The Trade That Fortunately Didn’t Take Place

Ozzie Albies hits for the Gwinnett Braves.

The Trade That Fortunately Didn’t Take Place

For several months, former Braves general manager John Coppolella was enamored with the idea of acquiring Jose Quintana. in his first full season, Quintana had a 3.5 fWAR. The following years, he only improved. The new White Sox ace was a durable and effective left-hander who was controlled through the 2020 season. And the price tag was pretty affordable. The team acquiring him, if before the 2017 season, would be on the hook for about $37M. That is less than an average annual salary of $10 million.

We like Quintana, but it’s not Sale. It’s controlled and it’s left-handed and it’s young and it’s athletic. It certainly would be good for us. But where does he fit in the scheme of things?” – John Hart, Dec. 2016

The Braves under Coppy were searching for a young ace to supplement what was likely to be a very inexperienced pitching staff over the next few years. As with Chris Sale and Chris Archer, the interest for Quintana seemed to go beyond “fit.” There were rumors of talks. There may have been formal offers exchanged. The White Sox continued to press for more – possibly Ronald Acuña Jr. The Braves wondered if they could acquire Quintana without giving up Acuña Jr. Perhaps, the White Sox would take the young infielder, Ozzie Albies, instead.

It seems ridiculous to even suggest such a trade now, but before Quintana’s trade to the Cubs last July, it was Albies who was the focal point of potential discussions according to several reports. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the Braves tried to squash those rumors. John Hart told the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, “At this point, we’re probably likely not going to move these guys.” When he said “those guys,” he was referring to prospects. Instead, Atlanta seemed – publicly – to focus on buying a year for their young arms with one-year fill-ins like Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia.

But the rumors persisted. As the weather warmed up, Albies was also on fire. From May 8 to the end of June last year, Albies slashed .304/.360/.481 with 17 extra-base knocks, including a handful of home runs. Adjustments to his left-handed swing, with the aid of Chipper Jones, had unlocked power potential. He was on the rise and as was his trade value. If that wasn’t enough, Albies had also swiped ten bases in eleven tries. With the trade deadline coming up and the Braves still interested in Quintana, would Albies’ improvement be enough? Would Coppy finally get his guy?

Atlanta, of course, didn’t end up with Quintana. A few weeks into July, Quintana was traded across town to the Cubs. It was the Cubs’ who were willing to give up their mega outfield prospect in Eloy Jimenez along with three other prospects highlighted by a very solid arm in Dylan Cease. For the Braves, it would have been like giving up Acuña Jr., Ian Anderson, and one or two more B prospects. Atlanta wasn’t going to go that big for Quintana. But their interest was very real according to Jeff Passan. Their offer to the White Sox allegedly included Albies.

Were the Braves willing to trade Albies? It’s quite possible. One of John Coppolella’s downfalls as a general manager was his tunnel-like focus on players he felt could fill a big role for the Braves. Hector Olivera cost the Braves Alex Wood and prompted the trade that now includes nearly $40M in dead salary after Atlanta tried to save face by acquiring Matt Kemp. All because Coppy was convinced Olivera would be the team’s third baseman for the next ten years. Would the aggressive GM lose his nerve in his quest to find an ace? It’s certainly a possibility.

Whether he did or did not include Albies, the Braves’ decision to take Acuna Jr. off the table – and Albies not being the best fit for the White Sox – has worked out well for Atlanta. Not only do they have the best prospect in baseball, but they have a second baseman who could make a run at a 4+ fWAR season at the age of 21. Today, for the first time, Albies will face the guy he could have been traded for. Sometimes, the best trades are the ones that don’t happen.


Tommy…….I TOTALLY agree with you! I read POST AFTER POST from The TC Clowns who were all hoping that Coppy would include Albies, Anderson, Wilson, Pache…in a trade to get either Sale, Quintana, Archer (whatever other ‘ace’ was rumored to be available in a trade).

I was like “Really? What good would an ace do us…when we are FAR from having a Starting 5 established..not to mention the holes we had in our lineup (other than Freddie and Ender)?

I keep hearing OVER AND OVER about how a lot of prospects ‘dont work out’. DUH! However, if you have faith in your scouts/the ability of your GM to draft (whatever other faults Coppy had..dude’s 2015-2017 Drafts could very well go down as HISTORIC IN NATURE when all is said and done years from now)….you KEEP YOUR PROSPECTS and risk getting NOTHING in return for the ones who flame out…BECAUSE there will be ones you keep (some expected/some unexpected) who WILL become Superstars/really good players! Also, it helped Coppy that he ‘inherited’ Albies and Acuna (luck, both good and bad, plays A HUGE ROLE in life, lol).

I hope that AA has the discipline/vision to wait until we’ve BUILT the team that we want to have LONG TERM…before he starts trading the seemingly ‘excess’ talent! Part of the reason why AA is going to have A LOT OF MONEY available to spend in The 2018 Free Agent Offseason….is because he’s going to have 10-15 pre-arbitration players in each of the next 3-6 years…who should (nothing is guaranteed..but it’s hella likely) be providing HELLA EXCESS VALUE (when it comes to their value in relation to the WAR they should be providing).

THANK YOU COPPY for not making The Quintana Trade! The time to ‘deal’ (it will be AA potentially making a big move like that) will be AFTER we’ve BUILT the team…NOT 3 years ago when an Ace would be WASTED on a bad team! Wasnt that the ‘rationale’ for trading Kimbrel (why have an Closer like Kimbrel..if we were going to SUCK for 3-4 years)?

I wouldn’t thank Coppy if Albies was in the trade offer. I’d thank the White Sox for holding out for Acuna Jr. or believing with Anderson/Moncada, trading for Albies wasn’t something they wanted to do. Of course, we’ll never know for sure unless Coppy writes the tell-all memoir I hope he eventually writes.

Nice performance today for Quintana against Ozzie too. The Wizard just needs a triple for the cycle – he keeps getting closer and closer to that cycle. The Braves are smokin’ hot.

I never thought Quintana had the same value of a Sale or Archer. Ultimately, Paul’s right about one thing; timing has to be right. “Then” was not the time to acquire the ace. This winter will be the right time and someone like Kershaw as a FA or Archer in a trade should definitely be on our radar. But you do point out one other significant point. A good trader (or dealer if we’re talking Art of the Deal) cannot be stuck on one path or one asset to be able to make and get the best deal. And you always have to be able to walk away from the table if you want to make the best deal. These principles are exactly why Coppy got himself snookered into the Olivera deal. Plus, values change. Ozzie’s (or Acuna’s) value was not the same then as it is now. The other side of this argument is that you must give value to get value. If and when we do make a blockbuster trade, there will be value outgoing.

I’d agree- you can’t lump Quintana, Archer and Sale into the same category of pitcher.

Quintana, to me, is not all that different from Julio Tehran. Both can dazzle you at times, but both can also be ineffective for stretches as well. I always felt the fact that the White Sox were asking for Acuna for what amounts to a number 3 type starter was insane. They found a club willing to give up a haul though for Q, so kudos to the Sox on that. I wouldn’t have traded Albies for Quintana either, though. You can buy a #3 starter somewhat reasonably in FA.

Archer’s tricky. He’s an ace in a way because he’s going to be the best pitcher on most staffs, but he’s not that dominating guy the way Kershaw is. I’d have been torn had the Braves dealt Ozzie for him, and I’m kinda glad they didn’t.

Sale is completely different to me. He’s one of the 5 best pitchers in the game right now. He’s a legitimate ace. I’d have been okay with the Braves doing a deal for Sale, even if it meant giving up Albies at that juncture- because at that juncture it didn’t look as if Albies was going to have any type of pop in his bat.

It goes to show how tricky evaluating talent is, I guess. I’d have made a Sale trade if I were GM at the time, and passed on the other two.

I blame today’s loss SOLELY on Brian Snitker! There is NO FREAKING WAY that Luke Jackson should be pitching the 8th inning OF ANY GAME where the lead is LESS than 10 runs (a 5 run lead, against a team like Chicago with 6 outs to go…IS FAR from a ‘done deal’. Jackson HAS YET to show that he can be counted on to deliver ‘a clean inning’ in a crucial situation…with any consistency)!

I know what Snitker was thinking: that he’d try to ‘squeeze’ this game out WITHOUT having to use Vizcaino, Minter, Moylan and Freeman! However, that is simply HELLA ARROGANT/sense of entitled thinking (that a BUM like Jackson can be counted on to get 3 TOUGH OUTS without ‘blowing it’).

These teams are MLB caliber for a reason! Sure, at the beginning of this serious, I’d been happy with 1 out of three. However things change (such as when you get a 10-2 lead…and lead 10-5 going into the bottom of the 8th inning)! A manager CANNOT let a game like this get away! Bring in Minter to start the 8th…then Vizcaino in the 9th. Then tomorrow…you hope that Teheran can get deep in the game..but if not, then you go with Moylan, Freeman, Winkler again (and others..if you have to). Worst case scenario…you only leave town with 2 wins!

However, that IS NOT what happened today! What happened today…COMBINED with THE ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that Snitker is going to keep batting Inciarte leadoff (when Albies should be leading off!)…AS WELL as it being an ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that Snitker is going to bat Acuna 7th or 8th after he gets promoted……is grounds for Snitker to be fired IMMEDIATELY.

If AA expects The Braves to compete in 2018 with what he has…Snitker IS NOT the manager that should be leading this bunch. While a manager may not necessarily ‘win’ his team games….it is with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that a manager can LOSE GAMES for his team!

Again, it’s HELLA ARROGANT for Snitker to think that Luke Jackson and Jose Ramirez can be counted on to get through ‘high leverage situations/innings’…cleanly! He just left Ramirez in there to throw walk after walk (with a hit batter mixed in).

Games are TOUGH to win! Anytime you can almost guarantee yourself a win (which he almost would have if he brought in Minter and then Vizcaino to CLOSE OUT this game) that would, at worst, get you a 2nd win out of a 3 game series ON THE ROAD against a team like Chicago….YOU TAKE YOUR SHOT!

Look, I get the ‘rationale’ of not hitting Acuna #2 early in his career (until he proves himself). Ok…fine. But AT LEAST hit Albies leadoff, FOLLOWED by Swanson #2…with Inciarte dropped to #7! The Braves have a couple of really decent, bottom of the order hitters (Flaherty being a really good #8 hitter, as of now)…that help ‘turn the lineup over’ by getting the pitcher’s spot out of the way before the next inning starts (in other words, the pitcher DOES NOT routinely lead off the next inning).

The idea of ‘turning your lineup over’ to give your BEST HITTERS an increased number of at-bats throughout the game (increasing the number of opportunities that they can do damage). Inciarte DOES NOT really provide any power! A top of the lineup of 1. Albies. 2. Acuna. 3. Freeman. 4. Flowers/Suzuki…..would give our top 4 hitters capable of hitting a home run, the most OPPORTUNITIES to hit a homer (or at least knock in runs with a big hit). Inciarte WILL NOT help with that!

So unless AA/management is willing to PASS on having a manager putting forth THE BEST lineup possible that gives The Braves THE BEST opportunity to maximize scoring opportunities…ALONG with putting our bullpen guys in THE BEST possible position to succeed…Snitker should be FIRED…IMMEDIATELY!

I have NO DOUBT that when Acuna gets called up….Inciarte will still be hitting leadoff…with Albies hitting 2nd! Unreal how SICK this is!

If we SUCKED…that would be one thing (in fact, I had accepted that possibility during the offseason…and would have had NO PROBLEM dealing with it…because I know that 2019 will be ‘our year’). However this team has HEART….and the capability of doing some ‘good things’ in 2018! However the manager CANNOT BE throwing ‘roadblocks’ in the way!

BOTH Jackson AND Ramirez need to GO ASAP! Ravin isnt ready to come off the 10 day DL?

Paul, you can’t hang that loss on Snitker. I’m sorry, you just can’t. Snitker has to find opportunities at some point to rest Minter, Moylan and Viz… and with a 5 run lead, and the game not in a save situation, the book on managing says that’s exactly what you’d do here. Snitker is working with what he has. If you believe both Jackson and Ramirez are too ineffective to be on the roster- a point, mind you, that I don’t disagree with you on- then you need to blame the general manager. There isn’t a single manager in the big leagues that could manage their way through a 162 game season with what amounts to a 4 man bullpen.

I agree and disagree with both of you. Paul’s analysis is kind of way off even though he makes a valid point that Snitker made several mistakes and allowed them steamroll the team. But the mistake was not using Jackson and very little of this can be blamed on Jackson (although I do not think he is worthy of being in the pen). Remember that when Jackson left there was one out, two on, and zero runs scored. Snitker did the right thing in using Jackson and pulling him, although he could have let him have one more batter. The mistake was not even bringing in Ramirez. The critical mistake was not replacing Ramirez during the mound visit after the HBP, infield single, and walk. As soon as you walk in a run, you’re day should be done. Up to that point, Jackson and Ramirez had basically been the same amount of effective – HBP, single, walk, K. Once it was 10-7 with the bases loaded and two out, then you bring in your best pitcher on the staff. Anything else is mismanagement. It was Snitker’s reliance on Ramirez’s righthandedness that caused the problem. Even so, after the Baez double, an intentional walk was inexcusable. And that was just to get to a LH to bring in Freeman. Just total idiocy. Maybe he should have brought in Moylan (not my choice, of course) before Freeman. If he had brought in Moylan to face Baez and Moylan gets him out (or does anything better than a double even if a WP and error score two and leaves the score 10-9) then he can bring in Freeman in the ninth to face the lefties. Snitker is OK as a player manager and for non-critical decisions but he seems to get every critical decision wrong.

That being said, yes, we need better relievers than Jackson and Ramirez (and Carle too even if he has performed OK so far). I realize that AA is playing with the bottom of the roster to find some unpolished gem but we know who Jackson and Ramirez are. Neither has peripherals that suggest continued success. Moylan is pretty much in the same case – 6 walks in his first 3.2 innings and a wild pitch leading to two runs scored last night. It’s hard to criticize anyone for yesterday considering the weather conditions (anyone see Ozzie’s throw??) – that’s why I’m not down on either Freeman or Winkler. But some of these guys have historical performances that tell you what you need to know. Our bullpen has performed well so far but improvement in personnel is required. The base of Freeman, Minter, Viz, and Winkler. I can live with Sanchez as a long man once Gohara comes back. But Jackson, Ramirez, Carle, and Moylan are shaky at best. Moylan has a history of some effectiveness but he is pretty much a ROOGY. Jackson has now been replaced by Sims but Sims needs to eventually be trade fodder. If Sims can get some good innings, I’d DFA Ramirez when Gohara comes back. Then I’d replace Sims with Biddle and Carle with Fried (both Biddle and Fried have sparkled so far). That would leave a bullpen of Freeman, Minter, Viz, Winkler, Sanchez, Biddle, Fried, and Moylan. That’s 4 LH and 4 RH with a LH long man and RH long man. I could take arguments on Moylan vs Carle (or maybe Ravin or even Sims), but that’s the 8th spot in the bullpen which may only have seven at some point anyway. Beyond that, you better be bringing in top arms to replace the others (e.g. replace Sanchez with a lockdown closer).

All that junk about lineups is totally irrelevant as has been statistically pointed out by many people at many times. Although Albies and Swanson looked damned good at the top of the lineup. The bottom was then hollowed out. Culberson and Bourjos need to be replaced by better players same as the bottom of the bullpen. We scored 10 runs and still had too many rallies killed – especially with 2 GiDPs from Markakis. Honestly, when Acuna comes up Markakis should go to the bench and Bourjos DFA’d. When Camargo comes back, Culberson must be the odd man out (if not then we can count on AA making some of the same mistakes as Coppy with having favorites). A bench of Markakis, Adams, Flaherty/Camargo, Suzuki/Flowers is really good. Every one of them can hit and field. One might argue Adams vs Bourjos but, to me, Adams has longer term value ahead of him.

These improvements to the bullpen and bench don’t even count as bold. They are all mild per the other thread. Bold will come when the Braves really try to make an improvement at 3B or get a closer with trades at the deadline. The handling of the roster so far just screams that we have a FO that hasn’t learned much about their personnel yet and really aren’t interested in doing the little things that will support a winner.

Roger….like it or not, AA’s moves have IMPROVED/PRODUCED RESULTS during the 14 games of 2018. Sure, it remains to be seen whether these results can HOLD UP during the rest of 2018 from players like Flaherty, Carle and Tucker (Burjouis and Culberson will be HISTORY once Acuna and Carmago are promoted). However, in the lineup I proposed in my last post:

1. Albies
2. Swanson
3. Freeman
4. Suzuki
5. Markakis
6. Acuna
7. Inciarte
8. Flaherty

I would rather see Acuna hit #4 and Suzuki #6…however there is NO WAY that Snitker would ever ‘go for that’.

2. Even though an argument can be made to have Tucker start over Markakis…..1. Snitker would NEVER go for benching Markakis. 2. Having Tucker as a pinch hitting power bat off the bench….could make the bench more potent (especially when Flowers comes back…which would give The Braves 2 power bats to use as a pinch hitter each night).

Roger, you keep HARPING on AA not signing/trading for a quality 3rd baseman. However, Flaherty has shown value in this lineup. He routinely grinds out a walk/a bloop hit the other way….clearing the pitcher’s spot. A good 8th place hitter..will help turn the lineup over! Acuna lengthening the lineup…lessens the lack of a ‘quality’ 3rd baseman (as you keep putting it).

Dont worry…AA will address both Left Field and 3rd base during The Free Agent Offseason. Bank on it!

King…it is HELLA TOUGH to win 2 out of 3 ON THE ROAD against a GOOD TEAM like The Cubs! The MOVE TO MAKE…is to GET THAT 2nd win (by NOT throwing out BUMS like Jackson and Ramirez in that 8th inning).

If a manager is going to ‘plan’ to rest his best bullpen pieces…TODAY (before he know that the game was going to be cancelled) was the day that you would have went with “Teheran….and either hope he goes 7 OR that you use THE BUMS and hope for the best” (worst case scenario…we get out of town with TWO WINS).

Dude, there are times to rest your best bullpen pieces….yesterday WAS NOT one of those. It is UNFORGIVEABLE to blow a 10-2 lead like that! Luke FREAKING Jackson? Leaving Ramirez to pitch to 2 more hitters ONCE it became apparent that he could not throw a freaking strike?

And like I stated before….Snitker’s lineup construction is going to CONTINUE to hamper The Braves ability to put forth the best opportunity to maximize run production! Inciarte SHOULD NOT be batting leadoff…..NOT with the guys he has producing at a FAR HIGHER LEVEL (in other words, this IS NOT 2017)!

The bottom of the lineup does A GREAT JOB of turning the lineup over/routinely clearing the pitcher’s spot (so he isnt routinely leading off the next inning)…ONLY to have Inciarte hit leadoff/get the most at-bats while going 0 for 5 or 1 for 5 or 1 for 4 with the rare walk. You might as well have the pitcher hit leadoff!

My lineup once Acuna gets called up (to placate those of you who feel that Acuna SHOULD NOT be hitting #2 this ‘early’ in his MLB career).

1. Albies
2. Swanson
3. Freeman
4. Suzuki
5. Markakis
6. Acuna
7. Inciarte
8. Flaherty/Culberson

I would rather hit Acuna #4 and Suzuki #6..but I’m sure that a number of you are like ‘we dont want to put too much PRESSURE’ on Acuna this early in his career, lol!

Even so…that lineup is LIGHT YEARS BETTER than any of Snitker’s lineup that has Inciarte hitting leadoff!

AA needs to be BOLD and hire a manager who can lead The Braves PROPERLY in 2018. Before the season started…I didnt think that having Snitker really hurt us in 2018 (this season was all about getting Albies a full year…getting Acuna promoted….seeing how Soroka, Allard and Wright do when they get their ‘cups of coffee’ later in the season). However, this Braves team has it in them to COMPETE in 2018. Having a manager who is going put forth the best lineup possible…who is going to properly manage this talented bullpen (with the exception of Ramirez and now Sims…THANK YOU AA for DUMPING Luke Jackson)…is what The Braves need….NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tommy…..If The Braves do not call up Acuna tomorrow to start the home series against Philly…..I contend that it would make LITTLE ECONOMIC SENSE to call up Acuna…until mid-June, when he loses his Super 2 Status.

The Braves actually caught a break with the cancellation of today’s game (Acuna only missed the first 14 games of the season instead of 15…and The Braves gained an extra year of team control of him in 2024). If Acuna gets called up tomorrow and starts in left field (I know, Markakis should be the one benched/traded…however that aint happening for a number of reasons), then The Braves get Acuna at pre-arbitration prices for 2.91 seasons (he’s eligible for Arbitration after 2020 season). He could potentially play 148 instead of 147 games (with the rainout rescheduled for May 14th). No doubt that Acuna makes The 2018 Braves ‘better’. Acuna playing everyday in left will allow Tucker to be the top pinch hitting option off the bench (especially providing a power threat…which we currently lack)…in addition to leading to Peter Burjouis’ release/sent down to The Minors. Acuna would not have to be replaced later in games (Tucker being replaced later in games..not only weakened the lineup, but weakened the bench by wasting away a pinch hitting option).

However, if The Braves wait until June 4th to call up Acuna (in 2017 a player had to accumulated 2 years 123 days of service time in order to be eligible for Arbitration. With this being a 187 day season….172 is the number of days a player has to accumulate in order to get a full year of service towards free agency. Saturday was the 16th day of the season…making 171 days the most Acuna could accumulate in 2018)…then he “should” lose his Super 2 Status.

Calling up Acuna on Monday June 4th at home against The Padres, would make 121 days the most that he could earn in 2018. This would result in The Braves being an additional 46 games without Acuna.

The question is….from an economic standpoint…is having Acuna for those additional 46 games in a Braves uniform in 2018…WORTH potentially paying Acuna AN EXTRA $10 mil-plus in 2021 (by keeping him in Triple AAA for those 46 games…Acuna would not be eligible for Arbitration..until AFTER The 2021 Season. He’d be making around $600k, the minimum is $550k…INSTEAD of being awarded $10 mil-plus IF Acuna is The Acuna we think he will be the next three years. Just look at what Kris Bryant got his 1st year of Arbitration (settled for $10.85 mil). Three years from now…that number will go up!

In other words….if The Braves promote Acuna tomorrow, they are basically ‘banking’ that Acuna’s performance during the next 46 games until June 5th will be worth paying him approximately $10 mil-plus MORE in 2021!

I know that fans HATE to talk about ‘The Math/Economics’ when it comes to sports…but these FACTS that I bring up CANNOT be ignored.

If Tucker and Markakis were basically ‘stinking up the place’…sure, Braves Management WOULD NOT be able to ‘get away’ with keeping Acuna in Triple A until June 5th. However, The Braves are currently 8-6 in what was considered to be ‘THE LAST REBUILDING YEAR’. We have reinforcements in Carmago coming within the next week…along with Flowers and Gohara in early May. Newcomb is showing signs of being the type of ATTACK PITCHER his stuff suggested that he has/can be! Annibal Sanchez ‘re-discovered’ the ability to PITCH/LOCATE/LAST 5-6 innings a start! Dansby Swanson looks like that The Dansby that WOWED Braves fans back in the last 6-7 weeks of The 2016 Season is ‘The Real Dansby’! Ozzie Albies is simply AMAZING! Preston Tucker is doing a DECENT JOB of providing middle of the order power/production. AJ Minter looks like he may be able to stay healthy/pitch back to back games. Ryan Flaherty has done a great job of helping turn over the lineup as an 8th place hitter in the lineup!

In other words….The Braves DO NOT SUCK! They have enough going for them right now….to keep trotting out the same lineup that we’ve basically put forth the first 14 games of the season (with Carmago and Flowers coming back soon). The Braves went 8-6 against a tough opening schedule…which now gets ‘softer’ until May 25th.

To sum it up…call up Acuna tomorrow…OR WAIT until June 5th to call him up. Either be comfortable with the next 46 games costing The Braves $10 mil plus in 2021…OR WAIT until June 5th to ‘SAVE’ that $10 mil-plus and use it elsewhere in the payroll! Calling up Acuna in one week/two weeks/early May/mid-May….makes EVEN LESS economic sense as the ‘price’ of those games goes HELLA UP (when factoring in what Acuna’s 2021 salary could be)!

I know, it makes ‘the brain’ of fans POTENTIALLY EXPLODE having to ponder (fans just want to ENJOY/SEE their favorite/best players play WITHOUT thinking about the likes of what I spent some time typing out). However, like it or not A SMART/RESPONSIBLE GM takes stuff like this into account! What, you think that I’m THE ONLY M0F0 who has ‘thought’ of this? I guarantee that AA and his co-horts have EXAMINED what I just typed out OVER AND OVER! Tucker’s/The Braves early season start..pretty much makes this decision A NO BRAINER.

Are you sure AA isn’t examining a way to bring Tom Henke out of retirement to anchor the bullpen? 😉

I kid. Partially.

In all seriousness though, I think it’s a slam dunk they leave Acuna down at this point. He isn’t hitting his weight right now in AAA. If they call up a struggling, young, franchise cornerstone and feed him to the wolves to sell a few tickets- it’ll prove this regime utterly clueless.

When do we get to consider that the Braves have messed Acuna up by not playing him from day 1? If the “off time has slowed him down” then wasn’t the mistake giving him the off time? Just like yesterday’s game, once you make the first bad decision the next bad decision seems very logical. We sent him to get more seasoning so now he’s playing like he needs more seasoning. It took him 11 ABs to get over it during Spring, but he’s past that now. A month of sub-.200 hitting will bring out the “we rushed him too much last year maybe he needs more time at Mississippi” folks. I just hope Acuna is resilient enough to turn this around more quickly.

Roger…..Acuna is resilient enough. I’m not worried about his ‘slump’.

Kris Bryant was held down in a similar fashion….sure was pissed…but he recovered just fine. Talent is talent.

Again..if Tucker and Markakis were stinking up the place…then promoting Acuna would be a no brainer (current slump or no slump, lol). However holding Acuna down in Triple A until June 4th makes HELLA ECONOMIC SENSE!

However if calling him up for 46 games in 2018 is worth not having Acuna at a pre-arbitration salary in 2021…then AA should call him up tomorrow!

Baloney. Tommy has already discredited that idea many posts ago. IF he is good enough the Braves are likely to extend him before he gets anywhere near Super 2. Performance now, even if it’s for 46 games, has a lot more value than any 46 games in the future. Maybe even twice that much. Even if he hits enough to “deserve” a call-up, that’s value the big league team won’t get. It’s one thing to wait a couple of weeks to avoid the first arbitration but waiting nearly half a season to avoid the last arbitration is just foolish.


1. It takes TWO TO TANGO: translation, many players (like Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Francisco Lindor) simply ‘bet on themselves’. They gamble that if they stay healthy/keep performing…that they will earn FAR MORE MONEY than they could if they sign one of those ‘early, long term contracts’.

Sure, injuries happen. However one thing that The General Public seems to that it takes A LOT OF CONFIDENCE/ARROGANCE/DRIVE to make it to The Majors! Most of these players genuinely believe that they can dodge getting seriously injured. They see a player like Madison Bumgardner and Jose Altuve sign for WAY BELOW MARKET VALUE early in their careers (just look at how Carlos Correa has REFUSED to sign a deal like that…he’s like ‘screw that, I’ll take my chances in arbitration…which is his EVERY RIGHT).

I’m all for a player trying to ‘get paid’. However, I’m also for my favorite doing what it can to ‘use leverage’ (within the law) in order to utilize ‘favorable situations’ that make it ‘easier’ for them to ‘convince’ a player that signing a long term contract is in their best interest.

With that said…sometimes LUCK (both good and bad) plays a HUGE ROLE in whether a team has/does not have such ‘leverage’ In this case…The Braves basically LUCKED OUT with having such ‘leverage’… the sense that 1. Preston Tucker came out of the gate showing that he has the ability to drive in runs/play a ‘decent’ left field (not embarrass himself like Matt Kemp did during this time with The Braves). 2. Nick Markakis has played decent enough to warrant (at least in Snitker’s mind) not being benched in the final year of his $10.5 mil salary. 3. Acuna got off to a ‘mini-slump’ to start 2018 in Triple A.

I could care less about Acuna’s ‘slump’. It has NO BEARING on what I think of him as a ballplayer. He’ll rebound JUST FINE and be The Acuna we all expect him to be. Even when he’s slumping..he provides GREAT VALUE as an outfielder who can RAKE with his glove/throw out runners with his arm/run down balls with his speed! Even if he only hit .200 for the next month in Atlanta with little power…his defense playing left at Sun Trust Field (and right field on the road) would make The Braves outfield defense (with Inciarte) HELL TOUGH.

However, as I stated before, sometimes in history, one is the beneficiary of BLIND LUCK (good or bad). One simply cannot IGNORE being handed a LUCKY SITUATION! Our GM, AA, has an opportunity to SAVE The 2021 Payroll at least $10 mil-plus…IF he keeps Acuna in Triple A until June 4th. The Braves in 2021…should be a VERY LOADED/TALENTED TEAM! Just imagine which of our current Minor League Prospects will have made their way up to The Braves by then! Just imagine what our pitching staff will look like then!

While revenues will be skyrocketing by 2021….so will the payroll. Having an extra $10 mil plus (paying Acuna only around $600k, or so..INSTEAD of around $11 mil-plus…remember, Kris Bryant ‘settled’ for $10.85 mil as a Super 2. 2021 will surely see A JUMP in that) to use in The 2021 Payroll…could be crucial!

Keeping Acuna in Triple A until June 4th WILL NOT hurt his development (just like him being injured, let’s say he had an oblique injury like Flowers has, would not hurt his development). He’ll just have enough time to ‘ride the slump out’ and end up putting up some potentially ‘arcade’ numbers, lol! By then, perhaps Snitker could ‘see the light’ and insert Acuna in THE CLEANUP SPOT IMMEDIATELY upon his promotion come June 4th (instead of immediately slotting him to hit 6-7th).

Or….by June 4th, AA would have seen the light and FIRED Snitker by then!

Inciarte SHOULD NOT be hitting leadoff….NOT with what The Braves have THIS YEAR! Albies/Swanson/Freeman…and drop Inciarte to #7! Simple as that!

By the way, Roger, there’s an economics term called ‘deferred gratification’ (put off being ‘gratified right now…for a bigger economic gain LATER ON down the line’). Calling up Acuna TODAY…would be INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Calling up Acuna on June 4th…would be The Braves getting the bigger economic gain DOWN THE LINE (in the form of NOT having to pay Acuna potentially $11 mil-plus in 2021).

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