Braves

Braves win grievance filed on behalf of top draft pick Carter Stewart

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The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, the Braves gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical (draftees cannot be given medical examinations by MLB clubs before being picked). 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 and to prevent the Braves from getting a compensation pick in the 2019 draft, which all teams who offer a sufficiently high bonus to a draftee yet fail to sign him receive. The grievance was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance has now been rejected, reports David O’Brien of The Athletic.

For Stewart, this means that he is not a free agent. Presumably knowing he would lose, Stewart recently enrolled in a Florida junior college, where he will play baseball this spring. Since it is only a two-year school, he will be eligible for the 2019 draft. If he had gone to a four-year school — he had been offered a scholarship to Mississippi State — he would’ve had to have waited until after his junior year to re-enter the draft.

For the Braves, this means that they will receive a compensation pick for not signing Stewart. It will be the ninth overall pick in the upcoming draft. They will also have their regular draft pick, which is the 21st overall slot.

Scooter Gennett to undergo MRI after injury

Scooter Gennett
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The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.

Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.

The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.