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Brock Holt released: Braves add three more to minor league contracts, including Preston Tucker

Brock Holt released: Braves add three more to minor league contracts, including Preston Tucker

In a bit of a surprise on Thursday morning, veteran infielder Brock Holt was released from the Braves, along with the optioning to the minors of pitcher Dylan Lee and outfielder Travis Demeritte. It appears Holt was to be optioned as well, but instead asked to be released from the team.

Looking very likely to make the Braves 28-man roster for Opening Day as one of the team’s back-up infielders, the 33-year-old Holt has had a strong spring so far, hitting .429 with a home run, a double and two RBI in four games. With his experience playing multiple positions in the infield, and the fact that he’s a left-handed hitter (opposite of the righty-hitting Orlando Arcia), many felt Holt would complement the Braves bench well. But I guess the team had other plans…

In other news, the Braves made three minor league signings on Wednesday, bringing in right-hander Seth Elledge, infielder Brian Klein and outfielder Preston Tucker.

Elledge, a former prospect in the Mariners system (the team that drafted him in 2017), comes from the Cardinals, who released him just a few days ago. Entering his age-26 season, Elledge is coming off his first taste in the majors in 2021, a short stint in which he posted a 4.63 ERA in 11 2/3 innings with St. Louis. As a two-pitch reliever with very little big league experience, he’ll likely play out his 2022 campaign at Triple-A Gwinnett, with a potential opportunity to contribute in Atlanta’s bullpen if needed.

Klein is an interesting choice. He’s a 23-year-old infielder that has yet to play a game at the full-season level in the minors. As a non-drafted player, the 5’11”, 190-pound Klein played in 25 games at the rookie level for the Nationals farm system in 2021, hitting .275 with six XBH (2 HR) in 65 PA. Given his age, surely the Braves will assign him to Single-A Augusta or High-A Rome to start the 2022 season.

Lastly, Tucker is familiar name for Braves Country, as he was once a promising outfielder in the Braves farm system, playing in 18 big league games with Atlanta back in 2018 before being traded to the Reds in the Adam Duvall deal. The now 31-year-old bounced around a bit in the majors following that trade but has been playing in Korea’s KBO league for the last three seasons, where he has put together some impressive performances; back in 2020, Tucker hit .306 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI (148 wRC+) in 142 games in Korea. I would imagine that Tucker will find himself in Triple-A Gwinnett to start 2022, as a viable depth option for the Braves major league outfield.

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