Before we go into the news of the last day or so, this is a friendly reminder that starting in the next week or so, we are going to be rolling out a lot of 2021 season preview content, so make sure you keep an eye out for that as it is going to be a big undertaking. However, it should also be good to have as a reference as we go throughout the season...and its something else you can make fun of us for. Anyways, on to the news and links.
The biggest news of the day was that the expected changes to the structure of the minor leagues was made official. A lot of affiliates (including the Danville Braves and Florida Fire Frogs) were cut and others were moved around either within the minor league ranks or to independent leagues. Rome is your new high-A Braves affiliate while the Augusta GreenJackets are the new addition to the minor league system as the low-A team.
Farewell, Mark Melancon. There was definitely some writing on the wall that Melancon was headed elsewhere as there were rumors that he was looking for a multi-year deal after another successful season which, well, the Braves were never going to give. San Diego ends up signing him although the terms as of now are a bit of a mystery. We appreciate your service, Mark....best of luck out there on the West Coast. We would appreciate it if you guys could deal with the Dodgers.
The Braves reunited with Travis Demeritte after claiming him off of waivers. Demeritte was sent to Detroit in the Shane Greene trade and his time in Detroit...well, did not go awesome. Demeritte’s hit tool is (and has always been) the biggest question, but the Braves know him well given all the time he spent in their system and as a bench bat, Demeritte has real upside. Jeremy Walker is your roster casualty in the move as he was released.
We have now gotten past the bulk of free agency and spring training is come up fast. However, every team has needs (some more than others) and this is a breakdown of each club’s biggest need going into spring training.
Jake Arrieta’s time with the Cubs was great. His time with the Phillies was...less than great. It appears as though both the Cubs and Arrieta long for those simpler, better times and are pretty close to a one year deal. Arrieta isn’t anywhere close to the guy that dominated in a Cubs uniform, but he should still be helpful for a Cubs team nearing the end of their contention window.