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The Daily Chop: Important offseason dates, team option decisions and more

The offseason is officially here.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 World Series is in the books which means the offseason is officially here and the wheels should start to turn around the league again soon. There are a number of important dates coming up over the next few days including the deadline to exercise options and the official start of free agency. Josh Donaldson is virtually certain to receive a qualifying offer and the team has a number of holes that will need to be filled via trade or free agency this offseason. We will be following along start to finish so be sure to check in daily for updates.

More Braves news

No surprise here but the Braves will reportedly decline Billy Hamilton’s $7.5 million mutual option for next season. The decision on Hamilton is a no-brainer given his struggles offensively. The decisions on Tyler Flowers, Julio Teheran and Nick Markakis will be much more interesting.

Our 2019 season in review series continued on Thursday with a look back at catcher Francisco Cervelli and right-hander Josh Tomlin.

Our throwback Thursday feature this week travels back 45 years ago to when the Atlanta Braves traded Hank Aaron back to Milwaukee.

MLB News

The annual Fielding Bible Awards were revealed on Thursday with no Braves players making the cut.

The Kansas City Royals have named former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as the team’s new manager. Matheny replaces Ned Yost who elected to retire at the end of the season.

The Philadelphia Phillies will turn to former Reds manager Bryan Price as the team’s new pitching coach.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are hiring Matt Herges as the team’s new pitching coach. Herges will replace Mike Butcher who was let go earlier this offseason.

The Miami Marlins will decline the 2020 option on infielder Starlin Castro. Castro was slated to make $16 million next season but will instead receive a $1 million buyout.

The New York Yankees announced that they will decline the $20 million club option for Edwin Encanacion’s contract for the 2020 season. Encarnacion will receive a $5 million buyout.

Right-hander Yu Darvish is not expected to opt out of his contract with the Cubs. Darvish still has four-years and $81 million remaining on his deal with the club.

The Philadelphia Phillies will decline the 2020 option on reliever Pat Neshek. Neshek would have made $7 million in 2020 but will instead receive a $750K buyout.

The Texas Rangers acquired catcher Welington Castillo and international bonus pool money from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers.

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