After the disappointing end to the 2020 season, the Atlanta Braves found themselves with 12 open spots on their 40-man roster. Most of these were due to players electing free agency or, in Adam Duvall’s case, not being offered arbitration. We actually brought six (Tomlin, Greene, Panda, Ozuna, Flowers, and of course Duvall) of those 12 back over the course of the winter and this season.
Teams can fill a 40-man in a myriad of different ways. They can sign free agents, such as Morton, Tomlin, Ozuna, and Smyly. They can claim players off waivers. Who can forget the stench of Kyle Garlick? They can also protect their minor league players from the rule 5 draft by selecting said player’s contract, much like they did with Muller last November.
Several outside factors that are simply unknowns at this point, such as the new CBA, playoff revenue, Ozuna’s situation, and injuries, will play a role in how the Braves approach roster construction. However, we can still get a good idea of the majority of the roster based off info we already have. For the sake of this exercise, I’m going to make some assumptions.
1. Braves re-sign Freddie.
2. Although it’s not common, Pederson and Duvall both agree with the Braves on their mutual option.
3. Braves turn down the option on Tomlin.
4. Drew Waters and Freddie Tarnok are added to the 40-man.
5. I used 25/45/65 for the arbitration estimates. I didn’t even consider super 2. These may be way off and if you disagree, that’s fine. They are just rough estimates.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the roster may shake out this offseason!
Guaranteed Contracts: (5)
Ozuna is the real wild card here. Who knows what will happen with his case? A suspension is likely, regardless.
Joc (mutual) 10mil
Duvall (mutual) 7mil
Tomlin (club) NA
Wouldn’t surprise me to see them pick up the option on Tomlin. I opted to believe he would retire and be brought back as a coach.
I’m on the fence with Camargoat. I give him the benefit of the doubt bc of age and relative cheapness. The Grant Dayton era finally ends in Atlanta...only to be signed later in the season when we need inevitable bullpen help, I’m sure.
Pretty cut and dry with this group. Could see Biddle on a minors contract again.
Same as the Arb-2 group. Everyone that isn't a vital piece of the 26-man is fairly cheap depth.
De La Cruz 600k
I imagine league minimum is going up after the CBA but this was a nice, round #.
Rule 5: (2)
First of all, Ty NickNash!! Saved me a lot of time. Second, I could honestly see the Braves protecting anywhere from 1 to 5 players this year. Just don’t have any idea of the internal evals.
Free Agents: (1)
That’s 31/40 and ~144mil in payroll. Of course Ozuna, Acuna, and Soroka will likely not start the season on the 40-man next year. I personally would like to see us add Kimbrel(shocker, right?) as his option likely won’t vest and he’ll be a FA at the end of the year. We are pretty set, albeit young, as far as starting pitching but maybe Morton would run it back one more time. The rest is just bench, pen, and depth.
So what are your thoughts? Feel free to wholly disagree or point out mistakes. Who would you like to see next season? Do we push payroll even higher after great attendance and hopefully a playoff berth?