Gathering Dust on the Shelf
Who is left on the free agent market that meets the criteria of “cleanup hitter” or something similar?
First and foremost, Anthopoulos said on Fox Sports South that the Braves have “plenty of money left to spend.”
We have no idea how much money, but this comment leads us to the obvious elephant in the room in Bryce Harper.
Recently, the Harper-to-the-Braves talk has become a little louder, basically from nothing to… a whisper.
Buster Olney of ESPN suggested in a recent story that the Braves, along with the Astros and others, COULD be the mystery teams who are serious about signing Harper.
It’s fun to dream about a lineup of Acuna, Donaldson, Freeman, Harper and Albies, but it still seems far-fetched.
Only 1 Other Choice
Next up is A.J. Pollock, who also has been connected to the Braves recently. Olney said the Braves were in discussions with Pollock, but Jon Heyman then kind of refuted Olney’s report by saying the Braves were reluctant to part with a draft pick that is attached to Pollock’s qualifying offer.
Anthopoulos essentially dismissed that at Chopfest saying losing a pick will ultimately not be the deciding factor when pursuing somebody that could help the big-league club.
Pollock isn’t the perfect cleanup hitter, mostly because he cannot stay healthy. He has played 130 games or more just twice in his seven-year career.
But when healthy he can hit 20 or so homers and provide protection to Freddie Freeman.
Sorry, Mr. Markakis. You’re a last resort.