Will Wren be a buyer or seller?

With the three-game losing streak they carried into Tuesday, the Braves found themselves in the same position they were when they began their five-game winning streak on June 28.  Still the five-game division deficit they now face seems much more daunting than it did just a week ago, when the fumbling Phillies were coming to Turner Field.
 
While the first-place Phillies have won four straight since being swept out of Atlanta last week, the Braves have destroyed all of the positive energy they’d created before saying goodbye to their season-best five-game winning streak during the eighth inning of Saturday’s game in Washington D.C. 

Since being six outs away from recording a sixth straight win, the Braves have completed 20 consecutive innings without a lead and provided even more reason to believe that even with their strong starting rotation, they are destined for prolonged mediocrity.
 
Braves general manager Frank Wren finds himself essentially in the same position he was on this date last year, when his club was six games back.  At the time, he said he was going to continue monitoring the pulse of the club before determining whether he was going to move Mark Teixeira.
 
Wren remained patient until the Braves blew five-run leads on consecutive days in Philadelphia (July 26 and 27) and then opted to deal Teixeira with the handicap of having to find a trade partner that could provide a first baseman in return.

With Javier Vazquez, Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez, Wren possesses three pitchers, who could each individually provide a greater return than Teixeira, who was traded to the Angels in exchange for Casey Kotchman and Steven Marek.

Affordable relievers who have the ability to close and durable starters prove to be in more demand than first basemen, who could prove to be just a two-month rental.

 But while still waiting for his team to experience its first string of prolonged success,  Wren really doesn’t know whether he’ll be a buyer or a top seller when this year’s trade deadline arrives. 

Without the ability to add to his payroll, his position as a buyer in search of another bat will certainly be financially hindered.
  
But with these three pitchers, he could prove to be an attractive seller with the ability to start building for the future. 

Until they definitely fall out of the postseason picture, the Braves won’t even attempt to trade Vazquez.   Thoughts of moving him to gain funds to add a bat are erased by the reality that the Braves need him in a rotation that won’t include Tim Hudson until at least the final week of August.
 
And if Wren isn’t blown away with any offers for Vazquez, there isn’t any definite need to trade the 32-year-old right-hander, who is set to make $11.5 million during the final year of his contract next year.
 
Hudson, who is one year older and coming back from Tommy John surgery, has a $12 million option and $1 million buyout for the 2010 season.  Of course any concerns about his health could be trumped by the concerns created by the fact that Vazquez has proven to be one of those inconsistent pitchers, who encounters success on an every-other-year basis.

With both Gonzalez and Soriano being Type A free agents, the Braves are going to ask for significant returns if they reach a point where they decide to trade either or both of these closers. 
 
Instead of simply settling for the best available return like they did with Teixeira, they’ll be content to allow both Gonzalez and Soriano enter the free agent market, with the understanding that they’ll either bring one back or at least be compensated with the draft picks their departures would provide.  

There was very little chance that Teixeira was going to accept the arbitration offer that the Braves would have provided had they kept him through the remainder of the 2008 season, with the desire to at least receive draft pick compensation. 

Of course had Teixeira accepted an arb offer, the financial ramifications would have been much greater than those provided by the small risk the Braves would  take if they reach a point in December, where they have to offer arbitration to either Soriano or Gonzalez.  

Wren has already assumed the role of buyer once this year with his June 3 acquisition of Nate McLouth, who is a hitter that many offensively-needy teams would currently covet.
  
Still while McLouth has proven to be a definite upgrade, the Braves won just 13 of the 30 games they’ve played since he joined their lineup.   Of course four of those wins were notched last week, when McLouth was sidelined with a sore left hamstring.

There’s no doubt that McLouth is going to make an impact in Atlanta beyond this year.  He’s a legit five-tool player, whose presence in Atlanta would already been much more celebrated had he not arrived just in time to see both Chipper Jones and Brian McCann start to endure simultaneous struggles. 

Over his past 21 games, McCann has hit .250 with two homers and seven RBIs.  The always-dependable All-Star catcher also has just four hits in his last 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position. 

As for Jones, over the course of his past 25 games, he has hit .213 with one homer and nine RBIs. 

While winning just 10 of their past 25 games, the Braves have received a total of 19 RBIs from McCann and Jones.
  
There’s no doubt that McCann and Jones will turn things around.  But will they do so before Wren is forced to make the decision to enter the trade market as a seller? 

119 Comments

Mark,
Chipper hurt or has Bobby decided to give him a day off?

Chipper’s tweaked his right groin last night…He’ll probably just miss a game or two.

“and then opted to deal Teixeira with the handicap of having to find a trade partner that could provide a first baseman in return.”

You know, that was just idiotic. Trading Teixeira last year meant punting on the season. So who cares who plays 1B for the rest of 2008? And you can deal with acquiring a 1B in the off-season. Good lord, why did Wren insist on getting a 1B? I’m not displeased with the return for Teixeira (though Marek has more than let me down this season), I like Kotchman, but if we could have gotten more value for Teixeira than we did but we refused just because we demanded a 1B, well, that was really, really stupid.

Couldn’t medlen be a good enough 5th starter even if hudson isnt productive at all this year. Allowing a vazquez for bat trade. Or is it thought that medlen wont be able to produce in the rotation this year?

Atlanta needs to come up with something fast if they want to compete. The only problem is there aren’t many suitors. The market is small since there are so many teams still in the hunt. There is so much demand and so little supply.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

So let me get this straight. Zambrano?s start in Atlanta gets rained out. Dempster starts the make-up. Dempster breaks his toe, Zambrano is his replacement. Yep, it?s a zero-sum game.

Why waste an out there with a first inning sac? Let Nate steal the base. Then the grounder gets him to third with one out.

Yea zidane. This guy isn’t giving anything borderline. At least 2 pitches could have gone either way and Vazquez didn’t get them. Nice triple by Conrad by the way.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Why do you guys wanna trade Javy so much? His been our most consistant pitcher and been doing REALLY good. I know his contract is pretty high and that we need offence, but why should we give up Javy? We need offence for HIM. Not get rid of a VERY good pitcher and put a guy who’s gonna give up 4runs a game. All im saying is, don’t get a guy thats gonna cost us Javy or 10m on the Budget. Lets just go for another guy who can drive in runs when he has a chance to drive them in runs. Only guy(s) who has been doing that is… uhh.. well…. esco…. and .. uhh….. …Just give up medlen and gonzo for a pretty decent bat. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of clubs that needs young pitching and a setup man/closer. I really don’t know who it should be, but someone who doesn’t bust the bank.

this umpire is squeezing vazquez it seems to me. Anyone else notice this?

Weird that my comment appeared in the wrong spot…
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

I don’t want to trade Javy. I want to trade Kawakami. Maybe to the Dodgers for Juan Pierre?

The umpire seems to have a tight zone, zambrano walks kotchman on 4 straight pitches…..so JF comes up and swings at everything!

STOP ASKING FOR JUAN… We don’t need a guy that gets on base and can’t score. We need a guy who CAN SCORE PEOPLE. FYI also called RBI. Oh and HR. Plus 10m? For a guy that throws little tosses and can’t hit more than 1 hr a year… well thats just a boneheaded move.

Yea, I’m not a big fan of Juan Pierre. He is a defensive liability despite his range. His arm is far too bad. He would bring speed that Atlanta obviously lacks but I think they need power more than speed right now.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Well, that’s not all I want. Kelly, Frenchy and maybe a prospect for Adrian Gonzalez.

nobody would even trade a bag of balls for kelly and frenchy. they are worthless, espicially frenchy

….. Do you think Towers is an idiot?….. KJ and Frenchy is about 5m and there trying to DUMP salary and NOT GAIN it. Plus…. ur kidding me right? This isn’t fanasty baseball, make a RESPECTABLE offer. They want cheap,young,or propects.

Pierre – CF
Escobar- SS
Jones – 3B
Gonzalez – 1B
McCann C
McClouth – RF
Diaz/Anderson LF
Prado/Infante 2b

Just dreaming, that’s all.

AMEN to zidane…
barry, what the **** are you smoken… thats ur dream?…..
thats even worse then ours currently…. thats practally adding gregor into the lineup….

Pierre really can’t play anywhere but LF.

Offense couldn’t be much worse than it is now. Anyway, Gonzalez IS an available bat we could use.

Offense couldn’t be much worse than it is now. Anyway, Gonzalez IS an available bat we could use.

Pierre really even shouldn’t be playing OF…..

Pierre is almost a complete copy of Gregor Blanco. Blanco is better defensively but Pierre hits for a higher average and actually attempts to steal bases. Bringing Pierre in will damage the club even more. He has a horrible contract and I’m pretty sure the Dodgers said they want to hold onto him.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

What am I smoking? Pierre is batting .328 with 28 stolen bases and 37 runs scored. I don’t think Gregor would post those numbers.

Think about it….. Gregor has a below avg defence too….
uhh and yeah offense can be worse…remanber last year without tex? We could also be the Pirates,Giants, and did you know the mets had fewer homeruns than us and has only 4 more rbi’s than us. So, yeah WE CAN BE WAYYYY WORSE.

I think the what are you smoking comment was in reference to you suggesting the padres would take frenchy and Kelly and ‘maybe’ a prospect for A gonzo!

The Braves need to trade Garret Anderson he has no power and is killing the middle of the line up. Matt Holiday a trade to the National league could help him. I don’t know if the padres want to trade Adrian Gonzalez but is a good choice and we already saw the Padres trading Hairston ( here second best hitter) and another player that the Braves let pass. The Braves can also try Blanco leading off and Mclought in the middle of the line up but that just a choice.

Kiquito, good thinking, but there alot of flaws in that,
1.No one has the right minds to trade for GA unless its a low lv prosepct.

2. We don’t want another rental.
3.Unless we give a hell of a good package, they aren’t gonna trade him to us… after what happened this summer
— Zidane- im talking about everything his put up on this blog… i think he’s talking about fanatasy baseball for something…

haha, good post, yeh i see alot of times people say: Lets get xxx for jo-jo, JF, KJ and GA. Obviously ridiculous. I love your turn of phrase ‘bulk crap’!

For those that insist on “proposals” that include Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur please do one of the following: 1) Make the proposal for Albert Pujols/Hanley Ramirez….if you’re gonna shoot for the moon, don’t go half way, or 2) Be realistic and suggest something like Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur for Juan Gonzalez. Believe it or not, you can’t make a deal with another team just by dealing bulk crap. If I owe you $1.00 I can give you all the Canadian nickels I want, and maybe you’ll take them, but I’m still going to have to give you a usable dollar.

my comment in wrong place, was talking about tomatalk post

I like Holiday too. That would do. KJ, Frenchy and the right prospect (i don’t know who that would be) for Gonzalez is not a stretch. Both players are young, and not that expensive. Anyway, the question Mark raised was is Wren buying or selling. I hope, (given our pitching) that he would be buying and SOON before it is too late. The reason I say this is that our future already looks bright. Let’s go for this year NOW!

Uh huh……Adrian Gonzalez is less than 2 years older than Francoeur, and less than 6 months older than Johnson. Gonzalez is making $3 million this year…Francoeur is making $3.3, Johnson $2.8. The added bonus for Gonzalez is he’s signed for 2 more years….$4.75 million next year and $5.5 million club option in 2011. Oh yeah, and he’s actually good….So tell me again why you would pay MORE for guys virtually the same age who have not demonstrated anything and why that’s not a “stretch?” Like I said…..just propose it for Pujols.

…. barry…. KJ and Franchy is about 5m.. and A Gonzo is about 5m or less(i dont really know but i know its not over 5m) And like i said,,,, THERE DUMPING MONEY NOT TRYING TO BUST THERE 40m- cap. Who doesn’t want Holiday on there roster… but his a rental… unless we can give him a 20m contract to him… which isn’t gonna happen..

Gregor Blanco does not play below average defense. He has a better range factor as well as a much stronger arm. Blanco may not be able to hit .300 but he can easily steal 28 bases. He just doesn’t run. He doesn’t bring any power and he is also scoring runs in a great offense. Pierre also has a horrible contract. One of the worst in baseball. Why would the Braves trade for that?
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Bag of balls and Frenchy for pujols anyone?

Yea it is a stretch. If you want quality you have to give up quality. What quality are you including in that deal? Why would the Padres trade their star player for a 2B that isn’t even healthy, a RF that Atlanta can’t get rid of and a prospect? I’m all for making trade proposals but make them realistic. Please.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Well, that would probably make it depend on the “prospect” then wouldn’t it? I don’t know who it would be. I am just saying that is a bat we could go and get and we should try to go and get it – NOW. The question was buying or selling. I say BUY and BUY now. Even if we are renting in the case of Holiday, our future is bright. Let’s go for the right now, NOW. I am not going to be able to accurately define the trade. That’s what we have Frank for, I am just responding to Mark’s question – Buy! Buy! Buy!

Great job Gonzo!

wow, bobby would of got some abuse if derek lee had homered in the 8th there. seems like a bad decision to not walk him. worked though, so nice :P

And i’m saying ur gonna put us at the same position 2 years ago where we gave up a boat load of prospects for a rental *cough*TEX*cough*. Yes… lets be in the playoff 1 year and be a celler-dweller for another 3 years… OH HOW FUN THAT WOULD BE!!!! I’m also a hockey fan… and as i recall this happened to the thrashers 3years ago too…. became a buyer and got buttload of rentals, got to the playoffs and ended up getting screwed. There still in rebuilding moad 3 years later…

Diaz is hitting over 500 in his last two weeks? and he is bunting. Smooth.

… so bravesfan, you are saying sell?

then he brings diaz in to bunt, amazing

its a great spot to bunt. the call is right obviously, just why bring in diaz to do it

Blanco is bad in center. Average in left/right I’d say.

im saying buy, not the dam overpriced won’t sign next year rentals. DO YOU? screw up the process of the franchise for 1 player that isn’t even gonna stay? Get someone that we can throw away. Jo-Jo,ETC you know who they are….

Who’s out there (Bats) that you would like to see us go after?

bobby tried his hardest to lose us this game (as did the umpire), luckily we won, nice win braves. great pitching/defence

The Diaz bunt was all-around suspect. He used the bullpen properly at least.

Where did this rumor come from that Blanco has a good arm? Someone from ESPN wrote that but obviously never saw him play. I sat in centerfield last year when the Braves played the Rangers in Texas. Blanco played centerfield and I wanted to throw the ball in for him from the stands. His arm was about as good as a lefty who had his left arm amputated. It was like he was throwing from that little nubby stump that remained.

In honor of Juan Pierre, who has been discussed quite a bit today, I’ll say this: Matt Diaz’s bunt attempt went about as far in the air as Juan Pierre is capable of hitting it in the air with a full swing.

bravesfan – In my opinion, I’d give up anyone not named Hanson, Heyward, and McCann to the Padres for a young bat like Gonzalez. Everyone else is fair game. Medlen, Freeman, Prado/Infante, Soriano/Gonzalez, Kotchman… and my sister… although her husband wouldn’t appreciate that. He’s worth that move… and you get what you pay for. That’s why they call it “buying”.
And Barry’s got a good point about Pierre. He’s put up all star numbers and now he’s on the bench wasting space. It’s killing the Dodgers to pay a guy 10 mill to ride the pine. 27 stolen bases and a .328 average for a team in desperate need of a true lead off hitter and base runners on and in scoring position sounds pretty good to me! Pierre doesn’t deserve the flack he’s received on this blog and has earned the opportunity to play, We’re paying Kawakami nearly 10 million. It’s an even swap if you ask me.

WOW. Tonight at Rome Zeke Spruill pitched 8 innings allowing 3 hits and no walks while striking out TEN! He lowers his season ERA to 3.02. Of course, he left after 8 with the score 0-0 and the bullpen coughed up a run in the bottom of the 9th so he didn’t get a win (hey, it’s the Braves, they prepare them for reality). But what a performance. He’s about earned a promotion to Myrtle Beach.

Slugfest tonight in Danville. Beat Pulaski 23-7. Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg went 3-5 with a double and 2 walks. Puts him at .474/.508/.754. Unbelievable start to his professional career. Derek Wiley gets his 2nd and 3rd hits of the season going 2-6 with 2 HR and is officially on the map. Mycal Jones goes 3-4 with a walk and a homer. Cory Harrilchak goes 5-7, all singles. Robert Hefflinger goes 2-5 with a double, a homer, and two walks and is now hitting .297/.361/.594. The Danville club hit 12 singles, 5 doubles, 5 HR, and drew 7 walks. Every one of Pulaski?s pitchers gave up between 3 and 7 runs. They used 5 pitchers.

Mark

How can you call McLouth a “legit 5 tool” player? He hits for power and is speedy on the basepaths. He is a career .263 hitter, has average defensive skills and a suspect arm. Those are my five. Are yours different?

I think our offense needs an identity. We can’t manufacture runs and we have no power. It would be nice to expect 4 runs in most games, instead of having to hope for it. We can’t create power, but we can use the speed we have available (
#1 Blanco as leadoff, and get Hubbard to push him off first so he’ll actually steal a base;
#2 love Prado and what he is doing in the 2 slot, he seems like a natural fit there, but only time will tell;
#3 McClouth at number three where he can drive in one of the top two if they get on if they don’t then he can use his speed to get in scoring position himself;
#4 Chipper;
#5 BMac;
#6 Yunel;
#7 Diaz (team has different feel with him in there compared to GA; don’t know what it is, it just feels right)
#8 The Snail w/ No Pop (Casey should just take his glove to the plate and show off more of his glovework)

bravomania- i dont care who we give up for A Gonzo long as its not who you said. His young/cheap/ and locked up for aleast 2more years(i think). Than there the Juann thing…..
yes a guy who can’t hit more than 2 hr a year should help us…….. Do you guys seriously not see this? We can get people on. We just can’t drive them in. Why do we need another person running around the bases when we can’t score. Plus Kenshin, its his first season in the MLB. He said that the ball is a bit different, plus the hitters here are wayyyyyyyyy better. I still see him comeing out with a 10-9 record. He has shown that his good as a big game pitcher. So, overall, it isnt a fair deal.

jbash – Our lineup has an identity. It’s called “below average”. It doesn’t matter what lineup you throw out there.
The comparisons of Gregor Blanco to Juan Pierre are laughable on here.
Vasquez is a stud and our defense played its best game last night. Phillies lost too, so hope is near as long as our pitchers continue to throw shutouts or give up only one run.

and bravesfan – you’re severely underestimating the value of a true lead off hitter and stolen base threat. the two most important positions in the lineup are #1 and #4. anyone in baseball know’s that. We need both of those offensive positions. We can leave the Juan Pierre conversation. He was just a guy I saw having a monster season who I think would bring value to a team in desperate need of speed and runners in scoring position. and a weak arm and lack of power is not enough of an argument against the season he’s having…. sorry.

Juan pierre would be to us, what barry zito is to the giants. The occasional contribution that the team, but overall they just cripple you. we arent the yankees, and we cant get away with giving mediocre players 10 mil a year without it crippling our club

Wow – career .301 hitter/.350 OBP and will have close to 500 stolen bases at the end of this season. Hasn’t hit lower that .280 in his career. He’s also more than halfway to 3,000 hits in 8.5 seasons.
That’s mediocre?

His OPS is 0.720 for his career, lower than that horror francoeur, lower than diaz, lower than mcclouth, lower than anderson.

He cant defend, he gets caught stealing too much to make his stolen base threat productive and he is on 10 MILLION A YEAR! he is worth maybe 3 million.

Signing pierre to his contract would be disasterous for the club, and you want us to offer prospects for him too! He would cripple the club.

If the dodgers pay 75% of his total remaining contract then it might be an ok move, but even then i dont know

in 2006, for the cubs, he had 700 at bats and drove in 40 runs.

He’s not a very good percentage base stealer and he hurts you just as much as he helps you when he runs. Provides no secondary offense. He’s an alright player. Not awful, but worth so much less than his contract. Trading for him would be a massive misallocation of resources.

Question – If player “A” steals 65 bases in a year but is caught stealing 25 times, and player “B” steals 20 bases in a year, and is only caught 15 times… which player would you rather have on your team? Man – I hate to confuse things with a bunch of facts, but the dude has averaged over 170 hits per year… definitely undeserving of a “mediocre” tag. .301 career batting average / 500 stolen bases with no signs of slowing down… definitely wouldn’t “cripple” the Braves… Would I pay him 10 million? Not sure… would he help our team… Hell yes. No argument. Hands down. OPS is not enough to call the dude “crippling”. No way.

Bravo…. I am guessing you are saying BUY! Ok, let’s leave the Pierre discussion for a while. Can we all come to agreement that we need a bopper? Can we all come to agreement that we need said bopper sooner than later?

Agreed, we can leave the Pierre conversation alone. I just thought he deserved a little more respect than he’s received for the job he’s done this year and the career he’s put together.
I say buy. Not only for this year, but for the next three. Aging Chipper and no one else to protect him until Heyward and Freeman pan out. It would be a shame to waste all of the great pitching we will have for the next 3 years because we won’t be able to drive in runs. The problem is who to buy. There are only a few names worth getting. I believe those names are Holliday / Gonzalez / Berkman / etc… Expensive but necessary.

That’s the kind of “bopper” we need.

Throwing some names out there that I like (contract and ability to hit for power): Luke Scott, Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, Brad Hawpe, Russel Branyan, and Shin-Soo Choo. If we could move Kotchman and grab Branyan with a net gain in prospects I’d do it.

God people be realistic in your expectations and speculation.

Braves aren’t going to offer prospects for Matt Holliday for a 3 month rental and no chance to resign him.

Remember we would have to offer something that beanes perceives as better than the twp comp picks for Holliday departing via Free agency.

Drayton McClane has shown repeatedly that he doesn’t move his assets at the deadline. Repeat it with me Berkmann not available. On the minute chance he was Wren has already stated no significant salaries would be added to payroll for this season.

Last but not least. The most absurd name mentioned repetedly Adrian Gonzalez.

As PWH and others have staed he’s not available. He’s highly productive signed to a far below market contract and is actually the player identified as the rock to build on by the Padres.

I guess though that Wren doing due dilligence could inquire about Gonzalez.

I’m sure Towers would reply that we don’t really have any interest in moving him but if you want to overwhelm us go ahead.

The package starts with Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward.

Almost any team in baseball could afford to take on Gonzalez’s contract. Thus there would be 25+ teams willing to bid.
Just not a good idea to have to be the top bidder in that type of market.

Would love hawpe, but is that likely? what would they want

Mark, what do you think is going to happen with the braves in the next few weeks? Like the most probable trades.

bravesfan0224, is escobar and hanson for pujols a realistic deal?

ok i havent really said much of late, i thought i would sit back and see what the braves could do leading up to the all-star break, but i think its time to make a couple points. For Frank Wren to be torn between being a buyer or seller at this years trade deadline is totally ludacris! There is no way you can compare this years club to last years, we had no pitching what so ever last year and the injuries the club sustained were to much to overcome! This years club has the pitching to win and now that we have made a few changes we have the potential to be Division Champs once again!!! The best move thus far was allowing martin prado to win the starting job and getting kj out of the lineup! The braves need to keep martin at second and also need to keep conrad on the roster so if that means sending diory hernandez down once omar if off the dl so be it. Frank would totally kill this ball club if he becomes a seller this year and one thing for certain please keep the pithing staff in tact, while shopping for the big bat there are numerous ways to acquire one ( you can trade GA, Frenchy, prospects for that matter i wouldnt even care if you traded chipper seing that omar can play 3b that would def clear up some financial room and bring in the big bat you want in the outfield ) bottom line is this…. The braves are at the point where they are in it for the long haul lets do what needs to be done to win this year and regain dominance among the nl east!

There is no package a team can offer to make a deal for Pujols realistic. Albert Pujols is by leaps and bounds the best player in the game right now. He plays Gold Glove defense, is the best hitter in the game as well as being a great teammate and role model in the community. The thought of him being traded isn’t even realistic. Sorry.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

You wanna kill this club pretty quickly? It’s easy. Trade Chipper or Mac away.

Be realistic, seriously. We aren’t going to be dealing anything like that. Any deal we make that would make us a “buyer” would be prospects and MAYBE a Major Leaguer who isn’t doing well for someone a team wants to dump. Not a ****** player for a great player, such as G Anderson for Albert Pujols. Get real.

As far as Chipper or Mac, look at numbers. Whats our record when one of those two is out? Okay, good, you see my point. Want to get really scared? Look at our record with BOTH of them out. Then come back to reality and realize we aren’t going to add anyone huge, though we MIGHT add an upgrade.

Bravesfan62, you’re a moron…. trade Chipper? I don’t care how bad we are i wouldn’t trade chipper for anyone in the world. He has shown this ball club loyalty,passion, and showed that he LOVES it here. He is the BRAVES.(and Bobby.)He took a paycut just so he can play here… who else would do that? Tommy? John? Greg? Andrew? No. I grew up loveing Chipper, Cause of him I learned how to switch hit when i was a born lefty. I learned how to play LF and 3B when I was a pure pitcher. Tradeing Chipper is like the Yankees throwing away Jeter. Understand? Bravesfan132- I understand your thinking but unless we give away our whole roster, we aren’t getting him. Hawpe is likely but still a LONG shot cause of the way the Rockies have been playing. I know I’n not Mark, but I think Frenchy is going to get sent down or traded and we won’t be seeing Gonzo and/or Soriano in a Braves Uniform. I also see 1 more right bat in the 4th spot of the line up.

I think the only way to add a player of significance is by moving Vazquez. One, he has some value right now in a pitchers-starved market and for any team in the NL, where he’s seemed to do better. Second, moving his larger salary would also allow the Braves to take on a better player/larger salary without adding a lot, if any, to their payroll.

As far as whether or not to buy or sell, I can see both points of view. It all depends on what your definition of success is. If it’s simply making the playoffs, then buying makes sense. If it’s making a run at the World Series, then I’m not sure buying makes complete sense, unless you can do so without destroying the farm and without acquiring a 3 month rental. The Braves still have several glaring holes offensively- 1B and the outfield. It’d be asking a lot of Wren to plug all of these holes by July 31st, and unless you can plug all of them, we’re not World Series contenders. That said, if the goal is simply to make the playoffs, then buying makes sense, particularly in the wide open NL East race. As pathetic as we’ve been, we’re only 4 games back.

…and I like the Luke Scott idea.

Uhh. NO. no one better trade Javy… Did u not see him last night? His been like that for about 7starts now. I don’t care how much value he has… We need Offense for HIM. Not let someone give up 4 runs while we can only score 4 runs. With Javy we have a chance to win everyday. Which is about 4.5wins almost every time we go thourgh the rotation.(kawakami his still getting used to the MLB) If we just add guys that can drive runs in… man we can run FAR AWAY with this division. NO ONE CAN TOUCH OUR ROTATION (expect Kawakami NO JUAN PIERRE.)

I wonder who leads MLB in xFIP?..

Yep, it?s Javier Vazquez.

MLB xFIP Leaders (Qualified only):

1. Javier Vazquez – 2.65
2. Tim Lincecum – 2.72
3. Dan Haren – 2.94
4. Roy Halladay – 2.97
t-5. Zach Greinke – 3.14
t-5. Justin Verlander – 3.14

And he’s not in the all-star game. An abomination in my view.

Would be nice to trade soriano for a bat

The more I think about it, the more I think we should be sellers and go for it next year.

Lets sell high on vazquez and soriano.

Then next year, we will have GA, JF, KJ and hudson off the books. We will be able to put together one heck of a team

I wouldn’t count KJ out. I think he’s going to rebound nicely in the 2nd half.

I understand the potential value of keeping Vazquez. But he’s certainly not one of the untouchables like McCann and Hanson…Chipper plans to play tomorrow and Cox chose to put Francoeur in right again for a second straight day…i’ll post another entry later today looking deeper at the trade options.

Vazquez’s value couldn’t be higher right now. I hope Wren takes the “I’m listening” approach rather than shop him should we fall out of contention. If you’re blown away by an offer for him, pull the trigger. If not, hang on to him. No pressure. Vazquez has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this year.

Thats the thing – Soriano is more valuable on the trade market, and Gonzo is a serviceable closer. So if we want value, we trade value. Which is why we even discuss trading Javier Vazquez to begin with.

It’s not that I like the idea of giving up Vazquez, it’s just that he is one of the few pieces we have that we could use to acquire something truly valuable in return. And as far as our offense goes, we need something good, not just a mediocre upgrade. As far as bullpen pieces, I’d much rather give up Gonzalez than Soriano in a trade.

Diaz is hitting .500 this month. He has had 5 out of his 6 starts where he had multi hit games, and yet bobby throws JF out there for the second game running

I had hoped JF had lost his starting job, and had been lowered to 4th starter, used to spell GA…guess not…. amazing decision unless diaz is injured

Diaz isn’t hurt and it certainly seemed like he’d come to the park expecting to start today’s series finale…If you’re stretching for a positive, Diaz certainly is the better pinch-hit option during the late innings…like I said, I’m stretching.

Is it possible that this is to try and get frenchy a few hits to boost his trade value?

Come on. You sent Johnson to the minors because Prado was hot. Diaz is JUST as hot with more power, and you don’t even sit Francoeur? Seriously, what a slap to Diaz. Maybe Cox is trying to let Frenchy nail his own coffin shut with a bad performance? I just worry he’ll show a flash of brilliance and Diaz will be back to nothing.

First pitch is now scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

I like the conversation. I think it’s healthy. If we are considered “buyers”, in my opinion it can’t be a 3-month rental to get us into the playoffs. It has to be for a legitimate offensive producer that can mash and will be a fixture in Atlanta for the next couple of years to bridge the gap for Heyward and Freeman. With that being said, you have to spend a lot to get a lot. You get what you pay for. So trading a guys like Vasquez, or Gonzalez, or Soriano would get more in return.
I remember John Scheurholtz’s philosophy of making moves was making sure the other team in the deal got better too. That’s why teams in the league loved making moves with him… because he would only make a deal that helped the other team as well. So you give up value, to add value.
Some would argue that we would still have a great pitching staff even if we lost a guy like Vasquez. Especially if Huddy makes a strong comeback. And we have 2 closers on this team. Some would argue that we could win with just one of them. One thing I know for sure – We can not and will not win with the lineup we have right now. So being a “buyer” means we need to change that.

I agree bravomania, with everything you said

Hey there Mark,

I have a bunch of questions and if you could answer any of them, I would greatly appreciate it?

With Heyward and Freeman being moved up to AA last week what are the chances of either of them being moved up to AAA around September and making the big league club next season?

With McLouth set in the outfield and Heyward, Schafer, and Johnson in the minors, why doesn?t Wren look for a power bat at 2nd base instead of a soon to be crowded outfield?

Why not hold on to Vazquez until we get an indication of how well Huddy will do upon his return and trade him this offseason for prospects to free up money in an attempt to sign DeRosa who is a free agent at the end of this year?

And lastly, seeing as how our future outfield is looking like it will consist of Heyward, Schafer, and McLouth, and we have no clear replacement set for Chipper at third, why not try to convert Cody Johnson into a third baseman? I would truly hate to lose his huge bat because of a lack in outfield space..

Thanks..

I hate to say it but, the Braves need to be sellers this year. The pitching staff has done well, but that’s about it. We need to sell and get some pieces together to really contend next year.

If the Braves can land that bat I think they can go far. If Atlanta makes the playoffs their rotation will be cut down to probably Jurrjens, Vazquez, and Lowe. Hanson and Kawakami can come out of the pen in the playoffs and that is where Atlanta’s real strength is. The only problem is finding that bat. The market is not looking good right now. There aren’t a lot of realistic options out there (don’t say Adrian Gonzalez it will never happen).
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Based on my last comment; I would really like the following lineup/rotation next year..

1. Jordan Schafer CF
2. Nate McLouth RF
3. Chipper Jones 3B
4. Mark DeRosa 2B
5. Brian McCann C
6. Yunel Escobar SS
7. Jason Heyward LF
8. Casey Kotchman/ Freddie Freeman 1B?

Rotation:
1. Tim Hudson
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Derek Lowe
4. Tommy Hanson
5. Kenshin Kawakami

Any Takes??

Just as PW said, Vasquez has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this year and understandably a lot of people would want him to not be dealt. BUT.. Javier has a losing record. He gives up 2 runs or less each start and hardly ever gets a win. If you have one of the best pitchers in baseball and he can’t get wins with those amazing starts, then what is the point of having him? The trade of Vasquez for someone who could spark the offense would hypothetically give us enough strength to contend while someone like Medlen is on the mound. There’s only one real hole in the lineup and that’s the cleanup spot. Anderson/ Diaz / Franceour / Kotchman are all perfectly fine 6, 7, 8 hitters. But one of them needs to be replaced by someone to hit behind Chipper and in front of McCann. Everyone knows this. With that power bat, we should be able to compete with a Lowe, Jurjjens, Hanson, Kawakami, Medlen / Hudson rotation. Plus Vasquez’ value is through the roof right now and if I remember correctly he has the second highest salary on the team.
I’m not going to speculate on who we should get, but I think a Vasquez, Franceour / KJ, prospect trade would give us something pretty good. Of course, this would only work with a competing team that has a stacked offense and a faltering rotation, basically the polar opposite of the Braves.

That lineup looks a lot like what we have now. Heyward and Freeman won’t be ready by the beginning of next year anyway.

This is what i think we should do too vivabeta. It will also leave us in a good position next year, because we be able to get a good package for vazquez, not just a rent hitter.

I suggested the other day that we could do a 3 team deal, with the braves, a in need of pitching contender team, and a out of contention team with a big bat they are willing to give up for prospects from the ‘in need of pitching contending team’.

Of course, we could also deal vazquez directly to a contendor with stacked offense and faltering rotation. Any chance prince fielder?

I seriously don’t want Javy to go, but if its fielder… MAYBE, but it’ll kill me.

HOW BOUT SEND MEDLEN KJ KOTCHAM AND JOJO TO CANADA AND GET ROY HOLIDAY AND OVERBAY THEN SEND OVERBAY AND RYAN CHURH TO OKLAND FOR THE OTHER HOLLIDAY AND TRAVIS BUCK. AND THERE IS WHAT MR WREN SHOULD DO

BLANCO CF
PRADO 1B
CHIPPER 3B
MCLOUTH LF
HOLLIDAY RF
MCCANN C
ESCOBAR SS
OFANTE 2B

HANSON
HOLIDAY
KENSHI
JURRJENS
BUENO
LOWE
JAVIER

THAT WHAT THE BRAVES SHOULD LOOK LIKE COME TRADING DEADLINE

WTF

I second that viva
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Thirded.

ok i guess noone liked my trade ideas. ok i am gonna redo them see what u think.

send schafer barton church to oakland for matt holiday then send medlen jojo kj to toronto for holliday and lyle overbay then send overbay kotchman clint sammons and boone logan for adrian gonzalez and a lefty relief pitcher. then release anderson and norton bring up blanco place him in left field and leadoff. then the line up should be

blanco lf
prado 2b
jones 3b
gonzalez 1b
mcouth cf
holiday rf
mccann c
escobar ss

One again…WTF.

Oh and it’s Roy HALLADAY.

If you want quality you have to give up quality. Atlanta doesn’t need Roy Halladay or his huge salary. Oakland won’t trade their best player for a struggling centerfielder, an average right fielder at best, and a 3A outfielder. Atlanta would also have to dump salary (Javier Vazquez) to take on Holliday’s contract. The Padres aren’t trading Adrian Gonzalez unless they are absolutely overwhelmed. You can’t just package together mediocre players you don’t want on your team for stars on someone else’s. If we don’t want them why would they?
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Holliday isn’t doing all that well this year anyway. We have one of the most solid rotations in baseball. With the outfield more or less set, there needs to be a focus on 1B. As I said before, maybe a platoon of Conrad / Kotchman if Conrad keeps hitting. Casey is not hitting lefties well at all this year.

ok i remeber reading in the offseason that the braves were going after cory hart of the brewers how bout sending them schafer brian barton for the 6’6 outfielder and send send medlen jojo and kj to kc for zack grinkie or to san fran for zito bc they need a lefty in the rotation now if u guys see something wrong then yall need help

No. You need to spend more time reading blogs than posting on them, because you really don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not trying to be an @$$, but you’ve got a lot to learn.

ok u got pple saying go after pierre when we dont need another lefty bat. yay we have a juan pierre type sitting in the minors but bobby wont play him behind anderson thats the person that needs to go is both him and cox. i am sorry but this should be bobby last year and give him and chipper a desk job or put chipper as a teacher down in the lower minors like a ball. now u put condard at short and place yunel at 3rd ofante at 2b and place prado at 1b trade kotchman kj diory and church to brewers and ask for see who they are willing to give up i bet if u ask for hart or that same package to houston and ask for carlos lee or lance berkman. but something needs to been done soon. hey i wonder if mark cuban can by the braves.

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