Atlanta Braves: Three Offseason Moves (in Addition to Uggla) to Win It All

Andy CContributor INovember 16, 2010

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 11:  Fans of the Atlanta Braves cheer before the beginning of the game against the San Francisco Giants during Game Four of the NLDS of the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Turner Field on October 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Braves have been and will continue to be “one or two steps away from greatness.”  At least, that’s what every Braves fan would lead you to believe.

With the off-season under way, I thought it would be interesting to see if there were any reasonable moves the Braves could make to get them over the hump in 2011.

Sitting with about $10 million more to spend this year, the Braves have a few options when it comes to acquisitions.

But, Frank Wren has already said that trading for key pieces is probably more likely than signing free agents as the market is flooded with buyers this year.

These three moves would help our beloved Bravo’s make it back to the postseason once again.

1. Trade Kawakami

I hear there is interest from several Japanese clubs, but I’m not sure the Braves will get much for him.

Sometimes things just don’t pan out and this is one of those instances. Freeing up even $3 million would do wonders in signing a quality lefty or backup infielder.

2. Get Jacoby Ellsbury

I’m not sure if my infatuation with him stems from the fact that I traded for him on MLB10 The Show and he has been nothing short of amazing, or the fact he has speed which the Braves desperately need.

Last year was rough for Ellsbury and his stats showed it.

But for his career he has a BAA of .291, OBP of .344, OPS of .749 and has stolen 136 bases. 

He probably won't cost too much and he'll be an everyday center fielder as long as he stays healthy.

3.  Let the Youngsters Play

I’m looking at you Freddie Gonzalez.

Let your namesake and future first basemen get a chance to show what he’s got. 

It worked out well for the J-Hey Kid in 2010, and Freddie Freeman could be next year’s spark.  

And if Kimbrel works out as the closer, the Braves are set for years to come. 

Imagine this starting lineup:

1 – Martin Prado (Hinske/Diaz)- LF

 2 – Jason Heyward - RF

3 – Chipper Jones (Prado) - 3B

4 – Dan Uggla - 2B

5 – Brian McCann - C

6 – Alex Gonzalez - SS

7 – Freddie Freeman - 1B

8 – Jacoby Ellsbury - CF

9 – Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Derek Lowe, Kris Medlen/Jair Jurrjens, (Lefty TBD) – P

There you have it. The pieces are there. The opportunities for trades are there. 

Now, it’s up to Frank Wren to make it happen and give the new skipper a team brimming with talent.


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