Friday, November 2, 2012

Rally Caps Offseason Outlook : Atlanta Braves

Starting today, we are going to start looking at each team's current roster and payroll and try to gauge where they might focus their money or trade pieces. In today's article, we will start with the Atlanta Braves.

Current Roster

Pos Player Salary

C Brian McCann $12,000,000
2008 $102,365,683
1B Freddie Freeman $600,000
2009 $96,726,166
2B Dan Uggla $13,200,000
2010 $83,890,334
3B Juan Francisco $500,000
2011 $91,044,524
SS Andrelton Simmons $500,000
2012 $93,529,667
LF Martin Prado $7,700,000
Average $93,511,274.80
CF Jose Costanza $500,000
2013 $76,100,000
RF Jason Heyward $3,500,000
Budget $17,411,275

C J.C. Boscan $500,000

IF Paul Janish $900,000

OF Aldan Carrithers $500,000

OF Jordan Parraz $500,000

Util Tyler Pastornicky $500,000

SP Tim Hudson $9,000,000

SP Kris Medlen $2,000,000

SP Tommy Hanson $4,000,000

SP Mike Minor $500,000

SP Paul Maholm $6,500,000

CP Craig Kimbrel

SU Jonny Venters $1,400,000

SU Eric O'Flaherty $3,800,000

MRP Peter Moylan $800,000

MRP Cory Gearrin $500,000

MRP Cristhian Martinez $700,000

LRP Jair Jurrjens $5,500,000

With a decent chunk of money to spend, the Braves have only a few holes to speak of. McCann, Freeman and Uggla are locks at their positions, while Francisco has played well enough to take over for Chipper Jones at the hot corner. I anticipate the Braves will let Andrelton Simmons and Tyler Pastornicky battle for the starting shortstop role as the market for free agent shortstops is not solid enough to consider spending high dollars on. Prado and Heyward are entrenched in the corner outfield positions, but the loss of Michael Bourn creates a huge hole in center field. The Braves just brought back Jordan Schafer from the Astros, but he provides depth more than a solution. Schafer has good speed and is a decent defender, but has trouble getting on base.

It is a possibility that the Braves bring Bourn back, but he will command a large contract thanks to a top-heavy center field market. I don't see the Braves entering the battle for Josh Hamilton, but B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan or Shane Victorino are options for a team that needs a top of the order bat. If the team is convinced that Schafer could turn the corner, they could also consider taking a chance on Melky Cabrera. The team could also trade from their pitching surplus to fill the hole in center field. Possible trade candidates could be Dexter Fowler, Coco Crisp, or David DeJesus.

In terms of who to move, look no further than Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens was pushed out of his rotation spot by the emerging Kris Medlen and doesn't look to regain it this offseason. The Angels just found a team willing to trade for Ervin Santana on a twelve million dollar contract; someone will find value in Jurrjens for half that.

The team has a strong bullpen core, but could use some money or trades to bring in another arm or two. With the rising cost of free agent relievers, though, it is becoming even more important to grow your own.

The Braves were one win away from the playoffs last season and enter the year with a team that is built for another run. With a center field acquisition, a couple of inexpensive signings to shore up the bench, and an arm or two for the bullpen, they will be a serious contender for the NL East crown.

No comments:

Post a Comment