Atlanta Braves Offseason Tracker: Hottest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News
After winning the 12th National League East title in team history—the first since the team's record-setting run of 11 consecutive crowns ended in 2006—Atlanta's season came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, who dispatched the Braves in four games.
While much of the team's core remains under contract for at least another season, Atlanta will be faced with some difficult decisions regarding some long-time members of the team, most notably whether to re-sign catcher Brian McCann and starter Tim Hudson.
You'll be able to find the most up-to-the-minute rumblings about the Braves along with analysis and everything else that comes with it right here. While the post date will always show as October 31, simply click to the next slide to see the latest as the Braves put together their roster for the 2014 season.
Atlanta's Own Free Agents
All the juicy rumors and analysis follow, but consider this your one-stop shop for all the comings and goings in Atlanta this winter, including the status of the team's own free agents.
Braves Free Agents
RHP Luis Ayala
LHP Scott Downs
RHP Freddy Garcia
IF Paul Janish (Dec. 2: Non-tendered)
IF Elliot Johnson (Dec 2: Non-tendered)
OF Reed Johnson (Nov. 4: Team declined $1.6 million option)
RHP Kameron Loe
LHP Paul Maholm
RHP Christhian Martinez (Dec. 2: Non-tendered)
LHP Eric O'Flaherty
Raul Ibanez: Braves Interested in 18-Year Veteran
Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Ibanez, 41, spent 2013 in Seattle, hitting .242 with 29 homers, 65 RBI and a .793 OPS over 124 games, splitting time between the outfield and designated hitter spots.
A left-handed bat, Ibanez would primarily be a pinch-hitter off the bench against right-handed pitching, though he could see time in both outfield corner spots when Justin Upton or Jason Heyward needed a day off..
Atlanta's Plan for the Winter Meetings
Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5:39 p.m. ET
The Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien caught up with GM Frank Wren and asked him about the team's plans at the Winter Meetings, which begin Monday in Orlando. Aside from looking to add to the starting rotation, as previously noted, Atlanta would like to bolster both the bench and bullpen.
While those are the team's priorities, Wren told O'Brien that " (We are) putting ourselves in position to add pieces we feel like would help us best, ”indicated that he is leaving his options open and won't look past any potential move that could help the team.
While the Braves may be willing to include some of their prospects in the right deal, O'Brien notes that "premium prospects," like RHPs Jason Hursh and Lucas Sims, are not available and will not be traded.
Dan Uggla: Trade Candidate
Update: Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1:15 p.m. ET
Trying to find a trade partner interested in taking Dan Uggla off of his hands is sure to be one of GM Frank Wren's top priorities at the Winter Meetings in Orlando that kick off Monday.
But don't count the New York Yankees among the possible destinations for the former All-Star, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Despite losing Robinson Cano in free agency and having the finances to absorb Uggla's contract, Heyman reports that the Yankees have no interest in Uggla and will look elsewhere to fill the void left by Cano's departure.
--End of Update--
Update: Saturday, Nov. 9 at 10:22 a.m. ET
It's more speculation than anything else, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien believes that if Atlanta could find a team willing to pick up 25 percent of the $26 million left on Uggla's contract (roughly $6.5 million), that the Braves would eat the rest to facilitate a trade of the former All-Star.
Clearly, team simply wants to be done with Uggla and, as O'Brien notes, would prefer to let Tyler Pastornicky and Tommy La Stella battle it out in Spring Training for the vacancy at second base.
--End of Update--
The three-time All-Star hit only .179 during the regular season and was left off of Atlanta's postseason roster, signaling that his three-year stint with the Braves may be over.
Frisaro says that the Braves will move the 34-year-old if they can find a team that is willing to pick up $6 million of the $26 million that he's owed through the end of 2015, something that's easier said than done.
Not only has Uggla regressed at the plate, but advanced metrics rate him as the worst defensive second baseman in the game today, with a minus-7.1 UZR/150 and minus-19 DRS, according to FanGraphs.
Aside from Miami, who Frisaro mentions as a possible destination for Uggla, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that the Braves have interest in swapping Uggla for Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips, though O'Brien adds that Atlanta would likely need to include a top prospect to pique the Reds interest.
Braves Looking for a Veteran Starter
Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 10:15 a.m. ET
After losing Tim Hudson to the Giants, GM Frank Wren's primary focus at the Winter Meetings next week will be to try and land a veteran starting pitcher to add to a young Braves rotation, as he explained to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
You have the initial early hit list with guys that you think are the perfect fits for your puzzle. It doesn't always work out. But there are 29 other clubs that could see them as perfect fits as well. When you go into the marketplace, sometimes you get what you are looking for and sometimes you don't. But we continue to have a number of guys we continue to like.
Bowman speculates that 40-year-old Bartolo Colon could be on Atlanta's radar, something that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien agrees with, if it's on a one-year deal.
Oakland tried to re-sign Colon to a one-year deal, but, as CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports, Colon was looking for a deal that offered "more security." Whether his stance has changed remains to be seen, but the Braves have nothing to lose by at least engaging the veteran and his representatives to see if he could be a fit.