Braves Notes: Kendrick, Uggla, Vasquez, Mejia

Here's the latest on the Braves from David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • The Braves aren't pursuing Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, O'Brien tweets.  Kendrick was thought to be on the trade market earlier this offseason as the Angels were looking to acquire young pitching, though now that the Halos have added Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs by dealing Mark Trumbo, it seems unlikely that they'd unload another regular unless they were trying to create payroll space for another move.
  • Of course, Atlanta already has a second baseman in Dan Uggla, though the veteran has struggled badly over the last two seasons and wasn't on the Braves' postseason roster in October.  The Braves were known to be exploring an Uggla trade this offseason but O'Brien tweets that he hasn't heard of any teams interested in taking Uggla.
  • Right-hander Luis Vasquez was signed to a minor league deal in November and has drawn the attention of several teams due to a standout performance in the Dominican League.  At the Winter Meetings, Braves GM Frank Wren said that received several comments and queries about Vasquez from other scouts and executives.  Vasquez will fight for a job in Atlanta's bullpen at Spring Training.
  • The acquisition of minor league first baseman Mark Hamilton could make Ernesto Mejia more expendable, O'Brien opines.  Mejia, 28, has hit 78 homers over his last three seasons and a career .279/.340/.493 slash line in 3492 minor league PA, but he has yet to reach the majors after nine pro seasons.  Mejia is defensively limited at first base and records a lot of strikeouts, which is why O'Brien categorizes him as a "Quad-A" type of player.


36 Responses to Braves Notes: Kendrick, Uggla, Vasquez, Mejia Leave a Reply

  1. Tyler Jedrzejak 1 year ago

    Hamilton is a quad A player too. Neither are special. And big shocker that no one wants Uggla

  2. Trock 1 year ago

    If memory serves me right, Uggla has 2 years and around 26 million left on his contract. How much of that do you think Braves would eat to get rid of that contract? I could see a few teams being interested as long as Braves kicked in a good amount of money.

    • JacobyWanKenobi 1 year ago

      Wild guess, but i’d say some team would pay 2/8 for him, but i doubt Atl would get much back.

      • Trock 1 year ago

        Really surprised NY didn’t at least check in on him. That or the Dodgers (not sure who they have at 2nd right now)

        • rundmc1981 1 year ago

          A share of Roberts/Johnson still looks more promising than Uggla, even if ATL kicked in 90% of money due.

          • Trock 1 year ago

            I am wondering where the fall off with Uggla was though. He seemed to be very solid for 6 years, though he didn’t have the greatest average. Seemed to have a pretty good defensive rating. He is only 33. I think he may be a prime change of scenary candidate honestly.

          • bhambravesfan 1 year ago

            Highly doubt you will think that a month into the season when Roberts hits the DL and Nunez is an every day starter. If uggla was a FA I’m sure the Yankees would have gone 2 yr 4MM. They’re paying 5MM for 1yr of Johnson/Roberts

      • bjsguess 1 year ago

        Even 2/$8 might be too much for a team to assume. The guy was worth less than a half a win last year. I’d expect a bounce back but I wouldn’t fault any team for seeing Uggla in the mode of a steady decline. In that evaluation he is worth nothing. He can’t field and now he can’t hit.

  3. RyanWKrol 1 year ago

    I still think the Angels should move Kendrick for more pitching depth and let Grant Green take over at 2B. Their lineup is productive enough as it is, even more-so if Pujols and Hamilton have good years. They don’t even need to ask for an front line SP either, especially since they’re going after Tanaka and Garza. Realistically I see them signing Garza, with little question. That alone makes Kendrick more of a salary dump that can add both additional pitching depth and nearly $10 million in additional payroll flexibility.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      There is no need to dump Kendrick’s salary. The Angels want to sign Tanaka or Garza not both. They have about 15 Mil left to spend next year before hitting the luxury tax, that should be enough to sign one of the two. Kendrick is a much better 2B than Green, he will help them more next year than having an extra 8 Mil to spend!

    • bjsguess 1 year ago

      I’d be ticked if Kendrick was traded without receiving anything significant in return. The guy is conservatively a $20M net positive asset over the next 2 years.

      I’ll also share my hesitation in having Grant Green christened as a starter. I have zero confidence in him being more than a AAAA/bench/role player.

  4. David X 1 year ago

    Pretty sure you guys are linking to the wrong Luis Vasquez.

    • BeisbolJunkie 1 year ago

      Yeah, and Vasquez was originally signed to a minor league deal but was added to the 40-man roster shortly after.

    • David X 1 year ago

      You know, if you guys are going to make mistakes but accept my edits, at least you could reply and say “change made” instead of leaving people who are trying to help you out to dry, looking like they’re the ones who were wrong.

  5. Zack Autry 1 year ago

    I like all of Wren’s moves so far except the Gavin Floyd deal. If he can add depth in some other way then yes move Mejia and similar players. I always thought we’d break ST camp with Uggla still here…

    • Tim Bliss 1 year ago

      What’s not to like about the Floyd deal? If he comes back healthy and does what he did for the White Sox he’s a complete steal.

  6. bhambravesfan 1 year ago

    I think the presence of Hamilton and Gamel make Mejia expendable. I like Gamel better than Hamilton and Mejia

  7. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Depending how much of Uggla’s contract the Braves are willing to eat in a trade, he would be a good fit for the NYY. His power only swing would play better in NYY than ATL and NYY’s 2B options look pretty bad at the moment.

  8. Caleb Trujillo 1 year ago

    Hopefully spring training will be kind to Uggers. A little competition right out of the gates will show what he’s done over the off season.

  9. Tim Bliss 1 year ago

    Braves have had a quite offseason but it’s not a surprise.. When you have as many young guys as the Braves do that are under team control there’s not a whole lot to be done. Just hope the young players continue to develop and home BJ and Uggla rebound somewhat. Justin Upton needs to be more consistent and Heyward needs to stay on the field. Braves could realistically be even better in 2014 than they were in 2013 despite the losses of Hudson and McCann.

    • Matt Talbert 1 year ago

      Agreed – but the only thing that scares me was this last year’s Atlanta team was a lot like The O’s from year before last when they had a lot of late victories, great pen and what not 😀

      • Clayton Wilson 1 year ago

        There are similarities, mostly the pen and defense. Though the 2012 Orioles had a Pythagorean W-L of 82-80. The 2013 Braves had a Pythagorean W-L of 98-65(they finished the year with 96 wins). I remember the Orioles winning an unusual amount of 1-run games in 2012.

        • Tim Bliss 1 year ago

          1-run games tend to even out year to year which is why when the O’s won a ton of them in 2012 they were on the losing side of a lot of them in 2013.

      • Tim Bliss 1 year ago

        But the Braves have had a great pen for the each of the last 4 years. As a result of that they have had a lot of late game wins the last 4 years. It wasn’t something fluky that happened last year.

    • rundmc1981 1 year ago

      Agreed. Heyward needs to be stay on the field through getting hit in the face and having a fractured jaw. Where’s my little violin?

      • Tim Bliss 1 year ago

        Getting hit in the face and having an appendectomy were two unusual injuries. The ecouraging sign was that he was able to play a season with no leg or hand injuries which had hindered him in the past.

  10. Jeremy Lingefelt 1 year ago

    I don’t know why we need to go after a second baseman when you are going to have candidates in Spring Training. I mean your going to have Ramiro Pena back with Tyler Pastornicky and the new guy from the minors I can’t think of his name right now. So there are a few candidates that is going to go after that second base position and in my opinion I think Pena will be leading off and playing second. I think they are going to wait until Spring Training and if Uggla hasn’t improved by Spring Training then I can see them trying to trade him.

    • Clayton Wilson 1 year ago

      Ramiro Pena probably isn’t a starting option for ANY team. He was very solid in his first 75 plate appearances last year, but it’s clear that he was playing way over his head. He gives off the impression that he’s a fast runner, but speed definitely isn’t a strength. He has no power, he doesn’t walk a whole lot, and his defense at 2B is average at best. All of that, for the most part, also applies to Tyler Pastornicky. They’re utility guys. Not saying Uggla is better than either, but you can see why some Braves fans would like to see an out-of-house option at 2B. I’d give Uggla a month and if Tommy La Stella is still raking, give him the job. Or let him platoon with Rev, assuming he can continue to hit for AVG.

      • Jeremy Lingefelt 1 year ago

        Yea but remember Martin Prado he was nothing but a platoon player but he turned out to be an everyday player. I can see Pena or La Stella perhaps becoming an everyday player and Pena was playing like an everyday player until he got hurt. Pena to me is better with the glove than Uggla ever has been plus Pena can switch hit so that gives him the advantage. So I look for the Braves to give him a shot at second along with Uggla and La Stella. Plus I don’t think the Braves expect Pena to hit for power anyway I think they are looking for a leadoff hitter and I think Pena can give you that. We have enough power as it is we just need a lead off hitter who can get on base and create havoc on the base paths.

        • Tim Bliss 1 year ago

          Pena may give off the impression of a switch-hitter because he goes up to bat from both sides of the plate but don’t be fooled. Pena should never hit from the right side.

          vs. LHP – .125/.170/.125 (.295) – 11-for-88
          vs. RHP – .276/.312/.379 (.691) – 89-for-322

        • Clayton Wilson 1 year ago

          But Pena doesn’t get on base much at all and he certainly will never create any sort of havoc when he does. He’s honestly not much faster than Uggla.

  11. Matt Talbert 1 year ago

    Well if Mejia has so much power why not deal him to an AL team in need of a power bat?

  12. Jeff 1 year ago

    Uggla deserves a chance until June, if he can’t do it- bring Tommy La Stella up if he’s hitting, or trade if you can’t.

  13. rundmc1981 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t even give him until June. He needs to show growth from last season during spring training and let La Stella and some good, old-fashioned position competition get the best out of him. If 2013 Uggla shows up in 2014, that could be a severe handicap and we’d need all the time we can get to allow La Stella, Pastornicky, Pena, etc. fill in the gap.

  14. johnsilver 1 year ago

    Uggs will give everything he has every time he puts on his uniform. At the least the team can work him out at 3b and think about him as a part timer there when Simmons needs a day off if/when La Stella is ready, but that could be 2015 even.

    Atlanta should be glad Uggs plays hard and hurt even, or produces as much as he does. Think of the atrocious deal they just gave Upton, who was already on a 5 year free fall stats wise with no sign of improvement in year 6. It makes Uggs stats look like Ted Williams by comparison.

  15. Jeff 1 year ago

    Uggla is a hard worker- but so are dozens of replacement-level players. Also, Uggla’s arm is super-erratic, putting him anywhere but second is a disaster waiting to happen.

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