Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
Braves Notes: Uggla, Hudson, McCann, Trades
Here’s the latest on the Braves from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution…
- The Braves could move Dan Uggla if they can find a team willing to pay roughly a quarter of the $26MM remaining owed to the second baseman over the next two seasons Tyler Pastornicky, Tommy La Stella and Ramiro Pena would all compete for the 2B job in Spring Training, though I’d guess the Braves would want to bring in a more established second baseman.
- The Braves offered Tim Hudson a one-year deal that, even with incentives, was worth less than the $9MM than he earned in each of the previous four seasons. They never considered making Hudson a qualifying offer since the $14.1MM price was too rich for a 38-year-old coming off a severely broken ankle. While the Braves want Hudson back, they’re just one of at least nine teams interested in the veteran righty and the healthy market could net Hudson a two-year, $24MM deal.
- O’Brien would “be shocked” if Brian McCann received a $100MM contract and thinks the catcher will receive something akin to a five-year, $75MM deal. Given the big-market clubs interested in McCann’s services, there have been rumors that he would indeed fetch such a nine-figure contract.
Braves rumors: Tim Hudson is likely gone; Red Sox frontrunners to sign him?
After nine seasons in Atlanta, all signs point to Huddy going elsewhere this winter.
Tim Hudson, who has been in Atlanta since 2004, has likely thrown his final pitch for theBraves.
It was reported earlier in the week that a handful of American League clubs were going to aggressively pursue Hudson this offseason, including Cleveland and Kansas City. On Friday, Jon Heyman said the Red Sox “really want him” and noted Huddy’s desire to win a World Series before he retires. Hudson heading to Beantown would also reunite him with David Ross.
While it’s not like he couldn’t win a World Series in Atlanta, money could also become a serious issue. It’s believed the Braves have extended a one-year deal to Hudson, but it’s surely nowhere close to this:
Executives believe Tim Hudson, 38 and coming off broken ankle, is in line for around two-year, $24M deal. No qualifying offer helps market.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 8, 2013
Hot stove could get stoked at GM meetings
So if you’re jonesing for some baseball news or at least new rumors, you’ll be glad to know the GM Meetings begin Monday in Orlando. If you remember, Orlando is also where the general managers met in 2010 when the Braves and Marlins surprised everyone with the swiftly executed first-day trade that brought Dan Uggla to Atlanta (and sent second baseman Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn to Miami).
The GM Meetings were also held in Florida (Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne) back in 2004, when one morning I noticed then-Braves GM John Schuerholz chatting privately with Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane. As it turned out, they were discussing a possible trade for Tim Hudson, a deal that was finalized the following month.
Coincidentally the Braves are now trying to trade Uggla, and Hudson is a free agent the Braves are hopeful of re-signing. If Atlanta could get a team to pay maybe one-fourth of the $26 million that Uggla is owed over the final two seasons of his contract, I think the Braves might be willing to pay the rest and let Tyler Pastornicky and prospect Tommy La Stella compete for the second-base job this spring, with Ramiro Pena also able to play the position but better suited to a utility role.
Freeman, Johnson edged out for Silver Slugger awards
Oh-so-close or snubbed. Whatever you call it, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has experienced the feeling a few times this year, including Wednesday, when he finished behind the Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt for the Silver Slugger award for National League first basemen.
No Braves were among nine NL winners of Silver Slugger awards presented to the league’s best hitter at each position, as voted by managers and coaches. Five-time winner Brian McCann was among three finalists who finished behind Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who won his first Silver Slugger award.
McCann won a handful of Silver Slugger awards from 2006-11, the only Brave to win the award since center fielder Andruw Jones in 2005.
The Braves’ Chris Johnson, who led the league in batting average for much of the season before finishing second at .321, was among four Silver Slugger candidates at third base. The award went to Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez, who hit just .233 with a .296 on-base percentage and 186 strikeouts, but had 36 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Johnson, who had a .358 OBP, hit only 12 homers and 68 RBIs while playing what is a traditional power-hitting position.