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Tag:Braves
Posted on: August 3, 2011 7:39 pm
 

NL East Trade Deadline Analysis

It has been a a few days now since the trade deadline ended so I thought it was time for me to put in my two cents. I was very surprised at the amount of activity that occured before the deadline, especially in terms of younger and more long term type players being traded. So what i wanted to do today was take a look at some of the more important deals and break them down and see who won and lost. So lets dive right in and look at NL East moves.

 

NL EAST

 

Philadelphia- Acquired OF- Hunter Pence from the Astros for P-Jarred Cozart, P-Josh Zied, 1B/OF- Jonathan Singleton

 

This was one of the biggest deals of the year. Houston is finally admitting defeat and going for a full on rebuilding project which likely means the end of the Ed Wade era. But we will take a better look at the prospects involved when we get to the NL Central. For right now we are just looking at what the Phillies are getting with Hunter Pence. The truth is Hunter Pence is not a star outfielder, he hits for a nice average although he has not been a .300 hitter till this year, he has average power and speed to go along with roughly average to above average defense. So all in all he is a good major league outfielder but is by no means a franchise player. I think Philly is a good fit for him because in Houston he was having to be the Franchise player, when he really was not one. So with Pence the Phillies added a player who has been worth 2.6 WAR this season and is typically a 3-4 WAR player a season and is entering his prime years. All in all this is a solid trade for the Phillies, especially since they didnt give up Domonic Brown.

 

New York Mets- Acquried P- Zack Wheeler from the Giants for OF- Carlos Beltran

 

The Mets gave up their best player this season for a young and intriguing pitching prospect. The Mets sold high on an older, injury risk type player and actually got a good prospect out of it, so you have to give the Mets props for that. Wheeler is 21 year old starting pitching prospect who is currently at High A. He has great strikeout stuff but also struggles with his command (98 K's and 48 BB in 88 IP). I think he immediatly moves into the Mets top 5 prospects and while he may be a few years away, has a good chance to be a great pitcher for the Mets.

 

Atlanta- Acquired OF- Michael Bourn from the Astros for OF- Jordan Schafer, P- Brett Oberholtzer, P- Paul Clemens, P- Juan Abreu

 

This is easliy a win for the Braves, as they were able to acquire one of the best available outfielders without giving up any of their top pitching prospects. The Braves are getting a plus defender with game changing speed and a solid contact hitter. I was just amazed that the Braves were able to acquire him so easily, because if I were the Astros i would have demanded either Teharan, Minor, Delgado or Vizcaino, Instead the best player they had to give up was Jordan Schafer who has no place on the team now anyways. All in all this is a really good deal for the Braves and they will add Bourn and his 3-4 WAR a season with pleasure.

 

Washington- Acquired OF- Jonny Gomes from the Reds for OF- Bill Rhinehart and P- Chris Manno

                   Acquired OF- Erik Komatsu from the Brewers for INF- Jerry Hairston Jr.

                   Acquired SS- Zach Walters from the Diamondbacks for P- Jason Marquis

 

Several small moves by the Nationals, none of which will greatly impact the 2011 season. They acquire Jonny Gomes mostly for the draft compinsation as he should be type B. Komatsu is a solid outfield prospect who can hit for contact and has good patience with average power and above average speed. He seems like he could be a potential 4th outfielder type down the road for the Nationals. Zach Walters is a young shortstop who has solid all around skills but nothing stands out to me. He is a ways from the majors so he could get better or be a bust. The Nationals added some middle level prospects and a guy who will likely net them a draft pick if he declines arbitration, not a great deadline but they continue to build for the future. 

Overall Analysis- The Phillies and Braves both acquired former Astros outfielders that should help them down the stretch and in the future. The Nationals and Mets made moves to help build for the future and the Marlins did nothing. I like all of the moves made in this division, and i think they took advantage of some of their trade partners.


Posted on: November 12, 2010 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Offseason Preview

Hey everybody, this has to be one of my favorite times of year as i already discribed in my previous post. The main reason being that its offseason baseball time, the time where teams success or failure can be determined. Every team has an offseason agenda, a list of things that they want to do to improve their ball club wether it be coaching changes, signing free agents, or trading personell. So today i wanted to start a series of posts dedicated to outling each teams offseason agenda and moves that i think they should make. Lets start with the NL West.

Atlanta Braves-
Well the Braves did make the post-season for Bobby Cox's final season but they didn't get very far. Similar to their dynasty days they have good pitching, but they do have a flaw in my opinion and that is their offense. While they have some nice pieces in Brian McCann, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward they do not have that middle of the lineup punch that a playoff team needs. Until they can acquire a big bat they will struggle to compete with the Phillies for this division. Their major priority should be to some good bats, and their are several positions that they could use one at. Outfield is a major hole, with the exception of Jason Heyward they do not a have another quality starter (Sorry Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth). Both corner infield positions are also glaring holes as Chipper Jones probably wont be returning if he hasnt already announced it(I think he said he was retiring but i can't remember sorry), and Derrek Lee and Troy Glaus are both free agents. They could look to improve these areas via trade which i would recommend they do for their outfield holes, because the Braves do not have a realistic shot at Carl Crawford. First base is an area they can improve through free agency and at a fairly low cost because there is a bevy of first basemen available. There is also a chance that Jurrjens gets traded and he could help acquire some offense but i have heard the Braves are hesitant to move him. It will be interesting to see how Fredi Gonzalez does in Atlanta, he did an amazing job with what he had in Florida and I was amazed when they let him go. He seems like a quality manager and is an able replacement to Bobby Cox. The Braves will be competitive but i dont think they can contend unless they get some quality bats via trade.

Florida Marlins-
They never are going to be big spenders in the offseason so really the only way they can improve their club is through trade. They have some nice young pieces but im not sure its enough contend. The story to follow will be Dan Uggla's contract extension negotiations because if they can get a deal done it would be in the Marlins best interest to trade him. I dont think his value is going to get higher than it is now, so they should get the best possible return that they can from him. I do like the pieces that they have in place and they could contend in 2011 if their young players develop into stars. There really isnt a lot florida can do in the offseason to change this team other than trading Dan Uggla. They may add some small pieces in free agency or make some small trades but i doubt any big deals will be made.

New York Mets-
The Mets need to make some big moves if they want to get back into contention. They still have a nice core group of players in David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, Angel Pagan and Johan Santana. But they dont have great starting pitching depth and they have holes in the outfield. They are going to have to hope that Jason Bay returns to form next year along with Carlos Beltran or else they will strugle again. I dont see the Mets making any big free agent signings but they should try to make some trades for pitching. I dont think the Mets will be very close to competing this year but if they make the right moves this offseason and next they could get back there.

Philadelphia Phillies-
The Phillies are in the best shape of any of the teams in this divison, they have a dominant pitching staff and a stacked offense. But the lose of Jayson Werth is going to hurt as he was the righty power bat of this team. I do like Dominic Brown but he still cannot makeup for the lose of Werth. The Phillies really dont have any money to throw around to change things. They will probably re-sign Jose Contreras but other than that they are not going to sign free agents. The only thing they can do is try to bring in a right handed outfielder with power to replace Werth via trade and im not sure who they could get. The Phillies are good now but they have a lot of money locked up in a lot of big contracts so it may hurt them in the long run. But for now they have the control of the division but they need to make some deals for the long term.

Washington Nationals-
The Nationals are a team on the rise who have some good prospects on the way to go along with a lot of money to spend. These next few years are really going to shape how competitive the Nationals will be in the long run. They need to make sound investments that can help them continue to improve. I like thier young players in Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, and Drew Storen. They have a good trade chip in Josh Willingham who could fill a hole on multiple teams and could bring in some desperatly needed pitching. I wouldnt be suprised to see Willingham moved, and the Nationals will sign at least 2 free agent pitchers most likely Jorge De La Rosa and Brandon Webb. The big hole they will need to fill is first base but it seems everyone already assumes they are going to sign Carlos Pena who would be a defensive upgrade and a change of scenery could help him. I think they will lose a win by replacing Dunn with Pena but Pena will be significantly cheaper. It will be very interesting to see this franchise continue to get better and i cant wait to see Bryce Harper in washington in a few years. This is the franchise that is on its way up and i really think that in 2-3 years they could be playoff bound.


Posted on: April 21, 2010 7:47 pm
 

A Cold Start

Well the Cubs have played 14 games and as far as i can tell they are a complete disaster. They cant hit, play defense and the releivers can not close out games. The only strength we have right now is that are starting pitching has been excellent, which is not a suprise since thats what carried us last year. Lets really break this down though, i want to analyze each are and look at the problem.

Offense-

It is not that the Cubs can get on base, its that they can drive runs in. Which was the problem last year as well. Now i am not overly concerned with that because A-Ram is the RBI guy and he is in a bit of a slump. But some of the other players need to contribute as well, but i really blame the Cubs offensive woes on the lack of production from A-Ram. The positives are that Geovany Soto is looking pretty good, the biggest thing is his patience at the plate, he is walking and has limited his strikeouts. Marlon Byrd has also been pretty good altough not very consistent.

Defense-

Soriano has been playing abismal defense along with Xavier Nady (He still cant throw very far due to surgery.), Tyler Colvin comes in during the 7th or 8th nearly every game. Fukudome and Colvin are good and Byrd is decent. Fontenot has played solid defense at 2nd but Theriot's defense at short is very average. I think the thing i have been the happiest with is that Geo has been throwing out a lot of baserunners. Actualy i am very happy with Geo this season, he is hitting better and playing good defense.

Pitching-

The starting has been great with the exeption of opening day. Carlos Silva has been dominant, and Dempster is continuing to prove he was worth the contract extension they gave him in 09'. Lilly is coming back this weekend and Randy Wells has not had a sophmore slump. The bullpen has been the main issue, so much so that Zambrano has been put into a set-up role to hold the fort until the front office can bring in a true set up man. Carlos Marmol has been pretty good though, he has gone 3/4 in save opportunities and has not lost his control yet with a 12:2 K:BB ratio. But outside of Marmol the rest of the bullpen has sucked. They are to inexpeirenced and they need a veteran to anchor the pen until the young guys mature. Also the Cubs need to quit this unwarrented obsession with Jeff Samardzija, he just does not deserve a major league roster spot.


Posted on: January 18, 2010 12:27 pm
 

The Perfect Small Market Team- Infield

I while ago i started up a series of posts on creating the perfect small market team. But do to the Winter Meetings, and NFL Playoffs i got sidetracked and have not had a chance to continue working on it. So last night after i suffered through the 34-3 thrashing of the Cowboys i decided i needed to take my mind off of football and work on this project. My goal was to assemble a full 40 man roster with only $70 mill to spend using the players 2009 salaries, so lets start with the infield.

C- Brian McCann - He is arguably one of the top catchers in the game, he gives you consitent production from a position that it is tyically hard to find at. But he is also fairly inexpensive ($3.7 mill in 09). With his production, cost and age (26) he seems to be the best fit for this team.

1B- Joey Votto- He provides a great batting average, solid power and RBI production and cost near the league minimum ($437,500). He is young (26) and still has a lot of potential but I'll take his current production.

2B- Dustin Pedroia- He plays good defense, hits for solid average, decent power, decent speed, and is a ferocious competitor. He is fairly inexpensive ($1.75 mill). He is an all around solid player and is still young (26). He will give us solid play up the middle.

SS- Alcides Escobar- He may not have played a full season yet, but he's young (23), he can hit for a decent average, has good speed, and some power potential. He could be a good leadoff hitter, and he will only make the league minimum.

3B- Ryan Zimmerman- One of the top prospects has finally reached his potential, he is a franchise player in the making who will hit .300-30-100 and play good defense. He is only 25 so he has huge upside, and is a very reasonable price ($3.325 mill).


The infield defense should be good with a gold glover in Pedroia, and good defenders in Votto, and Zimmerman. Escobar and Pedroia form a good leadoff combo and should score plenty of runs, and Votto, Zimmerman, and McCann make up the heart of the order. And these 5 guys will cost less than 1/7 of the teams salary.
Posted on: January 1, 2010 10:40 pm
 

MLB- Past Decade In Review

Now that another decade has come and gone i figured it was time to take a look at how each baseball franchise has faired over this past decade. This morning i went on to baseball-reference.com and poured over statistics for several hours and compiled a list ranking every franchise in order of their success this decade. The top 4-5 are pretty obvious, but the lower rankings were tougher and are partially my opinion.

1. New York Yankees - No real suprise here, they started and ended the decade with World Series titles. Appearing in the playoffs every year except 2008, they have been the dominant franchise over the past 10 years.

2. Boston Red Sox - These 2 teams from the AL East have really dominated baseball this decade, the Red Sox finally broke their curse and went on to win 2 World Series titles. They have created a steady foundation to be competitive for the next decade also.

3. St. Louis Cardinals - They have been the dominant franchise of the NL, making 7 post-season apperances and win a World Series title. The Cardinals dominance has been highlighted mainly by the emergence of one of the greatest baseball players of a generation in Albert Pujols.

4. Los Angeles Angels - It has become a common occurence to see the Angels in the post-season. They won the first World Series title in 2002, and have accended to the top as one of the dominant franchises in the league.

5. Atlanta Braves - Although the Braves are considered the team of the 90's they have still been very succesfull in the 00's. They made 6 post season appearences and have recently begun to get back to their formula of dominant pitching. Look for them to see even more success in the coming decade.

6. Chicago White Sox - The White Sox also broke their curse in this decade, winning their first World Series title since 1917 in 2005. They made 3 post-season appearences and have thrived under the leadership of manager Ozzie Guillen.

7. Philadelphia Phillies- They slowly built themselves up over the corse of the decade to the point that now they have back to back World Series appereances one of which they won. They have created a model of success that many teams are going to try and repeat.

8. Oakland Athletics- They started off the decade with 4 straigth post-season apperances and made another in 2006. They have struggled lately, but they have one of the best GM's in baseball in Billy Beane.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers- They have had a winning record every year except the 2005 season, and have made the post-season 4 times. Most recently, under the guidance of Joe Torre they have made it to the NLCS in back to back years with a youthfull roster that should dominate for years to come.

10. Minnesota Twins- They have only had 2 losing seasons over the course of the decade and have appeared in the playoffs 5 times. They have been in constant competition with the White Sox through out the decade.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks- Only 3 years old when the decade began the Diamondback franchise has seen it ups and downs throughout its short life. They started off the decade very well, winning the World Series in 2001 with the dominant dou of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They have eratic the second half of the decade though.

12. Houston Astros- Since the NL Central was first formed the Astros and Cardinals have been the main competitors for the division (Although the Cubs have taken their place as of late). They were great the first half of the decade, culminating in an NL Pennant in 2005, but have faded in the second half.

13. San Francisco Giants- The Giants were another team that started the decade strong earning the NL Pennant in 2002. But struggled mightly in the second half, failing to win more than 76 games from 2004-2008. But with the arrival of stars such as Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Pablo Sandoval they showed promise in 2009.

14. Florida Marlins - They havnt been flashy, only making the post-season once, but they made it count winning the franchises 2nd World Series title in 2003. They have managed to stay competitve through out the decade with a small fanbase and budget.

15. Chicago Cubs- Another decade has gone, and the curse still remains. THe first half of the decade they were erratic, although in 2003 they came within a game of winning the NL Pennant. Most of their success came in the last 3 years of the decade, with 2 post season apperances and 3 straight winning season the Cubs may break the curse in the next decade.

16. Seattle Mariners- The first four years were great, with 2 post season appearances and a 116 win season in 2001. But they also had 3 season with fewer than 70 wins. They have looked better near the end of the decade although Ichiro is starting to slow down ( Only in speed, he still collects 200 hits a season).

17. New York Mets- They started the decade off with the Subway series (Although they lost to the Yankees). But since then they have only made 1 post-season apperances. The latter half of the decade has been defined by end of the season collapse, and the team self destructed in 2009. The future is uncertain for the Mets.

18. Cleveland Indians- The late 90's were good for the Indians, but the 00's were not as good. They only made 2 post-season apperances, although they did have four seasons of 90 or more wins. 07 showed promise winning 96 games and making it to the NLCS but their record worsened in 08, and 09.

19. Colorado Rockies- The young franchise struggled for most of the decade. Until in 2007 they won the NL Pennant, losing to the Red Sox in the World Series. They had a down year in 08', but made the playoffs again in 09'. The next decade holds a lot of promise for the Rockies.

20. San Diego Padres- They have struggled for most of the decade, with only 4 winning seasons from 2004-2007 during that span they managed to make the post-season twice and never made it past the NLDS.

21. Detroit Tigers- The first half of the decade the Tigers were awfull, in 2003 they posted their worst record going 43-119. But in 2006 they came out of no where to win the AL Pennant, and have posted winning records 3 out of the last 4 years, although only 1 post-season appearance.

22. Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays could go higher on this list if it werent for the fact that they did not make the post-season at all this past decade. They havnt been bad, but they have played in a very tough division with the Yankees and Red Sox the top 2 teams of the decade. They have posted a winning record 5 times in the decade.

23. Texas Rangers- The Rangers have been a mediocre team most of the decade, never losing more than 91 games in a season in the decade. They have only had 2 winning seasons and did not make the post-season at all this decade.

24. Millwaukee Brewers- The Brewers have been succesfull recently, but the earlier part of the decade they were awfull, posting their worst season in 2002 going 56-106. But in 2008 they made the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and the Franchise looks poised to be a contender in the next decade.

25. Tampa Bay Rays- I guess the name change from Devil Rays to Rays turned the franchise around (LOL). Up until 2008 they had never won more than 70 games in a season. They sure turned around fast going from having 10 straight losing seasons (from 98-07) to winning the AL Pennant. They were not as good in 09 but still had a winning record.

26. Cincinnati Reds- They started the decade off with a winning season, but have failed to have one since. While they have not been awfull they havent done much right either. There are some signs of hope for the next decade though.

27. Washington Nationals- Im including the Expos in this analysis. They have had 3 winning seasons, but they did not make the post-season at all in this decade. They had 2 consecutive 100 loss seasons to end the decade and they are still a while away for contention in the next decade.

28. Kansas City Royals- Although they have the worst record of the decade i still rate them higher than the other 2 because they haeg had a winning record as recently as 2003. The other 2 franchises are on record long losing streaks.

29. Baltimore Orioles- Their last winning record was in 97' and they have failed to win win more than 78 games in the decade. Their are signs of life and they have the potential to break out of thier drout in the next decade.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates- It is well known that the Pirates are on a streak of 17 consecutive losing seasons. This past decade they were especially bad winning more than 72 games only once (75 in 2003). They are in a complete rebuilding process and it may take a while to break that streak.
Posted on: December 22, 2009 5:20 pm
 

The Rich Keep Getting Richer

Yet again the Yankees have made another move to continue their effort to create the best baseball team that has ever touched the earth. They aquired Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera and 2 good prospects. I wonder if the yankees managment watches the MLB Network, because just the other day they were talking about how the Yankees had succeded last year in the playoffs with a 3 man rotation and that they need to improve that. Now they have gotten anothter great arm that can help them in the postseason. The loss of prospects dosnt hurt the Yankees since they just but everything, and Melky was an average player anyways. The only questionable spot on that Yankees roster now is outfield depth/LF. I guess they are going to play Gardner in LF, although im wondering if they get someone else to play LF. But they are going to be hurting if Swisher, or Granderson gets hurt. But now they have one of the most dominant rotations in all of baseball, so i guess its okay. It had become obvious in recent days that the Yankees were going to aquire another pitcher, i had heard they inquired about Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs but they did not like what the Cubs asked for in return. Which is hard to argue with, Zambrano is still only 28, he has always had a ton of talent, and he is a firey leader. But i can not imagine the asking price for Z being more than Vazquez. Anyways the Yankees just added another All-Star to their roster that already includes the likes of Mark Teixera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera, how many good players can they get. 
Posted on: November 2, 2009 8:44 pm
 

Profesional Baseball needs a salary cap

Well the Yankees are about to prove for about the millionth time (exagerated number) that you can buy yourself a championship in baseball. If you have enough money you can get all the best players on one team. I think that is the major reason why football has beat out baseball as the most popular sport in the U.S. There is such parity between the good and bad teams in MLB. The same 10 teams are good every year, while the small market teams have to get really good G.M.'s just to make the playoffs. Severe measures need to be put in place to correct the failing system that is currently in place or baseball will continue to lose fans. It gets really boring when the same franchises dominates the league year after year. I realize the players union will freak out if a salary cap is put in place because then Mark Teixera couldnt make the $180 mill he needs to live off of. The players in Major League Baseball are the most overpaid of any sport, the amount of guaranteed money these guys are getting is crazy. 10 years ago this wasnt really a problem, yes the Yankees were very succesful but small market teams were still able to compete against the bigger markets. But now with the minor league talent being treated like free-agents, the big market teams are spending tons of money are foreign prospects and draftees. Thus preventing the smaller markets from building through player development. Lets take a look at the teams that were over .500 and how big their markets are.

New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays*

Minnesota Twins*
Detroit Tigers

Los Angeles Angles
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners

Philadelphia Phillies
Florida Marlins*
Atlanta Braves

St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants

With the exception of the Rays, Twins, and Marlins the teams over .500 all have pretty high salaries and fairly large media markets. Teams like the Rays and Marlins have been able to build through the draft, the Rays due to the fact that they were awful for a long time and were able to get high picks. The Marlins have always been smart in analyizing talent and trading their good players for prospects. The Twins are just good at making trades and they have done some building through the draft. The rest of the teams have for the most part built themselves by dominating the free agent market and making trades. Now that does not apply to all of these teams (Giants, Rockies, Braves) but again many of the teams i am listing that arnt that way didnt make the playoffs. Out of the Playoff teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Angels, Phillies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Rockies)  6 of those teams have high salaries or made big trades for expensive players. Basicaly what im tryig to say is that the big market teams are really dominating the rest of the league and need to be restrained, thats why i believe there needs to be a .....$120 mill salary cap. That way it still gives the better teams some room to get the bigger players but not enough to complete dominate them. And with some shrewd managing any team could have a shot at the World Series. And im not saying all of this because im a fan of a small market team, cause im not im a cubs fan we have a $135 mill payroll. I just want the sport to be fair. And if your a Yankee fan who wants to bash on this post because you are nieve enough to think that the Yankees dont buy themselves championships. Please dont post on here because i am not going to read it.
Posted on: June 3, 2009 10:38 pm
 

Cubs win in extras

Good to see the Cubs pull this one off. Lilly turned in another solid performance, he is really showing that he is the most consistent starter on this team. The bullpen hung on in extras to secure the win, and Gregg didnt look half bad. Another side note Derek Lee (my favorite player) went 2-3 with a walk to raise his average to .262. He has started to pick it up recently but you had to believe he would he has been a very consistent player over his career. See ya tommorow.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com