This wasn’t the infielder signing you were hoping for, but the Atlanta Braves added two in Ehire Adrianza and Mitchell Tolman, Justin Toscano of AJC reported on Friday morning.
Ehire Adrianza should be a familiar name to Atlanta Braves fans, having played all of 2021 and part of 2022 for the team, but Mitchell Tolman is likely a relative unknown. Both deals are of the minor league variety, so it won’t affect the 40-man roster in any way.
As Toscano noted in his reporting, Adrianza gets a non-roster invitation to Spring Training with the major league team, while Tolman does not.
What role will Ehire Adrianza and Mitchell Tolman play for the Braves in 2022?
In all likelihood, neither player will play a big role on the team. While Adrianza was a big part of the Braves’ bench in 2021, he only appeared in six games after being acquired at the trade deadline.
Last season was also a significant step back for the utility player, as he went from having a 0.6 fWAR season with the Braves in 209 PAs, to having a -0.5 fWAR in just 110 PAs between the Washington Nationals and the Braves.
While it’s probable that Adrianza sees time on the big league roster in 2023, especially if the Braves don’t add another infielder like Dansby Swanson, he’s behind Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Vaughn Grissom, and possibly even Braden Shewmake on middle infield depth chart. Adrianza does have a versatility that is almost unrivaled, however, as he’s played every position except for catcher at the major league level.
Mitchell Tolman is a purely minor league depth move for the Braves. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tolman is now on his fifth organization in four years. He was briefly in the Mets organization before being drafted in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft by the Giants in 2020. He played all of 2021 in the Giants organization before signing with the Guardians organization for 2022.
While he’s yet to reach the major leagues, the 28-year-old had a decent season for Colombus last year, hitting .251/.350/.425, which was good for a 107 wRC+ in AAA. Tolman showed above-average patience at the plate, walking 11.6% of the time. He’s primarily played 2B, but he has a decent chunk of innings at 3B and SS, playing over 500 innings at each position.
These signings are probably not going to excite any fans, but they’re important depth additions, nonetheless, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of these players at the major league level at one point or another (just don’t expect them to be key contributors).