With the addition of Travis d’Arnaud, the Atlanta Braves still have some things to address. Now that the budget is getting tighter, we take a look at the top 6 most likely free agents to be with the Braves in 2020.
The Atlanta Braves entered the offseason with major needs to address. Star third baseman Josh Donaldson was heading into free agency after a stellar season. Dallas Keuchel’s one-year agreement ended and the Braves exercised their option to pay Julio Teheran a million dollars to go away.
Not to mention, the potential question-marks surrounding Markakis’ fading production at age 36 and the streakiness and injuries that have come along with center fielder Ender Inciarte the past couple of seasons.
Atlanta has produced a top 10 WAR at catcher the past three seasons with combined efforts from Kurt Suzuki/Tyler Flowers for two years and Brian McCann/Tyler Flowers last season. Now that Brian McCann has sailed away to the Grey Havens with Gandalf, add catcher to the shopping list.
General Manager, Alex Anthopoulos got his checkbook ready and hit the market on a mission. He has dazzled Braves fans early in the offseason by signing player after player, filling holes we didn’t even know were there.
Our bullpen was a great source of anxiety last season and so Anthopoulos has dumped tens of millions of dollars into solidifying the 2020 bullpen.
Just this offseason, the Braves have signed Will Smith, Chris Martin and Darren O’Day. Add them to Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Luke Jackson and that makes five guys who have been legitimate closers to go with O’Day, whom has been considered among the games’ elite relievers.
The Braves made their most recent splash by signing the top available catcher to take the reigns behind the plate.
d’Arnaud was an absolute stud for the Rays last season, helping lead them to a 96-win season, even though the ownership had reduced player allowances (payroll) to the lowest it had been in years.
With the signing of d’Arnaud, the Braves have constricted the budget, but there’s still plenty of room left to address the remainder of the needs.
Some projections have the Braves approaching $140 million, if necessary. That is, after all, about where we ended up last season. Revenue is way up, let’s go!