Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Braves sign Sean Rodriguez plus other moves

The Braves moves continue to roll in, and the Braves have signed Sean Rodriguez, the former 1B from the Pirates who managed to famously beat the crap out of a Gatorade cooler when he lost his mind in a game. Well, he's LISTED as a 1B position player, but in reality he's a defensive specialist that can play anywhere in the field. Think of a 32-year old Martin Prado type replacement player that can give guys a day off while providing a sub-par bat.

And let's be honest, Sean-Rod has been a .260 hitter while he was with a Pirates with some unexpected power. In 2016 he hit a career high 18 homers. The year prior he hit 4 homers. His average per 162 games played is around 12 which would be fine for me. I need him to be a gap-to-gap player that gets on base and can play defense anywhere, which I think he can provide for the most part. For $11.5M over 2 years, you need to basically get about 1 WAR a year from a guy like that, and I think Sean will live up to that billing if he hits decently.

Other signings I haven't really covered are lesser moves, but the Braves also acquired a catcher named Tuffy Gosewisch off waivers from the Dbacks, extending the amount of players that Coppy wants to sign with ridiculous or complicated spelling names. Seriously, we're turning into Fraggle Rock over here with some of these players. Is Tuffy any good? Not really, he's a 33 year old catcher that's never played a combined full year in the majors. So until proven otherwise, I'm not really going to worry about him making an impact on my roster.

The Braves also purchased the minor league contracts of Lucas Sims, Max Fried, and Johan Camargo. You do that so you can avoid those guys coming up as options for other teams in the Rule 5 draft. If you don't understand the Rule 5 draft, basically know it's a way for other teams to steal your prospects in your minor leagues if you don't place them on your 40-man roster for the year. That's the simplest way of explaining it. So Sims, Fried, and Camargo are all now on the 40-man roster for 2017.

In the coming weeks, I'd expect some more information on moves for bats. Nothing huge, but the Braves don't really have good answers at 2nd or 3rd right now, and I don't truly trust that Adonis Garcia is a long-term answer. So I wouldn't be shocked if the Braves look for a platoon option at 3rd in one of their deals. Like I said, nothing earth-shattering but it's something I would want to target.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Braves sign R.A. Dickey for 2017

That's right, old Dickey is going to be one of our pitchers in 2017 for the low low price of $7.5M dollars. He's also 42 years old which means he's old enough to be Ozzie Albies' dad if the timing was right. I mean hell, the Cubs called David Ross "Grandpa Rossy" and he was only 39. What are we going to call R.A.? Old Man Dickey? I'm pretty sure 680 the Fan here in Atlanta has that nickname already trademarked.

Is it a good signing? Well, Dickey is a knuckleballer so they don't age like other pitchers. There's no strain on the arm like when you throw a 95mph fastball. As a result, you can be effective well into your 40s. Jamie Moyer pitched until he was 49 years old as an example. But what makes you effective also means that when you mess up it's just a hanging 65 mph pitch over the heart of the plate. That usually gets ripped to shreds.

As much as pitchers hate the term, Dickey is still good to eat innings. He had almost 170 innings in 29 starts last year, and well over 200 innings in his prior 5 years before that each year. Plus he was pitching in the AL for these last 4 years as his ERA inflated. Heading back to NL hitters should help drop him back down a bit, but probably not to the levels he was at with the Mets when he was a 2.73 ERA pitcher. However, a 3.80 ERA starter that can give me 180 innings in this rotation? I think that's worth $7.5M in today's market. I just need Dickey to be about a 1.0 WAR pitcher to get some value off that deal. He's been much more than that every year except for last year.

Also, $7.5M to be "a guy" in this rotation of young kids is fine. We're going to be shuffling pitchers around like crazy as we sort out who can make it in this league besides Julio. Guys in the minors that we traded for will be given a chance in the 2-3-4 slots. Meanwhile Dickey provides you a solid 4-5 at the end of a rotation that you can rely on to keep you in the game and given you 6+ solid innings per start. That's valuable in today's baseball, whereas before you probably would have scoffed.

Overall, I like the idea. Even if it falls apart it's a one year deal with an option, and the Braves can simply cut a check for him to walk away. But I would hope we could get some real pitching out of Dickey especially since he's had more success against NL hitters. It could be one of those under the radar signings like Aaron Harang that really give this club a boost.