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Falconsfan567

2014-2015 Atlanta Braves Off-Season Thread

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Heyward had most of his incentives kicked in with his GG win. His 2015 salary will now be $8.3M. He could earn more depending on whether or not he gets any MVP votes.

Braves CEO said payroll will NOT be reduced in 2015 but no word on if it will be increased

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I'm not sure your point here. Medlen and Beachy's injuries had nothing to do with the pipeline, except maybe showed quicker than expected that we were tapped out. Having prospects doesn't have much to do with band-aiding catastrophes, it's about replacing higher cost veterans with equally effective young players and having bargaining chips with which to trade.

My point was that while the pipeline isn't great for the Braves the injuries to Medlen and Beachy caused the Braves lack of depth in the pipeline to be overexposed. Had the injuries to Medlen and Beachy not happened the Braves lack of depth wouldn't have been as evident as it was after and them having to turn to guys like Ben Sheets, Freddy Garcia and Aaron Harang just to fill out a rotation the last few years.

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Braves continued the overhaul of their scouting department and named 6 guys to new positions.

phJt9-ZL_normal.jpegDavid O'Brien @DOBrienAJC · 4h 4 hours ago

#Braves announced 6 more front-office or scouting moves inc. Billy Ryan as dir. of baseball operations. Spent 4 seasons as Ariz. asst. GM

Other #Braves moves: Tom Batista, national crosschecker; Marc Russo, dir. of international ops; Mike Silvestri, dir. Latin Amer. Scouting...

also, #Braves hired Lebi Ochoa as sr. adviser in player development, and promoted Dixie Keller to manager of scouting operations.

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Baseball Prospectus released it's list of the top 10 prospects in the Braves' farm system.

1. Lucas Sims, RHP

2. José Peraza, 2B

3. Christian Bethancourt, C

4. Braxton Davidson, OF

5. Garrett Fulenchek, RHP

6. Ozhaino Albies, SS

7. Alec Grosser, RHP

8. Kyle Kubitza, 3B

9. J.R. Graham, RHP

10. Mauricio Cabrera, RHP

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Never heard of any of those guys.

Here's some more info on them for you.

Atlanta’s version of Extreme Makeover: Front Office continued Thursday with six personnel moves, most prominently the hire of Billy Ryan as director of baseball operations.

Ryan, 34, had been assistant general manager with the Diamondbacks the past four seasons.

Also Thursday, the Braves said Red Sox scout Tom Batista had returned to the organization as a national crosschecker. Batista, 44, previously served as an area scout and West Coast crosschecker for the Braves for seven years (2003-09) and is credited with signing Freddie Freeman as well as Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson.

• Marc Russo was hired as director of international operations. Russo, 48, spent the past two seasons as international crosschecker with the Houston Astros. He also worked 12 seasons (2001-12) with the Los Angeles Angels as an East Coast supervisor, major league scout and director of international scouting.

• Mike Silvestri was named director of Latin American scouting. Silvestri, 46, spent three seasons with the Mets and before that nine with the Angels as an amateur scout and area supervisor.

• Lebi Ochoa was named senior adviser in player development. Ochoa, 59, had worked as a scout in Venezuela for the Angels since 2010 and previously worked for the Expos and Marlins and was director of Latin American scouting for the Red Sox from 1997-2001. He’s credited with signing players such as Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.

• Dixie Keller was promoted to manager of scouting operation after 14 years with the organization.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/braves-continue-front-office-makeover/

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Some more info for those interested in the behind the scenes aspects.

It took a month to convince him, but Braves president John Schuerholz finally got his man when John Hart agreed to become Atlanta’s president of baseball operations.

“Our organization is now poised to move forward in the best possible manner to do the important work that lies ahead,” Schuerholz stated in a news release. “John’s credentials speak for themselves. He has had great success as a baseball executive and demonstrated remarkable ability to construct championship teams. We are excited by John’s dynamic and positive leadership style and look forward to him leading our baseball operations.”

Although Schuerholz, Hart and former Atlanta manager Bobby Cox served as the search committee to find a new general manager after the team fired GM Frank Wren and assistant GM Bruce Manno on Sept. 22, Schuerholz hoped Hart would move into the leadership role after serving as an adviser for the past year.

The two men have been friends for more than two decades, and Schuerholz holds the ultimate respect for Hart’s abilities and accomplishments, which include six division titles and two American League pennants during his days as GM of the Indians (1991-2000) and Rangers (2002-05).

“I care greatly about doing it the right way,” Hart said in the press conference announcing his hiring on a full-time basis. “I love team-building. I love players. I’m anxious to get to know our players, to get to know them better.”

The hiring of Hart culminates a month-long overhaul of an organization that had seen morale plummet over the past few years from the major league team through the lowest rungs of the minors. Longtime employees noted the lack of respect, communication and consistency that emitted from some members of the front office staff. That approach served as a complete contrast to the Schuerholz and Cox regimes as Atlanta’s general manager.

While Schuerholz believes Hart is the perfect person to right the ship, he and assistant GM John Coppolella have not been waiting around to rebuild the front office. According to members of the organization, Schuerholz has been resolute with every new hire in getting the organization’s culture back to “the Braves’ way.”

Over the past month the Braves hired as special assistants to the general manager former Yankees executive Gordon Blakeley and former Atlanta scouting director Roy Clark, who spent four years as assistant GM with the Nationals and this past season with the Dodgers.

“When I interviewed with Mr. Schuerholz, he said, ‘Roy, it’s time to come home,’” Clark said. “I said, ‘Sir, you had me at hello.’ And I can tell you this—the boss is back. He is determined to get this organization back to where it once was, like a family where people care about one another.”

Part of Clark’s responsibilities involve scouting, which led to naming Southeast crosschecker Brian Bridges as scouting director. While former scouting director Tony DeMacio will remain in the organization as a pro scout, Bridges began reshaping the department that included bringing back a couple other former Braves.

Tom Battista returns to the organization as its West Coast crosschecker after most recently working as an area scout with the Red Sox. Battista was instrumental in the scouting and signing of first baseman Freddie Freeman and pitcher Kris Medlen, among others.

Also returning to the organization as an area scout is Dan Cox, who did some pro scouting with Toronto and was most recently an area scout in California with the Angels.

The Braves also have brought in a handful of newcomers to the organization’s scouting department. These include:

• Shaun Rooney will be a national scout after serving as a Northeast supervisor for Kansas City and most recently Oakland.

• Reed Dunn, a former Nationals’ area scout, will serve as Atlanta’s Southern supervisor. Dunn is considered to be a rising star in the scouting world.

• Greg Morhardt, a national crosschecker with the Angels, will oversee the Northeast region of the country as an area scout for the Braves while also handling some crosschecking responsibilities and special assignments. Morhardt signed Mike Trout, among others, with the Angels.

Nate Dion, who played five seasons in the Tampa Bay farm system in the early 2000s, has been hired as an area scout for the north Texas and Oklahoma region after working with the Phillies. First-year scout Kevin Martin will be an area scout in Southern California while working out of San Diego and came highly recommended by Battista.

Schuerholz also revamped the player development department that he always refers to as the “lifeblood” of an organization, beginning with the return of Dave Trembley as director of player development. Trembley was the Braves’ minor league field coordinator in 2011-12 prior to becoming Houston’s bench coach for the past two years.

Jonathan Schuerholz was named assistant director of player development. A former second baseman in the organization, Schuerholz spent the past six seasons as a minor league manager and instructor. Other moves include Matt Grabowski being promoted to assistant director of scouting and analytics, Ron Knight being named manager of minor league administration, and A.J. Scola becoming an assistant in the player development department.

Atlanta is also making changes on the international scouting front. Marc Russo, an international crosschecker with the Astros, is expected to become the Braves’ new international scouting/operations director, replacing Johnny Almaraz, who was named Philadelphia’s amateur scouting director in early October.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/braves-appoint-hart-lead-baseball-operations/

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Here's some more info on them for you.

Atlanta’s version of Extreme Makeover: Front Office continued Thursday with six personnel moves, most prominently the hire of Billy Ryan as director of baseball operations.

Ryan, 34, had been assistant general manager with the Diamondbacks the past four seasons.

Also Thursday, the Braves said Red Sox scout Tom Batista had returned to the organization as a national crosschecker. Batista, 44, previously served as an area scout and West Coast crosschecker for the Braves for seven years (2003-09) and is credited with signing Freddie Freeman as well as Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson.

• Marc Russo was hired as director of international operations. Russo, 48, spent the past two seasons as international crosschecker with the Houston Astros. He also worked 12 seasons (2001-12) with the Los Angeles Angels as an East Coast supervisor, major league scout and director of international scouting.

• Mike Silvestri was named director of Latin American scouting. Silvestri, 46, spent three seasons with the Mets and before that nine with the Angels as an amateur scout and area supervisor.

• Lebi Ochoa was named senior adviser in player development. Ochoa, 59, had worked as a scout in Venezuela for the Angels since 2010 and previously worked for the Expos and Marlins and was director of Latin American scouting for the Red Sox from 1997-2001. He’s credited with signing players such as Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.

• Dixie Keller was promoted to manager of scouting operation after 14 years with the organization.

http://www.baseballa...ffice-makeover/

Pretty pumped up now about all these moves!

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Glad to see these changes. Maybe Wren was a bigger problem than I thought

Clearly everyone hated Wren which is why everyone left. Now Wren is gone and everyone is coming back.

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Simmons and Heyward took votes away from each other so Yadier Molina wins the NL Platinum Glove

Wow, what a shame. Molina's great, but because of his injuries, he wasn't even the most valuable defensive catcher this season, Lucroy was.

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The Braves are pushing Evan Gattis hard in the early-goings at the GM Meetings, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Sherman notes that American League clubs are a better fit as they’d allow Gattis the chance to DH more often and take the field sparingly.

Gattis has been considered a trade candidate for the past few months, with the Braves desiring to clear a path for the defensively gifted Christian Bethancourt behind the dish. Gattis could be seen as an alternative to signing a player like Victor Martinez or Nelson Cruz — defensively limited bats in their own right that would cost tens of millions of dollars on a four-year deal.

Any team acquiring Gattis would be acquiring four years of his service, which should net a rather significant return for the Braves. The 28-year-old Gattis hit .263/.317/.498 with 22 homers in just 401 plate appearances this season. He missed some time with a bulging disc in his back — another reason that some additional DH time might work in his favor.

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That bums me out a little, I love that man

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The Braves are pushing Evan Gattis hard in the early-goings at the GM Meetings, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Sherman notes that American League clubs are a better fit as they’d allow Gattis the chance to DH more often and take the field sparingly.

Gattis has been considered a trade candidate for the past few months, with the Braves desiring to clear a path for the defensively gifted Christian Bethancourt behind the dish. Gattis could be seen as an alternative to signing a player like Victor Martinez or Nelson Cruz — defensively limited bats in their own right that would cost tens of millions of dollars on a four-year deal.

Any team acquiring Gattis would be acquiring four years of his service, which should net a rather significant return for the Braves. The 28-year-old Gattis hit .263/.317/.498 with 22 homers in just 401 plate appearances this season. He missed some time with a bulging disc in his back — another reason that some additional DH time might work in his favor.

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That bums me out a little, I love that man

Not crazy about this at all as we need right handed power but he's the best and most easily moved piece that we have.

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Hart has to get some young players in the system and it looks like he'll use Gattis to get it going. Plus theres not really a spot for Gattis with Bethancourt ready.

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Braves signed Chien-Ming Wang? Are you kidding me Hart? So stupid.

The Braves have signed right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (on Twitter). The Braves are known to be seeking rotation depth, and Wang should provide just that. The former Yankee totaled 172 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level in 2014, posting a 4.12 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 57 walks.

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It may seem counter-intuitive for the Braves to be aggressively shopping Evan Gattis when their team needs offense, but Sherman hears the team wants to diversify its offense after becoming too reliant on an all-or-nothing approach from right-handed hitters. The Braves also feel they have a big need in the rotation, as they’re looking to replace 400 innings from Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang.

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Braves signed Chien-Ming Wang? Are you kidding me Hart? So stupid.

The Braves have reclaimed guys like Wang before. Not to mention, there is no risk with him on a minor league deal.

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