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What if the Atlanta Braves off-season had gone as planned?

Every story about the Braves I read this off-season and every preview of the Braves starts off by saying, "this is the team that lost out on Jake Peavy, then John Smoltz, then A.J. Burnett, then Rafael Furcal." It kind of makes me sick, but I guess they have to talk about something before they tell everyone that we actually ended up with three starters and improved our team greatly, but was it as good as we could have done had everything gone the way we wanted it to?

I had an idea that it would be fun to see what our team would look like if all the things we lost out on this off-season were instead successful signings or trades. We'll look at the lineup and rotation and we'll have a poll to see what everyone thinks. Here are the moves the Braves could have made in this alternate universe where everything we tried worked out:

  • The Braves acquire Jake Peavy for Yunel Escobar, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Locke, and Blaine Boyer (there may be a different mix of people, but this is pretty much who the Padres wanted)
  • The Braves re-sign John Smoltz
  • The Braves sign A.J. Burnett to a multi-year contract worth a lot of money
  • The Braves sign Rafael Furcal to play shortstop
  • The Braves sign Ken Griffey Jr. to patrol left field

Those were the only moves we made that affect our starting lineup or rotation, that means no Lowe, no Vazquez, no Kawakami, no Anderson. Here's the difference:

Real lineup Could have been lineup
Jordan Schafer 1 Rafael Furcal
Yunel Escobar 2 Kelly Johnson
Chipper Jones 3 Chipper Jones
Garret Anderson 4 Ken Griffey Jr.
Brian McCann 5 Brian McCann
Jeff Francoeur 6 Jeff Francoeur
Casey Kotchman 7 Casey Kotchman
Kelly Johnson 8 Josh Anderson
Real rotation Could have been rotation
Derek Lowe 1 Jake Peavy
Javier Vazquez 2 A.J. Burnett
Jair Jurrjens 3 John Smoltz*
Kenshin Kawakami 4 Jair Jurrjens
Tom Glavine* 5 Tom Glavine*

*Keep in mind that both Smoltz and Glavine would not break camp with the team, so we'd have at least one month of Jo-Jo Reyes and/or Charlie Morton and/or Jorge Campillo penciled in to these spots.

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