If the Braves, as they claim, think they can contend for the playoffs in 2017 why is Adonis Garcia atop the depth chart at 3B? Why are they trading Mallex and Shae Simmons for another prospect, and not a third baseman or catcher? Why trade them at all?
And why are they talking about bringing back Jeff Francoeur?
Why not pursue a trade for Yangervis Solarte, a much more productive option than Kelly Johnson or Aaron Hill (or Brandon Phillips, for that matter)? Or attempt to sign Jae-gyun Hwang, a Korean third baseman who could be the next Jung Ho Kang, minus the DUIs? He won’t cost much so, if he turns out to be ordinary, big loss. We already know Hill and KJ would be ordinary, at best.
The 2017 Braves’ ceiling was probably 81 wins. The Smith and Simmons trade dealt a blow to their depth, and they’ve failed to fix the black holes at 3B and behind the plate. Because of that, a .500 record is more likely a pipe dream than a reasonable goal. It’s a shame the front office isn’t aiming a little higher.