The Braves executed a trade with the Cardinals on Saturday, swapping minor league corner infielder Juan Yepez for St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams and cash considerations. Comments from Braves’ general manager John Coppolella indicated that the teams started discussing the trade on Thursday after first baseman Freddie Freeman sustained a broken wrist during Wednesday’s game.
Adams, 28, entered his sixth season with the Cardinals in 2017. He’s off to a hot start, batting .292/.340/.396 with 14 hits and a home run through his first 53 PA. He enjoyed one of his more productive seasons in 2016 with a .249/.309/.471 batting line, 16 home runs and 0.6 fWAR, but has yet to return to the career-high marks he set in 2014. While Adams’ bat will be a definite downgrade from Freeman’s .341/.461/.749 batting line, his solid glovework should bolster the Braves’ infield until Freeman works his way back from the disabled list.
Yepez, 19, is a Venezuelan corner outfielder in his second campaign with Single-A Rome. He signed with the Braves in 2014 and was noted for both his power potential and defensive profile. The right-handed batter slashed .275/.309/.387 with 14 extra base hits and 15 RBI for the Rome Braves in 2017, but his production value has been tempered by injury and a poor approach at the plate.