The Braves acquired Rays third baseman Ryan Schimpf in a Monday trade for cash, a deal that provides another option at third base or for a bench position.
Schimpf had 34 homers in 441 at-bats with San Diego over the past two seasons, but hit just .195 with a .317 OBP and 175 strikeouts in those 142 games, his only experience at the major league level.
He’ll be 30 in April, has played in 802 minor-league games since 2009, and has more homers than singles (28) in the majors.
To open a roster spot, right-handed reliever Josh Ravin cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett by the Braves.
Schimpf has not exhausted his minor league options and can be sent down without going through waivers if he doesn’t make the opening-day roster as a third baseman or bench player/pinch-hitter.
“He’s got a option left, we’ll bring him in and let him compete for a job, see what he looks like and where he fits,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’ve got three weeks of spring training so we’ll get a good look at him, but it is attractive with the option.
“He’s done some damage in a short period of time (in the majors) so we’ll see where he fits.”
Schimpf was designated for assignment by the Rays on Saturday when they needed a roster spot for recent signee Carlos Gomez.
A left-handed hitter, Schimpf will compete with front-runner Johan Camargo and Rio Ruiz for the third-base job and with Christian Colon and others for one of the last bench jobs, with the more versatile and defensively sound Charlie Culberson assured of one utility infielder job and Lane Adams penciled in for fourth outfielder.
Schimpf played some second base in the minors but only third base in the majors and is limited defensively.
In 53 games with the Padres last season, Schimpf hit .158 with 14 homers, a .709 OPS and 70 strikeouts in 197 plate appearances, including .156 (19-for-122) with 10 homers against right-handers.
He has a .245 average with 147 homers and an .826 OPS in 2,821 at-bats across nine minor league seasons, most of that with the Blue Jays when current Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos was Toronto’s GM.