Braves at Winter Meetings – Live Thread (Day 4/Wrap)

winter meetings pic

Once more into the breech!

Already this morning, we’ve had some news:

  • The Rule 5 Draft has concluded.  Braves lose two minor league pitchers (Michael Lee and Blaine Sims) in the minor league portion of the draft.  Lee goes to the DBacks system; knuckleballer Sims [don't call me Lucas] goes to Houston.  Neither is a major loss; Lee probably more so, though he’s also 27 years old and had just touched AAA late last season.
  • The Cubs and Marlins have swapped outfielders:  Justin Ruggiano and Brian Bogusevic.
  • Michael Morse has signed with San Francisco (from Seattle/Baltimore in 2013)
  • LA Angels:  picked up LH relief pitcher Brian Moran from Toronto in exchange for…. wait for it… an international draft bonus slot.  Wow, that’s underwhelming.  But apparently it’s a $244,000 slot, so I guess that’s good for Toronto… especially since the Blue Jays only had him for… what, about 2 minutes?  They drafted him in the Rule 5 draft.  Sounds like another shrewd Alex Anthopolous move to me.

Meanwhile, Atlanta….

  • Has signed Jordan Walden for 2014, essentially exactly on his arbitration figure estimate of $1.49 million.
  • Eight others still remain for arbitration:  Kimbrel, Heyward, Freeman, Medlen, Minor, Beachy, Chris Johnson (the only Johnson left) and Schafer.  We do still have two Jordans, though.

Here’s the Quote of the Week… confirming my fears:

It was the afternoon of the next-to-last day of baseball’s four-day Winter Meetings, and Braves general manager Frank Wren was asked if anything had surprised him about this year’s event.

There’s still a little sticker shock, at what guys are getting,” he said Wednesday.  (from DOB’s post)

I suppose there’s a point at which you have to admit this… Scott Feldman and a 41-year-old Bartolo Colon both getting multi-year contracts of $10 million per year is that point for me.

_________

I don’t expect a lot of news today, but we’re still waiting to hear Eric O’Flaherty‘s decision on a contract… with somebody.  The Braves had made an offer, but I can guess that it certainly wasn’t an overwhelming one since he hasn’t signed it yet.

In any case, come one, come all:  this is the thread to get it all off your chest!

 

 

 

Topics: Atlanta Braves

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  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    ‘Phillies have agreement in place for a back-of-the-rotation free agent pitcher’.
    Okay… guess it’s gonna be kept a secret?

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      >>> It’s Roberto Hernandez… or Fausto Carmona (same guy – maybe he had to sign the contract with both names, just to make sure). Honestly, using a name like ‘Fausto Carmona’ sounds like he could get a lot more dates than by going around as ‘Bob Hernandez’, so I can understand why he changed it.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    David O’Brien @ajcbraves 41s
    #Braves GM Wren: “We leave here feeling good about where we are” w/ progress on couple of potential deals he thinks could happen b4 Xmas.

    >> I’m honestly just not gonna hold me breath. Surprise me, Frank (please).

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Biggest free agents still out there.

    Matt Garza: Angels are front-runners; AZ involved. Medicals will be a factor… definitely, it seems.

    Shin-soo Choo: Texas is the logical choice, but is not willing to go beyond 7 years.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    More quotes from Wren via David O’Brien:

    #Braves on fans’ anxiousness while so many other teams making lot of moves: “I have a sense of it. I can understand that.”

    Wren went on to say team is young, with lot of good pieces that are
    going to get better. And they’ll be patient to make right moves.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Interesting tweet from Peter Gammons this morning: 33% of free agent pitcher contracts are spent on the DL (according to an executive he spoke with).

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Another instant trade: Mets took Seth Rosin in the Rule 5 draft… now he’s a Dodger. He was a Giant (minors) in 2012, then a Phillie. This morning, he was a Met for an hour… now a Dodger. THIS is the definition of “journeyman.”

    • Benjamin Chase

      Joel Youngblood laughs at this.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        touché, my friend!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    DO’Brien again:

    #Braves
    won’t trade No. 1 prospect Sims, but I don’t know if they get
    Samardzija w/out giving up 1 or 2 of the pitching prospects below him.

    >> That pretty much points to guys like J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh (not eligible to be traded until June – to anybody), David Hale, Mauricio Cabrera, or Cody Martin.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      My opinion: Luke Sims is an untouchable. JR Graham could get back to there, but I would trade him if he could help fill a need (Price, Samardzjaxqesaiv). Will be very interested to see Jason Hursh’s progress in 2014.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Yet another DOB Tweet:

    I really think it is. Not saying gonna happen, but doable. RT @andrew_gallaher: @ajcbraves Samardzija a realistic possibility at this point?

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Thus far, no one on the roster has been offered a buyout extension offer. But there’s another month or so before that becomes a little more critical. In fact, after the winter meetings, Frank and Freddie, et al, will be heading to the Caribbean to check on players of interest down there. Business can and may still be conducted, but by and large, things are going to slow down considerably between now and the end of the year.

    Next dates of importance:

    - The Arbitration filing date is January 14.
    - Arb Salary figures are to be exchanged on January 17.

    After that point, it is Braves office policy to cease negotiations and go to the arbitration table if no settlement has been reached by that point (for the 8 players involved). All of that involves strictly the next year’s contracts (2014 in this case). It is commonplace for most players to settle this up beforehand.

    In theory, the best time to work on contract extensions is therefore roughly the period between January 2nd and January 17th, but that’s an educated guess, not a rule.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Other date milestones coming up:

    Jan. 8 — Hall of Fame Class of 2014 voting announced
    Jan. 14 — Salary arbitration filing
    Jan. 17 — Salary arbitration figures exchanged
    Feb. 1-21 — Salary arbitration hearings, St. Petersburg, Fla.
    Feb. 13 — Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
    Feb. 18 — Voluntary reporting date for other players
    Feb. 25 — Mandatory reporting date

    • Jeff Schafer

      Nice, good to store in our back pocket

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    FWIW: Jim Bowden just said on XM/MLBRadio “I understand that Frank Wren has had several conversations with Andrew Friendman” (Tampa Bay GM).

  • Jeff Schafer

    Omar Infante offered a contract with the Yankees…oh boy!!

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Yeah – he wants prado’s contract (4×10). They offered him 3×8. He’s 32 on the day after Christmas. Oh, and Prado just turned 30.

      • Jeff Schafer

        Yeah, he may get it tho…decent infielder and always has hit for average. Can’t beat a guy that’s always on base

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Frank Wren coming up on XM/MLBRadio

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Discussion before Wren: ‘They had calls about Scherzer and Price.’ ‘They want Price long-term.’ ‘Andrew Friendman is going to be patient.’

    ‘Fighting for a wild card”, but ‘can strike at any time.’ Not fishing in shallow waters – want to go for the ‘big strike’ (i.e., Price, Maddux, McGriff).

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Frank speaking… paraphrasing:
    Tuesday… sorted out the ‘real’ options from the non-serious trade options.

    Wednesday… more serious conversations. Hopefully ‘moving the ball’ on some of those. Hopefully can get that done ‘when we get back’ (from the Caribbean, I guess).
    Cost of return for the pitching. Been asked for our best – naturally – but we feel they are part of our long-term sustainability.
    10-12 true Aces out there. Best way to get one is to develop them. We may thus have to be patient and wait.
    Trying to give Fredi more options late in the game (bench). Would like some power on the bench; bullpen depth, too.

    Not sure cost of starting pitching depth is what we’re willing to pay at this point.
    Good words about Bobby Cox and his legacy.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Here is a link to the audio, which should give you a better idea of what he said than what I scribbled up above: https://soundcloud . com/siriusxmsports/frank-wren-braves-gm-on-the

      >>> Copy the link, paste it into your browser, and then remove the spaces inserted after ‘soundcloud’ and before ‘com’.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    So I suppose the take-a-way here is that they are not necessarily satisfied, but will still continue to troll for that big strike. If it doesn’t happen, then they’re content to go into the season with the rotation they’ve got.

    • The Croom Diaries

      sooooo…we’ll try to get to the playoffs and hope for one win in the division series?

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        More like “hope we get past the Wild Card game” :/

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Shortly after the first of the year – possibly by January 3rd – the Braves will announce the fan Caravan stops for 2014. Typically, there will be a couple-dozen stops over the end of January->early February throughout Georgia and a couple of select out-of-state sites that don’t include northern Alabama (but I’m just slightly bitter about that :).

    • The Croom Diaries

      whoop whoop

    • Matthew Jones

      I can’t wait until one of those stops is at the new Emerson Braves Clubhouse store, quite literally over US 41 and a hill to my house.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Tigers are gonna sign Joba. All righty, then.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    This is awesome (especially when you read his profile tag lines – he’s a 1B/DH for the Padres/AAA):

    Cody Decker @Decker6 28m
    Things I learned this week:
    1- Jingle Bells was originally written for Thanksgiving
    2- Im less important to MLB franchises than an NFL QB

    >> Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Rangers. Hasn’t played baseball since the Seahawks took him in 2012. Was in the Rockies organization. Will not be switching sports again. :)

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    And that…. is pretty much the end. The Winter Meetings are all but over, save for a couple of random signings here and there. We’ll advise, of course, if/when EO’Flaherty signs. Continue to throw in you own two cents’ worth as you wish (this thread is hardly supposed to be a monopoly of thought).

    In any case, thanks very much for checking in this week!

  • The Croom Diaries

    Are these meetings done in the snow?

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      From experience with Decembers in Orlando… not a chance! Awesome weather down there right now, too…. one of the very few places in the country still warm and dry.

      • The Croom Diaries

        ah, man, you’re picture up top threw me off. 35 degrees and windy in north ATL, I wouldn’t mind being in Orlando.

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          I’m right there with you: 36°F and windy in North Alabama!

          • Brandon_Woodworth

            A cool 58 here in Sylvester, GA.

        • Benjamin Chase

          You all suck.

          -18 on my car’s thermometer on the way in to work today.

  • Brandon_Woodworth

    DOB: ” I hear #Braves made inquiries into contract extensions with few of their young standouts past 2 yrs, felt would take big overpay to get done”

    Translation: “We’re not exactly sure how spending money on our own players works…”

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Suddenly seeing a bunch of tweets linking the Braves to Samardzija… dang I hate that name. You’ll probably see this pop up on MLBTR shortly, I figure.

    > Yes, the Braves have almost certainly checked in about him.
    > No, I do NOT believe there is anything actively in progress to get him.
    > From the interviews (see below for link), I believe that he found the price to get Shark was a lot higher than he was willing to go…. at least the price at this time.
    > Conclusion: not real likely; don’t be on the edge of your seat for this one. Unless the price drops a lot, it’s not happening.

  • Jeff Schafer

    So Braves signed Jordan Walden?

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Right…. 8 arb cases to go. No impact on prior budget/payroll projections.

  • Jeff Schafer

    Texas Rangers drafted Russell Wilson of the Seahawks…just in case he wants to quit his other day job

  • David Funk

    I am really not one of those Braves fans that believes Wren needs to be replaced. In general, I think he has done some great things for the Braves. However, for this years winter meetings, I don’t know how generous a grade I could give him, when he doesn’t seem to be current with the changing MLB market. If you and I are shocked and dismayed at the money some really mediocre pitchers are getting, I understand that. But the GM of the Atlanta Braves I hope would be ahead of the rest of us. However, the guy is human, and obviously can’t be ready for all surprises. Not picking up any of these guys is not necessarily a mistake when we have so much in arbitration to be concerned about.

    My greatest concern continues to be second base. Uggla has had plenty of time and opportunity to turn things around. There is no loss in giving Uggla a shot in spring training, but I see no reason why his chances should be better than La Stella. If they didn’t believe La Stella is a realistic option for the job, I very much wish they would have looked into Infante.

  • Lee Trocinski

    I know everyone here is disappointed with the lack of activity, but I think we all knew it was going to be an internal development offseason here, especially when salaries and asking prices started skyrocketing. Getting B.J. back on track, Beachy healthy, and possibly getting a young guy an extension were the only major moves I foresaw.

    As far as extensions go, players are starting to see how many times the team gets a friendly deal and they’re starting to shy away from them. Right now, why would Freeman take less than $20M for any free agent years? The Tampa deals are on their way out, and you can’t buy low on someone like Heyward, because he’ll wait to rebound and if he does, he’ll have the leverage again.

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

    Sorry I missed out on the final day discussions. Was in meetings all day. I’d like to say the day was anticlimactic, but that implies a rise and fall. There was never any rise. :( Oh well, I expected no more.