The Angels have acquired infielder Ryan Schimpf from the Braves in exchange for catcher Carlos Perez, per a club announcement on Saturday night.
Schimpf, 29, joins his fourth organization in the past four months, having been traded from the Padres to the Rays to the Braves to the Angels since December 12. Though he endured an extremely rough spring training, going hitless in 30 at-bats with five walks, he has impressive power, having slugged 34 homers in 527 plate appearances over parts of two big-league seasons. It’s widely agreed that he needs to do a better job of making contact and not striking out, but for what it’s worth, he does do a good job of finding other ways to get on base, having posted a .317 OBP that’s 122 points higher than his .195 career batting average. Schimpf, who has two minor-league options remaining, will report to Triple-A Salt Lake and serve as organizational depth for the Angels.
Perez, 27, is out of options and had been designated for assignment by the Angels on Wednesday after failing to crack their Opening Day roster. It will be interesting to see what kind of role the Braves have in mind for him; he’ll report to the big-league club and will provide short-term depth behind Kurt Suzuki, who is currently dealing with a minor hand injury, and Chris Stewart.
But while the Braves opened the season with three catchers — Suzuki and Stewart plus starter Tyler Flowers, who went on the DL with an oblique strain after the first game of the season — it’s difficult to understand why they’d want to keep all three of Suzuki, Stewart, and Perez for any prolonged length of time. Suzuki figures to get the lion’s share of the starts while Flowers is out, and neither Perez — a .224/.267/.332 hitter over 595 major-league plate appearances — or Stewart, who has a .590 career OPS, provides an imposing pinch-hitting presence off the bench. Neither Perez or Stewart can be optioned, so the Braves will likely face a tough roster decision in the not-too-distant future.