Quick hits from land of plenty (GM meetings at Biltmore)

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The Arizona Biltmore, site of baseball's general managers meetings.

PHOENIX — A few Braves quick hits from the general managers meetings while marveling at how this almost obscenely wealthy area surrounding the posh Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix feels completely detached from real-world problems….

• The Braves would like to add a left-handed hitter who could share some third-base duties with Chris Johnson, who led the National League with a .395 average and had a .988 OPS in 114 at-bats against lefties in 2014, but hit just .231 with a .570 OPS in 458 at-bats against righties. Former Braves GM Frank Wren signed Johnson to a three-year, $23.5 million contract extension in May….

The Arizona Biltmore, site of baseball's general managers meetings.

The Arizona Biltmore, site of baseball’s general managers meetings.

• Braves prez of baseball operations  John Hart on the team targeting second-tier and lower free-agent starting pitchers: “One thing that we’ve looked at and we’ve talked about, quite clearly that we’re wearing some bad contracts. And so your ability economically to maybe play in the free-agent game is going to be more restricted.  We’re looking at certain levels of free-agent starters. I would assume as we finish up these meetings and we’ll have a pretty good idea at what other clubs are looking to do. The free-agent market is not going to move rapidly. I think we’re going to get more defined as we get closer to the Winter Meetings. We’re going to get a sense of kind of where we are or are not in potential trade talks, which I think will affect what we do with some of our own players.”

• Rookie relievers Shae Simmons and J.R. Graham, who were both shut down in August with shoulder soreness (Simmons with Atlanta, Graham at Double-A Mississippi), should be fully recovered and ready for spring training, Hart said….

Justin Upton has a trade clause that includes four teams he can’t be traded to. He has the right to change the four teams annually, and the updated list includes the Indians, Cubs, Brewers and Blue Jays. Notably, it no longer includes Seattle, the team that worked out a trade to acquire Upton in January 2013 before he vetoed the deal. The Braves traded for him two weeks later….

• The Braves released reliever Cory Gearrin, who missed the entire 2014 season after blowing out his elbow in spring training and having Tommy John surgery in April….

• The Braves are considering retaining Kris Medlen and possibly Brandon Beachy, who each had his second career Tommy John surgery in March and missed the entire season. If either or both is brought back, Hart said it could be in a bullpen role initially, perhaps for four or six weeks, as a preventive measure to help ease them back….

• New hitting coach Kevin Seitzer plans to work with some Braves this winter, and the Braves have made it a priority for him to get with three in particular: B.J. Upton, Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward.

•Let’s close with one from the great Sturgill Simpson, which you can hear by clicking here.

“LONG WHITE LINE” by Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson

I won’t be around this old town anymore for a long long time
Gonna hit the road and start looking for the end of that long white line
Gonna hit the road and start looking for the end of that long white line

I woke up, my baby was gone, without her I don’t need no home
Gonna hit the road and start looking for the end of that long white line
Gonna hit the road and start looking for the end of that long white line

Went to the bank to get my dough, I don’t care where I go
Gonna push that rig ’til I push that girl out of my mind
If somebody wants to know what’s become of this so-and-so
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line

New York City, Old St. Joe, Albuquerque New Mexico
This old rig is humming and rolling and doing fine
If somebody wants to know what’s become of this so-and-so
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line

New York City, Old St. Joe, Albuquerque New Mexico
This old rig is humming and rolling, she’s doing fine
If somebody wants to know what’s become of this so-and-so
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line

I won’t be around this old town anymore for a long long time
Gonna hit the road and start looking for the end of that long white line
Tell ’em I’m somewhere looking for the end of that long white line

 


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