The Braves pulled the trigger and signed utility man/World Series ticket Eric Hinske late Tuesday night. Hinske promised (maybe in my late night dream) to continue his streak of World Series appearances. The AL Rookie of the Year in 2002, Hinske has spent the last three seasons with three different organizations.
Reaction among Brave fans seem to be panic, anger at people panicking, and in general overall confusion by the deal.
Financial details of the deal were not released yet but the deal will be worth less then the $1.5 million he made when he signed with Pittsburgh last year, and figures to be around the $800,000 he made in 2008 with Tampa Bay. That all being if he should even make the club.
This doesn’t mean that the front office will cease browsing the clearance rack for other players but it does figure to turn those attempts, if any, to corner outfield options.
Here’s what we do know.
Hinske isn’t a long term answer at any position but does give the Braves a grizzly veteran who can fill in at all four corner positions and act as a pinch hitter hopefully with more success then Greg Norton did last season.
Hinske, 32, batted .242/.348/.432 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 190 at-bats between the Pirates and Yankees last season.
For all we know Hinske could just be the teams way of freeing up Melky Cabrera for a trade.
Despite what I did say above the move could also end the Braves look for other players. Sure Dave O’Brien and others have suggested the Braves have $7 million remaining but if that really exists at all is it that important that the team spends it on a mediocre player before the season starts?
The Braves could always start the season with the current list of outfielders in tact. Is there a huge need to pay a large sum or money to a player on the wrong side of 35 with Heyward and Freeman in the wings? Prospects, who as a Braves fan, you have talked up and down the internet as being able to play by the second half of this season who you said would make an impact.
Bottom line. Hinske isn’t the answer to anything other then who is the back up at every corner position be it infield or
outfield or who is the teams top option at pinch hitter. He’s still got some pop in the bat and with success as recent as 2008 can still bring it at the plate.
Stay turned for how the rest of the off season unfolds featuring but not limited to more wild speculation and crazy antics by yours truly.