Chacin Signs Minor League Deal with Atlanta, Stokes Growing Optimism in Braves Country

[lead image credit: Barry Gutierrez, The Associated Press]

The Braves made a minor signing today, inking Right Handed Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league deal. The 27 year old hurler elected to take free agency after being outrighted off of the 40 man roster by the Diamondbacks, and found a taker in the Braves. He will be invited to Spring Training and will compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

This is a predictable move for the Braves, who were staring at a large hole in their starting rotation that was already carrying a lot of youth and uncertainty with the likes of Matt Wisler, Manny Banuelos, Mike Folynewicz and Williams Perez figuring to be in the mix for starting jobs. The club was rumored to be interested in adding some veteran presence on a short term contract with low risk, and Chacin fits the bill to a tee. Read More

Bethancourt is history as Braves swap MEH for MEH.

[lead image credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports]
In what felt like an inevitable trade, formerly prized catching prospect Christian Bethancourt has been traded to the Padres for 17 year old catching prospect Ricardo Rodriguez and 26 year old big league-ish RHP Casey Kelly. Many are wondering why the Braves would part with a talented young player at a premium position for a meager return, despite his struggles in the majors. This is a fair question. It ignores some important context though, namely that the Braves seemed to have soured on Bethancourt for reasons beyond his on-field performance. The Atlanta brass showed little patience in 2105 as Bethancourt struggled (mightily) as an everyday player, even though the team had its eyes more directly fixed on the mythical 2017 season than competing in the present. From a Talking Chop scouting report, circa Bethancourt’s 2105 demotion to AAA after starting the season as the presumptive starter of the future last year:
“What was even more upsetting to the Braves was his seemingly lax attitude towards game preparation, questions about his hustle, and his mental mistakes on defense (in particular with passed ball being an issue).”

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The Braves Haul Home a Goodie Bag for #Shelby

The holidays jingled their future value bells a bit for the Braves tonight, and a big return walked out one door in Arizona and into another in Atlanta. I realize this deal has nothing to do with the Mets, but any excuse for including Seinfeld in things is acceptable. Moving on.

Indeed. From fangraphs’ Eno Sarris (who is awesome): “The Braves have reportedly sent Shelby Miller to the Diamondbacks for 25-year-old outfielder Ender Inciarte, 23-year-old right-hander Aaron Blair, and last year’s number one overall pick, 21-year-old shortstop Dansby Swanson.”

So let’s briefly kick the tires of these new Braves a little, one by one in order of significance… more or less.

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Rebuild Reflection #2: What to Expect From the Starting Rotation in 2016?

These are heady, rapid-fire times in Braves Country.

During the couple of days that I’ve been piecing together thoughts for the Rebuild Reflection series, via the very complex process of passively thinking about it, mind you, the Braves have signed another pitcher in Jose Ramirez and have been linked to recently released catcher Tyler Flowers, and continue to pursue reliever Darren O’Day and utility wonderkind Ben Zobrist. So we’ll see if this write-up feels current even in just a few days. Things are indeed moving fast in Braves Country, though it’s not all that clear where or how fast.

Anywho, the current Braves roster is pretty much a work in progress across the board. One big blank canvas save for first base. Not that we don’t have some productive pieces in place, but it seems that Freeman is the only guy sure to stick around, if for no other reason than his value being so high that it’s unlikely a team will make an offer tempting enough to bite on. It may be fair to say that the pitching of the immediate future looks particularly uncertain though, so let’s examine Atlanta’s starting rotation situation heading into 2016, shall we? Read More