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Oct 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) reaches second against the tag of Atlanta Braves second baseman Elliot Johnson (30) in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves non-tender Elliot Johnson, Paul Janish, and Cristhian Martinez

When the Atlanta Braves took on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series, they were forced to utilize Elliot Johnson as their starting second baseman after the collapse of Dan Uggla. On Monday, the team brought things full circle by declining to offer Johnson (among others) a contract for 2014.

It certainly isn’t a shock that the Braves non-tendered any of the three players in question, but the fact that Johnson went from playoff starter to unemployed is a bit unsettling. In a vacuum, Johnson doesn’t have quite the skills to be an everyday player at this stage of his career, and the Braves weren’t in desperate need of a utility man after they offered a 1-year deal to Ramiro Pena on Monday.

Janish and Martinez were even simpler decisions (at least on paper) for Atlanta. Janish is a no-bat infielder (career OPS of under .600) without a defined role for next year, and Martinez is coming off of an injury that saw him throw single-digit innings in 2013. However, each guy has contributed to playoff-bound Braves teams in the past, making them bigger names than the “usual” non-tender candidates.

It’s not ever day that a team non-tenders a starter from a playoff team, but in this case, it makes all kinds of sense.

 

Tags: Atlanta Braves Elliot Johnson Paul Janish

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