While Marlins spend, Braves waiting for deals

DALLAS – With memories of the Braves’ September collapse still lingering, and the Marlins scooping up expensive free agents, and other NL East teams making moves as well, Frank Wren knows some Atlanta fans want to see him wheeling and dealing.

But the Braves general manager leaned back in a chair in his suite at the Hilton Anatole on Monday, the first day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, and said he would only make a deal if and when the Braves think it’s to their benefit.

“You can get caught in that trap and get intoxicated by the deal,” he said. “There’s an adrenaline rush to making a deal, but the bottom line is, does it make us better? We’re not going to make a deal just to make a splash at home. We’re not going to make a deal just to make a deal. We’re looking to get better.

“We’ve identified some areas where we think we can get better. That’s our whole goal here.”

Wren said their top-priority need is a backup shortstop. The Braves want a proven veteran who can be ready to step in if rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky struggles. A player such as versatile Jamey Carroll, whom the Braves were interested in before the free agent signed a two-year, $6.75 million deal with Minnesota.

The Braves don’t want to commit more than one year to a shortstop because they have Pastornicky, and shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons not far behind him.

Next on the priority list is the outfield. Teams that have spoken with the Braves about possibly trading for Atlanta’s Martin Prado say the Braves are reluctant to trade the  left fielder/backup third baseman unless they get a power-hitting outfielder in return.

“The one definitive need we have is a backup shortstop,” Wren said. “I mean, if you ask me, is there something we have to have going into spring training.”

Wren seemed to downplay that need a bit, noting that the Braves  signed six-year minor league free agent infielders with major league experience, Drew Sutton and Josh Wilson.

“Both of them are better than a lot of guys that will be in big league camps, so we don’t feel like we have to have anybody,” Wren said. “But if there’s a guy out there that improves us, that’d probably be our target.”

The Braves’ outfield has been one of the least productive in the majors the past two seasons, but they believe that right fielder Jason Heyward will bounce back from a disappointing second season and that Prado’s second-half struggles were likely a byproduct of the five weeks he missed battling a lower-leg staph infection.

They acquired leadoff-hitting center fielder Michael Bourn before the July 31 trade deadline and have him under contract for 2012 before he’s eligible for free agency.

Other teams say the Braves still would like to add a power hitting corner outfielder, either as a regular in left field or a backup who could play both outfielder corners.  So far, the Braves have been unwilling to trade Prado or pitcher Jair Jurrjens without getting an impact outfielder along with another valuable player or two in a deal.

Interest in All-Star right-hander Jurrjens has been considerable, despite the right-knee injuries that have shortened each of his past two seasons. But the Braves will demand a big return, particularly since they’ll have starter Tommy Hanson coming back from shoulder problems and starter Tim Hudson from back surgery.

If they move Prado, the Braves would have to not only replace him in left field but make sure they have a suitable third baseman to fill in for Chipper Jones, who’ll be 40 in April and has played fewer than 135 games in six of the past seven seasons.

“[Outfield] is on a wish list, if we could improve,” Wren said. “It’s just that those guys, there aren’t many of them out there that fit kind of the niche we have.”

And the  available ones are generally overpriced free agents. The Braves, as has been there practice in the past, prefer to fill needs via trades whenever possible.

The team wasn’t mentioned in any compelling trade rumors Monday, but were mentioned as non-suitors for the likes of free agent left fielder Josh Willingham, Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie and White Sox left fielder Carlos Quentin.

The Marlins signed shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million contract and introduced their new closer Heath Bell (three years, $27 million) at the Winter Meetings. The Marlins also say they’re making a push to sign the biggest free agent, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, though some question if they’d raise payroll to that extreme.

“I think it’s been pretty apparent since the offseason began that they were going to be very aggressive and go out and try to improve their club,” Wren said of the Marlins, who are moving into a new ballpark. “I think that’s always the goal for teams moving into a new facility.

“They want to make a splash right away, because sometimes you only have one chance to make a first impression. And that first impression they’re going to make with a new stadium, new uniforms, new identity, new team. They want that to be a positive one, so I think they’re going about it to, once they get those fans in that new stadium, give them a reason to come back.”

Wren said the Braves haven’t been surprised by the approach of any of their division foes so far this offseason, though the Marlins have taken things to another level.

“We had a sense of the direction each club was going to go,” he said. “I don’t know that any of us thought the Marlins would be as big a players as they’ve been on as many big [free agents], so we’ll see what happens. They’re in the middle of everything, and that’s awfully unusual. But like I said, they have a need and they have a goal to make a good experience for their fans in that new building.”

The Braves seem not to feel any sense of urgency.

“It’s proven out in recent history, these meetings aren’t the end-all,” Wren said. “Historically this is where a lot of free agents make their decisions, which kind of opens up the floodgates for a lot of other things to happen. But we’ve seen a lot of things happen in January[in past years] in putting your team together. And I think especially for us, we don’t feel like we have a glaring weakness where we have to get something now or there won’t be anything left. We don’t feel that way.

“We have a good feeling that we can try to find the right pieces, rather than the first one available.”

Wren said the Braves’ biggest priority need is a backup shortstop. They want a proven veteran who can be ready to step in if rookie Tyler Pastornicky struggles. A player like versatile Jamey Carroll, whom the Braves were interested in before the Dodgers free agent he signed a two-year, $6.75 million deal with Minnesota.

The Braves don’t want to commit more than one year to a shortstop because they have Pastornicky, and shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons not far behind him.

Next on the Braves’ offseason to-do list is improving the outfield. Teams that have spoken with the Braves about possibly trading for Martin Prado say the Braves are reluctant to trade their popular left fielder/backup third baseman unless they can get a power-hitting left fielder in return.

“The one definitive need we have is a backup shortstop,” Wren said. “I mean, if you ask me, is there something we HAVE to have going into spring training.”

Wren seemed even to be downplaying that need a bit, noting that the Braves recently signed a couple of six-year minor league free agents with major league experience, Drew Sutton and Josh Wilson.

“Both of them are better than a lot of guys that will be in big league camps, so we don’t feel like we HAVE to have anybody,” Wren said. “But if there’s a guy out there that improves us, that’d probably be our target, in that area.”

The Braves’ outfield has been one of the least productive in the majors the past two seasons, but they believe that right fielder Jason Heyward will bounce back from a disappointing second season and that Prado’s second-half struggles were likely a byproduct of the five weeks he missed battling a lower-leg staph infection. They acquired standout center fielder Michael Bourn before the July 31 trade deadline and have him under contract for 2012 before he’s eligible for free agency.

Other teams say the Braves still would like to add a power hitting corner outfielder, either as a regular in left field or a backup who could play both outfielder corners. If they move Prado, the Braves would have to not only replace him in left field but make sure they have a suitable third baseman to fill in for Chipper Jones, who’ll be 40 in April and has played fewer than 135 games in six of the past seven seasons.

“[Outfield] is on a wish list, if we could improve that area,” Wren said. “It’s just that those guys, there aren’t many of them out there. There aren’t many that fit kind of the niche we have.”

And the ones who are available are generally overpriced as free agents. The Braves, as has been there practice in the past, would prefer to fill needs via trades whenever possible.

The team wasn’t mentioned in any compelling trade rumors on the first day of the four-day Winter Meetings, and a few times they were mentioned as non-suitors for the likes of free agent left fielder Josh Willingham, Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie and White Sox left fielder Carlos Quentin.

The Marlins signed shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million contract on Sunday and introduced their new closer Heath Bell (three years, $27 million) on Monday at the Winter Meetings. The Marlins also say they’re making a push to sign the biggest free agent of all, Cardinals superstar slugger Albert Pujols, though many wonder if they’re actually willing to raise payroll to that extreme..

“I think it’s been pretty apparent since the offseason began that they were going to be very aggressive and go out and try to improve their club,” Wren said of the Marlins, who are moving into a new, retractable roof ballpark in 2012. “I think that’s always the goal for teams moving into a new facility. They want to make a splash right away, because sometimes you only have one chance to make a first impression. And that first impression they’re going to make with a new stadium, new uniforms, new identity, new team. They want that to be a positive one, so I think they’re going about it to, once they get those fans in that new stadium, give them a reason to come back.

“We had a sense of the direction each club was going to go. I don’t know that any of us thought the Marlins would be as big a players as they’ve been on as many big [free agents], so we’ll see what happens. They’re in the middle of everything, and that’s awfully unusual. But like I said, they have a need and they have a goal to make a good experience for their fans in that new building.”

The Braves do not feel any similar sense of urgency.

“It’s proven out in recent history, these meetings aren’t the end-all,” Wren said. “Historically this is where a lot of free agents make their decisions, which kind of opens up the floodgates for a lot of other things to happen. But we’ve seen a lot of things happen in January, in putting your team together. And I think especially for us, we don’t feel like we have a glaring weakness where we have to get something now or there won’t be anything left. We don’t feel that way.

“We have a good feeling that we can try to find the right pieces, rather than the first one available.”

367 comments Add your comment

MAC

December 5th, 2011
8:43 pm

Alex

December 5th, 2011
8:55 pm

Double copy/paste DOB

tmc

December 5th, 2011
8:57 pm

some good proof reading?
paaaaaleeeeaaaase.

Ryan Kehm

December 5th, 2011
8:59 pm

DOB-

Is resigning Gonzo simply out of the picture?

JamesH

December 5th, 2011
9:00 pm

I think Wren needs to make a big splash at some point like a trade for a power hitting LF and move Prado to super back up. he will still get a lot of playing time giving Chipper rest which will keep the ole dog healthy.Prado could also give Uggla and even Freeman days off aswell.While I do think Wren needs to make a big trade he shouldnt rush into that big splash either.

Luke Goddard

December 5th, 2011
9:03 pm

Well, this article is unnecessarily long. As Alex noted. ;-)

JoshTown

December 5th, 2011
9:04 pm

So good, I read it twice. Kidding :) Thanks DOB! I’m sure it’s crazy down there. Wren knows what he’s doing.

Wow

December 5th, 2011
9:06 pm

“The Braves do not feel any similar sense of urgency.”

That’s this team’s problem right there and why they choked down the stretch. No sense of urgency

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
9:10 pm

I won’t be renewing my season tickets this year. This is more than likely a 4th place team in the division. Terrible defense, terrible situational hitting. The only thing that will keep them in it will be the starting pitching if they don’t break down like last year. Good luck, Frank. And don’t blame payroll for the Braves misfortune. Tampa went to the playoffs last year with a payroll lower than the combined salaries of KK, Chipper, McCann, McLouth, and Lowe. And Pastornicky is not the answer at short.

Dawgdad (The Original)

December 5th, 2011
9:13 pm

Wren should realize that some of the Braves fans are so unexcited, because of the collapse of the century last year, that he needs to do something big, or suffer from poor attendance. Hard to get excited about the season after suffering through that debacle.

Skeezix

December 5th, 2011
9:17 pm

Needed more offense this time last year and we didn’t get it. If we don’t get more offense this time— we may be a third place team next year.

chris

December 5th, 2011
9:18 pm

its this type of non chalant attitude by Wren and the manager in 2011 that led to the worse collapse in our team’s history..it sorta pisses me off as I hope it does other braves fans that he just acts like “well we don’t NEED anyone.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME FRANK??? HOLY CRAP look at your FOES in the division MORON——–get off your candy A$#$ and get us an outfielder…tell liberty media to get their dang checkbooks out and spend some $ …or let them know that maybe the fans wont be pulling THEIR checkbooks out in 2012 to come see a mediocre team that could have improved itself except for the ineptness of its general manager in the winter meetings.

chris

December 5th, 2011
9:19 pm

Frustrating to see our division rivals get players who can PLAY and we just sit by and watch without action….very frustrating

chris

December 5th, 2011
9:22 pm

I feel we should have at least made a play for Pujois AND Reyes and talked with Jimmy Rollins, we’re always “waiting for SO AND SO” in the minors to develop and get to the majors and we hire these stop gap players each year that rarely produce..then we wander why we’ve had one wildcard trip the playoffs in six years…YES I think DOB that we braves fans DO expect them to wheel and deal…isnt about time we just cleaned the foundation and made a fresh start with some new faces..i think it would take the sting out of 2011 a bit….its STILL a sour taste in most fans mouths as to what happened…and then to see this attitude by Wren in his comments..unbelievable…………………………………..

Keith Moon Lives

December 5th, 2011
9:27 pm

Why can’t Prado play short ? He obviously can play second and third .

Brava

December 5th, 2011
9:28 pm

I’m not a season ticket holder, but I usually buy 5-7 games before the season starts, then 5-7 more during the season. I’ll definitely hold off this year. I have little confidence in Jason Heyward doing much more than walking more often which really doesn’t help the team that much. Chipper isn’t likely to play more games than he did last season. Hopefully Uggla doesn’t take half the season to get going again. It also seems unlikely Wren will find a decent backup SS willing to sign for only a year, which means, between that player and Pastornicky, the defense, one of the team’s strengths last season, will likely decline. And, if Wren thinks I want to watch the likes of Brooks Conrad flail for another season, he’s madly mistaken. To not make any moves after this team’s monumental collapse is a slap in the face to fans. Like Wren, I’ll keep my money and wait to see what comes up.

Frank Wren at the Winter Meetings

December 5th, 2011
9:29 pm

To the Other GM’s: Hey guys. I have $10 million here I’ll give any of you for your best .230 hitter.

tony austin

December 5th, 2011
9:34 pm

Nats offer CJ 6 years…The Marlins sign Reyes and are going after Pujols. The Braves? The Braves look for a backup shortstop.

AFAN

December 5th, 2011
9:34 pm

It is hard to get excited about this team the way it stands. This team needs a jolt of something. heyward in right and a rookie at short…yep that makes me want to head to ATlanta and get some season tickets…

Jayhay

December 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

Only trade I would approve of would involve JJ for a big bat.

Otherwise, we stand pat.

Joe Nuxall

December 5th, 2011
9:35 pm

Well, once again the NL east just got loaded up with all kinds of talent. C’mon Frank, get some good player. The Bravos will never be able to keep up while you’re sitting on your hands.

AFAN

December 5th, 2011
9:36 pm

mlb network says that Reds are stongly interested in JJ and have the heads up on him now.
What do the Reds have that we may be interested in?

dogman

December 5th, 2011
9:37 pm

The Marlins were stupid for giving Reyes such a contract given his track record for the past 2-3 seasons being on the disabled list. He will be on it more now since he will get 106 million regardless of what he plays or not. Wonder what Furcal and Rollins will try to get? The Marlins must be expecting the new stadium to be full every night. This past season having 5000 in the stands was a crowd. They are spending money like the Yankees do. They probably would give Albert 300 million if they needed a first baseman.

AFAN

December 5th, 2011
9:37 pm

does anyone remember that this current team only won like 7 games the whole last month of the season last year???

Brava

December 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

does anyone remember that this current team only won like 7 games the whole last month of the season last year???

Apparently, not Wren.

kerryb

December 5th, 2011
9:43 pm

The only thing about the Braves having all these great young players coming in every year is that in about 4 more years they will start leaving every year because the Braves won’t pay them.

Loyal Fan

December 5th, 2011
9:53 pm

You guys are idiots . . . waiting for the right move makes sense. Its way early and the person who commented that we should have at least talked to old man J-Roll and the diva, Reyes and even Pujols, guess what we have little payroll – we are owned by a group who benefits from us being a tax credit. Mark Cuban might have a been a stretch, but we need someone like that like Ted, who wants to win and has a competitive stake in running a franchise with so much potential. Wren has taken a lot of grief for being creative and trying to make the best with our little budget comparatively speaking to teams like the Phillies and now, Marlins. Wait to Liberty Media sells, we’ll be good.
For example, 10 teams are interested in Jurrjens, someone will pay big for him without it digging into our payroll early.

aBraveVol

December 5th, 2011
9:53 pm

also rumblings that the blue jays are in on prado… dont know how they match up??

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
9:53 pm

As much as we all love trades for you pure idiots out there OUR ENTIRE TEAM WAS HURT IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER. there is absolutely no need to trade prado, but should trade j.j. if a good L.f. is available. I think the problem here is with FReddie Gonzalez, the reason the team faltered down the stretch. Heyward was hurt the whole year with a shoulder injury and should have not benn playing until fully recovered. Every single member of our pitching staff was worn out and injured from all of the innings. Mccann was also hurt.Next time think about what your saying rather than blabbering on with nonsense about trades. TRADES WON’t help. The real problem is with the coaching staff rather than the GM and organization

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
9:55 pm

Don’t blame Liberty for the state of the braves. The past 3 seasons Wren spent over $30 million per season on Lowe, McLouth, and KK. Who could we have for $30 million a year? Anyone we wanted. We need a GM who gets our money’s worth. And we’re paying $13 million for a part time 3rd baseman who may not make it to the end of the season. I don’t care that his name is Chipper Jones. I don’t care how long he has been a brave. MLB and the players convinced me a long time ago that this is a business, period.

OklahomaBrave

December 5th, 2011
9:55 pm

Unbelievable, you guys aren’t fans at all! Maybe if you idiots that live in atl would show up then our payroll would be higher. I remember watching playoff games and seeing empty seats. Go read Capitol avenues response to the marlins sudden spending spree and the comparison to the mets financial troubles. Also liberty is allowing the front office to operate on a dead even payroll. I’ve probably watched more games at turner in the last five years than half of the bloggers on here and I live in Oklahoma!

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
9:56 pm

Somebody give me one good free agent signing or trade that could happen…. thats what i thought. They should do nothing unless an oppurtunity presents itself. Trades arent always the answer

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
10:00 pm

still waiting

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
10:00 pm

still nobody?

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
10:02 pm

Hey Oklahoma brave. I’ve spent over $13 thousand on tickets the past two years. I’m a big fan and I don’t ascribe to the belief that payroll is the problem. If big payrolls won championships, then the Phillies and Yankees would have been in the series. Our front office has gotten very little value for the money spent the past three seasons. If Wren had spent my money like that, he’d be looking for a new job. For crying out loud, we’re paying Lowe $10 million next year to play somewhere else and had to pay McLouth $1.25 million just to go away. Who’s the idiot?

ray

December 5th, 2011
10:04 pm

thats right kerryb. all these young guys will soon be gone. Bourn will be next. JJ will also leave so we should trade him now.
Alex Gonzalez wants a multi year deal and we still couldn’t offer him arbitration-why would he have accepted it ( a 1 yr deal) ?
Pastornicky may not be ready yet for another year -maybe more . so what would have been the big problem with a 2 yr deal for Carroll ? instead, we have no sure SS for 2012.
our OF is powerless. counting on Heyward returning to rookie form is wishful thinking. aside from his weight, what makes him such a sure thing to rebound ? nothing really.
all we get is pie in the sky rhetoric like a political campaign.

Loyal Fan

December 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

I don’t know you can point at many things wrong and make a valuable argument as you can with most franchises. I don’t really know what you are barking at jayshaun. You are completely right for most part, so we get ya.
Busts are going to happen like McClouth, but every team overpays – look at Reyes’ new deal. We will see what Wren gets for Jurrjens, and then you can thank him. We got him for nothing in the first place for what he has done and the trade value you he demands. I am not sayin he’s an ace, but there are a lot of teams that need SPs right now. We should have traded when his value was the highest at last year’s all star break.

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
10:08 pm

Hey……….our GM, Alfred E. Neumann, isn’t worried about shortstop. After all we went without a bona fide centerfielder for almost 6 years before Bourn showed up. We’ve seen guys like Garrett Anderson in left field, Melky Cabrera. Great clutch players like Jeff Mather, Ed Norton. The miracle is that Bobby Cox took that team he had in 2010 to the playoffs and gave the Giants all they could handle for 4 games.

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
10:09 pm

But we were in a playoff hunt then and we couldnt get rid of our ace

Loyal Fan

December 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

Ray = Thanks for proving my point about dumb comments . . .
We are in the process of listening to trade offers for Jurrjens . . . Resigning Gonzo is dumb, he can’t hit and plays great defense, why would we give him any offer more than a year and I dont want that . . Heyward is a question mark, but hopefully he will find his swing again. Jamey Carroll is old as balls. He WAS streaky at best. We might as well bring back Greg Norton while we are at it.

AFAN

December 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

i hate the new miami uniforms. I am afraid im going to really dislike this team even more now.

Loyal Fan

December 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

Good point Jayshaun. Touche.

Largo

December 5th, 2011
10:11 pm

Same old crap from Wren. “We don’t feel like we have a glaring weakness…” How long have we had one of the worst hitting outfields in the majors? 2012 will probably be a carbon copy of 20ll.

AFAN

December 5th, 2011
10:15 pm

Our outfield has been horrible the last several years. No power at all.
Heyward needs to be the back up. and to think we are going to start the season with a rookie at short?

Coon-Dawg

December 5th, 2011
10:15 pm

Frank Wren is spinning. The sad reality is … The Braves “Niche” is we have no money to spend and everyone else does ! Our “Niche” is that we are forced to be on the cheap” ! … If we don’t add a big bat on one of the outfield corners ; We’re DOA again ! … Period !!!

phoo

December 5th, 2011
10:16 pm

DOB,

Reports say that Hanley is upset about Reyes signing due to the fact that he has to move to 3B. Marlins have not come out and said that they will not trade Hanley, so it seems they may be willing to move him. They have traded within the division before, look at last year with Ugla. So if Hanley is on the market would the Braves actively pursue him?

Thanks,
P

Brava

December 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

Can’t see the Braves even considering Hanley after the blowup between him and Fredi. Plus, they don’t like players with attitudes.

aBraveVol

December 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

was there not something between hanley and F. Gonzales when he was in florida?? plus would have to give up too much. Let boston get him and go get on of their other SS for next to nothing.

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

No carbon copy of 2011 next year. You’ll be lucky to see the braves in the hunt. Let’s see…….in 2010 Chipper stunk it up so much in April, May, and first part of June that on the 15th he drove down to Turner Field for a pity party to talk about retiring. Thankfully, Troy Glaus was picking up the slack. Chipper winds up with the season ending injury and trains harder last off season than he probably has since he had the other injury his rookie season. After a hard winter of training, he has a great year, albeit still fighting injuries. My guess is that this off season his training regimen has consisted of climbing into and out of deer stand. I don’t expect him to have near the season he had last year. Subtract Prado, subtract an all-star pitcher, subtract stellar defense at shortstop (and don’t forget that the last month of the season, Gonzalez was about the only player hitting other than Uggla) and you have a recipe for a very mediocre season. I’ll still watch ’cause I’m a baseball fan, but I’m not plunking down the big bucks to “guarantee my seats for the playoffs.”

jayshaun

December 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

No because the braves seem to hate trading for players with attitude issues

Crazy Trade MLB Network

December 5th, 2011
10:21 pm

“Wren seemed to downplay that need a bit, (backup SS) noting that the Braves signed six-year minor league free agent infielders with major league experience, Drew Sutton and Josh Wilson. “Both of them are better than a lot of guys that will be in big league camps, so we don’t feel like we have to have anybody,” Wren said.

Does the name Joe Mather ring a bell?

OklahomaBrave

December 5th, 2011
10:22 pm

Larry30, wasnt directed at you and you understand better than anyone the spoiled fans the braves have. As for bad signings I think wren would’ve been murdered if he hadn’t signed Lowe or Burnett. Any one of us would’ve made the mclouth trade. Kk that’s on wren. Wren sees that we have a chance to have a competitive team for the long haul if he doesn’t make another knee jerk signing like bum hammy Reyes. It’s hard to be patient but I believe 2013 and beyond is going to be a great time to be a braves fan. Im hopeful 2012 will be too!

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
10:23 pm

F. Gonzalez benched H. Ramirez for not running to get a ball during a game. Ramirez is a prima dona and under no circumstance will he wind up here. Reports are that Andre Dawson threatened to knock Ramirez on his a** if he opened his mouth one more time after the little episode two years ago.

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

I wouldn’t have signed McLouth to the deal Wren did. He had an option for over $10 million this year if the braves didn’t buy him out. And I was astonished that anyone would pay Lowe $60 million at his age and for a sinkerball pitcher. Candidly, I think KK got a raw deal. His stats were no worse than Lowe’s. That’s not saying much, but at least he cost us 1/3 of what Lowe cost. What a deal.

aBraveVol

December 5th, 2011
10:36 pm

larry30, Wren did not sign McLouth, he signed that extension before the braves traded for him, which at the time I seriously doubt anyone on here had ANY complaints about

Braves20

December 5th, 2011
10:40 pm

The Nats and Fish are making their moves for one reason – there are two teams in their division light years ahead of them. Reyes and Bell will not put the Fish over the top and the Nats have even more work to do. For once, I agree with Wren – no deals just to make a deal.

jharber

December 5th, 2011
10:46 pm

same ole dead ass wren, and people thought I was crazy for saying so in spring of 2010. knows less than my grandson about baseball talent

jharber

December 5th, 2011
10:46 pm

same ole dead ass wren, and people thought I was crazy for saying so in spring of 2010. knows less than my grandson about baseball talent

ray k

December 5th, 2011
11:02 pm

Wow, next year is going to really suck. We have 3 pitchers on the mend (which will kill the bullpen again), a 40 year old 3rd baseman, an enigma in right, a question mark in left, McCann, our best hitter coming off an abysmal year, and a high paid 2nd baseman coming off his worst year ever.

But yeah, Frank, just sit back and relax.

Just trade JJ–when his arm flies off, let it be in another uniform.

waterstim

December 5th, 2011
11:06 pm

Liberty Media. Please sell the Braves. What have you got to gain by holding them? They were a tax write-off. Enough already!

Steve

December 5th, 2011
11:16 pm

The Braves have made the playoffs once under Frank Wren. Once. When will the Braves organization wake up and deal with the GM?

PaulieOldSchool

December 5th, 2011
11:18 pm

Wren ain’t gonna spend diddly and we’ll end up with squat once again. You get what you pay for. Braves ain’t going nowhere, in terms of deals, trades, or wins.

Rafael

December 5th, 2011
11:27 pm

This gets more unbelieveable, to be more exact, MORE CHEAPABLE.!!!!!

A “backup” one-year SS like Jamey Carroll to plow a path until Tyler Pasornicky is ready??? More like a washed-up, mediocre, no pop CHEAP bum that adds another sure out bat in the Braves already offensively challenged lineup.

“The Letter” sent to the fans after the playoff collaspe was a huge LIE!!!! You know the text in the letter that said “the Braves leadership would explore every avenue to improve the team.” Let the TRUTH be told that Liberty CHEAPIA has no intention of spending a dime to improve the team. It will be the same “old status quo” with Liberty CHEAPIA, that out-of-state, gutless, faceless, penny-pinching conglomerate that owns our beloved Braves.

The Marlins sign SS Jose Reyes (batting champ, All-Star) and Frank Wren (the good soldier) is looking at the likes of a no-talent BUM like the Jamey Carroll’s of the world.

Is “exploring every avenue” and improving the team done by signing “backup shortstops” and “platoon outfielders”????!!!!!

You can laugh now, but the Braves have EVERY intention of giving that STIFF Matt Diaz 330+ ABs in the 2012 Brave’s outfield. You know, the SAME Matt Diaz (and I quote the AJC) “managed to keep his sense of humor despite the Brave’s playoff collaspe.” Real funny Matt, do we want the “Joker” Matty Diaz on our team???? WHY is Matt Diaz (”he rakes lefthanders you know”) STILL on a MLB roster????!!!!!!! Double-Play Matt Diaz, a career year for him is .240 with 6 HRs. Yes, laugh it up, but someone once said “Willie Harris is camp fodder” and he started half a season.

I’m resigned to the fact that as long as Liberty CHEAPIA owns this team, get used to pig-in-a-poke, washed-up, mediocre, bargain-basement, garage sale CHEAP (the key word) BUMS on the Braves roster.

The MIAMI Marlins, Phillies, and Nationals all WANT to COMPETE. The Braves and the Mets will cerrtainly be at the bottom of the standings.

I was excited about getting a QUALITY SS and STARTING power-hitting outfielder at the winter meetings. In fact, “The Letter” was truly a lie and look for Frank Wren (firefrankwren.com) to only obtain “AFFORABLE” backup type players.

Head of Cheese

December 5th, 2011
11:28 pm

Mr. Wren, are you seriously going to tell us if we can just add a Seth Smith or Delmon Young that we will be World Series bound? Our competition is adding major league all-stars and we are considering role player journeymen? I doubt we will re-sign Bourne and/or McCann.

Why not just close up and start a taco stand. Might have to learn to love the Royals.

Who Me?

December 5th, 2011
11:35 pm

Hey Frank, get it off snooze my friend. You’re not there to stick your finger in your mouth and raise it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Stunning at the alacrity team management takes with respect to this club. Glaring needs, lots of wind bandied about, but no movement.

Here’s a hint – that knife sticking in your back is your pals at Liberty Media setting you up to take the fall….Best of luck this coming year, what a snoozer this team will be.

David O'Brien

December 5th, 2011
11:38 pm

How ’bout the genius who said to me to bring something “relevant” or go away? I love it. Brilliant.

Go away from my own blog. And that would leave … empty space on which to comment. Gold star, Einstein.

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
11:42 pm

@abravesvol. You’re wrong. Frank wren has been gm since 2007 and they traded for McLouth in June, 2009. He was hitting less than .250 with 9 homers when thy signed him. His contract and complete tenure in Atlanta belong to wren.

Larry30

December 5th, 2011
11:51 pm

Some of you guys just don’t get it. Two teams made the playoffs last year, Tampa and Arizona, that had combined payrolls lower than the braves. It’s called getting your money’s worth. Quality players. We are loaded with inexpensive playerwished spent plenty on free agents the past 3 years, but we threw the money away on bums. $60 million to Lowe, $24 million to KK, $60 million on a .240 hitting solo homer artist, $40 something million on a broken down 3rd baseman, and about $30 million on McLouth. I would look at the team sometimes and wonder how we competed at all. If not for our pitching we wouldn’t have.

Bill

December 6th, 2011
12:01 am

DOB @11:38…lol. That was funny! Gold Star!

Texas Brave

December 6th, 2011
12:34 am

everyone needs to relax: the Marlins paid too much for Bell, who will suffer after leaving Petco, and, does anyone really believe Reyes will play in enough games to be effective? The Marlins will regret both of these contracts.

nelson

December 6th, 2011
12:36 am

Braves are said to go in search of Nick Punto as ss. Toronto is rumored to want. Prado for Jose Bautista? ? change with the Reds because the Reds fell out not wanting Jurrjens but there are 10 teams interested.

Robert

December 6th, 2011
12:39 am

New owner that will spend some money. Get a General manager that has a pair. Same thing every year just going through the motions. What a disappointment.

Eugene

December 6th, 2011
12:43 am

If memory serves me correctly, it was the Braves defense not its offense that failed down the final stretch. I could not believe the flubs that veteran players made during those last few games mostly in the last few endings of their supposed cakewalk into post season play. The Braves lost decisively to the Cardinals not because St. Louis had the better team but because the Braves had several veteran players on the field who failed to earn their paychecks in clutch situations and in the closing moments of the games that counted the most.

yesterday's news

December 6th, 2011
12:56 am

What’s the definition of insanity?……..doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results……does this fit the Braves or what?

brvs1fan

December 6th, 2011
1:08 am

Larry30 McLouth signed that contract in Pittsburgh before the trade. STFU if you don’t know what you talking about

Stanco

December 6th, 2011
1:18 am

More of the same old lips service from Wren. He better address the team need for some energy, excitement and playmakers…otherwise he and Liberty Media will see the lack of asses in the seats in 2012. Being led by a 40 y/o 3rd baseman…that is boring, uninspiring and past his prime…..what can you expect from the 2012 Braves? Not only the money spent (wasted) on KK, McClouth and for the most part Lowe, add in the 26 million for the Chip in 2011 and 2012 you see why Wren is looking for low budget, back up type players to fill out the roster. With the Braves tendency to not sign/over pay their aging pitchers, I can’t see why the Braves did it with Chipper! Like someone else stated earlier, I think it will be 2013 before we see a major change and upgrade for the Braves. And pleaseeee, the Chipper apologists, I know what he has done for the Brave in the past…but he was well paid for that and his play and contributions are appreciated by all.

mossyclay

December 6th, 2011
1:23 am

I think they should bring back Jack Wilson to fill the gap at SS until Tyler is ready, he is great defensively and adequate as a contact hitter, lot better in the clutch than Gonzo, glad to see Gonzo leave as he left so many runners on base all year long.

reckingball

December 6th, 2011
3:58 am

Some of these baseball geniuses need to send their resumes to the Braves front office and see if they can get Wren’s job.
Maybe one of them can pull the Braves out of this horrible mess that they are in now.

reckingball

December 6th, 2011
4:01 am

I believe that the Braves will win the 2012 WS.
I can hardly wait to get to Turner Field, for the home opener, I plan on going to as many games as possible this coming year.
GO BRAVES!!!!!!

Stinger2

December 6th, 2011
4:02 am

The message I get from Wren is: Don`t expect the Braves
to do anything.

tony

December 6th, 2011
4:05 am

You can’t win championships if you’re not willing to spend. In the Marlins 18 years history has won 2 ws because in the Marlins hearts championships outweigh profits. They already signed Jose Reyes and Heath Bell and now they’re trying to sign one of the highest paid baseball player in the league, Albert Pujols.

The braves will never play in another ws until they get a dominant pitcher and a dominant hitter. There are 2 players who can help the braves get back to the ws and they are Tim Lincecum-P and Justin Upton-RF. Make it happen Wren!

raymond

December 6th, 2011
5:31 am

It makes me sick how the Braves only strive to be average.

HATinGA

December 6th, 2011
6:29 am

Being so quick to the deal is how we ended up paying for Lowe, KK , McLouse. I say wait on a good deal!

yogi

December 6th, 2011
6:45 am

I wish the braves would release Brooks Conrad and then sign the best Rule 5 infielder or outfielder available. Conrad didn’t even earn his meal money last year. What a joke. Matt Diaz seems to be washed up. He was good a couple years ago but has lost his skills. When the Pirates pay part of his
salary just to get rid of him that should tell Wren something.

Preston Hannatized.

December 6th, 2011
6:54 am

Frank Wren: “I mean, if you ask me, is there something we have to have going into spring training.”
Well, yes.
Power at the corner outfield spots. Prado is Omar Infante, a solid, pluggable, contributor but not a daily LF. Heyward is a HUGE question mark.
Braves have no interest in Buehrle? In the days of M-G-S, the Braves would always add that 4th veteran – Burkett, Reynolds, etc.
Thank God for the Mets as the Braves will likely fall back in the NL East in 2012.

mattymose

December 6th, 2011
7:04 am

I love how you speak your mind DOB. Don’t take crap from any bloggers. That;s why you are the best in the business.

Keep up the good work!

EX-BRAVE FAN

December 6th, 2011
7:15 am

The Braves continue to look for bargain players who are on their last leg. This mentality has not work in the past and it will not work now. You cannot have a competitive team made up of career utility players and has been players. About one half of the bullpen last year could not make the pitching squads of the elite teams. The Braves need to restructure Chippers salary this year because he will not play over 120 games this season. This savings can go toward a front line player. Also, the Braves do not need to wait too long before they start looking for a better manager.

J-MAN

December 6th, 2011
7:24 am

This team had an all-time epic choke job. And basically nothing has been done to reassure the fanbase that this will not be tolerated. Yea we got rid of Lowe and Parrish, but inorder to get fans excited we need a big signing or trade. Because fans don’t want to come to see a vanilla/bland team with no heart and attendance will be down signafically. Also to keep Fredi Gonzalez without any discipline for that choke job makes the fans weary to come and see this team. Personally I think we need a new manager and to get a new philisophy because we need to have a new direction and to move on from Bobby Cox light (AKA Fredi Gonzalez).

GOP Cannon

December 6th, 2011
7:38 am

I love how even after we dumped payroll by trading Lowe and not resigning Kenshin Kawakami or Nate Mclouth, that the Braves are operating like a team that is completely broke. Why exactly do we not have the funds to bring on a big bat in the outfield?

There may be no sense of urgency at these meetings; however, I want to see a new product put on the field in 2012. The 2011 September collapse is going to haunt me for a long time… we better see something different next season.

BravesFan77

December 6th, 2011
7:40 am

Suck it up and bring in Jimmy Rollins for 2 years with an option for a third and go get Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer batted .284 with 20 HR and 70 RBI’s and should provide better pop than Prado. Keep Prado as back-up 3B for the aging Chipper Jones. Keep Jair until the trade deadline down the stretch to add that extra piece. Just a thought.

a fan

December 6th, 2011
7:48 am

Reading some of the nonsense on here I would never know we won 89 games and had we not had the injuries probably 95. Some of you should become Astro’s fans you would be right at home.

Lefty

December 6th, 2011
7:49 am

On the plus side, the Mets don’t seem to be doing anything, either. It could be a battle for 4th place!!

Joey

December 6th, 2011
7:50 am

A backup shortstop?

Dang, is the public invited to the introduction press conference?

Boss

December 6th, 2011
7:55 am

So typical. Bitch and whine. “If the Braves don’t do something, attendance will suffer.” News flash. It already does. Braves can’t fill Turner Field unless their opponent brings there faithful. Pitiful. Embarrassing. Unfortunate too!

Dozer

December 6th, 2011
7:56 am

“The Braves do not feel any similar sense of urgency” – that says it all. This is a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 6 years, a WS game in 15, gagged away the wild card, can’t realistically think about competing for the division. “Commitment to Pretty Good” should be the motto. The discussion is all around tweaking as if their core is good enough. this team needs to start managing their business with a championship as their goal. they talk a good game but in the end we can’t really say that the Braves are real players in the offseason.

Joey

December 6th, 2011
7:56 am

Jimmy Rollins?

After his obvious, two-year experiment with PEDs ended (’06, ‘07) he became a very average player again.

BravesFan

December 6th, 2011
7:58 am

Can a team trade managers at the winter meetings?

Just askin….

Cecil34

December 6th, 2011
8:15 am

Wren and Co. need to start thinking outside the box, because their current business model isn’t producing the desired results, and haven’t in many years.

It would be interesting to track Braves’ attendence in the last 11 years…where can I find this?

Cecil34

December 6th, 2011
8:21 am

I found them at Baseball-Reference.com – interesting note – Braves haven’t drawn 3 million since 2000, the year after their last WS appearance.

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