The GM Meetings are underway in Scottsdale Arizona this week and Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos was on hand to speak with he media Tuesday. Per the AJC’s Gabe Burns, Anthopoulos discussed a variety of topics including the pursuit of Josh Donaldson and whether Atlanta has a plan B should he sign elsewhere. He also discussed the team’s need for starting pitching and the outfield situation which currently features Nick Markakis and Adam Duvall in a platoon situation in left, Ender Inciarte in center and Ronald Acuña Jr. in right.
Anthopoulos also discussed the catcher position and confirmed that the team will be looking for a veteran option.
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Things may change depending on what happens this offseason but for now the Braves are planning to give Sean Newcomb an opportunity to compete for a spot in the team’s rotation during spring training.
Our 2019 Season in review series continued on Tuesday with a look at free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson who successfully re-established his value after a strong season in Atlanta and reliever Luke Jackson who turned in the best season of his major league career in 2019.
Ronald Acuña Jr’s younger brother Bryan Acuña is among the 116 participants at Major League Baseball’s Trainer Partnership International Showcase which is taking place at the Spring Training home of the Diamondbacks and the Rockies in Arizona. Acuña is just 14 and won’t be eligible to sign until 2021.
MLB Pipeline tops the 147 prospects who are Rule 5 eligible this winter. Topping the list is Braves outfield prospect Cristian Pache. No need to worry about losing Pache as the team will add him to the 40-man roster later this offseason.
New Podcast: The first two episodes of Three Flags Flying are now available at SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts. The podcast features myself, Braves Journal’s Ryan Cothran and Outfield Fly Rule’s Brent Blackwell. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.
Brian Snitker finished third in the voting for National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday. Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt took home the award for the National League narrowly edging out Brewers manager Craig Counsell.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won Manager of the Year for the American League over New York’s Aaron Boone and Tampa’s Kevin Cash.
Newest Talking Chop contributor, and former Fox Sports Braves analyst, Cory McCartney was a voter for the National League Manager of the Year and took us through the thought process of his ballot.
The Rookie of the Year Awards were handed out on Monday with Pete Alonso taking home the honor over Atlanta’s Mike Soroka. Dan Szymborski was a voter for the NL award and breaks down his ballot over at FanGraphs.
Free agency rumors and signings
Adam Wainwright is headed back to St. Louis after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Cardinals on Tuesday.
MLB Coaching/Front office news
The San Francisco Giants have hired Gabe Kapler as the team’s new manager. Kapler replaces longtime manager Bruce Bochy who retired after 13-seasons on the bench in San Francisco.
The Mets are searching for a bench coach to pair with new manager Carlos Beltran. Three names that have surfaced include former Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, Jerry Narron and Giants third base coach Ron Wotus.
The Los Angeles Angels have hired former Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa to serve as a senior advisor in their baseball operations department. He will assist in player evaluation and Minor League development.
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By far the biggest news around the majors on Tuesday was a longform effort by The Athletic’s Evan Drellich on the Houston Astros who are accused of using electronic means to steal signs back in 2017. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers was the major source for the story and said he warned his new teams of the Astros’ tactics.