Inciarte to Compete to Play for Braves in 2021

Photo courtesy of Talking Chop

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According to Gabriel Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Braves manager Brian Snitker said Ender would come with the big league ball club to Spring Training to “compete for a job”.

Well, yeah. He’s owed $8 million this coming season before a $9 million club option in 2022 ($1.025 million buyout).

Ender will continue to occupy a roster spot on the Braves until either a trade partner is found or his contract runs out beyond 2021. Last year, rookie Cristian Pache shined in the postseason & should be the Opening Day starting center fielder. Acuña will move to right field, but that leaves left field open now that Adam Duvall is no longer under contract.

Inciarte won Gold Glove Awards 2016-2018, and is still near a Gold Glove center fielder; but that’s it. He adds nothing to the batting lineup except speed, speed he can’t use because he doesn’t get onbase enough. His best tool, defense, is inferior to Pache; meaning there is literally no reason whatsoever Ender wins that job.

Left field? Right now there are no left fielders on Atlanta’s roster, but look for that to change as General Manager Alex Anthopoulos surely sees the position as his number one priority. Even though Duvall wasn’t rendered a contract for 2021, it doesn’t mean the Braves won’t bring him back. He’s definitely an option, but he’s not in the top 2 on Anthopoulos’ list. Those spots are more than likely currently occupied by George Springer & Michael Brantley, both former Astros.

The 30-year old Inciarte played in 46 games last season and slashed .190/.262/.250. At one point in the season, he was statistically the worst hitter in baseball among qualified players. His is the last of the bad contracts Alex Anthopoulos has to contend with before he’s free to have the roster who’s names match those that occupy his wish list.

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