The GM meetings begin tomorrow (Monday 11/11) and while these days won’t be as big/important as the Winter Meetings, (12/9 – 12/12) most talks will being or continue here. Mostly the meetings that will take place Monday – Wednesday will be for the more fortunate folks to sit around, smoke cigars, joke around and talk some baseball. These “meetings” don’t always show movement with talks but we’ll never know what actually is spoke of inside these walls.
The discussions will take place in Orlando, Florida and should be where the groundwork will be put in for future deals during this off-season. Let’s take a look at some of the potential free agent and trade targets the Atlanta Braves could increase pursuit of this week.
Dan Uggla: Frank Wren should be running around the tables to any team that shows the little bit of interest of acquiring Mr. Uggla. I still believe Uggla has a few more good years in front of him but just needs a change of scenery…(hopefully Wren can pitch that to other GM’s). The Braves will most likely eat most of Dan’s contact but if Frank puts on his sales hat and sells the theory of Uggla still being a good hitting second basemen and a good team leader – then we may get something back in favor for the Braves. This is a big IF. But this is Wren’s biggest job heading into these meetings.
Second Base: Obviously this is a position of need/focus for Wren heading into these meetings. Much talk of Brandon
Phillips being traded were sparking all over the web about a month ago. Phillips sent a text to the front office asking if he was getting traded and they responded with a no – since they those trade talks have died down. Just incase though, Wren will probably make his away to the Reds table to ask about this.
The Houston folks should be another destination for Frankieboy. The main target there will be Jose Altuve. Houston signed him to a big contact last season but may want to get rid of it. This is just speculation and could get shot down quickly but Wren should walk on over.
Remember Omar Infante? Well you should, he’s the guy we shipped to the Marlins for a guy that cost a lot more and was less productive. Now, we should be fighting to get Omar back. Infante was a key guy for the Tigers last season both in the lineup and at the second base position.
Many other options out there so Wren will be busy shopping around to get the talks going.
Starting Pitching: This could be an area that Wren has lots of discussions about over the next couple days. Not only for
what to acquire but also other teams running to him asking about our young guns. Tim Hudson‘s future is still in question so shopping a starter could happen. David O’Brien has brought up the idea of Boston Red Sox’s starter John Lackey as an option. The Red Sox have Lackey signed for $15.25MM in 2014. They also have an option on his services for 2015 at a league-minimum salary, thanks to a contract clause that gave the Sox an extremely cheap option if Lackey’s existing elbow injury caused him to miss significant time. After a strong season in 2013, two years and $15.75MM looks like a bargain, which means Lackey should have significant value if Boston chooses to deal him.
Ervin Santana wants $100 million and Ricky Nolasco wants over $80 so both those should be a no (unless Wren really likes them and opens the checkbook again). Those “top line” free agents are extremely pricey so the trade market could be a better option for teams. Japan League star Masahiro Tanaka is a potential big time thrower but will probably get money Braves have no interest in giving out.
Relief Pitching: Another area Braves seem to always be shopping. Talks will happen and hopefully Frank can find the gold in the bushes like he usually does.
These meetings aren’t going to throw you out of your shoes but they do lead us into the December winter meetings which just may. Either way, Tomahawk Take will be here to cover the progress for you. Check back as well look into the talks in Florida.