The Atlanta Braves will open SunTrust Park in about five months and the front office is trying its best to field a competitive team prior to the grand opening. So far this offseason, the Braves have signed starting pitchers Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey to one-year contracts, signed utility player Sean Rodriguez to a two-year deal, and traded for starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, outfielder Alex Jackson, and a player to be named later.
Despite all those moves, the Braves aren't done.
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Atlanta remains interested in adding either Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale or Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer despite having already acquired Colon, Dickey, and Garcia this offseason.
Loading up on starting pitching makes a lot of sense for the Atlanta Braves after they finished 28th in MLB with a whopping 4.87 starter's ERA. In order to compete with the Washington Nationals and New York Mets in the National League East, the starting pitching at the major league level had to be addressed this offseason.
There's a good chance that if the Braves are going to pull of a deal for either Sale or Archer that shortstop Dansby Swanson will have to be involved. Atlanta acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft from the Arizona Diamondbacks last offseason in the trade that sent Shelby Miller to the desert. Swanson hit .275 with a .362 OBP in 105 games in the minors last season before being called up to make his MLB debut on August 17. Swanson then hit .302 with a .361 OBP in 38 games for the Braves.
Swanson is projected to be a future two-way star with the ability to hit near the top of the order and for a high average. He's the Braves' No. 1 prospect and most valuable trade chip even though the team has reportedly claimed he's untouchable.