While the Braves were anxiously awaiting a return from a rain delay against the Washington Nationals, Atlanta acquired first baseman Adams from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league first baseman Juan Yepez. The Braves have confirmed that Adams will be in the lineup for the series finale against Washington on Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta Braves Acquire Matt Adams from St. Louis
Braves Fill Void with Freeman Sidelined
The Braves were struggling to find an option during Freeman’s absence for the next ten weeks. They signed veteran James Loney to a minor league deal on Thursday and have been using utility infielder Jace Peterson at first since Freeman’s injury. With that said, those options can be considered plans B and C after the acquisition of Adams.
The 28-year old left-handed slugger is slashing .291/.340/.396 with one home run and seven RBI in 31 games played in 2017. Through six major league seasons, Adams has produced a .271/.315/.453 line with 56 home runs.
Adams provides more than a temporary fill-in while Freeman is sidelined. Adams’s ability to play left field and provide needed power off the bench makes him valuable to Atlanta even after Freeman returns. Adams has a career .810 OPS against right-handed pitching and will fit nicely in the middle of the Braves lineup until the All-Star break. He has struggled in his career against left-handed pitching, posting a .589 career OPS, so manager Brian Snitker will still need to find a viable option at first against southpaws.
Regardless, Adams makes this Braves roster better even after Freeman’s return. It also shows the Braves front office is still trying to compete for 2017 even after losing their superstar.
Juan Yepez Heading to St. Louis
The St. Louis Cardinals received the 19-year old corner infielder Yepez from Atlanta in the deal. Yepez was the Braves big money signing during the 2014 international class out of Venezuela. In 121 minor league games, the switch-hitting Yepez produced a .281/.335/.407 slash line with six home runs and 54 RBI.
Yepez has a strong frame at the plate and has consistently provided contact at the minor league level. Scouts have raved about his presence at the plate while showcasing a good eye of the strike zone and pitch recognition. Yepez struggled early in his career at third base,but has proven to be a solid defender at first base.