Jan 27, 2012; La Jolla, CA, USA; A detailed view of a quiet sign during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 12/13

Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News



Braves make strides at quiet Winter Meetings


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — When Braves general manager Frank Wren exited the Winter Meetings on Thursday, he had the same needs he possessed at the start of this four-day event.

But Wren seems confident that some of the conversations he had with agents and other executives this week could soon allow him to satisfy his desire to add depth to his starting rotation, bench and bullpen.

“You always want to get things done as quickly as you possibly can,” Wren said. “But I think it was a really productive [week] for us. We were able to sort through all the possibilities early in the week and then [on Wednesday] get it a little closer to finality. I feel we have a chance to get some things done that will be important for our team.”

Instead of attempting to make a big splash by pursuing David Price or Jeff Samardzija, Wren spent this week pursuing less flashy options that could fortify a roster that will include many of the same key players that helped the Braves notch 96 victories and cruise toward the National League East title this past season.

Wren is cognizant of the fact that some fans have become impatient while waiting for Atlanta to make a key acquisition in an offseason that has thus far been highlighted by the free-agent departures ofTim Hudson and Brian McCann.

But instead of falling victim to this pressure by rushing to make a deal, Wren has attempted to remain patient in his search to satisfy what he does not consider to be “dire needs.”



Jeff Samardzija Trade Rumors: Assembling Atlanta Braves’ Perfect Trade Package

Bleacher Report

The winter meetings have come and gone, and the Atlanta Braves failed to make a trade or sign a free agent.

However, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves are still pushing hard to acquire a starting pitcher, with Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs believed to be at the top of the list:

The Braves are optimistic about re-signing free agent reliever Eric O’Flaherty, and they are pushing hard to acquire a starting pitcher and could be leading suitors for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija if Chicago decides to trade the hard-throwing right-hander.



Former CHS star Ingram now at Gwinnett

Ledger Inquirer

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves announced that former Columbus High standout Garey Ingram will be in his first season as the hitting coach at Gwinnett after spending the previous four seasons in the same role with the organization’s Double-A club in Mississippi.

The Braves announced their 2014 minor league coaching staffs, including five managers returning for the upcoming season.

In addition to the returning managers, former Major League third base coach Brian Snitker returns to a managerial role in 2014 with the organization’s Triple-A affiliate Gwinnett Braves.

Snitker, who completed his seventh season as the Braves third base coach in 2013, last managed at the minor league level in 2006 when he skippered Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate in Richmond, Va. Previous to that, Snitker spent four seasons managing the Braves Double-A affiliate from 2002 to 2005.




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  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Said it yesterday, but I would *not* put a lot of stock in that Samardzija rumor.

    Yes, Wren has checked on him, but the price is too high. If he’s gonna go after a pitcher, I am convinced it will be someone in the Lohse/Price kind of level. Samard is not the kind of guy you break the farm for, and that appears to be the problem right now – the Cubs want too much.

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

      Yeah I wouldn’t pursue that either. I doubt the Braves’ pursue anyone, because there are no affordable pitchers that really give us an edge. Perhaps before the trade deadline next season… but not now.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Aha! Now we know just how high a price the Cubs are asking to get Shark from them:

      “Well, if you’re sitting at home wondering why there has been no progress between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago Cubs in regards to trade talks for pitcher Jeff Samardzija, we have our answer. According to Bob Elliot at the Toronto Sun, the Cubs are asking for a meager package of just three players; Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and a third prospect.” (see JaysJournal . com today, Kyle Franzoni).

      >> That’s the top two Jays prospects. They are a couple of years away from the majors, but they’re pretty good, from the reports I see.

      Yeah – that’s not gonna happen… from ANY team.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Also:that ‘Braves make strides’ headline is a really nice spin to put on what – to this point – looks like backward-only movement.

    What’s happened this off season so far:
    - Venters re-signed (not even available until late Spring at best)
    - Walden re-signed
    - Luis Vasquez signed (THAT could actually be significant)
    - Pena re-signed
    - Hudson, McCann, EOF, Reed Johnson, Cristhian Martinez, Elliot Johnson, and Janish, Scott Downs, Fredi Garcia all go away.
    Nats, Cards, Dodgers, Giants all get noticeably better. Even the Marlins.

    Right now, hopes are pinned on BJ and Uggla not being any worse and the under-30 rotation hanging in there for an entire season.

    I sure hope Wren does have something going.

  • Matthew Jones

    “Wren spent this week pursuing less flashy options that could fortify a roster that will include many of the same key players that helped the Braves notch 96 victories and cruise toward the National League East title this past season.”

    Dang, I hate it when y’all are right with the “Wren lied” article. I hope we don’t end up doing the same as what the Nationals did this last year, just assuming that each player will have the same sort of year as they did this year.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      I kinda wanna scream “Frank! Prove me wrong!! Please!”

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

      My contention is… the Braves won 96 games in a division that was weak last year, but won’t be in 2014. Expect MUCH more competition from the Nats, Phils, AND the Fish next season. They have made strides to improve personnel. The Braves have not. The focus seems to be on a 2-3 year view rather than simply 2014, but that is no excuse in my opinion for not addressing known issues.

      • Joseph Fain

        I understand long term thinking with an organization that has a middle of the pack payroll, but Wren should be consistent with this thinking. This would lead him to trade Kimbrel while his value is highest and before he is too expensive for the Braves. I have thought this was a good idea for a while since closers are over valued in general.

        • Joseph Fain

          I think packaging him with Uggla to get someone to take a lot of his salary seems like a fine idea.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Boone Logan gets 3x$5.5m. Guessing Frank need to increase his offer to EOF as well.

    In fact, really… since mid-November, I have complained about the need for the Braves to basically step up and increase the budget. Those chickens have just come home to roost (and will continue to do so, in the form of the lack of any significant extension signings). The Atlanta Braves National League Baseball Club, Inc. needs to make a choice:

    (a) continue with a payroll of roughly $100m and be resigned to finishing in second place – until Philly rights its ship and the Marlins grow up and beats everyone’s brains out (then we’ll be 4th). OR
    (b) Pump $20m into the payroll permanently, which would be enough (for now – that number need to grow at 5% per year) to be in a better competitive posture for multiple seasons in a row… and enough to extend many of The Kids.

    If you’re not gonna do (b), then you may as well start blowing it up now: trade Kimbrel, trade Heyward, trade Medlen… become like Tampa Bay and use your best stars to bring back the next 4-5 years of production. If you don’t do that now, then the pain will be worse by 2015-16.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Something re-tweeted by Dave O’Brien: based on recent innings pitched numbers, Boone Logan is now set to make $121,000 per inning over the next 3 years. King Felix gets $97,000 per inning.

  • rick staley

    i dont know about you guys but i would like to hear or read where Frank Wren states Craig Kimbrel is staying in a Tomahawk next season. if not, then his inclusion in any trade talk had better be accompanied with either BJ Up10 or Dan Uggla leaving town along with their albatross contracts. thus, besides acquiring a starting pitcher, if he weakens the back end of the pen he needs to strengthen the middle of the diamond as a result of addition by subtraction.

    • Jeff Schafer

      Interesting concept, I don’t want to agree with that but it could be true

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

      Craig is affordable now… BJ is expensive, and Dan is as well, though less so. Without arguing the merits of keeping or getting rid of Kimbrel, the thing is – if the Braves are going to use him as a bargain chip, NOW is the time to do it before his contract gets too pricey to afford. That will be 2014 btw :)

    • Joseph Fain

      I would rather ship him out with Dan. At least there is some hope that BJ might re-fined his stroke.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Jerry Crasnick, from his ESPN post today:

    “The consensus is that the Dodgers, Rangers and Mariners are the best
    fits for Price, with Atlanta also a possibility. The Diamondbacks and
    Braves are among the teams monitoring Samardzija. Until further notice,
    the Cubs are declaring a moratorium on comments about Samardzija and his
    future with the organization.”

    I think somebody has finally characterized all of this correctly.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    My tweet:

    hoping to catch lightning in a bottle: sign Mat Gamel to minor lg.
    deal. Missed most all of 2012-13 with knee inj. LH/Big pop.
    (former top 50 prospect)… 28 years old.