Braves reliever Luke Jackson cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
The right-hander was dropped from the 40-man roster Dec. 20 when the Braves needed to clear a roster spot after acquiring outfielder Preston Tucker from the Astros in a trade.
Jackson, who had a 4.62 ERA in 43 appearances in 2017 in his first full season, was out of minor-league options and had to pass through waivers before he could be sent to the minor leagues. After going unclaimed by the other 29 teams, the Braves were able to retain him and outright him to Triple-A.
He’ll compete for a bullpen job in spring training and could provide in-season depth for the Braves if he begins the season in the minors.
Jackson, 26, came to the Braves from the Rangers in a December 2016 trade for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
In his first 19 appearances for the Braves through July 2, Jackson had 16 scoreless outings and posted a 3.00 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .221 average and .603 OPS with 18 strikeouts, seven walks and one homer allowed in 24 innings.
But in his final 24 appearances beginning July 4, Jackson had a 6.08 ERA and gave up a .321 opponents’ average and .879 opponents’ OPS with 15 strikeouts, 12 walks and three homers allowed in 26 2/3 innings.