Braves add Adams to fill in at first base
ST. LOUIS >> The Atlanta Braves acquired first baseman Matt Adams from St. Louis on Saturday in an attempt to help fill the void left by injured star Freddie Freeman.
The Cardinals sent Adams and cash to Atlanta for minor league infielder Juan Yepez. The deal came three days after the Braves lost Freeman to a broken wrist. Freeman was expected to miss 10 weeks after being hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup. Freeman was leading the majors in slugging percentage when he was hurt, hitting .341 with 14 home runs.
Braves general manager John Coppolella said Adams will be valuable to the Braves beyond his fill-in duty at first.
“He’s also played left field,” Coppolella said. “He’s a good bat off the bench. He will help us even when Freddie Freeman comes back to the Braves.”
Jace Peterson, a utility player, was the Braves’ first choice to take over at first base. Coppolella and president of baseball operations John Hart said the team had no first basemen in the minors ready to be a fill-in starter in the majors. Coppolella said Adams is expected to join the team in time for today’s game against Washington. He will be expected to handle the position, at least against right-handers.
“He will have a chance to play a bunch early,” Coppolella said. “We will face all right-handers the rest of the homestand.”
The Braves signed veteran James Loney to a minor league contact on Thursday as insurance.
“We wouldn’t have signed
He will have a chance to play a bunch early. We will face all righthanders the rest of the homestand.” John Coppolella
James Loney if we thought the trade would happen,” Coppolella said. “Now that we had a chance to get a player like Matt Adams, we feel it’s a way to make our club better right now.” Adams hit .292 with a homer and seven RBIs coming off the bench this season and playing some in the outfield. A move involving Adams, 28, had been speculated since spring training after Matt Carpenter was picked to start at first base. Yepez, 19, was hitting .275 with 15 RBIs in 35 games at Class A Rome. He was assigned to Single-A Peoria. “We hate to trade prospects, but this was something for our players, for our fans,” Coppolella said. “I think our ownership really stepped forward here to take on money and get a really good player. We’re trying to win right now.” The Cardinals also activated outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the disabled list. He’d been out with a strained right hamstring. Atlanta also added bullpen depth on Saturday by acquiring right-hander Enrique Burgos, 26, from Arizona for cash considerations. Burgos will report to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Atlanta hopes Matt Adams can replace injured Freddie Freeman for the next 10 weeks.