If you weren’t aware, I also publish posts at atlantabraves.about.com. I typically post a few times each week over there and here are my three most recent articles there.
When John Coppolella was “promoted” into his new job, it didn’t mean much had actually been altered about the Braves braintrust. Over the last year+, Coppy has been basically the guy in charge of things with John Hart as his advisor. It was Coppy that did the legwork for deals that sent Craig Kimbrel to San Diego and Alex Wood to the Dodgers while bringing back players like Matt Wisler, Cameron Maybin, and Hector Olivera. Coppy was also instrumental in re-working the minor league system as the Braves gave him the freedom to do what they refused to do under his predecessor – Rebuild. Whether this relationship with the other 2/3’s of the Holy John Trinity above him will succeed is definitely up for debate, but Coppy gets his first shot at being a major league general manager. We’ll see how it works out.
From a 5-0 start to a double-header sweep that also included Shelby Miller‘s winless streak coming to a close, 2015 had a lot of great moments even as the Braves suffered through one of their worst seasons since the 80’s. There was walk-offs from Adonis Garcia and Maybin, magical comebacks like the one against the Giants, the return of Peter Moylan, and the continued magic of Andrelton Simmons at shortstop – plus many more. Even in a bad year, fans were given a lot to cheer about.
The Braves don’t often venture into the free agent market for starting pitching. Several years ago, Frank Wren tried to restock the rotation with free agents Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami, but since then, the rotation has often been stocked by homegrown talent, trades, and one-year pacts with guys like Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang. The good money is that the Braves won’t spend much in the starting pitching market, especially considering Mike Minor looks like a guy they might bring back in 2016, but if they do go shopping, I found a few players who might help the Braves and possibly, at a good price.