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Braves Acquire Nicky Lopez from Royals

The recently acquired Taylor Hearn heads to the Royals.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Across baseball, outside of the Dodgers and Rangers, the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline has been a pretty quiet experience so far. However, that could change with less than 48 hours left to go.

The Braves have already been somewhat active, with Alex Anthopoulos making his usual moves on the margins. That continued today as the Braves acquired utility infielder Nicky Lopez from the Royals:

The Braves sent Taylor Hearn to the Royals in exchange for Lopez. Hearn’s time with the Braves was not long, as he was acquired just six days ago. He made one appearance for Atlanta, which was last night against the Brewers.

In Lopez, the Braves are getting a player who offers much more value with his glove than his bat. After a somewhat promising 2021 campaign, Nicky Lopez has struggled mightily at the plate. Among the 198 MLB players with at least 650 plate appearances since the start of the 2022 season, Lopez has the second lowest OPS (.567) of the group.

However, where Lopez has consistently produced good value is across the infield with his glove. He has good experience at second base, short stop, and third base over the past few seasons, with 15 innings of work in left field this year as well. His main work has been at second and third this season.

Obviously, this move is more of a minor move on the margins. Lopez’s role on the team will likely be taking over the “26th/ back-up infielder” spot that rarely sees any playing time at all on the roster. However, Lopez could be viewed as a bit of an upgrade over Ehrie Adrianza, Charlie Culberson, and others. Though Lopez may not see much action, having his glove on the bench could be useful at some point with the struggles Atlanta’s defense has had this season.

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