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The Daily Chop: Replacing Marcell Ozuna, Cristian Pache and more

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National League Championship Series Game 6: Atlanta Braves v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

While we have seen some activity pick up around Major League Baseball over the past week, all remains quiet for the Atlanta Braves who still need to bring back Marcell Ozuna or replace him with another big bat for the middle of their lineup.

There has been a lot of ebbs and flows this offseason in regards to a potential return for Ozuna. Early reporting suggested that the Braves would only be interested if the DH remains in the National League. We are still waiting to find out the fate of the DH and there is increasing doubt that Atlanta will be a serious suitor for Ozuna.

ESPN’s Buster Olney pointed to Atlanta’s payroll structure as a reason to doubt that Ozuna will return in his Sunday Notes column.

Given the Braves’ payroll structure, they appear highly unlikely to re-sign Ozuna, leaving a gaping need for a right-handed hitter in the middle of their lineup to bat behind Freddie Freeman. It’s possible they could move right-handed hitting catcher Travis d’Arnaud to the cleanup spot, after his best season. If their best available outfield options involve left-handed hitters rather than right-handed boppers, they’re open to going that route.

Alex Anthopoulos has been hesitant to hand out any big money, multi-year deals for free agents since taking over as Atlanta’s GM. The Braves are also likely to hand out a big multi-year extension to reigning MVP Freddie Freeman. How they go about filling out the remainder of their lineup remains to be seen.

Braves News

Braves outfield prospect Cristian Pache is the first player to be named to MLB Pipeline’s All-Defense team four times. Catcher Shea Langeliers was named to the All-Defense second team.

This week’s mailbag focuses on potential trade targets, a possible Adam Duvall reunion and more.

MLB News

Ken Rosenthal floats the idea that the Toronto Blue Jays could sign both George Springer and Michael Brantley this offseason.

The International Signing Period opened on Friday and The Athletic named the Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Orioles, Rays and White Sox as the big winners.

Former Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart submitted a bid of $115 million to purchase the city of Oakland’s share of the Coliseum with plans to develop the site. The A’s currently own the other half of the Coliseum.