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21 Jun

Wilfredo Ledezma

I really don’t see the point. The Braves, basically, traded Macay McBride for an older pitcher with a worse track record who is having a worse season.

Ledezma, a Venezuelan, was signed by the Red Sox in 1998 at the putative age of 17. He pitched pretty well in rookie ball but had a tough time of it in low-A the next season and evidently was hurt, as he missed all of 2001. He pitched decently in 2002 in A-ball but the Red Sox didn’t protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

The Tigers, under their top-secret “Break the AL record for losses” plan, drafted Ledezma. He worked mostly out of the bullpen, though he had eight starts, and did his part in the Tigers’ run for history. Ledezma bounced between AAA and the majors, and between starting and relieving, over the next few seasons, not doing anything spectacularly well but not washing out. In 2006, he had a strong year, mostly in the bullpen, putting up a 3.58 ERA, but has not pitched well in 2007. Word was that the Tigers were going to put him on waivers.

Ledezma throws hard but hasn’t quite harnessed that to become a big strikeout pitcher, and has control issues. The one thing that McBride does well is Ledezma’s greatest weakness. McBride, in his 85 2/3 inning major league career, has allowed three homers. Ledezma has allowed four this season. If you’re going to use a guy as a situational reliever, a tendency to allow homers is the last thing you want. He hasn’t pitched well against lefthanders this year, but that’s unusual for him.

Wilfredo Ledezma Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

243 Responses to “Wilfredo Ledezma”

  1. 1
    Alex R. Says:

    Again, Mac, you should really consider reading my posts.

    But as I previously stated, Mcbride stunk, he looked no better then Ledezma, and again, it maybe one of those change of scenery trades that helps both players.

    Plus, Ledezma may suddenly pitch better against a far weaker slate of hitters in the NL. You have to give him a chance. Mcbride was given every chance and would walk us into oblivion.

    I am 100% with JS and Bobby on this move. Why not?

    Again, i will point out you had no interest in Willie Harris and I believe I speak for all of Braves Journal when I say how much I am enjoying the Willie Harris era of the Braves–certainly moreso then Andruw Jones and his lusty .202 BA.

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    I bet this move is to give us two long innning reliever options, Ledezma and Moylan. I bet Oscar is put in the rotation before to long with either Buddy or Davies being sent down.

    Look at it this way, we wont miss McBride. I’m just wondering what Maroth or another one of their starters would’ve cost

  3. 3
    Dan Says:

    Oscar Villarreal: BravesJournal’s flavor of the month.

    Like Lance Cormier, it will quickly fade if he is allowed to start.

  4. 4
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I would be cautious about inaugurating the “Willie Harris” era. If the Braves really are going to relying on Willie Harris, I don’t think that augers well for the team. He has played very well, but you have to look at his track record. It’s really not fair to compare Harris and Andruw based on Andruw’s worst year and Harris’ best. Andruw is still far more important to the Braves than is Harris; if Andruw doesn’t hit,the Braves have little chance regardless of what Harris does (unless Harris suddenly develops 40 home run power).

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ledezma has thrown 35 2/3 innings this year with four home runs allowed and a 4.79 ERA (in a 4.40 ERA league context.)

    McBride has thrown 15 innings this year with one home run allowed and a 3.60 ERA (in a 4.17 ERA league context.)

    McBride has been better than Ledezma. Period. These are the facts.

  6. 6
    Alex R. Says:

    Home Run Power is the only thing giving Andruw anything over Harris.

    I will take a kid playing great for his childhood team and working his tail off, over the smiling fool, who strikes out 3-5 times a game and hits .200, while his jackel of an agent runs around spreading a bunch of falsehoods to try and get this guy far more $ then he deserves.

  7. 7
    Dan Says:

    John Schuerholz in the AJC:

    “Macay’s still a young guy who certainly is capable of getting better,” Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz said. “It’s obvious by our actions we like Ledezma and his future better.”

  8. 8
    Alex R. Says:

    First, you haven’t seen Ledezma given a chance pitching for us in the National League. Harris wasn’t very good prior to the Braves, and he came into an NL park and has been terrific.

    McBride has been awful, so there’s no reason not to take a chance. Plus, ledezma can throw heat, McBride cannot. At the end of the day, if both guys stink, let me try the guy who can at least whiz the ball by you.

    Also, we can all agree that McBride’s ERA is lucky to be 3.60. Had he not been sent down for a while during that early stretch, he would have an ERA well over 5.00. The Braves protected his jumbo butt.

  9. 9
    Jeff M. Says:

    I have to think that this is about acquiring a guy who they are planning on starting or a guy who is going to replace one of the two long-inning guys (probably Vulture) as he moves into the rotation. I don’t think he’s a strict replacement for McBride.

    I suspect that they are in the midst of trying to see if we can upgrade the rotation on the cheap (again) either by trading for a marginal guy who might have better luck in the NL or by using one of our last remaining internal options (Villareal).

    I have to say, however, that I’m getting bored of trying to upgrade on the cheap. So far this year we have had Redman, Cormier, Carlye, and Lerew. And now, I suppose we are getting ready to go with either Ledezma or Villareal. All are variations on a crappy theme.

    I join in stating that the time is right for Smitty!!!!

  10. 10
    Mac Thomason Says:

    All I have is the stats, and the stats say that Ledezma is a lesser pitcher than McBride.

    Until he shows me something, he’s Fredo Ledezma.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    Will Chip be able to play tomorrow, anything on his injury

  12. 12
    Jeff M. Says:

    I’m starting to think that I just don’t care who starts any more. It seems to be clear the message that we are getting: there will be no real pitching help. All we can hope is that we’ll catch some lightning in a bottle with one of the never was or has beens that are auditioning. Since that’s the case, the hell with it. Go ahead and start Buddy Carlyle or Wil Ledezma. Whatever.

    But as this is the case, we need some more damn runs. Thor, Frenchy, and Druw: hit the damn ball and hit it hard!

    That concludes this rant.

  13. 13
    Alex R. Says:

    I would be very open to wagering with you Mac…Mcbride vs. Ledezma, ERA vs. ERA, starting tomorrow.

    I am happy to pay up if I lose. Since we don’t live in the same area, I would be happy to say bet buying the other person nice pieace of Braves merchandise?

  14. 14
    ububba Says:

    Fredo Ledezma to Braves Journal:

    “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!”

  15. 15
    Alex R. Says:

    Jeff M.,

    The problem with Frenchy, Thor and Andruw, is they are always TRYING to hit the damn ball–too hard. That’s why they always seem to be turning around and walking back to the dugout.

    There’s a magical thing called a “walk” that people like Chipper and KJ are fans of. These 3 lunkheads should try taking a pitch.

  16. 16
    Alex R. Says:

    With a name like Fredo, if he ends up stinking, does that mean we see Bobby Cox as Michael Corleone in a boat on a lake in October?

  17. 17
    Robert Says:

    The Cards won the World Series, so any medoicre team could win the World Series! Willie Harris was a scrub before he got here and is now productive, so any scrub we bring in could be productive! A guy bought a Powerball ticket and won, so any guy who buys a Powerball ticket could win!

    I find the growing distaste for stats and track records amongst the posters quite amusing.

  18. 18
    Alex R. Says:

    Sorry, Robert, I am having a hard time understanding why guys can’t increase their abilities, especially given the right circumstance.

    Harris is 29 years old, the “peak” age, and now gets to play (more often) against easier competition (the NL) and is a lifelong Braves fan from Cairo, GA, probably grew up watching Skip Caray and Ernie Johnson Sr. on TBS, just like the rest of us.

    I would probably be really excited and happy if I got the chance to suddenly play with my childhood team.

  19. 19
    Mac Thomason Says:

    McBride probably won’t even be in the majors. Yet another difficulty of the trade is that McBride had options left and Ledezma doesn’t, so the Braves have to keep him if he sucks.

    If McBride does pitch in the majors, I’ll bet that his ERA+ (determined by Baseball-Reference) is better than Fredo’s.

  20. 20
    Jeff M. Says:

    Okay, Alex, I’ll moderate it a bit (I was ranting).

    Open letter to Thor, Frenchy, and Druw: TAKE A WALK ALREADY!

    Open letter to Bobby Cox: Flash the “take” sign any time any of the above hitters have a 3-0 or 3-1 count until they quit popping out, striking out, and smiling while being out (or pounding bats into the ground, while being out).

  21. 21
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac,

    We’ll keep it simple. Let’s bet a Braves shirt or hat on a minimum of 25-30 innings, in the Majors, the rest of the year, pitcher vs. pitcher.

    If each guy throws at least 25 Innings, would you be willing to bet a piece of Braves merchandise?

  22. 22
    Godot Says:

    Fredo is key to the ring obviously. JS is catching up on his fantasy reading, and his mind is medication is messing things up in his mind.

  23. 23
    Alex R. Says:

    Jeff M.

    To be honest, I would focus more of my anger over those 3 hitters at Pendleton. Where’s the hitting coach? How does ‘Druw hitting .202 not also throw Pendleton’s feet to the fire?

    The Braves can be such a touchy feely organization. I would bet at least 20-22 other clubs, if their “supposed” biggest hitter was just awful, non stop, to the All Star Break, that usually would cost a hitting coach his job.

  24. 24
    Alex R. Says:

    Frodo = Lord of the Rings

    Fredo = wimpy Corleone brother from the “Godfather” series

  25. 25
    Robert Says:

    I would probably be really excited and happy if I got the chance to suddenly play with my childhood team.

    He must be really excited then since he’s hitting 200 points over his career slugging percentage. The Willie Harris thrill ride is fun and we should all enjoy it, but like Charles Thomas before him, he’ll eventually turn back into a pumpkin. And yes I know Thomas was never this good, but we also have more history on Willie to make a judgement on.

    I like the McBride side of that bet as well.

  26. 26
    Leah Says:

    To #23.

    The same thing could be said about McDowell with the pitching as well with the exception of the bullpen.

  27. 27
    Alex R. Says:

    Leah,

    You won’t get a disagreement from me. I think coaching in general, save for maybe Glenn Hubbard, is pretty abysmal.

  28. 28
    Robert Says:

    Open letter to Bobby Cox: Flash the “take” sign any time any of the above hitters have a 3-0 or 3-1 count until they quit popping out, striking out, and smiling while being out (or pounding bats into the ground, while being out).

    In an effort to speed up the games, I believe that they are just starting all Francouer and Andruw at bats at 0-2 since that is where they end up anyway.

    Having a rule for what to do when those guys reach 3-0 is like having a rule for what to do if Jessica Alba starts hitting on you.

  29. 29
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    I would love to play for the Braves too. I doubt it would improve my performance. And, I have to be a little skeptical of someone who would play that much better just because he is playing for his favorite team. Wouldn’t you think he might want to play well regardless so that he can make more money? As for Andruw, even assuming that you are correct about his only advantage over Harris being home runs: (1) that is a pretty significant advantage unless you think that Tony Gwynn was better than Mickey Mantle; and (2) Andruw has been hitting home runs for 10 years; Harris’ previous claim to fame was scoring the winning run in the 2005 World Series; the rest of his career has been underwhelming. As you know, I’m not a huge Andruw fan, but it’s going to take more than a few weeks to convince me that a journeyman player is suddenly better than an All-Star centerfielder, grin or no grin. And while it’s true that the NL is weaker than the AL, I don’t think you can automatically project that a mediocre player in the AL will become a star in the NL. I said earlier that the NL was a 4-A league but I was kidding. I think Harris is having a temporary spike and that eventually he will find his level. If he continues, more power to him, but I don’t think there is much historical or statistical evidence to suggest that that will be the case.

  30. 30
    Ron Says:

    Neither pitcher is very good. Either would be a mop up guy if not for Mike Gonzalez going down. Sometimes a change of scenery does work. Take for instance Bob Wickman who wasn’t do anything special for Cleveland last year but has been awesome since coming to Atlanta. I don’t expect that out of Ledezma, but it’s possible. If the team never scores any runs, it’s academic who is the LOOGY anyway.

  31. 31
    Johnny Says:

    Willie Harris – classic statistical outlier year. I agree with Marc Schnieder, if the Braves increase his role to everyday player he becomes a pumpkin. Shoot he becomes a pumpkin as a platoon player before the season is out. Count it.

    Andruw’s current slump doesn’t make him a lesser player than Willie Harris. No way no how you can realistically make that arguement stick.

    Coaching? In baseball. Baseball is a player’s game y’all. In contrast to some. I truly believe that a player’s performance is not affected by a hitting or pitching coach very much at all.

    Alex R. your offer to make a bet is a little specious since it is very likely that McBride will be in Toledo for a good portion of the remainder or the season.

    I dunno Mac. Ledezma sucks but you’re trading a shaky LOOGY for a guy that might be able to start. Its worth the very small bet that Schuerholz has made. No matter what McBride wasn’t the type of player that was going to vault the team to championship status.

  32. 32
    Jeff M. Says:

    But you know, Robert, there are some guys out there who wouldn’t know what to do if Jessica Alba started hitting on them.

    If it was me, I would know what to do…resist waking up for as long as possible.

  33. 33
    Alex R. Says:

    Johnny,

    I did put in a caveat that Mcbride and Ledezma each had to pitch at least 25 innings. If Mcbride is mostly in Toledo and has 18 innings, it’s not fair to Mac to compare–I agree.

    re: Harris

    I am not saying the guy is Willie Mays, nor should we exect .380 to hold up. Of course that’s unrealistic.

    But let’s not bash a guy who’s playing great for the Braves and still hasn’t shown a sign that he’s letting up. Same with Matt Diaz.

    And why I am supposed to believe, at age 30, and not in the shape he used to be in, that Andruw will suddenly wake up and raise his BA? He’s always been in the 260′s which is why I have never been a big Andruw fan. I always respect the guys more who get on base and hit a high average. The Chippers, the McCanns, the Kelly Johnsons.

    Guys like that are more relaible then people like Andruw or Frenchy. It’s been feast or famine with ‘Druw and now it’s completely famine. If Andruw makes it .240 by season’s end, it will be a bloody miracle.

  34. 34
    joshtothemaxx Says:

    The only reason I like this trade is Ledezma can start if the Braves need him too. Ok he’ll probably suck just as much as McBride would in that role, but… ::shrug:: I like driking beer and watching baseball and I think Wilfredo is a fun name to say. The end.

  35. 35
    Jeff K Says:

    Since Braves Journal has turned into OTB today, I’ll leave with this parting observation: I don’t think the trade is a bad one, since we need another SP option and Ledezma offers one. I think you’re as likely as not to see that McBride (if he pitches enough) has a better ERA+ but that Ledezma offers greater value to the Braves because he picked up several innings in relief and a few starts that McBride could not.

  36. 36
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    I’m going out on the limb that Cox and JS know more about these players then we do and i’m going to give the trade some time before I start saying it’s bad or good. Eitherway, it’s a minor trade and nothing to really care much about right now.

  37. 37
    Coop Says:

    After their first four years in the majors, what was the probability that either Sandy Koufax or Phil Niekro would be in the Hall of Fame? Should Warren Spahn have been cut because he had not won a game in the majors by age 25?

    Not comparing, just asking.

  38. 38
    Alex R. Says:

    Coop,

    Major props to you for taking the discussion from Mcbride vs. Ledezma to Spahn, Niekro and Koufax. That’s just really hard to do.

  39. 39
    Stu Says:

    McBride kinda looks like Spahn and Koufax, if you added them together.

    Willie Harris—I’m on the enjoy-but-don’t-expect-it-to-last-and-don’t-give-him-Andruw’s-job-yet side.

    Now, Matt Diaz—he needs to be playing every single day. His track record is very good. One of the better trades JS has made (getting Diaz in the offseason prior to the 2006 campaign) isn’t benefiting the club as much as it should, since Diaz’s talents are wasted on the bench half the time.

  40. 40
    Stu Says:

    And by “added”, I mean something along the lines of “fused”.

  41. 41
    Coop Says:

    At McBride’s age, had any of the three shown an inkling of what they would become? Maybe Koufax, who was kept in the bigs by the bonus baby rule, but the other two, especially Niekro, were hardly prospects. Some scout or manager or GM saw something though.

  42. 42
    Godot Says:

    Everything JS has done the last 2 years ( since He Who Will Not Be Named ) has urned to gold, so we should hold off on the bashing for a while.
    That said, the way the team is playing, I am having a hard time seeing them as much more than a 500 ballclub. They need some magical callup/trade in the starting pitching area really. They tried everything they could do with position players

  43. 43
    Johnny Says:

    Another thing that we have to remember is that the Braves are a scouting based player evalutation team. Ledezma just might ‘look good’ enough for the Braves to take what is essentially a flyer on him. If they are right we get Jorge Sosa from a couple of seasons ago. If not……..

    Alex R. The Andruw bashing is frighteningly hateful, man. Were you spewing all that vitriol in April when he put up a .261 .402 .534 line? As of now the guy sucks, no doubt about it. But like it or not it is essential that he right himself offensively if the Braves are to truly contend.

  44. 44
    Godot Says:

    And as for Harris, he will come back to Earth..280ish hitter with no power. Remember the charles thomas experience. That doesn’t stop me from liking what he is doing right now though !
    We got a heck of a singles hitters platoon in LF

  45. 45
    Coop Says:

    I am a staunch Andruw fan. Being an old fart, I saw Mays, Mantle and Snider in their heydays; and I also saw Paul Blair. I’m not a stathead, but I don’t believe any of those four were better defensively than Andruw (note the verb tense)HAS been. Offensively, he’s not in the same league with the three ’50s guys, but his power probably giuves him an edge on Blair.

    Having said that, it was a good idea to sit him down. I don’t see him as a loafer, but he certainly has been futile, bless his little pointed head.

  46. 46
    Cary Says:

    Willie won’t be a pumpkin. In 121 at-bats, he has 13 Walks and 19 Strikeouts. His plate discipline has improved from earlier in his career and, with his speed, supports a good batting average–maybe not .380 to .400, but .310 to .333.

    Watch his at-bats. He has good bat control and good plate coverage to my eyes. He doesn’t swing wildly at pitches out of the zone and puts good swings on the ball. He’ll inevitably hit a slump, but he shouldn’t lose it completely and with his hot start may challenge for the batting title (Holliday’s all day long, but Willie won’t be far behind).

    He’s not going to do more than about 5 homers a year, but he can crank out 25-35 doubles and mix in a few triples.

    Still, I’m not going to say he’s more valuable to the Braves THAN Andruw Jones. Power isn’t just something to dismiss and Andruw’s advantage there is vast, irregardless of horrible start this year.

  47. 47
    Godot Says:

    Since Chipper is gone again, Andruw has more pressure to step up. This is going to be make or break, the next 2 weeks

  48. 48
    Alex R. Says:

    Sorry, Johnny, I am allowed to express my opinion and my complaints over Andruw are:

    1. Not solo. Many in Braves Journal feel the same way about Andruw’s problems.

    2. He’s hurting the team in a signifigant way, Until earlier this week, he was batting 4th and basically ending all rallies.

    Furthermore, I will go back further in April, to March of 2007, and an adorable little story in the AJC (which I have brought up many times) where Andruw Jones, the same guy with his snake agent Scott Boras trying to talk in advance about ‘fair market value’, was showing his FLEET OF SPORTS CARS.

    Dumb move.

    Besides the fact that the average Baseball fan could barely afford half of one sports car, and you want, in the same breath, to talk about fiar market value, and you show off a fleet of cars you have bought? I hope the people still homeless in New Orleans could see that article while they wait say to have a roof and running water.

    So then, Andruw follows up that article in March by spending the entire first half of this Baseball season hitting like he’s Rafael Belliard with power. That’s great. I look forward to the engaging conversation in November when Scott Boras comes back to Atlanta to ask JS to give Andruw his $14 million per.

    I will absolutely not back down my feelings and statements regarding Andruw. As I said last year with LaRoche when he went on a tear, I will be the first one to admit if and when I am wrong. LaRoche shut me up good in the 2nd half of the ’06 season so I totally admitted a mea culpa.

    But unless I see Andruw have a 2nd half like LaRoche had last year, I am going to continue to be on the side that he’s hurting the Braves and he’s high on crack if he thinks the Braves or any team will over pay for a 2.02 hitter who strikes out 3 times a game.

    I have been a Braves fan since I was age 5 (1980) so I love this team–the only thing I remotely care about is wins. That’s it. I am a simple man. If we win more games by playing Harris and Diaz and benching Andruw, then do that.

    If Andruw starts hitting like a mad man, then play him, I will GLADLY apologize and watch the Braves be better off for it.

  49. 49
    Jeremy Says:

    Willie Harris currently has a .446 BABIP. When he falls off the cliff, it is going to be a long, long fall.

  50. 50
    Coop Says:

    Do you think JS dreams about what starting pitchers are worth pursuing, which can be had, and what would it take to get them?

  51. 51
    Godot Says:

    Is there any reason why Andruw should take a discount from what other teams are offering him? Are you going to take less $ to work at the company you are working for right now, if a better offer crops up?

    And yea, Andruw sucks. Missed the last 10 yrs did you?

  52. 52
    Stu Says:

    Alex,

    I don’t think anyone really finds the fact that you’re disgusted with Andruw objectionable—I think it’s the way you convey your frustration that some have a problem with. All the “pot bellied” and “smirking” remarks and the like…seems a bit much for you to continually say things like that more than once per thread.

  53. 53
    Justin Parker Says:

    I will stand by Alex in this debate, because I don’t think he is saying that Willie Harris is more valuable than Andruw career wise, or even in the future, but at this moment in time, the present tense, he is giving the Braves more of a chance to win than Andruw, which should be all that is important at this time winning.

    I have never seen Andruw look so bad at the plate, watch how his hands fly forward on every pitch before any other part of his body moves. That is the worst thing that a hitter can do. Your hands should be the last thing that moves forward in a swing. Andruws hands are flying forward almost like he is trying to defend himself. Then he tries to bring them back to a good starting position, and its to late to make a good swing then.

    Also, look at how much higher his front shoulder is than his back shoulder when he finishes his swing, its unreal. This means that his swing plane through the zone is on a sharp incline, instead of a more level swing plane with a little bit of a loft.

    All these mechanical problems are a result of a bad mental approach, that being to hit the ball further than anyone else.

    Its clear he was concerned at some point about his upcoming free agency, and trying to make the most of it, no matter how much he denies it.

  54. 54
    joshtothemaxx Says:

    Negative Nancies. All of you.

  55. 55
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I support the Ledezma trade, if only because McBride seemed like a guy who might need a change of scenery. I know he was always one of Mac’s guys, but I just never saw it. It seemed like whenever Bobby brought him in he would be all over the place, inconsistent, walking people and creating bad situations. His physical conditioning was bad either, so he seemed to tire easily.

    I know that we were watching the same guy, so Mac may have seen things I just didn’t see, but I’m not sorry to see him go. Maybe he’ll reach his potential in Detroit, and maybe Ledezma will finally figure it all out and turn his live arm into an asset. I don’t think we’re losing a lot in this gamble, though. The past couple seasons, McBride isn’t someone I’d ever, EVER want pitching in an important situation.

  56. 56
    I Cant Think of A Clever Name Says:

    Milton Bradley was jusr released from the A’s, reasonable contract at 4Mil per year

  57. 57
    Alex R. Says:

    Stu,

    It’s Andruw’s overall atttitude I see, the smirk he always has after every strikout, that disgusts me.

    I like guys who play their butts off. Frenchy stinks as bad as ‘druw right now, and I can’t defend his offense, but at least he always hustles. You have guys such as KJ and Chipper who hustle and play the right way. You don’t see one negative from me about them?

    And yes, thank you Justin. Andruw has had far more productivity over his career as opposed to Harris. But right now, how can we honestly want ‘Druw over Harris in that lineup?

    But again, I am not the only negative person on Andruw. As for the remarks about the smirk or the pot belly, are these things untrue? You should look at ‘Druw the first 5-6 years physically and he had a different body.

    He’s always had the smirk and I have never liked it. I don’t like Alfonso Soriano and his smirk and stupid home run dances, but no one would complain if I rip him, because he’s not a Brave.

  58. 58
    doubledawg Says:

    Diaz deserves to play everyday as much as Harris. His only bad year of professional ball was rookie ball in 1999. The guy is a true hitter. Playing everday he could be a .310 20hr 85rbig 180Hits per year type player. Sort of Raul Ibanez type.

  59. 59
    Alex R. Says:

    AAR,

    Well said. I wish I had your level of tact in making my points–you’re far better at it then I am.

  60. 60
    Stu Says:

    I didn’t say they were untrue, Alex. I just think they’re unnecessary. Doesn’t really bother me, though, so go right ahead.

    I wish Bradley weren’t crazy, because he’s a guy worth taking a flier on, in my opinion. JS/Bobby would never do it, of course.

  61. 61
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Thanks, Alex! Maybe it’s because I work for a newspaper. Gotta be unbiased…

    Interesting stuff from Jayson Stark (sorry about the length):

    • The Mets have been the team most linked to a Mark Buehrle trade. But the buzz among baseball people we’ve surveyed is that the Braves are much more interested than the Mets are. An official of one club that has been kicking around ideas with Mets GM Omar Minaya says this of anyone who thinks the Mets would trade Lastings Milledge for Buehrle (or any rent-a-player): “They’re nuts.” The Mets would talk about Milledge only in a deal for a power arm they could control until at least 2009. (Hmmm. Dontrelle Willis, perhaps?).

    • The Braves, meanwhile, don’t want to wait much longer to upgrade their rotation. So we’re hearing they’ve been feeling out a bunch of teams in search of a starter — young or established — that they can slot behind John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. They’re not interested in those Mike Maroth fifth-starter type arms that are out there, though. So Buehrle, says one executive who has talked to them, “fits just about every scenario” they’re shopping for. But the White Sox haven’t flipped the “sell” switch yet. So the Buehrle Mart won’t open until at least the first week of July.

  62. 62
    Alex R. Says:

    Stu,

    Thanks for saying that–really appreciated. I will stop those comments though because you were extremely diplomatic in your follow up :-)

  63. 63
    Alex R. Says:

    Thanks for that post AAR. I heard Steve Phillips ONLY talk about the Mets as likely suitors for Buehrle, but c’mon, we have a lot more we can offer the Sox with our level of young talent.

  64. 64
    Johnny Says:

    Alex R. Not saying that you can’t express your opinion. Andruw sucks and is overrated thats your opinion. I respect that. Its your opinion and you ARE entitled to it. But the personal stuff about fat, smirking, fleet of cars, greedy. Dang dude thats pure hateful vitriol. You can say it all if you like but it isn’t germane to the conversation and makes you look like a stark raving mad lunatic. To me at least. I know better becuase when you suck the emotion out of it you are a knowledgeable and thought provoking Braves fan whose posts I enjoy reading.

    BTW I’ll stick by this. If Andruw cannot fix himself this season, Willie Harris or no Willie Harris we’re screwed.

  65. 65
    Godot Says:

    Buehrle is a FA after this year, and our chances of retaining him are slim. But if the only price we have to pay is Escobar,I am all for it

  66. 66
    Godot Says:

    BTW I’ll stick by this. If Andruw cannot fix himself this season, Willie Harris or no Willie Harris we’re screwed.

    amen brother. We need Andruw in the worst way possible. And I know it has become their personal white whale, but Frenchy needs a break. really, stop dickin around. This division is winnable because of overall ineptitude. We need to maximise our assets here

  67. 67
    Alex R. Says:

    Thanks for throwing a compliment there at the end. As I just said to Stu a moment ago, I will lay off ‘Druw, at least with the personal stuff (even if it’s true). But I will overall comment in unison during a game when he inveitably strikes out with 2 runs on in the 8th.

    Let me add again…if Andruw snaps out of it and is awesome in the 2nd half, I will personally publish an apology letter to you & him. I mean it. I have zero problem with being wrong. I was glad to be wrong about LaRoche in the 2nd half last year.

    Again, I only care about the Braves winning. Seriously, if we win the Division and it’s because Reitsma, Kolb and Lockhart all returned and were stellar, I would take it. As Al Davis always says:

    “Just win, baby.”

  68. 68
    Robert Says:

    But the personal stuff about fat, smirking, fleet of cars, greedy. Dang dude thats pure hateful vitriol. You can say it all if you like but it isn’t germane to the conversation and makes you look like a stark raving mad lunatic.

    Agree with this 100%. The thing about Andruw’s cars and people in New Orleans…I mean…wow.

    If Andruw cannot fix himself this season, Willie Harris or no Willie Harris we’re screwed.

    This too. Well done Johnny.

  69. 69
    Alex R. Says:

    For a 3rd time, now, as I said to Stu, I will lay off the personal stuff going forward.

    But I am not the only upset and frustrated Braves fan. Geez.

  70. 70
    Justin Parker Says:

    I really don’t see the problem with what Alex said in regards to the fleet of cars. A lot of these guys bitch and moan about being underpayed, and such, but if you can buy a dozen high end sports cars, then you are making enough money.

  71. 71
    Stu Says:

    Buehrle is a FA after this year, and our chances of retaining him are slim. But if the only price we have to pay is Escobar,I am all for it

    Agreed. I doubt that’s all we’d have to give up, though. Plus, everyone seems to think it’s a foregone conclusion that Buehrle will sign with St. Louis next year, so we’d likely have him for just a few months, even if we had the money to spend on a quality 3rd starter like him.

    I doubt there’s much truth to the rumor, honestly. Schuerholz hasn’t really done the expensive rental thing in the past. (JD Drew was the closest, but even that was for a full season.)

  72. 72
    Alex R. Says:

    Justin,

    Thanks for saying that, and though I do feel that way, I will gladly respect the wishes of the room. This is a democracy and I will honor the request of people in here.

  73. 73
    Alex R. Says:

    Is there no chance we could convince Buehrle to sign a longer term deal?

  74. 74
    njbravesfan Says:

    I feel sick to my stomach that our savior option in the rotation is Oscar VUlture Villareal, or Lance Cormier, this trade is a wash, we need to do something serious. if we got serious and got a nice arm for our rotation, with the mets struggling we might be able to make a move

  75. 75
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll.

  76. 76
    Coop Says:

    Who besides Buehrle is available? Doesn’t Oakland need catchers and middle infielders?

  77. 77
    Alex R. Says:

    I would love Buehrle but really, if we are only renting him for 3 months, what’s the point. We have to get him to sign for longer.

  78. 78
    Kirk H. Says:

    FWIW, from Keith Law chat on ESPN:

    Vito Chirco(Clinton Township, MI): How good is Macay McBride , the guy that the Tigers just acquired?

    Keith Law: (2:20 PM ET ) Lefty specialist who’s always had iffy control and who’s really lost the strike zone this year. I’d rather have Ledezma, especially for the long term.

  79. 79
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Kirk, you beat me to it! I totally wanted to repost Keith Law’s thing, especially because he agrees with me.

    (Or, I guess you could say that I agree with him. Depends on your point of view.)

  80. 80
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    No one doubts your passion for the Braves and I think we all respect it. But you tend to take things to extremes. I don’t think Andruw Jones is a great player, never have, never will,and he has a lot of flaws in his game, but it’s unfair to judge a player’s attitude and work ethic by his facial expressions on TV. This slump might be eating him up inside and this is simply his demeanor. I don’t have any problem with criticizing him for his play, but I don’t think people that are not in the clubhouse and around the team are really in any position to judge a player’s character. And no one ever complains that he doesn’t bust his ass on defense (at least not since Bobby removed him from the game several years ago). It’s got to hurt to be diving for all those balls and, frankly, he could probably pull up without anyone really knowing. As for flaunting his cars, well, he is a rich,young man in America 2007, there is a lot of that going around.

    I agree with the others that without a reasonably productive Andruw, the Braves have little chance. I don’t expect him to be a 2005 Andruw, but I do think it’s unlikely that he will be this bad all year. But good players do have bad years for unexplained reasons. And I agree with Justin Parker that Andruw’s mechanics are clearly out of whack–you don’t have to be a professional coach to see that. But it’s not so easy to correct; in fact, sometimes, you can work too hard when the right course might be to back off and relax.

    I thought the comparison of Spahn, Koufax, and Niekro were to Harris to make the point that players can dramatically improve. But it’s not really valid comparison. Spahn missed several years during WW II–he fought in the Battle of the Bulge–which is primarily why he didn’t win until he was older. Koufax struggled with his control but he was never able to go to the minors to work on stuff because of the bonus baby rules at the time. And Niekro suffered primarily from the prejudice against knuckle ball pitchers and the problem with finding someone to catch. I don’t think any of these guys is comparable to Harris, who has been a mediocre player his entire career.

  81. 81
    Another Alex R. Says:

    But there are other comps for guys who seem to put it together around age 30, for whatever reason, and go on to have several marginally useful years–Dave Roberts comes to mind, Scott Podsednik, to some extent Brady Clark. If Little Willie Style can keep it up, he could definitely be a useful 4th outfielder for the next few years.

  82. 82
    Alex R. Says:

    Marc,

    I will now say for the 4th time, and final time, that I have respected the wishes of the room and will no longer make any personal attacked on ‘Druw. If someone else does, I won’t be a part of it.

    And though I have now posted 3 times that I will let it go, it keeps getting brought up. I am not sure why, but I have already said succinctly that I will let it go.

    Please, can everyone drop this now.

  83. 83
    beedee Says:

    alex,
    i think the timing is off between you and all the posts. don’t sweat it man, we’ve got your back.

  84. 84
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I wondered what day it would happen this year. Who had June 21st in the pool, the first day of summer, as the day people forgot all about their own snarky comments and piled on Alex R?

    I called Andruw “Tubbo” last week and I’m twice as mad today. In this celebrity culture we’ve built, I think it fully appropriate to call out a “star” who flaunts his lifestyle and then fails to produce. There are stil people who want to seperate Pete Rose:The Player from Pete Rose: The Man. The man Pete Rose is made him the player he was.

    So, don’t care at all if Kobe gets traded, but I care a lot how Andruw performs. Because I’m a fan; short for fanatic, irrational and devoted.

    Just slow up before Alex’s gag reflex kicks in and we lose him another summer.

  85. 85
    csg Says:

    #73 –

    We have no chance of resigning him. With the increase that we are giving to Smoltz and Hudson next year, we are breaking even by just dumping Andruw. Without Druw on the books we are looking at a higher team salary without adding anyone. Soriano will def. get a good raise and I’m afraid Gonzo will also. Just to keep Andruw we would have to trade both Renteria and Wickman to break even,

    I dont see how we can add anyone like Buehrle to our team

  86. 86
    Another Alex R. Says:

    On a different subject, another interesting nugget from the Jayson Stark article: “Girardi’s buddies in the game say the one job he’d be interested in besides the Yankees, Mets and Cubs would surprise you. It’s the Royals, if Buddy Bell ever gets fired, because of Girardi’s respect for GM Dayton Moore.”

    I’m sorry that we lost him, but I love seeing Dayton praised to the high heavens. Everyone in baseball has nothing but nice things to say about him, including Rob & Rany. I love seeing former Braves do well, especially proteges of Bobby and JS (like Ned Yost) who teach kids to play the right way, respect the game, show a little class, and remember that what goes in the clubhouse stays there. Now, the Brewers and Nationals are basically Atlanta parts 2 and 3, and I’m proud to see them start to do well.

  87. 87
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    “Furthermore, I will go back further in April, to March of 2007, and an adorable little story in the AJC (which I have brought up many times) where Andruw Jones, the same guy with his snake agent Scott Boras trying to talk in advance about ‘fair market value’, was showing his FLEET OF SPORTS CARS.”

    What the heck is wrong with this? The AJC wanted to do a story on his cars? The guy makes a great living and has nice cars? Jelous a little Alex??? So if you make a lot of money you have to give most of it to people in New Orleans, etc because most people dont’ make that kind of money… that doesn’t make sense?

    You don’t know him outside of what you watch on television so if you want to talk about the guys performance on the field fine, but you have no right to talk about what the guy does off the field.

  88. 88
    King Diamond Says:

    So say the Braves do get Burly and he signs with the Cards in the offseason–Atlanta gets a couple of first-round picks as compensation. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  89. 89
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    Alex,

    I did not read all the other posts before posting so ignore my post, guess the point has been made.

  90. 90
    Mr Swings @ Everything Says:

    WORST.TRADE.EVER.

  91. 91
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    King Diamond,

    Buehrle will most likely sign with the Cardinals in the off season. It’s looking like he would be a rent a player, but a good one!

  92. 92
    King Diamond Says:

    Right, and then the Braves get two first-round picks as compensation for losing a Type-A Free Agent. That is how it works, right?

  93. 93
    Alex R. Says:

    Artist-

    I think it’s fair to say we all would love to have Andruw’s bank account. I think we would all be jealous.

    That said, it’s the flaunting that I was complaining about. that’s all. He’s a talented pro athlete and they all have a right to make $ and spend it how they want.

    My issues was only specifically related to flaunting it in the Atlanta Constitution during Spring Training, and in the same breath, talking about fair market value.

    Again, definitely bringing it up again, I am simply clarifying why I was upset by it.

    Kevin Lee & csg,

    Thank you both for kind support. I am working on developing a thicker skin, though it’s tough–I can definitely be up & down.

    I don’t think people’s criticisms aimed at me are unfair. I have been repititve in my personal criticisms of Andruw and I should stick to Baseball.

    Still, it’s nice to hear that my frustrations are not alone.

  94. 94
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    hmm, i think your right, is that true when you have the player for a limited time?

  95. 95
    Alex R. Says:

    I meant to say definitely not trying to bring it up again–my bad.

  96. 96
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    Alex, when the AJC comes up to you and wants to do a story on your cars your going to say no? He didn’t go up to them…

    Theres nothing wrong with wanting fair market value as a baseball player. That being said Andruw told many people that he would resign with the braves for less money. This was before his epic slump, i’m sure that hasn’t changed.

  97. 97
    Dan Says:

    You never know. Maybe Liberty Media makes that “splash” it keeps talking about and raises the payroll, and Andruw Jones and Bob Wickman’s combined 20 million comes off the books, and maybe you can sqeeze an extension of Mark Buehrle. I don’t know. Even if he’s just a two+ month rental, I say go for it as long as you don’t have to trade Saltalamacchia (Schuerholz wouldn’t even give him up for a rent-a-player anyways).

  98. 98
    urlhix Says:

    Harris has improved because he listened to TP and another of the hitting coaches this spring and changed his swing. It was in the article on Willie posted here a while back (NYT, maybe?) That being the case, I think there is a pretty good chance he ends up with the kind of numbers Cary suggests, .310-.333. The change has obviously done wonders for him.

  99. 99
    Justin Parker Says:

    For the picks compensation for a type-A free agent, the team that loses the player would get two picks, the first pick would be a first round pick if the signing team finishes in the top half of the standings, meaning a team drafting 15 or later. If the team who signed the player is in the top half of the draft, then that teams loses its second round pick. The other pick is made in the sandwich round between the first and second. So if they did get Buehrle, and lost him as a free agent along with Andruw, that could be a possible three first round picks, and two sandwich picks. That could net a lot of high ceiling talent.

  100. 100
    Cary Says:

    I say Buehrle would be an excellent addition if we could get him in a halfway reasonable trade.

    We’re not going to have many more opportunities to win a World Series with Smoltzie (40) and Chipper (35) (and no more after this year with Andruw).

    If we’re not about winning the World Series, then we should have torn the thing down last year when we were clearly out of it.

    Plus, as King Diamond mentioned, we’d get a 1st round pick if Buehrle signs with St. Louis as expected. Ideally their pick will be unprotected as well, making it a higher pick.

  101. 101
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    Dan,

    Wickman won’t be back next year, and to be honest i’d rather have Soriano or Gonzalez. I would like to keep AJ in the 8-10 million dollar range. He’s not as good as he was two years ago but not as bad as he is now.

  102. 102
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    Didn’t mean to pile on. Everyone is frustrated with Andruw and I’m probably closer to you in my overall evaluation of him as a player. I thought people were unfair in jumping on Joe Simpson for saying Andruw needed to stop pulling so much. True, he is a pull hitter and will remain such but that doesn’t mean he should TRY to pull every ball. His swing is such that he will naturally pull the ball without having to fall to his knees on every swing. The better approach is to focus on center and up the middle–occasionally, that will result in balls going the opposite way (is that so bad?) but eventually will enable him to start hitting balls hard to left naturally.

  103. 103
    Alex R. Says:

    I am really hopeful, really hopeful, that we get Mike Gonzalez back and healthy next year.

    Otherwise, losing Wickman will hurt even more. Considering wha we are going through w/ Hampton, I am not hopeful.

    I will say this about Buehrle–he gives us a real chance to win the National League. I don’t know about mortgaging young stars for him, but, if we roll the dice, get Buerhle, and win the NL (at least), it’s probably worth it.

    I would just hate to trade an Escobar or a salty, get Buerhle, miss the Playoffs, and he becomes a Cardinal.

  104. 104
    Cary Says:

    Artist,

    I know we received a supplemental 1st rounder and Baltimore’s 2nd rounder for the Orioles having signed freakin’ Danys Baez*, so I don’t think it matters that Buehrle could just be a rental.

    *That was the better part of that trade with Aybar a total washout. Thank you, Baltimore.

  105. 105
    Alex R. Says:

    Marc,

    Absolutely no worries. I needed to back off so it’s totally cool.

  106. 106
    Coop Says:

    Alex, say what you want, please. Everybody else, do likewise.

    This is a forum celebrated for its open interchange of opinions. It’s the best I’ve read since I started lurking the Braves’ sites.

    When I don’t like what’s being said, I am entitled to disagree; and when I get evidence that Andruw sleeps with goats, I will produce the pictures.

    I don’t know how to do it, but if we hope to compete, we must find one or preferably two solid arms to fit in the rotation behind Smoltz and Hudson. Otherwise, the Braves will be mediocre until (and if) Reyes, Harrison and the other kids get past the learning curve and contribute on the big league level. By then both Smoltz and Huddy may be history.

    I remember right after the sale that the Liberty spokesman said he “expected” spending to increase. Maybe we can afford Buerhle or another solid starter. If so, that’s great; let’s get somebody now while we’re still in the hunt.

    If we really can’t afford to increase payroll, we may have to wait until Andruw signs with the Mets or Yankees, Wickman retires, Renteria is traded, and Chipper’s contract expires before we’re able once again to “just win, baby.”

  107. 107
    Justin Parker Says:

    I think Wickman would be a type-A free agent as well, so that would give the Braves another two high draft picks next year.

  108. 108
    Jeremy Says:

    In a bit of good news, Brent Lillibridge & Elvis Andrus have been selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game.

  109. 109
    Johnny Says:

    Alex, You are a devoted Braves fan. That makes you tops in my book.

    This team was constructed to win this year. And it should be that way. Unfortunately the pitching market is so dang crazy that acquiring a guy like Mark Buerhle is very improbable. We can win with what we have if someone, anyone from the list of McCann, Francoeur, Thorman, Andruw would start hitting. And hitting for power. A few runs on the board and maybe just maybe Carlyle, James, or even Davies just might make it to the strenght of the team which irony of all ironies is the bullpen. But we can’t if we don’t score and score early. Having the above mentioned 4 go south as a unit has as really killed us this month.

  110. 110
    Smitty Says:

    Escobar for Buehrle? I would make that deal in a second.

    Guys we have a chance to win it all, all we need is to make a few moves to do so. The only players I wouldn’t trade are McCann, Salty, CHipper, Smoltz, and Soriano. Everyone else is up for grabs if it can help us get to the promise land this year.

  111. 111
    Alex R. Says:

    It seems I am higher on Escobar I guess. I think his offensive potential is rather limitless and with Chipper againg and always hurt, I hate to lose an Escobar.

    But ultimately, if it’s a chance to land a top 3 starter, you have to make the deal. I would rather trade Gregor Blanco and keep Salty and Escobar.

  112. 112
    Dan Says:

    MLBTradeRumors.com:

    “The Braves are seen as a more likely suitor for Buehrle, once he’s truly made available in a week or two. Atlanta won’t settle for a Mike Maroth type. What would the Braves give up for Buehrle? Kenny Williams should pry away Jarrod Saltalamacchia if he can. Otherwise a package involving Brent Lillibridge or Brandon Jones would make sense.

    Stark debunks the popular Ken Griffey Jr. to Atlanta rumor. He says the Braves aren’t looking for big contract commitments and are more focused on pitching than offense. Rightfully so.”

  113. 113
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I have no problem trading Escobar, because we have Andrus and Lillibridge in the organization and nowhere to put Escobar at present; plus, as Mac has pointed out, his trade value could not and will never be higher than it is right now.

    Let’s sell high.

  114. 114
    Alex R. Says:

    I would much rather trade Lower A prospects like Jones or Lillibridge.

    Great kids but Salty (maybe even as our full time 1st baseman next year?) can help now.

  115. 115
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Don’t trade Salty–no way. Maybe if we could schedule the Red Sox or Cubs every day, the Braves would sell out the games and Liberty would be willing to spend more money.

  116. 116
    Justin Parker Says:

    You can’t give up a young switch hitter with power unless you get a top of the line starter that’s locked up rather cheaply for two or more seasons, and there just ain’t much of that on the table, so I don’t see Salty being traded.

  117. 117
    Alex R. Says:

    I am not sure if it’s blasphemy, but I think Salty might even be better all around (potentially) over McCann.

    Truthfully, I would rather have both in our everyday lineup now and in 2008. If Thor continues to hit .220 and over swing, we have to consider more Salty at first?

  118. 118
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Alex, Escobar’s potential is very limited. He hasn’t hit for power on any level, and he lacks the defensive skill that Renteria had when he was a young player. He’s a tweener — not enough power for third base, not enough of a glove for shortstop.

    He hasn’t even really hit that well in Atlanta so far. His line is .292 .333 .400, and that makes his OPS+ 97 — below the median. His value will never be higher, because he looks like a .300 hitter right now.

    Sell.

  119. 119
    Alex R. Says:

    Well, I do like Salty better (and his potential) so yeah, if we could keep Salty even if it means trading Escobar (who I really do like a lot) I could support it.

  120. 120
    Cary Says:

    You couldn’t trade feakin’ Gregor Blanco for Mike Maroth, much less Mark Buehrle (exception for the Horacio Ramirez–Rafael Soriano swap).

    If we want someone good, we’ll have to give up someone good, or at least someone expected to be good. Period.

    Or be prepared to take on a lot of salary (the Yankees method).. and there’s no way Liberty Media is doing that.

    You can’t say, I’d like to keep all our good players, but pick up someone really good. You just can’t! (exception for Horacio Ramirez–Rafael Soriano)

  121. 121
    Ethan Says:

    I’ve just spent the past twenty minutes looking at the Braves payroll playing with salaries….and it has led me to the conclusion that it is totally pointless because Hampton’s 15 million albatross screws up everything. I know I am selling low because he is reinventing the Mendoza line, but I almost think if we traded for Buerhle I would rather spend the money resigning him than Andruw.

    That would lead to a rotation of Smoltz, Hudson, Buerhle, James, Hampton (big if and try not to laugh too hard) or Davies (looking less and less likely with every start) or a minor leaguer ( Jo-Jo gave up one run in six in his first start at Richmond)

    That could help a lot in covering up for a missing Andruw in center

    BTW $20 says Wickman retires if the Braves don’t resign him for next

    Lillibridge just got promoted to Richmond and Brandon Jones has has eleven homers right now at Mississippi

  122. 122
    Dan Says:

    “…but I almost think if we traded for Buerhle I would rather spend the money resigning him than Andruw.”

    Who wouldn’t?

  123. 123
    Johnny Says:

    Yup. Trade Escobar if it gets us something. I also think that Salty is on the block as well. Don’t be surprised if he is traded. He is a did good at Myrtle Beach baby. After a lousy AA season he was doing good at Pearl before being promoted. Talk about selling high, leverage a small sample set of excellence at AA and a cup of coffee at mlb level for a good pitcher? In a heart beat.

  124. 124
    JoshQ Says:

    As far as JS never trading for a potential remtal, well do not forget that he and Bobby may not be around for very much longer. Right now the NL is mediocre, we have some aging stars and I say lets roll the dice. Of course, I say this so long as Salty isn’t included for the rental. I would trade B. Jones and Escobar for Buerhle. Instead of Jones, maybe Campbell and/or Jo Jo Reyes. What I’m basically saying is that a Buerhle type pitcher is exactly what this team needs.

  125. 125
    Another Alex R. Says:

    JoshQ, not that I don’t agree with you, but a Buerhle type pitcher is what every team needs!

  126. 126
    Ethan Says:

    Last year:

    Buerhle
    12-13, 4.99 ERA and 98Ks

    AJ:
    .262, 41HRs and 129 RBI’s

    Before this year, I would have rather had Andruw.

  127. 127
    Justin Parker Says:

    Ethan,

    I believe Buehrle’s troubles last year were from all the extra innings he pitched in the postseason in ’05. It seems that all the Sox starters struggled last year.

  128. 128
    JoshQ Says:

    AAR, Exactly and that is the reason why we should pull the trigger if it is presented.

  129. 129
    jj3bagger Says:

    On Justin’s note, you have to adjust for pitching in the NL vs the AL as well.

  130. 130
    Alex R. Says:

    I am with Justin here. I think the Buehrle ’06 numbers are not reflective of his ability. Plus, again, take his current ERA and lower it by about a run against NL lineups.

    Interestingly, the White Sox wouldn’t throw in the towel if they were in the NL East. It’s all about perspective. In the AL Central, they really have no shot to get back in, with 3 stud teams well ahead.

  131. 131
    Cary Says:

    Justin brings up a very important point, tangentially.

    Buehrle has postseason experience at the front of the White Sox’s 2005 World Series Championship rotation. He was 2-0 in 3 postseason starts in 2005.

    Since we know that Smoltz is one of, if not the, greatest postseason pitchers of all time, a Smoltz-Buehrle-Hudson postseason rotation would give us a heckuva shot to win it all.

  132. 132
    Robert Says:

    Guys we have a chance to win it all, all we need is to make a few moves to do so.

    This is definitely the glass half full take on this team. I’d say it’s fifty-fifty we are over .500 this season. Glad to see the string of listless performances has dampened everyone’s enthusiasm.

    He hasn’t even really hit that well in Atlanta so far. His line is .292 .333 .400, and that makes his OPS+ 97 — below the median. His value will never be higher, because he looks like a .300 hitter right now.

    Sell.

    Don’t disagree, but once you ship out Escobar you are back to the Prado/Orr hellhole at third base when Chipper hits the DL again. I guess you could make the argument that if Chipper goes down again we are screwed no matter what.

  133. 133
    jj3bagger Says:

    Also, I’ve heard the Marlins mentioned in for Buerhle, which wouldn’t surprise me. That team scares me if they got a veteran arm to go with all their good young starters. Also, Buerhle is as good as gone at the end of the year to St. Louis. I would put money on it. He grew up a Cards fan and it’s always been his dream.

    From : http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?c_id=mlb&content_id=1374516&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_mlb&ymd=20060330

    “After the 2007 campaign, though, if no new contract has been agreed upon at that time, is Buehrle on his way to St. Louis? General manager Ken Williams joked recently, tongue firmly in cheek, that he figured it was a foregone conclusion. But don’t count on Buehrle going anywhere.

    “He’s talked about pitching for St. Louis every offseason as long as I could remember,” said Williams with a wry smile of Buehrle. “I just assumed after the 2007 season that he’s a Cardinal.

    “As a matter of fact, I figured the last game of the 2007 season, I would call [St. Louis general manager] Walt Jocketty and just get a uniform for him,” added Williams, showing he has his own sarcastic side to add to the equation. “I’m not entirely joking, but we will see.”

    Truth be told, Buehrle would like to play for the Cardinals before his career takes its final curtain call. He also would like to spend his entire career pitching for one team. With the way Buehrle operates on the mound, there would be many franchises lined up for his services. ”

    If he can be picked up without Salty, tell JS to go for broke for once. The Braves have always evaluated their prospects better than anybody else when trading, so find out what Kenny Williams wants, and go.

  134. 134
    Justin Parker Says:

    So after making that statement about the postseason, I went and looked up Buehrle’s stats, and he only pitched an extra 23 innings, not as heavy a load as I thought, but it was off the back of 5 straight seasons of 220+ innings. If you look on baseball reference last years stats look like an outlier, and he appears to be back in his career norm this season.

  135. 135
    Cary Says:

    Mark Buehrle’s 2005 postseason:

    Game 2 of AL Division Series vs. BOS: 7.0 innings, 8 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 0 HR

    Game 2 of AL Championship Series vs. LAA: 9.0 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 HR

    Game 2 of World Series Championship vs. HOU: 7.0 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts

    For those counting at home, that’s a 3.52 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP(!!) AND a 12:1 strikout to walk ratio.

    Sign me up!

  136. 136
    Ethan Says:

    I definitely think the Braves should make a run at Buerhle if it seems feasible; I even think that if they traded for him I would make resigning him a priority over resigning Andruw (especially as it stands now)

    The point I was trying to make was that if we were having this conversation before the season had started, it would be playing out a lot differently.

  137. 137
    Ethan Says:

    I do think it would be stupid to give up too much for Buerhle if you’re not even going to try to resign him. (Draft picks are only worth so much)

    Also, unless Big Brother at Liberty increases the payroll, they don’t have a Chipper playing 162 shot in hell of resigning both him and Andruw

  138. 138
    Johnny Says:

    If we get a pitcher of Buerle’s caliber then Salty is a gonner. remember to get quality you have to give quality. the whitesox gm is no dummy. one the word gets out that buehrle is available he will have several offers to choose from.

    but just a pipe dream. no way we get him. just won’t happen.

  139. 139
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Also, since Escobar grew up in a dictatorship, he should be able to handle playing for Ozzie Guillen.

  140. 140
    joshtothemaxx Says:

    We were able to get Hudson for a blue chipper, obvious lightning in a bottle, and a live arm. And I see Billy Beane as being a smarter trader than Kenny Williams. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would take something like Lillibridge, *minor league live arm*, and someone like… Stockman or Yates. I have no idea, guessing trades is impossible.

    But I don’t see us getting Beurle at all unless more teams with SP’s turn into sellers. If he’s the only decent guy on the market than we got nothin’. Other teams have deeper farms.

  141. 141
    Alex R. Says:

    Here’s a question to pose to everyone:

    Would you rather do:

    A) Salty for Buehrle

    or

    B) Escobar for Matt Morris

  142. 142
    Mac Thomason Says:

    B, obviously, but I think it’s unlikely we could get Morris for Escobar only.

  143. 143
    Alex R. Says:

    I was merely posing a hypothetical. I figure we probably have other players involved in either deal, but the basic component of either would be our young stud for a vet starter.

  144. 144
    beedee Says:

    i think i’d rather take my chances with acquiring Mark Burhle than trading for the older Morris, but either would be a huge upgrade right now. also, the white sox may have many suitors, but i don’t think he will cost the braves salty, not for 3 months service and if it did then talk to someone else.
    i’m sure JS will find the answer soon and i don’t really think it will involve salty at 1B this year or next. i love the kid, but salty is gone by the end of spring training next year to an AL club.

  145. 145
    Ethan Says:

    I think Williams would want both Escobar and Salty. Maybe we could get away with just giving him Escobar if we threw in Harrison (who I think is overrated, reyes is better) and a mid tier.

    BTW has anyone seen what this kid Kala Kaaihue is doing at Myrtle Beach:

    .290 BA, .390 OBP, 14 HR, .960 OPS, in 210 at bats

    kid looks like a stud.

  146. 146
    Cliff Says:

    Kala started off terrible. He was OPS 600 or so through the first 3 to 4 weeks. That means he has been like 1200 since.

    Basically, he, Diory Hernandez, and Esquivel (who many of you say is a kindler gentler version of Elijah Dukes or maybe moreproperly, Milton Bradley) are the only position players within 2 years of the majors who are overhitting their position. We are THIN in position players with Saltalamacchia and Escobar up.

    However, several levels have pitchers putting up big numbers.

    What about the Blue Jays release of Big Red (John Thomson)? I may have missed a thread on that, but it appeared to be an outright. Thus, anyone could sign him for major league minimum. His AAA stats were o.k, certainly not bad. I wonder if his shoulder is just too shot to get it done. Besides, he is from Yazoo City and would probably sign a deal to play at Pearl.

  147. 147
    beedee Says:

    oh and you know thompson won’t end up with the mets after what he said about them in the spring

  148. 148
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Enjoyed this comment on Chop-n-Change:

    Here is some trades I would make as a GM. First I would trade Yunel Escobar and Anthony Lerew for Noah Lowry. The second trade is Scott Thorman, Matt Diaz, and Dan Smith for Mark Buehrle. To fill Matt Diaz spot we can call up Brandon Jones. We can move salty to firstbase and call up Martin Prado and Bryan Pena as our backup catcher. We can trade for a power bat from of the bench like Dimitri Young, Matt Stairs or Daryle Ward. Then lastly release Chris Woodward. Do you think the Giants and White Sox would do these trades?

    Why not trade for Salty for Willy Mays while we’re at it.

  149. 149
    david15 Says:

    I don’t like Matt Morris at all, but trading Escobar straight up for him would be a steal, considering Escobar isn’t all that special.

    Salty for a rental Buehrle would be a disaster. If the Braves trade Salty it will be in a package for a top guy they can control for at least next year. The problem is this is a trade that should have been made in the offseason, but at that point Hampton was still a possibility. It would have been nice to package a few guys to LA for Penny, though, since they were shopping him a bit.

    If I was GM for a day I’d go after A.J. Burnett, assuming he’s healthy soon. I still wouldn’t give up Salty though.

  150. 150
    beedee Says:

    huh, kind put it all in perspective
    ;

  151. 151
    Jeff M. Says:

    I’d like Los Angeles’ starters (either angels or dodgers, I’m not picky here), all of them (I’d let Smoltz keep starting, though). I’d like the Red Sox’s offense though defensively, I’d like having Andruw patrolling center (but not batting too often). Can I trade Blanco to the angels/dodgers for their starters and JS, jr. to the sox for this? Or, do I need to throw in Escobar? I certainly hope I don’t have to add Salty, too.

  152. 152
    Jeff M. Says:

    Woops, I forgot the /sarcasm at the end. I don’t want to ruin my credibility around here ;).

  153. 153
    James Says:

    So I don’t know if anybody has said this already but: Did anyone see that John Thomson was released by the Jays? Would he be a potential end of the rotation guy again?

  154. 154
    Alex R. Says:

    It’s been mentioned but I don’t see Thomson any better then the cruddy starters we already have. We need a real starter, badly.

  155. 155
    doubledawg Says:

    Kaaihue should be tearing up A ball, isn’t 27 the prime year? yes, I know he’s not 27, but like every other Braves prospect, except lillibridge, andrus (how old is he really) and Jones, he’s a year or two behind where he should be. But, we got Bob the Body for Maxi Ramirez, so anything is possible.

    Escobar is not a stud player that could bring Morris.

    If Escobar is traded AND chipper gets hurt, I swear I’d rather we sign Edgardo Alfonzo away from the Ducks.

    I do not want us to trade Diaz, most under appreciated guy on the team would be a production machine if given the chance.

  156. 156
    doubledawg Says:

    My friend and I were lamenting the loss of Dayton Moore, heir apparent, and it became clear that JS must have refused to give him a timetable. Our suspicion was that JS wont retire until his master plan has worked.

    (1) sign an SS with injury history to play alongside chipper

    (2) trade away decent glove men that cant hit (pena)

    (3) fill bench with canadian crap that cant field or hit well (Orr) and even an overpaid version with Met credentials (Woodward)

    (4) get Braves fans and player used to having bag-o-shit utility players stealing a bench spot from their betters

    (5) wait for the injuries to fall, and the slide Little Johnny onto the 40 man roster

    AFterall, he cant be worse than Orr or Woodward, who, as all Braves fans have learned, are MLB calibre players.

    This theory leads me to believe the Escobar and Lillibridge are likely trade bait.

  157. 157
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Um, don’t forget, #2–get Lil’ Tony Pena the hell away from our 25-man roster–was extremely popular at the time. Which kind of makes sense, considering that his minor league numbers are worse than Chris Woodward’s major league numbers.

  158. 158
    beedee Says:

    i would part with lillibridge, he’s blauser all over again.

  159. 159
    Rob Cope Says:

    I love how people focus on all the bad things that JS has done (which really aren’t that bad, if bad at all), but conveniently forget all of the great things that has made JS probably one of, if not the best, GM in major league history.

  160. 160
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Here on Friday morning, I’ve been searching to see if Smoltzie has pitched against the Tigers. Can anybody tell me?
    If not, imagine what that great Michigander must feel today as he faces the “hometown” team that traded him and made so much of our favorite franchise.

    Go #29! Go Braves!

  161. 161
    Alex R. Says:

    I don’t think Smoltzie has faced the Tigers before and I was thinking about that earlier in the week. Nice for him, I just pray he gets us a win.

    Because the only way we win Saturday’s Verlander-Davies horror fest is if Verlander’s camera-hogging girlfriend pulls another Drew Barrymore and runs onto the field in the first inning, accidentally injuring Verlander.

    (Did everyone hear about Verlander’s GIRLFRIEND running onto the field after his no-no? She got justifiably ripped by many on sports radio).

    Maybe she’s picking up the slack for Anna Benson.

  162. 162
    joshtothemaxx Says:

    Using baseball-reference’s fancy PI index thingie, Smoltz has faced the Tigers 3 times–twice as a closer and once as a starter.

    6/8/04—1 IP, 2 K, 3 batters faced
    6/19/02–1 IP, 0 K, 3 batters faced
    9/3/97—3.1 IP, 4 K, 8 ER, 10 H

    So how about a win to match those 2 saves and a loss.

  163. 163
    Alex R. Says:

    I guess I had forgotten. Who can keep up with all this annoying interleague B.S.

  164. 164
    Smitty Says:

    I thought he pitched against the Tigers last year

  165. 165
    JoshQ Says:

    Where does the Lillibridge is the next Blauser stuff come from? Everything I’ve seen about him says this isn’t true. Personally I think we need to keep him and Andrus. I think he could end up in the outfield and Andrus at short. In the meantime Escobar, Davies, and Harrison should be shopped for help. I really feel like with Chipper and Smoltz getting to the end and Andruw being gone after this year, that we need to make a splash and go for it. Right now the NL is mediocre at best and there is not a team in the NL that I don’t think we couldn’t beat.

  166. 166
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I don’t understand how Smoltz could have pitched against the Tigers in 1997. That was the first year of interleague play and the Braves played only the AL East teams that year, I thought. Am I wrong?

    Let’s not call Buehrle the savior just yet. He is a good pitcher but, as someone pointed out, has a lot of mileage on him and is coming off a bad year (granted he is pitching well this year). And, of course, he is a free agent. I wouldn’t put too much stock in him wanting to play for St. Louis–most of these guys will go where the money and situation is right. Nevertheless, you can’t be sure of resigning him unless you throw a boatload of money at him.

    Obviously, what the Braves would have to give up would depend on what other teams are willing to give. Should we give up Salty? Maybe we are making too big a deal out him, like we did with Marte, and he isn’t as good as we think. But I would prefer to wait and try to get a younger, top of the rotation pitcher (Danny Haren?). Certainly, it’s unrealistic to think you can get Buehrle for Escobar straight up, but I don’t think the White Sox have as much leverage as they would like to think. I don’t know that you would necessarily have to give up Salty.

  167. 167
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Marc, I understand your reluctance to attach too much hype to Salty, but he has one important thing over Marte: success at the major league level.

  168. 168
    KLB Says:

    Unless I searched incorrectly, here is Smoltz’s only appearance against the Tigers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET200406080.shtml

  169. 169
    KLB Says:

    Never mind. That could be wrong because BR only shows one result unless you’re a subscriber.

  170. 170
    KLB Says:

    And joshtothemaxx completely beat me too it, so I’ll just be quiet for the rest of the day.

    Going to the game tonight. This is my first game of the year, even though I leave a few miles from the park.

  171. 171
    Marc Schneider Says:

    AAR,

    I’m not really questioning Salty’s value, just pointing out that you can fall in love too much with your own prospects, many of whom never really pan out. But JS has never really had that problem; most of the prospects he has traded never amounted to much. My point really is that I wouldn’t trade him for Buehrle because, while I like Buehrle, I fear that Salty is too good to trade away for what might be a short-term solution.

  172. 172
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you, man. It would be cool to lock up Buerhle long-term, but guys with his profile–young horses with way too much mileage on their arms–tend to get overvalued and break down quickly. (I’m looking at you, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder.)

  173. 173
    beedee Says:

    joshQ,
    lillibridge is a strike out machine, and i don’t think he has the arm to be in the outfield. He’s a good SS, but if someone wanted him i wouldn’t say no. we’re stacked at the position and if we could package him for an arm or more reliable bat i’d do it.

  174. 174
    Coop Says:

    From Fox Sports Truth and Rumors: The Pirates designated reliever Dan Kolb for assignment immediately after the 3-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners last night and promoted first baseman/outfielder Brad Eldred from Class AAA Indianapolis. Kolb gave up six hits in three innings and had a 9.00 ERA after his promotion last week. The Pirates have 10 days to trade, release or outright him. But, given that no room needed to be created on the 40-man roster to move him, a release seems most likely.

  175. 175
    Alex R. Says:

    Oh God, coop, I hope you didn’t just jinx us and that we would bring Kolbb back.

    Someone warn Winston the Watercooler. He may change his name to Kevin Finnerty and join the Witness Protection Program.

  176. 176
    Coop Says:

    Also from Fox:

    The expectation is that Mark Buehrle will be the starting pitcher traded by the Sox once the fire sale begins, but don’t be surprised if Jose Contreras or Jon Garland also gets sent out for the right package.

  177. 177
    beedee Says:

    i can’t wait to hear dan’s take on it.

  178. 178
    Cary Says:

    We couldn’t get Dan Haren for Salty, Escobar and Smoltz AND Chipper. Teams do not trade young pitching, especially if it’s performing (1.78 ERA), especially with a great contract ($2.2 mil).

    You either trade for young guys who are stinking (like Oliver Perez), short term free-agent-to-be veterans like Mark Buehrle, or salary dumps like Matt Morris.

  179. 179
    Cary Says:

    For a Dan Haren type trade (like the A’s got from the Cardinals), if that’s what you mean, we’d have to be dumping to a team with a shot at the title.

    That would require giving the trading partner good players now for a pitcher who we think can be good (Haren hadn’t established himself yet, but wasn’t a disaster either, 4.50 ERA), such as when the A’s traded Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for Dan Haren, Daric Barton and Kiko Calero.

    Are we going to be trading John Smoltz, Chipper Jones or one of the younger franchise Braves? No.

    We’re in it for this year, so we have to look at our available options.

  180. 180
    Ike Says:

    @166

    The Braves did play the Tigers in 1997, because the Tigers were still in the AL East that year. They moved to the AL Central in 1998 after the Arizona/Tampa Bay expansion.

    Here’s the box score of the Smoltz game against the Tigers that year:

    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1997/B09030ATL1997.htm

  181. 181
    JoshQ Says:

    Re: Lillibridge
    This from Baseball America
    “Acquired by the Braves in an offseason trade with the Pirates, Lillibridge has progressed from making his full-season debut a year ago to starting in Triple-A this season. His above-average speed, instincts and plate discipline are weapons, and he also gets positive reviews for his defensive ability in the middle of the infield.”
    I also looked and saw where he has struck out a lot at AA this year, so which is true. Does he have plate discipline or is he a free swinger?

  182. 182
    billy-jay Says:

    Two links for everybody’s amusement:

    First, Fire Joe Morgan on Frenchy.

    Second, esteemed baseball guru Alyssa Milano makes note of a seemingly Brave-like performance from Wilson Betemit.

    Enjoy.

  183. 183
    Alex R. Says:

    I guess Wilson is going to get the opportunity to go “where Barry Zito, Carl pavano, and many other baseball players have gone before”.

  184. 184
    Alex R. Says:

    Seriously, Samantha Micelli (that was her name on “Who’s the Boss?”) should stick to columns about all the players she’s slept with.

  185. 185
    beedee Says:

    JQ,
    his promotion was more due to escobar, pena jr. and blanco not being around in richmond. he’s got skills, but would be a better backup than full time player. at the plate he does show discipline but often gets caught looking. i will say he sees a lot of pitches. in the field i found that he’s often a step or two out of position, now if this is his fault or that’s where wellman has him playing i’m not sure. also he doesn’t make plays to his right very well, and that would be key if he’s playing next to chipper.
    all in all, if he stays cool, i just don’t have very high expectations, and don’t see him as a key piece in the braves future.

  186. 186
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I’d rather read what Alyssa has to say (accompanied by a picture) than listen to Joe Morgan.

  187. 187
    JoshQ Says:

    beedee, Which has the higher upside at SS, Escobar or Lillibridge? or Should we consider trading whichever one will get us the pitcher we need.?

  188. 188
    JoshQ Says:

    //I’m not in the mood this morning to worry about grammer, obviously!!!

  189. 189
    JoshQ Says:

    *Grammar* :)

  190. 190
    Alex R. Says:

    Marc,

    Yes…Alyssa is smokin’ hot. Plus, she doesn’t necessarily hate the Braves the way Joe Morgan does. And again, she’s really hot.

  191. 191
    beedee Says:

    JQ

  192. 192
    beedee Says:

    JQ,
    they play about equal, escobar is better at the plate IMO, has a canon, and he plays more positions. honestly i’d trade either or both if it got us a better pitcher.

    sorry not sure what happenedwith the last post

  193. 193
    Coop Says:

    Does Renteria have a no trade clause?

  194. 194
    Ethan Says:

    No he doesn’t.

    I’m with beedee; I think both are overvalued right now. Plus they are both older than McCann and Frenchy.

  195. 195
    JoshQ Says:

    Do not trade Renteria!!! He is our best/most consistent batter at the plate this year. Well Andruw may be the most consistent, but we shouldn’t consider moving Renteria.
    Also, I agree that Escobar is at the peak of his value right now and if Lillibridge is as well then now is the time to move them. Trading high is always the best idea.

  196. 196
    Coop Says:

    As another team’s GM perusing the Braves, who would you want for your healthy 1 or 2 starter that cannot be a free agent for at least two years?

  197. 197
    Coop Says:

    And who would you settle for?

  198. 198
    Alex R. Says:

    Buehrle vs. Morris

    Morris
    7-4 3.21 48 31 1.28

    Buehrle
    4-3 3.45 56 17 1.09

    While Buehrle maybe the better overall pitcher and slightly younger (plus better WHIP, Morris’ overall numbers are strong, plus he’s a savvy veteran with just as much post season experience as Buehrle.

    Here’s the thing. I think Kenny Williams is likely to demand more as opposed to Brian Sabean and since more teams are going after Buehrle, Williams will use that to his advantage to drive the asking price up.

    Plus, the Giants need another young starter back (the Sox) don’t so maybe we could add Davies to the mix.

    Furthermore, Morris is just as likely to help us win now as Buehrle, but we have a good chance of Morris back in a Braves uniform in 2008.

    There’s probably a 90% chance of Buehrle going to the Cards and a 3 month rental, with the possibility that the cheapwads at Liberty Media would likely not allow JS to replace Buehrle this offseason with someone of equal quality. And we are back to square one next March with Chuck James as the 3rd starter. I don’t mind Chuckie in the rotation, but he’s a 4th starter, AT BEST.

    Plus, and I feel bad for the guy because unlike Carl Pavano, Hampton really wants to pitch, Hampton maybe done. We may never get another start from him and that’s why this team is so middling to bad right now. We have 2 veteran starters, only 1 of whom is reliable all the time. The rest of the rotation is a complete crapshoot.

    Plus, Mac may not have mentioned it in here, but to me he mentioned the possibility of doing a larger deal with the Giants that would land us the always solid center fielder/veteran, Randy Winn. Whatever happens with Andruw, it sure would be nice to have a solid, reliable guy like Winn in the fold.

    Jst a thought but I think right now, I would look at harder at a deal with the Giants.

  199. 199
    anon Says:

    Speaking of the Pirates, don’t they have some young pitching talent who might be underperforming at the moment? I’ve sometimes thought we should make a play for somebody like Ian Snell.

  200. 200
    JoshQ Says:

    I agree Morris would probably cost us less and that may be the best part. Especially considering that Buerhle will cost a lot next year even if we were able to keep him. I believe Morris is signed through next season (he signed a 3 yr, 27 mill deal starting in 06). I’d send them davies and prospect for him.

  201. 201
    joshtothemaxx Says:

    How is it that the Pirates always have excellent young starting pitching that falls apart after a year or 2 of awesomeness i.e. Oliver Perez and Zach Duke?

  202. 202
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Anon, the Pirates are reportedly rebuffing any and all people asking about their young pitchers by asking Devil Ray-like prices, like multiple blue chip prospects.

    Morris wouldn’t be a bad guy to get, because he’s probably not as overvalued as Buerhle, but don’t forget Kenny Williams traded Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik. Maybe we can get Buerhle for Gregor Blanco.

  203. 203
    beedee Says:

    in all fairness, buerhle is 5 yrs younger than morris, but both of them have been used like mules for the past several years which makes me a little timid in giving too much for them in addition to their pay. i also wonder if JS will be a little more guarded after the hudson and hampton trades as far as pay and wanting to pick up longer contracts/signing longer extensions.

  204. 204
    Alex R. Says:

    beedee,

    While it would certainly be understandable for JS to be guarded after the Hampton and Hudson trades, Morris’ contract isn’t that bad and you still have to roll the dice, when possible, and try to contend. I would rather go down swinging as opposed to laying down now and doing nothing.

    Besides, as much as Hudson is costing (and he hasn’t been quite as good as we’d hoped) we really didn’t give up much of anything in that deal. Where the heck is Dan Meyer anyway?

    For every occassional Jason Schmidt, Adam Wainwright or Jermaine Dye we’ve lost over the years, there’s far more Matt Belisles, Charles Thomases, Rob Bell’s, and Andy Marte’s that have amounted to diddly.

    I guess I would rather take a chance, even if it backfires. Hey, if Matt Morris or Buehrle pitches us into a post season berth, it’s worth it. (the current rotation as it stands will not make the Playoffs).

  205. 205
    Alex R. Says:

    I can’t remember if we had the chance (or maybe I don’t want to know…) but did we have the chance to trade Kyle Davies as opposed to Adam Wainwright in that JD Drew deal?

    If we did, I will be feeling really depressed.

  206. 206
    Mark Gordon Says:

    McBride was pretty horrid the last time out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves know something we don’t, and were just trying to dump him before the wheels came completely off.

    It wouldn’t shock me if McBride goes Ankiel on the Tigers, or has some other unhappy ending that may not be obvious at the moment.

  207. 207
    beedee Says:

    alex,
    i was and still for the hampton and hudson trades. I really don’t think we got robbbed on any trade and that’s why i would trade just about anyone if it meant we could get smoltz and chipper in the WS. my gut tells me that any trade we’re involved with this season will again be too little, too late, but i’ll be cheering the braves and bitching and cussing regardless…that’s what i do.

  208. 208
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    Ian Snell (6-4, 2.63 ERA) and Tom Gorzelanny (7-4, 3.01 ERA) are hardly underachieving. Zack Duke has too much talent to not come around either. They have a good future with their pitchers. They have a boat load in AAA too that are really good and they really need hitting.

    Also, we better hope that Hudson and Smoltz hold up the whole year with their injuries because it’s not looking good right now.

  209. 209
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    It’s not like Wainwright is lighting up the joint. He had the great playoff run last year, but from what I can tell, he hasn’t really been much better than Davies as a starter.

  210. 210
    Alex R. Says:

    Zach Duke is someone everyone has been waiting for him to repeat his unstoppable run from before, but it may not happen. He maybe a one hit wonder.

    beedee,

    I figured you thought that, just wanted to make the point for the empphasis of the room.

    Though let me be an optimist and say that as bad as we’ve been, we are still only a game and a half behind, Another starter, a different lefty or two in the pen, and a few lineup tweaks, and we have a shot.

  211. 211
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    ALex you may be right.

    I have a feeling we are going to be relying on our hitting the rest of the year so we need our stars to start performing better.

  212. 212
    Cary Says:

    Buehrle’s 2007 salary is $9.5 million. Then he becomes a free agent.

    Morris’ 2007 salary is $9.5 million, plus he’s signed for $9.5 million in 2008, with a $1 million buyout in 2009 (or a club option for $9 million).

    I would think that Buehrle would be less expensive for us in terms of prospects since he would be under control for a shorter time frame (the rest of 2007 season only).

    Here’s a plan.

    2007: Trade for Buehrle this year. Lose him to free agency and get the draft pick compensation in return.

    2008: Next year, perhaps, trade for Morris in the final year of his contract. Lose him to free agency and get the draft pick compensation.

    For 2009: Ideally we could get Harrison, Reyes, etc. up from the farm by then and get Chuck James established.

    Unless Morris is just dirt cheap because San Fran wants to dump his salary, then he’s could be a better option this year. Otherwise, it’s definitely Buehrle.

  213. 213
    Cary Says:

    … then he could be a better option this year. (Morris)

    *rewrite of “then he’s a better option”* needed to sound less definite, but forgot to delete

  214. 214
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Giants (who are now 11 games out and rapidly approaching the worst record in the NL) are in a weird situation. They have a lot of young pitching but no young position players. Everyone in the everyday lineup is at least 32. Their youngest players are Pedro Feliz and Bengie Molina, hardly building blocks. Other than Molina and maybe Randy Winn, I’d be surprised if anyone in their everyday lineup is still in the majors in two years.

    They generally draft pitching, and have had no luck developing hitting. So they have to deal off some veterans for near-major league-ready talent. For all the Bonds talk, Morris is their most valuable trade chit, a veteran pitcher with a reasonable contract having a good year.

  215. 215
    Smitty Says:

    Morris for Brandon Jones and Escobar. That is what my barber says.

  216. 216
    I Cant Think of A Clever Name Says:

    Maroth traded to the Cardinals for PTBNL….seems like we could have done that

  217. 217
    King Diamond Says:

    The Cardinals just got Mike Maroth, so the Braves at least dodged that particular bullet.

  218. 218
    Cary Says:

    funny that those reactions are back-to-back

  219. 219
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, why would we want Maroth? He’s no better and no worse than half a dozen guys (Carlyle, Cormier, the Vulture, Davies, Fredo, Lerew) we can cycle through the 4-5 slots. He’s just a guy, and we have lots of that type. What we need is a #3 starter who can give us 6+ innings and a quality start more often than not.

  220. 220
    Smitty Says:

    Ian Snell is having a decent year for the Pirates. Wonder what we it would take to get him?

  221. 221
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    Salty, at least…

  222. 222
    King Diamond Says:

    I’d have to say Snell is untouchable, and if he is not then the Pirates are even dumber than I think they already are.

  223. 223
    Another Alex R. Says:

    As I said earlier, the Pirates are asking for MULTIPLE blue-chip prospects for their young studs, Snell, Duke, Gorzellany, Maholm, etc. They’re scaring everyone away.

  224. 224
    Alex R. Says:

    I am with Mac on this one…why the heck do we care about Maroth? I mean really, Jocketty, is that turning your season around? Me thinks not.

  225. 225
    Ethan Says:

    Jake Peavy is having a decent year for the Padres. Wonder what it would take to get him?

  226. 226
    Alex R. Says:

    If Gil Meche didn’t have such a huge contract (though I gotta give him props, the guy is playing his tail off trying to earn his big pay day…huge respect and love for this guy) he is another veteran I would be interested in.

    I believe he’s at around $11 mill a year? (about $1.5 above what Morris and Buehrle are getting):

    4-6 3.21 77 28 1.29

    He’s with the Royals and they are always sellers, but the problem is he’s 29 and has 4 more years. I would take him because he is a very hard worker and wants to earn his money, but I don’t think it will happen.

  227. 227
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ethan, are you being sarcastic?

  228. 228
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac,

    I assume he’s being sarcastic because there is no way the Pods, in 1st place in the NL West, are trading us their 20-something ace.

    I just hope we can sign Peavy in the future…he grew up in North Carolina, a lifelong Braves fan and apparently is close buddies with Chipper.

    Still, the Pods are not dealing him to us. We literally have nothing on our team with as much value.

  229. 229
    JoshQ Says:

    Gil Meche (because of his contract) is a guy we won’t go after. Also, I don’t think Dayton Moore is gonna move him right after committing so much money to him. To this point he has pitched his butt off and earned his contract.

    By the way, remember that rumor in the offseason that had Peavy coming to ATL? Wow, that would have been sweet!!! Anyway back to reality.

  230. 230
    Alex R. Says:

    JoshQ,

    I feel certain, that at some point, Peavy would love to pitch for the Braves.

  231. 231
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Alex, Meche is an interesting thought, but I doubt he’s available; Dayton put his reputation on the line for the big bucks, so I think he may want to be proven right. However, considering that they’re going to be rebuilding for a while, he may be willing to part with Meche’s biggish contract for some good young kids.

    Still, for a guy with his history of injury and underachieving, and 4 more years on the contract, I’d be very, very wary.

  232. 232
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Oh, hey, Josh–you made my point before I did.

    Sorry about that.

  233. 233
    Ethan Says:

    Yeah. Sorry, I forgot the “insert sarcasm” rule. There’s not a player on the roster that could get Peavy.

    I will agree with the Meche comments though; I’ve been to a couple of his starts in KC and he looks pretty good. Has a plus fastball and a killer curve.

  234. 234
    Ethan Says:

    He’s Dayton’s boy though; not even worth talking about a trade.

  235. 235
    JoshQ Says:

    I too think he may trade Meche, but it won’t happen for a couple more seasons.

    AlexR,
    Peavy may like to come to ATL at some point, but with the way he is pitching I think that would be attached to a 20mil per year deal.

  236. 236
    JoshQ Says:

    Funny thing about the Meche talk: In the offseason his contract was the poster child for the “ridiculous” money being thrown around by GM’s to anyone who has an arm. Now (at least at this point) we are talking about how solid of a pitcher he has been. Hmmm…

  237. 237
    King Diamond Says:

    Okay, identifying the teams who have absolutely no chance to win this year:

    1. Washington
    2. Cincinnati
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Houston (?)
    5. San Francisco
    6. Toronto
    7. Baltimore
    8. Tampa Bay
    9. Kansas City
    10. ChiSox
    11. Texas

    Now, identifying the (Desirable) starting pitchers from those teams who may be available within the next month or so, who have not been mentioned here:

    How about Aaron Harang? Bronson Arroyo? Keviin Millwood (Assuming TX pays a lot of salary)?

    Just looking for new ideas…

  238. 238
    Ethan Says:

    Here’s a thought; the Royals are getting kind of fed up with Greinke. (he’s kind of a head case) I bet he would be available if someone inquired. It could be one of those “new location” kind of deals.

    He is an interesting kid. Has multiple pitches and was throwing low 90′s as a started; however, he’s been hitting 98 coming out of the bullpen the past couple weeks

  239. 239
    Ethan Says:

    *starter

  240. 240
    King Diamond Says:

    I think the Royals will use Greinke as the closer once they cash in on a seemingly-healthy Octavio Dotel. He’s an interesting guy, but not exactly a “win now” acquisition for Atlanta.

  241. 241
    Ethan Says:

    There was some speculation of that, but KC is really high on their Rule 5 pick this year, Joakim Soria. Most of the talk I’ve heard, either in the KC Star or the radio says they might use him as a closer for awhile, but long term plans have him in the rotation.

    I kind of think they don’t know what to do with him; he’s been really inconsistent, but has all the tools. Part of the problem has been since he was brought up at 20, he has been expected to be the savior of the franchise and it’s gotten to him. Who knows, put him in the NL, in a stable organization with a winning atmosphere, and he could be dominant.

    In any case, especially with the NL AL transition, I’d rather have him than Davies.

  242. 242
    The artist formerly known as Unknown Says:

    We don’t need anymore guys that have talent and are “interesting kids”. We need a win now top two of the rotation pitcher.

  243. 243
    Ethan Says:

    I know. I’m just bored at work on a Friday shooting the s*** and waiting till 5 so I can leave to go on a float trip with some college buddies for the weekend.

    Anyway, Buerhle is the only “top two” guy available and he probably isn’t even really available yet. Look at the teams on 237; none of them have a starter that either: a) we’d want, or b)would be available for what we’d want to give up.

    After all, they are where they are in the standings for a reason.

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