Another week has came & went without Atlanta adding bats for next year’s lineup. Even after MLB announced that National League ball clubs shouldn’t expect to have the designated hitter. Not unexpected however, free agents signed this early are usually on the expensive end of the league’s contracts. That’s just not Alex Anthopoulos’ MO. He tends to use early signings by other clubs as a measurement of the year’s market so he can find the best possible player for his money.
That might rub the fanbase the wrong way, given the team’s expectations & their proximity to contending for a World Series title. But there’s no legitimate reason to doubt the man controlling the Braves’ wallet.
At last year’s trade deadline the Braves were smack dab in the middle of the Clevinger race. As you know, he ended up in a Padres uniform. You’ll also remember that Clev went down with an arm injury that left him off the Padres NLDS roster. There were also widespread reports that the Indians wanted Riley, Anderson, Pache, Davidson, or Waters included in the return. Most, if not all of those prospects/rookies are the corps of the next wave of Braves superstars who are in Atlanta’s plans for another deep postseason run. Clevinger was an unusually enticing addition in that he had extra years left on his contract. But could you imagine selling literally the same for a guy that wouldn’t even be able to contribute in the postseason? Anthopoulos would be face to face with an angry mob of fans had that deal been agreed upon.
So breathe, Braves fans. The franchise is in good hands. Hands that I believe will undoubtedly deliver a ring in the next 2-5 years. But I’ve also been saying that for the last three seasons. So what do I know?
I know Freddie Freeman needs an extension. He stands to receive a handsome payday, and deservedly so. Although he just now added MVP to his resumé, he’s been the Braves MVP since Chipper retired. He’s the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse, and possibly the most wholesome man in baseball.