UPDATE: Braves interested in Darren O’Day and Matt Thornton


UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that while the Braves might have had initial interest in O’Day, it has “evaporated” as his asking price has risen.

11:04 p.m. ET: The Braves are in rebuild mode and don’t exactly fit the profile of a team who appears likely to invest in their bullpen this offseason, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is hearing otherwise.

The Braves, according to major-league sources, are pursuing at least two free-agent relievers – right-hander Darren O’Day and lefty Matt Thornton.

In fact, rival teams involved in the bidding for O’Day believe that the Braves might wind up making him the highest offer.

That’s a pretty significant statement, as O’Day is said to be asking for a four-year deal in the range of $28-36 million. Braves general manager John Coppolella was adamant that the team isn’t “tanking” in an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today earlier this week, so perhaps this pursuit is a response to the recent criticism. It might also change the conversation a little bit from a spending perspective, which can only help with the MLBPA. O’Day could be an option at closer for the Braves, though Arodys Vizcaino was pretty good in the role down the stretch this season.

Thornton won’t be nearly as a pricey. The 39-year-old southpaw posted a 2.09 ERA and 23/11 K/BB ratio over 41 1/3 innings with the Nationals this season. He’s more of a specialist at this point in his career.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.