With the free agency period set to begin Thursday – the first day free agents can sign with new teams – the Braves freed up some space on their 40-man roster Wednesday. They outrighted catcher J.C. Boscan, pitcher Stephen Marek and outfielders Wilkin Ramirez and Antoan Richardson. They also purchased the contract of Gwinnett right-hander Todd Redmond, adding him to the 40-man.
With free agents Alex Gonzalez, George Sherrill, Scott Linebrink and Jack Wilson expected to come off the 40-man roster Thursday, the Braves will have seven spots remaining for players they can add via trades and free agency and protect from the Rule 5 draft.
High on the Braves’ wish list are shortstop and a left fielder to play when Martin Prado fills in for Chipper Jones at third base.
“We like the foundation of our team,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said this week. “We may make some tweaks or we may make some bigger moves, just depending on what is out there and how it all falls over the course of the next couple months.”
Both Boscan and Ramirez elected to become free agents rather than accept minor league assignments, and Richardson and Marek will become six-year minor league free agents.
Braves sign Parraz
The Braves signed 27-year-old outfielder Jordan Parraz to a minor league contract Thursday and are expected to invite him to spring training. He’ll provide some depth in the outfield in Triple-A after the departures of Ramirez and Richardson.
Parraz, a third round pick of the Astros in 2004, hit .289 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in Scranton/Wilkes Barre last year in the Yankees organization.