SunTrust Park! The name wouldn’t last long (Hello, Truist), but the Braves had new digs (and I got to be there)! While the Cobb County location didn’t immediately lead to winning ways (3rd place, 72-90), the team was starting to come together to finally turn things around. In today’s 10 for 10’s, it’s the 2017 Atlanta Braves!
2017 Atlanta Braves Offseason
They made early splashes in free agency, signing old guys R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon. A few weeks later, they added Jaime Garcia in a trade with the Cardinals (bye John Gant). Sean Rodriguez was signed and embarked on an interesting Braves career.
They ended the offseason by making a slew of transactions. Mallex Smith and Shea Simmons were sent to Seattle for Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. Alex Jackson, Anthony Recker, and Jacob Lindgren were all brought on board as well. Finally, as Spring Training was starting, they acquired Brandon Phillips from the Reds.
2017 Atlanta Braves Opening Day Lineup & Roster
- Ender Inciarte (CF)
- Dansby Swanson (SS)
- Freddie Freeman (1B)
- Matt Kemp (LF)
- Nick Markakis (RF)
- Brandon Phillips (2B)
- Adonis Garcia (3B)
- Tyler Flowers (C)
- Julio Teheran (SP)
Catchers: Kurt Suzuki, Anthony Recker
Outfielders: Emilio Bonifacio
That bench is…ouch.
In Season Updates
Bonifacio, d’Arnaud, O’Flaherty, Phillips, Rodriguez, Garcia, Recker, Roe, Colon, Loney, and Howard were all released, DFA’d, or traded.
The Braves were hardly contenders, but began to show hope for the future. Every starting pitcher who made 14 or more starts had an ERA ranging from 4.26 (Dickey) to 4.79 (Folty).
Jaime is Grand
Before being traded away, Jaime Garcia has an incredible moment (especially for a pitcher).
Freddie Moves to 3rd
While some assumed it was a move to increase the potential trade value of Matt Adams, Freddie Freeman unselfishly agreed to move to 3rd. While he didn’t embarrass himself at the hot corner, it was a short lived experiment.
Ender Gets 200
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Ender was good in 2017. Excellent defense and 200 hits are hard to overlook.
Ozzie Gets the Call
While some called for him to be traded, Ozzie was just being Ozzie in the minors. He earned his call up and took hold of second base, moving Philips to the 3rd base carousel and eventually to the Angels.
|New York Mets||70||92||.432||27.0|
At the end of the day, the Braves ended up 3rd in the NL East. While not a great season, the foundation had been laid. The rebuild was coming to an end. Everything was pointing up!
Coppy and Hart
Seemingly out of nowhere, the Braves were the main October story despite not being in the playoffs. John Coppolella and John Hart had gotten much too bold and aggressive in the international market.
While it appears impropriety wasn’t exclusive to the Braves front office, the high level may have been. An investigation was launched, Coppy resigned, and reports began to swirl that the hammer was about to be dropped on the Braves.