The Braves have been tied to a number of players since arriving in San Diego over the weekend, but none of those rumors have come to fruition for Atlanta thus far. Having been connected to players such as Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, and Marcell Ozuna at various points this week, Atlanta has inadvertently created a lot of anxious hand-wringing within their fan base. Alex Anthopoulos addressed some of the club’s activity at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, noting that he does not foresee a move being made while in San Diego.
Anthopoulos said #Braves have had several productive conversations but aren't close to doing anything. He doesn't expect to make a move before they leave Winter Meetings barring a sudden change. Also will have a very high bar to take anyone in Rule 5 w/ roster currently at 38.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) December 11, 2019
Anthopoulos often misdirects the public with his quotes, but the Winter Meetings often do act as more of a foundation for future deals than a conduit for present deals. Whether or not the club is active this week, it can be reasonably assumed that Atlanta will add at least one significant bat this offseason. The market for Josh Donaldson may push him outside the comfort zone for Atlanta, but with many prominent names rumored to be available in trade plus multiple potential free agent fits, the Braves will have options as it pertains to the cleanup spot in their everyday lineup.
Using historical precedent as his guide, Alex Anthopoulos is taking a very measured approach with regards to incumbent third baseman Josh Donaldson. Mark Bowman notes that several high-caliber third basemen can be used as litmus tests for how Donaldson might age as he enters his mid-30’s. Chipper Jones and Adrian Beltre aged gracefully, while others such as Wade Boggs and Eddie Mathews experienced precipitous downfalls.
Demetrius lays out several possible avenues in which the Braves add an All-Star caliber third baseman. Each of these options would be exciting, but could also be painful both financially and prospectively.
Another option that seems simple on paper, but it’s nowhere near simple. I think that the prospect cost from Colorado’s standpoint would be similar to what it would cost to pry Kris Bryant from Chicago’s hands. However, this would cost a pretty penny from a financial point-of-view. As Grant McAuley noted in his Winter Meetings blog, Nolan Arenado is on a very expensive contract — as it turns out, this would be the richest contract that the Braves have ever taken on in franchise history. Additionally, he’s got a no-trade clause and he could opt-out after the 2021 season. While it’s similar to how Kris Bryant could potentially leave after two seasons when the Braves decide he’d be too expensive to retain once he hits free agency, I think the Braves would rather deal with Bryant than pay Arenado $70 million for two seasons and deal with the possibility of him leaving.
Sam examines some potential options in the outfield, where he believes the Braves could significantly upgrade this offseason.
The short answer is yes. The even better answer is that those players are available, and that the Braves are one of the few teams with the minor league resources (and Major League resources) to get deals done in the trade market. The Cubs and Red Sox have been rumored to be looking at shedding money in order to get away from the luxury tax. That could mean the likes of Mookie Betts and Kris Bryant are available upgrades for the Braves, and those are the types of players that Atlanta’s front office should be seeking out (and more than just one).
The Angels sign one of the top free agents in the class, giving Anthony Rendon a seven-year, $245 million deal. Scott Boras continues to clean up for his clients, having now accumulated over $800 million in guarantees for Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Rendon.
A one-year, $10 deal for Treinen in LA.
$324 million deals tend to have an effect on everyone in the sport.
A two-year, $24 deal for Roark in Toronto.
A one-year, $3 million deal for Wacha in Queens.
This stood out as the biggest news of the day on Wednesday prior to the Rendon signing, as the Rockies reportedly will entertain trade offers for star third baseman Nolan Arenado.