Ortega signed a minor-league contract with the Braves on Tuesday, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. In his first season with the Braves last year, Ortega had limited production, hitting .205/.271/.307 with two home runs and 10 RBI over 34 games. The 28-year-old will get the chance to develop more in the minors in 2020, although it wouldn't be surprising to see him in the majors at some point after he saw major-league action in each of the last two seasons. While the report doesn't say so explicitly, he will likely attend major-league camp for spring training.
Ortega was non-tendered by Atlanta on Monday. Ortega slashed .205/.271/.307 with two home runs and 10 RBI over 34 games with the Braves in 2019. There's a good chance he'll need to settle for a minor-league deal to get off the open market.
Ortega will be on the Braves' NLDS roster, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Ortega beat out Austin Riley for the final bench spot, though that's due more to his left-handedness than his talent. He hit just .205/.271/.307 in 34 games this season and owns a career .577 OPS.
Ortega went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Mets in 11 innings. Ortega was able to close out the regular season on a high note, but it may not be enough for him to earn a spot on the Braves' NLDS roster as a reserve outfielder. Heading into Sunday's contest, Ortega was slashing just .108/.195/.135 in September and had seemingly fallen behind Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton in the outfield pecking order.
Ortega came off the bench to play the final four innings of Sunday's 7-0 loss to the Nationals, going hitless in his lone plate appearance. Ortega entered the contest as a replacement in right field for Matt Joyce, who was ejected in the top of the fifth for arguing balls and strikes. Though Ortega had seized hold of an everyday role in left field in late August, his weak production at the plate coupled with the recent return of Nick Markakis from the injured list will largely limit the 28-year-old to a reserve role the rest of the way.