As the Atlanta Braves began to make contract extensions at the beginning for the 2014 season, GM Frank Wren made a lot of very good decisions with years and money for the players he signed. Before the 2015 season, it’d be great to see catcher Evan Gattis get a two-to-four-year extension for the team.
I know, I know! The Braves have a catcher in Triple-A, Christian Bethancourt, who is touted to be the next big thing in Atlanta. Even though he has a hot bat right now, his bat hasn’t been up to major-league standards. While he may see time on the Braves’ roster when the teams expand this season, and he may be on the opening day roster, he needs someone with experience to help him in his first few seasons. While Gerald Laird has more experience in the field of catching, Gattis can help the team in more ways. However, if the Braves want to move Gattis to the outfield, it’d save his knees and give him more prime years in the league.
First off, Gattis can hit. While he may not be a .300 hitter, like he is approaching at this point in the season, he has enough power to hit 25-30 home runs and could drive in 80-90 runs in a season. Also, while Gattis finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year race last season, the 27-year-old has a few more prime years left, which could be added to, again, if he was moved to the outfield.
His defense isn’t top notch behind the plate, or in the outfield, but it is good enough to get the job done at the major-league level. Even if his defense was a little worse, his bat would definitely keep him in 90 percent of major-league lineups.
No matter what the Braves do with Bethancourt over the course of the next few seasons, they have to find a spot for Gattis on the team for the next few seasons. That would mean that Wren would have to sign Gattis to a few more seasons, which this team would benefit greatly from.