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Gammons: Braves May Explore Andruw Jones Deal

Interesting note from Peter Gammons's blog a couple of days ago:

"The Braves were heavily involved in the Joey Gathright deal and still could get him from Kansas City. Yes, they need a leadoff hitter, but there is the possibility that they will explore dealing Andruw Jones at the end of the season."

A lot of folks have emailed me asking whether I thought Gathright could end up with the Braves, and my knee-jerk reaction was to dismiss the idea because of Jones.  But Gammons makes a good point.  Andruw Jones makes $13.5MM next year in the last of his deal.  He's reaching the point where his next contract will not offer a positive return on investment for the Braves.

According to Baseball Prospectus, Jones will be worth about $9-10 mil from 2008-09 before the real dropoff begins.  Obviously John Schuerholz understands this, and it seems highly unlikely that the Braves will enter the bidding for Andruw's next deal when you have to offer 5/65 just to get in the door.

The Braves always seem to be one step ahead.  They don't have much in the way of top-shelf outfield talent now that Jeff Francoeur has been called up.  It's time to snatch up a couple more Major League ready outfielders, and the Braves have what everyone wants: starting pitching.  The Yankees and Red Sox should come calling for John Smoltz and Tim Hudson.  And don't you just have this feeling that Kenny Williams will make some phone calls, just because he understands that you can never have too much starting pitching?  He hasn't been shy about trading his best prospects and Josh Fields is taking care of business at Triple A.

The Brewers and Nationals were scouting Philip Hughes recently, but that seems to be related to the Yanks' outfield vacancies.  It just doesn't seem that New York can acquire any big names while keeping Hughes.   

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Comments

"The Braves were heavily involved in the Joey Gathright deal and still could get him from Kansas City."

STEVE HOLT!!!

Let me say, without reservation, Joey Gathright will never... EVER... be more than a 4th outfielder. EVER. NEVER. EVER.

So yeah. As a Met fan, i'm dancing and spitting on the Braves' graves. Salty is stagnating, as most catchers do in AA. Joey Devine stinks. Francoeur's VORP is NEGATIVE.

Why doesn't the big John trade Giles, Chipper and Smoltz, too? They can just bring up Andy Marte, whoops, oh, i'm sorry... that was a STUPID TRADE.

Josh Fields K's much too much.

Uh yeah, correction, that Marte-Renteria swap worked in the favor of the Braves, but the wins havent been there. And i agree, Giles is not doing a good job leading off,he belongs in the number 2 spot.. so they need somebody to do the job. i havent seen Joey Gathright play, but anybody with some good speed, and a high on - base - %.

Oh brother. Could you spin a failure season to the Braves' advantage any more please?

#1- It's silly to treat any projection system like fact as you've done with Andruw Jones. He may go downhill. But you won't replace the homers and defense in the forseeable future. Look at some of the projections PECOTA has made. Check out the projected Pirates record at the beginning of the season. Ha ha.

#2- Joey Gathright is not good. Let's see what Baseball America has to say about Gathright:

"Gathright, 24, is perhaps the fastest player in the major leagues, a true burner and 80 runner on the 20-80 scale. He was an unheralded 32nd-round pick out of a Louisiana high school in 2001 and reached the major leagues in just his third full season of pro ball. However, hitting is the only other tool where he profile as average, however, as he has no usable power and a poor throwing arm to go along with an indifferent, inconsistent approach to defense. Pitchers at upper levels have found they can pound Gathright inside with fastballs because he can't drive the ball, as evidenced by his career .291 slugging percentage in 409 big league at-bats. He was hitting just .201/.305/.240 this season in 154 at-bats (55 games) with the Rays and had been sent down to Triple-A Durham after Rocco Baldelli's successful return from knee surgery."

Oh boy, sounds great. His ceiling is Tom Goodwin. There's the guy to replace Andruw Jones.

#3- "The Braves always seem to be one step ahead." Yeah. Their last place in the NL East really shows they're one step ahead. Getting ready to firesale is not being "one step ahead," it's a sign of desperation. Also, the Marlins have already had a successful firesale, and there are more teams looking to firesale this year than in any year in recent history, which means the market will be flooded with available players, driving down the possible returns sellers can expect to get. I doubt Kenny Williams is going to add yet another $10+ million a year starting pitcher.

Trust me...I'm the furthest thing from a Braves fan. So much hostility.

I'd say it is pretty close to fact that Andruw Jones is going to continue his decline into his 30s. It's not a revelation.

When did I say Gathright was the answer? Schuerholz is a shrewd GM, are you denying that?

The market won't be flooded with Smoltz or even Hudson-level starters. I promise.

And I bet you would've said the same thing about Kenny Williams before he made the Vazquez trade or decided to sign both Garland and Contreras.

As A Cardinals fan I might be willing to offer Edmonds for Jones straight up :)Edmonds could lead off for the Baves with his blinding, belly shirt speed

just my thought - Morgan Ensberg and Willie Tavaras for Jones and some cash. Chipper can then be moved to 1st.

hey Darin thats a pretty good trade, because Taveras can leadoff and Ensberg can take Andruw Jones spot in the batting order

"Schuerholz is a shrewd GM, are you denying that?"

Meh. What are we talking about here? Matt Diaz? Ken Ray? Peter Moylan?

I'm sorry, but Johnny has a 34-yo Larry Jones and trades his stud third base prospect for an in-decline SS? You don't think he's in-decline? Wait a few months.

"Uh yeah, correction, that Marte-Renteria swap worked in the favor of the Braves"

I understand he's trying to win this year, but couldn't Wilson Betemit play SS effectively enough? YES! Therefore, IMO, it's a STUPID TRADE. It's a stupid trade because John-boy misallocated his resources.

And please, can we calm down on Joey Gathright? His speed is his ONLY tool. His OB skills are okay, but eventually, pitchers are going to realize he's a singles hitter and pitch to him. Jesus, he's a corner outfielder, but Jose Reyes hits for more power!

Let's see... what other misconceptions can I slay? Ah, yes:

"Gathright, 24, is perhaps the fastest player in the major leagues"
No, he isn't. No perhaps is necessary. Someone named Jose Reyes is. Fastest man to first base in the baseball.

"Oh boy, sounds great. His ceiling is Tom Goodwin."
Exactly. The Braves could use a Chris Young type from the D-Backs.

I don't really have time to cover Schuerholz's entire history. But he's been a great GM for the most part:

McGriff trade
Sheffield trade
Otis Nixon trade
Kerry Ligtenberg
Terry Pendleton, Galarraga signings
Maddux signing

I am not so sure Andy Marte is MLB ready this year, even if he has had a great June. The Braves have obviously shown a willingness to use kids to try to win when it makes sense.

Why is everyone preaching about Joey Gathright not being good? Who said he was? Yes, we all get that his asset is speed. You are not educating anyone.

By the way, what was Reyes's time for the 60 yard dash? Baseball America called Gathright the fastest in baseball last year.

"I don't really have time to cover Schuerholz's entire history. But he's been a great GM for the most part"
I'm crazy, but i'm neither stupid nor ignorant. I know John's a great GM. My point is that he's had a bad season and made mistakes in the past. He's not some infallible God. He's slightly overrated, IMO, but still a Top 3 GM.

"By the way, what was Reyes's time for the 60 yard dash?"
Not sure.

But, the fact remains, he's faster than Carl Crawford and Gathright to first. Now, granted, we're splitting hairs. It's a matter of less than a tenth of a second, IIRC.

Speed declines with age, so power potential is of HUGE importance when talking about these guys. Gathright has none, while Crawford and Reyes do.

Yeah I don't disagree, I don't think anyone was comparing Gathright to Crawford or Reyes.

And yeah, I pretty much feel the same about Schuerholz. As a Cubs fan, I hate him.


I like the Astros trade, but then again, I'm a Braves fan. From the Astros angle, they'd be giving up in an area of weakness to improve an area of weakness. They'd be out a leadoff type and a power hitter and they'd gain OF defense and power. Seems like a wash for the Astros, but great for the Braves. Change Ensberg to Lidge and a prospect and it's probably a more sensible deal.

It seems the Angels could put together a decent package for them... Shields/Donnelly. Morales and Figgins for Andruw.

I've thought for a while that Andruw was the guy to trade, because it seems like he'd get the most in return.

The Astros would be giving up a sub in Tavaras, as Burke is now the starting CF, and if Jones went to Houston, Burke would switch to a corner spot, move Berkman back to 1st (protect his knees) and Lamb would move from 1st to 3rd to replace Ensberg, who hasn't actually hit the ball since some time back in late April or early May.

The problem with giving up Lidge is the entire Astros bullpen is a wash right now, so they can't afford to trade off Lidge, even if he is sucking a big one.

HAHA, I love how WMK51 said he MIGHT BE WILLING to trade jim edmonds straight up for jones. LMAO yeah that is a really even trade, the second best power hitter last year that is 29 for a beat up 36 year old totaly PRICK. And yeah he is the biggest prick in baseball, while in college a few years ago I had a job at a airport delivering shit, and during the summer we would get umpire equipment from there house of take it to there house and all three umps we picked stuff up from all three said jim edmonds is the biggest prick in baseball.

Damn that was really horribly written by my part,lol. Hard to watch tv, have a conversation, and type at the same time. I blame it on the woman talking to me while im watching tv and typing.

Women will do that

The surreality of the above posts cannot be overstated.

Having said that, the Cardinals could really use Andruw Jones. Maybe the Braves could get Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes for him.

*rimshot*

It would be a little weird to trade Wainright back to the braves since he was part of the JD Drew deal. Just my thought.

Even though I don't think that Andruw will be traded because the Braves will almost certainly be in contention by next year. If they do I think that the White Sox are the best suitor. Anderson is not producing in center and Kenny Williams certainly has the mlb ready prospects to aquire Andruw.

I also assume that the Braves would not have tried to aquire Joey Gathright. If that was a pre-curser to Jones being traded and Jones' trading would have admitted defeat, then why would they need a lead-off hitter? For all of you non-braves fans, we have a CF named Ryan Langerhans who has been splitting time in left with Matt Diaz so I don't know why we would aquire a CF. Langerhans is a gold glove quality player with a great arm who is servicable offensively. It doesn't make sense.

"It would be a little weird to trade Wainright back to the braves since he was part of the JD Drew deal. Just my thought."

Yep. Hence the *rimshot*.

"It doesn't make sense."

Trading away Marte didn't make sense, either. Betemit is a better player than Renteria and the money saved might have been used for bullpen help.

And yes, Langerhans is a fine CF, and a much better player than Joey Gathright. Langerhans' limited power potential basically restricts his future to CF. As a corner, he's Endy Chavez with slightly more upside.

I think Renteria is a very good hitter, make a trade for Giles, in return get some major bullpen help.Betemit can play second. He's already started a couple of games at 2nd this season.

These are Giles numbers past 3 years...2004-.311/.378/.443
2005-.291/.365/.461
2006-.239/.324/.349(currently)(o yeah a measely 7 stolen bases)

i think those numbers speak for themselves

Betemit proved himself a hitter last season with a .305/.359/.425,(115 games) i mean he is still young. 26 years young.

as for a leadoff hitter put Renteria there

Let me say that Andruw Jones should not be traded, he is hitting for a much higher average(a little over 20 points than last year,2005-.263 - 2006-.285) and almost a 40 homerun pace, i'd rather have a guy who does that then a guy who hits 50 homeruns and a .260 average(last year)

He is learning to hit with average, and the homeruns will be there(not 50 every year though)

TheRealErik what you said sounds fairly reasonable. Even though I dont think jones will be traded, I think hudson or smoltz will go before him. Plus I think the braves would be stupid to trade jones, he is only 29 and I think he is slowly getting a better avg and will always be one of the best CF on defense.If I were the braves GM there would be very few players I would give him up for, Jason Bay or carl crawford to name a few.

I like the Astros deal suggestion, but since Andruw is soon to be in his walk-away year of his contract, considering the Astros past history with that, they'd probably want a little more, maybe a 3rd or 4th reliever or a good closer prospect.

Ensberg's ceiling is high, so I doubt the Astros would move him without a stupendous return. Maybe Tavares, Wilson or Lane, and a high pitching prospect (Nieves/Hirsh?) for Jones would fly.

Another team that could be interested is the White Sox, since Anderson is still struggling in CF and Dye's due a new (not cheap) contract after this season.

"If I were the braves GM there would be very few players I would give him up for, Jason Bay or carl crawford to name a few."

If you were the Braves GM and could unload Andruw Jones and his salary to the Pirates or Devil Rays for Bay or Crawford you could be the best GM in the history of man kind. Jones is a great player, but I think you're over valuing him just a bit.

"Ensberg's ceiling is high, so I doubt the Astros would move him without a stupendous return"

This is assuming he ever comes close to reaching his potential. His monthly averages have fallen drastically each month, from the mid .300s in April, to .216 in May, to .160 in June. The Astros are in a win now mode, with Pettite and Clemens basically in their last year of a contract and they have a huge payroll (3rd highest I think), so if they have to get rid of a huge slumping 3b and their sub outfielder for Jones it would be a smart move for both teams. Getting anyone to take Lane would be a miracle. He's worthless. Wilson's ok, but I think with the position the Braves are in, they would want someone younger, someone they'd have control over for a few years, and a little more upside.

Why all the hatred for the Braves? Is it because they have kicked the Mets butt for 15 years? Because they are struggling so far this year, hey the won the division last year with 18 rookies and still beat out the Mets. Give credit where credit is do. I give the Mets credit for going outside their organization to get a bunch of "superstars" to get them past the Braves finally!! Right now the Mets are the best team in baseball. But, over fifteen years is along time to be dominating a division. Again, give credit where credit is due.

What the hell are you talking about hatred for the braves? And no the mets arent the best team right now, the tigers and white sox are.

i agree with NLEast, i think the Braves are being hated its because they have won the division for 14 straight years, and finally they fall to the Mets. Any team with a huge budget(Mets, Yankees, Red Sox) can get big names, however a team like the Braves never had a big budget, however they still won.That comes with good personnal and GM.

"This is assuming Ensberg ever comes close to reaching his potential. His monthly averages have fallen drastically each month, from the mid .300s in April, to .216 in May, to .160 in June. The Astros are in a win now mode, with Pettite and Clemens basically in their last year of a contract and they have a huge payroll (3rd highest I think), so if they have to get rid of a huge slumping 3b and their sub outfielder for Jones it would be a smart move for both teams. Getting anyone to take Lane would be a miracle. He's worthless. Wilson's ok, but I think with the position the Braves are in, they would want someone younger, someone they'd have control over for a few years, and a little more upside."

If the Braves want to dump Jones' salary for the next year and a half, they need to get lesser value in return.

Give Ensberg a break - he's carried a shoulder injury for a month, and his numbers continue to improve each season.

The Astros may be in a "win now" mode this year, but at the end of the season, with Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio and quite possibly Pettitte retire, that will change. Wilson won't be renewed either. I still doubt that Ensberg will be moved, and the team will rebuild next year with a core of Ensberg, Berkman and Oswalt.

Maybe Luke Scott would interest the Braves, he's tearing up AAA, but he never was a name prospect. Jason Lane's career to this point is similar to Berkman's but he's not getting enough playing time. He'll probably develop into a decent player, but maybe on another team.

The biggest problem with the Astros is the constant sitting and shuttling around of the younger players. Garner needs to give these guys a permanent position to help them develop, or next season they'll be forced to with a much worse team.

"If the Braves want to dump Jones' salary for the next year and a half, they need to get lesser value in return."

Yeah, that's why I originally said the Braves would have to send some cash in the deal.

"Give Ensberg a break - he's carried a shoulder injury for a month, and his numbers continue to improve each season."

I don't care. He's making around $3-$4mil this year and he should not be playing. He is getting worse not better. And his number's have not gotten better they peak and valley. He's good one year, next year he's hurt, He's good the next year and then the next year he's hurt. There's a trend here, and the Astros have to do something. If he really is hurt, they HAVE to put him on the DL and get someone in there that is going to help. I don't think he'll get traded, I just put that scenario out there.

"Maybe Luke Scott would interest the Braves...."

28yr old outfielders who haven't been able to hack it in the majors usually don't interest anyone.

"Jason Lane's career to this point is similar to Berkman's but he's not getting enough playing time."

What in the world are you talking about? Lane and Berkman have not had similar careers. They are the same age and both played college baseball, but Berkman was a full time player 5 YEARS ahead of Lane. Berkman in his second full year batted .331 with a 1.051 OPS, Lane is currently batting .207 with a .742 OPS, horrible. Lane had his chance and the Astros cannot afford to keep running him out onto the field on an everyday basis. He could end up becoming a decent player but at 30, I think he's run his course with the Stros, time to move on. If anything, the dude's closer to Richard Hidalgo than Berkman. And we all know where Hidalgo is now.....actually we don't.

The Braves can't afford to resign Andruw after his contract ends in 2007. However, I wouldn't throw in the towel for this season just yet. Sure, the NL East goes to the Mets, but the wildcard is still within reach. Teams in front of Atlanta right now like the Reds, Brewers, D'backs, Padres, Astros, Rockies, ect... will soon fade away. Let's not predict anything at the all star break, only that the Mets will win the NL East. I wouldn't be surprised if the Braves trade Andruw after the season, like at the winter meetings. The Braves starting rotation is pretty much set for next season, Hudson, Smoltz, Davies, Ramirez, Chuck James. I think what the Braves need is a leadoff hitter, and maybe even moving Wilson Betemit to 1B and trading LaRoche.

I love how everyone keeps saying the reds will fade away yet they have as good if not better than any offense in the NL.

the Reds, yeah, they do have a great offense, but they have one pitcher that is really good, the rest, well........anyway, they will, just like the Braves need to make a deal to improve their pitching staff.

They have two, in Harang and Arroyo.

I think the Braves should trade Marcus Giles, and Adam LaRoache, and Chris Reitsma. I think Marcus is a very good hitter, who if he wasn't hitting leadoff would have better stats. Like, .290 8-10 hrs, 35-45 rbi kinda guy. Adam LaRoache has all the potential in the world, but he seems to have put alot of pressure on himself playing for the Braves. If he went some where else, I think he would turn it around. Chris Reitsma, I think he would be a better starter than reliever, and in a new atmosphere, would thrive. Reitsma to the Reds for one of their abundance of outfielders, maybe? Marcus Giles, Adam LaRoache to the Marlins for the DTrain, and a couple of minor leaguers or even Miguel Cabrera? If Miguel Cabrera is traded with DTrain the Braves would have to part with a couple more of their high profile minor leaguers, but it could be possible. What do you think?

True to the Harang and Arroyo comment, but aren't they having career years? Not sure, just asking.

One last thing, may God be with Peter Gammons, and his family. Can't wait to hear he is just fine. A friend of mine's mom died a few years ago because of an aneurism, she was just 46 years old. However, the last I heard Peter is in good condition.

Arroyo, probably, but he is a #3 type guy. Harang I think is legit.

"....Marcus Giles, Adam LaRoache to the Marlins for the DTrain...."

hahahahahahaha. 2 crappy players for Willis, should I be inserting a Pujols trade joke here?

Marcus Giles has been declining the last 3 years in just about ever category. He's having a horrible season and doesn't look to be turning it around, batting .216 in his last 10 games. Ouch. LaRoche has been servicable but he's a bench player at best.

First off. Ryan Langerhans didnt prove himself to be an everyday player starting in left field at the first of the year. He will not be moved over to center.
Second. Yes Marcus Giles needs to be traded, along with Thompson, and maybe LaRoche.
Third-When Reitsma comes back I was reading the other day on the Braves website. He might be given a start or two to see how it works out.
Forth-Wilson Betemit needs to play second or move to the outfield. You will not see him play first. Bobby dosent like that idea
Fifth-Andruw will be dealt at the end of the season. Smoltz will not probably be back either.
Sixth-Dtrain will not come to Atlanta right know because both teams are in the NL East and that just usually happen. I would like to see Cabrera in a Braves Uniform.
Seveth-Barry Zito is on the trade block and could end up in Atlanta and be reunited with Hudson before seasons end.
Eighth-even though it probably is the race for the NL East is not over. The Mets could collapse and probably will. They have lost 4 straight as of tonight. But the Braves will be back next year if they dont win this year.

What the lineup could look like next year.

C-Mccann
1B-C. Jones, Thorman, or Laroche
2B-Betemit
SS-Renturia or the Pena kid(leadoff hitter)
3rd-Miguel Cabrera, Renturia could be moved, or probably Jones
LF-Thorman, Diaz, Langerhans
CF-Vernon Wells(FA at end of the season but will probably end up with one of the teams we hate like the METS)
RF-Francouer

SP
Hudson
Smoltz if he returns
Hampton or Rameriz or possibly Zito
Davies
James

As for the bullepen I have no club

Bravesfan99 i dont understand how will they get Miguel Cabrera, as you say. I mean is he a free agent at the end of the season? or on the trade block? or what?? I know that Vernon is a free agent at the end of the season, possibly a Andruw-Vernon swap. Barry Zito or Willis would help this staff, trade for Giles, Thompson, or Reitsma.

Vernon Wells isn't a FA until 2008 and is set to make a whopping $5.6mil next year. Why in the world would the Blue Jays trade him to the Braves for Jones?

I'm pretty sure neither Florida or Oakland want anything to do with Giles, Thompson or Reitsma, much less give up their best pitchers for these players.

The Braves announcers said the other night during the game with the Jays that Wells will be a FA at seasons end. Or it could be that there is an option that needs to be picked up. But as far as I know he is going to be a FA.

Nah it's what Darin said. Signed a five-year, $14.7MM deal that pays $5.6MM in '07 to finish it off.

Being a Braves fan I too thought John would give Betemit a chance at SS, but gave away our next third baseman to be for a SS that may have a few good years left. John could have saved money that he rarely likes to spend and should have used on better relievers/a closer. Otherwise I hope Jones sticks around and we pick up Crawford for leadoff, even Marcus himself has said he hates being in the 1 hole.

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