The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value, Part 1: 2014-15 Braves Offseason

The Braves Rebuild, 2014-15 Braves Offseason, orchestrated by John Coppolella with John Hart as his puppet, was absolute bonkers. Never before had Braves fans (or, maybe even the entire MLB) seen such rapid fire transactions and mass hysteria via trades/signings from one team.

  • 25 Players Granted Free Agency
  • 44 Free Agents Signed
  • 1 MLB Player Drafted in Rule 5 Draft
  • 1 MLB Player Lost in Rule 5 Draft
  • 32 Players Traded
  • 34 Players Acquired via Trade

The purpose of today’s exercise, and the 6 pieces that follow, is to weigh losses and gains from this wild ride of the rebuild gauge success, or lack thereof, from all of the trades. I’ll use fWAR vs. cost of incoming and outgoing players to determine my stance.

As mentioned this will be a 7-part series that will cover the entire rebuild and will breakdown as follows:

  • 2014-15 Offseason (Today’s piece)
  • 2015 In-Season Trades
  • 2015-16 Offseason
  • 2015-16 In-Season Trades
  • 2016-17 Offseason
  • 2017 In-Season Trades
  • 2017-18 Offseason

Braves Rebuild, 2014-15 Braves Offseason: The Beginning of the End

Recap: It didn’t take long for the Hart/Coppy regime to throw a haymaker at Braves fans as Jason Heyward was likely the fan favorite even after putting up, what most fans would see, a disappointing 2 years after an offensively promising 2012. By December 3rd, it was easy to see what was happening and no current player signed to a hefty contract was safe. Before the season had begun, 9 players from the disappointing 2014 season had been traded, replaced by 9 players, most of the veteran type. The objective was clear and most, outside Nick Markakis, were signed to trade again.

Grading each trade separately is a cherry picker’s argument waiting to happen, but grouping all of the trades together to see if the Hart/Coppy regime did the Braves future a solid, seems like good practice. Let’s get our hands dirty.

2014-15 Braves Offseason: Outgoing Value

While this exercise will get a little convoluted as there were many follow-up trades that occurred, those arguments are going to be set aside (as we’ll likely cover most of them in the upcoming pieces) and we’ll gauge the value of players leaving the Braves by team control vs. cost, no matter if the original trading partner kept said player.

Outgoing Production Value: $237.73 MM

Total Cost: $167.75 MM

~70 MM of lost production

2014-15 Braves Offseason: Incoming Value

The incoming value is only calculated for time spent in the Atlanta organization. Many players below have already been flipped to other orgs and will be covered in future pieces.

Incoming Production Value: 172.9

Total Cost: 43.87

129.03 MM of gained production

Conclusion

While there’s a lot more to come and there are more players on both sides with years of control, and I have absolutely 0 clue if this exercise means anything to anyone outside of myself, it looks as if the very beginning of the tear down went in the Braves favor by $59.03 MM. And, as mentioned before, with players like Max Fried, Austin Riley, Mike Foltynewicz, and A.J. Minter still adding (or subtracting) to the incoming value bottom line, the collective trades from the 2014-15 Offseason could prove to be the fruitiest!

Thanks for reading on “The Rebuild: Lost Value vs. Incoming Value, Part 1: 2014-15 Braves Offseason”. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy our Best/Worst Trades in Braves History pieces.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

32 thoughts on “The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value, Part 1: 2014-15 Braves Offseason”

  1. Great work Ryan. I am very interested to see how the rest of the series plays out value wise as well. I am sure the part of the series discussing the Simba trade will certainly stir up a lot of feelings…lol

  2. @Putter

    In reality, what this entire thing (and I’ve only finished the first 2 pieces) is going to break down to is if the incoming value can overcome the massive outgoing value loss of Andrelton and the incoming value loss of the Olivera trade. I still don’t know that answer, so I’m as curious as you are.

  3. Good job, Ryan. I lack the skills, perseverance and dedication to take on that chore; but I did enjoy the read.

    I will check who we got but will not watch the getting.

    The grumpy old man on my porch wants to know when and why people started referring to roads with the definite article. Reading or hearing THE I95 boils my cabbage.

  4. The excitement of the draft has been tempered by the cutting of the draft a little. I think Atlanta picking late in the draft hurts.

    It’s pretty crazy to me that the players are saying that they want to protect future players with the labor negotiations currently, and yet they sold future players down the river by getting their year of service this year instead of getting more rounds in the draft. All but 6 players in the 6th round last year got at least a $200K signing bonus, and in this year’s system, those players can get a max of $20K as an undrafted FA. Should they have been able to get both? Sure, but they didn’t, so they chose the one that benefited themselves, not the future players they are supposedly trying to protect right now.

  5. Rob, I think it’s completely fair to criticize the union about that. They have really never protected minor leaguers the way they should.

  6. Coincidentally..

  7. @6

    Indeed, the players have time-and-time-again proven they do not care about potential major leaguers (minor leaguers, draftees, international signees, etc.). Every time they have the chance to do something to help these groups, they never do.

  8. @10, classic example of a moral hazard — the rank and file are inherently conflicted when it comes to protecting the rights of the whippersnappers who are gunning for their jobs.

  9. Claudell always impressed me as the baseball player with the most impressive physique. He was very important to the 1982 team.

  10. The timing of when the value is reaped matters as much as the amount. Most of the outgoing excess value in this group was from LaStella, Hayward, Gattis and Kimbrel. However, only Kimbrel was likely to be a contributor to the next good Braves team so the lost value didn’t hurt as much. Similarly, the incoming value was mostly backloaded into Folty, Fried, and Riley with only Miller’s surplus being “wasted” on a bad team.

    Thus, not only did the team receive more surplus value but they did so at a time when wins are more valuable to the team in general (minus the time value of money, of course). The Simba and Olivera deals will still look like sh*t even by this standard, but the rest of the rebuild will make sense!

  11. Yep. Salary dumping B.J. Upton made sense. Salary dumping Andrelton Simmons was stupid and wicked, just like how Frodo described Bill Ferny.

  12. @snowshine
    Sure…I get that, but my focus is singular. Overall, did the Braves come out on top in value with their trades when weighing outgoing and incoming value? .I still don’t know that answer as I’ve only finished through part 3, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised through part 3, even though part two is effing brutal.

    @Alex R
    LOTR reference. I love you more each day.

  13. Very sad to hear about Claudell Washington. His 1984 season hardly resembles Acuna from last year, but he was a sensation out of the leadoff spot hitting homers. With his passing, and Bob Watson and Biff Pocoroba…I’m feeling old.

  14. He has far more potential than Sean Gilmartin and is likely to take under slot. Sounds like a good pick

  15. @22–damming with faint praise? Have the Braves ever had a #1 pick with less potential than Gilmartin?

  16. Claudell is one of the first Braves I can remember hearing my dad dog cussing watching on Channel 17 for some reason or another.

    He was a pretty damn good player and was built like a bodybuilder.

  17. While it was faint praise, the reason is that I don’t live and die by any one pick in the draft but try to see the holistic return on the entire process. Given that mid-20’s picks don’t average even a MLB regular as their eventual return, a leftie who touches 97 and has a killer change is actually a good return. Paired with the fact that his bonus demands are rumored to be under slot and we have the makings of a solid draft strategy in a year where we only have 4 picks. I felt Beau Phillip was a bad reach at the time; this guy is a decent bet.

  18. That seems right. Keith Law’s take was that it was “a fairly safe pick,” which sounds okay. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some amount of upside in the next rounds, and it would also be nice if the Braves could pick up some good undrafted free agents.

  19. Nice article! Thanks for such an interesting and informative piece. I can’t wait to read the other parts! In the year with no baseball, I am thirsting for baseball articles! Keep up the good work!

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