Okay Braves fans, you can take a breath of relief…for the moment. It appears that you will still have at least one recognizable face on your roster next year. Braves GM John Coppolella took some time with USA Today to try to put to rest some of the Freddie Freeman rumors.
“I cannot make it any more clear: We are not trading Freddie Freeman,” Coppolella said. “We are not. I’d give my right arm before we trade Freddie Freeman. It is not happening.”
While this is indeed interesting news, it’s not my personal favorite quote from the interview. Coppolella is sounding a little tired, and a lot frustrated these days. I wonder if the constant criticism from the new stadium, the lack of competitive nature of the roster, and the recent trades is starting to wear on him.
“I’m getting so tired of this,’’ Coppolella told USA TODAY Sports on the eve of the quarterly Major League Baseball owners’ meetings. “If guys want to take shots, or (degrade) us, fine. But let’s let it play out for a few years before we start branding our pitchforks and torches.
“Trust me,” Coppolella said, “we are not tanking.”
Um, okay, that’s good that you say that, but so far fans have only seen the departures of Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, Jason Hayward, Craig Kimbrel, Andrelton Simmons, and Alex Wood. But you went ahead and signed Nick Markakis, so that’s good right?
“I didn’t expect it,” Simmons, now a cornerstone in Anaheim with Mike Trout, told MLB Network, “but if you see what’s happening in Atlanta … you won’t be surprised when you hear it’s happening.
“I’m happy to be part of an organization that’s trying to win, win right now.”
And don’t expect the trades to stop anytime soon. While the Braves are saying they won’t trade Freeman can you say the same about Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher, or Michael Bourn? No one expected you to trade a promising young short stop under team control for even younger middle of the road pitching prospects. But maybe you know something the rest of us don’t. Maybe you have the next Glavine or Maddux in that deal. Maybe in a few years, we’ll look back and think how silly we all were for questioning this move.
Or maybe we’ll be wondering why you have such an empty, beautiful, new ballpark.