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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update on free agent signings

  • Derek Lowe signed a four year deal with Atlanta today.  I like this move for the Braves because Lowe is an innings eater who can take advantage of Atlanta's good infield defense.  The Braves can probably expect some decline in his performance since he'll be 36 in his first season but with prospects Tommy Hanson and Cole Rohrbough knocking on the door, Lowe will fit nicely into the #4 spot at the end of this deal.
  • Kenshin Kawakami also signed with the Braves.  I'm not entirely sure what to expect out of this guy but a 4.50 ERA seems reasonable.  Unless the Braves sign Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu to play outfield their defense should be above average.  That's a good thing to have for a flyball pitcher.
  • Jason Giambi will most likely split between DH and 1b with the A's.  He helps Oakland improve in their two greatest deficiencies: on-base and slugging.  Oh wow, maybe I should have just said OFFENSE.  His numbers will decline from last season thanks to playing in one of the toughest hitters parks but with a Cust-Giambi-Holliday heart of the order the A's will score some runs.
  • Trevor Hoffman gives Milwaukee the closer they've been dying to get.  Unfortunately the nametag is probably all they are getting as I don't envision him hanging on to the job past July.   His fastball is below average and last year he gave up 8 home runs in only 45 innings.  That number might go up by 25% this year.  Not good.
And finally, I started this post with the signings that might begin a new era (probably not) but I'll finish it with the end of an era.  
  • John Smoltz is officially a member of the Boston Red Sox.  I know Atlanta didn't want to give a lot of guaranteed money to a guy who might not be able to pitch until May-June but he was the face of the franchise.  The greatest postseason pitcher of his generation (except for maybe Josh Beckett), Smoltz was always the guy I rooted for most out of the Big Three.  I can't believe I'm going to say this but if Atlanta can't win the World Series this year I hope John Smoltz does.
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