Sep 15, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain (62) pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 10/31

Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News


10 Realistic Moves Atlanta Braves Should Consider

Bleacher Report

For a team that finished the 2013 campaign with 96 wins, the Atlanta Braves have an uncommonly busy offseason ahead of them.

Here’s just a peek at Frank Wren’s offseason checklist:

  • Figure out what to do with Dan Uggla and the second base position
  • Negotiate with Brian McCann
  • Get B.J. Upton right again
  • Weigh the pros and cons of returning Tim Hudson to Atlanta
  • Determine the Braves’ No. 1 starting pitcher

And that’s not even the half of it.

It’s not an all-inclusive list, but here are 10 moves Atlanta should seriously consider this offseason.



What will Braves spend their $25 million on?

Rowland’s Office

DOB reports:

The Braves’ payroll is likely to rise to about $100 million in 2014, up from approximately $90 million in 2013. That’s right in the middle of the pack of 30 MLB teams. All major league teams will receive about $25 million more annually beginning in 2014 from the new national TV contract.

The Braves will be spending less than half of it on players, A $100 million payroll won’t be middle of the pack for long.



Atlanta Braves Should Consider Joba Chamberlain If Price Is Right

Big League Stew

Every sports fan has heard the cliche that a certain player “needs a change of scenery”. Well, that sentiment definitely applies to enigmatic fireballer Joba Chamberlain. After a breakout effort in 2008, one that actually started in August of 2007, the New York Yankees appeared to be in possession of quite possibly the AL’s most electric young right arm. However, by inserting the dominant setup man into the rotation in 2009, an experiment that was largely unsuccessful, the Pinstripers seemed to place Chamberlain on a path that ultimately led to little more than a plague of injuries and inconsistent performances.

Chamberlain will be attaining free-agent status in the coming weeks and almost certainly will be headed out of the Bronx. The 2013 season was another of mixed results for the 28-year-old reliever. Although he finished up with an unsightly 4.93 ERA, the promising “stuff” still showed up on a regular basis. According to, Chamberlain’s average fastball velocity was 94.7 miles per hour this year. His struggles came mostly on account of a career high 5.5 BB/9 combined with the hitter-friendly conditions of Yankee Stadium.



2013 Statistical Review: Rome

Talking Chop

wn in the lower minors is where the Braves have some of their higher-ceiling prospects. That’s good in a way because, hey, they have some high-ceiling prospects. But lower-level prospects are the guys you dream on anyway, and it’s a long way to The Show. It also means that making trades becomes more difficult because other teams prefer lower-level guys as compliment pieces, not centerpieces, so pulling off another big trade like last off-season will be difficult this time around. More difficult, not impossible.

Position Players

Kyle Wren, CF - #1 ‘spect Wren did about everything you could have wanted him to do out of the draft. He hit .328/.382/.452 with some gap power, decent walk rate, and a 10% K rate, but the headlining stat is the 35 SB in 41 chances in 47 games. That’s just ridiculous, and the reports on his defense are positive. What’s the drawback? He’ll be 23 next season, which means he beat up on younger competition, so no one is going to get too excited just yet. A promotion to AA Mississippi wouldn’t be absurd, but I’d expect a short period in High-A as Atlanta tends to be conservative with promotions for hitters.

Josh Elander, LF - Moved from behind the plate, Elander now needs to mash to have any prospect value. In Low-A, he was a force, hitting .318/.381/.536 with 22 2B and 11 HR in 74 games, but while he maintained his 10% BB and 19-20% K rate while jumping up to High-A, his line plummeted as BABIP did. It didn’t help that his ISO dropped over 100 points, so it’s hard to argue that the BABIP drop was just a fluke. Elander has a tall mountain to climb given the offensive needs from his position.

Levi Hyams, 2B - Hyams was excellent in Low-A – .317/.378/.407 – but like Elander, he fell off quite a bit in his trip to High-A. Hyams is also older than the previous two, as he’ll be 24 next season. It was a rough jump for Hyams as his K rate really jumped, and he’ll need to rebound in 2014.




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  • carpengui

    Re: Budget. “Only” $100 million? I definitely expected more to be available… more like $110m at least.

    Re: Joba. The Braves don’t bid on free agent setup guys.

    • fireboss

      Joba is a broken pitcher; a hyped up prospect who flopped.

      Wren is notorious for saving money to use at the deadline then not using or misspending it thus 100M instead of 110. It likely indicates few if any buyout extensions. Extending Freeman at least makes sense. Heyward will likely not extend and look to the FA market though one post I read this morning calls him fragile as peanut brittle.

      • carpengui

        Nah – not fragile. Obviously 2 freak things in 2013; otherwise he was clearly healthy the full year – and recovered from prior nagging things. Expecting 2014 to be the breakout year.

        • Matthew Jones

          I’d be for signing Joba when we’re getting him off the scrap heap in about a year. I think that the Braves could end up helping him a great deal, but we’re not going to spend a ton on a guy who we essentially have a couple of already (good bullpen arms, that is).

          • carpengui

            Moylan’s available…

          • Matthew Jones

            Tempting, honestly. Here’s the rub, though…he was great in AAA last year, but got somewhat rocked with the Dodgers. Which guy is the real guy now?

          • carpengui

            Yeah – maybe the one that really would rather be in Atlanta… where home is?

          • fireboss

            Joba’s off field issues are too much to take on. I suspect he’s out of baseball in 3 years

        • fireboss

          I didn’t say it just passing on what I read and what many believe. While we watch and know there’s nothing you can do about an appendix or getting hit in the jaw he is starting to get that reputation. Here’s the link if interested.

  • carpengui

    Re: BR’s ‘moves to consider’. Gee, FIVE of their suggestions involve second base. trade Uggla, get Infante, get Wong, use Pena, call up La Stella.

    • fireboss

      Bleacher Report has to have the worst writers in the game. They do no real research and spout nonsense or recycle what they read somewhere else. Why people read it for anything other than comic relief is beyond me. They asked me to fill out a survey a few weeks ago and I told themas much.

  • Chris Headrick

    I love it when a simple chop causes this many comments. People sometimes ask me why I bother mentioning sites like BR, BLS, or other competitors. Well, simple. We want people to see that we’re a better choice for news. :)

    • carpengui

      BR: Sports headlines in 30 seconds or less.

      • Chris Headrick

        If BR couldn’t get anything else right, you’d think they would realize how annoying those slideshows are! I’ve never talked to anyone that thought that was a good idea. Click a slide, get another ad click-thru. $$ is all that is.

        • carpengui

          Unfortunately, that approach has now been legitimized by CNN… which exactly fits into their Headline News/Soundbite reporting style.

          • Chris Headrick

            LOL. The very idea that that bastion of liberal, biased non-sense could “legitimize” anything is absurd to me.

          • Carlos Collazo

            I agree with the slideshows in the way B/R uses them but I do think they can be nice when you have a really in-depth package of stuff. It’s a nice way to organize something like say…. an off season preview with all kinds of things packed into it.

          • Chris Headrick

            It’s really a personal choice I guess, but I come from the school of thought that articles should be as short as you can make them, and rarely more than 1000 words if you can do that. My writing profs in college always said that was a mark of a good writer – saying something well with few words. I think the slideshows give an illusion of someone saying little (per page), but being long winded at times. Again, it’s a personal choice, but I will rarely scroll through slides unless the writing is so well done, and so provocative that I cannot resist. I rarely see that on BR.

          • Carlos Collazo

            Yeah I definitely agree that you should tell as much as possible with as little words but if you have a lot to say you should say it. Some times you can go really in depth on something.

          • Chris Headrick

            Be cool if the SEO had a popup as you type, in bold red, saying, “LONGWINDED”, and the SEO test had the same. I don’t think it even warns you about article length. Oh well. :) Thanks for the comments Carlos. All things are food for thought.