Adding with an End(er) Goal in Mind

The Braves are 32-27, sitting pretty at 2nd in the NL East, 2nd in the Wild Card, and have already endured, and persevered through, the largest road trip of the year. The bullpen is taking shape and the lineup and bench, if used correctly, has the most depth it’s had since the days of Martin Prado and Omar Infante. Yes, this team is good but we haven’t seen greatness yet. Even with a 32-27 record, there are 8 teams with better winning percentages, and I’d venture a guess that of the 8, 5 of them as constructed, will finish with a better record than the Braves. With the Mariners and Royals (on pace for 100 losses) declaring fire sales, and 2 teams in the Orioles and Marlins also on pace for 100-loss seasons, the time to start the shopping list could be now and the Braves could be a team that’s extra motivated to make at least 1 trade pretty quickly.

Why? Glad you asked.

Ender Inciarte has begun baseball activities, but the plan is to slow play his return and give him every chance to prove that he’s healthy. The Braves made the same announcements in regards to both Chad Sobotka and A.J. Minter and all 3 have a common denominator: they were royally sucking when placed on the IL. I’m not suggesting that none of the 3 were actually hurt. On the contrary, I do think at least 2 of the 3 had ailments and needed to take an IL trip. However, it goes without saying, that if Austin Riley were hitting .220 with an OPS of .615 while playing below average defense, Ender would’ve likely been asked to expedite his rehab. That didn’t happen and Austin Riley is looking like the 2nd coming of Hercules at the plate and his outfield defense has been more than serviceable and I’d go as far to say that it’s been quite average.

So what does that mean for Ender? Well, if Snitker is given the chance, Ender likely starts and that’s the scary part. The counterpoint is equally scary and that is if Snitker sticks with the lineup at hand, Ender becomes an expensive defensive replacement at 5.75MM. However, 2019’s salary isn’t the real issue but 2020 at 7.7MM and 2021 at 8.7MM (with a 2022 option for 9MM & 1MM buyout) becomes a burden for a mid-market team. And this doesn’t even take into account the likelihood of Ender becoming a disgruntled employee while riding the pine.

It’s my opinion that it’d be best for the Braves and best for Ender that they part ways via trade. And for the sake of a small list, let’s take a look at the aforementioned 4 teams to see if there’s a match.

Finding a Match for Ender

Miami Marlins: It’s well known that the Marlins are embracing the Latin American culture under the new management of Derek Jeter, and rightfully so. Harold Ramirez, 24 y/o and their current CFer, is having a breakout year but isn’t a good fit for CF. From there, it gets extremely murky and it’s a mish-mash of Grandma’s leftovers.

Conclusion: With a low AAV for an everyday CFer and a veteran presence on a veteran team, Ender, from Venezuela,  matches up well in Miami.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles are bloody awful. They don’t look like they’re going to be good for a while, and I’d be willing to bet that that they’re likely not wanting to give what little they have in trade commodities to acquire someone like Ender Inciarte. However, the Orioles do weird things all the time and if the Braves sent back a useful prospect or 2 in a larger deal,  it could work.

Conclusion: Ender’s match for Baltimore isn’t ideal but could be worked out in a multi-player deal.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners GM is the least patient GM in all of baseball and CF has been an eyesore for quite some time. Heck, they even decided that to insert Dee Gordon there with 0 experience and it went about as expected. CF, especially from a defensive perspective, is still a problem in Seattle and Dipoto might finally be tempted to put a real CFer out there.

Conclusion: Ender’s match for Seattle seems ideal for both parties.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals royally suck and, in all likelihood, would want prospects as the return on any trade. However, the Royals have some interesting pieces that could help a team but come with a hefty financial burden. Worthy of note, Billy Hamilton is their starting CFer and he’s turned into one of the worst MLB regulars in the game.

Conclusion: Like Baltimore, Ender’s match for KC isn’t ideal but could be worked out in a cash balancing scheme.

Fake Trade Ideas for Ender Inciarte

Marlins and Braves

Miami Marlins receive Ender Inciarte and Travis Demeritte.

Atlanta Braves receive Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider

Breakdown: Adam Conley needs a reboot on his arsenal and he could get that with Kranitz and Mike Fast (the Spindoctor) at AAA. Steckenrider wasn’t so Steckenrider earlier this season and was thought to need Tommy John, rather Dr. James Andrews prescribed rest. Both guys have potential to be back end forces in a bullpen while Ender and Demeritte get a chance to be building blocks on a rebuilding team.

Orioles and Braves

Baltimore Orioles receive Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall, and Jeremy Walker

Atlanta Braves receive Keon Broxton and Mychal Givens

Breakdown: This is a weird deal but makes sense for both parties. Broxton and Givens are better ballplayers than what they’re showing, but are at risk of leaving the Orioles high and dry should they continue to perform poorly. This deal allows for both teams to get what they need and see if it sticks for this year and beyond. Broxton becomes the cheap 4th OFer/5th bench piece Braves desperately need and Braves also get a good look at what could be a back end bullpen guy for the next 2.5 years.

Mariners and Braves

Seattle Mariners receive Ender Inciarte

Atlanta Braves receive Mallex Smith

Breakdown: I truly don’t want to see Brian Snitker try to salvage Ender Inciarte at the expense of Austin Riley, and I feel that would happen should he stick around. Mallex Smith provides a stellar PR replacement in late and close games that can play good LF defense in place of Austin Riley with occasional spot starts when Acuna needs a CF break. Seattle gets the defensive captain they’ve desperately needed for a decade.

Royals and Braves

Kansas City Royals receive Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall, Dan Winkler, Grant Dayton, and Jeremy Walker

Atlanta Braves receive Danny Duffy, Jake Diekman, and Billy Hamilton

Breakdown: This one is wild and there are dozens of scenarios that pop in my head when it comes to these 2 teams, but they all come back to Duffy and Diekman. Hamilton becomes the true 4th OFer/PR extraordinairre while Duffy slots in the rotation just in time to start staggering rotation skips to stay fresh for the postseason stride.

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Author: Ryan Cothran

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102 thoughts on “Adding with an End(er) Goal in Mind”

  1. Hey guys, some exciting times. Ryan Cothran (ryan c from the comments, as you may know) is going to be doing some contributing to the blog. Ryan has written for Talking Chop and Tomahawk Take, and he most recently was an editor of Walk Off Walk.

    Dylan Short will also be doing some contributing as well. He has been writing for Outfield Fly Rule with Matt Chrietzberg and Andy Harris. He is also one of the hosts of The Platinum Sombrero Podcast.

    You’ll be still getting daily recaps of every Braves game, and you’ll be seeing some topical posts as well. You may also be seeing some more writers you know from your travels in the Braves blogosphere soon as well, so we shall see.

    Follow Ryan Cothran on Twitter @baldheaded1der and Dylan Short @dylanxshort.

    Thank you, guys!!

  2. Nice job Ryan, but according to Smitty, you’re not really multitasking until you can cut hair as well.

    Just to finish up my comments on the bullpen, they are currently 13-9, a considerably better percentage than the Braves overall winning percentage. And of course that includes every game with a blown save by definition.

  3. The one thing holding up an Ender Inciarte trade is, sadly, Ronald Acuña, Jr. The hope was that with more consistent playing time in CF that his play would improve, but an honest evaluation is that he is tentative in center and is not allowing his athleticism to compensate for questionable routes to balls in play. It also appears that defensive miscues often carry over to his plate appearances, trying to do too much to make up for a mistake or, even more discouraging, appearing to roll his frustration from a poor defensive play into his next AB and taking close pitches for strikes, compounding his frustration.

    It may be the best thing for Nick Markakis to slide to more of a bench role, let Ender be the guy who hits .230 with a .350 slugging like Nick has done over the last month or so… At least the defense should improve.

  4. @3 How does that compare with the rest of the league (ie. league average, contender average)? I’m interested because I wonder if the Braves ought to be ahead of the Phillies right now with a nice cushion.

  5. I do think that Acuna’s performance in center has made it hard to completely move on from Ender. I agree that he’s a wasted resource if he’s just simply a back-up CF, especially with the way Snit poorly deploys his back-ups. If he sits on the bench and rots, his trade value will continue to plummet. Long story short: play him or trade him, but you may not want to trade him because of Acuna’s defense, so you… have to play him.

  6. @Rob & Andy
    What makes you concerned with Acuna’s defense in CF? I’ve watched him and while his routes are not near as efficient as Ender’s, his speed makes up for most of the difference. He’s not going to be Ender, but he’s no slouch either. He’s only accumulated +1 DRS in CF compared to +6 in LF.

    Also, I’m not convinced Acuna’s healthy at the moment. His power has seemingly been zapped and I can’t help but recall the at-bat where her tweeked his back.

  7. I would think that Ender’s value can at least be washed. But let him play some against righties, get him as healthy as possible, get him into a situation where he appears like a passable bat with good defense, and he turns into surplus value pretty quickly. And we’ll probably need it anyway in the next 2 months.

    Any mention of trading for Mallex Smith makes me hot and bothered.

  8. Honestly, I’ve never been on the bandwagon of trade ender. He’s a gold glover who is not far seperated from his 200 hit season. Have we seen that from him recently? No, and the number decline is quite alarming.

    Here’s my case: 1. He’s a gold glove outfielder who has shown flashes of great hitting and he’s only 28, the prime years for a baseball player. There is no reason to trade him unless you have a option to replace him. Which leads to my next point. 2. If acuna gets hurt, who is there to replace him? That leaves a huge hole in the outfield on a team that was built around defense.

    I get it. The replacement outfield is knocking on the door in pache , etc BUT there is not a viable option for replacement now. Trading him while his value is at a low would be dumb. How is he going to get that value back? I’m not sure either. ..

  9. I think an Ender trade almost has to be a 2 step trade. You trade him for prospects on a contender with a CF hole. Then, you trade prospects for what you need to contend. The people who want somebody that they will have to pay who are “sellers” are not common.

  10. I agree with Joseph. I think the Braves need to be willing to keep Ender this year. If Acuna goes down, they will need Ender. Be ready to play Ender more in the second half when his bat is hopefully ready to play.

  11. Ryan, re: Acuña’s defense

    Granted, we are comparing him to a guy in Ender that gets phenomenal jumps on balls both in and over his head, but what was supposed to play in Acuña’s favor was his athleticism and arm. He checks up short on balls he should run through, takes bad angles on balls over his head, and generally plays tentatively. Is he awful? No, I’d say he’s average to the league, but that in itself is shocking given his athletic ability. Add the bookends of Riley and Markakis and you have an average CF having to cover the kind of ground better suited for an elite player.

    Maybe he isn’t healthy. Most players are dinged up a bit, and he sure as heck isn’t coming out of any game except a two touchdown blowout. If we were to get a Billy Hamilton backnin trade, or Mallex Smith, I could see it working better…

  12. Ryan, you said you don’t think Acuña is fully healthy right now. Yesterday I noticed how he is having a hard time catching up to fastballs, so I went back and watched some video from when he was rolling last year and I noticed his hands are significantly lower right now that they were last year. Do you think this could possibly be causing him some problems with bat speed?

  13. I’d keep Ender this year unless there’s some blow-us-away trade proposal out there. At worst he’s a DR/ 4th OF, and if anyone gets hurt (including JD) he’s probably playing every day again.

    In the offseason I guess it depends on how confident the FO is that Pache is ready. I actually think it would be easier to trade Ender during the offseason anyway.

  14. @CJ
    While I don’t know RAJ’s reasoning, lowered hands most of the time means the player is buying into the launch angle revolution…which is fine if it works for them. However, it also comes at the price of the high fastball, which is crazy tough to catch up to with hands so low.

  15. @Pro-Enders

    I get it. Truly. I’m not a pro-Ender guy and really pushed to have him traded this past offseason. When a player’s largest skillset is 1 thing, it’s tricky to gauge when that skill starts to decline. His defense has been average this year, which makes him a below average player. If that trend continues, the Braves will be stuck with him and I don’t like that at all.

  16. We’re not going to get much for him, so we’re already stuck in a sense. I agree that it’s better if we make it impossible for Snit to play him.

  17. Those trades are deck chair re-arranging.

    Maybe one player you mentioned moves any needle.

    Also, welcome.

  18. An observation regarding tonight…

    Stevenson redux

    the election

    madlai Adlai

    the draft

    Madly Adley?

  19. Interesting piece.

    Out of all the potential trades you put together, I feel as if the one with the Orioles would make the most sense for the Braves. It’s my favorite. I’m not sure if the O’s would do it, given their positioning, but man would it be a win to get a legitimate pen piece for Ender.

    The Miami and KC deals would accomplish that as well, but I don’t love the idea of trading Demeritte, nor do I want to see Billy Hamilton on the Braves. Hamilton might run like the win, but his bat is useless.

  20. Those trades are deck chair re-arranging.

    Maybe. I know I am way overvaluing like thirty or forty innings, but I feel like acquiring a solid reliever – be it Kimbrel or someone else – would help this team immensely.

  21. Why would anyone give us a solid reliever for Inciarte? I think y’all are grossly overvaluing things here. We’re going to have to pay someone to take him.

  22. @17 Those are good points. And he’s always been a good second half player. Ender has the reputation for being a good teammate, so I doubt being a part-timer will turn him into a malcontent. Winners like playing on winning teams.

  23. Draft is tonight (first 2 rounds I think). Braves pick at #9, #21 and #60.

    I had been under the impression that ATL had to sign their #9 pick or they wouldn’t get a compensatory pick in 2020 since this pick is already a compensatory pick for Stewart last year, but apparently that’s not the case. It can carry forward one more year.

  24. Is there any advantage to continually botching your top 10 overall pick and kicking that can down the road another year?

  25. It’s widely derided as a strategy anyone would/should employ. Most arguments say a pick today is more valuable than a pick a year from now, no way to tell who will be available to you in a year, GM may not even have their job for the next draft, etc.

    I will say this draft is considered weak and next year’s draft has the potential to be the best of the decade kind of draft, so if ever there were a year for it…

  26. Prospects flame out at an incredibly high rate, meaning that the discount rate that you should apply is really high.

    It’s like a new car rolling off the lot. The value to the 2019 Braves of a first-round pick in 2020 is WAY lower than the value of a first-round pick in 2019, even if the draft class is shaping up to be better next year.

  27. There is something to be said about kicking the can down the road again because this scouting department’s leadership has only been working together since Bridges was fired in January. Is that enough time to be confident in your top picks?

  28. To be clear, I don’t think it was the strategy last year to push the pick to next year. Stewart struggling and looking at second round money tells me that there was something wrong with him. Circumstantially, it looked like the Braves didn’t like that shoulder.

  29. The only discussion Chief would find noteworthy is whether we should have signed Maddux or traded for Bonds during the 1993 offseason. Everything else since then has been “deck chair re-arranging”.

    I agree with Dan. A high leverage reliever is the trade/acquisition that changes the team immediately and in the postseason. If you can reach a point where Ender gets you that, then that’s the deal to make. I don’t see much use for trading Ender in a deal for another outfielder. Just keep Ender then.

  30. The draft happens every year, and it’s literally the most important day of the year for each of the guys in that scouting department. If they can’t figure out which high school seniors and college sophomores who had a good spring are actually worth taking, then they aren’t worth their jobs.

    The Braves have a window with this young core of players. They can’t afford to just punt a year. No team can.

  31. If you take HS players in this draft then you might be dangerously close to already being outside the window of our core team being together by the time these guys reach the majors (barring a crazy-good debut-at-19 type of scenario). I wonder if there’s going to be a lean towards taking almost-ready college guys in the next few drafts?

  32. @Ryan. Always love to hear from you. Thanks for your input. The only trade of the ones you mention that I can endorse is the straight up trade for Mallex. The only reason I buy that one is that I don’t believe Mallex could have flamed out that fast and he could be rebooted.

    As for the rest, I have two reasons for not agreeing with those. First, I don’t buy into any of those players as going to solve our problems (actually I guess I must be agreeing with Chief here). Second, the other guys you want to trade need to be used for trades that will solve our problems. I’d rather look to the Giants, Tigers, and Indians for pitching and use Duvall and Walker and Demeritte with those teams.

    Overall, I’d rather option Ender to AAA to work out the kinks like we did with Duvall. That might improve his value more than trying to trade him right off the IL. He has two options remaining. I think I read that he can’t be optioned after five years in the league but he currently has 4.2 years of service time, so now is the time to option him. Frankly, Mallex is looking good at AAA so I’d start him there too.

    All of the players, except Mallex, Givens, and Diekman, have not played well for more than just this year and couldn’t be relied upon to make positive contributions. Givens gets lots of praise but I’ve watched him a lot (in the Orioles TV market) and he is extremely inconsistent. Diekman is old (albeit controllable cheaply for another year) – besides, I think Winkler and Dayton are worth more than Diekman.

    With the exception of the Mallex trade, i don’t think Ender has enough value to bring back anything we need.

    If we’re going to make a trade, we need to talk to the Giants, Tigers, and Indians about TOR and top reliever pitching and leadoff trades with guys like Camargo, Teheran, and/or Newcomb – along with the Duvalls, Walkers, and Demerittes of the world. Although Teheran may have crossed the line of being too valuable to trade.

    Unless Camargo shows he can be the true SuperUtil, I’d trade him and slot in Demeritte into that role. People forget how highly praised Demeritte’s infield defense was since he’s moved to the OF. I’d also like to see Duvall platooning with Markakis. I would say that Culby could platoon but he seems to be way better in a PH, late inning role – the Manny Mota of this generation.

    The first priority should not be finding a trade fit for Ender, but making a trade for a top starter and top reliever. If Ender can be used for that then, great. If not, he may be needed after seeing what we had to trade to get the pitchers we need.

  33. re: Pro-Enders (by the way, nice tag for such folks)

    I count myself among one of the few (perhaps the sole remaining) detractor of Ender Inciarte who hasn’t been blocked on his social media, so that should put into perspective how disappointed I am in Acuña’s defense in CF. The fact that I honestly believe AA would rather have Inciarte on the bench and grounding into rally-killing double plays late in games just because Acuña has, to this point, looked to be unequal to the task in CF is a tough pill for me to swallow. In the short sample we have of Anthopoulos 2.0, however, he seems to be risk averse to the extreme, and he prizes defense and clubhouse presence above all other skills. I am not sold on the clubhouse presence with Ender, but AA might just be enthralled with his defense enough to make it difficult to move him.

  34. Ender has a set of skills that don’t age well.

    MLB.com mock draft has the Braves taking JUCO RHP Jackson Rutledge 9th and a college shortstop from UNC Wilmington 21st.

  35. With no Ender, who plays CF if Acuna isn’t there? And I agree that Acuna is no stellar defender in that position.

  36. You keep Ender for insurance. He’s also a very good base runner, which should not be overlooked if he’s on the bench. Most important, Ender and Julio are the “elder statesmen” for all the young Latin players in the clubhouse. He’s the best person to show Acuña how to play CF.

  37. I don’t believe in these short, finite windows. I would still take the most talented player, regardless of how they fit in your Window(TM) or Competitive Timeline(TM).

  38. Being critical of Ender and unblocked by him is a Herculian feat, Andy. I’m not blocked, but I’ve historically been a Pro-Ender.

  39. Not surprised we went college bat. The last regime surely would’ve gone with that 6’8″ pitcher with no command.

  40. Seems like he’s a Mike Fast-inspired pick. Really good pitch framer, really good defense, threw out 56% of basestealers this year, and his bat is iffy, though he had a really good senior year and a really good Big 12 tournament and postseason. He had a broken left hamate bone that hurt his offense.

    It would definitely make sense to supplement all this great pitching with a long-term solution with an elite defensive catcher.

  41. Also, while the thought is that we are supposedly really good developing pitchers (debatable), it’s hard to deny that we’ve been good with moving the bats of our position players through the system. I would think that they’re going to want to be working with his bat immediately and indoctrinating him with the organization gospel of pitch framing. I would think a September 2020 is not completely out of line, though extremely ambitious.

  42. It might mean we have an overslot deal in place at 21. Otherwise, kind of a meh pick. I don’t think he was best-player-available.

  43. last time we took a catcher this high was Lucas Herbert in the second round in 2015…..What a trash pick he and Allard have ended up being.
    Man, just looking the last 30plus years of first rounders, the braves have done terribly.
    I mean, seriously terribly.
    Only seeing chipper, heyward and wainwright as greats. (riley and soroka among the newish good ones).

  44. People that know this better than I think that we will go overslot quite a bit with our next two picks at 21 and 60.

  45. Might not have been BPA, but he comes in to a thin position organizationally. Now we might not be in a Bethancourt situation where if Contreras doesn’t work out it sets the catching position back 5 years

  46. You don’t take a maybe/backup catcher in the 1st round…do you? Need can be filled from outside the org, as it has been for the last few seasons. Not a very exciting pick, but the guys that are paid to do this presumably have a plan, so I will defer.

  47. Dana Brown thinks this pick solves our catching situation. AJax is not considered a prospect, really not thought of as more than org depth/backup getting 25% or less games in a season. Contreras is going to be slow played so that this guy will slide in as at least a 50/50 split in 2021 IMO

  48. Having 2 viable catchers is a good thing, no doubt. Hopefully we’ll go high-ceiling at 21.

  49. I’d bet we go underslot and try to get two top 30 players between our next two picks. High upside, probably a college arm that might be a reliever and a prep LHP if I had a guess

  50. @54 I think the Braves want 6 years of control and the stability it brings with a catcher that is already an elite defender who could also get much better. I think they want someone to settle in in the organization and work with all these pitchers for a long time. Yes, you can fill it from outside the org, but 1) how good is someone outside the org that didn’t come through your system going to be (both of our catchers came up through our system, by the way) and 2) how long will that player be here? Suzuki was a 2-year deal, McCann a 1-year.

    Plus, he’s not Fernando Lunar. He’s got a bat. 3 HRs and 11 RBIs in a game just last week.

  51. But yes, I also hope the Braves go with upside from here as I had said earlier in this thread. I love just taking the most talented player. If Contreras and/or Jackson work out, how do you even know you’ll need Langeliers? And it’s not like he’s a 2B/SS/CF that you can move to a corner. That’s why I prefer the best player, though I like Langeliers’ fit within the org.

  52. I’m with the guys who think this is a weird pick. MLB.com description of the pick loves the defense but doesn’t have much to say about hitting. Almost exactly the same description that came with Herbert….. in the second round. AJax could still turn into a Piazza / Javy Lopez type – good hit, lesser defense. If Contreras is as good as his brother then there’s not much need.

    I thought some of the other projections (e.g Will Wilson, Corbin Carroll) would have been better. Maybe they’re trying to play the same game they did with Anderson – go underslot at the top and spread it around on higher ceiling lower picks. By going with a college type, they have fewer options than HS types.

    I think the Braves need more HS players – more players at the lower end of the minors to balance a top-heavy system. Especially with the penalties, we need to build up some talent in the low minors.

    Also, the system is weak at middle infield. Picks there will help a lot.

  53. Man, the 6th overall pick is getting interviewed on national television, and he doesn’t have the maturity to get his boys away from around him, shut out the noise, and be a grown-up. The MLB guys are all roasting him. Haha.

  54. College shortstop. We’re definitely in new territory. He’s got power though:

    2017 64 G, 217 AB, .328/.374/.529, 18 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 69 RBIs, 11-of-16 SB, 15 BB, 31 Ks
    2018 60 G, 240 AB, .325/.395/.450, 7 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 45 RBIs, 12-of-12 SB, 21 BB, 21 Ks
    2019 56 G, 223 AB, .309/.364/.480, 12 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 46 RBIs, 7-of-9 SB, 19 BB, 25 Ks

  55. 6’4″ shortstop…interesting pick. There’s upside there once he fills out that frame. Nice swing on those hilights.

  56. His MLB grades:

    Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

  57. Let me pause the draft a second to let y’all know that Demeritte hit his 13th HR tonight and is rocking a .996 OPS and Adam Duvall says not so fast and doubles down on 2 HRs and a 1.002 OPS.

  58. @72 That’s why I love those guys being on our team.

    You didn’t mention that Demeritte’s was grand slam. Woohoo!

  59. Definitely looks like two underslot guys with the first two picks.

  60. Ender in his last three seasons has provided 3.8, 2.9 and 3.4 WAR. That 2.9 figure is the lowest of his career thus far. If he accumulates even 1 WAR this year he will outperform his contract. He’s had a lousy start to 2019 but almost always starts slow and then performs better as the season goes on. He’s only 28 years old and is under team control for two more seasons at a $ figure worth about 1 WAR.

    If it’s time for us to move on from him to give other guys PT, so be it, but the idea that we’d have to pay someone to take him is nuts. He didn’t become BJ Upton in a 40-game sample.

  61. Love the Langeliers pick. Less excited about the next two, but they certainly freed up some slot money to spread across some other picks. Wonder if they’re targeting someone in the 11th round or just planning to get more Trey Rileys in rounds 6-10.

  62. @83 I was actually more disturbed by the fact that he is actually plural and not just singular.

    I hope we don’t get in more trouble for this.

  63. So after yesterday it’s gonna be hard to buy into the whole “we didn’t sign Kimbrel because the draft pick is too valuable” narrative.

  64. I like the Langeliers pick although I worry he’s Mike Lavalliere. An 80 field, 30 hit kind of guy. It won’t be a shock but I’m not a fan of those… :)

    From the highlights on Shewmake, he’s a weird looking player. Skinny as a rail but has a bat. Odd mechanics including getting out on his front foot alot.

    I am glad though to see the HS pitcher from the north chain broken.

  65. 86—No, it depends entirely on how the rest of the draft unfolds. Again, it’s more about the slot value of the pick than the pick itself.

  66. Chief, the thing that, so far, stands out to me about Langeliers is that the bat almost seems to be an aspect of his game that is flying under the radar.

    He’s got raw power at least.

  67. @87 We haven’t picked a HS pitcher from the north with our first pick since 2016. So at least you’re up on the times.

  68. You know, there are days when I wish they would sign a guy like Kimbrel just because the beat writers have been sanctimonious ass-hats about it, lol…

  69. The D-Backs have over $2M more in slot money than the next team ($16.1M to 13.8M). I think the D-Backs have 2 comp picks. The Braves are 6th with $11.5M. With Langeliers, Shewmake, and Phillips, you’d think we’ll have a lot of money down the draft.

    The low minors is pretty thin, so I’m even more hopeful that the Braves take tons of HS talent going forward with the first 3 picks being college guys. I can’t find the tweet, but we’ve never taken 3 college guys first before. But I haven’t been to a single Fire Frogs game this year largely because there’s just not a lot of talent there other than Contreras. I’m looking for some second half games with there being more talent.

  70. @92 Gabe has been playing the role previously played by the former AJC beat guy by squashing down all rumors so as to temper fan expectations.

  71. @93 There are lots of days when I wish they would go out and spend just because a portion of the fan base have also been sanctimonious ass-hats about it. As if contending with half the budget and timing a run inside a small window was a defensible thing for this club to be engaged in doing.

  72. @95 Bowman is also suggesting it “ain’t happening” but it’s not entirely clear whether he means signing both or if he means signing either one.

    They can all be wrong, of course, but squashing Braves rumors under AA is a guaranteed path to being right 99% of the time. They ain’t gonna do a thing. ;-)

  73. It’s June 4th, and the Braves have played 59 of 162 games (36% of their games) with a payroll ranked 21st in baseball, which is $28M behind Philly, $44M behind NY, and $47M behind Washington.

    With that said, we are 13th in 25-man payroll, meaning we rank 13th in baseball in how much we are paying players to actually play for us. In fact, we have the fourth-smallest amount of dead money in baseball right now, and it’s almost exclusively consolidated in the bullpen. 26 teams are paying more money for players to not play for them than we are. So that’s a feather in AA’s cap.

    But if we lose the division, it’s because we had the 21st-ranked payroll in baseball for at least 36%, that we refused to supplement a tremendous amount of talent with a payroll even consistent with last year. With that said, it’s more likely that even if we didn’t spend another dime, we would climb in the rankings as more teams will sell off in the tier of payroll that we’re in than will buy. But as it sits, we have a $14M gap in payroll this year vs. last year, and AA emphatically said that would get spent. The longer the season goes, the harder that will promise will be to make good on without adding some huge AAV guys.

    We shall see.

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