Braves contend their payroll will remain the same

After yesterday’s press conference that announced Troy Glaus as the Braves new first baseman, I asked John Schuerholz about the fact that it appeared the club had decreased its payroll.

Like many of you, I had been putting these salaries in a data base and essentially finding a payroll that added up to something in the neighborhood of $85-87 million.  During the 2009 season, the Braves spent closer to $95 million.

When Schuerholz responded, “(The payroll) won’t be diminished at all”, I basically knew I’d be spending a portion of the evening trying to dissect his words to determine how he was expressing a falsehood in a truthful manner.

But after a few more conversations this afternoon, I was led to believe it’s time to put “PayrollGate 2010″ to bed.  

While the Braves spent approximately $95 million last year, a portion of this total was utilized via insurance funds provided courtesy of the fact that Tim Hudson missed the first five months of the season. 

When you subtract these unspecified funds, it’s easier to see why the Braves say their payroll will once again rest around $90 million.

Of course at the end of the day, does it really matter whether they’re spending $86 or $94 million?  I mean if they don’t make the playoffs again next year, I’m going to have to guess there won’t be anybody saying, “yeah, but at least they tried by spending that extra $8 million.”  
 

65 Comments

It’s a sort of shady way of deceiving the public, though I’m not really bothered by it.

Although it might be an indictment on my character, I’d say the exact same thing if I were Scheurholz. It doesn’t matter what you say as an executive for a team, people will run with it in any direction they want to.

If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck and it is insured like a duck maybe, just maybe the damn thing is a duck. I think Liberty is tired of the baseball thing. I mean this is a company that was formed to sell Ginzu knives. What they know about baseball and what they care about the Braves is basically the bottom line. They like the increasing equity that Baseball teams have enjoyed over the last decade, they like the cash flow, but they really could care less about Braves baseball. They are based in CO for christsakes, they are probably all Rockies fans. There is something to be said for hometown ownership especially when you are as close as the Braves may be right now. Sometimes you have to swing for the fence. I think Liberty is basically bunting with the pitcher just to stay out of a double play. They want to spend enough to keep us all interested until September without caring if we get all the parts we need to win the whole schebang.

Life is in fact, not fair, my friend.

Given the current state of our economy expecting a rise in payroll simply is unreasonable. Also, when you consider that the Braves’s attendance is only in the middle of the pack the fans really do not have much to complain about. If Braves fans want to see more money spent on the team more of them should go to the games. Currently, there is no real difference between the ranking of the braves in terms of attendance and payroll across MLB. No matter who the owner is I believe, that without the exposure generated by TBS, there will be a direct link between attendance and payroll. Face it–Atlanta is a terrible sports town that does not give its teams the support they need.

Everyone talks about what a “terrible sports town” Atlanta is, but what you fail to realize is that we have sooooo many people from other areas of the country living here that you are hard pressed to find native Atlantans and so there is less support of the teams. These transplants have their own loyalties. So you might say instead of Atlanta being a ‘terrible sports town’ you should say other areas of the country are terrible places to live so they come to the GREAT SOUTH….. to a GREAT place to live.. My bet is vivabeta is not a Georgian…..

That statement was not in any way deceiving. Three things are in play: 1. The insurance procedes can not be included in last years costs; they did not cost anything. 2. They will keep some payroll space in play for a deal that may be needed at the trade deadline. Last season when we needed some pieces, Wren had to cut Glavine and work some magic on the LaRoche deal to make them revenue nuetral. It is not realistic to expect that a needed mid-season trade should have to be made to improve the club while being revenue nuetral. 3. Possible extensions or contracts may be set to lock up some of the existing talent on the team.

34 years, never missed a home opener. Watched every game of every year. This year? Will not attend, listen or go to any games. If Liberty doesn’t care about its product, I don’t either. Screw um, i’m officially done! I don’t care if we make it to the world series, I’M DONE. Poor Bobby has to go out with his Cox in his mouth~ So sad!

While most of u likely will dismiss my commentary solely based upon my team loyalty, I should point out that I m very much one of those transplanted baseball fans with strong prior affinity. I spent most of the mid-80s managing the Columbus & Macon offices for my employer & have lived within ‘the belly of the beast’ for a representative period.
I find this “woe is us”, “we’re not rich or big mkt enough to pay competitively” a lot of what makes grass grow in Texas. Most financial experts point to two primary sources for increasing a baseball franchise’s earnings/revenue; 1) a dedicated sports network & 2) openning a new playing venue. How is it then that the Braves Franchise can be so disadvantaged having one of the very first networks & openning up a mainly publicly funded state-of-the-art new ballpark before either of the NY teams, yet they must manage finances as if they were the Pirates or Royals. Why Ted Turner isn’t publicly hung in effiagy(at least) before every Ted Game, is beyond my understanding, If I hear one more of the Braves’ homer announcers denounce my team’s attempts at improvment through financial reinvestment, I’ll puke! Wake up Braves’ fans your Corp ownership has pissed away your relevancy in the name of profitability. Wren,Cox,Schurholtz are the ****** for THE MAN! BTW, THE METS, WHILE NOT ALWAYS SPENDING WISELY, ARE SPENDING & HAVE NOT ONCE HAD TO PAY lUXURY TAXES!
Enjoy your cost effective well worn closer who has yet to pitch on consecutive days after surgery @ age 38! LMAO! For that u gave up on Gonzalez? Is Wren taing advice from Steve Phillips?

DAWG47,
Your statement is so absolutely stupid that I just had to respond. How can you watch a baseball team for so long, and then drop it? Are you going to drive to the local highschool or college to watch baseball? I wouldnt be able to stop watching and following my team if I tried. Baseball has impacted my daily life because I love the sport, and being a baseball player myself, I cannot imagine someone being foolish enough to say something as imposible as “IM DONE”. For you, Dawg, if your done with following Braves baseball, your life must be down the tubes.

Using the logic imparted above we can only summarize as follows:
1) The signings of Saito and Hampton put us over last years budget.
2) The Braves were even farther over budget after Soriano agreed to arbitration
3) We dumped Soriano to get some of that back.
4) We dumped Vazquez strictly to get back to the $90 M budget, not to free up salary to sign a hitter. Then we signed Glaus with the scraps that were left over.

Brilliant

OK for one.. upi441, no I am not from Georgia. I’m from Virginia, where I watched the Braves on TBS since I was 5 years old. Now I live in Brooklyn. And your comment about “transplants” in the city. I believe that is the definition of a city, and you’ll find that is the case in every city in the world.

We’re really talking about a difference of $5million here. In baseball that’s really not very much. To get so up in arms about this is absolutely ridiculous. Having a payroll around $100 million isn’t bad at all, and is hardly managing finances like the Pirates or Royals.

Oh and as for our “well worn 38 yo closer”. I think he’ll do just fine, though I would like to have the 41 yo they have in the Bronx.

billreef – Signing Hampton put us over last year’s budget? You mean Wagner? And as far as Vzquez, I’d reserve judgment until we see what kind of player that pitching prospect will be. *thinking of how we traded Rentera and found a goldmine in Jurrjens*
vivabeta – what part of Virginia are you from? I grew up there too… and watched the Braves on TBS for just about that long.

Well billreef
Reading mets62fan’s lame comments above it is obvious their fans will make their usual early season show of stupidity again in 2010. I wonder how many weeks they will get to boast this year? LOL

Your right I meant Wagner. I was looking at the insurance settlement for Hampton when I wrote that.

Hey guess what, I grew up in No. VA as well. Moved to ATL in 69 in time to watch Hank, Eddie and Joe T. Have been a die hard Braves fan for 40 years. I know how management can hurt a true fan. They sold my Senators twice in 2 years and moved them out of town both times.

Hey Viva maybe I can understand why you get so testy sometimes now. YOU LIVE IN BROOKLYN!!! Yikes. You have to listen to Yankees fans all day. I think that would make me more than a little crazy. Hell, it’s bad enough living in FL and having to listen to Yankees and Mets fans down here. Even though the Mets fans were really quiet since about July, hmmmmm…. I wonder why???

“Of course at the end of the day, does it really matter whether they’re spending $86 or $94 million? I mean if they don’t make the playoffs again next year, I’m going to have to guess there won’t be anybody saying, “yeah, but at least they tried by spending that extra $8 million.”

Surely, you must see the argument that our chances of making the playoffs would be greater if we added another talented player. Or for that matter, going deeper into October if we do make the post season. Respectfully, I never find your writing very objective. Although I enjoy reading anything on the Braves that I can, you seem more often than not to simply echo the front office. Clearly that is your right and perhaps even your genuine opinion, but this particular argument really doesn’t stand. Payroll alone won’t get us to the playoffs, but a higher payroll helps and a lower payroll hurts. Everyone knows that.

Actually, most of the horrible Yankees fans come to town from Jersey, and they can be the worst. The ones I see on a daily basis in the city are pretty reasonable. The Mets fans are usually on the more pathetic side and are the underdog type, which I can respect to a degree, since I’m a Jets fan (the only NY team I root for). I actually love attracting the ire of Mets fans when I show up to Braves games in Queens.
Papilgee, I grew up in the Hampton Roads area.

Bowman,

I disagree with your last statement. The Braves were seemingly one big slugger away from being a force in the NL last year (two before they traded for LaRoche). And I would contend that taking that extra $8 million plus not signing Hinske for $1.5 million could have landed the Braves someone like Johnny Damon, or if you think he would be too rich, then how about Jermaine Dye or Xavier Nady. One of those guys would come in around $7 or $8 million and offer equal production to that of Glaus, thereby giving the Braves MORE production than last year. As it stands right now, they have either held or lost ground offensively, not gained, because you can’t count on what Jason Heyward will produce as a rookie. Even with his can’t miss talent, he will still be a rookie and nobody has ever been able to predict rookie performance.

vivabeta – As did I. Newport News, in fact.
billreef – You know, you have a point there… most of the insufferable NYY fans I’ve met have not been from NYC proper but rather some other place.
joewyatt24 – NO on Johnny Damon. Short porches in Yankee Stadium do not a power bat make, and he’s now worse defensively than even Garret Anderson. Dye probably wouldn’t want a one-year deal, and I’m not sold on Nady who at 32 has probably hit his power peak.

I’ve said it a million times, but some of you guys have some serious selective memory. In the first half last year, we had a 2B who hit .220, Anderson was hurt for the first month, Schafer hit .200 and had about 3 hits w RISP, Franceour couldn’t do anything w RISP, Kotchman had no power whatsoever, and McCann couldn’t see for about a month. In the second half, we had one of the best offenses in the NL. Like him or not, but McLouth was a huge upgrade over Schafer offensively, Church was slightly better than Frenchy but also got rid of that uncomfortable problem we had. After replacing Kelly, Prado ended up leading the team in AVG. The team fell apart at the end of the year after we were eliminated, so if you don’t count that last series against the Nats, we essentially finished about 4 or 5 back and second in the East.
Now think about the lineup now as opposed to opening day last year. Diaz everyday is an upgrade in LF, McLouth in CF is a big upgrade offensively, Heyward will definitely put up better numbers than Frenchy and will be in a very stressless part of the lineup. Yunel is more mature, Prado is an upgrade at 2B, Glaus is an upgrade at 1B offensively to Kotchman. McCann can see again. There’s no more Norton. Melky will be a great guy to come off the bench. Hinske is much better than Diory. We still have the best rotation in the East even w/o Vazquez. Wagner is a proven closer. The bullpen is strong. This isn’t the greatest team in the world, but it’s much better than last year. This is also assuming a lot of things will go our way, but that is the same with EVERY team. Yankees fans assumed they would win the WS from 2000-2008 after spending $200m a year. Didn’t happen. Two years ago our offense was sound but the rotation fell apart. You never know.

Diaz actually had better OBP and SLG than Damon last year.

Know what I think? I think that several posters (on pretty much every blog, not just this one) just want their team to sign free-agent players because they’re available and are big names, not just because they’ll actually be a good fit to the team.

Yes, lets stop talking about how we needed to add Damon or Nady or DeRosa. Damon would’ve been terribly overpriced, even at 7-9 million per year. He would probably hit about 8 less home runs this year, being away from the new Yankee Stadium, and his defense is suspect to say the least, not to mention his throwing arm. The Braves were in need of some corner outfield help and, unless they wanted to dig deep into their pockets for Holliday or Bay, there wasn’t much. I may be alone in this, but I think a full-time Diaz may give us as much or more than Nady or DeRosa, offensively speaking. DeRosa does add a little more versatility defensively, however. Taking payroll into consideration, Wren did a brilliant job of signing Glaus to the deal he did. If healthy he’ll make only 4 million. And, if healthy, he’ll add much more to the lineup than any available outfielder not named Bay or Holliday.

A question for debate, if I may be so self indulgent: When should we bring Heyward up? Right out of Spring Training? Or, wait until end of May/beginning of June?

Depends what he shows the coaches. I may be alone in this, but I would like to see Heyward with the club in April… and Schafer maybe in May, depending on how well he’s come back from injury.

My guess is that unless Heyward rakes so hard in ST that the public demands his promotion Bobby will break camp with 12 pitchers(as usual). Outfield- Melky will get RF, Diaz LF, McSlouch in CF, Blanco and Schafer or Jones. IF- Glaus, Prado, Esky, Chip, with Omar and Hinske. We know the C’s.

Now does that bench scare opposing pitchers?. I think not. I think it scares me a lot more than it would scare them.

Wren will save some more money by delaying Heyward’s promotion and the corporate gods will smile on him.

What will be horrifically interesting is if someone gets hurt in ST(almost a foregone conclusion). Well at least we dont have to worry if the Loaf can make it all the way to first this season.

Vivabeta,
Have you ever considered writing for a blog?

Vivabeta,
Have you ever considered writing for a blog?

Hey JJ, where you been dawg? Your kissing up to Viva and doing it in duplicate? I guess I don’t get to be “Vazquez4NLCY” anymore, huh?

billreef,Naw, “dawg.” I don’t kiss up to anyone. Just don’t be jealous that I’m focusing my attention on the few intelligent people here like vivabeta and bobbycoxismyfather. Say, does rother still post here? I miss the spring training gang. Who else? Hmm Bravomania… I’ve lost sight the point. Ah yes, you sir are not qualified to be Vasquez4NLCY, regardless of his league. And my gf is doing just fine in the psycho ward… meanie.

Girlfriend in a coma I know……..

Jurrjens,
Man is that kissing sound really coming from your lips and some Sabremetric ***. SMMMMAAACCCKKK!!!!!!

billreefWait, Now my gf is in a coma? When did this happen? Whatever. I found a little stat that I immediately thought of you and how narrow minded you can be. So, if you are a GM of a baseball team and your team is sucking it up in the field. Your team has a .488 winning percentage, then you make a trade, and you continue the season with a .579 winning percentage. You’ve been successful right? You put the right pieces together and done a good job, right? Yes. You are Frank Wren on July 10, 2009 and the trade you’ve made was Francouer for Church. Now, how could you possibly say that was a bad trade? And do not start with, “If the management was able to see how good…” or “But, he is a fundamentally tooled player…” If “If’s” and “buts” were candy and nuts we’d all suffer from Diabetes… or something to that extent. You know what I mean, fella.

JJ, I believe Old Man Reef was making a reference to the song by The Smiths.
And no I haven’t really thought about writing for a blog. I figure I spend too much time in here arguing myself in circles as it is.

Viva,If your ever interested, drop me a line @ ravenfanatic01@yahoo.com

Viva, Kudos for the perception. The Smiths it is. Viva I think Jurrjens has a bit of a man crush on you. Be sure to meet him in a public place. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

And as I have said over and over, you can find a stat to support any argument you want to make. I your analyses remember you were the GM who screwed up so bad that the team had a .488 WP before the trade, You were the one who put a player who now can’t get a job in LF and another who can’t get a job in RF on the team. If No one else wants GA and RC, isn’t it safe to assume that we humped the monkey??

THE BRAVES ARE GONNA MAKE A BIG DEAL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON LIKE THE ASTROS DID IN BRINGING IN BELTRAN BACK IN 03 AND THEY WILL MAKE A DEAL TO BRING IN JOSH HAMILTON BY GIVING UP EITHER MELKY MCOULTH JAYSON HEYWARD KRIS MEDLEN AND JORDAN SCHAFER FOR HIM CHRIS RAY AND JOE INGLETT

JJ, I’m still here, just not as often during the week.

I have a thought to throw out there. Why do certain players always show up on winning teams, and other players, no matter how good, always show up on losing teams? Don Baylor, Dave Henderson, Craig Counsel, Eric Hinske for the good? Or the converse, Gary Sheffield, Milton Bradley, Jose Guillen, etc.? It isn’t about talent. My contention is that baseball is unique in that even the everyday player is idle over 95% or the time during a game (with the possible exception of the starting pitcher). That means there is a lot more to contributing than what happens on the field. Look at the cast of characters the Braves have on their roster and ask yourself from what you know and have heard about them if they are the kind of players that rise to the occasion or shrink from it. Chipper? Diaz? JJ? McCann? Moylan? Hanson? Escobar? Prado? Lowe? Wagner? Infante got clutch hits in late rallys. Melky has a history in the clutch. Hinske was on SportCenter more than most backups the year Tampa Bay made the World Series. Heyward is so young that at this stage of his baseball life he has always carried the burden of being the man. The level of competition hasn’t changed that.
Now look at who left, KJ? Church? Soriano?
I look at the current roster and I see a team full of guys who in any clutch situation will immediately say “give me the ball”, or “Hit it to me”, or “Give me a bat, I’m going to end this.”
As it is set right now, I’m good with who we’ve got.

I’ll pass on Chris Ray and Joe Inglett and given Josh Hamiltons back problems I would pass on him as well. J.H will cost more than he is worth in any trade, just my opinion.
Depending on how Glaus does or if he can’t stay healthy we could look at D. Lee, Carlos Pena and maybe A-Gon (doubtful) or a lead off hitter such as Carl Crawford (hopefully), Brian Roberts or some other lead off hitter.

At this point I think that the Braves are better off going with the team that they have for the spring and early part of the season. If their needs are not met by the players aquired/upcoming (Melky, Glaus, Heyward), then they will probably make a move since they have a little bit of financial flexibility. However, it does seem like the lineup/pitching we have put together includes a lot of surgery scars, which does scar me a bit. However, if those question marks come through, this team could be very strong. If not, they will still be left looking for answers.

Everybody’s been talking about Heyward possibly being with the Braves when the leave ST, but exactly how far back is Freeman from joining the club? Since he’s the second power bat coming up from the farm? Will this be his first season in AAA?

Freeman is most likely to start the season at AA and then get promoted to AAA later on with a chance at a September call up. So yes this will be his first season at AAA if everything goes right.

yea i think that the Braves have to be the favorite for the wild card. Although the Giants have great pitching and a greater offensive output with the acquisitions of DeRosa and Aubrey Huff.. But I do have one question. Why aren’t the Braves in on Orlando Hudson? His Gold Glove defense, and legit leadoff capabilities are exactly what we need. We could trade Melky and use his 3.5 MM to work something out with Hudson without deterioration our slim financial flexibility we currently have. Plus Prado off the bench is better than Melky if you ask me. Any thoughts you guys?

Orlando Hudson as leadoff???? He had 8 SB’s in 551 AB last year. Hell Diaz had 12 in 371 AB. And what makes you think anyone wants Melky in a trade? The Braves took on that salary as a result of the selling of Vazquez. And why would you want Prado off the bench, he was one of the most productive run producers on the team after he won the starting job??

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to put Prado back on the bench. 2B is not a place where the Braves need help, and thus not a place where they should spend $8-10 million. When the Braves can roll out a line up with all 8 hitters better than the career .300 hitter they now have at 2B, then maybe you can think about it. I’m not sure where the upgrade even is from Prado to Hudson. Defensively yes, but offensively Prado is already clearly better than Hudson across the board. Better career avg, OBP, and slugging pct, which the Braves really need until the big young sticks get their MLB sea legs. Let’s not fall into the big name trap here. Prado is going to hit .330 one day in the not too distant future. Hudson has never shown any indication that he could do anything remotely similar to that. I know Prado broke into the majors as a utility bat, but during the last 2 seasons only Chipper and BMac have a better slugging pct. Give him his due.

Agreed. Why on earth sign a second baseman, especially Hudson? His defense has deterioted considerably over the last few years.

The suggestion to bench Prado must have been a joke. This guy was one of our best hitters. If it weren’t for his headaches we might have had a better shot at the WC. Has anyone heard if the Braves were able to get his family back in the US?

Hey who knows what’s going on with this Johnny Damon noise? Heyman says the Braves made him an offer(timeframe?) and DOB says Braves didn’t. Is this just agent noise? What would we do with Damon at this point? We already have enough defensive liabilities without adding Damon.

Bill, there was no offer made to Damon. The Braves are done. You may see them sign another starting pitcher or two to just have available depth at Gwinnett. But other than that, you won’t be see them spending any more money.

Thanks Mark,

I figured it sounds too much like an agent ploy to try to get him signed somewhere else. The Wankees can have him.

Wow, Maddux signs a management contract with the Cubs, Smoltz wants nothing to do with the Braves front office and Glavine would have to have “fences mended” in order to work in any capacity with the current management. What is going on? We can’t continue with this attitude and reputation if we ever want to sign blue chip FA’s and prospects again. It’s getting so ATL is the team no one wants to go to, even with Bobby’s reputation and tenure(which everyone knows is about to end). I think John S. has to take this bull by horns before it gets away from him. Frank Wren has managed in a few short years to destroy the good will the Braves have with the playing community even those who are currently playing for the team. I mean the whole debacle with Lowe is a perfect example. Despite his assurances that everything is fine, no reasonable player goes on record like Lowe did unless he is really upset with management. I really have less of a problem with some of FW’s boneheaded personnel moves than with the manner in which he conducts these negotiations/transactions. I guess we can keep our head in the sand but this really looks like a train wreck in the making to me.

I don’t have a problem with how any of those situations were handled except for Glavine’s. Smoltz? The Braves offered him a contract worthy of someone his age coming off of major surgery…he got a better offer, and the Braves ended up being right. A lot of people felt like the Braves owed it to him, and I can understand that from a sentimental standpoint. But from a business standpoint, Wren and company were burned in 08′ by relying too heavily on old arms that died halfway through the year. Smoltz’s situation only seemed bad because it ran very close chronologically to the Glavine debacle. Lowe? How did the Braves wrongly treat Lowe? Did they hurt him by handing him 60 million dollars? They did what all teams do, which is look for ways to improve their team. If you can do that by trading someone you already have, then so be it. All teams do it. And do you think Lowe wouldn’t have come here if he knew he “might” be traded? I don’t care what he says. I can give you about 15 million reasons why he would still be here regardless, owing to the fact that the Braves guaranteed him a 4th year when no one else would. Players nowadays are spoiled, forgetting not only that they make far more than players did 10-15 years ago (not to mention the average everyday American) but also that baseball is a business and they are a commodity. For 60 million dollars I’d love to be in their shoes….trade me every year, I don’t care. ARod can get traded, but Lowe can’t? Now I’ll completely agree with you on Glavine. Why you sign someone you obviously don’t need, allow him to rehab his tail off and then, right when he’s proven healthy and ready (physically speaking), you drop the Hall of Famer before he can even pitch in Atlanta again, is beyond me. I was upset with that, because it was wrong. They shouldn’t have resigned Glavine in the first place.

Bobby-
The Braves didn’t offer Smoltz anything. They tried to ignore him so they could chase Peavy and Burnett, both hugely successful forays. He never would have even contacted Boston if he had been fairly dealt with. Lowe, you want to blame him because he accepted the Braves then desperate offer of $15M/yr. Yeah I would have taken it too, but after I took it I wouldn’t expect to be dumped because I had an off year, remember he was the Braves “ace” at the beginning of last season. Your spot on about Glavine, he signed for peanuts and they they rehabbed him for 4 months and then cut him. Maddux got the message. Braves management cares little about baseball, it’s just a business. It ain’t all about players being “spoiled”, management could care less about those same players, to them it’s all about “bottom line”. We fans are the only ones left out in the cold. Besides I think that what the Braves are doing right now to become more profitable is really gonna hurt them in the long run.

Bobby/Bill – I think you are dead on about Glavine. I was a huge Glavine fan during his Braves tenure and hated the way he was treated last season. I have no idea why we even signed him in the first place if we knew we were going to bring up Hanson.
I think the argument about Maddux is just that, an argument. I don’t see Maddux signing in a role as an angst to Atlanta. Maddux loved Atlanta, but he also loved the Las Vegas area and Chicago. The guy received a good offer and took it.
As for Smoltz, its really an odd situation. For years, he was a dominant SP. Then he moved to the pen from arm concerns and was even better. Then he wanted a shot at being a SP again and once again injured himself. I think he knew that he would be asked to go in the pen and was not a big fan of it, so he signed with a team that offered him a SP spot. If you ask me, it was a business decision on the part of Smoltz. So, in my opinion, I think Glavine was the only personal situation that was not handled correctly.
As far as Lowe, I think its laughable how a guy (not Lowe in particular but lots of ballplayers) can leave a team due to it being “just business” when he’s offered a larger contract, but gets offended when the idea of a trade is brought up. I think its great that Lowe wants to remain in Atlanta so bad, it probably was just lack of communication between Wren and Lowe. However, it is a bit troubling that Wren seems to treat the athletes more like meat instead of people. While this may look good on the bottom line, he is going to gain the reputation as cold and not fun to play for. Well, at least he’s not the manager. Anyone have any suggestions on who we should get to fill Bobby’s shoes?

I have a few more McGwire-related things to do and then I’ll write a new post touching on a variety of topics. Hinske deal will likely be announced this afternoon.

SpeedyBream, you’re right, Maddux never truly allowed himself to feel Atlanta was his home. Smoltz has reached out to the Braves in an attempt to mend their relationship. As for Glavine, he has a right to be upset about how he was treated for a long time. But he is a class act and I still believe it won’t be long before he’s once again around Turner Field on a regular basis.

Oh by the way, with Glavine there is not even a discussion for hall of fame. However, the Yanks may want to sign him, he’s more of an offensive threat than Gorecki he strikes out more a nerd at a playboy party.

That was hilarious and true.

Interesting off season.

Offense will be improved if health holds up.

Starting pitching took a direct hit though with Vasquez departing.

I would have preferred that Wren offer 6M a season to take Lowe’s contract. 18M total. Still would have netted a 27M dollar savings.

Vasquez was far better than Lowe last season and will be again this season. Lowe is what he is a one pitch(sinker) starting pitcher in decline. Lowe may get the run calendar and win 12-15 games but i predict an ERA that will hover in the high 4’s- low 5’s.

By my count Hinske’s signing means thaty someone will have to be removed from the 40 Man.

any word on who that will be Mark?

I’m not ready to call Lowe done because of one season, but I’d have a plan B if it comes to that. Lowe has been solid for a long time and competes better than most. For those who wish the Braves had picked up Peavy and/or Burnett, Vazquez and Lowe had 30 wins. Peavy and Burnett had 22. Hanson had 2 more than Peavy. Lowe had 2 more than Burnett. Short term, the deals have worked out just fine to this point. Let’s see how they play out this season.
The Francoeur for Heyward trade will probably work out this season as well.

Now, I’m not going to debate that Vazquez had a simply amazing season last year because he obviously did. But take a look at these stats and see which of these two pitchers would you assume would have a better season next year. Lowe had one of his worst, and Vazquez had one of his best. Both guys are great pitchers, but I don’t think we need to throw in the towel with Lowe just yet. Every player has a bad season or two. This season should be able to give us a better indication of if Lowe is in decline or did just have a bad year. However, if July comes around and Lowe is not showing us any indication that he is coming around then we might have to eat some of that salary anyways. But with a guy who has been around as long as Lowe, you can’t tell him he’s done after just one season.

Derek Lowe
2006 – IP: 218.0, ERA: 3.63, WHIP: 1.27
2007 – IP: 199.1, ERA: 3.88, WHIP: 1.27
2008 – IP: 211.0, ERA: 3.24, WHIP: 1.13
2009 – IP: 194.2, ERA: 4.67, WHIP: 1.52

Javier Vazquez
2004 (NYY) – IP: 198.0, ERA: 4.91, WHIP: 1.29
2006 – IP: 202.2, ERA: 4.84, WHIP: 1.29
2007 – IP:216.2, ERA: 3.74, WHIP: 1.14
2008 – IP: 208.1, ERA: 4.67, WHIP: 1.32
2009 – IP: 219.1, ERA: 2.87, WHIP: 1.03

Agree to a certain point rother. Not saying Lowe is done just the fact that we going to have 15M tied up for the next 3 seasons in a #4 starter. A bad situation.

Brandon Jones designated for assignment.

Yankee, I saw every home game the Gwinnett Braves played last season, great is a VERY strong word for what Gorecki was. Very good I will give you. We call them 4A players here in Atlanta, see Pete Orr, Bryan Pena and Ryan Lagginghands as references, but he’s a good guy and he was well liked. Yeah, if he was a girlfirend, he’d have a “great personality”.

BJones had a major power outage that cost him his chance, never repeating the promise his 19HR and 100RBI 2007 showed. Again I remind everyone when he was up in Atlanta in 2008 he was constantly dogged by the coaches during practice for lack of hustle. He seemed to have fixed that in Gwinnett and he did an OK job there. He is a quiet kid and I hope he catches on elsewhere. Blanco is next when Heyward hits the 40 man.

Clevlen is way better defensively than Gorecki was and he has a cannon. Neither is known for their offense.

Well, in Yankee terms, with Johnny Damon as a reference, Gorecki is a great defensive outfielder by YANKEES standards.

Rother,
Are you really feeding the troll? If you ignore it, it will go away.

I would hope you have better things to do than write inane comments on a blog where no one cares what you have to say. Later, troll.

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