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Atlanta Braves news: Path to Hall is clear for Chipper but murky for Andruw

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One Braves legend appears to be a lock to go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The other is in danger of falling off the ballot completely.

Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones (L) is congratulated Photo credit should read STEVE SCHAEFER/AFP/Getty Images

BRAVES NEWS

Path to Hall of Fame becomes clearer and clearer for Chipper Jones

This may shock you and I hope that you’re sitting down to read this news, but guess what: Chipper Jones is getting plenty of votes for the Hall of Fame. Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is on top of tracking the voting for the Hall of Fame and he noted that the legendary Braves third baseman is currently sitting at 99 percent. It actually would have been a legit shock if Chipper wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer and now it’s clear that he’ll probably be a shoo-in.

Andruw Jones in danger of falling off Hall of Fame ballot

Meanwhile, Andruw Jones isn’t faring nearly as well as Chipper is. In fact, as Jason Foster of the Sporting News notes in the linked post above, Andruw has only been selected on 5.1 percent of ballots that have been turned in so far. As a reminder, you need to stay above five percent in order to stay on the ballot, which means that Atlanta’s former star center fielder is close to dropping off the ballot in only his first year on the ballot. Foster says that it would be a travesty if Andruw fell off the ballot.

So, why the lack of love for Jones? Well, you could point to his rapid decline after Age 30, which is a plenty valid critique, but I have another theory.

I think it stems from being overshadowed in the lineup for 12 seasons by Chipper Jones, who will sail easily into Cooperstown when the votes are announced in a few weeks, and overshadowed in general by the Hall of Fame pitchers: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz — though it's a near certainly that their Hall of Fame numbers wouldn't be quite so brilliant without Jones patrolling center field.

Talking Chop roundtable makes early predictions for 2018 season

The good thing about January is that February is right around the corner and February means that pitchers and catchers are reporting. So while baseball season isn’t that far away, it’s still a tad bit early for predictions. That didn’t stop the staff here at Talking Chop from making a few predictions. You might be shocked at how bullish some of us are about the Braves this season. Also, if you haven’t chimed in with your own predictions already, then go ahead and do so!

2018 preseason prospect rankings continue

While it may be a little early for predictions, it’s never too early for prospect rankings. Eric and the rest of the minor league crew continued to give their opinion on who they feel the top prospects in the Braves farm system are currently at the moment.

MLB NEWS

Red Sox reportedly have offered J.D. Martinez a contract

The slow offseason continues to crawl on and rumors like these are like finding actual gold in the bottom of a box of McDonald’s french fries. One of the most interesting rumors to pop up yesterday is the report that the Red Sox have offered J.D. Martinez a five-year deal. There aren’t too many details about the money involved, but Over The Monster did their best to guess.

...This is not me doubting the report. This seems like a very reasonable and likely move from the Red Sox, and it’s not so outrageous to dismiss entirely. Martinez and his agent Scott Boras entered the offseason reportedly looking for over $200 million in total guaranteed money, but everyone knew that was a longshot at best at the time. A five-year deal would have to be worth at least $40 million per year for that money to work and, well, nah. Still, while we don’t know the money involved one would assume that Martinez is looking at something in the $25-$30 million mark on a per-year basis.

Chicago and St. Louis are both interested in Arrieta

In other news, the heated rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals just might extend from the field to the negotiation table. There’s a report that seems to indicate that the two NL Central rivals are both showing the most interest in Jake Arrieta. While it seems likely that the Cubs could decide to bring back one of the anchors of their rotation, I’m sure that messy baseball fans who live for drama would probably love to see a prominent Cubs player cross the lines to play for the Cardinals. We’ll see what happens.