Intro of the series can be found here.
Part 1 of the series can be found here.
After a short series where the boys get swept by one of the worst teams in MLB, it’s easy to get discouraged but let me get a little bit cliche real quick: If someone were to have told you prior to the season that the Braves would be 4 games up in the division with a 60-43 record less than a week before the deadline, you’d take that every dadgum day. Here’s to hoping the bats come alive in a crucial series against the Nationals and AA makes a move or 2 to bolster the club.
Six days until the speculation and madness of the trade deadline are over, and after listening to Alex Anthopoulos yesterday in his on-air mid-game interview, I’m as confused as ever. Here’s the breakdown:
- He wants to add
- It could be a reliever
- It could be a starter
- It could be a bat
- It could be 2 of the 3 above
- It could be 3 of the 3 above
- It could be 0 of the 3 above
I’m still assuming that there will be moves made, but I’m also not going to assume that the Braves are going to trade multiple top prospects such as Cristian Pache, Drew Waters, or Ian Anderson. In fact, I’d even be surprised if one was included as there are plenty of trade chips without trading the 3 best.
There were many teams covered in the first piece, but I don’t feel like all of them are matches. Even with the Dallas Keuchel signing, the Braves still have “financial flexibility” which could allow them to keep their high end prospects and take more dollars back in return. I think this is where they’ll go and that road could lead Alex to the Colorado Rockies.
Matching up with the Colorado Rockies
When shopping in the aisle that’s a mile above sea level, it’s very important to remember this rule: Never buy high on the hitters and always buy low on the pitchers. I’ve seen some Twitterers wanting to grab Charlie Blackmon because he’s having such a great season. Make no mistake, they are correct, but there’s never been a split in MLB history that is this extreme:
Home: 1.318 OPS
Away: .659 OPS
Talk about buyer’s remorse! Imagine emptying the farm for Blackmon then the real Blackmon shows up, unaided by the Coors Effect. I have no doubt he could be an .800 OPS guy, but we’ve already had an .800 OPS guy with poor defense in the past, and it didn’t work out well.
So, who could the Braves target from the team that has went 1-9 in their last 10 and have solidified themselves as deadline sellers? I’ve got that answer.
Target 1, Jon Gray
In what has been a rocky relationship with the franchise that drafted him, Gray has been on my short list of buy low acquisitions for quite some time. With a few adjustments aided by humidity, I believe that Gray could be the guy slotting in front of a lot of other guys. With 2 more years of control past 2019, Gray won’t be cheap.
Target 2, Wade Davis
If you thought that Blackmon’s splits above were eye-popping, Wade Davis’s love/hate relationship with home/away is opposite and equal all at once:
Home: 9.53 ERA
Away: 0.73 ERA
That’s bloody remarkable. I’m sure if me, the keyboard wannabe GM, can find these numbers then every other team in baseball can see them as well. However, Braves might be one of the only teams in baseball that can absorb Davis’s 17MM in 2020 and take on the full contract in 2019, and that will most definitely keep the prospect cost down but could provide great benefits to this team down the road. Not only that, but no pitcher in their right mind seeks out Colorado via free agency unless Colorado overpays for their services (here’s looking at you Davis…and our old friend Mike Hampton). Lucky for Colorado, the Braves are stocked with pitchers that have no choice but to play for them should they were to be acquired. In my humble opinion, the Rockies and the Braves are great trade partners.
Breakdown: There are a ton of packages that could work out there, but this is one I’ve weighed out in terms FV. The Rockies get 3 guys that have value while getting rid of, what I’m sure they see as, sunk cost in Wade Davis. The Braves get 2 guys that come with risk, less risk of someone like Kevin Gausman, but you’ll not find a bigger upside play on this market.
What do y’all think? Yes? No? Let’s hear your thoughts.