Braves Notes: Swanson, Morton, Jansen

After following up their underdog 2021 Cinderella World Series win with an stepped forward 101-win season, the Braves were eradicated from the 2022 postseason via the Phillies. With their 2022 season within the rearview reflect, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos shall be exhausting at paintings making improvements to the already spectacular Braves core.

Perhaps crucial query going through the Braves as they head into the offseason is their hollow at shortstop. Atlanta local Dansby Swanson has been the Braves’ beginning shortstop since 2016, and shall be a unfastened agent for the primary this offseason after receiving a $10MM wage all through his ultimate go back and forth throughout the arbitration procedure. Jon Heyman of The New York Post reported that the Braves had opened extension talks with Swanson in mid-August, however there has but to be a tangible outcome.

Swanson, who’s coming off his fourth consecutive robust season, slashed .277/.329/.447 whilst posting the absolute best Outs Above Average (20) amongst certified shortstops en path to his first All-Star look. He joins Trea Turner, and, in the event that they workout their opt-outs, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts as the highest choices at brief.

When requested about his ideas on unfastened company and probably leaving the Braves, Swanson replied that unfastened company is “the last thing on my mind,” consistent with Mark Bowman of MLB.com. However, Anthopoulos showed in a press convention previous these days that there’s mutual hobby in getting a deal accomplished, however he didn’t supply explicit figures, consistent with Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Braves, who’ve turn into infamous in fresh seasons for signing gamers within the early degree in their profession to ‘team-friendly’ contracts (Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider, Austin Riley), lately have kind of $186MM dedicated to the 2023 season, no longer factoring in arbitration, consistent with Roster Resource. However, out of arbitration-eligible gamers, most effective starter Max Fried is predicted to noticeably affect the Braves’ payroll, with different arbitration-eligible gamers anticipated to earn beneath $3MM if they’re tendered contracts.

Importantly, within the 2021 offseason, the Braves reportedly presented long-time first baseman Freddie Freeman a five-year contract within the $135MM-$140MM vary. When talks stalled, the Braves moved to procure Matt Olson from the Athletics, signing him to an eight-year, $168MM contract. Freeman then went directly to signal with the Dodgers on a six-year, $162MM contract.

The Braves, probably, have already got Swanson’s substitute in Vaughn Grissom, who posted a powerful .291/.353/.440 line in 151 at-bats after being referred to as up in mid-August. Grissom has essentially performed moment in his transient Major League profession however got here up throughout the Minors as a shortstop. If Swanson is re-signed, Grissom is also pressured to transition to the outfield or paintings as a application participant with Riley and Albies patrolling the infield.

Transitioning to the mound, starter Charlie Morton was once pressured to go out the day before today’s sport within the 3rd inning after taking a line pressure to his pitching elbow. Morton first of all stayed within the sport and finished the inning however was once pulled via supervisor Brian Snitker after Snitker watched Morton heat up previous to the 3rd inning. During an in-game interview, Snitker introduced that x-rays confirmed no structural injury in Morton’s elbow, and that Morton sought after to check out and proceed to pitch, consistent with Mike Axisa of CBS.

Morton had pitched two innings previous to leaving the sport, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs, all on a Brandon Marsh homer. Morton, who turns 39 in November was once a gentle pressure within the Braves’ rotation, pitching to a 4.34 ERA in 172 innings (31 begins) with a powerful 28.2% strikeout price. His robust efficiency resulted in a one-year, $20MM contract extension for the 2023 season, with a $20MM membership choice for the 2024 marketing campaign.

Reliever Kenley Jansen is getting into unfastened company, however Anthopoulos has made it transparent that the Braves would “love to have him back,” consistent with Toscano. After leaving the Dodgers in unfastened company to join the Braves on a one-year, $16MM contract, Jansen led the National League in saves with 41, posting a three.38 ERA in 64 innings with a lofty 32.7% strikeout price. However, Jansen’s HardHit share spiked from 26.1% in 2021 to 32.5% in 2022, and his floor ball price dropped from 37.3% to 29.1%, the second-lowest mark of his profession.

If the Braves and Jansen are not able to return to an settlement, they most likely have his successor in Raisel Iglesias who was once received on the 2022 industry time limit in trade for pitching prospect Tucker Davidson and Jesse Chavez. Since becoming a member of Atlanta, Iglesias has allowed just one run in 26 1/3 innings, leading to a minuscule 0.32 ERA. These robust numbers are sponsored via a top 30.0% strikeout price, a low 5.0% stroll price, and a forged 40.6% floor ball price.

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