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B.J. Upton And Dan Uggla Were The Biggest Reasons Why Wren Was Shown The Door!

The Brothers Upton both were acquired in the 2012 offseason by the Atlanta Braves.  This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin has played extremely well in condensed pockets, Upton is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball.  a .197/.276/.310 3 Slash Line - with 20 HRs and 60 RBI in 902 AB is simply abysmal.  The Braves brass should send him to the Winter Leagues this off-year, to correct his problems.

The Brothers Upton both were acquired in the 2012 offseason by the Atlanta Braves. This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin has played extremely well in condensed pockets, B.J.Upton, now 30,  is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst Free Agent contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball. with a .197/.276/.310 – Braves 3 Slash Line – with 20 HRs and 60 RBI in 902 AB during his 1st 2 years as a Brave is simply abysmal. The club’s brass should send him to the Winter Leagues this off-year, to correct his problems.  Justin Upton, 27, has fared much better in his 2 seasons, with an OPS of .822, 54 HRs and 162 RBI for his 1108 AB. The worst part about this is that the younger brother only has 1 more year left on his deal in 2015, making $14.5 MIL, while B.J. has 3 more years left on his deal, paying him a sum of over $46 MIL for the duration.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I started writing for this website about a year ago.  One of my first articles I put forth was one centered around the albatross contracts that were B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla.

True to prior blogs written here at the MLB Reports, the older Upton’s Free Agent contract of 5 YRs/$75 MIL will go down as one of the worst deals ever consummated on the open market.

You add the $15 AAV (Average Annual Value) to Uggla’s $11 MIL, and you are forking out over $26 MIL a year – for what are horrific numbers.

The genesis of my theory was simply the team would not recover financially, or be able to cover up any mistakes/injuries that may come to the club.

Atlanta has been one of the best franchises in the MLB for the last 24 years.  Even after the organization claimed 14 straight NL East titles, they only took about 5 years to reload the troops for another wave of success.

Since the end of the 2012 year though, the franchise has seen Chipper Jones retire, longtime Catcher Brian McCann move on to New York, and former Brave great Tim Hudson move out to the San Francisco Giants.

Dan Uggla had his worst year as a professional, including a .099 Batting Average for the last month of the Regular Season in 2013, and his year was not much better in 2014, prompting him to be released by the organization.  Mid - Year eye problems were definitely a factor, and the 5 time 30+ HR man was left off of the Post Season Roster entirely.  When you factor in his struggles, with BJ Upton's, Justin Upton's (every other month but April and August), coupled with Jason Heyward's slow start, it is incredible this club actually ran away with the NL East.  If everyone is healthy in 2014, and just perform in some realm to the back side of their bubblegum cards, this team would be extremely dangerous.

Dan Uggla had his worst year as a professional, including a .099 Batting Average for the last month of the Regular Season in 2013, and his year was not much better in 2014, prompting him to be released by the organization this past July.  Frank Wren gave the man a contract extension of 5 YRs/62 MIL prior to the 2011 campaign.   It took a hero hitting streak part way through that year, in order for his numbers to end solid, (.233 BA, 36 HRs and 82 RBI.)  The now 34-year-old 2B, saw his numbers begin to plummet each year after, with his 2014 numbers tailing all the way to a.472 OPS with just 2 HRs and 10 RBI in his 130 AB this past year.  Needless to see, Uggla may be out of professional baseball, but Atlanta will be on the hook to the tune of $13.2 MIL for his 2015 salary.

Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor both had TJ Surgery issues in early 2014, and the team also is hoping that Jonny Venters will return soon.

Let us not forget the club also lost Eric O’Flaherty (1.99 ERA as an Atlanta player) due to Free Agency as well.

It was a lot for the team to stem the tide for competition.

When we look to the dismissal of Frank Wren, we must also point out he was the architect of the deal that landed Chris Johnson and Justin Upton, for a cloud of prospects.

Atlanta has definitely made off like a bandit on that transaction.

Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang were great additions to the club by the former General Manager.

To be fair, Wren was adequately busy before this campaign even started, inking long term deals with Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, Chris Johnson and Craig Kimbrel.

Luckily for the organization, the new park (Sun Trust Park), will be opened in the 2017 season.  The upcoming revenue was put in place for these said extensions, otherwise this whole fiasco may be a bigger cluster bang, if they had to operate under Turner Field budgets alone..

There is no doubt John Schuerholz, Bobby Cox and Interim John Hart, have a track record of winning clubs., and now Hart, has been offered the full time position.

Frank Wren was the ultimate fall guy for what the franchise has come to this season, but what about the roles that Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz have played too?  Certainly with Wren gone, and a new ballpark opening up in a few years, the spotlight will continue on the management group..

Frank Wren was the ultimate fall guy for what the franchise has come to this season, but what about the roles that Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz have played too? Certainly with Wren gone, and a new ballpark opening up in a few years, the spotlight will continue on the management group.

If he takes the job, he should do so by making a managerial change.  Fredi Gonzalez has had several bad September’s at the helm, including one of the worst collapses ever in the 2011 campaign.

The new mantra should be to not accept failure at all.

As far as Bobby Cox endorsing Gonzalez.. I understand that, but the lack of changes in this franchise over the last few seasons can’t be understated enough.

The current team should be better than they are now.  There is something missing with this formula, but it is easier to change the manager – than it is to change your baseball club.

The future is not that bad in Atlanta.

Freddie Freeman is on the cusp of superstardom, and Julio Teheran should only elevate each season going forward,  Throw in the incredible play on defense by Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward, and you have one  of the best run-prevention teams around.

Money aside, you have to get rid of B.J. Upton this winter.  Hopefully that trade of bad contracts (Upton for Edwin Jackson) would still be on the table with the Cubs.

At this point, you might as well grab another Starter for the 2015 year right now, with a couple of guys on the shelf anyway, and the likelihood of retaining both Harang and Santana will be tough as well.

Evan Gattis may be better playing in the field more, with Christian Bethancourt taking some every day reps behind the plate.

There are some more questions to be sifted through – and the biggest one may still lie with the status of B.J. Upton for 2015.  

At least John Hart doesn’t have Dan Uggla to deal with anymore, even though he will collect a swift $13.2 MIL in 2015, courtesy of the “Tomahawk Choppers”.

It is not like the franchise could bury 2 bad contracts like this, like the big market clubs can do.  Representing about 25% of the total team payroll, with grotesque production set this team back finally this year.

There was no money to spend at the deadline, and the club overspent the budget to bring in Santana.  

Thank goodness that Alex Wood pitched nicely in the rotation, at that they rescued Harang off the scrap heap – otherwise this team could have been cellar dwelling in the Division at year’s end.

Hopefully, Hart, or whoever ultimately sits in the GM chair in the near future, can pull the trigger on good deals for at least the next 3 years, inn order to cover up the crater of financial waste the team has suffered from Uggla and Upton.  2 men that took down Wren.

The Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991 - 2005, and were helped out by te cancellation of the 1994 playoffs for that feat.  They made it to 5 World Series in the 90's winning just 1 of them in 1999. The club has made the postseason in three of the last four years, but 2014 saw a massive regression, and a 4 straight year in which they struggled in September.  .

The Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991 – 2005, and were helped out by te cancellation of the 1994 playoffs for that feat. They made it to 5 World Series in the 90’s winning just 1 of them in 1995. The club has made the postseason in three of the last four years, but 2014 saw a massive regression, and a 4 straight year in which they struggled in September. With not winning 1 solitary playoff round since 2001, so one has to question whether the brass entirely needs to be changed? The good news is by the time new park opens in 2017, there will only be one more year left to pay B.J. Upton.

 *** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

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Posted on September 24, 2014, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on B.J. Upton And Dan Uggla Were The Biggest Reasons Why Wren Was Shown The Door!.

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