August 27, 2017

Playing Veterans Is Part of the Rebuilding Plan

The Braves have been in a rebuild mode since after the 2014 season.  Yet, they haven’t gone with young players on the major league roster.  They’ve been losing on the cheap with rather old players.  Are they trying to be cheap, wins be damned?  Did they actually think these aging veterans would make up a playoff team for them?

Hart and Coppololla have acquired a lot of short term, relatively cheap veterans for the purposes of filling a major league roster over the last couple of years while he waits for enough young talent develops. Did the Braves hope those players would perform well enough to, by some miracle, contend? Sure. But the front office’s primary goal was/is to get the organization in a position to bring up young and therefore cheap talent from within their system on a regular basis.

If any team doesn’t have enough talent in their own system, they are going to have to find enough good players elsewhere to contend, which is extremely difficult, even if the team has an unlimited budget (Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, etc.). There are only so many good players a team can buy in free agency. If a team doesn’t have the budget to buy a lot of good players, that makes things that much tougher. And a team can’t trade for good players without talent to give up.

The Braves had a nice core of talent when they let Frank Wren go but most of it was about to get expensive or walk away via free agency by the time the Braves fired Wren.  And they didn’t have the talent in the system to create a major league roster full of cheap, good talent. So, they had to trade away players with value to put themselves in a position to load up on cheap, young talent. The only way they could do that is by trading away some of the core pieces from the Wren era. That meant depleting the major league roster. Once they depleted the major league roster, they had to find place-holders while they waited a) to get enough young talent and b) for that talent to develop into major league players.

Right now, the Braves are just getting to the stage in which the young talent acquired immediately following the Wren era is starting to develop into big leaguers.  They’ve been filling the roster with past-their-primes veterans on the cheap in hopes that they can maintain some performance or find a second wind, but there was a purpose.  The Braves weren’t just being cheaper than most teams or delaying playing young players because they thought these cheap veterans would take them to the promised land.  They have been waiting for the young talent to be ready but they still have to field a major league team.  That explains the presence of veterans.  There is no nefarious plan for the Braves to be cheap at the expense of wins or to win with mediocre-to-bad veteran players.



One Response to “Playing Veterans Is Part of the Rebuilding Plan”

  1. 1
    Matt Says:

    I agree, I would add that leadership, tricks, composure, and unity. I understand on the cheap but wisdom to those young players is invaluable…my only wish would be to acquire or sign the veterans with more post season experience…

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