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Atlanta Braves news: Hart seems fine with his new role in organization

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John Hart has taken a demotion of sorts, but it sure seems like he’s fine with his new role.

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

BRAVES NEWS

Does history serve as any indication of future punishment for Atlanta?

The big news this week has been Ken Rosenthal of The Atlantic more-or-less confirming that the Braves are going to lose prospects when MLB finally gets around to announcing the punishment. In order to help get a clearer idea of what could be lost, our own Matt Powers decided to take a look at the history of MLB penalties and what the impact could possibly be on the Braves.

John Hart seems cool with his new role in organization

When Alex Anthopoulos arrived onto the scene, it came with the caveat that he’d receive full control of the baseball operations. Obviously, that meant that John Hart would be taking a lesser role in the organization as a “consultant.” However, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is reporting that Hart still seems to be of the persuasion that he’s in the baseball operations and basically seems like he’s fine with his current role. If the reports about Hart spending more time on the golf course than in the front office are true, then maybe nothing much has changed.

Asked what he is doing now that he was out of baseball operations, Hart said, “I’m in baseball ops.”

It is true that Hart came to the General Manager meetings here and has spent a couple days filling in new GM Alex Anthopoulos, who has taken Hart’s former role as the top person in the baseball ops department. So on this day he was still involved in a way. But in reality, Hart is no longer in that department.

Braves CEO Terry McGuirk actually announced a couple days ago at the news conference to introduce Anthopoulos – a worthy choice who showed his integrity by turning down a chance to stay as Jays GM two years ago with a $10 million, five-year deal because he didn’t see a personality match there for him – that Hart is no longer in baseball ops. And, in case there was an ambiguity, the news release issued by the team said Hart was out of the baseball department “effective immediately.”

Braves see large revenue increase in 2017

As expected, the Braves are currently reaping the financial rewards from SunTrust Park. Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shared the news about the Braves breaking down the sources of their revenue increase from this past season. It’s not shocking to see that revenues are up in the inaugural season of a new stadium, but it’s still interesting to see exactly where that money is coming from.

At a Liberty Media investors conference Thursday in New York, the Braves revealed that revenue was up 76 percent in ticket sales, 31 percent in concession sales per fan, 45 percent in retail sales and 89 percent in corporate sponsorship sales.

The overall revenue increase “just shows you the power of what a new venue can do in this business,” Derek Schiller, the Braves’ president of business, said at the conference, referring to SunTrust Park.

The catch for trading for Donaldson

The arrival of Alex Anthopoulos has also sparked up rumors that the former Blue Jays GM could decide to make a splash by bringing in Josh Donaldson to fix the team’s third base issue. It’s looking likely that Donaldson will indeed be on the trade block, but should the Braves go after him? Our friends over at Walk-Off Walk decided to discuss that very topic on their blog.

The first, and most important factor here is that Donaldson is only under contract for one more year. After 2018, he’s set to become of free agent for probably the last time in his career and guys who get this close to free agency rarely fail to make it onto the open market. And given what the price tag is likely to be once he is a free agent, it’s safe to assume that any trade for Donaldson, at least for Atlanta, is going to be a one-and-done arrangement.

What this means is, if you’re going to make a move for him now, your 2018 season has to be worth whatever the acquiring cost is going to be. There’s no point in paying the price Toronto will want just so Donaldson can help you win 81 games. If you’re not confident you can win a division in 2018, then Donaldson simply isn’t worth it. I would set the benchmark at 90 wins. Can my team win 90 games in 2018? If the answer is yes, then go for it. If no, then don’t.

BRAVES PODCASTS

Chopcast, Ep. 344: Right/Wrong/Next: Braves 2017 Bullpen

What went right, what went wrong and what's next for the Braves' bullpen? Zach Dillard and Cory McCartney review the 2017 season for the organization's relief corps, including encouraging signs from A.J. Minter and Arodys Vizcaino, and how the front office could address its needs moving forward.

Atlanta Baseball Talk: Show 389: The Alex Anthopoulos Era Begins

We sit down with Shi Davidi, baseball columnist for SportsNet Toronto, to get a review and preview of what to expect with our new GM.

Then we share our thought, hopes and fears about the new era, followed by a quick moratorium on John Hart and an even quicker chat on what to expect will come of baseball's investigation.

MLB NEWS

Stanton and Altuve are your league MVPs for 2017

Baseball’s award season rolled on last night, with the Most Valuable Player awards being announced on Thursday evening. The National League MVP for 2017 is GIancarlo Stanton, and he just barely edged out Joey Votto of the Reds by just two points. Our friends over at Fish Stripes are convinced that the best man won the award this year — even if it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be celebrating his award in Miami next season.

Meanwhile, Jose Altuve took home MVP honors in the American League. The voting wasn’t as close as it was in the NL, but the crew over at the Crawfish Boxes is still proud that “the heart and soul of the Astros organization” has been recognized as the top player in the AL for 2017.