What could have been

Have you ever found yourself watching a baseball game or even Baseball Tonight and see one of your team’s former players and think to yourself “What could have been if we held onto him?” I do it on almost a daily basis. I decided to put together a team of former Atlanta Braves. Almost all have been developed by Atlanta but a few were acquired by trade and for one reason or another allowed to move on.

One former catcher is Texas Rangers starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “Salty” is currently hitting .250 with 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 64 games for Texas. Another catcher is Kansas City Royal Brayan Pena. Pena is currently hitting .319 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI in 22 games for the Royals. Both Salty and Pena are switch hitters.

Jarrod SaltalamacchiaAt first base you have a former fan favorite in Adam LaRoche. He is currently hitting .259 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI for the Pittsburgh Pirates. At second base you have that Mark DeRosa guy. You may have heard about him being amazing at a handful of positions. You’re welcome St. Louis. Atlanta fans have been crying about letting him go for years now. DeRosa is currently hitting .261 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI.

Elvis AndrusShortstop is what really gets me mad. You have studs like Rafael Furcal (.254, 3 HR, 19 RBI) playing for the Dodgers and Elvis Andrus (.262, 3 HR, 15 RBI) playing for the Texas Rangers. Texas thought so much of Andrus that they made Michael Young (5-time All-Star, 2005 AL Batting Champ, 2008 Gold Glove winner) change positions to third base. At third base you have current Tampa Bay Ray Willy Aybar. He is currently hitting .279 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI. Atlanta had plans for Aybar before he had issues with substance abuse. It’s such a shame to see someone with so much talent get moved around like he has been.

Moving to the outfield you will see current White Sox star Jermaine Dye. Dye is hitting .297 with 20 home runs and 54 RBI. He would be great in the current Atlanta offense that is starved for power. Another former Brave is Andruw Jones who is currently having a solid season with the Texas Rangers. He is only hitting .250 but has 14 home runs and 34 RBI. Two former outfielders who were acquired by trade and then allowed to move on are Gary Sheffield (.277, 10 HR, 31 RBI) and J.D. Drew (.260, 12 HR, 37 RBI).

When you get to the list of pitchers it can really get ugly for Braves fans. A rotation could consist of Jason Marquis (11-5, 3.61), Kevin Millwood (8-6, 3.34), and Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09). Not to mention John Smoltz of the Boston Red Sox. The bullpen could have Joey Devine (0.59, 11 Holds) at the end of games.

Losing players in trades or to free agency is part of baseball. But it’s always nice to wonder, what could have been?

You don’t know what ya got till it’s gone,



  1. Jane Heller

    Recently, I’ve been wondering “what if” with regard to Bobby Abreu. The Yankees could have re-signed him on the cheap, and he ended up with the Angels. I know I’ll miss those 100 RBIs he manages every year.


  2. orangebirds

    I wonder what Abreu’s numbers would have been like as a Yankee? Maybe he could be in the All Star Game if he played for them. He could have maybe 20 HR in hitter friedly Yankee Stadium? Who knows.
    -O’s 🙂 please reply

  3. raysfanboy

    I think that one team that could play the “what if” game would be the Pirates.

    Think about it, they let Nate McLouth, Xavier Nady, and Jason Bay go. They let ARamis Ramirez go. They have a solid catcher in Doumit now (when he’s healthy), a solid 2B, SS, and 1B.

    Their pitching has always stunk, but what an offense they would have if they just NOT done a few deals.

    I know they are kicking themselves every day!

  4. Fenway Bleacher Creature

    I do wonder about that sometimes! One of the biggest ones for us Sox fans is the question about whether we would have actually won it all in 04 if we hadn’t traded Nomar. Nice idea to put together that team, there are some good players on there. Good post, keep up the good work.


  5. Jonestein

    Yeah, I’ve been playing “what if” for 30 something years with the Rangers: Ron Darling, Sammy Sosa, to name a few. I still don’t understand how the Braves didn’t find a way to utilize and keep Texiera…but I’m not going to complain to much. Salty, Elvis, and Feliz are the future, something the Rangers front office hasn’t been able to hold onto over the years.

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