We give Dayton Moore a lot of crap for his absolute obsession with acquiring ex-Braves, but he clearly learned it from John Schuerholz -- just as Frank Wren has. David O'Brien's latest story announces that the Braves are interested in reacquiring Mark DeRosa and Jermaine Dye, as well as Georgia boy Mike Cameron, who has inexplicably never yet played for the Braves, and Alabaman Josh Willingham. They're still trying to decide whether to offer arbitration to once and future Brave Adam LaRoche.
There's something to be said for the value of knowing a player intimately. The Braves have more data on Mark DeRosa in the minors and early majors than anyone alive, including his mother. Tom and I agree that Dye would be a bad pickup, because he's basically an injury-prone DH at this point, but the Braves scouted and drafted him too. Both, however, blossomed into the stars they've become since leaving Atlanta -- and there appears to be a whiff of sour grapes or regret involved in their pursuit.
The Braves have an overlong history of bringing back ex-Braves, either guys who got away, became good players, then got old, or players who got old with the Braves and went away for a couple years well after their prime. Vinny Castilla, Steve Bedrosian, Terry Pendleton, Brian Jordan, Otis Nixon, and Tom Glavine all fall into one of those categories. I don't have anything against it per se -- if the Braves have better information about these guys than other teams, then it's likely they might be able to get more bang for their buck. And the Braves also have a long history of trying to extract hometown discounts -- and they've succeeded twice with Tim Hudson. But it's not good to rely on them. DeRosa would be a good insurance plan for Chipper Jones, but we'd be getting him to fill a bench role, and we should try to fill the actual hole in the outfield first. I like the idea of looking at Cameron and Willingham -- I'm just worried that their lack of a past with the Braves will hurt them.