Its been a slow week. A few minor league free agents got signed. Lets talk about them.
-Wes Timmons re-signed. Filler for Gwinnett. Move on.
-Mitch Jones signed. Jones was with the Dodgers last season and spent the year in Albuquerque. Jones led the minors with 35 homers in 2009, and finished the year with a 1.015 OPS. He had a high but not horrifying 26.3% K rate, with a not bad 10.3% walk rate. Worth looking at is the .790 OPS on the road, insinuating that Jones benefited a lot from his home park with the Isotopes. He's an interesting guy to keep an eye on this spring, and could be a power bat off the bench this season for the Braves.
-Brent Clevlen signed. He doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. Average power (.176 ISO), average eye (8.8% walk rate), a whole lot of strikeouts (29.0% rate)...but hey, he can steal bases! (10/11 last year) Oh thats right, the Braves don't steal bases. Nevermind.
-Joe Thurston signed. I assume he'll be in competition with Diory Hernandez for the utility role. Thurston is essentially the same player as Hernandez...seriously. He's nothing special. No power, average defense, average strikeout and walk rates...nothing to really write home amount. I'd go with the cheaper, younger player personally.
-Brian Barton released. And so ends the Blaine Boyer trade lineage.
-JC Boscan resigned. Filler.
-Orlando Mercado signed. Filler.
-Mariano Gomez resigned. I'd say filler, but then people would jump all over me because he had a decent year last season. Look at the facts guys: he doesn't strike a lot of guys out. He walks nearly as many as he strikes out. His ERA that was the price of a tin of Altoids was due to a BABIP of .222. Thats not going to be sustained. There's a reason the Braves are his third organization since 2007.
-Chris Burke signed with the Reds. Couldn't he have done the same thing Hernandez did last year, but probably better?
-Barbaro Canizares removed from 40-man roster. He's still a Brave. But I guess he won't be winning a job in the majors anytime soon.
-Signed Eric Duncan. At this point in his career, he's nothing but filler. He outlived his usefulness awhile ago.
-Signed Gerardo Avila. Could be an interesting guy to keep an eye on. He blew out his ACL in 2008, and spent 2009 with the Everett Aquasox and OPSed .950. He's currently OPSing .444 in the Venezuelan Winter League. OK, maybe you can take your eye off him now.
-Signed Mauro Gomez. OPSed .868 last year. In advanced A-ball. As a 25 year old. Is the organization that desperate to replace Ernesto Mejia?
-Signed Luis Bolivar. He can't hit his way out of a paper bag. Less than filler.
-Signed Juan Gonzalez. See Luis Bolivar.
-There have been some preliminary conversations with the Angels about pitching. We're trying to force Derek Lowe on them, while they want Javy Vazquez. Quite frankly, I'd rather have Lowe than Gary Matthews Jr if thats what they're trying to force upon us. If the team is going to give up Vazquez, I'd like to see a solid package involved in return that includes Juan Rivera PLUS B prospects. None of this 2 nickels for your quarter crap like the Soriano trade.
I guess thats really it for now. If something that's actually important breaks, I'll let you guys know. Until then, have a happy and safe holiday season.