Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Monday, February 01, 2010

That's it?

To say I'm disappointed in the offseason moves the Braves made would be an overstatement.  On the other hand, I've been anything but impressed by them.

First, the good.
1)  They didn't give up any young players.  OK, they let KJ go, but while I like him, I don't think that it makes sense to pay $4 million or so for a guy without a starting job, and limited defensive versatility.  But they didn't trade any of the young guys in AA/AAA to try and make one last run for Bobby.  That's a serious plus.
2)  They let LaRoche go.  OK, he had a good half-season for the Braves, but what are the odds he could do that for a whole season?  Again, good financial sense was shown, as with Kelly Johnson.
3)  They made a couple of nice value pickups in Hinske and Glaus.  Neither costs too much, in money or time commitments, and both look likely to be useful stopgaps.

Too bad that's all the good I can come up with for now.  #1 is the key to this not being a really bad offseason.

OK, now the bad.
1)  Melky Cabrerra.  Ugh.  The Braves front office has had a fetish for this guy for years.  (Remember the talk of trading Andruw for Melky?)  Now they've got him.  Too bad that during the years they've been dreaming about him, he's been exposed as yet another over-hyped Yankees prospect.  A fourth outfielder at best, just like the rest of the Braves starting outfield.
2)  Salary dumping Javier Vasquez.  Trading him wasn't so bad.  After all, 2009 was the first year he put everything together, and even so, the results weren't quite what they seemed like.  Anyway, I'm fine with the idea of trading Lowe or Vasquez, and understand that Lowe was pretty untradeable.  But still, the return was blah.  (OK, the pitching prospect is nice, but he's a pitching prospect.)  And even worse, the money they're saving appears to be going into Liberty Media's pockets instead of the team.  Not a happy development.
3)  Lack of big moves.  There were a number of players out there who might have been useful additions to the team, especially when it comes to power.  None of them appear to have been seriously approached.  Jason Bay sure would have looked nice hitting in the middle of the lineup.  (Not so nice out in LF, nor is he worth $16 million...)

It boils down to an offseason where the front office did little to improve the team.  Instead, they replaced the parts that left with similar parts.  That's better than some alternatives, but it sure doesn't fill me with enthusiasm for the 2010 season.

Maybe Heyward will actually be ready to play RF out of spring training.  Maybe Prado really is a .300 hitter.  Maybe Chipper can bounce back.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  Too many for me, but maybe that's what being a Braves fan is about these days.

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