There is still roughly two weeks remaining in the regular season but September call-ups are likely finished and below is a closer look at the Atlanta Braves roster as it will stand heading into the offseason.
Atlanta currently has one open spot on the 40-man along with three players who are on the 60-day DL. The team has four pending free agents, two of which currently have team options for the 2018 season. Tyler Flowers looks like a lock to return given his production and cheap price tag ($4 million). The decision isn’t quite as clear for R.A. Dickey who’s team option is worth ($8 million) in 2018.
The Braves also have nine players that are arbitration eligible. Keep in mind that Atlanta will have to add several minor leaguers to the 40-man roster or expose them to the Rule 5 Draft in December. This great FanPost highlights the minor leaguers who will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Note that since this FanPost was written, the Braves called up Luiz Gohara so he is no longer Rule 5 eligible. The team will also have to add the players currently on the 60-day DL back to the 40 man roster this offseason.
Jesse Biddle - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Went 2-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 27 games for Double-A Mississippi.
Aaron Blair - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Finished 7-9 with a 5.02 ERA in 25 starts at Triple-A Gwinnett. Allowed 135 hits in 127 ⅓ innings to go along with 104 strikeouts and 56 walks. Made one start for Atlanta allowing five hits and five earned runs over three innings in a loss to Arizona.
Rex Brothers - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Agreed to a minor league deal with Atlanta in February and put up a 2.70 ERA in 17 games at Gwinnett. Struggled during his time in Atlanta allowing 14 hits and 13 runs in 18 appearances. But, a great strikeout rate (32%), good stats against lefties, and overall FIP/xFIP much lower than ERA, owing to high BABIP-against and low strand rate.
Mauricio Cabrera - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Was slowed due to injury to start the season and never regained his form struggling at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Cabrera walked 42 batters and allowed 31 runs in 39 combined innings.
R.A. Dickey - 2018: Team Option @ $8M ($500,000 buyout)
The Braves signed Dickey in hopes that he could eat innings and he has done that making 29 starts so far while accounting for 175 1/3 innings. Although he has struggled in his last three starts, Dickey for a stretch was Atlanta’s most consistent pitcher. His contract contains an $8 million option for 2018 and it will be interesting to see if the Braves elect to bring him back.
Mike Foltynewicz - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Flashed plenty of potential and was downright dominant at times but struggled with his consistency. Figures to be in the top half of Atlanta’s rotation for 2018. Will be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason.
Sam Freeman - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Emerged as a quality bullpen arm particularly against left handers who have hit .171 against him this season.
Max Fried - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Was impressive in spring training but struggled at Double-A Mississippi due to blisters and a back problem. Seemed to get back on track after a DL stint and was a surprise August call up. Has made two starts and five relief appearances for the Braves. Figures to go to spring training and compete for a spot in the 2018 rotation.
Luiz Gohara - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Will make his third major league start on Tuesday in Washington. Like Fried, figures to be part of spring competition for 2018 rotation after advancing from High-A to Triple-A in 2017.
Jason Hursh - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Hursh put up a 5.50 ERA (3.23 FIP) in 28 appearances at Triple-A this season. Allowed six runs in 10 2/3 innings at the major league level. Was not among the team’s September roster additions.
Luke Jackson - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Atlanta acquired Jackson in an offseason trade with the Rangers and briefly entertained the thought of him as a starter at the Triple-A level before shifting him into a bullpen role. He posted a 4.73 ERA in 39 appearances out of the Braves bullpen.
Jim Johnson - 2018: Under Contract (Signed through 2018, $5 million)
The wheels came off for Johnson in July and August when he allowed 19 runs over a 15 1/3 inning span and lost the closer’s role. He is under contract for 2018 for $5 million and will come to spring training in hopes of regaining his form.
Ian Krol - 2018 Team Control (Arbitration eligible)
After a solid 2016 campaign, Krol struggled from the outset in 2017. His struggles trace back to an elevated walk rate and a falling strikeout rate. He still managed 48 appearances but like Johnson, will likely have to go to spring training and compete for a job.
Jacob Lindgren (60-day DL) 2018: Team Control ($1M+)
Signed with the Braves in December of 2016 and spent the 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He began throwing live BP in August and looks to be on track for spring training in 2018.
A.J. Minter 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Since his promotion, Minter has allowed seven hits and three runs over 10 innings. He has struck out 15 batters while walking none. The Braves have been very careful with him in his two seasons as a professional but he looks like a lock to begin 2018 as a key piece of the bullpen.
Akeel Morris 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Morris put up strong numbers in Triple-A but didn’t receive much of an opportunity at the major league level. It was a bit surprising that he wasn’t included in the team’s September roster additions but looks like he could be an intriguing piece for the 2018 pen as well.
Jason Motte (10-day DL) - 2018: (Free Agent)
Signed to add some organizational depth early in the season and eventually made his way to the majors. Posted a 3.89 ERA in 42 appearances at the major league level but his FIP of 5.59 suggests that he was likely fortunate. Will be a free agent this offseason.
Sean Newcomb 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Became a fixture in the Braves rotation after the team moved on from Bartolo Colon. Has posted a 4.32 ERA in 17 starts so far. The strikeout rate is nice at 9.64 but the walk rate (5.12) needs to come down. Still looks like a safe bet to open 2018 in the starting rotation.
Jose Ramirez - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Has made 66 appearances out of the Braves’ bullpen this season while posting a 2.66 ERA. His .219 BAPIP may be hard to sustain but looks like a safe bet for the Atlanta bullpen in 2018.
Armando Rivero (60-day DL) 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Atlanta’s Rule-5 Draft pick from Chicago in 2016 has spent the entire season on the disabled list.
Lucas Sims - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Enjoyed a bounce back campaign at Triple-A and was rewarded with his first call up to the majors. Has made 11 appearances including seven starts for the Braves. Posted a 10.30 strikeout rate at Triple-A but hasn’t been able to maintain that at the major league level. Will go to spring training looking for a spot on the major league roster whether that is as a starter or a reliever.
Julio Teheran - 2018: Under Contract (Signed through 2020, $8.2 million in 2018)
Struggled at home for most of the 2017 season but has restored some of his value with a strong finish. Barring a trade, looks likely to be Atlanta’s opening day starter again in 2018.
Arodys Vizcaino - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Moved into the closer’s role in the second half and has put up a solid season. He is eligible for arbitration this offseason but figures to be in the back end of the Braves bullpen again in 2018.
Daniel Winkler - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Winkler battled back from a fractured elbow and joined the Braves bullpen in August. Has still not exhausted his Rule-5 status after being a pick in 2014 but has shown enough promise when healthy that he will likely open 2018 in the bullpen for Atlanta.
Matt Wisler - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Struggled as a starter and a reliever. May be in need of a change of scenery.
Tyler Flowers - 2018: Team Option @ $4M ($300,000 buyout)
Turned in a career-best season in terms of fWAR and is one of the best pitch framers in the league, which is paramount with a young pitching staff. His $4 million option for 2018 looks like a heck of a bargain.
Kurt Suzuki - 2018: (Free Agent)
Exceeded all expectations in 2017 and could command a multi-year contract this offseason. Has equaled a career-high with 15 home runs. Despite his excellent season, feels like a long shot to return to Atlanta in 2018.
David Freitas - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Organizational depth at catcher.
Matt Adams - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration eligible)
Filled in admirably in place of Freddie Freeman and gives the Braves a power bat off the bench. However, being arbitration eligible along with his strong season makes him a trade candidate this offseason.
Ozzie Albies - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Has earned 1.5 fWAR since being promoted to the majors on August 1. Barring a surprise, will be the opening day second baseman in 2018.
Johan Camargo - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2017 season for the Braves. Camargo has been worth 1.4 fWAR while hitting .307/.339/.474 in 72 games. May ultimately be best suited as a utility player but is in the conversation to be Atlanta’s full time third baseman in 2018.
Freddie Freeman - 2018: Under Contract (Signed through 2021, $21 million in 2018)
Was putting up MVP type numbers until a fractured wrist cost him six weeks of the season. Atlanta will be looking for an MVP type performance again in 2018.
Adonis Garcia - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Spent most of the season on the disabled list after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his finger. Garcia began the season as the team’s everyday third baseman but appears better suited as a bench bat particularly against left handed pitching.
Jace Peterson - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
Atlanta transitioned Peterson to a super utility role and he has seen time across the infield and in the outfield in 2017. However, he just hasn’t hit with enough consistency to latch on to a consistent role. Is arbitration eligible this offseason.
Rio Ruiz - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Was given an opportunity to play early after Garcia went down but struggled and found himself back at Triple-A. Has looked better since returning to the majors but his lack of production against left handed pitching hurts him as an everyday option. If the Braves don’t trade for another option at third base, then he and Camargo would be the favorites coming into spring training.
Dansby Swanson - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
The 2017 season certainly didn’t go the way many expected for Dansby Swanson, whose struggles eventually landed him back in the minors. Has played much better since returning to the majors but the Braves will need more from him going forward.
Lane Adams - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Adams wasn’t even a part of the Braves spring training roster to start the season but worked his way to the majors and has emerged late as a solid piece off the bench. Has hit .310/.390/.507 in 73 games and his ability to play all three outfield positions adds to his value.
Ender Inciarte - 2018: Under Contract (Signed through 2022, $4.7 million in 2018)
On pace to become the first Braves player with 200 hits in a season since Marquis Grissom in 1996. Has put up another Gold Glove caliber season in center (by some metrics) while being signed to a team friendly deal.
Micah Johnson - 2018: Team Control (League Minimum)
Johnson spent the majority of the season on the disabled list after suffering a fractured wrist in spring training. Hit .289/.377/.400 in 40 games at Triple-A but hasn’t seen much of an opportunity at the major league level.
Matt Kemp - 2018: Under Contract (Signed through 2019, $21 million in 2018)
Came into the season in great shape and got off to an excellent start before hamstring injuries ultimately derailed his season. Atlanta will likely shop him this offseason but may find it difficult to find any interested parties given the amount of money owed through 2019.
Nick Markakis - 2018: Team Control (Signed through 2018, $11 million)
Markakis has put up a typical Markakis type of season hitting .276/.357/.390 in 147 games. The Braves will likely shop Markakis as well this offseason as they look to open up a spot in the outfield for Ronald Acuna. Markakis will be entering the final year of a four-year contract and will be owed $11 million in 2018.
Danny Santana (60-day DL) - 2018: Team Control (Arbitration Eligible)
The Braves picked up Santana from the Twins to add some depth to their bench. He hit .302 in June before falling back off and landing on the disabled list due to a quad injury. Will be arbitration eligible this offseason.