Now that the World Series is over, that looming black cloud that you see on the offseason horizon is the punishment that is bound to come from the Braves’ transgressions in the international market while John Coppolella was the general manager. There have long been rumors that the punishment would be announced shortly after the World Series ended since the investigation was reportedly near completion. As it turns out, MLB still isn’t done yet and we still will probably have to wait a bit until the punishment is announced. I hope you all aren’t getting too antsy.
The World Series ending also means that free agency is officially here, and there are plenty of decent free agents on the market this year. The Braves are also in a position where they could start spending money to bolster their squad, and in their free agency predictions for this offseason, MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that the Braves are going to send some money towards Mike Moustakas in an effort to solve their third base situation.
The third baseman suffered an ACL tear in May 2016, ending that season early, but exhibited no health problems in his return this year. The biggest flaw in Moose’s game is his low 5.7% walk rate this year, resulting in a .314 OBP that drove down his overall value as a hitter despite the power. Defensive metrics were also down on his once well-regarded glovework this year, though teams may be willing to chalk that up to rust coming off his knee injury. Regardless, he should do well in free agency. If the Royals move on, the Angels, Braves, and Cardinals could be options
Speaking of third base, that’s one of the big questions that the Braves will have to address going into this season. Braves beat writer Mark Bowman has a few other questions that he figures the team will address going forward in his latest article for the Braves over at MLB’s website.
Well, we didn’t have to wait too long before one of the first big contracts received an announcement. Apparently Justin Upton enjoyed his time with the Angels so much that he decided not to waste any time by announcing that even though he’d opted out of his deal, he still stick with the Angels. He’s signed a five-year, $106 million deal and Angels fans are understandably happy with having an outfield that now includes Mike Trout and Justin Upton.