The Atlanta Braves have won back-to-back NL East titles but have yet to escape the first round of the postseason. Their success was further dampened this season as they watched the Washington Nationals go from the Wild Card to hoisting the World Series trophy.
The offseason has just gotten underway and is early to do too much forecasting for next season. However, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince does just that predicting division winners for next season in early November.
Even with the Nationals capturing a World Series title, Castrovince predicts the Braves to capture the NL East again in 2020 and points to their young core. He notes that they have holes to fill particularly at catcher, cleanup hitter and starter but points to ample payroll flexibility as a means to fill those holes. It will be interesting to see what the offseason brings for the division and whether or not this prediction holds. Remember the Braves were pretty much an afterthought in preseason predictions last year but went on to win the division anyway.
More Braves News
We are in the final stretch of our 2019 Season in Review series. It continued on Saturday with a closer look at Johan Camargo who struggled for most of the season and outfielder Adam Duvall who rediscovered his power stroke at Gwinnett.
Free Agency / Trade Rumors
Teams around the league believe that the Chicago Cubs will listen to trade offers for catcher William Contreras. Simply listening doesn’t mean there is a deal there to be made but Contreras would be a big name on the market if the Cubs did elect to make him available.
Marcell Ozuna is unlikely to accept the qualifying offer according to a report by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. It remains to be seen what Ozuna’s market will look like. He has put up solid numbers at the plate but doesn’t stand out defensively and adding draft pick compensation on top of that could make things even more difficult. Speaking of Ozuna, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello did a deep dive on Ozuna in search of an answer for why he underperforms his metrics.
The Chicago White Sox issued a qualifying offer to first baseman/designated hitter Jose Abreu but the two sides have discussed a multi-year deal according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly seeking a veteran shortstop and pitching depth that they can deploy at the major league level.
MLB Coaching News
The Chicago Cubs named former Padres manager Andy Green as their new bench coach. Green will serve as new manager David Ross’ top lieutenant replacing Mark Loretta who is leaving the organization.
More MLB Notes
MLB.com’s Richard Justice lists five teams that are looking to make a splash this offseason with the Los Angeles Angels and the Philadelphia Phillies topping the list. The Phillies made a significant splash last offseason signing Bryce Harper but it wasn’t nearly enough to get them over the hump in the NL East.
The San Diego Padres unveiled new uniforms Saturday night that feature a brown and gold color scheme which is similar to their original color scheme that they wore from 1969 through 1984.