Catching up on a minor league signing that flew under our radar back in October, the Brewers signed outfielder Abraham Almonte to a minors deal. (Hat tip to Brewerfan.net’s Jim Goulart.) Almonte will receive an invitation to the Brewers’ big league Spring Training camp.
Almonte opted for free agency rather than accept an outright assignment off the Braves’ roster in September. It was the second time Almonte had been outrighted off the Braves’ 40-man roster last season, as he was previously sent to the alternate training site at the end of Spring Training before his contract was selected to the 26-man roster in May.
The 32-year-old Almonte ended up receiving quite a bit of playing time with Atlanta, and likely more than the Braves anticipated, except Marcell Ozuna’s administrative leave and then Ronald Acuna Jr’s season-ending ACL tear created some major vacancies in the team’s outfield. However, the front office responded with a now-legendary flurry of transactions that brought Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall to the club in a series of trades, helping pave the way for Atlanta to eventually win the World Series.
These new faces resulted in fewer at-bats for Almonte, and ultimately turned him back into an expendable piece. Almonte hit a respectable .216/.331/.399 (97 wRC+) over 175 plate appearances, hitting five home runs and mostly playing left field. Much of the offensive damage came from the left side of the plate, as the switch-hitting Almonte batted .237/.359/.449 in 142 PA against right-handed pitching. While Almonte’s performance was unspectacular, he did step up to fill a role during a time of need for the Braves, and he wound up with a World Series ring for his efforts.
Almonte has played for six different teams over parts of the last nine MLB seasons, hitting .234/.302/.374 in 1326 career PA. He’ll now provide the Brewers with a depth option heading into Spring Training, and may likely again only be an option for Milwaukee’s active roster in the event of an injury or two. Almonte joins David Dahl and Jonathan Davis as experienced outfield veterans in the Brewers’ camp on minor league deals.