Aug 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) and second baseman Dan Uggla (26) talk on the bases during a pitching change by the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Marlins 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Still Have Time To Make The Right Move


We’ve covered the 2013 offseason for the Atlanta Braves numerous times over the past couple weeks with a pretty inactive period of time.  Departures of Tim Hudson and Brian McCann have overshadowed the additions of Gavin Floyd and Ryan Doumit.

Still with those two new Braves and a couple other names not mentioned fans expected to see more heading out of the December month.

I still think the Braves have time to help their roster….

Dan Uggla has been on the tip of everyones tongue in referencing a replacement for the Braves heading into the 2014 season.  And just because Frank Wren didn’t pull off a spectacular move in the Winter Meetings, lots of moves still occur after the new year.

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels pretty much made it official the day after the season ended that Howie Kendrick is on the market for a trade.  Kendrick’s slash line in 2013 was .297/.335/.439 and Mr. Dan Uggla‘s was .179/.309/.362, just a little worse….

The Angels are looking for young pitching in exchange for Howie and the Braves have this.

Kendrick was good for a 2.7 fWAR in 2013 and is a player that can be trusted at the 2nd base position.

This is just an option that is floating out there that I’m sure Wren is looking at.  It was rumored earlier that the Braves did try to reach out to the Angels but nothing else came from it.  Maybe another phone call would be nice.

Uggla had arguably the worst season of his career in 2013, which ended with him not even on the Braves postseason roster.  Fredi Gonzalez felt more confident with long time utility man Elliot Johnson.

People claim that some of Uggla’s struggles were from eye issues as he received laser eye surgery late in the season.  When he came back, nothing changed.  And after two consecutive down seasons, the 34 year old seems to not be on the incline.

It would be great to include Dan Uggla in this trade, for the Braves and for Dan.  I think a change in atmosphere could do him well.

What could the Braves offer for Kendrick?

Braves won’t include top prospect Lucas Sims, so rule him out.

J.R. Graham in my book is out for this trade.  He’s 2nd on Tomahawk Take’s prospect list and once fully healthy should have a really good year.

Jason Hursh is a highly ranked (3rd on our list) pitcher for the Braves that could be available.  Hursh plus Uggla could be something the Angels could be in favor of.

Mauricio Cabrera is a 20 year old pitcher who hasn’t reached higher than A ball but he’s someone ranked high (5th on our list)

Cody Martin pitched in Mississippi and Gwinnett last season going 6-7 with a 3.16 ERA.  He could be ready for MLB pitching by mid season next year or 2015.

David Hale is another MLB ready pitcher but I’m not sure the Braves would be willing to part ways with this guy.

The Braves do have young pitching in their minor league system that they could part ways with if they feel Howie Kendrick could help the team.  Personally, I feel he would.  It’s now up to Wren to be the good negotiator in making this work.

 

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  • fireboss

    The Angels are looking for a major league ready starter or multiple pitching prospects for Kendrick. The Angels (mostly Kendrick) were 4th in OPS at second in the AL and 6th in MLB – Kendrick’s personal numbers were just a touch higher. Defensive DRS says he’s wasn’t that great last year but is usually worth a couple and UZR makes him an above average defender. He also played some first base and outfield for the Angels and projects as a 2 – 3 WAR player. So at 30 years old their asking price isn’t high nor is his salary out of range. However Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said the team is not interested in moving Kendrick (MLB.com 12-10-13) so they would have to be convinced. With La Stella close, who are you willing to give them remembering that they now have to be convinced to trade.

    • Matthew Jones

      Agreed, I think the Angels would want Beachy or Medlen plus Uggla and some of his salary covered. As we’ve said before this offseason, Uggla’s going to likely be our starting 2B this coming season. It’ll certainly be Uggla indeed.

    • rick staley

      What about Hale and Varvaro (or better yet, Gearrin) ?

      • fireboss

        They want prospects or major league ready arms that project as starters and remember the idea of a trade is that both teams get fair value. If the Angels offered you a fifth starter prospect and two middle relievers for an inexpensive, controllable 3 WAR middle infielder who can play first and outfield as well would you make the deal?

        • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

          They also need a starter NOW… not just a projectable guy. It would probably take sending Uggs, Joey T (3rd/4th OF, plus backup insurance for Pujols since Trumbo is gone) AND a pitcher (Hale). I just don’t think I do that. The alternative is LaStella goes instead of Joey T (he plays 2nd/Uggs becomes a DH), and that’s a worse option since you lose 6 years of control on your best minor league hitter.

          But in general, I just don’t see blocking La Stella for 2 more years… whether he’s blocked by Uggla or Kendrick.

        • rick staley

          I’m not Moreno either, but I understand your point. I would have never given Albert half the length of his contract, let alone the money. His legs have been risky since 2008. Thus, Moreno is iffy at best when evaluating his acquisition expertise.

          Beachy is the only starter I would consider dealing if I was Wren. Beachy, Gearrin, and Pastornicky for Kendrick. If Moreno really wants Tanaka, in order to do so he will unload Kendrick’s salary…imho.

          Terdo needs packaged to a team that needs an OF/1B that can use his switch hitting prowess and multiple positions to strengthen their bench. But his moving needs to be done at deadline if Bravos can’t get him AB’s to stay sharp. Young hitters need PA’s.

          • Matt Talbert

            Rick gotta disagree with you about Beachy, the only way I’d move Beachy is if they have something else in the works for say Price or Tanaka. No way Beachy might be our best arm (ace) when he gets going.

          • rick staley

            Thats cool. But our best starter over last 40+ starts is either Minor or Medlen. Beachy was good prior to getting injured at that Nats game in ’12 (where Pastornicky’s glove showed serious flaws, and Freddi’s move to bring in the soft tossin’ Cuban Hernandez proved fatal to Bravos chances of victory) but has not had but 5 starts due to injury since.

            Beachy has the “if” factor attached to him due to his injury woes, and as a result becomes a risky slot in rotation. If Wren wants to deal from strength without making the current and future rotation weaker, I feel he or Hale are the only SP’s that should be considered…imho.

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  • Matt Talbert

    I would give up Hale and Uggla quickly for him.

    • fireboss

      Yea but that won’t do it. They have no use for Uggla at all and will want pitching so Hale + another pitcher minimum to get them to listen.

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

        I would personally be willing to trade Uggs and perhaps one of our top pitching prospects (lower down the rung) for Howie, but I doubt the Braves would be.

        • Jeff Schafer

          As would I and I think the Angels would consider Uggla. He could be used for a DH role if they wanted or a power 2b. He still hit over 20 home runs last year and actually had a good OBP but Braves fans are just tired of his low BA

          • fireboss

            With Pujols and Hamilton needing to rotate through the DH slot and Raul Ibanez signed for the rest of the time they have little use for Uggla. he’s a defensive liability and that wouldn’t fit in Scoscia’s plans. they want pitching, pitching and pitching.

      • cothjrr24

        If they traded Kendrick, they would need a 2nd baseman. They have Taylor Lindsey who had a breakout year at AA and another potential 2nd baseman in the pipeline. However, unless pushed, they are at least a year away.

        • fireboss

          They have Grant Green who has a good glove and the scouting reports say is a good contact hitter. He played 40 games there with a 720 ops last season. No pop but with trout, hamilton, pujols and Freese in the lineup they just need him to get on base which he’s done at nearly a 390 clip his whole minor league career.

          • cothjrr24

            Grant Green’s Minor League OBP is .354, a far cry from .390. In fact, he’s never had a .390 OBP in a full year. Also, he’s had the benefit of playing in the PCL the past 2 years, a league notorious for inflating offensive numbers. I will say that he is much better than what I remembered him being and that I also agree with Uggla doesn’t really seem to be a fit for the Angels.
            In my opinion, 2 realistic landing spots for Uggla: Brewers, Orioles.

    • rick staley

      How’s everything going Matt? Hope your family had a safe and Merry Christmas! Tried to shout at you the other day but I obviously failed to properly post. Good to see you on this site.

      I agree with you that Hale & Uggla would be included, but I also agree with Fred that another pitching prospect needs to be included. I would prefer to see that individual be Gearrin. He’s back in the organization, but he makes me nervous because he has a tendency to either walk one too many or toss a flat, hanging slider in the middle of the zone.

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  • cothjrr24

    Kendrick is cheaper and better than Uggla. If the price is right, I’d say yes and I’d ship both Hale and Uggla to them without batting an eye. Hale is a classic case of selling-high. After 2 great starts at the Major League level, his mediocre Minor League numbers may be masked just enough for a good fleecing. Sure, Hale had a 3.22 ERA at Gwinnett through 114 innings, but his K-Rate dropped, he had 9 “unearned” runs compared to 41 earned runs, and his WHIP was almost 1.4. Selling-high and selling low to get a decent player for cheaper than the sell-low candidate? I’m down.

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

      I like too! Few have thrown Hale’s name around as a good candidate, but while I liked how he stepped up with the big club when called upon, I think most knowledgeable fans see him for what he is, at best a 5th type starter. That’s my opinion of course, but Hale could provide some solid help for the Angels at some point, if not right away.

  • cothjrr24

    Another trade idea would be Terdoslavich and Uggla for Rickie Weeks. Weeks, when healthy, is a very good player but he’ll likely not be healthy considering all of his surgeries and ailments the past few years. Also, the biggest part of his game, speed, is likely over. Weeks costs 11 million in ’14 and has a vesting option for 11.5 in ’15 if he reaches 600 PA in ’14. Unless he has a very successful and healthy year, he’d never see 600 PA in a Braves uniform. However, if he did, I’d be willing to bet that the 11.5 million would be considered a bargain for the Braves. If not, the Braves are off the hook for Uggla and Week’s salaries in ’15 and could use that money for extensions for the young ‘uns. The plus side of this trade resides in 3 truths:
    1. If Weeks is healthy and produces, he’s a steal at 11 million and 11.5 in ’15.
    2. If Weeks doesn’t produce, he only costs 11 million contrary to Uggla who would cost 26 million
    3. If Weeks doesn’t produce, the Braves still have a combination of La Stella, Pastornicky, and Pena that can provide value to 2nd base.
    The throw-in in this trade would be Terdoslavich. The Brewers are desperate for a 1st baseman and Terdo needs regular ABs to prove/disprove himself at the Major League level. The Brewers are one of the only teams that I’m aware of that could provide those ABs. Heck, they ran out Fat Juan and Yuniesky Betancourt last year. They combined for a sub-.700 OPS. Yikes!

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

      I like Terdo’s trade value, especially since he’s a man without a real home right now. He’s played exceptionally well this winter, making somewhat of a statement. My concern would be Weeks. You’re right that he’s a good get if he’s healthy, and he’s just a few years removed from a stellar performance, so you know he’s got the talent. As you say though, major league questions about his health.

      • cothjrr24

        I guess the trade would have to be weighed on a “worst-case/best case scenario” scale:

        Scenario 1- Best Case- If the Braves don’t trade Uggla, they’ll likely have to start him at 2nd. If he performs well, he could be traded in the last year of his contract.
        Scenario 1- Worst Case- If the Braves don’t trade Uggla, they’ll likely have to start him at 2nd. If he performs poorly, he’ll likely be released at mid-season, with the Braves eating the rest of the salary owed to him (19.5 million)..

        Scenario 2- Best Case- If the Braves trade Uggla for Weeks, they’ll likely start Weeks at 2nd. If he performs well, they have an 11.5m vesting option for ’15, or a great trade chip for ’15.
        Scenario 2- Worst Case- If the Braves trade Uggla for Weeks, they’ll likely start Weeks at 2nd. If he performs poorly, they’ll likely have to release him at mid-season, eating the rest of the salary owed to him (5.75 million).

        So, given the worst case/best case scenarios between the 2, and knowing that the imagined trade will cost Terdoslavich, which scenario do you prefer? I still like scenario 2.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Please no…. I would honestly rather see Uggla back than to have Weeks out there.

      • cothjrr24

        In the trade scenario, the question isn’t necessarily just Weeks vs Uggla, but the flexibility of what acquiring Weeks would mean: if he sucks, cut him and you only pay him for one year. If he doesn’t, pick up his option and either trade him/start him. The cost of doing nothing combined with Uggla sucking is 26 million. The cost of acquiring Weeks and Weeks doing nothing is only 11.5 million.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    I still think Baltimore.