In our first piece for Armchair GMs, we heard from a very thorough Will Soprano who enticed, or infuriated, us with a trade of ultimate magnitude. Today, we look at our next round of Armchair GMs in J.T. Hornbuckle (Twitter: @jthornbuckle) and Aubrey Smith (Twitter: @braveslive16) who have different ideas on what the 2018 Braves might look like. Let’s hear from J.T. first!
J.T. Hornbuckle, Braves Armchair GM
I do not believe the Braves are a playoff team in 2018 but I do believe they have the foundation for a potential world championship team in 2019-2021. look at the Astros for that blueprint as such I do not want to see my Braves go all in with their prospects in order to add a win now player or unload a contract (i.e. Markakis or Kemp).
With that said I do believe it is time for Acuna to play in Atlanta. He has done everything that could be asked of him and he will energize the fan base and sell tickets. You have proven that moving Kemp or even Markakis to open a spot for him will be difficult and as much as the Braves love Ender I believe it is time to cash in on one of the best trade chips in baseball and use that opportunity to field an even better team during their 2019-21 window.
Braves get Kyle Tucker and Frances Martes
Astros get Ender Inciarte
Why Braves would do it
Ronald Acuna and Kyle Tucker are the Braves OF of the future and Tucker could be a piece for 2018 if the team is able to move Markakis or Kemp. Martes is a prospect with a lot of upside who many viewed as an ace who disappointed this year but at the very least could be a great bullpen piece in Atlanta
Why Astros would do it
The Astros are in the midst of their window and Incarte makes their team better while Springer can play his better position in RF.
Have an opinion on this trade? Let’s hear it in the comments section!
Aubrey Smith, Braves Armchair GM
Unlike J.T., Aubrey obviously wants the Braves to be contenders next year and is willing to trade some heavy prospects to make it happen, but is it enough? You be the judge!
Why Blue Jays would do it
They need a rebuild. They lost Encarnacion to free agency, Jose Bautista had a -1.7 WAR and a .203 batting average. They are paying 20 million a year to Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki, 13 million to Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ. That’s a lot of money for two low production hitters and two decent pitchers. Their farm system is middle of the pack and they don’t have a lot of depth in the pitching department. In this deal they would get the Braves numbers 6, 11 and 12 prospects. It could jumpstart their rebuild, while also getting a young, controllable starter in Teheran who, with a change of scenery, could rebound into the guy he was two seasons ago.
Why Braves would do it
Two-time all-star Josh Donaldson will be a free agent after the upcoming 2018 season. While Donaldson had an injury riddled campaign he still put up a 4.8 WAR in 2017. Braves third baseman ranked 24th or worse in most offensive categories. Even if it’s just for one year, Donaldson would be a huge upgrade in the Braves lineup with the potential to still be locked up beyond this year. The key in this trade is the upgrade in the 2018 rotation of Marcus Stroman. Stroman had a 6 WAR for the Blue Jays this past year with a 3.09 ERA. He is a heck of a competitor and not eligible for free agency until the 2021. With the prospect depth the Braves have, and the controllability of Stroman this deal helps them in multiple areas. Giving a big bat to protect Freeman and the top of the rotation arm they have been wanting for multiple years.
That’s it, folks! What do you guys think about these trade ideas? Good? Bad? Ugly? Let’s hear in the comments section.