Well, after not having much in the way of Atlanta Braves news for a while, Friday was a downright busy day for the Braves on multiple fronts including some updates from spring training. Lets jump right into it.
Michael Soroka has been through the wringer over the past few years as injuries have kept him off the mound. Expected to be among the top competitors for the fifth rotation spot going into camp this year, Soroka's return to health has been eagerly anticipated by pretty much everyone as he is widely loved by the team and fans alike. We will have to wait a bit longer unfortunately as he is currently dealing with tightness in his hamstring and is being held out of workouts.
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We also got a bit of an update on where Max Fried's head is at after his arbitration hearing with the Braves and his thoughts on a contract extension. While he was abundantly clear that he holds no ill will towards the Braves whatsoever, he also didn't give the impression that he was going to consider a contract extension that wasn't fair market value which, if you have seen the market lately, probably isn't a great sign in the long-term.
News of Joe Jimenez's surgery this offseason caused a bit of a ruckus when it came out as fans were concerned that the Braves gave up too much for a guy who is hurt. However, Jimenez set the record straight yesterday and explained that the procedure was indeed very minor and he fully expects to be ready by Opening Day.
We also had a some discussion about the Braves' shortstop competition and specifically how Ron Washington is convinced that Vaughn Grissom has what it takes to win the job this spring. There was also a career retrospective on the Tim Hudson that went up yesterday that is a reminder that Huddy was quite good at baseball and finally we got the news that Fred McGriff decided to respect all of his fanbases by not having a team logo on his Hall of Fame plaque when he is inducted into Cooperstown.
I'm not sure that the San Diego Padres should be considered a favorite to win the National League, but they remain one of the most interesting teams for sure as Manny Machado discussed his plans to opt out of his contract with the Padres after 2023 with the media yesterday. Machado was blunt in his assessment in noting how much money is out there right now. After last offseason, it is hard to argue with him or that logic because a player of his caliber is gonna get PAID assuming he has a good season.
While we haven't had too many serious injuries in spring training yet this year, there sure does seem to be plenty of minor ones as Lance McCullers Jr. is experiencing some soreness in his pitching arm after throwing this week. McCullers' injury history of late is definitely cause for concern, but right now it does seem like Houston is just playing things safe with Lance.
We also had some potential team relocation news with the Oakland Athletics. The A's have not been shy about their dissatisfaction with both their stadium deal as well as with Oakland as a market and lately their eyes have turned towards moving to Las Vegas. Things have ramped up now as
the Oakland is looking into a site in Las Vegas that could serve as their MLB home park in the not too distant future.