Much like the Phillies, the Braves were rebuilding last year. Though if you were a Mets fan it certainly didn’t seem that way. Games that I thought the Mets would win last season against the Braves were lost. And on the year as a whole the Braves went 10-9 against the Mets. Remarkable, that even in a year where the Mets had the advantage they still came up short against them. A phenomenon, that I have decided to call Larry’s Curse. (Larry aka Chipper Jones, famous Mets killer of the 90s)
It seems though that this season, the Braves are ready to start pulling out of their rebuilding phase and start making things a little more uncomfortable for the Mets and the Nationals in the NL East. Julio Teheran is the only ace in they’re rotation and it seems like they’re ready to start building around him. Sure they picked up some older guys like Dickey and Colon, but I’m assuming they’ll mostly be for bullpen use and a couple of spot starts if necessary. It’s no secret that the Braves have been showing interest in big market pitchers like Chris Sale, Sonny Gray, and even Chris Archer. Which if the Braves could swing picking up all three, along with Teheran, would be quiet a rotation for the rest of the NL East to deal with next season.
Obviously these pitchers won’t come cheap, but the Braves farm system is pretty spectacular right now so they can definitely afford trading away some of their young talent if they wanted to switch into a “win now” mode for next season. While most would assume the White Sox would want to hang on to their ace while they enter a rebuilding year of their own, they may find it in their best interest to benefit from some of that young talent the Braves are ready to trade away. Not to mention there was the fashion incident last season with Chris Sale, a pair of scissors, and the White Sox throwback jerseys that I’m sure the Sox would like to avoid a second time.
The White Sox will most likely be looking to pick up someone like Ozzie Albies, Rio Ruiz, or even a young pitching prospect from the Braves like Sean Newcomb or Mike Soroka. The Braves farm system has so much depth right now, that even trading away a few of these prospects won’t hurt them too bad. In return, they’ll have a much more solid rotation in place for 2017.
The Braves are a team that I love to hate. Out of all the NL rivalries I’ve witnessed so far, the Mets/Braves rivalry is always the best. A broadcaster on the MLB network once said “The NL East is more exciting when the Braves are good.” It’s true. The Braves are more fun when they’re the team to beat. Personally I’d be excited to see that rotation come the spring if they manage to pull off all the trades they’re looking for. Sale, Teheran, Gray, Archer, and I’m guessing Colon would get the final spot before Dickey, just due to the fact that he’s lost some of that knuckleball control these past few years. Either way, the Braves are getting ready to contend and that push to win the NL East isn’t about to get any easier for the Mets.