In previous offseasons, the GM going on radio to talk baseball would have just been a footnote in the overall news cycle. However, in this barren wasteland of a slow offseason, Alex Anthopoulos going on MLB Network Radio to do an interview was a goldmine of news. The Braves GM spoke with the MLB Network Radio crew about various topics like Ronald Acuna’s potential debut, free agency (with an eye heavily focused on 2019 and beyond), the state of third base and the rotation and other issues as well. It’s definitely worth a listen and Scott did his best to try to give you an outline of what was discussed.
AA also talked about the trade rumors that are swirling around the Braves, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto. While he didn’t exactly give hope for any sort of trade between the Braves and Marlins being imminent, it’s still fun for us fans to speculate. Our friends over at Fish Stripes did just that as they posted about what it would be like trying to pull this trade off within the division.
The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about such a trade is the traditional “red flag” of trading premier players to another team in your division. The Braves are farther down their rebuild, though are coming off a somewhat disappointing season in that some of their top prospects, notably #1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, under-performed.
However, my sense of the “sports zeitgeist” is that trading to divisional or conference rivals is less a concern than in previous years. Didn’t the Cavs just trade Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, after all? Plus, its not like the Marlins and Braves are the NL East’s equivalent of Yankees vs. Red Sox.
I’m going to be totally honest: I am 100 percent in favor of bringing the Designated Hitter to the National League. I understand that some of you may prefer the strategy that comes with having to account for a pitcher hitting, but having nine solid hitters in your lineup sounds like a better idea than eight, so why not embrace the way of the future? Mike Axisa of CBS Sports talked about this and also passed on the word that Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak believes that the NL is moving towrads adding the DH at some point in the future — even if he isn’t a fan of it.
A rule change as significant as implementing the DH in the NL will not happen overnight. There will be debates and committees and market research and all sorts of things. MLB and the MLB Players’ Association will have to agree to a timetable and things like that. They won’t make a surprise announcement. NL teams deserve some heads up since it’ll affect their roster construction.
Meanwhile, the Hot Stove got a bit of a jolt when the Pirates finally traded Gerrit Cole by sending him to the Astros for a handful of prospects. The move obviously helps strengthen a rotation that was good enough to win a World Series for Houston and now Eno Sarris of FanGraphs is suggesting that this is a perfect fit for the former Pirates ace.