Major League Baseball announced the first Spring Training workout dates for teams on Tuesday. Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout on Thursday, February 18 with the first full squad workout scheduled on February 23. The situation surrounding the spring remains fluid, but the league and the players are progressing as close to normal as possible. The league also released health and safety protocols for the 2021 season which include players wearing tracking devices to assist with contact tracing similar to what we have seen with the NBA and NFL. The league also introduced discipline for violation of the health and safety protocols and outlined roster rules for the spring, Opening Day and a taxi squad. You can find a full listing of all of the protocols here.
Baseball Prospectus released its annual PECOTA projections for the upcoming season and are once again low on the Braves. PECOTA projects Atlanta for 82 wins and a fourth place finish in the NL East with only a 5.4% chance at winning the division. One reason for the low expectations is that PECOTA is skeptical of the Braves’ starting pitching and in particular Max Fried.
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince looked at the best duos in MLB based on Steamers’ wins above replacement projections. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon top the list with a combined projected WAR of 12.4. Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. came in sixth with a projected 9.7 WAR.
Free agent outfielder Adam Duvall will be sticking in the NL East after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins.
The Braves agreed to a minor league deal with veteran reliever Nate Jones that includes an invite to big league Spring Training.
Major League Baseball updated its workplace code of conduct pertaining to sexual harassment and discrimination in the wake of former Mets GM GM Jared Porter and the ongoing situation with Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
The New York Mets have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.55 million contract with free agent utility man. Jonathan Villar.
The Brewers and free agent Jordan Zimmermann are in agreement on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
The Baltimore Orioles reached an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority to extend its lease and will stay at Oriole Park at Camden Yards through 2023.
Former Brave Phil Gosselin has agreed to a minor league deal with the Angels. Gosselin spent last season with the Phillies.