The Blue Jays Chris Rowley (from South Forsyth HS and West Point) was a no show at Hot Stove Wednesday night, so we sat around talking about all the 50+ transactions so far (a guy had brought a list). Thirteen attended, but two were young boys. One or two of the eleven were younger than me. In January some of the local high school coaches are coming to talk about their teams.
Both Joe Simpson and Jim Powell turned down the chance to MC the Braves Jamboree in January. They’re hoping Paul Byrd will do it.
To start off should Snit bat Acuna second, ahead of Freddie? Shoot, with Albies and Inciarte, that lineup’s getting crowded. Seems like Ender might be more productive lower down in the lineup? Dansby needs another year at the back end of the lineup.
CPA: I agree - I would go Albies - Acuna - Freeman. I have always been a proponent of moving Inciarte down - he handles the bat well and could pick up key RBI. In addition, he could steal bases without having to worry about taking the bat out of Freeman's hands. Hopefully things can start happening with the Braves off season now.
With the roster as-is, it looks like they project to have a payroll around $100 million (this includes estimates for ARB;s and 0-3 year service time players filling out the roster). This includes if they tendered contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players. I don't think that happens though. I think they will non-tender at least one of Danny Santana and Jace Peterson. I also think Matt Adams will either be traded or non-tendered. They won't get much for him in a trade, so fans and talk show voices will complain about how he should have been traded last year.
A bulk of the payroll is Kemp and Markakis. By May Acuna should be the starting RF. I don't know if they can trade either Kemp or Markakis without paying most of their salaries. If they can't be traded, I would platoon them in LF. Both hit righty's and lefty's equally well, so you don't get much of a platoon advantage, but maybe reducing their playing time would keep them fresher. It would also give you a good bat off the bench to pinch hit.
I think they will go into the season with a payroll around $120 million - similar to last year. Getting Matt Adams off the books gives them about $25 million to spend. They could pick up a few veteran bullpen arms, along with a veteran 3B on a short-term contract. I don't think they will spend big on Moustakis, nor will they go into a season relying on Adonis Garcia, Rio Ruiz and Johan Camargo to get significant time at 3B.
ME: Super busy at work. Thursday I worked till 5:30 and drove to Perimeter for a focus group. Ate two pieces of bread for $35.00. Then three thrift stores looking for an ugly Christmas sweater. Saw some shoes and T-shirts but didn’t bite. Picked up Zaxbys for dinner and took it home. C had a teacher’s party, then she and M went shopping. Anna got home around 10 pm.
I’ll have to watch that Marist / Blessed Trinity game. A few of Will’s baseball teammates had gone there. Also Tom Glavine’s son. Did I tell you that Smoltz has been seen playing men’s league basketball up in Forsyth County. Former Tennessee receiver Peerless Price is on his team.
Hey did you hear that GT landed a defensive line recruit for next year from the IMG Academy in Florida. He had been recruited by UGA, FSU, and Oregon, but chose GT for the academics. Only 6’1” tall but should be an upgrade for GT.
The processing plant across the parking lot (where I worked from 1987 to 1999) had their Christmas luncheon today, so I walked over with a few other employees. Many of the guys have retired. Frances just celebrated her 50th anniversary (she started when she was 17) and Ronald is hitting 40 years with the company. I ate some collard greens and “dirty meatloaf” – spicy but good. Passed on the fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
M has to work Dec 24. Not sure about after Christmas.