The Braves don’t have a real general manager at the moment, but they made a couple of moves on some veterans all the same.
First the exercised catcher Tyler Flowers‘ $4 million club option for 2018. This was a no-brainer given Flowers’ solid production in 2017, which saw him hit .281/.378/.445 with 12 homers and 49 RBI over 99 games.
Second, they declined R.A. Dickey‘s $8 million club option for starter R.A. Dickey. Dickey was 10-10 with a 4.50 ERA over 190 innings this year which more than earned him the $8 million for next year, but he’s also expected to announce his retirement soon, so that’s that. By waiting for the Braves move on his option before announcing, he’ll be entitled to the $500,000 buyout on the deal. Expect him to knuckle off into the sunset shortly.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.