At Braves Journal, we’ve got a few topics we are actively discussing right now… wankers, wonders, best trades in Braves history, and worst trades in Braves history. While it might be too early to call the Andrelton Simmons trade, back in November of 2015, one of the worst in Braves history (I mean, it is minutely possible Sean Newcomb could salvage the trade that has a MONSTROUS gap in value right now… good luck, Newk), it’s not too early to call the return shortstop in the deal a Braves One Year Wanker: Erick Aybar.
Braves One Year Wanker, Erick Aybar
I remember John Coppollela trying to sell us Braves fans on the deal. I remember him telling us that it’s quite possible Erick Aybar could outproduce Andrelton offensively. What he failed to mention was the other-worldly defense that Andrelton provided (although Coppy made it known that he felt SS defense was vastly overrated according to WAR), that Aybar had been a subpar defender by all advanced defensive metrics 3 years running, and one of the league’s worst regular shortstop in the year prior.
Sell that boat, Coppy. Sell it good.
Coppy was wrong. Andrelton, in his worst offensive year since joining the Angels, still managed a better OPS (.690) and collected 20 Defensive Runs Saved while Aybar had a .607 OPS and was a butcher at shortstop, giving up -9 Defensive Runs.
It’s worth noting that Coppy acquired Andrelton’s long-term replacement in Dansby Swanson a month later and this could have just been a pre-cursor to the next trade. Still…losing Andrelton, who might go down as the greatest defensive shortstop to play the game, was tough.
In Where Erick Aybar Forgets to Chew
May 19, 2016, a day that will live forever in Braves folklore. Oh there have been some crazy injuries over the year, but this was beyond bizarre. Erick Aybar showed up at the PNC park on a Thursday afternoon with some..discomfort. Hamstring? Groin? Ankle Sprain? “Flu-like symptoms”? Nope.
Read this quote in the voice of the Larry David when he was playing George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld and you’ll get some added value.
That poor guy had to be scared to death. He looked OK when he left, but I don’t think he’s feeling very good. Let’s just hope everything works out all right.”Snitker
Braves One Year Wanker, Erick Aybar: Well…not a full year.
On August 16, 2016, after roughly 100 games in a Braves uniform, Erick Aybar was traded to the Detroit Tigers in what seemed a serious overpay by the Tigers at the time, as they sent Mike Aviles and catching prospect Kade Scivicque to the Braves. However, Aviles never played a game for the Braves and Scivicque was mysteriously released in 2018 from Gwinnett, despite being a pretty good catching prospect. Mercifully, Aybar’s time with the Braves came to an end and Dansby Swanson’s 2016 MLB clock began. Unfortunately for Dansby, he’s been trying to live up to 2016 these past 3 years, but I have a feeling that 2020 will be the year he turns back the clock… whenever 2020 begins.
Thanks for reading on Braves One Year Wanker, Erick Aybar. Check out our entire Wanker and Wonder series here!