Braves Trade: The Atlanta Braves have acquired infielder Nicky Lopez from Kansas City for LHP Taylor Hearn

The Atlanta Braves have struck a deal with the Kansas City Royals to send reliever Taylor Hearn to KC in exchange for infielder Nicky Lopez.
Colorado Rockies v Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies v Kansas City Royals / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have made another trade and this time it was for infielder, Nicky Lopez. Lopez was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Royals in exchange for LHP Taylor Hearn.

Hearn was with the Braves organization for around a week after being acquired from the Texas Rangers and appearing in one game for Atlanta. He will now get the chance to pitch for the Royals.

Lopez is known for playing multiple positions including second base, shortstop, third base, and left field. He's definitely going to be infield depth for the Atlanta Braves and provides them with a great defensive replacement.

Lopez has a current slash line of .213/.323/.281 on the season through 68 games. He has 34 hits including 5 doubles and 3 triples. He isn't known for being a home run threat as he only has 5 of them in his career. What he does provide is a player who has a decent on-base percentage with a career OBP of .311 through 5 seasons.

His defense is clearly the highlight here and the Braves essentially acquired a great depth piece for nothing. Hearn's rough performance on Saturday didn't seem like something Atlanta wanted to let continue. The 28-year-old Lopez still has options available and that flexibility is valuable alongside his ability to provide great defense.

His best season was back in 2021 as he batted .300 through 151 games for the Royals with 2 HR and 43 RBI including 49 walks, 74 strikeouts, and 22 stolen bases. He's only stolen 17 bases over the last two seasons.

Lopez also was excellent in this year's World Baseball Classic as he was one of the few bright spots for Italy. He batted .474/.524/.632 through the 5 games played in the tournament but that didn't translate into the 2023 regular season.

This is a great move by Alex Anthopoulos because it provides Atlanta with a player who can give them a good defensive replacement and the ability to get back to being a competent contact bat. Hitting seems to be contagious for this Braves team in 2023 and Kevin Seitzer has a good track record of being able to help guys fix their swings.

Pitching is still an area of concern for the Braves but Lopez still provides them great value. This likely means that Charlie Culberson's time with Atlanta in 2023 could be coming to an end. Keep your eyes on House That Hank Built as we approach the August 1st trade deadline.