How They Were Acquired: The Atlanta Braves’ NLDS Roster

The Braves’ playoff roster includes seven players who joined the team during the 2019 season and two others who were acquired near the end of Spring Training. That’s pretty significant turnover in a fairly short amount of time for a team that won the NL East in 2018 and had pretty much wrapped up their offseason by the end of November after signing a former AL MVP to play third base and bringing back a catcher who was a seven-time All-Star during his first stint in Atlanta.

When the team struggled out of the gate, it became clear that the roster might not be good enough to reach the postseason once again. While the four homegrown players on the playoff roster did a lot of the leg work, combining for 18.2 WAR, second-year general manager Alex Anthopoulos made a lot of good moves that helped turn things around and has the team once again playing October baseball after a 97-win season.

Here’s how every member of the Braves’ 2019 NLDS roster was originally acquired. The team’s full RosterResource Depth Chart and Payroll pages are also available as a resource.

Homegrown (4)

Total WAR: 18.2

Signed in Free Agency (9)

  • Nick Markakis, OF: December 2014 (BAL) — Signed to four-year, $44 million contract; re-signed to one-year contract extension (2020 club option) in January.
  • Tyler Flowers, C: December 2015 (CHW) — Signed to two-year, $5.3 million contract (included $4 million club option in 2018).
  • Brian McCann, C: November 2018 (HOU) — Signed to one-year, $2 million contract.
  • Josh Donaldson, 3B: November 2018 (CLE) — Signed to one-year, $23 million contract.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF: January 2019 (MIA) — Signed to Minor League contract.
  • Josh Tomlin, RP: March 2019 (MIL) — Signed to Minor League contract ($1.25 million salary).
  • Dallas Keuchel, SP: June 2019 (HOU) — Signed to one-year, $21.21 million contract (prorated rate is $13 million).
  • Adeiny Hechavarría, INF: August 2019 (NYM) — Signed to minimum salary contract for remainder of season.
  • Francisco Cervelli, C/1B: August 2019 (PIT) — Signed to minimum salary contract for remainder of season.

Total WAR: 10.6

Acquired Via Trade (11)

Total WAR: 10.3

Acquired Off Waivers (1)

Total WAR: 0.1

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2 years ago

A couple minor typos – Keuchel was signed in June 2019, not 2018. Gattis and Hoyt went to the Astros, not the Braves.

Also, Markakis’ original deal expired after last year. He signed a new 2 year deal in January this year for $10M total.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Martinez

Do you care to explain why you think the original contract is more relevant than a second contract that was signed after the player was granted free agency?
I could see your rationale for players that were extended, but Markakis was entirely separated from the team when he signed this past offseason.
Markakis in 2019 was not a midmarket signing; he was closer to a scrap heap veteran.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Martinez

Brian McCann originally came to the team via draft. They later acquired his services for the current team via a free agency signing. I think the distinction matters.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Martinez

Well, then McCann and Flowers should be under “Drafted.” Just kidding.

I still don’t really get it, but it doesn’t really matter. These articles are going to tell you something, but they aren’t really a full story of how a good team was created. The Braves success is largely about what they haven’t done. They have not signed any players likely to turn into dead money. They also traded well.

2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

I get your point but I think your alternative is a little misleading if the point is to say how he got there. He never left. He had the ability to leave. But he didn’t.

2 years ago
Reply to  deltaclown

It’s more accurate to say he did leave, found no market, and signed back with the only team that wanted him.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sn0wman

I mean, I’m sure he could’ve signed for less/signed a minor league deal elsewhere. I don’t think it’s super important to the greater point though.

2 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Also, Donaldson came from the Indians!