Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
NL Notes: Reds, Arroyo, Braves, Giants, Phillies
- The Braves are not interested in Arroyo, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. They would prefer a starting pitcher with better stuff, O’Brien says.
- One player the Braves do like is sidearmer Luis Vasquez, who they recently signed to a minor-league contract, O’Brien writes. “He’s [Peter] Moylan plus five miles an hour,” says GM Frank Wren. “Moylan at his best was probably 92, and this is 94, 97 routinely. It’s definitely a different look.” Vasquez, who will be 28 in April, posted a 2.52 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 7.1 BB/9 in 35 2/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013. Clearly, he’ll have to improve his control to make an impact in the Majors.
Best Potential Trade Packages and Landing Spots for Braves Closer Craig Kimbrel
[Editorial Note: Again, and not to brag, but we were talking about this way back in November. We weren't the first, but I find it amazing some of the big network people are only now talking this up.]
The very thought of trading Craig Kimbrel can’t help but rile up Atlanta Braves fans.
Although it’s not necessarily even an actual rumor, the concept of trading baseball’s best closer—as suggested recently by Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription required) merely as speculation—is just the kind of proposition that is, in a word, divisive.
So take a borderline unhittable 25-year-old closer with a whopping 138 saves the past three seasons and an ERA of 1.39, a WHIP of 0.90 and a strikeout rate of 15.1 for his career…and make him available?
To be clear, this is simply a possible scenario that the Braves could—and maybe, just maybe, should—consider. For a few reasons.
Take, for example, Kimbrel’s salary, which is about to skyrocket from $655,000 in 2013 to a projection somewhere in the range of $7-$8 million for 2014—that’s a tenfold increase—now that he’s eligible for his first go at arbitration.
Phillies vs. Braves: Whose offseason has been worse?
The Braves were a scary team in 2013, expected to duel the Nationals right down to the wire, only they didn’t have to, because Washington’s World Series run ended around July.
Once more, Atlanta faltered in the playoffs’ first round, and you would think that this would be enough to singe their young, talented roster with white hot determination. And maybe it did. But their silence as offseason deals are struck elsewhere is concerning.
Brian McCann, the team disciplinarion, as well as every other team’s self-appointed disciplinarian, has piled up 23.5 WAR for the Braves in his nine year career. Seven of his nine seasons saw him at the All-Star Game, and five of them ended with him holding a Silver Slugger. At 29, he was old enough to provide a veteran example, and young enough not to be deemed “old,” even for a catcher in baseball, guys who age about three to five times faster than normal humans.
Tim Hudson, who at 38 years old signed a deal with the Giants this winter, reliably kept his ERA under 4.00 for most of nine seasons in Atlanta. His departure leaves the Braves with a spot to fill in the rotation, though their farm system seems fertile enough to sprout a young hurler any day now.
It’s the idea that two chunks of productivity were yanked off the roster, and the Braves’ response has been to maybe – unsuccessfully – draw up some interest in Dan Uggla. Free agents are flying off the board, and the Braves will have to do more than “nothing” to keep pace with the vigilant Nationals.
Planned Braves stadium move highlights race, class
[Editorial Note: I hate to perpetuate certain myths by continuing to reference these stories, but we aim to be fair at Tomahawk Take. The reference to this story's contention as myth is my own opinion, and not necessarily those of Tomahawk Take, Fansided, or any other writer or Editor.]
ATLANTA (AP) — For the Braves, abandoning downtown Atlanta for the suburbs means moving closer to the team’s fan base and developing money-making restaurants and amenities.
Team officials say it’s simply good business.
Their decision also highlights long-standing disparities over wealth, where people live and transportation. Those facets of life are connected to race and social class in Atlanta. The Braves will be moving from an area that’s predominantly black and relatively poor compared to whiter Cobb County — where the team says more ticket-buyers live.
Although it is long past segregation, the hometown of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King is far from integrated, and the city’s politics, business and even sports teams reflect that gap. The Braves said they made their decision was not driven by race or class.