Braves Sign Eric Hinske

The Braves officially signed first baseman/outfielder Eric Hinske to a one-year worth about $1MM.  Hinske can earn another $500K in incentives.  Scott Miller of CBSSports.com broke the story a week ago, and David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution followed with contract details.

Hinske, the 2002 Rookie Of The Year, hit .242/.348/.432 in 224 plate appearances with the Pirates and Yankees last season.  The Braves were looking to add a pinch-hitter to complete their winter moves from a lineup standpoint, and Hinske's signing fits the bill.  He fares well against right-handed pitching (.804 career OPS) and can play first, third and both corner outfield positions.  Also, as Miller's story noted, Hinske is "something of a good-luck charm," having played in the last three World Series.  So, in the words of Bill Murray, he's got that goin' for him.   

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


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286 Comments on "Braves Sign Eric Hinske"


kcjones21
5 years 7 months ago

he’s turning into the ultimate journeyman. where he goes, people win. just like robert horry. haha

coolstorybro222
5 years 7 months ago

yeah, but at least Hinske is better than Horry

Silent Gonzalez
5 years 7 months ago

Good Signin, He will atleast have 1 old friend in Melky Cabrera

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

One more bench upgrade Hendry ignores in his eternal search for more relievers

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

What do the Cubs need bench help for? This is the year that Soriano and A-Ram play 150+ games and Fukudome learns to hit hit lefties. And where’s the risk of signing a FA middle reliever? Isn’t that the best gamble in baseball?

Seriously though, it’s frustrating. The Cubs of the last 2-3 years must be the most myopic team in sports: Jim Hendry = Mr. Magoo.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

Lol! Love the new icon man.

But I’m hoping my previous post gets cleared by the mods (come on mods, its a classic post! You know it is 😀 ) It is currently in their hands because of the use of multiple links (image files comparing a photo of Hendry to, well hopefully you’ll see… The likeness is uncanny!) It will give us a better comparison of Hendry then Mr. Magoo :)

Maybe I can sneak one in here though just in case they decide against allowing it.

“Hey, I’ll tell you what. You can get a good look at a butcher’s (rear) by sticking your head up there. But, wouldn’t you rather take his word for it? No, I mean is, you can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a butcher’s (rear)… No, wait. It’s gotta be your bull… I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s (rear), but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it.”

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

Good call on the Farley resemblance! Maybe this quote is appropriate…”Forget it, I quit, I can’t do this anymore, man. My head’s about to explode. My whole life sucks. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know where I’m going…” Had to slap the Cubby hat on Mr. Magoo…the “vision” between he and Hendry also bears an uncanny resemblance! I do like that Frank Chance photograph though…it’s a classic but the small size gave it no justice. It also sadly depicts one of the last players to play on the Cubs last championship team!

Some good news for Cub fans…Andre Dawson made the HOF today. Too bad on Bert Blyeleven though…shoulda made it too.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

“Forget it, I quit, I can’t do this anymore, man. My head’s about to explode. My whole life sucks. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know where I’m going…”

perfect!

Would also nominate
“we’re gonna be doing lots of dumb stuff together. Wait ’til Christmas!”

Is good news on the Dawson front, well deserved. Does suck for Bert and Alomar too – both so close. Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, Barry Larkin… there are a bunch of guys that I cant believe are on the outside looking in at Jim Rice :/

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

I hope “Wait ’til Christmas!” meant this Christmas and not 11-12 months from now. I can’t take another year of dumb stuff!

I can’t argue on any of those choices for HOF. Hopefully they’ll be getting in soon.

5 years 7 months ago

Awesome. Glad to see the Braves putting that Javier Vazquez money to good use. Troy Glaus + Erin Hinske + Melky Crabera = Multiple World Series titles! Thank you Frank Wren!

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

There needs to be a specific font type used to indicate sarcasm. I am trying to decide if thats the case here.

5 years 7 months ago

It was most definitely sarcasm. Most Braves fans are ready to hang Frank Wren from the tallest tree in Atlanta.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

Haha, who have you been talking to? All the negative nancies and chicken littles?

5 years 7 months ago

You say that now. When we finish in third, maybe fourth place this year tell me how those words taste.

5 years 7 months ago

“we”

meanwhile it’s a Red Sox logo as his twitter background.

stay classy BraveSox fan.

5 years 7 months ago

Classy? When did class involve your opinion of a situation? Would you rather I just blindly agree with every move management makes? Forgive me for NOT being a “communist fan”.

Oh and stalk much?

5 years 7 months ago

ha ha ha, calm down fella.

you don’t have to agree with every move management makes. that’s fine.

but i talk to plenty of Braves fans and nobody has expressed that they would like to “hang Frank Wren from the tallest tree in Atlanta.”

don’t blindly lump every Braves fan in with your opinion of the situation.

5 years 7 months ago

Apparently you aren’t talking to the ones in Georgia, which is where I live. Everyone I’ve spoken with has been completely disgusted with Wren.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

This guy has talked to everyone in Georga or didn’t pay attention in statistics class.

Take your pick.

5 years 7 months ago

Actually you’re just blinded by your own ignorance. Even David O’Brien hated the Vazquez and Glaus deals. And AJC writer Mark Bradley? He has HEAVILY criticized Wren. Try getting out of your bunker before feeling that your opinion is so entitled.

theendz
5 years 7 months ago

Wow so have you talked people in Georgia or just read somebody elses opinon in the AJC?

jurrjensurgeon
5 years 7 months ago

Wren was responsible for bringing over Jurrjens and Gorkys (which got us McClouth) for next to nothing, got us a top pitching prospect, a solid lefty reliever, and a solid outfielder for Vazquez and saved a ton of money which we will need next year when Jurrjens, Escobar, McCann are all due raises. He is looking towards the future, I loved Vazquez too but he is coming off a career year and we have 5 solid starters without him and I would much rather have money to lock up our young guys. Glaus for cheap is a solid signing. The Braves simply do not have the revenue to throw crazy amounts of money out there for everyone like the Yankees and Red Sox. Dave O’Brien and Mark Bradley talk out of their ass most of the time, and fans who actually realize what the braves have to spend and don’t want to salvage everything for one year know that Wren has been solid as hell with what he has to work with.

5 years 7 months ago

BINGO!

Thank you for typing this out and saving me the trouble of schooling that idiot. This offseason has really separated the smart braves fans from the dumb ones.

wright_is_my_boy
5 years 7 months ago

wait…. there are smart braves fans? lol…

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

From David O’Brien’s blog post right after the Vazquez trade:

“One knee-jerk reaction over the Vazquez trade was this: “How does a team help itself by trading 15 wins (Vazquez) for 13 homers (Cabrera)?” But that was both an oversimplification and a mischaracterization of the trade.”

“Because I can tell you, a lot of players and agents that I talk to seem to go out of their way to say he’s done a good job with the resources he has to work with, and that he’s been especially adept at building a pitching staff.”

Yeah, it seems like DOB wants to shoot Wren RIGHT IN THE FACE!

“…but am I right in perceiving that the majority think he’s done a solid overall job? Yes? No?”

And after question was posed, the blog commenters were soo overly possitive one poster even accused O’Brien of deleting negative comments. It was THAT possitive.

Comon, Mark Bradley? That dude would complain if Wren traded JoJo Reyes for Ryan Braun saying that we gave up on Reyes too soon. He gets people to read his stuff because he panders to your type of croud.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

A lot of people get mad when the player that preformed best is traded to fill out the roster. It was needed, despite what many say.

DaneThull
5 years 7 months ago

I never knew getting rid of the best pitcher was the answer of filling out a roster.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

The Braves didn’t. They sold high on the best performer. I’d say Jair, Hanson, and Huddy are all ahead of Javier. Since Javier is a .500 pitcher why not throw Lowe in there. Lowe hasn’t had less than 12 wins each season since he’s been a regular.

DaneThull
5 years 7 months ago

I never knew getting rid of the best pitcher was the answer of filling out a roster.

jonathan180iq
5 years 7 months ago

Not to beat a dead horse, but I’m from GA and think is Wren a fine GM. You can see his Baltimore influence in his moves based on the players he chooses. He fills spots with players that are at least adequate at those spots, although they are sometimes one dimensional. Still, he gets the job done, brings in big-name players (albeit older) and is consistently fielding a better team than the previous year. And ultimately that is what is important.

Braves fans are spoiled in that we think we can turn around each off season and field a WS contender like we did in the past. Those days are gone. And, personally, I think we’re better for it. Now we actually have to compete and scratch and claw our way into contention. It makes for a much better story at the end of the year.

As long as we are upgrading a position over the previous year, we are becoming a better team, no matter how small the acqusition.

5 years 7 months ago

When you get to 7th grade that will all change!

the_barber
5 years 7 months ago

Wren’s made some shrewd moves in the past, especially given his constraints. The Infante, Jurrjens, and Vasquez, and McLouth acquisitions are examples of his good work. Wagner and Saito will steady what was at times a shaky back end of the pen LY. You’ll eat some words when Vizcaino comes up, and Cabrera has upside value as well. Don’t forget Dunn, who’s expected to be a go to lefty this year. Hang Wren? Not

HTF
5 years 7 months ago

LOL @ calling him a stalker when he puts his link as his Twitter page. You don’t have to sign in with your Twitter account genius. Oh and Frank Wren is one of the best GMs in the game. He can’t help that he works with a mediocre payroll that keeps getting worse.

5 years 7 months ago

…and when we finish in first you’ll change your tune to “I always loved Frank Wren!”

coolstorybro222
5 years 7 months ago

LOL Theo Epstein did a epic fail trying to pass off Lowell as healthy to the Rangers. At least Wren doesn’t do that, and besides Epstien just spends all the money in the world and his team loses in the first round last year? I mean that is hilarous

5 years 7 months ago

really? red sox won in 04 and 07 and almost always beat out the angels in the first round….how many ws championships do the braves have in the past decade?

5 years 7 months ago

Braves= more bang for the buck. Give us a Sox/Yanks payroll and we’d be WS contenders every damn year too.

5 years 7 months ago

Only the ignorant ones!
NO sarcasm intended.

trentmcswain
5 years 7 months ago

I know I am.

dan21620
5 years 7 months ago

False. Many Braves fans (heck, a lot of baseball fans in general) understand what Wren is doing and think he has set the Braves up to compete this year and return to a perennial power in the years ahead with the tremendous pitching prospects in the system.

drumzalicious
5 years 7 months ago

I guess you didnt pay attention to the fact that the Braves have around 4-5 of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball and one of them was acquired in that trade that sent a pitcher that had just had a career year to the Yankees for 1 year. Meanwhile the pitcher we got back in the trade will be under team control for the minimum 6 years all while being a stud pitcher.

5 years 7 months ago

A little early to call him a “stud” pitcher. Let’s see how he does against AA or even AAA batters before you start counting the rings…

HansonAce
5 years 7 months ago

Good signing as the bat off the bench and the insurance for Glaus at 1B though his .250 .374 .341 .715 is not that hot though I expect that they would get him for cheap. Is Glaus + Hinske better than Derosa + Nady ? For the money it works with in the budget with some $$ left over for any mid season trades if they don’t produce. Kind of bummed that this is the last move for the off season…

R_y_a_n
5 years 7 months ago

I like, I like Wren. Nice Job here, adds some decent pop to the lineup, and probably more valuable in the NL where he can pinch hit.

Now, hopefully Cox gives up 300-400 PAs.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

Well, this is Wren’s last move? Would like him to sign another player. I guess this will mean that Heyward will be Super 2 eligible.

5 years 7 months ago

If we can hang in the race, no reason to rush up Heyward even if we have some OF struggles.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

No reason to rush Heyward? Who ya gonna throw out there, Melky? We’ll see Heyward in ST and if he is better than Melky, pencil him in. Braves have a great bench and solid players all around. They don’t have speed or pop, but they have ways of getting out of trouble and a GM that will make a trade mid-season to help his team.

JasonHeywardIsGod
5 years 7 months ago

Great signing, now we just need to get that LFer like Uggla or even Jhonny Gomes =). I mean Batting Jhonny Gomes seventh will not hurt us and he has 20-30 hr power, whats not to like as a cheap option, or maybe luke scott. Get something done Wren!

cubsfanraysaddict
5 years 7 months ago

Hinske inspired Longoria to sign his long term contract, perhaps the Braves got him just to room with Heyward on the road when he is called up lol.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

Like it or not we are out of cash. We are right up against the 92M soft ceiling. We could a few more very minor pieces but noone of note.

JasonHeywardIsGod
5 years 7 months ago

We are, is there a link to this or no? if so I hope Jason Heyward crushes in ST cuz I do not want Melky as a starting ofer, honestly Id rather have Hinske starting before Melky, atleast he has some pop.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

David O’Brien and Bowman are saying that Wren told them that we are just about tapped out and no more major moves will be coming, just maybe a few minor ones like this Hinske signing.

Wren also hinted at the Glaus presser today that Heyward will be given every opportunity to win RF out of ST this year.

JasonHeywardIsGod
5 years 7 months ago

Ahh alright, thats sortve a buzzkill, I wanted a lfer with like 25 hr power but oh well, hopefully Heyward does mash then!

BravesFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

Seems like the Braves are doing all they can to spin everything to keep the fans coming out the ballpark.

Now that they didn’t sign anyone of significance for the offense over the winter (gee, Glaus?), they now need to hype Heyward? He is now THE BIG FIX instead of bringing in some big names like Uggla? Is this going to come back to bite them? I think Heyward will work out great whether it’s now or later, but wow, way to go back on playing it safe with him.

I am very concerned about this ball club because if Glaus and Chipper go down or if either one does not perform like they need to (not just expected to), the Braves are going to struggle. Everyone can say how we finished the second half of last year but it may not happen again.

I would rather that the Braves win more than 85-88 games the way the Braves are currently constructed. They may not make the playoffs if they do that. I’d rather see them win 90+ and beat out everyone else and make it to the World Series. Can they beat the Phillies or the Cardinals? Pretty unlikely if you ask me, even with a healthy Chipper and Glaus.

What about this Hinske? Gee, what an off season. Very disappointing! Hope it all works out in the end but we may be looking at 2011 for a more competitive year. Yeah, I know, there’s always next year…

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

We did struggle against the Phillies last year but handled the Cardinals easily, once you get past Pujols and Holliday they’re rosters not that impressive.

CU28Trav
5 years 7 months ago

We were 10-8 vs Philly last year, 4-2 vs the Cards. I’d hardly call that struggling with either!

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

maybe so but it seemed like we were 8-2 in the first 10 and 2-6 in the last 8. i watched the whole year and we did struggle against them toward the end.

drumzalicious
5 years 7 months ago

I promise you Cabrera will not be starting in the OF. He will be traded right after Heyward is named the starting RF’er.

5 years 7 months ago

We’d be selling low on him. The time to sell is now.

AaronWBraves
5 years 7 months ago

I think we keep him at least till the trade deadline because he can be a great 4th outfielder to spell all three spots. I dont think we trade him unless we decide to get another OF. Also for the future we are gonna have to decide what we do with Schafer.

flemmins
5 years 7 months ago

I thought we had close to 9 million before these 2 signings.

atlbraves312
5 years 7 months ago

Me too! What happened to our 8 MILLION DOLLARS $$$????? Did Wren spent it on something stupid or this guy?

AirAttack714
5 years 7 months ago

Johnny Gomes would be a good fit but if they still have some cash left shouldn’t they go after somebody like Johnny Damon because he is more complete in the fact he could leadoff while providing some defense if you could live with that 3rd grader arm in LF but Hinske is a solid role player.

sincityyanks
5 years 7 months ago

provide some terrible defense

JasonHeywardIsGod
5 years 7 months ago

Johnny Damon provides NOTHING in defense, he has a noodle arm and had like a -11 uzr last year if i recall, he’s terrible on defense, Hinske is probably better

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

It was a long shot getting Damon before this signing and now with Wren basically saying we’re done we’d be lucky to even get Gomes.

sincityyanks
5 years 7 months ago

your so right

Decemberist
5 years 7 months ago

Jonny Gomes or Jhonny Peralta? I’ll assume Gomes since he is the FA.

JasonHeywardIsGod
5 years 7 months ago

My bad on spelling but I meant Gomes because Peralta has never played the OF if I recall

n0s
5 years 7 months ago

I guess the Braves are heading to the World Series this year. He went to the Sawx, they won it all, he went to the Rays, they made it to the World Series, he went to the Yanks, they won it all. This guy walks on four leaf clovers.

sincityyanks
5 years 7 months ago

good signing i will miss him warming that yankee bench

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

Our bench before this signing was very righy heavy so I like this as it concerns balence.

He will get a ton of PA as Bobby likes to use just one designated PH thoughout the year.

Looks like we are done, and I have to say I really like the talent and depth of this team.

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

I bet they could still squeeze in Gomes if they wanted to, then I would be satisfied.

ChrisCa$h
5 years 7 months ago

Kind of wanted the Yankees to sign hinske, great ball player, I think he could thrive with regular playing time

Deanezag
5 years 7 months ago

He cant hit LHP, therefore he was never going to ‘thrive’ as an everyday player. He had a very good rookie year, then the league caught up to him.
He did have a very good year in TB the other year as well.

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

He hits LHP just as good as he hits RHP just with less power.

Deanezag
5 years 7 months ago

Once again, NO he doesnt. He doesnt hit for power/average/ or get on base v LHP

.221/.296/.370 OPS .666 v LHP
.263/.347/.456 OPS .804 v RHP

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

well in ’09

.242/.349/.779 v RHP
.244/.347/.786 v LHP

I know it was just 1yr but don’t tell me he can’t handle LHP at all. And if he is gonna be used primarily as a pinch hitter he will primarily be facing RHP anyway. He hit 7 hrs in 84 ABs for you guys last year. Averaged out over a whole season that’s more power than anyone on the Braves.

Deanezag
5 years 7 months ago

2004: 168 AB .268/.321/.736
2005: 88 AB .170/.215/.545 v LHP
2006: 48 AB .167/.286/.577 v LHP
2007: Only ~20 AB
2008: 39 AB .143/.263/.488 v LHP
2009: 41 AB .244/.347/.786 v LHP

Career: 671 AB .221/.296/.370 OPS .666 v LHP

That’s why you dont go by small sample sizes.

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

Did you ignore where I said he’s probably not gonna face that much LHP. Jesus dude he’s a nobody bench player, it’s just a depth move. It’s not like the future of the Braves rests on Hinske’s shoulders, I mean look he’s never had more than 200 ABs in a season. Maybe his whole career isn’t a big enough sample size. He provides Atlanta with what they didn’t have last year. POWER off the bench. I think your just mad the Yanks didn’t bring him back.

Deanezag
5 years 7 months ago

No I didnt ignore that, I also read “I know it was just 1yr but don’t tell me he can’t handle LHP at all” And the numbers prove he cannot hit LHP, he doesnt get 200 AB v LHP because his managers know that he cannot hit LHP

Oh yeah, Yankees are crying they didnt bring him back, such a loss; he would probably PH for only 1 player on the team, there will be multiple bench options available before ST.

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

I never said the Yankees are crying I said you are. You should be happy the Braves signed him since he’s sooo bad it makes the Braves a worse team to have him on the bench for depth right?

TheBunk
5 years 7 months ago

I like the value from signings like this and glaus but if this is all they are going to do with the money saved from vasquez, I would be mega peeved if I were a braves fan.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

No we added Hudson, Melky, Vizcaino, and Dunn with the Vaz trade.

I’m not peeved at all. We have a budget and Wren is getting the most talent he can while working under his payroll constraints.

Will32
5 years 7 months ago

Good signing by the Braves. Ive always liked Hinske.

redsox4120
5 years 7 months ago

Hinske’s last 3 years:

-Red Sox 2007–World Series
-Tampa Bay Rays 2008–World Series
-New York Yankees 2009–World Series(he wasn’t on the active roster, but you get the idea.)

Just a little coincidental.

CosaOne
5 years 7 months ago

He was on the roster and pinch hit in one of the games in Citizens Bank

sincityyanks
5 years 7 months ago

:(

kcjones21
5 years 7 months ago

why are there so many negative posts for this signing??? its bench spot filled by a very versatile player, who is a great clubhouse guy and hard worker. wren didnt sign him to play everyday, he just bolstered your bench. if wren signed derosa and nady, i feel you same people would be complaining about that as well.

5 years 7 months ago

Oh I’m sorry. Does trading Javier Vazquez to bring in Melky Cabrera, Troy Glaus and Erick Hinske excite you? Do you HONESTLY think it makes the Braves a better team? Absolutely not.

kcjones21
5 years 7 months ago

i hate the fact that they traded javy to the yankees, im a sox fan. but i am not talking about that trade. its about signing hinske. a bench player. a GOOD bench player at that. for what he will be used for, it will be an upgrade for this team.

bbxxj
5 years 7 months ago

Again, again, again, forgetting about a one Mr. Tim Hudson.

Oh how quickly everyone latches onto one career year and forgets who the better pitcher is.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

I agree, but you have to understand that the Braves could have kept Javier and Huddy and used KK in the BP. The Braves could have signed Glaus and used Valdez instead of Saito. Braves would have the best rotation by far. Thus the true match-up is Javier against Saito + Melky + Dunn + Hinske + all other back-ups + money + great prospect+ happy KK + not having to have M. Jones and Valdez at major spots + multiple years for Melky, Dunn, and Vicaino. What’s better, best Rotation in the Majors or having a more full team.

coolstorybro222
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah, but Vaquez is inconsistant. I mean yeah we are betting our luck on Lowe to have a good second year, but we don’t know if Vaquez would put up the same numbers he did with the braves.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 7 months ago

Well, I was kind of hoping that post would seem a little lopsided. Anywho, KK had a 3.40 something ERA after the 1st two months. Lowe has fixed his machanics, though we don’t need him to completely turn around for us to do well. We have Huddy to prove he’s an ace. Also, I don’t think JJ and Hanson will stop performing either. Our whole concern about pitching is stupid. We need either a lead-off guy or a power guy. I’d have loved to sign Pods or Damon to kill two birds with 1 stone. Defense can’t be as bad as old man garret.

5 years 7 months ago

If you think Vasquez’ was dealt to “bring in Melky Cabrera” and a pair of FA corner IF for around $5m, you’ve proven your sense. Cabrera was not the main piece of the Vasquez deal.

drumzalicious
5 years 7 months ago

you must hold harold reynolds opinion in high regard

Slugger23
5 years 7 months ago

Wow glad I stayed up 5 more minutes to hear this…Great signing for the Braves,never saw this coming even thought the Braves GM Wren said he was gonna add a pinch hitter.Great day for the Braves.

5 years 7 months ago

Yeah, I’m really loving the versatility of the club. Many players who can play multiple positions. Maybe the past injury woes are in the back of Wren’s mind, but we definitely have insurance this year.

johnsilver
5 years 7 months ago

Hinske is a good sign. About the only place he didn’t hit was in Boston, other than that? He’s a pretty good power source, especially from the LH side.

HansonAce
5 years 7 months ago

IMO FW doesn’t like the value as in money to spend in the current FA options in getting marginal production in return with the risk of age/injury. He can use the extra 4-5M to make a mid season move for a bat if Glaus/Hinske/Injuries fall to produce…Atleast during the season FW will know what needs to be addressed than just signing a expensive FA now and hope they pan out without the ability to make additional moves..