The Winter Meetings get underway Sunday in Nashville and Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos met with the media and spoke about a variety of topics surrounding the Braves and the offseason. Most notably, he put an end to any of the talk and speculation about possibly moving Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris or any of their homegrown players that have already signed extensions.
While prepping for the Winter Meetings this morning, Alex Anthopoulos made it very clear he hasn't and won't think about trading Albies, Harris or any other homegrown product who signed an extension over the past few years.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 3, 2023
Anthopoulos cited that they don’t give out no-trade clauses in contracts so he believes that it is important to not start trading players who signed long-term deals believing that they would be with the franchise for a long time. The thought of trading any of those players never made much sense in the first place, but Anthopoulos’ statement is about as point blank as you can get.
As far as anymore potential offseason moves, Anthopoulos said that the team already explored a significant addition, but that it didn’t work out. He was of course tight lipped on any deals that are pending. He doubled down on the group that they have now, but as always, they are open to making a move if the opportunity presents itself.
#Braves want to go into season with 10-11 pitchers who can give them starts, and Anthopoulos said they have that, but it wouldn't stop them from adding another in right deal. Projected OD rotation is Fried/Strider/Morton/Elder/Lopez, but Lopez can go to pen if they add a starter— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) December 3, 2023
He also mentioned AJ Smith-Shawver, Allan Winans, Darius Vines, Hurston Waldrep, Dylan Dodd and Huascar Ynoa as others that could make starts. Anthopoulos also said that barring any setbacks, the team expects Ian Anderson to return sometime in June.
Those comments will likely cause a stir for anyone thinking that the Braves have to absolutely add another pitcher, but the reality is, what else is he going to say? He is trying to maintain leverage in negotiations moving forward. Atlanta does have a lot of options and will have the trade deadline and next offseason as opportunities to address the 2025 rotation. Still, I’m going to bet that another starter is added at some point during this offseason and that Reynaldo Lopez sees more action out of the bullpen than in the rotation.
What about Left Field?
Anthopoulos confirmed that Vaughn Grissom will play the outfield in winter ball in Puerto Rico and will get a look there during the spring.
Alex Anthopoulos mentioned that Vaughn Grissom is going to play winter ball in Puerto Rico in order to get some time in the outfield. #Braves will give him a look there this spring and Grissom wants to be prepared for a new position.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) December 3, 2023
Much like the rotation situation, he did add that they would add someone if the right deal presented itself.
The biggest takeaway from this morning’s session is that the team has zero interest in moving one of its core pieces. As for everything else, we will have to wait to see if the right deal presents itself.