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Atlanta Braves Off-Season Outlook

Before you begin reading the rest of the article let me just inform you that i will try to keep this article as realistic as possible…… Even though, I don’t know what I’d give up to have my Braves receive Jacob Degrom in a trade especially given his injury ending his 2016 season injury. I’d trade for his hair alone.

………. forget that I said any of that let’s get onto the article.

 

John Coppolella entered this off-season looking to retain his “Best trading GM” moniker (He flipped Hector Olivera for Matt Kemp, that’s all that needs to be said), however do not expect this off-season to be centered around prospects. The Braves are beginning the process of developing a consistent playoff running team  (I know they didnt make it this year). This team did however finish the season strong and  with that implied they could possibly have a small playoff run in the upcoming season.

“Coppy” stated before the season ended that the Braves were looking for 2 Starting pitchers, a Catcher, and though he didn’t say this a 3rd baseman to share time with Adonis Garcia, Rio Ruiz could potentially platoon this spot with Garcia, however Ruiz could use a little more experience before fully being brought up to the Majors full time.Keep this note in mind the Braves essentially will have to give up at least one of their top 11 prospects to get what they want.

OPTIONS-

Free Agent Pitching is considerably a very bad option but I do foresee the Braves getting at least one Pitcher out of this class. None in this class are Frontline Starters in my opinion if the Braves acquired one it would be through trade (Chris Sale, cough). The Braves according to Mark Bowman will also have 35 Million to spend this off-season which is the most they’ve had in the past decade so i fully expect the Braves to take advantage of this fact.

Ivan Nova: Age 29 W(12) – L(8) ERA 4.17 SO 127

Doug Fister: Age 32 W(12) – L(13) ERA 4.64 SO 115 ( I do think he has potential for a bounce back year,however at Age 32 this might scare off the Braves.

Jeremy Hellickson: Age 29 W(13) – L(12) ERA 3.71 SO 154 (May be in a bidding war with other teams, it’s a toss up whether the Braves act on Hellickson or not).

R.a. Dickey: Age 42 W(10) – L(15) ERA 4.46 SO 126 ( Not a choice I would enjoy but reports are going that the Braves are considering bring him in, we’ll see….)

Do not sleep on…

Henderson Alvarez (only reason he might not be picked up is his injury concerns. Ever since being brought up he’s pretty much been hurt each year.) Other than that he puts up pretty good numbers and could still develop into a frontline starter, as he is only 26 years old.

Free Agent infielders: Sean Rodriguez (in my opinion the Braves would make this move to bring more depth and experience to the bench and platoon positions).

Free Agent Catchers: None, that should interest the Braves. If they act on this Free agent position they will only be throwing money into the fire.

Free Agent Outfielders: I only see the Braves acting on Jeff Francoeur if that, just to bring a good arm and more experience and depth to the outfield. Jeff only has an average bat at this point (off the bench).

Trade options-

I will include trade scenarios in this section instead of just options (your welcome America). I know some Braves fans will hate me for these such suggestions but I feel that the Braves need to make these moves and it wouldn’t totally be blowing up the Farm System.

Braves- Brandon Cundiff (Relief Pitcher), Chris Ellis (Starting Pitcher), Steve Janas(mix of both, starting and relief), Robert Whalen (Starting Pitcher)

Red Sox- Eduardo Rodriguez (mix of both starting and relief), Blake Swihart (Catcher and Left field)

^^^^^^ This trade above addressees a catching and pitching need for the Braves and adds even more outfield depth to give more rest to the starters during the season.

Now before I give this trade scenario just know that I could see this trade coming if not one that is similar to it. So before you call me crazy just know I have solid reasons why this trade could happen and this article is coming to a close I know you probably haven’t read this much since back in high school but I’m finishing up so just be patient.

Braves- Ozhaino Albies (Braves have him as a second baseman but as Tomahawk Take has stated before in one of their podcast he would be more valuable to another team as a shortstop)(Mariners), Zach Bird (Starting Pitcher/Relief Pitcher)(Pirates). Joey Wentz(Starting Pitcher)(Pirates), Nick Markakis (Outfielder) (Mariners), Caleb Dirks (Relief Pitcher)(Mariners), Williams Perez(Starting Pitcher)(Pirates).

Mariners- D.J. Peterson (1B)(Pirates), Thomas Burrows(Relief Pitcher)(Pirates),Boog Powell(Outfielder)(Braves), Taijuan Walker (Pitcher)(Braves)

Pirates- Andrew McCutchen(Outfielder)(Braves), Elias Diaz (Catcher)(Braves)

Why do I see this trade happening? It addressees needs for all teams involved.

The Braves want more star power, Depth,production and at least pretty solid contracts, O and a Starting Pitcher didn’t hurt this scenario either though  they did have to give up a couple of really good prospects and a pretty solid outfielder, however they would love this trade when it comes down to it. As well as a high potential catcher on both Offense and Defense.

The Pirates want more Bullpen Depth, more position player depth, Josh Bell plays 1st Base and Right field it couldn’t hurt to have someone help him share innings,A pretty solid Starting Pitcher for cheap, A very good and young Pitching Prospect that has potential to add a Left handed arm to the rotation in a couple of years (the Braves have several left handed pitching prospects, Wentz just happens to be 3rd best at the current moment, which in the Braves system equals a number 1 left-handed pitching prospect somewhere else). I believe they trade McCutchen because the talks of him being traded are just backed by to many reasons to give him away, one of the main reasons is to sell high as he might or might not rebound.

The Mariners break out with the best of this trade in my opinion they receive a a solid veteran outfielder who is a candidate for a Gold Glove this season, a young and well developed, as well as still developing 2nd Baseman who could soon pair with Robinson Cano if not take his spot in the coming years if needed (His versatility is the main reason why Taijuan Walker is involved in this trade, he is also someone the Braves have wanted for awhile)(Not to mention with Travis Demeritte racking up Scout’s opinions of being a “Plus Plus” defender at 2nd I don’t believe the Braves would move him to third or trade him especially with him having a very excellent power tool), and they also receive Bullpen Depth which they are also looking for.

If you guys would like to check the prospects involved in these deals here are the links

Prospects; http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=atl

MLB.com 2016 Prospect Watch

Check out MLBPipeline.com’s 2016 Prospect Watch to get rankings, scouting reports, video and more for MLB’s future stars.

MLB.com 2016 Prospect Watch

Check out MLBPipeline.com’s 2016 Prospect Watch to get rankings, scouting reports, video and more for MLB’s future stars.

Veteran players involved; http://m.braves.mlb.com/roster/

25-Man Roster

The official website of the Boston Red Sox with the most up-to-date information on scores, schedule, stats, tickets, and team news.

25-Man Roster

The official website of the Seattle Mariners with the most up-to-date information on scores, schedule, stats, tickets, and team news.

So All in all here’s how I see the Braves entering the 2017 regular season this is including previous performances during the 2016 regular season and Spring Training performance predictions.

 

Starting Pitchers-

1.Julio Teheran  2. Doug Fister 3. Taijuan Walker  4. Eduardo Rodriguez 5. Mike Foltynewicz/Henderson Alvarez

Relief Pitchers

Middle relief:Ian Krol, Henderson Alvarez, Eduardo Rodriguez (see what i mean by interchangeable parts)

Setup relief: Chris Withrow, Maurcicio Cabrera, Shae Simmons, A.j Minter

Closers: Aroyds Vizcaino, Jim Johnson

Catchers: Blake Swihart, Tyler Flowers

1st Base: Freddie Freeman, Sean Rodriguez

2nd Base: Jace peterson, Daniel Castro Sean Rodriguez

3rd Base: Adonis Garcia, Rio Ruiz, Sean Rodriguez

Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Daniel Castro

Outfield

Starters:LF Matt Kemp /Ender Inciarte (interchangeable) CF Ender Inciarte/Andrew McCutchen Rf Andrew McCutchen

Bench: Jace Peterson, Blake Swihart

Mallex Smith, Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair, John Gant, Dustin Peterson, Jason Hursh, Tyrell Jenkins, Jose Ramirez,Chase d’Arnaud  all start off in AAA with potential to be brought up if players are struggling in the Majors(Castro,Ruiz,Cabrera,Simmons,Minter, etc). Even though Ruiz might need more experience in the minors I believe they keep him up just because the potential for this roster is just to great.In the end these are all just speculation of what could happen. If you are a Braves fan, however this could be a very exciting off-season as the Braves are just beginning their transition into a consistently “Division winning, playoff earning,World series winning team WOOOOOOOOOO!” Too much?

And with that I am finished (waits for applause, but receives none).

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for Baseball and other things I find myself to be an expert on @trillionairezix

and stay tuned to MlbMayhem whether on Twitter or by the website for news and updates as soon as they are available.

172 thoughts on “Atlanta Braves Off-Season Outlook

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