We have reached the homestretch for the offseason with opening day officially two months away. With it being a slower news day around the league, let's play a hypothetical game!
You can only keep three players currently in the Braves' organization. Consider their current contract situation, health, etc. Anyone from the big league roster to the short-season rookies are eligible. Who would you save? My selections are below:
There's something to be said for major league production, and while Freeman will start getting expensive in the coming years, he's unquestionably the best hitter on the roster and should be worth the $20M+ he will start receiving in 2018. There were legitimate concerns about his wrist last year -- anyone who has ever dealt with a serious wrist injury can testify to how painful and frustrating they can be -- but Freddie recently saying he was 100 percent should help ease those concerns. We'll see how he holds up in 2016.
People seem to forget Julio just turned 25. Last year was not a good one for Teheran, though he did put together a string of strong starts to close the second half. Similar to Freeman, proving yourself in the big leagues over multiple seasons should carry a lot of weight in these discussions. A team-friendly deal which will pay $28.6 million over the next four seasons only helps his cause.
An argument could be made for a number of prospects in the system. Sean Newcomb and Kolby Allard have ceilings of left-handed aces. Austin Riley mashed in his first pro season. Ozhaino Albies breezed through the lower levels of the minor leagues. Aaron Blair is a top-50 guy.
With Swanson you get the strongest combination of production and floor, and he could see the big leagues within the next six months. There really isn't a weakness to his game, and while he may not possess an enormous upside, he's as safe of a prospect as a team can have. Few players dominate the SEC the way Dansby did.
Who would be in your top three?