Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
Braves could deal Craig Kimbrel
[Editorial Note: I mentioned this idea way back on Nov. 24th]
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have been collecting information this week in their trade conversations about David Price, because eventually, they will have to trade him. They drafted Price, they developed Price, they love Price, and he is a team leader, but they will move him because of a simple math equation: He will soon make too much money for them to afford.
If they trade him in this offseason, they will get strong value in return. If they wait, their trade return — as well as their payroll flexibility in 2014 — will be diminished, because Price is moving closer to the time he can become a free agent, after the 2015 season.
The Atlanta Braves should be taking notes on all this, because they have a player who fits this description, and these circumstances. Someone they drafted and developed, someone they love, a team leader — and someone who is soon going to be too expensive for their relatively modest payroll: Craig Kimbrel, the best closer on the planet.
They should be looking to trade him, and right now might be the best possible time.
2013 MLB Winter Meetings: Jordan Walden Signing as Big as Atlanta Braves Will Go?
Almost one year ago the Atlanta Braves traded their former-future star Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for reliever Jordan Walden. Hanson had clearly seen better days despite his relative youth but Walden was no guaranteed bonus either. What seemed at the time like possibly a decent swap turned perfect for the Braves as Walden was a huge member of the bullpen all season long. They have now signed him to a one year deal to avoid arbitration.
This is a good move for the Braves who have become one of a few teams that are very good at avoiding the arbitration process. Walden however might end up being the only move the Braves will pull off at the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings. Last season they upgraded their roster in a big way before and after the meetings and that appears to be the case this season with almost zero activity going into the final day.
Minor League Update
International Winter League Games of December 11
- Joey Terdoslavich, RF, Braves (Toros del Este, DWL): 1-4, R, HR, 2 K. The Braves don’t have any open spots in their starting lineup, but they have a need for a right-handed bench bat with some pop, and that’s exactly what Terdoslavich can give them. He’s probably a second-division regular, but would be better suited as a platoon/role player on a good team, which the Braves are. In the right role and used properly, he could be quite effective.
Braves Avoid Arbitration With Jordan Walden
The Braves have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.49MM deal with Jordan Walden to avoid arbitration, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities (via Twitter). Walden was projected to earn $1.5MM by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
Walden, 26, came to the Braves in a November 2012 deal that shipped Tommy Hanson to the Angels. The right-hander had a 2.47 ERA and limited opponents to a .194 batting average in 47 appearances from April through August, but stumbled in the final months of the season. Walden’s final line was a 3.45 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.
Walden is represented by Don Mitchell of Gaylord Sports Management, as shown in the MLBTR Agency Database.