Decisions that Could Influence Trade Deadline for Atlanta Braves

Trade season is upon us and the Braves are going to be in the thick of rumors, especially of the pitching variety. It’s been widely speculated that Anthopoulos will be in the hunt for both starting and relief pitching. In my opinion, that’s an accurate inference. I think they’ll acquire at least one of each and it isn’t going to be someone else’s junk. If AA is trading, it’s front-line and back-end to aid in the quest for the World Series. However, there’s something that could influence who the Braves would be willing to trade and that is current and future roster construction.

We all know that Ender Inciarte, Kevin Gausman, and Mike Foltynewicz will require roster spots when their rehab is deemed done. However it’s really difficult to look at the 25-man and find room. Sure, the Braves could go down to a 7-man bullpen to accommodate Ender or option a pitcher(s) when Gausman and/or Folty are ready, but that’s a problem within itself. They can continue the MLB/AAA shuffle with Grant Dayton, Chad Sobotka, Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, and others, but Luke Jackson, Anthony Swarzak, Jerry Blevins, and Josh Tomlin cannot be optioned, and I’d assume that anyone acquired would not be part of that shuffle either.

And then there’s the 40-man spots to consider.

The Braves have players like Shane Carle and Dan Winkler that could be jettisoned from the 40-man roster and if they were to be claimed, it wouldn’t be a huge loss, but from there it gets really difficult. Of the 38 beyond that, there’s value there. Braves could move Luiz Gohara to the 60-day IL, but that would mean they’d have to activate him from the 10-day IL, then move him to the 60-day, which would activate an MLB salary. Sure, we’re talking 200-250K, but they’ve been reluctant to do that thus far (*of note, if they really needed the spot, they’d likely make the cash sacrifice).

So what can the Braves do with the 40-man roster if they want to acquire MLB talent? First, Braves would have to take a look at the players they’d be ok with losing from the 40-man roster. Assuming there’d be some impact talent coming back, here’s my guess of players that have some value that Braves would consider moving:

40-Man Roster Player(s) Braves Could Trade

Ender Inciarte
Johan Camargo
Kevin Gausman
Adam Duvall
Alex Jackson
Luiz Gohara
Kolby Allard

There’s more to think about here. There’s great value in doing what the Braves did a few years back when they started the sell-off, but it also comes with a price. Within 2 years, John Coppollela took what was a bottom of the barrel farm system to the best in MLB, but when that happens, you also get what we are seeing now. 40-man roster spots are going to be hard to come by and that problem isn’t going to go away anytime soon as there will be new talent coming up that will have to be placed there, or will be left to grab by way of the Rule 5 draft. Then there’s also players that would be lost via MiLB free agency to consider.

Braves Options Guy, who’s been seen floating around these here parts, is an invaluable resource when it comes to all things roster related, and the following info comes directly from him

Players of Note that will be Eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December:

Cristian Pache
William Contreras
Thomas Burrows
Jeremy Walker
Tucker Davidson
Jasseel De La Cruz

If I were a betting man, at least 4 of those 6 will be protected, unless traded, and there’s a possibility that all 6 could need protection. But then there’s the MiLB free agents to consider for 2020 40-man spots.

Player that will be MiLB Free Agents in 2020


Travis Demeritte
Ray Patrick Didder
Jason Hursh
Raffy Lopez

Let’s be real here…Demeritte is the only factor in this decision. Both Didder and Hursh have value, and Raffy Lopez is great as a stashaway at AAA, but those 3 aren’t likely to break through at the MLB level for the Braves in 2019 or beyond.

To solve future and current roster problems for the Braves, using the information above, we can somewhat compile a list of players the Braves would likely want to trade at this deadline, with a few exceptions.

Hands off! Those are MINE!

Johan Camargo– As a guy that’s so positionally flexible and a good SH, he’s very valuable to this team. Also, when you look at his body of work in 2019, it’d be a sell-low to trade him in the next in the next 3 weeks.
Cristian Pache– He’s the future and he’s going nowhere.
Raffy Lopez– as a veteran catcher, he’s too valuable of an influence to be traded.

Ranking the Rest via Trade Value

  1. William Contreras
  2. Jasseel De La Cruz
  3. *Ender Inciarte
  4. Tucker Davidson
  5. Kolby Allard
  6. Travis Demeritte
  7. Luiz Gohara
  8. Adam Duvall
  9. Kevin Gausman
  10. Alex Jackson
  11. Thomas Burrows
  12. Ray Patrick Didder
  13. Jeremy Walker
  14. Jason Hursh

*Any trade involving Ender would have to be completed alongside a trade for a backup CFer, preferably one that could be stashed at AAA

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Author: Ryan Cothran

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62 thoughts on “Decisions that Could Influence Trade Deadline for Atlanta Braves”

  1. 1. Do those eligible for minor league free agency ONLY have to be added to 40? (or more specifically, if added to 40, do they still have “options”?)

    2. You didn’t register Drew Waters as a “must keep” and you didn’t value him as to “if I trade him, here is my value for him.”

    3. Disagree on having to get a back up centerfielder in a deal where Ender is moved. First, we know how “having to have a first baseman” worked out when we moved Texeira. Second, for a game, you can stand Culberson to give Acuna a break. If Acuna is hurt, you “break glass and bring up Pache.”

    4. I would trade (subject to my definition of “value” going and coming) ANYBODY not now on the 25 man roster and a few of the relievers on the 25. A trade is being made to make the 25 man roster and the immediately recallable players (3 to 10) a good enough group to assure (in order) (1) likelihood of winning the East, (2) likelihood of finishing with the second best (or better) record, and (3) going deeper in the postseason. SO, with those goals, you CAN trade any one player, if you get what helps you.

    5. The Giants could be one stop shopping. If I could get Bumgarner, Smith and Watson, I would let one of the elite prospects go in the package. That gives the Giants the “special value for Bumgarner” when really we all know it is to get the needs out of the way asap in one deal.

    6. I would actively be shopping some of the 40 man backlog and upcoming 40 man guys for lower level players and “lottery tickets.” We are going to have to release some or lose them to Rule 5, so why not?

  2. I definitely think Burrows, Didder, Walker, and Hursh are ending their time in Atlanta at the end of the year. I wouldn’t necessarily be concerned about them.

    Tucker Davidson, as a result, is someone that sticks out as a likely trade candidate by the end of this month. He’s not someone that has no value and you don’t care if they leave like the previous 4 guys I mentioned. Davidson would be really attractive to a rebuilding team, but he just doesn’t seem to figure into our plans.

    Raffy Lopez is Ryan Lavarnway is Anthony Recker is David Freitas is Chris Stewart is Rene Rivera. At any one time, it seems there’s an unemployed catcher who you can pick up, so I wouldn’t worried about him either.

    If you just looked at an ideal 40-man and minor league pruning trade that favors Atlanta, it’d be some combination of Davidson, Dayton, Sobotka, Duvall, and/or Demeritte for relievers with years of control. It’s pretty crazy to think that we could trade guys nowhere near our top 10 prospects, 40-man filler, and relievers that have not established themselves (Sobotka and Dayton). Before you think I’m selling Sobotka short, remember that he is 26 years old (Happy Birthday, Chad!) and has never thrown strikes consistently for his professional career.

  3. Drew Waters doesn’t really factor into this conversation since he’s nowhere near needing to be added to the 40-man.

  4. Yeah, I’m not really worried about getting a backup centerfielder back for Ender either. Anything short of a 2 week+ absence by Acuna is something Culberson could handle. It wouldn’t be pretty, but oh well. Bryce Harper has played CF for 184 games. I do think we have too many corner outfielders in the high minors and major leagues, however.

  5. I think you have Ender WAY too high. He is almost untradeable, now. IF he rehabs 4 or 5 more games and holds at a 300 or so average and covers ground well, then maybe he is tradeable. But then, the receiving party usually is looking for prospects. The only way you can move Ender for anything reasonable (or maybe anything other than salary relief) is if a contender loses its centerfielder and doesn’t really have another one.

  6. Gausman is too low, if he pitches a reasonable rehab or 2. A contender would take him on as additional set up / another starter if somebody is hurt. Even as is, he has more trade value than Ender as is.

    Jeremy Walker should move up 2, and Gohara down 2. Gohara is nothing more than a lottery ticket now. He is a Mega Millions lottery ticket, but those have 1 in 75,000,000 or so odds.

  7. Nothing says “top of the rotation starter” like an ERA above 4.

    Why do people keep thinking it’s 2016 with this guy?

  8. The only way we’re going to see Duvall in the bigs is if we have injuries to 2 starting OFs, and even then we’d have Camargo and Culberson who could fill in. Stands to reason he’s expendable and probably tradeable.

    Inciarte and Gausman aren’t going anywhere. I suspect the Braves would trade Gausman for salary relief at this point but no one is taking on that deal, and if there’s a team out there that really wants him, they probably can get him for only money this winter.

    The only MiLB guys who are untouchable IMO are Pache and Anderson. We’re not getting a TOR starter or lock-down closer without giving up something of value.

    Trading Demeritte is appealing since he doesn’t really have a spot on our MLB team, but a team acquiring him faces the same dillemma we do unless they think he’s MLB-ready now or are prepared to put him on their 40-man.

  9. Thank you, Ryan. Nice discussion.

    Ender’s tricky to assess. We don’t “need” him if Riley rights his recent slip. Pache can good field-no hit as well as Ender, but Ender historically hits better in the second half; and Pache’s untested at the mlb level.

    Then again, Claude’s still mostly unseen, Charlie Clutch and Matt Joyce have proven they can hit; so Pache would likely be needed only were bad things to happen.

    That said, Austin must hit, or his glove’s a burden. We better hope Johan’s inactivity hasn’t eroded his hitting skills, or Ender/Pache will be essential if Riley’s down for the count.

    Thinking out loud, I’d include Ender in the right deal, but I can only hope Riley makes the necessary adjustment to keep his job.

  10. @cliff
    My values came from external sources, not my own. When discussing value, I rarely give my take on their values as it feels skewed toward the Braves.

    Many sites still perceive Ender as a 2 WAR/year value for the remainder of his contract which gives him about 50 million of excess value.

  11. @8

    1) A lack of available starting pitching on the market. Bumgarner is being inflated because of the lack of supply and tons of demand.
    2) Braves fans uniquely are worried about a rotation of kids crapping the bed in the playoffs. When Braves fans think of Bumgarner, yes, they’re thinking of 2016, which is not good, but it’s because they’re looking for someone who’s “been there”.
    3) There’s always the thought that a “bulldog”, “red ass”, “competitor on the mound” like Bumgarner will return to form on the biggest stage because he can “rise to the occasion” better than the hitters at the plate.

    Overall, I think it’s just a diversification mentality with Bumgarner. But I think you have a lot of that with Keuchel already. If Bumgarner is getting helium because he’s a brand name, then I would go with the off-brand Kleenex and get Mike Minor. Or Zack Wheeler. Because I agree with Peanut’s article in summary; the Braves are one starter away from being able to pencil in a showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. And since we haven’t done scratch since George W. Bush was in the White House and Evanescence and Chingy were at the top of the charts, that’s a pretty cool proposition right thurr.

  12. One small quibble…Folty was optioned, and the Braves don’t have to put him on the 25 man roster again this season if he doesn’t figure it out.

  13. By the by, Mike Minor has a lower postseason ERA than Keuchel and Bumgarner. Sure, it was only a 6.1 IP, 1 ER performance in the 2013 division series, but still.

  14. Mike Minor is due to make $9.5M this year and next, so he’s got one year of control after next. Value-for-value, is Bryce Wilson, Travis Demeritte, and Chad Sobotka comparable value?

  15. One has to imagine Folty and Gausman are non-tender candidates. That would clear two spots on the 40 man roster

  16. Per 538, toughest and easiest opponent stretches in the second half:

    Toughest
    Sep 5-Sep 20: (4 WSN, 4 @ PHI, 3 @ WSN, 3 PHI)
    Jul 26-Aug 7: (3 @ PHI, 3 @ WSN, 4 CIN, 3 @ MIN)

    Easiest
    Aug 20-Sep 1: (3 MIA, 3 @ NYM, 1 @ COL, 2 @ TOR, 3 CHW, 2 TOR)

    May 6-May 19 (7-6) still ranks as the toughest opponent stretch of the season and May 28-June 13 (10-5), the easiest.

  17. Matt Joyce will leave as a free agent. I can’t imagine that Shane Carle and Dan Winkler stay on the 40 man through this offseason with a roster crunch like this. That would be 3 more spots.

    I do think the Braves exercise the option on Markakis and bring back McCann.

  18. Gausman could especially be a non-tender candidate if he’s only useful as a reliever. If I’m not mistaken, and I totally could be, but players don’t tend to take paycuts in the arbitration process, so since he’s already at $9.35M, then you’d have to think he’ll just be cut loose.

    I think Folty gets another year based on age, salary, and overall body of work. If he shows even aptitude as a reliever, you could justify committing $7-8M to him next year.

    A LOT will get settled between now and July 31st, and then a lot more will get settled this offseason. But I agree with the overall premise of what’s being discussed here is that we’re at a point in The Great Rebuild that a lot of talent is starting to get bottlenecked into 40-man roster decisions. And there still has not been this org-pruning trade, unless you could the Gausman/O’Day deal last year as such.

  19. Tomlin and Blevins are also free agents. Not sure when Swarzak’s contract expires without looking.

  20. @9 I’d add Waters to the untouchable list. I’d be furious if they dealt him away.

    Also, I’m not big on the idea of trading Wright. I could be cool with it if they’re getting a legit ace, ala Verlander level. I will not be cool with it however if it’s for yesteryear’s ace, who’s now just a solid SP.

  21. I know a lot of Braves fan are keyed into SF as a potential trading partner, but why not Toronto? Stroman and/or Giles would seem to make a lot of sense for Atlanta. Toronto could seemingly have a use for Duvall, and perhaps they might want to take a flyer on Gausman to step into Stroman’s rotation spot for the remainder of the year? They wouldn’t be tied into him long-term, after all. Obviously it’d take more than Duvall and Gausman to make a deal, but I wouldn’t mind seeing prospects thrown in so long as they’re not named Anderson, Waters or Pache.

  22. Just as an aside, out of curiosity, if the Mets called and said they’d deal Thor for Pache straight up, does anyone on here say yes?

  23. It seems like Thor only has two more years of control after this one, so you’d be getting him for 2 years and 3 months. I’m not sure that’s enough surplus value considering what he’ll make in those last 2 years to justify trading Pache.

  24. I think the reason why Donaldson, Blevins, and Tomlin aren’t part of the 40-man solution is because you’re probably going to sign a 3B, RP, and RP to add to next year’s 40-man roster anyway. Same with Joyce. You’re probably going to get guys like that anyway, hence why we’re in the situation currently.

  25. In DOB’s chat today, he suggested that the only reason Stroman’s still in Toronto is that their asking price is way too high — e.g., they’re looking for a Chris Archer-style return, which the Pirates probably would not pay again if they had the chance. I’m sure AA has a lot of guys in Toronto on speed-dial, so if the deal doesn’t happen, I doubt it will have been because AA didn’t know the price.

    Pache isn’t Acuna, and flags fly forever. If the Mets offered Thor for Pache, I’d take it.

  26. I don’t see us getting a “top of the line” guy in any trade that doesn’t involve an extremely painful price. The guys that are borderline for the 40-man don’t fit that bill. It’s Pache/Waters/Anderson basically. Otherwise you are just swapping fodder for fodder.

  27. I would not trade Pache for any non-top 10 starter. Currently by 538 standards (rolling game score), that’s Scherzer, Verlander, DeGrom, Cole, Sale, Greinke, Morton, Minor, Buehler, Castillo.

    I would consider Waters in the right deal for a 11-20 guy (Nola, Clevinger, Bieber, Bauer, Price, Ryu, Strasburg, Corbin, Hamels, Marquez, Lynn).

    Most of the guys on both of those lists are unavailable and I wouldn’t buy Lynn’s performance holding up.

    If he’s made available, I think Bauer is the best bet and would consider a trade of Waters, Ender and Allard or something in that neighborhood.

  28. If a true “top of the line” guy is available for an “extremely painful” but “relatively fair” price, then the team needs to be prepared to do it. We could part ways with Pache/Waters/Anderson. We should be ready to part ways with Wright/Wilson/etc. I wouldn’t do it for a rental, but I’d do it sets the team up as favorites to go to the world series for the next couple/few years.

  29. You’d give up Waters plus Ender and Allard to rent Trevor Bauer? Isn’t he a FA after this season?

  30. Frankly Ender and Allard are expendable so the only one that hurts is Waters, but he’s the guy you trade (I’m lower on him than most admittedly).

  31. My bad. Read his contract page wrong. It just boils down to whether you think that a FV 55 guy like Waters is really worth what the prospect people are saying. If Bauer has $40-50M in surplus value between now and the end of next year, are you going to trade Waters, Ender, and Allard, whose surplus value could be valued over $100M? It’s hard for me to think in those terms as I’m sure it is for some of you, but it does provide a nice context to expand the understanding of the dollar value of a prospect.

    It’s when it’s broken down in these terms, you start to understand why, say, Houston refuses to trade Kyle Tucker when they don’t have a spot for him, and they’re in Win Now(TM) mode.

  32. I think ultimately, Tucker may go for Bauer but I could be crazy.

    I appreciate the framework those kind of valuations give, I just don’t think they work out that way when you are selling/buying an “ace”. There are only some many of those to go around and they just aren’t available.

    The 538 method is imperfect, but it gives a good indication of how well a pitcher is throwing and the rankings line up with expectations. Bauer is a 57.1, while the Braves best Soroka is a 54.3.

    The ones we are all clamoring for MadBum 52.3, Boyd 52.6, Stroman 52.2, Wheeler, 52.9, Thor 52.1 would improve the team for sure, but I wouldn’t sell the farm, especially considering all the arms we have waiting in the wings.

  33. Ender’s future value is completely impossible to predict. In a perfect world he’s an average to slightly above average player. His floor is no-longer-a-starter. Would you trade for him? Would you take him for free? I wouldn’t. I guess we’re about to find out.

  34. I’m higher on Waters than most, it would appear. He may not have the highest ceiling, but I feel he’s a good bet to have a very solid ML career. I do not want to trade him because the only players I’d be okay with them trading him for probably aren’t being dealt.

    If the Braves overpay on quantity for a 2nd tier type ace, so be it. They have a logjam, anyway. Overpaying with quality for a 2nd tier type is a different ball game, however.

  35. @36 It’s interesting that Thor is rated in that tier of starter. I’d have thought him more to be comparable to the 11-20ish guys you listed. I know this season has been a little meh for him, as it has most Mets. He’s a guy with 5 seasons of a 3ish ERA, though.

  36. Re: Wheeler, I’m a bit of an expert here (he’s on my fantasy team). The guy has great stuff but, man, is he inconsistent. Bauer is a difference-maker if we can keep him away from toys with propellers.

  37. 27 — No reason to bring in another 3b when they already have Austin Riley.

    Yes, they will certainly add pieces as they go into the season. But they will be able to clear room for players they have to add to the 40 man roster or lose to the Rule 5 draft.

    Position player wise, the only opening (assuming they bring McFlowers back for catcher and Markakis for RF) in 2020 is LF when Riley goes back to 3b.

    The obvious and most likely answer is to give Inciarte CF back and move Acuña back to LF. Inciarte is under contract through 2021 with an option for 2022. If Inciarte can rebuild his trade value, then trade him to make room for Pache mid season. If not, either move Inciarte to the bench or cut the sunk cost when Pache is ready midseason.

    Markakis holds the RF job until Waters is ready.

  38. Drew Waters = Brett Butler. Wanna do that again?

    Last year’s Gausman/O’Day trade made the 40-man crunch worse as none of the players traded were yet on the 40-man (except maybe Phillips). It took us in the wrong direction.

    One thing that AA did last year that I thought was pretty darn smart is that he put all the Rule 5 protects on the 40-man as part of Sept call-ups. That way, they got to be useful pieces on the roster before Nov 1st.

    Ryan’s list of Rule 5 eligibles is the key here. Maybe Burrows is the only one who might be left dangling. That leaves 5 guys that have to be added so five spaces must be made. If you consider that Donaldson, Tomlin, Blevins, and Swarzak will be gone (at least until after Nov 1st). You’re one spot short and someone like Carle might be sacrificed. If Donaldson gets a QO and accepts, one more spot has to be opened up. So we may not see the additions in Sept that we saw last year; although, if Ender is traded, I bet Pache is a lock to be a Sept call-up.

    That still leaves any trades made before July 31st have to be one-for-one 40-man spots.

    Based upon the trade value list above, I’d go Gausman, Duvall, Demeritte, and Allard or Gohara for MadBum and Smith. They do that and the Giants may be stronger for this year because of the OF upgrade and Gausman to fill the SP gap and stronger for the future with an up and coming lefty to replace MadBum. It is also 3x 40-man for 2x which leaves a spot open to promote Pache on Sept 1st. Ender can come back on Sept 1st, too, and then we’d have some real speed and defense on the bench.

    Note: Giants don’t need catchers and I don’t think Braves will trade Jaseel as he’s farther away from the Majors. Davidson or Walker might be interesting in place of Gohara or Allard but wouldn’t have the same name value.

  39. I still prefer an elite closer than a starter.

    The Luke Jackson thing ain’t going to fly in October.

  40. @34. Why are you lower on Waters? Really curious. After park adjustments isn’t he in the top 4-5 in ops in AA? And wasn’t he the 2nd youngest player to open the season in AA or something like that? His defense and baserunning are plus also. Doesn’t his age and production relative to level make him an outstanding prospect? I know he strikes out a bit too much but that’s become common in today’s game. His numbers at his age/level usually portend something special

  41. Don’t you guys think we have a good possibility next year of getting as much offensive production and better defense at 3rd base and the outfield from:
    Riley, Acuna, Pache, Camargo and Waters when he’s ready

    Than our current rotation of
    Donaldson, Riley, Acuna, Markakis
    ?

  42. Personally I feel Waters has a much higher bust potential than Pache due to fears he might end up just a platoon guy and the relative instability of projecting minor league babip to the majors (Waters leads the known universe in babip). If we had to trade one of them to get Thor I would prefer Waters.

  43. @47. I get that. And Pache’s elite defense in CF gives him an edge there. But Waters was rated above average in CF too iirc and was only moved off to play in the same outfield with Pache. He’s actually a month and a half younger, has 20 pts higher OPS, has had better success translating his speed to success stealing bases and the fact he’s doing so well as a switchhitter while so young at this level can be seen as a positive just as much as the platoon split you mention as a negative. I think he is closer to meeting or exceeding the future value of Pache than you credit him for.

  44. 45 – I’ve watched Waters in person a few times. The number one person I am reminded of is Jordan Schafer. Schafer at AA as a 21 yr old .269/.378/.471 (.352 BABIP), 88K in 349 PAs Waters as a 20 yr old .334/.377/.515 (.456 BABIP), 100K in . Waters has a bit better hit tool from what I’ve seen, but he almost never takes a walk and strikes out a ton. He’s also had whispers of bad attitude, poor effort, but some of that may be going away with maturity. Still adds to the comp with Success.

    I hope I’m wrong but I see high bust potential.

  45. It would seem like the sticking point with Dusty is the BABIP, and for good reason. He’s 50 points higher than the second-place hitter in terms of BABIP in the Southern League. If you were to scrub out the majority of that BABIP difference, he looks like a much less exciting player. The K% also is concerning since the players he shares the top 5 of OPS and AVG in the Southern League all have much lower K rates. He also has the lowest ISO of the top 5 in the Southern League in wRC+. It’s almost like you need to go ahead and call him up to AAA and let him struggle a little while. And if there are issues with his make-up, perhaps that will either become evident or quell concerns. I do think it’s almost a bad thing that he’s the youngest player in the top 10 of wRC+ in his league, and you have concerns over whether or not this is success that’s good for him. By the way, the only other person in the top 10 his age: Cristian Pache.

  46. @52, 53. good input on Waters. I have no personal interest in Waters and will temper my enthusiasm. He does need to control his strikeouts better, and his babip is unsustainable to that degree although we are starting to build a pretty good sample size by this point and he just hits the ball hard. I hadn’t heard anything since his draft yr about his makeup. Nonetheless it’s very rare for a player to have anything close to his results at this age/level. Your Shafer comp is good food for thought. But he is 17 months younger than Shafer was at AA and numerous studies also show development/production to age/level is a very big factor. He’s 3.7 yrs younger than the league avg and that’s huge. He’s played 87 games at AA. Interestingly Shafer only played 84 games at AA his age 21 season due to injury and was in Atlanta next April. In hindsight, clearly not enough development time. I’m all for leaving Waters in AA awhile longer, the rest of the season even. Maybe just giving him a cup of coffee at AAA at the end of the yr as a reward and giving him plenty of time in AAA next year. no need to rush his development with what the big league team has going for it right now.

  47. 56 – I think that’s a reasonable take at the other side of the coin. Just because I think he comps to Schafer and even if I’m right, that doesn’t mean they have to have the same career path.

    Swanson in his first full year was giving me Schafer flashbacks as well (partially because both battled injuries that could explain some of their struggles). But Swanson was given time and made adjustments (and got healthy). Granted Swanson was older and had a better pedigree.

    I think a slower development path, where Waters has to struggle and make some adjustments in the minors is wise, though I stand by my feeling that if there is a top prospect you deal, he is the one over Pache, Anderson and maybe even Muller, Wright and Wilson.

  48. The Braves know more about Waters than I do, in terms of his makeup and everything else — all I really can do is scout his stat line.

    But even if he lives up to his full potential, I absolutely would want AA to be willing to trade him to load our team up to win a World Series. We’re not getting past the Dodgers or the Yankees or the Astros without an upgrade.

    It’s been a quarter-century since the last time we hoisted the hardware. You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

  49. @58 That’s how I feel about the prospects as well. They ought to be getting some confidence on the floor of guys like Waters, Pache, and Anderson. You do what it takes to take your best shot at winning some hardware even if it means waiting until the off-season if the right pieces aren’t there at the deadline this year. We can trade all of these prospects for guys like Syndergaard and Stroman, but I think you have to expect those guys to be both healthy and better than they’ve recently shown. You do it only if you are convinced it moves the needle up to or past the Dodgers.

    But I 100% trade them if the right player becomes available. I’m talking about someone you’d have to be convinced will win a Cy in the next few years. If Greinke is past that point due to age, then you don’t surrender your best to get him unless they’re eating a ton of money and you’re basically getting Greinke at bargain money–meaning you still got budget room to go sign someone.

  50. FYI – Keith Law had Pache up to #6 on his mid-season top 50 and Anderson at 36. No other Braves are in the top 50 though Wright and Wilson on included in the 6 honorable mentions (meaning Waters is not in his top 56).

  51. Jim Bouton autographed my copy of Ball Four.

    I also don’t think Ender even plays for the Braves again.

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