Braves Get Crunk on Free Agents

Step 1: Trade away ace starter.
Step 2: Use freed up salary to sign Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske.
Step 3: Run on season tickets begins.

Looks like the Braves are not increasing their budget in a way that seemed like they might. Don’t get me wrong, I think Glaus and Hinske are fine players, and their contracts are reasonable. Like many other Braves fans, I thought the team would be adding better bat. But, as much as I want to hate these moves, I don’t.

If Glaus is healthy, and I think there is good reason to believe that he is, he’s an upgrade over LaRoche for a measly $4 million—the total amount he’s owed if he maxes out his incentives. Excluding his 2009, he’s a $9-$10 million player. For the guaranteed $1.75 million portion of the contract, that’s a risk worth taking. But, it doesn’t appear that other GMs were beating down his door, so we’ll have to see.

Hinske could make a nice platoon partner for Matt Diaz. It’s kind of a shame that Diaz was denied everyday opportunities while Golden Boy stunk up the joint, but the Braves are a better team with Diaz sharing some at-bats with Hinske. Although, early indications are that Hinske will pinch hit and back up, with Bobby Cox in charge, that means you play a hell of a lot. No word on the contract terms, but it sounds like he’s cheap.

As uninspiring as these moves sound, I like the deals.

5 Responses “Braves Get Crunk on Free Agents”

  1. Alex C says:

    I agree that both of these are good signings. Glaus especially.

    But even if Glaus meets all his incentives, these two are only going to take up about half the money freed up by the Vazquez trade. And even then, if payroll was the same as last year, they should have had 5-6 million left over without trading Vazquez. Which essentially means Vazquez was traded merely because payroll is being cut (absent any discussion of the equity of the return, just speaking of the impetus here), which as a Braves fan is pretty frustrating.

  2. jfish26101 says:

    It sounds as if the Braves are done till the trade deadline, what is your full assessment of the off-season, Wren in general to this point and the Braves chances to win the NL East?

    I’ve been pretty down on the job he has down overall, he hasn’t done anything too bad but I haven’t seen much that has impressed me either. The Jurrjens/Gorkys deal for Renteria was very nice but, given the timing of the trade, I think JS had a big hand in that particular deal (I could be wrong). McLouth was a good deal but not a significant acquisition in my eyes. I’m torn on both Vazquez deals as it sounds like Flowers has made huge strides behind the plate (I always liked Santos potential as well) while Vizcaino comes with a ton of risk (with a very high ceiling of course) and aren’t that impressed with Glaus, Hinske, Dunn, or Melky.

    At the end of the year, it’s your record that counts and I’m just not seeing the Braves as good bets to be in the playoffs. Phillies/Mets both improved their teams and the Marlins/Nationals could always make some noise. I tend to be a bit pessimistic but I just don’t see why so many Braves fans are impressed with Wren’s job thus far.

  3. Rob Usry says:

    When the kid in RF shows up they will flock to the ticket offices.

    I love the signings.

  4. leviinalaska says:

    I’m with JC 100% on this one. The signings are uninspiring but solid. C’mon Braves Fans…what were you expecting? Did you really think we’d sign Holliday or Bay? It would have been nice to be rid of Lowe’s bloated contract, but statistically there is much reason to suspect that he will perform better this year. There is also statistical reason to believe that Vasquez will regress. Bottom line…Frank Wren made good use of the limited funds that he had.

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