Braves: 1 free agent Atlanta must sign before Opening Day

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The Braves are one piece away from potential World Series contention, and it’s obvious.

The Atlanta Braves have addressed several needs this offseason. The once-shoddy rotation depth? No longer an issue, thanks to the signings of Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly. How would they replace Marcell Ozuna? Not an issue, considering they inked Ozuna to a multi-year contract this winter. Brian Snitker received a contract extension, and one can only assume Freddie Freeman’s negotiations are progressing in a positive direction.

So, what’s not to love about the Braves’ offseason?

Atlanta’s bullpen still needs some tweaking. Mark Melancon took his talents to San Diego for a discount. Meanwhile, their best option to take his place as closer remains on the free agent market, for some reason.

The Atlanta Braves need to re-sign Shane Greene before it’s too late

Greene has plenty of closer experience, as he was an All-Star in that role with the Detroit Tigers. This is why he was acquired by the Braves in the first place, only to find a home in their set-up role in front of Melancon.

Greene is understandably sitting out waiting for the right offer. He’s patient, and as injuries mount and the season nears Greene will get the contract he desires, one way or another. The Braves ought to make this a painless process and pony up while they don’t have much competition for his services.

The 32-year-old had a 2.60 ERA in 29 appearances in 2020. While he’s only registered one save during his time in Atlanta, that’s simply due to the presence of Melancon. Greene will have to come down from his previous demands from earlier this offseason, which were reportedly around $10 million-$12 million per season. He’s not going to get that from the Braves, or elsewhere.

Yet, the Braves thrive on short-term deals, so perhaps they could frontload a one year prove-it contract to convince Greene to run it back in the ATL. He’s a necessity to this team moving forward.

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