Are the Atlanta Braves Ready to Settle for Mediocrity?

Parker ShieldsCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2010

From 1991-2005, no one dominated a division like the Atlanta Braves.

In these years Atlanta won an unprecedented 14 straight division titles, which was somewhat downplayed by only one World Series win in five tries.

These teams were led by their pitching rotation, which included three future Hall of Famers, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, arguably "the greatest pitching rotation of all time."

Since the departures of three "saviors" of the franchise, Atlanta has found it a lot harder to find success.

Atlanta hasn't reached the postseason since 2005, and it seems to be fine with this predicament.  

After four straight offseasons of dreadful trade accusations and horrible free agent signings (Kenshin Kawakami), the Braves still remain the third best team (or third worst) in the NL East. 

Going in this latest offseason, it was obvious that Atlanta lacked two things—production from the corner outfield positions and quality at the first base position after the departure of Adam LaRoche.

Atlanta answered the corner outfield question by trading away Javier Vazquez, last year's ace, for the ever so powerful Melky Cabrera.

Now I'm not saying Cabrera isn't a good player, but when I think productive, I don't think 36 career home runs in five seasons as a major leaguer. No, he's not a middle infielder—he plays outfield.

Still in need of a quality first baseman, the Braves decided to sign former great third baseman Troy Glaus, who is believed to have gone to grade school with Jesus, as their "first baseman."

Throughout Glaus' career, when healthy, he consistently hit around .260 and averaged 20 HRs a season, but remember, when healthy.

Glaus missed large portions of the 2004, 2007, and 2009 seasons from injuries.

If these two players come out hitting 20 home runs and batting over .300, I will be the first to say I was wrong.

But with aging stars and average talent, it still looks like it's a long way to the top.