The Braves announced their minor league coaching staffs earlier this week (The Atlanta Journal-Constitutional was among the outlets with the full listing), and one of the many notable names on the list was former Blue Jays infielder Devon Travis, who is joining the staff of the Braves’ Gulf Coast League rookie ball affiliate. The news would seem to indicate that the 30-year-old Travis is ending his playing career after four Major League seasons and seven overall seasons in pro ball.
Originally a 13th-round pick out of Florida State in the 2012 draft, Travis turned some heads in his early days in the Tigers’ farm system, even landing on Baseball America’s top-100 prospect ranking prior to the 2014 season. In an intriguing swap of promising young talents in November 2014, Detroit traded Travis to the Blue Jays for Anthony Gose, and Travis made an immediate impression in his rookie season. Quickly stepping into everyday second base duties for Toronto, Travis hit .304/.361/.498 with eight home runs in 239 plate appearances for the eventual AL East champions, though a shoulder injury ended Travis’ season in late July and prevented him from taking part in the Jays’ push to the ALCS.
Unfortunately, injuries became the story of Travis’ career. Finally returning in 2016 after two different shoulder surgeries, Travis then developed knee problems that hampered the remainder of his playing days. Between the shoulder procedures and surgeries on both knees, Travis ended up playing in only 316 games (all with Toronto) from 2015-18, and hitting .274/.314/.437 with 35 homers over 1246 plate appearances. He hasn’t played at all since the 2018 season, and Travis chose to become a free agent after the Jays outrighted him off their 40-man roster following the 2019 campaign.
Travis embarks on this new phase of his baseball career under the familiar eye of Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who brought Travis to Toronto in Anthopoulos’ previous job as the Jays’ GM. We at MLBTR wish Travis all the best in his coaching endeavors.