Right after I released my last Opening Day roster predictions, the Braves dropped a bomb on us, completing another blockbuster trade with the Athletics. This time, they landed Sean Murphy — one of the league’s best catchers — but in return, they had to say goodbye to some beloved faces. Let’s see what the roster looks like with Murphy in the fold, and I’ll provide my predictions for how the rest of the offseason will pan out.
No changes here. Kyle Muller had a chance to be in the starting rotation to open the season, but I always thought that was a long shot, and apparently, the Braves did as well, which is why they were comfortable shipping him to Oakland.
- Raisel Iglesias
- A.J. Minter
- Collin McHugh
- Joe Jiménez
- Kirby Yates
- Nick Anderson
- Dylan Lee
- Luke Jackson
I have nothing changing here as well. I like Nick Anderson to earn a roster spot out of Spring Training, even though his contract is not guaranteed. The final spot in the bullpen is still up in the air, but c’mon Mr. Anothopoulos, bring back Luke Jackson.
- Sean Murphy
- Travis d’Arnaud
This is where the major shake-up occurs. The days of Wild Bill in Atlanta are over, but I think fans will grow to love Sean Murphy quickly. He’s an absolute stud behind the plate and will be starting most nights at catcher. There have been some people that have brought up the idea of trading Travis d’Arnaud following the acquisition of Murphy, but I shut that down in an article last night. The Braves love d’Arnaud as a leader in the clubhouse. Plus, they don’t want a repeat of 2021 when d’Arnaud got injured, and the Braves were got with their pants down, forced to start Kevan Smith and Jeff Mathis.
I didn’t change anything here, and I’m at the point where I’m almost convinced this will be all the infielders on the Opening Day roster. Dansby Swanson feels like a long shot at this point. There are too many teams vying for his services, being that he’s the only high-quality shortstop left on the market. The bidding will likely get out of hand, and we know the Braves will not overpay. Atlanta could add a stopgap option like Andrus, but I don’t see the point. He’s not much better than Arcia. At that point, let’s just see what Grissom’s got.
- Ronald Acuña Jr.
- Michael Harris II
- Eddie Rosario
- Marcell Ozuna
- Adam Duvall
- JD Martinez
This is where I have the Braves spending the money that they once had allocated to Swanson. They need to find a long-term solution in the outfield, but that doesn’t have to happen this year. I like the idea of signing both Adam Duvall and JD Martinez. It might seem like overkill, but a combination of Rosario, Ozuna, Duvall, and Martinez would make me feel a lot better in left field and at the DH, especially with Travis d’Arnaud also capable of filling in as the designated hitter on some nights. I don’t think Duvall or Martinez would require more than one-year contracts, which makes them perfect targets for the Braves.
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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