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Braves sign RHP Mitchell Boggs

Having not pitched in the majors since 2013, the 31-year-old reliever has joined Atlanta on a minor league deal.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have signed veteran reliever Mitchell Boggs to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman. He will be assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Boggs last pitched in the major leagues with the Rockies in 2013, posting a 3.12 ERA in 8 2/3 innings over the course of nine appearances with Colorado. He also pitched for the Cardinals in 2013 with considerably less success, with an 11.05 ERA in 14 2/3 innings for St. Louis two years ago.

Boggs spent 2014 at Triple-A in both the Giants and White Sox systems, accumulating an 8.29 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 51 innings and 37 appearances. He was with the Red Sox in spring training prior to the season, but was released in late March.

Why the Braves need Boggs

The most obvious correlation for the timing of Boggs' signing is the suspension of Atlanta reliever Andrew McKirahan, who will miss the next 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Boggs will likely take the spot of Ian Thomas in Gwinnett, as Thomas looks to be first in line to replace McKirahan in Atlanta's bullpen.

McKirahan's suspension only furthers the depletion of the Braves' bullpen, which lost closer Craig Kimbrel in a trade with the Padres the day before the season started, making bullpen depth that much more essential for Atlanta.

What Boggs brings to Atlanta

Despite his struggles in 2014, Boggs does have a decent track record of success at the big league level. From 2010-2012, Boggs posted three straight seasons with an ERA and FIP each below 4.00 with the Cardinals. During that run of success, Boggs' main weapon was his velocity, with his fastball averaging more than 95 MPH in each of those three seasons, topping out at an average of 96.1 in 2010.

Boggs' best season came in 2012, when he had a 2.21 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 78 appearances and 73 1/3 innings pitched. He also has recorded six saves in his major league career.