September 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Pitching, Transactions
I guess Monday is the most common day to have off. And I guess it enables me to watch Monday Night Football. But the Braves had consecutive Mondays off. And guess what! The Marlins lost! I didn’t know the Marlins did the whole losing thing based on what I saw from them earlier this year. Anyway.
The Nationals are 7 losses away from a 100-loss season, the Mets have to go 7-11 to match the Braves’ 2008 record, and the Braves are 8 out in the loss column. That’s all you need to know.
2010 Bullpen Preview
I promised I’d preview the 2010 Braves bullpen. Here goes:
Candidates: Under Team Control
Kenshin Kawakami ($6,333,333), Peter Moylan (arbitration eligible, 1st time), Manny Acosta (pre-arb), Boone Logan (pre-arb), Eric O’Flaherty (pre-arb), Luis Valdez (pre-arb), Jo Jo Reyes (pre-arb), Craig Kimbrel (prospect), Todd Redmond (prospect), Jonny Venters (prospect), Mariano Gomez (prospect).
Candidates: Outside the Organization
It’s impossible to list all of the possibilities, but Rafael Soriano (type A), Mike Gonzalez (type A), and Vladimir Nunez (minor league deal) are impending Free Agents. The Braves have been linked to Billy Wagner–an impending Type A Free Agent–by John Heyman, as well. I’ve stated that Kerry Wood might be a nice buy-low proposition, suggesting the Braves ship a fringe prospect to Cleveland for Kerry Wood provided they eat some of his salary. For a list of impending Free Agents, click here.
How I’d do it:
I would pick up Hudson’s option, move Kawakami to the bullpen, and let Soriano and Gonzalez walk and collect the draft picks. Between Kawakami, Moylan, Medlen, and (eventually) Kimbrel, I don’t think you have any trouble closing games. Fill out the pen with Logan, O’Flaherty, and Acosta, holding onto the depth of Gomez, Valdez, etc.. My philosophy is that spending money, prospects, and draft picks on the bullpen is usually a mis-allocation of resources. Relievers simply don’t pitch enough innings to be worth a ton of money or talent. On the flip side, a good bullpen helps a team overachieve, so it’s a nice thing to have. Still, I think the Braves have enough quality arms–especially with the emergence of Kimbrel, provided his AFL, Spring Training, and 2 months at AAA go well–to have a good bullpen without allocating any resources towards it in the off-season.
Go with, for most of the season, a bullpen of:
CL – Kenshin Kawakami
CL – Peter Moylan
SU – Kris Medlen
SU – Craig Kimbrel
LH – Eric O’Flaherty
LH – Boone Logan
MR – Manny Acosta
Prediction as to what will actually happen:
The Braves let Soriano and Gonzalez walk and sign Billy Wagner. They use their 1st round pick to do so, but they got 2 back from Soriano and Gonzalez (plus two sandwich round picks), which softens the blow. Go with, basically, this bullpen:
CL – Billy Wagner
SU – Peter Moylan
SU – Craig Kimbrel
SU – Eric O’Flaherty
LH – Boone Logan
LR – Kris Medlen
MR – Manny Acosta
The Mets Come To Town
As I pointed out earlier, the Braves have nothing but NL East opponents left for the rest of the season. They open this 19 game stretch against the New York Mutts. Today it’ll be Hanson vs. Misch. Wednesday it’ll be Lowe vs. Parnell. And Thursday it’ll be Jurrjens vs. Figueroa (maybe the most complicated pitching match-up to spell in the history of this space). Sweep is necessary for two reasons. One, the Braves can’t afford to lose any ground. Two, it’s the fucking Mets, and you have to sweep them, because they’re the Mets.
Braves Discussing Extension With Hudson?
According to Buster Olney, the Braves may discuss extending Tim Hudson. He’s looked good in 3 starts and if there’s a way to keep him in Atlanta for longer at a lower salary, I’d probably be all for it. Mark Bowman reports that Tim Hudson likes the idea as well. I’d like to see Vazquez and Hudson sign extensions this off-season.
That’s all I got for now. Go Braves.
September 6, 2009 at 7:10 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Transactions
Turning the page on the 2009 season, the Braves have a strong class of impending Free Agents. If everything plays out perfectly, the Braves could net a very strong 2010 draft class. Let’s take a look at the class.
Rafael Soriano – RHP (relief) Type A
Soriano will likely command a longer term deal than the Braves will be willing to offer. I won’t rule out the possibility of the Braves re-signing him, but I don’t think it’s likely. There’s zero chance he slips down to the type B status. I believe there’s no chance the Braves don’t offer him arbitration and collect the two draft picks. If Soriano accepts, he’ll likely make ~$9 million. Although this may have to be coupled with a corresponding move (trading a SP, specifically), I don’t think the Braves would feel too bad about paying Rafael Soriano $9 million for 1 year.
Mike Gonzalez – LHP (relief) Type A
Gonzo is basically in the exact same boat as Soriano. Probably seeking more years and dollars the Braves are willing to spend and there’s no possibility he drops to type B. Again, I don’t think there’s any chance the Braves pass on offering Gonzalez arbitration. I believe the organization would most likely be more willing to sign Gonzalez than Soriano, and I think they’ll at least attempt to sign one of them, but if they don’t they’ll happily accept their draft picks. Again, an arbitration raise for Mike Gonzalez isn’t something the Braves can’t handle, so the no-risk high reward decision to offer Gonzalez arbitration will be an easy one.
Adam LaRoche – 1B/DH Type B
LaRoche, who the Braves acquired for Casey Kotchman at the non-waiver trade deadline, has boosted his Elias ranking up to type B on account of his stellar performance in a Braves uniform, hitting .345/.421/.586 with 8 HR. LaRoche highlights the group of free agent 1B on the market this off-season, so he’ll likely look to exploit that and land a big deal. The Braves most likely won’t be able to–or desire to–meet his demands. Again, I don’t think there’s a chance the Braves pass on offering him arbitration. And while they could also handle having LaRoche accept, there’s virtually zero chance he will. So the Braves will most likely get a draft pick out of this one. There’s a chance LaRoche will slip back into the “just missed Type B category”. In that case, no point in offering LaRoche arbitration.
Garret Anderson – OF/DH Type B
Garret has hit .285/.321/.431 this season and played lousy defense. He’s pretty much a DH at this point. This one’s more tricky than the others because I don’t imagine the Braves want Garret Anderson anywhere near their payroll. He’s been alright, but the Braves need to move onto better and younger things. Does Garret even play next season? Would he accept arbitration if offered? If the Braves are confident Garret won’t accept arbitration and wants to sign elsewhere, he’ll be offered arbitration. I just don’t know if the reward of a draft pick out-weighs the risk of Garret accepting and having a $5 million bench bat next season.
The Braves could gain 6 additional draft picks next year. It will be interesting to see how the entire off-season plays out, but I’m especially looking forward to seeing how the impending free agent class is handled. Specifically with respect to arbitration. One final thing of note. There’s an outside shot that Tim Hudson sneaks in as a Type B. I have a feeling that the Braves will exercise his option, though.
August 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Defense, Pitching, Statistical Analysis, Transactions
In the year 1969, two pitchers played for two different teams. Pitcher A went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA and pitched 211 innings. His club made the post-season. Pitcher B went 12-16 with a 4.67 ERA and pitched 208 and 1/3 innings. His club also made the post-season.
The next year, 1970, neither pitcher pitched for their previous club and they both pitched for the same (new) team. Pitcher A, the one with the winning record and the sub-3.5 ERA, posted a 4.48 ERA with their new club. Pitcher B, the one who had a losing record and an ERA over 4.5, posted a 3.14 ERA.
Sample size? No.
There are a number of things that contributed to the seemingly unexplainable improvement of pitcher B and the regression of pitcher A. First of all, pitcher B was rather unlucky. The difference between his 3.81 FIP and his 4.67 ERA, -0.86, ranked 3rd in the league. While pitcher A was right at his level. It makes sense. Pitcher B struck out 200 and walked only 61. In most cases, you’re going to post an ERA better than 4.67 with those peripherals. His home run rate was slightly elevated due to a bad pitchers’ park and the defense behind him was worse than bad. In 1969.
Pitcher A had the luxury of playing in a very pitcher-friendly ballpark with one of the most talented defenses in the league behind him. He didn’t have any of the bad luck pitcher B had. As a result, his 3.23 FIP was right at his 3.24 ERA. Despite his solid yet uninspiring 147-to-45 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Neither pitcher faced a DH in 1970. Pitcher B did in 1969, pitcher A did not.
Based on those factors, you’d expect pitcher B to improve moving to a neutral park with a neutral defense. You’d also expect pitcher A to regress. And that’s what happened in 1970.
This would be a true story if I changed 1969 to 2008, 1970 to 2009, pitcher A to Derek Lowe, and pitcher B to Javier Vazquez. It’s obviously not this simple, but you get the idea. It wasn’t that hard to see this coming, folks.
August 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Draft, Prospects, Transactions
I know it’s stupid to name winners and losers this early. These kids just got drafted. Most of them haven’t played an inning of professional ball and none of them have made an appearance in MLB. But I’m going to do it anyway, because most of what I do here is similarly pointless. I do it because it entertains me. Hopefully it entertains you in the process.
So here we go. Winners and losers. 1st round of the 2009 MLB first year player (rule 4) draft.
Stephen Strasburg. Gets $15.1 million guaranteed before he’s thrown a single professional pitch. If he blows out his arm in his first professional inning, he still gets $15.1 million.
Washington Nationals. They got their guy, the obvious one. And they paid less than most people expected them to. Rizzo really wants (and should get) that GM job. Plus, and this gets overlooked, they got a really interesting relief prospect in Drew Storen for only $1.6 million.
Cincinnati Reds. They get a polished college pitcher with a 4 pitch mix for a bonus of $2.27 million. Real Baseball Intelligence had Leake ranked one on their board. Yes, ahead of Strasburg.
Colorado Rockies. They selected arguably the 2nd best available player, Tyler Matzek, at pick number 11. And signed him for only $3.9 million. He was supposedly demanding “Rick Porcello money” pre-draft. He not only got about $3.1 million less than that, he got a bonus rather than a deal.
Oakland A’s. Grant Green! At pick number 12! For only $2.25 million (bonus)!! Yes, please!!!!
Jacob Turner. $5.5 million out of high school. The three comparable prep arms got $3.9 million, $2.9 million, and didn’t sign.
St. Louis Cardinals. If other teams knew Shelby Miller would sign for $2.9 million no way he makes it to pick #19.
Minnesota Twins. Kyle Gibson at $1.8 million is a steal. Despite the stress fracture.
Tampa Bay Rays. Levon Washington, who they failed to sign, isn’t anything too special for a first rounder and next year’s draft should be deeper.
San Diego Padres. Donavan Tate has Jeff Francoeur written all over him.
Atlanta Braves. No doubt in my mind that if they knew some of the prep arms would lower their bonus demands they wouldn’t have taken Minor. This was the year to take a flyer on someone. For them. They haven’t had a pick that high since 1991 and likely won’t for awhile.
Aaron Crow. Dude, just sign. You’re not that cool, you’re just a guy. Now just sign so you can play baseball and quit with all the bullshit. (Note: Crow is not subject to the deadline, so he can still sign. And I expect him to.)
Cleveland Indians. Going over-slot on Alex White seems like a bit of a reach. Granted, they didn’t go way over-slot.
Texas Rangers. They took their guy, a Texas native and one of the top prep arms with a great deal of upside. Then failed to sign him. Purke is a special kind of talent and when you have a regional advantage you’ve gotta find a way to make it work.
Matt Purke. OK, good job, idiot. You’re now going to go to college and have some clueless pitching coach have you maxing out on squats daily and throwing 165 pitches the day after throwing an inning of relief. Thinking you’re going to increase your stock in 3 years of college is stupid. You may, but the chances are much higher that you won’t.
August 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Draft, Front Office, Pitching, Transactions
Updated 08/06/2009: See Bottom.
According to some supposedly reliable news source in Tennessee called “The Tennessean”, the Braves have signed their 1st round (7th overall) pick of the 2009 MLB rule-4 draft, Mike Minor. For those of you who read me regularly, you know I was not a fan of the pick at the time. Minor is a very polished, crafty, pitchability lefty who spent 3 years facing some of the tougher competition in collegiate baseball while pitching at Vanderbilt University. Smart, good control/command, and probably the closest of all draftees to being able to contribute at the big-league level outside of some guy from San Diego State University. However, there’s nothing that jumps out about his stuff. It’s all just sort of average. Average fastball that he throws about 88 MPH, average change-up, average curveball, average slider. Doesn’t profile as a front-of-the-rotation starter, doesn’t figure to miss a ton of bats, and doesn’t figure to ever be a legitimately great pitcher. As I wrote on June 9:
I’m not upset that he’s [Minor] in our organization. He’ll make it to the big leagues and be a serviceable back end of the rotation starter. There’s little chance he won’t make it, and we’ll be getting value out of our draft choice. But with the 7th overall pick, the highest we’ve picked in *18 years*, I wanted to see the Braves select someone exciting. Someone with upside through the roof. Someone who has the chance to be the next Sandy Koufax.
At the time, I was under the assumption that Minor was taken because he’d sign for slot. While the Braves didn’t hand out Mark Prior money, they did go nearly a quarter-million over slot to sign Minor. Actually, he signed for the 2008 slot recommendation, but the slot bonus recommendations were cut by 10% in 2009 due to the down-trending economic conditions. But the Braves signed him to the 2008 slot and the article suggests they’ve guaranteed him a spot as one of their representatives in the AFL.
I don’t get it. You grossly over-draft a guy for signability concerns then go a quarter-million over slot. I was quietly hoping the Braves wouldn’t sign Minor and would instead receive the number 8 pick in the much more top-heavy 2010 draft. That won’t happen.
I really look at this draft as a huge missed opportunity. Evaluating it properly right now is close to impossible, but I really think the Braves will regret this pick. They get the highest pick they’ve had since 1991, burn it on a guy who profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter, and sign him to an over-slot bonus (irritating Bud Selig in the process, especially after the Braves went way over slot on a few picks in the 2008 draft–most notably Tyler Stovall–hence the title). To me, it looks like the Braves didn’t do a terrific job of allocating their resources. We’ll see. Like I always say, they usually know what they’re doing. And they could’ve just drafted the next Tom Glavine. I hope they did.
Update: According to Baseball America’s Jim Callis (great guy, by the way, he’s been very helpful to me), the Braves and Minor agreed upon the deal they’ll sign today in principle before the draft, but Bud Selig interfered with it, discouraging the Braves from making the deal official until closer to the deadline. Why, do you ask? So that the agent of Mike Leake couldn’t use Minor’s deal as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with the Reds. I’m not going to get into how stupid the slotting system is, how badly Selig has this draft system screwed up, and how despicable this–among many other similar situations–is. Because if I start ranting about that, I won’t be able to stop, and it’ll just make me furious. I’ll just say this: hindering a player’s development for 2 months over $242,000 when the Yankees spent over $441,000,000 on free agents this past off-season? Well, Bud, for that, I’d like to offer you a big fat one of these:
August 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Player Analysis, Transactions
So for the third straight year, the Braves do something involving a 1B at the trade deadline. They went from pulling off a 7-player trade for the biggest name on the trade market, Mark Teixeira, to trading said big name for dimes on the dollar that they paid to get him, to shipping off some of the dimes they got for a 2-month rental. The previous trades were easily digestible, easily understood, and everyone seemed to have the same reaction to the trades. When Schuerholz acquired Teixeira and a reliever for 4 prospects and our big-league catcher-turned-1B, the trade was universally understood. The Braves are going for it. They traded away elite prospects, but they got their guy. He’ll help them tremendously on offense and on defense. They should be primed for a playoff push for the next two years. In 2007 they missed the playoffs and in 2008 an injury-wrecked pitching staff led them to their worst record since 1990.
Seeing as they weren’t going to make the playoffs, Wren decided to do a little damage control and trade Teixeira for something useful rather than just lose him to FA and simply collect 2 draft picks. The return of Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek wasn’t awesome. But that’s about all Wren could’ve gotten for Tex. Might as well just get what you can. Like I said, dimes on the dollar his predecessor paid for Tex. Whether or not two draft picks would’ve been more valuable is certainly debatable, but that situation won’t be addressed in this space. Not today, at least. But whether or not you agree with the move, you can at least understand why he did it.
But nobody really seems to understand the Kotchman for LaRoche swap. It’s one that requires more thought. Not easy to digest. You have to delve deeper into the framework of the organization and the trades’ implications beyond this year to really understand it. Even then, I think it’s impossible to fully understand it until we see what goes on this off-season, but I’ll attempt to lay it out. Some points.
1) The trade is risky. We traded two years and two months of Casey Kotchman for two months of Adam LaRoche. Purely in terms of value, two years and two months of Casey Kotchman is worth more than two months of Adam LaRoche. Granted, there’s financial uncertainty with Casey as an arbitration-eligible player, but simply put, all other things equal, his contract is worth more than LaRoche’s contract. Even when you consider the fact that the Red Sox included money to make the deal salary-neutral (that is, the Braves’ will not pay, out of pocket, more money than they would have had they not made the deal), the Red Sox got more value from the trade than the Braves did.
But we’re not talking about a zero-sum game here. Trades are rarely a zero-sum game. Both involved parties can win, both involved parties can lose, or some combination that doesn’t add up to zero. If you only consider the value of each player, then yes, they are. But sometimes a player (or a contract) is more valuable to a certain team than it is to another.
LaRoche could end up being more valuable to us than Casey’s contract, even if LaRoche is only around for a few months. For reasons I’ll get to.
2) It’s not nearly as risky as the Mark Teixeira deal. Just like the stock market, the maximum you can lose is your initial investment. I now look at the Mark Teixeira deal as basically trading 5 prospects (4 with star potential) for what really amounted to, in the end, nothing*. No playoff berth. And those 5 prospects are gone forever. The good news about this deal is the Braves traded zero prospects and 1 contract which doesn’t represent a significant piece of their future. Now of course you always want to maximize value, and if a few things don’t happen, the Braves didn’t maximize their value. But if this trade is a complete failure, at the end of the day, you’ve lost two years and two months of Casey Kotchman. It’s Casey Kotchman. It’s an easy loss to stomach. Not like you traded Matt LaPorta or anything.
*I do go overboard with the “nothing”. We used Teixeira for a year, Ron Mahay for two months, let Mahay walk, then traded Teixeira. In the Teixeira deal, we netted an interesting relief prospect (who decided to get really fat and become fairly useless this season, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s still a prospect and it isn’t relevant) and three years and two months of Casey Kotchman. We used a year of Kotchman then flipped two years and two months of him to Boston for two months of Adam LaRoche. So at this point we’ve got two months of Adam LaRoche and an interesting relief prospect to show for the 5 prospects we dealt for Teixeira. Not “nothing” but certainly pennies on the dollar.
3) The organization’s intentions behind this move are clear. They believe that LaRoche gives them a better chance to make the play-offs than Kotchman does. Furthermore, LaRoche attempts to address the teams’ biggest systematic weakness: the inability to hit home runs. It’s hard to theoretically argue that LaRoche doesn’t addresses this issue. LaRoche has hit a home run in 4.1% of his career PA’s whereas Kotchman has hit a home run in only 2.2% of his PA’s. LaRoche also has more than twice as many home runs this year as Kotchman does. But though the LaRoche acquisition attempts to fix the teams’ biggest systematic weakness, does it give the team a better chance to make the post-season?
Kotchman is a superior defender to LaRoche. LaRoche isn’t necessarily a disaster with the glove, but Kotchman is one of the best in the business, and almost anyone is a downgrade in that department. The advanced metrics show LaRoche is a below-average defender. Though only slightly. Whereas Kotchman is a well above-average defender. No question, we lost something in that department in the deal.
LaRoche, in his career, has been a better hitter than Kotchman. He owns a career .270/.338/.487 line, good for a .349 wOBA opposed to Kotchman’s .271/.339/.412 and .327 wOBA. This year, however, LaRoche’s line is down from his career line, as he’s only hitting .251/.329/.449 with a .331 wOBA. Kotchman is hitting a respectable .281/.353/.408 with the exact same .331 wOBA, up from his career line. Kotchman is only 26 years old and LaRoche is 29 years old, so this could be LaRoche simply declining due to age and Kotchman improving as he reaches his prime. Could be. Or it could be luck. Or a slump by LaRoche. The organization, however, feels that something else is at play here.
LaRoche has been a notorious second-half hitter. That is–he hits better in the 2nd half than he does in the 1st half. In his career, LaRoche has hit .252/.326/.447 (eerily similar to his .251/.329/.449 line thus far this season), belting a home run 3.5% of the time he comes to the plate, in the first half whereas he has hit .296/.356/.554, belting a home run 5.0% he comes to the plate, in the second half. This isn’t just 1 monster 2nd half season, he’s pulled this exact same trick every single year he’s been in the big leagues. I can’t explain it. I don’t see how I could. I’m also far from convinced that something is actually making him a better 2nd half hitter and it’s not just a coincidence. I’ve never seen one study that concludes previous 1st/2nd half performances have predictive value. Or even one that suggests a thing called a “2nd half hitter” exists. Maybe Probably the organization knows more than I do. Maybe it’s a risk they’re willing to take. I don’t know their reasoning for being able to count on or hope that LaRoche pulls his usual trick. I know that if LaRoche hits .296/.356/.554 for us he’ll most likely be a substantial upgrade, but if he hits .251/.329/.449, well, we probably should’ve just kept Kotchman in that case. And I don’t pretend to know which of the two we’ll see. Hopefully the former.
So to answer the question, does LaRoche give the Braves a better chance to win, only if he hits like he has in the 2nd half of his career.
4) It’ll be an interesting off-season. Before the LaRoche trade, I just assumed the organization had Kotchman penciled in for 1B in 2010. He provides value, albeit not much. And he’s a cheap, young, sure thing. It’s not like he’s ever hurt the team, like, say, oh, I don’t know, Francoeur. Kotchman provided a nice stop-gap until Freddie Freeman, the organization’s future at 1B, is ready. Now, Kotchman is no longer in the organization and LaRoche will be eligible for free agency. He’s close to qualifying for Type B FA status and if he hits like he has in his career in the 2nd half, he most likely will qualify. Does the organization attempt to re-sign him? Probably not. Freddie Freeman will almost certainly be MLB ready by the start of the 2011 season and LaRoche isn’t going to be looking for a 1-year deal. He’s eligible for free agency for the first time in his career. He’s looking to make his big money, cash in big time. So that seems out of the question.
With Kotchman’s contract off the books, does the organization use the money to a) go after a free agent 1B, b) go after a free agent OF, c) retain bullpen help (Soriano and/or Gonzalez), d) retain starting pitching (Hudson, Vazquez), or e) just cover arb raises? I don’t know. An infield of Chipper, Escobar, Prado, and Kelly Johnson (with either Prado or Chipper playing 1st and the other playing 3rd, I’ll get to the moving Chipper to 1st thing in another article) would be sufficient offensively provided KJ returns to form and Prado continues to hit. Can the organization count on that until Freeman is ready? Would they be best served keeping their pitching staff mostly intact and going with the group they already have? I don’t know. We’ll see how the off-season plays out. All I know is that it’s going to be very interesting. We won’t know how to evaluate this trade until we see what Wren does with the financial flexibility he’s inherited now that Kotchman’s contract will be off the books in 2010. And just to clarify, no, Kotchman isn’t making A-Rod money. But he’ll likely get 4-5 million dollars in arbitration. And that’s no small chunk of change. Especially to a mid-market team.
5) Conclusion. While I feel like I’ve made some good points, I don’t feel like I’m any closer to being able to assess this trade. There’s so much at play here. His first half numbers vs. his second half numbers, the contract situations, etc. If this move proves to be the difference in the Braves making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, it was a good one, even if they sort of sold Casey Kotchman a for pennies on the dollar. There’s no question, the Braves didn’t maximize value here, but making the post-season makes it worth it. It really does. When you make a trade like this–one that you give up more than your recieve with intentions of making the post-season–it was good if you make the post-season and bad if you didn’t. And even then, we’ll have to see how the off-season plays out before we can really evaluate the trade. So we’ll see. I don’t really have an opinion on the trade. My opinion is this: the front office usually knows what they’re doing (even if they’re usually slow to react to non-productive players). So I’m only hoping they got it right and hoping LaRoche turns in a strong August and September and (hopefully) October. Wouldn’t surprise me. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t. And that would be very, very bad.
July 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Transactions
Screw it, I’ll do it later. I’m too disappointed with the trade to write anything about it. If you don’t know, Adam LaRoche and about 1 million dollars come to the Braves for Casey Kotchman. LaRoche is a slight upgrade, but he’s a free agent after the season and Kotchman is arbitration-eligible for 2 more years after this one. I’m disgusted.