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Monday, October 17, 2022

What’s next after Braves’ tough end to ‘22?

Swanson’s future
If last year’s Freddie Freeman negotiations reminded us of anything, it’s that “mutual interest” really doesn’t mean anything until a deal is done. There’s no doubt the Braves would like to keep Dansby Swanson, who has made it clear he’d like to continue playing for his hometown team. A four-year, $60 million deal may have seemed fair as recently as May. But the veteran shortstop’s production this year increased his cost approximately $5 million per year.

Snitker and many of the Braves have expressed how much they want Swanson back. Anthopoulos took time to discuss how highly he thinks of the All-Star shortstop.

“He gets better every year,” Anthopoulos said. “You can look at his stats and he’s always been a good teammate, but I think he rose to new levels. I told him that as well. I’ve been impressed with him across the board. He’s as good a teammate as you’re going to find.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2022 at 11:20 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, dansby swanson

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 17, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6101232)
I've never paid much attention to Swanson. I stuck him in the "solid" category a long time ago and it seemed like he'd only stepped out of that this year. But he was also excellent in 2020, it's just easy to overlook. Still, he hasn't produced like Baez and Story did at his ages so he's probably a step below them. But he's at an awkward age to accept a deal shorter than 6 years, ideally he'd like 8, teams will probably want to stick with 4-5. He could be a good candidate for something like 4/$80 with a player option for 2/$30.

I think I asked this before and somebody probably answered me but I missed it -- is Grissom good enough for SS? If so, from the team's perspective, you probably need to let Swanson go unless another team is really high on Grissom (or you could trade Albies). If Grissom is for real, having the three of them is probably an inefficient use of resources but could be a lot of fun.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6101234)
Grissom may wind up in the outfield if Swanson stays.

Brave have Acuna, Harris and - a catastrophic dropoff.

Rosario, Ozuna, Duvall, Grossman, Heredia - none of 'em sniffed even a 90 OPS+ this year.
   3. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 17, 2022 at 04:50 PM (#6101260)
It is depressing as a fan of the New York Mets to consider how stack this team is right now. They have a time of really good players that are really young as well. I cannot see anyone but them winning the division next year.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 17, 2022 at 05:53 PM (#6101275)
What's next after Braves' tough end to '22?


Continue to win your 90+ games each year, qualify for the playoffs and hopefully once every 4-6 years you go on a roll and win the whole enchilada?

Outside of LA, the Braves seem to be in the best position to continue to do this over the next 5-7 years.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2022 at 07:35 PM (#6101295)
It is depressing as a fan of the New York Mets to consider how stack this team is right now. They have a time of really good players that are really young as well. I cannot see anyone but them winning the division next year.

I wouldn't give up so easily. Things have a way of not working out as planned in baseball. Especially pitching.
   6. JRVJ Posted: October 17, 2022 at 08:39 PM (#6101310)
The Braves are clearly the class of the NL East (and I'm a Phillies fan!).

While there are no guarantees going forward, the amount of locked-up young talent that they have leads me to say that the Braves will remain a force in the N.L., and arguably, the favorite in the NL East.
   7. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: October 17, 2022 at 09:32 PM (#6101327)
The Braves have a good young core locked up, and locked up cheap. If Grissom can handle SS, then an ATL run at Judge would be a lot of fun. Below-market deals for Acuna et al. might make it a possibility. I know the yammering is all about him ending up with one of the NY teams, but aren't you supposed to develop your young players and then fill holes with FA signings?
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6101333)
but aren't you supposed to develop your young players and then fill holes with FA signings?

Nah, you pass the extra $40M to Liberty's bottom line.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 18, 2022 at 12:22 AM (#6101350)
The Braves have a good young core locked up, and locked up cheap.

All "young core" contracts are cheap -- that's the way salaries are structured. In the particulars here, Albies is ridiculously cheap but, by the stadards of such contracts, Acuna and Riley are quite expensive. Riley gets $62 M over his 4 arb years -- that's more than Arenado got, (arguably) more than Mookie, more than Bryant, as much as Freeman got for 3 arb years and 2 FA years. He will make as much money from 2021-29 as Tatis will. I discussed Strider's quite expensive buyout elsewhere.

The guaranteed part of Acuna's contract is half over already. The Braves still would have control of him for the next two years. It's hard to say what Acuna would have gotten in arb the last couple of years. He probably would have gotten a very big award in 2021 (say $10 M, maybe bigger) but then he missed half the season so probably doesn't get a huge raise for 2022. He was close enough to full-tiime this year but had his worst season so probably again not a big raise. Still, the Braves are probably a few million ahead of where they'd be otherwise so this will work out quite well if Acuna can stay healthy and return to his earlier form. And if 2022 Acuna is the new Acuna then they should still break even or better.

I know that sounds like heresy. But the historic Juan Soto has made just $25 M in his first two arb years. Acuna's made $20 (but guaranteed just $17 next year) and Riley's made $19 (and guaranteed $21 next year). Vladito $8 in his first super-2 year, Yordan will make $34.5 over his 3 arb years. Bregman's 3 arb years cost $39 M and he'll be $100 M over the full 5; the first 5 years of the Riley contract are $102. Is "as expensive as Bregman" really "cheap?" And, if it is, then it's clear this is just part of the system.

It's great that the Braves are betting on their own development and projection acumen by locking these guys up. But they are paying max value for the arb years -- as if these guys will be the best pre-FA players in the league -- then the contracts are great if that happens. But they already had control of these guys over those arb years at prices that would probably have been less than what they actually pay in those years and there's a very good chance that most of these guys will look like pretty mediocre contracts in 5 years (e.g. similar to Baez say). Overpaying in the cheap years may turn out great, probably will usually turn out OK but it's not exactly a no-brainer.
   10. Mike A Posted: October 18, 2022 at 10:39 AM (#6101394)
Continue to win your 90+ games each year, qualify for the playoffs and hopefully once every 4-6 years you go on a roll and win the whole enchilada?
Yeah. There doesn't really seem to be much incentive to win over 88 games, so does it really matter what the Braves do this offseason? I guess you still try to win the division to avoid the first round, but I have a hard time seeing the Braves fall out of the playoffs. Though of course baseball is baseball.

As for Grissom, the general consensus is that he isn't the long-term solution at shortstop. Personally, I see him as similar to Chipper Jones - yeah, he could play SS, but it's probably not the best idea. It is possible the Braves try him there in 2023, as they play things close to the vest - but there are four big name SSs probably available and it's hard to believe the Braves don't try for one of them instead (including Swanson).

Basically, the Braves just need to figure out SS/LF and add some relief pitching depth. Not saying that's easy, but it's an oddly simple offseason.
   11. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 18, 2022 at 01:05 PM (#6101423)
Nah, you pass the extra $40M to Liberty's bottom line.


Valid, but the Braves have moved into a top-10 spending team after half a decade in the bottom third, so that's nice. I'd still be surprised if they broke the bank for a SS, but most likely is bringing back Swanson. As Mike said, they'll have minimal lineup questions for the foreseeable future and will just need to fill out the pitching staff each year.
   12. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 18, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6101447)
At least they won't have to play this year's World Series in the hellscape that is Racistland (tm).
   13. Astroenteritis Posted: October 18, 2022 at 05:14 PM (#6101489)
Continue to win your 90+ games each year, qualify for the playoffs and hopefully once every 4-6 years you go on a roll and win the whole enchilada?


It really is this simple. It drives me crazy when people overreact to playoff defeats. Just keep winning and things will be fine.

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