Atlanta’s Best Chance of Landing Christian Yelich

Atlanta’s Best Chance of Landing Christian Yelich

It appears the Marlins are going to trade Christian Yelich. Given how Yelich reacted to the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon, and the fact that Miami is about to enter a full rebuild, this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. But anytime a player as young, and talented, and cost-controlled as Yelich comes on the market, we should take notice. It just doesn’t happen that often. And with the news coming he’ll likely be traded, the subsequent trade rumors have followed.

Enter the Braves.

The Braves want Christian Yelich. Most of baseball probably wants Christian Yelich. These type of players, on these types of contracts are usually built around, not traded. So the news he’s fully available is going to bring out big guns. Pretty much every prospect in baseball, from a pure value standpoint, is on the table in a Christian Yelich deal. Jeff Sullivan over at Fangraphs correctly concluded yesterday that Miami’s reported desire for super-prospect Ronald Acuna is actually based in reality. Yelich is worth that. And while Jeff agreed with most that Atlanta should not give up their star OF prospect, what we are left with is a simple conclusion. If Yelich is worth Acuna, Yelich is worth anybody.

What this means for Miami, and where this gets interesting, is they have a choice to make. One that will shape their rebuild. When trading away a superstar, do you trade for one big-time asset, an Acuna-like prospect, or do you spread out the risk by taking a package of 3 or 4 really good prospects?

Kiley McDaniel, who spent the last year or so working in Atlanta’s front office, just returned to public writing and one of his first pieces touched on this question. Here’s an excerpt from that post:

I’m aware of of a high profile instance of a progressive club turning down an attractive deal for one clearly superior prospect, instead choosing multiple lesser prospects, an example that would’ve shocked readers at the time and still would today. When I asked a member of that front office to explain the thought process, he said that they saw minor leaguers as gambles. Getting only one player for a premium asset means that the one prospect could bust and give them nothing (read: bad PR on a high profile trade), so they opted to diversify with multiple assets. I’m almost certain this club would’ve traded three similar assets for a premium prospect in a vacuum, so the PR of a high profile trade made them take different players than they would normally. I’m also aware of enough trade talks over the years with this club and other clubs with a similar process to see multiple examples of this thinking.

Conventional wisdom says, if you’re trading away a star, you need to get a star back. But as this insight from Kiley shows us, there are teams, progressive teams, that disagree. As baseball has become more analytical, one significant effect we’ve seen is how many teams are operated from a risk management point of view. Simply put, teams today are more risk-averse than ever. Look at free agency. Teams have learned high-dollar, long-term contracts aren’t great bets. It’s the same with trading away stars. Why lay the entire outcome of a high-profile trade at the feet of one asset when you can spread the risk out among multiple assets?

These trades get talked about for decades. They can end careers as quickly as they can launch them. It shouldn’t surprise us that teams don’t want the outcome of such a crucial decision hinged on one minor-leaguer.

The question is how does Miami see it? They’ve obviously asked for Acuna but that’s more operational prudence than anything. A starting point. Where they end up landing is the interesting part.

And that answer matters greatly, especially for Atlanta.

The Braves are not going to trade Ronald Acuna. I often discourage people from speaking in certainties about things that aren’t certain but here, I’ll say it with certainty. The Braves are not going to trade Ronald Acuna. Which means their best chance to land Christian Yelcih is for Miami to prefer to diversify their return. Top 100 prospect list are about to come out in full force and my guess is Atlanta has something like 6 or 7 guys on them. Maybe more, well see. Point is Atlanta has the firepower outside of Ronald Acuna to offer the best package of prospects. I’d go as far as to say, if Miami does want to spread out the risk, Atlanta matches up best. Especially considering Miami reportedly wants pitching.

But they could go the other way. They could prefer the potential superstar. At which point a team like Washington probably makes the most sense. Victor Robles is a top 10 prospect and Washington is at the correct place in the win cycle to justify moving him. Or maybe a team like Houston with Kyle Tucker. Cause that team needs more talent. We’ll see.

If it were me, I’d do everything I could to get 7 top 100 prospects for Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto. Trade them separately and use those guys to jump-start a rebuild. Miami isn’t Victor Robles away from being competitive. They need a farm system, not one player. But I’m not them and they don’t always operate in the most logical fashion so this will be fascinating to watch.

 

26 Comments

Again – part of Yelich value is 2018 season. We have no need for 2018 production. To pay a market value for Yelich – it would mean for Braves to overpay.

Yes, Yelich is worth FV 65 prospect (f.e. Acuna) or equivalent package. But not for Braves, because at least 1/5 of Yelich production would ba wasted.

BTW this is the same reason why people saying Marlins could wait till August or next offseason with selling Yelich – are wrong. Yelich now is more valuable than Yelich next offseason – because now you’re trading for five seasons of Yelich, in a year you’d trade only for four seasons (and because of salary structure – Yelich surplus in 2018 is more than 1/5 of his total surplus.

Marlins need to trade him now to maximize value they would get for him, and they know it.

TRad….totally agree with you. The Marlins need to trade Yelich before the season starts, to get max value for him….while The Braves would be better off trading for Yelich AFTER 2018 ends (where the price would be SLIGHTLY lower for him AND where we’d be getting BETTER value for him….in the sense that Yelich wont help The Braves MUCH in 2018 because we are not expected to seriously contend for a playoff spot in 2018).

The Braves need to keep our prospects…and build our team from within. We still are far from establishing our long term pitching rotation. As it is right now…only Luiz Gohara, at The MLB Level, is someone I’d want LONG TERM in Atlanta’s Rotation (that is assuming that his ‘potential’ doesnt flame out/get injured).

I’d like to see our prospects work their way up/show us what they can do at The MLB Level FIRST…before trading them away! Pitching is TOO EXPENSIVE/TOO VOLATILE to just start ‘trading away the seemingly excess pitching prospects’ this soon!

Besides…we’ll have approximately $100 mil to play with come The 2018 Free Agent Offseason! It WILL NOT cost any prospects to improve our offense this way!

The fact that the pitching in the minors is so volatile is actually a reason TO trade from a position of depth. That volatility affects every team in the league, yet the Braves are one of a handful of teams that have considerable depth there. This establishes a market need for what we have. Now to set the market value.
There are projections for every minor leaguer of note in every system. “Impartial” rankings by various outlets will factor in as well as internal and external scouting by individual teams. This is critical, underscored by the actions of the St Louis Cardinals Front Office to access this data from another team. So these projections can essentially set the value of our prospects. There is, of course, a major flaw in using projections to establish market value. Negative performance can completely destroy the validity or reliability of not only the individual player’s value but also the system as a whole.
Since SP’s are in fact so volatile it’s critical that you get the best internal scouting you can on your players and then act when there is demand. Waiting could leave you holding a surplus of sub-par investments and no pieces to address your current team needs.

ChattaChop….if The Braves were further along in our Rebuild/if we were one or two legit pieces from being serious contenders (in addition to having a more established, potent pitching staff)…then I’d be ok with using our surplus of prospects to make these type of trades that a number of you have proposed.

However The Braves simply have TOO MANY QUESTIONS going into The 2018 Season that need answering….that can only be answered by giving these prospects (both on the ML roster AND in The Upper Minors) playing time during The 2018 Season.

That…combined with our hella payroll flexibility after The 2018 Season ends/going into The 2018 Free Agent Off-season….gives our GM, AA, a better idea of what he has to work with/What direction he needs to go in to address making 2019 a playoff possibility.

2018 is too soon.

Paul, I’m not advocating any particular trade. I have an issue with the way you were valuing Yelich and with the overall concept of acquiring a player too soon. I think you and others try to attach quantifiable value points to players and forget that there are other factors that are not as easily measured.

As far as 2018 is concerned, I would rather have 4 years of contention of the player I want at a value of my choosing than 5 years of a player I have to settle for at a value dictated by my pressing need.

Great piece, Stephen. From Miami’s perspective, I also struggle to see why you’d want to package JT and Yelich in a deal for one superstar. If they did get Acuna, or Robles, or even Vlad JR.- you’re still a team with one potential budding superstar outfielder, no pitching, and no financial wherewithal to fill your needs through free agency.

If you look at what the Pirates did with Gerrit Cole, it looks as if they sorta prescribed to this idea of spreading the risk. They probably could’ve gotten Clint Frazier from the Yankees, plus a few lottery tickets. Instead they opted to fill multiple needs, with somewhat lesser players. For a club with limited resources, however, that’s 3-4 positions they don’t have to spend on for many years.

I get why Miami asked for Acuna- it’s part of the dance. In the end though, would they really turn down a package of say Sean Newcomb (helps the club now), Ian Anderson (potential frontline starter), Joey Wentz (potential mid rotation arm), Cristian Pache and maybe Brett Cumberland? Then you turn around and deal Realmuto, pick up 2-3 more prospects, and your farm doesn’t look that bad.

If you’re the Braves, you could still run out a rotation of Teheran, Wright, Allard, Gohara and Sororka for years to come. If one of those don’t pan, you still have more depth coming in the system. You also have money to spend, if need be. The fit just seems obvious, to me.

King….while Yelich is a nice player with a relatively team friendly contract, I simply DO NOT want to see The Braves give up Anderson, Wentz, Newcomb and Pache (who I think is destined for outfield stardom in a few years) for Yelich.

Sure, I feel that Gohara, Soroka, Allard and Wright (if nothing bad happens) should all be mainstays in The Braves rotation for years to come. However, I’ve been watching baseball long enough to know that ‘shit happens’ all the time! Just last year, Patrick Weigel was on track to debut with The Braves in 2017 (he was called up to Triple A early in The 2017 Season). However his arm blew out…making late 2018/early 2019 just to get back in Triple A.

In 2012-2013, The Braves had a young rotation of Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy. Who knew that injuries/flaming out would DECIMATE The Braves rotation (if anything….our inability to replace those pitchers led to Coppy TEARING DOWN The Braves after The 2014 Season…more than any impending Free Agency).

THE LAST THING I want to see happen..is history repeating itself. While there is nothing that a team can do to prevent unexpected injuries/attrition/not being able to get out MLB hitters…….a team can draft/develop/not trade away its PITCHING DEPTH! I’d rather wait a bit and figure out FOR SURE whose going to make/stay in our rotation long term…before trading away ‘the seemingly excess’! Let’s get Gohara, Soroka, Allard and Wright all up in The Braves Rotation FIRST…and see how they do against MLB pitching for one year…before ‘clearing the decks’, lol!

Paul, I can see your side, and it’s a fair point. For argument’s sake, let’s say two of Wright, Allard, Sororka and Gohara pan out, and two don’t. Teheran’s a great #3 on a playoff team probably, that can pitch like a #2 at times. So you’d still have 3 slots filled. I’m also a big believer in keeping a veteran presence on a young staff. Those early 90s clubs had Charlie Leibrandt in the rotation for a number of years. So if you kept a McCarthy around, or similar, you’re four deep. Surely they could find one pitcher out of the rest for a slot, no?

If you add Yelich to the OF, you’re also set with Ender and Acuna in the fold. You don’t need Pache.

Yes, it’s a price to pay, but you don’t create any holes in doing so. What happens, hypothetically, if you swing and miss in FA next offseason? Harper’s going to be the best OF available, but say he wants no part of Atlanta and we miss out on Cutch? Do you want to toss big $$$ at Blackmon, and hope he’s not a Coors Field product? Or pay AJ Pollock or Michael Brantley, and cross your fingers they stay healthy? To me it seems there’s more risk there.

King….I’m more inclined to see The Braves keep Folty going into 2019 (if he’s able to put together a consistent 2018 Season…and trade Teheran, especially if a team at The July Trade Deadline has a serious hard-on for him). Folty would be a nice TOR piece for 2019…while not only Gohara, Soroka, Allard and Wright all establish themselves long term…but also while either Tooki and/Weigel try and push their way into the rotation OR while the 2nd wave of pitching prospects (like Wentz, Wilson, Anderson, Muller, Davidson and Sanchez all try to also push their way into contention).

I totally understand that the vast majority of prospects don’t own out. However i feel that The Braves (under Coppy) did AN AMAZING JOB drafting from 2015-2017 (which could very well go down as bring historic drafts when all is said and done).

I’m more than ok with risking getting nothing in return for the ones who turn into busts….as long as we hit on enough to properly build a pitching staff that can stay young and compete long term.

If we didn’t have payroll flexibility like we’ll have once 2018 ends…i could understand your point.

I have never been for blowing up the farm to get Yelich (especially Yelich and Realmuto). I have advocated getting Yelich only if it does not blow up the farm even if requires some very good prospects. Realize that big trades can be made right now without blowing up the farm and if the deal is not good enough don’t make it. There was analysis some months ago (here? or maybe Talking Chop), where the farm system was analyzed for excess prospects based upon timing of arrivals and overabundance in one area without any in another. That is the way to determine what is reasonable to deal without affecting the future.

Let’s say I want to upgrade my house because I’m starting a family. I have my eyes set on a nice 4 bedroom with a couple of acres of land and a pool. There are other locations like this in town, but for whatever reason I like this one. Maybe it’s familiarity, or proximity, or maybe a good friend turned me on to it.
It’s available now, but if I’m honest with myself I really don’t need the house quite yet. I have the money for it if I liquidate some stock I’ve been investing in, but again, I’m not quite ready. It’s entirely possible, if not probable, the cost will decrease for this home and that my stock could increase even further if I wait a year, at which point my baby should be here and I will have a need for the house.
On the other hand, my stock could take a hit if the portfolio doesn’t perform to its projections. The house could sell to another buyer. I could be looking at more expensive options with less funds available than I have right now just because I didn’t want to move too early. I’ll have to have that house regardless, the baby is going to come whether I’m ready or not, so I will be forced to pay premium prices if the market changes.
You can say all you want that x value is reduced by losing a year of control, but the value of the player is not a straight math equation, regardless of how clean it would be if it were. It’s a matter of motivation for both the buyer and seller, ultimate replacement costs if a deal is not struck and the market shifts, and in the end just what the perception of the risk/reward is by both parties.

ChattaChop…one thing you’re forgetting, is that The Braves will be able to make picks in future Drafts that will give them additional prospects to eventually replace the ones who flame out. If a team has faith in their ability to draft and develop prospects (just compare The Braves past 3 Drafts…with past 3 Drafts of The Marlins)….then I feel that the smart, long term economically move to make…is to generally keep/develop/promote/build a team from within (and use your payroll flexibility to go after ‘the right free agent’ to improve your offense).

Great points by all. We, the Braves family, are ready for the next steps in the process for a championship team to take. Our needs for 2018 are widely known right now as LF, 3rd, and a #1 pitcher who could pitch games 1, 4, and 7 in the WS. Without filling any of these long term in 2018, we just add Catcher to the growing needs in 2019. Waiting until 2019 would cause us to overpay instead of having a manageable market for our needs. This why a trade for Yelich now is more important than waiting. A second trade for Z Greinke should be done as well (Greinke and 45 mil to the Braves for S Kazmir, Wisler, A Morris, and T Demeritte). This helps Arizona move money for J D Martinez. Then in 2019 fill 3rd and Catcher and hopefully the baby pitchers have gotten their footings for the big push to the playoffs.

Anyone read the article at TT on an interview with MarlinsManiac? They think a trade of Anderson, Demeritte or Waters, and someone like Clouse or Watts would be enough for Yelich. I’d jump on that trade. I had suggested Anderson, Pache, and Muller but it seems that might be an overpay. Seems like Yelich might be in range. And to add to that, I’d include Markakis + $2M for Ziegler. Even if we had to give Muller instead of Clouse/Watts, I’d still do it.

Roger…that trade is ‘wishful thinking’! Sure, I’d be down for a deal like what was proposed on TT. I just dont see The Marlins accepting that..especially given the heat that they got from the return on those earlier trades.

Brewers have sent to Marlins four prospects.

Brinson was scouted at 60 FV, Harrison 55 FV, Diaz 50 FV, Yamamoto 40 FV. Exchanging it to $ values – the whole package was worth about $130M. Braves never were to equal that. Great trade to Marlins.

If you believe Brinson is that good, yes. I’ve seen where some scouts have raised some questions about certain elements of his game, though. Either way, Brinson is good- but it’s hard to see him on the same level as Acuna. Heck, if he was in the Braves farm system, would he even be a top 5?

I get the Marlins asking for Acuna- but it was always unrealistic. They settled for less, it just looks better with the polish because he was the Brewers’ “Top” prospect.

TRad……this ‘fair trade crap’, does The Braves little good. I’d rather keep Acuna..than trade him straight up for Yelich. I could CARE LESS what the ‘projected values’ of each player says.

My ‘eye test’ tells me that during almost the next 7 seasons (assuming that Acuna gets called up 2 weeks into The 2018 Season) Acuna will put up BETTER NUMBERS combined than Yelich..in addition to making LESS MONEY than Yelich will make the next 5 seasons (unless The Braves are able to sign Acuna to a ‘team friendly long term deal’, which would help keep Acuna with The Braves for longer than the next 7 seasons).

I’m willing to take the chance (given that Acuna will make a combined less than $2 mil the next 3 seasons) that Acuna’s ceiling is HIGHER than Yelich’s. In addition, if one of Gohara, Soroka, Wright and Allard turn into a legit long term TOR-type starting pitcher while one of them develops into a reliable #2-#3 long term starting pitcher….I would be more than ok if the other two end up being busts (I happen to think that ALL 4 will have bright futures…I’m just saying what it would take for not trading those 4 for Yelich to turn into a smart non-move by The Braves).

So far, I LOVE what AA is doing (and not doing). If you look at what The Dodgers (who AA worked for the past few seasons) have done the past couple of years with their BEST prospects….they basically have kept pretty much ALL of their BEST ONES, promoting them to The Majors (Bellinger, Seager, Arias, Barnes) while trading the prospects that they can ‘live’ with losing in trades that shored up their bullpen/starting pitching (The Yu Darvish will turn out to be a ‘worst case scenerio’ trade for The Dodges IF they dont re-sign him….however I dont think that the prospects they lost to The Rangers will end up being ‘long term All-Stars’. If anything, they will represent as being ‘lost value’ to The Dodgers in the sense that The Dodgers wont be able to trade those prospects in the future for a trade that could have helped them better than Darvish did). Still, at the time, The Darvish Trade did make sense (given what he ‘could’ have done for The Dodgers, no one really could have foreseen that The Astros would have teed off so much on Darvish in his 2 World Series starts).

Whose to say that an opportunity to trade for a Yelich-like player wont present itself one year from now (when, if things work out like I expect them to during The 2018 Season when it comes to a number of our prospects developing)? The increasing value of a number of our prospects as they get closer to The Majors (or even increase in value even more AFTER getting their feet wet in The Majors, like how Gohara’s value SKYROCKETED from the beginning of 2017, when he was seemingly an under performing former big bonus prospect from Brasil who was DUMPED by Seattle last winter, starting at High Class A to open The 2017 Season..to being in Atlanta’s rotation by September, making scouts think that he’s the next CC Sabathia)! Gohara’s trade value SKYROCKETED in 4 months (I dont want to trade Gohara, especially if he performs in 2018 like I expect him to…just making a comparison to what could happen to a number of our potentially high ceiling pitching prospects in 2018 that I’m high on).

I wouldnt mind trading ‘a few’ of our potentially high ceiling pitching prospects down the line in the right trade. I just dont want to see any foolish 4-5 prospects for only 1 seemingly good player. The Brewers make the right kind of trade for them! Brinson, while highly rated, did basically SUCK during his ‘cup of coffee’ appearance in 2017. The other players they gave up, COMBINED, dont represent the projection high ceiling that Brinson represents. I feel that a comparable Braves trade…would have been Pache (I feel that by the end of 2018, Pache potentially SKYROCKET in a similar fashion that Acuna did, just maybe not quite up to #1 in the rankings, lol), Lucas Sims, Dustin Peterson (who should rebound some in 2018 from his hand injury in 2017) and Richardo Sanchez (who should rise up to Double A by the end of 2018). That’s as far as I’d go if I was Atlanta. I feel that losing Pache will HELLA HURT in a few years…however it would have been worth it because of what Yelich would immediate bring The Braves during the next few years.

Regardless, I’m glad that The Braves stood put! I’m hella excited to see what 2018 brings with our PLETHORA of prospects trying to push their way onto The Braves Roster during 2018 with their play in The Minors (especially the likes of Soroka, Allard and Wright). Also, I cant wait to see AA in action once The 2018 Season ends and The 2018 Free Agent Offseason begins! With approximately $100 mil to play with (and hopefully with our PLETHORA of high ceiling prospects excelling in Atlanta as potentially HUGE selling points to prospective Free Agents wanting to sign with a winner with a bright long term future)…AA could very well be like ‘a kid in a candy store’ (only with an adult mentality, lol).

TRad….’today’ he’s probably worth Yelich. However my gut tells me (from all my years of watching MLB) that Acuna will eventually surpass Yelich! We’ll find out in a few years whose right!

TRad….I’m willing to trust Coppy’s ability to evaluate (he refused to trade both Albies and Acuna before he was fired)…as well as AA’s ability (who also refuse to trade Acuna to The Marlins for Yelich) and risk Acuna possibly flaming out!

I was all in for doing exactly what the Brewers are doing. Trade for Yelich, sign Cain, trade extra OFs/Inciarte to replenish prospect stock to lessen the farm hit. However, I wouldn’t have traded the Braves equivalent for Yelich nor signed Cain for that amount. So I’m glad AA stood still.

My take on what might the marlins might have taken for Yelich (Wright/Pache/Wentz/Demerrite) I would not have stomached that well.

West Coast Wreck…..the bottom line is that it was simply TOO SOON for The Braves to make a Yelich-like trade!

I know that people get pissed at me for saying this over and over again…but The Braves simply have TOO MANY QUESTIONS that need answering going into 2018…for it to make sense to potentially risk NOT ONLY the payroll flexibility that we’ll have once The 2018 Season ends BUT ALSO potentially giving up 4-5 of our best prospects (possibly 7-8 of them for some of THE RIDICULOUS trade proposals a number of The TC Clowns suggested we give up to get both Yelich and Realmuto from The Marlins).

Even though Flowers and Suzuki are both approaching their mid-30’s (in a year or two)…..I’m more than ok with seeing how 2018 plays out with both. Depending on how 2018 plays out for both….why not see if both would be open to signing a fair 2 year-ish type deal after The 2018 Season ends (I can understand how some would think that the 2017 performances of both were ‘a fluke’…however if both continue to put up good numbers combined in 2018 would suggest that 2017 was not a fluke. Instead of blowing through a couple of our good prospects trying to get someone like Realmuto…why not give the Flowers/Suzuki combo a 2 year-ish deal to continue playing for Atlanta? It would give Jackson/Contreras a couple of seasons to develop in Atlanta’s system).

While I like Jackson’s bat, if he is going to have value to The Braves in the future, he need to develop as a catcher. One year as a catcher (after his 1st couple of MILB seasons with The Mainers as an outfielder) with The Braves is simply FAR from enough to warrant serious MLB consideration. That’s why I like staying with Flowers/Suzuki…IF both continue to play well for The Braves.

I know, a lot of fans want ‘certainty’ when it comes to age/projection. Realmuto seems to provide that (while Flowers/Suzuki are seemingly on the wrong side of 30). But the price would be right (no more than $7 mil a year COMBINED for both Flowers/Suzuki in future years). Even if Flowers’ power numbers arent quite as they were in 2017….his ability to frame/steal strikes will still provide value to our young pitching staff!

Like you, I COULD NOT stomach losing Pache, Wright and Wentz (I could stomach losing Demeritte, lol) for Yelich. Pache could very well be a fast riser in 2018. Wright and Wentz….potential for both are SKY-HIGH!

The thing about our high end pitching depth….is that it provides A LOT of protection for The Braves down the line! While Gohara UNEXPECTEDLY rose up in 2017, Patrick Weigel blowing his ACL was a big surprise! Before the injury, Weigel, after initially getting promoted to Triple A…was in line to get a September call-up (similarly to how Gohara got his cup of coffee).

Again, while I have ‘an idea’ of which pitchers will rise up/project to be in our rotation come 2019..2020..and 2021…I’m a realist and understand that injures/variance/attrition/bad luck/turning out to not being able to get MLB hitters out/etc. all play a role in ‘shit happening’ with highly touted prospects. It isnt like The Braves have all their eggs rolled up into only 4-5 of these guys (kind of like how The Mets were with Harvey, Synderguard, deGroom, Matz and Wheeler) panning out (while having NO ONE ELSE in The System waiting to replace them if need be…kind of like what happened to The Braves during 2012-2013, when we went from having a rotation of Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy…to by the end of The 2014 Season, having a DEPLETED Rotation, resulting in Coppy having to make the tough decision to STRIP DOWN a talented offense and Rebuild The System by stocking it with pitching acquired in those trades AND focus on rebuilding through The Draft).

Sure, The Rebuild kind of took a little longer, given that Wisler, Blair, and a host of others turned out to be BUMS/DUDS. However, if anyone told you when The Rebuild 1st began at the end of 2014 that Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna (signed for $300k and $100k respectively) would give The Braves an opportunity to have A LETHAL top of the batting order combo by 2018 (to be technically correct, by the end of April, when Acuna will finally be called up). As unlucky as The Braves got with Wisler and Blair turning out to be BUMS….The Brave appear to have gotten HELLA LUCKY with Albies and Acuna.

With the current crop of pitching prospects The Braves have….there will probably be some that we dont expect to ‘flame out’, while there will be some that unexpectedly turn out to be ‘diamonds in the rough’. Or…things could turn out the way we expect them to. Who knows. Regardless, we have enough depth to not have to worry if someone like Gohara….or Soroka…or Wright..or Allard…or Wentz…or Tooki…or Anderson..or Wilson…or etc, lol were to tear their ACL and face a year, 1 1/2 year rehab! Sure, it would be disappointing….however our depth would just give the next prospect in line an opportunity to shine/do his thing!

For most teams, losing Weigel would be MAJOR NEWS for them! However, The Braves will be fine (at least with Weigel, it happened while he was in The Minors..and not on Atlanta’s 25 man roster, which would count towards his service time). Whatever ACL issues that come up, will hopefully happen while these guys are in The Minors. Having highly productive pre-arbitration pitchers winning games is essential for a non-big market team like The Braves. Thankfully, The Braves have the kind of depth that would help them withstand these type of painful injuries. That’s why it would be FOOLISH to trade 4-5 of them (taking the position that 1. we need to start dealing from a position of strength. 2. we’ll still have 6-7 left after we make a Yelich-like trade).

Once our rotation is settled (or at least we have A MUCH better idea of whose going to stick and stay long term)…then of course making a trade involving a pitching prospect or two who has the ability to start (but perhaps not quite good enough to break our rotation)…for either 1. prospects to re-stock the lower levels of our System. 2. Fill a need on The MLB roster..would be something I’d support! But we are NO WHERE near that place yet!

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