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Atlanta Braves news: 2018 projections are already coming in

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It’s way too early to even think about the end of the 2018 season, but one projection see the Braves improving by the time next season is over.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

BRAVES NEWS

Early ZiPS projections have Atlanta finishing second in 2018 NL East

We’re not even a week removed from the World Series coming to a close and we’ve already got people putting their eyes squarely on the 2018. As such, Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com has wasted no time putting his way-too-early ZiPS projections out there. The good news for the Braves is that as of right now, ZiPS has them improving. The bad news is that they’d still finish two games under .500 in this scenario, but this does indicate that ZiPS is high on Atlanta’s young talent continuing to blossom with continued major league experience.

Baseball Prospectus reveals top 10 Braves prospects for 2018

Speaking of 2018, it’s never too early to think about next year when it comes to prospects, and that’s what the crew over at Baseball Prospectus is doing as they’re now ranking the top 10 prospects in each organization. Fortunately for us, they’re getting the Braves out of the way early so if you want to see what Baseball Prospectus thinks of the Braves and their loaded farm system, then check it out. The meat of the article is behind a paywall, but if we’re recommending it to you then it’s highly worth subscribing to read the whole thing.

Who would be on the Braves’ Mount Rushmore?

Our Braves-blogging friends over at Tomahawk Take had an interesting question that they tackled during this barren point of the offseason: Who would you put on the Braves “Mount Rushmore?” I’m sure that you’d get plenty of different answers if you asked this to other Braves fans, which means that the answer to this question is always going to be an intriguing one, no matter who you ask.

MLB NEWS

Ethier set to become free agent after Los Angeles declines option

Andre Ethier has spent his entire career with the Dodgers after making his debut in 2006, and he also drove in LA’s only run in Game 7 of this year’s World Series. As it turns out, Game 7 is likely going to end up being Ethier’s last moment as a Dodger as the team has declined their option on him. Ethier has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, so it’ll be very interesting to see who will take a chance on a 35-year-old trying to bounce back from only playing 38 regular season games in that time span.

Tampa Bay extends Qualifying Offer to Cobb

Our friends over at DRays Bay made the argument that the Rays should go ahead and extend the Qualifying Offer to Alex Cobb. In the past, this would leave teams in the lurch but with new rules in place, this could be good business for Tampa Bay.

If he accepts, Cobb is too expensive for the Rays, but besides the optics of having to trade Cobb, they’ll have more than they might have otherwise.

If he declines and he gets a deal worth $50 million that allows you to pick up another pick just after the first round, the upside is far more significant.

If he declines and can’t find a $50 million deal, the Rays have an opportunity to try and convince Cobb to stay for a more reasonable contract, but if he walks, it costs the team nothing to have tried. It’s possible the QO puts a damper on Cobb’s market, but that’s an advantage to the Rays in trying to retain a quality arm.

As it turns out, Jon Heyman is reporting that the Rays have indeed given the QO to Cobb, so now we’ll get to see how this scenario plays out.