Per the Braves transactions page, the Braves claimed pitcher Victor Arano and outfielder Kyle Garlick off waivers from the Phillies on Friday. With these acquisitions, the Braves’ 40-man roster is now full, meaning that any free agent signings or trades will require space to be made on the roster.
Kyle Garlick is a 28 year old outfielder who has spent most of his career from 2015 to 2019 in the Dodgers’ organization. Garlick actually turns 29 in three days on Tuesday, January 26th. He put up fairly impressive offensive numbers in the minor leagues, and even over 53 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2019, when he posted a 114 wRC+ for Los Angeles. Garlick has shown real power in his career and has some contact ability, although he has a high strikeout rate. Garlick was pretty terrible over 23 plate appearances in 2020 after being traded to the Phillies, but obviously the sample was miniscule. Garlick is on the old side for a player with only 76 major league plate appearances, but it isn’t inconceivable that he could be a useful offensive piece, given his numbers from the minors. Garlick would likely fit in Atlanta as a depth outfielder with some pop in his bat off the bench.
Arano is 25 year old right-handed reliever who also started his career with the Dodgers before joining Philadelphia. He will turn 26 in early February. Arano joined the Dodgers in 2013 as an international free agent, before being sent to Philadelphia in a trade in 2014 as a player to be named later. Continuing with the parallels between these two players, Arano has also had impressive numbers at times in both the minor leagues and the major league. In his major league career, he has good strikeout and walk rates with 9.64 K/9 and 2.77 BB/9. Arano debuted in 2017 and performed very well over 10.2 innings, with a 1.69 ERA and a 1.85 FIP. Arano put together a very good season in 2018 for the Phillies, with a 2.73 ERA and a 3.36 FIP over 59.1 innings, good for 0.8 fWAR. Unfortunately for Arano, he had to undergo season-ending elbow surgery after only 3 appearances in 2019 and did not play in 2020. Arano could have a real chance to make the active roster out of spring training in the bullpen. Alex Anthopoulos could be hoping to strike gold with Arano like he did with Tyler Matzek last season.
To summarize, both of these players come from the Dodgers organization originally, where Anthopoulos has a background, were traded to the Phillies, and had have had success in their respective minor league careers and during small samples in the majors. Both players will likely have a real chance to make the Braves active roster in 2021.