Chipper is, of course, retiring, but who ends up being his long-term replacement?
Chipper Jones retiring is like losing an old, reliable friend. You never quite know how you are going to move on without them in your life, and you don't know what will happen when they are replaced. To replace a potential Hall of Famer is a feat that is usually met with great failure; the expectations are that whoever takes over will continue to produce at the same level that the previous occupant has done for years. For me, in the short term after this season, we will see Martin Prado get a great opportunity to continue in the role of 3B for the Braves. I think the team has done a great job of easing him into being a starter, but I wonder if he will be able to do what Chipper does, which is produce great numbers at the plate and become a person that opposing pitchers must take into consideration when planning or a game.
Long-term, many of us believe that Joey Terdoslavich is the answer. However, I see the likelyhood of Edward Salcedo eventually becoming the stalwart at 3rd that we have become accustomed to. Granted, his fielding still lacks a great deal, but he is only 19 right now. The Braves, with Terdoslavich in place as a potential replacement if Prado does not produce, have the time to continue being patient with Salcedo.
One other bonkers idea is to look outside of the organization after this year. I believe that the budget will preclude us from going after some of the higher-priced names this coming offseason, but if money were no object, I'd say that the Braves should take a swipe at David Wright. He's not the same player he was at Shea stadium, but with the fences moved in at Citi, we'll see how he produces. I believe, though, that he will end up making close to $20m a year, though, so way out of the price range of the hometown team.
What are your thoughts? Any other prospects you feel could either be moved to 3rd or another that you saw personally this last year that you think would move up the charts? Also, if money were no object, who would you go after this coming offseason to replace Chipper?