Hart: Braves Undecided on Being ‘Contenders’ for 2015


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  • Wow.  Let’s review the timeline a bit here…
    • 2013 – Division Champions
    • 2014 – Fade from Wild Card position to out of playoffs… with virtually the same lineup on offense, but lack of punch.
    • 2015 – Not a contender??

    Additional tweets from the beat writers:

    • Bowman:  “Any way you look at it, the Braves will need to make at least one significant trade to address their glaring need for starting pitchers”
    • Bowman:  “But there’s still a definite chance the #Braves will make multiple significant trades to set themselves up for 2016 and beyond.”
    • O’Brien: #Braves will also listen on trade inquiries for some relievers other than Kimbrel.
    • O’Brien: #Braves haven’t had extension negotiations w/ Heyward or JUpton. Hart indicated both will go to free agency (Either or both could be traded)

    A Little Context, please?

    It is still very early in the process – the current GM meetings are the place in which team leaders are starting to ‘feel each other out’ about their needs/wants/plans/etc.  There are numerous free agents available.  There are contract tendering decisions to be made.  You can’t say that you’re gonna do X, Y and Z because you don’t ultimately have the power to make that happen.

    But these are also not the kinds of statements you would expect to hear from a GM who only has a couple of holes to fill.  It’s a lot closer to the statement of someone who is strongly considering cashing in his chips and preparing for the future.

    We’ve already discussed these in detail:

    • Jason Heyward: last year of current contract
    • Justin Upton:  last year of current contract
    • Evan Gattis: under significant team control, but also a bit older, not gifted as an outfielder…oh, and carries a big stick
    • BJ Upton:  seems that nobody wants him
    • Chris Johnson: suddenly being thought of as a platoon candidate

    Hart also has several significant and immediate needs – namely in pitching.  If he uses these guys to go after pitching, then where will the offense come from?   I know:  you’re thinking ‘it can’t be much worse than last year’… wanna bet?

    So yes – Hart may very well be thinking that ‘blowing up the roster’ might indeed be the answer… for 2016.  So then see Ryan’s look at what the Braves might look like if Hart does try this.

    Buckle up, Braves’ Country.

    Hart: Braves Undecided on Being ‘Contenders’ for 2015