The perception of many frustrated Braves fans is this: Their team went down in flames in September and hasn’t made any roster additions so far this winter, while the rest of the NL East has improved.
The first part is correct – the September collapse was epic, a 10-20 meltdown by the Braves that allowed St. Louis to erase a 10-1/2-game deficit and overtake Atlanta on the last day and win the wild card. And they’ve made no additions of note since.
But how many NL East teams have actually gotten better? Let’s examine.
Miami and Washington look significantly improved over last season. The Marlins went on a spending spree and the youthful Nationals get back ace Stephen Strasburg for a full season, recovered from elbow surgery. They traded on Thursday for starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from Oakland, upping the ante.
The Braves’ only moves so far were the salary-dump trade of pitcher Derek Lowe to Cleveland; picking up a reliever in the Rule 5 draft; and not