If the Atlanta Braves want to win the National League, they must make these three moves.
The Atlanta Braves are running out of time to make some more noise during MLB free agency.
Atlanta is coming off its best season since 2001. They were one win away from getting back to the World Series for the first time since 1999. As one of the handful of teams that can win the NL pennant, the Braves must be all-in on trying to win the Senior Circuit crown this year. However, Braves Country has grown frustrated over the lack of high-profile moves made this offseason.
3 moves Braves must make ahead of Opening Day
3. Re-solidify bullpen by bringing back familiar faces
Not that long ago, the bullpen was a weakness for the Braves. Fortunately, general manager Alex Anthopoulos fixed it on the fly ahead of the 2019 MLB trade deadline. He added guys such as Shane Greene, Cody Martin and Mark Melancon. All three men played big roles for the club in the last year and change. Greene and Melancon remained unsigned into the early days of February.
While Greene and Melancon are no spring chickens, Atlanta cannot afford to blow a golden opportunity at winning a World Series because Liberty Media went cheap and decided a leaky bullpen was an acceptable option. Though Greene and Melancon may have to be year-to-year at this point, they have done enough to earn second contracts with this National League contender.
Veteran right-hander Darren O’Day is a free agent, but he will be entering his age-38 season. Greene will be entering his age-32 season, while Melancon is entering his age-36 season. Though it is understandable that you do not want to go for broke and spend all your money on a depreciating asset, not bringing back any of them seriously eats at what was a strength for this Atlanta team.
Ultimately, there will be guys in the 20s who will step up in big spots to fill some of the holes left by these potential relief-pitching vacancies. Getting a tad more out of the starting rotation would be a big plus as well. However, Atlanta knows what they are getting in Greene, O’Day and Melancon. It is better to bet on them again than to spend money on an unknown commodity.