Braves claim INF Andrew Velazquez from Angels; Yonny Chirinos moved to 60-day IL

The Atlanta Braves made a waiver claim on Tuesday afternoon for an Angels infielder who will give them more depth at the minor league level.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Angels
Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Angels / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves made a couple of roster changes on Tuesday. Earlier today, they announced Michael Soroka would be starting tonight against the Cardinals and sent Ben Heller to Gwinnett.

Atlanta has also announced the acquisition of infielder Andrew Velazquez who was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Angels. He was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Braves transferred RHP Yonny Chirinos to the 60-day IL which means Chirinos will not pitch for Atlanta again this year.

Velazquez initially debuted with Tampa in 2018 and has been playing in the MLB since then. This season, he appeared in 54 games with the Angels. He’s hit just .189/.244/.293 in 624 career plate appearances and has a .174 average in the 2023 season.

He is a utility player who can play second base, shortstop, third base, and some outfield as well. He's regarded for providing good defense and has spent most of this season at shortstop. Velazquez is just another part of the Angel's recent barrage of moves being made. Most of them were salary-driven but Velazquez was making the minimum salary so he likely wasn't a financial move.

He was acquired after September 1st so he won't be available for a postseason roster spot. He would have been a redundant option anyhow with Nicky Lopez filling a similar role. He does give the Braves infield depth and with him being arbitration-eligible at the end of this season, Atlanta could add another bench option for next season at an affordable rate.

He has 3 years of control left but is out of minor league options so that will make it tough for him to remain with the organization unless he stays at the big league level after being called up. Whenever that happens.

As for Yonny Chirinos, he was acquired at the trade deadline to hopefully fill the Braves fifth rotation spot. Unfortunately for Chirinos, despite an 8.9 K/9 rate, he produced a 9.27 ERA through 22.1 innings after coming over to Atlanta.

He apparently wouldn't have been available until the middle of October so this move makes sense. So, there's a slim chance he could pitch if the Braves make a deep postseason run but I wouldn't count on it. He has one more year of control left if Atlanta's front office decides to bring him back but he'll be out of minor league options as well.

I don't expect he will return in a Braves uniform but you never know what you'll get with Alex Anthopoulos at the helm.