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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Atlanta, GA

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Insurance Agency in Atlanta, GA You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Atlanta, GA

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Atlanta, GA

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

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Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Atlanta, GA

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Atlanta, GA

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Atlanta, GA

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Atlanta, GA

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Atlanta, GA

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Atlanta, GA phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Atlanta, GA phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Atlanta, GA phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Atlanta, GA that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Atlanta, GA

Latest News in Atlanta, GA

Mariners trade outfielder Jarred Kelenic, others to Braves

ReactionsLike108Wow5Funny2Interesting1NASHVILLE -- The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, left-hander Marco Gonzales and first baseman ...

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NASHVILLE -- The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, left-hander Marco Gonzales and first baseman Evan White from the Seattle Mariners for right-handers Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips on Sunday, kicking off the winter meetings with a money-dump deal by the Mariners that netted the Braves the high-upside outfielder.

The trade, which represents the second purge of veterans by the Mariners after they dealt third baseman Eugenio Suarez to Arizona earlier in the winter, will save Seattle a significant amount of future guaranteed money. While the Mariners included an unknown amount of cash in the deal, White and Gonzales are owed $29 million.

The Braves, in the market for a left fielder and rotation help, were willing to take on the money for the 24-year-old Kelenic, who has shown flashes of greatness and will slot into a lineup that this year slugged .501, the highest mark in Major League Baseball history. Kelenic batted .253/.327/.419 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs in 105 games, missing a chunk of time after breaking his foot when he kicked a water cooler in frustration after a strikeout.

Kelenic was the last player remaining from the blockbuster 2018 trade that sent closer Edwin Diaz and second baseman Robinson Cano to the New York Mets. At one point a top-five prospect in baseball, Kelenic possesses massive power -- he hit a 482-foot home run at Wrigley Field this year -- but has struggled to make contact, striking out 132 times in 416 plate appearances in 2023. With just under two years of service time, Kelenic is not set to reach free agency until following the 2028 season.

Gonzales, 31, is coming off surgery to alleviate a nerve issue in his arm. A reliable innings-eater in prior seasons, he went 4-1 with a 5.22 ERA in 50 innings over 10 starts this year before the injury sidelined him and eventually led to the procedure. He will make $12 million in 2024 and has a $15 million option for 2025.

The Mariners signed White to a six-year, $24 million contract before his major league debut in 2020. White struggled in his rookie season while playing first base full time and lost the job to Ty France during 2021, hitting .165/.235/.308 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs over 84 games combined in his two major league seasons. Injuries have plagued him the past two seasons at Triple-A, and he is owed $15 million over the next two seasons, with a $2 million buyout in 2026 on the first of three options the Braves now hold.

Losing Gonzales, White and Suarez -- who is making $11 million this season -- takes the Mariners' payroll into the $110 million range, well below their $137 million Opening Day payroll last season. Seattle, which won 88 games this year and finished a game shy of the postseason, could hit the trade market or free agent market to supplement an offense that also lost right fielder Teoscar Hernandez to free agency.

With their bounty of young, homegrown starting pitchers, the Mariners are an attractive trade partner for teams spooked by a free agent market in which back-end starting pitching costs at least $10 million a year.

"I want to thank Marco, JK and Evan for their contributions to the club," Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "All three played key roles at different stages of our growth over the past several seasons. As we continue to work through this offseason with the goal of improving our team for 2024 and beyond, we believe the additions of Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips, as well as the roster and payroll flexibility created tonight, will move us closer to that goal."

Phillips, 20, was taken by Atlanta in the second round of the 2022 draft after undergoing Tommy John surgery that April. He has yet to throw a pitch as a professional but is seen by scouts as a high-upside arm with a blazing fastball and good breaking ball.

Kowar, 27, was a first-round pick by Kansas City in 2018 and posted a 9.12 ERA in three seasons with the Royals, during which he struck out 75, walked 51 and allowed 15 home runs and an opponent slash line of .330/.424/.559 in 74 big league innings. He was traded to the Braves on Nov. 17 for right-hander Kyle Wright.

MLB Winter Meetings: Braves Acquire Jarred Kelenic

The Braves and Mariners made some noise Sunday evening, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan reporting that Atlanta acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, starting pitcher Marco Gonzales, and first baseman Evan White in exchange for pitchers Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips. It was largely a salary dump for the Mariners. Seattle rids itself of Gonzales’s $12 million owed in 2024 before his 2025 club option. And White is due $15 million over the next two seasons after signing a six-year, $24 million deal before his 2020 major league debut.K...

The Braves and Mariners made some noise Sunday evening, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan reporting that Atlanta acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, starting pitcher Marco Gonzales, and first baseman Evan White in exchange for pitchers Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips. It was largely a salary dump for the Mariners. Seattle rids itself of Gonzales’s $12 million owed in 2024 before his 2025 club option. And White is due $15 million over the next two seasons after signing a six-year, $24 million deal before his 2020 major league debut.

Kowar had been added by the Braves in a deal with the Royals for Kyle Wright last month. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 9.12 ERA across 74 career innings. Plagued by walk issues, his days as a starter are likely behind him. There’s a bit more hope for Phillips long-term. The 20-year-old right-hander was a second-round pick in 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. As with most activity out of Seattle, you have to wonder if this move precedes another move the team may have in store. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that the Mariners had engaged the Rays in talks earlier this offseason regarding Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes. In the immediate aftermath, it clears up a spot in the starting rotation for 23-year-old Bryan Woo, who flashed some exciting potential last year, posting a 4.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 93/31 K/BB ratio across 87 2/3 innings. Woo is currently going at pick 196 in early NFBC drafts and will likely gain momentum as we approach spring drafts.

RELATED: MLB Free Agent Tracker

On the Braves side, the team adds a young outfielder in Kelenic while taking on the extra salary. Kelenic has had his ups and downs in the majors and is coming off a season in which he hit .253/.327/.419 with 11 homers and 13 steals across 416 plate appearances. He’ll likely slot into left field, replacing Eddie Rosario. Kelenic has the power to take advantage of the ballpark upgrade and team context in a loaded Atlanta lineup but will need to improve on his 31.7 percent strikeout rate. As for Gonzales, Rosenthal reported Monday that the team intends to trade the 31-year-old left-hander. He posted a 5.22 ERA across 10 starts before undergoing season-ended elbow surgery. Though he should be ready to pitch by Opening Day.

The Brewers made a series of moves on Monday, starting with Jackson Chourio’s eight-year, $82 million contract with club options for 2032 and 2033. The club options can make the deal worth up to $142.5 million. It’s the largest deal ever signed by a prospect yet to reach the majors, signaling plenty of confidence in the 19-year-old phenom. Chourio slashed .280/.336/.467 with 22 homers and 47 steals across 559 plate appearances in Double-A last season. He’ll have a chance to win the center field job at just 20 years old come spring training. Chourio is currently being drafted around pick 235 in NFBC drafts. With the contract a sign of reassurance that he’ll see the majors early in 2024, if not Opening Day, that price will only go up.

Milwaukee also signed both Joe Ross and Wade Miley to contacts on Monday. The team is taking a chance with Ross on a one-year contract. The 30-year-old pitched 14 innings in the minor leagues with the Giants after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022. He last pitched in the majors with the Nationals in 2021, posting a 4.17 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a 109/34 K/BB ratio across 108 innings. It’s unclear whether he’ll compete for a spot in the rotation or pitch out of the bullpen. Ross is unlikely to have any utility for fantasy purposes unless we see him return to his 2021 form. Miley returns to the team after producing a 3.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 79/38 K/BB ratio across 120 1/3 innings with the Brewers in 2023. While the ratios are impressive on the surface, he’s unlikely to maintain that success with a 16.1 percent strikeout rate and fortunate .234 BABIP. The 37-year-old left-hander can be avoided in fantasy drafts.

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Roberts appeared on MLB Network’s High Heat on Monday and provided a round of updates surrounding the team, most notably that Betts will be the team’s everyday second baseman in 2024. This was the case down the stretch in the second half last season, with Betts making 70 appearances at the position. The move should help keep the 31-year-old star on the field as much as possible while clearing up some playing time in the outfield. Betts is locked in as a top-10 pick and the top second baseman in fantasy drafts after hitting .307/.408/.579 with 39 homers, 126 runs scored, 107 RBI, and 14 steals across 693 plate appearances. Recently re-signed Jason Heyward should be in line to fill the strong side of a platoon in right field against right-handed pitching.

Along with the Betts update, Roberts added that Gavin Lux will be the starting shortstop. The 26-year-old missed the entire 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL early in spring training. He hit .276/.346/.399 with six homers and seven steals across 471 plate appearances in 2022. There was plenty of hype surrounding Lux going into last season after he reportedly spent time at Driveline and saw an increase in bat speed. Going at pick 270 in early NFBC drafts, Lux could be an intriguing late sleeper if he’s maintained those gains and can hold the everyday role, as anyone in that lineup can fall into plenty of counting stats.

Trade analysis: Mariners net salary relief, while Atlanta addresses holes — Law

The trade that sent Marco Gonzales, Jarred Kelenic and Evan White from Seattle to Atlanta was a straight salary dump — but not the sort that signals a “fire sale” or a retrenchment for the Mariners, as they dealt three players from the periphery of their roster rather than its core. Atlanta is the beneficiary of Seattle’s largesse, though, getting a starting pitcher in Gonzales that they desperately needed plus an outfi...

The trade that sent Marco Gonzales, Jarred Kelenic and Evan White from Seattle to Atlanta was a straight salary dump — but not the sort that signals a “fire sale” or a retrenchment for the Mariners, as they dealt three players from the periphery of their roster rather than its core. Atlanta is the beneficiary of Seattle’s largesse, though, getting a starting pitcher in Gonzales that they desperately needed plus an outfielder in Kelenic to replace free agent Eddie Rosario.

Gonzales was an effective starter for the Mariners for four seasons, then a replacement-level one in 2022 who gave the team 183 innings, but his 2023 season ended after 10 starts and a career-worst 5.22 ERA due to a nerve issue in his left arm that ultimately required surgery. He didn’t lose velocity these last two seasons, but he did lose movement on both the fastball and cutter, and he missed a lot fewer bats than he had in 2018-21 — not that he ever missed a ton to begin with. His four-year contract ends with a balloon payment in 2024, a $12.25 million salary that represents over 40 percent of the total guarantee of the deal.

Kelenic appeared to have that long-awaited breakout season in 2023, and it was a quantum leap from his first two seasons in the majors, a 2.0 rWAR/1.3 fWAR season that saw him easily set career highs in all three triple-slash stats. He did nearly all of that damage in April, though, with a .235/.315/.356 line and a 33 percent strikeout rate from May 1st through the end of the season. He did adjust enough to become a strong fastball hitter last year, but he has yet to adjust at all to offspeed stuff and whiffed more than 40 percent of the time that he swung at sliders, changeups, and splitters on the season.

Kelenic is still just 24, and a solid-average defender in an outfield corner, with great bat speed and strong exit velocities, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Atlanta didn’t get that much from left field last year with Rosario and Kevin Pillar handling most of the duties and producing just 1 WAR between them, so Kelenic could end up an upgrade if he can make any kind of progress against secondary pitches, especially if Atlanta platoons him with Vaughn Grissom. Kelenic won’t be arbitration-eligible until after 2024.

Evan White signed a massive six-year deal with Seattle before his debut in 2020, but he hit .165/.235/.308 in 306 PA in 2020-21 and hasn’t played in the majors since, missing nearly all of last season with groin and hip injuries, the latter leading to season-ending surgery. He’s owed another $19 million through the next two seasons, including option buyouts.

The Mariners save nearly $20 million for 2024, and I’m not sure that they’re any worse off for the deal. Gonzales was superfluous for the pitching-rich M’s, who have four sure-things in their rotation and several solid options for the fifth spot. Kelenic is a modest loss, as they don’t have a ready replacement, but I wouldn’t count on him for another two-win season, and they could take some of the savings to find a bat in free agency or give some time to Zach DeLoach, Cade Marlowe, and Dominic Canzone. (It’d be great if any of those guys hit right-handed for an in-house platoon option.)

Atlanta’s rotation could use Gonzales, as they have question marks with every spot after the front two (Spencer Strider and Max Fried) — Charlie Morton is 40 years old, Bryce Elder doesn’t miss enough bats and way outperformed his peripherals, AJ Smith-Shawver wasn’t ready for the majors and doesn’t have the pitch mix yet to be a starter. And they could use Kelenic. They commit some cash here, but the solutions are cheaper than those they’d find in free agency, and they might be buying low on Gonzales after his injury.

GO DEEPER

Braves trade for Mariners' Jarred Kelenic, still looking to add starting pitcher

The Mariners did actually get two players back here, even if neither is a top prospect. Right-hander Jackson Kowar was a first-round pick by the Royals in 2018, and was in Atlanta’s system for a matter of weeks, having been traded from Kansas City in mid-November for Kyle Wright. Kowar is still an interesting flier given his history of great velocity with a plus-plus changeup dating back to college at the University of Florida. He has never been able to spin the ball, and his fastball has been hit hard in the majors because it doesn’t have much spin or movement. I don’t think he’s ever likely to have an average breaking ball, but there are a lot of things Kowar might try with his fastball to improve its movement or his command of the pitch.

Cole Phillips is also right-handed and has yet to pitch in pro ball after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of his senior year in high school in 2022; prior to that he’d hit 99 mph and flashed a plus slider. He probably should have appeared somewhere in a game by now, 20 months after the surgery. The point of the deal for Seattle is to clear payroll, but they did get two pitchers with some kind of potential in exchange, even though they’re also two guys Atlanta won’t miss.

(Top photo of Marco Gonzales: Katharine Lotze / Getty Images)

Bijan Robinson and Drake London discuss battling through adversity as Falcons overcome Jets’ stout defense

Regardless of their record, it’s always going to be a battle facing the New York Jets. The glaring flaws on their roster shouldn’t overshadow a stellar defense with playmakers across all three levels of their defense. It’s a unit that has brought out the worst in Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Jalen Hurts. Combine their ferociousness with horrendous weather conditions on a rainy, windy Sunday afternoon, and the Falcons knew they were going to b...

Regardless of their record, it’s always going to be a battle facing the New York Jets. The glaring flaws on their roster shouldn’t overshadow a stellar defense with playmakers across all three levels of their defense. It’s a unit that has brought out the worst in Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Jalen Hurts. Combine their ferociousness with horrendous weather conditions on a rainy, windy Sunday afternoon, and the Falcons knew they were going to be in for a grueling battle.

Bijan Robinson was at the centerpiece of their game plan or Atlanta Falcons. The coaching staff was going to be reliant on running the ball, given the matchup and environment. While the rookie sensation was largely contained, he found ways to be productive and keep drives moving. That involves contributing as a pass catcher, which hasn’t been smooth for Robinson at times in his rookie year.

Until last week against the Saints, there have been many occasions where Desmond Ridder and the young back haven’t been on the same page. They have been more in sync to convert third downs and exploit mismatches in the past two games. Robinson credits Ridder for his desire to continuously work on building their rapport to help the offense become more efficient.

“We work on getting better all the time,” Robinson stated. “Desmond will say let’s get some work in after practice. We focus on getting our timing down better. I also aim to improve on my routes. Most importantly, we find the connection that we need. We know how passes to all the running backs can translate into explosive plays. It can be a check down, crossing route, or something more vertical.”

“We know how big the possibilities are of what we can do. All the running backs put the work in. We have to be reliable outlets and playmakers for our quarterback. That means we find ways to win against corners and safeties. It’s not just linebackers. There’s a strong trust knowing we can win on any play.”

Drake London faced even stiffer obstacles in trying to be productive against a stellar Jets defense. The dynamic second-year receiver was limited to one catch on five targets. Arthur Smith looked to get him the ball on deep shots off play action, but there weren’t any openings downfield.

London didn’t lose his composure. He continued to contribute in various ways by blocking in the run game and creating openings for his teammates in the passing game. He also embraced being able to square off against one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Sauce Gardner. That experience, along with earning a hard-fought victory, made the game satisfying for him despite the limited opportunities.

“Always love going against the best players,” London said with a big smile. “That’s what it’s about as an athlete. Obviously, Sauce (Gardner) is one of the best in the league. You see what he does every week. I would love all the opportunities to showcase what I can do against him. The bad weather affected what we could do. We knew it was going to be a different type of game. Not too many passes were going to be dialed up. I tried to affect the game as much as I possibly could.”

“The competitor in me absolutely wants the ball. Everyone wants their time at some point. It comes down to understanding how the game is going. You can’t get frustrated by it. We got the win. We are all about stacking these wins right now. If the ball isn’t coming to me as much when we win, I have to be understanding. Our team is focused on winning.”

London was in high spirits as he enjoyed a (delicious, I had one too) chicken sandwich in the locker room. Not even D.J. Reed’s vicious hit bothered him. He would rather focus on the biggest positives from the win, like Kyle Pitts’ strong performance. Seeing him make timely plays on third down and be more featured on the outside was exciting for the entire team. London knows how big of a difference he makes as an all-around weapon.

“This was his week to show out,” London said. “He is the one who drove us down the field when we scored. Those third-down conversions were huge. I’m so happy to see him do his thing. We all know how special he is.”

Pitts wasn’t the only tight end to significantly impact the game. MyCole Pruitt had his shining moment on a tremendous 20-yard diving touchdown grab. It proved to be the Falcons’ longest pass play of the game. Robinson wanted to show the resilient tight end some love for everything he does for the team. Pruitt is the most dependable blocking tight end on the team. It’s no secret how much the coaching staff values him. The players share that same sentiment.

“It was great to see Pruitt score,” Robinson told me. “He does a lot of the dirty work. He always looks to contribute wherever he can. Definitely one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s someone we go to as a veteran in the locker room. We want to see everyone score at some point. That moment was a big opportunity for us to score. It was going to be a struggle for us at times, but seeing Pruitt dive to score his first one of the year was awesome.”

Robinson continued sharing praise after a long, exhausting game. He was very complimentary of the Jets’ fearsome linebacker tandem, C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams. They were flying all over the field to make key stops. Getting past them was always going to be a tall order for the running game, and Robinson admitted the difficulties in facing them while opening up about being friends with Williams.

“Those two guys are great,” Robinson declared. “I have so much respect for them as linebackers. I know Quincy well. He is with Nicole Lynn, so we have the same agent. To see him come up has been inspiring. He’s sacrificed a lot to get where he’s at. I love going up against the best, so I came into this game extra excited. That linebacker duo is special. They’re one of the biggest reasons why that defense is so good. We tried to find openings against them, but they were ready for everything. Huge credit to them for how they both competed.”

The offense knows better days are ahead. They have a strong belief in each other to evolve and prepare to beat the best teams. London loves how strong-minded and determined the team is by striving to improve in all aspects. They can be encouraged by the current winning streak but remain far from satisfied. That starts at the top, as general manager Terry Fontenot can be heard yelling let’s go to the playoffs. London knows what he needs to do to help Atlanta get there.

“Any opportunity I get with the ball, I embrace it and make things happen with my abilities,” London said. “That’s my mindset. Everyone should want to be a complete all-around player. That’s how you position yourself to be the best. If I got to catch more short-yardage passes to get busy, then that’s what I’m going to do to be the best and help us win games. I’m driven. I’m working every day to evolve as a player. That’s something we collectively take pride in to take that step in becoming a playoff team.”

15.5

Jarred Kelenic trade: Mariners send former top prospect, pitcher Marco Gonzales to Braves in salary dump

Getty Images MLB's annual Winter Meetings are this coming week in Nashville and the stove is starting to get hot. The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, left-hander Marco Gonzales, and first baseman ...

Getty Images

MLB's annual Winter Meetings are this coming week in Nashville and the stove is starting to get hot. The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Jarred Kelenic, left-hander Marco Gonzales, and first baseman Evan White from the Seattle Mariners for righties Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips, the team announced late Sunday night. Atlanta also receives cash in the trade.

"I want to thank Marco, JK, and Evan for the contributions to our club. All three played key roles at different stages of our growth over the past several seasons," Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "As we continue to work through this offseason with a goal of improving our team for 2024 and beyond, we believe the additions of Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips, as well as the roster and payroll flexibility created tonight, will move us closer to that goal."

For the Braves, the trade gives them a new left fielder in Kelenic and much-needed rotation depth in Gonzales. The oft-injured White could be flipped elsewhere or even released. He certainly will not unseat Matt Olson at first base. The Mariners get a solid prospect in Phillips but mostly salary relief, allowing them to upgrade other parts of their roster in the coming weeks.

Kelenic, who is still only 24, was once one of the top prospects in baseball. He has struggled mightily in the big leagues, however, and it appears Seattle has finally run out of patience. He is a career .204/.283/.373 hitter in 252 MLB games, though it was a more respectable .253/.327/.419 slash line with 11 home runs in 105 games around a foot injury this past season.

Jarred Kelenic

SEA • LF • #10

BA0.253

R44

HR11

RBI49

SB13

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Atlanta declined Eddie Rosario's club option earlier this offseason and Kelenic can step right into Rosario's lefty-hitting platoon left field role. Given his pedigree, there is still considerable ceiling here, though Kelenic's swing and miss issues are extreme. He cannot become a free agent until after the 2028-29 offseason. This is potentially a long-term addition for the Braves.

Gonzales, 31, had a 5.22 ERA in 10 starts around a forearm injury that eventually required surgery this year. From 2018-22, he was a competent league average innings eater who specialized at weak contact. Once healthy, Gonzales will give the Braves a veteran option behind top four starters Bryce Elder, Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Spencer Strider.

The 27-year-old White has not played in the big leagues since 2021 because of ongoing injuries and poor performance. He is a career .165/.235/.308 hitter in 84 MLB games. The Mariners signed White to a six-year, $24 million contract before he even played an MLB game. Needless to say, that contract has not worked out for the team at all.

In Gonzales and White, the Braves absorbed $29 million in salary obligation over the next two years. Gonzales is owed $12 million in 2024. White is owed $7 million in 2024, $8 million in 2025, and a $2 million buyout on his $10 million club option for 2026. Add in the Eugenio Suárez trade and Seattle has shed $30 million in 2024 dollars already this offseason.

What the Mariners will do with that money remains to be seen. They are believed to be out on Shohei Ohtani already, though Juan Soto is on the trade block, and he's projected to earn $30 million or so through arbitration in 2023. He'd slot nicely into Seattle's roster and also into their payroll now. Plenty of other free-agent bats would fit with the Mariners as well.

The Braves acquired Kowar from the Kansas City Royals earlier this offseason in a one-for-one trade for Kyle Wright. The 27-year-old has allowed 79 runs in 74 career MLB innings and is a change of scenery candidate. Atlanta selected Phillips in the second round in 2022. He did not pitch in 2023 due to injury.

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