Braves acquire Atlanta native from Oakland
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves today acquired INF Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Ryan Cusick, RHP Joey Estes, C Shea Langeliers and OF Christian Pache.
Olson, 27, batted .271/.371/.540 over 156 games in 2021, earning his first career All-Star selection. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder posted career-best totals in batting average, on-base percentage, home runs (39), RBI (111), runs (101), hits (153) and doubles (35) last season, and his 5.8 bWAR stood as third most among first basemen in the majors. Twenty-two of his 39 home runs came against left-handed pitchers, which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, tied Stan Musial in 1949 for the most such homers by a left-handed hitter in history.
Olson, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, is a career .252/.348/.511 hitter over 575 games, with 142 homers and 373 RBI. He has compiled 18.1 bWAR over parts of six major league seasons. Olson’s 142 home runs through his first 575 career games stand as the 10th most in major league history, and his 118 homers since 2018 are tied for the fourth most in baseball. An A.L. Gold Glove winner at first base in both 2018 and 2019, he is a career .995 fielder at the position and paced A.L. first baseman in fielding percentage last season.
Originally drafted by Oakland in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, he has played his entire professional career in the Athletics’ organization and made his major league debut with the club in 2016. He finished fourth in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 after tallying 24 homers and 45 RBI in just 59 games.
A native of Atlanta, Olson attended Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., and had his jersey retired by the school in 2019. He is one of three career first-round selections out of Parkview, joining Josh Hart (2013) and former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur (2002).