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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Seitzer encouraged by workouts with Upton

“Any hitter that has a tendency to be long [with their swing], where their hands get away from the body, is going to have a tough time catching up to fastballs,” Seitzer said. “They will also be vulnerable to offspeed pitches and inside pitches.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: b.j. upton, braves

Monday, January 19, 2015

Madden: Beane’s A’s good to go, Hart’s Braves gone for year - NY Daily News

Comparing and contrasting John Hart’s and Billy Beane’s off-seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2015 at 05:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bloop Hits: Terry Forster’s musical feast

I saw someone here refer to Forster’s batting average champ status, so, why not.

Though he was never an All-Star, never won any awards, Terry Forster — who turned 63 this week — had a pretty interesting big-league career. In addition to leading the American League in saves with the ’74 White Sox, winning a championship ring with the ’81 Dodgers, and making 614 appearances (most of them in relief) over the course of 16 years in the majors, the left-hander was also the last A.L. pitcher to steal a base in a regular-season game before the introduction of interleague play, and his .397 career batting average (31 hits in 78 at-bats) remains the highest of any player with 50 or more at-bats and/or at least 15 years of major-league experience. Not a bad legacy, especially for a player who people, er, largely remember today for being dubbed a “fat tub of goo” by David Letterman…

Forster’s charming, genuinely funny Late Night guest segment, which included a rundown of his favorite stadiums to eat in, received a substantial amount of press coverage at the time — and, unfortunately, paved the way for Forster’s ill-advised foray into recording. Released in August 1985 on a label run by Philadelphia’s Comedy Works nightclub, and credited to Terry Forster and the Lovehandles, the four-song EP Fat Is In is mostly notable for its cover photo of Forster chowing down on a party-sized submarine sandwich while clad in his Atlanta Braves uniform… Though a video for “Fat Is In” was filmed and submitted to MTV, the song failed to become a hit. (According to a New York Times article from August 1985, the clip involves Forster being shipwrecked on “The Isle of Chocolate Cones,” where he finds “happiness, fast food and break-dancing.” Sadly, the video seems to have been lost to the ages.)

 

The District Attorney Posted: January 17, 2015 at 03:52 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, music, terry forster

Hart says he will not trade Kimbrel « Bowman’s Blog

Kimbrel was a topic of conversation for some of the MLB Radio shows yesterday. In the morning Steve Phillips insisted he had to go. In the afternoon a host insisted he shouldn’t go anywhere. IMHO, it depends on their timeline. If they truly believe they can be competitive when the new park opens, they should hold onto him. If their timeline is longer than it makes sense to send him away for more prospects. John Hart has stated that he believes the Braves can be competitive for a playoff spot in 2016. I agree with him.

“We love our core group,” Hart said. “We have added quality players around this group to allow us to compete while strengthening the farm system.  We’ve added (Nick) Markakis, (Jason) Grilli,  (Jim) Johnson, A.J. (Pierzynski) and others to help us compete this year.  We have never entertained trading (Kimbrel) and have had zero conversations with any clubs about Craig. I want him finishing out a World Series win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, craig kimbrel

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Astros To Acquire Evan Gattis

Oh, Rio, Rio, dance away from the Rio Grande.

The Astros have reportedly agreed to acquire Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis. In return, Atlanta will acquire a trio of prospects: righties Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz.

For Houston, it is not entirely clear how the team would use Gattis… Gattis stepped things up with a .263/.317/.493 line and 22 long balls last year in 401 turns at bat.

Of course, Gattis also comes with an attractive contractual situation. He will play at league minimum for the final time this year before qualifying for arbitration in 2016…

Foltynewicz, who briefly reached the bigs last year as a reliever, sat at number three on Baseball America’s list of the best ‘Stros prospects and at fourth on the MLB.com version... Ruiz… slashed .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs in 602 plate appearances at High-A last year… Thurman, 23, was taken in the second round in 2013 but has struggled to adapt to pro ball…

The deal is not yet complete, caution [the New York Post’s Joel] Sherman (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter), with the former saying the terms are settled upon pending physical and the latter warning there is still a chance that Gattis could be moved to another club.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Angels acquire third-base prospect from Braves | angels.com

Kubitza: The highest drafted position player in Texas State history, Kubitza has steadily ascended through the Minor Leagues. He had the best season of his career in 2014 with Double-A Mississippi. He hit .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs and led the Southern League in on-base percentage. While he is a patient hitter, his swing has a tendency to get long, leading to a lot of strikeouts. His swing is geared more to hitting line drives than home runs, which produces a lot of doubles, but doesn’t fit the traditional third base profile. His defense has improved in the Minor Leagues and his strong arm and soft hands are assets at third.

Sanchez: The Angels signed Sanchez out of Venezuela in 2013 and he made his professional debut a year later in the Arizona League. As a 17-year-old, he posted a 3.49 ERA and struck out 43 batters while walking 22 in 38 2/3 innings. While Sanchez is still young and raw, he already shows significant promise. He can throw his fastball up to 95 mph and his curveball gives him a second pitch with above-average potential. He also has a nascent changeup. Sanchez has a smooth delivery, but he is still learning to repeat it and his command suffers as a result. Still just a teenager, he has plenty of upside and simply needs time to learn the intricacies of his craft.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, braves, trades

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Cobb responds to Braves bonds appeal | www.myajc.com

$400 million for a baseball stadium.

Lawyers for Cobb County government say their plan to borrow nearly $400 million for the new Atlanta Braves stadium without a public vote is legal, because the bond issuance isn’t considered “debt within the meaning of the Georgia Constitution.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium

Trade returns could have Braves sitting pretty | MLB.com

John Hart’s off-season work.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 09:55 AM | 139 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Friday, January 02, 2015

Melotticus Presents - The Atlanta Braves Top 20 Prospects - Minor League Ball

A look at the Braves top prospects. Rather than using stars for the ratings, it would be better is the writer used the standard 20-80 scouting scale.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

Thursday, January 01, 2015

MLBTR: Braves, Yankees Trade David Carpenter For Manny Banuelos

The Yankees have acquired right-hander David Carpenter and left-hander Chasen Shreve from the Braves in exchange for southpaw Manny Banuelos, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports (Twitter link).

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 01, 2015 at 09:54 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: 2017, braves, trades, yankees

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Braves To Sign A.J. Pierzynski

Mmm, pierogi and grits.

The Braves have reached a one-year deal with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 24, 2014 at 01:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pierzynski, braves, free agents, transactions

Friday, December 19, 2014

Trading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog

Another report says:

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade between both clubs.

Left-hander Max Fried, shortstop Jace Peterson, third baseman Dustin Peterson, outfielder Mallex Smith will be heading to Atlanta in exchange for the 27-year-old outfielder and a low-level player, per Heyman. Upton spent his first six seasons in the NL West and has a career .291/.359/.541 slash line at Petco Park. He is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 with 29 homers and 102 RBI over 566 at-bats with the Braves.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, justin upton

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Braves’ patient approach on historic streak unmatched | MLB.com

Out of those 14 postseason appearances, however, the Braves won only one World Series, something that has hung over the franchise, and something that Schuerholz admits is his biggest disappointment in 47 years of professional baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2014 at 06:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Braves To Sign Alberto Callaspo

Second base??? *hearty laughter; wipes away tear from eye* No, seriously, where?

The Braves have agreed to a deal with free agent infielder Alberto Callaspo pending physical…

His .223/.290/.290 slash over 451 plate appearances [in 2014] was obviously well below-average. But Callaspo has produced at an average to slightly-above-average clip in recent seasons, and Atlanta may have cause to believe that he’ll return to that level.

Presumably, Callaspo would have the inside track to take over at second for Atlanta. He also represents an option at third, where he has spent some time, either as a platoon mate or replacement for Chris Johnson if the incumbent is dealt away.

The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2014 at 02:58 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: alberto callaspo, braves, free agents, transactions

Monday, December 08, 2014

Baseball America: Cuban Outfielder Dian Toscano Agrees To Sign With Braves

Playing for Villa Clara in Serie Nacional, Toscano batted .356/.400/.452 in 86 plate appearances with eight walks and eight strikeouts in 2012-13, his last season in Cuba. The year before, Toscano hit .287/.438/.380 with 35 walks and 16 strikeouts. He hit just three home runs that year and never showed much power in Cuba, though he’s in significantly better shape and has increased his strength since leaving Cuba.

He was a left fielder for Villa Clara, and he’s expected to stay there in pro ball because of his lack of arm strength, though he runs well enough that he could see some time in center field.

Anybody want to take a swipe at what this guy might become?

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 08, 2014 at 06:18 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cuban free agents, prospects

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Anthony Castrovince: 10 bold Winter Meetings predictions

These rumors are all wet.

1. Justin Upton to the Orioles

While their hesitance to go to a fourth guaranteed year for Nelson Cruz is understandable, the immediate fact of the matter is that the reigning home run champ now resides elsewhere. Even with Matt Wieters and Manny Machado getting healthier, and even if you believe that Chris Davis is going to rebound, the O’s have some potential for major offensive regression if they don’t make some moves this winter.

In Upton, the O’s can reel in a corner outfielder who has a history of getting on base roughly 35 percent of the time, and can give you a 30-plus-homer season at Camden Yards. This is the kind of move the O’s need to make to maintain their top spot in an AL East in which the Red Sox and Blue Jays are obviously both dramatically improved.

Here’s the rub: The Braves, who appear more certain than ever to move Upton now that they’ve signed Nick Markakis, are looking for young, controllable arms in their bid to build a contender for 2017. There was a time when a top-tier pitching prospect such as Dylan Bundy would have netted far more years of contractual control than Upton, a pending free agent, provides. But in this starting-saturated market - and with Bundy re-establishing himself following Tommy John surgery - I’m not so sure that’s the case. Would the O’s be willing to part with Bundy’s long-term potential for some short-term thump? Hard to say, but their free-agent options have thinned in a hurry.


Full Count » Sources: Dodgers have serious interest in Jon Lester, poised for potential late negotiating push

One industry source was under the impression that the Dodgers had already entered the bidding with an offer to Lester, while another characterized the Dodgers as poised to play a role similar to the one made by the Yankees in December 2008, when New York swooped in late to sign Mark Teixeira away from other interested bidders with a high bid of eight years and $180 million. A third noted of the Dodgers’ potential interest that Lester, “could help any team looking to win championships,” the unquestioned bar for a Los Angeles team that is after its first title since 1988.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2014 at 10:58 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, giants, jon lester, red sox, yankees

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Braves To Sign Nick Markakis

I was kidding about Kimbrel, but seriously, someone ain’t gonna make it to Cobb County.

The Braves have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. He will be guaranteed $44MM in the pact, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:24 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, nick markakis, transactions

Braves Sign Jim Johnson

Guess they realize they should trade Kimbrel.

The Braves announced that they have signed former Orioles closer Jim Johnson to a one-year, Major League contract (Twitter link)...

The 2012 All-Star lost his closing gig to Sean Doolittle early in the 2014 season and never appeared comfortable in green and gold. He posted a 7.14 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a typically strong ground-ball rate of 56.8 percent. After being designated for assignment and ultimately released, Johnson latched on with the Tigers but didn’t fare much better, allowing 10 runs in 13 innings with a 14-to-12 K/BB ratio…

Johnson’s base salary will be $1.6MM, and he can earn up to $900K worth of incentives, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, jim johnson, transactions

If the Braves are indeed rebuilding, Kimbrel should go | Mark Bradley blog

If you’re truly rebuilding, you’re not planning on winning many games. If you’re not going to win many games, you don’t need the best closer in the business. As great as he is, Kimbrel would be a luxury a fourth-place team cannot afford.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, craig kimbrel

Monday, December 01, 2014

Jim Bowden: Potential winter meetings trades (PAY)

BODES

Seattle Mariners | Los Angeles Dodgers | Milwaukee Brewers

Dodgers acquire: James Paxton from Seattle; Jean Segura from Milwaukee

The Dodgers have a lot of outfield depth and are looking to build with younger players as they seek a World Series title in the near future. Not an easy formula to make transactions. Matt Kemp has five years and $107 million remaining on his contract, and although I think it would be a mistake to trade him, the fact is that the Dodgers are listening to offers. The Mariners could offer them one of the best young left-handed starters in the game in Paxton to put in their rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. If they could pick up Segura in a three-way deal with the Brewers, they would have their stopgap shortstop until top prospect Corey Seager is ready for the majors (or is moved to third base). Segura, 24, had a down year, but should return close to his 2013 form, when he hit .294 with 12 home runs and 44 stolen bases. The Dodgers would still have Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier in their outfield.

Mariners acquire: Ryan Braun from Milwaukee

If the Mariners want to win the AL West next year, they have to acquire a big right-handed hitter to hit between Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager in their lineup, and Braun would be the perfect fit. GM Jack Zduriencik’s claim to fame when he was with the Brewers was his drafting of Braun, and he’d love to get reunited with him in Seattle. The Mariners have Chris Taylor—who could take over shortstop for Brad Miller, who would go to Milwaukee in this potential deal—and would still have a strong starting rotation with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and Roenis Elias, even if they traded Paxton. Of course, they would have to probably sign a midlevel free agent like Brandon McCarthy or Kyle Kendrick after a trade like this.

Brewers acquire: Matt Kemp from Los Angeles; Miller from Seattle

The Brewers had to be concerned with Braun’s loss of power during the past couple of years. Granted, it’s probably because of the numbness in his right thumb that they now think has completely healed. However, after watching Kemp the last two months of the season, there is no doubt that he would be an upgrade over Braun, and while they may lose some in the swap of shortstops, it would be worth it to have less risk with Kemp than Braun. In addition, the deal would send a wake-up call and be a clubhouse chemistry change to a team that collapsed in September.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Braves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post

Nevertheless, the interest in Upton is described by a person familiar with the talks as significant — the Astros, Rangers and others have inquired — and an executive from another team flatly said, “Justin Upton will be moved.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, justin upton

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Monday, November 17, 2014

Braves, Cardinals Trade Jason Heyward For Shelby Miller

Must have been disappointed in Heyward’s MVP showing.

The Cardinals have acquired right fielder Jason Heyward and right-hander Jordan Walden from the Braves in exchange for righty Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins, the teams announced.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cubs Acquire Tommy La Stella

This is a super-weird one in terms of team strengths and weaknesses, if nothing else.

The Cubs have announced they have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The two teams also swapped international bonus slots: the Cubs receiving the Braves’ number four international signing bonus slot in exchange for their slot numbers two, three and four.

The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: arodys vizcaino, braves, cubs, tommy la stella, trades, transactions

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