After being designated for assignment and eventually released by the Blue Jays, Ezequiel Carrera has agreed to join former Jays’ General Manager, Alex Anthopoulos, in Atlanta.
If the Blue Jays couldn’t find room for Ezequiel Carrera, an old friend was happy to give him a job with a new team. On Tuesday the Atlanta Braves brought Carrera into their outfield mix, and there’s a good chance he’ll break camp with the young roster. Jon Heyman of FanRagSports was the first to break the news.
The move reunites “Zeke” with the man that brought him to Toronto in the first place, Alex Anthopoulos. “AA” was the GM in Toronto from 2009 until he left after the 2015 season, and Carrera started his tenure with the Blue Jays in 2015. He had played in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Detroit previously,
He went on to play two more seasons in Toronto, but with the Blue Jays acquiring Randal Grichuk and Curtis Granderson this offseason, coupled with the development of youngsters like Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford and more, there just wasn’t enough playing time to justify keeping Carrera around.
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He was a useful player at the plate with the Blue Jays, hitting .282/.356/.408 in 131 games last year, and averaging 111 games played in his three seasons North of the border. He was never supposed to be an every day starter, but injuries necessitated his extra playing time, especially in 2017.
In Atlanta he’ll join an outfield mix that includes Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Lane Adams, and Preston Tucker. There’s also young phenom Ronald Acuna, who is about the only prospect being talked about on the same level as Vladimir Guerrero Jr, but is pretty much major league ready, whether the Braves decide to keep him on their Opening Day roster or not.
Carrera will likely still have to earn his spot on the team, but considering how late it is in the preseason schedule, there’s a good chance the Braves plan to keep him around, otherwise they likely wouldn’t have brought him in to begin with. He’ll provide some veteran leadership for a young Braves roster, and if he can improve his outfield defence he could provide a fair amount of value, especially for what he’ll be paid.
He had signed a one year, 1.9 million dollar contract with the Blue Jays before reaching arbitration, but because he was released before the end of spring training the Blue Jays will only have to pay 1/6th of the value of the contract. According to Mark Bowman, a beat writer for the Braves, his new contract is a minor league pact. For a veteran like Carrera in this market, that’s likely all he was going to find at this stage of the game, and hopefully he can find some success with his new team, and his old GM.