The Philadephia Phillies have signed star free agent Bryce Harper to a 13-year $330-million dollar deal. A deal that both helps and hurts the Atlanta Braves at the same time.
The Atlanta Braves silence this off-season has been a point of frustration for fans who believed a front office who told them they would spend this off-season. The Phillies told their fans the same thing, delivering signing this year’s top free agent and improving virtually every part of their team.
If they didn’t already the Braves now have clear competition for the division in 2019. Naming the Braves division favorites seems impossible now considering the talent that Philly has amassed.
Add in the fact the Braves will face an improved Mets roster and it is hard to see the team having the same success. The only path to success with their current roster would be for the Braves to have at least three players take major steps forward in their production.
An unlikely scenario for a young team who will face struggles at times. Now the Braves must deliver on their promise and make moves to improve their team.
Signing a bench bat, rotation piece, and closer are all options for a team who has plenty of room to improve in Spring Training.
With at least four pitchers already dealing with injury adding a starter seems like the wisest move for a team who has limited roster flexibility. If they choose not to improve before Opening Day it is hard to see this roster winning the division.
While the Braves may have the most talent and upside longterm the Phillies and Mets have both loaded up on productive veteran players to put around their talented young cores. Atlanta meanwhile has been stuck in neutral waiting on the right deal to fall from the sky.
Now it is time for the front office to panic in Atlanta, it is time to make a move and give this roster enough to take on a good Phillies roster in 2019.