Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
2013 BABIP vs. xBABIP
If you have been following along with Mark’s “Braving New Territory” series, you likely came across his piece centered around BABIP (Batting Average On Balls In Play). I won’t rehash the points he made, but if you are unfamiliar, go back and take a read because he did a really thorough job of it.
Today, I wanted to take a look at BABIP v. xBABIP. xBABIP is simply a player’s “expected BABIP” after taking into account their batted ball profile. Below is a chart of what each of the batted ball’s BABIP was from this past season:
The Amazing MLB Payroll Graphic Gets An Update
Now that the winter meetings are over, Phil Roth has updated his excellent interactive payroll tool, which lets you explore the salary commitments of every MLB team from 1998 through 2024. That purple block you see above is $240 million worth of Robinson Cano, yours for just 10 flat payments of $24 million.
There’s a ton to play around with in here, but it’s interesting to see which teams are sitting on spendable dollars, based on their 2013 commitments. The Orioles, Pirates, and Braves—all contenders last season—have a lot of flexibility for 2014, but so far none has made a major move (Ryan Webb, Edinson Volquez, and Gavin Floyd do not count as major moves). Meanwhile, the number of available free agents dwindles.
Top 10 rotations in the majors
[Editorial Note: To see the entire list, you'll need to be an ESPN Insider subscriber. You might be interested, happy, or sad, to know that Buster Olney places the Braves at the 8th place in his Top 10 of best rotations.]
8. Atlanta Braves
The winter has been filled with angst for Braves’ fans over Atlanta’s lack of a bona fide ace. But while the Braves might not have a Cy Young candidate, they do have depth, and even after the since-departed Tim Hudson went down with a season-ending injury in July, Atlanta’s rotation — comprised of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran and others — performed well.
Brandon Beachy should be in better position to be a factor as he nears the two-year anniversary of his elbow surgery. Alex Wood showed a lot of promise in his first season in the big leagues, which included 11 starts.
The Atlanta Braves And Insane Corporate Welfare
[Editorial Note: We continue to be baffled by some of the stuff we read about the Braves' planned move to Cobb County, but we try to be fair and report all, even if we may wholeheartedly disagree!]
The Atlanta Braves are planning to move their stadium to the suburbs. The Braves blackmailed, threatened, and coerced the backboneless polititicians in Cobb County, Ga., to pay for the stadium. You might think that Cobb County is run by conservative small government leaders who disdain picking winners and losers in the marketplace. It turns out that Cobb County is actually run by leaders who practice the most corrupt form of crony capitalism. Public money is being used to enrich a private enterprise. It is a great system if you are the private enterprise. By the way, the Cobb County schools are facing a $80 million deficit. So it might seem odd that the county would give really rich folks $370 million so they can build a new stadium. How rich are the owners of the Braves? The team is owned by a company called Liberty Media Corp, which is in turn essentially owned by a guy named John Malone. Malone is worth $7 billion. He is also the largest landowner in America — owning 2.1 million acres. Liberty Media Corp., has $26 billion in assets. I admire Malone and his ability to acquire wealth. I just don’t think he should be getting public money.