I just wanted to say happy holidays to everyone and I hope you all have an amazing weekend. I hope everything you wished for is under your tree and you have a great time with your family. We all know some people got everything they wanted and more, cough, cough Yankees, cough. Just remember that the holidays are about spending time with your family and loving life, not presents. Presents are great and all, but family is better.
What do I want for the holidays you ask? The Braves to not suck next season. They may not land any big names like Derek Lowe or Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn, but I think they can get some mid level guys that will contribute to the team.
I think signing Will Ohman would be a great piece to have come back. He isn’t Brian Fuentes but he is going to come a lot cheaper if they sign him before Fuentes lands somewhere else. Ohman was great last year as a lefty out of the bullpen and I think the Braves need to bring him back.
Ohman will be a solid piece to help anchor down the bullpen which I believe is the strength of the team. Mike Gonzalez is an excellent closer and Rafael Soriano is another closer caliber pitcher that will set up Gonzalez.
Peter Moylan is a great right handed pitcher that I think will come back from elbow surgery and dominate again. The Braves will have 3 players that could close on a lot of teams and that is their strength. Blaine Boyer is also a solid reliever but was just overworked to the point where his game suffered greatly. I think this boils back down to the weak starting pitching last year.
The starting pitching issue I think can be somewhat solved with Jon Garland. I know, I know, he isn’t a great pitcher with a sub 3 ERA. What he does do is eat innings and keep the team in the game. That is what the Braves need. Garland and Javier Vazquez will night in and night out go and throw 6 or 7 solid innings so when the bullpen does need to be used they are fresh and on top of their game.
The Braves have some young talent like Charlie Morton and Tommy Hanson. They are going to stumble in games and need the bullpen to bail them out. That bullpen will be fresh after they get a few days off after Vazquez and Garland pitch. Morton pitched hurt most of the season which caused a lot of his bad numbers. Hanson has been dominant but we cannot count on him to do the same at the major league level. If we do we are setting ourselves up for disaster, again.
I honestly don’t think the Braves will win the World Series next year. I don’t think they will make the playoffs. I hope they do, more than anything. But unless Atlanta lands a few more players and plays out of their minds it doesn’t look good. The Cubs, Mets, Phillies, and Dodgers are all going to be really good. So that means the Braves have to be better. Hopefully they can at least make it competitive.
Be safe and happy holidays,
That is fine and dandy for the Yankees, but what do the Braves do now?
At this point I think they need to go after Jon Garland and Ian Snell. The only problem in acquiring Snell is what the Pirates would ask in return. I have heard a lot of teams have walked away from them because of their steep asking prices.
If the Padres come crawling back with the Jake Peavy deal I think the Braves need to make it clear that Yunel Escobar is off the table. They did not earn him in the last negotiations. In the previous deal San Diego had asked for 2 major league ready pitchers and 1 major league ready center fielder. The Braves offered Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, Blaine Boyer, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Locke. That is a potentially great shortstop, a major league ready center fielder, 2 major league ready pitchers and a future starter. More than they asked for and they said no. They don’t deserve Escobar this time around.
If the Padres do come back and accept the fact they won’t get Escobar I believe the Braves have no other choice but to get the deal done. They don’t have many other options at this point in time. Next is the left field situation. I have the solution…Pat Burrell. Before you snap, key point, 1 or 2 year deal. No long term situation. Continue to read and hear me out.
The Braves have a player named Jason Heyward. He is extremely good and is only 18. He is expected to hit the majors by 2010. If this is the case why find a long term fix now? You don’t. Atlanta can sign Pat Burrell to a 1 year deal with a team option for a second. This is in case Heyward slows in his development which is likely. Burrell is a right handed power bat which the Braves are searching for. He would slip into the 4 spot in the lineup between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann when a right handed pitcher is starting. When a lefty comes in he would slip back to the 5 spot and McCann would bat 4th.
Having a right handed bat play left field allows the Braves to stagger their lineup, as in right, left, right, left. This makes the other team think more about bringing in a specialist from the bullpen in a late game situation. This would be a great strength for the Braves. Burrell could also come at maybe $8MM or $10MM per year. This is a bargain for the statistics he is capable of putting up. Thank you bad economy.
The reason I chose signing Pat Burrell over trading for Ryan Ludwick is the simple fact that Ludwick is unproven. He had one really good year. Burrell has had several. Burrell has shown he can produce year after year.
I still don’t love Burrell because he strikes out more than I would like, but hey, you have to make sacrifices. It would also be a short term contract so if he is horrible for one year the team can decline his option, making him a free agent. No more Burrell. This gives the Braves the bat they want and serves as a short term guy to hold left field before Jason Heyward can take over. Let me know what you guys think.
Over and out,
The Braves need to make a move on Peavy. The Cubs have apparently found a third team to help snag him. Lou Piniella said they don’t need him but that doesn’t mean they won’t get him anyway. Wren, stop playing hard to get and just give in to it. Playing hard to get seems cool but it will get the Braves smashed by the rest of the National League next year.
Next, sign Rafael Furcal. He wants to come back to the Braves and Atlanta would need to replace the recently traded Escobar. This would also give the Braves speed at the top of the lineup while keeping the defense at shortstop. Anyone else remember how Furcal is a switch hitter? Yea, he is good stuff.
Next up, trade for Jermaine Dye. Atlanta has more than a surplus of pitching prospects. The White Sox apparently are looking for pitching, well the Braves have it. As long as the Braves have Tommy Hanson in the end, Atlanta will be fine.
Finally, sign A.J. Burnett. Give him either his 5 years or if he will accept, 4 with a player option. Atlanta would have added Jake Peavy, Rafael Furcal and Jermaine Dye. That creates an ace at the top so Burnett could be the 2nd guy. It also creates a stronger lineup to give him run support. Chipper Jones is a big fan so it would all fit. Don’t worry about him getting hurt, it won’t be worse than Mike Hampton so you will get over it.
Atlanta would have a great lineup while still having their top three prospects. I haven’t done the math but I’m pretty sure Atlanta has more than enough money. If they have some cash left over, use it to give Jurrjens a long term contract. Keep that kid locked up as long as possible.
Just imagine a Jake Peavy, A.J. Burnett, Jair Jurrjens rotation. Oh yea, the Braves get Tim Hudson back later in the season for an added boost. Furcal was always a great guy in the clubhouse and Jermaine Dye would provide that power outfielder the Braves have been looking for. If Wren does this and it falls through I will take all the blame. I really just want this to be done.
Stop messing around Wren, this is ridiculous.
It looks like the Braves are getting closer and closer to trading for
Jake Peavy. They have made a strong offer that includes Yunel Escobar,
Charlie Morton and Jordan Schafer. San Diego still wants Tommy Hanson,
but that ain’t happening.
still seems a little iffy about coming to Atlanta. He seems reluctant
because Atlanta would most likely have to give up Yunel Escobar in the
deal. Could Atlanta still compete with the Mets and Phillies without
Escobar? Well, I think so. Escobar has the potential to be a great
player, but so far it is just potential. If the Braves send Escobar to
San Diego, I think they are more than capable of trading for a
shortstop. J.J. Hardy I believe would be a great addition. He hit .283
with 24 home runs and 74 RBIs last year. He doesn’t steal bases but
neither did Escobar. I think it could in a way be an upgrade. So don’t
fret Braves fans.
The next piece is Charlie Morton. I
actually think this is a big blow for Atlanta. Morton pitched hurt for
all but 2 starts last year. In his first start he went 6 innings and
gave up 3 runs. In his second he went 5 innings and gave up 3 runs.
Those aren’t bad for someone who had only been at AAA for a few games
and was prematurely throw in the fire that is the MLB. The rest of the
year he struggled in almost every game. Ok people, Charlie Morton is a
power pitcher. He was only throwing 92-93 because he had some form of
side or rib injury. Morton is supposed to be able to throw in the mid
90’s. He wasn’t able to work off of his power fastball which is not his
game. He struggled because he couldn’t pitch the way he was used to. If
he stays I predict him to one day be the number 3 pitcher in the
rotation, behind Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson.
final piece of the deal could be Jordan Schafer. I have heard a lot of
talk along the lines of “get that cheater outta here, we don’t want
cheaters and neither does Bobby Cox.” Wrong, get your facts straight
before condemning someone for something they “may” have done. Schafer
was suspended for “suspicion.” There was no positive test. He was
suspected of use and then bam, 50 game suspension. And yes, players
have been suspended for suspicion. By the way, everyone seems to love
Tyler Flowers. He TESTED positive for HGH. Why doens’t anyone talk
about that. Learn the story before saying hateful things about players.
You will look like an idiot.
Schafer may not even be included
in the trade as the Padres interest in him is “lukewarm.” He could be
replaced with another center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. Hernandez has
more speed than Schafer but doesn’t have the possibility of being a five
tool player like Schafer does. Overall, I would take Schafer over
Hernandez. We will have to see what happens.
The rumor about
Kelly Johnson being traded for Ryan Ludwick isn’t looking so hot
anymore. Ludwick has been linked to the Rockies in a trade for Matt
Holliday. Sorry guys, if I could trade Ludwick for Holliday or Johnson,
I would take Holliday. That is just an easy decision. All of these
rumors I assume is taking a toll on Atlanta fans. The Braves have not
made a big free agent move since signing Maddux and this has become
very frustrating. Maybe getting Peavy would help motivate free agents