The Braves have discussed offering a contract to free agent A.J. Pollock, The Athletic’s David O’Brien writes (subscription required). Atlanta is known to be casting a wide net for outfield help so it isn’t any surprise that Pollock is one of the team’s many options under consideration. The 31-year-old would, however, be one of the costlier names available, both in terms of money — Pollock is reportedly looking for an $80MM deal — and in draft compensation, as Pollock rejected a qualifying offer from the Diamondbacks. The Braves would have to give up their third-highest selection in the 2019 draft for signing Pollock, though GM Alex Anthopoulos indicated that wouldn’t be an obstacle. Pollock has spent the vast majority of his career as a center fielder but would likely shift to a corner position in Atlanta given Ender Inciarte’s outstanding glovework, though Inciarte has himself been the subject of some trade speculation.
More from Atlanta and other teams in the NL East…
- The Braves have one of the game’s deeper farm system, though they have also received interest in several players on their Major League roster. Johan Camargo and Dansby Swanson are two players other teams have called about, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes, and a follow-up tweet from Bowman includes the detail that teams asking about Ozzie Albies “have found the discussion has shifted toward Swanson.” Since breaking in with an impressive rookie season in 2016, Swanson has posted below-average numbers at the plate, hitting just .235/.308/.359 over 1084 PA. It seems logical that Albies has more value than Swanson at this point, though it’s worth noting that Swanson is still just 24 and has only four pro seasons under his belt. To that end, Bowman writes that “some within the Braves organization remain hesitant to move Swanson.” As for Camargo, he seems like another player unlikely to be pried away from the Braves without a hefty return, as Camargo offers five seasons of team control and a lot of multi-positional versatility.
- The Mets had a meeting with Martin Maldonado and his camp yesterday, Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Maldonado was originally mentioned as a Mets target earlier this winter, and the club could now be circling back towards a more defensive-oriented answer at catcher rather than continue making a big push for J.T. Realmuto. As per Heyman, the Mets “are [starting] to lose a bit of confidence in Realmuto talks” with the Marlins. In another tweet from earlier in the evening, Heyman cited the Mets as seemingly “the most aggressive team” in pursuit of Realmuto, with the Braves and Yankees in the next tier down, and the Yankees perhaps in the mix only for the purposes of flipping Realmuto to another club.
- In other Mets news, the team spoke with Jacob deGrom’s camp yesterday, James Wagner of the New York Times reports (Twitter link). SNY.tv’s Andy Martino described the meeting as “very preliminary” in nature, and not exactly proper “extension talks” just yet. As Wagner notes, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is staying out of any extension negotiations with deGrom due to Van Wagenen’s former role as deGrom’s agent, so it will be particularly interesting to see how things unfold between the two sides. DeGrom has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before he hits free agency, so while there isn’t any immediate rush for a long-term deal, the Mets might prefer to lock up one ace before potentially looking to deal another in Noah Syndergaard.