The Atlanta Braves are said to be in the market for a starting pitcher again this offseason but may not be a likely fit for any of the top end free agents who are available this offseason. That would seem to make a trade much more likely and there are several candidates who will likely be available between now and the July 31 trade deadline.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand projected 10 players who could be on the move this offseason or prior to the deadline. Six of the 10 players are pitchers and three are starters. Arizona’s Robbie Ray may be available during the offseason given that he is entering the final year of his contract.
Feinsand also mentions Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer and New York’s Marcus Stroman who were both dealt to new teams last season. Neither would be available now but both could be on the market should the Reds or Mets fall out of contention before the deadline.
Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t been shy about upgrading Atlanta’s roster in season. The Braves are still likely to at least add a back end starter to the rotation during the offseason but could be in the market for an upgrade at the deadline.
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been cleared to resume throwing after a recent visit to see Dr. James Andrews. Sale received a PRP injections in his pitching elbow last August. He was shut down for the remainder of the season in mid-August due to elbow inflammation. Sale is hopeful to be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Major League Baseball is leaning toward altering a pickoff move rule in hopes of promoting more action on the bases. The rule would require left-handed pitchers to step off the pitching rubber before attempting a pickoff throw to first base.
The New York Yankees are one of the clubs that have shown interest in Oakland reliever Blake Treinen. Treinen is due to receive a raise this offseason in arbitration and may be a non-tender candidate for the A’s if they are unable to trade him. Treinen was one of the best relievers in the league in 2018 but struggled this season posting a 4.91 ERA and a 5.14 FIP in 58 2/3 innings.
Reports suggest that the Chicago Cubs will hire Craig Driver to be their new first-base coach and catching coach. Driver spent the previous two seasons as a bullpen catcher and receiving coach for the Phillies. He brings a strong reputation for coaching catching mechanics and framing techniques.