Nick Markakis

http://gty.im/1042833370
Well, he’s back, and that’s about all the excitement I can muster at this time. It’s 1 year, $4M, with a club option for $6M or a $2M buyout. There are two things I’m hoping:

1) $4M is not a lot of money and certainly not a lot of money for a starting RF. With this and the timing, Nick was given an opportunity to find a job as a starter, was unsuccessful, and he’s agreed to an abbreviated role with Atlanta.
2) We’re saving money to add somewhere else.

As it sits, the payroll is around $113M. If the season started today, that would be around the 22nd ranked payroll in baseball. In other words, that’s “pitchforks” territory. I’m certainly not excited about this so much as anyone can be excited about $4M spent on major league baseball players, but if he’s getting 300 PAs against righties in some sort of LF/RF role with someone else getting the bulk of PAs in RF, then I can live with this.

This probably isn’t the last outfielder we acquire. This probably isn’t the highest amount we will pay a player acquired this calendar year. But we were promised something better than the 22nd ranked payroll in baseball, and on January 22nd, we are not yet there. We’re running out of places to spend it though.

211 thoughts on “Nick Markakis”

  1. I think he plays a role similar to what Steve Pearce played for Boston last year. Or what Chase Utley played for the 2017 Dodgers. Not a “starter”, not a “bench” player, but somewhere in between.

  2. “We’re running out of places to spend it though.”

    That’s what I’m seeing that has me perturbed. We tendered Duvall, freed up Camargo to cover the field, and now we’ve brought Markakis back. The bench is in great shape, but how many of this caliber of OF can we carry? There’s a limit, and I have a feeling we’re at it unless we trade one.

    At this point, I’m all for dealing Inciarte even if it means Kluber, but I’m not on that bandwagon because I think he would be our best starter in 2019 — I don’t think he would even be our 3rd best at season’s end, but that’s because I think this rotation could be 1st in baseball in ERA next season.

    So where does that leave us? There’s still Realmuto, but if not there then where? I just can’t get excited about an expensive closer, because I don’t know how far it moves the needle when your lineup has 4 hitters in it who could struggle to hit over .230.

  3. It’s going to be easier to sell off a player you’ve tendered a contract to like Duvall than to have non-tendered him before you knew if he fit with your team. You’d rather own him and sell him vs. not own him at all.

    In Nick’s case, I can’t help but wonder if the player this deep into this offseason can force your hand by having a couple crappy offers on the table, and Atlanta has to crap or get off the pot with him. The player himself probably reaches a point where he just says, “Screw it, I just want to know where I’m going to be playing this year.”

  4. Can anyone explain why Duvall was re-signed? The guy is done. He cannot hit anymore. He couldn’t hit much when he *could* hit.

  5. I don’t know that I love the idea of taking Acuna out of the lead off spot. That’s the plan though, according to O’Brien. It’s no fault of Snit’s, because you’ve got to work with what you’re given. They need the power in the heart of the order, too. Still, Acuna took off in the 1 spot. Coincidence? Maybe. I don’t like tinkering with things that aren’t broke though, and this move somewhat forces that.

  6. @5 Curious who, besides Folty, I’m assuming, you think will have a better year than Kluber, in the Braves rotation?

    Not saying that’s not possible, by any means. Just curious who you’re high on.

  7. Well, that’s that. Markakis is your 2019 starting RF. Snitker has said his lineup as of now would be: Inciarte, Donaldson, Freeman, Acuna, Markakis… Anthopolous has said there’s still room for a starter, reliever, or bench bat. He would not elaborate on the 70% deal as that could still be on the table, whatever it is.

  8. @9 Looking back at Kluber’s stats, I was thinking of someone else whose K/BB was in the high 3’s and was a little bit older. I really hope the Braves get Kluber, and he would easily be our #1 going into 2019. I could hope Folty would muster 5 WAR next season. The other guys I’m high on going into the season are Soroka and Gausman. I think Soroka, if he pitches all season, has the potential to break 5 WAR, but he has to keep the walks down, which is what he’s supposed to be really good at.

  9. @11 As of now simply because there’s still a small chance of trading for Realmuto, but it doesn’t sound like the Braves are in the market for an OF anymore.

  10. Yesterday: “WE SUCK BECAUSE WE REAL CONTENDERS HAVE FORMER STARTERS AS BENCH PLAYERS!!!!”

    [[sign Nick Markakis to a bench-role deal]]

    “WE SUCK BECAUSE WE’RE TOO STUPID TO GET A REAL STARTER INSTEAD OF MARKAKIS.”

    I swear, I wish I was the supplier of you people’s anxiety meds.

  11. AA continues to claim that other deals are probably coming, but again, to actually complete one, I believe he’s going to have to overpay on something. Will he do that? I’ll let you decide, but he certainly has shown absolutely no interest in doing that so far.

  12. @17

    Oh great…thanks, Stu! I feel much better now!

    Also, Sam @14 either is ignoring or doesn’t believe the part where AA said that we signed Markakis to be our starting RF. That post is pretty much peak Sam.

  13. Path forward seems pretty clear:

    1. Inciarte plus prospects for Kluber
    2. Acuña in CF
    3. Duvall/Kakes platoon in LF
    4. Harper in RF

    Get it done AA, etc, etc.

  14. That’s just Sam ignoring what everyone is saying. Probably 5 minutes prior to Sam, DOB tweeted:

    “Anthopoulos said #Braves examined Markakis’ decline in 2nd half and determined it was the last 6 weeks of the season and that “underlying characteristics” remained strong, i.e. still hit the ball hard. Just put it on ground more, which they think fatigue might’ve been a factor.”

    What else can one make of it except that the Braves plan to start Markakis in RF but in a reduced role (meaning expect a combination of Duvall and Camargo to spell him). So, unless the Braves emerge and sign Machado to replace Dansby, OR they trade for Realmuto, the offense is set.

    I doubt Kluber is on the market, but that is what everyone is clamoring about now.

  15. @19

    Those are incredibly doable things and would make the Braves one of the favorites in the NL. If they were gonna go for it that’s what they’d do, but they’re never gonna go for it.

  16. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Inciarte will be a Brave when the season starts. Ender has some trade value and I don’t see him fitting into our plans.

  17. Signing Markakis is the perfect embodiment of this offseason: Started off great, followed by months and months of nothing exciting.

    This basically feels like Anthopoulos saying “I failed to sign or acquire a real outfielder this offseason like I was supposed to, so I decided to punt till next year when maybe I’ll be do able to do it then.”

  18. @24 Is peak Sam all-inclusive drinks and meals??

    It’s about the only way I’ll get out to Sun Trust if they don’t make a major addition this season.

  19. Obviously, I still hope that the Braves make some sort of a bigger move, but the Markakis signing is really cheap insurance. Very similar to the McCann signing. What the Braves have done so far is to make the team exactly the same as last year at opening day – except for McCann replacing Suzuki and Gausman replacing Sanchez/McCarthy and having Acuna from opening day. And the bullpen is much better than what we began with last year.

    With regards to the lineup, if someone were to get creative and use some data and assume that Inciarte had his usual awful start and Markakis had his usual excellent start, then the lineup might look more like – Markakis, Acuna, Freeman, Donaldson, Albies, Flowcann, Inciarte, Swanson. When Inciarte gets hot and Markakis fades then you swap them. Markakis will inevitably have a high OBP and you want your best hitter at #2.

    Markakis had a nearly .900 OPS for 2-3 months. At leadoff, he doesn’t need to hit a lot of HRs. I will grant that the Braves need a more slugging OF than Inciarte/Markakis, but this lineup can work and could get the Braves off to a hot start.

    It’s beginning to appear as if AA thinks he can get better deals at the deadline than during the offseason. He sure did well at the last deadline. And I’ve mentioned before that I think the deadline deals were not just made with the idea of winning last year and were also intended to solve upcoming problems for this year. That being said, we still have a glut of upper level prospects and a big trade has to still be in the offing.

    I’ll bet this offer has been on the table to Markakis since the end of last season and it was his choice if and when to accept it. Many here said that signing Markakis for bench money would be fine with all of us and I recall that this $4-$6M value for one year was thrown around as what we, as fans, would accept in a Markakis deal. It’s not much different than I would expect from a Derek Dietrich deal.

  20. How can anyone be upset by the Markakis move? Last year he was an All Star, Gold Glove winner, Silver Slugger and he got MVP votes. (-;

  21. Markakis for the bench would be terrific, provided he would spell Bryce Harper to keep him fresh. What’s not terrific is signing Markakis for bench money and then having him start in RF. :-D

  22. @29, yeah cheap insurance like The General car insurance.

    McCann is probably done and Markakis is what he is. A line drive hitter with little power and a decent OBP. Not a starting OF on a truly contending team. We *should* have been able to do much better.

  23. @7 He wasn’t re-signed. He was tendered a contract. I could be very, very wrong, but I think if he is released in Spring Training, his contract is not owed. I could look it up, but I’m asking someone to please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I do know, worst case, he’s tradeable in his current contract. Someone will take him 1YR/$3M to see if his bat will come back to 2016-2017.

  24. @32

    Funny story: I was driving through a rough part of town last week, and while stopped, this girl hit the back of me. She hit me so hard I hit the person in front of me. She ended up getting charged with a DUI. When me and the guy in front of me were talking, we said, “Watch her have The General.”

    She had The General. I ain’t getting my deductible back.

  25. @32 McCann is a year younger than Suzuki. Maybe he has one more good year as a backup left in him. Plus we need a LH PH on the bench. Either McCann or Markakis could fill that role if we get a Realmuto or Pollock type.

  26. 32 — Remember when you said (in late August!) the Braves were going to fade and finish in 4th place last season?

  27. @39 I hope you mean on a per game basis and are willing to eat the required crow when it turns out to be not true. McCann will play less than Suzuki and is a better defender. Whether he can rebound at the plate is dependent upon his health, but a reduced role is likely to increase his WAR per game. It’s possible Suzuki’s performance craters next year, too.

    All in all it seems best to still go out and get Realmuto.

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  28. Remy

    For weeks/months now while the rest of us run around in circles misinterpreting what may or may not be happening you have adopted a different role. You wait to be the first in print here when something has actually gone down. Nick today, many more before him. You are in a class by yourself.

  29. From reading the articles, Markakis sure believes he will be an OF starter with occasional rest (that is, not a platoon). That had to have been part of the discussion before he signed. Meh.

  30. Happy to see Nick back, and at bargain rates too. Have to wonder if he knew he could get more but wanted back here. Yes, I’m a romantic.

    Was ever a ASG starter, after a terrific first 90 games, so pilloried for what followed. Wasn’t it pretty obvious fatigue was taking over, the very few games he was rested, and that was entirely due to our thin bench was it not. And I don’t believe he was ever heard to complain.

    2 @ 5, AAV. Who’s still complaining? Speak up.

  31. I know we’ve all got JTR fatigue, but it makes too much sense not to happen. He fits perfectly in the 4 spot and would greatly upgrade our putrid catcher defense. Hell, go get Kluber and Castellanos while you’re at it AA and let’s win it all.

  32. @45 I believe the Realmuto deal is the 70% deal and the Marlins are still holding out waiting for someone else to substantially overpay. The Marlins more than any other team need pitching.

  33. @33 Rob, (and many on here who haven’t seemed to understand this)

    When an arb contract is tendered, ML team commits itself to approx 25% of contract. If player is still on roster when season opens, the other 75% becomes guaranteed.

    So, holding on to Duvall cost the Braves a 40 man roster spot and around $900,000. If his hitting is still crap in Spring Training, you release him.

    Same thing with Vizcaino (almost wrote Soriano). If his shoulder barks, you only owe 1 / 4.

    If AA didn’t have this talk with Snitker, I am very scared:

    Markakis will not start against lefthanders if Duvall isn’t released or Culberson isn’t released or Camargo isn’t crap in the outfield. Markakis will not start more than 5 games in a week, if any non comatose outfielder is available. If you go against me on this, your ass is grass and I am a lawnmower.

  34. Reading between the lines from AA: this is it until or unless something gives. It sounds like they’re in the market for a pitcher and that’s it — the lone exception, of course, being Realmuto, which sounds like it very well could be the 70%. I’d rather it be Kluber, since Markakis actually alleviates my concern of half a lineup that can’t hit much better than a pitcher.

    If not Kluber and if not Realmuto, I’d say we’re done here.

  35. Not quite right, cliff. Upon tender, the MLB team is committing to only ~1/6th of the contract. If the player isn’t cut before the 16th day of Spring Training, that rises to ~1/4th. If the player isn’t cut before Opening Day, the full thing becomes guaranteed.

  36. 51-Actually if Duvall is cut in the first 15 days of Spring Training it’s 1/6 of the salary, after the 15th day of ST but before Opening Day it’s 1/4 and on Opening Day it’s guaranteed.

  37. Duvall’s not getting cut unless we sign another OF, and if we’re going to wait until 1/6 or 1/4 of the way through spring training to make that decision, we will again be bargain-bin shopping.

  38. 53-Great minds, Stu…except for the whole Vanderbilt thing. It’d be great if my Vols could keep their #1 ranking more than a week this time so tell your boys to take it easy tonight.

  39. @55 If Duvall isn’t hitting, release him, and just give the opportunities to Camargo. That’s my thinking.

  40. I look forward to the follow DOB/Peanut Excuses:

    (McCann/Cakes/Donaldson) are former (Silver Sluggers/MVP) and took LESS money to come here. They will figure it out!

    @58
    I’m always worried about Memorial Magic.

  41. @59 re: DOB

    He hasn’t really gone full-bore into it yet, although he did retweet a lame missive from Jeff Francoeur asking if people would rather have Markakis for $6 million or Andrew McCutchen for $50 million. (Yeah, cuz those were the only two choices…)

    @58,59 re: UT/Vandy

    Generally, the segment of the UT fan base freaking out over the fact that we’re visiting the site where it all went wrong the only other week in our history that we were rated No. 1 is being a bit melodramatic. (I find that this same group of fans is a bit melodramatic about pretty much everything, as a side note…most of them were hoping that we wouldn’t elevate to No. 1, because more pressure or bad karma…or something.)

    That 2007-08 Vanderbilt team was very good and we were coming off the biggest win in program history, whereas this Vanderbilt team is not and we’re coming off a game we probably should’ve suffered an embarrassing upset loss in.

    That said, I share Smitty’s general trepidation about Memorial Gym. As a plus, though (or a minus from Stu’s perspective), pretty much everyone on this team has played their multiple times before.

  42. I tend to waver a lot in my trust, but I can’t dismiss that Liberty Media has basically been telling us as recently as 2 weeks ago that they’ve given the go ahead to increase team payroll. I don’t think they would be so public about a payroll increase unless they’re serious about it.

  43. It’s hard to overstate Donny’s point @61. Even if it is from Donny. They have no reason to lie about payroll. They’re not winning any more fans by saying they will but not than they would by saying “we are poor wittle midmarket team; mean old players are greedy and don’t love [[MetroAreaX]] like we do.”

  44. If they didn’t care about winning this year, they wouldn’t have signed Donaldson. More moves coming.

  45. I think people have written Donaldson off already. Apparently signing a top 10 bat isn’t good enough if you don’t sign it for 10+ years.

  46. Josh Donaldson possibly gets covered up because we didn’t necessarily need a third baseman. Johan Camargo is going to need to take at bats away from a few players, but otherwise you’re talking about a guy who hit .272 / .349 / .457 with 19 homers at third base and was good for 3.7 bWAR. Will Johan be able to get that kind of playing time next year?

    We could certainly use more Johan whenever Swanson or Albies is struggling.

  47. In the “pre-arb Acuna and Albies” portion of our window, it makes sense to spend big on 1-3 year players to take advantage. Donaldson, JTR and Kluber fit that mold. It’s also why the Braves should hesitate to trade players that we will need in that next wave, e.g. Contreras, Pache, Anderson.

  48. Will Johan be able to get that kind of playing time next year?

    Yes. Notable PA totals from last year:

    Nick Markakis: 704
    Freddie: 707
    Ozzie: 684
    Dansby (who may find himself on the bench: 533
    Ender: 660
    Chuckles Culberson: 322 (You wanna bet he’s going to repeat that 112 OPS+?)
    Ryan Flaherty: 182
    Preston Tucker: 157
    Peter Bourjos: 47

    I definitely think there’s 500+ PAs in there for Camargo. Now, is there 500 for Camargo then 400-500 for another acquisition? No unless his name is J.T. Realmuto, and that really concerns me.

  49. @71 It’s transparent balloting. That’s it. But how he’s a Hall of Famer period is actually a worthwhile discussion.

    I get it; I sound like I’m just wanting a Hall of WAR. But I do think WAR gets it right significantly more often than it gets it wrong, and at worst, it’s a really helpful guide. But when Derek Lowe and Ben Zobrist have a higher career WAR, that’s a problem. WAR’s not that far off.

  50. regarding the HOF results. I am 58 and have watched a lot of MLB in my life and am a firm believer Andruw belongs. For those of you that don’t please consider this:

    Andruw- 62.8 WAR and can barely stay on the ballot
    Mariano Rivera- 56.2 WAR and the 1st player elected immediately with 100% of the vote
    Roy Halladay- 64.3 WAR and sailed to election his first time eligible with over 85% of the vote

    How does anyone who can justify support for this years results not think Andruw belongs?

  51. I got no problem with that. Tony Gwynn should’ve been unanimous, too. A whole lot of ’em should’ve. Thank goodness no one will ever have to be the first unanimous one ever again — now maybe they can go ahead and make Beltre and Beltran and Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki (when/if he ever retires) and whoever else unanimous, too.

  52. I loved the Donaldson signing, and I do think that’s been often overlooked because it happened so early. I think he’s going to have an outstanding year.

    I’m also in favor of moving Camargo to the bench. I know some fans aren’t. Camargo should still be able to grab 4-5 starts per week, spelling someone at 3B, SS, 2B and (with Donaldson moving over to 1B) 1B.

    I think the larger issue **if** Nick is indeed the starting RF isn’t Nick himself; or the money, because it’s really peanuts. It’s that now you’re flipping a coin in RF, CF, at SS and at (please don’t throw things, but Albies was a tale of two halves, with no history to compare it to) 2B as to how much the team will get offensively. I didn’t list catcher, because I think it’s fair to assume what that’ll be, which is fine.

    If Albies hits like first half Albies, the Braves are probably fine. I feel he’s going to be more of a #5 or #6 type hitter, than a top of the order guy. If he’s more second half Albies though, and Dansby just is what he is at this time, scoring runs may still be a struggle at points.

  53. Also, Rob, while in principle I agree with you that relievers should not be held to the same standard as starters, you shouldn’t use WAR to evaluate Mariano Rivera.

    For two reasons:

    First, Wins Above Replacement doesn’t measure leverage, so it’s not the best stat to evaluate relievers. And second, Mariano Rivera is probably the most dominant single postseason player in any major sport that we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

    Just a reminder of his career postseason stats:
    96 G, 141 IP, 13 R (11 ER), 110 K, 21 BB. Career playoff ERA of 0.70, WHIP of 0.759.

    Those numbers aren’t in his WAR.

  54. Well, Mariano Rivera is in the Hall because he was Greg Maddux in limited action. He amassed that much WAR just pitching 1-2 innings at the end of games. He did the job he was told to do, and he had a higher WAR than most starting pitchers. Rivera was in the discussion for the Cy SIX times and finished 3rd or better in the voting for three of them.

    Other closers aren’t Hall-worthy. Rivera is exceptional.

  55. We needed offense. Josh Donaldson provides that. Yes, it would be better if we got more offense (from OF or C) as well. Obviously. It’s hard to compete with super teams if you don’t have a super team of your own.

    That said, Donaldson makes Swanson’s sub-700 OPS much less likely to be in play for pivotal at bats this year. That’s a big deal.

  56. None of the greatest starting pitchers of all time, including ones on this year’s ballot, were unanimous HOF selections, but the greatest failed starting pitcher of all time was. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  57. Comparing WAR across positions in terms of Hall of Fame voting presents a problem, because it gets you lots of some positions and none of others.

    I’m a small Hall guy, but the best closer in baseball history should be in the Hall of Fame, and the fact that he has a lower career WAR than Ben Zobrist is irrelevant.

    That also means that pitchers who get in have nothing to do with the candidacy of Andruw Jones. For the record, putting Roy Halladay in on the first ballot is a bit much for my taste, but it shouldn’t have any effect on whether center fielder Andruw Jones gets in.

  58. I honestly don’t care about Mo being the “first unanimous selection.” It’s a stupid talking point for day time television. The HOF is already broken, and Mo’s selection doesn’t break it any more than it was. At least ‘Gar got in before Papi hit the ballot.

  59. @77 I’m hearing from the little birdies who flew over to North Alabama from Sun Trust that the Braves have a plan for Albies that involves him taking fewer cuts. He was clearly swinging for the fences after the April he had, and he’s going to have to do better than a .300 OBP if he wants to remain in the starting lineup.

  60. I think DOB is unfairly dumped on around here. Maybe when he worked at the AJC he developed a bad rep for pushing the team agenda, but following his Twitter since moving to the Athletic, he seems to have a balanced view of the team. I’ve seen him say a couple of things the organization probably wouldn’t allow Bowman to say.

    Having said that, I have seen him make some false claims (ie. Bobby Cox manager of the year awards) so I can understand that criticism. Being a team mouth piece, though, is not one I would agree with.

  61. DOB *was* the team mouthpiece for a long time. Prior to MLB hiring Bowman outright, the AJC was the PR organ of choice for the Braves, and Dave O. was the PR organ of choice for the AJC. It wasn’t a straight bought-and-paid relationship, but DOB certainly spun the news in the ways management wanted it spun far more often than not.

    This reached a sort of nadir during the Fredi Gonzalez managerial stint, a time that found DOB (and his personal need to identify as a sort of gruff Americana music hipster) and Gonzalez literally vacationing together as they rode Harley’s across the country.

    O’Brien has gotten better since he moved to The Athletic and remembered what the “journalism” part of “sports journalism” is supposed to mean, but he still takes a lot of hash at the ankles for what his relationship with the team had become there at the end of his AJC tenure.

  62. It’s still remarkable for a closer to amass ~40 fWAR. I feel like you have to keep it in consideration that Rivera’s WAR was accrued in a fraction of the innings that an SP like Derek Lowe pitched.

  63. @91. I used to be a no on McGriff, but a deeper dive, I had forgotten just how good he was. He was a GREAT player and he was amazing in the postseason. He was also remarkably consistent.

    I’m now a yes. I also think upon further review he was a better player than Dale Murphy.

  64. It dawns on me that signing Donaldson, McCann, and Markakis is not too different from signing Colon, Dickey, and trading for Garcia…… Hmmm

    Maybe one step up….

  65. @96 That’s a big reach.

    Donaldson is a former MVP, and can still play. He was just hurt last season. Alone, he’s worth more than Colon, Dickey and Garcia.

  66. @98 Are they?

    I think most are just disappointed that the Braves, for the moment, appear to be taking a sub-optimal path towards the goal of winning this year’s World Series.

  67. I highly doubt it’s “most”. It’s a very, very loud minority that aren’t willing to wait for the completion of the offseason.

  68. @101 I’d agree with that and I don’t want to give up but it’s getting pretty boring out there in the baseball news world. We need some good news to keep us warm in the long winter.

    Te offseason is not a success until we make a move for Realmuto, a TOR SP, or a RP. There must be a Big Trade(TM).

  69. I’m only referring to those who are sleeping on Donaldson, of which I do think most of those are just not satisfied with the team’s efforts to acquire upgrades.

  70. @ 100

    “sub-optimal path towards the goal of winning this year’s World Series.”

    And that is what I have a problem with. The “optimal path” to winning “this year’s” World Series is go get Kluber and Realmuto, and send out all of the top 100 prospects doing that, sign Harper for 1 year 50 mill, sign Machado for 1 year 50 mill.

    I am in favor of the organization, for now, with vast minor league resources for about 3 years, to make itself a solid, maybe even favored, division contender and let “progression” of our young talent (a) move us on for 4 to 7 years (while we try to get a plan for what happens then) and (b) not try to go “2019 World Series Champions or bust.”

    I do not think what has been done to now makes them a favored contender in the division this year. I think it does make them a solid contender. I will feel the FO let us down if not getting Brantley looks stupid at the end of this year. I want one legit well above average outfielder added. That is more pressing than relief help or a starting pitcher.

  71. Co-sign @108.

    Offseason’s not over. Still time for a move. But the FO has stated its intent that Markakis be the regular RF next year, which is not making the team better in the short or the long run.

    If the narrative now is that we can’t get into long-term commitments to A-list FAs because it will impact our ability to re-sign Acuna in 2024 or whenever, what’s it going to be a few years from now, when our currently inexpensive young core reaches its arb years?

    Edit: Dodgers have apparently signed Pollock. I guess he was their plan B since they missed out on Markakis. :)

  72. Making optimal moves for contending this year needn’t look like sacrificing the future in an all-or-nothing dash for this season. There is such a thing as making optimal moves for improving the team as opposed to making optimal moves for saving money and still being competitive.

    So, yeah, there’s Markakis, but maybe Pollock would cost more on a 2-or-3-year contract plus the loss of a draft pick while being a lot better?

    Of course, I’m waiting until the season starts to decide if I dislike this offseason.

  73. Pollock is going to the Dodgers, per Rosenthal. I wonder if this takes them out of the Harper sweepstakes. Hopefully it makes them less inclined to overpay for JTR.

  74. Oh god yes. If it were possible to spend 126 million for precisely one year of Donaldson/Harper/Machado you’d be a fool not to. In such a scenario, you trade a couple of pitching prospects for Kluber and go to war.

  75. We can’t know if they made optimal moves until the moves are all actually made. This is mostly just the fan base being antsy because our big splash was literally the first move of the off season, and everything’s been stalled since then.

  76. With Pollock to the Dodgers, does Pederson become available? would his price be reasonable?

  77. I assumed the Markakis signing would take us out of the running for Pederson, barring a trade of Inciarte.

  78. I think this is likely the reason why we re-signed Markakis.

    4-years, $50 million. Compared with what Markakis produced last season, we got a way better deal with the hope that he can produce 2 WAR in less playing time.

  79. As much as I’d love to see the Braves go get Pederson now, I’m thinking along the same lines as Hambone @117.

    Although, honestly, I think they should still make a play for Pederson. Yes, it gives you 3 LH hitting OFs, which means you’ll get a lot of lefty on lefty situations. Still, talent is talent. The OF mix is better with Pederson replacing Duvall, and Nick can hit lefties.

    If you have 486 OF starts in a given season, you could target giving Acuna 145 or so of those, and Nick, Joc and Ender around 115 or so. Thus, you’re keeping everyone fresh.

    Likely won’t happen, but I can keep hoping until Opening Day. Lol

  80. Harper is either going to the Phillies or back to the Nationals.

    I would still take Joc Pederson to play RF vs RHP relegating Markakis to the 4th OF role and DFAing Duvall. Camargo or Culberson could play vs LHP.

  81. @121

    I’d **like** for Markakis to be the 4th OF, and for them to get Pederson. However, I don’t see the Braves making Nick a true 4th OF after he left money on the table to re-up in Atlanta. If he was promised a starting role, it’s a bad look for the franchise. That might bite them when dealing with other players, and the Braves franchise has already had plenty of black eyes.

    I think they’d have to work out a system where he starts at least close to 3/4 of the games, so he saves some face.

    This is going to be one of those cases where what they should do, and what they likely will do will be two different things.

  82. Nick Markakis should be wanting his new-old team to sign the most talent possible. His window for a ring is short.

  83. , and .

    The following players appeared in the OF and/or 1B for the Dodgers last year: Cody Bellinger (162), Joc Pederson (148), Enrique Hernandez (145), Matt Kemp (146), Max Muncy (136), and Yasiel Puig (125).

    There are PLENTY of at bats to split between Acuna, Camargo, Inciarte, Markakis, Duvall and any “better than Inciarte, Markakis or Duvall” OF they go out and get. Especially considering that Camargo will get at bats on the INF as often as not.

  84. Don’t think it’s really worth considering the “and/or 1B” part for a team that has Freddie Freeman.

  85. You guys are missing the point on Pollock except for @119. Acquiring Pollock makes it easier for the Dodgers to include Bellinger in a Realmuto trade which is what the Marlins have been asking for. My guess is the Dodgers trade Bellinger and K. Ruiz and, maybe Barnes, for Realmuto or Realmuto and something else and it’s done really soon.

    Whereas Donaldson didn’t do the same for us and Riley because Donaldson is on a one year contract and Pollock signed for 4-5 years. We are not going to get Pederson because he’s a strictly LH platoon and Markakis is already the LH side of the platoon.

  86. Would the Marlins want Pederson? Or Inciarte for that matter? The Dodgers have been lurking for Realmuto this whole time. I don’t believe for a second they’re content going into the season with Russell Martin catching.

  87. @129 It doesn’t really matter. Something to balance taking both Ruiz and Barnes. On the other hand, maybe the Marlins get Bellinger, Verdugo, and Barnes for Realmuto and something else.

    Mish just upped the Dodgers chances of getting Realmuto

    @CraigMish 54 minutes ago
    More
    Realmuto % Opening Day 2019
    (Entertainment Purposes Only)

    Braves 35%
    Dodgers 35%
    Reds 12.5%
    Astros 12.5%
    Field 5%

  88. @125/126

    Right. You could maybe do 3B/OF since Donaldson probably won’t get 700 PAs and Camargo might factor into both.

  89. Craig Mish mentioned Conley and Steckenrider as potential add-ins in a braves trade. He also just updated his JTR sweepstakes odds, giving the Braves and Dodgers an equal 35% chance to land JTR. :/

    I guess we’ll know soon enough.

  90. A glance at Dodger Nation leads me to believe there is going to be a huge LA meltdown if they deal Bellinger for Realmuto.

  91. @137 That all depends on what AA is able to do between now and opening day.

    DOB thinks there will be one more significant move before spring training, but I don’t consider signing Kimbrel to be all that amazing nor is a trade for a late-game reliever all that exciting.

  92. If the team isn’t in on Harper, Machado, Realmuto, or Kimbrel, then what the hell are they even doing? Putting Markakis back in RF is waving the white flag in January. I’m sick of the excuses. “Oh, we won’t have any money to sign anyone five years from now.” Cry me a freaking river. What happens when those guys walk anyway when the excuse was always going to be that we didn’t or don’t have enough money? Cobb County has dealt with these jokers over funds for traffic enforcement and the 285 pedestrian bridge, so they need to stop thinking they can lie with impunity to the fans. We need to hold management accountable.

  93. @139 To borrow some words from Alex Anthopolous from early in the offseason… the Braves are maybe more than one or two pieces away from truly contending for a World Championship this year.

    I had said this back at last season’s deadline, and I think it’s still true today, that Anthopolous hasn’t bought in on the team’s success just yet and is still patiently watching the team develop before making long term deals that will probably shape his tenure as Braves GM.

  94. If he hasn’t bought in on his own division-winning team’s success, I don’t know what to tell you.

    If this team back-slides this year, there will be a lot of “See, this team isn’t ready to truly contend yet” when in reality, the back-sliding will be the front office’s fault. The pieces to make this team a legitimate World Series contender this year are still out there and have been out there all winter long.

    If he’s waiting for his farm system to turn this team into a World Series contender on it’s own, that’s stupid, because it’s probably never gonna happen.

  95. @142 I feel the same way, but he literally said we weren’t in on Harper or Machado because those are more like the final piece that you add. Does that mean pretty much what I paraphrased above?

  96. Did Anibal Sanchez over perform last year?

    Did Nick Markakis over perform last year?

    Did Ozzie Albies over perform last year?

  97. Fearless prediction: the Braves’ big move will be to sign Kimbrel under market value for about 3/45.

  98. @ 144,

    Paraphrasing “Meatloaf”, two out of 3 would be bad.

    Overall, Ozzie was probably about right. However, he needs to be less power and more obp with a similar run and field profile.

  99. I hate spending resources on famous relievers when there are other holes to fill.

    Folks writing off the “I’m not sure we’re all the way there yet” hedging from AA seem to be assuming 1) that Mike Foltynewicz has established a new level, and will not regress, and 2) some random super prospect will replicate the #1 starter work we got from Anibal Sanchez last year.

  100. Yes, but Anthopoulos doesn’t seem to want to fill those holes with anything other than bargain bin players. Might as well get a “famous” name who doesn’t cost any talent in trade.

  101. I just can’t see that. Anthopoulos wants to fill the starter hole with Corey Kluber, but doesn’t want to trade the entire farm to get it. Anthopoulos wants to fill the OF hole with Bryce Harper, but doesn’t want to lock into a 10 year contract to do it. Anthopoulos wants to trade for Realmuto, but is waiting to see what the Marlins actually ask for (they haven’t actually tendered an offer to the Braves, yet.)

    All of this is antsy nerves from the fan base. We *may* lose out on all of the major names, FA or trades, after Donaldson. Other teams are trying to win too. But that doesn’t mean AA doesn’t want to improve the team. He’s just not willing to go all in on a squad that is still built primarily of flaky prospect types.

  102. I’m more chapped about Brach’s deal, if I was to be chapped. $3M is not a lot of money for Brad Brach. They must have determined that we already have quite a few good but not elite RH RPs, some of which we left off the division series roster anyway.

    But really, though, I think AA is still trying to do a trade like the quantity of non-elite prospects for someone like Gausman and his years of control. He might be looking to take back salary like with O’Day to lighten the load. But the names are definitely coming off the board.

  103. I don’t understand the anti-Kimbrel stance from some folks. He one hundred percent would make this team better, because he’d shorten the game. When you make games 5-6 innings long, essentially, you take pressure off a young staff. He’s a proven commodity. How’s that not an “exciting” upgrade?

    I got it somewhat when his ask was six years, and a hundred million. The ask has to be coming down, though.

  104. @127 If the Dodgers trade Bellinger for Realmuto, their fan base should lose their mind. That’s an awful, awful deal on the LA side.

    Realmuto hits well for his position, but Bellinger gives you so much more overall.

  105. Yeah, there’s no justification for trading Bellinger for Realmuto. Bellinger is a better player right now, and has more team control. There’s no way Friedman makes that trade.

  106. Before you get the pitchforks out, keep in mind that AJ Pollock is going to get $55M guaranteed, and he hasn’t played in more than 113 games since 2015. I liked Pollock a lot, but I’m on record saying it should be a short-term deal.

    I don’t know what the rest of the offseason looks like, how they’re going to spend money, and what they’re going to do with the prospects. But at some point, if I’m AA, I’m ready to just say, “Screw it, I’ll hold onto my prospects.” I know that I’m looking forward to a season where Folty, Newcomb, Gausman, Teheran, Soroka, Fried, Gohara, and Wilson (and Weigel and Allard and Wright, etc.) make 162 pretty dang good starts. There’s not a single team in baseball that can match that starting pitching depth. And I feel similarly about the amount of talent available to the bullpen too.

    And keep in mind that they’re adding Josh Donaldson to a team that is essentially untouched (and maturing) that scored the 10th-most runs in baseball (8th in WAR). PAs given to replacement level players are essentially being replaced by a former MVP.

  107. It’s possible that AA’s conservatism is turning the Braves into a measuring stick. Everyone goes out and says, “I’m being offered this by the Braves. If you beat it, you win.” I just don’t see the Braves winning a trade until they are willing to make some kind of an overpay.

    WRT Realmuto, it’s possible that the Marlins are no longer in the market for OFs since they signed the Mesas. Their ask for Albies and Ruiz indicates they may be pursuing MI or C assets. The Braves have no MI assets and Contreras is the best C prospect. They might ask for Camargo. I personally think they need pitching and I don’t get why MLB or high level prospect pitching is not attractive.

    The Indians have been awfully quiet about their pitching. The last thing in the news was they were no longer interested in trading. In a sense reminiscent of the Kimbrel trade, the Braves could blow them away with an offer at the end of spring training.

    I agree with those that say that Kimbrel won’t move the needle much (or enough). We have at least 9-10 pitchers who have the lots of upside to make a strong bullpen. I count 17 just from those already on the 40-man (excluding 5 for the rotation). If the Braves add anyone, it needs to be a 4-5 WAR player either at C, OF, or SP. If that costs more in trade than we should pay, that is exactly what we’re going to have to do.

    Like it or not, the Braves will not sign anyone costing a draft pick. I think we’ve only done that once when we signed Santana for 2014. That signing may have been one seen as leading to the rebuild even though Santana was OK (had one of his lesser seasons with us).

  108. Markakis and Duvall might make a pretty decent platoon. Like you, Rob, I’m looking forward to seeing all these young pitchers.

  109. @157 I don’t understand how, if they overpay in some fashion, the Braves can “win” a deal. This, more than anything, is my entire issue with everything JT Realmuto. If they want to do a fair deal, fine. If the Braves “win” the trade, all the better. Overpay though? No, I hate it.

    As it relates to the pen, yes, the Braves do have pitchers with upside that **could** fill out the pen, that’s true. Want to bet on any one of those pitchers being historically good, however? Kimbrel is that good, now.

  110. Heyman says we have a good team and are not done.

  111. @156 I’m with you on this too, Rob. I was coming around to the idea of the Braves adding Pollock on a 1 or 2 year deal, if that was an option. I wouldn’t be on-board for them dishing out a deal like he got though.

    The Markakis deal is what it is, even if I don’t love that he’s been promised a starting job. Outside of that, they did add Donaldson, and there’s some offseason to go that could provide an opportunity for more. I’d still like to see them follow the KC model of fortifying the pen, but I’m willing to wait and see what happens before saying they failed this offseason.

  112. The Heyman tweet is interesting. I do wonder if there’s a point that the Braves look at Machado, since he doesn’t have a QO? As much potential as Swanson might have, if there’s a point that the market gives you Machado on a semi-affordable, shorter deal, can’t be over-looked, right? Long, long way from that with a few weeks before ST though, most likely.

  113. @150 – I guess Brach is a good right handed reliever, but I’m not heartbroken about losing him. I know his stats looked good in Atlanta but he seemed to be extremely lucky. I see him with a 3.50 ERA and about 7.5ks per 9 innings going forward. I think there are a lot of in house options that can come close to his performance. Does anyone else share my apathy about losing him?

  114. @162 Interesting. I keep forgetting that Machado doesn’t have the dreaded QO on his head. If we sign Machado for a long time then Riley becomes expendable. Dansby would have to go to AAA for a year then Machado would move from SS to 3B when Donaldson leaves. One might even trade Dansby and have Machado at SS and Camargo at 3B the following year.

    How about sign Machado for 6-7 years and trade Dansby, Riley, Flowers, and Jackson to the Marlins for Realmuto and Conley/Steckenrider? Or Riley, Wright, Flowers, and Jackson? Now, that might be a “super team”.

  115. If the Braves land Harper or Machado on like, a one year, 50 million dollar pillow deal, I want apologies from everyone here except Donny & Rob.

  116. DOB talks about Grant Dayton being a viable option. I forgot about him but he is on the 40-man.

  117. I read that and had to ask myself, “What’s a Grant Dayton?” Apparently, it’s a 30 year old reliever who has pitched a grand total of 50 innings in the majors.

    Always good to have more arms. He was off to a good start at age 27 before injuries derailed him the following year.

  118. The thing I’ll apologize to Sam for is doubting whether he still had any quality trolling in him:

    Folks writing off the “I’m not sure we’re all the way there yet” hedging from AA seem to be assuming 1) that Mike Foltynewicz has established a new level, and will not regress

    I’m triggered. I mean, if AA really believed that 2019 Folty couldn’t replicate his 2018, then there’s not much of a point to getting Donaldson even on a one-year deal. Just ride with Camargo while the next wave of SP prospects emerges, right? And subtly let another GM talk you into selling high on Folty.

    and 2) some random super prospect will replicate the #1 starter work we got from Anibal Sanchez last year.

    That’s Gausman’s job. Not to diss Anibal, but it was only a 2.5 WAR season.

    To the overall point, though…yeah, I don’t think we can write off the “I’m not sure we’re all the way there yet” hedging from AA, as Sam put it.

    I haven’t said a thing about it since it happened, so: I am disappointed by this Markakis situation. I’ve never been of the opinion that Harper/Machado = the only credible way to signal contender status, but I want to see AA make some kind of impact move.

    Has there been a single instance where the thing AA is rumored to be working on turns out to be the thing he ends up doing?

  119. @171 That’s just not true regarding the Donaldson signing. Assuming he is back to form, he is traded at the deadline if the team is out of contention. We can expect a decent haul in that scenario.

  120. I’ve heard, from anonymous sources, that the Braves have a deal 70% done to acquire a new ball boy. The sticking point seems to be that the other club wants three Fried Tomahawk Porkchop added to the deal, which seems to be a sticking point.

    Anthopolous was quoted as saying, “I think maybe where we hit a bit of a snag in some of these things is just the volume — and that’s where we do pause, and we kind of pump the brakes a little bit.”

  121. Plus, we gave 15 starts to Brandon McCarthy, 3 to Matt Wisler, and Gohara and Allard each had one start. I think there are plenty of starts to upgrade easily while ending up in the same spot at minimum. As Adam said, you’ll have a full year of Gausman, and on the aggregate, you’d have to bet that young pitchers (including Folty and Newcomb) will take a cumulative step forward.

  122. @172, I guess… if you have the money, getting Josh Donaldson for one year can pay off one way or another for practically any team.

    If that’s really the strategy — we’re still not sure we’re ready to contend, so hedge your bets by enlisting one-year rentals you can flip when you fall out of the race — then arguably we should be collecting more of those one-year contracts than just Donaldson. Perhaps we still will…dun dun dun. Roger’s point about the 40-man logjam is apt, but there are bunch of RPs still out there that could fit the bill.

  123. @171 Have to agree with Adam here. Shocking, I know.

    We have so much pitching at the MLB/AAA level that some trade just must be made to combine some of that talent into fewer higher upside assets. Not only to unblock the 40-man but to also allow further lower level players to be promoted.

  124. It’s hard to say the offseason isn’t moving along. 32/39 of MLBTR’s top 50 FAs have signed (4/11 of the remaining from the 50). With the exception of the obvious, the FA talent is down to the average or below average, which I’m guessing is going to lead to a lot of minor league contracts coming up. Of the top 4 available FAs, only Machado doesn’t have the QO attached.

    As far as FA closers go, I’ll bet we’re closer to signing Bud Norris than Craig Kimbrel……

  125. I could talk myself into being OK with a Kimbrel signing, even though I’d initially not like it very much.

    The issue is that it would be such a scattershot approach to the offseason. We’re gonna go cheap on our positions of extreme need, but the one position that should be the last one for a team to fill and that should always be kicked down the road if there’s another big position of need…that position we’re gonna go all-in on. It doesn’t make any sense as a strategy, and if it was anybody other than Kimbrel, everybody would see that.

  126. @181. It would smack of desperation and a blatant and naked paean to Braves Country and those that hang out at the Chop House (is that still a thing?) and never watch a second of the game.

  127. WHAT?! Signing the best closer in baseball to the biggest closer AAV in baseball history is desperation… why? Because we didn’t sign Bryce Harper? Manny Machado?

    ….

    ….

    ….

    AJ Pollock?

    ….

    ….

    ….

    ….

    JT Realmuto?

    My brain is… malfunctioning.

    Like, what? We need to figure out a downvote system just for specific commenters. He’s literally the best closer in baseball and is on pace for the most saves all-time.

    You have a temperature.

  128. Let me just say this. If we have an offseason where we add Josh Donaldson, Craig Kimbrel, Nick Markakis, and Brian McCann, and keep all of our prospects, that’s a good offseason. That’s a very, very good team coming off a 90-win season.

  129. @184 that’s not exactly landing a white whale. Donaldson is a good/great player but injury prone and 33 years old. He hasn’t played a full season since 2016.

    I don’t care about closers and I damn sure don’t care about one just because the Atlanta wine moms and bros that go to the game but don’t watch, do.

    I’m not even going to really talk about Markakis, enough has been said about that.

    IMO this offseason up to this point is treading water, maybe. There may be more, but I doubt it. Is it a disaster, no. Is it great, no. Is it just about average, yes.

  130. Donaldson makes it better than treading water, but it’s not good enough to make us clear division favorites — especially with what may still happen this offseason — and that’s what’s upsetting.

  131. The Braves built quite a few teams during their run of 14 straight division titles while neglecting to add a proven closer, and only have one Championship to show for it. Teams need a bona fide closer, and a solid pen. Kimbrel is, statistically, the best ever. How would adding him not be that impactful?

  132. I asked this before and no one responded- the Marlins are seeking a left-handed outfielder. Would they not want Inciarte? He under contract for a reasonable sum, his WAR over three years would be comparable to JTR’s over the next two. If we threw in a solid pitching prospect, why wouldn’t that work?

  133. Maybe it would. I might be projecting my feelings onto other teams’ decision-makers, but I feel like everybody must suspect that Inciarte’s decline is fast-approaching.

    So he’s most valuable to a team that’s contending right now. Insert punchline here.

  134. Comp scores specifically don’t include defense.

    And I shouldn’t even take the time, but that’s a singularly absurd comparison. James was a part-time player who was good at no particular thing. Other than 1987, the screwiest year in recent baseball history, James was a replacement-level player who hung around for a decade and change.

    Inciarte is a fulltime player and a former All-Star, who is incredibly good at defense. He’s basically Andrelton before we traded him — three wins with the glove and occasionally a win with the bat.

    That’s like saying that Erick Aybar is a good comparison for Andrelton Simmons.

  135. @190 That’s probably a really, really fair value type of deal.

    I think 191 is likely right though, Ender’s peak doesn’t really match up with the Marlins’ time line for contention. Now if they maybe thought they could turn around and flip Ender…? That’s a lot of moving parts, however.

    I don’t see Ender dealt this off-season. If it happens, I think it’ll be heading into next year.

  136. @190 The Marlins were interested in Markakis. Let’s trade him to the Marlins.

    Alternately, any trade for Realmuto will likely include Flowers so there you are. They get a current hitter in our lineup regardless. We cannot trade equal CURRENT WAR for Realmuto. No advantage in that. We need to trade a small amount of current WAR (Flowers) maybe even someone like Newcomb who is both current and future WAR along with a prospect should exceed what Realmuto is worth. If they also include Conley/Steckenrider then the prospect could be a top prospect (preferably pitching).

    With Brinson being their CF and the Mesas in tow, they would likely not want Inciarte as much. Honestly, if they prefer Markakis to Newcomb then so be it. Markakis/Flowers would easily be 3 WAR x2 = 6 WAR over two years (ok, over two years, maybe 4-5 WAR). The rest of Realmuto’s value would have to be made up in prospect value.

    Is Pederson/Barnes worth more than Markakis/Flowers? Really? Except for Barnes’ youth, I don’t see much difference in the two combos.

    Although, it would be quite the betrayal to trade Nick right after signing. But I don’t see that he has any no trade clause…..

  137. Couldn’t we just trade Teheran and O’Day for Greinke and Bradley and $15M in each of 2020 and 2021? That way we get Greinke for $15M this year and $20M each of the next two years. And adding three years of Bradley for one year of O’Day would be a win. And the D’Backs get to save $55M and Teheran is not an awful replacement for Greinke. We could even add in Webb to spice it up a little.

    We could just forget about Realmuto and go forward with that. But that wouldn’t take us out of the market for Realmuto either.

  138. @196, the comps you are looking at are Bill James Similarity Scores, which ignore defense and only look at offense. That’s why the comp you made, James, didn’t pass the smell test.

    Inciarte’s a little worse hitter than Aoki but a much better fielder. Put it all together and — again — the former All-Star is a better player than the guy who never made the All-Star team.

    Just try a little harder, man.

  139. @198. I don’t think they’d do Nick like that. Ender gives great defensive value, but it will be hard to have a complete offense if Ender, Dansby, and Flowcann are all in the lineup on a given day. We still don’t have a cleanup hitter. I want JTR, and a Duval/ Pederson platoon in left doesn’t sound too bad either. That would make up for some of the defensive value we’d lose if Ender is traded. Ronald looked sketchy at times last season.

  140. @199 It’s likely a verbal agreement. Markakis chose Atlanta because his kids wanted him to stay there versus moving. He opted to take less money and years.

  141. Don’t forget Markakis went to Woodstock HS just outside Atlanta so he likely has other friends and family in the area too.

  142. @198 I’m still not envisioning myself loving a JTR deal, if it goes down, because I think the cost will be outlandish. However, I don’t see where you can’t trade current WAR for current WAR, because you could. If you consider Ender+Flowers and Realmuto almost a wash, WAR wise, you’d only need to add some type of positive value (Hypothetically, Pederson at 2 WAR) to the OF to gain.

    The point is probably moot however, because value doesn’t align with fit here.

    Also, there is no way you can trade Markakis, unless you want to make free agent deals 4x more difficult in the future. That’s a bad, bad look.

  143. Markakis can’t be traded without his consent before May 1. If we go get Pederson and tell him he is on the bench, he may want to be traded. FO may have even told him that IF they got a shot at another outfielder, they would trade him or release him. But Braves can’t make him go anywhere. And, if they resign him this year, they can’t trade him because of 10 / 5 rights.

  144. @205 I think he’d have to play that fifth year first before earning those rights so he could be traded at the deadline. Where do you get the idea that he can’t be traded before May 1st? Is that in his contract?

    I agree that it would be a major betrayal and a bad look, but trading Flowers or McCann would be about the same. And we’re not gonna make a Realmuto deal without including either Flowers or McCann.

  145. The answer to my question was a trick answer: Suzuki is actually older than McCann. I bamboozled all of you! But seriously, this whole idea that we’ve signed a lemon catcher because he’s coming off an injury year ignores the fact that he’s younger than his predecessor. Ought we be highly reliant upon the previous year’s performance as it relates to an aging catcher’s future? Absolutely. But I think it’s fair to point out that Suzuki is actually older than McCann.

    With that said, I do like Suzuki at $4M vs. McCann at $2M for the same reason, but the Braves definitely have to think McCann will rebound.

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