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Braves pick up option on Eric Hinske; decline option on Nate McLouth

Oct 31, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

Nate McLouth AP

The Atlanta Braves just announced that they have picked up the club option on Eric Hinske and declined the option on Nate McLouth.

This is not surprising. McLouth’s 2012 option price was $10.65 million and, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you know that McLouth is not a $10 million player. Heck, he may not be a $10 player right now. He had a 2011 line of .228/.344/.333 in 81 games. And that was an improvement over 2010. If the Braves are going to pay real money to try and retain a center fielder, it will be money spent on Michael Bourn, not McLouth.

As for Hinske, his option was for $1.5 million.  He still represents some left handed pop off the bench and, given that the Braves never seem to sign a decent complement of backup outfielders or corner guys, he’s useful enough in that role.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Welcome back to the land of the 4th OF, Nate. You’ll get several offers, but for a third of that option amount.

  2. wlschneider09 - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    How sad would it be to have to get up, look yourself in the mirror and say “I’m no Eric Hinske”?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      When it comes to personality, few players match him. He’s a great clubhouse guy who’s got a lot of value at a million or two.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        Yeah. For what he’s being paid, Hinske is a perfectly fine bench guy. I’m glad to see he’ll be back for another year.

        I never disliked McLouth, either. Just disliked the results he produced. He obviously fell well short of expectations and really struggled at times to stay healthy, but it never seemed to be for lack of trying. Just didn’t work out.

  3. ogre2010 - Oct 31, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    When the Braves pick up Nate from Pittsburgh, I was excited!! Now that he is gone, I am even more excited!!

    • 78mu - Oct 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      A few years ago I picked up McLouth in a late round and thought I had an up and coming star at a steal. I thought the trade to Atlanta would help him. I finally gave up on him. I have a little laugh every year when he is drafted late by someone that once thought like I did. And I chuckle again when he shows up on waivers.

      He seems to have regressed from his early days with the Pirates.

  4. foreverchipper10 - Oct 31, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Both moves are smart. Clearly McClouth wasn’t anywhere near the player the Braves thought they were getting from Pittsburgh. Good riddance.

    Bringing back Hinske is key. He is a solid backup OF who can even spell Freeman at 1st. He is also a plus bat coming off the bench in a pinch hit situation.

    The Bravos also better pony up for Bourn. He will look good patrolling CF in the ATL.

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