Tonight at 8:00 ET is the deadline for MLB clubs to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players. The Braves have nine such players, and among them is fan-favorite Charlie Culberson, who is projected to make about $1.8 million in arbitration. However, despite the low figure, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, “It sounds like the Braves may non-tender Charlie Culberson before tonight’s deadline.”
It sounds like the Braves may non-tender Charlie Culberson before tonight's deadline. This would not be a popular decision. Culberson's value would seemingly be increased next year when the 26-man rosters are put in place.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 2, 2019
Bowman’s been wrong before, but he’s the most plugged-in guy when talking about the Braves beat writers. Generally, when he says something, there is some weight to it.
Culberson’s professionalism, willingness to play whatever role it takes for the team to win, along with his clutch gene, have made him beloved in Braves Country. He hit .259 with a .731 OPS in 144 plate appearances last season before missing the end of the year after he fouled a ball off of his face. Considering all Culberson has done for this organization, that is not the way anybody wanted his career in Atlanta to end.
Personally, if the Braves proceed in this direction, I’ll be a little shocked. Culberson has been the ultimate utility man, is a fantastic pinch-hitter, and scheduled to make pennies next year. I thought for sure Atlanta would hold onto him, but they must feel their bench is an area where they can still upgrade this offseason.
Update: Robert Murray, a reporter for The Athletic, recently confirmed the Braves are indeed non-tendering Charlie Culberson.
Braves non-tendering Charlie Culberson, according to sources.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 2, 2019