Matt Adams has been traded to the Braves after over five seasons in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals made a surprising trade on Saturday evening, sending first baseman Matt Adams to the Atlanta Braves along with cash in exchange for 19-year-old minor-league infielder Juan Yepez. The move created roster space for the return of outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who was activated from the DL and started for the first time since May 4 after completing his recovery from a hamstring injury. It also allowed the Cardinals to keep their current contingent of 13 pitchers–one that will likely be altered in the coming days when lefty reliever Tyler Lyons is activated from the disabled list.
Adams had spent his entire professional career to date with the Cardinals, hitting .271/.315/.453 with 56 homers in 1,539 big-league plate appearances. For most of his Cardinals career, he served as a trusty bench bat or a member of a first base platoon, but he was the Cardinals’ starting first baseman for most of the 2014 season, and during the postseason that year, he had what will possibly go down as his greatest accomplishment in a Cardinals uniform, hitting a three-run homer against Clayton Kershaw to drive in all the Cardinals’ runs in a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers which allowed them to advance to the NLCS.
With the Cardinals having moved their best all-around hitter, Matt Carpenter, to first base for the 2017 season, there really wasn’t much of a role remaining for Adams. After he lost a significant amount of weight over the offseason, the Cardinals tried him in left field, but that experiment didn’t go very well. Since the Cardinals strayed from starting Adams in the outfield on April 12, he had started just two games at first base, with the last having come on April 27.
With Adams gone, Triple-A first baseman Luke Voit–who’s raking to begin 2017, hitting .350/.435 ./.621 with eight homers in 161 plate appearances–would appear to be the next man up at first base if Carpenter were to go down. With that said, Jedd Gyorko, Stephen Piscotty, and José Martínez all have experience at first base and are capable of filling in if Carpenter just needs a routine day off.