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Braves News: Third base options coming into focus?

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Football sucks. Carry on.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-All Star Game Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you are a fan of college football and had a rooting interest in either team last night, congratulations (or not). As you may be able to ascertain from the header, I had to watch as yet another football team I root for blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. I hate sports.

Anyway, here’s some “news”:


Braves still have decisions to make on four-arbitration eligibles

The Braves have four players left who are eligible for arbitration this offseason, and Kris Willis has a breakdown of those players as well as their projected figures. Mike Foltynewicz is the most significant contributor of the group, and thus is projected to receive the largest sum this offseason.

Foltynewicz is the biggest name on this list and is due a significant raise. After making $544,000 in 2017, MLB Trade Rumors projects a $2.7 million salary in arbitration for 2018.

Braves rumors: Atlanta focused on stop-gap options at third base

With Braves legend Adonis Garcia in route to Korea, the club is reportedly focusing on short-term options on the free agent market, with players like Eduardo Nunez and Todd Frazier being mentioned as possibilities. Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes that this is a mistake by the front office, who should instead pursue Mike Moustakas, who will receive more years, more money, and create a more permanent log-jam should Austin Riley prove himself ready for the major leagues in the next two years.

The Braves do not have interest in Moustakas and instead are focusing on stop-gap third basemen like free agents Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez as they wait for top prospect Austin Riley to arrive. That is a mistake. Moustakas would fit great in that ballpark and his defense would be phenomenal in developing their young pitching staff. The Braves could always package Riley with a couple of their pitching prospects to land either Christian Yelich and/or J.T. Realmuto in a trade with the Marlins. Those type of moves would expedite the Braves return to contention.

The last thing new GM Alex Anthopoulos needs is for former GM Jim Bowden to be speaking in absolutes about his “mistakes” in player evaluation. Take it easy Ralph, they have it under control.

Todd Frazier is the free agent the Braves should target

Speaking of the Toddfather, our own Scott Coleman opines that the Braves should make him their most highly sought-after free agent target this offseason. Frazier has a long track record of being productive on both sides of the ball, and should only command a deal in the 2-3 year range.

Frazier, 32 next month, posted a 108 wRC+ and 3.0 WAR with the White Sox and Yankees last year. He’s played more than 147 games in each of the last five seasons*. He’s never had a high batting average, but he walks a lot (11.8%) and hit 67 homers the last two years while playing strong defense (+10 DRS in 2017, +8 the last two seasons). He’s also regarded as a Good Teammate In The Clubhouse, for whatever that’s worth.

Braves hope young rotation steps up in 2018

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman examines the makeup of the 2018 rotation as it currently stands. The projected order begins with Julio Teheran, followed by Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Newcomb, and Luiz Gohara. Those five give the Braves a mixture of veteran leadership as well as immense upside from the two young left-handers, Newcomb and Gohara. However, Atlanta also possesses a number of secondary options that could challenge for a spot in Spring Training.

Luiz Gohara, Max Fried, Lucas Sims, Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard will come to Spring Training with a chance to either open the season as the fifth starter or at least prove how close they are to establishing themselves as mainstays in Atlanta’s rotation.


Yelich-ing for a deal? 10 for Marlins to mull

Anthony Castrovince of proposes ten different deals that might interest the Marlins in exchange for outfielder Christian Yelich. Castrovince includes the Braves in the mix, offering Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson, and Christian Pache for Yelich. If Yelich can be had for that package, I would have a hard time turning it down from a Braves perspective.

Source: Cole target as Astros seek top starter

The Astros are not sitting on their hands this offseason. They are making a push to reload a roster that just brought them a World Series title. With reported interest in Gerrit Cole, Houston could be in position to add yet another front-line starter to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers.