Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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Before the weekend gets started, there are a couple of things of interest that have been popping up today.  Call it an ‘Afternoon Chop’… your warm embrace to start the month of November.

 

Phillies Have Aces, Looking for Blackjack

May 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We saw info about this earlier today from Chris, but the rumor is getting a little warmer this afternoon:

 

You might have wondered – and rightly so – why Roger might even considering taking the same position at another club – much less a rival.  Well, if you work at UPS and then FedEx came along to offer you triple your current salary… need I say more?

 

Yearning to be Reed

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, baseball front offices don’t do a lot of work – and by that I mean “not many transactions are announced” on weekends.  But since the World Series ended on a Wednesday, that could change this week.  Teams have until Monday night to have exclusive negotiation rights with their own free agents, and also have until then to announce option renewals.  The Braves have exactly one contract option decision to make:  it’s for Reed Johnson‘s $1.6 deal signed before the 2013 season.  I had opined earlier this week my belief that they would decline the option and set Reed free – reducing the official Johnson Roster Count to 2 (Chris and Elliott are both arbitration eligible, and thus still under team control). But now there’s this:

Now the reason I speculated that Reed would be cut loose is because Joey Terdoslavich is on the roster – a switch hitter who can play all of the same positions that Reed does… and he’s not about to become 37 years old.  Oh, and he’s a lot cheaper.  Maybe this is one of those ‘Veteran Presents’ things.

Regardless, both Kelly Johnson and Josh Johnson are free agents.  There’s plenty of Johnsons still available for acquisitions, whether Reed is kept or not.

 

Decision is not Yet in the Can?

I’m just gonna start this one with the relevant quote (from sportsnet.ca, via MLBTR)

Brian McCann hasn’t ruled out a return to the Braves, despite the fact that most pundits are projecting him to sign with an American League team on a contract that’s far too expensive for Atlanta’s liking. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes profiled McCann in September and predicted a five-year, $80MM deal.

Okay, now this would completely shock me.  The Braves can negotiate with him until Monday night – as I indicated above – but… wow, this would be something that would have the potential to completely change the fabric of this off-season-to-come.  I still don’t expect McCann to be in a Braves’ uniform come February, but I’m nonetheless reporting what we’re hearing.

 

Roster Moves

Buchter is 26 – will be 27 in February – and spent 2013 at AAA Gwinnett, posting a 2.76 ERA in 62 innings of relief (51 games, 5 saves).  Of special note was his strikeout rate:  almost 15 K per 9 innings… very Kimbrel-like.  Unfortunately, he also tended to be wild:  7.4 walks per 9 innings.  He was acquired in 2011 by Atlanta in a trade with the Cubs for Rodrigo Lopez.

Wirfin Obispo is 29 years old and just completed his first year in the Braves organization – being signed by the Braves as a minor league free agent from the Reds a year ago.  At Gwinnett, he had a 3.53 ERA in 54 relief appearance totaling 63.2 innings.  He struck out twice as many (9.9 per 9) as he walked (4.95 per 9) and had 9 saves.

Both players are now protected from December’s Rule 5 draft.

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  • fireboss

    A Rodrigo Lopez mention. One of the pitchers FW has “also liked” and signed at least twice. Also one of the worst pitchers since the turn of the century. The Cubs taking him in trade shows how awful Jim Hendry was. Nice to see we have something left from that move.
    I’m sure you know that Roger wasn’t Black Jack but in case this was a test I thought I’d hold my hand up and answer.
    If Roger goes to Philly we should call Mike Maddux. He and Ryan were close and with Ryan gone Mike may be looking at a new home and we could have our next manager on board when Fredi flames out. he might even entice Greg back too which wouldn’t be a bad thing….Just a thought.
    While we’re gathering Johnsons the Pirates have Kris Johnson in Indianapolis who would actually be a good addition though I doubt you could pry him away. Personally I’d prefer to add Js. We have BJ, CJ, EJ and RJ and of course Justin and Jason I could go for a JJ Hardy at second as well.
    Okay I know I’ll stop babbling now…

    • Matthew Jones

      I actually suggested Mike Maddux the other day on here. I think that, while he doesn’t have connections with the Braves other than his brother being one of the top three pitchers all time for the franchise (Kid Nichols, Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux – can you imagine if those guys had all pitched in the same era?! But that’s for another day.), he fits the mold of a Braves coach to me. Per Greg, I think the only way that we get him to come back to Atlanta on a semi-regular basis is to get him memberships to Augusta National, plus about 7 or 8 other clubs in Atlanta. I think the pitching staff could swing that, though. :)

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