All about the Braves and baseball events.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Intemperate Braves And Baseball Thoughts

It's "catch-all" time. There's a lot to talk about, so let's get to it:

  • The trade for Dan Uggla, just as a reminder, breaks down like so:

    2B Dan Uggla: 674 PA, .287/.369/.508, 33 HR, 105 RBI, 130 OPS+, 3.7 WAR

    UT Omar Infante: 506 PA, .321/.359/.416, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 111 OPS+, 2.9 WAR
    LRP Mike Dunn: 19 IP, 15 H, 4/4 R/ER, 17 BB, 27 SO, 1.684 WHIP, 0.4 WAR

    It's the kind of trade that looks so good on one team's side: the Braves get a power bat they so desperately need in exchange for a utility player who had a career year and a rookie reliever who is wild, but has potential.

    Since the trade, Braves GM Frank Wren has tried to work on an extension with Uggla. On the 7th, the talks were said to be encouraging.

    "The early discussions we've had -- really introductory discussions -- have been very pleasant," Wren said. "I think there's a mutual desire for us to keep him long term and for him to stay long term. I think that has come through loud and clear -- both from Terry and from Dan. I think we've made it clear that's what we want to happen."
    Unfortunately, since that time, outfielder Carl Crawford agreed to a monstrous seven-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox. Before that, Jayson Werth had signed a huge seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals. This might cause some fears that Uggla will demand an extension that's either out of the Braves' budget range or will cripple them down the road when Uggla's skills most likely decline.

    I'm really not sure that Uggla will be able to increase his demands that much. After all, the players that got those huge deals are outfielders with speed, stolen-base ability and decent defense. Uggla provides below average to horrible defense with above-average offense and no speed.

  • At the Winter Meetings, Wren agreed with reliever George Sherrill to a $1.2 million, one-year deal, which includes $200,000 in incentives. The deal won't be official until Sherrill passes a physical. The former closer was downright awful for the Dodgers last season, posting a 1.926 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings. The year seems to be an aberration. If Sherrill makes the team, he'll be the third lefty in the pen, joining Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters.

    I do believe that Sherrill will be fine. At worst, he should be a great LOOGY, something that might appeal to new manager Fredi Gonzalez.

  • Wren is also working to move Kenshin Kawakami. According to MLBTradeRumors, Rob Biertempfel tweets that the Pirates are close to a deal, but the sticking points are how much the Braves will pay of Kawakami's $6.67 million salary and whether or not left-hander Paul Maholm might be included.

    Maholm might be an interesting reclamation project if he's included, but it will be a shame to see Kawakami go. I've defended him a lot over the past couple of years and I do believe that he shouldn't have been stuck with the 1-10 record. In fact, that should be a test case on how wins and losses don't mean too much for some pitchers. If Kawakami does move on to Pittsburgh, all I can say is: Sachiare!