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
Here’s a quick look at where the organization stands prior to what could be a busy week during the rebuild. Even if the Braves aren’t particularly active on the trade market, we could be getting closer to some veterans being released to provide opportunities for some of the youngsters to get their feet wet at the MLB level with an eye towards Opening Day 2017 at SunTrust Park. This is not a reflection of our Midseason Top 30 Prospects which will be unveiled following the deadline.
Posted in 2015 Midseason Top 30 Prospects, 2015 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, 2016 Draft, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects
Tagged A. J. Minter, A. J. Pierzynski, Aaron Blair, Abrahan Gutierrez, Adonis Garcia, Anthony Concepcion, Anthony Recker, Atlanta Braves, Austin Riley, Brandon Snyder, Braxton Davidson, Brett Cumberland, Caleb Dirks, Carlos Franco, Carolina Mudcats, Casey Kelly, Chase d'Arnaud, Chris Ellis, Chris Withrow, Connor Lien, Cristian Pache, Daniel Castro, Daniel Winkler, Dansby Swanson, Dario Alvarez, Derian Cruz, Dustin Peterson, Emilio Bonifacio, Ender Inciarte, Eric O'Flaherty, Erick Aybar, Freddie Freeman, Gordon Beckham, Gwinnett Braves, Hector Olivera, Hunter Cervenka, Ian Anderson, Ian Krol, Isranel Wilson, J. B. Moss, Jace Peterson, Jason Hursh, Jeff Francoeur, Jim Johnson, Joel De La Cruz, Joey Meneses, Joey Wentz, Johan Camargo, John Gant, Jonathon Morales, Jose Vizcaino, Juan Yepez, Julio Teheran, Kevin Maitan, Kolby Allard, Kyle Kinman, Kyle Muller, Lucas Harrell, Lucas Herbert, Lucas Sims, Luke Dykstra, Maikel Cleto, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Mauricio Cabrera, Max Fried, Max Povse, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, Mississippi Braves, Nick Markakis, Ozhaino Albies, Paco Rodriguez, Patrick Weigel, Ricardo Sanchez, Rio Ruiz, Rob Whalen, Rob Wooten, Rome Braves, Ronald Acuna, Ryan Weber, Sean Godfrey, Sean Newcomb, Shae Simmons, Steve Janas, Touki Toussaint, Tyler Flowers, Tyler Neslony, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez
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
The games have begun, and we now wait to see who blinks first. Several confirmed reports say the Braves and Cubs had been talking about a trade centered around Shelby Miller and Jorge Soler (before the announcement that Chicago had agreed to a 2 year/$32 million deal with John Lackey last night), and Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Braves may just hold onto Miller for now to see what happens as the market unfolds. We’ve seen this time and time again – teams seem to line up pretty well, but one or the other pulls back for a little bit to see if they can squeeze just a little bit more value for their guy since the other team needs him more. Many of the “experts” felt that Jorge Soler alone probably wasn’t quite enough alone to merit trading Miller from the Braves’ perspective (and I have to agree with them – of course I’m also a Braves fan) – Atlanta controls Miller for three more seasons, and interest in him has never been higher – but also needs controllable impact bats to help complete their rebuild. Soler definitely fits that profile, but also comes with question marks as well – specifically a high (25+%) K-Rate and marginal defensive value. That said, there’s another powerful right-handed power bat out there (who’s widely speculated to be “unavailable” – as if there was such a thing) who just so happens to belong to a team desperately looking to add to its rotation but really only shopping for 0-3 SPs. That player of course is Aaron Judge, and his team is the New York Yankees.
Posted in 2016 Offseason, 2016 Preseason Top 30 Prospects, John Copollela Trades, Trade Targets
Tagged A. J. Pierzynski, Aaron Judge, Adonis Garcia, Alex Rodriguez, Arodys Vizcaino, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Bud Norris, C. C. Sabathia, Chase Headley, Chris Withrow, Daniel Winkler, Didi Gregorius, Erick Aybar, Freddie Freeman, Gary Sanchez, Hector Olivera, Ian Krol, Jace Peterson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Grilli, Jason Heyward, Jeff Samardzija, Jim Johnson, John Gant, John Lackey, Johnny Cueto, Jorge Soler, Jose Ramirez, Julio Teheran, Lucas Sims, Luis Severino, Mallex Smith, Manny Banuelos, Mark Teixeira, Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Marksberry, Matt Wisler, Michael Bourn, Michael Pineda, Mike Foltynewicz, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Markakis, Ozhaino Albies, Paco Rodriguez, Ryan Weber, Sean Newcomb, Shae Simmons, Shelby Miller, Starlin Castro, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Zack Greinke
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