Since the next 24 hours will likely be a drunken blur I suppose I best get a post up that can stand the test of time. I've been thinking for several days about who else the Braves should sign to fill out their roster. They reportedly still have anywhere from $7 to $9 million to spend on a free agent or free agents, and there are several interesting names still on the board. Here's the list in alphabetical order:
Rick Ankiel - He's a Boras client with moderate pop, though he took a huge step backwards last year. That off-year could have him searching for a one-year get-right contract at a discount.
Rocco Baldelli - The picture of unfulfilled potential, perhaps Atlanta could be the right fit. We know that the Braves have historically had interest in him.
Marlon Byrd - He's more of a fourth outfielder who got real lucky playing in a hitter friendly stadium last year. Every time I hear his name all I think about is Garry Mathews Jr.
Johnny Damon - A solid above average performer. If he would take a one-year deal he might be a nice addition who brings good power and speed. If Wren signs him, he must insist that Damon grows his Jesus beard back out.
Jermaine Dye - He started his career in the ATL, perhaps he'd like to finish it here. His bat still has some pop, and he's still only 36.
Eric Hinske - He would be more of a bench bat, but perhaps a very good bench bat. If we go the route of signing a couple of guys to platoon and pinch hit, then he would likely be an inexpensive option.
Reed Johnson - Like Hinske, Johnson would be another low cost swing guy on the bench, though he probably doesn't have enough power to add any value to the Braves roster.
Xavier Nady - I thought he'd be a Brave already, but the team went with Troy Glaus instead. They could still come back around to Nady, but Boras may be asking for too much.
Gary Sheffield - Oh yes, I went there. At this point in his career he may not be much better than Garret Anderson, but Sheff always seemed his most comfortable in Atlanta, perhaps there's still some mutual interest here.
Randy Winn - He's probably too much of a light-hitting option than we would want, and he's not getting any younger.
So those are the options as I see them. Feel free to bring up anyone else you think would make a good fit (within the realm of sanity). Other than that, have a Happy New Year!