Meanwhile, the Nationals just made what seems to me like a heist for one of the games more underrated starters in Doug Fister. While that division rival attempts to bounce back after a rough 2013, other teams such as the Mets and Marlins have at least been working on or signing deals on relatively bigger named free agents. All of this has occurred while, as previously mentioned, the Braves have been standing put.
And that is a perfectly fine thing for the Braves to do. The team has its starting eight players already set up, aside from potentially trading Dan Uggla. In what is likely going to look more like a salary dump than anything else, the Braves probably have all eight of their starters on opening day in the organization.
With the lineup close to set aside from maybe one position, we look at the rotation which holds the first three starters used in the division series last year and three more starters in David Hale, Alex Wood, and Brandon Beachy that should be looking to compete for a spot in the rotation at year's end. In my opinion, you would be hard pressed to find many rotations with as talented fourth and fifth rotation members as Alex Wood and Brandon Beachy. Could the Braves go out and get a veteran pitcher to solidify the rotation? Certainly. Is it absolutely necessary for their success next year? Not at all. Tim Hudson was solid for the Braves last year, but it was not as if he was the Hudson of old. Beachy, Wood, and Hale can replicate the production of Paul Maholm and Hudson rather easily next season.
Next let's take a look at the bullpen. The set up men and closer are back. Even the old set up man signed a one year deal. Jordan Walden can be an elite set up man himself when healthy, which we saw in the early goings last season. Couple the guys already on the roster with Frank Wren's incredible ability to find relief pitching gems on the waiver wire and I think the bullpen is one area of little concern heading into winter meetings.
So the team looks a lot like it did last year. The question is whether you look at that as a good thing or just an "okay" thing. Winning 96 games is no easy thing to do, and it is not as if the Braves got extraordinary production out of most of the regulars. If all things broke well and the team won 96 games and did not try to improve their roster, that is one thing. But centerfield and second base were pitfalls, right field saw a slew of injuries hinder its production, and left field started off hot and then tailed off the rest of the year.
The Braves certainly could make a big move for a Chase Headly, David Price, or something "ground shaking." But they certainly do not have to. They are in a great position to get back into the playoffs and as we have seen over the past number of years, just getting there is the most important thing. With Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, and Kris Medlen gaining playoff experience last year, standing pat is a very reasonable thing for Frank Wrento do. It may not be reasonable in the average fan's eyes, but hopefully after reading this post I is reasonable in yours.