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Braves not looking to trade outfielders, per report

Despite a somewhat crowded situation, the Braves aren’t looking to deal any of their outfielders.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The annual GM meetings get underway on Monday and officially kick off the MLB offseason. Braves GM John Coppolella recently discussed the team’s offseason to-do list talked with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien. Coppy says that the team is looking to add starting pitching and maybe a catcher but isn’t looking to deal any of its outfielders.

“We really like what Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis did this year,” he said. “We feel like we’ve got one of the best outfields in all of baseball and we don’t want to break that outfield up. Now, if somebody offers something crazy, do you have to listen? Sure. But we’re not out there shopping guys. In fact we’re not really even listening on guys. Because these are players that we really like and we feel like they fit us well on the field as well as off the field.”

Kemp, Inciarte and Markakis all played a big part in Atlanta’s offensive resurgence during the second half of the season. Kemp’s arrival gave the Braves a lift and provided protection behind Freddie Freeman. He put up a .280/.336/.519 line and slugged 12 home runs in 56 games with Atlanta.

Inciarte got off to a slow start with the Braves but turned it on in the second half. He hit just .227 in the first half but came alive after the break slashing .341/.396/.440 while providing gold glove level defense in center. Nick Markakis hit eight of his 13 home runs over the final two months of the season putting up a healthy .289/.370/.441 line over the second half.

If the Braves don’t trade any of their regulars, then it appears that Mallex Smith will open next season either in the minors or as the team’s fourth outfielder. Smith was limited to just 72 games thanks to a broken thumb. He returned to action late and spent the final weeks of the season playing with Mississippi during their playoff run.

The offseason is always interesting to watch and Coppolella wouldn’t walk away from a lopsided offer for a guy like Inciarte, especially with Smith waiting in the wings. However, at this point it sounds like the Braves are planning on bringing the same outfield group into next season.

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