AA was on MLB Network Radio talking about a variety of subjects: Acuna’s timeline, free agent 3Bs, Yelich/Realmuto, scouting, and miscellaneous prospects. Thanks to Braves Reddit for capturing it. Some highlights:
Host: Is there any chance he (Acuna) makes your team out of Spring Training?
AA: We’re still talking to free agents and exploring trades for outfielders for backfill depth. … He did not have a ton at the high levels of the minor leagues. … An ideal scenario is he would get more time.
He tried to dial back some of the expectations people have for Acuna in 2018.
Host: Is there a guy … you could with the way the market sets up that you could invest this year for someone you might still have long-term and do it a year early?
AA: Something we’ve kicked around. (Talks about the Kemp trade tying up 2018 payroll) That it isn’t to say we haven’t explored it with agents if we thought there were some guys that we thought were longer term fits that we could backload with the payroll space in 2019.
If you tie both together, which is obviously a huge stretch, and remember that LA traded for Darvish while AA was there, he could be potentially referring to a backloaded Yu Darvish deal. Who knows?
He later talked about wanting to bring in a full-time 3B. Mentions that Johan Camargo played really well when he came up last year, and “Ruiz is someone internally that a lot of individuals felt like he is ready to make the next step and needs an opportunity to play every day and 2018 could be a very good year for him.” Trade bait?
But this was probably the most interesting thing to me. When asked about Alex Jackson, he said, “Great deal by John Hart and his group here to acquire him.” Uhhh, what? “John Hart and his group”. Is John Coppolella being scrubbed from the annals of Braves history? How did we go from here and here where you have quotes from Coppy and no mention of John Hart to no mention of Coppy at all? I speculate that the Braves would like for everyone to forget John Coppolella ever existed. Well, sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We’re not going to forget that you fired 2 GMs in 3 years.
He later says his rotation, in his mind, is Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Newcomb, and Luiz Gohara, though he said Snitker would decide the order. Perhaps it’s noteworthy that he mentions McCarthy third and divided the five names into two groups: “three guys we expect to start” were Teheran/Folty/McCarthy and “frontrunners” Newcomb/Gohara. Mentions Max Fried and Lucas Sims, but does not mention Scott Kazmir. He refers to Kolby Allard as someone “who can emerge and come quick.” Same thing with Kyle Wright. He was very complimentary to Mike Soroka but didn’t include those accolades with Soroka.
Finally, he said he still lives in LA on the weekends and obviously works in Atlanta during the week.
Feel free to listen to the interview yourself:
Managed to record the AA interview on MLB Radio this morning. Here it is for you all! via /r/Braves https://t.co/9UVbAerjCp
— Acuña Reddit (@BravesReddit) January 14, 2018