It has been a long journey in Atlanta for one of the guys who kicked off the Braves rebuild, but Ender Inciarte has been removed from the 40-man roster.
Ender Inciarte has been designated for assignment.
He catches a lot of heat, but he was good during some lean years. End of an era, we’ll see if he stays with the Braves in some capacity.
— SportsTalkATL Jake (@cantguardjake) July 24, 2021
As stated in my tweet, Inciarte may re-sign on a minor league deal, but it’s more likely he elects free agency. Inciarte won three straight Gold Gloves from 2016-2018, and was an All Star in 2017. Inciarte was rewarded with a five year, $30.5 million contract extension for his efforts, which included a club option for 2022. Inciarte’s $8.7 million salary was a massive burden on the Braves this past offseason, as his play started to sharply decline after 2018. Even though he still boasts a career .280 batting average, Inciarte hit .190 with a .512 OPS in 2020 and is hitting .215 with a .592 OPS in 2021. Although Braves fans were often frustrated with Inciarte, i’ll never forget the amazing plays he made in Center Field when there wasn’t a competitive team to watch in Atlanta. He seems like a good guy, but if it wasn’t now, his time was 100% up after 2021.
Hopefully Ender lands on his feet elsewhere, and I wish him the best of luck. He was a big part of this team, but it appears his time in Atlanta is over. It’s unknown who will replace Inciarte on the 40 man roster, but unless a trade has been made, our friend @Braves_Rumors thinks Travis Demerite is the most logical replacement, and I have to agree.
Demeritte is a Georgia native and former first-round pick that the Braves acquired from the Rangers in exchange for Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez. Demeritte was then packaged with Joey Wentz in exchange for Shane Greene, but the Braves scooped him back up off waivers in February when Detroit designated him for assignment. In Gwinnett in 2021, Demeritte is hitting .327/.448/.718/1.166 — very impressive. He typically hasn’t been a good contact hitter throughout his career, so his numbers are even more encouraging when you consider his 11 home runs, 10 doubles, and 23 walks. If the Braves need a spark, he’s the perfect guy to bring up.
Unless a trade is being worked on, I expect to see Travis Demeritte with the Braves on this road trip.