Atlanta Braves: Garret Anderson and Rants about Greg Norton

Kevin MarkumCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2009

Garret Anderson is a Brave.  Who all saw that coming?


Apparently, Frank Wren doesn’t read the advice that I give him on this website…but I won’t let that hurt my feelings.


After my initial advice for him to “Just Let the Boys Play, Wren,” he has now gone out and done the two things that I warned against: signing both Tom Glavine and a 35+ outfielder in the form of Garret Anderson.


Okay, I’m done ranting and raving now.


Never mind, I changed my mind...more mindless rambling.


What does the Garret Anderson signing do for the Braves in 2009?


Quite honestly, I think it does a lot more than a Ken Griffey Jr.'s signing would have done.


Does signing Anderson make a big difference as far as the Braves being able to compete in 2009?  I don’t really consider it that.  The difference that I see Anderson making is in October. The Braves just have to focus on getting there first.


According to the “wonderful” source that is David O’Brien, Anderson has signed for a whopping one-year, $2.5 million contract.  I view this deal as nothing more than a cheap rental to get to the future glory days for the Braves that will start Mar. 2010.


I don’t foresee Anderson having a great season this year but it may be alright.  The main struggles that I see him having are moving from an everyday role to a platoon with Matt Diaz.  I don’t necessarily want to assume right off the bat that he’ll be in a platoon; he has stats that show he can hit both lefties and righties.


This fact could spell trouble for Diaz’s role this season.  In 2008, Anderson hit .293 against righties and .290 against lefties.  That doesn’t sound like a player that is a given for a platoon role.


Another problem that the Anderson signing has on the Braves is that the Braves now have three players that virtually can only play in the corner outfield spots.  Francoeur could potentially play CF in a jam, but I don’t like the idea of depending on that.


Two players are now in a bind, Greg Norton and Diaz.  Why?  The best case scenario for Diaz would be as a backup outfielder and a backup first basemen as well as being a pinch-hitting specialist.  The problem: Norton fills that role…or so they tell us.


My prediction is that Josh Anderson will win the starting center-field job.  Francoeur will obviously start in RF with Diaz and G. Anderson assuming the platoon in left-field.


I’d hate to have to send down Brandon Jones in favor of a Norton.  I’d hate the thought of Diaz blocking Jordan Schafer’s path to the majors.


Was the Anderson signing a poor one?  Given the team now, yes.  However, I think the poor signing was giving Norton a role on the team in 2009.  With Prado’s ability to backup at 1B and Diaz’s potential to also have some innings there, Norton was expendable.


Regardless of our over-loaded depth in the outfield now, I think the 2009 season is a bright one for Braves' fans.


Francoeur is primed for a comeback season.  We have a 300+ game winner as our fifth starter.  Chipper is the reigning batting champion.  McCann is the best offensive catcher in the league (yes, I said that, and yes he is).  Our rotation and bullpen are both healthy for once. Oh, did I mention that Bobby Cox is still the best manager in the game?


Look forward to 2009, even with Greg Norton.


Okay, now, I’m done ranting and raving.