So another day, and another batch of Braves news and notes coming around. Lets take a look at them. But before we do that...I'd like to let you all know, I've got my Braves top 40 prospects list drawn up, and will start getting THE LIST written up this week. I'll most likely release it in 4 of 5 parts over the course of the week, and hopefully the final part will be up sometime Black Friday, which is a very busy day. But without any further ado, lets get to the rumors!
-The Braves are interested in Carl Crawford if the Rays don't manage to re-sign him. Yeah, this would just be a slight upgrade over Garret Anderson. On defense alone, Crawford was worth 3 wins more than Anderson last year. He was also worth 3 more wins on offense. That 6 wins puts the Braves at 92 wins, or 1 game back of the Phillies and tied with Colorado at the top of the wild card heap. A player like Crawford immediately fills so many of the Braves holes. He gives the team a legitimate leadoff hitter, he improves the defense in left field, he lets Nate McLouth move down in the order to give the team a bat in the middle of the lineup...yeah. I honestly don't care what prospects the team gives up. When you get a chance to acquire a player like Crawford, you absolutely must pull the trigger. I hope Frank Wren and Andrew Friedman have some serious heart to heart conversations in 2 weeks at the winter meetings.
-Jermaine Dye would be open to playing first base. Now this is interesting. Dye's defensive shortcomings would be downplayed at first, where instead of being a negative 2 win player in the field, he'd probably only be worth a negative half win, tops. Unless he's Adam Dunn bad of course. He's slipping with the bat, but he's not completely horrible, posting a .793 OPS in the big boy league last season while posting a .269 BABIP. Moving on to the NL, he could probably put up something similar, if not much better. If Dye isn't asking for a repeat of the $11.5 million he made last year, and instead something more in the range of the $5 million Bobby Abreu made last season, I'd be all in favor of making this move. I really don't want Dye anywhere near an outfield corner, and thats where I'm afraid Bobby would end up playing him. If Dye comes in, strictly as a first baseman, he could be a good fit. His ISO last year was still .203, which would have put him only behind Brian McCann by a hair and Adam LaRoche in 2 months of play. Things could be a lot worse...Scott Thorman could still be over there.
-Mark Bowman mentions that Jordan Schafer may be traded. Really? I still view him as the long-term answer in center. The only way I would advocate trading Schafer is if the Braves could get someone like Crawford, and lock him up with an extension. Trading Schafer for a rental is a stupid move, because he's still got star potential. His value is at an all-time low, why would you want to sell on him now? It just doesn't make much sense.
-How about Josh Willingham in left? The Braves apparently have some interest there. Willingham has had roughly the same value of $10.6 million in 3 of the last 4 years, and despite being below average defensively, he's nowhere near as bad as Garret Anderson. In the 4 full years of his career, he's never posted an OPS under .800, and had one year with an ISO under .200 (and that was a .198). Depending on what Mike Rizzo wants for him, he could be a real good pickup, and is under team control for the next 2 years. I'd be really interested in someone like Willingham if all it costs is a B- prospect or two, but who knows what they want in Washington.
So that does it for today's batch of rumors and news, keep your eyes peeled for the prospect list...maybe I'll start it tonight. Who knows?