Would not get great return after the season he's had, though they could still get something decent/good given the relatively club-friendly contract he's on. Still, Braves officials I've asked have insisted on multiple occasions this year that they have no plans to trade him, that he fits in what they're trying to do. So we'll see.
I have no seen him. Have seen pics of him this year in Braves uniform. He is a real person. He is also not a person I've given nearly as much thought about as a lot of fans. Because as we've written, he's a fourth-outfielder type. Making a very low (relatively speaking) salary. So that's the type of player I'm expecting, assuming he's cleared to play next season.
Probably LF, catcher, a starting pitcher and bullpen. Not necessarily in that order.
Haven't seen/heard much about next year's draft. This early on, it's not like basketball or football draft where there's usually an obvious guy. Depends a lot on which team's picking, etc. And I wouldn't be surprised if the projected No. 1 changes 3-4 times between now and June.
I would say he's competing for a spot in spring training, with a good chance of being on opning-day roster, yes.
Not what I've seen when in there every day. When a team is having as terrible a year as Braves are having, the easiest story to write is that one. You look hard enough, ask enough people, you will certainly find one or two who aren't happy at all. In any sport that's almost always the case with a team losing a lot more than it's winning. If he's lost the clubhouse, he'll be fired, because the Braves have 2-3 veterans who wouldn't hesitate to tell upper management that he's lost the clubhouse. I've not gotten that indication from upper management, and I don't see/hear players talking off record about him losing the clubhouse. Just haven't heard that.
I don't have a prediction. If I ever did, it was pure speculation/educated guessing, and I don't even remember what figure I gave if I did give it. As I said, no indications from team officials as to how much it will rise. My previous guess would've been based only on discussions with top management a year ago, when they indicated it would rise this season -- which, if it has, hasn't been by much at all; it's hard to tell given how much dead money they had, how much they've paid out, how much they've got back in trades, settlements, etc -- and then that it would rise again next season and again when they moved into new ballpark. Since it didn't jump as much as I was led to believe it would this year, I'm not speculating on what it'll be next year, not till I hear something I can believe.
ADDENDUM: Heard back from a Braves person today, who said $25 million to $30 million to spend this offseason is fairly accurate estimate for what the Braves have.
He's not a lock for 2B. Second-half drop in offense has been noticed, as John Hart said. They love his defense and his intangibles, his maturity and work ethic and overall makeup. But the offense has fallen off significantly. Gotta get offense somewhere. He could be back at 2B or as a utility infielder. If I had to bet today, I'd say he's back at 2B. But I don't have a strong conviction on that anymore.
You heard/read anyone else say that, that they know of a couple of players who are unhappy?
They'd like to re-sign Pierzynski. If so, and they pursue another catcher as well, then can't see Bethancourt on roster as a personal catcher to anyone. They're almost certainly not carrying 3 catchers during regular season.
Don't see how. Not unless they trade Maybin this winter.
30 years old, and his August-September tear has skyrocketed his contract to projections of anywhere from $130 million to $170 million. Don't see how that fits the Braves' plans or, more importantly, payroll. But we'll see. Could just be another situation like Jon Lester last year, where they let it be known they're interested in a guy but don't actually make a strong pursuit. For appearances more than anything. Maybe not, but like I said, can't see Braves winning the bidding war that's going to happen with Cespedes, even if they do get involved seriously.
No, that's not what I said. I've not heard that because I'm not going around looking for that story, asking ever player if Fredi's lost the clubhouse, etc. And neither is anyone else. There are always going to be players unhappy with playing time or lineups, or whatever, and when you have the worst record in baseball, some will talk off the record about the man in charge. Winning conceals everything. Losing big has an opposite effect.
Can't be worse than Yankee series. Right? (Right?) Especially not with Toronto having a couple of guys banged up including Tulo.
If I had to guess, I'd say no.
Braves still, at last discussion of Folty, were planning to continue training him as a starter for now. They know they can always move him to the bullpen and probably get good results there, but they like him as a power-arm starter and aren't ready to pull the plug yet on that projection.
Why would someone pay for it when upper management did what they set out to do? Traded everyone that didn't fit their long-term plan. You expect one of them to fall on the sword because team lost more than even they could have imagined?
Surely you don't think they are at all unique in having a terrible season and getting paid handsomely to do so? Check in on the New York Knicks sometime. (Oh, yes, right there in the heart of hard-nosed reporters and, therefore, accountability. Right?)
I'll wait to see who becomes available.
I think managers generally get too much credit when team's going well and too much blame when it's doing poorly. Same for hitting coaches with hitters and pitching coaches with pitchers. There aren't many Bruce Bochys out there, guys who are genuinely a lot better than the average manager and can make a significant difference in a team's record.
He's obviously not been nearly the same player since the injuries. Second half, he's not been an impact guy.
Not sure why you think how much they spend on free agents this offseason, going into 2016, affects what they do in the 2017 season. Not like free agents generally need a year to get accustomed to new surroundings before flourishing the following year. They can pick up a big bat or two during the offseason before moving into the new ballpark, if that's what they want to do and are willing to spend the money. How does what they do in free agency this winter affect that?