Where We Go From Here

We’ll continue with the playoff game threads. But I wanted to put this up to explain to the new folks and remind the regulars about the cadence of the offseason and hot stove league. Traditionally, we run a series of “Where Do We Go From Here?” posts analyzing the 2014 season and pointing toward what needs to be done in 2015, and we also run player profiles for the 2015 25-man roster.

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By the way, not to toot my paper’s horn too loudly, but this is really good.

29 thoughts on “Where We Go From Here”

  1. Clean up the bench and pen. That’s what they have the money to do.

    Or give up something good (package BJ with Oso or Free) and get the money to fix all the problems to varying degrees. Not sure Oso and BJ would free up enough.

    Maybe just clean up the bench and pen

  2. Again, wish we had a replacement for Gattis. I’d rather just trade BJ to the cubs for Edwin jackson and keep Gattis.

  3. 3 of the top 10 players in the lea.with the most strikeouts are BJ, JUS. UPT, & CJ. Replace those players with vetern leadership type of players. Put GATTIS in left, bethancourt catching,& find the best talent with speed & close to a 300 avg to play CF. A 3rd baseman & leader that can hit for avg & play a good hot corner. Look deep in the bull pen & replace Availon, waldon(TO WILD), carpenter, send venters home. Bring if 2good lefties, 2 good righties. Keep gattis in left field as his bat his really good. If 1 player just went BJ should not even be close to being on the roster. That there alone would be a good start.

  4. Recall that Minor was part of that deal with the Cubs. It wasn’t one for one. We’ll deal or cut BJ. Hopefully we’ll get creative and or get more money so that we can compete next year.

  5. @1
    The Braves are 2 Uptons, 1 Chris Johnson, and 1 Minor trade away from opening up their payroll. In my opinion, these are the major trades they should be focusing on this offseason.

    First trade: BJ Upton, Mike Minor, and Jordan Walden for Edwin Jackson, Chris Coghlan and Luis Valbuena.

    Thoughts: The Cubs are looking to not only compete next year, but have eyes on winning the division. Valbuena is going to be squeezed out by Kris Bryant and the plethora of infield talent in that system. BJ takes over as risky OF pickup, replacing Coghlan in LF, or moving Alcantara to LF. Minor leads the way in their rotation and Walden is used as either setup man or closer, depending on how they view Rondon.

    Second Trade: Getting the band back together! After missing out on Chase Headley, the Yankees decide to go in a different direction and go all-in on FA shortstop Hanley Ramirez. To offset the cost, the Yankees deal Martin Prado and Eric Jagielo to the Braves for Chris Johnson and Tommy La Stella. The Braves get their super-utility player back in Prado, and a prospect that could be a long-term 3b in 2 years. The Yankees get the LH side of their starting 2b and 3b starter for the next 2 years.

    Third Trade: Trade Justin Upton for prospects. Grab 2-3 Top 10s for Justin.

    Thus far: Traded off about 44MM in 2014 salary in the Uptons, CJ, Minor, Walden, and La Stella. In return, the Braves take on about 27MM in ’14. Net Gain from trades: 17MM.

    Committed salaries for ’15: Kimbrel (9.25MM), Freeman (9MM), Heyward (8.3MM), Simmons (3.1MM), Teheran (1.2MM), Jackson (13MM), UGHla (13MM), Prado (11MM)- 67.85MM total

    Arb-salaries: Valbuena (3MM), Coghlan (1.5MM), Russell (2.2MM), Carpenter (1MM)

    Pre-arb salaries: Gattis, Avilan, Varvaro, Wood, Hale, Bethancourt, Goose, Peraza, S. Simmons (5MM).

    Total: 80MM for 20 players

    Rotation: Teheran, Wood, Jackson, Hale/Martin (1 SP needed)
    Position players: Gattis, Freeman, Peraza, Simmons, Valbuena, Prado, Heyward (1 needed)
    Bench: Bethancourt, Gosselin, Coghlan (2 bench players needed)
    Bullpen: Kimbrel, Simmons, Avilan, Carpenter, Varvaro, Hale/Martin (1 needed)

    To spend: 20-30MM
    Some of the things I’d like to see from there: 1. Trade for Dexter Fowler (of which would re-shape our bullpen) 2. Sign Andrew Miller 3. Go get James Shields 4. Sign SP reclamation project (ala Harangutang) 5. Trade for Daniel Nava 6. Trade for Shane “Burn in Hell” Victorino 7. re-up Bonifacio 8. Bid on Yasmani Tomas 9. Sign Scott Hairstion 10. Sign Torii Hunter to play LF

    Ideally: 1. Trade for Nava, platoon LF with Prado. 2. Sign Andrew Miller 3. Sign James Shields 4. Sign Scott Hairston 5. Terdoslavich becomes last bench player.

  6. 4: I don’t think any of those trades could conceivably get made. Maybe Justin, if some team was desperate enough.

    Trade 1: B.J. has more negative value (production per dollar) than Jackson. Minor is an enigma after a great 2013 and a disappointing 2014. He has value, but it’s not clear how much. Walden is good, but he’s a reliever, and no one’s idea of a centerpiece. On the other side, Coghlan and Valbuena have four years of remaining team control between them, and both just posted career-best years (or at least tied for career-best). They’re not studs, but that’s value coming back, and if you’re starting in the hole (as you do when you try to trade B.J.), you’re not really going to get value back.

    Trade 2: I cannot see why any team in baseball would be interested in acquiring Chris Johnson. La Stella has some very small value, I guess.

  7. Totally unrelated to the topic at hand but woot has autographed baseballs for sale right now including Dale Murphy MVP balls in case anyone one here collects such things.

  8. The 3B FA market seems too deep and the Yankees’ need too glaring for them to have to stoop to a CJ trade. I hope we can pawn him off on a rebuilding team, a team that can platoon him (or perhaps we should just try that again), or a team that’s set everywhere else on offense.

  9. Until the FA market shakes out, probably during or shortly after the Winter meetings, I don’t think much trade activity transpires particularly of the sort discussed here.
    Then find a ‘riverboat’ gambler of a GM with desirable prospects and DEAL!!

  10. @7
    If they go after Hanley, even with their payroll, they’ll need cheap(er) production from 3rd base, as they already have nearly 170MM owed to 10 guaranteed contracts with holes all over the diamond. They’ll have need at 2nd and 3rd, and the Braves have the pieces to fill both of those holes for less than the cost of Prado.

  11. This is really depressing. I hope you’re right ryanc. I tend to agree with Anon21, though. If I were a GM I wouldn’t touch these piles of flaming garbage with a 10-foot pole. We have 2 of the worst 5 players in baseball under contract for 3 more years, and we’ll be paying another 13 mm not to play in 2015. Frank Wren put us in a hole, and we’ll burn the years of our young nucleus to dig out of it. Of all the contracts, the Chris Johnson signing made the least sense. There was no reason to “lock him up”. He didn’t even have that much value in a career year, he’s not that young, and he’s terrible defensively.

    Someone might take Justin/Johnson from us and flip a decent prospect back. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Peraza, Simmons, LaStella/Gosselin infield, and you might work Kubitza in there soon. If we’re trading BJ, it’s going to mean taking a bad contract back and sending something else of value. I’d do it just to be rid of that cancer.

  12. I bet we don’t even try to move Johnson. There is a chance he could have a bounce back year and at least be decent. I could also see us trying to find a platoon partner for him.

    His value is too low right now to move. He is someone we should probably see if he bounces back.

  13. The Braves have two choices:
    1. Rebuild
    2. Reload

    In a rebuild you have to listen to offers for everyone. Yes, Teheran, Wood, Kimbrell, Simmons…. everyone.

    If the Braves try to compete next year, reload, then of course they have to keep the core and that includes Heyward and JUpton. To reload our owners are going to have to eat millions in sunk costs and up the budget.

    Ryan, I try not to comment on dream trades, becuase I know its just wish casting, but the Yankees have a 3b named Alex Rodriguez. And even if they DH him full time, Prado is a better 3b than Johnson. Just saying.

  14. I’d love to dump CJ on anyone; I can’t imagine anyone going for it.

    Yankee brass has said publicly that they would love to just “pencil A-Rod into the 3B position,” but they also admit that nobody knows how many games he’ll be able to play at 3B. He’s probably more of a DH at this point.

    Remember, his body was breaking down two years ago. Hard to imagine that his hip won’t still be an issue in ’15. There’s some speculation that A-Rod also could play some 1B (in anticipation of Teixeira’s continued injury troubles). When you throw in the oft-injured Carlos Beltran, you’ll have one mighty expensive DH position.

    Reportedly, A-Rod’s been “working out,” but nobody’s seen him do anything related to baseball activities. And he’s refused to play winter ball. At this point, who knows what he’s going to bring?

    So, the Yanks would like to re-sign Headley at 3B, who’s a really good defensive 3B & a switch-hitter, which they love. But he’s been injury-prone as well—-has had knee issues & he got beaned last season.

    And I don’t see the Yanks trading Prado to anyone. With all the injuries & relative uncertainty, he’s too useful a player for them. Also, he’s 31 who’s due $22M for the next 2 seasons. Not sure too many clubs would want to take on that price tag.

  15. UGA suspends Todd Gurley indefinitely. Investigation of “alleged violation of NCAA rules.”

    Well, there goes the season…

  16. I thought it was all but assured that A-Rod would DH and that Hanley will play 3B on just about any team that signs him.

  17. @15, don’t throw yourself off a bridge just yet. I can think of a couple suspensions that did t last very long – 24 hours in one case. Depends on if they can directly tie the money to him.

  18. #17
    True dat. That’s how Manziel skated, even though there were pictures & video of him signing things.

    But even if it’s just for one game, the next one (at Missouri) is pretty big.

    Hello, Nick Chubb…

  19. Surely, the first question that should be tackled in “Where do we go from here” is the rebuild vs. reload question.

  20. Ha! I cannot expect Schuerholz to admit we have to think rebuild.

    The reason I think “rebuild” is a likely answer is the starting rotation.

    The injuries to Medlen and Beachy really set us back. We need multiple arms to really fix this. Otherwise, we are hoping for several Harang-sized miracles to make up for our offense.

  21. Could be wrong, but I don’t think Schuerholz is misdirecting us here. Look at the attendance figures; a payroll death spiral awaits if we do the full-on rebuild. I’m expecting (disregarding the specifics, as fun as they are to talk about) something along the lines of @5, where we’re frantically trying to shed salary so we can start patching holes this offseason.

  22. Having not been shouted at by Alex to date, we continue apace with the playoff silliness. Thus, thread of newness has arrived.

  23. I texted a friend of mine about the Gurley thing early this morning.

    His response: “THANKS FREDI.”

    Too perfect not to share here.

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