@JStann14: Who if anyone out of the winter FAs do you think we grab this year? I was aiming for a corner outfield bat, but I like a Bourn-Swisher platoon with Mallex Smith being out 5th guy grooming behind them, Maybin and Markakis. Do you think we will make any pitching additions outside of obvious bullpen help?
I’ve been wanting the team to go after Alex Gordon in free agency for a while now, but with Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn on board (and their salaries), I don’t see it happening. I think they will end up platooning as you said, with Mallex Smith starting the year in AAA. If one of the two former Indians produces, the team will likely move them mid-season if they feel its time for Smith to get the call. The Braves don’t have that much money to play with in 2016 now that they made that trade, so if the team makes any big time additions it will likely be through a trade of sorts. I don’t see the Braves investing in any arms unless they are young and team controlled. They have enough high upside arms to tinker with in their rotation for next season.
@realslimgaede: If the Braves secure the #1 pick in the draft (trending in that direction) do they stay with the current theme and grab a high upside arm (Pint, Bergner, Puk) or go for the next Chipper with Blake Rutherford?
Look, I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on college or high school baseball. What I do know is that the Braves are going to choose their highest ranked player on the board when they select. Personally, I’d like to see a big time bat who can share the middle of the order with Austin Riley and Kevin Maitan in a half decade, but I don’t think even the team knows who they will select as of now.
@mw985: #Braves 5th inning: no response from teammates when Freeman moved Maybin to second base. What’s the deal?
Yea, Chip and Joe pointed that out last night and I thought it was strange too. You have to keep in mind, however, that these guys play 162 game seasons. While Freddie is usually around giving hugs, perhaps he was just having a bad day. Maybe he was tired of losing and said something to his teammates. Who knows, but I didn’t like to see that either. Don’t worry, we have the authoritarian of the century in Fredi Gonzalez at the helm to take care of things behind the scenes.
@johnreaj77: Is John Hart satisfied with the way this season has turned out?
John Hart maintained his stance that the team would compete this season, and he was right. They were competitive… for half of the season. Either way, you had to know going in we weren’t going to be very good this season. It’s called a rebuild for a reason, and 2015 does not matter. At all. I think there is likely a general consensus around the front office that they are more satisfied with things now than they were a year ago. Patience is virtue, my friend.
@CLCRDB: What are the chances Mike Minor is in the rotation in 2016?
That’s a tricky one. I thought that the Braves had a strong chance of cutting ties with Minor, but David O Brien recently stated that it is looking like he’ll be back next season. John Hart likely sees Minor as an investment at this point, and there’s a good chance he is banking on Minor bouncing back and getting a decent return on him. Right now the Braves have Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller, Mike Foltynewicz, Williams Perez, Manny Banuelos, Matt Wisler, Tyrell Jenkins and Minor to choose from Opening Day 2016. That’s eight guys, and they can only go with 5. I don’t know what the Braves plan on doing, but this is me foreshadowing a trade here.