The Atlanta Braves stunned everyone by trading Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this offseason, leaving a desperate void in the outfield.
Atlanta filled that void Wednesday, by signing former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year deal. It is possibly a move that sets Atlanta up for more roster moves down the line. Outfielder Justin Upton’s contract is expiring at the end of this year, and it is likely he is gone after this season. It has been a frantic overhaul this season to Atlanta’s roster, as moves are being made for the future opening of a brand new stadium in the coming years. Also, it is no surprise this will be a rebuilding year for the Braves.
Is head coach Fredi Gonzalez on the hot seat? One has to assume after the team fired their hitting coach and general manager, that Fredi has to prove he is the man of the future. Markakis is a outstanding defense player to build around, , only committing 18 errors in his 9 nine-year career. He is also a two-time gold glove winner, and has averaged at least 10 home runs a season.
For a team that finished 17 games out of first place, and trading a fan favorite during the off-season, no one can say the Braves are not looking ahead to bigger and better things.