I suppose it would be wrong to say that the hot stove is in full effect. We are still several weeks away from the winter meetings, but the signings and rumors really seam to be starting to get wheels. The allure of baseball's off season is like no other sport; with professional football, for example, a fan can take the summer to devote to other passions. Not so with baseball, it seems that a fan of a team (or the game) wants to keep up with their team and division year round. This year it seems that for Braves fans it going to be more of a matter of watching the other teams in the National League East than watching what Frank does.
Already this year the Phillies have signed Jonathan Papelbon to a 4 year 50 million dollar deal, and the Marlins have offered Jose Reyes a pretty large contract. I'm still not sure that Reyes will go to Miami, but if he does they will have a really good line up. Reyes, Ramerize, Stanton, Morrison, and Coglin would be tough for even Holliday and Lee to get through. This is not to mention the fact that they are also talking to Pojols this week. In regards to the Phillies signing Papelbon to handle the 9th inning duties; you have to believe that along with their starters, most teams will be happy to win a game 2-1. They certainly won’t get blown out often.
Of the two other teams in the league, I have to believe that the Nationals will do something radical. After last year’s Jason Worth deal nothing they do will surprise me. In fact I believe they have as good of chance at getting Albert Pojols as anyone except the Cardinals. With Strasburg coming back from Tommy John’s they look to be a solid team. As for, the Mets, well let’s just hope they get Jose Reyes signed before the Marlins.
The home team looks pretty solid as it is, with the exception of short stop. And after having 3 rookies finish in the top 2 in the Rookie of the Year balloting (Kimbrel, Freeman, and Heyward) over the last two seasons; I have to believe that if Frank goes with Tyler Pastornicky at the 6 position we will be good to go. My biggest concern for next year is can Frank find someone to fill in for Chipper on the days when he’s not good to go. I guess Prado could fill in at 3rd but then what about left, and what happens if we trade Prado? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. I biggest hope for the Atlanta off season is that Frank does not trade Jair Jurrjens. I really like that guy, he seems to enjoy playing the game for the sake of the game. There are not many guys that seem to enjoy playing as much as he does anymore, and that makes him all the more enjoyable to watch. Not to mention he is a hell of a pitcher.