A few notes from the National League…
- Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t made many headline-grabbing transactions this winter, his first as Atlanta’s GM, though he revealed Saturday that the Braves “kicked around trying to get a (number) one- or two-type starter.” They’re holding off on that for the time being, though, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz, who relays that the Braves are still considering adding to their bullpen and acquiring a third baseman to potentially unseat starter Johan Camargo. They’re said to have interest in free agent infielder Eduardo Nunez, one of the top third base-capable players on the market.
- Thanks in part to their acquisitions of star outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, the Brewers will attempt to work around their OF surplus by occasionally using Ryan Braun at first base in 2018. Interestingly, there’s also a chance Braun will factor in at second base, where the Brewers are currently lacking an obvious solution. Braun has discussed playing second with GM David Stearns, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports (via Twitter) The 34-year-old hasn’t seen any action in the middle infield since his days as a shortstop with the Miami Hurricanes, so it seems he’d be a long shot to play much at the keystone. Indeed, McCalvy doesn’t expect Braun to be a real factor there (Twitter link).
- Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson told fans Sunday that the club expects right-hander Jimmy Nelson to return “around June,” McCalvy tweets. Nelson himself still isn’t willing to put a timetable on his recovery, however (Twitter link). The 28-year-old has been on the mend from the surgery he underwent on a torn labrum in September, which came as an especially unfortunate development after he emerged as one of the league’s top starters in 2017.
- New Marlins owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter have drawn plenty of criticism for their payroll-slashing methods in their first offseason atop the franchise. Before securing the Marlins last year, Sherman and Jeter had to outbid a potential ownership group including Hall of Fame hurler Tom Glavine. As it turns out, had Glavine & Co. purchased the team, they would have operated similarly to how Sherman and Jeter have. Glavine told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that his faction was “of the same mind-set as to the moves that had to be made to get payroll under control.” They’d have attempted to do things differently in terms of public relations, though, with Glavine acknowledging that Sherman and Jeter haven’t “done themselves any favors from a PR standpoint.”