Not much. At least nothing major… as far as the players on the team go. Certainly one major thing the Braves have done this off-season is to announce a new stadium OTP (outside the perimeter, for those unaware of the acronym). While the hot stove is heating up for other teams, it’s still cool to the touch for the Braves.
The departure of Brian McCann chilled Atlanta fans, myself included, even though his departure was expected for many months. That he signed with the Yankees stings a bit. He’s almost too nice of a guy to play for the Yanks. Very few baseball fans outside of New York who are not wearing a Yankees hat want to see the Evil Empire succeed. At the same time I’m ALWAYS going to root for Brian McCann — thus I’m now conflicted, wanting Mac to succeed and win and not really wanting to see the Yankees do well.
I’ll find a way to get through it.
Tim Hudson to San Francisco was also disappointing, though not as hard to take. In many ways this is like Greg Maddux going back to the Cubs after his tenure with the Braves. Huddy started out in the bay area so this is like him ending his career where he started it. Despite the tough 2010 postseason loss to San Fran, I begrudgingly respect the Bonds-less Giants. Good stadium, good fans, even if Roger McDowell doesn’t think so.
So the Braves this off-season have been mostly about subtraction, rather than addition. And the questions about who, if anyone, they will add persist. The beat writers have mentioned that the Braves seek a veteran rotation presence, and one that I would imagine is relatively inexpensive — somewhere in the $7 to $10 million range for a year. But other than that speculation, and a mention or two about possibly wanting to move Dan Uggla (duh), there haven’t been any substantial rumors that the Braves are tied to, and certainly no new additions.
And so we are left wanting and wondering what Frank Wren and company have up their sleeve. With the amount of trades that have happened so far this off-season it certainly seems like there are quite a few teams in a trading mood. Next week’s Winter Meetings should be fun. Hopefully the Braves come out the other side with a good addition or two, and one less albatross of a contract (or two).
The top things I’m hoping the Braves address at the Winter Meetings are (1) another setup reliever or two, (2) sell high on Chris Johnson, (3) sell low on Dan Uggla, and (4) I suppose a veteran starter with something to prove (what’s up Doc).