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chippers-future-in-atlanta | February | 2005 Articles

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Chipper’s future in Atlanta

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Mark Bowman's latest Mailbag column asks an important question: What is Chipper's future in Atlanta? More specifically, the question is: will the rise of Andy Marte bump Chipper Jones into possibly being traded elsewhere? Beware: what follows is more hearsay than fact, since no one truly knows what the future holds. No. Not just no, but hell no. Chipper Jones is a 10-5 guy, which means he's got 10 years of MLB experience and the last 5 are with the same team, which means he's got automatic veto power for any deal that could come up. He has also stated that he specifically wants to finish his career with the Braves, and he's willing to alter his contract to make that happen. And in the past (just before he moved to the outfield), he said he was willing to make whatever adjustments are necessary to help the team -- assuming of course that he remained part of the team. So unless he's changed his mind about that (and why would he?), the Braves are "stuck" with Chipper until his contract expires. I don't know about you, but I'd be thrilled to be stuck with a guy like Chipper on my team. As for Marte, it looks like he's going to start 2005 as AAA Richmond's everyday third baseman (as I had previously suggested), and Chipper will stay at third in Atlanta. Rumors that either of them could move to the outfield seem to be falling flat, and rumors that Chipper could be moved to first base to replace Adam LaRoche are holding no water either -- after all, LaRoche has the potential to be a major league star. Why mess with that? Of course, we've still got a month of spring training to get through before any of this is final. But barring injuries and allowing players to play to their expectations, I don't see any more likely scenario. I say give Marte the chance to play every day, even at Richmond, and if he's needed in Atlanta by midseason, consider it then.

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