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interest being shown in Marwin Gonzalez… maybe?

While the Braves are still shopping for outfielders, there’s mixed news tonight about whether they’ve arrived at the cashier’s lane.

Let’s jump right in to this:  tonight’s hot topic is the ‘signing’ of versatile infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez, who would be a candidate for a corner outfield position for the Atlanta Braves.  While information is flying around twitter right now, that rumor appears to be… just a rumor.

Here’s the source I’m trusting the most right now:

Yes, we have the English translationSource: #Braves are one of the teams that has shown interest in the Venezuelan Marwin Gonzalez, but has not made any offer. Gonzalez is still a free agent and waiting for a contract at MLB.

Earlier we were hit with multiple ‘sources’ suggesting this:

  • “Marwin Gonzalez signs for 3 years and $56 million with the Braves of Atlánta… was this the best option for Marwin? I want to see your reactions!”


Not Just a Denial

The denials are rolling in now, but this one from Jon Heyman is not just that, but it’s actually a categorical denial:

So… wow… we’re not talking with any free agent right now?  That is interesting, for I would have at least expected that there would be some discussions with some free agents as a backup plan.

Perhaps that suggests – in a backhand manner – that some trade discussion is gaining some traction?  That would be good to know… though it’s still hopeful speculation.


The Common Sense Angle

In the meantime, let’s parse this Gonzalez rumor for just a moment.

  • Gonzalez made $5.125 million last year.  There’s no way he jumps to $18-to-19 million in 2019… particularly after a ‘down’-ish year (2.5 bWAR after 4.3 bWAR in 2017).
  • For him to get money like that, the Astros would have tagged him with the dreaded ‘Qualifying Offer’ label.  And frankly, he would have taken it before the ink dried.
  • In this market, he’s looking a lot more like a $6-to-9 million player… and maybe only for a year+option.

That might actually have been a lot more plausible.  Well played, Dwight.

Marwin is valuable to any club as someone who can play several positions, but the Braves already have a couple of players like that in Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo.

Gonzalez is also a bounce-back candidate, having posted a robust .907 OPS outta nowhere in 2017 (he had never even hit as high as .760 before), though fell back to roughly a career average of .733 in 2018.

So no – even if the Braves had been in pursuit of Gonzalez, the terms would be a lot different – particularly since any chatter about him has completely dried up since the off-season began.

But the news of the night, it seems, might actually be that snippet from Jon Heyman… that there’s nothing going on in the free agent market for Atlanta.

Hopefully there is something brewing on the trade front, then.

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