Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

04 Dec

My 2017 Series to Remember. Yours? Some gold in the dross. (by blazon)

If you’re retired and live deep in the country where beauty abounds and distractions are few, you saw almost every game the Braves played this year. A month after it all ended we became spectators of the same game played at a significantly higher level by others. What remains of the Braves year has become a fading blur. Ninety losses doesn’t help.

Strangely though, without trying, there was one series that came to mind and stayed there. It reminded me of the pleasure, the surprise I got from it at the time so it has hung around to the point I wanted to see how much/little detail of what happened could be recalled. What follows is all from memory and all too brief. There will be howlers but so what? This is what pleases, as I write this on a 25 dark degree Sunday morning.

We went out west for a road trip somewhere in the second half of the season and stopped by at the Coliseum. Ho hum I thought, neither team was going anywhere and wasn’t this all being played at a dump, a much reviled setting?

It was a 4 game series as I remember; we — most surprisingly — won 3 of them. The game we lost, the second I think, we faced Sonny Gray and even then we were ahead late. Individually and collectively we played some of our best baseball of the year. I tried to rack my memory of the highlights that must have prompted me to this conclusion: here’s a few.

I remember Dansby, had to be his best game maybe. Good D but some sensational hitting in the clutch in the game we were behind late and his two back to back doubles in the 8th and 9th tied and then won the day. Each was an elevated line drive to the left field corner, something he spent most of the year trying to duplicate and failing. What was moving was his infectious delight after the second. He was transformed.

Then Danny Santana. Brought on to pinch run he ran them ragged, then and later, he stayed in the game. The A’s were flustered, he must have been so happy to be achieving something positive. Kurt Suzuki. This might have been the series when we had to start taking him seriously as a power hitter. He had two I believe, maybe in the same game. There is nothing more fun to watch than somebody who doesn’t hit homers hitting homers. There were other homers we hit in this series but danged if I can remember by who.

So that, absurdly, is all I can be reasonably sure about over 4 games of individual efforts. Trying to recall this you come to realize what makes it so difficult is not just who did this or that but was it really in this series or another. Lines get blurred, names transposed. But in this instance there was one other thing, never to be forgotten, the stadium itself. Wow.

Dirty, worn, totally devoid of people the huge shell far away beyond left field was awesome, I loved it. Those giant names, magical, better here than at Cooperstown. All the seats quite empty of course, what a lunatic idea. And more coming with a new, bloated mixed user somewhere, yuk. Looking at the reduced arena where we actually played you couldn’t but help and admire the spectators too. Blue collar, raucous, knowledgeable, generous. The antithesis of Cardinal garbage.

So that’s my favorite Braves series of 2017. We won this one but there’s nothing to say yours could not be a tie or a loss even. We had plenty of those and many of them still contained individual good memories. Please, I would love if you would share yours.

227 Responses to “My 2017 Series to Remember. Yours? Some gold in the dross. (by blazon)”

  1. 1
    Rusty S. Says:

    My favorite was the Dodger series where Jaime hit the grand slam.

  2. 2
    blazon Says:

    And we started that one 2 up and with Kershaw out. Played pretty well in Colorado too. Who beat us on that trip, had to be the best one of the season.

  3. 3
    Donny Says:

    Regarding @105, @108 in the previous discussion.

    I think the Kawakami “debacle” really only had relevance within the context of [those Braves] under [Frank Wren]. Regardless of whether they’re in or out on Ohtani, these Braves need to be considered on their own merit and not for something in a previous decade, yeah?

    As for Kawakami, I’m not up on what his feelings were on how he was handled. It’s too long ago. I can only hope that they over-communicated to him what their intentions were.

  4. 4
    Dusty Says:


    Interesting news on the Modern Era Hall of Fame Committee, some familiar names are on the 16 person voting panel: Bobby Cox, John Schuerholz and Don Sutton. Perhaps Murphy will do better than we think. 2 of the 3 writers on the committee were Murphy voters (Stark and Elliott) and the other writer (Hirdt) has no public BBWAA voting record on the HOF. Add the fact that there are several 80’s players on the committee (Carew, Brett, Eck, Yount and Winfield).

    I believe results are announced Sunday evening and Murphy, Jack Morris, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, Luis Tiant, Dave Parker, Tommy John, Mattingly, Garvey, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller are the names on the ballot.

  5. 5
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @4 To me, none of those including Dale are HOF worthy except for maybe Jack Morris and even that is very borderline. All these HOFs are becoming the Hall of Very Good and too many marginal guys are being considered solid candidates, IMO.

    Garvey has 272 career HR.

    Morris’ career ERA is 3.90. Nope.

  6. 6
    Dusty Says:

    Whitaker and Trammell should be in and John has an argument, so does Murphy but I’m probably just being sentimental as he was my favorite player as a kid. Miller should have been in long ago according to most (though not the one who could’ve voted him in obviously).

    Morris is a hard pass for me.

  7. 7
    spike Says:

    @116, Guys in the NFL earning degs on the side arent subject to progress towards degree and GPA requirements.

  8. 8
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Dale was my favorite player too. He has 398 career HR and his career BA of .265 is not good.

    His peak good years were just too short, IMO. It didn’t help that he played on craptastic teams for the most part but… FWIW, I’m not bagging on him or you. Frankly, I’d like to see him get in but its… thin.

  9. 9
    roadrunner48 Says:

    @ 3

    That should be the case but I doubt that it is. I lived over there in the late ’80’s. I played on the company baseball team. People pay attention to what goes on with how their countrymen are doing in MLB. Way more than you think. Honor is a big deal. When Kawakami was sent to MS, I had a number of my old teammates/students emailing me. They all knew I was a Braves fan. The word that kept coming up was “honor”.

    Regardless of what KK deserved, the Braves didn’t make a good impression. People over there don’t care whether there is new management. I wish it wasn’t the case.

  10. 10
    John R. Says:

    @10, If Wren and Coppy and Hart were to commit hari-kiri do you think that would make things even?

  11. 11
    Michael Says:

    @10 – Someone call Braves marketing. I’m sure this could be held at the Battery and would move some tickets.

  12. 12
    Donny Says:

    @9 That’s very true. I am grasping at the possibility that the Braves would attempt to restore their honor in the same way that Squaresoft repaired their relationship with Nintendo.

  13. 13
    Edward Says:


  14. 14
    Dusty Says:

    Didn’t see this posted here, but Coppy made a statement to ESPN:

  15. 15
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Yefri del Rosario signed with the Royals. The first domino to fall.

  16. 16
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    Maitan to the Angels. knowing it was coming, doesn’t make it easier.

  17. 17
    Rob Cope Says:

    $2.2m. Good job, moron Barves.

  18. 18
    John R. Says:

    Maitan and Andrelton will make a great left side of the infield.

  19. 19
    Dusty Says:

    So we are to the Angels what the Dbacks are to us. They pick up Maitan and Soto (not to mention Simmons) from ATL.

  20. 20
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    at least they took JJ off our hands.

  21. 21
    c. shorter Says:

    The Braves got Kotchman. Lest we forget.

  22. 22
    John R. Says:

    Ender, Dansby, Blair and JJ for Simmons, Maitan, Soto and cash. Who hangs up first?

    PS: Mike Minor is Texas Ranger.

  23. 23
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    At what point will you boys stop wetting your pants over this and move on to next steps? This becomes exceedingly boring.

  24. 24
    Dusty Says:

    I’m still upset about the Brett Butler trade, so if that’s any indication, I’d say about 2050.

    In truth Sam is correct that what’s done is done, but it’s still newsworthy.

  25. 25
    John R. Says:

    @23, I’m well past this, thank you very much, and have moved onto sardonic black humor. Lest you think I’m serious about @22 or @18.

    But to the larger issue, only a relentless busybody would police the comments of others on the day Maitan signs with another team. It’s not like it’s not news. Pantswetter, clean thy own soiled undergarments.

  26. 26
    Dusty Says:

    At least Maitan didn’t go to an NL East team or the Yanks or Cards. And BTW the report of Soto to the Angels was retracted.

  27. 27
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It has zero impact on Atlanta.

  28. 28
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m still pissed off about Tom Seaver.

  29. 29
    Askia Says:

    I’m still pissed off about Heyward, Simmons, Upton (the good one) and Kimbrel.

  30. 30
    snowshine Says:

    King Kelly defecting to the Player’s League after we made him a star still pisses me off. Slide Kelly Slide!!!

  31. 31
    Donny Says:

    @29 I’m still pissed off that Heyward turned into a limp bat slap hitter.

    Zero remorse about losing him.

  32. 32
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Of those 11 or ever how many prospects we lost, 2 will make the major leagues and 1 will be a positive WAR player. History since 1871 says so.

    It’s over and unlike the NCAA or other things, we’re still eligible for the playoffs etc. I was pissed about it and still am but have moved on.

  33. 33
    blazon Says:

    In The Italian League, trouble also…

    Silvio Busconi
    most of his deals were shown to be underage and phony
    conversions into lira
    inevitably ended up being dearer.

  34. 34
    Rob Cope Says:


    The “these guys weren’t going to play major league baseball” thing is completely irrelevant. They weren’t meant to. The Braves could have traded all of these players, never missed them on the major league roster, but made the playoffs in 2018 or a year earlier than they otherwise will. The point is that we lost currency. Currency is extremely valuable. Your irrational devaluing of prospects shows your basic ignorance about the economics of baseball and how a mid-market team wins. And the fact that you brandish your weapon of ignorance about prospects so freely, loudly and repeatedly further shows you’re probably never going to get it. The last thing I want to hear on a day where Maitan, Soto, and Gutierrez sign with other clubs is the rambling that they may not be productive major leaguers.

  35. 35
    krussell Says:

    He’s right. They most likely won’t be productive major leaguers.

  36. 36
    Rob Cope Says:

    And for the most part, neither did Matt Harrison, Dan Meyers, Andy Marte, Merkin Valdez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Beau Jones, etc. who were used in deals for Tex, Omar Infante, Matt Diaz, Tim Hudson, Edgar Renteria, Russ Ortiz, etc. It is absolutely irrelevant what their career WARs will be. You could have traded for Josh Donaldson and Zach Britton with these guys. And if you couldn’t, then you could have traded guys farther up the system because these guys were coming around the corner. It’s a sucky day for Braves fans when these players sign elsewhere, same at was when they were removed, and the last thing I want to hear is Chief Nocahoma’s ignorant racket about prospects.

  37. 37
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @34 and @36 LMAO.

    It’s not an irrational devaluing of prospects. It’s called real life. I don’t disagree with you that as trade chips we won’t miss them, nor do I think what happened was by any means a good thing. But I’m just stating my opinion and the weight of about 150 years of history that it won’t matter much, either way.

    NOW, if FAs don’t want to come play for the Braves because of the taint, that’s a different story. Time will tell on that. I doubt it. Pay them and they will come.

  38. 38
    Rob Cope Says:


    it won’t matter much


  39. 39
    Rob Cope Says:

    Look, here’s what you’re missing. There’s going to be time when it’s October, and you’re going to turn on your television, and your Braves won’t be playing. And if this all didn’t happen, they would be. It matters. It really matters. And salivating (and maybe more) at the opportunity to come on Braves Journal and say “eh, prospects suck. NBD” every time something happens with prospects really gets old when the Braves, believe it or not, have considered prospects to be a valuable tool in returning to competitiveness. You should just take a vacation until the Braves go back to the point where a significant portion of their attention isn’t on drafting, developing, and trading prospects.

  40. 40
    blazon Says:


    I remember your teepee
    at Fulton County, sad to see
    surrounded then by empty seats
    now here a fevered following, your less than bullish tweets.

  41. 41
    blazon Says:

    The International Pool
    it’s not real money you fool
    think of it a bit like Monopoly
    Go to Jail if you’re not playing plopoly.

    John Coppolella
    Apologia tua, fella
    we thought you were great till you got caught
    we liked it both ways, see, we’re soooo distraught.

    Angels and Ministers of Grace defend us
    enjoy our boy, there’s nowt you have to send us
    let him play with our other
    collectively our angst we’ll then have learned to smother.

  42. 42
    blazon Says:

    @ 41-1

    the forced rhyme
    a thing of beauty at the appropriate time
    but first it must be preceded
    by something difficult, that’s when you need it.

  43. 43
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Look, here’s what you’re missing. There’s going to be time when it’s October, and you’re going to turn on your television, and your Braves won’t be playing. And if this all didn’t happen, they would be.

    Assertion without evidence.

  44. 44
    Adam R Says:

    Someone already said on here: think of them as never having been our players because the best of these international signings shouldn’t have been Braves to begin with. We’re still playing in whatever future October we would’ve been in playing in anyway.

  45. 45
    Donny Says:


    Mostly the case except for the future international signings the Braves might have made without the signing restrictions placed on them.

    It requires some special rose-tinted glasses to believe that the Braves aren’t being set back by this ordeal.

    On another subject, I wonder how many cars the Angels promised Maitan to get him to sign.

  46. 46
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @43 Yeah that’s some of the more faultier logic that he’s deployed. Look, I like Rob but that’s a definite take…

    Whether the Braves make the playoffs in at least the short term has almost nothing to do with the Forsaken 11. I’d also proffer that because the track record of international signings seems at least to me on the whole to be worse than MLB FAs, traded MLB established players, and common draft players, that pouring those monies into THOSE buckets for a couple years could actually be a GOOD thing.

    Now. That would assume that the organization won’t pocket that money and would actually spend it in those other buckets, etc.

  47. 47
    Rob Cope Says:

    We lost $20M. Pretty much the entire 2016 and 2019-2020 IFA classes. The opportunity cost on 2016 players appreciating.

    We also are currently one of two teams that have been punished for something that the entire league is doing. Even to scale, don’t you think those teams will be a smidge better keeping their players while we lost ours? So the argument “we otherwise wouldn’t have had these players” isn’t true. Other cheating teams keep their players, so that’s not true, and even if it were, we lost TONS other than just the 11 not being employed by the Braves anymore. If you fail to understand that, then you have to cool your jets when you complain about the next BJ Upton or Dan Uggla failed contract. Money is money, no matter where and how you lose it.

    You’re seriously looney if you think this won’t result in either a) missing one or more playoff appearances or at the VERY least b) going into October with an inferior roster. And if you’re going to hitch your wagon to Captain I Don’t Know Anything About Prospects Other Than To Say They All Pretty Much Suck, then that’s on you.

    As an example:

    Whether the Braves make the playoffs in at least the short term has almost nothing to do with the Forsaken 11.

    This is just flat out wrong, like he is almost 99% of the time when it comes to anything regarding young baseball players. If you had those assets I just mentioned, you could absolutely push for a 2018 playoff appearance, but inevitably, you will hold on to some collection of prospects because you’ve not currently lost the other 11. That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It affects the moves you could otherwise make.

  48. 48
    blazon Says:


    Yes Sir. A thought that can still haunt as the night ends, the dawn peeps through and the rambles of a sleep dulled mind turn to baseball. He is often there.

  49. 49
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Losing 11 prospects of varying degrees of “prospectness” is bad. Losing the ability to compete for new prospects in the coming years is bad. Crying about it doesn’t help in either case. Alex Anthopoulos is the new GM. I see little reason to concern myself with things the guys that have been fired did wrong.

  50. 50
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Rob, Most if not all of those players wouldn’t be on an October roster if not ever, certainly in the short term.

    I don’t disagree with you at all about the money part of it. That’s IMO the worst part and especially given OUR ownership. If we were the Yankees or Red Sox or Angels etc., I’d honestly not even really worry about that part.

  51. 51
    Donny Says:

    @50 Are you not seeing the potential trade value of those 11 players? We have less to work with in regard to acquiring proven talent that would help us compete in 2018.

  52. 52
    ryan c Says:

    The international prospects signed in 2016 that are no longer with the franchise would’ve likely had little trade value this offseason (especially compared to their cost in int’l money) as many haven’t had stateside experience that screamed “Sell high”.

    With that being said, there’s a lot of ways losing them has hurt the franchise but I think it’s less about now and more in terms of 3-4 years down the road when those guys would’ve been ready for the bigs or had built value to be real trade chips. More to the point, losing those guys likely shrunk the Braves window unless AA goes straight Tampa Bay Rays leaving no franchise player untouchable during down years.

  53. 53
    Adam R Says:

    We also are currently one of two teams that have been punished for something that the entire league is doing.

    Ehhh, we still don’t know if this is true, or maybe more accurately put, how true this is. We may never know the full extent of what Coppy et al did.

  54. 54
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    We know full well that everyone bundles and tweaks the edges of the rules in South America. It’s an open secret.

  55. 55
    Dusty Says:

    Pos did a Keltner list for Murphy:

  56. 56
    blazon Says:


    Right. Keats wrote about it. Cortez was first to plunder, we second.

    ‘then felt i like some watcher of the skies
    when a new planet swims into his ken
    or like stout Coppy when, with eagle eyes
    he stared at the Pacific and all his men
    looked at each other with a wild surmise
    silent, upon a peak, in Darien.’

  57. 57
    krussell Says:

    @47, our playoff “window” (which is kind of a laughable in the first place given our roster) is 100% dependent on the development of our nearly-ready pitching. If it’s to open at all, it will be because Coppy was spot-on with some of these guys. If it does open, then we’ll have more revenue to play with – The Battery will be hoppin if they give us a 90-win team. We’ll be able to spend our way around the Forsaken 11.

    If the pitching doesn’t work, the window never opens, and none of this shit matters one bit. We’re gonna keep sucking, and Maitan wouldn’t change a thing.

  58. 58
    Adam R Says:

    We know full well that everyone bundles and tweaks the edges of the rules in South America. It’s an open secret.

    I know, but we don’t know much about Coppy’s attempted cover-up. Or how or why it may have mattered that the Braves were apparently so cavalier about what they were doing.

  59. 59
    blazon Says:

    Merciful news. Champion League TV games start in 30 minutes – the poet will thus be silenced, deo gratia.

    Thanks to all for your forbearance.I had a lovely time.

  60. 60
    Donny Says:

    And that is why being in the HOF has to be about more than the sum of one’s stats over a career. We have these super phenomenal players whose careers are not especially long but are memorable, and then when we discuss the all-time greats they get overshadowed by some combination of very long careers and very stat-favorable eras.

    For consideration, I don’t believe Andruw Jones really deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dale Murphy, but looking at offensive stats and career length one would conclude that Jones was just a bit better, right? Well, no, not if you were watching those teams. Andruw was probably never the best player in baseball and possibly never was the best on his team even. Dale Murphy, OTOH, was. Multiple times.

    I have no problem with Dale Murphy going into the HOF. It would be a crime if the likes of Barry Bonds went in and Murphy did not.

  61. 61
    Adam R Says:

    Like, I get why MLB would throw the book at the Braves and not other teams if MLB was like, “We’re cracking down so *wink* don’t let us catch you doing anything wrong *wink*”, and then the Braves were practically flaunting their wrongdoing somehow, so that any inquiring reporter could notice.

  62. 62
    allstarmatches Says:

    @60 I think there were at least a few years where Andruw was the best position player on the team. Maybe not just on offense because he overlapped with Chipper, but considering the total package. Also he is the best defensive CF I have ever seen.

    Murph was undoubtedly the best player on the team for several years regardless of position, but part of that was because our “ace” was Rick Mahler.

  63. 63
    Donny Says:

    @61 I think it’s on record that Coppy lied multiple times when confronted about it. I assume the severity is linked to the lying and magnitude of violations.

  64. 64
    Donny Says:

    @62 I agree with you about Jones in CF, but the conversation quickly becomes one of debate over defensive value. No one doubts Andruw Jones is a unique case defensively, as much as Ozzie Smith was. As far as his bat is concerned, though, he was not considered to be among the best in baseball. Murphy was. I focus on the hitting aspect here because I feel that’s where the comparisons are strongest, but I think they aren’t very comparable for the reasons stated.

    As far as Andruw Jones is concerned, he can go into the HOF on glove alone.

  65. 65
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @55, here was Mac’s:

  66. 66
    Dusty Says:

    Andruw was not a zero on offense (in fact he was all star level until he wasn’t) and may be considered the best defensive CF. I’m surprised he isn’t getting more votes (3 of 24 so far) while Vizquel (essentially the same dWAR but compiled in many more seasons) is getting 13 of 24 votes so far.

  67. 67
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    I think it speaks to the general sense around baseball that defense is fungible. I think there is a healthy (IMO founded) skepticism about defensive statistics, and I think that many devalue it. Having said that, the current/modern day defensive metrics and laser evaluated % caught stats are MUCH better than even what existed when Andruw played and damn sure better than FLD % when Paul Blair and Willie Mays roamed CF.

    I saw someone above say that Dale should get in over Bonds and well… nope. Even without steroids you could argue that Bonds was a much better player. Do we really believe that Barry would have only hit 398 HR without nandrolone or hit .265 with 5-6 peak ‘good’ years? Or wouldn’t have had an OBP approaching .500?

  68. 68
    Donny Says:

    @66 Wasn’t saying he was a zero on offense. What I meant is his glove by itself separates Andruw from the rest. As a hitter, he was a good slugger. Only problem for him is that the 2000s were full of good sluggers. His bat doesn’t stand out much.

  69. 69
    Donny Says:

    @67 I have a hard stance against guys like Bonds such that your counterpoint is moot to me. Bonds broke the rules. There is no room in the HOF for cheaters.

    That is the reason why it would be a crime.

  70. 70
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Dale Murphy is a HOFer, Andruw Jones is a HOFer. The fact that Murphy never had a golden goose pitching staff, or that Bob Horner never became Chipper Jones, doesn’t enter into the equation. I’d vote for Andruw, as a league historical defender in CF, over Murphy, who doesn’t have the argument of being the very best at something for the game’s entire history.

  71. 71
    Td Says:

    Looks like the Braves haven’t given up on productivity from Colon yet. They signed him to a minor league deal. Thank goodness it’s Christian and not Bartolo. Given Christian’s recent history, Bartolo may play more innings next year.

  72. 72
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    A HOF without Barry Bonds is a joke, your primadonna virtue signalling notwithstanding.

  73. 73
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The HOF is already full of “cheaters” who used amps and steroids.

  74. 74
    Remy Says:

    Let’s not forget that Murphy started out as a catcher. For him to develop into the Gold Glove center fielder he became has always impressed me. Andruw also belongs in the HOF.

  75. 75
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    I would vote for Andruw over Dale. And if you saw my room growing up, that’s saying something. It was a Dale shrine.

    It reminds me of the Tony Boselli and Terrell Davis arguments in the NFL. Seems that there has to be a consistent-greatness-longevity angle to me. Dale’s peak seasons were GREAT but his valleys were not close to most other HOFs lows.

    Personally, I’d vote for Boselli if Terrell Davis and Gayle Sayers got in.

  76. 76
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m not here to undermine Murphy. I just don’t like how underrated Andruw tends to be.

  77. 77
    Td Says:

    Andruw went to major markets on the West Coast and East Coast and in the middle after Atlanta. He bombed in Los Angeles, but wasn’t horrible in New York. Unfortunately his knees and weight made him a shell of his former self defensively in New York. I think if he sustained a little bit of his fielding abilities even with similar batting stats, he would be in.

  78. 78
    Donny Says:

    @72, 73 Wanna know who else I would never let into the HOF? Roger Clemens.

    What are your thoughts on that? :)

  79. 79
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Third verse same as the first.

  80. 80
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @79 and @78

    In for me on Clemens. No on McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa. In on A-Rod. I mean come on.

    I think its funny how Gaylord Perry is a lovable cheater.

  81. 81
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Al Kaline admits to taking steroids when he returned from WW II. Willy Mays played his entire career strung out on amps.

  82. 82
    mikemc Says:

    Anybody that returned from WW II deserves a break.

  83. 83
    Donny Says:

    @81 No, there’s a big difference between amps and peds. One does not simply pass their prime and THEN turn into the greatest hitter or pitcher to ever live for another 5 years when nearly everyone else would be naturally breaking down and heading for retirement.

    Barry Bonds supposed prime? From age 36-39 with an average WAR of 10.8/yr which is far better than his natural prime was.

    Roger Clemens continue to pitch until the age of 44. During his natural peak, he won 3 Cy Young awards, but from the age of 36 to 44 he went on to add FOUR more Cy Young awards.

    These guys didn’t simply have the greatest careers ever, they pounded MLB until it had nothing left to give and then continued to pound it while slapping its ass.

    Maybe you see GOATs, but all I will ever see in those two are friggin’ carnival freaks. They turned baseball into a circus just the same as Big Mac and Sosa and A. Rod.

  84. 84
    Donny Says:

    I would remove any proven cheater from the HOF, but I want to be clear about why I would specifically never allow Bonds or Clemens into the HOF. As everyone is keen to point out on this topic, Bonds and Clemens were already clear HOF’ers before they ever used PEDs. They weren’t satisfied simply being among MLB’s best ever. These two took legendary careers to a whole new level totally unprecedented.

    My opinion is that baseball’s history now looks ridiculous all thanks to a couple of attention whoring cheaters.

    I hope y’all will attend my next lecture where I talk about how dumb the Patriots and the NFL look.

  85. 85
    krussell Says:

    I might be the only baseball fan that doesn’t give a shit about the HOF. Threads like this only reinforce my apathy.

  86. 86
    oldtimer? Says:

    I don’t care about the process ether but I sure like going there.

  87. 87
    roadrunner48 Says:

    @ 85. I’m with you. When Niekro took four tries to get in to the Hall is when I stopped caring. I mean, Jim Rice and Phil Rizzuto are in there.

    As far as Clemens and Bonds go, one of the criteria for selection is sportsmanship. That’s a subjective concept if there ever was one. It can mean different things at different times. Maybe someday they get in. But right now, none of the current members want them in their club. So cry me a river for those two and their fans.

  88. 88
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I will never visit the HOF. Nonetheless virtue signaling about players from 90s is dumb.

  89. 89
    Rob Cope Says:

    Ohtani’s signing a two year deal. Pick a team, ya putz.

  90. 90
    blazon Says:


    tittle tattle

    Negotiations will break down in ugly fashion at the last minute. He hits the phone, begging. AA says, lucky you, we’re still here.

  91. 91
    td Says:

    I am very undecided on the HOF. On one hand I don’t want proven cheaters in the hall. On the other hand, I blame most of the garbage on Bud Selig and the player’s union. Half decent leadership would have stopped the steroid craze quickly and it would have just been a blip. The guys I have sympathy for are the ones who never made it to the majors because they refused to cheat. I think the number of borderline players who took PEDs to got into the majors is mind boggling.

  92. 92
    Adam R Says:

    This isn’t hard. MLB created and condoned a system that incentivized and, on a real level, demanded that every player cheated. Even calling it cheating makes a mockery of the concept; think of the number of players who didn’t want to take PEDs but did in order to stay afloat, echoing @91. Just acknowledge the era for what it was, and induct Bonds, Clemens, et al.

  93. 93
    blazon Says:

    We live and learn.

    Someone on TC has just patiently explained an apparently routine clause in a commercial line of credit negotiation such as Liberty/Braves might currently be involved with. Whatever the agreed interest rate is kicks in when you start drawing down. Fine, obvious. What is not is you must pay, at a lower rate, from Day 1, before there have been any withdrawals.

    Is this common practice and how is it justified?

  94. 94
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Prediction: Ohtani is a bust.

  95. 95
    Donny Says:

    @88 And yet you’re the only buddy I have here still engaging in this conversation. :)

    Believe me, I never meant to go down this avenue, but I can never seem to resist bagging on those guys. It’s less to do with the virtues of sportsmanship and more to do with how much I dislike those clowns.

    Wake me when something positive happens with the Braves.

  96. 96
    John R. Says:

    I say elect those players from the 90s/00s steroid era to the HOF but give them their own special wing, a unique experience emblematic of the era. To gain entry you must first chug three cans of Red Bull and pop a tab of X; no headphones allowed to cancel out the dubstep maxed out to ear-melting, bone-crushing volume; DayGlo wall treatments with strobe lights; tour guides are retired porn stars in full regalia (or lack thereof). The people will love it.

  97. 97
    clarke Says:

    @94 I think if he stuck to pitching he’d end up good to maybe great. The added hitting he is insisting on is what I think will drag him down. It would seem his logical landing spot would be in the NL. You’d hit every 5th day, and be a massive upgrade in that spot than any other pitcher in the league. You’d also be able to pinch hit on non pitching days, and you could spot start in the OF in a pinch.

  98. 98
    beege Says:

    That’s one hell of a sales pitch to get Sam to reconsider his @88.

  99. 99
    Remy Says:

    Ohtani signs with the Angels.

  100. 100
    John R. Says:

    @97, I guess on days he starts they’d lose the DH if they had him hit as the SP, right?

  101. 101
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @96 just moshes up four or five different era entirely. Day glo. X. Dub step. 80s. 90s. 00s. Gah.

  102. 102
    John R. Says:

    Highlights of excess from every era. Like Barry Bonds (1986-2007).

  103. 103
    Edward Says:

    It’s the…Stripers!

  104. 104
    John R. Says:

    Stripers. Could have been a lot worse last I saw the options. At least it’s forgettable.

  105. 105
    Donny Says:

    Could be worse. I don’t understand the name change. Makes me think they belong to the Marlins. And… Big Mouths aren’t Striped bass. The logo doesn’t look like a Striper… How about Gwinnet Lunkers? Or Gwinnet Hawgs?

  106. 106
    blazon Says:

    Gwinnet Stripers
    yuk, as though they’re barely out of diapers
    we all thought they would be the Buttons
    a suggestion of Jim Powell and Sutton’s.

  107. 107
    sdp Says:

    Stanton to Yankees is looking real.

    Judge and Stanton in the outfield. Jesus.

    ESPN will be truly unwatchable.

  108. 108
    Rob Cope Says:

    Good for Giancarlo. And great for the NL East. I’d love for the Braves to get one of their outfielders (Ozuna makes a lot of sense), but I don’t see how that could work.

    Ozuna/Ender/Acuna though….

  109. 109
    Sean Q. Says:

    How long until Jeter goes back to NY to manage the Yankees? The Marlins deserve no one’s sympathy, but this new ownership group feels like Gordon Gekko style vulture capitalism.

    Seconded on Ozuna, since it does seem the Marlins are selling anything not nailed down. Bring Ozuna over, then unload as much of Kemp’s salary as you can on some AL team and eat the rest. Get it done, AA.

  110. 110
    John R. Says:

    In today’s earth-shaking transaction news, Yunior Severino is a Twin.

  111. 111
    krussell Says:

    So Jeter’s Marlins are gonna be an MLB farm team for the Yanks. Brilliant.

  112. 112
    blazon Says:

    Let’s cheer up.

    Ronald Acuna…here’s looking at you.

  113. 113
    braves14 Says:

    The Braves are interested in Clint Frazier now that he has no place to play in the Yankee OF.

  114. 114
    John R. Says:

    Stanton has apparently netted the Marlins the Yankees #9 prospect and an 18-year-old rookie baller. Oh, and Starlin Castro, who I’m sure will lead the Marlins to playoff glory.

  115. 115
    Remy Says:

    Per Rosenthal:

    #Braves hiring Alex Tamin as director of major-league operations, sources tell The Athletic. Tamin had been #Dodgers’ director of baseball operations. Handled rules and transactions and also was heavily involved in advance scouting process. Will fill similar role with Braves.

  116. 116
    Mikemc Says:

    @113 Sounds like a good move. We need young, controllable outfield talent.

  117. 117
    sdp Says:

    Frazier, Acuna, and Inciarte could be a special trio.

  118. 118
    Td Says:

    Frazier didn’t have a very good year last year after the initial hype. If some of you on this site who know a lot more about prospects than me think it’s a good move, that’s good enough for me. I just don’t want to give up too much for him.

  119. 119
    Dirt Napper Says:

    Matt Kemp and Julio Teheran for Clint Frazier and Chase Headley…who says no?

  120. 120
    John R. Says:

    @120, Yankee pinstripes would have a nice slimming effect on Fatt Blimp.

  121. 121
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Beating a HOF dead horse. Alan Trammell never lead the league in ONE statistical category. His BRef most similar player is Edgar Renteria. What a joke.

    Ironically, Dale’s BRef most similar player is Andruw Jones! Dale’s Black and Gray Ink are both higher than HOF average. His HOF Monitor score is over HOF average.

    Keep in mind, I said no on Dale for the HOF. His JAWS and career WAR is shockingly low for someone that won multiple MVPs.

  122. 122
    Adam R Says:

    I saw a tweet that read: “Every year we’re reminded how toxic the HOF is. The writers vote, veterans committee, pigheaded older players who don’t understand the steroid era. Something that should exist to bring us all joy doesn’t so often. It makes me sadder than most sports things.”

    Seems right.

    We’re not going to get Frazier without give out something(s) of value. He’s not post-hype enough.

  123. 123
    Rob Cope Says:

    I know it’s fun to talk about getting rid of players we don’t like like Teheran and Kemp, but once substantive trade proposals come in with these two guys, I doubt anyone, including the Braves, will want to trade them. Both of their values are at an all-time low, and trade offers will reflect that. I think we are stuck with both of them in hopes they have a strong 1st half (something Kemp did last year), and we’ll go from there. The more I think of it, the less I see this blockbluster offseason and more of something like the following:

    -Trading Kakes for nothing to clear a spot in RF and payroll space. I still think they can get almost all of his salary covered.
    -Trade for/sign 1-2 setup men relievers. No closers, no middle relievers. But with Brandon Morrow getting 2YR/$21M, that’s your market.
    -Trade for/sign 2-3 WAR 3B.
    -Maybe sign a caddy for SS.
    -Sign veteran 5th starter.

    That’s a significant, if not splashy and flashy, offseason. Most of the moves won’t even make ESPN, but the team will be much, much better.

  124. 124
    Smitty Says:


    The Yankees

  125. 125
    Td Says:

    I guess I’m a little jaded on Frazier. A career .806 ops over 5 minor league seasons and a .769 ops along with a .248 ba in aaa is not the stuff of legends. Being in the Yankees system often makes people think he’s much better than reality. Again, if you guys think he has potential that he hasn’t shown, I’m all in.

  126. 126
    Td Says:

    Rio Ruiz, age 23, 853 AAA at bats. .260/ .341/ .421, OPS .761

    Clint Frazier, age 22, 395 AAA at bats. .248/ .323/ .446, OPS .769.

    It may be harder to convince me than originally thought, although Frazier has great hair.

  127. 127
    csg Says:

    It may be a stretch, but Lane Adams can probably provide more value than Clint Frazier

  128. 128
    John R. Says:

    @123 , Hey, I like Teheran!

  129. 129
    braves14 Says:

    I like Teheran. His durability is very underrated.

  130. 130
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    I think Teheran is fine as a 4th or 5th starter but we ain’t ever gonna win anything with him starting Opening Day.

  131. 131
    Sean Q. Says:

    I like Teheran too, and I think selling him now would be a mistake. He may be inconsistent but he’s worth his $8M salary next year.

    All of our moves this offseason should be about accelerating the timeline for contending, not pushing it back further.

  132. 132
    Rusty S. Says:

    @126 – There may be more to Frazier than shows in his numbers, but my first reaction at looking at them was that we might as well put Rio out there. We could get lucky, which I’ve been pushing for. But, I wish we’d aim higher.

  133. 133
    Adam R Says:

    Here’s what Longenhagen thought of Frazier before this season (scroll down a bunch):

    I don’t think Frazier did much to deviate from his expectations last year.

    If people fixate on his being the Yankees’ 2nd ranked prospect in that list vs his being given a 55 overall grade, I may lose my mind.

  134. 134
    Rob Cope Says:

    How much stock do you put in grades, Adam? Usually our retorts are full of snark and sarcasm, but legit question this time.

  135. 135
    Adam R Says:

    The grades are what matters! I put more stock in grades than slash stats.

  136. 136
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Consider that that list had him ranked higher than Aaron Judge and you can draw your own conclusions about the merit of said ranking. Frazier may not hit 50 HR in his career and Judge hit (or almost, I’m not looking at it) that many in a year.

  137. 137
    Adam R Says:

    Or you could read what the writer actually had to say. Judge’s performance fit the range of possibilities conveyed in his write-up and grades. Judge did strike out 30 percent of the time last year. That bodes ill. And it certainly seemed like pitchers figured him out by midseason, so he may never repeat his performance. And yet, Longenhagen notes his ability to make adjustments.

    I love how, like clockwork, we’re talking about relative rankings for players with the same overall grade. You say you read Fangraphs, Chief, but you’re not all that literate.

  138. 138
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    I’ll have you know I have a masters degree in British Literature from Oxford University with undergrad at Harvard.

    OK, so I went to Auburn… Nevermind.

  139. 139
    Adam R Says:

    Frazier is a blazon guy. If you’re gonna get all worked up over big lugs like Schwarber and Conforto, show some consistency and write some poems about Frazier’s biceps.

  140. 140
    Smitty Says:

    Judge > Frazier and it’s not close

  141. 141
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @140. Some among us on BJ are so enamored with sabermetrics/scouts grades/prospect rankings that they have lost the ability to be impartial even when shown actual MLB results. Not projections, but actual on the field results.

    Frazier will be a career 4th outfielder playing for 3-4 teams and Judge might make the HOF. But in BJlandia, they’re close to equal.

    Having said ALL OF THAT, for the BRAVES, I’m all for Frazier. But I won’t pretend that I think he’s going to be .305/30/100 either. He’ll just be better than Kemp and Markakis. But we lose sight of how low a bar that is.

  142. 142
    Adam R Says:

    Judge > Frazier and it’s not close

    Obviously that’s true right now. No one is arguing otherwise. It may even remain true, since time has a way of continuing on after the write-up gets published and some players improve and make adjustments and some don’t. But “Judge is better than Frazier” wasn’t obvious on March 9, 2017, and I don’t recall anyone on here or anywhere else offering that prediction then either.

    Other Braves blogs may be a 35, but I’d only put a 40 on Braves Journal. Hey, still the #1 ranked Braves blog on the list!!!

  143. 143
    Adam R Says:

    I’m going to enjoy it on here when AA signs or trades for a player whose value is tied up mostly in defensive skill.

    For all the complaining many people did about Coppy’s approach to the rebuild, his ideas about defensive value were right up Braves Journal’s alley. When your platonic ideal of an outfielder is Ryan Klesko, Matt Kemp is your just deserts.

  144. 144
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @143 Yeah color me confused about AA’s defensive prowess proclivities. I don’t understand it and think its dumb and hope its ‘coachspeak’. LOL.

  145. 145
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @136 @140 Chief, please for the love of all that is holy, stop being intentionally dense. That Fangraphs list ranked Frazier and Judge as essentially equivalent value prospects (55 FV) going into the 2017 season, which certainly seems defensible based upon the information available at the time. Obviously, with hindsight it’s easy to say they undersold Judge, but *nobody* except maybe Judge’s parents projected Judge for an MVP level output before the season began. He was a super high-variance prospect (huge dude, oodles of power, way too many strikeouts), and 2017 represented the far right end of the bell curve as far as his potential outcomes.

    When I look at Frazier, I see a guy with good physical tools (strength, foot speed, arm) who maintained respectable plate discipline stats as he climbed the minors without losing any power output. He wasn’t impressive in his first MLB exposure, but then again neither was Judge. The fact that Frazier is blocked and didn’t do great at the MLB level last year means his asking price might actually be reasonable, which is great news for the Braves. I’d be happy to see them take a run at acquiring Frazier (assuming the Braves’ scouts like him), he fits exactly with the Braves’ current needs (young, power bat, corner OF). I see Frazier’s upside as .250/.350/.500 with good base running and decent-to-good corner OF defense.

    PS – The deck is stacked against Judge ever having another season as good as his 2017 – basically everything went right for him. Also, he turns 26 in the first month of the 2018 baseball season. I’d say there’s very little chance he has a HOF-worthy career, and much more chance his career ends up looking like Ryan Howard’s (except with more defensive value).

  146. 146
    Ben Emanuele Says:

    I’m still mourning the loss of Andrelton Simmons. The game is still pitching, 3-run homers, and Defense up the middle.

  147. 147
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Ben – the Angels now have Trout, Andrelton, and Ohtani… and if that wasn’t enough, they’ve got Maitan in the minors. I may have to watch some Angels games next season!

  148. 148
    John R. Says:

    I spend a lot of time in Orange County…I’d already adopted the Angels as my AL team. Now they’ve got Ohtani, which will be fun to watch. And selflessly offering a refuge for exploited Dominican teenagers? Why, that’s just something you can feel good about as a person.

  149. 149
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @148 Now if only the Angels would see fit to employ some decent pitchers, they might be a competitive team again…

  150. 150
    Adam R Says:

    Garrett Richards is plenty good. I stubbornly invest in Tyler Skaggs every year in fantasy.

  151. 151
    Adam R Says:

    If the Angels resign Yunel, that would seal the deal…

    …but maybe the Braves should sign him first.

  152. 152
    joel Says:

    Are the Braves really interested in Christian Yelich? What would it take to get him?

  153. 153
    TAD Says:

    Other teams getting better while Braves sit with finger up their butt .. thought this new GM was a wheeler and a dealer

  154. 154
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @146 The Braves have little MLB pitching, not many 3 run homers, and Swanson makes too many errors on easy plays.

    @153 It’s early. Give em time.

    @145 I’m not being intentionally dense. But someone said ITT they trusted those scouting numbers/opinions MORE than slash lines? REALLY? I mean THAT’s being intentionally dense. Actual numbers are INCREDIBLY more predictive than some stat geek (I am one or at least enjoy it as well) can ever be.

    I get, I’m the black hat of the board…but come the heck on. If a guy hit .297/.380/.578 in AA as a 20 year old but a guy (FanGraphs/BRef) said his contact tool is a 35/80 his Eye is a 30/80 and his power tools are a 25/80 which would YOU think is more LIKELY to be true?

  155. 155
    John R. Says:

    Ozuna or Yelich? Which would you prefer the Braves acquire?

  156. 156
    Sean Q. Says:

    @154 I’m certainly no prospect expert but I tend to put more stock in scouts’ evaluations over slash lines as well, because they’re less subject to random variations.

    We all know how random even big league baseball can be, so when you have 19 and 20 year olds in new environments their in-game performance/ slash line is going to fluctuate as they develop and work on new skills. Scouts evaluations describe underlying talent, not highly random baseball outcomes.

    Of course the numbers you gave there don’t work because you picked an extreme case! And obviously you want to take both into account. But I’m willing to trust the trained eye of scouts who see elite level hand-speed or whatever when all I can see is a muscly young dude with a low OBP.

  157. 157
    Rob Cope Says:

    What would the limitations be on essentially creating a career WAR threshold of, say, 75 for the Hall? Excluding steroid users, of course.

  158. 158
    Adam R Says:

    @157, No limitations at all.


  159. 159
    Td Says:

    @155 – I would happily take either one at the right price. Ozuna is coming off a career year and is 2 years older than Yellich. He has also demonstrated a lot more power. Since power is our biggest need, I would say Ozuna, but it’s close.

  160. 160
    John R. Says:

    @159, Yelich is signed through 2022 for $45m. That’s very appealing.

  161. 161
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Ozuna, although Yelich would be awesome and a step in the right direction.

  162. 162
    Rob Cope Says:

    What does it take to get Yelich and Prado?

  163. 163
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Soroka or Allard, IMO. I’d do it, too.

  164. 164
    krussell Says:

    We need better players than Yelich and Prado. That said, Yelich in LF is certainly an upgrade.

  165. 165
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @164 To win the WS, yes.

    To be better than pathetic/mediocre, no. Incremental is fine with me. Just tired of sucking.

  166. 166
    krussell Says:

    Kemp and Markakis are immovable objects. We’ll be able to infer quite a bit about our new regime this winter when we see if they are willing to eat all of that money or not. That’s really the only thing I’m looking at this offseason.

  167. 167
    Adam R Says:

    Christian Yelich would be a real step towards a World Series berth. They can have Soroka for sure. I don’t want Prado back.

  168. 168
    Td Says:

    I think getting Prado back would be fine for a 1 to 2 year stopgap. If we think Riley is the future at 3rd, I would say go for it. I don’t think that’s the case.

  169. 169
    Rob Cope Says:


    That’s quite a lineup, but not perfect considering Yelich is 1) not a clean-up hitter and 2) not a RHH.

    With that said, Yelich makes $ 7M, $9.7M, $12.5M, $14M, and $15M through his age-31 season. I’d give up Newcomb, Soroka, Pache and Anderson for Yelich and Prado.

  170. 170
    csg Says:

    Jeff Passan…..

    News: Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, according to a physical obtained by Yahoo Sports. Details:

  171. 171
    csg Says:

    Prado is 36 and coming off knee surgery. Not sure what value he adds at this point. Yelich is a difference maker and let’s start that conversation with Newcomb +

  172. 172
    Td Says:

    As someone said earlier, the number of untouchable Braves prospects should be 1, Ronald Acuna. Any other trade discussion is fine with me.

  173. 173
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @169 While I wouldn’t mind the Braves re-acquiring Prado, he’s worth very little in trade considering his current contract pays him $28.5M through 2019 (and the fact that the Marlins are trying desperately to shed salary).

    Beyond that, I don’t feel like the Braves would have to throw in some many good/great trade chips to acquire Yelich (or should offer so many, I suppose). Now might be a good time to shop Newcomb, though. If some team is high on Newk’s potential and wants to take a flier on him, go for it. I’d be happy to send him to get back Yelich or Ozuna. IMO, It’d be a mistake to trade Soroka unless it’s as part of a package to get back a real impact talent – Soroka has more than succeeded at every minor league level thus far and looks like a controllable, mid-rotation arm (with potential for a bit more) who should be ready for MLB exposure in 2018.

  174. 174
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @172. I’m with you. The Braves IMO have now, ONE untradable prospect and that is Acuna. Any of the rest of them would be in play if I was AA.

  175. 175
    Dusty Says:

    I actually think something along the lines of Prado and Yelich for Markakis, Soroka, Pache and Touissant makes some sense. Helps offset Prado’s cost by moving Markakis (and Mia has to put somebody in the OF, right)?

  176. 176
    Rob Cope Says:

    We’re doomed.

    (Sorry for not embedding.)

  177. 177
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @176 I don’t think Snitker posts on BJ, after reading that…

  178. 178
    John R. Says:

    @175, That’s a better package for Yelich and Prado than the Marlins got for Stanton. If we’re acquiring Prado I see no need to lard the deal with quality players so they take Markakis. In fact it should be the other way around.

  179. 179
    Rob Cope Says:

    I’d argue Yelich is more valuable, based on contracts, than Stanton is. Yelich is team-friendly for the next 5 years. There’s a ton of surplus value there that Soroka, Pache, and Touissant minus Kakes’ negative value will probably never produce.

  180. 180
    Dusty Says:

    You aren’t trading players you are trading contracts and Yelich the contract is immensely more valuable than Stanton the contract (or what Rob said).

  181. 181
    csg Says:

    Reports are the Marlins expect to ask for and receive more value for Yelich than Ozuna or Stanton. Ozuna trade package hasn’t been announced yet. Yelich would cost us 3-4 of our top 10 prospects and maybe a couple more.

  182. 182
    Rob Cope Says:

    Let’s say you trade for Yelich and even Prado, and you add $22M in payroll to 2018, and even more if you assume the corresponding move to make room for Kemp is to shed some of his payroll. And you’ve shed Kakes’ salary. That leaves you with almost nowhere to spend money to improve the roster, and you have $20M + whatever you clear of Kemp’s salary ($10M?) to put towards the team. So if you trade a current starter like Newcomb or Folty, you then open a spot to spend that money in the rotation to hedge your risk there. With relievers like Neshek, Shaw, and Morrow getting $8-9M per right now, you’re out of the setup man and up reliever club, so you’re probably adding a couple middle relievers in the $2-3M per range. But you’re still going to have $10-15M to put towards a starting pitcher, room for a bench member, and you’ve vacated a spot in the rotation but still have room for someone like Max Fried to crack the rotation out of ST. And I know we’ve been here before, but you could then trade that SP when/if Allard or Soroka force their hand.

  183. 183
    John R. Says:

    Ozuna looks to be off to the Cardinals.

  184. 184
    John R. Says:

    Point taken on Yelich. I miss the old days when players were traded, not contracts.

  185. 185
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @183, yeah that is what winning franchises do. They are aggressive to make their teams better. We sign middle relievers coming of Tommy John surgery. These are just facts.

  186. 186
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Yelich taken off the block in last 10 minutes, Marlins say they can afford to keep him now. Good job Braves…

  187. 187
    clarke Says:

    Out of all the Braves critiques you’ve bestowed upon the board, that has got to be the weirdest. “Great job not acquiring the guy that or may not have been available.”

  188. 188
    Adam R Says:

    Translation: “We want more than what anyone is offering for Yelich.”

  189. 189
    Rob Cope Says:

    The problem with trading for a LF, though, is you’ve sealed your fate on yet another bad contract. There’s about a 200 OPS point gap between 2H ’16/1H ’17 and 2H ’17 that you’re going to get crucified for on the trade market. What if he rebounds in 1H ’18 and you can trade him for an additional $5-6M in salary savings? That would buy a big piece at the deadline that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to trade for.

  190. 190
    Rob Cope Says:


    If the offers for Ozuna are any indication, I wouldn’t trade Yelich either. I imagine there’s a shelf life to firesale-ing a lot like when a NBA player demands a trade. The longer it goes on, the less you probably get for these players. I wonder if Realmuto and Yelich are the ones they hold onto. They could be like what Teheran has been the last couple seasons where you dangle them at the trade deadline and offseasons to see if you get someone to go nuts.

  191. 191
    braves14 Says:

    Derek Dietrich should be a player we target at 3b rather than Prado. And he is a GT product.

  192. 192
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @187. In order to be taken off the block, that means by definition you were ON the block. The Braves have been mentioned with Yelich for 2-3 years, seemingly. That’s all I am saying.

  193. 193
    spike Says:

    Ozuna to Cards for Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen and Daniel Castano according to reports.

  194. 194
    Td Says:

    Interesting that the Marlins are even willing to deal with the Braves. Traditionally aren’t very few trades made inside the same division unless they involve more than 2 teams?

  195. 195
    Rusty S. Says:

    @194 – I think that is generally true, but in this case that would involve the Marlins having to give a damn.

  196. 196
    csg Says:

    194 – that may be true but I really don’t see why it would be. If the Braves are offering the best return it would be foolish not to accept it

  197. 197
    csg Says:

    So, twitter rumor is the Braves could flip Ozzie and Dansby defensively during spring training.

  198. 198
    John R. Says:

    @197, Dansby’s got a good makeup, he can handle the demotion.

  199. 199
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @198 Sarcasm?

  200. 200
    John R. Says:

    @199, Sarcasm.

  201. 201
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    LOL, yes… He’s a strange combination of a player that plays hard and aggressively but is a turd(rubs people the wrong way, etc.), I suspect… I played with guys like this and if you just have 1 of them, it makes your team better. You get too many of them, though it will fail.

  202. 202
    Td Says:

    Bowman thinks we are interested in Wade Miley. Maybe it’s just me, but for some reason, a 31 year old starter with a 10 and 20 record and an ERA close to 6 over the last 2 years doesn’t seem like the guy who will make us a playoff contender. I’m sure it’s just me.

  203. 203
    braves14 Says:

    I’m not interested in veteran flotsam either. Let the kids pitch.

  204. 204
    Rob Cope Says:

    According to Sickel’s ratings, the Cardinals gave up a B OF, B/B- RHP, a C+ RHP, and a low minors live arm. A similar deal would be, for us, Christian Pache, Kyle Muller, Wes Parsons, and someone in Rookie level that projects well but wouldn’t really show up on the lists. So for Yelich, do you take out Muller and add in Soroka or Ian Anderson? In some ways, Ozuna fits a little better for our team, but with Yelich’s better contract, I think you go from Muller to Soroka in a heartbeat.

  205. 205
    Rob Cope Says:

    Braves took a young Yankees reliever in the Rule 5 who had really good success at AA/AAA last year. He’s as good as anybody to hang out in the back of the bullpen this year. If someone like Luke Jackson was on the bubble this year, I’d say they’d be out with acquiring this guy.

  206. 206
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @205 BJ must refer to that young Yankee as YOLO. IMO.

  207. 207
    Rob Cope Says:

    I don’t get it.

  208. 208
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Fail. DOB said his name was AnYOLO. Apparently its AnYELO.

    Oh well… You win some you lose some.

  209. 209
    Edward Says:

    No, you only lose once.

  210. 210
    Smitty Says:

    I’m starting to think the Braves don’t care about putting a competitive team on the field for the next three years

  211. 211
    Remy Says:

    The Rays have extended a spring invite to Jonny Venters. Good for him!

  212. 212
    allstarmatches Says:

    @210 – I feel your pain. Have to confess I’m starting to lose patience as well. It seems like every year we hear the “this isn’t the year to spend $ – we’ll be more active next year” refrain. No one wants to see us blow the farm on stopgap vets but if we’re no longer actively tanking, shouldn’t we be players in the market for top guys who can make the team better? And if we’re not, are we ever going to be?

  213. 213
    Dusty Says:

    While I appreciate and sympathize with the impatience, I am willing to give AA the benefit of the doubt at least until we see what the opening day roster looks like. It’s frustrating to see the Marlins get a player like Ozuna for, frankly something we could’ve topped and it not even hurt, but he just got here and if he wants to make his own evaluation of the system before gutting it, I’m okay with that.

  214. 214
    Tad Says:

    Again I say .. BRAVES sit with finger up butt while other teams get better … they are so afraid of a screwup … all these other teams deal and have dealt with bad contracts .. it happens … if ya think a player fits .. offer him more than the previous team and get him … so you over pay .. oh well .. at least your trying to get better than 70-92 record …

  215. 215
    Adam R Says:

    The problem — if there can be said to be one, other than that some feel impatient — is that we’re in a stage where we don’t know everything we need. It makes some sense to see what becomes of Swanson, Wright and Allard, Acuna, Albies, and I guess Riley before trading other pieces.

    Figuring that out isn’t going to take that much time at this point.

  216. 216
    Tad Says:

    @202 … lol .. thats us …. get a guy who’s 10-20 record .. high ERA .. let him eat innings .. save the young guns for 2025 … pitiful .. thats why Boston, NY , St Louis and these other teams always compete .. they aint afraid of making a mistake .. BRAVES are terrified of it … they have made some doosies .. little Upton was terrible and they had to envision Kemp slowing down ….. but these other teams eat their losses and move on ….

  217. 217
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Yesterday someone said I was being too hasty when Ozuna signed somewhere else. Now other Journaliens are getting apprehensive.

    The fact is Liberty Media is NEVER going to spend a dime more than below league average payroll. They aren’t going to sign any marquee free agents, and the FO are being directed to pray the farm produces. If its not been obvious to you, it should be. None of that Battery money will ever be put into the hands of a 6.0 WAR player. Not by Liberty Media. Atlanta is a HUGE market with a NEW damn stadium. This is ridiculous penny pinching.

  218. 218
    Smitty Says:

    But we do know what we need. Starting pitching, stop gap third base, bull pen pitchers.

    I think you are right.

    I think it is time for us to have a Tennessee fan level revolt and force Liberty to sell.

  219. 219
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Also, when you’re 70-92 you pretty much need everything, even the stuff you might not think you need, you need.

  220. 220
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I see the usual suspects are still soiling themselves. Some things are timeless, I suppose.

  221. 221
    Adam R Says:

    But we do know what we need. Starting pitching, stop gap third base, bullpen pitchers.

    1) We may get a stopgap 3B anyway. That doesn’t help us contend, which I thought was what people were complaining about.

    2) We may have the SP and RP we need in our farm system. Or maybe we don’t. Pretty much everything hinges on Kyle Wright and Kolby Allard — Gohara is obviously a sure thing :) It makes sense to wait and see what happens with them because we only have so many resources to trade, and you’d want to allocate them as efficiently as possible. Why spend prospects now when you may need them for a piece that’s more scarce/costly in trade?

    3) You’d have a better argument if you said we know we need 3B and LF because unless you really believe in Austin Riley, we actually don’t have an in-house answer there.

    Also, when you’re 70-92 you pretty much need everything, even the stuff you might not think you need, you need.

    This is an argument to make sure you know what little you’ve got before you trade away any of it. Maybe some path will appear where AA can do a series of moves, kind of like what the Angels are doing now, to put it all together. If the opportunity is there, this is the GM out of virtually all GMs who would recognize it and pull the trigger.

  222. 222
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @221 I thought one of the purposes OF stockpiling SP was to use SOME of them as trade chips?

    I REALLY hope that AA’s long term strategy isn’t to pull all the eggs in the farm basket because unless we really DO have a generational farm like some of the late 80s Braves farms actually *were*, then he and us are going to be sorely disappointed.

    I also agree though that given AA’s TRACK RECORD, he must be chomping to make moves.

  223. 223
    Rob Cope Says:

    I think I’m kind of right in the middle. I believe those that say that Austin Riley is no sure thing. He isn’t a 5-tool athlete who’s been moved off of SS because his bat plays at 3B. He isn’t Manny Machado or Alex Bregman or whomever. There are questions with his contact tool, and he’s average defensively at best. While I stop short of saying we need to sign Moustakas for 4 years, I think we ought to be looking for a 2-3 WAR 3B on a 2 year deal or 2 years left on their deal.

    With that said, I think Matt Kemp has absolutely hand-cuffed us, so making the big deal for a LF may not make sense. Riley provides enough incentive to not make a big deal for a 3B. But you could absolutely make a trade for a frontline SP, and trading prospects to do that doesn’t tie you into anything that you wouldn’t want to do a year from now anyway. But we could be throwing $10M at the bullpen and not blink an eye, and I would hope that’s coming or else that would be very frustrating.

  224. 224
    Adam R Says:

    But you could absolutely make a trade for a frontline SP, and trading prospects to do that doesn’t tie you into anything that you wouldn’t want to do a year from now anyway.

    What if you use your best trade chips to get a frontline SP — assuming one is available…Greinke and his age/contract? — and then it turns out you need a 3B and a LF who both generate 3+ WAR in order to get over the hump?

    Maybe it all works out, and the Braves can just go and spend their money to get both a 3B and a LF.

    But if you think Kyle Wright can be that guy and he goes out and proves it, use your assets to trade for a 3B and a LF and take the money you would’ve spent on FAs and extend Albies, etc.

    The bottom line is: no matter how much some want it to be different, the Braves have been trying to chart a course to contending year-in and year-out, not to get back to contention as fast as possible. Those are two very different things.

  225. 225
    krussell Says:

    This is pretty much what I said at the very beginning of the tank job. You can stockpile all you want, but you are going to have to establish some criteria for who to keep and who to package in a trade. The trade value of unproven minor leaguers is low, so you have to give up a lot of them to get something good back. If you wait until you see which of the pitchers is good and which isn’t, then you basically can’t make any trades at all.

    The only way this works is if a large percentage of the pitching turns out to be good. If that happens, then odds are that we keep some good ones. The odds are quite low for that. But I think that’s all we got.

  226. 226
    Adam R Says:

    If you wait until you see which of the pitchers is good and which isn’t, then you basically can’t make any trades at all.

    I’m not sure this is true. Since, say, Allard is our prospect, we get the benefit of information asymmetry. We look at his side sessions, we see how easily he makes adjustments, we see him tinkering with his pitches, we get a sense of how coachable he is, etc. We’d be the first, hopefully, to pick up on whatever subtle signs that maybe he won’t be that good. And other teams look at their scouting reports on Allard and go back to what they thought of him when they scouted him more extensively, say, before he was drafted, and of course they’re inclined to think they can make the most of his talents. This all was at least part of Schuerholz’s success in trades.

    So, AA goes and calls the Tigers and asks about Michael Fulmer. Al Avila says he’s available and they want young pitching back. AA says, “Perfect, I can build you a package around Kyle Muller.” Avila says, “Eh, what about Kolby Allard?” AA says, “…you know what, you twisted my arm, OK, let’s do Allard.”

  227. 227
    krussell Says:

    @226, you make a fair point, but Michael Fulmer would require multiple good prospects. We used quality to get quantity, and now we’re going to have to think about using quantity to get quality. That’s why I feel like the trade stuff is a zero-sum game in the long run.

    I don’t know which of our pitchers is going to be great. AA doesn’t know. Nobody could possibly know that yet. What do you think we could get for Kyle Wright at this very moment? What about after 18 months and he has a few big league starts under his belt? There’s a high variance in potential outcomes. We have to make this judgement call on every single one of our guys…not an easy task at all.

    I’m pretty convinced that our best bet (given our self-inflicted circumstances) is to keep all our guys in the system and pray that most of them are really good, so that it’ll be difficult to make a bad choice in the who-to-keep / who-to-trade phase.

    If we spend tons more money then my outlook improves, but there’s no indication that that’s ever gonna happen.

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