Braves release five players

soroka 2020

The Braves have been somewhat active this offseason, trading and signing a couple of low-cost options. They’ve been more involved in retaining their own players. The club inked Tyler Matzek to a two-year deal earlier in the week to avoid arbitration while also announcing a one-year deal worth $2.8 million contract with Mike Soroka also to avoid arbitration and announcing the release of five other players.

The Braves non-tendered Heredia, Stephens, Bracho, Rangel, and Wilson but ended up re-signing the latter two to minor-league pacts with invitations to next year’s spring training. The Braves had already designated the other three for assignment earlier this week, one being a bit surprising. Stephens had a heck of a campaign this past season, and a lot of people felt he’d surely be in the team’s future plans. Of course, those players could return on a minor-league deal, but the meat of this piece is about Mike Soroka.

The Maple Maddux hasn’t pitched from a major league mound since 2020, tearing his Achilles twice in that time. Assuming he’s healthy and at spring training with the club, he’ll battle with Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Bryce Elder, and others for the fifth and final spot in the rotation, Alex Anthopoulos has already confirmed. If healthy, he’d surely be one of the favorites to come out of the group. Still, we should all temper expectations.

It’s completely unrealistic to expect Soroka to come out like the 2019 version of himself that made a run at the NL Cy Young as a rookie. After all, he’s barely thrown at all, let alone in live action, over the past three years. And he didn’t look exactly stellar in his last appearance with Gwinnett. There’s no telling if he’ll ever get back where he was, but if he’s healthy, that should be considered a win for the young man.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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