The Marlins released veteran infielder Wes Helms on Saturday when they demoted Logan Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans. As expected, it didn’t take Helms long to find an opportunity elsewhere.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves signed the 35-year-old to a minor league contract on Wednesday night and have assigned him to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Helms could join the major league bench in Atlanta when rosters expand on the first of September.
A 13-year big league veteran, he registered a disappointing .191/.276/.236 slash line with zero home runs and six RBI in 124 plate appearances for the Marlins this season. He owns a .256/.318/.405 lifetime batting line.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.