Braves sign two players to minor-league deals

Braves roster moves

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Braves have inked two players to minor league contracts — Andrew Velazquez and Ben Bowden.

Velazquez appeared in 54 games for the Angels before being waived and claimed by the Braves. He was outrighted at the end of the season and elected free agency, but now he’s back with the organization.

Velazquez has spent six years in the majors and offers next to nothing offensively. In 625 plate appearances, he’s hit just .189 with 12 homers and a .537 OPS. But like Nicky Lopez, he can play all over the diamond, and with Lopez being traded to Chicago, there’s a potential opportunity for him to claim the role as the Braves utility infielder. Although, I do expect the Braves to sign some more competition.

Ben Bowden was a former second round pick out of Vanderbilt back in 2016, but he hasn’t developed into much of anything at the pro level. He’s appeared in 39 major-league games — all as a reliever with the Rockies in 2021 — recording a 6.56 ERA.

It may be unlikely that Bowden ever makes an impact in Atlanta, but he does have some intriguing strikeout numbers. He punched out 13.1 batters per nine innings last year in AAA to go along with a 4.64 ERA. If the Braves could somehow reign in his control, perhaps he could end up being the latest Alex Anthopoulos’ diamond in the rough bullpen signing.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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