The acquisition of Matt Adams has been a huge trade for the Braves to fill in the absence of Freddie Freeman. Since coming to Atlanta Adams has hit .268 with 5 HR, 12 RBI, 4 2B, and 1 3B. He provides a left handed power bat that compliments well with the way the Braves offense is built. They are set to play their next 18 out of 22 games at home, so expect Adams to play pepper with the right field short porch a lot over the next few weeks.
Clearly, Adams is not Freddie Freeman. Replacing a top tier first baseball like Freeman is nearly impossible, but the presence of Adams in this lineup is a great fill in and the closest power bat to Freeman you will find given the circumstances. Given Adams is able to continue with his production, the Braves will have a few choices to make when Freeman returns to the lineup. Adams is not versatile and really only serves as a first baseman. This is the reason the Braves were able to get Adams at such a cheap price from the Cardinals. According to David O’Brien of the AJC, the Cardinals tried him in the outfield, but it did not go well at all. With that being said, upon Freeman’s return, Adams will go to the bench and provide a very nice upgrade. Unfortunately, there will be no way to keep Freeman and Adams in the same lineup.
Tough decisions will need to be made over the next 10 weeks until Freeman returns if Adam’s continues to play like he is now. The Braves will need to decide whether to keep him as a solid bench piece or find a trade partner and get a considerably nice return. Adam’s is still under club control for two years and could fetch a hefty return from a club in need of a left handed first baseman or a DH. Having an asset like Adam’s is a good problem to have, but his trade value will probably will be the highest of his career when Freeman returns so don’t be surprised is Coppolella pulls the trigger early.
Regardless of the way the Braves handle the situation, they are in a good spot. Having Adam’s in this lineup has helped fill the void left by Freeman and will provide a power bench piece or fetch a good return from a trade. His production over the next few months will be vital to his trade stock, but no need to be concerned because as Adam Wainwright tweeted out “That boy can hit!”.