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The Daily Chop: Bullpen additions, Rule 5 fallout and more

Are the Braves ready to cash in this offseason?

MLB: NLDS-Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves struck early this offseason with the goal of turning what was largely a suspect bullpen in 2019 into a strength for the 2020 season. Despite those additions, there is still plenty of work to do with the remainder of the roster. The team will need to address the third base position where Josh Donaldson is a free agent. Atlanta will also be looking for another catcher to pair with Tyler Flowers and like most teams around the league, seems to always be on the hunt for a top of the rotation arm to supplement a young rotation.

If you are looking for confidence that the team is ready to push some its chips to the middle of the table then look no further than the comments made by longtime Braves executive Mike Plant who spoke today at an investors conference which was held by Liberty Media in New York on Thursday.

“We’re set up to win, and we’re going to go after it,” longtime Braves executive Mike Plant, now president and CEO of Braves Development Company, told the attendees. “I can assure you that one of these years I’m going to stand up here and have a World Series trophy with me.”

Plant added that the team’s strategy is to complement their pipeline of young talent with some veteran acquisitions.

Talk is cheap and it wouldn’t be the first time they have said something and done something else but it does certainly feel like they are in position to make some significant acquisitions this offseason.

More Braves News

FanGraphs’ Rian Watt discusses how Atlanta has improved its bullpen substantially this offseason and how that is a sign that Alex Anthopoulos is taking the 2020 season seriously.

When the 2020 season arrives, there will be a number of new rules that the Braves will have to contend with.

The deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft came and went on Wednesday. MLB Pipeline took a closer look at one Rule 5 eligible prospect from every team. Lefty reliever Thomas Burrows gets the nod for Atlanta. Burrows struggled a bit in 2019 with his command but could still be appealing to some team in the Rule 5 Draft.

ESPN released its All-MLB teams for the 2019 season on Thursday and the Braves were well represented amongst the three teams. Second baseman Ozzie Albies was Atlanta’s only player to earn a spot on the first team. Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr. and new closer Will Smith all earned second-team nods. Mike Soroka garnered a spot on the third team.

MLB Free Agency News

The Chicago White Sox announced on Thursday that they have signed free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal. The deal reportedly includes a full no-trade clause in 2020 and partial no-trade protection for the remaining three seasons.

MLB Front Office/Coaching News

The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly close to adding Anthony Sanders to its major league staff for the 2020 season. Sanders has spent the last 14 seasons as a coach in the Rockies’ farm system.

The Philadelphia Phillies announced the hiring of Joe Dillon as the team’s new hitting coach. Dillon spent the last two seasons as the Nationals’ assistant hitting coach. He becomes Philly’s third hitting coach since August.

The New York Mets have interviewed former Giants coach Hensley Meulens for the team’s vacant bench coach position.

More MLB News

Major League Baseball’s investigation into the alleged sign electronic sign stealing by the Houston Astros will also include an examination of the 2018 and 2019 seasons according to Commissioner Rob Manfred. Manfred spoke to reporters on the final day of the Owners Meetings in Arlington and told reporters that they are investigating the allegations as “thoroughly as possible.”

MLB owners have approved the sale of the Kansas City Royals to businessman John Sherman according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

MLB owners also approved Greg Johnson as the new controlling owner of the San Francisco Giants.

Want something to make you feel old? Ken Griffey Jr just turned 50 years old.

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