During the sweet spot from postseason’s beginning and the start of the offseason, GMs can negotiate with their soon to be free agents, and Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves make early moves.
Braves Sign Pierce Johnson
In a move that I REALLY wanted to happen, the Braves signed Pierce Johnson to a 2 year/$14.25MM deal with a club option for $7MM. When the club traded for Johnson, they had him recreate his arsenal by focusing heavily on his curveball, and what a difference it made in his numbers. Albeit, he came from Colorado, which naturally inflates pitching numbers, but a 6.00 ERA compared to a 0.76 ERA isn’t just the Coors effect and I’m so glad I wasn’t raised to be a Rockies fan because I have no idea what that organization is doing these days. If you haven’t been paying attention, Braves have went to the mile high honeypot many times in the past 3-4 years and it’s easy to see why.
Braves Sign Joe Jimenez
Jimenez seemed to catch a lot of grief this year from Braves fans, even when carrying a 3.03 ERA, a 2.2 BB/9 and an 11.7 K/9. His Statcast page showed real promise and I’m glad that AA read through the lines and brought him back. Jimenez’s deal is for 3 years/$26MM and surprisingly does not have a club option.
Braves Create 40-Man Roster Room
The Braves put 3 players that were on the 40-man on waivers and only 1 was claimed. Sam Hilliard, who played a big role in the early part of the season, was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. When the Braves were scrambling for OF help due to Michael Harris’ II’s injury, Sam Hilliard stepped in and went off, carrying a .992 OPS through 18 games. However, his luck ran out and his OPS over the next 27 PAs was .185. Hilliard can play all 3 OF positions, but is feast or famine at the plate. I hope the Orioles can fix him because there’s real talent there.
Ben Heller and Andrew Velazquez were also put on waivers but went unclaimed and returned to the Gwinnett Stripers. They can choose to stay in the org, but will likely elect free agency to try and catch on somewhere else.
Moves Will Come in Bunches
The Braves still have 46 players on the 40-man roster. Today is Day 1 of 5 where teams can negotiate with their players that will be free agents so I expect some movement before the end of the day regarding other roster casualties.
Braves Payroll Update
With the $15MM added to the Braves payroll and factoring in my assumptions for players with options, the Braves projected payroll has now surpassed the $200MM mark.