The Atlanta Braves have spent the early part of the offseason adding pieces to its bullpen for the 2020 season. The additions of Will Smith along with the return of Chris Martin and Darren O’Day give Atlanta’s pen much more depth at a significant financial cost. As things stand currently, approximately 40% of the team’s current payroll is going to relief pitchers which is a considerable amount.
That has led to speculation that the team might look to move or even non-tender reliever Shane Greene who will be due a raise through arbitration later this winter. The Braves acquired Greene from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline last season. Alex Anthopoulos was asked about Greene’s status and whether the addition of Smith would make him expendable. Anthopoulos denied such thinking telling The Athletic’s David O’Brien that the team is trying to have a deep bullpen and that they had no desire to subtract.
Atlanta still has several holes that still need to be addressed so it is natural to wonder if they might look to free up some salary by moving on from Greene. Instead of non-tendering him, the team could look to trade Greene who would likely have some value given the lack of quality relievers currently left on the free agent market. Still, the Braves could decide to hold onto him and further deepen what appears to be a much improved bullpen.
Free Agency/Trade Rumors
The Oakland A’s are discussing trades for reliever Blake Treinen and utilityman Jurickson Profar according to a report by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Oakland is also reportedly shopping catcher Josh Phegley. The A’s are looking to trim salary this offseason and are focused on moving this trio of arbitration eligible players. The team however is not interested in moving shortstop Marcus Semien who they hope to ink to an extension this offseason.
Another catcher comes off the board as former Giants backstop Stephen Vogt has an agreement on a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The club has yet to announce the deal but reports suggest that Vogt’s new deal will pay him around $3 million for the upcoming season and also includes a vesting option for 2021.
The Seattle Mariners have an agreement with free-agent right-hander Kendall Graveman on a one year deal that is worth a reported $1.5 million. The deal also reportedly includes a $3.5 million club option for the 2021 season.
The Houston Astros agreed to a one-year major league deal with catcher Dustin Garneau. The deal reportedly has a $650K base salary with another $75K in possible incentives.
The Philadelphia Phillies and utilityman Josh Harrison have an agreement on a minor league deal which also includes an invite to spring training. Harrison suffered his way through an injury plagued season with the Tigers in 2019 appearing in just 36 games.
More MLB News
Good news for the Angels as Shohei Ohtani has been cleared to resume throwing off a mound after undergoing left knee surgery in September. Ohtani has approximately three to four weeks left in his rehab from Tommy John which he had back in October of 2018.
The New York Mets are close to deal to make Jeremy Hefner the team’s new pitching coach. Multiple reports suggest that the deal is complete but the Mets have not made it official. Hefner previously served as Minnesota’s assistant pitching coach.