Atlanta has traded away an entire starting outfield this winter — Jason Heyward went to the Cardinals in November, Justin Upton was shipped off to the Padres in December, and Evan Gattis was dealt last week to the Astros. Nick Markakis has been brought in on a four-year, $44 million contract to serve as the Braves’ new right fielder and B.J. Upton is going to get another shot in center. But what of left field?
MLB.com beat writer Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are in pursuit of free agent Jonny Gomes as a potential left-field platoon mate with Zolio Almonte. Gomes batted just .234/.327/.330 in 127 games last season between the Red Sox and A’s, but the right-handed hitter remains a productive slugger against left-handed pitching. Almonte is a switch-hitter, but his splits are much better from the left side.
So, uh, get excited Braves fans. You’re going to be the funnest girl at the dance.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.