Why isn't Craig Kimbrel a Brave again yet? Is there really a market for him, or will he come back into our plans once his asking price drops? -- @greyson2020 Since exiting the Winter Meetings, I have repeatedly thought about how Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said his next move
Why isn't Craig Kimbrel a Brave again yet? Is there really a market for him, or will he come back into our plans once his asking price drops? -- @greyson2020
Since exiting the Winter Meetings, I have repeatedly thought about how Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said his next move or moves will be dictated by how the landscape changes in relation to some free agents and potential trade targets. This is essentially the same methodical approach every GM should take. But it really rings true this year for the Braves, who have made it clear they are not interested in long-term deals.
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Kimbrel owns the best save percentage and what currently stands as the best ERA recorded by a relief pitcher in baseball history, so he understandably has the right to aim big. There's a good bet he'll top the $17.33 million average annual value Wade Davis received last year, when he signed a contract that included the highest AAV ever given to a reliever. But six months shy of his 31st birthday and coming off a year in which he posted a 4.57 ERA after the break and struggled during a portion of the postseason, Kimbrel won't get a six-year deal and may have to settle for something less.
Quite frankly, because of the years and dollars, Kimbrel has not even been on the Braves' radar. If we reach a point where he has to accept a three-year deal, then it might be time to at least think about a potential return to Atlanta. But that would only stand as a possibility if the Braves still have enough remaining financial flexibility after addressing needs to add a frontline starter and an outfielder.
Which player(s) on the Braves' current 40-man roster is/are most likely to not be with the team come Opening Day? -- @AndyLipman1
With one current vacancy on Atlanta's 40-man roster and multiple needs to fill, we will likely see changes over the next few weeks and months. Left-hander Grant Dayton and right-hander Wes Parsons appear to be the next in line to be bumped for a potential addition.
It will also be important to keep an eye on closer Arodys Vizcaino and outfielder Adam Duvall, who will come to Grapefruit League play with non-guaranteed Spring Training contracts. If Vizcaino does not appear healthy or capable of remaining durable throughout the season, the Braves can release him and owe just a fraction of his salary. The same goes for Duvall, whose roster candidacy will be influenced by the fact he did not perform well in a backup role after being traded to Atlanta.
What are the chances Julio Teheran is traded before Opening Day? -- @wcsanders3
If the Braves were to trade Teheran, he would likely have to be included in a swap of unwanted contracts or as the financially motivated component of a multiplayer trade. My guess is Teheran will still be with the Braves on Opening Day. His presence could at least prove beneficial in the sense that by eating some early-season innings, he could lessen the chance of the Braves having to be overly cautious with the late-season workload of some of their younger starters.
May have been asked before, but did the Arizona Fall League upgrade anyone's opinion about the forgotten Braxton Davidson? -- @DavidAJ4325
We have long heard about the danger of placing too much stock in what a player does in the Arizona Fall League. When Alex Jackson hit five home runs and produced an .826 OPS during the 2017 AFL, a scout who attended many of those games opined the catcher would struggle to hit in the Majors. Jackson, ranked as Atlanta's No. 26 prospect by MLB Pipeline, strengthened this belief when he combined for eight homers and a .647 OPS with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this year.
Given that Davidson has struck out in 45.8 percent of his at-bats while spending each of the past three seasons at the Class A Advanced level, there was reason to question why he was even sent to Arizona. But if nothing else, the big first baseman's psyche gained a much-needed boost as he homered six times and compiled an .885 OPS before hitting a walk-off homer in the championship game.
Davidson's AFL production shouldn't do much to alter how he is viewed both internally and externally. But it may prove beneficial next year, when the former first-round selection progresses through a season that may determine whether or not he stays in the Braves' organization.
Why haven't the Braves made a push to trade for the Mariners' Mitch Haniger? With his bat, defense and team control, he would be a great fit. And the Mariners seem to be sellers. -- @JJackson1102
Haniger does seem to be the perfect fit, but for now, there has not been any indication the Mariners are willing to deal the outfielder. It wouldn't hurt the Braves to check back in January to see if Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto is bored.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.