The time has finally come. That awful time of year when the baseball season comes to an end and we all huddle together for winter, desperately grasp for baseball news tidbits, dream on what could be, and eagerly await for spring training and for 2016 Opening Day. However, ALL isn't lost as with the end of the season comes a time of intrigue as players start to become free agents (with the existence of the qualifying offer...nothing is set in stone yet). Now that the World Series has concluded (seriously, how about dem Royals?!), the Braves will (at least for now) say goodbye to 4 players.
AJ Pierzynski, Peter Moylan, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler are now all officially free agents. None of them are candidates for a qualifying offer from the Braves, but that does not mean that at least a couple of them could be back in a Braves uniform next year.
Pierzynski, in particular, is on the Braves' list to try and re-sign, but with his surprisingly productive 2015 as the Braves primary catcher (.300, 9 homers, 49 RBIs) he could become cost prohibitive especially with AL teams potentially willing to give him a multi-year deal and use him as a DH as needed. Moylan and Jackson could also be brought back at the right price, with Moylan in particular a likely candidate to either be in the bullpen or have a place in the organization as a coach or scout if he chooses to go that route. Detwiler...well, it was nice knowing you. Unfortunately, the Braves already have their quota of questionable relievers with an ERA north of 7.
The pursuit of Pierzynski and the price he may command despite his advanced age as a player is complicated by the numerous rumors that there is mutual interest between free agent catcher Matt Wieters and the Braves. With the lack of development of Christian Bethancourt, the catching position is a high priority for the Braves, Wieters would provide a strong presence behind the plate for the Braves young pitching corps, and Wieters went to Georgia Tech and still has a house in the Atlanta area. Expect the Braves to explore all options that are reasonably priced as they now have more than a couple holes to fill on the roster.