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George_Foreman wrote:With Arthur Blank willing to open up the pocket book a bit more, the Braves will try for their 18th strait division title. Although John Smoltz has long since retired, Tim Hudson and Kyle Davies anchor a strong if not dominant. Chipper and Andruw are still around, and while everyone knows Andruw has lost a few steps, Cox leaves him in Center instead of moving him to Left. In the off-season Chipper has finally agreed to move to 1B after nagging injuries convinced him that it was the best place for him, allowing Atlanta to trade all-star 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Devil Rays for Carl Crawford. Crawford later signed a 5-year extention guaranteeing the Braves strong defense from the corner OF positions for many years to come. Eric Cambell and Elvis Andrus give the Braves strong offense from the left side of the IF, and Jeff Francoeur has developed into a reliable (if streaky) .280/30 hitter in Right, while Brian McCann is in the running for his 4th strait selection to the all-star game. Joey Devine is widely considered the best closer in the NL East, and with veterans Macay McBride and Blaine Boyer setting up, the bullpen is a strength.
While prognosticators pick the Mets (after they signed Manny Ramirez to a 4-year deal in the off-season) and the Marlins (who took the wild card in 2008) to finish ahead of the Braves, Atlanta will look to prove them incorrect yet again.
[editor's note: I apologize for any flubbing of tenses that occured in the making of this post. ]
Yeah, it doesn't make as much sense if he's playing 1B. Saltalamacchia is the best C prospect in the majors, but he's blocked by Brian McCann (the 3-time all star I mentioned earlier. ) I think he's got the defensive skills to play C in the majors, but my theory is that the Braves will trade him since they've already got McCann. The Braves will need a LF and the Rays, while strong in the OF, need a C. I figured Crawford was a reasonable exchange. When Salty is a 25 HR per year C, he'll be worth Crawford, but if he's at 1B, it won't make as much sense....pokeyjoe wrote: ... ! "...allowing Atlanta to trade all-star 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Devil Rays for Carl Crawford." Who? Jarrod...what? I'm not saying the Braves won't be fairly good in a few years, but...
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