Who Ought We Protect in Rule 5?

There are lots of players from our system that will be eligible for Rule 5, but remember what is actually in play. Should a team claim one of our players, that team must carry that player on the 25-man roster next year or offer the player back to us unless they’re injured. So while we were able to stash a guy like Dan Winkler on the 40-man because he was injured, there isn’t an example of that on our roster where we should be concerned an injury player can be lost. Otherwise, a team has to put them on their roster. All we have to do is put the player on our 40-man roster, a much easier task to stomach.

This is a list of Braves players eligible for Rule 5:

My list is short, unlike others. The only two players I would protect are Patrick Weigel and Ray-Patrick Didder. Weigel made his return from injury in August, so he will certainly play into consideration for a roster spot in the Spring Training. He’s certainly deserving of a 40-man spot at this juncture.

Didder also probably deserves a roster spot due to his tremendous speed and defensive skill and versatility. He was considered our 2018 Arizona Fall League sleeper prospect, and you may enjoy the brief scouting report on him in that link. A team may decide to put him on their roster for those skills akin to how the San Diego Padres decided to carry Manuel Margot on their roster.

You may notice some omissions. I would not protect Travis Demeritte or Alex Jackson for similar reasons. One, they don’t deserve even a 40-man spot at this juncture, and two, for the same logic, I don’t think even a lesser team would put either of those two on their 25-man rosters.

I acknowledge that many teams suffer from depth issues at catcher, and Jackson still has significant tools, but I’m simply unconvinced some team will see it best to let him be a backup catcher on their 25-man when, at minimum, he needs more reps to get better, not to be buried on a bench. And they are certainly not going to give a sizable amount of at-bats to a catcher who cannot throw, cannot block, cannot frame, and hit .200/.282/.329 (.611 OPS) at AAA. He may very well have had a high draft position and some interesting tools, but at the highest level of the minor leagues, he’s not demonstrated he can do even single thing above average. I’m not even sure the poor Orioles or Royals would put him on their roster. Perhaps Jackson has some value as the last player included in a trade to a team that will put them on their 40-man roster.

I think very similarly about the collection of high minors pitchers on that list as well. If a team sees something in one of those guys, maybe a Matt Withrow or Chase Johnson-Mullins, enough to put them on their 25-man roster, then I simply wish them the best.

This should keep our 40-man nice and lean to be able to acquire players who can actually help our roster next year. What do you think?

107 thoughts on “Who Ought We Protect in Rule 5?”

  1. The Durkin thing at Maryland is odd. The only sense I can make of it is the Maryland president absolutely knew that the the board of regents’ decision would result in a mutiny. And he may have even told them that was going to happen, let it happen, and then finally had enough ammo to fire him. And since there’s clearly a squirrel’s nest in there, the president is going to get out of there. The events tell me it was very split, and the president was smart to let it all play out.

  2. Weigel only. None of the others are worth it and would likely not be claimed and even if they were, who would fret.

    Even Weigel is iffy. Demeritte and Jackson are just misses/busts.

  3. The question for Weigel comes down to whether the secondaries are coming back. At the time of tommy john surgery he had a 60 fastball, 55 slider, 50 change and a show me curve. His command/control had improved enough to convince Coppy et al that he could be a #3. The fastball looked fine in his few innings this fall but he just wasn’t throwing anything else. I assume they are doing side sessions with him to determine his future.

    I like Didder because he plays exceptional D at 3 positions (2b, ss, and cf) while keeping a decent OBP. He has a 35 hit tool though. Nobody can afford to carry that on their roster, so he really doesn’t need protection.

    I can see a case to protect Jackson in that another team might rule-5 him in a bid to force a trade. I would point out the Pods carried a worse catcher all year in 2017 (Luis Torrens). I would use a spot to protect him and if necessary slip him through waivers in the spring.

    Jacob Webb is a righty reliever with outstanding k/9 rates. He has reached AAA. He gets protected.

    I would not be surprised if Johnson-Mullins and Demeritte get picked. I wish them well, although I doubt either sticks.

  4. @2 Weigel is not iffy. You will be very hard-pressed to place someone on the 40-man for the league minimum that is worthy more than Weigel.

    I’m confident more will be discussed about Didder soon that will lead to more of an understanding of how good Didder could already be. I’m not sure the 35 hit tool is current; he had a .748 OPS at AA and it’s improving.

  5. @ 6, Rob,

    I don’t think being placed on the 40 man puts you at league minimum. Unless the rule has changed recently.

    If you ARE put on the 40 man, then when you are OPTIONED to AAA you get a lesser minimum that is still more than a living wage. When ML minimum was 400,000 it was about 150,000.

  6. That OPS was largely driven by a very pretty 10% walk rate. The real question is whether he can keep his walks up at higher levels considering that he has no power to speak of — his ISO is right around .100, and last year he had almost as many triples as doubles. Meaning that a decent amount of the “power” in his slugging percentage is coming from his feet rather than his bat.

    He just turned 24 a month ago, so it’s possible that he’ll grow into more power. But he played a full season last year and hit a total of 9 doubles. That’s troubling.

  7. Didder managed that on a 383 babip when he had never been over 346 before. I love the D, the hard work and the versatility but he just can’t hit consistently — he put up a 608 OPS in the first half in twice as many plate appearances.

    As for Weigel, I’m a fan but felt the need to caution that the braves doctors, coaches and scouts will first need to determine if his slider and change are going to come back post-op.

    Question for Rob: what’s the status of the movie thing? I was guessing january but would love to find out what I need to watch in the meantime — that’s a lot of baseball movies.

  8. Snowshine, where are you seeing that it was a .383 BABIP? I’m seeing on Fangraphs that his BABIP was .289 at High-A (A+) and .372 at Double-A: https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa736824&position=SS/OF.

    Back of the envelope, that’s a total of .319.

    That’s actually slightly lower than his career minor league BABIP of .327. And for a guy as fast as him, it might not be too surprising that he’d have a high BABIP. (That said, for a guy with no power, he strikes out quite a fair bit — he’s had 100+ strikeouts in each of the last two seasons. That’s another thing that bears watching.)

  9. The homer was an inside the park job. It stays in both the numerator and denominator.

    I like RPD but he doesn’t need protection, and, realistically, will never be more than the last guy on an MLB bench. He is a good candidate to be the throw in of a trade with a rebuilding club that can afford to throw darts at the wall hoping to find a keeper.

  10. It would seem as if the value of a 40-man spot is increasing.

    @7 cliff, my point was that we’re probably not going to spend much money on the back of the 40-man, which is essentially the spots being debated over for who to protect in Rule 5. Accordingly, the spot Weigel would be occupying is probably that of someone who would be acquired very inexpensively. And since that won’t get you much, Weigel is a much better option.

    Really, same thing with Didder. I’ll be interested to see how AA will structure the 40-man if we’ll have a spot going to someone more talented than Didder. We currently have Grant Dayton, Adam McCreery, and Ricardo Sanchez on the 40-man, as examples.

  11. snowshine, we’re shooting for January. In the next couple weeks, I plan on organizing the movie thing in earnest. Thanks for checking in on it.

  12. Former Braves great Jésus Sucre was DFA’ed by the Rays. We could have had Sugar Jesus instead!

  13. Yeah, that’s 1/7 or whatever Heyman had looked pretty nice. But he’s really moving in the wrong direction. Same with the White Bear. White Bear and Folty have both produced 5.4 bWAR since that trade. And obviously the brunt of Folty’s production has occurred when we needed it.

  14. From a previous thread, krussell, would you say that you reject all common one-size-fits-all stats like WAR or is there something out there that you like?

  15. @17. That’s exactly what I mentioned in the last thread. I don’t want to spend too much resources on catchers. Let’s use the money and prospects to get couple real superstars.

  16. Protect Jackson, Webb, Weigel. I could see them protecting guys like Pfeiffer or Graham considering they protected McCreery and R. Sanchez last year. I don’t think that was a wise use of roster spots. I think I’d rather have Ynoa protected than Sanchez.

    In the meantime, use some of these guys as trade bait.

  17. I think if used properly McCann still has a lot in the tank. Many catchers have seen declines at about the same age/games caught mark only to rebound when given lighter workloads, much as Suzuki has done the past 2 seasons. If he is willing to take Suzuki money, I’m good for a 2-3 year deal.

  18. I bet McCann would be on board for a reunion with the Braves. I was actually comparing his stats with Realmuto’s earlier today. McCann is a lot of the reason I worry about acquiring Realmuto, but honestly I don’t know why McCann declined when he did. Realmuto is not McCann, but then a lot of catchers do decline between ages 28-30.

    I’d rather pay McCann hoping for 3 WAR than trade for Realmuto hoping for 4 WAR.

  19. People love McCann. There are a lot of good reasons why. But for the love of Hank Aaron, please, no McCann. We already have a backup catcher. Suzuki is way better than McCann.

  20. I am fine with either McCann or bringing back Suz. I just don’t want to spend too much resources on catching.

  21. I just looked back at McCann’s stats. Kurt Suzuki is way better than McCann.

    I’d sooner bring back Zuki than reunite with McCann… sadly. I was way off when I said “hope for 3 WAR”…..

  22. @30 Javy Lopez remains my favorite catcher ever. I do wonder about him every now and then. I don’t think it was a coincidence that his best season happened the same year a Marcus Giles’s best season… but that’s another topic.

    I thought we had another Javy when Brian McCann was at his best.

  23. Javy was juiced that year. He admitted it.

    He was underrated. Overall, a better player than McCann. I saw him hit two homers at Shea one weekday afternoon. They were line drives to right center, deepest part of the park. They knuckled as they went.

  24. I thought we had another Javy when Brian McCann was at his best.

    We did. Similar WAR for their Braves careers in a similar number of seasons.

    McCann’s still going and has generated more WAR.

  25. I was getting impatient that the Braves waited so long to make a move after the World Series. Now that we’ve acquired Raffy Lopez, I think we can all relax. Pretty much anything after this will be gravy.

  26. Fat as lard and can’t play any more are two different things. I’m willing to believe he’s completely washed up; I haven’t watched him any in a long time. But I’m also willing to believe that he’d have a better chance of playing 60 good games off the bench in Atlanta than he would for anyone else, and you could almost talk me into a lefty-righty platoon of McCann and Tyler Flowers.

    Provided, of course, that the Braves scouts take a look at him and think they can surgically remove the fork from his back.

  27. While we’re at it, let’s talk about bringing back Francouer as the 4th outfielder. I’m sure if he’s used properly, he can come off the bench and hit a sac fly. I hear his makeup is “off the charts”.

  28. I don’t like that the biggest offseason move the Braves are discussed in is for Realmuto and that people out there think it could cost a package beginning with Kyle Wright.

    Maybe I’m ignorant, but I’d much rather have Kyle Wright than J.T. Realmuto.

    Triggering….

  29. I find it interesting that of all of the Baby Braves to make their debuts in 2005, one is deceased and the only one still playing is the catcher. Not the 2 infielders or the 3 outfielders, and certainly not the pitchers.

  30. I continue to not hold against Donaldson his injuries last year, especially when he came back healthy with Cleveland. Short of Harper, there’s no better fit for our team, especially with how short the commitment may be with Donaldson, than him. And he’s not an aging veteran in his decline; he’s 32 years old. And at 2 years, $40M, you’re not asking him to repeat his 3-year peak of .285/.387/.559 with 37 HRs per year. You’re asking him to be a .280/.360/.500 guy who will solidify the middle of the order and play decent defense at 3B. You’re hoping to get Eugenio Suarez. And not only do you upgrade 3B, but if you slide Camargo to SS, you significantly upgrade SS.

    Or you can upgrade almost every discretionary PA in the infield by having Camargo play everywhere, and significantly upgrade the Ryan Flaherty/Danny Santana/Rio Ruiz role on the bench by sliding Culberson in there. Would we have been better prepared in the second half if Ozzie, Dansby, Camargo, and Markakis had more days off? And if the same luxury is not afforded this coming season, with the other teams be bad enough to allow us to fade the way we did? We were rather fortunate to have been able to collectively slump the way we did.

    If you move Camargo to SS, which may just simply be the smartest move, then admittedly, I don’t know what you do with Dansby. Can he play all over the infield and still get 400 PAs or so? Are they wanting that role for him? Do you trade him where he is right now? That’s probably the hardest decision as a result of the ripple effect. But in a vacuum, if you’re asking me if the left side of the infield should be Donaldson/Camargo vs. Camargo/Dansby, then the answer is easy.

  31. There appear to be only 2 significant upgrades at catcher possibly available: Grandal and Realmuto.

    Grandal is money only and loss of a pick for pretty good projected production. With framing he is almost equal to Realmuto in everything but age.

    Realmuto is loss of prospect talent and a cheap salary for very good projected production.

    Either of these catchers gets you 2 years which allows you to see if Contreras is really an above average hitter / above average catcher (may be more).

    Most of the Braves positions have a projected 2 or better WAR performer. We don’t have the suck holes we battled for 5 or 6 years. The three places where a new player gives the most potential to help are: starting pitcher (but only if elite), catcher, and outfielder.

    A less than elite pitcher doesn’t help much. We have Folty and Gausman on that level and reasonable shots at one or more of Soroka (pending injury), Toussaint, Newcombe, Gohara, Wright, and Anderson reaching that level of performance this year. Out of that crowd, you definitely don’t need a proven veteran 4 / 5 as an innings eater.

  32. @43

    This is my thought with Realmuto. There are very, very few players available who can significantly upgrade the team the way Realmuto can. I understand the nickname Flowzuki maybe makes some people think that we received equal and consistent production from both guys between 2017 and 2018, but that wasn’t the case. Flowers OPS dipped 123 points to what is basically his career levels. He really took a tumble. Same with Suzuki, a 101 point decrease.

    Flowers needs to be a true 20 start, 40 total game backup. He should not be 1/3 of the catcher reps. There’s tremendous value with Realmuto being a 130+ start catcher who handles the entire staff on a daily basis, can control the running game, and be a middle-of-the-order bat. Because of everything Realmuto brings to the table both defensively and offensively, then it may not even tell the whole story when you consider, in only 20 more games, he more than doubled Suzuki’s WAR total from last year (4.8 to 2.0). He might make an impact on the pitching production as well, so while this may not be particularly scientific, he could potentially create a 5-6 WAR swing from Suzuki once you put every together.

    I don’t think you can just get lost in a .277/.340/.484 line for a catcher and say that’s all you’re getting. He’s a MVP-caliber player.

  33. But, Back for Grandal.

    For 2015 – 7 and again stand alone 2018 he had ops of about 820 against RH and 730 against LH. You already have Flowers. I disagree with Rob that you have to limit Flowers so severely. I think he can catch up to around 60 games before his age will start killing his stats. One start every 3 calendar days. But Flowers has what may be an above normal platoon split, as well (saying somebody’s platoon split IS the exact numbers rather than the statistically regressed numbers is very suspect.)

    So, sign Grandal and he starts against righthanded starters and Flowers against lefties. You almost get as much offense out of catcher as with Realmuto. Then, you take the prospect bundle and find an outfielder.

    KLaw has his free agent ranking and analysis up. That produces some interesting thoughts.

  34. Here is what gives me pause about Realmuto: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lucrojo01.shtml

    The last blockbuster trade for the best catcher in baseball immediately turned into an expensive bust.

    (Yes, I know it’s unfair, as Realmuto is two years younger and is *probably* a better player than Lucroy was, though 2012-2014 Lucroy actually out-WARed 2016-2018 Realmuto. The main point is that catchers are riskier than other position players due to heightened likelihood of injury and the fact that their legs just simply age faster. Plus he’s the consensus top trade target on the market so his price is going to be pushed through the roof due to heightened demand.)

  35. I’m no scout, but the advantage Realmuto has over Lucroy is that he’s simply bigger. JTR is 6’1″, 215LB, and Lucroy is 6’0″, 195LB if you believe height and weight data. That 20 pounds is probably a big difference for a catcher.

    JTR is going to cost a lot, but it’s because he’s worth a lot, and few teams are able to match a player cost that he’s worth. Same with Harper and Machado. There are only so many players like them, but there are also only so many teams that can legitimately pay the price. If someone can give 3 top-100 prospects+ for Realmuto, then God bless them, and I’m not sure there are that many. I would have to think there are maybe 2-3 teams ready to pay what JTR is worth right now. Could be wrong.

  36. @51. Yeap. I agree but I use McCann to support my case for the same fear.

    I like Donaldson. Getting Donaldson would be great. The real question is what are we going to do with Dansby. He can’t possibly hit at the current level and keep the starting position.

    If we are really getting Donaldson which I think it’s very possible, are we moving Johan to outfield and leave Dansby at short? I don’t think that’s enough.

    Here is what I think we can do: we sign Donaldson, McCutchen and Kimbrel. Trade Julio and Viz. Bring back Anibal. Keep Suz or bring McCann back for cheap to partner with Flowers. I don’t like spending big money or prospect capital on catchers.

  37. Dansby has shown he has the tools and skills needed to be a 90-100 OPS guy. With his defense, that makes him a valuable player, not one you jack around by playing Camargo out of position all the time. Camargo will get some starts at short, more ar 3rd (would anyone pencil in Donaldson for more than 120 games?), one a week at 2nd and the occasional trip to left field Vs a lefty pitcher (Acuna to center). Camargo is immensely valuable in this scenario.

  38. @52 Explain how being bigger and heavier is an advantage for a catcher? Those knees are supporting that additional weight… it has to take a toll, yes?

  39. I just hope there’s no scenario where the Braves trade Kyle Wright for J.T. Realmuto. Trade someone else.

  40. Let’s say AA trades Gohara/Soroka/Riley for Realmuto. We’d likely face some combination of those guys twenty times over the course of the season. In how many games would those three be instrumental in beating us? Two? Three? Whatever it is, the Braves would be paying top price for Realmuto and then subtracting those games from his value.

  41. I don’t think that’s the best way to do the accounting — you’re basically double-counting. At the end of the day, every team has to field a 25-man roster, whether they got their warm bodies from the June draft, the free agent pool, or via a trade with one of the other 29 teams.

    It doesn’t matter so much how the Marlins acquired the players they use against us. Rather, if we trade away Soroka/Gohara/Riley for Realmuto, that’s parting with a significant amount of value that we control. If we decide instead to spend a third of a billion dollars on Machado or Harper, that’s similarly just a bunch of value that we’re throwing out the window. I wouldn’t focus too much on whether we’re “helping” the other teams with the value we’re providing them. Because Soroka would just be taking another guy’s job.

  42. Soroka’s another guy I hope there’s no scenario where we trade him for Realmuto. Trade someone else for Realmuto.

  43. @ 60

    Braves should offer less for Realmuto than if he was out of division. 18 or so games a year for 5 to 6 years will be potentially impacted. Yes, if the same prospects are traded elsewhere they could still come back around, but efficiency and time will both dilute this.

  44. And if we didn’t trade a pitcher like Soroka for Realmuto, then someone else would have, so it doesn’t really matter who they are or where they came from. Not saying we should trade Soroka. But just an example.

  45. I don’t know, Alex. It’s one thing to be parting with value. It’s another when that value is used against you on a regular basis. Consider the Texiera trade. Had Texiera been on the Marlins, would we feel the pain of that trade more than we already did? I think so, right?

  46. @ 64 yeah but assuming we traded for Realmuto, there’s also the subtracted value of what he would’ve done to us if he were still on the Marlins & playing us all the time, though, right? within the division especially, it cuts both ways.

  47. I mean, it might *feel* more painful, but I don’t think it would *be* more painful. Value is value and every team is constantly just trying to optimize resources however they can. Did it suck watching Adam Wainwright have a wonderful career entirely in a red uniform? Kinda, yeah. But if we hadn’t traded him to them, the Cardinals would have found another guy to wear the laundry.

  48. @65 Yup. Though he’s definitely getting traded and hopefully far away if not to us.

    And the point about double counting is fine. That hinges on the idea that some other team’s prospects are as good as ours. I just think that ours are exceptional.

  49. Part of the appeal of Realmuto is that, because of his low salary, you could get him and still have tons of cash to go get Harper and a starter. They have both the money and prospect capital to make that happen.

    I don’t think they’ll actually do that, because I think AA is wary of the number of years it would take to sign Harper.

    Because they have so much money and so much prospect depth, though, there’s really not much that’s off the table. Kinda think we’re not even considering the deals that’ll ultimately happen.

  50. If it’s the pitcher named “Charlie Morton” who pitched for the Astros the last couple of years, go for it. If, on the other hand, it’s the former middling Braves pitching prospect who became a nondescript Buc for several years, no thanks. How do we know which one it is?

  51. Morton would be a great pickup.

    Pache is hitting 5-hole for the AFL West All-Stars, which I think is funny since he has a .700 OPS in the AFL. But he’s 19, etc etc. I’ll be interested to see if Ender stays, they trade him next offseason, plug Pache in CF, and Acuna never actually plays CF.

  52. We are being projected to sign Michael Brantley and Cody Allen. Brantley reminds me of a younger version of Markakis – I hope we can do better. Oroh, Allen had an off season last year at 29 but has had a solid career. May be a great buy low reliever.

  53. The Indians arrival on the trade front makes things a lot more interesting. MLBTR projects the Braves to sign two Indian FAs – Brantley and Cody Allen. Interesting idea. If we go trading for Kluber then we will be Indians-East (or South depending on how you consider geography). I wonder if our connection via Hart might make a difference in how the trades are considered.

    I don’t think the Braves should go for Gomes as he has an injury history and his production has been up and down. We still go for broke for Realmuto.

    Based upon my prior rating system getting Brantley, Realmuto, Kluber, and Allen would be a solid “A” for the offseason.

    A deal for Kluber would almost certainly include Pache or Waters, probably Pache, because the Indians will be desperate for OF upgrades at low cost. I would think that including Teheran in the deal would actually be attractive to the Indians. Assuming a Realmuto deal might look like Wright, Riley, Allard, a Kluber deal would look something like Teheran, Pache, Wilson, Muller +$5M (to the Indians). That would basically be adding $41M to our salary base which is in line with what we think might be available. It also guts the farm pretty significantly (six of 12 top prospects). And I sure don’t want to lose Riley, the only power hitting prospect we have.

    If we can get the Marlins to throw in Dietrich, I’d improve the grade further by upgrading our bench with the Super Util lefty hitter we need with the hit to salary being $44M-$45M.

    At that point it’s only incumbent on AA to see if he can make either of those deals with fewer top prospects lost – maybe by doing “quantity over quality” with the Marlins. For example, include Demeritte, Izzy, Delgado, and Jackson instead of Riley. The Marlins need a lot of young upside to get them going.

  54. @82 Brantley is faster and a marginally better hitter than Kakes. Especially if you compare them at the same age – Brantley has more power upside. He’s not ideal because he doesn’t give quite the HR upside but I don’t think we’re will be able to do any better. As far as FA OFs go, Brantley is third best to Harper and Pollock who both have QOs tied to them. If we want to make big trades for guys like Realmuto and Kluber then our FA acquisitions have to be more like Brantley/Allen. If we sign someone like Corbin then you can try to trade with AZ for Peralta instead of Cleveland for Kluber.

    I think Bowman is right and the Grandal may be out with the QO attached. Getting Brantley, Realmuto, Kluber, and Allen doesn’t require sacrificing any draft picks.

  55. Brantley looks too similar to an aging Garret Anderson.

    Kluber would be great. Pache, Julio, and a few pitching prospects not named Fried/Soroka/Touki/Wright would be a good deal for both teams.

  56. Brantley is 31 years old and has hit 41 homeruns in the last 4 years. I know he was hurt in 2016, but I will be surprised if he hits as many as 20 hrs in a season going forward – something he’s done only once.

    For his career Kakes BA is 288 with a 782 OPS and 179 homers. Brantley is 295/ 781 with 87 career homers. They look eerily similar offensively to me. Big difference is Brantley has hit fewer hrs per year.

  57. Brantley is bad with the glove. Kakes always had a good reputation that way, although these days, he really should be in left.

  58. Uh… slugging percentage isn’t exactly an advanced stat, and it’s not hard to find or interpret. Most of Brantley’s begin with the number 4, and most of Markakis’ begin with 3. Brantley’s worst years in terms of plate discipline would be some of Garret Anderson’s best, and Brantley could’ve played better defense than ACHE while injured.

    Brantley is and has been a better hitter, is and has been a better defender, and unfortunately is and has been way more injury-prone than Markakis. I could see Brantley on a WS Braves team, but he can’t be the only addition at his level and he’d need a solid caddy.

  59. @89 I still hope that we can get Dietrich included in the Realmuto trade so that he and Duvall could be essentially the caddies for Brantley.

  60. I meant to also say: the Indians have prospects (maybe Danny Salazar) to plug in in place of Kluber or Carrasco (who should not be slept on here), and one big reason they’re considering trading either is their budget. So idk about them taking Teheran off our hands. We’d win either with the superior prospects package.

  61. Slugging percentage isn’t advanced, but I think you can see some trends over several years. Homeruns aren’t advanced either but 41 in essentially the last 3 years doesn’t impress me. I could live with Brantley if we get a huge offensive upgrade somewhere else, but I still say he is not a huge upgrade over Markakis.

  62. I would stay away from Brantley. Too high of an injury risk. MLBtraderumor is quite good in predicting contract value but is terrible in predicting the precise FA landing team.

    Allen is certainly an interesting option but there are many FA closers this year to choose from.

  63. Exactly right. Brantley’s trending to be Markakis of 2018. And he has had leg problems.

    I want a slugger out there.

  64. Kluber is making $17M, $17.5M, and $18M for the next 3 seasons. Let’s say he’s a $30M pitcher on the open market, so he has ~$38M in surplus value. How much is $38M in prospect capital?

    With the years of control, someone like Wright or Touki probably have, conservatively, about $20-25M in surplus value right there, even if they struggle with injuries and effectiveness and they become BOR starters, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Someone like Riley might be a little easier to project as a slightly below average 3B for the next 2 seasons with 3-4 seasons of above average performance. I’d like to think you can easily argue that’s about $30M+ in surplus value. So these trade proposals for Kluber where it’s Wright, Riley, Ender, and somebody else for Kluber is a fat, fat, fat, fat “NO”. You’re not trading for Chris Sale. And the ship may have already sailed on that trade return even for someone as good as Sale, which Kluber is not.

  65. It’s also important to note that Kluber is 33 years old, so you’re buying the 33-35 years of a pitcher.

  66. Kluber and Sale are both 5-7 WAR pitchers.

    We’re something like one or two not-small moves from the place where it makes sense to trade Wright and Riley for Kluber, aka try to be the NL favorites and win a championship now. It’s a bit of a weird place to be. No move that will seal the deal for us is going to come without downside.

  67. @98 What’s wrong with getting elite pitchers at 33-35? If Kluber is really as good as his history then 33-35 should be some of his best years. He doesn’t have any injury history and he earned his second CYA at 31. Age 33-35 would be the least of my concerns.

  68. I don’t get everyone’s fascination with Eovaldi. He just hasn’t been that good. ERAs match Gaus, HR/9 about like Julio. Never exceeded 200 innings and only once had 30+ starts. Never exceeded 2.5 WAR. This guy sounds like another Archer, a pitcher who everyone salivates over but never actually produces. I vote no even though Justice thinks he’s a “perfect fit” for Atlanta. We have lots of younger Eovaldi’s on hand. We need a TOR ace type. Kluber could be this generation’s Maddux pickup.

    Not to mention that Eovaldi has already TJS’d twice.

  69. Rule 5
    noting your presence there, what should we derive?
    that you are valued at some particular level
    which, so notified, may or may not energize your devil?

  70. I know I’m drawing a very thin line in the sand, but Morton, with the top of the rotation performance he’s had over the past couple years consistently, would be the lowest quality SP I would think the Braves will consider. That if they can’t land Corbin, Keuchel, or Morton, then I’d think they won’t add a SP through FA. And my issue with Eovaldi is his health and securing a rotation spot for someone with his health concerns.

    With that said, AA was with LA as they have almost intentionally acquired pitchers with injury risks with almost an expectation that they’ll have 7-8 pitchers making 10 starts or more because so many of them will miss time. One pitcher has made 30 starts for the Dodgers these past three seasons of elite play: Maeda in 2016. Did they really think Hill, Ryu, McCarthy, Kershaw, Wood, and Maeda would be symbols of health? Even Darvish has only made 30 starts twice in the last 7 years. We had 3 guys make 30 starts just last year. But maybe AA is expecting to have to throw 7-8 legitimate starting pitchers next year and a guy like Eovaldi is fine to not rely on for a full load.

  71. @104 I saw Newk pitch a one hitter and no one here seems to think that was such a big deal. Why in the hell would one game be worth a $60M contract? I’ll bet that every one of our starters from last year has had at least one game as good as Eovaldi in Game 2. Talk about SSS!! Wow….

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