Even after watching the Braves ship out key players such as Justin Upton and Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis wasn’t expecting to be the next one to go. In January, after weeks of rumors and speculation, Atlanta struck a deal with the upstart Astros to continue their massive overhaul. Gattis was caught off guard, but it didn’t take him long to come to terms with the move and get comfortable with his new club.
“I wasn’t really actually bummed about the trade, I was just more surprised than anything. I just didn’t think it would happen,” Gattis told MLBTR prior to Wednesday’s game against the Phillies. “Other than that, its been a good camp and there’s a really good group of guys here. I’m just excited and looking forward to the season.”
Gattis understood that major change was coming to the Braves, but he figured that he would be immune to it all since he’s still pre-arbitration eligible for one more season and playing near the league minimum. Eventually, when it became clear that the Braves were listening on offers for him, he still didn’t panic or personally reach out to anyone in the Atlanta front office. “I’m always the type to focus on my own business and I just worry about what I need to do to play,” Gattis explained.
With the Braves eyeing 2017 as their year to get back to contention, Gattis sounds legitimately enthused to be with a team that has advanced their own timeline considerably. In fact, he says he’s okay with being flexible with regards to his exact role this season and isn’t fretting the split he might have between left field, the DH spot, or occasional time behind the plate. Gattis hasn’t gotten a ton of balls hit his way in left during spring training, but he’s confident that he’ll get comfortable there in time, just as he did with his new club.