Braves Offseason Rumor Mill

After another postseason failure, the Braves have yet another offseason to reflect on the changes the team must make to make another run for the pennant in 2004. With Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez, and Greg Maddux Free Agents this offseason is truly a crossroads that could determine the direction the Braves take for many years to come.


Click Players' Name for Rumor Information:
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Javy Lopez
  • Greg Maddux
  • Vinny Castilla


    Gary Sheffield, OF: .330 29 HR 123 RBI
    10.6.03: Gary Sheffield who has gone 3-30 in his two postseasons with the Braves may not be back with the Braves in 2004. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that while GM John Schuerholz has not received his operating budget for 2004 as of yet, it will most likely be significantly lower than the $100 million that it was at this season. With the Braves looking and holes in the bullpen, starting lineup, and rotation the Braves may not have enough money to meet Sheffield's contract demands.

    Greg Maddux, SP: 16-11 3.96 ERA
    11.07.03: In an article in Thursday's San Diego Union Tribune, Several Padres players are quoted as saying that they would love Maddux in a Padres uniform, and at least expect him to have some interest in signing with the club.... Having come off a season where he broke a wins record only previously held by Cy Young himself, 38 year old Greg Maddux finds himself on the same Free Agent bubble as he was last year. While the Braves undoubtedly would like Maddux back to win his 300th in a Braves uniform, chances are his salary demands will be too hight for the cash-crunched Braves. The San Diego Padres are likely to target Maddux as they prepare to move into the new Petco Field next season.

    Javy Lopez, C: .328 43 HR 109 RBI
    10.20.03: After an amazing 2003 season Javy Lopez rekindled a sagging career with a record 43 home runs for a catcher and a career year but probably priced himself out of returning to the club. He will most likely be targeted by an American League team this offseason where he can gradually move from Catcher to 1B/DH over the course of a multi-year deal.

    Vinny Castilla, 3B: .277 27 HR 76 RBI
    10.20.03: While Castilla hit a five-year-high .277 with 22 homers, his future with club is unclear. If his market price is reasonable, the Braves will most likely make a run at resigning him to a 1-2 year contract as a stopgap until uberprospect Andy Marte is ready for the bigs.



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