The Braves could make a big splash in the Rule 5 Draft
Clearing a bunch of room on the 40 man roster could very well mean that the Braves are planning to be very active in this year's Rule 5 Draft. While that isn't the sexiest option on the table, a team has to have open spots on the 40 man roster to make picks in the major league portion of the Rule 5 and Atlanta has plenty of room now.
The Rule 5 Draft is a somewhat arcane process. Basically, it is a way to prevent teams from indefinitely stockpiling prospects in their minor league systems by making minor leaguers who have been around for 4-5 years who are not on 40 man rosters available to be picked by other teams. There is a bit more to it than that, but that is the general gist.
This year's Rule 5 class is somewhat interesting as guys like pitchers Tanner Burns, Shane Drohan, and CJ Van Eyk along with position players Grant McCray, Troy Johnston, and Blaine Crim are among those that are going to be available. For teams that need to fill out 40 man spots on the cheap, the Rule 5 can be a great way to go about it.
However, this explanation doesn't make the most sense upon a closer look. The Braves are almost certainly going to make a couple picks in the Rule 5 now that they have so much roster space, but this particular group of Rule 5 eligible players isn't THAT deep and the Braves are going to be picking near the bottom which makes relying on getting impact players a very dicey proposition. On top of that, most of the guys that get picked in the Rule 5 are bullpen arms which is one area of the roster that looks pretty settled at the moment.