The Braves have emerged victorious from a grievance proceeding filed by the MLB Players Association on behalf of 2018 first-round draft pick Carter Stewart, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman was among those to report. As a result, the Atlanta organization will remain eligible to receive the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft as compensation.
Stewart, a high-school righty out of Georgia, was selected eighth overall — a pick that came with a slot value of just under $5MM. While the expectation was that the sides would line up on a deal, that never came to fruition. It emerged that Stewart’s medical review had turned up a wrist ligament issue that ultimately impacted the team’s valuation.
The grievance, it seems, revolved around the question whether the Braves actually made Stewart an offer of at least 40% of the slot value, as is required for a club to obtain a compensatory pick in the ensuing year’s draft. Evidently, the panel determined that matter in the team’s favor. Bowman says the Braves’ top offer never exceeded $2MM (just over the minimum) after the health issue arose; clearly, Stewart’s camp found that insufficient.
It’s an unfortunate situation for Stewart, of course. He ultimately chose to join the JuCo ranks in hopes of potentially reentering the draft this summer. Things turned out better for the Braves. No doubt, the club would have preferred to sign the player they selected at full health. But they’ll end up with nearly the same pick in the upcoming draft, opening the door to more high-end talent.