Orlando Arcia, the former Milwaukee Brewers top prospect, is once again on the move.
The move is much bigger than him this time from shortstop to third base, though, as the team traded Arcia to the Atlanta Braves for right-handed relievers Chad Sobotka and Patrick Weigel.
“We are excited to add two great arms of power to our organization,” said president of baseball operations David Stearns in the statement announcing the exchange. “They both have major league experience and provide us with additional quality options throughout the season.”
Both Sobotka and Weigel will report to the Brewers’ alternate training site in Appleton.
Right-hander Brad Boxberger will be called up before tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs, taking Arcia’s place on the 26-man roster. Justin Topa will be transferred to the 60-man roster to make room for Arcia on the 40-man roster.
Arcia, 26, is hitting just .091 in four games this season, though he played a major role in the team’s only opening day win, driving the winning run in the 10th inning with a field pick.
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Arcia as early as the 2019 offseason, when Milwaukee traded a four-player trade with the San Diego Padres that brought Luis Urías to the Brewers.
Arcia was informed this offseason that he and Urías, 23, would share the shortstop spot after Arcia was the team’s undisputed starter there since his major league debut in August 2016.
Two of Arcia’s three starts this season have been at third base.
Arcia was actually the Brewers’ most consistent hitter in 2020, leading the team with a .260 hitter, but he’s a .244 hitter with a career .293 on-base percentage.
Defensively, Arcia has tremendous reach, a significant advantage for all the changes the Brewers have made, and a strong arm to throw. But in 2019, in 2020 and in his only start at shortstop this season, he has tallied minus 6 defensive runs saved at position.
His best season overall came in 2017, when he hit .277 with 15 homers and 53 RBIs while playing 153 games, the best of his career.
Arcia avoided arbitration this offseason by signing a one-year, $ 2 million deal with the Brewers on Dec. 2. But it is believed that he had been on the trading block since last season.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Orlando for their contributions to our team and community,” said Stearns. “Orlando contributed to some of the greatest moments in Brewers history, including his memorable four-hit performance in Game 163 in 2018.
“We wish Orlando and his family the best as they move into their next chapter of baseball.”
Arcia’s adjustment with the Braves appears to be more of a depth move, as they already have a fixture at shortstop in Dansby Swanson.
Swanson has been dealing with a calf injury and, like Arcia, has gotten off to a rocky start at the plate hitting .100.
Sobotka, who turns 28 on July 10, was a fourth-round pick for the Braves in 2014. He has pitched in 50 major league games since 2018, and is 1-0 with an ERA of 5.36 and 61 strikeouts in 47 innings. .
Weigel, who turns 27 on July 8, made his major league debut with the Braves last season, pitching 2/3 inning. Selected in the seventh round from Atlanta in 2015, he missed most of 2018 after undergoing surgery from Tommy John.
In an interesting twist, the Brewers selected Weigel from Oxnard College in round 22 in 2014, but were unable to sign him.
This story is developing and will be updated.