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29 Nov

Melvin Emanuel “Bossman Junior” (“BJ”) Upton

Yes, I’m excited. Five years and $75.25 million is obviously a risk, but in my view, BJ Upton is clearly the best fit for the Braves among free-agent CF options, and he came a bit more cheaply than I thought possible. (I envisioned him signing with the Phillies for something like six years, $100 million. Speaking of which: Ryan Howard contract, LOL.)

A former top draft pick and top prospect out of Virginia — where he grew up with his brother Justin and good friend David Wright, either of whom would also make excellent additions to this Braves roster . . . — BJ bats right and throws right and has all the tools, but he’s been viewed as something of a disappointment because he’s never been the superstar it once looked like he might become.

He was drafted as a shortstop and played there (mixed with some second and third base) in his younger days, before being moved to the outfield for good in 2008. If you believe UZR, he’s a very good defensive CF; if you believe Runs Saved, he’s not. I’m torn, because I typically (strongly) prefer Runs Saved, but my own eyes think he’s pretty good out there.

He’s weird offensively, too. His career averages are pretty good — .255/.336/.436 — but that’s not really representative of any one season he’s had. He used to walk a lot more and hit a lot fewer homers. If you get five years of that slash-line in center, you’re easily getting your money’s worth, but it’s a bit less certain if he continues to be sub-.300-OBP/30-homer guy he was last year. My money’s on Greg Walker helping him to regain some plate discipline.

Anyway, he plays center field, and he hits lefties really, really well. He’s only 28 now and will be only 32 when this contract runs out — the Braves are buying what should be his best years. With the price of wins going up every year, it’s a very good bet that he’ll be worth his contract. Also, and perhaps most importantly, Bossman.

279 Responses to “Melvin Emanuel “Bossman Junior” (“BJ”) Upton”

  1. 1
    Seat Painter Says:

    OK, one hole filled. Now Wren – go out and surprise us by nabbing David Wright for Paul Janish and a Double A lottery ticket.

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    Nice job Stu.

    Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    B.J. Upton said he and his brother Justin Upton have had a few conversations about possibility of playing together in Atlanta.

    Cmon Wren.

  3. 3
    Bethany Says:

    @2 !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    Grst Says:

    Upton said in his press conference that he wants to increase his walks and cut down on strikeouts. Obviously no guarantee that it will happen, but an acknowledgment of the problem and stated desire to improve are good signs.

  5. 5
    Landogarner Says:

    At first blush I don’t like this signing but I’m willing to give him a season before I nominate him for whipping boy.

  6. 6
    Jeff K Says:

    Oh, now that would be sweet.

  7. 7
    Troy Says:

    Can’t wait. It’s not like he’s a can’t-miss superstar, but you don’t get can’t-miss superstars for that kind of cash anyway. Probably at or below market value, for as you say, potentially the prime years of a guy who’s always had huge promise.

    And the thought of his brother coming along behind him is probably just wishful thinking but would basically set us up for the coming years. Jason Heyward and Freeman are young and just getting better, yum yum!

  8. 8
    Seat Painter Says:

    Prado
    Heyward
    J.Upton
    Freeman
    B.J. Upton
    McCann
    Uggla
    Simmons

    Laird
    Gattis
    Francisco
    Pastornicky
    Constanza/Johnson

    Hudson
    Medlen
    Minor
    Maholm
    Delgado

    Kimbrel
    EO’F
    Venters
    Avilan
    Gearrin
    Martinez
    Jaime

    I think I could live with that roster.

  9. 9
    Bethany Says:

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121128&content_id=40445762&vkey=news_atl&c_id=atl

    In this video, Bowman again mentions Simmons as an internal leadoff candidate. Dear god.

  10. 10
    Dan Says:

    @5:

    The Braves are apparently working hard to bring back our favorite current whipping boy.

  11. 11
    Jeff K Says:

    Durbin was assigned whipping boy status early and quickly, but righted the ship as the season went on.

  12. 12
    Grst Says:

    I have no problem bringing Durbin back for the right price. He was a useful piece of the bullpen last year.

  13. 13
    csg Says:

    #9 – Ha, I guess you didnt believe me. Wren and Co. have mentioned it several times.

    I will say this, I hope Simmons convinces them that he’s capable of leadoff so we dont get stuck with going after Span/Victorino types for LF. Give me Justin Upton and we can worry about getting Prado in the leadoff spot later.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    I guess we need to give McDowell some credit. He got a very solid season out of Durbin last year.

  15. 15
    Rob Cope Says:

    @5

    We could always bring back Huckleberry for you to enjoy.

  16. 16
    Bethany Says:

    @13 I did believe you, but hearing it again after we’ve gotten Upton concerns me. My worry is the same as yours: that we get a “leadoff” guy for LF.

  17. 17
    sansho1 Says:

    At first glance they would seem to be nothing alike, but BJ Upton’s career reminds me of David Ross when we acquired him. There was a great deal of skepticism regarding Ross, based largely on the fact that he was coming off a bad year, and it wasn’t the first time he’d had a bad year, either.

    But as Bill James once said, if you can display a particular talent through the course of a single season, you own that talent. The only question is whether it can be teased out of you once again. Ross had had years where he walked at twice the league average rate, hit home runs at twice the league average rate, and thrown out 40+% of basestealers…just never all at the same time. But if you could get him to do two of those things, he would be a very useful player. All three and he’d be tremendously valuable. Well, we all know how that turned out….

  18. 18
    Alex Says:

    @8 — It will probably take Simmons to get J. Upton, unfortunately.

  19. 19
    sansho1 Says:

    Simmons for J Upton is just trading one black hole on the roster for another, so that would be a non-starter, I would think.

  20. 20
    Bethany Says:

    @19 Yeah, no way they trade Simmons.

  21. 21
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’d be willing to take Chad Durbin back if there’s a provision in his contract that says that the Braves will never re-sign Jeff Francoeur for any reason.

  22. 22
    Bethany Says:

    Best part of the BJ signing? Maybe the Braves bring back their lovely stirrup socks!

  23. 23
    csg Says:

    Id even sign Chone Figgins if that was in the contract.

  24. 24
    ryan c Says:

    @joecraig…from last thread…
    The first bench that had Gattis on the roster was assuming that McCann would be out and he would be the backup (or starter,depending on how the Braves viewed his catching abilities), then reevaluate the bench when McCann comes back. I’d love nothing more than to see Gattis crush the ball and force his way into the lineup on a regular basis.

  25. 25
    Johnny Says:

    Do we have enough money left to make a run at Swisher? Do we want to make a run at Swisher? I’ve got a feeling that despite Braves Journal’s reservations on getting a slappy speedy ‘lead off hitter’ thats what we’ll end up with in Left.

    @18 and 19 – I agree. Simmons should be off limits this year.

  26. 26
    fm Says:

    “Boom-boom Bobby” Hernandez is on the Hall-of-Fame ballot this year.

  27. 27
    csg Says:

    Nats sign Denard Span…where does Bourn go now?

  28. 28
    csg Says:

    Should say acquired for Denard Span. Received him for minor leaguer Alex Meyer.

  29. 29
    Bethany Says:

    Alright then, let’s go get the other Upton!

  30. 30
    csg Says:

    David O’Brien
    I asked B.J. Upton if he and his brother have talked about playing together, if that’s something they want to do. He said absolutely, that they talk about it a lot and hope that it happens when Justin is a free agent in three years, if not sooner.

    Ok, now Ive set myself up for disappointment.

  31. 31
    Shawn Says:

    If the Braves got Justin and B.J. I might explode from joy. I was in high school in Newport News, VA when Justin was a senior at Great Bridge in Virginia Beach. He hit the longest home rum I’ve ever seen off a buddy of mine during the State Tournament. He was astonishingly good, he beat my high school team almost by himself, and I think my school went on to win state championship the next year or two. They were a good team, and he just demolished them.
    I can’t say that having two local boys prowling the Atlanta outfield (with Heyward!!!!) would hurt my fandom any, that’s for sure.

  32. 32
    Jeff K Says:

    With Span going to the Nats, Harper will likely move to RF which frees up either Werth or Morse (and most likely Morse) for a trade. Clearly, if we have a shot at the junior Upton then we should go after that first. But I could live with Morse or Werth in left. Werth has more pop, but that awful contract. Morse is cost controlled for another year, so the Nats should be looking to trade him now rather than just lose him to FA.

  33. 33
    Stu Says:

    I just assumed they’d move Morse back to first and let LaRoche walk.

  34. 34
    Jeff K Says:

    They have (Mary) Tyler Moore that they like at 1B.

  35. 35
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Whoa! The Nats gave up a lot less to get Span than I had assumed the Twins wanted from us. Alex Meyer had an excellent year and put up great stats for a 22 year old pitcher in A+ ball. But damn, that is still only high A. The Braves have a whole bunch of equally good pitching prospects.

  36. 36
    Jeff K Says:

    And they desperately need bullpen arms.

  37. 37
    Stu Says:

    Either way, I seriously doubt they’ll be looking to deal Morse within the division.

  38. 38
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Something tells me that the Braves believe BJ is going to improve markedly in Atl, otherwise I don’t see why they wouldn’t beat the Nats offer for Span and save tens of million of dollars.

  39. 39
    Jeff K Says:

    @37 – Probably right, but we certainly have the bullpen arms they need.

  40. 40
    ryan c Says:

    Evidently we’d like to sign Ryan Raburn. He’ll be 32 and was atrocious last year. Pass.

  41. 41
    Jeff K Says:

    @40 – Where did that tidbit come from? Definitely pass.

  42. 42
    ryan c Says:

    @41
    Jayson Stark

  43. 43
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Boras can’t be happy with the Nats trade. If Pagan resigns with the Giants who does he have for leverage against the Phillies? He is going to have work overtime coming up with mystery teams.

  44. 44
    justhank Says:

    There’s this team in Japan that is secretly owned by a Russian billionaire that desperately needs a left-handed centerfielder.

    Suck it, Boras.

    Too bad Bourn chose unwisely. Really liked him in a Braves uni.

  45. 45
    ryan c Says:

    I really think getting Choo is doable. The Indians have to be starting pitching hungry. Their starting staff was atrocious last year, their Minor League talent is almost non-existent, and they’d be kidding themselves if they think they have a chance at doing anything this year other than mirroring last year. They’re a 75 win team, at best. I’d offer Hanson for Choo straight up and see if they bite.

  46. 46
    ryan c Says:

    Know who hasn’t been discussed yet? Nelson Cruz. Free agent after this year.

  47. 47
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Cruz is 32, he is poor defensively, and he doesn’t walk much. He basically has the offensive upside of BJ Upton, but he’s four years older and worse defensively. I’d take him if we could get him for cheap, but he’s a pretty one dimensional slugger and I don’t want to overpay for the homers.

  48. 48
    Adam R Says:

    Plus, he seems like he has ongoing hamstring issues.

  49. 49
    DowneasterJC Says:

    I’ve wanted Choo for years now. I’d trade anyone but my Big Three of Heyward, Freeman, and Medlen for him.

    Also, I just got a Samsung Galaxy Note II and could not be happier with it. Just an aside for any of the more tech inclined readers.

  50. 50
    bledsoe Says:

    My main concern is the JA factor here. Clubhouse cancers are for real, and they lead to losing seasons. This guy has acted like a complete jerk for most of his career.

  51. 51
    desert Says:

    50,

    This is the same organization that dumped one of the five most valuable shortstops in baseball (at the time) for Alex Gonzalez. I doubt they didn’t do their homework on Upton.

  52. 52
    csg Says:

    DOB actually made reference to that earlier. Said Wren called as many former coaches and players as he possibly could and didnt receive a single bad response. Ill see if I can find that quote later.

  53. 53
    jjschiller Says:

    Does anybody follow Prep baseball? What are the thoughts on Heyward’s younger brother? I guess he graduates this year.

  54. 54
    kc Says:

    @38 Exactly. Either the Braves like Upton a lot better than Span or Alex Meyer is a lot better than we think.

  55. 55
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Upton said in his press conference that he wants to increase his walks and cut down on strikeouts.

    Jeff Francouer said this every year.

  56. 56
    Dan Says:

    No, Francoeur said: “if on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?”

  57. 57
    desert Says:

    This year may be the last that we see of McCann and Hudson in Braves’ uniforms. That’s a sad thought.

    Alex Meyer apparently has number-one starter potential. A lottery ticket, but one with perhaps better odds than most.

  58. 58
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    DOB:

    And after doing a lot of background checks on Upton, talking to everyone from former teammates and coaches to clubhouse attendants, the Braves were convinced that Upton was the thoughtful, respectful and passionate player they talked to Nov. 15, not the petulant or lackluster sort some perceived after a couple of incidents in Tampa Bay.

    “They all came back with roaring reviews of B.J., and that goes back to Mr. and Mrs. Upton and the upbringing they gave him,” Gonzalez said, nodding toward the two parents in the front row. “Because nobody ever said anything bad about him. And the clubhouse guys, in our business they know everything. And it was rave reviews. Not only can he perform on the field, he adds another dynamic to our clubhouse and to our club. It’s going to make us better.”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2012/11/29/newest-brave-upton-excited-about-fresh-start/

  59. 59
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    57– I’d say given that Alex Meyer only has two pitches right now and will be 23 in a few weeks, the odds that he turns into a frontline starter are actually pretty low. Certainly lower than for a handful of guys in our organization. On the other hand, with high 90s gas and a nasty slider the odds pretty good that he has value as a major league reliever.

  60. 60
    csg Says:

    JHey showed up to the Upton presser. Said he loved the signing and loved the direction the team was heading.

  61. 61
    kc Says:

    @60 I would love the team direction too if there are $30M to spend in every offseason.

  62. 62
    NickH Says:

    So… per Mark Bowman, the Phillies’ best offer to BJ Upton was 5 years / $55M… I have to wonder how much the Braves were bidding against themselves to get up to 5/$75M. https://twitter.com/mlbbowman/status/274244021386366976

  63. 63
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Did the Pirates also get one of these magic new TV deals? What a clown show. 17/2 for Russell Martin.

  64. 64
    Adam M Says:

    LOLBrees.

  65. 65
    Adam M Says:

    Also, nice move by the Nats. If the Braves sign Ryan Raburn… not so nice.

  66. 66
    spike Says:

    @58, I am at a bit of a loss to understand the outsized focus on character in a results driven industry – it seems like the sort of thing that keeps the Brad Ausmus’ of the world employed past their sell by date. Having said that, I still like the signing.

  67. 67
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Good write-up, Stu!

  68. 68
    Bethany Says:

    Wright has resigned with the Mets.

  69. 69
    Seat Painter Says:

    I refuse to believe David Wright would resign with IWOTM.

    (Puts fingers in ears)

    Lalalalalalala…I can’t hear you…lalala.

  70. 70
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think that character is basically just something where you need to clear a bar. Someone with amazing character is probably not going to help your team that much more than someone with adequate character. But someone below the bar is capable of actively poisoning a clubhouse. As long as pretty much everyone is at or above the bar, you should be fine on that front.

  71. 71
    Jables Says:

    I’ve lived in St. Pete for a few years, and in all honesty a lot of the “petulance” and bad attitude associated with BJ around here is/was more frustration with himself than anything else. You could tell from interviews and body language that he was just as upset as Rays fans that he hadn’t put it all together for a complete season yet. Not that that excuses occasionally childish behavior, but this isn’t a Yunel situation – the guy really recognizes the flaws in his game and wants to get better. Late twenties is the perfect time to get a guy like that – the natural talent is still there and he’s mature enough to put in the work.

  72. 72
    Jeff K Says:

    Yep, apparently Wright/Mets agreed to a 7/$122M extension for his age 31-38 playing years. Wright probably would have gotten that elsewhere, but the Mets need to improve pretty much everywhere except 3B. So one wonders why they are dumping $138M into one position. IWOTM.

  73. 73
    csg Says:

    @58, I am at a bit of a loss to understand the outsized focus on character in a results driven industry

    See Bobby Petrino. Sometimes character issues outweigh production.

  74. 74
    Rusty S. Says:

    My take is that Upton has holes, and pitchers have figured them out. That early Upton is not coming back, although switching leagues could be a temporary benefit. (as is getting out of the pitcher friendly Trop, as AAR commented the other day.)

    As Peggy Hill said, “I am not a professional psychologist. However, I am am an amateur psychologist.”

    I’ve been to a couple of Rays games each year over the last 4 years, and there just seemed to be a low level of negative vibe in the crowd toward Upton I didn’t notice for other guys. I think the fans and Upton were frustated it’s not as easy as he made it look at first. People want to jump to the simple answer that it’s lack of effort, but I don’t believe that.

    I think he’s trying, frustrated, and the fans frustration with him had a compounding effect on his demeanor.

  75. 75
    Justin Says:

    I think that character is important to the organization given the size of the contract. For role players or bench guys, its less important. For 75MM, BJ is a huge part of the organization. They executives of this team wouldn’t hire a guy for that much money if they didn’t like his attitude. Like any other business, they are recognizing that the culture of the team definitely makes a difference.

  76. 76
    JoeyT Says:

    Any sports industry is an entertainment industry. If a guy helps you win games, but fewer people watch games because of him, then he hurts revenue. Character matters. If you can’t put a $15 mil guy in your commercials and on promotional material, he probably needs to have the kind of marginal impact that adds playoff games.

    I had honestly never heard of character issues with Upton until this thread, and I have a lot of Rays fan friends. I don’t know where this stuff originates.

  77. 77
    kc Says:

    Sounds like BJ is another Andruw.

  78. 78
    Dan Says:

    If a guy helps you win games, but fewer people watch games because of him, then he hurts revenue. Character matters.

    Don’t those types usually attract more viewers? Going to guess Rocker’s games in New York after the 1999 season attracted more viewers than usual.

  79. 79
    PaulV Says:

    Change of scenry should help BJ. Fans will be down on Uggla before him

  80. 80
    Anon21 Says:

    Any sports industry is an entertainment industry. If a guy helps you win games, but fewer people watch games because of him, then he hurts revenue.

    Granted, but what would that guy even look like? Just to take the extreme example, Barry Bonds’ combination of ridiculous production and ridiculous jerkiness hurt the Giants to the tune of . . . increased attendance, increased merch sales, plus a road attendance effect that clearly told the story that fans wanted to see him play.

    Upton obviously doesn’t have nearly Bonds’ talent nor nearly his reputation for being a bad guy. But honestly, I’m a little skeptical about the idea that a “clubhouse cancer” could hurt a team’s attendance or ratings so long as he’s producing. Right or not, sports fans forgive a lot (*cough* Roethlisberger *cough*) for players that do good things on the field. Dave Chappelle had a good bit about this when Kobe was charged with rape.

  81. 81
    ububba Says:

    Wasn’t Upton’s “issue” more a matter of hustle? As in, occasional lack of?

    #78
    They did. I went to those games & it was the biggest dumbass-fest this side of Tuesday night wrestling at the National Guard Armory. The whole thing made one lose a little faith in humanity.

  82. 82
    JonathanF Says:

    @81: JonathanF’s rule: Every story which relates to events in Shea Stadium must include the word “dumbass-fest.” My astonishment is how quickly the move to Citifield (though I’ve only made two visits) has raised the tone. That said, IWOTM.

  83. 83
    c. shorter Says:

    Ah, losing faith in humanity… makes me grateful for this little neck of the internet where those commenting don’t make me feel that way. Rare.

    I’ve heard that some attribute the issue of hustle as a perception problem. As in, those perceiving it may have other issues (latent, or not so latent, racism). I have no idea whether that’s the case. I believe Keith Law has written about it. For whatever it’s worth.

  84. 84
    Rob Cope Says:

    My favorite Rocker moment: At the Trop for an interleague game between the Devil Rays and Braves. This jack-in-the-box in the stands, in the second inning, keeps yelling, “BRING IN ROCKER! BRING IN ROCKER!”

    IT’S THE SECOND INNING!

  85. 85
    Rob Cope Says:

    Speaking of losing your faith in humanity, have you guys read those comment threads after articles on ESPN.com? Man, those cretins have issues. I read these articles on my phone, I scroll down to read a couple comments, my IQ drops 15 points.

  86. 86
    c. shorter Says:

    Side note, I believe the lack of hustle is a racist perception is typically applied to fans / media types making accusations in specific cases, while not mentioning it whenever Scrapper McGrit doesn’t run out a 6-3 put out.

    I think Bossman had been benched a couple of times for a lack of hustle. I don’t know if those situations were discussed in terms of racism.

  87. 87
    Nick Says:

    I have been unable to post since last night, so let me just say this to the New Orleans Saints: Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!

  88. 88
    c. shorter Says:

    85 – Anything related to politics or religion is even worse. If you can believe it. I just can’t read ‘em. I always feel like I’ve let myself down on the rare times that I do read a comment or two.

  89. 89
    Bethany Says:

    @88 Or anything at al.com.

  90. 90
    JonathanF Says:

    @86: From The League http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_League

    Andre: I met this doctor, Dr. Maxwell. Real class act.
    Pete: Is he…black?
    Andre: How’d you know?
    Pete: Nine times out of ten, when a sportscaster is referring to someone as a “class act”, they’re talking about a head coach who’s black. “Tony Dungy, what a class act.”
    Kevin: “Total. Lovie Smith—class act.”
    Andre: I never noticed that. I mean, it happens all the time?
    Kevin: It’s not just football. Sportscasters use these code words in all sports. If they’re talking about a Latino player in baseball, like, “Ozzie Guillen is a…”
    Ruxin: Firecracker. Latin guys are always firecrackers.
    Kevin: “…firecracker.”
    Pete: Spark plug.
    Kevin: Spark plug in the clubhouse.
    Ruxin: Wes Welker is like a gym rat, a real scrappy player.
    Kevin: Which is code word for “white.”
    Ruxin: Always a white guy.
    Kevin: Ichiro Suzuki is…
    Taco: Inscrutable.

  91. 91
    Dan Says:

    Anything related to politics or religion is even worse.

    Yeah, and you realize why Mac banned discussion of those subjects from this website. Wikipedia is such a good source, until you get to anything political or religious, then it’s an untrustworthy flame-war of edits.

  92. 92
    Mark Grogan Says:

    OK. It’s been brought up. Does anyone other than me believe the Upton signing also helps keep the diversity we had with Bourne? I apologize if it shouldn’t be mentioned, but it has been a thought of mine for some time. I, even at my advanced age, am open to being enlightened on the subject by the fine folk here.

  93. 93
    desert Says:

    I can understand the dislike of BJ Upton from Rays fans. He was the highest-rated player in that 2002 draft, and was supposed to be a major superstar for a decade to come (I have no clue why Bullington was drafted first).

    If Heyward has Upton’s career through age 28, I would certainly be disappointed; even more so if there were perceived (if not actual) flaws of character and work ethic that lead to his stagnant performance.

    Scratch that. I’d be really ticked off if that occurred. Can’t blame Rays fans.

  94. 94
    desert Says:

    92,

    I would think that topic wouldn’t matter anymore in the game today, but I’m young and foolish. I don’t think it’s a concern unless outside forces make it to be one, and that hasn’t been a problem with the Braves in my memory. They would have taken Upton if he were white, purple, orange, or green.

  95. 95
    Marspr Says:

    @90
    On more than one occasion, I heard Billy Packer bandying about the word”articulate” when describing a college hoopsters. Never once was the individual being described a caucasion.

  96. 96
    Dan Says:

    I remember the 2005 World Series, how some sports writers were saying that the Astros were “too white” and that the White Sox should win because they “represent America’s diversity” or some such.

    Either way, the Braves would still have had Heyward.

  97. 97
    Remy Says:

    Maybe Upton had trouble playing in Longoria’s shadow?

  98. 98
    Smitty Says:

    Per MLBTR we jsut delt Hanson to LAA for Jordan Walden

  99. 99
    Smitty Says:

    If that is true, our pen is stupid good.

  100. 100
    Stu Says:

    Like Walden a lot. Honestly, that’s a better return for Tommy than I’d have expected.

    He’d look great in the DBacks’ bullpen…

  101. 101
    Adam M Says:

    I honestly don’t know how to feel about this…

  102. 102
    oldtimer? Says:

    This looks like a good deal. Solidifies the bullpen and saves some serious cash.

  103. 103
    Hate King Says:

    Another good move in my estimation.

  104. 104
    c. shorter Says:

    Wow. Walden’s good, but as Stu implies, I wonder if there’s a next step. Hopefully he’s not replacing… I won’t finish it.

    91 — 100% support Mac’s ban. Not the purpose here.

  105. 105
    ryan c Says:

    I think this is a prerequisite move.

  106. 106
    oldtimer? Says:

    Hopefully he is replacing Durbin.

  107. 107
    Dan Says:

    Hanson will bounce back, and we’ll be watching Delgado get lit up every fifth day.

  108. 108
    desert Says:

    104.

    Ohhhhhhhh…… that would make me so conflicted.

  109. 109
    csg Says:

    Hanson will still be throwing 87 mph heaters. Eliminating some payroll to get a brother :)

  110. 110
    Adam M Says:

    @107 Maybe, but this chart suggests a bounce back will be tough:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=9129&position=P&pitch=FA

  111. 111
    Dan Says:

    Walden is replacing Durbin.

  112. 112
    desert Says:

    Yeah, if it was a matter of luck, or an abnormally low strand rate, or really anything non-mechanical, he’d be a good bet to bounce back.

    However, all of Hanson’s troubles can really be traced back to one source: his shoulder. And medicine hasn’t figured out shoulders just yet.

  113. 113
    Stu Says:

    Or we could keep Walden and, as I saw suggested on Twitter, deal O’Failurety, thereby freeing up more budget room…

  114. 114
    ububba Says:

    Gotta like another flamethrowing righty. This pen’s looking even more like the Nasty Boys.

    FWIW, I’m sure Hanson doesn’t mind returning home, to SoCal. Good luck to him.

    Off to the ATL. Go Dogs…

  115. 115
    JoeyT Says:

    Wow. That’s a good return for Hanson.

  116. 116
    c. shorter Says:

    113 — Relying more on Avilan for a prospero año, right Bethany?

  117. 117
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    1. Getting anything of value for Hanson’s bum shoulder is amazing.
    2. Walden has value.
    3. Clearing $4 mil for LF is even better.
    4. Chad Durbin was one of our best relievers for the majority of 2012.
    5. I wouldn’t bank on Durbin repeating that performance in 2013.

  118. 118
    Dan Says:

    Didn’t Bowman recently write about needing to trade Hanson to free up money, if the Braves were to go after Upton?

  119. 119
    Bethany Says:

    @116 Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    I’m super stoked at the deal, but I remain terrified that we’re going after “leadoff” types for LF.

  120. 120
    Stu Says:

    116—Yes. He’s untouchable, after all.

  121. 121
    Parish Says:

    I am disappointed in what Hanson was able to do for us, but I think the move will prove to be pretty good.

    I do hope it is an intermediate step to helping our offense. EOF to be traded now, or clearing salary for a FA.

  122. 122
    Remy Says:

    Trade Venters. Keep EOF.

  123. 123
    ryan c Says:

    If not a prequel, our bullpen should be set and this should give us 13.5 million to spend.

  124. 124
    c. shorter Says:

    120 – in fact.

  125. 125
    csg Says:

    Im surprised the Braves moved Hanson, Im also surprised they got good value for him. Ironic. Im guessing Wren didnt want to take the chance on another Jurrjens situation and come next year regret on not trading Hanson now.

  126. 126
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Am I the only one that looks forward to occasionally watch Hanson pitch for the Angels?

    I mean, I remember a couple of Hanson’s starts last year as some of the more entertaining games I’ve ever seen, especially that absurd spectacle down in Florida. But the hilarity was always tinged with dread and too often ended with regret.

  127. 127
    spike Says:

    Hanson still led the staff in K’s and K/9 – I’m not surprised someone was willing to give something good for a chance to “fix” him. Good deal for Atlanta, LAA has a metric ton of money so it’s no skin off their nose really. If we really have 13.5M, I’d start thinking about Swish.

  128. 128
    Stu Says:

    127—Me too (since about ’07…), but I dunno if the Braves would really try to sign another low-AVG/high-K type.

  129. 129
    Johnny Says:

    Swish takes walks though. I want him.

  130. 130
    Jeff K Says:

    Nice move by Wren, if true. Good luck to Tommy — I really enjoyed having him as a Brave and hope he can right whatever ails his shoulder and mechanics.

  131. 131
    Johnny Says:

    Good deal for the Braves and the Angels. I hope Tommy can come back for them.

  132. 132
    cliff Says:

    They may have freed payroll, but the two moves I am still thinking about either take almost none of that or doesn’t take much.

    1. Wil Myers

    2. Shin Soo Choo. With a partial platoon with Gattis, you let Choo lead off and play left against righthanders and let Prado lead off and Gattis play left against lefthanders. Whatever you give up, you still get a pick back in the sandwich round (if you tender). And, between Gattis, Constanza, and Cunningham, you may be able to make left field work in another year.

    Walden SHOULD have eliminated the need for Durbin. Maybe take that money and get the best FA catcher willing to sign a “split deal.”

    I DO NOT WANT a pure “lead off type”. That would be STUPID.

  133. 133
    Adam R Says:

    1 I’m a little more excited about the extra 4 mil + not-Durbin than I am about Walden. But he’s more than adequate as a player, and it’s a good deal for both teams.
    2 I’m still a big Tommy fan. The lulz from reading the game thread from his 7 SB masterpiece… I wish him well.
    3 Swisher. Swisher. Swisher.

  134. 134
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Diamondbacks take EOF and Delgado for Bauer. Wren uses the 4million saved to sign Josh Hamilton to a slightly backloaded deal for 3/75. Future years are paid for with money saved from McCann, Hudson and Maholm. That deal and Uggla’s expire in time to still pay for latter years of extensions for Medlen, Heyward, Simmons, and a couple of Freeman, Kimbrel, Minor and Beachy.

    Just daydreaming.

  135. 135
    spike Says:

    nats are said to be shopping Morse – doubt they’d move him to ATL, but it would be a pretty good fit.

  136. 136
    W.C.G. Says:

    I’m not thrilled with BJ on his own merits, but I want Justin like whoa. Swisher, like Stu said, we’re five years late on. Not worth the investment. I put anything not named Simmons, Heyward, or Medlen on the table in a J. Upton package.

  137. 137
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I don’t see how Morse fits. He is a terrible outfielder (probably as bad as Gattis) and no longer very cheap (6.8 million). He’s going to make a living as a DH in a low rent district.

  138. 138
    td Says:

    A huge upside for Hanson in the AL is that he’ll only have to bat when he starts in interleague road games. Hopefully for him that will mean only 4 to 5 bunt attempts per year.

  139. 139
    spike Says:

    @137, “no longer cheap” compared to which FA LF you were thinking of?

  140. 140
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Rival executives are apparently pissed at the Twins for trading Span too cheaply. Sounds like a reality check for GMs asking for the moon for Dexter freaking Fowler.

    With that said, please trade us Choo.

  141. 141
    Mark Grogan Says:

    W.C.G, don’t forget Avilan is untouchable too.

  142. 142
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    spike, Morse is a 5.1 WAR player for his career and was only worth .6 WAR last year. He’s probably not worth 6.8 million dollars even if he didn’t cost prospects.

  143. 143
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Should have specified that that .6 was Bref WAR. Fangraphs liked him even less at .3 WAR. And entering his age 31 year there is zero chance he duplicates his 2011 season. Morse is a platoon DH for a poor team and nothing more.

  144. 144
    Dan Says:

    Braves Claim David Carpenter

    “In 32 1/3 innings for the Astros and Blue Jays this past season, Carpenter posted a 8.07 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.”

  145. 145
    spike Says:

    Morse only has 5.1 WAR because he’s only been a starter for two years. But it’s academic in any event.

  146. 146
    Bethany Says:

    @144 Future Whipping Boy.

  147. 147
    Seat Painter Says:

    Just saw the trade news – and like most, I wish Tommy the best in SoCal and hope his shoulder holds out.

    I love the return, and the flexibility we now have to make another move. So, Delgado, Ahmed, and Gilmartin for J. Upton, and I will be extra stoked for pitchers and catchers reporting, even if we have to open the season with Laird and Gattis behind the plate.

  148. 148
    Seat Painter Says:

    Kimbrel
    EO’F
    Venters
    Walden
    Avilan
    Gearrin
    Martinez

    Wow. Gotta think one of those guys is headed out, don’t you?

  149. 149
    W.C.G. Says:

    @141, forgot about good ol’ Aroldis Avilan back there. My B.

    Unless we flip him, we’ll have fun watching Walden do the hop:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6YVLK0zQM

  150. 150
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    147 and 148- Anyone think EOF, Ahmed and Gilmartin would get it done? If not, what else will it take?

    Prado
    Heyward
    J. Upton
    Freeman
    B. J. Upton
    McCann
    Uggla
    Simmons

    I am getting zero work done today.

  151. 151
    Bethany Says:

    @150 *dies*

  152. 152
    Justin Says:

    I expect more trades, but I dont know what to expect! The bullpen looks nasty. The hybrid last name: Ventwal-Flahermbrel

  153. 153
    Jeff K Says:

    Morse has a career 162 game slash line of .295/.347/.492/.839 with OPS+ of 126. He nearly matched these numbers last year despite being injured. No reason to believe he would come close to his stellar 2011 performance. His defense in LF isn’t good, but he won’t kill you. I live in DC and have seen him live dozens of games. His defense will benefit from playing just one OF position, instead of being shuffled around several INF and OF positions. He’s also significantly cheaper than any of the other big bopper LFers out there.

    But spike’s probably right — Rizzo probably isn’t looking to trade him in the division. But as I said earlier, we’ve got the bullpen that the Nats desperately need.

  154. 154
    Stu Says:

    You know, if we get a real LF and Uggla continues to suck, we could always do a Francisco-Uggla platoon, with Prado shifting between third and second instead of third and left.

    I know Uggla’s better against righties than against lefties, but he’s not the team’s best option against righties and is against lefties.

  155. 155
    Jeff K Says:

    Sorry … no reason to believe he would NOT come close … . I miss the edit button.

  156. 156
    mravery Says:

    Nice deal. Would’ve gotten more a year or two ago, but I didn’t think Tommy was going to fall off a cliff like this. Walden used to be highly regarded, and I view him as a guy with a fair bit of potential upside. I’d be stunned if the Braves got Justin Upton, but I’d also be ecstatic. So far I’ve really liked Wren’s off-season, although I go back and forth on picking up McCann’s option.

  157. 157
    Dan Says:

    Bowman: “Jurrjens and Hanson owned two of the NL’s top 3 ERAs entering the 2011 All-Star break. The Braves will end up getting rid of both today.”

  158. 158
    Jeff K Says:

    I liked that Wren picked up McCann’s option. Not a lot of starting catchers available right now, and Wren already had holes to fill at CF and LF/3B. It was also the right thing to do for a player like McCann.

  159. 159
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    153–That 162 game average for Morse is misleading. It vastly overweights his 2011 season, which was obviously a great year offensively. In the previous six seasons he was below average as a part time platoon player. Furthermore 2011 was his age 29 season and if anyone expects his future performance will be closer to 2011 than last year, when he turned in a .321 OBP and .791 OPS, then they are probably kidding themselves.

    His OF defense is wretched according to both bRef and Fangraphs, and it is chiefly attributable to a lack of range. That is only going to deteriorate. Given that Harper is a league average CF, the Span trade seems to acknowledge that the Nats feel the same way.

    As a DH he has some value, in part because he’s not hurting you defensively.

  160. 160
    Jeff K Says:

    Stu, your idea of a ham fingers/ham forearms platoon got me thinking so I dug around trying to find any previous examples where a player shifted frequently between SS and 2B as part of a platoon, like Prado would be asked to do. I couldn’t find anything, and it seems like shifting a lot to opposites of the bag would hurt Prado’s defense and the double-play combination.

  161. 161
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. But having a Sluggo Platoon just seems fun.

  162. 162
    Jeff K Says:

    @159 – No, it only “overweights” 2011 in the sense that 2011 was his first year as a regular starter and he missed several games last year due to injury. What it shows me is that Morse — like most good players — benefits from regular playing time.

  163. 163
    Jeff K Says:

    @159 – Also, no one here is suggesting that Morse should get a lengthy contract. He’s cost-controlled for another year. Use it.

  164. 164
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    162–Half of his career ABs came in what will certainly be his career year in his age 29 season. Calculating a career 162 game slash line and suggesting that this is somehow indicative of his value either past, present or future, is silly.

    There may be another GM that believes that Morse is likely to replicate his age 29 season in his age 31 season, after putting up a less than 1 WAR season in his age 30 season, but I doubt it. I suspect he gets traded to the AL for marginal prospect(s).

  165. 165
    PaulV Says:

    Would Morse become Nats’ 1B? Will they resign LaRoche?

  166. 166
    MikeM Says:

    Wren got rid of the most frustrating pitcher on the roster and the $4 mil owed to him and got back a reliever who throws 95 mph. Nice move.

  167. 167
    Jeff K Says:

    Typical half-full/half-empty problem of interpreting statistics. You look at the first full season of his career and see an anamoly. I look at it and see his first full season. I don’t know where he’ll be traded, but I strongly suspect it won’t be for the reasons you suspect.

  168. 168
    spike Says:

    Again, it doesn’t matter because it ain’t happening, but Morse has an OPS+ of 133 over his last 1200 or so AB’s since becoming a regular. To say that only the last 450 have meaning is what is silly. Geez, he may be stone handed with the glove – not that I trust any defensive metrics all that much, but to say he can’t hit anymore is just a bald faced assertion.

  169. 169
    Jeff K Says:

    @165 – Either Tyler Moore or Morse (if he’s not traded) will play 1B if they don’t re-sign LaRoche. But I’d guess that Moore is top of that depth chart after LaRoche.

  170. 170
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    165-I think the Nats are hoping that the possibility of moving Morse to 1B gives them leverage with LaRoche. But they definitely don’t want his as their full time first baseman.

    I remember the Nats announcers discussing Morse’s defense at 1B during the Cardinals series late in the regular season and I was surprised that Santangelo was so frank in describing it as awful. Part of the problem that he touched on is that none of the Nats other infielders have accurate arms (Zimmerman does when he is healthy). Laroche is fantastic at dig throws out of the dirt, but Morse not so much.

  171. 171
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    spike- nowhere did I say he couldn’t hit anymore. I did say, and will say again, that he is never again likely to hit as well as he did in his age 29 season, and that his defense is so bad and takes away so much of his offensive value that given his increasing salary in the future he is likely to only have value as a DH.

  172. 172
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. But having a Sluggo Platoon just seems fun.

    If you’re going to do this you might as well just have Francisco play 2B and leave Prado be. I mean, it would be *awful,* but Prado’s sort of awful at 2B too, and Uggla’s no Darwin Barney out there.

  173. 173
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m a little late, but Jordan Walden is a lot more than I thought we’d get for Tommy. Wren continues his “oh hey, not bad” streak. I like him.

  174. 174
    DowneasterJC Says:

    I’ll miss Tommy a little just because he was the first player I ever really got excited about as a prospect. His last year at AAA was when I dove headfirst into baseball fandom, so I’m struck with a pang of nostalgia at the news of the trade.

    But I love to watch hard tossing relievers more than anything else, so I’m over it already. Walden and Kimbrel should be fun to watch together.

  175. 175
    Adam R Says:

    I hope we resign Moylan. I don’t trust Gearrin, and Moylan’s fun to have around.

  176. 176
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Javy Lopez was the first player I ever got really excited about as a prospect.

    Where’s my walker?

  177. 177
    Mike N. Says:

    Frenchy was the first prospect I cared about because I saw him hit 4 mammoth home runs in two games during the state championship.

  178. 178
    JoshQ Says:

    Where is anyone seeing that Choo is even available? Very intriguing, but I have not seen this anywhere.

  179. 179
    Bethany Says:

    Let Moylan go. He’s past his time.

  180. 180
    c. shorter Says:

    Moylan’s one of my favorites, but I don’t think he’s likely to be valuable at this point.

  181. 181
    spike Says:

    @178, Because Choo is in the last year of his contract and a Boras client, if Cleveland doesn’t think they will contend they almost have to trade him preseason to maximize the potential return.

  182. 182
    PaulV Says:

    I will be impressed with Wren when he gets value for JJ.

  183. 183
    JoeyT Says:

    By the time the clock strikes midnight, JJ will no longer be a member of this team.

  184. 184
    Jeff M. Says:

    That’s a high bar, PaulV. Not sure Houdini could pull that off. But relative to his pitching last year, if they got a half dozen softballs and a six pack of Coors Light, that might be value for JJ.

  185. 185
    PeteOrr Says:

    @174 – Exact same situation for me Downeaster. I will definitely miss Hanson. I was definitely in denial about his decline and probably defended him a little too ardently for it. Beachy/Medlen/Simmons/Heyward is a good crop of kids in whom I feel personally invested though, and none of them can approach the hair-pulling frustration that Hanson brought to the table. I suppose I’ll be better for saying goodbye to him.

  186. 186
    JonathanF Says:

    @176 & 177: I was really interested in the “can’t miss” Brad Komminsk in 1984. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kommibr01.shtml Goes a long way towards explaining why I never get excited about anybody coming up any more until they do something.

  187. 187
    JonathanF Says:

    Just saw a report on Wright. Interestingly, his contract is front-loaded, not back-loaded. Given aging effects in long contracts, that clearly makes a lot of sense. But wait… it’s the Mets! What am I missing?

  188. 188
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The nice thing about the Mets is, without worrying about just how they’ll manage it, you can almost always be fairly confident that they’ll screw it up.

  189. 189
    Mark Grogan Says:

    Smitty’s barber has been in South Beach.

    Braves get Upton.

    Marlins get Gattis,Avilan the Untouchable.

    Arizona gets Escobar, Gilmartin, Morrison, O’Flaherty, Ahmed

  190. 190
    kc Says:

    Just learned about the trade. Amazed with the return. The bullpen will be amazingly good. Please go for Justin. Leadoff spot is less of a concern for me if we can get both Uptons.

    In Wren I trust.

  191. 191
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    189–Mark, that is worthy of Smitty’s barber. Damn! I never thought about Yunel as the SS piece for AZ. The beauty of it is that FLA has no desire to get Upton themselves, and don’t even particularly want Frosted Tips. Can we keep Gattis, though? And just give them like Salcedo instead?

  192. 192
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I do not want to see Evan Gattis in any other uniform. That’s just fan talk, but by god, I just don’t want that.

  193. 193
    mark grogan Says:

    Gattis is a man without a position if we have Upton the younger. He may also be at the peak of his value.

  194. 194
    Bethany Says:

    I don’t want to see any more talk of the White Bear being traded.

  195. 195
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Stop talking about trading Gattis. That’s like killing a unicorn. Nothing good comes of it!

  196. 196
    desert Says:

    195,

    It is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn. Only one who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a crime. The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenceless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips.

    Yeah, yeah. I like the books; they’re much more entertaining than the vast majority of classical literature they shoved down my throat in high school. I mean, Wuthering Heights? Really? What a dog**** book.

  197. 197
    spike Says:

    I hope Gattis gets a chance here too, but if he fails I reserve the right to call him Osso Bucco.

  198. 198
    Dan Says:

    Stop talking about trading Gattis. That’s like killing a unicorn. Nothing good comes of it!

    Even the other Upton?

  199. 199
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I will never read a book by a Brontë.

  200. 200
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    NEVER.NOT FOR NOONE EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER! Not even Ryan Braun. Leave me my White Bear, dammit.

  201. 201
    kc Says:

    Didn’t know Joe Johnson has this in him…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/joe-johnson-crossover-drops-paul-pierce-nearly-knees-141147993–nba.html;_ylt=Apy50TR5s69UAzYMygmG5qCTPKB4

  202. 202
    Rob Cope Says:

    This trade is definitely a challenge trade. My underperformer for your underperformer. I like these kind of deals, because the Braves usually win.

  203. 203
    PaulV Says:

    Descent from 3rd consins of the Bronte’ sisters are my claim to genetic fame. I have seen some movies, but read books. Charles II never made it to Cornwall. I claim to be related by marriage to Poldark, a fictional PBS character. But do not trade the White Bear

  204. 204
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If the film adaptation is likely to star or be directed by Emma Thompson, I’m out.

  205. 205
    desert Says:

    I’ll take Emma Stone, though.

    Speaking of, anybody know what happened to that guy?

  206. 206
    csg Says:

    Okay, opening day lineup

    Prado
    heyward
    Upton
    freeman
    upton
    Gattis
    Uggla
    Simmons
    Medlen

  207. 207
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I assume he’s in jail. Stalking is a serious crime.

  208. 208
    desert Says:

    206,

    If that is indeed the case, I’m calling Medlen’s stat line as follows:

    5.1 IP, 9 Runs (1 ER), 17 Ks

    “And there’s another mishandled 3rd strike! Who knew you could have 5 of them in a game?!”

  209. 209
    Mike N. Says:

    A guy I played with in high school had 7 passed balls in a game once, so that’s entirely possible.

  210. 210
    jjschiller Says:

    Jesus Flores is now a FA. Backup backup catcher?

  211. 211
    Rusty S. Says:

    My son struck out 5 batters in one inning in a 13 year old tournament. The sun was setting directly behind him, and neither the batter or the catcher could see anything. Even 2 of the outs had to be thrown out at first. There was a delay after that.

  212. 212
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The Mets non-tendered Andres Torres, whom they got in a stupid challenge trade for Angel Pagan. Still, he might be useful as a fourth/fifth outfielder.

    I used to like Flores, but man, it sure don’t look like the man remembers how to hit, does it?

  213. 213
    Bethany Says:

    Every day in which we don’t trade for Upton the Younger takes years off my life.

  214. 214
    Parish Says:

    Why does everyone here seem to think Gattis’ defense at C is that bad?

    It’s not.

  215. 215
    csg Says:

    Apparently Towers wants Simmons for Upton. My dream may not come true.

  216. 216
    csg Says:

    @208- but we win 11-9

  217. 217
    Dan Says:

    “#Dbacks want Andrelton Simmons from #Braves in Justin Upton talks. This is why Justin Upton has not joined BJ in Atlanta — yet.” -Jon Morosi

    Just hope the Braves avoid the trap of thinking the left fielder has to be some stereotypical leadoff type.

  218. 218
    Bethany Says:

    @216 I have complete faith that if J. Upton is who Wren wants, he’s going to make it work, and without Simmons.

  219. 219
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I really like Simmons. He’s an exceptional defender with a bat that seems like it will at least play.

    I do think you guys might be overrating him a bit these days. He’s not Arod as a rookie.

  220. 220
    Bethany Says:

    @219 I think the issue is that he’s basically the only answer we have at SS.

  221. 221
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I recognize the dearth of talent behind him, Bethany, and that’s certainly at play. And honestly, I think the “fair price” for Justin Upton, given his contract, is closer to Teheran+Ahmed than Teheran+Simmons. So I have no issue with Wren refusing to part with Simmons in this deal. It’s just that there seems to be a bit of an undertone to some of the posts that assumes Simmons will be an All-Star or something.

    I hope as much as anyone that his bat last year was the “new normal” and not a freak occurrence. And he does seem to be a legitimate defensive superstar. But unless his 2012 bat is real, he’s basically just Darwin Barney at SS. Or maybe the new Rey Sanchez. Both of which are valuable, but not “walk away entirely at the mention of his name” valuable.

  222. 222
    Brian J. Says:

    Agreed. It’s not that Simmons is A-Rod; it’s that there’s a looooong step down to any alternatives right now (Ahmed/ Pastornicky/ random MLFA).

  223. 223
    Dan Says:

    Is Simmons more untouchable than Avilan?

  224. 224
    kc Says:

    Sam, I understand everything that you said about Simmons, but let’s be positive!!!

  225. 225
    csg Says:

    I think most fans are ready to see a good defensive left side of the infield. Looking at Pastornickys performance and the FA market id rather hold on to Simmons. I dont expect him to hit much either.

    Morosi said the Dbacks need to fill 2 needs, #2 type starter,,3B, ss, lefty setup,, in a trade for Upton. Give them Teheran, ahmed, and Venters

  226. 226
    Bethany Says:

    @223 Hahahahahahahahaaaaaa!

    All I’m expecting from Simmons is great D and he can be the 8 hole hitter, and I think that’s enough.

  227. 227
    csg Says:

    I also know Teheran int #2 type starter at this point but he does have that upside.

  228. 228
    sansho1 Says:

    Simmons already does one very, very important thing better than Justin Upton does anything, and at 1/20th the price. Pass.

  229. 229
    desert Says:

    Sam @228,

    Even if he’s just a barely above-average player (which is his floor, given his defense and past hitting success; and, most importantly, his position), he’s worth more than Justin Upton and his contract.

    Upton’s really, really good, and certainly has one of the highest ceilings in baseball right now. But he’s also inconsistent and is guaranteed quite a bit of money. Simmons is also good at the hardest position to fill on the diamond, and also has an incredibly high ceiling. He, however, is under team control for much, much cheaper for 6 years. If the Braves did trade him, he wouldn’t need to be an all-star for them to regret the trade. I wrote about it in the last thread: Simmons totaling 9 WAR over the next three years is more valuable than Upton totaling 15 WAR over the same time period. And that’s excluding Simmons’ arbitration years.

  230. 230
    desert Says:

    Whoops, meant that to say Sam @221. Completely agree with Sansho @228.

    I will say one thing though. Andrelton hit .289/.335/.416 last year with a .310 BABIP. If only his BABIP changed, and fell into more the .270ish range, Simmons line would have been more like .250/.295/.377, and we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion (but he would still be more valuable over the next 6 years than Upton).

  231. 231
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    As I’ve said, if it were me, I would not include Simmons. Because it’s easier to find Nick Swisher or Josh Willingham than it is to find the equivalent of Nick Swisher at SS. So I’m all on board with not trading him for Upton (and Upton’s contract.)

    But I do think folks are overselling him a bit.

  232. 232
    jjschiller Says:

    Is a .310 BABIP somehow unsustainable?

  233. 233
    desert Says:

    232,

    Nope. But considering the swing of BABIP in small sample sizes, it would have been just as likely that Andrelton would have come up and underperformed in our eyes, and we wouldn’t even flinch in sending him for Upton (without realizing his true value). That was the point.

  234. 234
    PaulV Says:

    @223 The range of Simmonds is good field, average hitter to great field, good hitter.

  235. 235
    PaulV Says:

    .300 BABIP is considered average. Simmonds will reduce Braves pithers’ BABIP to below average. With Pastorniky it was above average

  236. 236
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Even if defensive metrics are imperfect, a run saved is just as valuable as a run created, and the value of Simmons’ defense is vastly, vastly under-appreciated by the casual fan. The guy was worth between 2-3 WAR in fewer than 50 games last year. Most fans have no idea what that means, but you can be sure Kevin Towers does.

    Not saying Simmons is the second coming of ARod, but he is already a better fielding SS than Arod ever was. I would say his range is great fielder, below average hitter to great fielder, good hitter.

  237. 237
    beege Says:

    I fell like I’m gonna puke. I haven’t this fired up & nervous for a sporting event since my mom let me stay up past my bedtime to watch game 7 of the ’92 NLCS when I was ten. GO DAWGS!

  238. 238
    beege Says:

    *feel

  239. 239
    Bethany Says:

    Best of luck to both teams this afternoon! I’m sorry that regardless of the result we’re going to have some sad bravesjournalers.

  240. 240
    Mike N. Says:

    I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever said this, but…Roll Tide

  241. 241
    jjschiller Says:

    When you guys talk college football, I can fully understand how my girlfriend feels about my baseball fandom. “How can anybody actually CARE about this?”

  242. 242
    Adam M Says:

    @241 I’m with you. To each his own, I suppose.

    Meanwhile, that Morosi tweet has me in a tizzy.

  243. 243
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m not saying Simmons should be untouchable. He should just be untouchable for Justin Upton, because I do not think that Justin Upton will generate more value above his $40 million contract as Simmons will generate above the major league minimum.

    As I just tweeted, I’d trade Simmons for Jurickson Profar or Manny Machado. But IMHO, as much as I’d love him on my team, Justin Upton isn’t worth Andrelton Simmons.

  244. 244
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    (Note: I do not think that Simmons is worth Profar or Machado. Both are almost certain to be far better than Simmons. But I’m a homer.)

  245. 245
    Dan Says:

    College football is a bore to me as well.

  246. 246
    Adam M Says:

    Well, if Simmons is their asking price, too bad for us. Because they’re probably not interested in any more young pitching, even with Daniel Hudson out, and the Braves don’t have enough high ceiling position player talent to get a deal done.

  247. 247
    Shawn Says:

    Out of curiosity Alex, why is Simmons worth less than Profar or Machado? Is it just due to him being older?

  248. 248
    csg Says:

    Ill predict 27-17 Bama….just due to offensive line play and experience

  249. 249
    Mikemc Says:

    Simmons will not be another Arod, but he could be another Ozzie.

  250. 250
    DG Says:

    College football a bore? Blasphemers! I’m a proud member of the Sabanic Church.

  251. 251
    desert Says:

    249,

    I love Simmons, and would be ecstatic if he lives up to Ozzie, but I see a slightly richer man’s Omar Vizquel.

    247,

    They’ve both got age and better bats. Machado’s got the power, and Profar’s got the plate discipline. Machado performed nearly as well as Simmons in the majors last year while being three years younger.

  252. 252
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yep. Profar’s the best prospect in the minors, and Machado had a solid season last year despite turning 20 midseason. If not for Trout and Harper that would have looked a lot more special than it otherwise did.

  253. 253
    Brian J. Says:

    251- Omar was worth 5.8 WAR in 1999 and 3-4 WAR in several other seasons; a “slightly richer man’s” version wouldn’t have to be that much wealthier to go to Cooperstown. That ain’t half bad.

    And think about this- if he has Omar’s durability, he’ll play through at least 2034.

  254. 254
    Shawn Says:

    I get what you guys are saying, and the age difference does obviously matter… but I’m just not sure its that cut and dried. Andrelton’s defensive WAR was 2.4 in 49 games. Even if that evens out and he doesn’t play at that pace over 162, he’s still probably a 3.5 win player on defense alone. Even if he doesn’t hit quite as well as last year, unless he totally tanks he’s probably a five win or so player, with the potential to hit six or even seven occasionally you’d have to think. I dunno, just seems like Profar and Machado would have to hit a whole heck of a lot more to be too much better than Simmons.

  255. 255
    spike Says:

    he’s still probably a 3.5 win player on defense alone

    Well I certainly hope so – 3.5 dWar seasons are pretty rare – usually only one or two in all MLB per year

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_def_top_ten.shtml

  256. 256
    Shawn Says:

    That’s fair, and obviously there’s going to be a lot of fluctuation, I think it’s inherent in defensive stats. But still, it’s not impossible to imagine him playing at or close to 3 dWAR on a year to year basis and moving even higher than that on certain years.

  257. 257
    desert Says:

    253,

    I wouldn’t agree with the argument that a slightly better Omar Vizquel belongs in the HOF, and I certainly wouldn’t say Omar himself should sniff it. I’d agree that Simmons would be an incredible player even if he reached Omar’s level, but I still think there’s an astronomical difference between a slightly better Vizquel and the great Ozzie Smith (who, in being the best defensive player at the hardest defensive position in baseball, could be considered the best defensive player in the history of the game).

  258. 258
    Bethany Says:

    Jeez, UGA has some dumbass players.

  259. 259
    desert Says:

    Ingram…. Richardson… Lacy…

    Wow, who’s next? They seem to churn out one great one every year.

  260. 260
    spike Says:

    Not sure how Georgia can punt there

  261. 261
    Bethany Says:

    @260 That was the game.

  262. 262
    Bethany Says:

    Well, not going for it on 4th and 1 was the game.

  263. 263
    spike Says:

    Well maybe I spoke too soon.

  264. 264
    desert Says:

    Wow.

    You have to have the awareness to drop that ball. You cannot let the game end like that.

  265. 265
    Bethany Says:

    Like I said. Idiots. Dumb not to clock the ball, and Insanely dumb to make that catch.

  266. 266
    Stu Says:

    Poor ububba.

  267. 267
    desert Says:

    Seriously… if you clock that, you have enough time for at least two, maybe three plays.

  268. 268
    Adam M Says:

    Can’t believe he didn’t spike it.

  269. 269
    csg Says:

    Roll tide.

    Ingram…. Richardson… Lacy…Wow, who’s next?

    TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Dee Hart

  270. 270
    Coop Says:

    Roll Tide (dammit).

  271. 271
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I won’t cheer for Alabama, but I will cheer for anyone to destroy Notre Dame.

  272. 272
    Mike N. Says:

    Y’all watchin’ the thrill ride that is the ACC Championship? It’s a doozy!

  273. 273
    desert Says:

    270; 271,

    With both of you there. It was hard to appreciate the obnoxious attitude of your average ND fan in Utah, but it’s pretty easy when you’re in the Midwest.

    Roll Tide.

  274. 274
    JonathanF Says:

    What Sam said.

  275. 275
    JoeyT Says:

    For most of my life, I’ve been an Auburn fan who hasn’t really cared how Bama does outside of the Iron Bowl. In the last few years, though, I’ve started rooting for any SEC team against an out of conference opponent, especially in bowl games. For some reason, college football’s reconfigured itself as an SEC vs Everyone Else sport. Every week seems to be about how the rest of the country can prevent the SEC from winning another championship.

    For decades, I had never been a conference homer, but that’s changed. I used to think things like chants of “S-E-C” during games were kind of dumb. Now I get it.

  276. 276
    Mike N. Says:

    The ACC Championship actually turned out to be a really good game

  277. 277
    Mike N. Says:

    Stupid Seminoles

  278. 278
    Bethany Says:

    Yep, Jimbo Fisher can stay in the ACC where he has a hard time with GT.

  279. 279
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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