Adrianza, 32, signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Nationals in March. Prior to that, he spent 2021 with the Braves, playing six different positions throughout 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 had a .179 batting average, .255 on base, and .202 cooldowns in 94 games. He had started recently, mostly for Michael Franco in third, probably because Last place nationals He wanted to show it before the Tuesday deadline.
To replace Adrianza on the 26- and 40-man rosters, the Nationals will recall Class-AAA Rochester Red Wings player Ildemaro Vargas, according to a person familiar with the situation. Vargas, 31, is a smooth defender, a light hitter and batsman on 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, Karl Edwards Jr., Steve Sysch and Kyle Finnegan likely to move in before 6pm ET on 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, the swap felt similar to what happened The Citizens sent left-back 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 at last chance to get players from other clubs, the Braves have a definite role in Adrianza’s mind and are likely to see limited rise with Harris. This has made them good business partners with the Nationals, even with General Manager Mike Rizzo’s loose rule of not shopping for players within the division.
For the past two seasons, Harris has been with the Class AA Mississippi Braves. 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 percentile on base and .498 batting average across three levels, hitting 14 homers and 26 doubles. But a full-time jump to AA has proven difficult, as Harris has had a .238/.338/.323 slash in 220 appearances with the Mississippi this season.
His slow rate and percentage are a mark below where he finished last year. The percentage on the base is slightly higher than the tick. At the 32nd round of Missouri State in 2018, Harris played all three positions on the field with a share of his appearances on the right. 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 bats and overall talent at AA. A thin, heavy system is accentuated by Rochester’s AAA pitchers and a handful of lower-level bats. 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 very minimal. The next step for citizens, then, is to see how many deals they can find.
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