Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
9 Players You Should Reach For In 2014
Sticking with lists that have something to do with our early 2014 fantasy baseball mock draft, this next list idea comes courtesy of a reader who said, “Hey, enough of this sleeper stuff, I want the goods. Who are top 100 players worth reaching for or paying a bit more for in an auction?”
Freddie Freeman – I’m easily letting people take Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, and Prince Fielder, while I sit back laugh, draft Freeman and call them fools! Let me be clear: I agree that Goldscmidt is a stud and is a better player than Freeman. However, I would not say the same for Votto and Fielder. While those shlubs decline, Freeman, only 24, should just keep getting better and better. I’m happy to take him 10 picks earlier than most or pay additional dollars for him in an auction, even though you probably wont actually need to.
I’m also just going to group Homer Bailey and Mike Minor together because I think next year they both take a big step forward and push for top 15 status. Take them a round earlier than you think you need to.
McDowell signed through 2015, one year longer than Fredi
With the Phillies in hot pursuit, the Braves reached agreement Saturday on a new contract with pitching instructor Roger McDowell, the only member of the coaching staff signed past 2014.
And that includes Fredi.
It’s difficult for an outside observer to judge coaches, but McDowell is regarded as one of the league’s best. The team’s ERA has decreased in five consecutive seasons, and young hurlers like Med Dog, Minor and Teheran have all shown steady improvement under his watch.
Brian McCann called McDowell “the smartest baseball guy I’ve been around” while Medlen, upon hearing today’s news, said, “I think I speak for our entire pitching staff in saying that we are ecstatic that our organization has brought back the man behind our staff’s success the past few years.”
NL East Notes: Phillies, McDowell, Johnson, Marlins
- While there’s yet to be a formal announcement, O’Brien tweeted yesterday that he expects the Braves to exercise their $1.6MM club option on Reed Johnson. Johnson’s contract comes with a $150K buyout, essentially making it a $1.45MM decision for Atlanta GM Frank Wren.
Atlanta Braves: Fans Can Start Bracing for the Loss of Brian McCann
Go ahead and search for “Brian McCann” on Twitter.
Among the optimistic Yankees fans who still believe they have provincial first dibs at all free agents and Rangers fans recovering from their own disappointing season, you find an undercurrent of depression among the Braves faithful.
McCann has been the cherubic face of the franchise and a fan-favorite since his debut in 2005, but suddenly he’s “too much of an injury risk for a huge contract” or “certainly not worthy of a Molina-deal.” The stink of a recent 0-for-13 postseason is also front and center. You’ll fine some nonsense about how clutch he is or isn’t, and plenty of screenshots of him making enraged-eyes at Carlos Gomez and Jose Fernandez.
It’s not a very flattering buzz, but it’s certainly expected as a stage of grief. Denial and bargaining will give way to anger when the ink on his contract dries. I just hope we can all move on quickly to acceptance. I’d go ahead and pencil in a half dozen columns about the promising future of catching prospect Christian Bethancourt cropping up sometime thereafter.