Free agency isn’t the only place where decisions have to be made. Like most teams, the Braves will have several players eligible for arbitration, but I don’t imagine they will have too many issues reaching deals. Last year, the Braves were able to avoid going to arbitration with any of their eligible players.
Mike Foltynewicz (Projected Arbitration Salary: $7.5 million)
Folty had an incredibly weird 2019 that featured a six-week demotion to Gwinnett as well as two starts in the NLDS. Game 2 was one of the best postseason performances in Braves’ history and indicitave of the pitcher he became towards the end of the year. Game 5, well, we won’t talk about that. Given all the questions surrounding this rotation going into next year, Atlanta should have no problem reaching a deal with Foltynewicz.
Shane Greene (Projected Arbitration Salary: $6.5 million)
Greene was an All-Star in 2019 before being traded to the Braves at the trade deadline. After a rough start, he settled down and looked like the shutdown reliever the Braves gave up prospects for. Atlanta didn’t trade for him to let him walk after one year. Expect him to get a substantial raise and potentially retake the Braves’ closing role next season.
Dansby Swanson (Projected Arbitration Salary: $3.3 million)
Swanson was on his way to a standout 2019 stat line. Then a heel injury set him back. Not only did he miss over a month, but he wasn’t the same player when he returned. However, he bounced back with a fantastic postseason, which should give him plenty of confidence heading into the offseason. Had he not suffered an injury, I believe there would have been a good chance the Braves handed him a contract extension this offseason. It could still happen, but they may wait to see a little more in 2020. Anthopoulos has plenty of time with this being the first year Swanson is eligible for arbitration.
Luke Jackson (Projected Arbitration Salary: $1.9 million)
You may not like him, but it is foolish to ignore what Jackson meant to the Braves this year. They probably don’t win the division without him taking over admirably as the closer for the majority of the season. Luckily, that’s not something the Braves will ask of him again (hopefully). He remains a valuable piece to this bullpen, however, and will receive a nice little pay bump after making less than 600k in 2019.
Adam Duvall (Projected Arbitration Salary: $3.8 million)
Duvall was a AAA superstar and wound up becoming a hero in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Braves could not finish the job, or he would be remembered in Atlanta forever. With Nick Markakis and Matt Joyce potentially out the door, it makes sense for Atlanta to hold onto Duvall. At the very least, he serves as high-quality organizational depth.
Johan Camargo (Projected Arbitration Salary: $1.6 million)
Camargo had a miserable 2019, and right when he began to turn things around; he hit a foul ball off of his shin. The result was a fracture, and he never returned. The Braves’ depth was depleted heading into the playoffs, which makes bringing a versatile player like Camargo back a top priority.
Charlie Culberson (Projected Arbitration Salary: $1.8 million)
Watching Culberson go down for the season after a gruesome foul ball that struck his face was undoubtedly the most somber moment of the year, and the Braves missed his clutch gene in the playoffs. He will receive a slight raise and be back on the roster once again in 2020.
Grant Dayton (Projected Arbitration Salary: 800k)
Because of injuries, Dayton only appeared in 14 games but carried a respectable 3.00 ERA. He has a fairly decent track record, is still only 28 years old, and won’t be in for too much of a raise. I’d expect him to be back in Atlanta next season.
John Ryan Murphy (Projected Arbitration Salary: $1.2 million)
Murphy was acquired at the trade deadline as organizational depth. However, I don’t see him on the 40-man roster heading into 2020. He will probably be DFA’d before next season.
*Projected arbitration salaries can be found here.