Braves make savvy addition by signing veteran infielder

Veteran infielder Jason Kipnis is hoping to make the Atlanta Braves’ roster in spring training.

After spending the 2020 MLB season with the Chicago Cubs, second baseman Jason Kipnis is joining the Atlanta Braves organization. He has signed a minor league deal with Atlanta that includes a spring training invitation.

Kipnis spent the bulk of his big league career with the Cleveland Indians, making two trips to the All-Star Game with the Tribe and nearly winning a World Series with the club in 2016. 2021 will be Kipnis’ age-34 season out of Arizona State by way of Kentucky. He is hoping he can make the Braves’ Opening Day roster as a rotational infielder. Does have a real shot at making the team?

If Jason Kipnis makes the team, he will serve as Ozzie Albies’ backup at second

Kipnis appeared in 44 games for the 2020 Cubs, slashing .237/.341/.404 for Chicago. While he has not hit above .250 since the 2016 MLB season, he has shown consistent pop at the plate recently. Outside of last season’s shortened 60-game campaign, Kipnis has hit at least 12 home runs in a season since 2016, including a career-high of 23 when the Tribe nearly won it all over the Cubs.

If Kipnis were to make the Braves’ Opening Day roster, he would serve as Ozzie Albies’ primary backup at second base. Though he has not played third base or shortstop in his big league career, Kipnis has played in center field before and did fill in at first base on occasion for Anthony Rizzo in Chicago. While he is a veteran, Atlanta may want more defensive versatility than what he offers.

Should Kipnis do well at the plate in spring training, it might be enough for him to make the team.