Brewers, Braves Pushing For Eric Hinske

TUESDAY, 11:46am: The Brewers made an offer to Hinske, GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Melvin said he also has offers out to Craig Counsell and Chris Capuano.

MONDAY, 11:26am: The Brewers and Braves are making early pushes for outfielder/first baseman Eric Hinske, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo.  On Friday,'s Mark Bowman reported that the Braves made a one-year offer in the $1.5MM range in hopes of retaining Hinske.  Interest is mutual, but Hinske wants a two-year deal.

Hinske, 33, hit .256/.338/.456 with 11 home runs in 320 plate appearances this year.  He logged innings at left field and first base, and has also played right field and third base in his career.  He's a left-handed hitter who has been shielded from southpaws by his managers in recent years.  Given recent contracts given to Geoff Blum and Ross Gload, Hinske has a case for two years.

72 Responses to Brewers, Braves Pushing For Eric Hinske Leave a Reply

  1. $1529282 5 years ago

    He’s a guaranteed ticket to the postseason! He’s worth $20M annually based on that alone!

  2. csg 5 years ago

    good versatile bench player – 2yr/3 mil is a good bargain

  3. I’d be fine with giving him up to Matt Diaz (~$2.5MM) money on a one or two-year deal. He seemed to really enjoy his time in Atlanta, and our fans certainly enjoyed him! He’s a vital part of our bench, Wren doesn’t need to let him slip away.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      I totally agree. He’s a terrific bench player whos actually contributes coming off the bench. Total professional who understands how to win and how to go about it.

  4. BravesRed 5 years ago

    Hinske has earned a 2-year deal. Braves gave David Ross two 2-year deals, so Hinske can get one. GET IT DONE WREN.

  5. erm016 5 years ago

    Give him 2 years. His presence was great.

  6. BG921 5 years ago

    Hinske’s family lives around Milwaukee, so there could be a mutual interest amongst the two. I hope the Braves keep Hinske, but if he wants to go home that will be good too… I think Hinske is in a win-win situation no matter which offer he decides to take.

  7. ATL_Mindset 5 years ago

    His intangibles are worth 2 yrs./ $3 million alone. With so many young guys, team leaders like Hinske are invaluable IMO

  8. worship1 5 years ago

    would not mind having him back but it seems the Braves are making no effort in getting an outfielder that they need more than anything at this time. They dont need to wait to late and let the good ones get away. If prado has to go play 3rd then we are once again with no outfield and the worst outfield in the majors.

    • Um, Wren just fixed our biggest problem at a time when some teams haven’t even been mentioned in any rumors. Slow your roll son, Wren’s doing his job.

      • nm344 5 years ago

        2nd base was your biggest problem?

        • Power bat. Wren’s been after one for his entire tenure as GM, now he’s got a true 30HR threat in the lineup. Acquiring Uggla also let us fill the hole in LF with Prado (although I’d prefer it to be Uggla out there).

          • nm344 5 years ago

            True. At the expense of defense however. It wont be pretty with all those grounders coming at Uggla when Hudson/Lowe are pitching. And how is Prado in LF? Seems like a waste of his skill to stick him out in the easiest defensive position on the diamond.

          • Prado plays/played LF in winter ball every year, so I’d assume he’d be at least average out there, if not better. I am a bit concerned with the infield’s defense, but we haven’t had a player with power like Uggla in several years.

          • I’m concerned with the infield defense as well, but Freeman should save us some runs as he’s beautiful to watch play 1B. After having to see a combo of Glaus/Hinske there for the majority of the 2010 season, I think Freeman is going to be a breath of fresh air defensively.

        • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

          A right-handed power bat was their biggest problem

    • Prado will only be playing 3B if Chipper isn’t ready by opening day or when/if Chipper gets hurt. Prado will probably spend the bulk of 2011 in LF, leaving only CF to be filled. Wren can go with a combo of McLouth/Matt Young, but getting an impact guy via trade isn’t unlikely, especially when you consider they just got Uggla and still have all their main trade chips.

  9. Brad426 5 years ago

    Agreed with everyone saying he deserves a 2 year deal. 2 yrs/$3M seems like a bargain.

  10. worship1 5 years ago

    why does everyone keep listing mather as anything for the braves? The guy is a complete nobody that will be lucky to even make the team.
    As far as our outfield I am trying to be patient but it seems no one is even listing it as a priority. I mean come on, Chipper may come back but he will not play every day. Those days prado will be there. We have to get outfield help. Are we honestly listing Mclouth as our starter when he was sent to the minors last year? geeeez

    • McLouth’s issues were mechanical, he worked on them in the minors then worked with Chipper after coming back up to the majors. He went on a pretty torrid streak after that, hopefully that carries over to the 2011 season. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see us acquire another OF, but Wren generally plays things quietly and you don’t hear about him doing something until it’s almost completed (see: Uggla, Dan). Hinske is a guy that can step into LF and give us some decent production while Chipper is out.

      Mather is listed as a bench player because we’ve got him on a major league contract and he’s out of options. He plays all three outfield spots, 1B, and 3B, which makes him a fit on a Braves team that values versatility. He’s never had much of a shot in the majors, but his MiLB numbers aren’t too shabby. He’s battled some injuries, but with any luck he’ll be a valuable member of our bench.

      • Brad426 5 years ago

        Didn’t know Mather was out of options. That really changes things, I think. If the bench is Ross, Mather, Hinske, and Conrad the last guy has to be someone who can play SS. That leaves Mather as the only guy that can fill in at CF (unless they want to slide Heyward over, I guess). Mather isn’t a defensive gem.

        • With Mather being close to a lock for our bench, I think Conrad gets replaced for someone with more defensive value. Hinske and Mather would be our primary pinch-hitters and back up the corners.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            I wouldn’t mind seeing Diory Hernandez in Conrad’s place. Solid defender that can play 2B, SS, and 3B. No offense, really, but a late inning defensive replacemnet (which I think we all know Conrad is not).

            With the offense seemingly greatly improved I would be okay with having 2 defensive players on the bench.

          • Hernandez’s numbers in the minors actually aren’t all that bad. I could see him having an Infante-like year or two as a utility player.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Can’t do much about Mclouth, since nobody would take his contract after such a bad year. I agree with you on Mather… I see him starting the year in Gwinnett. Capitol Avenue Club is right that the 4th OF needs to be a legit defensive guy that can play all three OF positions, I think. That’s why Hinske is worth 2 years… he adds some depth.

      • He can’t start the year in AAA, he’s out of options. We’d have to pass him through waivers, and someone will probably claim him. Right now I’d say Ross and Mather are locks for our bench, and Hinske is likely to come back. That leaves us two spots: a back-up infielder, and a “true” defensive 4th OF.

    • Mather was likely just a depth signing, but would you really be surprised to see him win a bench job in ST? I mean, it’s not like the Braves have a ton of impact outfield options and Mather does have potential, he just can’t stay healthy.

      The front office doesn’t want McLouth starting in CF next year, but he did hit well since being called back up. Small sample size and I’m not convinced in the least, but he’s basically untradable and there’s not many options on the FA market. Trust me, Wren knows the outfield needs some work. Just not many guys available at this point, at least not many the Braves can afford. Like I said, it will likely take a trade to solidify it, but the Braves made the playoffs with a combination of Hinkse, Melky, Diaz, McLouth, Blanco, and Ankiel last year in CF and LF, so Prado is automatically an upgrade in LF.

    • BravesRed 5 years ago

      And, look who the hitting coach was last year. Terry “Screws everyones swing up” Pendleton. He stopped listening to Pendleton, and McLouth actually started hitting better, because Chipper helped him.

  11. Mather is out of options. He’ll be on on the opening day roster, or he’ll be gone unless the team could sneak him through waivers.

  12. worship1 5 years ago

    mclouth hit 254 after coming back up from the minors.

    • You’re using batting average, which sucks when you use it to value players. How about you look at his .887 OPS in Sept/Oct while he was getting consistent playing time? Not that I expect him to replicate that, but I can very easily see a .780-.800 OPS out of him this year.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Which was lights out compared to BEFORE he went to the minors. Ugh.

  13. worship1 5 years ago

    you are counting on mclouth as the starter ok.
    But what happens when chipper is out? You have to have more than just a 4th outfield guy. You have to have someone who is capable of playing daily. Or else we are stuck like last year. Chipper will have to prove to me and to everyone else that he is back by stepping on that field. I will beleive it when I see it. I think he is questionable. Thus the reason getting Uggla.

    • Eric Hinske posts around a .800 OPS every year. That’s perfectly fine for a replacement player, especially on a team that has pitching like we do. You need to realize that we aren’t the Yankees and we’re operating on a budget. We can’t have a starter sitting on the bench “just in case”. We’re doing the best with what we have to work with. We made the playoffs with Melky, Ankiel, and Conrad starting last year. We’ve upgraded from that already.

  14. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    Frank…just give the man the 2 years that he deserves. It’s not just his pinch-hitting skills that made him valuable this past year. Apparently, he was a great locker room presence. 2 years 3.5 mil sounds about right. We can at least afford that right?

  15. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

    Hinske’s awesome off the bench, he deserves two years. His pinch-hit homerun off Romo in the playoffs was my favorite moment of the postseason.

  16. PookieGonzales 5 years ago

    This is the only way the orials will when the world series anytime soon. Go for it.

  17. BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

    I like what i’ve heard about Matt Young. He is speedy, a pretty good defender, and hit .300 in the AFL or some league.. Not Sure. But i saw he hit .300. And since he is now on the 40 man roster I think McClouth should start on the bench and give Matt Young a start in center. He could even be our leadoff man.

    My ideal opening day lineup-
    3B-Chipper (if we dont put him there hell have a hissy fit)
    CF-Matt Young (if he can provide decent offense and speed move him to leadoff)

    (offensive asset)Conrad
    (defensive asset)Diory

    • Hopefully Fredi Gonzalez isn’t as set on having Chipper in the #3 hole as Bobby was. He belongs either in the #2 spot or the #6 spot. Assuming Young starts in CF(big if)…..


      • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

        Yeah, Chipper was willing to give it up to Heyward, but you already know how Cox is, he has to leave Chipper in the 3 hole. I wonder what Freddy Gonzalez has in mind for the line up this year.

        Despite Prado’s speed, I still think he needs to be hitting leadoff. The guy was a beast there. If we got some one that could steal 30 bases or so then I’d move Prado to the 2nd hole and Chipper to the 6th hole.

    • Chipper volunteered to move out of the three-hole last year for Heyward. Chipper won’t throw a “hissy fit” if he’s not hitting third, he’s not that kind of player.

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

        K. But if Frank decides to go with a new center fielder and leave McClouth either on the bench or keeps him in the minors, Jacoby Ellsbury works perfectly in our lineup. Hes fast, good on-base, and.. perfect leadoff hitter. which we need. I wouldn’t be sad if McClouth decides to just quit. I’d be ecstatic.

  18. I’m sick of hearing all you geeks with this “WAR” crap. There’s all these terms made up each year and the stats don’t lie we made the postseason without some of our best players. The Braves are going to be one of the top teams in the NL next year. We are fine defensively and offensively we are going to be a hard team to play vs. Jurrjens will return to form after battling injuries all year and Chipper was looking like the Chipper from a few years ago before he got hurt. All players go through injuries and look at Ken Griffey Jr. he went through more injuries than Chipper by a mile yet Chipper is the only one having crap said about him. Give him a break he’s done many sacrifices for this franchise by taking less money, moving to LF for Vinny Castilla. He’s the true definition of a team player and you don’t see a guy of his caliber stay with a team forever.When Chipper gets inducted into the hall of fame in a few years most of you guys will wish he was still playing because we will never draft a SS/3B of his caliber again.

    • What are you talking about? Who’s trashing Chipper?

      Chipper moved to LF so the Braves could sign Vinny Castilla to play 3B, not Gallaraga.

      Don’t expect a ton out of Jurrjens, even if healthy. I’m a Braves fan, but I really think he’s just a good #3 guy, which is fine. He’ll never be an ace and he’ll likely never have a season like he had in 09 again. Just don’t expect a 2.60 ERA or even a sub 3.50 ERA and you probably won’t be disappointed.

      • I’m not sure I buy that about Jurrjens. He seems to be a guy that outperforms his peripheral stats, much like Tim Hudson does.

    • Made Up Stats? Yeah man, don’t get me started on RBIs, I don’t sit on my mom’s basement trying to invent these numbers. ERA? What’s that? Sorry, I was busy working out and talking to women. I don’t have time to sit in the basement and study ERA spreadsheets, I’ll stick to xFIP, Thanks.

      Hey guys I just heard of a new stat, it’s called Wins and Losses! A pitcher gets a win if he pitches at least 5 innings and his team is winning before another pitcher enters the game. It’s pretty complicated, but I’ll leave that to the nerds while they play Dungeons and Dragons.

      I don’t know what all these smart people are thinking, this is baseball, not 7th math class (I dropped out of middle school to NOT do this stuff you know?) All I do know is that Dan Haren has a pretty good xFIP and his higher FIP is due to an inflated HR/FB that will probably go down in most parks. If you want to use made up stats like your silly Wins and Losses, go right ahead, I’ll pass.

      What’s next? You invent some other stat where a if a fielder makes a mistake under your random arbitrary rules, it doesn’t count? LOL Ok, Nerds. Don’t forget to enchant that +3 dagger too.

      • Well said. You proved my point.

        • WhooshSatire shouldn’t be that hard to understand.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            In fairness it was sorta like hitting a fly with sledgehammer…

          • guest_54 5 years ago

            Or pistol-whipping a blind kid . . .

          • Considering the amount of ad hominem attacks on people who use advanced metrics on this site, I would say it was necessary.

          • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

            xFIP isn’t necessarily an advance on anything.

    • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

      Um, I wouldn’t say we are FINE defensively, Braves had the 4th worst defense last year. Offensively we’re fine, but never could hurt to have a little more speed in the line up .

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      If you’re sick of hearing baseball geeks throw out stats this might be a site to avoid. Just sayin’.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      I agree. Stop with the newfangled voodoo-witchcraft stats. I like me my Wins and RBI n’ those r da only measurres of a true ballplayer.

  19. BravesAndTigers 5 years ago

    Make this happen Wren. Hinske is a great guy too have on the bench.

  20. elmedius 5 years ago

    if hinske goes to the crew, i wonder if atlanta pursues wily mo pena or more possibly bill hall?

    • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

      Sure, Pena would fit well for our Triple A Gwinett team. :)

  21. the Braves should send Conrad to the minors and sign Christian Guzman to a 1 yr contract and let him be the back up middle infielder..

  22. GreenCustom24 5 years ago

    I’d love to have Hinske back for a further 2 years. I really hope Wren gets this done. I’d also love to see Bill Hall alongside him on the bench. The 2 of them provide good power and major flexibility. Hinske and Hall make our bench pretty crazy. Just a thought.

  23. Wren needs to sell Kawakami to the Japanese leagues and get rid of McLouth. They have done nothing but suck. We need a better center fielder who can hit and we need a veteran reliever to mentor Kimbrel and Venters and others and we need a versatile bench player that Infante was for us. And Hinske needs to re-sign with the Braves. Give me some feedback and what you guys think.

  24. I’d certainly give 2/5 to a guy that posts around a .800 OPS coming off the bench. Hinske, and furthermore a strong bench, was a key to the Braves’ success this past season. We need to keep that intact.

  25. Brad426 5 years ago

    David Ross has never played 1B, although it would give the Braves a lot of flexibility if he could give that a shot. Mather has played 24 innings of 1B and is a negative defensive WAR. Hinske adds depth in the sense you can drop Prado to 3B and start Hinske in LF for a couple of weeks if (when?) Chipper gets hurts.

  26. I’m just really sick of seeing defensive liabilities in LF, I really am. Anderson, Diaz, Hinske, Melky, McLouth……

    Apparently they may work with Ross at 1B during the offseason and see how it goes. He’d be an ideal candidate, as he crushes lefties… he can spell the lefty Freeman against a tough one on the mound. He’s led the team in OPS the past two years, he deserves a shot at more playing time and it’s not going to come at the catchers position. Braves struggled against LHP last year, so giving Ross more PA’s could prove big.

  27. McLouth isn’t that good in CF, but he’s not a liability in LF. He doesn’t have that good of an arm, but his range is above-average. And really, most teams don’t have good defense in LF, that’s where a team’s worst defender is normally placed. Prado plays there in winter ball, so I’m confident in him at least playing an average LF.

  28. Brad426 5 years ago

    I agree 100% on the Ross thing. It would give the Braves a lot more options late in a game.

    And as far as LF goes, Prado really should be an upgrade over the last couple of years, although I would guess an average defender at best. You do have to remember that LF is an offensive position, though (although we have negative defensive WAR players at every defensive position, too.)

  29. We don’t have negative defenders at every position. Freeman has been lauded by scouts as a future Gold Glover. Alex Gonzalez is a plus defender at SS, his error streak this year was an aberration and not totally indicative of his skills. Heyward was one of the better RFer’s in baseball this year. Defense may not be our calling card, but we hardly have a negative defender at each position.

  30. Brad426 5 years ago

    Allow me to clarify: I said “ever defensive position” (meaning C, SS, 2B, and CF where the corners are considered offensive positions). McCann, Gonzalez, Uggla, and McLouth are all career negative defensive WAR players (Gonzalez is -.1, but still negative).

  31. Ah, my bad. “Up the middle” would have been easier for me to grasp.

  32. He already said he wants to come back to the braves if we give a two year deal. Why didn’t we just give him that! i think he’s earned it

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