The deadline to accept or decline options was today, and the Braves had five important decisions to make. However, only one of those players will be returning for 2024, Charlie Morton, whose $20 million option was picked up. The soon-to-be 40-year-old looks to be coming back for one more season, but Kirby Yates, Collin McHugh, Brad Hand, and Eddie Rosario will not.
The #Braves today exercised the option on RHP Charlie Morton’s contract for the 2024 season, and declined options on RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Kirby Yates and OF Eddie Rosario. pic.twitter.com/lM0Rri8x8A
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 6, 2023
None of these decisions are ultra surprising. I thought Eddie Rosario might be back for one more season. He accrued over 1 WAR in 2023 and $9 million is a pretty fair price for what he brings to the table, but it looks as if the Braves are going to try and upgrade their situation in left field, which shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.
I also thought there was a chance the Braves retain Kirby Yates, who posted a 3.28 ERA in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery. McHugh and Hand were always long shots to be kept at their respective figures. Hand posted a 7.50 ERA after being traded to the Braves at the deadline, and Father Time appears to have finally caught up to McHugh. Expect the Braves to continue to bolster the bullpen over the next several months.
Additionally, the Braves reinstated a slew of players from the Injured List. To make some room on the 40-man roster, they outrighted Jackson Stephens to the Stripers. The club also claimed left-handed pitcher Angel Perdomo off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Perdomo is an intriguing arm that could help bolster the Braves bullpen in the future. He made 30 appearances for the Pirates this year, recording a 3.72 ERA and 3.01 FIP with a ridiculous 13.7 K/9. Perdomo punched out 37.6% of the batters he faced, recording a 2.77 xERA and .182 xBA. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery about a month ago and will not pitch next season, but it’s an interesting flier on a talented player that could make an impact in 2025.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire