LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Alex Anthopoulos will have some familiarity with the Walt Disney World area when he returns to Florida in February for his first Spring Training as the Braves' general manager.Immediately after being named the Braves' new leader on Nov. 13, Anthopoulos traveled to Orlando, Fla., to
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Alex Anthopoulos will have some familiarity with the Walt Disney World area when he returns to Florida in February for his first Spring Training as the Braves' general manager.
Immediately after being named the Braves' new leader on Nov. 13, Anthopoulos traveled to Orlando, Fla., to partake in the General Managers Meetings. He's at a different Disney resort this week as he and his staff attend the annual Winter Meetings and attempt to get a better feel for how they can best address the team's needs.
The Winter Meetings run through Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft. MLB.com and Braves.com will provide stories and video to keep fans informed about the news and rumors created during this event, which brings all of baseball's top executives and agents together to discuss potential trades and free-agent signings.
This has been a unique offseason for the Braves, whose annual roster reconstruction efforts were stalled by the lengthy MLB investigation that forced the departure of the club's top two baseball operations executives and led to the hiring of Anthopoulos, who spent the past two seasons serving as the Dodgers' vice president of baseball operations.
Anthopoulos has spent a majority of the past month familiarizing himself with his new club's assets and getting a feel for how to best assemble its personnel. But with the start of Spring Training just two months away and the offseason finally starting to feel a little more normal, he may start providing a glimpse of how he might alter Atlanta's lineup and pitching staff.
Anthopoulos already started to clean out his bullpen with the trade of veteran reliever Jim Johnson, whom the Angels were willing to take with the inclusion of international bonus pool money, which ultimately aided their successful pursuit of Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani.
While the Braves may opt to add a high-quality veteran reliever to their inexperienced bullpen mix, the primary questions surrounding the club focus on the potential pursuit of a third baseman or front-line starter.
It will also be interesting to see what Anthopoulos opts to do with Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp. At least one of these veteran corner outfielders is likely to be moved this offseason to create a lineup spot for Ronald Acuna, the No. 6 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com who is on track to make his Major League debut for Atlanta early next season.
Braves manager Brian Snitker is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday morning. Snitker will be asked about his vision for the 2018 season and his newly structured coaching staff, which now includes bench coach Walt Weiss and first-base coach Eric Young Sr. Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez, who previously stood as the team's longest-tenured coaches, were dismissed from their roles before Anthopoulos arrived.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.