Fredi G. On Youth, Extensions, and Chances At Redemption

A flux of great quotes from Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell made their way onto Twitter today courtesy of Andrew Hirsch, sportswriter for the Forsyth County News. Andrew did an excellent job providing the information that helps answer a lot of questions that many (myself included) still currently have.

Uggla’s In, But For How Long?


So there you have it folks; Dan Uggla will be, barring any injury or too good to be true trade, the Braves starting second baseman entering the 2014 season.  I have long felt this was going to be the situation, and was unfazed by any Brandon Phillips or Howie Kendrick rumors.  Uggla will be given another shot, and maybe the presence of 2B prospect Tommy LaStella in Spring Training will be a good motivation tool.

Faith in B.J. Upton:

Fredi went where very few try to go and defended his center fielder.  Then again, no one else is paid to play him.  But hindsight is 20/20(much like the player we hope B.J. to be) and everyone in Braves Country should focus on what Upton as a player brings to the table, not his horrific 2013.

On McCann’s Departure:

Fredi shares the views of many of us Braves fans.  While some view it as heresy for a Brave to sign with the Yankees, Brian McCann was going to be paid an extreme amount of money by someone that the Braves could and would not match.  The Yankees just happened to need a catcher.  I myself believe he did what any reasonable person would do, and I wish the best of luck for McCann and his family in New York.  I know I’d bet on that pull power in New Yankee Stadium

On McCann’s Successor:

We’ve heard this one quite a few times from different publications.

Ryan Doumit; Professional Pinch Hitter:

Much to what is sure to be Alan’s enjoyment (and my own), Fredi has confirmed Ryan Doumit will primarily be a pinch hitter. Many, including myself, pondered briefly why the Braves would acquire yet another catcher, but after Alan’s article, it became increasingly clear that Fredi just wanted the switch hitting version of new Chicago Cubs first base coach Eric Hinske.

The Pending Return of Eric O’Flaherty:

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman followed up this report in a response to a question in his latest mailbag article. It seems that Eric O’Flahrety is torn between returning to his comfort zone on a one year deal in attempt to re-enter the free agent market strong next offseason and taking the luxury of multi-year security now for likely less money. It leaves you a little questionable of where O’Flahrety is at with his rehab and if he will be on time enough to make a difference in 2014. I made my case for why a one year reunion would be beneficial to both sides a couple of months ago.

Not Paying For An Ace:

That pretty much puts the final nail in an already air tight coffin that is David Price or Max Scherzer trade talks, as likely either of those trades would need to come with an extension. Elsewhere in the world today, David Price got $14MM for his second arbitration year, and just yesterday the Dodgers made Clayton Kershaw the most expensive pitcher ever. Any Price deal is likely to only be for two very expensive seasons. The Braves niche for sometime has been to develop good young starting pitching, and will likely continue to be, especially for the near future.

The Braves like their guns and are sticking to them.

Dark Days Soon to Be on the Horizon:

As expected, seemingly superhuman closer Craig Kimbrel and star in the making outfielder Jason Heyward are going year to year in arbitration, and seem likely to eventually depart via free agency come 2016. The Braves will likely turn their attention to players like Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons, and even pitcher Mike Minor, with extension offers to create some cost certainty that the Braves are sorely missing this offseason.

Beachy Healthy, Ready To Start:

In the last bit of major news, Fredi confirmed that starting pitcher Brandon Beachy is healthy and will be ready to start spring training. This is very good news, and basically solidifies the Opening Day rotation(barring any injuries) of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Beachy.

Some Interesting Tidbits Before I Go

I have to admit that was a brutal move to make on his long time manager.





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Tags: Braves Fredi Gonzalez Interview Roger McDowell

  • Matthew Jones

    I’m not the kind of guy who’s a worry wart when it comes to the Braves, but I’m a bit worried at the direction that this team could take in about three to five years. Having lived through the last years of the worst team in baseball in the 80s, this is more or less what they did in the early 80s to become that team. Sadly, I don’t know what the Braves can do to change anything other than hope they can continue to produce great pitching that leads to good (and inexpensive) trades that will continue to produce winning teams. I just am worried that with the changing landscape of finances in baseball, the Braves will slip. Ideas/thoughts appreciated as always.

    • fireboss

      Teams will either adapt to the way the league and teams are evolving or sink into the basement and have to fight their way out. I was chided for suggesting that it would take 5 @ 20 to keep Heyward but if you look at the price paid for Kershaw and talk of up to 25-30 a year for Trout, Stanton, and the rest and look at what we just gave a man who can’t clean Heyward’s locker out it’s easy to see where the market is going. teams unable to afford it will have to devise ways of competing. I don’t see either happening but I keep looking and hoping

  • fireboss

    Mark Bowman reported the offer to Heyward and Freeman last year. the rest is Fredi being optimistic for the fans and spinning the company line.

  • carpengui

    *whew* – dodged that one (#Doumit)