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2019-2020 Atlanta Braves Offseason Thread


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1 hour ago, jidady said:

It's precisely this line of thinking that just set us. Our only great pitcher only had one start in this series. We did that to get Folty, our power arm, two starts. There's this strange thing in baseball where people remember when power arms do better, like Folty's performance in game two, than when non-power pitchers do.

St. Louis just beat us by starting Hudson, Flaherty, and the desiccated corpse of Adam Wainwright. Flaherty's velocity is fine, but nobody would ever describe it as elite. Hudson famously lost three miles per hour off his fastball this year, which has had Cards fans freaked out. It's not about power arms. Winning in the playoffs is about power minds.

The other thing in a five-game series is not starting guys on short rest. I admire when Verlander and Keuchel want the ball, but it seems to blow up more often than it works. 

From the All-Star break on, I expected us to go Soroka, Keuchel, scrub combo, Soroka, Keuchel. Instead, we somehow wound up underutilizing our only truly dominant starter while doubling down on our head case of a power arm. It's going to leave a bad taste in my mouth all offseason. Soroka pitches twice. It's just common sense. Snit and/or AA overthought it due to this obsession with power arms in the playoffs. And there's a touch of Rick Ankiel in there, too.

I don't think that's the reason Folty got two starts. I believe that under normal circumstances we would have rolled with Soroka as the game 1 guy allowing him to pitch twice in the series, but I fully believe AA forced Snitker to roll with Keuchel as the #1 in the playoffs based on the whole "well I went out and brought him here midseason for this exact purpose." I don't think folks are fully aware of the amount of impact and say AA has over the 25-man roster and the way guys are utilized.

I've never heard Snitker or AA talk about power arms or finesse guys or anything like that to make me think that they were obsessed over power arms and that is why Folty got 2 starts in the series. I think Folty got 2 starts because, well he was outstanding in game 2 and they were fully convinced he could do that again, even though you, me, and all of Braves nation knew the chances of getting that kind of outing from Folty again were slim to none. That being said, I don't think Folty actually pitched all that badly, not as bad as to be charged with 7 runs. The first pitch of the game to Fowler was a boarderline pitch called a ball. Could have easily been called a strike. Made even worse by the call on Ozzie in the bottom of the 1st when the pitch was clearly 4-5 inches outside and called a strike. Then there was the foul tip that McCann couldn't hang onto. Folty basically had Fowler struck out twice. Instead it ends up as a walk. Then Goldy reached on a weakly hit ball for an infield single. Then the ball Molina hit to Freddie, well it appeared that Freddie missed it because Ozuna screened him. At the very worse Folty could have gotten out of that inning with just 1 run scoring and the game has a dramatically different tone. You can realistically argue that it should have been no runs scored against Folty.

One thing that does irritate the crap outta me about Snitker and AA is this whole "veteran presence" deal. They buy into that crap way too much. I believe that's the other main reason Keuchel was made the #1 and Folty was made #2 in the playoffs. If they were obsessed with power arms they would have made Folty the #1 and Fried the #2 since Folty and Fried are the two hardest throwers the Braves had in the rotation.

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Braves president Mike Plant was on a Liberty Media stream to investors. He told them the Braves are set up to win now and that "they're going for it." He added the plan is to compliment the core youth

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Atlanta Sports Fan.

And I want Jeff Bezos to give me half his checking account. 

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5 hours ago, Unknøwn said:

At one time I thought Keuchel returning would be big but not anymore. He can no longer get RH out. Righties hit .281/.355/.442 with 14 HR off Dallas this year. He dominated LH pretty well but if you cant get RH out you're in big trouble as a SP.

I believe I mentioned this several times and how I was freaked out about him starting twice against the Cardinals because of it. Sadly I was right.

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9 hours ago, Unknøwn said:

I fully expect the option for Julio to be declined. He managed 170 innings before he had nothing left. Hes been around long enough to be able to go longer. 

I could see the Braves talking to Bumgarner about a short term deal. Cole is biggest prize but I dont know if we have the ammunition to pull that off and not hinder future needs. If Strasburg opts out you could also monitor that market, hes a proven October arm as well. Cole Hamels is a guy you could get at a fair price to plug in with the young guys as well. Theres some solid options on the market that would round out the rotation. Soroka is your ace so you dont have to go big.

The Braves should fully be able to afford to sign Cole to a mega deal and not hinder them financially down the road. If we didn't already have Ozzie and Acuna locked up that would be a different story but we know what they're making. We know what Freddie is making and he's only got a couple years left on his deal. We've got all these young guys that are arbitration or prearbitiration players. Braves should easily be able to sign Cole and keep Donaldson. I'll be shocked if we don't decline Teheran's option. Say we've got Teheran, O'Day and McCann coming off the books, that's nearly $25M right there.

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21 minutes ago, Unknøwn said:

We know from last offseason the Braves prefer to be a near platoon for catching. This FO believes in the Atlanta heat and humidity you need to split a fair share of time even if it's not 50/50. So, unless they think it's too expensive I could see Flowers back. Suzuki left because he didnt want to do that, he wanted a bigger share. Then his team ended up getting Gomes anyway.

I'd much rather decline the option on Flowers and sign Cervelli and let him and Alex Jackson handle the work. By 2021 that kid we drafted from Baylor might be ready.

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2 minutes ago, Falconsfan567 said:

The Braves should fully be able to afford to sign Cole to a mega deal and not hinder them financially down the road. If we didn't already have Ozzie and Acuna locked up that would be a different story but we know what they're making. We know what Freddie is making and he's only got a couple years left on his deal. We've got all these young guys that are arbitration or prearbitiration players. Braves should easily be able to sign Cole and keep Donaldson. I'll be shocked if we don't decline Teheran's option. Say we've got Teheran, O'Day and McCann coming off the books, that's nearly $25M right there.

I believe and I hope we can swing it. I honestly think having Soroka and Cole could be the perfect duo to lead a series.

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Cole and Donaldson as two splashes would make me happy. Also hope we keep like O’Day, Joyce and Martin. Let Markakis, Hamilton, and Teheran go. 

In a 5 game series giving Cole and Soroka 4/5 starts surely would be enough. The only other big hole is the OF and we have plenty of talent to make that work. Pache, Duvall, Waters and Riley. Surely we can get 2 quality starters out of that 

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1 hour ago, VoiceofReason95 said:

It'll be called irrational by some, but I almost want Yasmani Grandal more than Josh Donaldson.

 

I totally understand why you'd say that, but I think Donaldson is integral to what we do. He's also one of AA's favorites and quite happy here. So, I believe it's a near-certainty he returns. We should still be one of Grandal's preferred destinations. My concerns are that we value defense, which isn't his strong suit, and we need draft picks. Since he's making $18 million this year, we'd probably need to give up our second-round pick for him. I'm not sure the team can/would do that right now given the current penalties.

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28 minutes ago, Falconsfan567 said:

I fully believe AA forced Snitker to roll with Keuchel as the #1 in the playoffs based on the whole "well I went out and brought him here midseason for this exact purpose." I don't think folks are fully aware of the amount of impact and say AA has over the 25-man roster and the way guys are utilized.

 

I think we're all going to read all Atlanta Braves interviews carefully over the next five months for this reason. Everyone's going to want to know how/why Soroka wound up pitching only once. Whoever made that decision overthought it to an epic degree.

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12 minutes ago, jidady said:

I totally understand why you'd say that, but I think Donaldson is integral to what we do. He's also one of AA's favorites and quite happy here. So, I believe it's a near-certainty he returns. We should still be one of Grandal's preferred destinations. My concerns are that we value defense, which isn't his strong suit, and we need draft picks. Since he's making $18 million this year, we'd probably need to give up our second-round pick for him. I'm not sure the team can/would do that right now given the current penalties.

We actually value framing a ton. It's to the extent in which we'd be willing to make our offense worse there if we can't get Grandal. It wouldn't surprise me if you see us open with Flowers/Avila #8 for 162 (it's not what I predict, but it's a possible idea).

 

I think the actual answer to the Soroka story is he asked to start on the road. I saw this as a rumor and I actually believe this. As it was originally seeming that he'd start game 1, and then suddenly that idea changed overnight in KC and they scrapped his start then to push it off. That might have been part of the argument that AA claimed that they had before deciding who starts.

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Yasmani Grandal can't get an qualifying offer this year. Just as an FYI. It's because he had one last year that he turned down and you can't get one in back to back years.

Donaldson didn't get one last year because of his injury. He at least will get tagged with one and he's gonna turn it down.

Edited by VoiceofReason95
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54 minutes ago, jidady said:

I think we're all going to read all Atlanta Braves interviews carefully over the next five months for this reason. Everyone's going to want to know how/why Soroka wound up pitching only once. Whoever made that decision overthought it to an epic degree.

Absolutely!! I hope that question is discussed and picked apart to the nth degree. Soroka was by far our best starting pitcher for the entire season and him pitching only once in a 5-game series was a total disaster and whoever's decision it was needs to answer up to it.

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Anthopolous said they believe in Riley long term but they arent locking him in for 2020. He said they very much want Donaldson back. He said they have a good start because both sides are interested. He said they cant dwell on the NLDS loss as a FO, they have to turn the page and immediately fix what happened. He said they'll be discussing surgery and treatment options with Freeman over the next couple of days.

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35 minutes ago, Falconsfan567 said:

Absolutely!! I hope that question is discussed and picked apart to the nth degree. Soroka was by far our best starting pitcher for the entire season and him pitching only once in a 5-game series was a total disaster and whoever's decision it was needs to answer up to it.

Got to be Snit right? I mean the guy has seemed to mismanage the entire rotation and BP since he's taken over.

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2 things on my mind among others for the offseason.

Bullpen....keep building that dept.!

Catcher.... We've been missing a heavy hitter and a cannon arm here since McCann's first stint. All thru the 90's, 2000's the Braves have always had lots of production at that position. It's been down for years now, we must get that back! 

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2 hours ago, jidady said:

I don't see any way that a 22-year-old kid asked to pitch less in the playoffs. That rumor doesn't pass the laugh test. I'll acknowledge it if we find out otherwise, but young guys want the ball.

It really does make more sense then you think even if you want to laugh at it with the stuff that I heard and other reasoning, although they didn't outright say his name from official guys. Like, you had DOB say that "sinkerballers don't like the Suntrust Park mound". That is very very close to saying "Mike Soroka" without saying it.

Most think that it was a move that was made with player input, not without it to make a rookie comfortable.

And for what its worth, the guy that dropped that rumor bomb was also right on a couple other things (Julio being left off which I wouldn't have predicted at all, and Riley).

Sadly I don't think it'd have mattered. Braves were pretty wary about the 4th guy once they had to forget Fried starting and considering that Verlander failed on short rest, I don't see how a youngster that's new to it would've had it work better. There's a good chance that you still land in game 5 without your ace on the mound even if you play the hypothetical game of Soroka starting early because of the wariness of Julio.

Which mind you, shouldn't have happened anyway. If Chris Martin doesn't go down it's probably a sweep and if you get one more hit in game 4 it's likely a series win.

Edited by VoiceofReason95
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