Is Atlanta interested in Matt Holliday?

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Dave O’Brien mentions — and then almost immediately scotches — rumors of a Yunel Escobar for Matt Holliday trade:

While the Braves have made it known they are taking calls from teams
interested in potential Yunel Escobar trades, I’m told that three’s
nothing to the report out of Oakland of discussions between the teams
about an Escobar-and-prospects trade for Oakland’s Matt Holliday and
Orlando Cabrera.

Not saying they haven’t talked to Oakland at some point about
Holliday. Just saying the Braves haven’t talked to them about trading
Escobar and prospects for Holliday and Cabrera, two pending free
agents.

As O’Brien goes on to note, such a trade would be ree-dic-ulously awful
for Atlanta, as Escobar is both (a) useful; and (b) not even
arb-eligible until after 2010, and given that both Holliday and Cabrera
are free agents after the season. Oh, and Cabrera stinks and both he
and Holliday are expensive. If anything, such a deal would need
prospects coming back Atlanta’s way to make up for the virtual
certainty that both of those guys would bolt after the season is over.

Still, I’ve been reading O’Brien for many years, and one thing is
clear: he has some good sources in the Braves’ front office. So while
this particular trade makes little sense for Atlanta, I have to believe
him when he says that there are talks between Oakland and Atlanta
involving Escobar and Holliday. Stay tuned.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.