The Atlanta Braves report to spring training this month with one goal on their mind — to find their mojo. Another chance at the World Series awaits if they can do so.
Despite losing Dansby Swanson this offseason, the Braves rank near the top of most analysts’ MLB Power Rankings, and for good reason. Atlanta improved this winter, especially with addition of Sean Murphy, one of the best catchers in baseball.
The majority of the core remains, although replacing Swanson in the clubhouse will not be easy. In back-to-back offseasons, Freddie Freeman and Swanson have left the franchise. Eventually, that sort of turnover will catch up with even the most talented of organizations. The Braves hope to stave off the grim reaper.
But Atlanta has a talented roster, headlined by a rotation featuring Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright. Their lineup — with Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies — offers one of the more promising 1-9’s in all of baseball.
Yet, there’s more the Braves can do to ensure the 2023 season ends in a World Series title.
Braves rumors: Trade for Willy Adames
Willy Adames is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, as his 10 OAA — a stat which is meant to track defensive range and outs saved — was sixth among shortstops in 2022.
The Brewers have maintained that Adames is not available this offseason. However, given this article previews the 2023 season, perhaps Milwaukee would reconsider at the trade deadline if they failed to reach certain expectations by late July. They do play in the same division as a rapidly-improving Cubs team, and the favored St. Louis Cardinals. If the Cards really do emerge as a World Series frontrunner in the National League, then the Brew Crew would be wise to consider any and all options on the table.
Adames is under contract through the 2025 offseason. He is affordable, as well, which makes him a perfect fit for Alex Anthopoulos, and an arguable upgrade from Dansby Swanson given his price point.
Adames slashed .238/.298/.458 with 31 home runs last year. His ideal fit in the Atlanta lineup would be in the No. 6 slot, or perhaps lower where he would provide more value as a power hitter. His .298 OBP was the lowest of his career in 2022, so odds are he will bounce back to some extent.
Acquiring a player like Adames will be expensive, and the Braves ranked 29th in the latest Keith Law farm system rankings. Surely, though, there is a trade to be made by this two sides. Atlanta just sent William Contreras to Milwaukee earlier this winter.