The Braves now have a limited amount of money to spend after all the moves we have made this offseason. We have around 8-10 million left and we still have a couple of moves to make.
First off, we have about 3 left-handed pitchers on our current roster (Gonzalez, Reyes, and Eric O’Flaherty). Gonzelez is our closer, Reyes has a 10% of making the staff next year and a 20% of staying past 2010, and Eric O’Flaherty isn’t consistent enough for my liking. We obviously need more lefties and Ohman and Glavine are just that. Glavine will cost about 2-4.5 million. Ohman will cost around the same. That would leave us with around almost nothing for another outfielder.
If this does happen (us getting Ohman and Glavine) we have a couple of options.
Put Kelly Johnson in left field.
Trade KJ for Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick.
Put another outfielder currently in the organization in left field, such as Diaz, Jones, or Blanco
Sign Andruw and move Anderson or Schafer to left and have Andruw man center.
Out of all of those, I would have to pick the Ludwick/Ankiel or even the Andruw thing if he can do well in Spring Training.
There could be a chance that Glavine doesn’t recover and retires and Ohman signs with another team, but that would mean we would just sign Abreu.
At Abreu’s price, I don’t think we should pass on him. His defense isn’t great and he is not exactly the youngest guy we have on the team, but he can still have 25 Hr’s and 100 RBI’s. Did I mention he is cheap? He might be the only good outfielder who is cheap enough to sign along with either Glavine or Ohman. He only wants a one year deal and that might be all we need until Jason Heyward is ready. Even if he isn’t, Anderson and Schafer should have enough experience to slide in there at left.
If Abreu doesn’t remain an option and we want an outfielder instead of Ohman or Glavine, we might trade for one of Cardinals’ outfielders or trade for Swisher. I don’t think the Cardinals will trade either Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick and the Yankees are asking for too much for Swisher right now. Dunn is also way too expensive for the Braves and he probably will not be in Atlanta next year.
I am personally hoping we can sign Abreu and Glavine. I really like Ohman and think he’s a good player, but the only way he plays with Atlanta next year is if Glavine signs for 1-2 million and Abreu signs for 6 million. Glavine said he feels great and I think he needs one more year, even though earlier I said that he needs to retire. We need a lefty starter not named JoJo Reyes who has an under 4.50 ERA. I also think we really need some extra power in the outfield even if Jeff Francoeur is back to his 06-07 self. That extra power and more players who can get that extra 1 run is what will make us great again.
We will probably have more speed and have a better chance to score runs as well, but we need someone other than Chipper, McCann, and Frenchy (assuming he is back) that can knock in runs. I do hope that we can give Andruw another chance, but he will have to come at the league minimum and we have to give up a couple of players to reduce the salary a bit. We will contend for the World Series next year if we do those things and don’t have freak injuries like last year.
I am going to give a personal grade for the players the Braves have gotten so far this Offseason.
He has been a great workhorse and can strikeout tons of people. He had 200 K’s last year and had a ERA of 4.67 over 208.1 innings. The ERA isn’t great, but I sure love the innings he pitched. Considering how every pitcher we had was injured, having a non-injury prone guy pitching will be great. We REALLY need that. Obviously this guy is not our ace, but he is a very good player and has the veteran presences that we needed more of. He should be better than he was last season going into the NL. This guy is very good and a great pickup.
Ok this guy isn’t great, but he can be an option we can look for in the bullpen. Hopefully an NL move will help him, but it won’t be a huge difference. He had a not-so-good ERA of 5.95 and a WHIP of 1.68 and got sent to the minors with the ChiSox. Hopefully he can turn around and have a consistent season, but I doubt it. He might have an ERA under 5, but I still see him staying inconstant.
Here is a decent pickup. We needed a new backup catcher BADLY! When your two backups combine to hit less than .175, you have to make some kind of move. Ross hit .225 with 3 HR’s, which happened to be 1 HR more than our backups hit COMBINED. Well anyway, he’s pretty good and can really give us a better chance of winning when McCann is taking a day off. It is also good because he is a Georgia boy. I can see him getting some good playing time during interleague games.
I don’t really know much about this guy, although he was picked up from waivers after giving up 15 runs over 6.2 innings. He can maybe turn around, but he has to first win a spot during Spring Training. We will see how that goes.
We saw last year how good he did, so it’s no surprise he’s back here. Glad he’s back and I hope he can still have that .300 pinch-hitting average he had last year. He can play OF and 1st base AND he is a switch hitter. You can expect him to make a lot of late-innings appearances. He’s old, but he’s still good.
Since he did come from Japan, we can not automatically say he is going to be as good as his Japanese numbers were, but I can say that he will be a solid player and can help us. He is a great player and he won’t be a bust.
This is was a major signing. We needed an ace, and he can match that. A workhorse and a great guy. This, as of now, was the signing of our offseason. He had a 3.24 ERA and over 211 innings pitched. Oh did I mention he has over 75 saves as well as over 100 wins? He has what we need.
Overall grade for Atlanta: A
We finally did something positive this offseason by trading for Javier Vazquez. He is due for 11.5 per year. We started with 45 million and we will definitely have to use it all. Don’t forget we signed Eric O’Flaherty to a 400,000 per year contract as well. We probably lost around 400,000 with the players we traded for Vazquez, but Vazquez is going to get paid 11.5million
This leaves around 33.5 million left. We still have some major needs though (Dye/Ankiel/Ludwick, Renteria/Furcal, Peavy and Burnett) and we may have to settle with the cheap options. Ludwick looks more likely now than Dye does since Ludwick makes 500,000 a year. If we sign Furcal or Renteria, it can’t be higher than 11 million a year. Peavy will make 15 million next year I think, but I’m sure I’m wrong. Burnett will likely make 17million a year.
That’s 21.5 million leaving us with around 12 million left. We will obviously lose some of our salary with the players we trade for Peavy and Ludwick, but we still need to sign Smoltz and possibly Ohman, Norton, and Glavine. I’m hoping we only sign Smoltz, Norton, and Ohman though.
We will have to trade a couple of other players now if we want to fill in our needs. Matt Diaz looks like with his 1.25million salary last year.Escobar and Boyer also will most likely be included in the Peavy deal and they will make around 1 million.
We will just have to see what Wren has up his sleeves. If we can trade off a couple of players and sign a shortstop to less than 10million a year, we might be able to fulfill our needs. We will most likely have either Burnett or Peavy this year. I don’t think we will get both.
What do you think we should do?
Braves are apparently close to signing David Ross to a 2 year contract. It is worth around $3.5 million. This would be great, but that would almost currently mean either the Peavy deal or the Burnett signing are not going to happen. I still say the Peavy deal is most likely to happen because Burnett might not sign with us even though we are going to offer him a 5 year contract.
Anyways, David Ross would be a great backup catcher and would be a significant upgrade to both Sammons and Miller combined. Corky Miller is almost certain to either get traded or released if Ross signs. Sammons will likely stay with the Braves organization and will be called up as the backup when he is ready.