The Braves couldn’t keep Tim Hudson healthy. They couldn’t trade for Jake Peavy because the Padres were being stupid about it. Now, they couldn’t sign A.J. Burnett because the Yankees play in a city closer to Maryland (Burnett’s wife doesn’t fly? Huh?), we can’t sign the best starter left on the market. Throw us a frickin’ bone here.
So what are we going to do? Let Vazquez be our ace? Thrust Jair Jurrjens into the spotlight as a sophomore in the bigs? Make Jorge Campillo draw a ridiculous amount out of his arm?
Who else is on the market? Derek Lowe. Oh, the Yankees already made a move on him? The way they’re spending this off-season, who wouldn’t sign with them? We could always revive talks for Peavy, but Frank Wren has made it clear that the Braves will no longer offer the same package they did last month when they were in talks with the Padres. Brent Lillibridge is gone (must find new minor leaguer to talk about incessantly to bug Jonathan) and the Braves no longer have interest in trading Yunel Escobar (which I think is good). The Padres have probably not gotten more reasonable about it, which means the best pitcher in the NL will spend next year pitching for a horrible team in San Diego.
Meanwhile, we’re still without an ace. We have a good #2 guy in Jurrjens and Vazquez will be a decent #3 starter to eat innings, but where do we stand? In a very uncertain place.
And I’m not all that certain it’s going to get much better. Which scares me.
What do you think will happen?
Tags: A.J. Burnett, I Hate The Yankees, Jair Jurrjens, Jake Peavy, New York Yankees Suck, The Yankees are the spawn of the devil, Tim Hudson
Posted in General | 63 Comments »
It seems that Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and the Yankees have it out for the Braves this offseason. As part of their $243.5 million thus-far shopping spree, the Yankees have now added AJ Burnett to their rotation, just shortly after signing CC Sabathia. Burnett and the Yankees agreed to terms on a five-year, $82.5 million offer, pending a physical and some other small terms.
The real question is, where does this leave the Braves in the pursuit to find pitching this offseason. So far, extended discussions for a trade with the Padres for Jake Peavy have not panned out. Then the Yankees outbid us for the services of Burnett. So what do we do about an ace at this point? I can’t even begin to figure out what the 2009 rotation looks like at this point in time.
It appears the next logical pursuit for Frank Wren would be Derek Lowe. But wait, the Yankees have apparently moved on to pursue Lowe now as well. Maybe I’m the only one that thinks the Yankees just have too much money to throw at players…..actually, no I’m not. Everyone that’s not a Yankees fan thinks that.
I was planning on using this evening to put together a recap post about Winter Meetings but I think this news story pretty much sums it up. The Braves need starting pitching….badly….the end. So where do we go from here, Braves fans? Things are starting to look a little grim on the 2009 front and it’s still December.
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, Jake Peavy, New York Yankees, Winter Meetings, Yankees Suck
Posted in General | 7 Comments »
With Jake Peavy not going to the Cubs, do the Braves have a chance of landing him? That’d be nice, though improbable.
Imagine the rotation with me in your mind’s eye:
Ok, so it won’t happen, but the main purpose of this blog was to let you know that Peavy is not in fact going to the Cubs. If the Braves fail to land Burnett, I think we’ll probably make another run at Peavy… If we don’t, we’re going to be in horrible shape this year – just imagine this:
Not a BAD rotation, but not very good. It’d need some help. Just as long as we never have to pencil in Jo-Jo Reyes or Chuck James as part of our planned rotation, I won’t be crying in a fetal position.
Here’s hoping we land Burnett. Word has it he won’t sign at the winter meetings, so don’t hold your breath. And also, let’s not give him too much money. We still need that power bat.
Other news: the Rule V draft happened today. I can’t really tell you what happened as I don’t see news about it in prominent places, and I’m currently unable to go digging. I’ll post something eventually, hopefully.
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Jake Peavy, Winter Meetings
Posted in General | 2 Comments »
C.C. Sabathia’s 7 year, $160M deal with the Yankees puts the focus of the free agent arms race squarely on A.J. Burnett, who was expected to make his decision after Sabathia signed. The Braves offer now has 5 years and $80 million tied to it. When told of it, Braves.com quotes “one prominent Braves player” as saying “Let’s see the Yankees top that.”
The concern is that they might. The Yankees aren’t happy with landing Sabathia. Rumor has it they also want to sign Burnett, Lowe, Sheets, Teixeira, LeBron James, The Olsen Twins, and Darth Vader. I hate the Yankees, and if they steal Burnett out from under us, I’m going to be PISSED. Absolutely livid. We need Burnett – we have to have an ace to anchor the rotation, and even though it’s a large bet on Burnett, we have to make it or we’ll flounder all season.
Also, Boston papers think Smoltz is looking at the Mets and Red Sox, among others. I just laughed when I read it. He’ll end up here, and he’ll retire as a Brave, or I’ll redirect BravesBlast.com to WTFWereYouThinkingFrankWren.com. And that’s a promise.
C’mon Burnett, sign the paper already.
UPDATE: According to Mark Bowman, the Braves have in fact not yet offered Burnett a guaranteed 5-year contract. We’ll wait to hear more.
Tags: A.J. Burnett, John Smoltz, Winter Meetings, Yankees Suck
Posted in Speculation | 4 Comments »
Winter Meetings get under way today in Las Vegas and here’s hoping that the Braves can pull together a few more deals to get the club heading in the right direction for 2009. It looks like Wren will be using the week to try and fill the two main needs that he has for the Braves in the offseason:
The Braves have had a primary objective this offseason of solidifying the rotation and I don’t think that has been any secret. Earlier in the offseason, the hype completely surrounded Wren’s offer to acquire Jake Peavy. But after being drawn out for weeks and finally seeing the offer rescinded, the Braves were back at square one trying to fill the front end of the rotation. Who knows? Maybe there’s still some veiled hope out there that we manage to acquire him, but I’m not counting on that at all.
Since then, the focus has shifted to AJ Burnett, with Wren laying out a 4-year offer to him late last week. Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, is in the position to be one of the most popular people at Winter Meetings this week. As one of the top pitchers on the free-agent market this offseason (aside from CC Sabathia), Burnett has potential interest from the incumbent Blue Jays, Yankees, Orioles and Phillies. I think the biggest sticking point with the Braves’ offer right now is still the fifth-year option. Braunecker has repeatedly said that Burnett will “definitely have the opportunity to accept a guaranteed five-year contract”. He however has also indicated that Atlanta has become an even more attractive option after last week’s signing of Javier Vazquez.
Aside from chasing Burnett, there has been little word of Wren’s other interests in trying to track down an ace of the staff. Let’s just hope we’re not putting too much hope on one target and that something good comes out of it this week.
A Power-Hitting Outfielder:
Wren has indicated that he is not too interested in the hard-hitting outfielders that are available on the free agent market this offseason. It just doesn’t seem that the talent or fit needed for the Braves is available, but he’s always keeping an eye out for someone that can bolster the power numbers at the plate next season. Wren’s focus this week will revolve around finding pitching and he has placed no real deadline for adding power to the outfield.
With such little interest in the free agent market, I’d look for Wren to make a move with a trade to try and fill this role, but I wouldn’t expect that happening until later this offseason, into the first few months of 2009. Who would you like to see come to Atlanta to fill this role?
So there’s the general update on what we’re looking for Wren to try to track down during Winter Meetings this year. Look for the big focus to be on pitching, but we’ve been surprised in the past by some moves that we had previously heard little about. We’ll keep updating as we hear more out of Las Vegas. What’s on your Winter Meetings wishlist for this year?
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Frank Wren, rumors, Winter Meetings
Posted in General, Speculation | 7 Comments »
The Braves made an offer to free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett today, believed to be for four years and in the ballpark of $16 million a year. The offer is also believed to have a fifth year option if he stays healthy enough to pitch a certain number of innings.
Burnett won 18 games with the Jays last year and led the American League in strikeouts. Frank Wren confirmed the offer had been extended to Burnett – who is probably the best free agent pitcher on the market other than C.C. Sabathia, who the Braves are not making a move for.
The Yankees are expected to make an offer soon – but they were waiting to see how much cash the Braves were willing to throw his way first. He’s receiving plenty of attention, and I’m not sure whether or not the Braves have a chance at landing him. I’d guess that Wren put together an offer he feels will be competitive, as we’re not going to just magically land great pitching without giving something up in return. I’m not holding my breath, though, as we rarely win bidding wars with major free agents.
Come to Atlanta, A.J. We have Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones, and a giant cow standing over left field. Not to mention the Varsity, a big fish tank, and friendly fans that’ll show up for games on weekends.
What do you think will happen? Do we land Burnett or not?
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Atlanta Braves, Free Agent Offerings We'll Never Sign, Starting Pitching
Posted in General, Roster Moves | 9 Comments »
Rumor on the street has it that the Braves have turned their attention towards Jays’ starter AJ Burnett. Burnett’s agent said the Braves were one of six teams “fully engaged” in negotiations. Burnett wants a 5 year deal at around $15m a season, which is a bit of a risk seeing as how he hadn’t racked up more than 12 wins before this year. In 2008, Burnett was 18-10, posted a 4.07 ERA, and struck out 231 in 221 2/3 innings to lead the AL in K’s. Burnett is reported to have received a princely offer from the Yankees as well, who are out to gut the starting pitching market like the money spending whores they are. The Braves have something going for them in that Burnett “respects the hell out of” Bobby Cox from his days in the NL East as a Marlin and is friends with Chipper Jones.
The Braves have also reportedly made inquiries about Derek Lowe, who pitched in Boston last season. Lowe is a Bor-ass client, which means we’ll have a tough time getting him without offering THE top dollar. We’ll see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath and waiting for Lowe to end up here. I have what you may call Lowe expectations.
The team also made a serious offer to left-hander Will Ohman, who says it was intended to make him understand they wanted him back. Ohman will make a decision in December, but he’s received interest from at least 10 teams.
More to come, in our trademark sporadic method of delivery. All rights reserved. Don’t try and be inconsistent if you blog – we’ll sue your ass.
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, Will Ohman
Posted in Speculation | 1 Comment »
The New York Post is reporting that the Braves are atop the Peavy pile and that currently many expect we’ll have Peavy pitching for us next season.
“The Jake Peavy sweepstakes will proceed concurrently with the World Series, and the expectation of major league executives polled over the past two days is that the Braves are going to end up with the Padre right-hander… The Braves…have the base from which to make a deal and a history of packaging youngsters to get veterans they crave such as Mark Teixeira and Tim Hudson. They also are willing to move quickly, as exhibited by the Oct. 29 deal made last year in which they obtained Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez from Detroit for Edgar Renteria, the first major trade of the past offseason. And the Braves appear more motivated than the Cardinals, Cubs or Dodgers to jump out for Peavy.”
That’s what I like to hear. Only question now is how many prospects we have to get rid of to land Peavy for four years. Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson (or both) will likely have to go. Other names mentioned include Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, possibly Tommy Hanson, and even Jordan Schafer. Who knows what the Braves will be willing to part with, but there are hints they are going to try and keep the carnage as insignificant as possible. The bottom line with any of the pitching prospects is that we hope they turn into someone like Peavy, and getting Peavy for four years is a pretty good return on a prospect that may not be that good for that long.
Chipper Jones has described Peavy as the “perfect fit” according to the AJC, and also would love to see the Braves go after A.J. Burnet, who will be a free agent.
How you like us now, NL East?
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Jake Peavy, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jordan Schafer, Kelly Johnson, Tommy Hanson, Yunel Escobar
Posted in Speculation | 4 Comments »