Atlanta Braves: A belated 2018 offseason wish-list

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Marcus Stroman
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Marcus Stroman /
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Atlanta Braves
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Costly SP: Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

Alex Anthopoulos’ ties to Toronto make this potential trade an interesting one. Marcus Stroman has three arbitration years left before he hits free agency, and when he does, he’ll likely command something close to $20 million a year. For that reason, his ability to be had at arbitration value for three more years makes him a costly trade target, but well worth it.

I see the Atlanta Braves giving up a package of Mike Foltynewicz, Kolby Allard, Joey Wentz, and Alex Jackson to acquire Stroman, and if it takes one more back-end prospect, Anfernee Seymour.

This is a lot to give up, but Marcus Stroman is absolutely worth it. He finished 2017 with a 3.09 ERA in 201.0 innings, finished 8th among AL Cy Young Award candidates, and was worth an astounding 6.0 WAR. That sounds like the type of player the Braves would be more than happy to shell out prospects for.

Moderately-Priced SP: Lance Lynn, Free Agent

Coming off of 2016 Tommy John surgery, Lance Lynn had a down-ish 2017 season (if you could even call it that), but that was expected. I’ve been saying for a while that this offseason will be the best thing for Lance Lynn’s full recovery from Tommy John, and the Atlanta Braves need to capitalize on the fact that he can potentially be had undervalue due to the recent operation.

Spotrac has Lynn’s market value at just under $17 million per year, but that doesn’t factor in the risk that comes with him coming off of Tommy John. Personally, I believe Lynn can be had on a three-year deal for somewhere between $14 million and $16 million per year, but could just as likely sign a one-year contract with a team to try and build his value.

Regardless of the length of a potential Lynn deal, the Braves need to extend him at least an offer. Even if the righty, entering his age-31 season, replicates his 2017 season in 2018, Atlanta would gladly accept a 3.43 ERA over 180+ innings for around $15 million.

Cheap SP: Jason Vargas, Free Agent

Through the end of June, Jason Vargas had a 2.22 ERA, but endured a rough patch from July through the end of the season, posting a 6.66 ERA from the start of July through the end of the regular season, finishing the year with a 4.16 ERA.

The Braves won’t get much if they opt to sign a cheap starting pitcher, but Vargas may be as good as it gets for $10 million or less. I see him getting between $8 million and $10 million, but no more than that. Vargas’ rough stretch to close out the season makes him extremely affordable, and the dominance he showed through his first 16 starts just might make him worth the risk.