The Braves have several options

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Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves have $7 million to play with and still plan on making a move or two.  Possibilities: going after another bat, such as Xavier Nady, who would be useful because he could fill the hole in left and cover for Glaus if he continues to be fraglie (or by playing first and allowing Glaus to cover third when Chipper gets hurt).

Another option that has been discussed before is Dan Uggla.  This is problematic inasmuch as Uggla doesn’t want to come off second base and Martin
Prado won the second base job last year and appears to be a favorite of Bobby Cox.  But again, there’s the flexibility play here in that there’s a decent shot that Glaus or Jones will be get hurt, and Prado can play first and third.  Of course you’re still light in left field then, especially if, as O’Brien suggests, they’d get Uggla by trading Melky Cabrera.

As we’ve discussed at length, the Braves’ offseason moves have been sub-optimal thus far. But unlike in previous years when their sub-optimal moves would leave them with, say, a left fielder who can’t play anywhere else, this year’s weak moves have left them with some flexibility.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.