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Eric O’Flaherty, Emilio Bonifaco will make 2017 squad as Atlanta Braves announce roster moves

The Braves were busy on Tuesday morning.

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves still have a few decisions to make ahead of Opening Day but, on Tuesday morning, the team provided a bit of clarity with five roster moves. Headlining the roster shuffling was the fact that both LHP Eric O’Flaherty and utility man Emilio Bonifacio will, in fact, make the team out of Spring Training.

Elsewhere, Matt Wisler was (unsurprisingly) optioned to Gwinnett, where he will serve as a starting pitcher and potential fill-in option at the MLB level given the close proximity. Joel De La Cruz was also sent to minor league camp in a move that fits with the widely projected roster, but the surprising note here is the release of left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez.

Rodriguez did not pitch at all in 2016 due to injury but he was seen as a potential front-runner to be the third left-hander out of the bullpen once O’Flaherty made his reported ascent. There is plenty of room to speculate as to why O’Flaherty leapfrogged Rodriguez in the pecking order but, for now, the talented southpaw is left surprisingly looking for work despite holding a minor league option.

Braves fans shouldn’t be shocked to see O’Flaherty and Bonifacio on the roster as April approaches, even if both inclusions aren’t exactly inspiring in nature. Stay tuned.

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