The Braves announced on Monday, the non-tender deadline for Major League Baseball, that they had decided not to tender contracts to three players: Charlie Culberson, John Ryan Murphy, and Rafael Ortega. Among those, Culberson is certainly the name that stands out, as the Georgia native was among the more popular Braves over the past two seasons.
Ignoring the obvious sentimental factors at play with regards to Culberson, one could certainly argue that a non-tender is warranted strictly based upon performance. Coming off a trying 2019 season in which he produced just an 83 OPS+, Culberson was passed over in the absence of shortstop Dansby Swanson as the Braves opted to sign Adeiny Hechavarria instead. That may have spelled the end for Culberson in Atlanta, given the versatility of other players such as Johan Camargo and Austin Riley. The argument could be made that Culberson for ~$2 million is a better investment than Nick Markakis for ~$4 million, but the Braves clearly felt differently.
Along with Culberson, the Braves also chose to non-tender Murphy and Ortega, who combined to make modest contributions in Atlanta a season ago. Ortega was an occasional bright spot best known for his game-winning grand slam against the Dodgers at SunTrust Park in August. Their non-tenders are likely to lead them elsewhere, while indications from the Atlanta beat writers were that the Braves may still have interest in Culberson at a discounted rate from his projected arbitration figure.
The Braves were active on deadline day, non-tendering three players who made varying contributions a season ago.
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