December 2, 2020

Atlanta Braves Start Shopping Early (Baseball Essential)


The Atlanta Braves have been quite active in the early stages of the Major League Baseball offseason, re-signing outfielder Nick Markakis, catcher Tyler Flowers, and right-handed Darren O’Day, while also bringing in left-handed reliever Will Smith on a three-year, $39 million deal.

The Braves have always had a knack for bringing in and developing players who grew up around Atlanta. This list is headlined by Brian McCann, who hails from Athens, GA, and Chipper Jones, who is from Jacksonville, FL, which is located just under an hour from the Georgia border. The trend has continued into this offseason, as all four of the players they’ve signed are from areas that likely have rather high Braves’ fandom.

The first player to sign was Flowers, who’s from Roswell, GA (22 minutes from SunTrust Park). Flowers has been with the Braves since the 2016 season, after being non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox. He initially signed a two-year deal worth $5.3 million guaranteed with a $4 million option, and it turned out to be a very sturdy investment, as he hit .261/.360/.441 (.771 OPS) with 28 home runs and stapled excellent pitch framing.

Flowers received an extension in August of…

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