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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE REPORT: BRAVES WORKING ALL ANGLES TO BOOST TEAM FOR OPENING OF NEW BALLPARK

By Michael Wong

Every year there is a team that stand out among the rest in terms of being involved in the majority of big-name free agents out on the winter market.  The San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs. and Seattle Mariners come to mind as teams who have fallen under this parameter the last few years but it looks like this winter the Atlanta Braves will take center stage.  They got things started last summer when the traded for outfielder Matt Kemp to help protect star first baseman Freddie Freeman in the lineup and already during the Hot Stove season, the have inked 40-plus club pitchers Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey to round out the back of their rotation.  It looks like the Braves are just getting started though as they are reportedly in trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays for Chris Archer, the Oakland A's for Sonny Gray, and the Chicago White Sox for Chris Sale.  That is quite the threesome as it looks like the Braves want to bring aboard an ace starter to front the rotation as the team opens up a new ballpark in 2017.  While nothing is imminent, the Braves seem to have no boundaries when it comes to the market this winter. 

-It is only a matter of time before the Boston Red Sox bring aboard reliever Greg Holland on a one-year deal.  Unless of course the Braves or another close-needy team come calling. 

-The San Francisco Giants are internally debating whether they have a better chance to ink Yoenis Cespedes or Mark Trumbo as their big bat signing this winter.  They also have been connected with the Detroit Tigers about outfielder J.D. Martinez.  Speaking of Martinez, it is almost a certainty that the Tigers will move him as they want to change the makeup of the team that has grown stale lately.  Also the Tigers will listen on just about anyone, including Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. 

-The starting pitching market is so bad that Gray, Archer, and Sale will be constantly in trade talks the next few months. 

-Keep an eye on the Houston Astros in terms of a possible reuniting with Martinez. 

-With Kendrys Morales now in Toronto, the Blue Jays seems resigned to the fact they won't being back Edwin Encarnacion.  The latter can decide between the Rangers, Orioles, and Red Sox. 

-The New York Mets continue to talk daily with the reps for Cespedes but nothing is imminent.  They are reluctant to go five years for Cespedes but right now that is what the slugger desires. 


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