Quick Hits: Red Sox, Braves, Astros, Marlins

Saturday afternoon linkage..

  • Despite speculation to the contrary, the Red Sox's limited spending this offseason isn't connected to the amount of money owner John Henry has spent on his Liverpool soccer club, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution spoke with several members of the Braves who say that they are glad the club didn't shake things up this winter.  Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado were at the center of many offseason trade rumors but Frank Wren didn't find suitable deals for either player.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters that he hasn't been instructed to limit or cut payroll, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  The overall goal, he says, is to make the team more competitive over a three-to-five year time frame.
  • Overall, the Marlins don't have a great deal of MLB-ready talent in the minors as their most promising players are at the lower levels of their farm system, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.


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32 Comments on "Quick Hits: Red Sox, Braves, Astros, Marlins"


theobi11111
3 years 5 months ago

This just in: nothing. I need spring training

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Dave O’Brien spoke to Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens.

Jeff
3 years 5 months ago

They are both legitimately popular in the locker room.  I’d love to see them both signed to 4-yr deals.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Agreed, but they are more than legitimately expendable, esp. Jair Jurrjens. There is NO need for Jurrjens to be extended even in a deep free agency pool. There is too much pitching talent behind him, he’ll presumably want too much money when he goes to free agency, and based on his history he’s plagued with lingering injuries.

I love Prado, even in a down year for him, but if he doesn’t improve OBP and we need to upgrade offensively, that’s the first position that they can. 

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

It’ll be interesting to see what will come of 3B prospect Matt Dominguez with HanRam switching to 3B. Dom’s glove has been ready, but it looks like it’s taken some time for his bat to catch up. Any Marlins’ fans know?

rsanchez1
3 years 5 months ago

They’re probably preparing him for when the next Marlins firesale happens.

Colin Christopher
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not a Marlins’ fan, but from watching Dominguez develop it doesn’t seem like his bat is doing any catching up. With their new stadium and more revenue coming in, they won’t need to do a fire sale again in the near future, so I’d bet on Dominguez being a trade chip.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Oh, Colin. Their fire sale will happen when Loria can’t get the inflated price he’s asking for the Marlins because of all this excessive spending (including making taxpayer’s flip the bill). Or, right after the new owner takes over.

Considering their reluctance to offer no-trade clauses to incoming free agents, something they’ve done repeatedly in the past, and with how much they’re offering above market value, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the market in less than 3 seasons. And you can be sure this spending won’t happen, especially after they come to terms with the fact that they won’t meet their expectations of having a home average attendance of 35,000 even in a new stadium. Especially in a market that hasn’t averaged more than 20,000 at home during a season since 2005, and as low as 14,000 a few seasons ago. You could have Pujols, Reyes, and CJ Wilson wearing a Marlins uniform, and Miami still wouldn’t go. If you build it, they will come…unless you’re in Miami and on South Beach.

Herbman89
3 years 5 months ago

Of course Boston’s reason for not spending money isn’t a soccer team. The reason is just like a line from a great Beatle’s song, ‘all the moneys gone no where to go’ Lmao. This post wasn’t needed about the red sox. Anyone who knows baseball knew that the red sox were to have no off season this year besides Ortiz due to their prior investments which they are now stuck with.

3 years 5 months ago

Wonder if the Braves players will have the same thought when they are in fourth place by the end of April. The mantra of Atlanta fans this year will be “At least we aren’t the Mets!”

rsanchez1
3 years 5 months ago

Wonder which one hurts the team more: the injury bug which the Mutts can’t seem to avoid, or having Fredi Gonzalez as your manager…

LayerCake
3 years 5 months ago

Fredi Gonzalez

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

He’ll do great. He’s got that first year out of his way and the good thing is he can’t mismanage the bullpen as badly as he did.

A lot of ATL’s problems didn’t lie so much with mismanagement, but (lingering) injuries. It’s hard to win games when your team doesn’t put runs on the board, is the MLB worst hitting LHP, and one of the lowest in OBP.

rsanchez1
3 years 5 months ago

That first year? You do know he was the Marlins manager for three and a half seasons right? You do know in those seasons he could never figure out how to manage the bullpen, right?

The Mutts problems were caused by injuries. If you want to see a team that gets crippled by injuries, look at the Mutts. If you want to see a team that fades late in the season, look at the ’07-’10 Marlins and the ’11 Braves, all of which were managed by Fredi Gonzalez.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, Braves weren’t really hurt at all by injuries in 2011. Losing your two best starters down the stretch doesn’t hurt. Having Heyward and Prado in and out of the lineup due to staph infections and bum shoulders doesn’t hurt…….

By the way, none of those teams Gonzalez managed in Florida were really contenders in the first-place.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Yes, thanks. First year with the Braves. And I don’t acknowledge managing the Marlins as “managing” considering they’re owned by micromanager extraordinaire, Jeffrey Loria.

First year with the Braves is big considering he was managing in Bobby’s shadow the entire season. I think he won’t feel such a burden from how all of his interviews have sounded. It sounds as if this past season really relieved him of a lot of that pressure.

No, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info. Our bullpen is pretty automatic going into the season. We got rid of the dead weight (Linebrink, Sherrill) and replaced them with young arms with upside. I could see another RP recovery story in Robert Fish, like what we did with O’Flaherty picking him off waivers. With Medlen, Vizcaino, and some others, we should be even better than last year.

Good luck with Ozzie Guillen. I’l just wondering whose side he’s gonna take when Zambrano picks a fight with HanRam.

3 years 5 months ago

 Fredi Gonzalez….as a Braves fan I was ticked that they didn’t have ANYBODY else in mind for manager once he was fired by the Marlins. Damn you Bobby Cox.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

I’m sorry, I haven’t followed Fredi Gonzalez’s career like some people, I was too busy following the Braves. I’m sure they had some people in mind, but they were consistent with their franchise belief of keeping it in-house by going with someone that coached with ATL yet had MLB experience (NL East experience at that) and had been mentored by Cox, which Gonzalez had been and continues to be to this day. 

And who says that a manager has to have a spotless record from the get-go? Francona, who I consider to be a pretty darn good manager, though not perfect, managed PHI before finding success with BOS. Sure, there are better examples.

Frankly, I’m glad they found someone that’s an upstanding guy with a relationship with the organization/Cox, a student of the game, a relationship with Braves players, and found a way to stick it to Jeffrey Loria at the same time.

CommissionerBart
3 years 5 months ago

Similar to the thought I was having when I read the MLBTR blurb about the Braves being satisfied/happy with limited changes in offseason….Nats and Marlins’ activisim may have landed them a grade above Braves….leaving only Mets below Atlanta. We’ll see. Proof of the pudding is in the eating.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Whoever said being active in the offseason equals wins? Look at all the bats Guillen had in CHW with better arms than he he’ll have in Miami, yet he still was forced out. Marlins have more question marks than ATL, if you ask me, and WSH is still a young, unproven team.

How can you not be happy with letting go of: Derek Lowe, Brooks Conrad, Scott Linebrink, George Sherrill, and Alex Gonzalez? We’ll have arguably the best bullpen in MLB, one of the best NL rotations, and we should put more runs on the board than the last few years with ANY production from Prado, Heyward, and Pastornicky. Addition by subtraction. 

Marlins are just polishing the brass on the Titanic.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Whoever said being active in the offseason equals wins? Look at all the bats Guillen had in CHW with better arms than he he’ll have in Miami, yet he still was forced out. Marlins have more question marks than ATL, if you ask me, and WSH is still a young, unproven team.

How can you not be happy with letting go of: Derek Lowe, Brooks Conrad, Scott Linebrink, George Sherrill, and Alex Gonzalez? We’ll have arguably the best bullpen in MLB, one of the best NL rotations, and we should put more runs on the board than the last few years with ANY production from Prado, Heyward, and Pastornicky. Addition by subtraction. 

Marlins are just polishing the brass on the Titanic.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

Braves fan here, we won’t be in 4th place at any point in the season past April. The mantra for Braves fans this offseason should be: “addition by subtraction”.

It gets tiring trying to remind people that we were the 2nd-best team in the NL late into the season…before we blew it. Yes, we blew it, but McCann and Uggla went on massive droughts and Prado/Heyward not really got going. We have a full year of Bourn and a retooled Heyward swing to go with healthy JJ/Hanson and no more Derek Lowe! 

MIA committed big contracts to guys in the twilight of their careers (Bell, Buerhle, Zambrano), but they still need to see a full season from Josh Johnson – easier said than done from him – and HanRam adjusting. They have enough questions to wonder why anyone is thinking they’ll be better than last year. 

3 years 5 months ago

Did the end of the MLB season move from September to April?  Last time I checked, standings at the end of April mean jacksquat.  Every team in the NL East has question marks, and I think the division is up for grabs.

3 years 5 months ago

Did the end of the MLB season move from September to April?  Last time I checked, standings at the end of April mean jacksquat.  Every team in the NL East has question marks, and I think the division is up for grabs.

rsanchez1
3 years 5 months ago

John Henry was probably so disgusted by the Red Sox clubhouse behavior during their collapse that he made Liverpool his new favorite.

pft2
3 years 5 months ago

Henry decided last month to build a new stadium in Liverpool instead of renovating the old stadium due to roadblocks by the cirty which wanted a new stadoium built.  Cost to FSG will be around 500 million, less whatever they get in naming rights.

Whatever dollars they can squeeze out of the Red Sox is less they need to borrow.

Stuff like players salary are all paid by Liverpool revenues.  IT’s the purchase and new stadium (together about 1 billion) that led to the Red Sox needing more profits from the Red Sox and NESN.  Payroll is essentially flat despite increased revenues, and more holes in the Red Sox staff than the moon. 

Matt Talbert
3 years 5 months ago

Walker was the CWS hitting coach and look what happened to them (Dunn and Rios) though Rios struggled before that.   Of course Konerko swears by him.

It is too early to call Atlanta fourth placers and to write the Marlins/Phils as division winners.  Forgetting about the nats as well?  They seriously upgraded their rotation to go against Atlanta and Philly.  You are right, the Mets will finish on bottom that much is indeed certain. 

The division is up for grabs between ALL the other teams. 

Hanley will be fine at 3b.  The bullpen has been solidified.  Buehrle is solid but not spectacular.  (His contract will be similar to Lowe’s in a year.)  Jose Reyes was a nice upgrade for the team.  Though Zambrano bleh he’s over the hill and a firecracker just waiting to do damage.

All the teams in the East (save the Mets) that are contenders all have question marks. 

So that being said, with all the improvements made that means 95 wins will be all the harder to get.

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

A report from Ozzie Guillen out Saturday noted that Greg Walker mentioned to him in spring training that Dunn’s swing was off big-time. That was even before he played his 1st game in a CHW uni. So, I really don’t think you can blame Walker for Dunn having the worst offensive season for a positional player ever, especially when Dunn is notorious for putting up historic strikeout totals. It’s not like he was Tony Gwynn before he got to Chicago then became Mario Mendoza. Don’t blame Greg Walker when you give him a pet project his GM should have never taken on.

The difference with all the questions is that PHI/MIA added to their budget, but really didn’t address many concerns. There are still questions about Miami’s rotation, especially with their presumed ace that has averaged only 19 starts/season in 6 years. Buerhle isn’t going to earn his contract and do just enough to make you forget about Chris Volstad. Carlos Zambrano will do damage to the clubhouse wall, but look at ATL’s stats vs. Big Z. Remember, he “retired” in ATL the first time around…so why should the Braves fear him again. He’s in Florida, so we might as well send him back into retirement.

In 2-3 years WSH will regret the trade for Gio Gonzlez. He benefitted from a large ballpark in OAK and I don’t think he’ll be anything spectacular in the NL. To me, he’s a younger version of how Buerhle pitches now. He’ll log 200 IP, but his control issues will get to him. WSH obviously likes the SO column a lot more than the BB column. Lannan was quite decent vs. ATL, so ATL is happy to see him go.

Matt Talbert
3 years 5 months ago

Gio has little better stuff than Buehrle, yes he has some control issues but those can be worked out.   They also picked up Ejax.  Gio will be fine in the NL East.  Though, EJax I’d be worried about.  They finally have some stability in their rotation and depth (don’t forget about Wang – who is an ok 5th starter) or Lannan.  The only thing dragging them down is Werth’s albatross contract.   Pitching (like our Bravos) is young and under team control.   Our teams look like mirror images off each other get right down to it.  But the Nats have Harper and Rendon (we have no one take the baton from Chipper – except Terd, Kubitza, Salcedo?)

3 years 5 months ago

Marlins Bullpen may or may not be suspect. However the Nats bullpen is pretty good. The Royals also have an underated bullpen just to throw that out there. Plus, the Braves Shortstop is suspect. 3rd Base – Chipper Jones is an old man. Braves outfield is ok, it will depend upon if their right fileder has a bounce back season. 95-98 Wins… I am not so sure. The competition should be very good in the NL East and your statement of 95 to 98 wins is outrageous!

Colin Christopher
3 years 5 months ago

I’m a Braves fan, and I hate to say it, but anyone who says that the Marlins and Nats have mediocre rotations AND suspect bullpens from top to bottom is downright awful at analysis. 

rundmc1981
3 years 5 months ago

I just fell asleep during your analysis. Sorry. You mentioned the Royals. That’s my safe word between me and the wife.

Pastornicky will be fine, but we have Simmons, who is rated higher, that can play in an emergency. Fact is, Alex Gonzalez had the worst OBP of any starting SS since he arrived in ATL, so Pastornicky couldn’t do much worse. Yes, Chipper is old. But he still finished with a better line than PHI 3B Polanco, while playing in at least 24 more games than NYM’s David Wright and WSH’s Ryan Zimmerman. Jones also had better numbers than Wright/Polanco. With a healthy Prado to reliever Jones at 3B occasionally, we should have good 3B production. I wonder if HanRam can survive the hot corner.

And you can say our RF’s name. It’s okay, you’re not going to offend him. Say it with me: j-a-s-o-n h-e-y-w-a-r-d. The FO and the papers are raving about his refined swing from the work he’s been doing with new hitting coach Greg Walker, so you should see similar production from ’10.

Considering ATL won 89 while losing at a historical pace in September and not having any production from McCann during that time or Uggla in through May, 95 wins isn’t far off! Especially from a team that got rid of Derek Lowe and the worst hitting starting SS in MLB in 2011.