Hey everyone. Just wanted to bring everyone together to discuss what they think will happen this offseason.
I see some people saying how we should sign Crawford/Werth etc but I really don't see that stuff happening. The Braves have been cutting payroll for the last few years and this year our payroll was down to 86mil from about 95mil last year.2011 Projected Roster
Christian Martinez (400k)
Catcher: Brian McCann (6.5mm)
1B: Freddie Freeman (400k)
2B: Martin Prado (3mil est)
SS: Alex Gonzalez (2.5mm)
3B: Chipper Jones (13mm)
Left Field: ?
Center Field: Nate McLouth (6.5mm)
Right Field: Jason Heyward (400k)
Those Numbers right there have us at a projected payroll of 84.14 mil for 2011 with still a few holes to fill
Somethings you may notice:
1. Ankiel and Farnsworth are gone. I believe there is no way the team will bring them back at those salaries. An option would be to re-negotiate an extension with Farnsworth for that 5.25 mil over 2 years but I doubt it will happen with the BP depth we have.
2. I included Christian Martinez as he has been a great long reliever for us and sometimes pitching better than we could have expected. I expect him to stay around.
3. I did not put Diaz or Melky in LF simply because I don't see the team starting next season with either of them as the starting Left Fielder.
A few of my own opinions:
- The team will Non-Tender/Trade both Melky and Diaz. The two combined will make around 9 mil and be bench players because there is no way the team views either one of them as a full-time starter. I say both because the team is VERY strapped for cash especially if they cut payroll again which they hopefully won't. I say we see someone like Matt Young get the 4th OF spot out of ST.
- The team will shop Derek Lowe HARD! If he continues his current season I'm sure the Braves can find a taker for him if we eat some salary. It would most likely be a team with a young starting rotation that would want someone to eat up some innings. Possible destinations are Oakland, San Diego, Texas, Baltimore, Toronto etc. We will need to eat at least 10-12 mil of that contract though. In the end I doubt he gets moved.
- I believe our Left Fielder will come from a trade, most likely involving Jurrjens as he has the highest trade value among our starters not named Hudson or Hanson. One good trade partner for us would be Baltimore. A top shelf starter at the front of a pretty young starting staff to eat up some innings for a quality OF bat like Markakis. Of course to balance it out there would be prospects added. The money to cover Markakis' contract will be taken care of by parting ways with Diaz and Melky plus whatever we would have paid Jurrjens. Then even more clears up after we are done paying Nate McLouth and Kenshin Kawakami in 2011.
- I fully expect the team to sign a late inning reliever. Maybe not someone that would be the closer as I believe they will give that position to Venters but someone who could step in and close if Venters struggles a bit. Also since i believe the other two spots would be filled with a combination of Kimbrel, Marek, or Dunn it would allow us to keep the rookies in the earlier innings. A couple of names that come to mind are J.J. Putz and Kerry Wood. I'd say about 2/8 or 2/10 for one of those guys should work.
If all of that goes through that gives us an opening day payroll around 90mm which if we make it to the play-offs shouldn't be a problem. If payroll stays around 85mil we just wouldn't get that FA reliever.
That would make our 2011 Roster:
Catcher: Brian McCann
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Martin Prado
SS: Alex Gonzalez
3B: Chipper Jones
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: Nate McLouth
LF: Nick Markakis
Of course the biggest question mark on the roster is Nate McLouth but the Braves are really stuck with him as I doubt any team would take him and his salary for next year.
Thoughts? What do you think will happen?