July 25, 2024

The Atlanta Braves, known for their potent lineup, have struggled offensively in 2024. Injuries, particularly the absence of reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., have been a significant factor. Additionally, several key players have underperformed, raising questions about job security for one in particular.

Orlando Arcia, expected to be the Braves’ everyday shortstop following a stellar 2023 All-Star campaign, has faced notable difficulties at the plate. Amidst this, there is speculation that Atlanta may pursue a trade for a versatile infielder having a standout season.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Braves are among three teams eyeing Los Angeles Angels’ infielder Luis Rengifo, primarily used at third base this year.

“Rengifo is one of the most flexible players likely available this summer,” Feinsand noted. “The 27-year-old switch-hitter has started 30 games at third base and 21 at second this season, with one at shortstop… making him an attractive option for teams needing infield support.”

Rengifo boasts a .306 batting average in 60 games, a performance that would rank him 7th in MLB with sufficient at-bats. His .353 on-base percentage and 117 OPS+ also mark career highs.

Angels' Luis Rengifo injured in on-deck circle vs. Guardians - Los Angeles  Times

Meanwhile, Arcia has struggled with a .212 batting average and a meager .244 on-base percentage. His .586 OPS ranks among the lowest of 149 qualified hitters, compounded by a recent 1-for-24 slump.

According to The Athletic’s David O’Brien, Arcia’s defensive prowess and overall track record have earned him significant goodwill with the Braves, likely protecting his starting role. However, the lack of MLB-ready shortstop options in their minor league system is also a factor.

If the Braves acquire a major league infielder with substantial shortstop experience like Rengifo, it could potentially impact Arcia’s future as the starter. Nevertheless, Atlanta currently appears patient in addressing this situation, showing no immediate urgency for change.

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