|10-08-2002, 02:27 PM||#16|
1. To answer the initial question here, I think the Braves made the wrong move, for the wrong reasons and executed it poorly to boot. It was a total FUBAR operation for the following reasons.
A. Practically anyone (LF or 3B) would have been better than Vinny Castilla, who is no longer able to play regularly at the major league level.
B. Schuerholz got it backwards. Moving Chipper to left because a third baseman is cheaper than a left fielder is totally untrue UNLESS you're talking about a poor third baseman, which is always cheaper than a poor left fielder. Why? A bad third baseman usually has a few defensive skills, but no offense while a bad left fielder usually has a few offensive skills, but no defense. That would make the left fielder the more valuable of the two, but the third baseman the less common as, naturally, fewer people can play third base with average skill.
The Braves should have realized that a GOOD player at third is infinately more valuable and less common (hence more valuable) than a GOOD player in left.
What Atlanta SHOULD have done was 1. Go shopping for a left fielder, but 2. move Jones if they were able to replace him with a younger, equally talented third baseman. Two names come to mind immediately that were available and had widely-publicized disputes with their clubs.
The Phillies were shopping Scott Rolen and the Dodgers were shopping Adrian Beltre. Getting either of these guys to Atlanta would have been ample reason to move Jones to left. There aren't too many other third basemen who's acquisition could really justify the move.
Chipper's a stand-up guy, to do what was best for the team, as it was explained to him. He should have asked first, however, who the Braves were going to pursue. Castilla certainly wasn't the right answer.
To remark on something another poster asked....the best thing George Steinbrenner could do this winter in the free agent market would be to sign Jeff Kent or Edgardo Alfonso as the Yankees' new second baseman and move Soriano to left. (Letting go of Raul Mondesi, thank goodness.)
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