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
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:
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
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
- William Contreras
- Jasseel De La Cruz
- *Ender Inciarte
- Tucker Davidson
- Kolby Allard
- Travis Demeritte
- Luiz Gohara
- Adam Duvall
- Kevin Gausman
- Alex Jackson
- Thomas Burrows
- Ray Patrick Didder
- Jeremy Walker
- 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
Thanks for reading!