The baseball Hot Stove Season is now upon us and the rumour mill is already in effect as it relates to Free Agency. What I would like to do is start writing blogs on what the Atlanta Braves might do, what they have done and what the team may look like on opening day. Yeah, that isn’t happening, and nor will it for now and for the foreseeable future.
Trying to guess what Braves GM John Coppolella and the Braves front office is thinking is like trying to understand why cats do the things that they do. Trying to predict what will be the next shoe to fall as it relates to the rebuilding process and then the other side of that coin of fielding a somewhat competitive team in 2016.
Just when you think the Braves are done their wheeling and dealing for young controllable arms they make another deal. Then you think all the roster players that may go are gone, another deal is made to free up money.
Trying to predict the next big splash is anyone’s guess and maybe even those same decision makers don’t even know right now. The one (or two) whispers that are a little confusing is the bantering about of names like Shelby Miller and Julio Tehran. With all the arms that the Braves have and are acquiring, they have not yet began to flip some of that pitching into some legitimate bats but that is likely bound to happen at some point. The question is from what pool are the Braves going to draw from. Miller was the Braves Ace last year. A lot of fans may not know that by looking at his 6-17 record but he was the victim of VERY POOR offence and a VERY SHAKEY bullpen. If they can flip him for a really good young player under club control for at lest as much as Miller or more the Braves would seriously have to look at making that move. Tehran can be all world or struggle mightily. He was up and down last year but began to seemingly figure things out the last 2 months of the season.
The one adage in baseball has always been, “when you think you have enough pitching, go out and get some more.” But those people have never seen just how anemic the Braves offence was at the end of the 2015 season.
If the team wants to be good going into SunTrust Field in 2017 there needs to be some core pieces in place sometime during the 2016 season. At some point some of those pieces have to come to town at some point.
So without getting into specific names, what we can do is ask questions about what the team might do in the Rule 5 Draft and also what they may do on the international free agent market next year with the flexibility they attempted to gain as part of previous deals that has also procured that plethora of good young prospect arms. Is there someone out there that the Braves are looking at that could provide a big bat that they so sorely need.
So instead of answering questions I guess I will just have to ask a bunch. How much money is available. What is more of a priority, fixing the offence or building a bullpen that is not going to go into critical meltdown 80% of the time they are called upon. With all the potential good young arms waiting in the wings you are going to need to have catchers that can work and help bring along some of the young guys that may make the big league roster. That is why signing AJ Prizinski was a smart move, sure he swung a decent bat last season but also seemed to work well with the young pitchers he handled last season. He is worth the investment if he can help bring along the young arms.