Archive for November, 2019

#189: Hot Stove Time! Light ‘Er Up!

Vox O’Reason

Donaldson

I’m beginning to form the opinion that there is an event to happen in the Braves organization that will be a direct cause/effect reality. I am beginning to form the opinion that if the Braves re-sign Josh Donaldson (and make no mistake, it will have to be for at least 3 years at big money), they will use Austin Riley in a trade to fill another need.

As you all know, I obsess over these things and read way too much from way too many sources. But this revelation seems to be an undercurrent everywhere I look. And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense and the more I believe it.

Austin Riley

The Braves have 4 major holes to fill before they start to feel the warmth of the the Fla Gulf Coast sun: they must add at least 1 and more realistically 2 starters, 1 of which must be of the top-of-the-rotation variety; they must fill the hole at 3B; they must fill the hole at catcher; they must fill the hole in LF. Now that’s not to say there aren’t other areas that can’t be improved or augmented, but those core 4 items must be specifically addressed if the Braves intend to not only repeat as NL East champs, but actually progress far enough to play for the NL pennant.

And the Braves are not a team that is going to stroll into the off-season with the checkbook open, reeling in Free Agents like bass in a stocked pond. That’s not to say they won’t break off a guy… maybe even 2. But 2 guys can’t fill 4 holes. There will be trades made.

And somebody of quality has to be included.

Maybe AA signs 2 top pitchers after seeing what actually makes it to the World Series, and leaves 3B for Riley to grow into. Maybe he signs his pitcher and catcher. Maybe he surprises everyone and signs a power bat for LF.

Or maybe he spends big on 3B. At that point, can he afford to hold onto Riley when other teams might supply us with a catcher or pitcher for a good 3B prospect? I don’t think he can.

I am of the opinion that Josh Donaldson and Austin Riley will not be on the same team in 2020. The Braves simply cannot afford that luxury.

What say you? And whom would you rather have over the next 3 years?

A few notes on an otherwise boring Monday…

After reinstating all the players on the 60-day IL, as is required 5 days after the World Series ends, the Braves 40-man roster currently sits at 32. Since there is a need to protect a handful of eligible prospects from this year’s Rule 5 draft, this is good news. But given that we must also add a few players to round out the major league roster, there will be some tough decisions that have to be made. And the deadline to make these decisions is Nov. 20, just 8 days away.

First, there is a whopping 25 Rule 5 eligible players in the Braves minor league system this year. I’m not sure how this ranks with other teams, but it doesn’t really matter. That’s a lot. And there will surely be some players that do not get protected that we will lose.

Among those who will surely get added to the 40-man roster in the next week are:

T Davidson

Pache

 

Cristian Pache. This one is obvious…. a no-brainer. Also no-brainers are pitchers Tucker Davidson, Jasseel De La Cruz, and Thomas Burrows. Another player who should require no debate is catcher William Contreras.

 

 

Wm Contreras

T Burrows

J de la Cruz

Now if you’re keeping count, that’s 5 players. Remember, we started with just 8 open slots in total. And while you have to keep one eye open to the fact that any Free Agent you sign to a major league deal is going to require a spot, that should not dominate this process yet. After all, for every FA you sign, you can use a corresponding move to bump someone off the bottom of the list. For instance, if we sign a catcher, Alex Jackson is likely placed on waivers. (Speaking of catchers, John Ryan Murphy will not remain on the 40-man roster very long himself. But with only 3 catchers on the roster as it’s currently assembled, AA cannot just cut him loose yet. Or perhaps Murphy’s fate is sealed once Contreras is added. That is possible. But I digress…)

Clouse

Pfeifer

Anyway, there are a still a couple of players who will almost certainly be selected if not protected. Those include pitchers Philip Pfeifer and Corbin Clouse. I think one or both of them are easy goners if left unprotected.

Other players of note that are eligible: P Josh Graham and SS Ray-Patrick Didder. I doubt either of them would be drafted since they would have to remain on the drafting team’s active roster for the entirety of the 2020 season. But a guy like Didder could be taken by some team in need of a versatile and speedy defender.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say they do protect the “no-brainer 5” I listed above, and cut loose JRM… leaving them with a little flexibility even after the 5 additions. But to add more than 5 is asking alot. How much do they like Pfeifer and Clouse? We’ll see in the next week.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about all of it. It wouldn’t be the first time.

More randomness because I am bored…

2019 playoff teams and their 2019 Opening Day payroll ranking:

#5 Nationals = $197,287,505 (World Series, champs)
#7 Astros = $188,624,429 (World Series)
#2 Yankees = $226,718,875 (ALCS)
#12 Cardinals = $168,097,083 (NLCS)
#4 Dodgers = $198,063,010 (NLDS)
#16 Braves = $138,401,048 (NLDS)
#17 Twins = $134,935,267 (ALDS)
#28 Rays = $88,817,567 (ALDS)

If the Braves want to elevate their season ending position, they might want to consider elevating their payroll position.

Just sayin’…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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