The Atlanta Braves won the National League East last season rather handily over the second place Washington Nationals. So coming into the offseason there really wasn’t much needed to be done, but maybe fix a little bit. Well, the Braves haven’t done one thing this offseason to benefit their team – they have lost two leaders instead. The Braves lost Tim Hudson to the San Francisco Giants, and Brian McCann to the New York Yankees. So what should we expect the rest of the offseason from our rival Braves?
There have been some rumors that a trade could happen for Dan Uggla as MLB Trade Rumors reports. The deal would be to clear up salary space. Uggla is owed $26 million over the next two seasons and would become a free agent in 2016. It could be tough to find a suitor for Uggla after the season he had in 2013. He did end up having eye surgery, but still. He hit under .200 in over 130 games, that is not a good sign, especially for that amount of money.
David O’Brien had this to say about Uggla…
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) December 11, 2013
The Braves are also looking for a starting pitcher that could fill the need since Tim Hudson has signed elsewhere. The Braves may not be able to get a top of the rotation guy like you would expect, but they say that is okay. David O’Brien also had this to say about the Braves search for a starting pitcher.
With the absence of Brian McCann the Braves will go to Evan Gattis full time behind the plate. He has the power to hit a ball over 500 feet, but he also can strikeout 200 times if you let him play a full season. He has trouble with the breaking stuff and that can cause him and the Braves problems next season. The Braves didn’t just lose a power hitter and great catcher, they lost a leader as well.
The best news coming from Braves country this offseason is Bobby Cox getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. This is well deserved for a manager that dominated his division for over a decade. It wasn’t a matter of IF with Cox, it was a matter of WHEN. Well we now know the answer and he will be inducted this summer along with Joe Torre and Tony La Russa. He also has the chance to enter along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine if the cards fall just right.
That is the Braves offseason in a nutshell. They haven’t done anything that would make you think they are the favorites in the division anymore. Losing two of their best players and leaders will really hurt in 2014. It may not seem like it now, but it will eventually catch up to them.
What does this all mean for the Nationals? Well, in my mind, it means the Nationals are having the best offseason in the NL East. The Braves have done nothing, the Mets signed Curtis Granderson but that won’t be enough, the Marlins signed a few guys but they are the Marlins, and the Phillies are shopping every player they have. That is all good news heading into the 2014 season for the Nats. If they can stay healthy, this could be a magical season in Washington D.C.