Though the World Series ended less than 48 hours ago, the offseason has officially started for the Atlanta Braves. On Sunday, the Braves acquired outfielder Sam Hilliard from Rockies in exchange for minor league pitcher Dylan Spain.
On the surface, this may seem to simply be a depth addition for the outfield. However, though Hilliard has struggled more than he has succeeded in the majors so far in his career, there also is a bit of intrigue in his overall profile. He has ranked in the 90th percentile or better of major leaguers in MAX EV, Sprint Speed, and arm strength for multiple seasons since 2019. He clearly is an athlete, and if he can potentially learn how to make somewhat consistent contact, there could be some upside that the Braves feel could help them in 2023 and beyond.
While it is far from a guarantee Hilliard turns into anything of significance, we do know that the Braves have had success getting value out of outfielders that struggled elsewhere. Perhaps they can do it once with Hilliard once he arrives in Atlanta next season.
- Here are the important dates to mark on your calendar when it comes to the Braves offseason. While not all of these dates may mean news, these typically are times over the next few months where moves could happen.
- Justyn-Henry Malloy went hitless in the AFL Fall Stars Game.
- Dansby Swanson, Kenley Jansen are the most notable Braves who have filed for free agency.
- As the eyes of baseball turn to 2023, the Braves initially have the third best odds to win the 2023 World Series.
- Brad Rowland and Eric Cole discuss the Hillard trade and the initial expectations for the offseason in the latest edition of the Battery Power Podcast.
- The Mets and closer Edwin Diaz agreed to the first major deal of the offseason, with Diaz staying in New York for the next five years and earning $102M.
- Mark Feinsand of MLB.com looks at the biggest opt-out decisions of the offseason that could make the free agency class even deeper.
- Former outfield slugger Matt Holliday will return to the Cardinals as their new bench coach.
- As mentioned above, many opt-out decisions could happen around baseball, and Carlos Rodon wasted little time electing free agency after his outstanding year with the Giants.
- In other roster moves, the Twins, White Sox, and Mets picked up the club options for Sonny Gray, Tim Anderson, and Daniel Vogelbach, respectively. Chris Bassitt declined his mutual option to become a free agent, while the Nationals declined the club option on Nelson Cruz, which also makes him a free agent.