Everyone probably knows by now that the Atlanta Braves went out and got the guy they wanted, Derek Lowe. They have gone out and solidified their starting rotation, but now what? Atlanta is still not a playoff team.
If you look at their rotation you will notice one thing they all have in common. They are all right-handed. Every single one of them. Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, and Kenshin Kawakami are all right-handed pitchers. There needs to be a little variety in the starting rotation. That’s why I think they need to bring back Tom Glavine. He may not be what he used to be but the fact that he is left-handed gives him an advantage over other pitchers vying for the 5th spot in the rotation.
I would think if Glavine returns he would be given the 3rd spot in the rotation just because of the fact he is left-handed. Being able to throw different styles of pitching at an opponent is an underrated part of the game. If the other team knows you only have right-handed pitchers it will make it a lot easier for them to game plan against you. Hence the idea of bringing back Glavine.
I also think that if Glavine is physically able to pitch and the Braves don’t resign him there is going to be an outcry from Atlanta faithful. Already this season the Braves let long time favorite John Smoltz go and now if they were to let Glavine go things could get ugly around Atlanta.
Another addition I think the Braves need to make is resigning Will Ohman. He isn’t Brian Fuentes but he is a very good left-handed reliever that played really well for the Braves last year. Atlanta’s bullpen also lacks a wide array of pitchers, seeing that they are overloaded with right-handed pitchers. The only lefty in the bullpen is closer Mike Gonzalez. Atlanta needs to have a lefty specialist that can come in to face the murder’s row of left-handed batters that the NL East is home to. They include Carlos Delgado, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. Atlanta has to have someone that can come in and get key outs when those guys are batting.
I would really like Atlanta to add a bat like Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher but the Yankees appear to be asking too much. Nick Swisher isn’t what he used to be a few years ago and Nady is only under contract for 2009. His agent is Scott Boras so it is safe to assume he won’t be sticking around for anything less than $700MM over 8 years. If things continue the way they are it doesn’t look like the Braves will be able to add another bat. If Jeff Francoeur can produce I don’t think adding a bat would even be needed.
In other baseball news it looks like Jason Varitek could be returning to the Red Sox. He wants to come back and I think Boston knows the fans want him back. They call him “Captain” for a reason. He is the heart and soul of that team, they need to bring Tek back. This should be an easy decision.
In more MLB news where is Manny Ramirez going to end up? The Angels don’t want him and the Dodgers don’t want to give him more than three years. Will the Giants take another risk on a super star becoming a huge bust (Barry Zito)?
Everyone knows the guy can hit but if he doesn’t get his money he will not be a happy Manny. And we all know an unhappy Manny can be a cancer to his baseball team. Boston found out the hard way.
This week has not been a very good week for me. If you pay attention to the NFL you probably saw Ben Roethlisberger get straight jacked up. The Steelers were playing a meaningless game and Big Ben got destroyed and suffered a “mild” concussion. I don’t really believe there is such a thing as a “mild” concussion as any concussion can ruin your playing career.
Do I blame Mike Tomlin for keeping Ben in? No, he was trying to win and that is what counts in the end. Roethlisberger should be fine for Pittsburgh’s first playoff game. That is all that matters right now. What I am really worried about is if the Steelers’ offensive line will be able to keep the defense off of Berger’s back long enough for him to throw a freaking pass.
Another depressing point of my holiday weekend came last night. USC man handled Penn State. The Nittany Lion defense didn’t show up in the first half, getting beat deep early and often. What is really making me mad though is how everyone on ESPN is saying that USC “destroyed, crushed, annihilated, rolled over, and burned Penn State.” Last time I checked they won by 14 points. Those adjectives selected by the “experts” would describe a win by at least 28 points. USC did however win every aspect of the game but in the end it wasn’t a horrible loss.
Penn State scored 17 points in the second half on a defense that had only allowed 3 second half touchdowns all year. How is that being rolled over? They say that Daryll Clark made horrible passes. One of his interceptions Andrew Quarless fell down, that is why the ball was picked. His throw was accurate, the receiver just fell down. That isn’t Clark’s fault. We should also remember that this was basically a home game for USC. Penn State had to travel about 2,500 miles while the Trojans traveled a whole 11 miles. You are kidding yourself if you think USC didn’t have home field advantage.
I have been finding this whole Manny Ramirez thing very interesting. Where will he go? The Yankees and Angels aren’t interested and Boston definitely isn’t. The Dodgers pulled their offer and the Giants are now in the mix. He isn’t going to get the money he expected to so this will be interesting to watch. I can see that the Giants are trying to get better but I think they are just going to end up shooting themselves in the foot. They are in no way shape or form a young team. They have a few very nice, young pieces that they need to build around.
I don’t like the Edgar Renteria signing and I think bringing in Manny will just be another Barry Bonds. He will cause drama and tear the team apart in the clubhouse. He won’t get his money and we all know that he will not be a happy Manny when he does sign. And we all know that a happy Manny doesn’t play and will give up on his team. Manny isn’t exactly young either and that is exactly what that Giants team does not need. If I was a Giants fan I would appreciate them trying to get better but I don’t believe they are picking the right players.
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.