One of the options remaining for the Braves to add to the roster that we mentioned yesterday looks like it may not be an option much longer. Mark DeRosa underwent a phyiscal for the Giants earlier today and that appears to be the only thing standing in the way of the completion of a two-year deal. DeRosa, who played in Atlanta from 1998-2004, is a career .275 hitter and has hit 44 home runs and has 165 RBI across the past two seasons. The Braves were interested in his versatility and ability to fill in for multiple roles, but DeRosa was looking for a three-year deal that the Braves just weren’t looking to extend.
So with an estimated $6-9 million remaining to spend, what options are still out there for the Braves? As I talked about yesterday, one of our favorite options is Xavier Nady. Nady would not only add a little more depth to the outfield (where the Braves often seem to have persistent injury issues) but would serve as a backup first basemen behind Troy Glaus, who the Braves are hoping to have a solid season on his surgically repaired shoulder. For me personally, this is my top choice as of right now and what’s left on the market.
Another name that has been tossed around for the amount of money the Braves have remaining and the needs they are looking to fill is Dan Uggla. He would provide that offensive pop that we have been wishing for while holding down the second base role. If that’s the case however, I’d like to make sure that there is still a constant starting role for Martin Prado, who I feel is a huge asset to the Braves.
We’ll be anxious watching the news over the coming weeks to see what move or moves the Braves still intend to make. I think they would be willing to take the current squad to Spring Training, but I get the feeling they would like to make a little bit of a change still. Who knows? Maybe we’ll still see them move the recently acquired Melky Cabrera for another bit of offensive power. With DeRosa off the market, what are your next choices to bring to Atlanta?
Tags: Dan Uggla, Free Agent, Mark DeRosa, offseason, Xavier Nady
Posted in Roster Moves | 8 Comments »
Anyone that expects that the pending agreement between the Braves and Troy Glaus signifies a long-term first basemen coming to Atlanta, I wouldn’t hold your breath for too long. After playing in only 14 games in the 2009 season and only 6 games at first base in his career, Glaus appears to be a one-year option (at an affordable rate of only $2 million mind you) to hold down the spot until Freddie Freeman is ready for the majors in 2011. This shouldn’t be anything too new to Braves fans however; there was a story in the AJC earlier this week showing that Glaus will be the 12th different opening day first baseman for the Braves in the past 14 years.
Pending a physical in the next week or so, Troy Glaus will become the latest offseason addition to the 2010 lineup for the Braves. So this begs the question; who is Troy Glaus? He’s a 6’5″, 240-lb right-handed big man that, before undergoing shoulder surgery this past January, was one of the most reliable bats in Major League Baseball. Glaus has had 5 seasons with 30 or more home runs (and twice been over 40) as well as 4 seasons with 100+ RBI. If all goes as planned, he will likely fill the cleanup spot between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann. This type of offensive threat could drive Chipper to have a little more production that he hasn’t seen since Mark Teixeira was batting behind him.
But this isn’t just a simple answer to the issues the Braves have a first base. While Glaus batted .270 with 27 home runs and 99 RBI in 2008, he battled multiple ailments in 2009 and only played in a handful of games. In that time he went 5-for-29 at the plate. Thankfully, the Braves have the benefit of a full physical before finalizing the deal to bring Glaus to Atlanta. If healthy, he could provide a little more offensive production, which is definitely on our Christmas wish list for 2010.
The part that scares me however is that he’s not really a first basemen. Six games over a 12-year career at the position is hardly an experienced first basemen. So the defensive aspect of this acquisition still leaves a lot to be questioned. One question answered by this however is that this likely ends any hopes for Adam LaRoche to return to the Braves in 2010. Despite hitting .385 in 2009 after returning to the Braves, the salary and contract term that would have been required to keep LaRoche around was a little more than the front office was looking to spend. Once again, Glaus is nothing more than a cheap bridge until Freddie Freeman is ready to head to the majors.
So, until the season starts and we really see what Troy Glaus has got, it’s hard to tell the impact he will have on the team. Financially, the moves by Frank Wren this week leave the Braves with around $7 million to spend, but will they? Maybe we’ll see Jason Bay coming to Atlanta. (Don’t hold your breath on that one, by the way.) What else is there for the Brave to acquire this offseason? What else do you want to see? And more importantly, what does Glaus bring to the team?
Well it’s that time of the year. The BravesBlast crew is putting together our Christmas wish list for this offseason and 2010. While 2009 provided a lot of highlights and improvements over the year before, there are still a lot of improvements and changes needed. So we’ll take a minute from the normal Christmas desires for Playstations and electronics and power tools to talk about one of the things we miss the most this time of year.
5. Add another setup man. The bullpen for the Braves is going to look a little different come 2010. Gone are the days of Soriano and Gonzo splitting time in the 8th and 9th innings. If all goes as planned, the 2010 season will see a lot of Takashi Saito working the 8th and Billy Wagner working closing duty. If Wagner can come back successfully from his Tommy John surgery and return to his dominant closer form, the Braves will be a lot better off than they have been. What we’d like to see however is one more quality setup man to help bridge the gap to the 8th/9th duo. Bobby’s known for utilizing the bullpen a good bit (no thanks to the lack of quality starting pitching we saw before the 2009 season), but it can never hurt to have quality relievers to bail out your starters if need be.
4. More offensive threats. It’s not a big secret that the Braves lack a big-name offensive threat since the departure of Mark Teixeira. Let’s put some numbers behind it. Last season, the Braves hit 149 home runs, ranking 22nd out of the 30 teams in the majors. First place? 244. And while the Braves may have the 5th best team batting average in the National League, they have only the 10th best slugging percentage; that equates to the 22nd ranked slugging percentage in all of baseball. Offense isn’t just hitting however. The Braves often lack the ability to be aggressive on the base path. 2009 saw all of 58 stolen bases for the Braves; next to last in baseball. Having a little more power in the lineup however would open up a lot more opportunities for the team.
3. Solidify the outfield. I’ve had issues with the outfield for the Braves for awhile now. I still agree with the decision to move Francoeur just not necessarily what we got in exchange. I’m happy to have McLouth around until we can bring up some of our prospects (which, by the way, we have a very stout outfield in the making if we can keep out prospects around). I’m still not thrilled about the addition of Melky Cabrera, but I’m happy with some of the other pieces we got out of that trade. So what’s the answer? I say try to track down another power-hitting outfielder that can help with that previous item on my wish list.
2. Find the next Bobby Cox. I know it’s not on the mind much yet, but this is Bobby’s last season managing the Braves and, while the focus needs to be on the season at hand, the future is important as well. So the question is, who is the best option to fill the shoes of one of the most revered managers in the game? To be honest, my answer to that question right now is that I just don’t know. In the end, it needs to be someone that can maintain a positive clubhouse attitude……and get thrown out of games as well as Bobby (though that may just be a personal preference).
1. Going all the way for Bobby. With it having been decided that 2010 is Bobby’s last year at the helm of the Braves, it’s only right that we send him out with the best season possible. The ideal situation obviously is to get out there and take it all the way, but let’s start by focusing on what needs to happen in Atlanta. We need playoff baseball back. After so many years of getting used to having a few guaranteed October games, things have cooled off a little. Let’s get Bobby back to the playoffs one last time!
So there you have it. That’s what we’re looking for out of the organization as Christmas presents to us and the rest of the Braves family. What’s on your wish list for the Braves?
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Tags: Bobby Cox, Braves Offseason Goals, christmas, offseason, wish list
Posted in General | 2 Comments »