11/18/16: Braves select C Tuffy Gosewisch off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gosewisch, owner of a career .199/.237/.286 line, was waived by Arizona just as the 33 year old catcher was heading into his first year of arbitration. The Braves have until December 2 to decide if they want to offer arbitration. He’s not a risk to earn much in the process, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting him to earn $600,000 if he is offered arb. With Anthony Recker a possibility to earn $1M through arbitration, perhaps Gosewisch is here just to cheapen Atlanta’s potential commitment to a 33 year old, right-handed hitting AAAA catcher.
And, AAAA catcher may be the best way to describe him. Despite his struggles in the majors, Gosewisch has been a pretty good hitter at the closest level, hitting .342/.399/.553 in Reno last year. It’s not impossible that he could even hit a tad in the majors, a la Recker, but it hasn’t happened yet. The defense isn’t good enough to play regularly at the MLB level, so the role is unlikely to expand. Expect one or neither of Gosewisch and Recker to be offered arbitration, not both. If all goes to plan, the last 33 year old standing will open the year in Gwinnett.
11/18/16: Braves select the contracts of Lucas Sims, Max Fried, and Johan Camargo.
Yesterday was also the deadline for adding players to the 40 man roster to avoid their selection in the Rule V Draft. The additions of Sims and Fried surprised no one. Fried is one of Atlanta’s better prospects, as detailed in this article by our own Andy Harris. While it’s hard to see how he’d fit on a MLB roster in 2017, a prospect of his caliber likely would have forced some team to take the chance.
Sims almost certainly would have been picked. He had an up (2.67 ERA in AA) and down (7.56 in AAA) year as a starter, but most scouts think his future is in the bullpen. Given that he’s already tasted AAA, most teams would leap at the chance to add a decent prospect with a plus fastball and occasionally plus curve to its bullpen, even if he comes with spotty command.
Camargo is the more interesting add, if only because it was so unexpected. Camargo spent 2016 in the high minors for the first time, slashing .267/.304/.379 at AA Mississippi. The switch-hitter turns 23 next month, and while his defense at SS has been pretty good, it’s certainly not good enough to drag his bat, kicking and screaming, to the majors. I’m not sure what MLB team would’ve drafted him. I’m also not sure why Atlanta would’ve missed him that much if another team took him. But alas, Atlanta likes Camargo, and now they get to make sure he’s in Mississippi or Gwinnett on opening day 2017 instead of, say, San Diego. At the cost of a 40-man roster spot, I hope it’s worth it.