Atlanta Braves Team President John Schuerholz joined Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio's "Front Office" show on SiriusXM Radio Sunday afternoon to talk about Atlanta's offseason happenings and the Winter Meetings.
Here's a link to the audio from part of the interview. I've transcribed it and some other parts of the interview here as well.
Schuerholz: "I can't say talent; Michael's an awfully talented player, although age is on B.J.'s side of course as a 28-year old vs a guy in his early thirties. We liked the talent of both guys, we just felt like B.J. was a guy we could hopefully bring in and tie up for a number of years. He's at the age (of) peak career productivity as we all believe. We thought he was the right guy for us going forward."
On whether lineup construction and his place in the batting order was a concern of Upton's:
"How the lineup lines up is going to determine on how our roster is put together ultimately; how (General Manager) Frank Wren and his guys get finished constructing the roster. That's some work to be done. Martin Prado's likely going to fill one of those spots, although I'm not making those decisions today. He's that kind of player, and wherever he goes or whoever else we acquire, then that batting order will be determined by (manager) Fredi (Gonzalez), and whose talents fit best and we'll see where B.J. falls into that."
On if it's more likely the Braves sign a free agent left fielder or trade for one:
"I really don't know. Frank and his group have been working hard and they've got out ahead of this process pretty well in order for us to get B.J. and then make the Tommy Hanson deal. So, I know they're attune to what people will have and what they're looking for and what the free agent possibilities are out there; whether it happens to be a third baseman or a left fielder."
On Atlanta's trend of making trades and deals early in the offseason the past few years:
"I think you have to be comfortable in your own skin doing those kind of things. I've made deals as early as the General Managers meetings... If you can match up and you feel like your getting quality and the need that you want back, you just do it. If you've done your due diligence and you got through your evaluation process and all of that, just do it. If you think it's the right thing, do it. If you happen to be able to get something done, you're in far better position going forward ahead of the curve, in terms of all the other conversations you want to have, because you've got the piece you really wanted to really get and move forward. I think Frank Wren and his guys felt that way, and things lined up."
On Tommy Hanson and the reasoning for the trade:
"Tommy is healthy; he's worked very very hard. He had some shoulder issues; it wasn't anything in the joint but it was in the shoulder area. But he worked very very hard and he got himself back, he's a very deliberate delivery guy. He's very upright, and in his younger days he could get all of that working and throw mid-90's and had a great curveball, and that worked.
He didn't have that capability the last year or so, but I'll say this. This is a top-notch person, a top-notch, hard working, professional guy. A classy guy, great teammate. I hope he succeeds and comes back with the Angels, his hometown in Southern California. He's a great kid, I hope it works for him, but we didn't feel comfortable going into the construct of our team for this coming season to have him (be) a (big) part of it.
That doesn't mean he can't come back, because a lot of guys his age can bounce back, and I hope Tommy does. We didn't feel like he would rank in the top five starters for us right now. It would be tough for him, and so that's why we made the decision."
On Jordan Walden:
"Plus, we got a power arm back. We got a guy who, two years ago, had 30-something saves. He has a kind of a crazy, in your face jumping off the mound kind of a delivery, and throws it in the mid-90's. So to add a guy like that to our bullpen, which is already pretty substantial, gives us an additional strength in an area where we're already strong."
"We believe so. I mean, we believe it's their time to step forward. They're pitching in the Dominican Republic, and we have eyeballs on them down there. We see progress being made, continual progress being made. That's the one thing about prospects: they're prospects until they either become part of your team or they can't do it. We have a confidence that either one of them or both of them can make their way onto our roster this year in one role or another, starter or relief pitcher."
On if Bowden can eliminate the Braves from the chase of Zack Greinke:
"I don't think you can eliminate us from everybody, but it's unlikely. I'll say that. What our focus is now, what Frank (Wren) and his guys are working on...Zack is a tremendously talented guy and we've had interest in him, as everybody has for a long time. I don't know that he's on Frank's list at the top of the list right now, but, I wouldn't say no to anything."
"I love Andrelton Simmons. Anytime we can get a player from Curacao, we're going to try to get him and keep him. We love players from Curacao."