The Braves went “above and beyond” their payroll budget for this season to remake their bullpen at the trade deadline, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
The Braves added almost $7 million to the 2019 payroll by acquiring relief pitchers Shane Greene, Chris Martin and Mark Melancon in three separate trades Tuesday and Wednesday.
Melancon will be paid about $4.6 million, Greene about $1.33 million and Martin about $750,000 for the remaining two months of the season. Those amounts are prorated portions of their contracts for the full season.
“We’re going to go a pretty significant chunk over our allocated budget for the current year to make these deals,” Anthopoulos said.
He said Braves chairman Terry McGuirk “gave me the approval very fast to do that, (and) I’m certainly grateful we were able to do that again, two years in a row.”
The Braves also assumed a significant financial obligation for the 2020 season in acquiring Melancon from the San Francisco Giants. His contract calls for a $14 million salary next year. That becomes the Braves’ responsibility in full, Anthopoulos confirmed.
Martin, acquired from the Texas Rangers, can become a free agent after this season, and Greene, acquired from the Detroit Tigers, is eligible for salary arbitration before the 2020 season.
This week’s trades, combined with the June signing of free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel to a $13 million contract and other in-season moves, raised the Braves’ 2019 major-league player payroll to about $139.8 million, according to calculations by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Although Anthopoulos said the Braves exceeded their payroll budget, it is not clear by how much because the team doesn’t publicly disclose its budgeted amount. The Braves’ payroll at the end of last season was $130.1 million, the AJC previously reported.
The Braves’ current payroll ranks 14th among the 30 MLB teams, according to sports contracts tracker Spotrac.com.
The payroll calculation includes salaries paid by the Braves during the year to players no longer with the team and prorated portions of signing bonuses paid by the team. The total also includes salaries of players on the injured list.
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