Alex Anthopoulos Reports: Atlanta has not yet completed their trades…

Braves Briefing: Atlanta’s not done making trades yet.

Alex Anthopoulos on Division Series loss, Brian Snitker and ...

Atlanta’s obviously still working to strengthen the edges of the roster and build depth

So much for a ‘quiet” Winter Meetings week, huh?

The Atlanta Braves and president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos made three different trades this week, starting with the trade to get new leftfielder Jarred Kelenic on Sunday night and later flipping both of the players received in that deal, LHP Marco Gonzales and 1B Evan White, in deals with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Angels, respectively.

And it stands to reason that AA isn’t done yet – while he’s admitted to be satisfied with his eight starting positions on the field, depth is always at the forefront of his mind. Atlanta’s now holding a trade chip in veteran catcher Max Stassi, which feels like a useful piece of leverage in a free agency class that is woefully poor when it comes to backstops.

Whether Atlanta flips Stassi in a one-for-one trade for an arm or packages him into a larger deal remains to be seen, but the Braves undoubtedly are sitting in a bit of a stronger negotiating position on Saturday morning than they were just 24 hours ago.

How long until pitchers and catchers report?

65 days. Atlanta’s expected to ask pitchers and catchers to report on Monday, February 12th, in advance of their first spring training game on February 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays. An official announcement of the reporting date will come in January.

Read More: Angels get White, Thomas in trade with Braves.

Angels trade David Fletcher, Max Stassi to Braves

Fletcher, Stassi dealt to Atlanta

ANAHEIM — On a day that had baseball fans anxiously waiting for news to drop on two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani’s destination in free agency, the Angels made a trade with the Braves on Friday, acquiring first baseman Evan White and reliever Tyler Thomas in exchange for veteran catcher Max Stassi and infielder David Fletcher.

Angels get: 1B Evan White, LHP Tyler Thomas
Braves get: C Max Stassi, IF David Fletcher

The Angels’ 40-man roster is currently at 39, and they remain interested in bringing back Ohtani, whose whereabouts were tracked all day only for him to be home in Southern California and not flying to Toronto as some had speculated.

White and Thomas were both recently acquired by the Braves, as Atlanta received White in a trade with the Mariners on Sunday and Thomas was selected from the Mets in the Minor League portion of Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft. White, a former top prospect with Seattle, gives the Angels some depth at first base behind Nolan Schanuel, while Thomas will compete for a spot in the bullpen.

The Angels traded away two fan favorites in Stassi and Fletcher in order to shed their contracts and get younger.

Stassi, who missed last season because of a hip injury and a family emergency, is due $7 million in 2024 with a $7.5 million option for ’25 that contains a $500,000 buyout. And Fletcher, who played in just 33 games in the Majors in ’23 and was outrighted off the 40-man roster twice this year, is owed $6 million in ’24 and $6.5 million in ’25. He also has club options for ’26 and ’27 worth $8 million and $8.5 million, respectively, and each has a $1.5 million buyout.

But despite having played just 84 career games in the Majors from 2020-21, White is owed $7 million in 2024 and $8 million in ’25 because he signed a six-year, $24 million contract with Seattle before he reached the big leagues. He also has club options for 2026 ($10 million with a $2 million buyout), ’27 ($11 million, $1 million buyout) and ’28 ($12.5 million, $1 million buyout).

White, 27, was a first-round pick in 2017. He was one of the game’s top prospects heading into his rookie season in ’20 that saw him win the Gold Glove Award at first base. But he’s hit just .165/.235/.308 with 10 homers, 10 doubles and 35 RBIs in the Majors. He played in just two games at Triple-A last year, as he suffered a groin strain and underwent surgery to repair his left hip. But the Angels are hopeful that he could respond well to better health and a change of scenery, much as former top prospect Mickey Moniak has done.

Thomas, 27, has yet to reach the Majors and had a 0.79 ERA in 22 2/3 innings with Double-A Binghamton before he posted a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings with Triple-A Syracuse. He struck out 41 batters last year in the Minors and also posted a 3.72 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League. Because he wasn’t taken in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft, he can be optioned to the Minors.

Stassi had been with the Angels since he was acquired from the Astros at the 2019 Trade Deadline and was regarded as a strong defensive catcher. He had his best year in ’21, when he hit .241 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 87 games, but he batted .180 with nine homers and 30 RBIs in 102 games in ’22. The 32-year-old was expected to be the club’s regular catcher last year, but his injury and family situation forced the Angels to mostly use a combination of Matt Thaiss, Logan O’Hoppe and Chad Wallach. They could look to add another veteran to that mix this offseason.

Fletcher, 29, was one of the club’s longest-tenured players, as he had been with the Angels since 2018. His contact skills and defensive prowess made him easy for fans to root for, but his production dropped off in recent years, and he also dealt with abdominal surgery in ’22. He hit just .247 with two homers and 12 RBIs last year and didn’t figure to be a factor for the club in ’24.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.