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Braves Sign Another Former Mets Utility Infielder

The Atlanta Braves want to be the New York Mets so bad. The team seemingly can’t stop picking up infielders that the Mets get rid of. The latest instance is Joey Wendle, whom the Braves signed to a major league contract on Friday.

Wendle signed with the Mets during the offseason on a one-year, $2 million deal. However, the utility infielder struggled and was designated for assignment last week. No team claimed him (or his contract) off waivers, and the Mets released him on Monday.

Along with the Wendle signing, Atlanta announced that lefty reliever Ray Kerr was recalled from Triple-A. Additionally, the team optioned infielder Luke Williams and placed right-hander AJ Smith-Shawver on the injured list with a strained left oblique.

Atlanta Braves Sign Joey Wendle To A Major League Deal

Wendle, 34, is the third former Mets utility infielder that the Braves will deploy this year. Atlanta signed Luis Guillorme in the offseason, then traded him to the Los Angeles Angels this month before acquiring Zack Short from the Boston Red Sox.

The Braves have cycled through other backup infielders too, including Williams, due to injuries and underperformance. Second baseman Ozzie Albies missed time with a fractured toe earlier this season, and third baseman Austin Riley hasn’t played recently due to an intercostal strain.

When the team is healthy, the Braves backup infielder shouldn’t expect to play that much. A lack of playing time is a tough role to adjust to, and the Braves will sign Wendle hoping the wise veteran can adapt to it better than their other options have so far.

But for what it’s worth, Wendle struggled in a limited role in New York. In roughly six weeks, the veteran made just 37 plate appearances in 18 games. Plus, he struggled both offensively (.222/.243/.250) and defensively at three infield spots.

Wendle clearly just did not provide the value that the Mets needed, or expected, from him. New York moved on fairly quickly, and Atlanta can do the same if he fails to play well. The Braves only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time he spends on the roster. This means that signing Wendle is a low-cost move that could end up solidifying the roster if he bounces back.


Photo Credit: © John Jones-USA TODAY Sports


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