I have a one-year solution to one great problem to have…and one potential problem you want no part of!
Great problem: the Braves will at least begin the season with too many decent to above-average options in the starting rotation.
Potential problem: the closer is supposed to be Jim Johnson, and he very well may be the closer this entire season. BUT…
I think this is, yet again, a showcase situation for a 33-year-old guy who’s been released three times in the past four seasons (not an absolute commentary on him, but an indication of wild ups and downs) and who the Braves dealt out $10 million to for this season and next. If all is right with Johnson for April, May and June, and most of July?, he’s a trade piece and it would be a grand move again for Coppy. But if it’s not, if he really IS supposed to be your closer till someone else emerges, one of the YUGE pile of young, live arms the Braves have, I have a candidate to go ahead and emerge this month and next: Folty.
He’s always had closer sorta stuff, it frees up starts for another of the young guys if one of them puts together a strong spring and he would otherwise be shipped to Gwinnett and there’s a very fair chance that Folty could move back to the rotation if, as I expect, the 1-year vets in the rotation are actually just there to become trade chips after the break. Plus, Folty might simply be a better closer than Jim Johnson. And if the goal really is to compete this season then the job goes to the best player at every position.
Co-Host “Chuck & Chernoff”
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