3 under-the-radar former Braves that Atlanta could reunite with in 2024

The Atlanta Braves have holes to fill this offseason. We present three under-the-radar former Braves who are currently free agents that would fit the club's needs.

Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves have made a rash of moves this offseason. While I won't dive into every single transaction here, I will focus on the lack of infield utility gloves the Braves have left. They have said their goodbyes to Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake, and Luke Williams this offseason. That leaves only Vaughn Grissom remaining as a utility glove.

We know Vaughn Grissom is not really cut out for infield defense at the Major League level, at least from what he has shown thus far. Last season, Grissom was on pace for -53 defensive runs saved over 1,200 innings at shortstop. He has posted a -9 drs pace at second base over his career, as well.

Besides, Grissom's bat has too much potential to be relegated to a utility role. The rumor is Grissom may get a shot to showcase his bat by taking over leftfield. We'll see how that plays out.

This leaves the Braves with a need to provide utility depth on the infield. Nicky Lopez's best tool was his glove and he was a tremendous defender. However, the Braves deemed his projected $4 million salary in 2024 to be too expensive for the role. Braves starters tend to play pretty much every day, barring an injury. With the DH in play in the NL the past few seasons, the bench roles have become less important.

So, what are the Braves looking for in a utility infielder? Cheap, serviceable defense. That's about it.

With that being said, here are three former Atlanta Braves that could fit the mold for a run with the 2024 club.

1. Ehire Adrianza

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game Two
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game Two / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Ehire Adrianza has been on and off with the Braves for the past few seasons. The 11-year veteran has spent a portion of the past three seasons wearing a Braves uniform. He made five appearances for the big-league club last season and six the previous year. He made his biggest impression during the 2021 championship season, playing in 109 games for Atlanta and posting a 92 OPS+ with a solid .327 OBP. He played 3B, RF, 2B, LF, SS, and two innings in CF that season.

Adrianza's bat has never been much but it appears to be dead at this point. A part of it could be that he hasn't racked up many plate appearances over the past two seasons. He's been relegated to sitting on the big-league bench rather than getting reps in the minors. This makes him a prime candidate to fill that role at a very low price once again in 2024.

2. Johan Camargo

Remember when Johan Camargo was seen as the third baseman of the future ahead of Austin Riley? That was a real thing. Camargo is still just 29 (turning 30 in April). He was an Atlanta Brave from 2017-2021. His breakout season came in 2018 at the age of 24. He played 134 games and slugged 19 homers while driving in 76 runs. He slashed .272/.349/.457 that year.

Since his fantastic 2018 campaign, Camargo has slashed .219/.272/.344 over 579 PAs. That is good (or bad) for a 62 OPS+.

As recent as last season, Camargo made four big-league starts at shortstop for the Giants. He has played 3B, SS, 2B, LF, 1B, and RF throughout his major league career.

1. Elvis Andrus

Chicago White Sox v Washington Nationals
Chicago White Sox v Washington Nationals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Elvis Andrus began his big-league journey with the Atlanta Braves organization in 2005 at the age of 16. The Braves traded the highly-rated prospect in 2007 to the Texas Rangers. Andrus would go on to finish second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2009. He would make the All-Star team in 2010 and 2012.

Andrus' name was tossed around as a Dansby Swanson replacement last season. He ended up playing in 112 games for the White Sox as Tim Anderson dealt with injuries. Andrus was coming off of a solid year with the bat, posting a 104 OPS+ in 2022 between Oakland and Chicago.

He hit 17 homers and stole 18 bases that season. Those numbers were outside the norm for Elvis. Over 15 big-league seasons, he has an 86 OPS+ with a .695 career OPS. He's still a quality base runner, swiping 12 bags in 16 attempts last year.

He has consistently been a major-league quality player for a long time. For that reason, he will cost the Braves more than Camargo or Adrianza, but he's a more proven and better player. Here's the kicker, Andrus only cost the White Sox $3 million last season. That's about $1 million less than Nicky Lopez was projected to cost the Braves in arbitration.

If he can be had for less than $3 million in 2024, Andrus could be a good value as a utility glove. He could also offer an option to replace Orlando Arcia in the event of a long-term injury, without suffering much of a loss in on-field production.

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