The 29-year-old is a veteran of six MLB seasons, having spent 2016-2019 with the Rockies and the past two seasons with the Orioles. Valaika has defensive versatility and has shown flashes of power in his career, but he also comes with low batting averages and high strikeout rates.
In 864 career plate appearances, he has 30 home runs but an overall line of .221/.264/.378, along with a strikeout rate of 27.2%. While he’s spent more time at second base than any other position, he’s also frequently appeared at the other three infield spots, in addition to brief spells in the outfield corners and 1 1/3 innings of mound work.
For the Braves, Valaika will join a mix of players who will compete for bench/utility roles with the club. Orlando Arcia was already on the roster, and the Braves reportedly signed Phil Gosselin to a minors deal earlier today. Valaika is still relatively young and has an option year remaining, meaning he could be shuffled between Triple-A and the big leagues. He also has just over four years of MLB service time, meaning Atlanta could keep him around for next year via arbitration, if his performance warrants.