Braves One Year Wanker: Erick Aybar

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.

Chicken Wing.

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!

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

20 thoughts on “Braves One Year Wanker: Erick Aybar”

  1. Doing some research on a piece and my word, the Braves have a whole lot of core players arb-eligible for 2021:
    Arb-1: Touki, Soroka, Minter, Fried, Newcomb
    Arb-2: Camargo, Dansby, Luke
    Arb-3: Duvall
    Arb-4: Folty

  2. If worst case scenario happens and there’s no baseball this year, what does the arbitration process look like? How could they justify raises?

  3. If worst case scenario happens and aliens take over our planet, what does the arbitration process look like? How could they justify raises?

  4. There’s no out-of-the-box answer: the league and the players are going to have to negotiate each piece of this.

  5. JonathanF, your comment @4 is definitely in line with prospect theory.

  6. I mean, I’m more hopeful that a season can happen than I’ve ever been, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. Also, it’s an interesting question to debate. I’ve received one PM from a person I trust and he thinks it’ll revert to 2019’s stats and raise accordingly.

  7. If they’re doing the mixed-league, geographically-based divisions or pods that they’re talking about, they will almost certainly go universal DH. I guess they could say that the pitcher bats when a “National League” team is the home team and the DH is employed when an “American League” team is the home team, except that the two leagues really won’t exist under this format, so that doesn’t make a huge amount of sense practically (though it’s obviously doable and they do something similar in Double-A and Triple-A…or did through last season, anyway).

    My guess is that they’ve been looking for a way to put in the universal DH as a permanent fixture but have been worried about the possible earth-shattering uproar it would cause leading up to the season in which they did it. This is as good an opportunity as they’ll ever have to get it through with as little fuss as possible, and I don’t see them passing it up.

    Once the universal DH is here, a part of me will be happy that this never-ending debate is over and we can just move on. I prefer NL-style ball, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t the end of the world, and anyway, it’s been very clear which way the current has been going on this for a long time.

  8. Yeah, if this is the mechanism by which the DH is implemented, then so be it, and let’s move on. I like double-switches as much as the next guy, but pitchers are terrible hitters, they clearly don’t want to hit, and we might as well just get it over with. Yes, there aren’t many Folty’s where they’re simply not trying, but there are also aren’t many Madison Bumgarner’s, and the rest are pretty ambivalent about the event. Might as well just get rid of it.

  9. My problem is that the move might pigeonhole Riley as a DH when he can be a lot more than that. I’d rather wait 2-3 years until Bryce Ball is ready.

  10. It seems like pitchers were significantly better hitters when some of us started being fans than they are now. (As for when that was, let’s just say my screen name on another board is Gil Garrido, because his was the first autograph I got.) There’s a difference in entertainment value between having someone who hits like a really bad backup shortstop batting 9th and someone who just has no hope. I used to hate the DH, but compared to watching lots of no-hopers, it may not be so bad.

  11. @15

    That’s, uh…not Ken Rosenthal. It’s some weird fake account.

    The real Rosenthal has an article in The Athletic (with Evan Drellich, who’s been working with him on a lot of these coronavirus-related stories) foretelling rough seas ahead with the owners’ proposal to base player compensation on revenue for this year only. Apparently, the players think it amounts to a salary cap, which….seems like a stretch, but in case you’d forgotten how against any form of salary cap the players are, there you go.

  12. Yeah, I don’t agree with the players that it’s a “salary cap,” but I maybe the logic goes something like this – Major League Baseball has never had a principle like the NBA mandating that a certain percentage of league revenues go to player salaries. Explicitly tying revenues to salaries applies both upward and downward pressures to salaries, both a cap and a floor. As always, I’d love JonathanF to weigh in.

    The bigger issue for me is that the league is clearly trying to take advantage of COVID-19 to grab all they can, whether it’s the universal DH or it’s forcing players to accept lower salaries. I have no doubt that owners have lost a lot of money to the cancellation of a lot of games they were expecting to have played by now. But it’s hard, from the players’ perspective, to assume good faith from the plutocrats.

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