The Atlanta Braves weren’t extremely active in free agency but, as usual, Alex Anthopoulos went to work on the trade market. The biggest names that Atlanta acquired were Chris Sale and Jarred Kelenic, but Anthopoulos made several under-the-radar trades to improve Atlanta’s roster.

One of those deals saw the Braves land David Fletcher and Max Stassi from the Angels. The Braves would flip Stassi shortly after, but Fletcher was expected to add depth to Atlanta’s infield. He was outrighted off of the 40-man roster, but it felt like Fletcher, a player who received MVP votes in the shortened 2020 season, had a legitimate shot at an Opening Day roster spot.

Braves roster surprise continues as key offseason acquisition sent down

Fletcher gave it his best shot, as he recorded 12 hits in 37 at-bats (.324 batting average) and saw time at three different infield positions. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, as the former Angels fan-favorite was re-assigned to minor league camp.

Fletcher not making the Opening Day roster is a bit surprising considering he’s had MLB success and had a nice spring for Atlanta. That’s the latest surprise after Bryce Elder, a 2023 NL All-Star, was optioned this morning.

Fletcher (and several others) being sent down brought Atlanta’s current roster to 28 players. With two of those spots being held by injured relievers, the Braves have unofficially announced their Opening Day roster. Changes can obviously still be made, especially if Anthopoulos has another surprising signing up his sleeve, but the Braves Opening Daty roster appears to be set as of now.

Braves roster surprise continues as key offseason acquisition sent down

Fletcher did not make the cut, but another Spring Training standout, Forrest Wall, did. Wall has swung a hot bat all spring, recording 10 hits in 33 at-bats with three home runs and 10 RBI. He even chipped in on the base paths with three stolen bases. It makes sense that Wall made the team with how well he played, but roster-fit-wise, it makes less sense.

Wall is a left-handed hitting outfielder with only 15 games of MLB experience under his belt. Two of the Braves’ three starting outfielders happen to be left-handed hitters in Kelenic and Michael Harris II. When the Braves signed Adam Duvall, it felt like it was almost certain that Wall, another left-handed hitting outfielder with almost no big-league experience, wouldn’t make the team. By rostering Wall, Atlanta now has five outfielders. Wall being the clear fifth option will presumably rarely see the field.

Red Sox free agent Adam Duvall returns to Braves

He might make an impact with his legs as a pinch runner or even potentially as a defensive replacement, but there won’t be much for Wall to do on Atlanta’s roster. Fletcher provides elite infield defense and has been known to be great in the clubhouse as well. Perhaps this move came down to the 40-man roster. Wall was on it, Fletcher was not.