LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Peter Moylan may get yet another opportunity to return to the Braves.A Major League source confirmed the Braves were attempting to complete a deal with Moylan on Sunday morning. It is unclear whether the right-handed reliever will get a Major or Minor League deal.• Spring
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Peter Moylan may get yet another opportunity to return to the Braves.
A Major League source confirmed the Braves were attempting to complete a deal with Moylan on Sunday morning. It is unclear whether the right-handed reliever will get a Major or Minor League deal.
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The Royals have also maintained recent contact with Moylan, who produced a 3.49 ERA as he made a Major League-high 79 appearances for Kansas City last year.
Moylan has stood as a fan favorite in Atlanta since 2006, when the Braves signed him after he wowed scouts with his sidearm delivery while pitching for Australia during the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
The Braves have been talking to Moylan throughout the offseason about adding some much-needed experience to their bullpen. The two parties have recently moved closer to reaching an agreement, but they were still in the negotiating stage as of Sunday afternoon.
Moylan has posted a 3.00 ERA over 460 career appearances. His Major League career has been interrupted by two Tommy John surgeries ('08 and '14) and back surgery ('11).
This medical history could obviously create some concerns as doctors review the results of a physical. But Moylan showed his durability last year and certainly proved productive against right-handed hitters, limiting them to a .163 batting average and .246 on-base percentage.
If an agreement is reached, this would be Moylan's third stint with the Braves. He was a member of Atlanta's bullpen from 2006-12, and then he returned in '15.
Nearly all of the Braves' position players made an early arrival to Spring Training. But manager Brian Snitker admits he is somewhat concerned about the fact that his team will stage its first full-squad workout on Monday and then open the Grapefruit League season with Friday's road game against the Mets.
"It concerns me with the arms and the legs, not so much with pitchers, but with the position players," Snitker said. "The plan we have for the pitchers, they'll be fine because they start out going an inning or two innings. We're playing on Day 5. Normally, you wouldn't have even been on the bases yet. You normally haven't stretched your arms out doing cutoffs and relays yet.
"I know guys come to camp in shape and ready to go, but until you get down here and do that consistent baseball activity, you have to assume they didn't do anything. There's going to be a lot of guys who get a chance to play."
Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Lane Adams and Preston Tucker are among the Braves' position players who have already arrived and worked out at the Spring Training complex.
Austin Riley arrived on Sunday to begin participating in his first big league Spring Training. Riley ranks as the game's No. 97 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
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A rising underdog
There wasn't much fanfare when the Braves traded Jhoulys Chacin to the Angels in exchange for 6-foot-8 reliever Adam McCreery during the early portion of the 2016 season. At the time, McCreery was 23 years old and contemplating the possibility of ending his career. He was stuck in extended spring camp and hadn't advanced past the Rookie level during either of his first two professional seasons.
The Braves sent McCreery to extended spring camp and then saw him construct a 4.19 ERA in a combined 34 1/3 innings for Class A Rome and Rookie level Danville. The big lefty continued to struggle with his walk rate last year -- 5.5 walks per nine innings -- but as he posted a 2.74 ERA with Rome and Class A Advanced Florida last year, he made enough strides to gain a spot on Atlanta's 40-man roster.
McCreery has been something of a late bloomer as he adapted to growing two inches per year in high school. The 25-year-old southpaw stands as a longshot to begin the season in Atlanta's bullpen. But the progress he has made over the past year creates the possibility that the Braves might actually get some value from that Chacin trade.
"Once I got my fastball command down last year, that was just icing on the cake," McCreery said. "But there is still lots to learn. I haven't even played Double-A yet. But that doesn't mean I can't compete with these guys. It's not like I'm going to lose confidence because of that."
Chipper and Andruw
Andruw Jones began his stint as a special instructor on Sunday, and Chipper Jones is expected to don a uniform and serve as an instructor during Monday's workout. Chipper's stay will last just one day, but he is expected to return in a few weeks to spend a few more days as a special instructor.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.