This comes as no surprise: Braves not spending in free agency

Braves general manager John Coppolella's primary focus has been reducing the team's payroll and adding prospects, not signing big free agents. (AP photo)

Braves general manager John Coppolella’s primary focus has been reducing the team’s payroll and adding prospects, not signing big free agents. (AP photo)

These have been the top spenders during baseball’s free agency period (according to the computations of Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who I trust is good in math). I’ve also included each team’s major signings, in the aftermath of Detroit’s stunning six-year, $$132.75 million contract for Justin Upton.

• Chicago Cubs: $276.25 million. Big deals: Outfielder Jason Heyward (8 years, $184 million); infielder Ben Zobrist (4 years, $56 million); pitcher John Lackey (2 years, $32 million).

• Detroit: $272.25 million. Big deals: Outfielder Justin Upton (6 years, $132.75 million); pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (5 years, $110 million).

• San Francisco: $272.25 million. Big deals: Pitcher Johnny Cueto (6 years, $130 million); pitcher Jeff Samardzija (5 years, $90 million); outfielder Denard Span (3 years, $31 million).

• Boston: $230 million. Big deals: Pitcher David Price (7 years, $217 million).

• Baltimore: $214.8 million. Big deals: First baseman Chris Davis (7 years, $161 million); pitcher Darren O’Day (4 years, $31 million).

• Arizona: $206.5 million. Big deals: Pitcher Zach Grienke (6 years, $206.5 million).

• Kansas City: $178.5 million. Big deals: Outfielder Alex Gordon (4 years, $72 million); pitcher Ian Kennedy (5 years, $70 million); pitcher Joakim Soria (3 years, $25 million).

Here’s what the Braves have done in major league free agency, according to Spotrac, one of many websites tracking these things:

Braves: 7 players for deals totaling $18.4 million.  Little deals: Catcher Tyler Flowers (2 years, $5.3 million); catcher A.J. Pierzynski (1 year, $3 million); pitcher Jim Johnson (1 year, $2.5 million); pitcher Bud Norris (1 year, $2.5 million); second baseman Kelly Johnson (1 year, $2 million); pitcher Alexi Ogando (1 year, $2 million); pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (1 year, $1.1 million).

Braves general manager John Coppolella told me Tuesday he had “interest” in “one or two” of the major free agents on the market. Rosenthal reported the Braves had interest in bringing back Upton. But there’s a big difference between a team having interest and being willing to extend itself financially.

The Braves have been burned by big deals in the past. Should we take this to mean they won’t be aggressive in the free agent market ever again, or at least in the near future?

I asked Coppolella that question. His response can be found in the full column on MyAJC.com, which is linked here.

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8 comments
Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Most of the comments about this column must be by people who have only became Braves Fans during the 14 year division championship run. I am not a fan of Liberty Media ,but some of you here must not remember most of the first decade of Ted Turner's ownership of the Braves, one division title to go along with several 95 to 100 loss seasons. The Braves under Liberty Media have been at least until last year ,division or at least wildcard contenders the majority of the time. The Front Office is in year two of a major rebuild from the players on the field to scouting and player development. And by the comments here, if the Braves are not pursuing over priced free agents they are just content on making marginal profits while intentionally putting an inferior MLB product on the field. 2016 will likely be another repeat of 2015 , especially because of it being the last year at the TED. The Front office will likely continue to shop the veteran players left on roster for prospects and more payroll reduction. 

So the doom and gloom segment of the Braves fan base will have a banner year for being critical of every move made by the Braves since the end of the 2014 season. And I will likely make my share of critical comments too. But as a fan of the Braves since they came to Atlanta ,I can hope that the Braves are closer to becoming the 1991 Braves rather than the 1985 to 1989 Braves.



FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@Buschleaguer  Hope is fine but with this ownership and FO they have given us very little to hope for -- its all about running the team on the cheap and they could care less about anything else.  This is a third rate product and the system is not as good as the rose colored glasses crowd thinks. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@VeryDisgusted @Buschleaguer

I remember the late 80's under the Turner ownership and the 95 to 100 loss seasons,if you want to talk about a third rate product. Things started to improve when Cox was brought in as GM and then the division Dynasty was formed when Schuerholz was brought in as GM and Cox became the field manager. I am willing to give the new GM a year or two to develop the prospects and then be in position to add some FA talent to  be able to contend. 

unbridled
unbridled

The Braves are irrelevant as a major league baseball team, in the off season and regular season.  Liberty is making money, by not putting a major league product on the field.  The only thing "major league" about the Braves is their ball park prices.  My hope is that they set a record for lowest home attendance in the history of MLB.

Big Wally
Big Wally

This team is in permanent tank mode.  Will go cheap from here on.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

Of course they will not spend because they never INtend to CONtend again. At least not with this owner and clown car management. What good would having a pricey free agent do when he would be playing with a bunch of prospects? I don't care how highly "regarded" these are either. There are a lot of pretty highly "regarded" guys out there that will not sniff MLB. And this club is not sniffing the playoffs any yeart soon unless the field is expanded to 20 teams...

FrankieB
FrankieB

Yes, they won't be aggressive in the free agent market ever again as long as we're owned by Liberty Media.