Had the Braves not made the Olivera trade with the Dodgers, they’d have:
A.) More money;
B.) Room for another OF;
C.) A better second baseman than Jace Peterson;
D.) A better #2 starter than Bud Norris.
According to multiple sources, the Braves’ pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes is hamstrung by limited resources — even though payroll presently stands about $30 million lower than last year’s — and too many outfielders. That’s because they’ve apparently abandoned any notion of Olivera playing third base, which leads one to wonder where Mallex Smith fits once he’s ready.
Cespedes is streaky like Justin Upton but won’t cost a draft pick. He’s far from ideal, but with next year’s porous free agent market, and right-handed power hard to come by, you could do a lot worse.
This wouldn’t be a bad line-up:
Inciarte, Aybar, Freeman, Cespedes, Markakis, Garcia, Pierzynski, Peraza
Especially when compared to this:
Inciarte, Aybar, Freeman, Olivera, Markakis, Garcia, Pierzynski, Peterson