Sep 18, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (left) high fives second baseman Dan Uggla (right) after beating the Washington Nationals 5-2 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 10/24

Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves News


Bleacher Report

3 Second Basemen Atlanta Braves Should Pursue This Winter

Second base was a black hole for the Atlanta Braves in 2013.

While I may be a Braves’ optimist, even I have to admit that it’s time to move on from Dan Uggla. Poor defense and a .213/.323/.404 triple slash line, via Baseball-Reference, over Uggla’s career with the Braves simply doesn’t cut it.

At this point, if Atlanta can’t find a suitor to take at least some of the $26 million due Uggla over the next two years, he might even be released outright to free up a roster spot for a better and cheaper second baseman.

Atlanta has two strong in-house candidates for the second base gig next season with Ramiro Pena and prospect Tommy La Stella. However, there is still a good possibility that Atlanta looks for an outside hire at the position.

David O’Brien, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tweeted that the Braves could be interested in swapping Uggla for Brandon Phillips. While Phillips would be a great fit in Atlanta, the $50 million left on his contract over four years is quite the albatross considering that Phillips could be in the midst of a steep offensive decline.

Phillips is the option gaining the most steam these days, but here are three much cheaper options that Atlanta should pursue instead.



Rant Sports

5 Players the Atlanta Braves Could Sever Ties with Before 2014 Season

After the disappointing ending to the 2013 Atlanta Braves season, many might expect a lot of changes going into the offseason but I doubt that will be the case. Only a few things are bound to change but Frank Wren, the team’s GM, certainly has some difficult choices to make. Some of the hard choices are monsters of his own making but such is life for a MLB GM.

Though some have called for manager Fredi Gonzalez to be fired, that is just about as ridiculous as saying Bobby Cox was a failure because the Braves “only” won one World Series while he was manager. It’s preposterous to say the least. In the same way, Gonzalez did a good job this year as did his coaching staff. Sorry for those of you who want him gone; it’s not happening.



Talking Chop (Fanpost)

Liberty Media CEO makes more than any team in baseball

Last year Liberty Media’s CEO made $391 million ($255 from Liberty Media and $136 from Liberty Interactive Corp) making him the 3rd highest payed executive in the world.

If only he could care a little more about the Braves then maybe we could actually have a decent payroll. Who knows what Frank Wren and the front office could put together if we even had $50 million more per year.




Jocketty says he’s not shopping Reds’ Brandon Phillips

[Editorial Note:  This story is not specifically an Atlanta Braves' story, but with all the rumors floating around about the Braves' interest in Phillips, I felt it would be fitting to include this in our summary.]

According to Mark Sheldon of, Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty says he is not shopping second baseman Brandon Phillips, but would not go so far as to guarantee his return to the club in 2014.

“[Phillips] texted wanting to know if we were trading him. I told him that I have not spoken to anybody about that. I’m not talking to any clubs about him.”

Phillips had a ‘down year’ by multiple accounts, but still set a career-high with 103 RBIs, hitting .261 with 18 home runs. He could be in line to pick up the National League Gold Glove for second basemen, as it appears to be a two-horse race between Phillips and Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs.

The biggest issue in dealing Phillips is his contract, which has four years and an estimated $50 million left on it. This will no doubt limit the number of suitors for Phillips, according to Sheldon.

The Atlanta Braves had previously been linked to Phillips, but any deal would reportedly have to include Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla – who was left off the organization’s postseason roster after a dismal season.


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Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

  • carpengui

    Comment 1 (Re: Rant Sports). How far behind are they? There’s a lot more than 5 on the list (if you’re using the 40-man roster), and the only interesting calls involve Uggla and Hudson. Reed Johnson (not mentioned) is semi-interesting.

    1. Paul Maholm (free agent)

    2. Brian McCann (free agent)

    3. EO’F ( likely non-tender candidate due to $$$ and injury)

    4. Kameron Loe (free agent)

    5. Jose Constanza (likely due to being out of options)
    6. Elliot Johnson (free agent)

    7. Cristhian Martinez (maybe)
    8. Freddy Garcia (free agent)

    9. Reed Johnson (contract option)
    10. Tim Hudson (free agent)
    11. Dan Uggla (salary dump candidate)

    … and there’s a couple more relievers that I won’t bother with

    • Chris Headrick

      Agreed. We sometimes accomplish two things with our Chops: 1) We show news around the net, and 2) We show why people should be reading us instead :) hehe

  • carpengui

    Comment 2 (Re: Talking Chop). It’s fashionable over there to rant about LIberty Media as an ownership group. The writer leaves out a whole bunch of relevant facts, though:

    First: The following is a list of all the companies currently held under the umbrella that is Liberty Media:

    Associated Partners, L.P.
    Atlanta National League Baseball Club
    Barnes & Noble
    Charter Communications
    Crown Media Holdings
    Kroenke Arena Company, LLC
    Leisure Arts, Inc.
    Liberty Associated Partners, L.P.
    Live Nation
    MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
    Mobile Streams
    Time Warner Cable
    Time Warner Inc.
    TruePosition, Inc.
    Viacom Inc.

    That’s _not_ even including Liberty Interactive/Liberty Ventures, which has a bunch of other companies within _its_ auspices. This corporation is NOT solely about Atlanta Braves baseball.

    Second: the LM CEO (Gregory Maffei) is not directly the head of the Braves. That public face position falls to Terry McGuirk. There is little information out there to know whether Maffei is even a baseball fan, much less a Braves’ fan. But his compensation is no doubt tied to stock performance, as is the case for many (if not most) publicly traded corporations. And the way you do that it by running all of your companies as ‘businesses’ – not as hobbies. Single-owner teams can do that – the Braves do not… nor do they have to.

    Whether you decide to use corporate resources to bolster the performance of a single company is something that has to be determined on a case-by-case basis; particularly with public corps. When LM took over, they cut payroll to start with, but have gradually been investing more into the team – clearly the right approach, since you want to see what gains can be made over time since “increasing the payroll” involves a long term commitment. One of the ways they are doing this is by getting behind an entertainment district planned for the are north of the stadium (haven’t heard lately about how those plans are going, but LM/Braves are involved monetarily in the project).

    Yes, it would be nice to simply write a check to anybody who wants one – see ‘Dodgers, LA’. But that’s not how the real world works. If you don’t like it, find another team to follow… these guys are trying to build a team over time that’s profitable to the business. If they decide that isn’t working for them any longer, then they might sell. But that’s not happening in the near future, and I think it’s more than a little bit of capitalist envy to suggest that anybody isn’t entitled to their paycheck just because it’s higher than somebody’s idea of ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’.

    /end rant

  • carpengui

    Comment 3 (Re: Speaking ‘GM’):

    “[Phillips] texted wanting to know if we were trading him. I told him
    that I have not spoken to anybody about that. I’m not talking to any
    clubs about him.”

    > Didn’t say ‘…and I will not be talking to clubs about you’

    > Didn’t say ‘I won’t trade you.’
    > Didn’t say ‘I’m not trying to trade you and I won’t try.’
    > Didn’t say ‘You’re a Red, and you’ll stay one.’
    > Didn’t say ‘nobody else in the organization is fielding/making calls about you.’

    These guys are all about the ‘non-denial denial’… if this baseball thing doesn’t work out, politics would be an easy transition.

    • fireboss

      And my last second base post which only Jeff and Lee seem to have read had that quote before Fansided posted it. The worst thing a manager can have is a vote of confidence and a player being assured the GMhasn;t talked to anyone is even worse. In this case they just hired a new manager, that was their first order of business. Now that he’s hired they review the roster and make plans together. Phillips shouldn’t get confident in his job until all the manager slots are filled and he’s amde peace with leadership