The Braves lost out on the Chris Sale sweepstakes (thank goodness), but it now appears that they are turning their sights toward the other White Sox ace: Jose Quintana. Given the price to acquire starting pitching this offseason, this deal may never come to fruition (especially when considering reports that Atlanta sees more than one Quintana already in the system), but it is noteworthy that the Braves are kicking the tires on yet another top-of-the-rotation arm. Quintana is coming off his fourth consecutive season with 200+ innings pitched, and posted a 125 ERA+ in 2016. In addition to his consistency, Quintana is under contract through 2020 at just under $37 million, which essentially guarantees that any team acquiring the 27-year-old lefty will have to pay a steep price.
Brian Snitker will enter the 2017 season with an eye toward capturing the Braves’ first division title since 2013. Snitker has big ideas in his first full season as Braves manager, especially considering how the team fared last year, but who can blame him for being hopeful. The Braves have added some veteran rotation pieces this offseason and continue to monitor the trade market for potential upgrades, so maybe Snitker really does feel that the team has taken a step forward. Obviously this is just coach speak and Snitker knows better than to put a goal like this on the forefront so soon, but it’s fun to think about at least. Maybe Freddie will hit 50 bombs and Dansby will win the batting title?
Grant McAuley of 92.9 The Game is doing a daily podcast from the Winter Meetings, discussing a number of Braves-related topics. This episode features MLB.com beat writer Mark Bowman along with Braves manager Brian Snitker. There are some interesting tidbits enclosed, including speculation about the Braves’ plans for the remainder of the offseason, so I would encourage giving it a listen.
The Nationals completed a trade for White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton on Wednesday, immediately upgrading their lineup and outfield defense in the process, but... they gave up baseball’s top pitching prospect to do it. Lucas Giolito along with two other coveted right-handers will go to Chicago in exchange for Eaton, who is coming off a 6 WAR season and is signed for 5 years, $38 million. Eaton is a valuable commodity and should be a good player for Washington, but given the reactions by those around around baseball it’s hard to see the values matching up here. It’s always difficult to judge a trade involving prospects, but it certainly seems that the Nationals overpaid by a considerable amount in this case. As for the White Sox, Giolito could provide instant value to a team that is loading up on impactful young talent.
After trading Aroldis Chapman at last season’s deadline, the Yankees announced late Wednesday night that the left-hander had agreed to re-join them in 2017. The five-year deal will pay Chapman $86 million and re-unite him with fellow flamethrower Dellin Betances, who will help form a scary 1-2 combo in the Yankee bullpen. Brian Cashman now has his closer back along with top-10 prospect Gleyber Torres, whom the Yankees acquired in exchange for Chapman at the deadline.
The Chicago Cubs sent Jorge Soler to the Royals on Wednesday is exchange for All-Star closer Wade Davis, who will be a free agent following the 2017 season. This seemingly represents a drop in Soler’s value from when the Braves coveted him in talks last offseason. In any case, the champs are re-loading for another run this season and Davis solidifies a bullpen that looked somewhat barren with the loss of Aroldis Chapman.