The Braves were one of the few teams that left the Winter Meetings without making a significant trade or free-agent signing. In fact, they made no move at all. Still, general manager Frank Wren seemed pleased with progress made on several fronts and said the work could culminate in a deal or deals in the next week or two, perhaps even the next few days. The Braves are optimistic about re-signing free agent reliever Eric O’Flaherty, and they are pushing hard to acquire a starting pitcher and could be leading suitors for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija if Chicago decides to trade the hard-throwing right-hander. “We leave here feeling good about where we are,” Wren said. “Now it’s just a matter of, sometimes (general managers) go home and regroup and have different discussions. Sometimes they go home and think about it a little and call you back and say, ‘OK, let’s get it done.’” The Braves want to a veteran hitter to their bench to replace Reed Johnson, whose option they declined. They’ve expressed interest in several including free-agent corner infielder Eric Chavez, a left-handed hitter who batted .281 with 53 extra-base hits (25 homers) and 81 RBIs in 506 at-bats over the past two seasons. With other teams making a flurry of moves in the past 10 days, some Braves fans have grown impatient waiting for their team to do something. So far, their biggest offseason moves have been subtraction, losing free agents Brian McCann to the Yankees and Tim Hudson to the Giants. “I don’t dwell on it, but I have a sense of it,” Wren said of the fans’ anxiousness. “And I can understand that. I think the part that I have to keep focus on, and I think we as an organization have to keep focus on, is when we sit down in our meetings, whether it’s Fredi Gonzalez, Bobby Cox, John Schuerholz or Jim Fregosi and all our scouts, when we’re sitting around talking about our team there’s a lot of positives with our team. We have a lot of things that people out there are looking for.
Braves pursue Samardzija, advance other talks at meetings
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Dec 12