Planning a Dream Offseason for the Braves (Part II – Free Agency & Trades)

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Braves fans, one week later, and we are still 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. This is Part II of III that will focus on free agent signings. If you want to read Part I dealing with in-house matters, you can find that here.

Of course, having a World Series run will net a team a pretty penny. The Braves appear to have done just that during the World Series — not even counting the two previous playoff series. Alex Anthopoulos has already said that payroll will go up. The Braves should have plenty of money to spend, which should put them in a fantastic position to repeat.

 

1. Acquire another frontline starting pitcher

The Braves have a lot of good options in-house, but they can afford to upgrade from Drew Smyly and add some depth while Mike Soroka gets healthy. Even with the increased budget, it’s easier to attract talented veterans to a winner. If they decide to go the trade route, they could set their sights really high and go for a guy like Shane Bieber.

Options:  RHP Justin Verlander, LHP Clayton Kershaw, RHP Marcus Stroman, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Shane Bieber, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP Carlos Rodon, RHP Jon Gray, RHP Noah Syndergaard

Braves sign Carlos Rodon to a two-year, $45 million deal

 

2. Acquire a defensive backup catcher

Backup catcher was a problem spot for the Braves all season. While I think William Contreras and Shea Langeliers will both be critical pieces soon, the Braves need a surefire solution right now. With Mike Zunino‘s club option getting picked up, there aren’t many defensive options on the free agent market. 2021 Gold Glove winner Jacob Stallings shouldn’t cost too much to get from Pittsburgh.

Braves trade RHP Jasseel De La Cruz and OF Trey Harris to the Pirates in exchange for C Jacob Stallings

 

3. Add one more big bullpen piece

The bullpen was a strength for the Braves in the postseason, but that wasn’t the case earlier in the season. I could be convinced to roll with in-house options like Touki Toussiant or Huascar Ynoa to start the season. However, if the Braves REALLY want to push the chips in, they have a few marquee options that could really solidify a strong unit. The Braves could go the trade route, but I think they would wait until the trade deadline to do that. If Raisel Iglesias doesn’t accept the qualifying offer that the Angels gave him (he should), he makes a lot of sense. I’ll roll the dice on Colin McHugh and his 2.5% barrel rate.

Options: RHP Colin McHugh, RHP Kendall Graveman, RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Raisel Iglesias

Braves sign RHP Colin McHugh to a one-year, $11 million deal

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