Would Braves Go After Free Agents with Qualifying Offers?
Six pending free agents received qualifying offers from their previous teams. We look at if the Atlanta Braves will sign any of them.
Last offseason the Atlanta Braves didn’t seem to care much about signing free agents who had a qualifying offer attached to them as they sign both Will Smith and Marcell Ozuna.
Of course, whenever you sign a player who has been extended a qualifying offer you give up a high draft pick in the next draft.
Perhaps if the Braves knew what the 2020 MLB Draft was going to look like with just five rounds they would have done things differently.
They also knew that if they didn’t sign Josh Donaldson last offseason they’d get one of those picks back.
Now with a dwindling farm system because of international restrictions and just selecting four players in this past draft, you really have to wonder if the Braves will be in play for any of the six free agents this offseason who have a qualifying offer attached to them.
That list of players includes — Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Kevin Gausman, DJ LeMahieu, and Marcus Stroman.
Obviously, those first three are the three biggest free agents this offseason and I think any team would sign them despite losing a draft pick.
That being said, I seriously doubt the Braves were ever going to be serious contenders for any of them.
I would love it if they did go after Bauer as I think he could have the biggest impact on making this team a championship team.
Realmuto is the best catcher in the game, but the Braves have done pretty well patching that spot together and have some promising young talent coming up at the position.
The same can be said in the outfield with Ronald Acuna Jr., Cristian Pache, and Drew Waters coming.
There is ZERO chance they even talk to Kevin Gausman. And Gausman would be pretty stupid not to take the $18.9 million qualifying offer the Giants extended him.
The Braves are also set at second base, and I feel pretty confident that LeMahieu is going back to the Yankees as he pretty much confirmed that’s what he was going to do.
However, if the Braves wanted to sign him and play him at third base that would be a perfect addition to the lineup.
Stroman is someone I thought made a lot of sense for the Braves and someone they would go after. But I don’t think he’s worth giving up the draft pick for this offseason.
I just don’t think the Braves just can afford to give up anymore draft picks unless it’s for a top-flight free agent at this point with the direction their farm system is heading. That’s why I don’t think you’ll see them going after any of these six free agents this offseason.