Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Braves’

The Atlanta Braves are heading to the postseason for a fifth consecutive season after defeating the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday.

The Braves didn’t partake in any sort of celebration, as they continue to target the Mets for top spot in the National League East.

The defending World Series champions trail the Mets in the NL East by one game.

Atlanta’s offense was sparked by Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud, each of whom hit a home run.

D’Arnaud’s two-run homer in the fourth inning put the Braves on top early, but it was Swanson’s solo blast in the eighth that wound up being the deciding run.

Charlie Morton struck out nine across 5 1/3 innings to earn his ninth win. Collin McHughA.J. Minter, and Kenley Jansen combined to pitch 3 2/3 innings to finish the game.

The Braves also needed the New York Mets to beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday to clinch the berth. Atlanta’s division rival did exactly that, winning 7-5 thanks to a go-ahead grand slam from Francisco Lindor in the seventh inning.

Michael Harris II made quite an impression on the Atlanta Braves in half a season.

Atlanta signed the rookie outfielder to an eight-year, $72-million contract extension, the club announced Tuesday.

The deal includes a $15-million club option for 2031 with a $5-million buyout and a $20-million club option for 2032 with another $5-million buyout.

Harris entered Tuesday’s action slashing .292/.330/.508 with 12 homers, 39 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases over 70 games for the Braves this season. The 21-year-old’s production has him positioned as one of the favorites to win NL Rookie of the Year.

Including Harris, the defending World Series champion Braves have locked up several key pieces throughout the years:

The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen in a big way, acquiring reliever Raisel Iglesias from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for veteran right-hander Jesse Chavez and left-hander Tucker Davidson, the teams announced.

Iglesias adds even more firepower to a stacked Braves bullpen that already includes Kenley JansenCollin McHugh, and A.J. Minter. He also replaces Will Smith, who was dealt to Houston on Monday.

The 32-year-old has saved 16 games for the Angels this season while tallying a 3.17 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, and 48 strikeouts to just nine walks. While his 4.09 ERA is his highest since 2019, he’s one year removed from a stellar campaign that saw him strike out 103 batters and receive down-ballot Cy Young votes.

L.A. re-signed Iglesias to a four-year, $58-million contract last offseason. He’ll earn $16 million in each of the next three seasons.

Chavez joins his third team of the season after having started 2022 with the Chicago Cubs before being traded to Atlanta. The 38-year-old, who was part of the Braves’ 2021 championship club, posted a 2.11 ERA and 2.54 FIP with 47 strikeouts in 31 outings for Atlanta. He previously pitched for the Angels in 2017.

Davidson, 26, owns a 5.11 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 25 walks across parts of three big-league seasons. He’s spent most of 2022 at Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that they’ve signed Austin Riley to a new 10-year, $212-million contract.

Riley’s deal, the richest in franchise history, will keep the third baseman in Atlanta through at least the 2032 campaign. It contains a club option for 2033 worth an additional $20 million.

The 25-year-old is coming off an incredible July that has put him firmly in the National League MVP conversation, hitting an eye-popping .423/.459/.885 with 11 homers and 15 doubles. In doing so, he set the franchise record for extra-base hits in a month, previously held by Hank Aaron.

For the season, Riley owns a .964 OPS over 101 games, which ranks second in the NL behind only Paul Goldschmidt.

Riley wasn’t slated to hit free agency until after the 2025 season.

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman has no hard feelings toward Atlanta Braves executive Alex Anthopoulos, he recently said in a farewell letter to his former team’s fans.

“First of all, my relationship with Alex Anthopoulos remains great,” Freeman said, courtesy of MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “When we spoke earlier this week, I told Alex how much I enjoyed my time in Atlanta, especially last year when we all experienced the thrill of winning a World Series. I also apologized for some of the comments I made during my introductory press conference with the Dodgers. It was a very emotional week for my family and I.”

Freeman signed with the Dodgers on March 16 after the Braves failed to bring him back during the offseason.

At his introductory press conference, Freeman seemed unimpressed that he only received two phone calls from the Braves despite helping them win a World Series and spending his entire professional career with them.

The 2020 National League MVP also provided an underwhelming response when asked about a video of an emotional Anthopoulos after Atlanta completed a trade for Matt Olson, which appeared to signal the end of Freeman’s Braves tenure.

“I saw them. That’s all I’ll say,” he said at the time.

Despite how he previously felt, Freeman said he and his family respect the Braves organization and will continue to maintain strong relationships in Atlanta.

“Everyone should know my wife, Chelsea, and I will always have the utmost respect for the entire Braves organization and the city of Atlanta,” Freeman’s letter continued. “My family and I loved every minute we had in Atlanta. We envisioned our future there, which is why it was such an emotional week for us.”

He added: “We look forward to continuing to strengthen the countless friendships we made since joining the Braves organization way back in 2007.”

Atlanta Braves president of baseball operations and general manager Alex Anthopoulos believes trading for and signing first baseman Matt Olson to a long-term extension had to happen to ease his team ahead of franchise icon Freddie Freeman‘s looming departure.

“If that meant we gave up a little bit more in trade, and if that meant we gave up a little bit more on the extension, I don’t know how to quantify it, but I do believe having those things in place at that moment in time, considering how emotional it was with the signaling of Freddie not coming back and the clubhouse was rattled, that’s fair to say,” Anthopoulos told the “Starkville” podcast.

“I thought that was important because we have a short period of time to get ready, and I think every single win is going to count.”

Anthopoulos said the timing of the Olson trade and extension made sense.

“He’s here, and he’s one of us, and he’s part of this core, and there’s no ambiguity. I believe – and the players may agree or not agree – I believe there’s something to that because we need these guys to gel, and we need them to come together.”

Freeman, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers two days after the Olson deal, said the Braves only called him twice during the offseason.

The 2020 National League MVP spent his entire 12-year career with Atlanta, helping the franchise win a World Series in 2021.

The Atlanta Braves have signed three-time All-Star closer Kenley Jansen to a one-year, $16-million contract, the team announced Friday.

The 34-year-old right-hander has spent his entire 12-year career thus far with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jansen has twice won the NL Reliever of the Year Award, named after Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman. Originally signed as an undrafted catcher, the Dodgers eventually transitioned Jansen to reliever, and he earned a promotion to the majors during the 2010 season.

Since then, he has become one of the league’s best closers, posting a 2.37 ERA and 2.37 FIP over 701 appearances and notching 350 saves. Jansen ranks second among all relievers in saves dating back to 2010 – behind only Craig Kimbrel – but he sits first in WAR, according to FanGraphs.

The reigning champion Braves have made a handful of moves to improve the roster this winter, including adding righty reliever Collin McHugh on a two-year, $15-million deal. Aside from McHugh, Jansen will likely lead the back end of a bullpen that also includes Luke Jackson as well as lefties Will Smith and Tyler Matzek.

Earlier this week, the Dodgers signed former Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman on a six-year, $162-million contract. Intriguingly, the two teams will face each other early in the season in Los Angeles, with a three-game set beginning April 18.

The Atlanta Braves are reuniting with Eddie Rosario, signing the free-agent outfielder to a two-year, $18-million contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Rosario’s deal includes a club option for the 2024 season.

The veteran joins a Braves outfield mix that currently includes Marcell OzunaAdam DuvallGuillermo Heredia, and Drew Waters. Star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is also expected to return at some point in the summer after tearing the ACL in his right knee last season.

The Braves acquired Rosario from the then-Cleveland Indians for Pablo Sandoval last July. The 30-year-old hit .271/.330/.573 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 33 regular-season games for Atlanta.

Rosario shined for the Braves in the playoffs, winning NLCS MVP honors after hitting .560/.607/1.040 with three homers, 14 hits, and nine RBIs for the eventual World Series winners.

He spent his entire career with the Minnesota Twins before last season, slashing .277/.310/.478 with 119 homers and 388 RBIs in 697 games.

Rosario’s signing comes after Atlanta acquired first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics on Monday. The Braves signed Olson to an eight-year, $168-million extension Tuesday.

The Atlanta Braves signed first baseman Matt Olson to an eight-year, $168-million extension, the club announced Tuesday.

Olson’s contract includes a $20-million club option for 2030. He will make $15 million in 2022, $21 million in 2023, and $22 million for the remainder of the deal. The pact is the largest in club history.

Atlanta acquired the All-Star slugger in a five-player trade with the Oakland Athletics on Monday. The Braves sent outfielder Cristian Pache, catcher Shea Langeliers, and pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes to the A’s in the deal.

Olson slashed .271/.371/.540 with 39 home runs and 111 RBIs for Oakland last season. The 27-year-old is also a two-time Gold Glover.

The acquisition of Olson means it’s all but official that franchise icon Freddie Freeman will leave the Braves in free agency after winning a World Series in 2021.

There’s a growing belief All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman won’t re-sign with the Atlanta Braves when free agency resumes due to a standoff in contract talks, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

The Braves offered Freeman a five-year, $135-million deal before the lockout, but the 2020 NL MVP wants a six-year pact, sources told Olney.

Freeman was reportedly seeking a six-year, $180-million contract prior to the lockout.

“I think (the Braves) will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation,” an anonymous official said.

Atlanta reportedly discussed a trade with the Oakland Athletics involving All-Star first baseman Matt Olson prior to the work stoppage.

Braves manager Brian Snitker also acknowledged in early February that the team may not be able to bring Freeman back. The New York YankeesLos Angeles Dodgers, and Toronto Blue Jays were rumored to be interested in the 32-year-old slugger.

Freeman, who’s spent his entire 12-year career with the Braves, has hit 271 homers with 941 RBIs and has an .893 OPS in 1,565 games. He’s a five-time All-Star who owns multiple Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove to go along with a World Series title.