The Atlanta Braves certainly made a splash in the free agent pool, breaking seemingly endless hours of consecutive boredom.
“The team reached preliminary agreement Tuesday with free-agent
left-hander Billy Wagner on a one-year, $7 million contract with a
vesting option for a second season, according to a major-league source.” – Ken Rosenthal
The $6.5 million vesting option is guaranteed if Wagner “finishes 50 games next season.”
Wagner will be coming off Tommy John surgery, which is no uncharted waters for the Braves, who have had pitchers Tim Hudson, Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, John Smoltz, Mike Gonzalez and others come off major surgery and still post very successful seasons.
Wagner had an amazingly incredible 2009 campaign. Although it was significantly shortened season, its was incredible; 1.02 WHIP, 1.72 ERA, and nearly 15 K’s for every 9 innings. Think about that, 15 K’s per 9 innings.
Bill James predicts Wagner’s 2010 line to be: 6 – 1, 2.18 ERA, 62 IP, and 75Ks
Which would be tremendous for the Braves.
The Braves lose their 20th round pick which will go to the Boston RedSox assuming the physical, to be executed on Wednesday, goes through.
If you ask me, this is a good deal. Wagner becomes the closer, Moylan takes Gonzo’s job. and perhaps O’Flarity moves into the 7th inning role. 7 million is a lot, I’d have thought somewhere around 5 with incentives would be
better… Wren must have a lot of confidence in him, and if Wren does,
then so do I!
Wagner is 15 saves short of of 400 saves and 40 saves away from becoming the all time leader among left handed pitchers in saves, passing Franco.
This mysterious Wren that works in mysterious ways is a good color on him.
That’s All For Me, Folks!
The past three games, Nate McLouth is hitting .357 with a double, 1 homerun, 2 rbi’s, and 2 stolen bases. And the past three games he has persuaded me to form a “Man Crush” on him, if you will. I don’t know which of the two is more impressive.
What I do know is he has sparked this team. I think he’s lighten a much need fire under the offense, and he’s very aggressive. Not “Hey! I’m Francouer, watch me swing at the first pitch”, or even “Ola, soy es Yunel Escobar, watcho me groundo outo into el double playo.” More like “Wassup, I just singled so now I’m gunna swipe second to get a run.” (I imagine thats how Frenchy, Yunel, and Nate all talk.)
I prefer Nate (The Great) to hit leadoff rather than third for a slew of reasons, the first being that Chipper hates hitting fourth and has a great amount of pride that goes with that spot. Why I say this is because Chipper subtlety blames the batting order for the 2 shutouts, I don’t have the exact quote but to paraphrase, ‘All I know is when I was hitting 4th, we we’re shutout twice. When I go back to the 3rd hole, we win. Now, I’m no mathematician but…’ blah blob blah. The second reason is because he is the best prototypical leadoff hitter we have, and lastly he is a nice gap – gap hitter.
Oh by the way, since Chipper has survived the dizziness, he has had the two best games of the season. Which is why I propose that when he is on deck, instead of taking swings, put the bat against his forehead, then place the barrel on the ground, and spin around 20 times. Not only will his BA raise, but I gurantee you it will put more fans in the seats.
Also, MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Redsox are interested in a mystery shortstop from the Braves. And if you scroll down on the comments, someone posted the following from “Bill Shank’s Board”
I think its TOO BIG of a move for Atlanta to pull off soon, but It benefits all teams really. It’s nice to dream isn’t it?