The days are short and my workload is long, so just for the sake of variety, here’s a new thread.
But, yes on Kimbrel, no on Keuchel, in one man’s opinion. Kimbrel probably signs a shorter-term deal than already envisioned, so what’s not to like there? But more importantly, it’s easier to find a spot for young pitchers deserving of opportunities in an 8-man pen vs. a 5-man rotation. And recent injury woes aside, our bullpen is much more medically volatile than our relief corps. You have a spot for Kimbrel right now. He shifts everybody down a rung, and the one who falls off the ladder is Sam Freeman or something.
I think the injury concerns have been overplayed because our GM doesn’t care about how you react, and they’re just shutting these guys down to be extra cautious. I could be wrong, but I’ve not heard anything yet that leads me to believe any of these injuries are serious, other than Soroka. Folty will not make the opening day start, but we’ve been told that he won’t actually miss a start. It seems the same thing with Gausman. So if Folty, Gausman, Teheran, and Newcomb are all healthy, then you just simply don’t have room for Keuchel, Wright, Touki, Fried, etc.
You could say that they could have traded Teheran, and you would be right. But the Braves clearly do not want to give up on Teheran yet. They could probably trade him and wash his salary, but they clearly want more than that. And no one, probably the Braves included, know what to make of this:
Everyone is wondering if he’s the 86-mph fastball pitcher or the 91-92 mph fastball pitcher. And if he’s somewhere in the low-90’s, they probably want to keep him, pay him his $11M and $12M over the next couple years, and enjoy some serious surplus value. Nothing wrong with that.
We are actually not that much different in roster approach than we were last year. We still don’t know who the majority of our young players truly are, and they don’t want to commit roster spots elsewhere while they try to figure out. But with Kimbrel, you don’t really have to do that. They should sign Craig Kimbrel. Bottom line.