Julio Teheran topped his good performance last week against the Red Sox by pitching seven innings of a gem against the Cubs on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, he didn't figure into the official result because the bullpen couldn't keep the Cubs at bay. On the other hand, the Braves basically scrapped their way to four runs, with the fourth run coming in the 10th inning and ending up being enough to win.
On Sunday morning, the Braves made the decision to send Chris Withrow to AAA Gwinnett in order to bring up Emilio Bonifacio. This seemed like a normal move to make, until baseball informed them that Bonifacio wouldn't be eligible to play for a few days due to a rule that the Braves overlooked when it came to Bonifacio. Whoops!
There's a bit of an arcane rule on the major league books that a player released by a team may not be added back to that team's major league roster for 30 days. It says something (not entirely sure what), that no one wanted Bonifacio on their roster after the Braves released him during Spring Training after they had given him a $1.25 million dollar major league deal, but because Bonifacio re-signed with the Braves on a minor league deal subsequent to his release, he is essentially not eligible to play for the big league Braves until 30 days after his release.
Mike Foltynewicz will be making his return to the Braves starting rotation tonight, and he'll be replacing Bud Norris, to boot. There were rumors that the Braves were extremely disappointed with Norris' performances so far in the young season, and this was always a possibility. It's come to pass, and now Folty will be making his 2016 debut after staying in the minors for the first month of the season.
Last week, one of the more interesting rumors concerning the Braves was that they were interested in picking up draft picks via trade, and were willing to take on bad contracts in order to do so. As such, CBS Sports decided to try to figure out who would be the best trade partner for the Braves among teams who have draft picks that can be traded.
Athletics (37th pick): One name immediately jumps to mind here: Billy Butler. He is owed $10 million in both 2016 and 2017, and at this point he's been relegated to platoon DH duty. The A's would love to unload his salary. So much so they'd probably part with the 37th pick to make it happen. The Braves took on Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher in salary dumps last year and released both in spring training, eating the remaining money on their contracts. Would they take on Butler's deal and then simply release him in exchange for that 37th pick? I wouldn't rule it out.
The deal that makes the most sense to me is with the A's for Butler, and that only works if the Braves are willing to either release Butler and eat the money, or stick him on the bench as a right-handed pinch-hitter. That's pretty much all he would be able to do with Freddie Freeman entrenched at first base.
The Atlanta Braves are one of the rarities in baseball in that they own the vast majority of their minor league system. As such, that puts them in charge of the operations of these teams -- from the on-the-field action to off-the-field business deals, and that includes getting stadiums built for these teams. From the major league squad to the single-A team, the Braves have managed to get taxpayers to pay "nearly half a billion" dollars for stadiums. That is absurd.
But before the new stadium in Cobb County, the Braves built three minor league parks. The team worked its way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A – and in every case the Braves showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger, Bloomberg says.
Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun is in the first year of a big money contract. He's also a star player on a clear rebuilding team, which means that he's going to be involved in trade talks. As such, Braun's prepared himself and has a no-trade clause in his contract that he recently updated. He has the ability to possibly block a trade to all but six teams: The Los Angeles Angels, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Miami Marlins. It's safe to say that Braun would definitely prefer to go back to his home of California (or relatively close, in the case of Arizona) or to his old college stomping grounds in Miami.
Marcus Stroman turned 25 years old on Sunday, and he celebrated the occasion in style. The Blue Jays pitcher picked up a career-high nine strikeouts and completely shut down the Tampa Bay Rays over eight innings. The Rays pitching staff matched Stroman's effort until the ninth inning, which is when the Blue Jays broke the game open and eventually won the game 5-1.