Happy New Year to you all. Here's a batch of links to get the new year rolling, including an interesting catcher comparison and some former Braves finding new homes, or trying to.â†µ
Appreciating Brian McCann: Mr. Underappreciated. Dave Gershman expands on a WARGraphs comparison of Brian McCann and Yogi Berra through their first six years, began by Mike Axisa of WARGraphs. The comparison shows McCann's fWAR is higher than Berra's through six seasons, and it is also higher than Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane. Watching McCann play everyday, we tend to get spoiled by what we have, and these graphs put it in perspective. No pressure from here on, Mac.
I got some pretty solid discussion on Twitter after posting my Andruw Jones Hall of Fame piece yesterday. The FanGraphs poll swings away from his chances more than I expected, but the feedback I received was mostly positive as to whether he deserves a vote. Of course, being deserving of a vote and actually receiving that vote are two different things, which is quite a sad thing indeed. Not really having anything to do with this, but Baseball-Reference posted a blog that puts Jones on the list of hitters with at least two years of 100+ OPS+ and a batting average no higher than .230.â†µ
For some news, we have Derrek Lee signing a one-year deal with the Orioles, believed to be worth around $8 million with incentives that could push it to $10 million. It's a good deal for the Orioles, who weren't willing to give in and sign Adam LaRoche to a multi-year deal, and picked up the next best thing at a decent price. The Braves didn't offer Lee arbitration out of fear he would accept it, so they won't be receiving a compensation pick.â†µ
As a result, LaRoche was offered a two-year deal by the Nationals. LaRoche wants three years, but nobody is willing to give it to him. This isn't the first time LaRoche has had demands far too high. Last time it cost him a shot at contention, and it looks like the same will happen here. I expect him to realize this is the best he will get and take it. We could be seeing that loopy swing in the NL East again soon.