Once again, the trade winds are swirling around the Atlanta Braves, and they're mostly centered around Freddie Freeman. However, the Braves have made sure to note that they're just "listening" to offers, and they're not actively shopping their star first baseman on the market. Granted, it makes sense for them to listen to offers -- anybody can be available for the right price. However, I still think that it'd be a bridge too far for the Braves to move Freeman. At some point, you've got to chill out and keep a cornerstone to build around, right?
Fredi Gonzalez is convinced that they won't be moving Freeman anytime soon, for what it's worth.
Fredi Gonzalez says absolutely Freddie Freeman will be playing 1B for the #Braves on opening day in 2016.— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) November 17, 2015
Fredi: "I talked to Coppolella. He said [Freeman] rumors are not true. We’ve never even entertained idea. People have called, he's listened"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) November 17, 2015
Meanwhile, the newest member of the Los Angeles Angels recently did an interview with MLB Network. Andrelton Simmons figured to be one of the core members that would last through this current Braves rebuild, but that turned out to not be the case, and for Simmons, it was a bit of a shock.
Former Braves shortstop told the MLB Network he had an inkling the Braves would try to trade him, but in the end he was as surprised as any he won't be in an Atlanta uniform next season.
"I didn't expect it, but if you see what's happening in Atlanta ... you won't be surprised when you hear it's happening," said the best overall defensive player in the majors.
The Braves did get a major league player back in the deal that sent Andrelton Simmons to the red side of Los Angeles, and it's longtime Angels SS Erick Aybar. Assuming that they don't flip him for something else in the future, Aybar should be a serviceable shortstop for the Braves in 2016, and he'll definitely serve as an offensive upgrade over Simmons. With that being said, Aybar isn't in Simmons' galaxy when it comes to defense, so clearly the days of seeing a Braves shortstop manage to throw someone out at first base from left field are over. However, Aybar definitely has the potential to be a solid shortstop for the Braves, even if he'll probably be a short-term fix at that position.
The BBWAA announced their Rookie of the Year award winners last night, and it shouldn't be too much of a shock that Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa took home the honors for the NL and AL, respectively. Kris Bryant was one of the main contributors on a solid Cubs team that made it to the NLCS, while Carlos Correa emerged as one of the leaders of the surprising Astros -- despite being called up on June 8th. Both Bryant and Correa are extremely deserving winners, and proof that if you nail your high draft pick, good things can happen. In a best-case scenario world, we'll be saying the same thing sometime in the future about whoever the Braves pick with their top 3 pick next season.