ATLANTA -- Proving they do not plan to simply fold their tents while spending the next two months without Freddie Freeman, the Braves added Matt Adams' capable bat to their lineup.Atlanta acquired Adams from the Cardinals in exchange for Minor League infielder Juan Yepez on Saturday. The 28-year-old first baseman
ATLANTA -- Proving they do not plan to simply fold their tents while spending the next two months without Freddie Freeman, the Braves added Matt Adams' capable bat to their lineup.
Atlanta acquired Adams from the Cardinals in exchange for Minor League infielder Juan Yepez on Saturday. The 28-year-old first baseman and outfielder has hit at least 15 home runs in each of the three big league seasons in which he has tallied 200-plus at-bats. His presence may at least compensate for some of the power the Braves will miss with Freeman sidelined for 10 weeks with a fractured left wrist.
"This was something for our players and our fans," Braves general manager John Coppolella said. "I think our ownership really stepped forward to take on money and to get a really good player. We're trying to win right now. It's something where we've played really good baseball the past two weeks, and we feel we have a chance to win each night. This will help make us better."
Coppolella said Adams should arrive in Atlanta in time to play in Sunday's series finale against the Nationals.
Adams has batted .271 with 56 home runs and a .769 OPS over 486 career big league games. The burly slugger belted 15 homers and compiled a .779 OPS while recording a career-best 563 plate appearances for the Cardinals in 2014. But he missed much of '15 with a torn quadriceps muscle and has since been used primarily as a bench player.
While Adams' opportunity to play first base in St. Louis was blocked by Matt Carpenter's move to the position this season, he is now slated to serve as Atlanta's primary first baseman until Freeman returns.
"This shows we're willing to do anything it takes to win," Braves outfielder Matt Kemp said. "Obviously we're going to miss Freddie, but we've got to get guys to step up. You can't replace guys like Freddie Freeman, but you can play as good of baseball as you can until he comes back."
Adams has batted .210 and produced a .589 OPS in his career against left-handers, so there is a chance he will sit against some southpaws. When he's not in the lineup, his presence should enrich an Atlanta bench that does not possess power potential.
"I think Matt was one of those guys who was always looking to grab hold of a position," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "At times he did, and at other times he didn't have the success that maybe he had hoped. But he meant a lot to the organization."
With Adams in place, the Braves no longer have an immediate need to promote James Loney, a veteran left-handed-hitting first baseman who signed a Minor League deal on Thursday. Loney will remain with Triple-A Gwinnett and wait to see if there is eventually a need for him with Atlanta.
"We wouldn't have signed James Loney if we thought this trade would happen, but now that we had a chance to get a player like Matt Adams, we feel it's a way to help make us better for right now," Coppolella said.
Yepez batted .275 with one home run and a .697 OPS in 152 plate appearances for Class A Rome this season. The 19-year-old infielder had been a part of the Braves' organization since 2014, but he has never been considered among the club's top prospects.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.