The Braves announced that they have signed outfielder Jordan Luplow. It’s a one-year contract worth $1.4MM.
Luplow, 29, has appeared in the past six MLB seasons, spending time with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa and Arizona. He’s occasionally served as a valuable part-time player but his production has been fairly inconsistent.
He got brief showings at the major league level with the Pirates in 2017 and 2018, but got his most extended stretch of playing time with Cleveland in 2019. His 85 games in that season are still a career high, and he hit a tremendous .276/.372/.551. That production was 41% above league average, as evidenced by his 141 wRC+. However, the vast majority of that damage came against lefties, as the right-handed hitting Luplow slashed .320/.439/.742 with the platoon advantage and just .216/.274/.299 without it. That led to extremely lopsided production: a 205 wRC+ against southpaws but just 52 against righties.
He couldn’t carry that over into 2020, with his batting line sliding down to .192/.304/.359 for a wRC+ of 84. He bounced back in 2021, which included a trade to the Rays. He finished that campaign with a line of .202/.326/.454, 116 wRC+. Oddly, his penchant for mashing lefties was reversed that season, as he produced a 95 wRC+ against them but a 143 against northpaws.
Prior to 2022, the Rays traded him to the Diamondbacks, but he didn’t hit pitchers of any kind this year. He finished the campaign with an overall line of .176/.274/.361. That amounted to a 78 wRC+, with an 85 with the platoon advantage but 69 without.
Over 323 major league games, the total of Luplow’s work amounts to a roughly league average hitting. He’s walked at a healthy 11.8% rate and hit 45 home runs for a career .213/.313/.432 batting line. That amounts to a 102 wRC+, or 2% above league average, with a 125 against southpaws and 76 otherwise.
Defensively, Luplow is considered average or better on the grass. Defensive Runs Saved has given him +4 for his outfield work, with Ultimate Zone Rating coming in at 10.3 and Outs Above Average at an even zero. He’s played more in the corners but is capable of playing adequate center field in a pinch.
Atlanta’s outfield mix will consist of Ronald Acuña Jr. in right field and Michael Harris II in center. Left field is more of an open question, as both Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna have been below average in each of the past two seasons, Rosario’s postseason heroics notwithstanding. It’s possible that Luplow and the left-handed hitting Rosario could form a platoon in left, though it’s also possible that Luplow will serve as a fourth outfielder who gets the occasional start against particular lefties. Rosario’s career platoon splits are notable but not drastic, as he has a wRC+ of 108 against righties and 85 otherwise. Harris also hits from the left side and could get the occasional day off while yielding center to Luplow.
2022 was Luplow’s first arbitration season and he earned a salary of $1.4MM. He was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a raise up to $2MM but the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment in November. Luplow now latches on with Atlanta for 2023, making the exact same salary he did this year. He will finish 2023 shy of the six years of MLB service time necessary to reach free agency, meaning Atlanta could retain him for 2024 via arbitration if they so choose. He also has one option year remaining and could be sent to the minors to serve as depth.
Though the salary is modest, it nudges the club closer to luxury tax territory. Roster Resource currently pegs the club’s payroll at $197MM with a competitive balance tax calculation just shy of $230MM. That leaves them just over $3MM away from the CBT threshold of $233MM.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
Looks like a Luplow, Rosario, Ozuna trifacta will shake up MLB this upcoming season.
Imagine boasting about planning to be a Top 5 payroll 2 months ago and Jordan Luplow is the most expensive person you sign in the offseason.
Imagine having glaring holes at SS and corner OF while having two All-Star catchers and you trade for a catcher as your big offseason move.
The only thing that will save the Braves season is trading for Reynolds. Otherwise, just keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed when they finish 3rd in 2023.
Drew Waters Bat
Don’t forget about the DH open spot.
Ozuna is the DH
The 2023 version of Robbie Grossman?
I would take 3rd place and a WS appearance like the Phillies had last year.
Imagine having a weakened farm system and depleting it further for something that isn’t even a need.
Do you really think d’Arnaud can catch 100 plus games at his age and his historically injury prone career??? Dude has only played over 100 games in his career 4 times out of 8 Murphy played in 148 games last years. Also Contreas isn’t a great defensive catcher and he only made the All Star team bc of Snit.
The Braves don’t have any players that the Bucs need
I like Contreras, he is defensively very weak, he had a great year offensively, the question is can he do it consistently, I would not bet either way. I’m not an expert but as a former high school catcher it bothered me to watch him. I don’t know if he will ever have the year offensively he had this year but he would have to do it at another position if I was the coach.
Drew Waters Bat
No big dummy, he made the all star because Harper was injured. Why would you think he is an all star because of Snit. He gave Contreras, who by the way, is a better hitter than both Travis and Murphy. If Ozuna is the DH then AA and Liberty Media need to stop hyping up a big game, to do much of nothing. If Ozuna is the DH and Contreras was traded for a lesser hitter then AA has officially lost the off-season.
Rosario is our LF dang he had eye surgery
Drew Waters Bat
No oleb, defensively, your very weak at catcher. Contreras was far more serviceable to the Braves for AA to just blindly give him away. The Braves gave up 3 players for a lesser player. The Braves had to involve a 3 team to get the deal done and we are the ones who get hosed? What stupid sense does that make? A massive overpay, which wasn’t actually needed that we need to give up our 2-3 best power hitter. This is a sad joke that AA is playing on the Braves and their fans.
I stand corrected as Contreas was voted into the last spot. Usually managers get to pick all stars after what is voted on. This trade was about defense and not offense tho. Like I said d’Arnaud isn’t physically capable of being the full time catcher and Contreas was too much of a defensive liability. SS is the only real concern I have for the Braves but Swanson was too expensive. Ozuna/Rosario are passable in LF.
Murphy only caught in 116 of those 148 games. D’Arnaud caught in 99 of his games.
Murphy caught 104 games in 2021. So it seems like they catch roughly the same amount of games. Maybe you bought an extra week of games caught by using Murphy over D’Arnaud.
How many runs don’t score the 100+ games Murphy hits instead of Contreras? My guess is a lot.
Murphy supporters are coping if they think Murphy is that good. Braves could have just used Pina if DArnaud needed a day off and they didn’t want to sacrifice defense and it would have been roughly the same.
Where did this idea come from that Murphy is this stud catcher anyway? He’s had 1 decent year which is largely debatable.
Doesn’t it strike any of you Murphy supporters odd that the A’s chose now to shop him? The offensive year he had wasn’t even that great but they know it’s much better than who he is as a player so better to sell him while that stock is high and gullible fans like the Murphy supporters in this site think he’s some ace-level catcher.
Dude is, at best, an average bat with solid defense. Manny Pina can give you that Shea Langeliers, who the Braves deemed not in the plans long term enough to deal him, can give you that. My guess is Langeliers steps in for the A’s and they don’t miss a beat because that’s all Murphy ever was anyway.
Braves on the other hand will surely miss the offense of Contreras and many of you will find out the hard way. You’d think trading for one overrated As player last year was enough of a warning signal but some of you have your heads buried so far in the sand that you’ll support any move the Braves make. Next up you’ll be convincing us all why it’s a good decision to skip a Fried extension and let him walk when the Braves are too cheap to bring him back as well.
Seriously I’m not a huge Murphy supporter. I’m just rather neutral about this deal but a lot of Braves fans on this site act like spoiled brat fans. You talk about Murphy having one good year. Well so did Contreras lol. I don’t find it odd that the A’s shopped him. That’s what the A’s do lol. Murphy played in more games in 2022 and 2021 than d’Arnaud has played in a single season. 148 and 119 games played for Murphy while Travis best season was 112 games. Murphy is 6 years younger and has less wear and tear on his knees. Like I said before that many people can’t wrap their heads around that This trade was more about DEFENSE than offense and catcher is one of the most important defensive positions and the most physically taxing. The Mets got rid of d’Arnaud bc he is injury prone. He isn’t a bad ball player and is good offensively, we just can’t rely on him to be the full time catcher. I wouldn’t want Pina catching 40 games this season for the Braves. I’m not overly concerned about this team scoring runs. They were 4th in MLB in RBIs last year, 9th in batting average and 2nd in Homers. I’m far more concerned with the bullpen, backend of the rotation (Soroka and Anderson) and defensively at SS. I don’t hate the Murphy deal and I don’t love it. I just understand the reasoning behind it. Braves fans have this bloated idea that they were going to spend like the Mets and Phillies and that was never the case. All the front office said was they were willing to go into the luxury tax threshold which they were on the cusp of doing. Fans took that like the front office had a blank check or something. Any Braves fan that thought this team would have shelled out $100 million on a free agent especially with these inflated prices are delusional.
Contreras struck out 33 percent of AB last season.
The point of the trade was future minded. I’m kind of torn on it because I wanted to see Contreras used to bring in a left fielder or shortstop, but d’Arnaud is 34 and on the last year of his deal. I think they rightfully identified that Contreras is not suited for a full time catcher role, so now you have a high quality catcher to succeed d’Arnauc
Except imagine that Contreras didn’t make the All-Star team as a catcher and he made it as a DH.
Imagine that said “catcher” wasn’t progressing defensively…So, you trade for one of the best catchers in baseball, especially when, due to the new rules, a catcher’s defense is going to be more important than ever.
Wait, we don’t have to imagine that, it’s reality..
Also, in today’s game, you NEED two solid defensive catchers, and with the DH and d’Arnaud’s bat, why not!?!
Contreras might hit better than Murphy moving forward, he might not, but Murphy WILL DEFINITELY handle the pitching staff better, call a better game, block balls better, and he will control the running game immensely better than Contreras ever could.
Also, there is not a “glaring hole” at shortstop. I’m sorry, but I’ll trust Ron Washington over anyone else, and he has stated that Vaughn Grissom has been looking great at SS. If Grissom can reproduce his offensive numbers from last season, then he was the smartest choice moving forward hands down.
They still are going to have to pay Fried moving forward, not to mention maintaining their league best bullpen, while still adding pieces around their core.
It is what it is, maybe it proves to be a mistake not resigning Dansby and going with Arcia and Grissom, but under the circumstances I wouldn’t have wanted them to sign him to that kind of deal anyways..
@SocoComfort THANK YOU!! Good lord almighty thank you. There is at least ONE person on here with some common sense.
@SocoComfort I AGREE THANK YOU
Bless you my son.
Buuba ho tep
I guess the braves have Bob Nuttings disease
Phillies got Trae Turner, Mets got literally everyone… Braves get Jordan Luplow.
At least we are keeping pace
An example on the misuse of “literally”
That would literally be 95% of all uses of the word “literally”
Dude, seriously? Are you really “that guy?”
You’re bringing in Trea* Turner into a convo on a late-inning platoon signing by a rival team, while not even acknowledging said team just acquired an AS catcher (Murphy) less than a week ago.
Luplow has a .842 career OPS vs. LHP — you need that in the late-innings vs. an opposing team’s overpaid, southpaw RP. A couple of key hits will easily pay for that salary.
Ya he is. He messaged offline and said u suck
You traded a better all star catcher to get him and gave up prospects to do it. Congrats.
Except for the thousandth time Contreras made the AS team as a DH, not as a catcher.
His defense was bad, but he’s great with the bat, and he’s a passable catcher. However, with the importance on controlling the running game, defense just means more from that position.
Controlling the running game has less to do with a catcher then the pitcher. With the new rules in place the catcher has even less control of the running game. You can say for the thousandth and one time that Contreras made the team as a DH but he was a catcher more then he was a DH. His bat wouldn’t have been noticed if not for him being a catcher.
You are correct, sir (MasterShake). I did not mean that they signed every single person in the world to a major league contract to play baseball for the New York Mets. My sincerest apologies.
Thunderlips: Outstanding moniker….and movie reference, sir.
No, allow me. Just a peeve of mine didn’t mean to rile folks up. Sorry bud, it’s just one of those things.
Thank you, good sir. Almost nobody ever gets the reference
You literally brought nothing to this conversation. Did I use it right?
No, you used the second person when you should have used first person. It should have read I, not you.
And now you too have absolutely zero insight into this. How pathetic to sit around seeking someone’s exaggeration to point out to make your sad little life better. You must be a hoot at social gatherings
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
The following words and phrases should be removed from everyone’s vocabulary (this is not serious at all btw):
3. Low risk, high reward
Keep it going!
4. Truncated (when talking about the 2020 season). Practically never heard the word before Covid, now almost every time the 20 season is mentioned, the word truncated is added.
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
Good one hiflew! I share your sentiment.
5. “I’m not a fan of (Team X), but…”
6. “albatross” contract
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
Good ones ISOB!
And they still have the best or second best roster in all of MLB.
No Contreras will get hot and beat the Braves for the third wild card.
@mets6986?? I’m muting you. I do appreciate your insightful comments though. Happy holidays!
I would argue that the Braves made moves during the season to keep their core together. The Mets had a ton of work to do just to get a starting rotation. Phillies upgraded with a quality starter and a superstar SS. The Braves work was already done, but they did add an All-Star catcher and have plenty of cash to make a splash at the deadline. Do not sleep in this team…ever.
Fred McGriff HR
Now that Manfred cheapened baseball, you only need to perform reasonably well and you might get a 2nd or 3rd wildcard, and then you’re into the play offs, and your team just might get a shot at a World Series.
Conversely, the World Series Champs are even more deserving because the playoff field is tougher.
No it’s not. The series are shortened making the lesser team more likely to win.
They did make arguably the biggest trade of the offseason by getting Murphy. So it’s not like they haven’t done anything.
And they lost the trade.
Maybe on paper, but the games are not played on paper.
OF depth – most likely late-inning platoon since he’s good vs. LHP.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I second that why bravesnc. I could see a minor league contract for Luplow with a spring trading invite….
Yes and even that being a stretch but easier understood.
Luplow has always mashed lefties, so he’ll platoon some with Ozuna I imagine and also PH or DH vs LHP.
He’ll take over Heredia’s role as head cheerleader.
deGrom Texas Ranger
That’s quite a low salary.
Wild guess: They’re ditching Rosario and (I hope) Ozuna. Probably eating a lot of $$$ in the process.
Where is the trade Acuna guy!?
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
Clutching Dansby’s leg while he’s dragged down the jet bridge en route to O’Hare.
Hopefully at the bottom of the ocean
Just don’t let him face RHP.. he does well vs LHP
Historically that is correct but even the last couple seasons he has not mashed against left handed pitching. I was trying to see a weak side platoon partner on the Braves and cannot. I don’t understand this signing at all for the Braves. At least how their roster looks now.
The Braves need to upgrade their bench, Luplow will provide depth at all outfield positions and first base. Mostly he will likely platoon with Rosario in left field.
You mean… future Braves legend Jordan Luplow???
Bart Harley Jarvis
Bart Harley Jarvis
or maybe ‘The Looper’?
Ok “the looper” actually made me crack up haha
Please win one for The Lupper!!
Almost sounds like a disease…or a reference to a dude with a disease.
Like, “No way, bro, you touched a Lupper?! You better get checked out right away!”
Or…”She had Lupper bumps all over. I didn’t feel them at first, but one popped.”
Thanks Clip I just threw up my tomato soup! Haha
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I’d like to see what Sam Hilliard can do. At least he has some power.
As a Rockies fan, I can tell you. Hilliard does have power and it will go a long way…when he makes contact. But he misses far more than he hits. Maybe your hitting coach can fix him.
At this point resign Duvall
Surely this is nothing more than a bench/depth piece, because ironically offensively he might make the outfield worse. I have no idea how he is defensively…. So I’m sure he’s an upgrade there. But god, can we not find a guy that provide both decent offense and decent defense. Cause Ozuna and Eddie provide bad offense and defense at the moment
He’s surprisingly good defensively. Nothing amazing, but I can’t really remember any plays he botched.
There was only 2 good FA outfielders this year, All the rest were league avg at best.
League avg would be an upgrade at the moment
The cheap @ss braves, lol. So pathetic.
So cheap that their payroll is over 200 mil
So cheap that they made more money than any other franchise last season and their big FA signing is Luplow. Yeah…somebody is pocketing a ton of money.
A team with a top 10 payroll lol? They aren’t a New York or los Angeles team and they are in better shape than most teams, the off-season isn’t over either. Go be a ass somewhere quietly please.
They are 4th, not first. Just because you earn money, doesn’t mean you spend everything.
The fact people equate how much you spend and how much you sign a guy for with their ability to produce.
Only team with the highest payroll of the last 12 years to win the World Series was the 2018 RedSox who were found to have cheated and punished by MLB.
In a division that two others are going over 300 mil.
What no other catchers available?
Mooooovin da needle!
Folks still butt hurt over the Swanson departure. This Market was completely out of control. Yes they need to figure out SS but not for 25M. Had to pass on that contract. Trust AA, Snit,Wash,EY and company to get the most out of whoever is there. Remember when we were ready to run Dansby out of town?
Well you did run him out of town. Now Braves fans are acting like Swanson and Contreras were just ok. Your team took two frantic hits this week.
I think 7/177 that he signed would have been difficult for Braves to swing, but he reportedly would have signed for 6/140 which I think is way more reasonable
Luplow has excellent saw to wood skills, after proper measuring, and he can hammer nails with the best of them. Definitely can help build a good bench.
He is going to make a world class Carpenter one day no doubt.
Heck for 1Mil I’d ride pine at the end of the bench with a pink plastic sword.
“Northpaws”? I’ve never heard that used before.
Stu Macher’s burner
Over a mill to be awful. Have fun with that braves fans. So glad he’s off my snakes
Yeah now they can go all the way, right?
Stu Macher’s burner
Nah I don’t expect much from my snakes. He was just taking up a roster/playing time from our younger players.
In completely random world, his cousin is an account executive with Rocket Mortgage and handles me account.
Did you recognize the not particularly common last name and ask the random mortgage guy if he was related?
Or does he introduce himself as “Hi, I’m Jacob Luplow, account adviser and cousin to a fringe big leaguer, how can I help you today?”
Luplow was playing in Cleveland at the beginning of his career and one day I just put the two together and asked my rep if she’s related to him.
OK, next question, then…
How many Joanna DeGrom’s, Marianna Puig’s and Bob Trout’s do you have to go through to find a Kimberly Luplow?
So far zero, ha ha.
Was Jordan Schafer unavailable? Remember when we used to get rid of guys who couldn’t hit .200(Andruw Jones of all people) and now we make sure we have 5 or 6 of them every season to platoon
When I said earlier that the braves needed to make an upgrade, this isn’t what I had in mind. The braves need one big addition. They still could very well win or at least get 2nd in the division but the point is making your roster stronger than the year before.
I have to think AA has a trade he is working on. I don’t think he will start the season with a team that isn’t as good as last years.
I would hope and pray something is on the way.
Braves are contenders now! Look out NL East & move over Astros lol
Everybody keeps forgetting that AA just signed Austin Riley (ten years, $212MM), Michael Harris II (eight years, $72MM) and Spencer Strider (six years, $75MM) in late summer. Plus the Bullpen guys. Thats not enough? AA is dong a Great job!!
Not with holes @ SS,LF, & DH. Commiting to being bad @ 3 of 9 spots isn’t ideal in a competitive NL East. Hopefully Grissom has some success & the catchers can keep DH productive. LF is going to be rough. 30th in the league in LF last year…
You have zero room to adjust when a couple of those contracts goes belly up. Two of those guys didn’t even get through their rookie seasons.
Jordan Luplow=Guillermo Heredia with more power.
One has to wonder if the Braves are getting ready to eat some cash and part ways with Ozuna or Rosario (or both)
Either way, they aren’t getting any better…
Reading these comments generates some ugly deja vu. Let’s just take all the pessimistic, sarcastic, disparaging things everyone said about AA and ATL during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 off-seasons and paste them here to save time. The results: 3 playoff appearances, 1-1 in NLCS series and a WS ring. Seems like maybe the Braves have a better grip on building quality baseball teams than MLBTR readers?
The team that went 21-10 from September 1st til the end of the season to take the division from the Mets, and didn’t have Ozzie Albies for most of the season isn’t any better? Sure they lost Swanson but this is still a damn good team
Good team yes, just not any better than before. With the rest of the title contenders significantly improving the sideways trajectory doesn’t bode well. A rebound season from Acuna is the real wildcard for the year. A drop off in power will occur in the lineup so they need the power hitting Ronald back be again. I actually think if Grissom can adjust with the league his offense can be satisfactory. The left field situation is awful though… Was hoping to see Drury signed for the power & defensive versatility.
I tempered my expectations before the off-season started for the Braves. I do like Sean Murphy more than Contreras so I think there is a marginal upgrade there. I think a Murphy/D’Arnaud time share is a pretty damn ideal situation and smart with D getting a little old as catchers go. I just don’t think the total contribution is going to move the needle a whole lot.
I think this is one of those seasons Braves fans are going to have to find the silver lining in small moves. I know there is plenty of off-season left but from what I can see, the top 2 remaining free agents are Brandon Drury and Nathan Evioldi. As for money, while the Braves McQuirk did mention they see this teams payroll being in the top 5, it’s really not far from that now. I also doubt their desire to spend anything anyway. The Braves also don’t have much left in the way of farm assets.
They could do trades from major league assets but who are you going to take away to add more? If you’re mind goes to Grissom, I think that’s a huge mistake. We are already seeing talent that came up from the Atlanta farm leave to other teams. I know Grissom might not turn into everything we hope for but it’s really the chance you have to take to keep your team competitive when you don’t have the deeper pockets of the Dodgers or Mets.
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
I’m no Braves fan, but the possibility of a full season from Acuna, Strider, Albies, Soroka, and even small improvements from Harris and Grissom scares the heck out of me. And it’s only December!
I should have ended that statement with how Braves fans should still be overjoyed at the team they have because it is young and should be competitive for several years, giving time to produce more young talent. I think what I said was a bit more melancholy than I intended.
As for it only being December, I did mention there is still a lot of off-season but given the talent available on the market and the slim pickings on the farm, I don’t see big moves coming. There may still be GOOD moves but nothing flashy.
@SalaryCapMyth You are right and with the group of players that are already signed, This is probably what will happen for years to come. only signing a few lower tier players each year. Also with the rule changes Alex might be holding back to sign players for the new issues that might arise.
Curly Is A Dumb Stooge
Over/Under 75 Steals for Acuna ?
Wow!!! Definitely under! Been 2007 since someone has stolen that many bases.