Dec 5, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez answers questions from the media during the Major League Baseball winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

MLB GM and Owners Meetings: Live Blog Day 2


Today is the 2nd day of MLB GM and Owners Winter Meetings.  As we noted yesterday in our Live Blog post, often very little happens during the November meetings, with most big decisions and move made during next month’s meetings.  As predicted, little did occur.

The only thing we now know the Braves did accomplish, as reported by our own Jeff Schafer, was that the Braves did give Brian McCann a qualifying offer, and as we’d predicted all season long, he declined it for greener pastures.  Brian McCann is now an free agent, and now it only remains to be seen which club will pick him up, and the intrigue of how much he’ll get.

Here at Tomahawk Take, we continue our Live Blog for Day 2 of the meetings, and who knows – we might see some other moves made today as well.  It’s the intrigue and the waiting, the cussing and discussing that can often be as exciting as the moves themselves.

 

Fredi Gonzalez Interview

Our own Alan Carpenter sent me the following to get some discussion started for this 2nd day of meetings, and our Live Blog.  Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez was interviewed on MLB/XM Radio today, and had the following to say about the Braves’ need for a pitching ace:

Jim Memolo:

Maybe you guys need an ace?  Is that true?  Is that something that the Braves will look at this off-season?

Fredi:

Absolutely:  I think going into the playoffs – you, you saw, at least from my perspective in the whole post-season there weren’t that many runs scored… anywhere.  And, uh, you know we’re looking to match up with the Grienkes and the Kershaws and (unintelligible) and you know the Wainwrights and the slew of arms St. Louis has.  But yeah, we’re looking and we talked about, you know, a possible #1 and the list is short this year.  I’ll let you go out and trade some people, and I think Frank and uh – he’s down there in Orlando and he’s talking about some bullets – see what people have uh in store that we could, you know, trade for or acquire free agent-wise.

You can listen to the interview HERE.

 

LIVE BLOG

So come on, join us for our conversations all day long regarding possible Hot Stove season moves, and feel free to share your ideas, thoughts, and predictions.  Even if they seem far-fetched, that’s ok – strange things happen every year that not everyone can see coming.

Just scroll down to our comments section and share with us…..

 

 

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  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Let’s get this party started right! :) I will be here today commenting as often as I can, in the midst of a busy work day :) Let’s hope we have LOTS to comment about.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Fredi was also asked about getting Tim Hudson back. He spoke favorably towards that (details at the link). Last statement: “We’d love to have him back.”

    Notable that the comments toward Brian McCann were more like speaking fondly of someone who won’t be with us any more.

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Braves’ Fans: A Little Yes/No mini poll: Do you believe Tim Hudson will remain a Brave in 2014, or will he be somewhere else? Share your thoughts with us.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      50/50. The problem here is that there may just be too many phone calls coming in from other places to ignore.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Mark Bowman @mlbbowman
      Tim Hudson is still drawing attention from a number of teams. The #Braves have shown some more interest the past week. #StillEarly

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        Hope they keep him. That’s all I have to say, because I still think Tim is as close as we have now to an “ace”. I know I know.. we can argue all day the meaning of that word, and some would say KM is the closest we have, but Tim has tons of experience, and when healthy, he generates a ton of ground balls.

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          Agree – of course I want Tim AND _____ (ace).

    • Joseph Fain

      Depends on how the FA starting pitching market shapes up. I would think that the Braves might be convinced to go 2 years at $9mil per if they are unable to secure a top-flight starter, but I can’t see them going any higher than that. I would love to see him stay as I think he has a ton of value as a mentor for the young crop of pitchers that we have beyond the actually innings he pitches.

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        Word is filtering down that despite the love the Braves claim to have for Tim, and their desire to keep him, rumors are they have offered him less than he was paid last year. That’s a (*^^*%% travesty in my opinion. Giants are shopping, and we may well see Tim in SF next season.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Mark Bowman will be on XM/MLBNetwork Radio shortly to discuss the stadium deal. Apparently Fredi didn’t even know about the stadium deal until _Sunday_night_!

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      I guess “peons” are on a need-to-know basis. BTW… I read your article about the intrigue surrounding whether this is a done deal or not, and while there’s clearly some politics involved, I still think this is more or less a done deal. Atlanta won’t stay where they don’t want to stay, especially when they simply don’t have to renew the lease. That said, keep your eyes and ears open for some potential down and dirty stuff from the city government.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        I agree: the money makes too much sense for the team, and honestly, I think it works for Cobb as well, given the new economic impacts. The construction project itself should get them back around half of the contribution just to begin with.

      • Joseph Fain

        The Braves had to be very sensitive about this being leaked (and it’s pretty miraculous that it wasn’t) and kept the circle pretty tight.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
    Instant replay and catcher collisions coming up on the agenda at meetings today, said one GM.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      I had almost forgotten about the IR to be put in place in the future. That should be interesting. Catcher collisions? Part of the game. I don’t want to see MLB get all touchy-feeling like the NFL has. I get trying to protect players, but come on!

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        This could effectively become the “David Ross Rule.”

        In the Detroit series with Boston (Game 5), Ross was running home – as a catcher, of course – lowered his shoulder and barreled into Alex Avila. No attempt to slide. Ross is out, gets up, whacks Avila on the rear and trots off. Old school play all the way.

        Avila? Knee tendon strain… i.e., close to disaster for him. Left the game.

        Honestly, I think it’s exactly that kind of play that needs to be outlawed. While both players have a right to the base, the responsibility of the runner should be to arrive safely _apart_from_ bashing into the defender. Injury is the most likely outcome of such collisions, and thus that’s something that should be out of the bounds of fair play.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
    Sources: #Phillies finalizing two-year agreement with Marlon Byrd. First reported by WIP in Philly.

    • Benjamin Chase

      Another 35+ y/o player for the Phillies. Yay youth movement!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    From ATL Mayor’s news conference:

    Kevin McAlpin @KevinMcAlpin
    Mayor Reed: “we’re not walking around here moping. I hate losing but there are times when other people make plays. Cobb made a play” #Braves

    • Joseph Fain

      The issue is that the TED is in a terrible location from an access and economic impact perspective and therefore it didn’t make sense for the city or the Braves to invest in keeping them there. If the stadium were in Centennial Park (where it should have been originally built) this would be an entirely different discussion.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Nothing earth-shattering from the Bowman XM interview. Becoming clear that something about transportation will still have to be created for the new stadium to work for the Cobb area. MARTA isn’t there (or even that close) today. ATL Mayor directly referenced this in his presser as well.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      Someone school me. I’ve been going to games forever, and I don’t get why this would be an issues, yet, in Cobb county. I don’t even know why MARTA would be needed.

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        I do realize that you probably have a number of people in the downtown Atlanta area who would need rails or bus to get to the games, because they don’t have cars or whatever, and I get that, but outside of that – why the need, if any, for MARTA or anything MARTA like?

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Just because of the sheer volume of cars going through that corridor (I-75/I-285)… also for folks coming from all points south of there.

        • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

          Yeah, it’s interstate, but I could see where there could be some bottlenecks. I don’t know it would be any worse, and would probably be less of a bottleneck than the current location. I have often wondered how many ride MARTA to go to an average Braves game. Those numbers might be interesting to know. I never got the impression that a large percentage did, but I could be dead wrong.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            Currently it is 6%, I learned yesterday. You can attribute some of that to safety concerns (my family had not experienced any, personally), and some to the annoying hoops required: long walk through Underground, then another bus trip. A station right at the stadium would clearly change that – even at a premium price to offset an unpaid parking fee.

          • fireboss

            I was going to say that in my experience there are a lot of folks who ride Marta in some form. I always do simply to avoid multiple parking fees. I suspect more ride free after the game than pay before it but that’s just a guess

    • Joseph Fain

      I think extending MARTA up 75 past the perimeter and adding a connecting line from Cobb to Sandy Springs would not only make accessing the new stadium easier but could actually make MARTA a viable alternative for more commuters. Makes too much sense for the City to do it however.

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        I think the way the city and the Braves are parting, and the obvious ill feelings that have surfaced (and that we’ve known about), the city may well feel little pull to do anything w/ Marta that might benefit the Braves and Cobb Country. In the end, I doubt that something like this stops the deal, but it could be a hiccup for sure.

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Press Release yesterday from Mayor Kasim Reed, about parting ways with the Braves. Just in case no one has read it yet.

    http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=672&recordid=2415

  • Glen Morrow

    I am here now . I am gonna miss Brian , hopefully Tim will be with us Next Year.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      Brian works the commentator’s desk sometimes during games, and Tim Conway has retired ;)

      • Glen Morrow

        Tim Conway isn’t he the denist on the Carol Burnett show ?

        • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

          Yes, and rumors say he’s now been DFA’d, and is no longer with the Burnett club

          • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

            But I hear they have a great new pitcher named Harvey Korman? I think it is…. tall, lanky, but knows how to deliver a line.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    HUDSON NEWS: From MLBTR

    “One of the Giants’ chief pitching targets, Tim Hudson, is now willing to move across the country to pitch for the right team, sources tell Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.”
    “Schulman also hears that the Braves offered him a contract with a
    significantly smaller salary than he earned last year ($9MM), one he is
    not inclined to accept.”

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Dave O’Brien tweet: “Told that #Giants are serious about signing a Hudson or Haren type to short deal (2 yrs top) — with higher avg. salary than you’d expect.”

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        Tim’s familiar with the area, and he might bite if they offer enough. I wouldn’t take beans though if I were him, unless he has no options.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      Well if that last sentence is true, that flies in the face of comments made by Frank and Fredi about really wanting to keep Tim.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        That was my thought… they aren’t really showing him the love.

        • fireboss

          This isn’t new and id what I expected from Wren tin tin after the Glavine and Smoltz thing. I dislike him as a GM more every time he does something stupid which is also becoming more frequent

      • Joseph Fain

        I understand not giving Tim the contract above (3/$38M) but why do the Braves feel they have to insult players who have provided good service with low-ball offers?

        • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

          i agree. That offer, and those were just rumors, would have been a slap in the face to Tim Hudson. Tim is aging, and has shown some struggle, but he is a very good pitcher who deserves better treatment by the team he’s stood by for years.

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Tim has had what, 36 mil over the last 4 years with the Braves? I’ve heard numbers of like 3/38 for him. I think the Giants would offer and he would take that in his twilight years as a pitcher. If he can get that, that’s a bump up of near to 4mil extra for the Hudson family per year, and we’re not likely to see Tim pitching beyond 3 years more, if that.

    • Joseph Fain

      If he can get a deal like this, then good for him and best wishes. He simply isn’t worth that to the Braves given their other starting pitching options and they can’t afford to match it as a lifetime achievement award given their salary restrictions.

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        I think he’s worth that, and I think the Braves will be making a mistake to not try and retain his services. They may not be able to pay what other clubs can, but Tim has never been one to ask for more and more and more. I think he settles w/ just slightly more than what he’s being paid. Despite all the talk, the Braves don’t appear to really want Tim.

        • Joseph Fain

          He may be worth that but I don’t think he is worth that to the Braves. And it’s not really the $/year figure, it’s the length of the contract you mention that is the issue. While the Braves could use Tim next season, they really don’t need him beyond that. I think they would be better served to put that money towards a true top of the rotation starter who is more in his prime. The last thing they can afford is to be spending another ~$12M per season on a player that is simply not providing that level of production.

          • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

            I agree. I think he’s probably not at all worth 3/38 to the Braves, but he’s a good pitcher for a club that can afford him. The point is, the Braves should at least bump his salary up, one year deal, to I’d say 10 or 11 mil to keep him, and say to him we value you. Since he’s been paid 9 mil the last four years, I think he’d go for a slight bump up. Tim has never been greedy. A drop in salary though? Couldn’t blame Tim for going anywhere else.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            For what I’m seeing, I expect that it will take 2×9+vest option to keep him… and that should be competitive with a (highly taxed) SF offer.

          • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

            I just don’t see Tim pitching much beyond a year or two more. You don’t think Tim would settle for less than that, or go year to year if offered anything reasonably above 9 mil?

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    MARTA/New Stadium Site
    I’ve been scouring maps… none of the options look very good.

    1. Go W from Sandy Springs Station. Just too far North and East to match up. Also about 7 miles. Route would follow I-285, so at least that’s straightforward.
    2. Go NW from Buckhead Station. Non-starter: route would plow through suburbia – would never get out of courts.
    3. Go W from the Red line – a spur line before hitting Sandy Springs; S of I-285. Similar to #1, but likely not enough new people served to justify the cost.
    4. Go N from Bankhead Station. Route looks possible – train yard, then follow I-285. Most of this is in Cobb Cty. Links a lot of folks currently unserved. Still about 8 miles. #4 appears to be most viable…maybe the only viable route.

    PROS: Links Atlanta to the new site – helps ticket buyers from S. of City.
    CONS: A bunch…
    a. Cost. Requires expansion of Bankhead stn, plus at least 1 new station near the park… likely also another stn S. of I-285 at the Cumberland mall.

    b. Politics: Brings Cobb Cty into the MARTA world… where they’ve never been before. Also: ATL would need a ton of justification to help move people to a Braves stadium after being jilted.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      Yeah I commented on that earlier. Big hurdle getting cooperation from the city after feeling jilted on this deal. However they may try to justify it, from what I’ve read over the years, the Braves have always gotten the crap end of that stick. They ask, and the city says no, while pretending to be “considering” or caring. Hogwash. They wanted the revenue from the Braves’ presence, without having to commit to the costs the Braves were asking for. I’m not worried. I feel like the Braves have committed to moving to Cobb, and they will figure out a way to get fans to the stadium. Don’t ask me how now, but I have every confidence in an MLB organization to “get her done”, even if I have ZERO confidence in city governments.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        This.
        Maybe revive that mavlev project further north?

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      For the sake of accuracy, I see that MARTA bus lines run into S. Cobb… just no trains at this time. So there’s that precedent, I support.

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        Well that’s a potential start, as long as the city doesn’t try to derail any plans the Braves work on. If the city can get revenue, I don’t see them actively trying to sabotage anything.

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Today’s Live Blog brought to you by the PopCarpFain Company. ;-)