Out of all of the names on the free-agent market that remain unsigned, you’ll find several Braves. Guys like Tyler Flowers and others could still find themselves in a camp as Spring Training starts to ramp up. Earlier this month, I broke down the chances that each unsigned Brave of note returns to Atlanta, and frankly, I don’t have a lot of faith that Greene will be back next season. However, I’m a little shocked he has yet to sign anywhere, which probably means his asking price is too high. And even though he’s a terrific reliever, we also know the Braves don’t have very much money to spend.
Greene had a rocky start to his Braves tenure, but he was very effective in 2020 over 27.2 innings. He won’t wow you with his 6.8 K/9, but he doesn’t allow many home runs and is pretty good at stranding runners. His home run to fly ball ratio sat at 7.4%, which was the lowest of his career. Greene only allowed eight earned runs, and his 3.81 FIP and .267 BABIP indicate that he wasn’t flukey in 2020. He carried his regular-season success over to six playoff innings, only giving up one earned run and one walk while striking out six. Greene did allow six hits but recorded a 1.69 FIP and did a fantastic job working out of jams. So what is the holdup?
At 32-years-old, I don’t blame Greene for looking for long-term security. Perhaps he wants a multi-year deal, and teams just aren’t willing to fork that over after a COVID shortened 2020 season. Greene has only been a top-of-the-line pitcher for two consecutive seasons, which could also play into the hesitation of handing him a lucrative contract.
With new addition bullpen righties like Nate Jones and Carl Edwards Jr. playing well in the spring, along with in-house options such as Jacob Webb, Chris Martin, Daysbel Hernandez, and Touki Toussaint showing up early — perhaps the Braves don’t need to pay Greene at all. Unless his asking price comes down or he’s willing to accept fewer years, I don’t see him back in Atlanta. It’s the middle of March, and Opening Day is less than two weeks away; someone is going to get antsy and bring in Shane Greene, but the Braves no longer seem like a likely destination.
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