Brewers and Braves have lined up for a rare, early-season trade involving three players on the team’s respective 40-man rosters. Brewers sends infielder Orlando arcia to Braves in return for right-handed relievers Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotkapr. messages from both teams. Weigel and Sobotka report to Brewers’ alternative training site.
While it’s a little surprising to see a trade of any note that takes place so early in the season, Arcia’s role with Brewers has declined in recent years. The hope at some point was that he would briefly be the long-term answer, however Luis Urias now seems to be the preferred option at that position for the brewing crew. Arcia have also seen some time at third base this year, however Travis Shaw made the Brewers̵
Arcia is in the process of making a 1 to 11 start to his 2021 season, but he showed perhaps the best showing of his career last summer as he cut .260 / .317 / .416 through 189 record appearances. That said, it’s somewhat disappointing for this production to represent a career-best show for Arcia, as he once ranked among baseball’s top 10 overall prospects on both Baseball America and MLB.com. Arcia’s glove always gave him a decent floor, but his bat has simply not come around as hoped. Through 1876 record appearances at the major league level, he managed only one .244 / .293 / .364 battle line with 42 homers and 39 steals.
The Braves clearly do not need an everyday shortstop – Dansby Swanson has the position locked – but Arcia gives them an assist with a solid glove. He has 4,250 career innings at shortstop, so it’s no surprise that Atlanta would be comfortable pushing him over to either second base or third base.
Ehire Adrianza had filled this role with the club, although there is some uncertainty surrounding his status at the moment. Adrianza recently left the club to have a personal case and he was reportedly undergoing admission tests to return to the club. David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that Adrianza is expected to return to the club before this weekend.
Arcia joins Adrianza, Johan Camargo and Pablo Sandoval as utilities from the bench for skipper Brian Snitker, though the Braves can’t carry as many backup infielders at once. Both Arcia and Camargo have a minor league opportunity left. Arcia is the more expensive of the two with a $ 2MM salary to Camargo’s $ 1.36MM, and that would be reason to reason that if the Braves give up any pitching to acquire him, he would get nodded. At some point, the acquisition of Arcia could put a list of one of the other backup infielders in jeopardy.
Depending on how things play out for Arcia in Atlanta, he could be an option for them not only in 2021, but in 2022. He currently has four-plus years of big league service, meaning he can be controlled through the 2022 season via arbitration.
In exchange for Arcia, the breweries will pick up a couple of optional relievers – one of which was once rated as one of the better arms in a pitch-rich Braves system. The 26-year-old Weigel ranked ninth among Brave’s farmhands on Baseball America’s list back in 2017 and still controlled 14th in this final offseason.
His career has been hampered by the Tommy John operation in 2018, but Weigel’s 2019 return from this procedure created some optimism. In 79 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A, the right ones worked to a 2.73 ERA – albeit with less encouraging strike and gang rates (21.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively). Weigel struck in just one game with Atlanta last year, allowing a couple of runs in two-thirds of an inning. It’s his lonely MLB look to date.
Sobotka, 27, has shown an ability to lack bats, but has also struggled with control issues for parts of three seasons with the Braves. The right one boasts a fast ball that is on average better than 96 km / h and a career opportunity of 28.8 percent through 47 major league innings, but he has also gone 14.2 percent of his opponents and picked three more.
The deal gives the breweries some flexibility on pitching staff in a season where most teams expect to need it more than ever before, but it also closes the book on one of the organization’s most promising farmers in recent memory. They are now handing over the reins to Urias, a former top prospector himself, in hopes of better results. While Urias himself has yet to have any really big league success, he is more than three years younger than Arcia and has a far better track record in Triple-A, where he has put together a .305 / .403 / .511 line in 867 plate appearance.
MLB Networks’ Jon Heyman first reported that the breweries were in negotiations to trade Arcia. FanSided’s Robert Murray reported that an agreement with an unknown club had been reached. Athletic Ken Rosenthal reported that the Braves acquired Arcia, and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that Weigel and Sobotka were on their way to the Brewers.