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Inbox: How will Braves improve 'pen for '18?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from fans
MLB.com @mlbbowman

What moves do you expect the Braves to make to improve their bullpen?
-- @jonah_pryor

Once general manager Alex Anthopoulos reorganizes his front office and begins to finalize his roster reconstruction plans, we'll get a better feel for how aggressive he might be with his attempt to fortify the bullpen.

What moves do you expect the Braves to make to improve their bullpen?
-- @jonah_pryor

Once general manager Alex Anthopoulos reorganizes his front office and begins to finalize his roster reconstruction plans, we'll get a better feel for how aggressive he might be with his attempt to fortify the bullpen.

Anthopoulos has not yet provided clear indication whether he'll shop down the aisle that includes Wade Davis and Greg Holland or simply attempt to strengthen back-end depth with the addition of a more affordable option like Addison Reed.

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The Braves have already made contact with fan favorite Peter Moylan, who produced a 3.49 ERA and limited opponents to a .189 batting average while making a Major League-high 79 appearances for the Royals in 2017. But I believe the search will extend to veterans capable of serving as either the closer or primary setup man.

Video: SEA@ATL: Minter earns his first Major League K

As A.J. Minter struck out 17 of the last 31 batters he faced this season he provided further indication he might be capable of unseating Arodys Vizcaino as the closer at some point next season. Jose Ramirez also produced some encouraging stretches as a setup man. But if the Braves truly want to fortify their bullpen and guard against the possibility Jim Johnson's struggles will continue, it might be wise to add at least two experienced arms to the mix.

If/when Julio Teheran is dealt this offseason, do you think Anthopoulos will be targeting a return of prospects, or MLB talent?
-- @BravesTwills

Teheran is understandably viewed as a third or fourth starter by most teams. Given what he has done over the past three seasons, it can be argued he should have been traded at some point during the 2015 season.

Video: PHI@ATL: Teheran tosses 5 K's in seven strong frames

Still, given his contract status (owed an average of $9.5 million over the next two seasons) and the demand for starting pitching, there's certainly a chance the Braves could gain a respectable prospect in return.

The Braves could open next season with a rotation that includes Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Luiz Gohara, Sean Newcomb and either Lucas Sims or Max Fried. By the time June arrives, Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard might be ready to be thrown in that mix.

Given the scarcity of attractive depth on this year's free-agent market, it would be wise to at least assess Teheran's market and also keep open the possibility of filling his void with the addition of a controllable frontline starter who might be available via a separate trade.

Is there a way to measure how much damage MLB's sanctions against the club will hinder the rebuild?
-- @ewade1966

Given these were unprecedented sanctions, we really can't guess how significantly the Braves will be impacted by this punishments, which cost them 13 international prospects and severely restricted their international market activity through 2020-21.

Video: Bowman on possible long-term effects of sanctions

But I think it's safe to say the effects of these sanctions could be felt for at least a decade. Once the punishment is complete, the Braves will have essentially gone five straight years without having had the opportunity to garner desirable value from the international market.

The Braves celebrated when they exceeded their bonus pool by more than $11 million to sign their heralded 2016 international class. Nine of the players signed within that class, including Kevin Maitan and Abrahan Gutierrez, are now free agents who will soon gain another signing bonus from with another organization.

The $15 million-plus spent to sign these players is gone and the Braves have absolutely nothing to show for the cost.

Not all of these prospects were going to reach Atlanta and none of them were likely going to make an impact in the Majors within the next three seasons. But the depth level they created as a whole would have enhanced the Braves' trade options over the next few years.

Matt Adams back to St. Louis for Jedd Gyorko?
-- @BruceTrampler

You should never object to the opportunity to acquire a West Virginia Mountaineer like Gyorko.

In all seriousness, the Braves are in the process of attempting to trade Adams, who could make $4.6 million via arbitration per MLB Trade Rumors' projection. All teams have until Friday night to tender a contract to their arbitration-eligible players.

The Braves don't want to simply non-tender Adams and consequently get nothing in return. But at the same time, they certainly don't want to pay more than $4 million for a defensively-limited player whose primary role would be to serve as a pinch-hitter.

Video: Jim Duquette talks about Matt Adams in 2018

Acquired to serve as the club's first baseman after Freddie Freeman broke his wrist in May, Adams hit 12 homers and produced a 1.009 OPS through his first 31 games for the Braves. He moved to a backup role once August arrived and hit just seven homers and compiling a .746 OPS over his final 69 games.

Adams' potential trade value might have leveled out over this season's final months. He's limited defensively and he has struggled against left-handed pitchers. But there's still reason to believe an American League team could have interest in a guy who homered once every 14.5 at-bats from May 21-July 31, the two-month span within which Adams was utilized as an everyday player.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves