Atlanta Braves – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-04-17T17:30:37Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ender Inciarte Could Require 10-Day IL Stint]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=437217 2021-04-17T03:32:47Z 2021-04-17T03:32:47Z
  • Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte appears ticketed for a trip to the 10-day IL after suffering a strained hamstring Friday, David O’Brien of The Athletic writes. Inciarte would be the second Braves center fielder to hit the IL this week, joining starter Cristian Pache. Behind Inciarte, Guillermo Heredia has the most center field experience of anyone on Atlanta’s roster. Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. played 100 games there in 2019 and spent the majority of last season there, but the Braves are reluctant to move him out of right field, per O’Brien, who names Phil Ervin and Abraham Almonte as call-up possibilities. Ervin and Almonte aren’t on the Braves’ 40-man roster, which does have an open spot at the moment.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Braves Place Drew Smyly On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=436913 2021-04-16T14:55:43Z 2021-04-16T14:34:38Z The Braves announced Friday morning that lefty Drew Smyly is headed to the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his left forearm. They’ve recalled right-hander Kyle Wright from their alternate training site to take his place on the roster and start today’s game. Atlanta also recalled Johan Camargo as a corresponding move after optioning lefty Tucker Davidson following last night’s game.

    Manager Brian Snitker tells reporters that the hope is Smyly will only need to miss one start (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz), though his status will obviously be monitored in the coming days. Smyly becomes the second Braves starter this week to land on the injured list, joining fellow southpaw Max Fried, who is currently hobbled by a hamstring strain. Wright will get the first crack at stepping into the rotation, and the Braves have another young righty, Bryse Wilson, at their alternate site and ready to step up once Fried’s rotation spot next comes up.

    Atlanta inked the veteran Smyly to a one-year deal worth $11MM over the winter, based largely on a terrific five-start showing in San Francisco last year. It was a sizable bet in a huge jump in the oft-injured Smyly’s swinging-strike rate and his overall strikeout rate, which saw respective jumps from 10.7 percent and 23.3 percent in 2019 to 14.9 percent and 37.8 percent in 2020. Injuries are part of the package with Smyly, who has reached 100 innings just thrice since making his big league debut in 2012 and missed the 2017-18 seasons entirely.

    For the time being, the Braves certainly have the depth to withstand some short-term injuries in the rotation. But with Fried and Smyly sidelined in addition to a recent setback for Mike Soroka, the injury situations that bear monitoring are beginning to mount.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Offseason In Review: Atlanta Braves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=432050 2021-04-16T01:28:51Z 2021-04-16T01:28:51Z After winning their third straight NL East title and falling one victory shy of a World Series berth in 2020, the Braves made a few notable moves in free agency.

    Major League Signings

    • Marcell Ozuna, OF: Four years, $65MM (includes $16MM option or $1MM buyout for 2025)
    • Charlie Morton, RHP: One year, $15MM
    • Drew Smyly, LHP: One year, $11MM
    • Josh Tomlin, RHP: One year, $1.25MMM
    • Jake Lamb, 3B: One year, $1MM (non-guaranteed MLB deal; Lamb was later released)
    • Total spend: $92.25MM

    Trades And Claims

    Notable Minor League Signings

    Extensions

    • None

    Notable Losses

    One of the main questions the Braves faced entering the offseason was whether they would re-sign outfielder Marcell Ozuna – who had a monster year in 2020 – or replace him with another big bat via free agency or the trade market. Liberty Media, the publicly traded company that owns the Braves, experienced a significant drop in revenue during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The Braves could have used that as an excuse (albeit not a very sympathetic one for fans) to avoid going big-game hunting in the winter. Nevertheless, rumors connected the Braves to a slew of noteworthy offensive pieces, including J.T. Realmuto, DJ LeMahieu and Justin Turner on the open market and Nolan Arenado in a potential trade.

    Ultimately, even though it hasn’t been general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ M.O. to hand out long-term paydays in free agency, Ozuna stuck around on a four-year, $65MM guarantee. Ozuna wasn’t eligible for a qualifying offer, so he would have walked for no compensation had the Braves let him go. And though Ozuna spent most of last season at designated hitter, the Braves knew they’d have to send him back to left field on a full-time basis this year had the majors done away with the universal DH. As it turned out, the league did just that, though the DH could return to the NL in 2022 if MLB and the union sign off on it in collective bargaining agreement negotiations next winter.

    Ozuna was the lone major addition the Braves made on offense, but they didn’t need much with a Ronald Acuna Jr.-, Freddie Freeman– and Ozuna-led lineup that finished second in the NL in runs and third in wRC+ last year. That said, third base was a liability for the Braves, which explains why they at least had some interest in LeMahieu, Turner and Arenado. Having struck out with that group, the Braves took an inexpensive shot at Jake Lamb – a former All-Star who enjoyed a strong stretch run – only to release him before the season.

    Failure to bring in a clear solution left the Braves with last year’s starter, Austin Riley, as their No. 1 option at the hot corner. Riley was a high-end prospect in his minor league days, and he’s still just 24 years old, but the results simply haven’t been there since he debuted in 2019. He’s off to another poor start this season, and if he doesn’t make significant improvements, it would behoove the Braves to pursue an in-season upgrade; that is, if they’re in contention.

    While the Braves’ offense was marvelous last season, the same wasn’t true of their rotation. Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels were supposed to play integral roles, but those plans went up in smoke because of injuries. Soroka made just three starts before suffering a torn right Achilles tendon, while Hamels totaled only one appearance because of shoulder troubles. Fortunately for Atlanta, Max Fried and Ian Anderson more than pulled their weight across a combined 17 starts. Unfortunately, no one else provided much.

    Fried and Anderson exited last season as shoo-ins to start for the Braves at the outset this year, while the hope was that Soroka would be back for the opener or at least shortly after that. Still, despite those three and the presences of other young starters such as Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright, the Braves needed to add to their rotation in the offseason. There were rumored possibilities in Blake Snell and Adam Wainwright, but the Braves ended up signing righty Charlie Morton and lefty Drew Smyly instead. Anthopoulos brought in the pair on one-year deals, which has been fairly typical of how he has handled free agency.

    Even though they didn’t require long-term commitments, there was certainly some risk in inking Morton ($15MM) and Smyly ($11MM). Morton, who began his career with the Braves in 2008, finally broke out in 2017 with Houston and was superb with the Astros and then the Rays through 2019. His numbers took some steps backward in Tampa Bay last year, though, and he’s now in his age-37 season. Morton’s 4.76 ERA early this season just about matches the 4.74 mark he recorded a year ago, but to be fair, his strong peripherals suggest a turnaround is coming in the run prevention department.

    Although Smyly, 31, is younger and cheaper than Morton, he was an even riskier pick. After a promising start to his career, Smyly missed all of 2017 and ’18 because of Tommy John surgery, and he returned in 2019 to post unsightly numbers. Smyly, however, enjoyed a highly encouraging rebound in seven appearances (five starts) with the Giants last season. That convinced Anthopoulos to take a somewhat costly chance on Smyly, and though he has allowed nine earned runs in just 11 innings as a Brave, he has struck out 11 while issuing just one walk.

    Of course, the fact that Morton and Smyly haven’t kept runs off the board at a solid clip isn’t the only problem the Braves’ rotation has faced. Like last year, they’re again battling multiple important injuries. As mentioned before, Soroka looked on track to return by early April. However, the Braves had to shut him down April 7 because of a new issue – shoulder inflammation – and there isn’t a timeline for his return at the moment. Meanwhile, Fried – a Cy Young contender in 2020 – got off to a brutal start this year in allowing 14 earned runs on 23 hits and five walks in 11 innings before landing on the IL this week with a strained hamstring. The hope is that he won’t be out for too long, but it’s certainly a discouraging development for the Braves that they’re facing attrition in their rotation for the second consecutive season.

    The Braves’ bullpen helped pick up the slack last year, when Mark Melancon, Shane Greene and Darren O’Day each played key roles. All three are now gone, though Greene is oddly still available in free agency. Melancon took a more-than-reasonable $3MM guarantee with the Padres and has been his usual effective self this year. It was surprising to see the Braves decline an affordable $3.5MM option for O’Day in favor of a $500K buyout when the offseason began, and he’s off to a nice start as a Yankee this year.

    The Braves didn’t do much to replace Melancon, Greene and O’Day. They did show interest in the No. 1 available reliever, Liam Hendriks, but he chose the White Sox’s four-year, $54MM offer. In the end, the Braves’ “big” bullpen move was to re-sign Josh Tomlin for $1.25MM, and they also took minor league flyers on some veteran relievers. One of those minors pickups, Nate Jones, is now in their bullpen. He hasn’t pitched all that well in the early going, though the bullpen as a whole actually has held up despite the lack of offseason upgrades. It’s currently top 10 in the majors in FIP, ERA and K-BB percentage.

    Atlanta went into the offseason as a final four team looking to get over the hump and build a World Series-winning squad for the first time since 1996. The results haven’t been great thus far, as the Braves have lost eight of their first 13 games. Nevertheless, the talent is there for the Braves to at least push for another NL East title, if not more.

    How would you grade the Braves’ offseason? (Poll link for app users)

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Mike Soroka, Chris Martin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=435859 2021-04-14T23:43:18Z 2021-04-14T23:43:18Z The Braves don’t have a timetable yet for injured right-handers Mike Soroka and Chris Martin to return, per David O’Brien of The Athletic. Soroka missed almost all of last season with a torn right Achilles, and as he was working his way back, the Braves had to shut him down because of shoulder inflammation. Martin went on the IL with the same issue on April 10 (retroactive to April 7). Between their injuries and Max Fried’s placement on the IL because of a hamstring strain, the Braves are without three of their most important pitchers.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Braves Place Max Fried, Cristian Pache On 10-Day Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=435182 2021-04-14T18:01:07Z 2021-04-14T17:40:19Z April 14: Both Fried and Pache have been placed on the 10-day IL, the Braves announced. Fried has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain, while Pache has a groin strain. Atlanta recalled outfielder Heredia and lefty Tucker Davidson from the alternate site to fill the roster vacancies. Davidson will head to the ’pen for now, though it seems quite likely that the Braves will make a move to bring up another starter (e.g. Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright) when Fried’s spot is up next in the rotation.

    April 13: The Braves received some troubling injury news Tuesday: Left-hander Max Fried will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring, while center fielder Cristian Pache is headed to the 10-day injured list with a left groin issue (Twitter links via Mark Bowman of MLB.com).

    Tuesday was a nightmare evening for Fried, who suffered the injury on the base paths and posted a disastrous performance on the mound. The 27-year-old lasted just four innings in a 14-8 loss to the Marlins, who pummeled Fried for eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits, three strikeouts and two walks. It was the second straight subpar start for Fried, owner of a hideous 11.45 ERA in 11 innings. Fried hasn’t been able to follow up on his resounding success in 2020, when he tied for eighth in ERA (2.25) among those who totaled at least 50 frames and wound up fifth in NL Cy Young voting.

    Pache, 22, as joined Fried in recording awful production early on, having picked up just three hits in 31 plate appearances with 11 strikeouts against one walk. The Braves are likely to recall outfielder Guillermo Heredia to take Pache’s roster spot, per Bowman. Ender Inciarte seems like the favorite to get the lion’s share of playing time in center, though.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Twins, Braves, Dodgers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433984 2021-04-11T03:39:35Z 2021-04-11T03:04:35Z Josh Donaldson ran the bases well enough progress to the next portion of his rehab, suggesting a return to the Twins as early as Monday or Tuesday, per Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com (via Twitter). When Donaldson does return, he’ll put his perfect season on the line. He doubled in his only plate appearance of the season before straining his hamstring. Luis Arraez, however, has maintained the potency of the hot corner while Donaldson’s been away. Arraez has slashed .381/.462/.571 while starting six of the seven games since the injury. Willians Astudillo started on Arraez’s day off, going 0-2 while driving in a run with a sac fly. Elsewhere…

    • Braves setup man Chris Martin will be eligible to come off the injured list on April 17th, but manager Brian Snitker doesn’t think it will be that simple, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com (via Twitter). Martin’s shoulder only recently became an area of concern. Still, Martin is looking at a longer-than-minimal stay on the injured list. In the meantime, Sean Newcomb and Jacob Webb will have the opportunity to raise their stock in the Atlanta pen, per the Athletic’s David O’Brien (via Twitter). Webb from the right side and Newcomb from the left will try to soak up some of Martin’s setup duties.
    • Brusdar Graterol is readying to make his season debut. Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “Everything looked good, so we’re trying to figure out the next step. We’re hoping to get him back soon. Just hesitant to put a day on it.” Graterol got a late start in preparing for the season, leaving Blake Treinen, Corey Knebel, and Kenley Jansen as the late-game righties available to Roberts. The Dodgers have high hopes that the 22-year-old Graterol can be weaponized either as a traditional setup man or as a multi-inning option out of the pen.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Braves Place Chris Martin On 10-Day Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433703 2021-04-10T15:50:27Z 2021-04-10T15:40:18Z The Braves announced that right-hander Chris Martin has been placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 7) due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder.  Righty Jacob Webb was called up from the alternate site to take Martin’s 26-man roster spot.

    Martin hasn’t pitched since April 4, when he was removed from a game after feeling some numbness in his right fingers.  The issue wasn’t deemed serious enough for an MRI and Braves manager Brian Snitker said just yesterday that he hoped Martin would be available as early as today’s game against the Phillies, so the shoulder inflammation could be a relatively new issue.  With the backdated placement in mind, Atlanta could simply be taking the cautious route and giving Martin another week to get fully ready before getting him back on the mound.

    Acquired in a deadline trade in July 2019, Martin has a 2.65 ERA, 29.65% strikeout rate, and a superb 3.5% walk rate over 37 1/3 innings in an Atlanta uniform.  The 34-year-old is filling a key role in the bullpen as a set-up man, and it’s possible Martin might receive the occasional save chance himself depending on how fluid the Braves want to be with their relief alignment.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Braves Acquire Edgar Santana From Pirates]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=432866 2021-04-09T14:27:36Z 2021-04-09T14:27:03Z 9:27 am: Santana’s suspension has been served and he is eligible to return to the active roster, per David O’Brien of the Athletic (Twitter link).

    8:05 am: The Braves are acquiring right-hander Edgar Santana from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Pittsburgh designated Santana for assignment earlier this week.

    A few years ago, Santana looked to have solidified himself as a reliable bullpen arm in Pittsburgh. In 84.1 innings between 2017-18, he managed a solid 3.31 ERA/3.77 SIERA. Santana didn’t miss many bats for a reliever (21.0% strikeout percentage), but he was quite good at avoiding free passes (6.8% walk rate) and racked up ground balls at a decent 45.6% clip.

    Unfortunately, Santana suffered a torn UCL and required Tommy John Surgery in October 2018. The timing of the procedure cost him the entire 2019 season. Santana was then hit with an 80-game PED suspension last June, keeping him out of action for all of last year’s abbreviated season.

    Nearly three years removed from his most recent game action, it’s unclear whether Santana will be able to recapture any of his former promise. He does still have a pair of minor-league option years remaining, so he’ll give the Braves some additional bullpen flexibility if the front office is sufficiently impressed with his current form to keep him on the 40-man roster. Atlanta freed up a 40-man spot (and thinned out its righty bullpen depth) in the Orlando Arcia trade earlier this week, so no corresponding move is necessary to accomodate Santana’s arrival.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mike Soroka Shut Down For 2 Weeks Because Of Shoulder Inflammation]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=431274 2021-04-07T22:34:13Z 2021-04-07T22:34:13Z The Braves will shut down right-hander Mike Soroka for two weeks after he felt shoulder discomfort at their alternate site Tuesday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com was among those to report. Soroka has also been recovering from a torn right Achilles tendon and hasn’t pitched in the majors this year as a result.

    While Soroka doesn’t have any structural damage in his shoulder, the Braves will still have to wait a little while longer for him to return their rotation. Soroka thrived with the team in his only full season, 2019, in which he pitched to a 2.68 ERA over 174 2/3 innings en route to an All-Star berth. But he wasn’t able build on that because of last year’s injury, which limited him to three starts. He hasn’t taken the mound in the bigs since Aug. 3, 2020.

    With Soroka not ready for the season, the Braves opened the year with Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson and Drew Smyly as the top four in their rotation. Fifth option Huascar Ynoa threw five scoreless innings in a win over the Nationals on Wednesday.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Trade Orlando Arcia To Braves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=428022 2021-04-06T19:20:23Z 2021-04-06T17:40:57Z The Brewers and Braves have lined up on a rare, early-season trade involving three players on the teams’ respective 40-man rosters. The Brewers are sending infielder Orlando Arcia to the Braves in return for right-handed relievers Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka, per announcements from both teams. Weigel and Sobotka will report to the Brewers’ alternate training site.

    While it’s a bit surprising to see a trade of any note taking place so early in the season, Arcia’s role with the Brewers has diminished in recent years. The hope at one point was that he’d be the long-term answer at short, but Luis Urias now looks to be the preferred option at that position for the Brew Crew. Arcia has also seen some time at third base this year, but Travis Shaw made the Brewers’ Opening Day roster and is expected to serve as the primary option at the hot corner.

    Arcia is off to a 1-for-11 start to his 2021 season, but he turned in perhaps the best showing of his career last summer when he slashed .260/.317/.416 through 189 plate appearances. That said, it’s somewhat disappointing for that output to represent a career-best showing for Arcia, given that he once ranked among baseball’s top 10 overall prospects at both Baseball America and MLB.com. Arcia’s glove always gave him a decent floor, but his bat simply hasn’t come around as hoped. Through 1876 plate appearances at the big league level, he’s managed just a .244/.293/.364 batting line with 42 homers and 39 steals.

    The Braves obviously don’t have a need for an everyday shortstop — Dansby Swanson has the position locked down — but Arcia gives them a utility option with a solid glove. He has 4250 career innings at shortstop, so it’s not a surprise that Atlanta would be comfortable sliding him over to either second base or third base.

    Ehire Adrianza had been filling that role with the club, although there’s some uncertainty surrounding his status at the moment. Adrianza left the club to tend to a personal matter recently, and he was reportedly in the process of going through intake testing to return to the club. David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that Adrianza is expected to return to the club by this weekend.

    Arcia joins Adrianza, Johan Camargo and Pablo Sandoval as utility options off the bench for skipper Brian Snitker, although the Braves can’t carry that many backup infielders simultaneously. Both Arcia and Camargo have a minor league option remaining. Arcia is the more expensive of the two, with a $2MM salary to Camargo’s $1.36MM, and it would stand to reason that if the Braves are giving up some pitching to acquire him, he’d get the nod. At some point, the acquisition of Arcia could place the roster spot of one of the other backup infielders in jeopardy.

    Depending on how things play out for Arcia in Atlanta, he could be an option for them not only in 2021 but in 2022. He currently has four-plus years of big league service, which means he’ll be controllable through the 2022 season via arbitration.

    In exchange for Arcia, the Brewers will pick up a pair of optionable relievers — one of whom once rated as one of the better arms in a pitching-rich Braves system. The 26-year-old Weigel ranked ninth among Braves farmhands on Baseball America’s list back in 2017 and still checked in 14th this past offseason.

    His career has been slowed by 2018 Tommy John surgery, but Weigel’s 2019 return from that procedure created some optimism. In 79 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A, the righty worked to a 2.73 ERA — albeit with less-encouraging strikeout and walk rates (21.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively). Weigel pitched in just one game with Atlanta last year, allowing a pair of runs in two-thirds of an inning. That’s his lone MLB appearance to date.

    Sobotka, 27, has displayed a knack for missing bats but has also battled control issues in parts of three seasons with the Braves. The righty boasts a fastball that averages better than 96 mph and a career 28.8 percent strikeout rate through 47 big league innings, but he’s also walked 14.2 percent of his opponents and plunked three more.

    The trade gives the Brewers some flexibility on the pitching staff in a season where most teams figure to need it more than ever before, but it also closes the book on one of the organization’s most promising farmhands in recent memory. They’ll now turn the reins over to Urias, a former top prospect himself, in hopes of better results. While Urias himself hasn’t had any real big league success yet, he’s more than three years younger than Arcia and has a vastly better track record in Triple-A, where he’s put together a .305/.403/.511 line in 867 plate appearances.

    MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported that the Brewers were in talks to trade Arcia. FanSided’s Robert Murray reported that a deal with an unknown club had been reached. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Braves were acquiring Arcia, and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that Weigel and Sobotka were headed to the Brewers.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Nationals Set Opening Day Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=427958 2021-04-06T17:38:18Z 2021-04-06T16:31:31Z After having their first four games postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests within the organization, the Nationals have announced their roster for today’s season opener. Four Nationals players are said to have tested positive, with several more in the organization being deemed close contacts who are also going through protocol. Tuesday’s announcement was accompanied by a dizzying series of roster moves, which included placing catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila; left-handers Patrick Corbin, Brad Hand and Jon Lester; infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer; first baseman Josh Bell; and outfielder Kyle Schwarber on the Covid-19 related injured list. Right-hander Will Harris was also placed on the 10-day injured list after his recent procedure to address a blood clot.

    In a sequence of corresponding roster moves, the Nats recalled catcher Tres Barrera; right-handers Ryne Harper and Kyle McGowin; infielders Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia; lefty Sam Clay; and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez from their alternate training site. Washington also selected the contracts of veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Cody Wilson. Wilson was specifically designated as a “replacement player,” indicating that he can be removed from the 40-man roster and sent back to the minors without clearing waivers as the affected Nationals players are cleared to return to the roster.

    Notably, the Nationals’ Opening Day roster includes shortstop Trea Turner — a welcome development after Turner was absent from yesterday’s workout with the team. Manager Dave Martinez tells reporters that Turner was not cleared to be on the field yesterday (Twitter link via the Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty), so it seems he cleared protocols this morning. Turner will be joined in the Opening Day infield by Ryan Zimmerman, Hernan Perez (at second) and Starlin Castro (at third). The Nats will give Andrew Stevenson the nod in left field alongside Victor Robles and Juan Soto, while Lucroy draws the start behind the plate, catching Max Scherzer.

    The Nationals will make up yesterday’s postponed contest against the Braves in a doubleheader tomorrow. It’s not yet clear when they’ll make up their three postponed games against the Mets, although given that they’re division rivals, the remainder of this season’s schedule will provide ample opportunity for those games to be played.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Nationals To Begin Season On Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426734 2021-04-05T16:56:26Z 2021-04-05T16:56:53Z TODAY: In another announcement from MLB, the Braves and Nationals will play a doubleheader on Wednesday to account for today’s postponement.  The Nats are currently working out on their home field, and as the league’s release states, “Since the most recent round of test results of Nationals personnel included no new positives, all of the Club’s eligible personnel are permitted to participate in baseball activities at Nationals Park today.”

    SUNDAY, 9:35pm: The Braves and Nationals will play on Tuesday, according to an announcement from Major League Baseball.  “The most recent round of test results of Nationals personnel included no new positives.  All of the Club’s eligible personnel will be able to participate in baseball activities at Nationals Park on Monday,” the league’s statement reads.  Monday’s game will be postponed, and details are still forthcoming on when that game and the series with the Mets will be made up.

    9:03pm: Discussions are still “ongoing” about the status of Monday’s game, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post writes, and no official announcement about a postponement has been made.  The Nats have yet to hold a full-team workout, and Rizzo told Dougherty and other reporters that he was “concerned” about the possibility of playing after “a very, very short workout schedule before” Monday’s game begins.

    6:00pm: Monday’s game between the Braves and Nationals has been postponed, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  The two sides are still planning to take the field for Tuesday’s scheduled game.

    1:49pm: A few more people have entered quarantine as close contacts, GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com and Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington). Fortunately, the Nationals’ most recent set of tests all came back negative. No one who tested positive continues to suffer from symptoms. The “majority” of the players affected by the situation were expected to open the year on Washington’s active roster, Rizzo says. All told, eleven players and two staff members are in quarantine.

    9:07am: The Nationals’ season-opening series was postponed due to COVID-19 spread within the organization. As things currently stand, Washington is scheduled to host the Braves tomorrow afternoon to kick off their season. Even if the team is able to return, they’ll be without a handful of key players.

    Kyle SchwarberJon LesterJosh Harrison and Alex Avila are among the players expected to be sidelined if the Nationals begin play early next week, reports Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Four Nats players have tested positive for the coronavirus, while five more are currently in quarantine as close contacts. It isn’t clear which (if any) of Schwarber, Lester, Harrison and Avila have tested positive versus being close contacts. Under the league’s 2021 health and safety protocols, an individual who tests positive is subject to a 10-day quarantine period, while close contacts are subject to seven-day quarantines. The identities of the other five players currently in quarantine are not yet known.

    Avila’s potential absence could’ve played a role in the Nationals’ decision to sign veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a minor-league deal last night. If Avila is forced to miss time, Washington would be down to Yan Gomes and Tres Barrera as the only catchers on the 40-man roster. Barrera, initially optioned to the alternate training site, was among the handful of players reportedly slated to be recalled in the spread’s initial aftermath.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Chris Martin Leaves Game Due To Finger Problem]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426949 2021-04-05T03:01:28Z 2021-04-05T03:01:28Z
  • Braves reliever Chris Martin left today’s game due to an unspecified finger issue, manager Brian Snitker told reporters (including The Athletic’s David O’Brien).  Martin pitched to five batters during the eighth inning, sandwiching two outs around three consecutive singles to Phillies batters that resulted in the game’s winning run.  It remains to be seen how serious Martin’s problem could be, and an absence would be a tough loss to the bullpen considering Martin’s 2.45 ERA and outstanding 30.93% strikeout rate over 36 2/3 innings in an Atlanta uniform from 2019-20.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Braves Hire Devon Travis As Minor League Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426880 2021-04-04T22:58:03Z 2021-04-04T22:58:03Z The Braves announced their minor league coaching staffs earlier this week (The Atlanta Journal-Constitutional was among the outlets with the full listing), and one of the many notable names on the list was former Blue Jays infielder Devon Travis, who is joining the staff of the Braves’ Gulf Coast League rookie ball affiliate.  The news would seem to indicate that the 30-year-old Travis is ending his playing career after four Major League seasons and seven overall seasons in pro ball.

    Originally a 13th-round pick out of Florida State in the 2012 draft, Travis turned some heads in his early days in the Tigers’ farm system, even landing on Baseball America’s top-100 prospect ranking prior to the 2014 season.  In an intriguing swap of promising young talents in November 2014, Detroit traded Travis to the Blue Jays for Anthony Gose, and Travis made an immediate impression in his rookie season.  Quickly stepping into everyday second base duties for Toronto, Travis hit .304/.361/.498 with eight home runs in 239 plate appearances for the eventual AL East champions, though a shoulder injury ended Travis’ season in late July and prevented him from taking part in the Jays’ push to the ALCS.

    Unfortunately, injuries became the story of Travis’ career.  Finally returning in 2016 after two different shoulder surgeries, Travis then developed knee problems that hampered the remainder of his playing days.  Between the shoulder procedures and surgeries on both knees, Travis ended up playing in only 316 games (all with Toronto) from 2015-18, and hitting .274/.314/.437 with 35 homers over 1246 plate appearances.  He hasn’t played at all since the 2018 season, and Travis chose to become a free agent after the Jays outrighted him off their 40-man roster following the 2019 campaign.

    Travis embarks on this new phase of his baseball career under the familiar eye of Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who brought Travis to Toronto in Anthopoulos’ previous job as the Jays’ GM.  We at MLBTR wish Travis all the best in his coaching endeavors.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Braves Sign Yolmer Sanchez, Carl Edwards Jr., Jesse Biddle To Minor League Contracts]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426543 2021-04-03T22:35:39Z 2021-04-03T22:29:36Z The Braves have signed infielder Yolmer Sanchez, right-hander Carl Edwards Jr., and left-hander Jesse Biddle to minor league deals, according to MLB.com’s official transactions page.  In addition, The Athletic’s David O’Brien reports (via Twitter) that outfielder Phillip Ervin has been outrighted to the club’s alternate training site after Ervin was designated for assignment last week.

    Sanchez was seemingly on track to be the Orioles’ regular second baseman heading into the season, though the O’s somewhat surprisingly DFA’ed and then released the veteran infielder last week.  It didn’t take long for Sanchez to land another job, with the Braves perhaps looking for some additional infield depth while Ehire Adrianza is away from the team due to a personal matter.  (Jason Kipnis and Ryan Goins are two more veteran infield options at the alternate training site.)

    Though Sanchez has now been a member of four different organizations, he has still only worn a White Sox uniform at the MLB level.  Sanchez hasn’t hit much (.245/.300/.360 in 2459 PA) over his 657 career Major League games, though he has delivered some very impressive glovework as a second baseman and third baseman over his career.  His second base expertise was recognized in 2019 when Sanchez won a Gold Glove.

    Biddle is back for his second stint in an Atlanta uniform, as he made his big league debut with the Braves back in 2018.  Biddle delivered a 3.11 ERA/3.66 SIERA and an above-average 25.2% strikeout rate over 63 2/3 relief innings in that rookie season, and looked to have carved out a niche for himself in the bullpen after being a well-regarded pitching prospect in the Phillies farm system earlier in his career.  Since then, however, Biddle has struggled to an 8.16 ERA over 28 2/3 innings with four different clubs in 2019-20.

    Edwards is also technically returning to the Braves, as he opted out of his previous minor league deal with the team last week.  The 29-year-old posted a 3.06 ERA over 159 relief innings for the Cubs from 2015-18 but Edwards was hit hard during a 2019 season that saw him post an 8.47 ERA over 17 innings with the Cubs and Padres.  A shoulder injury hampered Edwards during that season and the injury bug struck again in 2020, as Edwards pitched only 4 2/3 innings for the Mariners before he was sidelined by a forearm strain in early August.

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