Wrapping up players with one year deals to avoid arbitration may not be exciting news in some cities, but in Atlanta, well, we are starving for the slightest twitch of movement. It is a combination of frustration, anger, and anxiety. This time last year, it was also quite, but that was after trading for and signing Dan Uggla to an extension, as well as, shoring up a bench which was the ultimate cause of an early exit in 2010. These moves, coupled with what many considered overachievement in 2010 had Braves fans salivating for 2011.
Fast forward to August. Atlanta’s lead in the Wild Card had some ringing bells and paying more attention to races in other divisions. We all know how that story ends, but in the Braves defense, they did not stand a chance against the divine intervention that lead St Louis to the White House this week. That does nothing for the fans who call in to NFL shows do express anger over having to listen to Spring Training promos on sports radio.
All these fans can think about is a team that was “supposed” to challenge the hated Phillies for the division and beyond, but instead lost 20 out of their last 30 games. Somebody has to take the blame, something has to change, something… anything. Yes, it is human nature to want to make someone pay, and outside of Larry Parrish, that just hasn’t happened. Frank Wren and company appear to have made all the moves they are going to make, which to many is a lot of nothing. So, one year deals are big deals right now.
In the last week, Atlanta has avoided arbitration with Martin Prado, Eric O’Flaherty, Michael Bourn, and Jair Jurrjens. Yes, the Braves can still trade any of them, but are not likely to before pitchers and catchers report (in other words, don’t tweet me contract rules, I am well aware). Peter Moylan, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, signed for $1 million plus incentives. Wren seems to think the pieces are in place, and each of those pieces is better and more experienced this season. Frank, I hope you are right. It is bad enough having to talk fans off the ledge in the season appropriate sport. (see also Atlanta Falcons for an eerily similar story). I don’t have the patience to be a calming influence in two sports!