Brewers: Making Sense of the Suprising Orlando Arcia Trade

Orlando Arcia was traded by the Brewers early this afternoon to the Atlanta Braves for two pitchers. On paper, this deal may not make a lot of sense, but there are potential positives to this trade for both sides.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Brewers made a trade, sending Orlando Arcia, a long term infield fixture, to the Atlanta Braves for two pitchers.

Arcia, 26, has two years of team control left, and was squeezed from starting shortstop to a utility role coming into this season. Orlando is a charismatic guy with a great clubhouse presence, he had many memorable moments on the team, fun antics, and a favorite of any camera. However he was unable to live up to the top prospect billing he had when he entered the league at 21.

The writing had been on the wall regarding Arcia since the Brewers traded for Luis Urias in November of 2019. Covid and injuries bought Arcia another year, but the shift was complete after Urias won the starting job in camp.

In exchange for Arcia the Brewers get a pair of pitchers, Patrick Weigel, and Chad Sobotka.

Weigel, the Braves 12th best prospect, is 26 and has only had a brief stint in the Majors in 2020. MLB.com gives Wiegel a 45 grade overall, with a 60 grade fastball, a 55 grade slider, 50 grade curveball, and 50 grade changeup. Weigel is yet to gain a full time role in the Majors, but he scouts out as more of a bullpen arm, who has inconsistent command at times. Weigel has one option remaining.

Sobotka turns 28 in July, and has made 50 total appearances in his career with Atlanta, with a 5.36 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and a FIP of 4.92. He reports to have a plus fastball, average slider, and below average changeup and command. He has a career 28.8% K%, while his BB% is 14.2%. He does have an option remaining. Back in 2019, Sobotka was in the 90th percentile with fastball velocity, and 94th percentile in fastball spin.

This trade may seem a little confusing, as the Brewers don’t particularly need more pitching, especially unproven pitching. However, over the past few seasons, the Brewers have shown an ability to identify talented pitchers, and get the best out of them.

Arcia’s days in Milwaukee appeared to be numbered after Luis Urias was brought in, and Atlanta finally made an offer David Stearns couldn’t refuse.

Infield was a position of immense depth for Milwaukee, Daniel Robertson was serving as a utility infielder behind Arcia on the depth charts, and Zach Green is currently in the minors awaiting a call up when given the chance.

This trade is not a sell off, this is not the Brewers throwing in the towel. David Stearns told the press that Arcia had been on the block for a while. The Braves reportedly view him as a depth piece, and optioned him to the minors right away.

Ultimately, this is not the end result the team had hoped for with Arcia, however, he gets an opportunity to start fresh with a team that is ready to contend, and the Brewers acquire a couple pitchers who have good stuff, and the opportunity to develop into meaningful contributors during the long season.