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Royals acquire outfielder Peter O’Brien from Arizona

Pitcher Sam Lewis heads to the Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Royals have acquired outfielder Peter O’Brien from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Sam Lewis. O’Brien was designated for assignment by Arizona last week. The 26-year old right-handed hitter has terrific power but not much plate discipline and has questionable defense.

O’Brien has seen action in 36 Major League games, hitting .176/.228/.446 with six home runs. He garnered attention in 2014 when he was with the Yankees organization and smacked 34 home runs in a minor league season, getting traded for Martin Prado mid-season. He has hit 50 home runs over the last two seasons for AAA Reno, hitting .254/.295/.505 last season. He has struggled with plate discipline with a minor league walk rate of 5.9% while striking out 27% of the time. He began his career as a catcher, but was a liability behind the plate, and moved to the outfield full-time in 2015.

Lewis is a 25-year old right-hander who was undrafted out of Indiana Wesleyan and signed by the Royals in 2012. He has a 2.92 ERA in 49 relief appearances over four seasons with the Royals, missing all of 2015 with an injury. He has never pitched above High A ball and had a 1.62 ERA across three levels last year in 44 13 innings.

O’Brien will likely spend his time in AAA Omaha as depth. He has some positional versatility, with experience at first base and can still catch in a pinch. The trade gets the Royals up to their 40-man roster limit. O’Brien has two option years remaining.

I wouldn’t read too much into this trade. O’Brien was designated for assignment, the Royals had a spare roster spot, and took a flyer on his power without giving much of anything up. He could very easily be designated for assignment by the Royals next week to make room for someone else. But who knows, O’Brien has power, maybe he can hit a dong or two in Kansas City.