Yesterday evening, this news came right out of the blue; The Braves dipped their toe into international waters in order to sign little-known outfielder Dian Toscano to a major league deal. Although Mark Bowman is reporting that the Braves & Toscano haven't put ink to paper yet, every other other outlet says that the two parties are extremely close, so this is probably going to happen.
So this is weird. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, MLB executives apparently agree with the Braves that Justin Upton should command more on the trade market than his former outfield partner Jason Heyward did. However, those same executives feel like the Braves got more than what they should've gotten for Heyward, and they don't want the Braves to apparently "fleece" another team. Which means that those of you dreaming of Seattle's Taijuan Walker being a Braves are in for a nightmare now, since apparently the Mariners have backed out. I was one of those dreamers. *sigh* There's always a chance that this could be GM-speak, but for now, this trade saga continues to take twists and turns.
Here it is, straight from Mark Bowman:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>When the Royals showed interest in Evan Gattis a few weeks ago, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Braves?src=hash">#Braves</a> asked for Yordano Ventura. KC will likely not deal Ventura.</p>— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) <a href="https://twitter.com/mlbbowman/status/542058856373710848">December 8, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Yeah, no way that was going to happen. At least the Braves gave it the ol' college try, right?
The Braves apparently have targeted Jason Grilli to join their bullpen. Although Grilli's 38-years old, he could definitely do a job as a bullpen hand. Of course, he probably wouldn't be the closer here since the Braves appear dead-set on keeping Craig Kimbrel, but if Grilli decides that he's done being a closer and wants to join a bullpen, I'd take him here on a 1 year deal.
Later today, we'll probably know what the final cost of the Braves' new home in Cobb County will be. The stadium's design is also being finalized, which means that we'll probably see a few more renderings of SunTrust Park as well before we enter 2015.
The White Sox were busy on the first day of the Winter Meetings, as they added closer David Robertson via free agency (4 years, $46 MM) and are apparently extremely close to adding starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija via trade. Also, remember when Oakland was the odds-on favorite to win the World Series when they added Samardzija last season? Billy Beane's life as GM is full of swift transitions, man.