The San Diego Padres were the winners of the offseason, unquestionably. They loaded up on some big names and got some tremendous headlines and write-ups -- changes that made for a warm and fuzzy January and February.
On the other hand, Braves executives John Hart and John Coppolella signed up for a long and cold winter by choosing a path of reconstruction by trading Jason Heyward and Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel and allowing Ervin Santana to depart as a free agent. There must've been some difficult moments in trying to explain exactly what the heck they were doing.
But now, as the Braves' strategy has started playing out, the fan base is probably a little more understanding. Now, after absorbing public-relations lumps, Atlanta's front office is beginning to enjoy a pay off: The payroll is now manageable and poised for growth, the farm system is much deeper and Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran look as if they could lead the Braves' rotation for years to come.
Which brings us to the Cincinnati Reds, who are at the same sort of crossroads Atlanta was at last fall