The Braves have announced that closer Arodys Vizcaino has undergone season-ending shoulder surgery. The procedure involved a labrum clean-up and the removal of scar tissue.
This news represents a major hit to a Braves relief unit that was already under fire. That’s true of many other clubs — including several division rivals — but that doesn’t make it easier to bear. A.J. Minter, the club’s other top option for the ninth inning, has scuffled out of the gates. Others in the bullpen currently include Wes Parsons, Luke Jackson, Jesse Biddle, Shane Carle and Chad Sobotka, although of that bunch, Carle and Sobotka have struggled quite a bit in the season’s first few weeks.
The Atlanta organization isn’t short on promising arms in the upper minors, though the bulk of their top-regarded arms are in rotation roles. Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright opened the year in the big league rotation, in fact, though each has since been optioned down to Triple-A Gwinnett. Southpaws Luiz Gohara and Kolby Allard are both starting at the Triple-A level as well.
Right-hander Mike Soroka, arguably the most promising young arm the Braves have in-house, didn’t appear to be an option in the hours leading up to the news on Vizcaino’s shoulder. To the contrary, Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweeted that afternoon that it’s likely that Soroka will be recalled to start tomorrow’s game for the Braves. He’ll at least temporarily step into a rotation that is expected to get top starter Mike Foltynewicz back by the end of the month.
It won’t go unnoticed that there is still a rather prominent free agent reliever still left unsigned. Long-time Braves closer extraordinaire Craig Kimbrel held talks earlier in the winter but failed to come to terms with the value-conscious Atlanta organization. He’s still reportedly seeking a multi-year deal; the Braves will be loath to commit to a lengthy accord, but Kimbrel’s leverage may be on the rise as late-inning relief units falter around baseball.
Signing Kimbrel before the June draft would cost the Braves a pick in the 2020 draft, as Kimbrel rejected a qualifying offer from the Red Sox upon conclusion of the 2018 season. Nevertheless, the on-paper fit is now more pronounced than ever, and fan outcry for the organization to broker a reunion with an already beloved franchise icon has been audible since late in the offseason.
The Braves kicked off the winter with a high-profile signing of Josh Donaldson but then went largely dormant, negotiating only small-scale returns for Brian McCann and Nick Markakis. At the time of the Markakis signing, general manager Alex Anthopoulos spoke of the contract’s below-market rate perhaps giving the team flexibility to make further moves down the line — in addition to Braves leadership already having spoken of increased spending capacity earlier in the winter — but that has yet to come to fruition.
As for Vizcaino, the injury may well prove to be the end of his Braves tenure. The hard-throwing righty entered the season with five years, 168 days of Major League service time, meaning he’s already now surpassed the six-year service mark needed to qualify for free agency. Perhaps the Braves will look to retain him on a bargain contract next offseason, but Vizcaino will have the ability to listen to offers from any and all interested parties. He’ll quite likely be forced to settle for a one-year deal with a low base salary and plenty of incentives, if not a minor league contract, as teams throughout the league look at him as a potential bounceback candidate. He won’t turn 29 until November, though, so at the very least, Vizcaino will have age on his side in free agency.
Over/under on Kimbrel comments?
I’ll take the over!! Haha
The article will have several points at kimbrel Braves reunion now
I’m saying 150 easy lol…Here I’ll add to it, Get Kimbrel! No excuses now!
Braves BP blows yet another… At what point does someone upstairs accept responsibility and do SOMETHING!?!? Sickening and embarrassing after 6 months of sitting on your hands doing nothing to fix a flat tire!!!!!
time to snag kimbrel
what ever will they do
Cut him. He’s always hurt
They knew his shoulder wasn’t right and still guaranteed his $4.8 million salary.
He’s a FA after this year, his time with Atlanta is officially over
Yea, until they sign him or trade for him for like the 5th time.
Glad we didn’t waste any money on bullpen help this offseason
Exactly! Thank god we saved enough to sign McCann or we could have really missed out!
Oh come on. McCann’s miserly $2 mil had nothing to do with why the Braves didnt get bullpen help.
AA said he wanted to save money for a need at the deadline but there’s a need right now.
Just here for the Kimbrel comments.
Good thing they didn’t spend a penny on the bullpen.
Here come all the arm chair GM’s who know how to run a MLB team.
That’s for every post. Why should this one be any different?
exactly…here comes all the hollier-than-thou you’re no GM comments as well
Are implying you do in fact know how to run a major league ball club?
no more than you self-anointed hall monitors on here patrolling
LOL! So what are you going to say next? Im rubber and you’re glue?
At the end of the day we are all experts at managing a fantasy MLB Club
When you spend 23 million bucks on a position of strength and zero on a glaring weakness you leave yourself open for criticism. Like it or not.
That I agree. Not the first time AA has overpaid someone at a position they did not need only to expose weaknesses at other positions he did not address.
I really don’t have a problem getting Donaldson if you address your other needs. Camargo has seemed to do fine in a super utility role and getting more looks in RF. It’s just when you choose to allocate essentially every dollar you spent on a position of strength it’s easy to criticize your FO. I watched the D’Backs Braves game last night and that 7th inning debacle where snit threw out 3 ineffective relievers and I couldn’t help but think that Donaldson’s money could’ve been spent better right there. Given the absolute bargains they have on Acuna and albies they should be all over Keuchel or Kimbrel if they make it to June. They could certainly get creative with deferred money if they want to say it isn’t in the budget this year.
Especially when they cleared out contracts like Kemp’s in order to free up money for this year, and then they literally spent none of the money they saved. Terrible look for them.
Couldn’t have said it any better
enjoy third place in the East at this rate….bull pen has been garbage for years now.
As a Braves fan, are you not at least a little bit upset? No way you compete with Mets and Phillies with no bullpen
You’re right. We can’t compete with the Mets and Phillies. Hate to say it but Kimbrel isn’t gonna save the day for us. This offseason was our chance and we missed. Kimbrell is just a life raft at this point
The Braves bullpen is 11th in the NL in ERA. Marlins are only slightly better in 10th. Mets and Nats bullpens have WORSE ERA than Braves. Philly’s bullpen ERA is ~1.5 runs better, but they are still 7th in NL. I agree Braves NEED TO IMPROVE THEIR BULLPEN, but it alone isn’t a competitive showstopper. EVERY NL East bullpen is suspect!
With that being said, LIBERTY MEDIA IM TALKING TO YOU, YOU MFERS. SIGN CRAIG KIMBREL NOW FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD! We have a good team and sure it won’t fix the whole bullpen, but an incremental fix would be huge considering no team in our division has it’s bullpen figured out. Kimmy would help a ton as well, and allow Minter to slot down (plus I think Kimbrel could be the mentor that Minter needs to fully reach his peak… they are similar looking, Minter just hasn’t fully figured it out). And also, we have the dang money Liberty is one of the wealthiest owners in baseball, they just won’t spend much on us and it’s making me rather angry
Braves are guna miss a playoff spot by 2 games and it’s going to come down to this diamondbacks series and 1 or 2 games in April, BOOK IT!!!
My buddies think I’m crazy that i watch every Braves game every year and just say it’s game 7, 16, 48, 89 of 162… Blah blah.. Welllll every GD game counts and without a BP it’s esp true!! Words can’t explain how Frustrated I am after we preached this failure all offseason and you AA apologists are nothing but rust enablers!
I’m saying it: We all could do a better job than Bill Bavasi.
It doesnt take a genius to know we need BP help. But yea, lets definitely keep doing what were doing and continue to expect different results. That’s not the definition of insanity or anything.
i hate my father
I am here for the Brian Duensing comments.
Or is this still just making a move to make a move from you AA defenders?
If only there was a elite closer on the market that had a background with the braves and an asking price that just dramatically dropped! Oh no!
GO GET KIMBRELL BRAVES!!!! GO GET HIM!!!! OUR BULLPEN WAS BRUTAL EVEN WITH A HEALTHY VIZ
Glad I spelled kimbrel wrong in my fit of rage
Ninth 3 Year Plan
Farhan has a whole stable of Rp’s…….give me prospects Bravos
Gil Del Valle
Convert Folty to a Closer
So you want the teams best starter to leave the rotation? Wow, SMH
Now the leverage is on Kimbrel. 3 for 54 not a penny less
Just use two starters each game. New rotation design:
1. Folty and Fried
2. Gausman and Teheran
3. Touki and Newcomb
4. Soroka and Wright
5. Wilson and Allard or Gohara
Rays eliminated the starter, I say Atlanta eliminates the bullpen
This guy gets it! Stable of promising, young starters……who needs a bullpen.
at first i laugh but with the horrible bullpen we have it doesnt sound too crazy
Interesting thought there.
Someone get this man a position in a front office.
So crazy it might just work. What an interesting idea. Still think we need that elite closer though. Maybe another.
I actually like it, can’t be any worse than it has been
Man that is almost too logical. I like this idea a lot.
I felt like, going in to last year, that the Astros were going to use Peacock & McHugh as 2nd starters, like they had done in the 2017 post season.
I would not trust newcomb to pitch late in a game.
That’s absolutely crazy but then again so is the lack of spending to help the bullpen so I’m all for it
Tony Larussa tried this in 1993 with the A’s. It didn’t work but it’s still a good idea.
I used to hope the Braves sign Kimbrel after the draft. Now, I think after the draft we may have in the pen: Wilson, Wright, Weigel, Winkler, Webb, and Gohara. Just to spite all these fans who keep screaming the braves “don’t care’ if they don’t sign Kimbrel–I still hope they sign Kimbrel after the draft. I dont care about the money either. Its not like the Braves will need it–they are picking up Neck’s option.
You need another reliever with a last name starting with “W”. Maybe trade for Tony Watson?
Wimbrel…to save the draft pick???
Gil Del Valle
Kimbrel will cost The Braves a Draft Pick, so The Braves need to look inside of the Organization , much logical is Folty
Gotta have that AS prospect team. I totally agree. Tomlin should be stretched out so Fried can be sent down too. He’s being wasted up here!
Folty……that would be a hot take!
It’s a terrible take. You don’t put a pitcher coming off an injury and put him in a position where he has to pitch back to back days.
Gil Del Valle
Remember John Smoltz after TJ he was ours Closer for a while
Folty is our ace and was an elite starting pitcher last year. He’s not being moved to the bullpen nor should he.
I’m with u he has bullpen stuff, but until he proves he’s not a starting pitcher, he’s our ace
I’m not a Braves fan, I have no memory how Smolttz was worked back into his job after TJ surgery however, TJ is actually a replacement, Folty is working with the same injury. Completely different recoveries, however, Smotlz did start five games to build up some arm strength and until October, Smoltz, a trained Relief Pitcher, pitched in back to back games twice.
I think it’s a terrible idea.
Then wait until after the June draft.
that’s the stupidest thing I’ve seen all year.
Aha! Kimbrels strategy revealed!
Look at the positives , we won’t even notice the loss and someone cheap off the trash pile will show up.
let’s go sign whats his name.
The Braves are really good. They are the class of the division. Everyone has gone nuts about the Phillies, but the Phillies are not as good.
With all they money they have saved with club friendly extensions, they should take this one step. With their staff, and their depth, they can go places, this is a big piece to aid them on their quest to take it to the next level.
Bring back John Rocker
PC police heads would literally explode
It is worth it just for that
Okay that one made me laugh.
Kimbrel is simply are only Hope from this bullpen sinking to the bottom of the ocean at this point. Unfortunately he wouldn’t fix the ultimate problem which is our bullpen is absolutely terrible, can’t throw strikes, and there isn’t a single “go to” in that bullpen.
I know Kimbrel isn’t a fix, but he’s a must need at the moment
It’s a start though. You have to add one useful reliever before you can add a second.
Except he can’t pitch the 6th,7th,8th, and 9th every night. Then you have the colossal boneheadedness of Snitker to contend with.
Except he can’t pitch the 6th,7th,8th, and 9th every night. Then you have the colossal boneheadedness of Snitker to contend with.
You can say that again.
Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic of our bullpen analogy rings more and more true everyday sheesh
the actor? I didn’t know he could pitch? i say bring him right now let’s see what he’s got…
dang it I didn’t realize we were getting graded, thanks teach
The Braves should hold tryouts open to the public like the Philidelphia Eagles did, see what happens
With all the “electric” young arms they possess you mean to tell me they can’t use any of them at the backend of the bullpen? That’s bullsh*t.
Well, they could use Nuke, Gohara, Wilson, Weigel, Wright, Webb, and Ynoa (ynoa throws 100 with a decent slider). If they wanted to scrach his starter plan and try and get him to get through an inning at a time. He may be an option. He is already on the 40 man. I think Ynoa is on the high A roster…..so that would be a jump. This reminds me of when Bobby Cox sent down the whole pen at one point of the year–it was amazing. Sent the whole pen down, I think.
I fully imagine that Bryse Wilson’s future is full time in the pen. Most likely Weigel and Ynoa will be bullpen pieces as well. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Gohara and Wright spend SOME time pitching out of the pen THIS season, although I fully expect Wright (at least) is destined to be a starter in the long term,
Bruce Sutter, Mark Wholers, Jon rocker, Juan Berenguer, Greg McMichael, Bob Wickman
Call em up. It’ll be like the Expendables.
Reardon’s ready to go. He’s living in Ed Sprague’s basement.
Don’t forget Bedrossian and Garber
While I understood some measure of faithfulness to Viz, the Braves never should never had tendered him a contract.
This is the perfect landing spot for Kimbrel, makes too much sense. I know many are suggesting the same thing, there’s a reason for that, get it done Braves!
Sign him already… a third round pick is nothing. They get their prospect from the international pool.
The Braves don’t have any international pool this year.
That’s what they want you to believe… the Braves always find a way around the rules.
SF has some arms that should be relatively easy enough to trade for if the Kimbrel thing doesn’t work out. Will Smith, Melancon, etc. IMO, even if we get Kimbrel we still need a reliable setup guy.
Serious question. Is there one of our starters that might have closer stuff? Touki maybe?
Wilson, Touki probably. Fried and Wright look too much like shutdown starters to move to the pen IMO.
The question I have is who expected to get anything out of Viz this season once he was put on the IL? I certainly didn’t. Bad shoulders are as troublesome as bad elbows.
It was clear to most Braves fans that tendering contracts to Vizcaino, Duvall and Venters was a ten million dollar mistake. Any idiot GM could have done better. Now, the decision is to flounder with personnel as is, or sign or trade for improved talent in the bullpen. Canthopoulos is incapable of taking risk or making a timely decision. Management to Braves – Go Fish!
hey they said we’d be shopping in any aisle, just didn’t realize it would be at the scratch and dent store
Kansas City or Cincinnati are the only teams that may trade descent Bullpen assets. Amir Garrett and Raisel Iglesias from the Reds, Scott Barlow from the Royals. If Texas falters Leclerc or Shawn Kelley (0-BB) may be possible. Outside chance on Steckenrider. No Kimbrel if contract premium is required. Go get Swihart and a reliever from Boston.
Not wild about the trade idea with the BoSox, but am about looking at other teams’ relievers. SFG’s, too.
Need to get Gohara going. Luiz, Newcomb, Wilson, Muller, maybe Allard to restore some value should be full time relief.
Offering a contrary opinion: Kimbrel hasn’t thrown a pitch with any seriousness in over six months. He ended last season on a down note. He costs lots of money and a draft pick. Don’t even start with “unless”. He is still going to want a salary in the high teens and he’s not likely to accept a multi-year deal that keeps him from trying again. He’s not likely to be ready for a few weeks. Is this the guy you want right now, on terms that are acceptable to him? Forget it’s Liberty Media for a minute.
” Kimbrel hasn’t thrown a pitch with any seriousness in over six months”
He’s a veteran, he’d take a week to 10 days in the minors, max. He’s keeping himself warmed up right now, its just a matter of facing hitters in a game, a thing he’s done literally his entire adult life.
We’ll probably sign Madson.
We all know Kimbrel was tipping his pitches last year, right?
According to him. Whether it’s true or not is anyone’s guess.
He was tipping his CB, but that made it easier to sit on his FB. No matter how hard you throw, if the batter knows what is coming he can hit it.
Really wish the Braves would have taken a chance on Cody Allen. His one bad season, last year, drove his cost down. Im sure the Braves didn’t want to beat the Angels offer of $8.5 mil for one year, but he wouldnt have cost the Braves a draft pick (something they are correctly loathesome to do more than other teams).
Kimbrel will cost more in dollars AND a draft pick. Im not saying the Braves SHOULDNT bring in Kimbrel either. Right now, the Braves bullpen looks like a dumpster fire.
AA already shooting down even considering Kimbrel
This organization is simply a joke.
Thought we could shop in any aisle (includes draft pick aisle)?
Thought we were just saving extra funds for when an in-season need arose because things happen?
Well here we are….
The only thing we’re gonna get as fans is the lies exposed
where did you see AA already shooting down any Kimbrel talk? Not talking junk, I’m truly curious…
The article on Braves site about Vizcaino and Kimbrel:
“Still, even after announcing his closer Arodys Vizcaíno underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery to clean his labrum and remove scar tissue from his shoulder joint on Wednesday, Anthopoulos did not provide reason to think Kimbrel may sign with the Braves any time soon.”
Prove and Provide are two of Mark Bowman’s favorite words. He can’t write an article without using either or both several times.
Good for Mark Bowman…this is MLBTR, the wild west of commenting baseball thoughts lol
Oh and the pen blew another game just now
Wife and I had that same surgery. She’s pain free. I’m only about 75% better. Hopefully he has the healing trajectory as my wife. Otherwise it’s a career ender.
I do not like Snitker and I never will. Snitker misused Moylan in the pen all last year, then they got rid of him for no good reason and keep guys like Jackson, and other guys in that pen that haven’t got the track record of Moylan. Destroy your bullpen depth and pay the penalty. Oh he’s too old you say, that is utter rubbish as the guy throws sidearm submarine and was still a good piece in that pen used in the right situations. What a joke of a pen it is, no closer, no decent set up man.. Philadelphia went about it the right way building their pen depth.. Do you see them getting rid of guys like Neshek? No. On the contrary he’s a valued member on that roster and in that pen.
Yesterday the Braves were up 5-2 then walks, hbp, poor pitching. I’m disgusted with it.
I am not sure if the Braves want to move prospects but why not Try to acquire Shane Greene? He is pitching for a Tigers team that has come back to earth of late. He isn’t really part of their long term plans but is under control for this year and next which means ATL would at least have a 2020 closer option at around $6mil which looks much better than paying Kimbrel. He has also been a strong presence in the pen and locker room. Just a thought is all. Blane Hardy is another Tigers pitcher who could help Atlanta fortify either the pen or the back end of the rotation.
Both controllable beyond this year
Healthy (Greene previously had TJS in 2008)
Relative cost effective
Giving up prospects vs losing a draft pick
Gets in the way of young players who are nearly ready for a shot
Potential for Greene to have a monster Arb3 year.
I have been a Tigers fan my whole life. I didn’t mention any specific prospects in return because that usually goes absolutely nowhere amongst fans. I just think it makes a lot of sense from both sides and I’m sure there is a deal that could be worked out that brings maybe a 90-150 overall prospect and possibly a couple of guys in the 150-225 overall range into the farm system.