The Braves announced Friday that they’ve reinstated deadline acquisition Eddie Rosario from the 10-day injured list and opened a spot on the roster by designating fellow outfielder Abraham Almonte for assignment. Rosario has been out since July 7 due to an abdominal strain.
Almonte, 32, appeared in 63 games and tallied 174 plate appearances for Atlanta, batting .218/.333/.401 along the way. He’s cooled off quite a bit after a hot start, however, with just a .184/.270/.350 output over his past 115 plate appearances — including a current 0-for-12 skid at the plate.
The Braves were the sixth big league club for the journeyman Almonte, who has also appeared at the MLB level with the Padres, Indians, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Royals. In 1325 career plate appearances, he’s a .235/.302/.374 hitter. Atlanta will place Almonte on outright waivers or release waivers in the coming days, at which point he’ll be available for any other club to claim. If he goes unclaimed, Almonte has more than enough service to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.
Rosario, 29, enjoyed a solid run as the Twins’ everyday left fielder from 2017-20, hitting at a combined .281/.317/.493 clip while averaging 32 home runs and 33 doubles per 162 games. The free swinger’s OBP trended downward in his final couple seasons in Minnesota, however, and the Twins passed him through waivers last November before non-tendering him rather than paying a raise on his $7.75MM salary. That made Rosario, who would’ve been arbitration-eligible one final time, a free agent a year sooner than expected.
The Indians signed their former division rival to a one-year, $8MM contract late in the offseason, hoping he’d add some pop to a lineup with a rather muddled outfield outlook. Instead, however, Rosario turned in a career-worst showing at the plate, batting .254/.296/.389 in 306 trips to the plate. The Braves effectively acquired Rosario for cash, sending only Pablo Sandoval to the Indians in the swap. Sandoval was immediately released by Cleveland.
Part of the Braves’ deadline approach in the wake of so much turnover in the outfield this season was to acquire a bundle of once-productive outfield options in the midst of middling seasons in hope that a change of scenery would bring about a rebound. It worked out brilliantly with Jorge Soler, who’s been on a tear since joining the Braves. Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall have continued at slightly below-average paces, though each has delivered some timely hits since arriving in Atlanta. Rosario now joins that group as the Braves look to stave off the reeling Mets and Phillies and secure another division title.