The final few weeks of baseball were the most fun Atlanta Braves fans have had in 26 years.
Seeing Freddie Freeman tomahawk a pitch from Milwaukee Brewers dynamite closer Josh Hader over the fence to propel the Braves to the National League Championship Series was a blast.
Then seeing two walk-offs against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers and Eddie Rosario produce insane results at the plate was exciting stuff.
Then to see the Braves blank the Houston Astros on their turf in Game 6 of the World Series to accomplish a feat I hadn't seen done since I was in high school … that was pretty cool as well.
The was the proverbial cake. The icing hopefully comes in the next few months when the Braves hopefully reload the roster and set the stage for what could be a potential dynasty.
No matter what form the Atlanta Braves take next year, they should be the prohibitive favorites to, at the very least, capture another National League East Division championship. With or without Freeman, their reigning Most Valuable Player, and even with the uncertainty that lingers in the outfield, the Braves have the roster and championship pedigree to overwhelm any offseason moves that the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins have in their plans.
But make no mistake, the Braves' success is now centered on World Series championships.
The Braves undoubtedly need Freeman to be contenders next year and for the foreseeable future. They also need key contributors like all-star phenom Ronald Acuna Jr. and pitchers Charlie Morton and Mike Soroka to be healthy for most of, if not all the season. But the outfield remains a quandary.
It is hard to imagine a financial scenario where the Braves can afford to keep postseason legends Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario in the outfield.
Soler would be my preference. He is only 29 and possesses the power pedigree to be a home threat every time he steps into the box. Without a doubt that performance in the World Series was no fluke. Rosario is only 30 as well but doesn't have as long of storied past.
That's not to say the Braves are going to get either of them. With both of their postseason performances, they are in line for a hefty payday with no shortage of potential suitors coming their way. The only question is if the Braves are able to afford what it might take to repeat.
That's what is fun about the offseason.
Clint Thompson is a special contributor to the Valdosta Daily Times.