2017 as a whole began with promise for the Atlanta Braves and then transitioned into one of the darkest times the franchise has ever faced. It has truly been a roller coaster ride. We opened a new stadium, had another entertaining draft, somehow reached the .500 mark in mid-July to finally John Coppolella’s abrupt resignation and the painful MLB investigation that followed.
It certainly can’t be said that 2017 was boring for fans of the Atlanta Braves.
Looking at the list below tells me several things. You guys love your prospects. You also love trade rumors, the MLB Draft and you are ready for this rebuild to be over.
A huge thank you to everyone who visited the site in 2017 and we hope that you will be sticking around for many years to come.
Probably the first mention of the Braves and Royals free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas. MLB Trade Rumors predicted in their annual Top 50 free agents article that Atlanta would sign Moustakas to a five-year, $85 million contract. Thankfully that hasn’t happened and the market in general around most of the big name free agents has been cool to this point overall.
Scott Coleman asks what has become a reoccurring question in Atlanta. Who will play third base in 2018 and beyond? The answer still isn’t clear but if the season began today it looks like it would be some combination of Johan Camargo and Rio Ruiz.
We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of this trade and it caught many in Atlanta off guard. The Braves packaged Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons to the Mariners in exchange for pitchers Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. Seattle then flipped Smith to Tampa Bay in another deal. Smith appeared in 81 games for the Rays in 2017 and hit .270/.329/.355. Gohara was a September addition to Atlanta’s roster and could be a key piece of the rotation in 2018.
The Braves’ minor league system has given the fan base a glimmer of hope over the last few years but here Eric Cole reminds everyone that they shouldn’t get too attached. New GM Alex Anthopoulos has taken a patient approach so far but at some point he will no doubt use assets in the farm system to plug holes on the major league roster.
I’m not even sure this was a real “rumor” but it sure had a lot of people interested. If the Yankees really do make Frazier available I am sure that the Braves and many other teams would be interested.
The Braves acquired Matt Adams to help plug a hole at first base after Freddie Freeman was lost to a broken wrist. Adams filled in admirably and at this point had reportedly drawn interest from several clubs around the league. The Braves however elected to hold on to him and that ultimately didn’t work out in their favor.
Scott asks a good question here and we are still waiting for the answer. Did I mention how quiet this offseason has been beyond the Matt Kemp trade?
John Coppolella’s abrupt resignation the day after the regular season ended remains the most shocking event of the year. In wake of that announcement, we learned that special assistant Gordon Blakeley was also resigning and that the team was being investigated by Major League Baseball for rules violations in international market. Those violations would eventually lead to the Braves losing 12 players including prized prospect Kevin Maitan.
When news broke that the Braves were sending Matt Kemp to the Dodgers in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Charlie Culberson, it left many fans scratching their heads. Dillon Cloud put the pieces together here and points out that the biggest benefit from the trade was the Braves putting themselves in position to be a major player in free agency next offseason.
By far are most popular post of the year was Garrett Spain’s 2017 Draft pick signing tracker. Talking Chop readers have proven over and over that they love the draft and their prospects.