Where Do We Go From Here? Sign Jason Heyward.

We’ve been whispering about it for more than a year now in this dark corner, but with the Miller-for-Inciarte/Swanson/Blair trade it’s actually, unquestionably the move for the Braves to make now—if they can swing it:

Outbid the other teams and bring Jason Heyward back to Atlanta.

I’ll answer some questions you’re all asking yourselves:

  1. Do we want him as a player? Ummm, yes. Depending on how much you value his handiwork in the field, he’s a top-10 to top-40 position player in the game. And he seems to fit the offensive profile the Braves are looking for. And there’s upside. The power he used to show seems like a pipe dream now, but he hit 27 home runs once and he’s only 26 years old—long odds, but he could return to being a superb hitter instead of a good one.
  2. Can we afford him? Yes, actually. A general consensus (which might come to nothing) thinks he’ll go for around $200 million over 9 years. That works out to just over $22 million a year. With Shelby and Andrelton and Minor out of the picture, opening day payroll looks like it’s around $80 million. Unless the Braves trade Teheran—or perhaps even if they do—they don’t need to go out and pay for the services of any other free agents. We are set for 2016, and after that it’s nothing but blue skies.
  3. Does he look good in a Braves uniform?

    Oh indeed.
  4. Would we rather have a different free agent next year? Good question. Presumably the Braves have to be a little choosy about whom they offer the big money. The combined commitments to Heyward to Freeman would probably preclude any other big signings for a couple years. Taking a look at next year’s crop of free agents, the only name that jumps out is Stephen Strasburg. If he has a poor season, we don’t want him. If he has a good season we can’t afford him anyway. So the answer is probably not.
  5. How many outfielders is too many? Another good question. Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Michael Bourn, Dian Toscano, the OliveraGarcia contingent, a little bit of Nick Swisher, a vaudeville appearance from Mallex Smith at some point. You can’t add Jason Heyward without sending one or two of those logs down river. Inciarte isn’t going anywhere, obviously. We could cut Bourn and Swisher loose, but it wouldn’t be worth the cost of the phone call to do it. It doesn’t seem likely the Braves trade Toscano or Olivera until other teams get to see how good they are. Adonis will get a shot to man third until he proves he can’t. Welp, I guess that’s th—wait! Nick Markakis!!! Because he can hit, he’s actually a good buy at $33 million over the next three years. There is definitely a team out there who will take the Cakes. Get the best return you can for him without being a total stickler. Move the man and re-allocate some of his salary to the real #22.
  6. Would Heyward come back? Ay, there’s the rub. I think the money will be there, but I don’t know how burnt the bridge is. I don’t know if he’d be willing to play for Fredi. I don’t know if, after winning a cool hundred with the Redbirds, he’d want to jump to a rebuild, even one with a rosy outlook. I don’t know what kind of relationship he has, if any, with the men in charge these days. And I don’t know if any of that is any reason not to go all in right now.

Get it done, Johns.

109 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here? Sign Jason Heyward.”

  1. If this happened all would be forgiven. I’d buy at least 2 tickets to games in 2016.

    Seriously though, he looks phenomenal in the Braves uni. What a guy.

  2. Swanson reportedly has a stronger arm than Albies, and he’s closer to the majors. If Swanson establishes himself as the shortstop in late 2016 or 2017 and doesn’t embarrass himself, I doubt they move him off the position for Albies.

    Heyward coming back is just a dream, I think. The outfield logjam is such that it’s difficult to picture the Braves clearing all that dead money to open a spot for him, as much as I’d like to see him back. And it doesn’t seem like the Braves are willing to spend on a big-ticket free agent at this time, even if they “should.” (The free agent market next year is so dire; I have no idea what they plan to do with all that freed-up money.)

  3. We’re going to end up spending whatever money that could’ve gone to Heyward on Maitan.

    Maybe if we had managed to move Shelby and acquire Pollock instead, our new window would look a little different and Heyward would make more sense. But I think the die is cast for 2018.

    And so as the Heyward/evil ownership tropes recede somewhat, especially when we start spending the money internationally, cue the stadium opening delay rumors :)

  4. I’d love to have JHey back – and considering that the Braves have a protected 1st round pick this year, our effective cost to sign him is less than (most) other teams. Frankly, I’m not sure the Braves will be able to outbid rich squads like the Dodgers, Red Sox, or Yankees (or even the Cardinals) but I’d love to see them try. Perhaps the Miller trade will convince JHey that there’s hope on the horizon for the Braves, but realistically he’s got to be aware that the 2016 Braves aren’t going to be good.

    As far as the Braves’ OF goes, they sure do have a logjam of bodies, but I think it could easily be cleared up. Enciarte starts in CF, Mallex Smith to AAA, and at present you’ve got presumably Olivera in LF and Cakes in RF (and Garcia at 3B). If Olivera could at least fake it at 3B that would really open things up. I doubt the Braves will attempt to trade Cakes unless and until he starts hitting some HRs again – nobody wants to commit $30M+ to a 32 year old RF with poor-and-declining range who can’t put the ball over the fence with regularity. I doubt the Braves would sign JHey unless they could first clear Cakes off the roster. As for Bourn and Swisher… they’re probably just bench/sub material, though one or both will likely have their moments in 2016.

  5. Like I mentioned in the last thread, I’m not a WAR expert, but this is what I’ve come up with:

    Let’s assume Blair slides into the 5th starter spot for most of the year, and he does so because he performs better than one of the alternatives (Folty, Banuelos, Perez, etc.). This means we’ve replaced Bourn/Smith with Inciarte and Miller with Blair. If Bourn/Smith ends up only producing a 1.5 WAR (which is generous since Bourn hasn’t produced more than 1 WAR season in the last 3 years adjusted for full time duty), and we use Inciarte’s 5.3 WAR for 2015, then we’ve improved centerfield by 3.8 WAR. Miller produced a 3.6 WAR, and Blair would probably end up with a mid-4’s ERA type season, which would result in about 1.5 WAR. So you lose 2.6 WAR. So this trade improves the Braves by 1.2 WAR for 2016. Therefore, this improves and speeds up the rebuild, albeit slightly. And if analysts are right that Miller’s success last year was due to an unsustainable reduction in homers, then this could really speed up the rebuild.

    Then there’s the opportunity cost of Miller’s $5M saved. That’s almost 1 WAR as well.

  6. Inciarte, Heyward, Olivera, Freeman, Garcia, AJ/Flowers, Aybar, Peterson isn’t the worst lineup ever. Out bullpen will be decent. Tehran and Bud would have to really show up and we would need some guys to grow up quick.

  7. I would say that you don’t spend 200 million dollars on anything less than an impact bat, which Heyward is not. But with the cost of premium hitting inflating by the second ……

    Now that we have Ender, Bourne and Swisher are irrelevant. Sunk costs. They will be given an opportunity to show they have some value in spring training maybe the first 2 months of the season.

  8. When you think about it, because his 5.3 WAR is a lot about his defense, Inciarte is sort of Heyward light.

  9. DOB is saying the Braves may sign another veteran starter. There are plenty of starting pitchers out there who can produce a sub-4 ERA and fit within our budget, but if not, then I’d rather just let the kids play.

  10. @16 And Inciarte understands that he’s a center fielder, not a light-hitting corner outfielder. Honestly, why won’t Heyward just play center?

  11. @17

    I would look to add another arm. It would be good to find a guy that can eat innings and serve as a mentor. I wish Tim Hudson would come back for another year.

  12. Sure he’s a nice player and he would make the Braves better. But with so much of his ‘value’ tied to his glove, (which typically does not age as well as power) and many experts are dubious as to it’s accuracy, he’s never been worth as much as he and his agent seem to be demanding. Some team will probably pay for that or close to it. Especially one that is built to compete right now. But the Braves, even with freed up $, are still basically a mid market team realistically building for 2018 and beyond and cannot be paying (overpaying if you doubt the defensive metrics for rf) market rate for a defense first right fielder, esp given that what the team really needs are big bats. The Braves need to still get value for their $ and spend what they do very wisely to fill the big league needs least likely to be filled from within.

  13. Swanson hasn’t played above rookie ball. He’s not penciled in, much less inked into the 2016 lineup by any means.

    If they could package one of the Swisher/Bourn contracts out they would absolutely have the space and money to sign Jason.

  14. I will also point out that in the long calculus, the much maligned “Johns” just completed a series of deals wherein:

    1 year of Jason Heyward

    was convereted into

    1 year of Shelby Miller
    5 years of Ender Inciarte
    6 years of Dansby Swanson
    6 years of Aaron Blair
    6 years of Tyler Jenkins

  15. Swanson needs more minor league ABs and needs to be given the chance to show he can’t play short. If he can hold his own there, he is more valuable.

    I bet he starts in high A and moves to Mississippi by mid year.

  16. 1 year of Jason Heyward
    2 years of Jordan Walden
    1 supplemental first-round draft pick

    was convereted into

    1 year of Shelby Miller
    5 years of Ender Inciarte
    6 years of Dansby Swanson
    6 years of Aaron Blair
    6 years of Tyler Jenkins

    Fixed. Still a great couple of trades, obviously, but everyone keeps forgetting about Jordan Walden.

  17. Fair point Stu. I do consider relievers fungible (last year’s pen atrocity notwithstanding.) That’s good corrective and I appreciate it.

  18. Yeah, I don’t really disagree, but from the Cards’ perspective, they were trading those valuable assets for something more than one year of Heyward.

  19. Ha ha that’s funny. There is no way we are signing J Hey, he’s a Wren guy., and way too expensive. We have 2 outfield spots solidly and affordable locked down between Markakis and Inciarte, Mallex will be up at the midpoint this season, and the platoon of scrap heapers will make a mess till then. Plus dare I say that I like Heyward but I’m still not convinced that he is not more than a .260 hitter for the bulk of his career going forward. And that’s all fine and dandy with his stellar defense, but not where I’d drop $200 mil

  20. Braves current payroll sits south of 75 million according to Cots Contracts. Factor in the pre-arb guys and it’s right at 80. Trade Markakis, it’s below 70. Sign Heyward, and it still sits at 90 which is still plenty of $ to spend on int’l free agents.

    It’s so doable.

  21. If we’re going to dream on teh Heyward market a little, I’ll point out that having 2/3s of the OF covered by Heyward+Inciarte makes the little postage stamp in LF where Olivera has to worry about catching the ball much less concerning.

  22. The Johns have stated our go forward budget (max) is around 120m. And lo, we do not have Andrelton’s long term commitment holding us back there now.

  23. The Heyward/Miller sequence is the best sequence the Braves have pulled off since trading Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria, then Renteria for Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez.

    But it’s possible that my favorite trade sequence of the last few years is the one the A’s pulled off with Mark Mulder:

    First, they traded Mulder to the Cardinals for Dan Haren, Daric Barton, and Kiko Calero.
    Then, three years later, they traded Haren and Connor Robertson to the Diamondbacks for Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith.

    Unfortunately, they went one or three steps too far, trading Gonzalez and Smith along with Huston Street for a one-year rental of Matt Holliday — who was so bad in the first half that the A’s fell out of contention, and they shipped him to St. Louis at the deadline for Clayton Mortensen, Shane Peterson and Brett Wallace. At the end of the year, they swapped Wallace to the Blue Jays for Michael Taylor, who sucked, as did Mortensen and Peterson.

    But the original haul they got from the Snakes was quite something. Brett Anderson was extremely good when healthy, though he was rarely healthy; Carter is doing a pretty good Dave Kingman impression in Houston as a DH who hits .200 with a bunch of homers; and Gonzalez is a two-time All-Star.

    (Then, when the Diamondbacks traded Haren to the Angels three years after that, they got Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, Joe Saunders, and Rafael Rodriguez. Skaggs later went back to the Angels in an extremely complicated three-team trade, but Corbin looks like the real deal.)

  24. Heyward/Inciarte/Mallex seems like an outfield that can cover a lot of ground for a long time. Heyward is 26, his defensive skills are not going to regress for 4-5 years at least so giving him a 9 year contract is one of the safer bets a team can make when dealing with free agents. Consider that Zobrist just got 4/56 and he’s 34 and much of his value is tied up in defense (or at least positional flexibility) as well, it doesn’t look so bad.

    If Heyward is available for 9/200 that seems like a good deal for a team with one real long term committment at this point. Hell, they could keep Markakis and still have room for it this year, then Bourn/Swisher come off the books next year. It’s not like there’s anything available next year that will be a better bet. I’m largely unfamiliar with how the international spending can affect this but it seems like the Johns are lumping that in with the current budget but surely it doesn’t cost $40 million to sign 16 year olds?

    I guess my ultimate thought is, what are they planning on investing in in the future? If they don’t spend the money this year and just add a couple more vets to fill out the rotation and bullpen on one year deals do they persist with the young guys and see who they need to extend eventually?

    Probably someone gets desperate and gives Heyward a 10/250 or something and it’s a moot point but the Braves should kick the tires on this for sure. I’ll never understand the Olivera deal, but turning Heyward into 19+ years of team control on quality players then signing him for only money would be a pretty amazing job by the Johns. Get it done.

  25. From Dave Cameron’s chat (going on right now over at FanGraphs):

    This trade makes [the Braves being good while Freeman is still around] significantly more possible. They now have a real CF, a franchise SS who could easily be ready by 2017, and another potential quality starter who is close to the big leagues. This trade makes their short-term better, not worse. And their long-term. All the Braves terms got better last night.

  26. I’m definitely out on Heyward if it’s 8-9/$200M. That money can be used so much more wisely elsewhere. There’s just no chance that Heyward’s defense is as value as it seems. Invest in some 2016/2017 stopgaps, and pump the rest of the annual monies into international signings. You could improve the team in the short-term more inexpensively by deepening the roster through some combination of a real second baseman, third baseman, and starting pitcher (especially with the relative quality of the incumbents), and in the long-term by investing that money into the international players. Give your pitching prospects 12 more months of development and then trade them for a player the quality of Jason Heyward, only three years ago before he was a $22M AAV. If we already have the #1 farm system in baseball (according to Keith Law), and that was before the Miller trade, then we won’t even bat an eye giving up two or three pitching prospects to get the bat we need next offseason.

  27. 38—In my mind, that’s the best option because it allows you to give regular PT to Bourn and Swisher in left, and hope to get lucky that at least one of them shows enough for some team to be willing to take part of their salary. There’s also the added benefit of maybe having a credible third baseman instead of an awkward left fielder…

  28. I think you have to play Olivera at 3B. And if stone hands is the problem, then why Garcia? Not the end-all-be-all, but his fielding percentage was worse than Olivera’s. Olivera in LF is such a huge waste of resources.

  29. Is it Olivera’s defense, or lack thereof or trying to make him comfortable so that his bat will come around? I interpreted the move as the latter.

    @40 – I agree. Give Swisher and/or Bourne a chance to not suck. The only way to do that is play Olivera at 3b.

  30. @35 csg

    I heard that, too.

    At one point, the Braves had the opportunity to extend both Freeman and Heyward for long contracts. They did not.

    What evidence would support a change in the organizations’ views now?

  31. Three observations.

    #1, If you’re actually looking at what teams are spending on players right now, there are definitely takers for Markakis if we want to dangle him. The return might not overwhelm us, but I don’t think a team with a hole will balk at the contract.

    #2, I think we’re looking at a potentially strong team as early as 2017 now with the right moves–assuming we hang onto Teheran. (Signing Heyward would be one such possible move.) Both Albies and Swanson could be ready by then.

    #3, I’m not sure we need an innings eater. Or that we really want one except for injury insurance purposes. Banuelos, Wisler, Weber, Foltynewicz, Perez, Sims, Jenkins, Newcombe, and Blair should all get to start some in the slots behind Teheran and Norris. I’d much rather give them opportunities as often as we can.

  32. I set the over/under at 15 minutes before krussell attempts to pick apart #3 @45. You done messed up, Edward. Spoiler alert: they all suck.

  33. I just don’t see what the end up actually spending money on besides extensions if you’re out on Heyward. There is only $45 million committed to 2017 right now.

    Even if you pay $25 AAV for Heyward what is filling up the rest of the payroll at that point? Are they going to spend $100 million in the 2017 offseason on crappy free agents? Who are you trading for at that point? I just don’t get how this is restrictive at all at this point.

  34. Manny Banuelos threw 120 innings in 2011, and because of all the time wasted trying to avoid TJ surgery, he just got back to 100 innings last year, but again was shutdown with elbow spurs.

    Tyrell Jenkins, because of early career shoulder problems, threw 100 innings for the very first time in his life last season, hitting 138, having never thrown more than 82 coming in.

    Neither of those guys is going to make 32 starts next season. The Braves should slot both for 25, and of those 25, you can’t count on all of them being in Atlanta.

    Foltynewicz I’d LOVE to see make 30 starts, and hopefully the thoracic outlet syndrome was part of the problem last near, not the beginning of a new struggle. But here in December, we can’t discount the likelihood that it wasn’t all TOS’s fault, and that he really belongs in the bullpen longterm.

    Meanwhile, Sims has made 9 starts at the AA level, and Sean Newcomb has made 7. Those two should start at AA and advance mid season to AAA. For the sake of their development, I don’t want to see either in Atlanta next year.

    So you’ve got Teheran, reclamation project Bud Norris (who could go all Trevor Cahill on us) Matt Wisler, and Aaron Blair, with Ryan Weber and Williams Perez to fill the 5 spot. I think you can still stick a 200 IP guy in that rotation and find all the starts you need for Banuelos and Jenkins, due to unforeseen injuries and underperformance.

    Plus, if Norris IS any good, and if the unnamed 200 IP guy is any good, they’ll both be flipped at the deadline, which is when I’d guess we’ll see Jenkins for the first time.

  35. Can’t see spending that kind of cash on Heyward. Let someone else do it. I’d save that money for a stud pitcher next season.

    For 2016, I agree lowball incentive-laden offer to Fister or Lee doesn’t sound stupid.

  36. I left Max Fried off because he hasn’t even reached AA yet. Then there’s the fact that this will be year one back in action after TJ surgery, I don’t think he even reaches AAA this year.

  37. don’t forget John Gant. He’s as likely as any of our minor league arms to be in our rotation in the 2nd half. HIs ceiling is probably lower but he seems more polished and durable than most.

  38. A look at our minor leagues top prospects list now reveals 12! prospects that were picked in at least a first supplemental round or higher. Allard, Soroka, Riley, Davidson, Hursh, Sims, Dansby, Blair, Newcomb, Toussaint, Fried and Jenkins. That’s amazing to me. Add the players who’re already on the 40 man and appeared in the majors like Folty, J Peterson, Withrow, and the established players Markakis, Beckham, and Swisher and that makes 18 players in the organization who’ve been picked that high. That’s an astounding amount of talent. My how far we’ve come in a little over a year. Has any team ever had that many high draft choices in their system at one time, minor leagues or combined? And this doesn’t count Olivera who would’ve surely been a high 1st round pick had he been acquired thru the draft. Or the younger international players who are considered 1st round caliber talents like Albies and Cruz.

  39. If the Padres are really dangling Hunter Renfroe in talks, those are talks I would like for the Braves to be the middle of.

  40. Couple of Twitter tidbits:

    • “Braves don’t intend to move Julio Teheran; at this point, want him to be the anchor for their other young starting pitchers.”

    • “Other teams say the Braves are working to move Christian Bethancourt, who is out of options. One team with interest: The Padres”

  41. Fangraphs is shockingly high of Garcia’s defense. Could be the sample size or range trumping hands (Melvin Upton)

  42. I’d like to add another outfielder or 3b. If we add an outfielder either move Olivera back to 3rd or actually make him earn some playing time in Gwinnett. Add a 3b and let Garcia play 2b. Jace then becomes a utility player

  43. I’m not going to throw poop on what is obviously a good trade for the Braves. Even if Swanson sucks, it’s still a great calculated risk.

  44. The Bonifacio deal is a head scratcher unless we are planning to deal other infielders. I really thought Castro had earned a backup spot, but with Beckham and Bonifacio we will have a logjam.

  45. @71 The Bonifacio deal looks like the Braves are trying to pick up a cheap veteran who can play a bunch of positions and then flip him for prospects midyear, a la Kelly Johnson last season. (I’d also put Beckham in that category.)

  46. @71

    Castro has options, so they may prefer to hold onto him as depth. Bonifacio is only a $1.25M deal, so he’s not a real big piece of the pie.

    Speaking of options, I hadn’t known that Bethancourt was out of options. I thought Flowers was to give him another year. That’s really interesting that the Braves will be cutting bait since he’s only 24.

    If a stopgap, innings eating starting pitcher is going to provide 180-200 innings and 4.50 ERA, then I’d rather just let the kids pitch. Teheran and Norris could get 64 starts, and the remaining 98 can go to Blair/Folty/Banuelos/Wisler/Jenkins/Weber with performance/health/fatigue dictating how they’re disbursed. If Sims, Gant, or Newcomb are lighting it up, then change your plans. It’s very possiblee that by July or August, one of those guys will deserve an opportunity.

    Give Folty 15 starts and if he’s still sitting with an ERA of 5, then move him to the bullpen for good. Same thing with Banuelos; he’ll be 25 and he’s had his opportunities. Wisler and Blair will probably seize the opportunities, meaning you gave Cliff Lee 30 starts so that we could win 80 games instead of 78. Seems very counter-productive, wouldn’t you say?

  47. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but the single most charming thing about this Miller trade, is that the Cardinals are the biggest losers of all.

    EDIT: Also, why in the world would Cliff Lee want to sign with the 2016 Braves? Why would he rehab his way back from a major injury to pitch on a losing team and get traded at the deadline? If Cliff Lee wants to come back at all, its for the chance to win.

  48. Bethancourt certainly didn’t do himself any favors in the big leagues so it’s hard to feel much sympathy for him, but the Braves have mishandled him as badly as any young player they’ve produced in recent memory. Hopefully this is just an aberration.

  49. @77,
    I was thinking bc the Braves could promise him a starting rotation spot. Contending teams might be more wary of risking a spot on Lee when there’s a significant chance they’ll have to replace him mid-year. If he’s successful for the Braves though, he could get traded to a contender.

  50. Scheduled to move into Ender’s place in the AZ charts..

    Socrates Brito
    a deep thinker, a love of the veto
    you can’t trade him away
    there’s no other allowed to have the last say.

  51. Dave Stewart: “When you look at Shelby Miller, you’re looking at a guy who was traded for Jason Heyward, who is worth $200 million.”

    The lulz, I have them.

  52. I just checked Hunter Renfroe’s stats – he looks like a decent prospect. Plenty of raw power, but has struggled with a poor BB/K rate at the upper levels of the minors. The Padres are looking soft at SS/2B next year… perhaps they would like Erick Aybar plus another piece, say a reliever?

  53. Braves are expected to trade their 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft. Right now, there are 39 on the 40-man but that doesn’t include Bonifacio or Flowers.

  54. I’ve been trying to put this deal in terms a Braves-only fan could understand. So, basically, from the AZ side, it’s as if the 1990 Braves traded:

    Ron Gant (5.5 WAR, obviously differently distributed)
    Kent Mercker (not the best in the system, but a very good prospect), and
    Chipper Jones (#1 draft pick at SS that year)

    For three years of Shelby Miller.

  55. 76—Looks like he signed in ’08, so he had to be added to the 40-man in ’13 to be kept out of the Rule 5 draft. So I don’t think it was burned, unless you’re saying they missed a chance to develop him more at the MLB level.

  56. @86

    Well…I wouldn’t go that far yet. Chipper Jones was a once in a generation talent. Kent Mercker was an all-star level player with two no hitters and Gant a really good player.

    But I hope you are right.

  57. Sam – Agree with your comps, but to put it in true 1980 context, you could replace Shelby Miller with Scott Sanderson. No D’backs at the time, but Sanderson was 23 and coming off a 16-11 season with the Expos with a 3.11 ERA. He was a good pitcher but was 27-26 over the next 3 years for the Expos with a 3.50+ ERA.

  58. @86 Somewhere between Gordon Beckham and Chipper Jones.

    I say that with at least 95% confidence.

    EDIT: I am studying for an audit test.

  59. Only 23 minutes until Rule 5 draft. I would love to see the Braves take a flier on Jabari Blash, but all signs still point to them passing or trading their pick.

    Also, Braves are still pursuing Bartolo Colon and rumor is they have 18MM to spend.

    DOB reporting they have room on the 40-man, but that’s only temporary.

  60. I’m not saying they will turn into Gant, Mercker, and certainly not Chipper. I’m saying those are the guys in the 1990 system that map to where the new players from AZ mapped to AZ’s system.

    Also, Ender Inciarte IS Jason Heyward, with five years of team control. Everything Jason Heyward does, Ender Inciarte does.

  61. Braves are expected to take Jabari Blash!! I’m so frickin’ pumped!

    Nevermind…a LH reliever from the Yankees. Ugh…

  62. Ender Inciarte IS Jason Heyward, I totally agree. Though when Heyward’s agents on here see that, they will disagree.

  63. Eh. Heyward gets on base significantly more. His ISO is a lot higher too.

    Inciarte doesn’t hit the ball on the ground quite as much, thankfully. But when Heyward does manage to hit it in the air, it goes over the fence more often.

    Enciarte should be good, though.

  64. Sam and Smitty,

    Both of you undervalue Heyward. Inciarte has only 1000 ML plate appearances to look at his offense. He does and may well continue to out “BA” Heyward. He does and almost certainly will continue to “under walk” Heyward. If Inciarte holds the BA (high BAPIP and chance for pitchers to “learn” him could make that problematic) they will have similar OBP’s. Inciarte, also by actual results, does not have Heyward’s power. Inciarte is 94RC + for his ML career. Heyward is around 110 RC+. Heyward has more chance of improving significantly on offense (say 10 more RC+ points) but that is still a low probability (5 to 10 percent, Heyward is probably what we have seen, but power and walk ability tend to peak around 28 to 30, so we will see). Each of them need a right handed caddy (and I doubt that any offensive improvement by Heyward will be of the type coming mostly from hitting lefties better).

    Also, Inciarte’s fielding stats are more suspect because of less innings. It is vastly more likely that Heyward will add 2 to 3 WAR in his mix from defense than Inciarte.

    So, Inciarte is a solid shot at 3 WAR average over the next 5 years (including fielding values). Heyward is a solid shot at 5 WAR average over the next 5 years. Would I PAY 20 mill a year to Heyward over paying around 15 million total to Inciarte for their next 5 years? No. Would I see going to 8 or 9 years with Heyward to be a potential for a big problem? Yes.

    Believing that people overvalue Heyward does not make Inciarte likely, probably or even possibly equal to Heyward.

  65. By the way, Heyward’s severe problem with lefties is the only reason I do not consider him an “elite” talent.

    But, 20 mill a year right now isn’t elite. Samardzia (spelling) just got 18 a year. Is he an “elite” pitcher? Is Heyward not as good as Shin Soo Choo (MUCH younger) or Ellsbury (more power and power potential)?

  66. The obsession with the Yankees farm system is getting out of hand. Yes, a lot of the FO came from the Yankees, but there are 28 other teams out there to pick through their scrap heaps.

  67. Weird that we want to guarantee two spots on the 25 man roster to Rule 5 draftees, esp. when one of them hasn’t pitched above AA.

  68. Like I said in the previous thread. Ender is Heyward ‘light’.

    The article outlining the quandary of Heyward was pretty much spot on with where I am. IMHO he is a good but not great player. With the market for good players being what it is, I don’t think I can say with any confidence that some team won’t pay him 200 million dollars.

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