The Atlanta Braves’ off-season has been a good one that has put them in a position to compete or to continue to re-build.
The Atlanta Braves have had an interesting off-season where they have put themselves in a good position to either continue the re-build or to have the pieces to compete if the team surprises and hangs in the postseason race.
Adding veteran starters like Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia were good moves that will provide insurance if young arms like Matt Wisler or Mike Foltynewicz struggle again in 2017. On the flip side they will be able to help the Braves’ young pitchers and become valuable trade chips if the Braves do fall out of contention early.
While it isn’t fun for fans to think of their players as trade chips that is where this Atlanta team is and if you look at it from a strictly business perspective they have put themselves in a great position adding a lot of valuable veteran players to their roster that could help them compete or be easily moved if the season turns sour before the deadline.
Sean Rodriguez was brought in from free agency to help the Braves address the problems that they had with their bench last season. Rodriguez can play all three outfield positions in a pinch as well as the majority of the infield and along with Jace Peterson will give the Braves a lot of flexibility if they were to need to carry an extra pitcher at some point in the season.
The Braves’ bullpen could prove to be a surprising strength the season as well considering the amount of high upside arms that the Braves currently have on their roster competing for spots in 2017. Jim Johnson will be the projected closer and help solidify the back end of the Braves’ pen.
Going after Chris Sale or a long term ace may have confused some fans as to how that hypothetical deal would play into the Braves re-building strategy. Ultimately the Braves decided to focus on their farm and making their team better without getting a star player via trade or free agency and leave that move until the Braves’ young players prove themselves ready to help this team return to contention.
The moves the Braves have made this off-season gives them the ability to either go out and get a missing piece if this team becomes a surprise contender or to continue to re-build by moving the core of veteran players that they have signed this off-season. While it is far too early to predict how this team will look this season it is fair to say that the Braves have done a great job sticking to the plan and putting the Braves in a good position as they head into the 2017 season.