Braves president of baseball operations John Hart discussed the upcoming trade deadline and a wide range of other topics in a fascinating Q&A with Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A full read of this excellent interview is highly recommended, but here are some of the highlights:
With July 31 fast approaching, Hart said it’s still an open question: “Do we pick up the phone or answer the phone? I’m not sure yet.” Noting that he “never made any false promises that we were built to win this year,” Hart nevertheless said it’s still possible that the team will make some additions at the deadline. But he cautioned that “we’re not going to be big buyers.”
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Of course, selling is also still a distinct possibility, but Hart made clear that he wouldn’t move veterans just to get something back. “We don’t have the big chip that will take somebody over the top,” said Hart. “If people want good pieces and they can offer us something, yeah. But we’re going to take great care. We’re playing short. There is a very real possibility we won’t do anything.”
Great find, Jeff!
“We aren’t going to do anything.”
My response: My gosh, our offense is going to suck for 5 years.
Smart man, your Mr. Hart. Gives away zero info with a smile like Rizzo. Can you imagine Hart’s grin and sparkly eyes when Preller agreed to take BJ, excuse me, Melvin?
Are you saying he is going to make big trades?
There isn’t much point in making big trades during this deadline. The veterans that could be dealt don’t have much value to bring anything significant enough to qualify as a big trade. And they have enough holes on the current team (especially with Freeman out even longer) that it would be a bad idea to sell off recently gained prospects to improve the current state.
I think you understood my comment horribly…
I don’t want to get pieces for now and trade prospect. I want to get power bats that are controllable(prospects are best), by trading away our players like one of our pitchers in Wood, Tehran, and Miller. I also want to trade some of our other pitching and MIF depth for other power and better players
There’s no reason to trade controllable young major league pitchers for positional prospects at this point. That’s a high risk move at the wrong time. You’re more likely to see moves like that made after this season. Especially with Teheran’s trade value down significantly at this point with his home and away splits. How they approach all of this will depend a lot on the upcoming free agency and how the current crop of prospects continues to progress (especially with a couple still returning from TJ). But don’t expect Miller to be talked about unless he implodes.
Peraza is the only MIF prospect that might get moved soon.
Hart is the right man to lead this ship. In a way it’s probably in a better position past teams he’s taken over have been in, so the rebuild will probably be rather quick.
Atlanta has made moves to restrengthen their baseball operations dept. The MLB product isn’t top flight yet, but it’s coming. I believe we’ll see another stretch of division leading soon. I’m not sure any team could go on that stretch that they did after 1991…that was historic. But I think we’ll see a very good MLB team with a solid system backing it.
And just in time for the new stadium in 2017, IIRC.
Vandals Took The Handles
Hart had the Indians ready when Jacobs Field came on-line. He is doing the same thing for the Braves with their new park. He is schooling young GM’s on how to build a perennial contending team.
I’m not sure he’s schooling anyone…most of these new GMs come from the Ivy League and they aren’t building old school. But I believe… People often think there’s only one way to build a team and that somehow every team can conceivably apply the same approach and be successful. That’s like having a successful fast food franchise and setting up 29 others on the same block… They start cannibalizing each other.
Vandals Took The Handles
* MODERATOR * –
I did not make the post directly above. The person is a troll. If you will check the ID that made the 2 posts above with the same name, you will see that they come from different ID’s.
I’ve also emailed the situation under “Tips”.
Yeah, we can see on the back end of the system that it’s an entirely different person. I’ve trashed his comments and will take further action if the user in question continues impersonating you.
Thanks for keeping it civil. Hopefully the other guy gets it together and does the same.
One reason to encourage people to use somewhat unique icon photos
Good job Steve. You guys have always been responsive and you’ve kept your site at a high level. The discussions are insightful. I always learn something here. Keep up the good work.
Never liked Hart after he blamed Hargrove for the Indians not winning it all in the 90s. It was his failure to acquire an ace when lots were moved that doomed the Indians. Common reaction with GMs, they never take any blame for themselves.
Orel Hershiser? He was ace material for awhile.
Orel Hershiser is my all-time favorite player….but even I can’t concede he was an ace in Cleveland. He was like #2ish 3
Indians really need an ace back then? Nagy was solid…they were a post season lock back then…I’d chalk that up to short series bad luck than roster composition. A’s had a dominant 1-3 and never sniffed the series….Braves rolled out 3 hall of famers and only won once.
Exactly, need a great team. Not sure an Ace was all that was missing. In 1995 WS, they didnt hit. All games were decided by 1 run too. IMO, that series was decided by bullpens and Braves was just slightly better.
He has done surprisingly well. Only trade i didnt like was Kimbrel, but that was more of not wanting to dump Kimbrel. The timing of the trade certainly didnt help either.
Vandals Took The Handles
He should be arrested for how he stiffed Preller on that trade. It is already becoming clear, and will continue to for years.
Absolutely – burying Preller professionally by saying he’s surprised they threw their chips on the table like that, just adds salt to the wound.
At every turn, it looks like Preller really wanted to “make a splash” – logic and common sense was secondary.
I’ll be fair and say that perhaps ownership wanted him to make a splash to draw interest in a somewhat lackadaisical fan base. What are sales like in SD? Did it work?
In that regard, at least, the moves have had some dividends. The Padres are still 11th of 15 NL teams in attendance, but that’s in large part because they’ve played fewer home games (40) than most clubs. They went from averaging about 27,100 fans per game in 2014 to nearly 31,500 in 2015, so there’s been some attendance benefits, to be sure.
Of course, it remains to be seen what second-half attendance will be like if the team does indeed sell off some assets.
I would assume a decent swath of that appx 5,000 per game increase is some sort of ticket package. If that’s the case then the sales are locked in. I’d also say they get a boost from summer tourism, kids out of school, and I believe the weather isn’t as overcast after June.
Wouldn’t surprise me if they maintain that average.
Sold on a closer, albeit a great one, AND offloaded Upton..that deal was won without historic point of view
Thanks for posting it. After that moronic trade recap Schultz posted I promised myself I wouldn’t give that “writer” any more traffic. There are just too many beat writers now writing horrible opinion pieces to spark reaction traffic. So the rare articles actually worth reading get lost among trolling attempts.
Former Red Sox top prospect Michael Bowden has opted out of his contract with the Orioles. The 28-year-old Bowden was leading the Triple-A International League with a 1.91 ERA. In 75 1/3 innings (nine starts 15 relief appearances), Bowden averaged 6.2 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. Bowden ranked among the game’s Top 100 prospects from 2007-09, per Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. This would be a great Braves target to sign.