Significant moves Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos made for 2019 season

Braves save enough by waiving Gausman to pay two new relievers

By waiving Kevin Gausman, the Braves saved enough money to cover the salaries of two of their new relief pitchers. 

When Cincinnati claimed Gausman off waivers from the Braves on Monday, the Reds became responsible for the approximately $2.8 million remaining on his 2019 contract. For the Braves, that savings more than offsets what they will pay relievers Shane Greene and Chris Martin for the rest of the season. 

When they were acquired in trades last week, Greene was owed about $1.33 million and Martin about $750,000 for the final two months of the season — a total of about $2.1 million. 

Although there was a financial benefit to waiving Gausman, the Braves’ decision was based on performance — his 6.19 ERA for the season and the 17 hits and 11 runs he allowed across 11-2/3 innings in his past two starts. 

The third reliever obtained by the Braves last week, Mark Melancon, is owed about $4.6 million for the remainder of the season. A bit of that is offset by the approximately $525,000 remaining on former Braves reliever Dan Winkler’s contract, which the Giants assumed as part of the deal. Melancon also is under contract for $14 million next year.

The bottom line, after accounting for Gausman’s departure and last week’s trades, is that the Braves’ 2019 major-league payroll now stands at about $137 million, a net gain of almost $4 million from where it stood before any of those moves.

The Braves ended the 2018 season with a payroll of $130.1 million. 

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Leadoff links 

> Mike Foltynewicz, recalled from Gwinnett to replace Gausman in the rotation, will start at Minnesota tonight. Foltynewicz will make a difference, one way or another, Mark Bradley writes.

> Will Tiger Woods make it back to the Tour Championship? It’s borderline, Steve Hummer writes.

> The Falcons’ schedule could be harder than it looks, Michael Cunningham writes.

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