Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in just over a week and preparations and projections for the 2020 season are starting to roll in. One such projection, from ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle, takes an early look at starting lineup rankings for all 30 MLB teams. The Atlanta Braves check in at No. 7 on the list which is a little higher than I was expecting.
The Houston Astros top the list and are followed by the Dodgers and the Mets. The Nationals land at No. 11 while the Phillies are at No. 16.
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MLB Pipeline’s discusses each team’s best prospect that wasn’t included on the Top-100 list. Bryse Wilson is named for the Braves and they touch on something that we have mentioned as well. Wilson has been successful at every stop in the minors and doesn’t have much left to prove. He just needs a longer opportunity at the big league level. I have similar feelings about Kyle Wright but it remains to be seen whether the Braves can find a stable and consistent role for either.
Cory McCartney’s weekly starting nine column discusses what we can expect from a now pain-free Freddie Freeman.
Our roundtable series continued on Thursday with the question on where the Braves stand currently in the NL East.
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The Mookie Betts trade rumors are ramping up with both the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers heavily involved in discussions with the Red Sox. Reports suggest that Boston may want to move Betts before the start of spring training but may have a difficult time finding a team that is willing to take on the $96 million owed to left-hander David Price whom they have been shopping in packages with Betts.
The Cincinnati Reds and free-agent reliever Pedro Strop are in agreement on a one-year deal worth just over $1.8 million per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Strop spent the last several seasons with the Cubs but struggled in 2019 posting a 4.97 ERA in 41 2/3 innings.
Pablo Sandoval will be sticking in the Bay Area after agreeing to a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants. Sandoval will get a $2 million deal if he is added to the 40-man roster and can earn an additional $750,000 in performance bonuses. He is currently working his way back after undergoing Tommy John surgery last September.
The Seattle Mariners and reliever Yoshihisa Hirano have agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal. Hirano spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks posting a 3.47 ERA in 137 games.