The Braves announced that right-hander Jackson Stephens was outrighted to Triple-A. The move was necessary to remove Stephens from the 40-man roster since he is out of minor league options, but the righty will remain in Atlanta’s organization.
Stephens first joined the Braves on a minor league deal last winter, and he ended up seeing quite a bit of Major League work in tossing 53 1/3 innings out of the bullpen (including three innings as the designated starter of a bullpen game at the end of the regular season). Stephens posted a 3.69 ERA and did an excellent job of inducing soft contact, even if his strikeout and walk rates were both below the league average.
It was a respectable showing for Stephens’ first MLB action since 2018 as a member of the Reds, and the performance earned Stephen a new contract with the Braves back in December. Since that deal was a split contract that wasn’t fully guaranteed, however, Stephens will only earn his $740K salary if he appears on Atlanta’s active roster at any point during the season.
Stephens didn’t acquit himself well in Spring Training, with a 33.75 ERA to show for 1 1/3 frames over two appearances of Grapefruit League work. (The Orioles tagged Stephens for five runs in one-third of an inning on March 13.) The outright assignment puts Stephens out of the running for a job in the Braves’ Opening Day bullpen, and the club also has another 40-man roster spot to work with in contemplating other moves. Most immediately, the Braves might have that space earmarked for one of Dylan Dodd or Jared Shuster, who are competing to be the team’s fifth starter.
I know you just love the attention.
Maybe I’m just easily shocked. Ever consider that?
Naw, cuz if you have followed baseball long enough, you know already that surprise & unexpected things happen every day, and that as a fan you adjust to that over time. So unless you’re a complete noob, which I highly doubt, I’m not buying the ‘shock factor’ argument.
But Jackson Stevens outrighted? That was a surprise, no?
Nothing left to surprise me in this goofy chaotic and absurd existence we find ourselves in. (Although the UFO thing is kinda weird, NOT the weather balloons.)
And that’s why I rely on Kiddhoff’s “Wows” as the only beacon of sanity in this dark, dank, and dangerous maelstrom of madness!!!
We should definitely hang out!
Not really a surprise to see him sent down. He was DFA over the winter and then resigned to a split deal after he couldn’t find another team willing to offer him a ML contract. After the additions of Jiminez, Luetge, and Nick Anderson, Stephens was a longshot to make the 26 man. He’s also been terrible this spring. Got knocked around like a punch drunk fighter.
Braves bullpen is super stacked this year, he’ll probably find a spot on the roster at some point this year.
He was great for the Braves last year. I’m sure he will be up and down a few times this year as well.
They can call him back up, but I think he’d need to pass through waivers any time they try to send him down.
I don’t think he has to clear waivers since he signed a split contract. I may be wrong but I don’t think so.
I don’t think he has to clear waivers since he signed a split contract. I may be wrong but I don’t think so. If he does make the major league roster at any point salary will be guaranteed. therefore I doubt he would decide to not get sent down because he would be losing the rest of his guaranteed major league salary.
Stephens was outrighted, which I’m pretty sure means every team had an opportunity to claim him along with his current contract. I think the split contract only means he’s paid differently when he’s in the minors versus MLB.
He would be a good bullpen arm on many other teams. For him to be stashed in the braves minor leagues shows the amount of depth the braves have at the position, and that is a great thing to have, especially due to the volatile nature of relief pitchers.