The Atlanta Braves have been one of the most active teams this offseason remaking their bullpen with the addition of Will Smith and adding to their rotation earlier this week with the addition of Cole Hamels. However, there is still work to be done as the team is still in need of a third baseman and a power option to plug into the middle of its lineup.
As MLB.com’s Mark Bowman wrote on Thursday, the No. 1 option for the Braves would be to re-sign Josh Donaldson. However, that may not be as easy as it sounds as multiple teams have shown interest and the asking price may have risen above Atlanta’s comfort level. If Donaldson isn’t an option, then the team may have to shift gears towards a trade. There has been rumors that the Cubs will listen to offers for third baseman Kris Bryant and the Braves have the prospect capital to make a deal.
That will be the back drop for next week’s Winter Meetings from a Braves perspective as Major League Baseball descends on San Diego for a week’s worth of activity.
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I took a look on Thursday at where Atlanta’s 40-man roster stands after signing Hamels. As you can see from looking, the Braves are short on position players and will be looking to fill at least two more bench slots in addition to third base.
Cory McCartney takes a look at some free agents that the Braves might be interested in as they head into the Winter Meetings. No surprise but Josh Donaldson tops the list.
Finally, the MLB Pipeline crew takes a look at every team’s best value Draft pick ever. For the Braves it was outfielder Brett Butler whom they drafted in the 23rd round back in 1979. He would enjoy a 17-year Major League career and accumulate 49.7 WAR and 558 career stolen bases. Unfortunately, his stay in Atlanta turned out to be short.
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners on Thursday in exchange for minor league outfielder Adam Hill and a competitive balance pick in the 2020 Draft. Narvaez will replace the departed Yasmani Grandal in Milwaukee’s lineup.
The Minnesota Twins have re-signed right-hander Michael Pineda to a two-year deal which is worth a reported $20 million. Pineda is currently serving a 60-game PED suspension and will be forced to miss the first 39 games of the 2020 season.
The New York Yankees have made signing free agent right-hander Gerrit Cole their top offseason priority according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Per the report, the Yankees have ownership level approval to offer Cole a record-setting deal.
The Los Angeles Angels have held a face-to-face meeting with free agent starter Stephen Strasburg according to the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher. Strasburg is a Southern California native and the Angels are looking for a top tier arm for their rotation.
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The San Francisco Giants have hired Donnie Ecker to serve as the team’s hitting coach. Ecker previously served as assistant hitting coach for the Cincinnati Reds.
The Padres have hired Larry Rothschild to serve as the team’s pitching coach. Rothschild spent the last nine seasons with the Yankees before parting ways earlier this offseason.