Updates on Chipper, Prado, Kawakami

Braves general manager Frank Wren sounds confident that Chipper Jones could be ready to join new slugging second baseman Dan Uggla in the opening day lineup.

Jones is recovering from August knee surgery, and the Braves are hopeful the veteran third baseman will be ready to go when spring training begins in six weeks.

“I think he’s progressed very well,” Wren said. “He had a setback earlier in the winter when he was away for a week — I think he was actually on a hunting trip – and he was not doing the [leg] lifts. But as soon as he got back on his weights, he was fine.

“Right now, talking to the trainers, he should not have any restrictions coming into spring training.”

Jones, who’ll be 39 in April, had surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee – the same injury — same knee, same surgery — he had more than 16 years ago as a rookie at the end of spring training, which wiped out an entire season.

He’s a lot older now, but surgery techniques have improved and rehab times have been reduced.

If he’s not ready, the Braves plan to move Martin Prado from left field to third and fill left field with players in the organization – Joe Mather, Eric Hinske are among options – or make a trade between now and opening day.

Wren said the Braves continue to explore options for backup outfielders and middle infielders, but would also be comfortable with what they have going into spring training. He said if the team played a game tomorrow, Jordan Schafer would probably be the backup center fielder behind Nate McLouth.

Schafer was the opening day center fielder in 2009, but has missed much of two seasons after breaking a bone in his hand in the 2009 home opener and eventually having surgery that summer. Schafer has been  hitting since October and said it’s the first time he’s felt strong and pain-free since the injury.

“We talk every day about guys that are out there,” Wren said, speaking in general about the teams’ ongoing discussions with other clubs. “We get calls every day, and consider different possibilities. I don’t think there’s any big things we’re looking at; it’s all small pieces that might, in some way, fit together in spring training.

“We might not even see the real fit today, but say if this happens and this happens, this guy might be a real good fit on the team. So you start making some of those contingency plans and start protecting yourself with some of the signings from here on out….

“If something drastic happens in the spring, then maybe we’re looking at a different situation. But right now, we like the way our team sets up.”

The Braves would like to have more depth at center field and also the middle infield, where backup options currently are led by Diory Hernandez, Brooks Conrad and six-year minor league free agent Ed Lucas from the Royals.

“There’s always [trade] possibilities,” Wren said. “We don’t have to do anything. So if we find the right match and the right situation, we’ll do something.  But we don’t have to do anything.”

Wren said Prado has fully recovered from a September hip pointer and groin pull and should be ready for full activities when spring training begins. The Braves hope that Jones will be, too, but are more concerned with getting the veteran ready before opening day.

“Every discussion I’ve had with [Jones] and the trainers have had with him, is that things are moving along positively,” Wren said. “If we have to make some adjustments, we have a guy that’s a really good third baseman, Martin Prado, and we can put the team together in different ways. We have flexibility.”

Still, they hope it’s Jones at third base.

“He’s a big part of the lineup, no question,” Wren said. “He’s not the Chipper Jones of his MVP year in ‘99, we know that. But he makes a difference, and we saw that in August and September after we lost him.”

Kawakami update: Wren continues looking for the right trade proposal for starting pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, who is owed $6.7 million in the final year of his contract and does not have a spot in the Braves’ rotation plans. Wren said that two or three major league teams have offered to pay more than$2 million of what Kawakami is owed, but the Braves are not willing to trade him just to dump whatever part of his salary they can.

With at least seven or eight teams still needing starting pitchers and few remaining unsigned free-agent options, the Braves seem confident they will be able to trade Kawakami to a team willing to pay a larger portion of his salary.

179 comments Add your comment

Bravos 25

January 6th, 2011
9:21 pm

Braves Forever

January 6th, 2011
9:26 pm

Thanks for the update. Hope they can trade Kawakami soon.

Antwon

January 6th, 2011
9:30 pm

First! This as close I have every been to the top.

Asheville Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:33 pm

Reid Adair

January 6th, 2011
9:36 pm

“…but the Braves are not willing to trade him just to dump whatever part of his salary they can.”

That should say, “…but FRANK WREN IS not…”. Wren probably still thinks Kenshin Kawakami is a big-time pitcher.

JMar

January 6th, 2011
9:38 pm

More than $2 million is more than has been speculated the last few months; good to see we have options.

Big Deal

January 6th, 2011
9:38 pm

KK must go at whatever price.

Kenshin's Jock

January 6th, 2011
9:39 pm

I uh amm a dry as sushi as I gets no play next year wid d braves!

Feeanch

January 6th, 2011
9:42 pm

DOB, it seems that Wren gives consistently great interviews and is as forthcoming as any GM out there? How does he rank on the journalistic front?

Kwikbill

January 6th, 2011
9:42 pm

Dedication

January 6th, 2011
9:52 pm

Chipper seems really dedicated to getting ready for preseason (Hunting instead of rehabbing). TYPICAL

bravesfan

January 6th, 2011
9:54 pm

I had hopes of Young making the Team. Guess Wren has already decided on Schafer. Good to hear that a trade is still possible. Hope Chipper can keep it together this year..
Can’t wait till Fredi and the Braves open in Atlanta.

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
10:01 pm

Dedication -

You expect the guy to work 24/7 on rehabbing? I guess you never take a vacation?

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
10:06 pm

bravesfan -

I read that as the Braves still have a lot of hope for Schafer. I think both players will have a shot in ST. However, if it’s close, it sounds like Schafer would get the nod over Young.

That’s really the opposite of what some folks (including me) would’ve expected. I personally would’ve thought they’d like to give Schafer a starting spot in AAA to get some ABs and really build his confidence (not to mention see what he can do). However, maybe FW thinks our fourth OF will get a significant number of ABs this year.

NORRIS

January 6th, 2011
10:12 pm

amazing…they still list mather as an option in left. The guy SUCKS.
Hinske is not an everyday outfielder and is a poor one at that. he is more of a first base back up and pinch hitter.
And schaffer?? oh my God. the guy was sent to double A last year and now he is all of a sudden our back up center fielder. So we have a triple a player in center with a Double a player as his back up.
sounds like we are ready for spring training…lol. I am ready to see these guys perform so that management can start realizing the plan better have an escape clause.

Innocent Bystander

January 6th, 2011
10:14 pm

FW missed his chance when Washington was looking to deal Willingham. Oakland didn’t give up a whole lot for him.

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
10:29 pm

Innocent Bystander -

I assume there’s 2 reasons the Braves didn’t trade for Willingham.

1) The Braves really believe (hope?) that McLouth can come back and be productive this year, and they’re not willing to write off that they’re going to have to eat his salary in addition to part of KK’s, and they expect Chipper to play a majority of the season. They’re not looking for a starting OF because they couldn’t get everyone enough ABs, just a back-up.

2) Even if you add up all the money they gave Linebrink, Sherrill and Proctor, it wouldn’t add up to what Willingham is making this year, and the calculations that I have seen all say the Braves are right up against their budget, even accounting for not having to pay all of KK’s salary. And without those guys, EOF and Moylan would’ve been the only relievers we had with much experience, and I don’t think the Braves were comfortable with a BP that young.

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
10:32 pm

Oh, and another thing regarding Willingham – just because the Marlins gave us Uggla for less than equal value doesn’t mean the Nationals would’ve done the same thing. Washington sent him to the other league. They might not have wanted to trade him in division. Not that they have a prayer of being competitive this year, but there’s also a danger they could’ve had to face him for years to come if they had dealt him to Atlanta.

justin1

January 6th, 2011
10:38 pm

I love Chipper the player, but I’m not sold that he’s 100% dedicated to his own health. He’s attempting a comeback at the age of 39 so obviously he still has the passion to play the game. I, as a fan, appreciate that. But if he’s just going to continue to hamstring us like he has been, then it’s probably just that time. Time to hang em up and face life without Chipper Jones as our 3 hole hitting 3rd baseman. He’s given us a great 15 or so years, but all good things have to come to an end. His end should’ve been 2010. Go out with Bobby, get elected to the HOF in 5 years, and in a couple of years become the hitting coach.

Just a side note:
Imagine if he hadn’t traded Elvis Andrus

1. Andrus
2. Prado
3. Heyward
4. Uggla
5. McCann
6. Freeman
7. Schafer
8. Hinske

Wow.

Danlee

January 6th, 2011
10:46 pm

Kawakami isn’t as bad a pitcher as everyone seems to believe, he will easily earn a starting rotation somewhere not named Atlanta. Wren is being smart about this, because there’s going to be a team that runs out of pitching options and is forced into signing a pitcher to fill a spot in the rotation. Sounds like Wren might get off the hook for 3 mil of his salary. That’ll free up a few million on the payroll to possibly nab a backup middle infielder- though I doubt the Braves will sign anyone else until the season begins.

Rob

January 6th, 2011
10:49 pm

Many teams have a left fielder with limited range, but who can hit for power. Why not put Chipper in left and Prado at third? There is more running in left field, but not the constant diving and difficult throws that put a lot of torque on the knee that you get at third base. It seems like many of Chipper’s injuries, including the blown knee last year, have come while playing defense.

@justin

January 6th, 2011
10:49 pm

Justin,

Frankie didnt that was JS. I think the NL is weak this year again outside of the waste land that is philly. If the Braves stay injury they’ll be riding the Wild Card in. By the way, Colordao went all out on CGone. After one year that seems foolish.

darrell starks

January 6th, 2011
10:50 pm

Is it possible for the brave 2 trade jair jurjens for ryan braun, the brewer are desperate for pitching, the trade works good for both team plus we give them our top prospect from minor.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 6th, 2011
10:54 pm

If im the braves i make this trade.
JAIRE JURJENS AND FREEMAN FOR BRAUN.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 6th, 2011
10:57 pm

Freeman play left field for brewers and hinske play first base for the braves.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Galt

January 6th, 2011
10:59 pm

I’m still betting on a Schaffer surprise. He was rated tremendously high, started great, and was injured. Nothing here says that when healthy, he picks up where he left off and provides the CF and LOH we need.

With McLouth’s arm, I’d rather have Schaffer hit .235 and be in the OF than Nate.

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
11:01 pm

Rob -

Chipper moved to LF once, didn’t like it, wasn’t very good defensively, and his offense suffered those 2 years. There’s also something to be said for the fact that Chipper knows how to play 3B. He may not be a gold glove 3B, but I don’t think anyone charges the roller, picks it up barehanded and throws it to 1B as well as he does. You put him in LF, and he might be as bad as Garrett Anderson was.

darrell starks

January 6th, 2011
11:02 pm

BRAVES 2011
1.MCLOUTH CF
2.PRADO 3RD BASE
3.HEYWARD RF
4.BRAUN LF
5.UGGLA 2ND BASE
6.MCCANN CATCHER
7.HINSKE 1ST BASE
8.ALEX SS

GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brother John

January 6th, 2011
11:03 pm

The Braves have been waiting on McLouth and Schafer for what, at least three years now. That’s long enough. Find a player to play that important position and move on. The train has left the station and these two haven’t even left the house!

GT Alum

January 6th, 2011
11:07 pm

Brother John, it’s been 2 years since Schafer started the season in CF, and McLouth wasn’t terrible when the Braves acquired him partway through last year. I’m not very optimistic about a McLouth resurgence, but it wasn’t that long ago he was at least serviceable.

Billy

January 6th, 2011
11:14 pm

NORRIS – are you aware of why the Braves former starting CF’er and former #1 prospect was sent to AA? He had a broken wrist that required surgery and he should have been DL’d so it could heal properly. The Braves did not DL him and he tried to play through the healing process. Schafer has been hitting since October in Lake Buena Vista Florida and has announced his wrist is strong and pain free for the first time since his surgery two years ago.

As for Mather, he is one of the best athletes on the team and he too is recovering and recovered from injuries. He was scheduled to be the Cardinals starting 3rd baseman in 2009 when his injury occured. The man can mash when healthy.

Chipper's workout Partner

January 6th, 2011
11:21 pm

I’m 100% confident Chipper would not have had such a steep dropoff the last few years if he would have had been more comitted to off season conditioning/workouts. Could have reduced the nagging every day injuries. We all get older Chip….

jackets445

January 6th, 2011
11:27 pm

ok for all the people that is worried about chippers health..sure it may be a queston whether or not he can bounce back..but chipper bounces back from every surgery he has ever had with decent numbers to say the least..but if the braves end up parting ways with chipper they will still owe him for the next couple of seasons…over the last couple of years chipper has defered his salary so we could free up payroll..so we might as well give him a shot to play since we are paying him until he is 41..he is still a way above average player.

Ricardo In Atlanta

January 6th, 2011
11:31 pm

At least we aren’t the Angels…my old team is looking old, unsettled in a lot of positions, having Scott Boros clients coming up for UFA soon…The Braves have lost a lot of depth at several positions as of the last few years, starting with a certain pitcher starting for the Cardinals for J.D. Drew, but at least they still have viable, young options for restocing the shelf. I think Mathers is going to rock at AAA this year, and take over at 3B next year after Chipper retires…and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a (finally) healthy Jordan S. start taking some playing time from another trade that looked good on paper, but hasn’t hit his stride…I feel better about my adopted team than my “hometown” Angels…

luangtom

January 6th, 2011
11:46 pm

Turn out the lights, the party’s over…………….

G. Tampa Bedwetter

January 6th, 2011
11:53 pm

Wish Bobby was here to steer this ship.

Chris

January 6th, 2011
11:54 pm

Schafer struggled after he broke his wrist … that led to the .200 batting average. We are talking about the same Schafer that homered in his first AB against Philly.

Give Schafer a shot in Spring Training. If he utilizes his speed, and works on being able to bunt for hits, we could see him steal time away from McLouth, forcing Nate to play left to spell Prado. He is only – what – 24. He still has plenty of opportunity. I expect he’ll see time this year on 25 man roster. Then Wren will look like a genius when all he has to do is find middle infield help.

Chris

January 6th, 2011
11:58 pm

line up come June:

Schafer CF
Prado 1B/LF
Heyward RF
Uggla 2B
Chipper 3B
Mac C
Gonzo SS // Hinske LF/1B
Freeman 1B // Gonzo SS

Gwinnett Fred

January 6th, 2011
11:59 pm

Is KK’s contract guaranteed? If not, what would they save by just flat cutting him?

David O'Brien

January 7th, 2011
12:10 am

Is KK’s contract guaranteed? If not, what would they save by just flat cutting him? — Gwinnett Fred

Of course it’s guaranteed. All multi-year deals like that are guaranteed in baseball. Nothing like the NFL.

Chris

January 7th, 2011
12:12 am

fred:
yes, and 400K – the league minimum – that’s what the team that claims him would have to pay.

Mike McDonald

January 7th, 2011
12:37 am

The big IFs of 2011: Chipper, Freeman, McLouth, Schafer and yes, Hayward. If three out of five perform well, the Braves will be serious contenders. Freddi, as manager, will add at least 7-10 additional victories over Cox. Gonzo coming to life would be a big help, as well.

ArkyTech

January 7th, 2011
12:37 am

Danlee, please don’t try to talk rationally about KK on this blog. Not many on here are willing/able to do it. :)

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
1:04 am

Darrell… are u sure your not a Brewers fan?? Trade Jurrjens… our most clutch pitcher? yea right!

tbrown

January 7th, 2011
1:19 am

Bring Andruw Jones Back!!!!!!!!!

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
1:20 am

Fred: wow man, you dissed me on the other blog for not knowing college football as well as you. Well i see one sport in which u obviously don’t know crap about! But if your a fellow Braves/ Falcons fan.. its all good man… your excused this time from that idiotic question.

ray k.

January 7th, 2011
1:23 am

Jurrjens is our most clutch pitcher? No. Trade him and a prospect for a damn outfielder please.

ray k.

January 7th, 2011
1:30 am

It seems like we go thru this year after agonizing year: one solid off season acquisition, a game of musical chairs in left/center, a third starter posing as our ace, an injury, a knee jerk trade to plug the hole in the dam at the deadline, and no penant.

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
1:33 am

I still think of KK’s duels against the Red Sox and see him as a good pitcher for 6 innings. Therefore we should get something better than 2 mill in return for KK. I would like him as a 6th/ emergency starter for us, but we have so many young pitchers not named Hanson and JJ that i don’t see that happening.
Sure hope Chipper is taking this offseason more seriously than he did the last, sometimes it seems to me he takes his God given ability for granted. And you just cant do that at almost 40

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
1:42 am

The only negative on JJ is that his agent is Boras. JJ and Hudson are our top 2 no doubt. I agree with Mark Bradley, that in the postseason, defense/pitching is more important than offense. I really think we have enough offense now, we certainly dont need to be giving away our top pitching.

Martin

January 7th, 2011
1:46 am

do i need to start a “Sign Andruw Jones” campaign? seriously! he will take $1MIL….give the fans what they want wren!

darrell starks

January 7th, 2011
1:48 am

Bravesfan79 you can be serious, brian brun for jj and freeman you wouldn’t make that deal? you put brun in the line up with heyward, uggla, mccann, prado this team would better than any one in the NL.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 7th, 2011
2:00 am

Bravesfan79
1.MCLOUTH CF
2.PRADO 3B
3.HEYWARD RF
4.BRUN LF
5.UGGLA 2ND
6.MCCANN CATCHER
7.HINSKE 1B
8.ALEX SS

PLUS YOU HAVE A COUPLE PITHCHER IN THE MINOR YOU COULD BRING UP WITH LOW, HANSON, HUDSON, JULIO WILL DOMINATE THE MAJORS.
WORLD SERIES.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 7th, 2011
2:05 am

MY BAD RYAN BRUN
GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!

Bobby's Cox

January 7th, 2011
2:05 am

The longer we wait on KK, the more of his salary another team will pay. He’s not a bad pitcher (not that good either), but he’ll be needed by someone in spring when injuries start to deplete staffs around baseball.

Bobby's Cox

January 7th, 2011
2:07 am

I’m really looking forward to the Beechy/Minor battle this spring….

Bobby's Cox

January 7th, 2011
2:12 am

Also looking forward to how Schafer performs this spring, this Lucas kid also, as well as Matt Young. I think Diory is a good ballplayer though the blog doesn’t generally think so. Prado will probably get a lot of run this spring because he’ll have to field both LF and 3B in case Chipper isn’t ready. The Chipper watch should be entertaining as well.

There will be some cool things to watch in a about 6 weeks….

Bobby's Cox

January 7th, 2011
2:15 am

Dang, didn’t even mention seeing how Freddi manages the team, the Kimbrel/Venters show, Freeman, etc…

Lots of material for the beat writers….

darrell starks

January 7th, 2011
2:16 am

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
2:24 am

Im with u Martin. Sign Andrew!!

Bravesfan79

January 7th, 2011
2:26 am

I would only trade JJ if we couldnt sign him to a long term deal. I dont care if were getting Tex in return.

Mitchell

January 7th, 2011
2:41 am

NRBQ

January 6th, 2011
10:26 pm

You naysayers are overlooking one shining positive for 2011.

Bobby’s gone.

Hell to the yes. I always like being reminded of that.

Hallelujah, Bobby’s gone. Amen brutha.

Bobby's Cox

January 7th, 2011
3:06 am

You naysayers are overlooking one shining positive for 2011.

Bobby’s gone

I know it’s been a while since I blogged, but I haven’t gone anywhere….

Wow....

January 7th, 2011
3:12 am

Schafer’s going to bomb in spring training. Mark it down.

The dude has always been an overhyped piece of trash

David O'Brien

January 7th, 2011
6:15 am

Schafer’s going to bomb in spring training. Mark it down. — Wow….

You mean like he “bombed” the last time he was healthy in spring training, in 2009? When he was arguably the best player in camp and went from non-roster invitee to opening day center fielder?

Southpaw

January 7th, 2011
6:40 am

Andruw could replace Diaz as an outfielder/pinch hitter AND platoon with Freeman if needed.

Let's Go

January 7th, 2011
7:10 am

If Jordan Shafer is healthy and is hitting like he was in the spring of 2009 then he could very easily end up the starting CF on opening day. That is unless Nate McLouth doesn’t regain is 07/08 form.

Let's Go

January 7th, 2011
7:11 am

Dave
Would the Braves package Kawakami with a top prospect just to get another team to take most if not all of his contract?

Papadawg

January 7th, 2011
7:35 am

We need a everyday third baseman. You folks need to quit living in the past. Chipper was very good but hes 39 now and you’re in fantasy land if you think you’ll get more than 50 games out of him.

ramblingman

January 7th, 2011
7:35 am

DOB – thank you for a bit of intelligent logic to offset a string of looney tune posts.

My goodness, you would think this is a Phillies or Mets blog with all the Braves bashing going on.

For those of you who are still bashing on Schafer for last year, gee, you know we really did not see much from Medlen, Prado or Chipper late last year, so let’s dump all of them too.

Injuries, shminjuries
.

Van Lingle Mungo

January 7th, 2011
7:38 am

Is Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown still available?

El Bravo

January 7th, 2011
7:45 am

DOB, I believe it is anterior cruciate ligament not crucial. Minor correction.

El Bravo

January 7th, 2011
7:47 am

it is crucial that he gets it fixed…

jo

January 7th, 2011
7:48 am

Playing devil’s advocate, KK started to come around his first season here to be benched. He never came back from that. There is something there that is quality but at this point, I think the Braves should take the 2 million and run.

dap

January 7th, 2011
7:51 am

DOB: Thanks for the updates.

MAKO

January 7th, 2011
7:51 am

I don’t know about Jones, twice had my knees done and the hardest part was toward the end of rehab and the scar tissue inside the knee.

El Bravo

January 7th, 2011
7:57 am

DOB, what’s the market for someone like Rocco Baldelli, Gabe Kapler or Scott Podsednik? Can any of them be good fits to provide outfield depth? Podsednik is probably outside our budget but the other two could fit…

luv them braves

January 7th, 2011
8:01 am

You can say what you want about Chipper, but the guy willingly moved to LF several years ago to help the team. He was not even an All Star as an outfielder. He is most likely a Hall of Famer as a 3rd baseman.
Same goes for Smoltz. He may have hurt his HoF chances by moving to the bullpen for the few seasons he did.
Both guys are true “team” players.

sleeze

January 7th, 2011
8:02 am

Starks, you’re an idiot. Thank goodness our GM is not.

Matt Diaz

January 7th, 2011
8:17 am

With the Phillies adding another stud lefthanded pitcher, you should have never traded me. I am a better LF than Hinske and Mather and can hit lefties better than anyone. Just Dumb.

Arkie

January 7th, 2011
8:36 am

As another BB year draws closer, I still see Ifs, Maybe’s. Hope’s, etc. Power improved, maybe, pitching, hoping, defense, lacking and team speed not improved. Any players signed with Boras try to trade for equal value. Why? Chances of signing them on our Braves payroll are slim. We had great pitching a few years ago with not enough money left for run producers. Lets do not get into “all the money going to four or five players, again”. Again alot of question marks.
# 1 guestion – Chipper Will he play 100 games??
#2 question McLouth Is he worth playing 100 games or more??
#3 Jason Major League pitching started to make him average late last year??
#4 Prado, how will he do as an OF. Will this effect his hitting??
#5 Gonzo looks average in everthing??
#6 Rookie 1st baseman??
#7 Experienced Closer??
We have capable starting pitching, (all need to be in better shape and pitch later into most games – or our relief pitchers will be worn out by mid August, again.) capable relief pitching, Closer??
If five of the Question Marks have Good Years and Fredi does not try to imitate Bobby, we have a shot at the Phillies. IF.

Lemke's Knuckleball

January 7th, 2011
8:39 am

Very good news that they have a couple of offers for Kawakami. And I’m glad Wren’s playing it slow. I’m willing to bet some team desperate for a back-end rotation guy will pay $4 mil and throw in a low/mid-level prospect.

But as a Carolina Panther fan, not even a trade of Kawakami would ease the pain from today’s news that Andrew Luck’s staying at Stanford.

And I know there’s no point in saying this, but the lineup posts with Ryan Braun really makes me think people have lost their minds.

A

January 7th, 2011
8:39 am

Uhhh, you weren’t traded, “Matt Diaz.” You were non-tendered. I think you better have a talk with your agent.

Arthur Redding, Jr.

January 7th, 2011
8:41 am

Wouldn’t it be fun to see a good competitive battle for CF between Schafer and McLouth this spring. If Chipper doesn’t hold up, we could have McLouth in LF and Schafer in CF, both hitting, say, .270+. Along with Heyward, that would be a very solid, fast outfield.

. . . though I know that’s a lot to hope for.

Matt Diaz’s best days are probably behind him (though I’d love to see him do well–he always seemed like a very likable player).

Mather could prove to be a solid pick up.

If Freeman comes through, this could be a fun team to watch.

If Kimbrel and Venters can confirm last year’s performances and take care of the 8th and 9th innings, this team could win at least 5 more games than last year.

A lot of ifs, but I think there are solid reasons for optimism. Signing Uggla was a hugely positive move.

Lemke's Knuckleball

January 7th, 2011
8:47 am

Arkie, I disagree with your #3 question. Jason hit over .300 from July through the end of the year, and had a .936 OPS in August. I don’t call that average, especially for a rookie. He just had that one bad month in June when his thumb was messed up. If anything, I would say pitchers made some adjustments to get him out, and then he made adjustments to counteract that and had success, which to me suggests he’ll be just fine next year.

Booby's Blunders

January 7th, 2011
9:00 am

Let’s see if I have this straight — Instead of having been able to spend 15 million in the free agent market on a star player who could have really helped them, the Braves have the 15 million tied up in a part time, really poor defensive third baseman, who (regardless of his being a great great hitter in the past) has not really been productive for two years and is now also recovering from a serious injury – BUT CHOOSES TO GO HUNTING FOR A WEEK INSTEAD DOING HIS REHAB PROGRAM — So much for his dedication to what is best for the team.

Booby's Blunders

January 7th, 2011
9:02 am

Instead of needing more “back up” for Center Field, Don’t you mean that – they need a Centerfielder period

Dave

January 7th, 2011
9:08 am

Chipper is 39 years and old every year injuries are going to happen. He is no longer much of a slugger at all. Some of our fans did not know when it was time for us to get rid of Glavine or Smoltz they will think exactly the same thing in regards to Chipper. Nostalgia is a great thing, but it has not place in determining how you manage a baseball team. We pay Chipper way too much money based on what he has done in the past and it hurts us in the present. Reality is if Chipper plays he should bat 8th based on his current production as a batter.

Tyler

January 7th, 2011
9:08 am

I agree with Wren. I think Schafer will bounce back this spring and show that he’s a MLB player. I look forward to Saturday as I’m planning my Spring Training vacation now. DOB- Outside of Disney, what other stadium would you suggest to add?

Q: Why does Canizares always seem to get the snub? Is he like Soriano from the movie Major Leage and he can’t hit curve ball? Guy swings a really nice bat. You’d think that someone in the AL would want him as a DH. Would the Braves not think to bring him up and showcase for potential trade bait? Don’t quite get why he hasn’t been looked at harder for PH opportunities or 1B off the bench.

Arthur Redding, Jr.

January 7th, 2011
9:17 am

No, doubt about it, Chipper is a real question mark–but Wren is aware of this. It underscores the importance of signing Uggla.

No doubt about it, Canizares can hit and it would be interesting to see what he can do with major league pitching over an extended time–but he’s very weak defensively. Nobody seems to know what to do with the guy except let him continue to wear out AAA pitching. Maybe we could trade him to Pittsburgh or Kansas City!

Gene

January 7th, 2011
9:21 am

I don’t think that Fredi will continue to play a CFielder who bats .170. I am hoping that Nate proves me wrong.

Fredi's Fu Manchu

January 7th, 2011
9:41 am

Schafer in CF is the answer if he’s healthy. Braves/he say he’s healthy. His bat is merely icing. Good teams are strong up the middle. McCann is OK, that’s it. Uggla is below avg., AGon is OK. Schafer is defensively somewhere in top 5 in CF in baseball. If you’ve seen him at all for extended periods of time you know this is not an exaggeration. McClouth’s bat was bad, yes – but the aspect of his game that was most frustrating was hid D – he won a gold glove, I know – so did Derek Jeter.

Nova Scotia Steve

January 7th, 2011
9:49 am

I’m as big a Chipper Jones fan as (most) anyone out there….but his uncertainty and questions surrounding his durability have somewhat hampered the Braves this off season.

Hope he can come back and be productive because the line-up is pitched much different and is much more deeper when he’s in it – but that’s a lot of money and an important position and spot in the batting order to be relying on a 39 year-old coming off major surgery.

AJ

January 7th, 2011
9:50 am

FYI DOB, Jim Carrey and The Black Keys on SNL this weekend.

MAKO

January 7th, 2011
9:51 am

Lordy, I just hope the Braves hit better than UGA’s football team

big o

January 7th, 2011
9:53 am

Don’t get me wrong yall I’m a huge Chipper Fan but we are fooling ourselves if we think he will make a contrbution this year. At 39 after this surgery ? The slow roller down the line, crossing the diamond in front of short, the ability to chase dowm foul balls in all that space at the Ted, not to mention runing the bases plus the normal little Chipper injuries that occur. I’m thinking 60 games tops if that. I hope yall appreciated watching this HOF player because it’s over.

ramblingman

January 7th, 2011
9:56 am

1. Name one team that does not have any questions. Just one. (listening to those crickets again)

2. Chipper’s such a huge hole for the team, such a drag on the order….wonder why he was hitting .307 with a .924 OPS after the break. Hmmm…darn, don’t you hate it when facts get in the way of a good whiny post?

3. Yepper, any time off to do anything at all – hunt, eat, sleep, spend Christmas with family – can be reasonably counted as disregarding rehab and a lack of dedication. Suuure.

yogi2

January 7th, 2011
10:13 am

Jordan Scfafer has hit only 39 home runs in six years of loe minor league baseball. he needs to prove himself in Gwinnett or Misssissippi before making the major league club. He was also juiced up( suspended from baseball) when he hit those measly homeruns

[...] knee and dry-heaving on his neighbor’s lawn, and yesterday general manager Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he should be ready for Opening Day: I think he’s [...]

PMC

January 7th, 2011
10:20 am

I’m really high on the team for this next season. I still love the overall plan that Wren is working on. I love a healthy Schafer as a backup outfielder who could start if need be. Schafer has good speed, and that’s going to be more of an asset than hitting home runs next year.

Kawakami will be moved at the right time I have no doubt.

I really like the way the team looks at this point this year, stronger than last season. Sure, the Phillies are better. Can’t do anything about that but this club can compete with them and if they don’t win the division they WILL win the Wild Card and get into the tournament.

I think the Braves will be a 95-100 win club next year.

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