Last night I broke some pretty big news in the Braves world, reporting that over-slot draftee Zach Alvord would not be signed by the team, and that the money originally allocated for him would be rerouted for a run at Cubs' third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Some people scoffed, some jaws fell on the floor, even Keith Law said, "No, that's not accurate at all."
Was it not accurate because it was coming from me, a blogger? What if that story came from Jon Heyman or Ken Rosenthal. How much more anecdotal is the Ramirez rumor than a rumor about Chone Figgins or Clint Barmes (both rumors that have surfaced in the past week). Luckily Mark Bowman did some digging and fished this info out of the organization:
Thus Wren did at least explore the possibility of acquiring Ramirez. But when the veteran third baseman was unwilling to adjust his contract, this option no longer made sense from a financial perspective.
Very rarely does an organization admit that they were going after a player in a trade, and the Braves essentially told Bowman yes, they did try to acquire Ramirez -- even going as far as talking about reworking a contract. That's way more than a casual conversation. Bowman confirms even more of that rumor here.
Thus my rumor, while it has now come to pass, was essentially validated by the team. If one half of the rumor is true, then perhaps the other parts are true as well. Therefore we can determine that the team is pinching pennies for some reason and that led to them changing their mind about signing Alvord -- and that's the part I'm actually much more certain about.
Beyond the specifics of pursuing Ramirez, this rumor also demonstrates that the Braves line of thinking is to try and acquire a player who would generally not be claimed on waivers because they are too expensive. It's good to see that the Atlanta front office is trying to win and stay competitive, but it's unfortunate that they are doing so at the expense of their future by not signing guys like Zach Alvord and Stefan Sabol.
For the record, while I did report (accurately) that the Braves were interested in Aramis Ramirez, I personally think that would be an awful move. I'm more than a little afraid that the team is going to sacrifice too much to try and acquire a player who won't really fit the description of what the Braves actually need (because that kind of player is hardly ever available through a waiver deal).