Remember David Carpenter? Not the one who struggled for the Braves this past season, but the one who was actually pretty decent for the Braves during 2013 and 2014? Yeah, he's back with the Braves now on a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Ryan Lavarnway is also returning on a minor-league deal, and the Braves signed eight other players to similar contracts. None of these moves are particularly huge splashes by themselves, but it's nice to see that the "OG" version of David Carpenter will be making a return to the Braves, at least for Spring Training.
While none of the aforementioned names figure to have breakout seasons, the Braves still have a few prospects who could potentially have breakout seasons at the major league level in 2016. Minor League Ball has identified three such players. The obvious candidate is Hector Olivera, but the writer also mentioned Adonis Garcia as a potential sleeper candidate, and Mallex Smith is the rookie to watch. Either way, if any or all of these three broke out in 2016, it'd be a huge help for a team that's in huge need of offensive help.
In case you haven't noticed it, the free agent market is going kind of slow so far this offseason. For various reasons, teams are being reluctant to spend big, which means that we haven't seen any huge splashes in free agency yet. As such, our friends over at Tomahawk Take are thinking that this could probably help the Braves in the trade market, especially when it comes to possibly capitalizing on the interest in Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran, among others.
Meanwhile, the Braves' first-round pick in the 2015 Draft has tried to clarify rumors about issues with his back. Kolby Allard did indeed have a procedure on his back, but according to the Braves, the surgery was "minor" and Allard will indeed be ready for Spring Training. Allard himself posted this note on his Twitter page:
Regarding my back pic.twitter.com/OAlu1EL43L— Kolby Allard (@KolbyAllard) November 24, 2015
Hopefully he'll be in tip-top shape for the Spring and we can put this all behind us. Get it? Behind us? Because of his back? Yeah, I'm bad at this.
There have been plenty of rumors that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria "can't stand" young outfielder Marcell Ozuna, and as a result, the Marlins have been trying to move him. The Seattle Mariners have been somewhat aggressive on the trade market so far and they've been looking for outfielders, so naturally, the two teams are currently trying to work out a deal. The Marlins may be receiving pitching talent in return for Ozuna, but nothing's set in stone yet. With that being said, it appears that Loria could be close to getting his wish of getting Ozuna out of town for no reason other than he doesn't like him. Hooray for the Marlins!
If you're following the free agent market for catchers since the Braves are apparently exploring picking up another catcher, one name to take off of the list is Geovany Soto. Soto has agreed terms with the Los Angeles Angels on a one-year deal worth $2.8 MM. Also, if you were looking at Chris Ianetta, then too bad for you, because the Mariners snapped him up on a one-year deal as well. So, if you were an AL West team looking for a catcher, then it was a good day for you if you were in Seattle or Los Angeles.