Finally, Atlanta was able to add another pitcher, Kenshin Kawakami. He isn’t Derek Lowe, but he could end up being a solid 3 or 4 starter in the rotation. He was inked to a 3-year deal and should be in Atlanta for his physical on Monday. The official announcement could be made Monday or Tuesday.
I haven’t seen a value on the contract, but I hope it is reasonable. Everyone knows the Braves are desperate and may be willing to over pay. They may have to to land Derek Lowe, but it would be well worth it at this point. They need Lowe badly. Some how I have a feeling that his agent Scott Boras is well aware of the desperation and will use it to his full advantage. Boras will milk the Braves for every penny he can before having his client sign anything.
Boras is great for the players, but bad for baseball. Just the name Scott Boras turns teams away from players because they know if they become a free agent they will most likely land in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
After watching the video I’m impressed by Kawakami’s stuff. I’m not blown away, but impressed. I like that he doesn’t have a crazy windup as that kind of thing always annoyed me. He looks like he can change speeds well as well as work the corners. I’m really digging that big curve ball. Nowadays you see pitchers opt for the slider as it is easier to learn than that big, looping curve. Nice pick up for Atlanta. They just need a few more pieces to put it all together.
I am ashamed to be a baseball fan. Freaking ashamed. Bud Selig needs to be fired right now for letting this madness go on. I don’t care who you are or what you think, this whole league is a joke. A freaking joke.
The reason so many people hate baseball is because so many teams suck. They suck because teams like the Yankees spend money like mad and sign all the best players every year. This year the Yankees have signed the top 3 free agents on the market, C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and now Mark Teixeira. This is in no way fair to the rest of the league. The Yankees also have the top 4 highest paid players in all of baseball now.
I am sick to my stomach right now, I am that angry. I have to sit and watch my favorite team sit and do nothing because they are out spent every single year. I sit and watch one team, just one, out spend the rest of the league while the commissioner sits and watches. I honestly think that Bud Selig is a Yankees fan. He has to be. He obviously doesn’t care that the rest of the league has to get New York’s scraps every year.
The NFL is full of really good teams every year. Every year the NFL has 8-10 teams in each conference fighting for a playoff spot. This is because there is a salary cap. It is really that simple. Teams have to draft smart and can’t just sign or trade for the best players because they can take on their giant contract. The best players are all over the league on different teams, not stacked on one team. You can find any team in the NFL and name at least one superstar. You can’t do that in baseball.
I am so mad right now I may give up on baseball all together. My dream was to be a baseball writer for ESPN one day. That is damn near gone. I don’t want to write about the Yankees signing every free agent every year. I don’t want to write about the Yankees winning the World Series every damn year. I loved baseball by far more than any other sport. I have defended baseball as a sport in arguments with soccer players for years now. I am just about finished. Baseball is a joke.
The past two days have been extremely frustrating for me. I, an Atlanta Braves fan, has sat around while my team does nothing and other teams sign the best players. I won’t name those other teams but I will say they rhyme with Spankees and Bets.
First, C.C. Sabathia, you may have heard of him. He is going to be a very, very rich man. He can start picking out a $40 Million mansion now because he is going to rolling in the dough. His contract is completely ridiculous. Sabathia is going to be the highest paid pitcher in the history of baseball. Does he deserve it? No. Will he get it? Hell yes. With the aid of my handy dandy calculator his new contract will be worth $23 Million per year. Yes, that is roughly $22.96 Million more than you make per year.
That Francisco Rodriguez guy also signed with one of those before mentioned teams I am not happy with. He signed for 3 years which means that is 3 years of knowing my team has almost no chance or rallying in the 9th inning. He kinda had 62 saves last year but I doubt he will get anything close to that in New York. The Angels were a small ball team that was perfect for someone rack up saves like he did. I really doubt we will see anything else like a 62 save season anytime soon.
While those signings were going on my Atlanta Braves were having “talks” with A.J. Burnett. Did they sign him? No. Does it look like they will? No. The “evil empire”, you all know who I speak of, look like they will go after him too. Basically this means the Braves have close to a zero percent chance of singing him. The only reason I can see him coming to Atlanta is that they offer a guaranteed 5th year while the “evil empire” doesn’t.
Frank Wren really needs to make a big push for Burnett or return to the Peavy sweepstakes. I really don’t think there is another option out there that can get the Braves to the playoffs. I mean, come on, Atlanta’s back up plan is Randy Wolf. Please, that is a disaster waiting to happen. Wolf is a 4 or 5 starter at best. He is not a reliable backup plan.
Peavy may come at a high price but so does winning. If he waits around too long there won’t even be Randy Wolf left. I also don’t think the whole Zack Greinke for Jeff Francoeur idea is a great one. Greinke was pretty good for a really, really, really bad Kansas City team but that doesn’t mean he will be great in Atlanta. Francoeur just had a down year and I believe he will rebound and do just fine this year. Even if he had trouble at the plate he still played Gold Glove defense which is more than you can say about most players. Francoeur has tremendous potential. I mean, he does hit baseball to little kids across the globe.
Well, it looks like the Braves are going to go after one of three players to serve as their power hitting outfielder. They appear to be Rick Ankiel of the St. Louis Cardinals, Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers, or Jeremy Hermida of the Florida Marlins.
Personally I like Ankiel or Hermida. To be honest I just don’t like Corey Hart. I don’t know why, but I just don’t. With Ankiel you get a ton of power with an outstanding glove in the outfield. Ankiel may not hit 35 o 40 home runs but he will drive in runs consistently while playing Gold Glove defense. The guy is a human highlight reel. If you are a frequent watcher of “Web Gems” you have seen him gunning down runners from all areas of the field. His arm is just flat out a cannon.
It would be like having two Francoeurs on defense. Which is in no way a bad thing. Jeremy Hermida is a Georgia native who wouldn’t mind playing for the home town team. Hermida was at once compared to Francoeur but doesn’t pack as much punch at the plate. So I don’t think he would be a great choice unless Ankiel wasn’t able to be acquired. I still don’t know why I don’t like Corey Hart, but to be honest I don’t need a reason. I just don’t like him.
Here is a little taste of Mr. Ankiel…
He would only be under contract for one year and he happens to be a Scott Boras client. If you like keeping players around for a long time you don’t want Scott Boras anywhere near your player. But then again, Andruw Jones is a Scott Boras client and he stayed around for a while, maybe Ankiel would too. You just never know.
The only problem with Ankiel besides his choice of representation is he is left handed. Jeremy Hermida is also left handed. This is why I actually think Corey Hart has the advantage at this point. The Braves have left handed bats already. They are looking for a right handed bat to fill the power gap, hence the Jermaine Dye rumors. The Brewers could also try to dump his salary to try and sign C.C. Sabathia.
This being said, the Brewers may take a few decent prospects and maybe some cash in exchange for Hart. Hart also has 3 more arbitration years so Atlanta can keep him around for a while. It may take a little more to get Hart than Ankiel since Ankiel will be a free agent after the 2009 season, but I think it would be worth it. Like I have been saying, the Braves are stacked in the farm system. They can afford to give up a few guys.
Holding tons of guys that most likely won’t even pan out isn’t necessarily the smartest thing to do. To be realistic, I bet 3 out of Atlanta’s top 10 prospects end up being busts. It is just so hard to have a successful career in the MLB. Look at Kyle Davies, Chuck James, Jo-Jo Reyes, Brent Lillibridge, and Scott Thorman. They were all top prospects at once and now look what happened. They are either on another team or are having extreme struggles. You can dump a few prospects to win now. It is ok.
Till next time,
Hot Stove talk from around the MLB.
A.J. Burnett – Burnett has been offered a deal from the Atlanta Braves. It is supposed to be worth about $15MM per year. Frank Wren says it doesn’t include a guaranteed 5th year but would most likely have an option for one. Wren will push Burnett to sign before C.C. Sabathia. If Sabathia doesn’t land with the Yankees they will most certainly turn to Burnett.
Jack Wilson – Wilson has been involved in trade talks with several teams. The newest is the Los Angeles Dodgers. L.A. is looking for a replacement for Rafael Furcal who will be leaving via free agency. The Detroit Tigers have also been involved with their search for a replacement for Edgar Renteria. I see the Dodgers making the trade as they can eat some of Wilson’s contract. They may not like it but they are more likely at this point.
Derek Lowe – Lowe has drawn interest from a handful of teams. One team could possibly be the World Champion Phillies. The Yankees and Red Sox are also expected to make offers to Lowe. The Red Sox I believe are the favorites at this point as both sides have mutual interest and Lowe has a desire to return to Boston.
Khalil Greene – Earlier today Greene was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Greene was traded in the Padres‘ attempt to dump salary. The departure of Greene could increase the chances that Jake Peavy can stay. Greene is coming off a very disappointing season in which he hit just above .200 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI.
Jake Peavy – The Chicago Cubs are apparently still in talks with the Padres for a deal involving Jake Peavy. The Cubs have tried to bring in a third team that would supply them with the prospects required to land Peavy. Almost all of the reports have come out of San Diego and not Chicago. This means that Padres GM Kevin Towers could in fact be exaggerating the progress of the trade. From a prospect standpoint the Braves put the best deal on the table but pulled out of the running. This could be Towers’ attempt to lure the Braves back.
Adam Dunn – Dunn was not offered arbitration which makes him a free agent. Dunn has not drawn much interest outside of the Washington Nationals. The Nationals can put out a competitive offer but it is unlikely Dunn would accept. The deal would most likely be in the $15MM per year range. The Nationals would be bringing in a big piece that wouldn’t be surrounded by much so it doesn’t make much sense on Dunn’s part. The Nationals have also asked about Zack Greinke from the Royals but don’t have the prospects to land him.
It is not cool that there is a possibility that the Yankees could sign C.C. Sabathia, Derek Lowe, A.J. Burnett and then trade for Jake Peavy. Does anyone else find this to be a little unfair?
I have written a few other articles about how I think there should be a salary cap because this is just getting out of hand. My favorite team will be lucky to sign Lowe or Burnett, let alone both and then Sabathia. This is not cool at all.
What ever happened to developing players and then using them in the majors?
Let’s not forget about the ridiculous trades they make. Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. Betemit was good when he was with the Braves and sparing Chipper from time to time. He hasn’t produced at all with the Yankees. Nunez has a whole 3 innings pitched in the Dominican Winter League while Marquez has allowed 11 runs in 22 innings in the Arizona Fall League.
I thought that the trade was supposed to benefit both teams. Seems to me like the White Sox got screwed big time. Swisher had a down year average wise but still put up respectable power numbers. Why does it seem that the Yankees give up no one and get solid players in return. This whole thing is ridiculous.
Once again the answer is baseball, that’s who.
I’m bring this subject back up because, well, its controversial.
I am 100% for baseball installing some type of salary cap. I think that the fans of smaller market teams will agree with me on this. Not only is baseball behind on the instant replay idea, they are on the money idea.
Baseball is a sport in which the team with the most money signs the best players. What ever happened to scouting, developing, and utilizing players? Those days are almost long gone. Now a team either signs a free agent or trades away their prospects for a home run slugger or ace starting pitcher.
I happen to be an Atlanta Braves fan. Atlanta’s salary cap was about 105 million last year. The Yankees’ salary was about 210 million. That is twice as much as Atlanta was able to spend. How is that in anyway fair? I don’t think it is.
If anyone thinks that I am bias because my team can’t spend so much you are wrong. My favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are the 1st or 2nd richest team in all of football. They could spend so much more money then they do, but there is a salary cap. I still support the idea 100%.
Winning a championship should be decided by talent, not how many big players you can sign in the off season. It is just not fair that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers can buy whoever they want.
I bring this up because I recently heard about a Yankees projected lineup next year. It included the signings of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, and Mark Teixeira. I doubt this would happen but the scary thing is that its possible. They could do this and it would not be fair to any of the other teams. New York gets all those great players while the Twins, Rays, and Marlins scrap the bottom of the free agent barrel for washed up vets who are one fall away from a hip replacement.
Please Bud Selig, do something. Don’t let this madness continue. In all honesty, if you don’t change it, then baseball needs someone who will. It is the right thing.