Looking Ahead

A common question I’m getting these days is “what should the Braves do now?” Until recently, I was hesitant to give a concrete answer, but I think my reluctance to comment was more a product of the fear of knowing the answer rather than not knowing. So, today I’ll offer up my plan for the future: the future is rebuilding.

When Tim Hudson went down 2009 was lost completely. The starting rotation next year looks like Jair Jurrjens, Jorge Campillo, Charlie Morton, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Chuck James. Jurrjens looks to be good, Campillo has been surprising and could continue to pitch well (shame on the Mariners for not finding him some more innings), but the latter three are not dependable yet. What about help in the minors? Possibly, there is some help on the way, but I don’t think it’s good policy to count on players who are still in the minors for the following season. In fact, having prospects who are in single and double-A is more of a reason to sacrifice 2009 for 2010 and beyond. If Hudson would be there to anchor the rotation, I might be a bit more optimistic. But for the Braves to contend in 2009 with this pitching line-up, everything is going to have to break for the best. That’s not a good guide for planning.

On the hitting side, Chipper Jones continues to be one of the best sluggers in the majors, despite being injury prone. Brian McCann couldn’t play much better than he has. Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson are above-average hitters for middle-infielders. Casey Kotchman is serviceable, but not spectacular, at first base. The outfield is a complete disaster, and there is no help close on the farm—please, don’t count on Jason Heyward or Jordan Schafer just yet.

The Braves supposedly will have some money to spend on free agents, but even if the Braves could afford three top free agents like CC Sabathia, Pat Burrell, and Adam Dunn, this team still most likely misses the playoffs next year. And Chipper Jones will be a free agent after 2010, who will need to be replaced.

If everything breaks just right, it’s possible that the Braves could make a playoff run. But, it’s more likely that the team falls short, and ends up with a group of good expensive players without the supporting cast to push them over the top. So, what should the Braves do?

I think the Braves should trade the following players.

Chipper Jones: The Braves have an option on Chipper’s contract for next year for between $8–$11 million, that will vest when Chipper gets 450 PAs. Chipper has 10-5 rights, which means he must approve any trade. I think Chipper would be willing to play for another team that has a chance to win (a source has told me that this is the case). And if the Braves are rebuilding, I don’t think he’ll miss being part of the process. Sure, some fans will miss him, but it’s not like the organization heavily promotes him now. Chipper will go into the Hall of Fame as a Brave, that is settled. And the fact that his bat can net prospects that can help the team rebuild is an asset that the Braves shouldn’t waste. for nostalgia. Maybe Chipper doesn’t want to go anywhere, and I would miss seeing him in Atlanta, but I will not be shocked if he is traded. It is the smart move. His contract is affordable, and he should bring some decent prospects in return.

Kelly Johnson: I like KJ. He’s an affordable player who will become arbitration-eligible after this season. The fact that he is controlled for the next three years is what makes him valuable. If the Braves are contenders again in two years, he’s not going to be so cheap. I think the Braves should cash in his value, similar to what the A’s did with Nick Swisher last season. There is nothing flashing about Kelly. He’s an everyday second baseman with average defense and he is an average hitter—he would be an asset on most teams. Plus, if Bobby Cox likes Martin Prado so much, why not let him play some more?

Casey Kotchman: There is nothing special about Kotchman. He’s pretty bland, but he’s the type of player that many teams need to fill a hole. He’s cheap like Kelly Johnson. The Braves don’t need him, so I say move him if you can.

Omar Infante: He’ll be a free agent after next season. I see no reason to hold onto him if another team is willing to take him. He’s coming off his best season, so maybe he can snag an OK prospect.

Here are a few other questions that I’ve heard.

Should the Braves Jeff Francoeur? I don’t subscribe to the notion that bad players should be traded. He is better than his numbers, but that’s not saying much. On nearly every other team in the majors, he would have spent most of this season in the minors. The team rushed him and ruined any chance they had of fixing his obvious deficiencies. The Braves made him a piece of their marketing campaign—and the team should have known better—and that is a difficult thing to take back. If his reputation keeps the turnstiles rolling and a Delta sign over the 755 Club, go with it. At this point, I think the ship has sailed on making improvements that would turn him into a good player. I am curious to see what his arbitration award will be this season, but he’s going to be cheap. No team values Francoeur more than the Braves do, and thus I don’t think there are gains from a trade. He is where is services are valued the most.

Should the Braves sign Mark Kotsay as a free agent? It depends on what he wants. There is nothing spectacular about the guy. And it might make more sense to hold on to Kotsay and trade away Brandon Jones or Gregor Blanco. I suspect he’ll get a better offer from another team and move on. Players always say how much they like playing here before they take the biggest contract. I don’t blame any of them, I just don’t buy cheap talk.

What about preserving excitement? The Braves have missed the playoffs three years in a row. Is there much excitement about this team? The atmosphere surrounding the team is stale, and I think we could all use a change. Fans may prefer some buzz about a group of young players just on the cusp of success…that is, as long as the Braves don’t anoint a particular player as a star prematurely (see Jeff Francoeur).

So, there you have it.

28 Responses “Looking Ahead”

  1. Rick Hagauer says:

    I think Kotchman needs to stay because he is under team control till 2011 and he is cheap and a good fielder with a decent bat and I dont think the braves are ready to make another mistake with somebody like Thorman

  2. Cliff says:

    I agree that it will be difficult to compete next year.  I also believe that the Braves cannot upgrade enough (based on who we have and what we can pay, unless Liberty throws 15 or so extra million on the table) to become a true division favorite next year.  The best we can hope for is to be a decent competitor.

    But, if these are the REALITIES, then what does the team do with the payroll leftover?  I think Liberty better be aware that a non competitive team will drop revenue significantly.   The 2005, 6, 7. and most of the way in 8 reflected a time when the fans PERCEIVED that the team was competitive.   Without that perception, the drop off will be tremendous.

    Another thing is perception of “leftover payroll”.  That is, the drop off in attendance (and ratings) will be much greater if the team doesn’t spend at least as much on payroll, thus meaning they have to bring some 2 to 5 players in (or extend current ones of high cost such as Smoltz, Glavine, whoever). 

    The real thing the fans have to do is make sure that we make Liberty realize that signing re-treads and injured players is not an option.  Either use the money for premium players or to extend guys we already have who are cost controlled.

    I believe you undervalue Kelly Johnson somewhat.  This year he has been slightly above average defensively (though certainly not a sure handed perfect sort of player) and slightly above average offensively.  THT ran some graphs over the offseason that showed him as tracking the same curve of performance as Chase Utley, but at about 1 year younger.  This year will throw that off, but it is not unlikely that he will be a “near Utley” offensively.  But, we are stuck with the fact that to Bobby Cox, he is not that good of a player.

    The real challenge is what to do about the manager.  Cox is a legend.  He has done many good things.  His overuse of bullpen pitchers leads to problems like Moylan and Reitsma had.  His lineup optimization is based on wishing and hoping rather than what players actually do.  Why did Anduw Jones and Francoeur stay so high in the lineup so long?

    He becomes convinced of realities (Prado is much better against lefthanders and can field as well as KJ, Francouer will start driving in runs soon, Andruw Jones will come around) and then can’t let the objective evidence change his view.  If we go young on the field, we might as well make a change in the dugout this offseason as well.   

  3. TomL says:

    JC,
    Cliff touched on this, but what do we do with all the money we have to spend? 

  4. JC says:

    1) Put it in the bank and earn some interest.
    2) Scouting, international signing, etc.

  5. Joemorgan says:

    Moving Francouer,Johnson,Kotchman, or Chipper makes no sense. Kelly Johnson is in a down year he needs to be moved back up to the top of the lineup but selling him now will be selling real low. Prado is a decent player but his value might just be higher off the bench. Kotchman has also had trouble since he’s moved to the NL but he’s cost controled like johnson for three ore years and while he may not have as much power as a normal first basemen his defense will help a lot. Francouer has no value right now and the best option would be to move him down now! Keep him down for the rest of the year and see if he can develop some plate discipline. We are so weak in outfielders now moving him would not bring back anything better. Gregor is a nice fourth outfielder but really should not play every day. Going after a guy like rocco baldelli who will be real cheap would be a great low risk move. Signing a guy lke mark prior to a 1 million contract cold turn out solid. Then maybe sign a big name like pat burrell. Also offer hampton and maybe a guy like pavano to one year deals. I know these all have risks but the money will be low. Lineup 08:
    C Mccann
    1b Kotchman
    2b Johnson
    ss Escobar
    3b Jones
    lf Burrell
    CF baldelli
    rf Francouer

    Sp- Jurrjens, Hampton, Campillo, Prior, Pavano, Reyes, Morton,James
     

  6. Dirk says:

    …its a fantastic problem you arent a GM then.

    terrible ideas top to bottom

  7. Calvin says:

    I actually disagree. The Braves can and will be contenders next year.

    I personally believe they should re-sign Kotsay and try to go year to year maybe even a 2 year contract with incentives. You say there isn’t anything special about the guy but he has hit .290 + all year and now he has around a .900 OPS IMO thats good enough to be kept around.

    If we truly need anything next year it will be a Left Fielder. Sure Blanco is nice and fast and all that good stuff but we could do alot better. I say we trade him and sign a better left fielder and use Josh Anderson instead of Blanco as our 4th outfielder. you know the guy that hit +.300 and recently is hitting .386 in his last 10 games in AAA.

    From there we need to find another two starters. I think instead of going after the bigger names that have proven themselves we find us two more Jair Jurrjens type players. The guys that are solid and proven just with out the big name and the big price tag. That way we can get more than just one good starter and also get some bullpen help because I’m sorry but our bullpen is garbage. Aside from Ohman and Gonzalez  and maybe Carlye there arent any reliable arms out there.

    BTW trade Chipper Jones? That’s rediculous why trade arguably the best hitter in the Majors? If anything move him to 1st and put Kotchman at 3rd so he doesn’t strain his body as much.

  8. Mike says:

    The Braves can hit just as well as anyone in the NL East, and they have a strong bullpen, especially with Gonzalez and Soriano coming back strong in 2009.

    The rotation they have now won’t cut it.  J.J. is solid, but he can’t head a rotation.  Based on my point above, the Braves are a #1 and a #2 starter away from being a contender.  Their hitting is good, young and cheap and shouldn’t be moved, like all the above comments said.  If the Braves were dedicated to winning, they’ll drop the 35MM it will take to land both Sabathia and Sheets for 2009.

  9. Jesse says:

    Great read JC.

    I’m going to have to mostly agree with you. The ceilings on players like Francouer, KJ, Kotchman, etc arent high at all.

    You might as well move them for high ceiling prospects if possible and go for a straight rebuild.

    With Smoltz and Chipper on their last legs, Hudson eventually on his way out and the future pretty dismal, they need to cut the cord

  10. Joemorgan says:

    How is signing players for low contracts a bad idea? Sure there is a risk they may not pan out but what do you really risk? A million bucks? The problem here is that these players being talked about have almost no value. None of them will brng in high ceiling prospects so why move them? They are all better then they are playing this year and will still be cheap and could be semi-competitive.  Burrell is a machine and any team would get an upgrade with him. Maybe everyone here is a braves fan but we all need to wake up and realize we have nothing exceptional in the high levels of our system and the guys we have will give us less then what they are worth. Stick it out one more year then blow it up after 09. We just have to hope they play better next year.

  11. scott says:

    Why is everyone so fixated on Adam Dunn coming to Atlanta?  Guys, we can do much better than a career .247 hitter. 

    I mean, if we’re gonna go for it in the outfield, I mean really go for it, we need to look at someone like Matt Holliday.  Add him, an ace starter and a #3 or #4 starter and we’re set for ’09.

  12. Cliff says:

    Scott,

    You have heard of walks?  On base percentage?  Slugging percentage?  maybe?

    If Dunn hits 247 and adds 300 points of iso to come up to 547 SLG and OBP’s at 380, then he is a big run generator.  In 600 plate appearances at 380, Dunn would reach base safely 228 times.  At 500 At Bats (not exact) he would have 125 hits and 150 total extra bases ( 35 HR’s, 40 2B’s, 5 3B’s, for example). 

    The Braves made just such an evaluation mistake with Darrell Evans.  He had a year or two of low batting averages with lots of walks and a good many home runs.  They dumped him for next to nothing.  He ended up with a near Hall of Fame career.   

  13. Cliff says:

    And Scott,

    Matt Holliday’s splits outside of Coors field are about the same as Matt Murton’s. or Xavier Nady’s before this year.  280 / 340 / 450.  Remember what Vinny Castilla did in batting in Atlanta compared to Coors?  Colorado players stats are VERY suspect.  

  14. Kentavo says:

    What a depressing picture.
    I just hope we don’t get fed the same old b.s. about players we know suck.
    It may be time to trade Chipper, much the same way team icon Dale Murphy was traded, which led to the Braves decade-plus run of success.

  15. Jason S says:

    I follow the Braves avidly…like a GM would, never miss a game. I honestly believe we are 2 Bats and 1 arm away from the playoffs. Why give up on players like Chipper and Smoltz and Huddy while they are here…makes no sense. Kotch is cheap and here for a while. Deal with that. He needs to be a backup/bench/maybe even platoon bat to give guys days off. Wren needs to look for 2 bats, a good corner infield bat. Either corner cuz i agree Chipper should be moved to 1st for injury reasons, less stress on your body etc… Maybe sign a cheaper  f/a like Casey Blake or even Eric Hinske to play 3rd  and spend money on a power corner outfield bat like Milton Bradley or Juan Riveria (doubtfull they’ll fork over the money for Dunn, Manny or Vlad). Keep Frenchie…why give up on a guy that put up back to back 100rbi seasons for 1 bad year???? how dumb would that be?! put him in winterball and get him fixed! Now for the Arm…heres where the Braves spend the money.  G0 get Sheets or CC and if you got some change to spare pick up a strong 2 or 3 starter like Ryan Dempster or Randy Wolf! That would set us up right for next year… as far as KJ/ Prado debate…they both serve a good purpose so either/or as far as i’m concerned, plz tell me why they gave Corky Miller so much big legue time. i like Sammons
    09 should look like this if they are gonna make the playoffs
    lineup
    1 Blanco (walks machine)
    2 Ynel Escobar
    3 Chipper
    4 McCann
    5 Casey Blake/or Hinske
    6 Bradley/or Riveria
    7 Francouer
    8 KJ/ or Prado

    rotation
    1 CC/or Sheets
    2 Jurrjens (ace in waiting)
    3 Smoltz
    4 Campillo
    5 whoever out of the last 4 proves thierself in sping training
    JoJo
    Morton
    Buddy (who i like a lot)
    Chuck James (hopefully not)

    the bullpen will be solid with Soriano and Gonzo at the end. Boyer will be better, Maybe Chuckie as a lefty specialist. keep Ohman

  16. scott says:

    Why, yes, Cliff, I have heard of all those things.  Have you seen Holliday’s splits this year?  Or his career line at Turner Field?  Ever heard of stolen bases?  You haven’t???!?

    See, the thing is the Rockies will most likely be moving Holliday after the season.  He’s a free agent after ’09.  Why not at least make a play for him?

  17. JimK says:

    Good to read some honest, contract-saavy advice that doesn’t have us spending other people’s money on one dimensional free agent batters.

    I’d like to keep Chipper around to lead the pennant chase in 2010 and 2011. That would be after a strong finish in 2009 following Hudson’s return and the promotion of a young starter. Don’t worry about Chipper’s deal, just extend the home town discount and don’t forget to say thanks.

    Kelly Johnson works the count, tires opposing pitchers, and shows good power occasionally. Keep him while he’s cheap, and build his value by having Hubbard stay on his case.

    Kotchman is like Chris Chambliss, a solid #6 batter who can hold down the spot until Freddy Freeman or one of our other prospects develops. There’s not so much market demand for Casey until he hits 50 doubles in a season for us. Deal him then.

    We need a power hitter for left field until Heyward arrives. Guys like Brandon Jones and Chuck James should be the bait. I expect someone like Juan Rivera will get the gig. We shouldn’t pay more than Kotsay’s salary to fund LF since Heyward is on the way. Give Blanco CF until Schafer or Gorkys can take the job from him.

    I would not re-up Glavine unless he signs for minimum salary. Give the former union leader a taste of market forces from the other side. Same for Hampton, who owes us big time. Just our luck he’ll be healthy, cheap, and great for someone else next year.

    Invest our savings in zero coupon bonds due on the day Brandon Webb becomes a free agent. Focus scouting on ground ball pitchers who can keep the ball in the park when we visit Philly.

  18. scott says:

    Jason,
    I think I’d reverse that.  I think we’re closer to 1 bat and 2 arms away from contention.  Otherwise, I agree with most of what you said.  I think Francoeur will turn it around next year.  However, I personally wouldn’t go after Milton Bradley.  We have enough injury magnets as is.  And I doubt that Smoltz, if he returns at all, will be a starter.

  19. Calvin says:

    Since we’re talking about going after two arms. Say we get Sheets or Sabathia, who do we go after next?

    Oliver Perez? Would come cheaper than any of the bigger names and he only gets better every year.

  20. JJ says:

    JC, great article. I pretty much am in agreement with you. I see a very little chance of use making the playoffs. Might as well trade away anyone who has value and get some prospects in return. And LET THEM PLAY. So what is Schafer isn’t ready, call him up. Its not like we have anyone else, so the experience wouldn’t hurt him. 

    And thank you for not advocating the re-signing of Mike Hampton. The thought of him toeing the rubber next season in a Braves uniform makes me want to vomit.

  21. Eric says:

    I cringe when I think of Chipper being traded, after all the unselfish moves he’s made to help the team.  However, if he’s traded, it’ll be because he’s OK with it; he might even need to initiate it, and I could see him doing that.  The PR surrounding a Chipper trade would need to be delicate, to say the least.

    Sadly, I agree with the notion that 2009 is shot.  There are just too many holes to fill and too many “ifs” once those holes are filled.  If Kelly Johnson returns to 2007 form, if Frenchy actually can hit, if Campillo can keep this up, if one or two young starters come through, if they can get a full year of Gonzalez and Soriano in the pen.  That’s a lot of ifs.  2010 seems more likely, and now is the time to start planning for it. 

    I’d guess KJ, Gonzalez and Soriano are all traded this off-season, with Kotsay  moving on.  I’d expect Infante to stick around, but if he keeps it up he could be a nice in-season trade next year.  Kotchman makes sense to hang on to for 2010, with nobody in the system to replace him.

  22. Clayton says:

    Absurd to try and trade Kotchman, he’s young, cheap, an above avg. fielder, and doesn’t strike out much. Meaning he will improve as a hitter, now do I think he will be a 30+ homer guy, doubtful-but I only see his power improving with age.

    I read somewhere that after this season the Brave should have around $50 million of “freed up” money, if that is the case they should have more than enough to get 2 great SP’s and a great OF. If this is the case then the Braves have a better chance in ’09 then people may think. They have a decently solid bullpen, if signing 2 SP’s followed by Jair, Campillo, then Jo-Jo/Morton, getting a power hitting OF to go in the middle of the line-up will turn this dead team into something special. Now all of the trading aside, if the trades aren’t there then I agree with trading Chipper, Johnson (keep Prado) and Infante, and Soriano. But ONLY if we aren’t able to acquire exactly what we need.

    Also, I love Matt Holliday, but his home run stats are inflated b/c of Coors Field. But I wouldn’t mind the Braves picking him up for LF and putting Blanco in CF. But I wouldn’t expect him to hit over 30 homers playing away from Coors.

  23. If the Braves had kept Teixeira, they would still be in the running for a wild-card spot THIS YEAR. Trading him — for virtually no return — was the worst thing that happened to the 2008 Braves. Injuries are acts of God but trades are acts of stupidity (in most cases). Chipper’s average fell like a stone after Teixeira left and batting Infante or Kotsay in the cleanup spot made the team a laughingstock. No one could have predicted Francoeur’s fall, especially following his hot start, but he seems to be picking it up again. And what about the loss of Matt Diaz for almost the entire season?

    If all things go right, and Smoltz and Glavine are able to return healthy next year, the Braves could dump such awful fill-ins as Jeff Bennett and Julian Tavarez. That would make the 2009 staff look like this:

    Starters: Jurrjens, Campillo, Morton, Reyes, Glavine or Hampton (plus
    maybe Hudson in August or September)
    Relievers: Smoltz, Gonzalez, Moylan, Soriano, maybe Boyer

    The Braves would still need speed at the top of the lineup plus more power in the middle (preferably at first base and left field). I would send Francoeur to winter ball to get his stroke back and would try to find daily duty for Prado (maybe 2d base if Kelly Johnson goes back to LF).
    I would also dump Casey Kotchman, whose awful NL debut looked even worse when Teixeira went on a tear with the Angels.

  24. H Stockton says:

    During the various delays or rain outs this year I’ve watched those “In Their Own Words.”  I watched the one with Chipper and liked most everything that I heard, but he did say something that has bothered me as this miserable season has progressed.  He was talking about the corporate environment in the clubhouse and expressed the idea that there have been players that didn’t fit into the environment and they were moved along to other teams.

    So as I’m watching the Braves lose game after game and go a year with no one run wins on the road and see all those flags but only one championship, I think it’s time for a major shakeup in the corporate environment.  Numbers aside, if Chipper is the chairman of the board in the clubhouse then it’s time for buyout.  A change in leadership is in order (this would include Schurholz and Bobby).   Watch these guys…they show up like they’re showing up for an 8 to 5 job.  Tex was that way, Glavine’s that way, Chippers that way, KJ’s that way.

    I’m not sure which players are out there that fit into the necessary role, but if there’s a Kirk Gibson type available….that’s the type needed.   Big Popi is that type of player, Wickman was initially that type of player, Pujols is that type of player.  There needs to be more guys in that clubhouse that have an attitude that says “win more games or I’m crackin’ skulls.” 

    The only guys I’ve seen on this team that carry themselves that way is Escobar and McCann.

    The first half of this year the stats indicated this team should have been about 10 games over .500, and they weren’t close.  So more than numbers, there needs to be an enviromental change.    Find the players that fit the right role.

    I like KJ, but if he strikes out looking at an indside fast ball then walks back to the dugout as if nothing happened one more time I’m

  25. scott says:

    Dan, if the Braves had kept Teixeira and Hudson had stayed healthy, they’d be a .500 team…maybe.

  26. Dustin says:

    I’m a big Chipper Jones fan, but a lot of what you said makes sense, assuming the Braves will let him go after 2010.  I don’t think they will, and I think they would be foolish to do so, especially since Francoeur appears to be a bust waiting to happen, which should pretty much negate all of his current popularity in metro Atlanta.  I say keep Chipper, as I expect him to remain productive for the next 3-4 years anyway.

    I believe you undervalue KJ.  HIs defense isn’t as bad as people think, and you don’t find many second basemen around the league that can match his career OPS ~.800.  And just because Cox values Prado, doesn’t mean having Prado start is a bright idea.  I am anti-Cox, but I’ll try not to let that bias my argument.  Prado is a solid defender, but his career OPS in the minors is ~.750, speaking purely from memory.  HIs play this year is an abberation, and I think if we played him everyday, and teams had a chance to scout him, they’d find a singles hitter with a decent glove.  Not a bad little player to have on your bench, but not someone I would feel comfortably playing in my lineup which is already deficient in power.

    I would trade Escobar.  The kid has a gun, and a decent glove, but much like Prado, he has no pop.  He projects to be another .750 OPS kid.  Again, not bad, but once arbitration kicks in, his salary will get inflated, and he’ll become overpaid.  I say trade him before that happens.

    As far as Francouer is concerned, you are spot on in your assessment.  The Braves have made their bed, and now they must lie in it.  There won’t be much value in trading a guy like Francouer, but at the same time he’s a detriment to his offense.  He should be soaking up time in Triple A, but as long as Bobby Cox is there that won’t happen, which brings me to my last point.

    Bobby Cox needs to retire.  I have never been a fan of his, but he does have some value as a good clubhouse manager.  His game management, strategy, and roster management, however, is horrid.  The overuse of relievers the past few years, the consistent platooning of KJ, despite the fact that he rakes lefties, and Cox’s generaly insistence on playing the predictable lefty-righty matchups in late game situations is costing this team ballgames.  Not to mention, his unholy allegiance to Francouer which has ultimately done the kid more harm than good.  I don’t think this team will be in any position to make the necessary changes until Cox has hung ‘em up.  Having said that, 2009 is a complete waste.  There isn’t enough coin to fill all the holes, and even if there were, it wouldn’t be the smart move.  Quite frankly, this team should have undergone a overhaul 2 years ago, before the Teixeira trade went through. 

  27. Wendy says:

    I believe it’s absurd to even diagnose next year as a “just miss” playoff season.  Who knows what Frank Wren will do this off season.  Rumors are rampant that he is in search for a power hitting outfielder and will more than likely go after one of the many free agent starting pitchers. 

    While I do not believe it will be be in the form of CC or Sheets, I could easily see someone like Dempster or Garland coming to Atlanta.  We almost pulled off a trade for Jason Bay, thus I believe Wren will still be in search for that bat to boost the outfield via trade.

    Chipper isn’t going anywhere.  To even picture him in another uniform is absurd. 

    An acquisition or two can make 2009 very interesting for the Braves. 

    I personally believe that the offseason will be the most eventful for Atlanta in quite sometime.  Should be exciting to say the least.

  28. JC says:

    I have written a new post that addresses some issues discussed here.

    Clearing Some Things Up

    I am closing the comments here, but you can leave additional comments in the new post.