Braves acquire Orlando Arcia from Brewers for two pitchers

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Atlanta Braves have acquired infielder Orlando Arcia from the Milwaukee Brewers for right-handed pitchers Chad Sobotka and Patrick Weigel.

Arcia had been the Brewers’ starting shortstop from 2018-20, but was expected to split time between shortstop and third base this year in more of a utility role.

This move clears the way for Luis Urias to take over as the Brewers’ everyday shortstop. The Brewers had acquired the 23-year-old Urias along with pitcher Eric Lauer from San Diego in a November 2019 trade that sent outfielder Trent Grisham and pitcher Zach Davies to the Padres.

“The trade is a commitment to Luis Urias,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That is a commitment that we made. He has earned this and it’s an important time for him. He’s going to get a great opportunity here.”

Arcia brings infield depth to the Braves.

The 26-year-old Arcia has gone 1 for 11 so far this season after hitting .260 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 59 games last year. He has batted .244 with a .293 on-base percentage, 42 homers and 180 RBIs in 542 regular-season games.

“He’s kind of an up-and-coming guy,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I was a little surprised he was available. Any time you can upgrade and add to depth at the shortstop position it’s really a good move.”

Arcia’s best moments have come in the postseason. Arcia has a career postseason average of .295 with an .879 OPS. After the Brewers and Chicago Cubs finished the regular season with identical 95-67 records in 2018, Arcia went 4 of 4 and scored two runs in a 3-1 victory in Chicago that gave Milwaukee the NL Central title.

“His star has shined the brightest in the biggest games that the Brewers have played in the last five years,” Counsell said.

Sobotka and Weigel will report to the Brewers’ alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The 27-year-old Sobotka is 1-0 with a 5.36 ERA in 50 relief appearances. Weigel, 26, has appeared in only one major league game.

“We think this is a deal that made sense for both sides,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “We do think that continuing to ensure that we have the pitching needed to make it through this season is important. These are two guys with big, power arms – very big people in general – and we think they’ll be able to help us through the course of the season.”

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.