Photo Credit to Baseball America

AA and his crew have been very busy this offseason. And while there hasn’t been that big signing that many of us thought would happen, it’s been a good offseason. Between claims, signings, trades, dipping into the international market, and MiLB signings, the org has added about 50 new names to the org. In this piece, we’ll list and try to break down what we know about:

  1. New additions to the 40-man
  2. New MiLB signings with Spring Training Invite
  3. New MiLB signings without Spring Training Invites
  4. Newly signed international players

Braves 40-Man Roster Additions

  1. Sam Hilliard: Acquired from the Rockies for RHP Dylan Spain, Hilliard was MLB’s most affected player by the shift in 2022. He’ll compete for a roster spots and I hope Kevin Seitzer can unlock his potential.
  2. Kolby Allard: Acquired from the Rangers in the Odorizzi deal, the 1st rd draft pick returns to his home org with something to prove, but he’s going to have to find his lost velo.
  3. Michael Tonkin: Left the states for the JPPL in 2017 and has bounced around various leagues since. Put up good numbers at AAA and very much resembled former Brave, Chris Martin in both height and stat-line.
  4. Seth Elledge: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this: In both 2020 and 2021, Elledge appeared in 11.2 innings and carried a 4.63 ERA. The odds that happening, Jonathan F. can calculate, but I’m sure it’s wayyyy low. Like Tonkin, Elledge had really good numbers at AAA and should get a good look in spring.
  5. Nick Anderson: Underwent the alt to TJ surgery and is supposedly healthy again. Was really good with the Rays prior to injury.
  6. Darius Vines: Likely lining up to be the 8th-9th SP on the Braves 40-man depth chart, but the difference between 7&9 is negligible.
  7. Roddery Munoz: Great arm, not near ready for the bigs. I’m guessing the org keeps Munoz in a SP role for now, but could pivot by season’s end.
  8. Dennis Santana: Acquired from the Rangers for cash, Santana is out of optionss and the Braves plan to keep him as they settled at $1MM before going to arb. Santana was lights out and was looking like a key acquisition for a team in need of a back-end reliever, then he absolutely lost it, and the Rangers lost the ability to sell high, and sent him to ATL for nothing more than cash considerations.
  9. Jordan Luplow: A well above average fielder with a good bat against LHP, Luplow will try to become Eddie Rosario‘s LF platoon partner, and the Braves got him cheap at $1.4MM.
  10. Lucas Luetge: Because of the 3 batter minimum rule implemented last year, the Braves didn’t need a LOOGY and grabbed a Luetge instead. I like this pickup. He’s like Colin McHugh mirrored and that holds value.
  11. Eli White: A defensive wiz and a speedster, White will compete for the 26th man spot, but will likely stay at AAA for most of the 2023 season with hopes that he’ll be added when rosters expand and become the defensive replacement/speedster in September and beyond.
  12. Sean Murphy: The prize addition of the offseason and the reason for much of the subtraction from 2022’s 40-man, expectations are high for Murphy and I fully expect him to fulfill them.
  13. Joe Jimenez: Had a real breakout year in 2022 (yes, AA bought high), Jimenez is expected to be one of the late innings relievers that takes the currently vacant 8th inning role. I like the move to get Jimenez, but hated the cost especially when it came with only 1 year of control.

Breakdown: Unless injured, Santana, Luetge, Murphy, and Jimenez are locks for Opening Day with Luplow, Hilliard, and Anderson in Tier 2, Elledge and Tonkin in Tier 3, and Allard, White, Munoz, and Vines in Tier 4.

New Braves MILB Deals with Spring Training InvitEs

  1. RHP, Jesse Chavez
  2. LHP, Brian Moran
  3. RHP, Roel Ramírez
  4. RHP, Alan Rangel
  5. RHP, Yacksel Ríos
  6. RHP, Brooks Wilson
  7. 2B, Forrest Wall
  8. OF, Magneuris Sierra
  9. SS, Adeiny Hechavarria
  10. C, Joe Hudson
  11. OF, Kevin Pillar
  12. UT, Ehire Adrianza
  13. UT, Carlos Sanchez
  14. SS Hoy Park
  15. RHP Ty Tice
  16. 3B Joshua Fuentes
  17. RHP Jackson Stephens

Breakdown: Of this list, Chavez is the only shoo-in for MLB time in 2023 with Kevin Pillar, Ehire Adrianza, Jackson Stephens next in line. Snitker recently stated that he’s going with a 5-man rotation out the gate, which all but solidifies that Chavez’s contract will be selected for Opening Day. However, if ST doesn’t go as anticipated and the Braves go with 6 SPs, Chavez could hang in AAA for a few weeks before getting the call. Adeiny feels line next in line on this list, especially if AA feels like Vaughn Grissom isn’t ready. Adrianza feels like an ideal 26th man if Braves figure out a way to boot Ozuna. I expect that Kevin Seitzer will be working hard with Sierra in ST to see if there’s anything to salvage out of the bat, but my guess is there’s nothing there. Brooks Wilson as an MLB-capable arm, but just needs to stay healthy.

In-House Braves Players with Spring Training Invites

  1. RHP, Blake Burkhalter
  2. RHP, Victor Vodnik
  3. LHP, Jared Shuster
  4. LHP, Danny Young
  5. LHP, Dylan Dodd
  6. SS, Cal Conley
  7. C , Ryan Casteel
  8. SS, Joe Dunand
  9. C, Tyler Tolve
  10. 2B, Cody Milligan
  11. C, Drake Baldwin
  12. OF, Justin Dean
  13. SS, Luke Waddell

Breakdown: I like that the Braves are letting Burkhalter get a go in MLB Spring Training. When they drafted him, it was expected he’d move fast. I’ve always envisioned him as Craig Kimbrel lite and Kimbrel debuted at 22 y/o, Burk’s current age. Shuster is on the verge of being deemed ready and needs a good showing in spring and at AAA. It’s not unexpected to see a jump in ERA when leaving the friendly pitching park of Pearl, but Shuster’s numbers got much worse in Gwinnett. I’d love to see Vodnik break through but injuries just keep getting in the way of talent. Both Conley and Waddell are at least worthy of keeping an eye on. Like Martin Prado, both are dirt dobbers, have extremely good work ethics, and Conley’s showing in the AFL definitely grabbed some attention. Neither will be in the bigs in 2023, but both could make good super-utility players in the future.

Other MiLB Signings

  1. RHP, Nolan Martinez
  2. RHP, Zach Mort
  3. RHP, Jake Elliot
  4. LHP, Yansel Marine
  5. 2B, Mitchell Tolman
  6. 3B, Hudson Potts
  7. RHP, Styven Francisco
  8. RHP, Daury Zapata
  9. 1B, Ryder Jones

Breakdown: Potts feels like the only one worth keeping tabs on. He has pedigree and serious power potential, but strikes out in about 30% of his ABs.

Braves 2023 International Signees

I’m sure it felt really nice to dip back into the international free agent market for the 2nd year in a row after sitting out for so long due to Coppygate. With a bonus pool of $5.2MM, AA and his crew were able to grab several higher end players. The biggest signing came out of Venezuela, an OFer by the name of Luis Guanipa, who was rated by most to be in the top 10 of the international market and signed for $2.5MM. Let it be known that the Braves signed 9 total international players from Venezuela and that speaks volumes for what the team thinks of the talent coming from there.

While I won’t bore you with fake scouting reports, rather I’ll just give you the list of the international signees in case you want to know who could be playing with the Braves in 2029.

  1. Luis Guanipa, OF, Venezuela
  2. Jhon Estevez, OF, Dominican Republic
  3. Whilmer Guerra, RHP, Dominican Republic
  4. Johan Ramos, RHP, Dominican Republic
  5. Carlos Cordero, SS, Dominican Republic
  6. Mario Baez, SS, Dominican Republic
  7. Enderson Garcia, RHP, Dominican Republic
  8. Cristobal Abreu, RHP, Dominican Republic
  9. John Gil, RHP, Dominican Republic
  10. Luis Arestigueta, RHP, Venezuela
  11. Jean Franco Gutierrez, RHP, Venezuela
  12. Lewis Sifontes, LHP, Venezuela
  13. Jeremy Reyes, RHP, Venezuela
  14. Carlos Monteverde, OF, Venezuela
  15. Axel Nieblas, SS, Mexico
  16. Kelvin Carmona, RHP, Dominican Republic
  17. Jose Marcano, RHP, Venezuela
  18. Jose Pineda, RHP, Venezuela
  19. Roiber Niazoa, 3B, Venezuela
  20. Rudit Peña, RHP, Venezuela
  21. Edward Cedano, RHP, Dominican Republic
  22. Luis Parababire, C, Venezuela
  23. Hojans Hernandez, C, Cuba

Breakdown: While I’ve read a bit on some of these players, I know very little, but if the $ talks, here are the players that the Braves thought worthy of a good chunk of change:

  • Luis Guinipa, $2.5MM (nearly 1/2 their entire pool)
  • Jhon Esteves, $310K
  • Carlos Monteverde, $700K
  • Mario Baez, $240K

While I’m sure this list isn’t the complete list, between the 4 lists of new players, AA and his crew have added 53 new faces to the franchise and I’d be willing to bet good money he’s not done.