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The Daily Chop: Offseason predictions, Cubs cutting payroll and more

Could the Cubs be forced to trade Kris Bryant?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings officially get underway on Monday and it figures to be an active week where several of the top free agents available could sign. Among them include right-handers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg along with third basemen Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson.’s Anthony Castrovince listed 11 bold predictions for the week including the return of Strasburg to the Nationals. He also predicts that Rendon will head west to the Dodgers while Donaldson will return to the American League with the Rangers.

That would be somewhat of a blow for Atlanta who is in need of a power bat to slot into the middle of the batting order. Donaldson put together a big season for the Braves in 2019 and appears likely to cash in this offseason. A team like Texas may be more comfortable extending an offer of three or more years to the 34-year old Donaldson knowing that he could spend time as a designated hitter along with third base.

If Donaldson lands elsewhere, Alex Anthopoulos will have to pivot in his search for a power hitter. One situation to keep an eye on could be in Chicago where the Cubs are reportedly in need to clear payroll. Kris Bryant would be an attractive for a team like Atlanta and would potentially fill their need at third and in the middle of the order.

More Braves News

Dale Murphy’s wait goes on. Murphy once again fell short of election to the Hall of Fame Sunday night as the Modern Era Ballot committee announced its voting results. The committee elected former executive Marvin Miller and former catcher Ted Simmons to the Hall of Fame. Both will be enshrined in a ceremony in Cooperstown next summer.

The AJC’s Gabe Burns sets the stage for the Braves at the Winter Meetings while noting that Alex Anthopoulos has done most of the team’s heavy lifting already this offseason.

2019 first-round pick Shea Langeliers has switched his agency to the Scott Boras Corporation.

Hot Stove

The New York Yankees are reportedly planning a record-setting offer to free-agent right-hander Gerrit Cole that is for seven years and worth $245 million. If signed, the contract would establish a new record for pitchers both in total value and average annual value.

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly one of the teams showing interest in starter Rick Porcello. Porcello had previously been linked to the Mets.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have an agreement with right-hander Junior Guerra on a one year, $2.25 million deal. Guerra’s new deal also reportedly includes a club option for 2021 that includes a $100,000 buyout. He was non-tendered by the Brewers this past Monday.

The Brewers are bringing back outfielder Keon Broxton on a minor league deal that also includes an invite to spring training. Broxton hit just .167/.242/.275 in 228 plate appearances with New York, Baltimore and Seattle in 2019.

More MLB News

The New York Mets announced their full coaching staff for the 2020 season on Sunday including the additions of bench coach Hensley Meulens, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and first base coach Tony DeFrancesco.

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