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Braves sign infielder Pedro Florimon to minor league deal, per report

Ah, December. Impassable snow, weird Jerry DiPoto trades, and of course, minor league deals. It’s Atlanta’s turn to get in on the action, per a tweet from Jon Heyman:

With no confirmation, this is a bit of a tentative proposition at the moment, but it’s not exactly a blockbuster move either way. Florimon got all of 76 PAs with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, managing an 86 wRC+ and dreadful shortstop defense en route to a double-goose egg of 0.0 fWAR. He missed much of the year due to a foot fracture, which kept him out of major league action for all of June, July, and August. Before (and after) the injury, Florimon actually saw fairly regular pinch-hitting and defensive substitution action as part of the Phillies’ in-game personnel carousel.

Overall, Florimon presents as a 31-year-old switch hitter that’s played in the majors across parts of eight seasons, though he’s managed just 867 total major league plate appearances. He has a woeful career 59 wRC+ and amassed essentially his entire career value during his 2013 season with the Twins, where he got 446 PAs and still couldn’t hit a lick, but managed to turn really good shortstop defense (12 DRS, 6 UZR) into a 1.4 fWAR season. (For his career, Florimon only has 1.3 fWAR, as he’s had more negative fWAR than positive fWAR in seasons other than 2013.) Florimon hasn’t taken the field enough to truly determine whether his once-good defense has ceased providing value in his 30s, but he doesn’t really represent a quality bench option either way.

This signing is more of a depth move, reminiscent to when the Braves signed Christian Colon last offseason. Colon was also coming off a few seasons of part-time, replacement-level play, and didn’t crack a major league roster at all last year, spending most of his time playing for the Mets’ Triple-A ballclub after the Braves released him from Gwinnett after just 55 PAs.

Fun fact: Florimon made his pitching debut in the majors against Atlanta in 2018, tossing an inning of two-run ball against the Braves back on March 31, as part of Gabe Kapler’s much maligned opening series. Lane Adams took him deep.

Florimon elected free agency after the Phillies outrighted him off the 40-man roster in early November. If this report is true, the Braves will be his sixth organization (Orioles, Twins, Nationals, Pirates, Phillies). The 2004 IFA signee has been claimed off waivers thrice, and this will be his third contract as a free agent (the previous two were both with the Phillies).

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