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Report: Braves have discussed a Mark Melancon reunion

For a while there, it looked like the decision to let Mark Melancon walk was really going to bite the Braves. And yes, before I continue, the Braves let Melancon walk. They spent the money they had in the offseason and did not have enough to pay his desired salary. Alex Anthopoulos confirmed that during the season in this quote to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic:

He was amazing for us. We allocated our money. I think there were four signings we did this offseason: (Josh) Tomlin, (Drew) Smyly, (Charlie) Morton, Ozuna. Ozuna was the last signing we made. In fairness to everybody, we made four free-agent signings. Ozuna was the last one and we backloaded that deal.

Melancon DID NOT leave because he thought he had a better chance to win with San Diego than he did in Atlanta. 

For so many reasons, that rumor made no sense. Either way, that doesn’t matter at the moment. Melancon was fantastic for the Padres, but the Braves bullpen was able to pull it together at the end and put on a show during the postseason. Still, for most of the season, Atlanta’s relief core was shaky, and given how volatile relief pitching can be, it’s no surprise they are looking for more bullpen help. According to David O’Brien of The Athletic, a reunion with Mark Melancon could be in the cards.

As O’Brien states in the tweet, though, Melancon could prove to be too pricey. He already declined a $5MM option with the Padres and could be looking for more than that after posting a 2.23 ERA with an NL-leading 39 saves in 2021. Melancon is also closing in on 37-years-old and might be due for some regression sooner rather than later. Regardless, this is a sign that the Braves will be in on several marquee relievers this offseason.

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