The Milwaukee Brewers have claimed infielder Ehire Adrianza off waivers from the San Francisco Giants according to the Brewers’ official Twitter account.
With the signing of Nick Hundley last week, the San Francisco Giants had to clear room on the 40-man roster for their new backup catcher. San Francisco’s front office decided Adrianza was the man to get the boot having signed a plethora of middle infielders early in the offseason.
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Adrianza, 27, has seen some playing time with the Giants in each of the last four seasons. In 331 career plate appearances, the infielder has hit .220/.292/.313 with a wRC+ of 73 and a wOBA of .271.
While his career totals at the plate are below-average at best, the switch-hitter has slowly but steadily improved with more reps against major league pitching. In 71 plate appearances last season, Adrianza slashed .254/.299/.381 with a wRC+ of 86 and a wOBA of .297, none of which are all too impressive, but indicative of improvement nonetheless.
With a middle infield tandem of Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik, Adrianza realistically had not shot of competing for a starting spot, but his luck may change with Milwaukee. The Brewers have a solid second baseman in Jonathan Villar, but Milwaukee’s Opening Day shortstop is not set in stone.
Orlando Arcia, Milwaukee’s 2015 Minor League Player of the Year and No. 1 prospect heading into 2016, is projected to start, but Adrianza can stir the pot with a solid spring.
Arcia struggled in his transition to the big leagues last season, hitting .219/.273/.358 with a wRC+ of 64 and a wOBA of .274, but unquestionably has potential.
Adrianza has an opportunity to start next season as Milwaukee’s primary backup infielder, a promotion from being the secondary option to Kelby Tomlinson off the bench with the San Francisco Giants.
He’ll have to compete with Scooter Gennett for that title, who slugged a career-high 14 home runs last season, although manager Craig Counsel has discussed the possibility of Gennett playing outfield.
Adrianza isn’t the only former Giant on the move today as Joe Nathan has signed a minor-league contract with the Washington Nationals. According to Jon Heyman, Nathan will receive $1.25M on the deal, but can earn up to $3M in incentives.
Nathan, 42, began the season with the Chicago Cubs, but the eventual World Series champions designated him for assignment on August 6th after only three appearances.
Shortly after on August 16th, the San Francisco Giants signed Nathan to minor-league deal, reuniting him with the team with which he made his major league debut. Over 6.1 innings with both the Cubs and the Giants, Nathan allowed no runs and struck out nine.
The closer has missed almost the entirety of the past two seasons, requiring Tommy John surgery early during the 2015 season. Nathan wasn’t impressive in his last full season, posting a 4.81 ERA over 58 innings with the Detroit Tigers in 2014.