September 24, 2009 07:06 by Brett
Looking ahead to next year, the Braves have some tough decisions to make. Soriano (6.35M) and Gonzalez (3.45M) are both free agents. Knowing the Braves, they don’t like to pay big money for relievers (never have) and I think we’re lucky to resign one of those guys.
At 12M, I can’t imagine we are going to resign Hudson who will be 35 next year and coming off surgery. Not worth the risk especially given the depth of the current rotation.
I would not trade Vasquez or Jurrjens. Lowe is nearly untradable at his salary as is Kawakami, and Hanson is untouchable of course.
Given that, I think there is 15M off the board with Hudson gone and I think we have a good trade fit with the White Sox. We need a stop gap 1B and a power hitting righty in the lineup. Paul Konerko is in the last year of his contract, making 12M, and leads his team in HR, RBI, and OBP. I think the Sox would possibly be interested in a some combination of prospects, as well as Kelly Johnson, or Kris Medlen, and maybe Canizares among others. Konerko would be a 1 yr guy while our future first basemen, Freddie Freeman, gets one more year of seasoning. Make a run at Chone Figgins, free agent from the Angels and plug him into our leadoff spot. Figgins can play all the OF spots, as well as 2B and 3B and is a true leadoff man we have lacked since Furcal left.
We need to spend some money on the bullpen but I can see Moylan closing next year and Campillo in the mix with whoever we can sign. There are some decent lefties available if we can’t resign Gonzalez.