The Atlanta Braves have 8 free agents heading into the winter. I think they already have a good idea as far as who they want to bring back. I am going to look into my crystal ball to see who stays and who goes:
Troy Glaus: 34-year old righty swinging 1B Troy Glaus started the season hot and ended it as cold as ice. Glaus played in 128 games for the Braves last season and he was 99 of 412 (.240 avg, .744 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 16 homers and 71 RBIs. VERDICT: I would let him walk.
Derek Lee: 35-year old righty swinging 1B Derek Lee played in 39 games for the Braves after coming over in the deal with the Cubs and he was 37 of 129 (.287 avg, .849 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 3 homers and 24 RBIs. Lee played in 148 games combined last season for the Cubs & Braves and he was 142 of 547 (.260 avg, .775 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 19 homers and 80 RBIs. VERDICT: I think Lee will get more money on the open market then the Braves will feel comfortable paying him. With that in mind I see them letting him walk.
Omar Infante: 28-year old righty swinging infielder Omar Infante had a career year for the Braves last season. He even made the N.L. All-Star team! Infante played in 134 games for the Braves last season and he was 151 of 471 (.321 avg, .775 OPS) with 65 runs scored, 8 homers, 47 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. The Braves have a $2.5 million dollar option on Infante for 2011 or they can buy him out for $250,000. VERDICT: The Braves will pick up Infante’s option.
Alex Gonzalez: 33-year old righty swinging shortstop Alex Gonzalez played in 72 games for the Braves after coming over in a deal with the Blue Jays and he was 64 for 267 (.240 avg, .677 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 6 homers and 38 RBIs. He played in 157 games overall for the Jays & Braves and he was 149 of 595 (.250 avg, .741 OPS) with 74 runs scored, 23 homers and 88 RBIs. The Braves have a club option for 2011 on Gonzalez valued at $2.5 million bucks. VERDICT: With his great mitt and solid power for a middle infielder I think it’s a no-brainer….the Braves should pick up the option.
David Ross: 33-year old righty swinging catcher David Ross has really played well for the Braves. He played in 59 games for the Braves last season and he was 35 of 121 (.289 avg, .871 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 2 homers and 28 RBIs. VERDICT: The Braves re-signed Ross during the year to a 2-year deal.
Rick Ankiel: 31-year old lefty swinging CF Rick Ankiel played in 47 games for the Braves after coming over in a deal with the Royals and he was 25 of 119 (.210 avg, .652 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 2 homers, 9 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He played in 74 games overall for the Royals & Braves last season and he was 49 for 211 (.232 avg, .710 OPS) with 31 runs scored, 6 homers, 24 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. The Braves have a $6 million dollar club option on Ankiel or they can buy him out for $500,000 bucks. VERDICT: I see the Braves paying Ankiel $500K to leave.
Eric Hinske: 33-year old lefty swinging LF/RF/1B/3B Eric Hinske played in 131 games for the Braves last season and he was 72 of 281 (.256 avg, .794 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 11 homers and 51 RBIs. VERDICT: The Braves should re-sign Hinske because of his versatility in the field and his power with the bat.
Kyle Farnsworth: 34-year old righty reliever Kyle Farnsworth pitched in 23 games (0 starts) for the Braves after coming over from the Royals. He pitched in 60 games (0 starts) for the Royals & Braves last season and he was 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. VERDICT: I would likely let Farnsworth walk.