Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
NL East Notes: Wacha, Uggla, Phillies, Williams
Here’s some more from around the NL East…
- “The Braves certainly will entertain shopping” Dan Uggla, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports, and he looks at the chances of Uggla re-joining the Marlins as part of a reader mailbag. Frisaro suggests the Braves would move Uggla if a team agrees to pay $6MM of the $26MM owed to Uggla through the 2015 season, and if the trade partner pays more, Atlanta could add a prospect. I’d suggest that the Braves would have to sweeten the pot to move Uggla, who turns 34 in March, is a defensive liability at second base and has only hit .201/.330/.374 over the last two seasons. The Braveshave been linked to a possible deal of Uggla and a prospect to the Reds for Brandon Phillips.
- The Braves have “been lucky of late” to remain competitive despite overspending on Uggla and B.J. Upton, Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Bradley warns that the team can’t afford any more of these overpriced deals, and suggests that re-signing Brian McCann would create another payroll albatross in a few years’ time.
Bloomberg Valuation of the Atlanta Braves: What It Means
Recently Bloomberg decided that it needed to re-do the valuation of MLB teams after the Dodgers sold for up to 50% more than anybody expected. The Internet and especially Twitter’s first response was to scoff at the amount paid for the Dodgers. But would savvy business people really make a mistake in the team’s value by a factor of .5? That seems unlikely, as Bloomberg stated:
When the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion last year, the purchase price – 54 percent more than prevailing estimates – didn’t just elevate the fortunes of the team’s owners. It raised the valuations of every franchise in Major League Baseball. Bloomberg News spent nine months compiling and analyzing the numbers behind the business, and determined that MLB’s 30 teams are worth about 35 percent more on average.
The driver of this change, unsurprisingly, is TV revenue. Much has been made of the “mancave” leading to the demise of live sports attendance. But the flip side of this phenomenon is that it has made media rights deals become much more valuable. While gate receipts were once the primary driver for team value, it’s quickly become media rights and regional sports networks.
McDowell could ride trend to managerial job
Braves’ pitching coach has displayed potential to be a big league skipper
ATLANTA — Roger McDowell’s potential future as a big league manager has been clouded by the archaic thought that most pitching coaches are not fit to fill this elevated role.
But it appears this old school baseball premise might be fading. The Red Sox will enter the World Series led by a manager — John Farrell — who previously served as their pitching coach. As for the Reds, they chose Bryan Price, who has handled their pitching staff the past four seasons, to be Dusty Baker‘s successor.
McDowell has not emerged as a candidate to fill any of Major League Baseball’s four managerial vacancies — the Cubs, Nationals, Mariners and Tigers. But sources have indicated that the Phillies could eventually approach McDowell about the possibility of filling their vacant pitching coach position.
While McDowell, Terry Pendleton, Eddie Perez, Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher have all been invited to return to serve on Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez‘s coaching staff next year, they have not yet received their respective contracts for the 2014 season. But they are each expected to receive these contracts before their agreements for the ’13 season expire at the end of this month.
La Stella shines among Braves prospects in AFL
PHOENIX – Just flew in today to see some Braves prospects in the Arizona Fall League, and before we go any further let me say: If you’ve never come out here at this time of year, you really should. There is no nicer weather in October-November that in the Valley of the Sun. And then there’s prospect-laden baseball in the most casual of settings.
If you’ve been to spring training before, think of something even more low-key and less expensive. No lines (crowds are small), cheap tickets, autograph opportunities aplenty for those who are into that, a lot of hotels at reasonable rates, and great tacos – fish, carne asada, al pastor, you name it – all over the place. And did we mention, 85-90 degrees, sunny, with almost no humidity?
So there, I’ve put in my plug for the metro Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
Now, about the Braves prospects who are ballin’ out here in the desert. The one most of you’ve heard about by now is second baseman Tommy La Stella, who has hit .379 (11-for-29) with four doubles, one triple, one homer, eight RBIs and 11 walks in his first nine games with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Oh, and he still hasn’t struck out. Not once.