The Braves have cleared three spots on their 40-man roster, with new GM Alex Anthopoulos cutting loose some position players even as he has moved to add multiple pitchers. First baseman Matt Adams and infielders Jace Peterson and Danny Santana have been non-tendered, the club announced.
These were the Braves players identified as possible non-tender candidates recently by MLBTR, and it turned out that all were cut loose. There was talk heading into today’s deadline that Atlanta was working to find a trade involving Adams, at least, though that obviously never came together.
Adams, a slugging first baseman, impressed enough upon landing with the Braves in the middle of 2017 that the team shifted Freddie Freeman to third base when he returned from injury. But the love affair was short-lived, as the 29-year-old Adams cooled off and settled into part-time usage. Though he finished well in September, that came in rather sparing duty.
The lefty swinging Adams ended the 2017 season with a quality overall output: 19 home runs and a .271/.315/.543 slash during his 100-game run with the Braves. But he has continued to struggle against left-handed pitching and has not shown much aptitude in the outfield, greatly limiting his function as a roster piece. At a projected $4.6MM rate of pay, the numbers just did not work out.
The other two players bring plenty in versatility but quite a bit less with the bat. Peterson, 27, was once seen as a possible future second baseman for the Braves. He turned in a solid 2016 season but scuffled to a .215/.318/.317 slash in 215 plate appearances in 2017. Similarly, the 27-year-old Santana — like Adams, an early-season addition — mustered only a .203/.245/.357 output in his 152 trips to the plate on the year. Though Peterson and Santana each projected to earn only $1.1MM in arbitration, the club evidently felt there was not enough upside to tie up roster spots and commit money to these players.