The Braves have claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Royals, per a club announcement. The Atlanta organization will be responsible for the remainder of Hamilton’s $4.25MM salary along with a $1MM buyout on a mutual option.
It’s a fairly significant price to pay, but understandable under the circumstances. The Braves have lost their two best left-handed-hitting outfield options, Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte, to injuries that may not heal by the end of the season. Lacking the ability to strike a trade for a MLB contract, the club had limited avenues for acquiring a replacement. The
As we noted when Inciarte’s injury arose, Hamilton is in the same general sub-category of player. Both are speedy, defensive-oriented center fielders who hit from the left side. If Inciarte is something of an archetype, Hamilton is an extreme version of the class. Hamilton has been an exceedingly valuable fielder and baserunner, though he has minimal power and has rarely reached base at palatable rates.
This year, Hamilton’s bat has sunk even further. At the time of his departure from the K.C. roster, he had produced 305 plate appearances of 44 wRC+ output. He’s still valued as an excellent defender and baserunner, though there has been a bit of erosion in Hamilton’s most notable physical skill. By measure of Statcast, his sprint speed has fallen from a 99+ percentile placement in recent years to the 97.5th percentile this season.
While Hamilton hasn’t been at his best in 2019, he ought to help shore things up down the stretch. And he’s a fascinating postseason roster piece as a potential late-inning pinch runner and/or defensive replacement. That’s arguably worth a premium to a team that’s all but assured of a postseason appearance. As we discussed in profiling some August waiver claim candidates, the Braves can perhaps afford to splurge on a needed addition given that they were bailed out of the remainder of their obligations to Kevin Gausman.
What a waste. Post season pinch runner at best
You forgot to mention that he’s a premier defender. Granted, the Braves aren’t getting a discount, but he’s valuable when used as a non-regular. He’s a game-changer in every aspect except at the plate.
If you’re going to criticize the move, blame the Braves for not realizing that Gausman can be a dominant reliever when used correctly. It’s a short sample size with the Reds, but mark my words.
Agree on Gausman, should have at least given it a try even if it meant Newk had to be sent down (this was the reason AA gave as to why they didn’t try him in pen). If nothing else IL him again with planter fasciitis until you figure it out.
Monday morning QBs are always right… don’t you think they tried to talk to him about moving to the pen??? Too many people like you act like GMs are dumb as _______. I would bet anything they talked and he didn’t want to go to the pen and they didn’t want a sulker around the team to kill the chemistry so they cut him loose.
So he doesn’t to go to the pen on a team that’s all but certain to make the post season, but he’s suddenly ok with it on a team that’s realistically out of the wild card race?
How do you think you know more than the team? You can’t be serious.
Ha! Yeah like Monday morning GM’s are worse than the people who think they know everything that happened behind closed doors even though they don’t have a single strain of evidence and are spewing their assumptions as reality.
he is a game changer at the plate… just not in a good way lol.
he couldn’t be sent down, though (since he got to 5 years of service time, if they tried that, he could say no , get released, and the braves would either have to keep him on the main roster or cut him, still owing him all of his salary)
I think there’s been a lot of phantom injuries this year with this joke they call the IL. Just more dumb stuff Rob Manfred dreamed up…
He’s worse than Peter Bourjos, yet he’s still in the league getting chances and paid millions??
Yea i mean, other than the bullpen… he filled a major need right now. OF, Speed, bench bat… yep… until our guys get healthy this is much needed
Sammy J Dogg
“Surely post season pinch runners have never proven to be important at all.” – Dave Roberts, 2004 Red Sox
– Jarrod Dyson, 2015 KCR
My first thought when I read this! Great post man.
10-4. Exactly. Spending “scared money”.
“Post season pinch runner”
Exhibit A: Dave Roberts.
Too bad you can’t steal first base…oh wait…that might change!
what does that even mean
A rule being tested in the independent Atlantic league, along with robo umpires and others, allows batters to steal first base on passed balls in any count. This essentially expands the passed ball strike three rule to apply to any passed ball scenario.
Does that rule apply for wild pitches as well? I also heard they were considering using larger bases to make it easier to steal/get on base as well as moving the pitcher further back from the plate to make the pitch velocity and command worse so it will be easier to hit.
Yes, if they don’t field it in the air they can take off. That means inaccurate sinker ballers could be vulnerable against some gutsy speed demons. I like it honestly, but hilarious thinking a guy could have a .175 AVG and .400 OBP.
The players union would strike before they ever allowed the mounds to be moved back. I can see it now. Every pitcher no matter how good would get one million dollars tops considering every single one of them would develop arm problems from such a drastic change.
So what is it listed as statistically? It’s not a hit or a walk, so you get a plate appearance and a stolen base?
I kinda like that idea.
It’s not a drastic change. If done in MLB it would mean moving it back gradually, a few inches at a time. It would take years for it to reach the exact centre of the diamond, which is just over 63 feet.
I’ve heard many pitchers and coaches say that moving it back slowly is a much safe and less drastic change than raising the mound, which has been proven to put more stress on the elbow.
No, it would be scored that the runner would reach base on an error.
Man you think Tom Glavine would have been successful with that rule? Dude made a whole living painting the corners.
Correct me if I’m confused, but wouldn’t raising the mound have a direct opposite effect of moving the mound back? Raising the mound gives pitchers an advantage. That’s why MLB lowered it after Bob Gibson’s 300+ innings pitched 1.12 ERA season. That was considered the end of the “dead ball era.” They lowered it to increase offense. They would be moving it back to increase offense as well. Raising the mound would just decrease offense like it was in the dead ball era.
See the response from “srechter.”
I am also implying that stealing first base is the only way he can get on base unless he learns to bunt.
Nice, always liked Billy. Him and Ben Revere had some of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen in the outfield
+1 from a Phillies phan……Always had a sweet spot for a Glanville type…….no idea why, guess I appreciate dudes who do the little things right….
Well, as they say, “”Speed kills” and he’s got more than enough of that! And by the way what did the Braves WASTE to get him?
What do you mean? It’s a waiver claim, pretty cut and dry.
They better not be sending down Ortega
I don’t understand the kid was tearing up AAA
I would like to see him get a shot
Especially after that grand slam yesterday
They aren’t. Wilson optioned, Webb to the 60 day IL. Also Ortega is out of options, so he would have to be designated if they want to get rid of him.
I am ok with it then
I would like to see them transition Wilson to a full time bullpen role though
I been feeling like he got the makeup for that
They’re not Webb put on the 60day IL and Wilson being sent back to Gwinnett. Ortega stays put. From a defensive perspective Duvall in LF, Hamilton in CF and Acuna in RF is pretty stout.
Except 2 of them can’t hit. I think ATL would have been good with platooning what we have now. To play, Hamilton has to bat – which we don’t need with 4 non-hitting spots in the order already.
Where do you get 4 non-hitting spots u numbskull. From a 63 year old fan. Culbertson, Joyce hit when they play. Duvall has power. Echievierra has hit so far. Ortega? Swanson, Ender, Markakis will all hit whenever they get back. What the hell are u talking about, the more I think about it u r more than a numbskull. Second best offense in NL right now and it’s a very, very close second…
Grumpiest Old Men
Other than Fried, the p spot, check flowers average & BMac has cooled,. Culberson doesn’t hit when he starts, SS is a non-hitting spot despite success so far, and Duvall is moving to the..230-range, so I rest my case. Before calling people names, check the density of your own skull. We already have 3 people who can run, so a roster spot that could be better used for a hitter since some of those now hitting won’t sustain it.
I see you have the same keyboard problem I have. Every time I try to type Culberson it changes it to Culbertson. It won’t let me change the way it corrects it. I have to make a point to fix it every time which is extremely frustrating. I have to say you make me feel kinda old. I was born multiple decades after you became a Braves fan but I agree with most everything you say and like your posts. Some of these younger folks have constant knee jerk reactions to the game and make really dumb comments. Sometimes I think all they care about is hitting and strikeouts. It’s kinda like they assume the rest of the aspects of the game will work themselves out. Only some of them are that way though. Most are pretty solid.
Doubling down on your BS? BMac been hitting his whole career. C. Culberson doesn’t hit in maybe 3 starts so he can’t hit at all? Duvall still has power no matter what the average. You take a one week sample size and brand it as God’s Truth? You r much more than a numbskull.
Wilson is getting sent back down…. Webb transferred to the 60 day DL
Ortega is a AAAA player and has had plenty of time to prove otherwise in the past.
Muncy was a AAAA player at 26. I’m not saying Ortega will be Max Muncy, but players can be late-bloomers.
I am not expecting Ortega to come in and be an all star next year
He has had a good year in AAA I just wanted them to see if it could carry over and maybe be a bench piece for next year
Ortega couldn’t break into the Padres lineup for a single game 2 years ago. That should say it all. Besides IL stats are pretty meaningless this year compared to past years as they started using the major league superball this year, so homers and runs are WAY up.
2 years ago is a long time ago. He came up clutch on Sunday and right now that’s all I care about. Padres have 300 million dollar Superstars (Machado) who routinely don’t run the ball out. We just have a 100 million kid who did it just one time but his numbers and ability are through the roof. Dumb Padres management way overpaid just like the Phillies. And where are they both now?
I always liked him so it’s sad to see him fall so far, but that happens to one-trick ponies. Now he’s Terrence Gore or Ryan Freel or Jarrod Dyson.
Billy Hamilton wishes he was Jarrod Dyson.
No, he’s a two trick pony. He plays defense and steals/runs the bases with the best of them.
the trick to that second trick is getting on base.
Ever hear about rule where u can pinch run? I guess not…….
Wow, Ryan Freel reference. Dude was a class A goofball but fun/frustrating to watch as a Reds fan
At least he found a team to pay him. Didn’t Baltimore give him a big payday before he fell apart. I remember when everyone was saying the best thing about Freel was how hard he played. The funny thing is that was also the worst thing about him. He wouldn’t stop getting injured. I think that was what initially caused his downfall with the Orioles. He kinda reminded me if Ken Griffey, Jr. that way. Gave it his all on every defensive play no matter how much it injured him and put him out of commission. It’s admirable but also pretty stupid from a long term “helping the team” outlook. What is it about outfielders that played for the Reds?
In the Playoffs,most of the time the Games are close and Home Runs tend to die off,the Teams that can play some Small Ball win and Speed Never Slumps
Such a stupid move and total waste of money. No need for another outfielder who can’t hit.
They are down 3 outfielders. They need someone who can play defense out there.
Such a stupid statement.
Agreed it was, unfortunately it’s not the first and it surely won’t be my last. I’m not sure why I cared that the Braves spent money. Guess when it comes to money with the Braves I always get worried.
What are they spending this money on at this point? I guarantee they aren’t rolling it over into next years payroll. When have they ever? It will just get pocketed
What money are they spending that is going to roll in to next year? $1.3M? That’s chump change on a major league roster. Are they going to miss out on a big free agent because they came up $1.3M short?
Ask the Red Sox if Dave Martinez stealing 2nd off Marino rivera in the playoffs was necessary or Dyson on the royals as a base stealer against the Mets. No prospects lost here.
Logical move for the Braves. At best, he plays above average defense, steals some bases, and scores a few runs. At worst, he takes Max Fried’s spot as pinch runner. Win, win.
Yeah speaking of Gausman and his immaculate inning yesterday. Still have no idea why they didn’t give him a shot at the pen before cutting him loose, even if Newk was the only one with options left and doing so would have meant sending him down.
Yeah, I wasn’t a big fan of dumping Gausman. Could have either faked a Tomlin injury or just dumped him instead.
Guys, he’s probably one of the 10 fastest players in the history of MLB. Look at his career fielding stats (off the charts). 295 stolen bases and he’s just 28. As a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner he’s as good as gold. It’s so -ucked up you chumps just see the negatives instead of the incredible positives. Like Imgman so aptly said “Speed never slumps”
The year Hamilton was a late season call up that was pretty much all he did. He was a weapon. Did things I hadn’t seen before. He can so be that in the playoffs
I love this signing. I love speed. When they had guys like Otis Nixon and Marquis Grissom or Rafael Furcal it was great.
A joy to watch play. Reminds me of back when there was real baseball. Braves are a great fit for him.
When let go I said Braves should grab Hamilton for defense and speed with Ender out for extended time again. I was called a idiot and Braves wouldn’t do it…… guess what.
Any kind of strategic thinking is going to go against the simplistic dogma of modern baseball. I’m glad the Braves care more about winning games than paying the guy’s salary.
@doxie unlike you, management has to live with EVERY decision they make. You get 1 out of 50 right and you think you’re a GM. Get a life.
This is a good move. The Braves may very well need to get creative and manufacture late runs in The NLCS against LAD. Hamilton will be a huge baserunning threat late in games as a pinch runner.
I bet they regret not trading for Nick Castellanos
This move would prove the opposite. Castellani’s is a poor defensive left fielder with no speed or base running ability. Hamilton is a great defensive center fielder with incredible speed and base running ability. Stay off the fantasy baseball. A DH in training has no business on one of the 2 best NL teams. DH’s have no business in the NL anyway really.
This is a great move if the Pirates are still on the Braves schedule this season. He destroys them. Something like 1/3rd of his career steals are against Pittsburgh.
There isn’t anything the Braves can lose with this signing. He helps upgrade the outfield defense and gives the Braves a stolen base threat when guys start getting healthy. Worse case scenario he improves the defense and released when Riley, Kake, or Inciarte get healthy.
If Braves fans need something to complain about today, they just announced SunTrust will extend the netting all the way to the foul poles within the next two weeks.
That’s the real travesty that’s been made by the higher ups in the org today.
Blame casuals, phones, and stupid people for that not the Braves.
for once you say something smart.
Yes, protecting people, especially children, from 100+ mph projectiles is a travesty.
How will grown men fight over foul balls now?
How will they regale their grandkids with stories like “Kids, gather ’round. Do you see this? This is a real MLB baseball that Adeinny Hechevarria fouled off in a 1-2 count in the middle of a 10-3 loss one glorious August night.”?
stan lee the manly
Those baseballs are very meaningful to a lot of people even if they aren’t to you. It’s perfectly ok for people to be disappointed that the opportunities to catch one are going to decrease in the future, even if it is for a good reason.
I don’t really agree with that statement stan Lee. Yes, catching a ball would be cool. But nobody ever catches the line drives. They are extremely dangerous, even if you are paying attention. This won’t impact your ability to catch a foul pop.
stan lee the manly
I’m not saying that the nets aren’t worth it. They are. But I disagree that the baseballs mean nothing and that people can’t be disappointed about it.
At the first game I took my three year old to, I caught one of those line drives and was able to give it to my son and he cried he was so excited. It’s the most special memory with him that I have.
I agree with you. I caught a foul as a kid and it was a part of what made me a lifelong Braves fan. I was on TV and it blew my mind. I still have it to this day. I also understand the other side. I have a 4-year old daughter and I watched the shot of that 2- year old girl take a line drive to the face. She wasn’t on the phone and she wasn’t casual or distracted. She was just being 2. That’s all 2 year olds know how to do. I had a friend in highschool that took a line drive to his face and it crushed the front of his skull. He looks fine now but he will never be the same. I can promise you that 2-year old will never be the same either (no matter what they say on TV about her progression). The only difference is she will never remember what happened and she will think she was always that way. I am torn though because I want to take my daughter to Braves games and have her hope she can catch a ball like her daddy did. I also don’t want ANYTHING (net included) even slightly disrupting my field of vision. At the end of the day baseball is a business and they need casual fans and 2 year olds to be able to come to the game. I don’t like the net but if it saves even one more child from having anything like that happening to them I am for it. I couldn’t stand the idea of ruining a child’s life because I wanted to catch a ball or not have to look through a net. The friend I had who went through that had his entire head swell up like a balloon. They had to let the fluid drain through tubes out of his skull for 2 weeks. Then the doctors had to graft part of his bone from the back of his head and form it into the shape of his face. They did a great job and he looked almost the same. The problem was the trauma to his brain. At the time he was one of the top students in our school and already earned a full scholarship to Davidson University. His brain didn’t work the same way. He couldn’t remember things and went into battles with deep depression due to several chemical imbalances. He lost his scholarship and flunked out of school. He lives wih his parents now and has no family. It’s bad enough to have it happen to a 17-year old that knows what he is getting into. A 2-year old? I can’t imagine.
If you need protecting, sit further away from the prime foul ball areas. Problem solved and others get to enjoy the game the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Casual fans don’t know enough about baseball to even think about that. The Braves need casual fans in the stadium or the payroll will drop dramatically. I know for a fact that 2 year old didn’t think of that. The truth is that we all go to games playing the 99.99+% odds that it will never happen to us or anyone in our family. I don’t want it to happen to anyone’s family. I get your gripe. A large part of me wants to try to take my daughter to a game in the next 2 weeks just so she can see what it’s like without the net while she still can. At the same time there are not enough die hard fans willing to pay top dollar to fill up that part of the stadium 81+ games every year. The Braves have to make a good business decision or the payroll will suffer. Telling casual fans they are only allowed to get further away seating is a terrible business decision. I am personally totally willing to put myself in front on the foul line with no net. That’s because I am at risk. I am not willing to tell someone else that is a casual fan that they have to put their child in that situation or else be treated like a lesser fan. They spend money like the rest of us. Maybe even more. They deserve the same excitement we do. The Braves need their business too. There are a lot more casual fans than there are die hard fanatics. The Braves have to go where the money is.
If Billy races the-freeze, let me know!
hahaha let’s make this happen^^^
stan lee the manly
I would buy a ticket just to see that
I think this is a smart move for the Braves. Hamilton the starter is a last place team player, but Hamilton the pinch runner/defensive replacement is a first division player. Those tools off the bench could make a huge difference late in important games.
Just imagine a late inning game that’s tied or we’re down by one and BMac leads of the inning with a single or walk. Pinch running Hamilton probably wins the game. I mean I LOVE BMac but watching the dude run the bases is PAINFUL. It’s like he creates a logjam on the bases if he’s the first one on.
All 30 Parks
Hamilton should spend six hours a day, ever day, learning to bunt.
If he went to the Braves does that mean every American league team passed on him?
Yes so did other NL Team.
Only the dodgers didn’t get a chance at him.
Lol @ 44 wRC+
Also, is this the money that AA said ownership was willing to dole out if he needed it? What a spend!!
Must’ve been competition for him not to be released. There aren’t any glove first outfielders available?
I think I read a question about this in one of the last two MLBTR chats. Someone asked the host why KC hadn’t tried to put him on waivers yet. The host said KC wouldn’t be smart to push him through until Wednesday because the waiver period for this week is 48hrs and ends on Friday. The Royals were trying to save money by keeping him off the 40-man roster (I guess that’s a stipulation in his contract) but they actually wanted to keep him. They tried to push him through early and since all waivers are irrevocable starting this season they lost him. I am not sure if that was KC’s ultimate goal but the host seemed to think so. I am sure they would have wanted to keep him for the minor league salary. Turns out the host was right and he got snagged. I don’t know a lot about this guy because I never heard of him before this week but 295 steals at 28 yrs old with great CF defense sounds very beneficial. I do think that Culberson finally deserves a shot at starting now with all these OF/IF injuries. It sounds like Hamilton really could have a potential Dave Roberts/Deion Sanders effect in the playoffs. I think he was worth the risk. People give Anthopolous a lot of flack about spending money but he has said this was his plan all off season. Save up to buy/trade for the needs we have later in the season. The big problem everyone complained about t first was the bullpen but where would we be if AA invested in any reliever not named Ottavino? We weren’t going to outbid the Yanks for him anyway. It is a guessing game on relief pitchers and all the teams that paid big $ for anyone but Ottavino failed. Starting pitching was our next problem but we were never gonna give that kind of contract to Patrick Corbin. It would have actually hamstrung our payroll for years and years. The other player everyone wanted was Harper. That would have seriously hurt this franchise. I would take a healthy Markakis and $324 million over Harper every time. Last season clearly was not a fluke bad season for him. His batting average, strikeouts and defense are not getting better to the point that he is his former MVP self. He is still has power and is a good player but his best years are clearly behind him. I don’t care how young he is. I would love to have him on the team but not for $330 million. Not even for $200 million. Had we blown our entire off season payroll on relievers not named Ottavino we would have been screwed now. AA waited until he figured out what injuries we had and how available players were actually performing this season (which is huge with relievers, I.e. Trevor Rosenthal @ $7 million per) before he made the moves. I know Martin, Melancon, and Hamilton aren’t big names and I know Shane Greene underperformed when he got here. But now Greene has been perfect his last couple outings and Melancon and Martin have done better as well. The big argument from some off season fans was that the Nat’s, Phil’s, and Mets would be right on our tails and we needed to make those off season moves just to be able to make it to playoffs. Now we are gonna make the playoffs anyway and we have the piece of mind of knowing that we won’t be able to count on guys like Markakis, Inciarte, Riley, Swanson, Vizciano or Minter before we make the moves. I know Melancon is over paid at $14 mill a year but at least we know what we are getting. At least none of these guys will effect our payroll after next season and at least none of these guys cost us any of our top 5 prospects. AA said he had the money to spend and would do it later in the season when he knew what our needs are and he knew which guys weren’t total busts. I know Melancon and Hamilton aren’t cool names but they are a lot better than Brach, Herrerra, or Rosenthal and we don’t have to rely on them to be great years down the line like Ottavino, Corbin or Harper. We have a great young core. Let’s not ruin it by destroying our payroll for a decade on a player that could be a disaster. I like the idea of figuring out what a good team needs and then adding to it in those areas with players that are still performing who aren’t under ridiculously lengthy contracts. I especially love doing all of that without giving up any top prospects. I agree we probably won’t win it this year but we are at least giving it a shot. Soroka, Fried, Albies, Riley and Acuna are all likely to only get better. We also have a lot of REALLY good players coming up in the minors. Let’s not blow it all up on a year we likely can’t win it all anyways. The way AA is playing it we will have a solid chance to win it all every year for the next decade. If you are gonna blow it up for a shot to win it, do it on the beat year. Not the first year.
*Do it on the BEST year. Not the first year.
Dude, this is a comment section, not a 500 word essay section.
Don’t read it then
Wow. Somebody puts some thought and information into a reply and somebody has to complain about it being too long?
Scrolling down… the bane of any troll’s existence…
It was a bit long but I do agree it was thoughtful. 1st Admentment right?
No one has time to read that
kc fan here. glad you took him off our hands. he can’t hit and his sb potential has dwindled a bit. never understood us signing him in the first place.
And you know what? He’s probably thrilled he can contribute to a winner and not be on a team going NOWHERE!
Solid move by the Braves. Maybe playing for a competitive team will reinvigorate Hamilton–if not, he can still be useful.
Hamilton? Moot point since the Braves ain’t gonna win the NL Central with or without him. The Nats are firing on all cylinders now and they are gonna catch and pass the Braves. Too many obvious cracks were not filled by AA, and the moves he did make ain’t really helping.
And I say this as someone who would like to see the Braves win. I went to seven of their fantasy camps back in the ’90s. Met a lot a former Braves like Hubbie, Doug Flynn, Mike Lum, Bruce Del Canton, Ralph Garr, etc. who were our coaches. So when I’m not rooting for my hometown Phillies, I pull for the Braves.
BTW, the Phillies, led(?) by our coconut manager and Boy Wonder general manager are totally toast. Good luck, Braves, but I see dark clouds on the horizon.
You’re right. The Braves will not win the NL Central, but neither will the Nationals.
Neither the Braves nor the Nationals will win the NL Central. Neither play in that division. This entire post calls your judgement into question. You don’t follow it enough to even know what your talking about. The Braves will win the NL East. The NL East. The Jays will probably finish second by several games. The only way that doesn’t happen is if the Mets surpass the Nat’s and the Nat’s finish 3rd. You said you are a Phillies fan but you clearly don’t have a clue what division your Phillies even play in. Just because the Nats whooped your Phils doesn’t mean the Nats are gone be great. It just means your Phillies are not very good.
It was a typo.. BTW, the Jays?
Lou, u must be one more of those delusional Nats or Phillie fans. U guys are beyond pathetic…
Many people are bemoaning the acquisition of Billy Hamilton by the Braves; I think its pretty good. They have a speedy defensive specialist. Who knows, the Brave may even fix his offense.
Releasing Kevin Gausman was a salary dump. For what he was offering, he just wasn’t worth the salary he was earning, especially as a SP. The Reds are using him in the bullpen successfully. There’s no guarantee he could pitch as well from the Braves pen. Some things just click-in or click-out when a pitcher changes teams or roles.