Per Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News, the Braves have acquired outfielder Matt Joyce from the Giants for cash considerations. It’ll be the third team this week for the 34-year-old Joyce, who was released Tuesday by Cleveland after the team informed him he wouldn’t crack the Opening Day roster.
Joyce enjoyed a late-career renaissance in 2016 with Pittsburgh, slashing .242/.403/.463 (136 wRC+), and again the following season in Oakland, where his 2.7 fWAR was a career best. He fell back to earth last season, though, posting an 89 wRC+ and just 0.2 fWAR in a 246 plate appearances, the vast majority of which came against right-handed pitching.
The lefty-swinging Joyce has long exhibited one of the game’s most pronounced left/right splits, slashing a career .250/.351/.451 (121 wRC+) against righties, versus just .184/.267/.306 (61 wRC+) against same-side arms. Despite the down year in ’18, Joyce’s 35% hard-hit rate was one of the highest of his career, and he maintained his always-robust walk rates, checking in at 14.2% to end the season.
He’ll serve as an ideal corner-outfield depth piece for Atlanta, and perhaps even an upgrade over incumbent Nick Markakis in right field (Steamer projects the two at an identical 102 wRC+). Despite trading for the plummeting Adam Duvall late last season, Atlanta was decidedly light on experienced corner options, so the Joyce signing seems a savvy one indeed.