The Braves announced that they have selected the contract of left-hander Dylan Dodd, who was reported last week to have secured a rotation spot. In corresponding moves, left-hander Jared Shuster was optioned to Triple-A while outfielder Jordan Luplow was designated for assignment.
Luplow, 29, was signed by Atlanta this offseason to a one-year, $1.4MM deal. The outfielder had spent 2022 with the Diamondbacks, but limped to a .176/.274/.361 batting line on the year and a wRC+ of 78. He could have been retained via arbitration, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a salary of $2MM, but Arizona designated him for assignment instead. After becoming a free agent, Luplow signed that deal with Atlanta, a bit below his arb projection.
He would have been line for a bench outfield role but the club later added some more options into the competition for that job, acquiring Eli White and signing Kevin Pillar to a minor league deal. The latter of those two eventually had his contract selected and made the roster alongside Sam Hilliard, with Luplow getting optioned to the minors. Luplow’s now lost his spot on the 40-man roster as well.
The club will now have a week to trade him or pass him through waivers. Despite recent struggles, Luplow has occasionally seemed like a viable platoon outfielder. The right-handed hitter has a career batting line of .226/.337/.505 against lefties for a wRC+ of 125, compared to a .200/.288/.355 line and 76 wRC+ against righties. That could lead to some interest around the league but it’s a fairly similar profile to Darin Ruf, who was released by the Mets today and can now be signed for the league minimum. One thing Luplow offers beyond Ruf, though, is the ability to be optioned to the minors. Luplow is also shy of five years service time and therefore can be retained for 2024 via arbitration.
If Luplow were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he would have the ability to reject an outright assignment and return to free agency, though he might not do so. Since he’s shy of the five-year service mark, he would have to leave his salary on the table in order to return to the open market. Perhaps the $1.4MM would be enough to convince him to stick in Gwinnett as depth, if that comes to pass.
As for Shuster, he has been optioned but it’s possible there are some roster shenanigans going on. Pitchers optioned to the minors can’t return for 15 days, but an exception is made when another played is going on the injured list. Manager Brian Snitker has said that lefty Max Fried will be placed on the injured list, though the club hasn’t done so yet. Once they make that move official, it’s possible that Shuster gets added back to the active roster. That being said, he didn’t exactly wow in his debut, allowing four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He walked five opponents, allowed six hits and only struck out one. Perhaps he’ll get some more work in Gwinnett and the big league club will consider giving his spot to Dodd, Bryce Elder, Ian Anderson or Michael Soroka, at least until Fried and Kyle Wright are ready to come off the injured list.
In June the Braves will call up a guy from AA who will make 20 starts in the big leagues and go 15-1 with a 1.72 ERA, after which he will sign a 7 year $100M contract. I’ve seen this movie before, it always seems to turn out well for the Braves.
AA has DFA’d Luplow and will grab Ruf who will hit .500 vs. NL East opponents, benching 350 lbs at 10 reps before every AB with Billy Eppler’s pic on the mirror in front of him.
Let the Tanner Gordon era begin
It sounds like Dodd can actually hit some as well but the universal DH took that away.
Wasn’t who I was expecting to be designated for Dodds place on the 40. Was thinking Tonkin. We still have Hilliard and white on the 40 so still have decent depth for the outfield.
The front office probably feels better about the corner OF depth than the bullpen depth.
Tonkin looked really good in his 2 innings of work yesterday. I too thought that he would be the odd man out. If he continues to pitch well that will be another huge asset to that Braves bullpen.
Are we too socio-politically charged to dub him Michael “Honky” Tonkin?
How about “Gulf of” Tonkin?
Ton Ton. Only when he freezes up though.
It’s funny how people think they know what’s going on with a team when they don’t even watch the team’s games.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Some really unethical posts on Tonkin, looked really good when i saw him. good part of an already good relief crew.
You must not follow baseball much moves happen all the time there are people who surprise. Nobody thought both Dodd and Shuster would show to be MLB ready as quickly as they did. I agree with others I think Tonkin was going be the odd man out but he threw so well against Washington.
Baseball is all someone getting hot and taking someone else’s job away. Nobody in a baseball really cares about someone’s personal turmoil.
To be fair to Shuster, he only had one bad inning, the first. He was pretty good after that.
If I recall White and Hilliard killed Spring training. It’s a small sample size but you gotta really show up to make the team and he had a poor offensive showing in 17 pa. The others showed a lot. And Pillar was always likely gonna get a chance if healthy.
Pillar is blessed with a strong arm as well.
I mean, in a blow out game either way, you could put him on the mound.
Imagine the fun sitting on the sofa and watching them throw Pillar!
@Rishi: You’re right about Luplow’s ST numbers (and about White and Hilliard) but Luplow was hampered by an oblique injury most of the spring. Also believe idosteroid’s comment above about the Braves feeling better about their corner outfield depth than RP depth is spot on.
Luplow has been on borrowed time for quite a while. Has a grooved swing.
This is BOOLSHEET!
A bit surprising considering luplow is the only Brave that signed a major league deal this offseason, right? 1.4 mil isn’t a lot, but seems they would want to keep that depth if they are paying for it and not DFA him 3 games into the season. Regardless, hope the Braves can flip him to off set some of the cash. I do personally think his injury and the rise of others performances kinda box luplow out anyways
Didn’t Pillar also sign a $3M ML deal? Was it a split deal?
Thought Pillar signed a $3M ML deal. Was it a split deal?
Ugh. First comment disappeared, so I re-posted.
Pillar did do a split deal but luplow wasn’t a split deal. His is all guaranteed major league deal. Pillar was a minor league deal with an accelerator if he got on the major league roster, which he did.
This team had the entire off-season to evaluate their opening day roster options.
They had the entire spring training to evaluate their players.
Making a roster move just 3 days into the season does not speak well of the evaluation skills of the members of this organization. It does reveal a “piece of meat” attitude with respect to the treatment and regard for the individuals at the bottom end of the major league roster.
Imagine your own personal turmoil if one day you have to make living and life arrangements for Atlanta and then a mere 3 days later those plans have to be scrapped and the same arrangements have to be made for Lawrenceville. Also consider the treatment and emotional impact on Luplow. You sign a MAJOR LEAGUE contract with a new organization, after spring training get optioned to AAA and then get DFA’d off the 40 man roster just 3 days into the season. Hardly a BRAVE way for the organization to operate.
What’s in Lawerenceville?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Gwinnett Stripers are a Minor League Baseball team of the International League (IL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. They play their home games at Coolray Field in unincorporated Gwinnett County, Georgia (with a Lawrenceville address) in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. They are named for striped bass in reference to the popularity of fishing in the region.
I knew they were Gwinnett just assumed that they actually played there
Gwinnett is a county, so, yes, they play there.
They didn’t predict Fried’s injury, and Luplow had to know that he was lowest man on the roster. He gets to keep the money if he goes to Gwinnett or gets claimed, for what its worth.
I still wanna know what’s in Lawrenceville
Larry Flynt was shot in Lawrenceville. Maybe it should be called Larryville.
He is a victim of a probable DL situation and performed the worst of all the outfielders… it’s Baseball..
It slipped my mind, but hey Braves Country anyone else like me? Morgan Wallen’s “98 Braves” has explained MY LIFE!!!! I was 15 in 98 and lost my girlfriend! Balled my eyes out!!!! Dude straight up nailed it being a Braves fan in the mid to late 90’s! Chop Motha F’N On! So pumped for the home opener, Let’s go!!!!
I balled my eyes out in ’98 too.
Oh, wait… you meant bawled.
Nothing better than Morgan Wallen and the Atlanta Braves
Too bad. Just saw him and Culberson playing in Gwinnett a couple days ago, which btw, that stadium (Coolray) is one of the most dull, sterile, ballparks I’ve ever visited.
Anybody notice Greyson Jenista getting released about a week ago?
I recall him saying he turned down more money to sign with the Braves because he wanted a chance to win. Maybe he got offended he got sent down and asked to be DFA’d. Just a thought..
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
He should have made the roster instead of pillar in my opinion.
Bhambrave and Pontiac, yes I BAWLED My eyes out back in 98! That’s why I love our game! Brings me back to my childhood and all those memories. 2021 meant so much to me. I was able to go to those World Series games at Truist and when we won it all it was a rush of emotions. Those 90’s teams aside from 95 crushed me. Was in my momma’s arms hurt and crying. Braves Country is real! Means the World to me! Chop on!
I am not going to lie bravesnc. I never even heard of Morgan Wallen so I had to look that up. I also was quite devastated how a lot of the Braves dominant years end outside of 1995 and 2021 of course. I’ve been a fan since 94. I still miss the speed guys like Otis Nixon/Marquis Grissom/Deion Sanders/or Kenny Lofton for that 1 year in 1997. The good thing is that even though the minor league system is ranked low the Braves continue to turn out mlb players and the nucleus is locked up for years to come.
And ’95 is probably the year they should have lost with how stacked the Indians lineup was (you know you lineup is stacked when Manny Ramirez is your #7 hitter).
Mercenary Freddie Free, my buddy told me of Morgan Wallen and said I had to listen to this song “98 Braves”. Was completely oblivious. Like I said, it brought me back to my childhood. Watching on TBS in the living room fingers crossed holding on to every pitch! That’s why 2021 meant so much to me. I was at every WS game at Truist and when Dansby handled that grounder and threw it Freddie in Houston, I broke down even as a grown man! 98 Braves sealed it for me. Being a fan in the early, mid, late 90’s this team taught me about heartbreak and having hope every spring. Baseball is above all other sports in my house. Just like when I was a kid, I still get excited on opening day. I finally after so many years get to go to a home opener at Truist on Thursday. Gonna soak it all in. Braves Country is so real and my story is like so many other Braves fans. Chop On!