Shaping Up The 2010 Roster (So Far)

James HulkaAnalyst IDecember 23, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Troy Glaus #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals at bat in Game Two of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

If the signing goes through, the Braves may be finished with their off-season dealings.

Currently, a major-league source reports that the Atlanta Braves have reached an agreement with free-agent infielder Troy Glaus on a 1-year contract - to play first base.

Part of me wonders - why Glaus instead of Xavier Nady? The other part wonders if the Braves still plan on bringing Nady in as well.

Glaus has been an injury risk for the past few years. The turf in Toronto didn't help him any, but he's now a full year removed from having surgery on his right shoulder. He returned in September to provide some help to the Cardinals off the bench as they won the NL Central.

I wasn't exactly thrilled with what the Braves got in return for Javier Vazquez, and like many, was hoping that it was Derek Lowe heading to the Yankees instead. Be that as it may, let's take a look at what the 25-man roster looks like right now.

CF - Nate McLouth

2B - Martin Prado

3B - Chipper Jones

1B - Troy Glaus

C - Brian McCann

SS - Yunel Escobar

LF - Matt Diaz

RF - Melky Cabrera

Their starting rotation after the trade leaves the Braves with five right-handed starters: Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Kenshin Kawakami. 

I expect Bobby Cox to have a seven-man bullpen which includes

LHP Billy Wagner

RHP Takashi Saito

RHP Peter Moylan

LHP Eric O'Flaherty

RHP Kris Medlen

and two more pitchers. LHP Mike Dunn was acquired in the Vazquez trade and will be in the mix for the last two bullpen spots along with Luis Valdez, Scott Proctor (signed as Minor League free agent), Manny Acosta, James Parr, Jo-Jo Reyes, Steve Marek (the other player acquired from the Angels for Mark Teixeira) and a few other minor leaguers including prospect Craig Kimbrel.

I'd expect Dunn to make the team as the 2nd lefty as well as Proctor, if he shows he's the healthy Scott Proctor from a few years ago. Valdez and Acosta have a decent shot. The rest I see starting the season at AAA Gwinnett.

That leaves five bench spots to be filled. Two of those bench spots are already accounted for in C David Ross and IF Omar Infante. 

The fourth outfielder could include any one of a number of players. Brandon Jones, Mitch Jones, Gregor Blanco, Jordan Schafer or if signed, Xavier Nady could fill that spot.

Nady would be a good signing because he could possibly play first, or either corner outfield spot, and Glaus could slide over to third once in a while to give Chipper Jones a day off.

It remains to be seen, but I still think the other three on the bench would be Xavier Nady, Brooks Conrad and either Jordan Schafer or Gregor Blanco - depending on who has the better spring training in Orlando.

If Nady is brought in, the Braves would have a very deep starting rotation, and a very deep lineup, with a good mix of lefty, righty and switch hitters. They may not have a 40-HR threat in the lineup, but five players who could hit 25 is a real possibility (McLouth, Jones, Glaus, Nady, McCann) with 4 others contributing 15 each (Escobar, Cabrera, Diaz, Prado)

Xavier Nady would be the likely last move to shore up the Braves lineup for 2010 - and produce a rotation, bullpen, and lineup that's capable of making it deep into the playoffs for a possible run at the World Series. Frank Wren has still maintained his best prospects through all the deals so far as the future closer (Kimbrel), first baseman (Freddie Freeman) and right fielder (Jason Heyward) mature


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