The Bringer of Ender Trades…and Game Thread

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“Why me, Ryan? ”

Don’t remove me, Braves Journal regulars. This will be the last time you’ll see Ender Inciarte trade scenarios on this page. Sure, they’ve been a pipedream since starting these hypotheticals years ago and they’ll likely end as a pipedream when the 2021 season comes to a close and the Braves wash their hands clean of his contract. But…I can’t help it. It’s trading time and I’m going to look at trying to even out some money to deal Ender once again. However, let’s not pretend that Ender has the worst contract on the team. That goes to Marcell Ozuna followed by Will Smith. Drew Smyly was putting his name in that hat for most of the year but has pitched rather nicely of late. Still, it’s Ender’s last year, this has become a tradition as glorious as fruitcake at Christmas and hopefully that trend will also end in 2021.

The Bad Contract Swap…it Actually Happens

When I write these posts, it’s pretty crazy that many come out screaming, “This will never happen”. It’s true. These hypotheticals will likely never happen. However, there have been bad contract swaps that have happened 3 times in recent memory, 2 under Alex Anthopolous and 1 under John Coppolella:

  1. The Hector Olivera Trade, Part 2: Yes, Part 1 was awful, probably got a single digit rating on Rotten Tomatoes from Braves fans. However, at least Part 2 meant the women abuser was no longer part of the the team. Braves got a decent bat and a horrible, horrible fielding Matt Kemp.
  2. The Matt Kemp Trade: The Dodgers were toot-tooting the engine and tailing on the caboose. To consolidate funds, the Braves took on a whole lot of $ in 2018 and traded Matt Kemp to LA in exchange for Adrian Gonazalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, and Charlie Culberson. Adrian was released, McCarthy played poorly, Kazmir stayed injured, and Culberson became the hero we all needed. Baseball is strange.
  3. Anthony Swarzak Trade: Braves were depending on Arodys Vizcaino to anchor the bullpen in 2019. Unfortunately he was the anchor of the DL and Braves sent him along with Jesse Biddle to the Mariners in exchange for Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak carried the bullpen for about 3 months before he turned back into a pumpkin and now he’s just rotting in a field somewhere. Vizzy never pitched for the M’s and Biddle was Baddle.

So…look above. There’s hope. Maybe a fool’s hope and I’m self-admittedly a fool.

Ender Inciarte Trade Scenarios

In this exercise, we’ll look at teams that might have a need in the outfield or a contract deemed underwater. Braves are in need of bench bats, a big bat, and relief help. Let’s get to it:

Trade 1

Breakdown: Word is Josh Donaldson could get traded soon. The fit has not been ideal for the Twins as, apparently, Donaldson rubs some people the wrong way. I don’t know if the stories were true about Kevin Seitzer and Donaldson butting heads, but he seemed well-liked by the team and was a good fit for what the team needed at the time. With the DH nearly 100% for the 2022 season, Donaldson could finish out his contract with the Braves. The $ would be about even for 2021, but Braves would be paying $7.75MM more than Will Smith’s $13MM in 2022 and all of Donaldson’s $21.75MM salary in 2023.

Trade 2

Breakdown: Braves get a chance to battle test 2 arms while giving up on one that’s looked promising in the minors. This is my least favorite deal. I like Touki.

Trade 3

Breakdown: The Rockies are always looking for controllable arms and they’d get 2 in this deal. Braves get immediate bullpen help. This one feels far-fetched.

Trade 4

  • Braves get Kole Calhoun
  • Diamondbacks get Ender Inciarte and Sean Newcomb

Breakdown: Diamondbacks aren’t competing in 2022 and that would be a good place for Newcomb to go to get regulars starts without pressure. Calhoun could be a platoon LFer or a bench bat, but either way, he’s a real upgrade.

Trade 5

  • Braves get Jorge Soler
  • Royals get Ender Inciarte and Sean Newcomb

Breakdown: Might be the most doable trade on here. Ender and Jorge’s salaries are nearly identical and Royals can give Newcomb a real run in the rotation. Jorge Soler has elite exit velo numbers and could really use a dose of Seitzer.

Final Breakdown

My personal favorite is the Donaldson deal and while it’s risky, I like getting out from under Will Smith’s deal having Donaldson back in the middle of the lineup to play 3B in 2021 and DH in 2022 and beyond. I also like the deal to acquire Soler as it has real potential to pay off.

Tonight’s Lineup and Note on Matchups Until All-Star Break

The Braves play 9 games before the All-Star Break, 6 with the Marlins and 3 with the Pirates. Going 6-3 during these 9 games would put the Braves at 45-44 going into the break, the first time to be above .500 for the year. These are bad teams and the goal seems attainable. Let’s get it on!

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

44 thoughts on “The Bringer of Ender Trades…and Game Thread”

  1. Biddle was Baddle. Ryan Cothran is goodle.

    Thomasville is underwater, but I would enjoy having the rainmaker back in Atlanta. One can dream, pipes or not.

    Thank you, Ryan. Do any of them. Please.

  2. Watching the walk-off infield single again after what some folks said in the previous thread, I agree that it would’ve been tougher for Guillorme to get to third than I originally thought. He’d have had to quickly change direction. However, he still would’ve had a toss-up chance to do so IMO, which is way better than the chance he had at first: precisely zero. And none of that answers the question of what in God’s name Acuna was doing on the play.

    Anyway, let’s take at least two and preferably three from the Marlins this weekend!

  3. I hear that what’s holding up Freddie’s extension is his insistence that Ender be extended at the same time. As I understand it from Freddie’s people, he’s doing this at Ryan’s request so Ryan can run these trade scenario pieces until 2047.

  4. I don’t know if Donaldson has as much negative value as Ender and Will Smith. Newcomb has no value. So I think we’d have to throw in someone else. They probably also have no use for Will Smith, who doesn’t have much negative value anyway. I think the framework that would work in this scenario would be Ender, Newcomb, and something of value for Donaldson.

    Plus, would the Twins put Newcomb in the rotation? Haven’t the people of Minneapolis been through enough lately?

  5. I’ve always admired Glavine but he is totally off base here. There is no doubt that Lopez threw at Ronald on the first pitch. Given the teams’ history, ejecting Lopez is exactly the right thing to do.
    Now Chip is ignorantly echoing Glavine.

  6. Ejecting him is exactly the way to stop these senseless beanball wars.
    Snit was right—he told the ump that we’ve seen enough of this from Miami. Mattingly is a low life.

  7. And Glavine needs to shut up. He keeps going on and on defending the Marlins. He ought to be defending Acuna.

  8. Yeah, Tom Glavine is ridiculously off-base here. That ball started about a mile inside and ran in, as happens every time these jackasses plunk Ronald. The goal is and has always been to bean him. There is absolutely zero doubt about it anymore. None. The Marlins are a garbage organization and Don Mattingly is a garbage individual. Seeing the Marlins finally get their comeuppance for this utter chickenshit is deeply amusing, especially with Mattingly’s fake sincere argument to the umpire about how you can’t blame them for trying to pitch him inside. Every time the Marlins hit Acuna with a pitch from here on out (within any kind of reason), it should be an automatic ejection for the pitcher and Mattingly.

  9. Chip’s not gonna ask it because…well, he’s Chip, but I’d love to hear why Glavine thinks a two-seam fastball thrown right at Acuna and run in so that he can’t get out of the way (which again, is the same pitch they continually plunk him with) is in any way remotely similar to a cutter on the inner half of the plate.

  10. Seen about enough of Greene and his bs. I see why he wasn’t signed. Throw an f-ing strike

  11. There just aren’t any good options. He should’ve left Smyly in to try and get out of his own mess in the sixth, but a) Smyly wasn’t gonna make it all the way through the game anyway; and b) Snitker did that the other day with Morton and it blew up in his face, even though it was the right decision.

  12. LOLMarlins…Dansby only pulls that maneuver pretty much every time he fields it with no chance to throw the batter out at first. Probably should not have been surprising.

  13. That was intense. Some of you guys gotta learn to enjoy the ride.

    Braves now 5-0 in Smyly’s last five starts.

  14. Had that one all the way.

    The Marlins lost themselves a baseball game tonight, folks, and screwed their bullpen for the rest of the series in the process. Nicely done by Don Mattingly, who figured the umpires would continue doing nothing about his neverending head-hunting quest of Ronald Acuna. He figured wrong.

  15. Yeah, Mattingly and his team got just what they deserved.
    I’m still kind of stunned at Glavine. He was simply awful on the subject. He said umps should leave it to the players to take care of it if they believed he was throwing at him intentionally. That’s ridiculous. And he kept insisting that if the ump was going to eject Lopez, he should have done so immediately, rather than conferring with the other umps. That makes no sense.
    And then Chip just started parroting what Glavine was saying. I’ve sort of defended Chip, despite his general incompetence, on the ground that he’s sort of likable in a goofy way. No more.

  16. I continue to believe that Smith is no better and no worse than Melancon. Neither inspires confidence, and Smith is more expensive, but the narrative that one is having a great season and the other isn’t is an artifact of the teams they are playing for.

  17. Lopez is the first starting pitcher in major league history to throw only one pitch and become the losing pitcher.
    At least that’s what they said on the radio. I’m counting on JonathanF to confirm or refute that.

  18. I love all the confidence everyone had in the bullpen. I can’t blame them but it is nice that they were proven wrong. If that happens consistently over the next few months we will be in the playoffs.

    Btw, I think I agree with Glavine. I think a warning would have been much more appropriate than Lopez getting thrown out. I’m not complaining but understand the point.

  19. “Pablo Lopez is the first guy in major league history to have his last name end in Z”

  20. There is no doubt in my mind that he intentionally hit him. It was a two seamer thrown right at his ribcage, running in on him. And it was the third time they have hit Ronald with the first pitch of the game.
    Lopez was instructed by his manager to do that. To Lopez’s credit, I suppose, it wasn’t thrown at his head, and it wasn’t 97mph like the one Urena threw. But he did hit him intentionally, and you cannot allow that.
    I blame Mattingly more than Lopez, but tossing Lopez was clearly the right thing to do.

  21. @35 In general I would agree with you and Glavine. But in context, Acuna has been hit too many times, especially by the Marlins to warrant warnings or the benefit of any doubt. Something has to be done and I hope MLB levies large fines and suspensions on Mattingly and Lopez.

  22. What worries me is that I am beginning to regain my optimism. Completely unwarranted until at least All Star break. We owe the Marlins a sweep to even up the season series.

  23. @34: Probably, but the vast majority of the Retrosheet database doesn’t record number of pitches. The only guy who shows up as only throwing one pitch as a starter is Jose Urena and he didn’t lose that game.
    But take a look at this game: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL197709050.shtml
    Jim Barr faced Jerry Royster leading off and gave up a single. He then (apparently) got hurt, Royster scored later in the inning, and Barr was the losing pitcher. I just don’t know how many pitches he threw to Royster.
    Here’s another one: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL195508032.shtml
    Here’s a third: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MON/MON198104262.shtml

    There are 25 pitchers (prior to 2021) who faced only one batter as a starting pitcher and had that batter score. The three games above are the only three in which that pitcher was the losing pitcher. If they only threw one pitch, which I have no way of knowing, the radio guy is wrong.

  24. @34: Probably, but the vast majority of the Retrosheet database doesn’t record number of pitches. The only guy who shows up as only throwing one pitch as a starter is Jose Urena and he didn’t lose that game.
    But take a look at this game: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL197709050.shtml
    Jim Barr faced Jerry Royster leading off and gave up a single. He then (apparently) got hurt, Royster scored later in the inning, and Barr was the losing pitcher. I just don’t know how many pitches he threw to Royster.
    Here’s another one: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL195508032.shtml
    Here’s a third: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MON/MON198104262.shtml

    There are 25 pitchers (prior to 2021) who faced only one batter as a starting pitcher and had that batter score. The three games above are the only three in which that pitcher was the losing pitcher. If they only threw one pitch, which I have no way of knowing, the radio guy is wrong.

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