Quick Hits: Braves, Tanaka, Rangers

The Braves, who have lost Brian McCann and Tim Hudson and done little to replace them, but it's not too late for them to recover this offseason, Mike Petriello of ESPN.com writes (Insider-only). They can start by signing young players like Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman to extensions, Petriello suggests. Another fix might be acquiring a new second baseman to supplant Dan Uggla, and one possibility might be dealing for Howie Kendrick of the Angels, who need young pitching. Here's more from around the Majors.

  • A "perfect storm" of factors will allow Masahiro Tanaka to land a huge contract, MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby writes. Those factors include the revamped posting system, which limits the amount of money a player's old team receive, along with a huge bump in national television revenue and limits on spending in the draft and on Latin American amateurs.
  • Tanaka's workload is a serious concern, writes Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Before even beginning his age-25 season, Tanaka has thrown 1,315 innings, a workload completely unlike those of most young big-league pitchers, at least in the last few decades. "Everyone is acting like it's a no-brainer all-in just because he's 25," said an executive for an MLB team. "He's still a pitcher and he's still got serious miles on him. [Tanaka is a] very attractive player nonetheless but a real risk … as with basically all pitchers."
  • Signing Shin-Soo Choo and acquiring Prince Fielder will only be decisive for the Rangers if they have a core of very productive players who are much cheaper, argues Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "We’re a larger market team, and we’ve operated from a higher payroll for the last couple of years," says Rangers GM Jon Daniels. "But everybody has limits. … When you talk about making an investment of this nature, you don’t make it without confidence in your people and your system. We have a lot of confidence in that." The Rangers' rotation offers a template, Grant says — Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando all at least began as cheap players, but the Rangers added to that group by making a big investment in Yu Darvish.

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