Tommy Hanson Rumors
Mark Bowman of MLB.com has an excellent rundown of the Braves' payroll going into 2010. He focuses on Tim Hudson, who had scouts from the Rockies and the Diamondbacks watching him make his return to the mound last night.
It would seem that the Braves have some decisions to make about their starting rotation going into next season. They currently have Hudson, Javier Vazquez, Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson.
According to Bowman, the Braves have a few different options. They could pay Hudson's $1MM buyout and let him go. They could attempt to trade Vazquez for prospects. They could even trade Kawakami for financial relief, though the return for him would be less than what Vazquez would bring.
Bowman argues that if both Hudson and Vazquez stay with the Braves, Atlanta's rotation "would be deeper than any of the great ones it possessed during the 1990's." Do you agree? How should the Braves proceed?
A report coming from the Associated Press says that Tom Glavine may file a grievance against the Atlanta Braves for releasing him on Wednesday.
There are a number of factors here, of course. The combination of money saved by releasing Glavine matches up well with the salary owed newly-acquired Nate McLouth.
Also, the Braves wanted room for Tommy Hanson, their top pitching prospect, in the rotation.
But left unsaid is what effect this may have on Glavine's ability to sign with another team. To the extent that baseball protects its own, will owners want to give Glavine a job?
Major League Baseball has quickly become a young man's game, and there is nothing more precious than young pitching. Tommy Hanson made his big league debut for the Braves today, allowing three homers and seven runs in six innings against the Brewers at home. Just yesterday the Rays' David Price gave up just two hits and three runs in a start against the Yankees in the Bronx, and on Tuesday the Nationals will make Stephen Strasburg the first overall pick in the 2009 Draft.
If you were running your favorite team, which of these three young pitchers would you take for your club? Price is the oldest at 23, but he also has the most experience. Hanson was the best pitching prospect left in the minors before his call up, and Strasburg may be the best draft prospect ever. There's no wrong answer, but I'm interested to see who everyone prefers. So, who ya got?
Some bullet points from around the internet:
- Via Twitter, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (@haudricourt) wrote, "Talked to a baseball official who said the Brewers have indicated RF Corey Hart is not available, so forget any trade rumors involving him."
- In response to his name swirling around the rumor mills, Erik Bedard is speaking in clichés, saying in a piece by MLB.com's Jim Street, "I don't really pay much attention to it" and "I love Seattle. You can't complain with this city, the fans, the stadium, the new coaches we've got, the players ... it's a lot of fun. I love it here, so if it [contract extension] does happen, I'd be happy."
- Tommy Hanson has been called up to make his Major League debut today against Milwaukee, says the Miami Herald. Casey Kotchman was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right calf to make space for Hanson.
- The Washington Post reports Nats GM Mike Rizzo says the team is "not drafting on signability whatsoever." Instead, the Nats will take, according to the Post, "the highest-remaining player on their board. That simple."
- According to Keith Law, high schooler and lefty "Matt Purke is looking for 'Rick Porcello's deal' in the upcoming draft, according to industry sources." Law notes Porcello received $7.285MM in guranteed money, including a $3.58MM signing bonus, a record for a high school pitcher previously held by Josh Beckett.
- Law also ranks the best tools in the '09 draft.
A few links for a night that has, so far, been a tad less exciting than the one previous in our realm. Congrats to Randy Johnson on his big day.
- Joe Frisaro at MLB.com confirms the discussions between the Braves and Marlins regarding Cody Ross, saying the Marlins were looking to dip into the Braves' pitching depth.
- Mark Bowman reports that the decision to cut Tom Glavine was based "solely on performance" and not for financial reasons.
- RotoAuthority examines the fantasy aspects of the three big weekend callups in Gordon Beckham, Tommy Hanson and Andrew McCutchen.
- The Marlins promoted their 2007 second-round pick, the other Michael Stanton, to Double-A Jacksonville, according to the Miami Herald. The outfielder posted a .968 OPS for High-A Jupiter.
- Dave Cameron at Fangraphs examines the Pirates' haul in the Nate McLouth deal and doesn't think it was enough.
- Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times makes an interesting comparison between Adam Jones and Franklin Gutierrez.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com talked to Braves GM Frank Wren about the possibility of trading for outfield help, and Wren's comments paint a picture of a tough market:
Bowman writes that "there would likely be some power bats that come into the picture" if the Braves were willing to offer top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson, but notes the they have "absolutely no desire" to trade the righthander.
Wren went hard after pitching last offseason, picking up Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, and Javier Vazquez, but their offense has let them down so far.
Which hitters might be a good fit for the Braves? If Wren is unwilling to part with Hanson, how much should he give up for offensive help?
He's finally coming...multiple readers have emailed that Orioles president Andy MacPhail said on MASN that top prospect Matt Wieters will debut Friday in Baltimore against Dontrelle Willis and the Tigers. Wieters, 23, posted a .285/.367/.482 line in Triple A. He slugged .552 in May.
Since the Orioles were patient with him, Wieters likely won't become a Super Two player. Even if he never sees the minors after his weekend debut, he'll accumulate just 129 days of service time this year and won't have enough experience to become a Super Two after 2011. Every player to become a Super Two in the last three offseasons has had at least two years, 130 days service time. Wieters will hit free agency after the 2015 season regardless, but he'll go to arbitration three times, instead of four. By showing restraint this year Baltimore saved millions of dollars down the road, when they expect to contend.
No player making his MLB debut between now and the end of the season is likely to become a Super Two after 2011, even if he sticks in the majors. This matters for teams like the Braves who can now call up players like Tommy Hanson without paying extra for them in years to come.
Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune had an article yesterday involving a couple of failed Padres trades.
Krasovic says the Padres and Braves were discussing a 4-for-1 Jake Peavy deal in November. Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernadez were agreed upon. The conflict came as the Padres wanted Charlie Morton over Jo-Jo Reyes as well as Jeff Locke or Tyler Flowers over Blaine Boyer. To me that gap looks pretty sizeable, so maybe the trade was never close. At this point it seems like the Braves could end up with Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami as their rotation upgrades. They've reportedly made Escobar unavailable, leading Dan Hayes of the North County Times to suggest the Braves would have to remove Tommy Hanson's apparent "untouchable" tag to get Peavy. Everything I've read about Hanson has said the Braves are adamant about keeping him.
Krasovic also says the Giants made a run at shortstop Khalil Greene before he was dealt to the Cardinals.
4:54pm: Dejan Kovacevic learned that the Braves asked the Pirates about Maholm and Nate McLouth. Neither player would come cheap.
3:35pm: According to John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times, the Braves are interested in Paul Maholm and Ian Snell but wouldn't be willing to trade Tommy Hanson. It's hard to see the pitching-deprived Pirates trading either starter without getting MLB-ready pitching in return. Perrotto adds that the Nationals also have interest in Snell.
Summing up this weekend's Jake Peavy information...
- David O'Brien noted that the friendship between Padres GM Kevin Towers and Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod has raised some eyebrows. O'Brien also learned that Peavy's concern over Yunel Escobar being in the deal was overblown - it's more a general concern that the pitcher joins a strong team.
- On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal had the Braves and Cubs as frontrunners with the Yankees and Dodgers on the backburner. He said the Padres discussed keeping Peavy if offers do not suffice. The Braves were said to be growing impatient.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane indicated the Padres' demands for Peavy were too high for his club - "multiple players and some of our best players."
- Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times had it as a race between the Cubs and Braves, with the Dodgers a long shot. De Luca said no other teams will be considered at this point. A Cubs deal would apparently include Sean Marshall, and possibly Kevin Hart and Mike Fontenot. Jeff Samardzija is not in the mix.
- Dave O'Brien says the Braves' offer looks something like this: Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez or Jordan Schafer, and one or two pitching prospects (possibly Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes among them). Tommy Hanson is not in the mix. O'Brien agrees that it's between the Braves and Cubs, and likes the Braves' package more. O'Brien expects a deal before Thanksgiving, which is November 27th.