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The Atlanta Braves have signed a one-year deal with pitcher Drew Smyly while the Yankees gave the same deal to Corey Kluber. Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci shares the recent history of this type of transaction – a deal that can feel a bit like a roll of the dice. Verducci shares some of the past one-year deals that paid off and others that fell short of expectations.
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There was a lot of excitement for the Atlanta Braves in the early going of this offseason when they signed Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton for a combined $26 million.
And honestly, that was exactly what the Braves needed — a couple of veterans to help stabilize the rotation and add depth.
But now looking at what the San Diego Padres have done in acquiring Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, you can’t help but wonder if Alex Anthopoulos pulled the trigger too soon.
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I know his m.o. as GM for the Braves has been to go after the guys he wants early, and that’s exactly what he did with Smyly and Morton.
However, with the weirdness of this offseason, it might have been best to see how things were going to play out.
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I’m not sure if at that time we knew starters like Snell, Darvish, and Sonny Gray would be available in trades.
We have to also keep in mind that AA has preferred free-agent signings rather than making big trades, and I don’t know that the Braves could have matched what the Padres gave up for Snell or Darvish — especially Snell.
As I keep saying over-and-over again, the farm system for Atlanta is very thin in the lower levels.
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But I think if you ask most Braves fans if they’d rather have acquired Snell and Darvish or Morton and Smyly this offseason, the answer would have been obvious.
Especially when you consider the team control both Darvish and Snell have at a reasonable cost — they’ll both combine to make $33.1 million in 2021.
Again, there is no guarantee the Braves could have gotten those guys, but we kind of took ourselves out of the race early by signing Smyly and Morton.
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NEXT: Padres Moving Fast, Can ATL Keep Up?
I’m still very happy and confident in the starting rotation we have, but I hope we don’t look back on this offseason and wonder what could have been if AA had been a little more patient.
After weeks of inactivity, the MLB offseason is finally starting to show some life. The Atlanta Braves struck early this winter with the additions of Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly, but have essentially remained quiet since. That may be about to change as the position player market has started to move in recent days. Rumors are at least beginning to circle.
FanSided’s Robert Murray reports that the Braves are among the teams that have expressed interest in free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto.
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Braves circling on free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to league sources. Other teams on the west coast are expressing interest.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 21, 2021
The Phillies have reportedly offered Realmuto a deal in excess of $100 million so it is still hard not to see them as the front runner currently. Atlanta is also notoriously tight lipped when it comes to conducting free agent business so that is worth considering with this report. It feels like this might be out there in an attempt to spur the Phillies to up their offer, but lets allow ourselves to dream for the moment.
Pairing Realmuto with Travis d’Aranud would give the Braves the best catching tandem in the league. You could essentially play both every day if the DH does remain in the National League. Realmuto has also spent some time at first base and could potentially spell Freddie Freeman there on occasion. It could work, but I am going to stop short of fully believing it.