Braves take gamble on former Oakland star outfielder with minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Guardians
Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves added some needed outfield depth to the organization today as they went out and signed veteran OF Ramon Laureano. He was assigned to the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers.

Laureano is a seven year MLB veteran that spent the majority of his career with the Oakland Athletics. He was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Guardians on August 7th of last year before being released on May 25th of this year.

Braves adding intriguing outfield depth with Ramon Laureano

Laureano for has a career line of .242/.318/.422 with 72 HR, 278 R, 223 RBI, 60 SB, a .320 wOBA, & 107 wRC+. However, his last above-average offensive season came in 2021 where he hit .246/.317/.443 14 HR, 42 R, 39 RBI, 12 SB, .327 wOBA, & 112 wRC+ in 88 games. He was suspended in August of that season which cut his year short. Since 2022, Laureano has a slash line of .211/.293/.360 with a .290 wOBA & 89 wRC+ in 230 games.

Laureano has been a reliable defender for his career, although the metrics love him more in the corner. In 2,869.1 innings in center field, he has accumulated 0 DRS, -10 OAA, and 7 FRV. In 1,454.1 innings in right field, those numbers are 21 DRS, -1 OAA, and 8 FRV.

The signing of Laureano is nothing more than an depth signing at this point. With the unfortunate injury to Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves are going to give Adam Duvall and Jarred Kelenic regular playing time and will use JP Martinez as the fourth outfielder. Forrest Wall is also an option if something were to happen, plus he is having a great season in Gwinnett.

If the Braves can turn Laureano into something, then he could potentially serve as a defensive 4th outfielder for the team at some point. Otherwise, he may spend the majority of the season in Gwinnett. There is also the potential he got a built in opt out clause if not in the majors by a certain date, but that is something we will not be privy to at this time.

More Braves News from House That Hank Built