Earlier this week, it seemed to be set in stone that the Braves were going to get the 9th and 21st overall draft picks in the 2019 MLB Draft. However, a wrench may have been thrown into those plans when it comes to the 9th pick in particular and the wrench is being thrown from the camp of Carter Stewart.
Stewart was drafted eighth overall by the Braves in this year’s draft, but he ended up going unsigned for one reason or another. At that point, it appeared that both parties were going to move on and the Braves in particular would take another crack at picking up an elite prospect with compensatory Top 10 pick in next year’s draft.
However, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting (and subscription is required) that the MLBPA has filed a grievance on Stewart’s behalf and the goal is to become a free agent once it’s all said and done.
Rosenthal’s fellow baseball writer at The Athletic David O’Brien also chimed in on the situation once Rosenthal tweeted out his story:
When I talked to his rep Boras shortly after the signing deadline passed, he was quite peeved. And now.... https://t.co/C7EEE6gGBM— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 3, 2018
Basically, Stewart’s camp is alleging that the Braves did not offer the requisite 40 percent of his slot value (which was valued in the neighborhood of $4.9 million) and as such, he should be allowed to opt out of next year’s draft and directly hit free agency.
As Rosenthal noted in his article, this would be a “lucrative” move for Carter Stewart since he’d likely make a bit more money if teams were able to bid for his services instead of having to go back to school and go through the draft process again. It’s also worth noting that Stewart became a Scott Boras client after the draft negotiations fell through, so there’s that.
As far as the Braves are concerned, this would basically mean that they could forget about drafting in the Top 10 next season and would have to settle for just having the 21st pick. While it would be tough finding another player of Stewart’s caliber at number nine overall in the draft next year, it would still be nice for the Braves to at least have that chance.
With that being said, we don’t know the whole story here since none of the parties involved have given a comment yet so we won’t have a full picture of the situation for a while. I’d imagine that this story will continue to develop in the near future and we’ll have a better idea of what’s really going on.
For now, it appears that things are getting weird again from an organizational standpoint.