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Atlanta Braves news and links: Fredi Gonzalez has a starting rotation in mind

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Today's Braves news and links have nothing to do with Nick Swisher. We just like this photo. Seriously, look at this glorious man.

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Swanson and Albies are aware of hype surrounding potential as double play partners

Dansby Swanson and Ozhaino Albies are locker mates at this year's spring training, and that's definitely not an accident. The Braves are hoping that these two could eventually turn into long-term double play partners at the second base and shortstop position, and both prospects are well aware of the expectations surrounding their development. This is especially the case for Albies, who is hoping to live up to the lofty standards of fellow Curacao natives and former Braves Andrelton Simmons and Andruw Jones.

"We get along really well, me and Dansby, and its' a good time," Albies said.

It's not a point that they have openly discussed, but there's no question they have a sense that putting them together this spring is with an eye on their one day teaming up in Atlanta.

"It feels like it," Albies said. "(We have to) just work hard to be ready for it."

Both being shortstops, there's going to come a point when one moves to second base, but for now both are continuing to play at the same position. With expected starter Erick Aybar in the locker next to theirs, Albies is taking advantage of the lessons the veteran -- who as a Gold Glove on his resume -- is offering.

Fredi Gonzalez has a starting rotation in mind

The competition for spots in the Braves' starting pitching rotation is seemingly pretty wide open, but Fredi Gonzalez already has an initial idea of who he plans to roll out there for his rotation in spring training. Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler, Bud Norris, Kyle Kendrick, and Jhoulys Chacin are the early front runners for starting pitching jobs this season.

"We’re going to build those guys up as starters, get them stretched out and prepared to go north," Gonzalez said. "Those are going to be the main five guys. But I think early in camp, at least the first time in the rotation, you can start a (Aaron) Blair or a (Lucas) Sims, or a (Sean) Newcomb, you can start a Williams Perez. And still, the rest of the (main five) guys, we’ve got it worked out where they’ll have six or seven starts to get stretched out.

"You get to see the young guys early. Then we’ll flip-flop them when it comes to getting three or four innings, the young guys will come in second or third (in relief during games)."

Swanson and Gonzalez have a long history

Dansby Swanson may have just recently joined the Braves' organization, but he's actually relatively well-acquainted with the manager of the major league team. As a matter of fact, Swanson played with Gonzalez's son when hey were kids, and Swanson's dad coached Gonzalez's son. The two lost contact shortly after that, but Gonzalez kept up with Swanson's high school accolades, and now things have come full circle with Swanson poised to be a central figure of the Braves' rebuild.

Coppolella is set to do another #AskCoppy session on Twitter

Braves GM John Coppolella is returning to Twitter to answer the questions of Braves fans on the internet. If you missed it the first time, then you missed out on what was actually a somewhat intriguing session. So, if you've got free time at around 1 PM EST today and you've got a Twitter account, then I suggest you try your luck at getting one of your questions answered. Either way, it seems like this should be fun, just like the first session was.


Rangers sign Ian Desmond to one-year deal

Ian Desmond was one of the offseason's most coveted free agents, with many baseball minds and prognosticators figuring that the former Washington Nationals shortstop would eventually end up making some serious money. This is what led Desmond to "bet on himself" after turning down a $107 million contract in 2014. Well, fast forward to February 2016 and Desmond has just signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Yes, you read that correctly: Eight million dollars. Eight million dollars is still plenty of money, but it darn sure ain't $107 million, that's for sure.

Pirates apparently haven't had contract talks with Gerrit Cole

Pirates ace Gerrit Cole figures to be in line to receive a serious raise sometime in the future, but apparently the Pirates are being very reluctant to talk about a contract extension with Cole. This is probably due to the fact that Scott Boras is Cole's agent, which means that the money involved is probably going to be crazy, which means that the Pirates may not be able to afford keeping Cole in Pittsburgh long-term. Still, Cole appears to be annoyed with the entire situation, which doesn't bode well for Pittsburgh and keeping their ace in town on a long-term basis.