Forrest Wall's potential competition acquired in under-the-radar trade with Rangers

Forrest Wall appeared to be the clear frontrunner for the fourth-outfielder gig in Atlanta not too long ago, but recent moves by the club have brought more options aboard.

Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Forrest Wall is now anything but a lock to be on the Braves' big-league roster come Opening Day following the announcement of an under-the-radar trade with the Rangers on Friday morning. The Braves sent minor-league righty Tyler Owens to the World Champions in exchange for Cuban-born outfielder J.P. Martinez.

Similarly to Wall, Martinez made his MLB debut last season at age 27, can play all three spots in the outfield, and features excellent speed. One aspect of the game in which Martinez holds an edge over Wall is in the power department. Despite a slight frame, Martinez slugged .538 with 14 homers across various levels of the Rangers' farm system in 2023. He managed just a .225/.250/.325 slash line across 44 plate appearances for the Rangers but did rip his first major-league homer.

Martinez is not the only outfielder acquired by the Braves recently that could compete for a spot on the bench this spring, as Jordan Luplow was inked to a free-agent deal earlier this month. Martinez's wheels and defense give him a couple of potential advantages over the more experienced Luplow. Martinez would likely be a preferred option in center field, and he has swiped 100 bags while being caught just 13 times over the last three years in the minors.

Who will be the fourth outfielder in 2024? That is one of the few questions that remains unanswered for the Braves right now. Martinez figures to be a prime candidate for the job this spring along with Luplow and Wall. There's also still ample time for the Atlanta front office to add even more options.

This continues Alex Anthopoulous' trend of acquiring lesser known talent with hopes they will overperform expectations. Jarred Kelenic is still the primary option for left field but having multiple choices as depth for the position is great. Spring Training will likely decide who takes the fourth outfielder spot off the bench.

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