Braves make several roster moves ahead of offseason

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There’s a chance the World Series ends tonight, as the Rangers take on the Diamondbacks in Game 5, with the Rangers holding a commanding 3-1 series lead. If that happens, it’s officially the start of the MLB offseason for all 30 teams.

The Braves, however, have already started some of their offseason work. Last week, they made their first splash, re-signing Pierce Johnson to a two-year contract. Today, they have made a couple of roster moves.

Ben Heller and Andrew Velazquez have been outrighted to AAA Gwinnett. Meanwhile, Sam Hilliard has been claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

The Braves have some guys who will be returning from the 60-day IL, and they should be adding plenty of new faces this offseason, so trimming some of the fat is inevitable, and it has started with Sam Hilliard.

Hilliard had a brief stint in April where he was counted on consistently in the Braves lineup. In his first 18 appearances (13 starts), he hit over .300 with a .909 OPS. But eventually, he regressed towards the mean and then the injury bug caught him a couple of times, ending his season. He last appeared for the Braves on July 18th.

Of the two players the Braves outrighted to Gwinnett, Ben Heller is the one to keep an eye on. The Braves claimed him off waivers this year, and he flashed at times with some really nasty stuff. Finding consistency will be key, but Heller could end up being a significant contributor out of the Braves bullpen at some point in 2024.

Photo: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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