As we’ve had in the past few weekends, we are taking a break from normality and just doing some fun threads (well, some call them fun, others use other descriptives). Yesterday, I reached out on Braves Journal and other Braves social media outlets to come with scenarios in which Trading Ender Inciarte could be a reality. Granted, none of these are likely reality as armchair GMs nailing trades rarely happen, so just take these as a fun exercise of player valuation.
My pal, Jeremy Timmerman, and I teamed up to grade these trades separately. Understand, neither of us are experts so no one should be personally offended or elated by our grading process. Now, onto the show!
Trading Ender Inciarte, Scenario 1 From Caleb Caubo via Facebook:
- Cubs get Ender Inciarte, Drew Waters and 1-2 mid range pitching prospects
- Braves get Jason Heyward, Yu Darvish, and $
Ryan: Thumbs down. While Darvish would be cool, this only creates problems, not resolving them as Darvish would make the 6th viable starting pitcher and that’s not even counting Bryse Wilson or Kyle Wright. Also $ is a broad term and it would have to be a whole lotta dough for me to bite on Heyward.
Jeremy: Thumbs down. There are very few players who move the needle enough for me to move Waters, but Darvish would be one of them. The problem is that while I do think Jason Heyward has maybe figured something out offensively, he’s still owed a LOT of money over the next three seasons. Perhaps if I knew more about that amount, I’d turn this frown upside down.
Trading Ender Inciarte, Scenario 2 from Richard Vaughn via Facebook
- A’s get Ender Inciarte
- Braves get Stephen Piscotty
Ryan: Thumbs down. Piscotty is under contract in 2020 for another $7MM and if the Braves are trading Ender, it definitely shouldn’t be to add $ for a player that’s been equally as bad.
Jeremy: Thumbs up. I’m evaluating each trade as though the other options don’t exist, and that means I’d accept this one. The one concern is that Piscotty has another year on his deal, but he at least should provide some pop that Ender doesn’t provide. And with a career .843 OPS against lefties, Piscotty might be a solid platoon option in left field.
Trading Ender Inciarte, Scenario 3 From Caleb Burke via Facebook
- Brewers get Ender Inciarte, Bryse Wilson, Braden Shewmake, Touki Toussaint
- Braves get Josh Hader, Jesus Parra
Ryan: While I’d like to say thumbs up to this trade, I cannot. It’s a wild scenario that doesn’t really make sense for the Brewers. Why trade Hader then turn around and trade Parra too if you’re trying to rebuild?
Jeremy: Thumbs down. The prospect of getting Hader while only getting rid of one guy I’m super attached to – Bryse Wilson – is tempting, I’m just not sure why the Brewers would do this.
Trading Ender Inciarte, Scenario 4 From Caleb Koos via Twitter
Ryan: Ok, this one is interesting. If Angels cover ½ of Upton’s salary for ‘21 and ‘22, the financial commitment for the Braves is $26.35MM for 2 years. Subtract the cost that is Ender, which is ~$10MM after buyout, and you’d be getting Upton for 2/$16MM. Still, I’d go thumbs down, but at least you had me thinking.
Jeremy: Thumbs Up. The caveat here is that this is a trade I’m doing if the Braves aren’t able to land any of the top free agent bats. Upton has struggled at the plate but there’s still some pop there, and he’d only be under contract for two more seasons. I don’t think the Braves would do this one, but I would.
Trading Ender Inciarte, Scenario 5 From Aaron Kirby via Twitter
- Braves get Adam Ottavino
- Yankees get Ender Inciarte
Ryan: The salaries match up pretty well, but I can’t for the life of me see why the Yankees would do this deal, as is. Ottovino still had good K-numbers in a smaller sample in 2020 and was stellar in 2019 while Ender has 0 good qualities for 2 years. Just not a match. Thumbs down.
Jeremy: Thumbs up. I feel personally targeted here. Ottavino was my No. 1 target a couple offseasons ago, although apparently he was always going to New York. So I know I turned down a deal two entries ago solely because the other team would never do it, but I’m still accepting this one because I don’t get paid to be consistent. (EDITOR’S NOTE: He doesn’t get paid.)
Scenario 6 From Sid Brown via Twitter
- Braves get Craig Kimbrel and $6MM
- Cubs get Ender Inciarte
Ryan: Ok, I’ve thought long and hard about this scenario well before today and I really like the idea. Kimbrel is owed $16MM and has an option for 2022 for $16MM with a $1MM buyout. Ender is owed $8.7MM in 2021 and has an option for 2022 for $9MM with a $1MM buyout. The $ involved essentially evens out the deal, with the Braves paying Kimbrel $1.3MM. The problem that I have with this is that Kimbrel looked good in the playoffs and I feel the Cubs would rather roll the dice if it’s essentially just a salary dump. Therefore, I’m going thumbs down, but if the Braves were to add someone like Sean Newcomb, this deal is very doable.
Jeremy: Thumbs down. I was firmly in the “sign Kimbrel, you cowards” camp last year, and the results have proven me to be incredibly wrong. The results on the field haven’t been good in Chicago, and all signs point to Kimbrel’s days as a top reliever being done. The money is such that if the coaching staff thought they could fix him, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I’m not jumping on this one.
Scenario 7 From BeanEater Buzz and Mike via Twitter
Ryan: I’m not overly in love with Kris Bryant, but this feels like a good deal for both clubs. Kyle Muller likely isn’t needed on this Braves team and Kris Bryant’s flexibility comes into play for the 2021 team, as he can play both LF and 3B. Thumbs up.
Jeremy: Thumbs up. At some point, the Braves are going to have to turn some of these top-end pitching prospects into difference-makers at the plate. Bryant can be that, and when you work out the money, it probably comes out to a $12 million one-year rental for a guy who can play corner infield or outfield and is one year removed from a .903 OPS, 31-homer season.
Scenario 8 From Matt Pocza via Twitter
- Rangers get Drew Waters, Ender Inciarte, Brayden, Shewmake, Sean Newcomb
- Braves get Joey Gallo and Lance Lynn
Ryan: Love you, Matt, but thumbs down. Braves do not need another starting pitcher.
Jeremy: Thumbs down. The 2021 Braves don’t need Lance Lynn the way the 2020 Braves did, so I just can’t see moving Waters AND Shewmake. Maybe if you take Waters out and can get just Gallo, we can talk.
Scenario 9 From Taylor Blevins via Twitter
Ryan: Thumbs WAY up. Lots of value coming in and lots of value going out. I think Waters, Riley, and Davidson have a chance to be good Major Leaguers, but Ramirez is a stud and would be under control for 2 more years. Rings last forever, baby!
Jeremy: Thumbs up. These are the deals that, in my opinion, you just have to pull the trigger on before you think about how much you’re giving up. Ramirez is a legit star for the middle of the lineup, and he’s only owed $34 million or so over the next three seasons with TWO option years in case things go south. Adding a proven slugger at third base frees the team up to explore a plethora of options for left field, as well.
Scenario 10 From Anthony Del Sandro via Twitter
- Pirates get Ender Inciarte and lower level prospect
- Braves get Gregory Polanco
Ryan: I’ve floated this idea before and I like it on its face, but Polanco makes more $ than Ender and the $ would have to be even for me to consider it, especially when throwing in a prospect. Thumbs down.
Jeremy: Thumbs up. Because I’m a neanderthal when it comes to prospects, I’m just ignoring “lower level prospect” here because I interpret that to mean “guy who will never sniff the big leagues.” In that case, give me the potential offensive upgrade, even if it means a little more spending.
Scenario 11 From Matthew Davis via Facebook
- Rays get Ender Inciarte and Austin Riley
- Braves get Blake Snell
Ryan: Ummm…. So, Ender’s been really bad, Riley’s been below average and throw them together and it equals one of the best starting pitchers in the game? Sorry Matt, but this is bad. Clown trade.
Jeremy: I was told not to look at Ryan’s answers, so since I wasn’t supposed to do that, you just look at it again and pretend I said it.
Scenario 12 From Chad Satcher via Facebook
- Padres get Ender Inciarte, Bryse Wilson & Kyle Muller
- Braves get Wil Myers and Jagger Haynes.
Ryan: I like Wil Myers a lot, but I don’t really understand why the Padres would want to trade him for the Braves garbage, Bryse Wilson (who hasn’t been great), & Kyle Muller when they’re trying to win a championship and he was a key part in 2020. Clown trade, bro.
Jeremy: Where’s my “clown trade” button? I’m not sure why on earth the Padres would trade either of these guys, much less for this package.
From Brian Beavers via Facebook
- Rangers get Ender Inciarte, Kyle Wright, and Terone Harris
- Braves get Joey Gallo and AJ Alexy
Ryan: Interesting, for sure. Gallo was the opposite of good last year and Kyle Wright showed real promise in the 2nd half of the season. However, I’m not sure it’s enough to grab Gallo. Thumbs down.
Jeremy: Thumbs down. I don’t know what kind of future Terone Harris has with the Braves, but the bat seems to be there for him to at least have some value in a trade down the line. I don’t think I’d give up both him and Wright here.
From Ryan Goldsmith via Facebook
- Red Sox get Ender Inciarte, Kyle Wright, and Austin Riley
- Braves get Rafael Devers
Ryan: Grabbing Devers would cost an arm and a leg and this is more like a hand, especially when factoring in Ender’s negative value. Thumbs down.
Jeremy: Thumbs down. Rafael Devers is the kind of player you build around, not the player you trade away during a rebuild. I would certainly do this deal, but I think the Red Sox would have to be VERY high on Austin Riley to make it happen.
Thanks for participating! If you’re looking for more reading material that could tickle your trading tastebuds, check this piece out.