(Some) Braves Present, Birds Sweep

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture this evening on baseball in Richmond Virginia during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The speaker was brilliant and really knew his early baseball history, and the crowd was engaged and interested. On the whole, the evening was well spent.

The speaker brought up some fascinating points I will highlight here. He dismissed the idea that baseball has ever been played for simply the joy of the game, arguing that from its most recognized inception in the 1830s it’s always been all about the business.

The New York style of play the Knickerbockers spread was a less harsh style than that played elsewhere, as it banned the practice of throwing the ball at the runner to record the out. It also introduced strike outs and foul territory, which eliminated the practice that some of the batters engaged in where those who hit right handed would stand on the left side of the plate, and after the ball was pitched they would let it go past them and then take a right-handed swing to make the ball go behind the plate and well out of the reach of any fielder. Those early players were quite devious.

In 1885 Richmond’s pro team was two years old and was so good they played themselves out of existence. They had helped form the Eastern League that year, which was the predecessor of the Independent League, and by July they were dominating their opponents. Up by 9 games, no one doubted they would win the pennant. Early in the season they were averaging 2000 fans a game, but their success caused fans to stop coming to the ball field. Newspapers commented that going to watch a game was not enjoyable when the result was already known, and attendance dwindled to averaging 200 fans a game. By mid-August the team was forced to declare bankruptcy. The players attempted to overthrow management and finish out their schedule, but their attempts failed. The team folded and withdrew from the league. Therefore, in under two months, a pro baseball team’s success caused them to go from pennant winners to league dropouts. What a story.

Oh, and apparently there was a baseball game tonight in Baltimore that the Atlanta Braves participated in. And by “participate”, I mean continue their grand experiment in trying to see if it is possible to play a game of baseball without any offense at all. So far they have been able to complete whole games, an achievement for which they should receive some accolades.

Mike Foltynewicz pitched pretty well, going six innings giving up two solo home runs while striking out eight. David Aardsma relieved him and finished out the game in perfect fashion. He’s been a great piece of the bullpen since he’s been with the team.

When you decide to try to play baseball without an offense, you shocking don’t score any runs. And when you don’t score any runs, winning becomes pretty tough. So Folty was the sacrificial lamb who had to take the loss tonight. Someone had to do it.

Working with a bunch of Orioles fans will make my life insufferable tomorrow. I should probably call in sick.

But on to the big question of the night (with the Furcal Rule still strongly in effect): will this team have Alex Wood on it tomorrow? What about Luis Avilan or Jim Johnson? I don’t see that there’s any way Johnson is with the team after the trading deadline, and I predicted in my player write up on Avilan this past winter that if he made it to the Openig Day roster he wouldn’t be there for game 162. If Wood leaves, though, I’ll be sorry to see him go. He’s fun to watch and is the type of player who’s easy to root for. I wish him nothing but the best, and I sure hope that if/when a trade like this goes down, it truly does make the Braves a better team by the time they’re in a position to compete again.

138 thoughts on “(Some) Braves Present, Birds Sweep”

  1. With all the reporters saying different people are in the deal than the other one is saying, it’s pretty clear nobody knows what in the hell is going on. Let’s wait until we do to freak, shall we? I’d say people are overreacting to the potential deal, and they are, but by definition they are right now because they’re reacting to a phantom. Everybody chill.

  2. For what it’s worth, Mark Bowman wrote up the trade as we’ve already seen it reported: Braves give Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, and Jose Peraza, and receive Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, Zach Bird, and the 34th pick in next year’s draft. But he is careful to note that neither team has announced it. Furcal Rule still in full effect.


    That lecture sounds fascinating, though his argument sounds a bit overly strong. Peter Morris wrote a book called “But Didn’t We Have Fun?” which has the basic thesis that much of 19th-century baseball was dedicated to the simple premise of having fun.

    The first baseball clubs were, strictly speaking, gentlemen’s clubs that frequently gathered for banquets and also played other games for fun, like cricket and baseball. The members were men of means who also happened to have a fair amount of leisure time.

    Of course, plenty of other people played baseball, too, going back to the first attested uses of the word “baseball” in the early 18th century in England. It’s a children’s game, and it’s been played by children on both sides of the Atlantic for at least three centuries. But the people who formalized the rules of the game that we now watch on television were the New Yorkers who were rich enough to be able to afford to play it well into adulthood.

    So at first, money was chiefly a factor because all of the organized baseball players had plenty of it — so it separated them from people who couldn’t afford the cost of belonging to a club, buying equipment, and traveling to play other clubs. Starting in 1860 or so, though, money became an issue because clubs started thinking about bringing in ringers, men that they would pay to play.

    Morris describes a partial alternate history of baseball: groups of devoted amateurs who dedicated themselves to carving out strictly nonprofessional arenas to play baseball. And obviously there is plenty of beer league and semipro ball out there, for people who want to play for love of the game.

    (I recently wrote about mid-19th century baseball, so I learned a lot of this fairly recently.)

  3. Definitely a stunner.
    I am amazed how the news outlets are mentioning Lastos as the big SP haul for the Dodgers. Woods is certainly not worse than Latos.

  4. I can live with the deal if it’s one of wood/peraza but not both. Or the braves better get one more impact bat back in return.

  5. Olivera looks like he might be Juan Uribe. Uribe was good but wasn’t near enough to make us a contender. Plus we get a mediocre A baller, an injured reliever, and a draft pick.

    And we trade a 24 year old proven LHP starter (with a declining K rate and velo, but still quality), a top 50 prospect, and 2 quality relievers for that? Friedman took Hart/Coppy to school.

    Please God let this trade fall through. I think I’m fine with trading these guys but we need more than just this in return.

  6. The draft pick will be used on a raw pitcher with a projectable frame who was rated #400 by baseball america but taken #34 by the Braves

  7. The Gomez to Mets trade is not happening because the Mets are concerned about Gomez’s hip.

  8. We should’ve insisted LA take CJ and give us Morse as part of the deal. I’d feel a whole lot better about it if that were the case.

  9. @8

    If he is, it’ll be one hell of a bargain:

    “JULY 30: The Dodgers will indeed pay the final two installments of Olivera’s signing bonus, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That means the Braves are essentially taking on Olivera on a six-year, $32.5MM contract that began this season. He’s earning $2MM in 2015, of which about $754K remains, so their total financial commitment to him will be about $31.25MM over the course of five and a half years.”

  10. @13: The Brewers might be saving face, but they’re saying the deal was nixed because of Wheeler’s elbow.

  11. I’m surprised nobody has compared Olivera to Adonis Garcia. They’re the same age, and their Cuban league slash lines look pretty similar. I’ve no idea about park effects in Cuba, of course.

  12. We are getting Olivera pretty cheap. A lot of people are overlooking that. We are filling a void with a high ceiling player. In return everything we gave up was expendable.

    The Braves really like Peterson, Maybin and Mallex Smith more than Peraza.

    Wood has been very good for us, but you have to give up good players to get good players.

    I will also trust our scouts and front office on minor league pitching. These guys haven’t missed yet.

    A lot of the moves we have made this past year have made us look great. Most of those deals we stole players. In this deal it looks like almost a push, so we are overreacting.

  13. Tomahawk Take says we’re also getting Morse. Has anyone seen an official release, or is the Furcal Rule still in effect?

  14. The Braves must love Olivera so much for this to make any kind of sense…or they view Paco as another Max Fried.

  15. @17 If the Braves really like Jace Peterson and Cameron Maybin more than Peraza then this team is royally screwed.

    So is it an accident that Wood and Peraza are both guys that Frank Wren signed or drafted?

  16. @21

    Then why has he been stuck at second in AAA while the big league club is rebuilding?

    Peraza’s value is starting to dip.

  17. Why are people so high on Peraza? I’ve honestly never seen him play outside of his ST this year.

  18. I agree, Smitty. Anyway, if your best prospect projects as a second baseman (the least important position on the diamond), unless he’s Ryne Sandberg you’re doing it wrong. That’s like an NFL team taking a right guard with a top 10 pick.

  19. Attendance/revenue death spiral watch: Average attendance is down 10% so far this year. I’m guessing we haven’t hit the floor yet, but trading everyone anyone has ever heard of is a good way to get there. I’ll be shocked if Teheran sees 2016, and I’ll be shocked if Simmons sees 2017. They’d have to be completely crazy to trade Freddie, but say goodbye to anyone else you ever loved.

  20. Peraza gets on base at a .319 clip. That is terrible for a potential lead off hitter

  21. @24, 26. I didn’t say that Peraza is all that great. But neither is Peterson and his .657 OPS as a 25 year old. Right now, as a 21 year old Peraza is putting up the same OPS in AAA that Peterson put up at the same age in low-A.

    Like I said, if the Braves think Peterson is more valuable than Peraza we are screwed.

  22. 27 – only down 10% doesn’t sound too bad. I imagine that it might dip further, though.

  23. @28. And Peterson’s .322 clip, as a 25-year old, somehow suggests he is any better?

  24. Alex’s article is worth your time reading. Very interesting stuff. Rissa’s lecture sounds equally interesting.

  25. This is great. Posted 1minute apart

    @pgammo: Latos and Morse cleaned out their lockers yesterday, and the Marlins play a man short today because red tape on the 3-way deal not cleared

    @Ken_Rosenthal: #Marlins play today at 12:10 p.m. ET. As of this hour, Morse and Latos remain part of team and again plan to be in uniform.

  26. @21

    Again, Peraza is Jace Peterson. He’s not that great. I would definitely rather keep Maybin than Peraza at this point. He can’t actually be our No. 1 prospect anymore.

  27. Petersons’s defense is better. If the Braves thought it was close, Peraza wouldn’t be across town

  28. @21- Peraza is Jace Peterson, but FOUR YEARS YOUNGER. In four years he might actually be a well above average player. How can it be hard to understand that prospect stats need to be age-adjusted?

    @36- Based on what? Even were it true, Peraza more than makes up any marginal difference on defense by being far better on the basepaths. And the reason Peraza is across town is because unlike Peterson he can actually benefit from spending time at AAA.

    The best explanation for the fact that the Braves are high on Peterson and low on Peraza is that Peterson is their guy and Peraza was Frank Wren’s.

  29. If Peraza was going to be in the mix, he’d be on the team now. I think this has more to do with the kid at Rome than Peterson.

    Freeman and Simmons are both Wren guys too.

  30. Freeman is not a Wren guy. He was drafted way back in ’07. Simmons is basically the last guy standing. And how confident am I that he won’t get traded too? Not very.

  31. Or maybe he is seen as more valuable and that’s why he’s in this (theoretical) trade. Maybe the Dodgers don’t want Peterson. And maybe, since they’re like the same guy, the Braves don’t think it’s worth holding up over that.

  32. There are plenty of reasons to leave a guy in the minors to continue his already-accelerated development path instead of bringing him up to play meaningless innings for a team that punted on the season 9 months ago, especially when the few very-dim-but-relatively-bright spots on your roster are at the positions he plays.

  33. I caught Foltynewicz’s last two innings yesterday–can’t tell y’all how much I like this guy. I hope we keep him in the rotation the rest of the year.

  34. By Jeff Todd and Steve Adams [July 30, 2015 at 9:45am CDT]

    JULY 30, 9:44am: The deal ought to be completed once the Braves finish reviewing Olivera’s medicals, Frisaro tweets.

  35. @3 He was probably overstating his point a bit, although I’d want to read his book to understand his point better because he kind of distracted himself before he made it fully last night. What I think he was saying was that from the earliest days it was business as well as fun/leisure because it was a social thing. In a way, then, baseball was the social networking of its day, similar to community service clubs today. You may join for social/leisure/service purposes, but there’s always the ulterior motive that as long as you have the town’s leading businessmen together forming relationships, your fellow clubs men are going to be more likely to patronize your business in the future.

    I read your article when it was first published and loved it! I had read Thorn’s Garden of Eden, Kirsch’s Baseball in the Blue and Gray, and a few other pieces when I was researching for this article, so I was familiar with some of things discussed last night. The speaker had created a bibliography of the baseball history books he liked best, and I picked up a copy and look forward to working through some of his suggestions.

    There were a couple of other interesting things he mentioned that I was not familiar with. He said when hitters were supposed to call out what pitch they wanted, they would routinely request low pitches with runners on base because in the pre-glove era the catchers had a much harder time catching those. This is why the creation of a strike zone became so crucial—with runners on base many hitters waited until a wild pitch advanced them before even attempting a swing. As a result it was routine for pitchers to throw 250-300 pitches a game (underhanded, of course, which wouldn’t put the same strain on the shoulder an overhand pitch would. That’s still a lot of pitches, though!)

    The other interesting thing (I’m not sure if this was typical across the states or more of a Richmond-specific thing) was that immediately following the Civil War many baseball games became charity events. They would advertise the games with an admission price, and all of the gate money would go to whatever charity was listed. The success of these charity games convinced those who were forming ball clubs that Richmond could support pro teams, because people would be willing to pay to watch baseball.

  36. I think the only way that this trade makes sense is if the Braves know/suspect that both Wood and Peraza are less valuable than they are advertising. Wood has been bery bery good, but a lot of his peripheral stats are now slipping. His mechanics may give them pause, and he’s already has his one allowed TJ in college. Still, very young, very much to like.

    Peraza, dunno.

  37. Could the dodger deal be a precursor to Freeman to the Cardinals?

    Q: why is Morse in the trade?
    Q: why was Freeman kind of rushed back?

    Worst case scenario.

  38. The thing w/Wood is that he’s had two starts this year where is average velocity was over 90 MPH. Honestly, the more I think about it, I’m fine with Wood for Olivera. The reliever/prospect exchange is okay as well.

    The crux of the deal for me is you’re basically trading a top 25 prospect (Peraza) for a first round pick and 28 million (the amount saved on Olivera). Not apples to apples, but there are some parallels w/the Touki trade here.

  39. I hope they back out over Olivera’s elbow.

    I could talk myself in to this deal if he was 26. But he’s 30. We’ll get his 31-36 seasons, and he may miss one of those with TJ surgery. He’ll have to be Aramis Ramirez or Chipper Jones to be worth it, and that’s a lousy bet.

  40. My only problem with our rebuild is our stockpiling of injured players.

    Wasn’t Olivera passed on by several teams that thought he needs TJ? Right now he’s on a rehab stint due to a bad hammy. Our other piece back is an injured reliever. Our medical docs don’t leave me with much hope on their physical exams of these players

  41. I’m fine with the J. Johnson/Avilan portion of the deal.

    Paco Rodriguez has been good, and will be under control until 2020. That’s like reversing the clock with Avilan. Basically, the Dodgers need a lefty now, and Rodriguez is hurt, so theyll swap some years of control to get a lefty for this stretch run. That’s how that works.

    And Zach Bird doesn’t excite me or anything, but Jim Johnson was free to everyone this offseason, Zach Bird is what you get for that kind of guy.

    That’s fair to me.

    But Wood for Olivera, and Peraza for the $28m we won’t have to pay him… No. You signed a 30 year old amateur infielder for $62m. That’s your problem. I don’t care how he hits. He won’t still be doing it 3 years from now, let alone 6 years from niw.

  42. This deal seems like it stinks. The Braves could have bought Olivera with just money last offseason, and now we’re having to give Alex Wood, take on Olivera’s salary, and send Peraza to offset the money. I’m good with Peraza for $28M saved, but I’m not good with Alex Wood for Olivera when Olivera was available 4 months ago for just money (that we’ll have to pay now anyway). Unless Wood is damaged, or there’s value in the other areas of the trade, then this is simply not a fair deal for Atlanta.

  43. This deal just doesn’t jibe with the mantra of 2017. The dude is 30 and has a bad elbow?
    I dont like what I am seeing but maybe there is more to come?

  44. @55, this is my main objection. Olivera will be 31 next season. We are trading the primes of Wood and Peraza for the decline of Olivera. The Dodgers may get a decade of above average SS play from Peraza.

  45. I was gonna wait until the deal actually went through before I started picking apart the panic, but I already kind of started with Peraza, so what the hell…

    Does anyone else remember, like, 7:15 last night when everybody was concerned that we had no hitting anywhere within sight and that we had to trade some of our pitching surplus for bats at some point? So let me get this straight: Fifteen minutes later, reports start surfacing that we trade a guy that, if everything pans out as projected, will be our No. 4 starter, at best, in a couple years for a Major League ready bat and people are jumping off the tops of very tall buildings? I’m not sure I get it.

    This would point to us trying to compete next year, rather than actually pushing the rebuild farther back. This team is not likely to miss Jose Peraza very much and this rotation is not likely to miss Alex Wood very much long-term. I liked him, too, but he’s certainly tradeable given our surplus. Maybe not last year, but certainly now. To clarify that No. 4 starter comment above, he’s our No. 2 starter right now because Teheran is pitching like crap and our young guys are not quite there yet. If Teheran recovers next year, Wood is immediately our No. 3. Then if Wisler continues on his track, Wood’s our No. 4 either late next year or the year after. And it certainly looks possible that Folty has a higher ceiling than Wood, as well, with Banuelos and whoever else also out there. Wood is a Major League starter that is currently No. 2 in the rotation but could very well struggle to be a meaningful part of the rotation in a couple years. That’s the definition of a tradeable asset. And I would think people would be happy that it appears we’re gonna try and compete next year (I certainly am), which is what this trade signals. But instead, they’re upset because it doesn’t play into the 2017-18 narrative that everyone just assumed was the end game? Again, not sure I get it.

  46. @56 Well whenever you can throw in your best prospect and quality young arm for $28 million in savings you just gotta do that! How much are season tickets going up at the Cobb County Facility again?

  47. And this “they’re getting rid of all of Frank Wren’s players and none of their own…what a shock” through-line is absurd. By definition the vast majority of players that they deal with are gonna be Frank Wren’s players. They just started in November and you generally don’t trade a whole lot of players that you just acquired within the last year. They’re gonna be trading Wren’s players away if they’re trading any players away. Which players would you like them to trade away?

    And this totally ignores the fact that they just traded two of their own players away last week and are trading one more of their own away in this deal. (Hypothetically)

  48. @59

    I’m for the trade more than I’m against it, just not by much. Let’s see if Hector can actually strike fear into the NL Achaeans.

  49. Alex and ‘Rissa, great stuff on 19th century base ball! I play in a vintage league that uses the pre-Civil War rules (no gloves, period appropriate uniforms and bats, etc.) in Tennessee. There are leagues all over the country, and they really capture the social/amateur/pastoral quality I imagine when I read about that era. A fun way to experience history (and the games are free)!

    This is the league I play in: http://tennesseevintagebaseball.com/

  50. @59, if the bat were Seager instead of Olivera, people would be excited about it.

    Wood is a fan favorite and a UGA boy, but we all know his limitations. I have been thinking (but not sure if I posted it) that it made much more sense to trade Wood than Teheran bc he hasn’t seemed quite so terrible this year (and maybe wouldn’t be selling quite as low). We have a lot of middle rotation pitchers, so it makes sense to trade some and make room for higher upside guys.

    Peraza is a highly regarded player at one of the most difficult positions to fill on the diamond (SS). He has well documented limitations (mainly being allergic to walks), but the main issue with him is that he plays a position that is actually a position of strength in our organization. Simmons and Peterson block him and Albies makes him redundant as a prospect. I expected one of Peraza, Peterson, or Simmons to get traded with Peraza being most likely due to high perceived value.

    In short, it makes great sense to trade every single one of these players (obviously JJ and Avilan too), and getting a corner bat is exactly what we should be trading them for. The only problem is that it’s a player on the wrong side of 30 with questionable medicals that we arguably could’ve simply signed outright a few months ago.

  51. Maybe the strategy is to stockpile Cuban defectors so Puig demands a trade to Braves and Cespedes signs here in offseason.

  52. In fact, I think Ryan C had it in one of his pieces on Tomahawk Take a week or so ago that the three pitchers it made the most sense to trade were Wood and Williams Perez.

    Yeah, we could’ve signed him for money a few months ago if you assume that Liberty Media could throw money around anytime it wanted, in theory, but in the real world, we couldn’t sign him because it cost too much. But that goes both ways. Does this guy who people were clamoring for us to spend over $60 million on suddenly become not as good because instead of $60 million, we spent a future No. 4 starter and a VASTLY overrated prospect on him?

    There’s a good bit of “People Value Their Own Players Too Much” syndrome with this, and I understand it, but I think we have to assume that Seager would’ve cost way more. We also have to assume that the deal won’t get done if the Braves wind up thinking that Olivera does need Tommy John surgery after they look at his physical.

  53. I kind of see this trade as two separate trades: Wood + Peraza for Olivera, and shuffling around pitchers and picks. The latter deal is the kind of who-cares stable-short-term-assets-for-riskier-long-term-assets trade that happens every deadline — it could go either way depending on health, but no matter who “wins” it it’s not going to move the needle very much for either team long-term.

    The other one is a very strange trade. I think it might be the biggest gamble I’ve ever seen the Braves take in all the years I’ve followed them in terms of player personnel. I had resigned myself to the idea that the Braves were going to have to deal young pitching if they were going to acquire the bats they’d need to compete in the time frame they’re aiming for, since all of the hitting prospects in the system (including Peraza) are either singles-hitting speed types or too far away to provide immediate help. The problem is that the pitcher they gave up is their most reliable major league guy with Teheran showing control problems, and that the bat they got is almost a complete unknown. He’s got the potential to be a difference-making hitter, but he has no major-league history and is old enough that he could start falling off by the time the Braves are looking to compete again. This could be a huge steal for either team, and I think we’ll have to wait and see which one it is.

    Random thoughts:

    1) This trade indicates that not only are the Braves believers in Olivera, they have also totally bought in to Jace Peterson as a starting second baseman. Without Peraza, there’s no one in the organization to push him or provide an alternative if he’s hitting .220 in May next year. I’m not entirely sure that level of confidence is warranted — I like Jace personally, and he plays good defense to my eye, but it seems to me like his true level is super-utility guy. Ozzie Albies might be the long-term solution there, but he’s a least a year away.

    2) The Braves may not need to do anything regarding the bullpen next year. Grilli will be back, and Withrow and Rodriguez are high-end arms with major-league success on their records. Grab a couple of live arms to fill out the back end of the bullpen and see what you have rather than paying a king’s ransom to bring back Kimbrel or whatever.

    3) Offseason shopping list: Credible starting catcher, credible starting left fielder, backup plan on the infield, veteran starter? With such a young and volatile staff, it might be a good idea for the Braves to chase a veteran guy who has good odds on giving them 200 above-average innings. Do the Braves have the money to get in on David Price, with Uggla, Upton, Quentin, Arroyo, and Kimbrel’s money off the books?

    4) I wonder which of the Johns got this idea off the ground. If it’s a Coppolella special, I don’t know if my heart can take this kind of trade on a regular basis.

  54. It’s the players we are getting in return we don’t like. It’s not enough. I think most people are open to trading the guys in this trade.

  55. We traded a cheap and effective 24 year old LH starter and one of our top prospects for a guy that’s hurt, might need elbow surgery, and is 30 years old and has had like 70 minor league at bats. I mean…what’s not to like?

  56. @71 — Just the other day you were loudly wondering where the bats were coming from. Well, this is the kind of trade the Braves are going to have to make to get a bat. They don’t grow on trees.

    If the medicals look bad, the Braves won’t do it.

  57. David Price to Toronto for Daniel Norris, the top pitching prospect who, apparently, once lived in a van down by the river.

  58. @72, you trade for legitimate bats though, not for long-shots. You don’t give up Alex Wood and Peraza for a guy that’s never played in the majors.

    I’m all for trading for bats! What are we getting here? Nobody knows. I know we gave up a decent young #3 starter. I have no idea what we got back.

  59. @74

    This guy is over five years younger than Juan Uribe. There’s not even a vague comparison.

  60. It’s fair to wonder if Olivera is the right guy, but the path to getting a hitter was always going to involve trading a young pitcher plus other pieces. Teams don’t generally trade good young cheap hitters with a history of major league success, and if they did they were going to cost a lot more than Alex Wood and Jose Peraza.

  61. @78

    It appears he is. Roy Clark and a few of the big important people are really high on him.

    His ceiling is higher than Woods and Peraza’s and Juan Uribe’s

  62. @78

    Yeah, I think it’s safe to assume he probably is. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

  63. Maybe he’s Roy Hobbs. I dunno. Nobody here does. This seems a tad bit risky. I do get that we’re not dealing from a position of strength.

    Uribe was sporting a 126 OPS+ in his brief tenure. Odds are that we won’t be getting much better than that from anyone we acquire.

  64. @71 – There are now such things as pitching prospects, apparently, so there’s no need to have anyone on the roster who has demonstrated the ability to pitch in the majors. We’ll have a pitching dynasty for the next decade once all these lottery tickets pay off, haven’t you heard?!

  65. @83

    Yes, yes…how delightfully droll. Except that Wisler, Banuelos, Folty and Perez have all pitched in the majors and pitched well. Admittedly they haven’t fully proven themselves yet, but you act as if all these guys are in AA right now when three of the four will likely be in next year’s rotation.

  66. To say we could have just kept Uribe, and then defend it, is ridiculous. You’d have to care more about this year than all future seasons combined. This is your brain on college football

  67. @83, 84 – I may be crazy, but I believe he’s referencing (willfully misrepresenting) something I said a thread or two back. I listed our 19 starting pitchers and prospects, and said we were lined up to have 2 above average starters for the next decade, be constantly graduating SOMEBODY to pitch well in the bigs, not that all 19 would pan out and pitch well for us.

  68. And also, it’s true that nobody knows what exactly we’re getting from Olivera. But we’re talking about a guy that the Dodgers were willing to sign to a six-year, $62.5 million contract and that we were willing to sign to a $40 million contract. I know there’s injury concerns and whatever, but let’s not act like we’re just throwing darts here.

  69. @87 – Yeah! If Olivera was any good, he woulda jumped on a raft!

    Are you serious?

  70. JULY 30, 1:13pm: Bronson Arroyo‘s contract is also moving to the Dodgers, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.

    1:05pm: The deal is “done,” per Rosenthal (on Twitter), who says that the players involved are being informed.

  71. The Uribe references are hyperbolic, but so are the shallow caricatures of opponents of the trade. Intelligent and reasonable people do disagree. It is rational and internally consistent to want to trade for a bat but then object to trading for *this* bat. The critics aren’t just hypocrites, and their criticisms don’t amount to “throwing themselves off buildings”.

  72. Cool!:

    “JULY 30, 1:13pm: Bronson Arroyo‘s contract is also moving to the Dodgers, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.”

    Edit: Well, Coop, you out sCooped me

  73. @92

    Well, fight hyperbole with hyperbole… In all honesty, I was more thinking about the Twitter meltdown last night than anything that happened on here when I said that, with the possible exception of krussell (just kidding…kind of).

  74. See, it did get better. Enough better to placate people? I’m guessing probably not. But better nonetheless.

    So we’re looking at getting Olivera, Rodriguez, Bird and the Marlins’ competitive balance pick for Wood, J. Johnson, Avilan, Peraza and Arroyo, unless there’s another surprise in this deal.

  75. The trade probably makes us better for 2017, assuming Olivera is who we think he is. I think the Dodgers got the better end, and I wish we’d at least sold them Chris Johnson, since money is no object for them anyway.

    @98, I don’t think dollars for Arroyo will placate many people. It chafes us that this seems like selling Wood and Peraza for the savings on Olivera in the first place, and you know how everyone feels about Liberty’s “savings”.

  76. @100

    Fair enough. I’m guessing people would’ve reacted more positively had we been able to dump Chris Johnson’s contract, but there’s definitely a difference between having to watch a guy stink up the joint and never seeing him, I will admit.

  77. My position is that this makes us better until around 2018, after which we’ll be looking to unload Olivera.

    But I don’t think it improves the team as much as some as-yet undefined moves we could have made using Wood and Peraza. I realize that’s abstract, but I feel someone better, or at least younger, could have been acquired for those two players.

  78. @103, I’m expecting a run at Price, and I’m expecting to get outbid by the Dodgers or Yankees.

  79. Well, now we’re not unloading all of Arroyo’s contract, apparently. The Dodgers are taking a portion of it, but we’re still on the hook for the rest.

  80. If Olivera is anything close to an average 3B over the life of his contract, he’ll be a huge steal. Maybe Peraza will end up being better, but if you’re sold on Olivera’s bat, it makes sense to do this trade.

  81. Rosenthal just said on MLB.tv that the Dodgers were taking Arroyo. He made no mention of splitting the baby, but this has not been a well-defined process.

  82. DOB briefly mentioned splitting the contract on Twitter. But yeah, I think we’re probably gonna have to wait until they officially announce it at this point. We know the players involved, but this deal is really confusing. Who knows?

  83. Other FAs that the Braves might take a look at include Wieters, Zobrist, and lesser SPs like Zimmermann or Kazmir. Wren’s administration made several runs at David Price, but who knows if new management is as high on him. The Braves could certainly afford to bid on him — remember when they tried to get in on the Jon Lester market last offseason?

  84. You want an example of what I’m talking about with the “jumping off buildings” hyperbole, go take a gander at Talking Chop right now. Yeesh! Whenever this place gets a bit negative for my tastes, I just go there and look through one thread and I feel a lot better.

  85. Agree 100% with the second statement @104. Opportunity cost is the main concern. We don’t have tons of chips to cash in – and we cashed in three of them for one guy that’s old and hurt. He might be good, but there’s clear risk here. When cashing in three chips at once I’d like less risk.

  86. @104 – Agreed. By then his deal will be 2 yrs, 12-ish million, so the contract should be moveable. Worst case, even if he’s a total dud, it’s not exactly a franchise killer.

    Wood + Peraza is almost certainly an overpay for HO, but HO plays a position at which we have a glaring need, few in-house options, and a piss-poor FA or trade market. The Dodgers wisely realized they had an abundance of something that was in short supply almost everywhere else, and got a premium price. If HO is an above-average 3B, the deal probably makes us better. IMO that’s a better metric than whether we “won the trade”.

    Of course if HO is a dud….

  87. I think it helps that Price has been linked to the Braves before. He has reportedly expressed a desire to play for Atlanta in the past…reportedly. Money still talks, though. If we’re going to come in at like 6/110, we’re going to get crushed by the Dodgers and Yanks. If he really does prefer Atl, it has to be reasonably close in dollars.

  88. Serious question: over the next four season which of Folty, Wisler, the Perezes, Banuelos and our other prospects are likely to put up better results in the majors than Alex Wood?

    Based on the two starts I saw I would definitely have argued for Banuelos, who looked every bit a #2 starter. But bone spurs in a reconstructed elbow? Could be a simple arthroscopic surgery to shave down the bone, but just as likely he has a loose UCL and that’s why the bones have now started rubbing together causing inflammation.

    Maybe Wisler. Great control, great presence on the mound. But hittable and it’s hard to say whether he will be able to get guys out after they have seen him two, three or four times.

    Of the rest I am probably highest on Jenkins. But it seems close to 50/50 that Wood would have slotted in as the team’s #2 starter when the new park opens in 2017.

  89. Matt Marksberry, Jake Brighan and Ryan Kelly have been called up to replace the three pitchers, it seems. Surely, they’ll activate Williams Perez and slot him into Wood’s old spot when it comes around again.

    EDIT: @117, Wisler definitely, 50/50 on Folty and Banuelos which equates to one of the two. If that’s the case, it pushes Wood down to No. 5 before you even talk about the Perezes, Fried, Jenkins, etc. (assuming Teheran and Miller are still above him).

  90. To clarify: this is assuming that Wood remains healthy and continues to pitch at the same level that he has.

  91. Do you guys like this trade better if I mention that Oliveras hasn’t played 3B at all?

  92. @121

    That’s not exactly true. He’s been playing third base in the Dodgers’ minor league system this year. It is true that he didn’t play third base at all in Cuba.

  93. Looks like Dodgers fans love the trade, FWIW. See how much joy we brought to baseball fans in this miserable season?

  94. When journalistas talk about players being old and hurt and the player in question is 30, I feel like Methuselah. I wish you young whippersnappers would respect your elders.

  95. Coop, you’re definitely one our Most Valuable Bloggers. But I don’t want you playing 3B, either..

  96. Olivera is a crazy gamble even by Hart’s standards. His age 22-26 seasons, even adjusting for the the league, are pretty damn impressive. But in the four seasons since then he’s had fewer than 300 competitive at-bats. Not fewer than 300 per season. Fewer than 300 total. Blood clots, pulled hamstrings, suspected elbow injuries.

    Reminds me of that time I bought a used Jaguar.

  97. @123- Shouldn’t they be, though? If the Braves over bid to sign players they don’t need, and stashed them in the minors, and then used them to hold teams hostage who had actually wanted those players, to extract otherwise unavailable players from them… I’d be pretty sayisfied.

    If you really think about it, what the Dodgers did here would be grounds for a union grievance if they did it to any other 30 year old professional player. Only in the Cuban or Japanese/Korean market could you sign a professional to a huge contract and then treat him as an amateur. They are exploiting a loophole, and found a way to leverage dollars in a new way.

  98. Will Oliveras play for us this year? At least give me something to look forward to…

  99. For what it’s worth, the Braves’ press release just came out. We’ve now passed the Furcal Rule hurdle.

  100. I’m a day late to the party, but this feels like the trade version of the Chris Johnson extension. Extend Freddie (yeah!), extend Simba (nice!), extend Teheran (OK!) and then Chris Johnson (wait…what?). Trade Gattis, Kimbrel, Justin, Heyward and then another headscratching move.

  101. @127, I think they should be very happy with this deal. They can buy international capital at will, stash it, and trade it for scarcer assets. They are a worse version of the Yankees, of 10 years ago.

  102. I think we overpaid a little on this deal, but I’m okay with it overall. We give up a position of strength for a player who fills a gaping hole. If we acquire a number one starter next year and a power bat,I think we’re a serious contender. I hated the KJ Uribe deal because all it seemed to be was a salary dump. Looking forward to see what Olivera gives us.

  103. Well, adding Arroyo’s contract to the deal makes it a bit better. Makes me think the Braves are going to buy a couple of big free agents this winter.

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