Thursday, November 19, 2009
Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.
Today's team NL is the Atlanta Braves and our guest is Gondee from the Braves Blog, Talking Chop.
1. The biggest question for the Braves this offseason is what to do with their abundance of starting pitching. Do you think they try to unload an arm to bring in some offensive firepower?
They've got to fill at least one offensive vacancy and one bullpen/closer vacancy, so using one of their starters to do that in a trade seems to make sense, especially in this weak free agent market.
2. Adam LaRoche played pretty close to lights out after getting traded back to Atlanta, do the Braves try to lock him up this offseason?
I think so, but we don't have any indication from the team. I think they're still concerned about his poor first halves. It makes sense to bring him back, but not long term.
3. Both Gonzalez and Soriano are free agents this offseason which leaves a massive hole at the end of their bullpen. How will the Braves address this glaring concern in the offseason?
They'll try to re-sign one of them, and will likely offer arbitration to both, but they may look to other free agents or trade targets to fill their bullpen vacancies.
4. The Braves could use a left fielder with a little pop. Whom do you think mans this position next year? Will the Braves venture on the market and go after a big name?
I see us getting someone in a trade, or letting Matt Diaz take the role full time. I can't see the Brave throwing money at Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, and I'm not sure there are any other difference makers on the market, so a trade seems likely.
5. Chipper Jones is going to turn 38 this coming season, do you think he decides to retire at the end of 2010 and go out with Bobby Cox?
We'll have to see how his 2010 season goes. If I know Chipper he will re-double his efforts next year, so look for a turn around from him. No matter who the player, he'd be leaving a lot of money on the table, and even a modest season out of Chipper is better than most MLB third
6. There have been rumors of the Braves trading away Kelly Johnson, do you think it will happen? Do you think it should happen?
Yes, he's still got some trade value and value to other teams, and Martin Prado pretty much has the second base job locked up. I don't think they'll just give him away though. They want something good in return.
7. You've gassed your owner and convinced him to spend like the Yankees, which three free agents are you bringing to the ATL?
I think I'd be hard-pressed to spend money on anyone wanting big money this off-season. I'd save my money for someone who really is a difference maker, and Bay and Holliday aren't really in that category IMO.
8. Which Braves prospect are you most looking forward to in 2010? When does Jayson Heyward make his Braves debut?
You answered it.... Jason Heyward. He's the next coming of the great Atlanta super stars. I absolutely can't wait to see him in Atlanta every game.
9. I'm giving you the option to cut players without any salary repercussions, which Braves do you part way with?
Derek Lowe and that's probably all. The front office may have panicked a bit when they gave him that much money for that long. He should be better than he was last year, but not by much.
10. Final Question, you've got a crystal ball, the Braves will win the NL East again in _______.
2010... if, if, if, if, if four of five things go their way this off-season.