Atlanta Braves Off Season Report

Season Wrap Up

atlantabravesAnother year without postseason play after all of those consecutive years in it makes for unhappy Braves fans. But this time, I would have to say that a lot of the problem was caused by the myriad of injuries sustained, but especially those to their pitching staff, both starters and relievers alike. Beyond that, there was their lack of power and the disappointing season of their RF Jeff Francoeur.

Holes to Fill

I see the holes that need to be filled being primarily in the OF. They need more production from all three OF positions, but especially out of the corners (Francoeur included). They need another starter and possibly a battle tested closer as well if they want to compete for the division.

Free Agents

They have 8 free agents in this off season. They are: SP Elmer Dessens (37), SP Tom Glavine (42), SP Mike Hampton (36) who has already signed with the Houston Astros for 1 year and $2M, RP Jorge Julio (29) who has already signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for 1 year and $950K, LF Greg Norton (36), RP Will Ohman (31), SP John Smoltz (41) a type B free agent and RP Julian Tavarez (35). The two players I would resign if I were them would be Smoltz and Ohman, then they need to get a power hitting outfielder after that. Glavine will likely retire as Greg Maddux recently did.

This month they have signed C David Ross to a two-year contract. The question that still remains, will they resign long time Braves pitcher, 41 year old John Smoltz or not?

The Outlook

With the aquisition of Vazquez, the Braves are on their way to improving upon their dissapointing 2008 campaign, but with the recent moves by the Mets, they still have a way to go if they want to challenge for the NL East in 2009. The realization is that they are probably 2 or more years away from contending in the division unless injuries plague the teams ahead of them. They should finish a solid third above the Marlins and Washington.

Off Season Moves Made So Far
They got help for thier rotation in the trade with the White Sox. They aquired SP Javier Vazquez and RP Boone Logan from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for C Tyler Flowers, INF’s Jonathan Gilmore and Brent Lillibridge and LHP Santos Rodriguez.

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