NL East Notes: Span, Hamilton, Wright, Upton

We've already had one batch of NL East notes today but there's no shortage of news coming out of the division.  Here's the latest…

  • The Braves are looking at center field options to replace Michael Bourn and the Twins' Denard Span "is likely high on the list of potential trade target," writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The Braves and Twins match up well as trade partners, as Minnesota is desperate for pitching and Atlanta is one of the few teams with available young arms.  The Braves "haven’t entirely given up" on re-signing Bourn, but the club is unlikely to match the demands from Bourn and agent Scott Boras.
  • Despite a report last week that claimed the Braves were "intrigued" by Josh Hamilton, O'Brien doesn't think Atlanta has much interest, as Hamilton is too expensive and the club would prefer to add a right-handed hitting bat.
  • While the Mets have begun to explore trade possibilities for R.A. Dickey, the Mets aren't yet looking to deal David Wright, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  While the two sides aren't close to a contract extension, "there's always been a feeling something will get done with Wright, and while talks are taking much longer than expected or predicted, that hasn't changed," Heyman writes.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to Larry Reynolds (B.J. Upton's agent) at the general managers' meetings and the two sides plan to stay in contact, a source tells Jim Salisbury of  One executive told Salisbury that Upton "was the Phils' priority" this offseason.
  • The Phillies are close to a new contract with Kevin Frandsen, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).  The 30-year-old Frandsen hit an impressive .338/.383/.451 in 210 plate appearances for the Phillies last season, taking over as their regular third baseman in the second half of the year.  Frandsen is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected Frandsen would earn $800K.

41 Responses to NL East Notes: Span, Hamilton, Wright, Upton Leave a Reply

  1. PlaidArmour 3 years ago

    So Ruben Amaro Jr is going to hand over a huge contract to a low OBP, high strikeout outfielder with an “interesting” attitude. Also LOSE a first round pick with the signing. Sounds right up his alley.

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      His OBP was a career low but with that his power increased. Realistically, he’ll post an average OBP.

      He’s an elite baseruner and an elite defender. He’s also going to hit for quite a bit of power as I already mentioned.

      Playing 81 games in Citizens Bank Park should help out his numbers quite a bit and Upton’s always been a guy scouts love and many believe the best is yet to come with him.

      • PlaidArmour 3 years ago

        JMJ has a career .254 ba/.313 obp/.760 ops

        BJ has a career .255 ba/.336 obp/.758 ops

        • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

          John Mayberry Jr’s also nowhere near the defensive player Upton is and Upton’s on another level as a base runner than JMJ.

      • alan104 3 years ago

        Upton is a pure joy to watch in the field and on the bases. His biggest knock is his huge amount of strikeouts. I wish I had a dollar for every time he has looked at a called third strike, snared at the umpire and slowly walked back to the dugout. If he could become more aggressive at the plate he could put up bigger numbers. I agree with your comments. I think they are spot on.

    • hoagiebuchanan 3 years ago

      I mean who would you rather sign? Pagan with his career .333 OBP? Rather have Upton to stabilize the lineup and provide the RH POP and SPEED that we need. The numbers and years is what you should be speculating about.

  2. Ivan Verastica 3 years ago

    I have a stupid question but please answer it, why are the braves going after Hamilton? why don’t just simply resign Bourn or something?

    • Brett3 3 years ago

      Signing Bourn will likely require too much money and/or too many years for Atlanta.

  3. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    Starting to think that Wren will trade for both Span and Willingham in one move. Solving multiple problems with a single move has become his MO. They solve the problems about as well as possible.

    • The Twins are reluctant to trade Willingham. He’s too good of a bargain, and if they trade him now it could affect their abilities to sign free agents in the future. However, if an offer is too good to pass up, I could see Terry Ryan trading him. Span is definite trade bait, though. I’m also seeing Justin Morneau’s name being mentioned but like with Willingham, Ryan would have to be utterly blown away AND the other team would have to take on all $14MM Morneau is owed through 2013.

      • I don’t think Ryan would have to be ‘blown away’ to consider moving Morneau. He’s not exactly an elite player anymore(not sure he ever was, really)….

    • jwsox 3 years ago

      I was hoping the braves could match up with the whitesox as well something like rios for uggla. Whitesox sell high on rios and buy low on uggla. Rios can play right (moving Hayward to left) or center. Uggla plays second for the sox and they move beckham back to third

      • kray1000 3 years ago

        That is an interesting scenario, but the Braves would have to pick up either a 2B or 3B from somewhere else. I think the Braves would be reluctant to play either Rios or Heyward every day in center. Also, the Braves would still need a leadoff hitter.

        • Well, they could start Francisco at 3B and Prado at 2B. I absolutely hate the idea of Juan Francisco being a starting player though.

          • Jeff 3 years ago

            Why? I think Juan in a full season would hit 25-30HR though OBP would only be about .300-.310.

        • jwsox 3 years ago

          Right? Rios could bat 5th or 6th for the braves and play center or left. Enough protection in that line up where if he were to bat between freeman and jason to break up the lefties he would get plenty to hit. As for his repeating. His changed stance helped a ton. I would hate to get rid of him because he is the whitesox best position player but if it helps full a need (assuming Gordon is moved back to 3rd) I’m all for it. Plus uggla in the cell. You’re talking 35+ hrs a year and he can move to 1st after this upcoming season.

        • Jeff 3 years ago

          Prado can play 2B, Pastornicky could.

          Fransisco could play 3B, and the BRaves would have the money to sign someone reasonable.

      • You know, Uggla for Rios wouldn’t be a bad swap. Both are signed through 2014 at basically the same price. Sox would definitely want the Braves to throw in another player considering Uggla’s two worst years came in 2011 and 2012. Rios BB rate worries me and I don’t expect him to match his numbers from this past season. Then again, I see nothing but decline with Uggla. It would depend on the player Wren would have to throw in, but if it was someone like Pastornicky then I’d pull the trigger. Rios isn’t going to move Heyward anywhere though, Rios would be in LF.

        However, who plays 2B in Atlanta in this scenario? Pastornicky’s just completely overmatched at the plate and I’m not even sure he’d be much of an upgrade over Uggla defensively.

        • cubfan4life 3 years ago

          Uggla for Rios wouldnt be bad especially if the Sox got them to throw in maybe someone like Moylan as well. As far as 2B goes they would still have surplus pitching to move for a 2B or possibly a 3B and slide Prado back to 2nd.

          If they go the Span route someone who would fit really well in LF for ATL would be Torii Hunter. He basically would replace pretty much everything that they are losing with Chipper retiring.

          • Jeff 3 years ago

            You could get better than Moylan, I think you could get a B prospect pitcher for the swap- or maybe Hanson.

            As for Span: Hanson+Spruill for Span would be a solid deal, or if the twins threw in a solid prospect (non-pitching), Delgado or Teheran.

          • cubfan4life 3 years ago

            I think youre over valuing Span just a bit. Hes a nice CF but not worth it at that price. Plus the FA market is pretty stocked with CFers. If the asking price is more than maybe Hanson straight up the braves could sign Shane Victorino and be better off offensively and they would still have the pitching to move for either a 3B or LF bat.

    • kray1000 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Twins have the outfield depth to trade both Willingham and Span.

  4. Twins91 3 years ago

    Jair and Hanson for Span

  5. Twins91 3 years ago

    Also Span for Jair and Uggla

    • Throw in Mauer and Willingham with the Twins paying every dime of Mauer’s remaining contract and you got yourself a deal. Scratch that, we’re gonna need Scott Diamond back as well.

    • DK8 3 years ago

      And this one, if you take all of Uggla’s contract.

  6. TheHernandezInput 3 years ago

    I am going to repeat myself here…

    If the Braves really thought about it, they would go for the Upton brothers. Justin-LF, BJ-CF and Hayward-RF. You have two solid RH hitters, and imagine that line up. Prado, Hayward, BJ, McCann, Justin, Freeman, Uggla, Simmons and pitchers. Need say more??? Don’t think so!!!

    But I am… The Up brothers will try to outdo each other as they done all their career and playing side by side (awesome!!). Think about it!!

    In addition, on days off, replace any outfield with Shaffer and move the lineup down one notch (Shaffer leading). Also, if money is the issue, trade one of Hanson or Jurrjens with a minor leaguer (or both together) for one of the Uptons. Imagine that clubhouse chemistry???

    • Lennie Briscoe 3 years ago

      I’d rather have Simmons leading off before Schafer (if he even makes the 25 man roster that is). Neither one is a lead off hitter but atleast Simmons has proved in less than a full season he can make contact and get on base. Something Schafer has struggled mightily at in parts of 3 different seasons.

    • cheez13 3 years ago

      BJ will require 10 mil per year contract. Justin due 9.7 this year then goes to 14 mil the next two years (plus they have to a good enough package to Arizona to even get him). Jurrjens is dumped, if they can’t trade him then he will be non-tendered. Trading Hanson is not much salary relief, he’ll be getting around 4 mil in arbitration. Its not a bad idea in theory just don’t know if it could actually happen. I’m not a big BJ Upton fan, his defense is very overrated….everyone thinks he is great because he is fast, but his defensive metrics show otherwise. He is a high strikeout guy, coming off a season with an OBP below .300 (thats almost unheard of for a MLB starter). He would be a terrible lead-off hitter. But people love that he can hit one HR a week, somehow that makes him worth 10 mil per year.

      The Schafer idea is a really bad one….in no way should he be the 4th OFer. I’m not sure he is even a MLB player at this time. Other than he can play CF and runs well, he is no other positive attributes. He is a 5th OFer at most, Heyward could play CF for one game if needed. He may need to go the AAA and call him up if there is any injury and you need a CF for a period of time.

      I like Denard Span as a possible trade trade option for CF/lead-off hitter. Compare his numbers last year to Bourn…very close, very similar. Span had excellent splits vs LHP also. He actually hit for a higher avg and OBP vs lefties.

      • TheHernandezInput 3 years ago

        Good points there! But let’s look at this for a second;

        Arizona NEEDS a shortstop correct? Pastornicky may be their immediate answer. So, Tyler, Hanson AND Jair for Justin Upton. That will give the Braves salary relief for JU and go and get BJ with the $35 millions they have this year. Also when I mention Shaffer, I meant ONLY to use him as a backup OF and on the days he play he can lead of IF NEED TO.

  7. TheHernandezInput 3 years ago

    Oh, btw Hanson $4mm… Jair $5.5mm. That is Justin Upton’s salary!! And still have $30 to $35mm to resign Ross, Hinske, Johnson and/or Durbin.

    Just saying!!!! :-)

  8. TheHernandezInput 3 years ago

    Oh, btw Hanson $4mm… Jair $5.5mm. That is Justin Upton’s salary!! And still have $30 to $35mm to resign Ross, Hinske, Johnson and/or Durbin (discounting BJ’s cash).

    Just saying!!!! :-)

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