Braves GM John Schuerholz is telling Atlanta fans to be patient. The team is still going to make improvements. They’re just not going to rush.
“We’re going to operate in the same way we’ve operated and feel comfortable doing it,” Schuerholz said by phone from his vacation home in Naples, Fla. “We feel like we can continue to make good choices and good moves.”
He wouldn’t discuss specifics or refute rumors, as usual. Schuerholz doesn’t operate like that. But he did indicate the Braves would not be involved in the posting process for Japanese left-hander Kei Igewa, whose Hanshin Tigers team will review blind bids posted by major league teams this week.
Translation: The market is blowing up. Free agents are signing for way more than they’re worth. And, at the going rate, the Braves (an organization that has been up for sale for over a year) can’t afford to sign anybody who’s any good. So they’re going to try to trade for what they need. Or, they’re going to just cross their fingers and hope that some of their young guys step up big next season. That’s right, we’re looking at you, Jeff Francoeur, you turkey.
Oh, one last thing. If you’re a Braves fan and you died a little inside watching your team miss the playoffs for the first time in 14 years last season, and you’re frustrated that the team doesn’t seem to be making any improvements this offseason, and you’re terrified of the prospect of a 2007 starting rotation that is dependent on aging John Smoltz and recovering Mike Hampton, then you probably won’t be thrilled to hear that the Braves are raising ticket prices.