probably the right player at the wrong time for Atlanta, as the bad contracts the Braves have to carry in Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton have affected the team’s offseason plan. Also, the Braves will not be in the market for FA’s who declined a qualifying offer, thus costing the team a draft pick.

– There are no active trade talks involving Evan Gattis and the Braves are definitely considering playing him in left field.

Translation:

+ Why should he make a phone call when a number of teams are calling him every day? John is simply taking names and considering the best offers. But he’s keeping his options open so as to maximize his asset’s value. He could possibly make a deal before they set up shop in San Diego next Monday if the price is right, but most certainly when the competitors are all together in one location. It’s just a matter of time now. Taijuan Walker ought not be renewing any apartment leases in Seattle.

+ Both the Braves and Jon Lester wish Lester could pitch his home games just mere miles from his home, but he’s gonna cost a buttload of coin and the Braves are currently pouring too much of their allocated coin down a toilet and flushing it. Plus, the BoSox are spending $$like Congress on an entitlement bill. At least we picked up the tab at dinner. + There are no active trade talks involving Evan Gattis, but it’s still early in the offseason. The Braves are definitely considering playing him in left field, but he can be had for a cheap controllable speedy contact-hitting OF and a couple of top rated prospects. Not necessarily a “king’s ransom”, but maybe a prince? Certainly an earl or a baron. It’ll have to be impressive for sure. Like 41. 41 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 9:02 am And don’t forget there is still 1 other important date before the Winter Meetings begin next week. The deadline for tendering contracts to arb eligibles is tomorrow at midnight. On the bubble for ATL is Kris Medlen. In a vacuum, I’d think it was a no-brainer that he’d be non-tendered considering it’ll be in the neighborhood of 5M for a guy coming off his 2nd TJ. But he’s Kris Medlen, and he’s shown an ability to overachieve like few others. Plus, he’s much loved in both the clubhouse and the fan community. I simply cannot get a read on this one. I’m leaning toward the tender. I do think Beachy will be tendered. He’s still pretty cheap. It may also be possible for the Braves to non-tender him, then re-sign him on a minor-league deal thus keeping a spot open on the 40-man roster. Like 42. 42 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 9:09 am Like 43. 43 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 10:53 am Well, Taijuan Walker can sign that lease now… Like 44. 44 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 10:56 am That takes the remaining FA option off the table. The suitors can now become better defined, and the bidding can become more serious. JUp is now the #1 power hitting player available. I would now expect the rumors to become more detailed as well. Like 45. 45 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 11:04 am Like 46. 46 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm Can you blame the Mariners? This way while they overpay at the end of the contract, they keep the stud young pitcher…I hope John now considers calling some folks…. Like 47. 47 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm Hart told Bowden and Duquette there are no active trade talks involving Evan Gattis and the club is toying with the idea of playing him in left field. When you hear a word like toying…they aren’t really keen on that scenario… Like 48. 48 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm Ladies and gentlemen… Shelby Miller: Liked by 1 person 49. 49 Vox O'Raison December 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm When you hear a word like toying…they aren’t really keen on that scenario… Well, he isn’t gonna win you any Gold Gloves in the OF. He’s sturdy as an oak, and about as agile. We can only hope he’ll drive in more runs than he lets in. Maybe they’re secretly hoping he’ll collide with Bossman and knock him out of action for an extended period thus invoking the payroll insurance. (Just kidding!) Liked by 1 person 50. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm Hey gang, still to come, the decision to sign or not Medlin and Beachy. Tough call for a team not named the Yankees. I still get the feeling the two Johns are shaking out the couch cushions trying to find enough lose change to make sure we fans aren’t left with a proverbial lump of coal in our stockings this winter. Oh wait, Melvin is still here…. Never mind, we already have one…. Liked by 1 person 51. 51 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2014 at 2:09 am A spring training of the braves, just a few short years ago…anyone remember these folks? http://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A12431 Like 52. 52 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 7:23 am Rosenthal: The Astros first began targeting Evan Gattis last summer. And when they asked about Gattis again early in the offseason, the Braves came back with an interesting response, according to major-league sources: Maybe, if you take B.J. Upton, too. The talks were wide-ranging, but the Braves asked for center fielder Dexter Fowler and a pitching prospect at one point and also inquired about catcher Carlos Corporan, sources said. The discussions, which one source said initially had “some legs,” could revive in a different form due to the Astros’ continued interest in Gattis. But the Braves, in their talks with the Astros, demonstrated that they will not trade Gattis unless they receive a significant benefit. Rosey’s full article is here: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/braves-to-astros-you-want-gattis-then-also-take-upton-and-his-big-contract-120114 Like 53. 53 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 7:36 am Bowman, on the prospects of Gattis in LF for 2015: The Braves can only hope that having a chance to get comfortable with the position throughout Spring Training will allow [Gattis] to prove more effective than he was when he produced a minus-10 Defensive Runs Saved in just 342 1/3 innings at the position. I suppose as long as he can drive in 100, we can put up with him letting 10 in? Ew… Like 54. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2014 at 9:11 am To be truthful, I watched almost every game Evan played in left field and some of those -10 defensive runs were because he deferred to other players on the field. I did not see him misjudge any fly balls or throw to the wrong base or air mair any throws. He would just pull up on a fly thinking Melvin or the shortstop had the ball. He has a strong arm and a propensity to learn. He could probably play first base for half the teams in the league. It is a lot easier than catching…. Maybe he is too nice, being a Zen Buddist will do that to you. He is no J-Hey in the outfield but neither are Melvin or for than matter Justin. No, but he is every bit as able as Ryan Klesko or Holiday or two dozen other guys but with a heck of a lot less attitude. He scare the heck out of most pitchers, especially since he has learned to make adjustments. He is one of the few real power hitters left in the post steroid era. I made the comment in an earlier post, the only way the Braves would part with Gattis is for someone to take Melvin off their hands at the same time. Why, because then the Braves would have the flexibility to sign someone to replace him. The can replace Melvin with just about any person who isn’t B.J.and get as must production and strike out in critical situations for a heck of a lot less money. Like 55. 55 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 10:19 am We aren’t in disagreement, Gil. If Evan can knock 30 bombs and drive in 100, he can be Ryan Klesko or Matt Holliday or any number of other boppers in LF with no clear defensive destination. I watched Travis Ishakawa butcher the position in the World Series, but I also watched him drive in some key runs that helped the Giants win a couple of their 4 World Series triumphs. Balance is good. There have been many winning teams in the game that have had some defensive liabilities but could score enough runs to overcome it. Last season, we scored about as much as a teenager on his first date. No runs + no defense = looking up at the Nats, Fish, and Mutts in 2015. (The Phillies are still gonna reside in last place. They really suck.) Now.. that said… I think it is becoming fairly clear that BJ is tied to Evan. If somebody wants Evan and his prodigious power, they’ll have to take BJ too. That’s the deal. That’s the only real hope John the Elder has of shedding the Bossman. As Rosenthal said, It equates to “paying” BJ’s money for Evan’s production and Evan’s money for BJ’s production. Short of that unlikely event, I cannot imagine a scenario that keeps Justin from being traded. But if the impossible became possible, and Evan/Bossman were to be traded for a haul like the proposed deal Rosenthal mentioned, John the Elder might see fit to try to keep Justin around for a few more years. Follow me here… The Braves will not pay both BJ’s money and Justin’s money. But if they could rid themselves of Bossman’s albatross contract, would they look to keep Justin around for a few more years? Mmmm, maybe. Why? I know Bowman was quoted as saying that both Evan and Justin could be traded, but the scenario is very unlikely to me. I see no way that John the Elder would trade both of his biggest run producers. He has been very concerned with losing “400 innings” of pitching. I’ve heard that quote many times. I would think he’d also be concerned with losing 51 HR’s (29 + 22) and 154 RBI (102 + 52) from the middle of his lineup. Even if we can achieve the goal of acquiring some hitters who are high OBP guys with speed, you still have to have run producers to drive them in. it’s part of the “balance” I mentioned earlier. (See how I brought this back around to the top?) Teams don’t have to be “great” in every phase to succeed. But they cannot be bad in too many of them. They simply need to be balanced such that their deficiencies are compensated for by their sufficiencies. That was 461 words to say this: the Braves need to score more runs than they let in. I think the 2 Johns know this too. They’ll do their best to see that we can. See it isn’t a difficult game, but it’s a really tough business. That’s why some guys wear spikes and some guys wear ties. Me? I just type alot of words to say simple things. Hmmm…. maybe I need to listen more and type less… Like 56. 56 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 10:26 am Looking toward tonight’s deadline for tendering contracts… Bowman: Because of the uncertainty surrounding his 2015 season, the Braves have discussed a two-year deal with Kris Medlen. There is also a chance the Braves could offer Medlen a one-year deal w/ an option that would be exercised if he finds some success in ’15. Steve Adams, MLBTR: By signing a two-year deal, the Braves could back-load the contract and remove some of the risk from Medlen’s recovery season — a season that historically isn’t as sharp for a pitcher as the subsequent seasons. Medlen, meanwhile, could guarantee himself more money than the 4.65MM to 5.8MM he stands to earn in 2015. An increased guarantee would hardly be insignificant for the 29-year-old Medlen, who has banked about 9.7MM in his career to this point. Like 57. 57 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm Jon Heyman: Veteran outfielder Nick Markakis, who seemed for a while to be a pretty good bet to return to the Orioles, is listening to outside offers now and said to have interest from the Braves, Blue Jays and Giants, among others. Atlanta is an interesting entry since Markakis grew up in Woodstock, Ga., went to Young Harris College and has a home in Georgia (as he does in Maryland). The Braves traded right fielder Jason Heyward and are listening to offers for another top outfielder, Justin Upton, so there definitely is room for Markakis. Not a surprise here. We kind of saw that coming when it was reported last night that he was NOT re-signing in BAL. It’s a nice fit for the Braves. MLBTR profiled him at 4 yrs / 48M. He’s a LH to help balance (there’s that word again) the RH heavy lineup. Not as much power as JUp, but slashed .276/.342/.386 in 2015 with only 84 K’s. With him in RF and Evan in LF, it would give the team nice balance in power and contact in the middle of the lineup. Like 58. 58 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm If we can get back a starting pitcher and stopgap 2B for Justin, then sign Markakis, the bulk of the roster would be in place. Still need a bench piece or 2. Like 59. 59 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm Ha ha ha ha ha!! I want this guy back in the ATL!! Like 60. 60 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm Like 61. 61 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm Like 62. 62 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm Markakis could come to ATL at a considerably lower pricetag than JHey would have… so you could end up with Markakis and Shelby Miller instead of Jason Heyward alone. Not a bad exchange IMO. Like 63. 63 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm Well now… isn’t that interesting? Like 64. 64 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm Well, the news of the evening is that the Braves non-tendered both Medlen and Beachy as well as Gus Schlosser. Bowman reports that the Braves will try to work out FA deals with both Medlen and Beachy. DOB reports that the Braves tried to strike a deal with Medlen that would guarantee him his 2014 salary of 5.8M in 2015, and a team friendly option for 2016, but Meds balked at it. I gotta say, for an offer to a guy coming off his 2nd TJ, it sounds pretty fair to me. Only one pitcher in recent memory has come back from TJ #2 to be an effective starter, and that’s Chris Capuano, not exactly David Price. Kinda surprises me a bit. I can’t see another team guaranteeing him 12M or so given he won’t even be pitching much until June, and is still an unknown. It just shows you how out of whack the business side is now. Will it ever be back in whack? Liked by 1 person 65. 65 Vox O'Raison December 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm Baltimore Sun: The Atlanta Braves have more than just casual interest in bringing free agent Nick Markakis back to Georgia. They have made a face-to-face push. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and other team representatives were in Maryland on Monday and had dinner with Markakis at a Monkton restaurant Monday night, according to a source. Like 66. 66 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 7:29 am According to Bowman the “team representative” with Fredi was John Coppolella. Like 67. 67 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 7:40 am A couple of names that might be of interest to the RBaves from the non-tender list… LHRP Wesley Wright (Cubs) and 2B Gordon Beckham (Angels). Wright had an ERA of 3.17 over 48 innings last season and K’d 37. Beckham is a former #1 pick who has not had a great career, but was more a$$ casualty than anything, much like Medlen here in ATL. He was due about $5M in arb, and the Angels are a cash strapped team straddling the luxury tax line. While he isn’t an All-Star, he might make a capable stopgap until Peraza is ready to emerge. Like 68. 68 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 7:55 am The Astros and Jays are in talks over Dexter Fowler according to JPM at FOXsports. He also says Fowler is projected to earn$9M in his last arb year. I have to admit, even though I’ve carried a torch for Fowler for a while now, I think I like Markakis as a better fit for our needs, not to mention that Fowler is in a walk year. But if the Braves could ink Markakis, he could man RF and bat leadoff, solving multiple problems. Don’t forget also that he bats LH, plays great defense, and would supply a much needed strong clubhouse presence. If they can work out the details, he would almost be a perfect fit. It would leave 2B as the last real hole on the field, and the #2 spot in the batting order as the only cloudy spot. So… the Johns must locate a veteran 2B on a 2-year deal who can make contact and not strike out alot. Must be a good bunter. Ha! Sounds like a classified ad: “Wanted: Professional 2B. Must be proficient at making contact, have average or better speed, and avoid strikeouts. Laying down a bunt is a must. Experience desired. Contact John Hart at…” I’m sure the Johns will have that sign hanging at their table in San Diego next week. 😉 Liked by 1 person 69. 69 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 7:55 am “RBaves”? 😳 Like 70. 70 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 8:01 am Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Phillies are doing “extensive homework” on the Dodgers minor league system. The teams are in talks over Cole Hamels. Think about that. Their rotation would have Kershaw, Greinke and Hamels? Ridiculous… Like 71. 71 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2014 at 11:40 am Yeah, that would be a sick rotation. And this is with new management that wanted to save some money. Can’t blame them for considering it though. Plus, if they trade Matt Kemp away, that will save some moola…. V, I like the idea of Gordon Beckham! While he has only been average, or less than the last few years, better than Uggla Last year, and is gritty. Hit .240/250, perhaps platoon(.244, vs 245 for his career, never mind) He did hit lefties a bit better last year….as I mentioned before, if fil in the blank is hitting .190, and the kid is tearing it up in May, no problem… Like 72. 72 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm I think there is a certain order of events that has to occur. #1. The Braves have to trade Justin. That’ll happen with almost complete certainty. That accomplishes a couple of things, 1st, it’ll probably bring back our 5th (not necessarily 5th in the rotation) starting pitcher. It will almost certainly bring back another good prospect. And it will open up about 14.5M to be spent on his replacement. #2. Acquire his replacement. Honestly, #1 & #2 are interchangeable since Justin will be traded. I think Nick Markakis makes the most sense of anyone I’ve heard mentioned. That signing could happen today, tomorrow or anytime leading to the Winter Meetings. In the case of Markakis, the longer we wait, the longer other teams have to up the price. The Giants immediately come to mind. #3. Find that elusive stopgap 2B. Until the first 2 things happen, we really don’t know exactly what we need or how much we have to spend on the guy. Do we need a guy who can also lead off? Do we need a 2-hole hitter? Do we need a LH or RH? For all we know, we could get the guy back in the Justin deal. Too many variables in 1 & 2. Gotta wait. #4. Take a breathe and assess the roster. After #’s 1-3, we may have all the pieces to take the field in April. Or we may still need something… bench piece or whatever. At any rate, trading Justin/acquiring his replacement is the linchpin to proceeding and really fleshing out the roster. Like 73. 73 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm Walden’s replacement? Precursor to Carp being traded? Both? Like 74. 74 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm … or just simply bullpen depth? Like 75. 75 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm Like 76. 76 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm Low risk, high ceiling signing. Looks good to me. Like 77. 77 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm Walden’s replacement… Like 78. 78 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm He had more saves than Kimbrel from 2012-2013, but had a severe dropoff last season reportedly due to control issues. All sources say there was no drop in velo (93-ish). He is a fastball/sinker guy whose sinker got up in the zone at times. Good project for Roger. Like 79. 79 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm Just heard Buster Olney on a radio interview commenting on a potential JUp trade. When asked what he thought the Braves might could get back in return, his answer was, “Alot.” Of course he did expound on that, and basically said the Braves will get a ton back because JUp’s skill set is in high demand and low supply. Pretty simple, eh? Like 80. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm VOX, Write as many words you wish, I will read them all… I agree, the Braves have to get quality for quality and lots of it. They still have to make up for Justin’s run production. Like 81. 81 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm Braves To Sign Nick Markakis By Jeff Todd [December 3, 2014 at 5:15pm CST] The Braves have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. He will be guaranteed 44MM in the pact, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Like 82. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm Gil’ baseball primer to pitching miladies… 1. Sudden loss in velocity = elbow problems 2. Sudden loss in control = shoulder problems 3. Sudden loss in confidence = head case 4. Keeps shaking off catcher’s signs = see #3 above 5. Can’t see catcher’s signs = needs new glasses or in Atlanta, needs better lighting behind him 6. Gives up a lot of ground ball hits = Needs better infielders or possibly a positioning coach. 7. Gives up a lot of uneraned runs = needs better players behind him 8. Gives up a lot of homeruns = pitches in the PCL or American League 9 Gives up a lot of long homeruns = need to find a new profession*….. Note* I hear Lowes is always looking for window installers I forgot about things like hanging curveballs etc because of lack of grip… needs to find a better place to hide the pine tar…. The bill of the cap appears to be the location of choice in today’s game… Liked by 1 person 83. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm Good signing by the Braves, now, for the BIG shoe to drop! Like 84. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm Braves kind of forced to part with Justin now but it’s not like they have a gun to their head to do it. Lots of things can happen between now and opening day. I cannot understand Medlen’s mind set, does he really think he is going to get a offer from a west coast team? Risky business betting on a player after three elbow surgeries being the charm. Makes it easy for the Braves to move on methinks…. Like 85. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm Markasis takes care of finding a lead off hitter as well Like 86. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm Now, a number hitter two who can play second….. I was thinking the Braves might bring up Peraza to play 2nd base and be the designated rookie this season but the Braves have Bethencourt (is he still a rookie?)to fill that role…. It’s the “Braves way” but they do not like playing two rookies full time… Liked by 1 person 87. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm Prado been DFA by the Yankees yet? Liked by 1 person 88. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm Marteen would just the kind of positive influence this Braves’ clubhouse needs…. Like 89. 89 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm Love love love the Markakis signing. He’s a great fit here. And it shows one other very important thing… … to the ATL fans: they aren’t “rebuilding” and they aren’t sacrificing 2015 to get ready for 2017. Great job Johns!! Like 90. 90 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm Marteen would be perfect. Like 91. 91 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm And they are working my plan out nicely. Next step: trade Justin. Like 92. 92 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm Like 93. 93 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:33 pm Hmmm… the Mariners just dealt their LF to the Jays for a pitcher. That leaves a big ol’ hole in their lineup. Isn’t that interesting? Like 94. 94 Vox O'Raison December 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm I’ll take his word for it. 🙂 Liked by 2 people 95. 95 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 7:40 am Like 96. 96 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 7:41 am Kohn 2015 = Schlosser 2014 Like 97. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2014 at 10:00 am I actually like the Markakis signing a lot. I get a lot of info on Baltimore from the local press here in Richmond being in the Orioles/Nationals Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere… I hope you history buffs caught that… Anyhoo… Markakis poorer number of late have been due to injuries beyond his control. I do not expect he will be a power hitter in Atlanta because the fences are deeper but he is a contact guy and the Braves new hitting coach is going to love the guy…. To be honest, he is the kind of guy Frank Wren should have signed when he tabbed Melvin to be the second coming of Murphy… Reasonable money, the guy is no spring chicken and certainly no Jason Heyward but he will suffice. After all, I don’t think the Giants had all that great of a defensive outfield either…. What they did have was a team full of baseball players. Now, I’m sure the Braves know they have a big bargaining chip in Justin Upton but they also know that at best, he will only be in an Atlanta uni for one more season at best, I’m sure they wish the same were true for his big brother and if they could get them to swap contracts among themselves, well, that would happen when pigs really do fly…. Now, pick up a slick second baseman who can hit in the two hole and 95% of this team will be done. Still spring training to see if someone will shine through. Not just fatten up on sacrificial pitching but can show a propensity for hitting the ball hard somewhere. Which brings me to a final note on Dan Uggla…. That is the sadness of it all. Dan was constantly being robbed on hard hit balls. but the game has changed…. The computer has changed defensive alignments to the point that they are akin to “counting cards” in Vegas…. They cry out for guys to realize that opposing teams feel it’s a victory to keep the guys with real power to a single. There is a reason for the intentional walk. But Dan was too hard headed to understand there were many hits in right field. He had Andruw Jones syndrome of being a dead pull hitter. And to boot, there was no one to pick him up batting behind him in the line up…. Just a bunch of free swinging, all or nothings who allowed opposing pitchers to wiggle out of more bases loaded, no out situations than should be statistically possible. Baseball is a simple game but at the same time, it is a complicated game with so many possibilities on any given play. The real secret is being able to cut down on those and increase the probabilities in your favor to have a chance to win 6 out of every 10 games. The skill part of the game is sometimes God give at birth and simply polished a bit or it is learned by hard work and repetition until you are good enough but the mental part is different. It is rare the baseball player who has both. Once in a generation player they are….. Sometimes even rarer than that but they do happen, in the meantime, the best you can hope for is to have a club full of “baseball players” . A team full of superstars is no guarantee. It might improve your odds but they can still roll snake eyes every so often too. Like 98. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2014 at 10:01 am Whew, Savannah Guy would have been proud of that one eh? Liked by 1 person 99. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2014 at 10:14 am And speaking of “old guys” Like toes are not to be trifled with,(JJS) methinks, (Bob The Journalist) that being able to give a thumbs up is an important ability for anyone trying to grip a baseball bat. From hammock bones to displaced phalanges, every digit has an important role to play when it comes to hitting. Same goes for pitchers who open a blister… being able to get a good grip on the situation is a vital skill set to play the sport…. At least if you don’t mind being 20 games under .500 and out of it by May 1st. Like 100. 100 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 11:40 am Like 101. 101 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 11:43 am Even though Markakis hit leadoff last season, I think he’s a better #2 if we can still obtain a #1… or if Peraza can impress in ST. At any rate, he’ll be the #2 when Peraza finally gets here. My preference now is to find a stopgap 2B that can also lead off for this year. Hmmm… who might be available? Like 102. 102 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm I am hearing alot of chatter on the radio today where people are blasting the Nick Markakis signing and comparing him directly with Jason Heyward. I’m gonna put it this way… the 2 players are very different, and very difficult to compare; but I cannot see where Jason is head and shoulders above Markakis. He’s younger, by alot. He’s spectacular. But Markakis has been the epitome of consistent. And his plate discipline is far ahead of Jason. But that’s really not the point. You cannot look at those 2 players in a vacuum. There’s much more in the picture. Simply put, the Braves are better today than they were on October 1. Shelby Miller + Nick Markakis > Jason Heyward Period. And let’s not forget that the minor league system is improved with Tyrell Jenkins. Now whatever else they may do will determine if the 2015 results will be better than 2014, but one thing is certain: The team has not taken a step back. Liked by 2 people 103. 103 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm Heh heh… Liked by 1 person 104. 104 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm I just took a look at the Braves 40-man roster. (Why? I don’t know why. I just do that kind of thing from time to time.) Of the 17 position players on the 40-man roster, not even the active roster, the Braves have only 4 LH bats. That is seriously out of balance, folks. Like 105. 105 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm OK… in the spirit of fairness, i just noticed there are 3 SH in that group. Still fairly LH heavy, as was the active roster. I am pondering projecting a 25-man roster based on the current players as of today, but it would be kinda wonky until Justin is traded. Plus, we’re still a starter short. Still… if I get an itch, I may scratch it. Like 106. 106 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm this is what I thought of immediately after seeing the Rome Braves new logo…is it what I was supposed to think of???? Liked by 1 person 107. 107 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm Like 108. 108 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm Like 109. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm One thing for sure, the Braves would not have been able to sign J-Hey for 11 million a year for the next 4 years… They won’t be able to sign Justin for less than 20 million per year either. Put him a line up where he has some protection and he can do some serious damage. VOX, not saying Nick would be my preferred lead off guy, just saying you can put him there and do okay. Far too many players in the big leagues these days are homer happy with warning track power… AKA Willy Mays Hayes syndrome.. A lead off guy has to be the ultimate “team” player methinks. Sure, you can ambush a pitcher once in a while but you really have to be a contact guy who is wiling to let his team mates see everything a pitcher has in his arsenal. Having a guy who is going to swing at the first pitch a lot will not help the team from that point in the line up. Like 110. 110 Vox O'Raison December 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm Like 111. 111 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2014 at 8:52 am Imagine being a Oriole fan, and losing Nelson Cruz and Nick Mar..umm, Nicky M in the same offseason? Another billionaire owner that acts like he and his team are barely squeakin’ by….. Like 112. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 9:24 am I was surprised the Braves did not re-sign Beachy, mucho difference between him and Meds. Much cheaper, only second TJ. Oh well, I am not the one behind the curtain pulling the levers…. Baltimore has always had a love hate relationship between its fans and the team owners. Thing is, Baltimore needs pitching more than hitting as evident with the money they gave Ubalda. A sing of desperation…. I’ll bet they are one of the teams interested in Beachy. Like 113. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 9:28 am Cruz was a bargain basement buy for the O’s who was trying to show it was not just the kick a poo joy juice responsible for for his power. Like 114. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 9:29 am A sing of desperation or sign… could go either way on that… Liked by 2 people 115. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 9:45 am On the new Rome Logo… I don’t know if it is in deference to Jordan Schafer (remember Ross’s nickname for the rookie when he showed up wearing his minor league batting helmet?) or Marvin the Martian himself…. Like 116. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 9:46 am Their may yet have a trademark infringement fight before it’s all over…. Like 117. 117 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 10:09 am Bowman: When teams have shown interest in [Evan] Gattis or Justin Upton, the Braves have at least checked to see if they could package B.J. in the deal. But needless to say, there haven’t been too many teams interested enough in one of those two sluggers to assume the 46.4 million B.J. is owed over the next three years. There is still a possibility that the Braves might be able to find a club willing to swap bad contracts, but it seems as though Atlanta’s best hope is that B.J. starts to show some signs of life while working with new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer this year. I think that I may be to the point that I’m done wasting so much negativity on the Braves CF. He is what he is, and he’ll either continue to be that, or he’ll improve under the leadership of a more capable hitting coach. My blathering about him and refusal to even mention his name – B.J. Upton – does nothing to help either him or me. In fact, I don’t much care for some of the things I’ve said about him, and for that I am sorry. So henceforth, I’m hoping and praying for a “bounce back” year of average productivity. not Comeback Player of the Year, just a simple return to semi-productiveness. Maybe a rise from #8 to #7 in the batting order. Just some improvement, regardless of how much or how little. I don’t think he’s tradeable, so I might as well accept that he’s a part of my team. MY team. He’s… gulp… one of mine. So here’s to you, B.J.! Here’s hoping and praying that you have a revival in 2015! Go get ’em Bossman! Liked by 1 person 118. 118 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm Who was the last to wear that number in ATL? Like 119. 119 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm That would be his predecessor in RF, Jason Heyward. Not sure that was such a brilliant idea, but it’s his preference, so… Like 120. 120 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm Heh heh… Like 121. 121 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm OK… so today’s news, if you haven’t heard, is regarding Nick’s neck. (And perhaps henceforth, I will call him Neck Markakis… haven’t decided yet.) He has been playing with a slightly herniated disc in his neck for 2 seasons. After consulting with Atlanta doctors, they have encouraged him to have surgery on it now. The recovery time is 12 weeks… or just in time to be ready for Spring Training. He says he’s played with it for a couple of seasons, but is likely to have the surgery since the docs think it’s a good idea. Nothing to freak out about, but the detractors are going to make a big noise about this. Personally, I’m glad he’s getting it taken care of. Think Huddy from 3 years ago and the relief and rejuvenation he had after his back surgery. Playing through pain is brave and all, but not always smart. Liked by 1 person 122. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm Be afraid Nick… be very afraid…. Of course, he has the option of having some of the best surgeons in the world instead of having to pick a bargain basement wannabe…. Oh well, the good news is after only two weeks, (Use to take two days) Miss Josie and I are ready for the grand illumination of tacky Christmas lights tonight. We have been changing over from incandescent to LEDs as we have found them available after Christmas each year. At least now VaPower will no longer have to add an extra generator just for our little house. It’s our present to the neighborhood each year. When we first moved here in 2002, it was a lot like Pottersville as far as the Christmas esprit was concerned but it has caught on and the neighborhood have become a bit more festive. Goes to show you, one (or two) person(s) can make a difference. You just have to be persistent. Okay, I get you VOX, BJ is a lot like the crazy uncle you have to invite for Christmas dinner…. You just deal with it…. Liked by 2 people 123. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm Of course it does not mean you make sure you sit next to him at the table….. Like 124. 124 Vox O'Raison December 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm Okay, I get you VOX, BJ is a lot like the crazy uncle you have to invite for Christmas dinner…. You just deal with it… Uncle BJ. It has a nice ring to it. 😀 Liked by 1 person 125. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm Say CL, don’t we have a birthday of sorts coming up? Like 126. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE B&S… Cracking wise since 2007… Wow…. longer than many marriages…. Liked by 3 people 127. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2014 at 8:42 am And to think, done without ads, only the love of the game. Surviving the loss of many but I think the front office still listens…. 🙂 Liked by 2 people 128. 128 Vox O'Raison December 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm Interesting. There are some nice FA pitchers out there… Like 129. December 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm Simmons Defensive Player of the Year! Liked by 2 people 130. 131 Vox O'Raison December 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm So, according to Jon Heyman, the Braves are showing some interest in Stephen Drew for 2B. Good example of John Hart thinking outside the box we’re used to. Speaking of John Hart, John Coppolella had the following to say to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com about his new teacher and mentor: “It comes down to who John is as a person and an executive, He’s a family man who, by nature, is energetic and engaging. He’s not only willing to empower others, but he’s extremely loyal to his people. However, don’t let the fun and loyalty confuse anything — he’s highly intelligent, has almost unparalleled experience and is extremely adept at reading situations and people.” Like 131. 132 Vox O'Raison December 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm Like 132. 133 Vox O'Raison December 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm Notice the original tweet to whom DOB replied… from none other than Kris Medlen. Glad he is still showing a keen interest in the Braves’ roster. I’d say that is a good sign that he could still return to the fold. Like 133. 134 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm The Braves have interest in Stephen Drew as a possibility at second base, according to Heyman. 300 AB’s last year… BA??? .162. 32 in March. Scott Borass client. Brother of J.D. Drew. No…next! Like 134. 135 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm As V posted above… 😛 Anyways…I’m sure he’d be a good defender, but he’s made of glass like his brother. Just give Gosslen a chance. I bet he could hit better than .162 over a full season Like 135. 136 Vox O'Raison December 7, 2014 at 10:15 pm Oh I don’t know, Ber… on a 1 year deal, keeping 2B warm for Jose Peraza, it might not be such a bad thing. Drew’s profile is here: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/free-agent-profile-stephen-drew-2.html Like 136. 137 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 7:48 am And here we go. The real fun starts today. Some speculate that the Braves could wait until Spring to address some of their needs (2B, BUC, SP, bench, etc.), but I’ll bet the house that they address multiple needs in a JUp trade, and I see no way that JUp is a Brave after this week. Too much demand, and too many guys all together. If John Hart leaves with Justin still in the fold, it’s because he’s too greedy, and I just don’t get that read from him. He’s too smart to let that happen. Teams to look out for: Padres, Reds, Rangers, Mariners… kind of in that order. Reds are my dark horse team because they want Justin so badly. (Can you imagine Justin’s power in the Great American Smallpark?) Problem is, they don’t match well with us in our needs. Some national pundit – Heyman maybe? – speculates that the Reds will try to find a 3rd team to make it happen. Chances are it’ll be some team not on my list. 🙂 I look for something to happen sooner than later since Justin is THE hot hitter on the block. Many teams may be waiting for that shoe to drop before they act… Like 137. 138 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 7:53 am John Hart, via DOB: “I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I said we’re not taking a look at ’17, But we haven’t made a move yet that would give anybody any reason to think that we’re even considering doing a strip-down… If you weren’t convinced before [Nick Markakis signed], we’re certainly paying attention to ’15 and ’16 as well as keeping an eye on ’17.” Like 138. 139 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 10:35 am <i.I’ll bet the house that they address multiple needs in a JUp trade, and I see no way that JUp is a Brave after this week. I just re-read that. I need to qualify it. Should make John the Elder away an offer for Gattis that he cannot refuse, I think the Braves keep Justin. I still think the odds favor Justin over Gatt, though. Like 139. 140 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 10:37 am Yikes! 😯 Missed my html coding there. Here’s the redo: I’ll bet the house that they address multiple needs in a JUp trade, and I see no way that JUp is a Brave after this week. I just re-read that. I need to qualify it. Should make John the Elder away an offer for Gattis that he cannot refuse, I think the Braves keep Justin. I still think the odds favor Justin over Gatt, though. Like 140. 141 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 10:56 am Like 141. 142 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 10:57 am If that is true and they are on fact prioritizing a 2B, with no mention of another OF, then it indicates they are in fact ready to deploy Gattis to LF. Like 142. 143 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 11:37 am Reading through a few reports, it looks like the Padres and Dodgers are close to hooking up on a deal that will send Matt Kemp to SD. That, of course, would remove the Fathers from the JUp sweepstakes. It also appears that the Mariners are leaning toward signing Melky as a FA. And of course, that’s the danger of John waiting too long to make the best deal he can gin up. At some point he begins to lose suitors and Jup’s value will begin to drop. Not there yet, but I hope JH doesn’t wait too long. Strike while the iron is hot! Like 143. 144 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 11:55 am I find it interesting that Sherman lists the Royals as a suitor for JUp. They have a huge need for a RF (if you look at their official depth chart, Lorenzo Cain is playing both CF and RF simultaneously. While he is a talented dude, he ain’t that talented.) I have scoured the landscape this morning and cannot find a single player they are willing to trade. They do have a couple of very interesting pitchers in Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy, but reportedly aren’t willing to part with either. How do yo make a trade when you have nothing to trade? Strike those guys off the list. Like 144. 145 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2014 at 11:55 am From yesterday on MLBTR Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports the Mariners were close to a deal for Kemp with Seattle paying roughly half of the 107 million remaining on his salary over the next five years, but things fell apart when the Dodgers insisted on the inclusion of either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. In a second article, Dutton lists the Padres and the Orioles as the Mariners’ primary competition for Kemp, with Shaikin adding the Giants are a possibility, if they fail to sign Chase Headley. With Nelson Cruz now in Seattle, Dutton opines the Mariners’ interest in Kemp will depend on what other offers the Dodgers receive. Those other offers may not be to the Dodgers’ liking, as Shaikin notes the Braves (Justin Upton and Evan Gattis), Red Sox (Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig), and Phillies (Marlon Byrd) also have right-handed power bats available to trade. Sounds like the Mariners are not going to part with Taijuan Walker, cuz to get Matt Kemp, at half his salary and not make the deal, how can the braves get them to pony up for just one year of Justin? Like 145. 146 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2014 at 11:59 am Hey, if you just want to keep 2nd base warm…I know a way to get a 2nd baseman that literally won’t cost the team a cent, and he has proven he can hit around .160……………… Dan Uggla! 😆 Liked by 1 person 146. 147 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm The Indians are close to getting Brandon Moss from the A’s. That’ll take the Indians out of the market. Like 147. 148 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm Heyman: The Braves believe they should get more for Justin Upton than they got from the Cardinals for Jason Heyward. Rival executives agree with that. Upton, due to better power and overall offense, is worth more than Heyward. But here’s the problem: Executives also believe the Braves got too much for Heyward, a defensive specialist whose offensive numbers are declining a bit. They see young pitcher Shelby Miller as an overpay, so no one wants to do better than that yet. The Mariners declined to include Taijuan Walker (who interestingly was offered two years ago for Upton), and the Orioles won’t give up Kevin Gausman. So the Braves will continue to see what’s out there. Like 148. 149 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm We’ve extolled the virtues of Shelby Miller here ad nauseum. I still don’t understand all the detractors on that deal. And wait until Tyrell Jenkins matures a little more. He’s gonna be something. Like 149. 150 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm Keep your eyes on Melky. Reportedly, he’s the only other option from JUp for Seattle, and if he signs somewhere else, Seattle may meet ATL’s asking price of Taijuan Walker. Like 150. 151 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm According to Bowman, sources tell him that the Braves have assumed a very aggressive stance. Names being mentioned are JUp (of course), Gattis (by others) as well as Pastornicky and Varvaro. Like 151. 152 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm And we have a clear difference of opinion. But he is the professional, so I will defer. Like 152. 153 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm V, I just can’t see the Mariners giving up so much for a one year guy…granted, they could sign him to an extension, but I am sure J Up is hoping to have a monster year (40 HR’s 110 + RBIs’) then be a free agent and get to go anywhere. Melky Cabrera is not J Up, but they get to keep their stud arm if they sign him. He still hit .301 with 16 HR’s and drove in 73 last year. (4 HR’s 42 RBI’s .255 as a 25 year old in the ATL, sigh 😦 ) If they wouldn’t give up Walker for 5 years of Matt Kemp at about 10 Mil a year, why give him up for Upton? Doesn’t make sense. And, as we know, with a barren Minor league system, we don’t have much to sweeten the pot with… Like 153. 154 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm Interesting. According to MLBTR: The Red Sox have outrighted second baseman Jemile Weeks, the club announced. He has cleared waivers, allowing the Sox to open a 40-man spot while maintaining control of Weeks. He is a 27-year-old switch-hitter who saw only minimal MLB action last year. He has struggled at the big league level since a promising start to his career with the Athletics. But he posted a .280/.392/.391 slash over 257 Triple-A plate appearances last year, and he remains interesting as a high-OBP/low-strikeout option at second. Maybe a guy to take a cheap flyer on? Remember, he’s only a place holder anyway… Liked by 1 person 154. 155 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm Nah.. never mind. Nothing to see here. Move on along… Like 155. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm Way to sneak that one in there Ber…. Of course, Drew is a better defender. On the continuing J-Up saga, While it would be nice to get the distraction out of the way, I’m thinking with the Braves already spending so much for Uggla and BJ, being able to trade J-Up gives them a heck of a lot more flexibility than trading Gattis. Even with a nice return, the Braves have still got to pay the bills. With the emergence of Miami and their nice stable of young arms and the Mets making their return with a nice staff, The Braves are going to be hard pressed to compete for even a wild card spot with the Nationals clearly the front runners for the division title. The two Jonhs might pull off a bit of a miracle but as long as uncle BJ is the opposing pitching staffs can spot him as their go to guy for an out, there may not be enough protection in the line up after there are two outs. Still, stranger things have happened, just look at the ’89 Mets…. Liked by 1 person 156. 157 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm Like 157. 158 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm Padres have pitching, Rangers have IF’s, Orioles have… uh, lemme see… Like 158. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm I guess the real question is what the heck happened to the Braves farm system? Did Liberty withhold the cash necessary to support the staff needed for scouting and development? Like 159. 160 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm Well it appears that the O’s have a LHSP named Wei-Yin Chen that was a 16 game winner in 2014, and like JUp is 1 year away from FA. Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun: The Orioles have received “major interest” in teams that wish to deal for left-handed starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. The Orioles are keeping an open mind, even though they are not actively shopping the 29-year-old. The Taiwanese native had his 4.75 million team option for 2015 exercised by Baltimore in October. The lefty went 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA over 31 games and 185.2 innings pitched in 2014 with Baltimore. Chen owned a 1.228 WHIP and only gave up 1.7 walks per nine innings. He held a 1.8 WAR. Chen has a 35-24 record with a 3.86 ERA since coming over to the United States. He has pitched in 515.1 innings and 86 games, he started every one of them. I would think the O’s would have to add a player to make it work, but it’s intriguing. Like 160. 161 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm Orioles have…2 holes to fill in their lineup! 😛 Like 161. 162 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm I guess the real question is what the heck happened to the Braves farm system? Did Liberty withhold the cash necessary to support the staff needed for scouting and development? By all accounts, Frank was a control-starved micro-manager. Because of that, he ran off all the great scouts and directors the Braves had put in place through their golden years. Notice that the Johns brought back many, and replaced several others. Because of too many years with poor direction, the farm system that nurtured the likes of David Justice, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Brian McCann and so many others now offers us Todd Cunningham, Joe Leonard, Joey Terdoslavich and Cody Martin. Liked by 1 person 162. 163 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm <i.Orioles have…2 holes to fill in their lineup! 2 bigguns, too. They lost both Markakis and Cruz. JUp would go a long way toward filling one. Not sure they have what JH wants, though. Chen sounds decent, but the Johns want younger controllable pitching. Seems everyone says the same thing… young SP and 2B. Can’t peg a team that has both, but a few that have one or the other. Still, SD and TEX seem the most logical at the moment. Like 163. 164 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm Orioles have…2 holes to fill in their lineup! 2 bigguns, too. They lost both Markakis and Cruz. JUp would go a long way toward filling one. Not sure they have what JH wants, though. Chen sounds decent, but the Johns want younger controllable pitching. Seems everyone says the same thing… young SP and 2B. Can’t peg a team that has both, but a few that have one or the other. Still, SD and TEX seem the most logical at the moment. Like 164. 165 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm Man, the html bug has my number today… Like 165. 166 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm The Rangers are apparently listening on Jurickson Profar, a former #1 prospect in all of baseball who missed all of 2014 with a torn muscle in his shoulder. That’s a guy who could play 2B until Peraza arrives, then push CJohn at 3B. I like that one… Like 166. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm I’m pretty certain any ML team interested in Evan Gattis would plug him into their line up a a first baseman or DH in the case of an AL team. The thing about Gattis is his high ceiling at such a bargain basement price. I cannot see comparable talent coming back other than pitching. Trouble is, the Braves are not scoring many runs as it is, How many no hit shutout can a team to be reasonably expected to hurl in a season? Like 167. 168 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm Sounds as if TEX is asking alot for Profar, as they should. He does come with some concerns over shoulder injury, but it was a torn muscle and not ligaments, tendons or cuff. As long as he passes a physical, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Of course, the media backlash in ATL, which is strangely selective, would probably be pretty strong with Markakis’ neck revelation. But if JH is trying to fill 2 holes with 1 JUp, he likely won’t do it with TEX. Like 168. 169 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm Gil, I don’t see the Braves trading Gattis. I really don’t. I think he’ll probably get 1-2 starts behind the plate a week, and another 3-4 in LF. CBeth has never caught more than 108 games in a season, and won’t catch a full season next year. And as you said… the budget conscious Braves have a greater asset by keeping him. Like 169. 170 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm Baseball America: Dian Toscano, a 25-year-old Cuban outfielder, has agreed to sign a major league contract with the Braves. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately available. Toscano, who is around 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, is a lefthanded hitter with good bat control and strike-zone awareness. He never played on the Cuban national team, so he wasn’t a player scouts saw much of before he left the island. Playing for Villa Clara in Serie Nacional, Toscano batted .356/.400/.452 in 86 plate appearances with eight walks and eight strikeouts in 2012-13, his last season in Cuba. The year before, Toscano hit .287/.438/.380 with 35 walks and 16 strikeouts. He hit just three home runs that year and never showed much power in Cuba, though he’s in significantly better shape and has increased his strength since leaving Cuba. He was a left fielder for Villa Clara, and he’s expected to stay there in pro ball because of his lack of arm strength, though he runs well enough that he could see some time in center field. OK, if you count Gattis as an OF, and with JUp is traded, there is still an extra guy somewhere. Gattis (LF), Uncle BJ (CF), Markakis (RF), Zoilo Almonte (4th OF) and this new guy? Would they carry 5 OF? I doubt it, unless they would consider Gattis as a sort of 3rd catcher, in which case they wouldn’t replace Doumit. That does make some sense. Like 170. 171 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm OK… clarity. Same goes for Almonte. So one would likely open the season in Gwinnett and be available if needed in ATL. Wow. Been a while since we had a MLB capable backup in AAA. Like 171. 172 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 6:32 pm Like 172. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm So, which is correct, has or has not signed? Like 173. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm Wonder if he would consider a move to 2nd base? Like 174. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm No Pruig but you have to trust your scouts. Perhaps it portends another deal involving Gattis. Like 175. 176 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm Like 176. 177 Vox O'Raison December 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm Gil, I believe it is truly a move to beef up the OF depth, and to have a guy who has alot of upside. It seems he will need some time in the upper minors anyway. Like 177. 178 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2014 at 12:16 am Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego: The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Like 178. 179 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 7:55 am Interesting indeed, especially since we do not have another MLB-ready 3B option available. Kyle Kubitza is at least another year away, and maybe 2. Deifinitely some irons in the fire that we are not privy to. And that’s OK. Like 179. 180 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 7:56 am “Deifinitely”? How about “definitely”… Like 180. 181 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 7:57 am is it just me, or is this week (every year) just completely exciting? I’m like a kid at Christmas who cannot wait to open his presents. So if I overwhelm the ol’ B&S with posts, understand that I can hardly contain myself. 😀 it’s why I can’t type correctly or set up the html correctly. I’m just too excited to hit “Post Comment”. 😀 Liked by 2 people 181. 182 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 8:02 am Feel better, Gil? I still maintain that he can be had, but teams are going to have to give us something better in return, like a couple of the top rated pitchers from Texas which they won’t do. As someone called it yesterday, it’s a “long shot to be a long shot.” And if someone were to blow us away with a deal like that, which would set us up in another area for league minimum, then we could afford to keep JUp and not lose the HR’s and RBI. Big chess match, it is. (Sound a little like Yoda.) Liked by 2 people 182. 183 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 8:12 am I wish he’d hurry and sign somewhere. Melky, the last real impact bat in the FA market, has to settle somewhere before teams will get serious about the trade market. Every team that is a presumed suitor for Justin is also looking into Melky. As soon as he’s off the board, John’s cell phone will start blowing up. Like 183. 184 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 10:00 am JUp will be traded by tomorrow evening… Liked by 1 person 184. 185 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 10:03 am Like 185. 186 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 10:25 am Just pure speculation on my part, but Hart has said that moving salary (JUp) would give the Braves the ability to add a higher FA. I wonder if the Braves are shopping CJohnson with an eye toward Chase Headley, the switch-hitting 3B? Headley is only 2 seasons removed from a 31HR, 115 RBI season in SD. 20/80 is probably more the norm, but wouldn’t that be nice in ATL?

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186. 187 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

.. or the cheaper Jed Lowrie, another SH 3B. 15/70 is likely his expectation.

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187. 188 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

Either of those would fit the mold of higher OBP, fewer K kinda guys.

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188. 189 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 11:04 am

Now… here’s a question I want to pose… just for the sake of asking. Please don’t skewer me for asking…

If TEX offered up P Alex Gonzalez, P Jake Thompson and OF Nomar Mazara (Texas’ 5th, 6th and 10th rated prospects respectively, and a huge haul) for Evan Gattis, (and in the process, JH took JUp off the market), would you be OK with it?

Thompson is probably ready to take the 5th starter role now. Rodriguez is still a couple of years away, and Mazara could be ready to step into LF when JUp leaves after 2015. Mazara is a big strong power hitting kid who Texas is probably not keen to part with. For that matter, they have pretty much made Thompson untouchable. But if they wanted Gattis bad enough to offer up the proverbial “king’s ransom”, would you be OK with it?

I know we’ve mentioned that in general terms, but I wanted to assign some real players to it to make the exercise complete.

As for me…

If I got that haul back, and was assured of JUp being back for 2015, I’d do it. In a heartbeat.

Even if it were altered to remove one of Thompson or Rodriguez and include IF Jurickson Profar, I’d do it. In fact, I might want that more. Profar could man 2B this season and 3B after Peraza arrives.

Again, it’s a “king’s ransom”. But that’s what I’d want for Gattis. And honestly, in this year’s market, Gatt might could bring one back.

Let’s just look a this for 2015:

1- Markakis, RF (L)
2- Simba, SS (R)
3- Free, 1B, (L)
4- JUp, LF (R)
5- CJohn, 3B (R)
6- Profar, 2B (S)
7- CBeth, C (R)
8- Uncle BJ, CF (R)

Rotation:
SMiller (R)
JTeheran (R)
AWood (L)
MMinor (L)
JThompson (R)

Not too shabby, folks. Not shabby at all.

2016:
1- Peraza, 2B (R)
2- Markakis, RF (L)
3- Free, 1B, (L)
4- Mazara, LF (L)
5- Profar, 3B (S)
6- CBeth, C (R)
7- Simba, SS (R)
8- Uncle BJ, CF (R)

Rotation:
SMiller (R)
JTeheran (R)
AWood (L)
JThompson (R)
Gonzalez (R)

Better.

Liked by 1 person

189. 190 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

OK… I realize I just made a big mistake and included Gonzalez for 2016 along with Thompson, Mazara and Profar. That is a king’s ransom and his first born.

Take Gonzalez out of the 2016 rotation and insert Tyrell Jenkins, whom I was thinking of (but still had TEX on the brain.)

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190. 191 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 11:54 am

My prediction:

JUp to San Diego for P Ian Kennedy and young 2B, 3B, LF Alexi Amarista.

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191. 192 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

Oops… make that young 2B, 3B, CF Alexi Amarista.

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192. 193 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

Let him and Zoilo duke it out in Spring for the 4th OF spot. I love a good competition. 🙂

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193. 194 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm

And on this day in 2014, Jon Lester will choose from the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and Bosox for a deal believed to be around 6yr / $150M. My how things have changed. Like 194. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm VOX, I still blame my spelling errors on the Diet Coke I spilled on/in my keyboard. Santa has a new one on here list…. I can hardly keep up with all the possible trade possibilities. It really comes down to being able to assess talent and being able to take the long view of things. Something the Yankees never did very well but had enough money to overcome those short comings. I still have a bitter taste from the Texieria trade. It would be nice to get that type of return for J-Up but I am pretty sure they teach that type of bad trade in GM school 101…. Whenever I think of scouts, I cannot help but think about Clint Eastwood’s “Trouble With The Curve”… One can understand why the Braves were the featured team in that movie. Pretty sure they were able to use the organization as a perfect example of what hubris brings you. I am certain Texas will be good again this year. One should realize they were playing with their triple A club last season due to all the injuries. I expect them to be back near the top again in 2015. As for the Braves, boy, every line up you post still has Uncle Melvin in it…. It is nauseating… What was Frank thinking when he signed him? Anyway, the Braves are close to being in rebuild mode. It is really reasonable for them to think they can win the division over the Nationals who’s only major change in their line up is the loss of Roachie at first and moving in Zimmerman across the diamond to play first base? I like Chris Johnson, I blame the Braves for taking him out of his comfort zone and trying to make him something he is not. When one thinks of the late great Tony Gwen, it is not his power he was known for, it was his ability to put the ball in play. Something Chris forgot how to do while trying to hit 500 foot 5 run homers. I still think a shock collar would do wonders for uncle Melvin and Chris too. Liked by 1 person 195. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm Yes Vox, and in 1992, I was bit..ing about having to pay$1.00 a gallon for gasoline….. For us old guys, I try to put things in prospective of what it used to cost vs what it cost now. Bread was 10 cents a loaf and 30 cents a gallon. McDonalds hamburgers were 15 cents each. I was making $1.10 an hour flipping burgers…. In 1968. In 1992 was was doing a little better but having to work three jobs and that was pretty tough to do when you work rotating shifts. The one thing about Maddux, He never complained he made too little money and could have made more if he had signed with the Yankees. So, I take it all with a gain of salt, although it gaulds me whenever I think of uncle Melvin making more than the hotdog vendor at Turner Field. At least the hot dog guy give you something back for your money and for the most part, is more entertaining…. Liked by 1 person 196. 197 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm Nothing to write home about. Fairly mediocre bat to man 2B until Jose Peraza is ready… maybe in June or July? As Jeff Todd stated: Callaspo, 31, is a switch-hitter but struggled from both sides of the plate last year. His .223/.290/.290 slash over 451 plate appearances was obviously well below-average. But Callaspo has produced at an average to slightly-above-average clip in recent seasons, and Atlanta may have cause to believe that he’ll return to that level. Maybe, maybe not. Cheap place holder and nothing else. In fact, it almost signals that Peraza will get his chances earlier than later. Like 197. 198 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm Between this and Callaspo, it blows my JUp to SD assertion out of the water. Oh, well… If SD gets their guy from LA, and SEA gets Melky, who’s left in the JUp sweepstakes? TEX and BAL. Suitors dropping off the table. C’mon John, get ‘er done! Like 198. 199 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 1:47 pm He’s not what he used to be and wears a bad contract. Callaspo is a better option, and that isn’t saying much. Like 199. 200 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm DOB on Alberto Callaspo: He gives the Braves a utility infielder to replace Ramiro Pena, who struggled in 2014 and recently elected to become a free agent after getting dropped from the 40-man roster last month. But Callaspo also gives the Braves a bridge at second base until Peraza reaches the majors, which could be as soon as early in 2014, though the team will probably have him get more time in the minor leagues for at least part of the season. In nine seasons with four teams, Callaspo has a .267 average, .330 OBP, .700 OPS and 228 extra-base hits (51 homers) in 996 games (3,695 PAs). Uh, yup. Liked by 1 person 200. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm I’m telling VOX, “they” are reading your mind…. It’s like they have ESPN or something…. Liked by 1 person 201. 202 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm There is also speculation that Callaspo is a 3B option if CJohnson is dealt away. Hadn’t thought of that angle. Johnson isn’t a bad guy or a bad player, but his 3 yr/$23.5M extension though 2017 is a bad contract. That’s one I didn’t understand when all the other guys were getting “G’d up”.

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202. 203 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Really? Maybe JUp and CJohnson to KC for Jason Vargas and Omar? They’d have to toss in a decent prospect to even it up. Hmmm…

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203. 204 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I don’t get it, though. KC is not a good a match as they are also in the market for starting pitching. Why would they trade one, and why would JH take anything less? Nope… that one doesn’t shake out for me.

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204. 205 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Still.. they are desperate for a RF. According to their official depth chart, Lorenzo Cain is starting in both CF and RF. That’s bad. Do you think there would be any way they’d part with 3B Mike Moustakas? That would be too good.

And could you imagine a Markakis and Moustakas in the same lineup? that’d tie some tongues…

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205. 206 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

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206. 207 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Braves-Rangers need to involve a 3rd team… Padres?

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207. 208 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

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208. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm

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209. 210 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm

So the Pads are about to get Kemo from LA, and the O’s have turned to Philly about Marlon Byrd. Seattle is working hard on Melky. That leaves… Texas? KC? Maybe? Wonder if Cincy still wants to dance…

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210. 211 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

“Kemo”? Really? It’s been a long day…

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211. 212 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I’m beginning to sense a pattern…

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212. 213 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

much confuzzlement. Don’t the Reds have a guy (the Luis Tiant looking guy) isn’t he a one year guy too? Thing is, the offense is already weak….We had good starting pitching last year, and look where that got us.

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213. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

You support my on going point Ber. Unless the Braves get a great return, I hang on until they are eliminated at the trading deadline next summer. So many things can happen but as long as our crazy uncle keeps showing up in the everyday line up, I think we just have to tough it out.

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214. 215 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm

So here is the naked truth, the Dodgers have the best pitching staff in the majors, still, no ring. The Nationals have the best pitching staff in the NL East… Still no ring…. Both are better teams than the Braves and have deeper minor league rosters. The real key to me last season was too many strike out in critical situations. Heck, they didn’t even score in none critical situations. So, let’s see if Atlanta’s new hitting coach can make as big an impact as the changes in KC and Washington did in their respective cities last season.

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215. 216 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

How bad were the Braves last season, word is, they couldn’t score in a Tijuana brothel even with their pockets full of $100 bills….. Liked by 1 person 216. 217 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm Well, the moves they have made thus far have all been centered on one thing: fewer strike outs. Markakis, Callaspo… both low K guys. And as much as I love JHey, he did have a propensity to strike out in big situations. But he was not alone in that capacity. CJohnson had his share of bad AB’s at big moments. Now, speaking of CJohnson, the latest word is that if the Giants lose out on Jon Lester, they are going to change strategy and look at slugging their way back to the World Series, and are already engaged in talks with ATL for JUp. John the Elder has been asking the Pads for top prospects, not ML players. SanFran does not have the available prospects. So… given that SF just lost their 3B to Boston, JH is packaging CJohn with JUp to the Giants. The move will save the Braves over$32M and give them room to pursue a bigger name FA pitcher… maybe Justin Masterson? Maybe Edinson Volquez? I find it quite fascinating. I think tomorrow is the day the news drops. Stay tuned…

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217. 218 Vox O'Raison December 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm

OK… now we can see if what I read can come to fruition. It makes the most sense, so it probably won’t happen. 😛

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218. December 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm

It is just a pure delight to come here and read! Thanks, guys!! 😀

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219. 220 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

Mike Berardino, St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Free agent starter Edinson Volquez is looking for a two-year, $20MM contract this offseason, Volquez, 31, is coming off a strong season with the Pirates in which he pitched 192 2/3 innings with a 3.04 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 while also posting an excellent 50.1% ground ball rate. I’m telling y’all, it’s a great match for the Braves. Like 220. 221 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 7:49 am Overnights: * Braves are still in on David Ross as BUC, along with Cubs, Red Sox, D’backs and Padres. According to Fredi G, the Braves will probably not actually sign a C until the JUp/Gattis issue is resolved. If one of them is not traded, then there is no room in the OF for Gattis. * Jon Lester reached agreement with CHI on a 6 yr/$155M deal that includes an option on year 7. His signing may loosen up alot of deals today, the last full day of meetings for the GM’s. Tomorrow begins with the Rule 5 draft, followed by alot of exiting. (On a personal note, I’m happy to have Lester in the NL, but I don’t want to face him. I also like the idea of the Cubs being better. It’s better for baseball.)

* Bob Dutton, Tacoma New Tribune, reports that negotiations between SEA and Melky have reached an impasse. (That’s good for the Braves.) He also reports that the ChiSox are now dangling OF Dayan Viciedo for trade and that SEA is interested. (That’s bad for the Braves.) Viciedo is no JUp, but he won’t cost as much either.

* The Korean Baseball Org. has accepted SD’s bid for their top pitcher Kwang-hyun Kim, meaning SD may have a little more wiggle room to trade one of their young pitchers. According to many sources, SD has the best match of prospects for what John the Elder is seeking for JUp. Apparently trade talks between SD/LA for Kemp are not proceeding as smoothly as LA would like. Probably something to do with a ton of coin that Kemp is owed, eh? 😉

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221. 222 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

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222. 223 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 7:59 am

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223. 224 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 8:06 am

After doing some reading and giving it some consideration, I like the Callaspo signing. He’s a guy we got on an affordable 1 year deal, who won’t block our top prospect, and who has alot of incentive to have a great season. For Callaspo, this season is his one shot to earn a big payday. Dude’s got motivation. The fact he had already hired a personal trainer for the off-season shows he’s serious about it. And he’s a good candidate for the #2 spot in the lineup while Markakis holds down #1. It’s a pretty decent fit.

And for those who joked that the Braves should not have signed a guy whose name resembles “collapse”, (that is kinda funny), It’s actually pronounced “ky-AHS-po“.

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224. 225 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

V, it’s funny, I didn’t recognize who that was even after looking up his stats…finally clicked that it was ky-AHS-po….who’s name I did here through the years on baseball tonight….

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225. 226 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

Says it all.

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226. 227 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

How about the city of Chicago, huh? White Sox and Cubs have landed all the big fish.

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227. 228 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 9:30 am

When I went to bed, assumed no big deals, so surprised to hear that Lester was signed by the Cubbies. Good for them! Man, Red Sox fans, Giant fans, Yankee fans have to be P.O.ed about their offseasons so far. Teams that have easily 2-3 times the revenue the braves do…and getting cheap with their best players. Still can’t believe the Giants let the Panda go…he LOVES big games, always hits in the playoffs….you don’t let folks like that walk…Don’t care that he has weight issues. I guess teams today would let Babe Ruth go cuz he didn’t have washboard abs.
So…I watched this clip on espn http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/12008073/jon-lester-sign-chicago-cubs
And former GM Jim Bowden said all the Cubs are now is 2 bats away from being a contending team….and we know how some teams just see prospects as “pieces” Thing is, they need pitchers and have too many hitters(which they apparently did on purpose, the thought being, hitters are easier to project, let other teams risk #1 picks on pitchers, then trade for the ones that work out) but…if they too feel like they are 1-2 hitters away (and they didn’t lose a draft pick with Lester since he was traded mid year, weird rule) do they go all in on someone like J Up? Or will they just look to trade “pieces” (starting to hate that word) to get a pitcher or two? Just trying find other fits for J Up. I too am starting to worry that it may be too late to trade him (and you just know that being on the trading block all winter long, will give him a swell attitude going into the season)
When Teixeira was traded, the braves got 1 1/2 years of his service(in theory, then they traded him for a bag of balls in August of 2008, which you don’t normally see for all-star players, even if it’s just for 2 months) So I know that hurts their ability to maximize the return (darn, sounding like a baseball talking head, or a stock broker)
It is perfectly possible though that they would be better off just holding onto him, and hopefully getting a draft pick, or finding a sucker to trade for him mid season….

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228. 229 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

All I can say is, leave your guns at home and hire a body guard fr the guys headed for Chi-town…

The Cubs have made some big moves, I expect them to be players in the Central but they are still only third best behind St Louis and Pittsburg. To me, Lester only replaces the dude’s name I cannot spell, ever, who went to Oakland.

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229. 230 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2014 at 10:00 am

I love great pitching but think about how much good it did Billy Bean when he let Yoenis Cespedes go to the Red Sox. The whole club’s offense went into the tan. T’was painful to watch. It was like seeing he Braves looking back at them in the mirror.

Nope, I think we all know where the real black hole exist in the Braves’ line up… More I think about it, the more I think it was Arron’s fault, telling Wren the Braves had to have more ” African-Americans” on the team instead of the best 25 ball players, regardless of ethnicity. Well, Hank’s Golden Boy is gone and I have not heard much from the legend this off season.

No, one player can make a huge difference to an offence, especially in the NL where pitching rules. Lots of low scoring games.

Now that I think about it, I am mad at Andrew Jones for letting himself get out of shape and being big headed. He could have been another Braves’ Hall of Famer instead of just another guy who was great for a little while. That said, for a time, he was the best defensive center fielder I have witnessed in my lifetime. That may change with Mike Trout moving to center this season.

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230. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

Ber, wasn’t Chicago one of Justin’s “no go to clubs”?

Can’t agree that Chris Johnson’s contract is a bad one VOX, Look for him to put up big numbers again with the new hitting coach this season. He is a guy with shared philosophies. I expect to see 2013 C Johnson, not 2014 version.

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231. 232 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

To me, Lester only replaces the dude’s name I cannot spell, ever, who went to Oakland.

And who is now back in Chicago, just on the south side.

Just call him Shark. It’s easier. Oakland picked up Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammels and Lester at the deadline only to see them all go away… all to Chicago. (Hammels signed back with the Cubs.)

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232. 233 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 11:32 am

If JH gets a deal done with Justin, it’ll seem like JUp ends up on the west coast, either in SD, SF or SEA. TEX remains a possibility, but they refuse to come off the prospects. They refuse to “undo” the Teixeira deal. BAL is mentioned, but they don’t appear to be pursuing.

IMO, San Fran still looks like the best matchup, with the Braves also filling their 3B need with CJohn.

And Ber, I don’t believe it’s too late to trade JUp. I think the market is perfect. JH is asking alot. It just simply looks like a standoff waiting for one side to blink. If Melky would hurry up and sign somewhere, it would prompt the remaining suitors to get more serious.

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233. 234 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

Don’t forget, Justin still maintains his off-season home in Phoenix. A move to the west coast would be great for him.

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234. 236 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

What’s going on in Oakland? They lost SP Jon Lester, SP Jason Hammel and RP Luke Gregerson to FA, not to mention 2B/IF Albert Callaspo, and they traded away SP Jeff Samardzija and big bat Brandon Moss.

Wow. I know things have not proceeded exactly the way we have wished here in ATL, but diehard A’s fans may be jumping off bridges! 😯

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235. 237 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm

V, don’t forget, they also traded their best remaining offensive player and very good 3rd baseman, Josh Donaldson (so many deals were made over weekends I wouldn’t hear about them til days later) http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/11/reactions-to-the-josh-donaldson-trade.html

I’ve mentioned here before, I was a true blue Cardinals fan as a little kid…then Whitey Herzog came along and traded my Favorite player of all time, Ted Simmons, argubly the best 1st baseman(fieldingwise) ever, in Keith Hernandez, The most exciting player on the team, Gary Templeton (amazing what cocaine and good knees can do for some guys) , then traded Pete Vuckovich (32-10 for the brewers the next 2 seasons) Rollie Fingers (never had him pitch, traded for then traded again) and the aforementioned Simmons, for 3 lousy Brewers players (David Green was supposed to be the best prospect in 15 years) Now, in spite of all that, the Cards went to the W.S. and were much better throughout the 80s…but…I didn’t care. as a 13-14 year old, it was a completely different team. Some guys were wearing the Cards uni’s but…not the Cards in my book. Only in the last decade or so, do I even like the Cards, but I would still root for the Braves over the Cards…I imagine a lot of young A’s fans today feel the way I did as kid…or worse, they will just stop following baseball….

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236. 238 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I guess I was a true Red Cardinals fain 😛
Stadium looks good! More like a real place than previous renderings…

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237. 239 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Well, reading through a ton of resources that I have bookmarked on my ol’ compy here, it appears that every stinking team is working on deals for pitchers. Nobody is focusing on hitters. And that includes the Braves. By reports, John Hart has been busy talking to agents of FA pitchers, and not pushing his seemingly displaced OF. If you believe the chatter this morning, Hart is looking for prospects for JUp, not position players. They feel like they have their bridge 2B in Callaspo, and really only need another SP. Never mind the bench is still incomplete. But again, if you believe the chatter, they feel they can address the bench needs between now and Spring, and even during Spring.

What I want to know is this: How are they going to play Justin, Nick, Uncle BJ and Evan in the OF? Last I checked, you only need 3. Can’t use Evan at C, either. Bcourt is not going back to AAA. There’s a problem.

Currently, the apparent 25 man roster is:

(5) Starting Pitchers:
Teheran, Miller, Wood, Minor, need one; don’t have one

(7) Relief Pitchers:
Kimbrel, Carpenter, Johnson, Avilan, Russell, Varvaro, Hale

(8) Starting Lineup:
1B- Freeman
2B- Callaspo
3B- Johnson
SS- Simmons
LF- JUpton
CF- BUpton
RF- Markakis
C- BCourt

(1) Odd man out:
No place to play- Gattis

(4) Bench;
BUC- need one; don’t have one
Bench Bopper- need one; don’t have one
Utility- Gosselin
4th OF- Almonte or Toscano

There are surpluses, and there are holes. I hope JH finds a way to utilize his surpluses to plug his holes.

And we might as well not fantasize, like the guys on radio, about sending Uncle BJ away. It isn’t happening.

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238. 240 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I was hoping to start posting one of my infamous lineups today since the 2B question has been answered. But now there is a logjam of starters. Dangit!

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239. 241 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I say it’s more dumb luck(and a fair bit of the credit must go to Roger McDowell) but the braves had the 5 best pitching in baseball (out of 30 teams) 4th best team? SD Padres. 2nd best? Seattle Mariners. NONE of those teams made the playoffs. Of course you need good pitching to win, but….shockingly……you need good hitting to win too. Timely hitting. What we all know.

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240. 242 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Roger is a darn good pitching coach. I think he deserves credit for sure, especially as it concerns Aaron Harang. I am not horrified with our current staff, even if the 5th starter turns out to be Hale or Russell or even Cody Martin (a guy who had a solid season at AAA Gwinnett in 2014). But I would prefer the typical grizzled veteran there. I wouldn’t mind Harang coming back, but I hear his asking price is kind of high. Notice his name is not being bandied about at all in the rumors coming out of San Diego.

5th starter doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the tattered bench does. And not nearly as much as Gattis not having a position to play.

I know it isn’t a popular stance here, but I’d be happy to hear we got a boatload of talented youngsters for Gattis from TEX. I’d be happier with our OF defense having JUp in LF.

And if we had 1 more year of JUp, with a top power prospect like Nomar Mazara on his heels, we could live without Evan. We really could.

Mazara’s profile:

Keith Law, ESPN — “Frighteningly talented. Don’t think he’s that far off. I’d start him at Double-A next year, make him repeat what he just did, then get him to Triple-A by June if he does so that he’s in position for a late-season callup.”

MLB.com — “He has the bat speed and loft to provide plenty of home runs, though like many of Texas’ top position prospects, he’ll need to tone down his aggressiveness. With his power and solid arm strength, Mazara profiles easily in right field. He’s a below-average runner but has improved his reads in the outfield and gets the job done defensively.”

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241. 243 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

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242. 244 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Which is a serious hurdle for them…

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243. 245 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Since I forgot how to repost tweets….(I forget things after a few months-But I shall never forget that I was a big Cards FAIN 😦 )

From MLBTR
The Padres and Cubs are “turning up” their efforts to add a right-handed power bat, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who notes that Upton is one elite option on the market. At this point, the possible involvement of the Cubs on more prominent outfield targets remains largely an undercurrent, and O’Brien himself cautions not to read between the lines too much on that possibility.

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244. 246 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm

The addition of the Cubs only helps. Just listening to a report on the radio… seems that the infamous “anonymous source” says the Braves and Giants are in “serious” discussions, and that the hanging point seems to be Chris Johnson. SF does not have the same quality prospects as the Rangers, or pitchers as the Padres, so the Braves are asking CJohn be moved as well to shed his contract. It would save the Braves around $32M in commitments which they would in turn use to pursue pitching. The same radio report says the Braves are in the proverbial “catbird seat” with multiple teams asking and that they are playing it cool and coy knowing they’ll get what they want as long as they hold steady. I suppose it’s all speculation to this point. There are still several weeks until P&CR. Like 245. 247 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm I think the “Old Bald Guy” AKA Evan Gattis would be a heck of a bench guy if all else fails, cheap, power bat, can play in the outfield, catch. play first base. Is not just a 22 year old rookie but an older guy who has been through a lot. Big insurance policy, it’s why I think he has so much value and if you can’t get the right deal, he is not a drag on your payroll. So, the Braves have what other teams crave, only problem is the albatross occupying center field… Let’s hope he has a good spring….. Like 246. 248 Vox O'Raison December 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm I have to admit, if this is accurate, and it could simply be posturing, but if it’s accurate, I am a bit disappointed. Alot of teams have gotten better this week. The Braves have not. If this is a retool and not a rebuild, then I feel there were some scenarios that would have made us better for 2015. It just sort of feels like their eyes are on 2017 instead. That equals rebuild. At least they could be honest about it. Then I wouldn’t invest so much time and effort. I think I’ll take tomorrow off. If anything noteworthy happens at the super exciting Rule 5 draft, let me know would ya? Like 247. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm VOX, not to worry, would keep my ear to the ground but often when I do that, ants try to crawl in my ear… ugh… Sometimes, standing pat is not such a bad thing, remember, these are the same guys that score a huge number of runs in 2013. I think it is a matter of getting your mind right. Think of the 2014 Royals or the 2014 Nationals. Same players, different hitting coach and philosophy. Just like McDowell working magic with the pitching staff, sometimes it can make a huge difference. Don’t get too excited about no trades, lots of time between now and April 1st. I think John the Elder is a pro at this. He knows he is holding two aces in the hole. He not giving away 100 RBIs for nothing. If he has to wait someone out, he knows who is holding the best hand. Like 248. 250 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 1:24 am Wow, Marlins get Dee Gordon and perhaps Dan Haren (said a month or so ago, he’d retire rather than play outside of L.A., so risking 10 Mil) amazed the Dodgers were willing to give up a young cheap player like him, that , oh by the way, stole 64 bases last year. Of course, the Dodgers don’t have to worry about silly things like budgets. They then traded for Howie Kendrick of the Angels, who MLBTR claims is an offensive and defensive upgrade. Don’t see that at all… Like 249. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 7:24 am Marlins pitching staff just got better with the addition of Dee Gordon. If he can cull a few more walks, they will turn into doubles. I guess Furcal’s real age finally caught up with him.$10 million is a lot to walk away from. Lots of people mouth off before they are greeted with reality. I suppose Haren had an ah-hah moment.

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250. 252 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 7:29 am

said a month or so ago, he’d retire rather than play outside of L.A.

And reiterated again yesterday that he would retire before leaving LAA or LAD.

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251. 253 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 7:33 am

And the Pads land Matt Kemp, taking them out of the Justin Upton sweepstakes, that turns out to not be sweepstakes at all. It’s more like a lottery, where the chances of being a winner are not as high as they appear.

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252. 254 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 7:34 am

Teams all over the NL landscape got alot better this week. The Braves got Alberto Callaspo. Woo hoo!! 🙄

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253. 255 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 7:40 am

Teams that have gotten better (or already were better) than ATL: Nats, Fish, arguably Mets, Cards, Cubs, Pirates, Giants, Dodgers, Fathers and possibly D’backs.

The Braves share company with the Brewers and Rockies. Awesome.

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254. 256 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

Oh boy.

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255. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 7:56 am

I guess I have a longer view of things VOX, No need to make a trade just because everyone else is. Sometimes you just have to have the courage to walk away.

John the Elder knows he is holding two golden tickets and wants what he wants. More so with J-Up than Gattis. Maybe Uncle Melvin can get himself diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and start taking aderol. Instant boost in power and speed…. Just saying….

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256. 258 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

And….what’s going on now fits in well with the lead I wrote, eh what? Who knows, there may be a trick up John Hart’s sleeve(I’d rather it be a shrewd trade, but whatever) and we will be very happy with the players he traded for…or, trying to convince ourselves that for BJ, the 3rd year will be charm. Yep…a less fun roller-coaster.
Still amazed the Dodgers would be willing to trade Matt Kemp to a divisional rival. Would you have liked to see JHey traded to the Nats or Mutts and have to see him 18 times a year?

and I know everyone goes to MLBTR, but still…worth noting…
If the deal is completed tonight(Matt Kemp) it would cap a wild day for the Dodgers that also included a seven-player deal that sent Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins, a trade for Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, a not-yet-official trade for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and a rumored four-year pact with Brandon McCarthy.

Silly me, I’d put Dee Gordon back at short, save the money on Rollins and trade for Kendrick. They still have 5 outfielders for 3 positions . And tons of prospects, and a gazillion dollar TV contract. Heard one talking head say he wondered if the Dodgers didn’t trade Haren knowing he’d retire, save the 10 Mil, to use elsewhere? Perhaps that’s why the Bradon McCarthy deal hasn’t been announced yet? Still, Marlins gave up their best pitching prospect(who the dodgers then traded for Kendrick, cuz who needs young left handed stud starters?) so only getting Dee Gordon might seem to have been an expensive trade…of course they too have a ton of starters even without Jose Fernandez back til supposedly mid season.
Meanwhile the braves have 3 solid starters, and Mike Minor. He of the 4.77 ERA last year. Hopefully he bounces back…Then, look out NL East! 😛
I know that smiley will look way cuter than my feelings. 😦

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257. 259 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

Don’t worry, Ber. We are expected to make a pick in today’s Rule 5 draft for a guy or 2 that other teams would not protect on their 40-man rosters. That’ll show ’em!

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258. 260 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 8:28 am

In all seriousness, I know they’ll still make a deal. I’m just tired from following about 10 different twitter streams constantly while trying to carry on a normal work day. There is alot of up-and-down involved in that. Plus, I watch every little move everyone else is making while John stands pat. But standing pat is different than standing still. He still holds the “two golden tickets” as Gil says. But I get the sense, the longer this goes forward, that JtE is aiming to trade Gattis and not JUp. He’s had opportunities on JUp. He’s waiting on the mother-of-all-trades involving Evan.

Let’s face it, there are few opportunities like this one. He’s a proven guy with prodigious power and 4 years of team control left. He can catch (although probably not for more than 3 or 4 more years) or can occasionally play a little LF. But he can hit.

When you have position prospects, like the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara, you hope they can develop into what Gattis already is. So it is a unique opportunity to recupe a big haul that will serve to help the major league team while also helping to restock an insufficient minor league pipeline.

Patience is always a virtue. It’s also rare. I don’t have it. Well, I have a little. I suppose I better have a little more.

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259. 261 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 8:29 am

It’s because I am such a big fain of my team, right Ber? 😉

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260. 262 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 8:34 am

Now V, there is no reason to pick someone, you know, take a chance….gotta protect BJ on the roster anyways(I know, like beating a dead horse-I sure hope they don’t have to though, out of respect or something) I hear J.R. Graham might get drafted by another team….so there is that.
Actually, I’d like to see the braves take a chance on Delino DeShields…Jr
If he caught on, and BJ had to ride the bench, how bad would that be?

Delino DeShields, of, Astros: Some teams will be turned off by his well-documented problems with not always showing his best effort—he’s been pulled from multiple games over the years for not running out balls. But other teams may be intrigued by some of the best tools in the Rule 5 draft. The minors’ only 10-100 man ever (12 home runs, 101 steals in 2012), DeShields plays an adequate center field, can also play second base, has more pop than most speedsters and has shown excellent on-base skills.

Weird link, hopefully it will work, it mentions DD and others…some guys, especially out of the bullpen, seem worth a flyer
http://ht.ly/ETqoG

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261. 263 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 8:41 am

Bowman: … the Braves currently have less than $15 million left to round out their roster. Meanwhile, the Dodgers sent$30M in cash away to the Padres along with Matt Kemp. $15m to complete a roster vs.$30M to flush down the toilet. Hmmm…

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262. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

I think it is really more of a level of frustration for Braves fans. No real hotshot rookie, no block buster trade bringing the Great White Hope or Great Black Hope to Atlanta. Could be worse, could be in Oakland…..

Ber, I understand you affinity for the Cards. I drifted from team to team but was an American League fan (not the Yankees but Baltimore) before adopting the Braves in ’67. Wow, were the Braves awful!!! They stunk except for a couple of years when the Braves had Murphy but I can remember the Len Barker trade as if it were yesterday. Brooks Jacoby and Bret Butler gone, Both to become All-Stars. Made me ill…..

When the Braves moved their triple A affiliate to Gwennette, I was tempted to switch over to the Nationals. After all, they are 1000 miles closer. But, I realize it was not the Braves but the mayor of Richmond who caused that deal to fall through. Now we have the Giants AA team but I have yet to attend a game. Eastern League has no Atlanta affiliate. I can get all the National games free etc but not yet, maybe Liberty does something to really make me want to dump them.But it is pretty tough to switch horses after so many years of rooting for Atlanta. Of course, I dropped the Redskins as soon as Snyder stole the team from Jack Kent Cook’s son following the Srs. death. Sigh, I guess I have a problem with megalomaniacs. Its in my DNA I suppose it explains my two favorite childhood heroes, Superman and the Lone Ranger….. was the guy who always got into fight sticking up for kids who were being bullied. Sigh, won some, lost some but prevented a lot of kids from being bullied. It’s a wonder I did not become a cop but they were bullies too so, you know…..

Anyhoo, I’m thinking this is Uncle BJ’s last season in Atlanta. John Hart will dump him and eat his contract once it gets down to two years. Tough to eat both Uggla’s and BJ’s contract but by 2016 it will be down to just Melvin. I hope the new hitting coach performs a hitch-odectomy and turns around he who is still owed millions….. When I think abut it, no wonder Frank Wren got fired for having a snippy attitude. I’d be snippy too if I had wasted money on the likes of Kershin (Maserati man) Kawakami, Dan Uggla and BJ. Yep, I’d have a ‘tude too…. I can only guess all the second guessing coming from the scouts on those guys….

Liked by 1 person

263. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

So, the Dodgers have become the Yankees….. nice to have money to burn, I wonder if Kemp realizes the Dodgers paid $30 million just to have him go away? Kind of like what they did with Andruw Jones… but different…. Liked by 1 person 264. 266 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 9:03 am Back in the ’80s, the Redskins singed John Riggens, AKA, the Diesel.He had a contract dispute and sat out a year. When he came back, he was better than ever, not to mention he had what may possibly have been the best offensive line in all football, ever. I always contended the year off did him the most good. Allowed him to heal…. To me, Evan Gattis is a similar talent. Kind of old for a “rookie” but so many years his body did not get worn down. He probably won’t ever get a Gold Glove but he could at some point earn a silver slugger. I would still like to see him in the “Home Run Derby” He could gt Cole Hammels to pitch to him…. tongue in cheek on that one…. Liked by 1 person 265. 267 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 9:26 am Interesting to watch baseball tonight talk about all the dodgers moves…forgot the GM was the guy that escaped Tampa Bay (He and Joe Madden with the Cubs must be so excited to be with teams that can actually spend money) “They” really like the moves the Dodgers made, really think the defense will be better up the middle, and character guys in the dugout….sad when you are a braves fan, drooling over the prospects, and deals other teams make. Jim Bowden rattled off all these guys they have as prospects they can trade to get what they need. And Aaron Boone was saying how they have about 12 quality hitters for 9 positions… And that is one of the things that hamstrings the braves. Let’s say the Rangers or another team wants Gattis, well…ok, you can have Nomar Mazara IF, you trade us Jose Peraza…..What, are you crazy? He’s our only real prospect…Really? Your only real prospect? Ummm, errr..Well, if not him, how about a solid arm in the minors….ummm, errr…well….Gosh, you guys weren’t kidding…no other real prospects. Would you like to take a chance on a soft tosser like Mike Minor in the AL, in your bandbox??? No? 😦 Like 266. 268 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 9:31 am Jim Bowden rattled off all these guys they have as prospects they can trade to get what they need. And Aaron Boone was saying how they have about 12 quality hitters for 9 positions… He/they were talking about the Red Sox…forgot to mention that…Hey, I am sick, and only slept about 3 hours…so there. Put that in your pipe and smoke it 😆 Like 267. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 9:55 am Sorry you are sick Ber, take care of yourself dude!!! and get some sleep… Liked by 1 person 268. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 10:08 am could have signed Riggins but singing might have worked too…. Like 269. 271 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 10:22 am Thanks Gil! I tried, but my lungs said no dice…funny, I don’t feel that bad out of bed …think it’s a chronic sinus infection that has gone to the next level) but I lay down, start coughing my fool head off-if Only I could sleep standing up, or even sitting up…oh well, gives me plenty of time to see other teams making deals…now the Tigers are about to trade for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and send starter Rick Porcello, to Red Sox. He’s 25, not sure why they do it, except Cespedes replaces Torii Hunter…still…oh well, not my team, not my money… Like 270. 272 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 10:23 am Tiggers and Sox Like 271. 273 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 10:24 am Wow! Like 272. 274 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 10:25 am Like 273. 275 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 10:26 am Like 274. 276 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 10:29 am And the Braves “might make a pick or 2” in the Rule 5 draft! Yee haw!! Liked by 1 person 275. 277 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 11:34 am Which drops the Braves to 3rd in the division, and possibly 4th depending on the health of the Mets starters. Like 276. 278 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 11:37 am When I said I was confident the Braves would make a “big move” before leaving the Winter Meetings in San Diego, I didn’t realize it would be a move down in the division. Liked by 1 person 277. 279 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm Yikes, V…you are correct Marlins To Acquire Mat Latos From Reds By Charlie Wilmoth [December 11, 2014 at 10:51am CST] 10:51am: Marlins pitching prospect Anthony DeSclafani is likely headed to the Reds in the deal, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. Chad Wallach is also going to Cincinnati, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Like 278. 280 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm Things could be worse, you could be a reds fan watching the team being blown up… The Tigers have officially agreed to a deal with the Reds for starter Alfredo Simon, . A pair of 23-year-olds will be headed to Cincinnati in the trade: shortstop Eugenio Suarez and pitching prospect Jonathan Crawford. Simon, a veteran righty, is projected by MLBTR and Matt Swartz to earn$5.1MM in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

Again, Hart has just a few options because of the mess Obam…errr Wren left in his wake.
I heard on baseball tonight how they were saying in todays market, how much value there is in being able to control a player for several years…and, how little value was placed on players with just 1 year available to a new team…gulp.

Good Lucky Johnny!

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279. 281 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

According to some reports from people in San Deigo this morning, the Braves have been trying to package Chris Johnson with Justin to every suitor, but no one wants to take his $22M contract. It fits the bill. Tried to package BJ with Evan, to no avail. Now tried to package CJ with Justin, still to no avail. It begins to make some sense now. It is officially a salary dump. Mike Minor will be next on the block. He’ll be due$5M+ in his last year of arb.

Don’t be surprised if you begin to hear rumblings of Kimbrel being on the market. It makes no sense for the Braves to pay a guy $9M+ per year to be their closer when they aren’t truly competing. And if you think Evan could bring a “king’s ransom”… see what Dirty C would bring back. Like 280. 282 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm The Royals have agreed to a two-year,$17MM deal with free agent DH Kendrys Morales. Morales can earn an additional $750K per year through performance incentives. in 401 AB’s after a bad decision by his agent Borass kept him out for the first 2 months… he hit 8 HR’s drove in 42, and “hit” .218. What a country! And what photos must borass have on the Royals brain trust?? Like 281. 283 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm So… take the Royals off the list of teams needing a hitter. The list is shrinking quickly. Like 282. 284 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm Like 283. 285 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm Like 284. 286 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm Like 285. 287 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm kinda shocked a hapless team like the Rockies(Pitchingwise) gave him up…check out his numbers, not bad! http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=winkle001dan Offseason complete! Like 286. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm Yep, unless the Braves start hitting like they did in 2013….. Same guys, what happened in 2014? Like 287. 289 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm And another suitor for Justin will go away. Like 288. 290 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm Like 289. 291 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm$10 million is a lot to walk away from. Lots of people mouth off before they are greeted with reality.

$10M is alot indeed… Like 290. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm Hey, the Marlins are not going to be bad this season, dude is an idiot…. Like 291. 293 Vox O'Raison December 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune: The Mariners remain interested in Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton but not at the Braves’ asking price. Like 292. 294 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm V, how you likin’ the coal in the Christmas stocking so far? 😕 Like 293. 295 Vox O'Raison December 12, 2014 at 7:29 am ESPN’s Jayson Stark has rated his “winners” and “losers” from this year’s Winter Meetings. His winners: Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers & Marlins His losers: A’s, O’s, Royals & Giants The Braves apparently fall into the “meh” category. Now, I know of a way for the Braves and another team to vault into the “winner” category. Perhaps the O’s or Royals, or maybe the Giants would like to become dance partners with John the Elder..? Winner, winner. Who says this stuff is complicated? 🙂 Liked by 1 person 294. 296 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm A new tease of a story that will end up washing out (or making us madder as we get a 4th starter and a bag of balls) Padres Still Pursuing Justin Upton By Steve Adams [December 12, 2014 at 11:24am CST] Despite the fact that they’ve struck a deal to acquire Matt Kemp from the division-rival Dodgers, the Padres remain interested in adding Justin Upton to fill their other corner outfield slot, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter link). Bowman hears that the Friars are still among the teams with interest and adds that he wouldn’t be shocked to see both Kemp and Upton in San Diego next year. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/padres-still-pursuing-justin-upton.html Like 295. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2014 at 10:33 am SO, the Reds appear primed to take possession of last place in the NL Central while the Cubs’ fans are teased by the Team being a bit better, perhaps this season’s version of the Brewers. The Pirates and St Louis will battle for the top spots in the Central this season…. San Diego making a serious run at being number three in the NL West. They still have two powerhouses ahead of them but San Fran is weakened by the exit of the Panda. Not sure if Hunter Pence will be able to lift them up over the Dodgers this season. Dodgers are loaded again, we’ll have to see if Donnie Baseball can get them to the finish line. Washington’ biggest problem this season is dealing with “bad boy” Bryce Harper. Team (the Learners) are upset at his resent ‘No Show’ at a fan fest… I guess he still thinks he is in the same category as Mike Trout Thing is, Trout does not pull these antics. I would put Harper in the same category as . Alex Rodriquez (I’m too important so I can do whatever I want) column. Meanwhile, the Phillies get older, the Mets get healthier and the Marlins get scarier as they add some depth and a first baseman. Already have great young pitching, it’s a mind thing in Miami one has to believe. Young teams need someone around to keep them together when they have a rough stretch. So the Braves still need a starter, as do lots of teams, but are ham strung because of two bad contracts. Of course, that has been the history of the Braves for the past five years if you think about it. Lots of time now to add to the bench but one has to think as to who gets traded. I might free up some payroll but they will never be able to out bid the Nats or Mets or Dodgers or mos teams in the league…. They might want to consider moving to Cool Ray Field for a season so the park does not look so empty. Actually, they could not out bid the Marlins either but Loria prefers to spend the luxury tax money for other things besides his team. Don’t be fooled by the contract he gave Stanton, it’s back loaded and will get picked up by the Yankees or Dodgers before the Marlins ever have to put out serious coin. Liked by 1 person 296. 298 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm well, this may help the braves… White Sox To Sign Melky Cabrera http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/white-sox-to-sign-melky-cabrera.html Like 297. 299 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm From a Boston Globe writer… Dan Uggla’s agent, Terry Bross, was trying to market his client for a comeback at the Winter Meetings. Cafardo hears that a lot of the 34-year-old’s decline may have had to do with an undetected concussion. http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/12/14/major-league-teams-always-wonder-whether-they-did-enough/QZPIQPpUESa8wldXu09OJP/story.html Like 298. 300 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm Things is for Dan Uggla, He could ht like no body’s business during batting practice but like they say, he could get it to carry over to the tee box…. AKA, the proverbial 5 o’clock hitter. I wish him luck though, he gave it all he had every at bat, just wasn’t enough. He’s going to impress someone at the Triple A level before he makes it back to the majors. Won’t be the first guy to hit better somewhere else besides Atlanta. Won’t cost another team much to take a flyer on him either. Still making a nice pay day courtesy of the Braves. One has to wonder if the concussion occurred while Dan was playing for the Marlins? I wonder if Frank Wren is using the same excuse? Like 299. 301 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 7:50 am I wonder if Frank Wren is using the same excuse? Now that would make sense… Like 300. 302 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 7:51 am I noticed that it’s Dan’s agent who says 5-6 teams are showing interest. I haven’t seen any team execs quoted as saying anyone is showing interest. Like 301. 303 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 8:13 am Washington’ biggest problem this season is dealing with “bad boy” Bryce Harper. I am a fan of Bryce Harper… well, his talent anyway. As a person he appears to need some work. His biggest problem is being a prototypical brat, which is no doubt a product of being constantly adored and coddled due to his immense talent and a severe lack of parenting along the way. Couple that with the current “me first and me now” culture, and you have Bryce Harper. He doesn’t have the capacity to realize how many millions he is costing himself in future considerations and in endorsements. He wants everything he can get right now. Well, he’ll probably get that extra million this year, and then be traded away to another organization for the boatload of talent. Your parallel with ARod is probably a good one. Some team will pour all their resources into BHarp, and have nothing left to field a team around him ala the Rangers in the ’90’s. And Harper will gripe and complain etc.. Meanwhile, Mike Trout will sign a lifetime deal in LAA and be a darling all the way up to his 1st ballot HOF induction because he knows how to carry himself. Some mama did a good job. I’ll give Harper this much… he gives it all on the field. I wish he had the same work ethic with his personality. Liked by 1 person 302. 304 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 8:49 am Timely… Washington Post: Star outfielder Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals will avoid a grievance hearing over his 2015 salary after the sides reached a settlement Sunday evening, according to a person familiar with the situation. Rosenthal: So it appears that the Nats and Harper signed a 2-year “Heyward” deal. Prediction: Harper will now be traded, either this year or next. But they won’t go into his FA year, much the same way the Braves chose to maximize JHey’s value and not go into his walk year. The difference, of course, is that the Nats will get alot more in return. Not that the Braves didn’t do well in their deal. I think they did very well. And while JHey is 10 times the person, he doesn’t have the same level of talent. The Nats will make out just fine. Like 303. 305 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2014 at 10:39 am Of course, having Borass as his agent will never be a good thing for him. Teenagers should be kept away from Borass, just like cigs and alcohol “As Kilgore explained in a previous article, Harper and the Nationals reached a verbal agreement on a five-year,$9.9MM Major League deal just minutes before the signing deadline, and when a final contract was drafted up, there was no clause for Harper to opt into arbitration. Harper and agent Scott Boras refused to sign the deal, at which point MLB and the MLBPA stepped in, allowing a letter of agreement that stated Harper could opt for a grievance hearing to determine whether or not he qualified for arbitration, should be become eligible for arb before the deal’s final season.”

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304. 306 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Don’t be fooled by the contract he [Loria] gave Stanton, it’s back loaded and will get picked up by the Yankees or Dodgers before the Marlins ever have to put out serious coin.

Gil, here’s the poop on the Stanton deal:

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/pirates-drive-the-bus-over-the-marlins-121514

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305. 307 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Rosenthal: It’s true — the Padres want Justin Upton in addition to Matt Kemp. They’re also looking at other hitters, but one rival executive says the Pads are “all over” Upton.

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306. 308 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I was confused by that statement…all over, as in, gotta get him, or done with him? a bit clearer with what you posted…a bit…

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307. 309 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

interesting, are the nats gonna claim to be poor, and trade off some soon to be highly paid stars? Guess we should hope so…
http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/don-t-nationals-want-to-pay-to-play-121414

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308. 310 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I rest my case on Loria, the Marlins and Mike Stanton…. The Marlins have pulled this stunt before.

On Harper, yep, ton of talent, a light weight for a brain. I think it comes from a failure to have to grow up before he was earning a ton of money. Much like a pop diva. He has not yet experienced life and has not had to make adult decisions.

The Nats will trade him (the just don’t like him as a person) and ship him of to some place that does not really care what kind of individual he is just as long as he can hit home runs. A Derek Jeter he is not…. More in the BJ Upton mold but a better hitter.

Bobby Cox wold have taken a pass on him even if he were available in the draft.

Jason Heyward will be loved and adored in St Louis. They appreciate defense and he will come into his own as a hitter methinks. I don’t think Jonh Hart wanted to part with Jayson per se. Just needed a top flight pitcher and saw an opportunity to get value. I think Terrence Moore and Hank Arron have been on suicide watch since the trade however…. For sure, they do not want BJ Upton to be the only African-American on the team. To the afore mentioned individuals, black is not black unless you are also American…. Strange county we live in eh?

Liked by 1 person

309. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Ber, I’m pretty sure they are “all over” him as in GOT TO HAVE HIM!

Nationals have a deep Minor league system… They have drafted well… They became the Braves…..

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310. 312 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Infer what you will. He might need a little AAA seasoning, but at $6M guaranteed, he’s not going to be a bench piece or a minor leaguer for long. Like 311. 313 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 3:58 pm OK… this tweet was a bit misleading. This is clearer and makes nuch more sense. The total value over the 4 guaranteed years is$6M. Now he can be a minor leaguer or bench piece for a while.

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312. 314 Vox O'Raison December 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Wow… I am all tongue tied today. I will try to make this less ambiguous:

Bowman’s tweet was not very clear; Sanchez’ tweet was much more clear. Toscano will not make $6M guaranteed per year, but$6M guaranteed total over 4 years.

Now I am going back to my shell.

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313. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

“Wow… I am all tongue tied today.”

Like the joke about the deaf mute who fell into a well and broke all his fingers calling for help….

Same, but different…

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314. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Guaranteed $6 million plus, he will be up sooner than later…. Like 315. 317 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm 1.5 mil per year. About a mil a year above the minimum… woo….hoo Like 316. 318 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm Royals To Sign Alex Rios By Jeff Todd [December 15, 2014 at 7:10pm CST] The Royals have agreed to a one-year,$11MM deal with outfielder Alex Rios, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Rios, a Boras Corporation client, joins Kendrys Morales as veteran additions to the defending American League champs.
and another team is being smart, holding onto the arms they have/control…

I’m guessing that it’s better than 50/50 the braves are stuck with J Up, and will hopefully get a swell draft pick for him.
Pads don’t want to trade their pitching…They have no hitters….so, again unless some 3rd team can be brought in…

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317. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Well Vox, just between you me and the lamp post, keep Justin another year might not be the worst thing to happen to the Braves for 2015. Maybe lightning will strike BJ (don’t want him hurt seriously, just scare him a little) and wake up his bat…. Could call him “Flash” after that….

Liked by 1 person

318. 320 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm

One has to wonder if the Braves are even talking with Harrang? I wonder if they are going to wait until the last day of spring training again?

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319. 321 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Just saw where Varvaro was DFA…. He won’t be on the market long…

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320. 322 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

I thought it was funny, a “tease” article in the AJC about the Cumberland Mall being upset because they are afraid some Braves fan will use some of their 6500 parking spaces during games and catch the circle bus. Don’t they realize that works both ways? Perhaps the ball club bringing 40,000 people to the neighborhood might increase Mall traffic…

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321. 323 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 7:24 am

Just saw where Varvaro was DFA…. He won’t be on the market long…

There is much speculation that a “deal” is already in place, just details to be worked out. Perhaps he is to be a part of something larger in scope? Maybe, maybe not. But he’s talented enough that someone will want him before he hits the open market.

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322. 324 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 7:28 am

Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports that Gus Schlosser has re-signed with the Braves. I’m glad. He’s a good depth pitcher. And you do have to field a starting rotation at AAA, right?

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323. 325 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 9:11 am

The Fish are near a deal for Michael Morse. They will be a formidable team in 2015 for sure. The Nats are already talented, but something is missing there… likely between some ears. The Mets have a very talented young pitching staff. 2015 is going to be quite the challenge.

Liked by 2 people

324. 326 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

I saw that Morse was available as a FA. He always has hit Braves pitching well, he reminds me a bit of Evan Gattis but his trek was through the American League. He is not known for his glove but my oh my, it should be a show during batting practice between Morse and Stanton.

Ber, I’m pretty sure Gattis would not mind making a million per year above league minimum.

So, a lot of teams play the 40 man shuffle trying to put off signing guys until after the rule 5 draft, etc… There are always some teams looking for durable relievers, I wonder if John the Elder is targeting another outfielder?
I still think they will try to pick up a guy who can catch on occasion. Still say they could use Carpenter i a pinch.

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325. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

There are bargains to be had out there, just have to beat the bushes to find them. That said, it sure is a lot easier when you have money enough to afford a mistake or two. For the Braves, a lot will depend on who makes it out of spring training and off the DL. I’m not sure the Braves can survive another spring like last season.

The gNats may yet wake up and realize how good they really are at the start of the season and put things out of reach by June. Naw…too many prima donnas for that to happen…. It will take until August…

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326. 328 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm

I’m guessing that it’s better than 50/50 the braves are stuck with J Up

I’m not so sure. He’s still the best bat available. Alot of teams are simply “playing chicken” with John the Elder right now. There is plenty of time for someone to blink. And JTE has plenty of experience at all the games.

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327. 329 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

One has to wonder if the Braves are even talking with Harang?

From what I read, JH says his asking price is a tad high. That’s why you haven’t heard his name connected with any teams yet. When the price comes down some, his name will start to pop up.

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328. 330 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Ber, I’m pretty sure Gattis would not mind making a million per year above league minimum.
Gil, oh I am sure…and I would take half, a third even of what Gattis is getting! 😉
No, I was just shaking my head at the signing in general. Everything I read about the 25 Y.O. makes it sound like he’s a slap hitter, no power, weak outfield arm, with a good eye. Ok….so, they think in a year or two he’s worth risking 6 mil on to perhaps, one day be a 4th outfielder?
Or is he some sort of conduit to future cuban players?
Meanwhile, while very team save the phils has improved itself…the braves are down a starter, 200 innings as Hart would say….
and for some reason, after already trading away Walden (50 innings, 2.88 era) they are just letting Varvaro go (54 innings, 2.63 ERA) cuz…why? he “only” made 515K last year, guess he will get a huge pay increase to 2-3 mil….so lets spend limited resources on a cuban player that according to one tweet….Looks like he defected to the DR. Played all outfield positions and 1B in Cuba, but didn’t get much playing time, especially against LHP.
woo….hoo….

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329. 331 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I still think they will try to pick up a guy who can catch on occasion.

They are still in on David Ross, as are the Cubs, Bosox, D’backs and Padres. They are also looking at A.J. Pierzynski. It doesn’t appear to be on the front burner, though.

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330. 332 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

it sound like he’s a slap hitter, no power, weak outfield arm, with a good eye

That sounds like Johnny Damon!!

Actually, it isn’t as bad as all that. He’s more a doubles guy with moderate power, maybe 10-15 HR power. And while he doesn’t have the gun of Heyward or Markakis, he isn’t as bad as Damon or Juan Pierre, either. I’d say it’s as good as BJ at least. Just not RF strong. I actually like the signing. In the current market, $6M over 4 years is a typical “low risk / high ceiling” deal. Like 331. 333 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm and for some reason, after already trading away Walden (50 innings, 2.88 era) they are just letting Varvaro go (54 innings, 2.63 ERA) cuz…why? Walden was necessary to complete the Cards deal, and I for one wont miss him. He had a hard time staying out of the training room, and he was way too inconsistent. I had to look away every time he came to the mound. Scared the poop out of me. As for Varvaro, he was decent, but not great. And he has been DFA’d, not released, which means a deal can still be made for 10 more days. DOB speculates that something is already in the works. Don’t forget, they Braves have picked up RHRP Joe Johnson, not to mention that both RHRP Shae Simmons and LHRP Chasen Shreve will return from injuries. There are still holes, but they should be OK in the ‘pen. Like 332. 334 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm Whoa!! I left alot of italics on that post up there! 😯 Like 333. 335 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm Lemme try that again… it sound like he’s a slap hitter, no power, weak outfield arm, with a good eye That sounds like Johnny Damon!! Actually, it isn’t as bad as all that. He’s more a doubles guy with moderate power, maybe 10-15 HR power. And while he doesn’t have the gun of Heyward or Markakis, he isn’t as bad as Damon or Juan Pierre, either. I’d say it’s as good as BJ at least. Just not RF strong. I actually like the signing. In the current market,$6M over 4 years is a typical “low risk / high ceiling” deal.

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334. 336 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Did y’all see that the Padres signed another pitcher today? They just inked Brandon Morrow tp a 1-year deal.

And they do have some nice pitching prospects just a year or 2 away. Perhaps this could give them the flexibility to part with Ian Kennedy in a deal for JUp?

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335. 337 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Rosenthal:

Projected Marlins lineup: Gordon, Yelich, Stanton, McGehee, Morse, Ozuna, Saltalmacchia, Hechavarria.

Not too shabby.

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336. 338 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

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337. 339 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Now that I look deeper, Ian Kennedy makes no sense for ATL as he’s in his last year of arb. (Andrew Cashner has 2 years of control left, and Tyson Ross has 3.) Anyway, Kennedy’s a Boras guy, so he will definitely enter the FA market after 2015. He made $6.1M while winning 13 games with a sub-4 ERA for the Fathers last season, so his market will not be cheap. That may be the current sticking point in any negotiations – they could be offering Kennedy and we could be asking for Ross. Like 338. 340 Vox O'Raison December 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm FYI: Neither Cashner nor Ross are represented by Boras. Like 339. 341 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm V, if you didn’t like Walden , you will LOVE Jim Johnson He posted a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances for the A’s and managed only two saves before being released on Aug. 1. He signed with Detroit five days later and appeared in 16 games, going 1-0 with a 6.92 ERA. Like 340. 342 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm Jim Johnson = reclamation project for McDowell While Fran Wren said he had no problem in dealing with Boras, I don’t know what John the Elder’s track record has been with the California Kook? Walden ran very hot and cold last season, he will do better at St Louis because Yadier Molna is so much better at stealing strikes and getting calls for his pitchers. Walden’s problems might have been physical, might have been mental, I for one can’t venture to guess but I think throwing a baseball while you are in mid air has to make it more difficult to control where the ball is going in relation to the strike zone. I’ve seen some shortstops make those throws but they had a much larger target. You know what guys, it must be tough on John the Elder to have to be a scrooge at Christmas. Like 341. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm No matter who get traded and for what, somebody is going to whine we did not get enough in return or traded the wrong guy or we was robbed etc…. I get the feeling, unless the Braves get a reverse Texeria type deal, everyone is going to bitch… Thing is, that is not going to happen, too many smarter people out there who saw the aftermath of that trade. Like 342. 344 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm My issue with Walden and Varvaro is both have/had sub 3.00 era’s and now they are both gone…Not that they are the greatest, it’s just that I don’t see their replacements …most teams that are expecting to be competitive, are signing bullpen arms. Who knows, I am sure there are a couple of folks that can in theory, replace them (only 100 or so innings) but…just like the lineup, just like the starting rotation…is it, at least on paper, stronger, or weaker than when the season ended? And like V said, they may have a trade in place for Varvaro…… Just not getting a good vibe at all about this off season…and another reason why is…. Like 343. 345 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm Padres, Rays Discussing Wil Myers Trade By Steve Adams [December 16, 2014 at 5:52pm CST] 5:52pm: Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets that Padres catching prospect Austin Hedges‘ name has also come up in trade talks surrounding Myers. 5:48pm: The Rays have recently been inquiring about Padres farmhands Matt Wisler, Burch Smith and R.J. Alvarez recently, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo, who adds that the trio has likely come up in Myers trade talks. 4:56pm: The Padres and Rays are in discussion on a significant trade that would send Wil Myers to San Diego in exchange for some of the Padres’ better young prospects, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Rosenthal notes that it’s not certain whether a trade is particularly close at this time, but an acquisition of Myers would likely take the Padres out of the running for Atlanta’s Justin Upton. San Diego GM A.J. Preller has taken a dogged approach to acquiring bats this offseason, casting a wide net and touching base on a number of players including Pablo Sandoval, Yasmany Tomas, Jay Bruce and Upton. Of course, Preller’s club has an agreement to acquire Matt Kemp from the division-rival Dodgers as well. A deal for Myers may be more pragmatic than an acquisition of Upton, who is under team control for only the 2015 season at a not-insignificant price of$14.5MM. Myers, on the other hand, is under control for another five seasons. The 2013 American League Rookie of the Year missed much of the 2014 season with a broken wrist, which is a large part of the reason that he batted just .222/.294/.320 when on the field. However, when he was fully healthy a year prior, Myers posted an outstanding .293/.354/.478 triple-slash to go along with 13 homers in 373 plate appearances. He, of course, was the centerpiece of the blockbuster trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City.

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344. 346 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

7:12pm: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets that there is “significant optimism” that a trade sending Myers to San Diego will be completed. A deal is said to be very close, according to Passan. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears the trade is “said to have a chance,” and he’s also heard Smith’s name as a potential component (Twitter link).

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345. 347 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 7:29 am

A flurry of chatter happening overnight, none of which is linked to JUp, except maybe to say that he is NOT involved.

Yet there is enough “mystery” to not count him out. The Mariner’s are reportedly going to announce something soon regarding an unknown hitter that “is a name we have not heard”… a “mystery”. Of course, that could be completely false. Those kind of rumors often are.

The Padres / Tampa deal for Wil Myers was “gaining traction” late last night and expected to come to fruition sometime early today. But then suddenly there was speculation that a 3rd team was involved. Which team? Again… a “mystery”.

So maybe the Braves are involved; maybe not.

And that’s OK.

True enough, there is alot of time between now and Spring Training. BTW, in case we haven’t posted the infamous reporting dates yet, they are:

Pitchers & Catchers report: Feb. 20
1st pitching workout: Feb. 21
Position players report: Feb. 25
1st full workout: Feb. 26

But there are a couple of other considerations as well. While I do not look forward to trying to shoehorn both Gattis and Bethancourt into the catcher’s box in 2015, I’d rather have Justin in LF. And I certainly would not mind both JUp and Gatt in the lineup together. And of course JUp could hold some very high value at the trade deadline, too.

All that said, I still expect a deal to get done before 2015 with someone. Maybe a “mystery” team. 😉

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346. 348 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 7:56 am

Early morning speculation time. I haven’t posted one of my lineups in quite a while. So, as currently constituted, here is the 2015 Opening Day lineup for our Los Barves:

1- Nick Markakis, RF (L)
2- Alberto Callaspo, 2B (S)
3- Freddie Freeman,1B (L)
4- Justin Upton, LF (R)
5- Evan Gattis, C (R)
6- Chris Johnson, 3B (R)
7- Andrelton Simmons, SS (R)
8- BJ Upton, CF (R)
9- Julio Teheran, RHP

Of course, your mileage may vary.

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347. 349 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

Immediate observation:

In years past, we got alot of guys on base and could not drive them in consistently. In 2014, we simply could not get guys on base ahead of our run producers, and pitchers just pitched around them. The top of the order was horrible, especially the #2 hole.

Well, the top of the order has been completely made over with high OBP guys. I’d kinda like to see what a “heart of the order” made of Free, JUp and Gatt could do if the new guys could get on base consistently.

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348. 350 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

“Insinuated” itself into the deal..? Poor choice of words for a journalist. Anyway, this piece of news keeps getting worse.

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349. 351 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

Maybe the Pads, Rays and M’s can work it out so that Taijuan Walker ends up in SD and can then be flipped to ATL for JUp.

Hey… a guy can dream, can’t he?

Liked by 1 person

350. 352 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

With the signing of Michael Morse to play first base for the fish, best position for him, they now have a team which scares the heck out of me…. They were not all that bad last season until they started having pitchers getting hurt. I doubt they will be door mats for the gNats this season.

So, SD is making big moves…

Braves best hope is their new hitting coach is a magician…

I get the feeling 2015 is going to be a lost season…. Sigh….

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351. 353 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

Again…I feel like what I wrote in the lead…all Jekyll and Hyde…wanting to be so mad at the braintrust of the team(other than going with Wren, not exactly fair) yet feeling one shrewd move, and suddenly the offseason will look good. But, doesn’t feel like that’s going to happen. Hard not to at least be p.o.ed, at least in the short term….
IF “they” thought the team was so swell , ‘they’ wouldn’t have been reported pushing so hard to make a deal now, would they? It may turn out for the best not to trade J Up or Gattis, because come late July, when the braves are solidly in 4th place, they may get more for 2 months of J Up than right now…but…I guess our hope during the season will be , hey we are only 6 games back for that final WC position, one 6 game winning streak and… 😕

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352. 354 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

Gil- Lost season? Nah. Tough season? Very…

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353. 355 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

9:38am: A deal is “nearing the finish line,” according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). It appears to be a two-team deal, though Tampa may be lining up a second trade, as has previously been mentioned.
A deal is nearing the finish line. Kinda like Jeb saying he is officially thinking about perhaps running. Tells us what we already know, only his decision will have more disastrous consequences for all of us, than a Pads trade…. (Sorry if anyone here is a huge Jeb fan 😦 )

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354. 356 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

Chatter this morning speculates that the trade sending Wil Myers to SD is still a 2 team deal, but that Tampa has another deal lined up upon their completion of the SD deal. The whisper is that Seth Smith is one of the pieces coming back to Tampa, who will then spin him off to Seattle.

It makes sense since the Seattle creepers hear that a deal for a heretofore unmentioned hitter is imminent, but may not be announced until later. If Tampa has to complete their deal with SD first, it all falls into place.

And that would leave ATL still holding JUp while the teams formerly coveting JUp the most all fall by the wayside. That would leave who… BAL and TEX? SF? The O’s don’t match up well in personnel, and TEX covets Gattis more than JUp. SF is still a decent match.

Still alot of track to run before the finish line, but there have been many unforeseen turns recently.

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355. 357 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:19 am

Rosenthal opines that the Nats, not the M’s, are the 3rd team. That would be good and bad, I suppose. It leaves the M’s as a remaining suitor, but helps the Nats reach their goals.

That said, if the Nats’ goals involve trading Ian Desmond or Jordan Zimmermann, then trade away boys!

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356. 358 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

And perhaps the rumblings in Seattle that they are “closing in on a trade for a hitter” involve JUp after all. If the Pads have turned their attention away from ATL and toward Tampa, then perhaps John the Elder has ceased playing both teams against each other and is now focused on finding a match with the M’s alone.

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357. 359 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

In all likelihood, we’ll know the outcome of the work between SD and Tampa very soon. Who knows when we’ll know anything about SEA or ATL. But I do know this much: I need to do some actual work myself. Perhaps I should do that and come back shortly…

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358. 360 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

Oooooh!!! 😯

Curveball!!!

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359. 361 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

10:04am: If deals are arranged involving both the Padres and Nationals, the Rays are eyeing a return that would (in the aggregate) include Hedges and Nats’ outfielder Steven Souza, Topkin tweets. (Rosenthal suggested on Twitter that Souza was a name to keep an eye on.)
Never even heard of Souza, though I liked the music of his great, great, great Grandfather 😆
A 25 soon to be 26 Y.O.(in April) outfielder…hit .350 last year, OPS is over 1000 (don’t pay much attention to that stat, but I know if it’s north of 1000, it’s a good thing) Got a cup of coffee with the nats, but they have too many outfielders, and won’t get a chance there. So, the nats won’t likely have to trade anyone that is on their roster…If there is a deal. Must be nice to have, you know, decent players in the minors to trade

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360. 362 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

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361. 363 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

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362. 364 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Isn’t it fun watching other folks open their Christmas gifts? 😡

Liked by 1 person

363. 365 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm

No surprise here. Figgered there was a deal for him coming…

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364. 366 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Man, when was the last time there was a 4 way trade?

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365. 367 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

And as much as I would like to dream that the Braves might be one of the 15-20 teams involved with SD and Tampa (I might have exaggerated a little), Mr. O’B says definitively that they are not.

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366. 368 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

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367. 369 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Heh, was just going to post about Varvaro…gee, I hope it’s someone in A ball… 😕

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368. 370 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

A thorough prospect report on Aaron Kurcz:

Born: August 8, 1990, Las Vegas, NV (Age: 24)
Height: 6-0 / Weight: 175
Throws: Right / Bats: Right
High School: Durango (NV)
Drafted: 10th round, 2010 by Chicago (NL)

Strengths: Despite a small frame and lean build, this right-hander is more than capable of dialing up his fastball. Kurcz is an easy thrower, who typically stays balanced during his delivery before the ball explodes out of his hand towards home plate. The heater sits 92-94 mph and tops out as high as 96 mph when the righty is reaching back for a little bit extra. There’s late life to the fastball, enabling the offering to produce swing and misses as opposing batters swing under the ball due to mis-timing its path. Kurcz also brings a level of maturity and strong competitive desire to the mound. He’s aggressive when attacking hitters, often showing no fear of challenging them with his fastball in key counts or situations. Kurcz’s mannerisms in these situations also point to a player who knows how to deal with the ups and downs of the long baseball season. When things are not going his way, he shrugs off poor results and continues to work to execute in a controlled manner.

Development Needs: Kurcz’s secondary offerings are on the inconsistent side and he can also be very heavily fastball-dependent during his outings. The breaking ball operates 75-81 mph, showing varying break. In the upper reaches of its velocity it has more of a power break, where the rotation is tight and crisp. Kurcz can either freeze batters or get swing and misses when snapping it off, but doesn’t hold the look with much frequency. The offering gets loopy and slurvy in the lower reaches as the righty tends to wrap his wrist during the release, causing it to spin to the plate. Kurcz also mixes in an 82-85 mph changeup, but doesn’t feature it all that often in sequences. The pitch does show arm-side fade and he has consistent arm speed when throwing it, with the potential to round into an average-to-better pitch at his disposal if the pitcher develops enough trust to use it more. The lack of overall crispness with the secondary offerings presently forces Kurcz to heavily lean on his fastball. Despite the ability to over-power opposing batters with the pitch, his command is presently only fringe-average-to-average, and works too much in the upper tier of the strike zone in stretches.

2014 with Portland (East AA):
W/L: 3-2, 2.14 ERA, 34 games, 42.0 IP, 3 saves

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369. 371 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

That enough info for ya? 😀

Liked by 2 people

370. 372 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

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371. 373 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

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372. 374 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

just barely! 😉

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373. 375 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Aha!!! Cash involved also. Good ol’ cash…

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374. 376 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Jon Morosi, FOX Sports: The Mariners have reached a deal to acquire outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs.

He’s no JUp, but he’s an OF. Likely takes them out of the mix.

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375. 377 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Ha ha ha…

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376. 378 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hmmmm…..

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377. 379 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Phil Rogers covers the Cubs for MLB.com

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378. 380 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

And before we panic that we haven’t traded Justin Upton yet in mid-December, we should note that the trade that brought him here occurred on Jan. 24.

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379. 381 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

But, being panicky is fun 🙂 I know the Cubs have about a million prospects, but they too worry more about “controlablity” than a big bat…I think John Hart is a perfect GM, if the year was 1995….Lets see how much he can adopt…and yes, not make a deal just to do a deal…unless the thought is J Up will be Up-itty…and a troublemaker during the season. I am quite sure that is a racist pun 😉

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380. 382 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm

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381. 383 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

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382. 384 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I think this off season determines a lot of which direction the Braves take as far as team building for the future. That is, blowing it up and starting over or trying to build on the fly. Turner Field can look mighty empty at times…..

I told you guys, the gNats are deep in minor leagues…

I am not sure of the Marlins’ byll pen as yet but they sure have a power laden line up to go with that stingy starting staff.

Right now, it’s a dog fight for third in the division between the Braves and the Mutts…. Now, if by some miracle, and that is a fairly accurate assessment one would think and Uncle BJ started hitting, well, the Braves could the landscape dramatically. Of course, that might be like the three years we kept waiting for Dan Uggla to break out of his slump.

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383. 385 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

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384. 386 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Varvaro for a prospect and cash… Remember when the Tampa Bay Rays owed Atlanta $50,000 for Fred McGriff and Atlanta said, never mind? My how times have changed…. At least Atlanta will have enough for bus fare for Disney this spring. I see a lot of stop gap hitters going to clubs because John Hart refuses to give up his only chips. Baltimore still needs an outfielder, I just don’t know what they have to trade. Maybe a three way deal. I’m sure they would take Gattis, remember, they did finish 12 games up on the rest of the AL East last season. The Yankees would likely trade A-Rod for Melvin and be elated to do so… Just saying…. Talk about an albatross. Like 385. 387 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm Like 386. 388 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm Meanwhile, the gNats and the O’s are in a spat over revenue sharing for local TV rights…. Poor them…. Nothing sadder than watching two billionaires cry poor mouth… Liked by 2 people 387. 389 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm Nick Markakis had his surgery today to fuse 2 disks in his neck. It was termed “successful”. Have you ever heard them come back and say a surgery was “unsuccessful”? Me either… Liked by 2 people 388. 390 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm Like 389. 391 Vox O'Raison December 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm Mooney: Ideally, the Cubs would like to add a more established outfielder to their lineup… I know where they can find one!! Liked by 1 person 390. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm Or two….. Liked by 2 people 391. 393 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm Well, that is some 3 way trade…never heard of most of the prospects, not that that means anything…. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/padres-rays-nationals-agree-to-three-team-trade.html Also see on MLBTR that there have been a few snags in the Matt Kemp deal. Bet he doesn’t want to go there. He is already getting a ton of money, so that can’t be sweetened (unless its another year tacked on, but what hitter would want to play there?) Could that re-open J Up talk? Meh…. Speaking of Meh…The Marlins, Braves and Giants are interested in free agent starting pitcher Jake Peavy, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets. Edinson Volquez signed with the Royals for 2 years and 20 mil. What is Jake Peavy going to ask for? 2 years, 16 Mil? I saw him in the playoffs…Bruce Bochy is today’s Capt Hook, still…while he is chuck full of grit, and Moxey, his stuff is Meh, I said Meh… Like 392. 394 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2014 at 7:03 am I’m so glad to read that the nats made out like bandits in the 3 way trade 😛 Like 393. 395 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:31 am Isn’t that something? The Nats wedged their way into the deal at the last minuted and “won the trade” according to most pundits. 🙄 Like 394. 396 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:35 am As for Peavy, I think he would be great at the back end of our rotation to mentor our young pitchers. No one will expect 200 innings out of him (as #5), but he could be to our staff what Huddy was to SF’s staff last year. I think Teheran above all others could certainly learn alot of the mental side of the game from a guy like Peavy. Now that I think about it, Shelby Miller as well. Heck, all of them! Mike Minor has the stuff, but sometimes lets his head get in the way. Maybe Peavy could be the guy that changes that… Like 395. 397 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:39 am WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford: David Ross is deciding between the Red Sox, Cubs and Padres. I am beginning to dislike the Padres. Liked by 1 person 396. 398 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:44 am I think the Braves are truly interested in AJ Pierzynski as BUC. Not just for his catching ability but for his “moxey”, to borrow a word from Ber. Of all the deficiencies on our club last year, maybe the biggest void was “a pair”. The pursuit of Markakis was made with that in mind. Peavy too. AJ would absolutely make an impact in the clubhouse and dugout. Like 397. 399 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:47 am AJ is a LH bat too… which is still lacking on this roster. Like 398. 400 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 7:56 am BTW- there is weirdness going on in SD over the Kemp deal. It still hasn’t been consummated even though they have had the results of Kemp’s physical for a couple of days. Perhaps SD will nix the whole thing and come back after JUp. Of course, I’m not sure who they have left to trade after unloading the minor league cupboard onto the Rays and Nats. If I recall correctly, the Dodgers were getting a couple of young pitchers back in the deal, one of which was to be spun over to Philly in the Rollins deal. Wow… alot of moving parts over in SoCal lately. But it’ll be interesting to see what develops, or doesn’t, regarding Kemp today. Like 399. 401 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 8:10 am Just remembered that Peavy and AJ have alot of history together with the ChiSox and BoSox. Maybe that could be a permanent battery every 5th day. I kinda like that idea. And do you realize that Peavy is only 33 years old? Like 400. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 8:52 am I don’t know VOX, I can still remember when Peavy refused a trade to Atlanta. Could be, he just doesn’t like the heat. Who knows? With the opening of relations between Cuba and the USA, will we be flooded with “classic” cars and baseball players in exchange for bidding rights to the Cuban National Team? Pretty sure they have watched as Japan and South Korea have been able to play their little extortion on Major League Baseball. While on the subject of Cuba, may as well establish relations to\with them before the build an atomic bomb. After all, it looks like the only country the current administration does not want to be friends with is Israel. Liked by 1 person 401. 403 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 8:58 am I can still remember when Peavy refused a trade to Atlanta. Yep, and that was a long time ago. Things change, especially when looking for a contract. Like 402. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 8:59 am These are the same Padres who have already had the Braves’ number for the past few years. I remember how over joyed Ryan Klesko was when he was traded to the Pades, would not be surprised to see Meds try to catch on there. SoCal is a nice place to live if you speak Spanish as a first language. That and all the fish tacos you can eat. Like 403. 405 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 9:01 am In spite of what many may think, baseball players can see which teams are trending upward and those headed down. Follow the off season money trail. SD is trending upward, Can’t blame Rossy for wanting to play there now. Like 404. 406 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 9:15 am In the midst of much stress and anxiety over shaping a roster, here is a nice “feel good” story: Kohn looking forward to fulfilling childhood dream Like 405. 407 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 9:31 am Just a few truisms to ponder which I have learned during my time on earth. Please not, this is true in most cases and not all as there will be exceptions and flukes to every rule. Football games are won in the fourth quarter Baseball games are won by the teams which score in the 5th,6th,or 7th innings. Soccer teams begin a match with one point, they are taught not to lose that one point…. Pro basketball does not care about defense, college basketball lives by it. The only people who watch women’s basketball are friends and family of the players and ESPN. They will always catch fish on a fishing show…. DNA results are always given to detectives within hours after retaining a sample, in real life, it normally takes 6 months. Smartphones will make you dumb! We live in an age of narcissism, see above statement. Liked by 1 person 406. 408 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm The only people who watch women’s basketball are friends and family of the players and ESPN. Gil, I have contacted the PC Police, you will be hearing from them soon 😆 Like 407. 409 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm It appears that the Kemp deal is indeed in jeopardy. Kemp’s medicals revealed arthritis in both hips. Ugly stuff. SO the Pads have a coule of options. They can squeeze more cash out of the Dodgers (the Dodgers stand to lose a ton if this trade falls through), Or they can simply back away and circle back to JUp. My gut tells me they’ll do the latter. Arthritis in a pro athlete is a death knell. Like 408. 410 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 2:28 pm The only people who watch women’s basketball are friends and family of the players and ESPN. … and domestic partners. 😉 Liked by 1 person 409. 411 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 2:32 pm Uh oh… Rosenthal: Regarding Bob Nightengale report about Kemp having arthritis in both hips: This situation threatens to turn very ugly if deal falls through. Information damages Kemp in public realm. Gives appearance of Padres trying to leverage medical information. And is a violation of HIPAA. If deal falls apart, Dodgers almost certainly would respond in strongest possible fashion. Oops! Well then… that changes things. I fully expect this deal to go through!! 😀 Like 410. 412 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm Medical monetary unit. Like 411. 413 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm Meds gets a 2 year deal with the Royals… Like 412. 414 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm Yep, A-Rod says he knows the name of a good hip replacement dude…. Only cost him a season or two. Now Dodgers will search hi and low for Kemp’s “PED history’ Got to be able to recover that money somehow. HIPPA is a strange beast. I’m a not sure how it might effect Dodgers or Kemp. I guess that is what lawyers are for. It is never illegal to ask questions, only to answer them. Of course, the Dodgers could put in an insurance claim on Kemp…. Lots of moving parts. Of course the money issue could be a big one. I wonder if Uncle Melvin might not suffer from the same aliment. So, it is literally, “buyer beware” when it comes to trades. Who knew, the most important guy involved in a baseball trade would be an X-ray technician who is getting paid$20 an hour and all the free radiation his testicles can absorb….?

Liked by 1 person

413. 415 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Good for Meds, I wish him well…..

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414. 416 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Apparently, the hangup in signing a BUC, and essentially losing out on an opportunity to bring back David Ross, is the resolution of the JUp/Gattis trade scenarios. If neither is traded, John and Fredi both say Gatt would be the #1 catcher, with Bcourt as the backup. And they both say they are comfortable going into 2015 that way.

TBH, I’m comfortable with that also. The Braves have 10 inter-league games in AL parks, so that’s 10 DH opportunities for Gatt. If Bcourt were to get, say… 3 out of 10 starts behind the plate for the remaining 152 games, that’s about 45 games, with Gattis getting the other 107 or so. Naturally, injuries and matchups will come into play as well. Still, that’s not too bad.

And I sure wouldn’t mind seeing Freddie, JUp and Gatt at 3, 4, 5…

Speaking of lineups, Fredi says it isn’t a given that Callaspo is his #2 guy. For one, it sure sounds like they’d love nothing better than for Jose Peraza to take Spring Training by storm and force them to keep him. Still, It appears that Fredi would really like to see Simba return to his 2013 form – with very few K’s – and take the 2 slot, with Callaspo dropping to 7 or 8. Given the heavy RH tilt of the lineup, I can see why he’d want to spread out his LH;s a little better. Maybe this:

1- Nick Markakis, RF (L)
2- Andrelton Simmons, SS (R)
3- Freddie Freeman,1B (L)
4- Justin Upton, LF (R)
5- Evan Gattis, C (R)
6- Chris Johnson, 3B (R)**
7- Alberto Callaspo, 2B (S)
8- BJ Upton, CF (R)

And all indications are that they are at least exploring a platoon partner for CJohn, whose L/R splits were pretty dramatic in 2014.

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415. 417 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Really would like to see the Braves offer Beachy a contract.

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416. 418 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Per Rosenthal, Medlen’s contract terms are as follows:

He’ll get $2M in 2015,$5.5M in 2016 and a $10M mutual option with a$1M buyout that is paid to him regardless of which side declines. Plus, can earn up to $4M worth of incentives in 2015 and$6M of incentives in 2017.

Anyway you slice that, it’s minimum $8.5M guaranteed to a guy coming off his 2nd TJ. To my knowledge, only one guy has done that and come back to his original form, and that is Chris Capuano who actually throws a little harder than he did pre-injury. The others all have lost a few MPH off the fastball. Doesn’t mean they can’t pitch, but it doesn’t help. In the case of Meds, he doesn’t rely on trying to throw anything past anybody anyway. That said, he doesn’t have alot to give up, either. I wish him well, but$8.5M guaranteed? The Braves don’t have the luxury of placing that much on the table before tossing the dice. I’m glad they didn’t.

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417. 419 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

It should be noted also that the Royals have their rotation in place. Meds just becomes filler and insurance. The Braves still must fill their #5 slot with a reliable arm. While I expect them to spend more than $8.5M over 2 years to do so, a signing on a 6th guy would have taken away$ from the potential 5th starter.

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418. 420 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

It’s so much fun to listen to those who pull the strings try to spin things. You don’t want to trash the guys you already have in case they are still around and yet, you are trying to appease those who can never be appeased, namely, AJC bloggers.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room remains the fact the Braves are paying Dodger money to Uncle Melvin when they have a Marlins type budget. Ah money…. how many times can the Braves afford to continue to pay players to go away? Hummmm… all this seemed to begin with Frank Wren didn’t it? No wonder they showed him and his minions the door.

Yes, Ber, I remember when Joe Gibbs was rehired to coach the Redskins after leaving the game. The Hall of Fame coach gave it up after one year saying the players were different, not willing to put in the work and he was no longer willing to spend his whole life managing a football team. Said he was happy to return to NASCAR where he could spend more time with his sons.

Maybe Hart misses the challenge, maybe this gets it out of his system. That is why the Braves held onto Coppolella, just in case methinks….

I still think the Braves will pick up a BUC. May not be who or what they want but they will have somebody who can chase down balls to the backstop.

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419. 421 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Well, even though I doubt in a million years Matt Kemp would see this, I have to apologize for saying he didn’t want to play in SD.
Now I read the 3 way trade might even have to be reworked…
Mike Napoli was diagnosed with a hip problem a few years ago…had to give up catching, but still plays 1st base…just read up, his issue is similar to Bo Jackson’s hip issue, but was caught early

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420. 422 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Bowman: Hart has repeatedly said that he does not feel pressured to deal Justin Upton, who would at least provide the value of a compensatory Draft pick if he stays in Atlanta throughout the 2015 season and then exits as a free agent.

“That Draft pick is valued, and getting to have that guy in our lineup for 160-plus games, that is valued,” Hart said. “If somebody wants to come in and get involved, it’s going to be for something we want, or we don’t trade him.”

Works for me.

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421. 423 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm

“Gil, I have contacted the PC Police, you will be hearing from them soon”

Anything to drive up viewership Ber….

Liked by 2 people

422. December 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Too funny, Gil! 😀

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423. 425 Vox O'Raison December 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Is anyone else already tired of the Padres, or is it just me?

Liked by 1 person

424. December 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

Nope. You’re not alone, V. That’s us in the other end of that boat. 🙂

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425. 427 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 1:21 am

Quick Hits: Johnson, Twins, Rasmus, Correia
By Mark Polishuk [December 18, 2014 at 11:55pm CST]

The Braves have reportedly been trying to package Chris Johnson or B.J. Upton along with one of their more desirable trade targets, and the Royals at least had some interest in Johnson, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Kansas City’s greater interest was in Justin Upton, though the Royals were considering using Johnson as a platoon partner with Mike Moustakas at third base. Now that K.C. has signed Alex Rios, however, they can probably be counted out of the running for the younger Upton brother.

Sigh…is this like V said, a salary dump?
Who is there to replace Chris Johnson? I don’t know of many 3rd basemen on the market, either free agent wise, or possible to attain via a trade….so, since he had an off year, you aren’t going to get anything for him (unless you are trying to save the moola only) why not forget that for now?
And Johnny baby, look me in the eyes and repeat after me…no one, NO ONE is going to take on BJ Upton’s contract, unless you pay all but 1-2 Mil of it….and they are not going to give back a prospect for him. So…why not forget that for now?

“If somebody wants to come in and get involved, it’s going to be for something we want, or we don’t trade him.”

Yeah, sounds great…but…why is there CONSTANT talk about potential trades of J Up and Gattis? because they want to trade 1 of those 2, for 2 things, an outfielder, and a pitcher…no doubt ML ready in both cases. Well…as we are finding out, teams, for some reason, will be desperate in Late July, and will trade a stud from the Minors, but , come the offseason…they regain their composure, and start talking about hey, we can’t trade a guy with 5 years of “controlablity” for J Up! Well…they could, because they (they being most teams not named the Braves, Reds, or Rays) are flush with dinero, and could either try to get him to sign a contract extension when he comes over, or
put in the best offer in the off season.

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426. 428 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 2:03 am

part 2, as it was getting long, and I worry about losing long posts! 🙂

And the semantics look bad too….nah, we don’t want to trade ’em, but if someone wants to come in and…so…the players are forever hearing their name in trade talks, have to feel they are likely to be traded…then, if nothing happens…sure, they are professionals, blah, blah, blah…but we know that players are often prima donnas , and take things personally.
It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation at this point. Don’t trade either, and the more focused fans like us feel let down…but, of course, we don’t want a bad trade just to make a deal…But, trade J Up or especially Gattis…then the “focused” and the more casual fan is a bit PO’ed…Fan fav J Hey is gone, Gattis is about as popular…trade him, and who is the kid(of any age really) really cheering for, or wearing the shirt of? Freeman, and Kimbrel …the game or two a year I go to…I see more McCann, Jones and even Frenchy shirts…..don’t recall seeing Simmons shirts…
And yes, there is a racial component if J Up gets traded….black fans will have seen 2 of the 3 Black outfielders traded away….does any of this sound like stuff that will bring more, or fewer fans to a game? Now, of course winning brings fans out…but once they started their collapse, so did ticket sales. Simmons is an exciting infielder, but defense doesn’t fill the seats. There isn’t a Mike Trout on the team (ok, there is only 1 of him) but there isn’t a starter as much fun to watch as Smoltz or Maddux (again, not fair in a way, HOF’ers or soon to be) it’s lets face it, a fairly bland team.
Gattis is probably the most exciting hitter, just because he might hit the ball 500 feet on any swing.
Wow, I just go on and on, don’t I? Can’t stop…
Gattis, as much as Gil and I would hate to lose him…is flawed. I think if the braves had kept David Ross (but hey, they saved a mil or two , pat yourself on the back again Wren! ) he could have worked wonders with him, behind the plate. Always remember how McCann said he had learned so very much from Ross, and that was after several years in the league.
Right now, teams are probably iffy on him behind the plate. So, less valuable as a lf’er and really less valuable as a DH. But, he might hit 30 HR’s and drive in 90 in 2015, for…someone.
Plus, people still see his potential, which, he hasn’t quite lived up to yet, but then again, he was rested so very much during the season, as we found out for good reason. 369 AB’s, 22 HR’s and 52 RBI’s .263 BA, gee…only 22 walks. Perhaps another reason they want to trade him?
Anyway, a guy with 2 years in the bigs, never played more than 108 games…with catching skills that may or may not improve, and a low OBP…how many top prospects will that bring you? Will the lineup be as good…wait…as mediocre as it was last year, with what you get in a trade? And if you trade him, I am sure Bethencourt can drive in 50-60 runs, but I don’t see the lineup improvement there.
Cubs have a ton of prospects, but they don’t seem to want a catcher, that I have heard of…
Getting tired, don’t know that I have really said anything new, or that we didn’t know..I just hope Hart and the million or so new folks, part of the braintrust…thought out EVERY possibility , long ago.
They had to know, they couldn’t compete with some other teams, tradewise, since their minors system is so weak. No, hey “will you take BJ and a solid #2-3 starter prospect , if we play 8 of the 15 mil? You will? I’m not dreaming am I? Don’t pinch me! “ Smile with tongue out
Nick M is basically a White J Hey, with less speed, and a prettier swing. He could have a nice bounceback season. Seems more like a good 2nd hole hitter, but no one else can lead off.
Trading JHey got not one, but 2 arms (and all for just 1 year of “controlablity” but I bet they think if he has a good year, the Cards fans will LOVE him, and they can re-sign him, fairly easily) but..that’s about it…still time. Still time for a team like the Yanks to get panicky, (amazing their reserve in the post George Steinbrenner years) Cubs to think they can compete with one more bat…
Right now though, if no other moves are made…if I was the “kid” that they didn’t think could handle this action packed offseason as the GM, I’d be a bit peeved.
Now, prove me way wrong Mr Hart, and make an amazing trade! Smile

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427. 429 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

I really don’t think it’s as bleak as you paint it. Yes, the Braves have holes, but they aren’t awful. Still as I said, there are holes. There is also alot of time left in the offseason. No reason to climb up on the bridge just yet.

Now… I must address the issue of Gattis, the way I see it. El Oso Blanco has plenty of value to us, and plenty of value to other teams as well. But it’s in different ways. First, let’s not pretend that Gattis is Johnny Bench or Thurmond Munson. What he is is a big ol’ dude who can hit the ball a mile. He’s not agile enough to play anywhere in the field very effectively, and he’s too big to catch in the long term. Knees and back just simply cannot handle the physical strain. The dude is huge!! Gattis is probably best compared to a guy like Mike Napoli or Victor Martinez, who each came up as an “OK” catcher, but had to move from behind the plate to maximize their ability. Now Napoli and V-Mart had a distinct advantage over Gatt… that being the DH, which is where Gattis is most valuable.

At the same time, Gatt is a major power source that is currently pretty cheap and under team control for 4 more years. That’s a 2 edged sword. It’s of major advantage to a team like the Braves who, unlike the Dodgers or Red Sox, cannot simply stroke a check just because there’s ink in the pen. But it also serves to give him that “max value” I mentioned earlier. He’s still an AL dream.

But John the Elder is in an unenviable position of having to choose between trading the prodigal fan favorite (and somewhat legend) at the peak of his value, but at the risk of alienating a fanbase that’s already on edge after losing homegrown talent JHey – a trade that I still maintain was brilliant. We all seem ready to just send off Justin Upton partially because he shares DNA with a guy who has wholly disappointed an entire geographical region, and partially because we don’t believe we can afford him after this season. And defense be damned! Yes, I know Matt Holliday is awful. I know Travis Ishakawa is awful. I know all that. But their teams score enough runs to make up for it. Ours doesn’t. We lost 28 1-run games in 2014. That 1 extra ball getting to the wall or rattling around in the corner can make the difference between winning and losing. And in this new post-PED age of baserunning, every extra base can tilt the advantage.

The Braves made their hay in the 90’s with the mantra of “pitching and defense”. The Royals, under ex-Brave FOT Dayton Moore, have surged back into relevance by copying the Braves model with pitching and defense. I value both… especially for a team that lost 28 flipping games by 1 run.

In my ideal world, we would go into 2015 with Jose Peraza doing what Rafael Furcal and more recently Andrelton Simmons did… simply outplay the competition not allow the Braves to send them down. He is the prototypical leadoff hitter. And if you could trade Gattis for the haul is is worth, and keep JUp, the only real hole left outside of CF – a dead horse that has been beaten to death many times over and not worth being rehashed yet again – is at 3B. Chris Johnson is a “nice enough” player, but doesn’t stand out in any way. He’s just kind of there. He isn’t good enough to make you do backflips, but he isn’t bad enough to make you want to get rid of him. But that’s the one position I would want to get my additional power from. And you are right, Ber, We have no one else on the radar for that position. We did have Victor Caratini, but somehow Frank Wren felt he was worth a left-handed pitcher that cannot get left-handed hitters out.

And that’s what brings me back to Gattis. Teams develop players for 2 reasons: #1 and most obvious, to plug into the lineup and produce, but also #2 to trade to fill holes. The Braves have holes that must be filled. A trade of Justin might fill one or two, but could create another in its wake. A trade of Gattis could fill multiple holes, and not leave a current position empty anywhere.

When John Hart says, “If somebody wants to come in and get involved, it’s going to be for something we want, or we don’t trade him,” he’s saying he isn’t giving anyone away just for the sake of trading. He’s telling all 29 other teams that he knows he has valuable trade items, and he intends to get value back. If he were to say, “I have too many catchers and outfielders, and we have to trade someone, by golly, and I’m gonna do it before Christmas!” then he appears desperate and gives the advantage to other teams.

Is John Hart past his prime? I don’t think so. I think he knows how to move the chess pieces around the board as well as anyone. I also think he knows the pawns from the bishops from the queen. And he knows that a good strategy requires patience and a willingness to play the game out to the end.

There are still at least 5 teams in need of RH power and OF help. They are all looking at each other and at the Braves and waiting for someone to blink. As for me, I’m happy John Hart is sitting back in his chair and saying, “If you want one of my guys, come get him. But don’t bring that weak @#$% in here. Come strong or go home.” I’ll reserve judgment until April 6, when the team opens its 2015 season in Miami. Ask me then. Like 428. 430 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:00 am Uh, never mind. Like 429. 431 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:02 am Like 430. 432 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:05 am Like 431. 433 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:20 am Like 432. 434 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:21 am Like 433. 435 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:22 am If they could have done this yesterday, Ber and I could have saved about 17,382 words. 😀 Liked by 1 person 434. 436 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:23 am Hyperbole = exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally Like 435. 437 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:27 am If SD, then between Wil Myers, Matt “Hips” Kemp and Justin Upton, who plays CF? And wither Seth Smith and Will Venable? Didn’t the former SD braintrust promise Smith they would not trade him when he inked his extension last year? Can the current FOT’s just break that word? Doesn’t that still kind of reflect on the organization as a whole? Like 436. 438 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:29 am Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please… Like 437. 439 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:36 am Like 438. 440 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:37 am Forget what I said about being tired of hearing about the Padres… Liked by 1 person 439. 441 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:38 am Like 440. 442 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:41 am We have now ruled out every AL West team. SD does seem like the only real destination left. Like 441. 443 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:47 am Scenario: Braves pickup LF Renfroe and a pitcher from SD for JUp and CJohn. Braves free up$32M in cash commitments, allowing them to sign a FA pitcher over 2-years (similar to the Peavy deal with SF last night). I’ll have to go and peruse the remaining market.

Braves 3B remains a project yet to be addressed.

Braves play Gattis in LF for 2015, allowing Renfroe one more season at AAA Gwinnett before taking over LF in 2016, when one of the Johns puts Gatt back on the market for next year’s haul.

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442. 444 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

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443. 445 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

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444. 446 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

Austin Hedges? He’s a 21 year old catcher. Would the Braves consider keeping Gattis behind the plate for another year or 2 and dealing Bethancourt?

Now, that is probably a real stretch, but I suppose all cards are on the table right now…

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445. 447 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

Hmmm… with the exception of the “out of reach” guys Max Scherzer and James Shields, there aren’t many exciting pitchers remaining. Peavy was the last really good one, and he’s now in agreement with SF.

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446. 448 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:07 am

… Aaron Harang or Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez is a groundball pitcher. That’s what you want here with the SS we possess.

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447. 449 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

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448. 450 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:09 am

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449. 452 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

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450. 453 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

Jace Peterson profile:

Peterson is a left-handed hitter that is versatile in the field. Though his swing isn’t anything too special, he has pretty good bat speed and the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He may not have any notable power, but he does make up for that with great base-running ability and plate discipline.

Considering his solid contact ability, the fact that he rarely strikes out, and his talent in drawing walks, the 23-year-old is able to get on base at a high rate. While he may not hit for power or a mind-blowingly high average, he should be able to rack up the steals based on his good on-base tendencies.

While he’s played primarily third base throughout his minor league career, he’s shown the athleticism to also hold down both second and third base if he’s called on to in the majors. There’s plenty of value in players that hold multi-position eligibility, which could be the case for Peterson if things fall into place.

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451. 454 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

Summary:

Braves acquire LH pitching prospect Max Fried and 3B/2B Jace Peterson according to Jim Bowden. Jeff Passan mentions young OF Michael Gettys has also been mentioned as a potential piece, but would need to be included as a “player to be named later”.

And that’s where it stands right now.

No mention of Chris Johnson being included. Peterson could be a 3B platoon partner.

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452. 455 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

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453. 456 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

OK… I’m gonna wait until the dust settles and come back to it. Multiple IF named Peterson have blown my mind for the moment.

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454. 457 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:31 am

Oh wow…

21 year old CF Mallex Smith was SD’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2014. This season, between A ball abd High A ball, he hit .310/.403/.432 and led all of professional baseball, both the majors and the minors, in stolen bases with 88 in 114 attempts. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 draft.

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455. 458 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:32 am

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456. 459 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

So this appears to be the deal:

LHP Max Fried, IF Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson, and OF Mallex Smith coming to Braves for JUp and an as yet unnamed “low-level player”.

Well done, Johns.

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457. 460 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 10:38 am

3B/DH Dustin Peterson is 19 years old, played low A in 2014.

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458. 461 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 11:04 am

Well, Renfroe is the guy I wanted us to get, but Fried is a nice piece. Yes, he’s coming off TJ in August, but should be ready to contribute in 2016. The rest are really just pieces to flesh out a mediocre minor league system. Not sure about my take on Jace Peterson. Most call him a 2B or SS, at least one source says he’s played alot of 3B. The info is not clear. I suppose an interview with John (pick one) and/or Fredi will happen soon and we’ll know their intentions.

Still alot of time to go before April. And it’s still difficult to tell if this is a “rebuild” or a “re-tool”. So far, it’s kinda leaning toward “rebuild”.

More shoes to drop, I suppose.

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459. 462 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

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460. 463 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

Fried, pronounced “freed”, is a big fella. 6’4″. Tons of potential. One always has to be skiddish with a TJ guy, but they’re so common nowadays. He was their #2 prospect prior to his injury. He’s the centerpiece for ATL. IMO, it’s a bit of a gamble, but one I think is favorable for ATL. He still projects as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Here’s something of note: New Special Assistant to the GM Chad MacDonald spent the last 3 years as VP/Asst. GM of Player Personnel with the Padres. he knows these guys.

Liked by 1 person

461. 464 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 11:25 am

… at which point the Padres will lead the league in “Wills” with Will Venable, Wil Myers and Will Middlebrooks.

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462. 465 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 11:25 am

If they could have done this yesterday, Ber and I could have saved about 17,382 words
Amen to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am soooooo glad I stayed up blurry eyed to write the longest 2 posts in 5 years!!!!!1

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463. 466 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

everyone, please re-read my 2 epic Savannah Guy wished he could write that much posts, twice…so I don’t feel like I wasted my time. 😛

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464. 467 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

DOB is on vacation ,(though I am sure he is going to have to post some about this) he retweeted this Mark Bradley article, saying braves are in full rebuilding mode…not sure I agree with that…partial rebuild it seems to me

one interesting comment he got…
The Braves finished next-to-last in the majors in runs last season. The Padres finished last. The Padres have added Matt Kemp, Will Myers and J. Upton. The Braves have subtracted J. Heyward and J. Upton.

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465. 468 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

… at which point the Padres will lead the league in “Wills” with Will Venable, Wil Myers and Will Middlebrooks.
Yep, but now they are dangerous low on Petersons

Liked by 1 person

466. 469 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

either later today, or in a few days tops, we will never mention the Fathers again…unless it’s congrats on winning the NL West/W.S. but, if I was on their coaching staff, I’d put Kemp on 1st, save wear and tear running around that huge outfield….

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467. 470 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Ok a few thoughts/questions on the trade.
Did the braves try to get Cameron Maybin, Seth Smith, or Will Venable? I know, one less prospect, still…if BJ is hitting .190 in May or June…do they still keep running him out there? Who would replace him at this point?
I imagine this trade isn’t going to go over well with the more casual fans, cuz there isn’t a name to say well, we got this guy back. A very good arm that won’t even pitch most of the 2015 season, and low minors guys…not exactly sexy news, yaknowwhatimean?
Not saying it was the wrong decision, or a bad one. It will take years to find out….

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468. 471 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

In case you guys didn’t check out Jace Peterson’s Minor league stats…
Guy stole quite a few bases in the recent past…
http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=peters002jac

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469. 472 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

V, Gil, Cl, where is you? want to talk baseball! 😦 😉
Ususally listen to Rush, but flipped over to Buck and Kincaid and heard a lot of…football talk :X (or is it 😡 ) finally started to talk some about the trade…they seem to think full rebuild mode too. I think it depends on what they sign pitchingwise….IF they sign someone else…if nothing else, they have saved a lot of money , will they use it, or save it, expecting to have attendance way down?

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470. 473 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

And now the Yankees and Marlins have made a big trade(this is just before the deal was listed as completed)

12:15pm: The Yankees and Marlins are on the verge of a deal that would sent Martin Prado to Miami, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter) hears that the deal would have Garrett Jones and Eovaldi going to New York for Prado and pitcher David Phelps.

Prado, 31, is owed $11MM in 2015 and in 2016. If the deal is finalized, the veteran would replace Casey McGehee at third base, according to Jackson (Twitter link). Prado hit a combined .282/.321/.412 for the Diamondbacks and Yankees in 2014 with an exceptionally strong .316/.336/.541 during his 37 games in pinstripes. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/marlins-to-acquire-martin-prado-from-marlins.html Like 471. 474 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm Boo!!! 😡 Like 472. 475 Vox O'Raison December 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm Yep. Now that Evan is officially a LF, the need for a BUC has become real. Like 473. 476 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm Whew…. A lot of catching up to do. Got home from a trip to the grocery store and lunch and noticed the scroll saying J-Up had been traded to the Pads.. Then took me 30 minutes to catch up on the chatter here on the B&S to find out all the scoop. Ber, Vox, who do you think pushed this trade over the edge? Your prose is very compelling, forced the front office to finally pull the trigger on the trade. Rebuild, or blow up? More blow up than tweak one o\would think. Lots of young guys hoping they will develop. Sounds like a salary dump more than anything. Sigh….. Liked by 1 person 474. 477 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm And if you ask me, Prado’s contract is a bargain but the Yankees need pitchers. Like 475. 478 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm Okay, I have now had a little time to digest all the ramifications and possibilities of the Justin Upton for a passel of prospects and it seems to me that John the Elder has for the most part did a reverse Texeria trade. Yep, these are not players who will be playing at Turner Field next season but the organization just got a whole lot better. I know a lot of folks are clamoring for Peraza but I think he has slipped down a couple of rungs on the 2nd base depth chart. Let’s be honest, the only reason he got so much ink in Atlanta is because there was no one else to talk about. He might have been the Braves’ best prospect but he did not even rate a starting job in the AFL. Sooooooo…. At least Gwinnett might do a tad bit better, keep us informed VOX, last chance you might get to see some of these kids for$10….

I think Hart is being realistic, the Braves may not overtake the gNats this season but at least the Braves have to hope on the horizon. Heck, I think the gNats are going to have their hands full with the Marlins this season. Should be fun watching everyone beat up on the Phillies.

Speaking of the Phillies, too bad we can’t afford Cole Hammels. I hope he goes somewhere the Braves won’t have to face him….

So, Marteen to the Marlins…. BOOOOOOOO!

Liked by 1 person

476. 479 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm

As for Gattis, got to keep him now, no one else to protect Fab 5 in the line up. Still yet to see the effect of the new hitting coach. Let’s be honest, do ya’ll really think the Braves will score fewer runs than last season.?

If Simmons will stop trying to match Gattis off the tee and stop screwing himself in the ground and hit the ball gap to gap and Chris Johnson goes back to 2013 CJ and not 2014 CJ, the Braves might actually have a chance to make a good showing but as it stands right now, 2015 should be entertaining but I am relying on John the Elder to improve the team to be a World Series contender and not a wild card pretender.

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477. 480 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Now, back up catcher….. meh… usually a defensive guy who can spell Bethancourt once a week. Can even let Gat catch once in a while. The Braves do need to let their bench guys play more often, mostly in centerfield but I digress….

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478. 481 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2014 at 10:05 am

Hyperbole = exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally

Of course you write that after I had counted to 16, 187….

Liked by 1 person

479. 482 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2014 at 10:23 am

So, the Braves still need a fifth starter and back up catcher plus a really good bench guy….. At least the rookies have something to play for this spring other than to fill seats for spring training games. Josie want to go to spring training this March, translation, we will be headed south this spring After all, what Miss Josie wants, Miss Josie gets…. Least I can do for her putting up with a broken down old dude…

Anyway, I do not expect to be on anyone’s pre-season list to finish 2015 as World Series champions. Of course, the Brewers did last season what a lot of young teams do in August and September… Fold like a cheap suit. The Braves have done it 2 out of the last three years.

I expect the Marlins to get a lot of looks this spring but Loria is so predictable, if Miami is not in fist place by the All-star break, look for him to start all over again. It is what they do.

With two bad boys on the roster, one has to wonder if there is room enough in Washington for Worth and Harper on the same team. The gNats will not need a manager but a referee this year.

I still think Gio’s dad was shipping a little something extra to him from Miami prior to last season…. Oh well, watch out for the Mutts, they are still paying off the house on money raked in for them by Madoff. But the market is way up and they have moved the left field fences in some more.

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480. 483 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

Gil, if one is/was realistic, they’d see that the Braves were already behind the Nats and Fish, with nothing in the pipeline to help. But now…

Yes, the prospects were good ones. And for all the griping and moaning I continue to hear about Fried being hurt, he’s going to be a really good one when he recovers. In fact, he’s already ahead of Tyrell Jenkins and Lucas Sims in our system. Here is an impartial ranking of him done yesterday.

The No. 3 prospect on the Padres’ Top 20 (and No. 68 on the overall Top 100) at the time of the trade, Fried will slide into the same spot on the Braves’ list once the deal is official. A former high school teammate of Lucas Giolito, the top prospect in the Nationals system, Fried was the top high school pitcher taken in the 2012 Draft (No. 7 overall). After a solid, albeit unspectacular, first full season in 2013, Fried got hurt in ’14, pitching just 10 2/3 total innings and ending with Tommy John surgery in August. That means he’ll miss most of next season, but once he gets back healthy, the Braves will be getting one of the better left-handed arms in the Minors, one who fires fastballs that sit in the low 90s. He also has an outstanding power curve and a changeup that was improving before he got hurt.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 1 | 2014 preseason: 3 | 2014 midseason: 2 | Time of trade: 3

And don’t ignore Jace Peterson. He may well be our starting 2B in 2015 instead of Alberto Callaspo. He also profiles as a top of the order bat… perhaps leadoff.

This trade wasn’t sexy, and doesn’t set the Braves up for instant success, but is was a healthy one for the organization going forward.

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481. 484 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

One more observation:

It is a little clearer now why John Hart is the Pres of Baseball Ops now, and Coppy is the GM in waiting. Elder John is doing all the dirty work and getting slammed by the fans. He’ll continue to take the heat for a year or 2, then Coppy can ride in on his white steed when the time is right and make the sexy moves to push us over the top.

Cunning, these execs are.

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482. 485 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

Jace Peterson’s profile, from the same source as above:

A supplemental first-round pick (No. 58 overall) in 2011, Peterson made his big league debut in ’14 and spent a good amount of time in the big leagues (thus graduating off of prospect lists because of service time). He only amassed 58 plate appearances but did see time at both second and third base with the Padres. While the left-handed-hitting infielder didn’t show much with the bat during his time in San Diego, he’s always hit as a pro, with a .287/.381/.411 line in the Minors. A two-sport star in college, Peterson is a terrific athlete who maximizes his average speed with an aggressive approach on the basepaths that allowed him to steal 93 bases combined in ’12 and ’13. He’s a line-drive hitter with good bat speed, albeit without much power. He didn’t play shortstop in the big leagues in ’14, but he has some ability there, though he might profile best at second base — a spot he could get a chance to play in Atlanta.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 10 | 2014 preseason: 7

He’s the one guy we’ll see right away.

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483. 486 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

The other Peterson, 3B Dustin:

The younger brother of Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson, Dustin was taken in the second round in 2013 — 38 picks after his brother. Ranked 10th on the Padres’ list at the time of the trade, Peterson scuffled a bit in his first full season, stumbling particularly in the second half. While Peterson struggled with plate discipline, he does have good bat speed and power potential. He’s fairly athletic, though he made the move from high school shortstop to professional third baseman. Some feel he might be best suited for second base or the outfield when all is said and done. Most feel Peterson will make adjustments and his bat will carry him up the ladder regardless of what position he ends up playing regularly.

Top 20 ranks: 2014 preseason: 15 | 2014 midseason: 13 | Time of trade: 12

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484. 487 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

And finally, OF Mallex Smith:

There is no question that Smith can run. One of the fastest players in pro ball, Smith led the Minors with 88 stolen bases in 2014, a year after stealing 64 in his first full season. He understands that his job is to get on base, and he isn’t afraid to draw walks or bunt for base hits. He uses his speed in the outfield as well, and it allows him to make up for mistakes as he continues to improve his reads and routes. Speedsters like Smith don’t always hit when they move to the upper levels, and Smith will have to prove he’s more than a one-tool wonder as he advances, though he did perform well in the Arizona Fall League.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: NR | 2014 preseason: NR | 2014 midseason: NR | Time of trade: 20

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485. 488 Vox O'Raison December 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Oh… and those profiles were courtesy of Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.

Liked by 1 person

486. 489 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Thanks VOX, like I said, this was a building trade, not a put us over the top trade, those will come when the Braves are a little further along and some of those international signing start to mature.

I’m pretty sure when Tex was traded to Atlanta, it was only Elvis who was getting the ink. The rest of the guys allowed Texas to make it to the World Series and cleaned out the Braves’ pantry of talent.

In the real world, a team is lucky if they are able to bring up a home grown player once a season but have some Quad A guys for insurance. I don’t know if the Braves’ minor league budget and scouting department was trimmed to the bone to make up for having to eat contracts the past 5 years but it hasn’t helped.

I’ve noticed a lot of guys who were formally with the Braves now working for Washington, also LA… just saying…..

I’m going to have to give John Hart the benefit of the doubt on his trades. Not like he has lost sight of what talent looks like.

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487. 490 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Now about Fried, if he turns out to be the next Adam Wainwright, people will be talking about how the Braves picked the Pad’s smocks… If not, well, people will be talking about how the Braves gave up their only RBI guy for a bunch of wannabes.

I think we will figure this all out in a couple of years but it is tough operating with one’s wallet pocket sewn shut. Just the way it works. Normally, you have some down years, draft some really good players and then buy the guys you need to go along with them.

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488. 491 Vox O'Raison December 22, 2014 at 9:18 am

As the Braves are now routinely slammed by media and fans alike, and already written off for the 2015 season, I must once again post a reminder that the Hot Stove League is still hot. In fact, if you look at my profile pic, you’ll see the flame is still roaring in the stove.

The Braves shopping list for the remainder of the offseasonis as follows:

5th starter, back up catcher, bench bopper,

According to John the Elder, he’s just as comfortable using a young guy as his 5th starter as he is a grizzled vet. And honestly, although our pitching staff is a young one, they have plenty of experience. I would not expect to see him spend alot on a 5th starter. Depending on where his market lands, Harang is still a possibility to return. I think JTE prefers a 1-year deal, though, given that he does have guys like Tyrell Jenkins that might push for that spot next year. I get that. At any rate, it isn’t gong to be a guy we’ll jump up and down about.

According to Bowman, the Braves are still looking at AL Pierzynski and Jose Molina. I’m OK with either one. And honestly, I like AJ’s attitude. I know it rubs alot of people the wrong way, but we need a little more attitude on this team. They were too willing to roll over last year. That’s unacceptable.

Bench bopper. The least talked about, and maybe the hardest to find. Last year’s acquisition of Ryan Doumit seemed so perfect and was an utter failure. No way to predict this one. Just keeping my fingers crossed. But those great Braves teams of the 90’s always had that one guy… Francisco Cabrera or Dwight Smith or Mike Deverueax… almost no-name guys who came through in the clutch. That’s the ticket, to find the hidden gem. And I think to a large degree, it’s chance.

Here’s hoping the odds are ever in our favor…

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489. 492 Vox O'Raison December 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

“AL” Pierzynski? I really should do a better job of proofreading… 😳

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490. 493 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Mis-spelling the name of a dude who has 5 vowels too many h\in his name is no sin….

I agree, the shopping list got shorter which is a good thing because they are always crying poor…. Just business as usual if you ask me, they have been doing so since Ted Turner sold his team without realizing it.

Yes, the Braves needed a little more anger in their season but don’t expect it to come from a guy like Gattis, his spirit quest pretty much left him as a Zen Buddist, just saying. Anyway, Chris Johnson was a guy who would show some emotion but for the coaching staff, emotion was not to be displayed…. The rest of the team go the message, strike out? Oh, well, tip your cap to the pitcher…. Uncle Melvin? Just stew about it and let it carry over to the outfield, after all, what are they going to do about it? Not like they can trade me….. Freddie Freeman has lost every team mate he has gone to to share his frustrations, Chipper retired, Uggla released, now J-Hey traded…. He better become his own man pretty soon or he is going to be like a lot of GIs in WW2, don’t make friends because they can be here one minute and gone the next.

Baseball can be a lonely sport. You have a lot of co-workers and acquaintances but few real friends. Just ask the old timers when they return once a year. ” Yeah, it’s great, I had not seen nor heard from ******** since *****”

Anyway, like Glavin said, you can pick your friends during the off season…

So, where does that leave the Braves, searching for a good club house guy who has something left in the tank so he can also contribute n the field but who will not cost a lot of money. Those guys are more valuable than most realize. It was the piece the Braves and the Brewers and most notably, the A’s lacked during the final months of the 2014 season. You always need a guy who can carry the team for a month or two but it helps when more than one guy can do it so that guy is not always pitched around.

Too many teams saw holes in the Braves’ line-up and would walks the bases loaded to get to him. Baseball is a simple game but some guys over think it and well, ya’ll have seen the results…. Too often I might add….

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491. 494 berigan2electricboogaloo December 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Gil, I sent a facebook message a couple days ago, FYI….

Did use guys see this somewhat buried post on MLBTR?
The Rays‘ search for offense in the wake of the Wil Myers trade is limited to what remains of the outfield free agent market or obtaining a player whose team will eat almost all the salary on a bad contract, writes the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin. Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard, and B.J. Upton fit the latter category, according to Topkin.

Hmm, ok, let’s say we get rid of BJ…who plays center?
Jordan Schafer? 😛

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492. 495 Vox O'Raison December 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Yes, Ber… the Rays would be the perfect patsy, er… trading partner for Uncle BJ, being that Tampa is where he saw the successes of his career. Those kind of fond memories often linger even after the favored son goes off to make his riches elsewhere and flops mightily. Maybe if we agree to pay 90% of his salary, they’ll ship us a basket of oranges for him! 😀

Liked by 1 person

493. 496 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Ber

Pretty sure the Braves can find someone who can bat below .200 and strikeout a lot for major league minimum. That said, BJ will be with the Braves at least one more season I think, doubt he will move with the club to the new ball park. BJ said he will be someone else this season, we shall see. If he hits .240 it would be a huge improvement. That would be someone different….. Not worth the money he is being paid but I guess DuPont felt the same way about me when the retired me….

Sooo, Ryan Howard…. watch for him to end up in Baltimore. Just such a good fit all around, if it is just a salary dump, well, the O’s have room in their payroll. I doubt Philly will get much back, maybe a 15th round draft pick or something. Phils will still have to eat some of his contract but will allow them to sign some other folks. That said, I think Rubin has burned his bridge with Howard.

The Yankees might well take them up on their offer so they will have some room on their roster.

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494. 497 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm

The real prize pig for the Phils is Hammels… Would love to have him in Atlanta but that is a pipe dream. Would not be surprised to see him go to the Padres but not really surprised to see him stay until mid season trading deadline. Phillies are trying to get younger but nobody forced Amaro to sign older players to big contracts.

Of course, we have seen what can happen when those big contracts blow up in your face. GMs are run out of town on a rail…..

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495. 498 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm

BJ for a box of oranges… really Raisins? Have you seen the price of fruit lately? They would be overpaying….

Liked by 2 people

496. December 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

“Pretty sure the Braves can find someone who can bat below .200 and strikeout a lot for major league minimum.”

Me!! Me!! I can do that!!!

😀

Liked by 1 person

497. 500 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm

So, Braves .com hack, Bowman seems to feel that Evan Gattis will be traded for pitching. So, the Braves will be worse than last season? Why would a pitcher want to come to the Braves? I hope the Braves make the decision to trade Gattis before my DirecTV MLB package renews so I can cancel. No since watching a team lose 90 games next season. I can do that for free….. Wait, I can watch the gNats and the O’s at no extra charge….. Could see the Braves play at least 21 times…. hummmmm….

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498. 501 Vox O'Raison December 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm

DOB always seems to have more of an inside feel than does Bowman…

Liked by 1 person

499. 502 Vox O'Raison December 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

BJ said he will be someone else this season

Let’s hope it isn’t Dan Uggla!!! 😯

Liked by 1 person

500. December 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm

How do you decide who you’ll be?? If he’s going to be somebody else next year, who was he this past year? But, you know, that makes it really convenient when he’s taken to task for subpar performance: “Oh, that wasn’t me. That was (pick somebody and fill in the blank)!”

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501. 504 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm

At least Dan made an effort….

Liked by 2 people

502. 505 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 9:38 am

Oh, I don’t know. I won’t question effort; but I will certainly criticize result.

Liked by 1 person

503. 506 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

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504. 507 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

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505. 508 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Another kid who was in the Yankees’ organization. Could be a good player if he gets to play several days a week. Can he play centerfield?

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506. 509 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

He has played all over the OF. Hart says he can play CF if necessary.

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507. 510 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Veteran ‘pen arm. Was expected.

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508. 511 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm

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509. 512 Vox O'Raison December 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Jason Grilli will likely take the innings once pitched by Jordan Walden. I think the acquisition of Grilli at least raises the possibility that David Carpenter could be dealt, since Joe Johnson has also been acquired… not to mention the return to health of Shae Simmons. At the least it further strengthens and deepens the bullpen.

It could also signal that the Braves may be preparing to use one of David Hale or James Russell in the #5 starter spot.

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510. 513 berigan2electricboogaloo December 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

I’m still scratching my head as to why Jim Johnson ( 7.14 ERA, story on him from the signing http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/jim-johnson-gets-another-chance–signs-one-year-deal-with-braves-184819398.html ) and Jason Grilli (38 years old, 4.00 ERA for the year, but better at the end of the season) are somehow better than Anthony Varvaro
, 30, 2.63 ERA. Granted, Jim Johnson only had 1 terrible year, but he did work with 2 pitching coaches last year, and was beyond bad with both. He’s also 31, so it makes a bit more sense….Grilli. 38, and 2 years?
Frankly, I’d rather see the money spent on David Ross (too late) I’d rather have his grit, and have him work with Gattis and Bethencourt than a sinker baller whose sinker stopped sinking and a 38 year old…
As for Carpenter…don’t we need a few power arms in the bullpen besides Kimbrel and I guess Simmons?
I can stand a so-so fighting for .500 team if they are somewhat scrappy, and keep in games. I won’t be watching if the bullpen is below average and they forever cough up leads late, because that shouldn’t happen with the arms this team does/did have in the bullpen. 2 guys are gone that provided 115 innings of sub 3.00 ERA, even if we didn’t always think they were all that and a bag of chips…granted, there could be some other scrap heap dumb luck guys that could help. Of course, I remember J.S. thinking anyone could pitch well in the bullpen and he found out late in his GM career that isn’t always the case….

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511. 514 berigan2electricboogaloo December 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

Don’t get me wrong, no problem with Walden being in the JHey trade…but, trade Carpenter , and have an arm or two in the bullpen go down…forgot we got whosits back from the Cubs… can’t quite understand why they did give up on him so quickly, but whatever…if he returns to…well, his potential? Then that will help…can’t help but see the bullpen as thin, as is the rotation. Are they really considering Russell as a starter? Never been one in the majors..

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512. 515 Vox O'Raison December 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Russell as a starter? Never been one in the majors

He started a game late last season for the Braves and gave us 5 strong innings. He has the “stuff”, if you will, just never been stretched out to start. And his splits over the years suggest he’s similarly effective against both LH and RH batters. He certainly is not the prototypical bullpen loogy.

I think the suggestion that he could start is just that… a suggestion. David Hale has the better resume in that area, but they favor his as their “swingman”. And he did well in that role. I have no problem with Grilli or Johnson. Neither got a huge payday. Johnson’s numbers appear bad because he was dealing with injury. He is basically a reclamation project for Roger. If he comes back, then it’s a bonus. If not, then we gave it a heckuva good try. Grilli was also coming back from injury. He spent a month on DL with an oblique injury – that’s the injury that essentially derailed Steve Avery’s career – and was traded June 27, then had a 2.12 ERA w/29 K’s and only 7 BB’s in 29 2/3 innings over first 34 games for the Angels. He finished with a 3.48 ERA with 36/10 for them. Most importantly, he’s an experienced guy to plug into the back end of the bullpen. You can even call him “insurance” if you want. Personally, I like the signing. Varvaro never showed much of anything more than average. He is probably never going to advance much more than he showed here, which is good but not great. And fairly inconsistent. If he were a lefty, he’d make twice as much and be in demand. But he’s an average RHRP, and we needed his 40 man roster spot at the time he was DFA’d. Straight up comparison between Grilli and Varvaro… give me Grilli all day long.

The bullpen is as deep as any in the division, and if either Johnson or Michael Kohn come back to their previous form, then it is as talented as any in the division. In fact, IMO, the bullpen is the least of the team’s concern.

I still believe they’ll sign a FA 5th starter. They should have about \$10-12M to play with after anticipated arb raises, a BUC and so forth.

Speaking of BUC, they absolutely still need a BUC, but it isn’t a major priority when you have Gattis in LF who can still go behind the dish if necessary. His ability to play everyday in LF and still catch if needed is a pretty cool bonus. He would be the starter if Bethancourt went down with injury. It allows you to pick up a guy like AJ Pierzynski strictly for his bat and attitude if you want. Another consideration when talking about David Ross is that he bats RH, which a vast majority of the team does… including both Bethancourt and Gattis. Ross paired well with the LH Brian McCann. AJ Pierzynski bats LH. And we need a strong LH bat for the bench.

Speaking of the bench, currently, our top bench candidates are all OF, being Zoilo Almonte, Todd Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich. And all 3 of those dudes are SH. Now, you and I all know we won’t have 3 extra OF on the team, but playing Gattis in LF, who will be the team’s “3rd” catcher, would allow us to carry 2 extra OF… especially a guy like Terdo who can also back up 1B. And he has some pop, too. This would be a great year for him to have a big spring and be the “bopper off the bench” this team has desperately lacked for years.

If I have read John Hart correctly over the last few days since JUp was dealt, his remaining shopping list was for a 5th starter, BUC and veteran pen arm. So the Grilli signing checks off one more item. BUC will probably be next. The 5th starter may not come until spring. There are alot of castoffs in spring that can fill that role – Aaron Harang in 2014 immediately comes to mind. Now that’s not to suggest he’s purposely waiting for a spring castoff, only that you never know what might be available then.

Don’t jump off yet, Ber. Still a couple of months of roster tinkering to be done.

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513. 516 Vox O'Raison December 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

If I had to project a 25 man roster at this point, excepting the 5th starter and BUC of course, then I think it could look something like this:

Pitchers:
1- Teheran, RHS
2- Miller, RHS
3- Wood, LHS
4- Minor, LHS
5- ???
6- Kimbrel, Cl
7- Grilli, SU
8- Carpenter, SU
9- Avilan or Shreve
10- Russell
11- J. Johnson or S. Simmons or Vizcaino
12- Hale

Infield:
13- Freeman, 1B
14- Peterson, 2B/3B
15- A. Simmons, SS
16- C. Johnson, 3B
17- Callaspo, 2B/3B
18- Gosselin, 2B/SS

Catchers:
19- Bethancourt, C
20- ???, BUC

Outfield:
21- Markakis, RF
22- Gattis, LF
23- Upton, CF
24- Almonte, LF/CF/RF
25- Terdo, RF/1B

The Braves currently list Hale as their 5th starter, and maybe it ends up that way. I think he can handle it, personally (reminds me a little of Jason Marquis).Given the presence of Chasen Shreve, Shae Simmons and Michael Kohn, there is enough depth to absorb it. And don’t forget Arodys Vizcaino, who could also be a big contributor in the pen.

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514. 517 berigan2electricboogaloo December 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm