That said, the Braves don’t currently have any offers out for free agents, Anthopoulos confirmed. As the market stands now, they might not strike until next month. The landscape hasn’t developed in the way the organization would prefer, both in free agency and trade discussions.
“I don’t know how active December is going to be,” Anthopoulos said. “I think (Josh) Donaldson, (Brian) McCann were obviously both in November. We’re getting to the middle of December and only have a day left pretty much. … I just think we’re going to need to wait things out a bit, for where we value things and the price points that we want, both in free agency and trade – I just think we’ll have to be patient overall and just wait it out, because it’s just not there for us this month.”
A prime example might be McCutchen, who the Braves viewed more as a one-or-two-year fallback option than an expensive signee. Starter J.A. Happ, whom the team is interested in, remains unsigned in part due to a demand for a three-year deal, which no team has reportedly offered.
But Anthopoulos did publicly declare an affinity for his infield weeks before signing Donaldson, so it’s not as though his thinking is set in stone. The Braves aren’t hand-tied by the need to add specific players; they’re more interested in getting fair value and bettering the club in any position, even if it’s not a need.
“It all depends,” he said. “There’s a little bit of Groundhog Day to this. You’re constantly floating ideas, encouraging conversation and so on. The more you talk through things and stay engaged with clubs, you don’t know what’s going to come from it.”