Braves mull moving Adams to outfield when Freeman returns

Braves first baseman Matt Adams. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Braves first baseman Matt Adams. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Matt Adams has been so productive in place of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman that the team wants to keep him in the regular lineup when Freeman returns from the disabled list as soon as next month.

Third base is the one position where the Braves don’t have a consistent regular, but manager Brian Snitker said that likely wouldn’t be the spot for Adams once Freeman returns.

“If he’s not playing first, I think maybe you put him in the outfield somewhere,” Snitker said Tuesday. “It’s just kind of something (where) we are going to explore all the options and see (what) best serves the ballclub.”

One of those options is to move Freeman to third base and leave Adams at first. Freeman played third base during high school and for five games during professional rookie league. He’s been a first baseman since then but Freeman is willing to change positions to accommodate Adams if the Braves decide that’s the best option.

Center field isn’t a realistic option for Adams. Therefore if the Braves want him to play every day in the outfield, they would have to trade either right fielder Nick Markakis or left fielder Matt Kemp.

The Cardinals tried Adams in left field to begin this season because they wanted him in the lineup with Matt Carpenter at first base. Adams played five games in left field to begin the season, with one complete game, before the Cardinals abandoned the plan (save for one more game May 6).

The Braves acquired Adams in a trade with the Cardinals on May 20, days after Freeman went on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist. In 28 games since joining the Braves, Adams was hitting .306 with 10 home runs, seven doubles and nine walks.

Now the Braves, like the Cardinals before, are trying to figure out how Adams fits on a team that already has an All-Star-caliber first baseman.

“We are kind of discussing that internally and looking at that because it is a reality,” Snitker said. “The fact is Freddie is going to be back, and what do we do? There are some options there. Because it would be nice to have both of those guys in the lineup somehow.”