Piggybacking off of yesterday’s piece on the Braves 30-man roster, MLB is discussing a plan of expansion on both the 26-man and 40-man roster to 30 and 50. The extra 20 will be kept fresh in a spring training facility ready to go should the team need their services. Today’s topic, Predicting Braves 20-Man Taxi Squad, is a tricky situation to navigate but I think I’ve got a pretty solid 20.
Predicting Braves 20-Man Taxi Squad: Things to Consider
While I’m not 100% this is accurate, it seems given that the 50-man roster will have to include all current players that are occupying the 40-man roster, unless moved to the 60-Day IL. The players that did not make my original 30-man roster from yesterday that occupy a spot on the 40-man Roster are as follows:
- Alex Jackson
- Ian Anderson
- William Contreras
- Tucker Davidson
- Jasseel De La Cruz
- A.J. Minter
- Chad Sobotka
- Touki Toussaint
- Jacob Webb
- Bryse Wilson
- Cristian Pache
- Huascar Ynoa
- Grant Dayton
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the above players will be part of the taxi squad, rather that they’re part of the 40-man, which I’d assume means that they’d have to be included on a 50-man roster. William Contreras seems to be the outlier here as he doesn’t have MLB experience and there’s a near 0% chance that the Braves would start his arb-clock. My point is that the taxi squad likely has to include the entire 40-man, but there are some that won’t see the MLB in 2020 no matter the necessity.
A Trade and/or Cut from the 50-Man
Grant Dayton has had a rough go health-wise. For me, it seems that he’s been bypassed by many other lefties in the organization, including some that are brand new to the org (Chris Nunn, Chris Rusin). I don’t expect Dayton to be a Brave when Spring Training 2.0 concludes. While I won’t include Sobotka in this conversation yet, he’s likely next in line. With the 30 from yesterday and the 12 from the above list, 42 of the 50 spots occupied. Let’s take a look at who could be the last 8.
Predicting Braves 20-Man Taxi Squad: The Final 8
Many think that the Braves will carry 3 catchers on the 30-man roster, and I’m just not certain that’s necessary considering players can likely shuffle back and forth from the taxi squad without much restriction. However, with 2 veteran catchers behind the dish, I think the Braves will carry 2 catchers, at least, on their taxi squad. The first is easy as Alex Jackson is already on the 40-man roster and listed above. The 2nd is also easy as he was raved about in Spring Training, and according to a fun little inside source that I have, he’s the prospect the Braves are most excited about, even over Pache. The first of the 8:
The next 3 seem to be the “break glass in case of emergency” veterans that will be readily available should they be needed. There’s one assumption that I’m making here that I have 0 clue of its validity. That assumption is these guys have signed MiLB deals without opt-outs and/or other teams did not show interest in carrying them on 30-man rosters. The next 3:
The next 3 are the “Lightning in a Bottle” types that every team brings into camp. All 3 of these guys showed pretty well in spring, but I’m guessing the Braves need to see more before placing on the 30-Man. The next 3:
The last addition is a personal favorite of mine because he came from nowhere and garnered a lot of attention in camp with his defensive versatility, speed, and a solid hit tool that has really developed last year. I’ve mentioned this before, but players like this were made for the 26th man on a 26-man roster, and I’m sure he’s thankful for the expansion. The final man on the 20-man taxi squad:
A Notable Exemption: Drew Waters
Drew Waters is not on the 40-man roster and I don’t know the implications of adding players to the 50-man roster quite yet, but I’d assume it’s the same as adding to the 40-man and I just don’t envision the Braves making that move for Drew Waters in a funky 2020 season…especially right away.
Thanks for reading Predicting Braves 20-Man Taxi Squad. If you enjoyed this, take a gander at all of Braves Journal’s 2019-20 Offseason Analysis where you’ll see many names above mentioned.