Atlanta Braves news after Winter Meetings Day 1

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The Atlanta Braves and Madison Bumgarner are often linked. but will the tall lefty find a home with the Braves in 2020? (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Rumors and Rumblings

MADISON BUMGARNER

With the Bumgarner revelation on Monday (honestly wasn’t a big surprise), we noted that perhaps it might be time to let the idea of signing him go.

Meanwhile, the Giants have (somewhat surprisingly) revealed that they intend to meet with MadBum representatives – even as they are talking about a rebuild by the bay.

On MLB Network Radio, various industry-connected broadcasters were suggesting the Cardinals as a good fit for him… and they’re right.

Jim Bowden suggested that Atlanta is still not ‘out’ on the pitcher, and Jake’s opinion notwithstanding, it’s probably wise to stay involved… almost regardless of the cost.

The trick will be whether a team thinks that Bumgarner’s going to be durable enough for at least 4 seasons out of the next 5 that he’s now likely to sign for… and to properly value his mentoring abilities for the entire crop of youngsters coming up.

Right now, the Braves have Cole Hamels for that purpose… but it’s only for a single year. Adding Bumgarner would make the rotation Soroka, Hamels, Folty, Bumgarner, and Fried.

In a calendar year, you subtract Hamels and add Wright/Anderson/Wilson… somebody in that group. Yes – the cost is high for 2020, but not after that.

Also of note:  the free agent pitching market is decidedly soft for a while after this off-season.  It could be a ‘now or never’ thing… though the Braves might very well choose “never”.

Still… other priorities are higher on the shopping list, but his price is effectively set… perhaps north of Zack Wheeler and (well) south of Strasburg.

Given what’s taking place now, Bumgarner could very well sign within the next week or so.  Known iInterested teams include the Reds, Twins, and White Sox.  Others lurking would be the Braves, Angels (especially if they lose on Cole), Giants, Cardinals.

It is believed that he would prefer the National League.

 

THIRD BASE

In terms of third base in general, the Braves are now said to be “exploring possibilities” for third base.  That from Alex Anthopoulos this afternoon.

In more detail…

That sounds a lot like Alex Anthopoulos isn’t really seeing what he wants to see for third base – whether that’s Josh Donaldson or anybody else.

For those like myself who would like to see Atlanta engineer a big trade deal with Cleveland, it sounds like their focus is not at all on trading Jose Ramirez, but more about how to shuffle their deck:

That isn’t the statement (made by Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians President of Baseball Operations) of someone who might be in talks to trade their third baseman, is it?

Meanwhile, there’s lots of chatter about Kris Bryant (including a bizarre notion that perhaps they could attach Jason Heyward to a trade deal… not gonna happen), but everyone always ends the discussion with a mention of that pending labor grievance.

“Grievance” is going to be the word of these Winter Meetings… along with ‘Wow’ after each pitcher signs.

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