Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt's name is no stranger to this blog. That's because I believe in the potential.
General manager Frank Wren's comments on Bethancourt spell out a similar belief in the athletic receiver.
Depth is one of the more underrated aspects of roster building. The minor league signings with spring training invites don't get the same attention as the blockbuster trades or major free agent signings, and for good reason. Minor league signings don't hold the same value. But they do hold value over the course of a season, and for that, they are important.
The Braves avoided arbitration with three eligible players Friday while we wait word on the four who remain eligible.
Kris Medlen will receive $5.8 million, an increase from the $2.6 million he earned in 2013. It's a fair increase after throwing a career-high 197 innings with a 3.11 ERA and 3.48 FIP.
Major League Baseball announced Thursday the addition of instant replay for the 2014 season. It's officially happening.
Notes from the release:
Managers will have at least one challenge to use, but managers can't challenge more than two plays in a game. If any portion of a challenged play is overturned, then the manager who challenged the play will retain the ability to challenge one more play.
When Georgia Regents announced the signing of Jason Eller as the new head baseball coach, it marked a possible turnaround for a program that has struggled in recent years. Eller's first signing class during the early period is an indication that the program is back on track.
The early class includes a majority from the Atlanta and Augusta areas, two strong areas that nearby college programs feed off.
With the announcement of USC Aiken's No. 2 ranking by College Baseball Lineup and No. 14 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, expectations remain the same for the Pacers in 2014. Another good recruiting class from the early period means it shouldn't change anytime soon.
Coach Kenny Thomas said JUCO pitchers set the tone for the class, and two in particular are at the front.
It takes a good athlete to continue to make headlines in a sport he hasn't played in two years. It doesn't hurt when you're a star in a different sport.
Russell Wilson recently returned to the baseball headlines when he was picked 15th in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft during the Winter Meetings on Dec. 12. The Rangers essentially bought Wilson's rights from the Rockies for $12,000 and is now in the Texas system.
The Braves have acquired Ryan Doumit from the Twins for Sean Gilmartin, first reported by Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
Doumit will likely serve as a bench bat with the occasional start at catcher or a corner fielding spot. He's a career .268/.329/.438/.332 wOBA/104 wRC+ hitter while playing mostly catcher in his career between the Pirates and Twins. He hit .247/.314/.396/.311 wOBA/95 wRC+ in 538 plate appearances this past season for Minnesota, hitting 14 home runs with a 9 percent walk rate.