Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
2014 Minor League Keeper Thoughts: Atlanta Braves
The prospect staff here at Fake Teams will be taking an in-depth look at each major league organization, including our top 10 fantasy prospects, an overview of the organization’s minor league system as a whole and potential opportunities for playing time in 2014. Our goal is to provide you with more information as you prepare for minor league drafts for dynasty and keeper leagues, as well as look at players that could potentially be worth watching during the spring, as they could be in line to potentially help your fantasy team. We will be reviewing two teams per week until we are through all 30 teams, and you can see the schedule of when your favorite team will be reviewed below.
The Atlanta Braves had a very good, yet ultimately disappointing 2013 campaign. The team won 96 games and captured the NL East crown by ten games, but the first round playoff loss at the hands of the Dodgers left fans wondering what could have been.
Despite the success, many of the Braves “key” contributors slumped in 2013. Entering the season, the strength of the team was easily the outfield, a young, talented trio that included budding superstar Jason Heyward and new offseason acquisitions B.J. and Justin Upton. Heyward and the younger Upton brother were fine, combining for 41 home runs and contributing six wins above replacement, but much, much more was expected from the duo. And Bossman Junior turned in one of the worst seasons of any major league regular, hitting .184/.268/.289 in his first year in Atlanta. Plus, past the outfielders, Dan Uggla also failed to reach the Mendoza line. So, one can only imagine what kind of a season it could have been, had the contributions of those four been anywhere what we would’ve expected entering the season.
Inbox: What veteran arms interest Braves?
As we saw with this week’s trade that sent Doug Fister from the Tigers to the Nationals, there is always a chance to be surprised by Hot Stove developments. Along with being bewildered by Detroit’s willingness to make this move that provided a seemingly marginal return, multiple scouts and executives have indicated they were not aware Fister was available.
So, while Lohse and Samardzija stand as two potential options on the trade market, there is certainly reason to believe this week’s flurry of transactions could open the door for the Braves to find other pitchers who could be available via trade.
Wish lists change rapidly this time of year. Five years ago, the Braves initially targeted Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnettas they attempted to reconstruct their starting rotation.Derek Lowe was initially an afterthought. But once Peavy and Burnett were no longer options, Lowe found himself lured to Atlanta with a four-year, $60 million contract.
Moves the Atlanta Braves Must Try to Pull Off at the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings
The MLB hot stove has started to heat up even though the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings aren’t set to begin until Monday.
General manager Frank Wren did bring back utility infielder Ramiro Pena on a one-year deal, however, as he proved to be a valuable asset before his season-ending injury.
While the Braves don’t look to be big spenders this offseason, that doesn’t mean Wren won’t search for a couple moves to better the Braves’ roster.
Here’s a look at a few moves the Braves should try and pull off as the Winter Meetings get set to begin.
Why weren’t the Braves in on Fister?
Doug Fister, two years removed from free agency, is a workhorse who eats innings without eating up much payroll. The 30-year-old right-hander — career 3.53 ERA and 1.213 WHIP — has topped 200 innings in 2 of the past 3 years and is projected to make $6.9 million in 2014.
Though not an ace, he’s the next best thing: An affordable workhorse.
My question: Where was Frank Wren? He was a protege of Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski, so that should’ve given him a leg up over Nats GM Mike Rizzo. An offer of J.R. Graham, Ryan Butcher and Tyler Pastornicky would’ve been at least comparable to the trio of players Washington sent to the Tigers for Fister.
Anyone think that’s too much? Didn’t think so. And it’s a safe bet the Braves won’t find anyone better than Fister, especially at that price. They’re rumored to have interest inJeff Samardzija, who allegedly has a bigger upside and will come a higher price, prospect-wise. And he’ll be 29 on Opening Day, so don’t expect him to suddenly evolve into an ace. In 66 major league starts, Samardzija has a 4.32 ERA and 1.321 WHIP.
Regardless, the Nats just got better. With Fister in the fold, Washington now boasts the best rotation in the division, if not the National League.