The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value, Part 3: 2015-16 Offseason

We’ve covered the first 2 pieces of the series, “The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value”. Today’s piece will focus on the trades made in the 2015-16 offseason. There’s a “big win” trade in here, as well as a trade that has a value loss that seemed insurmountable. If you’re new to the series on the Braves Rebuild, you’ll need to catch up. Here are our first 2 pieces:

Braves Rebuild, 2015-16 Offseason: The Trades

Braves Rebuild, 2015-16 Offseason: Outgoing Value

Outgoing Production Value: 131.2 MM

Total Cost: $55.2 MM

76 MM of lost production

Incoming Value

Incoming Production Value: 120 MM

Total Cost: 24.3 MM

103.9 MM of gained production

Conclusion

Adding up the 3 Parts this far:

  • +59.03 MM of gained production in Part 1
  • -79.5 MM of gained production in Part 2
  • +27.9 MM of gained production in Part 3

Total: +7.43 MM through 3 parts of the rebuild

In the offseason of the Andrelton swap and the Diamonback heist, it’s hard to think of these groups of trades as a win when it comes with losing one of the greatest defensive shortstops to play the game, but the cost vs. the production argument leans toward the Braves, largely due to 3 really good seasons from Ender Inciarte. Adding to that, there’s still years left of control for Ender, Dansby, and Newcomb so there’s a fairly large chance that this gap widens in the next few years.

Thanks for reading “The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value, Part 3: 2015-16 Offseason”. If you’re enjoying this series, check out our Braves Rebuild category here.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

26 thoughts on “The Braves Rebuild: Outgoing vs. Incoming Value, Part 3: 2015-16 Offseason”

  1. Manfred has been a simply bad commissioner. All of this labor unrest has occurred on his watch. He’s utterly incompetent at marketing and he clearly has no credibility with the players. He’s a Roger Goodell-esque empty suit — a mouthpiece for ownership with no ability to persuade people to bring people along and persuade them to work together to achieve their shared goal of growing the fan base of the sport. I’m not convinced that baseball is better off with him in the job than it would be with no one in the job.

  2. I agree with you Alex, but has there ever been a good commissioner? Ford Frick maybe? Happy Chandler?

  3. I suppose Bart Giamatti could have been in time but we will never know.

    This impasse is profoundly frustrating. There is lots of blame to go around but yes, Manfred is awful.

    But thanks to Ryan and to Karl for the excellent content here the past week, on the rebuild and the draft. Small rays of sunshine (or is it snowshine) in the darkness.

  4. Though I think of myself as logical, Simba’s trade contained my rationality as the ptbnl. I cannot be objective.

    That said, we fleeced Arizona.

    Great series, Ryan. Typical of your consistent good work.

    Is school out yet?

  5. @coop
    Yup! School is out. We drove to Houston yesterday. It was a 9 hour trip so I was very thankful of the electronic babysitters (IPads). Thanks for always being grateful, coop. The conversation and camaraderie here is what makes it special, but the appreciation you show on a daily basis is a part of what motivates me (and others, I’m sure) to keep writing!

    Thread is staying up for today.

  6. Frick was one of the worst, actually. Chandler was awful with the exception of his leadership around Jackie, but that one thing is enough to raise him into the ranks of the pretty good.

    Giamatti wasn’t bad but he was short-tenured; Vincent wasn’t bad but he was incredibly weak.

    In my research, I determined that the best commissioner was Bud Selig. And that really should say it all.

    I’m basically stealing from Andrew Zimbalist, but baseball doesn’t need a commissioner, it needs a CEO. Someone whose core focus is growing the business.

  7. The two commissioners of the majority of my lifetime — Selig and Manfred — have essentially been puppets for ownership. I don’t necessarily have a big problem with that — the owners largely run the sport in this league — but when it gets so bad we can’t work something like this out, then it seems Manfred is playing a huge role in leading us to a strike.

    It’s not the 20-or so missed games this season. Whatever. I’ve missed enough games already. But it’s how badly this ended that makes me feel like 2022 is very much in jeopardy. Maybe this is the real estate guy in me, but I value intermediaries, perhaps the same way an attorney would, and Manfred has been a horrible one.

    Cheating, labor unrest, competitive imbalance, tanking. The sport is not in good hands.

  8. Selig wasn’t a puppet, he was an owner. He continued to own the Brewers while he was “interim” commissioner, and pretty much everyone realized there was nothing interim about it; when they formalized his appointment as commissioner, he divested himself of the team by giving it to his daughter, a paper-thin fiction which left him in essentially the same place he’d always been.

    The reason Selig was so effective in getting what he wanted is that going back to the 1980s, he was the most influential of all of the owners: he was a peer, and he knew exactly how to count votes and get his way. You may not like a lot of the things he did, but there’s no denying that he was effective at getting his way.

    Manfred isn’t their peer, he’s their stooge.

  9. AAR preaches truth, but sympathy is hard to create in this battle of haves and have mores. None are righteous; no, not one.

  10. AAR is generally right about everything, but I could never agree that Selig is anything but terrible. He is the guy who unnecessarily cancelled the season and postseason in 1994. I realize he was effective with owners because he was one. But that was the problem; I agree with Rob that an intermediary would be ideal.

    But the owners would never agree to a commissioner in that role.

  11. I would never ask you to agree that he’s anything but terrible.

    But what I am asking you to agree is that the other commissioners were, actually, worse.

  12. Passan has, in my opinion, been the single best person to follow throughout this slow motion car crash. (Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich at the Athletic, writing together, have been #2.) What an utter disaster.

  13. @14: So I was right, except about Ford Frick. I was crediting him with sensible expansion and Cooperstown, though he actually worked on that when he was President of the NL. And I was definitely crediting Chandler with Jackie Robinson, and nothing else. As reserve clause commissioners, I discount any of their feelings about labor relations as largely irrelevant.

  14. I knew that Selig was no longer the “owner” of the Brewers once his commissioner spot became permanent, but I did not know that he simply handed the team to his daughter. Dang.

    The owners probably know more about their assets, along with the sport itself, than we do. So when people say, “the sport is being destroyed,” I think the owners probably know that they are, indeed, not “destroying” the sport. They just don’t care whether a period of games is missed, whether it be a half-season or a full season. These franchises continue to increase in value, and that’s all that matters. Tickets cost more, the TV deals cost more, the beer costs more, and the foam fingers cost more. So they’re happy. The loss in playoff revenue in 1994 and the little blip in attendance dip in 1995 was more than washed out by the next 25 years of growth and prosperity. And it keeps salaries in line, so even better.

    And I don’t think that just because two dudes in the NL Central hit a bunch of home runs in 1998, the sport was “saved”. It’s simply a fantastic sport, better than all the others, and even the owners and players can’t screw it up. They’re just using it to serve their own interests, players and owners included, as we all would ourselves.

  15. Yet I will watch the Albies and Acuñas, root for the Braves laundry and weary of offseasons. I love the game. I miss the game. Play ball, the old man says.

  16. Interestingly, I think a lot of these issues were relatively foreseeable. I just reread a piece I wrote six years ago just before Manfred came into office: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-problems-baseballs-next-commissioner-will-face/

    “What’s required, at the top of the list, is the ability to create alignment among the 30 independent ownership groups,” says Vince Gennaro, the president of SABR. “My perception is he (Selig) did it on his longstanding relationships and trust he had built up with individual owners.”

    Moreover, by aligning the owners, he was able to find common ground with players. Eugene Freedman, an occasional contributor to The Hardball Times who is counsel at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, observes, “From a historical labor relations perspective, through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s, baseball was trying to grow profits by reducing costs, and the primary cost is labor. Selig, to his credit, in the mid-’90s, decided he was going to increase profits through growing revenues.” This only works as long as the business keeps growing, however. Selig’s successor will need to have credibility with both owners and players, and he or she will need to keep the business growing.

    That has been relatively easy to accomplish in the last 20 years of revenue growth, but there are warning signs. “The economics of the sport are very strong,” says FanGraphs baseball writer Wendy Thurm, “despite somewhat flat attendance, despite falling national ratings.” This is because of the incredibly lucrative local television deals that many teams have signed, capped by the $7 billion deal that Fox Sports Time Warner Cable signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.

    But she sounds a cautionary note. “Is the cable sports boom, regional sports networks, going to bust? And if so, how and when? We’re at the first year of the new eight-year national TV deals, but we could end up in a system with much bigger haves and have-nots.”

    Moreover, for the first time in its history, the players association is being led by a former player, Tony Clark. Eugene Freedman, the labor attorney, thinks that some owners may view this as an opportunity. “The owners may see some weakness here: it’s the first time the players association isn’t being led by a labor professional, either a lawyer or an economist,” says Freedman. “Obviously, his experience at bargaining table is limited, but (that) doesn’t mean that he’ll be the lead negotiator, either.” While the union will undoubtedly retain lawyers and Clark will not be alone at the table, any perceived weakness could destabilize the current labor equilibrium.

  17. @15 He does kinda look like John Mulaney, doesn’t he?

    “A horse in a hospital?!?!”

  18. Any of you knuckleheads live in New Hampshire? I’m moving there in three weeks.

    To Manchestahhh.

    Where I’ll be in the midst of Sawwwkss Nation.

  19. @2

    I think the criticism level is about to go up…just a bit.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29315408/mlb-commissioner-rob-manfred-now-less-confident-2020-season

    Man, what an imbecile! He’s taken a situation where he probably had a plurality of public support for his side (plurality and not majority because of the “a plague on both your houses” folks) and now, less than a month later, we’re hurtling towards an “Emperor with No Clothes” situation. He actually just ceded the “let’s play baseball” position to the players. Unbelievable.

  20. Yeah… he is literally trying to walk back his own public comments about having 100% certainty that there would be a season, which he made in the context of his own acknowledged power to order the players to play.

    He’s like the old man in the Pixar cartoon, playing himself in chess, and losing.

  21. He’s handled this so poorly that I think there’s a genuinely significant chance that we have a new commissioner for the 2021 season, regardless of how this ends.

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