Nolan Arenado heading to the Braves?
If you checked out MLBTradeRumors.com top free agency ranking and predictions, you’ll see the Braves are in on almost everyone in the top 50. This is a weird time to be a Braves fan. You just made the playoffs and your team has money AND prospects to trade. Usually, a team only has one or the other heading into an off-season. This free agency bunch has been rumored for years to be the best off-season to date. Sites have been drooling over it.
According to Mark Bowman from Braves.com, he also talks about the options the Braves GM has this off-season. We learned a lot this season about the Brave new way. Let’s break it down.
They’re way ahead of schedule.
Emphasis on Defense. (This plays key later)
The kids can play.
Pitching in general is average.
Anibal Sanchez should not be our #2. (Even though he was excellent, it just shows how weak the staff was.)
They need more pitching to make it through the postseason.
Third base and Catcher were the weak spots.
Dansby Swanson was fine folks. The Braves like his defense and he really stepped it up this year. He showed that he can handle the bat at this level, just not consistently. Remember Andrelton Simmons? He couldn’t hit for years, but now he’s a complete shortstop. Swanson is a leader … and he’s not costing anything. Save the money, right? As long as he keeps progressing in the right direction, the Braves will be fine with him.
Defense. Alex Anthopolos has shown to have a soft spot for defense. He praised Swanson and his bench options were defensive minded players. The Braves just garnered three Gold Golve winners in Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, and Nick Markakis. Nolan Arenado just won at third base too.
The Braves were weak at third base this year, although Johan Carmago picked it up down the stretch. Carmago has been long thought of as a lesser Martin Prado, best at a super utility. He had a breakout year, yes, but he also struggled mightily in the playoffs against great pitching.
Insert Nolan Arenado. He was rumored around the trade deadline as a potential Braves target. Arenando is signed until 2020, at which the Braves would certainly try to sign long term.
Arenado is coming off his fourth straight 35 plus homer, 100 plus RBI and around .300 average campaign. Slide that behind Freddie Freeman, and you have a formidable playoff lineup.
Would you want Arenado on the Braves?