Additional Atlanta Braves Info
The Atlanta Braves shook off an offseason scandal from a year ago that led to the permanent ban of their now former GM. They won the National League East last season, finishing with 90 wins. In the postseason, they bowed out very quickly, which was expected. They wound up losing to the Dodgers in four games in the NLDS.
To get the offseason going, the Braves began by bringing back an old friend, catcher Brian McCann, who spent his best years in Atlanta from 2005-2013. This is a talented young Braves team, and McCann has played in a lot of big games, so this is very much about experience. They also added third basemen Josh Donaldson on a “pillow” contract, to the tune of one year and 23 million. They brought back another old friend on left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, to see if he can find that intense fastball again, back where it all started. In January they settled arbitration with infielder Charlie Culberson, outfielder Adam Duvall, left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman and right-handed pitchers Mike Foltynewicz, Kevin Gausman, Arodys Vizcaino and Dan Winkler. Next, they brought back outfielder Nick Markakis on a one-year contract. They finished their offseason with a bunch of minor league deals for the likes of infielders Sean Kazmar, Luis Marte, Andres Blanco, and Pedro Florimon.The Braves have risen to the top of this division, and plan on staying there for a while.
Even though the team has moved a few times, the Atlanta Braves are one of the oldest teams in baseball.
The Braves were originally known as the Boston Red Stockings when they were founded in 1871. During their time in Boston, they were known as the Red Stockings, Red Caps, “Bean eaters,” Doves, Rustlers, Braves, Bees, and then finally the Braves again in 1941.
They played in South End Grounds, Congress Street Grounds, Fenway Park, and Braves Field. In 1953 the Braves moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin, where they were known as the Milwaukee Braves from 1953-1965. They played in Milwaukee County Stadium during their time in Milwaukee, and won the 1957 World Series.
The 1957 Atlanta Braves roster had some of the greatest players in baseball history on it. Eddie Matthews, Hank Aaron, and Warren Spahn, who might be the greatest left-handed pitcher who ever lived were all on that team. In 1966 they moved to Atlanta where they played in Fulton County Stadium through the 1996 season before moving into Turner Field in 1997. The list of accomplishments for this franchise throughout their history could fill an entire book. Three World Series championships, 17 National League pennants, and 13 National League East Division championships.
What an interesting couple of years it has been for the Atlanta Braves. About a year ago this time, they were heralded as one of baseball’s next great young teams to break through. They had a talented young roster, led by former first overall pick Dansby Swanson, who came to the Braves in the Shelby Miller trade from the Diamondbacks two years ago. The Braves were projected to possibly sneak into a Wild Card spot. They got nowhere close, finishing with 72 wins. So what happened?
Of all these great young shortstops across the game, Swanson is, or was, supposed to be the best of the bunch. Wouldn’t you know it, out of all of them, Swanson is the one who comes up and falls flat on his face? 2017 was a nightmare for the former Vanderbilt star, as he batted just .232 with an OPS of just .636 in his rookie campaign. Swanson has followed up his poor 2017 with an even worse 2018 Spring Training. He might be headed for another demotion back down to Triple-A, and the clock could start to tick soon. Swanson’s poor rookie campaign wasn’t the only issue. Now former GM John Coppolella was banned for life for illegally manipulating the contracts of the Braves international free agent signings from 2015-2017. In addition, 13 of the Braves minor league players were declared free agents as a result of the punishment. This organization has their work cut out for them if they want to stay away from falling back into the cellar.
The Braves went through a rebuilding stage during the late 2000’s but have come back with a vengeance. This comeback has been built on the strength of successful drafts which produced players such as Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel.
Since they have been so good for so long, and have dominated the National League East for the past two decades, there is not one rival who really stands out. There have been times where the Mets have given them issues though. The next time the Mets and Braves meet this season won’t be until Sunday, June 30th. As of this moment, the Braves biggest rival is the Washington Nationals. Many people believe that the Nationals have a better team than the Braves, but the Braves have better management and coaching. Overall, this Braves team is a good, exciting, up and coming team in which you will get your money’s worth.
2015 was year 140 for the Braves franchise. This would be a new season with a new general manager. John Hart signed to a three year deal.
The Braves shed 21 players that were on the roster last year, and added 29 players via trades and
free agent acquisitions. The Braves shed their hitting coach, third base coach, and their assistant hitting coach. The starting line up
on opening day was Eric Young Jr., Jace Peterson, Nick Markakis, Freddie Freeman, Christian Bethancourt, Kelly Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran.
What was the outcome at the end of the 2015 season? Sadly, the Braves finished the season 23 games back from first place, with a record of 67-95. That's record is
actually twelve games worse than the 2014 season. The Braves have work to do if they want to contend in 2016
2015 went exactly as the Atlanta Braves expected. They finished the season 67-95, good for fourth place in the National League East, and the third worst record overall in the National League last season. The plan this offseason for the Braves was to continue to do what they have been doing and the offseason was a quiet one for the club. They made some low risk signings that most rebuilding teams make. Catchers Tyler Flowers and A.J. Pierzynski,starting pitcher Bud Norris, relief pitcher and former All-Star closer Jim Johnson, as well as infielders Kelly Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, and Gordon Beckham. The biggest moves they made this offseason were trading shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, who according to advanced analytical numbers is the greatest defensive baseball player in history, and starting pitcher Shelby Miller to the Diamondbacks.
2016 has gone exactly as was expected for the Braves as well. They currently sit at 43-70, good for last place in the National League East, 23.5 games back of the first place Nationals, and the worst record overall in baseball. At the trade deadline, the Braves made a very head scratching move acquiring Matt Kemp and his bad contract from the San Diego Padres. Of course, they got rid of a player they didn't want any longer in Hector Olivera, but still, this was a bizarre move for a team in a rebuild. Of course though, this rebuild has been strange. Some people are wondering if John Hart is getting a little too cute with this.
The Atlanta Braves, by pure win-loss record alone, had a very rough 2016. They finished the season with just 68 victories, good for last place in the National League East, and a three-way tie for the worst record overall in the National League. However, many of their young players showed promise, and they enter this season, as baseball's next hot young team. This off season, they wanted to buy some time for their super-talented young pitchers who are not quite major league ready. They signed two pitchers, both over 40-years-old, to fill the void of veteran players. First, they signed Bartolo Colon, who on a funnier note, made his major league debut before the Braves opened Turner Field, their previous home. Yes, his career has outlasted a stadium. Second, they signed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as well. In other off-season news for the Braves, they signed “super-utility” man Sean Rodriguez to a two year contract, but of course he had that horrible car accident which may have ended his career. They also extended their “second-best” young player, outfielder Ender Inciarte two a five-year extension. In addition they signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a one year contract and pitcher Kris Medlen to a minor-league contract. This hot young Braves team has nowhere to go but up.