The Braves announced that catcher Jeff Mathis has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett. As a player with more than three years of MLB service, Mathis had the right to refuse a minor league assignment. However, he has decided to accept a spot on the Atlanta taxi squad and will remain in the organization as non-roster depth, reports David O’Brien of the Athletic (Twitter link).
Atlanta designated Mathis for assignment when they acquired Kevan Smith from the Rays yesterday. The 38-year-old Mathis had only gotten into three games with the Braves before they removed him from the roster. He went 0-9 with five strikeouts in that limited stretch.
Of course, Atlanta wasn’t expecting Mathis to offer much at the plate. Throughout his career, he’s been among the league’s least productive hitters. Mathis’ value is in his high-end defense, and he’s particularly well-regarded for his game calling and ability to work with a pitching staff. The Braves will be happy to keep the respected veteran around behind their current catching duo of William Contreras and Smith. Projected starter Travis d’Arnaud is out for at least the next couple of months after tearing a ligament in his thumb.