The Atlanta Braves are making plenty of moves early this off-season. They have continued shopping for veteran and bargain players but are still looking to turn the corner in 2017.
The Atlanta Braves have wasted little time this off-season making a flurry of moves and continuing to have their names in a number of free agent and trade market rumors. As they are headed into the new stadium in 2017 they will be looking to build around their young core to help them contend in 2017 and beyond.
R.A. Dickey was the first big contributor that the Braves added this off-season snagging Dickey off the free agent market with a 1-year eight-million dollar deal with an option for the 2018 season. Dickey is an aging player that has been pitching for a long time in the most offensive minded division in the game. The one thing that the Braves do know about Dickey is that he is a durable player that is capable of throwing a lot of quality innings.
The hope is that Dickey can bounce back to the player he was with the Mets and post a lower ERA and keep the Braves offense in games. Overall the move is an average one that doesn’t signal much change in the Braves perspective. They have long been adding veteran players like Dickey only to send them packing out the door a few months later to contending teams.
They continued shopping for starting pitching and added another name to the rotation, Bartolo Colon. Colon has spent several productive seasons with the Mets and despite being in his forties has continued to pitch quality innings,keep his team in games, and bring a sense of fun to the clubhouse.
Adding Colon to a young Braves rotation was a great move by the Braves front office and one that will have them a step closer to being a .500 team or better. The rotation is just now beginning to take shape with the Braves having four legitimate starters penciled in and continuing to look into the possibility of adding an ace in the future.
Also of note the Braves brought back former Braves’ setup man Jordan Walden on a team friendly deal. Walden has dealt with injury after injury since leaving the Braves and failed to stay back on the field for any long period of time. The best innings of his career came out of the Braves’ bullpen and a move back to Atlanta could be just was he needed to regain form in a bullpen that looks to be solid in 2017.
The Braves haven’t been shy about making moves so far in this off-season and should continue to get creative, especially considering they are yet to add any bench pieces, a back-up catcher, or to trade one of their players. More moves are coming.