Atlanta Braves and the roster rules for August

Hopefully the Atlanta Braves won't need to invoke any of the procedures needed to add players in August. Mandatory Credit: Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK
Hopefully the Atlanta Braves won't need to invoke any of the procedures needed to add players in August. Mandatory Credit: Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK /

The trade deadline has passed, so the Atlanta Braves have to go with who they now have on the roster… almost.

The days of August waiver trades are over, so the flurry of activity that brought the Atlanta Braves 3 more outfielders and a reliever in July will mean the end of any significant roster transactions for 2021.

That said, there are a few changes we expect to see, and there are ways that players can still change uniforms… but first, here are updates on the players we expect to see soon:


Catcher Travis d’Arnaud is currently engaging in rehab games with the Gwinnett Stripers.  In 2 games, he has 5 plate appearances resulting in 2 walks and 2 strikeouts with a pop out to shortstop mixed in.

The Stripers have not yet played him either a full-length game or on back-to-back days, so expect this rehab excursion to last this full week, at least.  The team begins an enormous homestand — 12 games in 13 days with added days off to bookend the entire set — on Tuesday evening.


Huascar Ynoa got to start back at High-A Rome, where he’s made 1 start, getting knocked around for 2 innings in the process. The result isn’t important in this case — recovery the next day is more important, and we’ve heard nothing to suggest a problem so far.

Ynoa is likely to get a bullpen role upon his return to the majors, though could be called upon as an emergency starter.

Aside from these expected rehab returnees…


Standard player transaction rules are still in play… so long as trades and 40-man roster transactions are not involved.

Thus, a player without minor league options can still be designated for assignment (the process of removing him from a 40-man roster).  Such players can also be claimed by another team… and then they have to put said player on their own 40-man list.

This happened on Monday as Seattle claimed outfielder Marcus Wilson from the waiver list of the Boston Red Sox.  Wilson has a minor league option available, and the Mariners used that to send him to their Tacoma AAA affiliate while they then DFA’d a different outfielder.

Free Agents

Ender Inciarte is an example of someone who has been granted a full release from his current club and therefore could be available to another.

The Atlanta Braves are still on the hook for the remainder of his 2021 salary, but if someone opted to sign him to a major-league deal now, they could get away with paying him the major league minimum for the next 2 months — an amount that would be subtracted from his Braves paycheck.

While it is theoretically possible that high-profile players could change teams in this manner (like a Trevor Story), there’s a next-to-zero chance of it happening.

In Story’s case, the Rockies would be forfeiting any possible draft compensation by failing to keep the player for the entire season, so that’s probably a terrible example anyway.


[updated: this section was inadvertently omitted from the original version of this post]

With everything above said, trades can still be done between teams… so long as you’re moving minor leaguers not on a 40-man roster.

In fact, this has already been done:  witness this from

"The Brewers announced they’ve acquired reliever John Axford from the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Axford signed a minor league deal with Toronto in June and was not on the Jays’ 40-man roster, which is why he’s eligible to be traded even after last Friday’s deadline."

A bit sneaky, but perfectly legit.

So as we say:  it’s extremely difficult to find any players of significance under this new system, but players can change teams via what amounts to emergency-level procedures.

Last quick point:  a player is playoff-eligible for your team if he’s a member of your organization — at any level — when the calendar flips to September 1st.

Next. Detailed Deadline Discussions. dark

To play, you’d have to be promoted to both the 40-man roster and then the 26-man active roster, but even if you’re toiling away in a rookie league right now… you’re technically qualified to be used in a major league playoff game.