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:
LF Melky Cabrera
P Mike Gonzalez
1B Adam LaRoche
I have been on record at the baseball-fever.com 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?
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.
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