Archive for March, 2019

#183: Still, So Many Questions

Gil

Gil Elliott

Bryce Harper

With a little under two weeks before the Braves begin their defense of their National League East title, there are several very huge question marks for this team. Every team not named the Marlins appears to have improved during the off-season with big ticket additions via both trades and signing free agents. I am not sure who won the off season but both Phillie and New York both potentially look to be beasts and the Nats did not really hurt themselves by not retaining Bryce Harper. While Harper is recognized as a talent, his appearance of not always trying very hard all the time can be demoralizing to a team.

DonaldsonJosh

Josh Donaldson

So, wither the Braves. The acquisition of “The Bringer of Rain”, Josh Donaldson, was the Braves only big ticket signing this winter. The Braves other significant signings were bringing back Nick Markakis and home town favorite Brian McCann. Both may well work out to be solid additions but they gave the appearance of someone searching the thrift stores for treasure. Sure, you can pick up some real gems that someone else did not know they were valuable but it is a very rare occurrence. In other words, not everyone feels the need to clip coupons.

Two of the Braves recognized needs this winter were:
A) a front line starter to lead the staff of promising youngsters and
B) a solid vet to add to the relief corps.

CraigKimbrelBraves

Craig Kimbrel

Well, as of this writing, neither of those two positions were filled. Not surprisingly, there still two players who would fill those needs are still available as free agents. There is no question that “Dirty” Craig Kimbrel would be a very significant addition to the back end of the bull pen. The only real hangup appears to be the loss of a high value draft pick but let’s be realistic, the loss of a draft pick would probably not be felt for 5 or 6 years.

DallasKeuchel

Dallas Keuchel

The same goes for Dallas Keuchel. No, he is not the same level as a Jacob DeGrome or Max Scherzer but he is a proven innings eater on a team that is desperately short on that commodity. Again, I don’t think the dollar amount for Keuchel is prohibitive but having to give up a draft pick seems to be a sticking point. Now, as it stands, we are so late into spring training neither pitcher would likely be able to join the team as they ramp up to being ready to go.

 

So Braves fans, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope this opine becomes completely irrelevant by March 28th.

Gil2



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