It might surprise you to know that the Braves’ 25-man roster for the NL Division Series includes only four players who were drafted by the organization.
The catchers require asterisks because neither has been with the Braves continuously since being drafted. The Braves didn’t retain McCann when he became a free agent after the 2013 season, but they re-signed him five years later when he again was a free agent. They traded Flowers to the White Sox before he reached the big leagues, but reacquired him after the 2015 season as a free agent.
The playoff roster includes two players who signed with the Braves as international amateurs: outfielder Ronald Acuna (signed in July 2014 at age 16) and second baseman Ozzie Albies (signed in July 2013 at 16).
So that’s just six players, including the two aforementioned catchers, on the NLDS roster who came into professional baseball initially with the Braves’ organization.
That’s a smaller number than you might guess, especially for a franchise that avoids the high-end multi-year free-agent market.
Here’s how the Braves acquired the rest of their NLDS roster:
• Eleven players were obtained from other teams in trades of varying sizes: starting pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Max Fried; shortstop Dansby Swanson; outfielders Adam Duvall and Matt Joyce; and relief pitchers Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, Chris Martin, Sean Newcomb, Darren O’Day and Luke Jackson. (The Joyce “trade” was for minimal cash considerations.)
• Seven players, in addition to the returns of Flowers and McCann, were signed as free agents of varying magnitude: third baseman Josh Donaldson, starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, outfielders Nick Markakis and Rafael Ortega, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, catcher Francisco Cervelli and relief pitcher Josh Tomlin.
• And one player was claimed off waivers: outfielder Billy Hamilton.
Also notable: Of the 25 players who were on the Braves’ opening-day active roster this season, almost half — 12, including opening-day starting pitcher Julio Teheran — aren’t on the NLDS roster. And of the 25 players who were on the Braves’ roster for last season’s NLDS against the Dodgers, 17 aren’t on the roster for the series against the Cardinals.
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