I don't have to recap the past few weeks for everyone. Y'all know what Big Frank has been up to. And the common belief seems to be that he's not done. I was hoping for an Andrelton Simmons extension announcement today as we awaited his spring training arrival and coinciding physical to make it official. Still, it's common knowledge the Braves are interested and a deal should get done. Maybe they wait to settle the rumored dispute over his bat value. Wren has plenty of time. The other name tied to extension talk is Mike Minor. I would actually be a little surprised to see anything get done. For the right reasons or not, I think the Braves ride him out and give Alex Wood some time to earn the extension. Believe it or not, I met David Price on the golf course this winter in his hometown where I now live and he was kind enough to chat a bit with us. He didn't get into too much detail but assured me the Braves were in constant discussions with TB over a Price deal. (He also expressed great interest in pitching for the Braves and Cardinals) I also saw a few reports of TB asking for Betancourt, Wood and some pieces in return. Piecing things together, I believe Atlanta values Wood's potential over Minor and will risk losing Minor if it means a few cheap years of Alex before an extension. But I seem to be in the minority so for this I'll use Minor.
With all these extensions comes pretty large risk, however, as it has been well documented here and elsewhere. I'm of the belief that the Braves have chosen the correct plan of action. Maybe it won't be a perfect world 4 years from now but, barring a major Kimbrel injury, I don't see any handcuffing the Braves like the Uggla deal has or the BJ deal is pointing towards. At the very least, the organization should break even when comparing salaries to performance among these pieces.
So that brings me to my question. Let's assume by this time next year Simmons and Minor are also extended. Leaving a core of Freeman, Simmons, Teheran, Minor, and Kimbrel. Is the future of the Braves more dependent on these players eating up a large chunk of the payroll or on the development of guys like Alex Wood, Lucas Sims, Christian Bethancourt(anyone ever try getting a Microsoft Surface spell check to accept that name), Tommy la Stella, Victor Caratini and maybe even Kyle Wren. Obviously 5 players can't have the impact of the other 20 members of the roster. So I guess my question is: What will hurt the Atlanta Braves more?
Freeman, Simmons, Teheran, Minor and Kimbrel not performing up to their contracts and tying the Braves up financially or the lack of development of incoming pieces leaving the Braves scrambling for regulars to fill the roster?