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Braves’ payroll flexibility for 2021 reportedly dwindling

Team reportedly has less than $5 million in payroll space for 2021.

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2020 Grape Fruit League Media Availability Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

If you are curious why the Atlanta Braves have seemingly set back and watched several key contributors leave and sign elsewhere, well we may have our answer. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves “are down to less than $5 million of payroll flexibility” for the 2021 season.

Even though Ozuna’s deal is back-loaded, the Braves are down to less than $5 million of payroll flexibility in ’21, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.

Rosenthal also reports that the team was caught in a budget crunch last season which led to their only trade deadline addition of Tommy Milone.

Per the report, Atlanta had interest in reliever Trevor Rosenthal and explored a two-year deal that was backloaded. Rosenthal instead agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with the Athletics that was heavily deferred and is hoping to parlay a good year in Oakland into a multi-year deal next offseason.

The report also states that Atlanta had interest in reliever Kirby Yates and had interest in bringing back Mark Melancon, Darren O’Day and outfielder Adam Duvall but simply didn’t have the budget room to do so.

The market for reliever Shane Greene is currently unknown and there is still a chance that the Braves will look to bring him back to add another veteran right-handed reliever to the mix. Still, if they are already counting pennies, they may elect to wait and see what they have.

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