Braves first baseman Matt Adams is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman suggests the club could consider non-tendering him if he can’t be traded ahead of Friday’s 8 PM ET arbitration decision deadline.
Adams, 29, filled in admirably for the Braves — coming over from the Cardinals — at first base after Freddie Freeman fractured his wrist. He hit .271/.315/.543 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI in 314 plate appearances. Obviously, with Freeman expected to be fully healthy for spring training, Adams is now the odd man out. He can play in the outfield, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired — he’s still just a 1B/DH type.
Adams is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $4.6 million in arbitration this offseason. The Braves already have nearly $98 million committed for the 2018 season, so paying close to $5 million for a bench player wouldn’t be the most optimal use of resources.
Given how obvious it is that Adams doesn’t fit on the Braves, teams interested in his bat will likely wait to see if the Braves do non-tender him. In that case, Adams would become a free agent and would be had for cash alone, as opposed to minor leaguers sent in a trade.