Braves odds and ends from Day 2 of the Winter Meetings

Braves general manager Frank Wren has been evaluating his internal options in the event that he does not land another outfielder before the start of next season.  But as we progress through this first week of December, this still has to be viewed as Plan B.

There is no doubt that it is good to have options such as keeping Martin Prado in left field and playing Juan Francisco at third base.  But if I had to guess, I’d say that Wren will end up acquiring another outfielder at some point over the next few days or weeks.

As things currently stand, the Braves do not seem too interested in any of the outfielders remaining on the free-agent market.  This could certainly change as contractual demands lessen over the course of the next few weeks.

But for now, the Braves are focusing their attention on trying to find attractive outfielders on the trade market.  In a perfect world, they would have signed B.J. Upton and then signed Denard Span to play left field and serve as their leadoff hitter.  But the Nationals beat them to the punch by trading for Span at the same time that Upton was signing his five-year, $75.25 million contract.

UPDATED GRAPH: One of the players on their wish list is Toronto’s Emilio Bonifacio, who would bring speed, versatility and the ability to hit potentially fill the leadoff spot.  But the Blue Jays were quite high on Bonifacio when they landed him via the 12-man trade with the Marlins three weeks ago.  So he’s certainly not going to come cheap.

Had the Braves landed Span, they would have simply had to find a player or two to fill out their bench. They are expected to continue evaluating the possibility of re-signing Reed Johnson to return as a backup outfielder. At the same time, they could make a bid for a veteran like Mark DeRosa with the hope to replace some of the clubhouse leadership that was lost with the departures of Chipper Jones, Eric Hinske and David Ross.

DeRosa lives in Atlanta and is one of Brian McCann’s closest friends.  There is no doubt that he would like the chance to play for the Braves again.

JUST A PINCH:  By now you’ve heard all about how much Upton appreciated the way the Braves treated him when he met with them at Turner Field on Nov. 15.  At the time, Upton assumed he would end up with the Phillies. But his thoughts quickly turned once general manager Frank Wren, manager Fredi Gonzalez and former manager Bobby Cox made him feel quite relaxed during this meeting.

A key assist also has to be credit to hitting coach Greg Walker.

As the group sat at a table talking about various items, Walker pulled out his can of smokeless tobacco and offered Upton a dip.   Upton gladly accepted and felt even more at home while sharing a dip with Walker and talking baseball with the rest of the Braves’ brass.

Adding to the significance of the gesture was the fact that Walker was using the same brand of dip that Upton has used over the years. But this proved to be simply coincidental.

“I did my homework, but not that in depth,” Walker said via text.

ODDS and ENDS: The Braves have signed catcher  Matt Pagnozzi to a Minor League contract.  Pagnozzi will be targeted to serve as Atlanta’s backup catcher while Brian McCann misses most of April while recovering from shoulder surgery.   When McCann returns, Pagnozzi will be sent to Triple-A Gwinnett…Closer Craig Kimbrel is planning to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this year.  The rosters will be announced in January.  Kimbrel got married in Atlanta this past weekend.

27 Comments

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Is there any chance the braves could trade for elsbury ive heard Bosten is open to talk since they just got victorino

It sure would be fun to see both Upton brothers playing in a Braves uniform, but seems that won’t happen since Arizona wants Simmions and more. I agree with Wren by telling everyone, “Simmions is untouchable”. Everybody loves watching Simmions play!

I want Bonifacio and if it cost either Delgado or Teheran then make that trade. It would be the nicest addition the Braves made since adding Sheffield one of my favorite players.

I say offer Terhan Ahmed and Uggla to the Jays for Bonifacio Morrow and Raja Davis

Then the lineup for 2013

Bonifacio 2nd
Davis Lf
Prado 3rd
Freeman
Upton
Heyward
Simmons
McCann

I was looking through the remaining free agents and couldn’t help but salivate over one name the Braves could get on the cheap and platoon with johnson for a very nice lead off tandem. That name is Grady Sizemore. A former 20/20 and even 30/30 guy for the Indians until the injury bug got him. But if the Braves were willing to gamble, I believe the return could be a handsome set of World Series rings for the team next year.

Pollshark getting Sizemore would be like getting Chipper for another year a good bat in the lineup but we would have to sit Grady every once and a while or every 2 days because he gets injured more times then ever, I mean it would be a great addition just not worth the headache. What the Braves should is get Bonifaico and get him soon I mean the kid can play everywhere and he can come cheap. I mean Wren should offer Teheran Uggla and Lipka for Him and Raja Davis. You free up money for a long time that the Braves can use for locking up Prado Freeman and Heyward.

Are you sure you mean it?

Phillies get Ben Revere in CF and Michael Young at 3rd base for $6.5 million and the Braves get BJ Upton in CF at $15 million. Who comes out ahead thus far?

and yet you still think about the braves before bedtime. it’s ok if you want to convert, i won’t judgenn

Considering that Revere is just a slightly better version of Juan Pierre, and Michael Young was worse than a replacement player last season, I would say the Phillies haven’t upgraded at all.

Except the $8.5 million difference would be a nice downpayment on Josh Hamilton. to whom the Phillies reportedly have made a $80 million/3 yr. offer.

Oh yeah??? How’s that working out for ya? Sucker….

The Phillies don’t have Hamilton but they still have the $8.5 difference and the Braves still have Upton for five years. So who is the sucker here?

It would be nice if Braves could get Trumbo for OF or 3B.

You should take a break from the internet, you care way too much about what other people think. You talked your ass off all last year and you got nowhere. Learn from your mistakes, windbag.

The Braves have Upton and about $11 million to spend. You got two weak players and bragging about $8 million? Bitch please!

Back to making sense: I think the Braves should make a serious run at Peter Bourjos. He’s a base stealer, a terrific defender, a right handed hitter and had a fairly good OBP in the minors. He might be the leadoff hitter the braves have been looking for without having to give up an arm and a leg or pay a heavy toll on the payroll.

Can we afford Trumbo? We need that bat bigtime and he can play third. Get it done Wren! Sounds too good to ever happen.

Feel like Angels are going to want some serious SP for Trumbo. I’m afraid they’ll ask for Minor Meds or Beachy which we should flatly refuse. Any combination of two prospects or Maholm plus prospect however is a great deal. Trumbo is under team control until 2016.

I say offer Minor along with Terdo and Lipka could pry away Trumbo

So the Dbacks have added Cody Ross. Sure is getting crowded in that Arizona outfield…..

And QTip ends another off season with a whimper. No bang here. Merry Xmas Liberty, maybe parking rates should go up so you can make some more money. SELLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

awful quiet in here…

OK then how about a NC trade with Uggla for Upton and Prado plays second and Juan third

I was just getting ready to say, yes, it’s been quiet, but at least we haven’t had to see any stupid NC trade suggestions.

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