The 2012 offseason was an extremely busy one for almost all members of the National League East. The Marlins shocked the world again and again, until eventually baseball followers expected them to sign Albert Pujols AND Prince Fielder. It got pretty crazy.
Then the Nationals got in on the action, trading for Gio Gonzalez to add to an already formidable rotation including Jordan Zimmerman and the most highly anticipated pitching prospect in years, possibly baseball history, Stephen Strasburg. Add to that, the Nats have Bryce Harper, the “Chosen Son” tearing through the Minors on the way up to the Bigs.
The Phillies, the number one team in the National League, signed the biggest named closer on the market in Jonathan Papelbon to shore up a somewhat shaky bullpen in hopes of helping finish off games for the, most likely, best rotation in baseball.
The Mets watched Jose Reyes walk while they traded once heralded prospect Angel Pagan to the San Fran Giants for similar cases in Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez in the hopes that a trip to the Big Apple can spark the speedy Torres.
Meanwhile, the Braves offseason, in comparison, has been silent. Their biggest moves have been non-moves in watching several cash wasting players walk. The fans are desperate for a move, something in retaliation to the East frenzy.
What’d they get?
A resigning of Jack Wilson to a one year, 1 million dollar contract. And the sarcasm began…
“Braves been quiet all offseason, and this is what they muster? LAME”
What people don’t understand is that we don’t need to overhaul our roster. I want a move as much as the next Braves fan, but the major moves we needed were taken care of through the process of addition by subtraction (see: Derek Lowe, Nate McLouth). We were an extremely solid team until the final month of the season, and this with extremely poor seasons (relatively) from our 2010 MVP and Rookie of the Year. If they (Prado and Heyward for those still confused) even remotely come back and return to form, we’re an easy 90+ win team.
The average fan sees all the moves of our opponents and wants an immediate major response. But think about it. For both this next year and the future, what big trade or move would actually benefit the Braves? The Nats are another year away. The Marlins on the other hand, are going for it all this year. And then, after the season, they will follow the pattern they have set themselves before and completely dismantle their team (see 1997, 2003).
The Braves have a lineup of (prediction) Bourn, Prado, McCann, Uggla, Jones, Freeman, Heyward, Pastornicky and a rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens (for now), Beachy, and Minor, with several young studs ready to step into the roatation on a moments notice, to go along with the best bullpen in the Major Leagues. Where’s the hole? What move do you want to make?
The fact is, the Braves have an extremely solid team. We aren’t the flashiest. We aren’t the richest. But we ARE extremely good. With a very good possibility to be great. Not only for this year, but for years to come.
I’ve got more to say but this is definitely long enough, especially for my first entry. I’ll be back!