By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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The Atlanta Braves are moving into a new ballpark in Cobb County GA in a few years.. Unfortunately the club will still be paying the contract of B.J. Upton.
At least Dan Uggla will be off the books by then.
Atlanta has been an awesome franchise in the last quarter-century, and far from me to admonish these guys on just a few deals doled out, when they have done it right as an organization for 25 years.
The current roster of hitters resembles a ton of Draft Picks by the franchise. Not only that, but several of the players have inked their names long term for the Braves.
Justin Upton and Chris Johnson were both acquired in the same transaction that saw 4 Atlanta prospects and Martin Prado go the other way – all men that named the Braves are their only team played for thus far at the point.
Gerald Laird is the backup Catcher for the team, and was signed to a 2 YR deal prior to the 2013 year.
Atlanta’s offense will grow as this core of the team ages together. It is simply too much for the team to ask, when they lost Chipper Jones and Brian McCann in back to back years – and not bring in any Free Agents to replace them departing.
The team’s woes stem back to the struggles of B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla first and foremost, and the latter has now been released, alleviating the problem in the lineup.
I am sure the brass realized the outstanding issue is that the club’s payroll was shot to the sky for those guys (earning $28 MIL) for next to nada back in production. The Bonifacio deal, coupled with the move to 2B permanently with La Stella should help this team down the stretch.
These deals are okay, but are a long way from helping the team go for it all in 2014.
Then again, the window is just starting for these guys..
For those that have never seen one of our Roster Trees, we go over how all of the players were acquired.
It works like 6 degrees of separation. By searching back to the origin of all the way back until a player is signed, drafted or purchased.
It totally gives you an idea on how the franchise has fared.
The Hitters In 2014 (Date Of Birth/or Age) (Pos) Roster Tree
Chris Johnson (10/1/84) 3B: January 24, 2013: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves for Brandon Drury (minors), Nick Ahmed, Randall Delgado, Martin Prado and Zeke Spruill.
Johnson signed a 3 YR/$23.5 MIL extension from 2015 to 2017 prior to the year. There is also a Team Option for 2015.
Justin Upton (8/25/87) OF: Upton is signed through the 2015 year before he becomes a Free Agent.
James Russell (1/18/86) RP: Has one more year of Arbitration Eligibility before Free Agency.
www.baseballreference.com – the source behind all roster transactions.
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