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Braves acquire Ryan Schimpf from Rays

The Braves add an intriguing bat to their infield mix.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have acquired infielder Ryan Schimpf from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, per a club announcement on Monday.

Schimpf, 29, has one of the oddest skill sets in baseball, as he consistently gets on base and hits home runs, but he rarely puts the ball in play and frequently strikes out. Over parts of two big-league seasons with the Padres, he has more home runs (34) than doubles and triples combined (24) over 527 plate appearances and has posted a bizarre .195/.317/.492 slash line, good for a 115 OPS+. He has more than six times as many strikeouts (175) as he has singles (28) over the course of his major-league career.

Schimpf was acquired by the Rays in mid-December and looked to be a potential starting option at either second or third base, but now that they have acquired Christian Arroyo, have Matt Duffy healthy once again and will have Brad Miller as an available middle-infield option now that C.J. Cron is their first baseman, Schimpf no longer really figured into Tampa’s plans. He was designated for assignment on March 3 when the Rays officially added Carlos Gomez to their 40-man roster. He played in five spring training games with Tampa prior to being let go, going hitless while striking out eight times in 14 at-bats and taking one walk.

Schimpf has two minor-league options remaining, so he’ll be an intriguing depth option in Atlanta even if he doesn’t begin the season in the majors. Charlie Culberson is expected to be the Braves’ primary backup infielder, Rio Ruiz has a good shot to crack the roster as a backup at the corner spots, and former World Series hero Christian Colon is also battling for a bench spot, but Schimpf has the ability to provide power off the bench and could represent a potential alternative if third baseman Johan Camargo struggles or second baseman Ozzie Albies endures a sophomore slump.