MLB.com’s Mark “Buzz Kill” Bowman is trying to prepare us Braves’ fans for … nothing. As in a boring trade deadline with virtually nothing happening to bolster a team badly in need of left-handed relief help, plus a viable bench bat.
The money quote (or maybe the ‘non-money’ quote) from his piece today is this one:
But with essentially no financial flexibility and limited attractive options, there is a chance they will remain quiet through the July 31 Trade Deadline.
Overextended?Yes, the Braves already stuck their financial necks out with the signing of Ervin Santana in mid-March. Yes, they just swallowed a camel with the release of Dan Uggla last week (which actually changes nothing in terms of finances – they had to pay him whether he’s in Atlanta or Fresno). But Frank Wren always seems to hold back a bit in reserve when it comes to deadline deals, and I would think there’s still a couch or two in the Braves’ Front Office with coins under the cushions.
Actually, the injury of Gavin Floyd should have provided a bit of financial relief. His contract incentive clauses will now not kick in – clauses that could have doubled his $4m base salary. Wren should have that extra $4m laying around the office somewhere.
So while Bowman is painting a picture of restraint and one that quite optimistically projects the triumphant return of Luis Avilan – yes, that’s his vision of Left-handed relief help – this writer still believes that Atlanta is in the hunt for one of these relievers:
Of course, many of us are still holding out for that One Big Move that could fire a shot of adrenaline into this club. But according to Bowman… that’s not happening.