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Monday, February 23, 2009
Garret AndersonThough I'd love to jump onto the "oh my God, why are we signing Garret Anderson?!" bandwagon with all of the other Braves fans, I think ire at that particular move is somewhat misplaced. Anderson, for as horrendous as he is, actually stands to improve the Braves' outfield in 2009, and this deal does not obligate Atlanta to Anderson for 2010. So in a vacuum, it's a defensible move. Of course, the precondition to the existence of that vacuum was Frank Wren's inability to put together anything approaching a serviceable outfield, thereby rendering Anderson a comparatively attractive option.
In other words, don't slam this transaction. Slam the half dozen made and missed transactions that allowed this one to make some kind of sense.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:00am
Aaron Moreno said...
As an Angels fan, I would have liked to have seen him finish his career with the team. And I don’t mean that in a “Hey, Craig Biggio, let’s punt the whole season” way either. Oh well.
Posted 02/23 at 12:02 PM
I’ve seen this sentiment repeated over a lot of threads and such over the same time period, and I wonder how much it really makes sense.
1) We really don’t know what happened with Peavy. But I suspect he wasn’t thrilled about coming to Atlanta, and most fans were scared at what the Braves had to give up to get him.
2) Burnett went to the Yankees, but they offered him more money and Burnett knew they would.
3) We don’t know what happened with Furcal, but I imagine he didn’t really want to move to second and his supposed willingness was to give him another suitor. It appeared the Dodgers were out on him, but when his price tag dropped, the Dodgers came back to the table. What communication the two sides had before that is impossible to know.
4) Yes, Smoltz left, but who really thinks that it’s absolutely certain he will be healthy. The Braves, in my opinion, were very reasonable.
5) Yes, Griffey went to Seattle, but if it was because someone leaked the information, I have some serious questions about Griffey’s decision-making. Seattle was his home for a long time, and it’s difficult to know the pull it actually had on him.
6) We did sign Lowe and Kawakami, so Wren can get some things done.
7) Glavine came back and Chipper wants to stay, so the front office can’t be as bad as a bitter Smoltz says it is.
I’m being a Wren-apologist here, but I don’t think this off-season is really his fault. Actually, the team looks pretty good for this season. However, he did fail to get those players in an Atlanta uniform, and that could well indicate that he can’t get the job done. But isn’t it just as likely that we’re focusing too much on what he didn’t get versus what he got/ didn’t give up?
Posted 02/23 at 12:28 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Mark—I don’t disagree with you on most of that. Especially the Peavy and Burnett deals. Sentimentality aside, I will also grudgingly admit that letting Smoltz go was the right thing to do.
My comments here are narrowly tailored to the state of the outfield. Sure, they could have gone after Dunn or Abreu, but there could have been other moves in the past couple of years that would have tided us over to the next generation a little better than Garret Anderson, Matt Diaz, and prayers for Jeff Francoeur.
Posted 02/23 at 12:54 PM
Ryan Klesko said...
This deal is some unholy BJ Surhoff-Raul Mondesi hybrid.
Posted 02/23 at 01:02 PM
Alex C said...
I don’t think the backlash is of the “Garret Anderson is awful” variety, but more of the “this is really the best we could do?” sort.
There were about 350 LFs with mediocre defense and who were getting lowballed to the point of accepting confederate dollars, and… we got Anderson. It is depressing.
Posted 02/23 at 01:05 PM
As an Astros fan, I understand the attack on Biggio’s final year, I really do. But here is the problem with the comparison. The Angels are good (with a chance at the playoffs), the Astros were bad. Punting a season for the sake of letting the best position player the team has ever had get his chosen milestone, particularly one who took less money, in his prime, to stay with the team, when the alternative is possibly eeking out a .500 season, is actually a valid choice. With the Angels, the calculation i far different.
Posted 02/23 at 01:08 PM
As an Angels fan, I too will miss Garret. And as far as production goes, I’m pretty sure him and Juan Rivera were a tossup, with Juan having a little bit more upside and Garret being a better fielder/baserunner. The Angels decided to go with Rivera, probably because at the time it looked like Garret was going to be WAY too expensive. Now that prices have come down so much, I’m sure the Angels wish they’d have waited.
I’ll miss you GA.
Posted 02/23 at 01:56 PM
If you’re just talking about the outfield, then I see your point. However, the Braves did have a deal done for Jason Bay before Pirates ownership nixed it. They should have had him and signed him to an extension almost immediately.
For the past few off-seasons, what other moves are you talking about (this isn’t made confrontationally, more legitimate question)? I don’t know that we’ve had too many legitimate outfield prospects, and I don’t remember what free-agents were available.
Posted 02/23 at 02:11 PM
The Braves have had about the strangest offseason imaginable… But the weirdest part is, I think at least, the team’s probably better off not getting the guys they missed on.
On Peavy, I didn’t want the Braves to acquire him for what the Pads were asking; and he didn’t want to be a Brave, so it’s a moot point.
I didn’t want Burnett or Furcal in a Braves uniform at nearly any price; especially not on a multi-year deal. The Yankees did the Braves organization an enormous favor by out-bidding us, and as a Braves fan I was thrilled that they did.
Smoltz, at the price he was asking for simply didn’t make sense for the organization. And I like, for him, that he has a chance to win another title now.
Missing on Abreu and Griffey sucked. But Griffey is a bad enough defender that he probably is better off in the AL anyways.
My only complaint is that we didn’t get a big-time bat; which I felt should have been offseason priority numbero uno.
We added 2.5 starting pitchers, albeit the last half one I was hoping would be next seen five years from now on a podium in Cooperstown with Greg Maddux. But we re-vamped the rotation, and I truly feel that Derek Lowe is as much an impact pitcher as Peavy would have been. And we now have enough pitching depth that our AAA rotation (Hanson, Morton, Reyes, Redmond, Parr) rivals a couple of big league rotations… *coughs* O’s *coughs*
Plus, by missing on Griffey, Peavy, Furcal, Burnett, and Smoltz, the Braves saved trainer Jeff Porter from a lot of stress.
Posted 02/23 at 02:26 PM