Breaking: Braves sign outfielder Leury Garcia….

Braves sign outfielder Leury Garcia

MLB: AUG 09 White Sox at Royals

Garcia has 10 MLB seasons under his belt, so don’t assume just because he signed a minor-league contract that he can’t sneak onto the major-league roster as a reserve outfielder.

Right now, the plan is for Jarred Kelenic and Vaughn Grissom to compete for the starting job in left field. My expectation is for Kelenic to get most of the starts, with Grissom serving as the ultimate utility man, capable of playing in the outfield and all over the infield. However, there’s also no guarantee Grissom is even on the roster come Opening Day. There’s still plenty of time this offseason for Alex Anthopoulos to pull off a substantial trade, and there’s a chance Grissom is included in a potential deal.

Leury Garcia didn’t play in 2023 and had a miserable 2022 campaign, hitting just .210 with a .500 OPS in 97 games. But in 2021, he posted 1.8 fWAR with a 96 wRC+ (4% below league average) in 126 games for the White Sox. The 1.8 fWAR matched his career-high, which he also posted in 2019.

A lot of Garcia’s value stems from his ability to play all over the diamond. He has experience in the middle infield as well as the outfield and is an above-average defensive player. That’s coveted around the league and could give him a leg up in the competition for one of the final roster spots.

It’s not the flashy signing fans have been patiently waiting for this offseason, but these smaller acquisitions are an area where Alex Anthopoulos has excelled in the past. There are countless examples of lesser-known names making an impact during this current run of success, and Leury Garcia could be next.

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