Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
Most Overrated Players Heading Into 2014
As you know, we are in the process of conducting a 2014 mock draft (which I am winning), and there were several players that I just couldn’t get excited about even though my brain was telling me I should.
Read our Early 2014 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Recap.
I’m not calling anyone out for picking these players, I’m just saying I don’t think their actual value is as high as their name value. The players on this list are all very talented, and are definitely good players, but you should always try to draft the best stats on the board and not necessarily the most famous names or pedigrees.
Most Overrated Players Heading into 2014
Jason Heyward — In our mock he was not overrated, but we’re all really smart (what, you beg to differ?). The way others talk about him warrants placement on this list. Peanut brittle is more durable than Heyward — I’m just not giving him a pass on his inability to stay healthy.
Braves likely won’t make any major additions
After acquiring Upton brothers last season, Atlanta expects to be quieter this year
ATLANTA — One year after fueling the Hot Stove season by signing B.J. Upton to a franchise-record contract and acquiring Justin Upton in a blockbuster trade, the Braves are approaching this offseason with the understanding that they do not necessarily need to make a significant acquisition.
The Braves will evaluate the possibility of acquiring a front-line starting pitcher via trade. At the same time, they will attempt to find a club that would be willing to acquire Dan Uggla and at least a portion of the $26 million he is owed over the final two years of his contract.
But as general manager Frank Wren looks toward the 2014 season, he is not overwhelmed by the need to make a significant number of changes. Instead, he is comforted by the fact that his club will once again include most of the key contributors that spent this summer leading the Braves to a National League East title.
“We could go to Spring Training today and we’d have a good, solid team that would be very competitive in the National League East,” Wren said. “Do we want to improve it? Yes. We’re an organization that is always willing to give an opportunity to our young guys.”
Report: Braves are Prepared to Raise Payroll to $100 Million
Are they blowing smoke?
According to DOB, the Braves are reportedly prepared to raise their payroll to $100 million next year, which would be about $10 million more than they spent this season.
It sounds great. The Braves have a very solid foundation for their roster and one of the things that limits them currently is their budget. Raising it $10 million is not an extraordinary amount, but it would most certainly help them either retain a few of their own free agents or go out and find some new players for the short term.
One issue is that last year the Braves said they were prepared to raise it to $98 millionbut came $8 million short of that target.
McDowell’s potential departure will serve as the offseason’s first intriguing storyline
Now that the Red Sox have concluded yet another World Series in triumphant fashion, it is time to begin looking at what the Braves might do during what has the potential to be an interesting Hot Stove season.
Over the next few weeks and possibly months, the Braves will evaluate the trade market in search of an ace and a possible suitor for Dan Uggla. But the first intriguing storyline will focus on pitching coach Roger McDowell’s future in Atlanta.
McDowell has been invited to return to Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez’s coaching staff next year. But before signing his contract, McDowell will likely talk to the Phillies about their vacant pitching coach position.
Over the past week, it has become even more evident that McDowell is high on Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro’s wish list. But the Phillies are not permitted to have any formal discussions with McDowell until his current contract with the Braves expires at midnight tonight (Oct. 31).
McDowell met with Braves general manager Frank Wren this week to discuss the possibility of remaining in Atlanta. But the meeting did not lead to an immediate resolution.