Financially speaking, it has never been a better time to be a Major League baseball player than right now. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, MLB salaries will reach $4 billion this season, with the Dodgers and Yankees predictably leading the way with payrolls of $235 MM and $229 MM, respectively. So, where are the Braves on this list? They project to have a bottom-five payroll (26th in baseball, to be exact), with the team spending somewhere around $83 MM. Clearly, there's no reason for the team to spend big due to rebuilding (and due to the GM's vision of how a team should be built), but the organization has also promised to up the payroll once the calendar hits 2017, so we'll see how this develops going into the future.
The Atlanta Braves, once regulars at the top of the salary scale, project to be among the bottom five this season with an $83 million payroll. Their highest-paid pitcher, Jason Grilli, will make $3.5 million this year – less than 146 other pitchers.
The now talent-flush Braves farm system received more rave reviews as we head into the 2016 season, as Baseball Prospectus tabbed six of Atlanta's prospects as being part of the top 101 in all of baseball. Kolby Allard, Austin Riley, Aaron Blair, Ozhaino Albies, Sean Newcomb, and Dansby Swanson made the list, with the last four names there coming in as Top 50 in the rankings.
Former Braves player and current Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez has been having himself a pretty nice winter down in Venezuela, and it's going to keep on going for a little while longer. He's been managing Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan League, and now he's got a title to his name as he led Tigres to their 10th-ever league title and a spot in this year's Caribbean Series.
ÚLTIMO OUT - TIGRES DE ARAGUA CAMPEÓN DE LA TEMPORADA 2015-2016 | pic.twitter.com/vgd1WqRV7L— Tigres de Aragua (@OficialTigres) January 29, 2016
The Braves (and the rest of baseball) will be sporting a new look in sunny Florida this Spring, as they recently unveiled their new Spring Training uniforms. The new unis look closer to actual game uniforms instead of the clear practice-uni look that the Braves and the rest of baseball have had over recent seasons. In fact, their Spring Training jersey is basically their navy blue road alternate, except with "Braves" across the chest instead of "Atlanta." Plus there's a new hat as well, though it's not too dissimilar from the old hat. If you want to take a nice and detailed look at what the rest of baseball's Spring Training uniforms will look like, then click here.
Hey look, an NL West team just got fleeced in a trade! Boy, that sure doesn't happen often! The Rays traded RP Jake McGee and a pitching prospect to Colorado in exchange for OF Corey Dickerson and a 3B prospect. Simply put, it's an odd deal for the Rockies to make, and Tampa Bay should be feeling pretty good about what they got in this deal. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs isn't exactly pleased with Colorado's side of the deal.
For the Rockies, their best hope is that McGee comes back at 100 percent, dominates the first few months of the season, and they can flip him at the trade deadline when prices for relievers are often exorbitant. The idea that they’re likely to contend during the next two years is far-fetched, so the organization really should be building for the future. If McGee stays healthy and Dickerson doesn’t, then this will probably work out just fine for them, but that’s basically the bet they’re making. Things could easily go the other way, with the Rockies flushing a perfectly useful player down the drain for no real reason, and if both players stay healthy, the Rays almost certainly win the deal as well.
But I guess, at this point, weird is what we should expect from Colorado. Ownership appears unwilling to admit their actual standing as a rebuilding team that should be focused on the future, and so instead, they’ve pushed in their chips to try and win 75 games instead of 74.
The Royals are the World Series Champions (it's still weird to type that out), so it's kind of natural to try to compare them to other teams who have brought the Commissioner's Trophy home to their trophy cabinet. However, the artist known as "Fox Sports Staff" decided that the Royals were one of the worst World Series Champions since 2000. Why is that? Batting average.
Again: Batting average.