Cards get prospect from Braves for Adams

Cards get prospect from Braves for Adams

ST. LOUIS -- With no place to put him in the field, the Cardinals parted ways with first baseman Matt Adams on Saturday, trading him to the Braves for Minor League infielder Juan Yepez. The Cardinals also sent the Braves cash to cover part of what's remaining of Adams' $2.8 million salary this season.

The Cardinals announced the deal about an hour before Saturday's game against the Giants. The timing of it was critical, as Adams' departure opened a roster spot for Stephen Piscotty to be activated from the 10-day disabled list.

"It's tough," Adams said after learning the news. "I have a lot of great relationships with a lot of guys on this team. But looking at it, it's the best thing for my career. I'll be able to go over there and join another great organization and be able to play every day. But I can't thank the Cardinals enough for the opportunities they gave me and the trust they had in me. It was a great run. I'm just happy to be able to get out there and play every day."

The Braves' interest in Adams came after Atlanta learned that it would be without veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman for the next eight to 10 weeks while he recovers from a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist.

The Cardinals, in turn, had been exploring possible trade opportunities for Adams since the offseason. The team's decision to make Matt Carpenter their everyday first baseman this season left Adams without a long-term place on this club. The Cardinals did try to find him playing time as a left fielder early in the season, but defensively, that wasn't the right fit, either.

Adams made eight starts this year (the most recent on April 27) and hit .292/.340/.396 in 48 at-bats. Where they will miss his presence is off the bench. Adams' .328 average as a pinch-hitter ranked second best in the Majors (minimum 90 plate appearances) since 2012, the year Adams made his Major League debut. Adams had been drafted three years earlier as a 23rd-round pick.

"I don't think Matt wanted to already be pigeonholed into a pinch-hit role," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Yes, he had some early successes, but how sustainable is that? I think Matt was one of those guys who was always looking to grab hold of a position. At times he did, and at other times he didn't have the success that maybe he had hoped.

"Definitely as I sit here now, I feel bad that these types of things have to happen. But I also look at where our roster is and what we're trying to do with this club. Trying to keep all parties happy, I think this might be the best solution."

The Cardinals get somewhat of an unknown return in Yepez. The Braves signed the corner infielder out of Venezuela for a little more than $1 million during the 2014-15 international signing period. Yepez began his professional career in 2015 and will be assigned to the Cardinals' Class A affiliate in Peoria (Ill.). He slashed .275/.309/.387 in 36 games for the Braves' Class A team this year.

"It's a little bit of a lottery ticket as far as how we'll see this play out," Mozeliak said. "People thought highly of him. Based on his performance and where he's at, we're excited to add him."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.