Source: Bautista joining Braves, will play third


ATLANTA — Jose Bautista is set to prove he can play third base and further enrich an already dynamic lineup when he joins the Braves for Friday night’s series opener against the Giants at SunTrust Park.

Bautista’s arrival has been anticipated since he signed a Minor League deal with the Braves on April 18. The 37-year-old veteran has spent the past couple of weeks making up for the normal preparations he was not able to make as he remained a free agent throughout Spring Training and the first couple weeks of the season.


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ATLANTA — Jose Bautista is set to prove he can play third base and further enrich an already dynamic lineup when he joins the Braves for Friday night’s series opener against the Giants at SunTrust Park.

Bautista’s arrival has been anticipated since he signed a Minor League deal with the Braves on April 18. The 37-year-old veteran has spent the past couple of weeks making up for the normal preparations he was not able to make as he remained a free agent throughout Spring Training and the first couple weeks of the season.


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The Braves have not announced Bautista’s addition to the active roster, but a source familiar with the situation said the six-time All-Star and two-time Hank Aaron Award nominee is expected to be with the team on Friday.

Bautista hit .256 and produced a .768 OPS over the 12 games he combined to play for Class A Advanced Florida and Triple-A Gwinnett. He went 5-for-16 with a double and a homer in his final four games for Gwinnett. He was not in the lineup for Thursday night’s game.

With his arrival, Bautista will be the Braves’ primary third baseman. He spent most of the past decade as an outfielder for the Blue Jays. But he primarily played third base during the early portion of his career and got a few spot starts at the position over the past few years.

The Braves have used Ryan Flaherty and Johan Camargo as their third basemen this year. Both will now primarily be used off the bench. But because Dansby Swanson is still dealing with some left wrist discomfort, Camargo could get a couple more starts at the shortstop position this weekend.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. Listen to his podcast.



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