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Grading the Braves' unexpected offseason

How did Frank Wren and the front office do this winter?

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

A month ago, the Braves basically had the same roster they have today.

Only Mat Gamel, a guy who was fighting for the 25th spot on the 25-man roster, is no longer with the team.

But over that last month, almost everything has changed in Atlanta.

Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran, Craig Kimbrel and Andrelton Simmons all received contract extensions. With the exception of Heyward, who could still sign a long-term deal sometime in the next 18 months, everyone from that group will be in Atlanta Cobb County until at least the end of 2017.

Freeman's eight-year deal was the only true contract extension, buying out three years of arbitration and five years of free agency. It came at a steep price of $135 million, but most felt it was money well-spent.

The deals for Teheran (six years + an option), Kimbrel (four years + an option) and Simmons (seven years) made sense financially as the club got some cost certainty heading into their new ballpark in 2017, though they only bought out one or two years of free agency on each guy.

But even with the extensions not acting as true long-term extensions, the entire outlook for the Braves' future had changed.

Outside of locking up the young core, Frank Wren did not do too much. He acquired Ryan Doumit to hopefully be a weapon off the bench, and he signed Gavin Floyd as insurance for the rotation when someone inevitably gets hurt in July or August.

We do not know the full story, but it sounds like the Braves never worked too hard to keep Brian McCann and Tim Hudson from leaving. Both players will be missed, but with younger, cheaper, (and potentially better) options already laying around, it only made sense to let them walk.

All of this is to say, there was a whole lot to like this offseason, and little risk was taken on. Wren deserves an 'B+' for his work the last few months.

What are your thoughts on the offseason? With the first spring training game on Wednesday, it seems unlikely the Braves will do much more before the season starts. Be sure to vote in our poll below!

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