Aguilar, who’ll turn 33 later this month, hit just .221/.281/.385 with five homers in 115 plate appearances for Oakland after signing a one-year, $3MM deal in the offseason. Oakland’s hope had been that Aguilar could recapture his 2017-21 form — .262/.338/.476, 93 homers in 1972 trips to the plate — and emerge as a summer trade candidate. That didn’t happen in the season’s first two months, however, and Oakland has turned first base over to impressive Rule 5 pick Ryan Noda on a full-time basis now.
During that 2017-21 peak, Aguilar was an All-Star (2017) and consistent power threat, topping out with a career-high 35 dingers back in 2018. At his best, Aguilar walked between 10-11% of his plate appearances and kept his strikeouts at or south of the league’s average rate. In 2023, he walked at a sub-par 7% clip and fanned in 27.5% of his plate appearances while delivering career-worst marks in average exit velocity (86.7 mph) and hard-hit rate (29.3%).
For the Braves, there’s little harm in bringing aboard a slugger with some track record on a no-risk deal. Atlanta is set at first base with Matt Olson and has gotten better play from designated hitter Marcell Ozuna of late, so there’s no pressing need on the big league roster. Aguilar can play some first base in Triple-A Gwinnett for the time being, and should the Braves incur an injury or simply want some additional right-handed thump off the bench, he could be an option in the event that he’s playing well.