Braves Q&A

Here are some pressing questions about the Braves and some attempts at answers.

baldeagle wrote: bill, I dont post here much but do keep up with the braves and was wandering who are free agents after the season besides Tex, Hampton, Glavine and Kotsay?

Now Smoltz will be a free agent. Will Ohman is also eligible for free agency after this season. So that's Smoltz ($14 million), Teixeira ($12.5), Hampton ($8.25), Glavine ($8), Kotsay ($3 million), and Ohma ($1.6). That's a combined $47.6 million coming off the books, just about half the payroll.

baldeagle wrote:

bill im not a big glavine fan, but he has done what is needed this year so far, eat innings, give us a chance to win games, but he is getting older every day as all of us are but do you think he is not so money hungry that he would come back next year for 3-4 million? and would you want him back, if so for how much? thanks bill

I am a huge Glavine fan, but truthfully I hope he retires at the end of the season. Part of the reason he was signed was to give the younger kids a chance to mature just a bit more in the minor leagues so they would be closer to being ready to contribute. Well, Reyes has arrived and Morton is very, very close. So I don't really think Glavine will be needed next season. I think he'll retire, but there have been whispers he wants to continue to play for another year.

divx1 wrote: Bill, do you see the Braves signing a lot of our young guys to long term deals this winter since so much payroll is being freed up?

Yes, with half the payroll scheduled to come off the books, it is very possible we could see some of this happening. Escobar might be at the top of the list, along with deals for Kelly and Francoeur also being possible. But Jeff's value right now is not what he expected it to be, so that's going to be interesting to watch this winter.

david55 wrote: Bill, why has Esocabar changed his hitting style since moving to leadoff ... swinging at first pitch, no patience? Does he not want to leadoff? Maybe still upset with Pena being DFA? I would play Blanco in the leadoff position, Escobar second, KJ either 6 or 7 ... what do you think? Thanks.

He just wants to see good pitches, and I think that's changed now that he's not hitting directly ahead of Chipper. The upset over his boy Pena has worn off. He is just not a leadoff guy. He's a number two hitter, just like Renteria. Josh Anderson needs to be leading off right now. Blanco is hitting .238 since taking over for Kotsay, so he really doesn't need to bat leadoff. Plus Blanco is not a good baserunner.

Spahnie wrote: Bill, with the Amateur Draft upcoming, will you be posting any updated information about the Braves interest here on the non-premium board? I understand the premium site will undoubably get it's fill.

Where do you see the Braves interest? Best players available? Obviously more pitching, how about more depth in middle infielders? Young outfield propsects?


Vaya Los Bravos

I did it on the premium side. That's just where that type of information is going to be. We had plenty of coverage on the premium side.

OCPat10 wrote: Bill what is the Braves interest in Freddy Garcia? I read he is throwing off the mound and has a few teams, including the Braves asking about him.

They've checked him out, but I don't sense it's very strong interest. They have Morton waiting in the wings, and at least right now there's not much room for him.

treywall wrote:


What's the prognosis on Cory Rasmus? I know he's had arm troubles the past couple of years. I've read that he has been working out in Orlando and will likely play for our GCL team once their season starts. With him being 20 and in the system for two years, is there a chance he'll finish up the season in Danville or Rome? I'm hoping he'll end up being one of our "under the radar" prospects the next couple of years.

Cory is going to start the 2008 season with the Gulf Coast League team, but it is expected that he will be up in Danville after just a couple of starts if everything goes well. I have not spoken with Cory since spring training, but at that point he was on schedule to have a normal season in the short season leagues. That was always the plan for him. They're just going to let him get his feet wet and go from there.

technodude wrote: Bill,

Speaking of current free agent pitchers, I read that Wade Miller has not signed with anyone.  Has he retired due to his injuries or is he worth signing to a minor league contract.  If he is done injury wise, he seems to be a good, low risk, high reward investment given his career's successes thus far.  Thanks always for your contributions to this board.

I don't see that happening. The Braves have Charlie Morton pretty much proving that he is ready for the big leagues. Why bring in a washed up veteran when a young prospect who has better stuff is waiting for his chance? The preference is to give Morton the shot at some point this summer.

TomSub wrote: Bill,

In the latest issue of "Chop Talk" Teixeira says: "People ask why I hired Scott Boras to be may agent. There's answer number 1 (Organizations) are going to use everything they can against the players, and I'm going to use everything I can against the team, because it is a business. And anyone who doesn't think so is kidding themselves."

From the sounds of this do you think there is any chance at all the Braves will be able to resign Tex?

I do not see Teixeira returning to the Braves, unless he takes a deal between $15-$17 million for only four or five years. And Boras is just not going to let that happen.

Ghostposter wrote: Bill,
If the Braves are unable to resign Tex, what are the realistic options to replace him?
What would you do to replace him?

I think the Braves will look at bringing Adam LaRoche back to Atlanta, although you wonder if they will instead prefer to get a top right-handed hitting first baseman instead. Carlos Delgado, Jason Giambi, and Richie Sexson are the other free agent first baseman, and that list does nothing to get you too excited. You keep hearing that Adrian Gonzalez might be available, and he'd be interesting. But again you just wonder if there is a right-handed hitting first baseman out there that might be a perfect fit.

ugadawgs18 wrote: Bill,

What happened to RHP Eric Cordier, the guy we got from the Tony pena Jr. trade last year, is he hurt or did he go to another team?

He is still bothered by a problem with his elbow. He is in Orlando. The Braves hope he gets some innings in this summer.

allstar34bd wrote:

Whats the chance if the braves dont go after a big name 1st Baseman Kelly moves over there and maybe we put Infante at second to fillin and get lillibridge learning to play second.Cheap way to solve a problem.Then we can go out and get one of my favorite pitchers C.C.


how about a package of C James, Lilli, gorky,and jo jo, for Ian Snell(SP)? and Roche in the offseason

I don't see those things happening.

jackspade wrote: i hate talking in may about what the braves will do with their personnel for the 09 season, but it's friday, so...

what about garrett atkins?  he's blocking ian stewart and helton's salary/age makes him hard to deal.  i guess he could play either first or third, since chipper's defense doesn't seem to be declining.  also, he rather limited experience in left, but might be a decent acquisition in july.

Now THAT is an interesting name. I think that would be worth considering. Garrett Atkins is a good ballplayer. Nice thought there.

OCPat10 wrote: Bill how is Josh Morris looking? Could he be a future fixture at first base?

He was released in spring training.

ugadawgs18 wrote: bill,
In a trade when it says player to be named later, when do you get that player is there a time limit for how long it takes for you to get that player, and are the players to be named any good ever? I never hear who the player to be named later is.

There usually is a time limit agreed upon between the two teams. Usually those players are minor leaguers, so often they do not become good players.

bravesarethebest wrote: Bill, anything new with Cory Rasmus?  Is he going to play with one of the short season clubs this yr?

He will be in the GCL to start the season, but he should be in Danville at some point if things go well.

1Cocoplz wrote: Does it look like Evarts will need Tommy John, Bill? Thanks.

They are trying to avoid that. He is working out in Orlando.

ABraves111 wrote: Bill, I would like your input on Escobar since there has been so many rumors about him. Is he becoming an issue in the clubhouse with a bad attitude. THanks in advance

There is no issue here. He is not bad in the clubhouse. Don't know where the rumors come from.

T0MAHAWK74 wrote: Does this team even discuss the issue of 1 run games and the problems this team has on the road?  Because it seems like they aren not concerned or at least they haven't done anything to right the ship.

It seems they are not concerned? Give me a break. Of course they are and they are trying to figure out what they need to do to win on the road.

Grimachi wrote: Bill,

Have you or any of your colleagues ever come right out and asked Bobby about getting Escobar out of the lead-off spot and moving Blanco there? I know we are all arm chair managers here and Bobby knows more about the players than we would like to think we do, but it just seems so obvious that the benefits of NOT having KJ and Esco hitting in a spot that does not fit them (and thus benefit the team) outweigh hitting Blanco in the 7 - 8 hole.

I'm rarely at the stadium before the games (due to my radio show), so I do not know if this has been asked. But he's obviously happy with Yunel there right now. We'll see if that changes. I wouldn't hit Blanco there. Anderson maybe, but not Blanco. He's struggling.

Spahnie wrote: Bill, listed on the Braves entry Dominican Summer Leagues roster this season is a kid named Abdiel Ramos, a 6'3" 195 outfielder. He's only 16. Know anything about his pedigree? When he was signed, etc? Intriguing size for a 16 year old.

Note: I noticed the 16 yr old Panamanian kid(catcher) we signed Christian Bethancourt is also on the roster. He's the youngest by a month over Ramos on their roster to date.

Vaya Los Bravos

I truthfully do not know anything about Ramos.

ABraves111 wrote: Bill

What is your ETA for Morton

Next Saturday night against the Angels.

Tomahawking4life wrote: Bill,

I heard an interesting interview today with a former Braves pitcher and a good friend of John Smoltz. He mentioned that Smotlz was kinda miffed that after his 3,000 K, 2 higher ups in the Braves organization didnt congratulate him. This is the first i had heard about it and I didnt know if you knew about this already. Any idea on who these 2 clowns are and why they wouldnt congratulate Smoltz? Is there maybe some bad blood we dont know about?

I don't know anything about this and doubt the rumor.

VolRacious wrote: Bill you have any instinct or a hunch on the extent of Smoltz's injury?  There has to be some buzz.  What did you make of the press conference?  IYO is he done?  Thanks.

It was repeatedly said on Wednesday that we will not know the extent of the injury until the doctors get in that arm Tuesday. Other than that, I have no idea. If I had to make a prediction, I think Smoltz is done. If the doctors tell him it could take 12-18 months to come back, then I just think he'll walk away from that.

ABraves111 wrote: Bill

Do you think we will see Schafer make the team this year, or has his suspension ruined that. If so, what do you believe his ETA is

His ETA for me is before the All Star Break. Gregor Blanco is NOT going to work out as the replacement for Mark Kotsay. He's struggling. So if Jordan continues to do well, they are not going to punish the team by punishing Schafer for a suspension he's already had. I will be really surprised if Jordan is not on the Atlanta roster before the end of the season, and again it could be sooner than most people think.

onlyonegoal wrote: After the way Schafer has been pounding the ball since his return, is there a chance we still see him in Atlanta this year? He and Charlie Morton could give this team the shot in the arm that they need.

Yes, I think Schafer could be up, even maybe before the All Star Break. The Braves are uncomfortable with Gregor Blanco playing on a daily basis. He's just not a starter. So with Jordan doing well, his promotion is not out of the question.

AKSTAT79 wrote: Bill, Do you think any major changes will be made by the trade deadline if, the braves continue to underperform? and also, is there anything else you can point at besides the injury bug and tight budget that has contributed to atlanta being a mediocre team the last few seasons?

We've got to see if they bring Morton and Schafer up, which could constitute as major changes, before they look at making a major trades. As fas as the mediocrity, I think it all points to the injuries, along with having players on the DL take up too much of the payroll (i.e. Mark Hampton).

knoxbravesfan wrote: If we can't sign Tex do we just offer arby to get a first round pick knowing he won't take it? I hate to think we traded all of those prospects and won't get anything for him. Any chance we trade him if we fall out of it? Very frustrated over that Friday night loss. I think that loss really will do us in. We had Phillies within sight. We let them off the hook.

I doubt he is traded, unless this team just completely loses it in the next six weeks. I would expect the Braves to offer arbitration to Teixeira.

Bill Shanks hosts The Atlanta Baseball Show on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and The Bill Shanks Show on SportsRadio 105.5 the Fan in Macon. He is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at

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