Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz

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1993 Topps Traded Greg Maddux 61T - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

This is the first Topps card of Greg Maddux with the Braves and it does nothing but piss me off. You see, in December of 1992, the Braves signed Greg Maddux to a five year, 28 million dollar deal. At the time, the Braves were owned by Ted Turner who threw fiscal responsibility out the window. Instead of focusing on more important things like office buildings, paying down debt and the flexibility to maybe make a deal later, if, someone might come available, Turner wanted to win and empowered his team President, Stan Kasten, and his GM, John Schuerholz, to spend what was needed.

The Maddux free agent signing was such a disaster, that the team only had the financial flexibility to make a single deal during the 1993 season when they sent Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott and THE Melvin Nieves to the Padres for Fred McGriff. In return for this bundle of young talent, the Braves only received a SEASON AND A HALF of McGriff’s services and had to pay him in excess of five million dollars. Then, on top of that, to keep him, they had to sign him to an expensive free agent deal in 1995. This, of course, had a serious impact on the teams financial flexibility. You can just sign a free agent removing most of your financial flexibility and then use what little flexibility you have left to make a deal for one of the game’s better players and further limit said financial flexibility.

It just isn’t right. People focus on the wrong things in this world. A baseball team is a business and it should be run like a business. Win at all costs in not something that should ever be pursued. Playoff appearances and a world championship do not excuse the lack of fiscal responsibility shown by Ted Turner and the Braves organization.

I should also point out one other disaster that can be blamed on the Greg Maddux signing. After his costly extension expired, the Braves allowed Greg Maddux to return to free agency so that he could make further millions with some other team. It was very generous! The Braves did extend him an offer to go to arbitration, but that was a mere formality. Maddux would walk and cost some other team their financial flexibility and, with the arbitration offer and with Maddux being a type A free agent, the Braves would receive draft pick compensation. Maddux, who only cared about himself and not the Braves financial flexibility, instead took the Braves arbitration offer and ended up signing for nearly fifteen million dollars.