The Braves have talked a lot about their ability to spend this offseason, but we are now in mid-December, most of the top free agents are off the board, and Atlanta has yet even to spend $1 million on free agents. Nick Anderson is their only free agent signing, which was for $875,000 and is only guaranteed if he makes the major-league roster. Dansby Swanson could still be in the cards, but it’s beginning to look like the Braves will be shopping in the bargain bin to fill the remainder of the holes on their roster.
Thankfully, there aren’t many. If the Braves truly believe in Vaughn Grissom, the only situation they really have to sort out is left field/DH. Right now, any combination of Eddie Rosario, Marcell Ozuna, and Travis d’Arnaud could fill those roles, but I would be shocked if the Braves didn’t get at least one more body in the mix.
I’ve talked at length about Adam Duvall returning. I would love to have him back in the mix on a one-year deal. There are other intriguing options as well, like Michael Conforto and Michael Brantley, but if the Braves are trying to save as much money as possible. J.D. Martinez is an intriguing option to bring in as the primary designated hitter.
Entering his age-35 season, Martinez only brings one thing to the table — the dude can still rake. He’s been an All-Star in each of the last four full seasons, and even finished fourth in the AL MVP race back in 2018. Martinez has spent the last five years in Boston. Over that stretch, all he’s done is hit .292 with 130 homers — good for an .889 OPS.
There are concerns when talking about 35-year-old players that can only do one thing. Martinez is also coming off his worst season at the plate since 2013 when he was with the Astros, but even that resulted in a well above average .790 OPS.
I’m not sold on Travis d’Arnaud being a DH for most of the games he’s not catching. It’s not a great idea. He’s a fantastic hitting catcher, but there are other far better options to serve in that role. J.D. Martinez is one of them. He’s not the sexy signing many Braves fans are hoping for, but he would strike a lot of fear into opposing pitchers in the middle of this lineup.
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
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