And no, it does not involve pouring concrete over Dan Uggla where he sits and turning him into a “living memorial.” I wouldn’t object to that, but GSU is just not on the same page as me. From the AJC:
The university wants to convert The Ted into a new 30,000-seat football, soccer and track-and-field stadium and build a new baseball park, academic buildings and green space. A private team led by real estate development powerhouse Carter and Columbia Residential would build private student housing, a mixed-use campus of shops, restaurants, retail and single-family and market-rate apartment homes on a majority of the surrounding area of about 80 acres.
There’s a map in the story showing the plan. As is the case with all situations like this, it’s a huge, huge leap from proposal stage to actually turning dirt, but it does show that there is interest in the site. There are reportedly three or four other entities who have development ideas too.
Thing about plans like this one? They represent way better use of the property than the current use to which the Braves are putting it. For a lot of reasons — some innocuous and reasonable and logistics-related, some drenched with history and problematic social arrangements and attitudes — baseball fans don’t care to come to Turner Field en masse and even when they do, they don’t want to hang around. If they did there would have been more development around the place in the past 17 years.
Who knows what will ultimately happen there — redevelopments can be great or awful and it’s way to early to know how this goes –but seeing this property better serve the citizens of Atlanta than it’s serving them now would go a long, long way toward alleviating the concerns the Braves’ unexpected move out of downtown has raised.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.