#193: Now What?

Vox O’Reason

Obviously there are a lot of moving parts to putting together a 2021 roster. There is the obvious question of budget, but also the remaining MLB mandates with regard to the DH and to roster size.

I imagine if things go back toward “normal”, there will not be an increased roster, but that really only means 2 less pitchers, right? 

At any rate, I think we can figure out most of the 2021 roster without concerning ourselves too closely with the rest of it. After all, we have a young and deep roster that only requires a couple of additions.

Here is my very early projection of the roster, with just a few of remaining highlighted questions:

Ronnie, RF (R)
MVFree, 1B (L)
??, DH [if there is one]
d’Arnaud, C (R)
Ozzie, 2B (S)
Dans, SS (R)
Duvall, LF (R)
Riley, 3B (R)
Pache, CF (R)

See the problem here? I feel like I keep harping on this, but there is a decided lack of LH bats here. And should Ozuna come back to be the DH, it’s only magnified. Seriously, I don’t think this works as is. And the only real place you can tweak that is in LF. So I am a little curious to see haw that’s addressed.

If there’s no DH, then I like Ozzie back in the 2 hole and Freddie at 3 with d’Arnaud still behind him at cleanup. Otherwise, Ronnie, Freddie, Marcell and Travis were a beastly 1-4. Why mess with that formula?

Now, the rotation:
… or a FA veteran instead?

I believe Wright did enough at the end of the season to have an advantage for a spot, and I think Wilson also showed he’s capable. But I do not think either should be considered a lock, rather each still has to earn a spot. And if that competition involves one or more additional veterans, then amen and amen. The more the merrier.

Smith (L) – closer
Martin (R) – closer
Minter (L)
O’Day (R)
Matzek (L)
Webb (R)

First, I believe the concept of the “9th inning closer” is fading away. The playoffs are proving that you better have more than one guy that can come in and get outs when the game’s on the line. Our own NLCS showed that games are won and lost in innings other than the 9th. That said, I believe these 6 I listed are very talented locks for the pen. And I think the other 2 spots will simply be a competition among returners Jackson (R), and Dayton (L) along with a handful of internal candidates. And once again, there will also be some other FA veterans in camp trying to earn jobs. And if Wilson doesn’t make the rotation, he’s gotta be a lock in the pen, right? Overall, the bullpen is likely the least concerning part of the team.

And finally, the bench:
William Contreras, C (R)
Ender, OF (L) —gotta pay him… he probably makes the roster
LH compliment to Duvall, OF (L)
Charlie Culberson, Util (R), maybe?
Better have another LH bench bat other than Ender. He’s gonna give you nothing offensively.

There is work to be done here. There always is.

So there’s a quick glance at a viable 26 man roster for the 2021 Braves. Gotta figure out DH or no DH, then acquire a LH bat for either DH or to platoon with Duvall. Need a veteran (or 2) to compete for a rotation spot. Need to flesh out the bench.

Pretty much sums it up.


385 Responses to “#193: Now What?”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady October 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    V, thanks much for your thoughts! Thanks for allowing me to hijack them for a new lead. 😀

    WordPress has installed a new editor which is a witch it use – thus very limited images. I may have to find a new platform unless they do something about their fancy new installation. Options are extremely limited as to what you can do – such as image placement. “Oh, but it’s NEW and IMPROVED!” Improved to the point of being useless. grump

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2020 at 8:39 am

      They want folks to upgrade to their premium package ie: pay package… Maybe look into becoming part of the Atlanta Braves platform… easy for me to say, right? 🙂

      Anyway, thanks Vee, always a pleasure to read your opines.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Well folks, looks like the World Series is now best 2 out of 3. Did anyone else see the crazy finish to last night’s game? It had a Bad News Bears vibe to it for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 4 Vox O'Reasoñ October 27, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Will anyone watch Game 6 tonight? I might try to catch up with it if I’m not doing anything else. Maybe. But it’s not appointment TV. I do hope that the Rays take them to Game 7. Well, I guess I do. Meh. I guess I really don’t. Let’s just get it over so we can start thinking about moving forward to 2021.


  4. 5 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Gil, I did actually see it quite by accident as I hadn’t watched a second of the W.S. live (for some reason, seeing my team 1 game away with 3 chances to get there, fail, kinda killed my interest in baseball for 2020)
    but I did flip by for game 4, saw the score, then Dad and I watched not one, but 2 movies (ok, 1 and a half, Dad got tired during the 2nd film)
    I am sure everyone wants to know the films, right? 😛 the first one was…That Wonderful Urge (what a title!) 1948 with Tyrone Power and the beyond beautiful Gene Tierney. He’s a slimy National Enquirer type reporter that hounds the Heiress , only to have the tables turned on him when she claims they are married! The 2nd film is called Love is News (1937) which also stars Tryrone Power and Loretta Young . He’s a slimy National Enquirer type reporter that hounds the Heiress , only to have the tables turned on him when she claims they are engaged! Clearly the 1948 film had nothing to do with the earlier one! 😉
    We had seen the 1937 film a few times through the years (a great car chase between an Auburn Speedster and a Cord, which is why Dad wants me to put it on) but just saw That Wonderful Urge for the first time. You know what though? Unlike 99% of remakes out there the 1948 film was really intelligently reworked, locations changed , film was 20 minutes longer, but no filler….anyways….watch them sometime and compare 😉

    Did I have another point? Did I ever mention I have ADD…oh look, a bird!

    stopped the movie and just saw the Tampa Bay guy smiling broadly as he slapped home plate, and couldn’t figure out was had happened! then I heard from the players, and they weren’t quite sure what had happened! (I forget, they don’t see replays like we do, from several angles) really happy for the guy that got the hit , that wasn’t even supposed to hit, was just a back-up outfielder/runner, he was sooooo emotional afterwards, you can just imagine he had stopped dreaming of being a W.S. hero, and was feeling lucky to at least say he was on a W.S. Roster (something sadly Nick M will never get to say)
    Still , like V, a bit Meh on who wins. Dodgers seem like such an overdog, but I do realize there are “regular” Dodger fans that have been waiting since 88 to win the W.S.
    But the Rays have never won (Right?) so that would be nice for the Rays fans…both of them 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 6 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2020 at 9:30 am

    by unpopular demand, here is That Wonderful Urge (really nice copy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA1e6A–PNA


  6. 7 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2020 at 9:33 am

    here is the original version of the film (slightly widescreen cuz uploader screwed something up) IF you were to consider one movie, I would actually pick the remake, but this one is still funny as well) https://youtu.be/5YYkuMGBQdM


  7. 9 Vox O'Reasoñ October 28, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Well, I ended up watching most of it, including the end. It was rather weird learning that Justin Turner was removed in the 8th inning after his Covid test came back positive. It was even weirder seeing him celebrating with his teammates after the win.

    Really weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I think I have seen the (pull the pitcher before facing the same line up a third time) before with exactly the same results… Put that in you sabermetrics pipe and smoke it…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 13 Vox O'Reasoñ October 28, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    So, today we get to move forward.


    • 14 Vox O'Reasoñ October 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      The Braves’ FAs are: Marcell Ozuna, Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, Nick Markakis, Tyler Flowers, Josh Tomlin, Cole Hamels, Adeiny Hechavarria, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Foltynewicz.

      The team also holds a $3,500,000 option on Darren O’Day, and have until Friday to exercise it or O’Day will join the list. Overall, O’Day was pretty good, but is “pretty good” worth $3,500,000? I am of the opinion they will let him walk.

      IMO, Shane Greene is the likeliest to be re-signed, and probably only if he’s given an opportunity to be the “closer”. But I’ve already given my opinion on the notion of the traditional “closer”. I believe it is becoming an archaic model. Managers are all coming around to the fact that you can win or lose a game in innings prior to the 9th. I do not think they’ll seek to re-sign Melancon unless he just likes the Braves and will come back for substantially less. I doubt that’s the case. I think that Alex is sincere when he says he wants to bring Marcell back. I’m just not sure he’ll have the freedom to do so. I believe Nick might retire, but if he doesn’t, he may look to come back on a cheap 1-year deal. I would not be opposed to that, but I do not want it to prevent the team from actively looking for a LH compliment to Adam Duvall (Joc Pederson maybe?). Flow has had a good run, but the time for one of the prospects to step up and get some real time experience has arrived. None of the others has a chance in #3!( of returning.


  10. 15 Vox O'Reasoñ October 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Now that the post-season is officially underway, it’s time for me to make my annual (and obligatory) “important offseason dates to remember” post.

    So that said, here are the important offseason dates to remember:

    Today: Impending FAs can file for FA status today, the day following the conclusion of the World Series. Today also commences a 5-day “quiet period” where teams can exclusively negotiate with their own departing FAs.

    Nov. 2: Yee haw! The silly season begins!

    Nov. 2: Deadline to Extend QO’s to impending FA’s.

    Nov. 7: Deadline to accept or decline QO’s for impending FA’s.

    Nov. ??: GM Meetings. This typically occurs a week or so after the World Series wraps up, but is designated to be done via Zoom this year thanks to C-19. There is no official date announced for it as of yet. These are the meetings where GMs begin feeling out the market with their peers. Wonder how they’ll do that without being around the other GMs? And I wonder why even have it if you can’t huddle together in a dark corner to whisper? Can’t you make phone calls and conference calls without having a designated “meeting”? Seems fairly useless to have this gathering without actually gathering. Maybe that’s why they haven’t announced a date for it.

    Nov. 20: Deadline to protect Rule 5 eligible prospects. The Braves have their typical assortment. (Fodder for a later post.)

    Dec. 2: Deadline to non-tender arb-eligible players. The Braves have 9 such players. (Also fodder for a later post.)

    Dec. 7-10: MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas. Maybe. Alot can happen in 6 weeks.

    Dec. 10: Rule 5 draft. Maybe. (See above.)

    Jan. 15: The date to exchange of arb figures. This ought to be interesting this year.

    Jan. 15: 2021 Int’l signing period opens. This is the one that was delayed from July 2020. It’s fairly significant for the Braves because it’s the last year under The Coppolella Sanctions. In this final penalty year, they have a little bit more spending flexibility. (Also fodder for a later post.)

    Feb. 1: Arb hearings begin. Nobody likes these. Just ask Steve Avery.

    Feb. ??: The Braves have not yet announced their P&CR date. Stay tuned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 16 Vox O'Reasoñ October 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Bowman: The Braves must decide whether to exercise Darren O’Day’s $3.5 million option or pay his $500,000 buyout. Who knows how the market will look over the next few months. But this seems to be a fair price for the 38-year-old reliever who has established himself as the leader and top comedian within the bullpen.

      Oh… I wasn’t aware that O’Day serves a dual role as pitcher/entertainer. That’s different. He’s definitely worth $3.5M then, even though the belt will undoubtedly be tighter everywhere else. 🙄

      Seriously though, the Braves might simply decide it’s better to bring back a guy they know who did perform for them… especially given that they could lose a couple of other pretty big arms already. In a “normal” year, I think he’d be a lock to be brought back. But there is just too much uncertainty following 2020 for me to be as convinced as Bowman.


  11. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo October 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Shane Greene is the likeliest to be re-signed, and probably only if he’s given an opportunity to be the “closer”. But I’ve already given my opinion on the notion of the traditional “closer”. I believe it is becoming an archaic model. Managers are all coming around to the fact that you can win or lose a game in innings prior to the 9th. I do not think they’ll seek to re-sign Melancon unless he just likes the Braves and will come back for substantially less. I doubt that’s the case.
    V, I feel like folks have been saying this for years, and yet, teams that get away from it, rarely succeed, save the Rays (and we all see what happens when you try to manage games like a computer would….
    remember the problems we had ending games before we got those 3 very good arms? True, you can lose a game in the 7th, but it seems many games are still lost in the 9th

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2020 at 3:44 am

    Good morning folks, so nice to be able to talk baseball again.

    How quickly will the Nits, Fillies, Fish or Mutts sign Green, Melancon and O’Day if the Braves let them walk? All are better than what the rest of the NL East teams currently have on their rosters. Just saying….

    It’s too bad there was no minor league baseball this season, a lot of deserving young kids have been set back a year. Drew Waters may well be one of those. I think he will get an opportunity to make the big club this spring and will likely be playing in the outfield for Atlanta by summer.

    Ender will be offered at a reduced rate to 29 other major league teams this winter in every trade package the Braves offer up. Hey, the Braves unloaded Melvin Upton didn’t they?

    Don’t be too surprised to see him playing in San Fran next year.

    Ozuna will be making a lot of money for the next 5 or 6 years.

    Who will sing Simmons to play shortstop for them next year?

    The Braves will still need to sign a rubber armed starter for next season. The Braves got away with a lot of young rookie kids this year because it was a short season. Triple the number of innings will be needed with a full season.

    Anyone else tired of being on lock down yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 19 Vox O'Reasoñ October 29, 2020 at 10:40 am

      It’s too bad there was no minor league baseball this season, a lot of deserving young kids have been set back a year.

      I’ve heard some discussion along these lines, and it’s actually kind of surprising what we are not aware of. As I have come to understand, the younger players that were “assigned to the alternate site” may have gone through more actual coaching and development than they would have received in a typical AA or AAA season. Plus, all the systems better coaches were all assembled at one site. And of course, they did participate in inter-squad games, and by definition those were also developmental in nature. Just ask Ian Anderson, who spent his time there honing his now devastating changeup. For players like William Contreras and Drew Waters, the coaches were able to take a more “hands on” approach, so to speak. So these players really didn’t miss much in development; rather it was just an unconventional experience.

      As for those younger players that were not in the 60-player pool that missed that experience, there is another alternative. Since the annual Arizona Fall League has already ben cancelled along with most if not all the international winter leagues, all 30 MLB teams are putting on their own fall instructional league and carrying a specific roster of players through the same type of content they would receive in their typical short seasons. I’ll dig around and see if I can find the details on the Braves specifically.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. 21 Vox O'Reasoñ October 29, 2020 at 10:57 am

    I gave a brief glance at the Braves’ current roster as it sits with all of the team’s FA’s removed, and with no additions. Yes there are some obvious needs, but it’s not as dramatic as some local writers have tried to paint it. Honestly, they could field a competitive team right now. It would be flawed of course, but they could do it.

    If they had to field a team right now, it would look like this…

    Starting 8: Acuña, Ozzie, Freddie, d’Arnaud, Duvall, Dansby, Riley, Pache
    Bench: Contreras, Ender, Camargo, Culberson, Waters
    Rotation: Soroka, Fried, Anderson, Wright, Wilson
    Bullpen: Smith, Martin, Minter, Matzek, Webb, Dayton, Toussaint, Newcomb

    This is the “normal” 26-man active roster, and does not take the DH into consideration. But if the DH were in play, it’d just be one of the bench players. Also, I set Waters in bold because he’s the only player I listed not currently on the team’s 40-man roster. But he obviously could be. As of right now, the 40-man roster only has 34 players on it, and that does count those that were returned from the long term IL. One or two of those spots will be needed to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft, but the others are open to be filled by acquisitions.


    • 22 Vox O'Reasoñ October 29, 2020 at 11:02 am

      Looking back at the bullpen I just listed, it might actually be stronger than that. For one, I forgot about Huascar Ynoa (sorry, dude), and didn’t take into account that they could exercise the option on O’Day. In that case, the bullpen – as it currently sits – could be: Smith, Martin, Minter, Matzek, Webb, Dayton, O’Day, Ynoa

      Actually, that dog could hunt just like it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2020 at 11:14 am


    Okay folks, any scuttlebutt on if and when MLB will announce the fate of the DH in the National League or the size of the rosters for the 2021 season? Asking for a friend… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2020 at 11:50 am

    I’ve heard some discussion along these lines, and it’s actually kind of surprising what we are not aware of. As I have come to understand, the younger players that were “assigned to the alternate site” may have gone through more actual coaching and development than they would have received in a typical AA or AAA season. Plus, all the systems better coaches were all assembled at one site. And of course, they did participate in inter-squad games, and by definition those were also developmental in nature. Just ask Ian Anderson, who spent his time there honing his now devastating changeup. For players like William Contreras and Drew Waters, the coaches were able to take a more “hands on” approach, so to speak. So these players really didn’t miss much in development; rather it was just an unconventional experience.

    that does make sense, doesn’t it? Also, not playing 3 hour games , traveling all over, etc allows more time to work on specific things.


  16. 25 Vox O'Reasoñ October 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Wonder if anyone is interviewing Bobby? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 26 Vox O'Reasoñ October 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    There ya go.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 27 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    well, clearly the teams owned by multi-billionaires are going to claim they simply cannot afford one down year (I keep thinking, I know there were no fannies in the seats, but they also paid the players a lot less than a normal season) and perhaps only 2 or 3 teams will take on bigger contracts. I’d be livid if I were a Indian fan, Hand is a shut down closer, that can also come in earlier…their Freddie Freeman, Francisco Lindor they will now no doubt trade away…..hope an American league team gets Hand, and not the Mutts or Dodgers….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 29 Vox O'Reasoñ October 30, 2020 at 8:41 am

    The media “experts” are trying to make the point that while the lost revenue will certainly impact free agency, it can technically have zero affect on arbitration. Those numbers, and the surrounding arguments, are all confined to direct baseball relativity. The prevailing thought is that there will be more players opt for the arb hearing this year than they do in most years because they are more likely to get a higher AAV on a 1-year award than they’d get from negotiation with management. The flip side to that coin is that teams are simply cutting players that they feel will hurt them in arb since they have no control over those numbers.

    I say all that to simply illustrate that teams are forced to make certain cuts and adjustments where they can because they have no control over other areas. Darren O’Day is the prime example for the Braves. Considering he’s still owed a $500,000 buyout for the option being declined, the difference for the Braves is only $3M… which is not very much for a good reliever. But it’s $3M the Braves had control over.

    Please do not think I am taking a side for the owners or the players. I’m just saying it is what it is. I understand folks think the owners (both individual and corporate) are cruel and heartless and only care about the bottom line. But to be perfectly honest, it’s their bottom line. They can do what they want with it. These people live in a world of profit margin. It’s not the same as you or me where we look at our paycheck every 2 weeks. They have risen to where they are by watching the profit margin. And if the cost of operations goes up on one side, then the price to the consumer goes up on the other to compensate. And if the cost to consumer has a threshold, then the cost of operations has a similar threshold, whether it’s a formal “cap” or not. It’s just business. And as much as we want our pro sports to be just a game, it’s a business. And it must be run as such.

    I can already hear the “they are multi-billionaires and aren’t going to miss any meals” argument. But it’s not that simple, especially for those that are simply the highest percentage stockholders in their investment group. Take the Braves for instance. Liberty Media created a separate line item on the NASDAQ market just for Braves profits. And those profits are tied directly to the benefit of their stockholders a/k/a investors. The presumption is that the investors are Wall Street fat cats smoking cigars and watching the ticker tape come off the little domed machine in their penthouse office. But the reality is that the investors are often faceless investment groups… like your retirement IRA. Certainly Liberty has a stake in that investment group, but they too are a publicly traded company with the same common man investment impact at stake.

    It’s not rocket science, but it’s not 1st grade math either. It’s so much more convoluted than just not wanting to pay Darren O’Day $3M because they are being “cheap”. A balance has to be maintained or it will no longer be a feasible business model. And it is a business whether we like it or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2020 at 8:53 am

    To me it is all about knowing how much you have to spend vs how much you need to spend. Payroll is always a moving target if you ask me. All things considered, I am of the mind that a professional sports team would have to be one of the worse investments a person could make unless you seriously wanted to lose money or launder money, take your pick…

    O’Day will hook on with someone. Brad Hand a free agent eh? Did not see that coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 31 Vox O'Reasoñ October 30, 2020 at 9:31 am

    To me it is all about knowing how much you have to spend vs how much you need to spend.

    It’s always about balance (like everything in life, but that’s a serious digression). There are obviously a few teams that spend seemingly irresponsibly. The top 5 MLB payrolls in 2020 were, in order, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Cubs, the Astros, and the Phillies. Those same teams were #4, #1, #6, #11 and #10 in TV contracts. What’s not typically noted about these TV deals is that the teams themselves have a stake in the ownership of said deals… which means their getting a slice if the pie off of two sides. But those are the outliers, not the norm. And they stand out because they are so high profile. Only the Phillies missed this year’s playoffs… but they are the Phillies after all.

    And TV contracts are not the only other outside revenue stream for these teams. As I mentioned, they are very high profile, plus one is in a major media market with endless ad revenue sources around them. That makes for a marketing marriage made in heaven. How many of us saw the national commercials by Clayton Kershaw and Aaron Judge during the playoffs? Anyone see one by Freddie Freeman? Marcell Ozuna?

    The Yankees and Dodgers will always have more money to spend. And God bless ’em. They usually spend it well. And God bless the Rays, who annually make the most of their meager payroll and push the Yankees and this year’s Dodgers. Money helps, but wisdom helps more. And you cant budget for wisdom. Just ask the Phillies. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 33 Vox O'Reasoñ October 30, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Team options are being declined all over the league, and not just obscure names. Ben Gamel, Charlie Morton, Mike Zunino, J.A. Happ, Brett Gardner, Ryan Braun, and of course our own Darren O’Day have all been granted Free Agency. The Yankees did pick up their option on Zack Britton, so it’s not a clean sweep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 34 Vox O'Reasoñ October 30, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      … and in a weird twist, even though the Brewers declined Gamel’s option, he’s actually still their property in his 2nd arb year. Reportedly his contract figure for 2021 was for $2.55M, but his arb projection is somewhere between $1.7M – $2.1M. I guess you have to take your savings where you can.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    The smoke is still swirling in the free agent market. Anyone know how long before teams are allowed to approach other teams’ players?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 37 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    I do get it’s a business, believe me….I don’t blame the Indians a bit dropping Carlos Santana and his 15 + million contract, after hitting something like .190. It is the nickel and dime b.s.

    from the Athletic the other day (which came to mind when I saw the O’Day story…

    As the World Series finishes and a new wave of COVID-19 cases arrive, Major League Baseball owners this month have combined to lay off hundreds of people across different club departments, portending an offseason that will forever change the sport. Already, the layoffs have threatened the livelihood of scores of people who work behind the scenes.

    Executives say some positions will never return in the same numbers, particularly in traditional scouting, because they expect operations can survive, and even thrive, with a reduction. In scouting, that means an expanded use of video is coming.

    “Owners are being incredibly shortsighted,” said one scout who was recently let go. “At the expense of saving a few hundred thousand dollars short-term they are risking making multi-million dollar mistakes by not adequately covering leagues, teams, organizations, and by eliminating some of the most proven talent evaluators in the game.”

    Liked by 2 people

  25. 38 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    and did y’all hear what the ratings were for the W.S.? Probably not, as they were terrible!!!! BLM stuff? (Baseball was still the least annoying about BLM, but still) the teams? I mean, L.A. alone should have boosted the ratings over a Nats/Astros series from last year, right?
    No fans going to games = fewer folks caring? so, teams better be careful how much they P.O. their fans and dump players , hoping to save a few million…or get lucky on some bargains…I mean, nothing wrong with bargains, I love them 😉 and A.A. can get some , fine…but, if you let all the F.A. bullpen arms go, hoping to get purely cheap arms….well, don’t gripe if the Nats/Mutts/Phils get all the guys , while we have a thinner than last year bullpen…


    Los Angeles’ 3-1 win in Game 6 on Tuesday night drew a 6.8 rating, 15 share and an average of 12,627,000 viewers, down from a 9.6 rating, 19 share and average of 16,551,000 viewers for Washington’s 7-2 win in Game 6 last year.

    Last year’s Series average was boosted by Game 7, when the Nationals’ 6-2 win drew a 13.1 rating, 25 share and an average of 23,217,000 viewers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 39 Vox O'Reasoñ October 31, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Just my opinion, but I think that when everything was shut down in the spring, and I mean everything not just sports, people found many more basic things to focus their attention on. I believe many people realized that sports in particular – which were totally gone – weren’t the “end all, be all” that occupied a prominent place in so many people’s priorities.

      And thus folks just simply did not come back in the same numbers that were left behind in March.

      Couple that with the fact that a lot of folks never gave credibility to a 60-game season with a ton of rule modifications, and I think you have a recipe for poor TV ratings.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. 40 Vox O'Reasoñ October 31, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    And now this, courtesy of MLBTR:

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact almost every facet of normal Major League Baseball business, both in the immediate future and looking ahead to what may be a tumultuous 2021 season. The latest alterations include two expected changes to a pair of major offseason events, as both the Winter Meetings and the annual owners’ meetings have both been changed into virtual events rather than in-person gatherings.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Looking at the list of MLB pitchers who are being cut loose by other teams, I feel fairly confident AA will be able to pick up a very reliable middle of the rotation starter for not too much money over MLB average. No, it won’t be Bauer but a Chris Archer type would work pretty well methinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 43 berigan2electricboogaloo November 1, 2020 at 9:57 pm

      gee, Chris Archer, a guy that hasn’t had a sub 4 ERA since 2015? A guy that had a 5 + ERA last year?
      I do understand having extra arms, but…I’d rather have someone we have already, get a chance, and use the moola for Ozuna and bullpen, but that’s just me

      Liked by 1 person

  28. 45 Vox O'Reasoñ November 2, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Two pieces of Braves news from the weekend, neither earthshaking.

    #1, Charlie Culberson cleared waivers and has elected Free Agency. His chances of making the team again were very slim. He would not have made a regular 26-man roster this year.

    #2, the Braves signed OF Abraham Almonte to a “non-guaranteed” major league deal. It functions the same as a minor league deal except that he does count on the 40-man roster. He’ll make just $990K if he makes the team, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Almonte is not a kid, being 31. But he’s versatile as a switch-hitter that plays all 3 OF positions. He has to make the team, though. As for his taking up a valuable 40-man roster spot, he can still be cut at any time so there’s literally zero risk here for the Braves. He’s just another guy hoping to compete for a bench spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 46 Vox O'Reasoñ November 2, 2020 at 9:06 am

    I mentioned earlier that the Braves are reportedly showing interest in Adam Wainright. DOB has reported that the Braves have already been in contact with his reps. Wainright says “we have received many calls and are listening to all options”. I thought MLB has been in a 5-day “dead period”? I suppose that means there can be no negotiation and no deals, but contact is permitted? Obviously not dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 47 Vox O'Reasoñ November 2, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Today is the first day of full swing Free Agency. It’s also the deadline day for teams to extend QOs to their pending FAs. Gabe Burns of AJC.com is reporting that the Braves are not extending QOs to any of theirs. That means all of them are free to sign elsewhere with no draft pick baggage. It’s mildly surprising with Ozuna.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 49 Vox O'Reasoñ November 2, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Speaking of Burns, he notes that “Like Josh Donaldson last winter, Ozuna will be the centerpiece of the Braves’ offseason.” We all remember how that went. It felt like the Donaldson talks held the Braves up all off-season. I hope that’s not the case again this year. There are alot of FAs out there this year that can really help the Braves if they’ll get out there and get one. We should remember, though, that they did strike early last year on Will Smith, so perhaps pitching will be a separate priority.

    As for said pitching, Burns says, “The Braves want to add to their rotation, which despite improving late was an issue throughout the 2020 season. They’ll need to tweak their bullpen, either re-signing their own relievers or replacing them.”

    He also notes the bench, but that’s a no-brainer. This year’s bench doesn’t just need tweaking… it needs complete construction. Aside from a backup catcher, presumably a rookie, is there a lock anywhere on the bench? I can’t think of one.

    How much would it cost to sign Marcell Ozuna, Adam Wainright, and Tommy La Stella? 😀

    Things would be much easier if homegrown Braden Shewmake was deemed “ready” to assume a utility role. He’s only had 1 year of pro ball, but was a college standout with very solid fundamentals. (Coach’s kid. Shocker.) He was in the 60-player pool this year. I doubt he’d make the team out of camp, but he is certainly the next Charlie Culberson for this roster at some point in the not too distant future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 50 Vox O'Reasoñ November 2, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Shewmake, by the way, is ranked as the Braves #5 prospect even with Pache and Anderson still ahead of him on the list. Remove them, and he’s only behind OF Drew Waters and C Shae Langeliers. For comparison, C William Contreras sits 2 spots behind Shewmake at #7. (BTW, both Shewmake and Langeliers were 1st rounders in the 2019 draft.)

      Shewmake’s solid foundation was evidenced by his quick rise to AA in his first pro season. And as I already mentioned, he was in the team’s 60-player pool this year.

      His MLB prospect report says this:

      Shewmake entered pro ball with outstanding contact skills and an advanced approach at the plate and they carried over, even when he didn’t swing the bat all that well in Double-A, with a low strikeout rate and a solid walk rate during his debut. He has great hand-eye coordination from the left side of the plate and there’s more power to come because of the leverage in his swing. Physical maturity and learning what pitches he can drive rather than just putting the ball in play will help his offensive profile even further.

      An average runner, Shewmake has enough arm to stay at shortstop and will likely be given every opportunity to show he can stick there. He’s already added some strength to his 6-foot-4 frame, which is tall for a shortstop, but his instincts and feel for the game allow everything to play up. The Braves loved his leadership qualities and makeup enough to move him to Double-A during his debut and were pleased with how he handled the challenge, officially putting the infielder on the fast track.

      How fast is that track? Likely not 2021… but ya never know, right Gil?

      Liked by 2 people

  32. 51 berigan2electricboogaloo November 2, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Hey…can someone fix this lead name from #192: Now What? to #193: Now What? It messes with my OCD…and when I type in 192 in the browser address bar, there are 2 choices. I know, I’m weird 😉


  33. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville November 3, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Hey ya’ll, don’t forget to cast your voted today… Ber, your dad does not even need to get out of the car with curbside voting. You too CL…

    Liked by 2 people

    • 54 berigan2electricboogaloo November 3, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      Gil, yep! I voted early, Dad did absentee a few weeks ago….I do wonder how many people who are registered, don’t. Heck, I heard Jason Whitlock, one of the big guys behind Outkick.com (used to be on Fox Sports) admit he has NEVER voted! He almost did this time, but it was too late to register….amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. 55 Vox O'Reasoñ November 5, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Liked by 2 people

  35. 56 Vox O'Reasoñ November 5, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Is it too early to make a 2021 prediction?

    I predict that even though Kyle Wright seemed to solidify a rotation spot prior to his playoff meltdown, Bryse Wilson will actually pass him in the pecking order. That’s not a shot at Kyle, but more of a recognition that Bryse, who is 2+ years younger by the way, has turned the corner in his development and is ready to take the next step. Thus, I predict that Bryse will make the rotation ahead of Kyle, but as the #5 because Alex will sign a veteran to follow Soroka, Fried and Anderson in the #4 slot. (And I am looking really hard at Jon Lester. I just think it’s a really good fit for both sides. But I’ll expound on that another time.)

    And I think that Wright will still make the team as a swing man, in the role that Josh Tomlin held.

    Speaking of the bullpen, I think that Will Smith and Chris Martin will get most of the “save” opportunities, whether it be in the 8th or 9th inning. And I think that Sean Newcomb will get another shot at a bullpen job, but his starting days are over. Completely. And I think if he will embrace the new role, he can be good at it.

    I think that Alex’s top priority is replacing Marcell Ozuna’s bat, but that he will wait until MLB clarifies whether or not the DH will remain before he really rolls his sleeves up and goes to work on it. (And unbelievably, the prevailing winds seem to believe it’s not staying.) So, he may just go ahead and open avenues toward pitching while awaiting the final word.

    As I’ve said before, I do not think the Braves have a ton of work to do, even though they seem to be losing alot of FAs. The core of the team remains. The biggest hole is LF/DH. But if the team had to go today with the guys on the current roster, they could compete just like they are.

    I also believe that the Braves are in a favorable position with respect to the economic challenges MLB is facing. They have their young stars under contract, and most are under market value. Given the unpredictability of the economic state of the game, many more veterans might be willing to sign 1-year deals for 2021 in hopes of a more liquid market in 2022. And who is on the forefront of 1-year signings? The Braves have a 2 year run of success with 1-year deals. And to be truly honest, given the talent in the pipeline (Drew Waters, for instance), the Braves don’t really need tie up LF any longer anyway.

    If the NL does dismiss the DH for 2021, then I like Joc Pederson as a LH compliment to Adam Duvall in LF. If the DH comes back for good, then that opens up more possibilities… especially if you’re talking a 1- or 2-year deal.

    One more note, then I’ll go back to my paying job…

    I have read the new rumors of a possible Kris Bryant trade to ATL, being the trade equivalent of a 1-year FA signing. Personally I don’t see that having any real legs. Nothing to see there, folks. Just alot of smoke.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo November 5, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    V, I just don’t see what Lester brings to the table… in 2019, 13 10 4.46 ERA 31 starts, 171 innings (5.5 innings) 205 hits.
    2020 3-3 5.16 ERA, 12 starts, 61 innings (5.1 innings per start) 64 hits He will be 37 next year. We need a soft tossing on his way out veteran starter why? He gonna win a game against the Dodgers? The Astros or Rays in the W.S?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 59 Vox O'Reasoñ November 5, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  38. 60 Vox O'Reasoñ November 9, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Looks just like big brother…

    Liked by 2 people

  39. 61 Vox O'Reasoñ November 9, 2020 at 7:57 am

    MLBTR has their big annual Top 50 FA prediction page up now. The only real significant name they have connected to the Braves is former Astros OF Michael Brantley. I’m conflicted on how I feel about Brantley.

    First, I believe there needs to be swift clarification on the NL DH issue. IF the NL is going back to its pre-DH roots, then I actually like the idea of Michael Brantley. The best way I can describe Brantley is that he gives you all the best on-field attributes of Nick Markakis, but younger and a little more… better. I know that’s not a real term, but he’s got basically the same skill set but maybe just one tick ahead, and younger. Think Markakis before the neck injury and you’ve about nailed it. (I don’t know about his off-field value. Kakes was always quiet, but a strong clubhouse presence nonetheless. That will be missed.)

    If the DH returns, then I think we need a little more pop than Brantley offers.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 62 Vox O'Reasoñ November 9, 2020 at 8:52 am

    ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote recently about optimism around the DH remaining in the NL for 2021. Unfortunately, the source article is behind a paywall, so I’ll just relate MLBTR’s paraphrasing of it:

    Olney notes it remains “a safe bet” the universal designated hitter will wind up in place for 2021. Introducing the DH in the National League, like all of 2020’s COVID-inspired rule changes, was a one-year measure. MLB and the MLB Players Association would need to come to a new agreement to put the NL DH in play for 2021, but that seems likely “unless the MLB and players’ union animus erupts to the point of complete dysfunction,” Olney argues. Regardless of the DH’s status next season, it’s widely expected the universal DH will become a permanent feature in the next collective bargaining agreement, which will need to be negotiated next offseason.

    I think we’ve all expected it in the next CBA, so it just seems common sense that the powers that be would not revert back to one last non-DH year before bringing it back in 2022. But real sense is anything but common these days, and especially in MLB. So I wouldn’t count this particular chicken until it hatches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 63 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      I have a sneaky suspicion that MLB will rule in favor of the DH after it is too late for the Braves to do anything abut it. Just the way it works it seems.

      Liked by 3 people

  41. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Good morning folks, everyday I feel a little less bummed by the election results. Kay sera sera…

    Now baseball…. Has anything of significance occurred yet? I am sure the underside of the ducks on the pond must be churning like crazy at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 65 Carolina Lady November 10, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Gil, the results have not yet been determined. Ballots are still being counting and legal issues have still be determined. Just sit back and watch! You might like things you see happening. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • 66 Vox O'Reasoñ November 10, 2020 at 9:59 am

      Now baseball…. Has anything of significance occurred yet?

      It doesn’t appear that many teams are being very aggressive thus far. IMO, there are only a small handful of teams that can even proceed in a very active manner anyway. Both LA teams, both NY teams, the Cubs… the usual suspects. Most others, including the home team, are taking a very measured approach. There is a feeling that as long as the Dodgers don’t go out and screw the curve that many of this year’s FAs might be more interested in taking a 1- or 2-year deal in hopes that the pathway might be more positive after. But the new CBA still looms and there could also be a sense that the top guys will want all they can get now in case there is labor strife after 2021.

      In other words, who knows? Too much uncertainty. Will there be fans in 2021? Will there be 162 games in 2021? Will there be a DH in the NL in 2021? Will there be a strike or lockout after 2021?

      Until there is some clarity on at least a couple of those fronts the treading is likely to stay cautious.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. 67 Vox O'Reasoñ November 10, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Mark Bowman is of the opinion that Marcell Ozuna will be brought back to the Braves if the DH is confirmed going forward. I think if the Braves have one big hand to play in this game, that will probably be it. All indications from those who write about it appear that the Braves have prioritized said big bat. The prevailing opinion is that Alex will prioritize that lineup spot, then seek a 1-year deal with a veteran starting pitcher, then add 1 more veteran reliever. Speaking of said reliever, there are whispers that the Braves allowed Darren O’Day to feel out the open market, but that they are staying in contact with him and want him back on a lesser deal. And at least 2 national writers think the Braves want Mark Melancon back on a 1- or 2-year deal, and that Melancon wants to return. While I don’t see him as a prototypical flame-throwing closer, he has been pretty darn good for the Braves in that role. I’d be willing to take another year or so of his consistency at a lesser price tag than he arrived with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 68 Vox O'Reasoñ November 10, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Speaking of Bowman, he also thinks they’ll bring Tyler Flowers back for 1 more year and let the youngsters have another year in the minors. I think William Contreras is ready to assume a backup role now. I also think that if the Braves are more hopeful for the higher rated prospect Shae Langeliers, who does need another year or so in the minors, that perhaps they should give Contreras some time in The Show to establish some market value.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 69 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      Free-agent right-hander Josh Tomlin is back with the Braves. Per source, one year, $1M contract with $1.25M club option or $250K buyout for 2022.


  43. 70 berigan2electricboogaloo November 10, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Hmm, IF there is a reason to sign a “veteran” starting pitcher (really don’t see how that makes us better, have I mentioned this before? 🙄 ) how about a former Brave????

    Liked by 1 person

    • 71 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 8:49 am

      I believe we need to sign a veteran pitcher… and maybe more than one. We saw this year through just 60 games that your numbers can suffer attrition quickly to the point you have to sign Robbie Erlin and trade for Tommy Milone. God knows I don’t want to see that act again.


  44. 72 Vox O'Reasoñ November 10, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    The Rule 5 draft will still occur on Dec. 10 even if the Winter Meetings aren’t held in its traditional manner. The meetings, scheduled for Dec. 6-10, will still happen… but remotely. This year’s should be particularly interesting as teams still have to protect players who didn’t receive a full year’s development in 2020. If I’m AA, I protect LHPs Thomas Burrows and Kyle Muller right away. Either one or both could actually help the ATL bullpen in 2021, especially if the team incurs injuries during the season. The deadline for protecting these youngsters is Nov. 20.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 73 Vox O'Reasoñ November 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Also, I won’t be surprised to see teams a little more active this year in the R5 in an attempt to fill some needs on the cheap given the financial hit they all took in 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. 74 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Not sure how I feel about this. It’s “only” $1M, so I suppose if he wins a spot in the bullpen it’s OK. His 1.210 in 2020 is actually not that bad and he did finish the truncated campaign with a positive WAR of 0.5. Maybe an improved (healthier) 2021 rotation will limit his appearances, especially in high leverage situations.


  46. 75 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    By the way, QO decisions are due today, and Marcus Stroman has already decided to accept his from the Mets. I would think given the uncertainty of finances around the league that taking the guarantee might be a smart thing to do for second tier FAs.


  47. 76 Carolina Lady November 11, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Our friend Chrisklob’s father has passed away. Thought you’d like to know.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. 78 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    All good points.


  49. 79 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    And with this I officially like the move now.


  50. 80 Vox O'Reasoñ November 11, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    There is some chatter that the Braves and Mark Melancon could have mutual interest in a return… possibly on a 1- or 2- year deal. It would be for far less than the $14M he drew in the last year of his former multi-year pact.

    Maybe 1 yr/$4M or 2 yrs/$7M? Or split the difference with 1 yr/$4M with a 2nd year team option also for $4M and $500K buyout?

    I think those would be acceptable terms for the Braves. I think a 36-year-old reliever might find value there as well. He doesn’t have to hit the high 90’s on the gun to be effective as he pitches to weak contact. Say what you will about that, but that did get you a 2.78 ERA and 11 saves in 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    First off, let me extend mine and Josie’s deepest sympathy to Chris and his family for the loss of his father. I know I still think of my own father often and the impact he had in my life and how I miss him still and wish I had spent more time with him when he was alive.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    The $1 MM moves being made to shore up the bullpen now leaves more money available for the big bat needed to protect Freddie Free. With the vaccine being approved, (thank you Joe for getting it done so quickly and not even President yet) should free some things up for the ball players. sorry, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a shot…

    The way I see it, the Braves do not need to sign a front line starter. They have two bona fide aces already in Fried and Sobatka. They do need a couple of solid arms to help them in a long 162 game season. Who that will be? It won’t be some guy making $23MM a year, more in the range of $12-$15 MM I would expect.

    Thursday we will know who has signed and who is still looking.


    • 84 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 7:43 am

      They do need a couple of solid arms to help them in a long 162 game season. Who that will be?

      I’d like to think it might be a guy like Taijaun Walker. But it’s more likely a guy like old friend Charlie Morton… or old friend Mike Minor. Or both? Who knows.

      And don’t forget the trade market. There is a growing sentiment out there that the Braves are open to trading top prospect C William Contreras as the organization values Shae Langeliers more as the long term answer behind the plate. The thought is that they will in fact bring back Tyler Flowers for one more year while Share get one last trip through the minor league wringer. And then Shae will take the reins from Travis d’Arnaud when his deal expires after 2021. It does make some sense as you don’t really want the guy(s) you are counting on to take over next year to sit 4 days a week when he/they could get regular at bats and continued development in an everyday situation at AAA. You would not get an ace in return, but you might get a back-end-of-the-rotation starter that can give you meaningful innings. You’d get better than Robbie Erlin or Tommy Milone.

      There is also a growing sentiment that the suits are actively shopping Ender Inciarte and the final year of his onerous deal and are willing to tack on a mid-level talent to make it happen. I think the fact that they already signed a guy that could backup all 3 OF spots is an indication that there is credence to this rumor. Ender is not going to play everyday over Cristian Pache, and he’s not going to give you any value off the bench. Might as well get what you can for him and cut bait now. I doubt they could get a viable arm in return, but they might get a fringe guy that could at least fill a role. Or better yet maybe they could get a low-minors arm with a chance to develop. With all the restrictions the Braves experienced in the wake of Coppy-gate, they can use all the lower minor league talent they can find.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 85 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2020 at 11:35 am

        A term that should be associated with Ender and any possible return on their investment with a possible trade of the centerfielder, “sunk cost”… Anything coming back would help defray the expense of keeping him on the team. It is sad in a way of how Ender let himself believe he was a power hitter. He has some speed and dinking popups to the off field was a strong suit for him when he had 200 hits.

        I am certain there will be reluctance from other teams to actually make a trade for a player they feel the Braves will drop and they can pick up Ender for the price of major league minimum. Not saying that will happen but I would not be surprised for it to happen. I think Ender has been hearing footsteps for quite some time and it has affected his game.


  53. 86 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Ya know… I just had a thought…

    With MLB taking over MiLB, and streamlining the teams including trimming some lower level clubs from the parent clubs, how will this affect the teams and the young kids that are their property? Will those really fringe kids just be let go as minor league FAs? And if that’s the case, does that help the Braves fill out some of their clubs that were most affected by the signing restrictions? I realize that it won’t enhance the talent level of the kids they did flesh out the system with, but it might at least help to ease the pain a little but. Maybe. Or maybe not. I guess that’s what I’m trying to ask…

    For the Braves, the high-A Florida Fire Frogs are supposed to be on the chopping block along with 1 of their short season rookie teams, and there is expected to be some realignment of the remaining teams along geographical lines. I do not believe all of the movement has been made officially official yet, but I will be looking into it;

    Liked by 1 person

    • 87 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 9:06 am

      MLB has already taken over MiLB after the former agreement expired on Sept. 30. Those operations are now taking place in the MLB headquarters in NY. Also, minor league teams are now officially referred to as “licensed affiliates”.

      Much of the heavy lifting is yet to be done as we know MLB wants to reduce the number of affiliates from 160+ to 120, and it’s just a matter of time before they take official action to accomplish it. The result is supposed to be just 4 “licensed affiliates” per organization – AAA, AA, high-A, and low-A – plus separate team owned and operated rookie league teams. And they are expected to implement a dramatic realignment of the leagues into more geographically friendly clusters to reduce travel (read: travel costs).

      Personally, I don’t see a real problem with this. There is not a current standard among MLB teams as to how many teams they operate. I personally like the idea of uniformity among the teams… it makes great sense to my OCD. Plus, there are some kids way down the line that probably don’t stand a chance of moving up in a confined system. It’s expected that some independent leagues will operate to take in some of the kids that are cut in the process, and even take on some of the teams that get cut. It will give some of these fringe kids a greater chance of catching on with an organization that sees value in their talents.

      For the Braves specifically, the fate of the Florida Fire Frogs is still up in the air. They lost their Kissimmee stadium prior to 2020 which didn’t really matter after the season was cancelled. They are supposedly on the chopping block in MLB’s plan. (Fun fact… the Fire Frogs is the one affiliate of the Braves that the parent organization does not own.)

      The Braves announced back in September that they were ending their affiliation with Danville (rookie Appalachian League). The Appy League is supposed to become an independent “college wood bat” league where undrafted college players can adapt to a wood bat. So the kids that were previously assigned there will either be pushed up to low-A or simply let go.

      The Gulf Coast League (GCL Braves) should continue to operate independently as a short season rookie league and not be affected. I think.

      In short, there may be some shakeup of the leagues geographically which could have an affect on the leagues in which the Gwinnett, Mississippi, and Rome teams play. But those teams themselves appear to be relatively unaffected. The Braves will have to find another low-A affiliate, and should do so over the winter. Stay tuned for that announcement whenever that comes. It may coincide with MLB’s greater announcement of their MiLB plans going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 88 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 9:13 am

      I do have to wonder why the Braves AAA team in Gwinnett County, less than an hour north of Atlanta, travel to Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, New York… or worse to Worcester, Maine. It does seem that the leagues could be set into a more regional grouping, especially when most of these guys travel by bus.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 89 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 9:40 am

        Worcester, Massachusetts. Duh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 90 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2020 at 11:44 am

        Being an old guy, I remember when the International league stretched from Havana Cuba to Ottawa. There are 30 major league teams now but there was a time when some real talent was found in Triple A. For a ball player to reach the majors before their 27th birthday was a rarity.

        So a lot of kids will ply their time installing windows for Lowes or Home Depot, sadly, for a lot of them, the pay will be better than what they could earn in the minors. Any kids breaking out and becoming the next Andrew Jones at 19 will be a pipe dream. I have not forgotten the abysmal job MLB in running the Montreal/Washington farm system. They were all about getting by on the cheap.

        Liked by 2 people

  54. 91 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 11:28 am

    That’s current Braves Asst. GM. Perry Minasian.


  55. 94 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 1:32 pm


  56. 95 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Guess who gets to announces the 202 NL MVP tonight? That would be one Mr. Dale Murphy, past Braves MVP winner.

    Serendipitous connection with tonight’s winner? Stay tuned at 6:48pm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 96 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Guess who gets to announces the 202 NL MVP tonight?

      Man I butchered that typing, didn’t I? Might as well have had boxing gloves on while doing it.

      Ahem… Guess who gets to announce the 2020 NL MVP tonight?

      Liked by 2 people

  57. 97 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  58. 98 Vox O'Reasoñ November 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  59. 100 Vox O'Reasoñ November 13, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Am I the only one stunned that Dansby Swanson was even in the conversation, even if only with a 10th place vote? Dans had a solid season for sure… maybe even a somewhat underrated season. I suppose it’s a little easy to overlook what he did when he shared a lineup with Freddie, Ronnie and Marcell. But for a guy that has been skewered in Atlanta after huge expectations, this should be a moment of validation for him.

    Congrats Dans. I can’t wait to see the next step for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 101 Vox O'Reasoñ November 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Good morning fellow Stuffians, I hope y’alls weekend went well.

    Still awaiting news on if and when the Commissioner will decide on the universal DH or not.

    The Braves have two wants methinks. A big bat to protect Freddie and a true front of the rotation pitcher to lead the starting staff. It is not that the Braves don’t have a strong pitching staff now, it is just two of the best are still pretty young and a 162 game season is brutal on young arms. Heck, it is pretty brutal on young arms too but I digress.

    I am very happy Freddie Freeman was chosen as the NL MVP this year. No doubt he has been snubbed a lot in past seasons by the pundits. Those folks have a bias towards players in New York and Boston. Anyone else is just a fluke to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 104 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I can’t see it happening, but wouldn’t it be a kick in the pants?


  63. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Not exactly Trevor Bauer but will surfice.


  64. 106 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    It’s not Trevor Bauer, but it’s not a bad signing. I’m not sure he was worth $11M, but I don’t get paid to make such assessments. Smyly should be pretty much what we asked for… a mid-level starter to provide some veteran experience and stability in the rotation. I’d say the 31-year-old lefty at $11M is a better signing than Jon Lester or (fill in the blank), at the tail end of a career for $5M. He should have some gas left in the tank.


  65. 107 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Did anyone see this coming? And did Alex once again get out ahead of the pack like he did last year with Will Smith? Seriously… was this the first FA signing of note of this offseason?


  66. 108 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Great minds and such…

    Liked by 1 person

  67. 109 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm


  68. 110 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    AA on a conference call that just wrapped up a few minutes ago, courtesy of Kevin McAlpin:

    “We looked at him even last offseason as well. When he came back from the finger injury, his last four outings were really strong. The curveball is a real weapon for him. In our minds it’s one of the better curveballs in the game.”

    “We always would like to have as much depth as we can. What we’re doing is more player specific than need specific. We have areas we’d like to address.”


  69. 111 Vox O'Reasoñ November 16, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    And for perspective, former Giant teammate Kevin Gausman will earn $18.9M.


    • 112 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Isn’t it funny how a guy who could not get out of Atlanta fast enough earns a qualifying offer? One has to wonder what enabled the gasman to flip the script.


  70. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Howdy folks. Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Okay folks, time to push Andrew Jones over the top for election into the Hall of Fame. For 10 years, there was no one better in the outfield.

    Huddy is on the ballot for the first time too.

    What other amazing things will Alec do today? Sign Springer maybe?

    Liked by 2 people

  71. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Oh by the way, if Bonds et al get into the Hall, it will signal it is okay to cheat as a means to an end.


  72. 115 Vox O'Reasoñ November 17, 2020 at 8:03 am

    And I think it’s worth noting that Smyly’s 2020 “advanced” numbers, as given to us by Buster Olney above, are quite comparable to those of Kevin Gausman, and better in 2 key categories including FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which is meant to measure a pitcher’s overall effectiveness.

    Swing-and-miss: Gausman = 15.2%, Smyly = 14.9%
    GB/FB: Gausman = 1.7, Smyly = 1.19
    FIP: Gausman = 3.09, Smyly = 2.01


  73. 116 Vox O'Reasoñ November 17, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Did y’all see the reports yesterday that Smyly’s agents were telling teams they were seeking 3 yrs/$30M? Of course you always start high, but that was a little surprising given the current state of the game, its economics and its labor instability, and whether or not there will even be a full season with or without fans in 2021.

    But I think it’s a good example of players trying to secure some certainty in the midst of all the uncertainty.

    Can’t blame a guy for trying, right?

    But AA is carving his reputation of giving a little more for one year so as not to commit a lot more for longer. And while he didn’t hit on Cole Hamels, he hit big on Anibal Sanchez, Josh Donaldson and Marcell Ozuna. SO while we all want to see Ozuna return, and I think that goes for Alex as well, don’t be surprised to see a couple of shorter term signings instead.

    For instance, last offseason the Braves had some interesting catching prospects close to emerging but not yet ready, so Alex signed Travis d’Arnaud for 2 years to bridge the gap. I can see a similar action with Michael Brantley for everyday LF-er to hold the place for Drew Waters. MLBTR predicts 2 yrs/$28M… not coincidentally to the Braves. It just makes sense.

    Then he could turn around and sign Joc Pederson for a 1 year higher AAV than expected (predicted for 2 yrs/$18M) to platoon with Adam Duvall as DH, assuming there will be a DH. That also gives a ton of OF flexibility to go along with young starters Cristian Pache and Ronald Acuña. Again, it just makes sense.

    And if he does that, he’s only spent $23M AAV for 2021 to plug the 2 holes in the everyday lineup. And he’s still not tied up a lot of cash going forward.

    BTW, I still expect at least one more pitching acquisition… either through trade or signing. I also expect another bullpen arm. This fan won’t be surprised to see Mark Melancon return on a 1- or 2- year deal at about $5M AAV.


    • 117 Vox O'Reasoñ November 17, 2020 at 9:55 am

      And for purely comparison purposes, the team ended 2020 with a relative payroll of $164M. As it sits right now, with estimated raises figured in, they are right about $112M heading into 2021. I doubt they’ll move ahead of last year’s figure, but the Smyly signing signals to me that they are open for business and not gun shy to spend a few dollars.


      • 118 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2020 at 3:14 pm

        As it stands, they are already $7 million up just swapping out Hammels for Smyly. $9 million for Ender is spent money so to speak. Anything acquired for Ender even if it’s for prospects or even international money allowances with the Braves still shelling out for most of the salary owed to Ender. The whole thing may well pivot on roster space available.


  74. 119 Vox O'Reasoñ November 17, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I wonder if Alex can find a trade partner for Ender, a guy making $9M that can field but not hit, to return a guy making $9M that can hit but not field? That’s fair, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  75. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

    “Asked his perception of the team, Smyly said, “Just how young and electric they are. I watched them play when I was with Philly in ’19. Obviously just such a young, energetic team. Ton of talent. And then watched them through the playoffs this year. There’s just so much going on right now. Brand new ballpark. The team, they’re just built to win. So really, once I became a free agent, I was interested in the Braves right away.

    “Once they expressed interest in me, it really kind of made my decision pretty easy.”” DOB The Athletic 11/17/20

    Liked by 1 person

  76. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Sounds like he is taking Doggie’s advice…

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2020 at 11:36 am

    After reading the opinions of many of the “professional” pundits on what the Braves will do in 2012, I have come to the conclusion they are no better at predicting what Alex will do with any greater accuracy than we here in Stuffville. Sure, they can make educated guesses but often they just take some wild ass guess and regurgitate what some other talking head has said. Honestly, I am of a firm mind there are some really lazy and over paid folks doing research via wikileaks and google and even then seldom accurate.

    So here goes my WAGs for the coming season.

    The Braves may or may not sign Ozuna to bat behind Freddie Freeman but will sign a player , George Spring or someone of his ilk to fill that role. I expect they will be willing to spend in the neighborhood of $25 million a year for such a player.

    Pache will be the Braves primary centerfielder in 2021 with Acuna Jr moving to right field.

    Newcomb, Foltynewics, and Ender will be traded to make room on the roster. Okay, Newcomb is a 50-50 bet as well as Jackson but we will have to wait until spring training for that issue to be decided. What will not happen is anything over league minimum being offered to Folty. He has to prove himself again.

    Don’t be surprised if the Braves add another veteran to their starting staff.

    Although it is a long shot, don’t be shocked to see the Brave make an offer for JT Realmuto. He could alternate with d’Arnaud in catching and DH.

    I am looking forward to spring training this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. 126 Vox O'Reasoñ November 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Gil, we are mostly like minded.

    I think AA will make a hard push to bring back Ozuna and will not settle for a question mark. He will add a potent bat behind Freddie. Agreed.

    Pache and Acuña… agreed. But LF? I’m not so sure Adam Duvall is a lock for LF… except maybe as half of a platoon.

    Ender is a better bet than Newk to be traded as Newk still has a minor league option, but neither will be a factor for the big league team. I think Jackson will be non-tendered along with Grant Dayton. There is depth in the bullpen and neither of those guys are worth the arb $$ it will cost to keep them.

    There will be another starting candidate acquired either via trade or signing… preferably trade. Agreed.

    I do not think catcher is on AA’s radar, but ya never know.

    And I too am anxious for spring 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 127 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Agreed, I would not think he would go after JT aggressively but one would have to think JT would listen, after all, he would like to be on a winning team and he has eyes…

      Yes, Duvall is a quandary. He is a solid ball player and has value but at what point does Drew Waters emerge? 2022?

      I wanted to comment on San Diego’s decision to sign Clevinger to a two year deal knowing he is going to have Tommy John this winter. It takes 18 months before a player can come back and pitch effectively. Yes, some say they are okay after 12 months but ask the Braves how that worked out for them in 2010. Best case is he could pitch for them after the All-star break in 2022. Must be nice to have that much money.


  79. 128 Vox O'Reasoñ November 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Sleeper bullpen candidate for 2021… Jasseel De La Cruz. This guy throws really hard and does not have a clear path to the rotation. His already “electric” stuff could play up even better in shorter lengths. His fastball typically sits in the mid-90’s and can reach 98-99. His slider is above average and he also has a decent change he’ll toss when starting. If he becomes a prototypical fastball/slider power guy and concentrates on 3 outs at a time he could be a real late inning weapon.


  80. 129 Vox O'Reasoñ November 18, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Obligatory reminder of upcoming dates to remember:

    Nov. 20: Deadline to protect Rule 5 eligible prospects.

    Dec. 2: Deadline to non-tender arb-eligible players.

    Dec. 7-10: Virtual MLB Winter Meetings. (Do they really have to wait until then? Can’t they Zoom with other GM’s now?)

    Dec. 10: Virtual Rule 5 draft.


  81. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I will be very surprised to see the Braves take anyone in the rule 5 draft but … well.. you know…


    • 131 Vox O'Reasoñ November 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      This year’s Rule 5 could be interesting. It could be a place where teams looking for low priced hole fillers could fish for a bargain… especially those who are not very close to competing for a title.


  82. 132 Vox O'Reasoñ November 18, 2020 at 4:29 pm



  83. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2020 at 9:33 am

    A really nice piece by DOB this morning comparing Heyward to Freeman. I subscribed to the Athletic after they sent me an offer of $1 per month for 12 months.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Braves add lefty Kyle Muller to the 40 man roster

    Liked by 2 people

  85. 136 Vox O'Reasoñ November 19, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    This is ahead of tomorrow’s deadline to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 draft. Muller is a jewel. Best fastball in the minors. He’s the next talented pitcher to follow Soroka, Fried, and Anderson.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2020 at 7:35 am

    The Braves are really loaded with talented young arms aren’t they? At some point the talent has to be converted into championships.

    Liked by 2 people

  87. 138 Vox O'Reasoñ November 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

    In case you are not up on Kyle Muller, I’ll share a few things about him and conclude with his current prospect report.

    First, he is the team’s #6 prospect, but that prospect list still includes Cristian Pache and Ian Anderson. Once those two are “graduated” off, he’s the #4 guy behind OF Drew Waters, C Shae Langeliers and IF Braden Shewmake.

    Second, he’s not a slight little fellow. At 6’7″ / 250, he’s a man. The 23-year-old imposing lefty was the Braves’ Round 2 pick (44 overall) in 2016 and was taken in the same draft with Ian Anderson.

    Third, he gained alot of attention in the 2018 AFL with a dominating 12.7 K/9 performance, then continued to confound batters in AA in 2019 before a late season calf strain shortened his campaign. And of course, what should have been his polishing AAA season was wiped out in 2020. He was in the team’s 60-player pool and thus did get alot of hands on attention from the Braves coaching staff at he “alternate site” in Gwinnett, but that’s not the same as developing through live game action. Still, I won’t be surprised to see him make his MLB debut in 2021.

    Now the prospect report, via MLB Pipeline:

    Muller’s velocity ticked upwards in 2018 following a move to Driveline workouts, and he’s managed to maintain it. He’s regularly up to 95 mph, touching 96-97 at times, and he can still go get mid-90s heat in the seventh inning of starts when he needs it. As impressive as his fastball is, he does fall in love with it too much and can lose command of it when he tries to overthrow. His curveball is better than he gets credit for and if he can commit to using it more, it could become a very solid weapon for him. Muller went to instructs last fall to work on his changeup, which is behind his other two offerings, and both he and the Braves were pleased with the progress when he left.

    Muller will need that consistent offspeed offering to give hitters varied looks if he wants to keep starting at the highest level. He’ll also have to improve his control, which went in the wrong direction with a spike in walks in 2019. There are a lot of moving parts with his 6-foot-7 frame but the Braves feel his athleticism will allow him to figure it out and land in the big league rotation soon.

    So you can see why he needed that 2020 season at AAA. He doesn’t need to skip that one last step in his development. Let’s all hope that they get that full competitive season in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. 139 Vox O'Reasoñ November 20, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Uh… who?

    Actually, he was fairly well regarded in HOU. They called him Super Jack. He was their Charlie Culberson. He’s an above average IF defender, but hits like Ender. He’s certainly not a lock to make the team, and I would imagine his 40-man roster spot isn’t safe either. He’ll likely be the first to be designated should Alex need another open spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 140 Vox O'Reasoñ November 23, 2020 at 9:42 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  90. 141 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2020 at 4:21 am

    that makes no, no sense, IMHO. he’s 37… granted, it just a little time on the field, his ERA was 4.75. he’s missed quite a bit of time in his career. Smyly has missed a ton of time in his career, and since 2012 has 3 seasons with more than 100 innings….ok….everyone is raving about his pitching last year…it was 26 innings!
    so, is Mike Soroka expected to not start the season on time? Might make a bit more sense, but if not… ,Soroka, Fried, and Anderson, and then 2 oft injured over 30 starters???? Sorry Wright, Bryce, Ynoa, go back to the minors, or go to the bullpen (that sure helped out Newcomb’s starting career) so some mediocre guys can get us to the W.S…..


    • 142 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2020 at 4:22 am

      I actually thought Morton made sense , IF they hadn’t made that crazy deal for Smyly first…


    • 144 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Ynoa got constantly better last season as he gained experience. I think he has the makings of a very good starter. Lets face it, the Braves starting staff was held together with bailing wire, duct tape and bubble gum last season. It is amazing what they accomplished given the loss of 4/5 of their starting rotation.

      Liked by 2 people

  91. 145 Vox O'Reasoñ November 24, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Here comes some more depth.

    Liked by 2 people

  92. 146 Vox O'Reasoñ November 24, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Ber, you might not be crazy about it, but I’ll take Charlie Morton and Drew Smyky all day over Tommy Milone and Robbie Erlin.


  93. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:42 am

    I like it… Remember the old baseball adage: To be competitive, you need to begin the season with at least 7 major league ready starting pitchers… Of course that was when pitchers routinely went deep in games started.

    The Braves have a very strong pitching staff being assembled at an affordable price I might add. Leaves room for some “stupid money” to be spent.

    Will the Braves hurlers throw shut-out after shut-out next season? NO… but if they can consistently hold the opposition to fewer than 3 runs per game, they will go far. I’m excited to begin.

    Now, if Hammels is willing to sign a one year deal for say, $1 million then I vote to add him too. I doubt he will get much more than that IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

  94. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Yes, it appears the Braves are well position to add either Ozuna or even a George Springer to the mix.

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:53 am

    PS. I like signing Charlie Morton way better than say Mike Minor.

    There are a bunch of NL Gms, especially in the East looking at the Braves roster this morning going “Dam* !”

    Liked by 2 people

  96. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Something else to consider, a lot of players will forgo some money for an opportunity to play on a winner, especially if it means they have a real chance of winning a World Series ring.

    Liked by 2 people

  97. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 9:58 am

    It also puts the Braves in a position to trade some of their excess pitching, if there is such a thing. The Braves still need a lefty bat methinks.

    Liked by 2 people

  98. 154 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2020 at 11:55 am

    that is all

    Liked by 2 people

  99. 155 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    yes, lets trade some kids who are cheap, and throw hard, so Charlie Morton and Smyly (V, I really hate my keyboard and voice text) can live up to Cole Hamels 2020….
    who do we trade them for? Some young outfielders we don’t need, or perhaps a 2nd baseman/ss/1st baseman?

    Just my opinion, don’t have a cow (man) but AA gets in the way of himself sometimes. (A lot of times)
    Kids pitched their hearts out , showed their stuff , against the best teams in the NL…now….get some splinters in your butt…hope an old arm falls off and perhaps, perhaps, AA will give you a chance. Nah, he’ll trade for the next Tommy Milone (you know….in the super tuff AL EAST, he had a 3.99 ERA in 29 innings, that worked out well, didn’t it?)

    and I assume wasting 26 million this year on aged rotations “pieces” Ozuna is likely gone (I do expect the red sox to make a WOW offer that the braves won’t come close to matching anyways) I think if he wasn’t behind FF, , FF likely wouldn’t win the MVP


  100. 156 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    sorta like going to the grocery store when you are starving, probably not a good idea to write on a baseball blog when you slept 2 1/2 hours (bad shoulder) and feel like your country is dying….oh well…

    anyways….Ozuna was awesome .431 OBP along with crazy power. Pick yer poison ….who will bat behind FF? d’Arnaud? 32 YO catcher that won’t be behind the plate 1 out of 3 games? a guy who never hit more than 16 HR’s.? Austin Riley with a .301 OBP? or Adam Duvall with a……301 OBP? Ozzie with a .306 OBP? Dansby had a .343 last year. Pache??? so…no one to bat behind FF, he will walk 150 + times…that’s the kind of unbalanced lineup that will really get us past the Dodgers….or Padres..
    and sounds like the Nats and Mutts are not going to just lay down for us like they did last year….oh well…baseball will likely be cancelled cuz chinaplague… anywho…carry on

    Liked by 1 person

    • 157 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm

      :-)… Did not say to trade the best, just some of the excess, or not. just gives you some flexibility to move some who do not have a spot nor will have in the near future.

      Do not forget most of the Braves young arm are still learning how to. It is not just being able to throw hard but when and where to throw. Having confidence in themselves etc…

      Being able to throw 98 is a gift but unless you are hopped up on roids like Roger Clemens, it is a short lived gift and you best know how to change speeds to keep hitters off your heater.

      Having a blend of vets and rookies helps to keep the price of the payroll down.

      I still of the mind that a full season is not assure. Profit centers are still far from certain for 2021. The amount of sunk cost between Smyly and Morton is still less than what Bauer is likely to command.

      Liked by 1 person

  101. 158 Vox O'Reasoñ November 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Ber does not appear to be in a good place.

    Fret not on what might or might not be tomorrow; it only steals your joy for today. And today still has a lot of good. We are blessed people, even if a segment of knuckleheads try to tell us we aren’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  102. 160 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  103. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2020 at 10:01 am

    A link to several opines on the Charlie Morton signing.

    Biggest question is whether he is slotted as the number 2 or 3 in the rotation. The Braves rotation, bull pen and offense could easily surpass 100 wins in 2021 but realistically every team in the NL East will be better.

    I guess the only real question left will be whom will fill the Ozuna role.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. 163 Vox O'Reasoñ November 27, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Good morning, BS’ers. Wait… that’s not right, and really doesn’t sound very good.

    Good morning, B&S’ers. The non-tender date is looming just around the corner (next Wednesday), and if this year’s pattern continues we should see another wave of players added to the FA pool. As for the Braves, I won’t be surprised to see Luke Jackson and Grant Dayton in that group. I might not even be surprised if Johan Camargo is set free as well, but that one is iffy. He might still have some trade value as a defensive piece, although that part is eroding as he no longer plays a very good SS. Too slow. He still has a cannon of an arm at 3B though.

    Speaking of FAs, I doubt there will be a whole lot of action seen on the elite power bats until the ham-handed MLB Commissioner makes a decision on the 2021 DH. It would appear that he’s holding that out as a carrot to the MLBPA as a bargaining chip because he wants to continue the expanded playoff format, which apparently the union opposes. Why? I dunno. Probably because they also see it as a bargaining chip. Both sides are too busy trying to gain an advantage over the other to get anything positive accomplished. It doesn’t bode well for the CBA negotiations, does it? But I digress…

    More than one top FA (Nelson Cruz, Marcell Ozuna among them) say they will wait until there is certainty before signing. And why wouldn’t they? Take Cruz, who is exclusively a DH. He could possibly expand his field of teams (field of teams… see what I did there?) twofold once the Commish and union come to a decision. And you’d think they’d want to do that soon to unclog the logjam of signings, because most of the hitters are waiting to see what Cruz and Ozuna get before they try to follow suit.

    Rob Manfred needs to pull his head out of his pleated trousers and get on with the business of baseball so that teams and FAs can start to stoke the hot stove. Up to this point it appears that our own Alex A is the only GM with a pack of matches.

    Liked by 2 people

  105. 164 Vox O'Reasoñ November 27, 2020 at 8:56 am

    I won’t be surprised to see a fairly significant trade happen with the Braves this offseason. Maybe a couple. I do think Ender is going, which will require a decent prospect thrown in to offset the $9M left on his deal. Might not get much back for him though. Maybe we swap an upper level pitching prospect + Ender for a lower level pitching prospect. We could use another good arm or 2 down the pipeline. And I think there could be another deal for a LF or 3B. Just a gut feeling… nothing to base it on other than gastric sensation. It just seems that things line up that way this offseason. Now that the Braves are on the precipice of a World Series, it’s time to cash in some of the chips that we’ve been holding onto for so long and fill in the holes that remain in The Show.

    Two bats. We need two bats.

    Liked by 2 people

  106. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Yep, it is pretty tough to make a decision on what to do when you don’t know all the facts. Of course the Braves could sign a George Springer and then not have to worry about the DH, or a JT Realamuto, but those are really a stretch.

    I see young Riley continuing to improve as a hitter. He is a pretty good athlete and can pretty much play left field, third base or first base and not embarrass himself. Sure, there are better players out there for all those positions but not having a honest to gosh money tree available makes most unlikely to be acquired.

    However, Alex A has surprised us before and could do it again. Alex and his crack team of evaluators have been pretty good at spotting underperforming players in need of rehabbing their reputations and getting them at under market price.

    The biggest unknown at this point is where the money is coming from to support a payroll. Fans and concessions, TV revenue, peripheral profit centers like the Battery. Heck, at this point we still don’t know if the Chinese will be running our government in two months.

    So I agree on the need for at least two bats. One of which must be a lefty.

    Other thoughts, if the Braves don’t bring back Melacon, what are the odds he goes to another NL East team? I am betting the Nits who always have a bullpen that gives up more runs than a cheap pair of nylons.

    If the Braves don’t sign a veteran back up catcher, who has the inside track as the primary back up” Contreras? Do you really want to stunt a rookie’s/youngster’s growth having him sitting on the bench as opposed to getting at bats at triple A?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 171 Vox O'Reasoñ November 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Very valid question about the backup catcher spot. In regard to Contreras, he showed quite well when called upon in 2020. His stock is fairly high, and for good reason. But most of the “experts” seem to think the Braves are higher on Shae Langeliers, who is only a year behind Contreras in his development. One has to wonder if the Braves might look to move Contreras while his value is high, bring back Flow for another year to back up Td’A, and wait for Langeliers to take over full time in 2022.

      As I stated earlier, I believe 2021 could be the year that Alex cashes in some of the higher level prospect talent for bona fide on field MLB talent. The Braves window was flung fully open in 2020. No need to keep looking ahead to the future. If the Braves of the 90’s learned anything, or rather should have learned anything, it’s that 14 straight division titles rings a bit hollow in retrospect with only 1 championship.

      And I’m not so sure Riley is improving as a hitter. He learned to lay off the low outside pitch, but that often led to an inability to catch up to fastballs in the zone. He doesn’t seem to have full plate coverage, so there is always a hole somewhere. It’s just a matter of what he’s adjusted to in any given stretch. Either his pitch recognition is slow, or his reaction time is slow. But he’s just not putting it all together. And pitchers seem to know it. I know he’s young, but how much longer will it take? And can the Braves afford to let him continue on-the-job-training? I love the kid and have defended him hard for 2 years. But I need to see more consistency out of him. I need my power hitting 3B to hit in the middle of the lineup, not the bottom.

      Now… that said, if you give me George Springer in LF, then I can afford to be more patient with Riley at 3B. But I can’t have both him and Adam Duvall providing the windmill power for the state of California.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 172 Vox O'Reasoñ November 27, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      One more note on the need for the consistent bat…

      Don’t rule out Michael Brantley in LF. He doesn’t have the bling-y power stats that George Springer has, but he does provide consistent ABs from the LH side as well as solid defense in the OF. As has been noted before, he’s basically a younger version of Nick Markakis. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think it is.

      My ideal lineup, including a DH, would be something like this:

      RAJ, Ozzie, Freddie, Ozuna (DH), 3B, Brantley, d’Arnaud, Dans, Pache

      But I need consistency and power out of that 3B, whether it’s Riley or someone else. I need Ozuna to see good pitches.


      • 173 Vox O'Reasoñ November 27, 2020 at 1:04 pm

        OK, Gil. I’ll take JBJr instead of Brantley. Fairly comparable players I think… with JBJr a little better defender. In fact, an OF with Pache in CF flanked by the 2 aforementioned Jrs might be the best in baseball.


        RAJ, Ozzie, Freddie, Ozuna (DH), 3B, Bradley, d’Arnaud, Dans, Pache

        JBJr is projected to be a good bit cheaper than Brantley too.

        I just worry about Riley’s bat.

        Is RAJ, Ozzie, Freddie, Ozuna (DH), d’Arnaud, Bradley, Riley, Dans, Pache a championship lineup?

        I’m not sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  107. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Question: If Acuna Jr. had not been hampered by a sore wrist, do you think the Braves would have scored a few more runs in the final three games of the NLCS? Pretty much the same situation as Freddie Free in 2019 IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I can understand your trepidation with Reilly, we did get a bit spoiled when the kid first came up and the book was not yet out on him, Hey, I saw Ryan Klesko when he first came up too. Young players go thru a learning phase.

    There is a player name Ozuna who stunk it up at Miami when he first cam up too. t is up to the hitting coach to get him straightened out or not. Methinks he is more trainable than Frenchy was so there is that.

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), Ozuna was upset he hadn’t received any offers yet, prompting the switch. Although Ozuna played only 21 games on defense in 2020, his former agent, Melvin Roman, was marketing him as a left fielder and seeking a $100 million contract for his client, Rosenthal notes.

    Not sure how many years Ozuna is looking for but for sure, Rob Manford dragging his heels on the DH question isn’t helping anyone. Regardless, I don’t see anyone offering him $100 million

    Liked by 2 people

  110. 177 berigan2electricboogaloo November 27, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Ber does not appear to be in a good place.
    V, could be… I fear our country is not in a good place. I have a fire and Brimstone Christian friend who had heard folks prophesize (on youtube) that Trump wasn’t just going to win in 2016, but 2020 as well. So, he feels while he still has a chance (as do I!) he feels a large number of Christians just didn’t bother to vote. Either cuz they just can’t bother, or because Trump isn’t a good enough man for them. Another friend (Jewish) just can’t watch the news anymore, and is of the mindset that Trump HAS to win, or we are done.
    Guess it doesn’t help being in the middle of listening to Judges…feel like we may be quite a bit like Israel was fairly often then, just all but begging God to take his protection away…at least for awhile.
    May be Trump serves 2 terms, but spread apart. Really, really , don’t want to imagine how terrible it will be for the next 4 years waiting for that time to happen….
    so, clearly, all things considered….Trump at friends proving the fraudulence of the election, is the best chance of the U.S. being a wonderful place to live….
    I’m still praying for Trump and the U.S. and I am sure everyone else here is too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 178 Carolina Lady November 28, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Ber, above all, trust God. HE is in control. He hears our prayers. My personal belief is that He is not finished with this nation. There are still things He wants accomplished and His man is the one to do that. There is no way Trump could accomplish all that he has without God’s blessing and anointing for the job. He (God) can change things in a split second. We’re in a spiritual war. Satan knows how very short his remaining time is and is fighting tooth and nail to defeat everything God stands for – including this nation. Right now, he’s using politics in that effort. Unfortunately, there are enough people willing to sell their very souls for fame and fortune. Just remember that it is GOD’S will be done, not Satan’s. I also believe that Trump will have a second term, having been proved to be the actual winner of the election. Just expressing the personal beliefs and opinions of one person here.
      Remember that while the people (you could enter ‘liberals and press’ here) were crowning Saul (Biden/Harris), God was anointing David to be king. It ain’t over by a long shot. Hope that helps, Ber.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 179 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2020 at 11:15 am

        Of course lest we never forget, an eon is but an instant for our Lord. Sometimes we must endure along with the wicked those things which test us to remain faithful.

        Liked by 1 person

  111. 180 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2020 at 9:32 am

    “He’s a great kid. He’s really intense and very talented. I haven’t seen him be good yet. These guys that have watched him play every day in the minors and have seen him be super special, like an Acuña-type special. And the same with Pache. And we get to see glimpses of them in big-league camp to where they’re ultra-trying-to-impress and do too much, and Drew’s a real emotional guy that gets down on himself real quick. He’s got high expectations, and he’s ready to kick the door down like he’s seen his buddies do and be on the club. And he’s just trying too hard. It never fails, after he gets out of big-league camp he goes down and starts to settle in and do what he does. But that’s all a part of maturing, too, right there. So I’m expecting him to be ready in the next year or two. I mean, it just depends on where he can develop mentally and emotionally for me. He’s got some swing-and-miss in him that’s going to have to get better in order to be able to survive up here, as well. But he’s a great kid with a great work ethic, and I have no reservations that he’s going to be solid for us soon.”

    Kevin Seitzer on Drew Waters per DOB in the Athletic 11/27/2020

    Liked by 2 people

  112. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Keven also commented on Acuna Jr playing with a sore wrist all season in 2020 and it really hampered his swing…. Yeah, we could all see that couldn’t we…. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  113. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2020 at 9:48 am

    I see (read) about various young players getting in reps in the Dominican winter leagues. GOOD!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 184 Vox O'Reasoñ November 30, 2020 at 11:13 am

      To be clear in my criticism of Riley, my team goal is for the addition of 2 big bats – one at DH (which I still think we’ll have if Rob Manfred will pull his head out of his leather executive chair) plus one more. That one more can be in LF if that’s what it takes, but we still need it. And one of those must be LH. The lineup as currently populated is very much out of balance.


  114. 185 Vox O'Reasoñ November 30, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Tricky thing, trying to find some LH power for this lineup. If you seek to sign a good to really good FA, then you pretty much have to give him some long term security. (Caveat: Never put anything last Alex. He’s proven to be able to bring guys on 1-year deals. But you can’t hit on every one, right Mr. Hamels?) So if you sign George Springer, you commit alot of money to the OF for 4-5 years into another RH bat. If you pivot to LH Micheal Brantley, you’re still going 2 years. Same with JBradJr. I can see the possibility 2 year deal for one of those guys, but not 4 for Springer. Unless an earthshaking trade is afoot, they’re not going to block SH Drew Waters for 4 years.

    What about DH? Marcell will probably get 4 years from someone. Will Alex commit big $$ for 4 years? I’m not sure. In a bubble I’d say no. But this is Marcell Ozuna, who has proven he fits in this group and brings more to the clubhouse than just his bat. Maybe given the current economic climate the 2 sides could work out a more backloaded deal. Perhaps. But what if it doesn’t come together? Then what?

    Most outlets seem to think that Michael Brantley is destined for Atlanta on a 2-year deal. And to be honest, it does seem like a pretty good fit. As we’ve discussed alot, he’s a younger and better version of Nick Markakis. But he’s not singing here to be a part time player, so he displaces Adam Duvall in LF. Is Duvall a trade candidate? Or could Duvall be a DH candidate? Or is Duvall a DH platoon candidate? With whom? And what happens to Ender? He’s due $8.7M for 2021, and that cost is already sunk unless you can find a way to trade a portion of it somewhere. He’s not a good everyday hitter… and isn’t going to be any better coming off the bench. That makes him a defensive substitute for an OF that has no defensive liabilities as it currently sits. He’s gotta be traded, right? And do you have to send along a good prospect to entice a trade partner to take him? Yuck.

    Alex has his hands full this offseason. There are no easy answers for any of those questions… and it seems like each one affects the next. Every time I think I know the best course of action, I realize I leave another question mark elsewhere. It’s a good thing my paycheck isn’t dependent on my ability to get any of it done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 186 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Yes, agreed on the need of a lefty power bat. Agreed on the need of a “good” DH bat from either side. Also agreed it will not come free.


  115. 187 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Just a couple of notes from around the NL East: Michael A Taylor signs a 1 year deal with the Royals. good for him, it is about time he got a chance to play everyday.

    Urena released by the Marlins…


  116. 188 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Congratulations to Brian Snitker for being named @BaseballAmerica’s 2020 Manager of the Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 189 Vox O'Reasoñ December 1, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I read these comments today on Michael Brantley, by Edgar Galvan of Tomahawk Take:

    I’d say the Braves should target Michael Brantley. He won’t give you the offensive numbers Marcell Ozuna provided in 2020, but we may have to ask ourselves if even Marcell Ozuna can give you those numbers once again.

    Michael Brantley is a great contact hitter that could easily be slotted into this established lineup. A consistent bat is exactly what the Braves need and with a .300 BA and an OPS of .840 in 2020, I’d say he serves as a good replacement.

    I think that is well said. And Gavan also makes a great point that most of us have probably thought, but we haven’t said out of unbridled optimism: Will Marcell Ozuna continue his magic of a 60-game 2020, or was that an anomaly? It’s a very fair question. He may have the higher ceiling, but Brantley offers some proven consistency. There is great value in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 191 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Not much news in baseball, but there is some coming. Today is the deadline for tendering or non-tendering arb-eligible players. If the buzz is correct, there could be more of these type players cut loose this year than most years. The effect of this is that it adds to the Free Agent pool. And you know what they say, one man’s “trash” is another man’s treasure. Now, that’s not to say that such player’s are trash. It simply means that they aren’t deemed worth the contract number that is projected for them. For instance, Luke Jackson is a serviceable pitcher. Not great, but serviceable. But is he worth the $2.1M arb figure that is being projected? For the Braves, who have a healthy stable of relief options, he’s probably not worth that amount. But on the free agent market he wont command as much, and a team with alot of bullpen needs can pick up a useful arm relatively cheap.

    As we’ve mentioned, the top non-tender candidates for the Braves are the aforementioned Jackson, Grant Dayton and Johan Camargo. Johan is the most likely to stay, but he’s projected at $2.3M, and probably is no longer worth that since he is not a viable SS anymore. The Braves would be better off letting him walk and signing a FA like Freddy Galvis for $2M who is a true backup at SS and 2B.

    Of course, there are many more Utility candidates on the market, and should be even more after today. Don’t expect to see either Camargo or Charlie Culberson back in The A. There should be a few other good bench candidates added to the market today as well, and the Braves’ bench, as currently populated, is not very good. It sports such names as Jack Mayfield, Abraham Almonte, and of course Ender Inciarte. Bleh.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 192 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    And there ya go. Smart move on both sides. Johan gets a reasonable guaranteed 1-year deal that gives him security and makes better sense for the Braves than the projected arb number. Win/win.


    • 193 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Well… that’s interesting. 😐


  120. 194 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    A little surprising, but OK.


  121. 196 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    6 arb-eligible Braves’ remain:

    Adam Duvall – lock to be tendered or offered
    Max Fried – lock to be tendered or offered
    AJ Minter – lock to be tendered or offered
    Luke Jackson – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya
    Mike Soroka – lock to be tendered or offered
    Dansby Swanson – extension candidate


  122. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    If anyone is interested, the Athletic is running a special thru Fri Dec 4th where you can sign up for the Athletic for $1 per month for 12 months. It is the same deal I am currently availing. It is worth a buck a month. You have to go to the Athletic.com to sign up/ May have to link to 744 is real, Obrien and Eric O’Flarerty.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 198 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Possible platoon partner for Duvey? I can think of worse…


  124. 199 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    I didn’t see this coming.


  125. 200 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    I DEFINITELY did not see this coming.


  126. 201 Vox O'Reasoñ December 2, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    H only thing I can imagine is that they’re closer to acquiring a LF than anyone knows.


  127. 203 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 9:18 am

    OK… I’ve been thinking about this thing since last night. I was expecting both Jackson and Dayton to be non-tendered, was on the fence about Johan, and never thought they’d non-tender Duvall.

    But now I get it. My thoughts…

    One: Unless a contract has specific language to the contrary, these are not guaranteed deals. Both Jackson and Dayton still have to make the team. And Johan too.

    Two: Dayton’s numbers were actually fairly good… and he was still just a year out from TJ surgery. He should be more consistent in 2021. Courtesy of DOB… The lefty had a solid season, producing a 2.30 ERA and 1.207 WHIP in 18 appearances with 31 strikeouts and 11 walks in 27 1/3 innings.

    Three: Last season, Jackson certainly had a bad year in an otherwise good bullpen. In 2019, he had a good year in an otherwise bad bullpen. Which pitcher is he? He still has to make the team. And let’s face it… he’s a pitcher. What’s the hardest position group to flesh out on any team? Pitching.

    Four: To continue that last thought. Pitching is always the hardest group to assemble. At least good pitching is. As we’ve seen with waiver claims and such, even middling pitchers can find a home. So every pitcher you have is an asset in one manner or another.

    Five: Did I mention that all these guys still have to make the team?

    Six: Duvall was the hardest for me to reconcile. The projected salary numbers in the various tweets and such were all over that map from $4M to $7M. So let’s take the middle amount and say that he would make $5.5M in 2021. Now look at the numbers Mark Bowman shared and it begins to take on a little better context… Duvall hit 37.5% (6 of 16) of his HRs within an 8-day span in Sept. and then hit .153 w/ a .572 OPS over the last 22 games (includes playoffs). There is some perspective.

    Seven: With still no clarity on the presence of a DH in the NL in 2021, Alex cannot afford to take a chance on even $4M to a position that might be the only spot on the field for him to replace Marcell Ozuna’s power numbers.

    Eight: If Duvall was a LH hitter, he probably would have been retained. Not only does Alex have to replace Ozuna’s power numbers, he has to find some LH balance for this heavily RH tilted lineup.

    Nine: In contrast to thought #4, LF may be the easiest position on the field to find a player… or 2. LF may also be the most commonly platooned position on the field.

    Ten: Alex knows what he’s doing. Trolls on social media love to slam all these moves in a bubble. Alex knows not only what he’s doing for 2021, but for 2022, 2023, 2024, etc. He’s putting together a team, not just filling in blanks. And I think he has proven that he’s pretty good at what he does. Whether or not we like it, it’s still early in the process. Heck, the Winter Meetings even in their virtual form are still a week away. Likewise, the Ninja GM may already have his new LF and we don’t know it. It wouldn’t surprise me.


    • 204 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Thought Ten-A: Pretty much all of the Braves numerous beat writers agree that the Braves are interested in re-signing Duvall at a lesser $ amount, but are allowing him to explore FA. That tells me they’re interested in him for the bench, but not as a starter. I think we had already made that assumption.


      • 205 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2020 at 9:52 am

        On Duvall:
        “He had a great year,” Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer said of Duvall during a discussion last week of the team’s season. “For me, it was so streaky it was scary streaky. Because when he was hot, it was just unbelievable. And when he wasn’t, it was unbelievable, too. That’s who he’s always been. He’s been a guy who could go off. He plays real solid defense. He’s a tremendous human being, great teammate. Work ethic second to none. I mean, the guy is an overworker, in my opinion. But just what he did this year was really special, really fun to watch.

        “I mean, three-homer games? Are you kidding me? What we got to watch this year with three-homer games, I had never seen that in my life.” From the Athletic DOB 12/3/20

        Liked by 1 person

  128. 206 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 11:05 am

    How much does Alex have left to do? Well, let’s look at it this way. If the season started today, our pitching staff would be in good shape, but we would be forced to start Ender Inciarte in LF. If we started tomorrow with the DH in the NL, that we would probably have some combination of Austin Riley and Johan Camargo at 3B/DH.

    And the bench would be a dumpster fire. It would start with either Alex Jackson or William Contreras as backup C, then follow with IF Jack Mayfield and OF Abraham Almonte. And it would require a 40-man roster promotion for either Drew Waters or the leftover from AJax/Contreras or some unknown prospect.

    There is much work to be done for sure.


  129. 207 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

    With the new contracts added in, the estimated arb raises and pre-arb raises factored in, the Braves are now at an estimated payroll figure of $120M. They finished 2020 at about $158M. How much they have to spend in 2021 is everybody’s guess. But this is where we stand as of today.


  130. 208 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Fun fact…

    It was on this day in 2014 that the Braves signed Nick Markakis.

    Maybe history can repeat itself with the signing of a newer, younger version of Kakes in Michael Brantley. I’d be OK with that.


  131. 209 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t get the Commissioner’s refusal or inability to make a determination. It has to be addressed soon. The ongoing uncertainty hurts everyone involved on both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 210 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Actually, it’s called greed. The union wants to keep the universal DH, and the League is happily willing in exchange for keeping the expanded playoffs. But the union wants a bigger cut of the playoff revenue in return and the league is not so eager to give up that windfall.

      I guess I do get it after all. I just wish I didn’t.


      • 211 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm

        A point made by Eric O’Fleraty yesterday on O’Brien’s podcast was if the DH becomes universal a lot of the “bench players” will lose their jobs. He cite the example of how little Charlie Culberson was used because the opportunities for player to pinch hit because the DH eliminates the need for pinch hitters. He said those players would be replaced would likely be replace with an additional pitcher.


        • 212 Vox O'Reasoñ December 3, 2020 at 2:58 pm

          I’m not sure I agree with that. The DH reduces the bench per se, but it adds another offensive player, so it’s a wash.

          Plus, the use of a DH helps, in theory, a starting pitcher go longer into games. That should, again in theory, ease bullpen usage.

          With the 26 man roster, you typically have 12 pitchers, 9 regulars including the DH and the typical 5 bench players. That 26th roster spot is the key. Are there times when a team might run their bench short if they have a specific bullpen need, or if a pen gets overtaxed over a short stretch? Sure. But I think they would do that even without the DH.


  132. 214 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    I’d say the Braves should target Michael Brantley. He won’t give you the offensive numbers Marcell Ozuna provided in 2020, but we may have to ask ourselves if even Marcell Ozuna can give you those numbers once again.

    Michael Brantley is a great contact hitter that could easily be slotted into this established lineup. A consistent bat is exactly what the Braves need and with a .300 BA and an OPS of .840 in 2020, I’d say he serves as a good replacement.

    Brantley will be…34 in May…he did hit .300 in 46 games last year, with…..5 homers…gee, a 30 something outfielder with no power, who, who does that sound like?????

    Liked by 1 person

  133. 217 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2020 at 10:03 am

    I have to admit, I was pretty P.O’ed when I heard about Duvall being released, basically (it seems) about moola…(I still can’t rap my head around signing for 26 mil, 2 older, often injured starters, that likely won’t be there come playoff time, prove me wrong guys!) but, I did remember he’s 32. if he was say….27, it would really be stupid.
    I do wonder, if the DH was a done deal, would they have done this?
    as for Mark Bowman’s analysis… “Mark Bowman shared and it begins to take on a little better context… Duvall hit 37.5% (6 of 16) of his HRs within an 8-day span in Sept. and then hit .153 w/ a .572 OPS over the last 22 games (includes playoffs). ”
    Ok…but, you don’t take away those games, you know??? 11 HR’s and 20 RBI’s for a month, are pretty good, last time I checked…and I know, VERY streaky…

    Liked by 1 person

    • 218 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 10:24 am

      I do wonder, if the DH was a done deal, would they have done this?

      I’m reading that if there is a DH the Braves will be interested in bringing Duvall back, but not at $6M. They were much more comfortable with a streaky part time player receiving $2.7M last year. I can’t disagree. He’s really only half a player given the hard disparity in his hitting between LH and RH pitchers.


  134. 219 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Ok, there is a younger version of Duvall, who, while not the defensive player Duvall is, has worked very hard to be…decent in left (and could of course DH)…. 28 in 2021, Kyle Schwarber. He was not very good in 2020 , (11 Hrs 24 RBI’s, .188 BA) but then again, the whole team was terrible. I mean, Javy Baez was 8 HR 24 RBI .203 (If they release him, can we find a place for him? 😉 ) Rizzo “hit” 11 HRs 24 RBIs 222. Kris Bryant in 36 games hit 4 HR’s 11 RBIs /.206 . In Fact, Jason Heyward hit .265, the best of any regular on the team…
    so, lets look back to Schwarber’s 2019. 38 HRs, 92 RBI’s .250 BA .339 OBP
    so, basically, a more powerful left handed Duval. Of course, a lot of teams will be interested….esp if DH is in the NL next year

    Liked by 1 person

    • 220 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 10:27 am

      Schwarber is a LH version of Duvall, as is Eddie Rosario. Either would make a good compliment to Duvall, but each also has a hard disparity with respect to pitcher handedness. Alone they are no better than Duvall. But in a platoon they would have more value.


  135. 221 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Players like Ozuna, Duvall, Schwarber, Rosario, Nelson Cruz… they are all being directly affected by the lack of clarity on the DH for 2021. None of those guys should reasonably make a move until they know if there is a 15 team market or 30 team market.

    There are whispers that Rob Manfred will use the platform of the virtual Winter Meetings to make the announcement.

    IMO, if there is no clarity on the issue before those “meetings”, there will be no business as usual. There can’t be. Not on non-pitchers anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 222 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 10:50 am

    For those that care about such things, the announcement by MLB on the future of MiLB, was expected on or around the 1st of this month. Obviously that has passed. Now they are aiming for the 8th. While it might not seem as important as the DH resolution and such, it’s almost as necessary. Some minor league teams involved, or to be cut, can’t even plan on such basic things as rosters… not knowing if they’ll have an affiliation, at what level, or even if they’ll continue to operate. It’s horrible for bubble teams. On the home front, the Braves AAA, AA, and low-A teams are all safe and owned by the parent club themselves. That’s the best scenario for any affiliate. But the fate of the Braves’ high-A team is still in limbo. They had already lost their location, but the league itself may not continue to exist. They may form a new one or merge with another. No one knows. And contractual obligations prevent the Braves from just pulling the plug and moving on. This is a pretty important piece of the pipeline and having clarity on its existence is fairly vital to the rest of the minor league baseball operations as a whole.


  137. 223 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Is Duvall really that bad against righties? 13 of his 16 Homers were against righties.
    Duvall is only worth 2.7 mil, even though he carried the team (at times) a 32 year old frequently injured lefty, Smyly, is worth 11 mil cuz…spinrate was swell…for 26 innings…ok…I think I am getting too old for this game…


    • 224 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Duvey’s slash against RH starters in 2020: .221/.283/.497 .780 OPS
      Duvey’s slash against LH starters in 2020: .289/.360/.644 1.004 OPS


    • 225 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      a 32 year old frequently injured lefty, Smyly, is worth 11 mil cuz…spinrate was swell…for 26 innings

      Smyly returned in 2019 from TJ, and was typically average in said return. His overall numbers in 2020 were not necessarily impressive, but his measurable pitch quality was. His fastball velocity was up from his career average, as was the spinrate on his curve. After he came back from the finger injury, he made 4 high-quality starts that were enough to show the ability is there and that he’s 100% back from the elbow. Was he worth $11M? In that he signed for just 1 year, yes. That’s the method AA has been using since he took the helm in Atlanta – offer the targeted player above value for 1 season to keep from committing to them for longer.


      • 226 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm

        And don’t forget, he’s not being brought here to lead the rotation, he’s being brought here as a veteran to help the very young stars. He’ll be the #5 behind Soroka, Morton, Fried, and Anderson.


  138. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Anyone remember Denny Neagle? He was a number three starter on a team of number one and twos so he was slotted to the fifth starter spot for most of the season. Needless to say, he had a very spectacular won/loss record and he parlayed it into a very nice long term contract with Rockies I believe. Sometimes it is when you pitch. That is what made Soroka’s and Fried’s record so eye popping. They were repeatedly going up against the opposition’s best pitchers.

    Win/loss totals are not so relevant as to how well someone pitches. As for Smyly. It takes fully 18 to 24 months before a pitcher is able to return to effectiveness in both power and control.

    I wonder where Simba will end up? I think he is a much better hitter than what he showed at the Angles. Being hurt does not improve performance either at bat or afield.


    • 228 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      As for Smyly. It takes fully 18 to 24 months before a pitcher is able to return to effectiveness in both power and control.

      I was trying to say that in a roundabout way, but ended up fumbling the delivery. My point on him was that as he is now past the “recovery” period. While it is somewhat cherry-picking to look just at his last 4 starts, those represent what he can do when healthy, and they also represent the latest direction of his trend. He has proven the elbow to be healthy, and he has proven he can get ML batters out. Now he gets to prove it while building his own value on the aforementioned 1-year deal.


  139. 229 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm


    We [fans] assume DH will ultimately be brought back in 2021. Fact is, teams are operating under assumption it won’t be, as that’s what they’ve been told by MLB. So far, they can’t assume that’ll change for 2021.

    Thus why Adam Duvall was allowed to hit FA. Alex has to fill the “Ozuna void” while also addressing the imbalance of the lineup, and the only logical spot to accomplish both is in LF. Duvall’s power was impressive, but as an overall hitter he was too inconsistent and unreliable. If he was LH, that might have been overlooked. The only other option for Thoppy is to take an available 3B and move Austin Riley to LF. But again, it has to tick off both boxes: power and LH… with LH probably carrying a higher priority.


    • 230 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Let’s look at the lineup to make my point…

      Acuña, RF (R)
      Ozzie, 2B (S)
      Freddie, 1B (L)
      vacant, LF
      d’Arnaud, C (R)
      Riley, 3B (R)
      Swanson, SS (R)
      Pache, CF (R)

      Just 1 true LH and 1 SH whose natural side is RH.

      I know I keep hounding on this, but it has to be addressed.


  140. 231 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Here is the list of currently available LH hitting FA OFs, in alpha order:

    Michael Brantley, Jay Bruce, Brett Gardner, Billy Hamilton, Brock Holt, Jon Jay, Matthew Joyce, Nick Markakis, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Eddie Rosario, Kyle Schwarber

    The top guy is Brantley, who offers less power, but better on-base skills. He’s also already been contacted by the Jays and Yankees as well as his former team, the ‘Stros. You have a few guys that are the LH version of Adam Duvall, those being Pederson, Rosario, and Schwarber. Bruce is over the hill. Gardner is a Yankee for life and will return to the Bronx. Hamilton has speed, but as the old adage goes, you cant steal 1B. Holt is a utility type with a negative WAR. Jay offers no power and took a step back in 2020. Joyce is exactly what he was in his first stint here: good for the bench but not a starter. (In fact, I’d love to bring him back to our bench, but I digress…) Reddick is on the same side of the hill as Bruce. And Kakes… well, do I really need to expound on Kakes?

    So looking at that pool, there’s no ideal candidate to purchase.


  141. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Do y’all get the feeling that most are playing the game of flirting with each other, management and players waiting for someone to break the ice. The Braves have secured their starting staff but no one has really shorn up their position players other than some B grade players.


    • 233 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      I think the teams need clarity on the DH situation… despite what DO’B says. Perhaps AA is doing business as if there is no DH, but then what happens if there is? I can’t believe the Ninja GM is taking any chances. He’s waiting, just like most NL GMs are waiting. They all need clarity.

      Liked by 1 person

  142. 234 Vox O'Reasoñ December 4, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Am I wrong with respect to the imbalance if the current starting lineup? After all, 7 lineup spots are taken. There is 1, possibly 2 spots left to make a difference. But does it matter?

    Can you look at some RH options, both FA and trade, and just not worry about the hard RH tilt?

    I guess if you bat Ozzie down around 6th you can break it up a little.

    Acuña, RF (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    vacant, LF (R)
    d’Arnaud, C (R)
    Riley, 3B (R)
    Ozzie, 2B (S)
    Swanson, SS (R)
    Pache, CF (R)

    Is that acceptable?


    • 235 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

      The hole in the batting order is a pretty big one isn’t it? None of the possible replacements will come cheap which is why I think AA did not sign Duvall. I think he is hedging his bets on available money for a player who can fill the role. I think he has a couple of options, either an outfielder and let Riley continue play third or a third baseman and move Riley to left. One has to believe that AA and company see/know something about Duvall that gave them pause to tender him. You also have to believe that 29 other teams saw a red flag being waved re: Duvall when you see a team like Atlanta let a player over whom they still had 2 years of control and theoretically was affordable and filled a needed role. But that’s just me.

      Liked by 2 people

  143. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Hey guys, I sent y’all a link to a free guest pass to the athletic for 30 days. Keep an eye on your e-mail/spam folders for the invite from The Athletic.

    Liked by 2 people

  144. 237 Vox O'Reasoñ December 7, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Excerpts from Ken Davidoff, NY Post:

    Multiple industry sources told The Post that the owners and players intend to restart discussions concerning the makeup of next season, which stands in flux due to the ongoing novel coronavirus. While the two sides have held talks since the conclusion of the World Series, those were relatively cursory, as the MLB Players Association wanted to hold its annual executive board meeting and choose its new executive subcommittee members (who are most involved in collective bargaining) before diving too deep into the details.

    The development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines provides hope that MLB will be able to hold a season considerably longer than last year’s 60 games and allow some paying customers into their ballparks, after only the National League Championship Series and World Series sold tickets in 2020. However, holding the standard 162-game schedule with full capacity next year appears little more than a fantasy.

    The owners and players must determine: Would it make sense to postpone the season’s start until a certain date (like Memorial Day), or report to spring training at the normal mid-February juncture with the knowledge that a pause might be necessary? Will the players get their full salaries?

    Then there are the rules of play. The owners proposed last month that the National League would adopt the DH next season in return for an increased postseason from the currently set field of 10. The players rejected that, feeling that wasn’t a fair swap as well as philosophically wondering whether too large an October tournament might negatively impact teams’ spending if it became easier to qualify.


  145. 239 Vox O'Reasoñ December 7, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Kris Willis, Talking Chop:

    Reports have suggested that the Braves are willing to make a multi-year offer to Ozuna provided that the DH does remain. Ozuna saw some time in left field in 2020 and the Braves signed him before the DH was implemented in the NL last season. Still, he is seen as a liability in the outfield and the Braves or other NL teams may not want to run him out there every day over a full season. Some analysts have speculated that Ozuna could command a four or five year offer and it remains to be seen if Atlanta would be willing to go that far.

    For my money, if I’m paying top dollar for a top tier FA for 4 years (or more) then I cannot risk a built-in liability, in Ozuna’s case that being his defense… or lack thereof. If I’m going that much for that long, I’d have to go the extra mile and make a run at George Springer.

    At this juncture, with the ongoing uncertainty, this amateur GM is still focusing more on Michael Brantley on a 2-year hook plus a 4th OF with power… maybe even Adam Duvall at less than $7M. I think it makes more sense for this team to add the steadier LH Brantley who has greater on-base skills. Let’s face it, this team already has a good deal of power, but with a great deal of swing-and-miss. I think Brantley is a great fit. It’s one thing to have guys who are always a threat to change the game with one swing. But it also gives a pitcher stress to face a guy that’s a tough out 4 times a game. You always need guys that can get on base or that can drive in that runner from 3B with 2 outs.

    And let’s not forget that Drew Waters is approaching the doorstep as well. Some combination of Brantley, Duvall (or similar) and at some point Waters would make a nice recipe LF/DH if necessary.

    Not lost in all this is that Austin Riley must… let me say that again, must become the consistent power hitter he’s been groomed to be. He’s the guy that needs to help flesh out the middle of the order. This team has put their money on him and he has to start showing a return. Otherwise it’s time to move on to Plan B.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 240 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      My view of Riley is he is a more athletic right handed version of Ryan Klesco. I had the opportunity to see Klesco during his stint with Richmond. I thought the Braves traded him away too soon but I was not consulted so there is that.

      My view point is it is still too early to give up on Austin. He continues to improve. No, he isn’t Brooks Robinson nor Noland Arenado but he is still just a tyke, not even a full 162 game season under his belt.

      I agree if you are going to smash the piggy bank, it is best to do it for a player who brings more than 450 foot homeruns. Except for homerun derby, no extra points given for distance. Agreed, having a line up full of Punch and Judy hitters makes it tougher to score but having a bunch who consistently only make loud swooshing sounds when they swing the bat can be even more worthless.

      The biggest disappointment for me is Ender thinking himself a homerun hitter. Reminds me of Marcus Giles after he stopped juicing and ended up with warning track power.

      It will be interesting to see of the players are again willing to take any sort of pay cut again this season and if so by how much.

      Oh by the way, do MLB teams realize they will have to open their books to prove their losses? Do the honestly believe that information will stay secret? Just saying…

      Liked by 1 person

  146. 241 Vox O'Reasoñ December 7, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    I almost forgot! The “Winter Meetings” start today! How did I miss this? Maybe because it’s been neutered by the collective powers that be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 242 Vox O'Reasoñ December 7, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      And really… is there anything at all to be excited about? The traditional Winter Meetings event was a place where GMs, managers, agents, and players could all gather in one site and have alot of face time to work out deals or possible future deals. Now that these are being done via Zoom, what makes this week any different from any other week?

      Answer: nothing.


  147. 245 Vox O'Reasoñ December 8, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Well, there has been action generated by these “meetings”. Thus far, there have been a few minor signings of fringey players, a couple of significant trades (Angels got closer Rafael Iglesias from the Reds and the ChiSox got Lance Lynn from the Rangers), and a Matt Wisler reappearance (to the Giants bullpen). So I suppose there is some business being done after all.


  148. 247 Vox O'Reasoñ December 8, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    There are whispers that former Braves farmhand Mel Rojas, Jr., who has spent the last 4 seasons in Japan including an MVP season in 2020, could return to the good ol’ USofA. He’s a SH with power that plays corner OF. Would Alex have any interest? He’d be cheap and at worst a good 4th OF. Well, at worst a bad 4th OF, but you get the idea…

    Liked by 1 person

  149. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    In a virtual meeting, do they have lofts and chatrooms? Oh my, shades of AOL… LOL… Okay, perhaps what they need is a baseball version of fantasy island.

    Liked by 1 person

  150. 251 Vox O'Reasoñ December 8, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    So MLB has sent a memo to NL owners telling them to not expect to have a DH in 2021 but don’t rule out the possibility (per Ken Rosenthal). How is this good business for either side? Is that just posturing? This is so stupid for both MLB and MLBPA. Neither can get past their pettiness toward each other to focus on items that are good for both sides. Sounds alot like the tone of the rest of the country, I suppose.

    In the case of the Braves specifically, it’s well documented that a mutually desired reunion with Marcell Ozuna is a perfect fit if there is a DH, but not so much without. IMO this ham handed handling of the rules of the game are directly hampering the ability of the Braves to do business. I’ll go so far as to say that if there were actual certainty of a DH for 2021, Adam Duvall would still have a job. I believe that. All these clowns have to do is come together and decide on a start date, roster rules and roster size. There is plenty right there to have straight compromises that benefit both sides as well as the fans. It’s really NOT rochet science. Who do they think they are… politicians? They act like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 254 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I’m not advocating for or against, because there are so many variables. But I would like to talk about the variables. But how much would you be willing to part with for 1 year of Kris Bryant? Obviously that would mean a shift to LF for Austin Riley, or would it? Would he even still be here or have to be included in the deal?

    That’s the particulars I’d like to discuss. Is that a desirable outcome and for what cost?

    (For purely fun purposes, here is a link to a trade simulator that helps match values. Most of the fan proposed stuff on their boards is ridiculous, but the site is a good reference point.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • 255 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 8:45 am

      I’ll kick it off with a general statement.

      There’s no way the Cubs will now get the exorbitant asking price that the Nationals reportedly turned down last offseason when the Cubs wanted Victor Robles, Carter Kieboom and a top pitching prospect. A worsening relationship between Bryant and the Cubs (which has never been good since they blatantly manipulated his ML service time), plus his years of control now being down to just 1 will severely change those parameters. Also factored in is that he does have a bit if an injury bug at times, and had a relatively down year in 2020. (But honestly, can you put alot of stock in anything that has happened in 2020?) I say all that to say, the Cubs will have to be reasonable and realistic if they want to move Bryant and his $18.6M price tag in his walk year.


      • 256 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 8:49 am

        Second, do we even want another “cross your fingers” player on a 1-year hook? It worked great in 2019 with JDon, and it worked great in 2020 with Marcell. But can you roll the dice 3 years in a row and come up with a winner again?

        I’ll say this much… if it did work out with Bryant playing up to his capacity, he could be huge in our lineup batting 3rd behind Freddie in the 2 hole. Imagine Acuña, Freddie, Bryant, d’Arnaud at the top. It’s formidable.

        But as always, at what cost?


  152. 257 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 9:38 am

    OK, now I’ll get more specific.

    If I am the GM, and I’m going to seriously consider Kris Bryant for just 1 year at a significant arb cost (estimated to be close to his 2020 salary of $18.6M), then I have to make sure Ender Inciarte goes back to the Cubs. They recently non-tendered Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber, so they need OF’s. But in order of them to take him back I’ve got to give them a good prospect on my end. I’ll have to include a pitcher like Kyle Muller, our team’s #6 prospect. That’s a steep price for me, but it accomplishes 2 goals in acquiring a big bat and dismissing Ender. Muller alone won’t do it, so I probably need to give them another arm from the stockpile. How about Touki? He’s never found a place to settle in with this staff, and he’s about overripen on the vine. I let him go.

    So for me, I’ll send 2 good, young arms in Muller and Touki along with Ender for 1 year of Kris Bryant.

    Would the Cubs do that? Probably not. But I’m not giving up anything more valuable, so that likely means we won’t find a match.

    And that’s OK with me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 258 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      I am so so on Bryant. Having seen him play via TV, I am no so sure he is a better defender than Riley. Of course Bryant may just need the proverbial change of scenery. As for AA making three winning passes in a row, well, if he can pull it off, I am betting the line with him from now on.

      Liked by 3 people

  153. 259 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    This answers the question as to the high-A affiliate. I really like having the Rome team move up from low-A and take that mantle. They are only about an hour north of Truist Park. I also like “trading” Kissimmee for Augusta, who assumes the Low-A affiliation. I like the close proximity. BTW, the Augusta team actually plays right across the river in SC, but it’s close enough. 🙂 With the exception of the AA team, I can drive from my perch here in God’s country NEGA less than 2 hours to any of the other parks, including Truist.

    Liked by 3 people

  154. 260 Vox O'Reasoñ December 9, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    What happened 28 years ago on this date?

    (Man… has it really been 28 years?!?)


  155. 263 Vox O'Reasoñ December 10, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Good morning, Stuffians.

    Today is Day 4 of the 2020 Winter Virtual Meeting. Traditionally, after a flurry of personnel action, GMs are packing up their gear and getting ready to catch a cab and head to the airport after a brief stop for the Rule 5 Draft.

    Well, in 2020, there is no packing, no cab, and no airport… and there is no flurry of personnel action. But there will be a Rule 5 Draft. And to be honest, no one needs to be present to pull that off anyway. So there really isn’t much difference except that some teams might go shopping for bench or bullpen help on the cheap. I do not expect the Braves to be in that group, but as Gil likes to say, ya never know. Also, don’t be surprised if they lose LHRP Thomas Burrows to a pitching starved team.

    Stay tuned for all the action, he said dripping heavily with sarcasm.

    Liked by 2 people

  156. 265 Vox O'Reasoñ December 10, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Here’s an intriguing name brought up by Cory McCartney of Talking Chop:

    Jurickson Profar

    He’s no outfielder by trade, but Profar proved his worth there in a career-high 304 innings for the Padres last season. His four defensive runs saved were tied for fifth at the position and he was eighth in UZR/150 (12.2) and he comes with two 20-HR seasons under his belt. Once one of baseball’s top prospects, the Braves were interested in landing Profar via trade from the Rangers in 2017, and they could get the switch-hitting, 27-year-old this time for an expected $15 million on a two-year deal. Should another consistent option develop (ahem, Austin Riley), Profar could also add depth and further defensive versatility when Drew Waters arrives.

    He’s a SH that would provide a good bit of versatility to the lineup, not impede the arrival of Drew Waters, and still fit in the event MLB drops the DH bomb on the NL late on the offseason.

    I find him interesting. I think he would be cheap enough to also allow for another big bat for the bench, such as Adam Duvall. (That name sounds familiar…)


  157. 266 Vox O'Reasoñ December 10, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    For those who care about such things, the Braves neither gained nor lost in the Major League rounds of today’s Rule 5 draft. There were 16 claims made in the first round, though, and another 2 in the 2nd round, as both the O’s and A’s took full advantage of the bargain bin for roster depth.

    The Braves have been quite active in the Minor League portion of the R5, though. I suppose this is a great way for the homeboys upstairs to supplement a minor league system hampered by the int’l signing restrictions brought on by their forefathers.

    The team picked:
    Round 1: A.J. Puckett, RHP (White Sox)
    Round 2: Jalen Miller, IF (Giants)
    Round 3: Jacob Pearson, OF (Twins)

    Puckett, a 6’4″ 200 lb. RH, was a top starter at Pepperdine University before being taken in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft by the Royals, and was traded to the Southside in the Melky Cabrera deal. He began 2018 as the ChiSox’ 23rd-ranked prospect, but missed time during the season with a nagging elbow ailment. He eventually opted for TJ and missed all of the 2019 season while recovering. He also missed all of 2020 because of the you-know-what. Obviously AA and Co. are looking for a healthy comeback for the big righty. His scouting report says: Puckett, when healthy, is more about pitchability than power. His best assets are his tumbling changeup, a legitimate plus pitch, and his advanced command. His fastball usually ranges from 90-94 mph with some run and sink, and his curveball can be an average third offering at times, but lacks consistency.

    Miller is a local kid, having attended HS in nearby Sandy Springs. He was a 3rd round pick out of HS in 2015 and is described as a “toolsy” player whose bat has not caught up to his glove.

    Pearson was taken out of a Louisiana HS in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Angels and then sent to the Twins in a deal to create IFA money for Shohei Ohtani. He was regarded as a promising hitter out of HS, but has struggled in the pros thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 267 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    “and he comes with two 20-HR seasons under his belt. ”
    This writer sure likes him…lets see….
    2018 20 77 .254 .335
    2019 20 67 .218 .301
    splits in 2019???
    vs RHP 17 50 .192 BA .278 OBP
    vs LHP 3 17 .305 BA .378 OBP
    can you imagine losing Ozuna and Adam Duvall’s bats away, and Profar batting behind FF???? HELLLLLO World series! Dodgers will be shakin’ and quakin’ in their boots…
    Did I mention that Kyle guy hit 38 HR’s in 2019?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 268 Vox O'Reasoñ December 11, 2020 at 7:51 am

      I believe the writer mentions him as a possibility, not as the savior for the team. I suppose by this logic there is no perfect fit unless you have the money of the Dodgers, so we might as well just :”opt out” of the season like all the quitter college teams and not bother. 🙄


  159. 269 Vox O'Reasoñ December 11, 2020 at 8:17 am

    There is no perfect candidate for this team without foreknowledge of a DH and without unlimited funding. Let’s just roll down the line and see what’s out there…

    Marcell Ozuna? Yes, he can hit a ton of HRs. He’s actually the only player in existence that can perfectly replace Marcell Ozuna. But his defense… he couldn’t catch COVID in a NY nursing home. So without the DH he’s not a fit.

    George Springer? He looks good. He can field and he can hit, but he carries the stigma of the cheating scandal. He also carries with him the draft pick penalty of the QO. And you better back up 2 Brinks trucks to his locker because you’re gonna get into a bidding war with the White Sox. Not exactly AA’s style. Not a perfect fit.

    JT Realmuto? Some would argue that Travis d’Arnaud as runner up as MVP of the team last season. I could make a case. Oh… and 2 Brinks trucks is probably about right. Not a perfect fit.

    Michael Brantley? Doesn’t seem to be popular here because he doesn’t hit HRs in Ozunian amounts. Not a perfect fit.

    DJ LeMahieu? Where you putting Ozzie? Not a perfect fit.

    Justin Turner? You gonna give that kind of money to a 36 year old? Not a perfect fit.

    Joc Pederson? There’s a guy that will hit tons of HRs, but his fielding is trending closer to Ozuna than to Brantley. And my LH neighbor could probably strike him out. Not a perfect fit.

    Eddie Rosario? Fewer HRs than Pederson, more Ks. Not a perfect fit.

    Jackie Bradley, Jr.? He’s Michael Brantley with a better glove. He’s a ballplayer but doesn’t put up the gaudy power numbers. Not “sexy” enough. And he can be streaky at the plate. But can you imagine an OF defense of Acuña, Pache and JBJr? Still… won’t replace Ozuna’s HRs. Not a perfect fit.

    I won’t even mention that guy from Texas’ name again… but he’s certainly not a perfect fit.

    I don’t see it. Nope.. no perfect fit. Even the guy we’re trying to replace can no longer perfectly replace the guy we’re trying to replace. Oh the humanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  160. 270 Vox O'Reasoñ December 11, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Opinion ahead… tread carefully…

    I believe there are 3 good FA matches for the Braves in 2021 with respect to the LF hole. Are they perfect? Well, There is no perfect answer all in one player with the possible exception of George Springer, and I just don’t see AA getting into that bidding action or making the length of commitment that Springer will surely require.

    My #1 choice is… Marcell Ozuna. Yes, I know he comes with defensive questions. As a Jake Mastroianni of Tomahawk Take recently wrote: “He’s a bit of a mess out there and has the arm of a toddler.” That’s true, but Mastroianni goes on to point out with some boutique defensive stats that he’s not actually a liability so much as he’s just not that great anymore. What he is is a former gold-glover that simply has lost a step and has a bum shoulder to boot. (OK… maybe “boot” was a poor choice of words. But you get the idea.)

    But… (there always a big but somewhere, right?)

    Even if the DH doesn’t magically reappear for 2021, it’ll certainly be here for 2022 and beyond. So those later years will be covered by the DH when Drew Waters takes over in LF anyway. I can live with Marcell in LF for one more season, much like we expected in 2019 when we all thought is was a brilliant offseason signing.

    My #2 is still Michael Brantley, for reasons I’ve spelled out previously. No he doesn’t have the power numbers that Marcell gives you. But maybe… just maybe if we had gotten just one more single or double with men in scoring position we would have not gone 7 games with the Dodgers. A team needs more than just boppers. It needs hitters. Michael Brantley is just that, and he can play LF quite capably.

    My #3 is Jackie Bradley, Jr. He’s not a top tier player, but he can get hot and do some real damage in streaks. And if you plug him in LF alongside Pache and Acuña, there won’t be many balls hit out there that drop, and those that do will not remain long. He may help deny as many runs as some of the better hitters will produce.

    I still think Marcell is the best fit back in Atlanta, DH or not. Unless there’s a trade to be made (which could always happen when the Ninja GM is at the helm), we better still be going after Marcell.

    Liked by 1 person

  161. 271 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    I believe the writer mentions him as a possibility, not as the savior for the team. I suppose by this logic there is no perfect fit unless you have the money of the Dodgers, so we might as well just :”opt out” of the season like all the quitter college teams and not bother.

    yes, let’s cancel the season, finally someone is talkin’ sense!

    Broken record time…hiring 2 pitchers, who have little to no history of being reliable…you know, innings eaters (Smyly had one season of 30 starts, one season pitching above 153 innings , 174 in 2016, then missed 2 complete seasons)
    You can argue that Morton has a history at least….but he’s 37 and coming off a blah , injury plagued year
    so, 26 mil used up…we just don’t know how much is left over…and losing 2 bats….
    Riley could go back to left, and A.A. could make one of his favorite deals, a 1 year deal for Justin Turner….of course, he’s probably looking for, and could get a 2 year deal….

    Liked by 2 people

  162. 272 Vox O'Reasoñ December 14, 2020 at 11:03 am

    As we have moved past the uber-exciting Winter Meetings (he said dripping in sarcasm), the list of needs has not changed… at least the needs as I perceive them.

    Note that I’m operating under the assumption there will be no DH, because that’s what The Commish has told me to do.

    So in very basic terms, this team has 4 more boxes to check off following the early pitching acquisitions.

    Box 1, they have to address LF. That’s an easy one. If the season started today, Ender Inciarte would be the starting LF. I won’t mince words here… Ender Inciarte is not a starting OF on a winning team. It’s that simple. Not only can he not provide any power and protection for Freddie Freeman, he’s likely the last batter in any realistic lineup. I don’t even want him on my bench.

    Box 2, backup catcher has not been addressed. As good as Travis d’Arnaud was in 2020, that was a short season. The most games Td’A has ever caught in a season has been 112, and that was way back with the Mets before injuries slowed his career ascension. It may have seemed at one time that William Contreras was ready to emerge, but the lack of AAA games in 2020 has pushed that timetable back a bit. He’s likely to get the AAA nod with Shae Langeliers in AA for 2021, while Alex Jackson finds himself at a crossroads. AJax has become a really good pitch framer and receiver, but he has an average at best arm and still hasn’t found a consistent bat even if he does possess some fairly impressive power. He’s a good emergency catcher, but not a guy you want to count on 2 or 3 games a week. He’s better as trade bait to a catching starved organization. Thoppy is likely looking or a veteran on a short deal. Think Jason Castro or Curt Casali… or maybe even Tyler Flowers.

    Box 3, the bench is horrendous. As it currently sits because that’s where we are today, with Inciarte in the starting lineup the bench is made up of BUC AJax, Util Johan Camargo, IF Jack Mayfield, OF Abraham Almonte, and a big hole. William Contreras is the only other position player on the 40-man roster. It’s an unimaginable position for the team to be sitting in.

    Box 4, the bullpen does not have a defined closer. Yes, any of Will Smith, Chris Martin or AJ Minter could probably do it, but we’ve all seen how a bullpen works when the roles are not clearly defined. IMO, the Braves would be smart to bring Mark Melancon back for another year or 2. Last year’s bullpen was very good overall even if there were a couple of isolated hiccups along the way. And Melancon was a solid part of that every time he toed the rubber.

    In my view, I do not want a ML team with Inciarte, Mayfield, Almonte or Luke Jackson on it. I just don’t. And I must find a way to keep my young catchers in AAA. So by my count that’s 6 players I need. Defined, I need a reliever/closer, a backup catcher, an IF that can capably play SS, and 3 OF… 1 of which is my starter and power bat and 2 for the bench.

    That’s my number and I’m sticking to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  163. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Good morning… raining here, 1.25 inches so far today. Methinks the drought is over. Been passing the time by reading Patrick O’Brien’s Masters and Commanders series. 7 books down, 14 1/2 to go. hey, it’s been slow on the Hot Stove front so a time filler is needed.

    Now baseball. Only a 25 million dollar gap exist between DJ Lemahiue and the Yankees. This is not George Steinbrenner’s tactics are they? When you see players being paid huge salaries, it reminds us of the huge gap between we mere mortals and those blessed by our Creator with athletic skills. While I am not envious (okay, maybe just a little bit), it reminds me not to sell myself short.

    So what are the Braves to do? A much as I really loved Ender when he first came to the Braves, I must admit he has fallen short the past couple of seasons. Tis sad when money continues to get in the way of having a great team. Okay, the Braves already have a great team, they just need to be a little bit greater. Like my dad use to tell me. “Having second best hands in poker will lead to bankruptcies.”

    Liked by 3 people

  164. 274 Vox O'Reasoñ December 15, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

    Major League Baseball executives and owners, wanting players to be vaccinated before arriving to spring training, would like the 2021 season to be delayed until May, even if it means shortening the season to 140 or fewer games.

    The Major League Baseball Players Association, believing it proved a year ago that teams can safely adapt to protocols, wants the season to start on time, playing all 162 games with full pay.

    The issue that could further erode the trust between the two groups is whether owners take the stance that the season should be delayed until every player and staff member gets the vaccine.

    Woo-hoo! More division and points of contention! Yay!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 275 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      If I were any player who has previously tested positive for Covid, I would protest as the vaccine would be unneeded and would place undue risk and hardship upon my person as the vaccine is know to have side effects.

      Of course that is just me.

      Liked by 2 people

  165. 276 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    If I were the insurance carrier for MLB, I would also push back because they will want to file a claim for losses. What a huge mess the Chinese have rendered upon us. When are we going to be able to file a class action against the Chinese? Oh wait, that’s right, Uncle joe has already gotten his…

    Liked by 2 people

  166. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    I think I will now take a nap on that note…

    Liked by 2 people

  167. 278 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Woo-hoo! More division and points of contention! Yay!
    for real…I am sure I have told you all that after the strike of 1994 (Remember, Tony Gwynn flirting with .400? Matt Williams with 60 HR’s back when that was a big deal?) ruining that year, then the late start to 1995 meant I buried baseball (but not forever as I thought I truly had at that point) and missed the W.S.
    I wouldn’t quit baseball if the season started late in 2021 for some sort of legit reason, but man….I just find it harder and harder to care about 2 sides that don’t want to compromise at all….

    Gil, after not knowing anyone that had the chinaplague, a good friend (the guy I went to Tuesday Tacos and watched games in normal years) got it, after 9 months of going everywhere and not getting anything, went into the hospital and nearly died…may have permanent lung damage.
    another good friend in Philly, he and his parents got it, and sadly his father, a man that still flew a plane and golfed weekly, died….He was beyond devastated , as he had moved home for financial reasons, and was seeing him every day…now has to take care of his mom who doesn’t drive…
    I have a theory…a conspiracy theory if you will….normally not big on those…but, I think it has mutated….in fact, I heard in England they are saying it has there….hmmmm

    and we are to believe 80 million wanted ChinaJoe, to reward China for ruining our economy and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, and who knows how many will be permanently damaged…all because China let it out to the world, and didn’t warn anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  168. 279 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

    It’s not often that I lean toward the MLBPA, but I’m with them on this one. They proved they could safely navigate a schedule, albeit a 60 game one, without putting anyone in any extreme situations that were not the players’ individual responsibility. And IMO it comes down to that. Let these guys take personal responsibility. We have become a society that has tried to incrementally remove all personal responsibility from everything… seemingly now including our own healthcare and means of income.

    Start spring on time and be responsible about it. Schedule a full season, prepare to play 162 games knowing that the vaccine is being administered and that the promise of fans in the stadium is coming even if not by Opening Day. And in the process, build back the trust of both the players and the fans.

    Oh… and keep the stupid DH in the NL. I didn’t want it to begin with, but we’ve crossed that line. It’s stupid to go back now.

    Liked by 2 people

  169. 280 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Now… talking personnel…

    It’s easy to sit here and look at the list of Free Agents and go down the line with our shopping list and try to pick out all the good players that we like that might fit our budget. And it’s true that the Braves are in the stage of “win now” that shifts more toward filling needs in that manner. But that’s still not the only way to build a roster and surely not the only way Alex will fill our glaring holes.

    Trades will come… likely in the plural of which I just typed.

    Possible targets? Veteran backup catcher, RH reliever, LF/3B.

    Why did I include 3B? Am I blasting Austin Riley again? No, not at all . I believe he’s fully in the Braves plans for 2021. I also know that he has shown he can capably play LF, so if a better opportunity for a hitter comes via 3B, it has to be on the table.

    Notice also that I didn’t include the bench needs in the trade vista. Those are guys that are picked up more easily off the ol’ scrap heap. In fact, that might not even be completely settled until spring when teams start to pare down their rosters and leave a few interesting names available. We’ve pillaged that pile a few times in the past and come out with some good looking scraps.

    As for specific names for trades, I think guys like SEA’s Kyle Seager has to be in play. His inclusion seems obvious to me. He’s a talented player that fits in that same type window of JD and Ozuna that is poised to have a monster season for 1 year. The only issue with Seager to me is the contract. He’s got 1 year left at $18M with a team option for 2022, but that option converts to a player option if he’s traded. And while the $18M for a power bat falls right into that same neighborhood as JD and Ozuna, if he falters we could be on the hook for 2 years. The flip side is that if he has a JD or Ozuna-like year, he’ll likely opt for FA and move on. As for the $18M specifically, if we could send the M’s a good young arm (Touki or Newk), which they badly need, then perhaps they’ll also take Ender and his $9M obligation. That’s a net of $9M for Seager and a solid target in my book.

    Why would SEA agree to such a deal? Well, they have a youngster named Ty France that is the heir to 3B and currently penciled in as their DH. If they can clear the path for him, add a couple of intriguing young arms, and save $9M in the process, they’d have to listen… wouldn’t they? Heck, we can even sweeten the deal with Johan to help their bench and cover some 3B time here and there.

    Any other names out there that anyone has heard or that you think could fit in a swap?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 281 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Oh My Rudy… That is taking way too much thought for me to consider at this point. Let me get back to you on that posit.

      I do know that Seager’s name has be bandied about in Atlanta circles for several years now. The $18 million is well within the price range for comparable players the past few years. What we don’t know is how much money Liberty Media is willing to invest. Do they want a World Series winning team or are they happy with a contender. Private business thinks in those terms by the way. Without fans, the reason to have a winning team by the way, they would profit just as much by just having an entry.

      Heck, prior to ted Turner buying the team, that appeared to be Atlanta baseball’s MO.

      Okay, sorry for the downer outlook but I have to see it to believe otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 282 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 11:43 am

        OK… I getcha. But as things currently sit today, even with the new pitching additions, the Braves are projected to open 2021 at a payroll figure $38M below that with which they finished the 2020 season. And businesses also know that if they damn the future to please the present, they won’t stick around very long. Profits aren’t made in a bubble, and if you work too hard to maximize today… you won’t have a tomorrow.

        I think they have one big money move left to make. Maybe I’ll be wrong in that, but they’re gonna have to prove me wrong before I start penciling Ender Inciarte or Abraham Almonte into my starting LF picture. And for the record, that would be a phenomenally stupid move on the part of the team to grind their fans through a rebuild, emerge where you targeted, then sink back below the surface and beg forgiveness. Guys like Greg Maffei and Terry McGuirk don’t rise to the position of corporate CEO by being stupid.

        Liked by 2 people

        • 283 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm

          “And businesses also know that if they damn the future to please the present, they won’t stick around very long. Profits aren’t made in a bubble, and if you work too hard to maximize today… you won’t have a tomorrow”.

          Precisely the point the point I tried to make to the powers that be in the ’80 as they shipped a large number of good paying blue collar jobs off shore in the name of greater profits seemingly forgetting that trying to sell automobiles, computers and white goods to people making $5 working in the hospitality sector of the economy was a matter of impossibility. At some point, even the ability to buy on credit dries up.

          But what do I know, I am just another poor ignorant southerner who takes funny? What do I know of high finance other than even cake grows stale after a time.

          Alas, even we ill informed white trash can see when the media has succumbed to believing they will be spared the wrath which will befall them when they are no longer useful to their handlers.

          Liked by 1 person

  170. 284 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I guess I see…some of the point of Kyle Seager, (esp between 2013-2016 when he hit between .260-278) but….can’t we do better? he’s 33 and hasn’t hit above .249 over the last 4 seasons.
    digging a bit deeper, he normally hits decently against left handers. last year hit .185. hit .294 at home, .209 on the road (More ab’s on the road too 129, vs 74 at home) also hit .189 in sept….

    Liked by 1 person

    • 285 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      It’s the power we’re after. He hits HRs. He’s a legit 30+ HR hitter that dealt with injuries early in 2019 to return and slash .260/.339/.524 with 17 HRs in the team’s last 68 games. Then 2020… can we judge much of anything based on 2020?

      This from M’s beat writer Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times:

      From opening day (July 24) to Sept. 7, Seager played in all 41 games, posting a .283/.377/.507 slash line with 39 hits, 24 runs scored, 10 doubles, seven homers, 30 RBI, 18 walks, six hit-by-pitches and 20 strikeouts.

      In his final 19 games of the season, he had a .154/.309/.277 slash line with 10 hits, two doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, 14 walks, a hit by pitch and 12 strikeouts.

      “They always say that you’re going to have two big slumps a year,” Seager said. “That was one of them. And when you’re only playing a third of the games, it definitely gets magnified. Thankfully, I was able to work some walks in there and I think that helps minimize it. I just wasn’t moving quite the same at the plate.”

      The late-season slump leveled out Seager’s final numbers, giving him a .241/.355/.433 line with 12 doubles, nine homers, 40 RBI, five stolen bases, 32 walks and 33 strikeouts while producing a 1.5 FanGraphs WAR — the fifth-highest of all MLB third basemen.

      Projecting for 150-155 games, you get a semi-typical Seager season of around 30-plus doubles, 20-plus homers and 85-95 RBI.

      But what stands out most is Seager’s walks vs. strikeouts in his 248 plate appearances in 2020. The 32 walks gave him a career-high 12.9 walk percentage. Meanwhile, his 13.3 strikeout percentage was the lowest of his career. In his previous nine seasons going into 2020, Seager had an 8.4 walk percentage and 17.5 strikeout percentage.

      Will he give you 25-30 HRs, 85-95 RBI and provide actual protection for Freddie Freeman in our lineup? No one knows. But no one knows if Marcell Ozuna will repeat his success of 2020 after less than stellar years leading up to it. No one knew if JD would stay healthy enough to contribute anything in 2019.

      The question for 2021 is, what can you get for +/-$18M? The FA options are lacking in some area. If you go the Michael Brantley or Jackie Bradley, Jr. route, you sacrifice the power. If you go the Joc Pederson or Eddie Rosario route, you are going to endure a ton of K’s and honestly need to employ a platoon partner. If you opt to go after Ozuna or George Springer, you better have alot more cash on hand than $18M.

      In a perfect world, Austin Riley would take a big step forward and be able to take on the mantle of cleanup hitter and Freddie protector. That would allow you to pursue Brantley or JBJr with some better clarity of how the lineup would… uh, line up. And to be perfectly honest, it could happen. Riley could put it all together and have a true breakout season. But who knows? Who knows who will take a step forward, or backward or stay the same? Every move is a bit of a risk, although some are less risky than others. But that’s where the sliding scale of cost comes into play, eh?

      We all know the Ninja GM has his talent evaluators out doing their thing and making recommendations. And we must know he still has moves to make, regardless of where the salary threshold sits. Any 2021 Braves team that still has all of Ender Inciarte, Abraham Almonte, Jack Mayfield and Luke Jackson on it would be horribly disappointing. I hope we don’t see any of them. I hope we don’t see Alex Jackson as backup catcher. And I certainly hope we don’t have a team with just 2 OFs on it, because there isn’t a LF on the roster right now… unless you plan on promoting not-ready-for-prime-time Drew Waters.

      Liked by 2 people

  171. 286 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    I think WordPress just censored my post. What’d I do wrong? Who do they think they are, Facebook?

    Liked by 2 people

  172. 287 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    How about another Kyle? Kyle Schwarber 😛 he will 28 in March. hit 30 HR’s a lot more recently than the other Kyle. (2019, vs 2016)
    Is he a left fielder? oh, those metrics say no, but I have heard he made a lot of strides out there (He has short legs so…) hmmm, could be a backup catcher? 😆 and heres something to consider, he won’t cost much, won’t have to trade for him either….and…a one year deal! That’s more important than anything, apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 288 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      I’m not opposed to Schwarbs, but you have to know what you are getting. You get a guy that constantly hits right into the teeth of the ever present shift, a guy that severely struggles vs LH pitching, a guy that might be worse defensively than Marcell Ozuna, and a guy that’s as streaky as Adam Duvall.

      But when he barrels…

      Liked by 1 person

    • 289 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      The rumblings I hear are that the gNats are interested in Schwarber as a possible first baseman. Of course like anything else during the hot stove season, that should be taken with a grain of salt.

      Other than the Dodgers and the red Sox, what team has an unlimited payroll ceiling? I would expect the Angles to go hard after decent pitching. They have foolishly spent on position players limiting their ability to make moves when needed. Of course it would require a player to move/live on the left coast and it takes a heck of a lot more money to live a comparable life style as one would find in Georgia or Texas.

      We are reaching a point where folks are winding down from business in preparation for the Christmas/New Years holidays. This is the season where even the sports writer are rolling out their top ten list for 2020.

      Liked by 3 people

    • 290 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      If I’m considering a guy that has a few warts that I simply must overlook, then I think I cast an eye toward Eddie Rosario. His splits are not ideal, but he’d probably get you 25+ HR and has a decent glove. And he’s only 29. Plus… he’s a lefty. He’s not a big name and wouldn’t cost a ton, but he’d be better than Joc or Schwarbs as far as overall game. And I still like Michael Brantley. I know he doesn’t have the eye popping power numbers, but he’s a total game player. I like Jackie Bradley, Jr. a bit less. He’s more valuable with his glove than with his bat. He wouldn’t help protect Freddie at all.

      But If I knew I could get more consistency out of Austin Riley, I’d give Rosario a shot in LF. I could do alot worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 291 Vox O'Reasoñ December 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm


        Ronnie, RF (R)
        Ozzie, 2B (S)
        MVFree, 1B (L)
        Riley, 3B (R)
        Eddie Rosario, LF (L)
        d’Arnaud, C (R)
        Dans, SS (R)
        Pache, CF (R)

        That’s not a bad lineup a long as Riley doesn’t struggle. IIIIIII’m just not sure that’ll be the case. Makes me nervous. I’d rather him be able to sit closer to 5th or 6th, but I don’t want to burden Td’A with the cleanup role, either, especially since he’s not in the lineup everyday.


        Liked by 1 person

  173. 292 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    WATCH Kyle Schwarber make average plays! 😉 some are decent…oddly enough, these are from years ago, couldn’t find highlights of this year…

    Liked by 1 person

  174. 293 berigan2electricboogaloo December 16, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    V, interesting checking out Eddie Rosario’s stats…against lefties? .277 BA, against Righties? .277! Less power against lefties, but that’s not really a big deal. Biggest issue I see is he just doesn’t walk .277 BA for his career, with a .310 OBP.


    • 294 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2020 at 8:11 am

      He’s an interesting name to keep an eye on. Maybe not ideal, but if we could also have the DH he’d be a great addition. This lack of clarity on that issue is a true hinderance. How do the professional do business this way?


    • 295 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Want another interesting number on Rosario? The Twins non-tendered him because they didn’t want to pay him the $8.6M-$12.9M he was expected to receive in arb. Not only that, he went through waivers and no other team was willing to pay him that either. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to tell you that he can be had cheaper. So while he wouldn’t be the “big get” that I believe the Braves still have in them, he could be a complimentary piece. Which brings me right back to the DH thing again. What if you could have the LH Rosario in LF to go along with the RH Ozuna at DH? Then bring back the RH Adam Duvall for the bench? I might even be able to live with Jack Mayfield if we could make those moves…

      Liked by 1 person

  175. 296 Vox O'Reasoñ December 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Just as a reminder, this is our 26-man active roster as it currently sits:

    Soroka (should be healthy), Fried, Anderson, Morton, Smyly

    Acuña, Ozzie, MVFree, d’Arnaud, Riley, Swanson, Pache, Ender

    AJax, Camargo, Mayfield, Almonte, William Contreras (the only remaining position player on the 40-man roster)

    Smith, Martin, Minter, Matzek, Webb, Dayton, Jackson, Tomlin

    This is where I’d like to be:

    Soroka (should be healthy), Fried, Anderson, Morton, Smyly

    Acuña, Ozzie, MVFree, Ozuna (DH), Rosario, d’Arnaud, Riley, Swanson, Pache

    Jason Castro, Camargo, Tommy La Stella, Adam Duvall

    Melancon, Smith, Martin, Minter, Matzek, Webb, Dayton, Bryse Wilson

    I realize that assumes a DH and also requires a little bit of cash. It also assumes we fill all those spots via FA with no trades, which almost assuredly will not happen. But on paper, I like that roster.

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Always tough when you realize your team is doomed to lose at least a third of the games.

    Rosario and Duvall would be nice bookends with Rosario getting the lion’s share of the playing time because of the majority of right handed starters but you also need a bit of depth for injuries and plain old fashion fatigue.

    Sign Realmuto and have him alternate with d’Arnaud in the DH role. Okay, a bit of a reach I know but I like the guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  177. 298 Vox O'Reasoñ December 18, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Associated Press:

    Big league managers say Major League Baseball instructed them to prepare for spring training to start on time in mid-February despite uncertainty around the coronavirus.

    Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday that commissioner Rob Manfred had a meeting with managers Tuesday and expressed optimism about opening spring camps as scheduled.


  178. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    “If a player averaged 34 homers & 103 RBIs for a decade while winning 10 consecutive Gold Gloves at a premium position and earning a rep as perhaps the best ever at his position, and he had no link to steroids, would you assume that player was a Hall of Famer?
    That’s Andruw Jones.”<?i>
    Dave O’Brien 12/18/20

    Liked by 3 people

  179. 300 Vox O'Reasoñ December 19, 2020 at 1:20 pm


    The Braves officially announced their 2021 coaching staff, including the additions of Bobby Magallanes as a second assistant hitting coach and the hiring of Drew French as the new bullpen coach. Magallanes has been with Atlanta’s organization for the last two seasons, first working as a hitting coach at the Triple-A level in 2019 and then as an assistant hitting instructor in 2020, which already included a lot of work with the MLB roster. French has spent the past five seasons with the Astros, working in such roles as Triple-A pitching coach in 2019 and instructing at Houston’s alternate training site last season.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 301 Vox O'Reasoñ December 21, 2020 at 10:03 am

    This is the official announcement of the 2021 Braves coaching staff. What is not addressed here is that former bullpen coach Marty Reed was let go back in November. This was kept quiet by all parties up to the point where the new coach was announced Friday evening along with the general announcement of everyone else returning.

    Wonder what precipitated the firing? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Oh, and we did know that substitute 1B coach DeMarlo Hale had moved on to the A’s coaching staff. I thought he did a pretty good job in 2020 after Eric Young opted to skip the panseason. I sure hope EY plans to be back in 2021 because his backup has moved along to greener pastures. Green and yellow to be exact. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  181. 303 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Morning all, we are in the most news worthy dead zone period until after the New Year. Everyone is on vacation although it is hard to tell because of all the Covid lockdowns.

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 304 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Only people “at the office” are the security guards…

    Liked by 1 person

  183. 305 Vox O'Reasoñ December 24, 2020 at 9:40 am

    One of the bench players on my wish list looks to be headed to HOU. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the ‘Stros and catcher Jason Castro are “in serious talks and could be headed for a deal soon”.

    Castro is a good one. He’s an above average receiver and his LH bat would make a nice compliment to d’Arnaud. For the majority of his career he’s been a pretty good hitter, although the Panseason was not that great. Again, though, I find it hard to pass harsh judgment on anything that happened in 2020.


  184. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville December 24, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    gNats trade for Pittsburg’s Josh Bell


    • 309 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2020 at 8:14 am

      WOW! Pirates fans must be P.O’ed! (37 116 in 2019) couple of minor league pitchers, one who is 19? the other a head case??? poor pirate fans…


  185. 310 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Merry Christmas everyone, wishing y’all a Blessed New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  187. 312 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Well, I thought I came on to wish you all a Merry Christmas on Christmas. But dang if I didn’t miss it

    So… two days later, Merry Christmas friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  188. 313 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Tough to read about the passing of Braves legend Phil Niekro. When I think of Phil, the first thing that comes to mind is that he was all the poor sad sack team had for so many years, but never complained. All who speak of him say he was a better person than a ball player. I also think of the huge impact he had on his adopted community of Lilburn, GA. He was personally responsible for making baseball possible for may kids at the rec facility he helped make possible.

    Ender Inciarte said it beat… Phil was a HOFer as a person.

    RIP Knucksie. Your pitches will dance forever through Braves history.

    Liked by 2 people

  189. 314 Vox O'Reasoñ December 27, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Ender makes it tough to not like him. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  190. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Agree on Knucksie, another icon gone. I remember how the debate on whether or not he belonged in the HOF because he had so many losses but for those of us who remember those teams he pitched for, if they were even halfway good, he could have had over 400 wins.

    Liked by 2 people

  191. 316 Vox O'Reasoñ December 28, 2020 at 9:50 am

    MLBTR: The Padres have an agreement in place to acquire Blake Snell from the Rays, report Dennis Lin, Josh Tolentino and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Luis Patiño, Francisco Mejía and prospects Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox are headed back to Tampa Bay. The deal is pending review of medicals.

    Wow. 😯

    Liked by 1 person

  192. 319 Vox O'Reasoñ December 28, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Well, the 3rd best team in the NL may have just leapfrogged the 2nd best team, our home boys. That said, I think we still have our 1 big move remaining to reassert ourselves as the main competition for the reigning champion Dodgers. Who will it be? I’m beginning to think it will be a complete surprise. That dreaded uncertainty over the DH keeps muddying the waters.

    Liked by 2 people

  193. 320 Vox O'Reasoñ December 28, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Padres are going all in.

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 322 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2020 at 8:03 am

    The Rangers have signed free agent INF-OF Charlie Culberson to a 2021 minor League contract with a spring training invite. Has spent last 3 seasons with ATL and is a .249 career hitter with SF, COL, LAD, and ATL from 2012-20.

    Good bye Charlie, we hardly knew you. Good luck in Arlington.

    Liked by 2 people

  195. 323 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Padres get: RHP Yu Darvish, C Victor Caratini

    Cubs get: RHP Zach Davies, SS Reginald Preciado (Padres’ No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline), OF Owen Caissie (No. 13), OF Ismael Mena (No. 15), SS Yeison Santana (No. 16)

    Looks like the Pards are going for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  196. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Padres will be pretty stout this season, Cubbies going full rebuild it appears. No wonder Theo bailed.

    Braves still quiet on the eastern front…

    Liked by 2 people

  197. 326 berigan2electricboogaloo December 30, 2020 at 8:42 am

    wow….Still gonna be tough to beat the Dodgers (for the Fathers) but they should be able to get deep in the playoffs, IF they can get past the wildcard game (or is it 3 games, still only 1, right?)
    So, the braves going to try to have as good an offense as last year, or….hope the Mutts, and their super rich, super competitive owner (did you see that article in the Athletic on him? Man, super smart guy, and a bit out there) and the Nats do next to nothing this off season?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 327 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Like Bobby Cox use to say, play .500 against the good teams and beat up on the bad ones. Going to be a tough year for Arizona and Colorado next season.

      Still have to get past spring training and whatever the Covid protocols are.

      Liked by 1 person

  198. 328 berigan2electricboogaloo December 30, 2020 at 8:47 am

    and Gil, yeah…Cubs fans should boycott (ha, IF they are allowed into Wrigley) owner is crying poor, just like Reds owner (I wish we had gotten their elite closer for the chump change the Angels got him for) Reds were just about to take off, could have won the central in 2021, but instead, going to join the Pirates in a fierce battle for the basement in the NL central….
    If there isn’t a strike….I’ll eat my hat (not that I wear one, well, a cap isn’t a hat, right?)


  199. 330 Vox O'Reasoñ December 30, 2020 at 11:49 am

    The trade market is flaming hot now. Phils acquire hard-throwing LHRP Jose Alvarado from the Rays.


  200. 331 Vox O'Reasoñ December 30, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    If I’m completely honest, my gut says that Alex will himself engineer a trade that will make all our tongues wag. Will it be for LF? Perhaps for 3B? I think the 3B market might be where we find the best bang for the buck. You have the gamut of choices from Nolen Arenado to Kris Bryant to Eugenio Suarez to Kyle Seager. And I imagine there are another couple of names that we haven’t yet considered. But if COL will be realistic in their asking price for Arenado (of whom the buzz has been eerily quiet for a little while), I believe the Braves match up quite well on a deal. If we could acquire one of these guys, move Riley to LF, and still bring Marcell back to DH, our lineup would be deep and imposing.

    Too much to ask?

    What of the trading team wants Riley back in the deal?

    Well, maybe… of we can get back a usable LF in the swap. Or if the return was sweetened. I love Riley, but if he pans out to be what we want, he still won’t be Arenado. This team is built to win now, so it might be time to go all in.

    What about a blockbuster deal with the Reds for Suarez and closer Luis Castillo? I’d give up Riley in a package for that (and he’d be a star in the leetle beety park) to return those two.

    Who else is out there that might be a good fit here? Knowing AA, he’s working on someone we haven’t even considered…


    • 332 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      How much longer do the Braves have to serve on their super secret double probation before they are again able to fully participate in the international market? I think it weighs heavy in their moves which might involve giving up a draft choice or two.

      Of course with the reduction in the number of rounds the draft now take. A lot more free agent offers methinks will avail themselves. I also think college players will remain in school a bit longer.

      On a different note, the number of reported Covid cases continues to increase but the good news is there are very very few cases of flu now…. Smells fishy to me but what do I know, I’m just another dumb ignorant southerner? At least I still have a good sense of smell. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • 333 Vox O'Reasoñ December 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm

        How much longer do the Braves have to serve on their super secret double probation before they are again able to fully participate in the international market?

        I actually read this last week. We are now free of penalty beginning with the next int’l signing period.


  201. 334 Vox O'Reasoñ December 30, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I read an article today that proposed a swap with the salary slashing Cubs that would bring Craig Kimbrel and OF Ian Happ to the Braves for Ender Inciarte and a starting pitching prospect.

    At first I poo-pooed the very thought. But the more that simmered… I find it at least interesting.


    • 335 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Upon further review, I think that could be doable. I don’t know what money they are thinking about or which pitching prospects but the Braves have the prospects. Happ is a decent outfielder with some pop. Kimbrel is not the guy who was traded but he might pair well with Minter.


  202. 337 carolinalady December 31, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Wishing each of you an especially blessed and Happy new year. We’ve all come through a lot – but we came through, didn’t we?! If God be for us, who can be against us? Love to all of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  203. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    For 2021 I think I will identify myself as a 26 year old super star athlete and billionaire. I seems it is now okay to be anyone you want to be. Any race, any gender… why not just go whole hog? Heck, people did it for years in AOL chat rooms… 🙂 What’s that? Fraud you say? Shucks. why should the politicians and the Hollywood celebrities be the only ones to have all the fun? Just saying…

    Liked by 2 people

  204. 340 Vox O'Reasoñ January 1, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Happy New Year all!!

    Liked by 2 people

  205. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Wow, has this been a slow week for Braves fans or what? Braves twitter has been reduced to proposing inane trades and suppositions. I think it is pretty evident now that it is still all about the Benjamins. Hey, I get it Alex but at some point you need to be honest about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 342 Vox O'Reasoñ January 2, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      I’m sure dollars are involved all over the league to a degree, but this inane delay on clarifying what the NL rosters will need is just stupid. How is a GM supposed to build a roster when he doesn’t even know what he needs? And how are players supposed to judge interest when they don’t know if they’ve got 15 or 30 teams to market themselves toward?

      Just stupid. That’s the only word that really fits.


  206. 343 CarolinaLady January 2, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Something weird has happened and I’m not allowed entrance to the admin site. Gil, it’s in your more-than-capable hands until I can find out what’s wrong. Confuzzled!

    Liked by 1 person

  207. 345 Vox O'Reasoñ January 4, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Now that we’ve flipped the calendar, we need a reminder of the important dates that are approaching…

    Jan. 15: The date to exchange of arb figures. The Braves have 4 players at the arb party this year, all of whom are important parts of the puzzle including co-aces Mike Soroka and Max Fried along with SS Dansby Swanson and late inning reliever AJ Minter. The Braves are a “file and trial” team, so I expect them to try to work out deals with all 4 of these guys prior to the drop date.

    Jan. 15: 2021 Int’l signing period opens. This is the one that was delayed from July 2020. That’s significant for the Braves because it’s technically still the last year under The Coppolella Sanctions. While they have a little bit more spending flexibility, they still don’t get to play freely in this market until the 2021 edition… whenever that transpires.

    Feb. 1: Arb hearings begin. Nobody likes these. Just ask Steve Avery. Hopefully this will have been fully avoided by Jan. 15.

    Feb. ??: The Braves have not yet announced their P&CR date, but the first spring games are scheduled for Feb. 27. Imagine somewhere around Feb. 15. Stay tuned.

    Liked by 2 people

  208. 346 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    2021 is rolling like a runaway freight train… 4 days in already.

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 347 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2021 at 10:25 am

    It’s rumored that the stinkin’ Fish are looking hard at Adam Duvall to fill their corner OF void. That’d be a real kick in the pants, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t mind seeing Duvey back in the A, but paired with a platoon partner… like Joc Pederson or Ber fave Kyle Schwarber.

    Wait… I’ve said that before, haven’t I?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 348 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Ditto, unless AA is going to sign Springer, Duvall has been very satisfactory in the outfield. I guess the real story is we have no clue as to what he is thinking.


  210. 349 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

    My gut still says a trade “out of left field” will fill our LF void. Said trade could be for a 3B that moves Austin Riley to LF, though, so don’t count anything out.

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 350 Vox O'Reasoñ January 5, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Ya know, I realize it’s a slow news period and that always allows the imagination to go unchecked, but I was just pondering something…

    We were all a little surprised that AA would non-tender Adam Duvall when his projected number was somewhere around $4-5M. Is it possible he has already “moved” Riley to LF on his chart and has 3B on his radar over OF? There are some interesting 3B names on the trade market: Eugenio Suarez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Seager… even longshot Nolan Arenado. But the point is that there are some intriguing possibilities being bandied about.

    I’ve even seen Javier Baez being mentioned. Wouldn’t that make for a dynamic IF and 1-4? Can you imagine Acuña, Baez, Freddie, Ozzie atop the order? Just the thought of Ronnie and Javy at 1-2 makes my mouth water a little. Yes… I know that one is a reach, but it’s still fun to imagine. And that’s about all we have at the moment.

    Now watch Alex go make the safe and less exciting move and sign Michael Brantley. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  212. 351 CarolinaLady January 5, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Gil, I think you’re going to have to go into admin and add me as an admin. WordPress simply won’t allow me in no matter what I do. Stumped!


  213. 355 CarolinaLady January 5, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    OK. This is getting to be absurd. And ticking me off! Gil, try deleting me from the admin site completely. Remove me as a member. Then, after a while, I’ll try to leave a comment and we’ll take it from there. Maybe when I rejoin, the cookie issue will be settled.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 359 Vox O'Reasoñ January 6, 2021 at 8:32 am

    JJ Cooper of Baseball America reported this last night:

    Major League Baseball sent a memo to minor league teams on Monday informing them that the 2021 minor league season at Double-A and the Class A levels will be delayed.

    MLB told minor league teams that spring training for Double-A and Class A players will not begin until MLB and Triple-A players have departed from spring training. The delay will allow for more social distancing during a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world.

    Even if MLB spring training begins on time, many minor leaguers would not report to spring training until late March or early April.

    Seems like a rare reasonable decision from MLB. Now if they’d get on with the business of the rules for 2021.


  215. 360 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Well, I guess if there’s not anything new to talk about, I’ll just resurrect some old talking points…

    As we sit today, I can live with the pitching that’s on the roster. I think it’s a competitive group, even though I’d like to add one more RH reliever. But those groups will play.

    Assumed rotation: Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Drew Smyly, Ian Anderson
    Assumed bullpen: Will Smith (CL), Chris Martin, AJ Minter, Tyler Matzek, Grant Dayton, Jacob Webb, Luke Jackson, Josh Tomlin

    There should be competition with Tomlin for the swingman role and there should be competition with Jackson for the last spot. But you get the idea. We have a pretty solid group in each segment that can compete with any team in the league.

    But the position players are still lacking. I’m going to place them in a logical bating order (assuming no DH), but in a depth chart format:
    RF- Ronald Acuña, Jr. (R), Abraham Almonte (S)
    2B- Ozzie Albies (S), Jack Mayfield (R)
    1B- Freddie Freeman (L), Johan Camargo (S)
    C- Travis d’Arnaud (R), Alex Jackson (R), William Contreras (R)
    3B- Austin Riley (R), Camargo
    SS- Dansby Swanson (R), Mayfield
    LF- Ender Inciarte (L), Almonte
    CF- Cristian Pache (R), Acuña

    First, note that there are 3 catchers. That’s because Contreras is the last guy on the 40 man roster. There are no other position players to name. Second, we cannot roll into the season with Almonte an integral part of our bench. The guy’s here on a non-guaranteed contract and should never under any circumstances be an important part of any contending team’s bench. He’s just not that good. Almonte is organizational depth. Period.

    I won’t go into Ender again. No reason to.

    And speaking of guy’s here on a non-guaranteed contract, Johan must be more productive or he must go.

    So I still see at least 4 roster spots that must be addressed. We must have an everyday LF, we must have a real 4th OF (hopefully not Ender), we really must have a LH bench bat that can provide some late inning thunder, and we need a veteran backup catcher. Two caveats: I will live with AJax as the backup if the savings will be poured into LF. But you’re probably forcing Td’A into catching 120+ games, and that’s not a good thing.


  216. 362 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Jake Mastroianni, Tomahawk Take:

    This has been a dreadful offseason for Major League Baseball. While the Atlanta Braves have at least made some moves, most are sitting idle because there’s no clear direction.

    The free-agent market has been dreadfully quiet — especially for hitters.

    Some of that has to do with the financial losses of teams from a shortened 2020 season with no fans for added revenue. As a result, there are teams who are looking to shed payroll — even the Cubs — and won’t be competitive in 2021.

    But I think the bigger culprit behind this dreadful offseason is Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball.

    We’re a week into January and we still don’t know what kind of season we’re going to have in 2021.

    Will there be a DH in both leagues? Are playoffs going to be expanded again? How many games will we play? Can fans be in attendance?

    I mean, spring training is set to begin in a little over a month and we still don’t have answers to these questions that we’ve been asking for over two months now!

    How can you expect teams to operate when they don’t know the rules and parameters for the game they’re playing?

    I’ve been saying it for weeks. Both sides, teams and players (MLBPA), should be up in arms over it because both are adversely affected.


  217. 363 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Holy schnikey…


    • 364 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm

      Mets get: SS Francisco Lindor and RHP Carlos Carrasco

      Cleveland gets: SS Andres Gimenez, RHP Josh Wolf, OF Isaiah Greene

      Gimenez is already in the majors and can play all over the IF. He has average to above average contact skills with below average power, but his defense and speed are both above average.

      Wolf was the Mets #9 prospect. He’s a typical Mets pitching prospect… big and hard throwing. He’s still a couple of years away from contributing.

      Greene was the Mets #10 prospect. He’s a “toolsy” CF with great speed and good contact skills. He’s still a raw prospect that’s even further away than Wolf.


  218. 366 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    The NL East just got tougher.


  219. 367 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    I’m not a guy who usually says a team has to react to what another team has done, but it feels like the rest of the division is moving forward and the Braves have come to a full stop. I know that’ s not the case, but it feels that way. And while there is still time left, albeit not much, to make that necessary impact move, the longer AA waits the more the talent pool shrinks.

    I can sense the Nats readying their follow up move to the Josh Bell trade.

    The Mets trade this morning is actually a very Mets thing to do even if it’s done under completely new management. They sent off a handful of young talent for a big name and another guy long in the tooth. it may pay off this year, but what happens next? They better extend Lindor or it will be a disaster of Teixeirian proportion. And while it may not payoff for the long haul, it’ll certainly pay of this season… when the Braves should be right in the middle of their window of contention.

    Or are they?

    With a young core in Freddie, Ronnie, Ozzie, Mikey and Max, the Braves are poised to really be a force. But those guys can’t do it alone. Marcell proved that theory last season. AA better grab a big bat to stick in behind Freddie or it could be a long season in the NL Beast.


    • 368 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 1:57 pm

      After giving this a little thought, I believe Steve Cohen will do whatever it takes to keep Lindor in Flushing. I do not think there will be a scenario whereby the Mets are just renting him. In fact, I won’t be surprised to hear of an extension before the arb period, of which Lindor is a participant, gets underway.


  220. 369 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Free spending Steve Cohen just added +/-$29.5M for 2021 ($12M for Carrasco and +/-$17.5M for Lindor) and +/-$33.5M for 2022 ($12M for Carrasco and +/-$21.5M for Lindor). Carrasco also has a $14M team option for 2023 with a $3M buyout. In other words, Cohen just committed at minimum $66M in this trade. That’s more than the entire current payrolls of 9 ML teams.


  221. 370 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    I suppose the good news is that the trade likely takes the Mets out of the George Springer running.

    At least I hope so. Yowser. You don’t think… I can’t even type it.


  222. 372 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Perhaps Alex needs to petition McGuirk and his bosses for the latitude to prevent this from happening. And there’s only one way to make sure it doesn’t…


  223. 373 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    The Braves are not the only team that must react… so goes the rest of the division. Can the Marlins? Probably not with as big a splash. (See what I did there? 😀 ) But Philly now has greater pressure to bring Realmuto back. And the Nats are in as big a need for a big corner OF bat as the Braves. It seems that the Braves and Nats are likely in the race for the same names, with the Mets still trying to play the spoiler themselves.

    Who will be the one to react first? The race does not happen standing still. I hope it’s my team that’s getting out of the gates.


  224. 374 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Q: Today’s big winner?

    A: George Springer’s agent.


  225. 375 Vox O'Reasoñ January 7, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Even with Ronald Acuña, Jr. headlining it, the Braves OF group of Acuña, Cristian Pache, Ender Inciarte, and Abraham Almonte is not even in the top half of MLB as far as quality. In fact, it could be in the bottom 3rd.

    Liked by 1 person

  226. 376 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Hey Raisins, thanks for getting us back on track to what is important. So tired of politics right now. The swamp is resurging. …

    Yes, the Mets are going big but they have/had the financial underpinnings to spend what they want without fear of losing money. Their fan base is trapped in New York so they will have followers. However, I will remain a Braves fan although I doubt I will shell out the money required to watch the team every night.

    As for trades, being a GM is an impossible task. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. People still think you can dump your trash and other teams will lap them up.

    Currently, GMs don’t even know when the season will open for sure. You have to be pretty deep with other peoples money before you can take a big risk with a mega trade.

    I feel sorry for Cleveland fans. They have some very sucky years ahead of them I think. Maybe the brain trust on Lake Erie think no one will notice because their fans cannot attend their games anyway.


    • 377 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 8:39 am

      CLE got some pretty good prospects back in the deal… being NYM’s #6 and #10. And both Rosario and Gimenez will contribute now. Obviously neither are the same type of impact player that Lindor is, but Gimenez has the potential to provide above average defense all over the IF for years to come and Rosario is an at least average player, not nearly as bad as Erick Aybar (ew, bad memory). CLE knew that they were not going to be able to resign Lindor and cashed in while he had maximum value. Hard to blame them for that. And in the process, they cleared Carrasco’s $27M off the books as well.


  227. 378 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 9:32 am

    So how can the Braves respond?

    Well, the most obvious answer is to sign the top remaining offensive FA on the market. But the word is that George Springer has already turned down 5 yrs/$150M from TOR and is seeking closer to $200M. Even in the best of times, I do not believe that the Braves organization is going to pay $30M, 20% of their total payroll, for one player in 2021, especially when a Freddie extension is on the horizon. It’s just not in their DNA.

    So what can they do? I’m glad you asked…

    The Braves finished the 2020 season with a payroll of about $158M (in 162 game terms). Their current estimated payroll, as constituted right now this morning, is about $120M. We have no way of knowing what the threshold is. There are arguments going both ways. For the sake of this proposal, I’m going to go with the same figure with which they ended 2020 being $158M.

    First, I make the trade for Kris Bryant. CHC needs to trade him, even if publicly they say they don’t. They really do need to make the trade. Because he comes with just 1 year remaining on his deal, and is a Scott Boras client, it’s essentially gaining his services for 1 year… a year in which he needs to rebuild value for his FA run. Sound familiar? It falls into the same pattern we’ve had with Josh Donaldson and Marcell Ozuna. Only this time we have to give up trade equity to make it happen. Follow me all the way through before you start picking my proposal apart. In modern day deals, it’s not uncommon to trade away a top prospect alongside a bad contract. That’s where we stand with Ender Inciarte. At some point, the Braves are going to have to start using some of their prospect equity or said prospects are going to wither on the vine. I say they need to do it now. I propose packaging top pitching prospect Kyle Muller with Ender Inciarte and throw in Sean Newcomb for Bryant. (The Cubs need a CF, BTW.) Lose Ender ($9M) and Newcomb (pre-arb, likely +/-$1M) and add Bryant ($19M), net addition = $9M.

    Second, sign Michael Brantley. MLBTR estimates 2 yrs/$24M. I’ll go with 2 yrs/$26M because the recent FA signings are slightly higher than their estimates. He becomes your starting LF and part-time DH. With Bryant and Austin Riley, they combine to give you a rotation for 3B, LF and DH, keeping veteran legs fresh through October. And in the instance that there is no DH, then you have strengthened the bench for 2021 with Riley who can spot start for both Bryant and Brantley. Plus, Brantley gives you a LH bat and high OBP that is sorely missing from the current batting order. Top 5 in the order is Acuña, Ozzie, Freddie, Bryant, Brantley. Follow that with d’Arnaud, Dansby and Pache. Pretty stout. If you have the DH, then Riley gets slotted in after d’Arnaud. Not too shabby, IMO. Net addition = $13M.

    Sign Jason Castro as backup catcher. He made $6.85M in 2021, and would probably look for at least a 2 year guaranteed deal for about the same. I say 2 yrs/$14M. He gives you a good LH compliment to Td’A and can capably catch enough games that we won’t burn out our starter by September. He is also the veteran backup to 2022 starter William Contreras, but I digress. Net addition = $7M.

    Thus far, we’ve only added $29M to the payroll, still $9M less than we ended 2020. I can still afford to go out and get a real 4th OF… and maybe more.

    How about reunite with veteran Nick Markakis for 1 yr/$2M (last year’s contract)? Then reunite with Mark Melancon for 1 yr/$4M (MLBTR projection). Bench is better (Markakis > Almonte), bullpen is better (Melancon > Luke Jackson). Net addition = $6M.

    We’re still $3M under last year’s final payroll number and we have a lineup that can play with any in MLB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 379 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 10:29 am

      Bowman this morning: … the Braves have no interest in acquiring Kris Bryant from the Cubs. But that doesn’t mean they won’t attempt to acquire a big right-handed bat via trade.

      OK. Let’s go after Eugenio Suarez from CIN. He’ll cost more in prospects, but he’ll stay longer as he’s under contract through 2024. His AAV over that span is just $12M, and it’s slightly backloaded which is advantageous in the pandemic years.

      I actually like that option better. But he’ll cost you more than just Kyle Muller. You better be willing to let Kyle Wright go to greener pastures also. He might even cost you Austin Riley. Is he worth that? He has averaged 31 HR and 89 RBI per 162 game season over his career and is just hitting his prime years (age 29). He might be a better Austin Riley than Austin Riley. 😀


      • 380 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 10:34 am

        Austin Riley, Kyle Wright, and LHP prospect Tucker Davidson sounds about right for the cost to get Eugenio Suarez. It’s a big price to pay, but it’s a prime return that will have immediate as well as long term impact.


        • 381 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

          If you make the move for Suarez, then you keep Ender as your 4th OF. Since your only paying $10M for Suarez in 2021, the net additional money stays the same. At least he still plays defense.


  228. 382 Vox O'Reasoñ January 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    RIP Tommy Lasorda…

    Liked by 2 people

  229. 384 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    NEW POST UP: Thanks Kenny…


  1. 1 194: Another Trade Proposal | Braves & Stuff Trackback on January 8, 2021 at 4:37 pm

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