The Braves will be facing extra pressure this offseason as the team tries to recover from its September collapse. Here's the latest from Turner Field....
- "There is some sentiment within the organization that Atlanta might be better off dealing Jason Heyward," writes ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required). Heyward suffered through a difficult sophomore season and as a result, "there are voices within the franchise asking the question of whether he can be counted on" as a long-term building block. I'd say that there's little chance the club gives up such a promising young talent, though as the Yunel Escobar trade showed, the Braves aren't afraid to deal a quality player if they feel the player isn't a fit. The Braves would be selling low on Heyward, though they would still recoup a nice return given his reputation and impressive 2010 rookie season.
- Chipper Jones says the team's September failure hasn't affected his decision to return in 2012, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Fredi Gonzalez confirmed that the entire Braves' coaching staff will return next year, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
- The Braves don't require a major overhaul, opines Fangraphs' Eno Sarris, though he suggests a few position switches that could improve the team's defense.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription req'd) agrees that the Braves don't need to shake up their roster and suggests that Atlanta could be one of the top suitors for Jose Reyes. Bowden also notes that the Braves have fewer looming issues than their September collapse partners in Boston: "While age and a barren farm system dim the Red Sox's upside going into 2012, the Braves have a much brighter outlook."
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