Top remaining free agency options for the Braves



Since 2014, Brantley has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball. Last year, he hit .309 with 17 homers and 76 RBIs. It was his first time playing a full season since 2015. Injuries are the only thing that makes Brantley a risky investment. That, and the type of money that Andrew McCutchen fetched on the open market. Brantley will get paid by somebody. He is a great player though and would offer the same type of role that Nick Markakis has provided the team.


For the first time in his career, Adam Jones has hit the free agency market. Of course, his market is not what it once was. Jones is coming off a down season and may be better suited for a corner outfield position going forward. With that being said, he can still help out a team for years to come. His home run-robbing play in the World Series Classic last year was perhaps the best baseball moment I have seen in years. It seems like everyone not named Manny Machado struggled on that Orioles team last year. Jones could be had for $10 million or less and could fetch a great return on investment.


Markakis has been nothing but excellent in his four seasons with the Braves. The problem is, at 35, he is starting to get up there in age and lacks some of the pop the Braves would like out of their outfielders. I would not count out a possible return to Atlanta, but it is likely the Braves opt to get younger with some quality options still available.



Keuchel is the most notable starting pitcher left on the market after Patrick Corbin signed with the Nationals and Charlie Morton reached an agreement with the Rays. The Braves reportedly have him high on their wish list, but the contract Corbin received from the Nats has set the market where it might be unrealistic. Both are southpaws around 30-years old and Keuchel actually has the more impressive resumé despite having a worse season in 2018.



Ottavino put together a career year as a 32-year old for the Rockies, recording 112 strikeouts in only 77.2 innings and a WHIP of under one (0.99). He also put up a career-high in holds with 34. He only has 17 saves in his career and may be better served as a set-up guy, but with the concerns around Vizcaino, Ottavino could be another option to shut the door for Atlanta.


Soria is a name that has recently been linked to the Braves along with several other teams. He has been a reliable relief option for nearly his entire 11-year career and actually seen an uptick in his strikeout numbers over the last couple of years, suggesting he is not losing much “stuff”. Soria likely will not cost too much and would be a solid addition to the back end of the bullpen if the Braves opt to go this direction.


David Robertson has been one of the best relievers in baseball for quite some time, and it does not look like he is slowing down anytime soon. He would be a fantastic addition to the late innings of the Braves bullpen, but it is hard to imagine him coming cheap after his production the past two seasons. Perhaps if he will take a slightly lower deal to stay closer to home, he could be an option. He is from Alabama, which is most definitely Braves Country.


It was not long ago Britton was dominating the league as the closer for the Orioles. His numbers have suffered a bit over the last couple of years, but he is still only thirty years old and is two years removed from having a 0.54 ERA. He would be a nice buy-low option and the Braves have been linked to him in the past, but it would also not be surprising to see a team overpay for the name.


Kimbrel will go down as one of the best closers to ever do it. He is also a former Brave and fills one of their most urgent needs. The problem with him will always be his contract. Initial reports are that Kimbrel is seeking a deal in the six-year range and 9 figures. There is no way the Braves accommodate to that, and I am not sure any team will, but it is not a good sign for those who were hoping to see him back in a Braves uni. Perhaps if his market fails to pick up steam the Braves will consider entering negotiations.


Miller is coming off of an injury-marred season that saw him appear in only 37 games with a 4.24 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. However, Miller is still only 33 years old and the last time he had a WHIP above one was in 2013. We all remember how ridiculous he was in 2016 on his way to the World Series with the Indians. Providing he maintains his health, he is exactly what this Braves bullpen needs.

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