The Atlanta Braves have a number of items left on their to-do list for the offseason. The team still needs to address a position in the outfield preferably with a Marcell Ozuna sized offensive addition. The team is likely in the market for a veteran catcher and may look to add a veteran reliever before spring training. Bench upgrades are always welcome as well.
There has also been talk of a contract extension for Freddie Freeman who is entering the final year of his current deal. Another Brave that is entering the final year of his deal and could be in line for an extension is manager Brian Snitker. Snitker has signed a pair of extensions with the team since taking over as the full-time manager following the 2016 season. He originally signed a two-year extension at the end of the 2018 season that also included a club option for 2021. The team converted that club option into a guaranteed year last February.
If Snitker wants to continue coaching, and there has been no sign that he is thinking otherwise, then it would be likely that the club could announce some sort of agreement as soon as spring training. This is yet another storyline to monitor in 2021.
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Sad news came on Sunday when it was announced that Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro had passed away in his sleep at the age of 81. Niekro was beloved by many in and around the game and they reacted to his passing accordingly. Niekro had a unique career making his Major League debut in 1964 and threw his final pitch on September 27, 1987 at the age of 48. He logged over 5,400 innings in his career with 1,977 coming after the age of 40.
Here are some great reads on Niekro’s career:
- Numbers show Niekro’s unique HOF career - Sarah Langs - MLB.com
- Knuckleball paved Phil Niekro’s path to Hall - Chris Haft - MLB.com
- Starting Nine: A study in No. 35, Phil Niekro - Cory McCartney - Talking Chop
- The Baseball 100: No. 83, Phil Niekro - Joe Posnanski - The Athletic
From late Sunday night, the Padres made a splash move acquiring left-hander Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Luis Patino, Cole Wilcox, Blake Hunt and Francisco Mejia.
The Padres and Cubs have reportedly had trade discussions involving right-hander Yu Darvish.
The Red Sox are one of the teams showing strong interest in free agent utility man Enrique Hernandez.
Free Agent right-hander Corey Kluber is planning to throw in front of scouts on January 12 or 13 according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Even after signing Josh Bell, the Nationals are still likely to re-sign first baseman Ryan Zimmermann.
Before the Pirates traded Bell to Washington, they had cursory negotiations on a longterm deal with agent Scott Boras. Bell is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2022 season.