Now that the Braves have a new GM and MLB has handed down the punishment for John Coppolella’s and John Hart’s international spending scandal, it feels like we can finally shift our focus to the offseason. Here is part one of our offseason questions series:
Matt Adams was brought over last summer for practically nothing as a fill-in for Freddie Freeman. He hit so well that the Braves did something no one thought they would actually do: move Freeman to third base.
The Freeman experiment at third ended rather quickly — to the surprise of no one — and Adams spent most of the final two months on the bench. He ended the season with a .271/.315/.543 line (112 wRC+) across 300+ plate appearances, which isn’t too shabby. He crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a 126 wRC+ and has a career 123 wRC+ against them.
Admittedly this isn’t a franchise-altering decision for new GM Alex Anthopoulos, but it will be an interesting decision nonetheless. On Monday, Buster Olney reported the Braves are shopping Adams to teams before Friday’s non-tender deadline.
Adams, 29, figures to earn $4-5 million in arbitration next year before becoming a free agent. He doesn’t have a place to play in Atlanta unless Freddie would get hurt again. He can play an inning or two in the outfield, but he certainly cannot play the position on a regular basis.
The cost to get Adams in May was Juan Yepez, who barely qualifies as a prospect. Given that Adams is only signed through 2018, the prospect return won’t be anything to write home about.
Adams's future in Atlanta will likely come down to the market for him. $4-5 million isn’t an outlandish amount of money to pay a quality bench bat, but I would imagine some AL teams will be interested in the slugging lefty as a 1B-DH. He won’t be given away for nothing, but if the right deal comes along, it shouldn't come as a surprise if he’s traded.