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Should the Braves let Furcal go?

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Postby Music2004Man » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:20 am

furcal took that step this season. i'm not sure what the regular BB/AB, but last year furcal was walking once every 10 ABs. not too shabby. furcal had 58 walks last year in 616 ABs. derek jeter had 77 in 654. tejada had 40 in 654. michael young had 58 in 668. rollins had 47 in 667.

so when compared to the top SS in the game, furcal's taking a fine amount of walks. :-) as for "swinging for the fences"... well, yeah. he still some times reverts to that form. but his OBP over the second half was .394. so even if he is trying to hit for too much power, he has still been able to get on base a fair bit of the time, which is what you really want from your leadoff hitter.

THanks for these stats. I didn't realize that his OBP was so good in the second half and I also didn't realize that he compared so favorably to the other SS's.
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Postby George_Foreman » Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:04 pm

one thing to bear in mind: if the braves sign furcal to a long-term deal, they'll have a good bit of money locked up for the next few years. there's already chipper and andruw, but now huddy is locked in until either 2009 or 2010. if you put furcal's money on top of that, the braves could have a hard time persuing free agents in the coming years.

and marcus giles will have to be inked in the coming years. so in a sense, it could come down to a decision between furcal or giles for the braves.

if this was the decision, who would you take? personally, i think i'd go with marcus. he's got better pop, and a better career OBP. he won't steal as much and he's not as great defensively, but he's a real asset to the team.

also, i think the braves have more SS prospects than 2B prospects in the minors....
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Postby Jack-In-A-Box » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:43 pm

Niffoc4 wrote:On the Hampton stuff, what I have heard is that he will be out for the entire year because of Tommy John surgery and the Braves want him to take a full year to insure recovery (and so the insurance company will pay his full salary next year...). So next year I think the Braves are hoping to get out of Hampton's salary as well. And then he is a FA after the 07 season right?


Not a FA until 2009. As far as how much insurance will cover isn't completely known either. The Braves haven't disclosed exactly how much of Hampton's salary will be covered. They've simply explained that their settlement will be based on the $13.5 million figure that Major League Baseball uses as the southpaw's 2006 salary.

Since acquiring Hampton before the 2003 season, the Braves have prorated his salary over the course of a six-year period. When he returns in 2007, he'll have two years remaining on his contract. This was as of 10/17.

The Braves are probably going to try and sign Furcal but they'll have to let some others go most likely. Although the Braves announced they planned to raise the payroll due to the boost in attendence this year, it's not going to be a large amount. $85-87 million range is what I heard. Problem is players M.Giles, Sosa, Estrada, H.Ramirez are arbitration eligible and could see big raises. Which would limit their options greatly.

To me the Braves will have to address the starting rotation before Furcal. With Smoltz's injury late this year you have to be worried about next year and how long will he last. Hudson has been injured for extended periods each of the last 2 years. Hampton is gone. Thomson is a FA w/a team option. Ramirez has had his own issues. Sosa will likely want a large raise after the year he had. Braves need to fix the pitching in all areas. Although Bettimet can't just replace Furcal, he can do a more than serviceable job. SP and bullpen have to be fixed before dropping $10mill a year on Furcal who can be replaced easier than a whole pitching staff.
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Postby bigh0rt » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:13 pm

If the Braves are wise, they'll re-sign Furcal ASAP.
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Postby slomo007 » Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:20 am

George_Foreman wrote:one thing to bear in mind: if the braves sign furcal to a long-term deal, they'll have a good bit of money locked up for the next few years. there's already chipper and andruw, but now huddy is locked in until either 2009 or 2010. if you put furcal's money on top of that, the braves could have a hard time persuing free agents in the coming years.

and marcus giles will have to be inked in the coming years. so in a sense, it could come down to a decision between furcal or giles for the braves.

if this was the decision, who would you take? personally, i think i'd go with marcus. he's got better pop, and a better career OBP. he won't steal as much and he's not as great defensively, but he's a real asset to the team.

also, i think the braves have more SS prospects than 2B prospects in the minors....


If it really comes down to Giles or Furcal, I would sign Furcal and not think twice. However, that's not comparing him to much as I am not a big Marcus Giles fan. He is too much of an injury risk due to his all-out attitude. Plus, Furcal is a much better defender and is among the absolute best defensive SS in the league.

However, I still think his hitting is nowhere near what it could be. He is a long ways from producing like a $12M SS, but I think he'll get about that much based on potential alone if he could learn to use the tools he has to hit.
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Postby Music2004Man » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:59 pm

bigh0rt wrote:If the Braves are wise, they'll re-sign Furcal ASAP.


I don't know. I think that the Braves already have a pretty good replacement in Betemit. I think that the little money the Braves have would be better spent shoring up a sp rotation and bullpen that look pretty thin going in to next year, expecially if Smoltz's injury will make him miss any of the season.
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Postby brandnew » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:22 pm

Luis Hernandez is reeeally bad. Whatever good he'll produce with his glove, he'll waste away with his horrible bat.

Betemit can replace Furcal offensively... he won't steal, or cause havoc on the basepaths, but he's a very good hitter with good patience, and costs under a million, which is the best part.

In the minors, Escobar could be ready sometime next year, but the big prospect is Elvis Andrus, a 17 year old SS who played in the GCL this past year, and who scouts are saying is the best prospect they've seen since Andruw, and are looking at him like a mini-ARod. The power wasn't there the past year, but every scout who's seen him says the power will develop, and in a large way. He's a fantastic hitter, and is only 17 years old. He'll start out in Rookie Ball this year, and in 2-3 years should be among the top prospects in baseball, looking at the starting SS job.

IMO, Furcal just isn't worth it for the Braves... they have too many issues in the bullpen that need to be resolved. Also, with Hampton being out, there's a need for a #3 starter. His money (amortized, and contract) is available for use for this starter. Burnett would be a nice option if he's not too expensive...

Thomson, Sosa, Estrada, and LaRoche should all be traded IMO... with Chipper going over to 1B, and Marte getting the job at 3B. Thomson is cheap as hell with an option for 4 Million, and with his production, he's a greeat bargain in the market for pitchers now. Sosa's cheap and pretty young, hopefully they sell high with him. They have all this talent and a bunch in the minors with which hopefully they trade for a good starter, or closer (Zito? Nathan?)

This is my hopeful 2006 team:

Betemit SS
Giles 2B
Jones 1B
Jones CF
Francoeur RF
McCann C
Marte 3B
Johnson LF (Saltalamacchia threatening sometime during the year)

Smoltz
Hudson
Burnett
Davies
James

LeRew
McBride
Boyer
Devine
Linebrink
Nathan

Sign Burnett to 4/47
Trade Sosa, Estrada, Reitsma for Linebrink
Trade Ramirez, Thomson, Campbell for Nathan

One more thing... Saltalamacchia was quoted as saying something to the tune of "I'll play whatever position they want me to, whatever it takes to get to the majors. Hell, I'll even play SS if that's what it takes" I don't know if he was just joking around, or if he's serious... but I wouldn't count it out, he's a freak :-D
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:25 pm

That seems like an awful lot to give up for Linebrink. :-?
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Postby brandnew » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:35 pm

Maybe... but he's an elite set-up man.

Estrada was terrible this year, mostly due to injury, though. Sosa's only had one good year, and Reitsma has been a mediocre set-up man. Ramirez might be a better fit in Petco than Sosa, considering all he does is serve up gopher balls.
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Postby George_Foreman » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:07 pm

i don't think the linebrink deal would fly. for one thing, the pads (evidently) don't really need a C, and they probably wouldn't want to damage their bullpin to do it.

also, i doubt betemit will lead off. they'll probably stick marcus up there and betemit second. at least, that makes the most sense to me...

also, how good is campbell? it seems that he'd have to be high quality for minny to give him up, even with the guys they've got just waiting in their bullpin.
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