Braves target Upton, while weighing other CF options

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien.)

The Braves are pursuing multiple options at center field, both through free agency and the trade market, but B.J. Upton has emerged as their top free agent choice.

Upton after one of his 28 homers in 2012

Upton after one of his 28 homers in 2012

Braves general manager Frank Wren said the Braves are still in on the biggest free agent names out there, including their own Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton and Angel Pagan, but they are making a strong push for Upton.

“We like him,” Wren said Monday. “But this time of year you’ve got a lot of lines in the water. You’re not sure which fish you’re going to catch. So you have to make sure that you have enough lines out there that you catch a fish. And we’re very much in that mode. We’re checking. We’re involved on just about everything, every center fielder that we like.”

The Braves invited the former Tampa Bay Rays center fielder to Atlanta last Thursday where team officials spent six hours with him touring Turner Field, giving him a behind the scenes look at their facilities and the inner workings of their organization and taking him out for a steak dinner in downtown Atlanta.

Upton and his agent Larry Reynolds met with Wren, assistant general manager Bruce Manno, manager Fredi Gonzalez, hitting coach Greg Walker and former Braves manager Bobby Cox.

“It’s a forum where you want both sides to get the information they need,” Wren said. “We felt like we got the information we needed, and we hopefully gave them all the information they need to have a good understanding of what we’re all about. And they got a chance to meet with the key people he’ll be interacting with. It worked out well.”

The Braves biggest competition for Upton is expected to come from the Phillies, who are prepared to make a big push as well. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel reportedly met with Upton last week as well.

Upton tweeted the night of his visit to Atlanta, “I’m really blown away by the love other cities are showing me right now. Can’t wait to see how this pans out.”

Upton, 28, a former No. 2 overall draft pick by the Rays in 2002, is expected to command a five-year deal worth around $75 million, which would make him more affordable than Bourn, despite being a year younger. Indications are that Bourn’s asking price will be well above that.

Upton is more of a power threat and would hit lower in the Braves order than the leadoff-hitting Bourn. Upton hit .246 last season but with a career-high 28 home runs and would give the Braves a right-handed bat for their lefty-dominated lineup. The Braves would then try to fill the leadoff role through a left field acquisition.

Still, Wren said the Braves haven’t ruled out Bourn, who turns 30 on Dec. 27.

“Until players start signing elsewhere, we’re in the mix and talking to everyone,” Wren said. “There are some preferences we have based on the way we feel like our team sets up. There are a number of guys out there that we like to fill that role for us.”

He includes Hamilton in that mix, even though the Braves aren’t likely to spend $20 million to $25 million annually to sign Hamilton.

“I just don’t exclude anything until we know for sure exactly what it’s going to be,” Wren said when asked about Hamilton. “I think it’s highly unlikely, but like I said, I don’t mark him off the list until he goes elsewhere and we hear that it’s not going to work.”

The good news for the Braves is that there are plenty of center fielders available this winter, including some that could come via trade, like Rockies center fielder and Atlanta native Dexter Fowler.

“We’ve got more than a handful of possibilities including trades and free agents,” Wren said. “So it’s a year where you would feel like you could come up with a center fielder that would be someone to continue to give us the quality we’ve had.”

Top choice to replace Ross

While it remains to be seen if the Braves will get their first choice in Upton – we need some big free agent chips to start falling – that’s what they did when they signed Gerald Laird to replace David Ross as backup catcher.

Wren said the Braves had a feeling as the season ended and the offseason began, Ross would command the sort of multi-year offer the Braves were not prepared to match for the 35-year-old. Ross got it from the Red Sox, at two years, $6.2 million, and the Braves immediately turned to Laird. They signed the 33-year-old to a two-year deal, believed to be for about $3.3 million.

This is Laird catching in Game 2 of the World Series for the Tigers

This is Laird catching in Game 2 of the World Series for the Tigers

Laird, who just turned 33 last week, has played for back-to-back World Series teams with the Tigers and Cardinals.

“We felt all along he was a real good fit for us,” Wren said. “He’s a younger veteran. He’s played a lot with winning programs, so he’s been a guy that’s been a key backup on two World Series teams. He knows what he’s doing back there.”

Wren said the Braves had a lot of first-hand knowledge about Laird as well, from one of his top scouts Dom Chiti, who was the Rangers bullpen coach from 2006-2008. Laird spent his first six major league seasons with the Rangers, from 2003-2008.

Wren is quick to acknowledge what Ross meant to the Braves and clubhouse and called him to congratulate him on his contract with the Red Sox.

“I called him and wished him well and thanked him for what he did for us,” Wren said. “And (I) congratulated him for putting himself in a position to get that kind of deal.”

2,510 comments Add your comment

Ed

November 19th, 2012
3:33 pm

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:33 pm

Upton isn’t worth 15 million a year. Those of you who are tired of Ugglas 13 Million a year salary will be getting a worse player in Upton. Upton doesn’t even take walks like Uggl does. Signing Upton will be a dumb move. Rather than pay 15 Million a year to Upton it is better to pay 23 million a year to Hamilton. Upton isn’t worth it. Organization will regret signing this guy. I don’t know why he is the number 1 target for us. Wren is showing why he got fired from Baltimore. It’s better he didn’t have the money. Just because Braves have the money you would spend on a 230 hitter with less than 300 OBP?

Ward

November 19th, 2012
3:36 pm

Go!!!!!Braves!!!!! Get BJ. Upton…………will settle for others though, not too picky.

Clark Howard

November 19th, 2012
3:37 pm

With Lowe, Kawakami & Chipper’s contracts off the payroll, I thought the Braves would have some money to play with to acquire some younger talent.

However I see approximately 30% of the current payroll is tied up in just two players:
Dan Uggla (.220 average) and Brian McCann (.230)

Not exactly bang for the buck !

Ward

November 19th, 2012
3:38 pm

Thanks for Info Carroll…….Hope Mr. Wren, can pull something off? I’m within hope!

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
3:38 pm

Veer, Upton is better defensively than Uggla (I know that’s not saying much) and he plays centerfield, which requires a bit less offense than secondbase in order to provide offensive value.

With Upton, at the very least they are getting a younger version of Michael Bourn (though they arrive at their overall values in different ways). And there is some chance he puts together a legit all-star-caliber season at some point over the length of his next contract.

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
3:39 pm

BJ Upton is expected to get $15 million a season for 5 years ?

Just keep Bourn !

Upton has hit in the .230-240s the past few seasons , struckout 169 times & had an OBP of only .298 in 2012.

I say PASS !

Another Uggla !

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:39 pm

Ward I bet you haven’t seen Upton play? The guy is Uggla and Franceour combined in one.
You add 5 million more to 15 and you can get a super star.

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
3:41 pm

Two words:

LORENZO CAIN !

Frank Wren, call Dayton Moore in Kansas city & get this guy for CF !

RetiredSoldier

November 19th, 2012
3:42 pm

I agree Veer, sign Hamilton and then bring up the G Brave that played first last year and put him in left. Simmons leads off and you will have a lot of pop in the lineup.

RetiredSoldier

November 19th, 2012
3:42 pm

I agree Veer, sign Hamilton and then bring up the G Brave that played first last year and put him in left. Simmons leads off and you will have a lot of pop in the lineup.

Ward

November 19th, 2012
3:43 pm

Veer – I’ve seen B.J. Play, and he can help down the stretch.

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:43 pm

Shaun, Hope is not a strategy.
You can’t sign a guy like Upton and Hope that he becomes an allstar.
Glaus signing in 2010 was well worth it but here you are talking 15 million a year and if this guy doesn’t come through then we are stuck with a dead weight and also given our payroll limitations we would be cash strapped for the coming years. Given that we have limited funds each year this signing could be nail in the coffin for us for the next 5 years.
I am suprised that Wren even has thought of Upton as a possibility.

JT Grace

November 19th, 2012
3:44 pm

Hopefully the Phillies overpay for Upton like they do every other player. I guess Wren didn’t notice the .298 OBP that he had last year. Just because he is right handed doesn’t make him an ideal fit for the Braves. Denard Span is a much better option if they can trade for him. Victorino would even be a better option.

Ward

November 19th, 2012
3:44 pm

Carroll – Have you heard anything on Cody Ross, and what’s up with that lately?

Braves' Nation

November 19th, 2012
3:44 pm

I cringe when I hear names like BJ Upton & Josh Willingham possibly coming to Atlanta.

Upton is another Uggla. At 15 million a season for 5 years, along with Uggla & McCann’s contracts, add ing Upton would doom this franchise for years to come.

Frank, tell us it ain’t happening?

Puma

November 19th, 2012
3:46 pm

Carroll – do you also handle DOB’s twitter duties or is that still him?

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:47 pm

Ward, A lot of other players can help down the stretch. Greogor Blanco helped big time down the stretch. 15 million dollars worth of hope on BJ UPOTON? That is like betting that DOB will get a date with Selena Gomez. It is not going to happen and even if it does DOB ends up in Jail. Likewise BJ Upton producing isn’t possible.

raleighbravefan

November 19th, 2012
3:48 pm

Shaun – Just my humble (obviously uninformed) opinion…. but I don’t give a ratz azz which position the offense comes from, as long as the team offense is adequate. I know you love to tout “offensive value” for each position, but if the SS and 2B are killing it, I’m OK with lighter hitting from the so-called offensive postions. I’m also less concerned about what any one player is paid, than I am with total cost for overall results. The young, guys, by definition, are way underpaid.

Gary O.

November 19th, 2012
3:49 pm

Upton hit .246 last season but with a career-high 28 home runs and would give the Braves a right-handed bat for their lefty-dominated lineup..

How effective will he be balancing out the lefty dominated lineup will depend on whether or not we get the Upton from last year. where he only hit .238/.322/.470/.792 against lefties.

FTPB,

Rick C,

Good catch. I think those were his numbers against LHP last year.

Bravoman,

Not Gary Oldman.

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
3:51 pm

Veer, no one is talking about hoping Upton becomes an all-star. It’s just hoping he remains a solid player.

Uggla is a secondbaseman while Upton is a centerfielder. Uggla is probably even worse than Upton on defense. Uggla is older than Upton.

Francoeur is one of the worst players in the game, unfortunately (because he seems like a great guy). Both Upton and Uggla are far from that class.

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
3:54 pm

I’ve seen BJ play as well, and I’ve seen enough of him to know that we don’t want him

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:54 pm

Ichiro shoud be our target. He can duplicate Bourn atleast with a cheaper price tag.

For gods sake trade both Delgado and Teheran and get something worthy in return.

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
3:54 pm

. He’s hit RHP and LHP fairly even over his career. 253/324/418 against RHP, 260/365/433 against LHP. (Upton)

.433 SLG against lefties isn’t that great. Even his numbers against RHP isn’t good either. Uggla and Mac (both of whom I’m sure we can agree aren’t lefty mashers) slug about .433 against lefties.

Astral

November 19th, 2012
3:55 pm

Uggla also makes fewer outs than BJ, way fewer last season

Veer

November 19th, 2012
3:56 pm

Would be fun to see Uggla and Upton hit back to back with runners on base and strike out and frustrate the fans. Juan Pierre just signed a 1 year cheap deal. That guy can do better average n OBP wise than Upton.

Ward

November 19th, 2012
3:57 pm

Veer – My first choice is B.J. Upton, but I’m open to others like Dexter Fowler, as well. I also like Cody Ross he would be my LF choice, but I’m open to others, as well.

JoeFan

November 19th, 2012
3:58 pm

Wren has a habit of throwing money at the wrong players. Upton is a real possibility of adding to that list.

b

November 19th, 2012
3:58 pm

I guess Constanza has some kind of plague. Amazing he gets no chance and then the Braves go and sign that cocky no good Schaefer. Constanza’s hit everywhere Jordan S. has done nothing but get arrested for pot and banned for steroids.

LawDawg

November 19th, 2012
3:58 pm

I usually don’t like to second guess GM’s, but holy s___, seriously?

Is our goal for next year to set the team record for most strikeouts and lowest team OBP? Because that certainly seems to be the goal. Uggla and Upton? Good lord.

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
3:59 pm

raleighbravefan, that’s the point of positional scarcity from an offensive standpoint. If you have a catcher who can crush, like a McCann, you don’t necessarily need big-time offense from some other position, which makes offense at catcher that much more valuable than if the same offense came from, say, firstbase or leftfield. And if you get normal production from leftfield and firstbase, and you have a catcher that hits like a firstbaseman, you are a lot better offensively than most other teams. This is why paying attention to a guy’s offense compared to other players at the same position is an important factor and we shouldn’t just evaluate all offense as equal, without looking at the position from which it’s coming.

ChillyMutt

November 19th, 2012
4:00 pm

BravePack(FreeFan)

November 19th, 2012
4:01 pm

Astral

November 19th, 2012
3:22 pm
Chipper and Prado were above that for last season, not career. (on career numbers, no Braves beat him)

what an idiot, the big bashers are all lefthanded the supplementary guys will be righty. We were 20 plus games over 500 against righty starters and under 500 against leftys. On top of that you seem too ignorant to know that Uggla is actually better against righties and rather poor against lefties so putting him in that column is foolish.
Only a total baseball moron would think that we are not too lefthanded, the FO has said so repeatedly
the more I read your posts the more you remind me of Dentz

It’s funny, the more and more I see one of your posts I think to myself the same thing…man is this guy an idiot. The way he writes a post leads me to believe he has never finished high school and barely knows how to read and write. I think in the future every time I see your name next to a post I’ll just keep scrolling on my mouse.

Voice of Reason

November 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

I hold out hope that Wren can secure Span in a trade with the Twins and then go after Cuddyer of the Rockies (the Denver Post says he is available) to fill the left field spot. Adding Juan Francisco in a trade with Rockies (they have not had a decent 3rd baseman since Vinny) with some pitching (both Twins and Rockies are looking for that) might help.

No. 1 Braves Fan

November 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

Not good news that B. J. Upton is the Braves first choice for CF. I hope the Phillies get him. The Braves have other options excluding Hamilton that would cost much less and be just as productive. If they want to spend a lot of money on an Upton, go for his brother to play LF.

Joe

November 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

Just say NO to BJ Upton! Overrated and K-prone guy that swings for the downs with every stroke. I’d much rather cough up some of our overrated talent for the good Upton brother, if we can pry him loose from Kevin Towers…

Oh'man

November 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

Wow, really, 5 years 75 million for Upton? I will hate to have him here. I rather have Span, he is cheap and a better player. Wren is decent in certain areas but when it comes to high priced free agents he is terrible. Do NOT get neither of the Upton brothers. I prefer either Span or Pagan for center field. Call up Gattis (he is 26 years old sheesh, he either has it or he doesn’t stop wasting time leaving him in the minors) to play left. Easy, I should become a GM.

Veer

November 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

Ward If Upton is your number once choice then I question your baseball knowledge. Do you even watch games? BJ UPTON at 15 Mil a year is your NUMBER ONE CHOICE?

If Upton was 6 million a year Yes sure good deal but 15?? Give me 2 guys who earn 7.5 million and they will produce better.

Wren is pathetic if he is willing to pay 15 Mil a year for Upton and not give extra 2 million to retain ROSS

BravesFanSince80s

November 19th, 2012
4:06 pm

Are we really thinking about paying another .240 hitter 15 million a year? What the hell is happening to MLB? Since when does such mediocrity deserve such a ridiculous payday? WTF Wren and JS? Where is this club headed? ‘Cause it shore ain’t lookin’ good!

Braves' Nation

November 19th, 2012
4:08 pm

Frank Wren is setting the Braves up for years of mediocrity !

Carroll Rogers

November 19th, 2012
4:09 pm

Puma, today it’s been me….but he’s likely to jump on there sometimes even when he’s off. …if it’s witty and information, it’s me……i’m kidding.

BusterBrave

November 19th, 2012
4:09 pm

Peter Bourgious of the Angels………won’t beat out Mike Trout for centerfield……a young,experienced,fast centerfielder,who needs a chance…….Lorenzo Cain of the Royals…..same thing……..Hello !!!!!!

Braves' Nation

November 19th, 2012
4:09 pm

for $15 mil a season just keep Michael Bourn !

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
4:10 pm

BJ Upton’s Fangraphs WAR, 2010-2012: 11.5
Martin Prado: 11.8
Brian McCann: 11.6
Chipper Jones: 7.8
Angel Pagan: 11.1
Adam Jones: 10
Denard Span: 8.6

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
4:10 pm

L-O-R-E-N-Z-O C-A-I-N ! ! !

Ward

November 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

Wren, is setting the team to contend, and I’m excited about all this, so let’s all be cool, and relax……

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

:roll:

Have fun, Shaun

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
4:13 pm

MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors
Indians Open To Trading Cabrera, Choo http://bit.ly/10hl0RV #mlb

3-way trade…

Nick

November 19th, 2012
4:13 pm

“Upton doesn’t even take walks like Uggla does.”

Uggla doesn’t even play defense in center field like Upton does.

Ward

November 19th, 2012
4:13 pm

We all have our favorites, so let’s try to keep things peaceful today.

Rick C

November 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

Aren’t the Royals already stocked with pitching prospects? The Braves don’t exactly match up with them for trades.

Hope and Crap

November 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Hope and Crap have a lot of similarities and the BOTH STINK……Hope is what we have done the last two or three seasons under the STINKING LEADERSHIP of Fredi G and Frank Wren……and STINK is what we got at the end of the season……let loose of some money and buy some real players – players that have fire in their guts and are not sissies like Jason Heyward……..

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
4:17 pm

Uggla doesn’t even play defense in center field like Upton does.

Uggla is a better defender at 2B than Upton is in CF, I’d be willing to bet.

Yuuup

November 19th, 2012
4:17 pm

I will believe it when I see it. I have a hard time believing that the Braves will sign any high priced free agent, even with having the money to spend. I expect them to trade for a second tier type of player with a lower price tag. That is Braves baseball all the way.

Puma

November 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

Right on Ward, why do people take baseball rumors (rumors mind you, not even transactions) so personally.

O.M.G.

November 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

TOBF–you just can’t help youself can you. You just love 3 ways.

Mikeyc588

November 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

Are you guys serious about your valuations? You think $15m a season for a 28 year old CF who almost went 30/30 last year is overpaying? I’m not saying I love Upton, but I don’t think that is at all unreasonable in free agency for a 3-5 WAR player.

braveslover

November 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

Where you been? They met last Thursday or Friday and you are just now getting around to reporting it?

benchwarmer

November 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

ichiro is too old

Myke hawk

November 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

Braves should’ve targeted Chris young

Myke hawk

November 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

Still think the braves should go after a pitcher

benchwarmer

November 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

I would prefer a hitter who makes contact, gets on base at a good rate and doesn’t make a lot of unproductive outs. Upton does not sound like he fits the bill.

El Bravo

November 19th, 2012
4:21 pm

As frustrating as Uggla has been he at least gets on base at a .340 clip. BJ Upton has an OBP of under .300! We might as well bring back Jeff Francour…

Ward

November 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

All, have a good one! Be cool , and excellent to one another. I’ll talk tonight, and Peace my friends, and “Go!!!!!Braves!!!!!”

BravePack(FreeFan)

November 19th, 2012
4:23 pm

Aaaah it’s fun seeing all of these armchair GM’s come on here and giving us their experts opinions on who will work and who will do what for the value of the contract. I bet a lot of you doing so are part of that group who never go to games and just love to complain. Wren has some $ to spend and prospects to trade but I don’t think players like Ichiro, Cain, Ross, Pagan, Willingham are what he has in mind as premium players. He’s looking for players with a bigger impact who are still young and either in their prime or right around reaching it.

richbrave

November 19th, 2012
4:23 pm

Ward
November 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

“…..Wren, is setting the team to contend, and I’m excited about all this, so let’s all be cool, and relax…..……”

Calm called for by WARD in a seething cauldron of blog passion.

Oh my. Good on yeh, WARD.

He’s right. Bring it down a few decibles. Let’s hang onto our wits while we impatiently wait for results.

The Fact Book

November 19th, 2012
4:25 pm

John Schuerholz looked like a genius when he had Ted Turner’s deep pockets at his disposal; once Ted sold the team, Schuerholz took on Mike Hampton’s contract, alienated Tom Glavine from re-signing with the Braves, traded for JD Drew and traded away the farm system for one year of Mark Teixeira. These moves pretty much kep the Braves out of the post-season for many seasons.

Now we know where Frank Wren got his education, from the same John Schuerholz that bankrupted the Royals in 1990 with bad personnel moves and free agent signings.

tony

November 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

I wouldn’t touch B.J Upton. Resign Michael Bourn and sign Josh Hamilton.

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

Upton’s career OBP is .336. Francoeur’s is .310.

Francoeur’s a corner-outfielder. Upton’s a centerfielder.

Ron

November 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

Wow, B.J. Upton, i say no way Jose! I don’t like his brother either, we need a lead-off guy to play CF and that is not BJ. Span or Fowler or Pagan or Cain, anybody other than this dude. The LF position needs to be filled with a right handed power bat, something the Braves have needed for quite awhile now. If you got a right handed power bat this would help out Uggla tremendously and he would be the player Wren envisioned in the first place. My line-up would be: 1) Span CF 2) Prado 3rd 3) Heyward RF 4) Willingham LF 5) Freeman 1st 6) Uggla 2nd 7) McCann/Laird C 8) Simmons SS 9) Pitcher. Rotation: 1) Medlen R 2) Minor L 3) Hudson R 4)Maholm L 5) Delgado/Tehran/Gilmartin/Spruill/J.R. Graham until Beachy back midseason. Bullpen: Kimbrel, Venters, O’Flaherty, Avilian, Durbin, C. Martinez, Gearrin. Bench: Francisco, R. Johnson, Pastornicky, Mejia, G. Laird. 2013 Bravos!!

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
4:28 pm

BravePack(FreeFan) ,

Lorenzo Cain is only 26, bats right-handed, has speed, is a contact hitter, great with the glove in CF & is CHEAP !

15 mil for a guy like Upton who MIGHT be reaching their prime?

tony austin

November 19th, 2012
4:29 pm

I’m not sure how to format on this blog so I apologize if this doesn’t post legibly.

FYI, here are the FA signings by FW according to an Excel Spreadsheet offered by MLB Trade Rumors: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/frank_wren/

11/18/2007 Tom Glavine 1 year/ $8M
1/13/2009 Derek Lowe 4 years/ $60M
1/13/2009 Kenshin Kawakami 3 years/ $23M
2/24/2009 Garret Anderson 1 year/ $2.5M
3/13/2009 Chipper Jones (Extension) 3 years/ $42M
11/12/2009 Tim Hudson (Extension) 3 years/ $28M
12/2/2009 Billy Wagner 1 year/ $7M
12/3/2009 Takashi Saito 1 year/ $3.2M
12/12/2009 Troy Glaus 1 year/ $2M

I’m not sure why I felt I need/want to post this, so take it as you will.

richbrave

November 19th, 2012
4:31 pm

BravePack(FreeFan):

You mean guys like WIL MYERS, OSCAR TAVARAS, MIKE OLT?

Rick C

November 19th, 2012
4:31 pm

tony, the Braves don’t have enough free payroll to sign Hamilton plus another high price FA.

Arkansas Transplant

November 19th, 2012
4:31 pm

We always match up with KC.. they are always wanting what the Braves have or have had.

beekay

November 19th, 2012
4:33 pm

I don’t believe that anyone will give Bourn more than 5 and 75. I think thats cray as well. I wouldn’t go higher than 4 and 48 for him or Upton. I’d rather sign Victorino or Pagan for half the money and trade for Willingham. We have enough arms to get Willingham. This gives us additional money for solid bench players and keeps our payroll flexibe for the next 3 year as well.

tony austin

November 19th, 2012
4:34 pm

Maybe FW has no intention of signing Upton, maybe he’s just trying to drive his price up for the Phillies :)

Rick James

November 19th, 2012
4:34 pm

Why cant the Braves throw Chipper and Derek Lowe’s money that coming off the books at Micheal Bourne.Of course the Braves like Upton he’s cheaper and takes our minds off off Bourne!! Frank Wren has to play the hand that Liberty deals him so I believe he will do the best with what he has to work with..Please Mark Cuban buy this team!

Puma

November 19th, 2012
4:35 pm

Tony Austin – I would say the only bad signings on that list are the top 3, Glavine (mostly because he was never used), Lowe and Kawakami. Hard to believe that is the total list of FAs, seems thin.

just saying

November 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Would Billy Bean, make this kind of move?…. Not only no, but he77 no….

extremus

November 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Reading through the list of potential candidates I noticed that every one of them comes with a caveat (like the salary requirements of Hamilton, though I do agree he would “put butts in seats”) or a key weakness in an area of production. I think all of them offer something good, but just as we all learned with the Uggla (and other) trade, you never really know what each side is getting until after the fact even if a player is “established”. In short, there’s risk involved no matter what Frank Wren ends up doing.

TheOnlyBravesFan

November 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Maybe FW has no intention of signing Upton, maybe he’s just trying to drive his price up for the Phillies

That would be perfect. Cuz to spend 15mil or so on this guy, in the hopes that he gets better when there currently isn’t any indication that he will, is quite crazy. He’s worth about 9-10mil a yr to me right now max, and isn’t worth the loss of a draft pick. Stay away.

just saying

November 19th, 2012
4:40 pm

Good point,… I’ve been watching “Moneyball” to much..

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
4:41 pm

Would Billy Bean, make this kind of move?

Who knows? But Billy Beane probably would, considering he essentially just traded for a similar player: Chris Young.

raleighbravefan

November 19th, 2012
4:41 pm

beekay – I believe you are wrong about Bourn. Wait and see. He will probably get more than 5 years, and will get more than $15mil/year…probably at least $18mil/year, 6-7 years.

Lord Hep US!!

November 19th, 2012
4:42 pm

Tell me Upton is all a ploy to help him get more money out of the Phillies? Or is it the other way around.

Let me get this straight – the Braves are actually mulling over giving a guy 15 million a year — who has NOT hit over .250 in the last FOUR YEARS!! He gets thrown out trying to steal 1/3 of the time.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/uptonbj01.shtml

If the Braves do not have someone in the minors leagues capable of hitting 250 and playing the outfield they should fire the whole front office.

This is the most insane thing I have seen – is this the same Upton who is known as a huge negative in the clubhouse?

Tell me where I am wrong here.
Please do.

Ten to one they lose Prado and O’flaherty because they won’t pay them.

HooRah

November 19th, 2012
4:43 pm

heck Astral, don’t you know that Pack played ball for 30 years through Division A . Of course that seems like a lot of years to get through college which might be why his posts never seem to pan out.

Shaun

November 19th, 2012
4:44 pm

who has NOT hit over .250 in the last FOUR YEARS!! He gets thrown out trying to steal 1/3 of the time.

The same Upton who has done the the previous three seasons:

BJ Upton’s Fangraphs WAR, 2010-2012: 11.5
Martin Prado: 11.8
Brian McCann: 11.6
Chipper Jones: 7.8
Angel Pagan: 11.1
Adam Jones: 10
Denard Span: 8.6

afan

November 19th, 2012
4:44 pm

Thanks Carroll for new post..We have a new post-up but same old bloggers that know more than Wren and his staff. Why not just fire Wren and staff and hire the best old farts on blog that know more than GM. Maybe Wren has not been to 500 Rays games as some on here claim– are smart enough to know who Braves need–give me be a break- Wren is not crazy and alot smarter than 98% on this blog.
Carroll you only talked about CF..Whatabout LF and 3b?

BravePack(FreeFan)

November 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

richbrave

November 19th, 2012
4:31 pm
BravePack(FreeFan):

You mean guys like WIL MYERS, OSCAR TAVARAS, MIKE OLT?

Yes I would love any one of these guys. Young, controllable talent with bright futures. I believe Wren feels the same way as far as going after these types of players more so than players like Willingham, Ross, and I hope Pagan.

Disgusted

November 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

I know the price tag on Upton is high, but you all do realize that he was only 2 HRS from being a 30/30 man last year.

I do expect the OBP to not be .298, more like in the .320’s.

No one likes the prce tag but that is the business of major league baseball & the above average players are going to get paid. Hey, its not your money. The big parent corporation is not going broke owning a baseball team — so stop pitying the owners.

If Upton can go .260/.320 and be a 30/30 guy with 90 to 100 RBI’s that is worth the money in today;s game.

His defense well, its a mixed bag. Some like him others don’t. Some overanalyze it to the point it ceases to be a game for enjoyment.

To each one’s opinion, I like it that Frank is aggressively pursuing one of the more sought after FA’s this yr. Rest assued that if BJ was so bad with the minuses around him he would not be pursued by so many GM;s (and some who have built successful tems).

If Philly wants him, I want to at least compete for him.

And we all know about the upside. I like the talk this winter — FW is being allowed to try. That is all U can ask.

HooRah

November 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

But Bean is not paying Young 5/75, nor will he Shaun so that doesn’t mean anything

Amber Girl

November 19th, 2012
4:47 pm

OK Guys Can anyone tell me what happened to the Span Willingham scenario?

Gary O.

November 19th, 2012
4:47 pm

Uggla’s career OBP is .343, and BJ’s career OBP is .336, so they are close.

Uggla struggled last year, hitting .220, with 19 HR and 78 RBI, while BJ hit .246 with 28 HR, 78 RBI, and 31 SB. If we could get both of them to have solid years, this team would be dangerous. But to have to “hope” Uggla returns to normal, “hope” B-Mac isn’t out very long AND returns to norm, and “hope” BJ improves…that’s a lot of hoping (imo).

And to think those 3 guys would combine to make ~$40 mil, ~42% of our payroll.

Heath

November 19th, 2012
4:47 pm

For what it’s worth:

Braves 2012 Versus Left-Hand Pitchers:
.244/.315/.374/.689

Braves 2012 Versus Right-Hand Pitchers:
.249/.323/.398/.721

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
4:47 pm

“If the Braves do not have someone in the minors leagues capable of hitting 250 and playing the outfield they should fire the whole front office.” – Lord Hep US !

They do not !

cornjolio

November 19th, 2012
4:48 pm

Amber Girl,

Only DOB mentions Josh Willingham; no other sources do.

Cali Brave fan

November 19th, 2012
4:48 pm

Upton can play D and hit for power. But the way most of you guys have been hammering on Uggla all season for his BA your gonna love upton. the only one to benefit from getting Upton is Uggla because he’ll get less heat from the fans. Where better off taking a chance with costanza and Gattis. But my favorite would have to be Pagan if we could out bid SF for him. the Bourgious idea works.

Other Than

November 19th, 2012
4:49 pm

I spoke personally with Mr Wren recently at a function and we discussed Bourn and Upton. He told me he would LOVE to have Bourn back BUT there was NO way the Braves are writing a 100 milion check to him. He said Boros was nuts! Upton he said was a good match but again neither are NOT guarantees for a World Series team and he said he make sure we get a good one……Bourn was his choice though.

I was impressed.

tony austin

November 19th, 2012
4:50 pm

Why not just fire Wren and staff and hire the best old farts on blog that know more than GM. – afan

We may not be GMs on this blog but most of these “old farts” as you say have been following the Braves and baseball in general long enough to know what they are talking about.

So they may not be GMs but I would trust some of them over Frank Wren any day.

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