As we were basically told straight up head of time, Alex Anthopoulos did a lot of chatting but not any dealing this week. As it happens, many other teams did likewise.
Some dominoes have fallen, many are still standing. The Atlanta Braves are still in a good position, having made one big signing, though the rest of their work might need to be more creative as we move toward the holidays.
We’ll do something a little different today: I’m going to lay out my best guess on ‘The Plan’ for the rest of the off-season. Agree or disagree… that’s fine. I’m not making any judgments on the quality of the plan, except to say that if even half of this gets done, the 2019 Braves will be better than the 2018 edition.
Let’s go position by position – and we’ll start with the biggest domino.
As you know by now, this is either ‘Realmuto or bust’. Atlanta has 2 catchers, so they are at least covered if this doesn’t happen, but they will undoubtedly need a third backstop before the 2019 season ends since asking Tyler Flowers and Brian McCann to cover all 162 games is going to be a difficult assignment.
I will nonetheless continue to maintain that J.T. Realmuto is the #1 trade target – period. All paths lead from this effort – whether successful or not… and indeed, the Braves could themselves be holding up a lot of transactions that other teams have planned because of this.
Here is the latest news, which you’ll have to guess (along with me) on how true it is.. but it at least has the ring of truth:
- BRAVES – Flowers may be in the deal; Austin Riley may be in the deal. Others likely areas well. Mike Soroka might not be. source: Jon Heyman
- METS – Names involved have included SS Amed Rosario, OF Michael Conforto, OF Brandon Nimmo. One of these – not all; likely not even 2 – would be included. Mets prefer to retain Rosario most of all. Mets are actively checking alternatives to Realmuto. sources: Tim Healey (newsday) and a bit of Heyman
- REDS – As predicted, Nick Senzel has been asked for and rejected. OF Taylor Trammel may have been offered, though. Honestly? Unless the Reds think they’re a playoff team now, such a trade doesn’t make any sense at all for 2 years of Realmuto. Of course they’re also supposedly ‘in’ on 1-yr rental Sonny Gray… a rumor which makes even less sense. source: Heyman
- Top 9 teams in this appear to be (personal ranking): Braves, Mets, Dodgers, Padres, Reds, Rays. Heyman also lists the Yankees and Astros, but I am dismissing those clubs’ interest.
Expanding on a comment from a prior post, I believe that Atlanta is ready to pay whatever they need to pay to get the catcher, but are not showing cards until bluff is called. Clearly, if the team wants this deal, they can get it done – and I believe they want it done.
The rest of this is going to be at least somewhat dependent on how this Miami deal is done, so here’s hoping that it’s all finished before next weekend.