When news broke that John Coppolella was stepping down as Braves GM, there were a few reports/tweets that seemed to indicate that baseball executives were not going to miss Coppolella. That extends to agents as well, as one agent in particular told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he “vowed” to never send a player to the Braves as long as Coppy was the GM.
His story was about a contract between the Braves and one of [Agent Jim] Munsey’s clients, veteran left-handed reliever Sean Burnett, who came back from two Tommy John elbow surgeries.
“At the risk of ‘piling on,’ I can tell you that Mr. Coppolella quickly became my least favorite GM to deal with after my interactions with him on behalf of Sean Burnett,” Munsey said in an email Tuesday.
One big task that the new Braves GM will have to undergo this offseason is dealing with the number of players who will be facing arbitration decisions this season. As Cory McCartney of Fox Sports South notes, some of these decisions will be pretty important considering who much of an impact the arbitration-eligible players could have on next year’s squad.
MLB Trade Rumors unleashed its arbitration projections for this winter, and with those forecasts, it's clear Atlanta has a number of questions to answer with arbitration-eligible players ahead of the Jan. 12 date for salaries to be exchanged. Historically, the Braves have been a file-and-trial team, -- meaning they won't negotiate one-year deals after figures are swapped -- which could put further interest on the Jan. 29-Feb. 16 hearings in Phoenix.
The Braves went 14 years between appearing in a hearing -- from John Rocker in 2001 to Mike Minor in '15, which they lost -- and avoided one of those meetings this past offseason, striking late deals with relievers Arodys Vizcaino and Ian Krol.
Kris has been reviewing the starting rotation this week, and he took a look at both the younger talent and the older veterans who helped fill out Atlanta’s rotation for parts of this season.
The Cubs will have to wait another day for their shot at knocking the Nationals after the playoffs after rain caused the officials to postpone Game 4 of the NLDS. There’s speculation that they may have been able to get the game in had they started it at around 1 PM ET, but apparently TBS put the kibosh on that, so that may be the reason why we’re talking about them playing the game today instead of getting it done yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Nationals had a chance to actually change their plans a bit thanks to the rain-out. Strasburg was scheduled to start Game 5, but pushing Game 4 back a day meant that Dusty Baker could’ve gone to Strasburg for Game 4 instead. However, Baker quickly noted that he’d stay with Tanner Roark as his Game 4 starter, and he had a bit of an interesting explanation for his decision.
Baker explained that Strasburg wouldn’t pitch early because he isn’t feeling well. A few other players apparently aren’t as well.
Why weren’t they feeling well? Mold, naturally.
Not only will the Nationals have to switch hotels on Tuesday night (nearly 200 people in all), but apparently Baker is crediting the illness of players to mold in Chicago and air conditioning in hotels.