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Braves place R.A. Dickey and Jim Johnson on revocable waivers

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Waiver month has kicked off. Peter Gammons reports that the Braves have placed pitchers R.A. Dickey and Jim Johnson on revocable waivers. We highlighted how the month of August typically works here.

Dickey, 42, has a 4.08 ERA and a 90/52 K/BB ratio in 128 innings this season for the Braves. He’s owed the remainder of his $8 million salary and has an $8 million club option with a $500,000 buyout for next season

Johnson, 34, has a 4.09 ERA and a 52/16 K/BB ratio in 44 innings of relief this season. He’s owed the remainder of his $4.5 million salary for 2017 and is under contract for another $4.5 million next year.

If a team claims either player, the Braves can try to work out a trade with that team or simply pass that player’s financial obligations onto the claiming team. If either player passes through waivers unclaimed, the Braves can try to trade that player normally. Due to the chronic need for reliable bullpen help, Johnson is less likely to pass through waivers unclaimed than Dickey.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.