Where are former Braves from 2021 World Series team this spring?

April 23, 2022 Atlanta - Former Braves’ Jorge Soler (12) receives his World Series Championship ring from Atlanta Braves' manager Brian Snitker (43) before Atlanta Braves home game against Miami Marlins at Truist Park on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)



April 23, 2022 Atlanta - Former Braves’ Jorge Soler (12) receives his World Series Championship ring from Atlanta Braves' manager Brian Snitker (43) before Atlanta Braves home game against Miami Marlins at Truist Park on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

NORTH PORT, Fla. — It’s been 16 months since the Braves won their second World Series since moving to Atlanta. In their title-defense season, the Braves won 101 games and their fifth consecutive division title, but fell short in October. This year’s club again appears primed for a postseason berth.

With another spring training underway, here’s a quick update on the former Braves who contributed during the 2021 postseason run who aren’t with the 2023 club:


Reliever Luke Jackson (Giants)

Jackson, a fan favorite and key ingredient to the bullpen’s production and camaraderie, missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. The Giants signed him to a two-year, $11.5 million deal in January.

Jackson’s wipeout slider and charming goofiness will be missed. But this is the reality of major-league bullpens. The turnover rate is high. Of the famed 2021 bullpen, only A.J. Minter, Dylan Lee and potentially Jesse Chavez remain options for 2023 (Tyler Matzek is on the team but out for the season).

First baseman Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)

Freeman and the Braves endured a messy breakup that led him to his native Southern California last offseason. Freeman was excellent in his debut Dodgers season, and with Los Angeles working some younger players into the mix this year, he’ll be relied upon heavily as a lineup pillar. He’s now one of the faces of the Dodgers, who again will be among the Braves’ chief competitors in the National League.

“The thing is, we’re connected forever with last year,” Freeman said last spring, referring to players from the 2021 team. “We’re going to have reunions, and I’m going to be coming back for those reunions just like (everybody else).”

Shortstop Dansby Swanson (Cubs)

It wasn’t as ugly as Freeman’s exit – and the leadup to this one made it feel inevitable – but Swanson signed with the Cubs this winter, becoming a centerpiece of their franchise reboot. Swanson earned his first All-Star appearance during his final season with the Braves. His departure meant all three of the players who produced the final out of Game 6 – closer Will Smith, Swanson and Freeman – no longer are with the team.

Closer Will Smith (Rangers)

Newnan’s own, Smith was superb during the championship run, logging 10 scoreless postseason appearances, including the final inning of Game 6. His inconsistencies of the 2021 regular season, though, grew worse last season. The Braves traded him to Houston before the trade deadline for starter Jake Odorizzi.

Smith had a 3.27 ERA over 24 games for the Astros (allowing eight earned runs across 22 innings). He was on their World Series roster but didn’t appear in a game. Nonetheless, he earned his second consecutive ring as part of the team trounced by the Braves a year earlier. The Rangers signed Smith in early March to a one-year deal. He’s reunited with manager Bruce Bochy from his San Francisco days (2016-19).

Outfielder Jorge Soler (Marlins)

Soler begins his second season in Miami, which he hopes will turn out better than his first. The Braves’ World Series MVP, who produced the series’ highlight with his monstrous home run in Game 6, barely made a mark in 2022. He hit .207 with 13 homers in 72 games. Nonetheless, Soler is a Braves icon.

“He had a lot of really, really big moments for us,” manager Brian Snitker said last season. “I could watch that homer in Game 6 every day, honestly. I love his reactions, what it did for our club, the whole thing. It will always be special to me.”

Outfielder Joc Pederson (Giants)

Pederson enters his second season with his hometown Giants after accepting the qualifying offer this winter. Pederson – and his pearls – was the first of the team’s July 2021 outfield acquisitions and proved vital. He earned his second All-Star nod last summer while hitting .274 with a .874 OPS in 134 games last season.

“I love Atlanta,” Pederson said when he returned to Truist Park last summer with the Giants.

Reliever Chris Martin (Red Sox)

Martin has continued to have success as one of the great command artists in today’s game. Last season with the Cubs and Dodgers, his 0.80 walks per nine innings ranked best in MLB. The Red Sox signed Martin, 36, to a two-year, $17.5 million deal over the winter. Boston, which also signed former Braves closer Kenley Jansen, desperately needed bullpen upgrades.

Starter Drew Smyly (Cubs)

Smyly frustrated fans during his one-year Braves tenure. But after playing for five teams since 2019, he’s settled with the Cubs, who re-signed him to a two-year deal after he had a 3.47 ERA in 22 starts for them last season.

Catcher William Contreras (Brewers)

The Braves dealt Contreras this winter in a three-team trade that landed them veteran catcher Sean Murphy. Contreras should become a building block for the Brewers. He also joined his brother, Willson, in the NL Central. Willson, a long-time Cub, signed a five-year deal with St. Louis.

Contreras tweeted multiple broken-heart emojis after the Braves traded him. He said in an Instagram post, “Thanks Braves Country” and expressed gratitude for his memories and relationships formed with the organization.

Outfielder Adam Duvall (Red Sox)

The Braves and Duvall, a fan favorite, parted ways again this winter. Duvall was an instrumental part of the Braves’ championship run, having left the Braves in the winter and returned in the summer via trade with Miami. Duvall was part of the outfield makeover that turned the Braves into a contender.

Duvall now will play his home games at Fenway Park, where he mashed three home runs in one game for the Braves in September 2020.

Outfielder Guillermo Heredia (Korea Baseball Organization)

Heredia, swords and all, seemed like the Braves’ mascot at times. He was a beloved clubhouse presence for the team over the past two seasons. He signed with the SSG Landers of the KBO in December.

Pinch runner Terrance Gore (free agent)

Gore epitomized the saying, “right place, right time.” He won his third ring in seven years with the Braves, including his second in a row. Gore had a cup of coffee with the Mets last summer, but the Macon native is a free agent.

Other players who were on the 2021 postseason roster, but weren’t on the World Series roster:

Infielder Johan Camargo (Royals)

In February 2020, Austin Riley versus Johan Camargo for the third-base job was an actual conversation. His tenure fizzled out by the end, but Camargo helped the Braves at points throughout his career. He spent last season with the Phillies, who fell short in the World Series, and joined the rebuilding Royals on a minor-league deal in January.

Outfielder Cristian Pache (A’s)

Pache was part of the Braves’ trade for Matt Olson, who replaced Freeman at first base before last season. While lauded for his defense, offense was always a serious concern for Pache. That has continued in his fresh start. He hit .166 with a .459 OPS in 91 games last season with Oakland.

Reliever Jacob Webb (Angels)

The Angels signed Webb to a minor-league deal in November. Webb dealt with injuries and spent last season in the minors with the Diamondbacks and Braves.