According to David O'Brien at the AJC, the Braves attempted to clear left-handed pitchers Jose Ortegano and Lee Hyde off the 40-man roster by passing them through waivers. Both pitchers, however, were claimed. Hyde was claimed by the Nationals, and Ortegano was claimed by the Yankees.
This is a bizarre move, as I viewed Ortegano as possible rotation depth at triple-A, and Hyde as left-handed relief depth at triple-A. Hyde especially seemed to have a Major League path ahead of him in the bullpen, though it's likely good news for him as the Nationals will use him in the Majors much sooner than the Braves would have.
There was no apparent need to clear any 40-man roster space. The Braves could have placed Kris Medlen on the 60-day disabled list which would have opened up a spot, or they could have finally removed Billy Wagner from the roster.
Perplexing, but I guess they thought Hyde and Ortegano were so far down the depth chart they would never be used. At the very least I would have thought that they would have some nominal trade value, especially considering how quickly they were claimed, but the Braves know their players better than anyone, and they're usually right about this sort of thing.
[UPDATE: 3/23 @ 7:20Ppm]
A couple of tweets from Mark Bowman shed a little more light on these moves:
Don't make too much out of waiver claims. Ortegano was 84-86 mph in camp. No future in ATL. Hyde just had 2 many injuries early in career
And the second tweet:
Gives Braves flexibility to add more attractive pieces to 40-man. Will be a benefit when clubs try to sneak players through waivers next wk
Braves must think there are some players who will be put on waivers next week. Players they have likely been following and like. The more I think about it too, these guys were behind a lot of other relievers in the Braves system, and the probably had no chance of making the club this year or next. They were also cut very early from camp.