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Braves non-tender Charlie Culberson, per report

The former first-round pick hits free agency

MLB: SEP 22 Giants at Braves Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have our first surprising non-tender decision of the afternoon. Ahead of tonight’s deadline, the Atlanta Braves have decided to non-tender outfielder Charlie Culberson. The move was first rumored by’s Mark Bowman and confirmed by Robert Murray.

It’s an interesting move to consider from both sides. Culberson, 31, is a former first-round pick who has spent the past two years patrolling Atlanta’s outfield. This past season, he appeared in 108 games, slashing .259/.294/.437 with 35 hits, including five doubles, five home runs, and a pair of triples. He walked six times while striking out 44, making for an eye-popping walk-to-strikeout ration.

Culberson was projected to earn roughly $2 million in arbitration, and apparently the Braves decided it wasn't worth it, cutting ties with him in an apparent effort to open up a roster spot and/or extra salary. While not as crucial, it’s worth noting that Culberson was a fan favorite in Atlanta, so this move will likely startle plenty of baseball fans in Georgia.

Culberson will surely receive a major-league deal in free agency, but he will now need to add a new step to his offseason plans as he searches for a new job ahead of the 2020 season. (Of course, it’s possible he returns to Atlanta on a cheaper deal. Only time will tell.)