NL East Notes: Papelbon, Braves, Samardzija, Nats

Trading Jonathan Papelbon wouldn't solve much for the Phillies at this point, opines Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com. Seidman runs down a possible scenario in which the Phillies ate $6MM to move Papelbon, noting that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. would then still try to sign a replacement. Names like Grant Balfour and Joaquin Benoit could cost upwards of $10MM per season anyhow, meaning the Phillies may not even save much money should that scenario play out. Papelbon will have more value to teams at the trade deadline when fewer quality options are available, writes Seidman. Here's more from the NL East…

  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Braves have approached some of their young stars about extensions over the past two years but felt they'd have to overpay to get something done.
  • O'Brien also runs down the Braves needs on the heels of a quiet Winter Meetings, noting that they're optimistic about re-signing Eric O'Flaherty. Atlanta is still pursuing a veteran bench bat — O'Brien mentions Eric Chavez — and are still interested in Jeff Samardzija. The Braves may be considered the favorites to land Samardzija at this point, says O'Brien, noting that payroll constraints will likely preclude them from pursuing David Price.
  • After adding to their rotation, bench and bullpen, the Nationals will now turn their focus to extending Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Should the Nats be unable to extend Zimmermann, they may be forced to consider trading him this time next season, one source told Kilgore.
  • Nate McLouth spoke to former teammate Adam LaRoche (whom he called one of his favorite teammates ever) and asked what the Nationals clubhouse was like before deciding to sign there, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. McLouth doesn't hold ill will toward the Orioles for not retaining him.


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75 Comments on "NL East Notes: Papelbon, Braves, Samardzija, Nats"


Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Can someone explain what the Phillies are doing? They want payroll relief but then they would just sign another closer. They want to get younger but then they extend Utley. They want to rebuild but then might ship out more of their farm system.

Jonah
1 year 8 months ago

All their ACTUAL moves seem to indicate that Rube is working on a very tight budget. All the rest is a smokescreen to make the fans think they are willing to spend and making every effort to make a big splash and improve the club. They want to get rid of Papelbon because he’s a jerk with a horrible contract and they can’t stand him. All the contradictory messages are a reflection of their poor planning and their inability to maneuver because of the bad long term deals they are stuck with.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah the Hernandez signing does say that. There seems to be a lot of this smokescreen.

Jeff Miller
1 year 8 months ago

I agree it appears Ruben is working on a budget, but that’s gotta be ownership’s doing. They’ll get almost $100M in guaranteed money in 2014 from TV and revenue sharing and even in a bad year they should take in at least $100M from tickets, parking, merchandise, etc.

The Phillies need to give themselves an honest look in the mirror. They’re just not good enough to compete right now. Holding onto Lee along with re-signing Utley and Ruiz just prevents them from being competitive any time soon.

Chris Lattier
1 year 8 months ago

Seems like most of the Braves young talent has been moved up to the big league roster already. Cubs prob would want the main attraction in this trade to be Sims…but Braves prob wouldn’t want to move him. Maybe Alex Wood would be a possibility?

migueljablonski
1 year 8 months ago

Wren said Sims’ basically off limits. Wood + seems like a good place to start. Im not sure what needs the Cubs have though. everything?

Swarley
1 year 8 months ago

If you’re talking to contend now, then yeah they’re pretty thin. But they have one of the top three farm systems in baseball but are very thin on pitching. Contention isn’t expected for another couple of years

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

The Braves system isn’t bad, but it’s not spectacular. If Sims isn’t on the table, the deal is a complete non-starter.

The Cubs are not motivated sellers at all and Shark has 2 years of control left.

bravo_84
1 year 8 months ago

I think you are undervaluing Wood and even Graham and Cabrera for that matter. I think the Braves have plenty to get this done without Sims especially considering Shark doesn’t figure to be around for the next contender in Chicago.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

Eh, No I’m really not.

I’ve replied to others on here about it, but the Cubs have NO urgency to move him as he has two years left of arbitration and they want a very high return back.

The Braves pretty much only have Sims as far as top-100 prospects so if he sin’t available, it’s a no-go.

And keep in mind, it’s not ME doing the “undervaluing”.
Epstein is asking for a ton. Because he can.

Last deadline the D-backs asked what it would take and the Cubs said they needed Archie Bradley AND Skaggs.

jury_rigger
1 year 8 months ago

In that case, Cubs can keep him for the next 2 years, not compete for both of them, and watch him walk for nothing. The dude is a 3/4 starter, not an ace.

Clayton Wilson
1 year 8 months ago

This. He’ll be moved, but I really don’t want to see the Braves move Wood or Sims for him.

Clayton Wilson
1 year 8 months ago

Many would say you’re undervaluing Alex Wood. He may have lost his “prospect status”(he’d certainly be considered a top 100 guy if he didn’t) by throwing 78 innings this past year(3.13 ERA, 2.65 FIP), but I’m more than confident he could be the center-piece. Not that I’d want that as a Braves fan….

1 year 8 months ago

The Braves have the talent to win now, trade for Price.

AsHeR
1 year 8 months ago

they dont have the money to do so

1 year 8 months ago

They have the money. They lost both Hudson and McCann’s contracts. They don’t want to trade the talent it’s going to take to get him.

Jeff Miller
1 year 8 months ago

They also have Heyward, Freeman, Minor and Kimbrel entering arbitration and Simmons a year away.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

The Braves don’t have the prospects to make that happen.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Yes they do, but they would have nothing left if they did.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

To clarify, I believe the Rays are only willing to deal for elite prospects. Jurickson Profar, Taijuan Walker, Javy Baez, etc.

The Braves have some nice kids, but I wouldn’t even put Sims in the Top 50 because of his age, so I just don’t think the Rays have any interest in what that system could offer.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Huh, his age? Sims (19) is younger than anyone you mentioned. Unless that is what you meant, but I am pretty sure the Rays are interested in young high upside arms.

Also the Braves have SS Jose Peraza, JR Graham, Bethancourt, LaStella, and those are just off the top of my head. They have plenty enough good prospects to get him, they just wouldn’t have any after.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

Youth is what I meant. He’s promising but he’s only played in A ball, so he hasn’t shown success against a very high level of competition.

And like I said, there are some good prospects, but none of those names you mentioned are even close to elite. Not even Sims.

If they’re telling the Mariners they need Walker, a top-5 prospect, the Braves don’t stand a chance.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

I’m sure he would be a centerpiece with the accompanying talent less impressive. The Braves wouldn’t be able to offer a top prospect like Walker, but they could offer multiple high upside prospects instead of one really good one.

But really, the Braves would never trade for Price.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

I disagree.

First, I was unclear, but if the Mariners WERE to give up Walker, they wouldn’t just trade Walker for price, straight-up. That’s bananas. It Would be Walker + pieces.

ANY team with a chance to get him would need 1 highlight elite prospect + pieces, and I don’t believe the Braves have THAt prospect.

And if you’re arguing they could trade several very good prospects instead of one elite prospect I just don’t think Tampa is interested in that. They have a pretty talented roster already that anything outside of an elite top-20 (if not top-10) prospect isn’t worth it to them.

godzillacub
1 year 8 months ago

Which is what people don’t understand about the difference between a Price package and a Shark package: Shark is going to cost a top 30ish pitching prospect in baseball, an org top 10, and an org top 20; Price is going to cost a top 10 prospect, a top 75 prospect, and an org top 10.

This is why the Braves have the tools (Sims) and cap for Shark but not the tools for Price.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

No where did I assert that it would be Walker for price straight up. That’s what “accompanying talent” refers to. Of course Walker would be a centerpiece, but the other guys in the deal would probably be high risk, high reward type of players. I don’t think it would be several highly regarded prospects after Walker.

I disagree. Why would Tampa not be interested in that? They get a better dispersal of talent and more of a chance to get multiple productive players/ It’s not like the Braves would throw them scrubs, and you’re telling me they couldn’t use Christian Bethancourt? Plus the Braves are always stocked with pitching, and you can never have enough of that.

Edit: I’d also like to point out that Lucas Sims is the Braves #1 prospect in 2014 according to BA. Where he will rank on their annual rankings, I don’t know, but I’d gather it will be somewhere in the top 30.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

Just a personal opinion, but I think the Rays want that prospect that’s ready to start and make a significant impact now. They’re a strong team but haven’t been quite able to make it over the hump. They still have a lot of prospect depth now but last year traded Shields for what would be the AL ROY. I think they want/need more of that. A good dispersal of talent, as you put it, would be fantastic for a guy like Shark, but for the Rays I think it just further muddies the waters. A guy like Profar or Baez provides a clear boost and a guy like Walker, if nothing else, immediately replaces Price as an ace.

But I’ve been wrong before.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Ugh the Shields trade still bugs me. How do you trade Wil Myers!? He was about as close to a sure thing as you can ever get, and KC definitely could have used him.

I get your point, I just don’t know if I agree that they would only take what you are describing. I think a good deal with talent spread throughout would be attractive for other reasons.

But I guess all we can do is wait to see how it plays out, than lord it over the other mercilessly! (I kid)

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

If you’re right feel free to gloat, it’s your internets right!

But I also 115% agree about Myers. This is why GM’s get fired. If he’d have traded Myers a couple years ago, whatever. But trading a guy that just RAKED in triple-A? what’s the point?

If nothing else, that’s the guy that should’ve gotten Price in return, instead of Shields. Total Madness.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

No where did I assert that it would be Walker for price straight up. That’s what “accompanying talent” refers to. Of course Walker would be a centerpiece, but the other guys in the deal would probably be high risk, high reward type of players. I don’t think it would be several highly regarded prospects after Walker.

I disagree. Why would Tampa not be interested in that? They get a better dispersal of talent and more of a chance to get multiple productive players/ It’s not like the Braves would throw them scrubs, and you’re telling me they couldn’t use Christian Bethancourt? Plus the Braves are always stocked with pitching, and you can never have enough of that.

Edit: I’d also like to point out that Lucas Sims is the Braves #1 prospect in 2014 according to BA. Where he will rank on their annual rankings, I don’t know, but I’d gather it will be somewhere in the top 30.

bravo_84
1 year 8 months ago

I think you are also underestimating the burden Price’s contract puts on TB. Do they have to move him? No. Do they need to move him? Emphatically Yes…

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

Every MLB team gets an extra 25 Million dollars of TV money from this year on.

They can afford him just fine, they just are trying to maximize their return.

bravo_84
1 year 8 months ago

This logic doesn’t make since to me. Everybody just assumes since the owners get an extra 25mil every team is just going to up their payrolls by 25Mil. I will be surprised if payrolls rise more than 10-15% this year. Price’s salary is a big burden for a team like the Rays

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

I didn’t say they will raise their pay by 25 million.

They were able to pay his arbitration rate in 2013 despite coming off of a Cy Young award. Now they have an extra 25 Million.

It’s not like he’s going to get a massive raise from last year to this year. If they can pay him last year and now have extra money money, my only point is that he clearly CAN be paid.

But because of Tampa’s revenue streams (or lack thereof) it’s more beneficial to them in the long run to trade for a prospect they can control for dirt cheap for the next 6+ years

bravo_84
1 year 8 months ago

I think we’re all making a mistake by comparing Walker with anything the Rays will legitimately get. The Shields/Myers swap was a fleecing and I don’t expect the Rays can pull that off again.

Danny Phillips
1 year 8 months ago

Samardzija owns the Nationals for some reason, hope they don’t get him

AsHeR
1 year 8 months ago

Is Lucas Sims untouchable? If not, then a package of Sims with a couple more pitching prospects would easily land Samardzija

Brv Rocks
1 year 8 months ago

Sims is untouchable and that is way too much for Samardzija.

AsHeR
1 year 8 months ago

My apologies. Im not too familiar with the Braves system. If you had to make a deal for Samardzija, who would you give up?

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Classic braves and their “untouchable” players. Fans need to realize that the Cubs really don’t want to trade him. So it’s not going to be a Fister like deal it’ll be more of what the Cubs got for Garza. Whether that means he’ll be dealt is up in the air. Personally I think he stays until the all star break. For the Braves its going to take Sims plus more or its going to take a a whole bunch of other guys in your top 10.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

“Don’t want to trade him” Uhh, the fact that they are talking about trading him says otherwise.

The Braves won’t trade Sims, and Samardzija is nice but his addition would be more of a luxury than necessity for the Braves.

AsHeR
1 year 8 months ago

The Cubs would rather re-sign him as opposed to trading him. But since both sides arent close to a deal, might as well get something for him via trade

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Of course, but to assert that the “Cubs don’t need to trade him” as the OP said, is just silly. No one NEEDS to do anything, but if they want to continue rebuilding their club, they need to trade him or sign him to an extension. And so far they it looks like they aren’t going to sign him to an extension.

If there is anyone who doesn’t need to do something, it’s the Braves.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

What he means is that he’s still under team control for two years. If they don’t get an offer they like, they’re perfectly comfortable in trying again at the trade deadline.

There’s no urgency to trade him is maybe a better way to word it.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

No urgency is a good word to use for this. Point is the price is a king’s ransom and the Cubs aren’t going to budge. If its too much for the Braves then they just move on.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

That all depends on the return they are looking to get. It’ll be a lot less talent coming back if he’s a one year rental.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Did you miss what the Rangers sent last year? A team in need will overpay for a year or less. The sent CJ Edwards who is probably on par with Sims right now plus Olt, Ramirez and Grimm.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah but the Braves don’t really qualify as a team in need. They already have six starters.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Then they move on….maybe I’m implying too much about the Braves. I’m implying more that some team will give up a lot of prospects eventually for Samardjiza. As long as he doesn’t completely implode. Also yes the Braves have six decent starters…have fun repeating the 2013 post season with those guys. Get after Price!

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Can’t say that I disagree. Someone will overpay for the Samardijza, but I can’t see it being the Braves.

What kind of nonsense is that about the postseason? Our starting pitching wasn’t even that bad in the postseason, our BP failed us much of the time. Secondly, this “ace” garbage people spout is ridiculous. Look at what happened to Detroit last year in the playoffs, they had three “aces” and it got them nothing. Or hey, how did Price pitch in the postseason in 2013 or basically ever?

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

I totally agree that people panic about the elusive “ace.” It’s overrated.

I mean, it’s great if you have Clayton Kershaw or Price or Verlander etc etc etc. But I’d be perfectly content to have 5 productive starters in front of a strong defense than 2-3 “aces” in front of garbage defense.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Pretty much! The fact that people look at samples as small as they are in playoffs to evaluate performance is beyond crazy to me.

Everyone should know by now that the playoffs are a crap shoot.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

I agree the Ace thing can be overrated and the playoffs are largely a crapshoot on which team is simply “hotter”.Yet Detroit was also 2 games from the World Series and lost to the Red Sox. Braves had one win and lost to the Dodgers. So you’re right in the end both teams went home. Not exactly the same thing.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

The point was that an Ace doesn’t guarantee anything in the playoffs, like you said, they are a crapshoot. That’s why it’s crazy for people saying “Get Price” because it’s not as if he would improve our chances, he has been pretty bad in the postseason and he’s an ace!

Of course that sample means nothing other than to illustrate that having an “ace” is less important than having a good team and playing good baseball in the playoffs. Generally the teams that don’t make mistakes, win. And as you saw, the Braves made a lot of mistakes against the Dodgers.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Can’t say that I disagree. Someone will overpay for the Samardijza, but I can’t see it being the Braves.

What kind of nonsense is that about the postseason? Our starting pitching wasn’t even that bad in the postseason, our BP failed us much of the time. Secondly, this “ace” garbage people spout is ridiculous. Look at what happened to Detroit last year in the playoffs, they had three “aces” and it got them nothing. Or hey, how did Price pitch in the postseason in 2013 or basically ever?

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

Then they move on….maybe I’m implying too much about the Braves. I’m implying more that some team will give up a lot of prospects eventually for Samardjiza. As long as he doesn’t completely implode. Also yes the Braves have six decent starters…have fun repeating the 2013 post season with those guys. Get after Price!

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

You may be right but if he gets dealt at the july deadline, the receiving team gets a year & 1/2…. but also take into account that a lot of “desperation” deals get made at the deadline where a team that thinks it needs just ONE MORE player overpays big.

Defiancy
1 year 8 months ago

Can’t argue with that, we see it every year. As the commenter below pointed out. Look what Texas gave up for Garza.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

You may be right but if he gets dealt at the july deadline, the receiving team gets a year & 1/2…. but also take into account that a lot of “desperation” deals get made at the deadline where a team that thinks it needs just ONE MORE player overpays big.

Giff
1 year 8 months ago

What he means is that he’s still under team control for two years. If they don’t get an offer they like, they’re perfectly comfortable in trying again at the trade deadline.

There’s no urgency to trade him is maybe a better way to word it.

Farmer Tan Colin!
1 year 8 months ago

No it really doesn’t. Every time they are asked they preface by saying they want to extend him first. They would rather trade him for the right package instead of losing him in 2 years for nothing. The Phillies are “talking” about trading Hamels and Lee does that mean trading them is their top priority? Lots of teams will make it known they will listen to offers. Shark is not being placed for the highest bidder like an auction more like an auction with a reserve price that I doubt anyone will give right now.

Clayton Wilson
1 year 8 months ago

If it takes Sims to get him, I really hope they just stay away. Simply not worth their only elite prospect and others.

Zack Autry
1 year 8 months ago

They should trade for either he or Kyle Lohse and sign either Ibañez or Eric Chavez. Then try to move Uggla and prepare to help fix BJ. For a team that won 96 games, a lot of those without the two players they just lost to FA, I think that’ll be more than enough.

Leonard Washington
1 year 8 months ago

Hope the Sox get in on Chavez soon. Cause as much as I respect Drew I really think he is the best bench option for the left side of the IF. For some reason I think its gonna end up being Michael Young though.

BG921
1 year 8 months ago

I just don’t see how getting Jeff Samardzija would give the Braves that much of an upgrade. He’s been pretty average his whole career and is entering his age 29 season. He’s about to be due for an extension and would probably ask for more than the Braves would be willing to give him. I’m not overvaluing the Braves prospects, but given their financial restraints, trading them all away wouldn’t help the Braves.

Call me optimistic or whatever you want, but I just feel like a combination of Alex Wood, J.R. Graham, Lucas Sims, etc. would be able to give the Braves the same production as Jeff Samardzija, but at the league minimum.

I’m not even for the Braves trading for David Price for the same reasons. The loss of prospects just doesn’t make sense for a team that can’t routinely make pushes for high priced free agents. Plus, Price would want to test the market and I don’t see the Braves being able to afford him given the eventual contract extensions owed to Heyward, Freeman, Kimbrel, etc.

Brv Rocks
1 year 8 months ago

That’s sort of how I feel. I think Samardzija is better than his ERA would suggest but he isn’t worth giving up prospects like Lucas Sims (a top 50 overall prospect). I also wouldn’t include Alex Wood in a trade for him since I think Wood could easily be the best pitcher on the staff next season.

Maybe Kris Medlen plus Sean Gilmartin/JR Graham and Christian Bethancourt.

bravo_84
1 year 8 months ago

My thinking on Shark is that under the tutelage of McDowell and with a human vaccum like Simmons behind him his value could go up dramatically. That said I think Wren is extremely talented at player evaluation and if he doesn’t feel like he is seriously winning a trade he won’t do it. (If only he could win a contract negotiation/free agent signing)

Brv Rocks
1 year 8 months ago

That’s sort of how I feel. I think Samardzija is better than his ERA would suggest but he isn’t worth giving up prospects like Lucas Sims (a top 50 overall prospect). I also wouldn’t include Alex Wood in a trade for him since I think Wood could easily be the best pitcher on the staff next season.

Maybe Kris Medlen plus Sean Gilmartin/JR Graham and Christian Bethancourt.

TDKnies
1 year 8 months ago

It is extremely disappointing to read that the Braves don’t want to “overpay to extend their young stars” but have been more than willing to roll the dice with Dan Uggla, BJ Upton, and Derek Lowe in the past.

Brv Rocks
1 year 8 months ago

Yep, Wren will give too much money for aging players whose best years are behind him. But pay a young, home grown player what they are worth? Nope.

Matt Talbert
1 year 8 months ago

DOB suggests that he has and is trying to extend but trying to get team friendly deals.

Clayton Wilson
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t think Heyward’s a possibility at all, sadly. He’s scheduled to hit the market at the age of 26. Assuming he stays healthy and continues to produce, there’s just no chance he allows Atlanta to buy out any of his free-agent years.

Simmons and Minor need to be priorities. Hopefully this quiet off-season indicates that extensions are on the way.

TDKnies
1 year 8 months ago

Agreed on Heyward, sadly. Not many players ever get the chance to cash in big twice in their careers. Heyward can make bank at age 26 or so and possibly again in his early 30’s if he plays really well.

rick staley
1 year 8 months ago

Braves have plenty of pitching without giving up Simms, Hursch, or Graham for Samardzija. Cubs have an awesome array of positional talent on the farm but are in dire need of pitching rebooted into system.

If the Shark is dealt by Theo for a young starter with some MLB experience like a Alex Wood or David Hale (although he’s 26), Theo will gather as much pitching prospects to go along with the starter too. Maybe a Cody Martin or a Aaron Northcraft combined with a reliever like Avery Moore.

Clayton Wilson
1 year 8 months ago

Nobody is worried about Sims mechanics. It was almost a guarantee that Hanson was going to run into trouble sooner rather than later with that delivery of his.

Plenty of “untouchable” prospects don’t turn into stars. People need to stop using that word anyway. Or at least stop taking it literally when they hear/read it….