Cafardo On Damon, Braves, Youkilis, Saunders

Dan Duquette was out of baseball for ten years and wasn’t sure if he’d find his way back, but the Orioles GM has surprised many by putting together a strong club for 2012, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.  The GM was quick to credit the work of manager Buck Showalter for the team’s success and also pointed to some good breaks for the club as they dealt with a young and oft-injured rotation.  Here’s more from Cafardo..

  • Johnny Damon could be a fit for the Braves as they are in need of a lefthanded pinch hitter. Atlanta is looking all around for a part-time lefthanded bat and they are scouting almost every team out of the race.  Damon posted a posted a .222/.281/.329 batting line with four home runs in 224 plate appearances for the Tribe this year.
  • The Braves aren’t optimistic that they can re-sign Michael Bourn when he becomes a free agent, in part because they don’t seem to do well with Scott Boras clients.  Given that, it also seems unlikely that they’ll aggressively pursue Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason. 
  • Atlanta will have to replace both Bourn and Chipper Jones, and one Braves official didn’t rule out Kevin Youkilis if the White Sox don’t pick up his $13MM option.  Of course, the Braves would be looking to spend considerably less than that to sign him.
  • D’Backs pitcher Joe Saunders would be an interesting trade piece if they feel they can’t make the playoffs.  The left-hander has looked strong as of late and is headed towards free agency, but Arizona doesn’t expect to resign him.  With Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, and Trevor Bauer all in the fold, Kevin Towers & Co. could easily part with him.  

62 Responses to Cafardo On Damon, Braves, Youkilis, Saunders Leave a Reply

  1. mmiller54 3 years ago

    Trade Saunders KT!

    • Brandon Stubbs Calvert 3 years ago

      Trade drew while your at it lol

      • mmiller54 3 years ago

        You know, I agree with you. What I am about to say will likely be percieved as radical and shortsided, but I would look into trading 2 of Cahill/Kennedy/Miley in the offseason. Miley’s value likely will never be higher and I believe he is a good canidate for regession. Moreover, I feel Kennedy’s skills are closer to this year than last year, but team’s still remember his cy young like year, so he still has value. And I just don’t like Cahill’s mediocrity :). I would also look into trading Upton/Young and JJ Putz (Hernandez is ready). I don’t believe all of these deals should be made. But, if any of these players yields a fair offer, I feel the Dbacks should be open to taking it. In Putz’s case, he is aging and you can always find more bullpen talent, Upton still has some value, but is looking more and more like his brother and Chris Young has low BA’s every year.
        My rotation for next year (players aquired in above deals may add to this)
        Bauer, Skaggs, Corbin, 1 of Kennedy,Cahill, Miley, Collmenter (rather would get young, star starting pitcher for Upton).

        • Brandon Stubbs Calvert 3 years ago

          Well i dont know about trading the starters but i could see saunders, drew, putz, and maybe young traded if we not in the race anymore. That is if we can get a trade together. Upton however i think we will wait till the winter to trade. I still like a deal centered around elvis andrews or Starlin castro, even if we have to give up a little more.

  2. EcurbTheMighty 3 years ago

    I don’t think Youk would be a good idea for the Braves. They’ve got Martin Prado that can play a good 3B when needed, and can flat out hit. I’d much prefer them to go after a LF with some pop. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Cody Ross come to Atlanta.

    • Jeff 3 years ago

      I’d rather see Fransisco at Third than Youk if Prado is needed to still be in LF or at 2B.

      • Braves1976 3 years ago

        Same here, at least against righties. I’d platoon him with someone who hits lefties well. Francisco has monster power potential and hits righties very well. He’s been very good starting in place of Chipper this year. He’s even been good defensively. He was great his last game defensively against the Mets.

        • CowboyJames 3 years ago

          “He was great his last game defensively against the Mets”

          This is what is wrong with Braves fans. I suppose it’s all fans but I digress…I’m not saying your point is wrong. It’s not. Francisco has been solid. But the above quote should never, ever be used as a supporting argument. It would be like saying “I have a Lion in my living room, but it’s not a problem because he didnt eat me yesterday”

          • Bravez 3 years ago

            That is an excellent point. But yes, ever teams’ fans do this.

    • I,m with you about Prado playing 3rd in 2013 but this one time Liberty needs to deal with Scott Boars and get Michael Born under a five year contract that is a reasonable deal. I still say because the damn Yankees & Scott Boars is why needs a salary cap.

  3. CT 3 years ago

    I’m not as worried about 3rd as CF for the Braves. Prado can easily play 3rd, and I think Francisco could be serviceable if needed. There is no one even close to Bourn in the Braves system that’s ready.

  4. Prakash Brahaspat 3 years ago

    If I were the Braves I would move Prado to 3B and pursue a trade with the D-Backs for Justin Upton. How about a deal that centers around Upton for Jair Jurrgens?

    • T.j. Denzine 3 years ago

      Your going to get a lot of down arrows for that comment. The only way the D-Backs would be interested in J.J. is if he gets released by the Braves. Then they’ll probably only offer him a minor league deal for depth purposes. No deal for J. Upton can center around J.J.

      • John Felts 3 years ago

        a deal could surely be built around JJ…as long as that JJ is Josh Johnson instead of Jair Jurrjens

    • That’s a funny joke. JJ will be non-tendered

    • Michael Gallemore 3 years ago

      Don’t follow baseball much, do you? Jurrjens holds little to no value and the last thing Arizona needs is a washed up struggling minor league pitcher. We would have to give up one of the “untouchables”

    • Monty Burns 3 years ago

      I also was hoping for Justin in fact back at the deadline versus the offseason.

      That said to get Justin it will take one of Julio T (whose value is dropping due to poor AAA #s), Delgado, a top flight reliever and wait for it.. Prado. Sorry but the only way they give up on Upton is for a deal centered around Prado. The other option is a Simmons.
      I cannot see the Braves doing either so it is more likely they make a run at BJ Upton who will be a FA this winter.
      Justin will get traded but sadly to another team. He would be great in ATL and I would love to see Justin in LF and his brother BJ in CF but that is video game type thinking.
      Now if Uggla would go on a tear the next two months the Braves may be able to move him in place of Prado (likely taking 3-4mm back in salary/yr) for Justin. Move Prado to 2B, Francisco at 3B with a RHH platoon partner, Upton brothers and Heyward in the OF.
      One can dream but again XBOX material…

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Braves fans continue to tear apart Uglla the last 2 years, but he has done exactly what he did before they signed him: Play poor defense, walk a lot and hit for decent power. His OBP will be high (which it still is) yet Braves fans still hammer him.

        Uggla’s offensive stats overall are in line, overall with players many Braves fans trump up, like prado for example and better than McCann’s.

        he is and always will be a high strikeout machine and poor range 2b. Want better defense? Find a team that you can move him to that will be able to convince him to move to 3b and remember.. Atlanta gave him that deal, knowing full well he was putting up the same exact numbers before that his is right now.

        • Braves Fan 85
          Braves2014Champs 3 years ago

          uggla has actually played great D

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            His “Magic stats” lines some people here may refer to, or amount of errors, but that is only because Uggla has good hands and unable to move to his right pretty much at all to get to balls up the middle, thogh does have excellent hands and able to cleanly field the balls the ones he does get to.

            it’s the same, exact excuse NYY fans have for saying Derek jeter is a good fielder.. No range, but catches everything he can get to.. By that theory? yes, he is a good fielder and that only.

            I have ALWAYS been a fan of uggla as a fan of the Marlins, but to say he is a good fielder is stretching it to the max.. good hands? definitely. good fielder? certainly not. It’s why the Fish tried to get him to move to 3b when Cantu was moved to 1b.. They full well realized he was a liability at such a crucial position, but Uggla was set against the move.

          • Matt Newton 3 years ago

            I’m glad someone else clarified. While his basic numbers look good, he can’t get to anything that’s not hit within a few feet from him. His combination with Freeman at first means getting through the right side of the field is just a matter of making contact most of the time. He’s done very well with balls that come to him and he turns a nice DP, but that’s the extent of his ability in the field.

            To his credit, this year Fangraphs has him rated a1.0 UZR and a range factor even at 0.0. So far it’s been the 2nd best defensive season of his career.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            NP. If you are a ATL fan then am sure you have acknowledged his shortcomings defensively, as well as that when a ball is hit within a step or 2 of him, it’s as good as an out.

            I just wish he had been more open to moving to 3b a few years ago. It’s going to have to happen eventually. Maybe Wren can have a long conversation over the winter with him explaining how many balls actually get by him in nice terms and his bat would still play nice offensively for them, albeit at 3b.

            Something has to happen. He is getting closer to 35, what little range he had is going to get worse and worse.. #b couldn’t come fast enough in my book.

  5. Braves1976 3 years ago

    Fontenot who the Phillies released makes more sense as a left handed bench option for the Braves. I don’t see the Braves going for Damon. The Braves did try to sign Fontenot earlier this year though. He finally decided between Atlanta and Philly and chose Philly. I guess he’s now wishing he chose us, lol.

  6. tomymogo 3 years ago

    I think Braves are set this year, Hinske, Francisco, Johnson, Ross, Janish and Pastornicky is a solid bench

    • Matt Newton 3 years ago

      Have you looked at Hinske’s stats this year? He’s not provided anything that can’t be found in AAA. Hopefully we don’t sign him for next year, it seems like his postseason magic is gone.

      • Braves1976 3 years ago

        Hinske looks cooked but is such a team favorite he’ll stick around through this year. He hasn’t been a good pinch hitter off the bench since Bobby’s last season. He was bad last year and even worse now. I like him but I think this is last year here.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 3 years ago

          What people forget is we all loved Greg Norton until his last year. Luckily for Hinske, we havent needed those big hits this year and his poor performance can be overlooked. Yes he can play many positions, but he hasn’t.

          • Matt Newton 3 years ago

            I think by “many” you mean 2. PH and 1B. He’s only had 7 games in the OF and that may be too many. He’s aging and his size hinders him a lot outside of 1B.

  7. johnsilver 3 years ago

    I’d love to see Bradley show a great bat and glove next ST, but that is no guarantee of a job either. Linares didn’t get a spot in 2010 after doing the same thing, Ciriacco didn’t make the roster this year doing the same.

    It will come down to over paid veterans, who probably shouldn’t be there making the team like in the case of Ciriaco this season being demoted this past spring.

    If Ellsbury is moved and they have an opening at CF, Kalish probably gets the care holder spot until Bradley gets more time at the MiLB level. Too much has bee heaped onto Bradley, the kid hasn’t even played 1 full season of minor league ball yet. give him at least a season and a half, maybe 2 years before he takes over for Ellsbury.

  8. tomymogo 3 years ago

    I love Bourn, really the guy is a great player, but not a 16-22 million player. If Bourn reaches that price tag they’d be better off signing Josh Hamilton.

    By my calculations, Braves will have 25-30 million to spend after arb raises this offseason, but all of their bench are free agents basically. 25-30 million supposing a 90 million budget. They should resign David Ross who would make around 2 million per year, hopefully they can bring Reed Johnson back too, and Eric Hinske maybe.

    Nick Swisher would be my plan B if Bourn doesn’t resign, and then trade Tommy Hanson for a CF like Dexter Fowler. Tommy needs a strong finish for that to happen though.

    • Seth 3 years ago

      See that’s what I was thinking. There was a lot of chatter about the Braves pursuing Hamilton in the offseason, but it died down. Swisher is a great guy, but he’s just to average for my taste. I want to see the Braves go out and get a difference maker and that just isn’t Swisher. Fowler would be nice, but it will take more than Tommy Hanson to get that one done. If you want to replace Bourn, why not go after BJ Upton? Cheaper than Bourn, and while his batting average has slacked off from 2008, he still provides a threat on the basepaths. Or, perhaps our answer is internal. I think we should call up Felix Pie from AAA in September and see what he can do. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball down there, and still has some speed on him at 27 and he still has two years with us until he hits FA. By then, some of are prospects will be ready to take over.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        Upton doesn’t hit a lick, has some pop but not much plate recognition and strikes out a lot. I think his OPS is below 700, that’s bad.

        Swisher is a good player, 800 OPS, has always had good OBP he really works pitchers to death.

      • Nathan Looper 3 years ago

        No if you want to replace Bourn don’t go with BJ Upton, he’s too expensive salary wise. Look at 3 options, 1 already mentioned:

        1. Span–Delgado/Hanson/Teheran plus a prospect or two.

        2. Colby Rasmus–Toronto’s rotation has been decimated. They need young pitching and inf help. Rasmus’s glove isn’t great, but he’d be a good power bad thats under control until 15 I think. He only makes 2.7m right now and he’s projected at 28 hr and 90 rbis with 30 2Bs.

        3.Michael Brantley–Under a rookie contract for a long time. Tearing the cover off the ball. Leads all CF in 2Bs, and hits for a good average comparible to Bourn. No one’s glove is Bourn’s so I’ll not try to make a case that it is. The only 2 that have his glove are Borjous and Span. Neither may be available.

    • Braves1976 3 years ago

      Fowler isn’t very good defensively like Bourn, we’d be better off trading for Span or someone as good defensively.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        Nobody is as good as Bourn but Fowler is not bad at all. Coors field is a tough park to play CF.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          But an easy park to run all day in on the bases. Ignore Fowler’s inflated home stats and look at his away numbers for a better idea of how he’d do: .246/.326/.696. Considering COL would want a lot, not worth it at all.

      • Sky14 3 years ago

        After hearing the rumors of Bourn’s potential price tag I thought the Twins and Braves would be natural trade partners. The Braves have major league ready pitching and Span is very similar to Bourn at a much better price.

        • tomymogo 3 years ago

          Span is a FA

          • coachofall 3 years ago

            Not even close

          • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

            No, he isn’t. He has two years left before he is a free agent. Span would be perfect for the Braves next year.

          • Sky14 3 years ago

            Two years plus a club option for 2015.

          • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

            Even better, I had forgotten about the club option. I would trade Teheran for Span.

  9. Guest 3 years ago

    Youk is the perfect replacement for Chipper… he’d carry on Chipper’s tradition of missing every second game.

  10. tomymogo 3 years ago

    If Braves had a 110 mill payroll they could do so much. Sign David Wright and Zack Greinke, trade Prado and Hanson for Ellsberry and Nava, buyout Tim Hudson in that case.

    CF Jacoby Ellsberry
    SS Andrealton Simmons
    RF Jason Heyward
    3B David Wright
    1B Freddy Freeman
    2B Dan Uggla
    C Brian McCann
    LF Daniel Nava

    SP Zack Greinke
    SP Ben Sheets
    SP Paul Maholm
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Kris Medlen

    • CT 3 years ago

      Wright and Greinke together will be at least 40MM per year, not happening. Why do the Braves trade Prado and Hanson for an injury prone CF and a 4th OF? Why buyout Hudson?

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        To sign Greinke Hudson needs to be bought out and use that money on Greinke and Wright, Ellsberry was an mvp candidate last year, and Nava is a solid hitter. Hanson is also very injury prone, I’d rather have Jacoby.

        Not saying this will happen, just a hypothetical case if they had a higher budget

        • coachofall 3 years ago

          Think you need to spend less time on the nba page. There are no buyouts in MLB. If you release him you save zero dollars

          • Matt Newton 3 years ago

            Actually Hudson has a team option of $9mil. and a buy out of $1mil. So technically they would save $8mil. for next season.

          • coachofall 3 years ago

            Thanks for clarifying. I’m not a braves fan but I would think a net contract of 8 mil would be an easy pick up for atl. Whichever team signs Greinke for elite starter money will regret it before ink dries

          • Matt Newton 3 years ago

            Agreed, the Braves have rarely done well with big free agent signings and thus have concentrated more in the development of their players and improving through trades. I think that is a great organizational plan and has provided them with a lot of success.

            While the Braves don’t have a Greinke type of pitcher, what they would have to give would def. hinder their ability to keep their younger players even with increased payroll.

            Honestly I’d rather the Braves be where they are now being the 2nd best team in baseball in relation to their payroll. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t automatically make you a better team. (i.e. Phillies.)

        • Nathan Looper 3 years ago

          No, Hudson’s salary is fine. Great for what he is. It’s Uggla that’s the holdup. But he’s approaching a nil to negative trade value unless we eat salary and that defeats the purpose.

          • Seth 3 years ago

            As easy as it is, don’t give up on Uggla. I’m not convinced he won’t figure it out. He did last year and he has been on a tear over the last ten games. .294 with 3 homers and 11 rbi’s. Plus, he leads the team in walks. Get on anyway you can.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Not to mention Boston has little need for Prado anyway with Ellsbury’s replacement 1 year away (at the most) in Jackie Bradley and Boston hopefully with move Ells for pitching prospects.

        Ellsbury could be moved to Atlanta, but the deal would be centered around actual needs.. Pitching. Kalish can hold down CF for 1 year (or less) until Bradley is ready.

    • Slopeboy 3 years ago

      Mets have an option on Wright, which they will pick up.

    • EcurbTheMighty 3 years ago

      Since they usually sit around $90 million a year (if that), and Grenike is going to ask for $16-18 million a year, there goes your payroll up to the $110 million mark. As much as I’d love to see him in a Braves uniform, I don’t see it happening unless he’s willing to take a discount. Though I’m a Hanson fan, I’m open to trading him, as long as MInor/Delgado/Teheran continue to improve and can contribute solid Major League innings. Span makes sense, so does Fowler. Going back to the Red Sox OF idea, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Ryan Sweeney come to ATL. Obviously not for Hanson, but for a mid to low level prospect. He can hit a little, plays solid if unspetacular defense in all three OF spots.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        Remember Chipper comes off the books that’s 14 million, Lowe’s 10 million, Bourn’s 7 million, and JJ’s 5.5 million.

        If you trade Hanson you save about 3 million he would have gotten through arbitration, and by buying out Tim Hudson you free up another 8 million.

        So if they bump payroll to 110 combined with all the money freed up by all of the guys that are free agents and if they trade both Hanson in Prado as I suggested in my extremely hypothetical case then I assure you they have the money to sign both Wright and Greinke and extend McCann, Heyward, and Kimbrel.

        Jones 14 mill, Lowe 10 mill, Bourn 7 mill, JJ 5.5 million, Prado 4.5 million + 20 mill of extra budget, gives them 64 million for arb raises and free agents

    • Seth 3 years ago

      Your proposal would doom the Braves. Why in the heck would you trade Prado for Nava and Ellsbury??? Prado has consistently been one of our best bats this year and is the heir apparent to Chipper Jones at third base. Not only that, Nava has a career batting average of .247 with 53 RBIs and Ellsbury hits free agency in two years and is a Scott Boras client. It would be the Bourn situation all over again. And buyout Hudson why??? He’s been our most consistent pitcher ALL season EVERY season. Instead we get Grienke, a pitcher who has tanked three of his last four outings since being traded and has lived giving up six plus hits a game even in the national league with the Brewers. And with Beachy set to return by the 2013 All Star Break, I think Greinke is a little redundant and a pointless waste of money. And I’m not even going to try to understand your motivation to sign over expensive David Wright. The guy can play, but if you have the money to sign him, you should go after Hamilton instead. Wright will want 5 to 6 years (based on his current contract) and could be in for a raise over his 55 million since he has performed well. That would make him 34 or 35 by the time the contract is up and paying 55 million or more is ridiculous considering his track record for strange and inconvenient injuries over the last few years. I say that because the older a player gets, the more injury prone he becomes. Next year’s rotation will probably look something like this.
      Hudson, Maholm, Hanson, Minor, Medlen/Teheran. I wish we could keep Sheets, I just don’t think there’s room for him. And when Beachy gets back, a good number five pitcher is going to get sent down, much less Sheets.

  11. Sick_Monkey 3 years ago

    If Youk is going to take a deal less than the $13 million option, expect the White Sox to be first in line offering it to him.

  12. Braves Fan 85
    Braves2014Champs 3 years ago

    why r the Braves in need of a left handed hitter we have hinske and francisco

  13. Buck Showalter should win manager of the year! No manager has has to deal with as many transactions (119 at last count and leading mlb by far) nor the struggles of starting pitching and still have their team in the hunt. He has done a superb job. While the geeks keep insisting that this team isn’t supposed to win- they do. Credit Buck for that.

  14. Matt Alexander 3 years ago

    francisco would be a good player and could turn great if he would take the melky cabrera approach and drop 20-25 pounds to increase his range. prado is the man at third, sign a bopper in lf and juan can be his backup/bench bat next year since hinske won’t be brought back!

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