Braves May Have $45MM To Spend

TUESDAY: Dave O’Brien rattles off a few more pitchers of interest for the Braves: Matt Cain, Ryan Dempster, and Brad Penny.

MONDAY: In our Braves Offseason Outlook, we suggested the Braves might have $40MM to spend this winter even if they hold payroll steady.  Instead, GM Frank Wren revealed today that payroll will increase beyond last year’s $102.4MM.’s Mark Bowman estimates Wren will have $45MM to work with.

As you know, the Braves intend to add two veteran starters as well as a slugging outfielder.  They’ll also attempt to re-sign John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Mike Hampton.  We covered this in the outlook, but it seems the Braves will sign one of Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett.  They could complement that signing by inking a Japanese pitcher (or just a Paul Byrd type), and then survey the robust free agent market for left fielders.  The Braves will monitor the trade market, but their top prospects are not available.

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