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There is a reason why Shane Greene is not back in an Atlanta Braves uniform: His advanced stats.
Shane Greene is entering his age-32 season and is coming off an excellent year-and-a-half run with the Atlanta Braves. However, he remains unsigned heading into MLB Opening Day. If you want to know why he is not back with the Braves just yet, look at his 2020 advanced stats.
Sam Peebles of SportsTalkATL outlines a root cause for why Greene does not have a new contract with Atlanta. He suggests that for the last two years Greene has outperformed his career average in some simple metrics, such as ERA and WHIP. While pitchers do get better with age, as well as pitching for a better organization, some of his 2020 numbers foreshadow an incoming regression.
Atlanta Braves not willing to pay Shane Greene All-Star-level money
Though 2020 was a very small sample size, Peebles points at Greene’s career-worst xFIP of 4.75 as well as his SIERA of 4.51 as potential indicators of regression to the mean. In layman’s terms, these two advanced metrics largely show what a pitcher does independent of defense. A big reason the Braves have three-peated in the NL East is because of solid defense. Greene benefited.
For a cash-strapped Braves team that is owned by a media conglomerate, the front office cannot afford to pay a premium for a player it does not view as a premium talent. Keep in mind how arduous of an ordeal it was to get left fielder Marcell Ozuna back on a new deal. The Braves also have to figure out how to extend its franchise cornerstone in reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman.
The Braves are betting on Greene not being as good as he was the last year and a half for them.