Braves 40-Man Roster Pecking Order

Full as a tick. That’s a good way to describe the Braves 40-man Roster because, yes, it’s 100% full, but it can be squeezed, burst, and emptied out with a quickness. In case you missed it, here are the 40-man roster additions that occurred yesterday.

I thought this would be the 4 and I’m glad to see that, for once, I was right. If I had to make a prediction on who could get grabbed that were not protected, it would be Drew Lugbauer (after an INSANE AFL showing) or Daysbel Hernandez.

Who’s Out First?

Yes, the 40-man is full…but not really. There are soooooo many players that won’t be the lucky 40 come March and most will likely be wearing another team’s uniform. Here are 10 that I think could be replaced between now and March:

  • Yoan Lopez
  • Sean Newcomb
  • Alan Rangel
  • Richard Rodriguez
  • Chadwick Tromp
  • Orlando Arcia
  • Johan Camargo
  • Travis Demeritte
  • Guillermo Heredia
  • Jasseel De La Cruz

Breakdown: If I had to guess, here’s the pecking order of who I think might get the axe first.

  1. Chadwick Tromp: Backup catchers are a dime a dozen and this was a desperation move from last year.
  2. Camargo & Arcia: Due arb-raises, I cannot imagine they last until December.
  3. Yoan Lopez, Sean Newcomb, and Richard Rodriguez: Also due arb-raises and prime trade throw-in candidates as each possess real potential.
  4. Travis Demeritte: I put him last, not because I think he’s better than the aforementioned players, but that the Braves might not have the OF settled until February and I could see him outlast the others.

Left off: Jasseel De La Cruz, Guillermo Heredia, Alan Rangel: Both De La Cruz and Rangel are young and should have some time to show what they bring to the table after another year of seasoning. Like Demeritte, I think there’s a chance the Braves try to work something out with him until the OF picture becomes clear. The MLB is really doing the Braves a disservice by not resolving the Marcell Ozuna situation.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

54 thoughts on “Braves 40-Man Roster Pecking Order”

  1. JC’d

    We’re all blowing in the wind unless we know what the goal is for the payroll. AA says it will increase but how much. I read that with existing contracts and arb eligibles, we are already at last years payroll. Maybe there’s no room for more than $27M for Freddie and even then we couldn’t sign any FAs such as Soler or Rosario. Past experience teaches us that AA makes his biggest moves early – Morton, TdA, and Pina. If we sign Freddie, I suspect Soler and Rosario are gone. If Freddie signs elsewhere then we may have a shot at Soler and Rosario and/or maybe a trade like the Olson suggestion. Which direction is better?

    We can’t ever and will never have everything we want.

  2. Roger: I got everything I wanted last year. Everything.

    And just to be clear, that doesn’t mean an awesome juggernaut that cruises to a ring. No…. I got a consistently entertaining team with amazing highs and super-amazing lows that also threaded the needle through the playoffs. Other than Chip Caray being hired by the Cubs, which would have been literally everything, 2021 was almost perfect.

  3. Yeah, that’s right. Our fellas aren’t the Yankees, or even the Cardinals. When we won the World Series, we won it in literally the most Braves way possible – as an utter miracle that no one expected that caught absolutely everyone by surprise, most of all ourselves.

    Even in October of 2020, when we were up on the Dodgers, I never expected that team would win the World Series, and I certainly never expected it for a single second in 2021, right till Freddie squeezed the glove.

    That honestly just made every inning that much more magical.

  4. @2 basically agree. I guess my point is that we see a lot of ideas here that are likely impossible as opposed to practical solutions. When I say “everything we want”, I mean just to even the point of keeping last year’s team together. Even leaving Smyly behind and being relieved of Ozuna’s salary, we can’t even seem to bring everyone else back. I think we will get one of Freddie Freeman or an outfield not both. If we are so fortunate as to re-sign Freddie then I think our outfield might look like Duvall, Pache/Waters, Heredia until Acuna comes back. Our SP will be Morton, Fried, Anderson, Ynoa/Davidson/Muller/Wright until Soroka comes back. And we’ll pick up several waiver guys (Clint Frazier? a SP?).

    Unless we plan to have a budget of close to $200M, we’re not signing any FAs or trading for any high-priced controllable guys or one year fliers. We’re not going to even sign Freddie unless the budget is close to $160M. I guess we’ll see but I don’t think there’s any room to be creative.

  5. Austin Riley came in tied for 2nd in the Fielding Bible’s version of the gold glove. Ke’Bryan Hayes did win the award, though he was injured a good part of the season. Duvall was done in by playing all 3 outfield positions. He was tied for the highest DRS among ALL outfielders, however the Fielding Bible is strict. If he wasn’t highest in LF, CF, or RF alone then he doesn’t get an award. Those two were the closest Braves to winning these awards that are based on actual stats, unlike the Gold Gloves. Fwiw, these awards combine the AL and NL.

  6. Hayes is one hell of a player. That’s absolutely incredible that Riley has come as far as he has. I’m sure I’ve been wronger about a guy, but I honestly can’t remember when.

  7. @6 – I may have been wronger about someone than Riley, however it was about them being good when they weren’t. Aaron Blair first comes to mind, but there are others for me. It wasn’t as big of a scale,
    but I would have traded Luke Jackson for a bag of basballs during the off-season.

  8. @6 Totally agree. I was wrong about him offensively and defensively. Wash needs some credit for the defense. Love to see a guy improve like that.

    I wasn’t sure if the Fielding Bible would require that a player play a full season or not. Had Hayes played a full season his numbers would have been extraordinary. Arenado winning the platinum glove was really bad if you look at the numbers. Probably should have been Ryan McMahon.

  9. I think pretty much everything you said is on point Ryan. Newcomb needs to be traded for a change of scenery. I think he’ll go somewhere else and be a good reliever.

  10. Excellent reporting, my friend. The essence of journalism is to let the story tell itself. You do that as well as anyone I know. Thank you.

    This thread has all I love about Braves Journal. AAR, TD, Austin Riley would not have gotten an at bat in Atlanta wearing a Braves uniform this season if I had been in charge. I am delighted that I was so marvelously wrong.

    I still don’t think Dansby is all that; but if Jeff Blauser was enough, Swanson probably is too.

    JF, 2021 fulfilled all my aspirations for the Braves. I got rid of Chip completely. I think I would like him; but please dear Lord, don’t make me listen to him do play by play. It’s largely my fault: I expect him to be terrible and approach each broadcast from that perspective.

    Besides that all I wanted was good baseball, the Braves to win the East and the last game they played. Mission accomplished. Thanks, Braves.

    I love the regulars who carry the discussions. CindyJ is a great addition. Please stick around, young lady. Your point of view often prompts me to think about things that would otherwise never ever entered my mind.

    To the old BJ vets, wasn’t it wonderful? Let’s do it again in 2022.

    To the new folks who’ve brought informed voices and insights, thank you.

    To Ryan, Rob, AAR and others who have done such great things with Mac’s place, God bless you.

    Go Braves!

    Braves Journal forever.

    It’s Thanksgiving. Be grateful.

  11. I have to agree with you about Chadwick Tromp Ryan. I guess we were desperate for catching depth but I never really understood that acquisition from the start. I have to admit that I’ve always been a never Tromper.

  12. #1
    I’m still basking in the afterglow, so very little can upset me now, Braves-wise (as long as we re-sign #5, that is). I trust AA — why wouldn’t I? Once the FF situation is sorted, the rest should fall into place.

    FWIW, I don’t see the FF flirtation with the Yankees as real on the Yanks part — I cannot imagine the Pinstripes taking on another $200M contract for him. Yeah, they’d make a “splash,” but they don’t need him. For starters, they need a SS who can actually play SS (like Correa). If they sign Rizzo, they’ll have 2 1Bs & they can trade Voit, if nec.

  13. @10–agree with all that, but coop did not mention one other person who is at the top of the list for what we all love about Braves Journal: coop himself.

  14. Amen and amen. And, Cindy, agree with him entirely – so glad you’ve joined us, and hope you stick around a while!

  15. I didn’t think a team could look any more hapless than the Falcons vs. Patriots on Thursday, but then I had the misfortune to watch some of Ga. Tech vs. Notre Dame today. They could not make the line high enough on the UGA game to get me to bet Jackets.

  16. So, someone on Twitter asked whose career was derailed more by injuries. Ryan and others gave the sensible answer: Bo Jackson.

    But here I am watching the 1992 All-Star Game because I want to be as far from SEC football highlights as possible for reasons I shall not discuss. I knew there was someone from Braves lore that might have an argument, and here he came on the tube: Ron Gant. So go with me on this.

    Bo still had an incredible career. He accumulated 7.7 fWAR and hit 141 HRs in baseball. Had over 3,000 total yards as a football player. If you add up the production across the two sports, the man had a hell of a career.

    Through his age-28 season, Gant had hit 147 HRs, made the All-Star team, and finished in the top 6 of MVP voting twice. He was on his way to 400+ home runs and 400+ steals, could have won a couple Gold Gloves in center, and could have conceivably had a Hall of Fame career. Even with the motorcycle accident and the injuries that hurt him, he still hit 321 HRs and stole 243 bases.

    Would Bo have simply been beat down so bad by playing both football and baseball that regardless of his knee injury, he would have just had an early career anyway? But Gant could have become an inner-circle Hall of Famer. Does that put him at the top of the list?

  17. If you did not know, Rob is a doodle.

    Thanks, Tfloyd. Life is good in the home of the Braves, isn’t it?

  18. @21 I’m not totally sure what a doodle is, but this is where I’m at with college football: I don’t care how bad things get for Florida, I will talk trash about Georgia constantly coming up short until, well, they don’t. And then once Georgia finally comes through, which will probably this year, I will probably not say a word for a long time.

    This is definitely Georgia’s year. I think I’d have to go back to 2013 FSU to find a season that was just so incredibly optimal for one specific team to win the championship. The seas are parting for the Dawgs.

  19. Suzuki doesn’t fill the CF hole but could very well fill the role as corner OF that can mash taters and get on base.

  20. Can anybody help me with finding some Braves hats?
    I need to upgrade my old Braves hats but it looks like the supply chain mess might be impacting sportswear too.
    I like the curved bill style with fitted back, not an adjustable type, made of cotton. Seems like a decade ago you could walk into a Lids and find tons in this style. Now online I’ll I’m finding are the adjustable back types. Are they just sold out or have they stopped making this “dad hat” style? My head really doesn’t appreciate the high crown, flat brim wool types.

  21. @28
    I’m not gonna go on a rant about how Kawakami wasn’t as bad as people remember it ( heck, Derek Lowe was the worst overall contract that offseason), or that he was misused by Bobby Cox, but I am personally a bit concerned that the Atlanta summers can wear down players that are not used to them.

    I think I would try Suzuki over Duvall or Rosario. I wish the Ozuna situation was resolved already as well as the DH uncertainty so that we could provide better guesses as to how the OF situation will pan out.

  22. #19
    You mean the team that’s 2nd in the league in scoring, averaging 40+ points a game (behind Bama), won’t have trouble scoring? OK…

    Went to a rock show last night (Dinosaur Jr.) & was wearing a pullover with a small Georgia G logo. As the gig was letting out, a somewhat soggy fellow stumbled up to me and said, “Go Gators… but, I gotta admit, this is your year.”

    I smiled & said, “Did you see the Missouri game tonight?”

    His mumbled response: “Yeah, Mullen’s toast & we won’t beat you for another 10 years.”

    I smiled again & offered: “You said it, not me.”

    BTW, poor Dan Mullen… that’s a helluva buyout ($12 M, half of which is due to him in 30 days)… hope those Bull Gators feel like it’s money well-spent.

  23. On the question of who lost the most to injuries, some of the old-timers used to say Pete Reiser. I think the best answer right now might be Eric Davis, though it is VERY possible it’s Buxton.

  24. @32,

    No way it is anybody other that Tony Conigliaro. Enough time up to establish at least good enough to make “Hall of Very Good” and 15 plus years of career lost.

  25. @30

    Who was the best defense Georgia has faced all year? I’ll wait.

    I do find it amusing that Georgia fans are talking about buyouts like Florida cares. Georgia hasn’t won a national championship in 40 years, but you guys have indeed saved that buyout money. Now, I don’t want Florida becoming Tennessee where the first hiccup of trouble signals a head coach firing without a clear upgrade, and I think Florida’s in jeopardy of doing that in this cycle. But just like Georgia, Florida can hire who they want to hire if they like the guy.

    In 2006, while Florida was winning a national championship, Georgia went 9-4. They did nothing with their head coach. In 2009, when Florida was a Nick Saban comeback away from playing for the national championship, Georgia went 8-5 and did nothing with their head coach. They then would go 6-7 — 6-7!! — the next year and STILL not doing anything at head coach. Richt would have 8-5 and 9-3 seasons within the next 5 years before he was finally shown the door. Florida once again fired a head coach after playing in the SEC championship the year previous. And that’s why they have two national titles in the last 15 years, and Georgia doesn’t have any in the last 40 years.

    Like I said, I don’t think I’ll be able to say that much longer. Florida will get their guy, but Georgia will likely finally get their trophy. But if they don’t…

  26. Ozuna is probably looking at an 81 game suspension, maybe 162. So the Braves will probably “save” about $8-16MM next year. He’s not going to jail. He’s not going to prison. So the Braves are going to be on the hook for the remaining two years of the contract, ~$32M.

  27. I know you don’t care what I think, Rob, but as a fellow Georgia hater (though a fan of a team you also hate), I should think it might be time to lay low and wait to pop up if and when Georgia loses a game. Until then, you’re fighting an uphill battle on a muddy slope, my friend.

    P.S. Kenshin Kawakami sucked.

  28. @26

    I found this on Amazon if you’re not opposed to buying online.

    I know your pain, I have an old 47 brand fitted cap that apparently isn’t made anymore that I’ve worn for about ten years

  29. @38 Until Georgia wins a national championship, they’re just the same old Georgia they’ve been the 4 decades I’ve been on this beautiful earth. Their own fans agree; I’ve baited several Georgia fans, and no one will say it’s “championship or bust”, and this is the one year where any fan of any team would say so. They know what’s coming.

  30. We knew what was coming a month ago and then it didn’t. So, you know…doom is not necessarily imminent. I’m still on a high from that, I guess, as I find myself not devoting nearly as much brain power to hoping Georgia fans get Charlie Browned again and to being angry at my teams for abjectly incompetent performances. Case in point, the last two Falcons games and this afternoon’s turd of an Atlanta United performance, dumping them out of the playoffs.

  31. @32 What a great choice as blast from the past – Pete Reiser. He has to be on the list but Conigliaro has to be one of the all time tragedies of injury. Guys like Eric Davis had great careers in spite of injuries. Conigliaro did have two good years after he returned but who knows how good he could have been long term. Reiser not only lost time due to injury but he was one who lost some of his best years to the war.

    I learned a lot of baseball history from Scholastic books like “Strange But True Baseball Stories” and the “Greatest Moments in Baseball”. Those being from the 70s so before a lot of the things we know today. Stories like Dizzy Dean’s three inning stint, Howard Ehmke, Nippy Jones, Bill Veeck and Eddie Gaedel, and, of course, Pete Reiser and his penchant for crashing into outfield walls. It’s the legends and quirks and history in context that make baseball such a great game to follow.

  32. I mean, I guess…the Falcons’ incompetence keeps tormenting Georgians is more like it. Not sure how much of Thursday night I’d put on Mac Jones.

  33. @20 and replies, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Bob Horner. Rob, I think you’re overstating the HOF case for Gant absent injury. He was hurt after his age-28 season, so he had probably reached his peak, and he didn’t start well, so he only had a couple of good seasons. His most similar batters by age each year through age 28 were Jeff Blauser, Bill Sudakis, Tim Wallach, Bill Melton, Torii Hunter, and Tony Conigliaro, so it would’ve taken a lot of improvement after 28 to get on an HOF track. He only had two years as a regular CF, and the Braves moved him to left during his age-27 season. His defensive numbers don’t look Gold Glove-ish, though he was a pretty good left fielder.

    I think Horner had a better HOF chance, at least early in his career. Through age 24, Gant had had a not-great cup of coffee one year, a good rookie year (OPS+ 112, so not amazing), and a half-year in which he hit .177. Through age 24, Horner had been a regular for five years, hit 138 homers and had an average OPS+ around 128. In four of those seasons, he had been NL ROY, made an All-Star team, and twice received down-ballot MVP votes. He had also already been injured a good bit and had only played more than 124 games once (140 at 24). His most similar batters at various ages included Ronald Acuna Jr. twice, Rafael Devers twice, Eric Chavez, Evan Longoria twice, Dale Murphy, and George Foster. He wasn’t much of a fielder, but the man could hit when healthy.

  34. @26: Try eBay for the ‘47 brand hats. I buy and sell a lot of caps there, and you can find some good deals on new and slightly used ones.

  35. @46 – Thanks Mark. Yeah after a little more research it seems my favorite are the ’47 brand cotton blend, and the availability of Braves hats is limited. I had a sweet one from the aughts that was navy with the front 2 panels white. No clue why they seem to have discontinued that design. Same for the lower case “a” 70’s design. You can only get the all-blue ones that look like Cubs hats. Can’t find the blue/white/red versions.

  36. @29 I think the only thing that matters about Ozuna is how much the Braves owe him on his contract. Hopefully he gets a long suspension so it’s not too bad. I doubt he ever wears the uniform again. I will be pretty angry if he does.

    @24 That is outstanding news. Would be a great pick-up.

  37. @20 I loved Gant, but he was not a good outfielder.

    Herb Score should be in the conversation.

  38. @41 No, after the Kentucky loss, my confidence in Florida waned. I was feeling pretty good after Bama though.

    This is Georgia’s year, and I’ve said that for a while now. The college football gods have spoken.

  39. Ron Gant hit the best foul balls. They would go 450 feet!

    After his dirt bike accident, Gant really couldn’t stay healthy. If he could have stayed playing second base, he would have been in HOF consideration.

    Also, I always felt like in big situations Gant disappeared. He was also streaky.

    I love Ron Gant. He was a very good player and had a nice career.

  40. I have feeling the Braves are going after the Pirates’ Reynolds. They acquired Piña to back up Darnaud. I think Contreras is available. Contreras, one of Pache or Waters, and a starting pitcher prospect should bring him to Atlanta.

  41. I read it a bit differently. I think they want Contreras to be a full-time starter. He won’t develop much playing one day a week, and the brief looks they got in 2021 revealed that he still has work to do. So Piña will be a backup and Contreras will remain on the farm. If he comes on like a house on fire and hits his way onto the team, a couple of oldsters like d’Arnaud and Piña won’t be able to stop him.

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