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The Daily Chop: Alex Anthopoulos issues statement, Silver Slugger Awards and more

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Alex Anthopoulos responds to Union Chief’s charge.

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The biggest story from Thursday was the fallout over the statement released by Tony Clark in regards to the comments made by Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos regarding discussing free agency with other teams. Anthopoulos issued a statement of his own on in which he tried to clear up the meaning of his comments.

“In advance of the general managers meetings, I called around to clubs to explore the possibility of potential off-season trades. At no time during any of these calls was there discussion of individual free agents or the Braves’ intentions with respect to the free agent market. To the extent I indicated otherwise during my media availability on Monday, I misspoke and apologize for any confusion.”

I think it is pretty clear what Anthopoulos was trying to say and it was more about doing his due diligence in getting ready for the offseason. There are some prominent voices out there (and some less prominent ones) that disagree with my assessment. Still, under most circumstances, I don’t think the Players Association would bat an eye at these comments. However, these aren’t normal circumstances.

There is tons of pressure on Clark due to his involvement in the negotiation of the current CBA which hasn’t exactly worked out well for the players. While the MLBPA’s investigation into the comments made by Anthopoulos could be classified as grandstanding, this is a warning that every organization needs to take note of.

More Braves News

Awards season continued Thursday night with Ronald Acuña Jr, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman all taking home Silver Slugger Awards.

Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo highlights 14 late round sleepers from the 2019 MLB Draft. Braves first base prospect Bryce Ball made the cut coming in at No. 4. Ball earned the Appalachian League MVP award hitting .324/.410/.676 with 13 home runs in 41 games before he was promoted to Rome.

Baseball America has also released the entire list of minor league free agents for this offseason. Notable Braves include 2013 first round pick Jason Hursh, utility player Ray-Patrick Didder and outfielder Connor Lien.

Our 2019 season in review series continued on Thursday with a look at outfielder Nick Markakis and right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. If you have missed any of the reviews so far you can find them all here.

The Gwinnett Stripers unveiled an updated home jersey and two new caps for the 2020 season.

Modern Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe took a closer look at the Hall of Fame candidacy of former Braves great Dale Murphy and former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman makes the case for why Murphy should be in the Hall of Fame and also the case for why he should fall short.

MLB News

The Houston Astros reshuffled their front office on Thursday moving president Reid Ryan into a lesser role in the organization while owner Jim Crane’s son joined the executive team. In addition, Nolan Ryan told Fox 26 in Houston that he will not return to the club. Ryan, who is Reid’s father, previously served as an executive adviser too Crane.

The Giants search for a general manager is progressing. San Francisco is reportedly considering Astros’ director of player development Pete Putila and Pirates assistant general manager Kevan Graves for the opening.

The Chicago Cubs are adding for Phillies pitching coach Chris Young to their coaching staff as bullpen coach.

Free agent outfielder Brett Gardner and the Yankees are reportedly discussing a new deal that would keep him in New York.