The Baseball Winter Meetings will officially get underway Monday in a virtual capacity due to the ongoing pandemic. It has been a quiet offseason so far for most of the league and we will have to wait and see if things pick up this week. I took a look at some of the pressing issues that remain for the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. One thing that would go a long way to getting the offseason moving would be a resolution on the Universal DH. The lack of clarity has stalled the free agent markets for Marcell Ozuna and Nelson Cruz. There has not been much discussion on the topic at all this offseason. The Winter Meetings this week would seem to be as good a time as any to announce it one way or the other.
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Kris Bryant is one of the bigger name players that is thought to be available this winter. Bryant is coming off of a tough season and is entering his final season of arbitration. MLB.com put together seven hypothetical trade scenarios for Bryant including one with the Braves. The deal would have Atlanta sending left-handed pitching prospect Kyle Muller, Sean Newcomb and third baseman Austin Riley to Chicago in return for Bryant.
My thoughts are that it feels like a lot given the questions surrounding Bryant and the fact that he will be a free agent at the end of the season. It also feels like a lot when you look some of the other proposals. It will be interesting if we hear the Braves associated with a Bryant trade this week.
No teams are mentioned but Robert Murray reports that a few clubs have inquired about free agent Marcus Semien as a second or third baseman.
Finally, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Sunday morning that the Philadelphia Phillies are facing a financial crunch and are open to offers for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. Later that afternoon, Phillies managing general partner John Middleton denied that report saying that he wouldn’t trade Wheeler under any circumstances, not even for Babe Ruth.