Krol posted a strong 3.18 ERA over 51 relief innings for the Braves in 2016, with an 0.7 HR/9 rate that seemed to indicate he had corrected his past issues in keeping the ball in the park. This wasn’t the case in 2017, however, as Krol’s HR/9 jumped to 1.5 and his ERA (5.33) reflected that increase. The southpaw also posted an 8.1 K/9 and 2.1 K/BB rate over 49 innings.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Krol to earn $1.3MM in his second winter of arbitration eligibility. (Krol and the Braves avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing to a $900K deal.) Krol agreed to the minor league assignment rather than opting for free agency, which could indicate some type of deal between he and the club to continue their relationship past the non-tender deadline. Atlanta could still non-tender Krol but then re-sign him to a minor league deal worth less than that $1.3MM figure.
The Braves selected Rivero out of the Cubs organization in last December’s Rule 5 draft, and Rivero ended up spending the entire season on the DL due to shoulder problems. In clearing outright waivers, the Cubs would have had to pass on taking Rivero back, so the Cuban right-hander is now officially under the Braves’ control.
Rivero originally signed with the Cubs for a $3.1MM bonus in March 2013 and posted some eye-popping strikeout numbers in Chicago’s minor league system. Rivero posted a 12.4 K/9 over 220 career relief innings in the minors, with a 2.70 ERA and 4.4 BB/9. Those walk totals crept upwards in 2015-16 when Rivero was pitching at Triple-A, so between that decrease in control and the Cubs’ loaded roster, Rivero was available last winter for the Braves to grab in the Rule 5 draft.