The Atlanta Braves’ roster continues to transform under their new-look front office.
The organization non-tendered three players — first baseman Matt Adams and utility options Jace Peterson and Danny Santana — and reached a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with right-handed pitcher and waiver-wire acquisition Chase Whitley, the team announced on Friday night.
The flurry of roster activity leaves pitchers Mike Foltynewicz, Arodys Vizcaino, Sam Freeman and Daniel Winkler as the franchise’s only arbitration-eligible players. Atlanta has three open spots on its 40-man roster.
Non-tender options are eligible to sign with their original team.
Adams, a midseason acquisition following Freddie Freeman’s wrist injury, was the most contentious decision facing new general manager Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves before Friday night’s non-tender deadline. The 29-year-old can clearly produce at the major-league level, hitting 11 percent above league average over the course of his career with the Braves and Cardinals, but manager Brian Snitker could not find Adams at-bats after Freeman returned from the disabled list — both due to positional rigidity and a drop in production.
Projected to earn nearly $5 million in his final year of arbitration, Adams would have proven an expensive bench option.
Peterson was a roster mainstay under two managers after breaking in with the team in 2015. A former Padres farmhand, the 27-year-old moved around the field for both Snitker and Fredi Gonzalez, but he hit at the worst rate of his career in 215 plate appearances last season. Atlanta acquired Santana, a former standout rookie for the Twins, as a midseason flyer, but injuries and a quiet hit tool limited his effectiveness.
Whitley, 28, could be given a chance to claim a rotation or long-relief spot in spring training. In 57 1/3 innings with the Rays last season, the former Tommy John recipient posted a 4.08 ERA and 3.56 fielding-independent pitching — the latter of which would have ranked third among Atlanta arms pitching at least 20 frames in 2017.