Planning a Dream Offseason for the Braves (Part I – Housekeeping)

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Braves fans, soak it up. You are World Champions. It still doesn’t feel real, and I’ve never had to do one of these pieces (Falcons, Hawks, or Braves) coming off of a Championship. I’ll do my best, but I’d say Alex Anthopoulos knows what he’s doing. I always do these for fun, so don’t take them too seriously. This is Part I of III that will focus on in-house transactions; Part ll will deal with free agent signings. Part III will be the whole roster.

Of course, having a World Series run will net a team a pretty penny, it turns out; the Braves appear to have done just that during the World Series — not even counting the two previous playoff series.

So, the Braves should have plenty of money to spend — hopefully, that comes to fruition this offseason.

 

1. Re-Sign Freddie Freeman

 

Look, I’m not going to harp on the obvious. Let’s move on.

 

Freddie Freeman signs an 7-year, $185.5 million contract ($26.5 million AAV)

 

2. Tender/Non-Tender Arbitration Candidates

 

The Braves have some guys due for healthy raises, and here are the 14 arbitration-eligible players that the Braves will have to make decisions on and their salary estimates:

Adam Duvall – $9.1MM
Dansby Swanson – $10.1MM
Luke Jackson – $3.8MM
Grant Dayton – $1.2MM
Orlando Arcia – $2.1MM
Guillermo Heredia – $1.6MM
Richard Rodriguez – $3.1MM
Johan Camargo – $1.4MM
A.J. Minter – $2.1MM
Max Fried – $7.1MM
Mike Soroka – $2.8MM
Sean Newcomb – $900K
Edgar Santana – $1.0MM (Designated for Assignment, Elected Free Agency)
Tyler Matzek – $1.5MM
Austin Riley – $4.3MM

Let’s break them down into categories.

The No-Brainers:

Austin Riley – $4.3MM

Luke Jackson – $3.8MM

A.J. Minter – $2.1MM

Max Fried – $7.1MM

Mike Soroka – $2.8MM

Tyler Matzek – $1.5MM

Dansby Swanson – $10.1MM

On the Bubble:

Adam Duvall – $9.1MM

Orlando Arcia – $2.1MM

Richard Rodriguez – $3.1MM

Sean Newcomb – $900K

Non-Tendered:

Grant Dayton – $1.2MM

Guillermo Heredia – $1.6MM

Johan Camargo – $1.4MM

 

I think the Braves will end up keeping all of the guys on the bubble, but it’s an unclear picture. The outfield is crowded, but I don’t see the Braves making the same mistake twice with Duvall. Arcia has value as a utility piece and will replace Johan Camargo unless the Braves just decide to roster the cheaper option. Richard Rodriguez will likely stay for depth, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him non-tendered. I think Sean Newcomb is worth keeping for one last rodeo.

 

Total Salary: $46.9 million

 

3. The Big Trade

Bear with me here. The Braves could really help themselves out by attaching a prospect or two to Marcell Ozuna and getting rid of his contract. I’m not sure if any team would be willing to bite, but freeing up his $16 million per season would be a massive win. The Braves may have to part with a top ten prospect, but I think it would be worth it to clear the logjam in the outfield and free up some spending money.

 

4. Other Re-Signings

There are some very tough decisions to make, but with Marcell Ozuna gone in my world, the Braves can help themselves out in a big way. Here’s who I would keep and who I would let walk out of the more key names:

Keepers:

OF Jorge Soler

OF Eddie Rosario

RP Jesse Chavez

Goners:

OF Joc Pederson

LHP Drew Smyly

SS Ehire Adrianza

RHP Josh Tomlin

 

Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario may price themselves out of town with their incredible playoff performances, which may lead to Joc Pederson’s mutual option being picked up or a one-year “prove it” deal. I think Joc deserves a big payday and a chance to play every day, so I’ll be happy for him wherever he ends up. Josh Tomlin should have his option declined, and I think the Braves look to improve on Drew Smyly. I’ll take Jesse Chavez for one more season as well.

 

 

 

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