The Spring Training positional battles went down to the wire this season, but the roster appears to be taking shape with the latest news out of Florida.
First off, the Braves appear to have cut ties with Emilio Bonifacio,
Bonifacio packing up his locker. #Braves— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) April 2, 2016
Bonifacio was projected to be below replacement and had not played particularly well in Spring Training (.255/.321/.392 with 17 strikeouts in 56 PAs). He also showed uninspiring outfield defense (at least according to my eye test in televised games). The Braves are effectively eating the $1.25 million they allocated on Bonifacio's major league deal, and Bonifacio will likely latch on elsewhere because major league front offices keep giving him work for some reason.
On top of that, the outfield picture has gained even more resolution, as Michael Bourn has become another casualty of the roster crunch. Bourn goes the way of recently released Nick Swisher, and closes the loop on the dumping of Chris Johnson last season. Bourn had had a bit of a downer Spring Training of his own (.240/.296/.320), and the Braves also effectively "eat' his remaining contract as well.
#Braves have cut Michael Bourn, who is owed $14 million. That's $30.25 million for DFA'd Bourn, Swisher, Bonifacio— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) April 2, 2016
This effectively means that recent acquisition Drew Stubbs is the darkhorse candidate that galloped to victory in securing the last outfield spot (unless the Braves something else in the works), which is kind of funny because it completely blows apart everyone's 25-man roster predictions.
Lastly, the Braves continue to search for relief help on all available avenues, especially if that help is left-handed. The Braves are familiar with Sean Burnett as he previously pitched 3.5 seasons in a Nationals uniform from 2009-2012. Unfortunately for Burnett, he underwent Tommy John Surgery twice after signing a $9.5 million deal with the Angels before the 2013 season, and has been told by the Nationals he won't make their team out of Spring Training despite not allowing a run during Grapefruit League play.
Overall, Burnett has pitched eight and two-thirds innings this spring, allowing one walk and six hits to go with seven strikeouts. He pitched just 10 innings over two years with the Angels due to the aforementioned elbow issues, and varied between being a very effective (2010, 2012) and very ineffective (2009, 2011) reliever. Still, there's little harm in giving him a test run, and he can join Eric O'Flaherty in the roster as lefties that are potentially shells of their former selves performance-wise in the 2016 Braves bullpen.