Atlanta Braves – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-10-23T04:01:14Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Evan Gattis Not Actively Seeking Playing Opportunities]]> 2019-10-22T22:19:15Z 2019-10-22T22:19:15Z Evan Gattis has stayed out of the spotlight for quite some time, with nary a word printed about whether the former catcher/designated hitter was pursuing a new contract until the Astros invited him to be a part of the first-pitch ceremony prior to tonight’s Game 1 of the World Series. (MLBTR reached out to Gattis’ camp earlier this season to inquire but did not receive a reply.) He’ll catch tonight’s first pitch from former teammate Brian McCann, who retired following Atlanta’s ousting from this year’s playoffs.

Gattis broke the silence surrounding his status today when he spoke with FOX 26’s Mark Berman today about his 2019 absence from baseball (Twitter link). Gattis has not formally retired, but he also doesn’t sound like he’s seeking out any new opportunities.

“I really don’t have an answer,” said Gattis. “I don’t even know if I could play, but right now I don’t want to. [Baseball] was a huge part of my life, but I was ready.”

At this point, if Gattis wished to make a return to baseball, he’d surely need to settle for a minor league pact, though the slugger didn’t seem to have any problem with that notion. “If I really want to play,” Gattis told Berman, “I’ll go play, whether it be in Double-A, Triple-A or the big leagues. But it has been such a big transition, much like before I came back to play in baseball again.” Gattis, for those unfamiliar with his remarkable journey, battled depression and drug use after walking away from baseball following high school (as chronicled by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale back in 2013).

Now 33 years of age, Gattis last suited up in 2018 when he appeared in 128 games for Houston and batted .226/.284/.452 with 25 home runs in 451 trips to the plate. He won a World Series ring with the ’Stros a year prior and spent parts of four seasons with the club (plus another two in Atlanta), becoming a fan favorite of many along the way. In all, he’s a career .248/.300/.476 hitter in 706 MLB games (2662 plate appearances).

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Position Players Recently Electing Free Agency]]> 2019-10-22T14:43:24Z 2019-10-22T12:06:20Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

Here are the position players that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Freddie Freeman Undergoes Elbow Surgery]]> 2019-10-18T14:07:50Z 2019-10-18T14:07:50Z Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has undergone surgery on his right (non-throwing) elbow, per a club announcement. He was operated on by Mets team medical director and frequent baseball surgeon Dr. David Altchek.

The team provided a nicely detailed account of the procedure, which evidently did not involve any significant structural repairs. Altchek is said to have “cleaned out” the joint, including “removing three fragmented loose bodies and cleaning up multiple bone spur formations.”

Freeman is expected to be ready to roll by the time Spring Training comes around in mid-February. That’s obviously good news, as the 30-year-old remains a key cog after nine full seasons in the majors. He’s under contract for two more campaigns at $22MM apiece.

The Atlanta organization will hope that the medical work will resolve the elbow discomfort that seemingly plagued Freeman late in the 2019 season. The ever-productive first bagger suffered a bit of a late power outage, hitting .264/.365/.389 in the month of September. And he was just four-for-20 with a walk in his 22 plate appearances in the NLDS.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Alex Anthopoulos On Donaldson, Riley, Offseason]]> 2019-10-11T06:06:22Z 2019-10-11T06:06:22Z Offseason planning is underway for the Braves, whom the Cardinals routed, 13-1, in Game 5 of the teams’ NLDS matchup Wednesday. One of the most important questions now facing the Braves is whether they’ll be able to re-sign standout third baseman Josh Donaldson. The soon-to-be 34-year-old is weeks from returning to free agency after posting an excellent bounce-back season in Atlanta, which inked him to a $23MM guarantee last winter.

During the Braves’ NL East-winning regular season, both general manager Alex Anthopoulos and and Donaldson expressed an openness to keeping their union alive beyond this year. Anthopoulos again spoke on Donaldson’s future Thursday, telling reporters (including Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and David O’Brien of The Athletic) that talks on a new deal haven’t begun yet. However, Anthopoulos is of the belief that “we positioned ourselves, if all things are equal from a contractual standpoint – I haven’t had this discussion with him or his agent – but I believe this would be where he wants to be. I know he enjoyed it here.”

Of course, whether all things will end up being equal from a contractual standpoint is far from a given. Anthopolous noted that “it’s just too hard” to handicap the Braves’ chances of retaining Donaldson, as he’s set to venture back to the market as one of the elite position players available. Donaldson surely won’t get there without first receiving an ~$18MM qualifying offer from the Braves, which won’t do his market any favors. His age and the fact that injuries have hampered him in the past (including from 2017-18) will also work against him.

On the other hand, Donaldson’s a former AL MVP who remains a star. And if he was able to score a lofty $23MM salary last year off his worst season in recent memory, it stands to reason he’ll do even better this time after a return to form. Donaldson slashed .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 4.9 fWAR in 659 plate appearances this season, thereby making a case for a two- to three-year contract worth in the range of $23MM per annum. That would be a substantial and risky commitment, of course, though Donaldson should draw plenty of interest from third base-needy teams that can’t or won’t go to what could be $200MM-plus lengths for Nationals pending free agent Anthony Rendon.

If the Braves don’t end up with Donaldson, Rendon or any other starting-caliber option, they could theoretically plug Austin Riley in at the hot corner next season. The 22-year-old Riley’s a natural third baseman who, thanks to Donaldson’s presence, spent his first major league season in the outfield. Riley, one of the game’s highest-ranked prospects when the Braves promoted him in mid-May, began his career with a flourish. But his offensive bubble burst as the year progressed, leaving him a .226/.279/.471 hitter with a bloated 36.4 percent strikeout rate in his first 297 trips to the plate. The Braves kept Riley off their NLDS roster, and they’re not heading into the offseason with the belief that he’s a slam dunk to start anywhere next year.

“As we sit here today, do I see us cementing him and giving him a position going into next year, where the job is his, whether it’s outfield or third base? Unlikely at this point,” said Anthopoulos. “That being said, do we believe in him long term? Absolutely.”

Anthopoulos went on to note that Riley still has minor league options, giving the team the ability to send him down if he doesn’t win a job in the spring. Even if Atlanta re-signs Donaldson to continue handling third, the club’s unwillingness to guarantee Riley a spot could have an effect on its offseason outfield plans.

Aside from the all-world Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves are currently lacking high-impact options in the grass. Stud prospects Cristian Pache and Drew Waters are getting closer to the bigs, though, which could persuade Atlanta against a big-ticket acquisition. Regardless, the Braves will have to decide whether to exercise right fielder Nick Markakis’ $6MM option or buy him out for $2MM after he underwhelmed in 2019. Billy Hamilton looks like a $1MM buyout waiting to happen, as the Braves won’t want to pay him $7.5MM. Ender Inciarte still has two guaranteed years left on his contract, and he’ll earn an affordable $7MM in 2020, though he’s coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Adam Duvall’s projected to make a not-insignificant $3.8MM in ’20 despite having spent most of the season in the minors.

The Braves haven’t won a playoff series in 18 years, a streak they’ll hope to be in position to break next fall. Until then, Anthopoulos’ goal is to “get better in all areas — offense, defense, bullpen, rotation — and we plan on doing that. We just don’t know how the offseason … what opportunities will present themselves.”

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brian McCann Announces Retirement]]> 2019-10-10T01:27:14Z 2019-10-10T00:54:31Z Seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann is planning to retire this offseason, he announced to reporters following the conclusion of today’s NLDS loss to the Cardinals (Twitter link, with video, via FOX Sports Southwest). “It’s time to go,” said McCann when asked about his decision. “Fifteen years of catching — it’s sad, but it’s time. I knew about a month and a half ago.”

Brian McCann | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After spending three seasons with the Yankees and two with the Astros, the 35-year-old McCann returned to the Braves on a one-year deal this past offseason. It was homecoming in more ways than one, as the Athens, Ga. native and Duluth High School grad was the Braves’ second-round pick back in 2002. The opportunity to return to his hometown and suit up for one more ride with the next generation of Braves stars was a significant factor in his decision to sign with Atlanta in the winter, McCann added.

“That’s a big reason I wanted to come back,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of this again — put this uniform back on, play in front of my family every night. That was a big reason. … Fifteen years is a long time, catching every day. And I got to do it in my hometown.”

Following that 2002 draft, McCann quickly ascended to top prospect status and made his big league debut with the Braves in 2005. He’d ultimately go on to wear a Braves uniform for 10 of his 15 excellent MLB seasons. A six-time Silver Slugger winner, McCann enjoyed 10 seasons in which he tallied 20 or more home runs throughout his big league career. He’ll hang ’em up with a lifetime .262/.337/.452 batting line, 282 home runs, 1018 RBIs, 742 runs scored and 294 doubles.

McCann never won a Gold Glove but was considered a quality defender for much of his career, finishing at 297 of 1194 in throwing out base thieves (25 percent) and with a total of 26 Defensive Runs Saved. He never did much damage during the postseason but did manage a few key home runs, and he of course took home a World Series ring as the primary catcher for the 2017 World Series Champion Astros.

Former teammates have already begun to heap praise onto McCann — perceived by many onlookers as a gruff enforcer but widely beloved by the players with whom he shared a clubhouse. Lance McCullers Jr. (link) and Chipper Jones (link) are among those to offer heartfelt praise for the 15-year veteran’s contributions to their clubs.

McCann earned more than $128MM in salary over the course of his career and will be remembered as one of the finest and most durable catchers of his generation. His 282 career home runs trail only Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Lance Parrish and Ivan Rodriguez among catchers — all of whom other than Parrish have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Best wishes to “B-Mac” in his post-playing days.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Who’s Going To The NLCS?]]> 2019-10-09T06:09:58Z 2019-10-09T06:09:58Z If you like baseball (you’re reading this, so you probably do), Wednesday evening already looks rather promising. All four of the National League’s remaining playoff teams will square off then in win-or-go-home contests to conclude their thrilling NLDS matchups. The top-seeded Dodgers will take on the Nationals in Los Angeles, while the Braves will host the Cardinals.

To many, a third straight pennant for the perennially dominant Dodgers looked like a foregone conclusion entering the playoffs. But the 106-win club has had its hands full with the Nationals, a 93-69 team that needed a miraculous comeback over the Brewers in the wild-card game just to reach the NLDS. The Dodgers have led this series twice (1-0 and 2-1), but they’ve been unable to stamp out the Nationals, thanks in part to the heroics of Washington co-aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The latter’s slated to take the ball in Game 5 against Walker Buehler, who has supplanted Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw as LA’s most valuable starter. Buehler put forth his latest ace-caliber effort in the Dodgers’ Game 1 win last Thursday, when he fired six scoreless, one-hit innings.

In Atlanta, the Braves will send Mike Foltynewicz to the mound to battle Jack Flaherty, who – like Buehler – has burst on the scene as an elite young arm. Foltynewicz entered the season as one of the Braves’ clear-cut top starters, though it nonetheless may seem hard to believe they’re turning to him with their season on the line. After all, the team did demote the 28-year-old to the minors in late June on the heels of a horrid few months. To his credit, however, Foltynewicz has rebounded since his early August return, and he continued to roll with seven shutout innings during a Game 2 victory over the Flaherty-led Cards. He’ll again contend with a St. Louis offense that has gotten exceptional production from Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna in the series.

The 23-year-old Flaherty will deal with an Atlanta club that has seen outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. continue to stake his claim as one of the sport’s up-and-coming superstars in October. Runs may be hard to come by for Acuna & Co., though, as Flaherty hasn’t yielded more than three in a start since July 2. Dating back to then, Flaherty has given up a ridiculously low 14 earned runs in 113 1/3 innings and 17 starts.

Of course, it would be foolish to only mention the starters who are lined up for these two games. With all four clubs’ seasons on the line, they’ll likely be in all-hands-on-deck mode (or something close to it) as they attempt to reach the final round of the NL playoffs. As is often the case in the postseason, the teams’ bullpens will probably play integral roles in the outcomes. Which clubs do you expect to advance Wednesday?

(Poll link for app users)

(Poll link for app users)

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dallas Keuchel Discusses Free Agency]]> 2019-10-08T05:38:39Z 2019-10-08T05:36:25Z Although he reached free agency last offseason as one of the most accomplished starters on the open market, former AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel went without a team for a shockingly long time. Keuchel, who looked like a shoo-in to sign a lucrative multiyear deal at the outset of the winter, ended up settling for the Braves’ one-year, $13MM offer shortly after the amateur draft in early June.

The fact that Keuchel’s previous team, the Astros, attached a qualifying offer to him before he became a free agent was an obvious cause for the difficulty he encountered on the market. The longer Keuchel sat without a deal, the closer the draft came. The closer the draft came, the more content teams were to wait Keuchel out and attempt to sign the Scott Boras client without having to give up compensation in the form of a pick(s).

With the qualifying offer system still intact heading into this winter, there could be some soon-to-be free agents who meet a similar fate to what Keuchel and fellow post-draft signing Craig Kimbrel faced earlier in 2019. Keuchel won’t be one of them, as a player can’t receive a QO twice, though he explained to Jesse Rogers of ESPN that he remains frustrated with the setup that’s in place.

“This is whole draft-pick compensation thing went from a throw-in for a team losing a player, to is he really a free agent now?” Keuchel said.“How can you be free if there is a draft pick attached to you? And why do they value draft picks so much when the percentage of picks who make the league, and are better than you, is what, like .01 percent? There are so many things wrong.”

Like many of his fellow players, Keuchel’s irked by the last two offseasons, both of which were notoriously sluggish from a free agency standpoint. “It’s not just us being the bad guys,” Keuchel said of the players.

Keuchel’s among those displeased with the way free agency has been trending, though that doesn’t mean he didn’t receive multiyear offers during his trip to the market. On the contrary, the Angels were among those who were willing to commit more than one year to Keuchel, per Rogers. However, Keuchel believed those teams “undervalued” him, writes Rogers. It also seems signing with a playoff-caliber club was a priority for Keuchel, who, despite his relatively underwhelming results in free agency, believes he’s now “in the best possible for scenario for myself” as a member of a World Series-contending Braves team.

Although he wasn’t the ace-caliber hurler we’ve seen in the past, Keuchel did help the Braves to an NL East title after his midseason arrival. The 31-year-old threw 112 2/3 innings of 3.75 ERA/4.72 FIP with 7.27 K/9 and 3.12 BB/9 and a 60.1 percent groundball rate in the regular season, and then added 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball in the team’s Game 1 loss to the Cardinals in the NLDS. With that series heading to a winner-take-all Game 5 on Wednesday (in which Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound for Atlanta), Keuchel might not make another start for the Braves. The club could try to re-sign Keuchel whenever its season ends, but it if that doesn’t happen, he’ll have to test the free-agent waters again. While it’s likely Keuchel’s next deal will outdo his current pact, he doesn’t seem thrilled about returning to the market.

“I still have to go back into the zoo [free agency] but I figured if this offseason doesn’t present more offers, more swiftly, like the NBA or the NFL, then the normal fan will see exactly what’s going on,” Keuchel said. “That’s what I want people to see.”

Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Cards Reliever Takes Issue With 'Tomahawk Chop']]> 2019-10-06T01:37:10Z 2019-10-06T01:22:21Z
  • The Associated Press is circulating a story involving Wainwright’s teammate Ryan Helsley, who did not take kindly to witnessing the en masse enactment of the Braves’ “Tomahawk Chop” tradition during Game 1 of the NLDS this Thursday (link). In comments originally made to writer/hero Derrick Goold, Helsley, who is a member of the Cherokee nation, called the “Chop” “disappointing” and “disrespectful”. “[The tradition] just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual. They are a lot more than that. It’s not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It’s not. It’s about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and how we’re perceived in that way, or used as mascots.” Of course, with the NLDS tied 1-1 heading to St. Louis for Game 3 of the best-of-five NLDS, it’s possible Helsley could have a say in preventing the series returning to Atlanta. The 25-year-old Oklahoman pitched to a 2.95 ERA in 36.2 innings in 2019, his rookie season.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Julio Teheran Replaces Chris Martin On Braves’ NLDS Roster]]> 2019-10-04T13:30:23Z 2019-10-04T13:30:23Z Right-hander Julio Teheran will replace injured reliever Chris Martin on the Braves’ postseason roster, the team announced Friday morning. Mark Bowman of tweets that with Teheran now on board, he’ll likely draw the starting nod in a theoretical Game 4, with lefty Max Fried continuing on as a relief option for the rest of the series.

    Martin didn’t throw a pitch in last night’s contest, as he sustained an oblique strain when coming out of the ’pen to begin the eighth inning. At the time, Atlanta held a 3-1 lead but quickly saw things unravel when right-handers Luke Jackson and Mark Melancon combined to surrender six earned runs while recording a collective total of five outs. Despite a pair of ninth-inning homers from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman, the Braves were left stunned by a 7-6 loss at the hands of the NL Central champion Cardinals.

    Fried had been tentatively lined up to start Game 4, if necessary, after being available out of the ’pen in the first couple games of the series. He tossed 14 pitches and picked up two strikeouts in a flawless inning of relief yesterday, and if he’s going to be reserved for a bullpen role for the remainder of the NLDS, it stands to reason that he’ll be more available for multi-inning work now as well.

    Martin’s injury, meanwhile, likely brings an end to his time with the Braves. While Atlanta could re-sign him, he’s a free agent at season’s end and will also have the opportunity to explore offers from other clubs. Acquired on July 30 in a trade that sent pitching prospect Kolby Allard to the Rangers, the 33-year-old Martin logged a 4.08 ERA and a sensational 22-to-1 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings with the Braves.

    The unfortunate injury also gives the 28-year-old Teheran what could be one final opportunity to pitch in a Braves uniform. While he’s controlled for the 2020 season via a $12MM club option ($1MM buyout), there’s no guarantee that the Braves opt to exercise that clause. (MLBTR readers weighed in on the subject last night and were evenly split when polled about his future.) In 174 2/3 innings this season, Teheran pitched to a 3.81 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9 and a 39 percent ground-ball rate. Those are solid enough numbers, but Teheran’s walk rate has risen significantly over the past two seasons while his velocity has dropped (career-low 89.7 mph average fastball in ’19).

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Braves’ Chris Martin Likely Out For Rest Of Postseason]]> 2019-10-04T04:00:51Z 2019-10-04T03:59:51Z 10:59pm: Atlanta’s “likely” to replace Martin with Teheran, per Bowman.

    9:20pm: The Braves lost Game 1 after a bullpen implosion, and it appears they’ll have to go the rest of the playoffs without Martin. Expectations are he’s done for the postseason, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. It’s not known yet who will replace Martin on Atlanta’s roster.

    7:22pm: As of this writing, Atlanta’s bullpen just blew a late lead over St. Louis in the first game of the National League Division Series. The two teams are heading to the bottom of the eighth inning tied at three. The Braves had a 3-1 advantage entering the top of the frame, which turned into a catastrophe for the club. It began when right-hander Chris Martin, whom the Braves initially called on to preserve the lead, exited with tightness in his left oblique, Mark Bowman of was among those to report.

    Martin left prior to throwing a pitch, leading the Braves to turn to righty Luke Jackson, who struggled over two-thirds of an inning before they pulled him. His replacement, Mark Melancon, also failed to get the job done.

    Considering oblique injuries often require absences of at least a few weeks, it seems possible Martin won’t pitch again this season. That would be an awful development for the Braves, who acquired Martin in July with the hope he’d carry his impressive first few months with Texas to Atlanta. It turns out the 33-year-old hasn’t been quite as effective as a Brave, as his ERA has climbed a full run from 3.08 to 4.08, though he did end the regular season in excellent fashion. Martin threw 5 1/3 innings of two-hit ball with no walks and eight strikeouts in September.

    Between his two teams this year, Martin posted a fantastic 65 strikeouts against five free passes over 55 2/3 innings. Martin will try to parlay that production into a nice payday when he reaches free agency after the season. In the meantime, the Braves can ill afford to lose him as they attempt to push for a World Series. If Martin is in for a lengthy absence, though, they may end up having to call on one of Julio Teheran, Anthony Swarzak, Jerry Blevins, Kyle Wright or Bryse Wilson – all of whom were left off their NLDS roster.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Julio Teheran’s Option]]> 2019-10-04T02:51:58Z 2019-10-04T02:51:58Z The Braves are currently licking their wounds after collapsing in the first game of their National League Division Series matchup against the Cardinals on Thursday. Before the series began, Atlanta made the decision to leave right-hander Julio Teheran off its roster in order to deepen its bench. It wasn’t long ago that keeping Teheran out of a playoff series would have been unthinkable for the Braves, as he was once among the crown jewels of the franchise. In fact, during his first two full seasons (2013-14), Teheran notched 63 starts and 406 2/3 innings of 3.03 ERA/3.58 FIP ball with 7.88 K/9 and 2.12 BB/9. Prior to the second of those seasons, the Braves locked up Teheran to an extension worth a guaranteed $32.4MM over six years. At the time, it was the second-largest pact given to a pitcher with just two years’ service time.

    Now 28, Teheran has hung with the Braves through the entirety of his deal, though he hasn’t been able to deliver the results he did during his early career coming-out party. Now, it’s possible he’s just about at the end of the line as a Brave. After the season concludes, the Braves will have a call to make on whether to exercise the $12MM club option for 2020 that they included in Teheran’s contract. They could pick it up with the goal of retaining Teheran, exercise it and try to trade him or decline it in favor of a $1MM buyout.

    A one-year, $12MM gamble on Teheran wouldn’t look wholly unappealing for the Braves or anyone else. In Atlanta’s case, the club will head into the offseason with only Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz looking sure to return from this year’s staff (Game 1 NLDS starter Dallas Keuchel is a pending free agent). The team could also explore free agency and trades for other possible solutions and-or turn to young arms like Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson and Kyle Muller sometime in 2020. That foursome has little to no major league experience under its belt, though. Wright and Wilson have struggled over a small sample of MLB innings, while Anderson and Muller have not debuted yet.

    If nothing else, Teheran has shown a consistent ability to eat innings. He’s fresh off his seventh consecutive regular season of 30-plus starts. Moreover, in 2019, Teheran continued an annual trend of yielding a low batting average on balls in play (.266), recording a solid home run-to-fly ball rate (11.2 percent) and outproducing his fielding-independent numbers. Across a team-high 174 2/3 innings, he managed a 3.81 ERA despite a far less appealing 4.66 FIP, 5.26 xFIP and 5.11 SIERA. While Teheran added a career-high 8.35 strikeouts per nine innings, he also turned in his second-largest walk rate (4.28 BB/9), once again induced few ground balls (39 percent), logged an all-time low swinging-strike percentage (9.2) and averaged a personal-worst 89.7 mph on his four-seam fastball – the pitch he relies on most.

    Teheran clearly has his flaws, but that doesn’t mean the Braves will move on from him. It also doesn’t mean he’ll wind up making zero contributions this postseason (he could get back on their roster immediately as a result of Chris Martin’s oblique injury). Atlanta obviously has greater priorities right now than worrying about Teheran’s future, but once the Braves’ season ends, what do you think they’ll do with him?

    (Poll link for app users)

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves Leave Julio Teheran Off NLDS Roster]]> 2019-10-03T14:13:12Z 2019-10-03T14:12:30Z TODAY: The Braves have formally announced the full roster. In addition to the moves previously announced, the club nailed down a few other spots. Darren O’Day and Josh Tomlin got the nod in the bullpen over other options that included Julio Teheran, Anthony SwarzakJerry Blevins, Kyle Wright, and Bryse Wilson.

    YESTERDAY: Braves manager Brian Snitker announced today that the team has decided not to carry Julio Teheran on its roster for the National League Divisional Series.’s Mark Bowman was among those to cover (Twitter links). The action gets underway tomorrow, with the Braves squaring off against the NL Central-champion Cardinals.

    The Atlanta organization elected not to carry an extra starter, preferring instead to operate with a deeper bench. Left-handed-hitting outfielder Rafael Ortega got the surprise nod for that spot, with Austin Riley also being left out of the picture. Veteran righty Josh Tomlin nabbed a final bullpen spot.

    While the Braves did not formally release a full roster list, we can surmise the remainder of the picture:

    Right-handed pitchers

    Left-handed pitchers




    Snitker indicated that the team decided to carry an extra bench piece in large part because of the absences of Charlie Culberson, Johan Camargo, and Ender Inciarte, who might’ve been entrusted to broader roles. That pushed Teheran out of the picture, leaving Fried as the fourth starter if one is needed.

    There’s clearly a real possibility that Teheran’s last appearance in a Braves uniform was his final one. He could still be called upon if the Braves advance to the NLCS and have slightly different needs. And it’s still plenty possible that the organization will elect to pick up Teheran’s $12MM option for 2020 — even if only to trade him on to another club.

    It’s also potentially telling to see Riley left home in favor of Ortega. There’s little question Riley has a future in the organization; the latter was chosen primarily because he’s a left-handed hitter who balances out the options for Snitker. But it’s still notable that Riley wasn’t able to push his way into the postseason plans. It remains to be seen whether the Braves will enter the offseason planning to hand the third base (or a corner outfield) job to Riley for 2020.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Ender Inciarte Unlikely To Be Available In Postseason]]> 2019-10-03T01:33:20Z 2019-10-03T01:33:20Z Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte seemed close to a return at the tail end of the regular season, but was ruled out of action for the NLDS after reporting continued discomfort when he tried to ramp things up. He had continued working toward a potential return in the event that the club advances, but that effort now seems all but over.

    Inciarte has been nursing a hamstring injury, but he has now also come down with a quad malady. As’s Mark Bowman tweets, the belief now is that the veteran outfielder has no realistic hope of returning to the field of play in 2019 — even if the club is able to advance.

    That’s a disappointing development for the Braves, whose NLDS roster — and potential future NLCS and World Series 25-man lists — would look a lot better with a full-strength Inciarte. The club would also dearly love to have Charlie Culberson and/or Johan Camargo available. Without these versatile and established performers, the Braves felt compelled to carry an additional position player (Rafael Ortega, for the NLDS) rather than an extra pitcher. That may not be possible in a seven-game series.

    While Inciarte would’ve preferred to finish out the campaign in uniform, he’s still likely to return for another go in 2020. The Braves will owe him $7MM next year and $8MM in 2021, with a club option to follow. It’s possible Inciarte could be dangled in trade talks, depending upon the club’s other moves, but he’s still a highly useful and cost-efficient piece that seems to fit the Atlanta roster.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Ender Inciarte Will Not Return To Braves For NLDS]]> 2019-09-27T23:16:03Z 2019-09-27T23:16:03Z The Braves have shut down outfielder Ender Inciarte from physical activity, manager Brian Snitker told reporters including Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). He’s not going to be a part of the team’s upcoming divisional series roster.

    Inciarte had hoped to appear in the team’s final series of the regular season. But it didn’t go well when he tested out his injured hamstring today. The decision was made that he simply won’t be ready when the NLDS gets underway on October 3rd.

    Going without Inciarte isn’t a huge surprise at this point, and the impact is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Nick Markakis was able to return from his own significant injury. The club can still trot out Billy Hamilton in a run-and-glove role, too, though he’s not to Inciarte’s standard with the bat.

    At this point, at least, the Atlanta organization isn’t ruling Inciarte out for a hypothetical championship series round return. But he’ll need to rest up and test the hammy once more. And it’ll take a bit of a leap of faith to activate him at that point, given the risk of aggravating the injury and the fact that he hasn’t seen live game action in months.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ronald Acuna Jr. Done For Rest Of Regular Season]]> 2019-09-26T06:54:31Z 2019-09-26T06:54:31Z The Braves announced Wednesday that they’ve shut banged up outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. down for the rest of the regular season. Hip tightness and a left groin strain have troubled Acuna of late, but the NL East-winning Braves expect the superstar to be fine by the time the NLDS begins next week. The Braves, who are locked into the NL’s No. 2 seed, don’t have anything of substance to play for over the final few days of the season. However, it’s still a shame for the 21-year-old Acuna that he won’t have an opportunity at a 40-40 campaign. Acuna’s outstanding regular season will end with 41 home runs, 37 steals, a .280/.365/.518 line and 5.5 fWAR over 715 plate appearances.