In a lengthy Twitter dialogue with fans today, Braves GM John Coppolella discussed a variety of interesting topics rather forthrightly. There’s plenty to chew on here (all links on the chat are to Twitter):
- Starter Julio Teheran has drawn quite a bit of attention as a possible trade candidate; as I noted recently in ranking him amongst the 15 top trade candidates, the team could conceivably cut a deal in a market that could be short of quality rotation pieces. MLBTR has examined that matter from both sides recently (see here and here). But the GM didn’t seem to think that was a compelling concept. “I don’t see us trading Teheran at this point,” said Coppolella. “He’s almost into ’right-arm’ type status for us right now.”
- That last note was a reference to his now-famous comment about the unavailability of first baseman Freddie Freeman. It seems that other clubs have received the message loud and clear, as Coppolella says that he has not received any recent trade inquiries on the young slugger.
- The long-term catching situations remains a “big need” that the Braves will look at in free agency, says the Atlanta point-man. It certainly promises to be an interesting area to watch this winter, with players like Wilson Ramos, Matt Wieters, and Jason Castro among the soon-to-be free agents. (And if you’re curious: yes, the Braves would have interest in injured Cubs backstop Kyle Schwarber; but no, it’s not expected he’ll be available.)
- More generally, the team’s “primary objective” over the winter will be to improve upon a marginal offensive unit, he said. As he seeks to accomplish that, the organization expects to put its various financial improvements to work to “invest in the team,” he said. Atlanta “will have more money to spend this off season than in any of the 10 years I’ve been here,” per Coppolella. He also suggested that the Braves will be increasingly willing to deal prospects for controllable, MLB-level players.
- Big offensive numbers had been the hope when Atlanta acquired Hector Olivera last summer. Instead, that deal has long been a source of frustration for Braves fans, and Coppolella says he agrees with the concern. It was a “bad trade for us and one that I wish we had back,” he said, adding that “all we can do is learn from it and move forward.”
- If you’re looking for specific possibilities to find a big bat, it appears there’s at least one name on the wish list and another that can be crossed off. Coppolella says he has contacted Padres GM A.J. Preller “multiple times” to inquire about slugger Wil Myers, though obviously nothing has come to fruition as of yet. He is apparently less intrigued by veteran Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel, however, as the club does not intend to pursue him.
- For a bit of intrigue, Coppolella suggested that there is plenty of trade chatter going on. He says that he spoke with a dozen general managers from rival clubs yesterday and even hinted that there’s a possible trade in the works as we speak (though he noted it certainly may not come to fruition).