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View Full Version : Braves/Pirates finally complete LaRoche/Gonzalez deal


Jjav829
01-17-2007, 06:21 PM
ESPN.com is reporting that the Braves and Pirates have agreed to a swap of Adam LaRoche and Mike Gonzalez.
There was no word yet whether other players were involved in the deal, though the belief all along was that the Braves wouldn't make the trade without getting a second quality property back. The trade means Salomon Torres will likely take over as Pittsburgh's closer. Gonzalez will combine with Rafael Soriano to give the Braves the best setup tandem in the business.I really like this for the Pirates. Gonzalez is a good reliever, but anytime you can get a hitter like LaRoche for a reliever, you do it.

Pittsburgh Pirates, your 2008 NL Central champs! :D::bandance:

I say that partly in jest, but I'm really interested in seeing how this whole thing the Pirates are putting together develops. They've assembled some good, young players.

As for the Braves, well, it seems they've put together the bullpen they really lacked last year. Soriano, Gonzalez and Wickman should form one of the best back ends of a bullpen in baseball. However, they're probably going to struggle to score runs.

FedEx227
01-17-2007, 06:25 PM
I don't know about this. Gonzalez was VERY solid especially in the closer's role. However, I do agree when you can get a great hitter over a reliever you gotta take it, but time will tell. When the Pirates can't close out games they might be wishing this trade back.

I do agree though that the Pirates got a nice thing going. The rotation is actually looking pretty decent (only imagine if Perez didn't blow up), and now their offense looks great headed by Bay, Sanchez, LaRoche.

DSpivack
01-17-2007, 06:29 PM
What an idiotic move for the Braves. They look to be a third or fourth place team next year. Good pickup for the Bucs.

StepsInSC
01-17-2007, 06:32 PM
My condolences go out to Adam LaRoche...

SABRSox
01-17-2007, 06:33 PM
This is super good for my boy Jason Bay. Finally some lineup protection.

Jjav829
01-17-2007, 06:34 PM
I don't know about this. Gonzalez was VERY solid especially in the closer's role. However, I do agree when you can get a great hitter over a reliever you gotta take it, but time will tell. When the Pirates can't close out games they might be wishing this trade back.

I do agree though that the Pirates got a nice thing going. The rotation is actually looking pretty decent (only imagine if Perez didn't blow up), and now their offense looks great headed by Bay, Sanchez, LaRoche.

Gonzalez pitched well for them, but he's still just a reliever. He's worth more to a team that will contend next year like the Braves than a team building for the future like the Pirates. The Pirates now have the lefty in their lineup that they really needed and a good 1B for the future.

Like you said, with Bay, Sanchez and LaRoche, their offense is starting to take shape. If Duffy can play anywhere close to where he was in the final month of the season, they might have found their leadoff hitter. Walker isn't too far away.

On the pitching side, we'll see what happens with their four young pitchers (Duke, Snell, Gorzelanny and Maholm), but they have the makings of a nice rotation. I like the direction in which they are heading. I just hope they're able to retain these players if they turn into good major leaguers.

SABRSox
01-17-2007, 06:36 PM
Gonzalez pitched well for them, but he's still just a reliever. He's worth more to a team that will contend next year like the Braves than a team building for the future like the Pirates. The Pirates now have the lefty in their lineup that they really needed and a good 1B for the future.

Like you said, with Bay, Sanchez and LaRoche, their offense is starting to take shape. If Duffy can play anywhere close to where he was in the final month of the season, they might have found their leadoff hitter. Walker isn't too far away.

On the pitching side, we'll see what happens with their four young pitchers (Duke, Snell, Gorzelanny and Maholm), but they have the makings of a nice rotation. I like the direction in which they are heading. I just hope they're able to retain these players if they turn into good major leaguers.

They can also ship Brad Eldred off to somebody now for another piece. This is a really nice trade for them, and I haven't been able to say that about the Pirates for a long time.

MUsoxfan
01-17-2007, 07:37 PM
My condolences go out to Adam LaRoche...


He may be better off. The Pirates are on the upswing, and the Braves aren't going anywhere fast.

Plus, he gets to play at PNC Park 81 times a year. There's no way that can be bad

MeteorsSox4367
01-17-2007, 08:09 PM
As someone whose favorite NL team is the Pirates, I think it's a great trade. LaRoche gives them a quality lefty bat and their lineup with Bay, Sanchez and LaRoche as its foundation might be OK.

But like one of the other posters mentioned, it's all contingent on the Bucs spending some bucks to keep these guys around. I remember Gorzelanny when he pitched in high school at Marist and it's nice to see another local kid make it to the bigs.

Maybe this is the year for my dream World Series between the Sox and the Pirates. Maybe the Hawks will win the Cup, too.

cws05champ
01-17-2007, 09:31 PM
As for the Braves, well, it seems they've put together the bullpen they really lacked last year. Soriano, Gonzalez and Wickman should form one of the best back ends of a bullpen in baseball. However, they're probably going to struggle to score runs.

Struggle to score runs? The Braves were 5th in the majors in runs scored last year, plus they can move either McCann or Saltamochia(sp?) to 1st base to get both bats in the line up.

I think it's good for both teams for what they are trying to do....

StepsInSC
01-17-2007, 10:41 PM
He may be better off. The Pirates are on the upswing, and the Braves aren't going anywhere fast.

Plus, he gets to play at PNC Park 81 times a year. There's no way that can be bad

I'm not sold they're on their upswing, especially after two consecutive 95 loss seasons. While I agree about the park, I doubt it's that great for players when they're stuck toiling away for arguably the worst ownership in the pros.

Jjav829
01-17-2007, 11:32 PM
Struggle to score runs? The Braves were 5th in the majors in runs scored last year, plus they can move either McCann or Saltamochia(sp?) to 1st base to get both bats in the line up.

I think it's good for both teams for what they are trying to do....

LaRoche had 32 homers and 90 RBI and a .915 OPS in the majors last year. How many and how high of an OPS did Saltamachia/Thorman have?

Factor in Chipper being another year older, the questions at 2B, and the Braves possibly having to deal Andruw Jones rather than risk him walking as a free agent and there is certainly reason to believe they won't be near 5th in baseball in runs scored in 2007.

russ99
01-18-2007, 09:53 AM
What an idiotic move for the Braves. They look to be a third or fourth place team next year. Good pickup for the Bucs.

While I like Gonzalez, I could see this one blowing up in the Braves' face like the Capellan deal. LaRoche is a good hitter and my gut tells me the Buccos with their collection of solid young players will finish above the Cubs and their bloated payroll this season.

palehozenychicty
01-18-2007, 10:07 AM
This trade will help the Pirates immensely. If their young arms come together, they will be the sleeper of '07. I had a good feeling about them at the end of last year.

AuroraSoxFan
01-18-2007, 10:14 AM
I don't follow NL moves too closely. But does Pitt still have that Freddy Gonzalez dude? If so that really is some decent bats in their lineup. They're a while away from being competitive but they likely won't be the doormat everyone expects them to be.

soxfanatlanta
01-18-2007, 06:27 PM
Braves fans down here are in an uproar; they are calling for JS to be skinned alive. If Turner still owned this team, they would not be in this mess, IMO.

The only benefit for Atlanta is that they have a better bullpen on paper. But as soon as Wickman implodes (he's 38), they will be scrambling for a setup man...again.


It will be interesting to see how the Pirates do this year, they might be worth watching :wink:

StepsInSC
01-18-2007, 08:39 PM
In light of the fact that the Braves just signed Craig Wilson to 1 yr/$2 million contract, I really don't believe the Braves are worse off as a result of this deal.

champagne030
01-18-2007, 10:32 PM
But as soon as Wickman implodes (he's 38), they will be scrambling for a setup man...again.

:wink:


I'd be more concerned about him exploding. :redneck

soxfanatlanta
01-19-2007, 05:36 PM
I'd be more concerned about him exploding. :redneck

Oh Snap!

DSpivack
01-20-2007, 01:43 AM
In light of the fact that the Braves just signed Craig Wilson to 1 yr/$2 million contract, I really don't believe the Braves are worse off as a result of this deal.

Craig Wilson is a much inferior hitter to Adam LaRoche. Last year, LaRoche put up .285/.354/.561, hitting 32 HRs and driving in 90 (slightly less than 500 at bats), an OPS of .915 (OPS+ of 133). He was the Braves fourth best hitter, behind Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, and Brian McCann. At the age of 28, this was just LaRoche's third season; he has improved yearly thus far in his career.

Craig Wilson's career numbers are .265/.354/.480. At 31 years of age, he is not getting any better. Money shouldn't have even been a factor; LaRoche was signed for just $3.5 million, a bargain considering his offensive numbers. Such a downgrade doesn't make sense to save just $1.5 mil.

StepsInSC
01-20-2007, 10:52 AM
Craig Wilson is a much inferior hitter to Adam LaRoche. Last year, LaRoche put up .285/.354/.561, hitting 32 HRs and driving in 90 (slightly less than 500 at bats), an OPS of .915 (OPS+ of 133). He was the Braves fourth best hitter, behind Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, and Brian McCann. At the age of 28, this was just LaRoche's third season; he has improved yearly thus far in his career.

Craig Wilson's career numbers are .265/.354/.480. At 31 years of age, he is not getting any better. Money shouldn't have even been a factor; LaRoche was signed for just $3.5 million, a bargain considering his offensive numbers. Such a downgrade doesn't make sense to save just $1.5 mil.

Wilson only hits lefties. He's a nice compliment to the left-handed hitters Langerhans and Thorman b/w LF and 1B. I know his numbers overall are surpassed by LaRoche, but he's still a good platoon guy and I don't think this would make the Braves any worse than they already would have been.

CleeFan101
01-20-2007, 11:25 AM
Finally, a reason to be a little excited about the Pirates, who for some reason are my favorite NL team. If a few things go right they can actually be truly competitive next season. I like a few of their position players in Sanchez, Bay, Duffy, Wilson, Laroche. Than Jose Castillo and Xavier Nady are really both avg. at their positions at the very least. The only spot I think they are incredibly weak at is catcher and than depends on which Chris Duffy shows up.


Than I love their starting rotation of Duke, Snell, Maholm, and Gorzelanny. All guys who are young atleast at the mlb level who will improve. Im kind of meh on Chacon but at the very worse I think they could flip him to a reliever and have him be very effective.



Dont they have a couple good prospects down there too or no?