Braves: 4 more moves to complete a great offseason
We look at four more moves Alex Anthopoulos and the Atlanta Braves can make this offseason to put to a cap on a great winter.
Alex Anthopoulos went full assassin and signed the best free agent reliever on the market in Will Smith setting the stage for a huge offseason for the Atlanta Braves.
You certainly don’t make that move unless you plan to do big things this offseason … or at least we certainly hope that’s the case.
Relief pitcher wasn’t even an area we expected AA to upgrade this offseason and he’s already made two moves to improve the bullpen with Smith and Darren O’Day.
He still needs to — potentially — find someone to replace Josh Donaldson at third base (if not Donaldson himself), find someone to pair with Tyler Flowers at catcher, and hopefully find a frontline starter.
And my own personal hope that I’ve been pushing for this offseason is to find an upgrade in the outfield over the possible platoon of Nick Markakis and Adam Duvall.
As our own Alan Carpenter speculates, after the Will Smith signing the current budget sits at around $102 million for 2020.
Assuming that the total budget for 2020 will be $140, and AA will likely keep $10 million available during the season, that leaves $30 million left.
In order to complete the four moves I’m going to talk about, we’ll first need to find a way to free up some money.
So there are two pretty easy moves the Braves can make to free up some salary.
The first is trading Ender Inciarte, which is pretty obvious. He’s set to make $7.7 million in 2020 and should have a pretty good market this offseason.
Like I have to say every time I mention trading Ender, I love him, but he’s expendable for the Braves. I think Cristian Pache can start the season in center and be just as good.
Or Ronald Acuna Jr. could start the year in center with Markakis/Duvall in right until Pache is ready.
The other move is either non-tendering or trading Shane Greene — preferably a trade. I think Greene will have some value as a trade candidate and should have plenty of interest.
With Smith on board, Greene is a bit expendable. I’d love to move the Mark Melancon contract ($14 million) but that doesn’t seem likely.
Those two moves (assuming we trade those two for prospects and don’t take on a Major League contract) could save close to $14 million.
They could also trade or non-tender Adam Duvall and save almost $4 million.
That puts our new 2020 budget at $88 million and sets us up for four big moves to create a World Series contender in 2020.