Don’t you dare tell me to be happy!
Don’t you dare tell me not to be happy!
These 2 statements essentially capture the essence of Braves Twitter. There are those that love Nick Markakis and everything he stands for: a quiet, good (not great) professional that leads by example. Then there are those that expected more, never really got behind Nick even during his 2018 breakout,
and are hacked off that he’s likely to start in RF in 2019.
Then there are the more logical people that find themselves in category 3… where, in my opinion, all Braves fans should subside. It’s such a simple concept that of course I tweeted about it:
3 types of #Braves fans right now:
1. Excited about Kakes being back
2. Upset about Kakes being back
3. Fine with Kakes being back if it truly means what AA is saying and $ will be spent/trades made that will make team better.
I’m 3 with potential to be 2 should 3 not occur.
— Ryan Cothran (@baldheaded1der) January 23, 2019
Ways to Improve the 2019 Atlanta Braves
Make no mistake that adding Markakis back to the OF plans greatly decreases what could’ve been the OF potential on its face, but maybe it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Opening Day’s OF will be Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte, and Nick Markakis. In fact, I’d wager a small sum that the OF tinkering isn’t done. So, my first step in improving the 2019 Atlanta Braves.
I’ve been talking about this a while and I think it still holds water. Ender is a glove first player that’s playing in a position in which the Braves already have a very capable CFer in Acuna. In fact, many attest to the same thing
I see and Acuna is nearly Ender’s equivalent in CF and has trouble gauging the depth of the ball from the corners. Move Acuna to CF and grab one of the above to play a corner and it’s an instant upgrade without losing much defense.
I like what the Cincinnati Reds did with Sonny Gray in that they negotiated a window for extension talks with the Yankees. If I’m the Braves, I’d send a bit more over if the Marlins would allow the same. Grabbing both guys above would cost a lot, but if Realmuto agreed to a 2-3 year extension upon arrival, the cost wouldn’t hurt as bad. My package for the above would be Luiz Gohara, Austin Riley, and Ender Inciarte.
There’s an argument to be made that acquiring a front-line starter should be the Braves priority, but I don’t see it like that. There could be a front-line starter in this system in the form of Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint, or Ian Anderson, and to take innings away from them at such an important time of developing and adapting would harm the system more than hurt. If the time comes at the trade deadline where the Braves still see a need for that starter to push them over the top, then that is the time to pivot resources.
Thanks for reading!