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Braves sign infielder Andres Blanco to minor league deal

The Braves are apparently raiding the pantry of replacement level, former Philadelphia Phillies utility infielders

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

It was just a few days ago that the Braves signed Pedro Florimon, a replacement-level quality utility infielder who spent the last few years in the Phillies organization. On Friday, Jon Heyman reported that they’ve done essentially the same thing again, this time in the form of Andres Blanco.

The 34-year-old Blanco is another switch-hitting utility infielder. He’s spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors to date, and has an 82 wRC+ and 1.4 career fWAR to show for it across 1,321 plate appearances. Unlike Florimon, who at one point provided a host of defensive value to his team, Blanco has never really been a great defender — his career UZR is negative at second base and very negative (as is DRS) at third base, though at least it’s somewhat positive at shortstop. He’s also played a tiny bit of first base and corner outfield in his career.

Most of Blanco’s career has been as a fairly nondescript utility infielder. His one shining season came in 2015, when he put up 1.6 fWAR (more than his career total) in just 216 PAs for the Phillies, with a walloping 137 wRC+. (You probably won’t be surprised to learn that this offensive performance was the result of an xwOBA overperformance of about .050.) However, he didn’t come anywhere close to replicating that success in his two subsequent seasons with the Phillies, and couldn’t find any major league playing time paydirt last season, as he spent all year with the Brewers’ Triple-A club.

This is likely just another depth signing for the Braves, as Blanco is fairly redundant with the recently-signed Florimon, in addition to, you know, the other infielders on Atlanta’s roster.

I wanted to insert an Andres Blanco fun fact here, but I couldn’t find one. So instead, enjoy this really surreal image from his Baseball-Reference page.

Yes, this is a thing that actually happened. A lot, apparently.

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