Many roster moves will have to be made fairly quickly after the World Series is over. Within 10 days into the offseason, the Braves will have a new look to their 40-man roster and spots will be precious. In this piece, I’m going to try to cover all avenues of additions and subtractions on the 40-man roster that will come fast and furious when baseball dies for the winter.
*Reminder to all that the 60-day IL goes away in the offseason and all players who were placed on the 60-day IL have to return to the 40-man roster or be designated for assignment.
*Special shoutout to Braves Options Guy and Roster Roundup for the aid on Rule-5 eligibles and MILB FAs. Two great Twitter follows!
Rafael Ortega and John Ryan Murphy seem like easy non-tenders and guys like Chad Sobotka and Grant Dayton could be on the outs should the Braves need to add someone, especially Dayton whose career is coming at a rough time considering the 3-batter minimum that will be implemented in the 2020 season. Aside from that, I don’t see any non-tenders.
Thoughts on Players with Options
When the season ends, the Braves will have 33 players on the 40-man roster as players with options are kept on the roster and the decision to keep or dump the player has to be made within 5 days after the end of the World Series. It goes without saying that the Braves will part with Billy Hamilton. The other 3 are not as easy to determine the path, but as of now, I’m thinking they will exercise options on Tyler Flowers and Nick Markakis, and either decline Julio Teheran’s option or pick it up and trade him (although I don’t think the latter is very likely).
Final Thoughts on Current 40-man
Braves are subtracting 11 free agents/retirees, but are adding all of their 60-day IL guys back, so at the most, they’ll have 33 guys on there. Whether it’s now or later, John Ryan Murphy, Rafael Ortega, and Billy Hamilton will likely be removed, then the options of Flowers, Markakis, and Teheran to be considered. I’m guessing the Braves will have 29 guys on the 40-man 10 days after the World Series.
Upcoming Braves Minor League Free Agents
Below is a list of Braves Minor League Players that will be free agents for the 2020 season. As a rule, the Braves do have a window of 10 days after the World Series to make a decision to add said players to the 40-man (or 25 in some cases) roster. Here are those soon to be (or not) free agents.
There’s a near 0% chance that any of these guys get a look on the 40-man, but a strong possibility that many stay in the organization for the 2020 season.
Rule-5 Eligible Braves Minor Leaguers
The following players are Rule-5 eligible, which means that they’ll need to be protected by being placed on the 40-man, or be at risk of being taken by another team in December. These players have to be placed on the 40-man no later than November 20th. This list is much more intriguing and there are some near guarantees to be added, unless they’re traded.
From Hoekstra down (number 14), the players finished at High-A or below, so we can likely cross those off the list. From my perspective, there are 3 guys here that are guarantees to be added to the 40-man roster, unless traded: Tucker Davidson, Cristian Pache, William Contreras. Both Jasseel De La Cruz and Phil Pfeifer could get looks as well and it wouldn’t surprise me to see both added, or both traded early to a team that can store them. I’d bet on them being added.
In taking the whole into account and without any outside additions, I think the Braves will have 34-36 players on the 40-man roster by the time Wyclef Jean makes his return in November. However, sometimes teams add players that could get drafted (if they have space) in the Rule-5, then try to pass them through waivers when everyone else’s 40-man is bulging in January. I don’t think Anthopoulos will do that, but I’ve been wrong before.