Abreu or Dunn? (Or Swisher/Nady?)

Written by Colin on February 3, 2009 – 9:02 am

Whom should the Braves pursue and sign? Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu?

Both would fit in well and fill the need (a bat providing a little bit of power in the outfield). That said, there are a couple of other options – being Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher, both of whom we’d have to trade for (and send people to the Yankees, no less). And you ask, what about Andruw Jones? Is he still an option? Today I attempt to answer all of those questions (and more).

Overall, I think that Abreu fits the bill best. What’s the bill? An outfielder with a powerful bat that can play one season in our outfield before we’re absolutely swamped with the next wave of young Braves prospects to the point where we’d be stupid to pay someone else to play outfield. Abreu is older – he can fill the need without costing too much – and he’s most likely to be cool with a one year contract.

Dunn flat out costs too much. He’s asking $14M, and though some people think he could be grabbed for $10M/year, I think he’s more likely to get a multi-year deal. Sure, he’s more powerful (40 HR his last 5 seasons),  but we flat out don’t have the money for Dunn. Dunn and Done. I just am not going to give him any more consideration – even at $10M we can’t afford him.

Nady just signed a one year, $6.55M deal with the Yankees – so the Braves would have to trade for him AND pay his salary – something I don’t see us doing with an outfielder like Abreu on the free agent market. For a little less money than Nady, we can get someone with very comparable numbers – a couple more homers and doubles, sure, but fewer RBIs. Nady would give us a little bit of flexibility as he plays first base too, but we’re not looking for a first baseman.

Nick Swisher comes with a more long-term commitment than the Braves are looking for right now. He makes $5.3M this year, $6.75M next, and $9M in 2011. Why do that when in three years we could have potentially an outfield of Francoeur, Schafer, and Heyward? I just don’t see us trading for a player that would be around that long – not to mention Swisher is coming off a season where he hit .219 with 25 HRs. Yikes – we don’t need another Andruw Jones.

Similarly, we don’t need Andruw Jones himself. Andruw won’t take a minor league contract, both he and Boras have indicated – and even if we give him a minimum salary contract, there’s no guarantee we’ll see him fight his way onto the roster. I’d point out that bringing him back this year seems like it’d be a lot like bringing back Javy Lopez last year. May bring more people out to Spring Training games, but is that really the point?

I think that we’re most likely to see Abreu in Atlanta, but what do I know? Argue me wrong :)

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Posted in Speculation | 45 Comments »

45 Responses to “Abreu or Dunn? (Or Swisher/Nady?)”

  1. By Allen on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    There are issues, money aside, with all of the choices. Dunn strikes out too much and is too slow on defense. Abreu, while a good fit in right, would need to move to left or bump Frenchy to left. Swisher, as you pointed out, is too long-term for the Braves.

    I think Nady is the best fit. If the Braves could avoid sending some "A" chip prospects to the Yankees and get some money back from the Yankees for the salary Nady would be a nice fit.

  2. By dave on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I would like to argue with you, but I can't except under these conditions. I would like to see the Braves bring back Glavine and Ohman for one year, but that is looking more unlikely. If the front office is insistence on finding the big bat I do vote for Abreu. I do not like renting a player for a year like Nady. He is a Boras client and that means in 2010 he would probably be impossible to sign. Swisher appears to be much more affordable, but he is not the player Nady is. We could have him around much longer, but both of them would cost to many prospects. I think free agency is the way to go. I am sorry to hear Andruw will not cooperate a little better. I think Dunn would be a liability in the outfield. He I'm sure would hit a lot of home runs, but what about average and defensive. I can't argue it brings us to Bobby Abreu for 1 to 2 years. He may well be for the money without having to trade anyone the very best choice. The young guys should be ready by then. Best Wishes

  3. By Colin Ake on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I don't think a swap from right to left would be a huge deal for Abreu. I could be wrong, but he's more likely to move than Francoeur for sure.

    The concern I've seen is that Nady's contract may be too big to let the Braves sign either one or both of Glavine/Ohman. Not sure he's worth it… But I could be wrong.

  4. By Ben on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I think Swisher and Abreu are the best options. I like Swisher more though because he can play multiple positions and is a switch hitter. If Heyward and Schafer are ready then the Braves can just trade Swisher. I read somewhere that the Braves only have 6-9 million left to spend. I think Atlanta still needs to bring back Glavine and sign Will Ohman. I don't think all three players can be landed with that amount of money.

  5. By scott on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    at this point, i want either abreu nady or dunn in LF (in that order) swisher is a bum and will be blocking heyward in 2 years. sure bobby abreu is 35, but chipper was 37 when he had his best season last year. sign abreu for something like 1 year/6 million or even 2/14. if not abreu, trade for nady. hes a righty who can hit. only thing i worry about is last year was his only really good year in his career. finally , dunn wouldn’t be horrible. the man can hit. its just his defense and foot speed i worry about. him and mccann back to back would be very, very slow.

  6. By Blair on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    How about "None of the above"? I see where the White Sox offered Abreu 1 year/$8MM. That probably puts him out of range for us.

    I say let's put Junior in the mix. From the article linked below he'd likely come (very) cheap and we'd still have the $ to re-sign Ohman and Glav.

  7. By Jeff on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Unfortunately I live in the Yankee's market and I have watched too many games of theirs Abreu is not very good in the field anymore. Anything that is even remotely close to the wall he misplays badly for some reason (scared?). I think that Nady would be the best fit but I don't like giving up prospects and paying his contract. I think unfortunately we may need to just have a platoon situation (Diaz, Blanco, etc) in until Heyward is ready.

  8. By Tim on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you. I have been trying to tell people that Abreu is lost in the field now. I remember seeing a ball last year and Abreu jumped 3 feet from the wall because he was afraid of htting the wall.

  9. By Tim on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Griffey is done. Don't get me wrong he has long been one of my favorite players but he did absolutely nothing last year when he went to the White Sox to help them make the playoffs.

    I read today that it was his knees giving him problems and accounting for his lack of power and that he's suppose to be 100% after knee surgery. If the Braves sign him we can only hope that's true.

  10. By Colin Ake on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I think that none of the above is a very viable option – I think the Braves could wait until Spring Training to see who is on the market and see what kind of offer to make.

    That said, the White Sox' offer is no longer on the table – as the season gets closer, the remaining free agents have to become cheaper and take a look at offers they otherwise wouldn't consider. We'll see what how that affects Abreu and the others, but we may not see any of the above mentioned dudes in Atlanta.

    I don't think Jr is the answer. I wish he were the player he once was, but I don't think he's what we need.

  11. By Blair on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Yes, the update has the Sox offer dismissed as a rumor. I was basing the above on the earlier "story".

    All other things equal, I guess I'd take Abreu, but not if that put us out of contention for Ohman and Glav. I would rather have at least one lefty starter and the lefties in the pen currently scare the crap outta me.

  12. By Colin Ake on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    The obvious devils advocate position here is – do the Braves have a cleanup hitter? How will we make up for the power we lost when Teixeira left? Diaz/Blanco don't have that capability… How will we compete without it? And why did we spend money on pitchers if we can't compete?

  13. By Tim on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I agree with what Chipper said. Francoeur will be our cleanup hitter.

  14. By Tim on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Someone mentioned Jim Edmonds and I laughed. But I did compare Griffey and Edmonds over the past 3 seasons and it's not even close. Griffey wins by a mile.

    Griffey – 396 G, .260 BA, 75 HR, 236 RBI, 202 BB, 266 SO, 6 SB

    Edmonds – 338 G, .248 BA, 51 HR, 178 RBI, 149 BB, 258 SO, 6 SB

  15. By Tim on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I have no hope for Andruw. 7 strikeouts in 13 at-bats against RHP during winter ball is awful. He was so bad he got cut by his winter ball team.

  16. By dave on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    If Andruw would be reasonable in his thinking and give the Braves a chance, he could be the answer. I do not get the chance to see players like Abreu play very often. He has an offer half of what he made in 2008 I understand. If he can't play defensive anymore, I think Andruw still can. The question is can he hit. It's not like he should be broke. He just may have to realize the market is not going to pay him what he wants. I would like for both sides to give it a chance, and see what happens. If it works out fine if not at least they can say they tried. If i understand right, this is only for the short term. Best Wishes

  17. By Jonathan on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    I'm pretty much with you, Tim. The only way I'd consider it is if he'd kick his pride out of the way and take a minor league contract. Good riddance otherwise.

  18. By Grant on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply

    Francoeur has a lot riding on this season. Abreu could hit clean-up, but I think McCann would be able to do it as well. Moving Frenchy up on days when McCann is out of the line-up is another possibility. Either way, I'd love to see Abreu in the OF on a short-term deal.

  19. By Keith on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    Now that the White Sox started the bidding, I think Abreu chances of being a Brave are slim. Dunn had no chance. Unsure of where Frank will go now however, I feel the few extra million $$ remaining is burning a hole in his pocket. Look for someone to match up with Diaz on a platoon situation. The search could go on quite a while as Frank looks for bargin.

  20. By Keith on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    A trade is the only way that the braves avoid a platoon situation. I am sure the yankees are asking for a king's ransom as they really don't have to dump Nady or Swisher. Frank has been reluctant to do this up to this point…but who knows.

  21. By Sheryl on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    And listen to his batting coaches and quit trying to pull the ball….no way for Andruw

  22. By Larry on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    I like the swisher deal. He's versatile. Can play all outfield positions and first base. When Heyward is ready, Swisher or Kotchman could be trade bait. Lets not forget that Frenchy keeps turning away contracts so who knows how long he'll be in Atlanta.

  23. By Larry on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    I like the swisher deal. He's versatile. Can play all outfield positions and first base. When Heyward is ready, Swisher or Kotchman could be trade bait. Lets not forget that Frenchy keeps turning away contracts so who knows how long he'll be in Atlanta.

  24. By Larry on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    What seems to be another option now is Jermaine Dye. With the Sox supposively offering Abreu a contract, Dye is probably on the trading block. There is a right handed power bat and someone familiar with the Braves organization. I vote for Dye or Abreu. If not one of them then trade for Swisher. He is very versatile.

  25. By Mark Trollinger on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    Yikes. Proclaiming someone as the best from that list is like proclaiming someone the smartest person in West Virginia…Dunn I like, but he is expensive, strikes out too much and is slow. Swisher does not impress me – if you can't hit your weight, we need another option. Abreu is getting old, afraid of defense and has his best years behind him. Andrew Jones got fat when he got married and has been worthless since then. We need a clean-up hitter – Frency might be it, but then he might have a season like last year. If he does, who would protect Chipper in the liineup? Look for his performance (except walks) to decrease this year. Nady could be a good option, but he might be too pricey – which would also rule out Manny. If Chicago signs Abreu, how about bringing back Dye?

  26. By Tim on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    I know I said on here a few days ago that I thought Chipper would stay in the #3 hole but with the chances of the Braves landing a solid bat growing slim Chipper may have no choice but to take one for the team like he did years ago when he moved to the outfield. I know Chipper has said in the past he doesn't like to hit cleanup but we may not have much of a choice this year unless Francoeur steps it up. I like McCann in that #5 spot in the lineup.

    Here is my potential lineup with Chipper in the cleanup spot.

    1. Josh Anderson CF
    2. Casey Kotchman 1B
    3. Yunel Escobar SS
    4. Chipper Jones 3B
    5. Brian McCann C
    6. Kelly Johnson 2B
    7. Jeff Francoeur RF
    8. Matt Diaz LF

  27. By Tim on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    You could flip Kotchman and Johnson if you wanted too but Johnson has more pop in his bat so I like him further down the lineup and Kotchman doesn't strikeout much so he's solid at the top of the lineup.

    Yes we may lead the world in strikeouts from our bottom 4 spots including pitchers but 1 – 6 could be very solid. If Anderson could get on base a ton that opens up a huge hole on the right side for Kotchman to pull the ball through since he makes solid contact then you would have runners at the corners with no one out. Then Escobar could shoot one to right field and you would have the merry go around effect of 1st to 3rding them to death.

  28. By dave on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    How about Matt Diaz , and Gregor Blanco and a class b prospect for Jermaine Dye. It is obvious we will have to drop some salary in order to afford Dye, and don't forget Jeff and Kelly aren't signed. Tell me what you think. Best Wishes

  29. By Keith on Feb 4, 2009 | Reply

    I believe Dye's price tag is 12 mil per season. The braves don't have that amount to spend.

  30. By Ben on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    If they didn't lose too much in the trade I would like Nady. I don't want Dunn even if he came for free. He is arguably the most overrated player in the game. I like Swisher but I think Heyward will be ready before Swisher's contract is up. Abreu would be nice but he is left-handed. I like Nady, Swisher, Abreu and Dunn in that order.

  31. By Connor on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    How do you not factor in defense at all in your consideration? And we are not going to be swamped with OF prospects next year. Heyward is not going to be ready until 2011 at the earliest. He’s 19.

  32. By erik on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    you'd never ask Frenchy to go from right to left, you don't want your power arm in left. DUH.

  33. By Hal on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    Are the Braves sure neither of the two young outfielders isn't going to be ready? Also, who are they counting on to hit leadoff?

  34. By andy on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    I don't understand why we don't move Kelly Johnson back to left, sure he doesn't have the pop. But everyone swears by Martin Prado's bat. Let Prado play second. Where is the scenario?

  35. By John on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    "Why do that when in three years we could have potentially an outfield of Francoeur, Schafer, and Heyward?"

    And here is the problem with every braves fan' suggestion for a trade. This is why the team batted close to worst in the league last year. You all think that these prospects you have are sure things. That is by far and large the worst example of sports writing I have seen. Fact: you need somewhat senior players to contrast your young talent. The rays are a phenom. That happens once in 100 yrs. Sorry guys, really you need to get your heads out of your **** and part with one for the other.

    Shafer for Swisher and Kennedy.

    Oh yeah, what is this suppose to mean?

    "both of whom we’d have to trade for (and send people to the Yankees, no less). "
    ^ If you want to stoop to Boston's level of intelligence, please be ready to be reclassified.

  36. By Johnny B on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    I still prefer Garret Anderson over all the available options. He has been solid and productive his entire career. Lifetime .296 hitter who averages 19 hr, 35 doubles and 90+ rbi every year. Hits LH and RH pitching equally well and Bill James rates him as the 5th best defensive LF'er in the game…Why is he drawing no attention?

    Buster Onley predicted in his latest blog that he or Griffey Jr. might only get a one year deal at 500,000 to 1 million.
    If either would accept that the Braves should jump at the opportunity!

  37. By Drew on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    I like Dunn but before I pose my argument….

    As far as Andruw is concerned, remember what Chipper said about him after that video surfaced of all of them hitting and working out together (around the time he was to be released by the Dodgers)? Basically he said Andruw hasn't made the necessary adjustments and is still pull-happy. Andruw may play good defense, but so would Anderson or Schafer, only they would also hit for a decent average, which is more than Andruw could dream of at this point.

    I would prefer Nady, if it weren't for the fact that he leaves after this year. We'd pay 6 mil, trade prospects, for a 1-year rental.

  38. By Drew on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    Swisher's contract may have looked okay when it first was made, but now in today's market, it looks awful. Do you really want to pay someone 21 mil over 3 years who hits around .220. I don't, especially if it means giving up prospects as well.

    For only a little more per year, they could sign a free agent and keep their prospects.

    Between Dunn and Abreu, I like Dunn. I'm not convinced Dunn wouldn't sign a one year contract. He may want to retest the market next offseason to try to get what he feels he's worth. I'd be shocked if he got 10 mil a year. It was reported recently that one NL exec said he'd be shocked if Dunn got more than 5 mil. Me, I'm guessing around 8 mil. He may not hit for average, and he may strike out a lot, but he also walks a ton, and his OBP is .387. He's also much younger than Abreu, technically right in his prime (he's not even 30 yet), while Abreu is 36. He will give us 40 HR, and we desperately need power. His defense isn't great, but neither is Abreu's.

  39. By Drew on Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

    Your argument is a good one. However, the problem for the Braves right now, and why so many pose the arguments you disagree with, is that the Braves don't have much $$$ to play with right now, so why trade for someone like a Nady or a Swisher, and take on their salaries of 5-6 million, when you could get a free agent with similar stats for around the same price tag, maybe a little more, but WITHOUT giving up any prospects. Also, it's not like Nady and Swisher are superstars, totally worth giving up a number of prospects for. They're complimentary players.

  40. By chris on Feb 7, 2009 | Reply

    but the fact remains:

    swisher is in for a rebound. .219 is an anolmoly for him. to think otherwise is quite asinine. with that said, i still don't want him. abreu for 2 years is acceptable. dunn for 2. either way, we need a hitter with some pop in the middle of the order to make us more flexibile on offense.

  41. By Mike Merlo on Feb 7, 2009 | Reply

    That's a mile?

  42. By Darren Little on Feb 7, 2009 | Reply

    If I can quote Johnny B. from above — "I still prefer Garret Anderson over all the available options. He has been solid and productive his entire career. Lifetime .296 hitter who averages 19 hr, 35 doubles and 90+ rbi every year. Hits LH and RH pitching equally well and Bill James rates him as the 5th best defensive LF'er in the game…Why is he drawing no attention?"

    This is a great scenario. I'm not sure of his contract numbers but Anderson is getting a little bit older so he should come reasonably cheap(er). I think he is a better fit then all of options listed above by anyone.

    I'm not a big fan of Jeff Francouer. Although he has a cannon for an arm, he has absolutely no range in the outfield. I've watched just about every braves game for the majority of his career and a big part of the reason he every hit .300 or right at it was because of broken bat and bloop hits.

    If Francouer has a stellar first half of the season I would expect the braves to trade him. Jason Heyward is naturally a right fielder anyway and although he is young, I feel that he is a better option. He was given the "most selective hitter" title in his draft class, plus he steals bases.

    I really don't see the braves signing or trading for a left fielder. Matt Diaz will probably platoon with Blanco. If Diaz stays healthy he is definitely an upgrade to an offense that already averaged almost 5 runs a game last year (4.6)

    Yes. The Braves averaged almost 5 runs a game last year and have solidified a pitching staff with inning eating work horses. They offered Glavine a $1-2mm deal and if he accepts the team will have around $3-6mm to spend and that money would be more wisely spent on bullpen help. Will Ohman is a nice fit.

    I'm pleased with the job that Frank Wren has done, especially after he was trade and sign happy during the offseason following the 2007 season.

    We'll see how it all works out.

  43. By Drew on Feb 8, 2009 | Reply

    uhh…actually he's a career .244 hitter. In 07' he hit .262, the highest of his career. Nick Swisher isn't the answer.

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