MLB Spring Training is well underway, but there are still several players who remain unsigned that are potential fits for the Atlanta Braves.
While players like Jurickson Profar and Gary Sanchez are among the remaining free agents, they're either not bargains – Profar is looking for a multi-year deal – or not a fit with the team's current depth – Sanchez, who is looking for playing time, would be blocked by the Braves' catching duo.
5 bargain free agents the Atlanta Braves should sign
1. Anibal Sanchez
While the Braves have plenty of options for the 5th starter role, depth never hurt anyone.
Anibal Sanchez has had a fairly successful time since his resurgence with the Braves in 2018, winning a World Series with the Nationals in 2019. Last season, after sitting out the entire 2021 season, Sanchez had a 4.28 ERA in 69.1 innings. He did outperform his FIP by a run-and-a-half (5.77 FIP), Sanchez would be a perfect experience depth addition who the Braves could stash in the minors like they did with Jesse Chavez in 2021.
Last season, he only cost the Nationals $2 million, and at 39-years-old, it would be hard to imagine Sanchez is looking for anything more than 1-year-deal around the same price.
2. Dillon Thomas
Dillion Thomas hasn't had success in his 23 major league plate appearances (.100/.217/.100), but the 30-year-old outfielder did hit well for the Angels and Astros minor league teams last year, hitting 18 homers and holding a .271/.378/.466 slashline in AAA.
Because of his service time, he'd only cost the league minimum if he did make the major league roster and can play all three outfield positions.
3. Zack Britton
The former Orioles' closer has struggled the past two seasons with the Yankees, both on the mound and with injury. In fact, Zack Britton has only pitched in 19 total innings in the last two seasons.
Still, Britton had a 1.89 ERA in 2020 with the Yankees in 19 innings, and was one of the more dominant relievers dating back to 2014.
His average fastball velocity took a dive in this three games pitched last season, and the Braves have a stacked bullpen as it stands, but relievers are volatile and Britton could booster an already strong bullpen.
One caveat, however, is that Britton is asking for $9 million dollars. Britton's cost would need to go down significantly before the Braves would take a flyer on him.
4. Terrance Gore
The 1-game Brave, Terrance Gore remains surprisingly unsigned at this point into Spring Training.
It's not necessarily what the outfielder can do with his glove or bat – the 2021 World Champ only has 85 career plate appearances – it's the fact that with the universal DH and bigger bases, carrying a Herb Washington-lite seems like an experiment some big league team should try out.
While the Braves have a battle for the LF spot, the rest of the starting lineup is set in stone. This lineup likely won't necessitate pinch-hitters at any point, meaning the team only needs a backup infielder (which they have), backup catcher (which they have), and outfielder (which they have plenty of).
Signing Gore would be relatively cheap and give the Braves an option of storing a speed-only player if they so choose.
5. Robinson Chirinos
I know I said the Braves shouldn't sign a catcher like Gary Sanchez because they already have Travis d'Arnaud and Sean Murphy, but Robinson Chirinos is no Gary Sanchez.
Last year with the Baltimore Orioles, Chirinos hit .179/.265/.287, good for a 61 wRC+ and a -1.6 fWAR. He was also quite terrible with framing, coming in at -14.9 FRM.
So why should the Braves take a flyer on the catcher? Simply, the Braves need some extra catching depth, and Chirnos is the most experienced out of the remaining catchers on the free agent market.
Chadwick Tromp and Joe Hudson are the only Braves catchers in the organization who has major league experience outside of Murphy and d'Arnaud. As we learned in 2021 when the Braves had seven different catchers, too much depth doesn't hurt, especially for catchers.