The Braves announced they’ve claimed third baseman/second baseman Rylan Bannon off waivers from the Dodgers and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Corner outfielder Travis Demeritte has been designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Bannon has been shuffled around the league in recent weeks. He’s gone from the Orioles to the Dodgers and now to Atlanta via waivers since August 8. The 26-year-old only has four big league games under his belt, but he’s long been regarded as a solid prospect and has a decent track record in the minors. He’s spent the majority of this season with the Orioles top affiliate in Norfolk, hitting .229/.347/.407 across 326 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter has connected on 11 home runs and 14 doubles while drawing walks at a robust 13.8% clip, although he’s also striking out at an elevated 26.7% rate.
This is the second of three minor league option years for Bannon, who can therefore bounce between the big leagues and Triple-A for the next season and a half. Atlanta typically has an excellent infield of Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley, with top prospect Vaughn Grissom getting the recent playing time at second base while Albies mends a broken foot. There’s not much of a path to immediate playing time for Bannon, but he’ll serve as an upper level depth option in Gwinnett.
Demeritte, 27, has appeared at the MLB level in three of the past four seasons. A former Rangers first-round pick, he spent time in the Atlanta system before being dealt to the Tigers in 2019. He made his major league debut with Detroit and spent two seasons there before returning to the Braves as a waiver claim in 2021. Atlanta passed him through outright waivers and kept him in Triple-A last year, but they selected him onto the 40-man roster at the end of the season to keep him from qualifying for minor league free agency.
He held that 40-man spot throughout the winter and has appeared in 26 big league games this season, hitting .213/.260/.337. Demeritte spent the majority of the year in Gwinnett, struggling to a .207/.291/.357 line while striking out in 34.2% of his plate appearances. Swing-and-miss has been an issue throughout his big league time as well, as Demeritte has fanned in 34.6% of his 315 trips to the plate in the majors. He owns a .216/.277/.328 career line at the highest level.
The Braves will place Demeritte on outright or release waivers within the next few days. Having previously been outrighted in his career, he’d have the right to elect free agency if he goes unclaimed.