About 2 weeks ago, the Braves had 48 men on their 40-man roster. Now? 30. Yes, Alex Anthopoulos cleared 18 spots in 2 weeks time. For a man that has discussed time and time again the value of having a full 40-man roster, this was more than odd, it’s something that I haven’t seen from any team at the tender deadline. To recap:

What was once 48, has now turned into 30. It’s wild that Anthopoulos has opened 10 40-man spots, but more importantly than the spots, is the cash savings. It really does look like AA is finally pushing in those chips and it’s an exciting time to be a Braves fan.

AA’s Little Secret Uncovered?

If I’m seeing things correctly, AA’s checklist is LF, SP, and RP. However, AA has never shied away from making bold moves, even if the position seems to already be filled with quality. While I have no sources, I truly believe that Shohei Ohtani could be on the table, although it would be hard to see him turning down what would likely be a more lucrative offer from the Dodgers. Even if it’s not Shohei, the Braves front office looks to be showing signs that this is the time to spend. It also looks like AA might have showed his hand when he discussed an approach that would “shape his offseason”. If you look at the above list of non-tendered players, you will see a common denominator with almost all of them:

  • Murfee: Injured
  • Perdomo: Injured
  • Allard: Injured
  • Chirinos: Injured
  • McHugh: Injured
  • Soroka: Injured
  • Wright: Injured

A little birdy whispered to me that one of the main topics discussed at the GM meetings was the manipulation of the IL in 2023. While we know that the Mets have been publicly called out, apparently it’s been a bigger problem across MLB and it will be under the microscope come 2024. So…when AA dropped this nugget…

“As I sit here today – I’m not gonna share it, just because from a competitive standpoint, it’s gonna shape our offseason and some of the things that we do – but I definitely have a specific takeaway in terms of how we might approach the offseason

…I think he was talking about health.

What to do with the 40-Man Spots?

There were 2 Georgia boys who were on the path to stardom, but were never able to put together sustained success in the bigs. Austin Meadows, the number 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, now 28, was on his way to stardom before mental health issues sidelined his career. He only played in 6 games in the 2023 season.

Kyle Lewis, once the number 1 prospect in the entire game, had a promising start to his MLB career in 2019, but faded fast and hit rock bottom last year. Now, he’s a free agent and Georgia is his home.

With so many spots available, AA has about 4 that need to be filled for the MLB roster, but what a feeling it would be to find supreme talent at thrift store costs.

Breathe it in, ladies and gents….It’s kinda nice not worrying about the 40-man.