Brace yourselves, but Braves should put Chipper on the market

OK, now it’s the Braves’ turn. After all those seasons of shoring up their roster with blockbuster trades in mid-season, at the expense of raiding the farm system, consider this: (Are you sitting down?) Tell the world they’re putting Chipper Jones on the open market. Anybody out there in need of a third baseman, or, on the American League side, a designated hitter?

I can hear all the gulps, and the screeches, and calls for my scalp. First place, forget where you saw this. This is not my choice at all, but considering the direction the Braves have taken the past four years, the lock is running low on sentimentality. Sure, Chipper is the face of the Braves. And the voice. He speaks for the team when anyone is looking for an opinion, or reaction to a news event. All of us seek him out, and he responds in his even baritone voice. He never lets you down. So to offer him for trade, hang him out there like a piece of meat for swap, a dreadful thought.

But think again. He deserves one more chance at a World Series, or postseason play, and he’s not going to get it here. He just signed a fresh contract, so that much is done, but the front office was rather slow getting around to that. This front office hasn’t been distinguishing itself, anyway. It has been making trades for Gary Sheffield, Mike Hampton, J. D. Drew and Mark Teixeira and shredding the farm system in the process. The Teixeira deal was the most destructive of all, literally re-stocking the Texas Rangers’ roster. Check the standings of the American League West.

By bartering Chipper, what the Braves might be able to do is re-stock its own roster with fresh talent. True, Chipper is 37 years old, but so is Raul Ibanez, the fresh personality who has brought so much to the Phillies’ lineup. And Chipper is a young 37, keeps himself young hunting and ranching on his acreage in Texas. He was the leading hitter in the National League last season, so the years haven’t been weighing heavily on him.
I don’t know what his contract arrangement may be, whether it includes a non-trade agreement or not. I doubt that he would stand in the way, with the right deal, with the right team. He only has to take a look around at what has happened to some of his old Braves pals. John Smoltz, for instance, tired of hemming and hawing and went his own way. And Tom Glavine’s rejection has been heavy on the minds of Braves fans lately. A deal for Chipper might go a long way toward re-stocking the roster, but it would have to be more productive than a lot of swaps that have been made lately. Except for Jair Jurrjens, and to a degree, Omar Infante, those transactions have not been richly productive, including such as Royce Ring, Josh Anderson, Mark Kotsay, Will Ohman, Jeff Ridgway and Mike Gonzalez, and a lot of them are history. Not a pennant-building haul, you might say.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals, Rangers, Rockies and Rays enjoy the fruits of some of the Braves’ misjudgments. Time to make a move while Chipper is still a major commodity. They can’t close the gap left by all those absentees, so skillfully scouted and carefully nurtured. Not that dealing Chipper Jones can come close to making up for them all, but he could wipe out some of the damage, and in the long run, have a good closing run for himself. If the thought of this offends you, let me remind you that this is the team that traded Henry Aaron and Dale Murphy, and allowed Phil Niekro to take a hike, and Smoltz and Glavine to go adrift.

There, I’ve said it. And I’m not sorry.

401 comments Add your comment

Mike Lum

June 19th, 2009
4:45 pm

Uh, what? Chipper has been pretty clear about wanting to finish his career with the Braves, if at all possible. Much more so than being traded. A young 37? I love ol’Hoss, but he’s missed quite a few games these last few years, Mr. Bisher. And I wouldn’t exactly call the minor league system as being in shreds…there are several fine prospects out there. Glavine went adrift? Today he pretty much admitted the Braves were right…he won’t pitch again this year, and he’ll probably retire in the quiet of the off-season. This column was a total miss.

corkylikesbeer

June 19th, 2009
4:51 pm

Mr. Bisher..Chipper is a 10/5 he has veteo power on all trades.

Noah

June 19th, 2009
4:53 pm

Why does everyone keep bashing the farm system when its ranked as one of the better ones in baseball.

jeffrey d

June 19th, 2009
5:11 pm

Noah – I guess because people see that our farm system COULD have included Andrus, Saltalamacchia, Wainwright, and Feliz?

But really…a lot of the players we traded didn’t have a future with the Braves. With Yunel and McCann, Andrus and Salty weren’t going anywhere. The Braves had pressing needs (ilke 1B in 2007 and RF in 2004) and making those deals was a necessary evil. When you have a surplus, you use that surplus to meet pressing needs.

As far as Chipper goes, I don’t see why you trade him. He’s one of our top hitters, as well as an incredible influence on the young hitters (I believe McCann credits some of his success to working with Chipper). This Braves team has enough talent that it CAN be good, but it needs a change, and I don’t think that involves getting rid of Chipper. I’m gonna go with Mark Bradley – Bobby’s coaching style isn’t working with a lot of our players.

But of course since he’s so revered, he can coach this team until he dies.

country boy

June 19th, 2009
5:26 pm

Wow Mr. B now thats thinking outside the box. I would hate to see him go but it does sadden me to see Chipper play for a team with very slim post-season hopes every year now.

K Brown

June 19th, 2009
6:00 pm

Bisher, you’re an idiot. First, Mark Bradley writes about taking Cox out of managing the Braves and then you write this nonsense. It’s funny. In times of many newspapers going out of business you guys come up with these type of articles that stir emotions. Is it coincidence that the AJC is down on subscribers?

Poorjeff

June 19th, 2009
6:01 pm

Let me remind you Mr. Bisher, The Braves are the team that don’t have the nuts to fire Bobby Cox or at least move him to VP position and give way to a Younger more go-get’m Mgr.

Bobby will never be in a World Series again, his time has past ,he’s not the future. Please if you love the Braves …retire.

Do what you wish with Chipper..then we will have 7 Frenchy’s. God bless us.

Whopper Dawg

June 19th, 2009
6:10 pm

Do Chipper a favor and trade him to a contender. It is time to break it down and start developing the new guys and get new kids. I just don’t know if we have the GM to do it anymore.

jimmy a

June 19th, 2009
6:10 pm

yea but FIRE WREN FIRST

turkey

June 19th, 2009
6:11 pm

Furman, dead on it. Chipper is one of the few throughbreds the Braves have and they should give him a chance for one more ring. No sense in him finishing his career on a team fading fast. I hope Wren has sense enough to get good prospects for him.

DHD

June 19th, 2009
6:36 pm

I would trade my Momma if it helped the Braves. I have always said that I am a fan of the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. While it is fun to have a player that you get to know, be proud of, etc. it really doesn’t matter. Chipper is gone in 3 years anyway. If trading Chipper can help this team win in 2010, do it. We traded Aaron, Carty, Alou, Torre, Murphy, on and on…so why not Chipper?

7

June 19th, 2009
6:57 pm

DHD=I bet your mother loved you too. What about old Dad? Would you trade him too. It’s fathers day Sunday you know. Just having fun…friend.

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 19th, 2009
6:57 pm

Weighing the pro’s and con’s of trading Chipper Jones…..

Yes, he would bring a haul of young players but they would have to be the right ones. Yes, Chipper is unlikely to see another World Series much less the playoffs here in Atlanta. Yes, he can still rake. In fact, Chipper is probably a better hitter now than he has ever been.

No, the Braves cannot replace Chipper at third base as Hall of Fame third sackers do not grow on tree’s. Chipper has full 10/5 protection so finding a team with the right prospects which Chipper would waive his veto rights for is going to be difficult. Larry Wayne junior has bad wheels and everybody knows it. He cannot stay healthy anymore and has 15 million per season guaranteed through 2012, making his contract and health both obstacles to a trade.

And of course, Chipper is an icon and fan favorite. His loss would be felt at the turnstile as many fans would simply stop coming until the team proves that it can win again. Not to mention the fact that he does not want to be traded.

All in all, a trade is possible but highly unlikely. No, VERY UNLIKELY.

Curtis Jones

June 19th, 2009
7:30 pm

Mr. Bisher, love you man. But seriously. Your most recent columns make it clear that you should limit your musings to recollections about the Atlanta Crackers, Norm Van Brocklin and Satchel Paige.

NCBravesFan

June 19th, 2009
7:32 pm

Not sure how practical it would be to trade Chipper for a lot of reasons, but I agree with the overall theme here – the Braves need to be selling and not buying. I felt that way last offseason, but like everyone I suppose was hoping that things might work out when Wren went shopping.

I doubt it will happen simply because I think Wren is going to take this “let’s try to contend” theme he started and run with it until it works or he’s run out of town. I’d be surprised if the Braves changed tactics so soon after signing so many players.

Noah @4:53 – the reason people bash the farm system is that we have a putrid offense, especially in the outfield – and there is NO-ONE that can come up right now and play any better than the schleps we run out there every night.

In fact, that’s true of every position we lack at this point (2B and some would argue 1B).

Max Sizemore

June 19th, 2009
7:51 pm

Furman, I think a lot of folks like the fact that the times-they-are-a-changin’ AJC has retained the services of a young 90-year-old columnist who can still swing the keyboard. But trading Chipper would be like trading you — I’m not certain there would be a huge market.

Kevin

June 19th, 2009
8:28 pm

I Agree. Trade him to a contender where he can play in some more postseason games. Boston could use a DH if Ortiz doesn’t continue his recent hot streak and the Yankees will always ad another bat. Get 3-4 good prospects and make the move.

The Grinch

June 19th, 2009
8:40 pm

Great idea, but he wouldn’t go for it. Somewhere inside Chipper would love to win, but he’s already proven he loves Bobby more so he’ll be content to stay here and lose until Bobby retires or turns into a heap of bones like the Crypt Keeper. This team goes nowhere until Bobby does.

Jeremiah

June 19th, 2009
8:51 pm

I usually love your columns and agree with you often, but HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!

preston

June 19th, 2009
9:52 pm

Furman

You have lost your ever loving mine. Get real you idiot and write something real. Chipper is the best player we have had in 20 years. He is money and is worth a lot more than the cheap Braves are paying him.

Your article is very stupid

matt

June 19th, 2009
9:54 pm

what young talent have the braves lost to the rockies?? im confused

MattyO

June 19th, 2009
9:57 pm

Why does the AJC keep publishing this nonsense? I’ve never read an article by Bisher that made any sense or was any good by any means. Two pieces about how our farm system isn’t very strong, when it is the exact opposite, and no this. Enough, please. Go Braves!

N8

June 19th, 2009
9:58 pm

If Dale Murphy was traded, what makes Chipper immune to it? The only question is whether he would be up for it or not? My guess, is that he wants no part of it.

the real Andy

June 19th, 2009
10:08 pm

a) Chipper wants to retire a Brave b) he can veto any trade c) for whatever reason, the Braves seem absolutely committed to him retiring a Brave, and d) he just signed an extension.

it’s not gonna happen. even if one thinks it should, it’s just not gonna. Bisher’s articles are getting more and more ludicrous.

Murphy asked to be traded, by the way, because he thought it would be best for everybody.

danny c

June 19th, 2009
10:09 pm

Keep Chipper, fire Cox, then hire Ned Yost

John

June 19th, 2009
10:12 pm

Trade the white trash bum. He leads the league in errows and he’s a part time player. He embarress everyone on the team when he talks. A has been.

B-rockGT

June 19th, 2009
10:14 pm

HE LEADS THE MAJORS IN AVG, 2 IN OBP, AND 3 IN SLG SINCE 2006

yeah hes white trash. screw all you Chipper haters. there is no way he gets traded.

B-rockGT

June 19th, 2009
10:16 pm

in a season where they did Smoltz and Glavine wrongly there is no way they top it with trading chipper

David

June 19th, 2009
10:17 pm

This has got to be the stupidest blog i have ever seen lol i meen is this a joke??? trade chipper jones the face of the team and the leader of the team. that is just crazy! Furman, i know its a friday night but i had no idea you drank blunts and smoked 40s lol

B-rockGT

June 19th, 2009
10:17 pm

The Braves are 4.5 games out of first in a division that is very winnable because of our pitching. Phillies are struggling and Mets are hurt. We can definitely win this

Bubba

June 19th, 2009
10:18 pm

If it hasn’t alreday been said, dumb is dumb. It’s just as easy to trade a franchise player for a lot of nothing as it is to do the opposite. Mr. Wren appears capable of doing both.

bravegirl

June 19th, 2009
10:22 pm

ARE YOU CRAZY OR JUST DRUNK

hop

June 19th, 2009
10:22 pm

AS ALWAYS MR. BISHER IS DEAD ON !I have been saying it is time to think about reloading this team with great young talent,by trading chipper could bring another superstar or two.

the braves are not going anywhere with this current line up with too many holes to fill.

the homers here will talk about the great farm system,but it is not so, yes, we do have a few ,but not enough to scare anyone.

the chipper trade will bring back 1990 again,but the braves are not smart enough to think outside of the box.

frank wren has got to go!

r martin die hard braves fan

June 19th, 2009
10:26 pm

YOUR AS BAD AS TERRANCE MOORE!!!!!!!!!!!!! UP YOURS

MilitaryDawgInDC

June 19th, 2009
10:27 pm

God fisher, someone needs to take away your posting privleges.

Drixie

June 19th, 2009
10:29 pm

Chipper is a “young” 37? Chipper is a great hitter, but he’s also very prone to injuries, large and small. This is not a great team, but it’s not as bad as you seem to suggest. Our pitching staff is very good and I think there’s enough talent to win 85-90 games which would put us in contention for a fairly thin NL East. To your point about Chipper always being there for the media: who votes for the Hall of Fame? Oh yeah, it’s the baseball writers; Chipper might be a hick, but he’s no dummy. I agree that we gave up a lot for Tex, but so far Andrus, Salty, and Harrison are not exactly world-beaters. That minor league pitcher Perez is supposed to be good, but we’ll see. I also thought we had a pretty good farm system, so you’re telling the readers something we did not know. If we trade Chipper, maybe you could go with him – as great a writer as you are you deserve one more shot at covering a playoff team.

R. Brave

June 19th, 2009
10:37 pm

Man I don’t know who you are , but you are totally ingnorant! Chipper may be a bit fragile in his later years, but he is a force in the club house, and he still playing well and hitting. Get rid of TP for God’s sake and we will be O.K.

Tom Glavine

June 19th, 2009
10:38 pm

Furman, are you insane or just ugly?

Actually, I like the new picture. *wink*

Suckers.

Jordan, True Brave Fan

June 19th, 2009
10:41 pm

Are you serious Furman? To be honest, you’re an idiot. That is not a wise decision. Just tHink if he exited Atlanta for a minute: IT WOULD BE MUCH WORSE PAIN THAN JOHN SMOLTZ FOR BRAVES FANS.

If there is anybody the Braves need to trade now, it’s time to say goodbye to KELLY JOHNSON.
Anyone else agree?
Furman. You need to rethink what you just said.
Stupid sums it all up…

cvbraves

June 19th, 2009
10:43 pm

Article unworthy of comment.

Patrick

June 19th, 2009
10:44 pm

Chipper is a 10/5 player. He has ten years in the majors more than 5 with the same team. He can block any trade, and he wants to finish his career in Atlanta. This is the most obsurd article I’ve ever read.

RS

June 19th, 2009
10:45 pm

This is the most idiotic column I have ever seen on AJC.

yogi2

June 19th, 2009
10:46 pm

Bisher , you’re a joke! Chipper has payed his dues, has taken a cut in pay to sign other players,changed positions to assist other players,
He is the one of the greatest switch hitters of all time! Stick FRenchy and Shaffers up yours. never trade our greatest player next to Hank Aaron

Train Wreck Bystander

June 19th, 2009
10:50 pm

I agree, Chipper Jones does deserve another shot at a WS. I might or might not agree that he will not get another chance in his remaining years at Atlanta.

I would think that the Braves F.O. and Chipper could handle this between themselves, without calls for action from outside the loop. If the Braves got some interest in Chipper, I am sure they would run it by him. And if Chipper catches Smoltz syndrome, I am sure he would go to the F.O. and quietly ask about the possibility of moving.

I got the impression Chipper wanted to be a career Brave, World Series runs or not.

Homey

June 19th, 2009
10:54 pm

You’re smokin crack grandpa!

John

June 19th, 2009
10:54 pm

I find it hard to understand how the ajc can afford to keep all of it’s senile old sports writers on staff with the supposedly miserably struggling newspaper business. . .

John

June 19th, 2009
10:56 pm

Absolutely should NOT trade Chipper. Anyone who says otherwise has an agenda other than what’s good for this team on the field.

Ron

June 19th, 2009
10:56 pm

Mr B I’d you’re not just an idiot but a damn idiot.

Ron

June 19th, 2009
10:58 pm

pardon my typing,I may type like an idiot awwww….no need to cover now

BIG MAC

June 19th, 2009
10:59 pm

Bisher, you old buzzard…YOU ought to retire before you drown in your own drool–please take Bobby Cox with you.