#170: A Report On Two Braves Prospects

November 19, 2017

Gil ‘N



With the conclusion of the 2017 edition of the Arizona Fall League last Saturday, the Braves “Answer to Everything”, Ronald Acuna capped off what has been a pretty eventful year for a 19 year old phenom.

Ronald Acuna

Beginning with a stint in the Australian Baseball League with the Melbourne Aces, the young Venezuelan hit .375/.446/.556 with an OPS of 1.001 in 20 games and was named to the Australian All Star team. After returning home to Venezuela for the league’s Christmas break, he encountered visa problems and was unable to return to Melbourne for the conclusion of that season.

Undeterred, he rejoined the Braves for spring training and was assigned to the Florida Fire Frogs in the Advanced A Florida State League. He played in 28 games for the Fire Frogs slashing .287/.336/.478 and an OPS of .814. He was promoted to AA Mississippi for 56 games and improved with .326/.374/.520 stat line and an OPS of .895. Upon his promotion to Triple A Gwinnett where he continued to improve on his average with a line of .344/.393/.548 and OPS of .940. in 54 games.

Along the way, he has garnered both All Star honors as well as MVP awards while playing with teammates older than himself. To be fair, he is not a one trick pony but a true five tool player playing all three outfield positions with a plus throwing arm. He has plus speed and has shown the ability to steal bases and hit for power. While lacking polish, which only comes for experience, it is anticipated he will start the season in the Atlanta outfield in 2018. The only question is which of the Braves current outfielders will be moved.

Max Fried

While garnering most of the ink, Acuna was not the only Braves prospect to shine in the AFL this fall. Soon to be 24 years old Max Fried also showed why the Braves are so giddy to have this young man in their fold.

Fried, who came to the Braves as part of the package acquired from the Padres for outfielder Justin Upton, Fried was a first round draft pick (over all #7) by the Padres in 2012. Max was sidelined for Tommy John surgery when the Braves acquired him in 2014 but their foresight may well have been spot on. Fried made his return from Tommy John surgery in 2016 with A class Rome. His record with the Rome Braves was 8/7 with an ERA of .393. In 21 games and 103 innings pitched he had 112 strikeouts and 47 walks and a whip of 1.301.

In 2017, he began his season with AA Mississippi appearing in 19 games and 86.2 innings. His stat line with Mississippi was fairly unimpressive with a record of 2-11 and an ERA of 5.92 with 85 Ks and 43 walks and a whip of 1.512.

Fried’s march toward Atlanta came with a promotion to AAA Gwinnett where he appeared in two games for a total of 6 innings. He registered 6 strikeouts with 2 walks and a whip of 0.500. This might be proof positive where wins and losses are not relative to a prospect’s potential.

Max Fried’s promotion to Atlanta on August 5th was somewhat unexpected but when a team is in full bore rebuild, opportunities are abound. Fried appeared in 9 games in the show, 4 as a starter and 5 in relief. He had a 1-1 won loss record and amassed 22 Ks and 12 BB with an ERA of 3.81 and a whip of 1.615. Perhaps more impressive was the poise and mound presence of the 23 year old rookie lefty. He did not give any indication of being over matched and showed glimpses of why he was considered the Padres #1 pitching prospect after he was drafted.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Braves assigned Fried to the Peoria Javalinas of Arizona Fall League following the end of the MLB season. Perhaps the Braves saw it as an opportunity to further evaluate the development of their prized lefty in a controlled environment where Braves minor league manager Luiz Salazar was slated to manage the Javalinas. He did not disappoint, appearing in 6 games and accumulating a total of 26 innings and posting a 3-1 record with an ERA of 1.73 with 32 strikeouts, 8 walks. His only snafu was in his next to last appearance against the Glendale Devil Dogs when he gave up 5 runs, 4 earned in 4 innings pitched. Fried has definitely made his case to be included in Atlanta’s plans for their starting staff in 2018.

All totaled Max Fried pitched 144.2 innings in 2017, a good number for a player only 2 years removed from Tommy John. Fried perhaps will be the top prized returned from the Padres accompanied by Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson and Mallex Smith in exchange for Justin Upton.


132 Responses to “#170: A Report On Two Braves Prospects”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady November 21, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks, Gil! Looks like things are good down on the Farm! Maybe this last Hart/whatzhisname debacle is the last of the bad and everything will be on the upswing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Thanks, Gil. I needed a little refocusing after the hangover from yesterday’s news. But I think that’s how we have to treat it now… as yesterday’s news. So upon waking today, I have a fresher outlook, one that reflects on the two hotshots mentioned above as well as some of the others.

    Here’s a little reality to take away from the punishment handed down…

    First, as highly regarded as some of those prospects are, you can realistically count on 1 out of 4 really making an impact on the high side. 1 out of 6 would be acceptable. So out of the 13 IFAs released from their contracts yesterday, we might have lost 4 players that would make an impact. And I’ll speculate as to which 4 those would be and where they would play: 3B Kevin Maitan, SS Yunior Severino, C Abraham Gutierrez, and RHP Juan Contreras.

    Let me work my way backward now…

    While you can never have too much pitching, the Braves have a veritable goldmine beginning to produce nuggets now. I’m not thinking we’ll miss P Juan Contreras too badly.

    There are many in baseball who believe C William Contreras (a 2015 IFA signee and brother of Cubs C Wilson Contreras) has a bright MLB future and that he is the top C prospect in the Braves still highly ranked minor league system. In fact, some believe he can be better than his big brother. Maybe we won’t miss C Abraham Gutierrez too badly.

    Of all the prospects taken away from us yesterday, SS Yunior Severino is the one I most wanted to hang onto. He was the one many called a “sleeper” during that vaunted signing period. Here’s the thing, though. He had already been moved to 2B in Rookie League, indicating that his future as a SS was shaky at best. And hopefully the Braves are already set at 2B for many years.

    And then there’s IF Kevin Maitan. The kid who was playing SS back in Venezuela was always projected to move to 3B or OF as his body matured. The reports that he had slipped in his first year of pro ball can’t be dismissed, but neither can they be taken to heart to dearly either. It’s evident the kid has the tools to be something really special one day of he can mature and be a professional. But as the saying goes, the road to The Show is littered with the carcasses of kids with talent and potential. Is there someone in the system to compensate for his loss? That’s hard to say. First, where will he end up playing? 3B? LF? 1B? Only time will tell how much the Braves will miss Maitan.

    I think we can focus on what we have coming up through the system and still feel pretty good about the future. We didn’t lose C Williams Contreras. We didn’t lose OF Drew Waters. We didn’t lose OF Christian Pache.

    What will affect us the most is the harsh limitations we have imposed on us regarding the IFA market through 2021. And those penalties will simply refocus our scouting on the kids right here in the good ol’ USA. It’ll probably mean taking more chances on HS position players. It’ll mean we have to have good scouting.

    It’ll also mean one other item that cannot be dismissed. Now that we have these onerous spending limitations in the IFA market, we can reallocate those funds back into the domestic FA market. And it’ll mean we go back to some of the same trade philosophies we had back in the 90’s when we were winning but still moved out some impact veterans for prospects. Guys like Donnie Elliott, Ricardo Rodriguez, Damian Moss, John Rocker… those guys were moved out for prospects, some of which made it and some of which didn’t. But it kept the pipeline fresh.

    So while it hurts without a doubt, it’s not something that can’t be overcome with due diligence and smart scouting. I hope we have the right people in the right places to ensure this happens for the next few years.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Thanks folks, I decided that it was time to get back to basics and focus on what is here in front of us for a while, I have already started on the next couple of players and I think I will try and dig up some info on some of our lesser know prospects.

    You are right of course Vee, not that the penalties won’t hurt at some point, just maybe the Braves need to understand that going all in on prospects like since departed Hector Olivera was not really in the best interest of the ball club long term. Not only did the Braves give up an All-Star pitcher but they took on a lot of baggage with his contract ultimately ended up with Kemp who may or may not play for Atlanta next season.

    So, it is back to good old fashion baseball team building with good scouting and common sense, something in short supply ironically as it is suppose to be common.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Now, it is way too early for the Braves to go all in on free agents but solidifying the starting rotation and the bull pen (maybe I should just say the pitching staff) could easily mean another 15 wins.

    While the Braves did not field an all-star batting line up, they did score a bunch of runs. Unfortunately, they gave up a ton too. What was Bobby’s philosophy? Play .500 against the best and beat up the # 3,4 & 5 guys…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 5 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Gil, I believe the Braves have the “bones” to field a competitive team. They absolutely need the starting rotation to perform better. But perhaps it will with the emergence of Luis Gohara and another year of maturity from Folty. And who knows what you might get out of Max Fried, who appears on the verge of his own breakout?

    The suits are on record that they will bolster this bullpen. If nothing else happens, that will. I think we can bank on it.

    The OF should be better with the addition of Ronald Acuna, regardless of which side of Ender he plays on. But I absolutely have the sense that AA is going to move Matt Kemp if it means eating most if not all of the salary. It’s already a booked expense anyway. Now he’s blocking youth. Will they move Kakes also and give his spot to youth also? Maybe to Acuna while opening LF for Lane Adams? Or Danny Santana? Or an outsider? I can see it, although I’m not as sure about that as I am on Kemp.

    The catching is solid for another year. 1B is an All Star. 2B is one of the most exciting players we’ve seen in a long time. And 3B is probably yet to be addressed.

    To me the key to this lineup in 2018 is Dansby Swanson. Which Dansby will we see? I think it won’t take too long to know, and I think Snit won’t go too long without addressing it if Dans starts 2018 like he ended 2017. If that happens, Snit will probably hand it over to Johan Camargo. After all, this current administration has no ties to the deal that brought Dansby over, so they will be more apt to write the deal off if it doesn’t blossom. Personally, I hope we get the guy everybody thinks he should be… the guy that we saw when he first burst on the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2017 at 9:59 am

    What’s the adage? Half of this game is 90% mental…. I think that was what happened with Dansby, when too much pressure put on this guy to perform. Going back to AAA allowed him to reset.

    If you look back at all the years the Braves saw success, the Braves worked one rookie into the line up each year. Bobby C always felt it was very difficult for a team to be successful with multiple rookies in your starting line up.

    So, what happens going forward? I think the Braves will make a move before they leave the Winter meetings in December, look for a couple of prospect to be traded for either a starting pitcher or a 3rd baseman. Todd Frazier is a free agent and I think the Braves would do well in going after him for two years until Riley is actually ready to play in the show.

    There were some pretty stellar outfielders playing in the AFL but again, do the Braves want to build one more year before going big? In 2019 they will need an everyday catcher. They will always need pitching, either starters or relievers. We saw what happened with a very good gNats team in the face of a weak pen…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I agree, Gil, that the Braves will address 3B from outside the organization. And as is well documented, I think Frazier is the perfect fit as a bridge to Riley.

    Catcher in 2019? Perhaps they think Kade Scivicque is serviceable. He should play this season at AAA, so we’ll have a better idea of exactly what kind of player he is. Or perhaps they think Alex Jackson will be ready by then. He’s a guy they are certainly high on. he’s currently the braves #15 prospect and is expected to start 2018 a AA where he made 30 starts at the end of 2017. His projected ETA is 2019, although that could be early, mid or late. It’s really up to him to determine that time frame.

    Longer term, it’s William Contreras. Here’s a little taste of Contreras…

    In 2017, his 3rd year of pro ball, and at age 19, he played in 45 games at Danville where he slashed .290/.379/.432 w/ 4 HR’s. Solid numbers no doubt, but I want to see it over a longer season. He’ll get that chance this year where he’ll likely begin at -A Rome.

    An obscure baseball site went back and compared William’s first 3 pro years to those of his more famous brother Willson Contreras of the Cubs, and William appears to be on a higher trajectory. Of course, that’s always subject to change, but he does have good genetics, right?

    William is about 6 years behind Willson, who made his pro debut in mid-2016. Does this mean William makes his debut in 2022? Nobody knows. But it’s a pretty decent barometer methinks. Of course, AJax might have a tight grip on the catching position at that point too. Of course, Freddie Freeman is a FA in 2022, so… but I’m getting WAY ahead of myself.


  8. 8 Vox O'Reason November 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  9. 9 Carolina Lady November 22, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, guys! May it be blessed.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Just want to with a most Happy & Joyous Thanksgiving Holiday to everyone in Stuffville. I am thankful for being able to observe another year from the sunny side of the sod…. :8

    Liked by 3 people

  11. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

    a belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone !

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Good morning all, hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. Now it’s time to get back to work, at least you folks who do work… as for the rest of us, everyday is like a holiday. 🙂

    Keeping an eye on the free agent/Waiver lines. Nothing of real impact as of yet to report. I am sure Alex cut his holiday short just to research current personnel. At least I hope so, after all, it’s his job… and a lot is going to be necessary to make sure the Braves can get past the beating they took from MLB. I guess Manfred did not want the Braves to get too big a jump on Miami in the free agent arena.

    My question is this, who else will the league be eyeballing? Can’t be that the Braves were the only guilty party…

    So, what is the easiest way for the Braves to recover? Trade Freddie? Ender? Pretty sure Julio is already being shopped around.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Ho hum… Pretty boring day for me today. Things are pretty quite around baseball. I guess everyone is still on Holiday Savings Time… Only people making any noise are the Marlins and that isn’t all that great of news if you have any interest in the Marlins. That is the thing about new ownership, the first thing they do is fire a bunch of people and then they go around looking for wounded to shoot…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 14 berigan2electricboogaloo November 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Gil, it’s quiet…too quiet 😉

    Yeah, no great love for the Marlins, but it must be terrible to be a fan of that team….
    Always selling off talent to get unproven prospects…..and they wonder why fans don’t want to come out and support that team. I mean, I know a lot of transplanted folks there, but if they were good year in and year out, and had players stay….fans might find a reason to stay too….I hear tv ratings/revenue are actually decent….funny , someone(s) pay 1.2 billion for a team, then their first act is to save on payroll…Don Mattingly ought to feign an illness, take the year off, and go to another team that actually wants to win in 2019…..
    The Marlins are like 2 pitchers away from being a very dangerous team….but another fire sale (bet they don’t even get any real prospects for the league MVP-they are ONLY interested in saving all the money on Stanton’s contract) and they will be the NL east’s whipping boy for the next 4-5 years….


  15. 15 berigan2electricboogaloo November 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    so….MLBTR’s did their offseason outlook on the braves….

    not too bad I guess….

    While the Braves could conceivably allow Camargo to play at third while utilizing Jace Peterson as a utility infielder, that would be an awfully risky way of constructing the infield for an organization that intends to improve its on-field product. Camargo turned heads last year, but benefited from a .364 BABIP and walked at only a 4.7% clip. Swanson struggled badly after an impressive MLB debut in 2016. That also serves as a reminder not to forget that Albies is still just twenty years old and may yet have his own growing pains to experience. The better bet would be to bring in a veteran to shore things up at the hot corner for at least a season or two. MLBTR guessed that the Braves could land top free agent Mike Moustakas, who lacks an obvious landing spot, but that was and remains a speculative connection. The Braves could look at other established players on shorter-term deals, potentially including free agents ranging from Todd Frazier to Yunel Escobar or potential trade targets that could include Yangervis Solarte and Nick Castellanos. At this point, frankly, it’s hard to guess what kind of direction the pursuit might take odds are, though, that there’ll be a healthy dose of opportunism guiding the effort.

    ok, I get Moustakas (Markakis and Moustakas? then we really tap into the Greek fanbase around the ATL!) but still, blocks Riley,(who they point out is only 20, and not a lock to be a MLB’er ) and his numbers…just don’t thrill me. 38 Hr’s is impressive(after never hitting more than 22 in a season) but 85 RBI’s with that many homers, doesn’t. Sounds like a guy that doesn’t drive in runs. .272 BA, only .314 OBP. Moose doesn’t strike out a ton, which is good…under 100 with that many homers, is impressive. He looks like a white Matt Kemp though, just soft and doughy

    I get Todd Frasier, though I don’t see how a guy batting .213 can protect FF.
    But Yunel???? No, have always liked this hot dog, for some reason, but….he’s like B.P’s age, I’d rather have BP back….
    I’m ok with Camargo, I really see a hunger to succeed, and a good bat…but, we shall see…

    At the same time, the Braves will need to strongly consider pursuing upgrades if they truly hope to put a legitimate contender on the field for the coming season. There’s some merit to considering a solid veteran type to hold down some innings at the back of the rotation, though the team passed up on a chance to retain Dickey for the purpose (though he may have been headed for retirement anyway) and it is also arguable that a more significant addition would be warranted. It’s possible to imagine the Braves dabbling in the upper levels of the free agent market, perhaps going after a hurler such as Alex Cobb or finally landing the unicorn (top-end controllable starter) that the prior administration seemingly pursued for years. There’s a long slate of possibilities at a lower price point, of course, and the Braves might also conceivably take some lower-priced risks, with righty Chris Tillman representing the most intriguing bounceback arm available to the high bidder.

    I still don’t get the love for Alex Cobb. A career high in starts last year…29, innings too, 179. Perhaps it’s unfair because of having TJ surgery messing up a few seasons…but, he’s 30 now….Though I have to remember, he’s pitched in the AL East for his career…I think the Yankees and Cubs are quite interested in him too…

    Can someone tell me why Lance Lynn isn’t at least as good, or better an option for the Braves? Lance is also 30.
    last 5 seasons that he has played (TJ as well) at least 31 starts, 5 seasons of at least 153 strikeouts…career highs in homers, (27) and walks, (78), but that’s to be expected first year back from TJ.
    Used to being on winning teams, had to face the cubs the last few years….
    only negative I have noticed, is he too seems less than baseball fit….
    Why not Lance Lynn????

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2017 at 9:07 am

    If it were not bad enough to can Stanton, they are shopping Yelich and Osuna too. I would gladly take either of those two to play for the Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Sometime I have noticed over the years, there is no cure for tight ham strings. Something you are born with.


  18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Good points all Ber.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19 Vox O'Reason November 27, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Interesting offseason outlook post there, but in all honesty it’s not that hard to pinpoint what the Braves need. The bigger question is can they fill said needs and how can it be accomplished?

    IMO, the Braves have needs in 2 manners: going and coming. They have a real need to trade Matt Kemp. They have a real need to trade Jim Johnson. They have a lesser need to trade Nick Markakis, but there may not be a better time than this offseason.

    Am I saying they would trade BOTH Kemp and Kakes? Yes. I think if they could pull off reasonable trades to ship 2/3 of their 2017 OF out of town, they’d do it.

    And one more thing… I’m not 100% certain they won’t quietly shop Julio Teheran. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think they’re looking to trade him just to send him out of town. But I am personally convinced that they will make a play for one of the big fish in the FA market, and sending Julio away frees up both a rotation spot and some salary. And if you look at it really closely, this team actually doesn’t have a rotation “opening” per se. They have youngsters Mike Foltywhatever, Luis Gohara, Sean Newcomb, Lucas Sims, Max Fried and Mike Soroka all vying for an April rotation spot. And honestly, Kolby Allard’s name could probably be tossed into that mix. So that gives you 7 strong young candidates for 4 rotation spots behind the clear veteran “ace” of the staff. (Early betting says Gohara, Folty and Newcomb are 3 of the 4.) My money says the Braves would rather hand the “ace” mantle over to a pitcher more”ace”-like than Julio. Don’t be surprised if he opens 2018 in another uniform.

    Do you have to subtract before you add? Not necessarily, but it does help clarify what your roster needs are. One very clear roster need that is indisputable is 3B. I am in the camp that says John Camargo best serves this team as a utility player, and not as an everyday player. And quite honestly, you may need him as your everyday SS if Dansby can’t rebound from his horrific sophomore campaign. This team has to bring in a real offensive presence to man their 3B, and that includes a handful of options: They can go the trade or FA market long-term or short term with the names we’ve already mentioned, as well as several we aren’t aware of. With the pitching “capital” we have, several established 3B options might be obtained via trade. And if you go long-term, Austin Riley then becomes capital himself. There are so many possibilities here it’d be foolish to try to predict what may happen. One thing I think is a lock, though… there will be a new face manning that position for 2018.

    Another area that must and will be addressed is the bullpen. Fortunately, there are alot of available arms. This all comes down to targeting whom they want and selling it to their agents. I feel confident this can and will be addressed without too much drama.

    Lastly, if they trade off 2/3 of last year’s starting OF, they have to fill the void. Ronald Acuna is the very obvious choice to fill one spot, but the other?

    If you ask me, Liberty likely wants to get the bad taste of this offseason scandal washed away as cleanly as possible. I think they give AA some leeway to make meaningful acquisitions to get this team on the winning side of the ledger as soon as possible. I also think this team will have both the minor league talent and payroll space to land a big fish for the OF also. Before you misunderstand me, I’m not talking Mike Stanton. But Marcel Ozuna? Maybe I’m dreaming here, but MIA needs prospects and cheap controllable contracts. ATL has both. And MIA isn’t the only team that might want to dance when it comes to cheap controllable contracts. Don’t be surprised to see AA make a big splash in his first rodeo as ATL’s GM.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason November 27, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I completely forgot about Matt Adams! Surely he’s a goner, right? Hmmm… maybe, maybe not. But his low $ contract might be attractive to a rebuilding team like the ChiSox, wouldn’t it? Or maybe to KC if they can’t bring Hosmer back?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. 21 Vox O'Reason November 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    We here at the ol’ B&S like to stay ahead of the news cycle. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 22 berigan2electricboogaloo November 27, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    and MLBTR, which has NOTHING to talk about, wrote a long story on the braves wanting to trade Matt Adams, but he really wasn’t worth 4 + million…sigh…
    they said he was basically Adam Lind. Adam Lind is a very good bench player, but he’s 33, and Matt turned 29 last August…and as we all know, age is everything, much more important than performance. Matt has a history of getting big hits in playoff games, and off of closers like the super hittable Kensley Jansen (remember this game?) http://www.ajc.com/sports/baseball/braves-tie-adams-run-9th-but-lose-dodgers-10th/hCw8pI8tcxP4RsvS6QYYvO/

    too bad FF shoulder had to act up, we might not need a 3rd baseman! 😛
    ah well, good luck Matt A, I am sure some smart team will have you as a DH/1st baseman and will go to the playoffs…just don’t hit any homers off of the braves ok???

    Homer off of Kershaw, check out the right fielder 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tHa63o9ujA

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    We here at the ol’ B&S like to stay ahead of the news cycle. 😉

    And just where do you think they get their news cycle… Ahem, you heard it here first… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 24 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Yes, a lot of the arms assembled by he who’s name will not be spoken are finally making their way onto the Atlanta roster.

    I think Max Fried has moved his name from and center.

    And don’t forget Christiam Yelich… Osuna, Yellich.. I’d take either or both. The are not Stanton but the Fish are going to have to make a lot of guarantees to move Stanton with his no trade contract plus an opt out clause. Only a person who knew he would not be around to the end would offer a contract like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Camargo is playing winter ball in Valenzuela. He is hitting around .400 but only one home run to date, lots of double though. I think Santana is playing on the same team but he is not hitting for as high an average. I looked over their stat sheets last night while working on a new blog lede.

    Johan is not your typical third baseman but then again, teams have been getting power from other none traditional spots so who knows. He has the defensive skills to play the hot corner with aplomb.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Okay, I had to hunt for it but found it. In 20 games, Johan is hitting .455 playing 3b and ss. He is playing for the Aguilas Cibaenas. He is listed as a 2nd baseman for the team so I guess he is playing all over the infield.

    As mentioned, Danny Santana is on the same team playing the outfield. Currently he is hitting .350.


  27. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    “Two weeks after being hired as Braves general manager, Alex Anthopoulos made major moves on his staff Monday by replacing assistant GM Adam Fisher with Perry Minasian and hiring Andrew Tinnish as vice president of amateur and international scouting.

    Minasian, hired along with Fisher by former GM John Coppolella on Sept. 12, was promoted by Anthopoulos from director of player personnel to assistant GM in place of Fisher, who will not retained by the Braves.

    Coppolella was forced to resign on Oct. 2 amidst a Major League Baseball investigation into infractions committed by the Braves in the international free-agent market and domestic draft. He was banned for life last week when MLB announced its findings and punishments including declaring 13 Braves prospects free agents.

    A person familiar with the situation confirmed Monday’s moves, first reported by Fox’s Kenny Rosenthal.

    Both Minasian and Tinnish worked with Anthopoulos when the latter was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Braves hired Minasian away from the Blue Jays in September and have now hired Tinnish away from the Blue Jays as well.

    Brian Bridges will continue as Braves director of scouting.”

    From DOB of the AJC

    Like I said, new guys want their own people….

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 28 Carolina Lady November 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Outfield: Acuna, Osuna, and _______. (It’s gotta rhyme!)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 29 Vox O'Reason November 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    A tuna?

    Liked by 3 people

  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Sounds a bit “fishy” to me… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I wonder if Ender would consider sporting a new nickname for the sake of Carolina Lady???

    Liked by 1 person

  32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Hey Ber, maybe you should write to the HOF veterans committee and send them a recap of the info you posted on Ted Simmons. You never know what could push him over the top. May you could do a blog lead on it…. (hint)

    Liked by 2 people

  33. 34 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

    A little chatter today on the Braves arb-eligible players because of Friday’s contract tender deadline date. Braves players who are arb-eligible:

    Matt Adams
    Danny Santana
    Dan Winkler
    Sam Freeman

    DO’B speculates that Matt Adams, DanTana and Jace are all in danger of being non-tendered. That’s mainly because Jace and Danny are projected to earn $1.1M each, while Matt is projected to earn about $4.6M.

    I’ll toss my opinion in the ring and say that Jace is a real possibility, maybe even quite likely. But I can’t see them just letting Matt Adams go for nothing. I also believe they like DanTana a good bit as he’s a valuable bench piece himself and helped turn last season’s early woeful bench into a strength by season’s end.

    If the Braves cannot trade Matt Adams before Friday’s deadline, and reportedly they are aggressively trying to do so, I think they’ll just keep him for the bench and try again to trade him mid-season when his demand might be higher. There is also the possibility that an injury in Spring could create a demand.


  34. 35 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    For those who may be curious, Adonis Garcia, even though he’s already 32 years old, is not yet arbitration eligible. He has just barely over 2 years of service time (2.067, which actually means 2 years, 67 days). This year’s Super 2 cutoff was 2.123.

    Anyway, it is a little bit of a mystery that they chose to keep Adonis on the 40-man roster last week, leaving both Dustin Peterson and Travis Demeritte exposed to the Rule 5 draft. But It’s actually a little more of a possibility somebody would pick Adonis as he’s actually spent time on a major league roster. To pick DPetey or Travis, a team would have to be certain they could spend the entire 2018 season on the major league roster. I can’t see anyone making that guarantee to either of those two guys.

    That’s not to say that Adonis will be on the 2018 version of the Braves, but at least they are keeping their options open for the time being. If they sign or trade for a 3B, Adonis will be the first guy jettisoned from the roster to make room. Or he could be tossed into the trade as filler. Regardless, I don’t see him ever playing 3B for us again.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 36 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Bowman, in his mailbag published today:

    The Braves could open next season with a rotation that includes Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Luiz Gohara, Sean Newcomb and either Lucas Sims or Max Fried. By the time June arrives, Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard might be ready to be thrown in that mix.

    Given the scarcity of attractive depth on this year’s free-agent market, it would be wise to at least assess Teheran’s market and also keep open the possibility of filling his void with the addition of a controllable frontline starter who might be available via a separate trade.

    Didn’t we say pretty much that exact same thing yesterday?

    Liked by 3 people

  36. 37 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Banned for life from his dream profession, but it’s still kinda hard to feel sorry for that guy, ya know?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 38 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Can you imagine how badly the team would have been hammered if they had NOT cooperated?

    And one truly has to wonder if Sloppy would have been handed that lifetime ban if he had been somewhat cooperative himself. Self-inflicted wounds are the WORST.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Or, maybe if the Braves hadn’t cooperated, they would not know the extent of the collusion with the agents… You never know but it is done, time to move on, it is yesterday and yesterday gone.

    I expect some agents will be put on the naughty list too.

    Did I mention that Adonis was playing winter ball in Valenzuela He is batting .324 in 17 games and 68 at bats. He has 22 hits but all singles except 1 double. He is batting .400 against lefties and .310 against righties.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    You mentioned Satana as being a keeper, one thing he has going for him is he is a switch hitter so a more attractive bench piece.

    I think the Braves will keep either Jace or Adams but not both. Of course, it also depends on cost. (both left handed hitters) Also depends on how they go at third base.


  40. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Self-inflicted wounds are the WORST.

    Especially if your gun goes off in your pocket…


  41. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo November 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    well, as use guys know…I am like a teenager that goes hot and cold on a boyfriend/girlfriend with Julio T. I think it’s watching him pitch that makes me…and y’all get frustrated with as it seems he should be better….yet, at the end of the year, the numbers are…ok…pointing out his innings, it’s harder than you would think to get 180 + innings, out of a guy….I guess it would all depend on what they got for him, right? He’s super cheap, and still quite young….but of course, if he had had a better year last year, we wouldn’t even dream of trading him, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    One thing about having a new regime, they look at the landscape through a different prism. I’m pretty certain that AA is looking at him thinking, “is this really the Braves best pitcher”?

    I think Julio is a good number three who has been forced into being a number 1. Just a lot of pressure to put on a kid. If the Braves had been able to hang onto Ervin Santana or they had traded for Quintana, I suspect Julio would be a much different guy. But they didn’t so he isn’t…

    I’m pretty sure that whomever Alex trades away, you will hear much gnashing of teeth and wailing that he has traded away the next superstar. That is, unless any of the players traded are named Wisler, Peterson, Garcia, Adams or Kemp.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. 44 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    at the end of the year, the numbers are…ok

    188.1 IP, 4.49 ERA, 1.370 WHIP

    According to Bill James, who is the guy that basically developed Sabermetrics, Julio was the #29 ranked starting pitcher in MLB for 2017.

    So I agree. His numbers are “ok”.

    He’s super cheap

    He’s owed $19M ($8M for 2018, $11M for 2019) over the next 2 seasons with a $12M option ($1M buyout) for 2020.

    Is that cheap? Well… kind of.

    As expensive as that may sound, it’s less than the $21M that Rick Porcello got with similar numbers in 2017: 203.1 IP, 4.65 ERA, 1.397 WHIP. And Boston has to pay that for 2 more years. Another guy, Marco Estrada, pitched 186.0 IP, 4.98 ERA, 1.382 WHIP, and he got $14.5M in 2017 and has another $13M coming in 2018.

    BTW- I didn’t just pull those names out of a hat. Again, according to Bill James, Porcello was ranked #32; Estrada was #33.

    So I agree. His contract is relatively “cheap”.

    So I say all that to say this… he’s an ok pitcher who is relatively cheap as far as starting pitchers go. But he’s probably not ever going to be a top of the rotation starter in a talented rotation. He’s more of a #3. And the good thing is that Julio should be attractive with his “ok” numbers and “cheap” contract. So if I’ve got a bevy of young pitchers on the way that have a ceiling of #3 or better, I’m more likely to pay them their mega cheap pre-arb salaries and put Julio’s remaining $19M toward a guy who is more like the “ace” we’ve been missing.

    But that’s just me.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    When you say “cheap” I think it is more like, his monetary compensation is pretty much in line with other pitcher of equal ability or maybe even a little less.

    I know it’s tough for us working class types to comprehend the mega salaries professional ball players get but it is a fact of life that very few people on this planet are capable of doing what they do on a regular basis and even they have a very finite shelf like.

    In season. the hours are lousy and the travel brutal and if they have spent any time in the minors at all, they have paid their dues.

    if anyone thinks they are not worth what they are being paid, go watch your local high school team play or maybe the girl’s softball team. There is a difference.

    It’s been years since I saw Chipper, Javy, Glavin etal in the minors but I know what talent looks like. More recently, seeing Prado and Escobar ply their craft in triple A, you knew talent above and beyond the normal fringe ball players.

    So, perhaps I should take in a Squirrels’ game to see what San Fran has to look forward to but there is a reason they are looking hard at Stanton, Osuna and Yelich. They don’t have anyone ready at AA to step up.

    And I’m tired, Miss Josie has rode me hard today trying to finish our Christmas decorations. It’s really hard pointing out mistakes and then ducking…. 8)

    Liked by 2 people

  45. 47 Vox O'Reason November 28, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    It’s really hard pointing out mistakes and then ducking

    You are a brave, brave man.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Still a couple days of decorating to do but we are far enough along to begin lighting things. We rearranged the layout this year just because…

    The “Grand Illumination” in Richmond is scheduled for Friday night so I guess we will have to step it up to meet the deadline. 🙂

    Now, more baseball, the chief has finished editing my latest blog effort so I think I will ask her to post it the first of next week. I have been remiss in my duty as staff reporter in getting them out more than once a month so I thought I would try and get ahead of the game. I know when we have a lot of post, the blog takes forever to load and that really messes with Ber…

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 49 Vox O'Reason November 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    So, AA decided to hire away their assistant GM instead… That’s cool… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 51 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Sooooo sloooooow.

    Many theories as to why, the most popular being that the big fish, Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani, are still hanging out there without a clear destination for either. Once those dominoes fall, the rest of the market should start to move more freely.

    As I said, that’s one theory. The other theory is that most of the owners have wised up and realize that you don’t build a winner by throwing massive dollars at FAs.

    I think it’s a bit of both. I also think that even though this hot stove has been a little slower than normal to warm up, it never really gets to crankin’ until the Winter Meetings, which are still a couple of weeks away. I think we’ll see a big name or two traded there that’ll help break the logjam.

    In the mean time,the guys over at Fansided (locally Tomahawk Take) have just concluded a simulated Winter Meetings. It’s interesting to see how those simulated GM’s and simulated agents handled their business. FWIW, the Braves came out pretty well making some big moves. If you want to see what they did, the links are below.

    Pre-meetings moves: https://tomahawktake.com/2017/11/27/atlanta-braves-faux-winter-meeting/

    Day 1: https://tomahawktake.com/2017/11/28/atlanta-braves-winter-meetings-day-one/

    Apparently “the Braves” did nothing on Day 2.

    Day 3: https://tomahawktake.com/2017/11/29/atlanta-braves-faux-winter-meeting-day-3/

    Wrap-up: https://tomahawktake.com/2017/11/30/atlanta-braves-simulation-summation/


  50. 52 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

    the big fish, Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani

    Marlin and Koi?

    It’s sad when you comment on your own comment…

    Liked by 2 people

  51. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    It is pretty easy making trades when you are dealing with other people’s money. What we don’t know is the Braves self imposed spending cap.

    Also, trading 5 pitchers, abet prospects for Fulmer is a non starter for me. That’s a John Surholtz for Texieria trade for me.

    I also doubt that Any team would take only $18MM to take Kemp off our hands, will take more…. Also Markais to Baltimore will never happen. Jim Johnson might however if the Braves eat his salary. Just the way of baseball right now and I think you have hit on something as far as free agents go. No one wants to take on a big contract that depends on aging knees and elbows to stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    It’s sad when you comment on your own comment…

    Happens a lot these days…

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Jim Johnson traded to the Angels for a minor league lefty.


  54. 56 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Clearing payroll they are…

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 57 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Hooray! That is real progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 59 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Might as well trade your int’l pool space. It doesn’t amount to enough to use anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. 60 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    AA just traded away a guy that Snit was essentially forbidden to put back in a game late last season, along with his entire +/- $5M salary, and got back a half decent prospect in return.

    Liked by 3 people

  58. 61 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Can’t find one more recent right now, but this is the Angels’ scouting report on Kelly when he was drafted in 2016:

    LHP Justin Kelly

    Justin Kelly had a fantastic final season for UC Santa Barbara: 14.37 K/9 and 3.50 BB/9 in 20.2 IP. His debut with the Angels had solid peripherals (maybe a little too wild) and ugly run prevention stats. He’ll be 24-years-old next April, so his career will really have to get moving quickly if he has a shot in this game.

    He may not turn out to be anything more than organizational filler, but given that we lost 12 players from the system recently that’s not such a bad thing.

    Most importantly, we are rid of JimmyJohn and his $5M commitment. That in and of itself makes this a win.


  59. 62 berigan2electricboogaloo November 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Yeah, have to agree with Gil, Kemp almost has to reprove (is that a real word?) himself . Like hit like he did last year for 6-8 weeks, and hope some team really needs an outfielder/or has a DH guy just flop completely….but the bravos still need to eat like 75% of the contract…sad…you can’t use the savings you had the first years he was here either…I mean you could try to factor that in, but they just look year to year when looking at the budget


  60. 63 berigan2electricboogaloo November 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    weird….ever have other folks posts show up much later? Like I didn’t see the Orson Welles clapping post til long after my 3:55 post….


  61. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Vee can be sneaky like that Ber….

    Actually, Kemp is what the Braves are trying to salvage out of a really bad Olivera contract/trade… Wasted money… perhaps he who will not be mentioned worse deal.

    Looking back, putting big money in for an unproven talent is like putting all your chips of 00. Great when it pays off but there is a reason it’s long odds.


  62. 65 Vox O'Reason November 30, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    perhaps he who will not be mentioned worse deal

    Well… worst legit one anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Hey, I remember when everyone was lauding the Braves on their ability to sign prospects and stay under budget… Okay, they were using two sets of books and they got caught. Now we know it can’t be done so we can keep an eye out for everyone else.

    Looking over the top one hundred prospects for 2018 draft, I see a lot of kids who are committed to college. If I were the Braves I would draft the best athletes and go from there. Normally, the best are shortstops and pitchers, you just never have enough pitchers.


  64. 67 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Okay, they were using two sets of books and they got caught.

    Actually, it appears Sloppy was so arrogant that he didn’t even bother to try to hide it.

    Looking over the top one hundred prospects for 2018 draft, I see a lot of kids who are committed to college.

    They all do, even if their goal is to be drafted. The truly elite ones who desire to make it to The Show rarely pass up on being a high draft choice. It’s the ones who come in Round 11 or later who sometimes choose the college route, if nothing else but to improve their draft position in another year or 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Reading this morning that the Braves sent Tyler Neslony (AA Mississippi) to play for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball Association. The Aces only had 3 outfielders on their roster and four catchers. One of those catchers being Brett Cumberland, another Braves prospect.

    Last night Tyler, who only arrived in country on Tuesday, promptly stroked two doubles and played center field with Cumberland playing in right.

    I was working on a lede about Cumberland and I thought he might be a candidate to learn the outfield. Brett was a sandwich pick in 2016. Researching the ABA, it appears the talent level is between high A and double A. So, after reading about the exploits of Ronald Acuna in Melbourne, I have taken an interest in the team and some of the kids playing there.

    So, perhaps the Braves have established a working agreement agreement with the club from down under. I know out old friend Peter Moylan pitches for the Aces as well as former Braves pitcher Matt Marksberry.

    Liked by 2 people

  66. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    An Additional comment on the Jim Johnson trade to the Angels.

    So, the Braves dump Johnson on the Angles along with a million in international pool money and Johnson’s $4.5MM contract. The Braves pick up a minor league lefty who really is cannon fodder for the Triple A club. I suppose he will get a chance to pitch in Spring training, after all, he is a lefty reliever.


  67. 70 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The Matt Adams watch is officially on. To day is the day to tender contract offers to our arb eligible players. As a reminder, those players are:

    Matt Adams
    Danny Santana
    Dan Winkler
    Sam Freeman

    As we’ve discussed previously, MAdams, DanTana and Jace are all in danger of being non-tendered. Jace and Danny because their projected salaries are $1.1M each. The rest are all “safe”. (BTW- Rex Brothers had become arb-eligible yesterday because the Braves declined the option on his deal, which oddly placed him back in the arb category due to service time. But the 2 sides then came to agreement on a reduced 1-year non-guaranteed deal to bring him back at a lower risk.)

    MAdams is a little different animal. He is projected receive $4.6M, which is not bad for a power hitter, but a little pricey for a guy whose splits are so glaringly pedestrian against LH pitchers, and who is restricted defensively to the one position on the field that your star players never cedes. In other words, you’re only getting one AB per night from him, and any opposing manager who isn’t napping in the dugout is going to make sure he only hits against southpaws. That’s not really worth paying $4.6M dollars for.

    At first glance, I was all in the camp that the Braves would keep MAdams if they could not trade him, but I’m wavering on that belief now. I still think there’s a possibility they could tender him and continue to shop him, but most other GM’s realize the Braves can’t feasibly keep him and will just wait us out to cut him loose. That’s what they’re all waiting for now… expecting him to be non-tendered. And if they can actually trade him, it’ll be for a small return. It’s another strike against Sloppy, who missed the best window to trade him last July when he was red hot.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 71 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Gil, I am one who is high on Tyler Neslony even if he isn’t considered a “top” prospect. I think he can develop into a very good everyday OF. The 2 doubles are a perfect example… perhaps a young version of Kakes, eh?

    That’s really interesting on Cumberland. Had not considered a position move for him. I think the Braves really like Alex Jackson alot at catcher, so maybe getting Cumbo some OF time is a way to pave a path for him.


  69. 72 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Oh… and speaking of Peter Moylan, who had a pretty solid year for KC last season. I understand that he and the Braves have been in contact. A reunion would not surprise me if it doesn’t require a huge $$ commitment..


  70. 73 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 9:36 am

    DO’B: Teams face an 8 p.m. deadline Friday to tender contracts to players

    I expect AA is working furiously on the Matt Adams front. I expect Jace will be non-tendered. I expect Danny Santana will be tendered.


  71. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Dan-tana is playing the outfield for the same Dominican winter league team as Camargo, he is hitting around .375…

    I have mixed emotions over Adams. Somewhere, sometime in 2018 the Braves will lament the fact they don’t have a left handed power hitter off the bench… Just saying.

    I expect the Braves to be a little bit behind the 8 ball on who to offer arbitration to, it is hard for the new guys to always be up to speed on every aspect of the organization in just a few weeks but then again, we don’t know what Liberty’s real goals are do we? I would suspect the bean counters at Liberty Media saw how much the Marlins got for their franchise and are thinking, if the Marlins got 1.2 billion, how much must the Braves be worth? I don’t think the Braves can be written off as a loss for tax purposes now.

    Just thinking out loud…

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I am surprised the Sam Freeman hasn’t been wrapped up but we don’t really know how many agents have been sitting on contracts do we?

    Liked by 1 person

  73. 76 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 10:50 am

    sometime in 2018 the Braves will lament the fact they don’t have a left handed power hitter off the bench

    Except that he will almost always be facing a LH pitcher as a pinch hitter, against which he struggles mightily. Even as hot as he was in 2017, he still finished the year slashing an unsightly.180/.206/.377 in 63 PA’s against lefties with just 3 HR. That’s almost ghastly. And that’s why AA needs to find a match with a team that can platoon him at 1B or DH.


  74. 77 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I would suspect the bean counters at Liberty Media saw how much the Marlins got for their franchise and are thinking, if the Marlins got 1.2 billion, how much must the Braves be worth? I don’t think the Braves can be written off as a loss for tax purposes now.

    Now that the Braves own their cash cow (a//k/a The Battery) next to SunTrust Park, Liberty can just sit back and count the dead presidents. No way they consider selling the Braves now.


  75. 78 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 10:57 am

    The good thing for the Braves is that a winning team will mean more butts in the seats at ATP which means more feet on the ground in The Battery. Liberty has a great motivator, $$$, to improve the product on the field.


  76. 79 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

    more butts in the seats at ATP


    The “A” key and “S” key are dangerously close on the keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 80 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Holy cow. That’s just… I can’t even think of a word that fits.


  78. 81 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I loved Jeter as a player, but this is a pretty bush league move. This on the heels of not renewing the contracts of Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine immediately after taking control of the team.

    This is NOT in the book How To Win Friends & Influence People.

    Liked by 3 people

  79. 82 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Just to clarify today’s deadline significance, from MLB.com:

    By Friday at 5 p.m. PT, teams are required to alert each of their arbitration-eligible players whether they will be tendered a contract for the 2018 season. While Friday merely marks the deadline to guarantee a contract to these players, the two sides will have a couple of months to sign off on salary figures. If an agreement is not met before arbitration hearings begin in February, an arbitration panel will be asked to rule in favor of one side.

    So this isn’t the deadline to actually tender a contract. It’s just the deadline to decide who will get tendered, essentially making today the “non-tender” deadline.


  80. 83 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    And why not? It proved to be a recipe for success. So if that is truly the case, you can already rule out a return of Matt Kemp. Even if they have to eat 90% of his deal, he’s a goner. Same can be said for Adonis, except that nobody really expects him to be back anyway.

    I think it also puts Dansby in a tenuous situation, as he didn’t exactly look like Andrelton last season.


  81. 84 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Personally, I’d like to see a few innings this spring with Ozzie at SS and Dansby at 2B.


  82. 85 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm


  83. 86 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    MLBTR: Whitley, 28, tossed 57 1/3 innings this past season in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery. The righty made all 41 of his appearances with the Rays out of the bullpen after working as a starter throughout his minor league career and early on after his MLB debut with the Yankees. Whitley logged a 4.08 ERA with 6.8 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 and a 32.8 percent ground-ball rate. He doesn’t throw hard, averaging just 90 mph with his heater, but he still missed more bats earlier in his career and in the minors, leaving the potential for a modest uptick in strikeouts with Atlanta.

    In other words, another post-TJ reclamation project. It’s a low risk claim with the potential for a payoff. He throws primarily a 4-seam fastball that sits typically around 90mph with what is described as “rising” action and a change that slows to around 83mph. He also has a slider, curve and sinker in his toolbox, but rarely throws them and almost never for strikes. I’m going to venture a guess that in year 2 of his recuperation that his fastball could gain a couple of mph. If he can keep the action on his fastball and throw his change for strikes, he might make a decent middle reliever.


  84. 87 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I’m going to go out on a log on our bullpen and guess that AA will bring in a couple of the FA relievers on the market. I don’t expect Wade Davis or Greg Holland, but I can certainly see Mike Minor or Tommy Hunter or Anthony Swarzak. Maybe even Peter Moylan or Addison Reed.

    With Viz a lock to return as closer, and AJ Minter and Jose Ramirez set to return as the late inning guys, that only leaves 3 more spots in an 8 man bullpen. Who gets those? Sam Freeman gets one for certain. I’m betting on Dan Winkler to get another. There will be a dogfight for that last bullpen spot, but my money is on Lucas Sims. He just strikes me as the kind of guy that has a hard time getting through a lineup more than once, but could certainly give you 2-3 very effective innings out of the pen.


  85. 88 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    That said, that’s why you bring in a bunch of arms to compete. You never know when a Sam Freeman will emerge out of nowhere and be one of your best weapons. Maybe Chase Whitley is that type of guy. Or Josh Ravin.


  86. 89 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I’m going to go out on a log

    Out on a log? What? Man I worry about my brain sometimes…

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 90 Vox O'Reason December 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Can’t this just be over already?


  88. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    So, “The Captain” learned everything he knows at the foot of his mentor George Steinbrenner eh? Sounds pretty cold but at least COBRA will kick in, I hope the scout had a little money saved up too pay the premiums.

    Paid leave? Sound ominous doesn’t it? Merry Christmas from the MLB…

    No problem with the improved defense matrix, think maybe the Angles will give back Simba? No, I didn’t think so either.

    Yes, sounds like both Kemp and Markakis will be plying their craft somewhere else next season.

    Liked by 2 people

  89. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Adams, Santana and Jace Peterson non tendered…

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 93 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Amazing…remember when a 1st baseman that his 20 Hr’s drove in 65 RBI’s hit .274 in a mere 339 AB’s was considered a decent player, that didn’t just get released?

    a few more comments in defense of Matt, before moving on (both of us 😉 )
    I’m sorry, everyone and their brother says he can’t hit lefties…kinda hard to get good against them in 61 AB’s. 3 homers against them, so a homer every 20 AB’s is not horrible.
    Was he a good left fielder? No…then again, I recall Jace looking pretty terrible in the outfield early on too…it’s not like playing the infield. Dude was thrown into left last year, mid spring training. Think that shows how the Cards Manager is just not that bright.
    And it’s not Matt Adams fault that there is a gut of 1st basemen/DH types right now.
    as DOB tweeted (think there is an issue with tweets at times when there is other stuff in a post, we shall see)

    Matt can rake, especially when there are runners on , in fact, with RISP, .293, .367.
    High Lvrge(whatever that truly is, it’s not late and close) .309/.380
    thats why he’s hit Hr’s against guys that you’d think he’d have trouble with, (Kershaw, K. Jensen)
    Hopefully, he will get the chance someone like Logan Morrison did (a fellow 1st baseman/DH/Lefty) who after hitting .225 with 17 HRs in 2015, (in 453 ABs) and .238 with 14 HRs in 2016, was given a chance again to be a regular in 2016 and hit 38 HRs (still only drove in 85 RBI’s, which tells me he hit a lot of solo homers, and like Mike Moustakas (wow, both with 38 HR’s and 85 RBIs) isn’t the guy you want up with runners on, late in a game…
    ok, way too long…
    one final thought. Coppy would have traded his own Mother …does anyone believe him now that he didn’t shop FF??? I think he probably did shop Matt Adams but, found the offers so lacking, that he kept him….
    Good luck Matt!

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Yes Ber, the bottom line is payroll, I guess that is why AA was willing to pay a guy a couple of million a year for a position he had to create for him in the front office. So, I guess it would be too much of a culture shock for a Canuk to move to the ATL with all those nasty redneck bigots waving the stars and bars all over the place, but I digress….

    It is still about baseball, I think Adams was an asset and I hope he gets a full time gig somewhere. No, he is not the most gifted first-baseman defensively, he did not embarrass himself either.

    So, the question is this, why did he have difficulty hitting lefties? The same reason right-handed batters have trouble hitting righties, down and away sliders…

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

    And oh by the way Ber, thanks for taking the time to actually doing the research to show the difference in Matt’s skill set. For sure, he was no five o’clock hitter.

    I think baseball is the one sport where numbers really do mean something and it is easy to see the difference when failure 7 out of ten times is lauded as being successful.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

    The only other sport where .001 of an inch or .001 of a second can be the difference between success and failure is NASCAR.


  94. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    That said, sometimes 6 inches appears to be close enough for some major league umpires….

    Liked by 1 person

  95. 98 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    The pardon me…B.S. from the Marlins this fall/winter , paying a billion + to buy a team only to trade the young superstars, cuz…money….getting rid of class acts like Andre Dawson, and Tony Perez then Ichiro Suzuki (I’m sorry, if he was “done” why’d he hit .299/384 the 2nd half of the season?) then this horrible story with the Scout getting dropped while battling Cancer and other health issues..
    They are my team to hate in 2018. Hope they lose 120 games, and draw less than 100,000 for the season….

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 99 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    2 items to start off this glorious morning:

    First, MLBTR dutifully reported in a separate update item on celebrated Japanese import Shohei OhtaniThe Braves are out, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports. This was the 9th update, and followed 11 other teams that had been deemed “out”.

    Now here’s where it makes me chuckle. The Braves are capped at exactly $300,000 for the entirety of their int’l signing bonus for this year. If Ohtani were to sign for just $300,000, the scandal would make the Braves Sloppy era look like a parking ticket. He will almost certainly sign for the negotiated maximum of $3.55M. I think it was reasonably safe to assume that the Braves were the FIRST team out of the running.

    Second, there was a slightly more serious note made on MLBTR over the weekend… something I think we hinted at here on the ol’ B&S last week, again ahead of the standard media cycle: The Braves have, somewhat surprisingly, “checked around about shortstops,” ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Olney goes on to hint that the move would not be giving up on Dans as much as it would buying time for continued development. It’s really no surprise given AA’s desire to bolster the team’s defense behind his young pitching. Dans may never be an elite defender. I never quite understood why they chose to move Ozzie to 2B in that pairing. If it were me, I’d let Dans get more time at AAA playing 2B, and allow Ozzie to go back to his natural SS spot. He’s the better defender by far.

    Now let me add a nugget to this revelation. It was reported a couple of weeks ago that the Cubs might be willing to part with one of their “core” players to obtain another starting pitcher. Javier Baez’ name was included in the group of names. I know his “hot dogging” is not popular around these parts, but I would take his antics in a heartbeat to have him on my team. And failing that, perhaps veteran 2B Ben Zobrist. The 36-year-old began to slip in 2017, but is still a talented player that might add a strong veteran presence to a young IF. He can also play all over the field. He’s got a hefty coin left on his deal ($16.5M for 2018, $12.5M for 2019) so a match might be difficult. But as we all know, dollars can always be manipulated. Maybe the Cubs would take Kakes in the swap.


  97. 100 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Wow… I blew my formatting on the above post. Not enough coffee yet. I’ll keep plugging…


  98. 101 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Now, onto more solid news…

    After this past Friday’s non-tendering of Matt Adams, Jace Peterson and Danny Santana, the Braves 40-man-roster currently sits at 37. (Effectively 38 when you consider that Ronald Acuna will need one.) That leaves AA some wiggle room to work with when he heads to Orlando next Sunday to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort for baseball’s Winter Meetings. They’ll be right in the back door of the Braves offices down there. I expect him to come back to ATL with a new 3B in tow. I hope he leaves Matt Kemp with somebody else.

    Another byproduct of non-tendering those 3 is that they all came off our bench. In fact, once you replace Matt “Big City” Adams with Rio “Big River” Ruiz and replace Danny Santana with Lane Adams, there isn’t another position player on the 40-man-roster to fill out JPetey’s spot on the bench. Of course, acquiring a starting 3B takes care of that problem as Johan Camargo moves into the Super-Sub role.

    And somewhat surprisingly, Adonis Garcia is still on the roster. I certainly expect that to change, although he is the only real power threat remaining on the bench.

    AA has a lot of heavy lifting to do to get this roster into competitive form.


  99. 102 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Oh, and…

    GO DAWGS!!!



  100. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2017 at 9:32 am

    So, as a fan of Va Tech football, I can honestly say I did not have a dog in that fight between UGA and Auburn but it was a very good game for the Bulldogs, Same could be said for Clemson.

    The selection committee sure POed a bunch of the country by selecting Bama, UGA and Clemson over Ohio State and anyone from the Pac 12 but I’m pretty sure the Rose Bowl people would be very happy with a USC vs OSU match up.

    Also a VCU fan for a team in the middle of a couple of coach defections but I’m okay with that. My only problem is the way all of the coaches preach loyalty and then defect at the first sing of a greenback being waved in their face. Like the man said, “It’s surprising what you can pick up in the way of coaches when you drag a hundred $ bill across the campus…”

    And baseball. New York papers smear Ohtani for not wanting to play in the Big Apple. Hey, not everyone love NY…

    My prediction, Ohtani will sign with the Mariners… you heard it here first.

    Liked by 2 people

  101. 104 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    My prediction, Ohtani will sign with the Mariners… you heard it here first.

    I’m on board.

    Liked by 2 people

  102. 105 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    DO’B downplays the Braves “asking about shortstops” saying simply that he hears they’re looking for a guy that can play multiple IF positions as Johan could be the every day 3B. I think it’s safe to add that should AA land a more prototypical 3B, he’ll have his versatile IF in Johan.

    I believe that the Braves could go into the season with Dans at SS and Johan as the Super-Sub, and should Dans falter, plug Johan into the spot. And I still want a FA 3B like the Todd-father. Austin Riley will be here midway through next season. Give Todd Frazier a 2-year deal with an option and deal him when Austin is ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 106 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Oh… and I also think it’s too early to give up on Dans. But the clock is ticking. He needs a fast start to 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

  104. 107 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    The NY Post’s Joel Sherman agrees with you also, Gil. He ranks Ohtani’s final 7 teams thus: Mariners, Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Angels.

    My take: It’s a bit weird to me since Ohtani said he wants a “small market” team on the West Coast. The Cubs and Rangers are neither small market nor West Coast, yet he’s granted them interviews. Kind of skews the crystal ball a bit. Still, according to his criteria, LA and SF should also be knocked out by the “small market” requirement. LAA as well. That should leave the Mariners and Padres. And let’s be honest. The Padres are, well… the Padres. That said, Ohtani’s Japanese team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters, have trained with The Fathers in Arizona the past 2 spring trainings. That could help from a familiarity standpoint. Still… the Padres.

    Winner = Mariners.


  105. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    One reason I say the Mariners and it is a very big reason… There is a huge Japanese community in the Seattle area. It was one of the reasons Ichiro Suzuki signed with the Mariners. As for the Padres, perhaps the familiarity component comes into play but there is no place like home and Seattle is very home like to the Japanese.

    Once you take money out of the equation, there are lots of places better to be than New York. I don’t know if agents advise their clients on the differences in taxes in different parts of the country but it is something I would strongly take into consideration.

    I know Stanton wants to play on a winner but he also would like to keep most of his money, I would advise him to opt for the Cardinals over the Giants. or, just stay in Miami and let Osuna be traded to the Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 109 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I would advise him to opt for the Cardinals over the Giants.

    My money is on the Giants.

    or, just stay in Miami and let Osuna be traded to the Braves.

    OK. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  107. 110 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    As noted earlier…


  108. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Okay, I have to rethink my idea of what will be a likely landing spot in the Mike Stanton sweepstakes. I did not know Stanton was a California native… That changes everything. It will be the Giants or the Dodgers.


  109. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    The wife made a very profound observation this evening. She said Chipper Jones is the only player she knew of that did not let money dictate where he would play. Think about that….

    Liked by 2 people

  110. 113 Vox O'Reason December 4, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Please say I misread what I just read…


  111. 115 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 7:50 am

    It appears the tweet that I saw that particular piece of Braves “news” was deleted. I cannot even bring myself to type it as I fear that it could come to be. Gil saw it too because he responded to it. I ran from it.


  112. 116 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 7:51 am

    It was originally tweeted by DO’B, BTW. Now it’s gone. Whew!


  113. 117 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Here’s a hint: It started with a “B”.


  114. 118 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

    … and it ended with a “onifacio”.


  115. 119 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

    I’m guessing that Bowman had a brain fart and typed that name instead of Johan Camargo in a tweet. Then the apparent “signing” was subsequently tweeted by his fellow beat writer DO’B. Both tweets have obviously been deleted as neither can be found now. But I offer this as Exhibit A for my assumption:

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 120 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Yes Vee, I threw up in my mouth a little….

    Mike Minor off the board. He signed a contract to pitch for the Rangers next season.

    The Hot Stove season is still being held up awaiting Stanton decision on where to play next season.

    Liked by 2 people

  117. 121 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    THIS JUST IN!!!!! Boni signed to a guaranteed 7 year contract!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    he’s being paid NOT to play for the braves….


  118. 122 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Angels Agree To Terms With Kevin Maitan….sigh….well, it’s a team that really needs an infusion of talent. Hope he turns into everything he was supposed to be…he looked pretty awesome to me, in the clips I had seen when he was 16….now that the “experts” are saying he’s not a top 100 talent, I’ll root for him all the more…


  119. 123 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    something is still weird if everything is tied up by a player most teams can’t/won’t pay for….
    I hope it’s not some soft collusion thing, trying to force prices down…well, I don’t think prices should always go upward, I just recall Kevin Millwood, etc…

    Gil, it may have been to protect his legacy a bit, but you can tell Miss Josie that Greg Maddux could have signed for more to play in the AL for a few teams, like the Yankees, but decided to stay here too…


  120. 124 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    John Coppolella apologizes to Braves fans, courtesy of Jerry Crasnick:

    “To this point I have not commented about my departure from the Atlanta Braves,” Coppolella said. “I have been hesitant to speak publicly as my family and I have been devastated and embarrassed by the repercussions of my actions. I realize now that I need to address what happened and speak to those affected.

    “To everyone who supports the Atlanta Braves and to everyone who loves the game of baseball, I am deeply sorry.

    “Throughout my 20-year baseball career my singular focus has been to help make my team more successful. I am heartbroken that in this case my conduct has done the opposite for the Atlanta Braves organization. I accept full responsibility for my actions.

    “To those in the baseball industry, including employees of the Braves and other organizations who feel I was in any way disrespectful or dishonest, I apologize. To the Commissioner’s Office, who spent many extra hours dealing with such an unfortunate situation, please accept my apology. To the Braves fans and to those in the front office who supported me throughout my time as a General Manager, please know that I understand and accept your anger and frustration. To my family, who has stood by my side through this entire ordeal, I love you so much and I am sorry for the pain my actions have caused you.

    “I have learned the lesson of a lifetime, as my mistakes have cost me my dream job and my future in the game that I love. I hope that other people, regardless of their profession, use this as a cautionary tale when making their own business decisions. I have been disgraced and humbled, and I will strive for the rest of my life to live honorably so that this is not my defining moment.”

    OK. I can forgive him now. He has acknowledged his actions and accepted full responsibility. He didn’t try to dodge, deflect or otherwise explain away any of his malfeasance. For me personally, I can forgive him. It doesn’t mean I have to embrace him, but I forgive him.

    Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

    Liked by 3 people

  121. 125 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Angels Agree To Terms With Kevin Maitan….sigh…

    He’s no longer a Brave. Makes little difference to me. I have moved on.


  122. 126 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    something is still weird if everything is tied up by a player most teams can’t/won’t pay for…. I hope it’s not some soft collusion thing, trying to force prices down…

    In my opinion, it has more to do with the owners coming to the realization that they can’t win a title by just stroking a check. Successful teams don’t build through free agency, they build through drafts and trades. Then they fill specific needs to get over the hump through FA. To that end, the FA market will probably loosen up as the Winter Meetings wrap up and trades are either made or their foundations laid. Then teams will have better ideas of what they need to supplement through FA.


  123. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Nothing like a public flogging to bring clarity of mind and change your perspective…

    The Angles will be looking for a third baseman by the time Matian matures. Can we get Simba back? No? Oh well, moving on…

    New blog coming soon.

    Happy Anniversary to the B & S… Do you folks realize it has been 10 short years? Yippee… and they said it wouldn’t last…

    Yes Ber, you are right about Maddux, I will pass that factoid along.

    Liked by 3 people

  124. 129 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    In my opinion, it has more to do with the owners coming to the realization that they can’t win a title by just stroking a check. Successful teams don’t build through free agency, they build through drafts and trades. Then they fill specific needs to get over the hump through FA. To that end, the FA market will probably loosen up as the Winter Meetings wrap up and trades are either made or their foundations laid. Then teams will have better ideas of what they need to supplement through FA.

    and MLBTR was trying to say a few weeks ago, it was because of analytics, or some sort of B…manure


  125. 131 Vox O'Reason December 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm


  126. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    New lead is up Vee.


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