BGB - Who do you like better Bourn or Span? Their stats are fairly comparable - the exception being that Bourn plays a lot more, steals more bases and K's a lot more. Also, what are some realistic scenarios you would like to see play out for ATL this offseason. I like the Braves from afar and am curious to read your opinion and insight.
Bourn is very healthy and the Braves rarely run, so his steal stats should reflect the fact that rarely did he have an open green light, and he still amassed the totals he did. I love Bourn, but I understand the Braves' financial restrictions and their need to lock up their plethora of young players. For what the Braves need, defense is priority #1 from CF, so Bourn and Span there are both elite, and that's the major thing to worry. Add in the team friendly contract, and it is a true toss-up to me. Bourn's a better overall player, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit for him to see a $70-90M deal over 4-5 years. That would strongly restrict the Braves in locking up players like Heyward, Prado, and Freeman long-term.
As far as your questions on what I foresee and what I'd like to see - I'd like to see Bourn back and Tommy Hanson traded for a LF bat. Most of the rest of the team is all returning. However, I foresee a bidding war going on over Bourn, the Braves ending up trading for a CF after losing out on Bourn/BJ Upton, and then having to go to a second-tier outfielder. With Hinske's departure, Francisco slips into that role, opening the door for Frank Wren to pursue some much-needed RH power off the bench at corner infield or corner outfield. They have a tremendous amount of pitching, and they'll likely deal from this excess to fill CF/LF, their only real holes on the whole roster. David Ross reportedly told a Braves teammate recently that he intends to be a Brave next season, so that will be big with McCann out for some time with his shoulder surgery. Grandal's suspension removes a team the Braves had already contacted as a possibility, pursuing either Nick Hundley or John Buck as a 3rd catcher to play quite a bit while McCann is out. I do believe this offseason and next season will see a lot of the staff and lineup locked up for extended time. Reportedly, Heyward, Prado, and Medlen are in talks with the Braves currently about extensions.
I could type on this for ages, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask!