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Atlanta Braves off-season preview

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 6: J. T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins hits a first inning solo home run against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 6, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Fresh off a surprising season that saw the Braves win the NL East and reach the playoffs for the first time in a few years, the question is now ‘where do we go from here?’

The Atlanta Braves rebuild is more-or-less complete and we are now in the ‘compete’ phase of the process. The off-season officially begins 5 days after the last out of the World Series, and in this piece we are going to look at some potential moves the Braves organization can make to make the 2019 team even more competitive

While no one knows the true amount of money that the organization has to spend this winter, the Braves will have a good amount of money available. They will have numerous possibilities they can go.

Catcher

First off, we know Tyler Flowers will be half of the equation behind the plate next year after signing an extension in late August. We don’t know if he will be starter, in a platoon, or a backup. That largely depends on who else the Braves decide to pair him with.  Options include…

Potential Free Agents

  • Kurt Suzuki – They may elect to keep it exactly the way it was
  • Wilson Ramos – When healthy the previous years, he has been one of the best in the game
  • Yasmani Grandal – Could be a long term solution
  • Martin Maldanado – Could be a simple cheap backup behind Flowers

Potential Trade Targets

  • JT Realmuto– Would cost a lot in prospects, but could be best catcher in the game
  • Buster Posey– Braves reportedly looked into acquiring Posey in July, despite the surgery, Braves could revisit those talks.
  • Francisco Cervelli– Pirates would surely love to dispose of Cervelli’s contract. Braves may elect to pair him with Flowers for a year
  • Austin Hedges– San Diego may ship out Hedges to open the door for Mejia to play everyday

Prospects in the system

William Contreras is in the system but he is not ready to be promoted to the big leagues.

Also in the system is Alex Jackson and while he could be ready (though 2018 seemed to take him in the wrong direction with his bat), it would be reasonable to see the Braves want someone with more seasoning to compete next year.

 

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