There has been a lot of consternation amongst the Braves’ fan base over the non-tender decisions the team faced today. We already saw the news break earlier today that the team planned on letting Charlie Culberson hit free agency and that....made a lot of people irrationally upset.
However, Culberson’s name was not the only possible name. John Ryan Murphy and Rafael Ortega were both widely considered to be candidates to get non-tendered and there were rumblings earlier this offseason that Shane Greene could also get the axe given the amount of money that the team has tied up in their bullpen currently.
As it turns out, the Braves ended up giving three players their papers.
The decision to non-tender Murphy was hardly surprising. He was acquired last season solely because of injuries and depth issues at catcher. With Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers in the fold and Alex Jackson and William Contreras on the 40 man roster, his spot was always a pretty easy decision. Ortega had himself a fun season in the minor leagues playing outfield in Gwinnett and he had a big moment against the Dodgers for the Braves, but his tenure with the team was largely forgettable beyond that.
As for Culberson, we won’t rehash that decision here. As the article for earlier points out, its a weird decision and one that can be justified either way, but the team’s need for an actual back-up shortstop combined with Culberson’s up and down production ultimately led to him being the more expendable piece.