The majority of free agents and trading block players are still on the market, but there are already some noteworthy stories around Major League Baseball this offseason.
Braves New Stadium
The Atlanta Braves announced their plans to build a new stadium in time for Opening Day 2017. Near the intersection of I-75 and I-285 Northwest of downtown Atlanta, the new site is close to the geographical center of the Braves’ fan base, which extends across the entire Southeast region of the US.
The Braves claim that Turner Field has certain logistical and physical flaws that will only get worse over the years, though the team has not commented specifically on the current stadium. Also the Braves do not own Turner Field, nor the land surrounding it. But with their new parcel in Cobb County, they hope to build up the surrounding areas to make the game day experience more enjoyable for fans.
In addition, the new park should have in the area of 40,000 seats as opposed to the 50,000+ capacity of Turner Field. This means that the stadium will have a healthier, fuller look even if numbers are down. But unfortunately for curious fans, renderings of the inside of the Braves new stadium are not yet available. More information on the new park can be found at the Home of the Braves.
Ricky Nolasco Signing
This week, reports emerged that former Marlin Ricky Nolasco had finalized a four-year deal with the Twins. Miami’s all-time wins and strikeouts leader was traded to the Dodgers last July, and finished the season with a 3.70 ERA and nearly 200 innings pitched.
Though the deal has not been made official yet, the reported agreement is worth $49 million and includes a club option for a fifth year.
Major Trades: Fielder and Freese
Two major trades have taken place so far this offseason. The first was a one-for-one deal that sent Prince Fielder to the Rangers, and Ian Kinsler to the Tigers. The Tigers also sent $30 million to Texas in the deal to offset the cost for Fielder, presumably his dining expenses.
And another trade between the Cardinals and Angels sent the 2011 World Series MVP David Freese to Anaheim in exchange for centerfielder Peter Bourjos. Two other players were involved in the deal. Albert Pujols, the current Angles first baseman, and David Freese were integral parts of St. Louis’ 2011 championship squad. The move furthers Anaheim’s hopes of contending in the American League in the years to come.
Marlins Offseason Notes
Beat reporter Joe Frisaro reported this week that the Marlins were checking in on two free agents–catcher Dioner Navarro and starting pitcher Phil Hughes. Jeff Mathis will likely be Miami’s starting catcher in 2014, and the team is looking for depth to help him out. And the addition of a starter like Hughes would help to bolster the Fishy rotation that has been plagued by injuries and inconstancies in the recent years.
Jose Fernandez was named 2013 NL Rookie of the Year after his 12-6 rookie season. He also finished third in the CY Young voting.
And Miami’s front office has made it very clear that Giancarlo Stanton is not on the market.