OK – I get it. The holiday season is ticking away, Braves fans that are also Star Wars nuts have already seen the latest installment of the series multiple times, and most Braves fans everywhere are getting antsy for another addition. I’ll admit I’m guilty of being a bit overzealous and getting the cart before the horse as well – still looking for every possible way to upgrade the 2017 roster in the hopes that the team can be “in the mix” as late as the non-waiver trade deadline if not later. The thing is, I’m not John Coppolella – and the best course of action at this point is probably for him to heed Yoda’s advice.
Posted in 2016 Postseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2017 Offseason, Free-Agent Rumors, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets, Uncategorized
Tagged Aaron Blair, Atlanta Braves, Bartolo Colon, Chris Archer, Chris Sale, Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, Jaime Garcia, John Coppolella, Jonathon Lucroy, Jose Quintana, Julio Teheran, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Matt Kemp, Matt Wisler, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Moustakas, Nick Markakis, Ozhaino Albies, Patrick Weigel, R. A. Dickey, Sean Newcomb, Sean Rodriguez
Just doing a little daydreaming on the eve of Hot Stove season, and expanding on some minor moves suggested by the guys on XM’s Inside Pitch (Casey Stern and Brad Lidge) this afternoon. After they both pushed the long-rumored trade for Brian McCann, they went on to say that they thought signing Justin Turner would be a great move (even though he was given a Qualifying Offer by the Dodgers today). After pondering the fact that the Braves’ first round pick next summer is protected and dreaming on how much those moves would further improve Atlanta’s offense, I can’t say that I’d disagree.
Of course if John Coppolella & Company would consider giving up a draft pick and something of value to add that kind of offense, you have to imagine that they’d go even further and try to put a truly competitive team on the field to open Suntrust Park next spring, so they’d have to go even further – but could that be done without mortgaging the future???
I think it could, and here’s how…
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Draft, 2016 Postseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2017 Offseason, Free-Agent Rumors, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Minter, Aaron Blair, Adonis Garcia, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Braves' Rotation, Austin Riley, Brad Lidge, Brian McCann, Casey Stern, Chase d'Arnaud, Chris Ellis, Chris Withrow, Dansby Swanson, Drew Smyly, Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, Gwinnett Braves, Ian Anderson, Ian Krol, Jace Peterson, Jason Hammel, Jeff Todd, Joey Wentz, John Gant, Jose Ramirez, Josh Collmenter, Julio Teheran, Justin Turner, Kelly Johnson, Kolby Allard, Kyle Muller, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Matt Kemp, Matt Wisler, Mauricio Cabrera, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, MLB Trade Rumors, Nick Markakis, Ozhaino Albies, Paco Rodriguez, Rio Ruiz, Sean Newcomb, Shae Simmons, Steve Adams, Tim Dierkes, Touki Toussaint, Travis Demeritte, Tyler Flowers, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez
Following the latest bombshell to hit the already thin 2017 MLB free-agent market. maybe it really is time for the Braves to explore just what kind of return they could legitimately expect for Teheran and his VERY team-friendly deal.
Posted in Free-Agent Rumors, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Puk, Aaron Blair, Alex Bregman, Andrew Cashner, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Carlos Correa, Carlos Gomez, Chris Tillman, Colby Rasmus, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, Dansby Swanson, David Price, Doug Fister, Dylan Bundy, Edinson Volquez, Ender Inciarte, Francisco Cervelli, Freddie Freeman, George Springer, Gio Gonzalez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Houston Astros, Jaime Garcia, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzija, John Gant, John Lackey, Johnny Cueto, Jon Lester, Jon Niese, Jordan Zimmerman, Jose Altuve, Julio Teheran, Kansas City Royals, Kevin Gausman, Kolby Allard, Lance McCullers, Lucas Sims, Luis Valbuena, Madison Bumgarner, Mallex Smith, Matt Moore, Matt Wisler, Max Fried, Max Scherzer, Mike Fiers, Mike Foltynewicz, Ozhaino Albies, R. A. Dickey, San Francisco Giants, Scott Boras, Sean Newcomb, Seattle Mariners, Sonny Gray, Stephen Strasburg, Taijuan Walker, Tyrell Jenkins, Vincent Velasquez, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Greinke
So I’ve been hearing from a lot of Braves’ fans recently who say they’re still amazed that the team’s brass still contends that the team can be competitive, and much sooner than many people think. John Schuerholz was quoted as saying that could even be as early as late-2016, and that could be accomplished WITHOUT altering “The Plan”.
Is that REALLY out of the question??? I certainly don’t believe so. The current MLB payroll stands at ~$95 million, leaving somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-$25 million to spend without expanding the budget if the $120 million max figure John Hart referenced last winter is truly the cap. This winter’s free-agent market has collapsed for several useful pieces the organization could bring in on short-term deals that could both substantially improve the big club’s roster AND leave clear paths to playing time for the impressive youngsters when they’re “ready”.
“Yeah, sure.” many will say, but it really isn’t out of the realm of possibility IF “The Johns” really wanted to be more relevant, and here’s a few ideas about how…
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Offseason, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors, Hector Olivera, John Copollela Trades, John Hart Trades
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Aaron Blair, Adonis Garcia, Bud Norris, Dexter Fowler, Eloy Jimenez, Ender Inciarte, Erick Aybar, Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Ian Desmond, Jace Peterson, Jason Heyward, Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Jorge Soler, Julio Teheran, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Mat Latos, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, Ryan Weber, Tyler Flowers, Tyrell Jenkins, Willson Contreras, Yoenis Cespedes
New years always seem to lead to new ideas and new hope. While the clock was counting down on 2015, it suddenly occurred to me that the Braves could very quietly sneak in and top off their winter by adding a seemingly forgotten player that could not only inexpensively bolster the team’s offense over the next couple of seasons while also bridging the gap to the future with a move I hadn’t yet considered. The addition of new CF Ender Inciarte (coming over from Arizona in the Shelby Miller trade) should help, but he doesn’t bring the skillset to generate lots of runs on his own.
There’s little doubt the team needs to improve substantially on the offensive side of the game if it hopes to keep from flirting with a 100-loss 2016 campaign. The most obvious “hole” the team has is a 20-25 HR power source (preferably right-handed) to slot behind Freddie Freeman in the lineup. The 2015 Braves finished 30th in runs per game (3.54 – .24/game less than the Marlins), 30th in runs (573 – 40 fewer than the Marlins), and 30th in HRs (100 – 20 less than the Marlins). While the obvious “quick fix” is still available on the free-agent market in the form of a Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes, those players will require substantial long-term commitments in both years (5+) and dollars (likely in excess of $100 million).
Since the organization doesn’t appear to be keen on the idea of bringing someone in at those levels, here’s one option that I feel could help quite a bit without being a power guy…
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Offseason, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Aaron Blair, Adonis Garcia, Andrelton Simmons, Ben Zobrist, Daniel Murphy, Dansby Swanson, Emilio Bonifacio, Ender Inciarte, Erick Aybar, Freddie Freeman, Gordon Beckham, Hector Olivera, Howie Kendrick, Jace Peterson, Jhoulys Chacin, John Schuerholz, Julio Teheran, Justin Upton, Kyle Kendrick, Lucas Sims, Manny Banuelos, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Neil Walker, Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, Omar Infante, Ozhaino Albies, Sean Newcomb, Starlin Castro, Terry McGuirk, Tyler Flowers, Tyrell Jenkins, Yoenis Cespedes
The news about the trade Braves’ Nation has been waiting for since word first began to leak out last winter that the organization was considering a retooling/reloading/rebuilding period began to circulate around 8:15 eastern Tuesday night. Speculation about whether the Braves would trade Shelby Miller has been all over the place for the last 10 days or so, and grew louder and louder once teams began to see what the going rate for higher-end Pitchers was on the free-agent market following the David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman, and Jeff Samardzija signings.
Ken Rosenthal broke the news that Atlanta had agreed to send Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB Tonight telecast on the MLB Network moments after news that the Cubs had agreed to terms with another of the most sought-after players known to be available in Nashville this week – super-utility whiz and 2015 World Series hero Ben Zobrist – but his sources had not yet confirmed the pieces the Braves would be getting in return. Soon after, analysts and pundits alike were stunned to find out exactly how much some clubs value what I’ve been talking about since the rebuild began – young, high-end, controllable starting pitching.
While one can argue that the deal made sense for an Arizona club that appears to be “all-in” for the next couple of seasons, it’s hard not to look at the return as a HUGE win in the long run for the Braves…
Posted in 2016 Offseason, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets, Uncategorized
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Aaron Blair, Adonis Garcia, Andrelton Simmons, Bud Norris, Dansby Swanson, David Price, Ender Inciarte, Erick Aybar, Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Jace Peterson, Jason Heyward, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Walden, Jordan Zimmerman, Julio Teheran, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Markakis, Ryan Weber, Scott Kazmir, Sean Newcomb, Shelby Miller, Tyler Flowers, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Zack Greinke
Given the increased interest in Shelby Miller, one tried and true adage rings true yet again – inexpensive, controllable starting pitching remains the most valuable commodity in MLB. Following the news that David Price signed with the Red Sox, Zack Greinke is likely to decide between the Dodgers and Giants this week, and Johnny Cueto and the Diamondbacks were at least pretty close to a deal, the huge perceived surplus of “available” SPs may well become a huge hole by the time the winter meetings begin this Sunday in Nashville. The speed surrounding this “change in the winds” has been pretty remarkable, even during the MLB hot stove season. Miller has suddenly become the hottest name being discussed in baseball circles tonight, roughly 12 months after many Braves fans screamed about how bad the return for Jason Heyward was when they landed Miller (and Tyrell Jenkins for one year of Heyward’s services when they had almost no hope of keeping their homegrown (and hometown) phenom.
So the question of the night is this – knowing there’s almost zero chance you can put a seriously competitive product on the field in 2016 (and possibly 2017 as well) and you may well be able to plug every current hole in the system you;ve been charged with rebuilding with players who will be ready by late 2017 or early 2018 at the latest, would you be willing to suffer the fans’ wrath if you could trade Miller, Julio Teheran, and Freddie Freeman and do that if you were in John Coppolella’s shoes?
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Offseason, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Reed, David Price, Daz Cameron, Forrest Wall, Freddie Freeman, Jeimer Candelario, John Coppolella, Johnny Cueto, Julio Teheran, Kyle Tucker, Michael Feliz, Ryan McMahon, Shelby Miller, Willson Contreras, Zack Greinke