Braves priorities: CF and replacing Chipper

The Braves will have a couple of major needs to fill this winter and a good sum of money to throw at those needs with the cash they’ll free up from Chipper Jones retiring and the contract of Derek Lowe finally expiring (along another potential significant salary or two that could be dropped).

General manager Frank Wren said his offseason focus is narrower than it has been in some recent years: Re-sign or replace Michael Bourn in center field, and replace Chipper Jones with either a third baseman or with a left fielder if they move Martin Prado to third base.

“We’ve got to determine what we do it center field, and that kind of couples with leadoff,” he said. “And then how we replace Chipper. And beyond that, our club’s pretty solid.

“I think the exciting part for all of us is we’ve got a dynamic young core. We had three young guys that were in that lineup [Friday] that have a chance to be All-Star players and have a chance to be leaders of this team for a long time. Our bullpen’s intact, our starting rotation’s intact. There’s a lot of things that are real positive going into next year.

And guys are going to get better. We’ve got a very young pitching staff, and we’ve got some  pitchers who are just on the horizon who have a chance to be good. I’m very, very optimistic about where we sit as a franchise, with the thought of adding a couple of key pieces.”

For the first time, Wren revealed Saturday that he contacted Bourn’s agent Scott Boras in the spring about discussing a contract extension. Boras is known for taking almost all of his clients to free agency who are eligible, especially those who are in the last year of their contracts.

Bourn was no exception.

“We made contact with his agent in spring training to start negotiations, and they were not prepared to negotiate at that point, and said they would prefer to wait until after the season,” Wren said. “We made it clear to Michael that we want him back, that we’d love to have him back. We also know there’s a process in place.”

The Braves will have money to spend, but Wren indicated they wouldn’t spend the bulk of it on one player.

“We’re losing one Hall of Fame player, and the salary that goes with a Hall of Fame player,” Wren said. “And we’re going to be looking to replace him. And as we do that, it gives us an opportunity to add another big player. And we’ll see what happens with Michael Bourn. We’d love to keep him and hope we do keep him.

“That being said, there are not a lot of pieces out there in the free-agent market this year that are all that appealing, so we might have to look other places….

“We’re going to be looking for premium players, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. But a couple of things we’re always mindful of. We’re mindful of, we’re putting a team together. We’re not trying to put a player on this team. That’s our overriding philosophy of putting a good team together – if we think we can add two players that give us more than one player, we’re going to do that.

“So we’re not going to go outrageous salary-wise. We’ve seen that time after time how that can end up, so we’re not going to play that game.”

274 comments Add your comment

eskippy

October 6th, 2012
7:58 pm

VP

October 6th, 2012
8:04 pm

Need to resign Bourn & sign a LF.

nybravesfan

October 6th, 2012
8:05 pm

what free agent outfielders are out there excluding Hamilton who is too much of a risk.

phoenix

October 6th, 2012
8:06 pm

Yep, other than that we’re pretty solid. A no-range, scatter-arm, strikeout-prone .220 hitting 2nd baseman, and a broken-down, no defense, worn-out .230 catcher. That’s solid all right.

CGripp

October 6th, 2012
8:16 pm

I think a strong option would be to move Martin to 3rd and get a LF. What options are out there for that move? Also what are the chances that B Mac could be traded and make room for the young catcher in the minors?

Little Enos Burdette

October 6th, 2012
8:23 pm

Let Juan play 3rd, that’s 25 bombs easy

Metro Coach

October 6th, 2012
8:27 pm

Bethancourt’s not ready yet. Plus he was hurt at the end of the season. As for the OF, get used to hearing “Jose Constanza, CF” in the line-up. Somebody will pay Bourn more than the Braves can afford.

DAWG POUND

October 6th, 2012
8:33 pm

Bourn will be gone. He’ll sign for someone in the 15 – 18 mil per year range. No way the Braves pay that.

Robert

October 6th, 2012
8:39 pm

Phoenix: Your strikeout prone second baseman came in third on the Team for RBI’s With out the RBI”s you wouldn’t have been in the race at all. I wish people would learn batting avg. does not win games RBI’s do

Heath

October 6th, 2012
8:47 pm

If not Bourn, Victorino and BJ Upton might be the best of the affordable “premium” talents in the free agent OFers.

Go Chip!

October 6th, 2012
8:49 pm

Sign Scott Rolen for third base. He really produced the second half of the year. Sure, he will have to rest like Chipper, but its not like that wasn’t a problem for us with Martin on the team.

The benefit of signing a veteran is that we can wait until one of our prospects(Salcedo) is ready, or another, younger third basement appears on the market.

Plus, Rolen would piss off Philly phans!

Heath

October 6th, 2012
8:50 pm

For those wondering about trading Uggla and signing a 2B:
2B Free Agents
Jeff Baker
Robinson Cano *
Mike Fontenot
Orlando Hudson *
Maicer Izturis
Kelly Johnson
Adam Kennedy
Jeff Keppinger
Jose Lopez
Freddy Sanchez
Ryan Theriot
*Team Option for next year

Heath

October 6th, 2012
8:54 pm

BTW: What if the Phillies don’t pick up the option for Carlos Ruiz? Would Braves’ fans be happier with him over McCann?

Chop Chop

October 6th, 2012
8:59 pm

Frank Wren has won one playoff game since taking over.

Go Chip!

October 6th, 2012
8:59 pm

Kevin Youkillis is another stop-gap option in addition to Rolen.

I think Juan Fransisco would be awful defensively, and his average would kill us I think.

Ryan Ludwick might be somebody to look into he had a great power year in Cinci. I would like to swap Hinske with Andruw Jones(despite bad finish) as a bench outfielder, and so that perhaps he can retire as a Brave. Or he could possibly win a job as I think inconsistent playing time hurt him. He still has major power.

I prefer Bourn but BJ Upton would bring defense, power, and speed.

tim

October 6th, 2012
9:02 pm

try to get David Wright

Ken Stallings

October 6th, 2012
9:14 pm

The Braves need to either retain Bourn and sign another outfield or third base bat, or let Bourn go and sign two outfield bats and move Prado to third base.

Josh Hamilton is, in my view, a realistic free agent target. I don’t think he wants to re-sign with Texas given the acrimony he had there despite putting up monster numbers year in an year out. He would be an awesome addition to left field. If the Braves could sign him for around $18 million a year over five years, and then sign Bourn for around $11 million over five years, then they could move Prado to third base and be set for a World Series run.

Another option is to see what David Wright’s interest would be in joining Atlanta as a free agent. If the Braves could sign him, and resign Bourn, then leave Prado at left field and the Braves are looking good for post season.

Other options may be cheaper, but not better!

Ken Stallings

October 6th, 2012
9:22 pm

BTW: It is no cinch that a team would pay Bourn even $15 million a year, much less $18 million a year. The teams with the unlimited budgets are few and look at what happened to the Angels and Marlins. I don’t think Boras is going to get the inflated contract that he always insists it will take to get his guy signed. There have been many more instances of a Boras client getting a lot less than the asking price Boras gave the media versus those to got it or more.

Despite the Boras bravado, Boras knows there have been more than just a few of his clients who had to take steep discounts because the teams that really wanted them (and would have signed them for more than they eventually got) tired of Boras trying to inflate the price beyond rational bounds. Boras has burned many clients this way.

The Braves should offer something in the range of five years at $11 million a year and see what happens.

mpimentel

October 6th, 2012
9:25 pm

What about this: sign a sharp shoter with a night visions lens and put him in the lights tower…and with him we will prevent any other call like the last who ruins us!

nybravesfan

October 6th, 2012
9:26 pm

what about the Upton brothers? BJ is a free agent i believe and would fill in perfectly in Centerfield. Justin has been rumored to be on the trading block from AZ for a long time now – those guys would sure up the lineup – especially vs. Lefties – and you move Prado to third.

BJ Upton
Prado
Heyward
J. Upton
Freeman
Uggla
McCann
Simmons
Pitcher

Jimmy

October 6th, 2012
9:26 pm

Need to lock up Martin this offseason. 4 years $32M? No matter what juggling we do the next few years he can play 3B, LF, or 2B.

count_schemula

October 6th, 2012
9:48 pm

Someone out there has to think that Uggla is a “change of scenery” candidate and would not think the remaining 3 years of a deal everyone around here seems to think this is a steal is not too much to take one.

The Red Sox moved Crawford, the Hawks moved Marvin, the Braves need to step up and move Uggla.

Just give him away.

braveslover

October 6th, 2012
9:52 pm

Angel Pagan in center. David Wright at third. Hinske’s gone so Janish takes his place with Walker working with him everyday during the off season on hitting. Could Janish play 3rd or 2nd and put Uggie on the bench when he gets ornery about change again. I like Andleton a lot but think Janish is a steadier player after watching both. It just that Janish couldn’t hit the ocean with an oar.

BravesinTN

October 6th, 2012
9:53 pm

Somebody help me out here and set next year’s rotation for me? I think they should let Hanson go, personally – I really like the guy, want him to be dominant, but he’s just living up to his potential, I think.

BravesinTN

October 6th, 2012
9:54 pm

NOT living up to his potential

Heath

October 6th, 2012
9:54 pm

I’ve seen lots of posts where people are concerned Bourn will end up with the Phillies. I’ve watched a few Phillies’ broadcasts and I’m not all that certain that they would. That team has A LOT of money tied up already and have somebid decisions to make. The Phillies 9 highest paid players will make over $135M… for NINE players. While it’s possible, I don’t see Bourn in Philly. If Texas doesn’t re-sign Hamilton, Bourn could end up there…he’s from Texas afer all.

BravesFanInNashville

October 6th, 2012
9:58 pm

Bourn will not get $15-18 Million. No way. He’s going to top out at $10-12 Million at best. Even then he’s not worth it. He strikes out too much and his OBP is not good enough to command franchise player money. Remember THIS was his salary drive year where he had the most incentive to play for a contract. What happens AFTER he gets the money. Will we see a decline in a speed player who will be over 30?

I think we can get a young prospect to replace his batting average and OBP for league minimum or a younger player that we pay $3-5 Million. I’d rather see that and sign a legit LF or 3B with the money we save from Chippers retirement. Micheal Bourn is a good player but you could argue he might not have even been worth the money the Braves paid him THIS year much less a big free agent raise. Time to say good bye and build a team with an eye on every position we need to fix.

Heath

October 6th, 2012
10:05 pm

It would cost… but I’d like to see us trade for Fowler to play CF if we don’t re-sign Bourn. The Rockies can afford to part with an OFer.

Jake

October 6th, 2012
10:09 pm

Trade Uggla a/s/a/p, send McCann to the AL where he can DH and rest his overweight self, find a sucker to take Hanson off our hands. That’s a start. Now, about all those strikeouts, poor RISP averages, weak fundamentals (anybody besides Ross know how to bunt?) and pitchers who can’t field their position … hmm, I’ll get back to you later.

BravesFanInNashville

October 6th, 2012
10:09 pm

BravesinTN.

Next years rotation. Medlin, Hudson, Minor, Maholm, and Delgado/Teheran until Beachy comes back. Then whoever’s pitching in the 4 and 5 spots of the rotation that is not doing well will be gone. We could possibly trade Maholm at the deadline to a team that needs a lefty when Beachy is back..

Beachy, Medlin and Minor could anchor this staff for years and then when Delgado, Teheran and Gilmartin come on we could be in really good shape. In the meantime Hudson could be a stabilizer for 2 more years.

Jake

October 6th, 2012
10:09 pm

Trade Uggla a/s/a/p, send McCann to the AL where he can DH and rest his overweight self, find a sucker to take Hanson off our hands. That’s a start. Now, about all those strikeouts, poor RISP averages, weak fundamentals (anybody besides Ross know how to bunt?) and pitchers who can’t field their position … hmm, I’ll get back to you later.

Bravefaninok

October 6th, 2012
10:16 pm

Heath

October 6th, 2012
10:05 pm

It would cost… but I’d like to see us trade for Fowler to play CF if we don’t re-sign Bourn. The Rockies can afford to part with an OFer.

Wonder if Tommy can pitch in coors???

Heath

October 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

I’ve always liked McCann…but just like when we had Javy Lopez, I’ve not liked having to rely on a catcher for offense sinse they miss between 30-50 games. I won’t be upset if McCann is back next year, but I won’t be totally upset either, provided that we get another adequate guy to split time with Ross and use the money to drastically upgrade our offense.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Fire the man who signed Lowe to that big contract that just expired.
2. Fire the man who made Uggla the highest paid second baseman in mlb and, therefore, the most overpaid player in mlb.
3. Fire the man who signed kamakazi to the money he was paid.
4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down.
I say that it is way way past time to hold frank, the bird, wren accountable for throwing good money at bad players.

Heath

October 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Bravesfanikok -

I’d be ecstatic if we could get Fowler by using Hanson and someone else.

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:26 pm

I’d trade Hanson while you can. His arm is about gone. While we’re at it I’d trade uggla, if you could get anyone to take his ridiculous contract.

Heath

October 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

ronaldh -

I’m obviously not in charge…but I definitely would use Hanson in trades this offseason. He still has some value for teams that need pitching–I think more value for other teams than the Braves.

Playoffs!!!

October 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

here’s what I’d like to see: Someone posting a comment only one time

Scottbravesfan

October 6th, 2012
10:56 pm

Justin Upton would be perfect and for some reason Arizona is willing to trade him. Dexter Fowler or Bj Upton would be great for center. Let Bourn walk he was horrible in the second half and his skills are speed based and those will diminish quickly once he is in his 30s.

Scottbravesfan

October 6th, 2012
10:56 pm

Justin Upton would be perfect and for some reason Arizona is willing to trade him. Dexter Fowler or Bj Upton would be great for center. Let Bourn walk he was horrible in the second half and his skills are speed based and those will diminish quickly once he is in his 30s.

PlayingWren

October 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

I don’t know about Fowler. He only hit .262 away from Coors, OPSing .720. Also, he’s only OPSed .561 at Turner. Given, 15 ABs is a small sample size, but it isn’t too promising. Also, neither BJ nor Justin Upton get on often enough to hit leadoff in my opinion, and I’m beginning to look forward to seeing Heyward and Freeman hitting 3/4 in either order. However, I’d be all for trading Hanson for Justin Upton and batting Upton 4 or 5. However, if we have an understanding that we’re getting BJ for his defense/speed when he’s on the bases and NOT to be really counted on as a leadoff man, then sure. Go for it.

Heath

October 6th, 2012
11:10 pm

Scottbravesfan -

Justin Upton, yes. BJ Upton, no. ;)

Heath

October 6th, 2012
11:17 pm

PlayingWren -

Fowler would give the Braves approximately the same defense and probably a slightly higher OBP than Bourn (OBP more important for lead-off mand). The best part?…he’s A LOT cheaper and won’t be a free agent until 2016. If the Braves were going to spend the money on BJ Upton…they should go ahead and spend it on Bourn because the Braves do not need BJ Upton AND Dan Uggla in the same lineup.

anti-negative guy

October 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

Here’s what I’d like to see:
Fire the ignorant A-hole that wants to fire Wren

Crank My Wren

October 6th, 2012
11:27 pm

Uggla, Teheran for Justin Upton?

Crank My Wren

October 6th, 2012
11:31 pm

Fredi is in over his head. He has no business managing in the major leagues. Talk about being extremely lucky..

I would love to have a manager who knows what it is to win like Francona..too late for that though.

Heath

October 6th, 2012
11:38 pm

What do the Phillies, Red Sox, Angels, Marlins, Brewers, White Sox, Dodgers, Twins, Mets, and Cubs have in common?…

Heath

October 6th, 2012
11:42 pm

…These are teams that had higher 2012 payrolls (and for some considerably higher payrolls) than the Braves that DID NOT make the playoffs. The Fredi and Frank may not be perfect, but they aren’t doing that poorly. Let’s not over-react.

Zac in Tempe

October 6th, 2012
11:51 pm

Lock up Kimbrel, Medlen, Heyward, Prado, McCann, and Freeman. If not with contracts this winter then set aside the money for later. I prefer to Constanza and Francisco to another big contract that’s gonna blow up in our faces.

DaveinNEPA

October 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

IMO it would be foolishness to pick up McCann’s 13mil option. Either let him go elsewhere or negotiate the option to about half that money. With his shoulder/eyes/excess suet/apparent diminishing skills hes not worth 13mil.

I would also look into signing Victorino to a 3 yr contract to play CF. Although he had a down year, he can hit leadoff, switch hits, has won a couple of GGs and would come far cheaper than Bourn.

Backdoor Slider

October 7th, 2012
12:00 am

THE PRIORITY

What’s the number one priority for the Braves this offseason? Hiring a truly competent manager!

Heisenberg

October 7th, 2012
1:02 am

I have not been much of a proponent of adding BJ Upton, but I must admit the concept of having both Upton brothers could work. Having his brother on the same team could help BJ with some of the maturity issues that have plagued him. Or it could totally blow up. But my initial reaction is it is worth kicking the tires on.

JamesH

October 7th, 2012
1:54 am

I think Justin Upton should be Braves top target and stick him in LF. it would take a lot to get him and D-Backs don’t seem to need pitching so not sure who we would have to give up but Im sure Wren could think of something. then either resign Bourn which personally not a big fan off he strikes out to much for a lead off guy with little power.Not resigning Bourn though leaves a hole in CF which could be filled with BJ Upton.Yes BJ isnt the star Justin is but being out of Tampa and on the same team as his brother could drive BJ to get better.If we cant land Justin then I say go for Chase Headley for 3rd then keep Prado in left then focus on a CF not sure who dont really want BJ Upton without his brother to go with him.

a fan

October 7th, 2012
2:06 am

Backdoor, you moron, Fredi won 94 games that’s more then Charlie Manuel or,Mike Scocia, who are considered two of the best.

Nokahomas Wigwam

October 7th, 2012
3:09 am

Here’s what you would get for Uggla: Soriano/Jason Bay. Bad players and huge contacts can only be traded for the bad players and bad contracts. Braves need a stud in the cleanup hole as they truly haven’t had one all year or really any since Sheffield that I can remember.

Note to the programmers: Do not allow duplicate posts for the same user. Mmmkay?

Bamaboy

October 7th, 2012
3:20 am

I think we should bring Chipper back for season number 20!

Bamaboy

October 7th, 2012
3:20 am

I think we should bring Chipper back for season number 20!

Ole Battle Axe

October 7th, 2012
3:30 am

Why don’t we give the bat boys a shot at playing CF or 3B before we do any more signings/trades. What’s the worst that could happen?

Puck

October 7th, 2012
4:19 am

4. Fire the man who hired the man who called for a safety squeeze with 1 out and the pitcher due up next when you are one run down

Did you notice how the first thing the announcers said after Simmons put down the bunt was that he made a rookie mistake. It was a very stupid play.

I always thought the Braves would make the playoffs and picked them to win over 90 games. They have a lot of talent and a no brainer team for any manager – but I could never get that up about it because I knew when the playoffs hit, Fredi would get involved and it would bring disaster sooner or later. I think he has learned and made some good moves during the season – the Braves will keep him cause he can guide a no brainer team to a winning season – but I just don’t see him making the right move under pressure in the big games.

Too bad really.

Chris

October 7th, 2012
6:32 am

Whoever thinks you can simply replace Bourn is idiotic. He had 171 hits, 40+ steals, and covered CF almost every day this season. He’s one of the few guys in the game that you truly do not want to see leading off an inning as an opposing pitcher. He worked counts effectively almost every AB and really set the pace for the offense all season. If he walks in the offseason, his presence will be missed in 2013. And any Braves fan that wishes for it will regret it circa next August when ATL is hovering around .500 because Constanza is hitting lead off.

Darryl Blackberry

October 7th, 2012
6:53 am

Don’t re-sign Bourn. Get a Dexter Fowler or an Emilio Bonifacio; they’ll work for half of what Bourn makes.

MikeY

October 7th, 2012
7:07 am

Chipper, Bourn, Ross, Hinske, Diaz, Wilson, Sheets, Johnson, Overbay, Baker, Bautista, Moylan, and Durbin are free agents or retiring, thus not on the 2013 roster unless re-signed. I hope we re-sign Ross, Johnson, Moylan, Baker, and Durbin. Bourn may be too expensive, I could see a Constanza/Johnson platoon in CF, freeing up a lot of cash for a LF or 3B. Key decisions: Options on McCann, Hudson, Maholm. I think the decision on these is pretty sson after the World Series. McCann’s is $12M w/ a $500K buy-out; Hudson’s is $9M w/ a $1M buy-out; Maholm’s is $6.5M w/ a $500K buy-out. Hudson and Maholm seem like no-brainers. A lot depends on McCann’s shoulder diagnosis.

The other big decisions seem to revolve around Hanson and Juurgens. Jurrgens made $5.5M in 2012 and will be in his 3rd year of arbitration in 2013. I think he will be traded, but we will not get much in return. Hanson will be in his first year of arbitration in 2013, look for a salary of around $2.5M to $3M. I think he is also trade bait. The Braves should have starting pitching depth (Hudson, Medlen, Minor, Maholm, Delgado, Teheran, Beachy (midyear)).

It will be an interesting off-season. The Braves look to have a lot of cash to spend, but not enough to sign replacements for their many free-agent primary back-ups/relievers AND Bourn AND a big bat for 3B or LF.

Ron

October 7th, 2012
7:29 am

Trade Uggla for the best offer, used popcorn bag or what ever. Move Prado to second. Get a center fielder who can hit leadoff.

BRAVES FAN 1957

October 7th, 2012
7:50 am

I think the Braves shoiuld hire Chipper to be their B/C, get rid of FG, Wren get a new P/C. And definitely trade Uggla, Hanson, McCann, Hinski..can’t even hit his weight,Overbay,Diaz. This would free up some good money for the Bravo’s….Enough said!!!!

moosedog

October 7th, 2012
7:55 am

keep bourne , put constanza in left, get david wright for third, get rid of uggla, prado at second…leave mccann alone, he will bounce back.

moosedog

October 7th, 2012
8:20 am

1.bourne 2.constanza 3.prado 4.heyward 5. freeman 6.wright 7.mccann/ross 8.simmons……..simmons and constanza could both hit 8….speed at top and bottom of lineup.

Jake

October 7th, 2012
9:14 am

Frank Wren is gonna do something boring like trade for Denard Span to replace Bourne. Declining Mac’s option would give Braves payroll flexibility.

eddie57

October 7th, 2012
9:27 am

Bourne, either Upton or any Rockie outfielder would all be overpaid under-performers for the Braves. Tampa’s Upton has been wildly inconsistent for a good manager, imagine him with Fredi the Freeloader. Arizona’s Upton has hit in a bandbox his whole career and would have even worse numbers for Atlanta. After a Bourne’s contract year of declining numbers OB, walks and steals with outrageous strikeout numbers thrown in Boreass (sic) will still want more years and way too much money for him. Trade Hanson if you can and try for a leftfielder who can stopgap for a couple of years.

MtDEWD

October 7th, 2012
9:35 am

Not really seeing a lot of good suggestions here.

1. Trade McCann: Horrible idea. A bad McCann is still a top five offensive catcher.
2. David Wright, Josh Hamilton? Come on. Did no one read the part about spending outrageous money on one player? Hamilton will get a stupid deal that whatever team signs him is guaranteed to lose on. Wright is staying in New York.
3. Bourn tanked at the end of the season. I think 15-18 million is out of his reach now.
4. Barring a Jayson Werth like deal, Nick Swisher is the way to go for an outfielder, regardless of whether or not they resign Bourn.
5. If bourn departs they will be seeking a leadoff type hitter. Dexter Fowley is the answer there.
6. RBI’s dont win games. OBP wins games.

Ideal lineup for next year: Bourn CF, Prado 3B, Heyward RF, Swisher LF, Freeman 1B, McCann C, Uggla 2B, Simmons SS

dewey

October 7th, 2012
10:17 am

bourne needs to go, disappeared down the stretch the last 2 years and everybody knows it. send pastronicky to winter ball and have him play centerfield everyday and give him a shot at center/leadoff in spring. uggla needs to go no matter what the cost. move prado to second. his bat is not suited for left field or third base. much as I hate to say it, somethings got to be done with mccann. banged up last 2 years and production is falling way off. so that would mean we would need left fielder, third baseman and catcher.

Nova Scotia Steve

October 7th, 2012
10:27 am

Everyone is so quick to throw Uggla under a bus – most power hitters have low averages and they strike out a lot. It’s a fact of life.

So what if Uggla bounces back and hit 30 + HR’s next season and hits .240. Frankly, I don’t care. We are paying him to hit HR’s.

He’ll bounce back. I guarntee it happening. Adam Dunn is a prime example of what can happen from 2011 to 2012.

On our sitation: Sign Bourn, Victorino for LF and Prado at 3B. Retain Reed Johnson and give Jose Constanza a chance of the bench. Keep Janish as back-up SS and 2B.

Juan Francisco for back-up 3B and a couple of BP pieces to round out the pen.

Okay, ready for Spring Training. Later.

Nova Scotia Steve

October 7th, 2012
10:30 am

I just can’t see Swisher leaving New York. He loves it in NYC.

On the flip side, I can’t see the Yankees letting him go to another team.

[...] Braves priorities: CF and replacing Chipper [...]

Tumbledown

October 7th, 2012
10:43 am

The real priority is for the whole Braves organization to get some type of counseling and figure out how to execute in the postseason. I know that sort of counseling does not exist, but this never ending period of post season failure is just too much.

mocam

October 7th, 2012
10:59 am

get swisher and release bourn

mocam

October 7th, 2012
11:02 am

if we pay bourn for 15-18 it is an overpayment for a player like him

MikeY

October 7th, 2012
11:04 am

CBSSports.com says, based upon statistics, Uggla was the 8th-best 2B in MLB last year:

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/playerrankings/positional/regularseason/2B

I agree, he was not worth $13M, but he walked a lot, still scored 86 runs (4th-best on the team), and tied with Bourn for 3rd-best OBP on the team. I’d say he was, at best, average defensively, but he seems to always hustle.

I do not see moving Uggla. Hanson and Juurgens, I see moving on, and there are teams that will trade for them. We might even package them and pick up a starting 3B or LF, for a team needing SP and willing to take a bit of a chance that they can turn them around.

steve

October 7th, 2012
11:04 am

Bourne is worth about 8 mil. a year, his average has dropped in the 2nd half of the season 2 years in a row, he strikes out a lot for a leadoff hitter.

MikeY

October 7th, 2012
11:05 am

when I say last year, I mean 2012…I’m already mentally in the 2012 season.

Mikey

October 7th, 2012
11:05 am

Maybe we can get joint counciling discount and invite the Texas Rangers who seem to have the same post season problem albeit with a much higher payroll.

MikeY

October 7th, 2012
11:05 am

I measn I am already mentally in the 2013 season. Need more coffee.

NW Florida Fan

October 7th, 2012
11:31 am

My thoughts…

Prado is at 3rd base. The best, mature infield glove man is playing left field. Makes no sense.

McCann will be okay. He played too long, hurt. Let him rest and heal, and he’ll be fine in the spring.

Throw a moderate pile of money and 3 years at Bourn, but don’t expect him to take it. He’ll be 30 when spring training starts. If you’re paying a guy to patrol center field and steal bases, don’t expect him to do it when he’s 35.

Starters are Hudson, Medlen, Minor, Maholm, and Delgado. Beachy will be back after the All-star break. Keep the pen intact.

Let Hanson go. Not worth the millions he’d get in arbitration (his win and K numbers are reasonably high.)

Uggla is not tragic, but is not doing what we wanted him to do – bat clean-up, clear the bases, and scare the heck out of opposing pitchers. His OBP is distorted by the fact that he bats so low in the order. Pitchers don’t pitch to him so they can get to the SS or pitcher. Plus, he’s no threat to steal or score from 1st on a single. So, he gets a BB. Personally, I’d prefer Omar, who – last time I checked – is still playing baseball.

So, you’ve got a decent, young infield that should get you through the next 3 years of Uggla’s contract: Freeman, Uggla, Simmons, Prado, McCann. Money needs to be spent on a left fielder and center fielder, preferably at least one with power.

So – if Heyward and Freeman continue to improve, if Uggla and Mac wake-up, and if Frank can hire some decent outfielders, the Braves could be a force for the next 2 or 3 years.

banned poster

October 7th, 2012
11:38 am

Justin Upton?? Are you people serious? Yeah there is a legit reason why Zona is looking to dump him. He has a bad shoulder and he has an attitude problem. Not what the Braves need. And the same for BJ Upton. He played well this year so he can get a contract. Otherwise, he has been a headcase too. I’d rather take my chances with Hamilton and having to hire someone to look after him.

banned poster

October 7th, 2012
11:40 am

And Paul Maholm brought back? Did you not watch his starts in August and most of September? Braves would be better served to cut ties with him. Let him go suck on someone else’s dime.

NW Florida Fan

October 7th, 2012
11:43 am

And please….let’s keep Wren away from the discount rack at FreeAgents R Us.

Diaz $2,000,000
Hinske $1,500,000
Wilson $1,000,000
Pastornicky $480,000

That’s $5,000,000 right there. Did we get ANY return for that?

Plus… pro-rated salaries to…

Jeff Baker $1,380,000
Reed Johnson $1,150,000
Lyle Overbay $1,000,000
Livan Hernadez $750,000 (huh?)
Miguel Batista $750,000 (huh-HUH?)

The pro-rated part has to be at least a couple of million, right there.

And did ANYBODY (besides the most optimistic fans) think Jurrjens would be dominant this year? $5,500,000 is a pretty expensive price to find out.

So that’s $13,000,000 of Braves salary this year, for almost nothing. What could we have purchased in the spring for $13,000,000?

And that’s not even mentioning the $10,000,000 the Braves paid Lowe NOT to pitch for them.

It’’s not entirely about how much money you spend. It’s how you spend it! The Braves need to spend wisely!

NW Florida Fan

October 7th, 2012
11:46 am

We could hire that guy who sat beside Kenshin on the bench to watch Hamilton. He seemed like a pretty cool guy, and he knows lots of folks in Atlanta.

TomTomClub

October 7th, 2012
11:51 am

Minnesota is in dire need of upgrades to their starting pitching and at 2B. Trade Dan Uggla-2B, Tommy Hanson-RHP and Julio Teheran-RHP for Ryan Doumit-C/OF and Denard Span-CF. Sign Cody Ross to play LF and moved Prado back to 2B. Decline option on McCann.

Mikey

October 7th, 2012
11:55 am

Let Bourn go, Constanza would give the Braves everything Bourn has at 20% of the price. Reed Johnson could fill in against tough L/Hers and the money saved could be used to finally get a power hitting, RBI producing, R/H bat in L/F.

nashvillewill

October 7th, 2012
11:55 am

I wonder if those who believe Uggla was ok (8th best 2B?) watched him play every day. K or pop up with RISP. Even if 8th best he is paid #1 money. Unload him please. Pastornicky is preferred. Francisco is a nono at 3B, please. Other priorities that Wren failed to mention: who to start in Hanson’s place? No more Hanson, please. Who will be bench players? Johnson and Pastornicky were the only productive bench players, excluding Ross who is really a starter. Hinske must goske; why overpay Overbay? Let him go. Decide what to do with Constanza. Play him or trade him. Who can we get to manage this team? I hear Chipper is available. Many questions entering the offseason. Given the talent level, front office, and management this team accomplished about what it should have. Is that enough for Braves fans? I want more.

NW Florida Fan

October 7th, 2012
11:56 am

MarkB from Kennesaw

October 7th, 2012
12:39 pm

How about a new manager?….2 Years both FLOPS!

Mikey

October 7th, 2012
12:47 pm

NW: Excellent summary of how the Braves seem to make terrible decisions with their limited budget especially when you look how terrible our bench is. Raul Ibanez was available as a free agent and signed for 1.1m, much less then our dynamic duo of Diaz/Hinski

Alaska Braves Fan

October 7th, 2012
1:10 pm

It seems pretty important to me that both the Braves organization and Braves fans realize that there is zero chance of keeping Michael Bourn. Yes, he is a key player, and we do need just such a man. Nonetheless, Boras will get him a contract the Braves simply cannot afford.

Signing Bourn? Just not – definitely NOT – going to happen.

ABF

Mikey

October 7th, 2012
1:11 pm

Name the only manager with more wins then Fredie over the last 2 seasons?

Billy

October 7th, 2012
1:25 pm

David Wright would be perfect..he has not said he was staying in NY..he will test the market. He hits 300+ average plus power great defense.
@ 11:38..do your homework..what you said is BS.

Add your comment