Tagged: Kelly Johnson

Ohman and Glavine or Abreu/Dunn/Swisher or Maybe Even Ohman/Glavine and Abreu/Dunn/Swisher

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. 

Braves’ Arbitration Players

All of the Braves Arbitration players have now signed. Here are their deals.

Matt Diaz
signed a 1 year/$1.2375MM deal and up to 500K more if he reaches 600 at bats. This is fair. He has a .309 career average and can get a lot of at bats if he stays healthy. Last year he was out the whole year, but he batted .327 in 297 at-bats in 2006 and .338 over 358 at bats in 2007. Pretty good huh? I predict he will have an excellent year in 2009 and could possibly be looking at a starting role, or at least a platoon in the outfield.

Mike Gonzalez signed a 1 year/$3.45MM deal. Decent. He will most likely be our closer next year if he stays healthy. He is a free agent next year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we got him back next year. He’s no K-Rod, but as long as he is under 7 million a year, I’m fine with him. He can get good numbers and doesn’t blow a save too often.

Casey Kotchman signed a 1 year/$2.885MM with bonuses. He can make $25,000 by reaching each plate appearance total of 575, 600, 625 and
650, $50,000 for winning the MVP, being
an All-Star, earning the Gold Glove or bring the World Series MVP, and $25,000 for winning the Silver Slugger or the LCS MVP. A good amount of bonuses, but decent deal overall. He had family issues last year so he didn’t play like he regularly does, but he can hit for a good average and has some good power. Oh and he’s very young. He is holding first base until Freddie Freeman makes it to the Bigs. I really can’t wait to see how he does next year and where he will bat in the line-up. 

Kelly Johnson signed a 1 year/$2.825MM deal. He deserved that after a pretty good season last year. He was one of the hottest players in the last month and can really help contribute next season. He may not see as much playing time as he did last year because Martin Prado is completely healthy, but he will still see a good amount of time.   

Jeff Francoeur
signed a 1 year/ $3.375 million deal with up to 25K in incentives. I am one of the few people who think Frenchy will bounce back. He had one bad year, but most players do. I think he will get back to form (or at least close to it) and earn every penny of the 3.4 million.

Furcal Not A Brave

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.

Peavy looking like a Brave!!

The Braves are looking to trade for 07 Cy Winner Jake Peavy in a deal that includes 3 prospects and a major league ready player. There has been many names tossed around including Schafer, Medlen, Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Prado, Flowers, Heyward, Freeman, Anderson, and Hanson.
It is not positive that the Padres are going to let go of Peavy, but it is very possible with 2 or 3 of those players plus some other minor league talent in there. Peavy would waive his no-trade clause to Atlanta or Houston, but Houston does not really have the peices that the Padres need. There has also been talk of moving him to the Dodgers or the Yankees, but the Braves are the favorites. Khalil Greene could also be thrown in if Escobar is included in the deal. Schafer and Hanson are not likely to get dealt.
Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and Ohman are all free agents and could all be resigned for 09.
Lowe, Garlander, Sabathia, and Dempster are all possible pitchers the Braves are looking at. It could change depending if the Braves get Peavy.
Andruw Jones is looking to leave L.A. after a horrible 08 season.