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grading-the-off-season-moves | June | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Grading the Off-Season Moves

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Just a couple weeks away from the mid-way point in the season and with the experiences of a over 70 games so far, we now have the ability to look back and grade the front office's off-season moves. May be a little unfair to John Schuerholz because hindsight is 20/20, but I'm sure he would love to have the ability to be able to see this far into the season before making any moves.
  • Signed RHP Tanyon Sturtze, F: There was no Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez at this point, but still. Tanyon Sturtze has been an awful reliever his entire career and for some reason JS felt the need to throw almost $1 million at an aging and bad reliever coming off surgery, which would somehow fix an awful pen? Really doesn't make sense anyway you look at it.
  • Traded LHP Horacio Ramirez to Seattle for RHP Rafael Soriano, A+: So far this season, the oft-injured Ramirez has spent significant time on the DL with shoulder problems and has been limited to a mere eight starts. In those eight starts, he has a 6.47 ERA and more walks than strikeouts. On the other hand, Rafael Soriano has emerged as one of baseball's most dominating relievers, solidifying the Atlanta pen that struggled so much in '06. Just something to think about, but so far with a tie or lead of less than three runs, Soriano has allowed one run all season... and the Braves went on to win that game. Chalk this up as highway robbery. A GM once again making Bill Bavasi look incapable of running a fantasy team much less a major league organization.
  • Signed 1B/OF Craig Wilson, F-: You probably didn't think there were F-'s, but Craig Wilson breaks all the rules. $2 million for a guy that in theory should have been a great fit. Throughout his career he could hit lefties but for some reason it had disappeared last season when he was traded to the Yankees. Wilson couldn't play the outfield because of a bum shoulder and I'm pretty sure the .172/.304/.259 line he put up didn't make up for his lack of defensive flexibility.
  • Signed OF Willie Harris, B+: Harris was a fringe major leaguer before coming to the Braves and hovering right around .400 since his call-up. He added some excitement as a base stealer to the Braves lineup and has found his niche platooning with Matt Diaz in left field. Not too bad for a minor league signing, who wasn't even expected to make the team.
  • Non-Tendered Marcus Giles and Chris Reitsma, A: This move would earn Schuerholz a good grade just based on the money he saved but it gets even better when you see the performance. Reitsma, part of our abysmal bullpen of '06 has spent much of this year on the DL and has a 5.79 ERA for the Mariners when he hasn't. Marcus Giles is on the exact same path as last year and compare his .700 OPS to the .849 OPS that Kelly Johnson has so far and it looks like a good move.
  • Signed 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF Chris Woodward, D: I would have done the same thing but after his injury last year it looks like he just isn't the same person. He still has been at least bearable as a utility man and unlike any of our other utility men, he can at least drop down a bunt consistently.
  • Traded 1B Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh for LHP Mike Gonzalez, B-: Even with Mike Gonzalez being lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery, the difference between Scott Thorman and Adam LaRoche hasn't been enough to call this anything but a success. Thorman has a .697 OPS and LaRoche so far has a .685 OPS. So basically, a quarter year of Mike Gonzalez plus swapping Jamie Romak for Brent Lillibridge is going to outweigh a full year of Adam LaRoche.
  • Signed LHP Mark Redman, F-: He's in the same boat as Wilson here. Signed as a replacement for Mike Hampton after the Braves found out he'd miss the season, Redman proceeded to go 0-4 with an 11.63 ERA and become one of the most disliked player in recent years for Braves fans.
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