Shopping in THAT aisle, Part 3 and Dallas Keuchel Game Day Thread

I hope that you’re here because you want to be, not because you’ve stumbled on this site by typing in random letters and those letters just so happened to be! This is part 3 of a 3 part series and if you’d like to catch up on the series, here’s part 1 and part 2 .

I promised trade scenarios and I am going to deliver in a mighty way, but I’m not just going to shoot from the hip. Yes, there will be actual methodology as I used Fangraphs to help even these trade scenarios out a bit. They’ve recently put out new values for top-100 prospects and beyond and it really helps weigh what a player is worth trading for in terms of prospects. To read up yourself, click here, but if you’d like to come back to it later, I’ll provide the chart that I’ll be using to weigh values of the Braves prospects:

As you can see, they’ve given dollar amounts to prospects that have graded out between 50 & 70, both position players and pitchers. The dumbed down version of why a 70-grade position player is worth more than a 70-grade pitcher is they’re just less risky.

Acuna was the last Braves player that rated as high as 65, and currently the Braves have no one even rated 60. Let’s take a look at Braves current gradings:

55-rated Braves Prospects:

Cristian Pache, Austin Riley, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, Kyle

*55- rated Position Players have a value of 46MM while Pitchers come in at 34MM

50-rated Braves Prospects:

Drew Waters, William Contreras, Touki Toussaint, Luiz Gohara, Bryse Wilson

*50-rated Position Players have a value of 28MM while Pitchers come in at 22MM

Notes from the Author on Changes and Grade 40-45 Prospects

Now that we’ve seen Fangraphs rankings, as a guy that watches way too much MiLBTV, I’m going to add a few to the 50-rated players and subtract 1.

My additions are Kyle Muller, Joey Wentz, and Kolby Allard, and my subtraction is Luiz Gohara.

Valuations of players in the 40-45 range are tricky as it really depends on how the acquiring organization sees their value, but for the sake of argument, we’ll give the following group a trade value of 10MM each: Greyson Jenista, Freddy Tarnok, Alex Jackson, Huascar Ynoa, Travis Demeritte, Tristan Beck, Tucker Davidson, Chad Sobotka, Patrick Weigel, Trey Riley, Trey Harris, CJ Alexander, Jasseel De La Cruz, Daysbel Hernandez.

When making the following trade proposals, I won’t get specific with the players above in the packages, rather I’ll just provide a number of how many will be included.

The Price of a 1-year Rental

In the list that I provided for both relievers and pitchers, there were 3 players that were only under team control through 2019 and those are Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, and David Hernandez. While it might take one of the above 10 prospects to land Bumgarner or Smith, let it be known that it would be a serious overpay as it’s near impossible for Smith, Bumgarner, or any player outside of Mike Trout, to ever recover between 21-46MM of lost value. However, for the sake of argument, let’s throw a hypothetical out there for Bumgarner:

Braves acquire Madison Bumgarner in exchange for Bryse Wilson.

As a prospect, Bryse holds a value of 21 million dollars. In order for Bumgarner to be worth giving up Bryse Wilson, he would have to overcome the ~6MM remaining of his salary AND be worth an extra 21 million. In short order, he’d have to be worth 3 fWAR in ½ season, a feat he has never accomplished in a ½ year in his career.

The only way one makes a trade that’s a definite overpay is if it provides the team with the ability to make it to the postseason, or make it further into the postseason. I’m not sure Bumgarner, who pitches in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in MLB, is that guy.

Trade Proposal Number 1

Braves acquire Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene

Tigers acquire Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall, Drew Waters, and Bryse Wilson

Breakdown: Just rip the band-aid off and get the big one with all the crying out of the way. Yes, the Tigers just acquired their entire 2020 outfield. Boyd will have 3 years of control left and will likely be making at least 24 million through arbitration over those 3 years. Add this year’s $ to that number and it’s about 25 million with a projection to be worth 120MM+. However, that projection comes with risk as this is his first real breakout year, and while it looks legit, it’s not going to bring back a return equal to the future vale of 95MM. Waters and Bryse cover 50MM on that deal while Ender covers about another 40MM should he continue to be a 2.5 fWAR player. Duvall is the 10-15MM wild card here to make up the difference and the minimal amount that Greene would be worth. There’s argument here that it could take another grade 40-45 player (or 2) to make the Tigers deal.

Trade Proposal Number 2

Braves acquire Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles

Blue Jays acquire William Contreras, Joey Wentz, and Adam Duvall

Breakdown: Both Stroman and Giles are under team control for 1 additional year and that provides quite a deal of value. I’m assuming their 2 combined salaries for 2020 will be ~18MM, adding their ½ salaries for this year bumps the total financial commitment to ~24MM. Their projected value on 1.5 years together is roughly 45-50 million of surplus value. Contreras and Wentz cover most of that and Duvall as the Wild Card pushes the trade to fair. One could easily put a grade 40-45 prospect in place of Duvall and it’d still weigh near the same.

Trade Proposal Number 3

Braves acquire Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, and Kevin Pillar

Giants acquire Kolby Allard, Travis Demeritte, Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall, and Kevin Gausman

*Of note…I really dislike this trade*

Breakdown: With the money breaking darn near close to even and the production swaying toward the Giants, Kolby Allard and Travis Demeritte provide the value lost in taking on dead 2019 value in Gausman and Ender. Duvall’s presence evens up the money and Pillar becomes the backup CF that is much needed on this Braves team. Assuming Smith and Bumgarner put up roughly 3 fWAR combined for the rest of 2019, Allard and Demeritte make up for the ~27MM value and Giants get 3 free players to test for the rest of 2019.

Trade Proposal Number 4

Braves acquire Ian Kennedy, Jake Diekman, Billy Hamilton and 4MM in salary relief.

Royals acquire Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day, Dan Winkler, and Adam Duvall

Breakdown: This is an interesting trade. Throw the prospect grades out because this has none in it! On one end, the Royals get out from under Kennedy’s deal, which has been bad since 2017, and Hamilton’s deal, which was bad from day 1. On the other end, they also take on 3 contracts that will cost ~3MM more in 2019 but get Kennedy’s salary off the books in 2020. The part that swings this deal for the Braves is Diekman’s option for 2020 which is a mutual option for 5.75MM. The real problem here lies in committed money for 2020. However, if looking at Kennedy and Diekman as a combo, paying 2 good relievers a total of 22MM isn’t that much considering it’s only for 1 year, and if they’re worth a combined 2.5 fWAR or more, it’s worth it.

Trade Proposal Number 5

Braves acquire Sam Dyson

Giants acquire Travis Demeritte

Breakdown: Too easy. Sam’s estimated surplus value for ½ of 2019 and all of 2020 is ~8MM, and the Giants need OFers like an eskimo needs a warm hug. Braves could sweeten the pot a bit if the Giants needed them to, but Demeritte on his own suffices.

The Deals I didn’t Make

There were many names above that I left out of the fake trade proposals, so let me explain. I do think the Reds will see the writing on the wall, and even though they’re playing well, they know that even the 2nd Wild Card is a distant hope. I have no doubt that they will try to sell some assets off like Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Scooter Gennett, Zach Duke, Tanner Roark, Jose Iglesias, and David Hernandez. However, the ones that could really benefit the Braves such as Garrett, Iglesias, Stephenson, Castillo, and Gray aren’t likely going anywhere as they’re part of the core to build around and that core is looking strong.

There were others I left off and there’s a simple reason: they’re either not proven or didn’t move the needle enough.

What deals would you do? Are there any that you loved? Hated? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Long live, Braves Journal!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

59 thoughts on “Shopping in THAT aisle, Part 3 and Dallas Keuchel Game Day Thread”

  1. Really like the Blue Jays and Giants trades. Not a fan of the Tigers move. My choice would 100% be the Blue Jays deal.

  2. I’ll make trade no. 3 because I want MadBum and Smith this season.
    None of the guys giving up in this deal has a certain future with the Braves.
    The Giants wouldn’t go for it though.

  3. I am a big Duvall fan. I think he is ready to once again be an impact player at the big league level like he was during his 2 breakout seasons with Cincinnati. Since he can play corner outfield and corner infield; I believe he should replace Camargo on the 25 man roster. Let’s Camargo get everyday at bats again. And I think Duvall is a better emergency option in center than Joyce.

  4. Sorry this is off topic but I was interested in hearing Rob’s take on this thing with Tampa Bay/Montreal.

  5. Well thought out piece, Ryan.

    I’ll start with the trade I absolutely love, and would far and away be my choice: trade scenario number two! I have a tremendous appreciation for Stroman’s competitiveness and his stuff. He may not be an “ace” the way Sale and Verlander are, but I see him as being a 1B type of guy. Giles is also a quality RP. Plus the Braves would be trading pieces away that I wouldn’t mind them dealing. Obviously with them spending the high pick on Langaliers this season, they see him as the future at Catcher- so Contreras is expendable. McFlowers as a tandem could work for next season to bridge the gap there. Duvall isn’t needed, and I’m not one that buys into him as much as some. Trading away Wentz wouldn’t be fun, but you can’t get something for nothing. So let’s do this!

    Trade number 5 also isn’t bad, even though I like Demeritte.

    Trade number 3 isn’t awful, but I’m not incredibly high on Bumgarner. I think his pedigree is going to see him priced higher than his true value.

    The only deal I positively hate on this list is trade number one, and I’d never do it. I’m not trading Waters under any circumstances. Adding to that, Boyd just doesn’t have enough of a track record to command that type of return, in my opinion. So I’m hard passing on this one.

  6. @6 I’d be interested in that, too. It seems as if having two tv markets, and two territories would be a bit of a competitive advantage. Granted the TB market maybe hinders the Rays some, but it’s not as if they generate no revenue there.

  7. Of all of those, I actually prefer trade #1 oddly enough. Boyd is the only one performing at a high enough level to make it worth trying to upgrade. I really have no confidence that Stroman would be any better than whoever you are replacing between Julio and Folty.

    I say do 1 and 5 (assuming the other parties are agreeable) and make the Braves co favorites to win the NL.

    I don’t hate #3, though I actually think the Braves are giving up too little there for the Giants to have interest.

    Finally for another perspective and a trade that I prefer to any of these (mostly because I love Bauer), James Kunkle at Tomahawk Take proposed a Trevor Bauer for Ender, Touki and Allard, which would hurt but seems fair on both sides.

  8. I love anything that adds quirky idiocy to the game, so I’m all for the split city thing with the nascent Rayspos.

  9. Rob knows Tampa and I don’t, but I can’t believe the split city idea is serious. Sounds like the team trying to get leverage in negotiations with the local authorities to get the new stadium they need, but why would they pay for one for 40 home games?

    But I agree with Sam that the idea is fun—if only for the new team name.

  10. If you read trade stuff too quickly (and I do) for a second there I though you had us trading Contreras, Wentz and Duvall to get Marcus Giles. (Read all the words in the sentence, Jonathan…) I think we could get Marcus back a lot cheaper than that.

  11. @7 – I thought Machado should have gotten more than Donaldson, so I guess once they boxed themselves in on Machado, there was only one way left to go.

  12. No to #1 and #4. On #1, I would have Waters on my “no trade” list. On #4, I don’t care if the dollars work out, there’s too high a salary for too low a performance for all of those Royals.

    #2, #3, and #5 have merit. #5 is exactly the kind of trade I bet we see except maybe not with Demeritte (i.e. we tell AA we want Smith and he goes and gets us Dyson….). #5 would have to have someone off the 40-man like Duvall. #2 also has the same 40-man roster problem. Either Contreras or Wentz would have to be changed out for an equivalent prospect on the 40-man like Bryse or Allard – Contreras, Wilson, and Duvall would do. #3 is the best of the bunch except I’d drop both Pillar and Demeritte (or LOL, swap out Pillar with Dyson). The backup CF can be handled by Pache. The trade opens up 40-man spots for multiple guys and Pache is the most deserving. He only needs to be called up if Acuna is injured. It’s not long before September when Pache will be called up anyway when rosters expand. #3 also has a 25-man roster problem (who goes out or down) and that problem is more easily solved if Dyson is included rather than Pillar because our position player group is rather hard set (unless Camargo goes down for Pillar).

  13. The Rays are not a good argument for teams throwing more money at players. They are 4.5 games behind the Yankees and 3 games ahead of the Red Sox and they’re spending about 4 times less. Of course, no one is watching them, so they can’t afford much.

  14. The only player in the ones of “trades I didn’t make” that I think is worth pursuing is David Hernandez. We should’ve never let that guy go. At the time, we could’ve dumped Jose Ramirez and kept Hernandez.

  15. *55- rated Position Players have a value of 46MM while Pitchers come in at 34MM

    krussell be like, “I’d like to have a word with Mr. Fangraphs about his gross overvaluation of pitching prospects.”

  16. @11

    That trade would be the equivalent of the Anthony Davis trade for LA. You’d be giving up a ton of talent, but you only have so many spots on the roster and the field, and Scherzer would instantly turn us into a World Series contender, if not favorite.

  17. I weep for my local team, the Rays. I hate to say it, but I think the Rays owner, Stu Sternberg, will pull the trigger on this, if allowed. Some are speculating the City of St. Pete’s use agreement never intended for this to be an option, and therefore they are not protected from the Rays doing this. It just simply wasn’t written in. And Montreal is already making improvements to Olympic Stadium.

    When the Natspos played in San Juan, they saw a 17% increase in home San Juan game attendance vs. Montreal home game attendance. And if you did only, say, 12 games of a Red Sox series, Yankee series, and two clunker series, you might see not only a huge draw in Montreal for those games, but you would see Red Sox and Yankees games selling out at the Trop again, which they haven’t recently. You’d be bringing a scarcity mindset back into the minds of Rays’ fans. The games would be less, therefore more meaningful. Of course, there could be backlash, but I don’t think Stu is making decisions based on that concern anymore, probably for good reason.

    And I support it. Washington was a better market than Montreal, so they ended up moving. The gap between Montreal and Washington is greater than the gap between Tampa Bay and Montreal, so I could just see this as a short-term boost to Rays revenue and a wake-up call to apathetic Rays fans. It’s an interesting dynamic. And if it goes really well, then, well, they’ll just make it permanent.

  18. @24–Rob, as I understand the proposal, the first 81 home games would be played in FL, and then the team would “move” to Montreal for the second half of the season. That seems crazy to me. If I lived in Tampa, in a year in which the Rays are in the thick of it, it would drive me crazy not to see the games down the stretch. Conversely, when the Rays are 20 games out on July 1, who is going to show up when they move to Montreal?

  19. Geez, Keuchel has not yet hit 90MPH. And nothing offspeed….

    Note: As I was typing, he hit 90 and threw a changeup to Taylor…..

  20. He looks like one of those guys where you come in thinking you’re going to light him up and then after the game you can’t understand how in the world you went 0-4.

  21. OK, Keuchel’s pitching now….. He’s throwing every slop in the book.

    He’s looking like the good version of “Eddie Harris”.

  22. The Rays need an MLB-mandated forced sale. Current situation is a black eye for the sport.

  23. The results that Chip just gave of the voting on the air are incorrect.

  24. Does this look like a guy you’d want to pitch in a playoff game? He’s not gonna miss many bats.

  25. Also, through 4 innings Keichel missed the same number of bats as Strasburg and Strasburg has walked 3. I’m not sure you can draw too many conclusions from his first game of the year.

  26. Immediate knee-jerk conclusions is really the only way to go about things.

    PS: our defense sucks.

  27. He reminds me of Glavine, minus the wide strikezone. Whether that can work or not in today’s game…well I guess we’ll find out.

  28. He reminds me more of Mike Hampton circa 03-04.

    Snitker is going to let this get out of hand isn’t he.

  29. The Nationals have squandered a lot of opportunities. Hopefully it comes back to bite them in the ass.

  30. Touki did well to get out of his mess, but I yearn for a reliever that gets ahead in the count. Whatever happened to the strike one philosophy?

  31. Here just to complain about pinch running Camargo for McCann. This effectively burned the whole bench for a pinch runner and should have been Fried. Flowers would’ve had to come in for Mac and culby pinch hits.

    Camargo should’ve been the pinch hitter as Suero couldn’t get the 2 lefties out.

    Didn’t wind up meaning anything (unless camargo would’ve been the better pinch hitter) but it easily could’ve.


  32. The Rays’ plan is in no small part some sort of ulterior message to the City of St. Pete and its residents. Whether it’s a bluff is TBD. They may very well do it. And they may have all sorts of proposals on the table. There could be any range of possibilities between playing a limited set of games in Montreal to splitting equal time between St. Pete and Montreal, which has been presented.

    I’m just saying it makes sense should they so choose. They’ll make more money doing it. It’s an additional attempt to shake down St. Pete. To me, I see it as a way of forcing a conclusion to what has been a difficult time for the Rays in St. Pete. I mean, come the eff on, the team wins a lot. And it’s hard to win with no revenue, and that’s directly related to the stadium. Atlanta’s switching out stadiums like I switch out underwear, and the Rays have never had a decent stadium. Fulton County was better than the Trop, let alone Turner and STP. You can’t convince me what Stu is asking for is unreasonable given how things have played out in other markets.

    Also, it took a Gold Glove play to beat us tonight. That ball had a catch probability of about 2%, I bet. Good for them. We’re now past Scherzer and Strasburg.

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