Minor Transactions Ahoy

This post was originally going to be something completely different, but that post isn’t done yet. My tendency to ramble is working against me there, and it’s running much longer than I’d prefer. I’ll hack away at it for awhile and hopefully create something publishable eventually.

In the meantime, I note that the Braves re-signed Eric Hinske to a one-year deal today. It’s hard to dislike that kind of contract — Hinske is a virtually ideal bench player for this team. I suppose this means the end of Matt Diaz’s tenure with the Braves as well, and that I’m of mixed feelings about. Diaz has definitely looked like toast for the past year or so, but he’s one of my favorite players on the team and I’d hate to see him with the Phillies or somebody.

That means the current roster looks something like this:

C Brian McCann
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Dan Uggla
3B Chipper Jones
SS Alex Gonzalez
LF Martin Prado
CF Nate McLouth
RF Jason Heyward

C David Ross
1B/OF Eric Hinske
IF Brooks Conrad
IF Diory Hernandez
OF Matt Young

RHP Tim Hudson
RHP Derek Lowe
RHP Tommy Hanson
RHP Jair Jurrjens
LHP Mike Minor

RHP Craig Kimbrell
LHP Johnny Venters
RHP Peter Moylan
LHP Eric O’Flaherty

Plus three more garbage-time relievers, which probably get shaken out during Spring Training.

That’s an okay team. I could see going to war with that. Pitching’s great, offense is okay as long as Freeman, McLouth, and AGony don’t all crash and burn, decent depth. Uggla fixes the 2010 team’s biggest problem, a lack of right-handed power (and power in general), and now that Melky is gone there’s really no one on the team I absolutely hate. (I don’t really like Alex Gonzalez, but he’s a perfectly cromulent shortstop.) I’d really like to get another outfielder who knows which end of a bat is which, to guard against a potential Chipper Jones injury or a return to mediocrity by McLouth, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to see one — Frank Wren has indicated that he’s only looking for spare parts at this point.

The problem here is that the Braves are chasing probably the best team in the National League in the Phillies. I don’t really care for this “good enough” scheme of team-building, even though it might be the right call in a league where the wild card exists and you’re on a budget. There are outfielders out there — why not kick the tires on them? The D-Backs are reportedly shopping Justin Upton — why not see what they want? If they ask for Heyward or Teheran you don’t lose anything by hanging up the phone, and who knows, you might get a reasonable deal. But the Braves aren’t even trying. 90 wins is good enough for them, whether that results in championships or not. Maybe I’m spoiled by the ’90s Braves, but that’s not good enough for me.

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