Braves retain McCann, Hudson, Maholm (updated)

Brian McCann and Tim Hudson will be back with the Braves next after having their contract options picked up Tuesday.

The Braves exercised 2013 options on McCann ($12 million), Hudson ($9 million) and pitcher Paul Maholm ($6.5 million) one day before a deadline to do so or make them free agents.

None of the moves was surprising, although there had been some speculation McCann’s option might be declined after the former six-time All-Star had shoulder surgery Oct. 16. He’s expected to require six months of rehab and could miss much of the opening month of the season.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said when team officials went over it, the decisions weren’t difficult.

“There was very little discussion,” he said. “All three guys are important parts of our club.”

McCann, 28, was the only Brave to make the All-Star team in each of his first six full seasons, and was a five-time Silver Slugger winner as the National League’s best-hitting catcher before 2012, when he struggled to a .230 average, .300 on-base percentage and .399 slugging percentage, far below his previous career slash line of .286/.358/.486.

His 20 homers were his fewest since a career-low 18 in 2007, and his 14 doubles, 67 RBIs, 121 games and 487 at-bats were personal lows. McCann is expected to make a full recovery from surgery for a torn labrum that hindered his swing, and Wren said the hope is he might miss only the first couple of weeks of the season.

“We’ll know more in spring training,” he said. “We’re still probably looking at early april before doctors will turn him loose.”

He said until McCann returns, the Braves could fill the void from within. The Braves are expected to re-sign veteran backup David Ross, and Wren mentioned veteran minor leaguer J.C. Boscan and prospects Christian Bethancourt and Evan Gattis as other possibilities until McCann returns.

None of the moves was surprising, although there had been some speculation that McCann’s option could be declined after the former six-time All-Star had shoulder surgery Oct. 16. He’s expected to require six months of rehab and miss at least the first 2-3 weeks of the season.

McCann, 28, was the only Brave to make the All-Star team in each of his first six full seasons, and was a five-time Silver Slugger winner as the National League’s best-hitting catcher before 2012, when he struggled to a .230 average, .300 on-base percentage and .399 slugging percentage. Those were far below his previous career slash line of .286/.358/.486.

His 20 homers also were his fewest in a season since a career-low 18 in 2007, and his 14 doubles, 67 RBIs, 121 games and 487 at-bats were personal lows. McCann is expected to make a full recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum that hindered his swing for much of the season.

Hudson, 37, has spent eight seasons with the Braves since the former 20-game winner was traded from Oakland. Despite missing most of the first month of the 2012 season recovering from lumbar-fusion (back) surgery, the right-hander led the Braves in wins while going 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA.

It was Hudson’s seventh season in his career with at least 16 wins, and his 179-1/3 innings pitched were one-third of an inning behind team leader Mike Minor.

Maholm, 30, was 13-11 with a 3.67 ERA with the Cubs and Braves. The left-hander was traded along with outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta in exchange for minor league pitcher Jaye Chapman and hard-throwing prospect Arodys Vizcaino, who missed the season recovering from ligament-transplant elbow surgery.

After going 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA and .210 opponents’ average in his last seven games (six starts) for the Cubs, Maholm went 4-5 with a 3.54 ERA and .241 opponents’ average in 11 starts for the Braves. He received 2.75 support runs per nine innings pitched with the Braves, who scored one or no runs while he was in the game in six of his final eight starts.

Maholm had ERAs of 1.23 in July, 2.45 in August, 5.40 in September, and 2.57 in October (one start).

Hudson and Maholm will likely be joined in the starting rotation by Kris Medlen and Minor. That could leave Tommy Hanson to compete with prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado for the final spot, or the Braves could include a pitcher in a trade package to fill one of their two big needs this winter.

Brandon Beachy, the major league ERA leader early in 2012 before blowing out his elbow, is expected to return sometime around the All-Star break.

The Braves need a center fielder/leadoff man to replace free agent Michael Bourn if Bourn is too expensive to re-sign. They also need either a left fielder or third baseman after Chipper Jones retired. Martin Prado could move from left field to third in 2013 if the Braves find it easier to acquire a left fielder than a third baseman.

Wren said the Braves prefer to add right-handed hitters to their left-leaning lineup, but added that “a lot of smart people have said, ‘I’d rather have a really good left-handed hitter rather than just an average right-handed hitter.’”

With the $27.5 million committed to McCann, Hudson and Maholm added to the salaries of returners including Dan Uggla ($13 million), plus arbitration-eligibles, a couple of lesser-priced free agents for the bench or bullpen, and near-minimum salaries for non-arb players, it could leave the Braves with approximately $25 million to fill their two priority needs.

That’s if the payroll increases slightly to about $95 million.

Hudson’s ERA climbed from 2.83 in 2010 to 3.22 in 2011 and to 3.62 this past season, but the sinkerballer again ranked among major league leaders in percentage of groundballs, and his .361 opponents’ slugging percentage tied for third in the NL with San Francisco’s Matt Cain and Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett, trailing only the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

He missed a start in June for a bone spur in his left ankle, and at the time Hudson believed the condition would require surgery in the offseason. But after having a cortisone injection and reducing his in-season running program for a few weeks, he had only mild discomfort the rest of the way and didn’t plan any surgery for this winter.

McCann, after hitting a career-high nine homers in July, slumped again when his right shoulder began to ache more severely. He had an MRI exam in early August that showed what was diagnosed as a frayed labrum and cyst. It hindered McCann not when throwing but hitting, when he got his arms extended on certain swings or when he got out ahead of an off-speed pitch.

When Dr. Xavier Duralde operated he found the labrum tear larger than anticipated, but surgery went well and there is optimism that McCann will recover fully.

The Braves are also expected to re-sign veteran backup catcher David Ross, 35, who has spent four seasons with the Braves and played well in a more extensive role late in the season when McCann struggled with his worsening shoulder. Ross is a free agent and has expressed his desire to return to Atlanta.

McCann made $11.5 million in 2012 in the final guaranteed year of a six-year, $29.8 million contract he signed during 2007 spring training, after his first full season and well before he became eligible for arbitration. He met or exceeded expectations over the length of the contract until struggling late in the 2011 season, after coming back too quickly from an oblique strain and falling into bad swing habits to protect his side.

The Georgia native, who has spent his entire career with the Braves, struggled with his swing again in the first three months of 2012, which he said was a carry-over effect from his late-season 2011 slump.

After seeing a subtle flaw in his swing during a video session during his struggles, McCann got it ironed out and went on a roll in July despite nagging shoulder pain that had first cropped up early in the season.

He hit .308 with nine homers in an 18-game stretch in July, but the shoulder injury worsened and the joint began more frequently to “bite” him when he swung. McCann hit .201 with two homers, 11 RBIs and 29 strikeouts in 134 at-bats over his final 39 games, and Ross got the start over McCann in the Wild Card Game loss to St. Louis.

McCann could have shut it down when the shoulder pain persisted instead of taking two cortisone injections late in the season and possibly risking further injury, but said that wasn’t something he considered because he wanted to try to help his teammates secure a playoff berth and try to advance.

224 comments Add your comment

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 30th, 2012
3:12 pm

Just as I expected.

BRAVELESS

October 30th, 2012
3:17 pm

The Braves need to get rid of Uggla and take that $12 million dollars and get two quality players for left field and center field. Uggla has had two marginal years with that big contract and the Braves need to cut their losses. The money from Chipper and Uggla’s contract should allow the Braves to bring in at least two above average players.

ChipperisGod

October 30th, 2012
3:20 pm

Would love to get Infante back somehow. Maybe Uggs for Infante, Young and a prospect or draft pick?

Doubt the Tigers would bite, but I’d much rather have Omar than Uggs. Although I appreciate Uggla’s efforts, results simply aren’t there. He is being over paid. Hope Mac bounces back and that Huddy and Paul continue to be solid.

GT Alum

October 30th, 2012
3:23 pm

Will be interesting to see what the Braves do with their glut of starting pitching. If Beachy comes back at some point in the season, where would he go? My guess is that the Braves will try to use Hanson in a trade to fill a hole at 3B/LF or CF and that 2013 will likely be Huddy and Maholm’s last years as Braves. 2014 rotation will likely be Beachy, Medlen, Minor, Delgado and Teheran.

Joe Dirte

October 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

There is NO way the Tigers trade Infante for Uggla. In fact the only way Uggla leaves is if we front up at least half of that Salary. Maybe the Braves and Yankees make a Swap where the Yankees cover the remaining of A-Rods contract and the Braves play Ugglas Contract. But that is highly unlikely. Expect Uggla to remain here and hit .220 with 15 HRs and 65 RBIs. Uggla is done IMO

space monkey

October 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

If McCann doesn’t learn how to defeat the shift, he won’t be worth 12 cents.

Old School

October 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

Good moves – pressure is really on McCann next year. He either rebounds & reclaims premier player status or continues the pattern of the last couple years and gets tagged as a once-great player who is on the break-down path. That difference is worth untold millions……

Why?

October 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

Was hoping they wouldn’t bring McCann back at that price. So we are paying a catcher 12 mil to be ready to play by May at the soonest?

Brave New World

October 30th, 2012
3:34 pm

Infante as a replacement for Uggla? Uggla has been much better defensively than anyone thought. Despite his low averages for the past two seasons, he still can be counted on to hit 20-30 home runs, score 90-100 runs, and drive in 80-90 runs. Infante is a journeyman utility player. Get real folks.

submariner

October 30th, 2012
3:34 pm

Not much left to find an outfielder and re-sign Ross.

Brave New World

October 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

A healthy McCann is one of the best hitting catchers in the game. Glad all three are coming back.

KJ

October 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

Massive few months for Wren. Time to call Moore in KC and offer Hanson & Delgado to try and get Moustakas. Cheap, young & under control for some time which also allows more money to get the other hole needed. I know its a poor time to offload Hanson (selling low) but KC need pitching. He simply is terrible at fielding his position, bunting & making adjustments through the 2nd and 3rd time in the order. Far too many ‘1 bad inning’ outings. Thoughts? Do KC want more than just those 2 for MM?

BravesFanInNashville

October 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

Seems like the best position for the Braves to be in concerning McCann. If he’s healthy in spring they can either trade him or enjoy that he’s returned to form. They’ll get some takers from the AL to be interested in him. They might even be able to do a sign and trade this winter ensuring whoever trades for him that they get to keep him. That would allow the Braves to get more in return.

GT Alum

October 30th, 2012
3:36 pm

Folks, other teams around baseball know what Uggla has been doing the past couple of years. Chances are, the only way the Braves could trade Uggla is if they get very little in return and eat a good bit of his salary. And the Braves probably won’t do that because it doesn’t clear a lot of salary and creates another hole in the lineup to be filled.

Now, if some major trade comes together that dramatically changes the look of the Braves, moves that are currently unlikely could become more likely. But that still won’t improve the terms of an Uggla trade.

We’re likely stuck with Uggla for at least the next 2 years. Depending on how he performs and how the roster changes and who comes up from the minors over the next couple of years, we might be willing to Lowe him and eat most of the last year of his contract to get rid of him in 2015, but I don’t see the Braves paying $15-20M over the next 3 years for Uggla to play for someone else.

submariner

October 30th, 2012
3:36 pm

should of passed on McCan’t.

BRAVESFAN

October 30th, 2012
3:38 pm

Hopefully Michael Bourn now sees why he should stay with a classy organization in Atlanta.

Old timer

October 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

Very pleased with these 3. I don’t like seeing Hanson in the mix whatsoever. Why isn’t Beachy mentioned?? One of the young hurlers can fill in until he returns, not Hanson.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

So, so stupid… “Yeah, let’s just waste 12 mil on a fat, injured, and aging catcher!!! We can’t possibly use that money in a way that will actually benefit us!” Jesus, Wren/Braves, that’s $12 MM right there, that’s not exactly peanuts. I hope I’m wrong, but if a healthy McCann returns and he still can’t hit the ball– I don’t know, that’s going to suck. His trade value will continue to plummet, and then the Braves will try to trade him around the ASB, but they won’t receive an offer that they find worthy of McCann’s past awesomeness. Finally, after we’re stuck with McCann for the rest of the season, then the Braves do something really, really stupid… they sign McCann to a long-term contract. God, I hope I’m wrong. Hopefully his fat butt will get in shape, and rake for a couple months and raise his value sky high.

WeBurn

October 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

An expensive mistake was just made in keeping McCann

Sam

October 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

I wish everyone would stop coming up with crazy trades that include Dan Uggla. No team in the league wants his albatross of a contract on their books. We’re stuck with him. It would have to be some kind of trade where the Braves pay the majority of the contract to move him for nothing in return (example: Derek Lowe).

If the Braves don’t want him, why would anyone else?

GT Alum

October 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

Funny how quickly people turn on a guy who’s been a franchise player. Of course, a lot of the folks who were getting all teary-eyed about Chipper retiring this season were calling for him to retire a few years ago.

It’s not even like we’re committed to McCann long term by picking up this extension. At the least, it gives us another year to evaluate Bethancourt and see if he’s ready to come up in 2014. And we should have a pretty good idea which side of his career he’s on after next season.

Midnight Earl

October 30th, 2012
3:49 pm

Now lets trade Delgado or Teheran for Josh Willingham for LF. Move Prado to 3B. Trade Tommy Hanson for Jacoby Ellsbury for CF.

CF Ellsbury 9m
3B Prado 6m
RF Heyward 1m
LF Willingham 7m
1B Freeman 1m
C McCann/Ross 12m
2B Uggla 15m
SS Simmons 500k

Then sign another starter.

chc4

October 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

Really hoped we would decline the McCann option. 2 bad years in a row is not an aberration, it’s a trend. We better re-sign Ross or find another suitable backup C.

As much as I don’t like it, I think we’ll go after Angel Pagan to replace Bourn. I’m fine with letting him go but Pagan isn’t the answer.

chc4

October 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Hanson for Ellsbury? That’s funny. Hanson has virtually no trade value whatsoever.

bill

October 30th, 2012
3:53 pm

Great. Fatty will be back behind the plate. Terrible at defense and now he cannot hit. What a waste of money.

bostonbravo

October 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

everything looking prety good for next season, except: Uggla (goota go)
and can’t see Francisco replacing Chipper at 3rd..he’s simply not too great.

Scottbravesfan

October 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

All of you people ripping on McCann are probably the same ones that wanted to drop Heyward after an injury filled 2011.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
3:56 pm

Screw Pagan, he’s not going to be anything special next year. B.J. Upton should be our primary target. A ton of untapped potential there.

Cecil34

October 30th, 2012
3:56 pm

My God, 12 million is a just a mind-boggling amount of money to pay for a catcher who just had shoulder surgery and out for 6 months.

A catcher…..and he’s no Johnny Bench.

Boonie

October 30th, 2012
3:56 pm

Trade Hanson to the Twins for Span. Move Prado back to 3B and try to trade for Justin Upton or Josh Willingham to play LF.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
3:56 pm

Scottbravesfan: No.

KJ

October 30th, 2012
3:57 pm

People ripping McCann……now I remember why I don’t come on this site anymore. Av a good winter ‘fans’. What a disgrace.

Rick C

October 30th, 2012
4:00 pm

chc4, McCann is not coming off two bad years. Obviously he faltered down the stretch in 2011 after the oblique injury, but he still hit 270/351/466 for the year and won a Silver Slugger.

You also may want to look up Pagan’s numbers versus Bourn this season. They performed very similarly overall, and Pagan was actually superior in several areas.

Joey

October 30th, 2012
4:00 pm

” A healthy McCann is one of the best hitting catchers in the game.”
***********************************
Who could say? Since his eyesight troubles, he has had multiple injuries every year.

He isn’t worth half of that $$.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:01 pm

Good move by the Braves.

Glad Mac and Huddy are coming back.

Beachy is uncertain as is anyone following TJ. Had that not been the case I’d say take Mahomies option but then trade him again at next years deadline when people over pay like we tried to do!!

Rick C

October 30th, 2012
4:01 pm

lol, where are you guys getting this idea that teams are going to give up good players for Hanson after the year he had?

Zac in Tempe

October 30th, 2012
4:03 pm

I know that stats are for losers, but Mac’s WAR is staggering because of his position. On the topic of what to do when Beachy returns, these questions tend to answer themselves.

FBGuy

October 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

My gosh there are some screwy ideas floating around here. Keeping McCann, Hudson, Maholm are reasonable decisions. Trading Uggla probably won’t happen, and Willingham and Upton all have real downsides that would make me leery of bringing them on board. Of course it’s a lot easier to post here than actually made trades as the GM.

Mitch Cumstein

October 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

Look at how the Giants handle Buster Posey in 2012. Even though catching was his primary position..he played a number of games at 1st base…keeping his bat in the line-up..while protecting him from the wear and tear that comes when one’s only position is catcher (like what you have with Brian McCann).

Posey played in 148 games in the 2012 regular season…having 530 at-bats (along with 69 walks). 114 games at catcher….29 at 1st. Isnt it reasonable to assume that those 29 starts at 1st helped lessen the wear and tear on Posey that would have surely occurred if Posey had made those other 29 starts as a catcher (meaning that he’d have started 143 games as a catcher in 2012)?

If Brian McCann had the ability to play another position…I’d be all for picking up his 2013 team option and exploring re-signing him to a long term contract. However, what’s happened with McCann the past 2 season with his injuries….is what any National League team has in store for them who is foolish enough to sign McCann after 2013.

McCann would be perfect for an American League team. He could play 110-115 games as a catcher…the rest as DH…which would keep his bat in the line-up for 150-155 games a season..something the Braves HAVE NEVER been able to enjoy from McCann.

Buster Posey had 610 plate appearances for the Giants in 2012. The most Brian McCann has ever had with the Braves…was 573 in 2008. The past two years, McCann has had 527 plate appearances in 2011 and 487 in 2012. How much do you really think our line-up could benefit…if a healthy, fresh McCann could come to the plate 100 more times in a year? Given his inability to play another position…..we will never see those 100 extra plate appearances. NEVER!

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:05 pm

I wouldn’t give up a good bat bag for Hanson right now and doubt any GM in the league would either.

I’d keep JJ and his collapse before Hanson just because JJs motion isn’t a train wreck which means he may get well and be what he was. Now, I wouldn’t resign him at this point but just saying he is a better risk to me for someone than Hanson. IMO

Kyle

October 30th, 2012
4:06 pm

BEACHY ISN’T MENTIONED BECAUSE HE WILL NOT RETURN UNTIL JULY. HE WILL NOT BE FULLY RECOVERED UNTIL THE START OF THE 2014 SEASON. His impact will be minimal next year and a smart GM does not depend on Beachy contributing.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:08 pm

@Mitch Cumstein: Forget it, man, McCann die-hards won’t have it. No logical reason or objectivity will ever change their minds concerning McCann.

alanfalcon

October 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

The one thing that Bryan needs to do is understand that the recovery is going to take time and the only thing about rushing back is a relapse, he’s young and time is on his side.
Did I miss Beachys name as a starter, thought they just jumped to Hanson ,Delgado and Terahan–just asking.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

@Mark: I agree.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

@Mark: I agree.

Joey

October 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

Right, Kyle – remember Huddy made just a couple of starts in the second season after his Tommy John. Basically took him 1.5 seasons to get back to normal. Medlin too.

Sam

October 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

The way I would look to upgrade the Braves if I were Frank Wren:

1. Sign Ichiro. Ichiro could start in LF and bat leadoff. A 2 year deal somewhere around $10 per should do it.

2. Sign BJ Upton. A right handed hitting center fielder who can bat in the middle of the order and play good defense. 3 years at roughly $12 per.

If I couldn’t get both those guys, I would see about trading for BJ’s brother, Justin. Justin could play either corner spot and is a stud.

3.

Wink

October 30th, 2012
4:11 pm

For the life of me, I can’t understand what the Braves fascination is with over paid under performing, declining mediocre players.

Hudson’s ERA has gone up for the last years, yet we cave in to the Option. Since they exercised the it…I could live with him at the back end of the rotation…not a solid move though.

Uggla has not been heard from in a Season & A Half…he slept/ slumped the whole 2012 season…this guy must go since we caved in on the Option and signed McCann.

McCann is in steep decline…most will say he was INJURED. TRUE, but he is a CATCHER, time is going to catch up to them all, especially catchers. In the National League he has no other position to go to (no DH). Yes, he is a 5 time Silver Slugger award for best hitting catcher…not this year; he is a 6 time All Star….but he has limited competition. Some catchers are good at hitting and some good at defense. McCann use to do both and now he’s not doing either. Who would DARE he is the best DEFENSIVE Catcher in the National League…is going to get any better after 6-7 years behind the plate. The Braves are experimenting with the hope he will rebound and Uggla will hit for average again….that’s $25 million dollars for two guys. One who has proved already he is not going to rebound and the hoping loyalty pays off…Since McCann is signed at least let him bat where most catcher bat 7 or 8th and get rid of the Uggla.

Malholm my jury is still out not enough evidence when you only get 1 to 2 runs of support.

If you want to give up on Bourne, one of the best at his position, solves two of your needs, lead off hitter & defense in center, you’re going to let him walk because you want match the contract offer…how do you justify his stats against the above $25 million experiment…at least you could be proactive and make Bourne an offer, instead of reacting to the market…when in reality you really want to appear he priced himself off the team…make him the goat…make him a reasonable offer…you have the money as evidenced by these Option signings!!!!

They say if you put a man under pressure, you’ll get what’s on the inside!

Wren, that Option Pressure Deadline, BUSTED your PIPES!!!

alanfalcon

October 30th, 2012
4:11 pm

SAM—wake up and smell the roses.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:11 pm

Any of you that are on here know how I hate Ugglas game. But, considering who is available and his contract the best we can do is hope he turns it around. I know, I’d give better odds at the Hudson going dry by the end of the week but we are stuck with Uggla.

that said the last thing we need are any more players that strike out at an Uggla 1 to 3 rate.

No to Upton and no to Willingham.

The Braves are usually logical and level headed – Save the Dempster almost fiasco – Patience is a virtue – Don’t do anyhting rash

Spider29

October 30th, 2012
4:12 pm

Picking up these three options was smart of the Braves. Two solid major league pitchers like Hudson and Maholm are relatively cheap and they give veteran presence to the staff. While some are moaning about the McCann option, where are the Braves going to get someone better? The list of free-agent catchers is not that strong. If Mac is out for the first month, I would think that Ross (if he is re-signed) and Boscan/Bethancourt could do the job for a month. Maybe Evan Gattis has a great spring and makes the team. I have a feeling (that others probably have as well) that Mac is going to work harder than he ever has to come back strong. I am more concerned with how the outfield and third base positions are going to end up.

MOBravesfan

October 30th, 2012
4:13 pm

I don’t understand why some folks turn on some players so quickly. McCann has one bad year due to a injury and it’s time for him to go. I am glad they brought him back. Let’s see how everyone feels this time next year.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:15 pm

If Upton breaks out next season with a team that’s not named the Braves, that’s going to be frustrating to watch.

Rick C

October 30th, 2012
4:15 pm

Wink, with his experience and the level of play he still brings (even if declining), Hudson’s option is a steal.

Sam

October 30th, 2012
4:16 pm

Sorry bout the extra #

jbailz23

October 30th, 2012
4:19 pm

Lol lol lol, sorry i thought I just saw Justin Upton and stud in the same sentence. Wow, that’s awesome! Makes you wonder if some people just throw stuff out there hoping it’ll stick.

Also, although I’m really happy that McCann’s option was picked up, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s staying put. He may be trade bait. I for one think he’ll come back as good as he was before all the injuries and win a few more SS.

TheMikeAG

October 30th, 2012
4:19 pm

Hanson for Ellsbury… really?! That might be the most absurd thing I have ever seen written. Why don’t you just go full on idiotic and say JJ for Ellsbury…

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:19 pm

“Let’s see how everyone feels this time next year.”

If McCann is still a Braves by this team next year, we have failed in a huge way.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

Oldham

October 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

That’s funny about B.J. Upton and untapped potential. We were reading about his untapped potential three years ago. Three years later, he’s a confirmed dry well.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

Damnnn, *time

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:21 pm

Funny, he’s still only 28-years-old, has power AND speed, and has been playing for an awful franchise his entire career up to this point. A change of scenery could get him going.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:22 pm

MOBravesfan

Do you remember all the idiots fussing about Heyward last year when he was obviously hurting. The real competitors, the Macs and Heywards of the world, get bashed for going out there and trying to help their team win when hurting. Its like they rather them go on the DL every time they are hurt. They need to realize that guys that play hard, over 162 game schedule, are gonna have to play hurt and during those times they aren’t gonna play at their usual level.

Anyway, you are right.

Dav

October 30th, 2012
4:22 pm

Braves hopes that McCann has the balls to recover and play well by the July trade deadline so that will have a option to trade him. Bourn isn’t a $13M players but they will offer the $13M one year and hopes to takes less (4@$45M or 5@$55M). My guess Bourn is gone! We cann’t get a good bat for just Hanson, it will also take one of the young pitichers. Borgous and Hunter of the Angles are avaliable if Vict or Pagan don’t want to play here…..We need 1. A righthanded bat, 2. Speed in CF and 3. Catcher

Baseball Ken

October 30th, 2012
4:24 pm

Send Hanson and Uggla to Boston for Pedrioa, and prospects…Resign Bourn…and offer prospect picher for Willingham….done deal

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:25 pm

Dav

I think you are underestimating Hanson. I think we can get a bat for him. As long as we ask for a Worth rather than a Louisville Slugger. :)

Joey

October 30th, 2012
4:25 pm

jbailz23, Mac still looks like he has vision problems at the plate, and BEHIND the plate. I like Mac, but baseball players with vision problems? Ugh . . .

Oldham

October 30th, 2012
4:26 pm

B.J. Upton is worth pursuit, but not by giving up the farm. Get him for cheap and I’m on board.

Sam

October 30th, 2012
4:28 pm

jbailz23, you don’t think Justin Upton is the man? Why was every team in the league contacting the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline kicking the tires?

BJ, you can question, but not Justin. He is a 25 year old, 2 time all-star. A true 5 tool player (unlike everyone’s man-crush here in Atlanta, Jason Heyward).

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:31 pm

Hey Sam

Which of the 5 tool does Heyward not have?

Ron

October 30th, 2012
4:32 pm

I like that the Braves brought back Huddy, Maholm and yes, McCann. Huddy is still a very good pitcher and will not be asked to be the Ace, I see him in the #3 spot, he can be very effective there. Maholm is as good a #4 starter in the league as your gonna find. I see Medlen #1 and Minor #2 a pretty good rotation there. The #5 spot is the deal until Beachy is back, whenever that is. I do not like Hanson and unless Tehran shows up him either. I do like Delgado,he has shown decent numbers at times and can be very good if can last longer than 5 innings. McCann should be given a chance, if only because with Braves limited payroll do not see another catcher than can handle pitchers and hit like McCann has in the past. He deserves that, if Bethancourt ready by All-Star more than likely McCann’s numbers better and a trade candidate at that time. I also see Hanson if not traded this winter, traded at All-Star break, again depending on Beachy. I think Braves best option at CF would be Victorino, a switch hitter and a hard nose guy. In LF, I like Willingham. power right handed bat that Braves desperately need and would be beneficial to Uggla who needs a bat to help out. Line-up in order: Victorino CF, Prado 3rd, Heyward RF, Willingham LF, Freeman 1st, Uggla 2nd, McCann C, Simmons SS, Pitcher. Rotation in order: Medlen, Minor, Hudson, Maholm, Delgado. Beachy back when ready. Bullpen: Kimbrel, O’Flaherty, Venters, Avilian, Gearrin, C. Martinez, Durbin. Bench: D. Ross, Francisco, R. Johnson, Pastornicky, To be named Lh bat. Janish, Moylan, Hinske, Baker, Overbay do not need to be back! 2013 Bravos!!!

coydog

October 30th, 2012
4:33 pm

I dont understand why not Constanza…We keep giving away players like Blanco, Derosa, Infante etc….We need more players like Prado and Johnson..If we get Willingham he will be bust just like others…Constanza has hit everywhere he has been,got speed and good d,and can probably give you close to what Bourne did,and wouldnt whiff 160 times

Heisenberg

October 30th, 2012
4:34 pm

I see no point in having Hanson on the roster at the price he would get in arbitration. Either Delgado or Teheran can give the same production at a fraction of the cost. Both of these young pitchers need to be on the big league roster the full 2013 season as either starters or relievers. They cannot develop any more in AAA. One starts, the other relieves until Beachy returns. Then use them both out of the pen. A full season of facing major league hitters will prepare them for starting in 2014 (probably in place of Hudson/Maholm). This formula of grooming pitchers in the pen has worked well for St Louis & Texas. Braves need to find out in 2013 if these guys can get it done.

And yes if there are no takers in trade for Hanson, I would non-tender him.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:36 pm

“BJ, you can question, but not Justin. He is a 25 year old, 2 time all-star. A true 5 tool player (unlike everyone’s man-crush here in Atlanta, Jason Heyward).”

What the hell are you talking about? Heyward IS a 5-tool player.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:39 pm

@Heisenberg: I agree, Teheran and Delgado have nothing more to prove in the minors, it’s only hurting their development, as well as their trade value. If Teheran repeats AAA again, that’s going to be the end of him.

Heisenberg

October 30th, 2012
4:40 pm

I have typically opposed pursuing BJ Upton, but the prospect of trading for Justin, then signing BJ is very intriguing. Getting to play on the same team together could ameliorate some of the “issues” that have plagued BJ over the years. And a defensive OF of both Uptons and Heyward would be second to none. I think it be way less risky than Josh Hamilton.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:41 pm

@Heisenberg: The Upton brothers and Heyward would no doubt be a stacked outfield. And with the potential of all three– man, that’s just fun to think about.

jbailz23

October 30th, 2012
4:43 pm

Sam, did you talk with Gibson about who is asking the Dbacks about Upton? I don’t think he’s great because he’s not. He doesn’t exactly crush LHP, he’s terrible outside of Chase Fields, he’s owed almost 7 million next year, his oWAR last season was 1.8 with his overall WAR being 2.1, not to mention his WAA being .4 (that’s win above average) so basically he’ll win you a half more game than an average OF. Then you look at someone like Pagan who you’ll probably get for cheaper or about the same amount. His oWAR last season was 4.5 with his overall WAR being 4.0, and his WAA being 2.2. I just don’t see the stud that everyone else does.
Check out his stats away from AZ: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=uptonju01&year=&t=b#hmvis

rick

October 30th, 2012
4:44 pm

Buttermilk..Rays are a awful franchise…What the crap you been smoking? However Upton would do just great for Atlanta. Don’t judge him by the rumors…just ask the players with Rays, they loved him.

Heisenberg

October 30th, 2012
4:44 pm

Which of the 5 tool does Heyward not have?

I am rather certain he does not have a left-handed allen wrench.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
4:44 pm

I sure wish WAR would go away in the middle east and in baseball!

Heisenberg

October 30th, 2012
4:47 pm

Agreed Mark. WAR what is it good for? Cue Edwin Starr song now.

Oh and Angel Pagan. That would work too.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
4:51 pm

@rick: They are an awful franchise, the only saving grace has been Maddon, Longoria, and their pitching, and…. well, that’s about it. I do give them credit though, they have done a lot with very little money in the past few years. But again, a lot of that has to do with Maddon.

Sam

October 30th, 2012
4:53 pm

Pagan will be 32 years old next year, folks. Gonna give him a 4 year deal? That is exactly who I would NOT want to pay until he is 36. Angel Pagan is Potential Dan Uggla #2.

Finklestein

October 30th, 2012
4:55 pm

Now get rid of the deadwood, starting with Danny “Pop Fly” Uggla.

Sam

October 30th, 2012
4:56 pm

One other question – when will the Braves ever have another 100 RBI player? Was Francoeur our last one in 2006? That was 6 YEARS ago!

Finklestein

October 30th, 2012
4:58 pm

I wonder if Uggla is still running around with that porn queen…..hardly a wholesome family image for the Braves.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
5:00 pm

I just wish Uggs would hit more “pop flys” rather than killing the grass and killin the grass walking up to the plate and then walking back with the “take an outside corner FB for a strike followed by a foul ball on a FB inside enough he can’t do anyhting but foul it off followed by a swing and a miss at an outside curve he can’t reach in between.

Farnsworthy

October 30th, 2012
5:02 pm

It could be worse Atlanta fans—two horrible franchises are located in the city of Charlotte—the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats.

Mark

October 30th, 2012
5:03 pm

Seriously, the Braves aren’t that far away from being good. Problem is, not much out there to fill their 2 or 3 glaring holes.

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
5:04 pm

@Farnsworthy: True enough.

Erik

October 30th, 2012
5:06 pm

How about trading some pitching prospects for Justin Upton to play LF, move Prado to 3B, and sign his brother BJ to play CF? Justin is under contract till end of 2014 and doesn’t want to play in a big market like NYC, Chicago, or Boston so there is a good chance the Braves could also sign him long term, especially if they also sign BJ Upton.

Pretty good future lineup
BJ Upton CF
Prado 3B
Heymard RF
Justin Upton LF
Freeman 1B
McCann(2013)/ Bethancourt(Future) C
Uggla 2B
Simmons SS

Pitchers (2013)
1. Beachy
2. Medlen
3. Hanson
4. Hudson
5. Malholm

and still have which ever pitching prospects you don’t trade to replace Hudson and Malholm

Pretty solid lineup with lots of potential in the future especially in the outfield

Buttermilk Tuesdays

October 30th, 2012
5:06 pm

@Finklestein: Porn queen? What are talking about?

Bacon and eggs...

October 30th, 2012
5:06 pm

Well it looks like Frank Wren sign 2 pitchers well and a catcher who quit playin also..and he returns I guess Frank wren no watch Giants win title again..He was busy dreamin of chipper over throwin Uggla costin us wild card game to cards…..been better if we had played Nats and Played Giants we would had won and lost to detroit so good thing we choked it!

Mark

October 30th, 2012
5:09 pm

Still say if Uggla wasn’t late getting t the bag he at least gets a glove on Chippers throw. Maybe not but the way he was flying across the bag expecting a perfect throw, we’ll never know

Erik

October 30th, 2012
5:10 pm

And also would love to get rid of Uggla but don’t know who we could get. Maybe Scutaro short term but also need long term solution. Maybe Pastornicky in a few years once he improves

rainman

October 30th, 2012
5:14 pm

TWO major positions to fill.
1. 3rd base power hitter. If the Yankees would eat most of his
next 4 years — I would consider A-Rod for 5-7 per year.
2. CF/lead-off batter. This may be harder to plug if Bourne is
is out of reach. Where are you Nixon and Andrew?

Reality

October 30th, 2012
5:30 pm

Frank Wren and MONEY are a dangerous combination !

Derek Lowe. Kinchen Kawakami. Dan Uggla. Nate McLouth.

Now he brings back broken down Brian McCann for another season , who won’t even be ready by May, if at all. That money could have been used elsewhere.

Don’t worry Giants, Cardinals & Nationals; there won’t be any threat coming from Atlanta in 2013.

jj

October 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

If I were Wren I’d be checking in on Nick Handley with Padres 3b…28 years olds hits -both -throws R..286 ba-31 hrs-115-rbi’s-obp379-hits173-ops 875-owar 6.2…PLUS–you would have him for 3 years cheap..2013-3 millions–2014- 4 million-2015-5 million….total 3 years 12 millions, same as 1 year for McCann and 1 for year Uggla.

Bravesfan54

October 30th, 2012
5:38 pm

BRAVELESS – where did you learn how baseball works? You don’t simply “get rid of” players under contract, and you can’t simply take that players’ salary and spend it elsewhere. That money is going to Uggla one way or the other. You can’t spend $12M of his salary unless somebody is willing to pay take him and his contract off of our hands. That isn’t going to happen – even you know he does not have $12M or $13M value to any club at this time – but that’s what will pay him.

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