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Atlanta Braves: Done Dealing? A Look at the Roster (with Eric Hinske)

Cameron BrittAnalyst IJanuary 6, 2010

I think we can go ahead and throw out the sexy trade rumors that we've all heard (and which I promoted here and here ) since the Vazquez trade.

Frank Wren said today during the Braves' introduction of Troy Glaus that the Braves are likely to only pursue a minor piece or two from here on out (via David O'Brien's 4:58 post here ) to fill the bench and solidify remaining holes management feels needs to be filled.

Buzz kill?

For me, most definitely, as I had my eyes set on one more legitimate piece for the lineup (as many others did, as well).

But the right move?

Upon further review (and by that, I mean the last 25 minutes or so)...probably.

When you consider this lineup and bench (first official projection of 2010!), you can kind of see why the Braves are unwilling to both add additional payroll and unnecessary talent.

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CF L Nate McLouth
2B R Martin Prado
3B S Chipper Jones
1B R Troy Glaus
 C  L Brian McCann
SS R Yunel Escobar
LF R Matt Diaz
RF ? Jason Heyward/Melky Cabrera
(Heyward is personal choice, so let's run with it while making this little set-up)

UTIL R Omar Infante
BUC  R David Ross
INF  S Brooks Conrad
OF   S Melky Cabrera
PH   L Eric Hinske (news broke as article was published)

There is an abundance of talent the group above offers.

As I said a moment ago, it probably lacks the sexy/BITS (Butts In The Seats) factor that an Uggla or a Damon would have brought, but, all-around, it's solid.

Adding another bat would have likely made a J-Hey appearance, when the Braves finally decide to bring him up (be it April, June, or September), complicated and would have left the Braves with "too much" in certain positions.

This, on the other hand, opens up doors for the Braves' system to "show what it's got," if you will, and prep the organization for longer-term success (this is your cue J-Hey, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel).

And we really can't complain about the present-day yields this group promises to bring.

I count four or five legitimate 20-homer threats, about five .300 hitters, and a deep, talented bench.  But you know, Uggla would add a (slaps self) ...nevermind.

And with a staff of Hudson, Jurrjens, Hanson, Lowe, and Kawakami (in any order), and a bullpen anchored by Kris Medlen, Eric O'Flaherty, Peter Moylan, Takashi Saito, and Billy Wagner, it should be enough to make the Braves more than competitive in the NL East this coming season.

So, with that said, I'll recede into my "roster suggestion cave" until something juicy pops up that's worth discussing.

Knowing Frank Wren, though, (sarcasm coming in 3...2...1...) he may have a swap of Todd Redmond and Jo-Jo Reyes-for-Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols in his pocket ready to be taken out once the details are hammered out on Holliday's new mega-deal.

In all seriousness, though: Buzz Killington, as I said earlier, has struck in the Britt household following the expectations that I had set for the remaining part of the Braves' offseason.

But, the roster has shaken out pretty well even without that one name that would actually draw acclaim from the usually ignorant (ahem...Harold Reynolds) national sportscasters.

Say, what do you know?

The Braves signed lefty pinch-hit specialist Eric Hinske to shore up their bench.

You have to like the bit of depth this adds to the Braves...and the luck, as Hinske has been on three of the last three AL Champions (two of them, '07 Sox, '09 Yanks) won it  all.

Nice upgrade over Norton...all holes now appear to be filled (as far as "spots," go).

(Picture Credit: http://www.btobmagazine.com/Articles/2007/December/wren.html_label.jpg )

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