Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cubs deal Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell to Braves

Hey, sounds even, they’ve got the same batting average.

The Cubs dealt… left-handed reliever [James Russell] and infielder Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves on Thursday in exchange for 20-year-old catching prospect Victor Caratini, who was batting .279 at Class A Rome.

Russell, 28, has been a workhorse for the Cubs the last three seasons, and had appeared in 44 games this year with a 3.51 ERA…

Bonifacio, 29… who has played second, third and center field, was batting .279 in 298 plate appearances.

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:17 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, cubs, emilio bonifacio, james russell, trades, transactions, victor caratini

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4762228)
Seems like they should have gotten a slightly better return. Perhaps a lottery ticket arm from a ball?
   2. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4762236)
It appears Caratini is akin to a lottery ticket in which you already know you have matched the powerball number. A 2nd round pick from last year, rated highly in the system, and hitting wellish at a young age. I too would think we could get more than an A ball catcher for a Russell and Bonifacio but the days of getting a Garland or a Bagwell for a reliever are over.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4762241)
So, who is getting called up to fill the 25 man? I assume Dubront will be taking Russell's place.
   4. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4762243)
They already said it wouldnt be baez, is kalish an of or if I cant remember.
   5. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4762248)
I just want to say that I love that Hendricks has looked great in his last two starts. I'm rooting for him to become a solid contributor in the rotation for at least the next few years.
   6. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4762250)
Soler is the only guy on the 40 man roster that is hitting and I doubt they bring him up. I kind of think they bring up Brett Jackson.
   7. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4762254)
With only 4 inf on the roster it has to be someone who can play a bit of ss and either 2nd or 3rd
   8. Spahn Insane Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4762286)
You and me both, McCoy, re Hendricks. I've liked him ever since the cubs traded for him; he might not wow the radar gun, but he's done nothing but get guys out wherever he's pitched. Including, to this point, the major leagues.
   9. SteveM. Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4762294)
So, who is getting called up to fill the 25 man? I assume Dubront will be taking Russell's place.

They already placed him on the 15 day DL. They need to bring up an infielder, they only have 4 right now. It should be Baez, but I bet its Watkins. Just bite the damn bullet and bring up Baez and Soler. Give me a reason to continue watching beyond Rizzo, Castro and Arrieta.
   10. Jacob Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4762298)
Harold Reynolds said "this changes everything for the Braves" because they haven't a true lead-off hitter "since... the 80s".
   11. spike Posted: August 01, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4762415)
I dunno about changing everything, but given their bullpen and bench, it helps (this is more indictment than endorsement, but still).
   12. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4762457)
Harold Reynolds said "this changes everything for the Braves" because they haven't a true lead-off hitter "since... the 80s".


How dare he speak this way of Otis Nixon!
   13. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4762460)
Harold Reynolds said "this changes everything for the Braves" because they haven't a true lead-off hitter "since... the 80s".


And they still don't!
   14. bfan Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4762462)
Harold Reynolds said "this changes everything for the Braves" because they haven't a true lead-off hitter "since... the 80s".


what does this mean? La Stella isn't sitting for Bonifacio (La Stella is better); Chris Johnson isn't sitting for him (but maybe Chris will platoon with him-can Bonifacio hit RHP?); despite my wildest dreams, I assume they aren't sitting BJ Upton for Bonifacio.
   15. Ron J2 Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4762472)
#14 I'd be surprised if Bonifacio doesn't get substantial time in center. He's not a wonderful player, but Upton has been so bad for so long.
   16. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4762473)
It means Harold Reynolds is a moron. He assumes Bonifacio is both a good leadoff hitter and will be starting, both terrible assumptions.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4762475)
despite my wildest dreams, I assume they aren't sitting BJ Upton for Bonifacio.

How long can they keep running BJ out there? We're up to 900 PAs of far below replacement level performance (-2.2 WAR for 2013-14).

They've got to be able to find somebody who can be replacement level in CF.
   18. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4762478)
#14 I'd be surprised if Bonifacio doesn't get substantial time in center. He's not a wonderful player, but Upton has been so bad for so long.


Upton is better than he was last year, when he still got regular playing time while Jordan Schafer was outhitting him. He bats lead-off now instead of at the bottom of the order. I would be surprised if Freddi sat him more than a day a week.
   19. bfan Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4762479)
How long can they keep running BJ out there?


Until July of 2016? (That would equate to the time before Uggla's contract ran out, that the Braves finally cut Uggla-BJ goes until 2017, I think).
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4762480)
Upton is better than he was last year, when he still got regular playing time while Jordan Schafer was outhitting him. He bats lead-off now instead of at the bottom of the order. I would be surprised if Freddi sat him more than a day a week.

They're batting a guy with a .284 OBP lead-off ?!?!?
   21. zonk Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4762484)
I'll third the Hendricks love --

The guy just has a solid repertoire across the board, seems to have a really good feel for pitching, and just knows how to get people out. There's a difference between a guy who gets by on smoke and mirrors and a guy that has average to slightly better than average stuff but really knows how to use it -- I think Hendricks is the latter.

As for the roster -- Kalish is an OF... As much as I'd like to see Baez (or Bryant), too -- Logan Watkins isn't a bad choice... He's hardly tearing it up - but he's 24, has a bit of speed, and does have a bit of fringish prospect luster (he made a few Cub top 10 lists prior to the prospect hoarding). He's got a chance to be Emilio Bonifacio, I think. Might as well see if he's worth anything before losing him in a roster crunch (drop him from the 40 man and I suspect he's gone in the rule 5).

The Cubs do have some guys I think they need to shed from the 40 man... It's time to cut Blake Parker loose, I think. At this point, I'm not sure anyone bothers claiming Matt Szczur or Josh Vitters, and I don't think it's any great loss if they do. Dae-Eun Rhee doesn't excit me. I guess they have to have a 3rd catcher on the 40 man - but Rafael Lopez is nothing but org fodder. Chris Rusin is basically Casey Coleman without the horror.

Eric Jokisch is really the only guy not on the 40 man that I think should be added.

I think if I were the Cubs - I'd probably just start thinking about releasing Sweeney and Schierholtz... no one's gonna give anything for them and they're pointless. Might as well give Watkins, Jackson, Vitters, and Szczur last call before cutting ties with them.
   22. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4762491)
They're batting a guy with a .284 OBP lead-off ?!?!?


Before that he spent most of the season batting 2nd! He's got a .313 OBP in July, that's almost as good as True Leadoff Hitter™ Bonifacio!
   23. spike Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4762492)
They're batting a guy with a .284 OBP lead-off ?!?!?

He's been a marginally less appalling .250/.309/.352 as a leadoff hitter this year.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4762494)
He's been a marginally less appalling .250/.309/.352 as a leadoff hitter.

Before that he spent most of the season batting 2nd! He's got a .313 OBP in July, that's almost as good as True Leadoff Hitter™ Bonifacio!

A contending team is basically punting on a lineup spot, AND batting that guy at the top of the order.

How is that possible in 2014?
   25. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4762497)
A contending team is basically punting on a lineup spot, AND batting that guy at the top of the order.

How is that possible in 2014?


The division is terrible.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4762500)
The division is terrible.

Yes, giving the Braves even more reason to get somebody, anybody, who can give them 0-1 WAR in CF.
   27. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4762506)
Yes, giving the Braves even more reason to get somebody, anybody, who can give them 0-1 WAR in CF.


That costs money.
   28. zonk Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4762510)
Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney are right on the cusp of 0 WAR (both -0.2) and both are still available!
   29. spike Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4762511)
How is that possible in 2014?

Midlevel salary teams like the Braves are screwed if a couple medium high signings don't work out.
   30. Ron J2 Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4762512)
Snapper it's as simple as they don't accept that he's a .284 OBP player. I guess. On the other hand he was coming off a .298 OBP when they signed him. He hasn't put up a good OBP since 2008.
   31. JJ1986 Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4762515)
I am surprised that Reynolds is not a big Marquis Grissom fan.
   32. bfan Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4762516)
Yes, giving the Braves even more reason to get somebody, anybody, who can give them 0-1 WAR in CF.


That costs money.


Cab-fare from gwinnett, for Todd Cunningham, would do the trick. Frank Wren is too invested in BJ (after blowing it on Uggla), and apparantley loves as his back-up outfielder a .160 hitter whose claim to fame is banging as many of the girls that entertain the fans on the dugout at the 7th inning stretch as is humanly possible, while treating curfews as a suggestion instead of a rule.
   33. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4762518)
Snapper it's as simple as they don't accept that he's a .284 OBP player.


It's as simple as he is being paid $14M and hasn't yet hit Dan Uggla blackhole status so he will continue to start. They tried to trade him earlier in the year.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4762520)
Snapper it's as simple as they don't accept that he's a .284 OBP player. I guess. On the other hand he was coming off a .298 OBP when they signed him. He hasn't put up a good OBP since 2008.

So, they're in full denial?

Midlevel salary teams like the Braves are screwed if a couple medium high signings don't work out.

We're talking about flipping a C+ prospect for a 4th OF type that makes $1-2M p.a. (which you only have to pay 2 months of). Every team can afford that.
   35. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4762521)
Cab-fare from gwinnett, for Todd Cunningham, would do the trick. Frank Wren is too invested in BJ (after blowing it on Uggla), and apparantley loves as his back-up outfielder a .160 hitter whose claim to fame is banging as many of the girls that entertain the fans on the dugout at the 7th inning stretch as is humanly possible, while treating curfews as a suggestion instead of a rule.


It took them so long to swallow their pride on Uggla, BJ will be starting a year from now.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4762526)
Midlevel salary teams like the Braves are screwed if a couple medium high signings don't work out.


Is this a joke? The Uggla and Upton signings did worse than not work out and they were a first-place team last year and are winning again this year.
   37. spike Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4762531)
They can't add salary to fix the problem in a meaningful way. They are winning in spite of, not because of Uggla/BJ, although BJ has picked it up a bit of late
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4762532)
They can't add salary to fix the problem in a meaningful way. They are winning in spite of, not because of Uggla/BJ, although BJ has picked it up a bit of late

But you don't need to add salary in a meaningful way to do better than a -1.5 WAR player. A typical 4th OF or AAAA filler is likely to be a major upgrade.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4762543)
I am surprised that Reynolds is not a big Marquis Grissom fan.


They had Kenny Lofton for that one year, too. If Lofton's not a good leadoff hitter, then I don't know who is.
   40. bfan Posted: August 01, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4762544)
I do not mean to impugn Justin Upton's character, but I wonder how Justin would react to his brother's benching? I understand that intellectually he has to wall off his brother's perfromance from his own, but still... I wonder if this factor plays into Frank Wren's calculations (in which case Frank should have thought of that before getting into this dilemma).
   41. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 01, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4762551)
A young Rafael Furcal should fit anybody's definition of a good leadoff hitter.

Bourn was pretty good for those eight minutes before he became too expensive.
   42. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4762552)
Jordan Schafer predictably DFA'd. Yay.
   43. bigglou115 Posted: August 01, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4762556)
You guys are talking about replacing BJ, I'd be happy just to see him batting in not lead off. Until that happens any notion that the Braves realize the severity of the problem is wish casting.
   44. DA Baracus Posted: August 01, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4762566)
Jumped the gun on the DFA, drat.

You guys are talking about replacing BJ, I'd be happy just to see him batting in not lead off. Until that happens any notion that the Braves realize the severity of the problem is wish casting.


They're 18-13 with BJ leading off, a .580 winning percentage! Seriously though, agreed. Put Heyward back at leadoff.
   45. spike Posted: August 01, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4762596)
But you don't need to add salary in a meaningful way to do better than a -1.5 WAR player. A typical 4th OF or AAAA filler is likely to be a major upgrade.

I keep hearing this, and yet after trying Schafer, Doumit, Reed Johnson, Jose Constanza etc, it turns out to be actually pretty hard in real life.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4762818)
For 2014, at least 200 PA, at least 30 games in CF ...

There are 31 guys with positive WAR. Bonifacio is #23 at 1.3 WAR. Other potentially available guys were Jarrod Dyson (having a nice season but still a bench player), Sam Fuld (who cost Tommy Milone), maybe Micheal Bourn (.4 WAR) if you pick up a good chunk of the oontract. Also Will Venable who's replacement level this year but better than that in the past. Oops, missed Drew Stubbs and Chris Young (.4 WAR).

Drop it to 100 PA and you bring in options like Aaron Hicks, Abraham Almonte, Sizemore and Sweeney (-.3 WAR)

Look over the last two years, min 300 PA, min 50 games in CF ... Bonifacio has 2.3 WAR in 759 PA, you're not going to do better than that. Brandon Barnes and Ruggiano are new names that pop up.

So the Braves seem to have gotten the best guy available if not part of the Price trade. If they're not willing to sit Upton in favor of Bonifacio ...

This level of player is just fraught with uncertainty. There are probably a fair number of "true 1 WAR" players out there but half of them are performaing at replacemeht level or below. Many of the "true replacement" level guys are putting up 1 WAR.

Teams "punt" positions all the time. The Yanks punted 2B, 3B, unavoidably SS and probably one of RF/DH. Baltimore has punted 2B all season and tried to punt LF but Pearce and Delmon have hit for the first time ever. The Red Sox didn't think they were punting 3B and LF but, other than the Brock Holt miracle, they have and RF hasn't done anything either.

Closer to home for the Braves, the Nats have been pretty solid but have punted 2B for a good chunk of the season due to the combo of Zimmerman and Harper's inuuries.
   47. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 02, 2014 at 02:38 AM (#4762982)
Another solid start for hendricks tonight. 7 innings 4 hits 1 earned run 1 walk and 3 k's
   48. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: August 02, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4763053)
Anyone else get a Randy Wells vibe from Hendricks. Lotsa grounders, 5ish Ks/9, upper 80s fastball. Hendricks right now seems like a good match for 2009 Wells in control, hr prevention, and Ks with maybe a tick better GB rate.
   49.   Posted: August 02, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4763055)
At 29 years old and seven teams played for, BoneFace has a pretty good shot of setting some kind of position-player record, I think. He is just the kind of player who is useful enough to have teams keep acquiring him, without any team really wanting to keep him long-term.
   50. Brian White Posted: August 02, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4763065)
For 2014, at least 200 PA, at least 30 games in CF ...


If the Braves are set on benching B.J. for someone else, they aren't restricted to acquiring another CF, though. They could acquire a corner guy, and move Heyward into center. They did that for 20 games last year, and while the usual SSS caveats apply, Heyward looked pretty good there, including one jaw-droppingly awesome play that quite literally saved a game for them. I'm not sure what non-terrible corner outfielders were available in the trade market, though.
   51. Colin Posted: August 02, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4763124)
The Braves might be hoping for a dead cat bounce half-season from BJ that could render him tradable for half his remaining salary

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Phil Birnbaum
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-23-2014
(76 - 10:27pm, Sep 23)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3581 - 10:24pm, Sep 23)
Last: BDC

NewsblogVance Worley member of All-Surprise Team
(2 - 10:06pm, Sep 23)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogMLB’s Metal Detector Policy is What ‘Terrorists Winning Looks Like’
(4 - 10:01pm, Sep 23)
Last: AROM

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(272 - 10:00pm, Sep 23)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogMets near extension with GM Alderson
(45 - 10:00pm, Sep 23)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(223 - 9:56pm, Sep 23)
Last: andrewberg

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(4 - 9:52pm, Sep 23)
Last: MrC

NewsblogBrisbee: Adam Wainwright and the Jan Bradys of years past
(16 - 9:34pm, Sep 23)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

NewsblogVIDEO: Jose Altuve leaves his feet to hit a high fastball
(6 - 9:23pm, Sep 23)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogMLB creates pace of game committee
(108 - 9:21pm, Sep 23)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(308 - 8:22pm, Sep 23)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogChad | Have a heart! Root for the Royals
(36 - 8:09pm, Sep 23)
Last: TomH

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8058 - 8:08pm, Sep 23)
Last: A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2014
(9 - 7:04pm, Sep 23)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

Page rendered in 0.5034 seconds
53 querie(s) executed