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Braves News: Atlanta set for repeat in 2019?

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The Braves have a lot of reasons for optimism in 2019, but can they repeat as division champs?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

BRAVES NEWS

Inbox: Can Braves repeat as NL East champs?

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman answers fan questions regarding the club’s potential to repeat as NL East champs, lineup construction, Craig Kimbrel, etc.

Is it possible to see Craig Kimbrel’s market falling so low he comes back to Atlanta on a deal like Josh Donaldson? -- @ryyxma

Donaldson’s attempt to reset his market led him to gain the same salary he had before his past two seasons were marred by injury. Kimbrel doesn’t need to reset his market, he simply needs it to at least approach what he was seeking.

If you remove the potential opt-out years of Aroldis Chapman’s contract and keep the $11 million signing bonus, you have a three-year, $56 million deal. This still seems to be a little steeper than what the Braves would be willing to pay. But if Kimbrel is still looking for a job a couple weeks from now, there might be reason to start thinking about the possibility of a reunion.

Compensation for Braves uncertain as top pick Stewart enrolls at junior college

The Braves took prep right-hander Carter Stewart in the first round a year ago, and after failing to sign him they received some flack from the Players Association. On Friday, Stewart enrolled at East Florida State Junior College, which puts to rest talks that he might be declared a free agent. Though that matter is resolved, it still remains to be seen what compensation the Braves will receive for not signing Stewart. It is believed that the club will receive the ninth overall pick in the 2019 Draft, but with the ongoing lawsuit against the organization still unresolved, that draft slot is not yet confirmed.

Braves Wonder Whether 2019 Will Bring Good News Or Bad News

Forbes previews the upcoming Braves season, looking at what went right a season ago and what could unfold in 2019.

With severe payroll restrictions in place, the Braves can’t bid for Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or even old friend Craig Kimbrel. That’s bad because the Nationals and Phillies, two of their top NL East rivals, have high interest in those players and enough money to sign them up. Atlanta has the division’s best farm system so the season sets up as a battle between player development and hefty moneybags.

MLB NEWS

Wait til you see next year’s free-agent class

Best- and worst-case scenarios for Harper