Free Agency is Here!

So per our discussion the other day, it's actually 48 hours after the end of the World Series when players can begin to file for free agency - and file they did. John Thomson, Danys Baez, Todd Pratt, and Daryle Ward all filed for free agency, leaving only Brian Jordan yet to file.

Of those five players I strongly doubt that the Braves will retain any of them. Thomson was effective in his first year with the Braves, but has been too overly prone to injuries to justify another long-term contract. Baez has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a closer somewhere, and since Big Wick is going to be at the end of games for Atlanta next season it doesn't appear he will get that opportunity for the Braves. Pratt is the prototypical journeyman backup catcher, who are a dime a dozen in triple-A. Brayan Pena will hopefully be given that role for Atlanta next season. Brian Jordan is likely to retire after another brittle boned season.

Daryle Ward is the only player I can see the Braves retaining. He's become a valuable commodity as a power hitter off the bench, and while that may push his price tag a bit higher, he will likely not be offered a full time job anywhere. But there's money for him to make as a pinch-hitter, the question is will the Braves pony up the cash needed to sign him, as they have rarely overspent on role players who were not in a platoon (see Eli Marrero). I think we'll try to sign him, but I'm guessing someone else throws more money and/or more years in a contract at him and he leaves.

As for draft picks, I'm guessing that Thomson and Baez will be the only guys that we get compensation for. Of course, I'm not sure if compensation will be the same as it was under the old collective bargaining agreement.

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