The MLB Off-Season is officially underway with the Atlanta Braves trying to assemble the oldest pitching staff of all time. The Braves have signed Bartolo Colon (43) to a one year deal worth $12.5M and R.A. Dickey (42) for $7.5M this year and each have club options for next year as well. Atlanta is wasting no time building a veteran presence in their rotation and it appears they’re trying to compete this year. Last season the Braves were 68-93, last in the NL East.

Colon had an All-Star like season in 2016 posting a 15-8 record with a 3.43 ERA for the Mets. Dickey wasn’t as effective with Toronto going 10-15 with a 4.46 ERA. Since winning the NL Cy Young in 2012 for the Mets, Dickey has gone 49-52 with the Blue Jays but a return to the National League East could be a shot in the arm he needs. As it currently stands the Braves rotation would be: Julio Teheran, Michael Foltynewicz, R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon and Aaron Blair/Matt Wisler.

Below are the biggest names available in free agency:

  • Yoenis Cespedes
  • Dexter Fowler
  • Justin Turner
  • Kenley Jansen
  • Aroldis Chapman
  • Edwin Encarnacion
  • Ian Desmond
  • Wilson Ramos
  • Rich Hill
  • Carlos Beltran
  • Jose Bautista
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Matt Wieters
  • Mark Trumbo

TRADE: YANKEES – ASTROS (BRIAN MCCANN)

It took a while but the Yankees finally pulled the trigger on a trade sending Brian McCann to the Houston Astros. It was apparent from the first week that Gary Sanchez debuted that he was going to be the short term and long term future of the New York Yankees behind the plate. Brian McCann who arrived in New York as a free agent in 2013 never found his groove. The five year, $85 million deal was a bold attempt to bring the Yankees back to relevancy but it failed, as did was his free agency mate Jacoby Ellsbury. In three seasons McCann hit .235 with 69 HR and 227 RBI. He steadily produced every year (23/75, 26/94, 20/58) but Yankees fans grew tired of the low average in proportion to his annual salary of $17 million. Add on the fact that Gary Sanchez had one of the most historic starts (.299/20/42 in 53 games) to a career, the Yankees had no choice but to move McCann now.

With McCann now in Houston he can resume his everyday job at catcher, where the Yankees had him split between catcher and designated hitter. McCann turns 33 this February and while he’s definitely not a spring chicken he might have a year or two left behind the plate. It’s worth noting that despite McCann’s desired to catch every day he was a true professional and never once did he speak out against Joe Girardi or Gary Sanchez. In order to make the deal work the Yankees will absorb $11 million of the remaining $34 million on his contract. In exchange the Astros have sent two pitching prospects to the Yankees.

OFF-SEASON PLAYER MOVEMENT

BARTOLO COLON – ATLANTA BRAVES
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R.A. DICKEY – ATLANTA BRAVES
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KENDRYS MORALES – TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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JOSH REDDICK – HOUSTON ASTROS
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DANNY VALENCIA – SEATTLE MARINERS
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2016 REGULAR SEASON AWARDS

AL MVP – MIKE TROUT
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NL MVP – KRIS BRYANT
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AL CY YOUNG – RICK PORCELLO
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NL CY YOUNG – MAX SCHERZER
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AL ROOKIE – MICHAEL FULMER
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NL ROOKIE – COREY SEAGER
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AL MANAGER – TERRY FRANCONA
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NL MANAGER – DAVE ROBERTS
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