Braves beat writer downplays free agent and trade rumors

MLB: JUL 18 Yankees at Angels

The Braves are seemingly big game hunting. Whether it’s through free agent channels or the trade market, reports suggest Alex Anthopoulos is leaving no stone unturned. Shohei Ohtani and Dylan Cease are the two most attractive targets that have been linked to Atlanta.

Ohtani is reportedly “intrigued” by the idea of playing for the Braves, per Jon Morosi, and Morosi doubled down yesterday by reporting that Anthopoulos is still engaged with the Japanese superstar’s camp.

As far as Cease, it was reported by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi last week that talks between the White Sox and inquiring teams on Dylan Cease have heated up and the Braves are among the finalists.

Nothing has come to fruition, and if you ask one beat writer, it won’t ever happen. Mark Bowman has put to rest both rumors in his latest beat.

“The Braves haven’t shown serious interest in free agent Shohei Ohtani, and it doesn’t feel like they should be considered favorites to land White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease via a trade.”

His choice of words is very important here — “haven’t shown serious interest” in Ohtani and “doesn’t feel like they should be considered favorites” to land Cease.

Now, I don’t think either situation is likely, but Bowman is only suggesting generalities; there’s nothing concrete. While he thinks the Braves haven’t shown serious interest, that doesn’t mean they haven’t shown some interest. And just because the Braves aren’t favorites doesn’t mean they aren’t in the running for Cease.

Alex Anthopoulos already told reporters that he explored a significant acquisition. He didn’t specify if it was of the free agent or trade variety, but he’s generally been transparent with the media. If he says they explored it, they did.

All in all, I don’t believe Morosi over Bowman or vice versa. The Braves are an organization that holds their cards close to their chest, and I think that’s where Bowman is coming from. It’s important to distinguish between reports and opinions. He likely doesn’t have any substantiated information and is just basing these opinions on his experience with the club.

Chances are both reporters don’t know any more than anyone in Braves Country.

John Cordes/Icon Sportswire

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