The General Manager meetings are over… soon will be time for the real off-season work to happen.
If you’re thinking that the Atlanta Braves really haven’t gotten anything started in this off-season so far, you’d be wrong. True, there have been no major trades or player signings, but that’s not what happens here in the first week of November.
Over the next week, the center stage will be occupied with the rest of baseball’s awards starting with Rookies of the Year on Monday (Nov 12) and concluding with MVP announcements on Thursday. During this period, MLB tends to prefer that the awards – and the players winning them – rather than seeing a lot of major trade or free agent signing news.
As an aside, we here at the FanSided baseball network will be conducting our version of ‘Winter Meetings’ between Wednesday and Friday… our chance to play ‘Build a Team’ with 30 faux-General Managers all trying to be as realistic as possible while building (or re-building) their clubs. Already, some faux-trades have been made – – this will be a fun experiment again this year.
So instead, the Braves are laying the groundwork for what promises to be a busy December. Here’s what has already happened:
- a trade: catcher Raffy Lopez from San Diego for cash considerations (Nov 1)
- a signing: catcher Denzel Bryson (minor league deal; Oct 3)
- players with expiring contracts have been cut loose from the roster
- players on the 60-day disabled list have been technically activated since that list is dissolved until some time during Spring Training.
- In some cases both of these last 2 points applied to the same player
- multiple players were outrighted from the 40-man roster
- Mike Fast was named as a special assistant to the GM (for analytics)
The 40-man roster’s current configuration is…
- 25 pitchers
- 2 catchers (Lopez and Flowers)
- 5 infielders (Freeman/Albies/Swanson/Camargo/Ruiz)
- 4 outfielders (Acuña/Inciarte/Duvall… and Charlie Culberson)
- 36 players in total
The team continues to survey options for Pitching Coach – with no sense of urgency involved.
Rule 5 Draft
By November 20, teams must decide who to protect from the Rule 5 draft among their longer-term minor league players. Those remaining 4 slots on the 40-man list can/will be used for that purpose.
Among those under consideration for protection:
One caveat here on the Rule 5 situation. Let’s say for example that Travis Demeritte is left off the 40-man roster. If he were subsequently included in a trade that happened ahead of the Rule 5 draft, the acquiring team would then be unable to protect him from being drafted away from them.
Cristian Pache Hits Wall in Arizona
No further word on him at this time. This was the result of a long chase for a fly ball last night in Arizona Fall League play.
More here if/when we find out.
KRIS BRYANT – No, Braves fans… he is not being traded from the Cubs. His name was out there to underscore a point, but he is not being shopped by the Cubs, nor is he any more ‘available’ than… Jacob deGrom or Trea Turner.
So when you see nonsense like this…
… IGNORE IT. This is not a thing.
However, this is a thing… a new FanSided Affiliation with ESPN+, and we’re happy to be part of that extended family!
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THE OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK – despite rumblings…
- No changes (so far) to the trade deadline. Discussions involved making August 15th a hard deadline for all trading (i.e., no more waiver-trading period).
- No changes to anything about sign-stealing or defensive shifting or pitch clocks or disabled lists… though all were on the table.
The most likely change (heard some conflicting information about whether this had actually been adopted) involves having any feeds from center field cameras available for viewing in clubhouses.
I guess the advent of HDTV clarity has made sign stealing an easy matter of watching the game from the comforts of one’s own locker room.