Braves' pitchers and catchers report to Lake Buena Vista on February 20 with the full squad scheduled to join them by the 25th. It has been a long and eventful offseason but a new season is on the horizon.
It's more than official: we've hit the lull of the 2015-16 MLB off-season. You know, the time where a fringe major-leaguer will sign with a rebuilding squad and it will still dominate the baseball headlines for hours. I'm just as excited as you are. But, there's also the fun period where fans and media members alike scrutinize, analyze and break down every team's roster to a fault. Steamer took a look at the 2016 Braves and, well, the results weren't too great. Steamer projects Atlanta to finish 67-95 -- again. Now, I don't think many people's hopes were too high before this, but seeing a little improvement out of the team would have been nice.
Well, we know what Steamer thinks about the Braves, but there's still an overflow of individual questions into the makeup of the roster. What's the roster going to look like? Will the Braves get anything out of Hector Olivera? What can we expect out of all these prospects? And so on, and so forth. The guys at Baseball Essential took a look at some of the biggest questions surrounding the Braves, and the first one the tackle regards the aforementioned Olivera:
Olivera is a lean 6’2", 220 lbs and according to scouts has solid gap-to-gap power; the Braves are counting on him to be a force in the middle of their lineup for the next several seasons. 2015 was a whirlwind year for the Cuban, as he had to adjust to life in the United States, battle injury, and handle being traded to a new clubhouse. Olivera will have a very long leash to prove he can excel in the Major Leagues, but early indications are he has work ahead of him.
Now listen, I'm going to preface this by saying I am a huge sports fan. I've got my favorite players, of course (looking at you, Pedro Martinez). But I certainly know where to draw the line of fandom. A couple of Braves fans (and newlyweds) apparently don't. A couple of diehard Chipper Jones fans got a Jones themed cake, and wore custom No. 10 Braves jerseys post-ceremony. At the end of the day, you really have to respect the dedication.
Once the New York Mets fell to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, many believed that mid-season acquisition Yoenis Cespedes had played his final game in New York. Given his desire for a long term contract and a hefty sum of cash, most believed the Mets wouldn't be ponying up the money. But January is almost halfway over, and Cespedes is still a free agent. Could the Mets make a move to bring back the slugging outfielder on a team-friendlier contract?
Cespedes remains available on the market but is seeking a multi-year contract that would likely push him out of the Mets' reach. Still, the Mets are reportedly still monitoring Cespedes' market in case his price tag drops to a reasonable range, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.
By now, you've heard about the massive Powerball total. It's up to over $1.3 billion now. Yeah, that's more than a beer and a hot dog at Turner Field. So let's say you win this lottery, and are suddenly a billionaire. Which MLB team are you going to spend your winnings on? Bleed Cubbbie Blue broke it down.