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Braves & Lugo

AJC

My only concern with Lugo is that his .295 average, 39 stolen bases and .362 on-base percentage this season were so much better than most of his other seasons, and I'm not certain that's what we could expect, especially if he switches leagues again. In the previous four seasons, he didn't bat higher than .275, averaged just over 13 stolen bases, and didn't have an OBP higher than .338. Those are not good numbers, folks. But maybe he turned a corner. That's a gamble the Braves would have to be willing to take. Then again, if they could get him for a year or two, just long enough to hold the fort until one of their stud young shortstops is ready, then Lugo or someone of similar ilk might be the answer they're looking for.

Lugo has been a pleasant surprise since landing in Devil Ray land after Houston cut him for an off the field issue. After surprising me with his production in 2004, he did it again in 2005. He filled the role of leadoff quite well with Carl batting behind him.  If not for a Upton waiting in wings, I'd say sign him to an extension. However, with Upton we get Lugo's production and then some.

Now is the time to strike a deal with his value high. But, it all depends on if Upton will continue at SS. In my eyes, if Jeter can win a gold glove despite his defensive shortcomings, there is no reason why Upton can not given a shot to play the position everyday as well. I hope in Stu's blueprints for the organization, its consists of Upton at SS.

We have not heard Friedman's or Hunsicker's stance yet on the SS position. But, if a deal that goes down for Lugo, it will speak volumes.