Are Braves missing out on Buy-low Free Agent Targets?

Are Braves missing out on Buy-low Free Agent Targets?

Well, it’s January Braves fans…

…and it’s the worst part of the year for me as I care nothing for NCAA football championships, NFL playoffs, or cold weather. Not to mention the celebrations, fun, family, presents, good beer, and all things related to the holidays are buried in the closet with random assortments of leftover Christmas paraphernalia and all that’s left behind is a festering cold that holds no festivity. Yes, Scrooge has taken my heart and driven a stick of holly through it that nothing can warm. Well, except  some solid buy-lows on some Braves Free Agent Targets!

But geez…the offseason! What an offseason.  Have the general managers turned into bears and have taken to hibernating? Or have they simply been reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and have taken Scrooge’s penny pinching philosophies to heart? Jim Bowden had the tweet that shows just how S L O W free agency has moved this year:

That’s right.  There are 135 unsigned free agents. What’s the reasoning? Many have speculated the 2019 stacked free agent class has a lot to do with it. Others have said that there are too many teams rebuilding and the ones that aren’t don’t have glaring holes that the current market fills. Others say that GMs have become wiser and realize that the bargains come later in the offseason. Personally, it seems like it’s a combination of all things above that’s caused a perfect storm of nothingness.  While I know that the Braves have little money left after absorbing costs, maybe AA can convince Liberty Media that this market is a great opportunity to buy-low on players that could factor into the future.

 

What are Atlanta Braves current needs?

This is a loaded question as it depends on who you ask, but if the Braves are looking to be contenders for the 2018 season (and I’m not expecting this, but speculating) then they’ll likely need a 3B and an OFer.  There’s argument that they’ll need more but that is where we are for this exercise.

From there, we need to know what Braves have to spend in 2018. According to Cot’s Contracts, after factoring in guaranteed contracts, arb-eligible contracts, and pre-arb players, there’s about 117 million committed to 2018.  For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the Braves can push a payroll up to 135 million. With the money Braves are taking on from the Dodgers and the lack of commitment to next year’s payroll, that might not be out of the question.

I’m not going to go full pie in the sky here, but I am going to assume a few things:

  1. Nick Markakis will be traded and Braves will eat 5MM of his salary.
  2. Free Agents will not take less $ per year, but will take a 2-year deal rather than the deal they’re currently seeking.

Subtracting the 6 million from the 117MM balance leaves 112MM. Now subtract 2 pre-arb players’ salaries that puts you at 24MM to spend. Although it hasn’t proven terribly accurate this year (actually been on the high side which is good for this exercise), I’m going to use MLBTradeRumors Free Agent predictions to gauge salary/year on players listed then do a bit of guesswork for those not listed, so let’s get to work.

Free Agent 3rd Basemen Fits

  1. Todd Frazier- 11MM
  2. Neil Walker- 10MM
  3. Brandon Phillips- 7MM
  4. Yunel Escobar- 7MM
  5. Eduardo Nunez- 7MM

Free Agent Outfield Fits

  1. *Lorenzo Cain- 17MM
  2. Cameron Maybin- 5MM
  3. Curtis Granderson- 8MM
  4. Jon Jay- 7MM
  5. Carlos Gonzalez- 8MM
  6. Carlos Gomez- 11MM
  7. Jay Bruce- 13MM

*Cain is the only guy on either list that, in no way do I think he’d accept a 2-year deal, so I’d sign him to a 4-year deal that gives him the option to opt-out after 2 years therefore he enters back into free agency after the big class.

Now play mix and match. If you’re a GM that can get the guys listed above on 2 year deals and you’ve got 24MM to spend, how do you go about it? There are plenty of combos to use, so I’ll suggest a few:

 

  1. Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce. Adds serious pop from both sides of the plate and makes the lineup a contender right out the gate.
  2. Lorenzo Cain and Eduardo Nunez. Puts focus on defense and provides a super-utility option should Riley prove ready in 2019 and gives the Braves the best OF defense in the majors with 3 natural CFers.

What would your combo be? Would you utilize the money in a different way? Let’s hear from the peanut gallery!

 

Go Braves!

21 Comments

While I will admit adding Frazier/Bruce and the 60+ homers they could add to the lineup is tantalizing, I don’t think it’s a fit. Bruce in particular doesn’t work, mainly because LF at STP is so big, and he doesn’t quite have the arm for right. I’m all about Frazier however…

There’s been discussion that the better fielder will likely play left field this coming year due to the dimensions you speak of. I’m not too sold on Bruce either. Would really like Cain and Nunez though.

To be honest, I’m more concerned with giving as much playing time as possible to our plethora of young players/prospects.

1. I want to see Albies and Acuna hit in front of Freddie Freeman (dropping Inciarte down to 7th in the batting order). I know, many want to see Acuna and his power potential hit in the middle of the order. However, it would be a waste of his speed, to have him hitting behind Freeman and/or Markakis (both of who are slow on the basepaths). Albies leading off with Acuna hitting 2nd…if it works in 2018 would not only give Freddie a chance to lead MLB in RBIs in 2018…but also give Braves Management a preview of what ‘could be’…IF Freeman had some power protection behind him in 2019!

2. Pitching! We’re going to have some growing pains with Gohara, Newcomb and Fried…in addition to auditioning McCarthy and Kazmir for trades. However with Soroka, Allard and possibly Kyle Wright possibly pushing their way onto Atlanta’s roster by September….2018 should be about finding out exactly what we have when it comes to our starting pitching (as well as Teheran and Folty letting us know, by their play, what our new GM is going to do with them before 2018 ends).

Too many question marks. But that’s ok. As long as our prospects continue developing (2017 was a great year as far as our prospect developing….no one really predicted that Gohara and Acuna would both basically jump from High A to Triple A/The Majors like they did…in addition to Soroka and Allard DOMINATING Double A….as well as Alex Jackson and Austin Riley swinging the lumber in 2017) in 2018….I wont trip if Atlanta has another losing record.

2019, as I’ve been saying all along, is the year I feel lines up PERFECTLY to end The Rebuild and begin making The Playoffs. If Frazier and or Bruce were ok with signing 1 year contracts with The Braves…then fine. However I doubt that either is going to settle for 1 year deals.

you don’t need speedy guys per se at the top of your lineup. The ability to steal/take the extra base is less valuable when they bat in front of your best all-around hitters (3rd/4th presumably), whose hits are likely to be of the extra-base variety. Contrary to traditional notions, the 5th-6th spot would be ideal for a base stealer, since that ability would aid them more in getting to the plate with the bottom-order hitters coming up to bat. However, if said base-stealer is one of your best overall hitters, in which case he should be be at top of the lineup regardless of his skill on the basepaths.

Travis…totally disagree with you! Having speed in front of Freddie Freeman is ESSENTIAL. I’ve seen The Braves basically play ‘station to station’ baseball too much over the recent past. Having Albies and Acuna hitting in front of Freeman, will see much more ‘going from 1st to 3rd on singles’…as well as a double scoring a run from 1st (or clearing the bases when runners are on 1st and 2nd).

Having Acuna hit 5th or 6th…would slow him up…because he’d be hitting behind either Markakis (whose hit clean-up most of the time when Kemp wasnt in the lineup)….or Flowers/Suzuki (who would hit 5th behind Markakis most of the time). Acuna hitting with those runners on base…will likely be at the mercy of those guys basically running ‘station to station’ follwing an Acuna hit.

Now with Inciarte hitting 6th in this lineup (with whoever is playing 3rd hitting 7th and Swanson hitting 8th)..then he may have a chance to score from 1st if one of those guys gets a hold of one for a double. But I hope that AA forces Snitker (who is far from being an ‘enlightened’ manager) to hit Albies/Acuna at the top of the order in 2018.

Roll over the money to the next season.

Or, even better, use it to accept some other team’s problematic contract – for a right price.

TRad…I’m with you on the accepting bad contracts concept. We did it when we took Arroyo’s $10.5 mil contract in The Tooki Tousaint Trade with Arizona. If The Marlins wanted to get rid of Wang’s bad contract…then The Braves could take Wang off their hands…for Yelich. Instead of paying Yelich $58.25 mil over the next 5 years..we’d be ‘paying’ $120.25 mil over 5 years for Yelich (Wang is owed $62 mil over the next 3 years). That amounts to $24 mil a year for Yelich (if he was a Free Agent, he’d get around that much, give or take a few mil).

I feel that this is a fair trade for The Braves (they could throw in Blair, Wisler and Sims to The Marlins….kind of like how we threw in Phil Gosslin to The Diamondbacks). Unless Wang makes a miraculous return…The Braves are basically going to have to eat that money….still better than giving up 4-5 of our best prospects for Yelich alone.

While The Marlins would basically be giving up their best play for organization filler type players (Sims has a chance to be a ‘decent’ starter)..it does free their organization from the $62 mil owed to Wang over the next 3 years (in addition to the $58.25 mil owed to Yelich…a ‘waste’ on what will be a non-contending team the next 3-4 years).

Your thoughts?

Bryse S…my bad. For some reason I had a brain freeze when typing in Wang (who used to pitch for The Yankees awhile back) instead of Chen (watching The Alabama-Georgia game while posting).

Realistically 2019 should be the year that the Braves make the World Series, but a few things should be done before then.
1. Sign Folty to a club friendly contract (ala Teheran contact).
2. Sign Frazier for 2 years (traded after 1).
3. Make a trade with Houston to get Kyle Tucker (instead of Yelich) for LF after some time in the minors.
4. Trade with Cleveland to get Danny Salazar.
5. Use 2018 to see if Dansby is the SS of future, if yes then sign Machado for 3rd base. If no,then sign Machado for SS and hope that Riley is ready for 3rd.

Stephen M…..I like your proposed moves.

1. I’ve posted a very detailed 2018 Free Agent Offseason ‘hope list’ where I proposed that The Braves offer both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado $35 mil a year type contracts..as well as Craig Kimbrel $18 mil a year-ish type deal. Among my starting rotation I had..was Folty (I think that Teheran will a better year in 2018, however I feel he’ll be traded by The Trade Deadline in July) as The Braves #1 starter in 2019. I feel that Folty could very well pull a Smoltz (post All-Star Break 1991) and show in 2018 that he can lead our staff in the future (making him a candidate for an extension offer by Braves Management). However, Folty could very well be traded by the end of 2020 (because by then he may very well be pushed out of the rotation by the young guns we’ll have starting in High A ball to begin 2018).

2. If Frazier was open to that, I’d be down for that. However I dont think that Frazier will..UNLESS the market totally collapses for him.

3. While I’ve pushed for The Braves to go after Bryce Harper after The 2018 Season in Free Agency….if The Braves could get Tucker from Houston without giving up one of our Top 6 prospects…then I would love to see how Tucker produces in 2018 for The Braves. However I dont know if Houston is willing to trade Tucker.

4. I dont see Cleveland giving up Salazar…UNLESS The Braves are willing to ‘blow’ Cleveland away with an offer (Cleveland is trying to make another World Series run….trading starting pitchers like Salazar away makes little sense when it comes to that). However, if The Braves are able to trade for Tucker and he shows that he’s a power bat that we need for left field..then I’d love to see The Braves make a push for Clayton Kershaw via Free Agency (like how they went after Maddux after The 1992 Season).

5. Totally am down for going after Machado in Free Agency! Imagine Machado hitting behind Freeman (with Albies and Acuna hitting #1-#2 in front of them)? Sick, lol! While I think that Swanson will rebound in 2018..I dont really see him being a #2 type hitter (Acuna, yes). If Swanson plays great defense at short….and excels at being the type of #8 hitter who can consistently clear the pitcher’s spot of the order (whether getting a walk, hit by pitch or dunk hit/seeing eye single), I’d be extremely happy! If not, then if Machado is serious about wanting to play short, then we can either keep Frazier for that 2nd year (if we can sign him to the type of 2 year contract that you proposed this offseason) in 2019 while The Braves wait on Austin Riley working his way to The Majors.

Regardless of what happens, I’d love to see The Braves keep our plethora of pitching prospects..and build our pitching staff with them (waiting for the right time to trade the ones we dont want to keep long term). I dont mind using Free Agent money to sign a Kimbrel or Kershaw…I just dont want to blow The Farm System to get someone like them!

I really wouldn’t want to sign any of the guys on this list, to be honest. If I’ve got twenty-four million dollars to spend, I’m signing Mike Moustakas. I feel like someone’s going to get him for an average annual value of about fifteen million dollars- but even if I had to go to seventeen million a year, there would be money left.

Then Riley could also be on the table in a potential Yelich deal.

After seeing the return that The Pirates got back from trading Cole to The Astros….the common theme in virtually all the trades made this offseason…seems to be that the teams are not giving up their best prospects for established MLB players!

The Giants didnt lose anywhere close to their best prospects for Longoria…NEITHER did The Cardinals for Ozuna.

Yet all I can hear is how many of The Braves best prospects (outside of Acuna) that we’ll have to give up to get Yelich from Florida. NONSENSE!

Here is what I’d be willing to give up to get Yelich: Markakis, Richardo Sanchez, Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair! That’s it! If not…then good luck getting what you can from other teams (because it doesnt look like any of the other teams are willing to give up anywhere close to their best prospects this offseason)!

That is such hooey. This is a more reasonable analysis on Yelich and I would not pay this kind of price for Yelich. Only if we can get him for somewhat less would it be a decent trade (e.g. Anderson, Muller, Pache, Markakis and a couple mil for Yelich and Ziegler).

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/trade-value-christian-yelich.html

Further, both Moran and Martin were considered to be legitimate targets for the Braves this offseason (Martin before the Braves got Preston and Martin was, of course, a Rule 5 possibility). The Braves would have had a legitimate shot at getting the same return for Teheran (Teheran for Musgrove, Moran, Feliz, and Martin) even if they had to throw in something else small. That would have gotten the Braves almost everything we need (OF, 3B, and two relievers, one of which might be able to start). That is exactly the deal the Braves should have made this offseason to be competitive in 2018. We would have had a year to see if Moran was the answer at 3B or not and solidified the bullpen without giving up any prospects. And, with all the FA SPs still on the market, the Braves could still have found one to fill the gap until the pitching prospects are ready. Without the Yelich trade the Braves could play Markakis until Acuna is brought up and have quite a competition for LF between Tucker, Martin, Adams, and Peterson – one of those four has to turn into a MLB regular. Unfortunately, the Pirates succeeded where the Braves failed to act. And, yet, the Braves could still target JD Davis in a trade. Or Frazier/Nunez as FA. There is every reason to believe the Braves could find a way to compete this year without giving up the farm.

Roger, you do raise a good point- had the Braves done what you said with Tehran, and signed say, Lance Lynn, they’d arguably be a far better team on paper this season than they look to be now because they’d have addressed 3B and the pen.

Roger…as much as I’d like to see The Braves get the kind of return for Teheran that The Pirates got for Cole…the harsh reality is that 1. Cole is THE BETTER pitcher between him and Teheran (especially given Teheran’s struggles in 2017)…2. Teheran is scheduled to make $8 mil, $11 mil and a team option $12 mil in 2020 (while Cole is only making $6.75 mil in 2018 with 2019 his last year of arbitration). 3. There is NO WAY that The Astros would have given that package for Teheran.

While I feel that The Pirates should have gotten more for Cole….for some reason The Trade Market this offseason has allowed pretty much every team whose acquired a really good player..to do with WITHOUT giving up any of their best prospects! It isnt just The Marlins who traded Gordon, Ozuna and Stantion that got, at best, ‘marginal prospects’ back…..look at The Giants and what they ‘only’ gave up to get Longoria!

I know, Yelich is a really nice player with a very affordable contact for the next 5 years with a player of his caliber. However, given that we’ve yet to establish who we’re going with LONG TERM in our rotation, it is simply TOO SOON to trade from our plethora of pitching prospects.

We simply have TOO MANY QUESTIONS that need answering in 2018…to simply to blow through the number of prospects that many seem to be ok with in order to make this trade. I dont want to see The Braves sign Lance Lynn-types to a 5 year/$100 mil plus-type contracts. We still dont have a playoff type caliber closer for this team..NOR do we have a power hitting 3rd baseman-type (Yelich would fill the hole in left if AA caved in and did this trade). Blowing over another $100 mil-plus on getting Moustakis would be HELLA FOOLISH.

The SMART, Long Term move to make..is to STAY PAT and let 2018 play itself out. Give Albies and Acuna a chance to show what they can do causing havoc at the top of the order…give our young starting pitching prospects (both in Atlanta and in The Minors) another year to develop/show us what they have). In addition, we have some Double A and Triple A bullpen prospects who’ll need time/opportunities to show us what they have (meaning that there will be some ‘hiccups’ in the early stages of their MLB careers….something that would be hard to stomach if we were really counting 2018 as being a playoff caliber season).

I know that it’s tough to ‘write off’ 2018, given the losing that we’ve experienced since Coppy just started The Rebuild with the sell-off after The 2014 Season ended. However, just imagine the enviable position that The Braves will be once The 2018 Season ends:

1. We’ll know what we’re going to do with Teheran and Folty.
2. We’ll know what we have in Albies and Acuna (after his call-up 2 weeks into the season) after a full season from both.
3. We’ll have a clear idea of where we stand with Newcomb, Fried, Gohara…along with whether Soroka and Allard are ready compete for a rotation spot in 2019.
4. We’ll have another season of development for the likes of Wright, Tooki, Wentz, Anderson, Wilson, Davidson and Sanchez.
5. The Braves will have approximately $100 mil of payroll flexibility going into The 2018 Free Agent Offseason.
6. The Free Agent pool after The 2018 Season is MUCH BETTER than the current one! AA will have HELLA flexibility to go after the players who can make a real difference.
7. Let’s say that The Braves strike out on getting Machado, Harper, Kimbrel (and others like Donaldson, Pollack, etc that would be decent ‘consolation prizes’): Then our trade chips with be MUCH MORE VALUABLE (meaning that we’ll have to give up LESS of them in an individual trade) because they’ll each be CLOSER to The Majors than they currently are. For instance, if we tried to trade either Acuna or Gohara last offseason, we’d have gotten FAR LESS for either of them..then we would if we tried to trade either right now! Same with Soroka, Allard, Tooki, etc. If you think those prospects are highly rated…..how high do you think they’ll be once 2018 is over with?
8. Also, we could get some decent returns for McCarthy and Kazmir (big ifs…but one never knows).

While I have ‘hopes’ regarding how I would like to see The 2018 Offseason play out..in reality I’ve been watching MLB for a long time to know for certain! However I do know that if AA is patient like he says that he’ll be with our prized young prospects…..then he’ll have LOADS of options by staying pat this year (unless a ‘too good to be true’ type of trade crosses his path).

Coppy, regardless of his faults, was like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter! Relentless…looking for valuable nuggets/steals of a deal type trades (he absolutely RAPED Seattle with both The Gohara and Alex Jackson Trades within a span of days last winter! The beauty about both of those trades…we also acquired ‘lottery ticket-type’ pitchers in Thomas Burrows and Tyler Pike).

So far, I’m been impressed with AA. In addition to the impressive Matt Kemp Trade that freed up payroll going into The 2018 Free Agent Offseason (if Teheran rebounds in 2018 and becomes more a more attractable trade chip by The July Trade Deadline…The Braves may very well have only $26 mil on the books after The Season ends, not counting arbitration/pre-arb players…SICK, lol)…but he also DUMPED Jim Johnson onto The Angels…as well as negotiating under-slot deals for the arbitration eligible players we had going into this offseason. Also, AA managed The Rule 5 process EXPERTLY (we didnt lose ANYONE in The Draft…and managed to draft a lottery ticket-type pitcher from The Yankees in the process). I just hope that he doesnt cave in and give up our best prospects in acquiring Yelich.

Paul, you’re comparing apples to oranges I’m afraid.

The Astros didn’t have to pay a premium for Gerritt Cole because Cole was coming off a down year, and he only has two years of club control left. Yet the Astros still had to fork over three players who’ll be contributors at the major league level, in addition to a lottery ticket of sorts, in Jason Martin.

Yelich has more than twice as much control left, and has numbers on the upswing.

The Giants didin’t lose anywhere near their best prospects for Evan Longoria because he’s thirty-two, and his numbers, while solid, are trending in the wrong direction. The fact that Tampa got out from under the financial obligation, small as it may be, is significant for them.

Yelich is six years younger, and a bargain for the production.

I’d also argue the Cardinals did pay a bit of a price for two years of Ozuna, who’s less affordable than Yelich.

You can’t get something for nothing in MLB, and all a package of Markakis, Richardo Sanchez, Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler or Aaron Blair would get you is laughed at and hung up on. The GM who tries to swindle every other GM ends up being Coppy, because no one else likes him- and we all saw how that turned out for him and the Braves.

As you always say, the Braves have a plethora of young pitching prospects, so to me, it can’t hurt to part with one. You could throw Pache in, because the OF would be set with Yelich. That’s a pretty good start, and it doesn’t cripple Atlanta. It’s been reported that Atlanta and Miami had traction on a deal at the winter meetings, so so there has to be some parts that line up.

King….it’s simply too soon to starting trading from our collection of young high ceiling pitching prospects. After The 2018 Season is over with, we’ll be much better positioned to do so. Sean Newcomb is one pitcher I expect to be decent in 2018..however I feel that he’s not someone who will be in our rotation long term (because of the talent we have that will be pushing him out of the rotation). He’ll have more trade value AFTER 2018.

If we tried to acquire a Yelich-type player right now…we’ll have to include TOO MANY of them (SCREW giving up 5 of our best prospects for Yelich). I feel that Coppy did an AMAZING JOB of drafting/developing these guys. I’ve stated this a number of times…The 2015-2017 Drafts, when all is said and done, could go down as HISTORIC Drafts!

There will be opportunities to trade for cheap/Yelich-type players next offseason IF we miss out on our Free Agent Targets after 2018 is over with! Why not at least give The 2018 Free Agent Offseason a chance to play out? Why not at least try to ‘have our cake and eat it’ too (you know, keep our pitching prospects WHILE spending money via Free Agency to improve left/3rd/closer)?

Wouldnt it be nice to see how productive a cheap/cost controlled/young/high ceiling rotation could be from 2019 to at least 2022 (and beyond)? We’ll have a number of years to not only build ‘The Perfect Rotation’ (we can be picky on who we keep long term….be selective on who proves that they can stay healthy/productive/pitch deep into games) WITHOUT having to shell out $20-$30 mil for each of them ‘right away’!

Possible 2019 Rotation:

1. Folty
2. Gohara
3. Soroka
4. Allard
5. Wright (or Newcomb if Wright needs additional time in Triple A)

Possible 2020 Rotation

1. Gohara
2. Soroka
3. Allard
4. Wright
5. Tooki (or Folty will be our #1 if he develops into a #1 AND can be signed to a team friendly deal. But if not Folty/if Tooki hasnt developed yet….we can keep Newcomb or go with any of Wentz, Anderson, Wilson, Davidson, Muller and/or Sanchez, all of whom should start 2018 at High Class A).

Possible 2021 Rotation:

1. Gohara (1st year of arbitration)
2. Soroka
3. Wright
4. Wentz
5. Wilson

Allard could be a trade chip..along with Tooki IF Wentz and/or Wilson push their way into the rotation.

To be honest, all of this is hella projecting, lol! I really have no idea how the next 3-4 years are going to play out. However, I do know that we have some SERIOUS pitching talent in our organization. Other teams got frustrated with Coppy…because he didnt just GIVE AWAY our talent for other team’s SHIT PLAYERS! The GARBAGE that The Astros gave up to get Cole from The Pirates…PATHETIC!

I hope that AA realizes what Coppy knew…..which is that The Braves have HELLA LEVERAGE when it comes to what we have! Pitching is KING! If you want what WE HAVE..then you need to PONY THE FUCK UP! If not…then FUCK OFF, lol! Yelich isnt the ‘end all to be all’! I wouldnt trade Acuna STRAIGHT UP for Yelich! I wouldnt even trade Soroka straight up for Yelich!

We have one more losing year left….then we’re going to be THE ABSOLUTE ENVY of MLB starting in 2019! We’re going to have A HELLA CHEAP/TALENTED pitching staff FOR YEARS TO COME…..IF our GM just plays the patient game! With our payroll flexibility….we can PICK AND CHOOSE where we spend our free agent dollars to improve the offense.

King….AA was on MLB Radio earlier today. Here’s what he said:

“2018 is a really important year for us because we have a lot of young players that can go either way. They can emerge and get to the next step, they can stay in the area they’re in or they can stall and go backwards. Part of it is trying to find out exactly what we have. With that said, there’s a ton of talent on this team as we all know. We do believe in it, and there’s a very real chance a lot of these guys take a step forward and start to make some significant strides.”

King, look at some of the statements that AA made! It’s like QUOTING ME! It looked like in that one paragraph that AA said…he read my posts on this site..and decided to STEAL all my quotes and use them on MLB Radio, lol!

AA also stated that he’s reluctant to trade many of the young guys because he just doesn’t know what they have. Doesn’t imagine getting there by the end of the offseason, either.

1. How many times have I said that “2018 is an important year” (regarding our young pitching talent)?

2. How many times have I said that we need to ‘find out exactly what we have’ (regarding our young pitching talent…as well as Albies/Acuna)?

3. How many times have I stated that “it’s too soon to trade our young pitching prospects”?

I knew that i liked AA for a reason, lol! Perhaps I’m not as ‘off my rocker’ as many of you think I am, lol!!!!!!!!

Let’s get real people. Time to look around and realize that last year’s team was not too bad until Kemp got injured and stopped hitting, Matt Adams was reverted to a bench player, J. Johnson collapsed, and Garcia was traded. What’s the common thread? All were more or less FA imports and are no longer with the team. With McCarthy replacing Dickey as a one-for-one, the team, as currently constructed is a 100 loss team. If you assume Dansby improves to merely average, Camargo regresses as predicted, Albies has an average season due to some sophomore slumpiness, Acuna is not recalled until July, S. Freeman regresses, the catching tandem regresses, the SP is up and down, Minter/Winkler/Vizcaino all spend time on the DL as usual, and Markakis continues to decline, what you have left is basically a 110 loss team. This team needs to make trades or bring in a few FA just to be average and ensure continued forward progress. I guarantee that no significant FA will sign on next year, if the Braves show no willingness to spend money this year. I also guarantee that AA knows that he needs to make some moves just to stay respectable and he will do that before Spring Training or maybe after he sees what happens during Spring Training. Everything else he says in public will be platitudes until he makes something happen. Right now, it’s all spin. I’m beginning to believe what Cameron at Fangraphs said in that the Braves have put together a great farm but have been derelict in neglecting the product on the field. That has to stop. In fact, I think we should all stop buying tickets until it stops. If any of the stories about Liberty are correct and they have no intention of spending for the on-field product until they can sell the team, I would not count on being competitive next year.

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