Originally written on BravesWire  |  Last updated 11/16/14

27 Feb 1998: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves signs autographs for the fans during a Spring Training game against the Kansas City Royals at the Disney Wide World of Sports Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Royals defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory
With the loss of Chipper Jones, the Atlanta Braves were left with a major vacancy in their lineup—one they may not fully compensate for this winter alone. Replacing a future Hall-of-Famer, after all, is a difficult task. Gone too, presumably, is fleet-footed leadoff man Michael Bourn. Newly acquired slugger BJ Upton figures to take Chipper’s place somewhere in the middle of the Braves’ lineup. In inking Upton to a 5-year contract, Braves’ General Manager Frank Wren closed the deal with their top free agent target fairly quickly, filling the right-handed power hitter role. The hole atop the batting order, however, remains. If the Braves are able to score a capable leadoff hitter, it will make life easier on Braves’ Manager Fredi Gonzalez, but that quest is proving difficult. Wren and Co. do, however, have a plethora of ways to sort out their lineup for the 2012 campaign. Given Martin Prado’s ability to play a multitude of positions, we’ll likely see him slide over to third base and t...
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