The Atlanta Braves have several important decisions to make this offseason regarding center fielder Michael Bourn and potential free agent Brian McCann, as well as having to figure out how to fill the void left by future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offers his take on what he believes the Braves should do this winter.
Their postseason lasted just one day, and the Braves enter the offseason with some high priorities: fill the void of retired icon Chipper Jones, decide what to do about banged-up recent franchise cornerstone Brian McCann, and determine whether to replace or overspend to keep free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn.
O’Brien thinks the club should pick up McCann’s $12 million team option for 2013 despite his season line of .230/.300/.399. While he believes Atlanta should retain McCann, O’Brien says the team needs to decide later whether or not to offer the catcher a multi-year extension.
Atlanta would have to "overspend" to keep Bourn, according to O’Brien, so it’s no surprise to see that he’d recommend letting the free agent walk and signing a cheaper alternative such as Angel Pagan.
Rather than look outside the organization for a replacement at third base, O’Brien thinks the superior option would be moving Martin Prado to the hot corner. He would then target a corner outfielder in trade (Josh Willingham) or through free agency (Cody Ross, Nick Swisher).