Braves still LF shopping, glad they got CF early

The Braves don’t know who’ll hit leadoff or play left field when they open the season against Philadelphia on April 1, but they left the Winter Meetings in Nashville last week thankful to know who’ll be playing center field.

The five-year, $75.25 million contract the Braves gave center fielder B.J. Upton on Nov. 28 was the first significant move of baseball’s Hot Stove season, and at the time many of us thought the Braves were impulsive in so quickly giving Upton the largest free-agent contract in franchise history.

But in light of some deals signed since, and contract figures being bandied about for free agents in Nashville, the Upton deal has begun to look like – well,  maybe not a bargain, but not unreasonable.

If 32-year-old Shane Victorino, coming off a season in which he hit .255 with 11 homers, 55 RBIs and a .704 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, got a a three-year, $39 million contract from with Boston, and 32-year-old Nick Swisher rumored to be in line for a four-year deal worth about $60 million, the Upton contract doesn’t seem outrageous.

Of course, the Braves never viewed it that way, though Upton’s deal makes him the highest-paid player in franchise history with an average annual value of $15.05 million.

“Some of the contracts have surprised us,” Wren said, when asked in Nashville if anything at the Winter Meetings surprised him. “Surprised us in that, I think as we were doing Upton and kind of projecting what the climate would be for free agents, some of what’s going on here is what we were afraid of. It’s why we wanted to get out in front of it.”

As big as the Upton contract was – about $20 million above the next-highest known offer – it’s conceivable his price could have risen even higher if he were still available when other teams saw where prices were going for outfielders in a market that has some teams conspicuously flush with cash from exponentially increased projected TV revenues.

“It’s a good thing we got B.J. done early,” Wren said. “We had a situation where we wanted him and he wanted us. We were able to get it done early. But I would have hated to have gotten [to Nashville] with that need still in place, because it’s a tougher environment to get that done.”

After signing Upton, the Braves traded starting pitcher Tommy Hanson for setup reliever Jordan Walden on Nov. 30, and re-signed outfielder/pinch-hitter Reed Johnson to a one-year, $1.75 million contract Thursday, announced just after the Winter Meetings ended.

By the time hundreds of front-office officials, agents and media members gathered in Nashville, the Braves had only three main items on their winter to-do list: left field, and two bench bats (one right-handed, one left-handed). Johnson took care of a bench spot.

They also signed left-handed-hitting utilityman Blake DeWitt to a minor-league contract.

The Braves missed out out Nate Schierholtz for a lefty bench bat, after he signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Cubs on Wednesday. They’ve had trade and free-agent discussions about other options and remain confident they’ll add in that area.

The more interesting and important matter is left field.

Ideally, the Braves would like to add a left fielder who can bat leadoff, although those options dwindled after some they pursued went elsewhere last week: Victorino signed with Boston and Minnesota traded a pair of speedy outfielders the Braves coveted, sending both to NL East rivals — Denard Span to Washington and Ben Revere to Philadelphia.

If the season began today, the Braves could go with Juan Francisco as a primary or platoon third basemen, and have Martin Prado split time between left field and third base instead of moving to third full-time as originally planned. Johnson could also play plenty in left field.

In that scenario, Wren said Prado or shortstop Andrelton Simmons could bat leadoff.

“Those are the most likely candidates from the seven players that are pretty much guaranteed to be in our lineup,” he said. “But we’ve got another opening in left field that we could have some other options, based on who plays there.”

If Toronto decides to trade infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, he could be a perfect fit for the Braves: a switch-hitter, can play left field, affordable, under contractual control for two seasons, and a leadoff hitter who stole 30 bases in just 64 games in 2012 when he was limited by thumb and knee injuries.

He had his best season in 2011 when he hit .296 with a .360 OBP, five homers and 40 steals.

The Braves have checked into other possibilities, most notably Arizona’s Justin Upton, Colorado’s Dexter Fowler, Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo and Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, the latter three potential leadoff hitters. The asking price for each was deemed too high from the Braves’ perspective, the level of talent being asked for not commensurate with the return.

Other potential trade targets carried a high a price tag and/or were left-handed non-leadoff hitters, including Arizona’s Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra. While Wren has said being a right-handed hitter isn’t so important for a leadoff hitter, he otherwise prefers to add right-handed hitting to a lineup that leaned left in recent years, in a division where the Braves faced numerous lefty pitchers.

Many fans have wondered if the Braves might move B.J. Upton to left field if they acquired another center fielder who might be rated ahead of him according to defensive metric statistics. When asked about that, Wren said Upton would be the center fielder.

“We think he’s one of the best center fielders in the game, so there was never a question he was going to play center field,” Wren said. “Defensive metrics, we think, are still a work in progress. And because of the way that they’re not specific – all of the weight of the metric is not specifically on an individual player, it’s on the players that play beside him.

“They’re not as accurate as they probably should be, and that’s why they’re still a work in progress. So we think he’s a much better player than that, and quite frankly everybody we’ve talked to – scouts and people around, they all chime in that this guy’s a really good center fielder. We knew he was going to be our center fielder. As we went through the process, [assuring him he'd play center] was not to sell him on the organization, because we wanted him to be [the center fielder]. We think he’s one of the best.”

Many Braves fans have conjured images of a potentially spectacular outfield with Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers, but the Braves never considered giving up Simmons, the player Arizona demanded in a trade for Justin Upton.

Simmons’ arm and glove are both rated at 80 by most scouts on the 20-to-80 scale, and he hit .289 with a .751 OPS in 49 games, after being brought from the minors at the end of May and missing two months for a broken hand from a slide in the last game before the All-Star break.

While Wren said he doesn’t consider any player untouchable, he sees Simmons as “unreachable,” meaning he couldn’t envision a deal being proposed that would make him consider trading him.

“He’s a special player,” Wren said. “The other thing is, we’ve seen him grow so much in the last two years, from the time we drafted him to rushing through the minor leagues and winning a batting title at the A-ball level. He just continues to get better and better. We may be just scratching the surface of how good he can be.”

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called Simmons “very special” and a potential multiple Gold Glove winner and added: “People are going to probably criticize me when I say this, but I think if he would have stayed healthy, I think at the end of the year him and Bryce Harper, it would have been a hell of a decision about who was going to be the rookie of the year. Because [Simmons] was headed that same direction.

“I think he would have had enough games to justify the [vote] — because he added that type of energy to us when he came up, the way that Bryce did to Washington. Again, he got hurt, so there’s no discussion there. But I really thought that he could have been that candidate if he would have stayed healthy.”

260 comments Add your comment

Wes Jorga

December 8th, 2012
3:44 pm

Enter your comments hereThanks Dave great article!

NORRIS CHUCK

December 8th, 2012
3:47 pm

DOB,

So if it were up to you, which one of Fowler, Bonafacio, Choo or Gordon would you have?

richbrave

December 8th, 2012
3:47 pm

Thanx DAVE. Don’t forget us old non-tweeter types.

richbrave

December 8th, 2012
3:49 pm

Right now, I’d take BONIFACIO if available.

NORRIS CHUCK

December 8th, 2012
3:51 pm

richbrave,

Yep, thats the perfect match for the 2013 team. Fits the lineup and the teams budget.

South Georgia Boy

December 8th, 2012
3:55 pm

$75 million for an under .250 hitter(BJ). Just not so sure about this.

Lee in S GA

December 8th, 2012
3:55 pm

don’t really understand why Wren thinks the contract signing for the amount of money surprises him…he still living in the 90’s

Lost Cause

December 8th, 2012
3:58 pm

Norris Chuck
I like all four but wouldn’t break the bank on any one of them. Maybe Delgado or Francisco and a lower level prospect .

BOISESTATEBRONCO

December 8th, 2012
4:02 pm

Bonifacio would be a great addition for left field. I am also curious how Francisco would do in a more full time role.

Kharule

December 8th, 2012
4:08 pm

Simmons is a beast. We better not even THINK about trading him especially for only Justin Upton. Upton goes from one extreme to the other too much. Upton needs a few great seasons under his belt to be considered an elite player before someone way overspends to pick him up in a deal with the D-Backs. Its either feast of famine with that guy, and a little bit of headcase in between.

No thanks, Arizona. Dan Uggla is all the headcase we need around these parts. That big contract spooked him and got him thinking too much and he’s trying to do too much to justify us spending that kind of money on him, and its almost like he forgot how to do all the things he used to do right all those years he played for the Marlins.

At the end of the day, we don’t need to sign or trade for an expensive LF option because we have a whole whole lot of star/super star type young players we need to sit down with and sign to long term deals. Heyward would be my #1 priority if I was in the front office, followed closely by Freeman, Medlen, Prado, Beachy, and a few others who we need to protect from hitting free agency. I’d hate to see us lose our best young guys in a couple years just because we were too occupied with obtaining both Upton brothers this off season and forgot to save enough money to sign our own guys. I’d quit watching the Braves if we let our young exceptional talent walk.

Iowa Brave

December 8th, 2012
4:17 pm

We should trade uggla and then improve our team from there it would free up money nick amhed could play 2nd or fransisco who ever 2nd is an easy fill then we would have a little money freed up to offer bourn a 3 year contract

Iowa Brave

December 8th, 2012
4:17 pm

We should trade uggla and then improve our team from there it would free up money nick amhed could play 2nd or fransisco who ever 2nd is an easy fill then we would have a little money freed up to offer bourn a 3 year contract

Iowa Brave

December 8th, 2012
4:17 pm

We should trade uggla and then improve our team from there it would free up money nick amhed could play 2nd or fransisco who ever 2nd is an easy fill then we would have a little money freed up to offer bourn a 3 year contract

Joe Nuxhall

December 8th, 2012
4:19 pm

Well, I ain’t DOB, but I think I’d prefer to have Bonafacio as our left fielder. We need a proven base stealer and he seems quite qualified to do the deed.

Kharule

December 8th, 2012
4:19 pm

A team like us has always done better growing our own talent in our farm system and has historically relied much less on signing expensive free agents and trading for star players like the Yankees and other high dollar clubs. We should try not to stray too far from what has worked best for us all these years.

I don’t like Wren trying to impress us fans with 75 million dollar contracts to mediocre players like B.J. Upton. When was the last time that signing an expensive free agent worked out for us? Exactly. Never.

Kharule

December 8th, 2012
4:22 pm

Iowa Brave, we’re too deep in Uggla to just give up now. I think he may finally be due to have a good year. Giving up on him now would be a worse idea than signing him to that big deal in the first place, we need to get some return out of the whole thing whether its a good season from him or something of value from a trade. The problem is the way he’s played the past 2 years nobody would trade 2 guys in rookie ball for him right now plus we’d be eating most of the cash anyway so might as well just let him play. He can’t really do any worse than the past couple years. I’d put money on it that this year will be his best as a Brave.

Joe Nuxhall

December 8th, 2012
4:22 pm

Personally I don’t think Uggla is finished. He has one bad year and people are wanting to chase him out of town in a boxcar. Besides, no team in their right mind will want to pick up his salary, unless we do the Derek Lowe thing and end up paying 2/3 of his salary with a trade. Nope, ain’t gonna happen. The Braves need to keep cash in our team because we’ll need to sign Heyward and Freeman to long term contracts next winter.

Joe Nuxhall

December 8th, 2012
4:33 pm

Did you baseball fans know that I was the youngest baseball player to ever pitch? Yes, this happened during WWII when there was a shortage of players. I got to pitch at the major league level for the Cincinnati Reds at the tender age of 15 years and 316 days. It was on June 10, 1944. I was pitching against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, kids 13 and 14 years old… All of a sudden, I look up and there’s Stan Musial and the likes. It was a very scary situation. I struck out the first batter I faced and then was rocked for five runs before being relieved. I eventually found myself playing back with the Reds in 1952.

Joey M

December 8th, 2012
4:34 pm

Is there any chance we could sign a guy like Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and give him a chance to win the LF job out of spring training? He would be on the cheap. Personally, I wish we could add Willingham. Anybody think Billy Beane would be willing to take a trade of Teheran and another minor league player for Cespedes? Wishful thinking I know. I would be all over this.

Max Sizemore

December 8th, 2012
4:39 pm

Living in Florida, I saw perhaps 120 Rays’ games last season. And I guarantee that Upton is an excellent CF. He’s overthrown the cutoff man at times, but his arm is excellent also (10 assists). Now, offensively, he’s a serious underperformer, and I’m not at all sure he’s worth the money because of that.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
4:46 pm

Chone Figgins?! Why? Because you like saying Chone figgins? He’s had 1 ONE! good year. his OBP hasn’t broken .300 since 2010.

Joey M

December 8th, 2012
4:47 pm

Let’s try to get Billy Butler from KC. He would be an excellent fit in a Braves uni. Simmons or Prado would hit 1 or 2. This would really round out our team.

Eric

December 8th, 2012
4:50 pm

Crazy idea here. What if we made a similar $75/5 year pitch to Bourn to be the LF (or move Upton to left)? It would stretch the budget a bit but we would have a heckuva outfield. It just looks like his market is dwindling and we might get him at a reasonable price.

glorydays

December 8th, 2012
4:51 pm

Any thoughts of Braves trading part of the abundance of minor leagues arms for everyday players that are a year or so away (but similar value to the pitcher we trade)?

Gordo

December 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

I still think the Bravos should trade for Chase Headley of the Padres or consider A. Cabera of the Indians for 3rd base.

Godo

December 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

I still think the Bravos should trade for Chase Headley of the Padres or consider A. Cabera of the Indians for 3rd base.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
4:54 pm

Would love for the Braves to get Bonafacio from the Jays, but I think they would be crazy to trade him. Having him and Reyes at the top of a lineup will create havoc in the AL East.

rufus

December 8th, 2012
4:56 pm

I would like to get Dexter Fowler. His offensive production outside Denver is not that bad, and he’s not a home run guy anyway. Good lead off candidate, and he’s from Atlanta. Good salary level, too, and he’s tied up for a few years. I’d seriously consider trading Minor for Fowler.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
4:57 pm

Yeah, Chase Headley ain’t going nowhere.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
5:01 pm

Rufus, I’m sure the Rockies would jump all over that. But the braves aren’t interested in DOWNGRADING their starting pitching. If not for Medlen’s fantastic numbers in the 2nd half last year, more people would be talking about how Minor seemed to have turned the corner and was now dominating hitters.

Bob the Blogger

December 8th, 2012
5:03 pm

The player the Braves trade Simmons for better have a big “S” on his shirt!

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
5:05 pm

I think some of you guys need to be making out your lists for Santa………..you know, wishful thinking! I’m sure Frank Wren’s negotiations with other teams goes something like this, “I have a deal for you……bend over and take it!”

Joey M

December 8th, 2012
5:06 pm

What are the chances Evan Gattis gets a chance to win the LF job out of Spring Training?

Tim L.

December 8th, 2012
5:10 pm

I’m not convinced we have enough right handed bats to deter the parade of left handed pitching. Wish we had gone after Ryan Ludwick for LF. Report is now he has resigned with Reds.

74bravesjersey

December 8th, 2012
5:12 pm

Anybody checked out Andy Dirks, of Detroit I think, Has very good numbers, DOB, what do you think? or anybody checked, would Detroit(?)consider dealing him?

CharlieP

December 8th, 2012
5:14 pm

My bet is that the Braves try to get Bonifacio and if that doesn’t work they don’t get anyone.
Either way they haven’t fixed the problem of poor hitting which not only keeps them out of the playoffs but still makes them a boring team to watch.
Looks like a rough season ahead for them.

rufus

December 8th, 2012
5:20 pm

Paddy, I agree Minor looked really good toward the end of the season, but overall not too hot. If Wren concludes that Minor is too valuable to trade, maybe try a combo of Delgado and another SP from AA.
I just like Dexter; he’s pretty fast, bats right, and he plays everyday.
Obviously, good pitching is critical and injuries to our starting staff are possible. Nonetheless, I am sick of our lack of timely offensive production, and I think with Dexter’s OBP and his speed, he would be a huge plus.
I do agree that we could rotate LF and 3B, but I think Prado would thrive (even more so) if he had a permanent spot, i.e., third base.
Getting Beachy back also supports giving up some SP talent, though I know a rebound from TJ surgery is never a sure thing.
Just my opinion, but a Fowler, Upton, JH outfield would be very strong.

O'Ventbrel

December 8th, 2012
5:27 pm

Dexter Fowler would be a nice addition, but only if his asking price goes down. Regardless of the player you would want to let go, only one really solid pitcher/pitching prospect should go to Colorado for Fowler IMO. The other Braves pieces in that trade, if there are any, should be of lesser stock in the organization.

O'Ventbrel

December 8th, 2012
5:30 pm

And rufus, Fowler is actually a switch hitter so thats another bonus to his skillset.

WigWamWisps

December 8th, 2012
5:32 pm

I would love to see Billy Butler from KC in this lineup but if the asking price for Alex Gordon was high, I can only imagine how much the price would be for Butler.

bravo-n-knoxville

December 8th, 2012
5:33 pm

When it’s all said and done (Frank’s negotiations on a LF leadoff hitter), we will probably have Gordon from the Royals in LF. Just feel that Dayton Moore would rather trade with the Braves since he drafted most of the prospects he will be looking at as return on Gordon…imho. Kinda knows what he is getting by doing so, and the result is a less risky acquisition.

Somehow I don’t see Francona just sitting idle as the front office tries to ship their best hitter (Choo) out of town before he has the chance to plug him into his lineup. Probably a trade closer to the non-waiver deadline for any action on Shin-Soo. However, he would be an awesome pickup if Wren could swing a deal that doesn’t take too serious of a chunk out of our top prospects.

wag

December 8th, 2012
5:42 pm

what about brett gardner? he has a good obp, doesnt strkeout alot, has a great arm and has great speed.

unipanther

December 8th, 2012
5:52 pm

Live in KCity. I would get Wil Myers from the Royals and put him into LF–a great talent who can also backup catcher. Low cost with a great upside. Royals need pitching, so Delgado or Teheran with some other minor league talent for him. I would even go Teheran and Delgado for Myers and Mike Montgomery who has underperformed, but is a LH pitching talent. Leave Prado at 3B and protect Myers with good hitters in our lineup.

Joey M

December 8th, 2012
5:56 pm

NO WAY! The only player worth trading both Teheran and Delgado for is a Josh Hamilton that can play 162 games. I would be hesitant trading one of those straight up for Willingham and I want Willingham in a Braves uni really bad.

Ozzie

December 8th, 2012
5:56 pm

Disclaimer – I really like Simmons but the sample size is way too small for the hype levels we are seeing.

Hanson and JJ were viewed by Wren as untouchable Ace/1a type guys look where they are now.

Simmons has an heck of an arm and range but most of his minor league career has been one without much hitting.

Simmons almost miraculously started to hit in ST, hit well for the 39 games he played in the bigs and that is all we know.

Beyond that it is 100% speculation and or belief.

He is not a beast or a bust just a slick fielding SS who was known for his glove work and whistling at his position.

If he becomes Arod or Jeter, awesome. If he falls short of that and the Braves miss the post season due to a weak OF everyone will know where to point the finger.

Wren will get more than just criticized if Simmons goes back to his minor league norms at the plate while Justin Upton plays like JUp of 2011 or 2010 for a team that is playoff bound.

The nail in coffin will be if BJ puts up 2011 numbers with fewer HRs and the same or more SO.

Add another band aid in LF and you have the makings for another stealing defeat from the jaws of victory Braves season.

Sooner or later the Braves need to build and play to win it all now. If we get a 1yr rental in LF or a Prado/Frisco platoon at 3B I would not view this team as playoff bound especially with Chipper gone, Uggla still here and a low fitness Mac coming off shoulder surgery.

BJ replaced Bourn in CF as a solid defensive player (albeit with a poorer jump on the ball versus Bourn) but he will need to play above his career avgs (but below for SO) if he is to have a material impact on this team.

LF has been more of a thorn in the Braves side than SS in terms of winning & losing.

CharlieP

December 8th, 2012
6:05 pm

Ozzie – Well said. You’re dead on.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
6:05 pm

KC ain’t trading Wil Myers. His name is mentioned too often with the likes of Harper and Trout. Maybe, just maybe for a really good young stud pitcher.

Rick

December 8th, 2012
6:12 pm

I believe while we are all playing fantasy GM, Wren and the boys are in the Dominican watching Francisco and trying to gauge where he is in his recent development. They most likely realize that trade prices are inflated because other clubs know our strong needs and are kicking the tires on solving the LF / 3B from in house. I’ll bet we will all have a better picture of our direction when the big guys get back.

ppaddy123

December 8th, 2012
6:12 pm

ozzie, just because someone was untouchable 2-3 years ago doesn’t mean the same has to apply now. 2-3 years ago JJ and Hanson were just about the only good young pitching we had. Times change. Our needs change every year. AND neither JJ nor Hanson is the pitcher they were. By your logic, we have to keep them now because we wouldn’t move them then.

Ralph

December 8th, 2012
6:13 pm

DOB – Are the Braves still trying to re-sign Chad Durbin, I would hate to see the Nats or Phils grab him and the Phils will be looking for a reliever since the just gave up two of them in the trade for Young.

Quack Quack

December 8th, 2012
6:27 pm

Hey DOB, thanks for the up-date, but sounds like we in a lull right now. Maybe I’ve missed something, but what’s happened to Michael Bourn?

Ray

December 8th, 2012
6:37 pm

KC isn’t willing to do James Shields for Myers. They are looking for a truck load for him, and it starts with a #1 or #2 pitcher.

Bills fan

December 8th, 2012
6:54 pm

DOB, as you probably know we Braves fans are starving for news this time of year. I enjoy your coverage and insights so stories like these are very welcome and enjoyable.

Zing

December 8th, 2012
6:54 pm

Thanks for the article DOB. Keep up the good work for us data-starved, deal-inclined fans!

No. 1 Braves Fan

December 8th, 2012
6:58 pm

DOB: Thanks for a recap of what did and did not happen at WM for Braves.
To those who keep mentioning Choo I will repeat what others including myself have previously said. That being stay away from Boras clients especially like Choo who would be a one year rental. Also, before the WM, I was in the group clamoring for Wren to trade for J. Upton. Now I am not and I agree whith those who say save the money to lock in Heyward, Freeman and Beachy. In ST evaluate all options for LF
with players we have. If by luck, an “affordable” player becomes available or a trade
can be made that makes sence can be made for a LF, then do it.

NORRIS CHUCK

December 8th, 2012
7:09 pm

DOB or ANYBODY,

Whats the deal with Blake DeWitt? Does he have anything left in the tank???

Chief Knock-A-Homa

December 8th, 2012
7:13 pm

DOB – What’s the latest on the possibility of getting Corey Hart while the Brewers are still open to trading him??

He’s not the leadoff they are looking for, but can you really pass up his average and power??

kral

December 8th, 2012
7:15 pm

I’LL say this..maybe not be true..who knows..but AS looks like the best shortstop I have seen in a BRAVES uniy..including furcal..although they are very close..only time will tell..been watching Braves shortstops since the 70’s

KYBravos' fan

December 8th, 2012
7:31 pm

I’ve always liked Bonafacio. Plays hard. Drives pitchers crazy on basepaths. Uses speed to get on by keeping ball on ground. Switch hitter. Plays IF AND OF. Prototypical leadoff hitter. Gamer. We’ll see.

74bravesjersey

December 8th, 2012
7:40 pm

If they can’t find anyone that will fit w/ our Bravos, & need’n to save on the Budget, then In-house it is, Frank has had experience playin’ LF, he did quite a number of years in the expo’s organization as a minor league OF’er, so he’ll fill the void himself. Very adequate in his day, & he’ll man-up & do the PH’n duties as well. He recalls putt’n the bat on the ball a few times. Look up Frank Wren’s Minor League stats, he did a very formidable job. Then he’ll ask Fredi to cover backup catch’n duties as he was in the minors as well. Very reliable, can pick the bad pitches w/ the best of’em. (mgr./C, & PH), then Frank Wren(GM/OF/PH). So they’ll cover the slots themselves come spring Training. They both started training, & Liberty Media is so pleased, that they’ve saved on the Budget. Cool Huh?

74bravesjersey

December 8th, 2012
7:42 pm

Frank will have to work some to cover ground out there w/ BJ, but mabey FW is our Leadoff guy.

elainer7

December 8th, 2012
7:43 pm

wow! 75 mil for a guy who bats under .250? What a bargain!

urban redneck

December 8th, 2012
7:46 pm

can we get a moment of silence? kim kardashian’s cat died. go bravos.

Seattle Braves

December 8th, 2012
8:03 pm

Actually,

Can we get a moment of silence? the Kardashian sister’s committed suicide. THey found out that hostess’es are no longer making chocolate ding-dong’s.

Seattle Braves

December 8th, 2012
8:05 pm

Anyway,

Stanton should be the guy to go for.

Fransico, Flaherty, and prospect for Stanton.

Line up:

Prado
Heyward
BJ Upton
Stanton
Freeman
McCann
Uggla
Simmons
Pitcher

I would fly to the stadium to watch this line up.

Ken Stallings

December 8th, 2012
8:06 pm

Just behind the importance of making the trade that’s perfect for your own team, lies the trade you refused to make out of desperation, that ended up harming your team.

When you’re dealing with a team that has nothing to lose if the trade fails, but everything to gain if they leverage a steal, then you just walk away.

The Braves may well not trade. I am glad that Wren isn’t going to pull a Scheurholtz and trade the farm for a short-term player. One player hardly ever puts a team over the proverbial top. Fred McGriff was the greatest fleecing I can think of for the Braves but the Braves had to have all that other talent and McGriff alone could not have made it happen.

I’d rather put a platoon of Prado, Francisco, and Johnson in left field than see the Braves agree to an unfair trade that would deprive them of their pitching strength for the future.

Ken Stallings

December 8th, 2012
8:08 pm

Just for clarification …. “… that would have ended up harming your team if you made it.”

Heisenberg

December 8th, 2012
8:19 pm

The Bonifacio scenario looks interesting, although count me as one who would like to see Justin play along side his brother. If the price could come down to Delgado or Teheran + Ahmed (sp?) and another throw in, I would pull that trigger.

And 5 games after watching Simmons play I suggested on these blogs he could challenge Harper for ROY and many suggested I get drug tested or share some with them. The only player I would even consider trading Simmons for is Trout and we all know that is not gonna happen.

russ's spot

December 8th, 2012
8:30 pm

ozzie
NEWS FLASH !!!!! simmons won a batting title in the minors. he didn’t just start hitting in spring training. he hit around 200 in st. think or check the facts before posting.

VinceVanGo

December 8th, 2012
8:37 pm

I also like the Bonifacio idea if the Rays will do it, but what will the Rays want? I don’t know that I trade Delgado or Teheran for a two year player. But if they want O’Flaherty & his 3.8+ million contract I say do it. That’s a win win situation. Venters & Avilan can handle the left handed duties and they’re still inexpensive. If Bonifacio is not available, I say the Braves go into spring training taking a hard look at Gattis & Constanza and if they don’t appear to be the answer they’ll have money to spend to upgrade then.

Quitman Dog

December 8th, 2012
8:49 pm

Have we gave up on Jordan Schafer,plays great in field and hits LEADOFF,and has wheels………I know he comes with baggage but we signed him for some reason !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick

December 8th, 2012
9:01 pm

Bonifacio is with blue jays not rays and he would a tremendous addition. As for Schafer, he cant be counted on as anything more than organizational depth.

Ggs

December 8th, 2012
9:06 pm

I hate to sound like a broken record but Alex Gordon is the guy we need in LF. I think trading Delgado and Teheran would be a small price to pay to get a guy like Gordon who just now seems to be reaching his potential. It’s not like the Braves don’t have several other pitching prospects who aren’t more valuable.It’s clear that Upton will be in CF so talk of getting another CF really doesn’t make sense.Our lineup would be scary.

Brownie

December 8th, 2012
9:24 pm

Ggs – would love to have Gordon here, but Delgado AND Teheran??? Let’s see, our starting staff would be Huddy, Medlin, Minor, Maholm, and …………uh……..I wonder who throws batting practice?

Gilmartin and Spruill just aren’t ready, and Beachy won’t be at full strenght until ‘14.

Johnny S.

December 8th, 2012
9:24 pm

You know why I don’t name names in possible trades…. I don’t have any names to name.

Brownie

December 8th, 2012
9:27 pm

IF Wren and Fredi come back from the Dominican League impressed with Francisco (and his weight loss), I believe Wren will be somewhat less aggressive in his trade offers, and see how things look in spring training.

Bonifacio would be my choice, and I think he would also cost the least in trade value.

ga gator

December 8th, 2012
9:28 pm

All I know, my Rays friends who live in the Tampa Bay area are glad he does not play for them anymore; most say he is a cancer in the clubhouse. I hope he matures; quick!!

Cheese and Crackers

December 8th, 2012
9:44 pm

Reading some of the comments really makes my head hurt.

Xavier Molina

December 8th, 2012
10:00 pm

Enter your comments here

Xavier Molina

December 8th, 2012
10:01 pm

braves should get justin upton. trade ss prospect ahmed plus delgado or teheran and a prospect pitcher like gilmartin. they should accept that and our outfield would be b a d a s s

Xavier Molina

December 8th, 2012
10:04 pm

Prado
Heyward
Upton
Upton
Uggla
McCann
Freeman
Simmons
BEAST LINEUP

Xavier Molina

December 8th, 2012
10:04 pm

Prado
Heyward
Upton
Upton
Uggla
McCann
Freeman
Simmons
BEAST LINEUP

Xavier Molina

December 8th, 2012
10:06 pm

or
Upton
Prado
Upton
Uggla
McCann
Freeman
Heyward
Simmons

Chopdawg

December 8th, 2012
10:19 pm

Didn’t Bonifacio also play some 3B for the Marlins, three or four seasons ago?

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
10:44 pm

Mid season trade bait; Uggla, McCann, Hudson, Maholm all for top hitting prospects who cares what position. Mr. Wrenn get the Braves Nation a Murderers’ Row of Sure ‘Nuff Sluggers for these guys.

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
10:47 pm

July, 2013 Starting rotation Medlen,Minor, Teheran, Beachy, Delgado, Gilmartin, etc, etc. with our dominant bullpen. Go Braves! Future looks bright.

Ken Stallings

December 8th, 2012
10:49 pm

ESPN is reporting that the Dodgers are going to sign Zack Greinke for $140 million over six years.

Ken Stallings

December 8th, 2012
10:52 pm

Yes, the future is bright for the Braves. They may not have the aggregate offensive talent to win this upcoming season, but if they can develop a power hitting left fielder to go with Upton and Heyward, and then keep Prado at third base, then starting around 2014 the Braves can be a special team.

Frankly, that is the goal Wren has in mind by refusing to succumb to the temptation to give up two excellent pitching prospects for a single hitter. Frankly, the Braves might even have a better chance to trade for a left fielder by waiting until the season has already started when a pitching injury makes the other team desperate to overcome a critical injury to their starting rotation.

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
10:54 pm

Line up will be LF Will Myers, 3B Martin Prado, RF Jason Heyward, CF B J Upton, 1B Fred Freeman, SS Andrelton Simmons, C Bethancourt, 2B Nick Ahmed. Bench OF Reed Johnson, 3B Juan Francisco, C Gerald Baird, IF Paul Jannish, 1B Mejia.

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
10:59 pm

McCann, Hudson, and prospect for Will Meyers of KC. Uggla to AL to be DH for 2 or 3 hitting prospects. All dead weight gone. Young, athlectic affordable true BASEBALL PLAYERS. GO BRAVES!!!

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
11:01 pm

Forgot Maholm for stud hitter and AA power pitcher.

just win baby!

December 8th, 2012
11:04 pm

Mr. Wrenn, John Shuerholtz, Bobby Cox, Scouting Staff do not Blow this oppurtunity to lay a Solid Foundation on a Dynastic Future. Get’r Done RIGHT!!

Ozzie

December 8th, 2012
11:36 pm

Simmons won a battling title in the AFL not in A, AA or AAA if I recall correctly. Most of his time in the minors he was more glove than bat.

He is being protected like a baby Jeter bc of his new found prowess at the plate. Wren needs to hope that sticks is all I am saying.

We know what Justin Upton can do. We hope Simmons can continue and build on what he has done for a limited time in the majors and later in his minor league time.

Bottom line this team will need another 90+ RBI guy to go anywhere give what we have in CF and with a platoon at 3B, no Ross, etc.

Simmons is not going to drive in 90 runs any time soon.

Val

December 8th, 2012
11:51 pm

DOB
What about moving Uggla to LF and look for our leadoff hitter to play second base?

Ozzie

December 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

I want to keep Simmons but an OF of Upton, Upton and Heyward is hard to pass up especially for a team that really needs RBIs versus web gems.

I sincerely hope Simmons becomes a consistent offensive force at SS to match his defensive skills but I would be ok with Ahmed being brought up midseason with a glove guy in there while he seasons.

My ideal scenario is Ahmed gets invited to ST and open some eyes in AZ then a trade could be made.

That or finding a way to get Myers. More band aids in LF or someone like Dee Gordon out there would be painful.

Mr Pitts

December 9th, 2012
12:26 am

“Ozzie – Well said. You’re dead on.”

I’ll take your word for it. But I won’t bother reading any wordy posting…..more than 30 words. A few sentences and be done. DOn’t need books here, guys. We’re not actually solving any problems. Just say who you want to throw somebody else’s money at and be done with it. Stats aren’t needed, nor any misguided logic.

Paul Lulz

December 9th, 2012
1:55 am

Keep up the good work, DOB, our voice of sanity.

Tiny

December 9th, 2012
2:16 am

How about trade Simmons (and more, obviously) for J. Upton, move Prado to SS and Fransisco to 3B?
Wait a half a year or so for Ahmed to develop and put him in at SS and move Prado back to 3rd *IF* Fransisco does not deliver. I feel that would be a playoff contending team. Or just say screw it and sell the farm for Stanton.

Steve

December 9th, 2012
6:00 am

Quite frankly, I have no problem heading into the season with Schafer in LF, but I know the Braves won’t go that route. I think people are under-selling Schafer.

Schafer was a more highly touted prospect than Bourn, Rivera or anyone other than Justin Upton that is being mentioned here. He also fits in with what the Braves need .. a leadoff type hitter.

I am not saying I wouldn’t love to get Fowler, but not at the price he is commanding. Same with Upton. We have to remember that we may not have Huddie or Maholm back next year. with Hanson and Jurrgens gone we can’t get too crazy with trading away pitching depth or we will be in the same boat we were in when we overpaid for Lowe and Kawakami.

2013 rotation barring trade
– Hudson, Maholm, Medlen, Minor, Delgado/Teheran until Beachy gets back.

2014 rotation if we don’t re-sign the first two above
– Beachy, Medlen, Minor, Delgado, Teheran and …. not much if anyone gets hurt

We can’t get too crazy with trading away more pitching. We have already jettisoned two guys and after this season we might say goodbye to two more (though I personally think we should try to ink Maholm RIGHT NOW). Hudson will come back with the Braves if he stays healthy and they don’t low-ball him too badly … but those are big if’s.

man and dog

December 9th, 2012
6:28 am

What is wrong with Schafer and Costanza and maybe Prado in left field? All good players. If you don’t like that, well let’s just go the Yankee route and sign Hamilton to play left. What an outfield that would be!!!!!!

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