Braves must avoid signing the player due to shoulder surgery…

3 non-tendered players the Braves should target, 1 to avoid.

Brewers non-tender two-time All-Star Brandon Woodruff

The Braves have a bunch more options in free agency after Friday’s non-tender deadline.

The Atlanta Braves cleaned house last week. Not only did they trade away seven players including Michael Soroka and Kyle Wright, but they also non-tendered seven additional players ahead of Friday’s deadline. Very suddenly, the Braves went from having a bit of a roster crunch to only having just 30 guys on their 40-man roster.

The questions now is what do the Braves have up their sleeves right now? Fans have certainly been eager to see if the Braves will make a big splash at starting pitcher as the rumor mill suggests could happen, Atlanta also has a lot of roster spots to fill now and there is a gaggle of newly minted free agents that just became available after the non-tender deadline culling.

Here are some recently non-tendered players that fit the Braves and one they need to avoid like the plague

It is going to be hard for the Braves to win the lottery and get star-level production out of any of these recent non-tenders. The vast majority of the players that got non-tendered this year have real warts to their games and got let go for a reason. However, there does seem to be a few names that could provide big time value on cheaper deals if everything breaks the Braves’ way.

Here’s a look at some non-tendered players that could be a fit for the Braves this offseason.

Dakota Hudson

The Cardinals’ rotation was a colossal dumpster fire this year and Dakota Hudson didn’t exactly help the cause all that much. In 18 appearances including 12 starts, Hudson posted a 4.98 ERA with a strikeout rate that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. However, Hudson’s elite ability to get groundballs along with his prospect pedigree makes him at least somewhat interest as a target for the Braves.

The best option here is if the Braves could get Hudson on a minor league deal that maybe had incentives for playing time in the big leagues. Hudson’s fastball and it’s lack of velo is a bit of a problem, but a MiLB deal would allow the Braves to see first if they can make starting work out for him and if not, shift him to the bullpen where his secondary stuff could play up a bit in short stints.

Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is one guy among the recent non-tenders that could be a huge value and who also has legitimate star potential. It looks like Meadows was on the verge of becoming a star in MLB during his time with the Rays from 2018-2021 with his 2019 season where he posted a .922 OPS being the highlight.

The problem, of course, is that Meadows has dropped off and more importantly, is that Austin has been dealing with some mental health issues that have severely impacted his ability to take the field. Meadows being from near Atlanta could not only make the Braves the ideal destination for him from a personal perspective, but would also give the Braves another high-upside option for left field in the wake of declining Eddie Rosario’s option.

Luis Guillorme

With Ehire Adrianza’s time with the Braves over and Nicky Lopez getting traded to the White Sox, Atlanta needs a new backup infielder. One option that the Braves should be very familiar with who was recently non-tendered is Luis Guillorme. Not only can he play all around the infield which gives the Braves plenty of flexibility in how to use him, but he does have a bit of upside.

Guillorme has been a good defender for most of his career (although his numbers did dip in 2023) and he was also an average or better hitter from 2020-2022. He was a bit banged up in 2023 and didn’t look good when he was on the field, but Atlanta doesn’t need him to be amazing or even play a lot. They just need a guy that can bounce around to give days off here and there and Luis fits the bill.

Brandon Woodruff

And now we come to not only the highest profile name amongst the recently non-tendered players, but also the player the Braves need to avoid in Brandon Woodruff. When he is healthy, it is unequivocally true that Woodruff is one of the better pitchers in the league. Over the last three seasons alone, Brandon sports a 2.70 ERA while striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings. He’s is a stud when he is right.

The problem is that he just had shoulder surgery and that is problematic. Not only is he likely to miss all of next season because of the injury, but shoulder injuries are especially risky when it comes to pitchers. In fact, it is that exact problem that probably caused the Braves to cut Kyle Wright loose. If Woodruff was willing to sign a short term deal that didn’t pay him much this year and was incentives-based for 2025, then sure…go ahead and sign him. However, if he is wanting (and may get from another team) and more guaranteed deal without knowing what he will look like post-surgery, the Braves need to stay out of the bidding.

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