Atlanta Braves Armchair GM, 3&4!

3 of 4

Oct 4, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher

Matt Wieters

(32) stands at home plate during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles won 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Armchair GM BraveNewWorld

As an Atlanta Braves Armchair GM, BraveNewWorld loves the bad pun! Some of his favorites:

  • A dyslexic man walks into a bra
  • Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says “Dam!”
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

While BraveNewWorld carries a no-nonsense approach in the office (“especially at trade deadline” Billy Beane has been overheard saying), as soon as the tie comes off, he moonlights as a stand-up comedian at the Laughing Skull Lounge, however I’ve heard he isn’t very punny! *Zing!*

Tier 1

Catcher: Chris Iannetta – Iannetta is one of the better pitch framers in the game. While his offensive stats were never much to sneeze at, last year was terrible. Most teams see him as a backup, but he’s only going to be 33 (in April) and has had some good seasons as recently as 2014 when he hit for an OPS+ of 123.

Contract: 2yrs, 7m (2016: $3m, 2017:$4m Option, $1 buyout)
Starter: R. A. Dickey – Dickey has not duplicated his monumental 2012 season since signing with the Jays but he has been a steady presence in the senior circuit. Unfortunately, Dickey is on the wrong side of 40 and hasn’t been more than average since 2012. What he does well is make catchers work. If the Braves want a solid #3/4 who will push Bethancourt then this is your man.

Contract: 2 yrs, 15m (2016: $7m, 2017: $4m w/ additional $4 in incentives based on Time on the DL)
OF: Shane Victorino – The Flyin’ Hawaiian was a thorn in the braves side for many years as a member of the Phillies. Now he’s coming off a monster contract with Boston that was… disappointing. However, his speed and fielding can make him an asset. If he’s after a make good contract then the Braves should grab him.

Contract: 1yr, 2m (2016: $2m)
Bench: Steve Pearce – Pearce is an under the radar bench piece. Unlike Kelly Johnson and Zobrist, Pearce does not play much infield but he does play the corner outfield positions well and a serviceable 1B. For a guaranteed 2 year deal he might be willing to take a bit less cash.

Contract: 2 yr, 7m (2016: $3m, 2017: $4m)

Tier 2

Catcher: Chris Iannetta  

Contract: 2yrs, 7m (2016: $3m, 2017:$4m Option, $1 buyout)

Starter: Doug Fister: This one screams one year make good. With Simmons at short and Bourn/Smith in the OF he has a chance of rebounding and getting a nice fat contract in 2017.

1yr, 10m (2016: 10m)
OF: Marlon Byrd: Byrd has been one of the more consistent power hitters on the market recently. While names like Upton and Heyward will focus attention of the big spenders, Byrd is likely to languish on the market as a booby prize. Instead the Braves should be aggressive and try and lock him up with a longer contract.

2 yrs, 17m (2016: 8m, 2017: 9m)
Bench: Kelly Johnson: The obvious choice here. Whether it was a level of comfort being back home or just a streak of luck, he was a great pickup for the braves. Plus he provides that baby Braves mentorship these new faces need.

Contract: 2 yrs, 9m (2016: $4m, 2017: $5m)

Tier 3

Catcher: Matt Wieters: The one that got away. After a down season he may be the steal of the offseason. While some see a future DH, I think he has a chance to stick in LF after his catching days are over. His injuries are not red flags for a future running and the potential is still there.

Contract: 3 yrs $60m (2016: $15m, 2017: $20m, 2018: $25m)

Starter: Doug Fister:  1yr, 10m (2016: 10m)
OF: Nori Aoki:

Unlike most outfielders who will be in demand this off season, Aoki is a consistent player in the Markakis mold. While it can be argued that we should focus on pop in the lineup, with Wieters on board as protection for Freeman I think the Braves should play cash savy till the next generation arrives.

Contract: 2yrs $10m (2016: $5m, 2017: $5m)

Bench: Steve Pierce

Contract: 2 yr, 7m (2016: $3m, 2017: $4m)
Bullpen: Casey Janssen – Another make good candidate. Janssen is expensive for the Nats and is coming of a sub par year so I don’t see the option being picked up. The $1.5m buyout should soften the blow enough for him to accept a small contract to try and increase his value.

Contract: 1yr, 2m (2016: $2m)

Tier 4. Bonus Level!  

Catcher: Matt Wieters  Contract: 3 yrs $60m (2016: $15m, 2017: $20m, 2018: $25m)
Starter: Doug Fister   Contract: (2016: 10m)

Bullpen: Joakim Soria Hey look, a former closer. McDowell might be able to put a bit of polish back on a player who was never really dominant but had some flashes of greatness.

Contract: 1 yr, 5m (2016: $5m)
Bullpen: Joba ChamberlainMcDowell can work wonders. Let’s see if he can here.

Contract: (2016: $1m)
Bullpen: Tyler ClippardAnother Nats player who could a change of scenery. He won’t be small dollars, but a few million could return a decent prospect or a great setup man.

Contract: 2 yr $8m (2016: $4m, 2017: $4m, escalators for saves and holds)
Bench: Ben Zobrist: Would you pay a utility player $20m/year? Zobrist is the first player in modern memory to have a shot. I doubt he makes it that far, but 3yrs $50m isn’t too far off. It’s a higher AAV for a player who seems to do everything well and make those around him better.

Contract: (2016: $18m, 2017: $16m, 2018: $16m)

Next: 'til Tomorrow!