Former Cleveland Guardians outfielder finds new home on minor league deal

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages
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A little more than a week after being designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians, veteran outfielder Ramon Laureano has found a new home.

Laureano has agreed to a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves, according to reports.Atlanta is still trying to determine their best foot forward following the season-ending injury to star outfielder and 2023 National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. Expecting Laureano to replace Acuna Jr.'s production or even be their lone attempt at stabilizing their lineup would be incredibly foolish. Laureano has never been that caliber player, and there is nothing about his offensive profile that suggests he can turn into that.

The best-case scenario for the Braves is that they can somehow replicate what transpired in the 2021 season which also saw them finish the year without Acuna Jr.'s services. Atlanta went out and brought in Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Soler to help make up for the lost output from their best player. This trio of outfielders was able to provide the exact amount of production they needed, as they were able to win the World Series that season. While no one will confuse Laureano for being as good a hitter as any of those three, there could be a scenario that sees him make some sort of contribution should he reach Atlanta's major league roster.

Laureano came to Cleveland last season after being claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. The veteran outfielder saw his slash line improve from .213/.280/.364 in 64 games with the A's to .243/.342/.382 in 41 games with the Guardians, providing around league-average production with a 102 OPS+. The hope was that Laureano would be able to see that carry over into 2024, but that was not the case. Laureano struggled with Cleveland this season, slashing .143/.265/.229 with 32 strikeouts in 70 at-bats. This offensive freefall resulted in his time with the Guardians coming to an end after 31 games.