Mailbag: Glavine, Crisp, Livan

Let’s open up the MLBTR mailbag until some new rumors come along.

I won’t necessarily agree with you when you say that Tom Glavine was a bad signing.  By adding Glavine, it gives the Braves three solid options at the top of their rotation. – David

I don’t disagree that Glavine adds depth on a reasonably priced one-year deal.  What changed my opinion of this signing was the loss of the Braves’ 18th overall draft pick in 2008 – to the Mets.

Does it/should it matter that if the Red Sox trade Coco Crisp, there will be zero African American players on the team? – Kevin

Is this accurate?  I haven’t thoroughly combed Boston’s roster.  C.C. Sabathia has expressed concern about this trend across baseball – only 8.5% of Major Leaguers are African American.  Red Sox owner John Henry has acknowledged the team’s obvious past racial intolerance, and said all the right things.  This is a tough issue and I don’t have answers, but let’s not point fingers at the current Red Sox regime either. 

Why don’t the Mets come to their senses and realize that Livan Hernandez is the best option available to them via the free agent market? – Josh

I can almost see Livan being the best available free agent for the Mets, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good idea.  Signing him seems like doing something just to do something.  How much better is Livan than Kevin Mulvey right now?  I would gauge the cost of Joe Blanton or A.J. Burnett but probably wouldn’t dip into the free agent market.

With the looming return of Nick Johnson to the Nationals, the glut of outfielders in Austin Kearns, Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, and Wily Mo Pena, and the contract Dmitri Young signed last summer, who becomes the odd man out? I know Young can play OF, but with the three new acquisitions this past six months does this make Johnson expendable? Is there a matchup between the Nats and Giants for Johnson?

On the surface it appears that the Nats have six players for four spots.  However using Dmitri in left seems kind of crazy to me.  So really I consider it as Dmitri and Johnson battling at first base and Kearns/Dukes/Milledge/Pena fighting for the outfield spots.  I could definitely see injuries/bad Dukes behavior removing this logjam.  But if everyone’s healthy and lawful you have to look to move the more expensive guys. 

Young makes $5MM in ’08, $5MM in ’09, and has a very possible vesting option for ’10 at $6MM.  Johnson makes $5.5MM in ’08 and $5.5MM in ’09 and is talking about being ready for Spring Training after his terrible leg fracture in ’06.  If so, Young becomes a pricey bench player.  Kearns makes $5MM in ’08, $8MM in ’09, and has a $10MM club option for ’10 with a $1MM buyout.

Dmitri has the least trade value, given his age and defensive limitations.  Plus, no one offered much for him at the ’07 deadline.  Johnson is injury-prone but makes for an intriguing buy-low high-OBP candidate.  If the Giants are trying to contend, he’d be a good fit.  Kearns is interesting but needs to rebuild value after an off year.  I think Jim Bowden will play Kearns and Johnson regularly for the first few months of ’08 and trade one of them.

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