All about the Braves and baseball events.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another LaRoche Rumor, This Time It's Tolerable

That's right. It's tolerable. The best thing for the Braves according to the article is this trade:

ATL gets:
P Hayden Penn
P Chris Ray
BAL gets:
1B Adam LaRoche

Now, I have said before on Braves Journal, I believe, that Hayden Penn is another Kyle Davies, and so far, he has pitched like it. But, just like Davies, Penn is said to have the tools to become a great pitcher. Chris Ray, though, would appear to have immediate impact with the Braves if he has traded to them. Last year he had an ERA+ of 166 in the American League, which is excellent. He would be almost-gaurateed closer insurance in case the good ol' veteran Bob Wickman falters.

I do not trust Scott Thorman with the first base job, which he would get automatically get if LaRoche is traded. But, I believe that the gains that Ray and even Penn would give the Braves pitching staff would offest any negative impact that Thorman has on the offense.

LaRoche for Penn and Ray. Do it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

First Marcus Giles Is Let Go (Okay), Then This Rumor (Not Okay)

Marcus Giles was not offered a contract for the 2007 season and he was let go. I'm okay with that. The Braves didn't have enough room on the payroll and you can't keep everyone, no matter how much you like (or dislike, in the case of Giles' bad year).

However, THIS rumor then shows up:

ATL gets:
LF Melky Cabrera
NYY gets:
P Mike Gonzalez
PIT gets:
1B Adam LaRoche

I have been on record at the message board saying that Cabrera would solidify our left field mess, give Bobby Cox the "fast" person that he so desperately desires (like a security blanket ;) ) in the leadoff position, possibly put Kelly Johnson at second base, and give the Braves a viable replacement for Andruw Jones when he leaves in free agency. However, I oppose this deal.


It would severly compromise the Braves' offense.

In the leadoff spot, the Braves might actually improve there with Cabrera; Giles had more doubles, home runs and RBIs in his worst year since 2002 than Cabrera did in 2006. Cabrera is a plus in that he got walks similarly to Giles in 2006 (56-62) in 102 less plate appearances (524 to 626), struck out less (59 to 105), and hit better (.280-.262).

However, Cabrera hit mostly in the eighth and ninth spots in the lineup. He did have 34 starts in the first and second spots in the batting order, so he may be able to adjust to being a top of the order hitter.

So what's the problem?

Scott Thorman.

It is to my understanding that the Braves feel comfortable in putting Scott Thorman at first base immediately. Over the long term, that might be a good plan. They think Thorman is just like LaRoche. But this is a crucial time for the Braves. They need to keep up their offensive production to win games because of their very questionable pitching staff. Trading away one of the crucial pieces of your offense and replacing him with a slightly seasoned rookie just screams "huge risk". Who knows, Thorman might prove me wrong if this goes down. I hope he does. And I hope if Cabrera joins the team, he'll be a very nice leadoff hitter. I want to be proven wrong. But I think that all indications say I won't.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Braves Pull Off Big One; Acquire Soriano From Mariners

The first trade of the off-season, and I am SO glad it was made:

Braves get:
RP Rafael Soriano

Mariners get:
SP Horacio Ramirez

This is the utter steal of the off-season. Soriano in just 60 innings had 65 strikeouts and 21 walks and a 2.25 ERA, which translates to a 193 ERA+, in the American League, exactly what is needed in a reliever. Exactly what the Braves need. They don't need Ramirez, of whom I said is inconsistent and injury-prone. How the Mariners and their GM Bill Bavasi decided to do this trade is beyond me, but I'm not complaining. ;)

I'm sad to see any Brave I'm familiar with go, but that's baseball and THIS is what appears to be a classic great Schuerholz trade. :D


ESPN: Trade is completed

Friday, December 01, 2006

Glavine Re-signs With Mets, What Was All The Fuss?

Us Braves fans may have held out hope that Glavine was going to return to Atlanta. And that would have made the Braves better, but not over-the-hump better. I had waffled about this issue for a while, but I decided the Braves were better off without Glavine.

But look at it this way: Glavine is around 41 years old, at the end of his career. Sooner or later, he's going to run out of gas. Everyone does. Besides, only the Mets would by $10.5 million to a 41-year old pitcher. ;) Makes Tim Hudson seem like a bargain! :D

And there's also this. The Mets paid $10.5 million just to keep Glavine in New York when they could have had 28-year old Barry Zito for just a few million a year more. Utterly baffling.