Braves, Phillies have improved ….

While the Mets are deciding which middle-tier pitcher they should pursue, the Braves and Phillies have already improved from last season.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.


The Braves needed to address their bullpen, and have done that with the signings of Billy Wagner (I knew he wasn’t going to retire) and Takashi Saito. They’ve also offered arbitration to Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. The Braves need an outfield bat and are interested in Marlon Byrd.

The Philles have Cliff Lee coming back and are in on the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes. Yes, they have enough chips to get that done. The Phillies just upgraded to Placido Polanco at third base.

The Phillies’ bullpen was a huge reason they didn’t repeat. Fernando Rodney is a closer option. They are also considering John Smoltz and J.J. Putz in set-up roles.

11 thoughts on “Braves, Phillies have improved ….

  1. Disagree about both teams Delcos. The Braves have the oldest and most fragile 8th and 9th inning guys around now. They only improve their bullpen if either Soriano or Gonzalez accept arbitration. Then they can afford an injury to their new guys. Wagner was babied in September and sucked in the post season, like usual. He’s a Benitez without the rep for it. And give us a break about Marlon Byrd. A journeyman who like every other hitter, seems to thrive in Arlington Texas. If the Mets were chasing down Byrd, Met fans would rightfully be irate.
    Polanco is an upgrade at third? How. He hasn’t played 3rd in how long? He’s in mid 30’s and was given a 3-4 year deal. A singles hitter going on the downward part of his career. Sounds to me like they have gotten Luis Castillo to play out of position. And Halliday. Has he been traded there? Unless he has been, a maybe doesn’t make you stronger. They just opened the door to Pedro’s return. And they still have a very old and injured Jaime Moyer in the rotation. And they just gave Brian Schneider a two year deal. There’s no way he’s an upgrade over anybody. Amaro seems to be a clone of Minaya. He’s going woth older and riskier players and giving them contracts that are too long. The Gillick days of getting a littel better at a time are now over in Philly. It may take a year or so, but their new history of success will be gone very soon.

  2. Chiti, I agree about Philly. I thought the guy they had at third base was a pretty good player. Great glove and clutch hitting. They are not getting Halladay if they want to keep Lee. Lidge has a big contract that will be a burden for years if he doesnt get his head screwed on right. Moyer was right out of Minayas playbook.

  3. 4. How are they better Delcos? How are injury prone and very aged relievers better than the Gonzalez/Soriano tandem? Maybe in the prime of life but these are post roids days and old is old. Like I said if one of the two accept arb then I’ll buyyour argument, but all they have now is two very big question marks. Just like Putz was and he wasn’t even old.
    How is a punch and judy old 2nd baseman playing 3rd better than a golden glove caliber 3rd baseman with a ittle pop? How is Schneider better as a back up catcher than well than anybody? Everyone says I’m just mean to Omar but questionalbe moves by any team are just that and getting aged stars is usually a plan for failure and that’s what both of these teams have done so far. They bought the Omar plan, and we see how great that works. Why did the Yankees win this year? Maybe because they signed young stars in their prime and not aged stars who are slipping and sliding.

  4. I see no reason to post. Chiti and Ray are correct. JD, you are incorrect. Just because the Braves and Phills made more moves, it doesn’t mean they are great moves. I kinda like the Wagner/Saito tandem personally, but it does come with a huge injury risk.

  5. Ah, I can’t leave well enough alone. Marlon Byrd? He is a product of the Arlington ballpark. 14 homers, .874 OPS at home and 6 homers , .741 OPS on the road. Marlon Byrd isn’t putting the Braves over the top.

  6. 5/6: I was starting to worry about you when you said no reason to post!! # 6 made me feel much better.

  7. (7) Not a problem Harry. Anything I can do to make you feel better you just let me know. :-) Where is Delcos? Hopefully he’s bringing us some new rumors instead of the ones i’ve heard about all day.

  8. Soriano accepted the arbitration so he is a Brave again. I therefore retract my disagreement about the Braves. Three guys who can close and set up. and Soriano will allow them to baby Saito and Wagner. They now have the best bullpen in the NL East.

  9. I agree the Braves are better with their bullpen signings if they don’t lose Soriano and Gonzalez which right now is not a given. If they do lose those two bullpen pieces I think they are treading water at best with those moves (and gave up a 1st rounder to do it).

    On the Phils I disagree entirely, Polanco was not an upgrade for that team as they take a big step back defensively at 3rd, lose power and have a very Castillo like contract. He will probably be decent next year, but I don’t see it as any significant improvement. Lee for the entire year is obviously an advantage, and if they get Roy we are basically fighting for the Wild Card, but to say they have significantly improved there team is not true.

  10. I didn’t know that Harry, that stinks I was kind of hoping Soriano would bolt which would put him out there on the market.