Atlanta Braves ICYMI post: the 2017-18 off-season

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 24: Third base coach Ron Washington #37 of the Atlanta Braves hits short hoppers to Dansby Swanson #7 prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 24, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 24: Third base coach Ron Washington #37 of the Atlanta Braves hits short hoppers to Dansby Swanson #7 prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 24, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Given the inactivity, you’d think this would be a short post… and you’re right.  But the actions of this Winter portend the actions for this coming year… and next.

Okay, it’s true… there wasn’t a lot of movement of Atlanta braves’ personnel this Winter.  But before we tie a bow around the ‘off-season that was’, let’s review a bit for those needing to catch up:


  • General Manager John Coppolella “resigned” his position and was subsequently banned from baseball due to his role in engaging in a scheme of acquiring International players in violation of MLB rules.
  • Alex Anthopoulos was hired to take his place in mid-November.
  • John Hart has resigned (or allowed his own contract to expire); John Schuerholz is fading further into the background… we think… though son Jonathan is now the Assistant Director of player development
  • There has been considerable turnover in the Front Office since this changeover.


  • LHP Ian Krol was outrighted to AAA; he later was granted a release and was picked up by the Angels.
  • RHP Armando Rivera was outrighted to AAA
  • C Tony Sanchez was outrighted to AAA
  • 2B Micah Johnson was claimed by Cincy off Atlanta’s waiver list.  He was recently acquired and outrighted by the Rays
  • C David Freitas was claimed by Seattle off Atlanta’s waiver list.




  • 3B Adonis Garcia released to pursue opportunity in Korea
  • Trade:  RHP Shane Carle to Atlanta (Pittsburgh) for cash considerations


  • RHP Miguel Socolovich, Minor league contract, Spring training invite
  • SS Sean Kazmar, MLC/STI
  • C Tyler Marlette,  MLC/STI
  • OF Jaff Decker, MLC/STI (not a typo – it is pronounced ‘Jeff’)
  • 2B Christian Colon, MLC/STI
  • C Rob Brantly, MLC/STI
  • OF Danny Santana, MLC/STI


  • The Gwinnett Braves ditched all ideas associated with their team-re-naming contest and went with ‘Gwinnett Stripers’ of Striped Bass fame.
  • Mascot Homer the Brave has been replaced by… Blooper…  A pear-shaped tan-shag-rug character I think I would prefer being subject to the Infield Fly Rule more than a mascot.  It’s not growing on me.
  • Coaching staff:  Brian Snitker remains as manager; Walt Weiss new bench coach; Kevin Seitzer remains as hitting coach (Jose Castro his assistant).  Chuck Hernandez remains as pitching coach.  Eric Young (Sr.) 1st base coach; Ron Washington remains as 3rd base coach.
  • Bullpen coaches:  Marty Reed, Jose Yepez (catcher), Alan Butts (catcher), Dave Wallace (special pitching coach assistant)
  • Jeff Porter, Senior Athletic trainer
  • The Braves hired Jason Paré away from the Marlins, where he was their Senior Director of Analytics.  His title is now Assistant General Manager, Research and Development.

Going Forward


  • There is an emergence of multiple ‘super-teams’ built for the post-season.
  • Among them are the Astros, Yankees, Angels, and Cubs – all of whom made significant moves to get better this off-season.
  • There are 2 clubs that clearly opted to take full advantage of the slow free agent market this off-season, but to varying degrees of success:  Milwaukee and Minnesota.  Honorable mention to the Phillies… sort of.
  • The Royals, Blue Jays, and Padres are trying to figure out new identities
  • 3 teams are having major concerns with the luxury tax threshold and large tax rates:  the Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers.  Short of a few specific moves (like the Yankees getting Giancarlo Stanton), they have done everything with money in mind.
  • Most of the rest have been in ‘hunker down’ mode… not willing to overpay for anyone.  This includes Boston, who signed Mitch Moreland early on, and seems content to ignore J.D. Martinez.
  • The Braves have signed zero major league free agents to date… one of only a couple of teams to do so.  WED. UPDATE:  this just changed this morningCatcher Chris Stewart is now technically the first… a non-guaranteed major league deal… and he’ll probably be dumped sometime between mid-March and mid-April.
  • The Marlins have held a ‘no holds barred’ fire sale.  The Pirates have held a limited – though significant – sale.

I begged.  I pleaded.  The Braves are apparently bent on using this season to get their collective acts together rather than going the MIL-MIN route and trying to get somewhat better to be ready for 2019.

Thus the Braves are most likely going to use this season for evaluation purposes – both their major league talent and their minor league prospects.

More from Tomahawk Take

What they have now is probably what they will go into the season with:

  • Veterans at 1B, C, CF, RF
  • Near rookies at 2B, SS, 3B, LF
  • The arrival of Ronald Acuna, perhaps by mid-late April
  • A mix of rookies and vets on the mound (among starters and relievers) in what amounts to a year-long audition for some.
  • Probably the most closely watched prospect will be 3B Austin Riley – as the team appears to be saving a place at the table for him a year from now.

I have the Opening Day payroll for the major league team sitting at $113,556,666 dollars at this time, which includes $22 million (minus the ML minimum) for Adrian Gonzalez, though the Dodgers are kicking in $4.5 million… so that’s a net of roughly $17 million.

Gonzalez will be off the books after 2018… and so will all but $37.250 million worth of contracts… so the Braves will have quite a bit available to spend in 2019.

Things to Watch For

Julio Teheran and Scott Kazmir.  If both can pitch well, then Teheran might be dealt elsewhere.

Teheran’s contract still has 3 more years of affordable control (2 years plus option), so if both pitchers are healthy and pitching well, then this could be a surprise deal – either before April or at the July 31 trade deadline.

A hat tip to Grant McAuley for posting this – the Spring roster – on twitter today:

Next: Headlines from Day 1

That’s enough for now… consider yourself caught up to the start of Spring Training in Florida!