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The Braves sign Eric Hinske

Jan 6, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

Yesterday began with the AJC’s Dave O’Brien speculating that the Braves could maybe sign Johnny Damon. Today dawns with a move that is somewhat less inspiring:

Just a few hours after signing Troy Glaus, the Braves added his backup when
they agreed to terms with Eric Hinske on a one-year contract to serve as a
pinch-hitter and versatile bench player.

No financial terms were available this morning, but I presume he’ll be making roughly the same salary as your neighborhood barista.
Just before the Hinske signing, O’Brien related word from the Braves themselves that they will not be making any other major moves beyond adding an corner/pinch hitter type of guy. This is that move, it seems, and with that the Braves’ offseason is likely over for all intents and purposes. That means that they are content to go with an outfield of Melky Cabrera, Nate McLouth and Matt Diaz to start the season. Unless, that is, they decide to say screw the super two status and break camp with Jason Heyward as their everyday right fielder and platoon Melky and Diaz in left.

I hope they choose the latter. I fear, however, that they will choose the former and once again lose the division race before it even gets going due the lack of a full complement of major league caliber outfielders.

But let’s think more positively. Hinske finished the 2007 season in the World Series with the Red Sox, the 2008 season in the World Series with the Rays and the 2009 season in the World Series with the Yankess.  It is therefore proven beyond a shadow of a doubt and with geometric logic that the Braves will win the 2010 pennant.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    ……or the mess boys will eat the strawberries. I know the Universe couldn’t have done it without Hinske.

  2. Moses Green - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    The Braves can live the trio of Diaz, Melky and McLouth until the beginning of June. Diaz can get days off against tough RHP’s with the addition of Hinske. It’s just a smart play to let Heyward abuse AAA pitching for a couple of months, and come into June hot and ready to own NL pitching. The defense and offense of that outfield is at least league average, arguably somewhat better. They have a lot of offense in the infield and catchers spots, I don’t think it loses them the division by any stretch to wait on Heyward. Furthermore, they also have Jordan Schaefer waiting in the wings.
    I think you play the new OF crew Diaz LF, Melky CF, McLouth RF – any opinions?

  3. rufus - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    The Braves now have some decent hitters (for average) but even less power than last year. Without looking up all of the numbers, there is only one power hitter to begin the season-McCann. Chipper’s and Glaus’ numbers may bounce back, and Nate may hit a few, but this looks like a “billy-ball” kind of team except with no speed and a manager that does not like steal a lot. Certainly the hope the ptiching helps the Braves win a lot on low-scoring games.

  4. Lawrence From Plattekill - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Bad move. Sure, they’re guaranteed to be in the World Series, but the odds of winning it are only 2 of 3.

  5. Lawrence From Plattekill - Jan 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    @YankeesfanLen: Just find the key and you’ll who ate the strawberries.

  6. themarksmith - Jan 6, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    I don’t think having Jason up to start the year would affect any Super Two status. If he’s up on Opening Day, he will have three years of minimum salary (2010-2012) followed by 3 years of arbitration (2013-2015). The only way that Super Two status can come into effect is if Heyward comes up in May. He will then play the rest of this season, 2011, and 2012 at minimum salary and then the next 4 at arbitration figures. If he comes up when Hanson did, he will play this season, 2011, 2012, and 2013 at minimum salary while playing the next 3 under arbitration. The key to keeping him down for a month (and I think that’s even overkill for the rule) is that they would gain control over him for 2016.
    And Moses, I’d go Diaz in LF, McLouth in CF, and Cabrera in RF because Cabrera’s arm strength is much better.

  7. Shawn - Jan 6, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    It actually appears he finishes the year on the AL pennant winner, so who trades for him at the deadline?

  8. Edie Kerrigan - Jan 17, 2010 at 4:11 AM

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

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