The Braves signed veteran relievers Jose Veras and Matt Capps to minor league deals that include invitations to spring training on Tuesday. Veras made 46 appearances last season with the Astros and Cubs and recorded a 4.50 ERA. He began the year in Chicago where he allowed 12 runs in 13.1 innings pitched before being released. He then latched on with Houston where he was more effective allowing 11 runs in 32.2 innings.
Capps hasn't pitched in the majors since due to injuries. He notched 14 saves and a 3.68 ERA with the Twins in 2012 but has managed just 10 appearances, all in the minors for the Indians, over the last two seasons. Capps is from Douglasville and has spent the off season working out with some current and former Braves pitchers.
Eddie Perez has been a fixture in a Braves uniform first as a player and now as a coach. Perez spends the off season managing in Venezuela and now has his eyes set on becoming a manager in the major leagues sometime in the near future.
The AJC's David O'Brien takes a closer look at Alex Wood's 2014 season and how he heads into spring training with a secured spot in the Braves rotation.
"It's definitely nice to feel like you've got somewhat job security," said Wood, who turned 24 in January. "You're never secure at this level, but it's nice to have somewhat solidified myself as part of the rotation. You want to be able to set new goals for yourself going into every year. That's exciting for me as far as being able to have new goals and not just making the team or solidifying myself in the rotation, but having other goals for myself going into spring training and the season."
Former Braves first baseman Julio Franco is still at it and has signed on to be a player-manager for the Ishikawa Million Stars of Japan's Independent Baseball Challenge League. Franco spent parts of 23 seasons in the major leagues playing for eight teams including the Braves. He played his last game in Atlanta in 2007 at the age of 49.
Miami has yet to host an All-Star Game but will finally get the opportunity after a couple of near misses over the years. Marlins Park was considered for the 2015 event, per Spencer, but was ultimately passed over in favor of Cincinnati. More than a decade earlier, the city had been awarded a midsummer classic but had it taken away by MLB following the Marlins' post-1997 fire sale.
Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada will field offers from interested teams over the next two weeks before deciding on where to sign. Moncada's representatives reportedly want to get a deal done quickly so they can get him into spring training as soon as possible. The Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and Padres are among the teams that are interested.