The Braves played shorthanded yesterday because the front office messed up

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The Braves won yesterday but they still Braves’d it up to some extent. How? They played with only 24 guys. Why? Because the front office made a mistake in a transaction.

Yesterday the Braves  announced that they had selected the contract of Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A and optioned reliever Chris Withrow to the minors. Bonifacio was in Chicago in time to be ready for the game and everything so, as far as that all goes, it’s all good.

The problem: Bonafacio hadn’t been in the minors for 30 days since he was released and then re-signed by Atlanta on a minor league deal at the beginning of the season, which is required before being called back up. He’s not eligible to be on the big club until Saturday. So, with Withrow already on a plane down to Georgia and Bonafacio ineligible, Atlanta played with 24 guys. In a game that went extra innings, even. Lucky for Atlanta they got seven solid innings from their starter and won it in 10.

It’s been a long season already for the Braves, so I guess it’s understandable if beginning-of-the-season transactions feel like they were months and months ago, but their front office is still subject to the same calendar as everyone else.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.