Say what you want about the Braves as an organization, but they’re definitely getting their money’s worth when it comes to their new home. Cobb County is already on the hook for a significant amount of money towards the stadium and now the AJC is reporting that the Braves are claiming that the county still has to pay even more.
The Braves say the county has not fulfilled its obligation to fund $14 million on transportation infrastructure. County officials say they are working with the team to identify what projects may count toward that commitment. Cobb Transportation Director Jim Wilgus wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the county has already spent $69.5 million.
The issue could present the first serious challenge to new Chairman Mike Boyce, who ran on transparency with regards the Braves deal.
“There’s a new sheriff in town,” Boyce said after the meeting. “In conjunction with (district Commissioner Bob) Ott and the board and the county manager, we’re going to bring definition to that $14 million. Why is that? Because it goes to my thing about good faith and trust between us and the Braves.”
Meanwhile on the field, the Braves recently made an effort to improve their catching situation for 2017 by signing Kurt Suzuki to a one-year deal. The main question now is whether or not the combo of Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki will be enough to give the Braves the comfort of consistency at that position — even if the long-term situation still seems to be murky. Zach Dillard of Fox Sports South tried to address these in his latest Three Cuts piece.
Braves officials (including John Schuerholz) were in Sarasota County yesterday, and it appears that an agreement between the county and the team is in place. In fact, the county released details on the specifics of the complex, so it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the team itself announces that the deal is done.
Another day has passed in this offseason and even more love is being showered down upon the Braves and their loaded farm system. Luiz Gohara has just arrived in the system, but Keith Law has ranked him as the #77 prospect in all of baseball. Meanwhile, Austin Riley was ranked as the #8 third base prospect according to MLB Pipeline. It’s safe to say that we’re going to keep on seeing Braves prospects dotting these lists as the offseason comes to a close.
You could say that Logan Forsythe has been floating under the radar a bit over the past couple of seasons. He was worth 4.0 fWAR in 2015 and then followed it up with a decent season in 2016 as he slashed .264/.333/.444 with 113 wRC+, 20 homers, and 2.8 fWAR for the Rays. He probably won’t be under the radar for much longer, as he’ll now be under the bright lights in Chavez Ravine after the Dodgers traded Jose De Leon to Tampa in order to get him.
The Logan Forsythe trade had some pretty big implications for Chase Utley, as that means that he definitely won’t be returning to the Dodgers as a free agent. In a tweet, Jon Morosi mentioned that either the Rays or even our Braves could be a possible fit for Utley. Understandably, our Phillie Phriends at The Good Phight do not want to see their former superstar with a tomahawk across his chest.
Look, Utley isn’t a star anymore, I get that. He piled up 565 PAs for the Dodgers last season and, after a fast start, regressed to finish with a slash of .252/.319/.396, with 14 HRs, 79 runs, 52 RBIs and an fWAR of 2.0. That’s not a bad season for a 37-year-old, but a superstar, he no longer is.
This is not a baseball argument. This is an emotional plea to the baseball gods from me.
After playing parts of 13 seasons in Philadelphia, it seems inconceivable that he would play for one of the team’s bitter rivals. And don’t get me wrong, going to the Mets or Nationals would be equally egregious.
Here’s our response: