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ramblings-on-the-braves | December | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Ramblings on the Braves

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After a bit of a sabbatical it is good to be back. First I must apologize for the total radio silence on my part. Work and commitments for the Hardball Times got in the way of doing anything remotely Braves related. The good news is that the Hardball Times Annual 2008 should be shipping any day now, so pop down to your local book store and pick up a copy or click here. If you click on the link you'll notice that we have another book coming too -- the Season Preview book. I'm writing an essay on the Atlanta Braves and also helping the guys develop depth charts for all hitters and pitchers. Also I've been helping set up a new website all about motor racing -- no, not NASCAR or Champ Car or IRL, but rather Formula 1. For those who don't follow motor racing, F1 is the technical and engineering pinnacle of racing. Moreover, it is a fantastic spectacle. The site is still in beta and will go live in a few weeks but you can check it out if you want at F1-Pitlane. Anyway, that's enough plugging. Let's talk about the Braves. What I want to do today is to offer ten random thoughts on the Braves going into the winter meetings: 1) Tom Glavine didn't take a home town discount Braves fans have been a gleeful bunch following the signing of Tom Glavine. Why? This isn't 1995 you know. Glavine wasn't terribly effective last year, in fact he was barely above league average, and if you work out his value you get to about $8m. The only reason why the home town discount arose was because he could have earned more pitching for the Mets -- although he did collect a cool $2m for declining his option. 2) Where is Jeff Francoeur's long term deal? Last year JS cuffed Brian McCann to a long term deal. Isn't it about time we did the same with Frenchy? I know he didn't have the best season last year but he has power, can hit for average and is learning to be a little more patient at the plate. Unless the front office do feel he'll get close to his potential now is the time to sign him to a longer term deal 3) The Renteria deal was a great trade After the Teixiera trade the Braves farm was looking decidedly thin. Fortunately Jordan Schafer hit well and has swiftly moved to fill the void at the top of the farm. However, he is two years away from the bigs. Renteria was at the peak of his value and getting a couple of mid/ high level prospects for him was good business by Fran Wren. 4) Sign Teixiera I will hate the Salty deal unless we can sign Teix to a long term deal. Having let Andruw leave for free agency we should have the cash to lock up a long term deal. He is young; he is good; make him part of the franchise for years to come. 5) Don't give up much for relievers Relief pitching is the most overvalued commodity out there. Why did the Reds sign Cordero for $11m a year -- that's a man who hurls 70 (admittedly high leverage) innings a year. I must say I like Wren's approach with Ohman. Let's face it, he isn't a particularly good player and he'll probably bomb but we gave up nothing for him. As a bonus we got a utility infielder/ CF thrown in for free. A canny move by Wren. As things stand the Braves are probably an 85 win team. I'd like to see us acquire a decent veteran to play every day in CF. As things stand we are weak defensively and unless addressed it wouldn't surprise me to see that hurt some ERAs (I'm thinking about you Chuck James).

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