Alex Anthopoulos was interviewed on 680 the Fan this AM and in a very cryptic manner, let Braves fans know that he has a plan mapped out for the offseason. Here’s the quote:
I’m gonna Sherlock Holmes this sucker and go ahead and conclude that he’s not planning to change an historic lineup, considering that the entire lineup, plus some, will be back in 2024. Of the regulars, only Eddie Rosario isn’t guaranteed a spot as he has a $9MM option. However, there’s one thing that AA could be pondering when it comes to this lineup and that is rotating the DH to provide regular field rest for all.
While I’m not 100% sold on fatigue being the reason the offense tanked in the postseason, it’s at least worthy of debate, especially when we’re dealing with the king of vague statements. If this were to come to fruition, it would mean the end of the road for Marcell Ozuna as a Brave and the team would have to find an Adam Duvall type of player that can moonlight in all OF positions. Add Vaughn Grissom to that mix and you’ve got 2 guys that have the ability to cover all 7 positions needed in this scenario.
Would AA do that to aid in the idea of giving regulars 10-12 days of field reset? Who am I to know, but it makes a lot of sense. While I know there was a lot of emphasis on the gap between games from regular season to playoffs, fatigue is very different than rust and it’s anyone’s guess if it was one, the other, or neither.
Lights Out Relief
As the GM of the team that watched the Phillies throw flamethrower after flamethrower out of their bullpen, it would be hard to ignore how much that impacted the playoff. There might be help in this area coming early next year according to Justin Toscano:
If healthy, Tyler Matzek could provide some much needed stability in the back-end of the bullpen. Still, with Pierce Johnson heading to free agency (hope they re-sign him), there’s a real need to add a high-end back-end guy. If the Braves want to really make an impact in their bullpen, there are only a few game changers on the market and the biggest name is, by far, Josh Hader. Others noteworthy free agents are Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Hicks, Reynaldo Lopez, and Matt Moore.
Starting Pitching Stability
If Charlie Morton retires, the Braves will have a serious problem on their hands as Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder would be the only 2 regulars in the rotation that have been able to stay healthy. There are several starting pitchers that have shown the ability to pitch a full year’s worth of starts and do so at an above average rate. Lucas Giolito, Sonny Gray, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery top this list. I’ve said it prior to today, but Sonny Gray just screams Braves. He’s on the back end of his career, but has gotten better with age as his last 5 years are a remarkable testament to his ability to stay in the rotation for a full year and to produce at a high level. If AA were to offer him a 3/$66MM deal, I’d be down.
Your Thoughts on the Matter
Which of the 3 scenarios between rotating DH, Relief Pitching, and Starting Pitching do you think that Alex Anthopoulos is eluding to when it comes to his offseason plans?