Fits for Atlanta Braves? 2020 Free Agents (Catcher/Utility)

The Braves will have a lot of holes to fill as they’ve lost a TON of guys to free agency. Sure, they could fill most spots internally with young guys, but I can’t fathom that they will depend on guys like Austin Riley and Alex Jackson out of the gate. Instead, I feel like we are going to see guys receiving extra development time at AAA and Anthopoulos will grab 3-4 veteran pieces for the 2020 season.

It is with that in mind that we start looking at positions of need. Brian McCann has retired and right now, there is no catching tandem. Whether it be through trade or free agency, a catcher will be added.

The Braves also received remarkable production from Matt Joyce and Adeiny Hechavarria, both now free agents. Whether they bring those 2 back remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt the Braves need depth on the bench.

The Great Hunt begins. Sound the horn.

Catching Candidates

*Theory in action. The move toward 8-man bullpens and 4 man benches handicapped the NL in a way that the AL never felt. However, with the structure of the roster going forward being 13 pitchers/13 position players, that struggle will come to an end and every team will have a 5 man bench and an 8-man bullpen. With the 26th man to be added in 2020, I think more teams, especially NL teams, will employ a 3rd catcher or a speedster to run in late innings. It is with that working theory that I dream…

Alex Avila (33)- If Avila was asked to catch 50-60ish games/year, I think he could thrive. Historically, Avila has been decent with the stick and does a decent job holding runners.

Jason Castro (33)- Castro has been a good framer and above average defensive catcher for years, but merely average at holding runners. Like Avila, Castro seems like a good fit if the Braves utilize the 26th man as a 3rd catcher and have all 3 share the load.

Francisco Cervelli (34)- Cervelli seemed a good fit on the roster, and while we didn’t get to see his impact behind the dish all that much, his stick was remarkable. I think his regular catching days are done, but, once again, he’d make a great uno to a trio of catchers.

Robinson Chirinos (36)- At 35 y/o, Chirinos broke out offensively. Let’s not read too much into that as MANY broke out offensively in 2019. Still, he can hold his own with the stick and the mitt and like the above 3, would be great as a trio.

Travis d’Arnaud (31)- GET ME OUT OF HERE! I’m sure, at some point in the last 3 years, these words were yelled from the cavernous hell that is the New York Mets locker room. d’Arnaud had a bounceback season with the Rays and could’ve bought himself a couple million bucks. Defensive metrics were sound and he can swing it a bit, but I’d be willing to bet that d’Arnaud wouldn’t dig a gig that carries 3.

Yan Gomes (32) – $9MM club option with a $1MM buyout-Gomes has merely been serviceable for the Nationals and at 9MM, he’ll likely be one of their backstops again in 2020.

Yasmani Grandal (31) – Grandal is the prize catcher in this lot as he’s one of the best receivers, framers, and hitters behind the dish. I’ve already seen Braves fans clamoring for him, and I get it. But, let’s not forget the story of Jonathan Lucroy (and many others), and that catchers are volatile. Still, he’d go a long way in solidifying a weak offensive position.

Martin Maldonado (33)- Was a backup until 2017 and now he’s catching 100+ games/year. Has been going in the wrong direction in the last few years. Doesn’t really fit to me.

Russell Martin (37)- Dude’s getting up there in age and still pushing positive results with his defense and framing. Was known to control the running game pretty well, but that skill is leaving. Still, people see him as a leader of men.

Bench/Utility Candidates

Matt Adams (31) – Can still hit RHP and could benefit greatly from the new 3 batter minimum rule.

Brad Miller (30)- Until 2016, Miller was a good glove and a good stick then his production fell off a cliff in 2017 and it seemed like everyone forgot he was actually pretty good ballplayer. He put together a great 2019 as a backup to numerous positions boasting a .938 OPS against RHP.

Mitch Moreland (34)- Moreland might get a full-time gig somewhere, but more than likely, he’ll be a 1B/DH/PH type. Hits RHP very well, but I cannot imagine he’d sign with Atlanta knowing full well he’ll not see the field.

Justin Smoak (33)- Smoak would be the kind of versatile bat that I’d like to see the Braves grab. In the last 5-ish years, he’s been a .750ish OPS hitter from both sides of the plate. I feel like he’s destined to live out the rest of his career in PH duties.

Jedd Gyorko (31)- Had an awful 2019, but still has pop and versatility in the glove.

Brock Holt (32)- Versatility at the plate and in the field. His last 2 years nearly mirror each other and he’s likely a .700-.750 OPS guy going forward.

Eric Sogard (34)- After being worth 2 fWAR over the course of a 7 year MLB career Sogard put together a 2.6 fWAR season playing all over the diamond. Look, I won’t deny that this feels like Ryan Flaherty’s first 2 months in 2018 stretched out over a year, but Sogard has serious versatility and if he could even get close to the numbers he put up in 2019, he could be a valuable asset. At 34…it was likely the ball.

Neil Walker (34)- A slight bounceback season from Mr. Walker, but has seemingly lost a lot of the defensive versatility that made him so valuable of a commodity.

Ben Zobrist (39)- I’ve always wanted a Ben Zobrist. For his career, he’s been like the ultimate security blanket that can play anywhere AND he’s a switch hitter. He’s going to be 39 in 2019, but I can’t help but yearn for a Zobrist on the Braves.

Asdrubal Cabrera (34)- Cabrera is a guy that’s been underpaid for his entire career and I don’t really know why. According to Fangraphs, he’s been worth over 200MM, yet his cash earnings only come out out to 63MM. As much as I’d like Zobrist on this team, Asdrubal could really help solidify the bench.

Adeiny Hechavarria (31)- Look…it was likely a 100% fluke, but if Hech wants to come back to the Braves for 2ish million, I’m all in and I don’t really care that last year was his first year to ever produce an OPS over .700. I liked what I saw and he seemed like a different hitter. Seitzer magic?

Jose Iglesias (30)- Like Hech, Iglesias is a glove first guy, but also like Hech, he held his own with the stick. A good glove guy that’s not a auto-out when asked to hit is fine with me as the 26th man.

Jordy Mercer (33)- Copy/Paste from 2 above.

Who ya got on this list? If you think Braves might entertain 3 catchers, who are the 2 from this list you’d grab? Bench? Likely need a utility then an OFer. Anyone above? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Long live Braves Journal.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

50 thoughts on “Fits for Atlanta Braves? 2020 Free Agents (Catcher/Utility)”

  1. I don’t buy the 3rd catcher hype. The third catcher can be a good glove, no hit type on a MiLB contract playing in AAA teaching AJax framing techniques.

    Assuming we sign Donaldson and Grandal, our position player roster looks like this:


    That’s 11 of 13 right there. Assuming Camargo and Riley both start at AAA, you need a Util IF and a LH power bat. The perfect fit for Util IF is Asdrubel. I have been on the Asdrubel train since the Mets wanted to trade him year before last. He did for the Nats what Hech and Cervelli did for us. Unpredictable, though, he was a bust for the Phils and the Rangers. Nevertheless, serviceable and a switch hitter. Just like Camargo. If Camargo stays in the majors, this role is already filled.

    That leaves one spot to fill. LH PH – preferably one that can play OF and even better if he can pass for a CF. And he must have real pop (the anti-Markakis). Enter Kole Calhoun. This role should be filled by either Calhoun or Corey Dickerson. With Calhoun onboard (at Ender salary levels), then Ender becomes a potential trade candidate. Trading Ender opens the door for Pache with Calhoun/Acuna as backup.

    Hech would be a good sign if we can’t get Asdrubel. Also, Asdrubel would be able to join the Venezuelan club on the team.

  2. From previous thread:

    Donny Simpson says:

    November 6, 2019 at 11:26 am

    @19 And if the Braves still get bounced in the first round next season, provided they return to the playoffs, would you still feel the same way about .260 with 15 HRs for $27M in 2021?

    I’m not advocating for passing on Donaldson, as I think he’s a better risk to take than most, but if they could get Moustakas on a short deal and sign Grandal, then that’s an equally appealing route to go.

    That’s the path our GM appears to be going down. You don’t want to arrive in 2022 with dead money locked up in declining players and possibly have not appeared in a World Series yet. There’s a window for this team, but it’s size is still yet to be determined.

    I think there’s a peak to this team that is still out ahead by a year or two. The closer we get to it with all the moneys not being tied up, the more likely we are to be able to shock all of baseball when we suddenly make a big risky move.

    I’d 100% feel the same if they got bounced in the first round, because at least they took their shot. I’d rather a team act and fail than to sit idle with fear.

    I don’t really see Moose and Grandal as an equally appealing option, either. The Brewers didn’t really beat the world with that tandem. The Braves might have a little better position core, but I think the Brewers had a better pitching group last season.

    I think they either need Donaldson and Grandal, or Donaldson and a front line SP to step forward.

  3. I’m not really in favor of running 3 catchers over the duration of the season. Most catchers just don’t hit enough to be regular PH, and you can’t PR them. It somewhat wastes a roster spot, I think.

    From this list, I’d of course like Grandal. If he just hates peaches and Coke for some reason, then I guess d’Arnaud would be my plan B.

    I’d probably pluck Brad Miller, too. I’m not convinced Snit won’t use Nick an awful lot, even if he rests him more. So it’d be nice to have a bench bat that handles RHP. I’d also play him at 1B now and then to rest Freeman, regardless of if Freddie likes it or not.

    Last spot, I don’t know. I’m spending a lot of money, so who works cheap I guess? Lol. I’d take Hech, if the price is right.

  4. @2 – You said it, King. If there were a choice between:

    A) 2-3 year window of a team that is a legit WS contender, followed by 2-3 more years of “paying for” tail end of veteran contracts, or:

    B) 5-6 years of a team with a decent shot of being the 9th or 10th best team in the playoffs, but boy are they financially flexible.

    I’d take Option A every time. Is my worldview skewed by being a Braves fan the last 20 years? Of course. But I’d rather a shorter window with a dynomite team then a long window with a wild-card good team at this point.

  5. Guys/Gals, I don’t want to get on the offseason hype train, but Bowman’s latest piece sure does make it sound like the Braves are going to spend some serious cash.
    -Serious look at Grandal
    -Re-signing Donaldson #1 priority
    -Drops Marte as trade possibility
    -Expected to bid for Bumgarner & Wheeler.

  6. I don’t want a pitcher with a QO attached unless it is Cole or Strasburg. And, I doubt FO is looking at Wheeler or Bumgarner except in the ‘if they fall low” sense.

  7. You don’t think Atlanta has a crush on Bumgarner because he’ll be another voice of the “play the game the right way” movement for Acuna, do you?

  8. I’m betting they like Bum because he’s as southern as a ham hock and they’ve been crosschecking him since he could crawl. But I don’t trust him at all – he’s got enough miles on his arm for every pitch to be his next to last.

  9. @11 I’ve long felt there has been collusion on the owner’s part. In this particular instance I don’t think that’s what Anthopolous was referring to, or how he meant it to be taken. As you said, it was probably meant in reference to the trade market. When things already look bad with player relations though, that’s a black eye.

  10. Yeah, I’m not interested in Bumgarner at all. There have to be better options to spend money on, either via free agency or trade.

  11. That only looks bad if one insists on reading it in the most negative way possible. Of course teams try to draw inferences about what other teams are doing. No one is surprised by this or considers it a problem, but because Tony Clark is clearly operating in bad faith we’re going to get this nonsense news cycle.

  12. Yeah, I think the union is seriously fishing. To claim it’s inappropriate for a GM to talk to other GMs about each of their players is facially absurd. It ain’t collusion to ask, “So, you shopping or selling?”

    I think Tony Clark has been an extraordinarily weak union leader and the players have gotten hosed in negotiations since he took over. He knows it, and he has to assert his strength before the next CBA, or else 1) the players will get rolled again, and 2) he’ll get axed. He’s making a mountain out of a molehill here.

    That’s not to say this isn’t dangerous for the Braves. Clark just called 9-1-1, and there’s no telling what happens when the cops show up on the scene.

  13. Mike Golic just used “hibernation mode” on Golic & Wingo this morning. Of course, he was talking about the Chicago Bears, but “mode” y’all.

  14. I don’t see what is so bad about what he said. Sounds like the job of a GM. I think Tony Clark is looking to prime the pump for more owner-player tension when it’s February 1 and x number of free agents are unsigned.

  15. I think there’s obvious and rampant collusion, and even I think this complaint is stupid. They’re basically putting words in his mouth. “Getting a sense” for what teams generally might be looking to do in free agency is not collusion.

  16. I guess I’m a little more charitable to Clark than everyone else. The major issue the MLBPA is facing right now is the possibility of intelligent collusion from teams, so Clark has to be on that issue. AA said a thing that because of phrasing sounds like collusion talk, so Clark has to be on it to send the message to teams that the union will be fighting tooth and claw against even perceived collusion.

    I do think AA’s words are innocent, but after last off-season Clark has to be rigorously and thoroughly fighting collusion.

  17. I would think that if Clark was looking for a case to start an investigation, what AA said was probably enough.

  18. Clark is a buffoon. Why would you have a player as your rep and not a lawyer is befuddling, unless you have to.
    And there is no collusion, GMs are using data more then ever and they are learning what everyone knew, long term contracts stink.

  19. That Bumgarner rumor is gaining a ton of buzz this morning. I’m not too sure how I feel about it, but I don’t think I like it. I maybe could be swayed. It seems like a waste of time and resources to push for a pitcher who’s a mid-rotation arm, with numbers slightly worse than Julio’s. MadBum is the better pitcher there; but enough so to justify the extra cost?… I’m not sold.

  20. Yeah, this is definitely one for the lawyers. Collusion is a very specific claim that’s often very difficult to prove. Clark is barking up the wrong tree here, because from where I’m sitting there’s nothing wrong with teams doing what AA said, unless of course they have rules explicitly forbidding it. Do they?

    I think that the problem the player’s union is actually facing, and I do support them most of the time, is that free agency is operating less like an auction and more like the typical hiring process. I mean, news flash, we all work for companies who somewhat regularly follow up with each other on salary scales. Of course, MLB teams are getting together and deciding what the going “rate” ought to be, but teams are always free to overpay. Unless we think teams have been coordinating with each other to keep the bidding low. Does everyone think that’s happening?

  21. I think it really just depends on what you can get Bumgarner for. MLBTR has him at 4YR/$72M. He’s 30 years old, and I would definitely commit to him for 4 years at $18M per. If we declined Teheran’s option to end up with Bumgarner at that price, then I’m happy.

    You’d call him your #1 based on experience and all that, which is whatever, but our rotation would be exciting: Bumgarner, Soroka, Fried, Folty, someone else. That probably wins the division, and what we do on the position player side and the bullpen dictates how we do in the postseason.

    Also, in a vacuum, I’d probably like Bumgarner, Grandal, and Moustakas over Bumgarner and Donaldson, but it would depend on other moves. If you signed Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Chirinos for MLBTR’s 2YR/$10M, then I think I’d go with that over the first option.

  22. @22 There’s definitely collusion. Free agent signings have been down, and done later as a whole as players get squeezed. Players as a collective aren’t being paid what traditional formulas have estimated as their value. This happened largely overnight. Even last season, with two elite players in their mid 20s hitting the market, look at the time and hand-wringing that took place before they signed.

    We look at baseball through a lens where 30 (generous, I know.) teams are trying to win a WS. That’s true. Really though, aren’t 30 GMs trying to keep their jobs? How is not one saying screw the analytics, I’m going to spend to win?

  23. @26 Maybe there is collusion, but nothing you described can’t be explained without it. This is the problem Clark ultimately faces. He has no evidence, which is why he’s grasping at straws with AA.

  24. @25 Calling him a #1 based on experience is really dangerous though when he’s not a #1 anymore. Obviously different levels of pitchers now, but what if they were going to do that with Felix Hernandez based on the same logic? I’m not even suggesting at the same cost, just the same logic.

    For me, Donaldson is my priority. I want him back. I think they should be looking at Cole, but I know how that’ll go. So my realistic 2nd target is Grandal or Wheeler, with a slight preference toward Grandal now.

    Moose, MadBum and Grandal just isn’t an idea I’m especially into. I’m actually going to be particularly upset if they go 4 or 5 years on a pitcher who’s already regressing, but pass on Donaldson at 3 years because he might regress.

  25. @27 I do agree Clark has a huge challenge in proving it. I honestly don’t think he’s equipped for the task. The MLBPA has routinely taken a beatdown under his direction. Worse maybe, I think he knows it. Now he’s getting sloppy in choosing his battles.

  26. on collusion from a lawyer who definitely isn’t a labor or anti trust lawyer.

    A true life lesson from my home town. I had a friend who was co-owner of an oil jobber. He and his brother sold out. That was a couple of years before Hurricane Katrina. You may not remember, but one of the consequences of Katrina (and it was extended and magnified about 3 weeks later by Ivan) was a series of shutdowns of offshore oil production and refineries and pipelines. So, gas prices shot up. (As I remember, from about 2.50 per gallon to 4.50, and it stayed in that range for most of the next year).

    About 2 years after Katrina, I was having lunch with that oil jobber. He was quite annoyed that the retail margin (difference between terminal price and pump price) that had been 7 cents a gallon for his tenure in the business of over 10 years had stabilized after Katrina at around 17 cents and never came down. His thought was that with everybody putting their price up on a sign, the branded gas stations realized that when they dropped a penny that Pilot and Raceway would drop a penny. When the branded stations didn’t try to drop while gas was scarce, they realized they could make a lot more by not dropping the price. They lost a little business up and down I 75 to other locations, but not much.

    Is it illegal for gas stations to post a sign with their gas price? No. Is it illegal for gas stations to set their price (absent emergency measures in place)? No. Does any of this story prove collusion? No. Does any of this story suggest collusion? Yes, as to passive collusion.

    Unless you ban teams from ever mentioning an offer to a free agent or its amount or the amount and terms of a contract, then passive collusion can occur.

    Also, the “late signings” have largely been caused by Boras. We have strong evidence that the Braves made an early offer on Harper and moved on. Boras always wants to use delay to increase payment. However, if you have a need and have a budget, you have to fill the need. Also, Boras always wants it public what a good deal he got for his clients. So, even if the Front Offices said nothing, some of the details on these contracts are going to be out there. When significant details are known, passive collusion can easily occur.

  27. The quote in question:

    “Every day you get more information,’’ Anthopoulos said. “And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs – obviously the Astros and (Nationals) being in the World Series, they were tied up – but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”

    Now for a history lesson. Before the 1966 season, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were being played by the Dodgers in contract negotiations with the Dodgers giving each player misinformation about the others’ contract demands and status. So they got together, held out of Spring Training and said they would only negotiate as a pair. It worked! They both got huge raises and precedent was set.

    The ploy did not go over well with management and MLB to say the least, so that when the very first CBA was negotiated it contained a clause saying that players could not coordinate contract status with one another in any way. In return, management promised not to discuss salary and free agent negotiations with each other as well. These clauses have been part of every CBA since.

    Now re-read that quote, especially this part:

    “but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”

    In light of the CBA this is damning. “Getting a sense” from other clubs is banned by contract and is likely a violation of US Labor Law (it definitely violates Canada’s). Tony Clarke may be a mental midget but he HAD to contest this, and was correct to do so.

  28. With regards to the Braves’ attitude toward loss of draft pick QO-type players. One take on that may be that if the Braves do not sign JD and sign Moose instead (no QO) then the Braves would offset the draft pick lost by signing a QO FA with the Donaldson pick received in return. So, in a sense, either a Donaldson/Grandal signing (no FA SP) or a Moose/MadBum signing (with a lower level C) might make equal sense.

  29. I disagree completely, getting a sense may be that a team is not trading a certain player so AA may realize they are buyers and not sellers. That is doing his due diligence, not collision.

  30. Oh I agree Oldtimer — but the language he used made it sound much worse. His correction made the actual meaning clear later but by then the damage was done so to speak (nothing will come from the union challenge, but they needed to make it anyhow.)

  31. And that is true, I’m in a teacher’s Union and sometimes you gotta make a stink just do they know your paying attention.

  32. On Moustakas v. Donaldson.

    Pro: possible shorter contract and lower price.
    lefthanded bat (Braves are a little righty heavy
    when you account for how much better
    both Camargo and Albies are hitting
    righthanded and Freeman’s extremely low
    maybe allows you to add a pick to offset a QO

    Con: You drop from a 5 WAR ceiling to a 3.5 WAR ceiling and drop expected or projected WAR by 1 to 1.5.
    Maybe a clubhouse problem (we like JD, why didn’t the team commit to JD, etc.)

    I prefer the JD route because it worked. I wouldn’t hate the Moose route IF they pick up a QO free agent (pitcher). I would prefer Wheeler at similar cost to Bumgarner.

    If it is Wheeler, Grandal, and Moustakas, that would be a nice haul and we should be able to look like a projected 92 win team based on last year.

  33. Karl, I really appreciate the close reading! However I actually completely disagree with it. I agree with you that the crux of it is the final sentence quoted:

    “… to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”

    Reading it, the key phrase is “… who might be available in trades. It is naturally legitimate for one GM to ask another GM, “So, who are you going to trade?” One phrasing of that question might be: “Do you think you’ll try to get a free agent at third base, and if so, would you trade me your third base prospect?”

    The specific phrasing of the question, in which “who might be available in trades” is the last part of the sentence, makes the previous portion of the sentence about free agency feel like a subordinate clause.

  34. But that’s just it — AA is NOT allowed to discuss potential trades except ones that involve the Braves. We cannot tell the Indians we are willing to trade Inciarte either because we love Pache or perhaps have a bizarre fascination with a Bonifacio reunion, but may only say that we want to trade Ender. Any discussion of the reasons behind the proposed move are considered out of bounds.

    So even asking the question, “Do you think you’ll try to get a free agent at third base” is a definite violation.

  35. @28 – King speaks the truth.

    I just hate the media (some in particular) & fans’ general acceptance of the company line that the Atlanta Braves can’t increase payroll to Phillies/Nats level, won’t sign a QO free agent,and ipso facto are never going to be in the running for top free agents.

    Atlanta plus every surrounding state, excepting Florida, is NOT a small market. This franchise once signed Greg Maddux coming off a Cy Young award. There’s no good reason they can’t sign the best pitcher in baseball again. Spend the money or sell the team.

  36. I’m not saying you’re wrong, Karl, but your interpretation can’t be exactly right. Are you saying AA can’t call Brodie van Wagenen and say: “Wanna talk about a trade for Jacob deGrom?” van Wagenen can say either: “No” or “What are you offering?” When we offer Alex Jackson he says no, but we now know he’s willing to trade deGrom…. we’re just a little unsure about the price. Now repeat this stylized (and stupid) process for every player on every team and MiLB and you have effectively figured out who is available.

    And how would 3-way trades ever be made under your interpretation?

  37. @31 Karl – I don’t think the CBA means what you think it means with respect to restrictions on team communications, at least based upon the description you provided of the CBA terms.

    You wrote of the CBA stating that “players could not coordinate contract status with one another in any way. In return, management promised not to discuss salary and free agent negotiations with each other as well.” In other words, Josh Donaldson and Dallas Keuchel could not scheme to tell the Braves that neither would re-sign unless they offer both each $25M salary next season, and then updated each on contract status. From the other side of the bargaining table, the Braves would be prohibited from asking the Indians whether they would be willing to pay $25M for Josh Donaldson’s services for next season or telling the Astros that Dallas Keuchel’s agent wants the Braves to pay 2/$30M and is he saying the same thing to the Astros?

    *HOWEVER*, the CBA would not prevent the Braves from calling any team to discuss any players under team control and making deductions from there about the relative availability and cost of those players as advertised by other teams. From there, you can make some inferences about that team’s plans and make informed guesses about their priorities in the FA market.

    I see nothing that would prevent the Braves from advertising that we’re open to offers on Inciarte because we’re confident that Acuna (and later Pache) can handle CF. I see nothing wrong with the hypothetical questions posed in @38.

    AA stated “…we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades”. This is only problematic insofar as it amounts to an admission that the Braves are coordinating FA market behavior with other teams. That said, it doesn’t really make any sense to read it that way, when “get[ting] a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency” is a natural and inevitable result of the due diligence process that teams do in order to acquire other teams’ players.

  38. 3 ways happen because you can discuss players under contract. What you cannot discuss is why you wish to deal or what you think about free agents. This is not a difficult distinction, is it?

    And I agree with everybody about what AA actually meant with that statement. It’s just that he kinda/sorta violated the CBA with the first part of it.

  39. @43 I suppose it’s not a difficult distinction, but I still don’t understand how it’s a correct one. Why can you not discuss why you wish to deal? How does acknowledging a surplus of talent in your organization at a particular position (which is public knowledge anyway), for instance, at all amount to coordination when it comes to free agents? And if that’s a problem, why were the Braves never challenged when there was all that public talk about their plan to load up on arms so they can trade for position players?

    I’m not familiar with the history of violations of this provision, are there any relevant precedents that clearly establish this line?

  40. Lineup I would like to see:
    Acuna RF
    Albies 2nd
    Freeman 1st
    Donaldson 3rd
    C.Dickerson LF
    W. Contreras C (Trade with Cubs)
    Swanson SS
    Inciarte CF

    Rotation: Soroka, Wheeler, Folty, Fried, Newk

    Bench: Flowers, Kakes, Duvall, Culberson, Camargo

    Bullpen: Melancon, Greene, Webb, Jackson, Minter, Dayton, O’Day, Walker

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