Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves News
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.
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.
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 MLB.com, 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.