The Braves announced that they have re-signed utilityman Charlie Culberson. It’s a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation for Spring Training. Culberson can earn at a $1MM rate in the majors, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter).
Culberson, 30, played a big role for the Atlanta organization in its two consecutive NL East title years, though his 2019 season was limited by injury. He was non-tendered at the outset of the offseason. Culberson had projected to earn a $1.8MM salary.
The Braves enjoyed big output from Culberson in 2018, when he emerged as a fan favorite even as statistics-based skepticism abounded. In 2019, Culberson actually managed to repeat his hefty batting average on balls in play and maintain much of the power growth he showed in the prior campaign. But his plate discipline issues caught up to him, as his 30.6% strikeout and 4.2% walk rates resulted in a .294 OBP through 144 plate appearances.
Culberson will face an uphill path to making the big club out of camp, but he’s a trusted hand for the organization and represents desirable depth. The arrangement works for the local product as well; as David O’Brien of The Athletic points out, Culberson lives in the Atlanta area and no doubt likes the idea of playing his home games in Gwinnett in the event he isn’t doing so in Cobb County.