Don’t expect a Hanley-Fredi reunion in ATL

DALLAS – Amid reports Tuesday that Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez might ask to be traded rather than move to third base to accommodate newly signed Jose Reyes, Braves general manager Frank Wren was asked if maybe, possibly …

The answer was no.

No, the Ramirez situation would not have any effect on the Braves’ shortstop situation, Wren said. That confirmed what most assumed — the Braves would not pursue the enigmatic shortstop whom then-Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez famously benched in 2010 for not hustling after a ball that rolled into the outfield.

Gonzalez was in Wren’s suite Tuesday when the GM met with Atlanta writers during the second day of baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole. Many in South Florida believed that Gonzalez’ brief benching of Ramirez helped get the manager fired soon after, because Ramirez was a favorite of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

The Braves hired Gonzalez as manager after the 2010 season, to replace his retired mentor Bobby Cox.

Asked about Ramirez, Gonzalez said he thought the 27-year-old three-time All-Star and 2009 MVP runner-up would do well in the right clubhouse with a good mix of veterans around him.

But the Braves would not be a suitor if the Marlins were to trade him. Wren indicated it had more to do with the Braves’ situation — they are leaning toward rookie Tyler Pastornicky as their starting shortstop for 2012, and want to add a backup shortstop.

Ramirez’ average and OPS slipped from .342/.954 in 2009, to .300/.853 in 2010, and .243/.712 in an injury-shortened 2011 season. He’s owed $46 million over the next three seasons.

The Marlins this week signed free agent Reyes to a six-year, $106 million contract, and are also pursuing the biggest free agent of all, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

The Braves are aiming to make far more modest moves this offseason, looking for a corner outfielder with some power and a backup shortstop. If they decide between now and Opening Day that Pastornicky needs another season or half-season of development, they would presumably acquire a veteran to serve as a bridge to Pastornicky, who’ll turn 22 next week and doesn’t have major league experience.

For now, Wren says they would be comfortable going to spring training with Pastornicky penciled in for the starting role.

“Our focus is on a traditional backup middle infielder that can play shortstop and can spell, if it turns out that it’s Tyler Pastornicky [in the starting role], that can spell him and maybe give him a day off a tough [pitcher] that Fredi feels like protects him a little bit, those type of scenarios.

“We’re not looking at [adding a] guy that’s a part-time shortstop or a semi-regular.  We’re going with a traditional backup shortstop. That’s been our focus.”

They don’t want to make a multi-year commitment to any shortstop, because it would block the prospects they have coming up. The Braves plan to get solid shortstop play for an affordable rate for several years with their young talent.

They are four-deep in shortstop prospects, with skilled 22-year-old Andrelton Simmons perhaps a year or so behind Pastornicky on the organizational ladder. Simmons has what many scouts believe to be greater overall potential.

Shortstop prospects Nick Ahmed and Elmer Reyes are the other two shortstops the Braves view as solid prospects in the low minors. The Braves are so deep at the position, they moved 2010 first-round draft pick Matt Lipka from shortstop to center field during the fall Instructional League. Lipka will play center in the minors in 2012.

Among free-agent backup shortstops the Braves are known to have targeted is versatile Nick Punto, 33, who hit .278 with one homer and a .388 on-base percentage in 166 plate appearances during an injury-plagued season with St. Louis in 2011. The Cardinals are interested in re-signing Punto if the price is right, but for now St. Louis officials are focused on the overriding Pujols situation.

Wren said the Braves continued early stage trade discussions with several teams on Tuesday, but wouldn’t elaborate. Some teams including perhaps the Braves are waiting to see which players are non-tendered by the Monday deadline for teams to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players.

– The Braves could non-tender Braves reliever Peter Moylan, who is recovering from shoulder surgery and will miss the early part of the season, and then try to sign him at a salary below the $2 million-plus that he would command through arbitration. Wren said he had discussed the possibility with Moylan’s agent during the general managers meetings last month in Milwaukee.

– Several teams have expressed interest in available Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens and versatile infielder/outfielder Martin Prado, but word around the Winter Meetings hotel is that the Braves’ asking price for each has been too high so far. The market for Jurrjens could become clearer once free-agent pitchers C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle sign.

The Braves aren’t in a take-the-best-offer situation with either Jurrjens or Prado, and could keep either or both if they don’t get what they deem a suitable offer. Wren said again that the Braves do not need to make any moves to trim payroll.

“No, we don’t need to make a move for that,” Wren said. “Like I said yesterday and have said all along, anything we’re working on would be with an eye toward improving our club.”

– Simmons was named to the Topps Class-A All-Star team, the only Brave and only Carolina League player named to the team comprised Class A and high-A leagues.

Simmons won the Carolina League batting title with a .311 average, the only player to hit .300 in the league.  He led the league in at-bats and was second in doubles (35). Baseball America rated him the Carolina League’s fourth-best prospect.

190 comments Add your comment


December 6th, 2011
8:45 pm

I know it is corny but first..


December 6th, 2011
8:47 pm

Seems to me that we have our back-up shortstop. His name is Martin Prado.

daniel buck

December 6th, 2011
8:52 pm

dear Lord people… PRADO IS NOT A SS!!!!!! Period point blank… let it go

Seattle Braves

December 6th, 2011
8:52 pm

Martin Prado for SS.

Trade JJ for BJ Upton in LF.

Potentail Line up

1. Bourne
2. Upton
3. McCann
4. Uggla
5. Freeman
6. Chipper
7. Prado
8. Heyward
9. Hudson

Problem Solved!

Piedmont Blues

December 6th, 2011
8:56 pm

C’mon, folks. Chipper’s a better prospect at SS than Martin. Give it a rest.


December 6th, 2011
8:58 pm

This Marlins shopping spree is downright depressing.. that is all.


December 6th, 2011
9:03 pm

I wouldn’t mind them trading for Chris Coughlin for LF


December 6th, 2011
9:03 pm

Corner Outfielder with some pop? Hmmm. I got it! trade for Hunter Pence! Wait…..We let our Div Rival get him? Clearly a major mistake by Braves not acuiring him before the July 31st trade deadline

David O'Brien

December 6th, 2011
9:04 pm

Also, if your wondering about a Braves, Rick Camp reunion, don’t bank on it. Cause Rick is in jail. And he is like 60-years-old. These, plus other obvious musings, to come.

Seattle Braves

December 6th, 2011
9:04 pm

In reality you need a good SS and 2nd baseman. Most hit groundes are to these two players. Communication is key, habbits, atletic, and mobility are what your looking for. I say let Pastornicky start and sign Edgar or Wilson has a Backup tutor.

This would mean that either Prado is traded of put back into LF and 3B back up. Which I agree with. I would like to land a big Bat like Upton or Rameriz but thats not the reality of things. I do however see the Braves adding some more depth to the Bullpen to aid Venters, Kimbrel, and O Flaherty. Braves not need to make a big splash, they have to resign McCann and Bourne or lose them to FA.

Braves could get some extra spending if they wanted too, but thats not they way the money making formula is built with the front office and Liberty Media. They like doing what is neccessary to put out a good team (not Great)to overcome adversity and hopefully make a deep run into the Playoffs. Until the formula changes, expect more rental veterans and 4th to 5th best option at cheap prices head to Atlanta.


December 6th, 2011
9:22 pm

i know it .. no hanley ,,, wren wake up !! sign jimmy rollins


December 6th, 2011
9:29 pm

Don’t expect to see many big moves by Wren at this meeting, unlike previous years. I really can’t understand why they would be in a hurry to trade Prado – staph infection last year took away his year. But, attitude, effort, flexibility in playing positions, and clubhouse demeanor are all strong reasons to keep him. Plus, the Braves won’t get huge value in return. Finally, please give up on suggesting they move him to SS…..if he could play it a lick, the team would have already had him there.

Also, JJ needs to stay put – he’s too solid as a starter. His injuries have mostly been non-arm related: groin, knee, oblique. Different training could potentially eliminate much of those. On the other hand, I would be in favor of them trading Hanson if a decent deal could be worked out. His injuries ARE arm related, and with that throwing motion more are sure to come.

Bottom line with the Braves surround 2 points: until Liberty Media realizes the remainder of their tax credits and sells the team to an owner who will invest more heavily, Wren will have to operate as he has. Secondly, until Chipper Jones is retired ( and I hate to see it as I’ve always been a fan, but it is time) they won’t be able to settle certain field/batting positions or manage their payroll effectively.


December 6th, 2011
9:43 pm

braves zzzzzzzzzzzz


December 6th, 2011
9:44 pm

I like jack wilson as a stopgap at SS if the young kid falters. Wilson was a good pick up near the end of the season and was a positive force in the clubhouse. No need to waste prado or JJ on a player that may not be beter than what we already have. Would Toronto possibly move bautista for the right mix of players. If so, he would be a great piece for LF


December 6th, 2011
9:45 pm

Did the Marlins sign Reyes just to piss Ramriez off? hell i have a better chance at playing 3rd for the fish than Hanley does. He wont be a Marlin much longer. and the fish will soon regret giving reyes all that dough. maybe we will wrap ice with all that cash to go on his hammys that seems to tear….every year. I think Reyes is a fine player, when healthy, but not worth 106 mill.

Alaska Braves Fan

December 6th, 2011
9:46 pm

Isn’t it truly wonderful to be joyously alive and to be able to spend time jawboning (via the electron) about a GAME? I love the Braves, and I love watching each one of them play. I really want them to win, but almost all of them will make more money this year than I will have made in a lifetime! It’s fun; it’s entertainment. Don’t let it affect your overall enjoyment of the one life you have to live and savor.



December 6th, 2011
9:46 pm

the problem is Wren’s flawed logic. if the Marlins and Phils are improved and are in your division, then you can’t assume that you will have the same number of wins with the same team as last year.
you play them head to head numerous times and this will lower your win total as well as cause you to lose ground to them in the standings.
you can’t come in 3rd in a division and win a wild card spot.
other than that, everything is just fine and dandy.
offering arbitration to Gonzalez would have resulted in either losing him to another club and gaining a comp pick or signing him to a 1 yr deal for a little more than they wanted. so what was the big problem ?


December 6th, 2011
9:47 pm

The Braves should swing a deal to the White Sox for Carlos Quienton and Gordon Beckham. It would fill both our needs. The Chi Sox have made it clear they are re-building. Makes sense.


December 6th, 2011
9:52 pm

So we are not pursuing Ramirez because we have a solid SS whose name is Pastornicky.

Brave New World

December 6th, 2011
9:52 pm

nelson December 6th, 2011 9:22 pm
i know it .. no hanley ,,, wren wake up !! sign jimmy rollins

Nelson: I don’t think it will happen, but I’m with you. This would be a great move for the Braves. They would get a Gold Glove shortstop with speed and a decent bat. Plus, Rollins is a leader. And, they would weaken the Phils. If the Phils had signed Reyes, Rollins would have been expendable, but now the Phils must sign Rollins.


December 6th, 2011
9:53 pm

I for one am still focusing on the long term. We can win next year with what we have. We should still be seeking one SS as a bridge…maybe. Otherwise, we need to be looking for more elite youthful talent. Look at the age of our team as a whole. We need to keep building and use what we have.

Joe Nuxall

December 6th, 2011
9:54 pm

It almost seems certain that Frank will come home Friday empty handed. Waiting until some of the FA’s are signed might be the best option to make our trade bait worth more. I’m beginning to agree that we do need only a cheap back-up SS and let P’nicky begin the season at short. But filling the LF corner with a power hitter is now a glaring reality.


December 6th, 2011
9:55 pm

Martin is a ballplayer. I could care less where they play him. All he does is hustle and take smart at bats. When the team flounders, its guys like him that keep the fans tuning in.

Joe Nuxall

December 6th, 2011
10:00 pm

The NL east is now where the power shift is coming. The Nats and Marlins are already on board reloading their teams. The Braves need to keep up. I really like Carlos Quentin. He has good numbers and would make a nice fit with the Braves.

Tip-your-hat to the Marlins

December 6th, 2011
10:07 pm

Wren always says as if Pastornicky could be a real answer for SS. But remember, he’s not an elite top prospect like Heyward and Freeman used to be.
To me, what Wren’s saying just sounds like… ‘we don’t need to sign a CF because we have Jordan Schafer.’
Letting a so-so prospect without any ML experience take the regular SS job??? It’s just ridiculous. Wren, are you sure you are dreaming of a team that can compete with PHI and the brand-new Miami?


December 6th, 2011
10:10 pm

Martin Prado is the heart of the Braves team. Sure, that staph infection, not a baseball injury, busted his butt last season. Anyone who has ever suffered a case of staph knows it takes a while to fully recover from it. He should be fully recovered by this time and some team will reap the benefits of his play. It will be a shame if that team is not the Atlanta Braves.

Brave New World

December 6th, 2011
10:13 pm

Miami will not be a powerhouse unless they put together a decent starting rotation. Also, if they lose Hanley, they have done nothing but “tread water” signing Reyes – plus Reyes is injury-prone. Philly has one great starter in Halladay, and 2 very good starters in Lee and Hamels, but their line up is average at best.

Number 5#

December 6th, 2011
10:23 pm


December 6th, 2011
10:33 pm

As a LIFELONG Brave’s fan, I CAN’T take this Liberty CHEAPIA era any more!!!!!!

I want to talk about “THE LETTER” sent by John Schuerholz to Brave’s fans apologizing for the Brave’s playoff collaspe and “exploring every avenue to improve the Braves.”

John Schuerholz, you should be ASHAMED OF YOURSELF and go to confession for sending out that blantant LIE and BALONEY letter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (or you should have included an “asterisk” in small print that stated Liberty CHEAPIA has given Frank Wren unlimited financial resources to improve the team as long as he DOES NOT exceed $2.36 – YES two dollars and thirty six cents).

Is IMPROVING the team signing a 33 year old Nick Punto to play SS with his ONE HR???!!! The Brave’s batting lineup is ALREADY offensively CHALLENGED and you want to add this bargain-basement light-hitting STIFF to our lineup???!!!!! Punto and “Double Play” Matt Diaz in the same batting order….. can you say TWO OUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is IMPROVING the team renting the first TRUE ALL-STAR leadoff hitter in Michael Bourn for ONE Year and letting him walk via free agency because Liberty CHEAPIA is TOO CHEAP to sign him (aka …. can you say Mark Texiera and J D Drew… there is historical precedent here).

Is IMPROVING the team obtaining an AFFORDABLE platoon corner OF so Matty Diaz (he rakes lefthanders you know) can get 300+ ABs in 2012??!!!!! Matt Diaz is the SAME BUM (and once again I quote the AJC) “managed to keep his sense of humor DESPITE the Brave’s Playoff collaspe.” Real funny Matt, do we want a no-talent BUM playing for us that thinks it’s FUNNY to lose????!!!! A career year for Matt Diaz is .240 BA with 6 HRs. Besides being a CLANK with the glove, WHY is Matt Diaz on a MLB roster????!!!!!! Frank Wren ( WON’T answer the previous question because Matty Diaz is “AFFORDABLE.”

Instead of trading for Jose Bautista, Eduardo Nunez, and Mason Williams this week, Sgt. Wren (”the GOOD soldier”) is going to bring us Nick “No Hit” Punto and Seth “can’t hit lefthanders” Smith.

Bautista would give us a REAL Starting righthanded power-hitting corner OF. Nunez would give us a young SS with an UPSIDE who can also play the OF. Mason Williams would give us our 5-tool CF of the future because Michael Bourn is HISTORY in the ATL (Liberty CHEAPIA and Scott “Lucifer” Boras DON’T play well together).

Frank, DON’T you get it…. Nick Punto may be AFFORDABLE but has NO UPSIDE and is a sure OUT (you can take your OPS “BS” and throw it in Lake Lanier).

As I said, the “LETTER” was nothing more than a huge LIE and HOAX… lipservice at best. THOU SHALT NOT LIE John Schuerholz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liberty CHEAPIA has turned what was going to be an exciting hot-stove offseason for me into disappointment and disdain. THANK YOU Liberty CHEAPIA… a MULTIBILLION dollar corporation (QVC is one of their holdings) that won’t spend a “dime” to improve the Braves in a divison that includes the Phillies and the Free-spending Marlins. Can you say 4th place for our Braves next year…. EVEN the Nationals spend money to improve their team.

Nick Punto, that CERTAINLY says it ALL about the BUDGET Liberty CHEAPIA gave Frank Wren to IMPROVE the team.


December 6th, 2011
10:36 pm

Clearly, if the Braves had a backup SS last season, they would have won the World Series. Thanks for reminding us, Frank Wren.


December 6th, 2011
10:42 pm

Braves appear to be making no splash at all. At least talk of trades gives fans hope.
The team that finished the year was pittiful and now we say we are going to bring back the same crap minus gonzo and add a rookie.
I agree with Rafael. That letter sent to the fans as an apology was just lies. If this team fields in 2012 the same way then im done. I have no interest in sitting up at night to watch that bunch of losers.


December 6th, 2011
10:43 pm

Great piece, DOB. Seriously serious thanks. Could you put your sleuth suit on and ask around about a possible Braves, Chipper trade? Braves move to Las Vegas possible? Sleuth sloth slug with, wait for a dangle of a participle, an additional comma.


December 6th, 2011
10:45 pm

Nate Mclouth back to the pirates…Ahhh where it all began. Good luck Nate.


December 6th, 2011
10:48 pm

I think we should just keep Prodo if there is a good solid cheap outfielder out there then lets get him Wren needs to stop waiting on something because if you blink all the best players will gone good GM’s don’t think that way .


December 6th, 2011
10:50 pm

Of course the Braves don’t want Hanley Ramirez. He’s an impact bat. Can’t have that in Atlanta.


December 6th, 2011
10:51 pm

Yep. wren’s thought process is lets wait it out and see what happens. Meanwhile, the good players sign and if anything is left it is basement players.
By the way those New Marlins jerseys look like a Girls Softball Team…LOL


December 6th, 2011
10:55 pm

Enter your comments here

Negative Nancy

December 6th, 2011
10:59 pm

Fellow Braves Fans. Remember winning the division every year? Remember teams with guys like Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Justice, Andruw Jones, Javy, McGriff, Galaragga, Gant, and Pendleton? Now throw all those memories out the window. The new Braves will be a team of low cost, washed up hacks peppered with role players who never quite reached their potential. They’ll be led into battle with a manager who is still trying to finish his copy of “Baseball Managing for Dummies”. We will make the Pirates tradition look good. Wren and Liberty will kill baseball in Atlanta.


December 6th, 2011
11:01 pm

Braves under Frank Wren: four seasons, one playoff appearance, zero postseason series victories.

Wren has does some nice things, but he should be on the hot seat. Most of his big splashes – Lowe, Kawakami, McLouth, Uggla – have been abject failures who crippled the team financially. Thankfully, only Uggla remains from that group. There should be no excuse now for Frank not to be able to put together a team good enough to get to the playoffs and win once they get there. Let’s see if he can deliver. If he can’t, we need to start looking for a new GM.


December 6th, 2011
11:03 pm

To those clamoring for a Jimmy Rollins signing, ask yourself if you really want to be paying him for the next FIVE years when we have many younger and cheaper SS options. This isn’t fantasy baseball folks. Rollins, Fielder, Pujols , Wilson, etc aren’t good signings for anyone at the figures they are looking for. I would like to have Rollins for 2-3 years max but he’s looking for five years. No way should any team sign him for five years. Pujols is about to sign a 10 year contract with a team. Does anyone on the blog want to be paying a 42 year old Albert $22-$25M a year at that age? People on the blog gripe about Chipper’s current age and salary these day. It could be twice as worse from a salary standpoint with Albert.


December 6th, 2011
11:15 pm

Corner Outfielder with some pop? Hmmm. I got it! trade for Hunter Pence! Wait…..We let our Div Rival get him? Clearly a major mistake by Braves not acuiring him before the July 31st trade deadline


Simpson's Homer

December 6th, 2011
11:18 pm

Dave, is there any chance that you could ban any further asking of this question?!!?!?!?

“What about moving Martin Prado to SS??”

He played fewer than 10 games at SS in his entire minor league career. Who would think that he has the combination of range and throwing arm to play SS at the major league level? (not to mention the unfairness of jerking Prado around by making him adjust to a 3rd major league position).

I suppose I could wish for some form of ETERNAL ban by executive decree. If not, maybe you could have the question (and answer) permanently added to the Braves section template for the AJC site. It’s starting to bug me like the omnipresent question about the infeld fly rule that drove Skip Carey nuts……….! GO BRAVES!!!


December 6th, 2011
11:18 pm

Looks like Frank Wren is aiming for third place in the division. Philadelphia and Miami have moved ahead. I thought the Braves were looking to appease the fans after last years collapse. Guess I was wrong.


December 6th, 2011
11:19 pm

Good pitching beats good hitting. I keep hearing that. Then how did the braves go 8-18 last year and lose a 10 1/2 game lead. It’s because they don’t have a stopper on the club… plus even with good pitching you still need SOME KIND OF OFFENSE TO WIN. Braves offense has been BAD for the last couple of years. Now after the big talk from Schuerholz at the end of the season about making the braves a better team, Wren is looking for a backup shortstop….for a year. Wow! That should improve the offense…(Laugh) Also, he indicates fielding the same team as last year is not impossible. Damn it, we need some significant changes or we’ll end up fourth or even last in the division.


December 6th, 2011
11:19 pm

The big thing to remember is we have bourn for the whole year. That alone will make us much better. Our bull pin is great and our rotation no matter which five is in it will be top five in the nl. It all comes down to Jason Heyward being what I think he is and that is one of the top players in the game. If that happens and we get 340 obp and say 25 steals out of short. We will be right back at the top for the east or at least the wild card. Glass half full!!!!

Mister Frisky

December 6th, 2011
11:29 pm

As our once proud Bravos sink into the abyss,there is Frank Wren aka Richard Inhand doing absolutely nothing.If it was just one position that was a problem I could accept that.The fact that there is no offense from SS,RF and LF and this tool sits on his fat keester looking for a has been or never was is effin heartbreaking.

1995 was 16 years ago

December 6th, 2011
11:30 pm

The Braves aren’t committed to winning. If they were, they would have fired these twin doofuses, Frankie and Fredi, after the worst collapse in National League history. And then they’re going to insult the fans by running what’s essentially the same group of chokers back out there in 2012? Unreal.

Mister Frisky

December 6th, 2011
11:32 pm

Of course Wren won’t pursue Hanley.Why would you want someone that’s better than every player you already have.

Braves Fan Trapped behind Philly Lines

December 6th, 2011
11:33 pm

Wow, I thought there would be more news or rumors by now. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Wake me up around spring training


December 6th, 2011
11:55 pm

This management can’t be serious…Not going to pursue Hanley because they have faith in Pastornicky. Come on guys if you can get Hanley you go after him. Give Pastornicky another year in the minors to develop and then you still have 2 years left with Hanley. You could then try Pastornicky at 3B when Chipper retires an then move him back to SS when Hanley’s contract is up.

Another year of wishing we had an owner that wasn’t just a company that doesn’t care about the product.

Mister Frisky

December 7th, 2011
12:01 am

Simpsons Homer I agree Prado at short is a joke.Only thing worse than that is all the mock line ups of players that will never be Braves.


December 7th, 2011
12:05 am

I believe everything Wren said has been said three are four times. Really Frank can you say something new? All teams are making moves to improve but Braves. If Braves stand pat..they will never make play-offs and fans will stay home. Bet on it.


December 7th, 2011
12:23 am

Sounds like we want a SS with high levels of literacy. Wren says he must be capable of spelling “Pastornicky.”

And that ain’t easy.

20 out

December 7th, 2011
12:53 am

I hope to god that this looking for a “traditional backup middle infielder” is a smokescreen of some deal going down. All this talk of making the team better from Wren and then he says they might go with a kid with no experience. WTF?


December 7th, 2011
1:14 am

Soooo disappointing to read Wren’s “plan”!! If he brings back basicly the same team in 2012……and that includes bringing back Matt Diaz (and that highly productive platoon we have had in left field the last 4 or 5 years) who could not get, or earn, playing time when with the Pirates in 2011……I hope Wren and Liberty Media see the worst collapse in…ATTENDANCE…as never seen before!!!!!!

Joey Paden

December 7th, 2011
1:24 am

Thanks for the blog Dave. Wish there was better news from the winter meetings. I agree totally with Rafael. John how could you even send a letter like that to the fans? And Frank I would have guessed no moves at all. I thought I heard you say that you wanted a lineup pitchers fear to pitch too. Do you think they are going to fear this lineup? The same one from last year? The one who fell 10 1/2 games when they had that as a lead? Give me a break. If you want the fans to come you have to sign the right players. And tell Liberty to RAISE THE PAYROLL PLEASE! Quit saving the money for yourselves!

Joey Paden

December 7th, 2011
1:26 am

I am sorry that I feel this way but I am tired of feeling like Cubs fans feel. Always saying maybe next year.

Joey Paden

December 7th, 2011
1:27 am

Frank build the right team and fans will come.


December 7th, 2011
1:50 am

The BRAVES are cheap. They’re always looking through the scrap heaps for a washed up player past his prime. Kudos on the Bourne deal. That was a real shocker, now let’s sign that man to a long term deal.


December 7th, 2011
2:45 am

I love all this!! It is a beautiful thing to see someone you dislike write his own epitaph. Wren and JS are so full of it, really just sad.

This team needs a enema and we have 10 months til it comes. They have more or less sucked as a team since 2000 so 10 more months is nothing.

Wren, JS and Fredi will be fired before Columbus Day 2012. Mark it down.

Liberty will cut payroll when the are clearly out of it by July 1 and then sell the team.


December 7th, 2011
2:54 am

Here is an easy if then line of questioning someone should as Wren or JS during these softball press sessions.

1. Is Pastornicky in the same class as Heyward or Frenchie when they were in AA/AAA?
2. No f-ing way you say. hmmmm
3. How did Heyward and Frenchie do in the majors against ML pitching?
4. They started off good but then fell apart quite unexpectedly you say?
5. So you are telling me then a guy who had less upside and natural skill than those two ballplayers is going to be your starting SS (which btw is a much harder position to play) and do better than them as a rookie and that your insurance is some 1-2mm 30 something bench player SS?
6. Ah yes that is pretty much it
7. Ok this concludes our interview. Good luck with those season ticket sales.


December 7th, 2011
2:57 am

Lets see here, how do the Braves have any chance next season with all these question marks? The entire starting pitching staff has a huge ? hanging over their heads.

Hudson (Injury concern)
Jurrgens (Injury concern)
Hanson (Injury concern)
Beachy (Can’t pitch more than 5 innings without wearing down due to pitch count)
Minor, Delgado, Teheran (Very little big league experience)

Which then puts a big ? mark over the bullpen. If all of the starters miss time, fade, or just struggle, the bullpen will be over used once again and will falter down the stretch.

Now on to the offense. The only players that I will say will be good to go are Freeman, Mac, and Bourne. The others have questions hanging over their heads as well.

Uggla (Will he struggle for most of the season again?)
Pastornicky (How will he fare with no big league experience?)
Chipper ( How many games will the old man play, and at what level?)
Heyward ( Will he return to form, or have another season like last year?)
Prado (If he is still here, or whoever will be the LF next season)

Folks, when we are seeing the Marlins doing what they are doing, knowing the Phillies will be a very solid team, The Nats are a young and very promising team, and even the Mets are making much more noise in free agency than the Braves are, they will be lucky to finish 4th in the division.

That is what happens when you sit on your hands and do absolutely nothing like the Braves are doing. So you are going to counter the Marlins signing Reyes with sticking in a rookie SS with no big league experience who is said to have shaky defense (Pastornicky) and expect to hang with that team? That is not even taking into consideration that the Marlins very well could add the most dangerous hitter in all of baseball by tomorrow to their lineup. It really is a sad, sad time to be a Braves fan. If Frank Wren and company really believe that this team will contend next season, they should be fired and start working at McDonalds. Seriously, this team has way to many question marks hanging over their heads to even be mentioned in the same category as the other teams in this division.


December 7th, 2011
3:07 am

Not to mention that the Braves had the worse collapse in NL history in the month of September last year, and are going into next season with virtually the same team except Chipper is a year older, and a rookie will be starting at SS.

Do the Braves really expect to sell out games? I sincerely hope not. Winning puts fans into the seats, what the Marlins are doing is what puts fans in the seats, sitting by doing nothing doesn’t cut in Wren, sorry. I really hope the scene at Turner Field next season mimics that of the Marlins the past few years. All the Braves are showing their fans is that they are not committed to winning, therefore I am not committed to this team. A fan yes, but next season I am not going to the point of spending big money on this team, my loyalty is waning a bit because of their approach. I am not a fan of any team to just call myself a fan, I as a fan demand that the teams I cheer for contend every year, Its what we all spend money every year to see, not this crap we are watching now.


December 7th, 2011
3:33 am

All the FW double speak and the reporting of the Braves leaves little to hope for. There is no talk of improving the outfield. There is no talk of improving the soon to be worn out relief pitching. There is no talk of anything except finding a BACKUP SS. A backup SS and a AA SS does not push a non playoff team over the top, in the same division as Wash, Philly and Florida. The other teams want to win. The Braves want to exist.

Hopefully FW has something up his sleeve other than to wait till Monday to go over the scrap heap.


December 7th, 2011
3:43 am

Anyone that thinks Hanley Ramirez is a good fit for the Braves, doesn’t watch the Braves. He probably won’t even be a starter in 3 years. The last couple of years really show how fast the wheels are coming off that wagon.

The worst thing that can happen right now for the Braves, is Florida getting Pujols. That lineup would be so stacked, and the pitchers aren’t bad either. I think they potentially claim the Phillies #1 spot. So then we’re fighting for 3rd in the division against the nats, and that will suck. It’s becoming really hard to compete in this division with $90 million to spend.

We may have to go with what we have, and just wait for the right pieces to become available in the 2nd half of 2012. If we can get somebody fast to go along with Bourn, that would a great start. We made teams look so bad on defense when we had Bourn and Constanza in the lineup. Throw in Pastornicky’s speed, and you’ve got a team with the new fast identity we’re looking for.

I don’t think we should give up Prado anytime soon. Jurrjens would bring us the best return, and we’d be dealing from a position of strength. We don’t have anybody like Prado in our system. So my suggestion is trade Jurrjens for an affordable speedy/high average OF+prospect. BJ Upton comes to mind, but I’d hope we could do a little better than him honestly.


December 7th, 2011
5:10 am

The Braves need to do something to improve their chances
of being competitive in the NL East. If they do not, I believe they could finish fourth or last in 2012.
They have saved 9 million in payroll by dumping KK and Lowe. They need to use it for a power hitting corner OF.


December 7th, 2011
5:36 am

The Braves are stupid as an organization and stuck in their old ways. Every other organization has fresh blood from the top (owners) down to the bottom. Atlanta fans, buy your tickets but do not expect anything great from any Braves team until 1. New ownership 2. New leadership in the front office, starting with a new team president. 3. A willingness to change this button down culture. The St. Louis Cardinals had absolutely no business winning the World Series last year versus the Braves, especially with Philly out of the way. Now the Chicago Cubs are actually in a better position to win.


December 7th, 2011
5:41 am

We can’t get Pujols, we can’t get Fielder, Reyes was never an option (he would disrupt the culture, figure that one out), and now you can completely cross out Hanley Ramirez? Are you kidding me? H. Ramirez had no reason to play hard in Florida. Talented and spoiled players do that on sorry teams. Apparently, he was not the only Marlin who quit during games. They sucked. Adding Hanley to this team would turn this franchise around from day one. And we all know it. Just like any other professional sport: You need PLAYERS to win. And we have almost no star or one in the making.


December 7th, 2011
5:45 am


I have watched the Braves play. They have a lack of talent as far as hitting. The pitchers first strategy is not working and is old. Hanley Ramirez would be their most talented player, even in a quitting mode, by miles. Half of Ramirez’s effort is better than what the Braves have now. The Braves don’t want controversy, they just want a quiet little clubhouse. Chipper would straighten out Ramirez, he would get a bigger contract, and play for a winning franchise, plus live in Atlanta. That’s incentive enough.


December 7th, 2011
5:47 am

It cracks me up to watch all of these people bashing on Pastornicky because he doesn’t have any major league experience…probably the same folks who were dead-set against giving the starting job at 1st to Freeman last year, but look how that turned out. I think the brain trust of the Braves have a pretty good eye for minor league talent. That being said, I thought they should should have brought the kid up late last season to let him get his feet wet. We were getting NO production from the position, and he was tearing it up in the minors. As for the Jordan Schafer reference…that was all wasted talent…he could have, and should have been an elite center fielder/leadoff type, but apparently he was missing something either between the ears, or had no heart!


December 7th, 2011
6:01 am

should should…WTF…LOL

I even proof-read that post before submitting! Sometimes, no matter how hard you try…you still look like you failed third grade grammer!!!


December 7th, 2011
6:21 am

“Joey Paden

December 7th, 2011
1:26 am
I am sorry that I feel this way but I am tired of feeling like Cubs fans feel. Always saying maybe next year.”

If I were a Cubs fan, I would be ripping you a new one. Your sense of entitlement is a bit embarrasing. You know how bad it is to be a Cubs fan?

1. The last time the Cubs were in a World Series, Harry Truman was President. Neither Obama nor Clinton had been born, and W was a toddler. Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Cy Young were still living. The Dodgers were in Brooklyn, the Giants in New York, the Braves in BOSTON, and not only were the Athletics still in Philadelphia, but Connie Mack was still managing them! There was no TV, the World Series was just on radio, like every other game.

2. The last time the Cubs actually won a World Series, several Presdients had yet to be born–Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan–who are now dead, in Kennedy’s case long before divisional play began. Honus Wagner and Nap Lajoie were the big stars, but young Ty Cobb was catching up with them. Shoeless Joe Jackson had yet to play in the majors, and our President was Roosevelt–Teddy Roosevelt.

3. The Cubs all-time hit leader, and their winningest manager are the same person–Cap Anson. He retired both as a player and manager during the William McKinley administration, before the invention of the automoble or the airplane.

Trying to compare being a Braves fan with being a Cubs fan is just silly, and please don’t say something like that in front of a Cubs fan if you want to keep your teeth.

old man

December 7th, 2011
6:41 am

I’m going back to the Daily Blog. This place is an insane asylum.

old timer

December 7th, 2011
6:43 am

Defense is the most important thing at short. Our strength is pitching and the weakness is the wrong mix with the starting 8. The defense is so-so and we don’t have near enough speed and power. Our only hope is that Heyward develops into the hitter everyone expected, Freeman progresses and the pitchers stay healthy. Whatever we can obtain at these winter meetings won’t be enough otherwise.


December 7th, 2011
7:00 am

seth smith a good choice from colorado…but then since wren is so content let’s just bring back rafael rameriez from the 80s to be our backup shortstop since we want to not spend any money on that position over the next few years…CLEAN the foundation off, start over and start FRESH in 2012. This stop gap player experiment of the 2000-2011 decade has not worked. GET SOME PLAYERS… least show SOME interest in these free agents. Hanly would be a great bat to have in the middle of an ANEMIC lineup…but then again W(We) R(Resolve) E(Everything) N(Null) and void when it comes to really being a player in the NL East in 2012 says “we are only looking to tweek” TWEEK on morons…as a 30 plus year Braves fan this is more painful to watch than the horrible teams of the least then there was no commitment to winning and you expected it yearly…this latest version puts on this front they are and they make no effort to really do that….FRUSTRATING.

old man

December 7th, 2011
7:20 am

At the end of the day, Wren will trade any number of people if he gets a deal which is for fair value, and improves the team. Almost always it is a deal which seems to help both teams. And at least 49% of the fans will say Wren is an idiot. If the deal ends up being a bust, that will go to 95%. And if the deal results in a World Series win, only 5% will remember it was a great trade.

If no reasonable deal offers itself, Wren will go with JJ and Prado–not a bad fallback position. And 99% of the fans will say he is an idiot and Liberty is cheap. And if we then to on to win the World Series with the players on hand, no one will give Wren credit for saying no to crappy offers this Winter.

All you can do is make a list of valuable players whose departure impacts us the least, try to fill your obvious gaps with a fair deal, and if you can’t, move on.

Florida Guy

December 7th, 2011
8:10 am

Once again we sit on the sidelines on our hands while other teams improve themselves—and why??? Because spending for a winning baseball team does not fit into Libery Media’s profit projections. WE NEED A HUMAN OWNER TO RUN THIS FRANCHISE, NOT A COLORADO CABLE COMPANY. Wren, quit insulting our intelligence by saying that the braves are “comfortable” fielding a team of rookies and players who are past their prime. We know what’s up buddy!


December 7th, 2011
8:12 am

@ old man, Anyone can throw up numbers, 75 % of people know that lol


December 7th, 2011
8:21 am

The Braves as currently constituted have too many “ifs” to be counted on as a contender.. . .

If Hudson stays healthy. .
If Hanson’s shoulder is OK. . .
If Jurrjens can stay healthy. . .
If Chipper can play 145 games
If Heyward can turn it around

That’s too much that needs to go right to make a run. Something is going to go wrong.

The bottom line is that we will not be serious contenders again until Chipper retires. He has a huge salary, his skills are rapidly declining, and you cannot count on him to play more than 3/4 of the season. His situation screws up the entire roster, because it affects the construction of the outfield and bench. You need an everyday player that can move to third when he gets hurt, and you need a bench guy that can play everyday and not kill the offense. It makes a mess of the entire team.

Cal Ripken and the Orioles are a cautionary tale. Ripken was done by about 1997, but the O’s didn’t have the guts to tell him it was time to go, and the entire organization slowly rotted around him. The same thing could happen here.


December 7th, 2011
8:23 am

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the Braves are the league’s outsourced farm club. It’s like they come up from our system, build up into a good ballplayer and then systematically shipped to other clubs across the country for those teams to win.

I just wish we can coalesce around a group of players.


December 7th, 2011
8:31 am

sad and Rafael are correct – bringing back the same team sans a rookie SS and rookie 5th SP is simply telling the fans “we don’t care”.

Wren does not need to “wheel and deal”, per se. But the Phillies are not letting their team slide, Miami is making their team better and WAS is doing the same (they get Strasburg). Sitting still while other teams pass you is NOT the way to make the playoffs – unles Wren et al. simply don’t have that goal. If so, then be honest with the fans and let them know.

Right now, it seems as if we’re told that the Braves “hope” Heyward will bounce back, “hope” Chipper plays 120 games, “hope” Pastornicky can be at least as good as AlGonz, “hope” Prado bounces back, “hope” Hanson, Hudson and Jurrjens are all healthy, “hope” the bullpen shows no ill-effects from the abuse in 2011, “hope” McCann is fully recovered, “hope” Uggla’s 1st 2 months were an aberration and not pre-cursor for a 33 y.o. and so on. That sure is a lot of “hope”. Now, some of it will happen. Some won’t. And some new things will happen (as they do EVERY year with EVERY team).

But stating that this team, as constructed, is “good enough” simply won’t cut it – it obviously wasn’t in 2011 and won’t be in 2012. To not try is simply a slap in the face to all fans.

Homo the Brave

December 7th, 2011
8:45 am

Bring back Edgar Renteria.


December 7th, 2011
8:45 am

and i hop[e we get a new owner and i hope we fire both wren and fredi g– lot of hope needed


December 7th, 2011
8:49 am

Reading many of the ill-informed posts and out right rants (Rafael) reminds me why I have largely quit reading the AJC blogs regarding the Braves. Point- Prado does not have the skill set to play Major League SS. It requires a range and arm he does not possess. Hanley Ramirez is 1) overpaid the next 3 years, 2) has declined offensively the last several years 3) is a potential cancer on a team with good chemistry-and yes it does matter and 4) would block the progress of 2 prospects likely major league ready in the next year who will provide several years of minimum salary at a skill position, enabling the Braves to keep pending free agents at other positions.
Those who claim Wren has done a poor job as GM either expect perfection or are ignorant about baseball. Dissect almost any other team and show me a GM who hasn’t made some decisions regarding trading away talent or giving long term contracts with poor results. Do your homework. Case in point- several years ago many on this blog were on Wren for not signing Jason Bay. How’s that working out for you? Lowe was terrible last year but the first 2 yaers he was a serviceable, innings-eating, middle of the rotation pitcher starter who won 15 games. Wren inherited a shambles of a starting staff and he had to find some bodies to do the work. He sold high on Vasquez and got Vizciano-a potential future star. Check out Vasquez performance the last couple years-who would you rather have? Uggla for Infante? Infante is a good player but he is a utility guy. Uggla has hit more HR the last 6 years than any righthanded bat not named Pujols. And he’s a middle infielder. Probably Wren’s best trades are the ones he hasn’t made. The baseball experts, obviously not the geniuses on this blog, feel the Braves have some of the best young talent in MLB and could make a run at the WS next year with what they have now. Wren will add a piece or two. He is playing his cards close to his vest. The Braves have what other teams want- young affordable good starting pitching and a proven second baseman with some pop. I don’t know what you guys do for a living-slinging burgers, selling tools at Lowes, living in Mom’s basement- but I’m willing to bet Frank Wren who is an experienced MLB GM with inside info on the team and players, is a whole lot better at this chess match than you guys.


December 7th, 2011
8:54 am

BTW, I agree with the old man’s comment. A little wisdom usually comes with age.


December 7th, 2011
9:01 am

I would hope to keep both Martin and Jair and add a couple of free agents. This team was not healthy enough at the same time last year to know what they can do. Why would you trade a gamer who can hit, plays team ball and hustles all the time and a proven pitcher, both outstanding teammates for some unknowns? This team gets better by the mere maturing of its young players. I’d love to see Willingham here, a right-handed bat, a solid vet backup at short like Jack Wilson, and bring on the youth.


December 7th, 2011
9:01 am

Man Im tired of reading the complaining on this blog.
Lets looke position by position shall we
1st – Can we agree that Freeman is solid and will only get better
2nd – Ugla isn’t going anywhere…Hopefully he will start stronger
3rd – Chipper will retire a Brave…get over it
Catcher – McCann is solid….even with his late season slump his season was better than almost every other MLB catcher
CF – Micheal Bourne will be nice to have for the whole season….hopefully longer but Boras is his agent
RF – You can’t give up on Heyward yet…..his rookie year was just too good to overlook
Closer – You have the reigning rookie of the year
Bullpen – Venters, OFlaherty and Medlin will be awesome..need to also assume Viscaino will be in there.

That really only leaves questions at SS and LF…..I personally would prefer we keep Prado and find a solid Lefty to back him up (but I could also live with Hinske as his backup in a pinch)
SS……I don’t want an enigmatic Hanley Ramirez or an over the hill Jimmy Rollins…..who else out there is any better?

I personally don’t see any reason to trade for pitching if Hanson, Hudson, and Jurrgens bounces back from injury(Of course thats a big if)….If they don’t Delgado, Teheran, Medlin, Viscaino, Gilmartin could probably pick up the slack. Beachy was fine as a 4 or 5 last year…in fact he may be more like a 2 or 3.

So geez people get a grip and think before you lash out.


December 7th, 2011
9:21 am

Rookie SS, another Platoon in LF (cause everyone loves the platoon) while Heyward works out his problems in RF. Sure exciting times, no wonder the only real rumor is more bullpen help, we’ll need it because we aren’t scoring runs.

Last year was fun but i’m not planning my vacation around a Braves series this summer!

That’s now MORE than a third of the batting order if we follow this path. Didn’t we suffer through enough of that last season? How is that any different than Heyward/Gonzo/Pitcher?


No way we hang with the big boys. I’d rather see Prado and Gonzo back in the line-up cause they are almost a promise to out perform last year.



December 7th, 2011
9:29 am

Truebluebravesfan…Well done. One very interesting fact from yesterdays interviews: Peter Gammons stating he felt Heyward would have a monster year as a result of being over his shoulder injury. He stated the injury was worse than portrayed. I agree.


December 7th, 2011
9:30 am

Hanley has been getting plump the last couple of years and dogging it a bit, but that said…

This is the Braves, we wouldn’t sign a guy that’s really talented if he’s got any kind of attitude. We’d rather have some incredibly old washed up guy that is a good “locker room” guy than a guy that could actually hit over 300 with 35hrs and 100+ rbis. 95 games is the target remember, not actually winning anything.


December 7th, 2011
9:32 am

This season will be like the last several.

Wondering how the heck we went into a season thinking this lineup could hit and score runs.


December 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Appeasing Liberty Media’s shareholders (not to mention their CEO, who got paid more than the entire Braves roster last year) is obviously FAR more important in the big picture than appeasing disgruntled Braves fans who live 2,000 miles away.

Let’s see how fast Liberty Media dumps the team once they’re done with the tax write-off and Turner Field looks more akin to SunLife Stadium from all the empty seats. MAYBE then they’ll get an ownership that gives a care.

Loyal Fan

December 7th, 2011
9:37 am

Thank you truebravesfan . . . its about time someone gave a good recap. I am so tired of hearing these clueless fans hating on Wren and our team, who obviously know nothing. On a whole different note, you want better attendance, make a marta stop that goes straight to the stadium/not a pain in the @ss trip where you have to walk thru underground atlanta and then get on a bus to take over to the stadium. I really didn’t want to go into detail, but once again, good recap truebravesfan.


December 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Another Wren mistake. First Gonzales, then Parrish, now expecting Pastokniky to play short next year. Not only will he not play next year, but he’ll never play short. Wait and see. Folks, the Braves are in trouble with this management team.


December 7th, 2011
9:44 am

pretend — Pretend — PRETEND —— Pretend all you want, but it does not change the fact that the Braves have a huge problem that is being IGNORED that OVERIDES all their other problems and makes EVERYTHING ELSE MEANINGLESS. Unless this is corrected, nothing else (how good the hitting is, how good the defense is, how good everyting else is – will make no difference. There is no way that they can build a winning team – as long as they continue with the situation where almost all of their Starting Pitchers are becomming injured. There are just not that many prospects who will really become great pitchers. Right now FOUR of their five Starters are coming off injuries – three of them (JJ, Hanson, and Medlin) are young, already proven talents, who could have formed the core of a great rotation for years to come. With these injuries, they may NEVER come back and really be great. This is a TREMENDOUS LOSS for the Braves. Stop and count the total number of Starting Pitchers that the Braves have had in the 6 or 7 years since Leo left as the Pitching Coach (counting only those who were in the rotation for a reasonable length of time) — Then count how many of those have not been injured. As long as this INJURY MILL for pitchers continues, you can forget everything else and forget about the Braves developing another winning team.


December 7th, 2011
9:55 am

Nice to see all the panic posts on here. Last I checked the season didn’t start until the end of March or the beginning of April. Are any of you arrmchair GMs aware that this is December 7th?


December 7th, 2011
10:00 am

seth smith ? renteria ?? 2012 : playoffs? ?? playoffs ????


December 7th, 2011
10:01 am

FYI David, Rick Camp is not in jail, out since 2008.


December 7th, 2011
10:01 am

If those questioning Wren were in his position, with his payroll, and were told that Simmons was a year and a half away from the majors and was better than any of the currently available shortstops except for posssibly Jimmy Rollins (who would be in his mid thirties then and would need a 4+ year contract to sign and would be expensive) and that Pastornicky might be as good all around as Gonzo or Furcal or some of the other older lesser lights that are available for a higher price, would you set a high priority on getting an experienced SS for 2012? Would a Furcal or worse at SS make the Braves any more likely to even make the playoffs against the Phillies, revamped Marlins, rising Nats and the collection of other playoff contenders like the Cards, Brewers, Reds, DBacks, Giants, and Dodgers? As attested by the interest from other good teams like the Cards and Giants, Gonzo is the cream of the available SS pack this year after the much more expensive choices of Reyes and Rollings. One of the Gonzo also-rans will not make the team any more competetive than a Pastornicky + a Wilson-type backup in 2012. I think Wren is much more a realist about the 2012 Braves than most people on this blog, and his setting his sights on 2013 aned beyond when the team should be much more competetive.

I hope DOB is saving some of these anti-Heyward posts so that he can repost them next season after Heyward strarts to display his potential and the same people dumping on him now start jumping anew on his bandwagon.

Go Go you Pilots

December 7th, 2011
10:01 am

Frank Wren GM of Braves at winter meetings sittin at McDonalds eattin a Big Mac and sits at Pool Burpin after….while Prince fielder is goin sign with Marlins n Pujois with cubs….what a GM we have and freddie Gonz will just tip his cap again as we watch marlins make wildcard under Ozzie G. get Miami in Playoffs while we watch them Jump on are field cebratein ….Wren be Pickin his Nose with Bobby cox near him.

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