After a quiet start, the Braves made a fascinating play to lock up multiple young stars, then reacted boldly when two top pitchers were lost to their second UCL tears.
Major League Signings
- Freddie Freeman, 1B. Eight years, $135MM.
- Andrelton Simmons, SS. Seven years, $58MM.
- Craig Kimbrel, RHP. Four years, $42MM.
- Julio Teheran, RHP. Six years, $32.4MM. Club option for 2020.
- Jason Heyward, OF. Two years, $13.3MM. (No team control added.)
Otherwise, the major concerns for Atlanta are those that the team expected to face going into the year. Will high-dollar veterans B.J. Upton (center field) and Dan Uggla (second base) do enough to justify regular roles, if not their contracts? If not, the team may be forced to turn to other, far-from-certain options (such as Jordan Schafer and Tommy La Stella) to supplement or replace those veterans. Will the Gattis/Laird combination behind the dish be serviceable over a full season, and/or can Bethancourt force his way into the bigs? And can Chris Johnson approximate his surprising 2013 at third?