Bettering the Braves: Who’s Left?

Zack Greinke 2021 Topps Heritage Baseball HIGH NUMBERED SHORT PRINT CARDS  Poster # to 99

We are getting to the point in the offseason where most of the big names have been scooped as Atlanta’s own, Dansby Swanson, was seemingly the last big name to fall and at a heavy price tag of $177MM for 7 years. Was that a price the Braves could afford? I’d be willing to guess yes, but the bigger question is should they have paid it? Based on 2022’s numbers, that answer is ABSOLUTELY. However, looking at the bigger picture, Dansby’s highest fWAR was 3.4 before 2022 and he’s only collected 16.2 fWAR over the course of what equates to about 6 seasons. Still, that’s an average of 2.7 fWAR and would essentially give him a value of $22ishMM/year which is not far off from what he was given.

Now that Dansby is gone, AA with either have to add a SS or choose to start with Vaughn Grissom or Orlando Arcia. And not only will AA could very well have to add at SS, I cannot imagine that he’s satisfied with the LF situation and maybe even SP.

In taking those 3 into account, let’s take a look at the best of the mediocre and try to find a fit for the Braves in all 3 areas.

Looking for Outfielders

*Admittedly, this could be a moot point at this time after yesterday’s signing of Jordan Luplow (I’ll also remind you that Luplow has an option). Still, if the Braves somehow decide to move on from Marcell Ozuna whether it’s via release or trade, this idea could still be relevant.

This is a guess… but it’s at least an educated one. Unless it’s Michael Conforto on a 1 year prove it deal, the Braves aren’t going to go out and grab another strictly LH hitting outfielder. As of now, that job belongs to Eddie Rosario with Sam Hilliard as the guy that will plug in should Rosario’s eyes not adjust. If AA is looking to add, I believe that addition will come in the form of a RHH outfielder. Here are my top 3 Free Agent RHH outfielders:

  1. Adam Duvall
  2. Brian Anderson
  3. Wil Myers

All 3 of these guys have shown the ability to hit well against LHP and play OF pretty well over their career. None of them would be costly and all provide value in that they’re defensively flexible.

Looking for Shortstops

I truly hope the Braves don’t have to go here and have full confidence in Orlando Arcia or Vaughn Grissom, because there’s only one option:

  1. Elvis Andrus

The list out side of him is grim. If AA can pull off a trade and not give up much, Kim Ha-Seong or Brandon Crawford could be a good fallback solution.

Looking for Starting Pitchers

While the high-end front of the rotation dudes are long gone, there’s still plenty of attractive options left for the Braves to consider. If the Braves were able to grab someone with a QO attached or even on a “prove-it” deal, that would be ideal. My top 3 candidates:

  1. Zack Greinke
  2. Corey Kluber
  3. Nathan Eovaldi

I think the first 2 guys would be in for a higher AAV 1 year deal while Eovaldi would want at least 2, unless he’s find the market is lowballing him due to the QO curse attached. All 3 would be put into a stressless spot of filling in the back end of a rotation with 5-6 quality innings each time out.

Ok, Braves Journalers! Who would you like to see in a Braves uni next year?

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

69 thoughts on “Bettering the Braves: Who’s Left?”

  1. I’ve always liked the cut of Mike Trout’s jib.

    Seriously, though, David Peralta seems almost too obvious.

  2. These are some ugly-ass names, to be perfectly honest with you. They’re firmly in “well, that’s better than standing pat at least” territory.

    I guess that’s where you’re at when you insist that all acquisitions must either be extremely team-friendly or no more than one year, though.

  3. @2
    Considering the SPs would be back end guys, that’s actually a great list. The OF, not the best list but Duvall, Anderson, and Myers should make for a formidable platoon with Rosario. I think I agree with you on Andrus. Last year was an outlier offensively. Still, he’s great defensively.

  4. I think we are done with them signing the .180 hitter from Arizona .. he always needs a LF of avg .200 hitters …

  5. Y’know, I never considered Greinke to quite be HoF material – to me, he always defined the Hall of Very Good. You never saw any real sustained dominance, but a bunch of good years with the occasional blow-up season, like maybe 5 overall. (FWIW, he’s been less than great in the post-season… 4.14 ERA in 113 IP.)

    But there’s only 4 active pitchers w/ a career WAR over 70 – Greinke @ 71.5, Verlander @ 78.1, Scherzer @ 70.7, & Kershaw @ 73.1. (The latter 2 have 565-666 fewer IP than the first 2, btw.) Greinke’s also #32 all-time – every guy above him & a bunch below him are in the Hall.

    I guess, in the analytics age, he’s the classic compiler.

  6. Mets continue to spend … as we fall behind the pack … we had a great opportunity to really go after it ..but they didnt want too try to match our rivals .. we could have spent on a very good SS and then went with a platoon in LF .. instead we have a slow rookie at SS in Grissom or sub in Arcia .. not good .. and still left with a bunch of roll the dice LF’s .. that hit in the low .200 ‘s … oh well maybe one of these days !! we will take that leap .. NOT

  7. Greinke is one of the few right-handed pitchers so unfrightening in his stuff at this point that Ozzie hits against him right-handed. Pass.

    I’d wait for the Dodgers to cut Trevor Bauer and then sign him to an MLB minimum salary and require him to room with Ozuna.

  8. @6 – yeah, if our management was only half as good as the Mets and we would have won half as much as they have over the last 5 years! Wait a minute, we’ve won the division 5 years in a row and have won 40 more games in the last 5 years. Maybe we don’t really want to copy the Mets. That’s a good thing

  9. If you want your team to spend like the Mets, go root for the Mets. No other team is going to do that.

  10. Truly Fun Facts: In the 29 years since the Braves joined the NL East, Atlanta has finished ahead of the Mets 24 times.

    Also, during that time, every team in the NL East has won at least one World Series… except the Mets.

  11. @10/11 – All true but Atlanta management still needs to stop sitting on its hands. It will make thr Christmas meal hard to eat and unsanitary..

  12. What do the movies Three Men and a Baby, Fatal Attraction, and Good Morning Vietnam have in common? All were released after the Mets last won a World Series.

    What do David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Vladimir Guerrero (Senior), Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, and Roberto Alomar have in common? Yes, they’re all Hall of Famers, but all of them also started their major league careers after the Mets last won a World Series. You also could say that the last time the Mets won a World Series, Ken Griffey Sr. was still playing but Vladimir Guerrero Sr. had not yet started. I’m a little surprised that no managers have yet been inducted who started their managerial careers after 1986.

    I can’t find anything similar in the other places I’ve looked; it seems like there should be some fact along the lines of, “None of this year’s Academy Award Best Actress nominees were alive the last time the Mets won a World Series” or “None of this year’s Grammy nominees for best solo vocalist were alive…,” but the Oscars and the Grammys seem to recognize more middle-aged and even elderly people (Judi Dench, Tony Bennett) than I had expected.

  13. @14: If it weren’t for the weirdness of 2020, the Dodgers would be almost as bad (1988). It almost makes you question the value of throwing money at your baseball problems.

    (That said, the Dodgers have at least been a solid playoff team for a long time. The same can’t be said for their free-spending cross-LA rival.)

  14. If we’re gonna start judging teams by the size of their payrolls, then the Braves better get rid of Acuña, Ozzie, Wright, Harris and Strider ASAP. Those guys aren’t worth much at all!

    Riley can stay. His contract is PHAT.

  15. Correa to the Mets, MLB is a joke.
    I think their payroll might be higher than some teams entire franchise value.

  16. As details of the Correa switch start to emerge, this is not a good look for Correa. I won’t wish ill on anyone, but will not be surprised if there is an inevitable injury to follow

    As for the Mets, one could call this opportunism. But it’s only opportunism is you have limitless buckets of cash. I don’t think they are going to endear themselves to the rest of the league (again). Also see inevitable injury comment above

    And a penny for Lindor’s thoughts today

  17. Yeah, what the heck? I sure didn’t expect to read that news this AM. i expected us to sign a washed up LF or the corpse of Zach Greinke or something.

  18. So many funny things about this turn of events…

    Can someone persuade Steve Cohen to spend some money on baseball reporters who can write well? “Doctors disagreed”? With the Giants? With each other?

    LOL at the idea of the Mets, of all teams, disregarding a potential physical issue to get a deal done.

    I’m curious to see how strong certain commenters’ ideological commitments are to “So what if one owner is willing to outspend everybody else and buy a division/championship? That’s good for baseball.” Is there any point at which your desire to see free agents financially rewarded within this scenario comes into conflict with, like, your desire to watch meaningful/competitive baseball games?

    (Again, not that all this couldn’t possibly blow up in the Mets’ faces.)

    And, yes, I’m sure we’re all eagerly awaiting an epic, four-ellipses TAD meltdown.

  19. This is nutso.

    @26, I’m not sure if I exactly fit who you’re speaking to, but I certainly do desire for owners to spend more and players to get paid more, and I deplored the owners’ lockout. So I probably am.

    I don’t like the idea that a championship could be bought. But for now, I’m still in the same camp as Ububba @7. The Mets haven’t won yet. Correa’s really good, and their high-priced roster contains a lot of good players. But you can’t win in the off-season.

    My hope is always that when one owner decides to make a splash, others will feel competitive. The only way for “one owner [who] is willing to outspend everybody else and buy a division/championship” is for the other 29 to let him.

    What is truly bad for competition, in my view, is the owners who demonstrably do not wish to try, Oakland and Pittsburgh above all. Sitting on your thumbs is simply contrary to the spirit of sports competition.

    We’ll see what happens after the Mets’ insane spree. But I don’t think it’s necessarily bad for baseball. And I also don’t think it necessarily means the Mets have the division in a bag, let alone the postseason. Still, I don’t know what all the fallout will be. We will see.

  20. I think that this does validate some of my thoughts vis a vis the posture of the Braves organization.

    While I understand that there are different strokes for different folks, I will admit that it would be a helluva lot of fun to support a team doing what the Mets are doing versus a team known for not signing FAs and tricking young players to take 2/3 less than they are worth.

    By the way, I’m entitled to my opinion on the above and I wholly do not believe the strategy to be a long term solution. I’m old and I’m stubborn but I truly believe that the decisions to behave this way in FA (take our lowball offer or GTFO) and long term contract(ing) is not sustainable.

  21. The Mets just prove how artificial the luxury limits are. Basically any team could double (or more) their payroll and not even notice it. The fact that they don’t shows you where their priorities are.

    Like, do you honestly believe if the Braves had signed Swanson to a 7/177 deal and it had gone south, they’d have gone bankrupt, or even lost money? The payroll limitations teams operate under are largely self-imposed, and they’re relying on fans not noticing.

  22. This is why the owners were wary of Steve Cohen. He’s outing them as the cheapskates that they are!

    (also – everything MLB is waaaay overpriced. But that tuna ain’t going back in the can)

  23. Passan reports the luxury tax will put payroll at $495 million for the Mets. If that’s the level of spending necessary to compete, the next CBA is going to be fun. I would imagine at least 2/3 of the owners are going to want to really punish Cohen-like spending.

    P.S. Correa presumably has to pass another physical to the satisfaction of the Mets.

  24. @28, I wasn’t thinking of you, but: Is there a point at which any owner should ever stop spending? Or should we just let the offseason go on forever, while one owner bids, “Infinity plus one!” and the next owner bids, “Infinity plus two!” And so on. How far should we expect these people to go? Is there a point at which an owner should walk away from the table, ever?

    Maybe people like competitive auctions more than they like baseball. Maybe people like watching rich people make poor decisions more than they like baseball. Maybe instead of watching games, we can watch owners amass resources all year long, in anticipation of offseason spending?

    (Or, on the contrary, if championships aren’t won in the offseason, the playoffs are a crapshoot no matter what, etc., then why does anyone get bent out of shape if the Braves are spending “in the neighborhood,” after all?)

  25. Also, independent of the money question, if two teams diagreed about a player’s medical profile and one of those teams was the Mets, I would put my money on the other team’s evaluation so fast my arm would be fried by air friction. Worst case is Correa needs TJ or labrum surgery and the Mets think he can play through it.

  26. @33, in general, I think that if you’re someone wealthy enough to buy a sports team, you should treat it as something to spend money on, not as an investment vehicle. If all you want is predictable growth, put your money in T-bonds and get out of baseball for all of our sakes.

    I don’t demand that every owner sign every free agent to am unprecedented contract. But I do demand that they try to win. Not all of ’em do. Good on the ones who are trying. (That very much includes the Braves, to be clear.)

  27. While there are certainly some owners who can fund operating losses every year (but note that the IRS stops taking you seriously when you run perennial operating losses and you might get a big tax bill) there are many who can’t; even really wealthy people don’t have millions lying around in cash — it’s invested in other stuff, and asking them to choose between this thing and that thing is painful — just ask Elon Musk.

    Of course, irrespective of whether or not you can fund operating losses, the rise in franchise values in a successful sport will bail you out on the back end,and you need to take that into account as well.

  28. @35, Seems reasonable to me. But given the pool of available labor, somebody’s gonna have to win (e.g. sign the free agents that will contribute most to near-term success), and somebody’s gonna have to lose out. Otherwise, we’re back to owners outbidding each other into infinity.

    That helps make it unavoidable that, for a few teams, tanking is the best they can do to win as soon as possible. So it quickly becomes tough to discern who’s really trying to win and who isn’t.

    Or, just because you suck at player development, your prospects don’t pan out in your rebuild, etc., doesn’t mean you aren’t trying.

  29. I will admit that it would be a helluva lot of fun to support a team doing what the Mets are doing versus a team known for not signing FAs and tricking young players to take 2/3 less than they are worth.

    Even setting aside the whole “tricking young players” gross mischaracterization here, this is wild. Attempting to purchase a championship before the season starts is your idea of fun? Hmm…what if Steve Cohen were to sign every free agent and put them all on the bench or whatever? He could, like, pay players whatever they would require to not play. Just lean right into the whole Bobby Bonilla thing.

    Or what if he bought all the other teams’ stadium properties and didn’t let any opposing teams in? FUN, right? Guy just really wants to win, is all, and who could blame him. LFGM, 162-0, baby!

  30. Not every team can win every year. But every team can try to win every year, and I think the fans of every team are owed that level of effort. Like, imagine you’re a fan of the Orioles, and you know that you missed the playoffs last season because your management didn’t bother to try and you’re likely to miss them again this year because someone up the chain declared that It Was Not Yet Time to try. And when it’s finally time to try — oh, the free agent market is garbage this year, how about that, nothing we could do about it, guess we’ll just pocket this money for another year.

    I don’t really think there’s a real reason for a team to be down and out for more than two or three seasons at a stretch. If you’re in that situation, you’re either cheap or you’re incompetent, and you can stop being the first at any time. (If you’re the second, you need new management no matter what your organizational goals are.)

  31. Fried after 2024, Murphy (and Iglesias, if you consider him “big”) after 2025, Wright after 2026.

  32. @37, I don’t think we disagree much, to be honest. I’ll just respond to one thing you said: “Just because you suck at player development, your prospects don’t pan out in your rebuild, etc., doesn’t mean you aren’t trying.”

    This is absolutely true. But there has to be accountability: if you suck at player development and your prospects don’t pan out in your rebuild, heads need to roll. If you don’t clear house, that means you aren’t trying.

    One of the biggest problems is that the owner can’t fire himself. The Angels and Rockies are clearly rotting from the top and have been for years. They are not the cheapest teams in the game; they spend some money. But they are among the worse teams in baseball every single year without fail, and it’s because their owners’ egos are too great to permit them to actually provide accountability for their failures: true accountability would require the owners to step back from influence on operations. They don’t want to do that. So they continue to suck.

    That said, I think one contributing factor to these teams’ persistence is that the current economics of baseball do not sufficiently reward victory and penalize defeat. As others have pointed out, if baseball had relegation, it might change the calculus dramatically for the perennial bottom-feeders.

    I think you’re right to separate teams like that, who try and nevertheless suck, from teams who do not try and therefore suck. I deplore ’em both, but the former less than the latter.

  33. @38 I am 100% on board with the Mets leaning into the Bonilla thing. July 1 is my favorite holiday, and I am hopeful they work out an extension with him once the contract expires.

  34. The medical issue is not likely UCL. Very likely it is a continuation of the back injury. Think about Kershaw. Or Al Parker, III (who would have been the world’s greatest men’s tennis player but for a recurring back issue). Correa will probably be significantly positive for 2 to 4 years, but this will not end well.
    And, I do not believe the Mets can run an operating profit when spending 490 million on players. So, Cohen is subsidizing with his outside wealth. That model of MLB management is subject to termination when the “greater fool theory” runs out of fools. Tulips, anyone?

  35. The Mets are at least creating a lot of drama and conflict, which builds anticipation and makes the 2023 season much more interesting at the beginning. Probably a net-positive for baseball fans. Every series with them is going to be must-see-tv. The Reds and Pirates are laughing all the way to the bank.

  36. RE: accountability for owners generally and relegation specifically, I agree… doesn’t do anything at all to address the potential threat to competitiveness/watchability posed by one owner who’s willing to outspend the rest by a significant margin, even at a loss to himself. But I do agree.

    July 1 is my favorite holiday, and I am hopeful they work out an extension with him once the contract expires.

    Same. Would that every one of us gets a Gentleman’s Annuity to call our own.

  37. I’d like to say that, while I was initially disappointed that the high number of comments on this thread are about the Mets, and not the Braves, making a big splash, I am enjoying the hell out of this conversation. And learning a lot.

    Thanks all!

  38. If Cohen did anything last night, he probably helped the 2024 MLB offseason agenda make it’s first amendment in the new CBA with a floor and ceiling payroll. Floor would have to come first, for sure.

    Braves are 6th in payroll. I can’t believe there’s so much complaining when the payroll is higher than 77% of the league, and it’s still December.

    Also, it’s been well documented that LM is hands-off with the team and allows the team to spend what they make and payroll, as of today, is right under $200MM with the CB tax payroll right under the 1st tier at $225MM.

  39. I don’t think there would be any complaining about the payroll if it didn’t seem like the organization was allergic to any kind of commitment that wasn’t extremely team-friendly. Yes, they signed a bunch of extensions. But those players a) were going to be on the team in 2023 whether they signed extensions or not, so they can’t really be considered additions and b) were signed during the season, after which the Braves started bragging about how they were going to spend.

    The team has major holes at multiple positions and is weaker than it was in 2022, even if it’s still good. Their one major addition so far was a largely lateral move, at least for 2023. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to complain about that. Maybe AA pulls a rabbit out of his hat, and if he does, I’ll bow to his expertise. But frankly, I don’t see how. Who is he going to get that’s a major add at this stage of the offseason? They have no farm system remaining and the FA market is down to role players. We’re having this conversation in a thread was started with people trying to convince themselves that Wil Myers is an acceptable addition.

  40. @47, yeah, European soccer leagues have promotion/relegation along with superteams that spend far more than the others in the league. Some of the reasoning for the spending differences seems similar to what we see – if a team in London or Paris or Madrid can go from 10th to 3rd with a few costly acquisitions, that’ll boost TV revenues and jersey sales a lot more than if a 10th-place team in Newcastle or Lille or Bilbao buys the same players.

    In those leagues relegation does give teams an incentive to try not to be the worst, and there are other incentives for teams to be good even if they can’t be the best. For example, in Spain’s 20-team first division, winning the league is the peak goal, but the top four teams qualify for the lucrative (European) Champions League. The next couple and the winner of a non-regular-season competition qualify for the somewhat-lucrative Europa League, and the bottom three are relegated to the second division, which can be financially disastrous. So it’s only the teams that have no realistic chance of finishing in the top six or the bottom three that don’t have much incentive to try to improve.

  41. @50

    I’m not trying to convince anyone that Wil Myers is an acceptable addition. What I am doing is trying to show not every position has to be 1 mainstay. The Braves have carried very formidable platoons in the past that surpass what many well above average single players do over the course of a year. To suggest a RH platoon that hits LHP well and plays above average defense to platoon with Rosario is the best way to get production with this team as it’s currently set.

    Also, the Braves FO didn’t brag about spending. The quote put out by the mass media was intentionally misleading. In the press conference, McGuirk said “The goal is a Top-5 payroll” but what that snippet left out was the McGuirk also said “in the next few years”.

    And I agree with you, to an extent, when it comes to AA’s views on FAs (it’s his philosophy, not the whole orgs and that needs to be clarified b/c others in the F.O REALLY wanted Dansby back), and at some point he’s going to need to break the bank for the right player. However, the man has 23 really good MLB players currently on the roster that will be around for 3+ years if options are picked up. He’s building a team that people want to come see because their favorite players and their kids favorite players will be wearing their uniform and they’re also damn good.

    I’ll admit…I’m befuddled about the SS situation. With the shift going away, SS range is going to be HUGE. Hope we see a good move.

  42. @55 Unfortunately for many of us, our favorite player and our kid’s favorite player is now a Cub. But we root for the laundry, so huge Braves fans we will continue to be. Money Mike can now step in as my favorite player

  43. I really no no qualms with the Brave’s offseason thus far, and frankly I’m glad they didn’t tie themselves up in these long term free agent contracts. Perhaps it is a cost of doing business, but Atlanta seems to be doing just fine with their model. Also, none of the outfielders outside of Judge were really that interesting. I’m excited to see Vaughn Grissom get a chance at shortstop, and while not ideal, there is already significant investment in left field/DH pieces where you hope for a bounce back.

    if I had to speculate I’d guess the Braves and Dodgers kicked the tires on Degrom and Verlander, and on the big shortstop free agents, but probably offered shorter term deals with higher AAV’s which never approached the total dollars they actually received.

    On the Mets signing Correa, I will have to admit it’s bold and he will help them if healthy.

  44. I think it’s more that the Mets are now non-trivially better than us on-paper if you go by WAR projections. That’s concerning whether we’re first in payroll or tenth. But projections are just projections in the end. We have good reason to expect more production from Acuna and Albies. Grissom has a chance to be serviceable. I’m still just bewildered by the left field situation. Biggest need by far, and we did nothing. Conforto is still an option, and it would fit with AA’s style…so maybe?

  45. Conforto would fit AA’s style because he BADLY needs a show-me pillow contract in order to rebuild his value for a long-term deal, after totally missing his market. I historically have had trouble trusting him, as he’s been somewhat up and down throughout his career, but he’s generally solid.

  46. Remember: you can’t buy a championship. You can buy a playoff berth. But those short series will getcha!

  47. Shortstop range will be more important than it was last season, but it’s not going all the way back to as important as it was before the trend to start shifting caught fire. Partly because teams will still be better at positioning even if they can’t fully shift, and partly due to increased strikeout rates.

  48. Is it possible AA has decided that LF needs work, but we’ve gotta live with the contractual bad calls we’ve made there for a little while longer? And again: Duvall.

    I’m excited for Grissom. My interest is in seeing how the kid does at SS. Let’s see what we’ve got! And Arcia is a perfectly “CROMULENT” stand in.

    PS – love that word. Always think of this site when I hear it.

  49. I understand many here know plenty more about baseball than me. I love the braves. I have been lying to myself up to this point about the Mets. Before Correa I thought: yes the Mets have added but are they clearly better than last years team? Verlander over Degrom could be a push. David Roberson and Brooks Raley with Diaz keep the pen strong. Nimmio is over paid but will be strong for the Mets but I don’t think he will be much better than he was last year. Jose Quintana is a bit of a step down from Walker. Kodai Senga is coming in from Japan and has to adjust to the mlb–very talented player but “should’ take a year before he really takes off. So most of these moves seem like they are lateral. Yes they have spent over 200 million but it didn’t feel too impressive. Correa seems to be a game changer. He is great in the clubhouse and will really impact this Mets team in a positive way. This feels like a huge upgrade. The Mets with the tax are paying basically 500 million to field a team to beat the Braves should make me feel better. I enjoyed the team when it was rebuilding. I remember agonizing about Pereza (who signed a minor deal with the Mets) or Albies. Simms or Whisler. Gohara or Allard? I enjoyed it even when we couldn’t compete. It ‘feels’ like we really might not be able to ‘compete’ even with the 7th highest payroll. For me I know the writings been on the wall but it ‘feels’ like unless we find a few more miracles like Strider and MHII — we really won’t be able to compete. Who knows. I hope the NL east is competitive like last year. Last year was one of my all time favorite Braves seasons. The race with the Giants is up there with last year. Amazing.

  50. I’m still hoping we can get Duvall and/or Anderson on MiLB deals. Even on cheap MLB deals they’d be better than Luplow/Hilliard. Duvall may need more time to rehab his wrist, but Anderson has some real potential based upon past performance. Of course, Conforto would be good, too.

    I’m a hard “no” on Myers. We still have two spots on the 40-man roster.

  51. @65 I wouldn’t be surprised if Duvall is back. Teixeira had the same injury and came back from it.

  52. I echo those who have mentioned this has been a great thread. I can’t see how the Mets spending is sustainable, but if Cohen wants to spend that kind of cash, well good for him and the Mets.

    I expect us to sign Andrus and Duvall somehow and then roll with the team. We’ve beaten the Mets last year with DeGrom, so I’m confident we can do so again with Verlander and Correa. I think its the Phillies who have upgraded their team more relative to last year, so they should make it a true 3-team race this time.

  53. I am a soccer fan primarily, and the outspending/ unable to compete concern is now well established in the biggest European leagues, England, Spain, France and Germany.
    Manchester City have won the title in England 4 of the last 5 years, and are owned by a gulf state country Abu Dubai, who effectively spend almost twice as much money EVERY YEAR as the 3 rd highest spending team. That level of dominance eventually tells unless you have incompetent owners. ..Angels anyone?
    It took Man City about 11 years to establish this level of continued success reflecting their decade of spending dominance.
    PSG in France is similar, owned by Qatar, hugely outspending their competitors and have now won their title 9 of 10 years in a row.
    Its not identical in Spain and Germany, but same dominance by the financially dominant, by 1 team in Germany and 2 in Spain. All fans of other teams in these 4 countries start a season knowing their teams aren’t winning the title and “maybe we can finish in the top 4” becomes the aim. When another team wins it’s a miracle of the stars aligning. Pretty disheartening after 5-10 years of it, and starting to wear down with fan attendance falling and turning off their TV subscriptions.
    Baseball needs to take steps to keep the unpredictability that make it one of the better sports to follow, where teams and fans can hope to win at the start of a season, and where it’s great to see the highest payroll teams not winning the WS every year.
    Cohen represents the start of this new type of owner, that European soccer has seen for 20 years now, where money really is no object and huge financial losses don’t matter, and attempts at monetary restrictions on spending are essentially ignored.
    The Braves were remarkable to beat this Mets financial juggernaut in 2022, and we might be good enough to do it again in 2023, but they will trample all over us over the next 5 -10 years if they spend like this every off-season.
    If there aren’t 30 Cohen-like owners to go around… then some tougher measures need to be taken by mlb to retain levels of competitiveness. A full on hard salary cap. with no overage allowed at all and profit sharing with the players union to get them onboard?

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