#147: Hot Stove or Open Pit?

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

Gil 
Mechanicsville, VA

Going back and reading some of the links posted previously, Coppy is finding Braves fans can be a tough crowd. Amazing how someone could supplant Frank Wren as the villain. No matter how well intentioned, folks get antsy when they feel you are more like Jeff Loria than Dan Dombroski.

Losing seasons are part of baseball but salary dumping is never a crowd pleaser. It’s as if the Braves have lost their focus. Changing from being a sports franchise to becoming a real estate developer. Even the most successful shopping mall has to have a couple of good anchor stores.

Unless you are a NASCAR fan, few people root for the corporate sponsor. Even so, I worked for DuPont for 25 years but never was a Jeff Gordon fan… If the Braves think a new stadium will increase the turnstile flow, they need only look at Pittsburg. Great stadium but until they started winning, most fans came disguised as empty seats.

Our old friend, Skip Caray, oft opined, the best promotion was a winning team. The Braves have to be very careful going forward. They risk alienating a whole generation of Braves fans if they are perceived as tanking. If they thought it was tough getting fans back after the baseball strike in ’93, they will find it doubly tough to comeback after losing 100 games for a few years. Add an increase in ticket prices and you could see a downward spiral from which it might be tough to pull out from.

The Braves endeavor to make Sun Trust Stadium a destination but I suspect a lot of folks can find good food or entertainment without the cover charge of $50 per ticket and having to sit through 3 hours of seeing your home team get clobbered each day. The Dodgers seem to draw quite well despite an ancient ballpark. Same could be said of Fenway. Not saying you don’t have to put money into an old park but when you can sit at home where the beer is colder, the seats are wider, the bathroom has no waiting line, and the view of the field is unobstructed, why bother to fight the traffic?

Gil2

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468 Responses to “#147: Hot Stove or Open Pit?”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady November 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I certainly agree, Gil! Excellent viewpoint, IMHO.

    Like

  2. 2 berigan2electricboogaloo November 19, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks very kindly Gil! Excellent opining! (gee, is that how you spell it? spell check didn’t underline it)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks guys (and gal). Just a little something to allow for me to get to the last comment a bit quicker. Great promo by a local air line. $29 each way flights to Orlando, Too bad the flights do take place until mid April. Oh well…

    Still debating on my final steps on my new/old truck. Found that seats from a ’92-’99 Bonneville will fit without need for modification. Depends on the quotes I get to recover the ones in the truck now (hint) they are not OME…Not sure what they are out of but I now remember why I liked an extended cab….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 5 JoAnn Brooks Elliott November 19, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    If they are building the new Stadium close to the minor league stadium, why would people go to the major league games, when all of the players are new anyway. I would just go to the minor league games and see, who might be up and coming. The Braves really have nothing to offer in the Majors right now. Might as well just watch who will be one day. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 6 Vox O'Reason November 20, 2015 at 7:30 am

    It’s only November 20. Maybe we should wait a little closer to March before calling in the coroner…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 7 Vox O'Reason November 20, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Behind the scenes move update:

    The Braves added OF Mallex Smith and P John Gant (1 of the 2 pitchers obtained from NYM in the Uribe/KJ deal) to the 40-man roster yesterday in advance of today’s deadline in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. The roster count now stands at 38.

    Like

  7. 8 Clarence Elliott November 20, 2015 at 8:13 am

    body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}

    It is getting harder for me to remain a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Yes Bro, so many other teams vying for our viewership here in the River City. Of course, it doesn’t appear that Mayor Jones really wants to keep the Squirrels in town either does it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Moseyed over to the AJC to read a post by Mark Bradley about Coppy’s recent “vent”… Funny thing fans, they can be passionate… If they are not, well, then you really have a problem. I used to read the Washington Nats post. Seldom would there be more than one or two comments. Now, I’m not talking about a small independent little slice of the web like our cozy cabal. I’m talking about the Washington Post etc.

    No, it is when all the traffic stops that a franchise should worry. The world is a cruel tough place, while no one likes to be vilified, being ignored is worse. Perhaps the bitter pill of rebuilding would have gone down easier if followed by a little straight up truth but then again, some folks can’t handle the truth…

    I can relate, it is human nature to complain, funny thing that. I’ll bet no one complains if their hot dog is too cold or their beer too warm when the team sucks. Too many big issues to contend with to sweat the small stuff right now. Ah well, lots of stuff to talk about in the mean time. Allard had a minor back surgery this week…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Folks, that is an oxymoron if there ever was one. It does not bode well for such a young person to have back problems, no matter how good their arm may be.

    I wish him a speedy recovery but I don’t expect him to be a big league starter, perhaps a bullpen piece but I fear he will not hold up over the long haul. See, that is the problem when you raise your kids on skim milk….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I can’t think of too many pitchers having back surgery…..Randy Johnson maybe? I think that was when he was in his late 30’s. Still pitched well for several seasons, but…he wasn’t a teenager either….
    I started having back problems in my late teens…30 years later….Still having back problems….have had back spasms the last week, finally getting better…
    I do hate to see folks do dumb things that risk their future back health….

    Like

  11. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Problem is Ber, when you are 18, you are bullet proof… I thought I was… Damn teflon bullets… foil you every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 13 Vox O'Reason November 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Allard had a stress fracture in his back early in his final HS season. He had surgery #1 at that time and missed the rest of his senior season. After being drafted, he completed his rehab in time to pitch 6 scoreless innings in the Gulf Coast league, surrendering only 1 H and notching 12 Ks out of 20 batters faced. This 2nd procedure is a sort of “cleanup” by the team doctors. He’s supposed to be at 100% by ST.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 10:49 am

    MLB network commented on the mixed messages coming out of the Braves front office. The fan backlash etc…

    Reminds me of an Obama press conference. Just think how confused ISIS must be, they keep thinking they are going to be invited to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom after a state dinner… I guess the White House chefs are going to have to brush up on the art of preparing dog as an entree’ … If I were Bo, I would keep a low profile….

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Ah VOX, the advantage of having some of the best medicos in the world at your disposal. That is as opposed to being considered disposable… or stuff down the disposal…. but I digress. I wish the young man well, not like I expect to see him in the near future. I do expect he will get special attention at spring training. He has a high ceiling but pitchers are such fragile creatures these days.

    Like DOB’s report on a young flame thrower named Cabrea pitching the the AFL. Hitting 103 on the radar gun… His change up clocks in at 90… He is a dude you would like to be able to dial back to less effort and create movement on his fastball. Now, there are kids in the minors who don’t have the bat speed to catch up to 100 plus. In the majors, guys like Mike Stanton who would salivate at the opportunity to turn around a 103 fastball. That bad boy could travel 500 plus feet. And quickly… Now that I think about it, I have never seen Ryan Howard get struck out by a fastball… Always change ups and sliders.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 16 Vox O'Reason November 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Ah VOX, the advantage of having some of the best medicos in the world at your disposal.

    You bet. When you have millions of $$ invested in your “properties”, you have great motivation to employ top shelf doctors. This is not to say that the kid was treated by VA docs prior to being drafted, but you never know. After all, you do know what they call the guy who finished LAST in his class in medical school, right? They call him Dr.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Re-reading my post earlier this am….I was as clear as mud….not saying Allard is stupid for pitching with back issues, It’s other folks, extreme sports folks, jackass film “stars” etc….

    Like

  17. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Ber, Due to my physic (ESPN) powers, I knew what you meant… I think..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Cameron Maybin traded for two lefties from Detroit. Scratch that $8MM from the payroll. Good luck Cameron, we hardly knew you…

    Lefties acquired were 20 yo Gabe Speier and 24 yo Ian Krol. Krol has major league experience with both the Tigers and the Nationals.

    I like Cameron but Borne will move to take the primary centerfield job until the Braves promote Malix Smith either next June or in 2017. I’m sure we’ll get a chance to see him this spring.

    The trade allows the Braves to cut cost and add some bull pen depth. I know little of Krol’s abilities but the Braves need arms in the pen and I’m sure he will qualify as such.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 20 Carolina Lady November 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Shocker! The Braves just traded Maybin for … pitching!
    By Mark Bradley
    November 20, 2015 | Filed in: AJC Sports, Atlanta Braves / MLB

    If I’d had to pick the Atlanta Brave most apt to be traded this offseason, it would have been the guy who just got traded. Cameron Maybin was dealt to the Detroit Tigers, the team that drafted him with the 10th pick in Round 1 in 2005, for …

    Do I even need to say it?

    Two young pitchers.

    Both are left-handed, and that’s about the best you can say for either.

    Ian Krol bounced between Detroit and Class AAA Toledo last season. In the majors, he had a 5.79 ERA and 1.714 WHIP (walks/hits per inning pitched); he walked 17 in 28 innings. All of the above are terrible stats for any pitcher, worse still for a reliever, which Krol is. Gabe Speier, also a reliever, spent last season in Class A.

    Krol is 24; this marks the third time he has been traded. Speier is 20; this marks the second time for him. Neither will rank among the Braves’ best dozen pitchers under 25. Neither is a guarantee to be here long.

    So why make this trade? Because Maybin is 28 and coming off one of his better big-league seasons, though that’s not to say he was anything special. He hit .267 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs. He’s not a great defender, and he plays center field, where you’d like to have a good defender. (Then again, didn’t the Braves just trade the best defender in baseball?)

    Maybin had a WAR value of 0.6 last season. By way of contrast, fan favorite Melvin Upton Jr. had a WAR value of 1.6 for San Diego, and he played in barely half the Padres’ games. You might recall that the Braves gave Craig Kimbrel to San Diego — Maybin was part of that deal, though not the biggest part — to make M-Up Jr. disappear because the latter was owed a lot of money. Maybin is owed $8 million next season, which is way less than Upton money but still a lot for a replacement-level CF. That’s why you make this trade.

    I thought the Braves might get a bit more than Krol and Speier for Maybin, but they did say they wanted to improve their bullpen. Krol might be of some help there. (Though not with a 1.714 WHIP.) And let’s face it: He held down center field here for a year, but nobody in baseball sees him as anything more than just another guy.

    As for who’ll hold down center field next year … you got me. MLB.com rates Mallex Smith as only the Braves’ 15th-best prospect. (Braxton Davidson, who’s No. 11, and Dustin Peterson, who’s No. 17, are seen as corner outfielders.) Michael Bourn has next to nothing left. There have to be more trades coming.

    But that’s the thing about these Braves. There’s always another trade coming. At some point there’ll even be one when they give some of these young pitchers to get some everyday players. Won’t there?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I would feel a little more comfortable if I were Bourne and a little less so if I were Swisher.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the copy CL. Bradley about sums it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 23 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I loved Cam as a person, and when injury free in the first half of 2015, he was a pretty good player. But therein lies the problem. The first half of 2015 is about the only time in his career he’s been injury free. Down the stretch last season, Bourn was a better player. And Bourn’s the ideal mentor for Mallex Smith. Bradley seems to denigrate Smith by saying he’s only the 15th best prospect in our system. But that should be tempered by the fact that about 75% of those higher rated prospects are the pitchers we’ve acquired in the last year. Smith will be a terrific top of the order bat upon arrival. Scouts see him as being alot like a young… Michael Bourn.

    As for Krol, eh… what can it hurt? At least we now have a LHRP other than Matt Marksberry in the ‘pen.

    Ken “Headline” Rosenthal says the Braves and Cubs have been talking about swapping a young starter for a young position player. Makes sense if they are. The two teams had earlier discussed Julio Teheran and Jorge Soler. But Soler is an OF that the team seemingly has no room for. Starlin Castro makes a little sense if the former SS can play 3B. But from what I can tell, he’s only played SS and 2B. Maybe Coppy asked for Kris Bryant. Ha! Hey, if they’ll demand Pollock from ARI and Pederson from LAD, then they’re obviously aiming pretty dang high.

    Like

  23. 24 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

    It should be noted too that CHI had discussed moving Castro to 3B prior to calling up Bryant. They have a glut of IF and Castro seems to be the odd man out. Castro’s physically able to handle 3B, but his bat doesn’t profile specifically to a traditional power position. He’s more of a line drive hitter with 10-15 HR power.

    I think if the Braves intend to swap one of Shelby or Julio, which they could, they have to be looking for power. I expect the upcoming Winter Meetings to be eventful, unless there’s a team that wants to get busy early. And I think every pitcher will be considered, but the top ones will cost a hefty price.

    Like

  24. 25 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2015 at 10:47 am

    And not surprisingly, the Braves are bringing back David Carpenter on a minor league deal and as a non-roster invitee to ST. This is David Carpenter #1 that was sent to NYY in the Manny Banuelos deal, not David Carpenter #2 that was signed and released in 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 26 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Carp was released yesterday by WAS to open up a spot on their 40-man roster. He was a fairly effective rightly out of our pen for a couple of years before being traded. He never found his groove in The Bronx or in DC.

    Like

  26. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Like I have said before, change is hard. Maybe David can find a little more comfort in a place where he has had success. After all, very little risk for the Braves and a nice up side as long as he is not hurt/injured/damaged…

    Julio or Shelby? Maybe Wisler.. The cubs are deep and young afield but it better be top tier for a young guy like Julio who has gotten better and Shelby who is much better than his record. He could be a 20 game winner for the Cubbies.

    Solas? You make room….

    Like

  27. 28 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    If(when) the braves trade Julio…it better be for someone like Soler….Castro has somehow only gotten worse at SS (I saw some issues with Maybin in CF, but Bradley acted like he was as bad as Melvin was, he seemed better than him) so…it stands to reason if you aren’t a very good SS after 6 seasons…stands to reason he isn’t going to be very good at 3rd. He can be a decent 2nd baseman…but…his OBP last year was .296, .321 over his career. IF the braves get him in a swap for Julio…then I will be convinced Frank Wren had plastic surgery and really is Coppy…heck, don’t even think Wren would make a deal that bad…

    Like

  28. 29 Vox O'Reason November 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo says the Braves asked the Giants for 3B Matt Duffy when SF came sniffing after Shelby or Julio. Of course they said no.

    Called that one.

    Like

  29. 30 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    This is what worries me…If Shelby isn’t worth Matt Duffy…I mean, that could just be a fluke year for the kid. 12 Homers, 77 RBI’s , 295 BA, .334 OBP. Does that seem impressive? 30 walks all year long. Shelby is a #2…and they turned the braves down?
    A 25 year old stud starter, cheap/controllable, vs an above average , not really proven 3rd basemen with little power….

    Like

  30. 31 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I think you’re seriously selling short a 23 year old rookie who drove in 77 runs, had an OPS of .762 and finished 2nd in ROY voting behind phenom Kris Bryant.

    Like

  31. 32 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2015 at 7:23 am

    BTW- Bryant struck out 199 times in 2015; Duffy just 96.

    Like

  32. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2015 at 8:09 am

    V, I just think it’s more likely that Shelby would be able to repeat his performance of last year.
    If that’s all Shelby Miller is worth (or apparently not worth) then clearly hitters are much more valuable than pitchers these days…and I guess the reason the Cubs and Astros loaded up on hitters, not pitchers….

    Like

  33. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2015 at 10:53 am

    It goes back to the age old question of which is more valuable, A guy who plays every fifth day or a guy who is in your line-up nearly everyday.

    Like

  34. 35 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Depends on what you need…

    Like

  35. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Yep

    Like

  36. 37 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Like

  37. 38 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Bowman: The wise guess is that the Braves will use a portion of this payroll savings [Andrelton salary] to satisfy their attempt to add at least a few quality arms to their bullpen. Though they still have interest in Darren O’Day — this year’s top relief target — the demand for the right-hander is significant.

    Unless O’Day provides a discount in order to get closer to some family members in Atlanta, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria and lefty Tony Sipp stand as the more likely options for the Braves to satisfy their bullpen needs.

    I’ve been on the Sipp-wagon for weeks.

    Like

  38. 39 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Joe Frisaro, mlb.com on Adonis Garcia: Playing for Magallanes [Venezuelan Winter League], Garcia has continued to be productive, batting .326 with two homers and eight RBIs in eight games.

    Like

  39. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Looks like Adonis has the hitting part of his game down, now, if he can just get his glove to follow suit…

    Like

  40. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Of course, if were a free agent who wanted an opportunity to play in the majors, Atlanta would be a preferred place to sign if you ask me. Not like they are locked in on their 25 man roster.

    I know that O’Day is high on several teams’ want list. Perhaps the Braves can up the ante to force someone to pay more than they want. I know the Braves don’t anticipate winning a play-off spot in 2016 but a three year deal for O’Day could put them in a better position to win in 2017.

    At some point, the Braves have to be revealed as either serious players or a AAAA farm club for the rest of the League. Not saying I am proposing a $200MM payroll but being constantly in the bottom third in player payroll does not bode well either.

    Do we really want to be the Oakland A’s of the NL East?

    Like

  41. 42 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Terry McGuirk recently said that once they are in their new park with their new revenue streams, they will be a Top 10 payroll team again.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 43 Vox O'Reason November 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    He also said late recently that the Braves are prepared to up their payroll to near the $120M point. By my calculations, that gives them somewhere in the neighborhood of $30M to spend or take on this offseason. That’s not a bad neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. 44 Carolina Lady November 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Wonder what those new revenue streams are? Hope there are enough fannies in those new stadium seats to make that happen. And ticket prices? Still within reach of enough “regular” people? Parking prices? $20 hotdog? Believe me, I sincerely hope the new place is exceptionally successful – but I’m sorta maybe an average person – and I look at my own dwindling resources….. No way could I afford a trip there with accommodations, etc being so expensive. I’d stay at home and read Braves & Stuff! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    There was a huge difference in the reported payroll last season and the actual payroll of the players on the field. The payroll of the team actually on the field was 27th out of 30 teams. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $67MM dollars.

    New revenue streams? What, billboards on the outfield walls? Oh well, it is like getting carried away with a credit card. Charge today but at some point, you will finally have to live within your means.

    I can remember back in the 70s when Nixon took us off of the gold standard. I though, if you are depending on easy credit to boost the economy, we are doomed to failure at some point… Them chickens keep coming home to roost.

    Like

  45. 46 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Atlanta Business Chronicle on Sep 11, 2015: The Atlanta Braves are in talks to bring national chains such as L.L. Bean and Athleta and hip local restaurants including Antico Pizza Napoletana and Chef Ford Fry’s Superica to the walkable mixed-use project outside the new SunTrust Park.

    The stores and eateries could create in the Cumberland-Galleria area the shopping and dining district the Braves longed for, but never achieved, at downtown’s Turner Field. And it marks a new opportunity for the Braves to pour revenues from the mixed-use project back into operations, money that could go toward an expanded payroll and a more competitive team.

    Atlanta Business Chronicle on Oct 14, 2015: The Atlanta Braves on Wednesday unveiled the first roster of all-star restaurants and the name for the massive, mixed-use development that will surround SunTrust Park.

    The team announced five restaurants for its new ballpark: a new steakhouse from Chef Linton Hopkins, Superica from Chef Ford Fry, Antico Pizza Napoletana, CRÚ Food & Wine Bar, and a brewpub called The Tomahawk Tap Room that will feature Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.

    The Braves also revealed a name for the mixed-use development — The Battery Atlanta. It will have about 350,000 square feet of retail, including about 20 restaurants.

    Atlanta’s Fuqua Development LLC is developing the retail portion of the project. The hope is to create a development that draws people every day, not only during home games.

    Like

  46. 47 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2015 at 10:07 am

    New revenue streams? What, billboards on the outfield walls?

    Nope. A little more than that…

    Like

  47. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2015 at 11:16 am

    As I said, the Braves have become real estate developers…. Kind of backwards from the old model where real estate developers became team owners.

    Oh well, it is what it is. Now, if they can just get Disney World to move next door…..

    Like

  48. 49 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    If you think about it, in the 80’s, Ted Turner used the Braves as an “anchor” around which he built a huge cable franchise, and the team benefited greatly. In this instance, Liberty is using the Braves as an “anchor” around which to build a large mixed-use development that is being compared to Clarendon Center in Arlington, VA, and The Grove in Los Angeles, CA.

    In 2014, The Grove saw $1.26 Billion in gross sales. Yes, that’s B-b-b-b billion. Even a small slice of that pie is good pie.

    This is just another step in the evolution of baseball as a business, which it surely is. The Pied Piper has led most teams down the insane TV contract path. Given that Time-Warner screwed the Braves to the wall as they were going out the door with a self-defeating long term TV deal, Liberty has had to blaze their own path. As a business person myself, I am impressed with the way the team has very creatively come up with a means of establishing new sources of income.

    The real test will come in whether or not they re-invest in their anchor. Only time will tell that tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 50 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Meh signing. Meh details. Just… meh.

    Like

  50. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    At first I thought they had signed Eric Norris…. Alas, it’s Bud Norris… Braves trying to get by on the cheap again. Oh well, maybe he will remember how to pitch and bring a nice piece back at the mid season trading deadline.

    Like

  51. 52 Vox O'Reason November 25, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    MLB Network’s Kevin Millar had earlier opined that Norris would be a nice pickup for someone. Norris had a nice 2014, got sick in 2015 and lost his mechanics. If Roger can fis him, could be a decent signing. Either way, $2M in 2015 is not much. if it works out, great. If not… meh. No big deal. I don’t think it alters any plans the team has going into the upcoming Winter Meetings. Especially since those plans are supposed to be targeting offense. The only real effect it may have is to make a reunion with Mike Minor even less likely. I expect him to be non-tendered by next week’s Dec. 2 deadline.

    Like

  52. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Yes, I agree Mike Minor will have to find success somewhere else, I expect he will be offered an incentive heavy contract.

    Like

  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I’m sure the Braves would not mind paying him the $5MM required if it could be based on performance but like the old adage, once bitten twice shy or something like that…

    Liked by 2 people

  54. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  55. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo November 26, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Gil! And CL, V, Chris! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  56. 57 Carolina Lady November 27, 2015 at 1:26 am

    He just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Sad. He is from a neighboring county from where I live and I’ve followed his story from the time he played in high school.

    http://www.wect.com/story/30613452/former-mlb-outfielder-otis-nixon-arrested

    Like

  57. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2015 at 8:24 am

    As ha… Now we know the secret he use to scale the wall to rob Andy Van Slyke of his home run back in the day. Still the greatest catch in Atlanta history….

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2015 at 8:44 am

    OMG.. I have aches and pains today I have never been aware of before… I feel as if I have been trampled. What a surprise! Oh well, at least I can still shop.. LOL…

    Liked by 2 people

  59. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    The wife has completed her (our) Christmas shopping… TA DA! Of course I now see all kinds of neat stuff I could have bought for the grand kids but when your list includes 47 people (That is just family and significant others) It’s not like you are going to buy everyone a car…. Lots of socks and gloves and hats this year) 🙂 I know where the Braves are coming from when they say they have to watch their budget.

    On the bright side, the mechanical repairs are done with the Silverado, scheduled to Monday for new tires and alignment and state inspection. Not done but derivable. Still need to redo the seats. Will sell one of my pick ups and put the money into the house.

    Now baseball….. Still waiting to see where Mike Minor will end up.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. 61 Carolina Lady November 29, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    “I know where the Braves are coming from when they say they have to watch their budget”

    Yeah, I know what you mean. However, there is a few light years distance between my budget and theirs. 🙂

    Christmas shopping complete and I haven’t been out of the house! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 62 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Speaking of shopping:

    Like

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2015 at 8:07 am

    According to Mr. O’B, the Braves interest in Zobrist is very real. He reports that team sources say Zobrist is not only a great fit for the type of team they are assembling, he’s a great role model for the youngsters. He owns a career OBP of .355, including .364 in 2015. Most of his ML experience has been at 2B, but he’s also played all over the IF and OF. Not sure if he would profile as a full time 3B, but the Braves could simply play him much like KC, OAK and TB have done, which is to give him starts all over the field.

    It also demonstrates the reasons the have been clearing payroll, so that they can spend on the targeted players they want. He won’t come cheap. He’s been projected to get somewhere close to 3 years / $50+M. He’s apparently looking for a 4th guaranteed year.

    And if I may offer up another good reason to pursue him, the Braves biggest rivals in the NL East also are courting him.

    Like

  63. 64 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Rosenthal reports that Coppy says he “can’t comment on any free agent pursuits, but we will explore every possible opportunity to improve [the] club in the short- and long-term. Ben Zobrist brings so much to the table on and off the field that he could help all 30 teams.”

    He has learned his vagueness from his mentors well. 😉

    Like

  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2015 at 8:35 am

    It would be a good start wouldn’t it? Too bad he can’t catch… But, that could still be in the works too.. A little ray of sunshine in a bleak season of gray…

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 66 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2015 at 10:56 am

    On the “stuff” side, I am still reeling from the Mark Richt firing from UGA. Never has there been a better leader of young men in college athletics. His firing is really just a cold slap in my face that college athletics is truly just a business. In fact, it tilts me toward the side of the argument to just pay the players. If it’s a business for the coaches, AD’s and universities, it should be a business for the players as well. And for goodness sake, they should stop calling them “student athletes”. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. 67 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Jon Heyman:

    The Diamondbacks and Giants are two more of the 20 or so teams that are said to have expressed interest in [Shelby] Miller. The Braves have put a very high price tag on Miller, and understandably so.

    The Braves, according to sources, asked the Yankees for top young righthander Luis Severino in their talks. Severino was merely a request and there is no evidence the Yanks are considering that. The Braves are also said to expect young outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who’s available, plus more from the Marlins.

    The Braves generally are seeking to upgrade their offense, though obviously in the case of Severino they are willing to look at young pitchers, as well.

    One rival GM, while not denigrating the asking prices, said the Braves were “very aggressive” with their proposal.

    While there’s no word of anything being close, no one’s exactly hanging up yet. Miller raised his value with a very nice year, and as a rival said, “The (Braves) made a very nice deal to get him.” Now, the Braves are able to ask a lot for Miller because the price of pitching isn’t going down, even with several top starters free agents.

    In my opinion, Miller’s value may never be higher. If their stock of pitching is truly their “currency”, then they’ll get the most bang for the buck from Miller. And he may be the one guy that could bring a return of real offense to the lineup.

    Like

  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    The hypocrisy is nauseating On so many levels Kenny, on so many levels… Perhaps the real answer is to employ semi-pro football and minor leagues and drop all scholarships for football in FBC schools. Leave the universities to the task of educating. Not like more than 5% of college football players will ever make it to the pros.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 69 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2015 at 1:19 am

    The Braves, according to sources, asked the Yankees for top young righthander Luis Severino in their talks. Severino was merely a request and there is no evidence the Yanks are considering that. The Braves are also said to expect young outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who’s available, plus more from the Marlins.

    This confuses me…a lot…how exactly is Luis Severino better than Shelby Miller? Cheaper?(Shelby “only” made $535K last year, will get a raise I am sure this offseason) Younger? (Luis Severino 21, so young you would likely have to watch his innings for 2 seasons) Shelby only turned 25 in October…why again trade him for ….pitching?

    Ok, let’s say the braves trade him for Ozuna, who the Marlins (well, their owner) doesn’t even want….let’s look at his career . Just turned 25 in Nov. in 2 1/2 seasons. His career numbers are…. .265 B.A. .311 OBP, .416 Slugging..last year, in 459 AB’s .259, 10 HR’s 44 RBI’s and 30 walks. 2 steals, caught 3 times. ZERO triples in that big park. So he’s basically JHey without the speed….
    You (braves, Coppy) would trade a YOUNG , controllable hard throwing All-Star righty , who was one of the better pitchers in the NL for much of the season (I guess the combo of playing for a lousy team, that won’t score a run for you, while your old team goes to the Playoffs, and going above 180 innings for the first time ever, will wear a guy down) for a 25 year old outfielder with…Potential is a good thing, that should get the fans excited, eh?
    I know I sound bitter , cuz…I am…I feel…old…like the game has passed me by…..yet, I really don’t think it has. I feel like I do when I see a meme showing stats and make it seem like the dear leader is doing a fantastic job, and you just know it ain’t right….
    Is there another team that has had success , a quick turnaround doing things like this?
    Marlins traded the whole team away…twice (three times?) and it took a several years to get back to the top…but, they didn’t trade a lot of young cheap players, like the braves seem to want to do, did they?
    Did the Royals or cubs trade away 24, 25 year olds to get 21-,22 year olds?
    They are trying a completely new, unproven way…an impatient way to get back on top faster than the usual 4-5 year plan…thing is…teams like the Red Sox and Cards are almost always good, and, get this…have very strong farm systems…how is that? Well, they paid overslot, or whatever it’s called, spent a lot on international signings, and…most importantly, drafted smart…the cards have to be the kings of doing this…and turning guys with good arms and no bats, into power arms….
    and I am , or rather was ok with the plan in place (I know, I wasn’t at first!) but it’s like someone winning at gambling and not knowing when to quit….they got back 2 very good arms for 1 year of Heyward, a brilliant trade in hindsight…they’ve got Folty, Weizler, Banuelos, Lukas Sims, Tyrell Jenkins. to go along with Teheren and Miller….(Toussaint, and Max Fried down the road) That’s 9 starters, if I haven’t forgotten 2 or 3 (v will now ’em 😉 ) and you still know they will get that veteren, crafty (read, cheap, on the rebound) starter to take starts away from a kid, so he can develop (not start his clock too soon), so trade 2-3, even 4 of them, add old, lousy guy, and you still seem to have a chance at a pretty decent rotation, right? Apparently not… we simply HAD to trade the best fielder in the game for Sean Newcomb, and Chris Ellis. Had to. Otherwise, the rotation would stink 🙄
    I just don’t feel like Coppy and Hart have a clue what fans are thinking…
    they should have while they were ahead….now? There is a team called the braves, but , the average fan, the fair-weather fan….doesn’t know anyone anymore. They have had to put away their Gattis t-shirts, Upton, Heyward, now Simmons….they have heard the FF rumors (and since the braintrust has lied to us all along(understandably), why would they believe them now that the braves won’t trade him?
    so in 2016, you have Freeman, and…who else to be excited to see play? Nick M, ? Aybar? the 31 year old rookie? Bourn? Mystery 2nd baseman, catcher, and 3rd baseman???
    Mallex Smith? Now, he could actually be exciting, if/when he comes up….otherwise, a bunch of guys pitching well, and ending the season 6-17…

    Like

  69. 70 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2015 at 1:29 am

    wow, with all that venom out, feel a lot better! 😆
    and does that eye roll emoticon stink! a smile and eyes going to one side, hardly what you expect to see with that emoticon…oh well…

    and V, don’t take any of that as an attack on you, please! Venom is all for Coppy and company….and…of course, it’s just Dec 1….a few good trades, GOOD trades, and I will feel much better about the team’s future..right now, feel good about another 95-100 losses in 2016 and another top 3 pic….

    Like

  70. 71 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Ok, I admit it…I screwed up…I missed this part, which I just read when I saw the article elsewhere…
    The Braves are also said to expect young outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who’s available, plus more from the Marlins.
    I feel…..slightly better :/

    Like

  71. 72 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Look at me, being positive and stuff….I don’t think I have heard his name linked with the braves, but it would sure make sense…Brett Lawrie. A’s seem to want to trade him, he’s a pure energy kinda guy, and will still only be 26 in Jan.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/jed-lowrie-brett-lawrie-double-play-combo-not-likely-in-oakland-074858065.html

    Like

  72. 73 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 7:49 am

    how exactly is Luis Severino better than Shelby Miller?

    Severino will be a #1. Filthy stuff. Shelby is a #2 at best.

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 8:06 am

    V, don’t take any of that as an attack on you, please!

    Oh… I promise I do not. Likewise, please do not take my rebuttals personally.

    I know I sound bitter , cuz…I am…

    Yes, and I get it. But that bitterness prevented you from getting exactly what Heyman was referring to. Many teams have come calling the Braves. Not the Braves calling them. And when the teams come calling, the Braves are asking for the moon and the stars That’s exactly what that was about.

    If we want this team to be at the very least a .500 team in 2016, then we need multiple upgrades. Multiple. And the only real way to accomplish that without doubling our payroll, ala LAD, or literally giving up the farm, ala SD, is to make a Teixeirian type deal. I mentioned earlier that IMO Shelby is the one guy that might could come close. His ability, controlability, and affordability can net you multiple quality items in return. If the Braves let him go for a pittance then shame on them and shame on me for trusting. But all signs point in the opposite direction.

    I just don’t feel like Coppy and Hart have a clue what fans are thinking…

    Can’t get into the mind of another man, and won’t attempt to. But I can tell you that if a deal came to their doorstep for Miller that would significantly improve this team for 2016 and beyond, they’d take it without worrying about Joe the Barber. (Freeman notwithstanding. Coppy guaranteed on the record. No turning back fr0m that one.) And quite frankly, they should. I don’t want an executive that is swayed by the whims of the public. The public is mostly clueless when it comes to budgets, payroll and roster construction. The public is more concerned that their Brian McCann bobbleheads are now obsolete. (But I’m not bitter about it.)

    Like

  74. 75 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I don’t think I have heard his name linked with the braves, but it would sure make sense…Brett Lawrie.

    Lawrie would not be a bad addition, and the other guy in OAK also reportedly on the outside looking in , Danny Valencia, wouldn’t be bad either.

    Brett Lawrie 2015 16 HR, .299 OBP
    Danny Valencia 2015: 18 HR, .345 OBP

    Each bats RH. Each is in their first year of arb and controllable through 2017. The big difference – Valencia is 31 and a late bloomer. Lawrie is just 25. Lawrie’s OBP averaged .310 over his first 4 MLB seasons in TOR before going to OAK in 2015 in the Josh Donaldson deal. Valencia has been up and down for a number of years with a number of teams. Neither is an All-Star. But honestly, either would be an upgrade over what we currently have to choose from.

    The blueprint for the Braves rebuild is very clear. It’s all about the high OBP guys. Why was Peraza included in the Olivera deal? Because for all of his talents, he had a consistently low OBP. Why would you trade the best defender on the planet? He’s had a consistently low OBP. Why have the Braves been linked to Ben Zobrist, even though he’s likely an expensive piece? He has had a consistently high OBP throughout his career.

    I think you could get Valencia for a mid to low-tier prospect. I think Lawrie will cost a higher tier arm plus a throw in. Maybe even a guy like Jason Hursh, whom I think could be a big help to the ML bullpen in 2016. But I also think Lawrie still has the potential to improve. He might be worth it.

    Like

  75. 76 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Now when I think about it, if the Braves could acquire Zobrist via FA, and Lawrie via trade, their infield bats would suddenly be worth considering.

    2015:
    1B Freddie Freeman – 118 G, .276/.370/.471, 18 HR, 66 RBI
    2B Ben Zobrist – 126 G, .276/.359/.450, 13 HR, 56 RBI
    SS Erick Aybar – 156 G, .270/.301/.338, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 15 SB
    3B Brett Lawrie – 149 G, .260/.299/.407, 16 HR 60 RBI

    Hypothetical lineup (you all know how I love my lineups…)
    First half:
    #1 -> 2B Zobrist (S)
    #2 -> SS Aybar (S)
    #3 -> 1B Freeman (L)
    #4 -> LF Hector Olivera (R)
    #5 -> RF Nick Markakis (L)
    #6 -> 3B Lawrie (R)
    #7 -> C AJP (L) / CBeth (R)
    #8 -> CF Michael Bourn (L)

    Second half:
    #1 -> CF Mallex Smith (L)
    #2 -> 2B Zobrist (S)
    #3 -> 1B Freeman (L)
    #4 -> LF Olivera (R)
    #5 -> RF Markakis (L)
    #6 -> 3B Lawrie (R)
    #7 -> C AJP (L) / CBeth (R)
    #8 -> SS Aybar (S)

    Will that lineup top the Nats or Mets? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be bad either. With improved pitching, especially in the bullpen, it could be a .500 lineup.

    Like

  76. 77 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I kinda like that 2nd half lineup, actually.

    No one knows what to expect exactly from Ber’s favorite Hector Olivera, but the rest of that lineup is a mix of career contact hitters with high OBP, low Ks, and medium power. It’s fairly consistent top to bottom. (With Nick back on his regular offseason schedule, I expect a return to 10-15 HR power.)

    Don’t miss, too, that the defense has also improved at 2B, 3B and CF. And while Aybar is no Simba (who is?), he does have a couple of Gold Gloves on his mantle.

    I kinda like it.

    Like

  77. 78 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Preemptive notice…

    Before the rumors get out of hand regarding Hector Olivera and his DR Winter League team, allow me to tell what I have read and heard.

    He was technically released from his team yesterday. But, and that’s a big ol’ but, it was not because of anything negative that occurred. The original story was that he left the team to visit his sick sister in Puerto Rico for the weekend, then did not report back to his team when he was supposed to. His manager Alex Cora has swiftly debunked that rumor. The facts, according to Cora via several new sources, is that he was visibly upset over his sister’s illness, and given that he was scheduled to remain with the team for only another week or so anyway, they agreed for him to be “released” – a procedural move – and go back to be with her. From the beginning, the Braves had said he would only spend about 6 weeks in the DR, which equated to about the 2nd week of December. Both Bo Porter and Kevin Seitzer spent time in the DR working with him on his fielding and hitting. From the local reports, the Braves were satisfied with what they saw while all were there.

    And I’ve already seen one fan tweet that he “sounds like he’s a Hanley Ramirez case.” DOB quickly rebutted that “there are no indications of that being the case. Works hard, not disruptive, etc.”

    And from where I sit, if a guy’s willing to work hard, then the rest will follow suit to whatever potential he has.

    Like

  78. 79 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Soler alone will not net Miller, but Soler and Baez?

    Like

  79. 80 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Bleh. Looked at numbers. Soler was a strikeout machine in 2015 whiffing almost a 29% rate. Why do that? Certainly not for Miller, and hopefully not even for Teheran. But he did bust out an amazing playoff run. And apparently he racks up all those boutique stats that suggest he’s capable of putting together a 30 HR season if healthy. (I’ll never understand how you can crunch numbers on a graph and project what someone can or can’t do.)

    Anyway, if they were to spin a pitcher off for Soler, where does he play? He’s been exclusively a RF. Would the Braves trade Markakis back to BAL as has been suggested? Some have said that’s how they get their LHRP.

    All I know is that next week’s Winter Meetings ought to be quite a ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 81 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    If I were going to deal with the Cubs, it would be in pursuit of IF Javier Baez instead. Fills position of need. And no way for Shelby or Julio. I’d need more back for either… and alot more for Shelby.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Teams always want to buy low and sell high. It prepares them so well for their next profession as used car salesmen…

    Liked by 2 people

  82. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    On possible trades… Too many moving parts for me. Lots of guys I would like to see with a tomahawk across their chest but the Braves are busy developing real estate and building a team is secondary. Only so much money to spread around.

    No, I fear it will be several years before the Braves are competitive again. By the time their young pitchers develop, they won’t be able to afford them.

    While we are on the subject, I would not mind one bit if Mark Reich were to accept the head coaching job at Virginia. No delusions at UVA, just put together winning seasons and they would be ecstatic.

    Got my truck back today. Budget maxed out and still needs painting and seats reupholstered. SIGH! Should have know better but I will recoup my investment….

    Liked by 2 people

  83. 84 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    <i.I would not mind one bit if Mark Reich (Richt) were to accept the head coaching job at Virginia.

    Don’t be surprised if that’s where he lands. IMO, it’s the best place for him. He can build a real winner there. One thing I know, I’ll be a fan of whomever lands him. Even if it’s Miami, which will be tough. Never have liked the ‘Canes. But Richt would change all that…

    Like

  84. 85 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    On Richt, I understand he’s already fielded 5 offers. Maryland, UVa, and Mizzou for sure. The other 2 are still mysteries, although SCar is probably one of them. Another report said he’s already interviewed for Miami.

    Time will surely tell…

    Like

  85. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    He was supposed to meet with UVA’s head basketball coach Wed morning. UVA has missed Walsh. Richt would love The University. They may not be SEC but they have a huge donor base. A fan base that is rabid and hungry. They know success in every sport but football… We shall see but it would be a big time get for Virginia.

    Looks like Boston has opened the check book. Signed David Price for $213MM. Detroit got a bargain in Zimmermann for $110MM.

    Like

  86. 87 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Latest reports across the interwebs say the Braves responded to ARI’s inquiry on Shelby by counter-offering him and Viz for OF AJ Pollock and 23 year-old RHP Aaron Blair. They are really locked in on Pollock (and he’s a very, very good one). Blair is the DBacks #3 prospect and is ready to make the jump to MLB after a successful AAA campaign in 2015. He’s another big power pitching right-hander that would assumedly slide into the vacated rotation spot, albeit on the lower side. He routinely throws in the mid-90’s with movement, and features a plus change and sweeping curve. And he doesn’t walk many. He profiles into a durable mid-rotation pitcher… the classic “horse”.

    Naturally the DBacks said “no”. But again, it shows you the standard the Braves have set for any possible deal.

    And it again begs the question, what do you do with 4 OF? I know the team has publicly said Hector could still get time at 3B, but they sure seem set on him settling into LF. And with Markakis holding down RF and Mallex Smith appearing to be a mid-season addition, who goes where?

    My money says Markakis becomes a July trade chip. He’d probably be a valuable one, too.

    Like

  87. 88 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 7:34 am

    RE: Mark Richt…

    Gil, if I were cherry picking a location for Richt to land, it’d be Charlottesville. I don’t think he needs to return to the SEC, so that knocks out SCar and Mizzou. Plus, Mizzou is kinda toxic right now. He doesn’t need that at this stage. Miami might be his alma mater, but he hasn’t thought about S FL in 33 years. And if you were Mark Richt having spent the last 15 years in serene Athens, GA, would you want to go to Miami? Ew. Maryland isn’t the same program since they bolted from the ACC to join the Big 10, which confusingly features 14 schools. And do you think he wants an annual reunion with Urban Meyer (former Gator coach now at Ohio State)? I doubt it.

    UVa sounds perfect to me. He could continue his annual dominance over Georgia Tech and dominate that side of the ACC. He would be a rock star there.

    Like

  88. 89 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Last “stuff” on Richt and UGA…

    The picture became alot clearer last night with the leaked news that former Dawgs team captain and current Alabama Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart had indeed agreed to become the next UGA Head Coach, to be announced after this weekend’s SEC Championship game. By all appearances, his “people” and someone from UGA, whether boosters or whomever, already had an understanding before Richt was let go. And quite honestly, that’s how many of these quick deals come about. McGarity knew Smart was ready to make the jump to Head Coach, Smart would have landed somewhere, maybe even Georgia rival SCar. So the timing was there for the program to transition now. And as we’ve seen with the Braves current rebuild, timing is important. I personally think Smart is the best hire they could make. (I just dread all of the “Smart hire” references I’ll have to endure over the next several weeks. 😉 )

    As slimy as all that may sound, I actually feel a little better now and have a better understanding of the timing of Richt’s firing. I can go back to wearing my UGA gear again… which is a good thing considering that’s about about half my T-shirts.

    Like

  89. 90 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Buck Belue is a former National Championship Bulldog QB and the one guy whose opinion I hold in very high esteem when it comes to all things UGA. His stamp of approval is a very good thing.

    Like

  90. 91 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Bowman: There are two ways for the Braves to look at [Shelby] Miller, who earned his first All-Star selection and legitimized himself as a front-line starting pitcher while producing a 3.02 ERA over 33 starts this year.

    The Braves could recognize the value of keeping a proven asset who is a bargain in today’s market if he builds upon what he did this year. Miller and Julio Teheran provide Atlanta a pair of rotation anchors who have already experienced some of those growing pains that will be felt by the highly regarded pitching prospects the Braves plan to place in their rotation over the next few years.

    Or, while recognizing the significant demand for Miller, who has already drawn interest from at least 15 teams, the Braves could attempt to cash in with a significant return that could address their glaring offensive needs and also potentially fill the resulting void in their rotation.

    Jorge Soler (Cubs), Corey Seager (Dodgers) and A.J. Pollock (D-backs) are among the players the Braves have requested in return when approached about potential deals for Miller. This indicates they are only placing themselves in this market in the event that they end up with a significant offer they can’t refuse.

    Like

  91. 92 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 9:23 am

    And the obvious must be stated…

    It doesn’t matter how well you can pitch, you can’t win if you can’t score runs. There literally is no better example of this than the very same Shelby Miller.

    Like

  92. 93 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

    To tender or not to tender. That is the question the Braves face regarding Mike Minor by 11:59 pm (EST) today. If they decide “YES”, they must offer him at least 80% of the $5.6M he was awarded in arb last year. which is $4.48M.

    As many arguments as there are to say “NO”, there are a few compelling arguments on his side too. Did you know that Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw were the only qualified left-handed starting pitchers to post a better ERA than Minor (2.90) from July 1, 2012, through the end of the 2013 season (stat courtesy of Bowman)? Still, that was before the shoulder started to gripe. Shoulders are alot like toes. They are not to be trifled with. Also, the recent contracts of David Price and Jordan Zimmermann illustrate just how expensive good experienced pitching is. And JA Happ’s deal shows that even a 2nd tier LHP can earn some serious coin. So if Minor can actually provide quality innings in 2016, $4.48M is a bargain.

    It might be different if he had not experienced his latest “setback”, preventing him from throwing from a mound before today’s deadline. But to me, that’s the deal breaker. I have to let him go.

    Now if they can re-sign him on a lower $ deal after he becomes a FA, then I’m all for it. But I have a feeling other teams will also be willing to take a chance on him.

    I guess we’ll see, huh?

    Like

  93. 94 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Perusing the Braves current roster… the AAA and AA teams will be absolutely LOADED with pitching this year. Crikey!! The AAA Gwinnett Braves could potentially open 2016 with a rotation of Folty, Williams Perez, Ryan Weber, Sean Newcomb, and Tyrell Jenkins. That is simply insane. And AA Pearl could trot out Lucas Sims, Chris Ellis, John Gant, Andrew Thurman, and Zack Bird.

    Of course, I’m laying odds that at least 2 of those names will be moved during the upcoming Winter Meetings. The untouchables are Newcomb, Jenkins and Sims (and of course Touki Toussant and Kolby Allard too). The rest will be on the board.

    Like

  94. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Here is my take on Minor, the Braves will pass on Minor, another team will offer him a contract low on the front end but laced with incentives. Something the Braves are not allowed to do. It is a catch 22 situation. Of course, being a “fly ball” pitcher, look for him to go to a big NL park but possibly Oakland where they are always bargain hunting. Like I said, low front end, big incentives, and if he pitches well, big payoff for Oakland when they flip him.

    Heck, I’d offer Minor a deal in excess of $6MM if it were based on pitching 200 innings etc…. Just too big a risk for the Braves to take right now when they are still shaking out the couch cushions looking for spare change.

    Shoulders are a lot more difficult to come back from than elbows and elbows are no picnic.

    I saw where the Braves resigned Jim Johnson. He kind of stunk up the joint in LA. Perhaps Simba was partly responsible for the improved version of JJ in Atlanta as he is a ground ball pitcher. One thing I hear often is the pitching mound in LA is radically different in LA. Same height but a steeper slope. Like wearing platform shoes while pitching. Tough to pitch when you keep thinking you are going to fall off the mound with each pitch.

    Every field has it’s quirks. Turner Field is known for its fast infield. Almost like Astro Turf. That should give folks an idea of how good Simmons really is/was.

    Like

  95. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Like you said V, even the best pitchers require some offense. Tough losing games 1-0 and 2-1 etc. Wins still matter, ask John Smoltz the year he should have won but only had 16 wins for a bad ball club.

    Did you folks know, the majority of the voters for the BBWA awards reside in the northeast? It is why so many players are overlooked when they spend their entire career elsewhere. Ted Simmons anyone?

    Like

  96. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I fear the Braves are on the verge of becoming the Virginia Squires of baseball. The Squires were one of the original ABA teams which later merged with the NBA. The owner of the Squires was only interested in making money off players by selling them their contracts to other teams. Guys like Dr.J and Charlie Scott. I have to say, Julius Ervin was every bit as good as Michael Jordan when he was young. I swear I saw once saw him “fly” from the top of the key to dunk a basket ball… He was special. Of course, the Squires were conveniently left out of the NBA when the merger took place.

    Oh well, a different era… They even had some white dudes playing basketball back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 98 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Gil, I still think they are following the Royals blueprint, but trying to accelerate it and leaving a little “scorched earth” in their wake. Maybe they can win our confidence back by signing Ben Zobrist, for whom they are still considered very much in the running.

    Like

  98. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    There in lies the rub. Trying to do in three years what normally takes five or six. Dayton Moore had to fight off the naysayers while the Royals slogged it out in the trenches. Looking back, the writing on the wall should have been noticed when so many of the Braves top scouts started jumping ship. The final nail for Frank Wren was the dismal performance of A. Dan Uggla and B. Melvin Upton.

    Of course going from a free spending owner in Ted Turner to a corporate tight wad in Liberty Media did not help either.

    Like

  99. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

    “scorched earth” or charred remains… either one leaves a lot of charcoal with which to roast the perpetrators…

    I now know of whom/what John Hart reminds me of. The guy who was brought in to oversee the sell off of a bankrupted company/store… Many similarities.

    And wither Bobby Cox? I thought he was suppose to be a part of the process. Have not heard much from him since they revealed the holy triumphed at the firing of Frank Wren.

    Like

  100. 101 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

    IMO, the presence of Bobby Cox might not be blatantly apparent, but can certainly be seen in the continued presence of Fredi Gonzalez. He’s Bobby’s guy, hands down.

    Like

  101. 102 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Could he be a “late bloomer”? Could we have our 3B already?

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 103 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Hmmm… doesn’t make alot of sense to me. Kind of redundant with Pedro Ciriaco, except a little more power. I would expect Ciriaco to now be non-tendered. His biggest value to the team was as a backup SS, but I think Daniel Garcia took that role over late last season.

    Maybe he platoons with Peterson at 2B, given that Petey couldn’t hit lefties at all last year.

    Like

  103. 104 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Also, I think this signing will bring the 40-man roster to a full 40. Of course, that will probably change again before midnight as both Ciriaco and Mike Minor should be non-tendered.

    Like

  104. 105 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Hmmm… Upon further review, the Braves 40-man roster was already at 40. (I forgot that they had to move every player off the 60-day DL last month, so I failed to count Paco Rodriguez.) That means there will definitely be at least one corresponding move before the Beckham deal can be formally announced.

    Like

  105. 106 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    another team will offer him a contract low on the front end but laced with incentives. Something the Braves are not allowed to do.

    Actually, they can. Per arb rules, the Braves cannot tender an offer less than the $4.48M we mentioned earlier, but they can reach agreement on a new deal for any amount prior to tonight’s deadline. To that end, they could conceivably reach a 1 year deal with performance incentives and a chance for him to rebuild his value for next off-season. That might be something favorable to Minor and worth taking a chance on from the team perspective. With the price of pitching escalating, especially for LH’ers, it might be worth exploring.

    Like

  106. 107 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Like

  107. 108 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Like

  108. 109 Vox O'Reason December 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Prophet star for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  109. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Ah, the Oracle of Atlanta….

    Like

  110. 111 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Of course we were all thinking Simmons would only be traded for a Tex level trade….otherwise, they wouldn’t trade him…
    I will take a wild guess that…the braves trade Shelby….whether for a unproven bat, or…yet another starter, cuz…you know…pitching…

    Like

  111. 112 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    meant to add…95% chance his is traded…

    Like

  112. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Seems odd to worry about baseball, after a terrorist attack….
    But, a few things of note… a lot of folks have been released that may, or may not be of interest to the braves….Tyler Flowers (I said may or may not) Will Middlebrooks, Juan Nicasio (3.89 ERA with Dodgers 10.0 K/9 rate) Yusmeiro Petit, (“right-hander has recorded a solid 3.66 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 across 245 2/3 innings for the Giants over the past four seasons while spending time in both the rotation and the bullpen.”)

    “The Angels announced tonight that they have non-tendered left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering Ramos’ reasonable $1.7MM projected salary and strong results out of the Halos’ bullpen in 2015. Ramos will join a class of free-agent left-handed relievers that is fronted by Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo.
    Ramos, 31, logged a 2.75 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 47.1 percent ground-ball rate in 52 1/3 innings with the Angels in 2015.”

    Steve Cishek as well….
    anyone we may want???

    Like

  113. 114 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I believe Steve Cishek was in line for something like $7M, thus his non-tender. Pricey. I have been beating the Tony Sipp drum for a while, but I’d be fine with Cesar Ramos or Antonio Bastardo as well.

    Like

  114. 115 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Of course we were all thinking Simmons would only be traded for a Tex level trade….otherwise, they wouldn’t trade him…

    Did I think they’d get more? Yes I did. I thought they’d get a young bat. But we cannot discount the value of Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis just because they are (more) pitchers. You do realize that Newcomb immediately became the Braves #1 prospect in a vaunted group of youngsters rated 3rd best in all of baseball? And even I tend to overlook Ellis, who sits just behind long exalted #8 Lucas Sims at #9. Ellis in a nutshell is Kris Medlen, just younger and healthier… and a little bigger. Don’t be surprised if he makes the club out of Spring Training.

    And then there’s Erick Aybar, a former 2x Gold Glover with a better bat from the SS position than we had. He’s the forgotten part of that swap. There’s a better than good chance he’ll be dealt at mid-season, so the “return” on Simmons really isn’t finished yet.

    Again, I also thought Simmons would bring back a “name” bat. But in 3 years, Newcomb could very well be our young Jon Lester.

    Like

  115. 116 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Like

  116. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Good morning folks, prayers for the victims of the terrorist attack in California. Hard to defend against crazy…. Wife refuses to allow me to go out and buy an AR but not to worry, will simply add more 30-06 AMMO…

    Ah well, now baseball…. I think the Braves tried to sign Mike Minor to a reasonable deal but it looks like he was tired of Atlanta. Just as well, I think Atlanta was getting a bit tired of him. Maybe he follows Wren to Boston.

    Adonis Garcia… If we can just get this kid to relax a tad on third so the game will slow down for him. No Brooks Robinson is he but he is wielding a pretty nifty bat. It seems that a Cuban at 30 years old in like a white kid at 20… Who knows, he could be the next Charles Thomas.

    So, what will the Braves shopping list look like in Nashville? I’m thinking most top tier free agents will avoid Atlanta. Does anyone really think Markakis would have signed with Atlanta if he thought the Braves were going to gut the team?

    Nope, the Braves are going to have to get better the old fashion way, scouting the bushes for the under the radar players and trading and signing reclamation projects. That and keep Freddie Freeman healthy.

    It’s really tough to build a winner unless you are willing to have a total disregard for money. To do that, you need an owner who has very deep pockets and is not a megalomaniac. Hard to find one where the two are mutually exclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 118 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Re: Minor. I hope they can work something out that is fair to the team and gives Mike a chance to return. He proved that when healthy he can be a very good mid-rotation starter. I hope for him personally and for the Braves selfishly that he can return to health here in ATL.

    Like

  118. 119 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Antonio Bastardo… I remember seeing this guy when he first came up with the Phillies… Always had the power arm, not always with the best control. Sounds like a lot of young pitchers in the Braves stable right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 120 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

    I think the Braves tried to sign Mike Minor to a reasonable deal but it looks like he was tired of Atlanta.

    Actually, Bowman reports that he likes it here. They just couldn’t hammer out details… yet. I imagine he (or his agent) wants to see what other teams will offer. I don’t blame him; that’s just prudent. If I had to guess, the Braves offered 1 year, and Minor’s group wants 2… similar to what KC gave Kris Medlen. I’m OK with the market working.

    Like

  120. 121 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I’m thinking most top tier free agents will avoid Atlanta. Does anyone really think Markakis would have signed with Atlanta if he thought the Braves were going to gut the team?

    I believe $$ talks above all other things in FA unless you’re a veteran who has already made your big money and are just looking for a ring. For the right coin, the Braves could sign anyone. That said, the Braves won’t lay out the cash for those top, top guys. They are reportedly still in the hunt for Ben Zobrist and/or Darren O’Day, though. IMO, they won’t be a finalist for O’Day. They might be for Zobrist, though.

    Like

  121. 122 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Cant find Bowman’s quote now about Minor and Atlanta. Might have been DOB. Or someone else. I read alot of different writers yesterday. It’s all running together… 😛

    Like

  122. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I could certainly could jump on the Zobrist bus. I just don’t have a good grasp on the mind set of the Braves front office right now. At some point, they need to begin to work at creating a stable environment. At this point, everything just has a discombobulated feel to it. It is almost like bringing in a bunch of kids into boot camp and expecting them to gel into a cohesive unit. That takes time.

    Hey, I can remember the 70s and 80s for the Braves. T’was painful, very, very painful….

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 124 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I think that we may all have a better feel for the blueprint after the Winter Meetings and before Spring Training. There is alot of work to be done over the next 4 months.

    Like

  124. 125 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Per Bowman: Eury Perez also non-tendered. Braves are searching for a RH compliment to Michael Bourn in CF.

    Like

  125. 126 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I just don’t see a free agent coming here, all things being equal. And I don’t see the braves outbidding folks. Remember the trouble they had trying to get a starting pitcher to sign back when the team was decent and the manager every player in baseball loved? (was that the same year Furcal wouldn’t sign after a handshake deal?)
    If I was a relief pitcher, I wouldn’t come here….play on a team that will lose 90+ and have to pitch in 80 games? No thanks…

    Like

  126. 127 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 11:05 am

    No trying to argue, BUT…

    Do you honestly believe that a Free Agent would leave an extra guaranteed year or an extra $1M on the table just because he doesn’t like the team makeup? Money talks, folks. These are professional players with professional agents who make their coin off the professional players. They understand much better than we fans that it’s a business first, and they’re out to maximize their value over everything else. The only barrier the Braves will have in the Free Agent market is their inability to match the highest offers for biggest names. Show me the money… the cry of the pro athlete.

    Like

  127. 128 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Ber, like I said, players who are trying to make a comeback/improve value etc will be interested in Atlanta. Guys that are AAAA players on other teams will want to try their luck in the big A because they know there are lots of open roster spots to be had in Atlanta right now. The only position actually blocked is first base and even that is not 100%. Just saying…. After all, there are still some young pitching arms I’m sure the Atlanta brass is coveting….

    Folks, in the post PED era, we are seeing a return to the norm of age 26-31 being a player’s peak years. Some guys are abnormalities but that is just reality. No bennies to overcome long plane trips and late nights. No steroids to promote rapid healing… Just guys who get worn down by September.

    It’s not for lack of heart, it’s like Cameron Maybin or Torri Hunter just not able to bounce back game after game.

    Like

  128. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Even the off season no longer provides for time for guys to recover. Pro ball players now train up year round. Unless there is an injury which prevents it, guys are going to be in the gym or throwing baseballs in their basements or in the batting cages trying to keep an edge.

    Like

  129. 130 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

    V, I am sure an extra year would change some players minds…but, I think something has changed….more guys only go where they have a chance to win…and everyone needs relief pitching….so it’s an uphill battle to get folks here, IMO

    Like

  130. 131 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 11:26 am

    BTW… the team isn’t looking to build through FA anyway. But they are still making a real run at Zobrist. In his case, the team may guarantee him the 4th year he’s seeking to induce him to sign. NYM has already said they won’t.

    Like

  131. 132 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2015 at 11:53 am

    V, I’m sure you are right…and just dumb luck, and arms returning from injuries, the bullpen should be better in 2016.
    Zobrist is an interesting case. He has a ring now, so perhaps less of a pressure at 35(well, next May) to go to a team that has a chance to win…..

    Like

  132. 133 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I think something has changed… more guys only go where they have a chance to win

    That’s where we simply must agree to disagree. I will agree with you in the instance of the older veteran who has already made their money. But not the guys looking for their first big payday contract.

    Examples:
    2014: Last year’s #2 FA pitcher Jon Lester took the highest offer he received and signed with the last place Cubs. In fact, they had not finished higher than last since 2009.
    2013: Robinson Cano signed with Seattle who finished 25 games back in the AL West, but they had the biggest wad of cash on the table. He was the biggest name of that year’s FA crop.
    2012: Our own Michael Bourn took the highest offer he received and signed with the 68 game winning Indians.
    2011: Jose Reyes took the Marlins money and the 3rd biggest deal of the offseason. They had just finished 30 games out in last place and they’re, well… the Marlins.
    2010: Jayson Werth got the offseason’s 2nd highest payout to go to WAS, whom had just finished last and 28 games out.
    That’s just the last 5 years. They occur in every offseason.

    David Price would have signed with any other team that would have offered more than BOS. Same with Jordan Zimmermann. Sentiment doesn’t pay the bills… or the agents.. or the taxes. Not when it comes to that 1st big life changing deal.

    Like

  133. 134 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Funny… Gil was just asking about him. A guy on Twitter says the Braves will probably trade him now. 😉

    Like

  134. 135 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

    It’s looking more and more like Braves will hang onto Shelby Miller. They’ve received a ton of hits, but are not shopping him. Miller is 25. He threw 205.1 innings and made All-Star team this year, so Braves are holding their ground in talks.

    Translation: The Braves are listening, but want the moon and stars. Like in the case of ARI. When ARI called, the Braves asked for OF A.J. Pollock (moon) and RHP Aaron Blair (stars). When CHI called, they asked for Jorge Soler and a pitcher. Not or, but and.

    On local radio yesterday, Bowman says he thinks Shelby is the 2016 Opening Day pitcher. I agree with him. I don’t think any team will meet the exorbitant asking price. But I suppose anything can happen…

    Like

  135. 136 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    OK… I really do have to get back to work, but I want to leave this barrage of posts with something hopeful to ponder:

    Last year’s bullpen was certainly the biggest disappointment, even moreso than the anemic offense. Yuo all remember the numerous games they peed away, right? By my count, these were the most egregious offenders:

    Luis Avilan was hung with 4 losses before being shipped off. Matt Marksberry lost 3. Mick Masset – 2. Brandon Cunniff – 2. Edwin Jackson – 2. David Aardsma, Jake Brigham, Dana Eveland, Juan Jaime and Sugar Ray Marimon all blew saves or took losses. That’s 19 losses from the bullpen that are departed, except for Marksberry, who will be the first guy off the island when the Braves find another LHRP. It also doesn’t factor in 5 L’s by Eric Stults, 3 by Trevor Cahill, and 3 by Cody Martin.

    I believe a rebuilt bullpen can add a minimum of 10 wins to last year’s 67 just by themselves.

    I say all that to simply say that the Braves will not lose 95 games again. If a new bullpen can add back 10 wins, and any additional improvement anywhere else can add another mere 5, that’s a .500 season.

    Like

  136. 137 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Oops… my math was off. Just 4 elsewhere… 😉

    Like

  137. 138 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    V, love your optimism! 🙂

    And…the braves will trade Miller, bank and or book on it , put on the board….yes! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  138. 139 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Ber, if they get back Pollock or Soler, I might can live with it. Pollock is all but impossible. Soler is very possible.

    Soler had some K’s last year, but I forget that he’s still a kid like any other prospect. (Joc Pederson had more Ks and everybody drools over him.) According to FanGraphs, Soler generates EV, or “exit velocity” (how fast, in miles per hour, a baseball is going after it makes contact with the bat), among the best in baseball.

    Here is what I read: *”Soler’s average EV has been better than the major league average for the entire season; and he compares favorably to the best player in baseball. While Mike Trout has been much more consistent over the entire year, he and Soler were fairly interchangeable in terms of EV.”

    They go on to say, “Soler is still only 23 years old, and he has fewer than 450 plate appearances in his major league career. He has an exceptionally bright future, as he’s shown that he has tremendous power and an ability to hit baseballs with an elite exit velocity.”

    And not only does Soler have huge power potential, he would allow the Braves to take the league lead in Cuban defectors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  139. 140 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    So, the name would unofficially be the Little Havana Sugar Kings….

    Where is Preston Gomez when you need him?

    Liked by 2 people

  140. 141 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Well… we do have Cuban born Fredi González as manager.

    Liked by 1 person

  141. 142 Vox O'Reason December 3, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I love Jason Grilli. I am rooting so hard for him to be back full strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 143 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 7:35 am

    That’s the guy Coppy is trying to pry loose from ARI. That’s the standard he has set for Shelby Miller.

    Like

  143. 144 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic: “It’s clear that every team knows that [Paul Goldschmidt] is off limits,” [Diamondbacks CEO Derrick] Hall told reporters. “It’s almost time to send a message that A.J. [Pollock] is off limits. … It’s no surprise that he’s the first name that comes up, really in every conversation we have. It’s like Goldy two or three years ago. He came up in every conversation. I think it’s safe to categorize him as almost untouchable.”

    Like

  144. 145 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 10:40 am

    He and AJP had some playing time together, right? Yep a quick check shows 2006-2009. The local south side Chicago media calls it a “strange” decision to non-tender him. They also call it “questionable” saying, “Given what Flowers meant to the pitching staff, it’s fair to say the choice looks no better than ‘questionable.'”

    They go on: “Beyond the intangibles, Flowers has provided real, measurable value with his pitch-framing abilities. Using Baseball Prospectus’ model for framing, Flowers saved over 16 runs by getting extra strikes for his pitchers. If you add that (roughly) 1.6 wins to his 0.4 WAR per FanGraphs (which doesn’t include framing), Flowers was essentially worth about 2 wins in 2015, making him an average major league regular. Average major league regulars command close to $15 million per season on the open market, which makes a one year, circa-$4 million contract for Flowers an odd thing to reject.”

    Not sure the Braves want to add a guy to split time with AJP and burn an add’l $4M when they have Betty for the league minimum, but I can see where the argument can be made, especially since our staff is so young. The biggest gripe against Betty last season was his lack of preparedness, which I imagine translates into poor handling of a young group of pitchers. And that, my friends, is not gonna fly given the clear emphasis of this rebuild.

    Like

  145. 146 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I keep thinking the Braves will drop out, but apparently they’re still in the hunt.

    Like

  146. 147 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Now this one comes “out of left field”, so to speak:

    MLBTR: Korean outfield star Hyun-soo Kim has received “multiple offers” from Major League teams, his agents in Korea tell Daniel Kim of KBS Sports. Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency also hears from a source that the soon-to-be 28-year-old Kim has “concrete offers” from MLB. While neither reporter lists specific teams, a second source tells Yoo that the Athletics are taking a long look at Kim, as their regional scout in Korea compiled a “glowing report” on Kim, who is nicknamed the “Hitting Machine” in Korea. The Braves have also scouted Kim extensively, according to Yoo.

    Like

  147. 148 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Here’s a great illustration of the glut of young pitching the team currently enjoys. If the season were to begin today, 4 of the 5 starters are pretty clear -> 1) Shelby Miller, 2) Julio Teheran, 3) Matt Wisler, and 5) Bud Norris. Given that all 4 of those guys are RH, Manny Banuelos could have an inside track on the #4 slot… at least it could be his to lose.

    Now… currently, the bullpen arms are fairly clear, assuming Jason Grilli is healthy as expected. They will be righties Grilli, Arodys Vizcaino, Jim Johnson, Chris Withrow and Dan Winkler, to go with lefties Ian Krol and Matt Marksberry. Marksberry is easily the guy on the bubble as the team continues to look for a strong LHRP in the trade/FA market, at which point he’s a goner.

    So have you noticed a couple of notable names not mentioned in either group? Folty? Williams Perez?

    So do those guys open in AAA Gwinnett?

    Maybe, but then how do they squeeze in with Sean Newcomb, Tyrell Jenkins, Ryan Weber, John Gant and Chris Ellis? Bump a couple down to AA Pearl?

    Well, there you are projected to have Lucas Sims, Andrew Thurman, Zack Bird, Steve Janas, and John Whalen.

    This doesn’t even take into consideration the guys projected to start in two levels of Single A, being: Max Fried, Touki Toussant, Max Povse, Ricardo Sanchez, Chad Sobotka, and Alec Grosser, not to mention scores of other guys we don’t hear about. (Notable teenagers Kolby Allard and Michael Soroka will probably still pitch in Rookie League.)

    If a couple of these guys (at least) aren’t used to acquire some bats during next week’s Winter Meetings, I’ll be shocked.

    Like

  148. 149 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Conversely, there is an extreme dearth of bats at the higher minor league levels. In AA and above, only Terdo, Rio Ruiz, Mallex Smith, and Ozzie Albies have any notoriety. (That’s assuming Ozzie starts that high. He should, though.) Maybe Cuban Dian Toscano, but he’s still an unknown commodity. There is one other guy to remember… Dustin Peterson. He was the last “throw in” in the deal that sent JUp to SD. He was a 2B/3B in their system, but was converted to OF after coming over. Currently slated for LF in AA Pearl, He enjoyed a fairly solid season at A Carolina last year paying both LF/3B. Nothing splashy, but solid, And the 21 year old is still developing. He could become a nice jewel in the rough for us at some point.

    Like

  149. 150 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Nothing to see here folks. Just another young arm to bring to Spring Training to compete for a wide open bullpen spot. Big, hard throwing RH. Misses alot of bats, but control has been an issue. He has improved greatly since being converted from starter to reliever. He’s out of options, so he either sticks or is released. I don’t imagine the team gave up too much for him.

    Like

  150. 151 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Scouting report on the 25 year old:

    If Ramirez can stay healthy, he can be a late-inning bullpen weapon. He has averaged 95 mph with his fastball in the big leagues and has touched triple digits. His changeup can be a well-above-average pitch at times too, bottoming out at the plate with splitter action.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 152 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    The Braves have released their 2016 Spring Training dates. They are:

    -> Feb. 19: p&c report
    -> Feb. 20: 1st p&c workout
    -> Feb. 24: full squad reports
    -> Feb. 25: 1st full squad workout

    Like

  152. 153 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    -> Mar. 1: 1st spring game vs. Orioles (at Disney)

    Like

  153. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    So, looks like you are going to have to rearrange your proposed bullpen line up with the acquisition of Ramirez .

    Like

  154. 155 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    … easy. Matt Marksberry is out. He was only hanging on by a thread anyway. And this is not the LHRP they are still seeking. I’m very surprised to see the Braves still lurking as a “finalist” on Darren O’Day. But that’s what the reports seem to say.

    Like

  155. 156 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    V, Gil…did you see this down the MLBTR site?
    The Rockies like Braves right-hander Shelby Miller quite a bit, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. However, Colorado and Atlanta haven’t discussed a possible swap “in a while,” a source told Saunders. While the Braves are seeking outfield upgrades, an expensive and relatively short-term asset like Carlos Gonzalez wouldn’t hold appeal to the Braves, he writes. Rather, a player like Corey Dickerson and other prospects would probably be Atlanta’s asking price, he continues, adding that the Rox aren’t presently in the Miller derby.

    Umm, checking out Corey Dickerson…26…1 good year. In Colorado. ( I know, they said other prospects, it would depend on who was coming back)
    Actually, Carlos Gonzalez is just the guy the braves need to get back…an actual name to go along with FF if they want, you know…fans to show up at the new park that is going to cause the worst traffic jams we have ever seen in the ATL. I know, he will need to be paid….17 mil in 2016, 20 mil in 2017. But, they claim the money will be rolling in , in the new park….

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/12/cubs-jeff-samardzija-john-lackey.html

    Like

  156. 157 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I did some checking on Dickerson. Not overly impressed. And I’m always skeptical of offense generated by guys who play half their games in Denver.

    Like

  157. 158 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    If the Braves pull this one out of their hat, it’s a clear signal that they are serious about an improved product for 2016.

    Like

  158. 159 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Wow…Diamondbacks To Sign Zack Greinke. Good for them! A billion dollar tv contract comes in handy

    Like

  159. 160 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

    With Greinke going to ARI, the Dodgers might seriously consider Coppy’s request for Joc Pederson in exchange for Shelby.

    Like

  160. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Arizona has been a dangerous team for a while, I don’t know that the Greinke signing puts them over the top but it makes them more relevant in the NL West. You just never know when a team is going to collectively have a career year.

    Like

  161. 162 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I read tonight somewhere that this intensifies their desire for Shelby to create a dominant rotation and that they are more motivated to make a match with ATL. The same piece said Hart is dug in on his demand for Pollock. Unless someone blinks, it appears to be at a stalemate. With Shark going to SF, could the Dodgers give up Joc Pederson for an increasingly more valuable Shelby?

    Like

  162. 163 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  163. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Don’t you know it Ber…

    Like

  164. 165 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    hey I see from the countdown to 2016 icon below, only 3 more months!!!! 🙂

    Like

  165. 166 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Well, so much for my theory that Zobrist might come here since he already won a W.S…so much for that thought… :/

    Ken Rosenthal Verified account
    ‏@Ken_Rosenthal

    Sources: Zobrist visited #SFGiants today. #Mets, #Nationals closer to his home in Nashville. #Braves behind. Priority is to join contender.

    Like

  166. 167 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Pitchers & Catchers Report
    February 19th, 2016
    2………….
    yay!

    Like

  167. 168 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Good morning all!! The Winter Meetings officially open today. Let the fun begin!

    Also, Ber… don’t believe everything you read from Rosey. He’s already proven to be fallible this offseason. Rosey also says the Giants are in play, but every other report says BZ wants to stay on the east coast. Maybe he’s right, but until Zobrist signs on the dotted line, I’ll continue to believe the Braves are still in the hunt.

    Like

  168. 169 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 8:04 am

    And yes… I still have a bit of bitterness lingering from Rosey spreading the rumor that the Braves were actively shopping Freddie Freeman. He’s a headline ~#@&< and accuracy comes second. He also seems to have something against ATL. When was the last time you heard him say anything positive about the Braves? He has lost alot of credibility with me.

    Like

  169. 170 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Yep, they have begun! I had a feeling when I saw posts on mlbtr at 4 am! :0
    Also, reason #459 that I feel like baseball has been overwhelmed by the sabermetricians…I just read… The Padres have been shopping Matt Kemp and asking about shortstops, sources from rival teams tell Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). The Padres “may be reluctant to eat a lot of money” in such a deal, which could make things tricky given Kemp’s poor 2015 season and the $72MM owed to him through 2019.

    Ok, I get the money owed part…the poor season? 31 Doubles, 23 HR’s 100 RBI’s .265 BA (only .312 OBP-the only stat that matters today, next to OPS)
    Wouldn’t you guys like a roster full of guys putting up poor seasons like that?
    And does 21 Mil a year sound all that crazy these days?
    of course, Kemp is getting up there….31. That’s really old in baseball years…yep…

    Like

  170. 171 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Last thing on BZ from Mr. O’B, and I’ll let the day unravel:

    The other question some folks have had for me is, why would Zobrist want to sign with the rebuilding Braves?

    Well, as I’ve said, team officials don’t believe it’ll be nearly as long a period before they are competitive as many others think it’ll be. The Braves think they could compete or even contend by 2017, the first year in their new ballpark.

    Further, there’s the location factor. For some players, this is big. I don’t know if it is for Zobrist, but if being only about a 3 ½-hour drive from Franklin to a possible in-season home in Atlanta – actually, closer to 3 hours if he were to live north of the new ballpark – is appealing, then he might be more inclined to buy into the Braves’ rebuilding plans and his potential role as a key player and mentor to their young players.

    IMO, the latter is huge. For a guy 35 with a WS already in my pocket, I’d see proximity to home as a major factor. He’s gonna get his money no matter where he lands. He has nothing else to prove. I’d be driving him around scenic Cherokee County, about 30 minutes north of the new park, and showing him the beautiful homes and great lifestyle available there. It’s a heckuva lot more appealing to a Tennessee boy than an apartment in Flushing.

    But what a legacy to leave if you can usher in the next great era of Braves baseball? Terry Pendleton is the perfect recruiter for this. He’s as beloved as any guy who ever put on the tomahawk. Do y’all realize he only spent 4 seasons (well, and part of another when he was way over the hill) on our hot corner? But he and Sid are remembered as the pieces that helped usher in the Braves unprecedented run of division titles.

    Like

  171. 172 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I probably needed to mention that the above-referred Franklin, TN is the location of Zobrist’s offseason home. That factoid kinda makes the rest of the statement make more sense.

    Like

  172. 173 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 9:14 am

    V, you may not trust Rosey,(Did DOB ever say it wasn’t true about shopping FF?) but I trust him much more than I ever will the 3 Johns….
    I understand the point of not showing your cards, but after saying they really don’t need/plan to trade player X, they then trade player X. Then they pinky swear they won’t trade Player Y, and then they trade player Y.
    I don’t know how many braves fans you come across on a day to day (or week to week basis) but most that I talk to. HATE the Simmons trade. No one likes it at all that I know…and that ties back into how fans react.

    I agree with what you said …a few days ago, (to a point) that you can’t worry about the fans think of trades…but, from a trust and a business point of view, they have really damaged relations with the fans. And it’s going to be hard to rebuild here. Yeah, winning helps, but…most will think the braves will be fighting the Phils for the basement in 2016. Few will show up…perhaps more in Sept just thinking it’s the last games in the Ted
    2017…new park. But, if traffic is worse than the Ted (and it’s now a 40+ mile drive for fans on the south side of the ATL) and the team is still .500 or below…they are not going to see fannies in the seats to watch starters….

    Again, I am still a bitter fan(I’ve hidden it pretty well I think, 😛 )…I can be swayed …some by some deals. Ben Z is a fine player, a winning player…but not exciting. Still a good guy to have.
    But, the braves so far have not shown any inkling to pay what it takes to get guys here like O’Day nor Zobrist. so far….I honestly don’t think they will pay to improve the team…it will all be thru trades. I think they once again lied to us. Kinda like what the Dems do to Americans, every single day…
    (boy have I left myself open to V ridiculing me once they braves sign Cespedes , David Freese, and trade for Jonathan Lucroy! 😉 I am ok with eating crow, at least when it comes to the braves!)

    Liked by 1 person

  173. 174 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 9:33 am
  174. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Thaks Ber, that link to the Onion helps to give us a real sense of Sabermetrics. Sabermetrics is an invention of the nerds who got bored with actually watching the game and wanted a more computer driven model so they could dominate their fantasy leagues.

    What Sabermetrics does not take into account is if the home plate umpire suspects his wife is having an affair with the trainer of the team his is calling balls and strikes against, or that X third baseman just got an audit notice from the IRS or player B is jealous of player D because he is making $1 a year more then he is. SO many things nearly impossible to quantify.

    Computers are great for showing trends and tendencies bit I don’t think they take into account whether or not the control room has the A/C vents blowing in when the visiting team is at bat but off when the home team is hitting.

    Nope, Sabermetrics tells me I have the potential to lose 100 pounds but it is not likely to happen unless I get deathly ill and that is not a trade off I care to make. SO, Ya’ll are right, Zobrist could be a real positive addition. A Terry Pendleton type who could really influence but it still hurts to not have the best defensive player in the league not manning the shortstop position.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 176 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I have noticed DOB say recently that he wouldn’t have traded Simmons, nor would he trade Shelby Miller…also saw in that column….

    Well, as I’ve said, team officials don’t believe it’ll be nearly as long a period before they are competitive as many others think it’ll be. The Braves think they could compete or even contend by 2017, the first year in their new ballpark (personally, I think that’s unlikely unless quite a few of their young pitchers and position players follow a best-possible-scenario development arc).I/i>

    So, I’m not crazy…well, I am still crazy but….not that crazy…

    Like

  176. 177 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Computers are great for showing trends and tendencies

    Exactly. They are useful, but not everything. Certainly not comprehensive… or at least shouldn’t be. I fear they are becoming more and more influential, though.

    Like

  177. 178 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Ber, it’s all subjective. I do not intend to ridicule anyone. I’ve set myself up for plenty of crow on the menu myself. You, I and everyone else can change our stance 180 degrees after seeing what occurs this week, or in the next 3 months.

    What if… and I understand this is simply speculation… but what if the Braves traded Shelby for Joc Pederson, signed Darren O’Day, picked up Brett Lawrie from the A’s, and signed Tyler Flowers to split time with AJP?

    That’s alot of change, but it’s completely plausible. Not likely, but plausible.

    But if all that happened, wouldn’t you agree that the Braves were a vastly improved team trending back toward contending?

    The other side of the coin is that if they only sign Flowers (which I’m betting they do) and some mid- to lower-level reliever and then trade Shelby for that Dickerson kid from COL (which I really cannot see happening)… I would consider it a great failure and look pitifully to 2016.

    Chances are they’ll do something somewhere in between.

    I’m hedging my bets a little, but if I had to make a prediction, I’ll say they sign neither O’Day nor Zobrist, but do sign either Tony Sipp or Antonio Bastardo, each of whom makes more sense being that O’Day is a RHRP and the Braves really need a LHRP. They’ll pick up their 3B/2B via trade of some of that pitching depth, and it could very well be someone we’ve never heard of. I think they could still trade Shelby to ARI, but get back OF David Peralta instead of AJ Pollock, plus a pitcher – maybe even Aaron Blair.

    If they trade for Peralta, they’ll look to deal Markakis back to BAL.

    More on Markakis below…

    Like

  178. 179 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I read somewhere this weekend (cannot remember where) an odd opinion about last year’s Markakis deal, which I immediately dismissed.

    Then I began to think about it and it made me go “hmmm…”

    Think about the timeline last year. JHey was traded to STL in a move that everyone expected to happen. Then John Hart signed Markakis to a fairly team friendly 4 year deal which left every so called expert scratching their heads. That includes all of us. But if you go back and look at last year’s FA and trade market you found JHey, JUp, dropoff, Markakis, dropoff, everyone else.

    This guy asserted that Hart signed Markakis to take him off of the market and drive the price for JUp higher, with an intent to spin him off this season with 3 very reasonable cost certain years remaining on his deal.

    At first it looks crazy, but now I’m not so sure. What’s the phrase, “crazy like a fox”?

    If the Braves were to trade for Peralta or Pederson or Soler, I don’t think it changes their intent to play Hector in LF, and it certainly doesn’t cause a block for Mallex Smith in CF. Moving Markakis is the only one that makes any sense. It also returns $11M back into this year’s pot.

    Crazy right? … like a fox.

    Like

  179. 180 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Bethancourt’s a goner. They have soured on him. Me too.

    Like

  180. 181 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Nice P&C counter, CL. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  181. 182 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Ha ha ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  182. 183 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Aw, it didn’t show Bowman’s response… 😦

    Like

  183. 184 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    There it is. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 185 Vox O'Reason December 7, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Boman: Interested clubs indicate the Braves have made every indication they will not alter their significant demands for Shelby Miller.

    And they shouldn’t. Shelby is very valuable to the Braves. If he goes, they better get greater value in return.

    Like

  185. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Lots of moving parts in Atlanta right now, lots of opportunities too for young players to make their mark. Too bad Bethancourt did not avail himself to that opportunity. He could have had a happy life in Atlanta… Maybe Boson picks him up so he can be reunited with his biggest booster, Frank Wren…

    Like

  186. 187 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    What if… and I understand this is simply speculation… but what if the Braves traded Shelby for Joc Pederson, signed Darren O’Day, picked up Brett Lawrie from the A’s, and signed Tyler Flowers to split time with AJP?

    That’s alot of change, but it’s completely plausible. Not likely, but plausible.

    But if all that happened, wouldn’t you agree that the Braves were a vastly improved team trending back toward contending?

    Oh, I agree , that would be a much better team, and you would have FF AND another star a stud fielder, with tons of power. It would be buying a bit low on him (he was terrible during the 2nd half) the perfect time to get in on a player like him.

    Like

  187. 189 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Well, there was some news overnight that turned out to not be news. As I have stated often, the national writers are all about headlines and getting them first without vetting the information. A little after mid-night, “sources” told a writer that the Braves/Cubs were close on a deal involving Shelby Miller and Javier Baez. Then less than an hour later, other “sources” a told a writer that no deal between the two teams was close.

    Whenever you see someone cite “sources”, that means they are distancing themselves from the information in case it turns out to be bogus, as in the case of Rosenthal’s “sources” telling him Freddie Freeman was being shopped.

    So pick your “sources” and believe whom you want. I’ll wait until I see it from Bowman, O’B or McAlpin, who get their info from the club itself.

    Like

  188. 190 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Speaking of the club itself, Hart and Coppy spoke with the local media guys last night and many quotes were made available from the session. So these are courtesy of both Bowman and O’B —

    Hart: “We are absolutely not in the mode where we’re shopping Shelby Miller, but we have had calls on a lot of our pitching.”

    Hart: “We have not picked up the phone one time on Shelby Miller, We are all very happy to have Shelby Miller continue to grow from a [No. 3 starter] to a 2 to a 1 and be a part of us for the next three years. When you look at the price of poker for pitching right now, and you look at a guy like Shelby with 200-plus innings and a [3.02] ERA who is under control, we’re certainly going to get calls. And we’re not afraid to receive the calls and discuss.”

    Hart: “We are not afraid to receive the calls and discuss, but none of us here have any interest in trading Shelby. But at the same point, at this time of year, you’re going to get these calls, and Shelby has been a guy.”

    Hart: “But none of us here, starting with myself and Coppy and Fredi, have any interest in trading Shelby. But at the same point, at this time of year you’re going to get these calls, and Shelby’s been a guy – we’ve had calls on others. I’m not going to tell you everybody we’ve had calls on, but we’ve had calls on a number of our young pitchers, Shelby being the one who’s probably the primary guy that we’ve had calls on. The actual answer to that question, yeah, if you’re going to be called, you’re required at least in our way to take a look to see if there’s something that could better us, be it a combination of short-term and long-term – what depth do we have in our system? Pitching. Where are we a little bit lacking? Upper-level position players.”

    Coppy: “The way this pitching market has escalated, we’re fine holding Shelby Miller. There isn’t any rush to trade this guy.”

    Coppy: “We’re a team that has to listen on a lot of players. We’re certainly not going to listen on Freddie Freeman; we’re not trading him. We were 30th last year in runs scored. We were 29th the year prior to that. That’s why we’re not going to listen on Freddie Freeman. We need more offense, we need more players like Freddie Freeman.

    Coppy: “Like John said, we haven’t picked up the phone once to call anybody on Shelby Miller. When teams calls us, we’ve got to at least listen, whether it’s Shelby or any of our many young pitching prospects. I think that we owe that to our fans to try and get them some semblance of an offense.”

    When “sources” have a name and identity, it’s a little easier to give them credibility.

    Like

  189. 191 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Here are some quotes from Hart on the team’s payroll budget for 2016, courtesy of O’B:

    “We’ve had the ability to spend money, We’re certainly not going to give away what our (2016) payroll number is; we don’t want clubs and agents and everybody to know what’s going on out there. But we don’t feel we’re restricted.”

    “When we look at our payroll there’s an overall bucket that you look at, and part of it is other things – we’re going to have a number of early draft picks; we traded for one and we have the 3-hole pick. We want to be able to be big players internationally. We are not being restricted, if you will, to be able to go and do all the things it takes to build an organization.”

    “’16 is going to be a little more challenging because there are some other things that we might like to do with the money that we have. ‘17 is a completely different story. That’s about as accurate a portrayal as I can give of how we look at the dollars we’ve been given.”

    Like

  190. 192 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 8:15 am

    V, I trust the braves leadership as much as I trust the no doubt next president of the U.S. Hillary 😦

    He will be traded, of course he will be traded….
    from MLBTR

    Shelby Miller is still an Atlanta Brave as of this morning, though trade winds are swirling around the right-hander. Here’s the latest…

    The Braves reportedly made progress on a Miller deal and a trade could happen as soon as today, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  Braves management met “late into [the] night” discussing Miller.
    The Diamondbacks are still hopeful they’ll be the team to obtain Miller today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Atlanta and Arizona have had several talks about Miller, though the D’Backs have turned down at least two offers that would’ve sent A.J. Pollock to the Braves.
    

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/12/shelby-miller-rumors-tuesday.html#comments

    Like

  191. 193 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Well, screwed that up…

    Shelby Miller is still an Atlanta Brave as of this morning, though trade winds are swirling around the right-hander. Here’s the latest…

    The Braves reportedly made progress on a Miller deal and a trade could happen as soon as today, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  Braves management met “late into [the] night” discussing Miller.
    The Diamondbacks are still hopeful they’ll be the team to obtain Miller today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Atlanta and Arizona have had several talks about Miller, though the D’Backs have turned down at least two offers that would’ve sent A.J. Pollock to the Braves.
    

    Like

  192. 194 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    ok….perhaps they don’t like folks copying and a pastin’ ?
    Well, always around things like that…I hope

    Shelby Miller is still an Atlanta Brave as of this morning, though trade winds are swirling around the right-hander. Here’s the latest…

    The Braves reportedly made progress on a Miller deal and a trade could happen as soon as today, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  Braves management met “late into [the] night” discussing Miller.
    The Diamondbacks are still hopeful they’ll be the team to obtain Miller today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Atlanta and Arizona have had several talks about Miller, though the D’Backs have turned down at least two offers that would’ve sent A.J. Pollock to the Braves.
    

    Like

  193. 195 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 8:19 am

    D’oh!
    The Braves reportedly made progress on a Miller deal and a trade could happen as soon as today, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Braves management met “late into [the] night” discussing Miller.

    Like

  194. 196 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:19 am

    During this time of year, there are multiple media sources saying multiple things, so we have to weave them all together to get the larger picture.

    “Sources” last night said that the Braves and Cubs were close, then said they weren’t. This morning, Heyman tweeted that the “Braves were meeting late into night and reportedly made progress. a trade w/ Shelby Miller could happen as soon as today.”

    Then there was Bob Nightengale who tweeted that “The Dbacks still hoping to land Braves Shelby Miller today.”

    Allow me to add those together and give you the sum: The Cubs want Shelby and are offering either Jorge Soler or Javier Baez as principals, either of whom would be a nice addition to our club. The Dbacks still want Miller just as bad even though they keep saying “NO” on A.J. Pollock. The Braves may have had a framework in place with CHI, then turned to ARI and said something like, “We have something cooking, wanna make a better offer?” ARI may have said something like, “Let us sleep on it and give you an answer tomorrow.”

    In other words, Hart/Coppy are likely playing CHI and ARI against each other to maximize their return value.

    Ber, you’ll be correct. Shelby will be traded and maybe not even last the day. But he’ll bring us back a sorely needed young offensive piece, and maybe a major league ready pitcher to boot. If I had to guess, the deal will include multiple pieces from both sides to make it happen. If what I read is correct, the Braves don’t want to fill a rotation spot with another young guy, preferring to let them develop at a normal pace. Instead they want to get back a guy to slot in somewhere.

    Remember the names Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta. one of those guys could be a Brave before he day ends.

    Like

  195. 197 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

    CAVEAT: Bowman noted somewhere that the team has also been fielding calls on Julio, although not as many. And while Julio may have been inconsistent last season, he showed flashes of brilliance that would make him an “ace” if he could ever harness that immense talent, especially over the second half. Still, if someone made a better offer on Julio, he could be the guy. And why would they? Cost certainty. Julio’s deal is team friendly and locked in for the next 4 seasons. He’s set to make $3.3M this season, with a gradual escalation through 2019, and team option for 2020. Shelby will easily make $5M+ in his first trip through arb, and could double that next season.

    To put that in perspective, Julio’s original deal was for 6 years/$32.4M (’14-’19) & ’20 team option for $12M. If you toss in the option year, from 2016-2020 his remaining contract is for 5 years/$40.6M for ages 25-29. A comparable deal is for Jordan Zimmermann, who just signed with DET for 5 years/$110M (’16-’20) for ages 30-34.

    Julio is a bargain. That’s why Shelby is the guy who will be traded.

    Like

  196. 198 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic: Arizona GM Dave Stewart says he’s willing to listen to offers, “but with the understanding that we’re not entering any room with the intention to trade A.J. Pollock.”

    Sound familiar? He’s could be setting his fans up for the team to deal Pollock for Shelby.

    Like

  197. 199 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I’d love to see Pollock, but think it will take a lot more than Shelby….and….I am ok with that….

    Like

  198. 200 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:03 am

    The Cubs appear to be gearing up for a run at JHey, which would explain their willingness to include Jorge Soler in a deal to ATL. What a great place that would be for JHey to spend his prime years. That’s one of the handful of places that his power numbers and thus other offensive numbers would jump. He would be a superstar in CHI.

    And wouldn’t it be interesting if the Cubbies picked up Shelby and signed JHey?

    Like

  199. 201 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I’d love to see Pollock, but think it will take a lot more than Shelby….and….I am ok with that…

    They would likely expand it in a way that was reported last week, with Shelby and Arodys Vizcaino for Pollock and a #5 starter. (BTW- That would pave the way for Folty to begin transitioning to the closer role. He’d have one full year with Grilli. But I digress.)

    No idea how the Shelby/Cubs deal is being framed. I think Shelby has more value than either one of those guys alone. Someone else needs to be kicked in IMO.

    Like

  200. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Number one take back on all this: Don’t get too attached to anyone playing in Atlanta right now….

    Like

  201. 203 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:30 am

    2015 numbers..

    CF A.J. Pollock (R), age 27: 157 games. .315/.367/.498, 20 HR, 76 RBI, 39 SB

    RF Jorge Soler (R), age 23, 101 games, .262/.324/.399. 10 HR, 47 RBI

    2B/3B Javier Baez (R), age 23, 28 games, .289/.325/.408

    IMO, Baez is the guy that the Braves really want from CHI. He was the 2013 Baseball America MiLB Player of the Year. He’s long been the Cubs #1 prospect, and had callups in both 2014 and 2015. Last year’s early scouting report said of him, “the top ranked prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization and the possessor of one of the most powerful bats in the minor leagues.”

    2015 Grades…

    Arm: 60. “Baez possesses great arm strength and is consistent in terms of accuracy. His arm strength will allow him to make an easy transition to third base.”

    Defense: 55, “He possesses a strong arm and good hands.(at SS). He has flashed signs of displaying solid range. Expect the Cubs to move him to third” (The presence of 2015 ROY Kris Bryant changes that, though.)

    Hitting: 65, “Baez has exceptional power potential, which he has clearly showcased throughout the minors. His incredible bat speed, strong hands, and body torque allow for the ball to jump off of his bat, which he can drive to all fields with relative ease and authority.”

    Speed: 50, “Baez has average base running skills and solid speed, which should provide the Cubs with an all-around power threat who has the ability to flash speed when needed.”

    Overall: 65, “Based on the above assessments, Baez projects to be an above average to potential all-star caliber player at the next level, although his questionable plate discipline and defensive struggles will need to be resolved before making such lofty claims.”

    OK… so maybe Shelby for Baez straight up would be OK. 😉

    Like

  202. 204 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Number one take back on all this: Don’t get too attached to anyone playing in Atlanta right now…

    I’ve said all along that I expect at least 2 of our pitchers, whether current or prospect, to be traded this week. I still do.

    Like

  203. 205 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:45 am

    The view from my house:

    Shelby for Pollock will require more pieces. ARI seems set not to make the deal straight up. ATL won’t give Shelby away for less. Other moving parts are required to make it work.

    Shelby for Soler would seem on the surface to be an awkward fit. ATL needs an IF, not an OF. But Soler’s offensive potential is off the charts. If I’m Hart/Coppy, I need to me persuaded by something additional to try to force that fit. Maybe take back some of Swisher’s contract?

    Shelby for Baez is dead on. They have an IF glut with 2B Starlin Castro, SS Addison Russell, and 3B Kris Bryant, all said to be untouchable. They need to get the most for Baez now. It’s a match that works for both teams. Can you see that team with all that offense and Arrieta, Lester, Miller, Lackey, Kendricks/Hammell? Wow.

    Like

  204. 206 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I am stepping back from the podium now and letting the day unfold. Plus, I need to work on my paying job.

    Like

  205. 207 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 10:14 am

    OK… before I go. Let’s repeat the Braves stated shopping list to see how it fills out. (Then I’ll go.)

    Their stated needs are:
    #1- Reliable bullpen arm, preferably LH. Tony Sipp? Antonio Bastardo?
    #2- RH hitting CF. LH Bourn’s splits vs. LH last season were horrifying. Probably someone like Drew Stubbs or Austin Jackson. Nothing to write home about, but serviceable. (If they were to add Pollock or Soler via trade, that would obviously change the entire OF dynamic.)
    #3- Catcher. They don’t want AJP catching 100+ innings again, and have lost faith in B’court. They’re are reportedly making a push for Tyler Flowers, although they aren’t alone.
    #4- “Versatile” IF. They want a guy who can play all over the place, like KJ did last year. Maybe KJ v.3? (If they can add Baez via trade, Beckham would probably be that guy. Heck, he might be anyway.)

    Like

  206. 208 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 10:18 am

    And now I am going back to work. 😉

    Like

  207. 209 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Well… this is interesting. Rosey’s “sources” tell him that the Cubs are “not currently in [the] mix” for Shelby. and that while the Dodgers have had conversations with the Braves, it’s “unclear” where they stand. Bowman says the Dbacks appear to have “turned their attention away” from Shelby. O’B says he “talked to a Braves official this morning who reiterated they don’t ‘want’ to trade Miller and that there’s ‘good chance’ he isn’t dealt.”

    In other words, there will be a deal to CHI, LAD or ARI by late afternoon. :mrgreen:

    Liked by 2 people

  208. 210 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I don’t know why I find this humorous, but I do. National writers gotta get the scoop!

    1:02pm: Free agent infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been as heavily pursued as expected, but his market is apparently reaching heights not previously anticipated. One unidentified team has made him a four-year, $80MM offer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter.

    1:03pm: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that there’s “no way” Zobrist has received such an offer.

    I wonder if Rosey can even go to the bathroom without a “source”?

    Like

  209. 211 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Regardless of Rosey and his sources, if the bidding is getting that high, I hope the Braves have bowed out. (In fact, I’m sure they have.) He’s a great player, but not a $20M player. Not for a team on a budget especially.

    Like

  210. 212 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Waiting in docs office over an hour….so plwnty of time to read about baseball. Dob article about hart and coppy. Great pr guys.

    Like

  211. 213 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Still don’t trust them.for some reason. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  212. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Long day for me, eye doctor appointment; Was suppose to see my regular guy and had jumped through hoops to do so and drove 50 miles out of my way and when I showed up, they said my doc wasn’t there…… AAAAUUUGGGHHHH! So I saw a different guy, was pretty young so I’m sure he will out live me. That said, will go to the office closer to me. Although gas is cheaper, still about $1.00 per mile for every mile driven in depreciation on your vehicle. The to the grocery store… Another $250 down the toilet… Okay, not directly but, well, you know.

    So baseball. It makes my head hurt to speculate on all the possible trade deals. I just know the Braves are going to try to push a bunch of not so great AAAA players off on us and try to make us believe they are the ’27 Yankees…

    I have not given up on the team, just will go through the motions until the kids get their act together which should just about the time that Julio, Freddie and Shellby get too expensive for the Braves to keep on their payroll. I am beginning to get to the same point as the average Marlin’s fan….

    Like

  213. 215 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I’ll tell ya… I don’t think I have ever seen so many contradictory “tweets” and reports on activity in all my life. First O’Day has a deal, then he doesn’t. Then Zobrist has made all these visits, then he hasn’t made as many as reported. Then he has a certain $$ deal in hand, then he doesn’t. This team is meeting “into the night” over this player with a deal expected, then the 2 teams are not close.

    I wish these guys would stop trying to scoop each other and report what is verified, not what is heard from “sources”. There used to be this thing called “journalism”, which espoused responsibility and accuracy. If you heard a rumor, you vetted it to ensure that it had some validity. But these days there’s no time to vet and verify… just have to go with the rumor and attribute it to a “source” so that you don’t have to take personal responsibility. It’s reprehensible in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 216 Carolina Lady December 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Fully agreed, V. That same mindset covers all areas of “journalism.” They don’t really want to REPORT the story; they want to BE the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  215. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Brave sign FA Infielder Gordon Beckham to a one year deal for 2016. I guess he is the back up plan for 2nd/3rd base this season. Suspect the deal to be worth about $2MM but who knows.

    Like

  216. 218 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    There are those “sources” again. Wonder if he ever gets anything for himself?

    Like

  217. 219 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Gil, the Beckham deal was done last week. Maybe just now formerly announced, but it’s been done a while. He’s essentially the replacement for Pedro Ciriaco, who was non-tendered. Will probably platoon with Jace at 2B. It basically has no bearing on the “wish list”.

    Like

  218. 220 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I wonder if he ever says anything without prefacing it with “Sources:”?

    Like

  219. 221 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Wait… in that one, sources told him that sources told him. That’s about par for his course. 😆

    Like

  220. 222 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    So if all those sources pan out, Castro will be a Yankee and Zobrist will be a Cub. And Javier Baez still won’t have a position. I like that part…

    Like

  221. 223 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Oh

    Like

  222. 224 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    my

    Like

  223. 225 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    goodness!

    Like

  224. 226 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    😯

    Like

  225. 227 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Shelby plus an unidentified minor league reliever for 25 year-old OF Ender Inciarte, IF Dansby Swansby and RHP Aaron Blair.

    Y’all, that is an impressive haul. Wow! Swansby is a stud!

    Like

  226. 228 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    No kidding!

    Like

  227. 229 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    The previously unidentified minor league LHRP is Gabe Speier, who came over from DET with Ian Krol for Maybin.

    Like

  228. 230 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Bourn goes back to the bench.

    Like

  229. 231 Carolina Lady December 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I know I know nothing, but I thought we had too many OFs. So does this bring the pitchers needed? I think I’m going to take up finger painting or something….. 🙂

    Like

  230. 232 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Sources tell Rosenthal to be stunned! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  231. 233 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    CL, Aaron Blair can possibly slot into the 5th starter role. He was the Dbacks #3 prospect and top pitching prospect. Inciarte is a guy who can play all over the OF. Should probably start in CF instead of Bourn. Adds flexibility with Bourn on the downside of his career.

    But the real steal is Dansby. This kid is a stud, He was ARI’s #1 pick last year. In fact, I think he was THE #1 pick last year. College SS… was the College World Series MVP, if I recall correctly. Should open the season in AA, but will certainly get a look in Spring Training. He will probably move to 2B or 3B in the ATL system. He’s the one to be excited about.

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 234 Carolina Lady December 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks, V! Sounds like the Braves did alright for themselves.

    Like

  233. 235 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    To put it into proper perspective, Ender Inciarte already is an upgrade over Cameron Maybin who has been primarily a leadoff hitter. In 132 games last season, he slashed .303/.338/.408. He’s 25 and under team control through 2021.

    RHP Aaron Blair is just 23 but has already spent half a season in AAA. He throws a mid-90’s FB with movement, and has a plus changeup. He projects to a mid-rotation starter. Should see ML time in 2016.

    But Dansby Swanson… He just became the Braves #1 prospect, knocking Sean Newcomb down to 2 and Ozzie Albies to 3. The early word is that Swanson will remain at SS and Albies will begin transitioning to 2B. That in itself ought to tell you how highly regarded Swanson is.

    Liked by 1 person

  234. 236 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    And almost swept under the rug was the 2-year deal the Braves reached with C Tyler Flowers to share duties with AJP. Very good move IMO. CBeth is officially on the trading block. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t dealt before the Winter Meetings are completed.

    This was a solid signing to go with a great trade. Our execs have done well, folks.

    Still on the list is the bullpen arm and “versatile” IF.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 237 Vox O'Reason December 8, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I still think the “versatile” IF can be a 3rd reunion with KJ. He’d fit the bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  236. 238 Carolina Lady December 8, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    I liked Kelly J because he worked so hard with Lemke learning 2B. He really put everything into it. I’ve always wished him well. There’s no shame for a person who gives it his all – whether he succeeds or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  237. 239 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Good morning. I sit here this morning wearing my Braves jersey sipping coffee from my Braves tumbler. It’s a good morning for sure. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  238. 240 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I have tried to find another case where a team traded away the #1 overall pick within a year. I can’t. I’m still stunned, to borrow a word from Rosenthal’s sources.

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 241 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:37 am

    ARI is getting flogged by their local media. The national guys love the fact that they have a top rotation and are the new favorites in the NL West. Their fans are outraged that they gave up so much. Everyone is aghast that they gave up Dansby Swanson. According to Bowman, the Braves have been discussing Swanson with them for a month.

    Remember when I said JHey could be a superstar in CHI. Swanson has that potential here in ATL. Not only is he that talented, he played his HS ball in Marietta… which is literally just up the road from SunTrust Park. Guys and gal(s), I am pumped over this deal.

    And we haven’t even discussed the other 2 pieces!!

    Liked by 1 person

  240. 242 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Ender Inciarte instantly becomes the leadoff hitter, and a real bona fide leadoff hitter at that. And his defense… DOB makes this note: “Inciarte’s 2.6 defensive WAR in 2015 was 4th in NL, a few spots behind Andrelton and a few ahead of JHey.” Did you read that? “… a few ahead of JHey. That’d be the same JHey that is about to receive a king’s ransom in free agency mainly for his defensive presence.

    The Braves essentially traded JHey for one year of Shelby, plus Tyrell Jenkins, Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair. and Inciarte. Maybe this takes a little heat off Coppy?

    Liked by 1 person

  241. 243 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:45 am

    And if you’re wondering what this means for CF Mallex Smith, it means nothing. He’ll still make his MLB debut when he’s ready, and the Braves will adjust accordingly, whether that means someone moves to another position or to the bench or to another team. Inciarte excels in all 3 OF positions.

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 244 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:51 am

    There is also a good bit of discussion as to how this affects SS Ozzie Albies, the guy that the Braves deemed good enough to enable a trade of Simba. I’ve read that the Braves will sort it out as the days draw nearer. Both Albies and Swanson are top defenders at SS. Either could easily transition to 2B. In fact, Swanson entered Vanderbilt as a 2B. These are the kind of things that tend to sort themselves out. It certainly is not a problem. Far from it. If it’s a problem, then I need these kind of problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 245 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Richard Justice, MLB.com: “Dansby Swanson has a chance to be a franchise-changing player.”

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 246 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 7:56 am

    And then there’s still Aaron Blair…

    Bowman: Blair could provide the Braves the Major League-ready arm they were seeking to eat some of the innings lost via Miller’s departure. The 23-year-old right-hander produced a 2.92 ERA over the 26 appearances he combined to make at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this year. He ranks as MLB.com’s 61st-best overall prospect.

    The Braves aren’t committing to Blair being in the rotation to begin 2016, but they view him as a rotation option at some point next year.

    Like

  245. 247 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Must get in another mention of FA signee Tyler Flowers. This was a very solid pick to reunite Flowers and AJP to lead a young pitching staff. This was almost under the radar thanks to the big story, but it will have both immediate impact as well as future impact in the way these 2 guys will bring this young group of pitchers along. That is the true impetus behind Flowers displacing Betty. Team officials were more concerned with Betty’s handling of the staff than anything. He’ll probably go somewhere with a veteran staff and develop into a good everyday catcher. I wish him well.

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 248 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Not a bad day’s work from John & John. But there are still items left on the list. Gotta go get another bullpen arm. And according to DOB, they may shop for another veteran starter now. Probably an older guy they can get on a 1-year deal.

    I think Beckham will serve as the “versatile” IF they have mentioned now that this trade has happened. I kind of got the feeling that the “versatile” IF they kept alluding to was in regard to their cursory pursuit of Ben Zobrist. But Beckham is a solid defender that plays all over the IF, who can hit enough, especially from the right side which could position him to platoon with Jace Peterson at 2B. He’s also a very capable 3B that can spell Adonis if he gets overexposed. (BTW- Adonis is having an impressive winter season at the plate. That doesn’t necessarily translate into ML success, but it doesn’t hurt. Still, the glove…)

    So Betty is officially on the block and probably the bait the team will use to land the other bullpen arm.

    Liked by 1 person

  247. 249 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 8:19 am

    BTW- Folty just reentered the rotation picture, which currently looks like this:

    #1- Julio Teheran (R)
    #2- Matt Wisler (R)
    #3- Manny Banuelos (L)
    #4- Bud Norris (R)
    #5- Folty (R)

    That’s a very young rotation. Projecting Wisler into the #2 hole is indicative of the youth. That’s probably his ceiling, but maybe not where he currently is. Julio must take the next step and start going deeper into games. That’s what you have to get from your ace. He’s a guy who can do it, and it’s time.

    The biggest concern with such a young rotation is innings. They can eat through a bullpen if not careful. Yet another reason the Braves are stocking up on relievers.

    Liked by 1 person

  248. 250 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Do y’all realize that we have plundered the Dbacks’ last 2 drafts, getting each of their last 2 #1 picks in Swanson and Touki Toussant, not to mention Aaron Blair who was a compensatory pick in 2014 (#36 overall).

    And the Braves picked up last year’s #1 overall pick without having to pay the associated bonus.

    That part has me grinning a little. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 251 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 8:25 am

    OK… the floor is y’all’s. I must go get more coffee and get back to my paying job. (There are some who might argue i should bypass the add’l coffee. Not happ’nin’)

    Like

  250. 252 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Like

  251. 253 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Like

  252. 254 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Like

  253. 255 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Liked by 1 person

  254. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Woke up this morning and changed my normal routine: Check e-mails, Do my morning crossword puzzle, check the B&S blog… Nope, clicked on the Atlanta MLB link first for some reason… Voila! Saw where Shelby had moved to Zona, Tyler Flowers signed a two year deal and the Braves picked up some real talent….

    Then I came over here to spread the word and found Vee had beat me by a mile or two in his enthusiastic assessments of last night’s doings.

    I have to get my first cup of coffee and watch MLB Hot Stove and let my mind get around this trade… A lot to let soak in.

    Liked by 1 person

  255. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Okay, first jolt of caffeine consumed…. Very positive reviews on the Braves haul from Zona by the talking heads at MLB. Always at least one negative nelly but that is baseball… The what ifs… So, looks like J-Hey is about to sign somewhere for 10 years-$200MM … Wow, good for him. Looks like the Braves did okay in what they got for one year of Heyward. One year of Miller, a mother lode from Arizona instead of the 35th over-all pick in the 2016 draft because no way the Braves would have been able to keep Jason.

    The other plus is the Braves still get to keep or flip another pretty good pitcher in Tyrell Jenkins who still projects to make it to the bigs.

    The consensus now seems to be that while the Braves might not make their immediate goal of being competitive in 2017, they certainly should be by 2018.

    Now, if only a couple of billion dollars can drop out of the sky like everyone else appears to have….

    And wither Bethancourt? I still think he should look into mirror and realize he is still young and he should know what he has to do to fall back into favor with the Braves or at least some other major league team. He has the potential, it is on him to convert the potential into reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  256. 258 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Interesting factoid…. Only 4 outfielders had 25 HR and 100 RBI last season. A little idea of life in the post steroids era….

    Liked by 2 people

  257. 259 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Ken Rosenthal:

    The early reviews are in, and they are not good for the Diamondbacks.

    “Worst trade I’ve ever seen,” one executive said of the D-backs’ acquisition of right-hander Shelby Miller on Tuesday.

    “Holy crap for Atlanta,” said another.

    “Grand slam for the Braves,” said a third.

    Liked by 1 person

  258. 260 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Bowman:

    The Braves now have two players taken w/in the first 14 picks of the ’15 Draft and two taken w/in the first 16 picks of the ’14 Draft.

    2014: Sean Newcomb (15th) and Touki Toussaint (16th)
    2015: Dansby Swanson (1st) and Kolby Allard (14th)

    Liked by 1 person

  259. 261 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:32 am

    [video src="https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CVyynMGUAAAYV85.mp4" /]

    Like

  260. 262 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Aw… that was a major fail… 😦

    Like

  261. 263 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Maybe this will work…

    [video src="https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CVyynMGUAAAYV85.mp4" /]

    Like

  262. 264 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Steee-rike 2!! 😐

    Like

  263. 265 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2015 at 11:03 am

    2 WORDS HO…HUM….

    Like

  264. 266 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2015 at 11:04 am

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  265. 267 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Man, that was funny….to me… 😆
    It was really funny cuz I had trouble making the 2nd post, and I thought, V will blow a gasket if I can’t post after that comment!

    Ok, I freely admit to eating a ton of crow, and quite happy about it! 🙂
    The braves finally have a real steal trade! Have no idea why the Diamondbacks did it, just glad they did…granted, I too think they are the frontrunners in the West, and, if they win the W.S. fans will get over it…but that’s a big IF….Ender Inciarte has some issues against Lefties, but still a great defender, a true leadoff hitter…and a top HITTING prospect, and a pitcher (there always has to be a pitcher) amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  266. 268 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I thought, V will blow a gasket if I can’t post after that comment!

    Ber, I never doubted you for a second. Even the toughest of critics have to give credit on this one. It was indeed a steal for the Braves.

    But you are also right in that it immediately pushes the Snakes to the front of the contending pack in the NL. So as you said, it is great for them right now. They are certainly going for it all in 2016, and more power to them. But they have gutted their own future in the process.

    I know you love the inclusion of the pitcher, but this perfectly illustrates the strategy. Grab good pitching whenever you can. Top pitching is expensive, so you stockpile it and use it at its greatest value. That’s exactly where Shelby is.. at his max value. Coppy cashed in his chips and brought home a nice bundle.

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 269 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Me likey.

    Like

  268. 270 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Opinion time:

    I think the acquisition of OF Ender Inciarte allows the Braves to do a couple of things. First, it places the aging Michael Bourn back on the bench where he needs to be. His best years are behind him. Second, it gives them some time to assess Hector Olivera in LF. There is no doubt that Mallex Smith will get called up at some point, most likely in 2016 although 2017 is now possible. (No reason to rush, I suppose.) He is an everyday CF. But Inciarte is also an everyday player, whether in LF/CF/RF. The Braves will take some or all of 2016 to assess the future of Olivera in LF, and if they are happy with his production and defense, Markakis could find himself the odd man out of the OF. Let’s be honest, we are still in the mode of rebuilding and Markakis could be a quite valuable trade chip at mid-season to a contending team looking for a veteran OF boost to push them over the top.

    I suppose the team could always reverse course and place Olivera back at 3B, but it doesn’t sound like they are going there yet.

    In other words, the Braves have some flexibility now that they didn’t have before.

    Liked by 1 person

  269. 271 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 11:45 am

    The 4 prospects the Braves have picked up in the last month are all in the new Braves Top 11 ->

    From Snakes for Shelby:
    #1- SS Dansby Swanson
    #4- RHP Aaron Blair

    From Angels for Simba:
    #2- LHP Sean Newcomb
    #11- RHP Chris Ellis

    Like

  270. 272 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

    BTW- As a byproduct, Shelby’s estimated $5M+ 2016 salary now goes back into the pot. The team could spin that into another veteran starter to bridge to some of these youngsters. IMO, they should. A crafty old lefty would make me happy. Are there any of those out there?

    Like

  271. 273 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Kind of forgot about him…

    Like

  272. 274 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    The other plus is the Braves still get to keep or flip another pretty good pitcher in Tyrell Jenkins who still projects to make it to the bigs.

    Make no mistake, Jenkins is as close to untouchable as it gets. Maybe not quite Freddie Freeman untouchable, but close. He projects to a #2 with huge upside. The Johns would have to be blown away to part with this kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 275 Carolina Lady December 9, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Tweet from Inciarte:

    Ender Inciarte Verified account
    ‏@Enderdavid18
    It’s time for me to experience with a new team and organization some even better experiences. #TimetobeBrave 💪🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 276 Carolina Lady December 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Does some of this mean we may have found our next “Chipper Jones”? I know he won’t do it, but we really need him somewhere in this organization. IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

  275. 277 Carolina Lady December 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    An Arizona fan tweeted Inciarte: ” you will be missed, maybe you can show the braves how to play the game with heart!”

    Yes. I do, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  276. 278 Carolina Lady December 9, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Just found the #1 reason to cheer for Ender:
    from his facebook page, he has: “God first • Outfielder for the Atlanta Braves”

    I’m behind him 100% now. He has his priorities right.

    Liked by 2 people

  277. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Okay, here is my feelings about the latest developments in all things Braves…. Some light at the end of a very dark tunnel…. We have been to the edge of the abyss, looked in and did not like what we had staring back at us.

    While Shelby was a very good pitcher/payer/person, he was not around long enough for us to become emotionally attached to and invested in. Much different that Simba. All that said, we can now see some potential. 2016 is still going to be a development year but 2017 is looking brighter. Young faces with big upsides.

    I think we all have reason to smile a little bit today. Help is on the way, they are not on the shore yet but at least the boat is underway…. And they are not life boats with the rats abandoning ship…

    Liked by 3 people

  278. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Braves ink Emilio Bonifacio to a one year $1.25MM deal. I look for Bourne to be on the express out of Atlanta,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  279. 281 Vox O'Reason December 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Yep. Another item checked off the list. Now, one more bullpen arm, preferably of the southerly pawed persuasion.

    Like

  280. 282 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Published reports say that the Braves were actively pursuing 2B/SS Asdrubel Cabrera prior to his signing with NYM. Couple that with the signing of 2B/3B Gordon Beckham and utility guru Emilio Bonifacio and it points to the fact that the team is not happy with their current infield options. I believe they are and should be happy with 1 more year of Erick Aybar, but perhaps they are looking to include him in a deal? The team themselves told us they had 5-6 calls on him immediately after they got him from LAA.

    When I first read that they were in on Cabrera, I figured it was to set up such a trade of Aybar for money reasons. Aybar is slated to make $8.5M in 2016, although LAA is paying $2.5M of it. Still, that’s $6M from ATL that could be spent on Tony Sipp or Antonio Bastardo. Then I saw that Cabrera signed for 2-years at $8.25M per year, so $$ obviously was not the motivation.

    As happy as I am with the BIG DEAL, the team does still need help at 2B and likely 3B. Jace makes a nice bench piece, but isn’t an everyday player. A Peterson/Beckham platoon might work, but a steady SS-2B tandem makes for more consistent work around the bag. Will Adonis continue to suddenly hit at age 30 like he never has before at any level? It’s possible, but it sure isn’t something to hang you hat on.

    Like

  281. 283 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 8:14 am

    And now, Day 4 of the Winter Meetings. They start the day early with the Rule 5 draft then all check out and leave. Don’t expect the Braves to do anything in the Rule 5 draft, though. They already have Dan Winkler on the roster. That’s not to say that they couldn’t make another claim, but it would sure handcuff Fredi to have 2 guys out of 25 that you know have to stay on the active roster all year… especially guys that are fringe players. I wouldn’t even be surprised to read that they check out and get out of town before the draft wraps up.

    So as the annual swap meet winds down, the Braves look back at their checklist and have to feel pretty good. They wanted a CF to compliment Bourn, the got a starter in The Heist. CHECK. They wanted a “versatile” IF, they got a guy that has played everywhere but C and 1B. CHECK. They wanted a C to split time with AJP. They got primo receiver Tyler Flowers. CHECK. And as a bonus, they came away with more pitching depth and a franchise prospect that could be viewed as a team cornerstone for years to come.

    It has been a good week.

    But item #1 was to acquire one more reliable bullpen arm, hopefully a lefty. Still some work to do.

    Like

  282. 284 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 8:25 am

    It’s been a good offseason already, but I’d still feel better if they can add Sipp or Bastardo. And I’d be ecstatic if they could pick up a 3B that is a known commodity as a bridge to Rio Ruiz, who is at least 1-2 years away. I just can’t have confidence in Adonis, especially with the glove.

    Hart says they haven’t closed the door on Hector playing some 3B, but he sure doesn’t sound like he wants it that way. In his words, they felt that LF was an easier transition than 3B for Hector. He also made it clear that they want his bat 1st, glove 2nd.

    DOB says another KJ reunion is still a possibility, even with the Beckham and Boni signings.

    BTW- the Boni deal is a minor league deal, so he has to perform well enough in Spring to make the team. No guarantees there. He’s merely an option.

    Like

  283. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 8:44 am

    A comment on the signing of Emilio Bonifacio: He still has speed but it has been his bat which has suffered of late. If his bat speed has not diminished (number one reason for dramatic reduction in BA along with wrist injuries), it is possible Kevin Seltzer can dramatically improve Emilio’s numbers. As long as he can make contact, his speed gives him a chance to get on base. We’ll have to wait and see.

    I thought Garcia did a nice job as the utility infielder last season. I cannot help but think the Braves are prepping to move some guys. It should be an interesting spring.

    I know the Braves are striving to get better but some of the signings have been head scratchers for me. I know the Braves would like to move Swisher and Bourne but that is purely for payroll. I’m not sure that Swisher is a better option to hang onto despite his cost. He does has some power and leadership qualities.

    With no Jonny Gomes, the Braves need some cheerleaders and role models. That and some power off the bench.

    In order to move Bourne, the Braves will have to eat a significant portion of his contract plus throw in a prospect or two. Like the Johns have said before, Bourne’s contract is spent money. It depends on who and where that money is distributed to based on how folks emerge from spring training. You never know when some freak injury will happen and not just to the Braves.

    Still, I look for the Braves to make some more moves. Also the Braves are going to be adding some more prime prospects this June. Picking the number three over all daft pick should guarantee a pretty good option.

    Like

  284. 286 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

    And this post is especially for Berigan Von Boogaloo, II…

    Given this week’s acquisition of OF Ender Inciarte, I can now say that if I could go back and “undo” the Olivera trade, I’d do it.

    Let me be clear… I still believe in Hector’s bat. Obviously his glove is whatever it is. I still believe he’ll be a very good hitter, but given the new additions, I’d rather have Woody back in the rotation.

    I still think they traded Jose Peraza at an optimum time. LAD doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to anoint him as their 2B, as evidenced by their signing of ancient relic Chase Utley to come back for another turn in Dodger blue. And Peraza’s name was the one attached to the failed trade with CIN for Flame Thrower/Domestic Abuser Aroldis Chapman. He doesn’t appear to be exciting too many team officials.

    And as badly as the Braves need a LHRP, I still want nothing to do with Luis Avilan. Ugh! I would have just given him away. “Here. Take him.” Can you donate a player to Goodwill?

    The final piece was Jim Johnson, who was released and re-signed here. So he doesn’t play into the dynamic.

    I’d sure take Woody back, though. I understand the Sabre-cats say his “outliers” are “unsustainable”… whatever that means. I also get that most “experts” think his motion is another elbow injury waiting to happen. (He’s already had TJ #1.) But he pitched 189 innings from the left side last season between ATL and LAD. I’m concerned with the lack of LH pitching on the current roster. ManBan is not a given, and probably can’t give us more than 160 innings even if healthy. Mike Minor isn’t even on the team. And that’s it unless they accelerate Sean Newcomb, which I truly hope they don’t do.

    But I am not a guy to dwell in the past. The deal is done and I’ve moved forward. I hope Hector proves us all wrong in our remorse.

    Liked by 1 person

  285. 287 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Also the Braves are going to be adding some more prime prospects this June. Picking the number three over all daft pick should guarantee a pretty good option.

    And don’t forget the Int’l market. They picked up several extra “bonus slots” last season in anticipation of signing phenom Venezuelan Kevin Maitan, who is said to be the next Miguel Cabrera. He’s a big kid with huge power that is said to have a 70 grade, which is almost unheard of. Reportedly (ESPN’s Keith Law) the Braves already have an agreement in place on a $4.25M deal even though technically such an agreement is prohibited in advance of the July 2 start of the Int’l signing period. But such handshake agreements are commonplace regardless. And that’s why they made all those deals to pick up the bonus slots.

    Liked by 1 person

  286. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 9:08 am

    One has to think the Swanson will be in the opening day line up for the Braves, not sure if it will be at SS or 2nd base but it’s not as if he doesn’t have some big league experience plus he is a college kid. Not as if he is a 17 year old with 5 or 6 years in the minors ahead of him.

    There are some uncertainties with this team, mostly at third base but the Braves could very well flip Aybar. Not like the Braves don’t have some options there. The have a lead off guy in Inciarte. Aybar has much better numbers down in the line up anyway.

    Like

  287. 289 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Per Bowman: Two names that are still being kicked around by team officials are Bartolo Colon and Kelly Johnson.

    Liked by 1 person

  288. 290 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I agree, Gill… my gut says they trade Aybar before Opening Day.

    Like

  289. 291 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Gill Gil. That was a typo, not a misspelling. My finger got hung up on the “L” key.

    Liked by 1 person

  290. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Other moves which would not surprise me: Trading Markakis back to Baltimore.

    The Braves reaching an agreement of sorts with a couple of million dollars guaranteed but mostly incentive based with Mike Minor. I don’t think the Braves mind paying Minor $5MM if he can pitch effectively. They are loath to pay him a nickle to continue to rehab.

    Seeing the Braves flip Aybar for pitching.

    Come to think of it, flipping any player for pitching….

    Like

  291. 293 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 9:24 am

    On an entirely separate topic, the Cubs are reportedly working overtime to lure JHey to Wrigley to be their CF. Having already added Zobrist, if they also add JHey, they will be a formidable team for years to come. If just one of their young pitchers steps up alongside Arrieta and Lester, they’ll be the team to beat in the NL.

    Like

  292. 294 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 9:34 am

    The Cubs arrived a year early or I should say, a year ahead of schedule. They have cleared out a lot of bad contracts so they have the ability to go for it. You are right, they would be formidable. With J-Hey, more so.

    Like

  293. 295 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

    One has to wonder what Michael Bourne’s real value is? I guess we will find out.

    Like

  294. 296 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    OK… forget what I said earlier about them checking out and leaving… 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 297 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Like

  296. 298 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Like

  297. 299 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Check LHRP off the list, leave the keys on the dresser, grab a cab to the airport.

    Like

  298. 300 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Welcome to the major leagues, son.

    Like

  299. 301 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 10:37 am

    And with that parting pick, the Braves have completed the heavy lifting of the off-season. Oh, they’ll still find a trade partner for Betty likely for a mid-level prospect or something), and they’ll probably still do a little more tweaking here and there (KJ pt.3 is still on my radar), but we have a pretty good look now at what our 2016 edition is going to be.

    Like

  300. 302 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 11:09 am

    If the season were to start today, here’s what I think the 25-man roster would look like…

    Lineup:
    1- Inciarte (L), CF
    2- Aybar (S), SS
    3- Freddie (L), 1B
    4- Hector (R), LF
    5- Markakis (L), RF
    6- Adonis (R), 3B
    7/8- AJP/Flowers (L/R), C
    8/7- Petey/Beckham (L/R), 2B

    Bench:
    C- Flowers
    IF- Beckham
    IF/OF- Boni
    OF- Bourn
    OF/1B- Swisher

    Rotation:
    Julio (R)
    Wisler (R)
    ManBan (L)
    Norris (R)
    Folty (R)

    Bullpen:
    Grilli (R) – Cl
    Vizcaino (R)
    Withrow (R)
    Krol (L)
    Evan Rutckyj (L)
    Winkler (R)
    JJohnson (R) **

    ** I’m not convinced that JJohnson has anything left in the tank. He has to prove it in spring. Recently acquired Jose Ramirez (R) could sneak into the last slot.

    Liked by 1 person

  301. 303 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Likely a lefty specialist. We need one of those.

    Like

  302. 304 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

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  303. 305 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Obviously Coppy and Co. are in no hurry to leave Nashville. 😉

    Like

  304. 306 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    There are those sources again… 😉

    Like

  305. 307 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Pads just picked up a RHRP from COL (a guy the Rox just took in the Rule 5 draft today). Wonder if it’s to replace the RHRP they could be giving up for Betty?

    Like

  306. 308 Carolina Lady December 10, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    “Yep. Another item checked off the list. Now, one more bullpen arm, preferably of the southerly pawed persuasion.”

    V, I was going to say I’d donate mine but I’m kinda using it right now. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  307. 309 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I wonder if the Braves are trying to pry someone out the Pads rotation depth? Hmmm…

    Like

  308. 310 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Well, Mr Sipp went back to Houston…can’t blame him…had his only success there , they are going to win for years to come ..in spite of letting a lot of really good folks go there Delino DeShields Jr they gave up on at the old age of 22 , (Rule 5 pick Rangers got)-was a real sparkplug for the Rangers last season, and J.D. Martinez (wow, did he really hit 38 HR’s last year?)

    Like

  309. 311 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Here’s a “fun” stat. Erick Aybar’s OBP last year? .301. Jace Peterson’s? .314….I wouldn’t cry if they traded Aybar away, or batted him 8th…

    Like

  310. 312 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    And this post is especially for Berigan Von Boogaloo, II…
    Thank you! 😉
    I think DOB said something like that too, (or didn’t really get the trade) a few days ago on twitter…
    that trade would have made so much more sense if he had been say…26….how often have we heard that Matt Kemp is on the downward spiral? he’s…31. Michael Bourn is 32. (ok, 33 in Dec)
    it just felt weird from the beginning…an odd, panicky move that wasn’t necessary . That deal might have gotten you Todd Frasier…oh well, it can’t be undone…I just wish on some level I could have understood it…especially since they decided he can’t be a 3rd baseman (Beltre is a big, muscular guy, still able to play great defense, even at 36 (ok, a future HOF’er, but still… Aramis Ramirez was 37 last year…not a little guy either…
    I really hope I am wrong…that what I saw in Hector’s eyes was awe at being in the bigs….but he looked afraid to me..Yasil Puig never looked that way to me, and he’s still more or less a kid….and he missed so much time here….
    But, when he connected (wasn’t there a 1 handed homer?) he does have a ton of power…so if LF makes it easier to hit here, LF it will be…

    Like

  311. 313 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    So, you put Olivera in right instead of left field? Better arm than Inciarte ?

    Like

  312. 314 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I am curious as to what will be done with the current bunch of AAAA players the Braves have riding the busses in the minors? Pretty much a vote of no confidence given to the bunch by Hart.

    Oh, there are a few but mostly guys who will allow the pitchers to get game experience with.

    Like

  313. 315 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    So, you put Olivera in right instead of left field? Better arm than Inciarte ?

    Definitely not. Gotta be LF or back to the IF. Arm is probably a weakness. But he’s outgrown 2B and was never comfortable at 3B. Kinda limits his position.

    Like

  314. 316 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Gil, the guys who stand to be most affected by recent developments are Williams Perez and Ryan Weber. Both will be probably be depth pitchers at AAA. But as we saw last year, and as every team experiences, you better have some pitching depth or your screwed.

    Daniel Castro is affected somewhat as well, but I think he’ll be given the same opportunity to win a bench role as Beckham and Boni will. I’m a little baffled by the Boni signing, but it’s on a minor league deal so it’s no risk.

    I expect a portion of one of the fat contracts, Swisher or Bourn, to be dealt in some fashion. Personally I’d rather it be Swisher. I think Bourn has more to offer in the leadership department. If they could sell, I mean trade Swisher and sign KJ they’d have a more well rounded bench IMO.

    Like

  315. 317 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Like

  316. 318 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    26-year old RH starting pitcher. Their 5th starter. Would become our 5th starter. Nothing to write home about, but a serviceable 5th starter.

    Like

  317. 319 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Former 1st round pick of the Red Sox.

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  318. 320 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Looked over at Casey Kelly. Still a rookie… and still considered a prospect as late as last spring. Projected ceiling is a #3 starter when healthy. Apparently has had health issues. I will investigate.

    Like

  319. 321 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    This from a Padres blog: Casey Kelly has had an up and down career filled with a long injury history, but he was able to throw some meaningful big league innings at the end of last season.

    Like

  320. 322 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Hmmm.. apparently he was one of the top 50 prospects in the game according to both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus as at one time.

    Like

  321. 323 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    He went to SD from BOS in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. Keep seeing that injuries have held him back. Nothing specific though.

    Like

  322. 324 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    He is projected to compete with fellow prospect Colin Rea for their 5th starter job in 2016, assuming he stays there. He’d probably compete for our 5th starter job with fellow prospect Aaron Blair here.

    Like

  323. 325 Vox O'Reason December 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Ah… TJ in 2013. There ya go.

    Like

  324. 326 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I think SD is catcher heavy but who knows, got to have somebody to catch in AAA. Maybe a change in venue will do Betty good.

    Not a bad trade for Atlanta either. Can always use another former number 1 pick… Somebody thought he was good at some point. A change in arm slot, learn to throw a chage-up or slider and voila…

    Like

  325. 327 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Didn’t we get San Diego’s 5th starter last year? :/
    Honestly…does it really help to have a lousy starter in the rotation? does it help the young flamethrowers to see someone no good pitch every 5 days?
    There are sooooo many starters we now have…you have to worry about retarding their development if they are a 7th inning guy…Folty didn’t seem to take to relieving…and He strikes me as someone that might, might be a Noah Syndergaard pitcher…certainly has similar stuff…would much rather he start every 5 days than useless #5 that some other team didn’t want to spend money on….

    Like

  326. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    chage-up Not quite sure what that is but it would be a game changer… 🙂

    Like

  327. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    So, you put Olivera in right instead of left field? Better arm than Inciarte ?

    Sorry VOX, I did not read your line up correctly… My bad… A bout of oldtimers methinks…

    Like

  328. 330 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Honestly…does it really help to have a lousy starter in the rotation?

    There are sooooo many starters we now have…

    Casey Kelly’s not lousy, Ber. He’s young and learning. He’s also getting back from 2013 TJ surgery, and we’ve experienced many times how long it really takes to get all your mechanics back.

    Now, that said, he is considered an addition of depth, and we all should have learned over the last few days how important it is to have depth at a position of demand. I’ve read the scouting reports on him. His go-to pitch is a 95 mph fastball with heavy sink. He also has a big breaking curve. Post-TJ, he has struggled with command, which is actually quite common. That has been his struggle. But mechanics can be honed, and we have some of the best coaches in baseball.

    All indications are that the team expects him to spend some time in AAA, which is good. The depth we have acquired enables them to be patient with him.

    Now… the real jewel of the trade is the 17-year old Venezuelan C Ricardo Rodriguez. He’s the one to keep our eyes on. He’s obviously several years away, but he’s got tools. Catching tools, throwing tools, hitting tools, power tools. Not drill and circular saw power tools, but hitting for power tools. He was Baseball America’s #21 Int’l prospect in 2014. And while he’s several years away, he could become a part of a deal for a major league catcher this year, next year… at any point.

    Honestly, we got more for Betty than I expected. I could have seen him swapped for Rodriguez alone. Kelly was a bonus.

    Like

  329. 331 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Let me clarify. Ricardo Rodriguez might actually have a drill and circular saw. I’m not sure about that. It’s certainly plausible.

    Liked by 2 people

  330. 332 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Folty didn’t seem to take to relieving…and He strikes me as someone that might, might be a Noah Syndergaard pitcher…certainly has similar stuff…

    It isn’t Folty who’s against pitching in relief, it’s the organization. You made the correct comparison. The Johns see him as a Syndergaard type starter and want to give him every opportunity to develop into that. It’s armchair execs like me that see that blazing fastball and sharp slider that project him into a Smoltz-like closer. It also doesn’t help his case for starting that it’s always the second time through the lineup that he gets tattooed. He’s got to get past that barrier or the team will have no other choice but to convert him to a reliever.

    Like

  331. 333 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I feel the need to make one more comment on the Bethancourt trade, then I’ll leave it. And this is not meant as a parting shot. I have liked the guy and have pulled very hard for him to break through and show us the real potential that has been touted for so long.

    But this past year especially we all began to hear the reports that it isn’t anything physical that’s held him back. It was a lack of willingness to put in the work necessary to elevate his game. For that matter, it was a lack of willingness to put in the extra effort to simply make game preparation and get on the same page with his pitchers. When I read those reports last year I was aghast.

    Some of that falls on Fredi, IMO. Bobby Cox would have never put up with it. And we’d have never heard a peep about it in the press. It would have been handled internally and been over quickly one way or another. He’d have corrected it or been benched then traded and we’d have all scratched our heads over it. But regardless of the manager, it ultimately falls back on the player.

    Anyway, I hope a new start on a new team will motivate him to make the changes to his work ethic. Call Casey Kelly a “lousy #5” or whatever, his issues are of the body. Those can be improved with work and coaching. Head problems are a whole different ballgame, no pun intended. OK, it was completely intended.

    Like

  332. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Actually, I am a bit surprised at the return for Bethancourt, he was out of options and it was pretty clear the Braves had no plans to retain him. Maybe someone in SD gets him straightened out. If so, go for them and for him, I did not dislike the kid but their in lies the problem, he is still a kid. Takes some people longer than others to get it. To be truthful, it looked like to me that Betty had a case of the “Yips”!

    Pitchers have to feel confident that when they are told to throw a 59 footer in the dirt that the back stop is going to keep it fro rolling to the screen. A hitter knows when a pitcher is afraid to throw a pitch and allows for him to focus on a fastball down the middle.

    But I am preaching to the choir here. Time is always the test that reveals good from the bad trades but I find no fault with this move by the Johns. To be honest, the Braves may only be one good draft away from be relevant again. That is when Fredi will have to produce to keep his job. A bit like Johnny Baseball who now leads the Marlins. Don had a team loaded with talent but could not get them over the top… Happens more often than not, ask Dusty Baker or even Bobby Cox. Yes, Bobby did get the ring in ’95 but should have had so many more. Thems the breaks I guess….

    Like

  333. 335 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Casey Kelly’s not lousy, Ber. He’s young and learning.

    V, I was unfair to him…I almost corrected myself, but…I was tired 😉

    I do understand perhaps a Mike Minor, that while young, might be of help to younger pitchers, but another 2.5 Mil Eric Stults type? when there are more good starters in AA and AAA than they may even have places for??? Doesn’t make sense IMHO, cuz this team isn’t going to be a playoff team, at least in 2016….
    I was thinking (it happens) that at this point in time…no one is willing to give up a lot for a young starter, if they haven’t proven themselves in the Majors…even if it’s only 10 starts. the Yankees stud…forget his name…”Experts” like Keith Law didn’t think he was elite, good, but not the answer for the Yankees…then he makes 10 starts, and now is untouchable…well, I think the bravos will need to give a lot of kids a chance to prove themselves, then trade them if they are successful, to fill in positions like 3rd, Catcher, etc…

    Liked by 1 person

  334. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Of course VOX makes a good point, Bobby Cox was old school. Play the game right, do your work or find yourself exiled to the neither world of minor league baseball or worse.

    I think back of how different things could have been for Jeff Francoeur if only he had been able to have the time to mature as a hitter in the minor leagues, if he had not sulked and got himself traded to New York.

    That said, baseball is littered with a lot of what ifs, guys who had a million dollar arm and a fifty cent head. While Pete Rose might not be a very good TV analyst, he was a heck of a ball player who played with more heart than just about any other player I have ever seen. He was the Jonny Gomes of his day. He took what he had and forced himself to be better.

    Perhaps when we talk about “not understanding today’s players” what they really mean is having a guy who is not willing to coddle and recognise a player’s “greatness” despite their obvious lack of effort on the field. They have been told by their coaches and parents and adoring public how wonderful they are and they get it into their heads that all they have to do is show up and everyone will be stunned by their awesomeness.

    I don’t care who you are, sometimes you need a good swift kick in the butt to remind you that you are human. That is especially true of a lot of today’s players. More so in football than baseball but ya’ll get the idea. I am inclined to believe that is what happened with Bethancourt. I hope he realizes that he has been endowed by God with a special talent, I hope he does not squander it.

    Liked by 2 people

  335. 337 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Liked by 1 person

  336. 338 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Ber, part of the reason for stocking up on so many arms is that we know, as you say, they won’t all pan out. So the more you have, the greater your chances of hitting on the one. Still, they also make great currency.

    Like

  337. 339 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Do you know how you spot a real Braves fan?

    While everyone else is dreaming of a white Christmas, I am dreaming of a Swanson-Albies twosome around the keystone. And I don’t even care which one plays which position. They are going to be one Dynamic Duo!!

    Like

  338. 340 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

    And I keep thinking Swanson will grow into the third base position. Just happens as these guys mature. Normally between the ages of 24 and 27. We saw it with Chipper who came up as a shortstop (normally the best athlete on the team. Just depends on the team’s need. What you don’t see is a kid the size of an Altuve playing the hot corner.

    Anywho, like VOX says, the more athletes you have, the greater your chance of success, like lottery tickets, but different…

    Like

  339. 341 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Quick hit on Casey Kelly before I turn my attention back to what puts food on my table…

    He made his major league debut on 8/27/2012 against… you got it, our Atlanta Braves. ESPN’s headline the following day was, “Casey Kelly dazzles Braves in debut“.

    On that night, he went 6 strong innings striking out 4, giving up only 3 H and combining with 3 relievers to shut out the Braves 3-0. He even had a hit in 2 ABs. Quite a night for the kid who played his HS ball in nearby Sarasota, FL as a teammate of our own Joey Terdo. He was BOS #1 pick in 2008 (#30 overall) and pitched the first half of his Rookie League season before playing SS for the second half. He turned to pitching full time in 2010.

    He started 6 games for SD late in 2012, going 2-3 while striking out 8.1 batters per 9 IP before suffering his injury during the following spring. At the time he was Baseball America’s #43 overall prospect.

    He made his comeback debut last September in relief in Coors Field of all places, allowing 1 R and 5 H to go with 3 K on 38 pitches. He made 2 more appearance, both starts, with mixed results. He went 5 innings at home vs. ARI and gave up 6 H and 6 R. Then he went 4.1 innings at Dodger stadium allowing 6 R on 8 H, but with 3 K.

    I know I am a “glass half full” kinda guy, but I’m gonna give him a pass on those late season appearances. He’ll have a full offseason of typical preparation and workouts as opposed to rehab, and then get a fresh slate in spring like every other pitcher. I’m willing to bet he’ll show improvement in 2016 over his 2015 version.

    Fun trivia on him: Casey was a 2-time Regional Player of the Year as a football quarterback and was offered a scholarship to play football at the University of Tennessee. Also, his dad is Pat Kelly, a catcher who appeared in 3 ML games for TOR but was mostly a career minor leaguer, including the 1982 season split between ATL’s A/AA teams in Durham and Savannah. Pat is currently a AA manager in the Reds system.

    And there is just about everything you’d want to know about Casey Kelly. 🙂

    Like

  340. 342 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    My “sources” tell me JHey has chosen the Cubs. 😉

    Of course, my sources are all the national and local baseball writers. They’re reporting that he’s chose CHI. Great for him. Not only will he be a very rich man, he’s in the perfect location for his game. He needs a hitter’s park to ascend to the superstar level. He’s got it. And with that team ready to win big for several years, and that rabid fanbase, he’s poised to become a local legend.

    Liked by 2 people

  341. 343 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    They’re reporting that he’s choseN CHI.

    The grammar nazi in me forced me to make the correction.

    Liked by 1 person

  342. 344 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Like

  343. 345 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    really glad it’s not the nasty nats!

    Liked by 2 people

  344. 346 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Here’s a nice assessment of the Braves “Top 30”, I mean “Top 35″… er, 38 prospects by old ajc buddy Gondee:

    http://www.gondeee.com/2015/11/28/braves-2016-top-30-prospects/

    Like

  345. 347 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    By my old school arithmetic, that averages out to $23M per year. To play a game. A kid’s game. Yowser.

    Like

  346. 348 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Opt-outs = mo money.

    Like

  347. 349 Vox O'Reason December 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Well, duh!

    Like

  348. 350 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Either Swisher or Bourne, whomever goes first or maybe both. I’m surprised the Braves got so much for Bethancourt but as they say, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Other teams see an opportunity to buy low…

    As far as I am concerned, it’s spent money. Might as well hang on til you get your best offer…

    Like

  349. 351 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Usually, the AJC commentators stink (hence the reason we aren’t there anymore commenting, right?) but some of the 15 or so after this article cracked me up—I wish JHey nothing but the best, and think he will do great in Chicago…but, I wouldn’t want him for that money….
    http://markbradley.blog.myajc.com/2015/12/11/a-windfall-for-jason-heyward-a-victory-for-war-lovers/?ecmp=ajc_social_twitter_2014_braves_sfp

    Like

  350. 352 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I guess that is why I hang onto my “stuff” so long. Can’t stand the notion of losing money on a deal. I would be a terrible General Manager. I just keep on fixing and repairing even though the smart money might be on new. At what point is it really smarter to buy new?

    I can remember the guidelines set by one company I worked for that if it cost more than 50% of the cost of new to repair something, you went with new. Funny thing though, if you take reasonable care of something, you can make it last for nearly forever.

    How many government types do we see who are loath to repair the roof on a school citing the cost until the water damage is so great that the underlying structure is ruined but will jump at the chance to spend millions to but a new building only to discover the the roof leaks on that too?

    Not saying that buying new isn’t smart sometimes but you either better include all the routine maintenance in the payments or be a mechanic.

    So it is with ball clubs, but different… I guess that is how so many ball players are able to get contracts where their cost exceeds their value and they get bundled off with some prospect like the bargain basement clearance rack items in a thrift store.

    The Marlins made a big splash with the contract of Giancarlo Stanton but if you look closely, you find most of the money is on the back end of his deal. When the big money kicks in, Stanton will be shipped off to the Dodgers or Yankees where money is no real object. In exchange, the Marlins will reap a mother lode of young talent. Loria is all about making a profit. If it happens that he has a winning ball club, so much the better but that is not his real objective. Money is and he flips ball players like speculators flip houses.

    I did not get the deal where the Braves sent Johnson to Cleveland for Bourne and Swisher but I guess the Braves front office somehow figured out a way to make it work. I guess it is like refinancing a loan or short selling a stock. Stuff way over my head. I just feel the Braves are rolling the dice, trying to play a game where the other teams hold all the cards. Maybe they can bluff but I’ve found in life, you can’t bluff when the other players know they have deeper pockets than you. You better have the cards because four clubs and a spade is not going to be a lowly pair of treys.

    Liked by 2 people

  351. 353 Carolina Lady December 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Gil, my beautiful Mercury Sable is coming up on her 22nd birthday and I’ll keep it as long as parts can be found when needed. Get a new/newer car? There’s no guarantee that things won’t go wrong with them either. You’ll never find a more comfortable ride than what I have. I know it has been perfectly maintained and I know what parts have been replaced over the years. Nope, I won’t swap/trade/sell for something unknown just because it is “newer”. Maybe I’m just stubborn? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  352. 354 Carolina Lady December 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Wait a minute – I forgot that you’ve seen it. A rusted out wreck, it isn’t. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  353. 355 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    CL, your car is only 22 years old? You wouldn’t catch me dead in a new car like that! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  354. 357 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I did not get the deal where the Braves sent Johnson to Cleveland for Bourne and Swisher but I guess the Braves front office somehow figured out a way to make it work.

    The Johns have been very forthcoming on exactly what that deal was about. They were going to owe Chris Johnson $9M in 2017 and $10M in 2018. They “cleared the decks” for 2017. All the money they took back on Bourn and Swisher come off the books after 2016. They state that they are spending in 2017. I realize most don’t trust that last statement, but it’s really only indirectly relevant. However, the mere fact that they cleared most of the obligations extending past 2016 is kinda telling.

    Again, I cite what the organization states publicly, though most don’t trust or believe it. But the stated plan was to clear the books, fix the farm, make a splash going into the new park in 2017. They’ve certainly cleared the books. They’ve certainly fixed the farm (with some analysts now giving them the #1 nod after picking up Swanson and Newcomb). It remains to be seen as to whether the 3rd part comes to fruition. They’ll have extra revenue streams kicking in for 2017. That is a fact. Whether or not you believe they’ll spend it, they’ll at least have the $19M they owed Chris Johnson. And that was the whole point of that deal.

    Like

  355. 358 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

    CL, just because the Cubs are interested in trading for Ender Inciarte doesn’t mean the Braves are interested in dealing him. Heck, reportedly at least 10 teams called about him immediately after the trade was official. He’s a desirable player for sure… especially for ATL. In an interview over the weekend, Coppy said Inciarte is a big part of the future. His exact words were that the team would have to be “blown away” to even entertain the idea of moving him. He alluded to the same type of return they got for Shelby.

    And quite honestly, if some team offered a Shelby-like return, they’d be irresponsible not to consider it.

    But Inciarte for Jorge Soler straight up is not equitable for ATL. Neither is Inciarte for Javier Baez. CHI won’t (and shouldn’t) package both, but that would be a “blown away” package. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

    No, more likely the Braves would trade Nick Markakis. (And I understand the Royals have inquired, although according to O’B “no active discussions” are happening.)

    Personally, I think it’s pretty easy to see what the plan is going forward. They’ll play Inciarte in CF until mid-season when they anticipate Mallex Smith to be ready, at which time they’ll look to move Markakis to a contending team and shift Inciarte to RF. But if the Royals or Giants or Angels, all needing OF help, were to come calling asking about Nick now, they’ll certainly listen. And why not?

    Like

  356. 359 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 8:43 am

    The team is not finished with their offseason shopping, though. They are still considering another veteran starter for the back end of the rotation. Even though they could have Folty, Aaron Blair and Casey Kelly all competing for the last starting role, they would probably prefer to keep Folty and Blair in AAA to complete their development without any pressure. And they’ll want to get a good look at Kelly to see where he is in his return from TJ.

    And let’s not forget, just because they go into Spring with 5, 6, 7, or more realistic candidates for the rotation, it doesn’t mean they’ll exit Spring with that many. Attrition due to injury or simple ineffectiveness is inevitable. Better to have too many than too few, as they had when both Medlen and Beachy went down within 24 hours.

    And say you pick up a Colon-type vet and both he and Norris show they have enough left in the tank to contribute real meaningful innings. At the same time Kelly looks to be back and Folty looks to be ML ready. That’s a great problem to have. When your first pitcher has to miss a start because he tweaks something, who would you rather dip down and bring up for a start or 2… Folty or Ryan Weber? Gotta have depth sitting in AAA, and the Braves should have that with Weber and Williams Perez, followed by prospects Tyrell Jenkins and John Gant. And that doesn’t take into account the possibility of Folty and/or Blair being there as well.

    And the same logic applies to the bullpen. They appear to have more candidates right now than spots, but they’re still looking for another veteran arm. And why not? There is no better example of a bullpen lacking effective options than last season.

    Like

  357. 360 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 8:44 am

    The other item they are still looking to obtain is a LH 3B candidate to pair with Adonis. I keep hearing Kelly Johnson’s name being mentioned. Sounds very realistic to me.

    Like

  358. 361 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 8:58 am

    On an entirely unrelated note, I watched the movie Moneyball over the weekend. Fantastic movie. Even Mrs. O’Reason enjoyed it, and she isn’t a baseball fanatic like I am.

    Want to hear something jaw-dropping? It gave me a different perspective on the SABRE following. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a convert. But it did give me something to think about… a new respect even. I still believe it’s easy to muddy the waters, so to speak, with too many numbers. Heck, anything is bad in excess. But I got a good look into the approach that Billy Beane used when re-building the A’s with the league’s lowest budget. And I have a new respect for using some of the trending and basic evaluations. That said, some of the more complex numbers still look silly. To me the bottom line is that you can’t use numbers alone. At some point you still have to use the “eye test”. But you can and should use some of them as a part of your overall toolbox. I think that’s what intrigues me about the Hart/Coppy duo. It’s truly a combination of old school/new school.

    Yep, very interesting movie indeed. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. And like I said, even from a non-baseball perspective, it was a great movie.

    Like

  359. 362 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 9:14 am

    BTW- If you aren’t aware, Moneyball is a non-fiction biographical account of how Billy Beane rebuilt the 2002 Oakland A’s with the league’s lowest budget after losing FA’s Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and Jason Isringhausen to the Yankees, Red Sox and Cardinals respectively simply because they couldn’t afford to retain them. He followed a 2001 season total of 102 wins with 103 in 2002 including a league record 20 game winning streak… all on a payroll of $39,679,746.

    The one over-riding quality that Billy Beane emphasized over and over again in his 2002 rebuild was OBP. What did the Braves emphasize in bringing in Kevin Seitzer? What did they pan when shipping off CJohnson? What did they cite when deeming Jose Peraza expendable? What did they note when signing Markakis even with the questions surrounding his power output? What have they looked at in acquiring Hector Olivera, Inciarte and even temporary placeholder Erick Aybar?

    Yep… OBP.

    Like

  360. 363 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Here is the Braves current lineup as put together on Dec. 14, along with their 2015 OBP.

    1- Inciarte (L), .338
    2- Aybar (S), .301
    3- Freddie (L), .370
    4- Hector (R), .310
    5- Markakis (L), .370
    6- Adonis (R), .293
    7- AJP (L), .339
    8- Petey (L), .314

    Now you see why they are looking for an additional 3B option. You also see why they won’t consider the notion of trading Freddie. Maybe the most eye-popping to me is Markakis.

    For those wondering, Dansby Swanson’s OBP in his sole professional season is .394. Ozzie Albies’ career minor league OBP is .395. Mallex Smith’s is .380.

    Perhaps the big picture is starting to come into better focus.

    Like

  361. 364 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Ken Rosenthal, amazingly sans “sources” and directly from the horse’s mouth:

    Good news from Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who missed more than a month with a right wrist contusion, then batted .242 with a .773 OPS after returning on July 25, well below his career averages.

    Freeman, who also did not start the final weekend because of his wrist, reports, “This past week was great for me. I’ve been working really hard to get my wrist healthy this offseason and I finally turned the corner. I’ve done every treatment possible and something finally worked. It has been the worst six months. I finally have a peace of mind that I don’t need surgery.”

    Surgery? Wha what what? Wow. 😯

    First, the Braves did a pretty dang good job of keeping a lid on the situation. Second, that’s great news that he’s feeling so much better. That said, I find it a little disturbing that he needed to seek multiple treatment types before finding something effective.

    I also think it’s important to point out that he missed 44 games with the injury and was relatively average for half the season even when in the lineup. Having him back 100% (hopefully) is almost like acquiring a big ticket item.

    Like

  362. 365 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Surgery? Sounds like a “hammock bone” . Wrist injuries are nagging. I know, had one around age 35 and it really messed up my bowling. Used braces etc, nothing helped until I broke my arm (around age 50 and had to wear a splint for 12 weeks. Didn’t fix my rotator cuff but sure made rolling a 16lb ball much easier until my back betrayed me.

    Yes, Moneyball is/was a pretty good flick. The A’s have been trying to escape from the Isle of Misfit Toys for years now. They are trapped there by the Giants who will not concede market share. Thing is, I don’t want to be Oakland, I’d much rather play on a level field with the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers.

    An interesting factoid. The General Manager for the Houston Astros might be the ultimate computer geek. He was a guy most responsible for the savvy assemblage of talent in St Louis. It’s why the Red Birds trier to hack the Astros files.

    Still, one of the problems with the movie is it really did not pay homage to the phenomenal pitching staff which included Tim Hudson. Remember, Sabermetrics can bite you in the butt too, Charles Thomas for Tim Hudson anyone? Of course, that was back when the Braves would still pay for a front line pitcher.

    Okay, the Braves traded a guy owed $8MM in 2016 and $9MM in 2016 for two guys owed $13MM and $15MM in 2016… Must be new math… Perhaps there is some sort of tax loophole that Liberty is aware of that helps the bottom line. Maybe they are prepping to sell. I don’t know and I am not privy to that information.

    I do know I get really tired of listening to the Braves cry “pour mouth” over and over and over. Get past it…. Lots of reasons to not be successful but after a while the Braves are linked more with the A’s of the world than the Red Sox. Yes, it is a fact of life that you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip but that doesn’t mean you should have a lot of folks who just dropped off that truck. Nope, you want to be the guy dealing in turnip futures. That is where the real money seems to be. Scott Boras anyone?

    Anyway, the Braves should have an interesting spring training. Again will need the “Hello, My Name” Is tee shirts. Lots of new faces again. Of course new hope comes along with a new season.

    Like

  363. 366 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2015 at 11:09 am

    OBP… Here is a fun fact. Guys who hit lots of homeruns usually have a lower OBP than those who are slap hitters. The years that Chipper Jones and Chris Johnson challenged for the batting titles they cut down on their swings. Hitting is all about balance and timing. Taking that big rip allows for a pitcher to make you look silly with change ups and sliders.

    What I want is smart hitters. There is a time and a place for everything. A walk-off single will not the get the same media air play as a 500 foot homerun in a loss. “Drive for show, putt for dough” is just as true in baseball as it is in golf. For sure, Giancarlos Stanton did not sign a mega contract with the Marlins for his prowess as a singles hitter.

    I guess what we all want is a lineup loaded with smart hitters… Some with the potential to score from home plate but also smart enough to know an opposite field single can also score a winning run. Having guys with speed making a living beating out infield singles. Furcal was notorious for leading off a game with a single, stealing second, moving to third on a ground ball to second and scoring on a sac fly. Next thing you know, Greg Maddux has a one run lead on you and his ERA was .089…

    Okay, Ms Josie says it is time to go get the Christmas Tree out of the shed.

    Liked by 1 person

  364. 367 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Okay, the Braves traded a guy owed $8MM in 2016 and $9MM in 2016 for two guys owed $13MM and $15MM in 2016…

    Yes, but CLE kicked in $15M cash to offset the difference in total salary. From the date of the trade, and with contract amounts prorated from that point forward, the kicker pretty much made the total outlay even. The difference was that CLE could spread it out over 3 more years whereas the Braves could “clear the decks” by their 2017 target year. It was a purely financial move and a win/win for both teams. And if the Braves can find a taker for either one without having to eat 100% of the 2016 remainder, then all the better. The way I see it, the money is already spent. So even if you have to eat 75% of the remaining money, you still come out a little ahead.

    Like

  365. 368 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    V, I beg to differ…oh please won’t you let me differ? 😉

    but seriously (sorta)…I just think that the braves will have to either eat most if not all of their salaries, or release 1 , perhaps 2 of those guys..and it keeps someone that has a future with the club, from playing…I agree with Gil that Swisher is a good guy to have around, and if we had a DH , it would make more sense to have him… (and who knows, if FF does have wrist issues in ST, we may be glad to have him) and if Borne is hitting .275 in July….you can trade him for no doubt a pitcher…but, if Swisher and Bourn are hitting .214 in June…nothing you can do but release….

    and the money issue is greater than Coppy et all are letting on…don’t blame them, but have you noticed you don’t even hear the braves names for a reliever? after last year? Yes, the bullpen should be better ,just because…and once some of the injured guys come back (but, as we know, control is so often an issue after TJ) but I would much rather have too many great bullpen arms, than 12 young starters with no place to pitch them (sorry Mr Sims, A ball again for ya!)and 2 lousy/no good, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle old starters…but, that’s just my opinion… in case you didn’t know 😕

    Like

  366. 369 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Yes, Gil, OBP isn’t everything, but it’s a pretty good starting point. High Ks = low OBP. Just ask Melvin.

    The most useful offensive statistic used these days is actually OPS, which is OBP plus Slugging pct, thus OPS. it does take into account the power numbers as well. The Top 10 teams in OPS for 2015 were (in order):

    TOR, ALCS
    HOU, ALDS
    DET,
    COL,
    NYY, Wild Card
    BOS,
    LAD, NLDS
    TEX, ALDS
    ARI ,
    KCR, WS Champion

    The last team in OPS? Your Atlanta Braves.

    So 6 of the Top 10 teams in OPS made the post-season. Not a shocker.

    And of course, some of the playoff teams are not represented in the Top 10 like CHI, PIT, STL, and NYM, whom were 17-20 in OPS respectively, but were 1-4 in team ERA. Coincidence? Uh… no. But we were talking offense. Pitching is an entirely different conversation.

    And just as a matter of point… World Series Champion KC was #10 in team OPS and #10 in team ERA. That’s balance.

    Like

  367. 370 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    <i.V, I beg to differ… I just think that the braves will have to either eat most if not all of their salaries

    Actually, we are in agreement there. Sorry to disappoint. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  368. 371 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    V, I beg to differ… I just think that the braves will have to either eat most if not all of their salaries

    Actually, we are in perfect agreement there. Sorry to disappoint. 😉

    Like

  369. 372 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Ber, I don’t think the Johns are looking to catch lightning in a bottle with a grizzled old vet. They are looking for a veteran rudder to help steer a very young pitching staff. Colon served that role perfectly last season with NYM’s youthful hurlers. And now he’s expendable having raised the tossing tots into mature slingers.

    Like

  370. 373 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Given everything I’ve observed and read, I’d like to see Folty get more seasoning at AAA to work on that 3rd and 4th pitch. He’s ready as a reliever, but not as a starter. When you only have 2 real ML quality pitches, ML teams will figure you out pretty fast. And ML teams consistently tore Folty a new one the second time around through their lineups.

    The poop on Aaron Blair is that he’s close. In fact, he’s close enough to contend for that #5 spot in spring. The old school rule of thumb is that a starting pitcher needs around 400 IP in the minors to be deemed “ready”. Blair has amassed 363. Will the team prefer to get him a few more starts in AAA toward that magic number? Maybe. Or will they prefer to use that as a reason to get past the Super 2 cutoff date and retain 1 additional year of contractual control? Uh, yeah there’s that too.

    Casey Kelly is the guy that intrigues me most. If he’s back to 100%, then he’s the clear leader going into spring. But every pitcher reacts and heals differently. Only time will prove where he is on his road back… and how far that road goes. He probably has the most upside of all the #5 candidates, but also the most risk.

    Like

  371. 374 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    If it’s based on his past association with organized gambling, then the league are hypocrites. If it’s based on his performance as a commentator during last season’s playoffs, then it’s hard to argue.

    Like

  372. 375 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Like I said, it should be a fun ST for the Braves, especially the pitchers.

    VOX, you are right about having a seasoned vet to guide the young pups on the staff, but it has to be the right seasoned vet. I’m sure the Braves are on the look out for just such a guy.

    The old adage in baseball is you need 7 major league ready starters at the beginning of your season. I have not come up with an adage for the bullpen but every season is different in that respect. The type of relievers you need are so dependent on the type of starters you have. When you have a bunch of kids who think they have to strike out the side every inning are stressed to get past the fifth inning. That is where your grizzled vet come in. Getting young pitchers to understand the art of knowing when you need a strike out verses pitching to contact so you have 6 and 7 pitch innings.

    A smart pitcher knows the greatest weakness a major league hitter has is having the ability to think and hit at the same time. That is the key to having that all important “3rd” pitch for a major league starter. It gets the batter to think instead of simply reacting. We see big lead hitters turn around a 100 mph fast ball on more than one occasion. Unless you possess a whiffle ball like fast ball, you better be able to change speeds.

    I do not understand why the same baseball isn’t used in the minors as is used in the majors. For some it as different as switching between aluminum and wooden bats.

    One other thing to note. Greg Maddux was the best pitcher I have ever seen. The only time I ever saw him throw a straight pitch was to hit a batter. His greatest nemesis were slap hitters because they did not think, they just hit.

    Like

  373. 376 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Baseball is nothing if not hypocritical. I guess getting into bed with modern gambling is okay, it was just being associated with the mafia that was bad. Enough…. It’s like watching Obama spew vitriol at Republicans but thinks a deserter served with honor.

    BAH, HUMBUG!

    Liked by 1 person

  374. 377 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    So Johnny Cueto signs in San Fran. That gives the G-men Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija. ARI has Greinke and Miller. SD has James Shields, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner. LAD has Kershaw.

    It’s tough sledding as a hitter in the NL West.

    Like

  375. 378 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    The home team has signed RHP Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league deal. It’s a no risk deal with a guy who has seen quite a bit of success as recently as 2013. Not too shabby.

    Like

  376. 379 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

    O’B via Twitter: Jhoulys Chacin signing minor league deal is nice add for #Braves. He’ll compete for rotation spot. 28 in Jan., strong for COL couple yrs ago

    Chacin pitched well in 2015 in limited MLB time (5 games, 4 starts) with Arizona (3.38 ERA, 1.275 WHIP) and in 13 Triple-A starts

    Like

  377. 380 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Chacin was non-tendered by the Dbacks. He had been projected to earn $1.8M via arb. The Braves get him on a minor league deal. Essentially, he has to “make” the team. Nice no risk, high upside signing.

    Speaking of non-tenders, there has been a complete silence regarding Mike Minor. His best chance at salvaging his career may be to sign a similar make-good deal with the Braves.

    Like

  378. 381 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Speaking of arb, here are the next key dates for MLB:

    Jan. 12: Arb filing deadline.
    Jan. 15: Arb figures exchanged.
    Feb. 1-21: Arb hearings.

    The Braves have 2 guys arb eligible, well currently 2 guys anyway. They are relievers Arodyz Vizcaino and Chris Withrow, both coming off league minimum salaries. Since Withrow has been rehabbing from injury, he’ll likely settle for a little more than the minimum… say $600K. I would expect Arodys and the team to settle also, probably doubling his salary to around $1M or so. I expect no drama or tension. These are not high $$ arb guys.

    Like

  379. 382 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Like

  380. 383 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    And here is a little tidbit that completely slipped under the radar…

    Last month, the Braves signed another Cuban, 31-year old 2B Ronnie Mustelior. He’s also playing in the Venezuelan Winter League (different team from Adonis) and hitting .366/.423/.451. He’s been referred to as an “Adonis clone”. How did that not get any press?

    Like

  381. 384 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Oops! It’s Ronnier, not Ronnie.

    Like

  382. 385 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Much like Adonis, Mustelier had kicked around in the Yankees minor league system for a few years. Signed with Braves as a minor league FA.

    Like

  383. 386 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Big trade goes down this morning:

    Ol’ Braves farmhand Jose Peraza didn’t stick around very long in LA. Little power + few walks + so-so D = ticket out the door. Perfect example of how poor the system was a year ago when Peraza was the Braves #1 prospect. System has flipped from league’s 3rd worst to #1 in one year. Remarkable.

    Like

  384. 387 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Speaking of said system flip, Bowman lays it all out very nicely in a new piece:

    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/159690132/comparing-braves-top-prospects-from-2014-15

    Like

  385. 388 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Acquiring Montas from CHW leads one to believe that LAD is amassing prospects to flip to MIA for Jose Fernandez. Stay tuned…

    Like

  386. 389 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Like

  387. 390 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Ouch.

    Like

  388. 391 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Bartolo Colon going back to the Mets. Would have been nice to have him around our youngsters… especially Julio.

    Like

  389. 392 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Like

  390. 393 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Reason #598 feels really old in today’s baseball world.
    Age of prospects. We have a 31 Y.O. rookie in Left next season. To be fair, DOB has recently stated that that trade didn’t make much sense to him. But, that’s basically what we traded 2 guys 24 and under for….
    Ok, braves now have a can’t miss SS Ozzie whathisface, who is…18. But, he’s a can’t miss guy! At….18. in fact, “they” act like he could play in the bigs as soon as 2016 cuz…and went all the way back one blog to get this quote (it’s still really slow!) “Coppy said he won’t put any pressure on Albies to be up by ’17, but said could be up as soon as during ’16, ala [Rafael] Furcal from A-ball.”
    Silly me, I thought Furcal was a teen…but guess how old he was when he came up from A ball? 22! in other words, not 18/19. So, if he is the next coming of A-Rod, perhaps he sticks…apparently you don’t need to play in the minors anymore….
    Meanwhile, has the 21 Y.O. (22 next season) Peraza peaked at…21???? A guy who was a SS, who had to move to 2nd cuz of forever brave Simmons, then played in the outfielder, cuz perhaps a braves CF’er, then traded…all at 20/21. Guess what Peraza’s OBP in the minors is overall? .342. But, he’s a hasbeen/neverwas….
    Dansby Swanson, also 21, 22 next year…after being the College W.S. MVP, err. MOP (most outstanding Player) the Diamondbacks put him in…the Low A’s…cuz…I don’t know why…but, we hear he too could jump to the bigs with little if any seasoning….it just makes me feel old.

    Anyway, the Chicago White Sox seem to have won the offseason, just like they did last year(at least in the AL, the NL champ Padres won the N.L. off season in 2014 😉 )

    Like

  391. 394 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    and the mutts get Zack Wheeler back I am guessing in June….(just looked him up, had TJ in March last year, and was throwing a bit in July! Seems awfully early to me)

    Like

  392. 395 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I am always suspicious of the stated age of any Latino player. They know a prospect who can do all sorts of amazing things at age 18 is infinitely more desirable than one who possesses the same skill set at age 22. Like a pitcher who can throw 100mph vs 90mph. The idea is that a team can teach control, they cannot teach 100mph.

    It was often suspected (at least here in the minor leagues) that Furcal was much older than 19 years of age listed in the official guide. I think as he got older, that suspicion is valid.

    For some players, age is a number, for some, it is an albatross. What we do know, in this age of post steroids, players get old quicker. Others simply take longer to recover, some never seem to age. Some defy gravity. I think the advantage of the Cuban players is they are not worn out by the time they are 30. They don’t play baseball everyday and twice on Sunday.

    I would like to see some of the numbers put up by Adonis transfer to the big leagues. Could bode well for the Sugar Kings Braves….

    Liked by 2 people

  393. 396 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Also, not surprised to see Colon return to New York, I expect him to be a number 5 but at his age, that is a good spot for him. He did seem very comfortable in the big apple. The real question for the Mets is who will provide the offense for them in 2016.

    Like

  394. 397 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Age is relative. Seriously, does it matter how old a guy is if he’s deemed “ready”, or if he’s already producing, or if he’s still producing? Not to me. Bartolo Colon is the perfect example of that. I could not give 2 rips that Hector is 30, 31 or whatever, What I care about is that he gets some really good cuts on on the ball and gives Freddie a little protection in the lineup. I don’t expect to see Ozzie before 2017 at the very earliest, but if there is nothing else for him to accomplish in the minors, then so be it. Same with Dansby. The nice thing is that there are options now so there is no reason to hurry either one.

    And I think it’s nice to see Adonis begin to blossom at the ripe old age of 30. Was there anything in his body of work to predict he would “break out” after toiling in Cuba and in the minors for so long? Nothing. Can he continue this streak into the 2016 campaign and beyond? Maybe; maybe not. But I think you could say that about any player really. We’ve certainly seen our share of established players suddenly drop off the table for no explainable reason. Reggie Sanders anyone? Could anyone have predicted Uggla’s dramatic decline? No one. So ride ’em while you can, young or old. You may just have another Furcal or Colon. Then again, you might have a Melvin.

    And what if Hector were 21 instead of 30? Vaunted 3B prospect Andy Marté made his ML debut at age 21. Remember him? He was signed at age 16 and was supposed to be the next great 3B in baseball. in 2002, he posted an OPS of .831 in the Sally League when he was only 18. He posted an .840 OPS in a notorious pitcher’s home park in high-A Myrtle Beach when he was 19. At age 20 he played at AA Greenville where posted an .889 OPS and followed it the next year in AAA where he had an .878 OPS at the age of 21. Gil probably watched him. He was supposed to be the next great Atlanta Brave. He played 24 games at age 21 for ATL in 2005 before being traded to BOS in the deal that brought “aging” Edgar Renteria (said old fella having a nice ride here). BOS flipped Marté to CLE before Spring Training, where he debuted in 2006 and never again had an OPS over .707, which he achieved in that ’06 season. He never hit higher than .232 and never hit more than 6 HRs in a season. In 2010 he was outrighted off CLE’s 40-man roster and relegated to AAA. He didn’t sniffed The Show again until 2014 for ARI when he was called up for 6 games and hit .188 before being DFA’d. He elected FA rather than another minor league assignment and never received another offer. He was only 30.

    Todd Frazier was in the Reds’ minor league system for 5 years before being ROY at age 26.

    Two more words: Julio Franco. Age is relative.

    Liked by 1 person

  395. 398 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 9:15 am

    One last thing about Peraza and I’ll leave him alone. I don’t think he has “peaked” or “regressed”. I think he was overrated by a front office that had allowed our farm system to take a long slow spiral descent down the proverbial porcelain pathway to the degree that they needed someone to hang their hat on. Peraza and Bethancourt were supposed to be the prize prospects. The story has unfolded on Betty. It’s beginning to unfold on Peraza, and they appear to be quite similar. That’s not my opinion. That is the opinion of scouts and other professionals who are commenting following the trades. The word “overrated” has been used alot. And you’ll note that the first thing John Hart did after being hired was to clean out the scouting department. Reportedly they were just a collection of nodding heads that simply acquiesced to whatever Frank Wren said. Over inflating a prospect’s value helps neither the prospect nor the team. Quite the opposite. But it does stroke the executive’s ego. And that’s all I have to say about that.

    Peraza was the top prospect in the bottom system. He might not have even been on the radar in Tampa or Chicago. The new regime didn’t hesitate to include him in their mid-season trade to LA while he still had value. And the Dodgers thought so much of him that the subsequently traded for a creaking veteran 2B that was getting around on bailing wire and duct tape… and then re-signed said vet again for 2016 when they had Peraza waiting in the wings. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    I have nothing at all personal against Peraza, I just think we were sold a bill of goods by Wren & Co. that has directly resulted in the plague of 2015 and the anger of 2016, a season (and year) that hasn’t even begun. Our current FOT’s are doing all the dirty work of cleaning up someone else’s mess, and catching all the heat for the mess at the same time.

    When I had my shoulder surgery many years ago, the surgeon had to go in and cut out the damaged area and make the needed repairs. It caused alot of immediate pain followed by a period of grueling rehab to get back to 100%. It was a hard thing to go through. But I didn’t blame my surgeon. He was only doing what was necessary to prevent my shoulder from worsening to the point of being worthless, and to make a way for it to heal and be useful again. Which it did. But I had to be patient and willing to endure the hard part.

    I’m willing to do that now.

    Liked by 1 person

  396. 399 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    How could I have overlooked the very icon of age defiance in Ichiro? He was ROY and MVP at 27, and received countless awards through the years including a Silver Slugger at age 36 and Gold Glove at age 37. He’s now 42 and just signed another deal with MIA including a team option for 2017 when he’ll be 43.

    Liked by 1 person

  397. 400 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Prospect vs hype vs results … Brad Komminsk…

    Liked by 1 person

  398. 401 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Or lack there of…

    Like

  399. 402 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    V, I agree….to a point, that age doesn’t matter, as long as the performance is still there… One reason I didn’t by Torii Hunter really wanted to retire (til Gil told me what he said verbatim ) is that he looked to be in incredible shape, looked just like he did at 25, if not stronger…Graig Nettles played 112 games at the age of 42 for the braves (not very good though)
    Darrell Evans (boy the braves sure liked to get guys at the end of the line, eh? Do I dare Mention Ted Simmons finished off as a brave too? ) When he was 42, 107 games…

    I just don’t think anyone can know at 21, what someone is going to be….
    I will predict Peraza will be a better major leaguer than Hector…remember, the Dodgers paid a fortune for him, have a 3rd baseman with bad knees, and still traded him. Of course they got quite a haul for just outbidding cheap Liberty….
    I just don’t get how middle infielders are supposed to be ML ready way before anyone else….Peraza was still listed as #4 Dodgers prospect after 2 can’t miss pitching prospects and Corey Seager…so I don’t think Wren was making him highly rated still….

    In no way is this a defense of Wren, but the homeboy upstairs wasn’t exactly getting prime talent into the organization.
    Remember how bad the starters were after John S went upstairs? after 2007? In 2008, team was 72-90. So, I guess the farm system sucked.
    Jorge Campillo and Jo-Jo Reyes got a lot of work.

    in 2009, no one wanted to work for the bestest players manager in baseball, so we had to settle for Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami….
    The farm has been mostly barren for quite some time…pitching-wise….of course, that’s why they have tried to get so much the last 2 off seasons….just didn’t know when to stop, kept putting everything on black….

    Ok, have been so detracted, and had to work on this off and on for over 2 hours…do I even have a point here?

    probably not 😉

    Team has worried about drafting locally too much, Wren made some(A lot of bad signings) but there weren’t arms in the Minors that were very good…

    They made up for that by only developing 2 hitters of any worth the last 7-8 years….

    Makes you wonder what the Cards and Red Sox do to have such deep farms, when they are usually in the hunt for the playoffs…bet those teams play scouts more than other teams do….

    Like

  400. 403 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Ok, have been so distracted

    Like

  401. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Ber, cutting your minor league and scouting department expenditures are like governments and companies eschewing maintenance and up keep. It is pretty easy to hide until everything starts breaking down, usually all at once. Sort of like failing to fix a leaking roof allowing the rafters to rot and mold develop or not keeping the front end aligned on your car causing the tires to wear out prematurely but putting increased torque on the tie rods and ball joints so instead of a fairly inexpensive fix is necessary verse a major repair bill. The answer, sell for junk….. Clamor for a new school etc.

    I’m not sure if you have ever seen the signs out front of a factory that always say help wanted verses those that announce they are hiring 50 people and get 5000 applications. I have worked for both…

    Good people demand a higher wage for a reason. Scouts and coaches are no different.

    I’m sure Frank Wren was a very good number two man in the front office. You always need a guy to fire people. These folks are not always the best to be calling the shots though. It is a whole lot easier when someone else make the decision to press the go button or not.

    Like

  402. 405 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    PS, Did get to see Ted Simmons play for the Richmond Braves. The Braves had picked him up from the Seattle Pilots. The local team had him playing first base. He was pretty old by then by the way. In triple A the vets really did stick out from the rookies.

    Like

  403. 406 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Yikes! The CLE has DFA’d Chris Johnson. That’s gotta sting.

    Liked by 1 person

  404. 407 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Chipper is returning to the organization as a special assistant in some capacity.

    Details to come…

    Liked by 1 person

  405. 408 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Like

  406. 409 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    No, no my friend… we are the ones who are honored. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  407. 410 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Like

  408. 411 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    So, what exactly is a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations???? Is this akin to being a consultant? No one really knows what you do? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  409. 412 Carolina Lady December 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    This is me with chills running all over!!! I said recently that we really need him back in this organization in some capacity. Didn’t think he’d ever do it, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  410. 413 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    So, what exactly is a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations???? Is this akin to being a consultant? No one really knows what you do?

    Like being the owner’s son doing a summer internship. The same but different…. Okay, the big difference is the owner’s son is going to be your boss some day…

    Liked by 3 people

  411. 414 Vox O'Reason December 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    It means Chipper gets to do whatever Chipper wants to do. Come to think of it, it’s exactly like being the owner’s son.

    But it’s the kind of shot in the arm the team needed as it strives to regain a new identity in ATL. If Chipper’s on board, who can not be?

    Liked by 2 people

  412. 415 Carolina Lady December 17, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    If the players are as excited by this news as the fans, I’m eagerly looking forward to the coming year! (Hope springs eternal?)

    Liked by 3 people

  413. 416 Carolina Lady December 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Wait a minute! Do the current baby players even understand how important #10 is and has been to this club?? They were too young to know! Hopefully, they’ll accept his HOF credentials with respect he deserves. Have I gotten old?/i> Nevermind. That simply isn’t possible. Is it???

    Liked by 2 people

  414. 417 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    VOX, I think it is much like George Brett and the Royals or Craig Biggio and the Astros… Much more so than Tom Glavin and the Braves.

    Like

  415. 418 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    CL, Chipper has not been away from the game that long.

    Like

  416. 419 Carolina Lady December 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I know, but when he started the kids were…..babies practically, some not even born. I guess those of us who had the privilege of watching him play on OUR team for 20 years appreciate him the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  417. 420 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2015 at 8:53 am

    O’B called this a “leftover” quote from last week’s Winter Meetings:

    John Hart: “If you’re the NFL and you have your draft, everybody knows who these (drafted) guys are. All these guys that we have – I mean, who in the world knows Touki Toussaint? Who in the world knows Mallex Smith? I tell you, when these guys come, you’ll know them, you’ll get to see them. But in the meantime they (fans) are sort of, ‘I don’t know, there’s been so many of these guys, who are they?’ But at one point, who was Tom Glavine? Who was Manny Ramirez? Who was Albert Belle? Who were these guys?

    “We think we’ve got a very strong nucleus of young players. I’m not (saying) all these guys are going to be stars or all going to hit. But it’s a deep nucleus of quality young players with great makeup, who have been acquired with not only their talent in mind and our future in mind, but also with their character and their makeup, who they are.”

    Like

  418. 421 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Speaking of our young up and comers, check out this article fro Bowman. And be sure to watch the top video. Check out the break on the Toussant curve. Devastating. And maybe it’s just me, but Fried physically reminds me alot of Cole Hamels.

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/159929342/ozhaino-albies-aiming-to-be-star-with-braves

    Like

  419. 422 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Braves DFA Brandon Cunniff to make room on the 40-man for Emilio Bonifacio. It’s somewhat counter to their pitching depth strategy, but in doing so it signals a shift toward rebuilding the offense.

    Not a huge surprise on Cunniff, but he did put up some decent work last season at times. They may be able to work a minor trade with him. Apparently the holdup in announcing the Boni deal was that the team was working hard to trade Swisher (and his contract) and found no takers. No word on how much $$ the team was willing to take on. Anyway, they had to make a corresponding roster move to accommodate Boni, whose deal is a major league deal. That’s bad news for Daniel Castro who is probably the odd man out in the IF and will be relegated to toil in AAA again until needed.

    Like

  420. 423 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    To be honest, when I looked at the Braves 40 man roster last week, I was surprised to see Cuniff still on it. He may yet sign a minor league deal with the Braves but it is still way early for all the moves to be made. Somehow, every team manages to lose somebody to injury during spring training so the Braves will hang onto Swisher for the time being. He might even redeem himself as a player this spring. Either way, the money is already spent.

    Castro deserves a better fate but he still has options. Don’t be surprised to see him back before the end of may. Depth is a good thing…. Also attractive trade piece for someone too. He just needs to keep showing up everyday. It will all play out. Boni still has to show he has something left to give.

    Like

  421. 425 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Boni still has to show he has something left to give.

    Indeed… and I am far from convinced that he does. I feel as though he has more to prove than Daniel Castro.

    Like

  422. 426 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I’m not sure of the terms of his (Boni’s) contract. I know it is a $1.25MM deal but I don’t know if that is guaranteed or not. I guess the Brass was not comfortable with Castro but I thought the youngster from Mexico played quite well last season. Maybe the Braves want him to play everyday?

    Like

  423. 427 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Castro does not fall under the super star category but he does come under “signed during the Franj Wren regime”… The more I follow the “getting back to the Braves way model” the more I think it is a purge. Like a merger where all the staff save one or two workers are let go by the acquiring company.

    Anyhoo… I anxious to see some of the young arms the Braves have acquired.

    Liked by 1 person

  424. 428 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I know it is a $1.25MM deal but I don’t know if that is guaranteed or not.

    Yep. It’s a major league deal, thus guaranteed. But a roster spot is not. Still, if he plays well enough in spring to show that he has something left to offer, and Castro plays equally well or better, Boni could be swapped in a late season deal to a team in need of a backup IF… something that is often in high demand as teams are finalizing their rosters. I believe the team is simply not happy with their 2B situation and have brought in numbers to compete, including Boni and Gordon Beckham to go with Jace Peterson and Castro.

    May the best man win, and the last man bring a decent return in trade. 🙂

    Like

  425. 429 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Of course $1.25MM is like lunch money in the broad scheme of things, probably barley cover’s John Hart’s green fees… but I digress, I am of the mind the Braves want to be better up the middle and not pay too much until Albies and Swanson arrive. One has to wonder how Peterson feels about all this? Will he work harder or do the Braves think he has reached his peak?

    Lots of small moving parts in play.

    Liked by 1 person

  426. 430 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Filed under stuff:

    Gil, what’s going on up there in the Commonwealth?

    <Virginia Attorney General Unilaterally Revokes Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity with 25 States

    Liked by 1 person

  427. 431 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    It is a back door route to invoke gun control. He is a liberal Democrat who managed to print enough votes in Northern Virginia to eak out a victory against a conservative Republican. Of course this will mean the states he has smeared will no longer recognize Virginia’s CCL. The local polls are running 80% against him. Likely he has cooked his own goose with this as he was planning to run for governor to replace McClueless…. Elections have results and unfortunately, the Democrats can manipulate the voting machines in NOVA aka Little Chicago.

    I expect the General Assembly will come down on him pretty hard…..

    Liked by 2 people

  428. 432 Carolina Lady December 22, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Stuff – and personal opinion: Beware of Democrats in any official office. They are dangerous.

    Liked by 2 people

  429. 433 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Like

  430. 434 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    There has to be something going on with Chris we don’t see. Rumors of being a bad club house guy? I just thought he wanted to play and hated striking out. They should have left him alone and let him play his game instead of trying to turn him into a bopper. Of course, he can just try to get by on the $17 MM still owed to him. Play a year in Japan and come back as Casey McGee…

    Liked by 2 people

  431. 435 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Gil, I think he was an average guy who had 1 decent year backed by 1 really good year and was awarded a lifetime achievement award contract because of it. That was probably Frank’s highest profile blunder (although not his worst, but that’s another conversation altogether). CJohn’s career numbers are pretty pedestrian both defensively and offensively. As Aaron Gleeman of NBCSports said, “Johnson had back-to-back productive seasons in 2012 and 2013, but his success was always built on high batting averages on balls in play and the combination of terrible plate discipline and modest power left him without much value when the singles stopped falling in.”

    His OPS in 2012 and 2013 were .777 & .816 respectively. Then they nosedived to .653 & .624 in 2014 & 2015. That’s a bad trend in a bad direction. He has averaged 151 Ks per season over his career, which is simply not acceptable for a guy with below average power playing a position that is traditionally a power position.

    And speaking of defensive position, I don’t pretend to understand the big acronym and number soup that is shown to represent him defensively, but I do recognize that when it is littered with a bunch of negative numbers, that isn’t good.

    Like

  432. 436 berigan2electricboogaloo December 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

    And don’t forget CJ turned 31 in Oct. last thing you want is a 31 year old playing 3rd base….apparently 😉 (Unless you have a goofy name like Chipper, then you can play there at 40)
    V, I saw the video of the pitchers a few days ago…they look pretty good!
    This will be a very good team,with excellent pitching…..in 2018, 2019…..
    now, to find a reason to watch 2-1 losses every night…. :/
    Of course, they might win the NL east in 2017 with an 81-81 record since the owners of the other teams in the NL are so stupid. Mutts I guess think they will win with no offense again…of course they weren’t winning with 4 #1’s til they made the deal with the bravos, then got Cespedes ….
    I think with Dusty at the helm, the Nats win in 2016…STAT heads hate him, but he just wins….

    Like

  433. 437 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    And don’t forget CJ turned 31 in Oct. last thing you want is a 31 year old playing 3rd base

    Not when oak trees have better range. ;mrgreen;

    Like

  434. 438 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

    I missed my punctuation and blew the timing. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  435. 439 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Like

  436. 440 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Could be one of those silver lining signing for the Braves re:Chacin

    I know, it’s winter ball but much better than getting blown out in the same league.

    Like

  437. 442 Carolina Lady December 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    From MLB:
    Royals: “Move to watch: Pitching prospect Ashe Russell and outfield prospects Bubba Starling and Rey Fuentes to the Braves for Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Chris Ellis. Inciarte is the best available outfielder for the Royals’ needs and, for now, helps the budget

    Like

  438. 443 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Well, it’s a good thing I did not get too high on Inciarte. Gold Glove caliber centerfielder, good OPS, only 25… Yep, just the kind of player to build your outfield around… I guess the homeboy upstairs figured no one was looking anyway…

    Like

  439. 444 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Sad news, the passing of long time Braves coach Bobby Dews has passed away at the ripe young age of 73. Always a fixture with the Braves for as long as I have been a fan of the Braves, a multi talented individual I think anyone would have enjoyed spending time with. Rest In Peace Bobby D…

    Liked by 2 people

  440. 445 Carolina Lady December 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    That is sad news for us. He was a gentle, wise soul who was unashamedly a believer in Jesus. I held him in highest esteem. I’m happy for him but sad for us. Wish I could have sat with him in his little bullpen office and just listened to him talk.

    Liked by 2 people

  441. 446 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

    RE: Inciarte rumor.

    He hasn’t gone anywhere yet. He is the hottest name among the OF rumor circles, but is still penciled in as the Braves starting CF come spring. Coppy has repeatedly indicated that if someone offers him a Shelby Miller type return, then he’ll have to listen. And honestly, he should. Personally, I’ll be surprised if he’s traded. As for the Royals, Dayton Moore built their ballclub being on the receiving end of these types of deals. It’ll be interesting to see if he’d flip the coin over.

    Bubba Starling is a big name 5-tool CF prospect who was the Royals’ #1 pick in 2011 (5th overall). He was labeled as the top athlete in that draft and turned down a football scholarship to play QB at Nebraska to go pro in baseball. He’s just 23 and finished ’15 at AA after starting at high-A. He’s probably at least 1 more year away from being ML ready, although scouts say his defense is ready now. He’s said to still have a slight wrinkle in his swing that makes him susceptible to offspeed pitches. Still, I have a hard time believing Moore would trade him when he’s this close. He’s a special talent who is probably only 1 year away at most. RH power is a premium, and this guy has it.

    As for Ashe Russell, he was KC’s #1 pick in this last year’s draft and is only 19 and a healthy 6’4″, 200 and still filling out. He’s a highly rated guy for sure. He has a fastball that sits around 92-95 but can reach 97 when necessary. He offsets it with a nasty swing-and-miss hard slider that comes in at 78-82. Those 2 pitches have been so effective he hasn’t developed a changeup, which has been the focus of his young pro career thus far. He’s currently rated #83 in baseballs Top 100 overall prospects. His ETA is 2018.

    Ray Fuentes is Carlos Beltran’s cousin. He’s 24 and could be ML ready now. He’s a speedster with high OBP and little to moderate power. He slashed .308/.360/.422 in 107 games at AAA in 2015 with 9 HR and 29 SB but 72 Ks. For my taste, that’s quite a few punchouts for a guy with not a lot of power. He’s a plus defender but not much arm, meaning he’s probably relegated to CF/LF. IMO, he’s a good 4th OF but probably not an everyday guy.

    As nice as it would be to take back Starling and Russell, I don’t think I’d give up both Inciarte and Chris Ellis. I’m a believer in Ellis and think he can help us this year. Still, that’s why you stockpile ’em, right? Bottom line to me: Starling would be a bit of a roll of the dice. If he continues to improve his overall plate discipline, he could certainly be an elite player. But he’s right at that point where he could also be just what he is and have that one hole in his swing. But “just what he is” is still a pretty dang good player that will probably launch quite a few long balls into the stands.

    In the end, that could be a huge deal that pays big dividends for both sides on the field, but could another blow to the Braves public relations if they trade away another ML player for more prospects, even one as close and talented as Starling. That’d take alot of PR to manage and might require Coppy to hire a body guard.

    Liked by 1 person

  442. 447 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I did some poking around and can’t find any traction on that rumor. I strongly believe that the Braves will build around Inciarte, not deal him away.

    Like

  443. 449 Carolina Lady December 28, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    BILL SHANKS
    Yesterday at 2:03 PM

    Bobby Dews was what Braves baseball is all about. Bill Shanks has some thoughts on the passing of a man who lived his life the Braves Way.

    There are certain people who personify the Braves Way. That didn’t start in 1991, when the ambitious John Schuerholz came in and helped save the Braves franchise. The groundwork was laid many years ago, when the team first moved to Atlanta.

    Paul Snyder is probably the main one that symbolizes that mindset. He’s been with the Braves since 1957, first as a player and then as a coach, manager, scout and executive. Paul’s retired a few times through the years, but he’s still a Brave.

    Bobby Cox, Brian Snitker and Randy Ingle are a few others that come to mind. They’ve worn that uniform with pride and helped make the Braves what they are today. There are a few scouts that fit into that category, some that have been around for years, like Roy Clark. They’ve all lived this Braves way for decades.

    There are players that fit that mold, too, whether they only wore a Braves uniform or had to move on to somewhere else. Aaron, Niekro, Murphy, Glavine, Smoltz, Chipper. Those players are the Braves way. They lived it on the field.

    I realize every team has a ‘way.’ We hear that thrown around a lot these days. The Braves actually had it on paper some 30 years ago. And the writer was Bobby Dews.

    He first joined the Braves in 1974, and for the next 40 years Dews lived and breathed Braves baseball. Dewsy, as he was affectionately called, was old-time baseball. He always had on batting gloves and a fungo bat near, always ready to help a player get better.

    Dewsy loved to talk baseball. He loved to listen to others talk baseball. The game was in his soul, but the great thing about Dewsy was that while it might have defined him, baseball wasn’t what he was all about. He was a writer, a good one. And he loved to tell stories that didn’t always involve a bat and a ball.

    There was no more trusted assistant to Cox than Dewsy. They were friends on and off the field. Every manager needs a confidant, and that’s what Dewsy was to Cox. He was first on Cox’s big league staff in 1979. When Cox was fired by Atlanta after the 1981 season, Dews went back to the minor league side.

    He was Hank Aaron’s second-hand man as assistant farm director when the Braves retooled everything in the mid-1980s. By then, Cox was back as general manager. Dews wrote some notes down on how the Braves would run things in the farm system. Team president Stan Kasten had increased the budget, providing more coaches and more teams. But Dews implemented strategies to get everyone on the same page.

    The group, which still included Snyder as well, wanted the Braves to be uniform. What was done in Atlanta would be done with every minor league team. If the Braves took batting practice or infield one way in Atlanta, it would be done the same way on the farm.

    Dewsy was there to help create philosophies that would be in place once Schuerholz arrived in 1990. I remember Snyder telling me once that Schuerholz “taught the Braves how to win.” But the way they played baseball was being taught by Dewsy and others leading up to that first magical season in 1991.

    There are countless baseball players that were helped by Dewsy. He would be the one on the back field working with a player in spring training, whether it was a major league star or a first-year minor leaguer. He would put in the extra time to make someone else better. Those people he helped are hurting today.

    I asked Dewsy one time if he had wanted to be a big league manager. “Sure,” he said, but there was no regret he had missed that chance. I believe he interviewed one time with another team for a manager’s job, and there was more than one occasion when another organization wanted Dewsy to run their farm system. But he was just fine with wearing that Atlanta uniform for his entire career.

    Bobby Dews had his demons. He conquered them, and he was proud of that. He never pretended to be an altar boy, but he knew the things he experienced made him the man he was. Dewsy lived one hell of a life, and he would probably tell you that any regret would only cheapen his life experience he had along the way.

    Conversations with Dewsy were always entertaining. He might have an old joke to share or just a good story. But it was never dull. There was always something that would make you smile.

    My last long conversation with Dewsy came in spring training, 2013. Things weren’t good then in Braves camp. There was a lot of unhappiness, as the front office had gotten away from that Braves way that he loved so much. He wasn’t happy about that, but he had to be thrilled it’s regained its luster in the last year with the changes that have been made.

    Anyone who knew Bobby Dews loved him. He was one of a kind. That’s a generic cliché that people use sometime when one dies, but we all said that about Bobby before this happened. He was unique and interesting and interested. He was a great man, and he was The Braves Way.

    It was a pleasure to know Dewsy and to know a man that loved the Braves and the game of baseball so very much.

    Liked by 2 people

  444. 450 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing that from Bill Shanks CL. I never heard a single person ever speak ill of the the man and that in itself has to be a tremendous accomplishment. With all the players making $20 MM per year contracts, people like Bobby Dews are often overlooked. I hope the Braves do something special this season and beyond to recognize the contributions Bobby D made in building the Braves into the franchise it has become. In our own way, perhaps a place on the masthead of the B&S.

    Liked by 2 people

  445. 451 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Fantastic article, CL. I love how Shanks describes Dewsy as “the Braves Way” personified. What a great description. The absolute best way to honor the man is for “the Braves Way” to re-emerge as a winner on the field. It’s coming, y’all. It’s coming. And it’s being done the right way… the Braves Way.

    Liked by 2 people

  446. 452 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I guess it is time to get back to work on my new lead. I was about half way done when I was sidetracked by Christmas. No more excuses to be had now. Well, a couple could be dug up I suppose if needed but there is so much to opine about, time to get back with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  447. 453 Vox O'Reason December 29, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Only 52 days until pitchers & catchers report… not that I’m counting or anything. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  448. 454 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Just please don’t bring the hat… please…

    Like

  449. 455 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Re: Torres:

    Low risk, high upside signing. He was very good in 2013-2014, not so good in 2015 (too many free passes). If he can regain his previous form and control, the Braves will have 3 more years of club control. If not, they can simply let him go. I like the signing.

    With this signing, the Braves will have LHRs Torres, Ian Krol, and Rule 5 pick Evan Rutckyj and to compete with holdovers Matt Marksberry and Ian McKirahan. While it’s a stretch to think that any will evoke memories of EOF or Jonny Venters, at least one could emerge from that group as a reliable loogy to neutralize opposing lefty bats, something the Braves had no answer for in 2015.

    Like

  450. 456 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 11:03 am

    In fact, having 2 LHRP’s in the ‘pen would help prevent Fredi from overexposing any 1 of them, as happened to Marksberry last season. He was good in small doses, but not for more than a couple of batters. He could do well in a simple 1-out type role.

    If Grilli is back 100%, and all indications are that he is, then having Grilli and Viz at the back end with RH Chris Withrow (or possibly even Jim Johnson if he has anything left in the tank) then alot of the Braves bullpen woes will be improved. All of those guys have closer stuff and closer experience. If you think about it, the ‘pen didn’t fully collapse until Grilli got hurt and Johnson was shipped out. Then the injuries started and the whole thing fell apart. The aforementioned LH Rutckyj (henceforth referred to as Rudy) and RH Dan Winkler are virtually guaranteed spots given their Rule 5 status, and both are youngsters with high upside. That only leaves 2 more spots including Johnson. I think that battle will come down to LH’s Krol, Marksberry and Torres and RH’s Johnson, Alexi Ogando, and Jose Ramirez.

    Also in the running will be LH McKirahan, and RH’s Danny Burawa and David Carpenter.

    And in about June or so, RH Shae Simmons will knock someone off the roster.

    So things are looking up with the bullpen. There’s no excuse for another abysmal showing like 2015.

    Like

  451. 457 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Speaking of improvement over 2015, this was the Opening Day lineup from last season:

    Eric Young, CF
    Jace Peterson, 2B
    Nick Markakis, RF
    Freddie Freeman, 1B
    Christian Bethancourt, C
    Kelly Johnson, LF
    Alberto Callaspo, 3B
    Andrelton Simmons, SS

    Ugh-ly!

    2016’s Opening Day currently projects to this:

    Ender Inciarte, CF
    Erick Aybar, SS
    Markakis, RF
    Freeman, 1B
    Adonis Garcia, 3B
    AJ Pierzynski / Tyler Flowers, C
    Hector Olivera, LF
    Peterson / Gordon Beckham, 2B

    There literally is offensive improvement at every spot in the order except for Freddie Freeman who himself wasn’t healthy for much of the season. Markakis will have had a full healthy offseason to prepare and should bring more pop to the plate. Jace will be better in a platoon situation if not better altogether. And the newcomers, well… nothing really needs to be said there.

    And in a completely appropriate way, as I finish typing this post, the sun has just emerged outside for the first time in many days.

    Fitting somehow. 😉

    Like

  452. 458 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Like

  453. 459 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Another minor league deal. Nothing to lose there…

    Like

  454. 460 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    And remember, Kendrick had that poor season last year in the altitude of Coors Field. He’s a pitch-to-contact type hurler so that was not a very good fit anyway. I suppose he had 5.5 million very good reasons to sign there, though.

    Like

  455. 461 Vox O'Reason December 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    It is quite apparent that the club’s strategy is to pick up a high volume of these veterans on low risk minor league deals and see if any of them will pan out for one more season. The way I see it, they have very little to lose by doing so and the greater numbers gives them a much better percentage chance of hitting on a winner.

    Like

  456. 463 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Excellent opine on comparing the 2015 vs projected 2016 lineups VOX. It is as if you read my new (half finished) lead… Great minds think alike… Anyway, trying to overcome staying up past midnight last PM. My head feels like it is still in the past somewhere and I did not have a single drop of anything stronger than Diet Coke…

    This year’s team is reminding me a lot of the Mets of two years ago, perhaps maybe even the Mets of the first half of last season. I fear the Nats won’t play .500 ball the first half this season allowing everyone else to hang around this year.

    The Braves are still going to be a couple of players shy of being a real threat but they are getting there. I think a lot will hinge on the progress of Olivera.

    Like

  457. 464 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Didn’t mean to take a break from posting here, just didn’t really have anything to add…of course I was sorry to hear about Bobby Dews passing. seemed like such a quality human being.

    Like

  458. 465 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    my 2016 baseball resolution? to not be so darned positive about the braves! 😆

    V, I really don’t expect much of anything from Jason Grilli….anything we get will be great. 39 year old relievers are rare enough, coming off a sever baseball injury like that??? time will tell…

    I still don’t see how Aybar is in any way, shape or form an improvement at the plate. .315 career OBP, .301 last year….we want that batting 2nd?
    Between Aybar and Jace, that’s 2 of the 8 hitters with low 3’s….
    wait…Adonis Garcia’s OBP in 191 AB’s? .293 AJ Pierzynski had a sub .300 OBP in 2013 and 2014. Hmmm, perhaps Tyler Flowers has a better OBP. Nope….289 OBP…so, half the lineup in 2016 sucks at getting on base…funny, I thought the braves were all about High OBP’s!

    Like

  459. 466 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    coming off a severe baseball injury like that???

    Hopefully, nothing was severed! 😯

    Aren’t you guys glad I am back posting? 😛

    seriously, I don’t see much of an improvement in the offense…except from a healthy FF, Ender Inciarte, and perhaps from the youngster in LF…it can be better…but, as we saw with the Mutts last year, all the pitching in the world won’t help without an offense…we are just lucky the Mutts are so darned cheap. They could run away with it with say a Chris Davis signing, but nope…they will play it cheap…and be middle of the pack. I predict once again the STAT heads heads will explode as ol’ school Dusty Baker’s Nats run away with it…all he does is win…not a good in game manager, but players play for him…and clearly respect him

    Gil, did you see my PM via Facebook a week or so ago?

    Like

  460. 467 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Yes Ber, You are welcome….

    New blog almost done, it is in the in tray of the Boss… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  461. 468 Carolina Lady January 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    GIL’S NEW BLOG IS UP! Thanks, Chief!

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

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Berigan: Mar 15

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BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007


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