What's your take on the Braves dropping out? Seems like they could have absorbed the money (especially if they didn't take Melancon), and then swapped Greinke into the rotation for Gausman.
The stated goal a few times in the press from this front office has been to clear the books and identify the future core of the franchise with an eye to going in heavy into FA in 2019-2020 once the first wave of prospects has had a chance to hit and make their impact. That has happened, and the notable need is a starter.
This deal almost certainly means Gerrit Cole hits the market as the Braves were in on him, but their focus was on pulling off both Cole and McCutchen in the same deal. With that available money that's not going to Greinke, the team should be able to pursue Cole, which I'd prefer.
What I was surprised by is the cost. Much like the Twins could have taken on the prospect cost quite easily without hurting the overall system depth, the Braves could have absorbed the Greinke deal, and while Kiley McDaniel rated the team's impending 40-man issues as "not an issue" for the trade deadline, it would not surprise me one bit to see the Braves make some moves early in the 2019-2020 offseason using guys that will need to be protected this upcoming offseason, as the list is beginning to get long, and the Braves have a young team that they won't likely create much turnover year-to-year.
That all said, the only reliever acquired at the deadline that won't be back is the guy who might be the easiest one to bring back this offseason before he actually hits the FA market if he shows well with the Braves through the end of the year (Chris Martin). This wasn't a load-up-for-2019 deadline in Atlanta, and that does show fans that this isn't going to be a one-time shot as an organization, which should excite the fan base...then again, many remember the attendance at the end of the Braves division title streak, so who knows how it will translate.