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How many wins will the Braves add before Opening Day?

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An open question!

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Generally, I really like questions. Most interesting questions have answers, and if a question is interesting and the answer isn’t one I already know, I’m motivated to go and find it. Unfortunately, not all questions fall into the “has answers” category, but that doesn’t mean that all such questions aren’t interesting.

Here’s a very interesting, potentially-agonizing one: how many wins will the Braves add to their roster before Opening Day? Why is it agonizing? Because there’s no real way to know. Sure, you can probably cabin it within some reasonable range, i.e., the Braves aren’t going to add, say, 10 wins between now and March 28, but they’re probably (hopefully? please?) unlikely to subtract any wins from the major league club, either. Even an increase of five wins might be a stretch, but I guess that’s the point: I don’t know.

So, to that end, I’m putting it as an open question — in short, in the next 62 days (1,450 hours or so), how much better, quantitatively, will the roster be?

Before making your choice, you may want to consider the following:

First, the roster is generally projected as average or better, except for the rotation (slightly below average, but with substantial central estimate improvement if innings could be allocated away from some worse pitchers and towards some better ones), shortstop (actually still average-y, but shortstop is a position of strength in the majors right now, and as a result, the Braves fall short of the median even if they’re clumped together with five teams or so in the middle), and right field (where the Braves moved from something like bottom three to bottom five thanks to the re-signing of Nick Markakis). What this means is that many upgrades will not be fully glommed on to the team’s projected win total, but rather marginal moves at the expense of wins already present. Calculate impacts accordingly.

Second, various projections suggest the Braves are expected, as a central estimate, to win somewhere between 82 and 90 games next year. (Specifically, I’ve seen 82, 83-84, and 89-90.) One of these warrants a greater frenzy towards upgrading than another, though whether something is warranted and whether it occurs aren’t inextricably linked anyway.

Third, the team’s current financial commitment to a 25-man Opening Day roster is around $115 million. No, I’m not using an exact figure, just the bottom-line estimate from Cot’s, which pro-rates signing bonuses and therefore doesn’t reflect actual team commitments perfectly. But, last year, the same figure was $118 million on Opening Day; in 2017, it was $123 million. I’m not going to tell you what to think about the team’s capacity for adding more payroll or its stomach for doing so, that’s part of the calculus you need to make.

So, let’s see what you’ve got, in terms of what you think the Braves have got in store for us over the next two months.

Poll

How many wins will the Braves add before Opening Day?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    0 wins
    (137 votes)
  • 4%
    1 win
    (59 votes)
  • 13%
    Something that looks like more than one win at first glance, but is actually more like 0-1 wins
    (188 votes)
  • 20%
    2 wins
    (287 votes)
  • 19%
    3 wins
    (271 votes)
  • 10%
    4 wins
    (150 votes)
  • 7%
    5 wins
    (100 votes)
  • 10%
    More than 5 wins
    (150 votes)
  • 4%
    The Braves will subtract wins from the major league team before Opening Day
    (70 votes)
1412 votes total Vote Now