Earlier this week, we talked about how the announcement of the punishment that MLB was going to send the Braves’ way was not going to come until after the General Manager meetings next week. I guesstimated that the announcement probably wouldn’t come until the first full week of December at the latest and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is saying that the investigation is still ongoing and that we shouldn’t expect a resolution until December. The saga continues.
With the knowledge that the investigation is still going on and punishments won’t be announced until December, the Braves would be wise to try to get a GM in tow at least before the Winter Meetings roll around. As such, there are reports that the team is indeed working towards hiring a new GM and are planning on keeping John Hart in place as President of Baseball Operations. Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted out a slew of potential GM candidates.
In addition to #Braves GM possibilities Doug Harris, Alex Anthopoulos, Ben Cherington, Jim Hendry, Dan Jennings and obviously Dayton Moore (if prez/baseball ops), another name I heard that's come up: Larry Beinfest.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 9, 2017
It’s always nice to talk about stuff other than the Braves’ front office at the moment, and it’s even better when the topic of discussion is none other than Ozzie Albies. Albies’ initial stint in the big leagues went about as well as it possibly could, and things are only looking up for Atlanta’s second baseman as he heads into his first full season as a big leaguer. As long as he continues to play like he did from the second he came up, we could be in for a lot of fun from Albies in 2018.
The Gold Glove winners were announced earlier this week, so of course the Silver Sluggers had to come shortly afterwards. No Braves earned the award this season, which explains why this is in the “MLB NEWS” portion of the article instead of the “BRAVES NEWS” portion. There was plenty of new blood though, as eight players won their first career Silver Slugger awards for their exploits at the plate in 2017.
Out of this list, there are two players who have now won a Silver Slugger Award four times -- Jose Altuve and Buster Posey — and eight first-time winners — Marcell Ozuna, Eric Hosmer, Aaron Judge, Francisco Lindor, José Ramírez, Gary Sánchez, George Springer and Adam Wainwright.
Meanwhile, for those of you who were wondering “What if” when it came to Freddie Freeman and his unfortunate wrist injury, here are some stats for you.
With free agency now underway, the biggest catch of the offseason has to be Japanese dual-threat Shohei Otani. Otani left hundreds of millions of dollars on the table to come to America earlier, which means that his initial signing is going to be a lot more affordable for more teams across the board. As such, we’re probably going to see a serious bidding war happen, and our friends over at True Blue LA figure that this is going to be the biggest story of the offseason.
The Dodgers are one of 12 teams limited to [a $300,000 signing bonus], per the AP, and five teams are even more constrained because of players already signed.
Far be it for you or me to say that $3.2 million — the difference between what the Dodgers and Rangers can offer as a bonus — is a pittance, but in terms of Otani and his potential earning power, it really is. He’ll be able to earn big money at some point once he comes to MLB. His initial signing bonus will be a small percentage of his career earnings, so it could come down to where Otani truly wants to play, or where he might get the opportunity to both pitch and hit.