Hey look, the “Brian McCann could return to the Braves” rumors have picked up steam again. The Braves are looking for help on the catcher front, and the Braves have been linked with their former catcher for months now. Additionally, the Yankees are still interested in picking up Mike Foltynewicz via trade. Considering that Folty is one of the starters that the Braves actually place a decent amount of value in, I highly doubt that Atlanta would be willing to move him for a short-term solution like McCann.
Speaking of the catcher position, that is another high-priority position for the Braves this offseason. There isn’t much quality on the free agent market in general — much less when it comes to catchers, so the Braves will have their work cut out for them if they plan on upgrading. Scott gave his take on the issue in part 2 of his series of offseason questions.
Flowers is a likely candidate to regress next season, and while he is far from chopped liver, we probably shouldn't count on anything more than his career averages. That plays more as a strong backup than a starter. I can't imagine John Coppolella feels confident counting on Flowers andAnthony Recker for 162 starts in 2017.
Here's the problem: there are so few quality catchers around right now, and the ones that are good won't be traded this winter. Guys like Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez,Jonathan Lucroy and J.T. Realmuto aren't going anywhere.
And while most would argue the Braves' farm system ranks in the top-5 across all of baseball, there is little in the way of catching at the upper levels.
While we’re giving you a slow burn of offseason questions here at Talking Chop, the crew over at FOX Sports South decided to give you the whole kit and caboodle in one shot. They have five big questions for the Braves this offseason, and one of those includes how the Braves will address the situation at third base.
There is one high-ticket free agent option out there — Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who earned himself a serious payday with a career year — and the trade market is always available, but the franchise could even look in-house if confidence in [Adonis] Garcia wanes. Prospect Rio Ruiz received a September call-up after a quality season as one of the youngest players in the International League and could push for a roster spot, and playing time, in the spring. Garcia is the choice at the moment. That doesn't mean the organization will (or should) assume the position is wrapped up.
The Braves and Twins finished 2016 miles and miles away from this year’s World Series. You could’ve said the same thing back in 1990 when both teams finished last in their respective divisions in that season, but they both pulled off miraculous turnarounds in 1991 and met in what is considered to be the best World Series of all time. Shiloh Carder of Yardbarker took a look back at that series, and if you can get over the ending (and I understand if you still haven’t) then you might enjoy the trip 25 years back in time.
The Dodgers tied up the series in Chicago thanks to a brilliant performance from Clayton Kershaw, and they took the lead once the series shifted to Los Angeles thanks to a solid start from Rich Hill. Hill kept the Cubs scoreless over six innings thanks to a heavy dose of his signature curveball, and they rode a 4-0 lead to a one-game lead in the series.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays had their backs up against the wall as Cleveland was looking to punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time in 19 years. The AL Central Champions are still one win away after the Blue Jays offense finally came to life and took advantage of Corey Kluber pitching on short rest. Toronto won the game 5-1, and they’ll have at least one more day of baseball ahead of them.