The Braves, for all their difficulties on the mound in 2020, had one of the best bullpens in baseball. Anchored by closer Mark Melancon, the relief corps managed to post a 3.50 ERA, which was fourth-best in the major leagues. Melancon is now a free agent, along with Shane Greene and Darren O’Day, all of whom played large parts in the formulation of a successful bullpen. How will Atlanta replace those three impactful arms?
Obviously, the Braves could opt to bring back any of the three. They could also look to the free agent market for options like Liam Hendricks, Trevor Rosenthal, or Ken Giles, but they all seem likely to receive multi-year deals for high AAVs. More likely, the Braves will shop in the aisle that includes names such as Archie Bradley, Sean Doolittle, or Chris Devenski. However, the Atlanta front office did surprise last offseason with the signing of Will Smith, so they could act in any number of ways.
It remains to be seen how Alex Anthopoulos will address the needs in the bullpen, but he does have a solid foundation with Smith, AJ Minter, and Chris Martin already in place. The Braves could benefit from reuniting with their free agent relievers, but regardless they should have plenty of options both internally and externally for the coming season.
In addition to what should be a strong bullpen, the Braves boast one of the better starting rotations in baseball, at least on paper. They land at no. 5 on this list from MLB.com.
The Braves make a prominent appearance on this list as well.
The Padres are drawing rave reviews for their acquisitions of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish.
Two teams appear to be leading the George Springer sweepstakes.