June 25, 2024

After optioning a handful of players to AAA Gwinnett on Monday, Atlanta’s down to only twenty-eight players in camp with two injured pitchers (Angel Perdomo and Penn Murfee) that will be heading to the injured list before Opening Day.

This means that the major position battles are decided, with Reynaldo López (5th starter), Forrest Wall (final bench spot), and Jackson Stephens (long man in pen) the winners of those respective competitions.

That is, unless the team adds a veteran between now and Opening Day.

The Braves have only thirty-eight players on their 40-man roster and can create an additional three spots by moving the trio of Ian Anderson, Murfee, and Perdomo to the 60-Day IL, allowing them to add up to five players.

And this weekend is the time to watch for that. Due to a clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, any player classified as an Article XX(B) free agent who is signed to a minor league deal has a universal opt-out date on Friday at 2 PM ET. If a player indicates they want to opt-out, the team has until noon on Sunday the 24th to either add the player to the 40-man roster or release them.

(An article XX(B) free agent is one that has more than six years of service and ended last season on either an MLB roster or the injured list.)

Additionally, several players that don’t qualify as XX(B) free agents are given that clause in their deals as well, although that’s not an easily searchable list as it’s usually not disclosed at signing.

If Atlanta wanted, they could go out and add any of these players, giving them a 40-man spot and stashing them in AAA Gwinnett (if the player agrees to sign with the team).

Here’s a list of every XX(B) player that could potentially become available, helpfully compiled by FanGraphs writer Jon Becker.

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