Step by step, the Braves are laying out a plan to restructure their organization. The latest move came Wednesday night when they signed Nick Markakis to a four-year contract worth $44 million.
There has been a general thought that the Braves would trade either or both of Justin Upton and Evan Gattis this off-season. Signing Markakis and slotting him in right field assures at least one will be dealt. The chance remains that both could be on different teams this coming spring.
The Braves did not tender a contract to Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy or Gus Schlosser on Tuesday, making all three free agents.
Non-tendering Medlen and Beachy was seen as a possibility, because both are trying to return from a second Tommy John surgery. Neither will be ready until May at the very earliest, with a likely outcome being June to the All-Star break.
The non-tender deadline is Tuesday at 11:59 p.m., meaning the Braves have little time to decide what to do with two notable pitchers in unique situations.
Kris Medlen made $5.8 million in 2014 and is projected to earn the same next season if tendered a contract, because the right-hander failed to take the mound thanks to Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy made $1.45 million in 2014 and should make around $1.5 million if tendered, because he also underwent the surgery.
In Shelby Miller's first start of the 2014 season April 4, he faced Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez on a 2-2 count in the second inning. Alvarez had already spat on a low changeup and fouled off another behind in the count. Miller threw a belt-high fastball at 94 with little movement on the outer half, and Alvarez launched it to left field for a home run.
A day after trading Role 40+ guys in a swap that included international spending money to Atlanta, the Braves further showed their newfound commitment Monday to strengthening their near future and future further down the road in a blockbuster deal.
The Braves traded Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
The Braves announced Sunday they traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The Braves also dealt their fourth international signing bonus slot in exchange for the Cubs' second, third and fourth slots. All slots are for the current spending period, which gives new international director Marc Russo around seven months to work with extra money.
Perhaps there's something in the water of Lake Olmstead that develops a World Series champion.
Former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner established himself as a postseason legend Wednesday night by throwing five shutout innings in relief, allowing just two hits and striking out four. The long-relief stint on two days rest closed out Game 7 of the World Series and gave the Giants the 3-2 win and series.
International sign, Venezuela
22 years old
2014 A: 121.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 22.4 K%, 8.8 BB%, .287 BABIP
OFP: 50; #4 starter/setup
Realistic: 40; middle relief
Fastball: 50 present; 60 future; 87-95, t96