January 23, 2004
Albany- Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz has probably been looking forward to his annual trip to Albany for the Quail Unlimited celebrity hunt.
A brief vacation is what he needs in what has been Schuerholz's busiest off season as the Braves general manager.
The biggest move Schuerholz made in the off season was the trade that brought Hahira's J.D. Drew to Atlanta from St. Louis.
The Braves making that deal to replace Gary Sheffield who of course is now a New York Yankee.
In fact, ownership's desire to the cut the payroll has led to the departure of Greg Maddux, Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla.
In their place, Schuerholz has added the names of pitchers John Thomson from Texas, reliever Antonio Alfonseca of the Cubs and outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. from San Diego.
The retooling of the roster certainly means the National League East title will be up for grabs for the first time since the Braves moved into the division ten years ago.
Schuerholz said "We have had a great run for 13 years and I am not looking back on the success that we have enjoyed. I am looking forward to the challenge we have this year and I think our organization and our staff did a great job and I think our team is ready to face the challenge of a strong Philly team and the defending world champion Florida Marlin team and try to win our division again. I think we can do it "
Pitchers and catchers will report for spring training on February the 19h with the rest of the team reporting on the 24th and the first full squad workout is February 25th.
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