Atlanta Braves Agree to Minor League Contract with LHP Adam Kolarek

The Atlanta Braves made a transaction on Thursday evening with their signing of veteran reliever Adam Kolarek to a minor league deal.

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Los Angeles Angels v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a minor league contract with left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek. Kolarek recently elected free agency after the Mets waived him.

Kolarek split time this season with both the Dodgers and the Mets. He has made five MLB appearances which include six scoreless innings. He has spent the majority of the 2023 season at the Triple-A level, with a 2.55 ERA. He has a 23% strikeout rate in that time but has walked about 13.5% of batters faced.

He is a veteran reliever as he's been in the majors for seven seasons so far. He has mostly been seen as a lefty specialist and has played for the Rays, Dodgers, A's, and Mets. His career ERA is 3.62 through 149.1 innings with 43 walks and 101 strikeouts. His worst seasons were spent with Oakland during 2021 and 2022.

He mostly features two pitches which are a sinker and slider. With his funky delivery, those two pitches can be very good when he's on.

He's only pitched 6 innings at the MLB level this season so there's not a lot of data on how well he will fair against big leaguers if Atlanta chooses to bring him up. He's not the best against right-handed bats but left-handed batters only carry a career .184/.234/.250 line against him.

Since the Braves signed him before September 1st, they are able to consider Kolarek as an option for the postseason. It would be good to have a lefty specialist similar to how the Braves used Jerry Blevins a few years ago. However, with the 3-batter minimum rule now implemented, that could change how Atlanta views him.

Regardless, Kolarek provides the Braves with another option to consider and he is a sidearm pitcher so it would provide a different look out of the pen as well. He provides more depth which is invaluable this time of year for teams.

Atlanta already has two lefties in the bullpen in the forms of A.J. Minter and Brad Hand. So, Kolarek isn't needed at the moment but it's always a good idea to have someone who can step in at any moment's notice.