March 9, 2010 at 8:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Quantitatively evaluating sixteen of Frank Wren’s more well-known moves. Let’s just get right to it.
1. Signed Rafael Soriano to a 2 year, $9 million contract.
Signings are the easiest to evaluate because it’s just money and production. This one proved to be worth it, rare for a relief pitcher. This deal gets high marks.
2, 3. Signed Tom Glavine to a 1 year, $8 million contract (2008). Signed Tom Glavine to a 1 year, $1 million contract plus incentives (2009).
I figured I’d just get both of them out of the way. Quite simply, this turned out to be a horrible deal. It looked better at the time on both accounts, but it’s still a terrible allocation of resources.
4. Signed Garret Anderson to a 1 year, $2.5 million contract.
Waste of cash. Playing him when he was actively hurting the team didn’t help, but a terrible signing overall.
5. Signed Derek Lowe to a 4 year, $60 million contract.
Too early to call, but it probably won’t look too good after 2012. The Braves also gave up their 2009 second round pick.
6. Signed Kenshin Kawakami to a 3 year, $23 million contract.
Again, too early to tell. The first year was slightly positive and it could really go either way.
7. Traded SS Edgar Renteria to the Detroit Tigers for RHP Jair Jurrjens and OF Gorkys Hernandez.
The production of Jair Jurrjens for the Braves thus far makes this deal a complete knock-out. Renteria was basically worthless on a very bad Detroit team. Jurrjens has been worth 7.7 wins for league minimum over the past two seasons. This is by far Frank Wren’s best trade. Gorkys will be covered in the next transaction, but he was a top 76-100 hitter, worth $12.5 million, at the time of the trade.
8. Traded RHP Charlie Morton, OF Gorkys Hernandez, and LHP Jeff Locke for OF Nate McLouth.
McLouth has a very good chance of making this deal look pretty good. Then again, so does Charlie Morton and (to a lesser degree) Jeff Locke and Gorkys Hernandez. Hernandez was rated a top 51-75 prospect immediately before he was dealt but his stock has since fallen and he’s now simply a grade B prospect. To this point, there’s plenty of evidence Wren sold Gorkys at his highest point:
Of course, if he stops making so many outs, he could be worth $55 million, rather than $5.5 million.
9, 10. Traded 1B Mark Teixeira for 1B Casey Kotchman and RHP Stephen Marek. Traded 1B Casey Kotchman for 1B Adam LaRoche.
Stephen Marek will have to be a $5.3 million man to make this trade worthwhile. I have little confidence he’ll have any positive impact on any MLB roster ever. Not that Frank Wren was in a particularly good position to begin with.
11, 12. Traded C Tyler Flowers, SS Brent Lillibridge, LHP Santos Rodriguez, and 3B Jon Gilmore for RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan. Trade RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan for OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Arodys Vizcaino, and LHP Michael Dunn.
Treating Boone Logan and Michael Dunn as a wash, the Braves traded $20.6 million in prospects for $15.2 million in prospects and $14.5 million in surplus value. One of the better moves Wren has made. Of course, having those extra wins in 2010 would be nice. The first one certainly looks better than the second, at least in retrospect. I only considered Melky’s 2010 value for the sake of conservatism.
Minor yet not insignificant trades
13. Traded RHP Jose Ascaino for LHP Will Ohman and INF Omar Infante.
Ascanio ended up being a throw in in some minor trade with the Pirates at the ’09 deadline. Calling this deal lop-sided may be an understatement.
14, 15. Traded RHP Joey Devine and INF Jamie Richmond for OF Mark Kotsay and cash. Traded OR Mark Kotsay for OF Luis Sumoza.
Joey Devine is far from finished making this look bad for Atlanta.
16. Traded OF Jeff Francoeur and cash for OF Ryan Church.
No matter what, this was the correct move. Francoeur played above his head, Church was mostly hurt and ineffective, and the Braves still won the value game. I find that a lot more relevant than the fact that the Wilpons foolishly committed $5 million to Jeff Francoeur in 2010 whereas the Braves exercised some fiscal responsibility and chose to cut Ryan Church. The longer the Wilpons pay Francoeur the better this deal will look (from Atlanta’s perspective).