#181: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Gil

Gil in Mechanicsville, VA

As we trudge into winter, Braves fans everywhere, but most particularly here in Stuffville, are hoping that the hot stove will heat up during MLB’s winter meetings in California this week. The Braves spent $25 million dollars on two players, 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Brian McCann, but really only added to their bench with the signings. That is, it allows the Braves to move erstwhile 3rd baseman Johan Camargo to serve as a super sub, the role most in the Braves front office envisioned for the young Panamanian to begin with.

DonaldsonJosh

Donaldson inked a one year deal with the Braves which allows the Braves to further evaluate their now number one prospect, Austin Riley, as their future 3rd baseman. Riley who is only 21 years old has shown the propensity for big power and has steadily improved his defense since his being drafted 41st over all in 2015 by the Braves. There is no way to know if Riley will indeed ever play in the majors as a Brave or if he will be included as part of a package for a number one starter or possibly for Marlins catcher J T Realmuto.

So, with that in mind, we should bear in mind the Braves primary needs going into the off season were: A) A front line ace to lead the young Braves pitching staff; B) An outfielder to replace free agent Nick Markakis; C) Bullpen help (either a closer or set up man); and D) Bench help/ power bat to protect Freddie Freeman in the line up.

Brian McCann

So far, the Braves have made several moves around the periphery with McCann, who while it is a feel good story in his return to Atlanta, is questionable as to how much he can add to the Braves line up as a catcher who can catch a fair number of games in tandem with Tyler Flowers.

The Nationals made a major acquisition in signing free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin who will be slotted as the number three starter in their solid starting pitching staff and the Mets made a major trade to acquire shut down closer Edwin Diaz and aging 2nd baseman Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners. There should be no question that both moves have made the NL East a much stronger division. To be sure, the path to winning the divisional pennant will be a tough one foe every team.

So, as we wait and watch for the Braves to make the moves necessary to shore up the team and plot a course to repeat as NL east champions, we all should remember the games still have to be played and while it is nice to compare stats, we can point to the Nationals epic fail in 2018 despite having the best team on paper by far.

gil2

 

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592 Responses to “#181: Baby It’s Cold Outside”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady December 12, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks, Chief! We always appreciate your efforts for us!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you CL for putting the finishing touches on this piece. Now, if only we can get some real news to opine upon.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 3 Vox O'Reasoñ December 12, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Don’t expect the Braves to trade Julio and all 11 MM of his contract.

    I have to respectfully disagree here.

    If 36 year old JA Happ can get e new 2 year deal (with a 3rd year option) for about $16M per year, and 35 year old Charlie Morton can get 2 years at $15M per year, Julio on a short 1 year commitment at just $11M is a bargain.

    Want a comparable? Tanner Roark just got dealt to the Reds for a prospect because the Nats wanted to free up the projected $9.8M he’s expected to get in arb. The Reds happily took that on. Roark is not nearly the pitcher Julio is.

    Like

  4. 4 Vox O'Reasoñ December 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Happ is getting $17M per year.

    Like

  5. 5 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Excellent work Mr Gil!!!!
    + really needed another lead….even at work it was getting slow….more than 700 posts!

    Yeah, it’s weird looking at Julio T’s stats….most teams would love a soon to be 28 Year old with a career 3.64 ERA. and we all can’t wait to get rid of him….

    Like

  6. 6 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Yeah, it’s weird looking at Julio T’s stats….most teams would love a soon to be 28 Year old with a career 3.64 ERA. and we all can’t wait to get rid of him

    I think for the Braves it’s more a function of his splits at STP.

    In 2017, STP’s first year, his home ERA in 17 games (93.2 IP) was 5.86, as opposed to 3.14 on the road in 15 games (94.2 IP). Last year it was much more evenly split, but the seeds had already been planted.

    Also, I don’t think they are necessarily actively trying to shove him out the door. But if they can acquire a more accomplished pitcher for the top of the rotation, then with the bevy of young pitching that is major league ready, it only makes sense to trade away Julio and his $11M commitment when he has some trade value. It is exactly the same reasoning that led WAS to trade Tanner Roarke to the Reds.

    And I do think he can be traded for a mid-level prospect with the entirety f his contract going with him.

    Seriously… just $11M for 1 year for a guy that whose IP total last year of 175.2 was the least he’s given since he’s been a full time starter (2013).

    And maybe I need to also clarify my position on him. I only want to see him traded under the conditions I mentioned above… only if we can acquire a more accomplished “horse” to lead the young rotation. Otherwise, I’m perfectly fine with him pitching out his deal here.

    Like

  7. 7 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Now, on the same topic of pitching, I heard a very fascinating interview with Leo Mazzone this morning on the radio. And I thin we can all agree that he knows a thing or two about pitching.

    His favorite guy on the pitching market this year? Dallas Keuchel. Leo says Keuchel knows how to “pitch”, and he’s not trying to overpower any hitters. That’s why he can still be successful for another 3 years. Leo says he knows how to generate weak contact and keep the ball in the park. And if you look at DK’s pitching stats, Leo’s assertion is validated.

    Leo went on to say that MLB has inflated the velocity they show on pitchers as a marketing tool. He asserts that the radar guns are calibrated high to inflate the MPH in what is the pitcher’s equivalent to the tightly would ball. Yes, chicks still dig the long ball, but 100 mph impresses us almost as much.

    He continued saying that the byproduct of radar gun inflation is that young pitchers now concentrate too much on generating “velo” and not enough time learning how to “pitch”. Leo, who these days goes around and lectures on the dangers of overtaxing young arms, then gave a very jarring stat that I’ve never heard before.

    52% of all TJ surgeries are performed on kids under the age of 19. Y’all, that’s jaw dropping.

    OK… I got a little off track. I say all that to say this: Perhaps we were too quick to judge Dallas Keuchel based on factors that are less important than simply taking the mound (34 starts, 204.2 IP last season) and getting batters out. If Leo Mazzone thinks he would be a great addition to the Braves staff, who am I to argue?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Your point is well taken guys. While I have been as frustrated as the next Braves fan with Julio’s Jeckel and Hyde act, he has been the guy in the #1 position for a long time and if used as a number 3 or 4 guy and as the grizzled vet I think his numbers would vastly improve.

    There is a lot of pressure in having to be perfect every pitch. I think that is why so many good pitchers wilt in New York.

    For sure, Julio is no Jacob DeGrome but he should not have to be. I think he is the perfect example of a pitcher who was called upon to throw a lot of innings before his arm fully matured and without the benefit of PEDs lost velocity on his fastball and bite on his slider as a result. He also became the victim of a very tight strike zone in several of the contest I saw him pitch in last year.

    What perhaps was most apparent was his lack of a true out pitch. He could get to two strikes but could not seem to put guys away.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Perhaps with a pitching coach who could encourage him to pitch to weak contact instead of trying to strike out everybody he could experience a renaissance.

    There always seems to be a player or two on every team who become the whipping boy. Fans called for Markakis to be traded for 3 1/2 years. Now it is Julio and our current Gold Glove center fielder. Okay, I’ll admit it, Ender is no Andrew Jones but to me it would be like trading Andrelton Simmons… Oh, wait…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 10 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:02 am

    An aside Leo gave in that interview was an insider’s peek into how GMs conduct themselves.

    He said that John Schuerholz would go into a meeting room and basically say, “This is who’s available, and this is who we like. If we’re close, then let’s talk. If not, then let’s not waste our time.”

    He went on to say that he was also with a GM, and he wouldn’t name the team but it wasn’t the Braves thus it was the Orioles, where the GM would sit down and say, “Who do you like?” and would then sit around for hours trying to piece something together on the other GM’s terms.

    Anthopolous thankfully falls into the camp of the former.

    In fact, did y’all know AntMan actually flew out early yesterday morning to attend a meeting with Liberty Media in Denver? Apparently he made all the contacts and had all the conversations he intended to have on Monday and Tuesday, leaving Asst. GM Perry Minasian to finish out the grunt work. He said that in the current day of communication technology, there was nothing he couldn’t do in Denver that he could do in Las Vegas.

    As for today’s Rule 5 draft, the Braves pick #20 and do not anticipate any player falling that far that might stick on the active roster for the whole season. Minasian will attend, but does not expect to do anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I understand how badly folks want to see Acuna Jr. play center but he is still really, really young and as such, is still very prone to attempting plays he cannot make. That leads to mistakes that puts a lot of pressure on young pitchers. Having base runners on 2nd & 3rd is infinitely more problematic than having runners on 1st & 3rd and that is often what happens when throwing to the wrong base.

    To be sure, while the Braves have improved their line up with the addition of Josh Donaldson, they still have some holes to fill. One pitcher and one outfielder. I don’t think you can do that in today’s game for $25MM which is what AA is trying to sell as the Braves market cap. The only way you can do that is promote from within.

    Like

  12. 12 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:15 am

    A summary of the pitching movement yesterday, which should continue to loosen the market for more action:

    RHP Tanner Roark was traded to CIN for prospect RHP Tanner Rainey. Seriously. What are the chances of that?

    Starter JA Happ re-signed with the Yanks for 2 yrs/$34M with a 3rd year option at $17M.

    Starter Charlie Morton goes to Tampa for 2 yrs/$30M.

    Starter Lance Lynn goes to TEX for 3 yrs/$30M.

    Reliever Joe Kelly goes to LAD for 3 yrs/$25M.

    Reliever Jeurys Familia goes back to the Mets for 3 yrs/$30M.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Vee, looks like we both see the same things, pitching to “weak” contact is an arm saver and saves your bullpen as well as allows a pitcher to go deep into games.

    It is nice to have that strikeout pitch when you really need it but constantly allowing 5-8 pitch at bats means you won’t be around very often by the 5th inning.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 9:23 am

    On AA going to Denver to meet with the Liberty Media honchos: I hope he went to make the case that adding another $25MM over their current payroll caps is what it will take to stay competitive in the NL East.

    I mean gee, it does not take a rocket surgeon to figure out how much more valuable the franchise would be to capture a World Series or two.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 17 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

    This guy is the National Sports Radio host for SiriusXM. Don’t know his sources, but he’s been pushing this narrative for several days now.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 19 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I truly believe the Braves will not give up Soroka. Newcomb I can see.

    Like

  17. 20 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:36 am

    This guy is the Yankees Insider for Gotham Sports Network.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 9:40 am

    It is just my opinion but I am of the mind that the Braves feel they have the prospect capital for one big trade. That will be either Realmuto or one of the pair being offered up by Cleveland. Adding Realmuto means they do not have to have the big bat in the outfield and can concentrate a bit more on defense. Adding a pitcher delays for another year one of the studs on the farm.

    The only power bat close to major league ready the Braves currently appear to have in their system is Riley. There are a few really good hitters in the system but they are still in the lower minors.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Yep, once that capital is spent, it is gone to the other side of the board.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. 23 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:45 am

    My take on Sonny Gray…

    I can see them taking Gray if, and only if, they put their more coveted assets into a premier bat, either JTR or an OF. And at that point I’d expect the bat to come first.

    Bottom line is that the 2 needs are directly attached to each other. They have a certain amount to spend both in dollars and in prospects. I am of the opinion that they will not evenly split that, but they will make a splash on one front, leaving the other to a fallback option such i.e. Sonny Gray or Nick Markakis.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 24 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

    the pair being offered up by Cleveland

    I heard on a radio broadcast yesterday by some local media in Vegas that the Braves are not high on Trevor Bauer for the same reasons they are out on Zack Greinke. Apparently Bauer is an odd character that Braves execs don’t believe would fit well in the clubhouse.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 10:08 am

    I hate using anecdotal evidence to make a point but Vee, you are right with the “clubhouse” mix. As a long time Oriole fan, I still remember the time when Reggie Jackson played in Baltimore. One of the first “million dollar” payrolls. It was a terrible fit and the O’s suffered for it. Further proof that you cannot always fix a problem with money.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2018 at 10:20 am

    One of my favorite quotes was by a person who’s name I cannot remember to attribute it to said in referring to Reggie. “There is not enough mustard in Baltimore to cover that hotdog.”

    Liked by 3 people

  24. 27 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    while I think Dallas would be fine here, I just wonder if he would be thought of as an ace….it just seems soft tossers don’t fair too well come playoff time…\

    Now, if Folty could pitch with his mind and his arm, it would be less of an issue…

    Like

    • 28 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      while I think Dallas would be fine here, I just wonder if he would be thought of as an ace

      I don’t think DK has ever been thought of as an “ace”. A “horse” maybe, but not an “ace”. I think it’s well established that there are only a small handful – 10 maybe? – of true aces scattered around, and of those only Zack Greinke and Corey Kluber are possibly available this offseason. We know Greinke is out, and suspect Kluber would require a Realmutian return. I suspect all things being equal, AntMan would rather acquire JTR over Kluber.

      So given no available ace, I’ll take a horse to lead the rest of this young rotation through the season.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. 29 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Ha ha ha ha…

    Liked by 2 people

  26. 30 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    it just seems soft tossers don’t fair too well come playoff time

    While I’m not calling DK a HOF’er, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine would be considered “soft tossers” in 2018. DK still throws a 90 mph 4-seamer. 10 years ago that would be smoke… today it’s soft.

    Here is the Brooks Baseball pitcher card on DK:

    Dallas Keuchel has thrown 19,376 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (90mph), also mixing in a Slider (79mph), Cutter (87mph), Change (80mph) and Fourseam Fastball (90mph).

    Basic description of 2018 pitches compared to other LHP:
    His sinker is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run and has some natural sinking action. His slider sweeps across the zone, has exceptional depth and has below average velo. His cutter has extreme cut action and has some natural sink. His change has slightly below average velo and has some natural sink to it. His fourseam fastball is straight as an arrow, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has some natural sinking action and has essentially average velo.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. 31 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Rule 5 recap, courtesy of DOB:

    Braves passed with the No. 20 pick in the Rule 5 draft Thursday morning

    Braves took no picks and lost no one either in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft Thursday

    Braves selected 26-year-old RH reliever Jason Creasy from Dbacks’ Double-A roster in Triple-A phase of Rule 5 draft

    Creasy has a 1.96 ERA in 44 appearances with 50 K’s, 6 walks and 1 homer allowed in 36 2/3 innings for independent-league team Southern Maryland

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 32 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 33 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Heard a report this morning that the Braves execs have remained in contact with both the Dodgers and Rangers. Reportedly those are the two teams that AA spent the most time talking to. Obviously the topic would be OFers with both teams. The speculation is that Thoppy has been asking LAD about Joc Pederson primarily over Yasiel Puig.

    Reading between the lines, LAD would like to bring back a prime prospect from ATL to help them land Corey Kluber from CLE.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 34 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    So awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. 35 Vox O'Reasoñ December 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    ATL still hanging in there…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. 37 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Jon Heyman dropped these notes on the Braves yesterday:

    — The Braves have been in touch with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, and new word that Tyler Flowers could be had in trade lends credence to the idea that the Braves could wind up with Realmuto. One rival suggests he could see the Braves as a favorite. “They have the prospects,” that rival pointed out …

    The report that the Braves were floating pitcher Mike Soroka and third baseman Austin Riley was called “utter BS.” Though it’s possible they are offering Riley and others …

    — Soroka looked like a coming star when he was called up as an underaged pitcher last year, and after suffering arm trouble, he is said to be doing well …

    — The Braves were one of the teams in on Sonny Gray …

    — The Braves have interest in A.J. Pollock, but they might want to find a taker for Ender Inciarte if they do that. Meantime, one Braves person says Inciarte, Foltynewicz and Swanson are “staying put.”

    My take… I get a sense that JTR is the main focus of Thoppy, but that he simply wont give up the farm to make it happen. And neither will any other team. At this point, I believe the teams that are seriously still in are simply waiting for MIA to blink and come back to reality, at which point the Braves will still have the best offer. And I tend to agree with Tomahawk Take’s Alan Carpenter, who says:

    I will nonetheless continue to maintain that J.T. Realmuto is the #1 trade target – period. All paths lead from this effort – whether successful or not… and indeed, the Braves could themselves be holding up a lot of transactions that other teams have planned because of this.

    This is the linchpin deal. And once the prospect capital is spent on JTR, the dollar capital can be redirected toward pitching and OF.

    I don’t think the Braves are serious about Pollock, and are only mildly interested in Gray. And I think Ender is staying put.

    But I could be wrong about all of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 38 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Weird to see a rich, WS winning team be so willing to let their best bullpen arms leave (I.E. Joe Kelly to the Dodgers, and likely Kimbrel) because of money….guess the Yankees will win the AL East in 2019

    Like

    • 39 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Giving that much money to late inning arms that put max effort into every pitch multiple times a week is not good business. If someone gives Kimbrel the 6-year deal he’s asking for, they’re crazy… regardless of how dominant he has been or might be 2019. It can literally all come crashing down on one pitch.

      Long term deals themselves can strangle a team, and especially those given to volatile talent. A very similar example occurred when the Braves signed the great Bruce Sutter, who promptly blew out his arm and couldn’t even finish out the deal, much less dominate.

      Like

      • 40 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 10:02 am

        Another more recent example: Jose Ramirez. This guy was a real up-and-comer, throwing serious heat and at times untouchable for the Braves. Then all of a sudden, it all fell apart on a “shoulder strain”, and he may never pitch in the ML again.

        Like

  34. 41 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 9:52 am

    More from Carpenter, that I completely agree with:

    — If the Braves fail to land Realmuto, they will likely make an immediate pivot toward Cleveland to try and get [Corey] Kluber… using similar prospects.

    — If they do get Realmuto, then they may choose to make an offer to [Dallas] Keuchel.

    — If Kluber proves unattainable and Keuchel proves too costly, then perhaps engaging with the Yankees on Gray could still be done.

    — The team would need to spin [Julio Teheran] off to help offset these other contracts… and to create a hole in the rotation for the new guy.

    IMO, that is a very accurate picture of the priority list.

    And I think the underlying point in here is that the Braves will not expect to get 162 games from McFlowers. If the JTR pursuit fails, AntMan will also have to address that. But as I’ve now come to believe, he’s going to make this deal happen. I’m truly beginning to believe that unless some team – the Mets – blinks first and gives up the moon and stars.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Perhaps a 3 way deal can make it happen? I just HATE the thought of seeing a braves guy beat us several times a year

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I am inclined to believe that Austin Riley is the main target for Miami. he checks a lot of boxes for them and next season the Braves will be scratching their heads trying to figure out who to plug into 3rd base. Just saying…

    I can realistically foresee the Braves playing Realmuto 5 times a week and playing BMac once. It worked for the Braves during the Javy Lopez era.

    I cannot blame Kimbrel for attempting to secure his grand kids future. He should be very careful to not sign with the Dodgers for money alone as they will eat him alive with taxes. With that much money at stake, you better have a darn good CPA who is both trustworthy and bonded. The IRS doesn’t care if your accountant stole all your money, you are still on the hook for the taxes.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I also expect that any deal with the Marlins would include Flowers in the return. The Fish will need a catcher and I know one of the ask from the Mets has been Comforto.

    Like

  38. 47 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I can realistically foresee the Braves playing Realmuto 5 times a week and playing BMac once.

    Or he can be Dallas Keuchel’s personal catcher, since they are well acquainted from their time in Houston. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  39. 48 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Still not quite sure why JT is so darned hot….he’s a good hitter, who doesn’t drive in many runs(Didn’t when they had an all star outfield either) who rarely walks, and a very good catcher. Holds the running game of teams down…but, who runs anymore? Is it just because there isn’t a real prospect in the future here?

    Like

  40. 50 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Still not quite sure why JT is so darned hot

    This explains it well, even if albeit from a Mets point of view.

    https://nypost.com/2018/12/13/why-j-t-realmuto-is-worthy-of-all-the-superlatives-youve-heard/

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 51 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I’ll save you a little reading and post the last 2 paragraphs, which summarize it well:

    It does not take much digging to get a load of checkmarks on his leadership and smarts. He was, for example, not part of the Marlins’ pre-series/game scouting meetings. He ran those meetings.

    Put it all together: Huge surplus value, positional scarcity, prime age, two-way effectiveness, high-end athleticism, strong intangibles, and this is why the Mets and many others are working diligently to try to land Realmuto — and why Miami is trying to maximize this trade piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 52 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  43. 53 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    thanks V, I feel….a little better about the situation. His numbers would be better here too, smaller park…….fans in said park.
    but surplus value…bleh 😛

    Like

    • 54 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Not to mention, more guys on base ahead of you normally translates to higher RBI opportunities and thus more RBIs. I think the point being is Realmuto is the best catcher available and would likely flourish even more in a different environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    He’s the best catcher in….a really weak catchers market. Bet Kurt and Tyler beat him, offensively speaking….they did, at least in most numbers…
    JT’s numbers seemed to have improved last year, which seems odd….when you have Yelich, Stanton and…crap the other all stars…should have been an RBI machine…oh well

    Like

  45. 56 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Can you just imagine a lineup that has a top 4 of:

    1- Ronald Acuña, Jr
    2- Josh Donaldson
    3- Freddie Freeman
    4- JT Realmuto

    … and for the purposes of this exercise:

    5- Michael Brantley

    Liked by 2 people

  46. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    So here is why I question batting a player 2nd verse 4th, unless you are planning on being in a lot of one hit games, the net difference in plate appearances is pretty low. I am a much bigger fan of 3 run homers than I am of solo blast… Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Cleveland made a trade yesterday which cleared some salary for 2019 so if I were Braves fans, I would scratch Kluber and Bauer off their wish list. They have no need to trade them now and would be unwise to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    To be perfectly honest, as much as I would like to have Realmuto wearing a Braves uniform, if he goes somewhere else I will not be crushed. I’m pretty much over him. After all, he played for Miami last season and they did not exactly set the world on fire.

    Okay, that was a cheap shot. Yes, I would like the Braves to add him to their line up but we have been talking about him for two seasons now and if Miami thinks the Braves have to have him at the expense of the future, well, I’d pass. ( Texieria anyone)?

    The young arms the Braves currently have are only going to get better as they gain experience and if one or two get hurt (arm or shoulder trouble) at least they have a lot of depth at the position. Who knows if the ones who pull up lame aren’t the ones they were counting on after they traded other prospects away.

    Like I have said before, as much as I would love to have a Mercedes, I like eating regularly better so we all have to make choices and if Riley is so good that Miami wants him then in 2020 he will be just what the doctor ordered for the Braves to man the hot corner. To me he appears to be a more athletic version of Ryan Klesko.

    Great teams are not built on offense alone unless you are talking about fantasy teams. It is why Bobby Cox would play Andrew Jones everyday in center field even when mired in horrible hitting slumps. Also why Heyward is considered a premium ballplayer even if hit bat lets him down on occasion. It is also why I could live with the Braves bring back Markakis for a couple of more years as long as he is not penciled in to bat in the clean up spot.

    The Antman got his power bat in Josh Donaldson. Bring in a solid veteran pitcher and call it a day. The Braves are still building, they are a year ahead of their projected timetable so I can deal with it. The rest of the division is going to be better so it should be a dog fight until the end.

    PS, I still think the best guy taken off the Marlins roster last season was Christian Yelich and he was had for a lot less than a lot of the other guys and why Jeter only has one chip left to play so he knows it has to count.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    And upon further review, I don’t know of any players out their right now who would command a mother lode of prospects other than Realmuto and either of the two pitchers currently under contract with Cleveland. With Yonder Alonso being traded to the White Sox, their payroll seems perfectly capable of retaining the services of Kluber and Bauer so move along folks, nothing to see here.

    I now feel fairly certain they will talk with the Yankees about taking Sonny Gray off their hands for some not so highly ranked prospects. While they would still be decent prospects, they won’t be in the Braves top 15 and most likely still at the A level so roster space will not have to be cleared.

    I am also of the mind that if the Braves can move Julio they will do it but they might also want to see if their new pitching coach can resurrect Tehran’s fortunes. If Julio does not have to face Bryce Harper 60 at-bats a year, his ERA could well drop a full run for the season. Harper has owned Julio and both players know it….

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Mets have a two-year deal with catcher Wilson Ramos, source confirms to Yahoo Sports. First with the agreement was @DaniAlvarez_16. Another club out of the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes.

    Another team out of the Realmuto sweepstakes… One has to wonder who will blink first?

    Liked by 2 people

  51. 63 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    1- Ronald Acuña, Jr
    2- Josh Donaldson
    3- Freddie Freeman
    4- JT Realmuto

    … and for the purposes of this exercise:

    looks good, but I would like to see

    1- Ozzie
    2 -Ronald Acuña, Jr
    3- Freddie Freeman
    4- Josh Donaldson
    5 – JT Realmuto
    6- Michael Brantley or Nick M.

    I know, Ozzie would have to walk a bit for that to happen…

    Liked by 2 people

  52. 64 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    I know, Ozzie would have to walk a bit for that to happen

    Well, if we are going to a perfect world, then how about:

    1- Ozzie
    2- RAJ
    3- Freddie
    4- JD
    5- Bryce Harper
    6- Buster Posey
    7- Ender Inciarte
    8- Dansby Swanson

    Hey… a guy can dream, can’t he?

    Liked by 3 people

  53. 65 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2018 at 9:12 am

    OK… so we are out of the JTR derby. It was becoming a circus anyway. Actually, it had already become a circus. Miami had one big card to play, and it was a good one. Still, they managed to completely screw it up.

    Well… ok.

    So I have 2 comments and I’ll move on from the sideshow.

    First, I still don’t believe the Braves are completely out of it. I won’t until we either address the catching situation further (I cannot believe that AntMan will go into 2019 with uncertainty behind the plate, and looking at the current tandem completely objectively, we don’t have 162 games worth of catching), or spend the prospect capital on a pitcher. And once the incompetent Marlins re-adjust their demands – which they will have to do at some point as they cannot go into the season with JTR now – the Braves will probably be back in the conversation again.

    Second, and related to the first point, the Mets did address their situation with finality. Thus, they are 100% out of the JTR extravaganza. And that severely damages what MIA was foolishly trying to accomplish. Now that the Fish no longer have the Braves and Mets around to wishfully bid against each other, they are left with Cincinnati and San Diego? Maybe Tampa? If this was football, it would be an egregious fumble.

    Like

  54. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Yep, I am of the opinion the Braves still have an offer on the table and until they make a move to shore up their erstwhile catching tandum, they are still in the game or until those same prospects are used on pitching or an outfielder. At this point, Austin Riley (the best position player the Braves have in their top ten) is not really blocked but every long term player added makes it harder for him too find playing time barring an injury.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Consider the odds, between the 30 major league teams, there are 750 players on the everyday roster. Roughly half of those are pitchers and half of those are starting pitchers. That’s about 190 starting pitchers, of those only about 10 are considered true aces. Is there any wonder why teams are loath to trade really promising arms? It is like buy lottery tickets and then trading them away for half price. While traded arms seldom become Aces, every so often one turns out to be an Adam Wainwright , John Smoltz or Noah Syndegard. It takes a brave GM to pull the trigger to keep the bird in the hand for the two in the bush.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 70 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Gil, this Craig Mish fellow in Miami continues to stand by his conviction that the Braves are still leading the derby, especially now that the Mets are officially out. In my very humble opinion, the last exchange between Thoppy and MIA probably went something like this:

    MIA: Hi, Alex. Ready to cave and give us Riley?

    Thop: My offer of Newcomb, Flowers and Gohara is still on the table. You can’t have Riley. Period. I’m heading out to Denver. If you change your mind, you have my number. If you get a better offer, you should take it.

    And that’s where it stands.

    Thus, Bowman and Mish are likely both right… Thoppy hasn’t talked to MIA in several days, yet they are still the favorite to land him.

    Like

  57. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

    One more comment and I will give it a rest, Jeter should take a look around and realize the difference in keeping too tight a hold on Realmuto verses the lose in value in hanging onto him past his real value. Ask the Orioles how much more they could have got for Machado if they had traded him two years ago vs a deadline trade last season.

    I don’t blame the Marlins for trying to get the most they can for their last remaining trade piece but I cannot blame others for not wanting to overpay.

    Like

  58. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

    And to be sure, the three players you named would be solid adds for Miami and are about the right price for a player who only is guaranteed to stay for two years.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 73 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    First, I still don’t believe the Braves are completely out of it.
    V, I bet you are right, but tell the media that, and Miami sweats a bit…

    Thop: My offer of Newcomb, Flowers and Gohara is still on the table.
    Miami would be foolish to turn down that deal…of course, they are pretty foolish, aren’t they. 2 young ,cheap, hard throwing lefties that have the potential to win 15 games a year, for years to come, and be thorns in the side of the braves for many a year.
    I wonder if they would want 2 established guys though, say Newcomb and Camargo?

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 74 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I would think Thoppy would be in at that price point. I’m interested in how this will shake out…

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 5:17 am

    To be honest, I have no clue as to who or what Thoppy is planing on doing pursuing at this point….

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 77 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 8:09 am

    But here’s what I do know…

    Michael Brantley was supposedly the top target (according to many) to replace Nick in RF. Cutch was supposedly the fallback. Again though, that was according to observers… not Thoppy himself. And now both are off the table. So what now?

    The AntMan prides himself on being keeping his dealings completely under wraps. And it would appear that his office is doing a stellar job at remaining the stealthiest in baseball. The only hints we’ve gotten at all this winter have come from other teams leaking info… likely in hopes of gaining some leverage through the press, i.e. JTR situation.

    I suppose we can suppose all we want. We aren’t going to know whats happening until it’s happening.

    Like

  63. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Well, I would say things are looking brighter for Nick Markakis… Just saying…

    Liked by 2 people

  64. 79 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I believe that if Thoppy were of a mind to wait it out and bring Nick back, he’d just go ahead and bring Nick back. I honestly believe Nick is the last fallback option.

    IMO, Brantley was the guy they favored in FA and likely at about the price point that he agreed to with HOU. But I really believe that Thop prefers the trade route over FA… especially now that they appear – here I go supposing again – to have moved away from JTR and now that Kluber is pretty much off the market. He;s gonna spend the prospect capital now. ANd it only makes sense to spend it now, while it’s pretty much at its peak value.

    I believe he’s working on acquiring an OF in trade.

    The obvious candidates come from LAD, SDP and TEX.

    The Dodgers obviously would prefer to trade Yasiel Puig over Joc Pederson, but Thoppy has all the inside connections there and is probably working them all to get an inside track on Pederson. But even if he can’t get them to budge on Joc, is Puig a bad candidate? After all, he’s a super athletic guy that at times can be the most dangerous hitter in the game. He’s a good baserunner and a superior defender. The only downside is that he does being a little bit of ‘tude, but not necessarily bad ‘tude. Flair, as they say. He profiles into the cleanup spot perfectly. And he’s only under contract for 1 more year at a very reasonable $11M. LAD isn’t exactly trying to “dump” Puig, but they do have an excess of OF and would like to move one… preferably Puig. So the prospect cost would probably not be very high.

    We’ve also mentioned the Rangers and their pair of slugging OF’s Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo. TEX is desperate for pitching and seems another obvious trade partner. This week another name has emerged in Jurickson Profar, a former top prospect himself who hasn’t found a position in Arlington. Profar came up as a 2B and has played all over the IF, and does have about 210 ML innings in LF. He’d certainly be a better fielder than Mazara. He reminds me a little of Johan Camargo with more power. I think the way versatility is being favored these days he’d be a desirable pickup. Last year the SH Profar slashed .254/.335/.458 with 20 HRs and 10 steals. I’ll take any one of the three. Profar is probably the most complete player, but Gallo or Mazara would give you a ton of power.

    And let’s not forget San Diego. They also are desperate for pitching and have a surplus of corner OF’s. There’s 21-year-old Franmil Reyes, the typical slugger: major power and alot of swing-and-miss. And he’s under team control until 2025. He’d require a haul in prospects, though. Then there’s Wil Myers, who is also big power, big strikeouts. The former 3B is not the smoothest fielder, but is passable. He’s also under contract for $22.5M per year from 2020-2022, but only $5.5M in 2019, so he’d easily fit the payroll with JD’s 1-year commitment. He’d cost the least in prospect for obvious reasons. Hunter Renfroe’s name has come up alot, but it would seem that the Pads are loathe to let him go unless blown away by an offer.

    I say all this to simply state that I think this is the direction Thoppy is going. I think Nick’s time here is done or he’d already be wrapped up and under the tree. And I think the fact that Thop wasn’t in at all on Brantley at 2 years/$32M is an indication that a trade is coming. And if I were pinned down to make a guess, I’d say we might want to warm up to a certain animated Cuban.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 9:51 am

    One man’s clown is another man’s entertainer.

    On that note, if you think RAJ and Ozzie Albies are a bit the top now, adding Puig would turn the Braves bench into a zoo…. Not a bad think if you like zoos…. especially the monkey house…

    Liked by 1 person

  66. 81 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I think this is a key point that I admittedly have sort of glossed over. And it’s a very good point.

    Like

  67. 82 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:03 am

    if you think RAJ and Ozzie Albies are a bit the top now, adding Puig would turn the Braves bench into a zoo

    I personally don’t think RAJ or Ozzie are over the top. I actually enjoy their youthful zeal with alot, yes ALOT of envy. And I do believe that Puig has toned it down some since his rookie year that was truly over the top. If the Braves don’t think Puig would make for a good clubhouse fit, they won’t consider him. They’ve already proven that with their stated stances on Greinke and Bauer. That aside, Puig’s talent is certainly not questionable. I think he’d be a great fit in the lineup and on the field. And there’s a little part of me that would love to see him and Mac on the same team. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • 83 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Don’t get me wrong, not saying I would mind the zoo atmosphere, I think it would living things up a bit but to be sure, if Snit had hair, it would be a bit grayer by season’s end…

      Liked by 3 people

  68. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Vee, I fully understand the Braves position to not spend money foolishly but we were not the ones who said the Braves would not let money stand in the way of signing some of the more high profile players entering into free agency.

    With their alluding to being able to spend money to improve the team and bring in high profile talent they gave the impression that even Bryce Harper was not off the table but so far all we have heard is poor mouthing. That is the frustrating part.

    The Braves are going to do what they are going to do but if you always present yourself as a poor relation, few in the family willing open their doors to you. If you are going to be a winner, act like a winner…

    It brings to mind this old story about Florenz Ziegfeld of Ziegfeld’s Follies. When he directed his wardrobe person to make sure the girls all had silk underwear. When he was asked why, no one would ever see them or know they were silk his reply was, “the girls will know”… My point is sometimes you have to go that extra mile and do the little things as well as the big so the “fans will know”….

    Liked by 2 people

    • 85 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:50 am

      I’m not sure that I’ve heard them say that they “can’t” afford anyone, rather that they intend to spend wisely. In fact, Derek Schiller went on record saying that Liberty Media can spend whatever amount they deem appropriate without limit. (Of course, that’s entirely up to them to decide.)

      Spending wisely means you don’t give BJ Upton a 5 yr/$72.5M deal when his numbers are trending downward. As I recall, I was quite excited over that signing… because we did something big. I’ll admit that today. But it was obviously a dumb move. Giving Nathan Eovaldi 4 yrs/$62.5M is exciting, but dumb given that he has already had 2 TJ surgeries. And as much as I like Craig Kimbrel, if somebody gives him the 6 year 6 figure deal he’s seeking, it’ll be a dumb move.

      So as we’ve all cautioned many times, the off season is not even half over. Thus far, only 16 of MLBTR’s Top 50 FA’s have signed or agreed to deals. There is still alot of time to get something done in both FA and trades. If we get into January and haven’t addressed any additional needs, then I’ll get antsy (no pun intended). But until then, I’m sitting patiently… well, scouring the media constantly, but patiently doing so.

      Like

  69. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 10:16 am

    And of course they could perfect the “bat flip” to an art form….

    Liked by 2 people

  70. 87 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:17 am

    And speaking of RAJ, he turns 21 today. Happy Birthday El Abusador!!

    Liked by 1 person

  71. 88 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:26 am

    SiriusXM’s sports guy and Marlins insider Craig Mish has been conspicuously quiet regarding Realmuto in the last couple of days since the Braves were “counted out” of the derby in the press. He does still have the following tweet pinned to the top of his Twitter feed, though. It hasn’t changed since the Mets acquired Wilson Ramos.

    I gotta give him credit… he’s sticking to his guns.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 10:48 am

    My guess is he is still waiting for someone to change his mind, after all, other than having BMac return for 2019, does anyone realistically believe he and Flow will stay health enough to catch 162 games plus in 2019?

    BMac is a bench piece/part time pitching coach/clubhouse guru whom the Braves are only paying $2MM a year who can also catch on occasion.

    Like

  73. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 10:53 am

    While BMac is officially a catcher, he is more likely a left handed power bat who can catch enough to justify his signing especially at only the bargain price of $2MM. Think about it, he is being paid a lot less than Big City is in Washington and Adams would not played that much at first base with Freddie Freeman holding down the position.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 91 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:57 am

    other than having BMac return for 2019, does anyone realistically believe he and Flow will stay health enough to catch 162 games plus in 2019?

    I don’t.

    BMac is a bench piece/part time pitching coach/clubhouse guru whom the Braves are only paying $2MM a year who can also catch on occasion.

    I believe that to be exactly right. I think they gave Flow his extension with the thought he’d be a more conventional backup. And I think the saw an opportunity to reunite with Mac and jumped on it, rendering Flow a bit redundant. But they can’t state that publicly. I think they really want a true starting catcher that will given them 120 or so games behind the dish. Will they get one? Uh… not so sure about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. 92 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 11:04 am

    … all of which justifies the forgotten signing of the offensively challenged but defensively solid Raffy Lopez to a deal back in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. 93 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 11:05 am

    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 94 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I’d take Puig long before someone like Manny B.E. He’s a hot dog…and gets a bit too close to some guy’s faces (he has kissed A LOT of Dodgers 😉 ) but he doesn’t play dirty.
    but…but….have you noticed he for some reason hasn’t been able to hit lefties the last 2 seasons? How odd is that? Did the dodgers get into his head by not playing him against lefties, so he tried too hard against them?

    And for the catchers….I do think to guys in their mid 30s can catch 70-80 games each. Tech is forever getting better surgery wise, they both should be in awesome shape (well, TFlow is at least) they don’t have to play on astroturf in Philly, St. Louis, etc, etc…IF you could have a 3rd catcher on the roster (How come the unions don’t push for a 26th man roster?) man what a difference that would make, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

  78. 95 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Awesome roster pic, CL. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  79. 96 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting observation on the Brantley signing in HOU:

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 97 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Bowman makes a few key points this afternoon also:

    The Braves have the financial means to match the average annual value given to McCutchen ($16.7 million) and Brantley ($16 million). But in relation to these two outfielders, there was a sense the Braves could gain better value by addressing each of their remaining needs: a front-line starter, bullpen depth and, of course, an outfielder.

    Although the Braves have not publicly indicated their projected 2019 payroll, they have said it will increase to the point they will no longer be in MLB’s bottom third. Even after signing Josh Donaldson ($23 million) and Brian McCann ($2 million) to one-year deals, it’s believed they still have at least $30 million left to spend. Braves chairman Terry McGuirk recently responded to Donaldson’s signing by saying the team has the financial means to make another similar short-term investment.

    Anthopoulos [could] allocate up to $10 million of his remaining funds toward moves that could be made to upgrade the roster during the 2019 season.

    Like

    • 98 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      … and it’s still important to remember that any move to acquire a starting pitcher could easily facilitate a corresponding move to trade away Julio Teheran and his $11M commitment.

      Like

  81. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Okay, enough of this, the Braves are going to do what the Braves are going to do. I am confident they will have three outfielders playing. I just would like for it to be 3 really really good outfielders. What I don’t want to hear is “they were asking too much money” … Folks, I think we have gotten a pretty good idea of the market price by now. While Thoppy does not have to shop at Nordstrums, I don’t think the Braves have to be confined to the flea markets either.

    Maybe AA secret plan is to resurrect Adam Duvall.

    Liked by 2 people

  82. 101 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Mr. Mish has updated his percentages. He’s hanging on like a pit bull…

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 102 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Makes you go “hmmmmm…”

    Liked by 2 people

  84. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Yes, Nick gets no respect from most Braves fans, Ender is hoping Nick returns so he won’t be the one named as the player most likely to be traded.

    So, the real answer lies in the evaluations done on every player which reveals two very important things: 1) bat speed 2) eye sight To me, if the trend is downward on either of those two things then you take a pass because both are critical for success by a major league hitter. Think Jason Werth in his final season with the Nats….

    I am interested in seeing what kind of shape Adam Duval shows up in the spring and if the Braves hitting coaches can get him turned around. I know that is the type of impact signing we are hoping for but their are lots of reasons for a huge drop off in production by a player like Duval. The Braves did not exactly drop him when they had the chance so there must be something the boys in the Stats department saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 104 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2018 at 7:40 am

    And I am over the Braves missing out on Michael Brantley. We don’t know that the Braves didn’t make a serious run at him. Brantley might have just felt more comfortable staying in the AL and the Astros aren’t exactly chopped liver. So there is that.

    Here is my take on the state of the Braves line up. If the Braves are able to get Realmuto, they can go for a more defensive minded outfielder. Certainly the need for a Bryce Harper is greatly diminished. You need big bats in your line up but you don’t need all big bats in your line up. There is always room for a light hitting middle infielder if that is your need.

    Like

  86. 105 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2018 at 8:12 am

    — Although the Braves have not publicly indicated their projected 2019 payroll, they have said it will increase to the point they will no longer be in MLB’s bottom third. Even after signing Josh Donaldson ($23 million) and Brian McCann ($2 million) to one-year deals, it’s believed they still have at least $30 million left to spend. Braves chairman Terry McGuirk recently responded to Donaldson’s signing by saying the team has the financial means to make another similar short-term investment.

    — Anthopoulos [could] allocate up to $10 million of his remaining funds toward moves that could be made to upgrade the roster during the 2019 season

    I guess I’m just tired this AM….one part of this article says it’s believedf they have at least 30 mil to spend. then that Thoppy could allocate up to 10 Mil of his remaining funds to upgrade the roster during the season. Huh? They could spend 20 mil now, then 10 mil during the season? much confuzzlement…

    of course if this money isn’t available are they going to say, this moola isn’t available? or just say, couldn’t find the right player , it wasn’t a money issue?

    Like

  87. 106 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2018 at 9:20 am

    If the Braves are able to get Realmuto, they can go for a more defensive minded outfielder.

    If by some Christmas miracle they are able to acquire JTR, then we’ll probably see Nick back in RF for another year… with an option. And TBH, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My gut says no JTR, though. I’m still feeling an OF trade.

    Last observations on Michael Brantley… While JD suffered a serious injury and missed significant time last season, Brantley has missed significant time in each of the last 3 seasons. In my mind, that’s very different. Recurring leg injuries always seem to, ya know… recur? Also, on a tweet welcoming him to the Astros, a new teammate hashtagged him “Professional Hitter”. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Maybe a professional hitter in the clubhouse is truly worth 2 in the opposing dugout. I dunno… I’m just spitballin’…

    Like

  88. 107 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Good for TP, he was truly one of the most important acquisitions made by the Braves which led to the change in fortunes in the ’90s . Duffy on the other hand preceded my Braves fandom by a few decades. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  90. 109 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Interesting that the Tribe continue to talk about Kluber even though they got their payroll relief by sending Yonder Alonzo to the Pale Hose. Is it notable that the Braves are not listed? Nah. Based on what I’ve seen over the last 2 weeks especially, I think these writer dudes just make half their tweets up anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 110 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    That would be Cincy’s #’s 1 & 2 prospects, both OF’s. I have to think it’s Stenzel OR Trammell, not both. Both would be insane. But the real point here is that they need OF’s really badly. And that’s probably why JPM listed the teams he did… they are known to want pitching and have OF’s. I suppose the Braves are kind of the opposite. It could also impact how the Braves make a deal for an OF as the same teams are probably also in dialogue with Thoppy about our young pitching… specifically LAD and maybe even MIL.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Those are two pretty highly ranked rookies.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Matt Harvey has a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels that could be worth up to $14 million with performance bonuses, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Deal is pending a physical. @Feinsand was first with the news.

    I was wondering about where Harvey would end up. I guess he was too expensive for AA to take a run at.

    Liked by 2 people

  94. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo December 20, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I predict………………………there will be little news between now and the start of 2019 😛

    Like

    • 114 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2018 at 10:39 am

      A fairly safe prediction methinks Ber. we the Christmas and New Years upon us, most people are not thinking about business, just vacations somewhere. They will either be skiing or at a beach somewhere. Just they way it works out for the moneyed class.

      Liked by 1 person

  95. 115 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I guess he was too expensive for AA to make a run at.

    Nope. Too flaky and too volatile. Not a good fit in alot of clubhouses, especially a young one.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 116 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 10:38 am

    It’s kind of easy to take shots at Thoppy right now since others are making moves and he’s quiet. Let’s not forget he did strike big and strike early. Would we feel differently if he signed JD this week instead of last month?

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 118 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Like

  98. 119 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Like

  99. 120 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 121 Vox O'Reasoñ December 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    A thumb to the eye…

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Good for Anibal, deal is reported for two years for $19MM. Can’t blame him for signing with the Nats.

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 123 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Another one off the board as Profar goes to OAK. Still, wasn’t a perfect fit. I’ll take Mazara from them, thanks.

    Like

  103. 124 Carolina Lady December 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  104. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Cute stuff

    Liked by 2 people

  105. 126 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Dang!!

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 127 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Like

  107. 128 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    That, in effect, takes LAD out of any trade scenario with the Braves…

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 130 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Like

  109. 131 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Like

  110. 132 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Like

  111. 133 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Well, I would not be at all surprised to see one of the two outfielder’s flipped to another team.

    I am sure the Dodgers are eating a lot of payroll.

    Like

  112. 135 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Matt Kemp gets to crush baseballs in The Great American Smallpark. Yowser…

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    It would not make sense for the Reds to make that trade otherwise.

    Like

  114. 137 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    It would not make sense for the Reds to make that trade otherwise.

    Homer Bailey was their version of Julio Teheran except much much worse. Last season he won exactly 1 game in 20 starts with a 6.09 ERA, and he’s due $23M this year with a $25M team option next year that contains a $5M buyout.

    Anything to get rid of Homer Bailey made sense.

    And in return, they get 2 everyday OF’s that can crush baseballs, especially in the little league park, as well as a very useful and versatile lefty pitcher plus another ML reserve.

    The big takeaway from this is that the money LAD is saving will allow them to sign Bryce Harper. That will happen now. That was the entire focus of the trade from their standpoint. Bailey will never suit up for the Dodgers. He’ll simply be released in much the same way Adrian Gonzalez was by the Braves last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Just as an aside, after playing in the bright lights of the left coast, I suspect Cincy is going to be a heck of a culture shock for Puig.

    Liked by 3 people

  116. 140 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Like

  117. 141 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Harper on the other hand will be going home if he signs with LA. Just a short hop to Vegas from Hollywood…

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 142 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    And for Alex Wood… he goes from being the 6th man in a 5 man rotation in LA to the #1 starter in Cincy.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 143 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    And just like that the Reds have put together a pretty formidable lineup. Now if they can just round up a little more pitching…

    Like

  120. 144 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    ATL’s possible OF trade partners are dwindling. Looks like TEX and MIL, and possibly SDP remain… likely in that order.

    Well, that is unless Thoppy can make Jerry Dipoto listen on Mitch Hanigan.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that maybe the Braves are a little handcuffed while trying to get a workable scenario with Miami?

    Ummm… Santa?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 145 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Yes, that could be possible, the Braves could be faced with a short term overpay but there was no way they would pay Kemp $22MM. The going rate for free agent outfielders of lesser renown seems to me to be between $16MM and $22MM. To think they are going to get by for less is a pipe dream.

      Like

  121. 146 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    And speaking of Miami, with Cincy making this deal, taking on payroll and including prospects going to LA, they may have in essence taken themselves out of the JTR derby.

    Liked by 1 person

  122. 147 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    So an open spot or Bryce still isn’t wide open. Yet.

    Rosenthal also hinted earlier that the Dodgers might still need to clear a bit more payroll space for Bryce, too, as they are still responsible for Bailey’s $23M for 2019 plus $5M buyout for next.

    I sure wouldn’t mind Joc Pederson’s LH power in our lineup.

    Like

  123. 148 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    You have got to be kidding me…

    Like

  124. 150 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  125. 151 berigan2electricboogaloo December 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I predict………………………there will be little news between now and the start of 2019

    Does Berigan get a prophecy star? No? 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  126. 156 Carolina Lady December 24, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Sending you Christmas greetings and wishing each of you has a blessed and joyful Christmas celebration!

    Liked by 2 people

  127. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville December 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Jose Martinez was the Cardinals’ second-best hitter in 2018, he has a .309/.372/.478 slash line over 915 career MLB plate appearances, and he isn’t eligible to hit free agency until after the 2022 season. On most clubs, Martinez would be considered a valuable building block — in St. Louis, he has already become an afterthought.

    Well, the Braves could use a corner outfielder with a solid bat….

    Liked by 2 people

  128. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Merry Christmas everyone. I hope everyone has a great day.

    Liked by 3 people

  129. 159 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas too!

    Liked by 3 people

  130. 160 Vox O'Reasoñ December 25, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Merry Christmas all!!

    Liked by 3 people

  131. 161 berigan2electricboogaloo December 26, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Jose Martinez was the Cardinals’ second-best hitter in 2018, he has a .309/.372/.478 slash line over 915 career MLB plate appearances, and he isn’t eligible to hit free agency until after the 2022 season. On most clubs, Martinez would be considered a valuable building block — in St. Louis, he has already become an afterthought.

    Well, the Braves could use a corner outfielder with a solid bat….

    Gil, I hear he’s terrible in the outfield…but, you hear a lot of things. How good can anyone be that has only recently started playing a position. There is a reason baseball folks put guys at one position. Yes, there are guys that can play multiple positions with ease. But, we still see that as a bonus these days, as many players can’t. \
    Some guys just need the reps to get better. The dude just flat out rakes. But doesn’t have much power. Nick M, but 5 years younger, and a bit better hitter average wise.

    Like

  132. 163 Vox O'Reasoñ December 26, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Jose Martinez was still in high-A in the Braves system at 25. He’s already 30 and doesn’t field particularly well at any position. For my personal preference, I think if I’m gonna take a poor fielder I’d rather have Nick Castellanos.

    But if we are talking true preference, both of these two bat RH and the lineup really needs a LH bat… like Joc Pederson. 🙂

    Like

  133. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Just throwing names out there Vee…

    The longer we go, the more I am inclined to believe the Braves will go with an internal solution pending spring training outcomes.

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 165 Vox O'Reasoñ December 26, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Nah. Christmas is barely over. Someone will toss another log in the fire and the ol’ stove’ll be smokin’ hot again.

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 166 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Hmmm… I have to think for a team rich in pitching prospects, but poor in catching, it should be JTR.

    Like

  136. 167 berigan2electricboogaloo December 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Here is a guy I completely forgot about…Adam Jones. Doesn’t walk but before last year, he had 7 straight 25 + home run seasons. Last year, only 15, but 35 doubles…
    He’s 33

    Like

  137. 168 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Yes Ber, Adam Jones had a bit of a down year last season but he also did not have much protection in the line up. I don’t think his defense has fallen off at all. I know he turned down a trade to the Nationals last season but who knows the whys and how fors on that.

    Vee, that is the current $64,000 question. Either or both… I suspect the Braves are in on both with similar players being offered and the Braves could pull back on one if the Indians or Marlins accept an offer but there are a lot of teams making a run at Kluber and I suspect a like number for Realmuto but the market for Realmuto is getting thinner.

    To be sure, both the Mets and the Nationals have improved their pitching depth this winter but the Braves are the wild card team when it comes to pitching. The only question is how durable all those young arms can be. Could it be we will no longer be looking at pitchers who typically toss 200 plus innings a season but now 150 will become the norm?

    Liked by 1 person

  138. 169 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I believe in balance. That’s why my Christmas list has Joc Pederson as item #1. Of course, it is just a wish list…

    Like

  139. 170 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 11:20 am

    I personally believe AA is waiting for the rest of the suitors to fall away and for the price tag on JTR to come back to reality. And when it finally does happen, the Braves will have the best offer on the table. One that actually makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  140. 171 berigan2electricboogaloo December 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    V, I will grant you Peterson has potential…but….his career B.A. is .228. .248, .321 in 2018. He lead off a lot last year, which explains the 25 HR’s and only 56 RBI’s but with risp, he only hit 2 HR’s drove in 27, and hit .217. Also, if folks wouldn’t give Matt Adams a chance against lefties…. in 57 ab’s he only hit .170 against them last year. so, he’s a platoon guy, unless they give him a chance. And, this is weird, never played in RF last year. I am sure he can play there . He also hit 10 of his 25 HR’s in June. One positive, he hit .275 on the road

    Like

    • 172 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      never played in RF last year

      Doesn’t have to. RAJ can handle RF just fine.

      In my gut – the ol’ infamous gut – I don’t see it happening anyway. I’d just like to have a real power threat from that side of the plate.

      I honestly cannot get a handle on which way AA is looking to fill the OF void. Of course, he prefers it that way. Sneaky son of a gun…

      Liked by 1 person

  141. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Yes Ber, they all have their warts don’t they? One has to wonder what was the cause of the fall off for Duval. Nagging injury? Being exposed? Fatigue? A hitch in his swing? Failure to make adjustments? Thinking too much? Given the nature of a major league hitter, I am incline to believe it is the latter, after all, he has shown he is a gold glove caliber fielder in the past. One would have to believe spring training will be a very big tell for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Vee, to be sure, I am of the mind that Jeter is looking for a Texiera type haul for Realmuto. Where he screwed up was letting Yelich go so cheap. Stanton was a salary dump plain and simple and to be frank, I still look for the Yankees to try and trade away Gilcarlos at some point.

    Like

  143. 175 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I am of the mind that Jeter is looking for a Texiera type haul for Realmuto.

    No doubt. But he’s not gonna get what he thinks he should be getting. He might have been a great baseball player, but that doesn’t make him a good businessman. He has handled this ham-handedly from the very beginning. Once JTR let it be known that he would not sign any extension in MIA, Jeter was behind the 8-ball. But instead of maximizing his return quickly, he got greedy and tried to put the squeeze on everyone else. Problem is, all 29 other GMs – including the former player agent – knows that you have very little leverage with an expiring asset.

    At some point, and probably in the next 2 weeks, Jeter is going to look out at the landscape of things and realize he doesn’t have 16 teams bidding up on his catcher. He’ll have about 2 remaining. And at that point he’ll have to simply take the best offer he has sitting in front of him.

    And it won’t include Kyle Tucker. Forrest Whitley, Mike Soroka or Ozzie Albies. (But it might include Sean Newcomb.)

    Liked by 1 person

  144. 176 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I have alot of confidence that Thoppy knows what he’s doing in crafting the 2019 roster. I also am confident that the long stretch of quiet does not mean a long stretch of inactivity… just a well-known sense of stealth.

    My one concern is that he is overplaying his hand in waiting out JTR, and letting some other needs go unanswered. Not that he doesn’t intend to answer them, but it almost seems like the JTR deal must come first with the rest to follow like dominoes. And thus it’s all being held up. That doesn’t disregard JD and Mac, but there are other needs… like RF and a veteran starter.

    But I’m just a guy sitting behind a keyboard in the foothills of the beautiful N GA mountains. What do I know?

    Liked by 2 people

  145. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    As we all are Vee, except I am not in the foothills of the Georgia mountains but we all have to be somewhere until we are not…

    We are not alone in playing where is Realmuto or Kluber or Bumgardner or any of a ssortment of good players still on the market. I think we all would like to have the trade market be in the rear view mirror so we have one less unknown to deal with.

    I’m hoping all of the Braves are getting back to work now that the Holidays are drawing to a close, we have seen that those who put things off until spring training will be behind the eight ball from the get go. Now that is not to mean they should wear themselves out, just stay in baseball shape so they are not starting from square one in February.

    Liked by 2 people

  146. 178 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    We are not alone in playing where is Realmuto or Kluber or Bumgardner or any of assortment of good players still on the market.

    Prediction? I see JTR coming here, I see Kluber in LAD, I see Bumgarner staying put until the July deadline, I see Manny in pinstripes, and I see Bryce in historic Wrigley Field… which will start a whole new cascade of rumors when they have to dump some current payroll to accommodate Harper.

    Like

  147. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    I would not be opposed to JHey returning to the Braves for a reduced rate, no team is going to take on his inflated salary but methinks half price would be a good deal for both the Cubs and the Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 180 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      For the right price, I could live with him too. His LH bat fits, and a return home- and Kevin Seitzer – might help. At worst he could pair with Adam Duvall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 181 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm

        This was suggested by Alan Carpenter, Tomahawk Take:

        Braves get Heyward and catcher Willson Contreras, the latter of which is not even arbitration-eligible yet. Cubs get Tyler Flowers, which is a wash offensively for them.
        Cubs still have former Brave Victor Caratini to catch with Flowers
        Net salary swap is ~$13+ million more for Atlanta; Cubs that much less.
        Sets up a possible future catching tandem of Contreras and Contreras once the younger brother reaches the majors.

        Like

  148. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Kluber to the Dodgers…. The rich get richer don’t they? Still, Kershaw is no longer the unbeatable guy he has been in the past.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why the Indians would want to part with their best pitcher. They cannot be that destitute.

    Liked by 1 person

  149. 184 berigan2electricboogaloo December 28, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Gil, I am confuzzled….full of confuzzlement…I can’t find info that Kluber has been traded to Dodgers.

    Like

  150. 185 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I did not say he was, sorry by I guess my post was confusing. Talking heads were predicting Kluber would be traded to the Dodgers, Harper would sign with the Cubs. I will be more careful in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 186 Vox O'Reasoñ December 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I’m not sure whether to gasp or laugh.

    Like

  152. 187 Vox O'Reasoñ December 30, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Liked by 1 person

  153. 188 Vox O'Reasoñ December 31, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Bowman advocates patience for fans and caution for the Braves, noting:

    In some ways, it feels like the time is right for the Braves to use their prospect and financial resources to strike a big deal. But if that big deal is not the right deal, you run the risk of looking at it 14 years later and wondering if winning that one additional division title with J.D. Drew was worth sacrificing possibly a decade-plus worth of Adam Wainwright’s value.

    Ouch. He had to go there…

    I look forward to a whole year, or at least a major portion of the year, of Mike Soroka. He’s the real deal, folks.

    Liked by 2 people

  154. 189 Vox O'Reasoñ December 31, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    More Bowman:

    If Craig Kimbrel’s market drops to the point where he is willing to accept a three-year deal, the Braves may entertain a reunion if they still have the funds necessary to pay the closer who will likely receive a yearly salary of at least $18 million.

    IMO, it’s too much for a closer. In this day of pitch counts and multi-inning relievers, the closer per se is a relatively lesser commodity. And often times, getting through the toughest part of the lineup late happens in the 7th or 8th… not always the 9th. To me, it’s more important to have a complete bullpen, not just one dominant guy that might not even get up in the 9th because the team lost the lead in the 7th or 8th. Given last year’s emergence of Chad Sobotka, Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler, added to AJ Minter and Shane Carle, plus the likely presence of swing guys like Max Fried or possibly Luiz Gohara, I don’t see the need to shell out that much for Kimbrel, as much as I love the guy. I’d prefer to make a lesser investment in a veteran like David Robertson or Adam Ottavino. (And I didn’t forget about Viz… I just don’t find him dependable.)

    Like

  155. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Yes Vee, there is always that… A cautionary tale if there ever was one. The same could be true of the Texeria trade with Texas. I’m sure the Marlins want Riley, Soroka, Pache and Acuna… oh, and Flowers as a throw in… The Braves have not yet seen enough of any of these kids to know their full potential. There is always an element of luck involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  156. 192 Vox O'Reasoñ December 31, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Another guy to not sleep on is youngster Jacob Webb, whom the Braves chose to protect from this year’s Rule 5 draft. He’s a guy that could be in ATL sooner than later as a late inning setup guy.

    The hard throwing 25-year-old RH appeared in 21 games for AA Mississippi before being bumped to AAA Gwinnett for 30 more.

    The poop:

    Webb was an infielder at tiny Tabor College, an NAIA program in Kansas, when a lack of production moved him to the mound full-time. He became Tabor’s ace and landed in the 18th round of the 2014 Draft, the first time any player from that program had been drafted. After a solid debut that summer, he needed Tommy John surgery in 2015, and when he returned in 2016, he moved into the bullpen where, after shaking off the rust, he’s been able to move quickly, reaching Triple-A in 2018.

    Webb is now a prototypical two-pitch power pitcher. A fastball that sat in the low 90s back during his Tabor days is now comfortably up in the 95-96 mph range in shorter stints with a sneaky quick arm, which adds deception. His slider can be a little inconsistent, but when it’s on, it shows very good depth. He misses a ton of bats, but command has been an issue from time to time, though he improved in that regard a bit in 2018.

    His power stuff means he doesn’t have to have pinpoint command. He’s definitely put himself on the radar as a viable bullpen piece for the big league staff with how he’s returned from that 2015 elbow surgery. He’s closed games in the Minors, but his ceiling is probably as a setup man in Atlanta.

    It’s good to have alot of options. I’d still like to add a veteran for the 9th inning, but not at $18M.

    Cody Allen is still available, and for probably for about 2 years / $8M per year. I can live with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  157. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    (And I didn’t forget about Viz… I just don’t find him dependable.)

    Viz’s reliability is totally dependent on his shoulder being right. Of course that could be true for 99% of all pitchers in baseball.

    I think the Braves will make their play prior to the start of spring training. If not, well, I guess we will just have to wait and see.

    Liked by 2 people

  158. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I wonder if AA has ulcers from worrying about this stuff everyday? One wrong move and you could be on the move and not in a good way…

    Liked by 2 people

  159. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Happy New Year fellow Stuffians… 🙂 We survived another one…

    Liked by 3 people

  160. 201 Vox O'Reasoñ January 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Liked by 3 people

  161. 203 Vox O'Reasoñ January 1, 2019 at 9:47 am

    This would have been much easier…

    Liked by 3 people

  162. 204 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

    LOL… Okay, we get your point. Personally, I was being lazy but I am old so there is that…

    One thing I noticed is that no one worked on making any trades last night and this will be another short work week for those folks who are gainfully employed. For me, well, it will be another week.

    Back in the day when I was in the employ of the Evil Empire, I hated the first of the year because all the pointee haired bosses would return full of piss and vinegar and refreshed and wanting to crack the whip on us lowly peons. Now I just hope that they don’t do something stupid and cause my stock shares to tank…

    Okay, enough reminiscing, time to get serious and sign Harper and trade for Kluber and Realmuto while fleecing everyone and keeping all of our top thirty prospects. I know, the likelihood of that happening is pretty dang near zero but if you read what some of the geniuses on the net have to say, you would wonder why Thoppy has not traded the Jackson twins for a ACE.

    Liked by 2 people

  163. 205 Carolina Lady January 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Happy New Year, friends! May it be blessed!

    Liked by 3 people

  164. 206 Vox O'Reasoñ January 1, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  165. 207 Vox O'Reasoñ January 1, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Out of order here…

    Like

    • 208 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Not proof of a deal but the circumstantial evidence is tremendous… 🙂

      Now maybe the Yankees will trade Stanton to the Braves at a discounted rate… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  166. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    By the way, you do realize the above post is how you create rumors on the internet…

    Liked by 2 people

  167. 210 berigan2electricboogaloo January 2, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Happy New Year everyone! Sure didn’t expect to see so many posts over the last few days…
    so, can we make the Bulldogs honorary Braves? Guess they shouldn’t have flapped their mouths so much about what an insult it was to play a team ranked 15th, and how they were going to make a point about how good they were…
    Oh well…I don’t follow them, but I know a lot of bulldog fans…I know the feeling when a team seems like it’s the best team, but doesn’t prove it at the end of the season…do you all know that feeling? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  168. 212 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 8:07 am

    I know the feeling when a team seems like it’s the best team, but doesn’t prove it at the end of the season…

    UGA had a great team this season, and IMO were worthy of a top 4 spot when the regular season ended. But when Notre Dame was gifted the playoff spot instead – BTW, they were predictably destroyed by Clemson – it changed everything.

    First, when Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker was hired as the new head coach at the University of Colorado, he was allowed to leave the team prior to the Sugar Bowl. Had UGA been in the playoff bracket, that would not have happened. And losing the DC is a big deal… as was evidenced by the poor play on that side of the ball, especially in the 1st quarter.

    Second, Jim Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker, the consensus best defensive back in the country, chose to skip the game in preparation in anticipation of being drafted high in the 1st round of the NFL draft. He chose that path to protect against injury that could potentially cost him millions of $$. He was on record stating that had UGA been on the playoff he would NOT have skipped the game. His absence was definitely felt.

    And of course, it did appear that the team just simply was not focused, especially in the 1st half. The 2 uncharacteristic fumbles, several dropped passes, several poor passes… they just didn’t look like the same team that dominated Alabama for 3 quarters last month. Maybe if Kirby had not had to split time as the defacto DC, he could have better prepared the team overall.

    Oh… it also didn’t help that their leading tackler and defensive leader linebacker D’Andre Walker missed the game with injury. Of course, all teams deal with injury. That’s just part of it. That would not have changed.

    I say all that to say this…

    Texas won the game. Period. No excuses. But I would have liked to have seen UGA with their season long DC in place and their Jim Thorpe Award winner on the field. That would have happened if UGA had played Clemson in a more meaningful game.

    Liked by 1 person

  169. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Yes indeed Vox, they did look flat. Texas opened up that can of whoop-ass Georgia was supposed to have brought.

    Liked by 1 person

  170. 215 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 9:13 am

    OK… so while we were looking the other direction, a few minor signings occurred, along with one that has impact elsewhere:

    Jeff Passan, now at ESPN, reported this yesterday: Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi agreed to a deal with the Seattle Mariners late Monday night, league sources familiar with the deal told ESPN

    He continued with the details: The base deal is for three years and $43 million. Following the 2021 season, the Mariners can trigger a four-year, $66 million extension. If they decline to do so, Kikuchi either can trigger a $13 million option for the 2022 season or elect free agency. The deal guarantees $56 million and can be worth as much as $109 million.

    So why is that significant? First, the deal boils down to $14M per season average over the 4 guaranteed years. And if an unproven pitcher who has never even tossed a salad on this side of the big pond can get 4 years @$14M per year, what will Dallas Keuchel get? Thus far, DK (and Scott Boras) have been insisting on a 5 year deal, and that 5th year seems to be the sticking point that has him still on the market. Of course, being the last top pitcher available is not a bad thing. And when he finally accepts a 4 year deal, you can bet it will be for alot more than a $14M per year average. Look more for like $20M… and maybe more. And not from Atlanta.

    Like

  171. 216 berigan2electricboogaloo January 2, 2019 at 9:16 am

    V, I had just heard bits and pieces of what you mentioned. (like the coach leaving before the Sugar Bowl which seems like a “clown move” no matter what the reason was) and the star player not playing, but I didn’t know that it was because it was not a playoff game…thanks for the 411

    Liked by 1 person

  172. 217 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 9:22 am

    The next best starting pitcher remaining on the FA market after DK?

    Uh… that’s probably Gio Gonzalez. He pitched to an unsightly 4.21 ERA last season, but he did chew up 171 innings. I’ll pass, thanks. I’d rather just keep Julio than go that direction. Julio’s 3.94 ERA came over 175.2 IP, so it’s no improvement in any area… except for maybe dingers allowed. Julio’s 26 far outpaced Gio’s 17. Then again, Julio’s 26 outpaced most pitchers…

    Like

  173. 218 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Trade targets:

    Corey Kluber? I fear the pricetag is Realmutian.

    Madison Bumgarner? I doubt he’s traded before July.

    Zack Greinke? Should be named Brink-y, as in Brink’s truck. To much $$ unless ARI is wiling to eat alot.

    Robbie Ray? No thanks. He’s what Sean Newcomb might become with an expected step forward in 2019. And Newk is already here.

    Marcus Stroman? No thanks. Can’t stay healthy.

    Sonny Gray? Maybe. He might be a wash with Julio, although each might benefit from a change of scenery.

    Mystery pitcher? Ding ding. When the dust settles prior to Feb. 15, I bet we’ll all say, “I didn’t see that one coming.” Thoppy is good at that.

    Like

  174. 219 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2019 at 10:28 am

    A lot of ACE money being thrown at non ACE pitchers. Of course it may just be the “new normal” … I remember back in 1981 (were either of you born yet?) when I bought a new car for the first time since ’73. The price of a car had jumped from $3500 to $10,000 for basically the same car. I think that has happened to the Braves. The price has gone up while they were in the middle of their rebuild. I think it’s called old people’s syndrome. You know, when you can remember working for a buck an hour and suddenly the same job pays $15 and that is low end.

    I doubt Liberty Media still charges 1999 prices for whatever they sell. if the Marlins were sold for just shy of one billion dollars, how much do ya’ll thing the Atlanta franchise is worth?

    So, Atlanta and as a extension her fans will have to get use to the New York prices being charged because that is just going to be what it takes to win consistently in today’s game.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 220 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Sadly, until the Braves can shed that albatross TV deal and get a modern pocket-lining pact, they’ll be dragging stones like Jacob Marley (final Christmas reference of the season). As successful as The Battery has been financially for the organization, it still carries alot of construction cost, so its profit margin is still tempered by those remaining debts. It certainly helps, but it’s not the whole answer.

    The TV deal is the key, and has been since the Yankees launched the YES Network.

    It’s no coincidence that the Braves are owned by a media corporation. They are playing the long game knowing that a cash cow is on the horizon after 2027.

    Mark Meltzer, Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2016: [Liberty Media CEO Greg] Maffei said while sports broadcasting star ESPN has to deal with the potential losses from cable watchers cutting their cords and ESPN having to deliver skinnier TV bundles, the Braves can hope for better revenue once their 20-year local TV rights deal expires in 2027. Maffei said it is “the longest-lived deal in baseball.”

    Baseball’s national TV revenues, of which the Braves get a portion, also are growing, Maffei said, thanks in part to Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk, a former Turner Broadcasting CEO who sits on the sport’s media rights committee.

    “So the opportunity I think looks good for national, but particularly looks good for us in local given that we have this long-lived contract which is less attractive than many of our peers,” Maffei said.

    Translation: They own the flower and are simply waiting for the bud to blossom.

    Like

  176. 221 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 11:02 am

    IMO, Tulo’s signing with the Yankees does not take them out of the Manny market. They’re only paying Tulo the league minimum. Heckuva guy to have as a backup plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  177. 222 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Speaking of Jeff Passan, his new piece for ESPN has a couple of interesting notes:

    Among [pitchers] who are clearly available, Sonny Gray might head the list. The number of trade iterations around Gray this winter has been staggering. There was traction, at one point, on a three-way deal among the Yankees, Rangers and Braves that would have sent Gray to Atlanta, a prospect to Texas and infielder Jurickson Profar to New York. The Rangers wound up shipping Profar to Oakland in another three-way deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    The Cincinnati Reds showed significant interest in Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte, according to sources, and though talks stagnated and eventually they dealt for outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, Cincinnati still doesn’t have a center fielder.

    Liked by 1 person

  178. 223 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 11:26 am

    And before we all let out a collective groan over Sonny Gray’s name being mentioned again, maybe this additional note on Passan’s ESPN colleague Sarah Langs is something we should consider:

    A different venue seems to be exactly what Gray needs, at least based on his pitching results. In his time with the Yankees, he has a 6.55 ERA in 88 innings pitched at home, with a 1.70 WHIP, .290 opponents’ batting average and .885 opponents’ OPS. But in 107⅔ innings away from Yankee Stadium, he has a 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .223 opponents’ average and .624 OPS against.

    It’s a smaller sample, but those road numbers reflect more of the pitcher the Yankees likely expected they were getting in the 2017 trade for three prospects. The Gray they acquired had a 3.42 career ERA to that point, which would’ve been 2.97 if not for his disaster of a 2016 season that included a 5.69 ERA and just 22 starts.

    The cold reality is that acquiring an “ace” simply is not realistic this year. Perhaps a stable veteran to anchor the young’uns and to go to the post when called upon (195.2 IP in 2018) might be just as valuable. Well, as long as he doesn’t give up 26 HR’s of course. We already have a guy like that… at least for the moment. If Gray could be this year’s Anibal, albeit with more innings to give, then maybe Folty and Newk – and Soroka – can become home grown aces.

    Like

  179. 224 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 11:39 am

    One more stick to stir the pot before I turn my full attention toward work:

    If the Yankees were to receive IF Jurickson Profar from TEX in the proposed 3-way deal involving Gray, what would that look like from the Braves directly?

    I’ll just let that one sit and stew for a while…

    Like

  180. 225 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    OK… enough stewing. My initial thought went to Johan Camargo, as the Yanks likely would have used Profar as a Super Utility man. But I reconsidered and went more toward Charlie Culberson, as I’ve heard they had already shown some interest in Charlie already.

    But…

    With their signing of Tulo, that kind of fills the spot that Charlie or Johan would have occupied… the guy who holds the place for Didi Gregorious. According to those who follow the Bombers, they are now focused on improving their bullpen. To that end, who would they target on the Braves roster in a swap for Sonny Gray?

    Again, I’ll just let that one sit and stew for a while…

    Like

  181. 227 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Like

  182. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Yes, that short left field porch does Sonny Gray no favors. Neither does not having that convenient 9 hole in the order to look for outs.

    So, what is to be made of Julio’s perchance for giving up gopher balls? Lack of velocity, lack of confidence? I think it is not having a go to pitch for strike three. How many times have we watched Julio get two strikes on a batter only to see said batter foul off pitch after pitch until Julio makes a mistake? I don’t have an answer on how to fix the problem, only that I recognize what that problem is, and if I can see it, you can bet every major league team can see it too.

    And please… Not Gio …. The guy is done….

    Liked by 1 person

  183. 229 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Two points made by Joel Sherman today may have some relevance to the Braves.

    If NYY do not land Machado, I would expect they would still try to enlist a Hechavarria type who would allow them to keep Torres at 2b and provide defense to rest Tulo plus play late for Andujar.

    Yanks still have to trade Gray and I think part or the consideration there is how Machado/free agent relievers work out. If they solve issues in free agency, NYY then use Gray to get prospects. If not they use Gray to help with the 25-man roster. I suspect much of this plays out this week or next as we likely find out where Machado, Ottavino and possibly Britton land.

    How does this relate to the Braves? Well, I take this to mean that the Yanks won’t move Gray until they settle their flirtation with Manny. If he ends up in pinstripes, their focus shifts 100% to bullpen. If not, then they might come sniffing after Johan or Charlie.

    Regardless, Sherman states in matter-of-fact fashion that they “have to trade Gray”, and they could just aim for prospects alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 230 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Recent comments on Sirius XM radio by Rays OF Tommy Pham, who was traded in mid-season to Tampa from St. Louis:

    It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all. St. Louis, they’re one of the few teams to where day in and day out they have 40,000 fans at every game.

    “That’s something that I miss, because even here in the Dominican [where he’s playing winter ball] they have a strong fan base for the team I’m playing for. Their fans are very supportive, they’re loud. And the Rays? They just don’t have that.

    “Do I think something has to happen, whether it be a new ballpark, maybe a new city? I think so. Because if you have a team that’s going to be winning 90-plus games, competing in [the American League East], and you don’t have any fan support, that’s a huge problem.”

    Yowser. 😯

    Hmmm… maybe he’ll suddenly be on the trading block. I’ll take him.

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2019 at 8:14 am

    HA! Reading Mark Bowman’s latest opine on the Braves 2019 outfield options, he appears about as clueless as the rest of us..

    https://www.mlb.com/braves/news/examining-braves-2019-outfield-options/c-302315600

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 233 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Tommy Pham is just speaking truth to power…or somethin’ 😉 its got to suck to play in Tampa or Miami….He’s a gamer, I too wouldn’t mind him here.

    Liked by 1 person

  187. 234 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Gil, yep….only Bowman gets paid to not have a clue 😛

    Like

  188. 235 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Nicholas Castellanos….all we hear is that he’s terrible defensively. But, he was in Right, and it was his first season in the outfield. I do NOT trust defensive metrics. “they” said Adam LaRoche was a below average defender, and were not all that kind to Mark Texiera…I mean come on!
    so, can he improve to an average Left fielder? He’s 26….

    Liked by 1 person

  189. 237 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I was saying, he was in Right, so he clearly has a good arm…not sure about accuracy, but he was a 3rd baseman before, so he has an arm..

    Like

  190. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    David Robertson has agreed to a two-year deal with the Phillies that guarantees him at least $23 million.

    Another one off the boards…

    Liked by 1 person

  191. 239 Vox O'Reasoñ January 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    And they got a good one. That’s a big move for them.

    Like

  192. 240 Vox O'Reasoñ January 3, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Pretty much what we have all surmised. Miami could not have possibly gummed up this whole thing any worse if they had tried too.

    Liked by 1 person

  193. 241 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Unless the Marlins re-evaluate their position on Realmuto, my suggestion to the Braves is just wait until he becomes a free agent and then sign him as a free agent if you still think he is worth it. Of course by that time, the Braves may have already found their solution.

    Liked by 2 people

  194. 242 Vox O'Reasoñ January 3, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    I’m ready to just move on and invest in OF and pitching. If Mac and Flow don’t look like they can get us through 162, we can still make a trade before July 31.

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 243 Vox O'Reasoñ January 3, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Let’s just blow the whole wad on Bryce and call it a day. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  196. 244 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Looks like the general consensus is that the market will continue to creep for everyone until Manny and Bryce land with their new teams… and for the Braves more relevant is Bryce, as he will set the remaining OF market for both FA and trades.

    Speaking of Bryce, I heard an interesting point made on him yesterday. The commentator opined that if he signed with the ChiSox, he alone would revive baseball on the south side and they would sell out games consistently through the duration of his deal. Not only that, he would become a selling point for future FA’s as well.

    Is it crazy to wonder what a real baseball “superstar”, for whatever reason perceived, could have the same effect in Atlanta? And what if he and Acuña were in the same lineup and OF for the foreseeable future?

    Would a hypothetical signing of Bryce Harper make the Braves the new favorite in the NL East? (And at no cost of highly valued prospects.)

    It’s highly unlikely, of course. Maybe not completely out of the realm of possibility, but highly unlikely.

    Still…

    Liked by 1 person

  197. 245 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Braves have somewhere in the neighborhood of $20M-$30M left to spend this offseason. Bryce alone will command an average $30M per season. But what’s to say you can’t backload the deal a bit to take some of the hit into the next few years when we will once again have alot of room to work?

    And there’s also the possibility of trading Darren O’Day, who is owed $9M this season himself. I know he’s counted on as a veteran presence for the bullpen, but perhaps instead of Fried or Gohara in relief, it could be Fried and Gohara at a much more payroll friendly rate.

    Just spitballin’…

    Like

  198. 246 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 8:54 am

    One more thing and I’ll go to work…

    I read on a blog yesterday that there is a perception that the Braves have to address their bullpen, and that it is a serious weakness going into 2019.

    I wholeheartedly disagree.

    First, the squad they finished the year with actually made a pretty decent unit. I won’t detail it, but there was a pretty nice mix of young and old. We’re losing veteran Brad Brach, but gaining veteran Darren O’Day, who should be just as good if not better. Winkler and Biddle will be a year older and more experienced. Newcomer Chad Sobotka will have an entire year to show what he gave us September. And then there’s AJ Minter, who was not 100% physically late last year, who will also be a year older and fully healthy.

    The big question mark comes with Viz, who should be healthy as far as we know. What can we expect from him? When he’s on, he’s really good.

    I’ve typed many times that I’d like to add one more veteran to the mix, but at the same time I’m very comfortable going into 2019 with the pitchers we have knowing that the bullpen can be supplemented with a mix of talented youngsters that really have nothing else to prove by starting in AAA.

    In 2019, the traditional bullpen recipe of a long man, a coupe middle relievers, a couple setup men and a closer has gone by the wayside. The new formula says to have a handful of swingmen and a handful of guys to mix and matchup from innings 7 through 9. If you have a hammer for the 9th, that’s fine. But teams have learned that sometimes the 8th inning can be higher leverage depending on where the opponent’s lineup falls.

    I think we have 4 guys that can handle high leverage innings in Viz, Minter, Wink and Biddle. And I think Jonny can come in and get that one tough lefty out. And I think Carle and Fried are good middle innings pitchers. That doesn’t even take Darren O’Day into account.

    Do we need Craig Kimbrel? Do we need another reliever?

    IMO, we do not. The bullpen should be the last thing on the list. The bullpen should be what AA supplements if he has nothing else to spend payroll $$ on. I think the Braves have much more pressing needs elsewhere. I think the Braves better find an OF or Adam Duvall will be the starting LF on opening day.

    Like

  199. 247 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Just move the team already. I’ll bet Nashville would welcome them. I know Montreal would.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 248 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 10:21 am

      Of course, I forgot that Portland is already constructing a MLB stadium, even without a team.

      Still, given the college success of Vanderbilt’s baseball program, you’d think Nashville would be a great location. The city supports its NFL Titans and NHL Predators fully, and currently is home to the Nashville Sounds, the AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

      Both will be under serious consideration for the next round of expansion, but which could take a team right away and have a MLB ready facility?

      That might be Montreal…

      Like

  200. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Good morning guys, I’m having trouble seeing this morning so I’ll be short. Braves have the one thing that is critical for a championship caliber team… pitching depth.

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Of course the Braves would loath to lose market share to a franchise that close to Atlanta.

    Like

  202. 251 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Just read this, courtesy of Forbes magazine’s Eric Macramalla:

    The reason the Rays aren’t relocating ties into the team’s stadium deal with the city. The Rays never signed a traditional lease. Rather, it signed a Use Agreement, which prevents the team from moving out of Tropicana Field and calls for potentially catastrophic monetary damages should the Rays abandon the stadium before its deal is up in 2027. This is in stark contrast to a traditional lease, where a tenant owes the landlord what’s left on that lease after breaking it.

    On top of that, the Use Agreement provides the city with the right to ask for something called specific performance, which in a nutshell means that it could ask a court to force the Rays to stay and play at Tropicana Field. However, this is generally a very difficult thing to get at a court to grant when damages can be quantified, so that remedy seems unlikely.

    So that takes us back to the city suing for money – and lots of it – should the Rays fail to honor its agreement. It’s not clear what that amount would be, but the ask is likely to be exorbitant. The city could argue that it should be paid in excess of $100 to $200 million as compensation for the loss of the team and the intangibles that come with an MLB team in a city. Some of these are outlined in the Use Agreement, and include compensation for things like the “creation of new jobs, local employment opportunities, increased business prospects, direct and indirect tax revenues, enhancement of the community’s image and promotional opportunities, and an improvement in life and local pride of the citizenry”.

    Well, if the monetary penalty is tied to “local pride of the citizenry”, it would appear they could leave for about a buck and a half.

    Liked by 2 people

  203. 252 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Who doesn’t love a day at the ol’ ballpark?

    Liked by 2 people

  204. 253 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  205. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Pretty sure Scott Boras client, Carter Stewart, did not enroll at EFS JC for their stellar academic program… just saying…

    Like

  206. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    An opine on the possibility of trading Christian Pache for a mystery player…

    While Braves fans are taught to fall in love with every prospect by the publicity department, the truth is, they are all still prospects. One in one hundred will ever make it as a front line player in the major leagues while the rest will top out in Double A or Triple A and still others maybe as a utility guy. Still, unless you are dealing with a dufus and their are few of them still around, you are going to have to trade quality to get quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 258 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Truth.

      Like

      • 259 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm

        Let’s not forget also that Drew Waters is about to surpass him in the eyes of those in charge. Waters may not be as elite a defender, but is still above average. And his bat is far superior to Pache. And he may be only 1 year behind Pache in development if that. Also, with Ender under contract through ’21 (with a ’22 option) and Acuña here for as long as we can keep him, we aren’t in need of an elite CF anyway.

        It only makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  207. 260 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    My initial reaction was: Where was AntMan on this??

    Then I remembered 2 important details…

    First, I’m understanding that AA is looking for a LH bat to help balance a RH dominated lineup.

    Second, and more importantly, I also think AA is aiming somewhat higher. And for that, I am thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  208. 261 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Ben Chase at Tomahawk Take makes reference to a piece by Braves beat writer Gabe Burns in Baseball America recently:

    A quick note from the [William] Contreras piece was that Mike Soroka was back to full velocity in instructional league. Soroka had been noted in a couple of reports to have been at or near full health as the season closed in 2018, but this report definitely is positive for certainly the pitcher who should be the front-runner in a big battle for the 5th spot in the rotation as the team is currently constructed.

    That’s great news.

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 262 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Excellent article here regarding the Braves and Rangers as potential trade partners. Sums up my thoughts/feelings very well:

    https://www.talkingchop.com/2019/1/5/18168208/atlanta-braves-texas-rangers-potential-trade-partners

    Liked by 1 person

  210. 263 Gordon Lawrence January 5, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    TALKING CHOP has a suspect in trade talks, one CRISTIAN PACHE who is supposed to be included in exploratory trade talks with several teams. The prime reason is not his glove, but his lagging bat, something I pointed out during the course of the 2018 campaign and here after the season’s end. Evidently many BRAVES scouts and coaches believe his offense will not play up in the majors.

    I think the jury still out on that subject, and it seemed there was some improvement after he was in the Southern League for a period. PACHE will be 20 next season, too early to make a final determination in my judgement, but I don’t see him the way our coaches do of course. His defense and arm are first rate, and without question will propel him to the majors.

    But the club already has ACUNA on hand, and they see satisfied with INCIARTE’s play, and his potential going forward. He’s controlled until 2022.

    ADAM DUVALL has above average defense, but his bat fell apart this season. I certainly can understand why the BRAVES’ management don’t want to hand him the keys to RF in 2019.

    Platooned with a resigned NM fir one year in right might work as a last resort. I’m sure NICK won’t see it that way however. I imagine he wants a two-year deal at the very least especially after the results of this season. His second-half fade might be alleviated by a platoon with DUVALL until DREW WATERS puts in an appearance probably in 2020. But that’s contingent on DUVALL’s bat, a scary proposition at this point.

    Making do until PACHE or WATERS put in an appearance will be a tricky proposition. One reason GM’s earn the big bucks. And probably why PACHE has been rumored to be on the move in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Good morning Gordon, we have missed your input. I know you have been signing Drew Waters praises for a while now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 265 Gordon Lawrence January 7, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      Hey GIL. Went off to Eastern Europe on an 11 day tour of PRAGUE, BUDAPEST, and VIENNA. The Europeans real do up Christmas.

      Back here, the die of our future outfield will be cast in this next season. If PACHE makes it to the 2019 season as a BRAVE, MISSISSIPPI will clearly define his future here. If the bat suddenly comes alive in MISSISSIPPI, management will breathe a big sigh of relief, and plug him into the 2020 outfield. If not, well….there’s WATERS.
      And if not, a platoon with INCIARTE could always be in the cards because PACHE has no peer defensively.

      If WATERS lives up to what management thinks of his offense, another ACUNA could be in the offing.

      I think it all depends on PACHE’s bat in 2019 as to the long-term future of ATLANTA’s outfield.

      An outfield of ACUNA, INCIARTE, PACHE, and WATERS in 2020 sounds awfully good to me.

      Around the infield, RILEY, ALEXANDER, CAMARGO, ALBIES, and FREEMAN with CONTRERAS and a grizzled vet in the squat should bring lots to cheer about in 2021.

      By then, starters and ‘pen should be well settled in. We could be looking at a squad fighting for a WS ring in that year.

      Liked by 2 people

  212. 266 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 8:25 am

    So Braves beat writer Gabe Burns discussed yesterday the current situation with the Braves and 2018 #1 draft pick Carter Stewart. There is more to the story than we have known up to now. I will attempt to summarize…

    First, a refresher. The Braves drafted Stewart out of HS with the overall #8 pick in last year’s draft. Unlike all other pro sports, baseball does not allow for teams to perform their own physicals prior to the draft, instead depending solely on medicals provided by the player himself, and sometimes even written by the player himself. Thus, when the Braves drafted Stewart, they were unaware of a wrist injury that the curveball specialist had incurred during his season. That injury was revealed by the Braves staff after Stewart had been drafted and during the negotiation period. This left the Braves very uncomfortable with the pitcher (IMO they had every right to be uncomfortable not only from a physical standpoint, but also from a trust standpoint) who depended on a healthy wrist to generate the plus spinrate he achieved with his breaking ball… the very thing that got him drafted so high.

    As a result of this revelation, the Braves were no longer interested in signing him at slot value, instead tendering him only the minimum 40% of slot value that they could offer to be awarded a consolation pick in 2019 for failing to sign him, according to the guidelines as set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Or did they?

    This is now the center of what we now know to be a point of contention. It’s now being reported that right after the falling out with the Braves, Stewart hired Scott Boras as his agent, and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves seeking to have Stewart named a free agent and eligible to be signed by the highest bidder now, and not subject to future drafts. They contend the Braves failed to offer 40% of Stewart’s slot value, or $1,992,280.

    And this is the center of the argument: Did the Braves offer 40% of the slot value of the #8 overall pick in 2018?

    At stake of course is the consolation pick being the #9 overall pick. The Braves regular first rounder sits at the #21 slot this year, so the #9 pick is significant, especially since they got nothing out of last year’s first rounder. And given the crippling penalties the organization incurred thanks to Coppy-gate, they cannot afford to whiff on high draft picks.

    I think it’s an interesting note that Stewart just enrolled in a JUCO for the upcoming academic semester, which is obviously only seen as a baseball season from Stewart’s perspective. He has no interest in actually being a true student/athlete or he would have enrolled at Mississippi State, the D-1 school he had committed to. If his camp felt good about their position, would he have enrolled? Or is he just hedging his bets?

    One thing I do know… when Scott Boras is involved, things are never clear. He muddies the water as well as anyone in an effort to benefit from mass confusion. He’s made quite a career from these tactics.

    Burns reports that there is no specific timetable for a resolution on the grievance. Personally, I cannot understand this. If the question is whether or not the Braves offered the requisite $1,992,280, it should be fairly cut-and-dry, right? They either did or they did not. That’s the great thing about numbers. They are absolute and not subject to interpretation.

    Or are they? When Scott Boras is involved, reason and ration go out the window.

    From a fan’s perspective, I look at the big picture and see player deception, Scott Boras, and union involvement and immediately think the worst of the player. But is that fair?

    Here are the only absolutes that I objectively glean from this…

    The player hid an injury from a prospective drafting team, one that had been in constant contact with him prior to the draft. Those are facts.

    The injury was significant and affected the ceiling/floor potential of the prospect. That is fact.

    The team discovered the injury after the pick was made and was no longer interested in investing premium money in an uncertain prospect because of medical questions. That is fact.

    Stewart was not interested in a lowered bonus amount. That is fact.

    The Braves opted to take the safe approach, allowing Stewart to walk away and settling for the compensation pick in 2019 instead. That is fact.

    The only real question that needs to be answered is if they followed the established protocol to do so. That is apparently still in doubt.

    I cannot believe that an official in a professional sports front office, a person given the responsibility to handle the details in a significant and important duty with regard to the long term health of the organization, would fail to meet a simple and absolute standard in order to achieve an established outcome. Could they? Could someone have dropped the ball in such an egregious manner? And if so, who was the point person who fumbled so badly?

    If baseball finds that the Braves did NOT meet that 40% threshold in their offer, someone needs to be fired. Such a critical procedure cannot be handled that poorly.

    I’m seriously hoping the grievance is only a red herring precipitated by Boras in his typical scattershot manner in an effort to force the league to give his player something not earned. After all, Boras has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Sadly, Stewart has already lost by becoming a pawn in Boras’ game. If the findings go against him, he then has to play a JUCO season and hope he’s physically able to perform up to 1st round status again. And even if he does, every team will be leery of him based on the events chronicled. We said at the time that his best interest would be to sign for a lowered amount and begin receiving treatment from a major league medical staff – the best that money can buy. Had he done so, he would likely be able to once again generate that elite spinrate. Unless he found the same quality medical treatment on his own, and at his own expense, the chances of him repeating his pre-injury performance this season are not very high.

    I wish Carter Stewart success on the field, but not in the hearing chamber. The kid has received a succession of bad advice. Hopefully soon he can start thinking clearly for himself.

    Liked by 2 people

  213. 267 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Now to the current offseason shopping and shaping…

    In a report I read last night, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi says the Indians are looking for “Chris Sale-level return” for either Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. If you’ll recall, the ChiSox got baseball’s #1 overall prospect in Yoan Moncada, a Top 10 pitching prospect in Michael Kopech, and 2 additional mid-tier IF prospects from the BoSox for Sale.

    Good luck with that.

    This is merely a symptom of the current condition of teams and agents around the league. Shoot for the moon, wait it out, and finally settle for less. It accomplishes a couple of things. It holds up the market well into the offseason and it puts pressure on GMs who need to get their rosters settled… possibly forcing acquiring teams to overpay. Some will, some won’t. And those that won’t are then pressured in both the mainstream media and social media. After all, we here at the ol’ B&S are somewhat guilty of being impatient with our own GM ourselves.

    As of this morning, there is still over 5 weeks before P&CR for spring. That’s still a significant amount of time to get things done. Once the biggest names sign – Manny and Bryce – the rest will begin to fall in line, both in FA and trades.

    IMO, the Tribe will keep both Kluber and Bauer. They don’t need to trade either and have nothing to lose by asking a high ransom in return of trade for one, or just simply keeping both.

    IMO, the Fish will continue to mishandle the Realmuto situation and drag it out past the point most teams will remain interested. I won’t be surprised to see JTR in their Opening Day lineup. God bless him.

    IMO, the Braves will acquire their new RF shortly after Bryce signs and his spurned suitors move on to other business. There are alot of teams that match up with the Braves in terms of pitching/OF needs and surpluses; so it’s not a matter of finding a match, just of determining the best match.

    IMO, the Braves will not acquire another starting pitcher, instead going into the season with Julio as the #4 starter behind Folty, Newk and Gausman, with Soroka, Touki and Wright (and dark horse Bryce Wilson) battling for the #5 spot.

    IMO, the Braves will add a veteran reliever to add depth to the overall pitching staff and hedge against short outings by their young staff.

    IMO, the Braves will make more of a splash in July than they will prior to Opening Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 269 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 10:19 am

    And now to more immediate concerns…

    The deadline date to exchange salary arb figures is this Friday, Jan. 11. The Braves have 7 arb eligible players to deal with being Kevin Gausman, Folty, Viz, Charlie Culberson, Adam Duvall, Dan Winkler, and Sam Freeman.

    This is one reason that dragging out OF and pitching acquisitions is harmful to the overall task of putting the 2019 roster together. Adding a bona fide starting OF could result in Duvall being non-tendered. Adding a late inning reliever could result in Viz being non-tendered. Adding any reliever could result in Sam Freeman being non-tendered.

    Plus, if the team had its payroll mostly set for 2019, Thoppy might could see his way clear to offering a multi-year deal to Folty and settling that issue once and for all.

    I hope that deadline date will also be a motivating factor for all teams to get things going, prompting Manny and Bryce to get signed and allowing the rest of the dominoes to fall.

    Friday. Just 4 days away. Big week.

    Like

  215. 271 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Like

  216. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2019 at 11:37 am

    #1: I do not blame any player for doing what is best for his own career and livelihood.
    #2: I do not begrudge any team or organization for doing the same.
    #3: I hate it when the lawyers get involved but it is what it is so we have a lot of animosity built up between players and management because human nature it appears is to get greedy…

    Slights and perceived slights, is their really any difference? Sadly, not in the mind of a baseball player. The ego that makes one a great player can also be a ball players worst enemy.

    Okay, enough of the soapbox… I sure hope the Braves hitting instructors can fix whatever was wrong with Adam Duval. He did appear to get better towards the end of the season last year. A platoon between him and Markais would not be the worse thing for Atlanta.

    What I do not expect to see is for the Braves to trade for a rookie to play in the outfield, they have enough of those already and despite the success of Albies and Acuna last season, it is not normal for a team to go for the gold with more than one rookie in the everyday line up.

    So, the only real problem with a such a plethora of young arms on the roster is the number of innings one can reasonable expect them to throw in a season. I guess that is why the adage is to have a reasonable expectation of competing for a championship is you need at least 7 major league capable starters available at the beginning of the season.

    My question is who will Julio turn to for advice this season? Erwin Santana provided it in Julio’s early days and we saw Anibal step up last season. Do y’all think anyone is lobbying harder than Julio for Bryce Harper to get out of the NL East?

    Like

  217. 273 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    A platoon between [Duvall] and Markais would not be the worse thing for Atlanta.

    Markakis is not a platoon candidate. It simply will not happen.

    First, Nick’s 2018 slash vs. RHP = .304/.379/.450, vs. LHP = .284/.343/.422. Career vs. RHP = .291/.368/.440, vs. LHP = .282/.337/.388. Not enough demonstrable difference to make a platoon feasible.

    Adam Duvall career vs. RHP = .230/.283/.455, vs. LHP = .231/.312/.449. I’ll take Markakis, thanks.

    Second, Kakes is a guy that will want to play every game. The best you’ll accomplish is to agree to play him 9 out of 10 games, or you won’t get his name on a contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 274 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    My question is who will Julio turn to for advice this season?

    Maybe our new pitching coach Rick Kranitz will actually do his job. 😉

    Like

    • 275 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      You know, I say that in jest, but Kranitz was instrumental in Aaron Nola taking a huge step forward in 2018. If it weren’t for the fact that he’s 60, and that up-and-comer 37-year-old Chris Young was being targeted by a number of teams – Braves included – for vacant pitching coach positions, Kranitz would still be up in the City Of Brotherly Shove. He is an under-the-radar major improvement for the Braves in 2019.

      Like

  219. 276 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Do y’all think anyone is lobbying harder than Julio for Bryce Harper to get out of the NL East?

    Unless he lands here. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  220. 277 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Dansby’s reputation is that he has good hands, but this makes me a little uncomfortable…

    Like

  221. 278 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    And now for a very amusing diversion. Do yourself a big favor and read through the replies to Heyman’s tweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  222. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Uh? Don’t ask don’t tell???

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 282 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Ouch. Another overpay for a guy who wasn’t healthy in 2018. Are teams beginning to panic?

    Maybe I am a bit of a conspiracy guy, but I look at this and wonder if the Pale Hose know they’re out of the Manny derby and have now re-directed big money in another direction.

    Is a Yankees’ announcement around the corner?

    Like

  224. 283 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Ha ha ha… but it wouldn’t surprise me. 😆

    Like

  225. 284 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe:

    According to industry sources, [Marlins CEO Derek] Jeter is letting his baseball ops people know that he needs a major league player back in return for catcher J.T. Realmuto. The feeling is the Marlins got burned in the Christian Yelich deal with the Brewers and they’re going to make sure they get a young, controllable, proven major leaguer in a package for the sought-after catcher. The Astros and Braves seem to be hanging in there on talks that seem endless.

    They can wait until Jesus returns. They will not get Ozzie Albies.

    Liked by 2 people

  226. 285 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Something else I found interesting from Cafardo:

    Overall, the market still has some very good positional players and even All-Star-caliber players. Obviously, the big two are Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The next tier includes All-Star outfielder Nick Markakis. Also available are former Astros utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, second basemen DJ LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie, Brian Dozier, and Josh Harrison; shortstops Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias; third baseman Mike Moustakas; outfielders A.J. Pollock, Avisail Garcia, Adam Jones, and Carlos Gonzalez; and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

    “I think everyone is looking for a bargain,” said one prominent agent. “It’s no different than it’s been in the past, in my opinion. We as agents always think we can get multiple years for our players, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. Sometimes you have to settle and hope that a good performance triggers a multiyear deal the following season. That’s what it’s come to.”

    While his overall point is worth noting here, what I found most interesting is that he placed ol’ buddy Kakes by himself in a tier just below the two big dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 286 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 9:35 am

    I want to address something that seems to be blowing up among Braves fans currently, and argue something about it that nobody else seems to be arguing…

    I have seen in many, many local and national web sites and blogs referencing a quote from Ken Rosenthal that he made in a recent article in his new capitalist success story The Athletic.

    The quote is this:

    Information from major-league sources: The Braves’ remaining need is an outfielder, but the team might end up turning to Adam Duvall in left field if the market for a desirable free agent or trade candidate plummets and the team chooses to redirect its money or prospect capital to that player.

    And I give that statement a credibility rating of “baloney”. Actually, it’s a bit misleading, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    First, we have to remember that Rosenthal started The Athletic as a pay-to-see web site that has grown into being a catch-all for all major sports in all major cities. But the key here is that it is a pay site. And that’s awesome for him. He’s found a niche that people are willing to pay for and he’s making good coin, hiring good writers, and reaching alot of eyes. Good for him and God bless America.

    But he does it for the money. It puts bread on his table. And there is an old adage: Follow the money.

    Think about this – how many times has this quote been cited and re-quoted over the last 2 days with a link to Rosenthal’s piece… a piece that sits behind a paywall and requires a subscription to view?

    Also think about this… how much real information have we gotten about the Braves this offseason? That’d be nuthin’. So suddenly we get some smoke appearing in front of an information starved fanbase who are being directed to a possible fire that sits behind a paywall. I don’t buy it. Literally.

    Now, let’s parse the quote…

    First, he didn’t get anything firsthand himself. He’s citing unnamed sources… his infamous sources. He didn’t even cite them as Braves sources. Just “league sources”. I suppose that the now tight-lipped Braves office shared something with another team’s office, who subsequently let it out? R-i-g-h-t…

    Second, he states the team’s well established “need”, then conveniently slips the word “might” into his assertion along with a couple of “if” conditions. That’s like me saying, “The Braves need a RF. The team might look to sign Bryce Harper if his price tag drops to a level they are comfortable with.”

    Or “I need a truck. I might obtain one if the guy down the street is has a mental breakdown and lets me have his for $10.”

    It carries the exact same weight and accuracy as what Rosey wrote.

    Something smells here, and it isn’t a juicy tidbit of information. It’s bait. Click-bait.

    I haven’t and won’t pay for reading DOB or Rosenthal or anyone else at The Athletic because anything worth noting is repeated across the blogosphere anyway. And quite honestly, I’ve found that I can discover news about the Braves from a myriad of other writers besides DOB… believe it or not. There’s Bowman, Burns, Cafardo, Sherman, Heyman, Passan… and the list goes on, not to mention countless blogs that cite and quote them all. That’s not a slam at The Athletic. It’s just my preference. But I won’t for a minute pretend that something that smacks of click-bait has more credibility than information (or lack thereof) from a host of other writers who post information for free just because it has Ken Rosenthal’s name attached. Why have Bowman or Burns, two writers who are in Thoppy’s back pocket as much as anyone, not mentioned something along the same lines? Instead, both continue to assert a belief that AntMan will acquire a RF when the market fits his preference.

    So just in case I haven’t made my position clear on this, I do not believe that well constructed and well placed “rumor”. It’s nothing but but a worm on a hook. And it smells about as bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  228. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2019 at 9:41 am

    It is not often that you see one of the best college football programs in the country get embarrassed but Clemson had some serious ownage of Bama last night. 44-13 and it wasn’t that close. Three opportunities by the Tide met with utter disappointment. For sure, the Tigers left little doubt which team was superior last night.

    I must say, it is nice to be able to watch a game where you have absolutely nothing riding on the outcome.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 288 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Gil, that performance by Clemson last night was on of the best overall performances by a team I’ve ever seen. And that’s across all phases of the game. The blocked better, they ran better, the threw better, they caught better, they stuffed the run better, they defended the pass better, they caused turnovers better, they kicked and received better, they simply did it all better. They even coached better. It was overwhelming and convincing. That Clemson team last night was one of the best college teams I’ve ever seen play the game, at least for that one game.

      Oh… and it was very entertaining, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  229. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Vee, can’t disagree with your observations on pay to play but I did get a nice tee shirt….

    Liked by 3 people

    • 290 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 9:52 am

      I don’t think The Athletic is a bad thing. That’s certainly not what I was driving at. I just don’t like a random negative rumor that “triggers” fans for the purpose of creating a response and eliciting clicks (a/k/a more $$) for the author. I see enough of that from the fake-news mainstream media.

      Like

  230. 291 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Well, since I don’t require you to pay for my crazy theories, and since no one will cite it anywhere else either, I’ve got one of my own for you to chew on.

    I made note yesterday of the White Sox signing Kelvin Herrera and asserting that his somewhat pricey deal probably indicated that they had abandoned their hope of signing Manny Machado. But today… I am making a complete 180 on that statement. In fact, I think they are about to pull off a landmark coup and bring Ber’s favorite player to the South Side and revitalize that once proud, now stagnant franchise.

    Why do I say that? Yesterday, they signed OF Jon Jay to a $4M / 1-year deal.

    So what’s the big deal with that? Well, couple that with their earlier trade to acquire 1B/DH Yonder Alonso and it becomes a bit more clear. That would be Manny’s brother-in-law Yonder Alonso… who along with the aforementioned Jon Jay make up a trio of close friends/family who train together every offseason in South Fla.

    Read here: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/the-miami-baseball-brotherhood

    Excerpt: For Jon, Yonder and I, Miami means family, good friends, culture and … baseball. Each winter we meet up in our hometown and we go to work. We laugh a lot, too, and have fun together. – Manny Machado

    Sounds like a pretty close relationship, doesn’t it?

    I think The ChiSox could be an exciting team to watch in 2019. They’re certainly working hard to bounce back. I like what they’re doing, and what they are trying to do. I’ll watch ’em.

    Like

  231. 293 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Awesome…

    Liked by 2 people

  232. 294 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Like

  233. 295 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Mish’s updated percentages, for what they’re worth…

    Like

  234. 296 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Not saying I buy in, and not saying I’m totally blowing this off either, but I only went back and looked at Mish’s twitter account after seeing a seemingly random post at a fringe discussion board out there in the blogosphere.

    A person hiding behind a nondescript user name posted that a big name is about to be acquired and that physicals are being conducted now. He said the announcement would come Weds/Thurs. There was no other info. It was a “drive-by comment”, if you will. This poster has no connection to the team that I am aware of.

    I would not have even given it a second thought if Mish, who is based in Miami, had not just posted his tweets.

    In all likelihood, this is totally coincidence and there is absolutely nothing to it. Still… a weird coincidence in timing, don’tcha think?

    Like

  235. 297 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I thought…I posted last friday at work, but I try not to spend a bunch of time writing at work, for obvious reasons…I think I kept coming back to a long post, never finished it, and closed my browser at the end of the day …D’oh…
    anyways, I was chiming in about relievers…I know the braves will probably have to get creative with so very many young arms, and keeping innings down for the year..but, remember how bad Folty was out of the pen? Gohara didn’t seem to do well there either…
    Thanks why I don’t like the fact they didn’t spend on a really good bullpen guy, while our rivals did. Remember last spring training(and the year before) how it seemed that our bullpen was going to be fine, and it wasn’t?
    Remember last year when our closer went down, and other guys that did great in the 6th, 7th, and 8th, were not so good closing out games? I just don’t like the thought of an “ok” bullpen…someone will be hurt, or not effective as they were last year. (I predict if the Red Sox will be lucky to be a .500 team next year if they let Kimbrel go along with losing Joe Kelly) Every team save one has improved this offseaon, and there’s more time for them to do so too…

    Liked by 1 person

  236. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Darrin O’Day? One who is often overlooked… Yes. it is frustrating to see other teams making upgrades but they are chasing right now. Still, I think the Braves are/were talking out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to payroll. BOO HOO… Poor Me… That is the impression I get from the Braves and Liberty when you hear them whine about player salaries.

    Yes, I know the Braves are not the Yankees or the Red Sox but they could be… If you are always complaining about being poor, people will believe you are. Not exactly the environment a success will want to be associated with.

    No, I don’t want to see the team spend like drunken sailors but no one wants to watch a Triple A team play while being charges $75 for a ticket either…

    Liked by 2 people

    • 299 Gordon Lawrence January 9, 2019 at 11:56 am

      And they have gotten some monetary relief on that horrendous TIME-WARNER contract TT hung around our necks when he sold out to JOHN MALONE.

      Like

  237. 300 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Gil, too lazy./busy to look above, but I at least meant to mention about O’Day that coming back from T.J he may not have great control first year back…

    Like

    • 301 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 9:21 am

      O’Day was out last year with a serious hamstring injury, not TJ. His arm should be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 303 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Yes, there are always concerns about players coming back from injury. That is the thing about putting together a roster. You just never know how it is going to all work out. Injuries, attitudes, old age all have a way of belaying the best laid plans. Just ask the Mets and the Nats how it all worked out for them last season.

      To be sure, the Nats had to have been one of the biggest underachievers in 2018.

      Truly, I can understand the Braves reluctance to sell their future at the expense of making another Texiera type trade.

      So, next week we may be talking about a completely different topic but I suspect not…

      Like

  238. 304 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I sit corrected, thanks V. I guess I saw surgery, and it was a pitcher….well, I assumed…you know what happens when one assumes…
    He’s also 35-36, sidearmer…great against tough righties, if say Manny B.E. signs with the Phils…

    Like

  239. 305 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 9:48 am

    I think it’s still premature to confuse Ant’s patience with indifference. I do not for a second believe he’s satisfied with the current state of the roster. He’s simply waiting for the market to come back to reasonable.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, the deals given out thus far by teams like Philly, whose owner said this to USA Today Sports heading into the offseason: “We’re going into this expecting to spend money and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” have mostly exceeded the predictions by most prognosticators. Simply put, there have been a lot of overpays. From Cutch to Nate Eovaldi to Charlie Morton to Kelvin Herrera, the deals have exceeded both annual average value and years guaranteed that most reasonable analysts expected them to receive.

    It truly is “stupid” money. AntMan is not going to spend stupid money (nor stupid prospect capital). He’s going to be smart and responsible. Maybe I’m in the monitory, but I prefer it that way. I prefer to look ahead and tell my assets where to go, not look back and wonder where my assets went.

    Again, I pose the query: Would we be so critical if he signed JD and Mac this past week instead of early in the offseason? The result is the same even if the optics are not.

    There will be a trade made before the season begins. And it could be significant. You cannot hold on to these prized trade chips, the long noted prospect capital, past their point of usefulness. They do have a shelf life, and the time to cash them in is now. Thoppy knows this better than anyone.

    I go back to what he said to young Gabe Burns back during the GM Meetings: “The reason we have all these prospects is to win. And sometimes when winning is right in front of you, it’s easy to lose sight of that. We talk about sustained winning, sustained success. Sometimes you need to have success first. We focus so much on the sustainable side that we never get to the success. I do think, my opinion, you have to get to the success part first.”

    The Braves will not have success without an additional bona fide starting OF’er. It doesn’t have to be Bryce Harper, but it definitely cannot be Adam Duvall. Ant may not acquire a sexy “ace” type pitcher, and he may not bring in a classic closer, but he will bring in an OF’er. I’m absolutely sure of it. And I do not believe that we will begin the 2019 campaign with the entire contingent of high level pitching prospects we currently hold. AAA Gwinnett cannot deploy an 8 man rotation. Whether it’s for an OF’er or another big name connected to the team, something will happen.

    And if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it and serve up the biggest pot of crow you can imagine. But I don’t expect to be looking up any recipes…

    Like

  240. 306 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

    And of course, as we are here discussing AntMan and his strategies and intentions, he’s being interviewed on the Braves flagship radio station. And we are fortunate to have it embedded in this tweet. I’m posting it before listening, so I don’t know if there is anything substantive here, or if it’s alot of fluff. But I’ll know shortly. 🙂

    Here it is:

    Like

    • 307 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 10:23 am

      So as expected, there’s not alot that he can actually say due to tampering rules, which the moderator very clearly lays out before asking direct questions. Still, some good questions were asked, and some good answers were given to the extent they could be answered.

      Two things I took away…

      First, he spoke of Nick Markakis in a context that made it sound like an offer had been made. Did I misread that?

      Second, AA very clearly laid out the hierarchy for making deals. It doesn’t go back to Denver, rather it stops on Terry McGuirk’s desk. Naturally, McGuirk personally has to answer to Denver, so there is that. But AntMan has the latitude to put together a creative deal and get the okey-dokey here locally… not up the chain and across the country. Does that change what he can do? Maybe not, but at least TMc is a guy that is around baseball constantly as part of his executive duties. He’s not an empty suit in a board room gazing at spreadsheets.

      Liked by 1 person

  241. 308 Gordon Lawrence January 9, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Lets see if VIz signs on the deadline this week or they go to arb. LH A.J. MINTER is their ace in waiting with DARREN O’DAY in the hole.

    Long relief/Spot starter

    LH MAX FRIED

    RH

    O’DAY
    SOBOTKA
    CARLE
    VIZCAINO

    RH Suspects

    WINKLER
    WEIGEL
    WEBB
    JACKSON

    LH

    DAYTON
    BIDDLE
    VENTERS
    MINTER

    LH Suspects

    FREEMAN

    14 arms for the pen going into ST. I firmly believe the club feels sufficient talent already exists there to be set to start the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 309 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      I agree that we have enough arms to flesh out an effective bullpen. Obviously I’d like to add an experienced late inning arm, but it’s low on my “To Do” list after OF’er and starting pitcher. Maybe even after add’l bench candidate.

      Like

  242. 310 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I do think the Braves will spend at least some moola…I guess I fear more overpaying for J.T. (and I know they don’t want to) and having to face a guy or two that kill us each time…
    we definitely need at least 1 more bat, bare minimum. Of course, if Dansby finally has a good all around offensive season that will help tremendously. there is always room for improvement.

    Liked by 2 people

  243. 311 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Speaking of JTR, I still have a weird feeling when I think about the trade talks. It’s not a creepy feeling, but more of a feeling of anticipation. There is nothing of any substance to base any expectation on. There are no leaks and there are no hints. Nuthin’.

    But when you look at the offseason activities…

    Miami must trade JTR before the season starts. If Jeter wants a better return than what he got for Christian Yelich, then he must trade JTR at his peak value, which is before the season begins and truly before Spring Training begins. And as many teams have been mentioned in connection with Miami, some have moved on, some have kicked the tires, some have been merely lukewarm in their interest. Only one team has consistently stayed on the beam. That’d be the Braves.

    IMO, the only thing holding up a deal is the still unrealistic demands from the other side. Once they eventually back off Ozzie Albies, which they will have to do at some point, the talks can get serious.

    They say they want a ML ready player back. If they can’t have Ozzie, they’ll want Austin Riley. He is about as close to ready as he’ll get. They’ll want one of our prized pitchers and have previously asked for Mike Soroka. That wont happen. They’ll ask for Ian Anderson. That shouldn’t happen. They’ll pivot to Kyle Wright. That will hurt, but could happen. They’ll need a replacement catcher, so they’ll get Flow. And they may want one more prospect to sweeten the deal, so we can toss in Alex Jackson.

    So Riley, Wright, Flow and Ajax. It’s a big price, but I think it’s about right for the best catcher in the game and a guy you’d want to guide a young pitching staff and hit behind Freddie for at least 2 more years.

    Like

  244. 312 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    So you add JTR, who will make about $6M this season. You can then re-sign Markakis at about $8M per season for 2 years and you’re still under budget.

    Then you trade for Sonny Gray who is projected to earn about $9M in his final year of arb, giving up 1 high level prospect (Kolby Allard maybe?), and trade away Julio Teheran and his remaining $11M commitment for a pair of lower level prospects (to pitching starved HOU maybe?) to help flesh out that depleted part of the prospect pipeline. You gain about $2M in payroll space, help balance a top heavy farm system, and give 2 change-of-scenery candidates some greener pasture for 2019.

    You’ve addressed all the stated top priority needs, stayed under budget, maintained a good youth/veteran mix, aided the long term farm system health, and put a pretty darn good 2019 roster together.

    And you keep payroll flexibility to be able to add help at the trade deadline.

    Nothing to it. All in a day’s work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 313 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Lineup: RAJ, JD, Freddie, JTR, Nick, Ozzie, Ender, Dansby
      Bench: Mac (Folty’s personal catcher), Johan, Charlie, Duvall
      Rotation: Folty, Newk, Gaus, Gray, Soroka
      Bullpen: AJ, O’Day, Venters, Wink, Biddle, Carle, Touki, Fried

      (Somewhere in there I’ve either traded Viz or non-tendered him.)

      Johan can regularly spell JD, Dans, and Ozzie and occasionally spell Freddie and get plenty of playing time.

      I think I can win with that lineup and play into October.

      Like

  245. 314 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    V, I still don’t know why you want to DFA the guy that had a 2.89 ERA in 2017, and 2.11 in 38 innings last year.

    Like

    • 315 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Talking about Viz? I have 4.8 million reasons to trade a guy who has experienced recent shoulder issues when I have younger, cheaper alternatives and a better use for his projected salary.

      But it’s not just about the $$.

      Viz has a career walk rate of 4.1 per 9 IP. That’s hideous for a late inning reliever and the prime reason I never have confidence in him when he enters the game.

      Combine that with the money it will cost to keep him and I’d just as soon move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  246. 316 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    And another gentle reminder that the arb deadline is in 2 days. We have 7 guys eligible. I’m listing them with their projected 2019 salaries as projected by MLBTR:

    Kevin Gausman – $9.2MM
    Mike Foltynewicz – $5.5MM
    Arodys Vizcaino – $4.8MM
    Adam Duvall – $3.1MM
    Dan Winkler – $1.6MM
    Sam Freeman – $1.5MM
    Charlie Culberson – $1.4MM

    I think Viz and Sam Freeman are non-tender candidates. I believe Duvall could be as well, especially if the Braves had their starting OF in the fold already. Right now he’s just major disaster insurance.

    I’d like to see the team come to agreement on all these other guys and avoid the whole ugly arb process altogether. And I’d like to see Folty given a long term deal and entrenched as a top-of-the-rotation Braves pitcher for the next 4-5 years. Let’s take Viz’s $4.8M + Sam’s $1.5M + Folty’s own $5.5M and cover Folty’s shiney new $12M per year deal.

    Like

  247. 317 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    One more comment and I then must get back to my paying job…

    Imagine that Washington, after all the splashy moves it has already made, brings back Bryce Harper as well.

    And then imagine Philly, after making a few splashy moves itself, reacts by spending their “stupid money” on Manny.

    I’m not one to advocate “reacting” to what other teams do, but you do have to at least try to keep up. We may have to bite a hard bullet and make our own splash in the trade market to stay in the NL East title conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  248. 318 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    The video of the interview with Thoppy that I posted earlier today was only a portion of the full interview. The audio of that is here:

    https://omny.fm/shows/cellini-and-dimino/alex-anthopoulos-braves-gm-in-studio

    Like

  249. 321 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Shelby Miller has passed a physical and signed a deal with TEX. I hope he has a big year with them. More importantly, I hope he has a healthy year with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 322 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2019 at 8:37 am

      V, Viz was throwing 99 in the playoffs, so I assume his shoulder is fine. Didn’t Mike Soroka have repeated shoulder issues, to the point they shut him down for the year? I know he’s a kid, but still…shoulder issues at 20-21.
      If the braves DFA him for 4.8 mil then they just aren’t all that serious about winning this year…hope to do the ol’ braves thing of being just good enough to get wiped out in the first round, if they get to it…
      I remember all the other guys sucking (save Minter) when they tried to close out games. it was painful to watch.
      is he a perfect closer? no…he will make you sweat, but then strike out the side, like he did against the Dodgers in the playoffs. He’s not exactly old, just turned 28.

      Like

  250. 323 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I wonder if this has any connection to the Carter Stewart snafu?

    Like

  251. 324 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    This smacks of an deeper story…

    Like

  252. 326 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Like

  253. 327 Vox O'Reasoñ January 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Like

  254. 328 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Leaks out of LA say that the Kitties were asking the Dodgers for #1 OF prospect Alex Verdugo for 1 year of the defensively challenged Castellanos. If that’s their asking price, I could understand if AntMan deleted (Tigers GM) Al Avila’s phone number from his contacts at the Winter Meetings.

    Like

  255. 329 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 7:56 am

    So why are all these baseball execs being so “patient” recently, waiting well into the new year for the market to soften?

    Yasmani Grandal, who reportedly turned down 4 years/$60M-$64M from the Mets last month, has settled for a 1 year deal at $18.25M from the Brewers.

    Like

  256. 330 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 8:07 am

    At least there is a little movement at the top of the FA market…

    Reports from many of the national writers late yesterday say that there is some movement in both the Manny and Bryce camps, and that each are seeking deals that top Giancarlo Stanton’s current record holding pact.

    I read in someone’s, disputed by another’s, that the Yankees are now out on Manny, and that his market is basically down to 2 teams – ChiSox and Phillies. Similarly, it appears the Phillies are also 1 of 2 teams remaining on Bryce, being said Phils and the Nats.

    I’d love nothing better than to see Philly whiff on both, but have a bad feeling they’ll get one if it kills them. After all, their owner says they’re gonna spend “stupid money”, and they’re determined to make headlines.

    I do wonder, though, now that the Dodgers are obviously out on bringing Grandal back if they could return to the Bryce derby. MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince is convinced that the Cards will be the derby winner on Bryce even though they haven’t been prominently mentioned for weeks. Then again, he’s also convinced that the Braves are going to acquire Madison Bumgarner. so his judgment has to be called into question to a certain degree.

    At any rate, the market is beginning to churn a little bit again, even if it’s a little slow out of the gate.

    Like

  257. 331 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Reminder, there is just one ore day to come to agreement on contracts with our 7 arb eligible players…

    Like

  258. 333 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Braves are darn blessed to have Wash on board here. The guy just makes ML infielders.

    Liked by 2 people

  259. 334 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2019 at 8:53 am

    V, if the braves don’t want to pay Viz 4.8 mil, then I’d say they aren’t really serious about winning this year. Oh sure, they will….compete, but if they get to the playoffs, 1st round and out…I remember what it was like when he was out…all these guys pretty much sucked (save Minter, and that only after he got more comfortable in the Role) Yeah, Viz will make you sweat, but like he did against the Dodgers, he can then strike out the side. Don’t think anyone else on the staff can do that. He just turned 28, so he’s not exactly old
    Didn’t Soroka have shoulder issues that came up twice, then shut down for the year because of his age? ( he only pitched 60-65 innings for all of 2018) That worries me more than Viz’s arm. He was hitting 99 in the playoffs…

    Liked by 1 person

    • 335 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 9:44 am

      It’s cool. We simply disagree on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 336 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 9:51 am

        all these guys pretty much sucked (save Minter, and that only after he got more comfortable in the Role)

        Don’t forget that Minter was dealing with a muscle (oblique I think?) injury that was not made public until after the season. His improvement in results came with the improvement of his injury.

        Like

        • 337 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 10:02 am

          Ah.. there it is. Bowman reported back in late September: Minter has been working on his mechanics recently after losing his release point early in August following a back strain.

          I thought I remembered reading something along those lines back then.

          Like

  260. 338 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Hmmm… and right after Brian Bridges and Roy Clark are fired, uh… I mean “released” from their contracts.

    It’s not hard to read between the lines here. The official reason for Bridges’ firing was that while he is a respected scout and talent evaluator, he was not proficient in the administration duties that come from the Director of Scouting position. It would appear that it was at least an administrative snafu that led to the dispute, grievance and eventual settlement… which I am sure cost the Braves a chunk of money in the end. It may have even cost them more than the original bonus slot amount would have. It obviously cost two men their jobs.

    One might even reach to speculate that the reason the two men’s jobs were connected was due to some misleading or unethical actions on their part. But that’s just speculation on my part.

    Bottom line: screw the pooch and lose your job. Real life in action.

    Liked by 1 person

  261. 339 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

    At the very least, retaining the #9 pick is a huge bit of news for a team that is desperate to hit on as many domestic draft picks as possible given the int’l market restrictions.

    Like

  262. 340 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Ber, how about this for a compromise? I don’t mind Viz being here if we don’t need his $4.8M for an OF or other more pressing need, and if he can win a job in Spring. Fair enough?

    Like

  263. 341 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Bowman says, “The Braves have won the grievance filed by Carter Stewart.”

    “Won” or “settled”? Just semantics or significant?

    One says, “We were not wrong.” The other says, “We were wrong, but we’ve atoned for it to your satisfaction.”

    Not sure of it matters or if we’ll ever really know, but 2 high ranking guys in the scouting department were sacked yesterday. Coincidence?

    Like

  264. 342 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Is the FA dam finally breaking?

    Like

  265. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    “Bridges and Clark had continued in their regular duties since October, including accompanying Anthopoulos and his other directors and top assistants to the Winter Meetings last month in Las Vegas. Bridges and Clark are the latest Braves long-timers to be let go this offseason, after two minor league managers and a venerable former manager were dropped.

    Dismissed were Rocket Wheeler, who managed high Single-A Rome last season in his 26th year as a minor league manager and 16th in the Braves’ organization; Luis Salazar, who managed the high Single-A Florida team in his eighth season as a Braves minor league manager; and on-field adviser Randy Ingle, who spent 41 seasons with the Braves, including 26 as a minor league manager before moving to the minor league advisory role he held in 2018.” DOB- Athletic

    So, it only takes one “awe shiff” to wipe oout a ton of atta boys…

    Like

  266. 344 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 10:53 am

    I would not get overly comfortable in the manager’s office if I were Snit… Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 346 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Well, the Nats were looking for a 2nd baseman…

    Like

  268. 347 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

    V, ok…fair enough compromise…better be someone demonstrably better than Nick M, or the compromise is OFF 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  269. 348 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I hate to say it, but I like the moves the Nats have made…in fact, I could see them having a decent chance of winning the division even without Harper…. Dozier’s average stunk last year, but 21 72 is not a bad off year for a 2nd baseman. and he bounces back to 34 HR’s like he had in 2017….

    Like

    • 349 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 11:46 am

      They’ll have a good team no doubt if they are healthy and Juan Soto repeats his 2018 performance. But as tasty as an OF of Soto, Adam Eaton and Victor Robles looks on paper, there are at least a few questions. Will Soto avoid the proverbial sophomore slump? Are Eaton’s legs healthy? Can they remain so for 162 games? Is Robles as advertised? If the answer to all of those questions is “yes”, then they are solid.

      Still, the Nats have a way of overcoming their own good fortune somehow. Bad mojo? Abraham Lincoln’s ghost? Proximity to Nancy Pelosi’s DC office? Who knows…

      All I know is that the Braves are still 1 more good bat away from being ready to compete.

      Liked by 1 person

  270. 350 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Wow…

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 351 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Guys, the same could be said of Acuna as far as the sophomore slump argument goes. Robles? I’d take him…

    As for the Braves repeating, they won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year. Like Ender and his base stealing… So, it’s going to be a bit tougher sledding in 2019. New season, new schedule, new team mates, new chemistry. You just never know how things will shake out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 352 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      yep, we also have a frequently injured 3rd baseman, that is 33!!! Just tell him to Manny B.E. down the line during April/May til it warms up….

      Like

      • 353 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

        we also have a frequently injured 3rd baseman

        Just 3 disabling injuries in 8 ML seasons. Between the time he became a full season regular in 2013, he played in game totals of 158, 158, 158, and 155 before his first DL stint for a left calf strain limited him to just 113 games in 2017. Last year he hit the DL twice – early in the year with shoulder inflammation, then with the right calf injury – limiting him to just 52 games, 36 in TOR before being traded and coming back healthy with Cleveland in September. And in the season’s final 16 games he slashed .280/.400/.520 w/ 3 HRs and 3 doubles showing no lingering effects in the calf.

        Three DL visits in 8 years… same as Freddie Freeman.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 354 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      the same could be said of Acuna as far as the sophomore slump

      Absolutely.

      Like

  272. 355 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Joe Frisaro, the Marlins’ equivalent to our own Mark Bowman on MLB.com, posted this about 1:00 pm this afternoon:

    According to a source, the Braves, Dodgers, Astros, Padres, Rays and Reds are considered the front-runners to acquire Realmuto.

    Seriously, can you have 6 “front-runners”? 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 356 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    And a side note on JTR…

    He’s in his 3rd year of arb, and thus must come to agreement on at least a 1 year deal with MIA before 1:00 pm ET tomorrow or the two sides must submit their respective amounts for arbitration. If they do in fact exchange figures, any team that acquires him in trade must abide by those submitted terms. Of course, the two sides can come to agreement at any point prior to the actual hearing, but the Braves in particular are known as a “file and trial” team, meaning once figures are exchanged, the negotiations cease and they go by the arbiter’s decision.

    I wonder if they might make an exception if they acquired a guy after figures were already exchanged?

    And I wonder how you approach that process with JTR knowing you’re trying to trade him and his salary anyway? Weird…

    Like

  274. 357 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Just another moving part to contend with…

    Like

  275. 358 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Wha-a-a-a-t?? That lineup though… 😯

    Like

  276. 359 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    OK, since Buster has brought this up, let’s examine Pollock for a minute.

    First, MLBTR ranked him as their #8 FA heading into the offseason, and predicted he’d sign for about 4 years, $60M.

    Now… he is someone that I might characterize as “frequently injured”. 2015 was the only year in which he played 113 games in the past 5 seasons. His injuries have included a broken hand, an elbow fracture, a groin strain, and last year’s thumb fracture.

    I suspect given the nature of those injuries that he’s a guy that goes full throttle on every ball hit to the OF, which is why he’s such a highly rated OF. IF he were placed in LF or RF, would he continue to play with wild abandon?

    Probably. Guys who are gamers like that just go all gas no brakes. It’s just how they’re wired.

    But when he’s playing, his 162 game averages look like this: .281/.338/.467, 19 HR, 67 RBI, 37 doubles, 7 triples, 26 stolen bases.

    For the sake of argument, let’s meet his asking price. It might structure out something like 2019 = $13M, ’20 = $14M, ’21 = $15.5M, ’22 = $17.5M.

    The positives: the Braves keep Austin Riley and all the other nice prospects and still add an impact bat to the lineup. They have an elite defensive OF… maybe the best in baseball. There is still money left over to look at enhancing the team’s pitching depth.

    The negatives: Can he stay healthy? Will cost a draft pick as he received a QO from ARI. Uh… that’s about it.

    So in essence you are banking your remaining big splash on an injury risk.

    That’s a tough one for me. I know we need to add an OF. Unless we can swing a trade for a younger controllable guy, we have to lay money out there. Nick will cost $8M-$9M per season himself. And I look back at Buster’s lineup… and it looks pretty darn good. Glad I don’t have to make the call.

    Maybe nothing but rumor, but I think I’ll keep my ear to the ground on this anyway.

    Like

  277. 360 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    One more thought on the Pollock think. I wonder if getting a resolution on the Carter Stewart grievance plays into the timing here. Now that they know they are keeping the #9 pick (Stewart compensation) along with their regular pick at #21, perhaps they are more comfortable giving up their second rounder to sign Pollock?

    Just a thought…

    Like

  278. 361 Vox O'Reasoñ January 10, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Tell ya what… I’ll take Pollock on a 2-year / $30M deal, with a 3rd year team option at $16M and $2M buyout. Lines me up for Christian Pache or Drew Waters.

    That guarantees him $32M and maybe more if he proves himself that valuable.

    Like

  279. 362 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    So, what level of draft pick would have to be forfeited?

    Like

  280. 364 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 8:27 am

    On a day that is sure to be filled with news of 1-year agreements (or non-agreements), and possible longer term agreements, I have to be on the road for most of it.

    So glad there are mobile options…

    Like

  281. 366 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 10:43 am

    3 down, 4 to go. From the Braves:

    The Atlanta Braves today agreed to terms with RHP Arodys Vizcaíno on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $4.8 million for the 2019 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration.

    The Atlanta Braves today agreed to terms with RHP Mike Foltynewicz on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $5.475 million for the 2019 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration.

    The Atlanta Braves today agreed to terms with Charlie Culberson on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $1.395 million for the 2019 season.

    Like

  282. 367 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    So, still to hear on Gausman, Winkler and Freeman….

    Like

  283. 368 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Like

  284. 369 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    All done.

    Like

  285. 370 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Does this mean there are now only 5 “front tunners”? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  286. 373 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    So if I read this right, and there is any accuracy to it, the Marlins starting point in trade talks with LAD is Cody Bellinger?

    Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!

    The chances of the Dodgers trading Bellinger are about as high as the Braves trading Ozzie Albies.

    Liked by 1 person

  287. 374 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    So some quick albeit sketchy math – that includes estimates for the to-be-assigned pre-arb contracts – indicates the team’s current payroll sits around $115M. In that interview that is linked above, Thoppy specifically said they would exceed last year’s payroll in 2019. He said, “I do know we will be up… we’ll be up quite a bit. We’re not there yet. We have money that we can spend right now. We have quite a bit of money that we can spend right now. But we’re not finding the deal we like.”

    Last year’s Opening Day payroll was about $121M.

    I suppose the question then is how much is “quite a bit”? After all, he used that phrase twice, so it must have some tangible meaning, right?

    Like

  288. 375 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Baseball Prospectus has published their Top Prospects lists for 2019, including a new TOp 10 for the Braves. The names won’t be new to anyone, but the order might. Here is their list:

    Ian Anderson – RHP
    Austin Riley – 3B
    Mike Soroka – RHP
    Kyle Wright – RHP
    Bryse Wilson – RHP
    Cristian Pache – OF
    Drew Waters – OF
    Touki Toussaint – RHP
    Kyle Muller – LHP
    Joey Wentz – LHP

    Sometimes WordPress is funny about number lists, so the numbers may disappear. If that happens, just know the list is in order 1-10 top to bottom.

    Personally, I think 1-3 are fairly interchangeable… and in my book are as close to untouchable as you can get. I’d have to really get something special back in return for any one of those guys.

    Like

  289. 377 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Vee, I suspect the Marlins “ask” for Realmuto includes 1-3 plus Ozzie… While one would likely be included, I would just as soon wait for JTR to hit free agency in a couple of years.

    Liked by 2 people

  290. 378 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    If anyone cares:

    Like

  291. 379 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Gil, If I’m giving up Riley, it better be for a guy with pop that is controllable more than just 2 years.

    I am simply not giving up Soroka or Anderson. Period. Call it Adam Wainright Syndrome.

    Liked by 2 people

  292. 381 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Yep. It’s why Johan Camargo shouldn’t be in despair over JD coming on board. It”s also why we’ll keep both Johan and Charlie on the roster… and both will see plenty of innings.

    Like

  293. 382 Vox O'Reasoñ January 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Like

  294. 383 berigan2electricboogaloo January 13, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Hmmm, now they have even more guys to play one of 3 positions out there…
    “Wil Myers was one of the Padres’ most popular options at third base last year, but it doesn’t appear he’ll factor in at the hot corner in 2019. On Saturday, Myers told reporters – including Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune and AJ Cassavell of MLB.com – that he’ll be a full-time outfielder next season.

    Of course, Myers’ shift back to the outfield will have ripple effects on the rest of the Padres’ position player group. Not only will it add to an outfield logjam – one that also includes Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes, Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski – but it’ll make it all the more important for San Diego to find a starting third baseman. The Padres have been prioritizing third this offseason, as Cassavell reported last month and as Acee further emphasizes.

    Like

  295. 384 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I’m not a fan of Wil Myers himself. Wait. That sounded personal. What I mean is… uh, I hate to quote DOB directly, but he addressed it yesterday: He’s coming off injury-plagued and unimpressive season (.253/.318/.446 w/ 11 HR, 94 K in 322 AB/83 games) and is owed $74 million over next four years of a backloaded deal, including $22.5M each of 2020-2022 seasons.

    Unless I’m getting money back and not giving up much in prospects, I’d rather aim higher for Hunter Renfroe. But he’s not a perfect fit either, as AA is looking for a LH bat to balance a RH heavy lineup, and Renfroe is RH. (As is Myers, for that matter.)

    So who fits? Franchy Cordero is a LH, but his splits are bad enough that the Pads look at him as a more of a part time platoon candidate. Framnil Reyes is RH. Manuel Margot? RH. Then there’s Travis Jankowski. He is LH, but has little power and projects more as a 4th OF.

    In other words, the Fathers are not quite the perfect match that some see.

    Liked by 1 person

  296. 385 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 7:55 am

    The “big” news over the weekend centers around the 2 FA linchpins Manny and Bryce. The Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu for 2B, essentially ending their erratic pursuit of Manny, thus leaving his market down to CHW, PHI and the vaunted “mystery team”. Speaking of Philly, they met with Bryce over the weekend and exited the confab as the reported new leader for his services. They are determined to sign one of the two big dogs, and Bryce is the better fit for them. I expect that to happen fairly soon. Back to Manny… the ChiSox made a formal offer yesterday for 8 years at an undisclosed $$ amount. I so want that to happen… but I also want Bryce to go to their north side rivals, putting both stars in the same city. I think that would be amazing for baseball, but it won’t happen. As much as Theo and company want Bryce in Wrigley (can you even imagine that?), ownership has put the clampdown on their spending.

    And as soon as Manny and Bryce make their choices, the dam should break and the others should begin to find new employers.

    As for the Braves, they continue to be linked to AJ Pollock, but not at 4 years. Reportedly, if he’ll come back to 2 years (and preferably a 1-year “pillow” contract like JD), the Braves would make it happen. DOB pointed out the difference between the 2 players, though. JD has something to prove and has a fully healed calf muscle. Pollock has less certainty and would prefer a longer guarantee.

    Like

    • 386 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 8:16 am

      This floated in late last night:

      Math reveals that to be an AAV of $31.25M per year to play baseball. It’s good work if you can get it.

      Like

      • 387 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 8:36 am

        Also, it should be noted AJ Pollock is a RH batter. Contradiction of stated needs? Hard to say.

        We should also remember that AA told the radio guys last week that if you hear a name directly connected to the Braves, you can probably discount him as a possibility as AA and his posse are working more behind the scenes. Perhaps that statement was intended to throw us all off the scent. Maybe not. At any rate, I won’t start frothing at the mouth because Jon Heyman or Buster Olney connect a name to the Braves. And especially Ken Rosenclick. They really just want us to click a link to their story, accurate or not. America 2019.

        Like

  297. 388 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 8:01 am

    And the last item on my menu for the Braves this morning is JTR. I am about sick of talking about him. The Marlins’ asking price remains stupid high, causing the Padres to drop out of the race citing the unrealistic demands.

    I’m ready for all teams to say BYE and leave Jeter stuck with an expiring asset. Maybe he’ll learn something. I don’t mind any exec assigning a value to his own player and not taking less than he thinks he’s worth. But there is point that exits high regard and enters mania. Jeter has crossed the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 389 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 8:25 am

      The remaining teams of supposed interest should be the Braves, Rays and Astros (I don’t really believe the Reds to be a serious “front runner”), all of whom can simply wait out the delusional Marlins. The Braves can at least begin the season well with McFlow, while the Rays have Mike Zunino, whom they acquired from the Mariners earlier in the offseason, as the starter with youngster Michael Perez as his backup, and the ‘Stros have Robinson Chirinos and Max Stassi. So it’s not like any of the remaining 3 “front runners” are desperate to fill a catching void. Rather, each of these teams would love to make a major upgrade. I doubt any of them, the Braves included, will blink. It behooves each to simply wait… much like they have been doing.

      Like

    • 390 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Like

  298. 391 berigan2electricboogaloo January 14, 2019 at 10:15 am

    And the last item on my menu for the Braves this morning is JTR. I am about sick of talking about him. The Marlins’ asking price remains stupid high, causing the Padres to drop out of the race citing the unrealistic demands.
    V, I too am quite tired of the JTR talk….been tired of it from almost the beginning. If he was in another division, I could see trading away the next Wainwright (and someone else that might end up almost as good) but to see say 2 starters as thorns in the braves side for 5 years, for a guy that could be gone in 2 years. Bleh.

    with all that said, very weak , very weak defense of the Marlins, I kept hearing the Padres now have the best Minor league prospects, but won’t trade any of the top 5 guys…well…ok, you can certainly do that, but how do you expect to get JTR or Kubler for numbers 6, and 7? No team is going to do that…what’s happening now is what has happened in the past, only seems to be an ever bigger problem. Teams value prospects too much.
    Worried about years of controllable-ness (new word) and cheapness, over, you know…winning. Pirates are a great example of that…fans stayed away in droves last year, even when they were good for the first 2-3 months.
    Do I have a point??? I doubt it…the first part perhaps…did I mention I was sick?

    Like

    • 392 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Very true that the new trend is to go younger. It’s a by-product of the new analytics driven game. All the hard numbers indicate that a player is in his prime from age 26-31, so players 32 and above are no longer valued the way they once were. The ripple effect is that teams do not want to give long term deals that extend very far past a player’s age 31, and are more willing to give younger prospects a chance to establish themselves. I have not tried to go back and look at average team ages, but I’d venture a guess that that number is going down. It is a fact that the average player salary went down in 2018 for the first time in ML history because of the trend to play younger players still in teams’ “controllable” years, while refusing to give out big guarantees to the old guys. (You can bet that the MLPBA will address that in the next negotiations, but I digress.) It doesn’t help any when you look at guys like Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and Jacoby Ellsbury… all of whom are getting paid a veritable mint while playing sparingly. 38-year-old Pujols is due $87M for 3 more years, yet can’t field or hardly even run. 35-year-old Cabrera is still owed him $154M through 2023 and managed only 38 games last season. 35-year-old Ellsbury didn’t play at all in 2018 and is still owed $21M per season for both ’19 & ’20, plus a $21M team option for ’22 that carries a $5M buyout. And he’ll be a bench bat in the Bronx at best.

      Is it any wonder that teams are skeptical to give out older players what used to be their “last big deal”?

      Personally, as a capitalist at heart, I perfectly good with a player getting whatever an owner is willing to pay. But conversely, if said owner prefers to “pay as they go” on short term deals, I’m perfectly good with that as well.

      Like

  299. 393 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    “All the hard numbers indicate that a player is in his prime from age 26-31, so players 32 and above are no longer valued the way they once were.”

    Yes, the collation between age and performance is returning to pre PED levels.

    There will always be those rare freaks of nature who defy father time but for the most part, the window for a huge payday is getting smaller. That is why players like Bryce Harper will hold out for the highest bidder. Everyone involves knows that anything beyond age 34 is a crap shoot.

    A load of people point to the Mike Stanton contract as the new benchmark but the majority of Stanton’s money is back loaded. Loria knew Stanton would not retire in a Marlin’s uniform.

    So, that brings us to player’s like Nick Markakis who by all rights should expect a big increase in his salary based on his 2018 performance but it is not going to happen. Is it fair? Well, yes and no. It all comes down to timing.

    My advice to Thoppy… Sign Acuna long term while he can because it is a much safer bet than thinking the Braves will keep him beyond age 26 if he continues on his present trajectory for a discount…

    Liked by 2 people

  300. 394 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Nick Markakis who by all rights should expect a big increase in his salary based on his 2018 performance but it is not going to happen.

    What will hurt, and is hurting Nick is that his production, while All-Star worthy early in the year, absolutely cratered in August and September. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if it weren’t for that, he would probably have been re-upped here early in the offseason. Everyone loves him, and he fits the profile. But that finish… oy…

    Liked by 1 person

  301. 395 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I would like to wish him luck, but the Phillies? Well… I hope Lane stays injury free. Fair enough?

    Like

  302. 396 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    AJC.com: Braves will unveil refreshed uniforms for the 2019 season during Chop Fest Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Battery Atlanta.

    The very short blurb doesn’t define what that means. Big teaser. I guess we’ll find out on Jan. 19, eh?

    Like

  303. 397 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Hmmm…

    Here’s a perfect example of how a report/rumor/statement can be taken at face value without having the evidence to back it up:

    Me.

    I’ve heard for a few weeks that AA is looking for a LH power bat for RF to help balance a RH heavy lineup. Today I looked at the projected lineup. If you eliminate the vacant RF position, and call McFlowers a wash, the other 6 positions are taken by 3 RH (Acuña, JD, Dans), 2 LH (Ender, Freddie) and 1 SH (Ozzie… who admittedly is a better RH hitter). So while a LH hitter would be great, I don’t think it’s an overwhelming necessity. Makes me re-think alot of the statements I’ve made above here.

    Perhaps a desire for a LH hitting RF would be greater if the RH hitting JTR were wearing a tomahawk? Perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  304. 398 Vox O'Reasoñ January 14, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Non-exciting Braves news, per DOB:

    Braves made a bevy of position and/or title changes in baseball operations, including asst. GM Perry Minasian adding VP of baseball operations to his title and Jonathan Schuerholz moving from asst. player development director to asst. director of pro scouting.

    Here’s the list:
    Perry Minasian – Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations & Assistant General Manager
    Alex Tamin – Assistant General Manager, Major League Operations
    Dixie Keller – Director, Baseball Administration
    Garrett Wilson – Manager, Baseball Systems
    Noah Woodward – Manager, Major League Operations
    Elizabeth Terán – Executive Assistant to Alex Anthopoulos
    Matt Grabowski – Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting Operations
    Ron Knight – Assistant Director, Minor League Operations
    Jonathan Schuerholz – Assistant Director, Professional Scouting
    A.J. Scola – Assistant Director, Minor League Personnel

    Like

  305. 400 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    “Former New York Yankees legend Mel Stottlemyre — who starred on the mound for the Bronx Bombers before presiding over five World Series titles as a pitching coach for the Yankees and Mets — died Sunday in Seattle after a battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 77.”

    Believe it or not, I saw Stottlemyre pitch as a kid for the Richmond Virginians in triple A… Man, that was a eon ago… May he rest in peace, bone cancer is an awful thing…

    Liked by 2 people

  306. 401 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Gotta be careful who you read and what you believe. There was a report last night that was picked up by some national writers that said the Braves had extended an offer to Marwin González, with one even asserting that he had signed.

    That was quickly quashed by Gabe Burns, who emphatically stated that “the Braves have NOT made any offer to Marwin Gonzalez.” He went even further to say, “They’ve continued monitoring OF options in trade/FA, but to my knowledge Gonzalez has not been among them.”

    But who else do we have to talk about today? So here we go…

    I have nothing against González, and I can certainly think of worse options. But we sort of have MarGo already in Johan Camargo, although Gonzalez has more experience in LF. Actually, he has alot more experience in LF given that Camargo has exactly 0 games outside the IF.

    Last year, the 29-year-old SH González slashed .247/.324/.409 with 16 HR’s in 145 games, split between LF (71), SS (32), 2B (24), 1B (22), 3B (2), CF (2), RF (1), and 7 PH appearances.

    He had a career year in 2017 when he slashed .303/.377/.530 with 23 HR’s in just 134 games.

    If you give any credence to the WAR stat – Wins Above Replacement – he was worth 2.5 wins last season. By comparison, Nick Markakis was a 2.6 WAR player last season. (Just for grins and giggles, Johan was a 3.7 WAR player last year.) And while I don’t think you can absolutely quantify a player’s worth in games per se, I do think it’s a fairly useful tool to compare against other players.

    Would MarGo be a good signing for us? IMO, he would not be a bad signing. But is that how we want to characterize our acquisition… “It wasn’t bad”? It’s a little like those new commercials about the brake shop that’s “OK”, or the doctor that’s “OK”, or the tattoo artist that’s “OK”. I would like better than “OK”. Again, I can think of worse players, but if that is what we are left with, I’d just as soon give Johan a ton of time in LF during spring and just let him have it. Like I said, he is Marwin González, just better.

    Like

  307. 402 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

    There is another report out now that says San Diego’s interest in Corey Kluber is to flip him for a 3B. In other words, they would like to work a 3-way deal in which they give up some position prospects from their #1 rated farm system to acquire Kluber from CLE, but engage another team with a solid 3B to fill that hole while also picking up some itching prospects for the perennial “ace” pitcher.

    Could Atlanta lineup with SD and CLE in that scenario? Maybe. It would probably cost Austin Riley though. And not just Riley, of course. Probably Riley plus Kyle Wright plus some lesser prospects.

    Per the report, the Pads have tried to engage the Reds in an effort to land their top 3B prospect Nick Senzel. CIN has said “no”.

    IMO, the Braves should also reject such an overture. The only position on the field that is more difficult to develop than catcher is the classic power hitting 3B. That’s why the only player for whom I would consider giving up Riley would be a top catcher (no names mentioned).

    Like

  308. 405 Gordon Lawrence January 15, 2019 at 10:55 am

    I see TOMAHAWK TAKE is beating the drum for A.J. POLLACK. They must be in full blown panic-mode over there, sweating while waiting for AA to bust a move. I’ve said here for several months now that POLLACK was my pick on an incentive-laden make-good one or two year deal.

    Like

  309. 406 Gordon Lawrence January 15, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Having KAKES and DUVALL in a RF platoon makes me sweat. A scary proposition in 2019 while waiting for PACHE and WATERS to muscle up to the majors.

    Like

  310. 408 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

    I am of the opine that lots of folks (Braves fans) are just getting nervous that someone has not been signed to play in the Atlanta outfield. Pretty sure Thoppy will make a deal at some point, he just has not let the whole world know who it will be. I am still advocating for Mike Stanton but what do I know?

    Liked by 2 people

  311. 409 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Echoes my sentiments…

    Liked by 1 person

  312. 410 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Oh good grief…

    Liked by 2 people

    • 411 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Is this anything like the performer “formerly known as Prince”?

      Liked by 2 people

      • 412 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 4:18 pm

        Fun trivia, and probably more than anyone wants to know… so you may tune out now if you wish…

        Prince was on the bad end of a recording deal that plagues a vast majority of young artists who cannot afford a lawyer to pour over the intentional mound of paperwork filled with small print caveats. His record company, Warner Bros., not only made money off the star’s product, but they by contract could dictate how and when he recorded to a degree that Prince felt was stifling to his creativity. After rising to superstar status, Prince sought to renegotiate the deal, not in an attempt to gain a higher percentage of the profits, but to be able to put out more records than Warner Bros. was allowing. Warner Bros. said “NO”, holding Prince to the original terms of their pact and asserting creative control over his work.

        This time, though, Prince could afford a lawyer, and his own creativity combined with some hired legal savvy came up with the scheme to legally change his name to a symbol which could be neither pronounced nor copyrighted, allowing “the artist formerly known as Prince” to produce material under his own means outside his contract with Warner Bros. without any outside interference or limit. And he churned out a ton of material as well as writing and producing hits for numerous other artists… none of it for Warner Bros.

        And when his original contract with Warner Bros. was up in 2000, he legally changed his name back to Prince.

        OK, those who turned away can come back now.

        Liked by 2 people

  313. 415 Vox O'Reasoñ January 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    And I have visions of quitting my job and spending all my time here in the ol’ B&S.

    Liked by 3 people

  314. 416 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Well, if they can get it done, why not? It sure would make them formidable…

    Like

  315. 417 Gordon Lawrence January 15, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Talking Chop is plowing through their top 30 farm prospects. Up to 19 at the moment. However, some of my favs have already been listed.

    Some pitchers and reliefer’s on their list:
    [ ] = age;
    ( ) = TC ranking.

    Starting Pitching:

    RH HUASCAR YNOA [20] (24) – I like this kid. I think he’s got a real future with the club. Would not surprise me to see him take a big step forward this season. He’s got a full year, probably two before he comes calling in ATLANTA.

    RH JASSEEL de la CRUZ [21] (21) – I think his development is behind YNOA, and I can’t rank him above YNOA going forward. That didn’t stop TC from doing just that however. I get no respect. He got hurt at the end of last April, and when he came back in June it showed. He seemed to right his ship somewhat late in the season so there’s hope for the future, but I would be a bit more circumspect as to his future in MLB than the TC crew.

    Relief Pitching:

    RH CHAD SOBOTKA [25] (22) – I’ve already placed him on ATLANTA’s roster. ST will tell if I am right. He’s been listed as a fairly low prospect by TC. I think they are wrong. I honestly believe he makes the 25-man right away. Blew through three levels in the minors, and carried a 0.98 WHIP in 14.1 IP in ATLANTA in 2018.

    LH CORBIN CLOSE [23] (23) – if he continues his development, I expect him to join the ‘pen sometime in 2019. He may play the up and down game for a bit, but it would not surprise me to see him as a LH replacement for one of the lefties in the bullpen by season’s end.

    LH THOMAS BURROWS [24] – didn’t make the cut, but to my mind, he has the distinct possibility of being in ATLANTA before 2020. He excelled in AA with an 0.84 WHIP in 19 IP.

    RH TREY RILEY 20 – out of nowhere as far as I am concerned. Rookie+ last season. Pretty rough numbers. Had a couple decent relief stints in 2018. First year of pro ball. I didn’t figure RILEY into anything in 2019. This one’s a real surprise to me. Of course, I hope Talking Chop is right on the money here, and i am out in left field. We’ll see.

    Liked by 3 people

  316. 418 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 10:27 am

    This is as close to anything of substance to be divulged by AA the entire offseason. Thanks Stealthy GM for tossing us a bone, even if it’s just a tiny one. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  317. 420 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Tough bones to “pick” Vee….

    Liked by 2 people

  318. 421 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2019 at 11:00 am

    “Add on”….. Current major league player or low level prospect with a high ceiling… Could go ether way…

    I remember once during negotiation in buying a new car, got all the way down to whether or not the deal included the factory floor mats. Salesman: Are you going to let a set of floor mats keep you from buying this car? Me: Are you going to let a set of floor mats keep you from selling this car? All about perspective I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  319. 422 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 11:40 am

    It has been suggested that the Braves have an interest in Padres OF Hunter Renfroe, and that they also have an interest in reliever Kirby Yates as well. I wonder if that’s the type “add-on” of whom he could be speaking? That would be a nice deal to address a couple of areas of need…

    Like

  320. 423 berigan2electricboogaloo January 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    from MLB trade rumors, they say we would lose a 2nd round pick….

    One significant factor in the development of the offseason for the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link), is the team’s hesitation to part with a draft selection to sign a player who declined a qualifying offer. There were six such players, only two of whom have signed to this point. Several are at least hypothetical targets for Atlanta, with the team reportedly showing real interest in outfielder A.J. Pollock. Rosenthal writes that the Braves are worried about the draft compensation that would be required to land Pollock — in their case, a second-round pick that’ll end up being sixty-something overall. Specifically, he says, the Braves “value the selection more than most clubs” because of the amateur talent penalties the team was slapped with in late 2017. If that is indeed a position the team itself holds, it’s somewhat less than compelling. The Braves certainly aren’t alone in valuing draft selections. Like their competitors, they must consider the future talent pipeline. It’s especially tough to see the club as uniquely situated when it still possesses a bounty of young talent at the major and minor league levels.

    Like

    • 424 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Yes, that is correct. If they Braves were to sign a guy who declined a QO – such as AJ Pollock – they would lose their 2nd round pick… which is their 3rd overall since they own the #9 and #21 picks in the 1st round.

      Now, let me just interject something here that is a bit of a bone of contention with me…

      MLBTR cites Ken Rosenclick, who said in his column that the Braves “may be” hesitant to relinquish their 2nd round draft pick. His reasoning centers around the recent losses and penalties incurred by Coppygate. It isn’t flawed logic, But it is, my friends, just supposition. One might even call it “assumption”, and we were all taught as youngsters what happens when we “assume”, weren’t we? Ass-u-me, right?

      Anyway, Rosenclick makes the headline to draw some eyes, and everyone across the blogosphere loses their minds. Over at Talking Chop, a web site that I generally like, they ran their own headline to point to Rosenclick’s article: Braves reluctant to part with draft pick in free agent signing, then summarized it in their piece with statements like “Atlanta has been reluctant to this point to sign a free agent that would require them to lose their third overall choice in the 2019 MLB Draft according to a report by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal”.

      That is factually incorrect. Ken Rosenclick didn’t say that the Braves were reluctant to do anything. He didn’t even say they were hesitant. He said they may be hesitant. He ran a line of logic, and he drew a reasonable conclusion. He supposed. He presumed. That’s his job.

      Now the interwebs are atwitter (see what I did there?) with the Braves’ hesitance to act in Free Agency..

      Bah. Balderdash. Baloney.

      Here’s what the Braves GM did say recently in a radio interview. He said, without mentioning specific FA names for obvious reasons, that if a deal makes sense for the team financially, he would not let the draft pick penalty be a deal breaker. That is straight from the horse’s mouth.

      I believe that the draft pick compensation is a factor, and it should be. It’s a part of the cost. If my GM discounted it out of hand, I’d be disappointed. But if AA is taken at his word, the draft pick cost will not be an impediment to signing a Free Agent just because there is draft pick compensation attached.

      Whew. I had to get that off my chest.

      Liked by 1 person

  321. 426 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Nice factoid…

    Liked by 1 person

  322. 427 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    We still have to wait out the two biggest pieces to sign somewhere so the rest of the market can get price adjusted.

    I guess I have to wonder at what point does ML Baseball begin to collapse upon itself as far as being able to sustain massive contracts? Yes, there are huge amounts of money being thrown around but the steel industry and the auto makers thought there would be no end to their profits too.

    Liked by 3 people

  323. 428 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    I guess I have to wonder at what point does ML Baseball begin to collapse upon itself as far as being able to sustain massive contracts?

    Probably at the end of the 2021 season when the current collective bargaining agreement expires…

    In all seriousness, as long as MLB continues to receive massive influxes of revenue from media mega-deals, players will continue to demand bigger and bigger portions of the pie. And who can blame them?

    Liked by 1 person

  324. 430 Vox O'Reasoñ January 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Manny Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, issued this statement to the media today:

    I have known Bob Nightengale and Buster Olney for many years and have always had a good professional relationship with both. But their recent reporting, like many other rumors in the past several months, have been inaccurate and reckless when it comes to Manny Machado. I don’t know if their sources are blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement by intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons. But the truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong.

    I am well aware that the entire baseball universe; fans, players, teams, and media members alike; are starved for information about this free agent market for all players, including Manny. But I am not going to continue to watch the press be manipulated into tampering with, not just with my client, but all of these players’ livelihoods as they have been doing this entire offseason. The absence of new information to report is no excuse to fabricate “news” or regurgitate falsehoods without even attempting to confirm their validity and it is a disservice to baseball fans everywhere when the media does just that.

    Moving forward, I will continue to respect the CBA’s prohibition on negotiations through the media, and hope that others would do the same.

    Yowser. Lozano is not a fan of suppositions either, especially the way they are currently portrayed in media “reporting”. I believe our President has a name for it… Fake News.

    Liked by 1 person

  325. 431 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Yes, it will eventually result in baseball loss of protection from anti-trust… Persoanally, I would like the wealth to be spread around a little but more to the minors but since I don’t own a team, it is easy for me to say…

    Liked by 1 person

    • 432 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Teams better start investing more in their minor league players. Case in point: Kyler Murray, whom the A’s are about to lose to the allure of instant wealth from the NFL. And who can blame Murray? Why would he eschew making millions right away from being a 1st round NFL pick for toiling away in the minor leagues for peanuts in hopes of making the ML minimum in 3 or 4 years? Even the great Chipper Jones took 4 years to make The Show.

      Yes, in the long run, baseball could likely be the wiser choice. But how do you tell that to a 21 year old kid who sees instant fame and fortune just 3 months away?

      Baseball might want to invest some $$ into keeping the best athletes in their sport…

      Like

  326. 433 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Dan Lozano has a point. He knows it is all about someone trying to be the first with a scoop but in today’s environment what does that amount to, 15 minutes?

    Liked by 1 person

  327. 434 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 8:08 am

    The old joke related to umpires, who fictitiously said, “I call ’em as I see ’em. And if I don’t see ’em, I make ’em up.”

    That joke has sadly shifted to the media, but the only thing fictitious about it is the quality of many of their reports. Making headlines and generating clicks is the only real goal in modern media. Facts are no longer important. And the media personalities hide behind the protection of “sources”, who are and should be protected. That is, of course, if they actually exist. With no mechanism to fact-check “sources”, it comes down to simple trust. And that trust is what is eroding away in modern media. Unfortunately, alot of good and decent journalists are losing credibility alongside the shadier ones. It’s why I no longer watch any news, CNN or Fox. I don’t trust any of them anymore.

    Liked by 3 people

  328. 435 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 9:19 am

    I am as guilty as anyone of seeing something that appeals to me personally and reposting it here. I try not to load us up with garbage, but I’m sure I do my share. I should do a better job of making sure I post the ponderings of others as just that… someone’s musings.

    And related to that, notice I haven’t even mentioned a certain catcher’s name (or initials) here lately? Maybe if something tangible pops up, I’ll break my self-imposed moratorium. Or maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  329. 436 Gil in Mechanicsville January 17, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Question… Would you trade a boatload of young prospects for 2 years on an All-Star who you doubt you can afford in 2021? Asking for a friend…

    Liked by 1 person

  330. 437 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Patrick Weigel is a name we’ve kind of glossed over in favor of some of the more notable ones, but perhaps we shouldn’t. If you’ll recall, he was probably 2 or 3 minor league starts away from making his ML debut in 2017 when he suffered the elbow injury that required TJ surgery and all that follows. Anyway, he is healthy and ready to compete in 2019 and to earn his spot back on the organization’s radar. Here is a fantastic interview with the young man whom I am rooting for both professionally and personally:

    https://www.talkingchop.com/2019/1/16/18182730/interview-with-atlanta-braves-pitching-prospect-patrick-weigel

    Like

  331. 438 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 10:38 am

    We still have to wait out the two biggest pieces to sign somewhere so the rest of the market can get price adjusted.

    The Phillies need to go ahead and make their “stupid money” offer to Bryce and get this thing rolling. It’s going to happen, and they’ve pretty much neutered their own leverage by continuing to spout off in the media about their “visions”. So they might as well cave and get it over with, then Manny can get his deal from the leftovers and AA can finalize his big trade.

    Like

  332. 439 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 11:19 am

    This is almost exciting. It would be if there were a new OF attached. 😀

    Like

  333. 440 Carolina Lady January 17, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Liked by 2 people

  334. 442 Carolina Lady January 17, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Liked by 1 person

  335. 443 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Indulge me here…

    One guy hit .297/.366/.440, with 14 HR, 43 2B in 2018; the other hit .281/.313/.419, with 15 HR, 35 2B.

    One is 35 years old; the other is just 33.

    One is projected to sign for 2 years at about $8M per season; the other is expected to require the same annual amount but for just 1 year.

    One guy started off hot in 2018 and cratered late; the other actually had a better second half than the first.

    One is a former Oriole; the other is a former Oriole. 🙂

    It just strikes me that the Braves are keeping in touch with Nick Markakis as a fallback option if he’ll sign for 1 year, or so it’s rumored. Why would they not also be in touch with Adam Jones, who is younger and has more power potential? If the main concern with Nick is how he tailed off in August and September, wouldn’t logic dictate that Jones’ strong second half should at least spark some mild interest?

    Let me be clear… I prefer a trade for a younger, more potent bat. But if it comes back to “settling” on an affordable FA, I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on the former 5-time All-Star.

    Liked by 1 person

  336. 444 berigan2electricboogaloo January 17, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    berigan2electricboogaloo
    December 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Here is a guy I completely forgot about…Adam Jones. Doesn’t walk but before last year, he had 7 straight 25 + home run seasons. Last year, only 15, but 35 doubles…
    He’s 33

    Liked by 2 people

  337. 445 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Well, the OF market appears to be clogged, but the reliever market is gangbusters… well, gangbusters in the Bronx anyway. The Yankees have just signed Adam Ottavino to go along with the previously signed Zach Britton to add to incumbents Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. That will be a shutdown bullpen.

    BTW- the terms of the deal are 3 years / $27M. That should end all speculation of them still being in on Manny.

    Liked by 1 person

  338. 446 Gil in Mechanicsville January 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    A couple of things to keep in mind about Adam Jones, one, he was playing hurt for most of the season and two, he was batting in a very weak line up. I don’t think Jones can really be called upon to play centerfield as he once did but still could handle either corner without much trouble.

    As far as Nick’s drop-off in production last season, it is why I think it is detrimental to play in the All-star game. Instead of getting break in their routine and allowed to recharge mentally as well as physically, they are run down the cattle shoot. I just don’t see an up side to it. Want an All-star game? Play it after the World Series…

    Liked by 3 people

    • 447 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      I don’t think Jones can really be called upon to play centerfield as he once did but still could handle either corner without much trouble.

      He’d make a heckuva LF’er, especially in an OF that features Ender and RAJ. Can his bat bounce back? Maybe… and it would be good reason for him to come in on a 1 year deal ala JD to prove he’s healthy and worth alot more in 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

  339. 448 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Would reliever Jonathan Holder be considered an “add on”? 😉 I’ll take him.

    Like

  340. 449 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    If we could pick up Gray and Holder, then send Julio elsewhere, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. Gray is a candidate for a nice bounceback outside the Bronx Zoo, and Holder is an up-and-comer.

    Liked by 1 person

  341. 450 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Like

  342. 451 Vox O'Reasoñ January 17, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Then again, our GM is stealthy. So…

    Like

  343. 452 Gordon Lawrence January 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    A trade scenerio that sent a package of JULIO and SHANE CARLE away
    for anybody would suit me right down to the ground.

    Liked by 3 people

  344. 453 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Hard not to root for this guy even if he does play for a rival. Of course, now that he has transferred to Oklahoma, the rivalry factor isn’t there. I hope he has a spectacular 2019 season unless OU plays UGA in a bowl or playoff game. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  345. 454 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Based in fact or fiction? Hard to say…

    Like

  346. 455 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 9:45 am

    A trade scenerio that sent a package of JULIO and SHANE CARLE away for anybody would suit me

    I still believe Julio will be traded before Opening Day. I also believe there will be a significant trade for an OF’er and an acquisition of a better than average starting pitcher. Nothing tangible to base that on… just my gut. Logic and reason just tells me that AA cannot and will not go into 2019 with needs not addressed when there is a glut of pitching prospects at the top level that are at the peak of their prospect value. It simply does not make good baseball sense.

    As for Shane Carle, if he makes the bullpen coming out of spring, then more power to him. But the competition will be fierce, and and he does have a couple of minor league options remaining, so there’s that. He was very good at times in 2018, but he also faded down the stretch.

    Like

  347. 456 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I liked Allen for the Braves. I think he’ll be good value for LAA. Oh well…

    Like

    • 457 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Somewhere in a string of Tweets, Rosey said, “Allen was looking for team that would give him opportunity to close.” That may not have been such a clear path here, where I think the new analytic approach to the bullpen suggests matchups over innings. In other words, the “closer” may not always pitch the 9th inning if the meat of the opponents’ order is up in the 7th or 8th. I think the new approach says you have at least 3 solid relievers that can get you through the late innings when necessary.

      I’ll never forget watching Craig Kimbrel staring out of the bullpen while the Dodgers were scoring the winning runs because Fredi was saving him for the 9th inning that never came. You have to pitch your best against their best. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 458 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 10:37 am

        And for the Braves, Viz and AJ Minter make up 2 of the 3. Who is the 3rd? Dan Winkler? Maybe. He was very good at times, especially in the first half of the season. Darren O’Day? Distinct possibility. What about Chad Sobotka? I think he has the stuff. None are proven though and come with questions.

        And of course, that also doesn’t take into account the possibility adding to the candidates a young starter like Luiz Gohara or Patrick Weigel, both of whom have the “stuff” to be dominant in relief roles.

        I keep seeing our bullpen characterized as being a weakness, but I swear I see alot of potential already here. But there’s that word again – potential.

        Liked by 1 person

  348. 459 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 10:43 am

    It just underscores how impressive the Yankees’ new bullpen will be: Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Dellin Betances, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Tommy Kahnle… and whomever else if they feel the need for an 8th reliever. But will they need one? Their rotation is equally impressive with Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, JA Happ, and CC Sabathia. That whole pitching staff is impressive top to bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

  349. 460 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Well… It is only money…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  350. 461 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Who is that? Beats me. But according to MLBTR, The 28-year-old hasn’t cracked a big league roster since 2016 and has only 11 MLB frames under his belt in all. However, Aro does have a career 3.14 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 in 174 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He’s spent the past two seasons with the Triple-A affiliates for the Mariners (2017) and the Padres (2018).

    His profiles says he’s mostly a 2 pitch fastball/slider reliever, primarily relying on a 4-seamer that hits 94mph while mixing in a slider at 84mph. He will occasionally add in a rare changeup that floats in at 84mph and an even rarer sinker that hits 93mph. He is considered a flyball pitcher.

    Nothing to get excited about. Purely a no-risk addition to fill out the minor league bullpen.

    Like

  351. 462 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    They’ve piqued my interest… of course by design. Doesn’t mean I’ll rush out to ChopFest tomorrow. Just means I’ll be looking for pics on social media shortly after 11am. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  352. 463 Vox O'Reasoñ January 18, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    “Ace” offspring…

    Liked by 2 people

  353. 464 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    “Refreshed” unis…

    Like

    • 465 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      I really like how they upgraded the road blues to button ups with piping. Looks more professional to me. I also don’t mind that the red home alternates are back. Looking sharp.

      Liked by 1 person

  354. 466 Gordon Lawrence January 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    WILLANS ASTUDILLO must have improved since he was a BRAVE. Maybe we should have sent him up to the big club too?

    Liked by 1 person

  355. 467 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Now on to more pertinent matters, Darren O’Day update:

    Like

  356. 470 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Mike Soroka update:

    Like

  357. 471 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Dansby update:

    Liked by 2 people

  358. 472 Vox O'Reasoñ January 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Now to just get Bryce signed and get to work. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  359. 474 Vox O'Reasoñ January 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Like

  360. 475 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    chirp…chirp…chirp…

    Quiet day huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  361. 476 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 8:06 am

    So the big action over the weekend…

    Sonny Gray goes to the Reds, who immediately extend him. That was a part of the who.e trade process. They Yankees gave the Reds a 72 hour window to negotiate with Gray’s agent as a part of the trade talks.

    Oh, and a 3rd team jumped in to make it more interesting…

    So the deal goes like this, courtesy of MLBTR::

    Second base prospect Shed Long and a Competitive Balance Round A pick will go from the Reds to the Yankees in exchange for Gray and left-hander Reiver Sanmartin. New York, according to multiple reports, will flip Long directly to the Mariners in return for center field prospect Josh Stowers — the Mariners’ second-round pick in the 2018 draft.

    As part of the trade, Gray has agreed to a new, three-year contract extension with the Reds that’ll span the 2020-22 seasons. He’ll earn $30.5MM over those three campaigns — that’s in addition to his $7.5MM salary for the 2019 season. The contract also reportedly comes with a $12MM club option for the 2023 season. There are $500K worth of incentives based on innings pitched in each new season of the deal, and his annual salaries can grow based on performance escalators.

    Looks to be a good deal for all involved. And for everyone who wrote Gray off, watch out for a big bounceback from him. His numbers outside of Yankee Stadium, and in the NL particularly, were still very good.

    Like

  362. 477 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Now Braves (homage to The Scribe)…

    They had what was by all accounts a very successful fan expo in their Chop Fest, even if it was a nasty rainy Saturday. Alot of players and staff were there talking to fans and the media, including our GM, whose interview is linked above. He continues to express an ability to trade and sign, just not a willingness to spend capital for the sake of spending capital.

    Also from the weekend, the Braves have been connected LAD and their apparent willingness to deal Joc Pederson. This should be no surprise to anyone, even if they have already sent 2 OF’s to the resurgent Reds. The Dodgers are still loaded and have uber-prospect Alex Verdugo ready to make the scene. And I should think that AA will be connected to any potential deal with the Dodgers given his strong connections there.

    As for Pederson specifically, I’d take him. He’s not a strong hitter vs. LH pitchers, but crushes righties. And as we all know, he can hit it a mile. I think he’d be a good pickup to pair with gulp Adam Duvall in a pseudo-platoon in the OF. As for defense, the Braves would essentially deploy 4 CF’s into the OF giving a huge security blanket to their young pitching.

    And since Joc does have some holes in his game, the cost should not be prohibitive in prospect capital, leaving AA with the ability to continue looking for more pitching.

    Like

    • 478 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Johan Camargo is probably a stronger platoon candidate for Joc Pederson… especially since Duvall could find himself a roster casualty if/when the Braves add another OF.

      I see the bench as Mac (platoon), Johan (platoon), Charlie (RH) and LH power for balance. Duvall does NOT meet that need.

      Like

  363. 479 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Good morning all…. It appear the Reds are getting serious about being players in the Central.

    Liked by 2 people

  364. 480 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 9:04 am

    It appear the Reds are getting serious about being players in the Central.

    Let’s see… they have added a strong starting pitcher and a strong starting OF. And they have been in on talks for a certain top veteran catcher. Hmmm… where have I heard that one before? (They also got rid of an OF who was speedy and a great defender, yet couldn’t hit. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.)

    Like

  365. 481 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Speaking of OF trades, over the weekend DOB hinted that David Peralta could still be on the radar even though ARI previously said he was not available. OB didn’t expound, just mentioning the name in passing. But I agree that it does make sense for the Snakes to trade him now while he’s still got 2 more years of club control… pretty much maxxing out his trade value. Since the Rattlers are in full rebuild mode, they won’t be in contention for the remainder of those 2 years anyway, so why not get what you can get now?

    If Peralta is available in trade, he’s my top choice. He’s still in his prime years, although he’s already 31. Last year he slashed .293/.352/.516 with a sparkly 30 HRs and 87 RBI, earning a Silver Slugger award. he has experience in both corner OF spots and is considered an average defender. He also has plenty of AB’s in the cleanup spot. As LH hitter, he fits the mold of what AA is looking for even if his splits are a little skewed toward RH pitching. He wouldn’t be a strict platoon candidate, but could be a spot to insert Johan occasionally against pitchers that historically own him. (Heck, that’s what the new world of analytics is for, right?)

    I can see ARI dangling Peralta to teams wiling to take on the bad contract of Zack Greinke. Maybe they’ll dangle him as a standalone piece, though, and get a couple of nice prospects from ATL.

    Like

  366. 482 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 9:38 am

    And don’t forget, too, that Thoppy specifically said in his interview that one of the OF’s in whom they’ve been in trade discussions is someone who has not been named in the rumor mill. That doesn’t mean we might not have pegged and talked about him, but he hasn’t been linked to the Braves in the media.

    That’s a nice little bone for us to chew on, ain’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  367. 483 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 11:16 am

    “Closer” material, right?

    Like

    • 484 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Did you notice how nicely Flo framed that pitch? If he had moved his glove from left to right instead of moving back towards the center of the plate, that pitch would have been called a ball.

      Liked by 3 people

  368. 485 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Wow. On the cheap. This better be a precursor to something bigger in addition. By itself this just doesn’t do it for me.

    Still, getting back a .297/.366/.440 hitter, and Gold Glover, is not a bad thing.

    But surely there is something else that is going to happen if this is the OF acquisition…

    Liked by 1 person

  369. 486 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Perhaps getting Nick back on the cheap allows them to trade Ender to ARI in a deal for David Peralta and Zack Greinke. 😀

    I know… I know… but it’s fun to think about anyway…

    Like

  370. 487 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Folty says it’s OK, so it’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  371. 489 Vox O'Reasoñ January 22, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Starting pitching is now on the clock… unless Kimbrel’s price drops. Braves can still afford him with the low signing of Kakes.

    Like

  372. 490 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    It is hard to feel bad for a guy to be taking a 5 million dollar pay cut after such a stellar year but 6 million is not exactly chump change and it allows the Braves to spend more money in other areas. That and the boo birds still have Nick to kick around…

    Nick is not exactly Bryce Harper but perhaps with a bit more time off during the season, he can maintain to the end. I still see him as a good 2 hole hitter and moving Donaldson to cleanup but it is not my call.

    Vee, I can understand your disappointment in having Markakis return. A little like having your heart set on a nich juicy stake and ending up with a spam sandwich. Still, spam can be filling and it will keep you from starving and allows you to make your mortgage payments… but I digress…

    It is not like Nick is deep into the Braves pockets and if something else comes up he could be moved.

    Like

  373. 491 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    It is not my money but re-signing Kimbre