Brave Once Again

The Braves re-signing Rafael Furcal would seem, at first glance, an admission that the younger DP combination of Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson has failed, and needs to be replaced. But at least offensively, both Escobar and Johnson have held up their end, and I don’t really see the basis for dumping either of them on defensive grounds (just on a quick check, both had good range factors this season, and the Braves had a fairly good team Defensive Efficiency Rating and turned an above-average number of double plays). So I have to assume that the deal is setting up Escobar and/or Johnson to be traded (ESPN suggests possibly as a package for Jake Peavy).

One thought on “Brave Once Again”

  1. Escobar & Johnson at the top of the lineup gave them little speed, so SOMETHING had to give. I thought Josh Anderson would have the lead on the CF job due to this, going into ’09. Apparently, they don’t think he’s ready yet for prime time, so “we” are still looking for a replacement for Andruw in CF, although if a trade for Peavy fell through I wouldn’t be surprised if Escobar went to 2B & Johnson went back to LF.
    Still, that’d be one weak OF going into ’09, with Johnson, a slap-hitting Josh Anderson and Francoeur coming off of a season that would make Rob Deer say “wow, bad average”.
    So, we lose Hampton’s anchor of a contract & likely Smoltz’s (after losing Andruw’s & Texieria’s) and to date the replacements for all that freed up cap space have been a Mark Kotsay experiment and Javier Vazquez? Nah, something’s definitely gotta give.
    Otherwise, I have this sinking feeling that I’ll be hearing the announcers say “and leading off, in center field, Wily Taveras”. Ouch.

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