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The Daily Chop: Payroll Constraints, Ervin Signing, Player Previews, and more

The Braves may be running out of available funds this offseason.

League Championship - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Four Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After spending relatively freely on notable free agents such as Marcell Ozuna, Charlie Morton, and Drew Smyly, the Braves have reportedly limited themselves to a very small remaining budget for the offseason. The revelation is curious given how quickly the front office acted in signing Smyly to a one-year, $11 million deal in November. The possibility exists that ownership reduced payroll flexibility later in the offseason, which might explain this signing, but either way it’s slightly concerning. The good news is that Atlanta largely returns the same roster that lead them to the NLCS just four months ago, with the exception of a couple bullpen arms. It remains to be seen what the Braves will do to round of their relief corps, but they will have to be creative if Monday’s reports are to be believed.

Braves News

Braves’ payroll flexibility for 2021 reportedly dwindling

Do the Braves truly have less that $5 million to spend? The remaining additions to the roster should tell us the answer.

Braves Claim Outfielder Phillip Ervin

Atlanta adds some potential outfield depth with the signing of Ervin, who has been solid against left-handed pitching throughout his career.

Braves looking to carry over bullpen success into new season

Can the Braves replicate their bullpen success from 2020?

Smith ready to prove himself in 2021

Among the key contributors for the Braves bullpen, Will Smith may be the most important, as losing Mark Melancon to free agency could force Smith into the closer role.

Ian Anderson enters year 2 with same confidence that produced rookie success

Yeah, sign me up for a repeat of 2020 for Anderson. The rookie was dominant and could cement himself as a pillar for the Braves rotation with another solid showing this season.

MLB News

Pujols uncertain on plans beyond ‘21 (source)

Pujols’ wife posted a tribute to her husband on Instagram, which created buzz that this could be the final year of his career. The farewell tour for Pujols would certainly be tremendous, as he will likely go down among the top three or four hitters of all-time upon his retirement. We will see if this actually turns out to be his final season.

Céspedes trying to call it a comeback (again!)

More Cespedes is always a good thing.

Shin-Soo Choo heads to KBO for ‘21 (reports)

After an incredible MLB career, Choo is headed back to his native country. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we see him stateside, but if so, hopefully he finishes strong in the KBO.

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