MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers traded for Braves infielder Juan Francisco on Monday with the hope he can bring some thump to first base, where production has been lacking.
The Brewers are used to having a big hitter at that position -- Prince Fielder was a mainstay from 2006-11, and Corey Hart filled-in admirably in 2012 -- but with Hart on the disabled list, the team entered Monday ranked 14th of 15 National League teams with a .516 OPS from first base. Francisco has never played first in the Major Leagues, but told general manager Doug Melvin he was comfortable there, and that was enough for the Brewers.
Francisco has 14 home runs in 300 at-bats over the past two seasons with the Braves.
Yuniesky Betancourt played first base in Monday's 10-2 loss to Oakland and was 0-for-3.
The Brewers fleetingly discussed another option at first: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, whose mobility remains limited because of an early-season knee injury. But that idea never progressed.
"We never asked him," Melvin said. "We brought it up one time, but this is a player that potentially could be putting up Hall of Fame numbers as a third baseman if he gets numbers to go in as a third baseman. So that's something we wouldn't necessarily consider at this point."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less