July 28, 2021

Atlanta Braves News: Free agent rumors begin to swirl (Talking Chop)

The Winter Meetings get underway next week in San Diego and there is no shortage rumors circulating around the hot stove. The Atlanta Braves did a lot of work in November retooling their bullpen but figure to be looking for a third baseman and at least one starter.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson figures to be near the top of the Braves’ list but this report by MLB.com’s Richard Justice suggests that Atlanta’s top priority seems to be acquiring a premier starter and mentions both Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler by name.

The Braves already forfeited one draft pick in next June’s draft when they signed Will Smith to a three-year deal earlier this offseason. They would get a comp pick back should Donaldson sign elsewhere. Signing either Bumgarner or Wheeler would cost them another pick.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal discussed both Wheeler and Bumgarner in a notes column from Tuesday. Wheeler has seen a ton of interest from several teams and is poised to cash in with at least one $100+ million offer according to Rosenthal’s reporting. Furthermore, he wonders if Bumgarner might see more interest than was originally expected. Rosenthal also mentions the Braves as one…

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