The Braves have reached an agreement to sign infielder Pat Valaika to a one-year, $775K deal if he makes the Major League team, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
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.
Perfect AAA depth/ backup INF defensive depth for the Braves…That was one missing piece on their bench.
Now, if they just get a corner infielder they’ll be perfectly set for their title defense…
Well, not perfect, but good enough..lol
Him and Gosselin should battle it out for the backup infielder role with Arcia, or they might carry two for their bench
There is no reason he should make the big league roster… he’s quite terrible. If he is even on our bench, we have pretty big problems to address ….
…BUT if he does make the big league roster, he gets 775k.
ATL got 99 problems, but a bench ain’t one.
“pretty big problems to address” is a little dramatic. With the universal DH these bench guys will rarely ever see a PH opportunity.
Yea, you’re right. I need to keep conditioning myself to remember that the NL has a DH now. Gonna take some time getting use to that.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Must be the new Ehire Adrianza. Hopefully he can get better on offense.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
The braves should focus on adding a #4 or #5 starter for depth and call it an offseason.
No question !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This move combined with Gosselin basically guarantees that the Braves become the first NL team to repeat since the Big Red Machine.
Brother Chris new hitting coach for Cubbies.
Love this signing.