Decision time in Atlanta

Nick SwisherThe Braves have recently made a flurry of moves to make their team a contender. Now they are at a crossroad and need to make a decision. Atlanta has about $6MM-$7MM left to spend this off season. Atlanta has been rumored to be in a potential trade for Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher. Swisher will make $5.3MM this year which would leave almost nothing left in the bank for Atlanta. That would be fine if Atlanta wasn’t also trying to sign fan favorite Tom Glavine. If you crunch the numbers you will quickly realize it would appear Atlanta can only afford one. But which one?

Nick Swisher would almost certainly bring much needed power to what is a light hitting outfield. Jeff Francoeur was the only outfielder last year who had any glimpses of power but managed to only hit 11 home runs on the year. Swisher hit 24 last year in fewer games than Francoeur. Both had very low batting averages but many are attributing that to the occasional “down year” that the normal human being is known to have. Swisher is also a switch hitter and would be able to be placed in the cleanup spot in the lineup in between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann.

If Swisher produces the same power numbers and boosts his average his salary would be considered a major bargain. Unfortunately in this situation it may not be a big enough bargain. Swisher has a reasonable salary and is also under contract for 3 years. He can also play all outfield positions as well as first base. In any case I believe Swisher to be well worth the money. But what about Tom Glavine?

Tom GlavineGlavine is coming back from surgery and appears to be doing well in his rehab. Glavine doesn’t expect to be blown out of the water but does expect to be offered something fair. He deserves nothing less. Glavine is no where near what he used to be but does not deserve to be tossed aside like John Smoltz was earlier this year.

Tom GlavineAtlanta needs to bring Glavine back for themselves, for Glavine, and for the fans. I think if Glavine is not re-signed there could be an ugly backlash from Atlanta faithful. They already saw one fan favorite leave for another team and I don’t think they are in the mood to watch it again. Everyone knows that if the fans are against you then it is hard to win. Every game turns into a road game and that is going to lead to a very long season for a team trying to return to greatness.

Not only is Glavine a fan favorite but he is left-handed. Glavine would fit nicely in the 3rd spot in the rotation with four right-handed pitchers. An all right-handed rotation doesn’t exactly scream variety. Glavine has value just because of the fact he is left-handed. Either way, Atlanta needs to bring him back. Even if Glavine doesn’t produce the way he is expected to he would be a great mind to have in the clubhouse.

Personally if I had to make one move I would take Glavine. I think Swisher could be a great help on the field but Glavine will produce on the field, in the clubhouse, and is loved by the fans. Having both is great but if I had to pick one it would be Tom Glavine.

~Ben

6 Comments

“You want people to respect…” Boy, respect is a word that is all too often forgotten in baseball. Glavine is a guy from Massachusetts and I read that he was “jealous” of Smoltz coming to play for the Red Sox. Glavine has given a lot to the Braves – they need to give something back. You don’t want to find yourselves in a mess like we are with Jason Varitek. I hope the owners listen to the fans and bring him back!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Interesting blog! I agree – fans need something familiar this season and I’m not talking about league losses, a choking Francoeur, or a beached Andruw Jones (watching him perform badly in Atlanta would be worse than never seeing him take the plate at the Ted again). Atlanta fans need the reminiscence that Glavine brings, and while I believe Swisher could POTENTIALLY boost the Atlanta offense – fans need instant morale, and the best way to have that is to remind them of the days Atlanta was always on top, and those days my friend – were the prime of Glavine.

-Ashley

Ben,
You’re right, the Braves need Glavine back for the welfare of the entire organization. I’m not saying it’ll make or break your season but he has so much history with the team. Then again Swisher could be more beneficial in the long run.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Is there any chance you sign Adam Dunn instead?
http://metsmainman.mlblogs.com

I have heard a lot of people say they wanted Dunn but I have also read the Braves have shown little interest. Personally I’m not a fan of Dunn at all. I’ll trade Dunn for a light hitting outfielder that hits for average and plays solid defense any day. Dunn is a rally killer with all of his strikeouts. His home runs and walks are great but his strikeouts and bad defense don’t make up for it in my mind.

Lets be honest. We don’t work for the Braves’ front office. We have no idea how much money they really have left to spend. It’s rumored to be around 9 million, however, at the beginning of the off-season the buzz was the Braves had 45 million to spend NOT INCLUDING the re-signing of Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and Ohman OR any of the Arbitration Raises: Gonzalez, Johnson, Kotchman, Francoeur, Infante, and Diaz. Since Hampton and Smoltz signed elsewhere, I estimate we’ve got enough left in the tank to get Glavine, Ohman, and that outfielder we need. I don’t work for the Braves’ financial departments, but nobody else doing these estimates does and the Braves are one of the most tight-lipped organizations in MLB. They don’t want agents to know how much money they have to spend. Understandable. That being said, I still think Ludwick is the best option for us in the outfield. In addition to being right-handed and having an OPS+ of 150 last year, he is the most affordable option.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: