Sunday Thread: The $20 Million Dollar Challenge and Hammer’s Shirt Update

Hey crew! I’ve shipped about a dozen Hammers shirts out and will be shipping out more this week. I wasn’t able to get to the UPS store yesterday, therefore the promised Saturday shipment will now be Monday. If you’re interested in a Hammers tee, get in on the next shipment by emailing me at cothrjr at gmail dot com.


The Atlanta Hammers shirts are available and the shirt itself is remarkably comfortable. Unlike our original shirt, the print on the front isn’t bulky and/or noticeable while wearing. I put a large on, I felt it fit perfectly, but these are more fitted shirts so upsize if you like a little loose.

I have the following quantities and they are $25 out the door.

  • 3 XXL
  • 4 Medium
  • 8 Large
  • 10 XL

First come, first serve! If you’re a $5 or more Patreon subscriber and you have not received your shirt, hit me up via email at cothrjr at gmail dot com and I’ll get you on the list!

A Useless, but Fun Exercise: The $20MM Challenge

MLBTR put out my favorite piece of the year, their 2020-21 Top 50 MLB Free Agent Predictions. Our first challenge was to fill the 2021 Braves team out with only $10 MM to spend. It was tough. Here were some examples of the $10MM Challenge:

For this exercise, the players that did not make it on the top 50 can be assumed that they’ll make less than #50 on the list(the “just missed” guys at the bottom we will assume they go for $3MM).

For your shopping pleasure, here is the entire list of 2020-21 MLB Free Agents for players not listed.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Thread: The $20 Million Dollar Challenge and Hammer’s Shirt Update”

  1. JT was JC’d

    None of these deals feel good but it is because we are really trying to just move salary. I think the best deal for the Braves is the one with the Cubs because there is real upside and the salary impact is minimal. The most doable deal on both sides is your Red Sox trade but it pushes the financial problem out to 2022 in a world where I would rather just get it over with.

    What about an off season program full of PEDs? Ender is busted and suspended or if he gets off to a hot PED driven start you move him immediately (do blogs have sarcasm font?)

  2. Two ways to go here-
    Option A-
    Pederson 9MM
    Hand 7MM
    Melancon 4MM

    Pederson can man LF daily and prove thump considering the Braves face 80%+ of RHP

    Now your pen is a monster and Hand provides another multi inning possibility along with Matzek and Minter.

    Downside is the rotation is shaky and you’re relying on the kids, albeit very talented kids

    Option B-
    Wainwright- 6MM
    Yates – 5MM
    Pederson – 9MM

    This helps the rotation much more and Yates provides a RHP that the pen needs to balance out the LHP of Smith, Matzek and Minter.

    Both scenarios have Contreras as the backup C which is fine.

    Bonus option C
    Wainwright- 6M
    Morton – 8M (maybe it was 10M)
    Melancon – 4M

    That’s the best case for the rotation. I’d like to see Wilson or Wright piggy back for first month while Soroka recovers in this instance.

    Anyway, this was fun.
    Curious to see others lists

  3. For $20MM, I’ll keep to my original plan for $10MM, then add:
    1. Wainwright, 1/$6MM
    2. Puig, 1/$3MM
    3. Brad Millier, 1/$1MM
    4. Kirby Yates, 1/$5MM
    5. Melancon, 1/$4MM
    6. Matt Joyce, 1/$1MM

    Starting Pitchers: Soroka, Fried, Anderson, Wainwright, Wright
    Bullpen: Yates, Melancon, W.Smith, Minter, Matzek, Tomlin, Martin, Wilson
    1B: FF5
    2B: Albies
    3B: Riley
    SS: Dansby
    Utility Players: Miller and Riley Unroe
    OF: Puig, Pache, Acuña, Duvall, Joyce
    C: d’Arnaud, Contreras

  4. It is free agency open season, is it not? And MLB has been silent on the universal DH, has it not? Is the commish keeping secrets?

  5. I think there’s a real possibility that there is not a DH and also that Duval is non tendered based on his arbitration number.

    But what I’d really like to see is Duval stay and then go bring in Brantley.

    An OF of Duval, Pache, Brantley and Acuña would be LEGIT.

    Pache appears in 162 games for defense alone.

    Brantley is a 130 game guy due to age.

    I’d love to see it

  6. I wish people would stop salivating over Joc Pederson. I think there is exactly a 0% chance he’d sign with the Braves. He’s from CA, plays in CA, and plays on the best team in baseball. He’ll give a huge hometown discount to stay in LA.

    Corey Dickerson has a more consistent track record and will likely be cheaper. Joc is younger, but Dickerson would be a lot easier to acquire. Further, if you can cover the LF platoon/bench bat for basically nothing (Ender and a prospect) then you can focus your FA dollars on pitching.

    If we go after the aforementioned Eovaldi deal (oh, and the Red Sox would have to throw in a bunch of bucks to even that trade – $9M – and that only covers the first year). We might have the bucks to get Brantley. After looking at the dollars again, I’m not sure any Eovaldi deal will work.

    To me, Dickerson and Waino/Taijuan/Morton/Lester or something like that is the most possible path.

  7. Good point, coop. How can a NL GM possibly be expected to plan his free agent strategy with the DH still in question? Just another example of this commissioner’s incompetence.

  8. Charlie Morton 1/8
    Carlos Santana 1/6
    Mark Melancon 1/4
    Tyler Flowers 1/2

    This is assuming the DH returns because if it doesn’t then santana won’t help us. I like santana a lot for his elite OBP. His OBP was nearly .400 in 2019 and 2020 was the first year of his career that he had an OBP under .350 (.349). He’s also a switch hitter but hits lefties a tad better than righties. 2019 was a stellar year for santana all around and I’d like to have that in my DH spot if it would only take $6M.

    From MLBTR: “In 2019, Santana was one of the best first basemen in baseball, with 34 home runs, a 135 wRC+, and 4.4 WAR. That performance resulted in his first All-Star appearance, a Silver Slugger award, and even MVP votes.

    Santana’s extensive body of work, primarily with the Indians, suggests there’s a solid possibility of a 110-120 wRC+ bounceback season in 2021.”

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