Report: Atlanta Braves to designate Anthony Varvaro for assignment


After acquiring both Alberto Callaspo and Dion Toscano in recent days, the Atlanta Braves were facing a problem with roster space. Now, it appears as if the team has chosen to solve that problem in a somewhat surprising way, as Mark Bowman of reports that the Braves will designate relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro for assignment.

The 30-year-old Varvaro has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the past two seasons, with a 2.82 mark over 73.1 innings in 2013 and a 2.63 mark over 54.2 innings in 2014. Quite obviously, that is very good production from a relatively cost effective member of the bullpen, and despite Varvaro’s lack of “upside” as a late-inning reliever, he has been more than serviceable during his time in the Braves organization.

At first blush, this seems like a suboptimal move, with the Atlanta Braves still employing the likes of Jose Constanza (among others) on the 40-man roster. The rationale for this decision should be interesting (i.e. how will John Hart spin this?), but for now, we are left scratching our heads at the thought of a potentially above-average relief pitcher leaving the organization without any return whatsoever.

Anthony Varvaro is not an All Star-caliber player by any stretch, but it seems impossible (because it is) to justify the choice to break ties with him (via release, demotion or trade) over a number of options on the current Major League roster, and this is yet another in an increasingly long line of controversial decisions by the new regime.