Braves Claim Mike Ford, Designate Joe Dunand

The Braves announced they’ve claimed first baseman Mike Ford off waivers from the Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Infielder Joe Dunand has been designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space.

It has been a roller-coaster of a season for Ford, who’s now on his third different organization of the year. He signed a minor league deal with Seattle, then was selected onto the big league roster in April. Seattle designated him for assignment and traded him to the Giants fairly quickly, then acquired him back from San Francisco two weeks later once the Giants DFA him themselves. Ford held his second 40-man roster spot in Seattle for a few weeks, but the M’s again took him off the roster this past weekend.

Through it all, Ford has appeared in 17 MLB games. He’s compiled a rather bizarre .182/.357/.212 slash line, the product of eight walks but 12 strikeouts in only 42 plate appearances. It’s the fourth consecutive year in which he’s logged some big league time, with all of his pre-2022 MLB work coming in a Yankees uniform. The left-handed hitter broke in with an excellent .259/.350/.559 showing with 12 home runs in 50 games as a rookie, but he owns a .144/.273/.263 line in just shy of 200 plate appearances since the start of the 2020 camapign.

The 29-year-old adds a left-handed hitting depth option to the organization. Matt Olson obviously has first base accounted for, but the Braves have gotten subpar work (.252/.328/.360) out of their designated hitters. Ford is in his final minor league option year, meaning the Braves can keep him in Gwinnett for the rest of the season if they’re willing to carry him on the 40-man roster. He’s hit .271/.417/.417 in 14 Triple-A games this year.

Dunand was a recent waiver claim himself, coming over from the division-rival Marlins last week. His time in the organization may now be coming to close without a big league game, as the 26-year-old has just appeared in five games with Gwinnett. He did make a brief cameo in Miami earlier in the year, logging three appearances.

A former second-round pick, the right-handed hitting Dunand has a .209/.295/.376 line in 328 Triple-A plate appearances. He’s struggled with strikeouts throughout his minor league tenure, but the 6’2″ infielder has drawn praise in the past for his raw power potential. Dunand has played mostly on the left side of the infield in the minors, with a bit more work at shortstop than at third base. The Braves will have a week to trade him or look to run through waivers themselves.

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