Adonis Garcia’s time in the majors may be nearing an end.
The Braves and Garcia are discussing a move to release him from his contract so he can pursue an opportunity in the Korean Baseball Organization, a person familiar with the situation said. No agreement has been reached.
Marcos Grunfeld of Sports Venezuela reported Wednesday that the third baseman will sign with the LG Twins of the KBO. Such a deal would be dependent on his release, however.
Garcia, 32, slashed .267/.300/.414 with 29 home runs in the past three seasons (944 plate appearances) while playing third base and left field. He hit .237 and was limited to 52 games in 2017 because of a torn ligament in his left ring finger.
With new general manager Alex Anthopoulos and the revamped front office’s renewed emphasis on defense and versatility, Garcia faced an uphill climb to secure a roster spot.
Johan Camargo might start at third, meaning the team would need more multipurpose options on its bench. There’s also the chance the team adds a starting third baseman, putting Camargo in a utility role and leaving one less spot on the bench.
The Braves recently acquired utilityman Charlie Culberson in a trade with the Dodgers. They also re-signed the versatile Danny Santana to a minor league deal. Rio Ruiz, while positionally limited, has age on his side (23).
Anthopoulos made it clear during the winter meetings that the team needed to improve in the field. In the same deal that added Culberson, the Braves moved outfielder Matt Kemp whose subtraction was an addition to the defense.
“It’s going to take some creativity,” Anthopoulos said. “But that is a goal, if we can do it. And maybe it’s just one area instead of two or three. But the backdrop of everything we’ve talked about is, what can we do to get ourselves better defensively. And that ultimately should help the entire (pitching) staff.”
Garcia played in the Cuban National Series from 2004-11 until defecting from Cuba in 2011. He signed with the Yankees in February 2012 and bounced between minor-league levels before he was released in April 2015. He joined the Braves on April 5 that year.