According to multiple sources, The Braves have signed Japanese righty pitcher Kenshin Kawakami to a 3 year/23MM contract. I am kind of late on this, but for a reason. I wanted to wait at least a day or two to make sure this wasn’t another Furcal incident. It is official now.
Kawakami has spent his whole career in Japan and has decided to move to the U.S. to play ball. Yeah he is not an ace, but he is a solid 4th or 3rd mid-rotation guy. He won an award equivalent to the Cy Young in Japan, so you know he will at least be decent. More on him will come when the deal becomes official.
This does make the Lowe to Atlanta deal more possible . If we can add him, our rotation will be decent enough to compete. There is still a possible Peavy trade, but you never know with the Padres management. Dunn, Nady, or Swisher will most likely be an Atlanta Brave by Spring Training.
Good signing Wren! Keep it up!
Braves sign super-utility player Omar Infante to a two-year 4.35MM deal with a club option. The 2011 club option is for $2.5MM with a $250K buyout. He was a big player last year due to all the injuries. He ended up played 2nd, SS, 3rd, LF, and CF. Another smart move by Wren. Maybe a bit much money wise, but it’s good nevertheless.
P.S. Corky Miller signed a minor league deal with the ChiSox. Now we don’t have to deal with him anymore!
Well if you haven’t heard now, Furcal isn’t going to the Braves. After we had an agreement, he went and signed with the Dodgers. It isn’t looking to good for the Braves considering this is the third time this has happened…
Apparently Yahoo’s Tim Brown said Furcal is “nearing an agreement with the Dodgers.”
This isn’t good.
According to Ken Rosenthal, shortstop Rafael Furcal has reached an agreement with the Braves and just needs to pass a physical. It is a 3 year deal with a 4th year vesting option. This would be good news to the Braves considering he was a fan-favorite here in Atlanta and came up with up with the Braves. He also considers Bobby Cox someone like a father. As most of you know, he declined a 4 year 36mm from Oakland and is probably going to decline their 4 year 40mm deal as well.
There was lots of talk about him coming here during the Peavy talks when we considered moving Escobar to San Diego. A couple of things could happen here
1. We might continue talk with the Padres and send Yunel to SD.
2. We might trade Yunel somewhere else to get another player.
3. We might trade Kelly Johnson to the Cardnials for Ludwick or Ankiel
4. We might trade Kelly Johnson to SD in the Peavy deal.
5. We might trade Kelly Johnson to another team for other players.
6. We might keep both Kelly and Yunel and move Key back to left field, move either Yunel or Furcal to SS, and move the other to 2nd base.
The last one seems the most likely, but I am not sure what will happen. Prado might end up having to be the backup 2nd, 1st, and 3rd baseman. Gotay and Infante might not see as much playing time as well. Either Infante, Escobar, Prado, or Johnson will be traded most likely. Norton will most likely not return as well.
Furcal is a good lead-off hitter and hits for average. He is NOT a power hitter, but if we can get a power hitter behind Chipper, we will be a good team (well at least if we get some more pitching). Oh and he will bring back one of the things that we thrived on during the 14 consecutive playoff years, Speed. We haven’t had that since he left.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has a source saying no agreement has been reached, but there is interest. I am hoping Rosenthal is right. We will have to play the waiting game for now.
Crasnick now says the Braves have a preliminary agreement with Furcal.
Apparently Yahoo’s Tim Brown said Furcal is “nearing an agreement with the Dodgers.”
This isn’t good.
Jake Peavy was apparently sad and very angry he is not going to become
a Cub. Seriously Jake, GET OVER IT! I still want you to be a Brave, but
you can’t whine when you limit yourself to 6 teams. Believe me, it
would be easy if the other team could give up anyone they want and get
whoever they want, but trades take time and you can’t trade one of the
best pitchers in the game and get a deal as bad as the Cub’s package
was. Yes Towers screwed up by not taking the Braves’ package, but
“It’s amazing to me how many people can waste time, money and
resources, and get nothing done,” Axelrod said. “Baseball moved lock,
stock and barrel into that town, and absolutely nothing happened.” – Peavy’s agent Axelrod.
To that, I will let Justin Timberlake talk and give you his opinion.
The Angels package is suppose to be competitive to the Braves’ package,
but they will only trade for Peavy if they don’t sign Mark Teixeira. We
will probably see more of this situation in a few days.
Ok let’s talk about the pros and cons of signing AJ Bunett to a 5 year deal.
- He is a DOMINATE pitcher when he’s on the mound. It’s hard to go up against him because he is SO good.
- He can strikeout a lot of guys. He lead the league this year and has 1278 K’s over 1376.1 Innings. With Vazquez and Burnett, we can make a lot of guys swing and miss.
- He can bring that “Ace” presences that need. Yes you can argue that he’s not a “true” ace, but once you have a rookie as an ace while only winning 13 games, who cares. Honestly, Burnett is an ace to me.
- He actually would come down to Atlanta. When he was talking about teams that he would consider, he named a bunch of North Eastern teams and then included us. That’s good.
- We need an elite pitcher. As much as I hate to say it, Peavy chances of coming here are very small. We need someone who is good, otherwise we will end up with Garland as our ace or someone like that. Very sad.
- Everyone wants him. Maybe not some of my fellow Braves Bloggers want him, but Cox, Wren, Chipper, and even Javy Vazquez want him. I’m sure that everyone in the Braves organization want him and would do almost anything to get this guy, no matter the medical history.
- He might not get injured like he did in the past. Yes it’s likely he will be on the DL, but if you think about it, he has the same chance of getting injured as Sabathia does. Burnett actually went a full season without getting injured, so to me he is on a clean slate.
- We can prevent the Yankees from being the best team in history. Which one would you rather face? Burnett or Garland? That is their backup, and it would be a lot better to face Garland than it would Burnett.
Alright now the bad things.
- He’s always injured. We all know the story to that. Look at his stats.
- He wants 5 years. That’s a little crazy, but obviously some teams have shown that they would do it.
- He wants a lot of money to go along with that 5 years. around 80-90 million/5 years is his goal.
- He only pitched over 200 innings 3 times over his career since ’99. That was ’02, ’05’ and ’08.
- We just got done with Mike Hampton. Ok a positive to this is AJ is better than Hampton, but still do we want a guy that will miss 2-3 seasons?
- We will have to bid higher since we are not near his hometown.
- We are bidding against the YANKEES!!! If we outbid them, I think the Braves saved baseball from a crazy-good rotation that would not even be fair.
- We can still go and get other guys that might not have better results, but they won’t be as injured as he is.
- Burnett might want to be on the Yankees because they are getting CC and it’s close to his home. Go figure
- We would have to make other special deals where we have to transport his wife to Atlanta 8 times a year. Ok that’s not even that bad, but I just wanted to mention it.
- It might take a while and we have other needs we need to address.
- We can still get Peavy. Only if we just forget about this deal and just focus on trading Peavy. We still have a chance to make the best package for Towers. Yes it’s unlikely, but it isn’t impossible.
- We have a history of pitchers getting injured in the organization. It would seem like it would effect Burnett, and he would most likely would be on the DL a couple of times. Thank God for James Andrews though in Birmingham. Where would we be without him?
Ok I’m done talking about it. You can choose whatever, but I say get him. This to me is a all-or-nothing thing. Our chances of being competitive is on this guy right now.
Oh by the way, don’t listen to most ESPN guys. They really don’t know what they are talking about, so don’t pay attention to the Smoltz to Tigers, Mets, or any other team. He will be a Brave next year.
It’s only between us and the Yanks and it might be close. They are most likely gonna bid higher and add a 5th year, so we need to do everything we can to get him, even if it means putting in a 6th year option or anything like that. We really need this guy. Our backup will probably be Sheets, (same injury deal, less years and less money though) but I’m hoping we won’t need to use our backup.
Apparently the Peavy to Cub deal is dead, and that is good music to my ears and other Braves fan. I think we can benefit from this and we might have another chance to land Peavy! Also, if we do go for Peavy, we won’t be including our SS Yunel Escobar. Way too late for that one. We could still package a good deal though, just not as good as the other one. You have to wonder who the Padres will have at short since they got rid of Greene.
As you can tell, the Braves have been in many trade discussion, with the addition to a couple of free agents. I thought we were mostly going to focus on the free agent market with the exception of the Peavy deal and a couple of others. Speaking of Peavy, it looks like he will not become a Brave this season. It’s not impossible, but it looks like Towers wants to be, well lets just say stupid for the sake of the kids, and only trade him to the Cubs.
Well anyway the Braves have their eyes on Ludwick, Ankiel, Dye, Hart, Hermida, and Ibanez for the outfield. The also are exploring the possibility of sending Frenchy to the Royals for Zack Greinke. That would be a steal for the Braves, but I really don’t want to trade him. Every player has a bad year, maybe not as bad as his, but they all have one. Let’s give him one more chance Atlanta! Especially since he’s always got that smile on his face, even if he screwed up, you never see him frown. That’s a god attitude.
Plus he’s a fan favorite
I say keep Frenchy.
The Braves have also been in a lot of talk with Burnett and many other pitchers. I just hope we have a solid rotation, Peavy or no Peavy. Wren, I wanna hear some Smoltz talk. Everyone knows he is going to pitch, so please just talk to him about a contract, preferably a cheap and short one. No Glavine either. Thanks.
Well anyway the Braves do need to start releasing/trading/doing anything to get rid of a couple of players, mostly Corky Miller. We need to start reducing the payroll from the not-as-good players so we don’t end up paying millions for players who have a 10.70 ERA or a .100 average. Yes it sounds childish, but we need to get some stuff done
I guess we can pencil in Escobar as the SS of next year and so forth. Thanks Towers.
By the way, We need to work on a new contract with Huddy and Chipper. Maybe even JJ, Esco, Johnson, and Prado. Again Childish, but it needs to get done, especially the first two.
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.
Well The Braves have officially traded for Vazquez in a 6 player deal. The deal is reported Vazquez and pitcher Boone Logan for Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers, third baseman Jon Gilmore, and pitcher Santos Rodriguez.
I’m a little concerned about the trade though. JV is a great pitcher and has been among the leaders in K’s and innings, He is not more than a 3rd starter and will be used as a 4th starter here. Do I want him? YES!! He’s a great addition to our pitching staff. We just gave up a lot in Flowers. If Flowers was excluded in the deal and so was Boone Logan, this would have been a fair deal for both sides.
I did not expect us to use Flowers, but his value is so high right now that we could have gotten so much more back.
Now I would have been a lot better if Dye was included. That would have made the deal great while filling in two holes with a trade. Hopefully we can still get him.
Lillibridge has great potential, but he just needs to learn how to hit! His fielding is great though. Boone has been SO inconsistent with the Sox also, so we aren’t getting much but another arm for the bullpen. I hope to learn more about the deal when Wren talks about it. hopefully we are getting someone else or we aren’t giving up as much.
My overall ranking for this trade as of now: 7 out of 10 stars.
If I were Towers right now, I might have had a heart attack. Flowers was someone he really wanted, and now he is out of here. It probably means that he needs to make a deal soon so we won’t trade anyone else he had his eyes on. Hopefully he caves in a couple of days. And other Braves fans, don’t get nervous that we are gonna empty our farm system. As of now, we barely touched it. Even the Peavy trade won’t hurt it. I am going to guess as of now if Kotchman gets injured, Prado will move to 1st and Infante or Kelly will move to 2nd. We lost both Thorman and Flowers as possible 1st base candidates.
Keep the moves coming Wren! We want Peavy or Burnett next!