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Thursday, September 28, 2006

ajc: O’Brien: Andruw in his prime or in decline?

You are not of the Body. You will be Absorbed…It is the will of Andruw.

They will decide in coming months — perhaps sooner — whether they can afford to re-sign Jones, whose salary could climb above $15 million annually and account for a fifth of the projected team payroll. He’s scheduled to make $13.5 million next season.

“With every player who becomes a free agent or a potential free agent,” Braves general manager John Schuerholz said, “you try to make your best judgment as to how long a guy can continue to perform at his optimum level and how long you can count on that productivity.

...“He’s in a class with some of the greatest of all time,” Braves pitcher John Smoltz said. “He shows such brilliance and does it with such ease, and when he’s no longer in center field, you’re going to see a remarkable difference. It’s not going to be easy to replace him. It’d be like replacing Mariano Rivera [as Yankees closer].”

Repoz Posted: September 28, 2006 at 01:47 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 02:31 PM (#2190341)
I'm torn. Andruw is my favorite player and I'd love for him to stay with the Braves his whole career. That said, it's pretty obvious he's not the same on defense as he used to be. I don't think he'll be worth 15m a year for 5 years after this season (and I think he can get someone to pay him that kind of money). I completely and totally respect his position that he will veto any in-season trade - he has certainly earned that right. I guess it's wishcasting to hope he signs a below market deal to stay with the Braves. Oh well :(

---

Andruw for Lester, Crisp, and Hansen -- gotta admire Schuerholtz for trying. Poor Lester - I don't know if the Braves would even take that deal now if it was offered to them.
   2. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: September 28, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2190346)
The answer to this question is as follows: If the Red Sox were to have gotten him, he would have been in decline. Otherwise, he'd put up numbers worthy of a HOF'er.
   3. Colin Posted: September 28, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2190436)
The problem I have is that even if Andruw's in decline, I don't have confidence in their ability to replace him well. I think that right now he's more valuable to the Braves than to most teams, because they don't really have anyone to replace him.
   4. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2190452)
The problem I have is that even if Andruw's in decline, I don't have confidence in their ability to replace him well. I think that right now he's more valuable to the Braves than to most teams, because they don't really have anyone to replace him.


Wouldn't Langerhans more than adequately replace him in CF? Everything I've heard about him says he's a wonderful fielder.

Offensively, you're probably right, but what about putting the same amount of money towards a Lee or a Soriano?
   5. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#2190467)
Andruw is younger than Carlos Lee, has a career OPS+ headed into this year 5 points higher, and is a much better defender (even if he's only an average CF). Lee turned down 4/$48 from the Brew Crew, so he's looking for at least 5/$70 or thereabouts. I'm not sure that's the direction the Braves should turn. Soriano is the same age as Lee and had the same OPS+ headed into this year.

*sigh* maybe it would be a good idea to offer Andruw a 3/$45 extension this offseason and hope he signs it as JC suggests on sabernomics today. I don't think he would, though.
   6. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2190470)
Andruw is younger than Carlos Lee, has a career OPS+ headed into this year 5 points higher, and is a much better defender (even if he's only an average CF). Lee turned down 4/$48 from the Brew Crew, so he's looking for at least 5/$70 or thereabouts. I'm not sure that's the direction the Braves should turn. Soriano is the same age as Lee and had the same OPS+ headed into this year.

*sigh* maybe it would be a good idea to offer Andruw a 3/$45 extension this offseason and hope he signs it as JC suggests on sabernomics today. I don't think he would, though.


I forget Andruw is that young since he's been around for so long. You're probably right that Jones is a better buy than either Lee or Soriano. Now if Jones would be willing to move to a corner position... he would definitely be my choice. I just don't see that happening though.
   7. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2190472)
Langerhans is a tremendous defender. However, he's not good enough offensively to start everyday. Offensively, you'd be replacing your cleanup hitter with a guy who would hit 8th. There's no way Langerhans is good enough with the glove to make that up - especially since Andruw is still good (not great) defensively.
   8. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2190476)
maybe it would be a good idea to offer Andruw a 3/$45 extension this offseason and hope he signs it as JC suggests on sabernomics today. I don't think he would, though.

It's worth a shot. His current contract was considered "below-market" when he signed it. He's made statements that he wouldn't do it again, but there's no question that he likes being in Atlanta, even with the Gold Club gone.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2190479)
Jones might still be a good defender if he didn't apparently take Bengie Molina's Miracle Pop Tart Assgrowing Diet.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2190490)
"However, he's not good enough offensively to start everyday. Offensively, you'd be replacing your cleanup hitter with a guy who would hit 8th. There's no way Langerhans is good enough with the glove to make that up - especially since Andruw is still good (not great) defensively."

I agree with the second half of this, but not the first. Langerhans is plenty good enough to start in CF, but the Braves would have to add another bat in LF to make up for some of Andruw's production if they wanted to go that route.
   11. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#2190494)
Langerhans could easily be 20 runs better in CF than Andruw. He's unreal out there. He doesn't appear to be really fast, so his reads must be crazy good.

And Langerhans plays left now, so getting a LF masher for less than Andruw would replace the stats.
That is:
$15 mil Andruw CF + Langer LF < Langer CF + $10 mil LF masher.
   12. TribeGuy Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2190500)
You are not of the Body. You will be Absorbed...It is the will of Andruw

Classic Trek reference. Very nice!
   13. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2190504)
$15 mil Andruw CF + Langer LF < Langer CF + $10 mil LF masher

Who is this mythical "$10 mil LF masher" you speak of? Carlos Lee (as mentioned above - older than Andruw) will get more (probably much more) than $10 million. So will Barry Bonds (who I'd be willing to see out there). And Soriano will probably get a contract that dwarfs either of theirs.

That puts us in the Cliff Floyds. Who certainly won't be bringing the offense that Andruw does.
   14. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2190513)
Here's another equation: $15 mil Andruw CF + Langer LF < Langer CF + $15 mil Andruw LF

Unfortunately, there is zero chance of this happening. Andruw won't be moved off of CF as long as he's with the team and plays the position without embarrassing himself.

If the Braves decide not to re-sign Andy, I'd think about Vernon Wells. He's younger, a good hitter, and a better defensive player.
   15. RichRifkin Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#2190514)
While the Braves don't compare with Boston or the New York clubs for big contracts, it is notable that they have almost $80 million next season committed to just 7 players:

Chipper $15m
Hampton $14.5
Andruw $13.5
Hudson $13
Renteria $9
Smoltz $8 (option)
Wickman $6.5

Only one of those contracts looks really bad (Hampton) and one seems like a mistake (Hudson). The others, given the market, seem reasonable, especially Smoltz.

What is tough right now for the Braves is the division they are in. I see no reason to think that the Mets won't be very good next year; Florida could take a big jump up (though I would not bet on it); and Philly is young and competitive. Atlanta is likely to not make the playoffs. And if they are not playing for the post-season, it makes sense to get a bit younger and build for the future. Maybe, then, this trade would work for the Braves: Andruw to Los Angeles for Andre Ethier?
   16. Honkie Kong Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2190518)
Of the above contracts, Hampton has been prorated to 8mil a year.
Red sox are paying 3 mil of renteria's, and Wickman has a base of 5 mil.
That said, the Braves don't need much more.
LaRoche, Horacio, Diaz and Giles are due for significant arb raises.
The rest are on a league minimum.

And the Braves need a primary set up man ( if Devine doesn't work out again )
Really with all those pitchers coming back, that is the main hole in the team right now. This team can hit.
   17. Honkie Kong Posted: September 28, 2006 at 05:58 PM (#2190521)
Can we get red sox to part with Manny + cash for Andruw?
While I admit this is not going to happen, I want to see how Manny plays under Cox. should be fun
   18. Shalimar Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#2190528)
Andruw to Los Angeles for Andre Ethier?

I like Ethier alot more than most here do, but that isn't even close to equal value. Add several good pitching prospects/relievers to the Braves and it might work. Of course, with Scheurholz you never can tell what he will find acceptable.
   19. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2190535)
Arbitration raise for Diaz? His MLB service time coming into this year was .157 years. I am prtty sure he is locked in for the minimum next season.

Horacio and Giles are probably gone so the Braves will save some money there. Chipper renegotiated and is actually making 11 million (changed option years to guaranteed money). As mentioned previously Renteria costs six million a year for the Braves and Hampton's contract was ammortized so he costs them eight million per season. Somehow, Hudson only makes six million in 2007, but he received a ten million dollar signing bonus so I am not certain when that was paid and what he actually costs...

I like the Wells idea. The Blue Jays need a shortstop, right? Renteria, Salty Dog, and Langerhans to the Jays for a reupped Wells. Then move Andruw to the Angels for Brandon Wood and Nick Adenhart. Allows the Braves to add some young impact talent as well as contend in 2007 if the pitching staff can be bolstered. Odds of this actually happening are about a million to one, but its nice to dream...
   20. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:34 PM (#2190541)
I like the Wells idea. The Blue Jays need a shortstop, right? Renteria, Salty Dog, and Langerhans to the Jays for a reupped Wells. Then move Andruw to the Angels for Brandon Wood and Nick Adenhart. Allows the Braves to add some young impact talent as well as contend in 2007 if the pitching staff can be bolstered. Odds of this actually happening are about a million to one, but its nice to dream...

The Braves should have just worked out a three-team deal to get Beltran from the Royals in 2003 or the first half of '04. Every Braves friend of mine considered the idea of swapping out Andruw for Beltran complete lunacy at the time despite early indications that Andurw might not age gracefully as a centerfielder.
   21. dlf Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2190543)
and Hampton's contract was ammortized so he costs them eight million per season.


Dollars to donuts, shortly after Liberty Media takes over, they will start calculating the team payroll using the $15m figure for Hampton as an excuse for belt tightening.

Anyway, part of the Braves brilliant run was a willingness to let declining players leave - either via trade or free agency -- without paying market rates while replacing them fairly cheaply and most often effectively. From Justice and Gant early in the run to McGriff and Neagle in the middle through Glavine and Maddux at the tail end, they have rarely held players beyond their reasonable shelf-life. They haven't paid many contracts for what the player had done in the past instead of what they will do in the future. Extending Andruw past 34 at or above $15m would be just that type of mistake they have avoided in the past.
   22. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#2190550)
Dollars to donuts, shortly after Liberty Media takes over, they will start calculating the team payroll using the $15m figure for Hampton as an excuse for belt tightening.

If not sooner. I figured Tw would do this even before the Liberty sale was rumored.

FWIW, I agree 1000% with your second paragraph too. Andy for 4 more years at primo dollars I can handle; any longer than that is probably too long. Sadly, I think that's what it will cost.

---
I like the Wells idea. The Blue Jays need a shortstop, right? Renteria, Salty Dog, and Langerhans to the Jays for a reupped Wells. Then move Andruw to the Angels for Brandon Wood and Nick Adenhart. Allows the Braves to add some young impact talent as well as contend in 2007 if the pitching staff can be bolstered. Odds of this actually happening are about a million to one, but its nice to dream...

The Blue Jays move seems a lot more feasible than the Angels move. I can't see them giving up that much talent for one year of a player. Hell, it's worth a shot though -- Adenhart and Wood are far from sure things.
   23. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: September 28, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#2190553)
Dollars to donuts, shortly after Liberty Media takes over, they will start calculating the team payroll using the $15m figure for Hampton as an excuse for belt tightening.


And JS will hand them the money saved when Hampton only cost the Braves two or three million per season. I have no doubt that Liberty will try to cut payroll, but the Hampton angle is a dead end because the Rockies and Marlins paid for his 1st three years with the Braves. How ridiculous is this though:

Colorado to pay $49M ($20M signing bonus, $8M in 2001, $8.5M in 2002, $2M in 2003, $2M in 2004, $2.5M in 2005, $6M buyout in 2009).
Florida to pay $23.5M ($7M of 2003 salary, $8M in 2004, $8.5M in 2005).
Atlanta to pay $48.5M ($2M of 2003 salary, $2M in 2004, $1.5M in 2005, $13.5M in 2006, $14.5M in 2007, $15M in 2008).
   24. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#2190560)
The Blue Jays move seems a lot more feasible than the Angels move. I can't see them giving up that much talent for one year of a player. Hell, it's worth a shot though -- Adenhart and Wood are far from sure things.


It would be more feasible if the Angels could workout an extension with Andruw before the deal. If Andruw is on the market there will be suitors for his services. He still has an excellent defensive reputation among traditional baseball folks, plus the back-to-back forty plus homer seasons. McCarthy, Anderson, and Fields from the White Sox? I am sure the Dodgers could assemble an enticing package. It actually seems like a Colletti-type move, especially if Andruw was inked to 5/75 extension. Elbert, Broxton, etc... for Jones?
   25. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2190568)
You know what didn't work out so well? That Jermaine Dye for tucker trade. I'd like to have that one back.

Andruw woudl be a good fit in seattle.
   26. akrasian Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#2190570)
Why would the Dodgers send a premium package to the Braves in order to sign Jones to a free agent level contract?
   27. mgl Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2190574)
This is one of many examples of where teams really need to know how to value players. Despite the success of the Braves over the years, and the fact that I think they are an excellent organization as organizations go, I don't think they have a clue as to how to properly evaluate players like Jones and Langerhans, other than by the traditional "scouting" way. Do you think that the Braves GM knows that players peak overall at around 27 (someone did some research that suggested that this has changed, but I think that research is severely flawed as well as biased by the "PED" era)? Maybe, but I doubt it. Do you think that he knows that defense peaks at a very early age, maybe 24 or less? I definitely doubt that. Do you think he knows that Andruw has been an average CF'er, defensive-wise (according to UZR) for the last 4-5 years (because of age and weight) despite him still looking "smooth" (what I call the "smooth bias")? No way. In fact, his projected UZR next year is negative.

Anyway, Langerhans appears to be maybe 10 runs better than Jones in center in defense. His offense appears to be very weak, even for a CF'er. Overall, he is probably projected at around an average CF'er. He is also no spring chicken either. Andruw's offensive lwts were projected at +20 (per 150 games) this year and so far it is at +19.2. So next year, we are probably talking about a projection of around +18. Overall, he will probably be projected at 3.5 wins above replacement. Langerhans in CF would be projected at around 1.5 to 2 wins less than that.

In a tie breaker, I don't like Jones for 2 reasons. One, he is a little bit of a "dogger," not running out ground balls, and two, he seems to me to swing for the fences regardless of the game situation. I could be wrong about both those things though.

Once the Braves know those above numbers, which I think are pretty spot on, even with Langerhans having not that much major league history, they can make an intelligent decision, using any other information/data they deem pertinent. Again, I doubt they have a clue as to these numbers. And this is one of the good organizations. Imagine what bad organizations do/think when it comes time to making personnel decisions.

BTW, even though offense and defense are roughly fungible (10 runs on offense is worth roughly 10 runs on defense), you have to be careful when you make decisions based on your evaluation of a player's offense and defense, even when you are using advanced metrics like Superlwts and UZR. One, defensive evaluations are not as reliable. Two, the reason we regress defense so much when doing projections, as opposed to offense is that one, it is inherently less reliable, two, more subject to injury, weight gain, etc., and three, players can switch positions, and sometimes we don't really know what to expect (like Soriano), and it usually takes some time for them to get used to the new position (one year?). Finally, they age differently. As I said, defense generally declines from the getgo, whereas offense peaks at around 26-28 or so.

BTW, for a player who is almost clearly 3.5 wins above replacement, as Andruw is projected at next year, as well as the fact that he is in a fairly steep decline phase (his 30's), 15 mil a year is WAY too much to pay. The going rate for FA wins above replacement is around 3.5. For a 3 year contract at 45 mil, you would be paying Andruw almost 4.5 mil per marginal win. That is Yankee'esque and is an overpay no matter how you look at it. I say, "No matter how you look at it," because even if the Braves could increase their revenue by more than 4.5 mil per marginal win, it is almost for sure that the Braves could attain the same number of marginal wins with some other personnel moves besides signing Andruw for 45 mil.

Speaking of Carlos Lee, his is an absolute joke of a contract and salary (8.5 mil). One of the worst in baseball. A travesty. Not even an average corner OF'er, being paid almost 6 mil per marginal win. A typical overpayment is a big, slugging, first baseman or corner OF'er who does not play defense well (Lee, Konerko, Manny, etc.).
   28. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#2190578)
(what I call the "smooth bias")

It would be ironic if the smoothness in fielding that made people think andruw was lazy or not trying hard early in his career made people think that he was still a good fielder late in his career.
   29. MM1f Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2190585)
"Do you think that the Braves GM knows that players peak overall at around 27 (someone did some research that suggested that this has changed, but I think that research is severely flawed as well as biased by the "PED" era)? Maybe, but I doubt it."

Oh yeah, cos thats some elite level baseball knowledge. I bet Schuerholtz thinks that the peak is around 33....

"Do you think he knows that Andruw has been an average CF'er, defensive-wise (according to UZR) for the last 4-5 years (because of age and weight) despite him still looking "smooth" (what I call the "smooth bias")? No way. In fact, his projected UZR next year is negative."

The key phrase there being ACCORDING TO UZR. Thats not like saying that a guys OBP will be X. If a guys OBP is X we KNOW its X. If UZR says a guy saves X number of runs its an indication, but nowhere near fact.

"As I said, defense generally declines from the getgo, whereas offense peaks at around 26-28 or so."

Actually I believe there has been some evidence that says that the defense of rookies is often quite poor, no matter their skill level, and they need a few years to make dramatic adjustments before peaking

"One, defensive evaluations are not as reliable."

Nice to see you are admitting that but the way you put everything else makes it seem as if you dont accept the possibility that your numbers could be wrong or innacurate.

"Once the Braves know those above numbers, which I think are pretty spot on, even with Langerhans having not that much major league history, they can make an intelligent decision, using any other information/data they deem pertinent."

What?
Are knowing your numbers a prerequisite to making intelligent decisions...i dont know if you mean it that way but its phrases as such.
   30. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2190587)
if we say langerhans is a league average cf, who are some 4-5 wins over replacement players we can buy at $3.5m/win over replacement? in other words, where are the better buys going to be? i guess juan encarnacion might be available :)
   31. mgl Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2190597)
More intelligent discourse on BTF.
   32. HowardMegdal Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2190604)
"(someone did some research that suggested that this has changed, but I think that research is severely flawed as well as biased by the "PED" era)? Maybe, but I doubt it."

What makes you think taking steroids would make a player likely to have a longer peak? Isn't the evidence that steroid users break down quickly? Or are you saying that players are often starting with them later, thus providing a false peak?

This sounds sarcastic/accusatory- I don't mean it as such. I'm genuinely curious.
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2190605)
"if we say langerhans is a league average cf, who are some 4-5 wins over replacement players we can buy at $3.5m/win over replacement?"

Jim Edmonds? Not sure how much you knock him down for his defense, though.

I honestly don't think Langerhans in CF would be a bad thing. You can always live with a GG-caliber defender at a premium position who puts up a .350 OBP.
   34. J.C. Bradbury Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#2190606)
i guess juan encarnacion might be available :)


He already plays right field.
   35. Rally Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2190620)
MGL, Andruw Jones' defensive rating depends on where you get your PBP data. Check out the Studes' fielding awards thread. ZR and UZR rate him as below average, but the pbp methods getting their data from Baseball Info Solutions says he's still one of the best.

I don't know which data set is right. If I were the Braves I'd be paying 10's of thousands to get some baseball geek to look in detail at both data sets, combined with video tape of all the balls hit to him in center. I'd want to make damn sure I knew which set was getting his defensive play right.

Sure beats guessing and making a 75 million dollar mistake.
   36. Kyle S Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2190623)
He already plays right field.

Well played, JC. My compliments.

---

mgl, I don't know if your comment was directed at me or at Mordecai's #1 fan, but I think I have a valid point. Who are the players who can both give you 4+ wins over replacement and who cost "market rate" or less? Edmonds is a nice suggestion, vlad; who are some others? If there aren't any examples, then I challenge the hypothesis that $3.5m / win over replacement (on mgl's scale, not WARP1) is the real "market price."
   37. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2190633)
MGL, what do you use a replacement level on offense and defense? Also, a bit more off topic, but I was wondering if your LWTS include ROE and DP rates?
   38. dlf Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:21 PM (#2190639)
From what I have observed of contracts being signed together with the value of MLBAM and television rights negotiations as well as the Forbes data on team revenue, I suspect the $3.5m / marginal win MGL uses is now a historical footnote. I would not be surprised to see a hyperinflationary period in player contracts as a result of the inflationary period we've seen in league revenues.
   39. ChuckO Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2190643)
MGL, given Schuerholz's history and going by various remarks he has made, he seems to think that players peak in their early thirties. I remember that when he was first hired as GM that Bill James remarked that he wasn't a bad GM but that he'd never met a 30-year-old that he didn't like.

The 500-pound gorilla in the room regarding Andruw is the seemingly ever-pending sale of the Braves. I don't see Schuerholz being given permission to sign anyone for $15m/year when ownership of the club is in the process of being transferred. If that's the case, then the choice is to hang onto Andruw next season and then let him go FA, or trade him during this off-season. If a trade does occur, I'm afraid that the primary motivation will be to dump his salary. Other GM's aren't dummies (well, maybe a few are) and they know what the Braves' ownership situation is, so I don't expect Schuerholz to be able to get much of any value for Andruw.
   40. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: September 28, 2006 at 08:27 PM (#2190644)
How was Andruw rated in the Fielding Bible?
   41. JoeHova Posted: September 28, 2006 at 09:40 PM (#2190714)
I realize that Carlos Lee only hits like an average (or below) LF, but how can we explain the complete collapse of the Brewers offense without him? Their offense was OK with him and is now horrendous. I realize Mench has been atrocious, but it just seems odd that the loss of an average guy could hurt so much. I was not a Carlos fan at all, but I am starting to wonder if he is maybe a little better than I thought.
   42. MM1f Posted: September 28, 2006 at 09:46 PM (#2190721)
"mgl, I don't know if your comment was directed at me or at Mordecai's #1 fan,"

It was at me surely
   43. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 29, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2190835)
"Edmonds is a nice suggestion, vlad; who are some others?"

The far side of the error bar on Soriano's defensive projection as a CF probably veers into that range. I wouldn't want to be the one betting on it, though.

Maaaaaybe Mike Cameron?
   44. Rally Posted: September 29, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2190852)
I realize that Carlos Lee only hits like an average (or below) LF

I guess I need to crunch some numbers, but if thats true the average LF is way better than I thought.
   45. Colin Posted: September 29, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2190885)
I just don't see Andruw getting $15m next offseason at all; some people see it as a given, and I'm sure he'll ask, but I just don't see it. I don't see him topping what Beltran got.

I suppose it all depends on the bidding war that happens. If Boston and LA get into one who knows what can happen; I sure as heck didn't think furcal would get what he got, so what do I really know.
   46. MM1f Posted: September 29, 2006 at 01:36 AM (#2190914)
"I guess I need to crunch some numbers, but if thats true the average LF is way better than I thought."

I assume that its a mean vs. median thing and the numbers that Manny, Bonds, Soriano and a few others put up skew the average up and there aren't LFs as bad as Manny is good to balance it out
   47. sgregory Posted: October 27, 2006 at 07:48 AM (#2226004)
First off Andruw Jones hands down best defensive center fielder to ever play the game. No I didnt see Willie Mays play, but I've watched video and heard it from Bobby Cox say he is the best he has ever seen a dozen different times the last being about a month ago. John Smoltzs' eyes light up and the sound of Andruws name because of how many runs are saved in a game because of his defense.

ANY BODY WHO THINKS HE IS OUT OF HIS PRIME GO TO A GAME AND SIT IN THE CENTER FIELD BLEACHERS AND WATCH HOW FAST ANDRUW IS MOVING TOWARD THE PLACE THE BALL IS GOING TO LAND AFTER IT IS HIT!!!! THE ONLY WAY YOU'LL SEE HIS FIRST STEP IS IF YOU DONT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF HIM AND ONLY LISTEN FOR THE CRACK OF THE BAT. IF YOU WATCH THE BATTER HIT THE BALL TO CENTER AND THEN LOOK TO ANDRUW HE WILL BE IN FULL STRIDE OR ALREADY IN CRUISE CONTROL BY THE TIME YOU FIND HIM.

Any body who thinks Tori Hunter of the Twins is a better center fielder because he makes ESPN's web gem countdown for some diveing catch more times than Andruw does is an idiot. Andruw would catch 95 percent of Hunters diving plays standing up yawning as he waited for the ball to finally fall where he laid is glove down!! The other problem with the web gem thing is ESPN decided about 8 years ago a dive or extroidany play by Andruw is going to happen 162 games a year and for that reason his catches are considered routine.

Andrew Jones is one of three players in the history of the game to have
200+ catches (put-outs) in three strait seasons with Willie Mayes being one of the other two players to do it. So in those three seasons he got to more baseball's than any body did. That's what Cox is talking about when he says Jones is the best he's ever seen; not because he dives for a ball and makes 'Sports Center'. But because he catches everything that is humanly possible to catch.

With that being said if Andruw leaves the Braves I will be completely torn up. Loosing Furcal was extremely difficult to swallow and its affects were shown all year and ultimately was part of what ended a 14 year run and also a MLB record. But thats not because the Braves failed. Rafael Furcal failed the Braves his team, the people who gave him the chance, the people who stood behind him through everything he got himself into, which is loyalty. Not for a discount on his next contract but for loyalty from him. Tommy Glavin did the same and it cost him three years of awful baseball and only this year, the second to last season of his career, getting back to the playoffs. John Smoltz and Chipper Jones have dedicated their heart and soul to the Braves and Bobby Cox. Both have reworked their contracts in the past so that the team could be better able to resign a certain free agent because of the teams budget abilities. Man! how many people would do that for the place they work. Andruw deserves every bit of 20 million a season but i hope the he sees the Braves current ownership change coming up and takes what the Braves can do for Short term like 2 year extension 15 million per season. Then hopefully new ownership will change the budget back to the way it was with Ted Turner and the Braves can give him that 20 Million per season for the next contract. Scott Boras has ruined Alex Rodriguezs' career by asking for the kinda money on A-Rods contract. Everybody hates him because of that insane contract he got for a whole bunch of numbers that did not make a Championship of any kind and still has not. So he is being paid to keep racking up numbers that nothing except possibly breaking the hr record and award not for a team or ring but individualism. I wish Andruw and his Dad would tell Boras they appreciated his services but they were no longer needed. They were after all able to get 13.5 million a season without Boras at the contract negotiations at all. Enough money to last a lifetime. What's the point of all the extra money unless the Braves, Yankees, Cardinals, or Red Sox give it to you team proven to being devoted to winning Championships. And if you can stay with the team you know for sure about and are happy at for 3 million less pers year at the most, then why not stay with them. A-Rod would have never felt what he felt in 2006 from fans if he were in Seatle. He could have never got them to the World Series and he would still be their Golden Child. If Andruw went up to New York and hit 2.65 for 20 million i think he'd have a problem because it takes a whole year to understand what the guy produces offensively. Once you make that kinda of money you better be automatic titles 'Michael Jordan' or 'Derek Jeter' come to mind. Andruw Jones could be either of those players in the near future what I THINK IS ACTUALLY JUST THE START OF THE 29 YEAR OLD'S PRIME but those two Jeter and Jordan were wearing the same team on their jersey for the combined 10 championships. Once a player is the guy behind 4 or more championships and probably only till he does that should he start claiming what Jeter makes(20.6 Million) or Jordan made his final three prime years(30 million).

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