The Braves announced an agreement with utilityman Orlando Arcia on a two-year, $3MM contract. He’ll earn successive salaries of $1.6MM and $1.3MM over the next two seasons, per the team. The deal also contains a 2024 club option valued at $2MM that comes with a $100K buyout.
The contract extends the Braves’ window of club control by a season, as Arcia had been controllable through 2023 via arbitration. It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Braves commit any long-term money to Arcia at first glance. He only tallied 78 MLB plate appearances after Atlanta acquired him from the Brewers in April, with a poor .214/.282/.343 line to show for it. Arcia has been a below-average hitter in all five of his MLB seasons, with a .260/.317/.416 showing during the truncated 2020 campaign the best line of his career.
Arcia is coming off a very strong showing with Triple-A Gwinnett, though. Over 322 plate appearances at the minors’ top level, he hit .282/.351/.516 with 17 homers, only striking out in 11.8% of his tallies at the dish. By measure of wRC+, that offensive output was 29 percentage points better than the Triple-A East league average. And Arcia’s a valuable defensive player who generally posts decent numbers at shortstop and began to expand his versatility this past season.
Clearly, the Atlanta front office believes in his ability to contribute over the coming seasons, even if just off the bench. The $1.5MM average annual value is a minimal investment, and it’s actually a bit less than the $2.1MM MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had forecasted Arcia making in 2022 via arbitration.
That’s not to say Arcia and his representatives at World Sports Agency made a mistake in signing the deal. At that previous figure, he’d look like a non-tender candidate. The Venezuela native instead locks in some guaranteed money over the coming two seasons. Arcia is out of minor league option years, but it seems likely he’ll stick on the active roster out of camp given the team’s investment in him.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network first reported the Braves and Arcia were in agreement on a two-year, $3MM guarantee with a 2024 club option.