Atlanta Braves: Grading the offseason moves and signings

Atlanta Braves: Grading the offseason moves and signings


Atlanta Braves: Grading the Offseason Moves and Signings

Introduction

The Atlanta Braves had a very successful regular season in 2019, as they won their division and advanced to the National League Division Series. However, they were unable to advance any further and were eliminated in the NLDS. This offseason, the Braves have been busy making moves in an effort to get over the hump and make a deeper postseason run in 2020. In this article, we will grade the Braves’ offseason moves and signings and discuss their implications for the upcoming season.

The Signing of Cole Hamels

The Braves made a big splash early in the offseason when they signed veteran left-hander Cole Hamels to a one-year, $18 million deal. Hamels is a four-time All-Star and World Series MVP, and he brings a wealth of experience and leadership to a young Braves team. He has a career 3.31 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, and his addition to the starting rotation could give the Braves the veteran arm they need to make a serious run in 2020. Grade: A-

The Signing of Will Smith

The Braves also made a huge move by signing reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million deal. Smith is coming off a breakout season with the Giants, where he posted a 2.76 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 73 appearances. He is one of the best relievers in baseball and his addition to the Braves’ bullpen could make them one of the best in the league. Grade: A

The Signing of Travis d’Arnaud

The Braves also signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two-year, $16 million deal. d’Arnaud is a solid veteran catcher who is coming off a strong season with the Rays, where he posted a .263/.323/.459 slash line. He is a great addition to the Braves’ lineup and gives them a much-needed boost at the catcher position. Grade: B+

The Departure of Josh Donaldson

The Braves lost one of their best players when third baseman Josh Donaldson signed with the Twins in the offseason. Donaldson was a key part of the Braves’ lineup, as he posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line in 2019. His departure leaves a big hole in the Braves’ lineup, but they have done a good job of filling the void by signing veteran third baseman Travis Shaw. Grade: C+

The Signing of Travis Shaw

The Braves signed third baseman Travis Shaw to a one-year, $4 million deal. Shaw is coming off a down year with the Brewers, but he was an All-Star in 2017 and 2018 and has the potential to be a valuable asset to the Braves in 2020. Grade: B

The Signing of Marcell Ozuna

The Braves made another big move when they signed outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a one-year, $18 million deal. Ozuna is coming off a strong season with the Cardinals, where he posted a .241/.328/.472 slash line with 29 home runs and 89 RBI. He is a great addition to the Braves’ lineup and should provide some much-needed power in the middle of the order. Grade: A

The Signing of Drew Smyly

The Braves signed veteran left-hander Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million deal. Smyly is coming off a strong season with the Rangers, where he posted a 3.65 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 33 appearances. He is a good depth piece for the Braves and could be a valuable asset out of the bullpen in 2020. Grade: B+

The Signing of Matt Joyce

The Braves signed outfielder Matt Joyce to a one-year, $2 million deal. Joyce is a veteran leader who brings a wealth of experience to the Braves’ lineup. He is a career .244/.346/.418 hitter, and should provide the Braves with some much-needed depth and versatility in the outfield. Grade: B

Conclusion

The Braves had a busy offseason, making several moves to bolster their roster in an effort to make a deep postseason run in 2020. The additions of Cole Hamels, Will Smith, Travis d’Arnaud, Travis Shaw, Marcell Ozuna, Drew Smyly, and Matt Joyce should give the Braves the depth and experience they need to make a serious playoff push. The Braves have done a great job of improving their roster this offseason, and their fans should be excited for the upcoming season.