Braves acquire Leon Diaz from the Orioles

The Braves acquired their first baseman Lwin Diaz of the Orioles for cash, according to announcements by both teams. Atlanta’s 40-player squad jumps to 39.

Diaz has jumped around the league in the past few weeks. Hired by the Marlins before the deadline to add prospects to the 40-man squad to keep them out of the Rule 5 draft, Díaz moved from the Pirates to the Orioles in back-to-back waiver claims. Baltimore took it off their list yesterday upon signing Michael GivensHis tenure in the organization is exceptionally short.

Atlanta is near the bottom of the waiver order, so they jumped the line by sending some cash to Baltimore. In the process, they will add a player who is clearly interested in some of the teams around the league. Diaz hasn’t managed much of a MLS track record, but has shown enough as a simple player to have some traction with clubs.

A left-handed first baseman, he managed only a . 181/. 227/. 340 streak in 112 MLB games with Miami. Díaz made a personal high trip to the plate in 2022, posting .169/.224/.288 slanted cuts with a 31% strikeout rate. He showed better during a more extended stretch at Triple-A Jacksonville, hitting .252/.323/.492 with 19 home runs and a 20.4% strikeout percentage across 368 plate appearances.

Diaz’s aggressive offensive style caused problems at this point in his MLB career. He was a good prospect for an extended run in Miami’s farm system, though, with evaluators praising his bullshit and defensive acumen. General metrics like Defensive Runs Saved and Statcast’s Outs Above Average have liked the gauntlet’s work through 753 2/3 MLB innings so far. He’s exclusively a baseman, so despite the quality of his defense, he’ll need the bat to carry him if he’s going to retain a spot on the roster. Atlanta clearly has it Matt Olson firmly in position; Diaz will try to take a deep role behind him.

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The 26-year-old is out of his minor league options years. If the Braves hold him on their 40-man roster for the rest of the season, they’ll have to keep him in the majors or expose him again to other teams. It is possible that Atlanta will try to sneak him through waivers at some point before spring training, although no team has made that attempt yet.

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