Braves not sure Quintana would be a good fit

Club more likely to rely on young starters, prospects than trade for White Sox lefty

Braves not sure Quintana would be a good fit

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- An opportunity to gain what they view as a legit ace led the Braves to at least evaluate how deep they might be willing to dip into their prospect pool to acquire Chris Sale from the White Sox. But they don't seem too interested in creating a spot in their new-look rotation for White Sox lefty Jose Quintana, whose value may not trump what Atlanta could receive from its rising starting pitchers over the next few seasons.

"I don't think you'll see [Quintana] traded here, but I think there are a number of clubs, including us, who wouldn't be opposed to having a discussion," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "We like Quintana, but it's not Sale. It's controlled and it's left-handed and it's young and it's athletic. It certainly would be good for us. But where does he fit in the scheme of things?"

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Snitker: Braves' goal must be to win NL East

Manager is entering his first full season at the helm in Major Leagues

Snitker: Braves' goal must be to win NL East

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- There's no doubt that the Braves are a couple years away from fully reaping the benefits of a massive rebuilding project that has created the possibility of sustained success over much of the next decade.

But as Brian Snitker prepares for his first full season as a big league manager, he hearkens back to what occurred in September and feels strong enough about this offseason to believe Atlanta already has what it takes to win the National League East.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect price for Sale too high for Braves

Left-hander ended up being dealt from White Sox to Red Sox

Prospect price for Sale too high for Braves

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Though the Braves have spent the past four years inquiring about Chris Sale's availability, they certainly weren't crushed when they learned the White Sox had traded the left-hander to the Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon.

Once it remained obvious the White Sox were not interested in any package that did not include Dansby Swanson, the Braves were essentially longshot contenders who were not willing to pay the cost it would require to acquire Sale and adversely affect a two-year rebuild that was highlighted by last year's acquisition of Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair from the D-backs in exchange for Shelby Miller.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winter Meetings interview with Brian Snitker

Q. Explain how this winter has been different than so many of the others you've experienced.
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, it's way different. I said last time I was here was 28 years ago. My son was born at the Winter Meetings. So it's been -- the whole off-season has been different because the job is different and I kinda knew that going in. Like the job was different when I got here in May. It was something I had never experienced. And learning, you know, I tell people, too, I'm learning how to do this job in the off-season as much as I did during the season and it's been ongoing.

Really haven't had a lot of downtime yet, and I don't know if I will. I will turn around and probably wake up in Orlando, do it again. But that's okay, it's been really interesting.

I've gotten to experience some of the inside and the business end of it and sit in on meetings that I've never been privy to before. It's been a really interesting learning experience. I kind of see what John and John go through to put this thing together, the pains and how hard they really work to make this thing happen.

Q. So Troy was born while you were at the Meetings?
BRIAN SNITKER: We were at the team dinner like we had the first night. I got a call and actually met my wife at the emergency room. A neighbor brought her in and we had Troy. It was in Atlanta and Bobby was the GM and he was like, Come on over, go to the Meetings.

I called him the other day and I was like, Well, happy birthday. That was the last time I've been to Winter Meetings.

Q. Have you taken time to jot down a headline of plans?
BRIAN SNITKER: You know, you do. And especially since I got here, kinda got back in the baseball mode. And I thought of it even at the end of the year, you know, you could kind of -- when we finished the season you could tell. We weren't that far off. And, you know, we knew the off-season was going to be about adding starting pitching. We talked about that end of September, pretty much.

You know, I jot it down and like it. Our line-up, it's pretty good. And with the addition of Sean and that's about it really when you think about it. The guys we had and how we finished and how our line-up was, getting Dansby in the fold, I think, was big, just getting him out there and experiencing the Major League game was going to be huge for him going into this, if we decide to bump him to a 2 or something like that.

So I look at our line-up and it lengthened out last year, when we brought Dansby up and lengthened our line-up and legitimized a lot given what we had going on.

Q. Given what you've seen from Dansby, you feel like a move like that would be something that he would handle?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, absolutely. I think Dansby can pretty much handle anything we throw at him after what I witnessed. Just the person he is, the make-up, the confidence, just a player. That kid is a baseball player. And he jumped in there at the end. And we talked about when we hit him eighth and that's tough for a young guy, but shoot, he adjusted, adapted. And he's asking all the right questions, too.

So it's something I will talk to the guys about and we will get a feel for it in Spring Training and see where we're at. I feel right now -- ask me today, yeah, I feel very comfortable about him there.

Q. Have you had time to think back about how the guys rallied for you and what that's meant to you down the stretch?
BRIAN SNITKER: I'm still very proud of how we finished in the second half of the season. How they went about -- like you say, went about it every day and the professionalism and how they prepared, the way they played the game.

Like I said, people would ask me in the end, and I felt like we were chasing a Wild Card berth, the way we played the games and never gave up, just played a hard 27 outs. And just how those guys -- you know, it was fun to watch, it was very gratifying, it said a lot about those guys which I saw when I first got there. The record was bad, they had been beat over the head, just things weren't meshed real good. But the day in, day out preparation, the clubhouse, how they played the game was very impressive to me, to a man.

Q. What does Sean Rodriguez do for you? I know you like that versatility.
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah.

Q. He seems like the ultimate type of Swiss Army knife?
BRIAN SNITKER: Exactly. In our situation he was exactly what we were looking for. We had our meetings in Orlando and you're targeting guys and talking about things with your scouts and things like that, he was kind of the guy that stood out, the fact that he can play shortstop and center field was two of the biggest reasons. He had a heck of a year.

Talking to guys that know him, he's just one of those guys that keeps getting better. When we met with him, I talked to him -- he's another one, he's a baseball player. I think he will fit in really good with us. He likes to play the game. Obviously we love the versatility, the hybrid guys. I think that especially in our situation and how we're looking to go in our bullpen, the hybrid guys are going to be very important, as they were last year. Whether Jace or Chase or whoever was on the bench, it was a big deal.

I think in the game that versatility is going to do nothing but help guys in the long run. I think you will see that in our Minor Leagues, we're going to be moving guys around not necessarily just developing a second baseman, but there are guys that will profile but I think you will see guys moved around on the diamond probably a lot more than you did before, because it's big.

I know personally from experience you have those guys that it helps the whole situation out.

Q. By the way you will go to the bullpen you mean go with eight?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, if we go with eight. Those are things we will work out in Spring Training. We did last year, but we will wait and see. It's something I saw kind of industry wide a lot of people were doing that.

Q. 25 years ago the Braves were the first national team to go worst to first and nobody anticipated they could do that. Are you going to Spring Training thinking the Braves can do the same thing?
BRIAN SNITKER: Well, I said early, I think to a man when we go to Spring Training our goal is going to be to win the division and I don't see why it should be anything other than that.

I think, again, to a man we feel like we have a pretty good club, real good club. To go in there with any other thoughts to me would -- we're showing up there to win the division. Like I say, I think if you asked our players, they would tell you the same thing, with how we finished and where we feel like we're at as an organization, as a team, and the depth that we have and our club the way it's shaping up right now, I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be our goal.

Q. When you look at the season you had the first half, there were never more than one or two guys hitting, it was amazing how many guys had poor first halves, some of them were hurt and that kinda thing. The second half everybody but maybe one had really good second halves. Do you think in actuality it's somewhere in between or do you think in the second half they didn't overachieve offensively?
BRIAN SNITKER: I don't know that Ender can go out and hit what -- I said I was sitting there and I would look on the big board during the game and I'm sitting there watching that and I don't even realize how good it is. I don't think if that's realistic.

You look at what Freddie did, he's capable that, that's the kind of player he is. And I think that's the kind of player probably that Ender is and guys got it going.

I didn't feel like we were overachieving. I kinda felt like they were doing what they were capable of doing really.

I think Matt had a big part in that. With his addition it just took a lot of heat off a lot of guys. Like I said, it obviously lengthened our line-up and I think it's tough in this sport, in this business when you want to be the guy, you feel that pressure to do that.

It flows so much better when somebody gets a two-out hit and it relaxes -- talk about keeping the line moving, things like that. When you're that one guy that feels like you have to do it, that's a tough thing to do in baseball. I think guys just got clicking.

I think a guy like Ender was put behind the eight ball a little bit and then he comes back and is hitting on all cylinders. Took him a while to see the player that we knew that we had. Freddie got it going, Nick looked like -- to me he got younger as the year went on. He was moving better and swinging the bat like he's capable of and the two-out RBIs, things like that. Adonis, we moved him to the two-spot for our team right there and he had a really solid year and really contributed a lot.

I think it's more what those guys are capable of than overachieving.

Q. Did you talk to Kent before he left?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, I talked to all of them.

Q. He seemed to be on board with all of it?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, he's in, he's all in. He fit right in. I love the guy. He's what a No. 4 hitter looks like to me. He had a knack for driving runs in. I know he and Freddie had a good relationship, and I think that Freddie, knowing that Matt was behind him, you know, that's got to be a pretty good feeling and I think that's probably one of the reasons that that loosened him up and why you saw him do so well also.

Q. The shortstop, center field mix, you essentially have three with Rodriguez, Omar and Jace.
BRIAN SNITKER: And Jace. That's right. Omar did the same thing, same type of player at the same time. He's a lot like Sean. Sean probably has more power but they're the same-type player, that hybrid guy. Before we got Omar he played center field against us when he played the Tigers. And then you put him at short stop.

Prado was a lot like that, too, when we had him. He surprised us when we put him at short stop how well he did and could be that guys. Those guys are invaluable.

Q. The bullpen, you don't know if you have seven or eight, but you're going to camp with a good idea of who those seven or eight might be?
BRIAN SNITKER: It's not like it's going to be a try-out camp there. I feel good about the emergence of -- it's really nice that we J.J. signed back, and you look at the three young guys in Krol, Cabrera and Ramirez and what they did and the step forward that those guys took was really refreshing. It was tough. That bullpen was having to cover a lot of innings for a long time down there and those guys did a really good job of doing that.

I look at Jose Ramirez, I think a player development, mentally when we sent him back to Triple A, they did a great job with him. And when he came back, you could see the confidence in all three of them. We probably put them in situations they weren't ready for, either, but they responded and it was a good -- I think it was a good experience for them to pitch in the situations that they did.

Q. The stretch of about 30 games where nobody got past the sixth inning, the starters, how comforting is it to know that you have guys coming in?
BRIAN SNITKER: Very. I think I remember saying let's just get this plane off the ground and we'll take it from there. That's what we were looking to do. We targeted, those were the guys that we felt like we wanted. Walking around here I've had a number of other guys that have had those players over the years that were very complementary and encouraging and the words were the make-up, how you can trust them, the reliability in those guys and that's why we targeted them.

Q. (Inaudible), he could have rough opening and get better and guys can get to him. When you approach a knuckle baller like that, will you have to change your approach?
BRIAN SNITKER: I'm going to have to learn how to do that. I've talked to him about that, and we have had a couple of conversations going into that. And he will help me and be able to let me know.

But like I say, the guys, him, Bartolo, Jaime, those are guys that have pitched innings, and that's what we're looking for and that will be good for those relievers, to not have to go to them as much as we did and have guys to cover innings, that was big.

Q. Who is going to catch Dickie?
BRIAN SNITKER: I don't know. I talked to Tyler and he's all in. That was the thing that we asked RA about when we were talking to him and he said, you know what, if a guy wants to do it, I don't have a problem and that's never been a issue with doing that. Tyler has got the work ethic, if he's the guy he will go catch all the sides and do all that and familiarize himself with doing that.

Q. You have so many young Latin pitchers, how big can it be to have a guy like Bartolo Colon out there?
BRIAN SNITKER: I think that's invaluable. Even for the American guys, too. I think for any pitcher, a guy like that, the longevity, he's doing something right and he knows how to do it. That's something we haven't had.

Julio is a guy you can depend on. He can pitch innings, he's done it. But to have two or three other guys that have been through the wars and that have done that, it's going to be big. Because that's a big thing to have a peer that you can lean on and go to. Coaches can only -- you know, I think we can only add so much, but that peer that's been through the wars and have experienced what these guys are going to I think will be invaluable to these young guys.

Q. He can talk to them in their first language and so forth?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, there are guys that have never known the major leagues without Bartolo Colon in it. He's been there so long. Their entire existence has had in the major leagues. He brings instant credibility to a situation.

Q. What do you think it will be like for him to get 100 at-bats in person? He's almost like Babe Ruth, you don't want to miss his at-bats.
BRIAN SNITKER: No, I think it will be interesting, looking forward to the whole thing.

Q. What do you expect Ron Washington will bring to your staff?
BRIAN SNITKER: I've already talked to him about that. I know he's going to bring instant energy to the situation, I've already experienced that. It's amazing, too, when we hired Ron, the outpouring of texts and calls and guys that I've known for a long time that have played with or for, been on teams with him.

And I think he will be invaluable because we have some young infielders and his work ethic and experience, we've talked extensively, he's been there and done that, too. So I will be tapping into his experience and everything that he brings.

Q. You mentioned Julio, John was talking about how confident he is in Julio's ability to handle his preparation for the WBC, how do you handle that?
BRIAN SNITKER: Again, the guys want to represent their country. And I think Julio, because of his experience and all, that he will come in and prepare the right way and go about it in a way that will be productive for him throughout the year. I'm okay with it.

Q. Probably weren't pulling for Eddie and those guys when they get other managerial interests and that kind of thing but it's gotta be nice to know they're all coming back ultimately, T.P. beside you?
BRIAN SNITKER: It is. I love our staff. It's been a good addition. Like I say, when they called me in May about taking this job and asked me who I want sitting beside me and there was only one guy and that was T.P. He's grown into this job. It was a new job for him just like it was for me, but you talk about instant credibility, there is a guy that has it.

We've been very good friends over the years and spent a lot of time riding back and forth to the ballpark over the years talking about a lot of stuff and he's taken to this job and been a big, big help to me and what we're trying to do.

Q. I know you're close with Hadi. I figure some of those stories and texts came from him.
BRIAN SNITKER: I've spent time with Hadi and he and Kim both had good stories and things to say, good relationships. Friends of mine that had played with him with the Twins years and years ago. The guy has unbelievable energy, he's a good instructor, he knows this infield thing and he's -- he will be good for all our infielders, let alone the young ones.

Q. How has your life been different in this off-season than previous off-seasons? Can you walk around town? You got a distinct look. Do people recognize you?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, a little bit. I get home from Kroger and my daughter is showing me pictures on Instagram at the meat counter. That's how I relax, cruising Costco and Kroger and that kind of stuff. I enjoy that. I guess the bald head probably. Yeah, it's been different.

I've learned how to do this job in the off-season, it's been more time consuming, other managers tell me you need to make sure you get time for yourself. And I've been house hunting, things like that, when I have had a spare 10 minutes it's driving around, trying to find a house. It's all been good. It's all been good.

It's been very educational and seeing all the different sides of what's going on with this thing.

Q. Do you think it will be different managing in game with more comfort and more security knowing that this is your job?
BRIAN SNITKER: I don't know. When the game started, I never felt anything but the fact that I'm here trying to win a game. I think maybe on the peripheral you feel that a little bit, but once the game starts it's going on and then it's like all hands on deck and here we go, let's try and win a game.

I think more in terms of that, it will be -- it won't be a lot different.

Q. How much input have you had in trades?
BRIAN SNITKER: John -- they ask everybody. They're not going to not make a trade, I don't think, because I feel one way or another. I trust everything that these guys are doing and it's just amazing -- that's probably the one thing that I respect the most about John and Hart and how hard those guys work and how dedicated they are to this whole thing. And it's unbelievable the time they put in.

I sit here and talk about the off-season being kinda -- not having a whole lot -- these guys are 24/7. It's just like they're working very, very hard. The scouts and everybody. It's amazing how much time or how these guys give themselves to what we're trying to accomplish here.

Q. How cool is it going to be the first manager on the ground floor of a new ballpark?
BRIAN SNITKER: It's going to be really neat because that place is something else. It's a very special -- I was glad we took the team over in September to kinda get a look. It was cool to see it being built like that. Because when it's done, it's going to be even nicer to see what they've done there, because it's going to be a destination point. It's neat, you know, it will be an exciting time.

Q. Good manager's office?
BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah, oh yeah. T.P. and I actually were over there the other day and you can get lost in the clubhouse. There's a lot of rooms and things like that.

It will be nice. It's going to be state-of-the-art and you're always kinda anxious to get out on any field new and hit a few balls on it and see how it plays and how the infield it, stuff like that. These guys are -- hitters are going to want to know how the ball is carrying and things like that. It's always fun, you know, to open -- the new ones I opened in the Minor Leagues were really cool, too.

Q. When Schuerholz gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, puts that cap on that golden era, Chipper going in next year, going to this new ball park, it's like a new era and you're the guy in the position that Bobby held forever. Do you feel responsibility along with the excitement?
BRIAN SNITKER: Absolutely. I felt responsibility to this organization for a number of the jobs that I've held. It's a big one. I'm fortunate to have guys like John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox right there for me every step of the way. Every time I call, they're there, and I use them. And you would be crazy not to use them. And they have been instrumental every step of the way in my career and I'm honored to have people of that character and magnitude to help you along the way.

It's a big responsibility, but I think it's, you know, it's one that kinda comes with the territory. You accept that and you kind of are just ready for the challenge.

Q. Everybody agreed you obviously earned it. Does it still feel like they could have gone another direction if they wanted to?
BRIAN SNITKER: Absolutely.

Q. You feel good they entrusted you?
BRIAN SNITKER: I feel very honored and blessed that they felt like I was the guy that they wanted to take us to the next level and the next step. And you're right, they could have. And I would have understood if they did. I knew that going in and I said that from the beginning, I'm an Atlanta Brave, this is my 41st season. And I had no intention of going anywhere else and I'm fortunate and honored that they chose me to hold this position.

Q. (Inaudible) to think about all this happening in the months after him passing, I'm sure you've thought about how special this would have been to him.
BRIAN SNITKER: We were talking about him last night at dinner. I got some really -- and Jim Beecham, too, two of the bigger influences in my baseball career. I got some really nice texts from Beech's wife, Pam, we had a nice exchange. There is not a day or season that goes by that we don't -- Bobby and I were talking about Bobby Dukes yesterday. And Dave Trembley and I were talking about Bobby Dukes stories and he's a guy that will live on forever, epitomizes what hard work is about and the kind of baseball that these guys were is what made us what we are.

Q. What areas would you like to patch-up before the Winter Meetings are over or before Christmas, let's say?
BRIAN SNITKER: I don't know that there is a lot of -- I think as an organization we feel good where we are, you can always try to add a bullpen piece. They're talking all the time to other organizations and I think you can always get better, but I think as an organization, we feel good with where we are at this point with our team.
 

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Teheran fit to handle WBC, season prep

Braves right-hander to pitch for Colombia in March

Teheran fit to handle WBC, season prep

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- While every Major League team will have some level of concern about any of their pitchers who choose to participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, the Braves are confident Julio Teheran has been around long enough to know how to make the most of this experience and also properly prepare for the regular season.

"Julio is a veteran, he kind of knows what to do," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "He'll be with us [at the start of Spring Training] and then be back and forth. It's not as tough for a pitcher [as opposed to a position player] to sort of miss time in camp. You've got a pitching coach that knows the schedule, and Julio knows when to throw his [side sessions] and how to work in between starts. The only real problem is these guys have to ramp up earlier."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Two peas in a pod,' Schuerholz credits Cox

Latest Hall of Fame electee formed one of best duos with manager in Atlanta

'Two peas in a pod,' Schuerholz credits Cox

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Recognizing there was a good possibility the Royals would serve as his team's opposition in the 1976 American League Championship Series, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner sent his Triple-A Syracuse manager, Bobby Cox, on a late September scouting mission to Kansas City.

Cox arranged his ticket and parking requests through a young executive named John Schuerholz, who at the time was running the Royals' Minor League system. These two men had never previously met, but the time they shared together during that week in Kansas City enabled them to form a bond that significantly influenced their respective Hall of Fame careers and the construction of the greatest era in Braves history.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves give back in Forde's memory

Braves give back in Forde's memory

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As Major League Baseball honors former Mets staffer Shannon Forde's memory with its annual Play Ball auction initiative, Braves media relations senior coordinator Jonathan Kerber fondly remembers how Forde made him feel welcome during his earliest days within his current profession.

"I was brought in as seasonal help, and she treated me like I was a full-time employee," Kerber said. "The first day I got there, she told me I was part of the group and they weren't going to call me an intern or anything like that. That's how she was. She loved her kids more than anything, and she treated everybody like you were her kid."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schuerholz unanimously elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Longtime exec orchestrated dominant Braves era of the '90s-00s

Schuerholz unanimously elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Fifty years after ending his days as a teacher to enter the baseball world, John Schuerholz has been honored with the privilege of being immortalized alongside the game's other legends who have received the exclusive call to Cooperstown.

Schuerholz received the message he was seeking early Sunday evening, when he was informed he and former Commissioner Bud Selig had been elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame, courtesy of the Today's Game Era ballot. Schuerholz and Selig will speak about the honor at the Winter Meetings at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, which can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Demeritte on Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Selected by AFL managers and coaches, the team recognizes 24 players who stood out

Demeritte on Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The 2016 Arizona Fall League came to an end on Nov. 19, when the Mesa Solar Sox, powered by a two-homer, 4-for-4 performance from Cubs top prospect Ian Happ, defeated the Surprise Saguaros, 6-1, in the championship game at Scottsdale Stadium.

Since then, MLBPipeline.com has broken down this year's impressive contingent of Fall League participants in different ways, highlighting the circuit's top performers and breakout prospects and even constructing an All-AFL Team.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves sign reliever Lindgren to 1-year deal

Braves sign reliever Lindgren to 1-year deal

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Provided yet another opportunity to take a chance a on low-risk, high-upside prospect whose career has recently been adversely affected by an injury, the Braves announced Sunday morning they signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren, who had been non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.

The Braves did not wait long once they surprisingly learned the Yankees had not protected Lindgren, a strikeout-producing southpaw who made a quick ascent to the Majors in 2015 and then endured an injury-plagued '16 season that officially ended with him undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Was acquiring Garcia a good move?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers fans' questions

Inbox: Was acquiring Garcia a good move?

What were your thoughts regarding the Jaime Garcia trade?
-- Janet B., Smyrna, Tenn.

Though there are legitimate concerns about the durability of the injury-plagued Garcia, the Braves really didn't give up much to acquire a veteran who has proven effective when healthy. They parted ways with two pitchers (John Gant and Chris Ellis) who have ceilings as back-end starting pitchers and an infielder (Luke Dykstra) who produced a .696 OPS while hitting .304 with Class A Rome. This is the effect of drawing six walks and totaling 18 extra-base hits (no home runs) over 342 plate appearances.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves agree to deals with Recker, Rodriguez

Atlanta non-tenders right-handed reliever Withrow

Braves agree to deals with Recker, Rodriguez

ATLANTA -- Chris Withrow entered this past season hoping to distance himself from Tommy John surgery while establishing himself as a reliable late-innings threat in Atlanta's bullpen. But the right-handed reliever is now looking for a job.

The Braves agreed to terms on one-year deals with catcher Anthony Recker and left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez shortly before Friday's 8 p.m. ET deadline for all Major League clubs to either sign or tender a contract to each of their unsigned arbitration-eligible players.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves trade for Cards lefty Garcia

St. Louis gets three Minor Leaguers from Atlanta in deal

Braves trade for Cards lefty Garcia

ATLANTA -- Though the Braves have not landed the ace they will continue to seek, they fortified their new-look starting rotation by trading for left-hander Jaime García from the Cardinals on Thursday night.

The Braves acquired García in exchange for three prospects -- infielder Luke Dykstra and right-handed pitchers John Gant and Chris Ellis. This deal allowed Atlanta to use a couple of their mid-tier pitching prospects to gain a veteran pitcher with the potential to help the team's attempt to return to a competitive level in 2017.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gosewisch avoids arbitration with 1-year deal

Catcher was claimed off waivers, will vie for backup role

Gosewisch avoids arbitration with 1-year deal

ATLANTA -- Tuffy Gosewisch is not the caliber of catcher the Braves were talking about when they said they would spend a portion of this offseason looking for somebody to pair with Tyler Flowers. But Gosewisch does provide Atlanta's organization some necessary depth at the catching position.

Gosewisch was claimed off waivers from the D-backs on Nov. 18. On Wednesday, he and the Braves avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal. Financial details were not immediately revealed.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: Braves' Demeritte

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: Braves' Demeritte

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves land 2014 1st-rounder Jackson from Mariners

Atlanta deals two pitchers to Seattle for outfielder, player to be named

Braves land 2014 1st-rounder Jackson from Mariners

ATLANTA -- Alex Jackson was considered one of the best high school hitters available before the Mariners took him with the sixth overall selection in the 2014 Draft. The once highly touted prospect has not yet lived up to expectations, but the Braves are hoping he benefits from a change of scenery and a possible return to the catching position.

Dipping into the surplus of pitching they have compiled at the Minor League levels, the Braves announced Monday night they had acquired Jackson and a player to be named from the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Rob Whalen and Max Povse.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves, S. Rodriguez complete 2-year deal

Braves, S. Rodriguez complete 2-year deal

The Braves continued their busy offseason this week by completing a two-year contract with utility player Sean Rodriguez. The sides agreed to the deal last week and it was announced on Wednesday, following the completion of a physical.

The contract is worth a total of $11.5 million ($5 million per year, plus a 1.5 million signing bonus), according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reflecting on opportunity, Braves lifer Snitker grateful

Reflecting on opportunity, Braves lifer Snitker grateful

ATLANTA -- Forty seasons have passed without Brian Snitker knowing what it feels like not to be a proud member of the Braves organization. He has served as a player, coach, manager, husband, father and friend while having the unique experience of living a long baseball life with just one employer.

Even if Snitker hadn't recently been named the Braves' manager for the 2017 season, he would have had plenty of reasons to celebrate when he and his family gather this week to celebrate Thanksgiving. But he'll certainly feel a little extra gratitude as he reminisces and continues to appreciate an unexpected opportunity to become a Major League manager.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Braves' Demeritte among Top 25 Fall League prospects

Braves' Demeritte among Top 25 Fall League prospects

While the most talented team doesn't always win the championship, it did in the Arizona Fall League. The Mesa Solar Sox wrapped up the East Division crown on the final day of the regular season before rolling to an easy victory in the AFL's one-game playoff for its first title since 2003.

Mesa had the league's deepest lineup, as evidenced by its seven hitters who rank among the AFL's 20 best prospects below. The Solar Sox had star power with outfielders Eloy Jimenez (Cubs) and Bradley Zimmer (Indians) and second baseman Ian Happ (Cubs), all of whom sit in the 20s on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. They also had emerging talents such as shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen, who have been overshadowed in a deep Indians system, and league home run leader Brian Anderson (Marlins No. 4 prospect), who had support for making our list.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What are Braves' plans at catcher?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers fans' questions

Inbox: What are Braves' plans at catcher?

What are the Braves' options in terms of catchers?
-- Brian C., Danville, Va.

The Braves have made it clear their search for a catcher is more a want than a need. In other words, while they are interested to see if they can upgrade the position, they would be fine entering next season with Anthony Recker once again serving as Tyler Flowers' backup.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves arrange ballpark rides for beloved usher Banks

Braves arrange ballpark rides for beloved usher Banks

ATLANTA -- Walter Banks served as an usher at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium before the Braves came to town, and over the course of the past 50-plus years, he's become a beloved figure whose kindness has enriched the lives of countless fans.

Throughout the Braves' final year at Turner Field, Banks was repeatedly asked whether he would be present in 2017 for SunTrust Park's inaugural season. The 77-year-old Atlanta native could not answer that question until the Braves recently informed him that they have partnered with Uber to provide him free transportation to and from every game that will be played at the new stadium's Cobb County location.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves cautious about blockbuster moves

Controllable pitching in Sale, Archer and Gray would come at high cost

Braves cautious about blockbuster moves

ATLANTA -- There has certainly been reason for the Braves to do their due diligence by at least evaluating what it might take to acquire a controllable frontline starting pitcher like Chris Sale, Chris Archer or Sonny Gray.

At the same time, Atlanta has not lost sight of how one significant move could impact the potential value gained over the past two years via the massive rebuilding process that has transformed its farm system from one of the worst to one of the best.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey living the dream of playing for Braves

Veteran knuckleballer was huge fan growing up in Tennessee

Dickey living the dream of playing for Braves

ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey has pitched in six organizations and with five Major League clubs over the course of the past 20 seasons. But before being officially introduced by the Braves on Friday, the veteran knuckleballer had never donned the jersey of the team he and his late father passionately followed throughout his childhood in Tennessee.

"I don't think I've ever been as emotional putting on a jersey," Dickey said. "It brings back a lot of sweet memories. It makes me more motivated and excited to make a contribution to this organization. So, there are a lot of things that played into it. It's special, very special."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon shares scooter photo on Facebook

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Colon shares scooter photo on Facebook

The harsh winter months between baseball seasons can be as much of a grind as the season itself. So much time off ... what to do with it?

Well, it appears as if new Atlanta Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon enjoys riding around on a slick-looking scooter (while wearing a LeBron James jersey, too) if this post on his Facebook page is to be believed.

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Braves add 3 prospects to 40-man roster

Atlanta protects lefty Fried, righty Sims, infielder Camargo from Rule 5 Draft

Braves add 3 prospects to 40-man roster

ATLANTA -- Max Fried, Lucas Sims and Johan Camargo received the message they were waiting for this week when they were informed they have been added to the Braves' 40-man roster.

Major League clubs had until Friday to fill their respective 40-man rosters with players they wanted to protect from being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft. It was assumed the Braves would protect Fried and Sims, two of the highly-regarded pitching prospects in Atlanta's system. Camargo's addition was not necessarily expected, but it makes sense, given how other teams might value his tremendous defensive skills as a middle infielder.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey listened to the Braves on his transistor radio

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Dickey listened to the Braves on his transistor radio

At 42 years old, R.A. Dickey is not a young player. In fact, he'll be the third oldest in the league -- after fellow elder statesmen Bartolo Colon and Ichiro Suzuki -- when he takes the mound for the Braves in 2017. Talking about joining the team for his 15th MLB season on Friday, Dickey showed his age.

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Braves announce 1-year deal with Colon

President of baseball ops Hart has long-standing relationship with veteran

Braves announce 1-year deal with Colon

ATLANTA -- Nearly 25 years after being in the Dominican Republic to see a young right-hander named Bartolo Colon sign his first professional contract with the Indians, Braves president of baseball operations John Hart is looking forward to reuniting with Colon, one of the latest additions to a new-look Atlanta rotation that will certainly look a little older.

Although Colon's one-year, $12.5 million deal was confirmed by multiple sources last week, the Braves did not officially announce the deal until Thursday, once the results of the 43-year-old pitcher's physical were reviewed.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.