2019 will be the last year that MLB teams can invite their entire 40-man roster when September 1st rolls around. In the new CBA that goes into effect in 2020, the active roster will increase from 25 to 26 for the full year and can increase up to, but no more than, 28 in September. While I don’t expect for the Braves to go crazy with roster call-ups in September, Anthopoulos did state that there will be a few immediate call-ups on September 1, but not a lot as Gwinnett will also be in the playoff hunt. Once that plays out, there could be a few more, but I still wouldn’t expect more than 2-3 extra additions
The statement above should come with an asterisk because there are so many guys that will definitely be up when rosters expand if they are healthy. The asterisks on this list are Nick Markakis, Brian McCann, Ender Inciarte, Austin Riley, and Johan Camargo. I expect both Nick and Ender come mid to late September, McCann within a week, Riley when deemed healthy to play, and Camargo after Gwinnett’s season is over (needs ABs).
After the above 5, there are guys that I’m almost 100% positive will be up when Gwinnett’s season is over, and those are the guys that have been riding the Gwinnett to ATL to Gwinnett shuttle all season AND have been performing at a high rate: Bryse Wilson, Jeremy Walker, and AJ Minter have earned the right to come back up and pitch some innings. So, there’s 8 additions already (WOW!). Who else?
Do they still exist?
Both Darren O’Day and Grant Dayton are on 60-Day IL stints. Both are pitching at Gwinnett, and both will have served over 60 days when September arrives. If they are deemed healthy, the Braves will have some decisions to make: activate and DFA 40-man player(s) or DFA them. Neither is an easy choice as O’Day, if healthy, could really help in the postseason and Dayton is a good lefty with a lot of control left. I think if either are ready to pitch, Anthopoulos will make room for them, likely in the form of cutting Chad Sobotka, Adeiny Hecchavaria, Rafael Ortega, or even guys like Josh Tomlin or Jerry Blevins who aren’t controlled after this season. Granted, 3 of those guys are veterans that have helped the club and it would look pretty bad should they be let go when they’re actually performing well.
Then again…Anthopoulos has a job to do and in that job description, there’s no fine print that says “Do the right thing”.
But we haven’t really gotten to the meat of this piece and that is the question that might be on the minds of many Braves fans: If neither Nick Markakis or Ender Inciarte prove healthy enough to be postseason ready, will the Braves really roll with what they got?
Maybe…but maybe not.
Andruw Jones Territory? Not quite, but…
Drew Waters, fresh off a Double-A MVP season is playing good baseball at Gwinnett. At only 20 years of age, it’s not likely that AA wants to start his arb-clock, but we aren’t talking about May and manipulating a guy’s time to get an extra season. We are talking about the gosh darned playoffs and sometimes it takes an Andruw Jones type talent to get the call in the postseason.
I don’t think that Drew Waters gets added to the 40-man roster tomorrow. That would make him postseason eligible without any caveats. However, there is a condition that states a player can be added to the active roster if they are already in the organization by 8/31 and if they are taking an injured player’s postseason spot.
So yes…there’s a window, and that window for Drew Waters likely comes at the expense of one of the veterans in Markakis and Inciarte saying, “Sorry Snit…I just can’t go.”