The Braves have non-tendered righties Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, and Gus Schlosser, per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter link). The team has tendered contracts to its remaining eligible players: lefties Mike Minor and James Russell and righty David Carpenter.
The move is somewhat jolting, though perhaps not entirely unexpected; indeed, I noted in my offseason outlook for Atlanta that the move had to at least be considered, particularly if an incentive-based arrangement could not be worked out. Both Medlen and Beachy have been outstanding when healthy, but the pair missed all of 2015 after each undergoing a second Tommy John procedure.
With Medlen projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $5.8MM, the club was said to be looking for a way to avoid that kind of guarantee in crafting a new deal. Likewise, Beachy’s $1.5MM projected tab was probably steep given his expected timeline and likelihood of returning to form.
Despite the move, the Braves will still try to work out a contract with the now-free agent hurlers, Bowman reports on Twitter. But the team could well run into some competition, as both righties have demonstrated rather high ceilings.
Atlanta tried to entice Medlen with a deal that would have promised him $5.8MM for the coming season, matching his earnings last year, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. But the club was looking for a good rate on an option for 2016, which apparently was the sticking point in negotiations.