The staredown games continue… the Atlanta Braves seem quite content to wait out potential trade partners. They have good reasons for doing so.
It’s funny: the #1 priority of this Winter for the Atlanta Braves was finding clarity and certainty at third base. Instead, the bullpen, catching and left field became the focus for all the moves.
In essence, the default plan has been executed for third base, and barring a Spring disaster, Atlanta will start with Johan Camargo at that position in late March.
It’s admittedly a bit surprising that things have played out this way, but it appears that the Braves are not really at the kind of disadvantage fans might have expected under this scenario.
What is more interesting, though, is the fact that things looked a lot different around the NL East a year ago, with Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon both installed as key contributors for their respective clubs.
Both are now gone. Yet neither club was able to replace these lost position players with anything other than spare parts or internal options. Sure - the Braves added Marcell Ozuna, but third base itself remains a question mark.
In fact, here are the currently-penciled-in 3B starters in the NL East:
- Atlanta: Johan Camargo
- Washington: Asdrubal Cabrera
- Philadelphia: Scott Kingery
- New York: Jeff McNeil
- Miami: Jonathan Villar
Right now… you might have to give the edge to the Marlins among this group. It's at least an arguable point.
There’s still room for improvement since Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado are still being dangled out there, though the chances of a substantial trade at this latter stage of the off-season is fairly remote… Mookie Betts’ pending deal notwithstanding.
While Braves’ fans might be concerned about reports that either the Nationals or Phillies might choose to pursue one of these upgrades – and indeed we’ve heard there is some interest in that – the odds are quite long.
There is a solid set of reasons for that.