Atlanta Braves' Offseason Options: About Those Predictions...

Cameron BrittAnalyst INovember 23, 2009

ATLANTA - JUNE 26:  Pitcher Mike Gonzalez #51 of the Atlanta Braves looks on from the dugout in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Turner Field on June 26, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Remember when I said that in a month I'd hate that set of predictions in my last article?

Yeah...

It's been approximaetly eight days, and I hate them already.

Why?

It's really quite simple: A bunch of revelations.

Since then, Gonzalez has become a Scott Boras client, Rafael Soriano has been hyped as the best reliever on the market, and the Marlins have, according to several reports, pulled back on the level of urgency to dump Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla.

I said that it was early, and it still is, but this has become a completely different market since the free agents officially became free agents.

Here are a few things that have become virtual givens:

1. Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano will not return together.

Maybe this was likely before last week, but now it looks certain.

These guys are, according to several free agent rankings, are the best two relievers on the market.

Even the Yankees couldn't keep these guys together (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit).

But upwards of $20 million for two injury-prone relievers?

The more I think about it, no thanks.

2. Kenshin Kawakami will not be the odd man out when a trade is made.

The Braves have (or maybe it's more like David O'Brien and Mark Bowman) asserted their desire to trade one of their starters.

As the offseason has progressed over its first full week, only Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez have appeared as the sole "tradables" from the rotation and I don't expect that to change unless less-than-market-value deals are all the Braves get.

3. We should probably expect more than Juan Rivera at this point.

My thinking when I wrote that last article was simple: Get high value at low cost.

Since then, it's looking as if the Braves are saying: Get high value without losing too much.

With names like Carl Crawford (please?) and Derrek Lee looking more and more like legitimate possibilities, this could be a much larger offseason than I originally thought.

I was pretty confident with my projections/actions.

Now, it looks like the Braves are setting their sights towards players that pack a much larger punch.

More on them next time...

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