Braves acquire another infielder in trade with Royals

MLB: JUL 08 Royals at Guardians

The Taylor Hearn era in Atlanta is officially over. After being acquired about a week ago in a trade with the Rangers for cash, the Braves have flipped the lefty reliever for infielder Nicky Lopez from the Royals.

This acquisition isn’t going to make national headlines, but it does fill a void the Braves had on their roster, and it cost the team essentially nothing. Hearn had already been optioned to Gwinnett after a shaky first outing with the club.

Nicky Lopez is a super utility piece that can play all over the infield. He’s fantastic defensively, even if he offers very little with the stick. In 67 games this season, Lopez has hit just .210 with a .603 OPS. Despite that’s, he’s still accrued 1.1 WAR — a testament to his spectacular defense.

It’s a trade that reminds me a lot of when the Braves acquired Orlando Arcia from the Brewers. He can serve as a backup infielder all over the diamond, and who knows, perhaps the Braves can tap into his offensive ability like they did with Arcia. Lopez also comes with several years of team control, under contract through 2025. He will take Charlie Culberson‘s place on the roster, who was essentially a placeholder. Charlie Clutch appeared in just one game for the team all season.

Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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