From Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Gavin Floyd completed his minor league rehabilitation assignment Tuesday night with Triple-A Gwinnett, and barring something unforeseen, the Braves will activate him from the disabled list sometime this weekend.
Floyd has been on his rehab assignment for close to the 30-day max. In fact, the Braves have to activate him by Sunday.
The problem is there are no obvious openings in the starting rotation — Braves starters have combined for an MLB-best 1.90 ERA, and David Hale was recently bumped for Mike Minor (shoulder) despite posting a 2.31 ERA in four turns.
A bullpen assignment could be possible for Floyd, who has made just one relief appearance since the beginning of the 2008 season. He signed a one-year, $4 million free agent contract with Atlanta this winter after missing the large majority of the 2013 campaign because of Tommy John elbow surgery.
“When he’s ready to go, we’ll put him in here some place,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal Constitution before Wednesday’s game against the Marlins. “Plug him in.”
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.