Like them or not, there have been a lot of Braves Roster moves thus far, will be many more in the upcoming weeks, and will likely continue throughout the year.
The Meek Braves Roster Moves
Our Atlanta Braves are 7-5 and have been without:
- Their starting catcher Tyler Flowers for (nearly) all 12 games.
- Their starting 3rd baseman Johan Camargo for all 12 games.
- Arguably their highest ceiling Starting Pitcher in Luiz Gohara.
This led to some early Braves roster moves that have worked out pretty well, but on the surface, seemed meek, and lacked inspiration:
- Signing Ryan Flaherty
- Signing Peter Bourjos
- Signing Anibal Sanchez
- Trading for Carlos Perez
- Promoting Luke Jackson, known eater of boogers
I’ve tweeted numerous times about these Braves roster moves, and have even been adamant about the lack of inspiration the Braves put into the back end of their 25-man roster. Thus far, I’ve eaten a bit of crow as 3 of the 4 above have actually played/pitched pretty well in place of the aforementioned 3 that was placed on the DL. However, let’s not pretend that these are bold moves.
Bold would have been grabbing Neil Walker, not signing castoffs. Bold would have been allowing one of the young guys the number 5 spot in the rotation rather than giving it to an afterthought like Sanchez. Bold would have been allowing Ryan Schimpf to work out some kinks at AAA and promote Rob Brantly to the MLB club rather than trading for a catcher that won’t make it through April in the organization. But now that the dust has settled, and this Braves team have inspired us to hope, these meek moves will likely move into the mild stage very soon.
The Mild Braves Roster Moves
We all know Luke Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, and Carlos Perez aren’t long for the roster. The obliques of Johan Camargo and Tyler Flowers will be healed soon. Luiz Gohara will be ready soon. Ronald Acuna will get promoted sooner rather than later. Come May, all 4 of these guys will be ready. We know it, the Braves front office knows it, and this is the sole purpose there’s been so many meek moves thus far. In all likelihood, Carlos Perez and Luke Jackson will pass through waivers.
There’s a chance that the Braves could stash Anibal Sanchez at AAA, but there’s likely a larger chance, with 1 more decent outing, that the Braves could trade him (don’t expect much in the return). My point is this: Early on, it’s not wise for a GM to make bold 40-man roster moves knowing that 3-4 guys will be on the 25-man that aren’t currently. Whether I like it or not, depth is important.
Luiz Gohara will replace Anibal Sanchez
Ronald Acuna will likely replace one of Lane Adams or Peter Bourjos
Johan Camargo will likely replace one of Charlie Culberson or Ryan Flaherty (or an extra reliever)
Tyler Flowers will replace Carlos Perez
While these moves may have a huge impact on the team, they’re not bold moves, rather they’re mild obvious moves that need to be made to improve the roster.
The Bold Braves Roster Moves
So, if the above 4 moves aren’t considered bold, where do the bold moves come in? I’m glad you asked. There is talent in the Minors that need to get a taste of MLB and there are veterans in MLB that likely need to move to make room for that talent. Two guys that come to mind right away are veteran leaders in Brandon McCarthy and Nick Markakis. There’s no doubt that it’d hurt to move these guys, especially if they continue to play the way they’ve played thus far, but it could prove necessary so that players like Preston Tucker and Mike Soroka get a shot to prove themselves worthy of a regular spot.
The Beautiful (and downright Dangerous) Braves Roster Moves
If you’re a regular watcher of our Atlanta Braves (like me), you get attached to the players. Make no mistake, these strangers become a part of our lives and we feel like we “know” them. Over the last 3 years, disciples of Josh Brown have fallen in love with Nick Markakis’s consistency. However, let’s not pretend he’s a difference maker.
Let’s also stop pretending that Julio Teheran will ever be the ace that we all wanted him to be. If the Braves are contending later on in the year, there will have to be some beautiful, hurtful, and downright dangerous moves to acquire talent. I like Preston Tucker a lot, but I’m not going to pretend that I wouldn’t want to see an impacting outfielder acquired for the stretch run. Or a player like Josh Donaldson in his final year of a contract that allows the Braves to use Johan Camargo in the ultimate depth role, roaming the entire field. But, these moves, if made, will hurt. Guys in MLB will lose their jobs, could change uniforms. And yes, beloved prospects will leave us. This year? Next? At some point, it’s going to happen.
And no, let me say I don’t think these moves happen this year. However, if they do, that means things are going well and that should excite us all.
In conclusion, we’ve already seen the Meek. We will soon see the Mild. The Bold might not happen at all, but if we get to the Beautiful this year? Oh boy…hold on to your britches as the sky is the limit.