The Braves announced Thursday that they’ve signed left-hander Angel Perdomo to a one-year, split Major League contract. Atlanta also passed recently acquired first baseman Evan White through waivers and assigned him outright to Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves claimed Perdomo off waivers from the Pirates in early November but non-tendered him later in the month. He’ll now return to their 40-man roster.
White’s outright comes as little surprise; the Braves’ acquisition of him was always a financial mechanism to facilitate their trade for Jarred Kelenic, and it was obvious that no team would place a claim on White, given the remaining $17MM he’s owed under his previously signed contract extension with the Mariners. White technically has enough service time (three-plus years) to reject the assignment but not enough to do so while retaining the remainder of his salary (which requires five years). As such, he’ll surely accept the assignment and head to Triple-A Gwinnett to begin the 2024 campaign.
Perdomo, 29, posted a 3.72 ERA in 29 innings for the Pirates in 2023 and did so with a gaudy 37.6% strikeout rate against a 9.4% walk rate. Had he been healthy, the Pirates surely would’ve hung onto him, but Perdomo hit the injured list with an elbow injury in August. He ultimately required Tommy John surgery and is slated to miss the 2024 campaign as a result. Even if he spends the entire season on the 60-day injured list, he’d still finish out the 2024 season with two-plus years of service time, meaning Atlanta could potentially control a healthy Perdomo from 2025-28, if all goes well.
White, 27, was the Mariners’ first-round pick back in 2017 and was widely considered one of the sport’s best prospects. Touted as an elite defender at first base with a solid hit tool and above-average power, White looked the part of a future fixture in the Seattle lineup during his prospect days. His 2019 campaign in Double-A saw White turn in a .293/.350/.488 batting line with 18 home runs in 400 plate appearances. The Mariners signed White to a six-year, $24MM contract that November with the idea that he’d be their Opening Day first baseman in 2020. White, however, stumbled to a .165/.235/.308 batting line in 306 plate appearances from 2020-21 and was eventually overtaken by Ty France on the team’s depth chart.
Injuries have also played a notable role in White’s struggles. In the past three years alone, the University of Kentucky product has undergone a pair of surgeries on his left hip and a sports hernia surgery. He’s also dealt with a Grade 2 strain/tear in his groin. That hasn’t helped his production any, and it’s certainly possible that the faulty hip contributed to his struggles in prior stints with the M’s, as his first surgery took place midway through his second MLB campaign.
For now, White will head to Gwinnett and hope for better health and performance to create an opportunity — if not with the Braves then with another club. The aforementioned slate of injuries has limited him to just 30 minor league games since Opening Day 2022 — including only two last year. He’s owed $7MM in 2024 and $8MM in 2025. He’s also guaranteed a $2MM buyout on the first of three club options.