So here we are on the last Saturday of November, recovered (or recovering) from our turkey comas and hoping we can find SOME way to eventually pay off the credit card bills that we (and/or our significant others) ran up Thursday evening and yesterday on Black Friday (while also still trying to figure out what the name for Thursday’s portion of that will be referred to as one day). Like millions of folks this time of year, I began compiling my Christmas wish list yesterday. I only made it to number one before my head began to spin as much as my stomach after jotting down the same item that always seems to top the list – another Braves’ Championship. Taking the afternoon off may or may not have been such a good idea since it gave me time to think about how to make that wish come true, sooner rather than later – and WITHOUT compromising the organization’s rebuilding/reloading/restocking process.
When taking into account the most recent rumors making the rounds as well as trying to line things up with the organization’s stated goal of becoming competitive again by the time 2017 rolls around, it’s tough to see that happening without another drastic trade or two given the current group of players available via free-agency and the one presumably available next winter. Braves’ Chairman Terry McGuirk has been recently quoted as saying that payroll will increase substantially beginning in January of 2017, but unless several prospects’ timelines move up quite a bit (threatening to hurt their development), there will still be holes that can’t be filled simply by “buying” players. So…
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, Uncategorized
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Adonis Garcia, Arodys Vizcaino, Baltimore Orioles, Bartolo Colon, Brian Matusz, Bud Norris, Chris Withrow, Chris Young, Christian Bethancourt, Colorado Rockies, Daniel Castro, Daniel Winkler, David Carpenter, Dustin Peterson, Erick Aybar, Eury Perez, Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Ian Krol, Jace Peterson, Jason Garcia, Jason Grilli, Jason Heyward, Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco, Johan Camargo, John Coppolella, John Hart, John Schuerholz, Jon Gray, Julio Teheran, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Mat Latos, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, Nomar Mazara, Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Ciriaco, Ryan McMahon, Ryan Weber, Sean Newcomb, Shae Simmons, Shelby Miller, Stephen Strasburg, Texas Rangers, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez
So we’ve now heard Coppy vent a little after Ken Rosenthal’s sources set the baseball world on it’s ear by telling him that Freddie Freeman’s not only NOT “untouchable”, but the fact that he was imminently “available” and which prospects he would cost had been the talk of the Arizona Fall League scouts lately. Coppy has now told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in no uncertain terms that not only is that strictly Hot Stove talk, but going so far as to say…
“I cannot make it any more clear: We are not trading Freddie Freeman. We are not. I’d give my right arm before we trade Freddie Freeman. It is not happening.”
There are still plenty of doubters – even segments of Braves’ Nation, and that’s understandable given the purge of players over the last 12 months as the front office goes about rebuilding the pipeline in an effort to set the franchise up for another extended run of success. While he could stand to polish up his interview protocol, it’s tough to blame him (or any of the other members of the front office for that matter) for being a bit frustrated with the way things have gone so far this offseason.
Posted in 2016 Offseason, Free-Agent Rumors, John Hart Trades, Trade Targets, Uncategorized
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Adonis Garcia, Brandon Phillips, Cameron Maybin, Chris Ellis, Christian Bethancourt, Daniel Castro, Erick Aybar, Evan Gattis, Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Ian Kennedy, Jace Peterson, Jason Heyward, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, John Coppolella, Justin Upton, Kolby Allard, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Matt Wisler, Max Fried, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Leake, Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, Ozhaino Albies, Rio Ruiz, Ryan Weber, Scott Kazmir, Sean Newcomb, Todd Frazier, Touki Toussaint, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez
Another great pitching matchup, another brutal loss added to Shelby Miller’s resume – Miller wasn’t as sharp as he’s been at times during what should be deemed his breakout season, but he was once again much better than the results will reflect after Andrelton Simmons (of all unexpected people) put him behind the 8 ball with a couple boots last night. I really do think it’s time to shut him down in an effort to try to preserve some semblance of sanity following what has to rank up there with the unluckiest seasons for a SP of all time, but that’s not why we’re here today.
This column is another in our series looking to consider directions John Hart & Company could go this winter as they begin to step on the gas and return the big club to relevance by the time SunTrust Park opens in 2017. Even with the great strides they’ve taken to revamp the minor league system, the rebuild won’t be truly “complete” until they make the team a contender again. There are always several ways to do that, but to this point we’ve been investigating the trade route to do so and hopefully lessen the chance that the organization picks the wrong guy and is hamstrung by another B. J./Melvin Upton-like BAD free-agent contract. Of course we also all know that throwing money at someone to fill a position of need is also the best route to keep all the potential future valuable pieces they’ve stockpiled thus far, so we’re going to see what doing exactly that might look like this week.
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Adonis Garcia, Andrelton Simmons, Andrew Thurman, B. J. Upton, Brett Anderson, Cameron Maybin, Chris Withrow, Christian Bethancourt, Craig Kimbrel, Dan Uggla, Daniel Castro, Daniel Winkler, Danny Burawa, Doug Fister, Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Ian Kennedy, Jace Peterson, Jaime Garcia, Jason Grilli, John Gant, Julio Teheran, Kyle Kinman, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Mat Latos, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, Paco Rodriguez, Rob Whalen, Ryan Weber, Shae Simmons, Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Yoenis Cespedes
Thankfully the team FINALLY gets the medication it needed – cheese steaks and a strong start from one of the kids – and the long losing streak is over. This gives Braves’ Nation a chance to catch its collective breath and back away from the edge – even if only for a day or two. Since we all get a chance to wake up with the sun shining and good thoughts for at least one morning, I thought this might be a good time to kick around another potential offseason fix for John Hart & Company to ponder this winter. Our last look was an approach to “fixing” the OF while adding some offense, and this entry will look to address that situation as well.
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, John Hart Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Adonis Garcia, Albert Almora, Andrelton Simmons, Andrew McKirahan, Andrew Thurman, Billy McKinney, Brett Anderson, Brian Johnson, Cameron Maybin, Chris Withrow, Christian Bethancourt, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Winkler, Danny Burawa, David Price, Dexter Fowler, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Hanley Ramirez, Hector Olivera, Henry Owens, Jace Peterson, Jaime Garcia, Jason Grilli, Jeff Samardzija, John Gant, Johnny Cueto, Jonathon Lucroy, Jonathon Morales, Jordan Zimmerman, Julio Teheran, Justin Upton, Kyle Kinman, Lucas Herbert, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz, Mookie Betts, Nick Swisher, Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Ciriaco, Rio Ruiz, Rob Whalen, Rusney Castillo, Ryan Braun, Ryan Lavarnway, Shae Simmons, Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Willson Contreras, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Greinke
As the 2015 season winds down after the trading deadlines have passed, more and more of us begin looking at potential offseason moves we’d like to see happen. Here’s a look at one that seems to make sense for John Hart to consider as he and his staff continue to find ways to very quickly return the Braves to relevance before the team moves into SunTrust Park at the beginning of the 2017 season.
Hart & Company have achieved the vast majority of their goals thus far, having completely rebuilt the farm system in almost no time, and (almost as amazingly) created plenty of financial flexibility to add important players that are better fits through several shrewd trades. Now it’s time to finish the job and go get those final important pieces to make the franchise a contender and complete one of the most impressive “makeovers” in recent memory.
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, Free-Agent Rumors, John Hart Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Andrew McKirahan, Andrew Thurman, Arodys Vizcaino, Austin Riley, Braxton Davidson, Chris Johnson, Chris Withrow, Christian Bethancourt, Connor Lien, Daniel Castro, David Price, Derian Cruz, Eury Perez, Jason Grilli, John Gant, Johnny Cueto, Jonathon Lucroy, Jordan Zimmerman, Juan Yepez, Julio Teheran, Kelly Johnson, Kyle Kinman, Lucas Herbert, Lucas Sims, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz, Ozhaino Albies, Paco Rodriguez, Rio Ruiz, Rob Whalen, Ryan Braun, Shae Simmons, Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Zack Greinke