The 28-year-old made 21 appearances out of the Atlanta bullpen the last two years, going 1-2 with a 3.94 earned-run average.
“You’ll see him up here,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “This guy’s a very serviceable pitcher in the big leagues.”
Gonzalez said the Braves never envisioned Thomas as a starter after signing him out of the independent Northern League in May 2012 but added “he’s got enough pitches that he can start.”
Friedman’s opinion of Thomas is even higher. He began talking to the Braves about Thomas in spring training, and liked the lefty enough that he threw in fireballing right-hander Chris Withrow along with Uribe.
“We feel like his floor is as a good major league reliever,” Friedman said. “He actually has a chance to pitch in our rotation and serve as depth for us, at a time that’s a big emphasis of ours.”
Thomas has one option year remaining on his contract.
Withrow had Tommy John surgery in June 2014. The Dodgers were not counting on him returning until 2016, “in terms of him getting back to what he was,” Friedman said.