Braves free agents that they made the right call to let go
Here we find the guys that the Braves simply made the right decision to let leave after the 2023 season. This is not an indictment of these guys as human beings or their contributions to the Braves. Far from it. However, they were roster spots that the Braves needed more from going into next season and that unfortunately meant that the team need to move on from them.
No Braves fan with a pulse will ever forget what Eddie Rosario did for the Braves in the 2021 postseason especially against the Dodgers where he was a one-man wrecking crew and the biggest reason why Atlanta made it to the World Series at all. His 2022 season was truly brutal, but he rebounded last year to post a respectable .755 OPS with 21 homers. He was also a fantastic hype man in the dugout whether he was playing well or not.
Unfortunately, Rosario was too inconsistent at the plate to be relied upon every day especially given that he could be an adventure in the outfield. He would have stretches where he would look great only to disappear offensively for months at a time. Time will tell if Jarred Kelenic can get his career back on track with the Braves, but he certainly has more upside than Rosario in left and it was just time for the Braves to move on from Eddie as much as his contributions are appreciated and remembered.
The middle relievers for the 2023 Braves played an outsized role last season due to the number of injuries in the Braves' rotation. One of the big reasons that the Braves were able to cover innings with Max Fried and Kyle Wright out was the play of Michael Tonkin whose ability to throw multiple innings proved to be very useful. Unfortunately, Tonkin seemingly got figured out as well as gassed later in the season which resulted in a pretty pedestrian 4.28 ERA in 45 appearances last year.
The one significant free agent signing the Braves did make this offseason was to add Reynaldo Lopez who is simply a strict upgrade over Tonkin. Not only does Lopez have the stuff to pitch late in games if necessary, but he can also throw multiple innings and may even get some time in the rotation. Tonkin was a nice surprise especially early on when he was pitching his best, but Atlanta pretty clearly made the right choice to improve his spot on the roster.