Sure, they aren’t the flashy big money, big name acquisitions we’re all waiting to see… but it’s still these kind of guys who make sure that holes are filled when necessary.
Within the past week, the Atlanta Braves have signed two journeymen/utility players to minor league deals who are likely to be stashed at Gwinnett in case an emergency should arise.
“The Braves have reportedly agreed to a minor-league pact with veteran infielder Pedro Florimon. Roster Roundup had the news recently on Twitter, with Jon Heyman of Fancred tweeting today that a deal is in place.”
That term ‘veteran’ is accurate, but might suggest more than you’d think. He will turn 32 years old on Monday, and though boasting well over 3 years of major league service time, Florimon has accumulated just over one full season’s worth of plate appearances for 4 different clubs – scattered between 2011 and 2018.
He has game experience at every position on the field other than catcher and first base – but originally was used as a middle infielder.
Florimon has hit just .211 in the majors with an OPS under .600. He has hit 12 homers, but 9 of those case in a 2013 burst in which he appeared in 134 games and used up over half of his lifetime AB’s.
Given those parameters… yes, he’s a defense-first player.
Once again, MLBTR with the assist:
“The Braves have agreed to a minor-league pact with infielder Andres Blanco, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). He stands to earn at a $850K rate in the majors, if he can earn a roster spot.”
Blanco – who shares my birthdate (I called it first) – will be 35 in April and comes with 7 seasons of big-league experience with 4 clubs. Most of this came while with Philadelphia betweeb the 2015-2017 seasons.
Blanco has also roamed the diamond, but has stayed mostly in the infield – with shortstop and second base being his primary positions.
His 1,321 major league plate appearances came with 18 career homer and a .256 average, so there’s at least the potential for a better bat.
Not much mystery here: both players should have a chance to compete for an ‘extra infielder’ spot this Spring. They will be there push themselves and to push guys like Charlie Culberson. Competition is not a bad thing.
Beyond that, there are often injuries that happen and Atlanta is right in wanting to get a jump on this tier of free agent options.
None of these ever really ‘stuck’ with Atlanta, but they all filled a need at the time.
Since both are inked to minor league pacts, there is no 40-man roster concern at this time – but we may get to see both later on during some Spring games.