Braves At Winter Meetings: Live Thread (Day 3)

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

Welcome To Our Live Thread – Day 3 of Winter Meetings

Despite early talk, and the desire from many fans to see the Braves acquire an ace starter, that proposition has now become highly unlikely.  Frank Wren has actually now made public statements about the Braves’ focus now being more on the bullpen, and some bench depth, and while we haven’t seen any trades so far in the first two days of the meetings, discussions during these last two days could prove fruitful.

As our own Jeff Schafer reported yesterday, the Atlanta Braves have had some good conversations with Eric O’Flaherty, and there is a good chance the Braves will retain his valuable services.

We’ve been hearing some other rumblings and rumors in recent hours as well, and here’s a few tweets to get our conversations started this morning.  I won’t bother to comment on their pros and cons in this post, but instead let our comments in the Live Thread below do the talking and analysis….

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, we also heard rumors on MLB Trade Rumors (Imagine that!) that The Braves are on the lookout for a hitter for their bench, and Eric Chavez could be their top free agent option, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman

Beyond the trade rumors, we’ve also been hearing that the Braves are talking with B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla, and are serious about “fixing” what’s broken with those two.  I’ve said before I think we’ll see Dan Uggla starting in 2014, and while we could see some platoon work with maybe Pena or La Stella, Dan is still a potentially valuable asset who could certainly turn things around.  We shall see.

 

Live Thread Below

Just scroll down until you see our Comments Section, and let us know your thoughts.  You don’t have to wait until we share a thought.  If you have thoughts, just jump right in and comment away.  Don’t be shy!  If you have a Disqus account, great, but you can comment as a guest as well.  If you have any issues, feel free to message me on Twitter, or shoot me an email:

Chris Headrick 
Twitter: @bravespop
Email: [email protected]

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

    Good morning Braves’ fans! Will the Braves make moves on those already mentioned in tweets and rumors today, or will there be “significant others” come up today out of the blue? Love to hear everyone’s thoughts, so join us as you can and enjoy the conversation. I’ll be in and out today due to work, but we’ll have staff keeping a watchful eye throughout the day. Go Braves!

  • Zach

    With it appearing less and less likely that Uggla gets moved, and with Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish both being non-tendered, does Uggla go into ST as the starting 2B? We have Ramiro Pena returning from injury, and I know the aforementioned non-tendered guys can still be resigned, but I guess I was just hoping for something a little more solid at 2B. I know things have a way of working themselves out in ST, but in terms of field players, 2B is by far our biggest question mark IMO.

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

      It’s still more or less anyone’s guess, but I believe with what the Braves’ still owe Dan, they will make every effort to give him one last chance to turn things around. So yes, I think he starts in 2014. Even with his Ks and low avg, he walks alot and thus has a high OBP, which is always valuable. Add to that the fact that he generally averages 25-30 homers, and his power is still of some value as well. If it doesn’t work out despite the efforts, as you say we still have Pena, and La Stella in the wings. Pena’s numbers last year may have been a touch of a fluke, as he’s not normally known to hit that well, although his D is solid. Personally, I hope they move La Stella up sooner rather than later, and I do think we’ll see Tommy up soon, no matter how well Dan may do, especially as getting rid of Dan becomes less expensive.

      • Zach

        I, too, am excited about La Stella. He had a very good AFL season, but all I was hearing is that his weakness is his defense. I know he hasn’t played above AA but I would like to see the Braves give him a legitimate chance in ST.

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

          The knock on him is his D, but he is good enough for the majors where standout D at 2nd base is kind of rare. He’s also as good as Dan Uggla already IMO. Many have jumped AAA altogether, and TLS still could.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            I’m actually good with TLS’ defense. Starting to find others believing that, too. He’ll at least be near average, I believe… and that would be a step up.

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

            I watched him several times in Birmingham where I go to alot of Barons games (Southern League AA). I thought he was pretty solid on 2B. Small sample eye test granted, but I’m convinced.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Honestly, I was thinking with the market for ‘power bats’ being as it is, that Wren would find somebody (Balt, Toronto, KC, maybe Detroit) willing to take Dan … for as much as $5m of salary relief. Yes – that’s the weak link.

      So not sure whether the Braves were simply not willing to ‘eat’ that much of the deal or whether truly nobody has been interested (that’s entirely possible), but I think all comments here (yours and Chris’) are accurate.

    • fireboss

      barring a trade Uggla is the man. If he continues to flounder Pena will get a shot. You shouldn’t expect Pena to be as good at the plate in the ling term as he was for a short time last year. He’s essentially a bench player because his bat isn’t consistently good enough

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

    With rumors about Dobbs, I have to say I see little value in such a trade.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Hopefully, Bowman’s “would be a fit” doesn’t translate to “actively interested in”. I could get behind Eric Chavez, though that’s gonna hard to get him to the East half of the country.

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

        Yeah, I like Chavez, and I also like the talk about Vasquez with his potential. Dobbs… I can’t get behind a 35 year old with what I think is little offensive value. He’s cheap, and he’s a decent utility infielder who can play both 1st and 3rd. His career OBP is a little shaky though, so while he provides some depth, especially at 3rd, that’s the only value I see.

  • Brandon_Woodworth

    Jon Morosi: “Expect the primary free agent LH relievers — Logan, Downs, Howell, O’Flaherty — to start moving off board in next 24-48 hours.”

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

      Crosses fingers with high hopes on one of those :)

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Scott Downs is a ‘primary’ guy now? huh.

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

    From DOB: While some initial Samardzija suitors have since filled need, #Braves still there. Could get interesting if Cubs think he won’t sign ext.

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

      Editorial Note: I’m a great speller, but Samardijjaa gives me fits! I need a constant copy/paste thing going lol

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Overall feel…
    1. No noise about David Price. Right now, he’s Seattle’s for the taking… unless ATL is used to prop up the return for Tampa.
    2. Masterson. A lot of fan noise toward him, but note that he only has 1 year of control. Samard would be better (2 yrs).
    3. Accordingly, though, Cubs are said to be content to wait on him until July if they can’t get their (very high) price.

    Editional Note: I’m going with ‘Samard’

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Braves’ broadcasters do not win the Frick award (HOF). Eric Nadel (Rangers) wins it.

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

      Color me shocked *syrupy sarcasm*

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Get this…

        Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine 3m
        Hawk Harrelson misses out on Ford Frick award . Texas Rangers Broadcaster Eric Nadel was named 2014 recipient of the Hall of fame honor.

        >> The first good news from today. And you can put that one on the booooard. If I were a WSox fan, Harrelson would make me listen to Cubs games.

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

    I heard rumors that the Braves coaching staff are already working actively this off-season with BJ to work on his swing issues (which isn’t the issue in my opinion). If that’s true, why as Bowman said.. this…”Fredi plans to meet with B.J. and Uggla in early January” ? Is there more going on there than just discussion of mechanics? hehe

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Expand on that… what’s your take on his ‘issue’?

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

        I’m a coach, but not a scout or a hitting coach. With that prologue, I’ve looked at video of BJ’s swing while he was hitting, and then last season, and I cannot see any noticeable difference in mechanics really… at least none that would account for such sluggishness. I’ve said before and maintain that his problem is, for lack of a better phrase, “in his head”, ie mental, etc. I’m not sure simple work with a hitting coach will fix what is broken. I’ll allow you can work on things more efficiently in the off-season, but a turnaround will surprise me if that’s all the Braves are doing to address his “issues”.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        In 2007-08, BJ was torching baseballs. Somewhere along the way, he changed from being a hit-for-average guy to a hit-for-power guy. It could be as stupid as trying to keep up with his own brother… who IS actually a power hitter.

        Ever since then, his average has been going down. If my theory is right (that yes, it’s in his head), then playing with Justin has only made matters worse. But either way, he’s got this long swing that can be hard to control. The ball goes a long way when he connects, but it’s that control that presents the problem.

        Additionally, he needs to stop questioning strike calls every time he K’s.

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

          Yeah I agree that playing with his brother could be part of the problem, and certainly questioning K’s is a part of that bigger issue of “things in his head”. I said many times to one of my friends I watch games with, last year, that the best thing BJ could get a LOT more of is simple humility. BJ walks with what term a “swagger”, when he has absolutely ZERO reason to chug along in that fashion.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            I worried about his maturity issues a year ago. Check his twitter follows and you’ll see what I mean: A bunch of pro athletes and a thousand ‘hot chicks.’

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

            Nail on the head Alan

        • David Funk

          If your theory is correct, than that makes it a little more unfortunate than before, in my mind. It’s nice having several players who can hit 25 home runs, but a true lead off hitter is something the Braves need more. If we got the 2008 version of BJ that would be awesome. Would love to see a cut back from k’s even from then, but hey, if he gave us THAT production, I would strip down naked and run through the City of Atlanta painted red and blue

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            This… well, maybe except for the last bit!

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Meanwhile: Uggla clearly has a different issue… and it actually could have been with his eyes. Obviously, he has excellent strike zone recognition – without that, he doesn’t walk a bazillion times. He’s never been that good with breaking pitches, but when he starting missing fat fastballs, that’s when worry set in. I think he needs to be seeing a lot of live pitching to build confidence back… and practice with the new eyes. I’m hoping that he simply didn’t have enough time to adjust last Fall.

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

        Yeah I’ve been hard on Uggla, but I still see value in him, and still think he can benefit the braves.

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

    On Facebook, in response to that article about “Frank Wren Lied To Us”, a guy named Gary commented that “Now I remember why I quit following this blog site”. My reply? “But you apparently still do?” Why do people visit blogs they claim to hate? LOL

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Guess we got somebody’s attention.

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

        Yeah that was a lesson in good headlines 101. Love those kinds of headlines. And that Gary probably didn’t even read it… just reacted to the headline

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          Right, and did he actually “Lie”? No… but has he delivered on the goals he himself set forth? Not even close… including the statement that he felt they were well positioned for these Winter Meetings… made under a week ago.

          Meanwhile, Atlanta is being overrun by other clubs.

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

            Well, I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but why would anyone be such a staunch supporter of a GM, that they wouldn’t visit a blog even if there is some implied criticism of him. I get that with some fans of players, but a GM? Can you say TROLL?

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            Right – and I don’t want to be perceived as Trolling criticism, either (page views? okay maybe :). But you have to be willing to consider and challenge error whenever it comes up.

            You also have to have be able to take it… fortunately, I’m quite fine with being wrong: it happens a lot!

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

            It was a solid piece.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            There’s a follow-up in my head that will be coming next week if nothing changes.

          • Matthew Jones

            Just remember children, don’t feed the trolls. :P

          • Sealift67

            Seems a bit early to panic. A hasty trade of top prospects
            for an expensive pitcher..not sure. Perazza reminds me of
            Andrus, a guy who could have helped quite a bit. Good
            players don’t stay blocked, they move the pieces
            eg CF etc or set up trading off an expensive veteran.
            Wren over-extended last year with BJ who hit over .250
            twice in 9 years yet was hyped as a 5 tool guy. Seems
            Wren is understandably cautious this year.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Meanwhile… back to actual rumor-mongering….
    >Cleveland listening on ALL of its OFers. Curious.
    >Corey Hart trying to sort out multiple offers.
    > Milwaukee, et al, said to be interested in LoMo if they lose Hart.
    >So is EOF
    >3 teams in on Bronson Arroyo. Braves not one of them, despite the innings (and average performance) that he’d bring.

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

      I’m torn on Arroyo, but in the end I just can’t take the high, goofy leg kick LOL

      • David Funk

        Goofy leg kick? Then how can you stand Walden? He has one of the most unusual deliveries I’ve ever seen.

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          I swear he looks like he’s about to take a header on every pitch. No – it’s REAL hard to watch!

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

    Back in a bit. Meeting. Hold down the fort, or in this case, keep the hot stove stoked.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Yep…. shoveling more coal as we speak.

  • Jonathan

    B.J.’s problem is the 80 oz bat that he uses. 185 lbs and he uses a bat the size of McCanns leg.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      80?? I presume you’re being a bit facetious. I don’t know his specific model, but I heard this week that Jeff Francoeur was going to switch away from a 35 ounce bat… heaviest in the league other than Chris Davis’s.

      • Jonathan

        Yes, exaggerating just a tad, but none the less, it looks massive compared to him

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          Yeah, he does have arms that resemble toothpicks. Still generates good bat speed, but that long swing vs. late pitch movement is a problem.

          • Matthew Jones

            I’ve said it before with Uggla (and Chipper stated this as well a while back, wish I could find the quote…) that as you get older you have to use a lighter bat to maintain the bat speed you once had. As for Upton, he needs to use a slightly lighter bat so that he can generate enough speed through the strike zone.

        • David Funk

          I was pretty sure you were exaggerating. Still very funny. Bat the size of McCann’s leg. Laughing my back side off at Starbucks reading this stuff when I should be job searching. LOL!

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            And perhaps I should lighten up a bit!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    The penalty of holding onto a closer too long: Phillies said to be willing to eat 40-50% of Jonathan Papelbon’s contract to move him.

    • fireboss

      Penalty for giving a closer too much for too long… Only Rivera -and he’s a freak of nature – was a sure thing for that many years. Otherwise 4-6 years at the top then out really.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    XM Radio playing an earlier interview with Fredi Gonzalez. No information of use.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Ken Rosenthal… this is kind interesting, re: David Price.

    > His agent answered a couple of questions:

    1. Would Price consider a contract extension offer from Seattle? “No.”
    2. Would Price consider a contract extension offer from other clubs? “Yes”
    3. Which clubs? Declined to answer.

    Price is from Murfreesboro, TN – just SE of Nashville. Went to Vandy. Braves country. Just sayin’.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Yes – it’s (unfortunately) still most likely that Price ends up in Seattle.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      That said: if I’m Seattle, do I really wanna pursue Price now???

      • Matthew Jones

        From a report I read after Cano was signed, baseball in Seattle has been waning (even to the point where MLS outdrew them some games, albeit the article didn’t say what days/what times/etc). If they were to get Price, I’d figure that they’d be the paper champs this coming season for most media outlets (although, ask how well that worked out for the Marlins and Blue Jays the last few seasons).

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          Scherzer would pacify that need, if Price doesn’t want to go there (not his choice, but you’d rather not force the issue).

    • David Funk

      You really think so? I was thinking not because he said he wouldn’t sign an extension with Seattle. Seems like that would shut the door on it, particularly if the package for him costs the Mariners Walker.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        I’m gonna call a mulligan on that comment: at this point, if it were gonna happen (i.e., Seattle including Walker in the deal), then it likely would have already been in progress. Between that and Price dissing SEA, that could actually be dead now.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    XM/MLBRadio: “Frank [Wren] has Hall of Fame hair”

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    >Garza might sign before the end of the week, according to tweet reports.
    >I also think it’s at least modestly interesting that Price’s agent is roaming the halls in Orlando.
    >David Price: yes, I still think he’s in play, even if Seattle is out. The money angle is still too important to Tampa.

    • Zach

      Assuming Price is out for the Braves, other than Samard, what realistic option do you think there are out there in terms of SP?

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        They aren’t real good. Let’s put it this way: if they didn’t spend $11.5/yr on Hudson, what would you spend on Arroyo, Garza, Jimenez (who also costs a draft pick) or Ervin Santana (draft pick)? There’s a lot of (literally) average guys out there.

        In trades, I could abide Masterson from Cleveland, though the price is fairly high. Samaradzija is probably the second best trade option… assuming that Lohse isn’t available (no indication whatsoever to that effect).

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        I’m still very concerned about how to fill 1000 innings over the year among the rotation, but given the options available, I’d ask about Price, Lohse, Masterson, Samard, in that order… and then nobody else.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Honest Q: Would you trade Alex Wood (and more) for David Price?

    • Zach

      My problem with that scenario is not Wood. It’d be the 3 to 4 other prospects we’d likely have to give up.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Fair enough… my laundry list generally includes Joey T. (they could use him in OF or at 1B; we could replace him easily enough), Jose Peraza (if we keep Simmons, he’ll eventually be blocked). Perhaps 2-3 others from this list: David Hale, Cody Martin, Kyle Kubitza, Gus Schlosser, Aaron Northcraft.

        That _should_ be enough. And it comes from prospects that we’d have limited use for.

        • Zach

          What about J.R. Graham? I know the Diamondbacks wanted him in the Prado deal last year.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            If demonstrably healthy and recovered from his shoulder ailment, then yes. I do have to wonder if his status might be giving the Braves’ front office some pause on certain trades.

    • Brandon_Woodworth

      No. With the Rays pitching depth, they can’t fake the Braves into thinking the buck stops with Wood. Hale, Terdo, Peraza, and another prospect could get it done.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        That’s pretty much the package I think might work.

    • David Funk

      JUST Alex Wood? Yes. I know people are talking about Price’ loss of velocity, and despite his struggles in April and May, he dominated the rest of the season with that same decreased velocity.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Noooo…. def. not him alone. Brandon’s package would be painful, but doable… especially if Price was inclined to stick around.

        • David Funk

          Okay, then no. =) I don’t see the package Brandon wrote, but I am familiar with hypothetical packages for a Seattle trade, and seeing that has already scared me away.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Brandon Phillips (Cincy 2B) is “in play”. I suppose the Yankees just got interested.

    • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

      The Yanks turned down a trade that would involve Gardner.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Okay, we have some news… minor, but news nonetheless:

    Enrique Rojas/ESPN @Enrique_Rojas1
    #Braves sign cuban pitcher Yuneski Maya to minors league with MLB camp invite, source said to [ESPNDesportes].

    RHP, Nationals organization since 2010, 32 years old.
    3 cups of coffee – 1 each in 2010, 2011, 2013. 59 major league innings.

    Looks like a minor league depth move; nothing that stands out in his stats overall. AAA ERA typically just under 4.00.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan 40s
    Sources: AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer “definitely in play” in trade talks. Nothing imminent, but teams know he can be had.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      All depends on cost in trade, of course (which will be very high); but I could definitely get behind this. His lifetime ERA+ is 116…tons of innings, still young, very solid.

      Downsides? Boras client, 1 year until Free agent.

      • Zach

        With Wren’s comments do you believe he was telling the truth or do you believe the Braves could actually make a play for say Price or apparently Scherzer?

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          I think he truly believed (a month ago) that there was somebody to be had. Comments from Monday suggest he’s had a few deer-in-the-headlights moments.

          He won’t stop trying… that I’m sure of. But he often seems to be the 2nd or 3rd option, not necessarily the ‘lead dog’ in trade races.

          With Scherzer? Nah – but if I’m Jack Z in Seattle, I’m all over him since Price just dissed me.

          Meanwhile, Tampa is probably starting to wonder what happened to the Price market. They will not rush into a deal – they are patient. But I do believe that this leaves a serious opening possible for a team like Atlanta. Maybe still a 15-20% chance, but that’s a lot better than it was on Monday.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Better news: some Braves’ scout was definitely paying attention when they stole this guy from the Dodgers:

    Mark Bowman @mlbbowman 51s
    A scout said he saw Luis Vazquez’s fastball sit between 95-97 mph in the Dominican Winter League. #Braves

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    In case anybody is thinking that all ball players just take it easy in the off season (okay, Jordan Schafer is on the golf course today), then check this (not the only one I’ve seen):

    Julio Teheran @Julio_Teheran 48s
    Thanks God for this day of hard work

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jon Heyman: Yankees and Royals (plus 1 more team) are in on Imanhotep (Infante).

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    On the pitching market:
    I think overall, there’s been a change this week because more guys suddenly became available that weren’t thought to have been accessible. Fister for sure, Skaggs and Santiagio in the Angels deal yesterday. Scherzer could further move that landscape. Still waiting on Tanaka posting. Others still in play, but the suitors are dwindling a bit. But there’s been more ‘supply’ than expected.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jayson Stark @jaysonst 2m
    It looks unlikely Raul Ibanez will be back in Seattle. Considering offers from multiple contenders. Among teams linked w/ him: Bal, Atl, NYY

    > Having trouble with this one. He’s gonna be 42 in June (Julio Franco alert). Nonetheless, a LH bench bat that still pounded 29 HR in Seattle… not terribly hitter friendly… in 2013.

    • Matthew Jones

      As long as he’s only coming off the bench as a PH, I’m ok with Ibanez. He’d be our likely DH most AL games.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        I guess DOBrien’s tweet captures my concern:

        “But w/ Ibanez, hard to see how 41-yr-old corner OF could get many ABs w/ #Braves long as J’s Up and Hey healthy. Hasn’t played 1b in while”.

        He’d be the 6th outfielder right now after Terdo and Schafer. Gattis might be the de facto DH for those days, really. Chavez makes better sense, but the Braves don’t control that.

        • Matthew Jones

          I guess I should have prefaced that with “I’m not endorsing him…:D And I like Chavez at 3B in late innings more than say Janish, frankly. Sometimes we’ll get burned using a glove-only player.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            We’ll have to overpay for him, but Chavez could be worth it.

  • David Funk

    I bounced all over the place about signing a veteran starter to the rotation. It seems there are only two options and both sound unappealing. Trade for Price which if hypothetical packages from Seattle are any indication, would cost us far to much. Or, purchase one of the starters on the market who are all either one season away from the end of their career (Colon), just as likely to have a terrible season as spectacular (Jiminez) or is simply mediocre or just slightly better (Arroyo).

    Then I ask myself, even if they DO come at a reasonable price, which is unlikely, given the scarcity of strong pitching available, would I really want to use them to replace ANY of our talented young pitchers? Is it really less risky to go with one of the above pitchers rather than let our young pitchers see what they develop into this year? We actually might have someone who can take the lead in our rotation. After watching Minor pitch in the post season, we all saw him rise to the occasion.

    My greatest concern is 2B. I knew very well it would be difficult to get a trade going, and I except that. I know the Braves don’t want to waste the money they have going into Uggla, but seriously, WHEN do you cut bait and walk away? THIS year was supposed to be his last chance. I really hope they give
    La Stella a reasonable shot at the position.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      I like Beachy (especially), Minor, and Teheran long term. All could outstrip Medlen, who’s been very, very good. Wood probably will get there, but if you had to replace one, he’s the logical choice in terms of youth and controllable years (unfortunately).

      They could do that [go with the kids and import nobody else]. My concerns are still in-season innings and then playoff time in matching up to LA/STL/SF/WSH. But I’ve said all that.

      Uggla: I’m getting resigned to the notion that they’re gonna try One More Year. If he’s not on track by … say mid-June… then we could see a TLStella call-up, followed by an outright release after 2014. If Uggs _does_ bounce back, then an after season trade this time year would be much more possible. *sigh*

      • David Funk

        Sure, Wood is the one you would replace, but I wouldn’t want to replace him with someone like Arroyo. I’d rather give Wood the 4 or 5 spot and let him develop. If Medlen is outstripped by Minor and Teheran and all we have with him is a no.3 or 4 starter that posts a 3.40 era… well, that’s a wonderful problem to have.

        As for the innings that you are concerned about, it seems that Wren is going to go with the idea that the bull pin will take the pressure off the young starters and take some of those innings. A strategy that I admit has had mixed results. Matching with LA/STL does seem to be as much of a problem for 2014 as it did this year, but do you really see anyone other than Price being a solution to that?

        Sigh.. I am tired of giving Uggla chances, I’m sure a lot of people are also. But perhaps resigning ourselves to it is better than driving over to his house and busting him in the knee with a rusty pipe so Wren has no choice but to replace him.

  • Matthew Jones

    Per the 2B situation with Uggla, I think this is how things go down (and I know I’m just repeating what others have said better, but follow me…). Uggla’s going to start the beginning of the year. I also think that LaStella ends up making the team out of spring training. By about a 1/3 of the way into the season, I think you’ll see LaStella taking over 2B much like Furcal did in 2000 at SS. The Braves will then trade Uggla to an AL team with a much more manageable year and a half left on his contract.

    • David Funk

      I don’t think Wren has decided to hold onto Uggla or anything. I think he just doesn’t have much choice because there is simply no market for his services for what he would cost. So I doubt if he is struggling so much that we move La Stella to take his spot, that we would find someone who would want him in May or June either.

      • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

        You are right David. Nobody is biting on Uggla because of his rapid decline. Yeah he can hit homers but that is about it. I hope he can turn it around and at least hit .240 haha.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN 6m
    We’ll know more later today, but David Ross may have been involved in each of the last two legal home plate collisions in MLB history.

    >> I noted back in the World Series that this might become the ‘David Ross’ rule after this hit… in which he came in shoulder first.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Charlie Morton (former Brave farmhand) has been extended by the Pirates. 3 years plus an option: $21m guaranteed; $10m option in 2017.

  • Jonathan

    Well, with all the talk about not wanting to block our young pitching, why not make room in the current rotation as part of a trade for David Price. Hear me out. What about a package of Kris Medlen, Peraza, Northcraft and Graham, would that get Price??

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      The only gotcha is that Tampa Bay’s style is to get players that are cheap and controllable for several years. Yes – that should otherwise do it, but it’s the other end of the rotation that they’d be after :).

      • Jonathan

        Yeah, true, but a lot could be said for Kris Medlen, he will not be a free agent until 2016 and he should make about what, 3 million or so this year?

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          He was at $2.6m in 2013; in line for something close to $6m (estimate from MLBTR is $5.9m) in 2014.

    • fireboss

      It might but that won’t happen. The Braves aren’t in on Price Samardzjia or any top line guy right now.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Yep. It’s real quiet out there… as much as I’d love to change that!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jayson Stark is checking in:
    > Matt Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, says #Dodgers informed him today “they have no plans to move him.” [ed note: still curious that Stewart was on site]

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Ken Rosenthal:

    Exec in search of SP says price on Bartolo Colon “keeps climbing.” How
    high? “High enough to make you think twice.” Likely wants two years.

    Starting pitching prices: *smh*

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Sigh… even our cousins over at DistrictOnDeck have figured out that the Braves aren’t doing anything this Fall/Winter. I can’t link it directly, but it’s on their front page now.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Terry Francona emphatically declaring that Justin Masterson is going noplace. Says he called him to say so.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jeff Passan tweet: Nationals send Billy Burns, their minor league player of the year, to Oakland for Jerry Blevins.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Burns, 74 steals vs. 7 caught. Okay for me to move him West!

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      This gives the Nats the Lefty bullpen guy they wanted. Apparently decided that EOF would not sign with them and/or other options weren’t as good (Blevins isn’t bad, it seems).

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jerry Hairston, Jr., supposedly linked to… a bunch of teams… retiring to become a broadcaster. That’s a quick switch over his tweet declarations over the past 24 hours or so.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN 44s
    Giants checked in on the David Price sweepstakes, but haven’t gotten into any sort of exchange with the Rays yet.

    >> Even as loaded as their pitching rotation is, these guys are checking in with nothing else going on with Price. Of course, in their situation, they’ll face the Dodgers arms 18/19 times each year, so the ‘ace matchup’ game is highly relevant.

    • David Funk

      Was reading that it will take a third party team involved to make a Giants/Rays deal happen. The Giants farm is almost a desert, these days.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jon Heyman reports Corey Hart is going to Seattle. That will now cause a few more dominos to fall, I presume.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    NEW INSTANT REPLAY Rules:

    Bob Nightengale @BNightengale 1m
    Instant replay challenge rules continue to change: Now its one challenge in 1st 7 IP and one extra if you win challenge; 1 after 7th #MLB

    (I guess that “IP” means “Innings”)

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Dave O’Brien tweets that’s he’s still heard nothing on the ‘interest in Uggla’ front.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Just guessing: Rays will get LoMo, Brewers will take James Loney.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Whoa… Seattle ALSO getting Logan Morrison… in trade with Miami for RHP Carter Capps… interesting pitcher. These guys now the leaders in the clubhouse for ‘longest travel for a trade’. Can’t get beaten, either.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal 2m
    #Braves still exploring wide range of options for starting pitcher. Want to add one to fill Hudson’s spot.

    >> Yep… still kicking tires, reading catalogs, running eBay searches.

  • David Funk

    Mariners pulling some interesting triggers. Picking up Morrison AND Hart, maybe they’re stacking their odds and hoping ONE of them will return to form?

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      That was surprising to me… Morales and Smoak (perhaps) out, LoMo and Hart in… Bloomquist also.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Welp, I am done for the day… lots of tasks to do away from the keyboard and twitter wire. Somebody please improve the team (significantly) in my absence, okay? :]

    Cheers, all!

  • Brandon_Woodworth

    DOB tweeted that he’s hearing Walden and Braves avoided arbitration. $1.5MM

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    I am watching for the Braves to call up Bethancourt haha (a few years away). Seems like the Braves are loaded pitching wise based on the prospects.