Adrianza, 32, signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Nationals in March. He spent 2021 with the Braves, playing six positions during the title season. With Washington, he spent most of the year recovering from a quad injury he suffered at the end of spring training. He appeared in 31 games and has a .179 hit average, .255 on base and .202 cooldown on 94 board appearances. He had started recently, mostly for Michael Franco in third base, probably because Last place nationals He wanted to show it before the Tuesday deadline.
“I wish I had seen more of Eihair here because I know what kind of player he is,” coach Dave Martinez said on Monday afternoon. “He got off to a slow start, and I really think it’s because of his injury. He had a really bad injury to his quad, and he couldn’t really move forward. But I loved having him.”
To replace Adrianza on the active and 40-man rosters, the Nationals called up Ildemaro Vargas of Class AAA Rochester. Vargas, 31, is a smooth defender and light hitter who hits from both sides of the board. He’s been with four major league teams and had a short stint with the Chicago Cubs in May. To make way for Adrianza, Braves appointed Robinson Canó for the job.
Aside from Juan Soto, and with Adrianza back in Atlanta, Washington still has Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, Carl Edwards Jr., Steve Sysch and Kyle Finnegan likely to move in before 6 p.m. Tuesday. And since Adrianza was kind of a somewhat surprising trading chip, it’s worth noting that it’s hard to know exactly what the contenders need before the extended run. In that sense, Monday’s swap felt similar to what happened Citizens sent left-handed John Lester to the St. Louis Cardinals for defensive back Lynne Thomas in 2021.
Harris hasn’t played above Class AA, which means he’s well behind where Thomas was when he arrived in Washington – and he hadn’t made his debut yet, under team control for six seasons once his service hour began. In general, though, the depth lever is more valuable than the light-hit utility trigger.
The counterpart is that in the last chance to get players from other clubs, the Braves have a definite role in Adrianza’s mind and see a limited rise in Harris. This made them good business partners with the Nationals, although General Manager Mike Rizzo prefers not to move players within the Eastern National League.
For the past two seasons, Harris has been with Class AA Mississippi. And since 2019, the right-handed hitter has attempted to rediscover what gave him the Hank Aaron Award, awarded annually to the best offensive player in the Atlanta system.
That year, Harris finished with a .323 batting average, .389 on a percentage basis and .498 batting averages across three levels, hitting 14 homers and 26 doubles. But a full-time leap to Class AA proved difficult: Harris had a slash of .238/.338/.323 in 220 board appearances this season.
His rate and sluggish rate are lower than where he finished last year. The percentage on the base is slightly higher than the tick. A 32nd-round draft pick from Missouri State in 2018, Harris has played all three outside positions with a share of his right-wing appearances. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 29th best player in the Braves.
As noted by de John Watson recently, Player Development Manager, the organization lacks the bat and general talent in class AA. A slim, heavy system is accentuated by AAA Rochester pitchers and a handful of bats at the lower levels. And while the gap will be addressed when Brady House, Jeremy De La Rosa and T.J. White, among others, advance in the future, there’s no harm in taking a pilot on a struggling hitter like Harris in the meantime.
The costs were minimal. The next step for citizens, then, is to see how many deals they can find.
“This is the first time,” Martinez said. Who knows what will happen in the next 48 hours?
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