The Braves potential moves are . . . familiar

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Mark Bowman at MLB.com has his latest ramblings up about the Braves. It’s mostly about their potential offseason moves.  Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

  • They need an outfielder, but don’t want to spend any money;
  • They could trade for one, but they need to find someone willing to take on Kenshin Kawakami or Derek Lowe’s contract; and
  • They’re likely going to end up with some toolsy outfielder “with warts.”

How inspiring!

Even less than inspiring is when Bowman says that the Braves would certainly consider a trade for Colby Rasmus, but really would prefer a right-handed bat.  I sure hope that’s not the team’s actual thinking. Because while, sure, it’d be nice to have some lefty-righty action in the lineup, doesn’t there come a point where a platoon advantage is far outweighed by the overall quality of the wrong-handed batter?  I mean, Jeff Francoeur is a righty, but I somehow don’t see him as preferable to Rasmus.  Not that the Cardinals are gonna trade Rasmus anyway. Because they are not insane. I’m just grumpy.

Oh well. The whole column is worth reading anyway, if for no other reason than for this passage:

There has sense been some reason to believe that Kawakami would rather continue pitching in the United States.  The Yomuri Giants were believed to be one of the clubs interested in the 34-year-old right-hander.  Kawakami has said that he doesn’t like pitching in the Tokyo Dome, which serves as the Giants home.  My only response to that is, “Would he rather pitch in Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field?

Zing!

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

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The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”