VIERA, Fla. – The Braves traded Nate Freiman to the Nationals for Tyler Moore on Sunday in what amounted to a swap of 29-year-old fringe major-league first basemen with pretty good power.
Moore also has corner-outfield experience and made a splash with the Nationals as a rookie in 2012, when he had 10 homers and an .840 OPS in 171 plate appearances and a big pinch-hit single in the postseason.
The former Nationals minor league player of the year (2010) regressed after his rookie season, moving back and forth between Triple-A and the major leagues and batting just .216 with 14 homers, a .264 on-base percentage and .362 slugging percentage in 445 at-bats and 202 games spread over the past three seasons.
He has a .221 career average with 24 homers and a .281 OBP in 601 at-bats in the majors, including .121 (13-for-107) with three homers and 45 strikeouts as a pinch-hitter.
Moore will report to Braves minor league camp and be assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett, and figures to be a top call-up candidate, particularly if the Braves have to do without Freddie Freeman for any significant stretch this season.
Popular in the Nationals clubhouse and among Washington fans, Moore was out of minor-league options and was outrighted to Triple-A Friday after going unclaimed on waivers. He had a $900,000 guaranteed contract after being first-time eligible for arbitration, and the Braves are responsible for that salary whether he’s in the majors or minors.
Moore was 4-for-31 (.129) this spring with a double, two homers, three walks and six strikeouts.
Unlike Moore, Freiman had no roots with the team that traded him. The 6-foot-8 Duke graduate signed with the Braves as a minor league free agent in December after being released by Oakland.
Freiman hit .256 with nine homers and a .717 OPS in 301 plate appearances for the Athletics in parts of two major league seasons, and the non-roster invitee was 3-for-25 (.120) in spring training for the Braves with one homer, three walks and eight strikeouts in 13 games before being sent to minor league camp.