photo via lakers.topbuzz.com
So....just checking in... Anything interesting happen last week?
We are now in the 'Post-Up' era - the week after one of the biggest trades in Atlanta Braves history, which follows one the the biggest free agent signings in Atlanta Braves history: the acquisition of the Upton Brothers Baseball Wrecking Co. So where does the team stand at this point and where do we go from here as the bags are packed for the trip to Orlando?
Points to ponder:
2. Meanwhile, the Braves added BJ Upton, Justin Upton and Jordan Walden. However, we have also parted ways with fan-favorite Martin Prado, and Tommy Hanson. Then there was also this Jones guy, who's now off in the woods shootin' some sort of critter.
3. On the other hand, while the Nationals traded away Michael Morse, they added Denard Span, Rafael Soriano and Dan Haren. Oh, and that Strasburg kid will be back for a full season. You'd have to say they did pretty well this off-season, too.
Another point for discussion is the team budget. Here is my own breakdown of where we stand there... with explanations to follow:
(Updated Tuesday AM, Jan 29)
(if you have trouble reading this graphic, you can embiggen it by following this link)
still don't think we know the terms for Cristhian Martinez.... it is still subject to confirmation from the Braves.
2. Salary figures in bold type are those I'm reasonably confident of. Those not emboldened are estimated, as the pre-arb players have not been handed their deals yet. Regardless, I expect they're pretty close to reality... Kimbrel, Beachy, and Freeman being the biggest sources of error. Pena's is also estimated.
3. B. J. Upton's bonus is included in 2013 - not spread out over the life of the contract. Why? Because it's already been paid.
4. You'll notice 29 names on this list. Honestly, it doesn't matter too much what names are there (so don't get too exercised just because Evan Gattis' name is there). For the purposes of this spreadsheet, somebody's name will be there - and it will result in a major league minimum salary being paid to somebody.
5. But...but... there should still only be 25 names at a time on the list! Kinda. Beachy will be paid to not play for a while. Janish too, until he's ready to go. Gattis is there as backup to Laird... until McCann is ready (I'm not sure if he will be DL'd, by the way - so that's why I didn't give his name an asterisk). Probably somebody else will get hurt... so that's why I threw 29 names on the list.
6. Do the Braves have 'salary insurance' available for guys like Beachy? I read something last year suggesting that most clubs have insurance on most of their players. That said, I have to wonder if that's still the case with guys making the ML minimum, as Beach was doing in 2012. It might be fairly expensive relative to the benefits. Guys like the Uptons? Yeah - you would insure those salaries for certain. But if anyone can speak better to than issue, then I'm all ears.
6. Okay, so this means you're over-estimating the payroll. Quite possibly... and in fact, I kinda hope so. If you wish to quibble about that, I'm okay with it. But in any case, I believe that the notion of "we still have $10m to spend" is probably a bit high. If they indeed are pushing payroll to $98 million, then I have us at $92,637,250 - with between $5m and $5.5m remaining... which is still pretty good, and allows a lot of flexibility for the trade deadline, as needed.
I would also be remiss if I neglected to wish Fredi Gonzalez a Happy Birthday today... gotta tip your cap to the manager of your favorite team.
So with all of that and about two weeks until pitchers and catcher report, let's get to it - beginning with a Poll...
The Atlanta Braves won 94 games in 2012, good for 4th-best in baseball. As constructed today, how many wins do you think this team gets in 2013?
Less than 81 (finishing below .500) (0 votes)
81-85 (2 votes)
86-90 (11 votes)
91-95 (159 votes)
96-100 (146 votes)
100+ (18 votes)
336 total votes