After a disappointing second half that saw the Braves crumble, and at many looking like they couldn’t hit a beach ball are making changes! Starting at the top with the firing of Frank Wren, because of many questionable moves signing BJ Upton to 7 years 75 million dollars, that at the time it seemed great getting an All-Star caliber player, it has not worked out that way as he has struggled mightily. He has stuck out so much it’s laughable, I think I could make more contact than he has over the last couple of years! Another move that played a big part in Wren’s departure is the Dan Uggla situation when he struggled so badly we had to release him, but he had a couple of years left on his deal, leaving the Braves financially strapped paying the remainder of that contract, which is about 19 million dollars and he is not playing anywhere currently. These are 2 major reasons Wren was dismissed and I agree with this move sometimes there needs to be a new perspective.
The person that gets this task is Jon Hart formally of the Cleveland Indians who built many winning teams in the 90’s with Manny Ramirez, Jim Tome and many others. He knows baseball and he is good at fixing messes and that is what we have. He has sent a lot mixed messages on whether we will be contenders or a complete rebuild in 2015 and, I as a person that watches 162 games a year, I would like to see a competitor especially considering all my other favorite teams are mediocre right now.
The first move that he has made that has sent shockwaves though the baseball world, when we traded Jason Heyward, a beloved person in Braves country that gave everything he had and didn’t complain at all. It is a hard trade to take as he is a great person and leader! He has been bit by the injury bug and trying to figure out the type of player he is going to be as his career progresses.
This trade was made because Heyward is entering the last year of his deal and it was not likely to be able to sign him long term,so it was best to get something for him now. We were able to get a young power arm that has a lot of potential in Shelby Miller and minor league arm to replenish a depleted farm system, also we have 10 years of control total which is golden for baseball teams, team friendly contacts and that is what we need right now. We were also able to clear 11 million dollars of room to be able to make other moves. You take all positives in trades even though you liked or loved the players you must give up to make your team better in the long run.
Hart has also dangled some of our power hitters Evan Gattis and Justin Upton which I am skeptical of because you must score runs to win games, but if we are able to get a kings ransom for them I might be cool with it. The last confusing thing the Braves have done is scheduled a meeting with a big ticket fee agent Jon Lester, so are we in or out no one knows.
This offseason is has been filled with many curveballs that has braves fans scratching their heads! It will be fun to watch! Go Braves!