The Braves have an obvious desire to add major league talent this offseason, but according to club officials there is a reluctance within the organization to go “all-in” regarding prospect capital. The club has built an enviable bevy of controllable young talent, and despite moves being made by division rivals, the Braves are willing to continue to allow their long-term picture to play a role in decision making.
“I think every front office weighs that, short term and long term,” Braves assistant general manager Perry Minasian said. “There’s a cause and effect. In our situation, we feel we have the makings of a club that can be competitive for a long time. We’re very cognizant of what we did last year, and we’re going to try to do it again next year with the long-term picture always in the back of our minds.
”We walked into a really good situation with a quality young system and quality young players on the big league club. To go all in for one specific year for how we’re set up, we don’t think is the best way to go. But we’re working hard and trying to improve this club. We feel it’s a competitive club. We’ve got a chance to win here.”
After a magical season that saw the Braves unexpectedly take the NL East crown, manager Brian Snitker is understandably optimistic with regards to the outlook for the 2019 Atlanta roster. The additions of Brian McCann and Josh Donaldson along with the added experience of young players like Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and others, the needle seems to be pointing up for the club.
“Teams are going to continue to get better. That’s the nature of the beast that we’re in,” said Snitker. “And we’re going to have to continue that, too. The work is just beginning for us. I don’t feel we’re a finished product at the Major League level. Our players are not finished products yet.”
The Braves lost out to division rival Philadelphia in the bidding for Andrew McCutchen, though Atlanta was never a serious contender once the price rose to include a third season, per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. GM Alex Anthopoulos is perfectly content to wait until the new year before making any more additions, should that be what the market dictates. In the case of McCutchen, for instance, the Braves viewed the former Pirates outfielder as comparable to Carlos Gonzalez or Nick Markakis – corner bats that add value when secured on a shorter-term deal. They’ve vetted most outfielders available, and a bigger name like Michael Brantley is still in play for Atlanta, but the Braves aren’t eager to overpay for expediency at this stage of the winter.
Cory McCartney of FOX Sports looks at Ozzie Albies and his extreme platoon splits, which are troubling considering Albies is a switch-hitter. Albies was among the best hitters in baseball from the right side in 2018, but the left side left much to be desired. Finding consistency from both sides could be a huge contributing factor in making Albies a true star in 2019.
During his All-Star first half, Albies was almost a mirror image hitting from either the left (122 wRC+) or right side (121), but his second-half struggles were largely drug down by his hitting from the left side. He had 32 wRC+ with 34 strikeouts in 176 plate appearances, compared to 150 wRC+ with just 11 strikeouts in 76 at-bats as a righty.
On the season, he hit .261/.305/.452 with 40 doubles, five home runs and 24 home runs, while adding 14 stolen bases.