The Atlanta Braves have been linked to the likes of Chris Sale, Chris Archer and Sonny Gray but at this point, it doesn’t sound like they are willing to meet the price that it would take to acquire them. John Hart and John Coppolella met with the media on Day 2 at the Winter Meetings this evening and told reporters that they weren’t interested in deviating from their plan.
#Braves sound like Sale (or Archer) still beyond what they're ready to do at this point, but not closing door. Sonny Gray also in picture.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) December 5, 2016
But main point of emphasis from Coppy & Hart was #Braves not going to deviate so far from plan by trading several top prospects for 1 guy— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) December 5, 2016
Atlanta’s rebuild continues to progress but they are not yet at the point where acquiring a frontline starter would put them into contention. While guys like Sale and Archer would be under team control for several more years, the price tag would be a big pill to swallow. They have worked hard to restock their minor league system. Now isn’t the time to empty it for a single player.
John Hart on Sale/Archer/Gray sweepstakes: "Does that guy take us to where we now become the team to beat? I don't think so." #Braves— Zach Dillard (@Zach_Dillard) December 5, 2016
Something could end up materializing before the end of the Winter Meetings and John Coppolella has shown that he should never be counted out, but for now it appears that the Braves will open next season with one of their young pitchers in the rotation.
Hart and Coppolella said that the team is still considering adding a catcher with a guy like Welington Castillo a possibility but that they would stick with what they have rather than overpay.
That was the overall theme of the second day of the meetings. Atlanta is willing to make a deal but on their terms. If they can’t, then they seem to be satisfied with the moves that they have already made this offseason.