Last week, we polled SB Nation Reacts voters on whether or not the Atlanta Braves did enough this past offseason to remain a World Series contender. Fifty three percent of the voters responded that Atlanta had done enough.
While I understand the thinking, that number seems a bit low to me. Sean Murphy trade kind of came out of nowhere in that no one really expected Atlanta to add to what was already a good situation at catcher. However, I do think that a lot of people are underrating how big of a move that really is and what kind of impact Murphy will have on the team over the next few seasons.
Atlanta does have two glaring question marks at shortstop and left field entering the spring. Thus far they have opted to turn to internal options to replace Dansby Swanson and appear ready to give Vaughn Grissom every opportunity to win the job. Time will tell how that turns out, but realistically speaking, there was little chance that the Braves were ever going to be in on any of the other big free agent shortstops.
Left field is a trickier situation because the Braves actually could have used an upgrade there. However, given the money owed to Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario, it isn’t surprising that they are going to give both an opportunity to recoup some value. Let’s also be clear, that it isn’t a good feeling hearing Ozuna’s name mentioned as an option for left field, but here we are.
Alex Anthopoulos may still end up having to address shortstop, left field or even both at some point this season. No roster is perfect and it is unreasonable to expect a team to have an All-Star caliber player at every position. The Braves are a tax payer for the first time in a long time and much of that is a result of the many extensions they have handed out recently to players that they view as part of the core going forward. Given that situation, it was reasonable to expect a less active offseason simply because there were fewer needs to fill.